Friday, October 28, 2011

My apologies to Josh Groban

I took two years of Spanish in college. That was a lot of Spanish. Unfortunately, it was also a decade ago, sothe hinges are pretty rusty. And I never could understand it at normal speeds. So when I listen to things in Spanish now, it's pretty sketchy translating. For instance, I was listening to Josh Groban's "Closer" on the way home, which has a song in Spanish I actually enjoy. But it gets hilarious when I start translating it. If you have the CD (or Spotify or YouTube or...you get it) this will be even funnier if you put on "Si Volvieras a Mi."

How...something.  How...something. Shoot, it could be "Like." Like...something.

Something about God? Green? End, final...my heart!

If you...something to me. Return maybe? Something about spring. If you return to me, to be...something...but...something.

Despues...after? Did he say rain? Music something. God again? Breasts? No, that's pechas. I don't know what pechos is. It's crazy when love dies. [I think that's the closest I got to a complete sentence, and I'm still not sure it's right.]

If you return to me, something about fire? in spring? If you return to me, something miracle something. But...something.

Etc. As you can see, I can only pick out a word here and there. Of course I would do better actually reading the lyrics, but when you slur the words together--as people tend to do, with their "gotta" and "I'mma"--I'm lost.

I'd really like to improve my Spanish skills. It's definitely useful in Arizona. And it makes me feel less like a spoiled American who doesn't know anything but English. And if I end up going to back to school for English, some programs require a reading proficiency in a second language. So, uh, I'll probably avoid those programs. And it's just cool to be able to speak another language.

Anyway, I've got a lot of other things on my list of skills to develop. Cake decorating, guitar playing, side crow pose, soprano range, enjoying running...there's lots to do. But where to start? Anyone have a guitar I can borrow? Suited for tiny monkey hands? And maybe know how to teach people to play the guitar?

Maybe I'll start on the cake decorating instead.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thirty, flirty, and thriving?

So, today I turned 30. In the grand tradition (I think last year was the only year I've done this on this blog? Let's say it's my tradition as a married woman, eh?) of the year-in-review, let's talk about the past year.

-Moved to Arizona
-Almost immediately had trouble with our renters
-Went on a cruise. Got a little seasick, but mostly liked it
-Visited Mexico on said cruise
-Bought a diamond! In Mexico, for cheap
-Renters broke lease, we got a property manager, things fairly okay
-Spent a couple days in the hospital with Adam's heart out of rhythm
-Adam had his foot re-operated on
-Seriously reconsidered/regretted decision to move
-Got involved with (and subsequently un-involved with) a DJ business
-Used up pretty much all our savings while looking for work
-Got a temp job
-Moved into a condo in Mesa
-Got made permanent, at a rather disappointing pay (but at least with benefits and PTO)
-Took a weekend trip to Prescott. Decided weather is sufficient that I could live there
-Another couple days in the hospital, this time for an ablation--that worked!
-Sister nearly died in a car accident. Lots of related (bad) excitement
-Got a king size bed
-Spent the night helping take care of nieces. Realized I am quickly getting too old for this
-Won two sets of good seats to the Diamondbacks. Left early and missed seeing a grand slam
-Went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Lots of other stuff happened, I'm sure, but those are the highlights. Not bad, but here's to better.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vacation recap

So, in honor of my 30th birthday this week, we went to Universal Studios in Orlando! It was so much fun. More, strictly speaking, than we could afford, but if we're going to pursue this whole "having a baby" thing, it's possible that we would be in a position even less suited for cross-country travel. Certainly even less able to afford it. Anyway, you only turn 30 once, I don't have enough friends to bother throwing a party (sadface) and my adorable husband likes to spoil me. So we went!

We walked a TON. Maybe I'm just out of condition--well, I know I am, but still, my shins and ankles were so sore. Anyway, lots of walking, lots of sweating (or it might have been so humid that it was just condensing on us, honestly, it was hard to tell. Very humid.). I am too old for all but the mildest of rollercoasters--I blame my previous issues with vertigo; getting shaken around really made me woozy.

The best part, of course, was the small-but-delightful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We drank butterbeer! It's delicious. It's like cream soda butterscotch ice cream floats. And we got the souvenir cups--$.79 soda refills in both parks, plus now we can re-create the experience at home.


We went on the bestest ride there, the Forbidden Journey, which takes you through the painstakingly reproduced castle. It's totally worth the hour wait.


We took pictures of fun details in Hogsmeade.



We did lots of browsing and bought lots of souvenirs! Most of it Christmas gifts. Two birds, one fairly expensive stone. The keychain is for me, though.




(We actually didn't buy many of the Honeydukes sweets, because they were painfully overpriced. $4.95 for a candy bar? $9.95 for a bag of fizzing whizbees? $12.95 for a jar of sherbet lemons?! They're just glorified lemon drops! And don't get me started on the pumpkin juice. Six dang dollars a bottle!)

Those are pretty much all the photos I have on my phone, and the rest of them are on the husband's computer, but believe me when I say everything was charming and wonderful and I really just wanted to move in there. Totally worth the time and money, just to have gone and done it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

But what's to be done?

We're going on vacation in honor of my 30th birthday/fall break/possible last hurrah before maybe getting pregnant (assuming that everything checks out before we even try to coax me into ovulating, but that's another story). I'm so excited! Wizarding World of Harry Potter! One of my many dream vacations, come true!

The problem, is TSA. I don't like any of my options to get through security. Do I go with the visually invasive, dubiously "safe" backscatter machine? (Pardon me for not trusting the government's assurance that it's fine.) Or do I skip it and go with the physically invasive search, which I may get anyway if something is undetermined on the scan/they like my looks/I complain too much and they want to make an example of me?  Which is the lesser of these two evils? None of the options are really making us safe, all of them are invasive and useless and there's no other option. There is no other way for us to get to Florida with enough time to visit Universal and get back in under a week. We have to fly.

It makes me seriously stressed and anxious, thinking about airport security. There have been plenty of articles about people being humiliated and mistreated. I know that's not every experience, but how many times is too many? Children, elderly, bladder and breast cancer survivors with special equipment, sexual assault victims, all of these terrible stories. TSA has all these rules and guidelines, yet it doesn't seem like the employees always know what they are or care to follow them.

I hate that all the decent, honest Americans who happen to want to fly automatically get treated like potential terrorists. I hate that the security theater has gotten even more dramatic, but even less effective. We are forced to submit to what can only be considered unreasonable searches. Oh, they say "If you don't like it, don't fly." Well, what about the people who have to fly for work? And for that matter, why should I have to limit my vacation plans to place I can drive to? Or get to on the Amtrak, which incidentally, is almost nowhere. And blah blah blah, courts say the right to travel between states is a protected right. Politicians talk but don't do anything. We have to put up with it or do without it. I feel so browbeaten by a smug, holier-than-thou government agency--which, let's face it, is most government agencies. It's just all so unreasonable!

But honestly, what is to be done? I think the Occupy Wall Street protests lately are pretty stupid, but if they wanted to throw in airport security to their lists of complaints, I might be a little more sympathetic.

Anyway, we fly out Sunday. Fingers crossed that it goes okay.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Laundry Situation

Some have wondered how I have arranged it so I do half--less than half, really--of the laundry in our house. There are several reasons, but it all starts with a terrible accident, not long after we were married.

My fabulous husband was helping with the laundry, and put in a load of colors. It was only afterwards that I realized he had taken everything from the basket, including my favorite sweater. Alas, my favorite sweater was made of cashmere. Not expensive cashmere, more like $25 at a Kohl's after-Thanksgiving sale cashmere. But still. My favorite sweater and made of a temperamental fabric.

There was nothing that could be done. The sweater was now sized for children, or perhaps very large dolls. I didn't cry, though I came pretty close. Poor husband was nearly as upset. He ruined my favorite sweater! He happened to have liked that sweater, too! Irreplaceable! So sad.

That was when we decided that we'd do our own colored laundry. We're both working, so it's not like one or the other has more time, and it's not like there's any reason why it should be a task determined by gender. Besides, it's not really my problem if you want a certain item of clothing to be clean. You want it washed, you wash it. As for whites, we do them together (I taught him how to deal with the bras) and whoever is running low on whites does them. How do I know if you're running low on underwears? I'm not! So typically, that means he does them. I'll do them sometimes, but that's just because I'm awesome, since I actually never run low on whites first.

So yeah, that's how laundry works in our house. Very fair and practical. As far as laundry hampers go, we actually use stacking recycling bins, such as you can find on Amazon. Because goodness knows I'm not going to use them for recycling.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Secret of success

I'm sure you frequently ask yourself, "How does she do it? How does she manage to make cook a meal almost once per day?" Well, for one thing, I don't have kids. For another thing, I do half the laundry or less (that's another story for a different day). But my real secret is canned chicken!

I know what you're thinking. "Seriously? Canned chicken is the secret of your success?" See, I'm not big on eating large chunks of meat. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've been known to order a steak at Texas Roadhouse (when I don't just order some potato skins, a side salad, and another basket of rolls). I've got no moral or dietary objection to meat. I just like it in a dish, rather than as the dish. And as we talked about weeks ago, we eat a lot of Mexican food in my house. As long as you have cheese and sour cream on hand (which we pretty much always do) and some bulk taco seasoning from Scam's Club or CostMo', you can make dinner in about the time it would take to go pick up food and bring it home.

Maybe you don't like tacos that much. (Or chicken quesadillas, or nachos or taquitos or whatever version of seasoned chicken in a tortilla you prefer). It's easier than cooking and shredding chicken breasts to make enchiladas, if that's your bag. But leaving aside the Mexican food, you could mix a can of chicken with some condensed soup and frozen veggies for a quick pot pie (top it with refrigerated pie dough, thin Bisquick biscuits, cornbread, etc.) Or mix it with a brick of cream cheese and some Italian seasoning, wrap in crescent rolls, and bake. You can butter and bread crumb the tops, but that's a little too fancy for most dinners. And of course, you can always mix it with some mayo (and fixin's, if grapes in a sandwich doesn't creep you out as it does me) for an easy chicken salad sandwich.

The key to all of these is to mix it with something flavorful. I wouldn't just sprinkle canned chicken chunks on a salad, for instance. Unless maybe I tossed it in salad dressing first. No, probably still not. Let me know if you try that, though.

Pound for pound, it's probably not as cheap as just buying chicken and shredding it yourself. I get six 12.5 ounce cans for $10, which is what, $2.13 a pound? That's not so bad, actually. Especially since I only buy the trimmed and ready chicken breasts because trimming it myself gives me the jibblies.  Anyway, if time is money, the canned chicken wins hands down. Not only is it precooked, but it's shelf stable. It just sits there, waiting for your next fiesta. No "oh no, I need to cook the chicken in the fridge!" Or hey, maybe I'm the only one who does that. But I'm not, right? We all cook meat of dubious freshness before it's verifiably unfresh? ...Ahem. Right. Moving along. It's great for those days when you meant to get to the store but didn't. It's such a go-to for me. Grab a can of chicken and add something to it!

So there you the secret of my success. Canned chicken. And making my husband do 5/8ths of the laundry, of course.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wherein my blog has an existential crisis

Aw, it's nice to know people like my blog. Or at least one person. I actually was thinking about it the other day--what is my motivation for this blog anymore? It was originally so my family could keep up with things, but now that I live in the same state again, that's not really a motivation. I don't have the free time at work that I used to, either, so it's not like I'm doing it just for kicks. And there's clearly not any money coming out if it.

So why am I blogging? I don't even really feel like I have things to blog about, and yet I feel some sense of obligation toward it, like I'm letting Someone down. Who am I letting down? The internet? It's not like I provide tutorials or recipes or something that y'all would find particularly interesting or helpful.

So now what do I talk about? It seems like the main theme in my life right now is general ill health, which isn't exciting, either. And I've said before that I don't want to turn into an infertility blog or feeling bad for myself because everyone I know is having babies (and everyone I know is having babies, for reals). Plus that pretty much always flirts with the TMI line. Hey, anyone ever had a hysterosalpingogram? Because I get to!

Anyway, yeah. I'm not really sure what's going on with this. What should I blog about?