Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goals in life

Today at a meeting, everyone was asked to introduce themselves and share something from their "bucket list" as an ice breaker. Lots of people wanted to travel somewhere beautiful before they died or take a cruise. Lots wanted to go skydiving. All I could think of was wanting to get married, have kids, get to be an aunt, buy a house with one of those "mother in law" apartments attached to it that my parents could live in...all nice and boring stuff. So I decided to share something from a list Heather and I made a long time ago.

"When I was younger I had a list of life goals. So I want to marry a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle." As the rest of the room laughed, I added "I'm still hoping Leonardo calls."

When I told Brian that story he made a face. "You can't leave me for Leonardo," he said. "Donatello was way cooler."

Monday, September 20, 2010


Oh poor puppy,I thought. Then I looked over my shoulder as I drove past. God I hope that was a dog. How big do rats get?

Friday, September 17, 2010

"She was saying..."

Last night, Brian and I went to bed early. We had gotten up at 5 on Thursday and were going to do so again today. Brian's working on some crazy experiment that needs to be interacted with every 4 hours. He's broken it up with a lab mate, so one person stays until 2 and the other person starts at 6. Brian selected the early shift.

So we were bedding down around 9:30. And my cell phone started ringing. I'm generally wary of phone calls after 9pm. I've never actually gotten bad news after 9, but its just a cultural assumption that late night phone calls are either drunk calls, booty calls(and I don't get those), or bad news calls.

I got up and answered it. It was mom.

Mom: "You have a minute? I need a favor."
Me: "Sure, what's up?"
Mom: "I'm trying to figure out some slang"

Now this part would seem strange, but Mom's been an English as a Second Language teacher my whole life. Her students her slang terms, then they ask Mom what it means. If she doesn't know, she asks me and Maria.

Mom: "What does 'she ways saying' mean?"
Me: "What?"
Mom: "'She was saying' as like an sexual innuendo"
Me: "'That's what she said'?"
Mom: "Yeah."

I then had to explain to my mom the origin and use of "that's what she said"

Mom: "But I watched The Office! I never picked up on those jokes."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

not really a problem

Well, I've already used up my mulligan over Labor day, so not posting last night got me out of the blog challenge. But I'm going to keep trying to blog daily. Or maybe every other day. Often enough that I blog, but dispersed enough that I blog well.

Tonight's blog comes after much thought while driving.

I've run across a problem that's the best kind of problem. The best kind of problems are problems, but not really. Problems like "My apartment is so big, I can't keep it clean," or "I have so many friends, its hard to call them all frequently," or "there was so much chocolate cake, I couldn't finish it." These are problems. But they're the kind of problems that stem from something awesome.

So my best problem right now is my windshield. I always wash my car windows every time I get gas. Once I started working for United Way, this meant washing my windows at least twice a week. But now with my nice fuel efficient hybrid, it means about once a week. Which means that my windows are dirty and gross looking. Its a problem.

But not really.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Hair!

Maria just did a post about hair and this is a bit of a response. That's the fun dynamic of a blog challenge.

I cut my hair when i was 18. Well really, I did the big ponytail cut off when I was 17, leaving me with a bob that should have been cute but mostly looked like a mushroom. So when I was 18, I finally went for the big drastic cut I had always dreamed of. I understood the Kate Gosselin hair long before she was Kate plus 8. And I loved it. I liked how it framed my face, I liked running my fingers through the short part in the back, I liked spiking it up, I liked getting away with out doing much to it, I liked being able to shower and just go (couldn't put the bob in a ponytail so I had already forgotten the convenience). After the cut my friend Tall Kelly said "I wish your hair had always looked like this. Now you look like you."

I loved having short hair.

When I was in high school and had the big long hair, I never actually wore it down. It was always in a ponytail. It was too voluminous to wear down, since it would balloon out around me and attack those who got too near.

Once when I was in grad school, I pulled my hair back as if I was going to put it in a ponytail. How your hair lays really does change the shape of your face. I looked at the girl with the high forehead and round cheeks staring at me in the mirror and said "Hi High School Jenny." And I also thought, "I don't miss you."

Then I got engaged. I had decided YEARS earlier that when I got married, I wanted to have long hair for the wedding so I would have lots of options for what to do with it. Brian likes this idea. He didn't hate the short hair, but he didn't like it either. Me growing out my hair is the best part of our engagement for him (until we go and taste test cakes). Its also why we need a long engagement. This hair has inches to grow!

But it feels weird. I mean really weird. When it was short, It felt very much a part of me. Like my fingernails or tongue. Now it feels like this separate thing attached to my body. Almost like a tick. Its there, but I have no feeling in it. Its just this strange growth that is unlike any other part of my body.

I do love the convenience of blowing off straightening my hair for 20 minutes and being able to grab a ponytail holder and some pins and just go. Brian thinks I look great with the ponytail. But I think I look 17 years old again, and while I had a good time, I'm over it.

I can't tell yet if I'll keep it long after the wedding or follow in my sister's footsteps. I just know that I'm envious of her freedom to cut it all off, grow it out and cut it again anytime she wants. So here we are, two sisters growing out their hair and jealous of each other.

Monday, September 13, 2010

You are how you eat:: Stubborn.

When i was a kid, there was food I did not like because it tasted bad, and there was food I did not like because other people liked it. My sister liked tacos. Therefore, I did not like tacos. My sister liked S'mores. I did not. I was pretty miffed when she started liking brussel sprouts. I thought i had pretty much covered the market on vegetables not commonly accepted as delicious. But then I decided that I only liked raw vegetables (and corn, you can't not like corn).

It wasn't just what Maria liked though, it was everyone. Everyone liked hot chocolate, so I did not. In fact chocolate was so popular, that i stopped eating it all together. I would even tell people I was allergic to it.

But then there were other foods that I just decided I didn't like. I'm not sure why, I just said "I don't like it" with out even trying it. Like chili. I think I really didn't like to have my food touch. Beans belong on one side of the plate (although i didn't like beans then) and meat on the other side. They should have no interactions. Even carrots in a salad interacted too much for me.

But now I like chili. A whole lot. Its one of my favorite cold-weather foods. And since I make it often enough, I now feel adventurous enough to eat other people's chili. This new interest came into play on Friday when we had a Chili Cookoff at work. I didn't enter a dish, but I happily took a spoonful of each entry to test. Once you've tasted a bit of all of them you could decide which one you wanted a whole bowl of. Several were tasty, but one had a nice kick to it. The label said "caution: hot hot hot" but it didn't taste so bad to me. I got a bowlful, a dollop of sour cream and sat down with my coworkers. And nearly died. Apparently my spoonful was the only non spicy part because this baby had 4 kinds of peppers as well as chili powder and other spiciness. It was hot alright.

I made it through the meal, but had chili-related digestive concerns the rest of the day. I'm thinking it might be time to go back to my less adventuresome ways.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Drink up Me Harties!

Today Brian and I went out to gather veggies from our garden. We got a tomato the size of two softballs fused together, a couple of zucchinis and a ton of carrots. Delicious evenings are ahead of us.

On the way out of the park we walked past an older man (early 60s) with headphones on going for a run. His music was turned up so high we could clearly hear what he was listening to. It was the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean. And I don't mean the inspiring orchestral soundtrack to the movie, I mean the lyrical soundtrack to the the ride at Disney.

"We're rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves, Drink up, me hearties, yo ho. We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs, Drink up, me hearties, yo ho. Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Dress Part 2: Return of gorgeous

This one is a follow up to the post about the dress. Sometimes the universe is on your side and things happen just the best way possible. That's how this story ends, but for a few minutes, i was ready to implode, black out and throw up.

After I left the dress shop on Thursday, I was still a little worried about what would happen to the dress. What would I do if it was discontinued? The shop girl and I had talked about buying the floor sample they had there, but it was still more expensive than if I bought it new in MN (no sales tax and apparently just $400 cheaper). So I went home, told Brian it was beautiful and made plans to find a shop in MN that I wanted to give my money to.

Today, I woke up, attempted to shower (broken shower--will post about that one later), and got my stuff together to go to the dentist. I had heard my phone beep during my process, but figured it was just a text from someone.

Side bar: I've gotten to a point in life where I assume all text messages at odd times are someone announcing their engagement. So I always wait until I have enough time for a freak out before I read my texts.

It wasn't a text. It was a message from the Ann Arbor bridal shop. The saleswoman had left me a message that she had "good and bad news." I had to be at the dentist in 10 minutes, so I hoped it would be that they had a sale coming up and not that my dress was discontinued. I figured I'd follow up once someone was done poking my mouth with sharp instruments.

But I get by with a little help from my friends. Apparently the saleswoman (Amanda) had remembered how much I loved my gown and when hearing big news about it, attempted to call me. But since I had not given them my number, she found the number for Melissa the Texan and called her instead. She told Melissa the news and then got my number as well. So while I was waiting for the dentist, Melissa called.

"The dress has been discontinued as of yesterday."


I sat through my appointment, and rushed home to call the dress shop, Micaela who has connections in the dress community and any other dress shop who could tell me what was going on.

Amanda from the dress shop explained that the dress was discontinued, but that meant that the floor sample was now $700 off. Which was now firmly in my price range. She had hidden it in the backroom and was keeping the other sales people away from it, but she could only manage that for a day. Already she'd had to yell at a few coworkers looking to make an easy sale. I promised to come in and see if it was in good enough condition for me to buy.

For those of you who have not experienced wedding dress shopping--purchasing a floor sample is an exciting gamble. Floor samples get treated poorly. People get make up on them, rip them, and sweat in them. They often have loose beading or seams. But they're often very cheap and the store does what they can to make the dress "like new."

So I called my parents (hoping to get mom, talked to dad instead), my sister, and Heather. Everyone told me to go for the sample dress. If it was in a good condition and so cheap, it was okay to try.

Melissa the Texan and I trekked out to the store and spent an hour with Amanda going over the dress. There were some spots and some loose beads, and two small rips along seams, but otherwise it was in great condition. You'd only notice the problems if you're painstakingly reviewing the dress as we were.

So I put the dress on, walked in circles around the store and made up my mind. This is MY DRESS.

So now I have a dress.

And Amanda is going to get a rave review on google.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rough drive

Sometimes you go on auto pilot. You drive the same roads every day, walk the same sidewalks, pass through the same halls, and don't really need to think about where you're going in order to get there.

I apparently have a malfunction in my auto pilot.

Today I got on the highway to go to work. After 10 minutes, I realized I had gotten on the wrong direction and was driving AWAY from work. So instead of getting into the office before traffic gets bad, I added an extra 40 minutes to my commute by backtracking and hitting the bussiest roads at the worst time.

Anyone have an autopilot tuner?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Dress

A few months ago, my friend the Texan and I celebrated her new engagement by going to try on wedding dresses. I wasn't really looking for the perfect dress, just doing some bonding and excited giggling about the upcoming nuptials.

But dress love is like true love, it happens when you least expect it.

So I tried on a dress without looking at the price tag, just because it looked fun. Not even that it looked like what I wanted. And it turns out it was exactly perfect for me. It had all the elements I've been looking for in a wedding dress. Its sophisticated and yet has the childhood fantasy about it. My favorite part is that when i crouch on the ground, the dress poofs out around me like in the King and I.

There's a humorous story that I'll post another time about me mixing up the price tags when I told Brian about the dress, but this post is about today's encounter with The Dress.

I had tried to find The Dress to try on while I was in Minneapolis so Momma and other friends/future family could see it. But there wasn't a single store within 50 miles that carried it. They could order it for $50, but no one already had it in stock. So I continued to think about it, but didn't try it on again personally.

I'd been wanting to go try it on again, and had pretty much convinced myself that it wasn't as good as I remembered it. Today I left work at a decent time and went to the dress store with my Texan friend again. The Dress was everything I remembered it to be and so much more. It was beautiful and the longer I wore it, the more I loved it.

Then the salesgirl, in a mixture of helpfulness and desire to sell the gown told me that it was one of the designer's "older" styles and had a good chance of being discontinued some time in October. She explained that the designing company is really tight mouthed about what dress will stay and what will go. After they discontinue the dress, you have about a week to order one. After that, they're gone forever.

I think she thought I would lay some money down on the spot. Instead she has sentenced herself to a daily call from me wondering what dresses were discontinued this year...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to school

Today was the first day of school for my friend Heather. She is going back to grad school for her master's and I'm so proud of her.

My sister once blogged that she didn't know how on earth I could stand to stay in school another two years for a master's degree. I think even worse would be getting a taste of the real world and deciding to go back to school anyway. I don't think I would have done it except for the fact that I didn't know what else to do with a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies.

But here my Heather goes. She's smart, she's a hard worker, she's anxious and she's done all 500 pages of reading before her first class. I know she'll shine.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Split

When you read my blog yesterday, you might have thought to yourself "If this is the second split, when was the first?"

Ah gentle reader, that is a good question.

When Brian and I were first getting excited about our move to Paradise, we agreed that we would no longer live like college students. It was fine for Madison and for Purgatory, but in Paradise, we would live like adults. That meant no more futon in the living room. It was time for a couch.

So we moved in, got happily unpacked, and stared sadly at the open part of our living room where a couch belonged. The next weekend--when every single person we knew in Ann Arbor was out of town--we decided to buy a vacuum and look at couches.

It turns out that a vacuum cleaner was too big of an investment for us to do on our own and we decided to wait for Brian's mom to visit before buying one. But a $500 couch we were able to pick out and purchase in 45 minutes. Then came the dilemma. Do we pay $80 for delivery?

No. We pay $20 for a U-Haul and deliver it ourselves. It wasn't too scary getting the couch from the store to the van, but from the van to the apartment was another story. First we tried bringing the couch in the front door--but a staircase right inside the door would have required lifting the couch six feet in the air to get it in the building. So Brian eyeballed the back door of our building and decided we could fit the couch in that way. We hauled the couch out and around...only to find out that the door way was 1/2 an inch too small.

We put the couch down. Debated. And resigned ourselves to having to lift the couch up the stairs to make it to our apartment. We had a plan. It was time to ennact. I bent down to lift the couch with my knees, and suddenly there was a breeze where there was no breeze before. I said "Oh my god." Brian looked at me with an expression of pure joy and asked breathlessly "Did you just rip your pants?"

Six inches. Straight up the middle.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Second Split

I've started jogging again. I've never really cared for it, although it seems the easiest way to exercise. I know a lot of people love it, but I see it as a horrid necessity. Before my legs feel tired, my lungs are burning and my stomach hurts. There have been a few times when I've felt good as i finish, but I've never gotten a "runner's high" and have rarely felt better after running than I did before.

But today, I got off the couch and went for a short jog. Felt horrible during and after. Was glad it was over.

This evening, I played ultimate Frisbee with some friends from Brian's department. I was running up and down all over the field, barefoot with my jeans rolled up, and I loved it. There were times when I was tired, but it felt good. I felt good.

On the way to the car, I talked with one of the other players about making it a regular occurrence. I could get in shape and maybe enjoy myself a bit.

This fun idea seemed more like a necessity as I sat down in the car and felt my pants split open.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday's post

Brian and I were at a wedding this weekend. It was a lovely outdoor ceremony (my first outdoor wedding). The Bride looked stunning, the Groom looked excited, and the whole ceremony was over in less than 15 minutes. I was glad we weren't stuck in the wind and sun for hours, but I was a little sad that it was over so fast. I have a perverse love of getting all choked up at weddings.

Not just weddings, most things.

Brian has already found that I cry when watching TV or movies, as well as when reading or listening to music. Sometimes things just move me. Sometimes they don't. But when they get me to cry, I end up stuffy nosed, a little nauseous and completely satisfied. I've shared in a human experience with others, and it feels right.

So this weekend, even though the wedding was over in less time than it takes Domino's to deliver, I still shed a tear or two, despite the hurry.

Saturday's belated post

I had plans for posting on Saturday morning before Brian and I left for a wedding. We had a carpool of friends picking us up at 9am, so we figured we'd have plenty of time to get up at 7, get ready, pack and feed the Bride and Groom's cats. And I would have time to blog.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

When we were packing, I told Brian to grab his khakis and the dark blue dress shirt I had bought him last year. He found the shirt, but not the khakis. Where were they? Were they in the dresser? No. Were they in the closet? No. Were they in my closet? No. Finally we realized that before we moved, we had gone through all of Brian's clothes and gotten rid of the ones we thought were ugly or didn't fit him right. The khakis fell into both categories and were exiled to goodwill.

This led to a 8am run to Target in frantic search for new khakis. Brian found a lovely pair and looked fantastic for the wedding. But I didn't get to blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010


When I was growing up, I envied christian girls. They had the one thing I didn't--an excuse for awesome jewelry. Beautiful crosses go with any outfit, and while I enjoyed the political button, you can't throw them on with a dress for a fancy party. But then! Life changed. My church put a little book shop in the basement that sold, along with books, bumper stickers and political buttons--Unitarian jewelry. Now I could have a lovely, religiously significant necklace that went with everything. My parents bought me a sweet silver chalice necklace for my 18th birthday. Its in high rotation now that I'm a working professional.

But the first thing that I do when i come home, is take off the necklace and either put it in my jewelry box, or leave it on top of the microwave. This microwave thing works out well, since I usually forget about jewlery until my hand is on the door nob in the morning. Instead of having to run all the way back to my closet, i can just reach over and nab the necklace and go.

But with great convenience comes great pit falls. Today while I was cleaning the apartment, i accidentally sucked the necklace up with the vacuum (yes, i vacuum on top of my microwave, doesn't everyone?). "AAAAHHH!" I said. But then, I remembered the ease and convenience of my bag-less vacuum. I snapped open the dirt container and abracadabra there's my necklace, unharmed but a little dusty.

Thank God For Bag-less Vacuums.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

lame blog

Again, tonight wont be a well crafted blog. I think if I'm going to blog every day, i need to put time aside to blog well. Its not something that I just want to do off the cuff. But, since I entered a blog challenge, today you get a lame blog.

Today when I was driving home, I took advantage of my new car's CD player (good bye old cassette tapes) to listen to some old CDs. Including a mix that a friend had made me back in 03. I was tired. I was grumpy, but listening to that CD made me energetic and happy. You can see the music video to one of the songs here:


After dancing around in my car for 20 miles, I wondered why anyone was friend with me in 03.

I also decided that my favorite thing Queen ever did, was the soundtrack to Highlander.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to blog basics

If you hadn't noticed, i haven't blogged in a while. I'll probably have to put it on Facebook that I'm blogging again. I didn't mean to stop, but it seems like in the summer time, there's so many other things to do (or to think about doing) instead of blogging. But Sister has challenged me to blog every day, so as long as she does it, I'll do it.

But i am already lazy and wanting to sleep soon. I will say that I signed up for an online health program. I told it about my habits and why I'm having trouble loosing weight. It at one point came back with the response "We're confused. You say you don't have time to exercise, but you spend two hours a night on the computer or watching TV."

Caught in the act.