Monday, December 20, 2010

Bob and Dan Cast

Do yourself a favor and listen to this.

Two gentlemen I knew in high school have an awesome weekly podcast. They talk movies, TV, media, life, geekery, fruits, It's Always Sunny. And I find them HILARIOUS.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To the tune of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"

Image via ME

Maddie the Saddest Doggie
(To the tune of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer")

Maddie, the saddest doggie
Has a very quiet life,
But if you look at her wrongly
it fills her puppy heart with strife.

And when we brought home Butters
She was very blue indeed.
She just stared at us sadly,
But, a friend is what she needs.

Then one quiet Monday night,
Butters got his way.
He made friends with little Maddie
Even though he is a catty.

Now they’re the best of pet-friends
Though sometimes it’s not a cup of tea,
“Best” may be too strong an adjective,
At least they play pretty happily…

A list of 7

1) I really like baking. And cooking. Like, a lot.
My favorite days are Sundays where I'm super productive in the morning, and then in the afternoon I make a delicious treat and a massive dinner (to be used for lunch leftovers)

2) I'm going to Oregon in February!

3) I miss Mike. He started a new role at work back in October, and since he's starting from scratch, he's been working really hard, and he ends up working late most nights. He's doing an awesome job, and he really loves the people he works with, and he feels challenged and fulfilled - so it's definitely not all bad.

4) I'm doing a great job of being Christmas-y and festive! My house is decorated, I've bought 88% of my gifts and I've baked treats. I had a minor setback last week where I tried to go gift shopping and ended up in hysterics. But, I feel like that was more a result of a variety of factors. I redeemed myself by being ALL BUSINESS the very next day, and getting most of it done.

5) I feel like I need to re-think and re-vamp my blogging life. I have too many blogs that I'm trying to follow, so I end up following none at all. Now, I don't feel connected anyone anymore. It's sad really.

6) I watched 16 and Pregnant last night (I haven't watched it in FOREVER) and it kills me. Absolutely KILLS ME. How young they are. Well, duh, they're 16. But, it was shocking because when I was 16, I never saw myself as that young. Hell, I still feel 16.
Even before that I went out to dinner with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and by brother-in-law's girlfriend, and the two girls are in HS and were telling me about a junior at school who is pregnant with her second kid.
Mike and I are 26, own our own home, are financially stable and we're putting off having kids. Yet, teenagers are popping out babies like they're going out of style. Reminds me of the intro to Idiocracy:


7) I LOVE Firefly. I've heard about it years, and watched an episode or two in college, but never gave it the time it deserves. Mike and I played it on a whim and have fallen madly and passionately in love. If you've ever suggested it to me, a MILLION thanks. A BILLION.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas??

I'm pretty gung-ho about Christmas this year.
Well, actually, I'm forcing myself to be pretty gung-ho about Christmas this year.

I used to get excited about the IDEA of the holidays. I remember being in middle school band, and every year we would play a mini Christmas concert, or maybe just songs for funzies (I can't remember), but I would get AMPED when I first heard Christmas music. But after a while, it would fade and I would be over it.
Last year's Christmas party veggie pizza - FESTIVE!

As I've gotten older, my Christmas cheer has lessened even more. Part of that, I think, is just getting growing up and having more holiday-related obligations and trying to budget time and money to make all of them work. Especially now that we're married, we have to try to cram 2 or 3 whole Christmas celebrations into 2 days.

But, I think my MAIN struggle is buying Christmas gifts. Britt touched on this in one of her posts, but I'm a TERRIBLE gift-buyer. Let me preface this with - I'm a terrible shopper in general. I start out with all these great things in my arms, and by the time I'm ready to check out, I've put almost everything back.
Last year's Christmas party - MATCHING TURTLENECKS

In addition to that, I just NEVER know what to get. I over-think the gifts I pick up, then I put them back, and then pick them up again, and say "fuck it! I'm buying this!" Then I walk around for 15 more minutes, usually talking to myself about how this gift is stupid, and they're just going to return it, before putting it down and then picking it up one last time. Before you can say "Rudolph", I'm sending frantic texts to Rachelle and my mom and Mike about how I want to shoot fire out of my eyes.

On top of all this whining, I was at my parents' house two nights ago, talking Christmas with my mom, and my DAD comes in and starts hating on the holidays. And that's when it dawned on me: I am my father's Scrooge-y child.

But this year? I want so DESPERATELY to be Christmas-y. I WANT to be cheerful. I WANT to feel celebratory. I WANT to be festive.
Last night at my house
Hot spiced cider, chocolate chip cookies, Christmas Glee

So, since Dec 1, I've been listening to Christmas music...NONSTOP. My house is already decorated (since BEFORE Decemeber). I've started shopping (the earliest EVER), and I've purchased Christmas cards.

I'm going to be festive, GODDAMNIT. I'm going to be so festive it HURTS. And I'm going to be that FESTIVE, even if it kills me.

What are your thoughts on the holidays? Do you LIVE for this time of year? Or are you having trouble channeling your inner St. Nick?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Civil Unions?!

For the first time in a long time Illinois is doing something good - voting YES on Civil Unions.
I know it's not 100%, but it's a step.

"If the measure passes the Senate and is signed into law by Quinn, who has pledged to do so, Illinois would become the sixth state offering gay couples the right to enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships." Chicago Sun Times

"Civil unions for same-sex couples would be allowed in Illinois under historic legislation the state Senate swiftly sent today to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the measure...The Senate voted 32-24 after the House, viewed as the toughest hurdle, passed the measure on Tuesday." Tribune

"Less than 24 hours after it was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives, the state Senate voted to approve a measure that would allow gay couples to enter into civil unions." Huffington Post

Pat Quinn just needs to sign it!
And he would be STUPID AS SHIT not to, because he has publicly stated that he would.

"After a heated, hour-long debate, the legislation will now head to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk. He has said he’ll sign the bill. He got a standing ovation when he entered the Illinois Senate Wednesday during debate and on Tuesday in the Illinois House." Fox Chicago

Yay!
Image via

C'mon!

So, my mom send me this badass video:

First and foremost, I love flash mobs. And I cried while watching this, because the music is AMAZING, regardless of the religion attached.

So, after watching it, I started to browse the comments, which was obviously a mistake.

While there were people praising the beauty of the music, the logistics and rehearsal that were obviously involved in putting this together - a good handful of creeps turned it into a gross religious debate.

Someone said this:
acts and celebrations of faith have their place in this country. And it's not where people are trying to eat dinner. If it was held in a public park, people would have the option of avoiding it. How can you be sure that everyone was enjoying it? They could have edited out the people who stood up and took their dinner else where. This fragrant (sic) act of flaunting Christ should not be so intrusive in our lives. They should have been more respectful of other faiths during their meal time.

And while I DO understand the point of view, to a very small degree, why is it about THAT? Why does everyone freak the FUCK out if they can smell religion in the air? THE MUSIC WAS BEAUTIFUL! Why can't it be left at that?

Beyond THAT argument, people started throwing Muslims under the bus:
...However, I wonder how people would take it if a bunch of Muslims did the same and sang God is Great in such a diner/food court. Would other have been offended? Free speech you say?

I hope not. I hope that no matter what religion you are, and what you believe, you can respect the beauty of the arts. Why don't we understand and appreciate each other better, and say "Oh yes, that was a beautiful song!" Rather than "Your God is not MY God, and I don't want to see or hear about YOUR God ever! Especially through song." Can't we all just get along? Can't we all be friends? Seriously.

My goodness, we're a country of crybabies.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reaaaaaaaaaaally random.

I stayed home from work yesterday, and I love staying home from work.
I love the quiet hours, and the TV in the background. I love making a to-do list and ACTUALLY getting things done during those stolen hours.

I'm confused, you guys. I wish wish wish I could expand on this here, but I can't.
Which is PROBABLY why this post is going to be really crazy and disconnected.

I have these dreams, sometimes, where the floor is melting underneath me. I think I looked up the meaning once, and it has to do with feeling overwhelmed or out of control. Duh.
I'm feeling exCEPTIONALLY disorganized lately. Our office has become a storage room - again.
HA!

I've been in the process of repainting one of our bathrooms (pictures to come...eventually) and it's turned into a much longer and much larger project than I anticipated (isn't that always how it goes?). Hopefully I'll get it done before 2012.

We also had a flooring place come over and give us an estimate to get laminate put in on our first floor, and HOLY SHIT - what a ripoff. He told us that our "Retail Price" was $13,000. For laminate. In a VERY small townhouse. Stop it. Right now. But, oh! Don't worry. He discounted us down to $5,400, which is still EXTREMELY high. Frustrating, frustrating.

I need to change my blog-life. I've been debating the switch from blogger to wordpress for a while. Maybe I'll get around to it? Let's add this to my ever-growing to-do list!
What I need to do, REALLY BADLY, is clean out my reader. I'm way behind on my reader (my sincerest apologies to those who I used to comment on, but haven't in a while...I'm getting there), and I want to clean it out - so if you're still here, still checking in on me periodically, leave me note, leave me a link, leave me something, and I'll make sure to bug you back.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter!!

So, I'm totally nerding out because Harry Potter comes out RIGHT NOW. I set this post to publish on 11/19 at 12:01am.
Unfortunately, I am NOT seeing it at the moment - I'm planning to see it first thing Sunday morning. I know I SHOULD be part of the gung-ho midnight crowd, but I've done it three times, and I just don't enjoy the MOVIE as much.
The crowd - awesome, and fun, and soooo entertaining to see the elaborate costumes, but unless I'm up and moving at midnight, all I can think about is my bed.

In order to make up for my movie viewing failures I put together this for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, whichever)

Please don't judge me. I know I make some weird faces and get really close to the camera, but there was NO WAY IN HELL I was remaking that video.

For serial, I was planning this for a while, and I've been practicing nightly, and for a while I HAD it. But tonight? When I went to record it - EFF - I couldn't play it for BEANS. Mike was in the house though, and it made me NERVOUS.



You guys. I'm so excited and so depressed about this movie. I mean, Harry Potter is the longest love affair of my life. I've read those books over and over, and they are so comforting and wonderful. It's amazing to be transported to this other gorgeous world. But SO SO SO sad that this is the beginning of the end. Even when the 7th book was released, I knew that there were still movies to look forward to. But after this? We only have July.



Take a second and vote for this kid, but THIS, RIGHT HERE? is commitment:


I hope, deep down, that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is real. Even if that DOES mean that I'm a Muggle. I just want our world to have magic in it somewhere.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bloggers and People that Blog

I feel like there are bloggers, and there are people that blog.

Bloggers are those who write, and advertise and network and are good at it.
Bloggers go to meet-ups and are people you may someday get to meet in person. They're the queens (and occasionally kings) of the internetz, and all of us their loyal followers. A single post garners 50+ comments, and their passages are shared via Reader, stumbleupon and Twitter. You don't know the ins and outs of their day, but you sew together a picture of their lives. Bloggers are impressive.

People who blog are like me...sometimes we are at a loss of what to write. Sometimes our posts are inconsistent, and ridiculous, and we struggle. We posts memes when we've got writer's block, and sometimes feel weird calling it "writer's block" because that's a term for WRITERS. We occasionally share Waaaaaaaay too much about our lives, our day and our pets. But that's ok, because we're pretty cool too.

But I do wish that more of the people I know in real life would become people who blog.
For instance, Rachelle blogs. Rachelle is my BFF since 7th grade, and thanks so the internet and cell phones we're in contact almost constantly, on top of that we usually see each other at least once a month, but usually more. HOWEVER, I find her blog posts to be FASCINATING because we don't talk like we blog. Like, we wouldn't have this conversation, right here, face-to-face.

And Katie, my BFF since HS, and thanks to distance and time differences and our mutual disdain for phone calls (haha), we don't get to talk as often as we would like. But she blogs, and I can read about her weekend and her feelings and thoughts. And again, I find it fascinating because people don't write like they talk.

I mean, sure, you can "be real" in your blog, but mostly I don't speak in full sentences, without punctuating them with "AWESOME!" or "SHUT UP!" They are filled with slang and pauses and verbal fillers.
Writing a blog post is closer to writing a speech or a presentation because it is so one sided. It can CERTAINLY open up a dialogue after you've read it, but by that point the author has said their piece.

In summary, more people I know in real life should blog regularly (if for no other reason than my enjoyment). That is all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fawk!

Remember, remember the 5th of November. The gunpowder, treason, and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

Image via

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

Image via

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Haters to the left.

What the EFF?!

Yesterday I got an email from a friend - he forwarded along a church bulletin from the church we both attended when we were younger. In this bulletin was a "From the Desk of the Pastor" editorial addressing the upcoming election.

It starts off addressing the importance of voting, and how Catholics make up 30% of the voting public.

"Faith is not a private matter. The Christian Faith cannot be restricted to oneself and one's family. Such an attitude would render it impossible to 'love one's neighbor.'"


But then, things take quite a turn,

"As Catholics we recognize that there are many important issues that must be addressed during an election. We also recognize that some issues are objectively more important than others because they fundamentally address the well being of our society. These issues go beyond party lines They define the kind of society we live in, and the kind of people we are. As we look at the issues, there are five non-negotiable issues when it comes to voting. These five issues concern actions that are intristically evil (evil in themselves) and so therefore must never be promoted by law. These five issues are: Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, and Homosexual 'Marriage.' When a candidate supports these issues...they are supporting things that go against the Catholic Faith, the common good, and contrary to the law of God...and so we cannot vote for them."
Ahhhhhh, what?

And then, the same friend that brought this to my attention laid out some bible verses,

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." Luke 6:37
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ ... " Galatians 3:28
Dudes. That article made me sick, and I spent the remainder of my day in a rage. It also saddens me to NO end that the church I grew up with took it upon themselves to call gay marriage evil. Really? We're at the point where we're specifically calling it EVIL? But in the same article, mere paragraphs away, the pastor tells us we must love our neighbor?!

What if your neighbor is gay? WHAT TO DO!? Can you love your gay neighbor? Is the allowed, or do you have to condemn them for being "evil"? How do good, bible-following Catholics deal with that?

But then! Today, one of my coworkers posted this article on Facebook, talking about the judges who legalized gay marriage being voted out...by the people. The article is very matter-of-fact , but it's the comments that are disgustingly colorful. Like this one,
"This has nothing to do with law....This is a morality issue. I agree that all human should share equal rights but this is taking it WAY to far. The human body was not designed for them to be together. The laws of physics make it abundantly clear that "Opposites Attract". Both Religious and Scientific activist alike should see this point. Besides...Their parts don't even fit!! I guess next you liberals will be wanting to make it OK for little boys to be with priest as long as the boy wants it. Anyone that sides with the homos on this is a disgusting piece of........."
Simply spectacular.

In reality, I just don't understand. Are people really basing politics on possibly mistranslated bible passages? Why is everyone so angry and up in arms over people WANTING TO MARRY AND BUILD A LIFE TOGETHER? If they want to marry, then they are in love. WHY is that not celebrated? Why do we need more anger and hostility and unnecessary debate.

Are people really concerned about what kind of sex they are having? Shit! Heterosexual people have all kinds of freaky sex. Go on a hetero porn site for like 30 seconds, and you'll see a variety of things that you cannot unsee. But because it's a penis and a vagina in close proximity to each other, it's OK?

It makes me so, so sad that everyone wants to control everyone else. As long as you are NOT HARMING OTHERS, or infringing on their rights - live and let live.

I guess I just don't get it. And you know what, I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween 2010

Life has been a wee bit boring this week. Nothing exciting, nothing crazy, nothing revolutionary.

Well, I guess it could be considered exciting that come next July, Mike and I will be traveling to San Diego to 1) visit amazing friends AND 2) Going to Comic-Con!! I think I've mentioned this badass fact before, but it was just confirmed that THIS IS GOING DOWN!

Halloween is this weekend! Tomorrow, I am dressing as a lazy and removable Harry Potter (glasses, scarf, tshirt). Saturday, I'll be a ghost/spirit/apparition, and Mike will be Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures - simple, but effective.

In 2008 Mike and I were old people
And last year we were and angel and a devil

What are you going to be for Halloween?


Friday, October 22, 2010

Books and Tattoos

First things first - Mike and I are going on a Ghost Tour this evening! And I am OMG-level excited. We're HUGE fans of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. It's our ghost show of choice.

Secondly - My work BFF had her last day yesterday, and she's moving on to greener pastures. I am TERRIBLE with goodbyes. I cry like a baby. And yesterday? It was no different. She was set to leave at 2pm, and starting at ten minutes to 2, my eyes were watering, I was sniffling, and it only got worse as I heard her walking around saying goodbye to people. When she walked into my cube to peace out - I lost my shit. Overall, it was funny because I'm ridiculous and apologized, but I'm still straight up bummed that I she's outta here.

And FINALLY - the reason I decided to write a post...Books. And tattoos.

In my fantasy world, I would be able to get a full or half sleeve tattoo, and this tattoo would be my literary collage. Among the images I would hope to include: The Hogwarts crest, the lamppost from Narnia, the apple from The Giver, Roald Dahl images, Shel Silverstein images, etc...It would be almost entirely black and white line drawings, with splashes of color where appropriate. Goddamnit, I want this.

I was driving in to work today, thinking again about how AWESOME this tattoo would be if I were to someday get it, I started thinking about what other books, poems and short stories I would try to include - Time Traveler's Wife, Water for Elephants, Geek Love, Chuck Palahniuk, A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, Margaret Atwood - and I went on Goodreads to check out some of my other favorite books, and I've realized that MOST books end up being my favorite books.

40% of the books I've reviewed on Goodreads have received 5 stars from me...because I think authors are AMAZING. I could never be one, and people who do it, and are successful ASTOUND me. I've NEVER been able to review a book well, because unless it's extremely poorly written I usually have very few complaints - because THEY DID IT. They slaved to write a beautiful story, create background information, and in fantasy/sci-fi/etc sometimes create an ENTIRE universe. And who am I to judge?
(This paragraph does not extend to faux-authors like Lauren Conrad, The Situation, Heidi/Spencer - BARF.)

I just LOVE books. And I'm currently re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to mentally prepare for November 19th! Although, I feel like NO amount of preparation could make me truly ready.




What are your favorite books OF ALL TIME?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love, Like, Crabby

Originally, I had this list in the reverse order. But, it's better this way.

Things I am crabby about:

  • The sneaky holidays. I LOVE the idea of holidays, but the reality of them turns me into a Scrooge. Plus, it's October and then SUDDENLY IT'S CHRISTMAS!
  • My new cubicle. Most notably (at the moment) the fact that two pieces of my desk aren't aligned, and I keep clipping my elbow on the uneven corner.
  • Last night's Glee re-run. NO, I ABSOLUTELY do not want to watch re-runs this early in the season. STOP IT.
Things I am liking:
  • My commute has been WAY easy these days. Well, except this morning. It sucked a lot this morning.
  • My budget is semi-OK for the rest of the month. Almost. Maybe.
  • My blunt bangs. But they need to be trimmed some more.
Things I am LOVING:
  • The fact that we are getting $16,000+ worth of work done on our house for the low, LOW price of $1,000. Oh, I didn't tell you? Apparently, in addition to part of the siding falling off, we have HAIL DAMAGE. New siding, new roof, new gutters, new soffit, and maybe more? Thanks, insurance!!
  • This freakishly beautiful October. Normally, things are cold and rainy and hinting at snow. But, it has been sunny and UNSEASONABLY warm.
  • Bo Burnham.
Image via

Monday, October 18, 2010

Content vs Complacent

I like to dream about the day that my life will be totally...in order. I want to say predictable, but that sounds terrible. However - I LIKE the thought of knowing precisely what's happening and when.

I've felt a little out of control, and things have felt a little too loosey-goosey for my tastes. But, luckily, I'm over it, and resolving to tighten things up around here.

Though, one thing that is really surprising me, and not in a good way, is the lack of inspiration I feel (WOW! That sounds totally gross and cheesy) - but when I look on etsy or favorite blogs, or Pottery Barn magazines, rather than being "OMG! That's awesome! I want my life to be beautiful/simple/serene like that!" like I used to, I'm all "meh."

I really disappointed in this development, and I'm not sure HOW to go about fixing it? I mean, is it really a problem? Am I content or complacent? Am I lazy or satisfied? (Well, duh, I'm lazy - but I needed another comparison set.)

Lately my days have involved WAAAAAAAAAAY too much TV, not enough cleaning/cooking/laundry, and an extreme surplus of...laying around. It's actually to the point where I'm embarrassed. But yes, these negatives are rallying me to get up and change it.

This weekend? I'm going to finish that sewing table I started...like, LAST winter. AND!! I have plan to get rid of the sponge paint in one of our bathrooms. It's a tiny bathroom - a ONE day project. Let's get serious, I've lived in this house for just over a year, and the only real changes that have taken place occurred within 1 month of us moving in. You guys, I'm still missing outlet covers in our bedroom...that we painted over a year ago. I'm RIDICULOUS!

Additionally, BabyTalk in our house has increased SLIGHTLY (don't get too excited Rachelle) and it was kind of a hardcore realization for me that we need to learn to be proactive and get things done for OURSELVES before we can think about having a tiny life living in our house.
(Seriously, it was like ONE or TWO conversations...about the FUTURE)

In other news: two of my favorite people got married on 10.9.10


And they had ONE BADASS party to celebrate.
I even got to recreate a ridiculous robot dance with the groom
My wedding: 5/30/09

His wedding: 10/9/10

It was awesome. And I love those two pictures side-by-side.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bahahahaha

This is all I have for today:


I got carried away trying to take REALLY unattractive pictures of myself. You should see the others...

The results: SUCCESS! Also - NAKED FACE! Bonus.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Summer 2010 Recap

I did one of these bad boys last year, where I relived Summer 2010. I loved looking back at everything I did this summer - because it goes by SO fast, and you never really get a chance to digest.
As if on cue, the leaves have started changing and the weather is hovering between 50 and 70 degrees and IT IS GORGEOUS.

Without further adieu, my summer...
(OH! and many thanks to Miss Rachelle for supplementing posts about my summer!)
Unfortunately, though this whole exercise, I realized that even thought I had a BLASTY this summer, I was REALLY whiny and sad pandas and a Donna Downer in most of my posts. I feel like it's safe to blame that on impulsive ranting, because I genuinely didn't feel that way during the glorious summer months.

Ah well. What's done is done and I'm a happy camper now. I looooved reminiscing May through September. But now! It's fall, and I am SO happy.
Next thing you know...

It's Christmas time.

Debbie Downer

So, quick story. I was on the phone with Debbie P. (my blessed, holy mother) a while back, and I made mention of someone being a "Debbie Downer" and she stopped me and goes, "WHERE did that come from?" And I laughed and laughed. She continued "I feel like I'm a really positive person, so I don't think that applies to me." And I continued to laugh and told her that I thought it came from an SNL skit, but I was met with resistance (when I retold this story). But, per Wikipedia, Debbie Downer DID, in fact, originate on SNL.

However, I made a vow to my mom that I would do my DAMNDEST to eradicate that term, or at the very least remove any reference of her name when attached to DOWNER.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Fever.

I've got a fever. And, unfortunately, the remedy is not more cowbell.

myspace layout images




I've heard people talk about the Baby Fever before, but I was always like, "No, no. That's not real"
But, it kind of is. And, I'm a survivor of The Fever.

No, but seriously, I want kids. I think I'd make a badass mom, and Mike an awesome dad. I have no doubt (and neither does Mike) that we will have kids and it will be ahhhhhmazing. But right now? No fucking way. I know there's never a right time to have kids. But there is a WRONG time, and for me, this is it.

I'm totes off track.
But lately, I've been feeling the pangs of The Fever. Mostly in the form of facebook updates by my peers who have had kids, or are having kids, or are newly pregs. Also, the ridiculously cute bloggers who have recently given birth.

I told Mike about this scary phenomenon the other day, and the best way I can describe it is that the emotional part of my brain gets crazy-whiny and is like, "Wait! I could totes handle a baby right now. It would have blue eyes. I can name it Sally! Or Don! I'll do the bedroom a mint green and I want to use cloth diapers. WAIT! I need to find a midwife, NOW!" and this continually escalates until I'm ACTUALLY researching midwives in our area and reading birth stories and sobbing.

But while this is going on, there's a quiet rational part of my brain going "No. Kids are a bad idea. We don't have enough money saved. You drive 1.5 hours to and from work. You don't even LIKE the name Sally and Don! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! STOP TYPING THAT INTO GOOGLE!" But by then it's too late, and I've bookmarked 3 sites and added 5 new names to my "Potential Baby Names" list.

I told Mike about this and he just laughed and laughed, because when it comes right down to it, that rational part always wins, and I'm able to laugh at it too. But by god, sometimes it is REALLY fun to indulge The Fever, and start reading about how cloth diapers REALLY work and whether there ARE any good midwives in the area.

BFFS! LYLAS!

OMG Guys! I made a new friend! Look what showed up in my inbox this morning!


Greetings,
My name is maryjen a good looking girl i saw your profile today in i became very interested to you .l like traveling and

meeting new
friends, So i will like to further communication
with you.

Please write to me through my email addres (redacted) so that i will communicate back to you wzith my photos.
YourS new friend maryjen Appia.thanks and god bless


I'm not sure where she saw my profile, or whether she's telling ME I'm a good looking girl, or that SHE is - but WHY question fate? The universe brought us together, and sometimes you don't necessarily understand the motives.

To my new friend - maryjen Appia!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicago Rendezvous

Over Labor Day weekend I had the distinct pleasure of finally uniting with the stunning Emily and the amazing Brittany. In short, it was awesome.

Friday:
I finally united with Brittany at the luxurious Hotel Blake on Printer's Row in Chicago. From the moment our eyes locked, it was magical.
By the time we met up, we had to act fast in order to 1) make Emily's WELCOME sign (We had to coerce Ian into lending us scissors. And then we had to cross our hearts and hope to die that we would bring them back in one hour, because they belonged to his manager)
Ian. Lovely Ian on our last night.
and 2) take the train to the airport...which neither of us had done before.

By the time we finished our sign, we hauled ass to catch the train that would take us to O'Hare. As we neared the station, the train stopped. And we waited, and waited and waited. All the while exchanging texts with Emily who had already landed. We were getting more and more panicky, because nothing says "WELCOME!" like leaving an out-of-town guest stranded at the airport, amiright?

We wandered O'Hare, unable to find Emily, and then? AND THEN? We saw her, we clumsily held up our sign, and we grabbed her and had a wonderfully creepy three way hug at the United baggage claim.

The rest of that evening was talking and laughing and asking questions and stating opinions and chatting about the things we already knew about each other thanks to blogging.
Friday night dinner

Saturday:
We woke up early with the tentative plan to show Emily the city. We visited "The Bean" (which is actually called Cloud Gate), Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and we walked and walked and walked. And then? We walked some more.
The Bean a.k.a Cloud Gate
We were tourists to the EXTREME. Taking pictures of anything and everything. Emily and I even got to pose in front of the GLEE window! Ahhhh-mazing.
Glee window!
We then tried, at around 5ish, to go to Skydeck, and The Ledge at the top of the Sears Tower. Mistake. The line wound around the block, and would take approximately 60 hours to get to the top, so we resolved to come back the next morning.
The rest of our night? Spent trying to recover from our WALK-A-THON.

Sunday:
We got up BRIGHT and early to make it to Skydeck at 8:30am, right when it opened. And word to the wise - THIS WAS THE BEST IDEA EVER. We were among 30 people who also had this idea. We didn't wait, we were able to leisurely look around and take pictures.
***If you ever visit Chicago, and have any desire to go to the Skydeck, GO WHEN IT OPENS.**
The Ledge
After this, we met up with Nate and headed to Myopic Books, and then I died and realized I was in Heaven. Floors and FLOORS of books. Used books. Small aisles. Sweet lord, it was GLORIOUS.

By this time, we needed to figure out WHERE Goose Island Brewery was, and with the combined efforts of Brittany, Nate and myself we FOUND it, and it was a huge team victory. We waited with bated breath for Phamasaurus and Jen to arrive and for our brewery tour to start. The tour was short and sweet, but the tasting - shit, that was fun. Some beers were DELIGHTFUL, but one, as Brittany said, smelled like straight up cat pee.
The dinner crew, minus Chad, Jen's darling husband!
And yes, Pham, Brittany and I composed Team Lightweight, and I paid for it the next day.
Team Lightweight.
After a delicious dinner, the ladies and Pham grabbed a nightcap at a little bar near the hotel, and we rounded out the night with a disappointing "Lobster" shot.
Disappointing.

Monday:
The saddest of all days. Again, we were up bright and early and I went to go grab my car in order to drive Miss Emily to the airport. We said our sad goodbyes to Brittany in front of the hotel, and Emily and I jammed to her Glee mix in the car. A good ending to a very cool weekend.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One of THOSE days

So today, I woke up in one of those moods. One where I feel like I am capable of eating babies. In fact, I used that very term when describing my mood today. And I'm not sure why.

Usually, I can shake it. I can look at pictures of puppies, or read some of my favorite blogs, and it will fade right quick. But today? This mood has really dug itself in, and doesn't seem to be budging. EVEN after I tried to placate it with a delicious Take5 bar. It seems as though I am on the verge of an Ugly Cry. Ladies? You hear what I'm saying?

But, I've got a plan. Tonight, I'm going to take Maddie: The Saddest Dog in the World for a leisurely walk. Hopefully, her joy will become my joy.
Then I'm going to make tacos for Mike, who will hopefully by thrilled by the prospect of OMG! TACOS! and his thrills will become my thrills.
This will be followed by cleaning the kitchen, and then I will feel accomplishment!
And then? I'm going to go to bed. Because there are some days that you just can't win, the the best option is to sleep on it.

But, tomorrow, I need to get it together. This can't overflow into another day.
On Tuesday I am waking up at 5am, and going for a walk/run (probably mostly walk), and then I am going to shower and wear an outfit I love and feel comfortable in.
I am going to put my new hair tousle-y spray in (it smells like violet, it's lovely) and make breakfast.
I am going to get out of bed on the RIGHT side, and I am going to be positive.
Because I am a GO GETTER, and a DO-er.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wedding dramz - over a year later

So I got married over a year ago.
Right after the wedding, a website called weddingwire.com was offering a free gift to those brides who reviewed a certain amount of their vendors. So when I got that offer I was all "Hell yeah!" because I had already reviewed most of my vendors on yelp.com, so it was easy to do a little copy/paste magic.

Let me digress for a moment and tell you about buying my wedding dress. In short, it was awful. In long:

Well, On my first foray into wedding dress shopping I stopped into a place really close to my mom's house. I was greeted by one of the sales ladies who was VERY nice. She explained that the dresses were simply samples and they were able to order different sizes and colors (if available).

Looking through the dresses there was an insane amount of variety, from flapper style, to big poufy princess dresses, they had it all. I explained to the 1st sales lady that this was my first time shopping and I was nervous, and she was very kind. She set me up with a fitting room and helped me and my family look for dresses.

Soon, however, sales lady 1 was STEAMROLLED by sales lady 2, who came by and absolutely took over. She started off by telling my mom that a dress she selected was ugly, and then proceeded to select and uglier one.
Once she entered the picture, the entire situation became stressful.

I found two dresses that I really liked, and sales lady 2 informed me that I really needed to buy one of them today (regardless of the fact that I told both of them that this was my first time out, I was just starting and probably not going to buy) because those were one and only dresses. She kept pressuring me into buying, so much so that I began to believe that there were only ONE of those dresses.
I soon realized that these are clearly samples, as most of them were covered in makeup, had broken zippers and were really shabby. No respectable bridal boutique would sell a dress in that condition.

At the end of my session, sales lady 2 asked me to come to the counter to fill out my information, I went alone and she lowered her voice and proceeded to scold me for not having an appointment. She told me that I would never get into other bridal salons unless I had an appointment.
I would have had no problem if EITHER of the sales ladies, right off the bat, had said, "You can browse, but you cannot try on without an appointment." But to reprimand me, after being incredibly rude, and condescending was too much. Also, the store was COMPLETELY EMPTY.

I vowed never to return...Unfortunately, I went back on my vow, and returned to buy the dress (I couldn't find anywhere CLOSE to my house that had it) But, I was mad about it.
The first time we didn't have appointment, but the second time we made one, specifically to try on the gown I liked. The only salesperson I talked to was actually the owner, who was VERY nice, but VERY distracted. However, I gave them a get-out-of-jail-free card because the day after, they were doing a runway show...or something.

The other girls in the shop, receptionists, assistants, whoever else worked there were SUPER nice. Many of them went out of their way to tell me how beautiful the dress looked on me, asking my plans for my hair. Many of them even made these comments after I had changed back into my street clothes.

So I buy the dress on July 1. Life is good. I purchased the dress the requisite 6+ months in advance (actually 10+ months), leaving plenty of time for alterations! They told me they were shipping in August and I would hear from them. August came and went, so I called them to inquire, and was told that my dress wasn't going to SHIP until February 13th, and I was terrified about how long will it would take to arrive. My wedding was May 30th, 2009. I BOUGHT THE DRESS IN JULY 2008. The only timing that was indicated to me was that they should ship in August, and no further updates.

The whole experience was sort of awful.
Back to present - this morning I get an email from weddingwire.com saying that my review is being disputed by the bridal salon, and that I needed to provide proof that I was INDEED a customer there. And I chuckled and was all, "whatever." Until I checked the other reviews on weddingwire.com.

Their average rating on weddingwire.com is 4.5 out of 5. Then I went to yelp and saw that their average rating there is 1.5 out of 5. Only 1 out of 13 reviews (including 3 of my own) gave them a positive review. So thaaaaaaaaat's a little fishy.
So, now I'm all agitated because of that fact that this bridal salon (with ATROCIOUS customer service) is probs trolling the wedding websites looking for negative reviews to dispute. I wrote weddingwire back to let them know that yes, I would provide proof of my business dealings and that I was concerned about the integrity of their vendor ratings because of the ability to dispute them, citing the discrepancy between the two review sites.
I will have JUSTICE...with a side of spaghetti.

This video never fails to bring me joy


Where things stand now is that I need to see if I still have the receipt from the bridal salon. But if I don't, my mom reminded me that I purchased the dress with my credit card - so I can get that statement and, BOOYAH, GRANDMA. Suck on that, bridal salon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I will be over this by LUNCHTIME - swearzies

Some days I am totally comfortable in adulthood.
I look around and I am proud that at 25 I have already accomplished 4 out of the 5 milestones that mark the transition into adulthood (NY Times): I completed school, left home, became financially independent and got married.

But other times, I feel so lost and desperate, it's ridiculous.
I feel like I never have my feet on the ground, and I am hanging on by a thread. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing, where I should be going and what I need to be aiming for. But these are things that no one can give me the answers to. These are things that I need to sort out for myself - and that's hard.

It's HARD to keep house, cook dinner, exercise, maintain friend and family relationships, while working 8 hours, commuting 4 (round trip) and spending time with my husband and pets. I constantly marvel at my parents, and even some of my peers and wonder, "HOW DO YOU DO IT??"

Right now, I think I'm just feeling the time and financial squeeze of a very fun and active summer (and it's not done yet). I've been going, and going, and going, and spending, and spending, and spending, and now, at the very end, I'm exhausted, drained and broke.

At this point, I need to throw in the disclaimer that my dissatisfaction is coming from a mountain of adult responsibilities that are catching up with me: I need a new bank, I need to transfer my car loan, I need to pay someone $2,000+ to fix a single panel of siding, I need to find new floors, I need to fix or replace our water softener, I need to switch our cable back, I need to take the cat to the vet.
I've really done myself a disservice by pushing all these things off in favor of more exciting social obligations. Swear on a bear that this isn't me all the time.

I need to realize that what's going on, it's not forever. I'm young, and overall I DO have my ducks in a row. I'm just a little crabby, a lot touchy, and extremely tired. I think I get a little more sensitive when I start to see kids going back to school, and I realize how much I MISS that feeling of a NEW START with a NEW YEAR. As an adult everything runs together.

On a more positive note, here's me with a mustache from the bachelorette party this past weekend:

Today...

Today
...I feel strangely lost.
...I am losing patience with my bank.
...I am wearing pants with FAR more stains on them then I would like.
...I am tired of being so tired.
...I wish I was going back to school.
...I am over owning a house.
...I will be downtrodden for a little while, but change my outlook shortly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, Butters.

While I was writing emails and facebooking and whatnot, the kitty climbed up on my chest and made it hard to get anything done. But, he's adorable, so I took a break.

If you turn up the volume and listen REALLY closely, you can hear him purring

Shortly after I uploaded this, Kitty abandoned me, and Maddie The Saddest Dog in the World got jealous and had her moment in the sun.

Don't judge me harshly for avoiding her tongue. You would too if you could smell her breath.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

4 Simple Goals

This morning I checked my reader and found a couple of these 4 Simple Goal posts started by Elsie, and I kind of love it. I've been feeling this pull to simplify my life. To throw away/donate/sell the unnecessary clutter. To make sure I make time to read. To cook and bake things because I want to, rather than need to. And this? It may provide me with the start I need.
Here are the guidelines for 4 Simple Goals:

1. choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish.

2. do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example.... instead of "lose 10 pounds", choose something like "eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day". get what i'm saying? positive actions instead of just the end result!

3. choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences.

4. choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward.

5. blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! And don't forget to link back to Elsie.
This comes at a perfect time - the changing of the seasons, the end of my summer obligations, and it completely aligns with the declarations Mike and I have made to get our shit together.

Without further adieu, my goals:
1. Spend quality time with Mike.
This means more than just being in the house at the same time. This means after dinner walks, and goofy, impromptu photo shoots and me learning to love board games so we can play together.
2. Be more selective.
About how I spend my time (do I really need to watch the Jersey Shore marathon? I've seen them all...), about how I spend my money (while I can buy 16 shirts for $5 at Discovery, is that a good idea?) and social obligations. I've been saying YES to everything recently, and I'm becoming run down and broke and lazy.

3. Fall in love with my house
I have about 384 lists of things I want to do to turn my house into my home, but I've yet to even BEGIN any of these projects. I want to be able to look around my living space and be so proud that I've done this.
4. Find a hobby
I start and stop so many projects and crafts - but maybe it's because I haven't found the right one. This goal is giving me permission to KEEP TRYING to find something that I love to do in my spare time (besides watching TV) and to keep doing it.

I hope this works.
I've made many declarations and lists here, but I feel confident in these because they are totally manageable, fun, and things I've already been itching to do.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ode to Fall

This morning when I let Maddie out, it was delightfully brisk. The heat hadn't set in yet, it wasn't stiflingly muggy, and, in short, it was lovely.

I've been eagerly anticipating fall for a WHILE now - both for the cooling weather, and for the break in social engagements. Because, you guys, I've been busy.

I've got two friends moving out of state, and so many pre-planned summer activities that I'm running on fumes. In fact, I was so gassed on Saturday, that when I went to my mom's End Of Summer party, I slept on her couch while everyone else partied. I'm that awesome.

This week marks the start of the countdown to Labor Day, and my final summer engagement (a culmination, of sorts) - Meeting Brittany and Emily. I've already mentioned this meeting before, but it's becoming time to PLAN, and ORGANIZE, and GET EXCITED.

But, before I enjoy THEIR company, I have a bridal shower and a mustache-themed bachelorette party this weekend. I CAN'T WAIT.

After all of these awesome adventures are done, I'm calling a time out. I need to get my feet back on the ground, I need to put together a life plan that will be followed, and I need to recharge.
I'm eagerly anticipating the return of tights and cardigans and boots. The changing of the leaves, and dropping of the temperature and the return of the need for blankets! I'm desperately looking forward to opening the windows to let the cool air in, the time when the bugs peace out, and taking walks in the evening (and not coming home drenched in sweat).
I can't wait to see my mom's Burning Bush leaves turn red, to buy mums for my front porch and to make SOUP! I want to decorate with leaves and pine cones and gourds.
Images via October 2009

Fall is, BY FAR, my most favorite season. It represents a break, changes, and an opportunity for me to relax. Fall is my transition period - I want to get my ducks in a row before I hibernate for winter, and hopefully, by next spring, I'll come back better than ever.

What's your favorite part of fall?

Wants and Needs

NEEDS

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Image via 2008

Image via my living room...



WANTS

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Image via my house 2009



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