Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What makes a Christmas gift?

My very practical parents gave us money for wedding/Christmas gifts, for which we are grateful.  If we'd had anything else to bring home, we would have run out of hands.  We had the garment bag with my dress and Fabulous Husband's fabulous suit, the suitcase with everything else, and out two "personal items" (I always stretch the definition with a very large tote) crammed with toiletries, makeup, clothes, journals, cell phone chargers, and all the other little flotsam and jetsam that doesn't fit in a suitcase.  I was carrying all of that, and FH had the thirty-pound box crammed with the bounty of an early Christmas with his family.  He got all clothes and I got all kitchen stuff.  So awesome!!

So we're picking out our own Christmas gifts from my parents, and he keeps listing practical things.  "I could get the windshield replaced," he said.  "THAT'S NOT A GIFT!" I said.  Which is not to say that gifts can't be practical--if you think about it, all my kitchen gadgets are at least kind of practical--but there's something so boring and un-Christmassy about a new windshield.  I am encouraging the idea of a new stereo for the van, with an auxiliary jack for the iPod input.  It's useful, but still slightly indulgent.  We could continue the 90s-era practice of the cassette tape converter.  "Join us in the 21st century," I told him.

I'm definitely getting a culinary torch and a big ol' bowl for caramel corn.  I want a heated towel rack, but that's more of a joint gift, since he wants it just as much as I do.  Ooh, curlers!  Quite frankly, I have no lack of things that I want.  I have pages and pages of wishlists items at Amazon, some of them with funny comments about why I want them.  There's little I need, but lots that I want.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One plus one is two

This post has been a long time in the making.  Like, 28 years.  Or at least ten.

You guys! I'm married.  My Future Husband is now my Fabulous Husband.  Because he is fabulous.  And not just because he usually lets me have my way.

Can I tell you that how nervous it made methat this all happened so fast?  I never wanted to be that girl.  We went on our first date September 16.  Three months and one day later, and we're married.  But let me quote a movie, as I always do: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  Anyway, everything I've ever sworn I'd never do--oh, like marry someone I hadn't dated very long or own a van--I end up doing.  Keeps me humble.  Besides, just because he has a van doesn't mean I have to drive it.

I have exactly one picture from Thursday, and it's of me updating Facebook.  Everyone else has pictures, which will one day make their way here.  Until then, life is awesome.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm engaged!

I know that's old news, but we JUST got our engagement pictures back.  (Our photographer is a friend and just got married, so we have to cut him some slack.  Besides, we're sending announcements after the fact.  These were mostly just for funsies.)

There are so many I like!  Not because I'm particularly photogenic, but because we're so cute and happy.  Without further ado, pictures!

Wait, a little more ado.  My nose is red in some of them.  It was getting cold as the sun went down.  Please disregard.  I promise I'm not drunk.


















Okay, that's not strictly an engagement photo.  But I liked it, so I included it.

Next time, I'll show you what I call the flip book photos.  They're so funny.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two weeks!!

You guys! I'm getting married in two weeks!  Not that we're counting.  Not that we have a paper chain that we take a link off every day like the second grader that I am at heart.

I've had the plague a cold all week, so I haven't been very posty.  And I was in Arizona right before that (hey, thanks for the souvenir cold, Dad!) so I was also not very posty.  Anyway, what's there to say?  We're very impatiently waiting for the 17th.

In more exciting news, we have a tree!  The top foot of our other tree wouldn't light ("there's a light on this tree that won't light on one side"), so we exchanged it ("I'll fix it up there, and I'll bring it back here") for one we liked even better--the branches are so realistic!--with a slightly smaller footprint.  FH had yesterday off, and I was off sick (it's never a good sign when you get winded taking a shower) so we put up the decorations.  He would put the hooks on the ornaments and hand them to me and I would put them on the tree.  He kept handing them to me.  I was like, "Where am I supposed to put these?!"  We have very different ideas of ideal ornament density.  What he doesn't understand is that I don't like ornaments.  In previous years, my (three foot tall) tree had white lights.  And that was it.  The ornaments were in vases on the table, looking very spiffy.  So the fact that I have ANY ornaments is a significant increase over what I'm used to.  Still, it's a pretty spiffy looking tree.  We got our ornaments from IKEA, natch.

Turns out it's fun to decorate for Christmas when you actually have someone to share the holiday with.  Seems to have significantly cut down on my grinch-liness.  Could it be I'm actually enjoying this Christmas season?  It's true, it's true.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best typo ever

My FH just sent a text that I am sure was supposed to say "You are beautiful."

But it actually said "You ate beautiful."

Awesome.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Money, money, money must be funny

Can I tell you about the amazing day we had yesterday?  Well, I'm gonna.

So when we were calling around to hotels, looking for one for the honeymoon, we called a particular property in Newport Beach.  This one:


They quoted two prices, one if we prepay (totally nonrefundable, nonchangeable, etc.) and the normal rate.  When we decided that's where we wanted to stay and made the reservation, the person at the front desk quoted us the normal rate.  We asked about the prepay rate; he didn't know anything about it.  Fine, whatever.  So three weeks later, I call the hotel to see if I can prepay and get the lower rate.  I was on hold for a  while, shuffled between departments, but finally...success.  Not only did the person know that we could get the prepay rate, but it ended up being $40 a night cheaper than we originally were told.  So all told we're saving 40% off the original rate.  Morals of the story:  Prepay for your hotel room, and it never hurts to ask.

Then, we were looking online at the suit we picked out for the FH (it makes so much more sense than renting a tux, which I think are unnecessarily formal.  Especially since we're doing this very low-key).  This suit:


It was originally $399.99.  When we had looked at it before, it had been $100 off.  Yesterday, it was $200 off.  We called the store, and he said he would order it in from another store, since they didn't have it in stock.  It would get here faster, no shipping costs, and he'd give us the same price.  So it will arrive next week and be ready for alterations.  The suit--which will get much more wear than my dress--cost the same.  Although HIS alterations won't be $120 like mine were, yeeesh.  Morals of the story: Check the store website, and it never hurts to ask.

I decided I want a pre-lit Christmas tree, because I find the trees itchy and dealing with tangled lights is no fun.  So we went to Lowe's last night.  I had $50 in rebates from projects over the summer.  They didn't have the tree I had seen in the ad, but they had one that was less expensive, and of course many that were more.  We narrowed it down to a 6.5' tree for $78 or a 7.5' tree for $128.  We decided that an extra foot of height in a Christmas tree isn't worth $50 to us.  So we got the smaller one, with a net cost of $33.  Amazing!  We discussed putting it on a little box to make it taller and give more clearance underneath, so you don't have to crawl under to retrieve things.  Again with the itchy.  Morals of the story: Always send away for the rebates, be flexible, and be creative.

So that was our day yesterday.  We were on a bargain hunter's high, believe me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More pictures

For the record, the last post, the one of my wedding dress, was my 200th.  Wow.  I sent it from my phone, hence the brevity.

Yesterday's picture totally was not gratuitous, but these are:



That's me, making sure you can see the World's Greatest Shoes.  I've owned them for four or five years, and there is no shoe I love better.


Yipes, bad lighting in the living room.  Maybe it's not so much the lighting as the lack of makeup.  I probably shouldn't post this one at all.  Maybe I should put a black bar over my eyes like in the back of whatever fashion magazine they do that in.

I'm wearing the red shoes no matter what. The cardigan I'll wear if I'm cold, which I probably will be unless it's unseasonably warm. Also, it helps hide the fact that the dress is still so tight.  Notice the creasing around my waist?  Yeah, you don't want that.  That is a dress's way of saying "HEY, there's only so much we can give!  Suck it in, woman!  Suck it in!!!"  Or something like that. 

I'm so glad I got the dress shortened. Don't regret it at all. I'll be able to get into cars by myself, use the restroom without assistance, walk through mud without hoisting my skirt up...and most importantly, no one will have to follow behind me to make sure my train is right in every picture.  Anyway, floor-length dresses make me look short.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

As promised

Fabulous dress, bad lighting.

So close!

Guess what!  We are less than a month away from the wedding!  This is both exciting and nervewracking.  Someone asked us at the gym last night if this is a shotgun wedding.  No, it's not.  But I think I might start telling people that when they say something snarky.  Whatever happen to keeping your fool mouth shut if you don't have something nice to say?  I think it's just sour grapes.  The most recent person to say something disparaging is not entirely happy with his or her life right now, so I'm trying not to be offended.

But hey my dress is done, so I get to go pick it up tonight!  Pictures pending.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cranberry juice

In one of my many cooking blogs, they mentioned another blog, where they had a recipe to make your own cranberry juice, claiming it was far superior to store-bought juice.  This seemed entirely likely, as I find most storebought cranberry juice passes "tart" and ends up in "bitter."  (Not as bitter as tonic water, mind you.  That stuff is horrid.)

Anyway, cranberries are in season, so I picked up a bag.  I made orange cranberry muffins (the recipe I used had too much nutmeg, I think, which overpowered the orange flavor) and cranberry juice.  Holy cow, it is way better.  I think mine was actually too sweet.  When was the last time your cranberry juice was too sweet?!  But the great thing is that you can control the sugar level.

Homemade cranberry juice (or anything, for that matter) is great because you know exactly what's in it.  Also, it's a much better color:


Ooooooh.  I just looked at the recipe again and realized I used twice as much sugar as called for, since I halved it.  Whoops.  That explains it.  If you'd like to do it right, try a recipe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cover me!

Occasionally, I'll hear a cover song that brings something new to the song.  (Glee's "Don't Stop Believing," anyone?) And even more rarely, I'll hear a cover that I actually like better than the original.  I was trying to think of all the covers I like better, but I only came up with a handful.  I'm not including covers of standards, because a) there are so many versions of the same song, 2) rarely does anyone actually know who did the original version and d) I don't feel like it. I'm only thinking about songs with a definitive "original" version.

Covers I like better:

  • "Killing Me Softly" covered by the Fugees
  • "Baker Street" covered by the Foo Fighters
  • "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" covered by Elton John (I know, I know.  It's practically a capital offense, but I respectfully point out that much of the Beatles early work was covers.)
  • "Kid A" covered by John Mayer
What covers do you like better than the original?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who wants cheap(er) clothes?!

It's time for the "Give and Get" coupon campaign!  You get 30% off at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, online and in stores.  They give 5% of the amount spent to a non-profit partner.  I picked the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Did I mention 30 percent off?  Including sale and clearance prices?  It's good this weekend, November 12-15.  I have two dozen invites, so lemme know if you want a coupon emailed to you.

I'm gonna buy some jeans that fit!! And put the ones two sizes too large into the Ludicrously Over-Large box.  That is seriously what I call it. Lolbox for short.  Not as many funny captions as lolcats, but just as cheery.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Heavenly cookies!

I recently entered--and won!--a drawing for a dozen cookies from Heidi's Heavenly Cookies.  In all the excitement of planning a wedding, I've neglected to blog about them, but let me tell you, they are amazing.  Those who know me know I have a thing for toffee (remember the Christmas that I ate nearly that entire plate of mock toffee?  Yeah, I'd do it again.) so naturally I went for the toffee chocolate chip.  It's a buttery cookie topped with this amazing, almost caramel-y toffee, chocolate, and almonds.  So good!



I wish I had taken a picture of the adorable box that they came in, but it was so cute that I've already re-gifted it. I admired the box, opened it up, promptly ate a cookie...ate another cookie...and then put the rest in the freezer.  I've been rationing them out like it's the Cookie Cold War.

So, yes.  Very delicious.  Obtain some for yourself (or me); you won't regret it.  They can also be moody.  See:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Feels like home

You guys, I wish you had seen the sunset last night.  It was lovely. One of the things--the non-food things--I miss about Arizona is the sunsets. And the smell of orange blossoms. Can't take a picture of that at a stoplight, though.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember these?

I have long been a fan of countdown chains. They usually count down to Christmas, but you can do them to weddings, too...

There. Now buy me things.

Everyone keeps asking me if we're registering.  "Well," I tell them, "I have my Amazon wishlist."  Most people accept this, but some people are still like, "But how will we know what to get you?"  Did you watch the season premiere of the Office?  Where Pam is trying to explain to Kevin that they really just want money, and it's awkward, but ultimately he makes out a check to Mrs. Pam Halpert?  Yeah, it's like that.  Really, who doesn't want money?

But hey, if people want to buy me stuff, I'm not going to stop them.  (Go for the $400 blender!)  So today I moved lots of the stuff from my Amazon wishlist to an actual Amazon wedding registry.  Because seriously, you guys, I want those bandages that look like bacon.

Edit: You can find the bacon bandages and other fun things (like toast wallets) on my registry and wishlist.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Irrelevant tags

I was adding tags to some recent entries, and I realized, I'm going to have to retire the "living alone is" tag!  Boy will I miss living alone.  But can I tell you how nice it is to get home from work and walk into a vacuumed living room?  That I didn't vacuum?  It's pretty awesome.  Totally makes up for having some guy living in my house.

Also, I feel better about the world in a room that has recently been vacuumed.  Especially if I can see the vacuum lines.  I should vacuum more often.

In conculusion, vacuum is a funny word.

Why so secret?

I was responding to Reva's question about the secrecy, and it was getting so long, I figured I should give it its own entry.

First of all, I like to surprise people.  (Ask my family.)  The bigger the news, the better.  I like the reaction of springing incredibly big news on people.  Imagine what it will be like on Facebook when I randomly change my name one day.  Or post a wedding picture!  It will be great.  I'm sure it stems from some deep-seated need for power by controlling the information, but whatever.  It's fun.

Second, I hate bridal showers.  I hate the stupid cutesy games.  (The only thing worse are baby shower games.)  I don't want to give you a gumball every time I say Adam's name.  I don't want to surrender a clothespin every time I say "wedding" or "engaged" or whatever.  Even worse are the attempts at public humiliation, generally through overtly sexual channels.  And I certainly don't want my friends and wellwishers picking out my lingerie.  Bleck.  So the less notice people have before the wedding, the less likely they'll throw me a shower.  You want to go out to dinner with a bunch of girls?  I'm totally game for that.  But a traditional shower?  No thank you.

Third--and this is the actual and most important reason--is that FH is fairly recently divorced, and his ex-wife...uh...doesn't like the idea of me.  Adam and I had been dating less than a week when one of his Facebook friends mentioned it to her, and she went ballistic.  She called him at 11 p.m. (when he had to be up for work at 3:30) to bawl him out for having a girlfriend so soon after the divorce.  She claimed that we were dating when they were still married, etc.  Dude, I didn't even know him when they were married.  But who needs facts for a tirade? 

So we're trying to prevent word of the marriage from getting to her until after it has actually taken place.  I'm sure she'll still pitch a fit, but she'll be powerless to try to stop it or sabotage things.  And then hopefully she will just fade into the sunset, as she should have done months ago, anyway.

There you have it, the reasons for the secrecy.  I feel safe talking about it here, as I only have like, eight readers, and half of them are blood relatives.  Still, I would appreciate your discretion.

"Thanking you in advance,
"Bart Simpson."

P.S. Remember that picture I showed you the other day?  I might have cropped out a ring box.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Not-so-secret-anymore vacation pics

Well, everyone's favorite Rocketgirl has pointed me in a very promising direction for a new necklace, so here are the vacation photos I was referring to.  They're not available for public consumption elsewhere, by my decree.

First up--did you know that if you go to City Hall, just inside Disneyland, they have buttons for pretty much everything?  Birthday, first visit, family reunion, anniversary, and...


...just engaged.  It's great.  People congratulate you all the time.  On Finding Nemo, they were like "Welcome aboard voyagers! And on behalf of the crew of Finding Nemo Adventure, congratulations to the newly engaged couple."  It's awesome.  Every time we saw someone with a birthday button, we would wish them happy birthday, and they frequently would congratulate us.  Not only does everyone congratulate you, but...


...you get free stuff!  Alas, the light in the Blue Bayou isn't conducive to cell phone cameras (did I mention all these photos were taken with my awesome smart phone?) but that is free chocolate mousse with adorable Mickey-shaped sprinkles.  It was good.  The Future Husband didn't like it much, so I ate pretty much the whole thing.  Because there are no diets on vacation.

And finally, I leave you with this.  They really ought to redo the lighting, because surely people like to stand in front of this for pictures, and you can't really use a flash (or if you're like me, you never use a flash) and you end up looking shadowed and not pretty.  We're thinking about photoshopping in more attractive pictures of ourselves.


So there you have it.  The vacation pictures that you won't see on Facebook.

The internet knows everything, right?

Suppose you were going to be wearing a dress with polka dots, perhaps similar to these:


(yes, that is my waist) and you decided that you should wear pearls to echo the dots.  But you don't want normal small pearls, like you already own.  No, you want faux, big, almost gumball-sized pearls, almost the size of the dots themselves.  Where would you expect to get that necklace for a reasonable price?

Answer that, and I'll show you some super-secret pictures from my Disneyland vacation this past weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And that's it for the ground beef

People who know me may be aware that I have issues with ground beef.  It kind of creeps me out.  I've eaten some lately, but I can't claim to love it.  Then just now, I read something in The Week magazine, originally in the New York Times:
 Prepackaged ground beef and hamburger patties are an amalgam of various grades of meat from multiple slaughterhouses, contain heavily treated fatty scraps and trimmings, and sometimes are contaminated with cow feces. Most meat processors do not test each batch of burger for E. coli bacteria.
Awesome.  Just awesome.  And THAT, my friends, is why I only like whole cuts of meat.  Well, whole cuts of meat, and pepperoni.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things that are stupid and people who are awesome

You know what I don't understand? Tourism taxes. They tend to tack them on to hotel fees. Presumably they are to fund tourism campaigns encouraging people to visit the city (or state). So...you're taxing me for doing the very thing that you WANT me to do? Isn't that kind of a disincentive? I'm being punished financially for spending my vacation money in that location. It just doesn't make any sense. And yet it's the perfect crime. I mean, it's not like I'm going to boycott Disneyland because of the tourism taxes. But I will complain about it on my blog.

And while I'm at it, you know what else sucks? Work! Mostly because everyone is out of town, so there's nothing for me to do. And yet there IS stuff for me to do at home. Like the linens that have been patiently waiting for the last two weeks for me to get around to folding. The dishwasher that needs to be emptied. The suitcase that needs to be packed. The carpet that needs to be vacuumed. The milk that needs to be bought. (Did I mention that we had cereal for dinner on Thursday, and it wasn't even my idea? Yeah, I picked a good one. Er, except he picked me.)

Because, really, who wants to do boring stuff like that when you've got someone like this to play with? As Reva says, it's way more fun than the Wii. And I love my Wii.

Adam dear

Remind me to show you the Photoshopped version of this later. I've got it on my work computer, so I've been trying to learn how to use it. I love that dodge tool.

The happy couple

Sorry I've been kind of AWOL lately. I think this picture explains it nicely.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How clever


I would like to introduce you to my new phone in all it's white body, cobalt blue jack glory. Unfortunately, I can't really take a picture of my cell phone with my cell phone. It's so cute, though. Even better, it's a smart phone.

Oooh. Can we take a moment and let that sink in? Smart phone. Now I don't have to wait until I get back from lunch to check my Facebook friends list. Oh no! I can check it in the cafeteria! I can play Bubble Breaker in the bathroom--if I'm so inclined, which I am NOT--and surf the internet for interesting pictures to set as my wallpaper. People. You haven't lived until you have the power of the entire internet in your purse. Lolcats, everywhere I go! I never knew what living is until this day.

It's so great. Completely unnecessary and so great.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GPOYW



Pretty much all of my readers are also Facebook friends, but if you're not, here's me on Saturday, off to the mall with Adam. Apparently I looked so stunning he couldn't not take a picture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Review: Curtains

I realize most of my fair readers do not live along the Wasatch Front. But if you do, you have to go see the Hale Centre Theatre's production of Curtains. You guys! It is fabulous. On a very short-noticed whim, I went to see it last night. We liked it so much, we intend on going back to see the other cast. (The lead is single cast, and does an amazing job. Just AMAZING.)

If you're not familiar with the story--and you probably aren't--it's set in 1959 in a theater in Boston. Their show just got panned, and their lead just got murdered. So they're trying to revamp the show and solve the murder. Fortunately, the detective on the case is also a huge theater fan, and so naturally is able to do both.

There are lots of fun theater in-jokes, but it's still fun if you aren't a theater buff. There are a lot of great directing choices, like the scene in the middle of the night with everyone in pajamas. It's lit entirely by flashlights! One number includes a disco ball! It's just so much fun.

I would suggest you get seats on the west half of the theater; we couldn't see what was going on with the trap door. You still know what's going on, but I would have liked to have seen it.

Tangentially, sitting in different areas of the theater--in any theater, but especially at the Hale, which is in the round--gives you a totally different experience. Once in Arizona, we were seeing a show for the second time, but sitting on the opposite side of the auditorium, and suddenly we saw all these great things one of the actors had been doing. We hadn't been able to see him from the other side! Perhaps it wouldn't have happened in a more professional production (this was at the community college) but it certainly drove home the point.

Anyway. Curtains is funny and sweet and mysterious and you should go see it!

As a parting shot, here's my favorite song from the show, "I Miss the Music." Play them off, fellas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm so tired I could puke

You don't realize how much you rely on the weekend to catch up on the sleep you consistently deprive yourself of during the week until you have to work all weekend. It's not like I want to be sleep deprived. I have long been utterly incapable of going to bed before midnight. It's a disability. I should get special accommodations at work for this problem.

I realize that working a 58 hour week is not the end of the world. Plenty of people routinely do more. Going twelve days without any time off is also a bit of a beast, but again, it could be worse. It's just that I'm so, so tired! And I have four more days of alarm clocking before I can finally sleep in. Sigh.

On the upside, I have that vacation to look forward to. I have someone to make staying up late more fun, rather than just sitting around reading My Life is Average. That's a huge plus. Not that I don't love MLIA, of course.

And I got to see my parents this weekend, which is always a good time. They are crazy in all the best ways. And hey, they like my boyfriend!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm going to Disneyland! ...eventually.

I have to wait three whole weeks before we go to Disneyland. People, I am not sure if I can make it that long. It doesn't matter that I've been there dozens of times; I love Disneyland.

I want a churro. I want to see the Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy!!! I want to go on Tower of Terror over and over and over. I want to stand and watch them make tortillas. (I am a sucker for stuff like that. "Unwrapped" is the perfect show for me.) I want to spend the weekend in long sleeves and a cardigan, not a wool coat. I want the freshest pineapple spears you will find on the mainland. I want to soar over California. I want to maybe doze off just a tiny bit during the Aladdin stage show. I want to stop at every souvenir stand and not buy anything. (Honestly, I've been to Disneyland so many times there's just not that much I'm willing to buy.) I want everything I eat to be shaped like Mickey Mouse. I don't want to work. (Well, I never do, but I certainly don't want to work this weekend, which is making Disneyland that much more appealing.)


And I want to stop for a minute and think about Walt. I've got a soft spot in my heart for the man behind the mouse. He did a lot of great things, and I think that--at least for the most part--he did them for the right reasons.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Order of the day

It's raining. "Wintry mix," they warned on the radio. I hate that term. It is everything that is bad about the weather. Is it rain, sleet, snow? Yes.

I woke up and listened to the rain for fifteen minutes before finally getting out of bed. It's probably the only sound that can wake me up without also making me grumpy. By the way, Dad, did I tell you the gutter still leaks in front of the window? Hitting the block wall dissipates it, though.

All I wanted to wear (in the way of jackets; I'm a big fan of clothes in general) was my long-lost trench coat. It's waterproof! It's warm! It's not too thick! It's all Delta's fault! Sigh. Don't think I'm not always looking for a new coat.

Now all I want is to go home, put on some fleece pants, make cocoa and toast, curl up with a book and a blanket, and enjoy the rain. This is my instinct every time it rains. There is a reason I do not live in Seattle. I would accomplish nothing, spending all of my day in fleece pants holding warm mugs of cocoa.

I'm actually leaving work early today. I have to get my brake light fixed--I couldn't do it, and my far more capable boyfriend couldn't do it--and my car re-tested. I did manage to un-tint my own windows, though. I need to scrape some adhesive off the passenger window, but light will shine through, and that's all that matters.

I'm really angry at Utah right now. The driver license system doesn't talk to the registration system, so even though I updated my license right after I moved, I didn't get the renewal notice in the mail. And then they changed the law on acceptable level of tinting. So my front windows--which are not nearly as dark as the back windows--were legal when I registered my car two years ago, but aren't anymore. You should have seen the cartoonish black cloud over my head.

One of these days, I'm going to move back to Arizona. And the first thing I'm going to do is go to Bahama Bucks. But the second thing I'm going to do is get my windows re-tinted to the glorious level of twilight that they once were. Stupid Utah.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bands I've seen

I was thinking the other day about how many bands I've seen in concert. Alas, I have no definitive list. Ticket stubs get thrown away, concerts get forgotten. So I'm going to try to remember all the bands I've seen. Remind me if we've seen someone together and I've neglected to include them. In no particular order:

Kansas
Styx
Sugar Ray
No Doubt
Fastball
Garbage
Guster
John Mayer
Counting Crows
Bryan Adams
Barenaked Ladies
Goo Goo Dolls
Meece
Jack's Mannequin
The Fray
Cake
Train
Maroon 5
Paul Cardall
Kurt Bestor
Michael Bublé
Stone Temple Pilots
Blink 182
Lifehouse
Ambrosia
Billy Joel
Elton John
Rachael Yamagata
Ray LaMontagne

I feel like I've forgotten someone, but I can't think of anyone else. I'll add to it if I remember an artist I've missed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Impractical and cute

I'm not sure if the title of this post is about me, or the aprons I want. There are so many aprons I want. They're cute. So cute. I would be afraid to get something on them (this is the girl who puts eggs in her apron pocket. Have I mentioned how awesome pockets are on aprons?). Between this and the adorable Darlybird earrings and bobby pins I want (Peaches, Jennie, Sophie, mini flower studs earrings; Peaches, Chantel, Daisy bobby pins; Malibu, Half Moon Bay, Mendocino bracelets...) I've been all about the girly things lately. Very out of character for my personal style.


Let me show you just some of the adorableness that you could obtain for yourself. Or for me!


I call this one "Texas." You know. Yellow rose of Texas? So delightfully delicate.


I call this one "Circus," but I think its real name is "Wonder Bread." It also fits. I love the fabric contrast, but it doesn't have the coverage on the top that I require from a fully functional apron. I tend to get stuff all over my top. My bottom half is largely protected by, you know, the cabinets. Still. It's like a party in an apron.

This one is great because I love because it has a pocket. And the French wallpaper damask. And polka dots!

Speaking of polka dots! This is just adorable. Put a back on it and I'd wear it as a dress!
This is just a small sampling of adorable, handmade stuff one can obtain online these days. I want them all. What do I need with four more aprons? I have two or three already! I have absolutely no need for any of these things. This is why I don't buy them, and instead just tell you about them. Because maybe YOU need an apron, and why not get a cute one?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where I've been

So, I haven't been very good about blogging so far this month. Let me explain.

I have a big month-at-a-glance desk calendar at work. Thus far, every day this month has had something going: Scarlet Pimpernel, New York City, the storytelling festival in Orem, "Clambake" party, voice lessons, friend's work party, service activity, Greek Fest, shopping and state fair (which didn't pan out), teaching (and really sick), state fair (again aborted, due to rain), first date with new kid at church, second date with new kid at church (to the state fair, finally!), birthday party for a friend held at my house, two dates with two different guys on the same day (which was the third date with new kid), fourth date with new kid (our shared favorite movie, "Return to Me"), barbecue (too cold!), hang-out date with new kid.... And it shows no sign of stopping. There's nothing on the calendar for next week yet, but I'm sure it will change.

So you see, I've been very busy. And there's this new kid who seems to really like me. If not, he's a dang fool for wanting to spend so much time with me. I'm not much one for taking photos, but I'll have to obtain one for all y'all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall turned on like a lightswitch

Sunday was lovely and warm. Monday I was wearing the 2002 Olympics auxiliary security staff coat that I keep in my trunk, ON TOP of my wool-blend long sleeve shirt. But it wasn't enough and I finally had to go home.

Winter is coming. I can feel it when I leave the house in the morning. It will be here too soon. I will spend five months rocking the Bundled Up Chic aesthetic. Probably half my tops are long sleeved these days. I need more cardigans. Where does one find lovely cardigans these days?

I call this weather Long Sleeve, No Jacket weather. I could easily get away with one of my light jackets, but I like to hold on to the feeling of not getting dressed and then covering it up. That day will come soon enough.

This weather makes me miss my trench coat. (I hate you, Delta!) That coat was like family. I search and search, but I can't find one like it. I have plenty of other coats, I assure you. My coat closet is full to bursting, and yet I still feel the lack of that one trench coat. Oh sure, you can get a new dog, but it doesn't mean you don't mourn the one that got run over.

I want that jacket back. Maybe in the eternities, it will be restored to me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better than fair

I saw a 306 pound pumpkin. I saw a cow with coloring that from a distance would totally be mistaken as a mountain lion. Bucky Covington played my favorite Elvis song (Suspicious Minds). I refused to pay to see the world's smallest pony AND the 1200 pound alligator. I watched a cooking demonstration that was essentially a live infomercial. I considered getting a conspicuous henna tattoo for work. I had cotton candy for dinner.

They should call it the state awesome, because fair just isn't correct.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our state fair is a great state fair

After two aborted attempts to attend the fair, I am going tonight, come high water or scattered rain showers. I want to see the pigs and eat cotton candy and not go on rides and roll my eyes at the "world's largest alligator" tent and pretend to be in the market for buying a hot tub and all those lovely things that the state fair involves. (That's pretty much exactly what I did last year.)

We tried to go on Saturday, but we didn't get a good turn out, some of us were utterly exhausted (me), some had just poured water on their cell phone and ruined it (not me, thankfully) and were not in good moods. So we decided we'd go on Monday. Except on Monday it was raining. "Contrary to what you may have heard," I told them, "I don't melt. I want to go to the fair." No one else wanted to go. The losers! The place would have been deserted! The rain stopped not long after that, too. And it was all you can eat ice cream night. Harumph. So we still have all these pre-sale tickets, but the fair ends this weekend and no one was free on Saturday.

So I am going tonight. I don't care if this week's angry stomach turns out to be an alien about to burst forth from my gut. I am going to the fair. If it rains, I'll get wet. If it snows I might leave early, but I could just hang out in the livestock exhibit, or the commercial hall with the mop demos and bad tasting weight loss drinks of dubious efficacy.

I don't know why I'm so determined. I could make my own funnel cakes. My own cotton candy. (One of the best gifts ever, by the way.) I don't really like livestock that much. I have a mop and I barely use it. But it's the fair! It only comes once a year! They have pickles on a stick!

And besides, the tickets are already paid for.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You know, I've never read Catch-22

There are a lot of books I haven't read, but know enough about to discuss in casual conversation. Like Catch-22. I know the gist of it. It's enough to get me by until I actually find time to read it. And if all else fails, there's always the Wikipedia entry.

But life is full of things like that. If your life is busy and full of fun things, you have something to blog about. But your life is full of fun things, so you have no time to blog about them. If your life is boring and repetitive--like mine--you have plenty of time to post, but no content. Either way, there's no blogging.

Or if you're working all the time, you have no time to spend all your money. If you're burdened with tons of free time, you have no money to spend. Either way, no shopping is done. (Of course, Amazon has significantly reduced the former concern. Indeed, now I have no time or money.)

So here I am, full of nothing to say. But people rely on me! Who will amuse my seven readers if I don't? I will have to actually make phone calls to update people on the not-much-going-ons! The very fabric of our society will unravel! Or perhaps not.

In other news, there is a huge Greek population in Salt Lake. There is--as I found out Friday night--an even larger population of Greek food enthusiasts. We went to the annual Greek Festival, and there were a bajillion people. The line for food was just under a jillion miles long, as it snaked around and around the tent-covered parking lot of the Greek Orthodox church downtown. Sadly, most of it was over salted for my tastes. The souvlaki was good, and the pastries delightful. I should have saved my money on food and just filled up on pastries.

I also bought a very cool ring. I talked her down from $55 to $30, so how could I say no? "I've never sold it for $30," she told me. It's possible, but she probably has. Alas, I'm not wearing it today, or I'd take a cell phone photo. It's very funky modern, very Paloma Picasso for Tiffany's. Maybe eventually. Because I post soooo many photos. It's just such a pain to get out the cable and import them. I need a new camera!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Practice schedule: eight days a week

It turns out that there are Beatles songs I don't really know well at all. Definitely not well enough to drum and sing. I assure you, this will be rectified.

Who else bought Beatles Rock Band this week? Don't you love it? It's fun to have songs that I know, songs that won't be angry and dark, songs with a cute cartoon Paul McCartney singing. Besides, instead of going into overdrive or whatever it is when you use your energy, you go into Beatlemania. Beatlemania! The cheering gets louder!

This version is interesting, because it's somewhat less competitive. It still gives you your percentage score, but there's no "most saves" or "most energy" or whatever. The crowd doesn't boo if you start sucking (which actually would be helpful, because I didn't realize that I wasn't close enough to the mic to be picked up and ended up with 35%. I did it again and got 90%.) I guess it mostly seems less competitive. Rather than getting money, you earn pictures and some sort of prizes that I haven't investigated too closely. Clearly I'll need to get another version of Rock Band so I can earn money and buy clothes for my characters.

They're adding some of the albums as downloadable content, and I expect eventually the entire catalog will be available, or at least most of it. Right now it seems to be more of the latter work; I'd really like to see more of the early stuff. I don't know that I'll buy every song--it's like two bucks per track!--but I definitely want Lovely Rita, When I'm Sixty-Four, and Norwegian Wood. If only Eleanor Rigby would come available! And maybe some of the covers from the early albums.

In conclusion: two thumbs way, way up!

Less than six weeks!

If you're wondering what to buy me for my birthday next month, feel free to get me this. Do plan ahead on the international shipping; I haven't a clue how long it takes. On the upside, though, shipping is only seven pounds (less than $12) which is quite reasonable for seven thick books.

Note that I prefer the kids' editions to the adult version: All that's different is the covers. Apparently they thought adults would be embarrassed to ride around on the Underground with brightly colored Harry Potter books. Not me. I want a kids' book that looks like a kids' book!
Though if you insist on the adult version, get the paperback set that comes in a box that looks like a trunk. Because that is awesome.

If you get it for me, I promise to call and read a passage to you in my best British accent. Otherwise, I'll just read it to myself in a British accent.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

GPOYW: Party Edition

I went with a friend to her fancy work party, so I wore a lot of eye makeup and did my hair in a fun, spiky updo. This is my attempt to quickly get a photo of both. It was a valiant effort, if not a overly successful one.

I love living alone. I've had the dustbuster on the stairs for four days, and no one complained or tripped over it. Occasionally, there are times when I realize the downside of living alone. Like when I have to crawl behind the dryer to get things that fell back there, and am not entirely sure that I'll be able to get back out. Or when I crack my head on the freezer door and am afraid I'm going to pass out. Or when someone has to be home for the dishwasher repairman, and that someone HAS to be me. Or when I need to move something heavy or cumbersome. And of course, when trying to take a picture of the back of my head:

Or of my legs:


It always looks like that, and it always looks bad. It could have been a lovely shot, if there were someone else around to hold the stinking camera. I have a huge folder of self portraiture, and it's largely craptastic. Living alone is great, but today, it's also bad self portraits.

Speaking of calendars

It's 9/9/09! I love me some symmetry in the date. Plus, Beatles Rock Band releases today. And threadless.com has all their tees on sale for $9 today. Because I definitely need more t-shirts, right? I mean, I have so many opportunities to wear them.

Anyway, back to the calendar. I was looking at my desk calendar, enjoying the fact that Friday is payday. I noticed that it's also a holiday. Patriot Day. "Hmm," I thought. "Where is it Patriot Day? Canada?" My calendar includes all North American holidays, so we can enjoy Victoria Day and Mexican Independence Day (which is next Wednesday, actually). But wait. Patriot Day is followed by a little (US). Say what? There's a holiday and I didn't know about it? Don't we already have Veterans' Day for honoring our patriots?

I looked at the date again. The 11th. September 11th.

That's a holiday now? Not just a holiday, but Patriot's Day?

Now, a lot of people died and it was a terrible thing, and even if our foreign policies make us unpopular in large swaths of the world, it doesn't give people the right to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. However. A patriot is "a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. [or] a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government." This doesn't really have anything to do with terrorist attacks. Those unfortunate people died terrible, unnecessary deaths, but it wasn't patriotism. They were living their lives, going about their days, in meetings and at work.

I fully support honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks, but I think calling it Patriot Day is largely misguided. But what names are left? We already have a Memorial Day; Veterans' Day is also called Remembrance Day, although not so much in the U.S. So what do we call September 11th? Do we need to call it anything?

This is what I'm thinking about today. That, and getting my dishwasher repaired this afternoon. And getting dressed up for a party later. Will there be a GPOYW post later? Maybe.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes, but I choose cereal

I am on vacation

You would think that because I am on vacation I would have plenty of time to write a long, chatty entry about my recent whirlwind trip to New York (which I always spell Yourk and then have to backspace and fix. It could be worse; I tend to say it Yew Nork). You know what? You would be right. I DO have time to write an entry. I'm on vacation. All I have planned for today is getting my oil changed and seeing if I can find the hot rollers I want at Sally's. Maybe I'll clean something. I could exercise, but I probably won't. I made monkey bread. I didn't set an alarm, and I still got up at 8:30, after an amazingly quick nine hours of sleep. I definitely need more; whirlwind trips to New York don't lend themselves to lots of sleep.

I didn't really take photos. I didn't even bring my camera. My travel companion did, so I can post some pictures after she sends them to me. I took a couple with my camera. I sent this one to Facebook with the caption "Guess where I am." I didn't use a question mark, because that's a directive, people, not a question. Using a question mark would be like telling someone, "Shut up?" when you really mean "SHUT UP!"

Anyway, yes, the picture. We were walking along, and I was like, "Hey! Radio City Music Hall!" We were waiting for the light to change, and it just had, so I got the bus obscuring part of the marquee, which I think I like better than if I had gotten the whole building. I would still like to see the West Side Story revival, especially now that they've gotten rid of the Spanish lyrics in "A Boy Like That." I don't mind them in "I Feel Pretty." It's a simple song, and not really a hard-hitting song. I appreciate that Anita would speak (and sing) to Maria in Spanish, but it's a much more powerful song when people in the audience can actually understand the lyrics. A nice experiment, guys, but thanks for going back to the English.

In conclusion, vacations are awesome.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GPOYT?

It's not Wednesday, but my hair won't look like this tomorrow.



Notice the fancy clock on the wall? That's how I knew I'd been promoted. In my previous office, we had the generic, buy-in-bulk-from-an-office-supply-catalog kind of clock. But here, here it's a different story. The clock has a pendulum and everything. It's just for looks, though; the clock runs on batteries.

And what about the lamp that never gets turned on? Makes it seem all homey, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Product review: french toast sticks

I recently purchased the Sprawl-mart brand (Great Value) of cinnamon french toast sticks. I like them. I made them in the toaster oven, and let me tell you they smelled amazing. Like churros! They took five or six minutes in the toaster oven. They were soft without being limp. I broiled them for the last minute or so, which gave them a slightly crispy outside. With some eggs and a glass of OJ, it was a delightful breakfast for dinner. I highly recommend it. Mostly because I love breakfast for dinner. And churros!

Good thing there were no witnesses

I recently discovered that my photos and ticket stubs from London had gone missing. (The photos could be reprinted, sure, but what about my ticket stubs?!) I remember putting them "somewhere safe" when my family was coming to town. NEVER put anything somewhere safe! You will never find it again.

I thought I had put the envelope on the dryer, by the picture frames. And yet, there was nothing. I kept thinking I should look behind the dryer, but I really didn't want to, because I didn't want them to be there. Last night, though, I finally broke down and got out the stepladder. Yup, there they were.

So I started inching the dryer out last night. I was about to climb back there when I realized, I'm in my pajamas. It's midnight. I've already taken a shower, and it's dusty back there. If I get stuck, I'm going to have to call my friend in the middle of the night to come bail me out. So I didn't do it. But today when I got home, I finished pulling out the dryer, climbed back there, and retrieved my treasures.

It's a good thing there was no one around, because I'm sure I looked ridiculous. My dryer is on a pedestal, so the top of the dryer is at shoulder level. At one point, I was on my stomach on top of the dryer, frog-legged against the back wall, pushing myself out. It was fabulous.

The important thing, though, is that I got my ticket stubs and that you should never put anything somewhere safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Have a laugh

I don't know how long I've had this floating around on my thumb drive. Four years, apparently. There's something about the line "Youse call dat a firewall?" that gets me every time.

Some comics never cease to amuse. Dilbert, Bizarro, Brevity, Cul de Sac, Retail, Baby Blues, etc. Pearls Before Swine is sometimes funny, though I think it was funnier in the early years. ("Do you think Van Gogh drank Coke or Pepsi?") Some comics are never funny. I'm going to have to agree with Marge Simpson on Hagar the Horrible. "I just don't think it's funny!" When I was a kid, I used to call it the funny pages. Now I call it the comics. Because so many of them just aren't funny.

What comics do you like? Is there something hilarious that I'm missing out on?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I don't eat dinner. Dinner's for suckers.

Edit: If you're looking for the Seinfeld quote, try here.

I've been so busy lately, I haven't really had time to go to the grocery store. My fridge didn't really look that empty, though, until I cleaned out all the tupperware and leftovers and whatnot. After I did that, it was a pretty pitiful sight. To wit:

The top shelf:

Top shelf

The milk is past its prime, and I've had that Bisquick since before I moved. In January. Surely it's still good? There's cheese and chocolate chips, so what more could a girl need?

Middle shelf:

Middle shelf

Most of that is edible, although the pre-cooked bacon behind the yogurt might not be good anymore. The sour cream is pretty much all gone, though.

Bottom shelf:

Bottom shelf

Old grapes, extra olive oil, pita, tortillas, perhaps some limes, and melting chocolate for fondue that I've yet to have.

That's it. That's all the food from my fridge, excepting the tubes of biscuits in the door. Pretty depressing, really. But hey. Black beans, tortillas, cheese and sour cream equals an awesome burrito.