Monday, December 03, 2007

Food!

I’ve been feeling lately like my whole life is in upheaval mode, with the move and the constant commuting and trying to fit in the gym five or six days a week, there really isn’t much time for me. Also, I’ve been struggling with the feeling of being isolated. I forget that when there is no traffic we’re only a 40 minute drive away from our friends, because I sit in traffic everyday coming home and it just feels SO FAR AWAY. I also HATE winter. HATE HATE HATE. I hate the cold, I hate that it’s barely light when I leave for work and twilight (if I’m lucky) by the time I get home. Seasonal depression makes a TON of sense to me.

So in the interest of maintaining my sanity and having something to focus on other than the dark and cold and far away-ness from my friends I’ve been trying to get back into cooking. Most of you know that I used to cook, A LOT. I sort of lost interest in my tee-tiny apartment kitchen and gradually stopped trying new things and experimenting, relying instead on the same few recipes that I knew TheBoy loved. Occasionally I would cook something fancy, when we had company or it was a special occasion, but truly it’s been forever since I actually cooked for the simple joy of cooking.

But the other night I made THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER.

**********

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Grits and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce
For chicken

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 small fryer chicken (about 3 pounds), quartered

For sauce
1 cup beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine

3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 3/4 cup)
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves

For grits
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits

Make chicken:
Mix oil, garlic and rosemary in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to oil mixture; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate chicken at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Make sauce:
Boil both stocks and wine in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and golden, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to bowl. Add mushrooms to same skillet and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add stock mixture and cream to skillet and simmer until reduced to sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Mix in pancetta and sage. Season to taste with pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove chicken from marinade. Grill until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Make grits:
Bring stock, cream and butter to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until grits are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon grits onto plates. Place chicken atop grits. Spoon sauce over; serve.

**********

The only changes I made were that I didn’t grill the chicken (we’re out of propane) and I didn’t use a whole chicken. I substituted bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (since I had them in the freezer) and I roasted them in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes and then broiled them for a few minutes to get the pretty color. Also, I wouldn’t waste your money on shiitakes since the sauce is fairly overwhelming with the pancetta and broth reduction and cream. If you really like the flavor of shiitakes make something else, I’m just saying. I used a combo if white and cremini mushrooms. Much cheaper, still tasty.

Other than those changes I followed this recipe to a t (which I NEVER do but it got such good reviews I thought I wouldn’t mess with it). Y’all. Those grits are like the best I have ever had! I now have a new stand-by recipe. SO GOOD. And the sauce was so rich and creamy. Mmm… Not waist band friendly by any means but sometimes a girl just needs a full fat meal. And a half box of lactaid. :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Germy germy

Y'all. I just woke up from one of those dreams. You know, the kind it isn't polite to talk about on the internets? I rolled over in bed but instead of seeing TheBoy's sleeping form I was confronted with the kleenex box and a pile of tissues. Then it hit me, oh yeah, I feel like crap! Also, of course TheBoy wouldn't be home (though I could have sworn it was his job to attend to my every need! no?), its a Tuesday morning and normal people go to work on Tuesdays. People with 102 degree temperatures and wicked sore throats do not.

I am maybe the world's worst sick person. I hate being around sick people, a fear that keeps me out of the doctor's office except for dire emergencies of migraines or when she's holding my prescription refills hostage. You know. So I would never in a million years admit to being sick if I didn't have to, and I can be as stubborn as a three year old on this. I'll admit to feeling "tired" or "cold" but never sick. I can go weeks like this. Case in point - last year I ignored the "touch of a cold" I had for so many weeks I ended up in the urgent care with Pneumonia. I'm just saying is all.

Sometimes my body takes matters into its own hands (er... so to speak) like it did yesterday afternoon. I have been feeling "tired" and a little "not well" for a couple weeks now but being the trooper that I am (in denial) I still have maintained my active schedule with the house and the commuting and all that. Until yesterday. All day at work I wasn't feeling right. On the way home I made TheBoy stop to get me a Red Bull since there was painting to be done and I couldn't let a little tiredness get in the way of an organized kitchen!

I should have known by the fact that I was unreasonably cold given the outside temperature, I maybe should have guessed by the headache I couldn't kick, or maybe the increasing soreness to my throat which was not going away despite all the water I had drank. But no, it wasn't until it was about 8:00 at night when I burst in to tears (hello three year old) for no apparent reason - "I don't know why I'm crying - I just don't feel good!" - that I had to admit, maybe, I was sick. Of course that Red Bull didn't help, and laying in bed wide awake at midnight with a fever and a wicked sore throat does nothing to improve the temper. I. HAD. STUFF. TO. DO!!!

My body and I disagree clearly. But today I'm trying to be the responsible adult and have resigned myself to a day of internets browsing and reading in bed. Me, the kleenex and the cat. I've justified it to myself because the only thing I hate worse than going to the doctor's (because there are SICK people there) is going into work only to hear the sniffles of a co-worker a few cubes over. I've been known to leave my bottle of Purell on someone's desk while they are in the restroom. I mean really? Can you just keep your germs at home and not bring them to work where they are recirculated through the entire building courtesy of the central air system? That'd be super.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Everything and Nothing

I FINALLY have my ring back. I swear I was without it almost as long as I was with it. It feels strange all over again. I was just getting used to the damn thing! Also, it’s official… I have the world’s teeniest fingers. We had the ring re-sized to a 4.25 and it still slides easily over my knuckle! But it fits WAY better y’all. I no longer am afraid to wash my hands for fear it might go sliding down the drain and I doubt I could fling it across a bar now, much to TheBoy’s relief I’m sure.

I think TheBoy and I are going to try and get a little engagement celebration time in this weekend because even though we’ve been engaged almost a month I still can not seem to bring myself to be properly excited about it. I even had the full on girl freak out cry fest in the car on the way home yesterday evening. Poor guy. It just seems like with all of my other friends who have gotten married there were lots of excitement and parties and congratulations and so on and with us… its more like, “oh, great news, about time” and that’s it.

And the worst part is that I totally get it! Because I sort of feel the same you know? It’s not like we sit at home and giggle to ourselves because we’re SO EXCITED we’re engaged. It’s more like something that was missing has finally snapped into place. But I guess deep down in some previously unacknowledged place I really would like to have some excitement and congratulations and parties. Because it just doesn’t feel… real. I guess. Anyway, maybe I’ll feel better once TheBoy and I have had a little mini-celebration. I certainly feel better now that I have my ring back! :D

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Throwing Stones (or how I almost became un-engaged)

As I was getting ready to leave work last Friday a friend suggested that I have a “glass or three of wine” over the weekend. Now I’m not sure if by “weekend” he meant the ENTIRE weekend or just that evening but… Being the good friend I am I took his words to heart and when the invitation for happy hour to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday arrived I promptly accepted.

AND I had my three glasses of wine. Or that’s as many as I’ll admit to anyway now that I know my mom reads this here blog. Hi Mom! Love you!

Ahem.

Let’s just say many, many hours passed and general good times were had by the birthday boy and all in attendance. There was laughing, there were stories told… And you RF’s of Tiffy KNOW how I get when I tell stories when there is wine involved. I should have been Italian I tell you what. Arms go flailing and there are re-enactments, sometimes I use voices. I do LOVE telling a good story.

I just realized that at this point in the story we need to have a little tangent. Hi, welcome to my disjointed blogging!

So when TheBoy and I started looking at rings several months ago every where we went we had my finger sized. We heard pretty much the same thing at every store. I was either a 4.75 or a 5 but I should go with a slightly larger size since a) I wanted a thicker band and b) once you get the engagement ring on with the wedding band the rings feel tighter together. Fair enough. So when it came time for TheBoy to order my ring he ordered it in a size 5. He proposed, I cried, we laughed, and I have been happily wearing that ring ever since.

Well except the ring was a little looser than I thought it ought to be. I mean it slipped quite easily over my knuckle. Also? It spins. Like all the way around my finger so that I am either wearing the stone between my ring finger and pinky (which is SO comfortable) or the stone is pointing in at my palm and I have nothing but a plain band showing on the outside. The later of those two things is very uncomfortable if you happen to sleep with your palm cupping your cheek. I’m just saying… People might tease you for having a square indent on your cheek.

So, after conferring with the interweb and many girlfriends I took myself and my loose, spinning ring over to the jeweler across the street from my office last week to see what could be done. I originally thought I would just have those bumps put in the bottom of the ring like Michele had in hers to stop the spinning. The lady there called them speed bumps which made me laugh. So the first thing she did was size the ring. I informed her it was a size 5, which she smiled at and sized my ring anyway. Guess what? Size 5.25. Actually she said it was BETWEEN a size 5.25 and a 5.5. Either way definitely not a 5. This was our first problem.

Clearly sensing that something was wrong here, or that I had no freaking idea what I was doing, the woman next decided she should measure my finger. You know, just to see. Y’all. She whipped out her little ring keychain looking thing and started slipping rings on and off my fingers like a maniac (clearly not her first time!) finally stopping trying to decide between two sizes. The tighter of the two was a size 4 and the looser a 4.25. I actually pulled that little key ring thing out of her hand and squinted at the sizes to make sure myself. HOW COULD THIS BE? Anyway, even if you guys are not math whizzes you can figure out that a size 5.25+ ring does not fit well on a size 4.25- finger. No wonder that damn thing was spinning.

So the speed bumps were clearly not the answer, the ring would need to be re-sized. The jeweler across the street quoted me a price but mentioned that if my fiancé (!) wanted to take it back to where he bought it they would probably re-size it for free. As soon as I got back to the office I called TheBoy and informed him of the ginormousness of the ring and the teeniness of my fingers, to which he was surprised about the ring but not the fingers. And yes, he said, the place he bought the ring did say they would re-size it for free. Of course being the typical girl I am, I wanted to keep the ring just a wee bit longer so I told him we’d send it in “later” since it hadn’t really been THAT much of a problem.

So fast forward to last Friday night and my co-workers birthday and my glass or three of wine. And the stories. I was standing out on the patio talking to a friend about… something. Something that required hand gestures clearly, when all of a sudden I felt a strange lightness on my hand. OMG y’all the ring had gone flying! I immediately stopped talking and started peering into the dark shadowy puddles in the direction that I thought the ring must have gone praying to see something sparkly. Talk about insta-sober! About 42 hours later (or maybe 15 seconds, who knows) the guy I had been speaking with tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and there he is, HOLDING MY RING!

Y’all! I snatched that thing up so fast you’d have thought it was the last piece of food on a buffet line. No sooner had the words “Thank GOD, Please don’t tell TheBoy, he’ll KILL ME!” come out of my mouth then up pops that darn boy. Man if he doesn’t have the world’s worst timing. I may or may not have mentioned my less than stellar fibbing abilities before on this here blog? Well let’s just say they are NOT improved by wine. So of course I had to fumble through the whole story, trying to laugh it off.

“Ha Ha, I was just standing here and the ring FLEW off, but then co-worker found it over there by that empty keg, isn’t that HYSTERICAL?!?!? Honey??”

Ahem.

The ring went back to the jeweler to be sized first thing Monday morning.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Details, details

So. Heh. You guys are probably wanting some details and stuff huh? Like HOW we got engaged and WHEN and all that fun stuff? And also, like how the heck did this come about from the man who swore he’d never get hitched? Or along that vein, now it might all make sense why TheBoy and I bought a house together when I swore I wouldn’t so long as we weren’t married. Ahem.

So, let’s see… Around the time of our six year anniversary last June we started that same old conversation again about buying a house and THE FUTURE and so on and so forth. Only this time it had a slightly different ring to it. I’m not sure if it was the SIX YEARS or if it was the feeling of OMG we really should be homeowners or what but something was slightly different. Anyhow, to make an incredibly long, L-O-N-G, story short TheBoy finally conceded that marriage WAS a logical next step and I agreed that I would begin to look at houses. The rest, as they say, is history.

We began sort of looking at rings here and there and trying to figure out what sort of wedding we wanted. In August when we joined my parents in Lake Tahoe for a week we positively fell in love with being up there and realized that we are never happier than we are when we are at the lake. However, since we couldn’t possibly host a wedding on our ski boat, and Lake Shasta not exactly being a desirable vacation destination (Redding, CA is sort of… redneck, even for me), we started to look around more closely at the beautiful Lake Tahoe.

We fell in love with the first boat we set foot on and luckily for us our 7 year anniversary is a Friday next year AND the boat happens to be available for charter that night. SOLD! So we put a tentative hold on the boat / date that very day, BEFORE we were even engaged. TheBoy and I have never been anything but unconventional y’all. Cart before the horse and all that. I mean we are the couple who moved in together a mere five months after beginning dating, he quit college y’all! We had our first apartment alone by our first anniversary and have been trucking along quite nicely ever since. It seemed perfectly reasonable to plan our wedding before being engaged.

We had begun looking at houses before leaving for Tahoe but had been having some issues getting all of our financing in line. However, shortly after returning home (or right before we left I can’t recall) we found out we were all approved and we were ready to go. Once that green light flashed it was basically a blur. We put in a bid on a home we had been eyeing for months and was accepted with a two week close the next day. Ya’ll pretty much know the rest of THAT story. When we moved in we received two bottles of rather nice champagne as house warming gifts, one from our realtor and one from TheBoy’s mother. The one from our realtor we opened right away and the other was just sitting in the fridge waiting for a night that didn’t involve take-out or sweating or… something.

A couple weeks ago, September 14th to be exact, TheBoy and I got home from work and changed into our typical gruddy work on the house outfits. Y’all may recall this was the beginning of the painting of the house weekends. No? Well trust me. Anyhow, TheBoy opened the other bottle of champagne! I found this a little odd, celebrating painting, but I do love champagne! Really, there isn’t a great romantic grand gesture story… He asked me to marry him over some fantastic champagne, in the kitchen of the house we own together. I cried, as I am prone to do. He laughed at me, which he is prone to do. Then I laughed. We called our parents, ordered a pizza (which I now call our “engagement pizza” every time we order it) and started taping off walls.

It was… perfect. And I am perfectly happy.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Before and After (Office and Master Bedroom)

Not that I want to detract from the news below... So scroll down if you haven't read our BIG! NEWS! yet.



But. People keep asking for pics of all the work we are doing at the house. Which at this point consists mainly of sheet rock and painting. But whatever. So I took a few pics last night of the two whole rooms we have that look even remotely presentable. Meaning they have furniture in them that is supposed to be there. IE: beds in the bedrooms and so on. Please disregard the overall messy look. Normally I am a neat freak and AR house keeper but there is construction going on.



So this is the smallest of the three bedrooms and it immediately got dubbed the office. Oddly it was the first room we focused on. (For those of you who don't know TheBoy and his eleventy-two billion computers that was slight sarcasm.)



Office before with dreary white institutionalized walls and boring white carpets...







Office after. With $200 Costco bookcase and $60 Craigslist desk to replace the one that met an untimely demise during the move but would have been far too large for this teeny tiny room anyhow. Don't mind the laundry on the rocking chair... The closet it belongs in is still under construction and I can't get to it at the moment. Ahem.







Master bedroom. By my vote (demand) this was the second room that had to be finished. I was tired of climbing over boxes and through plastic to get ready for work every morning. Also? Not having blinds on the windows makes getting dressed just THAT much more exciting! Don't you agree? You can't tell from this picture but it's actually fairly nice sized AND it has it's own master bath. It may resemble a postage stamp... But it's still a master bath!





I tried to break the after shots into two to give you a better idea of how spacious the room is. This is with my back to the closet looking at the bed, bathroom on the right. Coincidentally, we're thinking of painting the kitchen/bathrooms the color of that duvet... Just thought I'd share.



This is standing in the door way looking in to the room bed on the right, closet on the left just out of view. Also, in case you are wondering... All the rooms are this beige-y, pumpkin color (living room, bedrooms, hallway) except the bathrooms and kitchen. Well actually the kitchen is currently this color but as I mentioned before it blends a little to closely with the color of our oak cabinets and I hate it so I'm hoping to rectify that this weekend with a nice brick red.






Clearly the walls need art and finishing touches have not been made. Also, a thorough cleaning is in order. But you get the idea.


This concludes our tour. :D

Hell Hath Frozen Over



And in case you missed that...


Yeah. So. Um... That's sort of my big announcement. TheBoy and I are making it official. We're engaged. And I know I owe you all lots of details and stuff. No it didn't happen last night (though those pics are from last night). I had to tell all the RF's first though cause I was afraid they'd be slightly miffed if they read about it first on the internets. So I apologize for keeping this from y'all. And it's sort of why my posting has been a wee bit... stilted for oh... MONTHS now!

But yay! Let the celebrations begin!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crazy Eight

So I got tagged with this eight random facts and/or habits thing back in May. I am totally on top of the ball people. Shut up. But better late than never right? Luckily for you though, dear readers, because I waited so long many of you have already done this so I tag… no one! Of course if you feel like doing it and haven’t consider yourself tagged by all means.

I’m mildly afraid to do this meme actually… But here goes. And remember you all have to love me regardless of what you learn here. I am a good person no matter how crazy I may be! I swear!

1) I have a routine for everything. I am not sure if this is because I am OCD or because I am particularly forgetful but either way, breaking the routine upsets me. For example, showering. When I get in the shower, the first thing I do is wet my hair. Then I wash my face. Twice. Then I shampoo my hair followed by conditioner which sits while I wash. I shave my legs (yes, every day, sorry ladies) then I wash the conditioner out. Then if I have time I just stand in the hot water for awhile before getting out. If I take any one of these things out of order I will forget something. Also, when we moved to the new house TheBoy put the shampoo and conditioner on the opposite sides of the shower rack thingy than they were on in the old apartment. This caused a lot of wasted conditioner as I reached for, and dispensed, the WRONG product from the RIGHT side for a week at least before I had the presence of mind to switch the bottles. That is a true story.

2) I heard on Oprah that the correct amount of time to wash your hands is the time it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday song. So I do that now every time I wash my hands. It is embarrassing when I forget and start singing or humming out loud. In the public restroom. I’m just saying. Also? Somehow I got it into my head that it was the hot water not the soap that makes your hands clean so sometimes I scald myself when I am washing my hands. I think this is why I am addicted to hand lotion.

3) I think I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s amusing so it bears repeating. I count things. Like how many steps there are in the parking garage outside my office. Or how many steps it takes me to get from my car parked in the free parking out in the back forty to my office downtown. Usually this counting occurs in the typical dance or cheer fashion (1,2,3,4 - 2,2,3,4 - 3,2,3,4) or (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 - 2,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) etc… I also have been known to count lines in crosswalks and other such items when bored. But mainly it has to do with steps or stairs.

4) I am obsessed with food. Ingredients, calories, the newest thing. You name it, I have to know about it. Now. I read the back of boxes for the ingredients and nutrition info. I’m sure this drives people crazy but I CAN’T HELP IT! I’m notorious for looking up the ingredients and calorie information of restaurant food online. I really got into the chemistry of food a few years ago like WHY food reacts the way it does to certain things. I’m always interested in new ingredients and stuff when I see them at the farmer’s market or read about them in the numerous newsletters and magazines I subscribe to. And now that I have a decent kitchen I can’t wait to start cooking again. So exciting!

5) Growing up I switched schools every two years until high school. At which point I’m pretty sure I begged to be able to complete all four years at the same school. I don’t remember Kindergarten but I was in Mississippi with Jim for 1st grade so that was one school. Then I went to a different school for 2nd grade and maybe 3rd. I can’t remember if I switched to the next school in 3rd or in 4th but I know I went to the same school for 4th and part of 5th and then off the next for the rest of 5th and 6th. Then I started yet another school for 7th and 8th before FINALLY landing in high school where I stayed all four years. I think this affected me in college because even though I still have no B.A. degree (I do have my A.A. though) I’ve been to SIX colleges!

6) I STILL don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Despite having been in the same industry for a decade, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t something else out there for me. And it’s not so much that I don’t think I want to be in this industry, I think it’s that I want to take on a more challenging role within this industry. Or maybe I want to change industries. I don’t know. I am totally conflicted y’all. I just feel like I should be more… passionate? Something.

7) I do crazy things in the car. Like rehearse conversations with people complete with multiple responses and reactions and then my possible responses and reactions. I also sing. Loudly. Even so I mock other people who act crazy in their cars. I’m looking at you Mr. Nose Picker Man. Or the guy who pulled up next to me yesterday singing totally off key to Michael Bolton with the windows down. I’m thinking Michael Bolton is a windows up kind of music. I’m just saying is all. The fact that I recognized the song as Michael Bolton is a moot point and shall not be discussed.

8) I am a girl of instant and overwhelming emotions. For example, I can go from wide-awake, life of the party to passed out asleep in about 1.2 nano-seconds. Also, I will swear up and down I am not hungry only to be ravenous moments later. And if I do not eat immediately upon becoming aware of the hunger? I will become nauseous and ill and thus unable to eat. It’s a viscous cycle y’all! In addition to these charmingly annoying traits I tend to get bored easily. So while watching a movie might have seemed like the BEST. IDEA. EVER. twenty minutes ago I now want to go play pool. Y’all I have maybe the world’s most patient friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Saga of the Couches

Listen my children and you will hear… oh wait, wrong story. Yesterday was the much anticipated and eagerly awaited day that TheBoy and I were scheduled to pick up our beautiful new couches. So, you might ask, did I spend last night lounging around drinking wine and otherwise enjoying my new sofa and loveseat? No. Indeed I did not. Let me explain.

As previously mentioned my wonderful mother purchased TheBoy and I a new sofa and love seat as a housewarming gift. To be precise, we ordered the sofa-bed and loveseat we had been eyeing at Jennifer Convertibles (in Mocha Micro Suede) and she is paying for them. We decided to go for the upgrade on the lifetime fabric protection guarantee for cleaning and replacement and whatnot. Given our propensity for wine drinking (and spilling, ahem) it seemed like an awesome idea! To save ourselves some $$$ we decided to pick up our new couches at the warehouse instead of having them delivered. This also helped off-set the cost of the fabric protection plan.

Now, to pick up the sofas we had to take a PTO day from work as the warehouse is only open two Tuesdays a month from 7:00 to 9:00 am. Luckily for us the warehouse is located in a town only a few miles from our new home. Since we had to have several other inspections done at the house anyway which could only be done during the week we figured we’d bite the bullet and take the time off to get everything done at once. Pick up of the couches was arranged, inspections scheduled and we planned on getting a lot of work done around the house.

Saturday morning we got a call from someone at the Jennifer Convertibles store where we bought the couches telling us there had been a “mix up” and that our couches would not be available for pick up at the warehouse on Tuesday. We were understandably annoyed by this news but called the woman back to see what other arrangements could be made. Originally they couldn’t tell us WHEN the couches would be available for pick up but they would deliver them (for a fee of course). We kept telling them no, that unless they would deliver them for free, and on a Saturday since we already had to take one day off work, we would go ahead and pick them up at the warehouse on the next available Tuesday. Much confusion and annoyance ensued. Managers were consulted. I believe TheBoy even threatened to call the corporate office to complain about someone’s customer service.

Finally, after WE had to call THEM back, TWICE (!), we discovered that our couches will be available for pick up on Tuesday October 9th. Not ideal since we already had everything scheduled for the coming Tuesday (yesterday) but whatever, two more weeks won’t kill us. Then in typical left hand not knowing what right hand is doing fashion, the warehouse called and left us a message on Monday during the day confirming our pick up for the following day. That small glimmer of hope was dashed upon a quick call to the store to confirm that no, our couches still were not available and yes, the warehouse people were idiots. Awesome.

So, there you have it. We STILL have no couches and are resigned to drinking wine and watching movies from the relative comfort of our pillow covered floor for the next two weeks. The good news is that we are 99.5% done with the painting in the living room, office, guest room, master bedroom and hall way. Yay! There are a few places that need some touch up but for the most part… finished! I’m hoping to start re-taping the kitchen this week/weekend so I can re-paint in there. AND our bedroom is pretty much finished off now except for finishing touches like art so now we have TWO rooms that are pretty much done. It’s almost like we live there y’all. Pictures soon!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Moment of Truth

I have always said that a couple should live together before they get married. I know that not everyone agrees with that. Certainly my very conservative Pentecostal church friends did not. And now, after TheBoy and I have lived together for five and a half of the six years we’ve been together, I would say that even co-habitation DID NOT prepare us for home ownership. There is just such a marked difference between renting an apartment in which all the decision making abilities are taken from you and owning a property where every little detail is up to either you or your significant other to deal with. Let’s just say that the last four weeks have been a… learning experience.

For example, I think TheBoy has finally come to terms with the fact that I am really and truly OCD. Before I think he thought it was cute (oh there she goes counting the stairs again) but now? Now I think he wants to throw blunt objects at my head. But I can’t help it y’all! THINGS MUST GET DONE RIGHT NOW. Seriously. Unfinished projects around the house stress me out to the point where I am literally ill. Can you say migraines anyone? TheBoy on the other hand? He is perfectly happy to flit from project to project leaving a trail of half finished items in his wake. It’s enough to make ME want to throw blunt objects at HIS head. I’m just saying is all.

Also, for all my OCD and craziness I am a decision maker. If given options I will generally chose one and be done with it. I don’t second guess, I don’t agonize, I just… decide. And I am happy. TheBoy? He’s one of those… careful decision makers. He wants to research ALL the options and review the features and then think about it. After this rather um, lengthy process he will narrow down the options to a smaller group and then do some MORE research and review MORE options and spend some time negotiating price before going home to “think about it” for awhile. It’s enough to make a girl want to scream. And I think me trying to “rush” the decision-making process leads to feelings of either nagging or passive-aggressive behavior. Neither of which I am particularly fond.

It is amazing either of us have un-battered heads really. But all in all it’s been good. Really we don’t fight that often (with the notable exception of some doozies about us and our future) so its sort of refreshing in a way to know that we can fight and still be fine. We still love each other (even if we don’t particularly LIKE each other all the time) and we’re in this thing for the long run. AND our house is really coming along, even if I can’t get TheBoy to keep a paint brush in his hand for more than an hour at a time! I can’t wait for the day when the house is (mostly) finished and we can have people over to see all our hard work.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go stock up on blunt objects…

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Update!

The painting has commenced! We spent the better part of the weekend taping and painting and cutting to our little hearts content. And I am proud to say that we are maybe about half way done. Doh! Who knew painting was so much work? But it is high on the instant gratification scale so I’ll let it slide.

There have been a FEW slight down sides to this whole painting business though...

~ Most of our furniture is currently outside on the kitchen patio. Granted there is an awning but… it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow. We need to get a move on y’all!

~ The paint color I chose (and LOVE LOVE LOVE) looks TERRIBLE with the oak kitchen cabinets. And since it’s easier and cheaper to repaint the walls than refinish or replace the kitchen cabinets guess what we’ll be doing? Right. Since we JUST FINISHED PAINTING AND ALL. TheBoy is THRILLED. :D

~ Plastic. Everywhere. I’m just saying is all.

Of course not everything has been bad. My wonderful, saintly mother did spend most of her Sunday helping me paint walls and my fantastic step-father, who happens to be an architect, has single-handedly torn out the hideous TV boxes and sheet-rocked the bedroom walls to make them appear more normal. In fact my parents have spent every day this week so far over at our house while TheBoy and I are at work doing little things at the house. I have maybe the Best. Parents. Ever. AND TheBoy’s brother is coming over Friday to see the house and maybe can be bribed into painting with some BBQ. Family rocks y’all.

Also? Remember how I mentioned we left our feather vomiting couch behind when we moved and had resorted to sitting on the floor which was so not the same when it came to relaxing after work with a glass of wine? Well my mother (see saint, above) bought us a new sofa and love seat as a house warming gift! So as of Tuesday TheBoy and I will be the proud owners of real grown up furniture! Yee Haw baby! I promise I’ll try to un-pack my camera download cord thingy and take some “after” pictures so y’all can see all the hard work we’ve done real soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

101 Reasons Why Moving Sucks

1) There are still boxes piled in each of our bathrooms through which we rummage each morning looking for… something. A band-aid, some Advil, a razor blade. For some reason the bathrooms are the one room I have done little to no unpacking in.

2) We bought a bookcase (which was awesome) but we haven’t put it together or unloaded any of my many, many boxes of books because we don’t want to push it against the wall weighing a million pounds since we are going to paint.

3) On that note there are a lot of things that are sort of waiting for this painting business. Which we hope to do some of this weekend. But still. Also, before we paint we have some things we have to do… like a small amount of sheetrock. Vicious cycle y’all I tell you!

4) My new kitchen is literally twice as large as the one I had in our apartment. Literally y’all. Maybe bigger than that even. Yet somehow I can not seem to fit everything in cabinets or drawers. Like what the heck?!?!? Are there kitchen gnomes that come in the night time and shrink my cabinets while I sleep? Or did my kitchen gadgets and dishes multiply in route to the new house? I can not figure this out.

5) Everyone’s opinions, shared freely, about what we should and should not do to our house. I’m working on developing a standardized response. Something along the lines of “Ryan and I have already decided to do X and are very excited about it, just like you must have been when you did Y to your house”. I mean, I appreciate the concern and all but it’s not like we don’t know what we’re doing here.

6) Not having a couch. Now I will freely admit I am the exact opposite of a pack rat. I am all for de-cluttering and throwing crap away. In that vein I would also rather do without something than settle for something I hate but would work in the mean time. Like a couch. Our old couch was a disaster, stained, misshapen, vomiting down feathers… So we decreed – It will NOT BE MOVED to our new house. In the interim before we can buy another couch we’re doing without. But relaxing with a glass of wine on dining room chairs is just not the same. I’m just saying is all.

7) Not having time to exercise. Granted we’re doing plenty of physical activity between the moving and un-packing and assembling furniture, and Lord knows we’re getting sweaty enough over there in the heat. But it’s not the same as a good run. Or a yoga class. God I miss yoga. But first off I have no idea WHEN I’d go to the gym and secondly in an effort to save $$ we’ve decided to forgo un-necessary things for awhile. Things like cable… and the gym membership.

8) No laundry. Though our new house came with washer / dryer hook-ups it was sadly lacking the actual washer and dryer. We do have something awesome lined up (like WAY better machines than we could afford being loaned to us for the foreseeable future) but for whatever reason actually GETTING the machines is a pain. And the clothing situation is getting dire y’all. But I can’t seem to drag myself away from the house long enough to either go to a parent’s or friend’s house to do laundry or go to the laundry mat. There are just so many other things to do!

*****

Okay so maybe there aren’t 101 reasons. But I do solemnly swear I am sick to death of all this moving crap and upheaval. It’s a good thing we stocked up on the cheap wine before the move!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering

Six years ago TheBoy and I were still trying to adjust to the transition from “summer fling” to “holy crap this could really be something”. He had just begun a job in the area and announced to his parents his plans to NOT return back to college to finish his senior year. We were already making future plans.

Six years ago I was working as a licensed real estate assistant and buyer’s agent. I LOVED my job and was looking forward to a long career in real estate sales. I felt like I had truly found my passion, the thing I was meant to do in life. I was working up the nerve to talk to my bosses, the experienced real estate agents, about taking on more responsibilities to increase business for myself as well as the team.

Six years ago I had just run my first marathon ever. I was at the beginning of my love affair with running and spent numerous hours training on the treadmill at my complex and researching weekend trail runs in the area with friends.

Six years ago.

Six years ago I came home from an early morning run to the news that a plane had lost its way and crashed into a building in New York. By the time I was out of the shower and on my way to my open house there had been two crashes, and no one was talking about an accident anymore. I spent the rest of that day watching the footage on the news, reading about it online and listening to my radio. I cancelled plans with a friend for the evening and stayed home to watch the towers fall, again and again.

Six years ago I didn’t believe something that horrible could really have happened. Terrorism was something I studying in history class in college, something we discussed in the abstract in my international studies program, something I read about in the paper. I prayed that day, and for many days after, for the first time in years. I called all of my loved ones to make sure they knew how I felt about them. I said "I love you".

It’s hard for me today to realize that is has been six years since that day. I’ve spent all day watching TV and reading all the articles I can find, I watched those towers fall again. Sometimes I feel guilty, for moving on with my life, for putting what happened that day in the back of my mind, for forgetting the tragedy and the heroics and the strength so many people showed. I don’t want to forget.

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day living of life, the new house, spending time with friends and family and how truly awful Britney’s comeback performance was… But today I remember. And it motivates me. I remember how passionate I felt then, how motivated I was to do something, anything to feel like I was doing my part. I remember the fear, the anger, the frustration and the sadness. I hope you all remember also.

Monday, September 10, 2007

For Anna (finally!)

So, awhile back I got tagged. Well actually I’ve been tagged a couple times for various things and never actually got around to doing them. Don’t ask me why this time is different. Maybe I’m trying to be better, turn over a new leaf… Or maybe I’m bored. :D

The tag seemed simple, answer the question “why do you blog?” But as I sat down to write my response I found it wasn’t as easy of an answer as I had thought it would be. Originally I started this blog as a way to get some of my thoughts out and since I can type WAY faster than I can write it seemed like a natural thing. I’ve always loved to write with pages and pages of journals filled over the years.

But why blogging? Well, I read this post on the “missed connections” section of Craigslist that made me laugh out loud at work. Seriously. The author had posted the link to her blog at the end of the post and I immediately clicked on over to see what more there was. This is what I found. And I was hooked.

A few days later I started my own blog. A little over two years ago. In the interest of gaining readers quickly I gave the address to all my friends. Who one by one started their own blogs. It was fun, those first few months, telling stories and sharing bits of myself. I researched other blogs out there, started to make friends with people whose writing touched me. I felt like there was this whole other world that I belonged to and well… people liked me!

However eventually I began to feel like I had to censor myself because too many of my real life friends were reading this blog. I am an intensely private person. Private to the point that I almost never discuss my feelings, even with my closest girlfriends, and if I ever do it’s usually in retrospect. Like “oh by the way, I went through this really traumatic thing this one time but its okay I’m better.” I know it frustrates my friends (love you guys!) but I can’t change. It’s like… physically impossible for me.

But in the last couple years I’ve gone through a lot of personal growth and changes. And frankly for awhile there I went back to writing in a paper journal. So that I could get some thoughts out, because writing is therapeutic for me, and still keep my private thoughts and struggles private. This blog became boring. I lost readers because really, who comes to read a blog when there haven’t been any new posts of substance in ages?

Anyhow, I’m trying now to re-discover what it was about blogging I loved in the first place. The camaraderie of this community, the friends I met, the stories we shared with each other, the thrill of getting notification that I had a new comment, the pride in being mentioned in someone else’s writing. In short, I’m falling in love with blogging again. And given my habit of sharing exciting news only AFTER everything is worked out, boy do I have some stories for you guys!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Commuting

The one thing people want to know the most after finding out we have moved is how we're handling the commute. It's an understandable concern given we went from living about 6 miles from our jobs to almost 40. After almost a full week I really can't complain. Maybe it is because I prepared myself for it to be so terrible that all I could be was pleasantly suprised?

However there is one major downside... Before, when we lived only a few minutes from our respective offices we had options. For example, if we stayed out too late and drank a glass or two of wine more than we should have he had the option to skip the 5 am wake-up call and sleep in for an additional two hours!

This morning when my alarm went off at 5:15 am and my head was still a little cloudy from last night's wine and I blearly realized I'd only been asleep for about 5 hours I REALLY missed having that option. I did hit snooze until closer to 6 but that only left me about 30 minutes to fumble around looking for clothes and whatnot in boxes before we had to get in the car to go.

But I'm not complaining. Last night, after hanging out and drinking wine with the family we went home. To a home we own. And it was wonderful.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This does not bode well for TheBoy


I am nerdier than 9% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I guess that's why they call it the blues...

“It’s like even when you smile your eyes are still sad.” I’ll never forget that afternoon, sitting in the dance room at our high school surrounded by the other varsity cheerleaders, friends as much as we could be. I’m not sure how or why the subject of my smile came up… All I remember is a half a dozen faces all turning towards me as my eyes filled with tears, and the crush of hugs from well meaning girls. I couldn’t explain the sadness to them, I hadn’t really figured it out for myself, but even at 16 I knew something was not right.

That year, my Junior year in High School, was a strange year for me. By all accounts I should have been happy – I was doing well in school, had a great group of friends, I could finally drive, had a good job with a boss I loved, cheerleading was great, I was active in musical theater which had always been a passion… But I remember feeling lonely, sad, for apparently no reason. I wasn’t really familiar with the term “depression” at that age, nor would I have imagined a 16 year old would suffer from it. After time, the sadness simply faded on its own and life took on a more normal tone.

There were other times over the years where I would notice a sadness I couldn’t explain, a desire to sit alone in the dark, or just sleep, sleep and sleep and sleep. For a girl who is plagued fairly regularly by insomnia, this desire for never ending sleep was strange. I would always force a smile and make myself go out with friends hoping to shake myself out of this… funk. I was always paranoid that someone would notice that I wasn’t quite right. The words of my high school friend haunted me. “It’s like even when you smile your eyes are still sad.”

Finally, several years ago, the whole thing came to a head. I was truly in a bad place, employed at a job I hated with a completely insane boss, I had gained about 60 pounds, things with TheBoy were… strained, in short I was miserable. Yet, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to do anything about it. Nor could I (would I) talk to anyone about how I was feeling, I have always been a private person. I don’t like to discuss emotions or feelings.

One afternoon I was sitting in my Dr.’s office, there for my annual exam, chatting casually about the things that were going on in my life. Again I’m fuzzy on the details but all I know is one minute we’re laughing about something and the next I am sobbing uncontrollably while my Dr. looked alternately sympathetic and concerned for my mental state. When I had managed to pull myself together she handed me two prescriptions, one was the renewal of my birth control and the second was for an anti-depressant.

Now, I have never been one of those people who feel like anti-depressants are bad. I’ve known many, many people who have benefited from them. But that was THEM and this was ME and I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that at 24 I was so depressed that I needed drugs to fix it. Clearly I had just had a bad day and my Dr. over-reacted. I tucked that prescription in a drawer (I think I was embarrassed that TheBoy might see it) and tried to forget the whole thing ever happened.

A few days later, something happened that turned my whole little world upside down and in the midst of the ensuing melt-down I remembered that prescription. The next day I had it filled. I rationalized that I wasn’t depressed; I was just going through a rough patch. What’s the harm in taking a few pills to get you through the rough patches? By the middle of the second week I knew I had done the right thing. It was like a haze had lifted and the real me, the one who had been dormant for so long, was waking up.

I think those of you who have been around this here blog long enough can see how this story ends… I quit my craptastic job and (finally) found another, went on a two year journey to lose the weight (which is honestly an on going struggle), and generally just went on a self-improvement binge. I was determined to be happy. While I was mildly ashamed to admit being on the anti-depressants I swear to you they helped. Immensely. I stayed on them for almost a year before I felt strong enough to continue on my own. Life has pretty much gone along hunky dory for the past several years. And I’m proud of what I accomplished.

Though in the last weeks, when things are going better than I could possibly imagine, I’ve noticed a return of the desire for never-ending sleep, and a general inability to motivate myself to do what I need to do, what I should WANT to do. And y’all this clearly makes no sense. TheBoy and I just bought a house which is awesome – but I can’t seem to make myself be properly excited about it. And there are even more exciting things happening (!) but again I can’t seem to muster the appropriate level of cheer.

"It’s like even when you smile your eyes are still sad.” I guess I wish I could know for sure if what I am feeling is just stress, a normal case of the blues, or if it is something more… Because I sure would like to snap out of it in time to enjoy all the wonderful things that are happening!

Monday, August 20, 2007

News!

Well since Liz has shared her secret, I figure it’s time I shared one of mine also. TheBoy and I are also buying a house! It’s a 3 bedroom 2 bath house on a corner lot in Livermore close to the cute downtown area and wine country.

Of course we are very, very excited. We’ll be moving in a couple weeks and are absolutely overwhelmed with the packing and planning involved! The upsides of our new house include a bigger, nicer kitchen (so hopefully my love of cooking will come out of hibernation) including a dishwasher (!) and hook ups for our very own, non-coin-op laundry machines! The main downside is that we will now be 45 minutes (in no traffic) or so away from our friends on the Peninsula and our jobs. But being a homeowner is SO worth it.

Anyway, I don’t have a ton of pics but here is one of the front of the house and one of the kitchen (the most important room to me). We have loads of eventual remodel plans organized by Want, Want Soon and Want Someday. First we’re just concentrating on the packing, moving and inspecting. More later!









Monday, August 13, 2007

Introducing my nephew Chris!

Is he not the cutest baby ever there with his mama and granddaddy?

I know right?!?! For those of you who are interested there are more pics* here:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0CaOGzNs3ZMXNQ

*I don't have the html language here at home to create a link so you might have to cut and paste.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lists!

Okay I’m back! TheBoy and I just spent 9 days in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area with my parents for a little R&R. Because I am overwhelmed with reacquainting myself with my “real” life, you guys get a list! (Come on try to be a little excited… at least I’m posting!)

~ My parents wedding anniversary was last Saturday. They have been married 10 years. They got married the summer after I graduated high school but have been together much, much longer. Love you guys!

~ Because we had an extra 2 days of our vacation week (9 as opposed to 7) TheBoy thought this would be an awesome time for me to test out my new back packing pack that I got as a gift for our anniversary. So we did a “little” overnight along the Tahoe Rim Trail. 2 days, almost 20 miles and about 1600 feet of vertical assent. But the views? Spectacular! And the lake where we camped was awesome and secluded. So worth it. I’ll post more on that later, with pictures!

~ The first night of our vacation we drove up to Reno to spend some time with German, TheBoy’s college roommate, who lives there. While in Reno I got to do my FAVORITE THING EVER! Which is to say, I made the boys sit through upteen million dueling piano songs while I alternately sang along at the top of my voice or tried to get them to go on stage. Which they did at one point! So fun!

~ After the two day back pack adventure we returned to the room to discover that my amazing mother had booked us massages for the next day! How awesome is she? Y’all have no idea how wonderful a massage can feel until you’ve hiked a bajillion miles and slept on the hard ground over night. Mmmm… Bliss!

~ Because y’all know how much I like to play tourist… We took one of those paddle wheel boats out on the lake for a dinner & dancing cruise one night. Picture something more suitable to cruising the Mississippi River than Lake Tahoe. TheBoy and I had been once before but it is always so fun to be out on the lake. So beautiful and peaceful.

~ Saturday night my mother had treated us all to tickets to a Rascall Flatts concert. It ranked up there with my favorite concerts ever. Country people are so friendly! Again my embarrassingly loud singing antics were shared with all who were near by. I suppose it’s good TheBoy loves me for something other than my singing!


Really those are all the highlights. I’ll have more stories and photos up later. Hope you all are doing well. And of course a huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Angie and Erik who had their beautiful (I would assume) baby boy on Thursday! I can’t wait to meet my new little “nephew”!

Monday, July 23, 2007

These dreams...

I wake up in the morning. I am excited and nervous but I don’t remember why. Sitting up in bed I realize I am alone and that puzzles me some how. Looking towards the door I see huge white dress and realize… I am getting married today. But something is not right. There is no mother to help me into this dress (which I hate incidentally and wonder idly why I would have chosen something like it), no giggling girl friends to pass glasses of champagne and keep me company, in fact there is no one at all nearby.

I struggle into the cumbersome dress and manage to put my hair up and make-up on. I slip on some hideous white shoes and wander downstairs in this house which is both familiar and strange to me. After wandering around aimlessly for several minutes I have a panicked thought – maybe I am late to my wedding! I rush out of the house (cursing the dress the whole time) and into the church which is oddly enough within stumbling distance of that house.

I walk in from the back of what must be the longest aisle in church building history. At the very front of the room, near the alter I see one lone person, a man, my future husband. He seems like a stranger to me and yet I must know him. His back is to me so I can not see his face but I know he can tell when I have entered the room. We stand in silence for a moment while my brain feverishly tries to make out what is going on. Then he speaks. In a soft voice, almost a whisper, which I hear crystal clear despite the distance between us he says, “I just don’t love you enough to do this.”


*****

This dream has been haunting me, teasing its way into my subconscious on a fairly regular basis for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I wake up then, after he speaks, and sometimes I watch him walk away (exit stage left) through some unseen side doors. When I was younger I used to wait for the dream and hope that this time, if I concentrated closely enough, I would recognize the man and have some idea of what my future husband (or not, as the case may be) looked like. At the time of every break up I would use it to rationalize that the most recent ex must have been that guy and I was well rid of him now before it was too late.

But now? Now that things are on track and going well? Now that TheBoy and I are on the same page and making active future plans? Now this dream just scares the bejeezus out of me. Can a child’s dream follow you into adulthood and manifest itself in real life? What insecurities must I have to project this?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Evacuated


This building is across the street from my office. News story here: http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_183100825.html

I could smell the smoke as I entered the downtown area and while I saw the fire and police vehicles blocking off the street I couldn't figure out what exactly was going on until I parked my car and walked towards my building. The building across the street (which housed a Walgreens among other things) looks like a bomb has gone off in it. At some point this afternoon the roof caved in and they have evacuated all local business through Wednesday at the earliest including yours truly just in case the whole building collapses. So I guess I'll be working from home / squatting at other offices or a Kinko's in order to get my job done for the next few days. Fun!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This and That

You know? I don’t know why but every so often I am just overcome with a restless feeling like I really need to get away from the city and its traffic and ginormous buildings and people every other foot. Sometimes I just want to wake up in the morning and hear birds or maybe barking dogs but definitely no freeway or cars or other people’s conversations. Conversations which they are having in their house with the doors and windows closed and I can STILL HEAR because that is how closely we are packed in together here in the Bay Area.

I’ve actually been day dreaming about camping y’all. Just me and a tent and a campfire and some really great coffee and some sort of meat grilled over open flame. Obviously my camping fantasy does not involve a campsite with 52 bajillion children running around. Anyone know of an adults only camping spot. Um… But not one that doesn’t require clothes. I’m just saying…

Because I never really get out of the mode of house hunting, I’ve been researching places where I can live and not look into my neighbors’ backyard from the bathroom. There are some cute places out near Sacramento and think of how much closer we’d be to the lake! Also, I could possibly afford to buy there without donating eleventy-two pints of blood and my first born child. I don’t know. I seem to get these flights of fancy and then nothing ever comes of it. We’ll see.

With school being as stressful as it has been, and the fact that no one has yet invented the self-mopping floor, and I can’t afford to hire someone to do my laundry, I had to find someplace where I could cut myself a little slack. As much as it pains me to admit this I went ahead and signed TheBoy and I up for pre-packaged lunches and dinners five days a week from Diet To Go. So far there hasn’t been anything TOO terrible and some of the things are quite good. Plus! I haven’t been to the grocery store in ages and it is SO MUCH EASIER to get my homework done, get to the gym, clean the house if I don’t ALSO have to plan, shop and cook dinner every night.

When I buy my new house, wherever it ends up being, I am determined to have a decent kitchen. TheBoy seems fully on board with this as his eating in style has been sorely affected by my lack of time and frank lack of interest in cooking anything on my craptastic stove, the barely functional oven, or my lack of desire to go anywhere near the tee-tiny kitchen unless its to pour myself a glass of wine. And y’all? I’ve taken to opening my wine in the dining room and keeping the glasses accessible on the table. I REALLY hate my kitchen.

Okay I apologize for the totally disjointed nature of this post… It has been a long couple of weeks / weekend and I really can’t keep a coherent thought in my head! Be back soon I promise.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So. Much. To. Say! So little time…

Sorry for the generic post but I wanted to get something out there before all of you give up on me completely. So here you have the thoughts in my head tossed out on paper in no apparent order.

*****

~ I finished my class from hell a week ago and y’all that was the HARDEST CLASS EVER. Not that the subject matter was totally scary or anything – more that the professor required SO MUCH of it and there had to be CREATIVITY and also TEAM WORK and… It wasn’t good. I had one team member who pretty much was a no show for all the assignments. If she did show up in the chat room it would be to post her craptastic little portion of the assignment which then meant someone else (like me) would have to edit it and format it and basically re-write the whole damn thing.

But! It’s over! I have survived! The new class I’m in hasn’t been that bad for the first week (frantically looking for wood to knock on) so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to have time for laundry and cleaning the house and other social type stuff over the remaining 4 weeks. Chez Ghetto looks like a bomb hit it y’all and until yesterday there were AT LEAST a weeks worth of dishes in the sink which is SO not like me at all.

Whose idea was it for me to go back to school again?

~ I did manage to do a few fun things over the past couple weeks however. I went to a chili cook-off a couple weekends back. How can you go wrong with chili, beer and live music? I also went to a Giants game with TheBoy and his parents which is always good times. We missed the 747th homerun by a night! But TheBoy’s niece and her bf were at that game with TheBoy’s parents the night before and the bf totally caught the homerun ball.

Well if by “caught” you mean it fell between the stair slats and rolled into his foot while he was in line for the bathroom. *ahem*

~ TheBoy and I have been on a wakeboarding bender for the past two months as he has been doing a demo program in search of a new board. He’s riding pro-style advanced boards now y’all – watch out! We went out pretty much three weekends in a row to a small lake near our house, then he went once without me, then we took a weekend off before going to Shasta for Memorial Day, and then we went camping at Lake Anderson a couple weekends after that.

I think he’s made his decision about which board he wants and would have tried it out one last time this Saturday except the small (and crappy) lake near our house now requires reservations in order to launch before noon on the weekends. Yikes! I really hate living in the Bay Area sometimes! Right now we’re trying to see if we can get a trip together for the Delta on Saturday.

~ Speaking of TheBoy, we will celebrate our 6 year anniversary next week. SIX YEARS! Holy moley y’all. And if I hear one more time how these anniversaries don’t count because we’re still only just dating I will hurt someone. I know some marriages that have imploded before the 6 year mark… so I’m proud!

I got TheBoy a fancy new survival knife as his present. It’s currently at the cutlery being sharpened. Of course he already knows what he’s getting because about two days after I ordered it he came home and informed me that he was about to order it for himself! Lame. But even though I’ve had it for months he hasn’t been able to play with it at all. I only showed it to him briefly one evening to make sure it was the right one before the return policy deadline ran out.

~ I’m currently in baby shower planning mode for TheBride (AKA: MamaToBe or Angie if you read the comments). Y’all. We went to register with her husband the other night… SO MUCH CUTE BABY STUFF! I could hardly stand it. And I don’t even LIKE kids. But how can you not love socks that are an inch long? Freaking adorable!

*****

Okay so that’s all I can come up with right now… I’ll try to regale you with a few stories now that I’m not spending all my time working or in class (or rocking myself in the corner and eating my hair). But… I know I’ve promised that before so… ;^D

I hope you all are well. Its amazing how attached you can get to people you’ve never met through their blogs! I seriously miss reading all of you guys and sometimes will log in to catch up on a week or two’s worth of posts in one evening. Love School Though. Really!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thoughts...

I just have to put these thoughts out… someplace. Lucky you! Please feel free to disregard this entire post if you’d like.

I just had lunch with a friend who on Monday of this week broke up with her boyfriend of four years because he was not prepared to move their relationship to the next level (ie: marriage). A few weeks prior to this she had moved out of the house they have lived in together for most of those last four years and put in an offer on a brand new home which she will move into sometime in September.

She seemed sad, it being difficult to break up with someone who you really aren’t angry with, only hurt that you can’t seem to come to terms about the status of your relationship and its future. But overall she seemed at peace with her decision, even optimistic at times.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I once, I always, I never

I once got stung in the butt while running in college. That cheeky bee had to fly up my sweatshirt to get there too! I called my mom because I had no idea what to do for a bee sting. She told me to put mud on it.

I always wash my face first thing in the shower. I read once that this means I am narcissistic. I don’t necessarily think that is true… I just don’t like to have mascara running into my eyes.

I never take my make-up off before bed. I know I should. I just don’t.

*****

I once was told that a friend of mine wouldn’t need me anymore once she had a husband and got married. At the time my friend and I laughed it off. I now think the other girl was right.

I always count stairs when I go up or down them. There are 16 outside my apartment. I count them everyday. I don’t expect them to magically change one day… I guess there is more to this OCD thing than I thought!

I never have traveled to Europe. It’s on my list of things to do before I’m 30… To be honest I’m not sure I’m going to make it.

*****

I once received a hand drawn Valentine from a boy in my class that was a picture of Rambo but said “Yo Tiffany! Be my Valentine!” I think he had his Sylvester Stallone movies confused. At the time I was mortified because he was NOT COOL. Now I wish I had been nicer to him because he was very sweet and I have often wondered what happened to him.

I always look for people from my old town in Texas on MySpace. Apparently the internet hasn’t quite made it out to Cibolo yet. Or they’ve all changed their names or moved away. Both are equally likely.

I never measure oil when it asks you to add 2 tsp to a skillet to sauté your veggies or whatnot. This seems like a waste of time to me and just one more utensil to clean. Likewise, I do not generally measure spices. Or salt and pepper. Season to taste is my motto.

*****

I once told a friend in Junior High School that I wanted to have enough sons to have my own starting line up for a football team. I have now come to my senses.

I always have liked boys better than girls. We’re petty y’all. And mean. I saw the movie – it’s all true.

I never know what to do with children. If they are young and people thrust them at me I am afraid I am going to drop them or they will vomit or make other messy baby wet spots on me. If they are older I am terrified they will speak to me and expect some sort of response.

*****

I once felt light headed from simply kissing a boy I liked.

I always day dreamed about kissing far more than I ever actually GOT kissed in High School. Sad but true. ;^D

I never fit in with a clique in school. I wasn’t sporty enough for the jocks, smart enough for the brains, pretty enough for the popular girls and so on and so on… I didn’t even really fit in with the group of friends I ended up spending most of my time with.

*****

I once had a guy who I thought was just a friend try to kiss me. It was awkward and we’ve never really spoken or hung out since then. I miss him sometimes and hear about him through the grapevine but he’s never tried to get in touch with me.

I always end up being “one of the guys”. Which seems like a cool thing to be… until you want to be the “girlfriend” of one of the guys and get laughed at. That hurts.

I never leave the house without sunscreen (at least for my face – hello wrinkles) and Chapstick. Never.

*****

I once fractured my finger while dusting. In two places.

I always think of a better thing to say after the person I am speaking to has walked away or hung up. I hate that!

I never feel like I spend enough time with my cat… Like I could be a better cat mommy somehow.

*****

I once did that whole prick your finger and become blood sisters with my best friend in grade school. Then I moved away and we lost touch… So much for being “bonded by blood”. I wonder where she is now?

I always peek at other people’s bookshelves when I’m at their houses to see what they are reading. It’s my own version of seeing what’s in the medicine cabinet I guess. You can tell a lot about a person by the type of books they read.

I never thought I’d go seven years without speaking to my father.

*****

I once got thrown from a horse because a bird flew under his belly.

I always pre-plan conversations with people in my car. Complete with alternate endings and multiple answers and scenarios based on their responses to questions either I or they might ask.

I never feel like I actually see the real me in the mirror.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

For Kate

Yes I am in fact supposed to be at boot camp this morning... Why do you ask? :)

Thanks to Kate for e-mailing me these questions as part of the “interview me” game (and inspiring me to post something!). If you want to play leave me a comment.

1. When you were a little girl, what did you want to grow up to be?

It was a toss up between a ballerina (SO PRETTY) or a restaurant owner or a clothes designer. For those last two I totally used to get up before my parents on the weekends and block off the way to the kitchen so they had to go into the dining room first and “order” their breakfast from me. Off a menu. Scrambled eggs and toast? Or… scrambled eggs and toast? Also? There might be incriminating photographs of me modeling some of my early fashion designs made entirely from paper grocery bags. Bikini top with sweetheart neckline (it was the 80’s cut me SOME slack y’all) and a Hawaiian style grass skirt thing. I can’t believe I just admitted that on the internet.


2. What is one thing that you deem unforgivable in life, in your
relationships?

I guess I can’t tolerate apathy in people. PLEASE be passionate about SOMETHING! I like to surround myself with people who are excited about life. As for what I deem unforgivable in relationships? If you are my friend I find it unforgivable if you don’t put 110% of yourself into our relationship. I’m not saying all the time… I know it’s a give and take. But we all lead busy lives and I don’t have time for people who aren’t going to be there for me when I need them. I promise you if you are my friend I will be there for you when you need me. As for boyfriends / significant others… I can’t tolerate being lied to. PLEASE be honest… Don’t spare my feelings because I will be more upset when I find out you lied than I would have been had you been honest in the first place. I’m reasonable – try me.


3. Do you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart?

Sadly I have a lot of causes that are near and dear to my heart but none of which I spend a great deal of time on… It’s always that same old excuse, not enough time, not enough money, not enough… who knows. There are a few things I will always get up on my soap box about and have spent considerable time, money and personal effort trying to raise awareness for (even if not recently).

I believe in women’s rights – most importantly the right to chose what goes on in her own body and the right not to be abused in her own home. I believe that we are ruining our environment, global warming is a fact and that there is something we can do about it locally. I believe that love is love whether is exists between a man and a woman or a man and a man (or a woman and a woman) and that they should be allowed to enter into a family unit – marriage – if they wish. I also think that unless you are deathly afraid of needles, or are ineligible for whatever reason, that you should donate blood at your local blood bank. It’s an hour out of your life very 8 weeks and it literally could save a life.


4. Which fictionalized character do you mostly relate with, and why?

Heh. I could relate my whole life to one fictional character after another… Lately I’m liking the Dorothy one (see side bar – which coincidentally has been there since day one) because I do really wake up most days and wonder “how the hell did I get here?” And by “here” I don’t just mean Silicon Valley or even CA… Some days I mean just here. This job. This apartment. This particular day, in this particular month. This… life. We are definitely NOT in Kansas anymore Toto.


5. What one country, other than the U.S., would you live in if you could,
and why?

You know? As much as I would love to travel and experience other cultures I’m not sure I would want to LIVE anywhere but here… At least not permanently. Of course I could go for a good long six month sabbatical somewhere. Like Italy. Or Greece. Someplace sunny and warm with excellent food and friendly people.

And thus concludes my five. If you are interested in participating, here are
the rules: Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!" I will respond by
e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick them, and you have to answer
them all. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. You
will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the
same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thoughts on Child Birth

You know how they say that women forget the pain of labor and child birth after awhile as part of a natural reflex that keeps them wanting to have more children? I always thought that was a load of crap personally. I have a friend whose own experience with birth was so painful and traumatic that it has permanently ensured that her adorable four year old daughter is destined to remain an only child. This from a woman who SWORE she wanted at least two. FOUR YEARS LATER PEOPLE and she has not forgotten.

But today as I’m hobbling around after having done approximately 643 million squats at boot camp in the past two days I’m starting to think that maybe somewhere in my brain I somehow blocked the memory of how painful the first week of boot camp was! Because I KNOW I was at least this out of shape the first go around… And I vaguely recall being made fun of as I limped around the office and whined about climbing up and down the stairs… But seriously! Where were these memories when I was all warm and fuzzy and thinking happy thoughts about signing back up?

Darwin was on to something y’all…

Monday, April 30, 2007

Peanut Butter on Leather

First off everyone say hi to my mom!

Who as you all know, from reading my earlier posts, is actually a wonderful mom and someone I consider a close friend, but who also maybe has the world’s worst timing when thinking “maybe today is a good day to start reading my daughter’s blog” last Friday.

*ahem*

Now. Does anyone out there know how to get peanut butter out of leather? See in an effort to give this whole boot camp thing a fighting chance I’m actually going back and following the advice from the nutritionist again also. Because as expensive as boot camp is - that nutritionist cost me my first born child (practically) so I might as well get some use out of it.

Did y’all know that there is this whole meal out there called “breakfast” that people eat in the MORNING? Which involves actual solid food and not just coffee? Yeah me neither. I mean I knew there were breakfast foods. Eggs & potatoes & all sorts of breakfast-y type goodness. I mean I LOVE breakfast foods… At about noon. On a Saturday. With a Mimosa. I’m just saying is all…

So anyway, breakfast. (Can y’all tell already this whole post is going to be filled with tangents? I can not keep a straight thought in my head today!) This morning after boot camp I had a banana and then took a piece of whole grain sourdough bread with peanut butter on it to eat in the car while I drove to work… Can you see where this is going?

I’m driving along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden traffic just stops. On the freeway. Love you Bay Area traffic! But of course my purse? The one that is sitting in the passenger seat? It totally fell forward when I slammed on my brakes. Right in to my peanut butter covered slice of bread. Awesome!

I am now the proud owner of one very cute Coach purse with a slightly peanut butter-y smelling strap. Yay me!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fat is as fat does

Isn’t it funny how you can know something, deep down or in the back of your mind, but it never bothers you until someone close to you mentions it? So in the last 3 or 4 months I’ve gained some weight, not a ton (8 pounds to be exact – I checked), but enough that I had noticed and it was bothering me.

Now keep in mind that in the last few months I have also had pneumonia, the flu, started college again, taken two vacations and had my damn birthday – all of which joined forces to make it either hard for me to work out or hard for me not to want to EAT ALL THE TIME. Because working out is fine for me. I’ve subscribed to the “no pain no gain” newsletter and I read it faithfully. But food? Food is my weakness. I love food! I love the smells and tastes, I love cooking and experimenting… I just LOVE FOOD.

Not so good for the waistline apparently.

But I HAD noticed and was taking steps to get back on track. I’ve been to the gym and have been working my poor lungs back into workable shape. I’ve started to be a little more reasonable about the eating at home (because we have far too many social engagements for me to control it all the time) bringing back more natural foods, fruits, veggies, lean meats, blah, blah, blah… I even dug out all my old notes from the nutritionist. And then I went and did two very, very important and scary (and maybe crazy) things…

I threw out my “rainy day” pack of cigarettes. Both of them. I know, I know I said I was going to do that months ago… Well I did it now. Happy? Better late than never no?

And y’all? I signed myself back up for boot camp. Oh yeah – that’s right. Me and 5:00 am are going to get reacquainted. But seriously… that program BEAT me into shape, it DRUG me KICKING and SCREAMING into shape. I think I need a little of that again.

SO having taken the above steps in the last week or so I was certainly shocked and appalled last night at dinner when my mother pulled me aside and said “looks like you’ve gained an awful lot of weight sweetie.”

Crickets…

NOTE – if you are Southern you believe that adding “sweetie”, “sugar” or “darling” on to the end of whatever you say makes it seem alright because you truly care about the person you are saying these things to. As a Southern woman I realized last night that “sweetie” does NOT in fact make things better!

To top it all off when she called to apologize this morning (I was maybe a bit distant at dinner after that – y’all come on!) she couldn’t leave well enough alone… I got to hear about how it’s a mother’s right to be worried about their children and how clearly something must be wrong because I’ve gotten SO FAT and don’t I know I can talk to her about anything? Also, she was genuinely concerned that the new clothes I had bought myself for my birthday (in a smaller size than last year!) weren’t going to fit anymore… I was wearing one of those outfits LAST NIGHT! Perhaps it makes me look fat and I should burn it right away…

Why is it that a woman who is almost 30 can be reduced to tears of frustration on the freeway in morning traffic by her mother? How embarrassing is that? I’m sure all the other motorists thought my dog had died or something… I guess I should be embarrassed that something so trivial as being called fat makes me want to cry but… Jeez it’s been a rough road to here and I’m certainly not FAT by any means and I’m no where NEAR the weight I was when I most definitely WAS fat. It’s frustrating.

It’s enough to make a girl run to the bathroom and stick her finger down her throat.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just a quickie…

Do people ever say things to you that leave you so non-plussed you actually have no response? Take for example the following exchange that JUST HAPPENED at my local bagel shop:

Girl behind counter: Tiffany?

Me: Yes?

GBC: I’m so sorry but we’re out of fruit salad today. Would you like potato salad or coleslaw instead?

Me: (joking) Well I always would like potato salad instead… Just have to watch my girlish figure!

Male manager type: (piping in from left field) I’ll watch it for you – I say have the potato salad.

Me: …

Alrighty then! It’s a good thing I’ll be on vacation for a week and not tempted to go in there! But damn their Panini’s make a tasty lunch.

*****

Did I mention that TheBoy and I are going to Palm Desert next week for the whole week pretty much for free? (Okay suspend reality here for a moment and pretend I blog regularly.) Yes! It’s true! AND it’s supposed to be in the high 80’s or 90 every day we are there except one! Yee Haw baby! It is pool time for Tiffy.

Bring on the freckles.

Also, I maybe have the Best Boss On The Planet since he gladly gave me the week off even though I just got back from DC like 10 days ago. I think it was maybe a birthday present / quarter end bonus / he’s just a great guy like that kind of thing.

*****

Also, I maybe whined about how I had to take Algebra? Well I went like 14 rounds with that class last week y’all and IT WAS WINNING! So I dropped it. There is apparently another class I can take that deals more with finance and statistics and real world numbers (accounting and budgeting and that stuff) but absolutely no theory and random, will-never-use-this-in-the-real-world-ever crap.

So I signed up for that one. It starts on the 24th. Wish me luck!

Because really, I wasn’t about to ruin my perfect A average over freaking Algebra which I have NEVER USED in the 14 years or so since I last took it and probably will not use again in the next 14 years. EVER.

I’m just saying is all.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Emotional Roller Coaster

It’s amazing how talking to different people can change your perspective on things. For weeks I have been standing at a crossroad. Yesterday I thought I was certain which path I was going to take. However, after having a long discussion with TheBoy last night I now realize that the path I need to take is the opposite. Perhaps I needed a voice of reason?

And today, even though I know that the choice we made was ultimately the wisest, I feel… sad. Like I’ve given up yet another dream that doesn’t quite fit into the life I’ve chosen. Why does it have to be one way or the other? And why is it always me giving in? *sigh* But enough sour grapes. This is the best decision… Financially. For us. For now.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crossroad

Do you ever wake up in the morning and have a premonition that something is going to happen that day to change you? Yesterday morning I woke up, bright and early after a night of drinking wine and listening to live music with some co-workers, in my ocean view* hotel room in Monterey at about 6:30 am despite all my best efforts to sleep in. I had left the window open the night before so the birds were singing and I could hear the sounds of people on the street below me. For the first time in a long time I just felt… happy. It could have had something to do with the motivational seminar I attended over the last two days, or maybe the fact that the sun was out after a day of rain but I was finally feeling at peace with myself.

I stood by my window staring off into the distance watching the sunrise color the sky and thought about the last few months. About the long hours I’ve worked, the countless hours of coursework and research and participation points I’ve logged, about the changes among my friends and family and the changes I’m facing in my own life and for a moment I thought… “It’s all going to work out.”

I wasn’t sure how, and to be honest I’m still not sure, but after being in a perpetually cheery mood all day (for no good reason at all) I received a phone call from someone I hadn’t expected to hear from again. Someone with an offer of something I didn’t think would come. Then, I received news from an opposite front, good news, conflicting news. However, this time I feel secure in the path I will follow. If the stars align… Details to come.


*Ocean View = standing in one corner of the room and craning your neck out the window to glimpse the bay. It was beautiful… if a little cramped. :D

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tap, tap, tap…

Is this thing on?

I know, I know… It has been over a month since I wrote to y’all last but let me assure you it has been busy month. I have finished another class in school with an A grade (yay me) and started (and almost completed) another in which I’m on track for another A. I have interviewed and declined my dream job, come to terms with my own insecurities, looked myself in the mirror and realized once and for all how unhappy I am with my life, traveled out of town for pleasure and for business, played with my friends and generally tried to live life.

I will try to be back tomorrow with a more detailed update of at least one of the items listed above… I have also realized that because so many of my real life friends (hello friends of Tiffy!) read this blog, I have been censoring myself and trying to not let too many of my emotions pour out. But as I’ve learned in my recent management courses, sometimes letting your feelings show is a good thing. So I might try to be brave and actually post some of the things I’ve written in the last month…

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I know this isn’t a political blog…

But I like these guys!

In case you don’t want to click the link it’s basically an initiative that some people are trying to get on the ballot in Washington State that would require that couples prove they are fertile prior to obtaining a marriage license and require them to have at least one child within three years of their marriage. Otherwise their marriage would be declared invalid and would be annulled.

I think this is a great response to that argument that same sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry because the purpose of marriage is to have children and they can not. Hopefully they can see how ridiculous it sounds now that someone has applied it to all couples and all marriages. Would you really annul the marriage of a couple who is barren? A conservative, church going couple even?

*****

Also, Hi! I know I’ve been ignoring things over here lately but things are hectic! Mainly its school but there are a few other things… More details when I can share them I promise!

I have been writing a bit but nothing feels… finished. I promise to post again soon. I miss you guys!