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First the Five. Bill sez: This MI-5 is inspired by the five meetings I had yesterday.

Meeting 1, the pastor: Tell us an interesting story about you and a playground. Um…I can’t think of a playground story interesting or not.

Meeting 2, the insurance lady: What typical workplace benefit do you not have currently that you wish you did have? I actually have pretty darn good benefits, considering. I guess I wish we had AFLAC coverage through work that we could opt in to.

Meeting 3, the real estate agent: Relate to us something about an experience buying/selling/renting a home. Well this really isn’t about me so much. My brother and sister-in-law were living with her parents for awhile until an affordable apartment came available.  They found one- but my brother went out of town on a hunting trip and my sister-in-law was left with a small car. She really wanted to move into the apartment- so her, bfm and myself loaded up as much of their stuff as possible and moved them all in before he even got back. My poor little Rav was stuffed to the gills with boxes and boxes of stuff…and we may have only been three girls…and yeah I guess technically they didn’t really have THAT much stuff to move…but we did it.

Meeting 4, the radio sales rep: What’s your favorite radio station? What’s the genre? Why do you like it? Well I don’t listen to standard radio anymore. I listen to XM-Sirius.  My favorite states are Hair Nation- because this is the music I LOVE, Octane because they play Rock, 80′s on 8 because I love the classic rock when they play it and Highway Country- because.  I actually like the new XM-Sirius lineup.

Meeting 5, the dessert loving banker: What’s your favorite dessert? Why? Oh well I love desserts who doesn’t. It would be easier for me to tell you what I don’t like. I don’t like Ice Cream. I don’t like this lemon layer dessert my mom makes.  And I am not a big fan of fruit tarts.

Friday Fill-In #106:

1. It’s January; I turn old this month.

2. A cheeseburger from In and Out is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like plastic baggy goes with a sandwich (this is like an sat question).

4. Slowing down and taking a deep breath is so nourishing (to the soul sometimes).

5. Let us dare to listen to our muses.

6. I need to vacuum my home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to sleeping in, tomorrow my plans include chores and errands and Sunday, I want to relax!

So one of the reasons I do not like this time of year is because the weather invariably does a number on my skin.  I usually end up looking much like a crocadile or a lizard…and that is on a good day. Its especially bad on my hands, elbow and face.  Since it doesn’t really get uber cold here- I would hate to think of what my skin would look like if I relocated some where where snow is the norm and not a magic winter anomaly experienced only by travel.

That begin said, I am always on the lookout for a good hand cream that doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars, or even twelve because you know I tend to be a little on the cheap side. Anyway I must say that I have been piqued by the Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy (I am sure you have seen the commercials with the woman from Kodiak Alaska who prescribes it to her favorite people?) but have been leery because I have been disappointed many times before with new lotions. Yes I am taking about you Curel Intensive Moisture**- who have made me all sticky instead of moisturized. Not to mention you smell like lemon Pledge and that isn’t something I want to go around smelling like. Nothing says sexy like smelling like Lemon Pledge right? NOT. And you Olay Quench- who’s fragrance is too over poweringly rose (or something floral) for me that it makes me want to retch because it makes me smell too much like an old lady.

So I am going to try to win a bottle of the Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy (and a cool gift basket..and chocolate…and shampoo…and the best part of the prize a $25.00 gift card from Target- my favorite store) by entering over here at Table for Five’s Amazing Prize Pack contest….you can enter too…but if you do can I at least have the lotion to try?

** The Intensive Moisture may make me all sticky but I do have a love of the Curel Targeted Therapy Hand and Cuticle Cream. I do. Problem is that I am unable to find it locally. And yes I have tried my local drugstore, supermarket, walmart and target. I can find it online but that defeats the purpose of being cheap…I don’t want to pay shipping on a tube of lotion!

So- really not much has been going on in the world of Amy right now.  Besides watching her next (milestone) birthday race towards her with impending doom she isn’t doing much of anything- well that is worth writing about anyway.

Because of stress from work, the last thing I want to do lately is blog. It’s like once the clock hits five my brain dies or something. I usually just go home and veg- which usually involves either sitting on the couch and watching some stupid TRUtv show (not by my choice mind you) or crocheting or doing both.  Sometimes it also involves playing with my DS- but I am starting to get frustrated with Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades.

**By the way if you aren’t seeing the NEW badgroove layout…all you need to do is refresh your browser.  I love this new layout…I hope you all do too!

Some people start feeling down in the dumps so they change their hair. Me? I change my blog layout. The lovely and talented KarahLeigh did this layout for me…and I love it. I hope you do too.I did upload the layout myself…which is more than I have ever done before…so GO ME!

Let me know what you think.  I promise I am going to post something real soon!  But for now…revel in the layout…I do.

I brought in the New Year playing Guitar Hero World Tour (Decades) for the DS. I really was planning on going to bed before the turn of the year (Hey I worked on NYE so give me a break) but I got sucked into the game and was trying my darnedest to unlock the Bon Jovi song (I didn’t succeed that night). I then spent the next 45 minutes trying to calm a totally freaked out beagle. See our neighbors (the ones across the street who brought us the best tamales in the world just hours before) obtained what I am sure are very illegal and very noisy fireworks and shot them off from their front yard. I know I have mentioned before that Roxy is afraid of fireworks…but these really did a number on her. She absolutely refused to go outside…even well after they finally stopped. She barked and whined and shook and paced…and hid. She knocked a lamp completely off the table it was on and pulled it out of the outlet as well (luckily it landed in her big poofy bed so it didn’t hurt the lamp any). The rest of New Years Day was spent doing normal things like laundry, working on Guitar Hero for the DS and preparing for work the next day.

Then we have today. I did the whole work thing…which was typical and exactly what I thought today would be like- me changing hundreds upon hundreds of passwords in requests that accumulated during the break (pretty much knew that was a given since I had worked New Years Eve too and did the same thing).

So far I feel like I am letting 2009 down and I didn’t even bother to make any resolutions so it’s not that I feel I have broken them already. I am just in my usual winter time funk -I get into one nearly every year. This year’s isn’t as bad as last year’s funk but it is there with its funkalicious self…trying its best to drag me down with it. I have so much I want to do but I just can’t find myself motivated. AT ALL. Whether it be my letting my laundry go until I absolutely have to do it, the fact that I have been fairly sporatic both writing in my blog and commenting on other’s blogs (it’s not you…really…it’s me I promise), the fact that I have a writing project that is about 70 percent done (or the first draft of it is anyway) and I just cannot get it together enough to finish it, or the fact that I can’t stick to anyone thing for very long- whether it be a crochet project or playing a nintendo ds game.  I can’t even get out of the funk enough to learn how to use my (new to me) dslr camera so I have an idea how it works before I take it to the races at the end of Feb. Sigh. And let’s not even talk about that evil date looming upon me and all that that signifies.

So far 2009 has been the year of the funk. How can I get my game back. And my year back before it runs away from me for good?

  • Reading like a fiend. I have read New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (the last three books of the Twilight series)- which alone is approximate 2000 pages. Plus approximately 200 pages of a book I started before New Moon.  This was all since December 25th.
  • Procrastinating with my laundry until it achieved critical mass and needed to be done.
  • Dreading today because it meant back to work.
  • Hanging out with my nephew…he’s so incredible. He’s not big on the crawling…but he will do like an army drag/crawl and is fast like a ninja baby…but has been pulling himself into a standing position for quite awhile now- and the otherday he did a chin up trying to pull himself up onto our table.  Also- according to his dad- he took three steps the other day.
  • Procrastinating getting my oil changed…because I hate being without my wheels.

So What have YOU been up to lately?

Oh and HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

How was your Christmas? Mine? Was good. Exhausting but good. Here are some random numbers from my Christmas:

0: Number of pictures taken by me (I know….don’t fall over in shock. I just was NOT in the mood).

1: Number of NASCAR.COM Store gift cards received. (YEY) Also number of stressed out dogs stuck outside for a majority of the day on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

2: Number of bookstore giftcards received. (Double yey) Also number of perfumes received.  Number of shower gels received too (can’t have too much of that good stuff)! And…number of helpings of Sweet Potato Suffle made by my sister-in-law…that stuff was like crack.

3: Number of Christmas celebrations attended by me within a 24 hour period. All three including exchanging of presents and food. By number three I was exhausted, tired of unwrapping presents and full of rich food (and possibly slightly cranky). Also number of stockings opened.

4: Number of lip glosses received. Also number of Nintendo DS games received.

5: Number of pens received. I told you I have a writing implements fetish.

6: Number of books received. The last three of the twilight series, The new Stephen King,  a Dean Koontz and a NASCAR book. Lots of reading in my future.

7: Pieces of fudge sneaked out of my dad’s white elephant present- he ended up with a huge tin of the best homemade fudge ever.

8: Pairs of socks received.

12: Number of potatoes mashed for mashed potato casserole.

25: Weight of turkey cooked on Christmas Eve in pounds.

45: Number of times someone commented on how windy it was.

350: Number of times I swooned and declared my love of Edward.

45,689: The number of toys my nephew got for Christmas. A rough estimate.

37,000,000.37: The amount of money, according to my uncle, on the borders card he gave me. This is a running joke.

RANDOM BIT OF CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: How many people can state that they got a pink canister of pepper spray in their stocking for Christmas? Two. My sister-in-law and I both got it in ours!!!

Dear Santa-

Please excuse the late letter- did Christmas sneak up on you and the elves the way it did me? Anyway…I hope that you are having an easy time making all those presents.

Of course I want the usual things for Christmas- you know world peace, health and happiness to all my family, friends, and favorite bloggerfriends. Oh and new underwear, an iTunes gift card, an amazon gift certificate and whatever else you see fit to shove in my stocking (I hope the bubble bath doesn’t leak all over the harth this year- that was a sticky mess).

However can I ask for one two three more things for Christmas this year? I think I have been a good enough girl- where I can give you one or three special requests (in order of importance of course):

First and foremost: Please do your best to give Stewart Haas racing a good inaugral 2009 season.  Be especially gracious to Tony (that would be the #14 car) but also feel free to sprinkle some of that magic onto the Ryan Newman team as well (the #39 car).  I would love for Stewart Haas racing to come out of the box a winning team- so a good showing at the Daytona 500 in February would be a great start (but please don’t let the year fall off dramatically like poor Ryan’s team did this year after his Daytona win).

Secondly a second sponsor for the #39 team would be a good thing.  Hell if I had the money I would sponsor him. But I don’t have these kind of funds Santa…and in all actuality who would want to see my name on the hood of a car. It’s not like I have an exciting company or product- lets face it Santa there is NOTHING innovating about me…but I am sure you will think of SOMETHING.

And finally, I would love a Stewart-Haas racing sticker. Just a simple smallish sticker of the new teal colored (that is teal isn’t it?) logo would be perfect. I need something for the back window of my car, not only so I can show my colors as a Stewart-Haas fan, but so that I can pick my car out in a parking lot. There are more than one Silver HHR in the area and I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to get into someone else’s car.  Somehow my 20 sticker disappeared in late October leaving just a little ring of clean window where a sticker had once been.

I wanted to give you this letter in person, however, after about 20 minutes in the mall on both Saturday and Sunday, I wanted to be put out of my misery. There really is not any thing worth those kind of crowds…especially since YOU bring all the Christmas magic anyway.

I will leave extra cookies for the reindeer as always. And maybe some chex mix just to mix things up.

Love, Amy M., Marina, CA

PS. If you are really at a loss for something ELSE to get me this year- I wouldn’t cry if I found one of THESE under the tree.