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Amy’s Top Ten List of Addictions

Oh how I’ve missed you, my blogging friends.  It’s seems like it’s been ages since I’ve posted something even though it’s only been a little over a week.  The past week has been a rough one at both work and home with so much going on and the temptation was there.  The one that makes you want to just type it all out and post it for the world to read so that you can respond with words of comfort or advice or those ‘just hang in there’ comments.  But now is not the time for that, at least not yet.

So instead of doom and gloom, I have brought you my top ten list of addictions.  Some I really had to think about, because although they made the list, the addiction runs in spurts.  I go through phases where I may play Sims for days on end, or read book after book until 3am but it isn’t always an everyday kind of thing.

Current The Sims logo. It was inspired by The ...

Image via Wikipedia

10. Sims 3 – A good friend of mine got me hooked on this game.  I pretty sure that I am more fascinated with buying big houses and decorating them than I am actually playing the game.  Either way, once I start playing, I can sit in front of the computer for hours and not realize how much time has gone by.

9. Cycling – Although I don’t ride enough to truly classify this as an addiction, it is my hope that it will one day become an addiction.  The times I do get to ride have been such a great stress reliever as well as workout.  Knowing that you’ve ridden 5, 10, 15 miles is exhilarating.  Unfortunately, I am not at junkie status yet.  Those are the riders that can go for 40 miles at a time.  I am so incredibly jealous of you!

8. Journals –  There are journals, some written in, some still blank.  All of which are scattered around my house or stuffed in desk drawers at work.  I love that they come in all shapes, sizes, styles, etc.  There is one to fit every type of mood or any type of writing.

7. Shoes – I confess to not having a 100 different pairs of shoes, probably because money and space to store them is limited.  However, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I haven’t tried on at least one pair of shoes when I’ve been in Target or Kohl’s.

6. Books – Boxes and boxes of books, have I.  This is undoubtedly where my love for writing comes from.  Reading what others have written, getting so involved with a story line that you have the next book’s release date marked in your calendar probably qualifies as an addiction.

English: A completed PANDORA bracelet

Image via Wikipedia

5. Pandora – Jewelry.  What woman doesn’t like jewelry?  There is a charm for every occasion.  You can build your bracelet up slowly, mix and match colors, and it makes it easy for the hubby to shop for presents.  Just get a couple of charms and he can’t go wrong.

4. Blogging – Since I’ve started this blog I find myself visiting the site throughout the day, checking it when I first wake up and before going to bed.  This must be what a Facebook addict feels like.  Did anyone read my blog?  How many hits do I have?  Did anyone leave comments?  Do I have any more followers?  I’m obsessed!

3. Make-up –  Make-up is similar to shoes, you can never have too much and you need something for every occasion.  Of course, it’s never as easy as the experts make it look and the models they use have flawless skin with no freckles.  Just once, I would like to see them apply make-up to a 30-something-year-old with freckles and maybe a few blemishes.

2. Gadgets – Doesn’t everyone want the latest in technology?  Even if it’s just to brag a little bit.  Of course, like all technology, there is something better just around the corner.  And wouldn’t you know that as soon as you get the iPad 2, the next release (iPad 3) is scheduled to come out.  No worries though, I am very happy with the gadgets I have.

English: Coach purse

Image via Wikipedia

1. Coach purses – Again, these are one of those things that you can never have too many of.  However, my wallet would tend to disagree.  Thank goodness for the outlet stores in Orlando.  There is nothing better than going into the store hoping to find one affordable, totally cute purse and coming out with two or three for the price of one!  SCORE!!

Amy’s Top Ten Favorite Foods

Outback Steakhouse in California

If only I could win the lotto, I would have my own booth at Outback!

I will be branching out with this week’s top ten list into the world of yummy cuisine. Keep in mind that the majority of my top ten list of favorite foods can be ordered off a menu at a local restaurant. This is because although I like cooking, I have yet to learn the art of recreating such tasty dishes myself. And although Google is a great search engine, it has yet to give me an accurate recipe for Outback Steakhouse‘s baked potato soup.

10.  Mac and cheese – I don’t know too many people who don’t like it.  Whether it’s the ole’ fashion version with bread crumbs sprinkled on top or out of a Velveeta box.  If you really want to spice it up, cut up some salami or ham and throw it in there for good measure. My OCD won’t allow me to eat it this way, but who am I to judge how you like it? (Double meaning intended?  Probably.)

9. Pizza – again, it’s one of those things – there is a flavor for everyone.  It’s hard to go wrong with pizza.  Granted, I’ve seen it done.  For instance, when you smother it in black olives, anchovies or fruit, but give me a pie loaded down with pepperoni and this girl is one happy camper.

8. Grilled Lobster Tail – This is also something I love, love, love.  However, it only makes the number 8 spot as a result of a rather scary episode I had at Outback.  I have never had an allergic reaction to food and no other shellfish does it.  But after eating the scrumptious lobster, I had the makings for a huge fat lip and heart palpitations that were so bad I was sure the hubby could hear them.  So no more lobster for this girl.

7.  Restaurant Salads – There is something to be said for the salads you get at restaurants.  Whether it be Olive Garden, Carrabba’s or Outback, it always tastes better than the ones I create at home.  And none of the store-bought dressings even come close to tasting as good.

Cadbury Creme Egg

It's all about the creamy filling.

6.  Cadbury Creme Eggs – I know it’s more of a candy, but there is something about that creamy filling that I just can’t do without.   Doesn’t everyone bite it in half and lick out the filling? (No visuals intended)

5.  Queso Dip – Chili’s queso dip to be precise.  It’s my favorite thing on their menu next to the Presidente Margarita.  I have recreated my own dip, but it just doesn’t have the creaminess that Chili’s has.  And isnt’s it just so convenient that there is one on the way to the bowling alley for league night.  No wonder I have to exercise three times more than everyone else.

4.  Salmon – This is something that I actually cook myself. I cut the salmon into cubes, put them on skewer sticks, baste them in teriyaki glaze and then grill them.  As they are being grilled, I baste them on occasion – usually when I turn them.  After about 15-20 minutes they are heaven on a stick.

3. Ahi tuna – This fabulous dish is courtesy of Outback.  Unfortunately, I have never gotten into the sushi thing or eating cold fish, so I ask for this dish ‘warmed throughout’.  Not to worry, it’s still delectable.

2.  Fresh Scallops – This again is one that I have prepared myself.  I saute them in some butter, garlic and special seasonings.  I do not, however, relish cleaning the buggers.  They closely resemble snot, I mean oysters, before I have removed all the offending goo to get to the meat underneath.

1.  Chicken Marsala – Carrabba’s chicken marsala more specifically.  It’s one of those dishes that make you want to close your eyes every time you take another bite.  The only exception – because there is always an exception – is that I don’t do mushrooms with mine.  Lots of sauce, but hold the mushrooms.  It’s a texture thing.  The drawback to this dish?  You will be tasting it for hours later and not always in a pleasant way.  There’s more garlic in there than you realize.

A Time Before Cell Phones

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I made a quick run to the grocery store late last night to grab some pizzas for dinner.  As we were in the process of repainting our kitchen walls and the stove was not in its’ rightful place, something easy to fix was in need.  Although the nearest store is less than three miles from my house, I immediately felt hesitant about the drive when I realized I had left my iPhone at home.

What if they needed something else from the store?  What if my car died?  What if I got a flat tire?  What would I do?  All of these things were racing through my mind as I turned the corner and passed a car that was in fact, pulled off to the side of the road with their hazard lights on and the hood up.  And before you ask, no, I did not stop to see if there was anyone still with the car or if they needed assistance.  I was alone, it was dark and I had NO cell phone.

This begs the question, what did we do before we had cell phones?  I know that for as long as I have been driving there have been cell phones.  I can even recall the first cell phone, or rather car phone that my parents had.  It was a big block that actually had a wire cord attached to the hand-held piece you talk in to.  It’s amazing how far technology has come since I was a child.  Big chunky cell phones that resembled bricks are now small and sleek and so advanced that you can surf the web, watch a movie or look at your friend while you chat.

Thinking back, there have been so many times I’ve driven places that had no lighting on the roadways and places to stop for help were few and far between.  I can’t imagine not having a way to call for help immediately should I need it.  And if I had to walk to the nearest store for help that was miles away, in the dark, I shudder to think.  I’m not afraid of the walk, it’s everyone else I don’t trust.  What if my 10-month old were in the car with me?

I’m sure there are still some old-timers out there that refuse to roll with the technology punches.  Do they ever stop and wonder what they will do if they are broke down on the side of a road somewhere with no help in sight?  It doesn’t do a lot of good to have Triple A if you have no way to contact them.

Lucky for me, I made it there and back with no mishaps but one can never be too careful.  It’s almost as if my phone is an extension of me.  It’s something that I am never far from because you never know what may come up that will leave you wishing it was right there by your side.  Will I double-check to make sure I have my cell phone the next time I leave?  Most definitely.

TGIF Baby!

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  The kind that start off good and don’t necessarily end badly, but it certainly doesn’t live up to the expectations you had at the beginning.  I think I am on my way to having one of those weeks.  The final deciding factor will be league bowling tonight.

Ten-pin bowling in action

Image via Wikipedia

I am by no means a pro when it comes to bowling but I still love it anyway.  Currently my average is a 160.  It’s not the highest it’s ever been, but it’s a work in progress.  I give props to myself for having bowled a 289 in the past.  That’s pretty damn close to a perfect 300.  Unfortunately, the elusive 300 has taunted me ever since.  I doubt I will get one in my lifetime but no worries, if I do, you’ll hear all about it.  I’m hoping that our team can pull another 7 points (max to win) this week as we are getting down to the wire and towards the end of the season.  We are in 8th place out of 36 teams so even if we finish in the top ten I will be happy with that.  It should be a decent chunk of change for the team.

So back to the week I’m having.  It started out with losing a good friend and since I don’t have many, it really really sucks.  Even more importantly, because they were a friend for a long time and they unknowingly helped me through some really rough times in my youth.  It’s hard not being able to just say hi and talk about anything or nothing with them.  Mind you, it’s not because they are gone, but rather because they just can’t or are not permitted to talk to me anymore.

Someone once told me that if you have even five really good friends that you are doing excellent.  I was an extremely private person growing up and it’s hard to break that habit once it’s started.  So making a multitude of friends wasn’t for me and when you put yourself out there and get burned, it makes it even worse.  The other strike against me is having three brothers which means relating to the opposite sex comes a little easier than talking ‘shopping’ with one of the girls.

Alas, good things are on the way because after that, I received my first ever blogging award.  And I confess, I am still giddy over it.  It’s such a great feeling knowing that others get a kick out of my writing as much as I do when reading theirs.  I have my very own ‘followers’.  How awesome is that??

As with any good thing, a bad thing must follow so that you don’t get too excited over how great your week is turning out to be.  Last night as I walked into my bedroom, in a hurry, not paying attention to where I was going, I ran into my solid wood dresser with my foot.  My pinky toe is now sporting various shades of blue and purple.  And I was sporting various swear words as soon as it happened, hopping up and down on one foot while holding the other as if that would really make the throbbing in my now broken or jammed toe better.  The day before bowling!?!? Come on already.

So as the work day and the weekend officially begins, I am still going to hold out hope that my week will end better than it started. Of course, a couple of margaritas might help things out a bit.  All I know is…thank God it’s Friday!

My First Ever Award – Damn, I Rock!

My first EVER blogging award - I ROCK!

I’ve only just started blogging again as part of a New Year’s resolution so it’s been almost three months now and I am super excited to give a huge ‘thank you’ to a fabulous blogger, jeandayfriday for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Just the other day as I was reading various posts, I noticed the awards garnishing some of these blogs.  First thought of course was, ‘Damn, I want one of those.’  The second was, ‘I wonder if and when I will ever get nominated for an award.’  I wasn’t even being picky at that point, any award would do.

Now that I have officially received my first award, let the giddiness begin.  When I started out with this blog thing, I admit to not having high hopes as far as followers or comments or even views to my blog.  Apparently there are more people out there with a sharp tongue and sarcastic mind (like me) than I realized.  The beauty of it is the ability to be versatile, having the ability to talk about random things from one moment to the next and knowing that others appreciate it as much as I love writing it.

So as with any great award, there also comes some responsibility.  Part of this responsibility is passing on the award to other fellow bloggers that I follow or that have that special something.   The VBA link will tell you about VBA and what the rules are for those that are nominated for this award.  So without further delay, below are the bloggers that I nominate for the Versatile Blogger award:

1. The Dissemination of Thought – I know that Lyndon has probably already received this award but I love this blog so much that I had to include him in the list.  Anytime I need a laugh, his blog delivers.

2. 365 Trinkets – I am absolutely fascinated behind the idea of getting rid of something different every day for an entire year.  Kudos to this blogger because I don’t think I could do it.

3. The Mad Hatters – There is a theme here I think, to some of my favorite blogs.  Again, Duncan’s blog is always there for a good laugh when I need it with a little bit of sarcasm and raciness thrown in.

4. Sinnercycling – Being a cyclist wannabe myself, I can’t get over some of the pictures of the places that are listed here.  Yes, my jealousy is spiking.  I wish I was good enough to just ride my bike everywhere.

5. Ramblings from an Apathetic Adult Baby – Another great writer who has the right blend of humor in his posts and definitely some eye-catching topics for discussion.

Unfortunately, I am at a loss for other bloggers to add to this list at the moment, but never fear, once I find you, I will be sure to give you your ‘props’ and include you in this award.  On to the final condition of this award.  Tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself.

I know that anyone who has read any of my top ten lists probably knows more about me than they ever really wanted to know, but here is the skinny (and no, I am not skinny) on me.

1.  CDO – OCD spelled alphabetically.   One of my employees told me today that I was NOT allowed to watch the movie Contagion, it would make my OCD worse…..Should I be offended by this?

2. I love, love, love going scalloping, line-dancing, diving, bowling, hunting, hiking, cycling and the list could go on and on.

3.  I’m the type of person that will try anything once.  I’ve tried everything from bungee jumping to getting tattoos and piercings to four-wheeling.

4.  I’m a freak. No further explanation will be given, on my blog anyway. Just know, I’m a freak.

5. I’m probably considered to be on the fluffy side.  I’m not waddle size (no offense intended) and I will never be pencil thin.  I like food too much for that.

6. I’ve started writing several different books but haven’t finished any.  I don’t know if this is due to time, inspiration or the fear of rejection.

7.  Red hair, green eyes, freckles and fair skin  = Irish Girl.  Only I don’t like dark beer or corned beef and cabbage. But my homemade pizza, chicken parm and potato soup are pretty damn good if I say so myself.

Amy’s Top Ten List of Annoying Things People Do at Restaurants

This weeks top ten list is dedicated to those who love to venture out into the restaurant world to partake in what I hope are mostly scrumptious meals (with the occasional disaster thrown in).  Although this list is in descending order, the placement on the list could in fact change due to the severity of the offense.

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the United Stat...

Image via Wikipedia

10.  Carpet bags – I don’t think I have every actually seen this in action, but I’ve heard tales of ladies bringing their over-sized, carpet bags with them so they can stuff the extra chicken wings from the buffet in them for later.  Does that ‘fried’ smell ever come out?

9.  Parents who don’t watch their children; this is especially true at buffets.  I try to avoid buffets on general principle (it’s an OCD thing) but nothing irks a person more than to see kids running with a full plate of food that will eventually end up on the floor.

8.  This one isn’t so much annoying as it is humorous.  I love when another couple or family see you heading towards the restaurant the same time you are so their steps are a little faster in hopes that they beat you to the door and get their name in first.  Just an FYI – there really is enough food to go around.

7.  Someone blowing their nose at the table – no further explanation needed, it’s just GROSS!  Or chewing with your mouth wide open.  If you have too much food in your mouth that you can’t get it closed, take smaller bites.

The No Smoking sign, designed by one of the me...

Keep it Clear of the Entrance Please - Image via Wikipedia

6.  Smoking just outside the entrance to the restaurant.  I am asthmatic and have a hard enough time breathing.  Inhaling your toxic, ashtray smelling fumes just before or after I’ve eaten makes me want to gag.  And if I do, I’ll be sure to do it in your direction.

5. The loud one – this person is often times the cell phone talker as well.  No matter how loud the restaurant is or in the case of Chili’s lounge area, even if it’s during football season, you can still hear this guy above all the other conversations in the room.

4.  Slobs – those people at the buffet that get food and drink everywhere with no consideration for the people who have to clean it up.  They aren’t your maids so at least try to contain your mess to a smaller area.

3.  The waitress or waiter who overlooks taking care of your table because they either don’t think you will tip well, don’t want to be bothered or because they are too busy making nicey-nice with the single guys/girls sitting two tables away.

2.  People who treat the waitress bad, just because they can.  She or he isn’t their t0 wipe your mouth for you so don’t get mad when they don’t.  And don’t make them run their ass off and then stiff them on the tip.  That just makes you a jerk.

1.  Talking on your cell phone loud enough that the people sitting in the back by the bathroom can hear you all the way at the bar – isn’t it bad enough they have to watch everyone coming and going?  So either take it outside or be sure to use your super-quiet, inside voice.

Near and Dear to My Heart


I’d like to take a little time to write about something that is near and dear my heart.  For those of you that guessed my lungs – spot on!  For as long as I can remember I’ve been an asthmatic.  For those of you that are afflicted with this  disorder or know someone close to you that is, you know how dangerous and life-altering it can be.

According to the American Lung Association, there are millions of Americans, of all ages, who suffer from this lung disease that makes moving air in and out of your lungs harder than the average breather.  Unfortunately for those of us who do suffer from asthma, there is no cure, but it can be managed.  I’m not going to go into detail on how you can manage your asthma better or what the websites and doctors tell you to do to increase your quality of living.  Any asthmatic knows all that already.  And for those of you that don’t suffer with it, you won’t ever truly understand how horrible it can be.

I don’t say that to be mean or insensitive, it’s just the way I see it.  I know that when a loved one has to watch someone who is suffering from an attack, it can be scary, not being able to help.  But trust me when I say for those of us who are having the attack, it’s downright terrifying.

Trying to get air in through that???Case in point, I had one of the worst asthma attacks in my 34 years of life about a year and a half ago.  It was in fact so bad that I ended up in the hospital.  But I am jumping ahead.  What does it feel like you may wonder?  It starts out as a shortness of breath.  You can hear and feel yourself starting to wheeze and it become harder to get air into your lungs.  As the attack increase, the pressure to your chest also increase.  It’s as if your entire chest is in a vice and someone is slowing turning the vice to make it tighter.  No matter how hard you try to get oxygen in, you can’t.  It was the first time in my life that I actually thought I might stop breathing.  And when you get to that point, actually long before you reach that point, panic has set it.  Nothing amps up the problems like panic can.  So as we raced towards the hospital all I could think about was, does he know CPR if I stop breathing and ‘God, I hope he doesn’t wreck the truck if I stop breathing.’

How’s that for scary?  Am I any better off than I was then?  Sure, the attack is over but that doesn’t mean I won’t have another one.  Part of the solution is knowing what triggers it and trying to avoid those things as best as possible.  Allergies, dust, dirt, grass, hay can all trigger an attack.  Does this mean that I get out of doing the vacuuming and dusting?  Not so much, but it was worth a try.

What Game Do You Wanna Play?


Image via Wikipedia

Has there ever been a game that you just couldn’t stop playing? The kind of game that actually makes you think about how you plan your day so that you stay on top in said game?  I admit to being a former FarmVille band wagoner.   It was one of the first things I did in the morning and at night before bed with  ‘farming’ throughout the day thrown in for good measure. Often times looking at how long something takes to grow so I don’t have any withered crops.  It’s fun for a while but if you have a competitive nature like I do, you tend to want to have the most points, biggest farm and more ribbons than all your neighbors.  Hence the addiction is born.

Next on my list of addicting games is Trade Nations.  This game is similar to FarmVille in many ways.  You work to make more money, get bigger land, better things, etc.  It is also time-challenged.  In other words, your shops, wood cutters and so on take so much time to get their product finished.  In Trade Nations’ favor is the fact that there is no ‘withering’ of anything.  So if the game sits for a few days without your tender loving care, you won’t lose any product, you just won’t make anymore either.  Again, being of the competitive sort, you may find yourself working towards trying to attain a higher level, have more money and a bigger homestead than all your neighbors.

The downside I’ve found to both these games is that in most individuals attempt to be number one they lose sight of the purpose of the game.  To have fun.  Instead it becomes about getting as much stuff crammed on to your land to get maximum return on your work.  The other down side to Trade Nations is that it is only available on Apple products – iPads, iPods, iPhones.


Image via Wikipedia

Next on my most frequently played games is Words with Friends.  For those who love Scrabble, Quiddler and spelling in general, this game is for you.  It is set up very much like a Scrabble board but with more ways to earn points.  There is no time limit to how long your turn is.  You just play the game when you have time.  And of course there are strategies to how to play and win the game.  For example, try to save your letters with the high valued points for the spaces that have triple letter, double word or triple letter word scores.  But isn’t that what everyone does?  I think I like the word games the best because you are playing against another person and it challenges your mind.  Sure there are many times that I just try making up words because the letters I have are awful.  And every once in a while I come up with a good one that I look up because although it’s considered a word, I have no idea what it means.

The downside to Word with Friends is that there are some words that it considers to be non-words.  Although they pass Scrabble’s approval, they don’t in WWF.  When the board is full of times and you are down to your last three letters, you’ll try anything in hopes that it works.

Words With Friends

Image via Wikipedia

No matter what game you’re playing, it’s nice to have something you can do from just about anywhere that takes up little to no space (compared to a board game).  The convenience alone is a bonus.  Winning a match in WWF against your friend – huge bonus.

The Dissemination of Thought

For the first instalment of The Dissemination (of Thought) Files, we hit the Mediterranean coast to get down and dirty with Cakes McCain on all things Italian, including Fiats, foreplay and Mamma’s tomato sauce.

In today’s interview, I speak to Amy, author of 2012: 365 Days a Yearand self-confessed crazy M&M’s sorter. Our chat has a bit of everything, from an intellectually stimulating volley about frog legs, to a pitiful request for a crisp Ben Franklin.  Oh, and theses guys and their friends make a guest appearance.


Lyndon Keane (TDoT): I think I ran into your car when I was parking. How often do you use your right-hand side mirror while driving? It’s currently sitting on your letterbox.

M&M’s Amy (M&MA): Is it the whole “right side of the road” concept that gets you?  No worries on the mirror though;  I don’t often worry about what’s…

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This was hilarious. I had to share!