Friday, November 29

It's real, like shopper-phobia

Black Friday scares me.
In general, I don't like people around me when I shop. I start feeling super bugged and annoyed by everyone who is around me, whether they're trying to help me or not. The weather in a store suddenly gets too warm, and I get really uncomfortable. It's not claustrophobia. It's a deep and profound dislike for being crowded by others while I'm shopping.
This very real, and very physical, reaction is the exact reason why I avoid Black Friday with every ounce of my being. The idea of shopping with that many people near me is horrifying, mainly because I worry about doing harm to them. I don't understand the draw of voluntarily putting yourself through that kind of madness. And closeness. With all those people.
Anyway, if you must go shopping on Black Friday, I suggest you go to Ikea. The prices are just as low as they always are, so there are no crazy deals to be had. Because of that very important fact, there were no more people there than are there on any other Friday. It was just Ikea. Which, when pressured to go shopping on Black Friday, is a good thing.
I'll take the everyday crazy of Ikea over the Black Friday crazy of anywhere else. Too many people. They bug me.

Thursday, November 28

"Yes, I actually do have one of those"

So, now that's done. And tomorrow morning begins the full-court press from my family to decorate the house for Christmas. I've told them that it'll have to wait for Monday, which will have to suffice, but the amount of grief I'll get before then is going to be crazy.
But today was Thanksgiving, and it was a lovely one. It was the first big Turkey Day we've hosted at our house, and it went swimmingly.
I love how everyone is amazed that the girl who doesn't cook still has all the necessary, and sometimes not necessary but convenient and nifty, accoutrements in her kitchen. Like two potato peelers. Or the ladle for the gravy. Or the extra plates and platters. Or the butter dish. Or even the canape knives. I've got a fully stocked kitchen, y'all, I just need reasons to use it. Happily, a busy, popular and fun Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse.

Wednesday, November 27

Being thankful without the drama

It's late, and I'm tired, and I've got a day ahead of me tomorrow.
But let's quickly talk about me being thankful. And I am. Super, super thankful. But I refuse to appreciate all the people that wax so poetical on Facebook about all the wonderful things they are so thankful for at Thanksgiving. (Like the Pilgrims did, right?) It always comes to pass this time of year, that I end up with two or three Facebook friends who pick something to tell everyone that they are thankful for every day over the course of several days. I'm amused by their resilience, in always having to come up with something sentimental, or romantic, or heartfelt, or deep, or motivational, or emotional every day.
I think it was last year maybe, that I was deliberately irritating to these people by posting ridiculous, cheesy things to be thankful for, like hairbrushes, and popcorn. I wish I'd done it this month. Because it's always a challenge to be that delightfully obtuse about their intentions, as well as just damn clever.
Things I'm thankful for right now, at this moment:
My reading glasses.
The warm afghan on my bed.
Brian not turning on the surround sound on the TV downstairs.
The cool breeze that is blowing Oliver's farts away from me ... after a fashion.
The phrase "after a fashion." I enjoy it.
Indoor plumbing.
Electricity charging my phone.
My computer.
The Internet.
Hair ties.

Tuesday, November 26

Thanksgiving is so much better now

When it really comes down to it, you can't do your Thanksgiving dinner shopping at Costco. I mean, we're hosting 10 people, including us, for the holiday. We do not need 20 pounds of potatoes. Nor do we need a huge box of crackers. Or all those other things that you can buy in bulk.
I need, like, one can of cranberries. And one head of lettuce for the salad. I suppose we could have bought a vat of butter. But I only need a single box of stuffing, or only a small container of tomatoes.
So, we did some of our shopping at Costco, and Mom and I are heading to the grocery store tomorrow to get the rest/majority of our Thanksgiving shopping done. I have a lengthy list. But I'm excited to get our meal all figured out.
But you know what I'm most thankful for right now? That Mom decided to drive out here for the holiday, and I have someone to help me do all this shopping and spend the day with tomorrow. I think that's the swellest thing ever.

Monday, November 25

A punk just being punky

"We need more hand soap in here. This is almost empty."
"Is it empty, empty? There's some in the closet in there."
"Some what? Soap?"
"Yes. There's another bottle of soap in the closet there."
"It's okay."
"No, if you're out of soap in there, get that new one out of the closet."
"Nope, I'm good. There was enough for me to clean my glasses."
And thus goes the conversation, and the motivation on how I will now passive aggressively not enable that ridiculous laziness. Really? I mean, REALLY?!?! The closet in the bathroom is all of three feet away, and we can't be bothered to turn, open the door, and replace the soap bottle at the sink? Well, I'm not doing it. I'll use the bottle in the closet and leave it in the closet. And maybe, when he doesn't have enough for only his needs, he'll finally be a real grown-up and get the fuckin' soap bottle out of the closet his-damn-self.
UPDATE FROM TUES. MORNING: He did switch the soap bottles, all by himself. MAGIC.

Saturday, November 23

A good book, and a good boy

I admit that I'm incredibly focused on Oliver's wants and needs lately. And that I've gotten super overprotective of him. And also that I'm afraid to comment about him on Facebook because I don't want anyone to think that it means that I'm over losing Daisy. And that he's turned this into his own "I am Oliver, give me what I want" monster, because he's a brilliant dog who knows how to turn situations to his advantage.
To that end, he is laying at the foot of my bed right now covered in an afghan because I opened the window a bit for sleepytime and I don't want him to be cold. Also, I spent 15 minutes changing the blanket around him this morning because he was laying down on the pillows and I didn't want to disturb him. Also, I almost did an involuntary and potentially painful split over the ottoman downstairs because I needed to get up, but I didn't want him to have to move. And he's getting treats whenever he wants. As well as a wet-food breakfast.
Oliver enjoys days most when I have a book to read, because he gets hours and hours of laptime as I'm curled up on the sofa or in a chair, and he's on top of me. Today was one of those days. And I'm glad to do it even more lately, because he's awesome, and because we're lonely without our girl.

Friday, November 22

Could pizza get more convenient? No

ITEM!: I was "That Woman" at Starbucks today when I purchased my hot tea. So you know, when you order a venti hot tea at Starbucks, your large cup of ridiculously hot water comes with two larger-than-retail tea bags in your chosen flavor. I prefer Zen. When the barista made my tea, I noticed that she had to pull out the cubby with the tea bags and search for them, and then put them in my water with her body blocking the cup, and then handed it to me too quickly. I had a suspicion, so I checked my cup before I left the condiment bar. And indeed, there was only one tea bag. I caught the other barista's attention, and requested my second tea bag, which she gave me with minimal issue (she had to go in the back and get a fresh container of tea bags). The problem, obviously, is that the first girl didn't want to go in the back for more tea bags, and had hoped I wouldn't notice. The tea bags though, are a particular concern for me, because I usually use them for a second cup that I heat and steep myself later. A single tea bag doesn't steep a second venti full of water, and since I pay a crazy $2.64 for two tea bags and a large cup of hot water, I demand the ability to make myself a second cup later in the day. So yes, I was sure to get my second tea bag, and ensure that the first girl knew that I knew that she tried to cheat me because she was feeling lazy.
ITEM!: I had to remind my boss -- again -- that I needed to get paid. I mean, really. I know it's not a ton of cash, or even enough to cover the cable bill, but still, the money is owed, and should be paid on time. I can factually say that since I started working for this company in August, I have been paid twice on time without having to ask. That doesn't seem cool, you know? Weirder still, I am not the only employee. There are three other community managers, as well as an administrative assistant on the payroll. Does no one else care, or are there other things afoot? Is everyone else getting paid on time but me? What a frustration. And then it puts me in a bad mood, and I get snappy with the administrative assistant who comes off a bit bossy, and too familiar.
ITEM!: I woke up in the middle of the night last night because rain was coming through my window. Sing with me: "Raindrops keep falling on my head ..." And they literally were. I woke up because my forehead was being sprinkled on from the clouds. I closed the window then, and mocked myself for what a ridiculous thing that was to happen.
ITEM!: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Pizza Hut has an app from which you can order your pizza and whatnot for delivery. How did I discover this? Sydney was on my computer upstairs; I was lazy on the sofa downstairs with my phone in my hand; we all were hungry. A certain predicament, and a simple solution: the above-mentioned app. And then everyone was happy.

Thursday, November 21

Marriage is awesome

Brian and I have the most passive-aggressive "argument" going on lately about the sliding door out to the backyard. I don't mind that the glass door stay open to allow the fresh air in, in fact, I enjoy it. But I can not, simply can not, allow it to stay open after I go to bed. I have issues with that. Even though I can lock the screen, I don't trust an open door all night. The "argument" comes from my closing and locking the door as I'm heading upstairs, before Brian himself is asleep. Because as soon as I'm upstairs and settled in front of my television, I hear the door open again.
Now I know that I'll have to wait for Brian to fall asleep, and then sneak downstairs to close the door all quiet-like. Which isn't difficult, because he'll be asleep in less than an hour, but still. Actually, it's not even annoying. I just enjoy that it's a weird little issue that we don't talk about, but casually inflict on each other.

Wednesday, November 20

This is awful, and I don't like it

What the hell, acid reflux?
Just leave me the frickety-frack alone! Because this is ridiculous.
I've been suffering, like literally suffering, from acid reflux for the last three days. The last time I had acid reflux this bad -- bad enough that I actually just took one of Brian's Pepcids -- was during my last trimester of carrying the kiddo. During those days, I'd take a little Zantac, the least-powerful one of course, since I was sharing a body with someone else. And typically, in about 15 minutes, I'd feel better. But now it's been about 40 minutes since I took the Pepcid, and my body is still complaining.
Let's see. What did we eat tonight to bring about such badness? Oh, I don't know. Was it the cheeseburger that I didn't really want to eat? Or the onion rings I shouldn't have eaten? Or the soda? I'm grossed out right now by my dinner, and if anything, this bout of uncomfortableness will cure me of Carl's Jr. Still, I need to figure out what the hell is going on with me; or what is suddenly disagreeing so loudly and violently with my stomach. Bleck.

Tuesday, November 19

I love me some Thor

I'm an official fan -- with a capital F.A.N. -- of the Marvel movie franchises. I bought in fully with Iron Man, and continue to be a grade-A disciple of the entire mythology. The Iron Man films? I'm obsessed. Captain America? Loved it. Thor? Got me; hook, line and sinker. And The Avengers was like a visual orgy for my fangirl heart. I've watched all of them more times than I think you all would believe.
Today, Brian and I saw Thor: The Dark World. It was fabulous. It was exactly what I need to get through the next few months, and/or until the next Captain America is released. That the theater previewed the latter before the former was like nirvana.
SPOILER ALERT, sort of: That one scene, with Thor walking through the hallway with the one guy, when the guy is talking so much and being silly with the physical changes, and then becomes the other guy with the uniform and the patriotism, will have me giggling for days and days. That kind of thing is what makes my heart go pitter patter for Marvel. And it is such a payoff, too. I love it when the movie makers reward you for your loyalty with those kinds of fun interludes and special vignettes.
I thought today how much fun it will be to watch all these, in order, with Sydney when she's older. Of course, that poor child will probably go a bit crazy that year, whatever year it is, when I deem her old enough to watch all the movies I want her to watch.
What a great two weeks it will be: The Marvel Weeks.

Monday, November 18

Back home where she belongs

I finally have my princess back home. It's been too long since I've been able to hold her, but today I was able to; and having her home is a good feeling. Of course, I don't like the urn she came home in, which is a random, white plastic rectangular box, with a big sticker on the side saying "Daisy" G. (I hate it when people and/or places put quotes around a dog's name. It's like they're implying that the name itself is just a formality, since a dog is a dog, and not worthy of an actual name. No one puts quotes around a person's name. A person is no more a living creature than a dog, so why the quotes.) I can't wait to move her out of that ugly box and put her into something pretty, that can sit out, so we can see her throughout the day.
I miss my girl terribly. It's been a couple weeks since we had to let her go, and I'm still feeling the awful effects of losing her. Oliver and I are incredibly lonely throughout the day. You never really know the weight of a presence is in your life, until they're gone. And that is never more true than when you have to go on with your life minus your shadow. Because that's the truth of it: that baby girl followed me everywhere. I still find myself checking for her, or looking for her, or wondering where she is when she's not in front of me or on top of me. It's a disconcerting thing for me emotionally.
Because emotionally, I'm a train wreck. It doesn't take much to make me cry my eyes out for the last couple weeks. Obviously, that Friday, and that Saturday. And when I got the card from the vet's office. And when I talk to anyone about it. And when I missed her all those other days. And today, when I picked her up from the vet. I'm a mess. I miss my baby.
I'm not used to being so sad. I'm really not used to wallowing when I get hit with a wave of it. But I know that the best way to deal with it, is to deal with it. And that means being an awful, crying doggy mommy whenever the mood strikes, I suppose. But I feel better having her home.

Sunday, November 17

Reading. It's the thing to do

I shouldn't be terribly excited about this, but I am. I have finally started and finished reading a book from my To-Be-Read Pile. I sat down with it on Friday, read half of it, and finished it today. I do love reading. And now that there are rugs under my reading chair's ottoman so it won't slide, and there is a decent lamp next to said reading chair, I am a happy reader again. I've already selected the next book, and have it sitting next to me on my nightstand.
I feel like the rest of the books are all dancing and eager, happily jostling around on the shelf, trying to make themselves look better so I'll pick them. They're all tarted up and giggly, trying to catch my fickle attention. Since, clearly, I'm back in the market.

Friday, November 15

Facebook chain letters strike again

I got sucked into the "[Random number] things that you probably didn't know about me" Facebook statuses today. Andrea did a good set of 6, and I liked it, so she gave me eight.
I think that probably what people wouldn't know the most is that I had a really hard time coming up with eight things that most people wouldn't know. This was an exercise in torture really, since some things I just wouldn't put up there, like how I hate to shave my legs, or how much more I prefer snuggling with my dog than anyone else. Or how I didn't really think I would ever be a happy housewife, but I have been, for seven years.
But beyond those few things, I mean really, I'm pretty much an open book. My friends know everything, because we all talk about everything. My mom knows everything, because she just does. And some things just aren't fit for public consumption. So, the number of acceptable mysteries about myself that I would willfully put on Facebook was pretty low.
It feels like I should put the list here, too, I guess.
1. My favorite moment of the day is at night, when I turn off the light and roll over to fall asleep.
2. I've always wanted to learn how to fly a helicopter.
3. I'm pretty lazy. I'd always rather not do, than do.
4. I hate reading all the "best classic books" by the celebrated authors. So I haven't. I avoid anything prior to Jackie Collins or Sidney Sheldon, unless it was assigned for a class.
5. I spent three hours reading
Arrow fanfic the other night.
6. I can't stay awake during anything Shakespeare. It's like a sleeping pill.
7. It hurts my feelings that no one ever comes to visit me where I live (or have lived. I swear, I can't believe that no one came to see us in Boston).
8. I have an entire plan set up for when Brian and I win the lottery and are instant multi-millionaires, and I'm constantly updating and changing it.

See? Pretty benign, though still heartfelt and true.

Thursday, November 14

Movie trifecta returns!

Okay. We've watched three movies in three nights. This is a weird and totally awesome anomaly.
Even more amazing, is that two of them were movies we'd never seen before.
It makes me feel all independent, and free, and like I don't have a kid in the house.
I'm giddy, and almost excited, to see what may happen tomorrow night.

Monday, November 11

Legos, Legos and more Legos

I made the mistake of initiating a trip to Toys R Us today, to figure out the kid's Christmas list for people other than Santa Claus. Sure, I got to see a few of the ridiculously huge Lego Ninjago sets that she'd like from Santa. But when it came down to it, she wasn't too impressed with putting anything else on her list. I guess I'll be assigning specific gift ideas to people, which is never fun.
I did manage to pick up the store's Christmas catalog though, and am eager to dig through it. Why do I suddenly dread Christmas, and having to come up with things for her? I know: I'm gun shy because she was not into a bunch of stuff I got her for her birthday. I used to love surprising her with stuff, but now I'm all nervous about disappointing her.
Christmas should not be this difficult ... especially in November.

Sunday, November 10

"I'll be back"

ITEM!: I suppose it's progress to tell you that I actually decided on the next book I'm going to read, and have moved it down to the living room. I didn't crack it, or anything radical like that, but it is sitting on the coffee table, ready for me. I won't make it wait too long, because that would be rude.
ITEM!: We replanted my plumeria tree in the rose garden, to ensure its survival. The dry environment was too mush for it, and it was incredibly unhappy. Losing leaves is a bad thing for any plant. My rose garden is very lush, and very well watered, so the plumeria should be much happier there. Of course, it will probably outgrow and strangle everything else in the garden area, but that's okay. I want pretty pink plumeria flowers, and I want them soon.
ITEM!: The weather is supposed to warm up this week, with high temperatures rising to 89 degrees on Tuesday. This is disheartening news, because in November, it should be cooling down a bit. Am I right? I had thought so, but now I'm not too sure. Welcome to Arizona in November, where it still gets inexplicably warm. I'm not complaining though, because it could be Texas.
ITEM!: Hey, remember how awful the "special effects" are in The Terminator? I do, because I'm watching it right now.
ITEM!: Also, because I'm sure you need an update, the planking challenge is still in effect. Today, 40-second planks, and they are certainly testing me. My core is thanking me, I think.

Saturday, November 9

This one is cool, with the swirly

And the winner is ... ME. For figuring out, finally, that the reason why I'm not getting any reading done lately is because the lamp light downstairs next to my sofa SUCKS, and it's impossible to read there. Of course, the sofa is one of my favorite places to sit and read, so a lack of proper lighting is OF COURSE the reason why I don't read there since we moved to Arizona. I mentioned this to my husband, who was all, "Okay, then do something about it." And I was all, "Dude, you won't let me put the better lamp near the sofa because it reflected bad on the TV." And he was all, "Well, put it back there, and we'll figure it out so we're both happy. ... Just don't buy a new lamp."
In my head, I'm thinking, "He knows me (and my mother) too well," since a new lamp for the living room was totally on our list of things to do. As is a new lamp for the guest room. (That last sentence was a not-so-subtle reminder for my on-staff interior designer to find one for me.)
So tomorrow, we'll try switching lamps in the living room, to see if we can make both Brian The Television Watcher and Kimberly The Reader happy in the room. What's weird is that the lamp is in the same placement next to the sofa as it has always been, in Arizona before, and in Houston. Obviously, I will have to employ my talent for subtle shifting of household things to solve this problem.
Or, you know, buy a new lamp.

Friday, November 8

Carmen Miranda, the lioness

There is something magical about sharing a computer with your child. The kid plays random games on pre-approved websites, but at the end of the day, I really don't pay too much attention to what she's doing. My biggest gripe is the crumbs and sticky finger prints on the keyboard.
And yet, sometimes, this random sharing yields gold. For example, the intriguing bit of art to the left here. I don't know the game, but I certainly appreciate its ability to allow her to save her artwork to my desktop. Because this is awesome.

Thursday, November 7

A light in the night

I find that lately the bane of my existence is nightlight bulbs. I'm replacing them a whole lot. I live a life of regular bulbs and LED bulbs. It's exhausting.
Sure, the LED bulbs are nice and environmentally correct, but some of them make a weird whining noise. Also, LEDs are wider than regular nightlight bulbs, so they don't fit in some of the nifty nightlights I have. If they did, I would happily have them throughout the house, no matter the whining noise. But instead, to keep the other nightlights in the house functioning properly, I need to have the two types of nightlight bulbs in my house.
So I bought more of the two types of nightlight bulbs today, and then wandered throughout my house finding the nightlights that needed bulbs replaced. Good on me, right?
These are the things that keep me occupied during the day. Nightlights, people. Making my nightlight situation better was atop my to-do list for today. So exhausting.
Also, I only have one Thanksgiving-themed nightlight, which is unacceptable.
So, to recap, I need more Thanksgiving nightlights; slimmer LED bulbs so they fit in every nightlight; and longer lasting regular nightlight bulbs so they don't have to be changed so often. Yep, all that so I can have the pretty lights in my house ... while I sleep. Makes no sense sometime.

Wednesday, November 6

That which I once mocked, I now do

Maria posted a thing on her Facebook page that I found intriguing. It's the agenda for a 30-day planking challenge, which looks pretty cool, and would probably be an awesome thing for me to do anyway. And I like challenges. Here's the schedule:
Day 1 and 2 ~ 20 seconds ... ... Day 3 and 4 ~ 30 seconds ... ... Day 5 ~ 40 seconds ... ... Day 6 ~ Rest ... ... Day 7 and 8 ~ 45 seconds ... ... Day 9, 10 and 11 ~ 60 seconds ... ... Day 12 ~ 90 seconds ... ... Day 13 ~ Rest ... ... Day 14 and 15 ~ 90 seconds ... ... Day 16 and 17 ~ 120 seconds ... ... Day 18 ~ 150 seconds ... ... Day 19 ~ Rest ... ... Day 20 and 21 ~ 150 seconds ... ... Day 22 and 23 ~ 180 seconds ... ... Day 24 and 25 ~ 210 seconds ... ... Day 26 ~ Rest ... ... Day 27 and 28 ~ 240 seconds ... ... Day 29 ~ 270 seconds ... ... Day 30 ~ Plank for as long as you can.
I'm on Day 2 right now, and I'm loving it so far. The instructions are to do at least one plank rep in that day's time period. I'm doing two reps so far, though I'll soon bump that up to four reps per day.
You know what's awesome? I'm feeling the physical effects of the planking already. Obviously, I'm out of shape. The planking is supposed to help with my core strength, which is something I really need. Also, anything that'll make me stronger is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 5

At least it's all about chips

Sometimes, there is nothing better in this world than chips and salsa. So, guess what I had for dinner tonight. Yep, chips and salsa. It wasn't even any kind of special salsa, either. Market Fresh restaurant-style salsa from Target. And you know what? It was yummy delicious. Bit by bit I'm being brought over to the generic Target brand side of things. Not enough to roll with anything less than Tostitos for chips, but the salsa works.
Somehow speaking of chips ...
I miss Jalapeno Jack Sun Chips. *takes a moment to search Jalapeno Jack SunChips on Google* But now I discover that, beyond the missing Best SunChips Flavor Ever, SunChips has managed to piss off a whole lot of customers. They have shrunk their bags from 11oz. to 7oz., and continue to charge the same for them. People on the SunChips Facebook page are PISSED. I don't blame them. Probably if I was still buying SunChips with Jalapeno Jack flavor, I would be just as annoyed. But the company lost my business when they discontinued my favorite flavor. So, no worries for me, except I feel bad for the people mad about the bag shrinkage. I continue to be done with SunChips, in solidarity with the angry people, and because it's making a statement without having to compromise anything.

Monday, November 4

A post-pumpkin, pre-turkey calm

It took me most of the day, but I got the Halloween decorations down and put away. I'm so neurotic about them. All the decor needs to go into their proper bins, labeled for their rooms. And with a new house, and new placement for all the stuff, all those bins needed to be repacked. So, because sometimes I'm ridiculous, it took me hours to get the bins straight.
This, in consequence, is why the Thanksgiving decorations aren't up yet.
Tomorrow's agenda:
Thanksgiving decorations ~ I would say that this should be quick and easy, but I've got a few new things, so no doubt I'll be walking around my house with random bits of autumnal prettiness for hours until I find the exact right place for them.
Actual work ~ Yes, I am still doing the social media job. My account list has shrunk, but that's okay. It should only take me a few hours to get next week's posts done.
Brownies ~ I've been tasting for chocolate for several days now, in a way that Halloween candy can't fix. I had some hot chocolate from Dunkin' this morning, and it was delicious. I think I'll get some tomorrow morning, too, but still ... brownies.
Book reading ~ I still hold out hope that I'll get something read over the next few weeks. Might as well keep it on the "agenda."

Sunday, November 3

It's November; need a new avatar

Nope. Still not ready.
But it is November, and I can never completely neglect the blog.
So, here's for this month.
Maybe tomorrow.
I'm sad.