Wednesday, December 31

And how did YOU do with 2014?

Well, well, well. Look at that. There are 56 more minutes in 2014, and I'm ready and eager to welcome the new year. In a new twist, I am under strict instructions to wake up Sydney so she can watch the ball drop into 2015 for the very first time. I'll try to rouse her, but who knows, she's a sleepy little kid who loves her cozy bed.
As I am wallowing in the last few minutes of the year, I'll dive into the EXPECTATIONs from 2014. Honestly, I think we've taken care of all the EXPECTATIONs that were really attainable, but let's take a look anyway. New windshield: CHECK, but the three chips in it right now will require some fixing in the next couple weeks. Weight: Still an issue, but hoping to get into an official gym soon. Books: CHECK, though I've got a pile different from the one I had in January. Writing: CHECK; almost done with the project I've got right now, and hope to have it finished by the end of this weekend. Credit Card Payoff: Yeah, well, that didn't happen. Something to strive for in 2015, I guess. Cleaning out the house: CHECK, though it could probably do with me going through the place again. Quit the job: CHECK. Take down Christmas tree on New Year's Day: CHECK; it's happening tomorrow. Hiking the trail: CHECK, though we won't be going soon what with all the rain today. Outdoor patio furniture: CHECK.
Well, in retrospect, that isn't too bad. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and creating a new list of EXPECTATIONs.

Tuesday, December 30

I'm available for consults

I do enjoy it when I've done something particularly brilliant and useful during the day.
Today's greatness comes courtesy of my sliding glass door downstairs, and the doggie door that prevents us from locking it. Leaving the door unlocked goes against every fiber of my being, and I admit to it making it very difficult for me to go to bed sometimes. But removing the doggie door is not an option. Several other locks have been employed, but they're never quick and easy, like a normal door lock. It's time for a new idea.
Mom gave me a broom handle that she didn't need anymore a few weeks ago. Today, I took it to Lowe's, where the very helpful young man cut it for me to the length of the door's track. I fashioned a loop of kite string around the end of the stick, and stapled it so the string wouldn't come undone. The other end of the string got tied into another loop, and it was hooked onto a hook I screwed into the wall next to the door. The string gives us a handy way to pick up the stick when it's in the door track. It's also long enough so it can go around and through the vertical blinds, so really, there's no worry about too much tangling. You see? Brilliant. And practical. And clever. You can say it.
And it only took me 10 months to figure the damn thing out. Actually, it only took me an hour, but the getting of the stick, the cutting of the stick, and the motivation took more time than that ... for some reason. Anyway, I will sleep better tonight knowing that my slider is locked and unbreachable.

Monday, December 29

I need to travel more, for the mugs

ITEM!: My collection of You Are Here mugs from Starbucks consists of three locations: Houston, Las Vegas, and California. You know what I don't have? I don't have a Boston mug. That's a problem for me, and my OCD. I need Boston, because I lived there. Not that I lived in Las Vegas, but I love that town, and I love Boston, and I lived in Boston, so I need that mug. I'm going to reach out to my Boston peeps to see who can hook me up. I honestly can't believe that I didn't get a mug from Michigan in October. I'm on a mission now.
ITEM!: So, of course, on this third to last day of the year, we would have to make an investment in my car to keep it healthy. When I started the car on Friday night in Tucson, the Check Engine light illuminated. Not a good thing when you're 100 miles away from home, but we drove home with it anyway. I was stressed, to put it mildly. But as long as the light's not blinking, you're still okay to drive the car.
Today, we had an appointment to check it out, and of course, the light isn't on just to be on. I had a faulty fuel ignition coil. And with one coil comes four. And with those come the new spark plugs because they were showing wear, as well. Truth be told, the cost was not as horrible as I had thought it would be, but still, who needs to give the car guys a chunk of money this time of year? Ugh.
ITEM!: Today is the third in a row where Sydney and I were stuck at home all day. Saturday was a fun pajama day; Sunday, my baby wasn't feeling her best, so we took it easy for the day; today, we were trapped at home with no car. I swear, if we don't spend most of the day outside of our house tomorrow you may hear me screaming from every corner of the world.
ITEM!: I need to start my Christmas List spreadsheet again so I can keep track of what I buy everyone for Christmas. I had one for several years, but it's been misplaced, so I need to get a new one going. Thankfully, my list isn't too extensive, so it shouldn't take me too long to get this year's done.
ITEM!: My list of EXPECTATIONs for 2014, what with the three days I have to finish it, is still being evaluated for its accomplishments and failures. As for 2015, I'm spending a good amount of mental power considering it and formulating it. I dig the EXPECTATIONs, and look forward to enacting that next year.

Sunday, December 28

Roses and a plethora of oranges

I cut back my rose bushes in the backyard this afternoon. They were quite overgrown and unruly, and it's that time of year, you know. I managed to only get poked by thorns seven times, and didn't get any scrapes at all. My gardenias are doing well, as are my rosemary bushes. The orange tree has ripened with maybe 70 oranges, and we've been harvesting regularly over the last couple weeks. The rest are ready to be picked soon, perhaps tomorrow. And with that, the backyard is looking really well. It's just a matter of making sure everyone lives through the winter.
I looked into making marmalade with my ridiculous amount of oranges, but every recipe I came across requires no less than 15 mason jars, and a boatload of sugar. I'll pass on that, but it sure would be nice to figure out something to do with those oranges. I'll take a bag down to Lisa next weekend, for sure. All I can think of right now is juicing the oranges. Because that at least will go down well with the Pinnacle whipped in my freezer.

Saturday, December 27

Did you send out holiday cards?

I guess I should preface this post by saying that I have not checked my mail in a couple days.
So. How many holiday cards have you received this season? I have, so far, received a grand total of six holiday cards. I sent out 37 of them. Certainly, it's not all about how many cards you receive, necessarily. But really, people. It doesn't seem fair, does it?
A couple of people on my Facebook feed actually posted their family photos to their pages with holiday wishes for everyone, but I have to wonder, is that how they're doing their cards this season, and is that how we should do all Christmas cards nowadays? It's definitely cheaper. But does it mean that I now have tacit permission to only send out cards to my family, and the friends who also send cards, then forget about everyone else? Is there a statute of limitations on how long I need to send cards to people who never send one back? Do I get to cut my cards list in half next year?
Next year, will it be sufficient for me to post a picture of Sydney and my dogs and then tag everyone that I want to see it?
Of course, if I go out to my mailbox tomorrow and discover at least 20 cards in there, this entire line of thinking ... or angry rant ... will be moot. But since that scenario is highly unlikely, I'll continue to be bummed in my friends and family.

Friday, December 26

Home, glorious home, with chores

It's 11:28 p.m., and all our Christmas is done. We spent the day in Tucson, hanging out with Brian's family, and finished all the gift giving and receiving. It was a lovely day.
But you know that day in the winter when you just realize that it's frickin' cold and you really are looking forward to some warmer weather? Yeah, that's today. I'm all bundled up in my pajamas and my sweats. I've got a blanket wrapped around my legs. I can't wait to put on my sleeping socks and cuddle into my bed. It's brr-cold out, people.
Hey, guess what I'm doing tomorrow. I'm going to clean up my house after Christmas. There is a whole bunch of Christmasness going on in my living room, and it needs to be taken care of. You know me; I can't live with all these piles of stuff everywhere. I think it'll be a Pajama Day for Sydney and I tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23

It's because I'm more awake during the day

I gotta tell you. There is something to be said for typing out my blog posts during the day. I feel so much more ... awake and aware of my surroundings! At night, I'm so tired and ready for my day to be over. This is much better.
That does not necessarily mean that blog posts will be done during the day, but it certainly does mean that I'll know that they could be so much better if composed during the day. And it occurs to me that perhaps I should be sure to do them during the day, you know, if the writing will be that much better.
Sydney and Mom are off doing some Christmas shopping for me right now, which is why I have the time to compose two blog posts for the day. You know what else I did? I just walked three dogs around my neighborhood. It sounds like a solid thing to do, but even though, on their own, all three dogs are very good and responsive and well-mannered on leashes, having all three of them in two hands was a bit of a ... wait for it ... handful. Two tugging this way; one pooping; three pulling this way; each pulling a different way; no one caring at all for my sanity. It was an experience. And one that won't likely be repeated anytime soon. It was kind of like corralling a flurry of birds, if you will. They're good boys though, so it was still fun.

I love my Uggs, damn it

I just saw that "Ugg slippers" is at the top of the Yahoo! gift search trends on their home page this morning.
I'm going to tell you, beyond just the slippers, I love my Uggs. I love them, and I won't apologize for it, even though they've become something of a not-cool thing over the last several years. I got my first pair of Ugg boots early in high school, probably freshman or sophomore year. I wore them in the snow. I wore them when it was very cold in Lake Tahoe, Reno, and throughout our ski adventures in Colorado, Utah, and Canada. I loved my boots, and they kept my feet very warm.
Then, they became trendy. All the "cool" girls in school started wearing them with their leggings, and skirts, and skinny jeans and all that. (Yes, fashion has made a complete circle since I was in high school.) After they became the ultimate in cool, they, of course, became the epitome of what was not cool.
I rolled with it, because to me, in my snowy lifestyle, they were still the warmest boots out there, and I still loved them more than anything else I put on my feet. I had Ugg slippers from Australia after graduating college. My boot collection has expanded and included Ugg shoes, more slippers, outdoor slippers that made my life in Boston livable, and more than enough cold-weather boots to take care of a small city.
I sit here, typing this, in my Ugg slippers, that should probably be replaced. And even though my love for other shoes has ebbed and flowed (witness my obsession with Toms), my love for my Uggs has never faltered. Yes, I am better than all those people who loved, then hated, then loved them.
I saw a pair at Nordstrom the other day that I want for my birthday. My point is this: Sure, they're at the top of the trending list now, but where will all those bandwagon fans be in a couple years, when the fashionistas decide they're not cool anymore?

Saturday, December 20

Deck the halls with gingerbread

I have a whole lot of Christmas emotions going on this year. Chief among them is that I would rather be in California. Sydney's old enough, I've decided, that we can transport Christmas, and the magic of Santa will follow her anywhere. This has been discussed, and it looks like I may be able to make my California Christmas happen next year. (YAY!!)
But because I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about where I'm having Christmas this year, I'm overcompensating with Christmas festiveness events. We went to a Christmas festival last weekend. We're planning our ZooLights excitement for next week when Mom is here. And there's a super cool street of lit houses, called the Loop of Lights, that I'd like for us to go see. But also, there is a gingerbread village display at a local resort that is supposed to be pretty awesome. I read up on it, and the installation is 1,500 square feet of gingerbread houses, structures and festiveness. Sounds pretty fantastic, right? Well, don't ask my family, because Sydney and Brian are not at all interested in seeing it. I got poo-pooed by both of them this morning in regards to the village. I only got Sydney's tentative agreement because I'm her mom and I guilted her. Brian is more stubborn, and will be a harder nut to crack, so to speak. But tomorrow is another day, and no doubt there will be an hour somewhere that we can spend going to this random thing.

Friday, December 19

Peppermint brownies? Is there such a thing?

School is over for 2014, and I've got no Kimmie Time until the first week of January. It's so weird how motherhood makes one both thoroughly enjoy time with their baby, but then also dread it. While I miss her terribly when she's at school, I also can't think of anything more liberating than dropping her at school for the day. So these next two weeks will be both amazing, and irritating.
She gets to spend some time doing some Christmas-y stuff though, like the grocery shopping for the baking, making dough for cookies, helping me wrap some gifts, and doing some shopping for Brian. After that, Mom gets here, and all the Christmas festivities begin in earnest.
This week we'll be baking sugar cookies, fudge, and pumpkin spice cake. What else? I have no idea. I can't decide if we need to try something different. I'll have to flip through my seasonal magazines again, and I've got a holiday baking guide downstairs I should spend some time with. I enjoy baking, you know. It's one of my favorite things.

Thursday, December 18

Seriously, I just cried over him

Alright, so I've now pulled myself together enough to write a bit. I just finished sobbing over the finale, the end, the finish, of The Colbert Report.
Honestly, I love this show. I've been a fan and watched it ever since the first episode aired. It is one of the few absolute delights on my television roster. I'm going to miss it like crazy.
And while I will miss the character and angle and brilliance of the Report, I am eager to see what Colbert does with his new seat behind The Late Show desk. He'll do phenomenally with guests; his monologues (if he has them) will be excellent; and his creativity will keep us intrigued. I'm sure of it. It's so fun to look forward to what he'll do in his next incarnation.
Letterman's retirement date is in May. Will they take the summer before starting the show with Colbert? I hope not. I'd rather not wait until September before seeing Colbert again, you know? I want him back on television now ... like yesterday's now.
Or I'll start crying again.

Wednesday, December 17

Christmas carols abound

I'm super chilled, and super tired. I do though, have my evening slippers on, so my feet are warm. I really should be in bed, but I'm still all dressed, and sitting on the bed instead of laying in it. I'm watching tonight's Michael Buble Christmas special as I write this.
I think he's lip syncing some of this stuff. I've found that entertainers, when singing live, tend to lose volume when they pull the microphone far away from their mouths. Bizarrely, this is not happening to Buble. His voice volume is the same throughout, and he holds the microphone at arm's length at times. This is concerning. ... Dude! You're a singer at a single show in a theater! Sing the shit!
Still, I'm a huge fan of Buble, so I'll probably enjoy the rest of this before turning off the lights. But then again, maybe not. I just looked at the clock again. It's late.
On another note (no pun intended), Gwen Stefani sang part of a Christmas carol on The Voice last night, and it made me suddenly, very much want a Christmas album by her. Her voice is so fun and gravelly, and unique, that I think she'd make an awesome Christmas album. There isn't one on iTunes, so I will assume that someone just hasn't suggested it to her, but I'm hoping someone will now. I'd totally buy that CD.

Tuesday, December 16

It's because they're good stories

It's that time of year, friends, when the television is less interesting, and the books become priority. Well, kinda. I mean, I still have a whole lot of other things to demand my attention, chief among them is my kid, and Christmas, and the Task That Shall Not be Named. But in a perfect world, I'd be able, and willing, to settle into some books before the world gears back up in late January and February. Especially since I've got a pile already, and I believe I may be getting more for Christmas.
Also, in regards to reading, I was pleased to see that I'd been a hatchet monster to my magazine stack a couple weeks ago, and all the older mags had been recycled.
So I'm not really behind in my reading; I'm on time but had chosen to overlook a couple issues. I don't have anything else to read in my life, so once the Task is completed, and Christmas is over, I'll look forward to doing a bit of reading.
Books are happiness.

Monday, December 15

They all smelled good, but not HIM

Years ago, I was a small girl who wanted all the Strawberry Shortcake dolls. They were the hot toys to get, and I learned years later that Mom had to travel to hell and back to find all the dolls for me. In this photo, you'll see the Purple Pie Man, the bad guy, in the back left. He smelled awful.
I found this photo the other day, and it reminded me of my awesome collection. I had Strawberry Shortcake, of course, Blueberry Muffin, Apple Dumplin', Huckleberry Pie, Orange Blossom, Lemon Meringue, Raspberry Tart, Cafe Ole, Angel Cake, and Apricot, as well as all their pets.
I think I may still have these dolls in a box in Mom's storage unit. Or did I donate them? I don't remember. Not that I want them, if I did. But this is a really good picture of them. In fact, this is the first time I've seen the Purple Pie Man since I managed to get him out of my life, because he smelled really bad.
I'm super glad I saved all my dolls and such for my "daughter," should she want to play with them. DINOSAURS.

Sunday, December 14

I watched it so you don't have to

I have an aversion to watching people fight and argue on television. I avoid most every point/counterpoint show, from news and politics to sports. It doesn't seem to me that anyone ever changes their mind based on an argument on television, whether you're the person arguing, or in the audience. By virtue of this, I avoid most everything that looks like it's going to be nothing but people screaming, including movies.
This is why I avoided August: Osage County last year. The trailers, remember, showed little more than Meryl Streep being mean and yelling, and Julia Roberts shrieking. That they acted so abominably to their family made the movie even less enticing. I avoided it very much. ... You must be able to see where this post is going.
Brian, who is the bane of my existence sometimes when it comes to entertainment, decided to land on this movie, "just to see," and then chose to stay with it. I was comfortable on the sofa with my phone and my magazine. I still ended up watching this movie, which I will tell you, is a wretched story about wretched people doing wretched things to each other. Everyone is so mad, or crazy, or vindictive. It was an awful movie to watch. And I don't feel any better about myself as a person, or even as a moviegoer, having watched it. I advise against it.

Friday, December 12

I make some magnificent mac and cheese

Do you want to know a random pet peeve I've got?
It's with Kraft, in regards to their microwaveable macaroni and cheese. You see, many years ago, when I made mac and cheese for Brian and I to eat every other night because it was delicious and we could easily afford it, the standard blue box had a microwaveable recipe.
I followed the recipe, and by virtue of how often I made it, I ended up memorizing it. And then, just by chance one day a few less years ago, I noticed that the microwaveable recipe no longer appeared on the box. Around that time, the proliferation of "Easy Mac" microwaveable mac and cheese began, and the overpriced, "easy" way of microwaving mac and cheese became the way to do it. I continue to microwave my mac and cheese the way I always have, thank you very much.
Tonight's mac and cheese was delicious, my friends. It was so good, I wished that I didn't have to share it with Brian and Sydney. (I'm an only child, by way of explanation.) You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to post the delicious, microwaveable mac and cheese.
Pour your macaroni in a microwaveable bowl, and add 1 3/4 cups of water. Stir.
Microwave for 9 minutes, stirring every three minutes.
Remove the noodles, stir them.
Then add 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a cube), 1/4 cup of milk, and then add the cheese mix.
Stir them all together until butter has melted, and everything is delicious and ORANGE.
I season with salt and pepper, but that's a matter of taste.
So, there you go, my friends. Enjoy your microwaveable macaroni and cheese, for far less money than the "easy" way of Easy Mac.

Thursday, December 11

Melting plastic is pungent

My house is all kinds of stinky right now.
About 15 minutes ago, sitting all comfortable on my bed, I was suddenly assaulted in the nose by the stink of something burning. It took me a moment to figure out that it was indeed coming from inside the house. It's a sharp smell, and one that I've smelled before. But not a good one.
With that, I got up, and proceeded to wander around my entire upstairs sniffing big air and trying to identify and triangulate the smell. Nothing upstairs. Heading down the stairs, the smell got stronger. I woke up Brian, who also smelled it, so I know I wasn't going crazy. We checked outside in the backyard, but didn't smell it.
As I walked into the kitchen, I suddenly realized what the smell was: my dishwasher. I typically set it to an air dry cycle, but tonight, for no real reason, decided to try the heat cycle and see if the dishes dried better. The smell was definitely coming from the dishwasher. Opening the thing was like a punch to the nostrils, all heavy with melting plastic.
Want to know what's weird? None of my plasticware had melted onto the heating element. Sure, I had plenty in there, but all of it was in the racks and safe. Our mutual consensus was that it's the element itself that is stinky, from lack of use or a failure of some kind. I flipped the dishwasher back to air dry and closed the door.
My house still stinks. Bleck.

Wednesday, December 10

Mwah! Kisses goodnight to you!

I'm tired, you guys, for no good reason. I've been going to bed at a decent hour the last couple nights, and have been sleeping well and warm. I've had busy days, certainly, but there's no reason why I'm this tired, and unable to come up with a decent blog topic for tonight's post.
So, a sweet kiss goodnight to you all.

Tuesday, December 9

"Hooked on a feeling" and a movie

ITEM!: Another first for this year: Sydney is permitted to have an opinion about the holiday cards. I asked her this evening if she would rather have a picture taken tomorrow for the card, or if I should just use one of the pics of her from our Grand Canyon trip. She actually volunteered for the photo shoot tomorrow. Knock me over with a feather; I was not expecting that answer. And now I'm all unsure of exactly where I want the picture, and what she'll wear. Do we play it cold weather? Or run with the Santa hat (my personal favorite)? Or will she insist on wearing her Halloween costume? Any and all of these options could very well happen, so the suspense is killing me.
ITEM!: I started my Christmas shopping in earnest this morning, and have made a bit of a dent in what I have planned for the holiday. Tomorrow is a day off, of course, because Brian will be home, but I've got plans for Thursday and Friday. I could very well be almost done by the end of the week. That would be so weird.
ITEM!: An update on the powder room downstairs: I installed a towel ring on the wall for hand towels. This is remarkable because I had been refusing to install anything on the lovely painted walls, and was making my family deal with an inconvenient and silly over-cabinet-door towel holder. So today, I screwed two big toggle bolts into my pristine wall, and hung a ring on them. It looks okay, and it's super practical, but I'm still not loving it.
ITEM!: Also, happily, we are now a family that possesses the Blu-Ray DVD of Guardians of the Galaxy. It's going to hurt us to not watch it before Sydney's home from school tomorrow and done with her homework. We are dying to sing along and giggle again.

Monday, December 8

Pizza, pizza, pizza starts with P

Sydney and I decided that we all needed to have frozen pizza for dinner tonight. You see? We were in charge, and that happened.
So you know, the California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas are quite good. Sydney prefers the single-sized four cheese. So far, Brian and I have sampled the fire-roasted vegetables, four-cheese, and pepperoni, and tonight, we had the margherita.
I also quite like the Tombstone four-cheese pizza.
Pizza for dinner is an awesome thing.

Sunday, December 7

Key lime salt water taffy is delicious

I've had a horrible headache all afternoon, and I'm trying to figure out what gross thing I ate today caused it. Well, my day started with my breakfast shake. It was not that. Then, we all went to the art festival, and proceeded to nosh on basically everything. Kettle corn for Sydney that Brian and I had to test several times to be sure it was safe, and continued to be safe, enough for her to eat. Organic cotton candy in chocolate and strawberry flavors (I only had a bite of each flavor to taste). Key lime salt water taffy, because there's a new candy shop on Mill that carries the Taffy Town taffy. A chocolate chip cookie and strawberry ice cream ice cream sandwich. Hot dogs from Weinerschnitzel.
My day was a gastrointestinal delight, kinda, but it left my head aching throughout the afternoon, and even tonight. I contend that I didn't drink enough water. Plausible, but I've had a couple big bottles of water since we got home. Perhaps the hot dogs, but hot dogs have never given me headaches before. It was probably the ridiculous freight train of sugar I consumed over the course of two hours this morning.
I feel like the best way to finally rid myself of this sugar hangover is to sleep it off.

Saturday, December 6

And pints and pints of ice cream

I was very pleased to discover today that Sydney and I both prefer a smaller Christmas tree. Brian, of course, wants a 12-foot tree or some such. I don't, and was happy to have Sydney on my side in the discussion. Instead, we have a lovely, little six-foot tree in the living room right now, and it's quite perfect. All the right ornaments fit well, the lights are bright and happy, and it smells so good already.
We had a bit of an epiphany a couple weeks ago about the tree topper, though. We've had a light-up star for the last several years to go on top of our tree. I never liked it much, because it was too bright and looked cheesy. I found out, in the conversation that led to an epiphany, that Brian never liked it either. This blew my mind because I'm certain that he's the one that picked it out. Anyway, the solution, of course, was to not use the star, but to be creative with something else. Brian's brilliant idea: a Santa hat atop the tree. It looks super cool. Sydney is not a fan, but I've reminded her that we can use a different topper every year. Next year, we'll be creative with something else.
So, come to find out that if Sydney and I were in charge of everything in our house with no discussion, there would always be a small Christmas tree, brownies in the kitchen, frozen pizza for dinner, and little to no television during the day, with music always playing. Also, she would want to sleep in my room every night, and I would probably let her.

Friday, December 5

Girls on the phone catching up

Julia e-mailed me tonight, you guys! I'm beyond excited about this. It's been just less than two years since I last talked with her, which is a super long time. Her birthday is next week, and I had planned on calling her to wish her a happy day, but she got to me first. It was such a happy treat for me to find her e-mail, and she said that it made her happy to see how quickly I responded. So, we've got a phone date on Monday morning so we have all kinds of time to catch up, with no one else around to interrupt or listen.
I miss my friends. It makes me sad that I'm so far away from them, and I find myself daydreaming quite often about being able to see them more often. Like, wouldn't it be cool if I was able to have coffee with Julia on any day we wanted? Or crash one of Andrea and Ryan's dinners? Or go shopping with any of them? All these things would be lovely. Sure, I see most of them whenever I visit California, but whenever we get together, it's an event, or occasion. I miss getting together "just because," or "maybe some time next week." Being far away takes away the spontaneity and/or casualness of the get-together. So many times, that's the best part.
I'm really looking forward to Monday.

Thursday, December 4

Rain, rain, come back on Saturday

I don't think there's anything better than waking up to the sound of rain outside the window.
Actually, there is something better than that: waking up to the sound of rain outside the window and not having to get out of bed. It was a drag getting out of bed this morning. The rain drops were dancing perfectly on my window and the ground outside, and the thick clouds made for a dark sky. It was the absolute best morning to stay in bed and do nothing but listen to the weather.
But no. I have a kid that had to go to school. So I got out of bed, and had a day in the rain.
Where actually, that wasn't too bad, but still, it would have been nice to stay in bed for a while longer.
I love the weather. I hope it's that kind of morning on Saturday, when I don't have to get up until I want.
Also, it should be noted that I did not post anything on Facebook about the rain. I'm amused by the frequency and speed by which they all post their rain updates, so I thought to not spoil their good time.

Wednesday, December 3

Wednesday is as Wednesday does

is Cooper's birthday! He turned one year old, and still acts as much the puppy as he was yesterday. I think it's pretty safe to say and tell you that I am smitten, enamored and adoring of my puppy. He's becoming a lap dog, which is awesome; he's sweet and happy, which is lovable; and he's still a bundle of energy, which is exhausting.
my ankle tweaked on the trail again! I blame the ankle this time. Because honestly, why would I turn my own ankle -- the same ankle I turned weeks ago -- on purpose? I wouldn't. The ankle is to blame here, because it's obviously become the weak link in my body chain. I'm not at all looking forward to it swelling, and continuing to be weak and sore.
all the decorations are up! But I still have a couple empty spots to fill. Nightlights and another holiday sofa pillow are required before I will say that the house is done.
Oliver just farted! It was an in-his-sleep, old-man fart, so it was kinda cute, but it was still a juicy, loud fart, so that's nasty. Bad news: he was aiming at me. Good news: it has either not got to me yet, or it doesn't smell.
we watched Home Alone! Sydney hadn't seen it yet, and Brian and I were in a mood for a giggle. I'm so glad that she loved it, because it's one of Brian's favorites, and I still crack up when I see iron marks on Daniel Stern's forehead. Her favorite part, based on the level and sincerity of her laughing, was when Kevin put the tarantula on the guy's face and he screamed. She was hysterical. I wouldn't be surprised if we end up watching it again soon, and it becomes required viewing for every year at Christmas.
is Wednesday! And the countdown to Christmas is looming. I got work to do.

Tuesday, December 2

It was still very delicious

It's a super, fantastic thing for me when I find cash in the dryer. Obviously, it means that Brian has forgotten some of his coffee money in his scrubs, but even more than that, it means I've won. I won money for doing laundry.
Last night, a five dollar bill jumped out of the dryer to my feet, and demanded to therefore land in my purse. I was super pleased with this, because it meant that Brian's loss would be my gain, and he would pay for my Starbucks today when I put up the Christmas decorations. (There is always a peppermint mocha consumed on decorating day.) I practically skipped into Starbucks this morning. I ordered my venti peppermint mocha, and happily pulled my five out of my wallet.
Of course, I had no change with me. Only two or three pennies. So, imagine my disgust with having to pull out the debit card to buy my coffee. With a sigh of disappointment, I put the money back in my wallet.
I mean, really, I was supposed to buy my coffee with ill-gotten gains, not my own debit card.

Monday, December 1

Such a pretty girl in a pretty dress

If you can believe it, I am starting to think about my New Year's resolutions for 2015 already. I will, of course, surprise you with them on January 1, but the consideration of them has been a hobby lately. I'm almost excited to get started on the new year, which is not usual for me, at the beginning of December.
I think all this is because I'm close to accomplishing most of this year's resolutions, er, EXPECTATIONs, and the biggest of them is looming, but attainable, in the next couple weeks. Who knows what will happen with it, but I feel like just getting it ready and diving in will be a huge deal for me. Yes, I'm being deliberately vague. Soon-ish, I may be more forthcoming, but that will all depend on my state of mind once said EXPECTATION is met.
Also, I did not get all the Christmas decorations up today. It is best to not pile too many things into one day, and setting out seven or eight bins worth of decorations is certainly an all-day, all-encompassing task. I put away the Thanksgiving stuff, and cleaned some stuff out of that, too. I plan on being quite ruthless with my Christmas decor tomorrow, setting aside to donate everything that I don't love and like a whole lot, because the bins are overwhelming me.
Also, my television shows are going on their winter sabbatical, so it's time to break out the books again. I've got another to add to my To-Be-Read Pile, and hope to get through a couple of them over the holidays and the next several weeks. Reading is exactly what I need as a Christmas present to myself.

Sunday, November 30

Are you ready for some December?

ITEM!: I just tried to fast forward through a commercial on a show that I am watching live. This should tell you exactly how much television I actually watch live. And when I think about it, live TV in my home is limited. If it's not a movie playing as background noise, or the news, it's on the DVR. My concentration is such that I can't watch a show while my kid is awake. I'd rather take my time with watching my show than chance missing any of it with an interruption or crisis.
Anyway, out of habit, I just tried to fast-forward through a commercial on live TV because I have no patience and prefer my television at my leisure.
ITEM!: It was my suggestion to take the day and put up the outdoor lights this morning and afternoon. Right now, our house's front is fantastically awesome and bright. We've got a ton of lights, because my husband is insane for Christmas lights, so we are, I will say, incredibly festive right now.
ITEM!: I need to get to bed right now, because I need to hit the ground running tomorrow morning. I'm taking down Thanksgiving and putting up Christmas all in one day. This has never happened before. And now that I think about it a lot, I'm all kinds of shaky on my commitment here. Maybe I'll just do the Thanksgiving stuff and bring in the Christmas bins. Oh, I don't know. I'll have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow.
ITEM!: This picture actually is my front porch. There are lights not in the photo, of course. We have several strands running over the garage area, and additional icicle lights. And that's Sydney's light-up dinosaur that Mom bought her a couple years ago without my knowledge. You can't see the rest of the ground lights too well, but they're there. It's all terribly lovely out in front.

Saturday, November 29

Make it better, please, this one is awful

You all know how much I love to write letters to companies when they disappoint me, right? Pottery Barn Kids has earned my ire this week. I ordered a stocking for Cooper, and the one that arrived in my house the other day is crappy. I didn't say that specifically, but I did roll with my usual wordiness to say something similar. Here's my letter; let's see what happens.
I hate to send you an e-mail laced in disappointment, but I must.
I ordered a classic quilted stocking with monogramming for Christmas this year. I already have a number of these particular stockings for my family from years past, and needed another for our newest addition. The stocking that arrived a few days ago is decidedly of lower velvet quality and insulating thickness. I can hold the newest stocking next to one of the earlier examples, and the difference in quality is tangible, and visual. The stocking itself is poorly made and I'm embarrassed to hang it next to the others.
I understand that new product manufacturers can be a constant issue with a large company like Pottery Barn Kids. But I'm surprised at your company's lack of issue with a product of such inferior quality, especially when it is supposed to be as good as a previous product. I would think that if your intention was to have one stocking be comparable to one from years ago, you'd actually hold one next to the other and make note of differences. I would hope that these differences would have been fixed.
I always had such confidence in your products. I was always comfortable paying what I pay because I always knew that their quality was worth it. Now, I question that assumption, and am hesitant to buy anything else from your store and catalog.
Add my concerns to the pile, as I'm sure I can't be the only person that's brought this to your attention.
Have a lovely holiday season,
Kimmie G.

There's no reason to not end it with a nice sentiment.

Wednesday, November 26

Yes, that's a word-ish

I saw this on FB today: 
November. The month where people who have complained on Facebook for the past 11 months become thankful for 30 days.
This can't be any truer for so many people I know on this web site. But really, this might be the first year where only one person on my feed took the time to spell out all the things that made them grateful and thankful. Usually there are a good three people who spend the entirety of November telling everyone about the one thing per day that they feel is a #blessed thing in their life.
As for this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my happy, little life, and all the good stuff going on in it.
Reason why we had to go to Target at 8:35 p.m. tonight: 9V batteries for the Stop Thief controller. Come to find out that the reason the controller wasn't working was because the batteries I had put in it expired in March 2005. That means that those particular batteries traveled back and forth to Boston, Arizona, Houston and Arizona. That's weird. That's a long time to own batteries, I think. Now I've got one in the controller, and one extra in the battery box.
I'm ready for tomorrow, you guys. It's all good and thankful-ish.

Monday, November 24

Games are fun, and dogs are awesome

ITEM!: I messed up and noted the wrong day on my calendar for the Thanksgiving family barbecue at Sydney's school today. I thought it was Wednesday. So, tears greeted me at the gate when I picked her up. This is my fault, certainly, but I also zipped an e-mail to the PTO newsletter asking them to include other pertinent reminders, rather than just bombarding us with an inbox full-up of requests for our time, money and bodies.
ITEM!: Mom and Clyde are here for the holiday week, and I have to say, having three dogs in the house is pretty entertaining. Cooper is beside himself with happiness in playing with Clyde, and Oliver is so relaxed because he's not being bothered by the puppy. Clyde is having fun too, I think. They're all doing so well together, and it's all one big happy family. It's super cozy with three dogs on the bed.
ITEM!: We can't find the frickin' Cootie game anywhere. We stopped at Target and Toys 'R Us, and both were lacking the game. Tomorrow, we shall venture into that ickiest of places, Wal-Mart, to check for it there. Mom and I are on a mission: We will have that game to play on Thursday.
ITEM!: And speaking of games, I do have Stop Thief, the board game. This game is one of my favorites ever, and I managed to find it in Mom's storage unit and brought it home. The controller doesn't work, though. I don't accept that. So, on to eBay I went, and I found a working controller, and I bought it, and I just checked the shipping tracker, and it's now in my mailbox. A second game to play on Thanksgiving! I can't wait to hear this game's cheesy little footsteps again.

Sunday, November 23

Peanut butter cookies are super good

Sydney and I made peanut butter cookies yesterday. And my grand plan for losing more weight and not eating as many sweets this holiday season promptly went the way of the dodo. What's fun is that this particular peanut butter cookie recipe is from the extra-curricular cooking class from fifth grade. Or was it sixth grade? Whatever. Anyway, it's from a long time ago.
The cookies, I'm happy to say, are still as delicious today as I remembered them from all those years ago. And the recipe also makes a ridiculous amount of cookie, too, so we've got more than enough to make it through the entire holiday week and weekend.
Or do we? Because I've been eating them like no one's business. Perhaps the only thing that will slow down my consumption of the cookies is that Mom made some Chex mix and brought it with her when she arrived today. But still, the cookies are super good.
Bonus: Even Sydney has decided that she likes them. (They're not as good as Grandma's sugar cookies, but that's okay, because those are for Christmas, and they should be better.) It is her declaration that we should make these cookies every year now for Thanksgiving, though. I'm on board with that, totally, because I enjoy them immensely. Sadly. At the end of the holiday weekend, I promise to divide the cookies that are left between Mom and Brian's mom and dad. I will not have any more of them in my house.

Saturday, November 22

Coolio. Getting over it

Hello. My name is Kimberly, and I'm stubborn.
Hi, Kimberly.
I'm standing here today, because I know that this is my safe place, and I have something to reveal.
We're here for you, Kimberly.
I think ... I mean, I may be ... Well. I think I may be deciding that I like Taylor Swift as a performer.
That's alright, Kimberly.
Is it? Is it alright? I mean, I have been inexplicably not a fan of hers ever since ever. But in my darkest, deepest consciousness, I've still danced to a few songs, and ... And I even know the words to a few.
Really, that's okay. There are a lot of people who like her.
And I know that, and I think that's great. That's why my not-a-fanness doesn't make any sense. I mean, I love Britney for no really good reason, so it should stand to reason that I would like Taylor Swift.
What's changed your mind?
Sure, let's add insult to injury. The Voice changed my mind. She was articulate, knowledgeable, generous, kind and motivating to the participants on the show, and I decided I liked her as a person. Also because I know she dislikes Justin Bieber.
So that's helped sway you?
Indeed! And then, the songs and previews I've heard from her new album sound fun and kicky!
Are you embarrassed by this?
I'm not embarrassed that I like her now, or that I think I may buy the album as well as some of the older songs I like. I'm more embarrassed that I haven't already liked her, and now I'm all bandwagon, or too late to the party.
Get over it.

Friday, November 21

He snores so loudly

Have I told you lately that one of my most favorite things is listening to my dog snore?
Oliver has grown into his old-man snoring, and it's fabulous. He's all settled into his sleep right now, cuddled up and stretched out, and snoring like a freight train. He's marvelous. If I thought I could record it without waking him up, I'd do it. But as we are right now, if I move, he'll wake up. And I won't allow that to happen at all. Until I have to pee. You know, priorities.
Damn. He just woke up.
And then he yawns.
And lays back down.
Time to snuggle in myself, and cuddle with my boy.

Thursday, November 20

Dear Santa, I need GOOD ideas

I feel like life is coming together now, since I spent some time composing my first of many lists this afternoon. I've got some ideas for my people, and even managed to come up with some thoughts and suggestions for myself.
My concern is my kid. She doesn't have any specific ideas on what she wants for Christmas. I mean, I've got one or two ideas for her, but nothing so far as an awesome list of anything. This leads me to something that is always nerve-wracking for me: Being creative. This wasn't always a problem. When she was little, any number of things were amazing and wonderful.
Lately though, when left to my own devices, I've been disappointing her. In a confidence-breaking twist of a situation, I had an idea for her birthday, and it left her in tears of disappointment. It seems like every time I'm on my own, she ends up irritated at me for being a poor gift-giver. It's not helpful that she feels like she has everything dinosaur that she needs, and has little to no other interests.
Well, I've put the thought in her head to start thinking about Christmas ideas, so I guess I'll have to wait and see what she writes to Santa about.

Wednesday, November 19

Burgers are a delicious food choice

I don't know how well you can see this, but it's a graphic of the most popular and loved hamburger joints, according to customers' Foursquare check-ins. The list itself is impressive including a bunch of places I've been, and a couple I've never heard of.
I've never been to: Hardee's, Krystal, White Castle, Checker's.
I've tried, but don't frequent: Whataburger, Steak 'n Shake, In-N-Out (which may or may not make me un-Californian), Five Guys, Burger King, Wendy's.
I eat at: Sonic, Dairy Queen, Carl's Jr., Jack in the Box, McDonald's.
BUT, I wouldn't say that any one of these has my most-loved hamburger. I understand that this list is comprised of fast-food burgers, and I would say that one or two of these places can make a pretty good burger, but my favorites are from Fuddruckers. Sadly, all the Fuddruckers near me have closed, so I dream about my favorite burger more than I eat it.
The Skinny Burger I had at Cheesecake a few weeks ago was pretty good, though. And there's a place around here that makes gourmet burgers, and they're yummy, too. Eating hamburgers is among my favorite of pastimes.

Tuesday, November 18

Still somewhat normal ... for me

I've been on my new hormone birth control pills for a full two weeks now, and I broached the always loaded question with Brian this morning: "Have I been okay lately? Mood swings? Weirdness?"
This was a brilliant way to open myself up to a boatload of sarcastic comments, and they did come raining down. But, having gotten all that out of his system, he finally got down to what I asked. Encouragingly, he said that I seemed to be pretty normal, and that all seems to be okay. For now.
I suppose the next two weeks will tell the tale more than this half-month check-up.

Monday, November 17

Ew! You've got COOTIES!!

You want to know something sad? In a world of super-sensitive children and super-aware schools, children are missing out on some of the random fun of being a kid.
As an example, Brian and I had to explain to our kid what a COOTIE is yesterday. She'd never heard the word before, and was pretty fascinated as to why we thought it was such a funny thing. And then, that kids used to pick on other kids -- goodnaturedly, of course -- about them having cooties, and being afraid to be touched by them. Brian and I thought it was terribly funny. We played around with the topic of cooties for the entire rest of the day and night.
But then, I had to make the clarification: "I know that we laughed about it here just now, but we don't know how upset any of the kids at school might get if you say anything to them about having cooties, so let's just make that a word for home, okay?"
Ugh. I'm bugged by having to tell her that. Some kids are way too sensitive. Honestly, are any of us really, seriously, scarred for being told that we had cooties?
And then I remembered the game, Cootie. I need to pick that little gem up at Target this weekend so we can play it next week over the holiday.

Saturday, November 15

I win at shoelaces

We all know that there are a bunch of ways to tie shoes, right? Everyone learns a different method, but the fun is that the result is always the same. Brian and I set out to teach Sydney how to tie shoes this afternoon (please do not judge me for not having taught her this already), and it was an enlightening several minutes for me, too.
Apparently, and I had no idea about this until I started my lesson, but the way I tie shoes is too complex. This was told to me by Brian, who witnessed my first lesson and told me as much before he took over the job. It should be noted that Brian also doesn't know how to tie and untie double-knots. But my shoe-tying method was opted against, and Sydney was taught Brian's "simpler" version.
I don't know how long it's been since I sat and tied and untied shoes for an afternoon.
Also, I shall forever hold it in my head that my method of tying a shoe is smarter and far superior to Brian's.

Friday, November 14

But I like raw cookie dough

Okay, so I'm dancing around on Yahoo! tonight, and came across a couple disturbing articles.
First, a mom who died from eating raw cookie dough. According to the article, she contracted E.coli after a single spoonful of contaminated raw cookie dough. Her kidneys failed, and then systematically, the rest of her organs failed over the course of a couple years. The woman's son is now campaigning for better regulations. Is it totally wrong that I may have to take up signage and picket Washington, D.C. if they make it illegal to sell and eat raw cookie dough? That stuff is super good to snack on. Brian always wants to pick up one of those buckets of cookie dough at Costco because it'll be better to have a lot more for when I make cookies. I always refuse because I know that I'll be sneaking downstairs a couple times a night, every night, to take a spoonful or two for instant gratification.
Second, a woman may have contracted HIV from a manicure. Should YOU be worried? Um, I'm not. The woman, who lives in Brazil, didn't contract the disease from a typical way, so doctors were at a loss. Their investigation led back to the woman's cousin, who was a manicurist and also diagnosed with HIV. Disinfecting standards, obviously, are not universal, and they believe that the manicurist tools were infected by one or more of the woman's clients. But no, I am not worried about getting a manicure.
It seems like tonight's Yahoo! is all about trying to scare me from awesome things. I will not let the terrorists win!

Thursday, November 13

I should get better at remembering ideas

Damn. I had a topic for tonight earlier today, but now I can't remember it. I need to start having Siri remind me of the topics I think of throughout the day. Because right now, I'm at a loss.
ITEM!: Oliver had a check-up this morning, and happily, he is still in fantastic shape for a little doodle as old as he is. His cataracts are getting denser, and are impacting his vision now, though. During the day, and in the light, he probably sees well enough. But at night, or in the dark, his vision is compromised a lot, and he probably gets around more on memory than actual sight, according to the doc. (I wish he could talk to me. But anyway, looks like we're never moving!) The doctor was happy that we're giving him glucosamine every day, and that is probably why he gets around as well as he does, especially after the back tweaking a couple months ago.
It's important that the dog be okay, you know, because otherwise I'd be an inconsolable mess.
ITEM!: I cleaned out the deck box in the backyard this afternoon, tossing out all kinds of older and gross stuff. Who needs that many buckets? Honestly. I should figure out a central place to keep all my plant pots, too, as now they're separated into two different homes. Also, I have a whole passel of gardening gloves, and one single left glove, which amuses me.
ITEM!: There is a friend of mine that I follow on Instagram, and she's a natural foodie person. Everything she eats and feeds her kids is as all-natural as she can get, and she's a creative chef. I'm thinking of unfollowing her. She doesn't know it, but she's food-shaming me, and I'm getting thisclose to being totally over it. Today was a tofu stir fry with almond butter, soy, ginger sauce. Also, she made a parsley pumpkin agave vinaigrette. I'm embarrassed that I can't cook worth a damn, and she makes me feel really bad about myself. But maybe more than anything, I get mad that she's got the discretionary income to go the grocery store and buy all this batty stuff. I'm like, really? Spinach, arugula, goat cheese and red quinoa salad with grilled chicken or salmon? Who does this?!

Wednesday, November 12

Pretty, certainly, but still too soon

We bought Christmas lights today.
It was for a good reason, not entirely Christmas related, but sorta.
Last year, we put multi-colored outdoor lights around the patio cover for festiveness. The lights looked so good, and gave just the right kind and amount of light, that I decided to leave them up all year. The continue to be used every night, and all is well. But over the weekend, Brian and I inspected them closer, and discovered that the colored film on the lights had both faded and even disintegrated from the bulbs. So many of the lights were almost totally just white filament.
We decided that it would be easier to just replace all the bulbs rather than replace the entire strings. But what is even cheaper is to buy entire new strings and replace the bulbs from there, rather than buy packages of replacement bulbs. So, we went to Lowe's this afternoon and found a couple strings to work with.
But since my husband is a Christmas-obsessed infant with a job, we ended up also buying some replacement strings for the tree, and having several family "discussions" about new light ideas for the front of the house. The topic was tabled for now, but I'm quite sure it'll come up again this weekend.
I hate buying too much Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. I'm irritated that I allowed what I did. But my backyard looks so much better right now, and we all know that I'll need the extra strings for the tree anyway.
Still, ugh.

Tuesday, November 11

It's all one level; right?

Something else that's interesting: I'm trying a new hormone birth control pill combination.
Over the last couple years, my gynecologist has been trying to lower my estrogen levels via a shift in my birth control pill dosage. She wants to lower my levels because I'm older, and because the reduction lowers my risk of cancer. All good things, but last year, when we tried lowering my dosage by half, I went a little emotionally insane. Granted, it also was right around the time that Daisy died, and my insanity was peak anyway. But I insisted on going back to my regular pills, which I did, and all seemed to normal out for me (aside from the crippling despair of losing Daisy).
It's been a year, and the doctor had a new strategy: Instead of starting with a low dosage, and then cutting the estrogen gradually throughout the month until I reach the week of my period, as regular pills do, I have pills at a lower dose but the same level of estrogen every day all month long. Does that make sense? I feel like it might.
I'm in the first week, on day four of my mono-pills, and so far, I think I'm pretty normal. Of course, a month will tell the difference as to my mental and emotional health and well-being. So we shall call this Physically Aging Experiment: LOWER ESTROGEN EDITION. And we'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 10

Slouching is NOT cool

I'm wearing a posture brace right now. It's a figure-eight brace that goes around my shoulders and to my back. It's not particularly comfortable, but I suppose it's not supposed to be. It's not terribly uncomfortable, either, so I'm wearing it while I sit at the computer tonight. In fact, it'll become part of my nightly ritual. Truth be told, it's been sitting on the floor next to my bed for a week or so, silently judging me every time my shoulders hunch.
Why the fuss all of a sudden? I've noticed over the last several months that my posture has become less and less straight. I've never had the best posture, and I accepted that, but lately, I feel like my back is actively beginning to hunch. This bothers me, simply because I refuse to be one of those old women who is all bent over and creaky. I will not have Sydney look at me like I'm at all weakened.
So, the brace. I understand that it won't be the ultimate savior. I know I need to do more exercises for my core. I did my research and found all kinds of things to do.
Now, it's just a matter of doing them.

Sunday, November 9

Mondays are the best!

Is it wrong that sometimes the only thought that gets me through my Sundays is that I will be home alone on Monday?
I love my daughter, and she thinks that I serve no other purpose than to entertain her when she decides I should. This is irritating to the extreme, because I am not allowed to bother her with anything when she's involved in other things, but she holds no such respect for me and my activities. When she sidles up to me, all sweet and cuddly, all I can do is internally cringe and wait for it, and then it comes: "I'm bored. What should we do right now?"
I love my husband, and he likes arguing with me at Costco, making for a very quiet and avoidance-laden afternoon. I'm not sorry; we just didn't need a cookie press.
I love television, and it's even better when I get to be in charge of what I'm watching.
Tomorrow is gonna be awesome.

Saturday, November 8

I've got the right-ish stuff, baby

I don't talk about it as much, since, you know, NASA isn't launching spaceships anymore, but I still really want to go into space. However, I don't think I'm comfortable figuring out how to hitch a ride on a Russian ship about now. Too much political situation going on, and I don't have $20 million.
But I still would really like to be an astronaut. How does a 41-year-old journalism major without a job become an astronaut these days? Well, let's check out the criteria, and how I stack up.
Be a citizen of a country that is capable of sending people into space: CHECK.
Be the right age. NASA has flown astronauts from 32 to 46: CHECK.
Be the right height, between 5'2" and 6'3": CHECK.
Pass the physical with flying colors, reading glasses not allowed: damn.
Speak English: CHECK.
Learn how to swim, and swim well: kinda CHECK. I can tread the water, but the scuba certification is lacking.
Get excellent grades in high school: damn.
Be a stellar student at a good university: damn.
Complete around abouts three years of experience work: CHECK. Housewife.
Consider joining the military: Nope.
Apply for the job: Okay.
Be able to complete training: Hmmm. Realistically, probably not.
Duly noted that my CHECKs fell off quite a bit towards the middle and end of the list there. That's depressing. Still, it's a super fun fantasy and lofty goal. And if actually, seriously, given the opportunity to do it, I don't know. I think I'd totally try it. But someone else will have to do the math.

Friday, November 7

I finally claim the Keurig

In an interesting turn of events, the Keurig machine downstairs has actually started to benefit me and my hot-beverage needs. When we first plugged the machine in, it tasted strongly of plastic. We removed the filter, and, if you can believe it, the results tasted less plastic-y. But still, when I brewed my Tazo zen tea, it tasted weird. Brian said his coffee was fine, but still, my tea wasn't. I concluded that the tea was just too delicate for the machine and its residual flavor, and therein washed my hands of it. That was about 10 months ago.
Just the other day, I was thirsty for some tea, and for whatever reason, didn't want to brew a cup in the microwave with a tea bag. I decided to roll the dice and try the Keurig with my zen tea brewing cup again. Much to my happiness, the tea came out perfect! It tasted just fine, and I think I have the last 10 months of Brian using the machine to thank for it. He obviously burned the bad plasticness out of the machine, and now it's finally suited for my particular tastes.
I've now brewed four cups of tea with my Keurig, including tonight's just-finished mug, and I'm beyond pleased. I need to find some regular black tea brewing cups for my mommy when she comes to visit, and we can enjoy our tea together. Suddenly, the Keurig is super awesome. As of three days ago, I'm finally a fan.

Thursday, November 6

A pretty pic, an ugly topic

I stayed up way too late last night watching 12 Years a Slave. I had avoided that movie like the plague for its entire run in the theaters, and then on DVD, and then on the movie channels. But then last night, for whatever reason, a couple seconds intrigued me enough to watch the last 90 minutes. And let me tell you, it was as brutal and horrifying as I thought it would be, and  I definitely should not have watched it. 
Certainly, it's important to understand and know our country's history. Especially the bad stuff, so we know that we can learn and grow from the foulest aspects of human nature. And I appreciate the movie for its beauty, and bravery in the story it told.
But the brutality of the story, and the advances in movie magic, made the story just too real for me, and my heart can't take it. It was forever before I was able to go to sleep last night. And I've had visuals and thoughts about it all day today.
I'm in one of those movie loops where it's just sitting at the front of my brain, and not even Thanksgiving decorations could do anything about it. It's just a matter of time before I get caught up in something else, I suppose.
To clarify, the movie was super good, and incredibly well acted and made. But my heart just can't handle evil like that.

Wednesday, November 5

My Archer bubble has been burst

I love the television show Archer. It completes me, as a hysterically awesome comedy puzzle piece in my head would. Seasons ago, after I fell in love with the show, Brian told me that the guy who does the voice for Archer looks absolutely nothing like what I would think. He said the guy was kinda dumpy, and not that good looking.
This disturbed me on several levels. The first and foremost being, of course, that Archer himself is hot and fantastic, and his voice is a big part of that. So to have the person behind the voice being not as hot was ... deflating to my fantasy. And since I learned that, I have avoided all instances when I could possibly see what that guy looks like in real life. I have actively skipped over Archer news and interviews and articles and vignettes that might have his picture or likeness in them.
And then, Last Week Tonight and Brian plotted against me. Last night's Last Week Tonight featured a Home Depot "commercial" about how employees of the store keep couples from fighting in the store. I watched it, amused and ignorant, for a good minute. And then, Brian.
Granted, he was excited that he recognized the voice and probably said it before he really considered what he was saying. But once I heard his recollection and figured out what he was telling me, I was horrified. One of the men in the ad was the voice of Archer. And now I knew what he really looked like. And what I had hoped would make the segment bearable, my closing my eyes and covering them, only made the problem worse, as then all I could hear was Archer's voice talking about Home Depot stuff.
I had really hoped to live out my obsession with Archer without this knowledge.

Tuesday, November 4

I just want a better education for my kid

As much as I love the democratic voting process, and the feeling of pride I get from taking part, this government is the most frustrating thing. I'm frustrated and irritated, and I haven't even gotten the results from the one thing I want the most: the school override initiative.
Of course, my daughter would rather all the things I care about on the ballot lose, because she enjoys having a half-day on Wednesdays, and would like for every day to be shortened. I couldn't imagine anything more disappointing than having her be overjoyed about her education being compromised because some people think that "securing our border" is more important than her livelihood. How about we have some funds go to the betterment of actual citizens of the country, instead of having them occupied with keeping other people out?
I don't care about people wanting to enter the United States. We've got plenty of room. I want a better education for the kids who are already here. Sydney has a one-track mind, and I am horrified at the thought of her telling me, "I told you so" about the school budgets.
At the end of the day, I can't imagine any of the new Republicans being too much worse than the old Republicans. I do imagine that Arizona will continue to be the butt of jokes on The Daily Show. I imagine that I will cringe and look away every time I see our new governor on TV. I imagine that I need a job so I can send my kid to private school again.