Random Thoughts on Symmes

… inept, but trying real hard

I’m all over the place in this one August 25, 2008

Filed under: Children,Events,Family,Fun!,Photos,Random,Travel,Uncategorized — Layni @ 12:28 am

I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last post, but we’ve been busy beavers over here.  And that is because following vacation [which, incidentally, I plan to post about photo-essay style at a later time, and that time being when I find the time to upload my pictures to the computer]. 

And speaking of photos, I would be remiss not to share this awesome deal from Walgreens with you:

Remember this summer every year 4x6 Prints 50 for $5 GET COUPON CODE

Here’s hoping that comes across as a clickable link.  

Do you ever get startled by a glare in your glasses?  Ha!  Like, out of the corner of your eye you’ll see a flash of light that looks like something just shot past you & you’re all, “Whoa!  What the heck was that?”  No?  Maybe its just these stupid BIFOCALS.  Whatever.

I could look this up, because I’m researchy like that, but in an attempt to save time, do y’all have any suggestions for rawhides that don’t become soggy throat plugs when chewed?   Because my dogs lives are at stake here.


I think she’s talking about me. 

Is anyone else sad that summer’s almost over?  This is my summer of decent TAN [well, by pale white-girl standards anyway].  Why must you end?  And back to school.  Ugh!  Back to school means HOMEWORK and homework equals stress.  Because homework results in grades.  Grades that are important and for a 15 year old … also future-determining!  Ack.  Plus it also means that instead of leisurely morning routines [because said beautiful children are still sleeping during leisurely morning routine], that mornings will now entail assuring that 15 year old is up, dressed halfway presentable & out the door by 6:20 [I repeat, “Ack”] and that 8 year old is up, dressed, fed, has teeth brushed, that backpack contains all necessary papers, permission slips and chapstick and is on the bus BEFORE finalizing self to get out the door in a timely manner to arrive at job-with-added-responsibilities at an acceptable hour. 

[Shoot!  Look at the time.  It’s 1:25 a.m. I have to get to bed.]

I’ll be back soon with more on these topics AND Vacation:  A Photo Essay.  Until then, back to school, we spit on you.  And then, we sing John Mayer.


Busy, busy, dreadfully busy August 6, 2008

Here’s the scoop:

1. I am alive.
2. Thank you for asking.
3. Things were very busy.
4. Oh, wait.  They still are.

That’s … pretty much it.  Hello.

Me = Being consumed whole by new job and lots of other activities, but

Me = Still loves you.  Really.

You = Patient.  And also,

You = Good looking.  Did you get a haircut?  Is that a new shirt?  Because

You = One sexy beast.  I’m just saying.

Anyway. Y’ALL. This new job? The one I haven’t told you about yet.  The one where I am when I go to work in the morning?  It is really BUSY. They want a lot of this “work” business, and apparently it will calm down soon, once I learn what the heck I am doing, but right now I am hoping someone will just show up and KILL ME ALREADY because Hoo Boy.  Ow, with all the work and learning.  It hurts my head.

I’m only human, Boss People. I know I look capable; that is an illusion!  In reality, I don’t have the faintest idea of what I am doing!  Shh!

But … uh.  I couldn’t allow that last post to remain for one minute more, so here I am [Hi!] typing drivel.

Because I love you.  So it’s loving drivel.  Don’t hate me today.  I JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT.


Okay, see, there was this thing?  And then there was this other thing, and the net result of all of these things, and all of the SHEER PANIC and TERROR inspired by these things, and then, there was this:

I’m taking on a new role at work.

See how I said that?  Taking on a new role?  I’m wondering if that accurately conveys how I’m not just changing roles, but in ADDITION to the role I already have, I am “absorbing” a whole NEW role?  One that another human being used to do.  As their job.  Like, as their ONLY job.  But now I’ll be doing it, on top of the one I already have.  See that?  Two jobs at once.  And contrary to how I seem to be freaking-the-heck out about it.  I AM happy about this!  Wheeeeee!  [See?  Happy.]  I had even verbalized before how if I had to have another job, this would be the one I’d want to have.   But I will admit that I am suffering from a harsh case of lack of confidence in my own abilities, I have concerns people.  Everyone else is completely confident in me.  Thanks.  You’re sweet. 

I’ll let you know how that’s going.

And also, there has been the perpetual stream of evenings [occasionally even followed by some early mornings] parking cars at the ATP Tennis Tournament.  This is a requirement of the Mish kids & their parents [the acting group Ashton is in].  They make a lot of money from it.  It’s a good cause.  I keep telling myself that.  Anyway, the ATP tennis tournaments, wherein I have been berated, yelled at, shot the stink-eye, and I’m also pretty sure one lady told me to blow something out of somewhere.  Because she wasn’t handicapped and I was working the handicap lot and apparently I take my job very seriously. 

On another occasion I was working the golf lot [which means making sure that if someone pulls in there that they are, in fact, golfing & not walking over to the tennis tournament.  It’s the principle, people.]  So a man pulled in and I’m all, “Good morning sir, what are you here for?”  [NOTE:  Do NOT ask them if they’re golfing, because, y’all, PEOPLE LIE!]  So he’s all, “YES, is that ok with yooooooou?”  “Um, yes. [jerk] But, if you’re golfing, how come you don’t have on a collared shirt?”  A-HA!  SUCK IT! I’M A GOLF LOT GENIUS!  “I’m going to put it on after I shower.  Ohhhhhh,kkkkkkkkk?”  <blink>  “Ohhhhhh,kkkkkkkkk”, I responded.  And then, cinching up his face as if he’d just got a whiff of a dirty diaper filled with Indian food he went, “Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!”  <blink blink>  “Well, you have a good day sir.  And also, I hope for your sake that you walk in with clubs or you’re getting towed.  Have a nice day.”  <smile>

Did I mention that we’re leaving on Sunday for vacation?  Are.  Which will also entail getting our very bad dogs to the vet to be kenneled, except for Buster Brown, who is fortunate enough to be spending the week with my dear friend Holly & her girls.  He’s being evaluated for adoptability so he’s been given instructions to “turn on the charm”.  There will be a hefty price to pay for bad behavior.  He’s been warned [wink]. 

Working, learning, parking, shopping, delivering, planning and packing.  What in the heck am I doing on the computer!?

Once I have mastered ADDITIONAL ROLE ABSORBTION, completed infinity hours of parking cars & survive family travel, they should probably name a holiday after me, and I think we should all take it right now, no matter where we live and whether or not we like Andy Griffith, I think we should look past our little differences and just take a nap.

Anyway.  I love you.  And I will be back in a few days, with something interestinger.  Hugs!


Thing I love … at least today July 24, 2008

Filed under: Photos,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:43 pm

Vivanno, yum!

I pulled up to the window & asked, “Is the Vivanno …”  “Delicious”, she interrupted.  “Yes, yes it is.”  “Oh, well thats good, actually, I was going to ask if it had a boatload of calories?”  “OH, NO!”, she answered emphatically.  “Just the opposite, it has 16 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and less than 270 calories!”  That’s very informative, woman who clearly enjoys ALOT of the products that she sells, [namely the expresso!]  “Ok, yes please.”


I ordered the Banana Chocolate Vivanno.

Here’s the scoop:

  • One whole – real! – banana [didn’t think to ask if it was organic or not]
  • Whey protein [16 grams] and fiber powder [5 grams]
  • Choice of milk [default is 2%]
  • Real bittersweet cocoa
  • Ice
  • Portion controlled [default is Grande, and always has less than 270 calories]

My verdict.  Yum!  It’s thinner than a shake or a smoothie but it tastes GOOD.  Not gritty at all [which I was worried about since they add powder] and it has a mild flavor of both the chocolate AND the banana … not overwhelmingly chocolate-y, which I was also kind of afraid of since it said, ‘bittersweet’. 

Some might argue that it tastes sortof like a Slimfast shake.  But I’ve always like those too. 

Try one & let me know what y’all think.


Class of ’88. The remix. July 16, 2008

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:54 pm

(I was actually going to name this entry “HHS 2; Electric Boogaloo,” but know what?  That title was way funnier when I thought of it yesterday.  Which was Tuesday.  But now it is 4:55 on Wednesday, and it’s not nearly as funny anymore.  And, I guess it’s possible that it wasn’t even funny to begin with except for to me, but … wait, is that Monk on HULU right now? GOTTA GO.)  OH DEAR LORD, WRITE THE STORY ALREADY, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?  And this concludes my paragraph analyzing a five-word title, guess who hasn’t slept much the past few days, THANK YOU.)

But, anyway.  Oh, hello!  HI THERE! 

So ANYWAY, Saturday was my 20 year high school class reunion [BIG UPS! Hamilton High Class of ’88!]  And it was … you know.  Interesting.

We went with my dear friend Kathryn, whose very own husband is right now in Kuwait serving our country [shout out to SCOTT!]  The reunion was at a sort of out-of-the-way [READ:  Boonies] VFW hall so Harold decided to utilize the handy-dandy GPS function on his phone.  Which would prove very useful as none of us knew where the heck we were going. The phone would tell us in it’s sexy voice, “Prepare to turn left in .5 miles.”  and “continue on this here country road for .4 miles.”  I asked if it would tell me if I’d made a wrong turn & he assured me it would.   And it did.  It guided us there accurately all along the way … yeah, all the way PAST the place.  We drove right by it & it said NOTHING.  Likely because it saw the place & was all, “On second thought, y’all should just keep driving.  You should definitely not go to that seedy place.”  But it didn’t give us that warning, so we turned around & went back. 

ANYWAY, after trying 3 or 4 doors that wouldn’t let us in [how the heck did everyone else get in there!] we asked some helpful smokers.  OF COURSE.  The door with the handwritten ‘HHS’ sign on it.  At the back of the building.  Right. 

Inside, we stopped at the registration table to, um, register.  This is also when Harold spontaneously combusted.  Seriously.  He burst into flames because it was like 90 degrees in there.  He doesn’t tolerate heat well.  Ha.  And ALSO this is the exact time that a set of unidentified lips came directly at my face, landing precariously close to my mouth!  [Hi, Tweeter]  Fortunately subsequent meetings & greetings with friends were not so accost-y.

The good news is that I saw many fabulous friends that I haven’t seen in years and I was very happy to see them & catch up & hear how they were doing and about their families and reminiscing.  That was so awesome.   The bad news was: THEY DON’T SERVE WINE AT VFW HALLS.  Did y’all know this?  And also, martinis.  No martinis.  And we needed them, y’all, because YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. 

I truly thought that 20 years might maybe lend way to a little maturity.  Perhaps some decorum.  Some civility.  And indeed, for some, it had.  But now, have y’all heard about this?  Because I will be happy to tell you ALL about it, namely, that it involves thong underwear, AND AN OPENED CONDOM, and also, right on the floor of the facility, and incidentally, there was a BOOB FLASHING, right in front of everyone, in front of my HUSBAND, and homemade pre-packaged Jell-o shots AND beer drinking to the tune of they ran-the-heck out[!] and people, those may be a signs of the apocalypse, right there. 

So, anyway.  We’re standing there, my HUSBAND, and MYSELF, gazing at the floor staring at a pair of thong underwear & a condom and thinking, “How did this happen, exactly?” and also, “Oh my heavenly GOD,” because WHAT?  Holy WHY?  Surely someone had to realize that suddenly … they’re commando!  I never, ever want to be in the same room — nay, not even the same ZIP CODE — with a situation that leads me to ask these kind of questions.  This is not RIGHT people!  20. YEARS.  Because somebody was all, “You know what would be funny?  Planting a pair of panties & a condom.  HA!  I’m a comedic GENIUS!” 

You know, I could go on and on about the shenanigans that went on, but in all actuality, we had a really good time [and by “we” I probably mean “me” because let’s be honest, when you don’t know anyone — I’d say my chances of having fun were slighly higher than Harolds]  Although, he really seemed to be enjoying himself when he was standing outside holding not just my BUT ALSO Kathryn’s purse and also snapping pictures of a group of clowns – [some of whom had depleted the beer!] – try to organize for a group photo before the heavens opened up, threatening to drown us all.  That was probably fairly amusing to watch, so I’m thinking he enjoyed that part more than I did because I was standing in my cute new shoes which, it turns out, are more cute than comfy. 

It was also pretty cool that quite a few folks told me that they read my blog.  Awwww.  Bless your little hearts!  And then they said, ” … so if you could update more than once a month.”  Ugh.  I GET IT.  I’ll work on that.  I promise.  But with things going on like, “Parent dessert night” [I’m not even kidding  you guys.  I’m going to that tonight!], time is scarce. 

So, the class reunion was fun.  I can now use the words:




Jell-o shots


Tweeter’s titties

in the same sentence.

And I definitely could not before I went.  So look at all I got for $65!

Y’all have a good week, and I will try to find a minute and be back with some actual stories about something or other.  Until then, if you’re a HHS class of ’88 alumni lurker … you need to HOLLA!  Let me know if I missed anything.  I really hope someone took pictures!


Did you think I forgot? July 8, 2008

Filed under: Children,Events,Friends,Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 9:33 am

[9:33 a.m.]

About you?  Well, I haven’t.  I’ve just been remarkably busy & unable to find the time to trot out any daily musings, helpful bits or humorous nuggets.  I’m sorry.  I feel so neglectful.  Please don’t forget about me.  You’re still my sunshine.

I can quickly tell you that I have a TON going on & I know I have stories to tell [do I ever NOT?]  So, oh, ok, I know what I can do.  I’ll pop on today & update when I have a spare minute or a story hits me that I need to tell y’all about!  This means you’ll have to scoll down each time you visit today to see if I’ve added anything new.  Oh, & if you think of something I need to share — comment & remind me.  I have only had one cup of coffee, after all.

Installment #2 [2:19 p.m.]

See.  I told you I’d come back!  Oh, my gosh you guys I am feeling completely overwhelmed! 

[Crap.  I’ll be back.]

Installment #3 [3:01 p.m.]

[… and also I forgot my glasses at home today so my vision isn’t so good right now.  In case you wondered why I’m squinting.]

Ok, talk fast, Layni.  Someone could walk up & need something at any moment.  At WORK no less.  The nerve of some people.  Ok.  So first of all I need to mention that my 20 year high school reunion is this Saturday.  20 years y’all!  When did that happen?  It still seems like just yesterday that I was cruising to school in my friend Jennifer’s Camero [which, if I’m not mistaken, was ‘totally bitchin’], pegging my pants at the bottom AND wearing them at boob-level [What?  That’s not slimming?], all the while marching proudly with the band.  That’s how I rolled. 

But, you know, it wasn’t all bad jeans and frump.  I mean, frump stayed, and then somewhere along the line I decided that it would be a good idea to wear my father’s clothes.  Specifically, the clothes that did not even begin to fit me, even in my imagination.  So I stole pretty much all of the poor man’s dress shirts, which I then wore buttoned alllll the way to my chin.  Of course, they were enormous on me, so the result was a visually unsettling triangle effect, and either the shirt ballooned around me, tentlike, or I tried to stuff eight yards of starched cotton down into my jeans, which made me look like I was pregnant in both the front and back of my body.  And I remember doing this intentionally, all the time, yet as far as I know, I have never suffered a head injury.  I wish I had a picture of this phenomenon.

Anyway, I’m going on Saturday to see all of my high school pals and reminisce about ‘that one time at band camp’ and whatnot.  I just hope noone remembers my Hammer Pants. 

Remember how I told you guys I would update all day?  Well, I maybe meant another day.  [Sigh]  Sadly, I need to do work now.  But next time [possibly this evening] I will fill y’all in on:

1.) The dangers of fireworks.

2.) How the term, “Lights.  Camera.  Ashton!” is seriously affecting my social life.


3.) Show you [with pictures!] how Northsiders do a parade.

Until then.  Don’t you be talking about my big 80’s hair.  I wasn’t alone in that.


Working on my fitness. You’re my witness. June 20, 2008

Filed under: Events,Friends,Fun!,Humor,Life,Random,Rants,Uncategorized — Layni @ 2:28 pm

Apparently, as human people, we are supposed to want to eat right and get in shape and lose weight and look fabulous.  Apparently, these things are very desirable.  But apparently, I am missing this gene.  Because I’ll be honest.  I don’t particularly WANT to eat healthy, or get in shape.  I mean I want to be in shape.  It’s the getting there part I’m not so keen on.  I want to eat crap, and I consider “working out” to be the sort of thing that responsible people do.  You know those people who have magazine sorters and slot things for their bills and who keep all of their documents organized in a file cabinet?  They work out.  People like myself, whose file cabinet is in my purse and on top of the crockpot and on the kitchen table and tucked into the utensil rack, also in my tote bag and sometimes on the passenger seat of my car?  People like me do not work out. 

Have I told you I’ve been working out?

A few weeks ago, Jude invited a few friends & I to join her at the gym to take a cardio kickboxing class.  This is when I apparently blacked out, because before I knew what had happened, I had replied saying I would love to go!  EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK IF I COULD!!! 



I could make any good excuses about how I accidentally broke my leg last night while sleeping or how I can’t find my left arm.  But I’m a terrible liar.  I don’t even try.  So I was stuck.  Instead I opted to email her again, explaining that I may need some gentle coaxing to get me there.  A reminder phone call here.  A gently persuading email saying, “You suck, get off your butt & let’s go!” email there.  That would maybe help.  I was also very clear about another thing; I HATE TO SWEAT!  She assured me that this would be a problem.  Now, it isn’t just that I’ve never worked out.  It’s just that I tend to lean towards lower impact exercises that don’t cause me to sweat.  I HATE TO SWEAT.  And know what gyms are like?  Smelly.  People sweat in there.  Ew!  

But I steeled myself and met the ladies there.   And as we stood together in this scary, terrible place, I resigned myself to working on my fitness.  I joined the gym, purchased my boxing gloves [that’s right people, I own boxing gloves!] and tackled class #1.  This is also when a small voice in my head whispered, “You are going to die.”  45 minutes later class was over.  I had actually dripped sweat.  From my body.  Into my eye!  But I had done it!  Right then, I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  I felt pretty good & satisfyingly accomplished.  I was going to be all right!

So of course, you know where this is going.  About two hours after we’d finished working out, I began to feel something strange in my legs.  Ow.  About three hours after working out, I stopped being able to fully extend my legs.  OW.  And by day 3, I was walking around like I was ninety-four and bowlegged and had rickets, shrieking about how my LEGS were BROKEN, and this is ALL JUDE’S FAULT, and she had best bring me some WINE!  

Well, y’all, it has been almost a month since I went to the gym for the first time and I continue to go back 3 times a week.  Without even being coerced!  I know!  I’m feeling good and I have actual muscle definition.  The next thing I know, my legs are going to be all toned and tanned, right?  I’m thinking, what?  One.  Maybe two more classes?  Hey, maybe I can become one of those crazy workout people! I can talk about endorphins and my gym and resistance training and cardio.  And all those words I don’t think should be used in polite conversation.  I’ll become an exercise machine!   My steel-like thighs will be the envy of all!  My butt will be so gorgeous and shapely that it will be suitable for framing!  This is what I am thinking.  Right?

Well, maybe no.  Because the other day, there was a disheartening incident.  See, there is a boy that goes to the gym that my daughter knows.  I’m guessing he’s like, 15.  Normally he’s not in my class, but the other day he decided he was going to stay after his regular class & work out.  Right next to me.  So we’re in the midst of doing our floor work [crunches, weights, stretches, etc.] and he’s all,

Boy: “No, no … not like that.  Like this.”

Me: “Oh, ok.”  [Continue doing it how I was.]

Boy: “I bet you wish you could do this.”  doing a flailing-type thing :::grunt grunt grunt:::

Me: “Oh, yeah.” [No.]

Boy: “You’re supposed to be doing this … the way you’re doing it is wrong”

Me: “Oh.”  [Continue doing it how I was.]

Boy: “Oooooh, yeah, look at this.  I bet you can’t do this.”

Me:  “Hmmmm.”  [What?  Be a complete jackass?]

Boy: “Something, something, look at my muscles, blah-blah I do lots of exercising dee-blah, something about SUCK IT!” 

Me: <blink>  [Did he just tell me to suck it?]

Boy: “Man!  That was even hard for me.  I bet it was REALLY hard for you!”

Me:  <blink blink>

Me: “You’re single, aren’t you?”

So anyway, now I have new motivation.  Getting in shape enough to kick his ass.  Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend!


I am not brilliant June 10, 2008

Filed under: Events,Fun!,Humor,Life,Random,Rants,Uncategorized — Layni @ 2:57 pm

So, here is something that I find enormously funny and also mortifying at the same time.  That is pretty much all the explanation I can provide for my actions, which are both innocent and criminal.  But, even though I can’t give you an explanation, I can give you some backstory.  Which I will begin … now!

A few months ago, I was walking through one of the departments at work when I walked past a couple of cardboard boxes sitting outside of someone’s cubicle.  The boxes were full of discarded books & magazines.  Among them, ‘People’.  Well, I’m more than a little ashamed to tell you that I was just unreasonably excited because, God help me, I love People magazine!  And there they were for the taking.  So I did.  And I continued to do so for the next several months.   Magazines, hardback books [including recommended reading from Oprah’s Bookclub] & paperback books alike. 

On Friday I stopped by to check out her stock and was pleased to find a fresh batch of ‘People’ as well as an entire years worth of ‘Cincinnati Magazine’!  Which, you guys!  This was very exciting because they are a very handy resource for restaurant reviews, things to do, events, etc.  Again, I was embarrassingly excited, scooped up the lot of them & off I went, thinking to myself, “You know, I should thank this person.  It’s really very generous AND eco-friendly of them to recycle their reading material.  I’ll do that next week.”

So, I decided to swing by the boxes on my way back to my office from lunch today and people, I DO NOT have to tell you how MORTIFIED I was to now see a sign hanging above the boxes reading:



Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Y’all!  I’ve been jacking reading material from the Veteran’s!  For months! 

People, I cannot emphasize this enough.  I STOLE FROM THE VETS. 




At this realization, I scurried away in INTENSE DISCOMFORT at the thought that I am going to have to return these pilfered items!  Frankly, the only thing that could make this situation any more awkward would be to get caught RETURNING them and have them be all, “Awwww, thank you so much for your contribution to the Veteran’s of America.”  To which I’d have to come clean and reply, “You’re welcome.”