Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Dreaming

Christmas was lovely, even without a tree. We got up fairly early - I don't know if I've shared before, but I am what you would call and "active sleeper." When I dream, I frequently move around a lot and talk. Christmas morning started for Mr at 6am when I woke him up with my sobbing. I dreamt that someone had gotten chocolate all over my wedding dress. It was very, very real and devastating, though I don't know why. I know that, in the dream, the wedding was over, so it wasn't like it was ruined before the big day. I had actually been toying with the idea of reselling it.

I don't think my dress is symbolic of anything other than the fact that I spent most of the day on the 24th looking at pictures from our wedding. I'm working on making an album for my mother-in-law. Plus, there was nothing on TV in the morning, and I watched part of one of the wedding shows on Style Network or WE TV or something.

Those shows are interesting to me, and they got me to reflect on our wedding a bit. Now, I have to say, that I had a blast at our wedding. The only thing that went "wrong" was the limo driver getting lost. Even that didn't bother me too much, since I was just so happy to be getting married. It was almost a little bizarre how happy I was. I remember sitting in the limo, knowing that I should be upset with this knucklehead, but also knowing that I was the bride and they couldn't start without me. As long as we got there, it was ok.

In retrospect, there were a lot of things that happened that could have "ruined" the day for me, and would have for many of the brides on reality shows. The limo was late picking us up and got lost, but there were other things. The programs weren't handed out the way they should have been, the priest never said "you may kiss the bride" so we didn't kiss after saying our vows. They didn't have the readings for my readers, even though I had given it to them, so my brother never saw what he was supposed to read until he was up there, reading it. We would have been without it altogether, had not one of my aunt's been really on the ball. We started an inadvertent receiving line after the ceremony, which shorted our picture time even more, so we missed out on some pictures. No one told my grandma to hang around so I have no pictures of me with her.

The florist, despite numerous reminders from me, made my bouquet huge and in a plastic holder-thingy even though I explicitly said I wanted it hand-tied and the same size as my bridesmaids. The cake decorations were also in a terrible plastic/doily looking thing. My mother-in-law took the right boutonniere off of him after the ceremony and put on the rose that his grandfather was supposed to wear but didn't because, well, grandpa doesn't do anything he doesn't want to do. She claims it was labeled "groom" and he backs her up (even though he knew that he was supposed to be different and not the same as his guys, because he was there and helped make the choice of his flower. He said he just figured something had changed). So, in the pictures after the ceremony, he has a white rose in his lapel and during the ceremony it is a dark red calla lily.

In many of the pictures, my in laws are looking at one of the aunts who was hanging around instead of the professional photographer we hired. My aunt who fancies herself a photographer followed us up to the golf course and then, after I politely said that was enough, proceeded to help herself to the champagne and strawberries set aside in the little room we were supposed to wait in before being announced.

The reception hall initially had a sign up that said "Congratulations Rita & Mike!" Mr's name is NOT Mike. His grandmother corrected them and they actually tried to argue with her.

So, lots of things didn't go the way we planned. But it was all ok. Because what mattered was that we were there. All of those other things? They're just amusing anecdotes. Sure. I wish everything was perfect and amazing. But, you know what? It was. Even with all of that stuff, it was just perfect. Sure, I wish Mr had the same flower on his jacket throughout the day. But we got married, we danced a lot, the cake was delicious, and our pictures are fantastic, even if there are some shots we didn't get.

The point is, on a lot of the wedding reality shows, these people act as if the world is ending because their flowers are not what they pictured, or they only have cream and not off-white chair covers. I'm saying that if you are focusing on the details of your wedding instead of the actual wedding, then you should take a step back and think about why you're getting married in the first place.

I had meant to write about Christmas, but I got a little sidetracked. I'll come back to Christmas tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Almost Christmas!

This past weekend, Mr and I celebrated with our own little Christmas tradition. The Saturday before Christmas, we go to the matinee performance of The Joffrey's The Nutcracker and then have dinner at Morton's on Wacker. Mr claims he likes the music, but really he goes because I love ballet and Morton's is a pretty good reward for his patience.

I love the Nutcracker. I love the families with the little girls in pretty dresses, and the little boys in tiny ties and sport coats. Of course, I love the ballet itself, though the arabian coffee piece always puts me to sleep and their Mother Ginger puppet sort of freaks me out. I can't find a picture of it, but traditionally, Mother Ginger is played by a man on stilts. The little ponchinelles run out of her skirt, and it has sort of a clown-car effect. You can't tell how many kids are in there. It's fun. The Joffrey has a massive puppet with a person inside operating it. Her head turns and her hands move, but it is very weird. Plus, her skirt is super light and doesn't quite touch the stage, so you can see that there are more kids waiting to run out. It's really bizarre and a little disturbing.

All in all, I love it. This year was a tad disappointing, because at our performance Willy Shives was Herr Drosselmyer and Calvin Kitten was the Nephew/Nutcracker prince. Kitten was good, but he's a little on the short side and just not as handsome as Shives. Shives is the Assistant Ballet Master at the Joffrey, so he's basically their star. He's the one you see in their posters for The Nutcracker, and he's just amazing. When he's the Nutcracker Prince, it is a lot easier to get swept up in the magic of the play. Kitten, aside from having a goofy name that is either unfortunate or a poor choice of stage names, just doesn't have the presence that Shives does. Also, I think maybe he's not really used to partnering. It looked to me like the Sugar Plum Fairy was having to work a lot harder than she should have. Although, it is nice for her that he got the shot - most ballerinas are tall because they have to be proportionate to their partners. Men are few and far between in the dance world, so ballerinas get chosen from those who are the right height for the guy. Most short girls get stuck in the Corps.

Morton's, obviously, was fantastic. I don't know what they do to make that steak taste so freaking good, but ... there literally aren't words. Mr is also a fan of Gibsons, who are not shabby, but I just don't think anything can compare to Morton's. It is literally the most satisfying meal I have all year. I eat as slowly as possible when we're there, just to savor the steak as long as I can.

So, now that we've done our Christmas tradition, it is starting to feel real to me. The construction is wrapping up on our house - the floor got the final seal yesterday and the siding guys are out there now capping off our windows and doors. We didn't get to put up the tree, so I have a tiny silver tree from Urban Outfitters on the end table and our presents underneath. Our stockings are up, which I love. I even have a tiny one for Hank.

Up next: we have to find a dining room table. We're having a hard time, as it seems difficult to find anything less than $3,000, which we don't really have. Wickes, Harlem, Ashley, and every other place we looked were a bust. We're currently looking at a table from Crate & Barrel. The table itself isn't too expensive, but the chairs are, and you can't really get a wood-finish table and then find cheaper chairs at another store -there's no way the finishes will match. We have pretty traditional tastes, nothing modern, nothing ornate. Just a basic table. Any suggestions are much appreciated. This is the table we like from C&B.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Love Winter

You know what's worse than not having enough warm layers on a long walk from the train to work? Having too many.

I had to walk a little farther today since I needed to pick up some pastries for my floor holiday party, and I tend to walk with purpose. There is no moseying along for me. Overheating in the winter sucks because you can't just take off your coat and cool down. So, you sweat, while your face is freezing.

You know what else is awesome? Doing all of that the day after you decide to switch to plain deodorant with no antiperspirant.

I smell like a zoo.

I got to my desk, took off my many layers and went to the ladies' room. I also took off my sweater, so that I could cool off sooner. Not only am I a little damp, but my back is basically wet. Like, I can see a big circle on the back of my blouse, which now looks like I picked it up off the floor instead of having recently washed and ironed it. I honestly considered losing the blouse and just wearing the sweater except my sweater is white and kind of thin, so that isn't really an option. I just hope it is enough to cover my now-wrinkled shirt so that no one wonders when I showered last (this morning, if you're wondering).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Who Knew?

I had no idea that Christina Aguilera is so freaking funny. Seriously, check this out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's all Coming Together

We've got a solid roof! The holes in our main roof have been patched on a more permanent basis, and we got new shingles. The gigantic hole in our small roof is now gone, on the outside, and replaced by a whole new roof. We had just shy of 3/4 of the siding replaced on the house. All that's left on the outside is new gutters and putting the lights back up on our back porch (and while we were at Lowes this weekend, we picked out new, prettier lights. Woo!).

Today, they should be putting up those gutters, and they are starting work on the inside of our house - tearing out the floor the drywall and the ceiling of the addition where the tree fell through. They will replace all of that, paint the addition, patch and paint the kitchen, patch and paint my office, replace three windows, replace the sliding glass door (which wasn't damaged in the storm, but has no lock and is rotting), and replace our other back door (which also wasn't damaged but doesn't have a deadbolt. It has like a weird bar-type thingy that works like a chain lock. We're replacing the door with one with a deadbolt [and no window, which is why the current door can't get a deadbolt] so that we can both lock our home securely AND get in from the back). While they're at it, they are also painting our living, foyer (about five square feet), the staircase and the upstairs hallway. So, shortly before Christmas our house should be back in one piece and better than ever. Sadly, this means our Christmas decorations are minimal.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, but I am very excited that it is all underway. We took everything off of our kitchen counters in anticipation of the dust, but I'm sure we didn't think of something. I hate living with construction, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NaBloPoMo - we broke up

Clearly, NaBloPoMo is not for me. Such is life.

the holidays are upon us. How did that happen so fast? Mr & I are going to his grandparents' for Thanksgiving and having Christmas at home. Our home. We don't have to go anywhere or see anyone, and it really makes me happy. I love having my own tree, and waking up in my house and opening presents with Mr.

This year was supposed to be Christmas at my parents' house. I haven't been for two years because we were trying to get on the same schedule as my brother and sister-in-law, who is on a schedule with her married siblings. Finally, we were on-track. But, they're not going for a myriad of reasons, and when I politely asked if it was ok to bring Hank with us, my mom said that she and dad had discussed it and decided that dogs are for "short, quiet visits."

Hank is banned.

So, because we sent him to Mr's parents during the honeymoon and recently boarded him for a weekend we said we can't do that to him again. So, we're staying home. I was upset, because I don't understand her issue with dogs in the house, but I respect her decision. If I don't want someone/something in my house, I expect others to abide by my rules, so I have to do the same for her. We handled it well, I think. No major drama, but both of us stood firm and didn't want to hurt the other's feelings. Once it was clear that we were both ok with it, there was a noticeable drop in tension.

I blame it on my brother and my sister, really. He would show up at their house with his two large dogs (I would guess about 80lbs), one of whom often peed on the houseplants. My sister has a reasonably well-behaved (at least in comparison) jack-rat who weighs about 5lbs. So, you can understand why my mom associates big dogs with bad dogs. It's no use trying to change her mind. But, seriously, how could you not love this guy?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo - we meet again

I'm going to try again. I don't make any promises, but I will try.

We got back from Hawai'i yesterday at 4:55am. It was a horrific flight back, but a wonderful, wonderful vacation. I will post pictures and more details soon.

The wedding went off with only a small hitch - the limo driver got lost on the way to the ceremony, so I was about 20 minutes late to my own wedding. Really, it is a small miracle that I managed to get my hair done, get lost on the way back to the hotel, and still manage to be dressed and ready to go ON TIME. I was actually, I think, about five minutes early. The limo showed up late, and then fifteen minutes after we had left (the church is about seven minutes away, tops) we passed the hotel AGAIN. I finally had to holler directions to him from the back of the limo. My dress was way too big for me to crawl up there and give him directions politely. But, it all worked out, I got married and had a blast. I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Our band was awesome: The Bill Pollack Orchestra. They are not cheap, but if you are throwing a party in the Chicagoland area and you want everyone to dance their butts off, it is totally worth it.

My photographer was fantastic. You can see pictures of our wedding on his blog:, click on "blog." His server has been wonky today, so there's no knowing if you'll get in or not, but eventually, you will, and it is good. For those of you who were there and/or in it, I'll be sending out a link soon to all the pictures, so you can order if you want. Right now, I can't get to the link, but I'll send it soon.

Neither of those people paid me to promote them, but I loved them so much, I thought I'd spread the word.

I'll post soon with pictures and more details. In the meantime, this is the best jack-o-lantern I have ever seen. Seriously, that is fantastic.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Word on Weddings

I had no idea what was involved in planning a wedding before I planned one. Whenever I was invited to a wedding I tried to be polite and generally not bother the couple as much as possible. I think most people do this. I have tried not to be bridezilla, and I think I've done a fairly good job, but I just have to rant a little bit.

When you get a pre-addressed, pre-stamped rsvp card, please use it. I know that your life is complicated, and it takes time to figure things out, so I understand that you can't respond by the next day. However, there is a reason that there is a date you are supposed to respond by. It's because I have to tell the caterer how much food I need, and I have to pay for that food. If you haven't responded by the week before the wedding, respond that you are not coming. They are assuming you are not coming. Either don't do anything or respond with a no. This applies even as you are approaching 90. Yes, we can make room for one more, but please don't be offended that your name is not listed on the seating chart. It's because I did the seating chart more than three days before the wedding.

If you are invited to a rehearsal dinner. Respond. Most rehearsals are small and one person can make a big difference.

If you are strapped for cash, and need a place to stay, figure it out before the week of the wedding. If you don't, don't ask bridesmaids who are coming from out of town if you can stay with them. It puts them and inevitably, the bride, in an awkward situation. Also, if you read this and feel bad, don't call me and apologize. It's ok. I know, you didn't mean to offend, or anything, but you were busy and didn't get to it. I know. But I just had to get that off my chest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Word on Weddings

I was going to comment on the most recent post over at Quodlibets, but I decided to post here instead. I've written about gay marriage, and my befuddlement over objects to it before, but I feel like talking about it again. Maybe it's because I'm getting married in four days.

She links to this article in the Daily Californian. The author basically says he just doesn't understand the argument against gay marriage. I'm so happy to see this getting some print. I feel like every article about gay marriage assumes that the arguments against it are understood, or at least are not worth discussing. I've yet to read anything anywhere that explains what it is that makes people believe that gay marriage is wrong. The only thing I have ever heard is that it is a religious issue. Which, while I don't agree, I understand that some religions believe that homosexuality is wrong. What I don't understand is why religious beliefs are guiding our laws.

If anyone has any argument against gay marriage that has nothing to do with religion, I would really like to hear it, because I just don't get it. Like the author of the article I linked to, I am usually pretty good at understanding my opposition's arguments - it's the best way to win an argument - but this? This I just don't get. Email me if you do: recordstorerita (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The End is Near

Which means that Hawai'i is near. Which is a very, very good thing.

My wedding is fifteen days and a wake-up (as my dad would say) away. I have no idea how it went from months and months away to OhMyGodItIsF'ingTOMORROW, but it did, and I was a little taken aback. I made a big list, Mr finally saw the urgency of the matter and pitched in, and we're well on our way. I've picked the readings for the ceremony, my mom found musicians for the ceremony, we met with our band leader, I booked pre- and wedding-night hotel rooms, confirmed the flowers, and made an appointment with the priest. I'm getting a test-drive of my hair-do on Saturday just before Mr & I go pick out his ring. Shit is MOVING.

On one hand, I'm kind of stressed because, um, it is so very soon. On the other hand, I do not have to power to create time, so I also have a moderately-zen "there's only so much time in the day and so much I can do in a day" sort of approach. I would like to have my immediate family over for dinner Thursday night, since most of them have not seen my house, and I would like to host a brunch Sunday for the rest of my family, but all of that requires planning, which requires time, which I do not have.

I've also developed a zen attitude towards my weight. I've gained some of the weight that I had lost back. Not a ton, the dress still fits, but I don't know if I'll wear the bikini I bought for the honeymoon. I mean, I am NOT a bikini girl, but I wanted to be for the honeymoon. But, and here's where the zen comes in, I can't lose five (or ten, or fifteen, if we're counting was I was hoping to lose) pounds in fifteen days. Not going to happen. It will be fine. My dress ROCKS and is loverly. As for Hawai'i? Mr seems to dig me, and I probably won't see any of those people again, so either I'll be brave and wear the bikini, or I won't and I'll wear the one-piece. Or I'll compromise and wear the bikini but won't ever take my cover-up off. Regardless, there will be alcohol in pineapples and I will be happy.

Oh yeah, and I just found out I passed the Masters' Exam. I am officially a smarty-pants!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Like a Fool

I was going through my copy of “Preparing the Roman Catholic Liturgy: A Workbook for Engaged Couples,” looking for the appropriate readings for our wedding ceremony, and I found this:

Matthew 7:21, 24-29

Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

I couldn’t help but feel a connection to the words “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” Our house is built neither on rock nor sand, but perhaps there’s a lesson here. I'm not sure what that lesson is. Sure, there’s a message about following the teachings of Jesus, but I think the choice of metaphor is interesting. For us, the metaphor is the reality. “The rain fell … the winds blew and buffeted .. the it collapsed and was [partially] ruined.” Fortunately, we have insurance, and someday they might even pay us something that will hopefully help fund the rebuilding efforts. We will rebuild, not on rock but also not on sand, and hopefully, that will be ok.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Concerts Meme

It has been a long time since I posted, so I have a lot I want to say, and several half-started posts hanging around, but I get sort of overwhelmed and so I don't post, still. Hopefully, this will get the momentum going. This is a meme from Mano...

Copy this list; leave in the bands you've seen perform live; delete the ones you haven't, and add new ones that you have seen until you reach 25. An asterisk means the previous person had it on their list. Two asterisks means the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list.

This was tough, and I had to go way back to my first show at 14 (at which my aunt convinced the bouncer I was 18 - he must have been in a good mood - and I smelled pot for the first time). Any guesses which one that is? I'm definitely leaving out a lot of shows, some of these are from high school, and some of them were big old tours where I got to see many awesome bands at one time. Here goes:

ani difranco***
Indigo Girls**
Dave Matthews Band*
Counting Crows*
Pete Yorn*
Dixie Chicks*
Ben Harper
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Huey Lewis and the News
The Flaming Lips
The White Stripes
Ben Folds / Five
Pat McCurdy
Little Feat
Camper Van Beethoven
Bob Dylan
Brian Wilson
They Might Be Giants
Loudon Wainwright III
Modest Mouse
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Old 97's
Umphrey's Magee

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tree Trauma

I'm still in the heat of studying. We got the BIG QUESTION, for which we have THREE HOURS to write an answer, yesterday. The test is a week from today. I think I'm developing TMJ. In the meantime, here's some pictures of destruction. At some point, I'll figure out how to post the video of the guys taking the tree off the house.

First picture: from the back door, looking towards the garage. What? You can't see anything? Just leaves? Yes, that's because everything in sight was overwhelmed by leaves and various other tree-parts that used to reside about fifty feet higher.

See? I wasn't exaggerating. Here's where the tree broke through the roof of the addition and one of the many, lovely, new water-spots we have popping up in all sorts of unexpected places.
Our porch in the lovely light of morning, filled with tree.
This is the view from behind the house. Note the now-squished looking corner of the top of the house. That's above my office. The tree must have hit there first, poking a few holes in the roof above the attic, which resulted in some water in my office. The little couch was slightly damp, but not too bad, so I'm keeping it. Thankfully, I had only recently moved my wedding dress to the other closet, which stayed totally dry. Also dry: the vintage guitar I inherited from my dad.
This is the view from my office window. Luckily, it is double-paned (pained?) glass, and only the outside pane was broken. So, it looks neat, but it is still water-proof. Unlike the roof.
This is the tree service cherry-picker attempting to get up the front lawn. Because the ground was so wet and slick, and the front lawn has a slight up-slope, he couldn't get close enough to the house. He did manage to rip up the lawn, though. I like that the back of the truck says "Dangerous work done safe" but the "safe" is obscured by the ladder, so it's just "done."
They attached this claw to the bobcat to stabilize the tree while they sawed off pieces of it. Later, they used it to take off the big chunk. Hank is supervising because that's what he does when work is being done in the yard. He makes sure it is done right.
I kind of love this picture. It's the hole in the addition, after they removed the tree. It reminds me of that scene in Disney's "Sword in the Stone" when Arthur first touches the sword and the heavens open up and the chorus sings? Except... this is bad. It's sort of like, instead of a destiny being fulfilled, I can see God revealing a life of struggle ahead. Something will always go wrong. And yet, I'm not all that concerned. I mean, either I laugh at it, or I go nuts, literally, and get committed. Or move back in with my parents. Finding the beauty and humor in this sort of thing is the only way I'll get through it. Maybe that's overly dramatic?
The roofer took some pictures with my camera when he went up to patch the roof. I like this shot, because you can see my couch through the roof. You aren't supposed to see in through a roof.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Haitus, Interupted

There were some seriously bad storms in my area on Thursday. I tree went through the roof of my house. Thankfully, it happened in the best possible spot - you know, relatively speaking. If I had to have a tree through my roof, this is where I would do it. We lost a couch, and our kitchen table to water damage, and the floors are seriously warping. We're still without power. But, all of my books, which were in the addition, where the tree came through were spared, as was my wedding invitations, and my wedding dress. All good things.

We had some tree guys out at 6:30 am on Friday to remove the tree, and just as they were finishing, the roofer called and came over and patched up the holes. He actually finished before the tree guys were done chipping everything they removed.

I took a million pictures for the insurance adjuster and, at some point, I will post them. At the moment, though, we are still without power, so I can't get the shots here. I can only devote so much time at work to blogging.

I hope my Illinois readers (both of you) were spared any major trauma.

For those of you who are expecting wedding invitations - they were going to go out today. I'm staying late at work today to try and get the envelopes addressed. Hopefully, they'll go out this week.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

96% Feminist

You Are 96% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I'm not going to blog for a while. I'm studying for the comprehensive exam for my master's degree, and taking my last course and I just don't have a lot of free time at the moment. Also, there has been some tragedy in my family, and while I don't feel that it is right for me to blog about it because none of the involved members know about my blog, I also can think of little else.

[Deleted because I think my vague explanation was still more information than I have a right to share]

I expect to return after the exam, which is 9/8/07. So, maybe the Monday after I will have something to say.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sigh: Update

I am not fretting over the bridal shower any more. I got our invitation in the mail the day before yesterday - so it probably had gone out when I wrote that post. Regardless, I've decided not to worry about it. I've decided to remember that the point of the party is to celebrate that Mr & I are getting married. I cannot force people to celebrate us and, if they would rather hang out in Cousin's backyard (which is, admittedly, a cool place to be) then that's where they should be. I'm not going to worry about being the center of attention because I don't really want to be the center of attention. I mean, I am very excited about being married - I love Mr, and I am thrilled that we will soon be Mr & Mrs, but that is the only thing that is important here: the fact that I am excited about it. The shower is for other people to join us in the excitement and if that is inconvenient for others, then I would really rather they be where they want to be. Does that make sense?

The day my deal starts is always an emotional roller coaster, and the evite reminder came at a bad time. The shower will be fun even if only my parents and their friends show up - my parents have fun friends and our friends are fun. My cousins are fun, too, but there will be other opportunities to socialize with them if they choose to go somewhere else that night.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Shortest Torso in the World

Apparently, my torso is freakishly short. I've always known that it was on the short side, but I just thought my legs were long for my body. I mean, that sounds better, right? I have really long legs v I have a really short torso... it just sounds better.

One time, a year or so ago, a friend of mine learned that the length of your arms from the tip of one middle finger, across your back, to the other middle finger, is supposed to be equal to your height. She was very excited about this information and insisted on measuring everyone. My wingspan is like 4'11" or something like that. I am 5'3" (and a half! I'm tall! ok, no). This, I thought, supported my theory that my legs are long for my body.

But, no. It seems my body is short for my legs.

I went to Ann Taylor Loft yesterday, on the advice of a friend who said that they have a great petites section with lots of stuff cut for our height (she is probably an inch shorter than me). While I did get a super cute, black, linen, trumpet skirt, I could not find any kind of top that fit me.

I recently applied for a job, and while I still don't have an interview, I am naturally shopping for my interview outfit (though I will not be wearing the skirt I bought. Linen on an interview is a bad idea. You want to look crisp and put-together, not all wrinkly).

ATL had these short-sleeve button-down shirts that seemed perfect. First, they were a shade of blue that really looked good with my eyes - kind of soft, gray-blue - and they had darts so it was fitted and was made of a material with a little give, but no so much Lycra that it never looks pressed. Plus, the first button was placed perfectly... You know what? I'm just going to find a link to it. Hold on... Here. The v-neck is perfect in that it opens up my face, and isn't too low where I'd be worried about being indecent.

So, I grabbed two - the size I was before I lost weight, and the size I usually am now. I've found that petites tend to be slightly smaller than regulars and I still have a bit of a tummy, so sometimes fitted shirts have to be a size up. I optimistically tried on the smaller size first. Too big. Not a lot, and I worried that the next size down would really show the tummy, but it was all weird in the boob area, so I tried the next size down. Now, it was definitely as small as I could go, but the boob part was all goofy. Then I realized, it wasn't that my boobs were to small. I picked it up at the shoulder seams and folded it about an inch. The darts raised up to the proper position, so that my chest was where it should be, the waist just skimmed along my tummy and the bottom on the shirt was perfectly placed so that you could wear it untucked and still look good because it was clearly meant to be untucked.

So, even in the petite sizes, my torso is too small. They seem to decrease/increase the shirt in every way every two sizes or so. Because women who wear a petite twelve are taller than a woman who wears a petite four. Because no one is just bigger. Right? It is so frustrating. When I was heavier, it was downright hilarious trying to find tailored women's shirts. By the time I got a size big enough to fit my width, I would generally have about six extra inches of height on a shirt that had no where to go. It is frustrating to find that, even now, at a pretty healthy weight, I'm still not the right proportion. Because I'm not 100 pounds, and I'm under 5'6", most clothes just don't fit. Of course, I could starve myself for the next six months, lose ten or twenty pounds until I fit into a small enough shirt that the proportions have shrunk, but I just don't think it is worth it.

Good thing I like my tailor. I wonder how hard it is to adjust a blouse?

Monday, July 16, 2007

1987 Was a Good Year

The Princess Bride has always been one of my favorite movies. It was what I watched whenever I was home sick from school. For years, I only knew the version I had taped on tv, and then I saw it in the original form, without commercials, and was shocked at the "extra" scenes. I loved the movie and I was in love with (at different times) both Westley and Inigo.

This, however, makes me very very sad.

Carey Elwes has not aged well. I know it's tough to keep in shape, but he was in good shape not that long ago. I don't know what his last gig was, but it hasn't been THAT long. This shot of him is just so... pasty. But everyone else from the film looks pretty good.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Sometimes, family is tough. I have a cousin who is a very fun guy. He is always coming up with great ideas for excursions and vacations and throws a really good party. However, he is also frequently completely clueless to the world around him.

He sent out a mass email to a bunch of us (cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, etc) about a party that was about two and a half months away. Just a heads up that we'd be getting an evite from a friend of his who we probably don't know. The party was scheduled for the same day as the shower being thrown for Mr & me.

He would have no way of knowing this, since the invites hadn't gone out yet. So, I replied to everyone to say that my shower was that same date. (In my family, we throw couples showers, so it is really more of a party that involves everyone and is generally later at night - dinner and whatnot). One person (another cousin, not the one throwing this party) responded, saying he hadn't heard about that yet and he and his wife might have another commitment.

My cousin just sent out another notice with the evite for the party, which the date hasn't changed, saying they want to get a head count. It is still over a month away and, as far as I know, the invites for my shower have yet to go out. Cousin's party starts at 7. My party is supposed to be a barbecue - so it will probably start around 5:30 or 6. Mr says I shouldn't worry - Cousin and his younger brother (who is scheduled to sing and play guitar at Cousin's party) will be the only ones who leave. However, at least one of my uncles has already responded to the evite saying they will be there.

I'm not inviting many friends to the shower - only the people in my wedding party - so, this is really a family affair. I'm worried that all of the younger cousins will ditch the shower early to go to Cousin's party, leaving me and Mr with my older relatives and my parents' friends, resulting in exactly the type of situation Mr was dreading in the first place, which is why he didn't want a shower.

Of course, his groomsmen and wives will most likely be there so, it won't be a total loss. I like all of those guys and their wives & girlfriends. We'll have fun. But I can't help but feel like I keep getting screwed out of what all of my other cousins have gotten when they were at this point in their lives. It seems like everything I do for our wedding is somehow scheduled inconveniently, and I'm tired of getting teased/asked about it (our actual wedding date is the same as the Notre Dame/USC game and the vast majority of my family is BIG ND fans/alumni). I know that I'm overreacting a little bit. I mean, if they don't want to be there, why would I want them there? And maybe, when they get the invitation, they'll change their plans and be there for me. And I am at a particularly hormonal time of the month, so maybe next week this will seem like no big deal. However, at the moment, I just wish that I wasn't always second to something else and a bit of an inconvenience for everyone. I wish that everyone was as excited for my wedding as they have been for everyone else's.

Geez. I'm really good at the whole self-pitying thing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Flight of the Conchords Ep 4 If You're Into It

This is my new favorite song. You need to watch this show. The more you listen, the funnier it gets. I love how their instruments keep showing up and then disappearing again. Enjoy!

Things I Wanted to Tell You

1. Julia Quinn's novels are like crack for me. I bought two more of the Bridgerton series, planning to read them later. Like, when I'm done with the 10,000 pages I have to read for the MAE exam and my upcoming summer class. I've already finished one and grabbed the second on my way out the door this morning. I wish I lived way far away so that my train ride was hours and hours long, because I CAN'T STOP READING. I love them. I know that I need to do other stuff, but I can't not read these when they are in my reach. It is all I can do not to read it at my desk, at work.

2. I've applied for a new job that I really, really, really, really want, bad. So bad that I called my old boss, made nice, and asked if she had any connections. She did, but who knows how solid they are. Cross your fingers for me.

3. I need to remind myself that, in publishing, summer Fridays are 1/2 days, so the contact that I emailed about the potential new job will NOT respond, no matter how many times I check my email.

4. We're putting carpet tile in the basement this weekend, which will allow us to finally unpack completely and set up a nice house. After that, we have to paint the kitchen, stairs, hall, and living room and we will be presentable for the world. Not that I ever invite anyone over anyway, because I am a person who likes to be home alone, but you know. I could.

5. I really want this job. I feel a little nauseous and I have a headache because I am worrying about it so much.

6. Prepare yourself for the return of the Girl's Guide to Sports. If no one sends me questions - - I will choose the topics myself. You won't know the difference, though, because I will fake questions. Maybe. I haven't really decided. I have several column ideas, and I want to get some in the bag and decide on a regular schedule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things

So, Mavis wants something to do at work. You know, besides her job. Whenever I am too busy to blog, I have a million ideas of things I want to remember to say here. When I have time - which, actually, right now I do not - I can think of nothing to say. But, I didn't want Mavis to be bored and forced to actually work - what would she do if she started turning in things before deadline? She might be forced to work MORE. And I just can't be responsible for that.

Thankfully, Bitch PhD has provided me with some material. She recently wrote about her son's fashion advice here. Definitely worth a quick read.

Her son's advice reminded me of a similarly offensive, yet funny, comment one of my cousins made to me.

This particular cousin is about ten years younger than me. We were at my parents' house during a family reunion. It was summer in Georgia, so I was wearing a little summer dress that was kind of fitted. It was the summer after my freshman year of college, where I had gained the requisite 15 (ok, probably more) pounds. I was never, ever thin, but I had been in better shape. My cousin, who was about 8 at the time, looks up at me and says "You're chubby. But you're cute!"

Um... thanks? I think she truly meant it as a compliment. She was, and still sort of is, stick-thin, as is her mother. Most of my family is pretty athletic, and I think she was genuinely surprised to see someone "chubby" who she really thought was cute. Though I knew she really thought she was giving me a compliment, it was really hard not to punch her cute little face.

There are more (lots more) funny things kids have said here. Enjoy. But, be forewarned, there's a lot here and it is very entertaining, so if you have something that needs to be done, you should do it first.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

My birthday present from Hank:

Mr took me to Gibson's to celebrate. We finished off an awesome steak dinner with the Big Banana Dream Cake. I don't know if you can really get the sense of proportion in this picture - it was taken with my cell phone - but that piece of cake weighed about four pounds and could feed a small village for at least a couple of days. I'm hoping to finish it off this weekend. Note: the piece of cake is almost as tall as my wine glass, and probably a good solid eight inches across.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cell Phones Upset Me

When it comes to high-tech gadgets, I have something of a split personality. While I love the newest, latest, most high-tech things, I don't have the uncontrollable urge to get them for myself. I usually know what's out there, but it takes me a while to get them myself. I just got the Shuffle, which I'm loving, but I didn't buy an iPod until they'd been out for a couple of years, and when I did buy it, I waited until the color-screen version was just released, and then I bought the old two-tone screen one on sale.

When it comes to cell phones, I want something new and fancy, and I'm jealous of friends who get new fancy stuff. However, I myself just want something that I think looks cool and has good sound quality. I like having a camera, because then I can have a picture of Hank on my phone, but all the other bells and whistles tend to not tempt me.

I have been using the Samsung t509 from T-Mobile, and I hate it. At first, I really liked it. It is very slim and everything about it was good. Except that, when the keys were locked it would sometimes dial SOS, and I would take it out of my purse to discover that it was dialing an emergency call. T-Mobile couldn't fix it, so they sent me a replacement. The replacement is... not good. I almost always have trouble hearing the people I'm talking to, and I've heard that my voice breaks up, too. This isn't really something they can fix since, technically, it works. It just isn't as good as the first one I got. Plus, though it is skinny, it is really tall and frequently, it pokes out of my pocket. Part of this is the fact that clothing manufacturers seem to think that pockets are for decoration on women's clothes, but that is a topic for a different rant.

The point is: I don't like the phone. But, I paid for it - actually called them up and paid them money for a phone, when I had one that worked perfectly (which I also bought instead of waiting until my contract could be renewed and getting a low-tech phone for free).

Which made my friend giving me the free Razr he got from At&t perfect - cool, new phone, completely free.

Except that it is locked to at&t's network. T-Mobile said they could unlock it, but they can't. At&t probably won't help me - I'm not their customer, and carriers are notoriously stingy about unlocking phones because then you could use them for anything you want! You could keep your phone and switch networks! The horror! They also will be unlikely to help my friend who is new to them, and therefore has no pull. He thinks because he just spend $600 on the iPhone, they should, but he gave that money to Apple, not them, and I think they won't care.

I have another friend who has been with Cingular for over ten years, and I'm hoping that she'll call for me, but who knows.

Right now, I think I'm going to go back to my old phone, which works fine and is very cute. I just wish I never bought the stupid Samsung to begin with.

*Edited to add: If anyone is interested in my Samsung - when I got it, people seemed to think it was cool - drop me an email, and we can work something out. I would be happy to find it a new home. The guilt of paying for something and not using it would be alleviated if someone else was going to use it. If you're already on T-Mobile, this could be very easy indeed. Drop me a line at: recordstorerita at hotmail dot com

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Think I Might Throw Up

I just ordered my wedding invitations, and I feel a little nauseous. Not because it's finally real or anything silly like that. No, I feel like vomiting because I essentially made it online and just typed everything in and Mr & I checked it, but if I made a typo or something, there's nothing I can do about it. I saw a preview of the invitation, but not the respond card or the reception card, and I have nothing now to look at to make myself feel better. And I have no salesperson to call and ask random questions.

The internet can make things very convenient, but I wish I had been able to find reasonably priced invites in a store. It was convenient for me to order them, but it might also be convenient for them to screw them up and leave me stranded.

Friday, June 29, 2007


I went at lunch with a friend from work to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue. He was going to wait in line for the iPhone, and I wanted to get a shuffle. I've wanted a shuffle for a while and figured I should get it before the whole world went nuts for the iPhone.

I have an iPod, but it is a really old one - huge by today's standards, two-color screen - and I want one I can run with easily without dropping it. Hence, the shuffle.

All Apple stores are closed today from 2-6 in preparation for the release of the iPhone at 6. We tried to leave earlier but got stuck with work, and I didn't get to the store until 1:45. The line was already out of site and an Apple employee and a security guard were manning the door. So, we walk up, and she tells us they're already closing. I told her I knew what I wanted, and was hoping to beat the crowd, and she just said they were already shut down. Instantly, I'm f'ing pissed. Now, I know that's a little ridiculous. My timing sucks. But I didn't want to go to any Apple store this weekend, and I really wanted the damned thing. My friend repeats that I know what I want - just a shuffle (which I had left out) - and a manager overhears. They call me back. I get the shuffle. The Apple employee apologizes.

*phew* for a minute there? I was afraid that my love of Apple might be tainted. I mean, I have never really had a negative customer experience there, and I have always loved any product they've produced. It would stink if their Next Big Thing ruined my love of them. It would have made pining over my friend's new iPhone really tough.

The upside of him getting an iPhone is that I will be getting a new Razor. True, everyone on the planet has had one for like two years, but I haven't, I hate my phone and I really didn't want to give T-Mobile any more money. He got a free Razor for switching to AT&T, and won't need it after he gets his new toy, so I get it (I'm paying him a little something, though he is so nice he wouldn't take much). So, I'm happy. Woo-hoo! New toys for me!

He's currently waiting in a line that, when I left him at the back of it, stretched from the front door, around the corner, down the block, around that corner, and about 1/2 way down the next block. Granted, they have parts blocked off, so no one is blocking streets or alleys, but man. I couldn't do that. Of course, I'm happy with a new phone that is two years old.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've Had a Revelation

You probably don't watch professional wrestling, but you might have heard of the recent tragedy involving Chris Benoit. Google News reports over 2,200 stories on it as of tonight. This isn't really surprising, as horrific crimes are often the subject of intense media attention, even when there is no new information to report.

I can't say anything about what happened. I am a fan of pro wrestling, but I can't say that I have any particular insight on why someone who seemed completely normal would snap and kill their family and themselves. However, I am totally fascinated by how the mainstream media is approaching this story. They seem to have no concept at all about what they're reporting on.

Vince McMahon canceled Monday Night Raw this week and instead aired a tribute to Benoit. The WWE only knew that Benoit and his family had been found dead, so there was no reason to think that Benoit himself was responsible. All of the people associated with the tribute talked about this man who was their friend, who they respected, and who they would miss. Throughout his career he had made a lot of friends and won a lot of respect for being a talented wrestler. I'm not trying to defend him, only to explain why the WWE gave him a tribute - no one would have ever thought he was capable of what he did.

Now the WWE is on the defensive, because there is no easy explanation. They issued a statement commenting on the media's speculation on how steroids played a role in the incident. I would link to it for you, but the WWE has taken down all reference to this from their site. You can, however, check out the Today's show site and see the video of McMahon's interview with Meredith Viera.

I was all about Meredith when she replaced Katie Couric. However, now I have to say, I think she's just as dumb as Katie. She quoted their press release, which said that steroids were not and could not have been involved in this crime. Now, that's a little strong, but if you had read it, you would understand that the point was that this was not a crime caused by "'roid rage." Whatever caused it, it wasn't sudden, uncontrollable rage. Meredith wasn't quite getting that. McMahon said "There was no way of telling this man was a monster. No way of knowing that whatsoever. He was a mild-mannered individual." She responds with "In anyway does pro wrestling contribute to the creation of monsters?"

Really, Meredith? This is what you're asking? Not, were there any indications that he was unwell or if he did anything out of the usual or any other question of any relevance. No, you have to ask if McMahon is creating monsters.

Here's my revelation: Professional Wrestling is to men what Romance Novels are to women. Millions of people enjoy both and yet the mainstream media and just about anyone you run into will deride them as stupid and providing unrealistic expectations in people. Romance novels are accused of creating unrealistic expectations in their readers (which implies that romance readers are so stupid that they base their expectations of reality on the novels they read)*. When someone hears you watch wrestling, they usually says something along the lines of "you watch that? It's so fake." Yes, I know it is fake. When you watch Law & Order, do you think that the murder victims are really dead? Do you think Uma Thurman is really a karate expert and can hold her own against 88 ninja-like assassins?

Mainstream media has the hardest time understanding this. It's entertainment, it's right there in the name. It is essentially a soap opera played out in and around a wrestling ring. The athleticism is real (for most wrestlers, anyway, I have no explanation for Mick Foley's continued presence. He looks like a flight of stairs would kick his ass), but everything else is fake. When they punch each other, they pull the punches. When they're in a "submission hold," they're really just resting. Sometimes, they really get hurt, because it is a dangerous job. I mean, you can't fake jumping off of a thirty-foot ladder. You can learn the best way to land, but gravity doesn't pull punches.

In the article on the Today Show site, they mention Mr. McMahon's recent "death." They talk about how the WWE publicists "claimed" the FBI was investigating it. Um... hello, Today Show? It's FAKE. It's a story! The WWE website is an extension of the show. It's like Margene's blog on HBO's Big Love site. Margene doesn't really exist. "Mr. McMahon" is a character played by Vince McMahon, and his death was part of the story. McMahon doesn't frequently do interviews and whatnot, so you never see him out of character. It's still a character.

To suggest that pro wrestling creates monsters is not only stupid, it's insulting. We know what we're watching is fake, it's only the idiots who think they're too smart for it who think any of it might be real. They're entertainers. They are playing characters. The entertainers who work for the WWE aren't that different from boxers, high school/college/Olympic wrestlers (actually, Kurt Angle, who now wrestles for TNA is an Olympic wrestler), fencers or any other athletes who participate in sports where the goal is to physically dominate your opponent. No one suggested that boxing creates monsters when people found out that Mike Tyson was beating his wife. It is generally acknowledged that Tyson is a little crazy and he wasn't seen as a reflection of the sport as a whole. So why the insanity over professional wrestling?

Mr thinks that this may be the beginning of the end of professional wrestling. That every bad thing anyone ever associated with wrestling has ever done will start to come out and USA will be forced to cancel it. I hope he's wrong. I hope they find out what happened to Chris Benoit so that the many people who looked up to him and called him a friend can find some closure. But I really hope that this one person - who, it seems to me, clearly suffered a severe psychotic break - doesn't define and bring down all of professional wrestling.

*There are many other stupid things that people accuse romance novels of, but I think this is most insulting to the millions of people who read romances.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Catching Up

I got back from Atlanta late on Monday night. I've been relatively lucky with flights for a long time, so I guess I was due for a little airport snafu. My flight was supposed to leave Atlanta at 6pm, and we didn't start boarding the plane until just after 9.

It was a little exciting - apparently, if we were five minutes later than we were, the flight would have "gone illegal" and they would have to cancel the flight. Exciting!

So, I was somewhat worthless yesterday, but now I'm back and trying to get organized. I went with Mavis yesterday to get her measured for her bridesmaid dress and get the shop all set up for my other maids to call in. I didn't realize how late I am in getting all this set. It takes twelve weeks for the dresses to get in. So, in order to be on time for the wedding and get alterations (because, even though they take exact measurements and make the dresses from scratch [I picked the color combo, so it has to be from scratch] they still make them to whatever their sizes are and bridesmaid dresses ALWAYS need altering) they'll have to all call in, like next week. Thankfully, I think most of them are all over it. I think the dresses will look nice, and be flattering to all of them. Compared to the creature of a dress Mavis is sporting this weekend (she's very popular with brides), my dress is awesome.

I also finally got to try on the shoes I've ordered from Zappos. I haven't told you, I think, how much I love Zappos, but someday I will. I love them. Seriously. Shoes make me really really happy, and they let me both shop in my pjs and get shoes almost instantly. Anyway, I've been ordering and trying on potential wedding shoes. Here's the thing: I don't want to pay a ton for wedding shoes because 1. They will most likely be white and how often do I wear white shoes? Almost never. 2. My dress goes all the way to the floor and even has a little train, so unless I pick up my dress and say "check out my shoes!" (which is highly likely), the shoes aren't that noticeable. But, I want them to be comfortable, and I want to dance in them all night long.

I don't approve of wearing one shoe for the ceremony (you should definitely wear both. ha! seriously, folks. I'm here all week) and then changing to slippers to dance at the reception. My dress will be altered for the shoes with heels, so why would I want to switch and get it all gross? Plus, I really think flats are way less comfortable than a modest heel.

So, I ordered a ballroom dance shoe, which is actually more expensive than I was planning on, and some more traditional wedding shoes. The wedding shoes are super cute, and I could totally dye them later to wear again. The problem, is that I'm not so sure they will be comfortable. They might kill my feet. The ballroom shoes are insanely narrow. Like, I couldn't even stand in them because my foot wouldn't go all the way in. Like Cinderella's step sisters trying to force the glass slipper on. Ridiculous.

I'm going to try the wedding shoes on again tonight and try them with hose and such to see if I can make it work. The ballroom shoes are definitely going back, but I'm going to try again with a wider shoe. I'll keep you posted.

On the garden front, the nocturnal creature was actually a squirrel - Mr caught him in the act. He's now become more bold and is destroying the pots on the deck. He only attacks certain stuff though, and it isn't flower-specific. Like he keeps attacking one of the pots in which I've planted marigolds, but none of the others. I am sort of at a loss as to how to stop him. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finally, the Bathroom

Ok, people, you're going to have to bear with me here, as I am not great with Blogger and pictures. Specifically, there are a couple that should be portrait and for some reason I can't get them un-landscape. I trust you can use your imaginations. Or tilt your head to the side.

Behold: the bathroom as the previous owners left it to us.

Note the circus-like stripes, the shitty furniture and the lack of matching woods. The cabinet over the toilet and the vanity were very close - but still not quite matching. What you can't see in this picture is that the finish was coming off of everything that was "metal." The handles on the vanity doors, the faucets, and the drain of the sink. Also unpictured - the giant crack in the toilet tank. Upon further inspection, we realized that it wasn't a crack - at some point, the tank was dropped or hit with something and a big ol' chunk was knocked out. Don't worry though, it was super-glued real good.

The tile. It's a lovely gray shade that looked perpetually dirty. The damn tub was installed incorrectly, causing the waterfall in my living room (I have pictures of that, somewhere, too. I'll see if I can add them) which instigated this whole thing.

The day after demolition. This is the shop vac they used to soak up all the water that was under the tub after the idiot sent to work on my house (one guy was great, his assistant the first day was very nice, but a bit of a knucklehead) removed something in the tub without turning off the water main or even finding out where the water main was, so my ceiling got wet. Again. After we'd had it fixed.

Anyway, this is the original tile. I would have preferred it to the "updated" stuff that was in there.
Oooo! Our fancy new bathroom. This towel hook costs about $25 . But, it's part of the Kohler bathroom set, and it makes me really happy to have it. I love the paint color and our tile and the shower curtain. Sorry, I couldn't get this picture to rotate. Also, they installed a curved curtain rod, which makes the shower seem HUGE when you're in it. You know how sometimes the steam from the shower and the regular air in the rest of the bathroom make the curtain billow in and get in your way? That doesn't happen with the curved rod and I love it. This is my attempt to show you the bathroom as a whole. There's the lovely trim in the shower, and the granite, which you can only see in the reflection, and the picture we found at Bed Bath & Beyond and it just happened to match all the colors we chose. The towel does not match. I've registered for bathroom stuff that matches. I'm hoping to get it at my shower this weekend (because towels I can take back from Atlanta, dishes I'll have to return and re-buy).

Here's a close-up of the glass mosaic. It was taken right after they installed, so it still has some grout haze on it.

Isn't it pretty?
So, I'm leaving Friday morning for Atlanta. I won't be back until Monday night, so I don't know when I'll post again. Probably tomorrow. And Friday morning before I leave. But after THAT, it won't be for a while.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

True Love

One of the vendors who works with Mr's company has been screwing a lot of stuff up lately. In an attempt to keep their business, they offered Mr box seats to the Sox game this coming Saturday. This seems to happen a lot. I have to go out of town, someone offers him something awesome for when I'm gone.

Last year, I went home for a party my parents were throwing. They both turned 60, and celebrated their 20th anniversary that year. The weekend of the party? Mr & I had tickets to Elvis night at Sox Park, and the guys from Broken Lizard were in town promoting Beerfest (which I highly recommend. It isn't an intelligent film but it is very, very funny)- you could play drinking games with them and win something...

Anyway, so now I'm going to Atlanta for a bridal shower, and he gets offered box seats for the Sox.

He gave them to someone he works with, because I won't be there. He knew that I would really want to go and be sad and a little jealous that he got to go without me, so he gave them away.

That's love.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sorry, Rabbit

My apologies to the bunnies. They were not responsible for the flower carnage. It was some sort of nocturnal, evil creature. Probably a raccoon. The good news is, the mulch we put down seems to have convinced them to torture some other garden. Or, there are no more flowers left on the dahlias and they went to find greener pastures. Either way, the garden is making a recovery, woo!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some Letters

Dear Bunnies,

Aren't the new flowers pretty? Mr did such a good job laying out the flower bed with the white and purple petunias (I think...) and the dahlias. I love dahlias. They're so pretty, with the big round flowers with a million perfect petals. And these dahlias are such a rich, beautiful red.

I did not buy them and plant them as food for you. Please stop eating my flowers. While I'm sure they are delicious, they haven't even been in the ground for a week yet. They're annuals, so they won't be back next year, and you're really ruining my enjoyment of them. Aren't you supposed to love Hostas?

Please notice the massive hostas lining the garage and the front walk and in various other places around the yard. Feel free to eat the hostas as much as you like. They're awesome! Plus, they came with the house and I'm not crazy about them. Please, eat the hostas. Give my Dahlias a fighting chance.


Dear Dude who works out a lot,

Wow. You must be at the gym all the time. It's clearly paying off, what with your massive pecs and rippling biceps. I wish I could spend some serious time in a gym, but I'm having a hard time finding one convenient to me. But I digress.

I think you're dedication to your health is impressive. I like that you're putting your best foot forward, however, I think maybe in your gym obsession, you have lost sight of the ultimate goal: to look good in clothes.

I know. You spend a lot of time working on those pecs and delts and whatever, and you want people to know that you are in top physical condition. However, wearing a polo three sizes too small makes the wrong impression. See, when I saw you, the first thought I had was "wow. He works out a LOT." Had you been wearing clothes that fit you, I would have thought "Wow. That guy is hot." See the distinction? You want people to think that you are just really put-together and attractive, not that you spend all your free time working out (even if that is the case). Trust me, clothes that fit will not hide your physique. You'll still look strong, but you'll also look sharp - a total package.


Dear Ladies who commute,

Doesn't the walk from the train suck? My office is a little over a mile from the train, so I know it can be a hike. This, however, is no excuse for those shoes. I know you don't want to trek all over downtown in high heels. Even if your office is only two blocks from the train, I understand. Hey, maybe you never wear heels. That's cool too. But please, please, stop wearing those ugly "comfortable" shoes. Just because they are black leather does NOT mean that they are office-appropriate. Really, there is no situation where those are appropriate.

See, you don't have to wear the shoes you walk to the office in while you're in the office. You see all those ladies in nice suits or slacks with sneakers on? They don't wear them in the office. They have another pair of shoes, something really cute that goes with their outfit, but isn't so great for long walks, tucked into their bags. They get to the office and they change their shoes. They change back before they walk to the train to go home. It's a great system. Try it.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Hank wants you to know that if this were his blog it would be way more interesting. He'd bring you fun stuff everyday, like this picture of him and the only toy he hasn't completely destroyed. See how sweet he is? It's no wonder I'd rather sit on the couch with him than work.

It's finals time. I have to expand a unit plan and write a research paper on The Divine Comedy.

In the meantime, I won't be posting, though I keep having ideas of stuff to write, because I don't want to write the stuff I have to write.

The unit plan is coming along. I'm supposed to expand a plan I already did, which shouldn't take long because I did more than I was supposed to the first time around. However, I've discovered that I can't just half-ass it, probably because I recognize that I very well might teach this unit plan sometime in the near future.

The research paper has me worried.

Expect something slightly more interesting after the 13th (when the last of it is due).

In the meantime, check out my new glasses! (comic-book style).

You can't really tell, but the frames are sort of amber. I think they're groovy.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Late Commentary

So, not long after my last post, Rosie quit The View. I'm so disappointed in her. Her feelings are hurt, and she's letting it get in the way of her job. I mean, it was obvious to everyone that everyone involved was glad she was leaving at the end of the season. But, they all seemed to be dealing with it fairly well. She should have completed her obligation. I think it is kind of sad that she couldn't have held a debate with Elizabeth (who could seriously use a nickname! "Elizabeth" is just too long) about their opposing beliefs without it turning into an argument about who is being a bad friend and whose feelings are hurt. I'm sure the media scrutiny isn't easy, but it seems like Rosie was the only one I ever heard using terms like "fat, mean, lesbian" to describe herself.

I had other stuff I was going to say, about a lot of other topics, but I still have to write something about the Paradiso. Heaven is so boring, I swear. Thirty-three cantos and not a thing I want to talk about. Hell was so much more interesting.

Coming soon: Pictures! I am going to take pictures of the finished bathroom tomorrow - I've decided to wait until someone buys the nice towels for me off the registry, so I'm putting up pictures with our old non-matching towels. Also, we got bookshelves for what will now be referred to as "The Library" because, that's where I'm keeping my books. This is the first time in my life that I have had more shelves than books and it's AWESOME. Of course, this too will change once I go back to my parents' house in June and send the rest of my books back to myself. I'm so excited to have them all together again!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The View

So, I have been watching The View every once in a while when I’m home and supposed to be working on papers for school. I am completely and totally fascinated by the interactions between the hosts.

I love that Elizabeth stands up to Rosie and argues with her. I think it is really interesting to hear someone who strongly agrees with Republicans argue their points. I don’t happen to agree with her, but I think Rosie is also a little too far to the left. But what I love is the way they argue.

All of the women on the view know that Rosie is a lighting rod for criticism, and Rosie, I think, enjoys that. You can see the other women just waiting for this season to be over, so that they can get back to what the show used to be. But you can also see that they are annoyed with her, and I think she knows it. Because these debates between Rosie and Elizabeth always include something about how Rosie is portrayed in the media. The most recent debate – from the May 23rd show – has them arguing about President Bush.

Joy Behar starts the conversation with a list of things that Bush has done in his presidency. Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have recently come out saying that Bush is doing a terrible job, and Joy wants to know why he’s still in office. [I have to say that while the way Bush got into the White House is something of a sham, he did win the election in ’04. The democrats screwed up and couldn’t find a candidate who could defeat Bush. We can’t get him out because, though he has screwed up mightily, he hasn’t done anything worthy of impeachment. We shouldn’t have gotten into this war, but we’re in it, and we can’t pull out now. It would be immoral to go into a country, throw it into chaos, and not help get that country back on its feet. ANYWAY] Elizabeth has something to say, of course, and Rosie interrupts.

For Rosie, this whole thing is not about her lefty beliefs versus Elizabeth’s righty beliefs. It’s that she thinks Elizabeth doesn’t like her. Someone on Fox news said that Rosie think that our troops are terrorists. When that was brought up on the show, Elizabeth said “why don’t you take this opportunity to explain what you meant.” Rosie took that as an insult. She thinks Elizabeth should have defended her. Now, what she said was something along the lines of – innocent people are dying in Iraq every day, so who are the terrorists? I think she meant to imply that our government, who sent the troops over there, is treading dangerously close to being just like the terrorists. But, she never clarifies that on the show. I think she could have made a valid point, but instead of explaining herself and discussing what she intended to get across, she focuses on how Elizabeth should have defended her. Elizabeth is trying to say that what Rosie said was a little ambiguous and, while she realizes that Rosie isn’t accusing our troops of terrorism, she can see how people might have misinterpreted it. Rosie can’t believe Elizabeth is siding with the crazy republicans. They’re supposed to be friends, and Elizabeth should have supported her. Personally, I love watching Elizabeth try to talk over Rosie (which I think is impossible) and I love watching Joy attempt to mediate and bring it back to the issue at hand. You can see her thinking “I’m supposed to be the loud-mouthed broad on this show.”

Now I’m off to watch today’s show, which will hopefully have more arguing fun.

You can watch the May 23rd argument on You Tube here.

Edited to add: Just to be clear, I consider "loud-mouthed broad" to be a pretty high compliment. Joy Behar is a great comedian and has performed in the Vagina Monologues (as have I) which makes me like her a lot. She's very smart, and I think adds a lot to The View. I recently discovered that she started out as a High School English teacher, which makes me like her even more.

Also, today's show had no arguments. They cut the intro / chat portion significantly, I guess so they'd have time to do all of the many summer cooking demonstrations. It kind of sucked.

Told You So!

I never get around to watching Dancing with the Stars when it is actually on. I was under the impression that this week would be the finals, not last Tuesday. When I realized my mistake, I took great pains to not hear who won, so that I could watch it myself. I watched it this morning. While I did manage to skip through a lot of it.... damn. They stretch that shit out. The final show was two hours long! Two hours!

Anyway, Apolo won. Yeah! I think that Joey Fatone was excellent, and was looking as good as Apolo near the end, but I think Apolo came farther. Joey is sort of a trained dancer and an experienced performer. While Apolo was probably used to the kind of pressure they were under, he had to learn a whole new skill and he did it beautifully.

I just love that show.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Honeymoon Dreams

So, we're not sure where we'll go for our honeymoon. We were thinking Hawaii, because it seems like the thing to do for a honeymoon. Then, we were thinking we should go somewhere in the Caribbean - it's cheaper than Hawaii and basically the same thing, but with gambling! Except that we're getting married in October, which is still Hurricane season. Mr is not lucky, and if we go there, we will get to experience a hurricane.

So we're back to Hawaii.

One of the ideas we had thrown out there was Disney World. I think it would be fun. We can go at an off-peak time and save money and experience less crazy kids hopped up on sugar. So I did a little research. Turns out, Florida is in Hurricane season, too. I know, I should have realized that, but I didn't.

Not that it matters to Disney. Nope. Their season is entirely determined by the school schedule, and not Hurricanes. But whatever.

I was looking at Disney again this morning, because though we do think we'll go to Hawaii, we both agreed that it might be fun to go to Disney World someday. I thought I found a really good deal. Disney has these "wonderful weeks of Disney" where you can go for cheaper. I found a villa at their beachfront resort with a dining plan for less than a regular room at the same resort. Awesome, right? So, it's a studio, no big deal, that's like a regular hotel room with a kitchen. Here's the details:

Studios offer views of a parking area. The Studios have one queen-size bed and a double sleeper sofa, dining table with two chairs, and private balcony. Studio amenities include microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker and wet bar.

1 Bedroom Villa

Ha! "Studios offer views of a parking area." I love that. Like it's a bonus or something. I can just imagine us sipping coffee, reading the paper, watching the morning valet guys come in for their shift. Ah... the magic of Disney.

Of course, you can get a view of the water or the park or whatever, it will just be an extra $816.72.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have never been tagged before. I feel honored. I generally skip memes that require a lot of independent thought. Not that I don't like thinking, but I always like what other people say better, and am more clever with guidelines to follow. Anywho...

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.
  1. I am taking a class on teaching literature, and we did a poetry unit first. Though I hate poetry - in the sense that I just don't really get it - I am fascinated by the teaching of it. I find myself wanting to try out assignments and try writing various very difficult forms, just to see if I can. (My favorite form of the moment, The Villanelle: wikipedia explanation, awesome cartoon example)
  2. I miss Gilmore Girls. Thank goodness Dancing with the Stars is still on.
  3. I have to skip the ceremony of a good friend's wedding because of the comprehensive exam for my master's degree.
  4. Last week, I hit a new all-time low weight since I started dieting last March (that's a year ago, not two months ago). Total weight lost: 16.5 pounds. Time to lost it: 14 months. I am not a good, consistent dieter, but I seem to have turned a corner in my relationship with food. Now when I go "off" the diet, I seem to still eat (relatively) well and maintain my weight, plus or minus about three pounds. Before, I would exercise like mad, eat very little and then give it all up altogether and eventually get back to my original weight. I think this is a very positive thing. So what if I only lose on average 1.2 pounds per month?
  5. I am waiting, expecting something to happen, to give me an excuse to sabotage myself and my weight before the wedding. Everyone tells me that "all" brides lose weight before the wedding because of stress, and I know I'll be stressed, but I am not all women. My reaction to most emotions is eating. So, though I feel more confident, I'm also waiting for something to happen so that I will be just over the point where I like the way I look in pictures. Then, for the rest of my life, I can hate my wedding pictures because I was "fat." That is, of course, until I have children, gain even more weight and then feel bad that I hated myself then when I wish I could weigh that now (as I currently feel with most pictures of myself from high school).
  6. I recently discovered that Dante's Divine Comedy is pretty good if you get the right translation. Stick with Ciardi. Avoid like the plague the Oxford World Classics translation which seems to think that blank verse is the best way to get across Dante's brilliance. Morons.
  7. Hank is stinky. We have to give him a bath tonight, so that I can give him his flea and tick protection (you don't have to bathe a dog before you give them the stuff, but you essentially just pour it on their back, between the shoulder blades, and you can't wash them for several days after and that dog needs a bath NOW).
And now for some tagging. I'm not sure I can get to seven, because I don't really know a ton of bloggers. Plus, the ones I do know have been tagged already. But, here goes: Mavis, and um... yeah. The other two people I might have tagged have already been tagged. There are a lot of awesome blogs I read, but I don't really "know" them in the sense that I've ever communicated with them, so I'm not tagging.