Completely incoherent ramblings about shoes, food and being in love.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Reflection

In honor of the New Year, I present to you my reflections on 2005:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? Married my soul mate, starting running, went on a diet

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't think I made any in 2005. This year, I am quitting smoking...not really a New Years resolution, more a lifestyle change

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Only people on blogs that I read!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No

5. What countries did you visit? fabulous Mexico

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? a savings account with money in it

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 27, 2005...my wedding day

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting Married

9. What was your biggest failure? Being sued by my condo association

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? nothing serious

11. What was the best thing you bought? Audi A4

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My brother Andy

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? A "friend" of mine

14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage, food, honeymoon

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My wedding and honeymoon

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Someone like you - Van Morrison (wedding song, I'm sensing a theme here!)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder: Happier
Older or wiser: I feel older
Thinner or fatter: Thinner, but not by much
Richer or poorer: About the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Laughed

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Stressed

20. How will you be spending Christmas? oops, little late

21. How will you be spending New Years Eve? Longwood Gardens, and then dinner and champagne at home with the hubby

22. Did you fall in love in 2005? Every single day

23. How many one-night stands? Zero

24. What was your favorite TV program? O.C., Entourage, Laguna Beach

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I try not to harbor resentment

26. What was the best book you read? Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Limewire hehehe

28. What did you want and get? iPod Nano

29. What did you want and not get? new Digital camera

30. What was your favorite film(s) of this year? tough one, there are so many... spanglish, 40 yr old virgin, garden state (was that this year?), rent, napolean dynamite, in good company

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went to my fav restaurant, Continental, with my husband...I turned 24

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? a new house

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? more mature then 2004

34. What kept you sane? Colin, but sometimes he drove me insane as well

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you admire the most? reese witherspoon, kate hudson

36. What political issue stirred you the most? Iraq war, outsourcing, energy crisis

37. Who did (do) you miss? the above mentioned "friend"

38. Who was/were the best new person/people you met? Pastor Charlie

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005: A wedding is just one day, a marriage is a lifetime

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?"


Happy New Year Everyone!

Oh, and by the way, you've been tagged to fill this out....sorry :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Catharsis

I came to a very strange realization on Christmas. One that I am not so sure I am prepared to accept. One that I didn't think would ever apply to me.

Apparently, my friends and family think of me as 'the cat lady'. Allow me to explain.

Colin and I went to his Mom's house on Christmas Eve. From her I received not one, not two, but three pairs of socks with kitty-cats on them. Three pairs. One actually says in big letters, "I LOVE CATS". As if you couldn't already tell due to the fact them I am wearing the socks depicting cats in the first place. Don't get me wrong, they are very cute socks, and I unfortunatley will wear them.

Now, I know what you're thinking, that's just one person, surely your whole family doesn't think of you that way. Well, jump to Christmas morning. I am opening my stocking which was filled by my husband. What's the first thing that I open? Cat socks! Now, since Colin and his Mom are from the same family, I thought perhaps they are the crazy ones and it's not me?
Further evidence. We stopped off at our neighbors house on the way out the door. Lynn, she was one of my bridesmaids. I'd like to think she knows me fairly well. She gave me one of those adorable charm bracelet things where the links are the charms. Without fail, there it is, the I LOVE CATS charm, complete with paw prints as if some miniscule cat ran through the tiny charm while the metal was drying. It was at this moment that I realized I am the crazy cat lady.


It gets even worse, as I sat down at the end of the night to see what pictures I had taken to document this very important first Christmas as husband and wife, much to my chagrin I noticed, that nearly all of the pictures were of...My cats.







This was perhaps one of the more frightening moments in my life. Luckily there were a few pictures of my husband. Most notably this one:


Thank God I am already married or I would have terrible fears of dying alone and being eaten by my cats after a few days passed and they started to starve. Just for future reference, I am the Crazy Cat Lady. My new favorite website is cats in sinks. Which, lo and behold, I actually have a picture that I could submit, catapulting me a little further into crazy land. Please, pray for me.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Festivus for the Rest-of-us!

One last note of depressing news, and then on to better more Christmas-y goodness!

The entire world around me has cancer. Thank God that I am quitting smoking in 9 days! (oh my god....only 9 days left! Gah!) I found out yesterday that one of my co-workers, one who I actually like, is dying of leukemia. He just found out about two weeks ago that he has cancer, but it has already taken over so badly that he will probably not be around for much of next year. Terrible. This cancer shit is out of control. I swear it didn't used to be this way. I know its not a contagious disease, but I swear its some sort of epidemic.

For the past few years I have done the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you don't already know, my Mother In Law has t-cell lymphoma, so the LLS is a very important charity to me. The walks that I do are only two miles long, no big deal, but they always raise a lot of money for research. This time however, I am going to do it right. I have decided that I am going to do Team in Training this year. It is a program that offers training and support to run a marathon, or other similarly daunting physical feats. I have never had a desire to run 26.2 miles. I have always been quite happy sticking to my measly 3.5. But this year, as a reward to myself for quitting smoking, I am going to do it. The best part is, it raises a ton of money for leukemia and lymphoma research. I have to get sponsored at least $1500 in order to run the marathon. That is much better then the $150 check that I normally write when I do the walks. So, all of you can start saving your pennies now, and you can help sponsor me, and my insane goal. Think of how good you'll feel. Its win-win really!

Other news:

Janet has a really cool link in her post today. You upload your picture to this website and it tells you which celebrity you most resemble. Pretty damn cool. I used my profile pic, and it said that I am 70% Britney Spears, and Colin is 62% Elizabeth Taylor, hahaha! To be fair, I don't think I look anything like Britney, so hopefully Colin doesn't really look like Liz Taylor, but I was seriously laughing out loud at my desk this morning when i got those results.

It is my last day here at work, which also means that it is my last day with a computer until next Tuesday. So, in the spirit of things, I would like to say, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Festivus, Kool Kwanza, Supper Solstice and in general Happy Holidays! Which has suddenly become taboo to say. Now that people are pissed off with the Merry Christmas, we switched to Happy Holidays. Now the Merry Christmasers are pissed at the Happy Holidays so we can't say that either. It is a never ending cycle. So whoever you are, wherever you are, have a fabulous fucking weekend! Don't drink to much, but be sure to drink enough. Enjoy your families, and be safe. I love you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Destiny

Last Night:

*Ring Ring*

Me: Hello?

*Longtime friend that I don't talk to very often and was just married this past year, we'll call her Tara: Hey Jess

Me: Oh my god, you're pregnant aren't you? That's why your calling isn't it?

Tara: No. But I do have news...although it's not good news.

Me: (With foot in mouth) Uhoh...

Tara: We just found out that my brother has cancer.

Silence



That is a phone call that no one wants to receive.

Turns out that on Friday he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He's 22 years old.

Last year, my almost sister-in-laws's sister, Bridgett, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 24. She passed away on July 29, 2004.

Tara's brother (we'll call him Joe) seems to have a much better prognosis. They caught his cancer early enough that he was able to go through surgery yesterday to have one of his testicles removed. The thing about his cancer though, is that it spreads quickly through the lymph nodes. Common places for it to reappear include the kidneys, the lungs, and the brain. According to an MRI, he's got a pin sized cancer cell in his brain. Lance Armstrong had thousands in his by the time he found out. Joe will begin to undergo Chemo in January. He is a very active kid and should bounce back from the chemo easily.

His symptoms were very ambigous; headache, lower back pain, slight difficulty breathing. Joe lives with his Dad and Stepmom. His Stepmom just happens to be a head nurse at Christiana Hospital, which has one of the best cancer centers in the area. Because of her, he went to the doctor immediately, had all his tests done within 72 hours, and was scheduled for surgery. Without her, there is a possibility he would've ignored his symptoms, or been misdiagnosed by his doctor.

I had a revelation last night. While I was listening to Tara tell me about everything that Joe is going through, all I could think about was the fact that if her parents had never gotten divorced, her dad would never have married her stepmom. Without her stepmom's wisdom and help, Joe may have met the same fate as my now guardian angel, Bridgett. It just goes to show you that everything really does happen for a reason. I know that people often just say that to try and make people feel better when they loose their job, or their car gets totaled in an accident, but this is proof. At the time of their parents divorce, it was very traumatic, as divorce tends to be. They are all grown up now and have accepted everything that happened, but I believe this sheds new light on why it had to be that way. It makes all that pain and questioning that they went through worth it in a way.

If Colins parents had never divorced, we would never have met. If I hadn't dropped out of college, we wouldn't have met. There was a lot of fate surrounding me and Colin meeting for the first time. But I also believe that we would have met despite all of those things. Sure it would've happened differently and possibly at a different time in our lives, but I believe that we are meant to be together. But this one has me floored, because i don't think that Joe would have been so lucky if it weren't for his parents falling out of love so many years ago.

That is your though for the day, what would be different in your own life things had gone another way?

Anyway, if ya'll could think about him and send him some healing vibes, I know he would appreciate it, and so would I.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Christmas Party Post: Now With Less Christmas Party

No Christmas party for me this year.

I went out and bought a new dress, got Colin a new shirt and sweater. We were all set. Along came Friday and I realized, I didn't want to go.

This is very unlike me. In the five years that I have been with my company, I have never missed an opportunity for free booze. Some years I even went to two separate Christmas (sorry Holiday, gotta be PC) Parties. I don't know what it was about this year, I just couldn't seem to get into it. The thought of having to go home after work and get all dolled up just to go hang out with the same people I have to see day in and day out, was not as appealing this year.

We have had a lot of lay-offs around here this past year. Most of my co-workers that I could tolerate are all gone. And frankly, if I can't hang out with the cool crowd, I don't wanna hang. So, I made Christmas cookies instead.


This is only a tiny sampling of the thousand batches of cookies that I made. As you can see, there is also wine in the picture. Baking is made even better when there is wine involved. For me, not the cookies. Although....




I also learned how to knit recently, and so I join the legions of women and men across this country that are successfully knitting themselves into the limelight. Because again, if I can't hang with the cool crowd, I don't wanna hang. And as far as I've heard, knitting is the new yoga.

Baby says, "I got your yoga right here bitch."

Yeah, my cats and yarn. Not so sure how thats gonna work out yet. Oh, and my 'scarf'? Not so pretty. It looks as if it has been eaten by moths. Alas, no picture. When I get the hang of it a bit more, maybe I will give you a glimpse of my Martha-ness.



In other news, we F-I-N-A-L-L-Y have the use of our storage/laundry/utility room back. I have to say, it looks awesome. It may have even been worth the wait...no, it wasn't, I take that back. There is pretty new vinyl floor, and fresh paint. I actually have full use of my kitchen back. No more hampers and boxes to slalom through. The dining room remains untouched at this point. I have this crazy idea that I want to put everything back into the room in an organized manner. It is simply the wrong time of season to concentrate on organizing all of our junk, so instead we put away enough stuff to make our house livable and we shall tackle the rest later.

Isn't that the most gorgeous vinyl you've ever seen? I think that may
be the first time gorgeous and vinyl were used in the same sentence. Except maybe for the time when a lonely sceevy old man was speaking in reference to hooker.




Alright, I will cease the long drawn out boredom that is vaguely disguising itself as this entry. Hopefully something will happen in my mundane existence today and I will be able to entertain and delight you further tomorrow.

*UPDATE*

Here is the recipe for the 'green and brown swirly thingys' A.K.A.

Chocolate-Mint Pinwheels

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened (or semi-sweet for a more chocolatey taste) baking chocolate, melted, cooled
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (DO NOT ADD MORE THEN THIS!)
2 to 3 drops green food color

Instructions:

Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed.

Remove half of dough. Add cooled melted chocolate to remaining dough in bowl. Beat until well mixed. Add peppermint extract and green food color to white dough; mix well. Shape each half into 4x5-inch rectangle; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Roll out chocolate dough between two sheets of lightly floured waxed paper to 12x7-inch rectangle. Repeat with green dough. Place green dough on top of chocolate dough. Gently press doughs together. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, starting with 12-inch side; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 375°F. Cut rolls with sharp knife into 1/4-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely...enjoy!




Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas? With pictures

For the past three years, Colin and I have not done much to decorate for Christmas. The first year, we just kinda piled some presents up and that was that. For our second year, we were in Key West. Very festive. We turned on that channel on the t.v. that just shows you a picture of the 'yule log' burning while incessantly playing carols. And then we went for a swim. Last year...I don't even remember last year, thats how much effort we put into it. But the year, I am determined. It is our first Christmas as old married people, and I sure as shit ain't gonna let it fall by the wayside.

As you may or may not know, our house is currently in a nearly uninhabitable state. O.K. perhaps that is a stretch, but nonetheless, there is absolutely nowhere to put a tree. I blame the boxes that are stacked on top of each other everywhere. However, if I were to be honest with myself, I don't think we could fit a tree in our tiny condo under normal cleanliness conditions either. So, little tiny fake two foot tall tree it is. Which really, when you put a two foot tall tree on top of boxes, it looks a lot bigger, see?



Isn't it pretty? I went to K-Mart (thats right, I'm a big spender) and bought that beautiful green table cloth and draped it on top of a stack of boxes and other miscellaneous household items and voila! Tree stand! Also note, sparkly green and red fancy garland, mini red christmas balls, and angel topper. Well, the angel topper was actually an ornament for a regular sized tree, but I stuck her on top of my miniature sized tree. We have a few actual ornaments because every year, I buy Colin an ornament. Something with some meaning to it. Our First Christmas, New House, New Car. This year will of course be something like We Got Married! Finally! Although last year, we received these adorable little jingle bell snow bride and groom. So technically we already have the We Got Married! ornament.




Notice how the extreme closeup of the tree shows my extraordinary inability to put lights on a tree. Doesn't sound very hard does it? Yeah, well, shutup. Also of note, that cute little house that is only halfway in the picture? Thats an ornament. However, due to the size and sturdy-ness of my tree setup, the little New House ornament quickly topples the tree when placed on its branches, so instead, it provides a skewed scale for the scene. Beware the 9000 foot douglas fir in the backyard! Perhaps I will make a village. A village with a freakishly large tree. Which is funny when you think about that fact that it is actually a freakishly small tree. Ha!

Moving on.

We also put some lights up throughout the house. And I hung the stockings by the chimney with care. This year it feels like Christmas.

Monkey says: As soon as they're gone, I'm gonna eat that tree and the little house too.

P.S. Here is a picture of my thanksgiving pies that I never got around to posting. Sorry...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Crisis people. Serious crisis. Tragedy even!

My computer? Dead. Gone. Bye-bye.

My beloved has left me. I feel lost. I feel a pain in my heart never felt before. I have been wandering around in a stupor, muttering things under my breath, like the crazy lady that is always on a bench in Central Park in movies set in NYC. Thats me now!



Hello pigeons. Want some bread?

Ok, here is the lowdown. Tuesday night, Colin came in to bed and put the computer on stand-by, much like we do every other night. You see, as we have a tiny one bedroom condo, we are forced to have our "office" in the bedroom. So every night, we put the computer on stand-by so the crazy floating windows icon of the screen saver does not disturb our precious sleep. Oh how I wish did not care so much about our sleep!

Wednesday morning, Colin sits down at the computer, and nothing. No computer. She will not turn on. So, he tries a few things, unplugs it, flips the switch on the surge protector a couple of times, and still? nothing. He called me at work in a bit of a panic. You see, he needs the internet in order to coach his fantasy football team. Unlike me, he does not have a cushy job with full time internet access of which to take full advantage.

When I came home from work yesterday, I performed an autopsy on her. I removed her metal casing and stared down into her guts, hoping to see something, anything, that looks broken, or fried, or unplugged. But alas, I know nothing of computers, and my attempt to salvage her was futile. Please, if anyone knows how to possibly help me, I will be forever in your debt. I will give to you my first born child if you can help me resurrect my fallen computer. Alternatively, if anyone was wondering what to get me for christmas, a new computer would be a fantastic gift.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Business Lunch

I know, I know. I totally owe ya'll a new entry. It has been a million days. Sorry.
So today boys and girls, we are going to talk about business lunches. You see, yesterday, my boss took a few of us out to celebrate a job well done. Allow me to digress for a minute.

I? am a peon. As you can tell, I do nothing at work. All day, I read blogs, write in my blog, and generally sit around being the worst employee ever. I don't want to be this way. It is actually quite boring. I would love to actually do work, but alas, I rarely have anything to do. I do not deserve a "job well done lunch".

Nonetheless, there I was, sitting around a table with 5 of my coworkers. The kind that actually DO work. The people that make it possible for me to slack off all day, every day. I do not fit in with these people. To start, I am the only girl. I work for engineers. A field that is strongly dominated by men. And rightly so. What girl dreams of growing up to be an engineering geek? Also, I am 24. Everyone else? Like 50. Possibly older. I am really bad at guessing ages.

Of course, I am excited for lunch because I know that it will be long, and that means that I can use up some of my "try to look like I'm working" time. Well, it turns out that my boss? just wanted an excuse to drink. So, yea! But also? Weird. I have always been taught that drinking at work is a sin punishable by death. The only time for drinking with co-workers is at the Holiday party, which inevitably will turn into a hysterical entry....stay tuned, Decmber 16th.

So naturally, I am a little shocked when my boss orders a Manhattan. I could see if he had gotten a beer, or even a glass of wine, but apparently, he wasn't fucking around. He was there to get plastered. As the waiter took everyone's drink order, I realized that everyone at the table was there to get plastered. Me? I chickened out and ordered iced tea. Actually, I would like to believe that it was a strategic move on my part. I waited until they had all had their first round, and then I snuck in a glass of chardonnay. I figured by then, maybe they wouldn't notice. Even though it was ok. I just couldn't get my head around that fact.

Let me tell you, lunch time with drunk bosses? very funny. And, you find out a lot about the co-workers that were unfortunate enough to not be there to defend themselves. I learned who comes to work drunk every morning, who pads their hours, and who regularly falls asleep in the mens bathroom. Because that seems like a good idea. Moral of the story? When bosses are getting drunk, make sure you are there. Otherwise, you miss out on all the juicy office gossip.

Unfortunately, by the time lunch was over, it was my quitting time. I carpool everyday and my ride actually came to the restaurant to pick me up. It was pretty damn funny when we walked out the front door of the Washington Street Ale House, and there is my work husband, in his car, waiting for me. They all had to stumble back to the office in the freezing cold. I wonder what they said about me as soon as I was gone? New moral of the story? make sure that you are always there to defend yourself.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rent, meet Mortgage


This past weekend, I went to see Rent with Janet, Alli, and Ann (three wonderful women). It was fantastic. If you haven't seen it yet, go now. No, I mean RIGHT. NOW. It's that good, I promise. It is the story of a group of artists and musicians, etc. in NYC in the 80's that are struggling for their art/cause, and don't have enough money to pay the rent. All the while, dealing with AIDS and drug addiction. A large part of the plot focuses on ideals. Mainly, on not giving up. and giving in to "the man" or whatever the case may be. It really got me to thinking about my own life.

Back when Janet and I used to dance around our dormroom, a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business, belting out the words to Tango Maureen, I felt a deep connection to the play. OK, so I wasn't addicted to drugs, or harboring AIDS, but I was one of those young idealists that was never going to give in to the corporate machine. I had rebelled against authority most of my teenage years, and I'll be damned if that was going to change any time soon! I had dreams of saving the world through architecture. (talk about ideals!) I could have wanted to build skyscrapers and make billions of dollars, become the next Frank Gehry. But that wasn't me. I was the girl that wanted to design utopian housing projects. The place where underprivileged people didn't have to live with crime and drugs and prostitutes on every corner. A place so beautiful, they would want to make their lives better, and grow beyond expectations. Expectations of the man. The government, the corporations, the people that have always told them that they were worthless. The people that left them rotting for days after hurricane Katrina. I was going to save them all.

What have I become? As I sit here in my cushy cubicle, inside my skyline dominating skyscraper of an office building. The kind that blots out the sun from the ghettos. I build power plants for a living. I pollute the earth, just so I can have a roof over my head, and food on my table. I don't put effort into caring for less fortunate people anymore. In fact, I am scared to drive through the "bad" part of town. I roll up my windows, and lock all the doors, and "God, I hope this light doesn't turn red, because then I will be stuck here longer, and what if they try to steal my car. My precious car, the one that they can only dream of, because the man hasn't given them what they deserve. What every man woman and child on this earth deserve. Hope for a better future."

When did my life go from Rent, to Mortgage? I have become what I swore against. I long for those days when I wanted to take the world by storm. Then, I drove through the Magnolia Projects, researching what the design flaws were. Planning. Doing. Now, I sit back and wait for things to fall in my lap. Then I call it fate. I used to have ideals. Now? I have a mortgage.