Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m so sad that the holiday season is so close to being over. While it’s been crazy and hectic and I have had quite a few experiences of frustration and desperation at the busy mall trying to get all of our shopping done, I thoroughly have enjoyed this last month. It’s the little stuff that I just love: chatting with co-workers about our holiday plans, random homemade treats in the office, 24-hour Christmas music on the local easy listening station, making plans with my dad to watch White Christmas, the holiday parties at work that we dread going to but where we always end up having a really nice time, driving around in the blistering cold looking for holiday-shaped pretzels and red and green sprinkles (ultimately hitting up 4 stores), and sorting through the usual junk mail and dreaded bills to find delightful cards and pictures from loved ones wishing us a happy holiday season. I can’t forget to give a shout out to the requisite “holiday sweater lady” in the office who, while during the rest of the year you find quite irritating, always makes you smile this time of year with her random office drop-ins sporting jingly reindeer earrings and bearing gifts of chocolate gold coins and red and green Hershey kisses. I so love that lady right now.

So it’s certainly bittersweet to look at the calendar and realize Christmas Eve is less than a week away. All of the craziness this month has lead up to this weekend, and it will be over so quickly! We say goodbye to paid holidays (after New Years) until Memorial Day, there will be no more Sears commercials advertising tools adorned with red velvet bows, no more fudge in the break room, no more Bing Crosby on the radio, and no more ladies with little Christmas trees on the folded down collars of their white turtle-necks (worn under their festive sweater-vests of course).

And I can’t find my Ally McBeal Christmas soundtrack CD! Actually, to be honest, I lost mine a few years ago, and then borrowed my aunt’s, which is the one I currently have frustratingly misplaced.

Do you know what else we have to look forward to once this holiday season wraps up? No, I’m not talking about the fact that we still have three months of this bitter cold winter to survive or that the suckiest let-down of a day, Valentines Day, is the closest thing to a holiday we have to look forward to; I’m talking about that other unfortunate realization that will come in January when the Visa bill arrives in the mail. Yup, holiday-fueled credit card debt, I’m totally looking forward to that happy day of realization.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


In an effort to avoid any semblance of work today, I've gone and created Bella her own little webpage on dogster. This further supports my admission of lameness yesterday. I don't think I'll use the blogging function though, because just about the only thing dorkier than creating a webpage for your dog would be to update it with periodic diary posts about their life. I had no idea there were actually people out there who would blog in first person from their dog's perspective, but 'tis true. Seriously, check it out, it's pretty amusing, in a sad sort of way.

Ok, enough judging, I'm one of them now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I'm just way too lazy these days to come up with something to write that sounds somewhat intelligent. I don't know what my deal is, sometimes I think I try WAY too hard at this blogging thing, I'm seriously so lame. In the last three days I've started to write about the Christmas party with my college girls last Friday (7th annual!), several anecdotes about time spent with Lisa since she's come back in town, about my lack of time and energy to finish shopping for Christmas, and a reencountmant of a sorta-scary/sorta-cool incident at the Chinese buffet down the street from my house involving a couple police officers with rifles (yea I said rifles, not just their handguns, they broke out the big guns... literally) doing army crawls and crazy maneuvers around the restaurant that WE were dining in! (Wow, do I get some sort of prize for longest and most pointless run-on sentence ever written?)

Anyways, I think all I can handle right now is some pictures, and maybe a few captions.

Yup, that's right, I'm putting out on the web a picture showing my white icky stomach in the middle of the winter. Well whatever... this proves that I'm not making up the whole bellydancing thing.

We went here (Café Latte in St. Paul)...

... for some yummy desserts and coffee on our first night with Lisa back in town! (Wow, I am looking shiny, I think I need to start making a habit of re-applying the pressed powder a little more often throughout the day.)

Liz's lovely holiday table set-up for the girls' Christmas party/dinner. She made us each our own green and red personalized placemat, isn't that sweet?! Notice the pomegranate martinis on the table - - those mothers were delish. (I had about six.)

Hee! Here we are doing our "Heeeey!" picture, a must-take-photo at all buddy events. I'm pretty sure noone really knows the origin of this tradition, but I don't mind it a bit because it gives me an excuse to look really strange in a picture. I pretty much look ridiculous in every picture I am in, so at least with these guys, I can laugh at it and claim it was on purpose. (Front row starting on the left: Betsy and Liz; 2nd row: Kate and Angela; Back row: me and Heidi.)

And finally, a shot of my sweet little pup, Bella (who's not really a pup I suppose, considering she'll be 1 year old at the beginning of January). She is so cute and snuggly and precious, I just cannot handle it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree!

Last week we got our Christmas tree all up and pretty, doesn’t it look festive and sparkly and amazingly symmetrical?

Christmas Tree 2005

I picked it out, and if I must say, I am evidently “the shit” at picking out Christmas trees, thank you very much. Actually, this picture doesn’t do it justice, I’m still trying to figure out how to take a good picture with my new and tiny and wonderful little digital camera (an early Christmas present from my lovely husband). On closer inspection, the tree seems to be a little bit sparse, but I swear that’s got to be my poor photography skills, because in real life it seemed cluttered to the max with funky mismatched ornaments, gold and red glass bulbs, and glittery white lights.

Speaking of lights, until last week, I have never in my life had to put the lights on a Christmas tree. Traditionally, that was always my dad’s job growing up, and last year Dan naturally stepped up as the “man of the house” and took on the task. This year, however, he threw a bit of a stink about not wanting to have anything to do with stringing the lights on the tree, and being incredibly naïve I didn’t understand what the big deal was, so I agreed to do it. Just the fact that he offered, in exchange, to make dinner and do the dishes should have raised a red flag, but evidently I can be pretty oblivious to glaringly obvious signs of impending danger. (Doesn’t that seem like an easy and absurdly clear choice – do the dishes or decorate for Christmas?)

Anyways, putting lights on the Christmas tree, well apparently it sucks, and now I know. There are a variety of reasons why this seemingly simple task is so sucky, (each reason requiring its own bullet on account of the high suckiness levels going on there):

  • It might just be the tree we bought this year (a balsam), but holy crap, putting the lights on our tree f-ing HURT! I started out wearing just a short-sleeve t-shirt and quickly put on a sweatshirt and mittens in an effort to spare the poor skin on my hands and arms any further torture from those prickly, scraping needles! I still got a little red rash on my wrists, and almost drew blood through my mittens a few times, but it helped a little. And let me tell you, I certainly didn’t keep my pain to myself, I was wincing and crying and complaining the whole way through, because if I’m suffering, so must all around me. Who knew those pine needles would feel like prickly death on my poor sensitive skin? I certainly DID NOT!
  • There is truly no way to keep strands of lights from getting all tangled into one giant mess from one holiday season to the next. Dan swears he was ultra-careful about putting them away last year, specifically rolling them up, each strand individually, but the box of jumbled-up mess I opened prove that his efforts were futile. Are there magical little trolls decked out in camouflage who sneak into unsuspecting people’s storage closets and basements after the holiday season, making a mess of those once-a-year-appearing items which their victims have painstakingly worked at keeping organized? Do they thrive on witnessing the sweaty exasperation of a poor woman at her wit’s end buried in a sea of green cords? It’s a conspiracy… it’s got to be!
  • I’m pretty sure there’s no simple or structured way of actually stringing those damn lights onto the tree - - at least I haven’t found one. It seriously took me like two hours, and I was trying so hard to not be picky, but there was always some patch looking horribly bare or green cords hanging very visibly off the front of the tree. Even worse than tediously working to avoiding these issues, is fixing them after-the-fact, which is almost impossible to do without unraveling the entire strand from the tree. Argh.

Ok, lesson learned. Next time pick the dishes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lisa Lisa Bo-Bisa

In honor of my best friend Lisa’s impending arrival back in the lovely yet freezing crap-hole that is Minnesota, I have compiled a little list of what makes Lisa so f-ing awesome that she is deserving of such a list.

  • Lisa is, unquestionably, the NICEST, kindest, sweetest, most caring person you could ever meet. Seriously, I am not exaggerating. Very rarely does she say anything nasty or ugly about anyone, and when she does it can be assumed that it is certainly deserved, and even more, it is highly likely that it has been squeezed out of her by her very gossipy and ill-tempered friend. (Who, me? No way.)
  • This chick has some serious balls, or the feminine equivalent of them anyway. Just a few months after graduation from college, she moved down to Costa Rica, by herself, all alone, knowing no-one, to work and live. Who does that? Certainly not me, the woman who bought a house less than five miles from the home she grew up in and the high school at which she received her education. And not only did Lisa make a huge leap of faith by moving to a new country all on her own, but she made a life for herself down there. She became a teacher, she made some amazing life-long friends, fell in love, and became the godmother to a gorgeous little Tico baby.
  • As you can imagine, everyone loves her. She is genuine, sincere, and a great listener. She is one of those people who asks you questions, and actually cares about listening to what you have to say.
  • She is beautiful, gorgeous actually, and is always smiling. Her smile and her joyful exuberance are absolutely contagious, and there is never a shortage of laughter when she’s around.
  • She is so missed when she’s not around. I feel so lucky to be able to have her back home in just a few short days, and I know that Beronica, Freddy, little Daniel, and especially Alvaro will miss her just as much as so many of us have over the past few years.
  • She always makes everything look so easy. Her appearance is both simple and striking at the same time, she speaks Spanish so beautifully and fluently you’d think she had been speaking it since birth, she can navigate the crazy streets of San Jose and avoid potholes like a pro, and I believe she has aced every fricken test she has ever taken since around 1st grade.
  • She is the definition of a “best friend”. She has always been there for me when I needed her, she has always listened with a compassionate ear, she has never judged me, she has never acted selfishly (as I know I so often do), and she knows more about me than pretty much anyone in this world knows. We’ve laughed together and cried together, grew up together, done each other’s hair, borrowed each other’s clothes, and asked each other’s advice. I trust her completely, and love her as a sister.

Have a safe flight Lis, I love you, and see you soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just typing, not thinking

I’m bored, hungry, lazy, and exhausted. I’m obviously loads of fun today, don’t you wish you were hanging out with me?

I hate coming back to work after a long weekend, hate it, hate it, hate it. This morning I oh-so-very-much wished I could just stay in bed all day instead of trekking out into the cold for my icy, snowy commute.

Also, I really don’t want to go to that aerobics class tonight, but if I skip it, it will be week number 4 (in a row) of laziness, further ingraining in my guilt-ridden conscience the fact that this class was one big waste of money that could have been spent on much more enjoyable things, like, for example, another big black witchy cauldron.

I am very badly in need of a foil and cut, the lengths of my roots are utterly embarrassing. I called and left a message this morning to see if my lady might be able to do it on Friday, since I have the day off. Cross your fingers for me. I am contemplating doing something different with my color, I’m quite sick of being a blonde actually, but my mind always goes back to my experiment with non-permanent brown hair dye back in the dorms, freshman year. It really wasn’t flattering, but neither was any of the clothing I wore freshman year, or the way I styled my hair, or the extra 5-10 pounds I was carrying, or really my personality as a whole, so I’m thinking I shouldn’t use that experience at that moment of my life as any sort of barometer of what might work today. I like to think I have come a long way since then, although I still can’t escape the rather unfortunate contortions of my face that appear every time I attempt to look sexy or cool on the dance floor.

Wow, I really had no thematic goals when I started writing this and I have done absolutely nothing in the previous paragraphs (if you can call them that) to hide that fact from you, my dear readers. Whatever, if I accomplished anything it has been to amuse myself for 20 minutes or so during this drab Tuesday at the office. Chow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well, I meant to write earlier this week but the days and time just got away from me, so here I am, it’s Wednesday, and I’m going to tell you about my weekend.

So, Thursday morning (yes, almost a week ago), my mom, my husband, and I embarked on a little road trip to the fabulous Windy City. I love Chicago, so any excuse for a little mini-vaca there is a good excuse, especially when it involves seeing (and hearing) my ultra-talented little brother sing in a concert for his school. He is currently in his second year studying in the Music Conservatory at the Chicago School of Performing Arts.

We got off to a rather slow start Thursday morning when we stopped over at my parents’ house to pick up my mother and the car. We had decided to drive my Dad’s Toyota Prius hybrid car, taking advantage of some kick-ass gas-mileage. The only issue I have with those crazy hybrid cars comes from my inexperience with them. Instead of starting the car by sticking the key in and turning it, all you have to do is have the key on you somewhere and press the start button. Yes, there’s a button. Well, I still have no idea what I did, but somehow I locked up the transmission and the little bugger wouldn’t start. I must have pressed that button, as well as the P (for Parking) button, 15 times, which probably didn’t help the matter at all. (You’re not even supposed to press the P button, so that shows you how screwed up I was.) In the mean time, my mom was in the backseat breathing like a crazy woman, so when Dan finally got the car started (after a call to my dad at work), we had to wait another 15 minutes for the windshield to defrost.

It was smooth sailing from there on out, unless you count the fact that I locked up the transmission again when we stopped for gas 45 minutes later. Whatever.

So you know how it’s common to bring snacks on road trips (you know, Doritos, Oreos, peanut M&M’s)? Well my mom, she is not common. She brought with her a HUGE Target bag with the following contents: two monstrous Sam’s Club size bags of lime tortilla chips (already opened), a jar of pineapple salsa, bowls from her kitchen, and a 24 oz can of pecans, almonds, and cashews. So weird.

Chicago was wonderful, as usual, and I so very much wish Dan and I could drop everything and move there tomorrow. I absolutely love the idea of living in the city, and I know I would have no trouble making it my home. I guess for now I’ll just have to get the most out of each and every minute of my sporadic visits, but I’m not letting go of my dream to live in the city quite yet.

Thursday night when we got there we checked into the hotel and did some walking around Grant Park, which is pretty much right across the street from Nathan’s college, and then went for a leisurely coffee, passing the time until the concert. The concert was wonderful, as expected, and Nathan was one of the four men with solos, which of course makes his mother and sister even more proud. His talent continues to astound me every time I see him perform, I still can’t believe my little brother is going to be an opera singer.

Off topic. Nathan told me his friend said I’m hot, is it wrong that I took that as even more of a compliment because of the fact that he is gay? I think it goes back to that whole theory (well, not sure if I should call it a theory because it is a total FACT) that women are often more concerned with impressing other women than men. I have this mentality that gay men (yes I know I’m generalizing) have pretty good taste, so I hold their opinions of how I look at a much higher level of importance than, say, my husbands friend Brandon. Just as I couldn’t care less about what Dan thinks of my new shoes, but I would give serious consideration to anything my friend Betsy might have to say about them.

Back on topic. Nathan “fit us in” for a late dinner after the concert, as he had plans to see Harry Potter at Midnight with a few of his friends. Yea, we had to remind him that we didn’t just drive seven hours to see him sing in his hour and a half concert, we were hoping to maybe spend a little time with him as well. He’s definitely the typical self-absorbed 19 year-old college punk, I can’t knock it though, I have TOTALLY been there. ;) A few years ago I took self-absorbed to a whole new level.

Anyways, we went to the beautiful Grand Lux Cafe down on the Magnificent Mile and were seated in a booth by the window with a great view overlooking Michigan Avenue. My mom’s comment of “Oh, I thought this came with REAL lettuce” to the poor guy who dared to bring out her lettuce wraps with iceberg lettuce, (though that’s generally how they’re served), did manage to bring down the group a bit, but only momentarily.

The next morning we went for breakfast at this dive-y diner called Beef ‘n Brandy, only about four blocks from my brother’s dorm and our hotel. It was the kind of place where you can get a decent breakfast for $2.99, enjoy a bottomless cup of weak black coffee, and listen to old ladies gossip in the booth next to you, the table across from them piled high with their tacky hats and crazy poofy coats. It was the perfect way to start out the day in Chicago.

After breakfast Dan and I got time to ourselves to do some shopping while my mom sat in on my brother’s voice lesson. I ended up finding the coat I have been looking for since the beginning of fall at Filene’s Basement for $100, down from $250.00. So even though Christmas is coming up and there is no reason why I should be spending money on myself, I bought it anyways. I haven’t worn it yet because Dan suggested having his grandma give it to me for Christmas, which would subside some of my shopper’s guilt. I should probably start working on my surprised face now.

Nathan had to go into work for a few hours so the three of us spent the afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago, roaming the European painting and sculpture galleries for most of it. I have to say, seeing the original paintings that I have studied in textbooks throughout middle school and high school is just so humbling and awe-inspiring, especially the French Impressionist stuff – Monet, Renoir, Pissaro. Absolutely incredible. That place is monstrous, by the way, we were there for almost four hours and didn’t see half of the collection. Definitely somewhere I’d like to return to, when I have more time.

When my brother got off work we met up with him and decided to check out Millennium Park. We watched people skate on the ice rink, walked around the Lurie Garden, and I took lots of pictures of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is just incredible. It was nice to just be a part of Chicago on a Friday night; the city is so vibrant and alive, even in the cold winter. My brother took us to Hackney’s for dinner, a very small and quaint pub with a kind of “neighborhood” feel to it. Definite “two thumbs up” goes to the management who, at pretty much the end of our meal, came over and very graciously asked us if we would be willing to move to the table in the corner so they could accommodate a big group coming in shortly. It was like we had won the lottery; they offered us another round of drinks on the house and free deserts, and all we had to do was move to a table 5 feet away that was way better than the one we were at. I think my response was, “Well, Yeaaah!” I’m certainly not one to pass up free stuff! The key lime pie, by the way, was delicious, though I could only stuff a few bites (bummed off my mom) into my already horribly full stomach.

Saturday was our last day, and we weren’t staying long, so we got up pretty early, checked out of the hotel, had a quick bagel and coffee, and headed out to do the ultimate Chicago touristy thing, we paid $12 a piece to go up on the Sears Tower Skydeck. I admit, it was cool to see the entire city from up there, and we had a really good time, so it was worth it. (Definitely just a “one-time-thing” though.) After that, we were pretty much out of there; we said our goodbyes and got on the road. We went a bit out of the way so we could stop in Aurora, a suburb about 45 minutes out of the city, and visit my cousin and her husband, whose baby girl Alexis (their first) was born just a few weeks ago. Our little visit turned into four and a half hours and take-out Chinese, so we didn’t really leave the Chicago suburbs until after 6:30 PM. Blech. So the drive home, well it sucked really really bad, but we made it, and we were fast asleep in our cozy bed by 2:00 AM.

So that is that - - our trip to Chicago, in way more detail than I’m sure anyone would care to know! It was a great time, and I’m all ready to do it again (except, of course, for the driving part, I can’t stress any more how much that really really sucked on the way home).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

4 8 15 16 23 42

So I know most people that read this don’t watch Lost, but I have to express my intense anger with the show’s producers, who it seems are simply “winging it” when it comes to their development of major plot lines. I am now convinced that these pricks seriously have no idea what they’re doing and where they’re going with this show, and now that they’ve got us all by our balls they’re laughing all the way to the bank with their big fat paychecks. I found the following excerpt of the most recent edition of the Ask Ausiello column on to be the most infuriating, but basically his whole interview with Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse pissed me off.

Will we get any clarification about the numbers this

Damon: Carlton might want to punch me for actually going on record and saying this, but I think that that question will never, ever be answered. I couldn't possibly imagine [how we would answer that question]. We will see more ramifications of the numbers and more usage of the numbers, but it boggles my mind when people ask me, "What do the numbers mean?"

Excuse me, but what? How can he even have the audacity to say that it “boggles” his mind that people want to know what the numbers mean. Ok, how about the fact that the fricken numbers have been the central mystery of the show since last season? Not only are they a huge part of Hurley’s back story and are the supposed reason why crazy French-lady Danielle and her team ended up on the island to begin with, but this season the same sequence of numbers ends up on the hatch and is the code that must be put into the doomsday computer every 108 (which is actually the sum of the numbers) minutes to keep the world from imploding. I could go on for days talking about the references to the numbers in the show (Flight 815 anyone?) because yes I am that big of a geek, but also because the show’s producers have given us these little nuggets all along. Now they’re going to tell us there’s no actual point to all these references, we are supposed to chock it up to a series of coincidences?

Wrorrrr! Someone seriously needs to sic the Lostzilla and those f-ing polar bears on J.J. Abrams and his crew of smirky ass-hole writers and producers.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good Sh#%

When I like something, I really really like something, to the point of life-altering obsession. So I thought I’d share with you a list of a few of these things that I have become quite smitten with as of late. Mock if you must...
  1. The new Strawberry Yogurt Burst Cheerios. These little buggers absolutely deserve the number one spot because they are the most delicious little morsels of sustenance that I have quite possibly ever put into my mouth. I know I’m kind of late on this, I’ve seen them being hailed all over internet land for quite some time now, but I finally bought a box on a whim during one of Dan’s and my lingering trips through Target. I couldn’t imagine how they could be as good as people swore they were, but I was wrong. Oh was I wrong. So wrong. They are heaven in a box. I implore you to buy yourself a box, and leave the bowl in the cupboard, the spoon in the drawer, and the milk in the refrigerator because all you need is a couch on which to plant your little bottom and the delicious box of goodness that in no way should be saved for breakfast only. Eat them as a snack, or desert, or better yet, for dinner! Believe me, I have.
  2. My treadmill. I’ve abandoned it for months now, but this past week I finally got back on the mother and started running again. I don’t understand why it’s so easy to forget how AMAZING running makes you feel, but I’m thankful I am finally back into it. And many thanks to my darling husband who gave me that final kick in the ass to get back in the game when he started up again a few weeks ago and made me feel incredibly guilty about not doing the same.
  3. Peanut Butter. I am in a total peanut butter phase these days, and I’m still not really sure what triggered it. I would be happy eating peanut butter sandwiches for all meals, and seriously, screw the jelly, who needs it? I crave the stuff, and when I’m putting in on my bread, I have a horrible time resisting the urge to stick my finger in there and go to town sans bread. Only once has my willpower failed, and in an attempt to save what little dignity I still had, I got myself a spoon instead of sticking my germ-ridden fingers in the little jar. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and I swear to God, I’m not pregnant, so don’t even think it.
  4. Fitted cowl-necked sweaters. I am obsessed with sweaters these days, I love how cozy they are, how pretty and soft they make me feel, and I am especially digging the cowl-necked sweaters. They have the turtle-neck neckline I love, without the choking and gag-inducing affect that a turtle-neck actually has on me. I have had a really bad gag reflex for as long as I can remember; case in point, I threw up on my dentist on a few occasions when I was younger, I can’t even hold a pencil in between my teeth for more than 3 seconds without feeling like I am being choked within an inch of my life, and sometimes during a messy and slow commute home I actually take off the turtle-neck shirt I’m wearing from under my coat while driving because I just can’t stand to be in it any longer. So, as you can imagine, cowl-necked sweaters are my saving grace, and I adore them.
  5. TV. I know, I am such a loser, but I haven’t really been into very many TV shows since the days of Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, and “Must See TV” on Thursday nights. Now, all of a sudden, I’ve found myself crazy obsessed with way too many TV shows at once. Here’s my couch-potato schedule:
  • Sunday: Desperate Housewives & Grey's Anatomy
  • Monday: How I Met Your Mother (have you seen this show, it is soooo hilarious, our dear old Doogie is insane) & Related
  • Tuesday: Commander in Chief
  • Wednesday: Hello… Lost!
  • Thursday: The OC (last week’s episode really sucked though, anyone else agree?) and Without a Trace

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Yesterday ended up being a much different day than I could have imagined when I climbed out of bed at 5:30 AM.

So I got to work just before 7:00 and immediately started feeling like crap. It was sort of an arbitrary crap, because I’m not sick or anything, I just felt… yucky. I had a raging headache, and was feeling tired and unmotivated and bored and cranky and fat. So into my head popped the idea of leaving work “sick”, and once it’s in there, there’s really no turning back. I sat for ten minutes staring at an email to my boss saying I was going home sick, debating whether or not I should hit the send button. Well I did, and by 8:00 I was back in my car headed home, calling my husband to let him know. He, of course, ridiculed me for a bit, but we decided to meet for lunch later on before noon. I drove home in a happy daze, my head full of ideas of what I could do with my day. My headache had mysteriously vanished.

It was strange listening to the radio morning shows on the way home from work, I have to say that was a first. Even more strange was that I heard my aunt call in to the station to weigh in on their discussion on marriage and money, and how couples deal with the whole “how much can you spend on yourself?” dilemma. She was talking about her handbag fetish, and how she can easily drop a few hundred on a new purse, but he will call and get her permission before making a $20 purchase for some sort of tool he needs. It’s not that she makes him ask for her permission, he just does. I think it’s safe to say, my poor uncle is officially whipped.

Anyways, so back to my day-o-laziness. When I got home I snuggled with my very surprised and excited pup on the couch for a few hours, tried to get a little nap in, put on some comfy jeans, and headed back out to pick up Dan. It was so nice to see him and I felt horribly guilty about the fact that I was playing hooky and he had to go back to work after lunch. When we were driving back to his office, we went right by a movie theatre, and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with my afternoon.

So for the first time in my life (if you don’t count the movie I saw in our hotel in Vegas last winter) I went to a movie theatre all by myself. I’ve wanted to see In Her Shoes since the fricken day it came out, and the fact that it was noon and they had a 12:15 showing was like God telling me to go for it. My solo-movie-going experience ended up being kind of bizarre actually. First, after purchasing my ticket, I went to the snack counter, because you just have to go to the snack counter when you go to a movie. Since I had just eaten lunch (I could literally still taste it), I wouldn’t allow myself to get my usual “popcorn, light butter”, so I thought I would just get a drink. Yes, I decided, one nice big Diet Coke with lots of ice and a straw was exactly what I wanted. So without looking at prices or options, I asked for a large Diet Coke, and I took note of the weird look that the hippie counter boy gave me as he went about fulfilling my order. I was given the reason for the weird look when he handed me the most enormous plastic cup I have ever seen and told me it would be $4.25. I had just bought 64 ounces of nutri-sweet and caffeine, all for myself. It was almost too big to carry with one hand! When he asked me how many straws I wanted, I sheepishly told him, “just one”, and ran off to the bathroom to flush my bladder in preparation of 2 hours alone, in the dark, with 64 ounces of Diet coke.

I was surprised to find the restroom completely pitch black. Despite my efforts to press the button on the wall that wasn’t really a button and jump around to initiate what I assumed were motion lights, it stayed dark. It actually kind of freaked me out, so I got the hell out of there and practically ran into the guy standing out in front of the men’s restroom. I come to find out the lights are off in there as well, and he has recruited another hippie boy to get them back on. Ten minutes later, I’m still standing there, sipping on my 64 ounces of Diet coke, talking to the three guys now waiting to use the restroom, watching as hippie movie theatre boy runs back and forth in a frantic fury. At this point my need to go to the bathroom had intensified, due to the aforementioned sipping of my monstrous soda. Finally, the guy fetched a couple flashlights and told us to go for it so we didn’t miss the beginning of our movies. I have to say, I was a little freaked out in there in the dark, but I forged through the fear.

So I’m finally sitting in the theatre, accompanied only by about 6 retirees (the only people seeing romantic comedies at 12:15 PM on a Wednesday), and the little commercial/TV thing has finished and told us the movie would be starting momentarily. Cut to another ten minutes later, we’re still sitting there staring at the frozen screen. Hippie guy finally runs in and apologizes, says he’s been dealing with the bathrooms, and at last the movie is up and running. My bladder prep wasn’t exactly successful, and I ended up going to the bathroom three times during the movie, not even making a dent in the 64 ounces of cancer in my cup holder.

The movie ended up being great, by the way, they stayed so true to the book, which I loved, and Toni Collette was just wonderful. Go see it. Really, really good.

In summary, my day yesterday was, in one word, awesome. It was so great to just take a day off in the middle of the week and just do whatever I wanted. It’s definitely something I shouldn’t get used to, but I can’t say I’m feeling very guilty about it. One thing I do feel guilty about, however, is skipping Belly Dancing last night. Bad. Bad, bad, bad.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nine to five musings

This week my dad is out of town so I have to drive my mom to work at 6:00AM. I know, it doesn’t sound like the best situation, but I’m thinking it’ll be a blessing in disguise. You see, I can go to work pretty much whenever I want, we have very flexible hours, but over the last two years I have slowly gotten into a rut where it is almost impossible for me to leave for work before 7:15. It’s ridiculous. Dan gets up at 5:40 and wakes me up at 6:15 before he leaves, at which point I drag my lazy ass into the shower. I have talked about getting up when he does many times, but that’s just it, it has been all talk. Until now! Today and yesterday I made it a point to get up just before 5:30, giving myself enough time to shower and dry my hair before I have to leave to pick up my mom, and I’ve made it to work both days before 7:00. Beautiful. I’m thinking this week will provide me with that little push I need to get out of my rut.

So we have a new food service company in my building, and this change makes me happier than Jesse Katsopolis singing with the Beach Boys on a really good hair day.

Check this out, they have a breakfast salad bar with yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and granola. Ummm… can we say yum?

And this morning I discovered that there is also a little oatmeal bar with toppings including chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, brown sugar, and more of that tasty granola! Good lord, it is just amazing!

So I’m a happy girl this morning, as I sip my coffee and munch on my cup of piping hot fruity oatmeal. I could definitely get used to this.

Did I mention it only cost me a dollar?

It’s sad what gets you excited in the corporate world, isn’t it?

Monday, November 07, 2005

The recipe for a perfect Friday off of work:

  • Sleep in as late as your sweet little pup will allow.
  • Take all the time in the world to do your hair and make-up, (there is no one around to rush you and absolutely nothing to be late for!)
  • Go here and try on 627 pairs of boots until you have found the perfect pair (scratch that, pairs). Remember, there is no reason to rush, your husband is at work, safe and sound, unable to pout and sigh and give you “that look” that means he may spontaneously combust if you do not make a decision in the next 2.7 seconds.
  • Treat yourself to a new book and a long leasurely lunch featuring a delicious bowl of cream of chicken wild rice soup and a scrumptious caesar salad.
  • Make sure you get that cozy little corner booth so you can lounge and read and slurp your diet coke for two whole uninterrupted blissful hours.

I treasure my lazy Fridays off every other week. I know it probably sounds horribly dull, but it was seriously EXACTLY what I needed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dear Sweet Puppy

Dear Bella,

While we have been toying with the possibility of starting to leave you at home unsupervised and outside of your kennel for extended periods of time, we are going to need some cooperation on your part if you think it’s going to happen. For a while there it seemed you could be a very good little unsupervised pup, we let you sleep at the end of our bed instead of your kennel every couple days, and this gave you so much puppy pleasure. You would lay there looking out the window or chewing on your little raw-hide, very respectful of our need for a good seven hours of sleep on a weeknight. But lately, we’ve started to see that this little sleeping arrangement may have a few problems, you have been doing some naughty things while we are sleeping. We really want this to work out, not only because we love to make you a happy puppy, but admittedly it alleviates some of our guilt for leaving you home alone for too long some weekends, selfishly giving our social life more importance than quality time with your cute doggy self. So, little Bella, there are some things we’re going to need from you if you’d like to retain the privilege of sleeping on our bed once in a while, and hopefully one day spend your time alone in the house outside of the kennel. Please consider the following requests:
  1. Please stay at the foot of the bed, in the corner by the wall and the window. This is your spot, just like daddy has his spot on the outside, next to the alarm. If you meander to the other side, you will be in his territory, and he has much longer legs than mommy, which means there is always a possibility that you will be kicked off the bed over there. Also, we know you sometimes like to sleep in between us, but again, this is not your spot, and we hate when you do this because it really makes spooning very difficult.
  2. Staying in your designated spot also helps accomplish our second request, which is to try to refrain from falling off the bed. Again, since it’s common for you to leave your spot and perch very dangerously on the edge of the bed next to daddy, it’s really not surprising that you often find yourself landing with a big “kurplump” on the hardwood floor. We really don’t want you to get hurt, and we also really hate being woken up suddenly to such a loud noise in the middle of the night. That really freaks us out!
  3. Now, if you are going to keep jumping (or falling) off the bed in the middle of the night, you’re going to really have to learn how to get back on by yourself. We know our bed is very high due to the double pillow-top feature of our less-than-one-year-old mattress, so we’re going to find a cute little stool/ottoman to help you out with this endeavor. However, you’re going to have to cooperate more than you did the other day when we tried to teach you to jump up on the bed using an upside down laundry basket as a stool. We know it didn’t really work out and that you were really confused as to what we were asking you to do, but you’re supposed to be one of the smartest breeds out there for goodness sake. You come from a long line of sheep-herders! We’ve seen you jump higher going after frisbees in the back yard, so we know you can do this.
  4. For the love of God, when we take you outside before bed, know that that is the LAST CHANCE to do your business. We will not be happy when you wake us up at 12:00AM to go poop because you were too busy barking at and chasing after stars an hour before to deal with it then.
  5. Quit with the anal leakage. It is just plain gross, and your daddy would not have put his face so close to it the other day if he knew that that is what that stuff was on our blanket. I don’t blame you entirely for this, though, because if it wasn’t for Auntie Betsy, I wouldn’t even know what anal leakage was. Ignorance is bliss, I tell you.
  6. No barking out the window at scary movement in the neighbor’s yard, because it freaks mommy out. She will end up laying there for 45 minutes, heart racing, unable to sleep, positive that she saw a figure lurking in the shadows of the tree, debating whether or not she should be the crazy lady next door and call the cops about what is most likely the figment of her imagination caused by the unnecessary barking of her dog.
  7. If you’re going to bring a raw-hide up on the bed with you, could you please limit it to just one? It’s getting pretty ridiculous when we find 6 half-chewed raw-hides amongst the covers when we decide on a whim to actually make the bed. That’s really gross. Also, don’t drop one off the bed in the middle of the night and stare at it and pace and whine and cry until Dan or I finally wake up and pick it up for you. That’s really annoying.

So if you promise to work on all of this, we’ll promise to try to be better at waking up when you need to go outside in the morning; we know we’ve been very bad lately. We ignored you on Sunday morning when you were ringing the bell like a maniac, desperate to go outside and release your bladder. It was our fault that we fell back asleep only to wake up an hour and a half later to little puddles of pee by the back door. There was nothing more you could do you poor thing, we were being very bad, very lazy dog parents. We know you are completely potty-trained, that things like that shouldn’t happen, and that we are completely at fault.

Anyways, let’s get working on all this, and hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to start leaving you alone outside your kennel when we go to work!


Mom & Dad

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mambo Number 5

First things first, Is anyone else SO OVER Desperate Housewives this year? I find myself completely bored with the show as of late (which kills me to admit, since my husband has been saying this all along), and I find Teri Hatcher’s character Susan excessively irritating. All the hype surrounding both her and Eva Longoria has gotten to be too much I think, I am officially sick of them both, sick of it all.

That doesn’t mean I’ll quit watching it though, Sunday nights just wouldn’t feel right without it.

So, this weekend was really busy, as usual. Friday night… well, it’s hard to talk about Friday night without some major mixed emotions. I become enraged just thinking about it, but then moments later I’m amused remembering how ridiculous it all was. The story goes back to last weekend, which was the kick off of the Halloween festivities my friends have dubbed “Scare-fest 2005”. Scare-fest 2005 can be described, really, as a homage to the great holiday that is Halloween and the great season that is Fall where we plan an outing every Friday night throughout the month of October. Last Friday’s event was really fun and low key, we met up for wings and beer before hitting up the Fright Farm in Oakdale. It took a nice, quick 15 minutes to get through the haunted house (which was mildly creepy in a fun, campy, lighthearted way), and afterwards we took a ride on the “Tilt-a-wirl”-esque dinosaur ride, which provided us with a hilariously good time, even though it was obviously geared towards a much younger age group. Afterwards we caravanned on over to Liz and Corey’s place to chill and drink and play The 90’s Game (the best board game EVER). It was a great night, and a perfect way to kick off the month’s festivities.

Now I’ll get back to this Friday, which was definitely the most anticipated event of Scare-fest 2005 because we were going to the Trail of Terror, supposedly the best Halloween event in Minnesota. We first met for dinner at Dangerfield’s, which was really fun, despite some really bad service and a waitress sporting an almost-mullet. At 9:00 we headed over to the Trail of Terror, and we were awestruck at what we found: a HUGE field full of cars and HUGE crowds of people waiting in lines. We had no idea that this thing was such a big deal; apparently we should have done a little more homework. This place had a haunted hayride, a ¾ mile indoor maze, something called the “Halls of Horror”, a bunch of carnival type rides, and a tent with a live band and a dance floor. The lines looked pretty over-whelming for the maze, so we decided to hit up the hayride first. We got into the line around 9:30, and you will not believe what time we actually got onto that stupid ass mother-fucking hayride. Midnight. That’s right, you read that correctly, two and a half hours later. We lost a few in our group due to exhaustion and pregnancy-related nausea half-way through the line, but stubborn ass-holes that we are, we stuck it out. Seriously, two and a half hours of my life, gone, just like that, two and a half hours spent standing in a line, in the cold, amongst hundreds of really strange people. I haven’t been around that many obnoxious teenagers since I was one in high-school, nor have I ever before over-heard a conversation between three really geeky twenty-something men about Clingons, laser-guns, and tractor beams. Oh yes, the freaks were out that night. And they were all around us. Wait…what am I saying? We waited in line for two and a half hours for a f#!%-ing hay-ride, WE are the freaks.

On Saturday, Dan and I joined his parents and his older brother and his wife for an early dinner at Granite City, where I had the most delicious meal I have ever had in all my 24 years of living. I got the Grilled Salmon Oscar, which was a filet of charbroiled salmon topped with crab meat, asparagus, and this awesome béarnaise sauce, served over a bed of rice pilaf and with the most amazing medley of sautéed vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, peapods, broccoli, mmm…). It was seriously, so fricken good. Definitely the highlight of my evening (sad, I know). We then headed to the first themed wedding I have ever been to, the wedding of a friend of Dan’s from way back who I had met maybe twice before. It was an evening ceremony, the invitations looked like tickets to a movie, the ushers wore sunglasses and those ear things as if they were security at a big movie premiere and stood in front of the roped off aisle (adorned with a red carpet of course), there was a director’s chair on the alter, and the programs announced that it was “A Reel Love Story”. Very strange. It was nice, I guess, in a weird sort of way. The bride was absolutely beautiful though, I will give them that. She wore her hair down, which, to this day, I wish I had done. But I shouldn’t admit that, because it’s absolutely ridiculous to be thinking back on things I would do differently at my wedding more than a year ago. It was one day, no big deal.

Anyways, they just had a desert bar at the reception, which was really good, but I wasn’t really feeling the “no-alcohol” thing, I would have given my left arm for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. “Hey Ya” is without a doubt one of my favorite songs to dance to at a wedding, so when it came on, my brother-in-law dragged Dan and I out on the dance floor. Once there, I seriously didn’t know what to do, neither did the guys, and we all realized that we have never danced to that song without any alcohol in us. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever danced at a wedding to ANY non-slow song without the influence of alcohol, it was the most uncomfortable moment of my life. I bounced around a little, praying for the song to end, and when it did, the three of us bolted back to our table, and shortly there-after, bolted from the reception all together. What a horrific experience.

On Sunday morning I went to Target for a few things and ended up bumming around there for about an hour, I love wandering through Target by myself. I spent like a half hour trying on every single black winter hat they were selling, and settled on a really cute beret, which I know I will get ridiculed for wearing by many friends and family members, but I don’t care. It is so cute, and doesn’t give me hat hair, so I’ll just be telling all the nay-sayers to screw off! I get so excited for new seasons and new lines of clothing coming out, especially in the fall and winter; I think all women would agree that shopping for a funky winter coat is much more enjoyable than shopping for a bikini. Am I right? The only problem is that with the cute winter clothes come cold weather, shorter days, dry skin, horrible traffic, and extremely high heat bills for cute old houses like mine. I’m not going to let myself get all depressed about winter yet though, because we’re still in the middle of a gorgeous fall, and then come Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years! So I predict that come January 2nd, I will be singing a different tune, but for now, all is good and right in my world. ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I’ve written a few times in the past week, but then immediately deleted what I had written before posting it because it seemed either a.) boring, b.) fluffy, or c.) embarrassingly self-involved. I have to get over that whole “self-involved” issue though, because it’s no secret that the concept of having a personal blog clearly stems from some form of vanity on the writer’s part. Any blogger who claims that he or she isn’t at least a little bit self-absorbed, or that he or she doesn’t get extreme satisfaction out of strangers leaving comments for them, is so completely full of it. So, since I’ve determined that blogging is, in itself, a self-indulgent exercise, let’s commence today’s narcissistic blathering, guilt free.

I woke up this morning with the horrible realization that it wasn’t Friday yet, which tells you that it has been one ridiculously long week. I’m really getting tired of this working every day thing. Sometimes being a grown-up just really sucks, doesn’t it?

Other than suffering through the mundane hours of 7:30 AM through 5:00 PM at my corporate desk job, my week has been pretty good. Dan and I decided on our Halloween costumes, we will be dressing up as Daphne and Fred from Scooby Doo, so we did a little searching of some local thrift stores and bargain department stores for the necessary pieces to transform ourselves into those crazy funky 70’s ghoul-fighting teens. We had minimal luck at the thrift stores, but I found a really good Daphne costume online, that, with some tweaking and the addition of a fabulous orange wig and some fake eyelashes, will work just splendidly. Dan’s costume is quite a bit easier to put together ourselves, but it’s still in the works, let’s just say he will be rocking those blue polyester pants. I’m really excited for Halloween, I love getting all dressed up, and as long as I don’t go as crazy with the alcohol as last year, our party should be a good time!

In TV news, I am thoroughly obsessed with Lost at the moment, and last night’s episode certainly did not disappoint. I’ve taken my obsession a little bit too far as of late, and have been spending way too much time here speculating on countless theories and meticulously examining screen shot after screen shot for hidden clues to the secrets of the island and the Dharma Initiative. I can’t believe I’ve let myself get so wrapped up in all of this nonsense, but I have to say, that this is some great television.

Belly dancing class last night was hilariously girly, as two separate little events completely disrupted our class but at the same time brought us a little closer together. First, during our warm-up, one of the ladies announced her engagement, and with one little flash of the sparkly ring on her finger, the entire class, including our instructor, had abandoned their stretches and mobbed her for a closer look. After much oohing, ahhing, and high-pitched gushing, everyone meandered back to their spots on the dance floor, and the bride-to-be proceeded to tell the entire proposal story to a room full of women who, for the most part, don’t even know her last name (to be honest, I can’t think of her first name right now). Later on, a delivery person came by with a bouquet of gorgeous fall flowers for our instructor, at which point the high pitched gushing started up again. Without fail, the entire class all shimmied over to the back of the room where she had taken them to get a closer look, (and of course hoping to catch a glimpse of the card that accompanied them!) Choruses of, “They’re so beautiful…” and “You’re so lucky, I NEVER get flowers!” could be heard amongst this mob of fawning women who, at the request of their instructor, continued to shimmy throughout the whole ordeal. Then came the voice of reason from the blonde lady next to me (again, no name, I should really start paying attention to names).

Blond no-name: “So… is he forgiven?”

Instructor chick (as she sticks the card in her purse): “It depends on what the card says!”

The whole time I was just aware of how fabulous it is to be a woman, and how damn important it is to support the rest of our fabulous sisters. Individually, we are magnificent creatures, but together, good Lord we could have so much power! Just think of how productive we would be if, instead of gossiping, instead of comparing our bodies, and instead of putting each other down to bring ourselves up, we supported each other unconditionally. If a woman has a problem, chances are she wouldn’t have to go very far to find another woman who has had that same problem, and has sufficiently kicked that same problem’s ass. There’s just so much girl-on-girl hating going on out there that we’re not able to take advantage of each others’ life experiences and wisdom as often as I think we should.

Alright, I’ll quit with the “chicks need to stick together” ranting. If you want more of it, check out Mascara Feminism. That shit is EXACTLY what I’m talking about! A haphazard group of unrelated women of all different ages, shapes, and sizes, coming together to support two of their own, solely out of kindness and respect, without judgment or criticism, is so Mascara.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A poop camel, a Barbie pool, and a baby-mounting dog

Dan and I babysat for the in-laws Friday night, so they could go out, just the two of them, something I don’t think they’ve done in probably years. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the best way to sum up the evening was that it served as a very good reminder to take my birth control. That’s not to say it wasn’t kind of fun, in a crazy experiment kind of way!

So when we got there we were informed that Dan’s 3 year old brother had not pooped in about 5 days, and they had spent the better part of the day trying to will it out of him. My mother-in-law had the little guy running all over the back yard, hoping to give his excretory system that final little push it needed, so that we wouldn’t have to deal with it when the evening came. I truly appreciated her thoughtful efforts, however unsuccessful they were.

I should mention that my husband is the 2nd oldest of 10 children, so we were there to baby-sit the six youngest, at the ages of 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12 (I think…, I may be a little off on a few of the older ones, it’s very difficult to keep track of all their ages.) So you can imagine the chaos that is this household, especially to a girl, such as me, used to a quiet little existence of TV and take-out with her handsome husband and snuggly pup.

The night went like this. Dan played video games with the older boys (who don’t really need a babysitter, but who are, at the same time, not entirely comfortable taking care of the three youngest), and kept an eye on the littlest one, the baby girl, who is the best damn baby I have ever met. Keeping an eye, in this sense, meant that he put her on his lap when she got herself in any trouble, all the while continuing to play Mario Tennis. I had promised the 5 year old girl that I would play Barbies, so I went upstairs with her and her older sister and we broke out the Barbie house and the Barbie jeep. At some point I went downstairs to take a phone call, and discovered that our three year old little poop camel was standing in the middle of the family room, in a very odd position, making some very unusual faces. A peek in his Spiderman underpants found that it was finally coming out, whether he wanted it to or not. Yuck. So I brought him to the bathroom where all hell commenced to break loose. There was screaming, there was crying, he had forgotten to aim his “peeer”down and all the pushing was making things come out of both ends. Somehow he got poop on his feet, legs, and the rug, so I found myself on the ground with a tub of baby wipes trying to get rid of all remnants of poopiness. At this very moment, the 5 year old comes downstairs, weeds her way through our little audience of Dan and the rest of the kids, climbs over the baby gate in front of the bathroom, and crouches down and says, “So, what happened to you? I thought you were going to play Barbies with me, you promised! I have a new idea for what we can do, we can take out the Barbie pool and…” You have got to be kidding me.

Well, so what followed in the next few hours were two more poop incidents, during one of which he again did not make it to the toilet in time. I can’t believe I was naïve enough to think it was all over after the horrible first incident. I have to say though, by the end of the night his attitude, which had started as “pooping is bad, this is horrible, please don’t make me do it,” had evolved into, “Yeah! I pooped! I’m awesome! I can do this!” I felt so proud.

There was one moment where it felt like everything culminated into one big giant affirmation that we were not quite ready to have children. In this moment, I was in the upstairs bathroom with Poopy McPooperson, dealing with incident number three, when I heard the baby screaming at the bottom of the stairs. I yelled for Dan, who was supposedly “watching” her, and I heard the sound of my 6’3, 190 pound husband running through the house to her rescue. At the bottom of the stairs, he found the screaming baby laying flat on her back with our little sheltie pup standing right on top of her! I’m totally serious. I could not make this shit up.

I think for now, we’re perfectly happy with it being just the three of us (Dan, myself, and the pup) in our cozy little home, living our charmed newlywed life. I like my aerobics class on Tuesdays and my belly dancing class on Wednesdays. I like my Sunday nights of un-interrupted Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy viewing. And I really like having my cute husband all to myself.

Yup, for now, I think we’re doing just fine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Comfort Foods

Does anyone else, on the brink of the fall and winter seasons, find themselves craving, almost to the point of obsession, the warm embraces of carb-laden comfort foods? I swear it’s got to be human instinct, because the minute cold weather starts to present itself, I am tempted to stuff my face with as much pasta, pancakes, creamy soup, pizza, and big meaty hot sandwiches I can get my hands on. With the end of summer it’s “so long!” to the light salads, delicious fruits, and bagel sandwiches that have been my staple for more than three months. No way, I want steamy chili, melted cheese, and hot breakfasts drenched in syrup! Bring on the starch! I’m talking baked potatoes, garlic toast, lasagna, and warm apple pie… mmm I want pie.

See what I mean?! Please tell me I’m not the only one battling the indulgence demons currently doing a number on my state of mind.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ovaries Only

This morning I sat in traffic for more than an hour during my what-usually-would-be-30-minute commute. So I strolled into work at a quarter after 8:00, which means that even if I don’t take a lunch break, I will be here until f-ing 5:15… what a fabulous way to start out your week. Let this be a warning, that what may follow will probably be some really annoying bitching and ranting, due to my quite sour mood.

I’d like to take some time today to discuss the drain on society I like to call the “Ovaries-Only Product Stumping Parties”. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m talking about those home-parties where women get together and listen to another chick talk about how life-changing her particular over-priced product line is, leaving them feel pressured into spending ridiculous sums of money on a bunch of crap that they don’t need.

Please Kate, don’t be offended by any of this, because I love you and your lovely candles, and have never felt pressured to buy anything from you. I am just a bitch who needs to bitch and you certainly shouldn’t think any of this is directed at you. :)

I have been to all of those damn parties… Mary Kay (make-up), Party-Lite (candles), Premier Design (jewelry), Southern Living (home décor), Longeberger (baskets), and of course Pampered Chef… I could go on, I kid you not. I go to these parties because I have no spine. I purchase countless products from these parties because I am very easily hooked by any form of advertising and direct marketing. I went to my aunt’s Longeberger party with a firm belief that those stupid baskets were so outlandishly over-priced and pointless, and there was no way I was buying a thing. I don’t really even like baskets and they most certainly don’t go with the décor of my home. However, sure enough, as I was watching that lady create cute little displays using a bunch of her products in different ways and listening to her talk about the new holiday line, I started to get sucked in. Horrible thoughts started to weasel themselves into my stupid little mind…

“Wow, that little 3in by 4in basket may be $49, but it is such good quality! Think of how cute it would be if I put post-its in there… or hair pins… or crackers!”

Seriously, that doesn’t even make sense! Fifty bucks for a tiny basket with no actual practical use? You’d think that an educated woman such as myself wouldn’t be so easily influenced, but I swear to god those ladies use some sort of voo doo or something that makes us poor souls think that we HAVE to buy something. I did end up buying something at that party actually, but it was a gift for Dan’s aunt (I drew her name for Christmas). This would be ok, but the limit set for Christmas gifts was $20, and the basket, with shipping and handling and tax, set me back $45 (it was really tiny, the cheapest one they sold). I think I ended up getting like 4 tea-lites as my gift from my secret santa.

Ok, I’m starting to get really off-topic.

One fateful evening late in July, there was a knock at the door. I was very busy flipping channels between an old re-run of Friends and an episode of the Real World that I had seen 4 and a half times already, so I couldn’t be bothered to answer it. Dan however, my other (less lazy) half, was kind enough to go see who it was. I heard the question, “Is your wife home?” and a feeling of dread passed over me… I would have to get off the couch.

It was the lady who lived behind us off the alley, and she was very nervous, and very awkward, and she told me about her new foray into the world of Pampered Chef. Oh. God. I told her that August was going to be a very busy month for me, and that I would MAYBE be willing to host a party in the fall sometime, and that she could call me then. Stupid, stupid, stupid Alicia, I can’t believe I actually thought that it would be easier for me to say no over the phone..

The end of August comes, and she starts calling me. I see her name on the caller ID and I avoid the call, but she leaves a message. My clever husband points out that she knows that we’re home, both our cars are in the driveway and all the lights are on. I of course feel terrible, but not terrible enough to call her back. Its two days later, Saturday night, and my friend Angela and my mom are over and we’re just sitting down to watch a movie. The phone rings and I see that it’s her, but since it’s a bad time, I guiltily don’t answer the phone again, and she leaves ANOTHER message! I couldn’t believe it. So I finally call her back a few days later, and there’s no way I can say no, the guilt is just eating me up inside. It looks like I’m having a Pampered Chef party.

Let’s just say this woman ended up being the most annoying person I’ve ever met. She left countless messages on my machine, reminding me to send out the invites, asking if people had RSVP’d yet, requesting that I call those that hadn’t RSVP’d (yea right), letting me know which recipes I had to choose from for her to make during the party, it was just one thing after another, always really rambling and uneasy, her voice cutting in and out as she’d get super quiet after a really long sentence. I was so happy when last Tuesday finally came, the day of the party. I couldn’t wait for it to all be over. I cleaned my ass off, did the shopping for the recipe she was making, and put together some snacks for my guests. It went just fine, despite the fact that the lady is extremely socially awkward and was visibly nervous the entire time. Last night we finally closed up the party and I ordered all my free crap, and I think it’s finally over. Through everything, I believe I have finally found the courage and strength deep in side of me that will help me to say “no” the next time I am put in a similar situation. I will never get guilted into doing it again, by anyone… EVER!

So the moral of the story is… don’t answer the door? No, that’s not it. I suppose what I’ve learned from throwing my very own party is that I shouldn’t complain about going to those parties anymore, because throwing them is way worse. I got a lot of free shit, yes, but it was free shit that I really didn’t need, or even want, and it certainly had its price. Nothing is ever really free in this world, is it?

Monday, September 19, 2005

All work, very little play

What an exhausting weekend. We finally got going on the project that we have been putting off for more than a year, which would be the painting of all the outside trim on our house. For some reason the previous owners (or possibly the ones before them) went through and painted only the trim on the front and sides of the house (in a color that we dislike by the way), leaving the back of the house a completely different color. So, on the back of the house we’ve got a bunch of rotting window frames, exposed wood, and a whole lot of other stuff going on that I can’t really explain because I tend to zone out when Dan is explaining it all to me. (Hey, conversations involving manual labor and tools whose uses are completely foreign to me don’t exactly capture my full attention.) Anyways, so we had set aside this weekend strictly for this project, we enlisted some family members who agreed to help out, and we got going already on Friday night with the scraping of wood trim, in preparation for priming. To be honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about things on Friday; I was tired from a long week at work and the last thing I wanted to do was get all dirty and sweaty outside. So I stalled a little at the beginning, I did some dishes inside, swept the kitchen floor, wandered around the house, offered the boys water and Diet Coke, but there was no fooling that crafty husband of mine, he saw right through my lazy crap and ordered me outside. Thus began my foray into doing work around the house that requires me to be outdoors and leaves me bearing a somewhat repugnant stench.

Saturday and Sunday were much of the same. We got up at 6:30 AM and were out working by 7:00 both mornings. So much for sleeping in on the weekend, huh? I’m so glad we worked as hard as we did though, because it’s considerably easier to keep it up when you are seeing actual progress being made. Dan and I are taking off work tomorrow to get another full day in, and my wonderful parents also offered to help. Our goal is to finish the whole house with two coats before winter, and knowing Minnesota weather, that doesn’t give us much time, so we have to take these beautiful days when we can get them!

If you can believe it, amidst all of the damn work we were doing on our house this weekend, we were also able to fit in drinks and a bite to eat with some friends on Friday night (mmm… spinach artichoke dip and cheap beer), about 7 episodes of Lost (I am 100% without-a-doubt obsessed with that show now, I really hope we can finish season 1 before the season 2 premier on Wednesday), dinner with my parents on Saturday night (mmm… grilled salmon), and our much anticipated belly dancing performance on Sunday evening. The belly dancing thing (called a “Hafla”) went great, by the way, and Bets and I had so many friends and family members there, I felt very humbled by their kindness and support, (even though I suspect a few of them secretly think our new little hobby is a bit crazy). I fear the next step will be our purchase of full on belly dancing costumes, at which point we will have officially crossed over from the “I do it because it’s a fun and different form of exercise” mindset into the “Let’s choreograph our own duet dance for the next Hafla” frame of mind. ;)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finding Motivation

I’ve signed my mom and I up for a fitness class through our city’s community ed program called “Bellies, Buns, and Conditioning”. It sounds a little dorky, but I’m really excited about it! Taking classes like that is the best way to get me motivated to exercise, which is something I’ve seriously been lacking this entire summer. I don’t feel all that guilty about it though, because we’ve been so crazy busy I’ve hardly had time to think about the treadmill in our basement that has been accumulating dust. Honestly, I never even notice the thing. Like when I go down to change a load of laundry, I most definitely DO NOT feel the shame of Judas from just catching a glimpse of our beautiful piece of exercise equipment, sitting lonely and unused in the corner of the family room. I recall a specific Friday in July when I was off work for the day; I most certainly DID NOT make a deal with myself which stipulated that if the scale spit out a number lower than a certain number, I would be exempt from working out, despite the fact that I was doing absolutely nothing else that day. I TOTALLY didn’t do that, and I totally didn’t lie on the couch all morning instead, watching old Buffy reruns and eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Oh, and on a related note, I absolutely DO NOT feel even a twinge of guilt when I am writing out a check every month for our 0% interest for one year loan on the treadmill.

Moving on. There’s nothing like beautiful fall weather to get me motivated for exercise though, I love everything about the fall, the colors, the smells, the fall fashion lines…there’s just a sense of new beginnings to everything. It's the perfect time to start up with the exercising again. You know what, I just thought of something interesting. When we got our treadmill last year, I was at a serious Sex and the City point in my life. No, my boyfriend hadn’t broken up with me on a post-it, I hadn’t been cheating on my gorgeous furniture designing beau with a married man (I still think Carrie was an absolute idiot to let Aiden go, the first and the second time), and I can tell you for a fact that I wasn’t dating a politician who found urinating on one’s partner a good form of foreplay. Nothing like any of that. I was in the middle of completely devouring Seasons One through Six on DVD, and often times it was while running on our treadmill. Maybe the key is to find something that I am really excited to watch while running, and maybe it’s really good timing that we just bought the Lost Season 1 DVD set this week!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Laundry... Hangovers... Shopping

I had a very pleasant weekend I must say. I did boring things like washing ridiculous amounts of dishes (I am getting kind of sick of this “broken dishwasher” thing), folding and putting away laundry, organizing my closet by color, finally finding a way to store and display my shoes and purses, ironing every button-up shirt I own, painting the desk I bought at an antique store in April, arranging and re-arranging the furniture in our new office, going through the piles of mail that had accumulated on our dining room table last week, and finally getting out the last of the postcard invitations for my stupid Pampered Chef party which I was totally guilted into having by the socially awkward lady who lives behind us on the other side of the alley.

I also did some non-boring things as well, such as attending Betsy’s little shindig on Friday night (dubbed a “wine and batman party”, don’t ask). I had such a hilarious time, but had a few too many glasses of wine and had a not-so-fun hangover for the better part of Saturday. I swear, wine is the only alcoholic beverage that gives me all day hangovers; they’re always tolerable hangovers, not like the camping-out-in-the-bathroom-next-to-the-toilet-all-day-hard-alcohol hangovers. It’s more like I have a constant headache all day long, a headache that can only be subsided by napping and eating. Anyways, the party was so fun, and it was quite amazing that we were able to get all of us college roomies together in one place at one time. That doesn’t happen as often as I think we’d all like!

Also on the list of non-boring weekend activities, on Saturday I did the shopping and lunch thing with three of my girlfriends, and I got a couple delectable new purses for the fall that I am so excited about. Later, Dan and I went to DSW and I scored two new pairs of shoes for work, both on clearance, both fabulous! It was a good shopping day, very good. That night we took the pup on over to some friends of ours’ house to meet their new puppy, and we had a nice evening of catching up with two people who we don’t see very often due to all four of our very hectic schedules. The pups got along, although their Australian Cattle Dog was, I think, a little much for our little Bella. Their dog was just bursting with energy, and Bella was happy to oblige with some rambunctious playing, but after a few hours of it non-stop, she looked about ready to pass out, the poor thing. She ended up doing so as soon as we put her in the car for the drive home.

Last night we ordered some mushroom and pepperoni pizza from Frankie’s (…mmm…), and I found myself hooked on a Discovery Channel special about Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. They played the recordings of phone calls from some of the passengers to their loved ones, and interviewed their family members, I was in tears for most of it, but it was absolutely riveting. It’s such a sad story, but inspirational and astounding at the same time, what a courageous group of people.

Now it’s back to the daily grind for 5 days, got to earn that money to pay for all those purses and shoes. ;)

"Look's like someone has a case of the Mondays!"

I arrived at work this morning at 7:30, and after opening up my office door, turning on the lights, and booting up my computer, I immediately headed down to the cafeteria to get some much needed coffee. On the way there I ran into a coworker from another department, and I flashed a very perky smile and greeted him with a very peppy “Good Morning!” To which he replied, “Looks like someone is in need of some coffee this morning.”

It probably shouldn’t have pissed me off as much as it did, but to me, that is exactly like saying, “You look like complete shit this morning.” I just found it incredibly rude.

What makes it worse is that I was feeling very cute and attractive today! I put together a very nice outfit this morning that included my new sexy black pointy-toed pumps, and I let my hair be curly and for once it didn’t morph into a ridiculous frizzy afro by the time I got to work. Now I just feel like a tired-looking, homely, bags-under-her-eyes frump.

God, that’s really sad that a mindless comment can affect me in such a negative way, not to mention the fact that I’m sure he was just trying to make pleasant conversation early on a Monday morning.

I still think it was really rude though, and it has set a bad tone for what will surely be a sucky Monday.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Don't you wanna?

I think I am totally starting to get the baby bug, and I’ve been doing everything in my power to force those sweet cuddly baby thoughts out of my head. It’s quite eerie I tell you, everything in my life is all baby baby baby, all the time baby. First there was the baby shower I threw a few weeks ago, which involved days of preparation, shopping for baby gifts, mooning over cute little onesies and tiny booties and cribs and blankets and diaper bags, I could go on and on. Then there’s the fact that everyone and their mother is pregnant, including my sister-in-law, our friend Kate, my cousin, several bloggers, and of course Britney. I’ve been faithfully reading this lovely lady’s blog for sometime now, and I find myself in tears almost daily reading her beautiful and enchanting accounts of pregnancy and new motherhood. I just devoured Jennifer Weiner’s latest book, Little Earthquakes, about four women and their journeys through pregnancy, childbirth, and their first year of sleepless nights, emotional breakdowns, and falling hopelessly in love with their little babies. Yesterday (I’ll warn you, this is a little sick) I found myself perusing pregnancy articles for about an hour at work, reading all about the perils of caffeine, aspartame, and shellfish to an unborn child. Today I got an email from my best friend Lisa in Costa Rica announcing the birth of her roommate’s (who Dan and I met a month ago on our trip) gorgeous little boy.

Oh yea, and
this chick has got me checking out cute maternity clothes and has me starting to think about what’s in my closet that I will be able to wear when the time comes that I am pregnant.

This baby obsession has completely passed the point of ridiculous and gone right on to insane.

Don’t get all excited, I am definitely not pregnant, and not planning on getting pregnant any time in the near future. But, maybe it’s time to start thinking about thinking about trying for a little one. ;)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Raking in the dough

I got a promotion (and with it a monstrous raise that was so extremely unexpected and generous)!

I don’t like to talk about work much here, as it seems to be a very dangerous blogging subject, but I am just so happy that I had to share! I was having such a yucky day too, so it was absolutely the most perfect day for this to happen. While the money is fabulous, I think I am even more proud to know that my hard work around here is really appreciated, and that I am so valuable to them that they are taking steps to make sure I stick around.

I love my boss, I love my job, I love my new office with walls and doors and a phone with caller ID, life is indeed good!

*Beaming from ear to ear, unable to sit still, swirling around in my ergonomically correct office chair like a little girl.*

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Some things never change

Last night was belly dancing, and we have two more classes left before the big performance…. commence the freaking out.

To be honest, I am even more excited about it after last night. I’ll explain why. So if you have ever taken dance as a kid or teenager, you know how important placing is for the recital, the most coveted spots are in the front row, even better, front and center. I took dance for 8 years, and I was almost ALWAYS in the front row (except for point, I kinda sucked at point). Being in the front row means you are one of the best, you will be seen clearly by the audience, and you are there as a guide for the other girls in the back who might not have all the steps down. So the day of reckoning always came about half-way through the year, the instructor would take out her notebook and start in the front row on the left, and call each one of us to our spots. I can still remember the butterflies and anxiety right before she called my name. Not being in the front row would be the ultimate rejection and humiliation. After receiving your placement, there was the inevitable period of time when you would, of course, compare yourself to those that were closer to the center stage. “How did SHE get that spot, we’re both way better than her…”

Well anyways, last night someone finally brought up placement, and thank god because there were these two women who made it a point to stand directly in front of me whenever possible, it was getting pretty frustrating. We do a lot of moving around and traveling all over the dance floor, and people were ending up all scattered all over the place, and often very much in other dancers’ spaces. So being that it’s an adult class, the decision process for placement was a little different from back in the day. Basically it was, “you guys should probably be in the front, and how about you ladies over here, and etc. etc. etc.” So even though Betsy and I came into this class way behind everyone (Betsy wrote about it a while back), we are now both front and center, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually considered running home and calling my mom to tell her the good news, as I would have done back in 8th grade.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The worst baby shower EVER

Before Saturday I had never thrown a baby shower, and after Saturday, I’m not sure I ever want to do it again. I have a lot to say about the subject, so read on if you’d like to participate in/be subjected to my bitchy ranting.

First of all, what part of RSVP do people not understand? Wait, I can’t really say it like that, because I actually don’t know what the acronym RSVP stands for. Oh! Google just told me, and it’s French, that’s interesting. Ok, back to my point. It absolutely boggles my mind that there are so many rude people out there who choose to simply ignore that little tidbit on an invitation. So for the last few weeks I have been stressing because a total of 5 people had formally RSVP’d, and as of Saturday morning, the list of attendees was at about 9 people, which included me, my cousin/co-host and her daughter, and the guest-of-honor, my cousin Kathy. Did I mention that she was driving about 6 1/2 hours from Chicago for this shower? I was so terrified that the party was going to be a complete bust, we had so many games planned and delicious food prepared, and about 5 people who actually told us they would be there.

So it’s nearing 2:00 PM, when the party is to start, and the guests start arriving. A LOT of guests start arriving. Being that I have an extreme Type A personality, I was sort of freaking out. I had prepared all my cute games for 15 people, thinking that was safe since it was about 6 more people than I was expecting, I hadn’t set out nearly enough chairs, and there would be just barely enough of my beautiful fruit pizza for everyone to have one piece. And there was no way in hell that little bowl of punch was lasting all afternoon, certainly not, given the fact that two of the ladies who unexpectedly showed up each brought along with them two daughters roughly between the ages of 9 and 12. I still can’t believe that, my blood pressure is rising just thinking back on it. Those little brats were guzzling down that punch like they were starving Ethiopian children who had never seen the stuff before.

Oh and Kathy’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law showed up 2 hours late to the party, and had with them the sister’s husband and their 11 year old son who insisted on playing “Baby Price-is-Right” with us and cornering my poor little pup under the dining room table. The party was just pure chaos. I can’t forget to mention that, of course, all those little girls won like every single game and got to choose between prizes like coffee mugs, cheese plates, and fall candy dishes. Ugh. Hopefully their mothers at least took that as a sign that this was not a children’s party and they were greatly in the wrong for bringing them without asking.

I read online that a baby shower should last roughly two hours or so. Well, I think the last guests finally left a little before 7:00 PM. Yes, you read that right, the party lasted FIVE HOURS!

I swear to God, no more baby showers for me.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm going to ramble about my weekend

Long weekends are my favorite, especially when they are not filled to the brim with commitments and allow for a plentiful amount of free time for the quiet reflection that has been missing in your life for some time.

Some highlights:

1. I went rollerblading on Friday (I had the day off!) around Lake Calhoun with Angela and
Liz. Earlier last week I realized that I hadn't broken out the good old rollerblades all summer long, and judging by the fact that it took me about 20 minutes of sweaty frantic searching and one phone call to the husband at work to locate them, I'm pretty sure I didn't break them out last summer either. In fact, my last rollerblading-related memory has Lisa in it, and since she's been in Costa Rica for going on two years now, it's safe to say, it had been a while. If you know of a better way of stopping in rollerblades other than my tried and true method of panicking and rolling into the grass and grabbing a tree, please let me know.

2. After lunch in uptown, Liz, Angela and I did a little wandering throughout the shops in the area. We ventured into the Gap and I failed miserably in my attempt to show off my multi-tasking skills by doing two very difficult things at once: sipping diet coke from a medium sized disposable fast-food cup and shopping. That's right. Alicia + Diet Coke + shopping = One big wet mess for the very sweet and understanding Gap employee to clean up.

3. Dan's 18 year old sister stayed with us this weekend while her family was away (she doesn't like staying in their big house alone), and I realized two things about myself: I will not be a good parent of a teenager someday, and I have become a huge nerdy loser since college. His sister informed us that she would be out late, and who am I to give her a curfew (she's 18 years old for goodness sake), but for about 3.7 seconds I did think about the fact that maybe I should stay up and wait for her to get home. At 11:15, however, after struggling with all my might to keep my eyes open while watching an episode of Buffy on DVD, I just had to call it quits. Both Dan and the dog were passed out in the living room with me, neither of them having the same Buffy love as I do, so I dragged them both up and to bed. What has happened to me? 11:15 on a Friday night? That is so depressing.

4. We made blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausages for brunch on Saturday morning, and later that day I finished off the little container of blueberries. Mmmmm... blueberries. I'm thinking we're going to need to make blueberry pancakes a weekly thing.

5. More work on the house, boring, but productive. I won't say anything more about it until we are officially moved upstairs. Maybe then I will take some pictures and post them, because I am just so darn proud of all our hard work.

Betsy and I met up at Old Chicago Saturday night for some pizza and Margaritas, and then saw the latest chick-flick on my must-see list, Must Love Dogs. Sadly, as far as chick flicks go, this one definitely wouldn't go on the top of my list, or anywhere near it, despite my nearly lesbian lusty feelings for Diane Lane. Also, I must note, John Cusack was not looking his best, he seemed pudgy actually, and his character in this movie was the exact same character he played in High Fidelity and Serendipity, and maybe even Say Anything. I guess that's not a bad thing since I liked all those movies, but it doesn't bode well for his acting chops when all I see up on screen is Lloyd Dobler. On that note, mysteriously missing from the movie were a giant boombox and Peter Gabriel's breathy "In Your Eyes". Anyways, it was a good night, and it was fun to hang out with Bets, it's been a long time since just the two of us got together! In college one of us hardly ever even went to Target or Midtown Foods without the other, and now that there's a 30 minute drive between us, it obviously takes a little more work to see each other. 30 minutes in our city is really not a big deal, it all comes down to pure laziness on both our parts I think. ;)

8. I saw the trailer for the movie based on
Jennifer Weiner's book In Her Shoes, which I completely adored when I read it about a year ago. I love that Toni Collette plays the one sister, Rose, I think she is absolutely the perfect actress for that character, I just hope that they don't make the movie all about Cameron Diaz's character, just because she's the pretty skinny one. Grrr... Hollywood please don't screw this one up.

7. I started a new book, Little Earthquakes, Jennifer Weiner's third book, which Betsy gave me for my birthday. I love getting new books, it is one of my favorite things! I could seriously spend hours in Barnes & Noble, but I try to stay away because our checking account can't really handle it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Let's play "Catch-up"

I’ve really missed blogging. I’ve let this site go un-touched for almost an entire month, and recently it has started to give me an incredibly unsettling feeling. It almost felt like I was cut off from my friends, because while I continued to peruse the blogs I read regularly, I felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t comment because I wasn’t doing my part. How strange that an online diary can give me such strong feelings of guilt, thrown in with a little bit of loneliness and an overwhelming sense of irresponsibility.

It’s not like I haven’t been busy, I promise there are a variety of things that have kept me away. I’ll try to catch you all up on them here.

**Just had to throw this in here, because I am so frustrated with myself at this moment that I need to rant. I have seriously dripped coffee on my shirt and pants in…let me count… 5 different places in just a matter of a half hour. 9:00AM and I already look like a disaster. Great, this is going to be a good day.

I’ve spent all our money on $4 iced coffees and have been holed up in a dark alley in a little shack made out of Starbucks coffee cups and straws, disabled by my major caffeine buzz, and naked due to the fact that none of my clothes fit because I’ve grown out of them one 230 calorie iced coffee at a time. Dan has left me because I wouldn’t give up my iced coffees for him, which he sees as a dangerous addiction, and I’ve been fired from my job on account of taking 15 minute breaks for Starbucks-runs every hour on the hour.

Hee, just kidding, I had you going though right? Right. I’m still loving the iced coffees, but Starbucks has been pissing me off lately because they never get my drink right. I order a Tall, Iced, Nonfat Vanilla Latte, but they always screw something up. Sometimes they forget the nonfat part, or the vanilla part, but this one time, this dumb woman screwed up the Tall part, if you can believe that, and gave me a Venti! Ok, those two words don’t sound anything alike! It was partly my fault though, because I never pay attention when they tell me how much it is, I just hand over my debit card in a zombie like state. If I had been paying attention, I would have realized that I was charged for the biggest drink you can get instead of the smallest. I try to avoid going to that lady’s cash register these days.

Dan and I just got back this weekend from an amazing vacation in the fabulous Costa Rica! Even more fabulous than laying out on the serene beaches and hiking through lush rainforest was spending an entire week with my best friend Lisa, who, as you may or may not know, is living down there doing her best to help countless Ticos master speaking the unattractive language we call English. We had a wonderful time, the best vacation I could have asked for, but it’s also good to be home, in a place where I can understand what is being said and rice and beans are not served at every meal!

Before that, work was CRAZY, with a capital C-R-A-Z-Y. I had so much to do before I left town, so there was pretty much no way I was taking time out to blog during those last few weeks.

My birthday was July 29th, I can’t believe you guys missed it ;). It was highly uneventful (24 isn’t exactly a milestone year), but very pleasant. I got the best birthday present ever from my parents, who refinished our hardwood floors on our second story while we were away. They look beautiful, and now we are just a few hours of touch-up painting on the trim from moving our bedroom upstairs to where it truly belongs! I am so excited, and so grateful to my parents and their home-improvement expertise. Another notable gift came from Dan’s grandparents, who got me the Audrey Hepburn DVD collection, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, and Roman Holiday. That impeccable woman is my idol; I want to be her when I’m all grown up!

The month of July was also witness to my first attempt at water skiing and my ultimate humiliation when it took me like 10,000 tries to get my ass out of the water and up on those damn skis. Oh. My. God. Everyone was convinced that I would get up with very minimal difficulty, considering my status as an expert downhill skier (Cooper High Slalom Ski Team Captain, seasons ‘97/’98 and ‘98/’99, whoo hoo), so not only did I have what felt like gallons of water up my nose and what I was sure was a bleeding butt crack from countless wedgies of a particularly painful nature, but I felt like I was such a let down. I was more exhausted and sore after that day than I have ever been. The only time I felt any sort of pride was when I came in and was told how amazed everyone was by my perseverance. I didn’t let them in on my secret, which is that it wasn’t perseverance, it was stubbornness, and my unwillingness to face Dan’s disappointment if I couldn’t do it. Now I’m terrified to try it again though, and I’m not sure if I ever will. I really just don’t like doing things I’m not good at. I’ll tell you one thing I’m good at, and that’s lying on the dock reading trashy magazines and novels. I’ve never had my butt crack bleed from that.

My last bit of news is of the wonderful kind. In a few short weeks I will be leaving the cubicle-dwelling life and moving to my very own OFFICE… with real live walls and a door that closes and locks! [Jumping for Joy!] I am so so so happy, and it’s for real this time, not just a silly pipe dream, it has been confirmed by my boss and everything. I think I’ll leave on that happy note, I have to start planning out the logistics of my pencil holder and picture frames on my new desk. I think I’m going to switch some things up a little bit, I’m an adventurous girl you know ;).