Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Madness

It's been a couple of days since I last wrote but the house stuff and holiday preparations both reached critical mass and every moment I wasn't working was spent painting cabinets, doing laundry and stuffing dufflebags. Although Hubster turned the corner on his sickness, he's still coughing up a storm and burning through our Puffs stash, so I've been trying (even as my throat started getting sore) to keep from getting sick. I have had the throat issues for a couple of days and they haven't progressed so I'm cautiously calling this a win. If I'm sick on Christmas I think I'll cry the entire day. Cry and eat cinnamon rolls.

Anyway, on a happy note, I'm blogging from In-Law Central and we're leaving tomorrow morning for extended family, the aforementioned cinnamon rolls, and festive times. I hope you all have a delicious Christmas. May the true gravity and depth of God's Incarnation give you a break from the mad rush of life and refresh your wonder for another year. I'll be singing this lovely carol, my favorite at the moment, long into January.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung!
From Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half spent was the night

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind
With Mary we behold it,
The Virgin mother kind
To show God's love aright,
She bore to us a Savior
When half spent was the night

The shepherds heard the story
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger they found him,
As angels heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death he saves us,
And lightens every load.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pictures! Pretty! Ignore lack of content! Awesome!

Well, it's been an eventful day at Fyf HQ. We got physical exams this morning and I got my Tetanus booster - weeee! I sure hope I remembered correctly that I hadn't had one since age 12. Otherwise my sore arm would be mad at me for unnecessary roughness. (ba-dum ching!)

Here's a fun shot from last night:

Deconstructing el Pobrecito!

Awwww! He crashed after work and slept for a while. I figured out that making chicken soup from scratch is a snap when you have all the ingredients on hand and thereby won the Wife of the Year award with Hubster. I think I thanked you in my acceptance speech. It was all a blur of parties and shopping for thermometers and cough drops. What dreams are made of, folks.

Anyhow, we've been given a clean bill of overall health and now it's off to our favorite (not-yet) home to paint the kitchen walls. Enjoy your day, peeps!

Monday, December 19, 2005

An Open Letter to the Purveyors of Scotch Blue Painter's Tape

3M, Painter's Tape Divison.

Dear Sirs,

I have, since my youth, been trained to buy your painters tape through your monopoly in the buying public. From an early age I could tell just the shade of blue that meant we had the right tape - the good stuff. Many a redecoration was accomplished through the use of your product, and this was even before your new television ads which, in my opinion, are utterly superfluous because, as I said, YOU OWN AMERICA. Or at least you own Americans wielding edging brushes.

But see, your stuff is not good. It bonds with paint, then it sticks to the wall in tiny strips that break off from the edges and refuses to let go until I have beaten my hands into a pulp trying to get them off the freakin' ceiling.

DO SOMETHING! I don't want to switch to those edge-rollers that promise you never have to tape or something, but if it comes to it, so help me . . .

Also, my husband got a papercut from your product. We're going to talk to our lawyer if things don't change. Oy, the emotional damage we suffer at the hands of your wretched blue adhesive.

Disillusioned Former Fanatic

For Hubster & The Rest of You Voyeurs Who Read It.

Dear One,

I'm so sorry that you're an invalid right now. The sniffles, the aches, the gleben are all conspiring to make you feel like crap-o-la. I hope you feel better soon, especially because of the moratorium on kissing. Not cool.

I know this weekend had it's frustrating points. There was the whole "having to run Christmas errands all day Saturday" thing. There was the "pulling the paint tape off except it WOULDN'T COME OFF" bit yesterday. There was the ongoing "WHY, GOD, WHY?" nature of the cabinet work. But you have been a total peach about most of it. Sure, you have to rail and be mad about it, but once it's out of your system, your resilience is amazing. Plus you haven't divorced me yet, so something's working out in my favor somewhere and I HOPE IT KEEPS WORKING. (*looks heavenward, crosses fingers*)

I guess I'm saying that I love you. I love your giddy mastery of using power tools and looking cool whilst doing it. I love your jokes. I love that you had to bring the cat to the new house because you've been dying to do it for a week and "IT'S HER HOUSE, TOO!" I love that you talk me down from the ledge when I'm looking to throw myself headlong into misery and dramatic WOE-OH-WOE speeches instead of stepping back and realizing I can do this. It's been nice to have your support, even if it is your income combined with mine that put us in this situation anyway. (Kidding!)

Okay, as if by Providence, "Fix You" just came up on iTUNES, so I'll just play that for you when you get home. And maybe there'll be some chicken soup or orange juice or some of those ridiculous candies/"supplements" you love so much. Oh, and cold-virus communicability be DARNED, I'm stealing a smooch.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Linking Friday - because I'm TIRED!

Had a good night last night. Put some ornaments on the tree before dinner. Finished painting the basement. Slept like a brick and got up a bit later than usual. Brother P called and we talked a while, which we hadn't done in forever. I miss him a lot.

Really there's too much going on to blog, so I'll have to leave you with some fun links.

1. A bit boring and long, but this article is an interesting commentary on a celebrity obsession: the press. As much as they complain, they still know the press butters their bread by keeping them in the public eye.

2. Socially Awkward Situations During Which It Would Be Acceptable to Mess With Texas. Ah, humor.

3. I have been careful not to acknowledge the looking-more-certain-by-the-minute doom of my very favorite show, but I have to cave to show this article. Maybe the author's right - killing the show off early prevents a slow decline and overextension. Still, THE WEEPING, THE GNASHING OF TEETH, THE LOSS OF FAITH IN HUMANITY. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

4. Speaking of the show, if you are a fan and have never been to The Balboa Observer-Picayune website, you must go now. Best trivia/image/quote archives around.

Okay, I'm out, yo. Good weekend to ye!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

High-Maintenance (Holiday) Woman

At first it was satisfying to spend so much time at the new house. Working means sitting in front of a computer screen all day, manipulating images and words or talking to people about schedules and travel. It felt great to get off my butt, climb on a latter and sling some pain on the wall. It even felt good to come home tired, but day after day of it is wearing me down. We took a break last night to get some things done and go Christmas shopping, and now I don't know that I can be motivated to tape and roll. Not that any of this matters, mind you, because the walls have to be blue before I can plunk my desk in front of them and set up shop, so I'll keep plugging along.

I guess the taste of festivity in last night's shopping also reminded me of a sad truth: the holidays just haven't come together for me since we got married and left home. I never realized how long it took to accumulate all the trappings of the Yule season until I had a lonely little tree with no ornaments on it except those of my husband because the few I owned hadn't made it from my parent's house yet. I put up a wreath on our door, but it was so simple and plain and it seemed a pale reflection of the one my mother redecorated so lovingly most years. We spent last Christmas at their house, so it wasn't like I missed my family during Christmas, but I missed the build-up, really "The Season of Christmas." This year we're celebrating with Hubster's family, as is only fair, and I'm sure it will be fun and I can't wait to see how elaborate their oft-mentioned traditions turn out to be, but I still miss Christmas, even as I anticipate it.

I recently read someone say that no one quite likes a holiday unless it's done just like it was when they were growing up. I'm sure there are some who have family tragedies or pain associated with the days, so that might not be true, but I do miss the Christmas I always knew. Everyone told us before we got married that we would form our own traditions and grow to love them, but it's hard not to pine for Christmas Eve candlelight services with solemn liturgy and riotous Picada feasts as soon as we hauled our hungry bellies home. It's hard to not to remember begging Dad to let us open one gift that evening, even though he almost never caved, or anticipating Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and eggnog and Vernors (don't you laugh, sitting there in judgment - you don't know what you're missing). It's even harder to miss the Advent church traditions, singing carols in worship, and the huge ordeal of hauling the giant fake tree out of the attic and decking it out with ornaments whose shape I know so well, like friends who only rarely visit but without whom the year is not complete.

Our tiny tree is up in the living room, but there's nothing on it. The house is so important, so pressing, that we've spent all our time in it's empty rooms, hoping to work our magic so that when the Christmas season is finally over we can move our stuff in for good and start the new year right. I understand why it's happening, but I still don't like that the season is being interrupted. Perhaps its my idealistic/melancholic side that dictates it but I hold festival and ceremony in high regard. It is deeply affirming to me to experience the rituals of life - from the simple ones like morning tea or coffee to the elaborate customs of Christmas. I count down to my birthday (once I'm suitably close to the date that I don't feel like a total seven-year-old, so two months out ;) and I guess I should stop apologizing for that because it's not really changing over time.

The problem that I face once I realize that all this brouhaha is important to me is that it is now my responsibility to act and change the situation. My Dad isn't around anymore to poo-poo the idea of opening one gift on Christmas Eve and my mother doesn't really care if I swath my tree in coordinated colors or mismatching, homemade ornaments. And it may only be up for a week before we're off to celebrate elsewhere, but I think I'll decorate the tree anyway. Staying up for that will make me happy to be tired.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why, yes I DO dream in color.

Another day, another late night filled with edging and reloading paint rollers. Work continues apace with the house. We did a portion of the basement (future home office/den) in a cheerful shade of blue. I know I claimed recently that I hate it, but really, I think I'm just not soothed by most shades of blue; I'm bored by them. I'm more a red girl. Still, this color is wunderbar. I'm trying to decide between accenting with red as a really crisp, preppy look or a 60s-revival look with chocolate brown and mod textiles. At least I have options even if the shade is bright as all get out:

Now that's a blue I can get behind!

Tonight it's errands, Christmas shopping, and free Starbucks. See, Monday I ordered a set of Pantone chips. I got my UPS Ground tracking number that very evening and the next day my chips were in my hands along with the $25 Starbucks gift card they included for free. Do I turn down free espresso? No, indeed it's one of my life's principles never to let such an atrocity happen. But as a side note, Pantone, CALM DOWN. I will not die for lack of Four-Color Process Guides, be they coated or no. Also, among all your pretty snippets of color, I was unable to find anything to match my Baer Eggshell Enamel Costa Rica Blue. You should get someone on that.

But I'll still take your free espresso. On principle, of course.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Listing Tuesday

1. I made half a quesadilla yesterday for lunch with pepper-jack cheese in it and guacamole on the side. I got the best guacamole at our local warehouse club. It is almost entirely avocado, very little fillers, and it tastes AWESOME. Maybe not an every-day sort of fatty-food fest, but it sure was tasty. Mmmmmmmmm.

2. Yesterday we got off to a late start at the new house. K started out sanding the cabinets in the kitchen but realized it was loud and getting on toward kid bedtimes (we think both sides of neighbors have kids - play structures outside are a giveaway) so he had to quit. He talked to his dad while I was gone at IKEA getting window coverings. One of my boxes had one bracket missing from the white wooden blinds. So much for putting those up last night. The rolling match-stick blinds turned out fine for the kitchen, they just need to be trimmed, so we're gonna try that later this week sometime. Maybe tonight. Even if the errand had to be run and it wasn't totally fruitless, last night felt like one road-block after another. We got most of the basement taped and ready for painting tonight, but still. WAAAH!

3. Hubster and I haven't gotten out to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe yet, but we're looking into going this weekend, perhaps. I found this article talking about it from a non-Christian perspective. I grew up hearing about C.S. Lewis about every other day in my tight evangelical church and school, so it's hard to separate out his faith from his stories and, though I don't think you can and neither does the author of the article, it's nice to know that some people got wonder out of the book without the back story. Lewis speaks to non-Christian AND Christian minds - an increasingly rare talent in the sub-culture-driven landscape of American evangelicalism. Plus he names the faun "Tumnus." Seriously awesome.

4. I'm reading Television Without Pity's Grey's Anatomy recaps and if you watch the show, you totally should, too. If you saw the Thanksgiving episode, start there. Endless mirth.

5. It's been one disagreement about sandpaper and drapes after another since the house came. No huge fights with the Hubster, but it's not a picnic to sort through the obstacles when both of us are total perfectionists and type-A workers. Still, Hubster said something sweet about how, though he's been busy and worried and hasn't said it, he's been really happy with how we've pulled together and how helpful I've been in working through designs and physical tasks alike. He almost made me cry, he's so sweet. Once again, SO LUCKY I MARRIED HIM. In the words of Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, "Well, who could blame [me]? [I] got to lock that down."

6. I got the design up on my friend Dawn's blog, so you should totally check it out. It might look eerily familiar if you read my blog, but the artwork and colors are different. Plus, she's much funnier than I. Also, HOTT. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Weekend in Four Acts

Act 1:
Scene 1: Opens as we find our heros having purchased a new home. They are thrilled and excited as they gaze at it on Friday evening.

Erica: What delight we shall have in making this new home our own. I do hope we can begin our work quickly for I am anxious to witness its transformation.
Hubster: Indeed, it shall be magnificent - a true testament to our skill and teamwork! Let us away to the Depot for Homes.

Scene 2: Opens with our heros having returned from the Home Depot possessing many new tools and an appetite to refinish their kitchen cabinets on a Saturday morning.

Erica: I am so pleased by the lovely setting here. It will be perfect for us. I must document its beauty for posterity.

Act 2:
Scene 1: Opens after several hours of work on Saturday. Our heros lay down their cabinet drawers.

Hubster: Our labors have been long and arduous, but the husbandry of the cabinet-makers remains barely scathed. This work shall end our marriage if you do not change your mind, Dearest Wife, about the need for this project or if we do not jointly find a better solution than SANDING THE EVER-LOVING STUFFING OUT OF IT.
Erica: (Aside) I am a-feared that I would not mind seeing him go. "Vexed" understates the severity of the situation. (To Hubster) I shall call my mother and discuss our problem with her. Perhaps she shall have a solution for us. (Exits in huff)

Scene 2: Opens minutes later, as Erica enters the room in which Hubster is still busily sanding drawers.

Erica: My mother says that there is a product available, used to good effect by a friend, that removes all trace of stain and varnish from cabinetry. Perhaps we should look into it before finalizing the divorce.
Hubster: I am not sure I can trust your advice, but I shall investigate it further. I give my solemn vow not to sign the paperwork unless my search proves fruitless.
Erica: Let us away to eat dinner with our friend in Georgetown for the evening as we promised him many days ago. We will begin again tomorrow.

Act 3:
Scene 1: Opens with our heroine busily painting what will become her boudoir, or both of theirs if they reconcile. It is Sunday afternoon.

Erica: If I cannot help my husband in the kitchen, I shall begin another project. (works silently for a few moments) Lo, I had forgotten how hard the work of painting can be. At least the color of this room shall be lovely once I finish.

Scene 2: Opens with our hero busily applying the famed solvent which was acquired at Home Depot, along with many safety tools for its application and disposal.

Hubster: This project is still long and painful. I may forgive my refinish-obsessed wife if we can do the doors over time, but it is still doubtful. I believe I shall wait to call the lawyer just the same.

Scene 3: Opens again in the master boudoir. Erica is busily working as she has been for a few hours. It is late Sunday evening.

Erica: If I am to continue at this pace, I shall require sustenance. (yelling to Hubster downstairs) Should we break this long fast with some food for McDonalds?
Hubster: (Replies, offstage) Indeed, I could eat an oliphant entire. I shall away and bring it to you. Continue the work of painting until I return.

Act 4:
Scene 1: Our heros eat together on the floor of the master boudoir.

Erica: I am sorry that my project has become a heavy burden to you. It was never my intent to work you to the bone, My Love.
Hubster: I understand. I wish we could have known the travail this cabinetry would cost us. I believe it may be cursed by its crafter not to yield up its finish until Doomsday.
Erica: If we work together and perform the work in stages, perhaps we can live in harmony. Would you be amenable to such a course?
Hubster: Yes, I suppose. And at least the boudoir looks lovely.
Erica: (with her mouth full of cheeseburger) Indeed. Please pass me a fry, Darling.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Crazy Day

Working is hard.

Aside from trying to work with, you know, THAT going on, I've been quite busy because TODAY WE CLOSE ON OUR BEAUTIFUL NEW HOUSE! I'm leaving soon, so wish me luck! Will write more tomorrow. With sawdust in my hair, most likely. LET THE HOME IMPROVEMENT HILARITY/HYSTERIA BEGIN!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Something New at FyF: Brevity. (Sorta)

LOTS of things have happened since I last updated and the intervening time, according to some of you, has been a desert of loneliness in your lives. People, I am flattered but a little frightened. But none of this matters because one of my favorite Internet Rockstars just smacked me down! WEEEE! Go read it!. I'm "Desperate near DC." Also, I'm not very clever with the signoff names. Read it anyway because I'm a dork who has to have friends all over the country (as well as total strangers) share in my life in minute detail before I'm truly happy.

NOW, what's been goin' down? Time with the fam was AWESOME. We ate Dad's Astonishing Revelation Of Deliciousness (otherwise known as his Cheese Fondue), marinated brochettes (shish kabobs for those who prefer the Mediterranean/Arabic terminology) and many, many more plates full of yum. Mom and I talked and played with makeup. Hubster and Brother J played the piano and guitar and talked about stupid guy stuff. We hung out with friends from high school, again with good food, and we saw Walk the Line which was lovely to watch and hear, even if after two-and-a-half hours we wanted to know so much more about Johnny Cash's life than we got.

We got home Monday night and I had to turn my suitcase over because I was leaving the next morning to surprise Jefe at the company Christmas party. BossLady had been plotting for months, and I SO WANTED TO BLOG ABOUT IT, but I had to keep mum so Jefe wouldn't READ ABOUT IT ON MY FREAKING BLOG. And I succeeded in keeping my mouth closed. THAT'S ONE! (hee) So I arrived on time and coworker CJ picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at a Bee's house where I proceeded to get dolled up for the event. Minutes into that ordeal, we get a call from her - someone ran into her and her car is totalled and she's okay but could we pick her up? Terrible! She'll be alright but she was shaken, so y'all should pray for the most hardworking (also hilariously sarcastic) gal I know. Wow, that brought the mood right down, but it was pretty much just like that yesterday, so at least I'm accurately portraying the events in which I had a part. Because we're all about accuracy here at Filosofía y Flores. As you well know.

Anyhow, we made it to the party, surprised the stuffing out of Jefe, consumed filet mignon and Luce red wine like it was GOING OUT OF STYLE. Bee and I also had some clever T-shirts made up and they much amused the crew. Even CJ of The Recent Trauma arrived looking smashing and hoping to forget her troubles. It was lovely.

After breakfast with Jefe and lunch meetings with BossLady and Bee, I hopped my fourth plane in less than a week and came home, on time, no problems. Now I'm sitting here, in front of my keyboard, stressing about closing on the house tomorrow, and trying to make this all interesting. What a world, what a world!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Percy is appalled by this breach of dignity!

If she knew I was publishing this she would look more grumpy.

K and I are headed to my hometown for a little fun with my family and friends until Monday or so. I might or might not post. It kinda depends on how crazy people are or how nostalgic I get being back in what my mother lovingly calls "the stomping grounds." She's chock of delightful old-person speak. Makes me smile, and even more so when I realize I'll see that smile today. THE SMARM IS ON, YO!

I leave you you with another pic from Persephone's adventures atop our closet doors.

Come back here, you stupid human, so I can bat at your head.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In which I personify Insomnia. Only to Hate on her.

As my insomnia-suffering former roommate will attest, I am a disgustingly-consistent good sleeper. I would feel so bad about my well-restedness in the morning when M-lo would tell me that she barely slept at all. Now, mind you, she was much better organized and motivated than I, so I would be the one pulling all-nighters while she at least got a SHOT at sleeping. Sadly, if she couldn't really sleep, what good did it do her?

The evening started out promising. After getting dinner, K and I hit up Home Depot for more paint chips and decor conversation. Then we went to Panera and MAN, again, HOUSE LATTES RULE! We read a while, but I kept getting distracted by options for the house - creating combinations in my head, noticing colors around me like I was on drugs, seriously, COULD NOT STOP. We finally got out of there and headed home where I proceeded to weasel some help from K on a friend's template redesign (I'll post a link once it's final). He is a total babe for helping me. Finally, after working on that for a while alone and then getting ready for bed, it was time to hit the hay.

Oh hello, Insomnia! Um, what're you, what're you doing here? You're what now? Planning on keeping me up until 4am? Wow, you're kidding? Don't. Please? I don't get a choice on this, do I? Fine. FINE!

I couldn't get comfortable and when I was (momentarily) comfortable, five shades of neutral browns floated by my eyes and made it impossible for me to focus on SLEEP. Then it was WHY IS INTERNET EXPLORER SO STUPID AND MAKING THAT BORDER ON MY BANNER AND PHOTO TOTALLY OUT OF PLACE? RRRRR. Caffeine only has power over me when I have a lot going on, but boy is it powerful then!

M-lo, my love, I hope this vengeance is sweet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How I Plan To Make My Millions

Or The Capricious Person's Solution To Home Decor.

So we did talk last night about plans for our new home. I mused intensely over the paint chips and the altogether-too-tiny images offered by Baer's home paint pamplets. "Does this tan color have to much yellow for me? Is this color going to tie the cocoa brown with the eggplant purple or are they going to end up duking it out in some paint-named-after-food fight? What in the world am I thinking painting the office, the room in which I will spend the most consecutive conscious time of my week, blue - I HATE BLUE! RRRR, why did I have to get married so I could have the double incomes to afford buying a house now but not the concensus on hatred of blue to be comfortable in it?"

Right now many home decorating escapades require the following: clumsily moving furniture entirely out of the room, laying down tarps, using enough tape to hold up a million starlet's skimpy gowns, strewing strong-smelling, brightly-colored liquids all over everything, hoping they land in a uniform coat, and most of all hoping that when that brightly-colored liquid dries, you won't puke at the very sight of its hue or WORSE, decide you have to cover it up with another color next weekend.

My plan is much simpler: create a holographic wall material that projects a color, easily changable from week to week, month to month, or for the more staid among us, year to year. At the rate my ideas are changing, mine will be on a daily rotation.

Monday, November 28, 2005

And now for something completely unclever

I was all excited to type out the title of this post because I thought I could use that famous Monty Python line "And now for something completely different." Then I realized I had already used it months ago. I was crushed. It's really pathetic that it crushed me, but seriously, wind out of my sales. *sniff*

ANYWAY, I hope you all had as nice a Thanksgiving holiday as K and I did! I made candied yams (with bourbon - soo gooooood) and salad and we headed over to a friend's house for a big potluck of a Thanksgiving dinner. Everything turned out delicious and we had some good conversations. Later that night K was obsessed with the Black Friday sales. Obsessed! He found out CompUSA was opening at midnight and he just had to go to watch all the "human drama." I AM QUOTING THERE. We trotted out after midnight so we wouldn't have to wait outside in the cold with all the other crazies. There were plenty left there when we finally got there. We went straight back to the electronics counter where K bought something and I decided to go ahead and spring for the Palm Z22 which I'd been eyeing. A guy helped us right away and then checked us out there, thereby ensuring that we bypassed HUGE lines and got everything we wanted. NOT your average Black Friday experience, I'd wager.

After sleeping in Friday morning I lazed about and thoroughly enjoyed my day off, all the more since K had to work. Because I'm a big ole meany. What? I really needed the vacation! Saturday we cleaned and were slightly productive, and later that evening his grandparents took us out to dinner and wanted to drive by the new house. We talked quite a bit with them and they totally fell in love with Percy, but what else is new? Sunday morning we did church (yay for the first Sunday in Advent!) and then got a movie. We watched In Good Company which came out last year with Dennis Quaid, Scarlett Johansson, Topher Grace, and Marg Helgenberger. K didn't much like the movie, I kinda did, but I wasn't floored. We loved the repeated use of Iron and Wine on the soundtrack. We liked the casting, especially of Marg Helgenberger who did a great job, as usual - I really enjoy her. (I forgive her punning CSI lines, that's how much I enjoy her!) The movie had heart, and some decent twists in the plot, but it didn't quite work. K felt like it was more a Lifetime movie than an A-list one, I guess I wouldn't pan it THAT fully, but meh, not the best. Although it did bring up an enduring question: HOW IN THE WORLD DOES SCARLETT JOHANSSON PULL OFF ALMOST FLUORESCENT SHADES OF CORAL LIPSTICK AND STILL LOOK HOT? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Today, it's paint decision time. Once we close we only have two weeks in which to paint the bulk of house before it's time to move in, so we are gonna get some stuff in preparation and then at least have general ideas for the rest so we can buy and paint on schedule. Oh, and leave the cat at the apartment. She'd probably end up with a white stripe down her back and Pepe Le Pew on her tail with our luck.

Don't mind me just sniffing the flowers and occasionally biting them. I'm just making sure they don't get any ideas about moving in permanently. You're, uh, not thinking of getting any plants, are you? ARE YOU?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

TLL and You

So CharlesPierce saved my bum by giving me a great topic for today's post in a recent comment. Here's the meat of it:

I'm intrigued by your notion of, as you put it: "There's just too much happening and my thought life hasn't caught up enough to write about it."

I know you're alluding to the deeper transition to adulthood that you've entertainingly been blogging about, as well as the fact that you've been so busy--but is there anything else you mean? I'd love to have a discussion about (1) how our thought lives can't catch up with our lives, (2) why this is bad, and (3) what we should do about it, because I'm interesting in hearing what other people have to say.

He's even given me an outline - IT DOES NOT GET ANY BETTER, FOLKS. Run out and meet some people as cool as him because they will save your blog. Also, they sometimes say nice things about you being entertaining. Everyone needs an ego boost. Speaking of ego, let's psychoanalyze mine, shall we?

Introduction: Think back to your first few days of college. If you're like me, you lived away from home, you dropped your stuff in a tiny room inhabited by a couple of strangers, you picked up new gadgets like a laptop, and you learned where to wander on campus if you wanted to find a book, some food, or friends. You might have had a couple of flashes of "DUDE! I'M IN COLLEGE!" But mostly, you just tried to be where you said you'd be and not flunk your first quizzes. You made a shift in your identity, but you didn't have time/energy to realize that because "HELLO, DR. K IS TOTALLY GONNA FLUNK ME IF I DON'T UNDERSTAND MOLECULAR ORBITAL THEORY!"

Body Point I: When I'm living through a change, I can't focus on thinking it through. I dive in to the immediate, measurable tasks, like learning to organize my bills and pay them on time or learning how to bring up a sensitive/annoying subject with my husband. Once I have the basics down, I have the time to think about what it means to be a wife or a graphic designer. Some things I have a natural affinity for, such as learning in a collegiate setting, but that doesn't mean I understand this affinity or what it says about myself and the kind of life I want to lead. Changes in identity have always been accompanied by the gathering of mental bearings for me. If I pass the initial phase, the one I like to call "Sink or Swim, Sucka!", my mind naturally begins to ask questions: Do I like my new life? Where am I getting my satisfaction from? Am I well suited to my responsibilities? How long would I like to be doing this? What can I do to improve my life? Maybe it's part of being a perfectionist, but I think understanding those things is a semi-constant subtext to my life. Frankly, I don't know what it's like or if it's even possible to NOT ask those questions.

Now if you're not like me, you're thinking "WOW, REMIND ME NEVER TO TALK TO MS. OVERANALYSIS AGAIN!" Nonetheless, O Skeptic, I have a feeling we all do this. Some of us take longer than others. My husband seems to do it before a big event. I've tried that, but I find myself stymied by a lack of information, so I just wait until I'm living it. Some people just coast for years and examine their choices later in life. Think of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. The wife in the play wakes up years after her shift to being a wife and a mother and wonders if she's really happy, if she's really suited to her life, if it's possible she made a bad choice. Ibsen challenged the perspective of his day that said all women were suited to being wives and mothers and pretty much nothing else. He goes on to point out that everyone, men and women alike, should be allowed that experience of identifying what life should be about, preferably early in life. I agree with his points generally.

Body Point II: CP asks why this is bad. In many ways, I look on this as a good thing. Eventually I like to have a perspective on myself, my abilities, and my circumstances that yields a sort of modus operandi for life, but when I first begin any endeavor, attempting to think everything through to the nth degree paralyzes me when I should be learning, acting, participating. I will liken it to swimming in Cape Cod or Lake Superior: if you feel how cold the water is, you won't swim, but if you just dive in, you'll find the resources necessary to move around and enjoy yourself before hypothermia sets in. (Heh.) The reason I mentioned it as a bad thing in my post was that it prevented me from having much to say here. Writing honestly about life means understanding it at least a bit, and I can't write "the post about trying to understand life," a million times. (Please, don't actually look up the number of times I've written a post like that. I shudder to think.)

Dragging Socrates into this, (you forgot about the "filosofí­a," huh?), whether the unexamined life is not worth living is still a question to me. It isn't as simple as it sounds. But whether from upbringing or natural affinity, I do feel as though I now gravitate to meaning in my life - I want it to make sense and be purposeful. In this, my Thought-Life Lag (TLL) is a good tool. It enables me to begin a new chapter in life with action and then to improve on what I've begun once I have the opportunity to mentally digest the changes.

Body Point III: What should we do about this? I'm not sure there is much to be done. This happens to be a coping mechanism for me. It didn't work so well when I jammed my life with so much change that all the processing backed up recently. I had so much to process at once that there were few bearings left. Still, in other cases it's been quite handy. I guess the trick is to avoid too much change at once if you suffer from TLL, or at least to get help with thinking it through, whether it be from trusted family and friends or therapist.

Conclusion: Bear in mind here that I do not have a doctorate in psychology (or a bachelors for that matter), and I understand my experiences may be totally different than yours in this area. I have formed these opinions from thinking, reading, talking to friends, and very short stints in therapy. Now, your thoughts, you remaining warriors who hacked through my dense verbage with the machete of your great rational powers? How do you deal with change?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What is this "contentment" of which you speak?

Yesterday I had to go measure the space for the refrigerator in the new house because we might have some family donate one for us (HALLELUJAH). It definitely felt more "mine" than ever. Of course I've begun the process of remaking the home in my mind - colors and furniture arrangements, improvements and eventual remodeling. The thought of change is making it hard to keep things the same in other areas. I mean, when you're standing in the grocery store aisle thinking about trying new brands of dressing just because? Problems.

Change is addictive once you get started. Changing my hair color made me happy; maybe it's time to change the cut? Length? Go for bald? [Enter "Danger," stage right] With the onslaught of the holidays and the work projects piling up and the move - it's just a lot to NOT think about. There's so much potential for good change, but it's definitely possible to go off the deep end.

Living in a "makeover" society doesn't help. In true American form, we don't change one thing, WE DO IT ALL, BABY! Every room is redone, every outward facet of our appearance is "improved" and pretty soon, our life is so different that they really did change the entire thing as they promised. I remember being taught in science classes to only change one variable at a time (for the most part) in order to understand the impact of each change. Does that mean we should all scientifically experiment with our lives all the time? Or is it just that it's "experts" making 20 changes at one to What Not to Wear participants, so that's why all those changes work? And how do I get me some of that vast expenditure on makeover shows, hmmm?

Where does contentment fit into all this? That's not a word you hear a lot in American culture, I don't think. I guess because of the ubiquity of the marketing machine, it's hard to get a moment of media in which we aren't exhorted to want better household cleaning tools, faster internet service, or more volumizing hair products. Not helping matters is that, at least on a smaller scale, I like change. I'm always looking for something new for dinner, for my skin regimen, heck, for my desktop background! My dad used to say that he could eat a good ham and cheese sandwich every day for the rest of his life and be perfectly content. I won't let myself order the same thing twice at the Cheesecake Factory because the grass is always greener on the other side of the menu.

This makes me contentment challenged, but probably no more than any of us. We live in a world with high humidity - do you think we'll ever stop working toward that product that makes our hair have volume but not frizz? If you answered yes you don't know a)women, b)the beauty industry, c)humanity, and d)jack. It's gotten us this far, developing lightweight fabrics that insulate in the Himalayas, better graphics for our movies, and the internet, through which you read all this drivel every day. It's not all bad. I just wish I understood where the line is between contentment and that perfect pomade.

If contentment is anything like this, then maybe I should look into it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Remember me? I used to blog occasionally.

I keep starting this post in my head, saying dumb things and then promising myself I'll do it later. I've had some really great moments since I last sat down and wrote about stuff that happens to me, but I can't get it out. It looks kinda like this:

Clearly, translation is not an exact science.

I took that today after hanging out with CharlesPierce and his lovely wifey at the International Spy Museum. Although K and I were tired once they had to go, we decided to keep wandering around Chinatown. I got an eggnog latte - mmmmm - and we got to chat about the upcoming holidays.

Back to the picture: I imbued it with unwarranted meaning (one of my talents) when I had the thought: "This is like my life. Sorta." There's just too much happening and my thought life hasn't caught up enough to write about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the stuff coming down the pike, but that doesn't mean I understand how my life will change once I've embraced them. Adults keep feeding me schpiels about "jumping in with both feet" and "sink or swim." It just reminds me of my Fitwell swim test in college. I'M JUST SAYING . . .

Anyhow, we had fun with our peeps. They mentioned that the last time we'd seen them was July. WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED AT HOW MUCH WE SUCK? Still, if they still love us after that, I guess we can forgive ourselves. Shout-out, guys, we love ya!

Other things . . . well, I made cryptic mention of goings-on in Indiana. Maybe I should follow up on that whole storyline, no? K and I showed up in the Indianapolis International Airport a week ago Friday, and Jefe picked us up. (FYI, there's a new naming convention here at Fyfdom, and it goes like this: female boss is "BossLady" and male boss is "Jefe." Because we like Spanish terms - they make us sound like a Smarty McBrainypants. Yee. Haw.) We didn't so much "accomplish anything" that night because we got in late and we didn't have to. Then Saturday dawned and we didn't. We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and met up with some coworkers for GO-CART RACING. Now Jefe asked us ahead of time if "speed and danger" were okay, and we said yes. I forgot this meant competitive sports where I don't stand a chance of winning because my mantra is not so much "ball before body" as "self-preservation before sacrifice. Oh, and sweat. I don't like to sweat. Ewwy."

I lost BIG TIME. The go-carts went up to 40 mph and we did like 5 races to determine final racing order and then we did a grand prix and Jefe won and got to take a victory lap and we all had to help him yank his helmet off his overgrown head. (Oh, he's reading this so everyone smile winningly in his direction and think NON-FIRING thoughts!) I, on the other hand, stood in for the role of "Textbook Perfectionist." Despite some vicious corners in the track, I took them like a pro - except a wee bit slower making me NOT a total loser, but still last. HEY, I MADE IT LOOK GOOD, PEOPLE. OKAY, there is so much wounded pride spewed over the last two paragraphs, and if you're still reading this you are a SADIST.

So go-carting was not my thing, but everyone had a good time, so it was worth it. I got some good pics, too, which are coming. Sometime. Maybe. After that we hit up a local comedy club in Broadripple and laughed our ever-loving abs off. I can't remember the name of the lead comic that night, but funny, funny guy. Also, that was the site of the "Knee Pad" exposure - that is, I tried this drink by that name (containing vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry and orange juices). Not that I exposed myself at all. Ahem . . . ONWARD! So the next day was the day of the Colts because they triumphed. Yay! And I just read that they triumphed again earlier today - boy, it's a great year for Hoosiers football. Also, Baltimore is probably SERIOUSLY UNHAPPY they gave up that team and sent it to the Midwest because Ravens? Not so much. In other news, my coworker Bee just passed out because even if she failed to make me a "raving football fan" before I left Indy, she at least succeeded in helping me keep up. Pat yourself on the back, Bee. Once you regain consciousness. Take your time.

Wow, that there? Half the trip. Brace yourself, this is an old-fashioned, long-winded, nonsense-making E.A.P special!

Hubster had to go home that night so he could, you know, WORK the next day. I hung out with Bee and her beau until late. I set the alarm wrong for the next morning, so I awakened and got ready to go in like 15 minutes and then Bee and I decided working through breakfast at Panera was just the sort of elixir our Monday needed. We are at a crossroads in a lot of different areas of work, so it seemed hard to find resolution ANYWHERE. Still, later that day, it didn't matter because BossLady unleashed Photo Scavenger Hunt 2005 and IT WAS ON. Not improving our business, but WINNING THE COMPETITION. And we totally did. We got a policemen to handcuff one of us inside his vehicle (which we later found out might be illegal - so no pics online, peeps - heh!) and we spotted and then chased down the only Harley driver still out on his hog in November and then had one of us climb onto the back for a pic. We might have snuck into someone's backyard to jump on their trampoline. MIGHT. Anyway, big fun, small legal issues, GOOD TIMES.

Aside from office bonding, we did lots of real work over those three days, too, and I think that, though I have my work cut out for me in terms of projects and deadlines, I will survive. Also, will finish all my projects. Probably. We're working on the optimism.

And that's all. I returned to take my life of yowling, adorable Percy and eccentric, handsome Hubster, and regular work, and showing up for choir. It's good to be back, but with the holidays, housing changes, and so much else coming up, it's hard to get it all down on screen. Never feear! I'm not deterred by my utter failures to do so in the past. I'll keep right on blogging. Occasionally.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Why have I not posted? You'll be so sorry you asked!

After a fun weekend involving go-carts, comedy clubs, Colts victories, too much food, a yummy drink by the name of "Knee Pad," a farewell to K on Sunday followed by meeting after grueling meeting Monday through Wednesday, it was time to go home last night. Except that The Weather was all "Where, [pray tell, do you think you're going?" (the weather's personification is equally annoying as its manifestation) and so there were delays in Philly and delays out of Philly and TA-DA, it's 3 am and I'm just arriving home. Welcome to my Thursday.

FINE, OKAY, much fun was had. There was petitioning of strangers to let us give them a piggyback ride whilst posing for Photo Scavenger Hunt 2005. There might have been working lunches in which actual work was accomplished. I got lots of hugs. The food was, as always, delicious, although - NO JOKE - I gained two pounds over those four days. MUST STOP DOING THIS! No wonder I haven't made the numbers budge much on the scale - I keep trotting out there and stuffing my face. Rrrrrrrrrr. And I hate to complain, whine, and WAAAAAH the entire post but HELLO, I ARRIVED HOME LAST NIGHT AND IT WAS THIS MORNING. FOR MOST OF LAST NIGHT I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO OVERNIGHT IN PHILLY. AND THEN THERE WAS THE LACK OF iPOD! I had to be all nice and sweet and give it to my husband so he could have it for his workouts. He insisted I keep it for the return flights, but I wanted him to have it. Stupid. That's it, we're scraping together the fundage and becoming a BONAFIDE DUAL iPOD FAMILY. End of discussion.

I'll write more highlights later, perhaps when my mood is less PERTURBATION CENTRAL. Anyone I saw whilst there - I had a blast. Thank you so much. I'm probably sweating a little under the strain of expressing it. Oh wait, that's residual from the new FIFTY-FREAKING-MINUTE YOGA TAPE OF DOOM I just tried out today. Still, I have much love for you wonderful Hoosiers. And for you, Hubster, because you bought me flowers and they're just the right shades of burgandy, gold and peach to make the reality of home as lovely as the memory of it was to my nearly-stranded self.

Friday, November 11, 2005


SO, yeah. I'm supposed to be walking about the door, hopping lightly in my car, speeding off with a full trunk to the airport and Indiana this weekend in a couple of hours.


I came up with a hare-brained scheme to pack up my stuff and hem a pair of pants (THE HECK?) and tidy the house and play with the cat. It's T minus 2 hours, 25 minutes and counting before liftoff from Casa Erica and the best I can say is that my suitcase is out of the closet and open to receive the final selections I have yet to make, the hair products I have yet to choose, and the airport entertainment options have not been finalized nor stowed in my new, shiny tote bag (free gifts with purchases ROCK, but do not help me pack).

So I'm gonna stop blogging and flee for my life. AHEM, PACK for me life. I'll blog while I'm out, though. Because I'm obsessed like that. Also, NO PACKING WHILE I'M GONE - SIGN ME UP!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Listing Wednesday

1. I am so TIRED. I've been waking up in the mornings for work and just wanting to curl right back up again. It doesn't help that since Daylight Savings time began/ended/whatever, the office starts work an hour earlier and I'm trying not to fall off the Identical Schedules bandwagon. Now, they'll give me the schpiel about how they don't do DST in Indiana, so WE'RE the ones that changed, but that's like saying . . . I'm so tired I can't even think of something, so the point: SHUT UP! I keep hearing them say the state is gonna start doing that soon, but when they do, it'll be 8am-4pm every day and THAT DAY will end me.

2. People from work keep having me do these little projects for them and I AM SO TIRED so they feel like this huge burden. It totally feels like getting to your hardest class of the day in college, having stayed up the night before, and then having one of those rapid-fire-I'm-catching-up-with-my-syllabus lectures. Your BRAIN starts sort of twitching (kinda like my legs during yoga today, which TIRED) and it just HURTS to THINK. Man, that sucks. What feels worse is that these projects are pretty easy. Which makes me a cry-baby.

3. K and I are out of town this weekend, flying to my company HQ and staying with my bosses/friends. I'm staying on for business meetings and over-long lunches for half of next week. I have to pack. I am so over this jet-set life. And I haven't even started the conference travel that should wipe out like two months of weekends. SO. NOT. GOOD.

4. Read this article. Growing up in wannabe-cool Detroit suburbs, everybody had to spend their crapload of money on the prom. I happened to attend a tiny private school where most parents wouldn't allow their children to sway to the beat because "that's what'll get your innocent girl deflowered - it's just one small step from the slow dance to the SLOW JAM!" So we got an Etiquette Dinner. STUPID REPLACEMENT, but nice excuse to attend a play, have a nice dinner out, and make the decorative clams on our plates sing. Still, those weren't cheap either. Anyway, it's often intrigued me that parents shell out so much dinero, but I never thought about the ideals of those parents when they were that age. An interesting look at a silly excuse for coming-of-age drama.

5. And just writing that tuckered me right out. Y'all have a great night because I? Am going to finish work and then zonk.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Crazy, Deconstructed

So perhaps it's the few extra moments I waited until taking my late lunch and the resulting plummet in blood sugar levels, but I am feeling loo-ooo-pay (three syllables). In honor of the show we heart/hype so much, I made a fancy, shmancy dinner. It had nothing to do with the fact that I had to carve up and freeze that flank steak before it rotted. Anyway, Hubster and I got a little crazy and took pictures of the cat and my cooking and then, unfortunately, of me. Those of you who are just here for the pictures are in trouble. heh. But first, the undisputed queen of the house:

Cute, Deconstructed

Next, the undisputed gastronome of the house, cooking messily:

Cook, Deconstructed

And the image credits go to the undisputed babe of the house, K, who ROCKS. Now if only I could keep a straight face when he tries to take my picture in his "Photographer Encouraging Subject" mode, maybe I could be the babe of the house, too.

Nah, he's much cuter. And by that I mean "more rugged." Of course. Would I be the kind of girl who says embarrassing things about her husband's cuteness in public? No, I would never do that.

Monday, November 07, 2005

"Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?"

It's Monday, but who cares because we get TWO WHOLE EPISODES OF ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT starting at 8pm on FOX. After weeks of baseball and then last week's ultimate cruelty in airing bad Halloween fare in that time slot, I am so happy I could seriously consider weeping. Man, I LOVE today!

Michael: What do you think of when you hear the word Sudden Valley?
George Michael: Salad dressing, I think. But for some reason, I don't want to eat it.
Michael: Right. But Paradise Gardens . . .
George Michael: Yeah. Okay, I can . . . I can see marinating a chicken in that.

Friday, November 04, 2005

This Post is Rated PG-13

Translation: Pathetically Girly for people with fewer than 13 current fashion trends on their minds right this second.

Yesterday I got fed up. I was reading way too much Wednesday Advice Smackdown archives, and I decided to overhaul NOW. For those of you unfamiliar with Amalah, she's a DC-area blogger who is hilarious, profane, fashion-makeup-hair-oriented, and I hope I run into her in DC and she will not think me a dork. Anyway, she started an advice column which was supposed to be fake and then it turned real and then everyone dubbed her a Hair Guru and even I am thinking about sending her a question about my stupid, stupid scalp.

She recommended this soap and toner by Burt's Bees for oily and "troubled skin" (love those euphemisms!), so I looked up the nearest retail outlet and wanted to GO GO NOW. But I had to work, so I did, but then I read more as soon as work was done. And then my husband came home late, and I was too busy reading Smackdowns to notice, so I missed the Thursday dinner-cooking window. This marks the first time I have been saved by frozen pizza - usually we eat it intentionally because we are NUTRITIONAL NE'ER-DO-WELLS. Then it was time for choir. Boohoo, no shopping yet! I sat through most of choir, but then they got to the part where they practiced lots of pieces for Christmas Eve, and I already knew I was going to miss it and "Can I go now?" YES! SHOPPING! WEEE!

I zipped to BeautyFirst because that place is like CRACK for me and I needed a hit REAL BAD. Plus, they had Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Complexion Soap and Toner, and if Amalah says it'll work, then why shouldn't I give it a whirl? FYI, I used it last night and it smells like good Italian cooking. Perhaps instead of consulting her about my scalp I should write in two weeks about my constant cravings and the 50lbs of weight I gained.

After dropping only $18 for that stuff, I zipped over to Target. I had to return some stuff and buy some plain, brown dye because I was in Severe Highlight Burnout after one entire year (almost to the day) of doing it. Vogue or somebody said single-color hair is all over celebrity heads, and I will totally jump on trends that are easier than other trends like annoying, time-consuming highlights, even though I still love highlights deep down. Whatever, VIVE LE SINGLE-PROCESS! And then I came home and dyed my head and I love it.

So that was my night of frivolous frivolity. I hope I do not regret getting the Burt's Bees stuff. I hope it's the answer to my "troubled skin" woes. I have tried nice skincare products (I'm looking at you, Mom and MK) and cheap products (stupid Knock-off Medical Acne-Free because you gave me chemical burns!) and I am not willing to shell out for a dermatologist yet. I have pretty hair and a good husband and yummy food (tortellini tonight - AND SO IT BEGINS!) and I just want to set aside this madness for some contentment. You know, after I get what I want.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Still got all my ribs, thanks for asking!

So my cat (who, as you all know, has the nickname of "Pooper") tends to walk all over everything like she owns it, as any self-respecting pet would do. Anyway, she walks across my husband's keyboard and wakes up his system. I glance at the screen while shooing her off of it before it freezes from the endless, ceaseless typing of a single letter. A browser window was open and she managed to hit "Control" and then "F." What did she then type? "poooooooooooo"

My cat is searching for poo. Ahahahahahaha!

In other news, K and I had a productive visit to IKEA. I guess every Monday through Friday if you spend $10 or more at their café, you can get a coupon for $10 off any purchase you make that day of $100 or more. Well, we were planning to browse, speculate, and plot, but not to purchase, so we were all "let's file this in the Useful Information Bin and roll our chicken-marsala-filled bodies out of here, yo." We did just that, and we wandered and wondered and had a jolly time of spending our money eight different ways without spending our money at all. After having traversed the entire store, we wandered into the "As Is" section with our bag then containing some red glass tea-light holders ($0.50 each - festive, pretty, YAY!) and a brush for the new cast-iron pan.

There it stood, amongst the dressers. The Magiker dining room sideboard in the cherry finish with white drawers but cherry doors which is totally matchy-matchy with our TV stand. But it's in As Is Land, so what's wrong with it? K at this point is wandering the Poäng chairs looking for an only-slightly scratched one in a tasteful color for the "Basement Hang Out" about which he is currently LOSING SLEEP AND UNABLE TO FOCUS ON ME, MY IDEAS!. I leave him to his fruitless search and scrutinize the sideboard at length. Hmmm, two tiny scratches on the 1/8" inset of the doors, and one more on the other side. I can't even see those scratches except when I squint. I would probably put those scratches in myself while assembling a perfect new one. Maybe . . . "K!!! COME HERE!"

K arrives and inspects the price-tag. Yes, originally $199, now $159 is not a super-fantastic mark-down, but for those scratches? Were they supposed to slash the piece up some more or just leave it at a reasonable exchange for the (nearly) perfect unit? Hey, we've got that coupon, too, so now it's only $149. Sweeeet.

But we're dorks and shrewd shoppers and we do not part with our money easily. (Except when Erica's in Victoria's Secret because PEOPLE, YOU DO NOT MESS WITH BRA SHOPPING AND YOU DO NOT CHEAP OUT . . . where was I? Right, hemming and hawing.) Instead, we pondered, asked each other what he/she was thinking about 80 times, inspected it again in case microscopic gnomes had altered it in the past five minutes while we were staring at it intently. And we finally realized several things: 1) Quick decisions are not our strong suits, 2) Our living and dining rooms will be more like living/dining room because there is NO disinction between them and matching our sideboard to our entertainment center is probably smart, 3)It was already assembled and getting it home was going to be FUN without the actual fun.

So we plunked down our cash, then spent 15 minutes moving it into our car, then spent 20 minutes driving it home while I was hunched over my seat WITH MY SEAT BELT FASTENED, you know, 'cause I really want to be safe while I drive even though I'd probably just lose all my ribs when we hit something in that position. I thought of that because a mid-size truck towing a bigger truck with tons of crap in it decided to BRAKE ALMOST TO A HALT on 95. aolijhwgoujbaeryoui.

Drama aside, we made it home and now have a ridiculously long sideboard which will store all my china and napkins and be oh so pretty, pretty in our new house but which currently resides in the deity-forsaken section of our living room and just looks forlorn while the cat walks all over it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nostalgic for nomadic inhabitants of the tundra.

I don't seem to have much that's interesting to say. I spent my lunch hour catching up with lovely, funny, adorable RC, so I'm mostly just wistful right about now. Talking to her makes me miss my hometown more than usual. I just want to meet up with her and EN in Birmingham for coffee at the 'Bou and a dessert and lots of snarking and laughing.

In less nostalgic news, K and I will be hitting up IKEA for dessert (moi a sweettooth? guilty as charged!) and SOOTHING OF THE NESTING INSTINCT, FOR THE LOVE. I will probably be in a brushed-metal-and-birch-wood coma tomorrow. This is not likely to break my streak of bizarre and boring blogging.

This is good, but sometimes you have so much going on in your head that coming up with coherent posts is just too much. B tells me that just as soon as her life settles down she's going to "audio blog" because she's too lazy to type. I won't go down that road because I would have 300 entries per day and they would all be pure, unadulterated nonsense. One entry of that per day is MORE than enough.

So how are you all? What's up, my peeps? Tell me something funny or interesting. Rant about anything your heart desires. Yay for writing my post FOR me!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Selected Adventures

"Cracking cheese, Gromit!"
Late Saturday afternoon, K and I went to see "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit." I think the first time I ever saw W&G was when my dad brought home from a trip to England a tape of samples of the work of Aardman Animation, including a Wallace and Gromit short. They had me at "stop prevaricating around the bush." Then my three-year-old cousin had the entire set of shorts and we watched them over and over again during one trip in Argentina. Sheer delight! This movie did not disappoint, and it was even more delightful to see it on the big screen where close-ups of the character's faces revealed the fingerprints of the animators. Lovely.

Awww, shucks!
Sunday's solo at church went well. I was reminded once again that my breath control is shot to Hades, but the song still turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and I'm hoping I can get in on some trios and duets because I much prefer them.

Move over, Aristotle, it's LODGE LOGIC.
Yeah, so it was Sunday afternoon. We got home from church and had random stuff for lunch - you know leftovers, sandwiches, bowls of hearty grains, and the like - and I thawed some pork loin for dinner. The day before I had acquired some pork herb rub in the spice aisle (because I may be self-controlled, by I'm still a spice junkie) and I wanted to try it out. I made that big stink about grill pans recently, and I decided it was high time to get one. So while K whiled away the afternoon over Battlefield 2, I tramped through Bed Bath and Beyond and found my Lodge Logic Cast Iron Grill Pan. Expertly wielding my "20% off" and "$5 off $15 purchase" coupons, I managed to save a tidy sum off the $25 MSRP. But then I cooked with it. Heavenly. It gave the meat those swanky grill marks, everything stayed moist and tender, and it was as easy as scraping off the crusties and glazing it with cooking spray for storage. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!

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Check out my classy links. I think all of the blogs I link to currently are people I know personally. It's like a blogging coven. Except without the paganism. So really it's not a "coven." Awesome . . .

One man's "pushing the reality envelope" is another man's "LYING LIARS!"
The World According to Hollywood - Pushing the reality envelope. By Edward Jay Epstein
I found that article last night and I just wanted to laugh. They LIED about the actual sales figures. Just . . . stupid . . . I . . . Words fail me.

"Half the time it's like the losing side of a log-rolling contest around here."
It really felt like that yesterday with work and other things going on. I added the links to this page and that was all I could really muster. I like to think I can be relied upon to deliver the posts daily, but I have heard mutterings of distress (cough "B!" cough, cough) and I am sorry. The rest of you probably don't care anyway, so that makes me feel better. Wait . . . it does and then, it's sorta . . . (Oh, that the very amusing visual image in the quote is brought to you by a writer/blogger who is most entertaining and occasionally quite insightful.)

Friday, October 28, 2005

T G I Freakin' Weekend!

This weekend's schedule is fairly empty, so you might say I'm looking forward to nothing. If you were so inclined, I think you could say that. You, however, can look forward to these links:

Hijab Chic - How retailers are marketing to fashion-conscious Muslim women. By Asra Q. Nomani - An interesting conundrum, indeed. How do you reach out to conservative-dressing women? I don't have the kind of restrictions they do in my own code of modesty, but I know some of their pain. Shopping can't be very easy with our licentious American fashions. Heck, I have a hard time finding something that fits and isn't the approximate size of a paint chip when it comes to skirts. On second thought, I probably have no idea how hard it is for them. Maybe they should chat with homeschoolers - they know all the long-skirt boutiques.

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Responsible Spam. - Spam gets the CPA/Parent/Adult(and not in that way) treatment. I LOVE IT!

Other than that, folks, I'm out! Enjoy your rest/study/sports/clubbing/leisure activities!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Listing Thursday

1. Today Persephone, for the third time in her life, crawled up on my lap unbidden AND STAYED THERE. Oh, rapture!

2. We found a way to see both families for the holidays. Well, one holiday each but that's the best we can hope for till we strike it rich from my blog, which should happen in approximately 8,000,000 years. At least we can decry this fact properly over our egg nogs and cranberry relish.

3. On a scale from 1 to Awesome, Panera House Lattés are SUPER GREAT. I'm so glad that random chick at a rest-stop Panera on the OH Turnpike suggested it to me so long ago. Rock on, Random Chick, wield that spiced-honey syrup!

4. I have recently discovered that a bunch of acquaintances from GCC who have blogs themselves have decided linked to my blog. This warms my heart, but not enough to get off my butt and return the favor by finally putting links up on my blog. To quote Toy Story, "Great! Now I have guilt!"

5. Hubster - I know you love me, but must your patience for my foibles know no bounds? You're making me look bad over here! Still, thanks. Life is much sweeter with you around.

6. Okay, Scalp, here's the deal. I've spent enough time talking to you about dry scalp and dandruff and other concerns in my life that I feel more comfortable talking to you than, say, my endrocine system. I don't know who's to blame, but this shedding of my hair must stop. I used to be able to catch one or two stray hairs when I ran my fingers through it. Now that number is like five or more. I don't know if this is the result of boredom and a desire to see what I would look like bald, but Scalp and Co., this must stop. I can tell you the result of a Bald Erica experiment - permanent blindness for any and all who catch the rays of light which will be mercilessly reflected by my white pate. I don't want to be a latter-day Medusa. ENOUGH WITH THE MOLTING.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

She rambles when she writes.

The sun is shining today and the sky is bright blue. FINALLY. Our ground-level apartment is dark, so I often have to turn on lamps so I can feel like it is, indeed, daytime, and I should, indeed, be working. Today, that's not a problem. You know another time when it won't be a problem? In our new house! I was just thinking about how light it was in there. It helps that everything is plain and white right now and there's no drapes or blinds or furniture in there (did I mention it's vacant?). Still, there's tons of recessed lighting in the basement where we are most likely to plop my office stuff down, so I'm psyched. Sing the praises of sufficient lighting! Woo.

What else is good today? Hmmm, I'm looking forward to our weekly coffeehouse date and some reading. I think I'm also going to make tacos and I LOVE me some tacos. My Dad and Mom passed along this awesome seasoning combo for fajitas which works just as well for tacos (because I don't really know Mexican cuisine well, I can make these sweeping statements - ignorance and bliss and all that).

Riquí­simo Fajita Seasoning:
1 Tbsp white pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ Cup dried cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano

If you don't have any of these ingredients, you can skip them for the most part, although the garlic powder, chili powder (hot or mild), and paprika are probably the most important elements. The cumin adds a lot and so does the oregano. Mix and store what you don't use in an air-tight container for future fajita excesses.

K and I have been busy continuing the house stuff. We agreed to their the home repairs/allowance, so we are GO for settlement just as soon as we finish our mortgage stuff. There was some doubt because they were trying to stick us with a big bill what with a couple appliances needing help, some electrical elements having to be replaced, a ton of grading and drainage stuff needing to be done by next Spring, etc. They rented the house out, so they don't really know what all is up with it because they've probably set foot in it like 5 times total. I'm glad we at least got a good enough inspector that he could give us not only what needs to be fixed but what it will cost, too, so we at least know what we're dealing with. Several people told us to make sure to get a good inspection and I'm really glad we listened. We just finally got to the point where we realized the house was still a good deal and losing everything over a measly housing allowance was probably a dumb move. Here goes, guys, WE'RE GONNA TRY TO BE HANDY. (beat) We're doomed.

On the upside, it's time for a little tea. Nothing says "Autumn" like too much caffeine in one day - I'm just glad I can do it for the fun of it now instead of having to use my buzz for midterm cramming. Ah, the post-collegiate life of luxury.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Selling Out to The Women

TWICE now, I've been tagged for this survey that reeks of pyramid schemes and chain letters. Enough pitching, Laura and Maestra Pescadora, I'LL SIGN.

Rules of the game: Post 5 WEIRD and RANDOM facts about yourself, then at the end of the list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this. Also leave a comment on their blog to let them know.

1. My father's family has known this wealthy Argentine investor and his wife for many years. When I was six or seven, they took my family on a trip to Bariloche and gave me two eye-opening firsts: my first experience with using an emergency brake to park on an impossibly steep incline and my first Barbie doll.

2. I was obsessed with all things Victorian for FAR. TOO. LONG. I am ashamed of myself for ever thinking that "Cordelia" and "Cornelia" were acceptable names and that doilies should be used liberally in home decorating. Please forgive my naivete; I was twelve.

3. My first (non-babysitting) job was working for a local gourmet grocery store in the meat department. I worked there for two summers and could eyeball quantities of ground beef and chicken breast to within a tenth of a pound. I came home reeking of meat and usually had to shower to get the smell out. Wow, that was disgusting.

4. I had mycoplasmic pneumonia when I was ten years old (and a couple more times after that) and the doctor prescribed Erythromycin for ten days or something. I took it without fail for seven and woke up on the eight day with what I can only describe as HiveFace. My parents made me go to church before it fully healed. I was mortified.

5. I saw Kevin Bacon in the Syracuse airport last June. He and his brother were in town for the Taste of Syracuse festival which my coworker and I had hit up the night before, although we missed his act and had not even heard he was there. I was standing at my gate, waiting for my flight home after a homeschool conference, when I noticed a man wearing sunglasses and a black leather jacket (with his trademark hair, I later realized) because he kept looking over at me. Annoyed, I continued talking to this delightful, tiny Indian woman (a brilliant Chemistry professor) who was intrigued by the concept of "homeschooling" and offered her help with research questions if I ever needed it. Only when KB walked by to board his plane did I hear his voice and recognize him. The second time I was too busy talking to a scientist to notice a famous person, boss and I went to Spamalot on Broadway and we saw Marc Cherry during intermission. Apparently this is a habit of mine.

I hereby confer the guilt of a "tag" to: Mair, Plankiest, SBP, guacemily, and JMaraJade. Because you people are random and wonderful, and I want some funny!

The Internet has a case of the Mondays.

Since I work from home, the Internet powers my phone, my email, my connectedness to the world and thus my ability to get things done. I was making travel plans and coordinating speaking engagements like a madwoman but my phone was NOT cooperating today, often crackling and totally obliterating what the person at the other end of the line was saying. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. GRRR. Then during lunch, I was trying to read my TWoP recaps, but I kept getting these obnoxious messages: "Alert: The document contains no data." YEAH RIGHT, INTERNET - I'm just indulging in the guilty pleasure of snarky Desperate Housewives recaps. Enough with the judging!

Beyond digital dramas, it's been a quiet and productive day at E.A.P HQ. I got a lot of work done, I did yoga on my lunch break, and I'm still in a good mood from the weekend. K and I made a point to do more than our usual share of relaxing because, as you've read in mind-numbing detail, last week was a rough one. Saturday night we got out of dodge and went to dinner with our friend Mr. T at the James Joyce Pub in Baltimore. K found the place online and it was one of the most uniformly satisfying dining experiences we've had in a while. Nothing outrageous, just solid food and service. We had pints of ale, Beef & Guinness stew, fish and chips (good fries, how I miss thee), and chicken pot pie. We wanted to celebrate the house, so it was great to eat for a reasonable price and have such a good time. It was raining too hard to walk around much, but the Inner Harbor is mere blocks away, so we'll be back when we can walk off our full bellies.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Reality TV, Rainbow Dresses, Rejection, Indoor Grilling, and One Much-Needed Weekend

Some links for your weekend leisure surfing:

This Slate article takes a thoughtful look at the VH1 show Breaking Bonaduce. It's an interesting question - where's the line between exploitive reality TV and pioneering documentary? What if this were about a book or a series of magazine articles? Would we have the same question? I guess it's a matter of context to a large degree, but it's a worthwhile question to ask.

This outfit critique ROCKS. The girls at Go Fug Yourself are usually awesome, but this is above and beyond the noble call of snark. Fantastic!

Dan Kennedy is almost an obsession with me anymore, but seriously EVERY TIME HE WRITES SOMETHING I LAUGH, and "My Rejected Cooking Show Ideas" is a case in point. One misstep, though: "Three-Hour Meals for Just Under $400.00" is actually the subtext of many cookbooks and cooking shows already.

Speaking of cooking, after this article in the Baltimore Sun, I'm hoping to add indoor grilling to my culinary repertoire. Lots of helpful tips, now if only I'd get off my butt and get a grill pan . . .

On a personal note, I'm still having a pretty rough time of it over here. After next week many of the major decision-making events should be behind us, so that will help with the panic, if not totally elevate me from this funk. Thanks for your prayers and thoughtful notes. Support is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I'll be thinking a lot about your encouragements while I relax and regroup this weekend. Big hug to you all!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

yes, and mostly no

So after my sad/angry post yesterday you're all asking the $64 question: is she going to be cheerful today? The title is your answer. If you're not a glutton for boring punishments, you can feel free to keep reading. Last time I wrote about this, I had several people tell me they'd been there and they appreciated my honesty about it. This is for me, and for them, if it helps. The rest of you "sane folk" can keep moving, there's nothing to see here.

Hubster got home a little early to help with the mortgage stuff and to have more time for decision making, which was nice. The evening started out okay, and we accomplished some of the tasks for which I summoned the spirit of the Üœber Angry Wench. After we had almost everything set, something in me snapped, and I had a particularly malignant panic attack. I can now see that I'd had a couple before now, but they were usually tied to depression so they didn't seem like discreet entities and the feelings of anxiety that accompanied them were mild in comparison. This one was, indeed, a Thing Unto Itself. I once had a friend tell me that she dealt with them regularly and I have SO MUCH RESPECT for her and any of you out there who do battle with them. You give me hope.

K made an insightful comment: it was like the whole of these past two years caught up with me - all the stress of dealing with numerous big decisions and innumerable tiny ones turned me into this weeping, hyperventilating, terrified heap on the floor. I don't know why this had to turn into the year of mental health problems for me, but meticulously taking stock of recent events sheds some light:

1) Graduating college and leaving academia and structured studies behind (all I've known for four years and in a larger sense, 16 years)
2) Getting married, changing part of my identity to "wife," dropping my maiden name (hola, Identity Crisis, please take this excuse to slay me), learning to include another person in most of my life.
3) Finding an apartment when we moved to one state and living there in limbo because of K's job prospects for a mere six months.
4) Finding our current apartment in another state while K's job became something he enjoyed, but we still had no idea where to buy food or go to church.
5) Learning to make our marriage work while overcoming our specific set of relationship/personal problems and sorting true problems out from mere differences of opinion unlikely to change or need to, really.
6)Learning to do part of my job (again) since I hadn't worked in that capacity except briefly three years before.
7)Changing major job responsibilities three times.
8)Acquiring a pet and needing to care for her.
9)Finding and acquiring a new home to purchase. Sorting through sales pitches, information guides, contracts, and advice to make informed and wise decisions. (Approximately 800 this week)

The panic swept over me in an instant, so it's not as though I had these thought out and THEN I freaked. I guess it was the weight of trying to survive them all and still be "good" - to be a good wife, as well as a good person, as well as a good employee, as well as a good homebuyer as well as . . . . There was always some other way in which I could disappoint myself and my loved ones and I couldn't face it nor remove it from my mind's eye.

I kept asking K why no one would let me shut down. Why couldn't anyone realize I was over-extended? Why didn't anyone know I was broken? I guess many people believed the facade of competency I erected. More importantly, I think I was the most insistent on preventing a shut down. I couldn't think about not responding to a business call or NOT doing work all day, or whatever. I wanted to quit doing, utterly and totally for a period of time, anything that resembled the endless parade of tasks I now faced - but I couldn't let myself. That's where the panic of being paralyzed emotionally and mentally enters in. I started hyperventilating eventually, and MAN, is that an odd feeling. My face began to prickle and I found my otherwise anxious brain coolly observing that my face and head were appearing to open to the outside air, that I was literally becoming "unhinged." It was strangely calming to have this odd connection with my body. I knew that if my body could overrule my panic and shut down, I could too. So I did. And then I wanted chocolate.

Now "the craving of the chocolate" is a typical motif applied to women especially in the genres of advertising and television sitcom, but when I usually crave chocolate, I'm just noshing. Not particularly earth-shattering stuff here. But last night, though I could barely taste the semi-sweet chocolate chips when I began munching (because of the tears and the sinus congestion), I eventually was able to savor them, and they tasted like relief. I let myself stop thinking about health and nutrition and longterm affects of ONE thing in my recent life ONE time, and it felt like a revelation. When I think about my coping mechanisms and talk about them with loved ones, "control freak" doesn't usually come up. But I was acting like a textbook control freak - trying to balance my new roles, identities, and responsibilitiess without any mistakes of over-indulgence, or insensitivity, or delays on projects, or problems with my husband. I drank two glasses of milk and ate a handful of chocolate and listened to my husband tell me I would overcome this, all of it. And I finally let myself believe him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

El Día Del Estrés

Stress ball, that's what I am. I have a ton of obnoxious tasks that are being made harder by circumstances and sometimes by incompetent or unhelpful people. I have all this house stuff hanging over my head like a freakin' guillotine, and I'm tired. I did yoga this morning and even showered before work (I usually break for this stuff at lunch) and none of this is helping. The worst thing is this stress is making me Über Sensitive Woman not Über Angry Wench. I would really like to crack open my skull to all offending parties and just let 'em have it: "This is what you're doing, this is how stupid you are for doing it, and this is why you should SHUT IT and do what I'm saying in pain-staking detail for your stupid brain." Ah, but that's not nice. Besides, I couldn't live with myself moments after I said that. No, I will turn into Über Sensitive Woman sooner or later, so maybe it keeps me from being a real Harpy, but sometimes it would be nice not to have to be thinking of the other person so I could get something DONE and not feel like I'm somehow to blame for someone else's incompetence. It feels like everyone gets a memo about me as soon as we meet, "This woman's cares about you as a person - trample her and she won't fight back!" I'll admit it, sometimes it would be nice to be an unfeeling bitch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Harry Potter" and "Left Behind" - come and get it disappointed Googlers!

Nothing much going on here. I have an appointment to get the house inspected today, so I'm low on blogging time. Instead, enjoy these. The first one made me laugh uproariously because nothing is funnier than conservative Christians trying to write "hip" dialogue for the condemned non-Christian. It's pretty obvious they have no idea how to emphathize with these characters spouting: "That is off the chain!!!" Anyway, the second one is a comparison of Harry Potter and Left Behind. Interesting points, even if the treatment is a bit shallow. Enjoy!

The Greatest Halloween Treat Ever

No Wizard Left Behind - Harry Potter and Left Behind are more alike than you might think.

"No diggity! It's some sort of library about magic!" I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pooper Goes to the Park

So a while ago when our dear feline took to crapping on the carpets, we gave her a nickname: Pooper. Highly original work, we know. Anyhow, we suited her up and headed out to the park behind our house on Sunday and you shall behold a couple of selections from the way too many pictures I took.

The Tiny Huntress in the natural habitat of her cousin, the tiger. She appears in the tiger's natural choice for hunting: the pink harness. Too chic, darling, too chic.

Yeah, she rocks. Her last experience was less than fulfilling for us because she basically didn't venture out at all. She laid down and look around like she could hardly believe her senses. This time, she tried to catch falling leaves, watched a dog and owner play fetch (from a safe distance, of course), and generally wandered the grass with aplomb. We were enthralled. We are total dorks.

I shudder to think how many animals have marked that goal post. Am I glad her hygienic principles prevent her actually touching it!

So beyond taking the Pooper outside, we did not much of anything. Watched some TV, cleaned the apartment, made more Splenda cookies, ate too many Splenda cookies, and did absolutely NO looking for houses. None. WOOHOOO we're through! Except I've spent all my breaks today talking to home inspectors and mortgage bankers. Man, this adulthood business keeps gettin' better and better, huh?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Almost done . . .

The sellers made their final offer and we accepted, all hail the power of capitalism! We sign the final contract tonight and close in December, people, WE ARE GONNA BE HOMEOWNERS.

I was nebulous about the possibilities we saw when I posted earlier this week because I didn't want to tip the ole hand. Or jinx anything. But everything is looking up, and we just might be done with all this brouhaha! We were surprised that anything turned up that early - yay for having weekends free again! Thank the Maker!

Yesterday I was in a worry coma, thinking about how we just signed away more money than we make in many years of work and how many things could go wrong. I'm starting to think like my husband - YE GODS, SAVE ME FROM SUCH A FATE. Still, after much encouragement from my parents, his parents, and a couple of good friends, I realized people are this stupid all the time and they turn out FINE, so who am I to think I'll be specially favored with disaster?

The property is a townhouse not far from our current place (yay, easy moves!) and it's about double the size of our already decently-sized apartment. It's got a mostly-finished basement, two master bedrooms with baths upstairs. The bedrooms are the entire width of the unit, which isn't palatial, but it's big enough for a bed, dressers, and even a cozy reading nook. HUZZAH for the coveted bedroom reading nook! It's the most recent build we saw in our price range, and the neighborhood is a walk to a library and a grocery store, with a fabulous mall with antiques and food (though not antique food, thank goodness) five minutes away. This. will. rock.

And I'm already planning the paint colors. K made the mistake of saying we should watch the occasional HGTV show to get ideas. What was he thinking? As B from work said, "HE WASN'T." Give me the occasional show and I'll take the whole season. The nesting instinct will rise again! woooooooo!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

When in doubt, link!

Ah, the clicky post. If I have nothing interesting to say, why shouldn't my betters have a shot at reaching my audience. All 3 of them! (sigh) I'm so thoughty.

Read this. Once again, the Shoe blogger amuses greatly. His thoughts on mother-daughter matching holiday sweaters "This, it is clearly child abuse." Ha!

Also, read this. McSweeney's gets the spirit of the Microsoft Office Assistant (the Paperclip) perfectly. "Don't be mad, I have eyebrows!" - classic.

Here's an encouraging article. I'm not sure what the longterm effects will be, but it is good to see innovation in place of the pat (and often too comfortable) answers the middle class brings to poverty and racial issues. "The program aims at tearing down the worst projects and re-creating mixed-income neighborhoods, the first step in combating poverty." Ah, but will the stuffy middle-classers submit to living with those less fortunate than themselves?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Neurons On Strike! Film at 11.

I'm tired today. Even sitting in my desk chair is tiring - I keep adjusting positions, trying not to slouch or get a crick in my neck. I'm also a bit restless. My brain wants to move into full nesting mode, thinking about new homes, new decor, paint, furniture, even where to put the litter box. It's absurd, but hard to slow or stop. (Is it possible to kill brain cells by thinking too much? Okay, how about too hard? Too fixedly on one subject? . . . ) Over the last couple of days, I've gotten to talk to the parents, the in-laws, and my dear friend EN. It was wonderful to catch up (and rare with E - shout out!), but you have to explain the house-hunting stuff over and over again, and that's not exactly doing wonders for my campaign to MOVE ON, BEFORE YOUR NEURONS DEMAND UNION RIGHTS.

So, in lieu of a tome, I leave you with an interesting article on a subject I've been thinking about lately. What do you think?

Condi, Hillary, and … Angelina? - When celebrities act like politicians, and politicians act like celebrities. By Jacob Weisberg

P.S. If anyone tells me what they think about homes, so help me, I'll scream, people. Those of you who know me, nod gravely at the newcomers. Yes, fear the lung capacity. FEAR IT.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Food, Films, and Funks

Friday: We relaxed and I made this awesome dinner. I sauteed the pork and peppers, rather than using the hard-to-clean-WILL-IT-NEVER-BE-RIGHT broiler pan. I gotta say, I was skeptical about couscous at first, but every time I've made it recently, it's fast, easy, and delicious. For the cheater's among us, "Far East Brand, Original Plain Couscous." Know it, live it, love it.

Saturday: We got some stuff done around the house. We finally got to see Serenity. Yes, we're Firefly fans, although we never saw it when it was actually on TV. The movie was great fun - a fabulous way to round out the series that was cut short (and awkward) by the cancellation. Well worth the matinee money. That night we finally watched a rental we'd gotten from Blockbuster called A Very Long Engagement. Same lead actress and director as the famed Amelie. Since it's set in WWI, it deals with some pretty weighty issues. Once again, though, I enjoyed the director's take on things. It was also visually beautiful. One shot of the wind whipping through a field just took my breath away. Also, Jodie Foster appears in the film and speaks fluent French. Who knew?

Sunday: We looked at 8 homes in about four hours. It was crazy. Our realtor is pretty easy to be around and she's very helpful, but after about the 3-hour mark my brain and my patience was toast. A couple of them were passable, so we'll see what happens.

Monday: I'm just hanging in there, hoping to tie up some loose ends with work stuff. That'll have to do since baseball has taken over FOX and Arrested Development won't be on. JERKS. Excuse me, I have a Monday to endure without respite.