December 30, 2010

2010 out. 2011 in

I have to wonder what this new year will bring. 2010 was a year of lots of change for me, and as someone who doens't really handle change well, I think the fact that I am still here, alive and kicking shows how much I have grown since my youth.

I like to look back at what I've learned, or significant changes that have happened, and see how I have grown, or ways to handle things differently when this situation comes again.

I have learned that money isn't everything. Shocking, I know! But I moved to a job that paid more and all I got from it was tired, frustrated, and angry. I then moved to a job that paid less, but am way happier. I know it won't always be the case like this, but I do know that taking a job just for the money isn't a reason to take a job. If it's your dream job and you get more dinero from it, consider yourself very very lucky.  Otherwise, stick to doing what you love.

I learned that I can be super organized when I need to.

I learned that my "pessimistic view" can limit me in situations, but sadly I am also sometimes right about that view of things. I am going to try to be more optimistic, though I will be honest, after years of negative thinking, this might be the hardest resolution of all.

I have learned that planning a wedding is stressful, and I, the person who always wanted one, always wanted to get married is also a person who sees a lot of the extra's as being un-necessary. ANd I learned that at the end of it all, all I want is to be married to the man I love.

I learned that R is right about 95% of the time. I should just suck it up and listen to him, as I am sure that would end a lot of the arguments.

What has this year taught you? Are you making resolutions and changes?

December 28, 2010

White Christmas!

See, here's the secret about NC. We don't get snow unless you're in a place like Boone, or some times Asheville. In the Piedmont, hardly ever. And farther east-definitely not. So the idea that we would have 1-2" of snow in December in the Piedmont = skepticism from your truly.

However once the week of the prediction came about, they were really pretty sure it was coming and that it was going to be bigger than expected. I had plans to go to Asheville and visit my mom, so we could spend some Christmas together, and then meet up with the boy in Yadkinville and have Christmas there as well.

Asheville was great, we saw the Biltmore House in all its Christmas-y glory, had some delicious meals (go to 12 Bones if you are ever in Asheville) and good quality family time. Then packed up, and headed east.  Which should mean the threat of snow lessened.

Got to R's parents house around 4:30 and we had a lovely dinner and just hung out until R got there around 9.  The weather was still calling for a dusting - 2" and we went to bed with the thought that it would be a nice little snow on Christmas day.

We woke up and had breakfast and played a little Rook, waiting for the other parts of the family to arrive. Then around 10 the snow started! Little tiny flakes at first, then larger ones, then a lot more, but still wasn't sticking. Fast forward an hour and BAM! Snow was sticking to everything, coming down in huge fluffy flakes. This was definitely more than a dusting. And seeing as it snowed through to Sunday morning, we got more than 2" of snow. Final count by our very scientific ways (ruler in the ground) put the snow at 6" when it was all said and done.

So we had a white Christmas and I wonder if it will be another 21 years before I get to experience another one!

December 21, 2010

Wintertime and the wonders of the weather.

As per usual, I have been remiss in my blogging. But I have a good reason, I swear.

I'm lazy.

Ok, so maybe that's not really a good reason, but it is a reason, and it is true, so that has to count for something, right? 

The thing is, the cold weather makes me want to hibernate. I literally spend hours curled up on the couch wrapped in a blanket just staring at the TV. I want to get up, I do. I want to be productive and functional, but when the temperature drops below say, 72, I go into hibernation mode and it's 3 times as hard to get moving and shakin'.

Image borrowed from KarenWestthinksoutloud.blogspot.com. Don't know where she found it, but it perfectly sums up my feelings about cold weather.
 And this has been a colder winter than we are really used to in the Old North State. Normally its 50 degrees, maybe low 40s at night, and not brutally cold. But suddenly it's like we're on an Arctic tundra and fighting for our lives in a blizzard (read: 2 inches of snow) and everyone around me is much like myself: Unprepared for this type of weather.

So that's the main reason there have been no posts.  Other reasons include: work changes, shopping for Christmas, lack of focus, being supremely tired,partying and my dog ate my homework...oh wait, that's for a different topic!

November 27, 2010

Starship Troopers

R and I watched this last night, and I had never seen it before. It was good. I was surprised by how much I liked it actually.

Reminded me of Enders Game by Orsen Scott Card.

R said that too, and as he generally is right about things, I have to agree.

I think he doesn't say something unless he is pretty sure about it. I like that about him, though it is also infuriating that he is generally right. I should just learn to accept that 9 times out of 10 he will be right about whatever we are talking about.

Writers block

So for an aspiring blogger, writers block is kinda sucky.

Really sucky actually. I am trying to create a blog about my wedding (shameless plug here: www.bridevoyage.blogspot.com) and I am trying to come up with witty, funny, never been done before thoughts on a wedding, and I realize: There isn't really much about a multi-billion dollar indsutry that hasn't been done before.

So I just need to write on this one, and let this be my outlet for now, and hope the wedding writing will come when it does.

November 09, 2010

November 08, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

Always screws me up. As normal, we forgot to set our clocks back, and so I woke up at 7 AM (which was really 6 AM) and then at about 9 remembered it, so set the clocks back and was like, well should I go back to sleep? I decided no, and I cleaned the kitchen some, but then at 2  was so tired I had to take a nap, and then I couldn't get to sleep last night until 1 am and then it got light so early this morning I woke up at 6 again.

Grr.

November 05, 2010

A festivus for the rest of us...

Ahh Fest. I had never in my entire life imagined I would attend something like you. And not only did I go once, I went a second time. The first time was early in the relationship with R and i had no idea what I was getting myself into, or what to expect. We were overwhelmed, poorly prepared and came home thrilled but exhausted.

This year we went prepared. Instead of me telling you about Fest,  you should go to www.thefestfl.com and that will answer any questions you have. And if it doesn't then google TheFest and that really should answer any questions. We go because R loves music and I love him and it is a good experience for both of us.

Any way, we went, and had a blast.Friday we got up at 5 am and drove to Gainesville, and made it there in time to see:
Empty Orchestra
Greenland is Melting (one of my favorite bands at fest. Seriously)
Dirty Tactics
Red Collar
The Riot Before
Michael Claytor and his friends (one of my other favorite bands at fest)
Suicide Machines

We made it home just around 2 and fell asleep. I woke up once to let the other members of our apartment inside the building, but was asleep again in two minutes flat.

Saturday we woke up and started our day a little later and R and some of his friends went to see Red City Radio, but the show was so crowded they didn't get in. I blame the long line and the Reggae Shack. That is where we had a delicious lunch, but I think not only did their menu come from Jamaica, but so did their sense of time. While they went to try to see RCR, I went in search of more comfortable shoes and some toiletries we had forgotten. I found some great shoes at Payless, and spend the rest of my time much happier.

After meeting back up with the boy I decided to do what I do best: take a nap. I don't know what he did, I just know I felt a million times better for the 2.5 hours I spent asleep. We then made our way to see:

Banner Pilot
Coffee Project (love them!!)
Laura Stevenson (a sleeper favorite at fest)
Dead to me
Nato Coals and the Blue Diamond Band
God Damn Doo Wop Band
Smoke or Fire
Me first and the Gimme Gimmes.

Sunday we played it cool and easy, watched the Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinatti Bengals, and then headed out to see
PS Elliot
The Menzingers (what an awesome show. SO cool)
Mix Tapes
Lemuria
Chris Wollard and
Frank Turner.

Whew!

It was great fun, and a lot of really good music was seen. I suggest you look these bands up. You might be surprised at how much you like 'em!

Where have I been?

Short annswer: Busy.

Longer answer. Very busy. What with a new job, traveling on what seems like every weekend, and the days getting shorter, I find that I am almost always doing something, and when I am not doing soemthing, it's because I am asleep.

But fear not, I am back. Well, kinda. I'm not saying I won't blog here, (and let's face it, its not like I blogged with any semblance of regularity) but due to the impending wedding, I started another website just to talk about said wedding.

I hope that I will be able to keep all things wedding there, and the rest of my (sane) life here, so we'll see.

If you want to see how the wedding plans are going, visit http://www.bridevoyage.blogspot.com.  Voyage is like Bon Voyage.

and if you want to know how the Fest was, read on!

October 01, 2010

Time Flies

When you're in new job training.

But fear not gentle readers, I am still here, still  alive and kicking. Still planning on sitting on my butt this weekend and relaxing, and updating the good ole blog here. So check back in, and see what I've been up to.

September 04, 2010

Lazy Saturday

I had the best first half of a day I have had in a really long time.  I mean, the second half is pretty good too, but the first half of the day was super good.

It started with breakfast at Elmo's Diner on Ninth Street where I caught up with a good friend, whom I had lost touch with.  After that we headed to the Durham Farmers Market and got some great veggies for dinner tonight and this week. I even got fresh figs! She also bought handmade soap! I had never been before, and it was so much fun! I can't wait to go again next week. I might try to buy some eggs or some cheese; they even half chicken and bison there!

Then we went to the Scrap Exchange, which is a great place for anyone who is artsy-crafty or likes random stuff. and by random, I mean RANDOM! Old vials, floppy disks, leftover tile; I bought the coolest earrings there, made from watch parts.  They are my first piece of steam punk jewelry! And they are awesome! I'll try to get a good picture for you all!

After that B suggested we go to the Bridal Mart in Burlington. What a fun excursion!  I had not left the house this morning planning on trying on wedding dresses, but it was so nice to just go for the fun of it, and try on so many different styles. i like that I really could walk around and just pick out whatever caught my eye.  Now I will admit there are a lot of dresses out there that are not my style; as I am not much for beads and sequins, but there were some that were really nice and so up my alley!  However, I will warn anyone going there that this place is not for the modest.  the "dressing" room is a big back room, with no privacy at all. Not one shred.

But as for affordable and huge selection, they have it.

Then I came home and ate some veggie sushi for lunch and sat in the sun until just now. GREAT day!

August 29, 2010

Wedding Idea

Let me preface this first by saying we are not doing this.  However, while I was lazing around today I began to wonder if there would be a way to have our wedding on a budget. A serious budget.  The kind of budget what would get us our own TV show about, thus making us famous and in turn rich (when we could then have a non-budget wedding). It would be a gimmick for sure, but when I really started to wonder about it, I began to wonder if someone could hold the type of wedding we want for the number of people we want for $1000 or less.

I mean, think about it.  Trading Places redecorates a WHOLE ROOM in your house for that, and in 2 days  no less.  Surely I could pull together a wedding in 2 years for $1000 or less? Yes, no or maybe? I might try to do something like, "In my Budget wedding we'll do this..." like the beautiful hydrangeas I bought yesterday, which would make great bouquets, for $4.00 a bunch.

Also I am toying with the idea of starting a "wedding etiquette blog" for those of us in the real world where we don't care if it's a 5:00 wedding, we want to wear flip-flops, and I am starting to feel a lot of the wedding business is a racket. Seriously, some of the prices I've gotten for things are just so outrageous, I not only wouldn't spend that much money on them, I would feel like I *couldn't* spend that much money on it. I wonder how much of those etiquette rules really honestly apply in this day and age? When the world is full of people who don't get married at 19 with their parents paying for everything, but who get married at 31 and have already been living together for 6 years and pay for it themselves because they have careers and their parents are retired and living in Boca (just an example people, just an example.)

Sunday Morning Musings.

So this bright and early Sunday morning, while I sit in my very quite house, I am just allowing my mind to wander. For the first time in a really long time, I'm not exhausted, even though I have gotten a full 8 hours sleep. I have this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, which might be called energy. We worked hard yesterday cleaning the house and yard, but I wasn't in dire need of a nap. I am relatively relaxed.  What does this all mean?

It means my new job was the right move. It means I am no longer worn out and down and over it all. It means, that sometimes it's not about the money or the prestige, but about working so you can live, rather than living for the work.  So far pretty much everyone has been supportive, but still there's a slight catch when I say that I used to be Executive This Level, and now I am Assistant Executive This Level. But WHATEVER!! I am happier again that I have been about just life in general, and it's nice to wake up at 7:30 on a Sunday because you are fully rested, not because you can't sleep due to worrying and concerns about the job you have to go to the next day.

August 27, 2010

Mockingjay

THis week the third and final book in The Hunger Games trilogy came out. A while back I wrote about The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and now that I have finished this third book, I have to say it was just how the series should have ended. I however am not sure that I loved it, since there are always things you know are coming, and things you do not want to happen end up happening anyway.  But it happened the way it should, the way it *would* in this futuristic North America.

For hopes of not spoiling anything for those of you who haven't yet been able to read the enitre book, or even series, I won't go into specifics, and when I do in at a later date, I will certainly title it "SPOILER".

I would give the entire series 7/10 stars. Well worth it so go pick up a copy today!

August 22, 2010

Sick or not sick

I know it's going to sound like R and I are spoiled or rich, and we are neither.  However, occasionally we do have some cleaners come to our house to help us clean it. It's one of the perks of having connections in the property management industry, and they do a good job. I highly recommend help if you are like us, which is neither spoiled or rich, but rather incredibly lazy!

But before they come, I always pick up a little.  Mostly it's to make the areas I want them to clean accessible, but also I don't want them do judge me or my house. I know, I know, I've got to get over that, but it's how I am and I just have to deal with it.

Anyway, they were scheduled to come on Thursday so Wednesday night we were doing the obligatory pick and straighten everything up. Being that we have 3 animals in the house, there is a lot of cat/dog hair if we do not vacuum on a regular basis, so I was doing that. And I had a sneezing fit, where seriously, I thought I was going to die.  Die, I tell you!  I knew then I was going to be sick.

Sure enough, I woke up on Thursday with a sore throat, a horribly stuffy nose, and was exhausted.  Allergies or a cold,  I couldn't tell. Knowing I had to start my new job Friday, I dosed myself with as much Vitamin C, Airborne, Emergen-C, water, Dayquil and Zicam as I could stand.  I literally drank over 100 oz of water on Thursday alone.  And had tea, honey, lemon...practically every possible thing you could think of to keep oneself from getting sick. I even added some raw garlic in my tea just in case it really has healing powers like they say.

But when I woke up on Saturday, the stuff nose and congestion were gone!!

So I would like to thank Emergen-C, Zicam, Airborne and Dayquil for getting me through it, and making my Saturday and Sunday much more pleasant. I am still chugging water like a fish, but that's probably better for me anyway.

Oh, and the cleaners, they did a fabulous job, and our house is in great shape!

August 21, 2010

B and MOH

Today my very good friend, K and I went to do the very first round of  trying on wedding dresses.  It was *so* much fun!! I went to Priscilla of Boston, in Cameron Village in Raleigh, and we had a lovely time.  It was very personalized, the consultant took the time to not only ask what I wanted and didn't want, but also asked about the other stuff in my wedding, so I could have a full picture of what we were getting. It was great!!

i had looked online a lot of the types of dressed I thought I wanted, and finalized it down to about 6, but they didn't have a few in the store yet (as they are new) so while we were there, I picked 2 others.  I have always pictured myself in a very poofy, crinoline-filled cream puff of a dress. I want a dress that stands on its own, with no help from me.

After today I realize that is not the style for me at all.

But there are other styles that look very good, and I found a few that I really liked. Of course I can't (or choose not to ) post pictures, since I don't want R to see it before the big day, whenever it may be.

I feel that when I get one detail nailed down, be it dress, or venue or heck, even a final number on the guest list, I will be a little less concerned with all the other details falling into place.

August 19, 2010

Last Day

Since it's about as official as it gets, I can say that today is my last day at my current job.  It's been such a great opportunity here, and I have learned a lot, but its time to move on, try something new, and see what I can do in a different environment.  I'm very sad to leave my co-workers and the friends that I've made behind, but at the same time, I am very excited about this new chapter in my life.

So wish me luck!

August 16, 2010

Yo quiero Taco Bell

For anyone who has to occasionally eat on the road, I just went by Taco Bell and ordered their chicken Cantina Tacos. It's corn tortilla's onion, cilantro, and lime. That's it. Super tasty and low call too (www.tacobell.com has nutritional info but I can say it's better than pretty much any other fast food option). Right now these are limited time, but I hope Taco Bell will decide to keep making them.


Also, most Mexican restaurants have these types of tacos, labeled Tacos a la Parilla or something.  I first had this type of Taco at a Fiesta that is held in Raleigh every year, called Fiesta Del Pueblo.  It's a huge multi-Hispanic cultural festival, and if you are in the area, you should certainly go. But I digress.
 
Anyway, these are super tasty tacos, filled with your choice of meat, onion, lime and cilantro.  All the flavors go together so well, you really don't miss cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

1000 or so days to go.

Despite my best intentions, I can see that for the moment, this blog is going to be taken over by the wedding planning.  But, it's my blog, and I guarantee that having a place to let it all out will be entertaining to say the least.  And maybe some of  my adventures will help others out there.

One thing a lot of people have asked (after asking how he proposed and to see the ring) is have we set a date yet. We haven't really set a date, however there are some rules we must follow.

1. Cannot be in the fall or winter as there is are Charlotte Basketball games, or a Florida Football games (as R and his family are avid sports fans, and I refuse to have people leave our wedding to watch the Gators trounce LSU or someone), or UNC-Chapel Hill games, or...you get the picture.
2. I do not like cold weather, so I prefer not to be married in the winter.  It makes me grumpy bear.
3. I like spring and fall, however, we must take into account rule 1.
4. Our guest list is already at over 200 people, and that's mostly family.  We have a lot of family. And we want to have them all with us to celebrate.
5.Two words. Open Bar.

So we're trying to pick a date far enough in the future to save up and not go crazy in the planning.  Plus it gives us lots of time to find vendors, caterers, florists and everyone else we need to have at the wedding.

August 12, 2010

Call a Dr! She's got "Wedding Stuff"

So even though we've picked a date far into the future (2 years, 8 months and some odd number of days if anyone wants to know) that doesn't mean I'm not letting myself get carried away with the fun of planning, looking, brainstorming, stressing, planning some more, calling places and in general getting fully overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Wedding Stuff there is out there.

It's almost like a epidemic, the amount of Wedding Stuff. websites, pictures, magazines, bridal shows, etiquette books, more websites.  And the crazy thing is, I didn't exactly shy away from Wedding Stuff before we got engaged. I would look at websites, or magazines, or offer advice and suggestions to my friends who were tying the knot; like most little girls, I had an idea in my head from the time I was old enough to imagine, what I wanted my wedding to be like, and though it might have changed in the many years since then ('cause I was most likely 3, if not younger when i discovered big poofy dresses) I've thought about it my whole life.

I mean, really who hasn't. And I'll ignore all those hands raised by the men out there. But I don't think I've met a girl who hasn't' at some point in her life said I'm going to do "X" when I get married.

But I had no idea how much more there was out there. How much stuff one can inundate themselves in if they try (and I define "try" as Google: wedding ideas). I have started a wedding binder, because I love organization and office supplies like runners love running, and I wish I could scan it all into this website and let you see just how obsessed I have become, and it's been 2 weeks.  I might upload some photos at some point, when the ideas have been refined a little bit. We'll see.

The good part of all of this is I am blissfully happy. I have also discovered  that I would be just as happy if we were to go to city hall or a Justice of the Peace, or the Courthouse and just get married. But we want to do this with our friends and families. And i like that fact that we both want the ceremony and pageantry of this tradition, as much as we want to spend the rest of our lives with each other.

The thing so many people can forget, and I am sure I will lose sight of at some point, be it for 10 minutes or 10 months (though I hope not that long) is this whole thing is about spending the rest of my life with the man I love.

The rest is just details!

August 11, 2010

Jillian Michaels

I started in April doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and did it diligently for 30 days, then fell out of practice doing it, and have started again.

And can I just say, Jillian Michaels kicks my butt every time I do this video.  FOr 20 minutes, it is the biggest work out I can imagine. I am sweating and groaning and the next day my muscles ACHE!!

Totally worth $ 9.99 from Target. I highly recommend it, if you are looking to tone up and lose inches I would say this is a great video.

But I get results! I can now do 25 pushups, and have noticeble muscles in my arms. It makes me excited!

August 09, 2010

I'm Back!

Back from vacation and back to work.  Lots to update on, just wanted to post a little Hello! for now and we'll get to the good stuff later!

August 03, 2010

Camp Linn Haven

This week I am on vacation with my whole (new) family at Camp Linn Haven in Linville NC. It is  a Lutheran Church camp in the beautiful mountains of NC and is the perfect place to relax and do nothing.  Perfect example: Today I took a nap from 1:00 to 5:25.

It was AWESOME!

This was followed by and preceded by lots of reading, sitting on the many porch swings, and eating.  After dinner usually the evenings start with game playing and drinking, and it is the most relaxed setting you can imagine.  This is only slightly exaggerated.  There are a lot of family members here which means lots of kids, and lots of kids means lots of noise, but there is also lots of outside and open space for the kids to run in, scream in, jump in and be kids in.  Which makes it a little more great actually.  The best part about the whole day was the 30 or so minutes I spent down by the river with my guy skipping rocks, and just enjoying the "zen" of the moment.   I wish I had more exciting stuff to blog about, but really, this vacation is just what the DR. ordered.

Good food, great company, and lots of free time!

August 02, 2010

Engaged!!

On Thursday night, R's band was supposed to play a show. I say supposed to, because it was not raining when we got there, or set up, or anything like that, but about 10 minutes before they were supposed to start their outside show, it started lightening. Then about 40 minutes after that, it started raining.  And that should have been that, but they decided to play an acoustic show which was not really great idea, as they could not set up their drums and thus was not their full band, but they are troopers, and I love that they did not want to disappoint their fans, so they did it.

Anyway, I went home when I realized it was closer to 11 than 10 and I needed to be awake early the next day, AND I still had to walk the dog.

I got home, walked the dog and was in bed reading when R got home. He got in bed to say goodnight, said " Hey, look at me" and I did, and he took my hand and asked me to marry him!!!

SQUEAL!

I said " Are you serious?"  He said "Yes," and I said " Of Course!" and then might have squealed some more, I honestly don't remember. I asked him one last time if he was serious and he said "Do you want me to get on one knee?" and he did!  We had my mom's diamond, and on Friday got it reset and are very very excited.  We've told our families and friends.  I think I am more excited than R, but I know he is excited too. I imagine there will be posts on the wedding here too, but I'll try to post at least as many non-wedding posts as wedding posts.

:)

July 31, 2010

Rainstorm

Thursday nigth R's band had a show at The James Joyce pub in downtown Durham.  It had been rainy the day before, but we were certain that in NC in the summer, 30% chance of rain when the skies were clear were nothing to worry about.  We went to dinner at Satisfaction, in Brightleaf Square, and then headed to the Joyce to get set up, hang out and wait for our friends/R's fans to show up. 

About the time we got everything set up it started flashing lightening.  We assumed, since we could still see the sky that this was just NC heat lightening, and we could let it blow over.  Then it got windy. Then the clouds rolled in. Since the Joyce has an outdoor patio and that's where shows happen, we had to break the set down and scratch the plan for a show, which was a disappointment to us all.

R stayed behind to play an acoustic show (which isn't easy to do as a non-acoustic band) and I got a ride home.  Thinking I would be sweet, I walked the dog so R wouldn't' have to do it in the rain at around midnight when I was expecting him to get home. Dexter had a good walk, and we took a short cut across the field, as it was raining still, and I was tired of walking in it.  Typical to me, Dexter lunges after an imaginary rabbit or some such animal, and I fall in the ONE patch of mud on the whole hill.

Then of course the rain stops, and when R gets home there is not a drop to be seen falling from the sky.

Grr!

July 29, 2010

Camp

I am so looking forward to going to camp this summer.  This is not like camping, but a church camp in the cool mountains of North Carolina. We will have days packed with nothing to do, and nights will be spent playing board games, card games and socializing. It is the epitome of relaxation.  We can go hike Grandfather Mountain if we choose, or go to sliding rock, or sit on swing and do nothing at all. I am leaning more and more towards the latter option!

But that means after Saturday there will be no blogging for a little while. But up until then, look for more musing and tart takes on life!

Tres no Trece

(I realize after I told R about this, it's not as funny in the retelling as it was when it happened but bear with me.)

Last night for dessert we went to Los Portales in the Renaissance shopping center and were going to just have dessert. We walked in, and since I work in a highly Spanish speaking environment, I tend to speak to people who's first language is Spanish *in Spanish*, I explained we were 3 people and just there for dessert.  The man said he would prepare a table for us, which I thought was a little weird, but whatever.

He motioned us around the corner where there was a table set up for 13 people and a booth. We choose to sit in the booth, but then a waiter came around the corner with 13 menus, 13 bowls of salsa, and 4 big bowls of chips.  At this point my mother and granddad are laughing, and the poor waiters are very confused. I explained, in English this time that there were only "tres" not "trece" and I was soo sooooo sorry for the misunderstanding.

My mom said she was going to tell them I don't really speak Spanish, but then they sent the only Non-Hispanic waiter over to our table, and I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the night. :/

July 28, 2010

Vin Rouge

Last night R's parents came to town and we took them to Vin Rouge! This to me has always been the quintessential French Bistro, conveniently located in Durham. Much easy to get to than fly to Paris, but the atmosphere and food make you feel like you are there! And being that I think a part of me is French (based upon my middle and last names) I love anything that makes me feel like I am there in a little Cafe or Bistro in Paris, where I could step outside and see buildings older than the country in which I live, and hear the bells of Notre Dame. If they still ring. I don't know if they still do, but if so, I feel like I could step out and hear them after eating at Vin Rouge! I also feel like I should buy a beret to wear after eating there. Cliche? maybe. True? Absolutely!

We started out with a 3 cheese plate, which also came with walnuts and crisp red grapes, and three of us got the Mixed Green Salad, which I love because it has chunks of apple, blue cheese, and walnuts on it, and the most delicous Dijon Vinaigrette.  

R's mom and I each had a glass of wine, and sadly, I do not remember what hers was aside from White, but I had a Beaujolais (which I had for the first time in Paris with my granddad; I laughed at how many letters there are in the word that you don't pronounce, so it's kinda my favorite but I rarely find it anywhere!). 

For our entrees R was the only one who did not order off the menu, instead he opted for one of the Chef's specials, which was braised Rabbit leg over polenta with onions and peppers and tomatoes. Since I make it a habit to steal a bite whenever he is the more adventurous eater, I tasted it. And it was good.  The rest of us all had the hanger steak which is topped with a blue cheese, served with a small salad (more Dijon dressing!) and Pommes Frites. Which I must say, are the absolute best ever. Super crispy, just the right amount of salt, perfect! Whoever invented French Fries, pommes frites, papas fritas, or whatever you want to call them is my hero, but whoever cooks them at Vin Rouge is my Idol.

We had eaten so much we opted of dessert, but they did have fresh made chocolate mousse as the special dessert. It looked wonderful.

It was a lovely night, great company and a great atmosphere (as I have already said, but it bears repeating)

July 25, 2010

Facebook Friends

Every once and while I go on a kick and add people o Facebook whom I knew in a life a long time ago. I add people from High School, college, maybe even middle school, and am somewhat amazed that they accept, since so much time has passed and so many things have changed.  Then there are the people who I look for from time to time can never find. 

And I have to  wonder if they are really not on Facebook, or if they have changed so much in their appearance that I would not recognize them anymore. We're all closing in on 30 sooner rather than later, and some of these people the last time I saw them was when I was 10. A lot can change about a person in, oh, 17 years.

I feel that the people I am friends with on Facebook are people I would say to "Yes, let's catch up in person." Or, "WOW!! I haven't seen you in ages. How are you?" I try to keep my facebook friends as people I actually care about in the real world as well.

What about you? Are you facebook friends (or Twitter or whatever) with people whom you know in person? Are you interested in their lives, would they recognize you in the street? Or are you friends with people you share interests with, but have never met in person?

Papa Murphy's

A while back this store opened not too far from our house, and we received a few coupons in the mail.  R has wanted to try it for a while, but for me the summer is not the time for a nice hot slice of pizza.

However last night was date night, and we agreed that it would be a good time to try it.

After a little online research we knew that it was a Take-and-Bake place, so I got the coupon, went up there and ordered a 3 topping pizza.  Which they made in front of me. Each pizza has 60 slices of pepperoni (if you order it; I'm not sure how many sausage crumbles, or ham slices, but I'd bet they don't skimp on those either), the cheese is freshly grated each day, the veggies are purchased fresh each day, and the dough is made to order. The man told me they never freeze anything there, and it's true! I could see in the kitchen, and there was no freezer. Lot's of coolers, but no freezer.

I also ordered the Cinnamon Wheel, and the Cheesy-Bread (coupon!!) and they are all cook at home. When I was done the man helped me carry them all out to my car as well, which to me is just above and beyond customer service!

When R got home I already had the cheesy bread in the oven cooking! The directions say 10 minutes, and they are not kidding! After 10 minutes our house smells like warm cheesy garlic-y bread and the pizza was ready to go in. I might try cooking it a little longer next time, as I prefer my crust to be a little crunchier than this was, but it was good.

We agreed everything was good, not as processed tasting as the other pizza places and we will definitely try other pizza options.  I saw they have a Hawaiian style and I am very excited for us to have people over and try it!

Oh yeah! The other thing I love about them is you can get all the nutritional information on their website, so I know just how "bad" I'm being when I eat 2 pieces of cheesy bread, and 2 pieces of pizza!

July 23, 2010

Oh My God, did that just happen?!

A resident came in to the office where I work and while she was talking to me and my co-worker her front tooth fell out.  Her response: "Oh, my tooth" and then she picked it up, held it in her hand and continued on with the conversation as if *nothing* had happened.

After she left my co-worker and I couldn't help but laugh.

What The Frack?!

One of those days

Do you ever have those days where all you can think about is food?  It doesn't matter what you've already eaten, you're still hungry. It doesn't matter how much you are looking for something healthy, you have a craving for nachos, or coke, or cheese fries; something definitively not healthy.

today is one of those days for me, and I am really unsure why.  I ate breakfast, and lunch, and had a snack (jello) and yet all I can focus on is how hungry I am, and what I would like to eat if I were not at work.

Does this happen to anyone else?


Somewhat unrelated, but on the subject of food, last night R and I had a surprise date night at my favorite sushi restaurant, Shiki Sushi.  (They have sister restaurant in Raleigh, if Durham is too far for someone.)

We had a Bonsai roll and a Taso Roll, and they were very far removed from my normal sushi roll comfort zone, but both were really good. I loved the pickled ginger in the Taso Roll, and the octopus in the Bonsai roll. Normally I shy away from (read: run screaming and cowering) raw fish sushi, because I do not handle the texture very well.  There's just something about  the size of the fish, and how it really isn't chewy, or crunch, or anything. It's...more...soft? That's not really what I mean either, but it's the best I can do. The point of this ramble is that raw fish sushi isn't my cup of tea, though I will try it if it is in a roll, and sounds good.  That is certianly what we got in these two rolls, though I will say the eel sauce on the bonsai roll was a little sweet for my taste, but R loved it.  All in all, highly recommend. 

Also I had a glass of the Seven Sisters wine. Normal price: $9.50. Thursday night price $6.00.  That's right, they have drink specials!! I noticed on the menu that  Sunday night is 1/2 off bottles, and Monday is $3 beers, Tuesday and Wednesday are $6 martini's and cocktails. I don't remember Friday and Saturday, but chances are they are good specials then too!

It's good to know the drink specials, so when you have the impromptu date nights you can really make it special, even if it's not the weekend. It was R's treat to me since I've had what could be considered the worst possible week so far in recorded history. It's like Murphy's Law times 4. Squared. and maybe that is times 10, just to really rub in how bad it was.

But today is Friday, I have the weekend to look forward to, and a vacation in one week. YAY!

July 20, 2010

The Hunger Games

A friend recommended this book to me over Taco Tuesdays, and when I had a chance, I stopped by my local Barnes and Noble and purchased The Hunger Games. Taken from the Scholastic website:

"Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love."
At first I thought, "Well this might be good", but after, oh, about page 10 I was interested in this girl, in what she thought, what she knew and what she was going to do. It was enthralling.  I cared about what happened, and true to form, I read the book so quickly I now am re-reading it to actually absorb everything that happened, rather than rushing to the end and just wanting to be done so I can know what happened.

The second book by Suzanne Collins in this series is Catching Fire, and is equally good, if not better. It picks up soon after The Hunger Games ends, and you are even more caught up in Katniss Everdeen's life and decisions.  R and I read both of them, and according to him, this is a much more enjoyable book, it has more flesh to it, and more contents. and that's saying something.  I urge you to read these books, and keep your eyes open for the third installment, Mockingjay, due in approximately 34 days according to the clock on the Scholastic Website.

July 19, 2010

Cabin Fever

Already I miss the cabin where we spent the weekend.  It belongs to R's dad, and is in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  We went there this weekend with some couple friends of ours for a weekend of doing nothing and relaxing, and that is exactly what we did.  We left on Friday and per usual, stopped at Sonic for dinner. This was the first time two of our friends had ever eaten at a Sonic, and they were amazed and a little skeptical of the phone at the booth where you place your order. But we showed them how it worked (with much laughing) and soon we were all ready to eat. After that we drove to the cabin, and got settled in.  We took Dexter, our dog, and I don't think he could have imagined anything better than to be outside off the leash with a *creek* in his back yard.  He was thrilled, and practialy wagged himself to death he was so excited. He went for about 1 million swims in the creek over the course of the weekend.

We stayed up and hung out for a while, but around 1:30 or so I gave up the fight to stay awake and went to bed.

Saturday started out with a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and was followed by a very nice hike up the creek (and back down). We saw a salamander (we believe a 4 toed salamander) and a crayfish, and of course, a big black dog.  Dexter loved to attack sticks, and will rip them apart, and we spend a long time watching him attack some sticks and branches on the creek.  After we returned to the cabin, we played some board games, and snacked.  Then we spent the afternoon napping, eating lunch and napping some more. It was AWESOME!

Sunday was low key again, we got to swim in the creek a little more than on Saturday, cleaned the place up, and by about 4pm were headed home. It was so nice to just do nothing with our friends.  I already am looking forward to another trip to the cabin!!

July 16, 2010

Trip down memory lane.

In the summer between 1st and 2nd grade my family moved from the mountains of North Carolina to Cary. Cary was the first real "city" I had lived in, and I was in awe of it. It was bigger, hotter, brighter, newer, everything I had not yet experienced at the tender age of 7.

We moved into an apartment, and I don't remember being amazed or suprised by this, but I do remember being amazed by how *much* of everything there was. How many people, how much traffic, how many cars, how many restaurants.  But I got used to it and a few years later we moved to Chapel Hill, where I did the rest of my growing up, went to college, went to Europe, came back and settled in closer to Chapel Hill and Durham.

However today my job sent me to Cary to help out , and it is unreal to be in the same area, close to where I played years ago, and have some things change so much, and others be exactly the same.  I looked up online ( which wasn't even an option when we first moved there) the apartments where we lived.  And my how things change.  When we lived there, it was avocado green stove, dishwasher and fridge, now they are all stainless steel.  The floors had this fantastic retro (and by that I mean avocado green and marigold yellow) pattern. Now they are white vinyl.  The playground I played at was full of metal slides and swings, not the fancy plastic ones in place today.  I remember when we used to play fort under the bushes and in the woods, and can't imagine that children would be allowed to do that now.

I was telling a friend about it, and that's when it first hit me that this was 20 years ago. That's practially a whole person who can drinks life time. And that made me feel old, at the tender age of 27.  I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes, but it was just a moment where I had the thought flash through my mind, OMG I can remember 20 years ago. That's a long time!

July 15, 2010

Experiment: Day 3

Day one was pretty normal, wake up at pretty much the normal time, get dressed, but take more time to actually dry and straighten my hair, apply my make up to match my outfit, rather than just the barest makeup I can put on, and spritz on some perfume. (Ed Hardy Love Kills Slowly). Go to work.  Where at first, no one comments on anything about either my appearance or my hair, but I will admit, I work in an office full of males, and sometimes these slight differences go unnoticed. But that's ok, I feel more professional. Then later in the afternoon, when I have pretty much forgotten all about it, someone comes in to send a fax and comments on how nice my perfume is. 

Day two: Again, get dressed in a real outfit, and go out with my guy for a date.  We go see a movie, and at the movie theater the concession stand lady comments on my nail polish and loves it!! After the movie we go to a Korean BBQ place (more on that later) and the waitress again comments on my perfume. Different perfume, still, people love it!  We then go to get dessert, and no one mentions anything about any part of me, but at that point, I am beyond happy; savoring every comment to put on my blog.

Day three: I go to the Dr and the first thing she says is how nice and professional I look.  I explain my experiment idea to her, and she laughs and says, of course people treat you differently! That's about all I get from the experiment on Day 3, however, I do notice I try to be more aware of what I am doing with my hair ( not just pull it up in a bun) so that I carefully crafted hairdo (read: straightened hair in 1000% humidity) will not look bad.

So far this experiment has gotten me 4 compliments, and has only meant I had to wake up about 20 minutes earlier than normal. It's been interesting though, how much I check my reflection, or pat my hair, or reapply my lipstick. Those parts of the experiment make me feel a little silly.

This weekend will be interesting, as we are going to a cabin in the mountains, and I would never EVER consider wearing makeup and real outfits there. I will have to come up with a "low-key" look ;)

July 12, 2010

Look Like A Movie Star

I'm always a little surprised when I read magazines and they have picture labeled "Stars like us" or :"Stars with no make up" or things like that. I mean, yes they are celebrities, but they are also normal people who probably like to roll out of bed, throw on some pants and a shirt and run their errands just like the rest of us. Who can blame them?

But I also see there are some stars who never seem to be in that category. Who no matter what they are doing, where or when, they are perfectly made up.  And I had to wonder, how much time does that take? How much energy goes into being perfectly presented every single second take.  How much does it really matter? 

So I decided to try it for my self.  For one whole week, Starting today, I will not leave the house if I am not fully put together. I mean make-up done, hair done, real clothes (not my favorite summer cargo pants but real outfits). I'll document how much time it takes, how I feel about it and we'll see if it is as much work as I think it is going to be, or if it is really fun!

July 08, 2010

Just another day in the office

I am sure we all have these encounters; the ones where you look back at it moments after it has finished and you think: "Did that really just happen?" 

As I sit in my office and contemplate how I got to be where I am now, I am reminded of some of the crazier things I have encountered in the customer service business. From selling Jewlry at a large department store to the real estate company I currently work for now, there are times when I just almost have to scratch my head and go "Really people?! REALLY??"

Like the time when I worked for a bank and a person came in irate because her checking account was overdrawn.  I looked up her account, and sure enough, she had a very large overdrawn amount.  She argued with me that it could not be the case as she still had checks left in her check book.

Yes, I am serious.

Or the time when working for the Fine Jewlry counter a woman who had bought a Guess watch wanted me to change the battery. I explained that it wasn't something we did, and she threw a fit and insisted that I had to change her watch battery because she had bought it from me. The Fine Jewlry Counter didn't sell Guess watches. In an effort to provide outstanding customer service, I thougth what the heck, and said I would change it. Then I noticed the pull wasn't pushed all the way in, and that's why the watch didn't work. When I showed her that she said "Do you think I'm an idiot? I know how to operate a watch" I didn't respond "Obviously not" but I wish I had.

Or the customer who came in one day and complained about dog poo in her trash can. In a doggie bag mind you, but it wasn't her dog's poo. She complained about this problem daily and even came to tell me she had followed the offender and knew who it was. She wanted me to kick them out. I wanted to ask her how she could have so much free time as to be that concerned with poo, but again, I didn't.

Do you ever have these types of experiences? Let me know I'm not alone!!

Up in the Air

As promised another movie review!

Up in the Air: A story about a man who lives his life avoiding commitment, relationships and his home town of Omaha.(Really, who can blame him on that front?)He gets to travel for a living. Kinda. He works for a company where his job is to help with "post employment relocation assistance" i.e. he fires people for a living.  But this is a leading man I could root for. He has goals in life, and since he is played by George Clooney, he's not hard on the eyes. He's funny. Obviously intelligent. Hard working, which some people would call dedicated.

While a very good movie, it was also predictable. Guy likes being bachelor. Check. Guy meets woman just like him. Check. Guy realizes maybe he doesn't like being a bachelor as much as he thinks he does and starts to woo said woman. Check. Life happens. Check. Movie ends.  Don't get me wrong, I really liked the movie; it made me laugh at the right parts, and stayed on this side of preachy. I easily could have been angered (as I so often am at movies where commitment is laughed at) but this movie didn't go down that road. as the filmmaker and director wanted, you start to form an attachment to him. To his life, to his desires, to what he is going through.

But for me to know something big was going to happen means it was pretty predictable, since no one would accuse me of being very observant in movies.  I very much willingly suspend my disbelief in movies most of the time and get caught up in the stories, losing focus on hints, foreshadowing or harbingers of any sort that would be obvious to most anyone else watching.

Side Note: I was very impressed by Anna Kendrick, whom up until now I only knew as Jessica from Twilight, and must admit, I thought she was shallow and annoying in that, and was pretty much shocked to learn she was really just acting that way, and that she is really talented. Had I never seen Twilight, I would never have thought of her as anything other than a really good actress. And don't get me wrong, I love the Twilight Saga, and have plans to have a date night to see Eclipse very soon!

Out of 5 stars, I'd give it 4.5, because I want to watch it again, I want to pay more attention, and I liked it. I knew how I felt about it right away.

July 07, 2010

Movie Review x 2!

I watched a lot of movies over this long weekend: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, All About Steve, Twilight: New Moon,(don't judge!) Under the Tuscan Sun, but 2 in particular stood out; Let The Right One In, and Up in the Air.

Let The Right One In:

A love story about a 12 year old boy and girl who are both awkward outcasts in their home of Sweden. He is bullied, she is lonely. The story is about their friendship and eventual falling in love, and the difficulties they encounter as he is continuously bullied and dealing with his own self loathing and she is a vampire who is also dealing with who she is and who she wants to be.

First thoughts: Not really sure actually. It stuck with me, it was haunting, somewhat sweet and somewhat disturbing, but I cannot say that I enjoyed this film. I see that imdb.com is running the trailers for Let Me In, the American adaptation of it, so I will most likely want to see it as well and compare. I do worry that some of the haunting parts will be lost in an American adaptation, and that some of the parts where words were minimized to create the mood will be ruined, as I can't think of a good American adaptation of a foreign film, but I might be surprised.

What surprised me the most was in the midst of this lovely story about 2 kids falling in love is this incredible gory story about a vampire as well. There were times when it was hard to put those two stories together in the same movie.  Out of 5 stars, I'd give it 3 as it was better than average, but I can't say that I loved it.

Stay tuned for my next post about Up in the Air.

July 03, 2010

Land Of Oz/There's no place like home.

Who remembers the first time they saw the Wizard of Oz? For me it was probably around 1988, because for my birthday in 1989 I got a copy of the anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz.  And I loved it. I knew all the songs, and was as scared of the Wicked Witch of the West as anyone should be. But through the years I stopped watching it; I honestly do not remember the last time I watched the whole thing.

But it's one of those things that stays with you.

SO imagine my surprise and excitement when for Christmas we got a trip to the Land of Oz.  R's whole family got a trip, to be more specific. So last Friday we loaded up (and I mean LOADED up, the car was packed with food, games, and people) and headed toward Boone, NC. We had a relatively uneventful ride up Beech Mountain, and found our "Home away from home" for the next three days. It was a beautiful house perched on the side of the mountain.  This is the front, and the back was nothing but windows, offering a stunning view of the mountains and valley's below.  Some members of the family got to stay in Dorothy's house, which was also the entrance to the Land of Oz itself. Friday night (after several Lemon Drop martini's) we wondered down the stairs of Dorothy's house, through the tornado and into the "after" house, then opened the back door and we were in Oz. Yellow Brick Road and all. The only downside to exploring the Land of Oz after some Martinis is at some point I thought it would be a good idea to take my flip flops off, and go barefoot. R decided to go back home and on the way rescue said flip flops, but all I heard was "go back home".  Turns out he spend an hour wondering around OZ and waiting for me while I was taking my sweet time, because I thought he had gone back home...Oops! I blame the martini's.

Saturday R and I had to go down the mountain to buy forgotten dinner supplies, everyone else went to OZ and had fun. I won't post pictures here to protect the innocent (or guilty) but I will say that there were costumes and a script, and I heard that "Over the Rainbow" was sung as well.  I'm sorry I missed it. To even things out, every family had agreed to be in charge of one meal, and R and I got Saturday night dinner. We had oven fried chicken stuffed with spinach and feta cheese, mashed potatoes, rolls, home made mac and cheese, salad, and Over the Rainbow cupcakes. They were awesome! I hope to get some pictures at some point from someone in the family who did remember to bring a camera. But despite a trip down the mountain, I still forgot eggs, so I had to wonder around and find an occupied house and a neighbor who would lend me an egg.
Kind, unsuspecting neighbor: "Hello?"
Me:"Hi, I'm staying in the house next door, for the land of oz, and I am making cupcakes and I need an egg...?"
Kind and now slightly scared neighbor: Blank Stare
Me: "I'll bring you a cupcake!"
Kind neighbor "Well OK then."

I not only gave him one cupcake, but 5 because 24 cupcakes is a lot, even for 14 people.

Sunday was mostly the "pack up and go home" type of day that always punctuates a trip, but R and I did spend a very pleasant afternoon at his folks house, eating both lunch and dinner there before coming home. It is always nice to see R's family, and the cool weather in the mountains, and good food made this a weekend to remember for sure!

Open up!

As crazy as this might sound, the weather has been pretty awesome.  So awesome in fact that last night we slept with our windows open.  In North Carolina, in the middle of summer. No, our air conditioner didn't break. We did it willingly.

Why you might ask? For anyone who has ever lived in the south you understand that it's not the heat that will get you, it's the humidity. You must be thinking how in the world? WHY in the world?  The simple answer is, because the weather is pretty freakin' perfect right now. It got down to about 56 degrees last night, which means not only did we sleep with the windows open, we slept under blankets. In JULY!

The weather for the past few days reminds me of a movie where all that is missing are the cartoon birds to help you get dressed in the morning; in other words, perfect.

I couldn't help driving to work thinking about how beautiful the weather is. How blue the sky was.  How clear the air was. How much I wanted to sit my butt outside today all day and bask in the gloriousness that is this weather.And I might make a quick escape to sit behind my office on a park bench for a few moments and do just that. this is the type of weather that screams outside picnics, cookouts and pool parties, or sitting on the lake with a cool drink and a good book, and not a care in the world.

Enjoy this drop of sunshine and this long weekend!

July 02, 2010

How about a nice punch?

I just tried the Crystal Light On the Go- Fruit Punch flavor. LOVE IT!!


I used to think Hawaiian Punch was the bomb(like, when I was 5), but then several years ago I started "treating" myself to Kool-Aid fruit punch mix when I wanted something sweet, but now that I have discovered this: I am hooked. 

For years I only drank the Crystal Light  lemonade, but branched out in high school and starting drinking the Raspberry Ice.  The one downside to the Raspberry though was it stained. Badly. Better not spill it or whatever you were holding, drinking, or wearing was going to be RED.

Then I gave up on Crystal light altogether for a while, went with my Kool-Aid or plain water, and now...I am back on the Crystal Light.

Ch-Ch-Ch- Changes

So for those of you who read my blog, undoubtedly you saw the last post, and wondered what the heck?!

There are going to be some changes to my blog, the first being a new name and a new direction. I really didn't feel inspired with One Gal's Guide, as life has taken some twists and turns and made it so I don't have time to be a guide to myself, let alone anyone else.  But that got me thinking, life has thrown some lemons at me lately, and all in all I think I'm handling them pretty well. It's not what you get but what you do with it that counts, and suddenly I was hit with inspiration! A new focus on the blog front and maybe there will be more readers, more interest, and more help than ever before. SO I made some goals with that in mind.

1. Post more. Seems silly, I know.
2. Be me. The Real Me, which can be dork-y to the extreme, but it's me.
3. Focus more on what you want to accomplish with this blog.
4. Try something new.

And low and behold, I found: This new thing called PayPerPost.com. It pays you for your opinion in your blog. You don't have to like what you're reviewing, you only have to review it. It amazes me that no one thought of this before, but I think it's genius.  Really, who doesn't have an opinion about something? I have a lot of them, and I know I cannot possibly be the only one who wants to get my two cents heard.

Who SMiles?

The shower smiles in a politician.

June 02, 2010

Hungry.

Starving actually.  Who would have thought I could be this hungry?  It's affecting my concentration, my tummy is growling.  I ate breakfast, a bowl of ceral and some blueberries, but now I feel ravenous. I am so hungry!!

I realize this is not the most interesting post, but it's all I can think of, and I am trying to make it 30 more minutes so my lunch hour will really cut the day in half.  That's the one down side to switching work hours, 9-6 is harder on the body than 8:30-5:30. Because my brain shuts down around 5:30 and I have to poke and prod it to keep it going another 30 minutes.

And I'm alone in the office today, so I am not only busy but lonely too.

Poor me, I know. I am lucky and fortunate to have a job, and I am very thankful about that.

But I'm still H.U.N.G.R.Y!!

May 29, 2010

Cosmo doens't get it

So at some point recently I heard that Cosmo wrote an article about how to make your guy the perfect sandwich. Which at first I thought was just funny but then I realized they probably meant this as a real teaching/relationship tool. Like "Hey ladies, you might not know this, but if you treat your guy like he's the king and you bow to his every whim you might hook him".

Which is bologna. On white.

It's such a mid 20th century view that you must cook, clean and bow down to your man to have a healthy relationship. R and I share the house duties, we share responsibilities, we take time to spend at home being as I call it, domestic.

And by domestic I do not mean making my guy a sandwich. If we're going to be honest, R does about 95% of the cooking, so if anything Cosmo should write articles to men telling them to be more like that. And Maxim should follow suit.

By domestic I mean cleaning the house together, getting food prepared for the week together, getting the things in our lives in order so we can enjoy the together-time we spend, rather than argue about whose turn it is to do X,Y, or Z.

I don't think that by R cooking more than I do is in anyway saying he is a "feminine" man. Not at all. He's SUCH a guy (Gears of War, sits in his boxers, drinks beer, loves sports and music, grills, does the yard work and heavy lifting) but he enjoys cooking. (or seems to enjoy it enough to have fooled me for 4 years now!)

He is an enlightened man. He gets that we women are delicate and fickle creatures who cannot be classified just by our gender. None of us are the same. He knows that if he wants a sandwich be better be prepared to make it himself. And if I offer to do it, it's because I want to do something nice for him, NOT because I feel it is my duty.

But his being able and willing to cook does not negate any of that, and I think more men need to get that memo, make their own damn sandwich and get on with their lives.

Magazines like Cosmo need to take a page from ones like Glamour, and realize this is not the 1950's anymore, woman need more information than "7 Great new sex positions" and "How to fool a guy into proposing." They need real advice for the real world that we live in today. Advice about how to not only ask for, but get the raise you deserve. Advice on how to stop being a shop-a-holic and start saving for the future. How to negotiate your used car sale. There's nothing wrong with how to host a dinner party advice either, but there is something innately wrong about saying we need to do this for a man. We need to do this for ourselves.

{steps down from soapbox}

Wax on, Wax off.

No, not the Karate Kid (either original or New)

I have always had a love of arts, crafts, painting, collaging--basically anything artistic and creative. 3 years ago I started taking classes at the local ArtsCenter in wheel throwing. I had always liked playing with clay in art classes at school, and therefore thought this was the perfect chance to get back into it. I have taken pottery courses since then, and would say I have gotten markedly better than when I started.

In doing these classes though, I had the chance to meet a great teacher and a wonderful potter, Ronan. Being a professional potter he had several openings at galleries, sales and shows. It was at one of these gallery openings that I was introduced to encaustic painting.

And I must say, I fell in love with it. To sum up what exactly encaustic painting is: applying heated, pigmented beeswax to the surface, then heating it again, carving into it, scratching it, collaging into it...basically doing whatever moves you. More info on encaustic painting can be found by clicking here, or by just google-ing "encaustic". Since then I had seen a few other encaustic shows or displays, and was always amazed at the quality of work this medium presents. No two paintings look the same, some are glass smooth others are just raw with energy and motion. It's an amazingly versatile substance.

I always thought to myself I wish I could find a class on this. I wish, I wish I wish...and then in October of last year I was flipping through the spring catalogue of said ArtsCenter, and low and behold, there was an encaustic workshop.

Sign. Me. Up!

I took the two weekend workshop, and loved it. LOOOOVED it!!

I went home and converted my office into an office/studio, and bought the very basic supplies to to encaustic painting at home. I was lucky to find on etsy.com an artist who sells the medium for way cheaper than some other brands, and have been playing around ever since. It's one of the most fun, unusual, interesting artistic mediums I've ever played with, and I find myself day-dreaming about what I can do in the next piece I create.

So far I've been pretty safe in my painting, not throwing a lot into the wax to add texture, but I'm hoping after this weekend I will have some new pieces that are a lot more involved. I have added paper and like the results, but I want to do more. I'll try to get pictures posted at some point.

May 26, 2010

O-HI-O

This past weekend we went to Ohio for a friends' wedding. We drove. It was a very long drive, and I wasn't even the one doing the driving. R took the wheel and drove (round trip) 16 hours. Shows our dedication to our friends. The plus to this is we rented a nice car to drive which had Sirius Radio, a CD player, dual control heat and air, heated seats and cruise control. The minus-still an 8 hour drive each way; mostly through West Virginia.

Now, before you get all "Why you hatin' on WVA??", let me just say I am not hating on WV. I shall in fact keep all my thoughts about WV to myself.

But got through WV we did, and entered into Ohio, and made our way to Columbus. We had a GPS which made finding the hotel a breeze, and except for the $23 a day valet parking we had to do (because of course we are not capable of parking our own car at the hotel) it was a very nice quick check in. R had used his bargaining savvy on priceline.com and got us a hotel room at The Columbus by Renaissance Hotels. Normal Room Rate up to $400 a night. What did we pay? About 80% less than that. It had a king size bed, nice bathroom, great view, and was blocks away from where we needed to be. Very good deal.

Rested for about 45 minutes, then got ready for the rehearsal dinner at the Greystone Wine Cellar. What a nice place! It was a great gathering place, curved ceilings that made you feel like you were really in a cellar, lots of wines (go figure) and great food. It was very nice to see our Bride and Groom, and nice to meet a lot of the people I had heard about. After everything had wound down, we were invited back to the wedding hotel for some less formal gathering. We thought it would be a good idea to drive back to our hotel, leave the car, and walk. And in theory this was a good idea. 4 blocks isn't that long unless it's pouring down rain. But a few beers later and we were all good again.

Flash forward to Saturday morning. Knowing R as I do, we decided not to partake of the overpriced hotel breakfast and instead walked to the Rise and Dine diner in the Arena District. We had a very nice walk there, had a yummy breakfast and then went to the Ohio tourist information center. I bought the softest shirt known to man.

Then we went and saw Iron Man 2. In a word : AWESOME!!!!!! in more than a word, I really enjoyed it. I realize I know nothing about comic book movies, but I liked the first one and I really liked this one. Very entertaining.

Then went went to Casa Sason, which is a latin-Euro grill with strong ties to Venezuelan food. We ordered the Pabellon Venezolano, and it was a-maz-ing. DE-lish. Yummy. Call it what you want, the food rocked.

We got ready for our departure to the COSI where both the wedding and reception were being held. It was lovely on both counts. But the reception itself was the most fun I think I've ever had. COSI is a hands on science center, and if that were not cool enough, the reception was held in the ocean wing. Let's just say open bar and water hands on science experiments=fun had by all. Great food, great dancing, great time.

Sunday was a slow trek back home, mostly because we weren't in a hurry. We stopped a few more times that we had going up to Ohio. This was a very good weekend and we had a lot of fun. But it sure was nice to be back home and see our doggie and kittens again.

May 17, 2010

RadFest

This weekend I went to a Rad Fest.

No, really, it was called RadFest. And it lived up to its' name!!

There were close to 100 bands there, playing everything from sea-shanties to hard core punk and some folk-y bands in between.

It was FUN!

I was most excited about seeing Greenland is Melting and Sharks Come Cruisin' and Coffee Project. Followed very closly by one of my favorite local bands, Red Collar. and the only reason they are not on my top three is I am lucky enough to get to see them more regularly. I had so much fun at these shows! Ask R, or anyone who really knows me, and they will tell you I am generally not a fan of large groups of people, or loud noises. This fest made me forget that those are 2 very big components to a fest. It was close-knit, friendly, not over-crowded, no long lines, but plenty of music. I got to talk to every band I wanted to. I got to be as close to the stage as I wanted (or as far!) I got to sing along! How could this be anything *but* fun?

I'll tell you, it couldn't.

I tend to lean towards the less yelling/screaming/sounds-like-you're-hearing-a guy-get-his-throat-stepped-on-and-ripped-out-at-the-same-time, and these three bands totally delivered. GIM was fun, bluegrass-y music that made me want to sing along, (and I did, trust me) CP made me smile and I was so glad they played my new favorite song by them, and the sea shanties and props of SCC make my night. Go listen to them. I'll wait for you to follow the link.

...

...(followed it yet?)

See?! It's fun, yet pirate-y at the same time. and who doens't love a good pirate. Now imagine that with posterboards with the words written on it so you too can sing along. Seriously, it's like the best thing ever. Don't you hate being at a show and loving the music, but not knowing the lyrics? Problem solved!! Stick to sea shanties, I'm telling you!!

I came home with 4 new shirts, a tote bag, a CD (well, that's the boy's but he wants me to listen to it) and a sunburn ( it was in Wilmington after all, and we had a condo on the beach). Over all, a great relaxing weekend. If there is a RadFest2, I say book it, go, listen, and you will be amazed.

May 08, 2010

Rooms to Go

as promised, a story that you will read, and say to yourself: "No, that can't possibly have really happened!!" But I assure you, it did. Oh, it did.

Back in 2009 R and I were looking for a couch. We had plans of purchasing a couch that was also a sleeper sofa so when various guests came we would have plenty of space for everyone. We had plans of purchasing a couch that said "the people who purchased me want you to feel comfortable and relaxed in their home, while at the same time admiring their taste" (that might have been more me than R, but ya know...) We had plans of purchasing a couch for under $500. Ha. HAHA. ahahaha, that plan quickly changed. But we did our due diligence, and shopped around and around and around, and finally found a sleeper sofa in a color that did not bother us, was comfortable and in our price range. We bought it. We arranged for delivery, and were proud of ourselves.

Delivery day came, and I got a phone call from R saying "it won't fit in the game room" but we quickly decided to leave it in the living room, move that couch to the game room and be done with it.

Upon my arrival home, I discovered that this couch was not the couch we had sat in at the store. It was the same type of couch, but it was not comfortable. It was not inviting. It was not pretty and latte colored. In short, it was not what I wanted after all. But RTG would let us pick a new one, arrange a new delivery and exchange this one, so I was sure we would be happy.

Jump ahead to the new delivery date, R and I are anxiously waiting our couch exchange ( after they have called us and said, sorry, we're late, be there sometime) and then hung up on me when I called and complained about that, as they had been very clear that we had to be there at the Window of time they were delivering our couch, or they would not call or anything, they'd just leave.

We are ready when they do show up! Delivery Guy (DG) shows up and says:
"I'm here to deliver a couch."
"Great" I say. "It might be easier for you to take this one out first"
"WHat? We're just delivering one, we ain't takin' nothin' away" he says
"What?!?" I say. "We arranged for an exchange"
"No, you didnt" he says oh-so-helpfully.
"Let me call the store and see what happened" I say "We need a moment" I say.
"You can't have a moment" he says so nicely. But I persist and call the store only to discover it turns out the very "helpful" salesman at RTG didn't finish the order, which would have made sure they could exhange the couches. After calling the store and being told, well sorry you'll have to call customer service tomorrow (at which point they would have taken the new couch, not taken the old couch, and not been able to reschedule a delivery for when we needed the couch by) and being told there was nothing they could do, DG says to us "You've missed your window, and we're leaving"

At which point R says" Now wait a minute..."

and DG gets up in his face threatening to "Whoop your ass boy"

Then storms off and drives away, taking my new couch with him, not taking the old new couch, and not giving us much time to make a decision.

Yes, he threatened violence. Yes, he took my paid for property. and what did RTG do? Not a dang thing.

They agreed to take the old sofa back, to cancel the new one, and let us be done. But no apologies, no credits or free coupons, or calls from customer service to offer assistance, nothing to make me want to ever shop there again.

Then about a week ago, they had the audacity to call and ask if we were happy with our recent purchase. That poor woman, she got an earful about just how "happy" we were. They didnt even have a note about the "situation" in our file. I'm amazed that the couch was taken off my credit account honestly.

So boys and girls, the moral of the story is: DON'T shop at Rooms to Go. Shop somewhere else. And make sure you confirm everything. Twice. With names and dates and who is in charge and phone numbers.

but the silver lining is we now have a lovely chocolate brown couch that is comfy and in our house, and was WAY cheaper!!

May 05, 2010

Things I've learned

I've learned that if you are tired and you're the boss, you can decide to go home early. It's one of the perks.
It's also the only perk.

May 04, 2010

Braces

Can I just say, having braces must be very difficult if you are between 12-18. It's a p.i.t.a to me, and I am well over 18. I honestly cannot imagine having them while also in the throes of puberty, so for this I am thankful my mother did not make me get them. Every meal is a production, every time I eat something I worry if there is food caught in my teeth, my lips seems endlessly dry and chapped...and this is on a good day. Don't even get me started on when they have to put new wires on, or some other painful checkup.
My orthodontist is great, so that's a big plus, but really, what was I thinking? An aligned bite is nice sure, but was it really that bad? I'm not remembering it being such...

April 26, 2010

Wow, time flies...

So I just realized it's been more than 6 months since my last post. Not very diligent of me is it? But a lot of things have happened since then, and for lack of time, I will list them, and expound upon them later.
New Couch failure-a must read and a RANT about Rooms to Go. Don't buy from them ever. Seriously. Horrible. Have you ever had some threaten you when they deliver your furniture because of a mistake their company made? And no, I'm not kidding.
Trip to New Hampshire-if they didn't get so much cold weather and snow, I would move. Loved the Ghoullog!
Thanksgiving-the whole family together!
Christmas-the family together again!
New job (that could be a whole new blog unto itself)
K moved back!!-Yay!
Music events-RadFest, Red Collar, AP coming down from the mountain
House events-cookouts and concerts and gamenights, oh my!
New art and pottery classes-encaustic rocks. WHat can I say.

Don't you want to know what these things mean? Hope so, cause I sure want to write about them!

also check out
www.mygeniushands.blogspot.com for some interesting musing on life, music and everything else.