Thursday, August 28

Michelle's getting married!!

I really do enjoy weddings. I'm not a crazy romantic or anything, and I rarely cry during them, but I do think they're wonderful. (I've cried during only one wedding: Andrea's, only because Ryan cried first, and it was so sweet I had to cry, too.) I'm a little bit sad to say that this weekend marks the last of my dear friends' weddings. (As Andrea and I were discussing tonight, from this weekend on, it's second-round weddings. Which, no doubt, will be just as awesome; but there's nothing like the first time, right?) I'm only sad because this may be the last of the weddings with this particular group of friends. This group of friends is the best, and we always have so much fun together. And there is nothing better than hanging out around a big table, drinking booze, dancing, taking pictures, and laughing.
Anyway, Michelle is getting married this weekend, and I'm super excited about being there!!

Tuesday, August 26

I'm finally watching this

I'm watching Veronica Mars, the movie right now. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
I never watched the television show, and I feel like I need to now. I know that not having watched Veronica Mars is one of those things that most of my friends won't believe, since I was one of those girl-power television show lovers. But really, I knew the gist of it, without having watched any of it.
I think I'm going to watch it now, because it looks like it will torture me emotionally. And we all know how I love to torture myself by watching super good television shows that will end and make me sad that I didn't watch them in the first place.

Monday, August 25

Heaven in blue and yellow

I just read this thing about how you can spend a night in an Ikea somewhere, and I think that's wonderful. Actually, I would like to have the store to myself for the night, with no security patrol or anything, and with a large truck that was "mine" parked by the exit, that I could drive home the next morning without anyone looking inside it. That right there sounds like a dream come true for me.
What would I get? A new sofa and a couple chairs, including that new comfy corner chair thing. Some rugs; a lot of rugs. More vases than I know what to do with. Also, a whole bunch of lamps. And a bed for myself. And one for my kid. Sadly, I don't like duvets much, so the bedding section would be a bit of a letdown. But frames and knickknacks. Bookcases and dresser drawers would be heavy to move into the truck on my own, but I think I'd soldier through it.
Honestly, my mind is overwhelmed with the thoughts of what I would bring home with me. I'd refurnish my entire home, and I'd do it happily and in random colors and textures.
Someone make this happen for me. All night in an Ikea with no exit sensors or video cameras or persons in night guard gear. NIRVANA.

Sunday, August 24

Also, I missed my dogs with me

I don't know what it is about the beds in the lake hotel's rooms this summer, but I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep on any of our excursion weekends. But really, the answer is in the question: "lake hotel's rooms." They've been like sleeping on sheets of plywood, where you think maybe you can make them comfortable, but that following morning, the thoughts are deemed ridiculous. My shoulders are all cramped up; my back is stiff; and I'm so tired.
Funny side note: Sydney actually rolled off the bed last night, woke up, got back into bed, and went back to sleep. I didn't wake up at all, and she told me about it this morning. "Mom, did you hear a big 'kerplunk' last night? That was me; I fell off the bed!" She didn't get hurt, though was startled. But not startled enough to wake me up or anything, so I guess she's growing up ... and unknowingly practicing for college.
It's very easy to take for granted the comfort level of one's own bed. I won't tonight, because I am so eager to lay down right now. Comfortable beds are the best, Y'ALL.

Thursday, August 21

A bit of blue in a sea of red

I filled out my mail-in, early primary ballot this morning.
It was ... depressing. As a Democrat in the state of Arizona, I have to reconcile myself with a very specific truth:
My party won't be in charge here for a while, if ever. Arizona is such an entrenched Republican state, and still considers itself quite "western," that most progressive or liberal ideas, movements and legislature gets squashed quickly. The cowboys here still think they need guns for the grocery store. Any kind of broad or sharply leaning Republican language is spoken here, and my preferred shade of blue is brushed to the side as hippie talk.
When your own political ideology is so quickly dismissed as a losing strategy, and most everything is decided by people of the opposing political party, it's very easy to get disappointed in the government. Basically, everything that I believe in will be defeated, ignored or bent over.
There are about 12 people running for governor of Arizona right now. Eight of them are Republican. One Democrat. One Libertarian. Two of some other party I don't remember.
Here's my quandary: Do I vote for the Democrat that I know won't win, or do I vote for the Republican candidate that will do the least amount of damage to my pet causes? Which one of these people will do minimal damage to abortion rights, gay marriage and public schools? Is there a safe way to play The Lesser of the Evils when they are all, essentially, really evil?
My primary ballot was horribly bleak, except for the Scottsdale City Council people. It's a sad and scary thing being this bright blue in a red state. How much does my vote really count for anything? Sure, it could be said that I'm a sore loser, but it's hard to just sit here while common civil rights are being stepped on, and citizens are not being treated equally. I'm so sad, no ... blue.

Wednesday, August 20

Ice water in shirt = frickin' cold

So, then that happened.
I was going along in my happy, little life blogging about the ALS ice bucket challenge. All was well, and I was warm. But then, Brian's sister nominated him for the challenge last night. And in going forth and completing the challenge today, Brian nominated me. I'm no punk, so I completed my challenge as quickly as I could, just to get it over with. I nominated my mom, Andrea and Marlo.
Sydney did a fabulous job of dumping water on her parents this afternoon. On Brian, she took her time pouring it. On me, it was much colder than Brian's bucket. She was wonderfully happy to torture us both.
But most importantly, we did our part, made our donation, and have entered ourselves into this year's pop culture zeitgeist.

Tuesday, August 19

I love how everyone makes an exclamation

I am thoroughly enjoying the ALS ice bucket challenge videos. The challenge itself is promoted by the ALS Association. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." It's a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The idea behind the challenge is, to my understanding, that a person challenges people they know to either donate money to the cause, or to dump a bucket of ice water on their head, and record it and post it, to help raise awareness of the disease. From what I've been able to tell, most people are doing the challenge, because it's fun and really cold, and then donating money as well. This is super fun for me, the entertainment junkie, because I get to see all kinds of celebrities and personalities get water dumped on them by their own hand, or someone else's. Most have made this incredibly entertaining. And the videos just keep coming. Every day, someone awesome on my Twitter and Facebook feed have posted a video, and they're fabulous.
Whoever came up with this is brilliant, in a thousand different ways. People love nothing more than being dared to complete a task, and then to be able to post video of themselves doing it. The fact that this challenge has raised millions of dollars for the cause is incredible gravy.

Monday, August 18

Dusty, dusty, happy shoes

ITEM!: It was sssoooo nice to be back on the trail this morning. I had to do a double and triple-check of my hiking shoes to make sure no critter had settled into them before I put them on, but once on my feet, they were immediately comfortable. The sun was periodically blocked by some clouds, which is what made the hike bearable, but the rays were still ... warming ... as I walked the trail. I was pretty excited to see that the temperature this morning was in the 80s, and it looks like it may be that way for the next several days, too. It looks like the hike may become my three-times-a-week appointment exercise again, and I couldn't be happier.
ITEM!: I stayed up way too late this morning finishing the last of my Mortal Instruments books. But that means that I know everything that happened, and also, more importantly to you, I will stop talking about them. I picked up a new cheesy romance the other day, so I'll be cracking that and digging in tonight. All good things. Yay reading!
ITEM!: My random house-cleaning section today was the office. I've messed around with Brian's books so they all fit on the bookcase (I still want a new one for here, as this current bookcase is old and too frail for all those textbooks). I also cleaned out a whole bunch of my stuff, adding a pile of recyclable paper, and a bag for Goodwill, and some trash. I feel like I'm purging "unnecessary stuff," and it's awesome.
ITEM!: House projects and ideas are gurgling and bubbling in my head, and I want to do them NOW, but I must exhibit patience and create some kind of priority list.

Sunday, August 17

Three great tastes that taste great frozen

I made the mistake of buying a box of Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches at the grocery store the other day. They're good. Add this to the mistake of Brian and I buying and "trying" the brownie brittle at Costco, and it should come as no surprise to you that I will be hitting the trail tomorrow morning. It'll be warm, but I'm going to soldier through it, because I'm getting fat. My summer was one of no exercise, but with a lunch partner. Not good things for my waist, as it has ... expanded. I need the work out, and I'm eager to dig in to getting back in some semblance of shape, especially now that the weather is beginning to "cool" to being in the upper 80s in the morning (though tomorrow will be 90). All this is, of course, subject to whether or not I actually feel like doing the exercise tomorrow.

Friday, August 15

Find 'em and fix 'em; that's what I say

I was a flurry of activity today, doing a whole bunch of little things around the house that no one but I will notice or appreciate. I meandered through the place, making random changes here and there, removing things, and cleaning out areas, that have bothered me. It's weird how I can wander through my home, finding little things to "fix" for several hours a day, a few days this week. I'll probably be able to do the same thing next week, especially since I'll spend the next two days in my home finding, and making note of, things that need messing with.
Most of my time was spent in the office and the laundry room. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, I still have work to do in other portions of the house.
I find myself wondering, would I ever be totally happy with a home? Or do I enjoy finding little things to fix and change too much? Yep, that.

Thursday, August 14

The final chapter, and I've already got it

I've discovered a book-lover's nirvana, and it is: the complete and published book series. I've been telling you lately about the The Mortal Instruments series. I'm thoroughly enjoying these books, and have burned through them at a lovely pace.
The best part about this is that the final book in the series was just published a couple months ago. And this is remarkable because I don't have to wait for the next story. I'll repeat that: I. Don't. Have. To. Wait. I find out immediately what happens next! This is amazing!
For someone who suffered with waiting throughout the Harry Potter years, the reality of not having to wait a year or even two to get the next volume is fabulous. It's so liberating.
The final Mortal Instruments book was just published in hardcover form, which means that, since I have the first five of them in paperback, I will read it on the Nook and buy it in paperback when it's available in that format. And my Nook is sitting over there on my nightstand calling me. It's all, "Kimmie!! Kiiimmmmmiiieee .... come read me!!"
You know I have no will power. I'm totally digging in tonight, especially since it's only 9:10 p.m. and there's nothing decent on TV right now.

Tuesday, August 12

I am -- totally loving -- Groot

I think my favorite movie so far this year is Guardians of the Galaxy. And while the whole movie is hot awesome, the best character is Groot.
Groot is a large, walking tree that can grow and manipulate his limbs (ha!! A fantastic unintentional pun!!) by growing them longer, accessorizing them with flowers and leaves, and protecting himself by thickening them. Also, all he can say is "I am Groot," in varying inflections, lengths, and volume. He's pretty fantastic.
I'm crushing pretty hard on him, and I'm totally in love with -- I won't say too much because spoilers -- the Groot at the end of the movie. Happily, Sydney and Brian are as eager as I to have this movie DVD in the house as soon as it's available. As it is now, I'll just be smitten with my new movie boyfriend.

Monday, August 11

Toe pain ... toe, toe, toe pain

I think human beings should have some kind of peripheral alarm system that alerts them when their limbs and appendages are too close to walls, corners and furniture. I fail to see why my body can't let me know in some loud and annoying fashion that my baby toe is too close to the hallway corner, and then give me time to rectify the situation. You know, before my toe slams into said corner, and I spend five minutes trying not to cry, and the following three hours with a constant ache. In fact, the toe still hurts like hell, and I don't anticipate it feeling better before the morning, or even before Friday. I wouldn't be surprised if I lose the toenail. I think I smacked it head-on, and that's never a good thing. A glancing blow is always preferable. I just checked the toe, and it's still super sore to the investigative touch, but it's not purple or the size of a golf ball or anything. That's good, right?
I had hoped to get a pedicure tomorrow, but now I'm all nervous. I will, of course, get the pedi, but if the nail drops off during my callous remover treatment, I'll be super grossed out.
And I refuse to post a pic of my toe, because it needs a pedicure, so I found a pretty, pink flower instead.

Sunday, August 10

When the kid's in school, I will read

What do I do with my first official day of school tomorrow?
Sure, she started school again last Wednesday, but I had Brian with me that day, and then Daddy with me on Thursday and Friday. So tomorrow, really, is my first day back to school.
And my instinct is completely and entirely book related. I kinda want to sit and read all day, with maybe a stop at Barnes & Noble for some looking around. Of course, other things will command my attention, like vacuuming my home's upstairs, and worrying about Cooper's neutering, which also will be happening tomorrow, but the majority of my day will be mine, and I'm eager to do whatever I want with it.

Friday, August 8

Productive days = the best Fridays

ITEM!: I found some bathroom accessories that I like for the soon-to-be-redone powder room downstairs. And even better, they're at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and even better than that, I have a "20 percent off purchase" coupon! All that I need to do is sneak over to the store and make my purchase, and then all we need to do is paint the bathroom. And get some new hand towels. And a shade for the window. You see? I'm practically almost done!
ITEM!: Daddy and I accomplished some projects at my house today. We put together the decorative lighthouse (that's a different blog post for a different time, but I won't make you wait too long; promise), and set it up where I want it in the backyard. Now all I need to do is figure out the power source, and the timer. But we also dismantled Sydney's art easel and hung the white board on the wall so it's no longer just leaning against the wall, where I imagine it is waiting patiently before falling on a dog and then crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. So now that won't happen, and I get bonus points for her liking it, too. Also, we talked through the changes I want to make in the backyard, in regards to plant removal and replacement. Special insight: he doesn't think my orange tree is getting enough water, and maybe that's why my fruit isn't ripening. So I'll plant another fertilization stick in the soil, and then add some additional watering by hand.
ITEM!: I found my ideal Password Journal, and I'm all ready and eager to get started on all that online security. In fact, I just wrote down both mine and Sydney's Apple ID and passwords. You see, it's working already! But that's all I'm doing right now, because it's late, and I have a whole lot of these things to write down.
ITEM!: Isn't it a great thing to be so productive on a Friday? Because really, that's a license to be super lazy all weekend, right?

Thursday, August 7

A password a day, keeps the bad away

I've moved on from my e-mail address issue, and now seem to be focused on my passwords. Daddy and I were discussing the Russian theft of the billion passwords thing and considering how best to deal with passwords. Mine are, in a word, unimaginative. And their simplicity have been a concern of mine for some time, but right now, I'm feeling like they need to be changed, like yesterday.
I remember a few years ago, I bought Mom a Password Journal. I think I've decided that I could really use one of those. It'll keep track of my usernames and passwords, as well as Sydney's, for all the web sites we visit. Since this will be a written record, I won't have to depend on my mind, or my not-at-all cryptic notes in the bookmarks on my browser.
I know I must have a little spiral notebook somewhere in my desk drawers that can serve this purpose. I will find it, and I will begin to build it, changing passwords and usernames as I go along. My online security is a priority ... for next week.

Wednesday, August 6

These must be changed for the better

My neurotic need for redoing randoms in my house has recently spilled over into the loft and the powder room downstairs.
POWDER ROOM ~ Just so you know, this room is painted red. And not really just red, but RED. I've hated it since we moved in, and I think it's time for a change. Also, I am not going to ask for permission to paint it. I don't think the landlords will care, and with the help of my trusty on-staff interior designer, it'll be done and selected well and tastefully. Tasks: Repaint walls white, or maybe that light coffee color in Syd's room. Change window treatment from its purple (yes, PURPLE) vertical blinds. Remove full-size towel rack and replace with smaller powder-room-appropriate towel rack. Figure out a color scheme and get some style in there. Color hand towels, because white is not working. Move some other art in there. Once the red is gone and I've got more leeway with the color scheme, that room will really come together.
LOFT ~ This room/area is our office, but also can be a guest space. We've got a futon in there, though I still need to learn how to lock it in the flat, bed position. Perhaps the biggest motivation behind the loft redesign is the Ikea catalog that landed in my mailbox this afternoon. Tasks: Donate the dinosaur pillows on the futon and replace with a bunch of black-and-white throw pillows (from Ikea). Donate and replace the small bookcase for Brian's dental books (at Ikea), and reorganize that corner of the room. Buy one of those cool rolling storage racks for all the extra office stuff (at Ikea). I'd like a large rug for under the Cozy Chair, as well (from Ikea). I love the Ikea catalog for this room right now.
All these ideas will, of course, be discussed and vetted with the proper collaborators. And I reserve the right to change my mind on all aspects listed above, too.

Tuesday, August 5

I'm a lumberjack, I'm okay

I'm going to rewrite my resume this weekend. I've decided to make some changes to the format. Because there honestly has to be a reason why no one is calling me back, so maybe that's it. Perhaps the formatting of my resume is just that old, and it reflects badly.
I've checked everything else. I went through it tonight and proofread it. Yep, that's right, I proofread my perfectly edited resume because I was absolutely sure that there must be a spelling error on it. Why else would no one be at all interested in me working for them? The only thing that I can see is that the format I never liked could be off-putting to others, as well.
So, let's change that up and see what happens.
We've got  a big day tomorrow.

Monday, August 4

Dude. Mondays

I made the Genius Bar appointment at the wrong Apple Store. And they were booked up at the store I was at until later this afternoon, so I had to make a new appointment for tomorrow morning.
Sydney messed up her fresh pedicure by sitting on her legs and feet at lunch.
The grocery store had two portions of the ice cream section full up of Blue Bell ice cream, but not a single bit of the key lime pie flavor.
We got all the way home and unpacked the groceries when I remembered that I needed to get a bag of puppy food for Cooper, and that it couldn't wait until tomorrow because we fed him the last of it this morning. Had to leave the house in the heat of the day. Never fun.
I did start my book though, and I really want to finish it, so I'm done. This day has been randomly irritating in pieces, and I'm over it.

You know, if I ever considered publishing my blog as an e-book, I'd have three entire chapters dedicated to the posts I wrote because I just wanted something up that day. This would be one of them.

Sunday, August 3

Thank you, sir, but fix it really quick

Oh my goodness, you guys. The apocalypse may be upon us: Sydney's iPod is not working. She doesn't know it yet, which is why I'm able to make a joke about it now, because tomorrow morning the hysterics will begin. I was able to save all the information this evening, in the couple minutes that the phone was behaving itself. I've made an appointment tomorrow morning with the Genius Bar, so here's hoping that they'll be able to make heads or tails of it. But really, she will be most ... displeased ... to discover this in the morning.
Right now, I feel like the damn thing has bricked out on me, and is a lost cause. Which means my options are such: buy her a new one (which I won't do because she'll get my old phone when I get my 6); pay to have this one cleaned off and then rebuild it (which I hope isn't too terribly expensive because that's my preference); or get a new screen for the shattered 4 that she had before and broke (which is a solid Plan B).
I've now attempted to restore it four times, and every time, it stops before it's done and let's me know, via a happy word bubble, that this phone can not be restored. I swear, I'll be hearing about this at 6 tomorrow morning, and that's going to suck right out loud.

Saturday, August 2

Gotta figure out a name for him

ITEM!: Seahorses are among my favorite animals. I took this pic at the aquarium last week, and I'm quite in love with the little dude in it. He seems pretty happy.
ITEM!: Our Saturday movie was Guardians of the Galaxy. It was super good. I'm such a sucker for the Marvel movies, and this one did not disappoint me at all. It was the first one that we took Sydney to, as well, and she dug it, too. The soundtrack is pretty awesome, too, so I'm going to have to go ahead and buy that. I can't wait to watch this movie again, whether I do it on DVD, or if I sneak into a theater in the next couple weeks once my kid's back in school. It was absolutely delightful.
ITEM!: We finished our 1,000-piece puzzle tonight. It's a really cool picture of brightly colored popcorn, and everyone totally dug it. Brian and Sydney have decided that we have to glue to puzzle together, and then frame it and hang it. I am opposed to this. Puzzles are made to be put together, and more happily, taken apart. This one will hang out on the dining room table for a couple days, but then it'll disappear back into its box. And next week, I'll break out one of my old 2,000-piece monsters.
ITEM!: You never realize how loud a running toilet is until after it's been fixed. My home is a much quieter place right now. I look forward to sleeping tonight without the sound of a babbling brook in the background.

Friday, August 1

Not pants weather yet, but I dream

It's late, and I need to get to sleep. But I really want to start off this month with a timely blog post.
I'm pretty sure my avatar this month is wearing palazzo pants. Is she at an outdoor concert? Wow! That looks awesome! I can't help but entertain myself with the fact that my avatars have much cooler lives than I do. I suppose that's the point of them, though, right? I'm more jealous of the fact that she's comfortably wearing pants in August than anything else.