Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I find myself unable to go to bed before 2am anymore, for no real reason at all. The vicious cycle, of course, is that it means I sleep later, so I get tired later, so I don't go to bed until 2am, so I sleep later, and so on. I have GOT to get back into a normal sleep pattern (having an insomniac for a brother didn't help!) When I'm sitting up at 2am, I find myself staring at the calendar on my desk, wondering WHERE in the world 2008 has gone. Here we are, December 30th, and the last year has just slipped through my fingers. . .
Two trips to MI - practically unheard of, I almost never travel more than just for Thanksgiving, and we didn't even do that this year! One trip to celebrate the grand opening of my Mom's Curves, then another, 6 months later, to WORK at Mom's Curves after she was in a bad accident, breaking her collarbone in 2 places, and a bone in her neck.
Visiting with my oldest brother a few times this year, having "the other brother" move in over Thanksgiving. I've seen more family this year than I have in the past seven, and for that I'm grateful, as I find myself without any real friends here in AZ. Oh sure, I had a couple here and there but none of them stuck around... the old saying about friends coming and going, sure does seem to be true.
Lots of my (non local) friends have become parents to some darn adorable children, and many will become parents early on in 2009. Perhaps this time next year, I'll be the one announcing a pregnancy. My nieces and nephews are growing at an alarming rate, save for Caitlin, who is desperately trying to regain the weight she lost, when we nearly lost this year due to the most severe appendicitis case I've ever heard of (and so agreed her surgeon).
I lost one of my three Grandmothers this year, and I've just received word that another is very ill and to "expect the worst" in the next two days.
**UPDATE - my Grandma Grace passed away this evening, around 5:30pm, 12/30/2008**
M started school, finishing his first semester with a shiny 4.0, and I've had the best year ever with my business, which is a nice accomplishment. Otherwise, I mostly seem to just sit here and watch the world change around me. Which is fine with me, most days :)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
They also made chili for dinner tonight. M did most of it, and then Alan came in and doctored it up, resulting in a huge pot of AMAZING chili that we'll probably enjoy that for the next week or two.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We put our tree up last weekend. Four days later, I put some ornaments up. Alone. M and I have always decorated the tree together. The last time I remember decorating a tree alone was when I was 17. Mom and I lived in this gorgeous condo in Plymouth, MI. She was working about a zillion hours a week and I knew that if I didn't do it, it wouldn't get done. I put on some Christmas music, just loud enough to be obnoxious to the cranky seniors who lived in our community (ooh, did they ever hate me!), and I put up lights and ornaments as high as I could possibly reach. That year, Mom was taking us all to San Diego, right after Christmas, to visit with my oldest brother and his wife, who was expecting baby #1, my first nephew. The gifts under the tree were to be light that year, since the trip was our big gift. I bought Mom two CDs - Pete Droge and the Sinners and George Thorogood.
She bought me a Clapper. Yeah. "Clap on! Clap off! Clap on, clap off, the Clapper!"
Honestly? I loved it :) I had white Christmas lights strung all over my 4 poster bed, and it was a heck of a lot easier than trying to plug them in every night (because I kept them up all year long. My room was cozy with those lights!)
The day we arrived in San Diego, I felt like I was having a bad allergic reaction. 24 hours later, I'm in the ER, with a pneumonia and bronchitis diagnosis. Once I got on the meds, I was fine. The next day, EVERYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE got the flu, except for me and my brother-in-law (who suffered silently with just a cold sore). I think he and I were the only ones who enjoyed that trip to Disneyland...
This year, as I said, I've pretty much "decorated" alone. M's busy with work and finals, so I'm just here, doing my thing, right? Sure. I half-assed decorated the tree. The box with the rest of the decorations is still sealed in the living room. M keeps telling me "see if you can finish getting it all up while I'm at work/school tomorrow", but I just don't have it in me. A week later, we're still about a quarter of the way decorated, and I'm to the point where I'd kinda rather just put it all back in the box and forget Christmas this year. I just don't feel like I have the heart to do it this year. I spent the community Christmas party sorta hanging out with my brother - who charmed the entire table, while I sat 2 feet away, manning my little Avon table that my property manager asked me to host. Money is tight, and we'll have next to nothing under the tree this year. There were about 4 things I REALLY wanted to get M this year that just didn't happen. M has just one class left on Tuesday. He's going into work tomorrow, so there's one more day I won't see him at all, and though he doesn't have to, he's going in to his Wednesday class anyway to burn a few more DVDs and watch a movie - never mind that he's already turned in his project AND taken the final. I would think he'd want to take a break, enjoy some time at home perhaps. I know he's just busy, but its Christmas, you know?
I think I'm ready to just skip right to April. Past Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day and our anniversary.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I'm not particularly sure what's going on outside. Some sort of Christmas Elf training program? Its times like these I wish I had a digital camera, or at least, a camera phone.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
At MY Curves, I worked the afternoon shifts, and around 5pm, Rosemary would come in. Rosemary and I had a very...special friendship. She and I would pick on each other relentlessly, chat about her deep crush on Robert Horry, and she'd pester me about having babies more than my mom and mother-in-law combined. Rosemary is convinced that I will first have a girl, who by the age of 3, will have long, curly, auburn hair. The curls, maybe. The auburn is unlikely - my red hair for the last 10 years came from a bottle.
We'd laugh and joke through her whole workout. She'd come in and say "I saw your car, so I decided not to skip my workout today. But if you weren't here, I wasn't coming in". Sometimes if I had M's car, she'd show up anyway and act surprised to see me, as if I wasn't there every afternoon anyway. She's feisty and sarcastic and swears (on accident, she always covers her mouth like she had no control of letting that last one slip) and her cardio is this particular hip-shaking move that works perfect with the beat on this Abba CD, and if I didn't know better, I'd think I could just look up and see her out there on the circuit, singing along, laughing and doing her thang.
Carmen also came in around 5pm, and she and I were also pretty close. Carmen intimidated the HELL out of me when I first started there. She looks fierce and wanted to try on the new Curvaceous clothing line on my first day there alone, and just started grabbing things off the rack and running to the dressing room. I didn't know where anything was or what to do with that side of the business, and she had such a take-charge personality, that I just sat back, slack-jawed and stunned. Once I got to know her, I learned that she too is hilarious, sarcastic and feisty. The three of us together - well, lets just say that if you were out there with us, getting a word in edgewise was difficult, unless you were willing to join in on picking on ME.
Once, I was really sick, but couldn't find a cover for my shift, so I sat behind the desk with a box of Kleenex, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a fever over 100. I looked pathetic, and I felt like hell. Carmen came in, finished her workout and left, only to show up again about 10 minutes later, with two grocery bags in hand. One was filled with cold medicines of various types. Some were open box things she had at home, the others were brand new. The other bag contained a Tupperware container filled to the brim with homemade, piping hot chicken and rice soup. "I just happened to have made this yesterday and have a TON of it! There's a plastic takeout spoon inside too if you want to eat it now". Had I not been dehydrated, I might have cried, it was such a sweet gesture, and there's nothing like feeling mothered when you're sick and away from home.
Carmen and Rosemary liked to call me the "drill sargent" or "circuit Nazi". I was one tough cookie out there. If your heart rate is too low, I'm GOING to get it higher. If you're not kicking out hard enough or using something wrong, I will physically MOVE you to the right position. The ladies out here in Scottsdale are lovely and nice, but I can't find that same rhythm with them, and it makes me homesick for my old Curves.
At my Goodbye dinner after my final shift, I hugged Carmen and Rosemary last and tightest, and the three of us both failed miserably at holding back the tears. I miss them both SO much!
*side note - the folks walking around this center today are REALLY bizarre and random. 5 people in suits just rode by on Seguays, a group of guys who look like they stumbled off a Black Crowes tour bus went into Quiznos, and a group of EMO skaters crossed their path to Panda Express. Its a WEIRD day out there...
Monday, December 1, 2008
Last week was my birthday, as I previously mentioned, and I'm a bit sad to report that only two of my good (local) friends actually remembered. I shouldn't let it bother me, I know, but I would be lying if I said I didn't care. Was I expecting a party, ticker-tape parade, piles of gifts and cards? Of course not. I'm 28. A "happy birthday!" would have been nice though.
But the friends who DID remember my birthday - friends I've had for over 7 years now - and my family, are what really count. My In-Laws bought me 2 turkey platters and a gravy boat for my birthday gift. Not the most exciting gifts, but as I was without both platter and boat 2 days before Thanksgiving, I was more than THRILLED to unwrap them :) M decided in the end to not go to class Tuesday night, and so we went with his parents, to dinner at Buca di Beppo, where a platter of spaghetti was dropped on the floor just inches from M and I (I knew there was a "kitchen table" at Buca. I did not know there was a "splash zone"). We drank wine and ate pasta and cake and talked and planned, and it was truly lovely. I really do enjoy my In-Laws.
What I didn't enjoy, or understand (and this is my ONLY gripe about my MIL), was why, the day before Thanksgiving, my mother in law felt it was absolutely necessary to make M a cake. Because I wasn't busy enough in the kitchen, or had enough dishes to worry about. Wednesday, M and I rush off to work. I finish my shift and run to Wal-Mart for some last minute stuff, rush home, inhale a bowl of Cocoa Puffs for lunch, and ask MIL if she'd get the cornbread started for my stuffing and get the turkey thawed while I went to pick up M from work. As I'm leaving, she's gathering the cornbread ingredients...and preparing to make a cake. *groan*
An hour later, M and I walk in the door to the smell of cake...and burning. MIL had underestimated the size of my cake pan, so the batter puffed up, spilled over, and (having placed the pan on the TOP rack of my oven), hit the heating elements, burned, and spilled all over the inside of my oven. The day before Thanksgiving. In my CLEAN, ready-for-turkey sink, is the cake. Wet batter. Partially cooked batter. MIL, FIL and M are standing around the sink, picking the cooked batter out and nibbling on it. I honestly think I was in a bit of shock, because now my turkey still isn't thawed, I have a hundred things to do that now include RE-cleaning the sink AND the oven and about 12 unnecessarily dirty dishes. And they're standing around eating cake from the sink.
When MIL and FIL left to pick up dinner and M went to class, I had no choice.
I called my mother. And I bitched. And it felt good.
And later, MIL cleaned the oven. In all honesty, was it that big of a deal? No, I was just overly stressed out, worried about everything, and a bit blue about my birthday. And looking back, the cake thing was pretty funny anyway.
A said tonight of the whole Thanksgiving process "Next year, it will be a piece of cake.
. . .
No pun intended"
Friday, November 28, 2008
Today I'm parked near the phone and my laptop for my big Thanksgiving Weekend sale (details at www.youravon.com/mmansfield) We went out for breakfast and are just visiting with everyone now, and I'm contemplating a slice of pie for lunch :)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
You see, I've ALWAYS loved my Mom's stuffing recipe. Its moist and flavorful and light and fluffy and just PERFECT. Since we've been going to Matt's family's for Thanksgiving for so many years, I've really missed having Mom's stuffing - and because they're big fans of cornbread dressing (and I'm not), it just doesn't feel like the Thanksgiving I know and love.
This year, as I mentioned, I'm hosting the big day for the first time, and so I'm pulling together lots of new recipes, hoping to find a few to start traditions of our own. The stuffing recipe I plan to make actually combines cornbread AND French bread, so I thought that perhaps it would be the best of both worlds. I started feeling a little nervous about trying something new though, because as we all know, stuffing is a BIG part of the Thanksgiving tradition, so I called my mom and asked, in a panic, for her recipe, so that perhaps I can just have something familiar and not find myself having a nervous breakdown, curled up in a corner of the kitchen, rocking back and forth, worried about ruining Thanksgiving. Mom said. . .
"well I don't really have a recipe. Its really easy though, just add pineapple chunks and walnuts to your boxes of Stove Top"
(I sat in stunned silence...)
what? ADD to the Stove Top? What do you mean, you used Stove Top all these years?
Memories of Thanksgivings past crumbled at my feet. My Mom, who in my eyes was always the best cook EVER, used boxed stuffing. It was all an illusion. Smoke and Mirrors. Pineapple and Walnuts. Carefully disguised (and boxes covertly thrown away) BOXED STUFFING.
Of course, I don't think less of it - I still love it and now that I know the secret, I can make Mom's stuffing anytime I want, but I would be lying if I wasn't totally stunned.
What Thanksgiving "secrets" do YOU have in your family?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In other news...
So I don't know about you, but I love "buy one get one free" deals. M and I used a BOGO free coupon today for iced coffees at Dunkin Donuts. I've received 4 BOGO free emails for various restaurants (and so has M!) as our birthday is next Tuesday. I plan to use them all. Free food is great ;) But sometimes, companies go overboard. Case in point - M recently went to Walgreens to grab a bottle of Aleve for my aching fingers. The box was shrink-wrapped with TWO boxes together! Hooray for free drugs, right?
The second box was preprinted with a faux bow and gift tag (complete with space for To and From) and the wrapper had a sticker "Buy one for you, give one as a gift!"
Really? Buy one bottle of Aleve and give one as a gift. Hm. Is there something I'm missing? Am I supposed to be giving OTC pain medications as gifts to all of my loved ones? Did I miss a boat somewhere, or does this fall under the "ridiculous" category with anyone else? Merry Christmas, now take two of these and call me on Boxing Day, I guess.
In other, other news...
Have I mentioned that my birthday is next Tuesday? ;) M's too, and normally, I'd be all excited, but as it falls on a Tuesday, the day M is usually gone ALL day long, I'm prepared to feel a little lonely. Well, not TOO lonely, as M's parents will be arriving on Monday. "Happy birthday, hang out with my parents all day and I'll be home too late to go out to a nice dinner with everyone" :( I asked M to check with his very easygoing professor, to see perhaps, what they were going to be doing next week, in the event its a class he can miss or leave early. Maybe I'm spoiled or selfish, but I'd just like to spend OUR birthday TOGETHER. In the past eight years, we've never NOT spent the day together. Normally, we're driving home from NM, so our birthday is uneventful, but at least we're together, sharing a fancy birthday meal of KFC on the road in the middle of nowhere...
M's response was rather hesitant, which made me more blue than I care to really admit. As if he didn't even WANT to spend the day with me. Perhaps he's just reluctant to admit that he'll be 33 this year, but still. And as it turns out, all they're supposed to be doing next week is watching "Goodnight and Good luck" - a movie we planned to rent anyway, so what's the big deal? We'll rent the movie this weekend, he can make an appearance in class for any notes or homework, and then we can go out for our Regularly Scheduled Birthday Dinner and I can stop whining and bitching about spending the night watching (and feeling like) The Biggest Loser on the couch with my in-laws (whom I love DEARLY, by the way, I'm not one of those cranky girls who loathes her in-laws, like almost ALL of my friends.)
And finally, all birthday unfun aside, I AM looking forward to/am extremely nervous about Thanksgiving 2008. This year, I will be hosting and cooking my very first Thanksgiving, and cooking food, for the first time, for more than four people. I'm nervous as hell, am probably way over thinking and picking entirely too many recipes (thank you very much Pioneer Woman!) My guests include my in-laws, my brother A, my brother G and his girlfriend, and of course, Matt and I. I don't know where we're going to sit. I don't know HOW I'm supposed to cook all of this food in my teeny apartment kitchen (so far, in addition to the standard turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, I have my brother's homemade applesauce, FOUR other vegetable dishes, 3 pies, 2 appetizer/nibblers, and a partridge in a pear tree...). And I wish my Mom was coming out too :(
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday night we had a little dinner party with 2 of M's coworkers. Wine was supplied, and I brought the fixins for my white pizza (which was gobbled up and thoroughly enjoyed). We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the company.
Sunday, though we were exhausted (we didn't go to bed until 4am!), we had errands to run, so we spent the whole groggy day together. And of course, it was wonderful.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
M's not here. Damn.
I thought weekends were supposed to be the time we spent together, since we never see each other during the week anymore...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
But the loneliness I'm still feeling, I could do without. I really need to make some friends out here. Lately, we've been spending more time with some of M's coworkers, who I like a lot, they're a lot of fun, but as it always seems to be, they all wind up talking about work, while I sit back and listen. It was like this back in TX - M's friends from high school and college, every time we'd all get together, it was "Oh! Remember So-and-So? I saw them last weekend" or "hey, what about that time that you and whatsherface..." All funny stories, but all before M and I even met.
How do you deal with situations like that? For me, like I said, I tend to just get quiet. Listen. Laugh when appropriate. Lots of nodding and smiling. But that only goes so far when it comes to wanting to be social, and at the end of the night, I feel even more left out and lonely than I did when the night began.
Friday, November 7, 2008
He went to class this afternoon, but he could tell my mood wasn't great. He showed up about 40 minutes later than I expected...
with flowers in hand, then he took me out to dinner. Sweetie. I needed that.
(he also said he wondered if I had a hot date tonight without him, since I almost never blow dry my hair or style it, unless its a special occassion. I'll just pretend I made him a little jealous, and that's what worked ;) )
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Sunday night and Monday were those days for me. Sunday was actually pretty cool. M's coworker, a photographer, came over to shoot for a project M has for school. The project is really going to be great, I think, and I'm really proud of M for putting so much thought into it. Sunday night, though, I started feeling kinda blue. The 3+ week dry spell I mentioned before was getting to me. I was feeling just down in the dumps. Nothing helped.
Monday started off much the same. When I have days like this, I tend to stew over it for a day or two, then I break out of the funk. I was trying to break out of it - not very successfully, I might add - when I stumbled getting down onto the ground to open a box, mildly spraining my wrist and doing something weird to my knee (it "hurt", but only in a sense that I think it hurt, as I can't actually feel pain in that leg...). The pain did NOT help my mood. I was tired. I wanted to nap. I lay down on the couch to nap, and my doorbell rings, and an acquaintance and her dog come in to visit. I don't mind the visiting. I do mind her denying that it was her dog who peed on my carpet, blaming it on my cat (who DOES, admittedly, have a bladder issue, as she's 20, but she hadn't moved from her spot all day. Leave it to my miracle cat to pee from across the room...) I went to work, sore, tired and cranky. I came home. I ate dinner. I went to bed.
Tuesday and Wednesday were better. My knee felt better. My wrist still hurt. I worked it out. My hair looked cute and curly. Good hair days help a bad mood.
Thursday felt GREAT. My knee didn't hurt at all. My wrist hurt less. My hair looked even better than it had on Wednesday. I got a bunch of stuff done. I made a promise to myself to follow the Golden Rule, but backwards. "Treat others as you would want to be treated". My vow? "Treat yourself the way you treat others". If I wouldn't tell someone that they look terrible, it shouldn't be okay to tell myself the same thing. Maybe its silly, but I really do have a rotten self image, and I really do want to change that. I want to be the woman who is confident all the time, not just when she puts on a confident face. I want to be the woman who owns her curves, is proud of them, is strong. Not the woman I currently see in the mirror (when I'm not too ashamed to look)
I was feeling great. I had my day, I went to work, I had a good day there. I came home, we made dinner...and then...
I was feeling affectionate - or at least, in NEED of affection. I received none. I got chilly and wanted to cuddle. M got up to take his contacts out, and brought the cat back on his lap. No cuddling for me, just the cat. Now I'm suddenly back to Sunday night. Feeling lonely. Feeling "why bother? He didn't notice my hair looked pretty today, or the smile I wore that he used to like. He doesn't want me to touch him. He hardly wants me near him."
I feel like I may need to work a little extra hard tomorrow to work myself out of tonight. I hope my hair dryer can handle that...
(sorry for the funk, y'all)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I did have one member in this morning, actually, so that was nice. A little social interaction is always welcome. I've been trying to get out of the house a little more - failing miserably, I'm sure. I try not to count my regular deliveries, so spending an hour "hanging out" with my apartment manager (she was bored too!) on Thursday was something different, and though we've been to 2 concerts already, with a 3rd (Local H!) in about 10 days, that's about as active as my social life seems to get.
I have a small group of friends here, and we have a local message board so we keep in touch daily, most of us from work, but we don't get together all that often anymore. Everyone is busy lately, and with the holidays fast approaching, I know it just gets worse from here. Having to share the car makes it a lot more difficult. The few times the girls do meet up for lunch or Happy Hour, I usually can't make it, because M has class or is at work. It sucks to be lonely. Being on the insecure side that I am, I can't help but wonder about once a month if somehow I irritated everyone; perhaps they get together more than I realize, and I've just not been invited. Its all silly paranoia leftover from a crappy high school experience, and at least I can acknowledge that.
M and I have been...distant..too. We spend just as much time together as we normally do since school started, but I've been feeling lonely when it comes to us too. Sure, we had a blast at both concerts. We had fun watching the basketball game last night, passing out candy to the few trick-or-treaters we saw, but things feel off. Maybe its stress; I know he's trying to think of a subject for his next film project on top of two other class projects to work on plus his regular day-to-day garbage for work. I'm sure at least some of that is contributing to the 3 week (and counting) dry spell, but it certainly doesn't help me to feel any less lonely. I try to want to go to bed at the same time he does, "just in case...", but I have trouble feeling tired at 10:30 or 11pm when I've spent all day at home doing a lot of nothing and busy work, so I fumble my way to bed around 2am, when he's long since asleep, and lay awake in the dark, wishing I could have my husband back.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Yesterday was crazy. Normally, after I pick M up from work in the afternoon on Wednesdays, we come home, inhale dinner, and he's off to class. The last time we had an opportunity to see Cowboy Mouth, we missed the show, and they didn't come back to San Antonio for 7 years, so come hell or high water, we were not missing this one. It meant that M would work 2 hours late, and instead of a 3 hour class, I'd take him to school and pick him up an hour later before we went out to Old Town for the show at Martini Ranch.
Martini Ranch is kinda cool. I don't know that its my favorite venue for live music, as the only place I could sit to actually see the stage without having people stand in front of me was so far to Stage Left that I was nearly BEHIND it, and I was at the "service" end of the bar, so I was constantly worried I was in the way of the lone waitress. Just before Cowboy Mouth takes the stage, M decides he wants a beer, so I'm left alone at said service end while he orders. I feel a tap on my shoulder and a man I don't know says "Can I buy you a drink?" Now, my husband was not that far away, and I wasn't sure I heard this guy right, because I think the last time I had a drink bought for me was back at the Rivertown Saloon (RIP) in Detroit (when I was all of 17...), so I probably just tilted my head like so many Cocker Spaniels, prompting him to say "What do you want to drink? I own the place. Thanks for coming out tonight!" Startled, I think quickly and say "Oh! Thanks! A Blue Moon would be great!" So Martini Ranch, and the super friendly owner, gets a few more points from me. M told me later that the owner stood next to him to order my drink, and he asked the bartender "Is there a drink called a blue moon?" - obviously not familiar with the beer he stocks in his own bar, but I won't hold that against him :)
Cowboy Mouth, I should mention, is all about Audience Participation. They want you to sing. They want you to scream. They want you to clap along and shout and sweat and dance as if your life depends on it. They want you to have fun and appreciate the life you have. Cowboy Mouth FANS take this well to heart, and I saw a lot of sweaty, smiling faces. Everyone was having a great time. The girl behind me was dancing so hard she dropped her drink on me, and knocked me in the head with her elbow at least four times. She hugged my shoulders each time saying "Oh I'm SO sorry! I'm just dancing!" (M said she stored her purse under my chair. Thank you. I'd like a quarter please for being your personal locker and punching bag) The girl in front of me was high as a flipping KITE. She kissed my hand for no reason. She danced like Elaine on Seinfeld. She kept crouching down and grabbing my ankles and knees. At one point. She knelt at my feet and put her hands on my thighs (hello, personal space please!). I looked her square in the eye and said "Can I help you?" And she just said "I am sooooo high!"
Yes. Thank you Captain Obvious.
Cowboy Mouth played for two glorious hours. Our throats were raw from singing. My shoulders and hands, on FIRE from clapping and holding them over my head for two hours (thank heavens for Degree!). I was able to get a copy of the set list, and we chatted with the band afterward and had it signed. We were so buzzed after such a high energy night that I was afraid I'd never get to sleep, but I was so tired, I passed out instantly after hitting the pillow. I woke up with the song "This Much Fun" stuck in my head (which sadly, I could not get to load properly on my playlist)
M said he was excited for me to listen to the live album again. "It sounds totally different," he said, "after experiencing it yourself. You want to shout and sing and clap right along with the audience. Every time Fred says 'Are you WITH me?!?!?!?!', you want to scream right back at him. Its fun before you see them, but after you've seen it live, you feel like you're right back in it with the live album."
He was right :)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Costumes weren't required, but were definitely encouraged, so M dressed in a ton of old cowboy gear (his brother's old boots, a cool belt buckle of his dad's, an old hat - insisting that he didn't feel like he was in a costume, as this was what he used to wear anyway...) He looked impossibly cute, all rugged and cowboy'd up. I went a comfy but cute route, and dressed as Rosie the Riveter - my own jeans, cuffed up to my knees, a blue work shirt, red scarf in my hair, and seriously FIERCE makeup. I wish I could wear red lips like that on a daily basis, it was gorgeous.
I don't know how long the red lips lasted once we arrived, I was quickly handed a Caramel Apple Martini. The first of MANY. I was also rather hungry, and despite nibbling on a tasty spread of goodies that did nothing for my appetite, an empty stomach and copious amounts of booze meant that 2 hours and 2 drinks later, I was already drunk. Amazingly enough, my martini glass never seemed to be empty for long, which is probably why I don't really remember anything beyond about 10pm.
Sunday morning I woke with a headache and an uncomfortable dizzy sensation (but as expected, was never sick). I also woke to an itchy (and thankfully, short lived) rash in my cleavage, blood on my socks from a cut on my ankle I don't remember getting, and various bits and pieces of the plot of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" meandering through my head - learning later that M asked me to tell him about the movie on the way home, to help me stay awake. Apparently, all I could mutter was "pants. 4 pants. no, 4 girls. Gilmore Girl. Greece. Ugly Betty. Marriage. Dad is douchebag. Soccer camp girl is a whore. Gilmore girl. Greece. GREECE! Walmart." And then I passed out.
I should totally review movies when I'm wasted, yes?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Since I've been at this location, I've heard every morning about "Big Sue":
"Have ya talked to Sue?"
"No! But I sent her an email last week and she didn't send one back"
"I saw her car the other day! I called her and left her a message and told her that I saw her!"
"Oh! I talked to her on Saturday and she says. . ."
Its the funniest thing. Honestly, I was starting to think Big Sue didn't exist. An urban myth, that "I know someone who knows someone who has a cousin who saw a UFO".
Today, Big Sue came in. She does exist!
20 minutes into their 30 minute workout, the three chattiest ladies are still here, the rest have finished and gone. Conversation turns to something that requires so much focus, you simply can't work out while talking ("Mamma Mia!". . .), and fifteen minutes later, I realize that all three of them are just sitting ON the machines, gabbing away, not working out at all. When two more ladies came in to start their workout, they left. And stood talking in the parking lot for 10 minutes.
Good work out today, Ladies! ;)
(I should mention, they really are nice and I do like them, it just cracks me up how little they really do)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The show ended around 10pm, so we had our obligatory deep fried something (polish sausage) at the State Fair, washed it down with a beer, and went home. A good night, but like I said, I'd love to go back and do it again. I miss going to a great concert every other weekend. Back in Michigan, from about 97-99, I went to a LOT of shows. I was the Youth Editor at a local Catholic newspaper, and - well OK, I probably abused my title a bit - because I discovered how easy it was to get Press Passes to just about any show I wanted. Free tickets, CDs, press booklets. I went to probably 6-10 shows during the 6 months or so that I worked there. It was a lot of fun.
During that time, my brothers' band (Freed/The Bowery Kings/The Leeds) and all of their friend's bands (Solid Frog, I Hate Mars, All Hail Me being the three I saw most) were attempting to take Detroit by storm, so I was at THEIR shows every other weekend as well. Add to that my lucky streak with 105.1 The EDGE and 89X, and I was winning tickets left and right. Over the course of about 2 years, I saw Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco, Cake, Reel Big Fish (at least 3x), Fastball, Collective Soul, Ziggy Marley, Shawn Mullins, The Bloodhound Gang, Live, Bush, Everclear, Duran Duran, Elvis Costello, and a BUNCH more (yes, there's more!). The marketing manager at The EDGE asked me to pass out fliers at the Goo Goo Dolls show, thinking I was one of her employees. When I corrected her, she said "but I see you at everything we're at! Why don't you work for me?! Here's my card, maybe we can work something out!" (we didn't, much to my dismay, I was busy working 40hrs a week piercing ears at Claire's) So going to a great rock show makes me a bit nostalgic for 10 years ago, when I could stay up for days, sustained only by a steady stream of Doritos, Dew and ridiculous conversation (and fit into some amazing, sexy but NOT skanky, outfits)
Fast forward to 2002. I'm living in TX with M and working at Linens N Things as a cashier. If you haven't heard by now, Linens N Things has just announced that they're going out of business. Though I no longer work there, this makes me really sad, because it was a job I loved, and even though I quit in 2005, a part of me still feels attached to it. I spent a LOT of time (and a lot of money. . .) there, and I forged some amazing friendships. Few of them stuck in the long term, but they're always in my heart. It feels a bit like the slamming shut of a chapter in my life, you know? I shouldn't get into conversations this random at 1am. I don't know where they go :)
And on a "since nobody asked MY opinion" note, I think a lot of LNT's undoing was partnering with too many "celebrities". It started with Emeril. Then Nate Berkus (who? Exactly. I think he was one of Oprah's designers). Then Rachael Ray (man am I ever glad I'd already quit when THAT came into the picture), followed by Paula Deen, and a gaggle of other "famous" chefs and designers and people nobody'd ever heard of or cared about. Prices went up with the attached names, and the next thing you know, they're kaput.
Anyway, I'm going to bed. I have a busy day of being UnSingle ahead of me tomorrow (it is, after all, a Tuesday.)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Have a great weekend y'all!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
wake up feeling less than great, but not horrible.
volunteer for a study (last week) about cold medicine, get bottle in the mail today, follow instructions to take cold medicine per survey. Feel glad that it came today since we have no cold medicine in the house.
spend rest of afternoon staring off into space and/or napping.
The weather here in Scottsdale has been INCREDIBLE lately. The normal highs for this time of year are usually around 90 still, but it was in the low 70's all weekend. Its sunny and breezy and just beautiful. This bums me out a bit, because the weather is perfect today to take a walk, but I just don't feel up to it. Booooo.
M and I received an invite to a Halloween party at the end of the month, and I'm looking forward to it. Believe it or not, this will be my first Halloween party since. . .oh, probably elementary school. Costumes are required, so we spent the weekend trying to figure out what to do. M's parents are sending him a bunch of cowboy stuff (the real deal - spurs and all!). My original idea was to wear this to go along with him, but it appears that EVERYONE had the same idea, as that costume is sold out at every online retailer - EVERYWHERE. Booo.
So I'm probably going back to my black pants (vinyl if I can find them), black top, boots and wig. My "standard" costume since 1999, seen here:
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Actually, tonight he only left on two before he went to class, and I didn't eat alone. We got home from work and I started in on dinner pretty quickly (recipe to follow!) we ate, watched a little news and then M was off to class. I was lucky to find "Chicago" running on E! - lucky because I've had the soundtrack in the car all week, singing unabashedly at the top of my lungs, wishing I hadn't quit Show Choir after 8th grade (Annie, if you're reading this, I'm totally jealous that you stuck with it and are STILL with it!) M called halfway through his film editing class. They're broken up into groups right now, assigned different 3 minute or so short films written by a classmate. One of M's group members had the script and promised to email it to the rest of the group. Just before class, M finds it in his inbox, but doesn't have time to open it. The call halfway through class was to ask me to save it as a word doc; the writer had sent it out in the one format everyone said NOT to send it in - I was the only one who could open it on M's laptop (which of course, was here at home, not with M.) I saved the day by emailing it back out in the proper format. . .
only to learn myself that what was sent was NOT the script, but the outline that they all had already. The guy's email said "oops, sorry, I went out of town and forgot to send this" but "this" was the wrong "this" after all that (and of course, he wasn't in class OR answering his phone), Now they start filming next week with no script. Fabulous. Needless to say, the rest of the group was less than pleased. And M wonders why I'm not thrilled with the idea of going back to school.
Anyway, as promised (not that anyone asked, but hey, its something to write, right?), here's tonight's dinner. This recipe came from an issue of Glamour, probably 3+ years ago, but we love it. Its simple, fast, tasty and pretty darn healthy too.
Quick Thyme Chicken (for 2!)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme (dried is fine - but if you must, get it from Penzeys!)
1 egg, beaten
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded thin (I find that one is plenty for us to share, really)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Preheat the broiler, placing the oven rack directly under in. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs and thyme. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into egg, then into bread crumb mixture to coat. Place the chicken on a nonstick cookie sheet and cook directly under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. (if your breading starts to burn before the chicken is done, just move the cookie sheet down to the next lower rack until it is cooked through. I did this today for an extra 2 minutes per side, because I hadn't pounded the chicken thin enough, as I smashed my fingers with the mallet instead of the chicken. . .)
We typically serve this with mashed potatoes and - because I'm lazy - a packet or jar of chicken gravy. Besides, where am I going to get pan drippings to make gravy?
Nutritional Score (because I have a wicked software on my PC that does it for me! - though I think this is for a whole breast, not half)
8g fat (4g saturated, 1g polyunsaturated)
1g dietary fiber
Monday, October 6, 2008
We pulled the futon mattress off of its frame, threw down a ton of pillows, hung out and cuddled on the floor all weekend. We caught up on our DVR (tell me you're watching Fringe!), watched a few movies, and just locked ourselves away from it all. It was really nice. We turned off the A/C and opened all the windows for some fresh air. Saturday we made BLTA sandwiches (the "A" is avocado!) with a zesty, spicy mayo that I "made". Sunday morning, we made the most amazing Belgian waffles, with fresh whipped cream (with a dash of my homemade vanilla!) and macerated strawberries. It was divine.
There's just one problem with our weekend in. It dawned on me sometime late yesterday afternoon that we'd spent the entire weekend (with GORGEOUS weather, no less) inside the house. Now its Monday again. . . and I'll spend most of my week inside the house. I'm sure by Thursday I'll have nearly gone stir crazy. Oh well. We do have a lot to do coming up. M and I both have to work this weekend. Next weekend we'll be going to see Weezer at the AZ State Fair. On the 29th, we're going to see Cowboy Mouth in Old Town Scottsdale, and on November 10th, Local H will be back in town. How lucky are we since we've lived here, that almost all of our favorite bands have been to town! Now if only Eddie Izzard hadn't been here TWICE, when I couldn't attend either show :(
I'm off to make lunch. Thanks for reading!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Step one: slice rolls in half, place on cookie sheet
Step two: turn on broiler to toast rolls, put cookie sheet in oven
Step three: start washing dishes and forget you put the rolls in the oven.
Step four: wonder why your sink smells like burnt toast. . .
Step five: remember that you put the rolls in the hot oven, pull them out smoking and black.
Step six: throw in the garbage, put "bread crumbs" on grocery list.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Nope. That's called "dusk". Its what happens in the evening when the sun goes down, and that's what I get for hardly looking outside today. *sigh*. I almost wish I had a reason to go to Fresh and Easy, at least I'd have gotten out of the house!
Today I had a surprise visit from my friend Kylee. Kylee needed to escape her office for a little while, and I was either a safe haven...or just the closest person to her office. Kylee brought donuts, so we sat and shared them and visited and gossiped and giggled. It was nice. I certainly enjoyed the company, as I don't get to see my friends nearly as often as I would like. Tomorrow, I'll get to see a handful of them (and babies too!) as we get together to celebrate nothing special.
I spent today writing a letter for my mom, sorting about $800 worth of cosmetics, and NOT enjoying my lunch, a prepared turkey dinner from Fresh and Easy (so they DO have things I don't like there, imagine that!) . I just emailed M at work, asking him all of the details of his day - the things I normally get to ask him at 5:30pm. "How was your day", "what's for dinner", etc. I miss that, and between me rushing off to work on the days he doesn't have class, and him being wiped out on the days he does, I feel like I don't get to ask those mundane, every day, boring, but important questions. We did have a nice weekend though. A little work, a little play ;) and not much else.
Tonight, I plan to make myself either cheese tortellini with sun dried tomato basil sauce...or a baked sweet potato with black beans and cheese. I can't decide, and I'd better soon, because I didn't finish much of my yucky lunch, I'm hungry, and there are still donuts on the table. . .
Either the cats are turning it on, or M thinks we have a boogeyman. Maybe I'll just remove the switch ;)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Last night we went out for dinner early, well, early for us (we were done before 8pm, normally we haven't decided what we want by then!) Even though I knew I had to get up early today, I would have liked to have done something else after dinner, but M didn't seem too interested, so back home we went. The thrill of my evening came before dinner, when I slipped into a pair of jeans one size smaller than the ones I just bought. Yay! Maybe walking to Fresh & Easy, even if I do come home with dessert, once a week is doing more good than I thought! M didn't really say much or seem to share at all in my excitement, a bit of a let down I thought. I would have been happy with a "great job baby!" or something, but oh well.
Today's plans include. . . oh, probably nothing. We have to return some stuff we bought last week, so I might do my best to keep us out of the house for the day. When we're at home, it just settles in to M on the couch at the TV and me in the office on the computer, and its mostly because I'm bored with TV and find the couch rather uncomfortable (I can't WAIT to replace it with this: http://tinyurl.com/3s36v2 - and hell its on sale this weekend too! Rats!)
Beyond that, I'll probably try and help M with his homework. Anyone have a fresh idea for a random movie poster they want to share?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Yesterday, M and I got a bonus day together, which was nice . . . and would have been nicer had most of the day not been spent at the dentist : ( But we made the best of it. After a moderately painful (both on the mouth and on the wallet) morning at the dentist, we went home and relaxed for a bit, and then went out for lunch. We’d planned to try a local Mexican place, but the whole shopping center is under construction, and though the restaurant is still open, there’s almost no way to get to building, so around the corner to Olive Garden we went. The conversation and company was nice, I otherwise would have been eating leftovers at home, alone. The dentist, unfortunately, had to have M come back for part of his appointment in the afternoon. The good of this is that instead of taking just the morning off, it meant that he took the whole day off instead, yay!! So after lunch, M dropped me off at home and went back out, and I fell asleep on the couch watching an episode of The Smurfs. Once back at home, we had about an hour to chill out before I had to go to work, for all of 90 minutes.
Here’s my random rant for the day. When I left, the only thing lighting up the apartment was the glow from our television. When I came home, nearly every light in the house was on. Living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, the closet, the bedroom, the laundry room and the hallway, all lit up. M had been working in the kitchen, so there’s one I can justify, and three more (hallway, laundry room and guest bath), as he was sorting the laundry. But I find it hilarious that any time he’s home, the master bedroom, bathroom and closet light are on. Anyone else experience this?
We did have a nice evening though. We made dinner together, cheese tortellini with lots of fresh veggies, and then caught up on Heroes and Fringe, before we both passed out for the night. Today, I’m on my own again. M’s workday is a short one, but he has class until he would normally get home from work anyway.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Last year, my husband M and I moved a few thousand miles from home to a new city. The middle of nowhere. Ok, metro Phoenix. Ok FINE. Suburbs of Scottsdale. Here in the ‘burbs, I live alone with my husband. M has a full time job and recently went back to school, so I find myself spending a lot more time alone lately – more than I’ve had in the past eight years. I feel so proud of M for taking such a big, brave new step, though I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit lonely. “Unsingle”. Married, and yet alone.
M and I mostly see each other from Friday afternoon to Sunday night, with a bit of time together – albeit sleepy – on Wednesdays when we carpool. Oh sure, I have a part time job, so I get out of the house when I can, what his schedule and my body will allow, given my own limitations, but again, I do spend most of my days in a quiet house, with the cats (one of whom may be plotting our imminent death as this moment. . .)
So what does “Unsingle” mean to me? It means spending way too much of my morning on Facebook. It means watching old sitcoms at lunchtime, lollygagging to the shower after a workout, and rushing off to work the moment M gets home with the car. It means a late dinner when I get home, 20 minutes of TV before bed, lather, rinse, repeat. On school nights (a phrase I didn’t figure I’d utter until my mid-thirties), it means eating dinners alone, waiting for M to come home at 10pm, 20 minutes of TV before bed, lather rinse, repeat. And our sex life? It’s a weekend social event for the two of us. Weekdays are just too exhausting, unless you’re me, bored out of my head for 90% of the week, anxious for social contact, struggling to fall asleep – consequently the only time I REALLY get to spend in bed, next to the man I married.
But it’s not all bad. On the plus side, my dinner’s alone mean making whatever the hell I want to eat. It means walking to the corner market to pick up the freshest goodies for said dinner…and maybe a tasty dessert to indulge in, all by my lonesome (because there’s nothing more pathetic than a chubby girl eating a slice of cheesecake alone, or is there?) It means watching my ONE guilty pleasure, America’s Next Top Model (what? Oh hush.), without the ridicule, or feeling as if I’ve exiled M to the office. It means leaving the seat down, the lights off, and the kitchen tidy. It means having time to myself to write my meandering thoughts, perhaps a new, weekly chronicle of being “Unsingle”…