Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reason #282 Inter-Library Loan is a Wonderful Thing:

Because it means I can spend an evening curled up on the couch with my husband, watching my favourite movie from when I was six, and finally being the one in this marriage who has actually seen the movie before.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Feed yourself well.

I love cooking. I don't think "love" is too strong a word; time to cook is one of the three things I look forward to the most about the weekends: Time with John, sleeping in, and cooking (may or may not be in that order).

For months before I graduated college, I was subject to the whims of a disturbingly bare, lackluster, outdated dorm kitchen, shared with dozens of girls who didn't clean up after themselves, and frequently stole bowls, pots, pans, and items from the refrigerator. Because I lived on the third floor, and the kitchen was in the lower level, I ended up trudging up and down four flights of stairs whenever I wanted to cook, arms piled high with pans, bowls, and ingredients. And besides, there was an odd smell emanating from the northwest corner - I investigated once, with almost suffocating trepidation as I checked behind the movable cabinet, suddely sure I would find a decaying corpse (I didn't, of course, but welcome to my imagination).

I hated that kitchen. I longed for my own space, one filled with light, beautiful colors, and smells -- delicious smells, this time around. No microwave from 1970, no gunky stove splattered with Rice A Roni from other residents two weeks ago, no pots with mysterious remnants stuck inside. Light, beautiful light. Colours - no more institutional decor! And beautiful foods releasing their scent into the air.

Ever since we moved here, nearly four months ago, I've been cooking, cooking, cooking. My favourite dimension of cooking, though, is sharing it with John - filling our house with amazing, warm, comforting smells, and nourishing the one I love.

And a few days ago, after a Festival of the Nations at work, I saw a thin strip of paper lying on the floor in the foyer. I picked it up, and it was the fortune from a Chinese Fortune Cookie:

Today is a day to nourish yourself.
Feed yourself well.

Our house smells amazing this afternoon. A large kettle of potato leek soup, simmering on the stove, redolent of warm bacon, thinly sliced leeks, chunks of potato, and white wine; it fills our home with the most cozy, lovely smells. It's almost time to take the pot off the heat - the potatoes are falling apart - let it cool, then puree it. It's been tantalizing us for about forty minutes now, and we can hardly keep away from it; we hover over it, spoons dipping repeatedly, tongues a little wrinkled from the hot broth.

I made a roast a few nights ago; nothing showy, but lovely - fresh rosemary and a little thyme breathing a delicious layer into the beef, red wine and smashed garlic adding another dimension; sunny carrots and earthy potatoes completing the dinner. I brought it to the table on my favourite platter, and then the apartment was silent except for the rapid clinking of knives and forks as we tucked into our food. A few minutes later, we surfaced. John was reaching over for another slice of beef, then paused, looking at me. "I wish you could make this for people back home. So they could taste the amazing food we get to eat." And my heart sang.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm coming up on my two-month anniversary at my job. And I'm realizing that no matter how long I work there, it'll always be hard to get out of bed in the morning, leaving our cocoon of warmth. The last hour before I have to get up is my favourite - I sleep harder, because I've checked the clocks all night long and know that the alarms are (both) set, the bed is all warm and cozy, and John's always cuddly. It just makes it sting a bit more, this getting up and being productive so early, knowing that I won't be back home until the evening.

I wake up at least a dozen times throughout the night. Did you ever have that dream before a mid-term or final, the dream wherein you overslept, couldn't find the classroom, forgot your pen and blue book, didn't study, and failed the test -- and then wake up several times that night, paranoid that it was real, that you did oversleep? That happens to me every single night. My body wakes up at least once an hour, many times twice, checking the clocks, making sure that I set both alarms, adjusting the blankets (someone always messes them up), checking to make sure that John's breathing, counting down the hours until I a) have to get up, b) have to be to work, and c) counting the days until I have my weekend.

As an result, I'm always tired. Tired! This tiredness.

Time to go to bed and start the whole cycle over again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Throughout the weekend

I'm at a loss for words tonight, mainly from being humbled after reading Shauna James Ahern's new book, Gluten-free Girl: How I Found the Food that Loves Me Back...and How You Can, Too. The way she twines words together is indescribable. Her entire book is absolutely delicious, simultaneously humbling and motivating.

So, rather than trying to dredge up suitable words, I'll leave pictures.

First, a few of my favourite recently-thrifted things:

John, such a creature of habit (as am I) has half a glass of juice every morning -- before coffee, even! I saw two of these Declaration of Independence (other side of the glass) and Liberty Bell Bicentennial glasses, and had to get them - I knew my history nerd would love them. And I was right!

I am a sucker for small vintage plates. These are about the size of salad plates, and we've been using them for the past few weeks (and they were $0.49 each, as were each of the thrifted items in this post. How much better does it get?!).

And these, these might be my favourite.

This was the view through the window in our study yesterday. At my parent's house, the trees have been naked for weeks; yet in spite of the bursts of cold weather here, the leaves are still clinging to the trees.

And the view from our bedroom. My heart just thrills every time I see a tree that's such a glorious, vibrant yellow as this one, and I love getting to wake up to this view.

And yes, yes, I did hang up the Christmas lights. Lights: check. Pine-scented candle: check. Music: fetch Christmas CDs from library before leaving work.

I also knitted a hat this weekend, but the picture I took of it turned out horribly (I took it while I was waiting for the bus and discovered that the bus was about to pull up to the curb). So, until I get a different, better picture, I'm not going to put one up, as the hat's much cuter in life than this picture would have you think.

Things I'm looking forward to: Thanksgiving break (two days of work, two days off, one day on, two days off. !!!!).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Six Things

1. Our weekend is finally here. Funny, how the last few hours of the last day before my break always go by the slo-o-o-owest. Plans for the weekend: Cooking (roast chicken, rosemary potatoes), baking (bagels? Molasses cookies), cleaning, laundry, studying (John), stringing up white lights around our apartment (me), cuddling (both, obvs), and knitting (me).

2. The weather here is colder now, and when I walk outside, the strength of the bitter wind takes my breath away. It's not even that cold, compared to where we come from, so apparently I've become a pansy since we moved here.

3. I shocked my coworkers today; I let it slip that some movies that most people consider to be "classics," I just can't stand. "The Wizard of Oz"? Creepy and disturbing. "It's a Wonderful Life"? Depressing! Are the thirty seconds of happiness at the end of the movie really enough to make up for the rest of it? I don't think so! "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"? Really, the only thing I like about that movie is that my older brother looked like Charlie Bucket when he (my brother) was little. Gene Wilder? Purple velvet? Oompa Loompas? No thanks!

4. We're having Christmas here this year. My parents and brother are coming down the week before Christmas, spending a weekend with us; and John's mom and sister (and then aunt, uncle, and cousins) are coming here on Christmas Day to celebrate. I'm totally excited.

5. NEWSFLASH: We're getting a Real Christmas Tree. Hurrah!

6. It's been almost exactly three years, and I can still smell and feel London. I miss it so much.

White Tower b&w

Thursday, November 08, 2007

late-night thoughts from an emotional mind

John's upstairs, sleeping, and I should be, too. But lately, the days are seeming to go by so quickly - well, no. Not the days. The nine hours out of the day when I'm at work, generally go very slowly. The few hours of the day we have here at home at night, before we have to go to sleep, are the few that race by. I just wish there were more time. There are so many things I want to do, time I want to spend with my husband, and yet it seems like for 5.5 days out of seven, we just don't have enough.

The worst thing about getting done with a long day of work and coming home?

You work hard, go home tired, and then realize you have to start over the next day and do it all again.

I live for Sunday and Monday (our weekend, as I work all day on Saturdays; and John has an office hour Monday afternoon and class Monday night), the days we get to spend together, and I cook, clean, experiment with recipes (and without recipes), actually get enough sleep at night, praise him as he works on all his stacks of grad school homework, and sometimes, go thrifting. And as I pull myself through the week towards those days, each one that passes seems interminably long.

We're considering a new career path for us both, down the road: becoming certified to teach high school (I'm considering elementary education). Weekends off, reasonable hours, and, best of all, summers off. Time! Time to be had together! Time to travel! Time to spend with our children! What a novel idea!

I think a part of what is making me feel so confined right now is the fact that this schedule keeps up relentlessly. How do people do it for years on end, go to the same job, day in, day out, maybe a few vacation days a year? Are they not panicking inside? But I know I have to do this for us. I know that this, at least, is temporary. There are so many marrieds who have conflicting schedules, and it is so hard for them to be able to snatch any precious moments together. I am so blessed to have John, and I know that I would do this for years if I had to, for us. And then I think of my Dad, and how he's done hard physical labour all his life, and wonder how on earth he's done it for all these years, worked year-round, hard, heavy, terrible work. And then I realize...it was for us. His family. Because he loves us. And then I remember that that, truly, is why I do what I do; very different work, but the same mentality. I'm not doing it for me - I'm doing it for something bigger than myself: I'm doing it for Us. And really, shouldn't love be the reason? It's amazing.

And I'm tired and very emotional, and finally off to bed.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Just in order to rent and watch "Sicko" tonight, John opened up a new account at Blockbuster (it's on the opposite side of town from us). I'd never watched a Michael Moore video in its entirety, and I've always been pretty skeptical of him, anyway. I sat on the couch, flipping through a book of knitting patterns, not at all interested in the movie...for the first ten seconds. "Sicko" was riveting. Yes, Michael Moore is known for exaggerating and embellishing the facts. But this movie is very well done, and highlights truths about our nation's healthcare.

Compared to so many others, John and I are very, very lucky. I got hired fairly quickly after college -- four months, but two after we moved here; and as I work for the state, we have very good health insurance. We do not, however, have free health insurance (oh, I wish!), and I recently found out how lacking the plan is in the area of expectant mothers. (No, not me. Not yet.). Basically, any dream of having a generous maternity leave, time with which a mother bonds with her new baby, recouperates from the birth, and gets a schedule and routine settled with the baby...has been completely shattered. Rather, the mother gets six weeks off, at the end of which time, if she has not come back to work, her job is no longer guaranteed to be waiting for her. The only bonus during this unpaid leave is that the job will make the health insurance payments in her stead. There are so many problems with this type of plan. It forces the mother to work up until her due date, for if she leaves work early, then she has a shorter amount of time with her baby after he or she is born (additionally, many daycares will not accept babies under the age of six weeks, thus it is imperative that the mother not begin maternity leave until right before the baby is born). The time she is away from work is time that she cannot contribute to the income of the family, so not only does she have the emotional stress of birth and bringing a new baby home, but also has money - or, rather, the lack thereof - on her mind.

How horrid!

Shortly after I found out about that, I was rereading one of my favourite books, about an American woman and her family who relocate to France. The author, while living in France, becomes pregnant and goes through the entire pregnancy and birth under French healthcare. Tests, tests, tests. Free. Maternity leave in France?

From AngloINFO Riviera:

Women are allowed 16 weeks maternity leave in France. You will receive an allowance during maternity off time. This time can be split to before or after birth as you choose. You must notify your employer by registered letter with delivery acknowledgement enclosing the proof of pregnancy and expected due date. If any problems are anticipated, the employer should be notified if you expect to be away from work for an extended period. By law, your job must be kept available to you. Maternity leave is also allowed to fathers.

Continuing the thought on parental leave:

If you choose to stop work or work part time after your maternity leave you are entitled to a parental leave (congé parental d'éducation). If you have more than one child and have worked for two out of the last five years you are entitled to an Allocation parentale d'enfant. The congé can be renewed until the third birthday of your child.

Now, John and I just have to decide where to move. Canada? England? France?

Monday, November 05, 2007

(not cool enough for a title)

I can hardly believe it's November already. The weather here, so much more mild than we're used to, has lulled us into a belief in an eternal Autumn. Tonight though, it's blustery, leaves swarming from the trees and through the night, highlighted as they blow and swirl under the street lamps, caught up in gusts of wind.

I'm so ready for November, though. I'm ready for colder weather, for snow waltzing past the windows; for baking cookies, listening to Bing Crosby, and stringing white lights around our apartment.

We're considering purchasing a fake Christmas tree this year. I use the word "considering," even though it's almost a done deal, because part of me inside screams and dies every time I even think "fake Christmas tree." It would be much easier, less hassle and -- you can see I'm still trying to justify even the idea to myself -- because our apartment is dry and we have no Real Vacuum Cleaner...and I can just picture myself using wads of duct-tape to pick up all the dry needles. If we do get a fake tree, though, there are a few stipulations:

1.) There must be quality pine-scented candles burning during all waking hours.
2.) The tree can't look too fakey (I'm choking on my cynical laughter); i.e. it can't be white (there shouldn't be a need to even write that - but someone, okay, John, suggested it. White? White tree? Crazy!)
3.) It must be covered with white lights and ornaments, trying to hide all fake branches.

Have any of you ever had a fake Christmas tree? What do you do with it? What made you decide to get it?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Photo Vignettes from Sunday Afternoon

Doesn't he look studious? Please note the remote, just next to his hand, ready anytime we hear a burst of yelling from the apartment next door, meaning that something exciting/bad happened in the Patriots/Colts game, the studious look is shattered as he un-mutes the tv and joins in the jubilation/disappointment.

Dress: New, on clearance; marked down from $36.00 to $3.60. Necklace: Vintage, free-thrifted (lifted?); it was my Mom's when she was my age.

Mexican Lovebirds. From Mexico. Obviously. Nestled (haha, nestled) together on our living-room endtable.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Muffins:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Two years and counting...

From this:

To this:

And this:

Then this:

Exiting the church

And, now, this:

It just keeps getting better and better. Happy two-year anniversary, baby! I love you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An Ode to Accomplishment and, again, strange dreams.

Lately, with getting another year older (at least, I hope that's the reason), I've had innumerable flashbacks to my childhood. Things I hadn't thought of for years; memories that had lay dormant for so long I wasn't aware of their existence. And thinking back to the little girl I used to be, I realize how important it is for me to have the motivation and courage to do what I've always wanted to. It's not impossibly inaccessible; it would just take passion, effort, and a lot of committment (and really, doesn't marriage have those exact requirements, as well? And the marriage area here is amazing - I love, love being married). In another 23 years, and another 23 after that, I don't want to look back and still wonder what would've happened if I'd tried to pursue my dream. I have John, his love, and his support.

So here I am. I'll practice. I'm working up the courage. I'll give it my all. And we'll see what happens.


Almost every night, I have ridiculously vivid, strangely violent, horrific dreams. Two nights ago, the first night back here in our apartment after our trip (and oh, I can hardly tell you how good our bed and pillows felt!), I dreamed:

I am having a normal off-work day, putzing around the house, when I feel something brushing my left elbow. I look down, and there it is, like a tiny transparent hot air balloon, tethered to the outside of my elbow. It has the look and consistency of a blister, but in an inverted teardrop-shape, waving gently in the breeze, and a bit bigger than my thumbnail. My arm itches, and I reach to scratch, but even as my fingernails graze my arm, my heart catches in my throat, and I stare, horrified, for along the three pink tracks my fingernails just brushed, sprout more miniature balloons. Starting out tiny, like the seed of a tomato, then growing rapidly, noticably, until they are all the size of the first. I panic, fear and horror welling in my throat, and as I turn to get help, I notice more of these tiny blister-balloons tethered to other parts of my body. If I bump into anything, more of these balloons appear; if something even lightly touches my body, they spring into existence.

I wake up with panic filling my throat and mind, and hold my left arm up close to my face so that my glasses-less eyes can inspect and, by the weak beams of the night-light, ensure that my arms aren't, actually, covered with miniature balloons.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Autumn has arrived.

Last weekend, John and I drove to my parent's house to see my family and my grandfather, who isn't physically well anymore. In 60 hours, we spent a day and a half at my parent's house, visited with my grandpa, older brother, nephew, younger brothers, John's mom and sister, and drove 1400 miles. It felt so crazy, such a whirlwind trip, but I am so glad we went. And though the drive was long (oh, so long), it was wonderful to have some time together, unrushed and without having to worry about getting up early for work.

We divided our return trip into two parts, staying overnight halfway through the trip, rather than driving straight through (as we had on the way to my parent's house, leaving home at 3 when I finished work, and getting to their house about 2:30 in the morning. TOO! MUCH! SITTING!). And I have to say, Motel 6? Creeped me out. A suspicious hair, black and curly, on my sheets? No! No no no no! Help me forget so I can sleep! I didn't touch the bedspread - have you seen that "Dateline" episode? It's forever influenced my conduct in hotel rooms (for this instance, "hotel" is a bit of a stretch!), and I've been trying to bring John around to my point of view. If he were the only one, he would've slept just under the bedspread - whereas I, quite actually, freaked out if it even brushed against my skin. TOUCHING! GERMY SPERMY UNWASHED FILTH!!

That night, I dreamed that someone in the room next door was getting their throat slit.

John's dreams? That the price of oil fell to forty-five dollars a barrel.

Monday, September 24, 2007



Even though I come from a largely Scandinavian heritage (I have Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish roots [and a handful of others, as well]), I always felt a little odd when I coming into into contact with people who were very gung-ho about their roots and visiting those "home" countries, for I never had any interest in visiting any of mine. Norway? Eh... Sweden? Not that high on my list. Denmark? Even lower. It's not that I had anything against those countries, of course, or that I was deliberately avoiding them, but just that, in the same way that Australia isn't high on my list, these weren't.

Until now.

I found the place in Sweden that's nabbed a place on my Top Ten list.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007



I had $50 of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket yesterday, so after I dropped John off at his office, I went shopping. Yay! There were a few things I'd been needing, including a hair straightener, so I got one of the new ones that dries and straightens hair at the same time. Such Technology! I hate blow-drying my hair (read: I don't even own a blow-dryer), and I equally hate waiting around for my hair to dry before I can straighten it, so O! What a solution this is! I took a shower last night just so I could try it out, and if I do say so myself -- which I do -- my hair looks fantastic. Hurrah!

Then I went to Goodwill, where I thrifted six photo frames, most of which had hideous "art" in them. They were all really cheap; the biggest, most expensive one was $2.99. I'd had a project in mind for a while, rather like the dooce wall, only with black frames and more variety in sizes and shapes. I had leftover paint at home from a project last week, so my Monday evening was spent cleaning, painting, and arranging the frames, washing the glass, and choosing which pictures to put in them. For now, I'm staying with black and white photographs from our wedding, aww (I accidentally wrote "ass" first. Hmm).

Also, I had my first big find at Goodwill; I'd always heard about people who found absolute treasure at Goodwill for a few bucks, but all I've ever found were some picture frames and rack upon rack of ugly, ratty sweaters. Then, I found two of these! Still with the "Riedel" stickers on them. They're brand new, "Tyrol crystal designed by Riedel. Made in Germany. Non lead. 04/07" I'd registered for a set of Riedel wineglasses for fun, for our wedding, didn't get them, and didn't buy them myself due to the price -- I don't drink wine often enough for that to make sense. But! These were $4.99 each, and I didn't want to spend my birthday money just on stuff for me, and knew John would love them. Two Riedel wineglasses for under $10, rather than two for $39.99? Yay!!

I'm so excited!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy faux-Fall!

I'm not even going to try to make an excuse for not posting in over a month (except that, as I type this, I realize that that's exactly what I'm gearing up for). It's been such a busy month, full of job searching, applications, lots of hot, hot days, a few visits with family and friends, and settling more firmly into our life here, together. I absolutely love being married.

I'm listening to Il Divo's "Regresa A Mi" as I type this, and I love this song; it fits in perfectly with this day, the crispness of a 57 F morning, and my pumpkin spice candles and potpourri.

I'm not usually a potpourri person. Bags of stale, technicoloured, cellophane-wrapped fake-smelling stuff? Ugh. I hate it, and especially when people leave it out for so long that it gets fuzzy from dust. Eeesh. I bought this potpourri from a vendor at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this past weekend. This potpourri is beautiful and natural, with tons of apple slices, slivers of orange peel, and pine cones, and smells amazingly of Autumn, with clove and cinnamon - and as anxious as I am for chilly days to finally be here to stay (we're supposed to be back up near 90 in a few days), I just had to get it.

The Johnny Appleseed Festival was so much fun! It's a festival set in the early-to-mid 1800s, thus all the vendors (hundreds and hundreds) have to dress in time-period appropriate clothes, and cannot have any newfangled technology helping them make their wares. We went there with our friends from Tennessee (we have friends!), and had a super time getting to interact with real! live! people! We saw people using thick wooden paddles to stir a huge, cast-iron cauldron of soup (am I the only who was violently reminded of Voldemort's rebirth at the end of Book 4? Oh, probably...), and a man perched on the wooden frame of a pottery wheel, keeping the wheel going with his foot, and creating amazing things with the clay in his hands.

And I got to see a llama. LLAMA!

John is doing well, loving most of his grad classes, and is doing a fantastic job as a grad assistant. He loves helping teach and tutor, and it really confirmed for him the fact that he wants to always be in the University teaching field.

The biggest piece of news around here, though, is that (as of tomorrow, when I sign the contract) I have a job. Finally! I'd been quite discouraged, because of all the applications I'd submitted since we moved here the end of July, I hadn't gotten any call-backs. None. Then, on September 6th, a lady from the University Library called to set up an interview appointment (a month after the deadline to submit the application!). I had the nearly two-hour long interview on the 7th, and though they said they had more interviews the following week, I got a call on the 11th, offering me the position. I was completely shocked.

I start on my birthday. :)

In the meantime, though, I've been cooking every day, rediscovering how much I love it, how proud I feel when John sits back in his chair after the first bite, and says, "Sweetheart, this should be served in a restaurant!" I'm just hoping me means, like, a good restaurant.

Also, be impressed; I've made a whole flock of origami paper cranes. They're resting on one of the endtables in the living room until I figure out what to do with them. I folded them while I was watching one of the bi-weekly two-hour marathons of "Friends," just so that I felt that I was at least semi-productive while I sat on the couch.

Sorry for this boring post, but really, I was feeling terribly guilty for not having even logged in for over a month (what's the website? boggler? blogger? bolgger?).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Christian the Lion- Reunion!

Watch, watch, watch...this is what had me crying before I'd even gotten to have my breakfast!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 14th, 2007: In Pictures

. . .

. . .

. . .

We're married!

Monday, May 07, 2007

such a snob

I have a confession to make.

I am a food snob.

I watch people; what they eat; what they put into their shopping carts at the grocery store. And sometimes, I cannot believe what people are willingly putting in their bodies.

I think this snobbery comes from the fact that I am so strict with myself about what I eat, the fact that I read labels like crazy, and am so, so careful about what I put into my body. There are no traces of gluten in my diet, and, beginning last week, I've wiped all forms of corn from my food, too (and I haven't had preservatives for a very long time). I feel better than I can ever remember feeling; more vibrant, happier, more alive. I'm more content with my body, fascinated by the way it thrives on these whole foods. My thinking is clearer, my body enjoying every second I spend at the gym.

Sometimes, grocery shopping is a hassle. Sometimes, I do feel limited. But, in so many other ways, it is completely liberating. I love the food I put into my body, now; I take more time picking it out, spend more care when cooking it. I have to go out for groceries a couple of times a week, now; rather than having boxes of food on my shelf, boxes that don't expire for another year and a half, I have fresh foods. Beautiful Braeburn apples. Plump, ripe, red tomatoes. A fresh orange. Eggs. Tender greens. Mushrooms, olives, and mozzarella. A new grapefruit, I love the way my food tastes! If something tastes rather flat, rather "blah," why eat it? If it doesn't thrill you, why waste money, time, or calories on it?

I don't even miss the way I used to eat.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

On the Art of Being Selfish

On the Art of Being Selfish*

When the wedding planning began, months ago, I tried to be fair and open, taking everyone's suggestions, everyone's advice.

Because of my sweet openmindedness, I have been utterly overwhelmed**. I have received advice from people at the post office, from people I don't know, from friends of friends, from people telling me about a mother's aunt's friend's sister (you think I'm joking? I'm perfectly serious). And last night, when I was at the onset of yet another "WHAT SHOULD I DO" migraine, I suddenly realized:

I've had it. I refuse. I will no longer put myself in this position; I've had enough with being so open and accepting.

I can't please everyone; if I tried, I'd end up with a wedding that is nothing that I wanted, but a huge, nonsensical mix of ideas and plans. And I realized that that's not what I want. I'm finally putting my foot down, finally planning it the way John and I want it.

I've learned a few things in the past 15 hours, since that Earth-shattering revelation, particularly that this art, the art of Being Obstinate and Selfish, has a few requirements:

a) standing your ground
b) being prepared for other people being upset
c) the consumption of multiple double-chocolate fudge brownie cupcakes

* is it really selfishness when it's our own wedding?
** no offense to the advice-givers; I received a lot of good advice, as well; but there is a point at which any other advice is overwhelming.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

the lure of nutella

Someone, please remind me that I will not get any closer to my Goal Body by eating Nutella.

From the jar.

With a spoon.

dreaming of Rio

I was huddled under the 20-pound mound of blankets in the guest room, trying to regain feeling in my fingers and toes. The weather here has been barely reaching 40 during the day, very damp and chilly, with a howling, cutting wind that makes the outdoors so cold that my knuckles ache. I've worn the same sweatshirt for three days now, trying to ward off the cold, trying to ignore the goosebumps perpetually crawling over my flesh.

And suddenly, I was fed up with the futility of it all. For the first time in my life, I want to travel to an exotic, hot country. Funny, for a girl whose ancestors all lived far north of the 50N latitude line, who has always eschewed heat, who always slathers on sunscreen in the summer, who turns up her nose at the beach, sand, and sun. Funny, for a girl whose dreams lately have been of a small apartment in Indiana, our own, where 73 degrees sounds hot.

That said, I want to go to Rio. I want to lie in the sun, on the hot sand of Ipanema, not caring about sunscreen, and getting a tan for the first time in my adult life! Relaxing in a bikini in the hot sun, walking barefoot through the sand, falling into the waves, drinking rum, and kissing John in the midst of all this, surrounded by frolicking Brasilians. Strolling down the sidewalk in flip flops, a short skirt, and a bikini top, arm in arm with John, a breeze playing with my hair, big sunglasses keeping the sun out of my eyes; playing the part of the lazy tourists, exploring Rio, buying cheap trinkets and drinking a lot of rum.

So I'm sitting here, my frozen fingers wrapped around a mug of steaming coffee (complete with a splash of Puerto Rican rum for effect), listening to Latin music, trying to ignore the fact that just to my right is a window that displays a freezing March day in all its barren, faded, depressing glory.

Here, even the sunlight looks cold.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Definitely not cut out for wilderness survival.

Definitely not cut out for wilderness survival.

Two days ago, I was grocery shopping. I bought the usuals: tomatoes, a mango, one box of rice pasta, a liter of soymilk. And then I decided to go all out and buy some fish. The only fish they had that I recognized was a fillet of salmon (Tilapia? I haven't met you before!), so, hey! Salmon is good. Mmm, salmon. Into the basket it went.

Last night I was finally ready for dinner at 7, so I took all my foods down to the kitchen to cook. I prepared the pan with some herbs, olive oil, and garlic, and opened the package of salmon. It was beautifully, well, salmon-coloured, and then I turned it over.


And I almost threw up.

I don't like to see which part of the animal my food comes from. I know which part it is, but I don't need the visual! It's like serving a steak with hide and hair still on it. Or mutton with the cute white wooly fur attached. It's just not done (please, please assure me that it isn't done). I like skinless, boneless stuff. Anonymous meat!

I know, I'm a wuss.

John will have a blast when he takes me out camping in the wilderness; I'll be eating Luna bars and not watching as he skewers a few freshly-caught fish for his dinner.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

new evidence in the case of my twisted mind:

new evidence in the case of my twisted mind:

As I was walking down the stairs to the basement gym just now, pondering the rise of pole-dancing classes - and thus thinking of how I could never muster up any fiber of my being that would want to, as I find everything about strip clubs utterly abhorrent - my mind came up with the perfect name for a business.

The business:
part strip club, part martini bar.

The name:
"Movers and Shakers."

Groan and move along.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

back in the saddle again...

Here I am, back at school. It's my last semester, and I keep marveling at that fact - This is my last sememster. The very last one. I am a senior, I am graduating in May. I will no longer be an undergraduate. I remember the first college courses I took, and how it felt as though the next years rolled out so far in front of me that I couldn't see the end. And now it's here. I just have to wade through three courses (two of which are delightful and one of which is painful) and pull myself through my senior thesis (which, frankly, terrifies me).

I didn't write here during Christmas break due to the fact that any account of it would appear to be cripplingly uneventful -- to anyone who bothered to read about it, anyway (after which he would roll his eyes, yawn, and wander off to another site, wondering why he wasted the last four minutes of his life). I loved the break; it was full of good food, good company, love, and time to read and knit. But throughout the duration of the break, there were only a couple of times that I could relax, really; I kept feeling as though I was procrastinating, as though there was something more important and pressing that I should be doing, rather than knitting two and a half scarves and lounging on the fainting couch, reading "Budget Travel."

I've decided not to have the internet available in my room this semester. I get so much more done without the world available at high-speed, right at my fingertips, luring me into news as-it-happens, and other's dramatic accounts of their lives. My laptop, which was deliberately abandoned during the entirety of Christmas break, has been dusted off to provide background music. My room seems quieter, more peaceful, and my life seems less hectic, with so much less time occupied by the internet.