Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Not Fair

Two posts in one day about weddings? I'm going off the deep end. Feel free to ignore the selfish ranting that follows. Seriously. It's pretty long and self-indulgent. But I needed to vent somewhere.

While I'm not the girl who has been planning her wedding since she was a small child, I did have a vision in mind once I met Mr and realized that I really did want to spend my life with him. I started thinking about where and when and how we'd get married. The little details didn't interest me much, but I figured we'd get married in Chicago, since we're here now and most of my relatives and all of his live nearby. I wanted to get married in the fall, because the weather is usually nice and fairly predictable, plus it is highly unlikely that it will be so hot that the groom or any other guy in a suit or tux would be near passing out. September, I thought would be perfect.

Then Mr's best friend proposed to his girlfriend last summer and she picked an early September wedding date.

That upset me a little. I had committed, in my head to getting married in September. I didn't want to wait a year, and I felt like she had stolen my date. I got over it. There are other dates and hey, we weren't even engaged yet.

Then we got engaged. We talked about it and decided on October - far enough away from the first wedding and still lovely fall. I was a little miffed when my family informed me that Notre Dame's football schedule needed to be taken into account but... what are you going to do?

Then I started looking at possible places and was quickly completely overwhelmed by the amount of money this little party was going to cost us. Then I found the place mentioned in the last post - two people I know were married there and, hey, half the cost! I called today and it turns out they're booked for all of October, unless I do a Friday and then I'd get 10% off. I said I can't do that, because 3 out of 4 of my bridesmaids are from out of town and then people have to take extra days off work. The closest available date is November 10. And, if we take that, she'll give me the 10% off. Ok. Sweet. We'll come check it out.

So, we're going to check that place out later this week or next week.

I emailed another friend - a friend of Mr's who is not yet engaged, but was asking about dates because he's planning on proposing - and told him that it might be in November. He just wrote me back and said that's no good. It looks like November 10 is when they're getting married. She's already talked to a reception place. We share a lot of friends - he and Mr share a best friend, a guy who would very likely be a groomsman in each wedding. So, he's like "gee, I hope you guys can find another day."

What the Fuck.

Seriously. This is supposed to be fun for me. It is supposed to be exciting. It is supposed to be ABOUT ME. I am not Bridezilla, I swear. But, shouldn't I be able to plan my wedding without catering to every other damn person on the planet? Why am I the one who has to compromise? THEY AREN'T EVEN ENGAGED YET! AND (I wish I could get bigger caps) they've been dating for less than a year.

That's unfair of me. I know it is unfair. How long they've been together shouldn't matter. They're in love, blah blah blah. It isn't their fault that Mr and I were together three years before he proposed. And I wouldn't have wanted to get engaged sooner. This is the right time for us. But. Can't it be about us? Shouldn't they, as the not-yet-engaged couple, have to plan their date after we've planned ours?

I like this guy. I've met his girlfriend once and she seemed ok. I'd like for him to be at our wedding. If he were more isolated, I wouldn't worry about it though, I would be ok with him not coming. But nearly all of our (really Mr's, but many of them are mine too) friends would overlap and I don't want people to have to choose.

I feel like such a brat. But, honestly, I took our first-engaged friends' plans into consideration when I started planning this thing. I supposed I could have moved faster, but sheesh, we've only been engaged for like five minutes and four of those minutes included Thanksgiving, closing on a house and getting ready for Christmas.

I suppose I have to do what is right for us and just let what happens happen. But. My family dwarfs his as it is. I don't want everyone at the wedding to be my friends and family and his, like, seven relatives. I mean, most of the overlapping friends live here, so maybe they'd pick us. I'd hate for the one guy to have to choose which wedding to be in though. Besides, if Mr loses a groomsman I'll have to cut a bridesmaid, which I could have done earlier, but now I've already asked everyone and I can't un-ask them. Maybe Mr would take one of my brothers...

There is a small small chance that October 27th could open up. Someone has a hold on that date until 12/23. But 10/27 is awfully close to 10/31 and do I really want to be celebrating my anniversary and Halloween every year? And, again, since it's my blog and if there's anywhere that I can act like selfish two-year-old, it is here where people can ignore me... Why do I have to switch? Fuck him, fuck his pushy girlfriend. They need to find a new date. Gah! Why is she planning their wedding when they aren't engaged!?!?

I hate myself for reacting this way, and yet I can't seem to help it.

This sucks, and it isn't fair.

Reception Hall Nightmares

I am doing my best to keep this blog relatively normal. That is to say, I don't want this to become a wedding blog. However, I am getting married and the planning is slowly ruining my life so, sometimes, I'm going to have to talk about it.

Today, I finally got some good news on the wedding front. I found a place in Schaumburg - I've been to two weddings there but the last one was in, like, 2000 and the one before that was 1998, so I don't remember it super-well - in any case, the price per person is roughly half of what I've seen elsewhere.

Seriously. Almost HALF.

That means that, if the place is nice - obviously if it looks and tastes like it was half-off, we won't have it there - we can now afford a band and flowers and the fancy-schmancy photographer that I've fallen in love with. Goodness. I would love to be able to have a band instead of a DJ.

The whole goal of my wedding is for people to have a good time. So, the food just has to be good - it doesn't have to knock your socks off, just be tasty and not remarkably bad. The really important things are as follows:
  1. The music needs to rock. Good mix of genres and time periods, keep up the pace, but play enough slow tunes too.
  2. The dance floor has to be big enough. My family likes to dance and I plan on shakin' my groove 'thang, if you know what I mean. Nothing worse than a too-small dance floor.
  3. The booze needs to flow freely. Few things can damper the night like the bar running out, closing too soon, or lines being too long. With the cheaper site, I might even spring for two bars.

Ultimately, I want people to remember my wedding as a really good party.

One of the venues that we were considering called me this morning because I e-mailed an attempt to negotiate the price. She informed me that their minimum for an October wedding is $17,000. Seriously. Seventeen Grand. That's a lot of money. When I told her that that was too much, she said she'd work on it. I was like "we might have to just rule you out" and she says she wants until the end of the day to see what she can do. She suggested moving the wedding to November. But I want a fall wedding, not a winter one, and I don't want to worry about flights getting in, people being cold etc etc. "Usually" the weather is nice early in November. Sometimes it isn't. I don't want to risk it. So, this lady is going to see what she can do. I seriously doubt she's going to be able to cut that minimum in half, but we'll see.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Random Tidbits

I don't have much to say but I want to get better at blogging regularly, so here are some random tidbits to entertain you...

  • As I was getting off the train today, I overheard a woman mentioning Reaganomics. Is that really still a topic of conversation? I'm well past the legal voting age and I don't really remember/understand what Reaganomics was all about.
  • The Victoria's Secret fashion show is tonight. I hadn't planned on watching, but I left the TV on after work today and, since my DVR (I'm sadly without Tivo - temporarily) taped Gilmore Girls, it came on. I think Heidi Klum might be one of the most adorable people on the planet but... I hate that show. I don't get it. I mean, the camera cuts to so many angles and shots so quickly, they aren't even pretending it's a fashion show. And I hate the backstage stuff. They're supposed to be the Angels, and it ruins the facade when a girl trips and nearly falls once off stage because the silly wings are too heavy. And the interviews with the models? I'm sorry but there is a reason some of those women chose careers that don't involve speaking. Yeah, I'm going there. I don't care what they have to say.
  • Victoria's biggest secret? Her underwear sucks. It's hardly cute, never fits right and falls apart.
  • I think I found a photographer for my wedding. It will be expensive, but I think good photography is worth spending money on. It will basically be the only thing that lasts after that day is over (besides the marriage itself, of course).
  • Mr bought me tickets to see the Nutcracker this Saturday. I love the Nutcracker. Last year we went on Christmas Eve and then to Morton's for dinner. Yummers. There are few things I enjoy more than great mashed potatoes and awesome steak.
  • Interestingly enough, Blogger's spell check does not recognize "blog" or "blogger" as words.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How 'bout "Frosty the Snowman"

When I was little, "Frosty the Snowman" was my favorite song to sing. I used to sit on my dad's lap, put my hands on his face and say: "What should we sing? How 'bout 'Frosty the Snowman?'" All year 'round. I didn't care whether or not it was Christmas. That's a good song. Annie Lenox's version of it? Sucks! Our satellite TV has Sirius radio and about three or four stations are Christmas music. It also has an all Elvis channel which is obviously my favorite, though I hate his "Blue Christmas" because of those high-pitch "ooo-oo-oooos" in the background. But I digress.

I was going to post yesterday, I had a great idea even, but I was at work and as I started to write it people kept coming to my desk, expecting me to do my job. It was really annoying. And now I've forgotten what I was going to say. Instead, I'll talk about Christmas some more.

Our stockings have gone missing. I ordered stockings from Pottery Barn - red velvet with a green velvet cuff - and had them embroidered: Rita, Mr, and a lil' booty for Hank. They are awesome. I've always wanted nice matching stockings and now I have a mantel to hang them from. Only. The stockings are gone.

At some point in the packing process, Mr opened the box they were in and I know I said to leave them in the box, but they have not been found in the unpacking process or in the searching-the-house-seven-times process. I think maybe someone - and I'm really not blaming anyone - accidentally threw the box out. It was small and would have felt empty as stockings are not very heavy. So, I went to CVS and got cheap-o stockings that were $2 a piece. Not what I had originally hoped for, but they do all match and now there are stockings on my mantle. I hope the old ones can be found someday. With the embroidering and everything, it was close to $60. It's not going to make or break me, but I don't think I can justify spending that much on stockings again.

I'm going Christmas shopping after work today. I have to get gifts for two co-workers, Mr's mom and dad, one of my aunts, and my cousin. I know what to get for everyone except my aunt and one co-worker. I'm hoping to miraculously get everything done in time to catch the 5:47 train home. I don't think it will happen, but it is Friday, so it isn't like I can't get home a little late. Mr can walk Hank. In the meme yesterday, I talked about how much I like giving presents (I mean, I love getting stuff, but I really enjoy finding something I know someone will like). It just makes me happy and makes me feel like it is really Christmas. I'm worried though, for when I have kids.

I can't even explain how much I love buying stuff for my dog. When I buy a new rawhide bone or special treat and give it to him... Man. His eyes light up. He opens his eyes really wide like he can't even believe what he's getting and then he gingerly takes it out of my hand - like he doesn't want to grab it too fast because he's afraid it might go away. And then he trots off, tail wagging. It makes me so happy. If the treat is really good, he kind can't even chew on it, he just runs laps around the house with it in his mouth, whining and barking. It's awesome. If I like giving stuff to my dog, imagine how hard it will be to resist getting stuff for the kids. My kid will be so spoiled.

I also said hot chocolate over egg nog and I have to say, I'm one of the few people I know who actually like egg nog. Being lactose intolerant, I can't have much of it, but I love egg nog. It's Christmas to me. However, if you throw some peppermint schnapps into some really cheap hot chocolate... man, oh, man is that good. My favorite is to bring a little airplane sized bottle into a Notre Dame football game and pour it into a hot chocolate. Now that makes football fun.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Meme!

  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. With marshmallows, preferably while sitting near a fire after having a snow ball fight or making snow angels or some other such wintery fun.
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa always left one present unwrapped on the fireplace with the stocking for each kid. Then, when Santa was very busy, he started delivering presents early, wrapped but unmarked. Each kid had a sticker and the presents were labeled with stickers. We didn’t find out until Christmas morning who had what sticker. Then, Santa would leave a small present by our stocking, but wrapped so that we’d know what other presents were ours.
  3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We switched off growing up. I like white lights, though. I got a prelit tree last year with white lights and I love it.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
  5. When do you put your decorations up? I’d like to do it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get around to it until last weekend (12/9). I like to get them up in the beginning of December so that it feels like Christmas.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? How can you exclude dessert? Dessert is my favorite. Um… without dessert, maybe… Mashed potatoes? I love me some good mashers.
  7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Ring Mr Ching! We used to get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and one year we ordered from a place called Ring Mr. Ching. My brothers ran around the house yelling “ring mr. ching! Ring mr. ching!” over and over again. It drove my mom nuts. Many years before that, my younger brother got a Teddy Ruxpin for Christmas. My older brother put in a Metallica tape. That was the height of comedy for us at the time.
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have no idea. I remember being suspicious and asking my mom. When she told me that, if you don’t believe you don’t get anything, that pretty much cemented it for me.
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We used to open a present every night the week before Christmas. Now, I don’t have so many presents.
  10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? This is my second Christmas in my own house, but I’ve never set out cookies for him. Maybe I’ll make some this year. Probably chocolate chip.
  11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love it pretty much all the time unless it is a big storm and I have to drive (or am already driving when it starts).
  12. Can you ice skate? I used to ice skate all the time. I haven’t done it in a while though. I’m sure I suck now.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not really. Mr got me a digital camera last year that I use constantly. But I know there were some pretty happy Christmases along the way.
  14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Time with family and friends. Eating. Christmas music.
  15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I make a really awesome chocolate pudding pie.
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I don’t know… I love watching people open stuff I got them.
  17. What tops your tree? A lovely sparkly star from Pottery Barn. It was an awesome present from a coworker.
  18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? I love getting presents, but I really love buying stuff for people. Only when I have thought of something cool that they’d like to have though. I hate buying presents for people just because I’m expected to give them a gift.
  19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Frosty the Snowman!
  20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum! But really only the classic tasting ones.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Back!

Miss me?

Ok, so once NaBloPoMo was blown, I pretty much gave up. Sorry about that.

Things are coming along in our house (I know you were concerned). Mr has sanded, washed (twice) and re-plastered the walls in our bedroom and the blood red the previous owners used will soon be nothing but a horrific memory. I'll post pictures before we prime and paint so that you, my vast Internets public, can see how truly terrible it was and how awesome it will be. I feel a little guilty as he did all the work. Literally all of it. Because it took me nearly a week to get our kitchen together. But I felt I had to concentrate on that so that we could stop eating out all the time. It was getting bad. If course, we'll still eat out tomorrow night because we have bowling on Mondays, but you know. Soon, I'll cook.

The rest of the house is extremely overwhelming to me and I feel like our bedroom is holding me hostage. I can't really put everything away because nothing can go in the bedroom, so our clothes are split between the two tiny guest-room closets and the room we aren't sleeping in is sort of a mess, as we have more clothes than space at the moment. Since my office is where we're currently sleeping, I can't put my desk stuff away... it's just a long domino effect of me wanting to put stuff away but not wanting to move it twice. and now it is dark on Sunday which means I won't see daylight in my house again until Saturday.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mr is staying home this coming Friday so that the fence guy can come and put a new gate on our fence. The current one is set up super-goofy and we can barely get our cars in and out of the driveway - there is literally an inch of clearance for my car and even less for Mr's. So, that will be fixed Friday. Also coming Friday is Empire Today (You know: 800 588-2300 empiiiiiire) to install our bedroom carpet and then on Saturday, Wickes is supposed to deliver our bedroom furniture. So, that's nice. We also have a surprise party for one of my uncles on Friday and my company Christmas party on Saturday. So next weekend is a big weekend. I don't know when I'll have time to put up the Christmas tree, but I REALLY want to, as we'll be here for Christmas and it will be our first Christmas in the new house.

I love Christmas. It might be my favorite time of year. I love the lights and the music and the presents - mostly giving them, but also getting them. It's all going to fast this year, I just hope that I get to enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Colors Meme

Once again, stolen from Mano. Her sister did it, too.

[ RED ]
1. Closest red thing to you? My Easy Button – a gift from a coworker’s mom.
2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? Yes – my first boyfriend. But it wasn’t really that big of a deal. He was my boyfriend from third to fifth grade, but I moved from Illinois to Georgia at the end of third grade, so it was a long-distance thing. We broke up when he told me he bought Tracy earrings for Christmas.
3. Last thing to make you angry? Driving home. The train is way better.
4. Are you a fan of romance? Yes. Both book and real-life forms
5. Have you ever been in love? Yes.
6. Do you have a temper? Yes. My brothers used to taunt me, just to piss me off. It doesn’t take much.
1. Closest green thing to you? A framed picture of my cousin’s triplets.
2. Do you care about the environment? Yeah.
3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? Not really. I’m sure I could think of something.
4. Are you a lucky person? Most of the time, it seems like I’m not, but I have a loving and supporting family, a solid job, a house and an awesome fiancĂ©, so I would say I’m pretty lucky.
5. Do you always want what you can't have? Not really. I want stuff, but not getting it doesn’t always bother me.
6. Are you Irish? Yes.
1. Last purple thing you saw? A purple t-shirt in my drawer.
2. Like being treated to expensive things? Absolutely. Especially really good food.
3. Do you like mysterious things? I’m just going to keep Mano’s answer: This question is stupid. If they're mysterious, how can I know if I like them or not?
4. Favourite type of chocolate? Dark. Preferably in M&M form
5. Ever met anyone in royalty? No.
6. Are you creative? Depends on the topic. I would say, in general, not very.
7. Are you lonely? Sometimes, but not as much as I used to be. I think I’m more comfortable with myself now. And I no longer live alone, which helps.
1. Closest yellow thing to you? Post-its
2. The happiest time(s) of your life? When I closed on my new house. Well, not the closing, but when I got the keys and it was mine.
3. Favourite holiday? Christmas
4. Are you a coward? Yes.
5. Do you burn or tan? Burn, then tan
6. Do you want children? In theory, yes. Most likely I will have them. When I think about the responsibility involved, it scares me a little.
7. What makes you happy? Lots of stuff. Mr, music, family, my dog.
[ BLUE ]
1. Closest blue thing to you? My shirt
2. Are you good at calming people down? Depends on the situation, but in general, yes. I’m good at breaking down big, overwhelming stuff into manageable pieces. Except for myself. Big overwhelming stuff that I’m dealing with just overwhelms me.
3. Do you like the ocean? It’s ok. I’m sort of ambivalent.
4. What was the last thing that made you cry? Thinking about emptying my bank account for the down payment on our house. I sort of knew that I was getting something for it, but my brain just panics and can’t get past the *empty bank account* part.
5. Are you a logical thinker? Not really.
6. Can you sleep easily? I fall asleep easily. Staying asleep is tough since I talk, yell, punch, kick, toss around and generally cause trouble. Mr says I’m not good at sleeping.
7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods? Beach. Less bugs.
[ PINK ]
1. Closest pink thing to you? Highlighter
2. Do you like sweet things? Yes!
3. Like play-fighting? Yes and no. I usually start it but then stop it pretty fast. I like being in control.
4. Are you sensitive? Yeah, I think so.
5. Do you like punk music? Nope
6. What is your favourite flower? I like lots of flowers. Maybe orchids?
7. Does someone have a crush on you? Not that I know of.
1. Closest orange thing to you? My nephew has an orange blanket in the picture of him on my desk. It’s from when he was in the hospital when he was born.
2. Do you like to burn things? I am fascinated by fire.
3. Dress up for Halloween? Usually, but not this past Halloween.
4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? I think so.
5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship? A relationship, but I wouldn’t stay in a relationship just to avoid being single.
6. What would your super power be? I’d like to just be sort of magical, and be able to make stuff happen. Like Samantha on BeWitched.
1. Closest white thing to you? There are PILES of paper on my desk. The closest is one from my boss asking if it would be a lot of trouble to submit three different projects for awards instead of the traditional one.
2. Would you say you're innocent? Not really.
3. Always try to keep the peace? Depends. Most of the time, yes.
4. How do you imagine your wedding? Though I am planning my wedding, I’m still having a hard time imagining it. Mostly I just want good music, good food and lots of free-flowing beverages for those who want them.
5. Do you like to play in the snow? Yes
6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? Not really.
7. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder(A.D.D)? Yes
1. Closest black thing to you? The suit I’m wearing is black.
2. Ever enjoy hurting people? What? This is a weird one. No.
3. Are you sophisticated or silly? I guess Silly. Sometimes both.
5. Do you have a lot of secrets? No, not really. There’s stuff people don’t know, but only because I don’t want to be the most open book around- it isn’t really a secret.
6. What is your favourite colour(s)? Right now, I’d say cream, but that’s because I just bought new bedding in shades of cream that I love. My favorite color changes a lot.
7. Does the colour you wear affect your mood? I don’t think so. I might choose certain colors based on my mood.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Day

Foiled again! I tried to get my Monday post in under the wire, but apparently my computer clock is slightly slower than Blogger's. Oh well, I guess I'm out of the running anyway.

I did bowl pretty good tonight. Which is always nice. I'm in a Monday night Mixed League over at Irving Park Lanes. If you're ever tempted to join a bowling league, I highly recommend you do so. It is a nice way to meet some interesting people. For the most part, the people in my league are a lot of fun, though they're also almost all at least 20 years older than us. We're the obnoxious kids in matching shirts with a killer handicap.

Today was a really good day. Things were insanely busy at work (they usually are at the end of the year but this year there are two more major projects that we're not usually handling). But the good part came after work. I took the train home. Mr drove me to work this morning because it was on the way, but I walked over to Olgilvie after work and got on the train. As it turns out, the Metra station is really close to my house - closer than the Red Line was to my old apartment and I used to walk there every day. So, I took the train home, which was lovely, and I finished the last reading for my final project which was awesome, because it is due tomorrow - technically today, since it's already Tuesday. I also wrote most of the summary of that article. The best part, however, was the walk home. Like I said, the train is close, so it doesn't take long, and I just like my neighborhood so much.

We moved this weekend and I'm just so happy to be in my house. It's weird how happy I am. It's still a big old mess, but it's my big old mess. As I was walking home I was admiring all the other cute houses in my neighborhood - all the yards are well-maintained and cars are in driveways. It just looks neater and nicer and .... it just felt like home. I walked almost the whole way with a big goofy grin on my face.

I almost wish that I wasn't going back to my parent's house this week. I mean, I love them and miss them and I'm really looking forward to seeing my nephew and going to look at wedding dresses with my mom. But I could also really use five days in my house to get things in order.

My boss has offered me two extra days off since work is so crazy. She's good like that. The problem is that I want those days NOW and since work is crazy due to the time-sensitive nature of the stuff we're working on, I can't really take time now. So, the house will have to stay in disrepair for a little bit. It will get there eventually.

Nick of Time

Monday Post!

I bowled all three games over average tonight!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Death of NaBloPoMo

Sadly, I was unable to post for the last two days. Which means I'm out of the running for the cool prizes offered by Fussy and friends for NaBloPoMo. It was unavoidable. AT&T was strangely on the ball with things and disconnected my internet connection on Thursday night, so I wasn't able to post on Friday. I tried to get Mavis to post for me, but she didn't do it. Turns out, AT&T didn't need to foil my plans since moving took all frickin' day and I never got a chance to write anything. Literally sun-up to the wee hours of the 'morn, we were packing, watching the movers haul our stuff out and then in, and then unpacking and then cleaning the old place and then more unpacking and then sleeping. There's no way I could have posted.

If I've learned anything from this experience, it is this: hire movers. Seriously, it was the best money Mr has ever spent (he paid them and, since I'm not yet Mrs, it was really his money). Those guys were fast and efficient and there's no way we could have done what they did, even if we had several days. And we totally would have broken or damaged things whereas Golan's got everything where it needed to be, safe and sound. They didn't scratch any doors or walls, either.

I know you're worried that now that I'm out of the running for prizes, I'll stop posting, but that's just not true. I promise to keep posting, though I may slack again at Thanksgiving.

Stuff is still overwhelming for me at the moment, but great progress has been made. My house is a mess, but I'm in it. No more going between the condo that I had grown to hate and the house that seemed really far away. And I cannot even begin to express the joy I felt on moving in. Even through the sore feet and back and extreme tiredness, I'm just so happy to be in my house. It's mine. I can do whatever I want. That's awesome. So, it's a mess with boxes everywhere - I have no idea when we got so much stuff. And it won't get put together for a while because we have bowling on Monday and we're leaving for Georgia on Wednesday, but it will eventually get put together.

My paper is almost done. I have one article left to review (two if I'm feeling ambitious tomorrow on the train) and I have to write my overview - which isn't going to be too hard, since I'll have written all my summaries and can review them. Then I turn that in on Tuesday after work and head home to pack for vacation. I really wish I were just staying home so I could get settled, but I want to see my parents and nephew, so that will be nice.

Tomorrow I start my train commute, which is exciting. Sadly, my stop is one of the ones that is skipped when trains are express, so I HAVE to catch my train, at 7:06am or I will definitely be late to work. I also have to catch my train home or it sets me back a while... but it will all work out. I'm sort of concerned about parking, but I think it will be ok. I hope it will, anyway.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

When it Rains it Pours

*sigh* I'm sure everyone who reads this, or stumbles upon it and reads the backlog, is getting really bored with my "Oh, My God! I'm Stressed Out!" postings. But, seriously.

Deep breaths. I just have a lot going on.

11/18 move: Movers are arriving around 10 am. We haven't started packing yet.
11/21 school: Final project due. I have three out of ten articles read and summarized. I also have to write a two page overview on my thoughts about the research I'm reading.
11/22 holidays: Mr and I are driving to Georgia. posting on those days will be tough, but unpacking, finishing my paper, taking the dog to Mr's parents, and packing for the trip will be tougher.

Once we get in the car, everything will be ok, because I will have either not gotten it done or it will be taken care of.

To add just a little icing on the cake, I just found out that I forgot to prepare a big survey for work. I need to gather a lot of information from a lot of different (and not often cooperative) departments. It's due Monday. I don't work Fridays. Hah! This should be fun.

So, I need to rush through this survey, finish up the other project I was furiously working on and get everything ready for Monday, when people will be stressed out and pushy, getting ready for the holiday.

On Friday, I need to pack up my whole house and finish my paper for school.

Saturday will be moving and attempting to establish a little bit of order and resist helping Mr work on the house because my paper will not be done. Also, Hank will need extra attention, as moving will stress him out, too.
Sunday will be a repeat of Saturday. Monday at work will be hell. Tuesday will be all sorts of attempts at preparing to drive 12 hours to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Next Friday I get to try on wedding dresses and remind myself to stress out about that, too! I promise that, though I can't stop complaining about being stressed, I will do my best to keep wedding-planning to a minimum here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey! This is a Nice Handbasket!

The world is going to hell. OJ Simpson has written a book called "If I Did it, Here's How it Happened." And Fox is airing a two-hour interview after Thanksgiving.

They should both be ashamed of themselves. It's so disturbing and disgusting, I am somewhat speechless. And that's saying something.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Under the wire

I can't believe I almost ruined NaBloPoMo because of Gilmore Girls.

I always watch Gilmore Girls after class. It's how I wind down. Tonight's episode, though, has me all jacked up. Apparently - stop reading if you watch and haven't see it - Christopher and Lorelei went to Paris and.... got married.

I think I might be done. Rory sucks, she's sort of lame without Logan (which I never thought I'd say but.. I like him now. Maybe I should start watching Veronica Mars). Alexis Bledal just doesn't have acting chops to support scenes on her own. Her new artsy friends are lame, and Rory is pathetic - Logan and Paris were her only friends? Really?

But Christopher and Lorelei, I just can't get over. He called her Mrs. Hayden. Ew. I mean, she and Luke are supposed to be the end game, here. She's now been engaged twice and married once - to Chris. I mean, I guess she was engaged three times. I know Luke sucked for a while there, but this is just ridiculous. They gross me out. This is just too far. I don't like how lightly they're treating her relationship with Luke. Gah. I could go on all night, but this needs to hit the internets so that I' m not DQ'd.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Old Post, New Post

This is a post I started a long time ago... two months or so, about when I went to see Tom Petty. MSN has a series going called "What I Learned" by famous people. Tom Petty did one, which I thought was pretty cool. So, I thought I'd share a link and revisit my impression of his concert. And so, the old post:

This was a good weekend. The last two, actually, have been wonderful.

I don't work on Fridays. I am in the progress of earning my master's degree in English Lit and I stay home from work on Fridays to do school work. As I've only had one class this quarter, my work load was relatively light. So, I cleaned a little, read a little, and hung out with Hank. Nice day. I should do more work than I do when I stay home. Normally, it isn't a problem, but now I have a bowling league on Monday nights so, if my work isn't done by Sunday night, I'm sort of screwed. Such is the case now. I skipped class last week because Hank got hurt (but that's a whole other story) and I didn't check our assignment until Sunday. Whoops. I have to find a text ... well, it won't make any sense here, but suffice to say it's going to be tough to do.


Last Friday night Mr, another couple, and I headed over to Northerly Island to see Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. This is the second time I've seen Tom Petty, and man can that guy rock. Apparently, he is retiring after this tour, so in theory this is the last time Petty will play Chicago. He's getting older, and seemed a little tired near the end, but I have a hard time believing he'll really retire. He seems to love it so much. And why wouldn't he? The Heartbreakers kick ass and his music just flat out rocks. I think Tom could sing the ABCs and I would be entertained. He seems like such an interesting character.

Mr has agreed to invite him to our wedding. hee.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Time Enough

So, in case you were wondering, buying a house and moving in takes time. A surprising amount of time. I have this project due - I have to do a presentation this Tuesday and then the final presentation is due next Tuesday. I'm doing an annotated bibliography - basically, I'm finding about eight to ten articles on a subject and reading and summarizing them. I picked this project because I thought it would take less time than the other options. I think I might have been wrong.

So, now I'm contemplating taking off work on Tuesday to get my project together. I can't stay up late anymore. It just doesn't happen. The condo gets quiet, the lighting isn't bright and I just want to go to sleep.

We're in a bowling league on Monday nights, the presentation is Tuesday and we're supposed to move on Saturday, which means packing up the whole house - which hasn't been started yet. I have no idea how I'm going to get this done and pack up the house all at the same time. Mr has been supportive, but I don't think he knows how much I have to do.

I should be skipping the Bridal Expo today, but you can win all sorts of prizes and have to be present to win them. I want to win stuff.

Does anyone have a time machine?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another Meme

We spent the day buying paint ($370! On paint!) and looking at furniture. We bought a gorgeous bedroom set. My whole life, I've wanted a nice bedroom with furniture that looked nice and wasn't given to me or bought because it was the only thing I could afford. After a day of driving around, I'm tired and I still have a ton of school work to do. So, I hope Mano doesn't mind, but in lieu of another "sorry I'm lame" post, I'm going to steal another meme from her.

1) My uncle once: played a really mean trick on a kid who deserved it in college. The kid was always stealing his care packages, so he baked some brownies with exlax, and pretended to get them as a care package. The kid took them and...ew.

2) Never in my life: will I move without movers. Thankfully, I've convinced my fiance of this. I'm a grown-up, we both have jobs, and a really big tv.

3) When I was five: I was real sad.

4) High school was: kind of fun. I'm a nerd, I like school.

5) Fire is: dangerous. And good for roasting marshmallows.

6) I once saw: Mike Meyers getting into a car in NYC.

7) There’s this woman I know who: has a full goatee.

8) Once, at a bar: I saw Jon Bon Jovi.

9) By noon I’m usually: figuring out what I'll have for lunch.

10) Last night: I tried to do home work while Mr sanded our new master bedroom and I wrote a lame blog entry.

11) If I only had: enough money not to work (Mano's answer, but I feel the same way).

12) Next time I go to church: will probably be a wedding (though not mine. Everyone is getting married!).

13) The best thing about my last relationship was: very few of my friends and family met him, so I can pretend it never happened.

14) What worries me most: Money.

15) When I turn my head left: I see the Elvis teddy beat that Mr gave me for Valentines' Day a few years ago.

16) When I turn my head right: I am reminded to RSVP the company christmas, sorry, "holiday" party.

17) You know I'm lying when: I'm a pretty good liar, but I'm sure I have some tells...

18) What I miss most about the eighties: Atari.

19) If I were a character written by Shakespeare, I’d be: I don't know that I identify with any of Shakespeare's women. Probably just some maid in the background.

20) By this time next year: I will be married and (hopefully) much less stressed - though still stressed by school, the new house and wedding stuff will be over.

21) I have a hard time understanding: the appeal of ultimate fighting.

22) You know I like you if: hhmmmm... you just know.

23) If I won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: Depends on the award.

24) Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: What? Should this mean something to me?

25) Take my advice, never: drink more than eight cosmos in a sitting.

26) My ideal breakfast is: eggs, hash browns, pancakes, and coffee.

37) If you visit my hometown, I suggest you go to: a show at the Fox Theater.

28) Why doesn't everyone: treat everyone else as they wish to be treated?

29) If you spend the night at my house: bring warm pajamas. We need to put more insulation in the attic.

30) I’d stop my wedding: if I found out he cheated.

31) The world could do without: prejudice.

32) My favorite blonde is: Princess Daisy (we've been playing a lot of MarioKart lately).

33) If I do anything well, it’s: give good back massages.

Uh, what happened to 34-43??

44) And by the way: be nice to animals.

45) The last time I was drunk, I: played with my dog in the backyard of my new house. The old owners left us a bottle of champaigne.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Toga! Toga!

I had a clever title picked out, but Animal House is on TV and I forgot.

We camped out at our new house last night. I don't recommend sleeping on an aero bed with no pillows. I'm exhausted. We spent all day cleaning and going to Home Depot and stuff. I meant to go to Starbucks and do some work for school, but I never got to it. *sigh* I promise, someday, to be better.

I do love my house, though. It needs a lot of work but also has a lot of room for improvement and for us to put our stamp on it.

Tomorrow, we're driving way the heck up to Grayslake - my in laws have some special deal where we can get 40% off paint. So, the saving money is good, the driving, is not. We're hoping to get our bedroom done ASAP so that, while the rest of the house is a mess, we'll have a nice place to go. Currently, the bedroom is blood-red. it's terrible. Plus, the people we bought the house from are very possibly the worst painters in the world. They didn't tape at all, and didn't know that you can wipe paint off when you get some on the trim. And it isn't just a little on the trim. In one room, they very obviously dropped the roller. And spilled ceiling paint so that the top part of the wall is spattered white. In our room, they obviously washed a brush and then tried to use it again when it was wet, so the red paint is all diluted and smeary. It's awesome.

I'll get some pictures so you can see the awesome-ness.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Big Day

I am now a homeowner. I have the key to my new house in my pocket. I'm on my way over there now - we're camping out in our new home. Sadly, no internet connection yet, so this paltry post is my lame attempt to keep NaBloPoMo alive. I promise to be slightly more interesting tomorrow, from my new neighborhood Starbucks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday is a nice day for a meme

Actually, I just finished the last post, but I know I'll have way to much to do at work tomorrow to start something original, so I'm going with a meme I stole from Quodlibets. She's got a great meme section, and I am strangely fascinated by them. They're like personality tests, which I also find fascinating. Anyway.

Three Things Meme

Three things you are wearing right now:
-a Riviera Maya Mexico t-shirt (my cousin got married there and all I got was this shirt and a nasty stomach issue that took about three weeks to fully recover from.)
-old work out pants that are too old and soft to actually work out in
- super-cozy slippers (I love slippers. I wear them almost year-round)

Three favorite bands/musical artists: This is tough. Only three? Then this is top three right this second
-Mark Knopfler
-Ben Folds
-Ani DiFranco

Three favorite songs: Right now, by the artists above
-5:15am from Shangri-la
-Gracie from Songs for Silverman
-Manhole from Knuckle Down

Three things you want in a relationship:
-Mutual Respect

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
-Strong arms (for good hugs)
-Great Smile

Three of your favorite hobbies/interests:
-right now - Mariokart on Nintendo GameCube
-playing guitar (I suck and I don't get to practice much, but I love it)

Three things that scare you:
-being alone / losing my partner
-unidentifiably creepy-crawly things (anything possibly resembling a roach - and roaches)

Three of your everyday essentials:

Three drugs of choice:
-the pill
-adderall (I'm ADD, but I stopped taking medication several years ago. i'm thinking of asking my doctor to go back on it though. I worry about the long-term consequences, but man, i was so effecient and productive when I was on it).
-Pain-off - the generic equivalent of excedrin migraine and one of the few things that work on my really bad headaches.

Three favorite toys:
-my mac
-my mac

Three careers you have considered/are considering:
-stay-at-home mom (I have yet to decide if this is a goal or something I would comprimise to. One one hand: yes! no office job! On the other hand: help! I can't take care of kids all day by myself! Thankfully, this will be a decision I make in the future and not something I have to decide right this second).

Three places you want to go on vacation:
-Italy, again and again and again
-Skiing (anywhere there are mountains and real snow: Colorado, Vermont, Canada, Austria, Italy etc.)

Three kids' names you like:

Three things you want to do before you die:
-go back to Italy
-finish my Master's
-have a baby. I feel a little... I don't know, weird, saying this, but it is true. The idea of having kids right now scares the hell out of me. It weirds me out that I'm old enough that it wouldn't be that unusual for me to get pregnant (or already have a kid). I don't feel like I'll ever be ready, but I definitely want children... someday... just not righ tnow.

Three celeb crushes:
-Luke from Gilmore Girls
-Taye Diggs
-Elvis Presley (young)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Mavis wanted to hear about new tv shows I'm into. Considering that it is currently 10:55, and I don't want to miss the daily deadline, I'll going to keep it short. Hey. I told you this might be a weak blog until the 22nd.

The only new show I'm into this year is Dexter on Showtime. Based on the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, the lead character is a serial killer, but it is way more interesting than you think. Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall, formerly of Six Feet Under. It's a mildly disturbing show, but you just can't look away. Great acting and a really fascinating premise. Plus, you can watch the first two episodes for free on Showtime's website.

Other TV shows I love:

House - it was better the first season, they're getting a little too much into the personal lives of the doctors, but House himself is starting to become a little bit of a characature of his first season personality. It's still addictive and damn good television, but I think it is on a downward swing.

Gilmore Girls - I am not ashamed. Ok, maybe I'm a little ashamed. The show is not nearly as good as it once was and some of that is no one's fault. Alexis Bledal has grown from a cute girl to an awkard young woman and she just isn't that great of an actress. She's passable though, and I'm slowly growing to love Logan. Mostly, though I tune in for Luke, played by Scott Patterson. He's a former baseball player (and was sponge-worthy on Seinfeld), which might be some of the attraction. He's tough and gruff but I really loved him with Lorelei. The show is actually making a comeback as far as writing is concerned - it is so much better than last season. Unfortunately, last season dug some holes that are going to be really tough to get back out of. The new show runners are doing a good job, but it makes this season bittersweet for me. They're making Lorelei and Christopher's relationship seem really believable and I hate them together. Luke seems to be doing well without her and I love her and Luke together. I can't see how they're going to reunite the two of them, and that makes me sad. But I can't stop watching.

South Park - I think these guys will at some point be referred to as the greatest satirists of our times. No, I'm not joking. I love this show.

It's late, and I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Thursday and Friday will be tough, since I'm closing on the new house on Thursday and we're camping out there. I don't know that I'll get to an internet connection on Friday, but I'll do my best.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm Freakin' Out!

We close on our house this Thursday. I have to make a lesson plan tonight for an imaginary class of French business people and I have nothing done. Next week I have to give a presentation of a project I should have been working on all quarter, but have done nothing for. This weekend we're supposed to clean and paint the house so that next weekend we can move in.

I need to clone myself or something.

Sorry. I have to do some SERIOUS homework tonight. I even had to skip bowling.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day, blog-wise. But, until after the 21st (when that project is actually due and we're moved in) this blog may be a bit boring. Unless you like reading about me panicking. Cause then it might be pretty good.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's Been a Long Day

I had planned to write a real entry today, but I am freakin' bushed. The day started with a lovely breakfast at the Deluxe Diner with Mavis. There are few things in the world that I like more than breakfast food and the Diner delivers. You can get all sorts of stuff and you get a muffin, to boot. Yummers.

Then I went to David's Bridal to look at wedding dresses with another friend of mine. I had no idea that trying on big ol' white dresses could be so tiring. I feel like it is two in the morning and it is about seven o'clock at night. More on that experience on Monday (also up this week: TV & Music).

In the meantime, here's a little photo essay of Hank's day on Friday. Some of the pictures aren't oriented the right way, because I haven't figured out how to do that in Blogger yet.

It started, after his walk, with a little nap on the couch.

After about two hours of napping, Hank wanted some attention.

That didn't quite work so, he tried distraction. "See? I have this cow. It's fun..."

"Here, you play with it."

So, I threw it for him, and he chased it, and I could hear it mooing as he chewed on it. After a little while, I noticed that it was sort of quiet in the apartment. I look over, and this is what I see:

No, look closer at the cow.

Ha! I have no idea how he set it up like that, or why he'd come back in the room to look at it.

If you're wondering why I was taking pictures of my dog during the day, please look back at the previous post "Procrastination." I got a digital camera for Christmas last year and it is pretty much always on hand. When Hank was begging for attention, I just thought he was being cute and I like having pictures of him being cute. When I saw the cow standing in the doorway, clearly ignoring him, I was just glad I had the preceding pictures. Hank is a good dog, but he is NOT trained well enough to pose for pictures.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Now Taking Requests

I'm pretty sure that I'm talking to myself when I make a post on my blog. I know of one person who definitely reads my blog regularly and maybe three others who might check in every once in a while. My extremely exclusive (I think Exclusive sounds better than limited or nonexistent) readership is partly my choice - I haven't told a lot of people about the existence of my blog. However, it also makes me sad.

Since I'm committed to posting everyday for the month of November, I am taking requests for topics. I'm hoping to accomplish two things with this request:
1. Have something to blog about everyday. Seriously, it isn't easy. I can ramble on for a long time, but I'd prefer to be interesting. If you suggest something you'd like to read, then it should be interesting to you.
2. Find out that I have more readers than I think. This is wishful thinking, and if no one responds, or just my three friends who may or may not read respond, that's ok too.

So. I can do memes, I can write on sports, music, movies, literature, pop culture, feminism, current events - whatever you want to see. Keep in mind my long-dormant Girls' Guide to Sports which I really do love to write, though no one seems to have any questions about sports lately. If you need personal advice, I can do that, too, though I highly recommend contacting Mavis for that stuff.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What is Happening in My Head?

No, seriously. There's something wrong with my subconscious.

I know no one really cares about your dreams unless you dreamt about the person you're telling your dream to. However. I'm posting every day and sometimes that means you're going to read about my dream. Deal.

So, I'm dreaming. I'm in some sort of hybrid of Goonies and EuroTrip - a group of friends, traveling through strange and possibly dangerous lands, looking for something. I just wasn't sure what. Then, a dashing older man in a suit sort of whisked me away. At first, he was potentially dangerous - maybe he was hiding what we were looking for? And then, we were on a date.

Driving motorcycles.

Yeah, I don't know either.

So, we're driving motorcycles - we each had our own badass Harley - and we stop for dinner or something. This is when I realize that my mystery man... is Dog the Bounty Hunter. Yeah, you read that right. And I'm having a lovely time with Dog and he's very rough and manly and sexy and stuff. I would like to point out that, in my waking life, I do not necessarily find Dog attractive. He seems like a very nice man* and kind of charming, but he's a little too weathered for my taste. However, in my dream? He's the hottest.

And then it occurs to me, wait a minute - Aren't you married, Dog? And I'm so disappointed. "mmm" Dog says, and looks at me with, well, puppy eyes. "Doesn't your wife mind?" I ask. And Dog just took my hand in his, ever so gently, and it was awesome. Like, remember when you first started getting interested in sex and relationships and stuff and how when you finally had a crush on someone who crushed you back, it was so thrilling and butterfly-ie and wonderful? It was like that. And then my alarm went off and slapped the snooze button. As I was drifting back to sleep, thinking of Dog, my mind brought up what he actually looks like - with the vest with no shirt and the long mullet and the leathery eyes and I thought "What is going on in there, brain?"

*He's a born-again Christian and he does seem to be genuinely interested in helping the people he busts get their lives back on-track, however, he was in prison for first-degree murder, which is generally not a nice thing. Then again, he seems to truly love his wife and children and care about the people around him so, I guess people can change. He seems like he'd be a good guy to have in your corner.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Start

So, I'm starting over with this blog. Not really, I mean, I'm not deleting old posts or anything, but I feel like it's New Year's Day or something. I'm posting everyday for the month of November. In tandem with this, I've also decided to restart my diet. I've essentially been on a diet since last February, and I've had slow but steady results with a couple of setbacks. The key, for me, to successfully eating healthy (healthily?) is to track my food. I haven't consistently done that for months now, which is why I haven't lost any more weight. I also haven't gained any which is good, because it means that I have changed some of my eating habits for the better, but it's also bad because I know that I feel more comfortable with myself at about ten pounds lighter. But this is not interesting blog fodder, and I do strive to be interesting. The point is, for me, it is also TraFoDaiMo*.

Today's tidbit: (actually several days old)

New Jersey recently passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry (civil union, but whatever). This is a big step forward because New Jersey allows out of state couples to wed, which means same-sex couples can go and get married and then challenge their state to recognize their union.

I don't get why this is still an issue. It isn't like straight people are doing such a hot job at preserving the sanctity of marriage. Besides, look at these ladies. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

*Track Food Daily Month I know, it's sort of a stretch and not as funny as I hoped but what are you going to do? I try.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Long Time, No See

So, it's been well over a month since I've posted. First I was going to write about seeing Tom Petty in what may have been his last concert ever, and then I was going to write about how I decided not to run the 1/2 marathon and then some stuff about weddings after I went to yet another friend's nuptials. Then my parents were in town and it was already a couple weeks after Tom Petty and the 1/2 marathon was already over and ... you know, life and stuff.

Then I was wondering: If I don't blog when I actually have something to blog about, maybe I should just stop altogether. I mean, hardly anyone knows I have this blog. I'm completely anonymous and, yet, the only people who read it are my three friends who I told to read it.

And then, I came across this:

Which I love. It roughly translates to "blog or die"

NaBloPoMo is inspired by NaNoWriMo, where people write an entire novel in one month only with this you post to your blog every day. I like it, and I think I'll give it a shot. According to the Franklin Covey class I took, it takes thirty days of doing something every day to make it a habit. So, I figure I will commit to posting once a day, every day, in November. It's going to be tough over Thanksgiving, because I'm going to my parent's house in the North Georgia mountains and their internet connection blows. And we're driving there, so that's at least two days where I spend at least 12 hours in the car, but we'll see what I can do.

At the very least, I have two drafts that I started and never finished, so even if I come up with nothing, I have a few things in the hopper.

I wish Blogger would get their shit together with Mac. I can't post pictures from my home computer, because even Firefox doesn't let you post pictures to blogger. They just haven't figured it out yet, I guess. Maybe while I'm home, I can just upload pics to my mom's computer and post from there.

Aren't you just so excited? You totally should be. It will rock.

ps - did you know that Blogger's spell check considers "blogger" a misspelled word? Interesting.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Firsts Meme

I have discovered I love these things. Rather than email everyone and be annoying, I post them here.

{stolen from quodlibets, who claims it was (stolen from frogblog)}
1. Who was your first prom date? Billy Webster. I was a freshman, he was a junior. We dated for several months and did nothing but hold hands. It was sweet.
2. Who was your first roommate(s)? I had a single my freshman year of college, so my first roommate was of my choosing in Rome and a girl we hardly knew who I offered to room with us. She and my friend ended up dating for several years.
3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink the first time you got drunk? Beer.
4. What was your first job? I worked the register at Eckerd’s Pharmacy.
5. What was your first car? A used maroon Mitsubishi Expo. It was a piece and very ugly. I believe they only made them for two years before they stopped due to lack of interest.
6. When did you go to your first funeral? I went to my dad’s wake at 5 and have some memories of it, but I don’t think I was allowed to go to the funeral. Then, I think the next one was my grandmother in 1996.
7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? Moved from Schaumburg to Marietta, Georgia when I was 8. I left Marietta at 17 for college and never went back. Except to visit.
8. Who was your first grade teacher? I don’t remember.
9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? I flew to Florida to visit a friend who had moved there when I was in sixth grade – that was the first time I flew alone. I think we flew right after my dad died – my mom, brothers and I went on a cruise – but my mom gave us Dramamine so we would sleep and I don’t remember it.
10. When did you sneak out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I never really snuck out. My middle brother and I snuck out early one morning to go ice skating, but I was probably only 8 at the time, and I don’t think our parents would have cared.
11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them? My first best friend was named Rhonda, I think, and we’re not still friends. My next best friend was Tiffany and we are also no longer friends, though our mothers are, so I occasionally get updates on her.
12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents’ house? Regina Hall.
13. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? I go home to B or I call my mom. 14. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid/groomsman? My sister’s wedding, I was the maid of honor.
15. What is the first thing you do in the morning? I tinkle, brush my teeth and either walk the dog or shower, depending on whether or not he’s going to daycare that day.
16. What was the first concert you ever went to? I saw Little Feat with my aunt when I was about 15.
17. First tattoo or piercing? I got my ears pierced in third grade, I think. I got them double-pierced with my mom after my freshman year of college – she got hers done, too. I got my cartilage pierced at some point, but it never healed properly and I took it out. I got my tongue pierced my sophomore year of college while in Germany, shortly before new years, 1999. I got my first tattoo when I was 23 in Chicago.
18. First celebrity crush? Sadly, I think it was Steve Guttenberg in the Police Academy movies.
19. Age of first kiss? It was right before high school started, so I guess I was 13?
20. First crush? Hmm. My first boyfriend was in third grade, but I don’t remember having a crush on him first, he asked and I said yes. Then… Ummmm… Maybe fourth grade, it was really serious? At that point, my crush changed from week to week. The longest running crush started my freshman year of high school and lasted probably until my freshman year of college.
21. First time you did drugs? My senior year in high school, I went out with a friend and we went to someone’s house. The guy had graduated the year before and was … well, not traditionally hot, but very smart and charming… so I tried what he was offering, which just made me feel thick-headed and dumb. I had to drive home which was bad and dumb. Then, I never really did anything else, not much anyway, until we went to Amsterdam my sophomore year of college, when it became blatantly obvious that I should not ever smoke anything ever. I threw up all over that damn city. It was awful. I’ve stuck with government - approved drugs since then, like booze.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Summer Vacation, Part the Second

Possibly the Longest Post Ever…

Where we left off:
4. A drunk driver smashed into my car, doing $6400 worth of damage but thankfully only hurting himself. The car was parked and no one was in or around it.
5. School is about to start soon
6. I will be engaged soon

Poor, Sad Scion

I love my car. It is zippy, small and cute. It is the first car I have ever bought, and I’ve had it for just over a year. A friend of mine recently asked what car I would get if money were no object. Honestly, it’s this car. I know it isn’t expensive or fancy but I love it and it is me.

We don’t have a garage spot, so I park on the street. Sunday evening, I parked on Grand Avenue, not far from my front door, when I park very frequently. Monday morning, I was leaving to take Hank to daycare. I started walking down the sidewalk and I saw a car blocking the sidewalk. It was one of those moments where your brain just doesn’t quite register what it is seeing. It was like this:

After a couple steps, I stopped. “That’s my car.” I started walking forward again, confused. I stopped again. “ “ that’s what I thought. Nothing. What? I called B, who was still upstairs. “Someone hit my car. It’s up on the sidewalk” I started crying. He said he was on his way. I sat down on the stoop of the building next door and just started bawling. My brain just couldn’t quite figure out what I was supposed to do. It was awful. I sort of forgot about Hank, who was also confused. Thankfully, he is a very mellow dog and, when something is wrong, he just stays quiet and sticks by your side. He's really wonderful.

There were pieces of car all over the sidewalk. There was antifreeze all over the street. Naturally, I assumed it was all from my car.

When your car is in an accident and the police are called and you aren’t there, they leave an accident report on your windshield. I know this because, about two years ago, a garbage truck hit the back of my old Subaru and ripped the bumper off.

So, I started to look at the accident report. There were four cars involved in this accident, but only mine and another one were listed. Turns out, only two cars fit on one report so I had one page of a two page report. I called my insurance company and a tow truck showed up – he had already towed the other two cars involved. I’d show more pictures, but I don’t know how to fuzz out the license plate and that makes me nervous.

To make a long story slightly shorter, I got the full accident report and discovered that some guy, driving someone else’s car with no license and no insurance had sideswiped the car behind me, hit me and shoved my car up onto the sidewalk and into the car in front of me. The body shot says it is going to cost about $6400 and take 80 labor hours to fix. It has been three weeks and my car is still in the shop. Thankfully, my insurance company is covering it. Unfortunately, I have a $1000 deductible and I’m working part time because I’m in school. So that sort of sucks. But the car is being fixed and eventually I’ll have it back. In the meantime, I’m taking the bus to work and grocery shopping with B. It is frustrating, but it could have been worse.

Back to School

School has started back up. I’m taking a class about teaching writing to second language writers – basically non-native English speakers. I’m a little nervous because I have no teaching experience and this will sort of give me a sense of whether or not I’ll like teaching. I also think it will be pretty challenging.

I was supposed to take two classes, but the only ones available were one in Milton and one in 18th Century and Restoration Drama. Not great. Plus, working three days a week severely cuts into my paycheck, no matter how long I work on those days. This class will not be offered again until 2008. Since the majority of community college students are ESL students, and since I will most likely be teaching community college or high school, I figure I should take it.

Engagement Pending

The other night, B (for “boyfriend” I can’t figure out how to refer to him here. He doesn’t know I have a blog [I just haven’t felt like telling him.] so it doesn’t seem fair to name him) told me that the ring I've been planning on using - the engagement ring my dad gave my mom - can only hold what it holds now - .5 carat, oval shaped stone. He was telling me this because he wasn't sure if I still wanted to use that, since .5 carat is kind of small and you know how I like the bling. Seriously, though, I had thought you could put anything in there. In my head, it was slightly bigger, maybe .75 to 1 carat and princess cut. I'm not crazy about ovals. He said they have a jacket that fits well and looks good that we could use as a wedding band, which would bling it up. He already ordered the stone, but wanted to make sure it's what I wanted before he has it put in. He said that I could have something bigger if that's what I want. So, on Saturday we went to look at it.

I was torn. I've never even thought about what kind of engagement ring I might want because I always thought I already had my engagement ring. It is small, but it has a lot of sentimental value. I was leaning towards just getting it sized for my right hand with a ruby (what was in it – my birthstone) and then getting something else for my engagement ring. But that makes me a little sad, because I thought I'd have this great sentimental ring. But I don't want to spend the rest of my life wishing I had made a different choice. It's tough. In any case, he had already ordered the diamond, which means that he is 100% sure he's proposing and fairly soon.

So we went to look at the diamond he’d already bought. It was beautiful. Shiny and Sparkly and all the wonderful things that diamonds can be, only way more so than I’d ever expected. I was enthralled. I tried on other stuff, just for to be sure. However, the salesgirl? Not so helpful. I wanted to check out other solitaires with stones in them for size comparisons. I like white gold, she brought me yellow. The diamond B bought was pretty high quality – she brought me cubic zirconium. All the other settings they had seemed like a lot of … stuff. I mean, they seemed really big and I have little hands. PLUS the settings they have in jewelry stores don’t have stones in them, which makes them look weird. So, I was overwhelmed and the one I had was so pretty and sparkly. So, I said I wanted it. Yay! They said it would be ready Monday. Yay! I asked them to put the ruby that was in my ring into a basic pendant for a necklace.

Then Sunday came, as it often does after Saturday, and we saw some friends who were recently engaged. Her ring was one carat, as were most of the rings of the women in my office. I started to think “my ring will be half that size… with no side stones… nothing else. People are going to think it’s dinky.” It isn’t that I was looking at my ring solely through the eyes of other people, I mean, if I really loved it I don’t think that I’d care. But I felt like I would always be explaining that it was my mom’s setting and it has great sentimental value and … I didn’t want people to think that B was cheap. I didn’t want to feel like I had to explain. I felt greedy and ungrateful.

Once our friends left, I went to fold some laundry, trying to figure out how to tell B that the ring he’d already paid for, that would be ready the next day, wasn’t what I wanted. I started crying. He started laughing at me. He was glad I wanted something else and said he was going to try to talk me out of it anyway. I knew I liked him for a reason.

So, now I have a new necklace and I’ll probably get something else to go in my mom’s ring and we’re starting over looking for a new ring. I have no idea how or when he’ll propose but he has said that one we have the ring, I won’t be getting it right away. It’s funny, but I have been so nervous and sort of anxious wondering when he will propose but, now that I know that he will soon, I’m not anxious at all. It’s cheesy and you’ll have to just excuse me, but I just feel so happy. I’m looking forward to getting married and starting our life together – even though we’ve already lived together for a while, I feel like this is the real start of things.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Music Meme

I stole this meme from Quodlibets. I should be working, but I don't wanna.

1. Favorite Beatles song: Rubber Soul is my favorite album, and my favorite song varies, usually though it's "I'm Looking Through You"
2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: I know I'm supposed to pick Beatles or Stones, but I love them both. Currently, "Dead Flowers" is my favorite Stones song because I'm learning to play it on the guitar.
3. Favorite Doors song: I was into the Doors in high school, but not so much any more. Probably "Spanish Caravan"
4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: I dig Bob, but I dig him the most when other people cover him, so it depends. "Tangled up in Blue" is probably my favorite because I like it when Bob does it himself (though you can barely understand him these days) and it has been covered well.
5. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: "Immigrant Song" It would be my intro if I were a major-league baseball player.
6. Favorite TV Theme Song: Charmed used "How Soon is Now" but I like The Smiths version better. Gilmore Girls uses "Where You Lead" by Carole King, which I love.
7. Favorite Prince Song: Darling Nikki from Purple Rain. I love Prince when he's dirty. I'm so sad he found religion.
8. Favorite Madonna Song: This is tough. For her early stuff, I would say "La Isla Bonita" but I also loved Bedtime Stories and some of her recent stuff is really good. I'm not a huge Madonna fan, so it's hard to pick a favorite.
9. Favorite Michael Jackson song: Does the Jackson 5 count? "Rockin' Robin" is awesome. Post-Jackson 5 I would say "Rock With You"
10. Favorite Queen Song: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is what pops into my head first, but I also LOVE "I Want to Break Free."
11. Favorite 'N Sync Song: Honestly, I don't know that I can name a song other than "Bye Bye Bye" But I'm sure out on the dance floor there's something of theirs that would be fun.
12. Favorite Al Green Song: "Let's Stay Together" is the only one I know.
13. Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: "Hungry Heart" again, because I know how to play it on the guitar. It was our recital song at the end of my guitar class. I dig the boss, but I'm not a huge fan. I like his cover of Woody Guthrie's "The Car Song"
14. Favorite Cure song: "Pictures of You" In England, they call Robert Smith "Fat Bob" hee. That's mean.
15. Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: That's tough because a lot of my friends are really into music and know more than me. Only one is a big Tori Amos fan though and I love "Flying Dutchman"
16. Favorite Beastie Boys song: I'm going to have to keep Mano's answer for this one: "Sabotage" but only because it's the only song I can stand to leave on for more than say, 30 seconds.
17. Favorite Clash song: I love pretty much all of London Calling. Probably "Train in Vain" and "Death or Glory" are my favorites, though.
18. Favorite Beach Boys song: All of Pet Sounds is amazing but "God Only Knows" usually makes me want to cry, it is so beautiful.
19. Favorite Cyndi Lauper song: You know, I've heard that she has done some really amazing stuff since her heyday and that she's awesome, but "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is all I really know. Sorry, Cyndi.
20. Favorite song from a movie: This is just unfair. Movie soundtracks can be so good - Almost Famous has a really great soundtrack, as does Empire Records. I would have to say that my favorite song from a movie is "Rebel Rebel" by Seu Jorge. He sings a bunch of David Bowie Songs in Portuguese, it's awesome.
21. Favorite Jeff Buckley song: I really like all of Grace, but I love his cover of "Hallelujah"
22. Favorite Johnny Cash song: "Folsom Prison Blues" So good.
23. Favorite song from an 80's one hit wonder: "Come on Eileen" is the only thing that I can think of, though I know that there has to be something I like more. I don't really like that song all that much.
24. Favorite Pink Floyd song: "Money" & "Time" are both awesome
25. Last song you heard: My car is dead, so I haven't been listening to much music lately, as I've chosen to read on the bus instead of listen to my iPod. I know there was music on at the bowling alley last night but I can't remember... I know we listened to "Money" by Pink Floyd on the way home.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Summer Vacation, Part the First

So, it has been a while since I posted. Lots of stuff has happened, and I wanted to do a comprehensive post which meant I wanted to wait until I had time to write something good and eloquent and I don't ever have time for that. I have given up and am now going to attempt to post an update without regard to readability. I only have two regular readers anyways, and I don't think ya'll will mind.

Several things have happened in the past month.

1. I read lots of books
2. I went to Atlanta and met my nephew
3. I went to see the Dixie Chicks at the United Center
4. A drunk driver smashed into my car, doing $6400 worth of damage but thankfully only hurting himself. The car was parked and no one was in or around it.
5. School is about to start soon
6. I will be engaged soon

Summer Reading

I finished Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. Everyone I know who likes her says this is their favorite of her works. I think I liked Faking It better, but maybe only because I read it first and so I knew for sure who the characters would end up with.
I also read:
Lady Anne's Dangerous Man by Jeane Westin. I was disappointed. The dialogue seemed stilted and it wasn't as hot as I was hoping it would be.
Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. This was good and entertaining, and I was planning on quoting him in my review of the Dixie Chicks. However, much like coco puffs, I felt like it was lacking something. I enjoyed reading it but didn't get anything out of it. Not that I think all books have to be educational. Certainly many of the romances I read aren't but I was left feeling like I sort of wasted my time. Maybe because it is a collection of essays that are only loosely tied together by pop culture. Maybe this is why I don't read more non-fiction.
High Five by Janet Evonovich. I really enjoy Stephanie Plum and her novels. I love that you don't have to read them in order. I read this one on the plane on the way home and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Perfect vacation reading.
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. My mom, for reasons I may never understand, got this book for my grandma and then read it herself. I was aware of the general weirdness of Augusten's story, but my mother was not. She found the book disturbing and disgusting "just nasty," in her words. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope the forthcoming movie does it justice.
Mohawk by Richard Russo. I'm only halfway through this, so technically I haven't finished it yet. Russo is fast becoming my favorite contemporary American author. He's excellent. I highly recommend the hilarious Straight Man and the bittersweet Empire Falls (recently made into a surprisingly good and faithful two-part movie for HBO). Mohawk is excellent.

Hello, Baby!

My sister gave birth on May 17, 2006 to a beautiful baby boy. Six hours after he was born, he underwent surgery to correct a hole in his intestines. On July 6, 2006, he was released (early) from the hospital because he healed so quickly. I finally made it down to Atlanta to meet him in early August. He is the cutest, sweetest thing ever. I'm sure everyone says that about babies, but it's true. When I met him, he had a tiny white polo shirt on with little madras pants. He's a stylish little man. I could go into all the details but babies are babies and I don't want to bore anyone. I can't wait to see him again and sort of wish that I lived closer to the rest of my family. He's always going to like his uncle a little bit more than his aunt just because the uncle will be around more. Not that I'm jealous or competitive or anything. I just want him to like me best.

(to be continued)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer Vacation, 1.2: Dixie Chicks

So, a friend of mine called (or possibly emailed, it's been a while) and told me she had tickets to see the Dixie Chicks and asked me to join her. I was a fan of the Dixie Chicks a while back - their first album and then Wide Open Spaces and then I sort of fell off the Dixie band wagon. It had nothing to do with the ridiculous reaction to their political affiliations, I just got distracted. So, I approached this concert with interest, but not necessarily great anticipation.

The night started out remarkably well, with the best gyros ever from a Greek restaurant that I can't remember the name of. We were tasting the garlic the rest of the night, but it was well worth it. I can't wait to go back there, if I ever remember where "there" was. Then, it was off to the show.

We skipped the opening act. I was hoping it would be Pete Yorn (the Chicks collaborated with several songwriters on the latest album, including Yorn and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks [an awesome band in their own right who have sadly disbanded]), as someone had told me he had an unaccounted for date in Chicago, but no such luck. The opening guy was someone I had never heard of and we preferred to spend the time beforehand catching up and talking. It's a good thing, too, and the woman sitting next to my friend was very upset by unnecessary chatter during the quieter (and not so interesting) parts of the show. We got to our seats before the main act and, once the Chicks took the stage, I was pleasantly surprised. The Dixie Chicks pretty much kick ass. They are all really talented musicians and Natalie Maines can really sing. Man, she belts it out. I love the sound of her voice.

The show was a while ago, so some of the highlights have slipped my memory, but I really enjoyed pretty much the whole thing. They played some hits - including "Goodbye Earl" which you'd think they'd be sick of by now, but they seemed to enjoy it - and a lot of stuff from the new album. It was good enough that I bought the new album on iTunes the next day.

I wanted to write a more in-depth review, but it has just been too long. I started one a couple days after the show that somehow disappeared and then my car got all jacked up and things slipped away. In the mean time, I have been avoiding my friend's blog, because I didn't want to unconsciously copy any of her review and now it's been a month and I'm in serious withdrawal. Unfortunately, I have a crapload of work to do and can't really catch up all at once. I'll have to spread it out over the week.

I just read her review, though, and it is way better than mine. I will add that the acoustics in the United Center are awful, and I don't think I'll ever pay to see a show there (Mano gave me my tickets, so all I had to pay for was the yummy gyros). Also, the Chicks' massive backup band is a little odd. They play pretty much in the dark and they only introduced three (out of probably seven or eight) of the guys. It was like we were supposed to pretend they weren't there. Finally, the Dixie Chicks draw sort of a weird crowd of people - we saw way more cowboy hats than I thought we would (and, yes, I would classify them as country, though they sort of border on maybe something like roots-inspired pop) the crowd seemed to be a mix of teeny-boppers and people who had been able to find a sitter in a while. It was good times.

Side note: I started this as a draft, and it seems to be publishing it as if I had written it then, instead of now. So, Maybe no one is even reading this.... hhhmmmmm

Coming soon: The rest of My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer Reading Update

I finished reading Faking It by Jennifer Crusie this weekend. It was really good - great character development, the plot line was interesting, and I was happily surprised by the ending. A lot of the time, once the major story lines have been wrapped up and the heroine has her hero, the last fifty pages or so are basically filler. This book managed to keep me interested and guessing until the very end. Good stuff. I started Welcome to Temptation this morning. I wish I had read Temptation first, since they have overlapping characters and it looks like Temptation is first, chronologically. But, since there seem to be no overlapping plot lines, I think it's ok.

Someone told me about something that I wanted to add to my summer reading list. I don't remember what it was. hmmm...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer Reading

I finally finished my paper. As it turns out, I'm an idiot. I recently switched to Mac and use Word for Mac. Word for Mac is not the same as Word for Microsoft. It is compatible, which is super, but it just looks a little different. Well, it turns out that when I thought I was double-spacing my paper, I was actually setting it at 1.5. Which isn't double. So, I wasn't as far behind as I thought. Whoops. It still wasn't the best thing I've ever written, but it would have had to grow by 5-7 pages to grow at all. So, it was little short and probably could have used more editing, but it is done and now I am free to read at my leisure.

I haven't had time to read a book for fun since Christmas. Here is what I'm planning to read, in no particular order, in the next 5 weeks before school starts.
  1. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
  2. All U Can Eat by Emma Holly
  3. Lady Anne's Dangerous Man by Jeanne Westin
  4. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  6. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  7. Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 by Garrison Keillor
  8. Mohawk by Richard Russo

Clearly, my class on romance novels has inspired me. I loved Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie so much, I bought a bunch of her other books (including one that I've already read, though I didn't know that at the time). I want to read The 7 Habits because I think I could be more effective in my life, and I use the Franklin-Covey system so... It seems to make sense. My boss also lent me that one on CD, so I can listen to it in the car and read it - sort of a double whammy to hope it sinks in a little.

It's kind of a lot, but I think I can manage. I started Mohawk just after Christmas and didn't get very far before school started. The romances generally read pretty quickly. I'll keep you posted.