Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Space junk is still closer to the stars

(Jane made me cookies, which is awesome of her, especially as they are awesome.  Let us not discuss how many I have eaten since they arrived on Saturday afternoon.)
My job is often very boring, but my husband reminded me that it also offers very unique experiences.  I'm kind of immune to the import now, but he pointed out that it IS a big deal.

See, imagine you worked at the White House in some boring, menial capacity.  Like a secretary executive assistant.  Every few weeks, you're minding your own business, on your way to the break room to get some water or buy some Sun Chips from the vending machine.  The elevator stops a floor early, and the president gets on.  He chats with you for a minute, asks your name, says he's going on a trip later that day.  (You know that, though, because you distributed the itinerary earlier in the week.)  Maybe a few weeks later, you're going around a corner, and you very nearly run into him.  One day you're walking down the hall, and you see three-fourths of the cabinet, all on their way to a meeting.  Despite the fact that your job is boring and your office has no windows, you're frequently exposed to some of the most important people there.

Now imagine instead of the White House, you're Catholic and working in the Vatican.  I don't expect that the Holy See really roams the halls, but stick with me.  The Pope doesn't work with you, but you see him all the time, just being in your "office building."  You see where I'm going with this?  I work at the headquarters for my church, and not a week goes by without me seeing someone of ecclesiastical significance.  After three years, it doesn't really phase me.  I'm more interested in which coworker is driving the golf cart than what general authority they're transporting. But for pretty much everyone else in my life, it's significant.  It's an experience they'll never have.  And just because I think my life is unexciting, doesn't mean that's true.  I just have to look at it from someone else's perspective to find the excitement.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bad sign?

I of course speak only from my own experiences and observations, but don't you think that engagement is the point in a relationship where PDA is at its peak?  Don't get me wrong, I've never been one for making out in public.  But I think when we were engaged was when we were most affectionate in public.  We still hold hands pretty much everywhere, and there's the occasional kiss now and then, but I think the fact that we're married and live together and don't have to part at the end of the night has taken some of the pressure off, so to speak.

So what does it say when you have dinner with an engaged couple who, during the course of the evening never touch, almost never look at each other (I think he looked at her a couple times when referring to her in his story, but I'm pretty sure she never looked at him. Shoot, she rarely looked up at all.), and speak to each other but little?  I swear, they could have just as easily been on their second date.  [Insert Utah joke here.]

Maybe everything's fine and they're radiantly happy and it's all they can do to keep their hands off each other in private.  But I can't help thinking that--even for the most PDA-averse--some of that is bound to spill over.  Maybe it's just me.  Am I crazy to think that a couple who have decided that there's no one else in the world who could make them happier should look, well, happier?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grand plans

I found the master's degree for me.  Even better than NAU's MA in General English (which would be nice because I could take classes in several areas of interest), I want to do Penn State's M.Ed in Children's Literature.  Unfortunately, it's even more ridiculously expensive than NAU!  And all of their scholarships are for undergrads.  Apparently a master's is considered some sort of luxury. 

It would be easy if I was interested in getting student loans.  But, uh, I'm not.  And I can't reasonably expect my master's to be a priority before Adam's bachelor's.  Although while he's off learning other things, maybe I could take a class or two.

We've been talking about how we can take a real honeymoon before things get crazy, particularly before I get pregnant and swollen.  (Hey, I've been married eight months today!)  I think we've settled on a cruise as the best bang for your buck.  Considering that you can get them for as low as $60 per night per person, that's a way better deal than going somewhere and renting a hotel room and eating all your meals out.  (Adam said he gained 11 pounds on the last cruise he went on. And that boy can eat a lot before he gains weight!)  We'd probably end up paying more for a Christmas cruise, but...it's a Christmas cruise.  How awesome is that?

But it's a very tight schedule.  Adam is trying to join the National Guard.  He has almost everything he needs, but still needs to pass the physical and sign and swear in.  But if we play our cards right, he can have two weeks off during the so-called Christmas Exodus, where the Army basically shuts down when everyone goes home for the holidays.  If we played our cards very right, he could get a bonus for shipping within 45 days of signing.  And if the internet is to be believed (because nothing is incorrect on the internet!) we might be able to get an off-peak bonus, too, although that one I've not heard much about elsewhere.  That would be as much as $10k, just in bonuses.  Which would pay for what? four classes at Penn State?  Bleck.

Anyway, we won't know until Thursday (at the earliest, ugh) if Adam can enlist.  So, yeah. Still not good at waiting.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plans for this week

This week is scheduled to include:


Voice lessons
Okay, so I'm there pretty much every week, but I've been thinking about it lately.  I couldn't remember when I started, so I pulled up Mint to see how long I've been at it.  Since last June!  I've definitely made incremental progress, but getting my tonsils out was remarkable.  All of the sudden it's like, "Oh, that note used to be a stretch?  Huh."

Department picnic
Every year, we have a barbecue social.  I am grateful that my role is eating, and then cutting reimbursement checks.  It's a lot of work for the party committee members.  But the exciting thing this year is that they moved it to a more convenient location. No, wait, the exciting thing this year is that I'm bringing my husband, rather than my sister, (now) loser ex-boyfriend, or no one.  Yay, marriage!  But speaking of loser ex-boyfriends...

Awkward dinner
I got an email last night from said individual. This marks his last week working in Salt Lake, and would my husband and I like to go to dinner with him and his girlfriend? (Although I checked his FB page, and someone recently said "Holey toledo! Getting married?" so perhaps it is his fiancĂ©e.)  The answer to the question, though, is no.  I have no interest in remaining friends with him.  But Fabulous Husband is curious to meet him, so we're going.  Yay.  Although since my husband is taller, stronger, not balding, and not ridiculous, what have I got to lose?

Pirates of Penzance
Hooray! The time has come again for a show at the Hale!  We love the Hale! We love musicals! We love date night that's already planned!  Fact: next season is going to be fabulous, and we may be out of state for much (or all) of the year, which brings us no small amount of sadness.

Information!
Speaking of being out of state, we might possibly know this week what's going on with enlisting and moving and things.  Assuming it all works out, which it has to do eventually, right?  But remember, if it does, you have to help find someone to buy my condo. Imagine walking out your door in the morning and seeing this:

Monday, August 9, 2010

A thing a day

I recently read something about getting rid of a thing a day, and can I tell you that I totally want to do this? Nay, I shall do this.  According to my desk calendar, there are 144 days left in the year.  That's a dozen dozen.  A gross.  I am quite sure I can find that many things that I don't want, don't fit, can't use, don't like, and don't need.

The nice thing is that there's so much flexibility.  Go through your closet and pull out the seven pairs of shoes that you never wear anymore.  You're good for the week!  Those two four-packs of punch glasses that I bought on clearance after Christmas, thinking they'd make awesome juice glasses, but have never used?  Count them as two items, or count them as eight.  Gather up a box of stuff to donate at the end of the month.  Sell it, give it to a friend, pitch it in the garbage...it all counts.

I suspect that I could do most of this in my head right now. Books I didn't like, old cell phones, VCRs and VHS tapes, a collection of ribbons I have no use for, soaps that ended up causing a reaction, the Winnie-the-Pooh cookie jar that got knocked over and his ear broke off, at least three sweaters I didn't wear last winter, old medicines, jewelry I've never worn, some of my large collection of old headphones, empty CD holders, dozens of pens, food that's been in the back of the pantry for who knows how long...the list could go on and on.  I'm especially looking forward to the day I can get rid of my collection of tights and nylons.  I will count them as one thing, and I might burn them.

Am I alone in feeling cluttered? Lately I've been consumed with the desire to get rid of stuff.  Maybe it's because we (hopefully) are moving. Maybe it's because I'm anxious because I don't know if we're moving. Maybe it's because if I have to put everything in storage, I don't want to store junk.  Maybe it's because one day we'll have a baby and they come with tons of stuff of their own.  Maybe it's because I really do just have a lot of stuff.  It's probably a lot of those things, really.  All I know is that I'm very excited by the idea of getting rid of some stuff.

Anyone care to join me?  Really, 144 things isn't that much.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beauty school sure isn't what I thought it'd be

Every time I read an old "classic" novel, I'm surprised that it isn't at all what I expected.  Off the top of my head, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Jekyll and Hyde were not what I anticipated.  Frankenstein I knew was the doctor, but I had no idea that the story was all about the monster's search for--what? Humanity? Companionship? Accountability?  In Dracula I was under the impression that they spent the bulk of the novel trying to figure out what he was. They knew right away, and spent the rest of the book tracking him down.  Jekyll and Hyde was unexpected because half of the book is his written confession.  Part of my misconception is due to the musical, which adds women and all sorts of subplots, because there actually isn't much plot to go on.

I guess my ideas of the books are formed by other things--TV, movies, musicals, popular cultural conception.  It's just weird how many times I read a book and say "That wasn't what I expected at all!"  Anything that took you buy surprise?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wanna see my office?

I was outside trying to produce some vitamin D at lunch today--since I am pretty confident that I'm woefully lacking it, what with my almost complete lack of sun exposure--and as I was walking around the building to get to the nearest exit from the sunlight (my eyes! my eyes! also, where did I put my sunglasses?) I thought I'd take a picture of where my office is located.  It would be better if I had walked to the other side of the fountain so I could get the whole building, but...eh.


Note the decorative trim that borders the top of the building.  THAT is why we can't have nice things.  Er, I mean windows.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Condo

A little visual tour of the upstairs portion of the fabulous condo that you or someone you know should buy, just as soon as I know when we're moving.  Also, my digital camera is old and sad (oh, and also broken) so these are all with my spiffy phone.
here we have the living room, looking towards the dining room and entry way.  It's a good sized room.  Behind the coffee table in the lower left corner there is another couch, with tables on either side.  The carpet is a neutral beigeish, and was replaced in 2009.  The light fixture in the entry way I schlepped all over the intermountain west before it finally was installed a year ago. That baby cost me several hundred bucks, back when I bought it.


The living room from the other side.  Note the beautiful, expensive ceiling fan. It has a remote! There's a matching fan in the main bedroom! There's also a programmable thermostat above the couch on the right.


Here we have the dining room.  Large enough that I can screen off some of it for storage, dump my Ikea Expedit shelf that we didn't know where else to put, and have a table for four.


Detail of the three-rail curtain system.  Easily removable, or keep it and customize it for your decor.  You can fit a crapload of stuff back there!


The kitchen was hard to photograph, because the light coming in from the large window over the sink (which in the summer overlooks two lovely maple trees; in the winter the vista is understandably less beautiful) was throwing off the poor little light meter.  But here's the microwave over the stove.  It has a fan, light/nightlight, and my favorite, the "add 30 seconds" button.  Put in in 2009.


Here we have the lovely tile counters.  Coordinates with the floors, walls, bathroom tile, etc. It's all very well matched, and was all done new before I bought it.  I know, because it was only partially done when I went to look at the place.  The kitchen is hard to photograph, mostly because of the limitations of my camera.  It's not huge, but I cook a lot and it has never stopped me from making anything I wanted.  The fridge is new as of this year (it was our Christmas gift to us! [cue Emperor's New Groove]) and the biggest we could find that fit our space.

There's also a half bath upstairs, which again is hard to photograph. But it's there, and there's a Bat Signal on the door.  (Bat room, get it?)

For other pictures, please see these entries: for the outside, for the light fixture in the dining room, for the tile work in the downstairs bathroom, for the dishwasher and other side of the kitchen. Maybe I'll clean up the downstairs and show you that too, including the not-even-two-years-old front load washer and dryer (with pedestals!), which will come with the place.  In fact, most of the furnitures and whatnot are negotiable.  You like my coffee table and matching end tables? The black leather couch (originally $500 at IKEA)?  Need a twin bed or dining room table?  Buy my condo and we'll talk.