30 December 2009

Best Dress(es)!


My friend K sent me the link to InStyle's compilation of the 100 Best Dresses of the Decade this week. She then blogged about her favorites. Taking her cue, I painstakingly scoured the list for my own favorites and share them with you here.


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Kate Hudson in Versace, from 2003 is the # 1 dress.


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Eva Mendes in Dior from the Golden Globes in 2009.


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Gwen Stefani in Valentino at the 2004 Golden Globes


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Cate Blanchett in Prada, 2000 BAFTA Awards


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Kate Beckinsale in Givenchy, 2001


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Halle Berry in Diane Von Furstenberg, 2006

A couple things I noticed right off the bat in looking at my choices, seems I prefer white/off white and sparkly. I'd wear each and every one of the dresses unaltered, except for the Eva Mendes dress. I'd have to take the front pouf off. The whole silhouette would be much more streamlined without it. It reminds me of a droopy flower. The only way I'd keep it on is if you could carry small items or snacks in it somehow. Since I doubt that, it's got to go.

The jewelry in all looks is very minimal, save for the Eva Mendes dress and she's rockin' the turquoise, which I LOVE! Halle's even got a simple strand necklace with turquoise beads.

While going through the list, there were a few dresses that came to mind that were not on the list and I thought should have been.


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Michelle Williams in Vera Wang, Academy Awards 2006

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Isaac Mizrahi, 2008

The yellow Vera Wang dress on Michelle Williams is one that sticks out of all the dresses and all the awards shows over the last decade. How could it not? She looked lovely and it's such a striking dress! A true stand out. The Isaac dress is a fun one because my sister in law M and I often choose a dress to "wear" for the Oscars. We'll ask, "who will you be wearing?" In 2008, this was my dress! I'd love to see it in person and OMG, to actually wear it for an occasion! I wish I had a dress up occasion coming soon! I guess I'll have to create one!

24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

It's the eve of Christmas, y'all! I had to work a half day, which surprisingly was rather productive! Then ran to the grocery store to buy some fixins for dinner tonight and some things to nosh on tomorrow. The store was a little crazy, but not overwhelming. I talked to a few friends to wish them a Merry Christmas (a day early) and came home for a few last minute preparations. Tomorrow's the big day!

Here's a little of what I've been doing leading up to Christmas:

Sugar Cookie Cutouts with Royal Icing


Fresh Ginger Ginger Snaps

I hope that whatever you have planned, you have a very Merry Christmas! Honestly, with family being all out east again this year (I'll miss them and all the hubbub of Christmas morning with kiddos), it's going to be pretty quiet here. And...there's an ice/freezing rain storm predicted, which would make things really interesting, no going anywhere! Glad I stocked up on snacks and DVDs!

21 December 2009

Wonky


You know when you get a shopping cart with one wheel that's just a little off and it makes pushing or steering said cart a bit of a challenge? That's kind of how my day was. My day had a wonky wheel. Don't get me wrong, overall, it was a good day, it was just a little off.

On way out of house for second day in a row visit to the gym, I got temporarily stuck on some ice in the alley. I was able to free myself in a matter of minutes using my finely-tuned back-alley Houdini skills. Trip to gym back on.

I pull into the gym parking lot, score a pretty good parking spot. I'm gathering my things and realize an almost full bottle of Vitamin Water, Orange Orange in flavor, has decided that a trip south, out of the bottle into my gym bag onto the car seat and down to the car mat below in the back seat might be a good way to escape a trip to the gym. Plans for gym abandoned, due to wet shorts, wet shoes and a soggy attitude.

My next foray out of the house started a little better, I was able to get out of the driveway without sliding around on the ice. As you may know, I'm getting braces soon. I thought my driver's license expired in 2010, so I had the great idea to renew early so I don't have braces in a photo that will legally represent me for four years. I drive all the way to the Secretary of State before actually double checking my license. It actually expires in 2011!

I also had a sharpie decide it needed to be free to roam about the bottom of my bag uncapped. Luckily that only meant trouble for the inside of my bag.

The rest of the day wasn't so bad, somewhere along the line balance returned to the four wheels on the cart carrying me through the day.

I got to visit with two of my girls briefly.

I got to visit with my mom for dinner.

Snowy roads weren't any trouble on the way home.

Here's to a well-balanced day tomorrow!

16 December 2009

Where Everybody Knows My Name

There's a coffee shop in town, one of the first, that I used to go to all the time. I felt like I was a regular. Apparently I didn't go quite often enough to warrant regular status in the barrista's minds, because everytime I went in there, I was still faceless, nameless. They didn't even know my regular drink. It was kind of off-putting, but after a while I just chalked it up to the fact that they were not proficient in warm customer service and they had no desire to brush up on the finer points.

I had an experience with genuine customer service last night that truely warmed my heart. I've been in sort of a funk for the last week or so and this was exactly the kind of thing I needed.

I went to my favorite restaurant, Marie Catrib's, one I've been going to since they opened. Marie, the owner, and her son know me by name. I have a fondness and such gratitude for them and the food they create. I took at seat at the counter. My server, a guy named Mike greeted me with a smile and some water. As he hands me the menu, he remembers something about me that made my night.

"We've got just one serving of tomato fennel soup, I know it's your favorite. Do you want me to get it for you?"

It was such a simple thing. It meant a lot and completely characterizes the way Marie's operates. I got to have my favorite soup! And through a simple gesture, they guaranteed (again, as they have continually over the last five years) my return.

I also had a small chat with a girl that sat down a chair away from me at the counter. We talked about soups, studying and our common name. This visit to my favorite restaurant not only fed my hunger for food, it also fed my human longing to be known, to be recognized as someone who matters simply for being me. When so much of our personal interaction these days is via some electronic form of communication, I know I can be left feeling like I know all these people, but so rarely interact with them on an in-person basis. It feels lonely sometimes.

This is one local establishment where I can go when I feel adrift in a sea of technology and am in need of some true humanity and a wholesome meal. I feel grateful for this space and the people who make it feel like home. I hope everyone is lucky enough to have somewhere like this, a place that even if they don't, you still feel like everybody knows your name. (Cue the Cheers theme...)

10 December 2009

the corner of blizzard and crazy

It's still snowing here in Michigan! I haven't left the house since coming home after dinner last night. Work at home days are great! I'm trying to get into the spirit of winter, but sub-zero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions aren't really helping. I'm already feeling a little cabin fever-y already as I head into four days off of work. Not good. Egads what will I do?!

If my plans work out properly tomorrow, I'm actually thinking I'll go into work for our holiday luncheon and to secure my share of some homemade vendor Christmas cookies. Crazy, right?! If you had these cookies, you'd know what I'm talking about. Really. These cookies are ridiculously good - same vendor brought them in last year and over the past year we've periodically discussed how good they were.

I've also got big plans for cookies of my own...holla for some Christmas cookies! Can't wait to get baking. I've got an easy new recipe I want to try and I'm going to bake a couple of other favorites - frosted sugar cookies (I just bought my first set of cookie cutters!) and ginger snaps.

What's your favorite holiday treat?



08 December 2009

Wintry Day Work Outfit

This is basically what I wore to work today...comfy and warm for a wintry day in Michigan with a little color from the handbag. Mine is from Target a while back, but I thought this one was fun and reminiscent of my own!

03 December 2009

That time of year


It started snowing here in the midwest - and it's sticking. I'm not particularly fond of snow and cold. Like I just told R, everything is just better in the summer. It's warmer, obviously. More day light. Cute clothes. More shoe options. More activities. I'm going to have to make a concentrated effort not to fall into winter's cruel trap of isolation. Tonight I feel like I just might want to hibernate until April.

I sent off a box to my brother and sister in law who are expecting my baby niece any day now. I'm excited for her to arrive! Sending out packages though reminded me I've got a few more things to pick up and ship out to the East Coast in order to have my holiday ducks in a row. Ugh!

I have a few cookie recipes I want to try out for the holidays. I'm contemplating playing Santa for myself and picking up something that will make baking even MORE fun. I'll let you know if it comes together. There are some pretty good deals to be had right now.

Tomorrow night is the UICA's Holiday Artist's Market. R and I are going to check out that scene. Looking forward to going since it's been a few years since I've gone. From what I've read, it looks like there will be some cool stuff! We may even go to the tree lighting ceremony in front of the GRAM. Maybe all that will help me feel more at peace about the fact that it's actually winter again!

24 November 2009

Tuesday Before Thanksgiving

A list of random things in my head as I prepare for my journey north for Thanksgiving:

What kind of snacks should I bring on the 7-hour road trip? I usually don't like to eat an entire meal since that makes for sleepy driving.

The cats are going to on a "holiday" at the kennel. They've never been in a kennel. R jokingly said they're going to jail. Some of their behavior does almost warrant a light sentence. I found a brand new loaf of my favorite bread on the dining room floor this morning. Through the hole chewed through the little cellophane window you could see a sizable chunk of bread missing. Do these cats really think they're going to starve? Or do they just have a thing for bread. This is the second loaf. Note to self: keep bread in a cat-proof bunker.

When we're in Marquette, I want to look at the eyeglass place I got my glasses. They carry Jean La Font frames, which is what I have now. Technically, I'm due for new frames, but I'm kind of in love with my current frames. If I can find something spectacular, perhaps I'll go for something new. I'm going in for an eye exam next week. I hope my Rx hasn't changed that much if at all.

Another stop in Marquette is Getzs. They have the most North Face gear I've ever seen and the last two or three years we've been going to Marquette for Thanksgiving I've been able to score amazing deals. Here's hoping.

I'm supposed to be packing for the trip, but clearly this blog entry seemed more pressing! The blogosphere needs to know what's going on in my head!

I wish everyone in my family could be together this Thanksgiving. We're kind of all spread out and I will miss those who won't be with us!

Happy early Thanksgiving! I really need to go pack!




23 November 2009

What Gives?

Maybe it's the weather or the fact that it gets dark by 5:30 p.m. now, but I've been feeling kind of low. Technically there's nothing wrong with me. No drama. Nothing to feel melancholy about.

Late last week, I did something that if I did more often wouldn't need to be done at all, I cleaned out my office closet. It's a single door closet with a five foot tall metrowire shelf inside. It's been packed to the gills with all sorts of office type materials: photos (actual hard copy photos!), books, tons of paper & images for projects and notes, my sewing machine and all that entails and other stuff that I haven't found another suitable home for.

Doing anything orgizational like this is very theraputic for me. It's one of those projects that you can get lost in, focusing only on the details in front of you. I'm not really sure what's going on, other than neglecting said closet for too long, but I felt compelled to work on that closet Thursday night. I've read that, from a feng shui perspective, an overabundance of junk/clutter can cosmically weigh us down. Maybe that's what it was. Maybe it was something more. When I was basically done with the closet I started noticing other areas around the house that I could apply the same declutting energy to. I want to feel lighter. I want to have more energy. I'm going to declutter.

R says getting back out to run might be helpful. I've only run a couple times since the Grand Rapids Half Marathon on October 18. A running deficiency could have something to do with my mood. The thing is, I don't want to run. Yet. I know at some point soon, I'll feel compelled to get back on the road. I guess I'm just waiting for that moment when my head is too full of clutter and I HAVE to go. Just like the closet. It will happen. I'm thinking sooner rather than later.

15 November 2009

big moves, big eats


I'm in the process of making some pretty big moves with my grill. Just under two weeks ago I got upper and lower fixed expanders installed in my mouth as the first step toward getting braces. If you've had expanders, you know the exact level of frustration I've been going through learning how to eat anything other than soft foods and speak without sounding like I have a mouthful of marbles. Try saying "Peter Sarsgaard" with your best fake slur and you'll know what I'm up against.

The installation came just three days before I hopped a plane to visit my brother and sister in law in my favorite city for eating. After my first attempt at a meal at home, I was quite worried about my prospects for eating my way through the City. Food was getting caught where I didn't want it. Swallowing anything other than a smooth soup was quite difficult. I was feeling pretty sure I'd be eating/drinking all my meals for the next three months.

The trip to NYC proved to be exactly what I needed in order to overcome my eating with expander frustration. I was determined to try most everything I would normally eat on a visit, rather than just sticking to soup, oatmeal and yogurt.

Here are some highlights of how I did:

Mulligatawny Soup with flat bread from Cafe Medina
The bread was a little difficult to eat plain, but I got by with ripping off small chunks of bread and sprinkling them in the soup. Soup was delicious! I so wish we had a place like Cafe Medina in Grand Rapids!

Chocolate Chunk cookie and Vanilla Latte from Starbucks. This was late afternoon on my first day. Sister in Law and I had been shopping all afternoon and needed a snack and some caffeine. The cookie was a little hard around the edges and the chunks of chocolate in the cookie were a little difficult to manage without getting stuck in the upper expander.

Without even knowing about the extent of my challenge with hard foods, my sister in law made soup complete with a swirl of pesto that we ate my first night in town. After a long day out and about, it hit the spot! The perfect consistency and taste!

Breakfast on day two. English muffin with Earth Balance. I had to take small bites, but this went down rather easily.

Whole wheat bagel with sun dried tomato tofu cream cheese from David's Bagels. There's nothing like a New York bagel. I've heard it's because of the water in New York City. I believe it! Always a must when I visit the city. The bagel's chewy nature provided quite a challenge for me and my expanders, but I made it about 3/4 of the way through. Luckily my brother was more than happy to finish the remaining 1/4 piece.

Sister in law made two amazingly delicious salads for dinner Friday night. The one in front had red onion, new potatoes and peas. The other one had bulgar, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, garbanzo beans and greens. Both had the same balsamic, olive oil and mustard type homeade dressing and were so good I asked for the recipes. Because of the small chunks of food, both were a little difficult to eat with my expanders, but well worth the challenge!

Plantain Bajji from Saravanaas in Murray Hill (aka Curry Hill because there are so many Indian restaurants in the neighborhood). Quite flavorful with the different chutneys. Definitely not a challenge to eat! We were quite hungry, so this appetizer didn't last long.

Masala Dosa from Saravanaas. I've had dosa before, but it's been awhile. This was somewhat difficult to eat because of the crispy consistancy of the dosa. Loved all the chutneys though and did my best!

Ah, Burritoville. You used to be a NYC favorite, but it seems you've undergone a bit of a re-branding. I'm not so sure it was for the best. The burrito I had tasted more corporate cardboard than I would have liked. Nothing like it used to be! Not the easiest meal to eat either, with small bits of brown rice and tomato to get stuck!

Monday afternoon back in the City for my last day. We went back to Cafe Medina for another soup. This one was Tuscan Tomato Bread soup and it was a winner. Very flavorful, a little sweet. Not so chunky that I couldn't manage it with the expanders.

I talked for days about wanting to get a real NY slice of pie, but it didn't work out how I wanted it to. I ended up having this slice of cheese pizza at the Sbarro while waiting for my flight to leave LaGuardia. Yeah, not ideal, but it was a slice and much better than my alternatives. Had to avoid the super crunchy crust with the expanders, but that was the only trouble.

06 November 2009

Emergency Landing

If you've ever had the slightest feeling that something might not be right, you're probably right.

I had a 6:00 a.m. flight to New York's LaGuardia airport yesterday. We boarded on schedule. I was half asleep and wanted to be all the way asleep, so I tucked myself into my seat and closed my eyes waiting to pull away from the gate. Once away from the gate, it seemed like we were dinking around too long on the tarmack. They kept revving the engine and then letting it wind down, with no take off. I've been on enough flights to know what seems normal and this activity did not seem normal. We eventually took off though.

They gave the green light for electronic devices. The i-pod got clicked on and I was that much closer to dreamland. Until the announcement came...

"Ladies and gentleman, we're going to have make an emergency landing in Buffalo, due to a problem with one of our engines."

The announcement was so matter of fact, like they'd just announced they'd be bringing the beverage cart along. At first I didn't really think anything was seriously wrong.

"It's gotta be like when your check engine light comes on in the car. It doesn't mean you have to stop immediately, it means go get this situation checked out when you get a spare minute. I hope it's just something like that."

Then they started reviewing the safety procedures...AGAIN! Not good.

I started thinking that maybe this Emergency Landing was more than just a check engine light scenario. We made a pretty rapid altitude descent into Buffalo. The lights flickered. The guy next to me started talking about how we might have trouble landing if there's something wrong with one of the engines. That's when my palms started to sweat and I starting thinking about the fact that I got on a flight this morning not thinking it might be my last...EVER.

Safe and sound. Safe and sound. It was my mantra until wheels touched the ground in Buffalo. We were met by numerous fire trucks and police cars. They said that was just routine procedure, but I overheard one of the other passengers later on when were waiting to be rebooked say that something was actually on fire and the plane was being hosed off. I don't know if I believe that.

Regardless. I did get right back on another plane and finally made to NYC to visit my brother and sister in law. Safe and sound. Just another reminder to live each day to the fullest and with purpose and to cherish the people you love because you never know when you might have to make an emergency landing.



27 October 2009

Yummy Yammies!


I don't even call them yams. I prefer "sweet potato", but I do call them delicious. They're pretty versatile. You can do something simple like peel and slice up a few, french fry-style, then toss with olive oil and your favorite seasoning (simple like kosher salt or more adventurous use your imagination) until evenly coated. Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-40 minutes at 425. Voila. Sweet potato fries!

My latest favorite recipe:

Two sweet potatoes peeled and cubed. Boil with a little salt for about 10 minutes until almost tender. While potatoes are boiling slice up red onion and saute in olive oil. Drain your sweet potatoes and add them to the onions. Add about 2 Tsp cumin and 2 Tsp coriander and saute for a few more minutes. Looks like this and is delish:

I've been eating this with a big scoop of my black beans (canned black beans mostly drained, with salsa, chili powder and cumin to taste.) I made it into a burrito one night, but am really digging it just in a bowl with the black beans!

26 October 2009

Book/Food Review

The book is "Skinny Bitch", by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It's been around a while, but I picked up the book on CD last week and listened to it while I was working at home on Thursday. It goes by quickly and has an entertaining voice, so if you're into audio books and you're looking to re-evaluate the way you eat, you might be into it.

Basically the book perscribes a vegan diet, so no meat, dairy, eggs. They also bag on caffeine in the form of sodas and coffee. And they basically say white refined sugar and many sugar replacements inlcuding aspartame are the devil. They go into detail about why each item is no friend to the Skinny Bitch. There's more to it than that, of course, but those are the key elements I identified with.

For the last few weeks, even before listening to the book, I've been thinking about what I eat and why. The book reminded me of several things I already knew, but was not wanting to do anything about. Sugar. Duh. Butter and cheese? Um, yeah, if I say we're all "just friends", you'll know I mean it in the way I used to tell my parents that my too-old-for-me boyfriend and I were "just friends". I think we all know how that turned out.

Where I'm at: I've been a vegetarian for about 15 years. I basically feel like I eat rather healthfully, but am always looking for ways to improve. I'm also a runner who wants to fuel her body properly for maximum performance. I'm beginning to accept the whole idea that my body is my engine and that if I put crappy, processed food in as fuel, I'm not going to perform as well as if I were eating more healthfully.

The no meat part is done. Giving up meat was not an issue when I did it because it just made sense to me and I never really ENJOYED meat like some folks do.

Caffeine and aspartame? I've played around with my addiction to Diet Coke for a while. I'll be on it then off, then back on. I recently had a couple weeks back on the chemicals after almost nine months off it. I totally loved the taste, but felt guilty about enjoying it, knowing that it's ultimately not good for me. I knew that in no time at all I'd be buying it by the case and drinking at least two cans a day. My main issue is the aspartame. Skinny Bitch does a great job laying out why it's probably not the best substance in the world to be digesting on the regular, which served as a reminder for me, all reasons why I have given it up in the past. So, I put the kibosh on my re-emerging habit before it could get out of control.

I love cheese and butter and think everything tastes better with copious amounts of both. I also am a giant fan of the sweets. I don't have just one sweet tooth, I have an entire set that's rather fond of all kinds of sugar.

I've been thinking too about adding more healthy things into my regular cooking routine, so I don't have to fall back on less than good for me choices. It's also helpful for me to not think "I'll never be able to eat that again," like removing something from the go to menu is a form of punishment. We get to make choices about everything we eat. I want to be able to celebrate my choices.

While I'm not considering giving up on dairy and sugar entirely, the book did make me rethink what I am eating and why. I guess you could say everything's up for review.

25 October 2009

Kitten at Play

video

Since R's two cats have started staying with me, they have equally entertained and annoyed me. Fortunately, I've caught Junior being his entertaining self. This is my very first attempt at video editing in i-Movie. It's just a short clip, but it was fun to put together.

Enjoy!

14 October 2009

thinking about...

...in the wake of ArtPrize I have an intense desire exercise my own creativity and/or be around more creative people on a daily basis.

...the big moves I'm making with my grill. Braces are not coming as soon as I thought. Turns out we have to make some room to move my chiclet teeth around first.

...wondering about Halloween. Will I be required to don a costume for any reason? There's always the Zombie Walk.

...then I'm wondering about Thanksgiving. Where will I eat non-turkey this year? I don't even remember what I did last Thanksgiving. I think I went to Marquette. Pretty sure.

...I'm somewhat obsessed with leggings lately. I bought two pairs this weekend. I wonder though do people realize you're wearing leggings or do they think you forgot your skirt and are trying to pass off a pair of tights as a pair of pants? I know wearing longer shirts/tunic-style tops is the way to go, but still...just wondering what folks think? Also, is this appropriate for work or more of a weekend-y type style?

...finally going to get out of Dodge for a bit in November. Can't wait! Have I mentioned that I have time off that I'll have to carry over to next year because I did not and will not be able to use it within the short time that remains in 2009! Going to have to start planning NOW on how to use up my days in 2010.

...spent an arm and a leg at the VW dealer again yesterday. It's the only place that I routinely spend what I deem to be an obscene amount of money. I did a mental list of the $ I've spent there just this year and it was enough to make me sick. When I think about what I could have purchased instead. UGH! How about this? Or this? Or about five pairs of really sick designer shoes. Hello Jimmy Choo, YSL and Louboutin we could have been friends! Ok, in reality it wouldn't have gone down like that, it's just a diversionary thought tactic so I don't stay focused on what really happened yesterday. I am grateful I have a safe car to drive. I'll just leave it at that.

...candy corn.

10 October 2009

Last Day...


...of ArtPrize! So the official winner was Ran Ortner with "Open Water no. 24". This piece was my number two pick. My number one pick was Imagine That by Tracy VanDuinen. All in all I was quite pleased with how everything shook out. I'm hoping to get to the Federal Building today to see Open Water one more time, but have heard there's a line with about a 30 minute wait. Maybe a bit later on. I also want to check out the gift shop. The ArtPrize merch was pretty cool!


08 October 2009

ArtPrize

So it's been awhile since my last post. I've been wrapped up in all things ArtPrize here in Grand Rapids. Our city has been turned into a giant museum with over 1200 pieces of art scattered about in various venues including actual galleries, restaurants, churches, bridges over the Grand River and even in the Grand River. The founder of ArtPrize said he wanted to "reboot the coversation about art" with the creation of ArtPrize. I'd say he's been successful. I've talked to more people about art in the last few weeks than perhaps ever.

We had one week to view and vote thumbs up or thumbs down to all of the pieces we could take in. I went out every day/night during the initial week of voting. Went to the Top 10 Announcment and then went out a bit more before casting my vote. It's been interesting to hear/read all the chatter online and in print about which pieces are worthy for the top prize. There's been discussion about whether the public is sophisticated enough to pick a piece worthy of the top prize. I think art that endures has to resonate with the viewer. When I was voting for my top pick, I thought back to how I initially responded to my top three choices. Putting all other voices aside, I wanted to vote for the piece that I had the strongest emotional reaction to. It was one of the first pieces I saw. When I read the artist's statement. I felt good about the choice I was making. The piece is beautiful and I like how the community was somewhat involved in its creation, which is a common denominator for this particular artist's work.

I won't tell you which piece I picked. Yet! I'm going to go to the winners event tonight so I can hear firsthand who the winner is. I want to see how my choices stacked up with the actual winners. I'll let you know!

23 September 2009

oops. you're a jerk.

This afternoon I received an e-mail that was clearly not meant for me. Our company e-mail system has an address book that allows you to type in the first few letters of someone's last name and it will autofill if you're close to the actual spelling. This can be a convenience if you're careful, and it can get you in trouble if you are not careful. Underling Dude the message was meant for has the same first three letters in his last name as me. Dude who sent the message is clearly a d-bag. Neither of these individuals even works anywhere near here - completely different party of the country - so I have no actual knowledge of either of their characters, just a few lines of text.

message 2 @ 2:21 p.m.
Did I stutter???????

message 1 sent @ 2:18 p.m.
Get your A - - in here!!!! Where are you !!

The original message (which I did not include here) was sent by Underling Dude to Mr. D-bag telling him news he perhaps did not want to hear. I don't think it warranted such a tone, however. Who talks like that so someone they work with? Especially if its a direct report? I sent Mr. D-bag a reply that merely said:

You did not stutter, but you DID send your message to the wrong person.

Best of luck.

And if e-mail had an "under the breath" feature it would have said, "Best of luck... learning how to speak to people, treat them with respect and not suck."

Life is too short to be deliberately rude to people. Mr. D-bag must be awesome to work for! I thought about saying more to him in my reply e-mail, but I'd rather do something that could be considered a random act of kindness for the Underling Dude.

Let's all do our best to be nice to others, shall we?

20 September 2009

Cookie Fail

I can't tell you how many times I've made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. More than I can count, probably. I always use the same recipe - it's the one off the Quaker Oats box. The dough came together without a problem. That's the good news. The bad news, when I put them in the oven I set the timer for making cookie bars, 30 minutes, without even thinking about it. They normally bake for 10-12 minutes! I think I invented a new cookie, they're called chocolate chip snaps. They're ridiculously over baked. I'm bummed about the mishaps and that Quality Control won't let these cookies out of the house. I've always said there's no such thing as a bad cookie. These might be close.

Note to self, pay attention to details even when you're doing something you've done a million times!

18 September 2009

Favorite Movie

I had the chance to see Amelie last night on the big screen! YAY! I love this movie for so many reasons, namely how cute and imaginitive the story is, how beautiful the art direction and cinematography are and the exquisite attention to detail throughout. It's such a lovely film. Every time I watch it, I appreciate it even more and wish I had that hair cut. If I could live in a film for a while, I think I'd have to pick Amelie! I'd brush up on my French, skip stones, ride around with Nino on his moped, help random strangers and generally just be super cute.

If you could live in any movie, what would it be and why?

15 September 2009

Mind Field

...braces are about a month away.

...cats are cute and fuzzy, but sooo frustrating!

...I want Bon Iver to sing me a song. I'm in love with his voice.

...I have an extreme case of wanderlust. Not an uncommon thing for me.

...I'm dressed like an adult today, but don't feel like acting like one.

...mild sore throat has been bugging for a couple days. I'm hoping the vitamin C and zinc I've been taking will chase it away.

...Patrick Swayze died yesterday. He will always be Johnny Castle to me. RIP, Johnny.

...Saw a clip of Pink sharing her opinion about Kanye West on the Today show. I admire her for saying exactly what she thinks about someone who has acted like a complete douche. I read somewhere that it may have been a scripted moment at the VMAs, but why would anyone sign up voluntarily to act like that? They say there's no such thing as bad press, but in a case where everyone agrees you're out of line, you're sort of in a tight spot. Congrats Kanye.

...I really like Pink's hair too. I'd love to go short and that blond.

11 September 2009

Eight Years

Eight years ago this morning, we all know what happened. The world changed forever.

I was working downtown. My then business partner was the first to announce the news. We tried to keep working, not knowing the news would continue to worsen throughout the day. I actually was able to talk to my brother D, who was working in Soho that morning, after the first plane. That was before things got super chaotic. He said he the air was smoky and that it was glistening with shards of glass. He and his roommate ended up walking home to Brooklyn out of fear of what might happen next.

We closed the office around 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.

I wasn't sure what to do next. It didn't seem right to be alone or to not be watching the drama unfold on TV. I didn't have cable at the time and wanted to know what was going on. The ex and I shuffled over to my dear friend A's aparment. I think we sat with her into the early evening watching the televised hell that was lower Manhattan eight years ago.

I remember the disbelief that something so horrible could have happened. I still have trouble believing. Conspiracy theories abound. Whatever really happened and no matter who was actually behind the horrors of that day eight years ago, they are truly evil.

In the wake of that day, I also remember savoring every minute I spent with the people I love. I did not want to take any interaction for granted. It had become all too clear that it could be the very last time.

We only have today, the moment we're in. I want to remember that. I want to savor today and every day for my own sake and in memory of everyone who died eight years ago.

08 September 2009

Long Weekend

Ah, just back from a long Labor Day weekend! Would have loved for it to last a LOT longer, but I'll take what I can get at this point. Highlights of the weekend included:


Talking remodeling project possibilities with my mom.


Brunch/lunch with M & B at Electric Cheetah on Sunday. We began with dessert first, a lovely peach raspberry pie. Everything else after that was delish. We followed with an epic journey to Costco and Target. I managed to not buy every single "good deal" I wanted. (KitchenAid Stand mixer! Hello! 24-pack Diet Coke, which I'm technically not drinking, but just seeing what a good deal it was - $.24 a can made me want to full on relapse!) Costco is not really an ideal shopping situation for the singleton. You have to really know that you like something to buy in the LARGE quantities they offer. I considered a multi-pack of Clifbars, but decided not to because it was a multi-pack of just okay flavors. Same thing with Vitamin Water. Got both at Target instead. I did get a giant bottle of vanilla though for a good deal. I've been going through vanilla like it's water lately.


Dog park with Mom and her pup. Then dinner with Mom @ XO.


I finished my August Book Club book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I can totally see this book being made into a movie and with a little help from youtube, I found it out was recently made into a movie in Sweden. The book was a little slow to start out, but once it got going, I couldn't put it down.


Spent an amazing, lazy day at Reeds Lake yesterday. Started out sipping on a smoothie from Starbucks chatting and watching the GRYC sailboats with M. M's friend D joined us after a while. We sat some more just soaking up the amazing weather. We eventually moved camp over to the deck at Rose's for snacks. They probably could have charged us rent. We were there forever!


Had a great long run on Sunday with A. We think we're getting faster. It was probably my best long run since the Lowell Half Marathon. Had some extra steam at the end to kick the last couple blocks just a little harder. There's something to be said for speed work. I'm doing what I can and enjoy seeing the results.


Sleeping!


What was the highlight of your weekend?

03 September 2009

How to...



I'm a big proponent of Lifetime learning.


By that, I mean never giving up on learning new things, whether in a structured school environment or on your own as you go through life. I realize those of you fond of Lifetime Television for Women may have read that an entirely different way. No Lifetime movies here. Here's a list of things I'd like to learn:

How to ride a motorcycle. The Vespa is fun and easy, but I still want to learn how to ride a motorcycle with a clutch. This will be helpful because I know at some point in my life I'll find the perfect vintage BMW and have to buy it. This way I will be able to ride it immediately.


Another language. I know enough French to be dangerous. Would like to add another language though.


How to swim well enough to compete in another triathlon. This just involves practice, practice, practice on my part. And maybe a few sessions with a swim coach.

Graphic Design.


DJ skills. Mixing, sampling, playing chronic beats.


Fashion illustration and how to create what I sketch. I can sew, but would love to be properly trained. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was in 6th & 7th grade and probably still have sketches from back then. Project Runway brings up this desire with every new season!




When I had TV, I used to get sucked into MTV's Made and wish they had a show like that for adults, where you would have the opportunity to immerse yourself completely in whatever it was you wanted to learn until you got the basics down and could go off on your own and keep using the skills you've used. I guess schools/classes fit the bill, but it's not quite the same.


What do you want to learn?




01 September 2009

Plan in Place

Inspired by the big lotto game on Friday and conversation at Book Club, last night over dinner R and I crafted our own plans for when we win the big lotto prize. Here's mine:

  • I would not publicize my win. In fact, you may not even know that I've won.
  • For the immediate future I would not quit my job, although I may go to part time, so I could continue to hang out with my co-workers.
  • I would find a small, successful bakery that I could buy. I would spend chunks of time apprenticing, so I could learn more than I currently know.
  • I would organize a trip for my family and a few friends. We'd go somewhere warm and beautiful. First class everything.
  • I'd retain the best financial advisor. And call up an old attorney friend and put him on retainer.
  • I'd hire a personal trainer who could help me run faster, build more muscle and of course swim better. Hello, triathlon!
  • I would find ways to spend "apprentice" time with people I admire, either for the kind of person they are or because of the kind of work they do. Aveda colorist David Adams is one. Designer Isaac Mizrahi is another. I'm still coming up with the rest of the list, but the key is that I'd be learning a ton from amazingly talented people.
  • I would not sell my house. I would, however, re-do the kitchen and bathroom. I'd also have the yard completely re-landscaped and the driveway done. I'd look into purchasing a place in New York.
  • Since I only have a one car garage, I don't even think I'd buy a new car at this point. I like my car. Plus, a new car so soon after an anonymous lottery winner from Grand Rapids is announced might be a dead giveaway.
  • I would also set up some sort of charitable foundation with the help of my financial advisor and my attorney.

I guess I might have to actually start playing these big lotto games if I'm going to be able to put this plan into action. I'll be on the look out for the next big jackpot! Do you have a plan for when you win big? It's good to be prepared!

24 August 2009

I really want to bake.

There's that age old cliche you read in every interview with a model or actor. "Yeah, this modeling gig is great, but what I really want to do is act." For the actors, it goes like this, "Yeah, acting is awesome, but what I really want to do is direct." I can see the logical progression from each gig to the next wannabe profession. Each allows the person to contribute on a more personal and creative level.

Lately, mine goes like this, "I'm a writer, but what I really want to do is bake." No logical progression from my current profession, but definitely something that I love to do. I've probably been baking since I could write. I say that because I don't really remember when the baking started. It seems like it was always there. I never had the Easy Bake Oven so many of my contemporaries had. I had the real oven. I helped my mom mostly when I was really young. I can remember the easy stuff like box brownies and muffins, but also trying out a few advanced recipes in my teens. Let's be real about this, I worked at bakery in high school and into college. While I didn't actually bake, I spent my time among racks and racks of cakes, pastries and breads. I so enjoyed watching the cake decorators do their thing and dreamt of having my own buckets of butter cream frosting!

I read cookbooks like novels. I check them out by the bagful at the library each week. There's something so amazing about turning raw ingredients into something lovely and delicious. I relish the zen of losing myself for a few hours in baking a pie, cake or cookies. I also REALLY have a sweet tooth. So I mostly bake so I can have a taste and then share with friends and family. I think one of the best parts of baking is seeing how happy my sweets make people. It's pretty cool.

This weekend I built a beautiful blueberry pie with fresh blueberries from Farmers Market and a crust from scratch just like my mom taught me. The baking happened on Saturday afternoon. I brought the pie to last night's cookout with R's friends. That meant there was a span of about 24 hours where all I could think about was how badly I wanted to cut into that pie and have a taste. Unfortunately, bringing a pie to a social function with a slice or two already cut out of it would be a social faux pas. I'm glad I waited. My in tact blueberry pie was well-received at the cookout on Cherry Street.

I wonder if I'd get tired of being up to my elbows in frosting and flour on a daily basis? Would I lose my sweet tooth? Would I gain 100+ pounds? Today, I bake because I love it. For now, with no actual plan to go full time, I'll just keep it at that. I am, however, already thinking about my next pie. The peaches looked pretty good at Farmers Market.

18 August 2009

this is my brain on tuesday

i say i like to travel, but when it comes down to it, i'm not into all the details that it takes to actually travel for fun and leisure. i guess that's why they have travel agents. i can't tell you the number of trips i'd like to take. need to get passport updated. need to commit and just flippin' go somewhere.

*****
just so we're all clear, i'm not going to not go somewhere just because someone (who may or may not happen to be my ex) might be there. it's MY neighborhood and i can go to the blockbuster whenever i want. i'm waiting for the day when we will all just run into each other and have that awkward "we used to know each other, but we're going to pretend not to know each other" moment. i have a feeling it's going to happen sooner rather than later, this town is REALLY small.

*****
i would like to start eating like a true athlete, not someone who runs/works out so i can eat whatever i want. my metabolism is fast, but it's not that fast. with that being said, i'd like a personal chef/nutritionist who can prepare me tasty meals and keep me on track.

*****
i've learned to be more at peace with peace, but every now and there's still a part of me that wants things stirred up a bit. i'm resisting the urge to stir the pot myself.

*****
i'm looking forward to ArtPrize. art has already started appearing around town. this event is going to be huge! have you heard about nessie?

*****
have i told you lately how much i like butter? i'm eating a toasted cinnamon raison bagel right now, with butter on it. it is delicious in all of its toasted buttery cinnamon goodness.

*****
my office is slightly illogically heated and cooled for whatever season we happen to be in. this weekend was blistering hot with humidity. for that kind of weather i can understand turning the air down to keep the workers cool. as best i can tell, it's not near the 90s today. i've been wearing fleece all morning in my cube. fleece, people. in august. that's just not right!

14 August 2009

Your vs. You're. R U kidding?

I write/edit for a living, so it should come as no surprise that the use of proper grammar scores points with me.

This article on grammar was a featured article on the MSN homepage yesterday. I clicked on it out of curiosity. I was a little flummoxed to read an article that dished out all the simple grammar goodies everyone should have learned in school, but clearly did not. I know darn well that in an age of text messages ("ill brb. txt me when u get there"), instant messaging and every other form of electronic communication that seems to wag its tongue in the face of proper grammar that knowledge of English grammar is floundering.

I came across this tweet from a local public relations firm today while looking at Grand Rapids Social Diary's Twitter "following" list.

[Redacted] co-founder, [Redacted], congratulated us on the @[redacted] merger with a giant cake: http://yfrog.com/cb16nj11:59 AM Aug 7th from Tweetie

In case cake link doesn't work, (because it wasn't earlier) it says, "Congratulations Heard your eating for two now." Please also note the random quotation marks at the end of the sentence. Here's the amusing part, this firm is now considered one of the largest public relations firms in Michigan and they can't even get the copy on a cake right. "Your" vs. "you're"? Really?! Folks, it's not rocket science and it's kind of your JOB to get things right. And if a vendor is doing work for you, it's your job to make sure they get it right! Or if someone messes up, notice the error, eat the cake and don't post it on your Twitter account for the entire world to see! Duh!

We all make mistakes, but this is one that did not need to be paraded around on the interwebs. Who exactly manages the public image of this firm? They clearly need some help on getting the simple things right. Just saying.

11 August 2009

Shopping the Closet

A coworker of mine just asked me if I’d been shopping alot recently because of what I'm wearing. No, I wish. I’ve been saving the dolla dolla bills y’all, by shopping my closet instead of the stores.

I’m wearing a skirt I bought probably over three years ago and have never worn with a rarely worn dressy t-shirt that matches it. I had to do a little creative pinning for a proper fit on the skirt, but so far it’s working and it’s almost as fun as having purchased something new! Maybe even more, since I know I didn’t spend any money (recently) on the new look.

I tend to get stuck wearing the same outfits to work over and over again, so the whole shopping my closet thing every now and then helps out with that. Another idea I’ve had for breathing new life into a wardrobe, but have never made happen, is having a couple trusted fashion friends over to play stylist. You look at your own closet every day and may be overlooking fashion gold. Your fashion friends, on the other hand, may spot a few things you’ve never thought to put together or have long since given up on. You could take turns over a few weeks visiting each gal’s closet – everyone gets a chance to catch up on each other’s lives and may get a few new outfit combinations out of it. Simple. Goodness. Savings!

10 August 2009

Latest Running Recap

Rain played a major part of shaping my weekend. Saturday morning's long run was pre-empted by a torrential downpour, thunder and more importantly lightening. I would have been fine to run in the rain, but I was not so keen on getting sizzled by lightening! A & I hung out in Sbux with a bunch of other rained out runners waiting/hoping the storm would pass quickly so we could still get in our run.

We went Sunday morning instead and probably got as soaked (in sweat) as we would have gotten had we ran in the rain on Saturday. If you're in Michigan, you know of this opressive heat/humidity combo of which I type! Make one move and you're instantly sweaty. We struggled through nearly 8 miles. I don't use the word struggle lightly. It was gross.

I have a 1/2 marathon coming up on Saturday and I'm a little bit nervous about how it's going to play out. I haven't been as gung ho about my training for this race as others. Perhaps I've hit a summer training slump?! As best as I can tell, Saturday's course has hills and a bit of trail running. Oi vey! I just hope it's a cool morning, so I can actually breath while I make my way through the course. Just looking to finish injury free and hope to actually enjoy the race.

This week's schedule looks pretty light, just to keep things from siezing up. The taper week before a long race always mystifies me. I know I can run the distance, but always think I should do more. The tapering actually helps the body prepare for what's ahead...it's really all beyond my control now! I'll just keep eating carbs and hope for the best.

05 August 2009

i have green eyes.

envy.



it's one of those feelings that just comes up unexpectedly. i don't think anyone sets out to wish they had what someone else has, be it be possessions, status, abilities, or to experience what someone else gets to experience. it comes from a feeling that you're somehow getting shortchanged, that your abilities are going unnoticed or unappreciated, that the spotlight is not shining on you.



something recently has made my natural green eyes greener and i was not happy with the feeling. that's not who i want to be. my way of working through it was joking around, making fun and taking playful jabs, but afterward i felt like my true feelings were too thinly veiled and i was being a complete bitch.



in order to work through it and move beyond feeling envy, i focused on gratitude. focusing on all the things i do have. all the ways in which i've been blessed. as with most feelings, i knew the envy would fade. it was my ego saying "i want mine...", to which i said, you've got yours beyond what anyone can even see. if you still want more, work harder for it. make your own spotlight. create your own opportunity.



another thing i've thought about...whenever you actually do end up getting that thing you've coveted, it's often not as amazing as you built it up to be. i remember wanting white leather tennis shoes when i was in 6th or 7th grade because a couple of the more popular girls had them. i finally got them and the inevitable happened. i slipped my middle school feet into them and somehow they no longer seemed as cool. they weren't me. today, i think, "what were you thinking? white tennis shoes? nikes? really?! " recently, i've seen boys pull this look off successfully, but its white adidas with fitted jeans. boys. not girls. i guess that's a fashion post for another time!


crazy feelings. sometimes it would be nice if we could just shake them off, but feel them we must until we've worked out whatever it is we need to discover about ourselves. big or small, the discovery usually helps the next time an uncomfortable feeling appears out of nowhere.

31 July 2009

bullets

this week i:

  • had a dream i was in a triathalon with my new bike. i was going soo fast. it was awesome.

  • actually was riding so fast on the wednesday night bike ride and it was awesome to be flying down butterworth with a bunch of bikers behind me.

  • saw a tiny baby bunny on one of my runs. i wanted to scoop it up and carry it home and feed it carrots.

  • took one day off of running since i'm experiencing what i can only imagine is training burn out. i just didn't want to go. was feeling fine. i honored my not wanting to go and got back at it the next day. still feeling a little "meh" about training, but i'm just going with the flow. next race is a 1/2 marathon on August 15.

  • saw a man mowing his lawn wearing only a speedo and a straw hat.

  • made two actual dinners! delish pizza with garlic/olive oil for sauce, red pepper, artichokes and black olives last night. tuesday night was burrito night, complete with guacamole!

  • have been looking forward to the grand rapids electronic music festival tomorrow night on Rosa Parks Circle.

  • thought of a fun book idea earlier in the week. the fact that i'm still thinking about it so many days later is a sign i should flesh it out and see how the story materializes.

28 July 2009

on friends and gratitude

Late last night R & I picked up my friend A from the airport. Her flights got all screwy, which meant she was coming in a lot later than she thought she would. I was the back up plan and was happy to be able to act as airport shuttle, even though it was about my bed time. These are the things we do for friends.

There are other little and quite monumental things we do for friends. I must say I've got two pretty awesome friends in A & R.

The two people I shared the car with last night witnessed one of my all-time embarrassing moments. While I've had conversations with both of them in which I've painfully relived the moment, this was the first time we were all in the same place and it was briefly discussed. Laughter ensued. It's a lot less cringe worthy now, although I doubt it will ever be a cringe-free memory. The three of us are bonded for life in this really odd way. I'm grateful that they're both so cool and made me feel like I wasn't the biggest reject ever for what happened. Oh, and don't even ask what it was. Now that I've had my own in real life postsecret moment, there's absolutely no need to say more.

True friends. We witness each other's lives, reflecting back the goodness. Hoping for the best, there for each other if it's the worst. We can laugh. We can cry. We can be ourselves with the people we call true friends. I am blessed to have such amazing friends in my life, I am thankful for each and every one of you.

21 July 2009

hot/not

since it's been a while...

hot: getting flowers for no particular reason.

not: seeing two exes in a span of 24 hours.

hot: knowing that i'm far happier today without either of them. and managing to not talk to or make eye contact with either of them.

hot: having a whole world of bikes to choose from as i shop for a new one.

not: having a whole world of bikes to choose from. i'm a little overwhelmed and just want my bike back!

hot: homemade chocolate cake and buttercream frosting.

hot: talking about something earlier in the day and then having someone or something come across your path that directly relates to what you were talking about. happened on saturday. had been talking about wanting to learn how to remix music, sequence beats, etc and later on that evening someone i met does just what i want to learn and is willing to show me a few things.

hot: being "taken", not single, in a relationship, someone's girlfriend. wow!

not: feeling like i have ADD sometimes.

hot: having great friends that fill my life and social calendar with fun things to do.

not: having so much fun that some of the "getting my life in order" stuff falls by the wayside requiring me to play catch up on all that stuff.

hot: having vegetarian burritos at two different local authentic mexican places over the weekend. maggie's kitchen on saturday. sunday was a place on burton that gives maggie's a very close run for the burrito money.

not: having to play "don't ask don't tell" about whether or not the beans in these tasty burritos contained lard.

hot: having someone to do the NYC Century Ride with in September.

not: not knowing if i'll find a bike in time. and not wanting to settle just so i have a bike.

hot: vacation time.

not: having to hope that the weather will be hot enough to properly enjoy the beach.

10 July 2009

delish dish

I've made eggrolls before. See:
I was over at my friend M's house last night while our other friend was finishing up making her own eggrolls. I didn't get to have any because they were meat containers - but what I did get to have was oh so delicious.  We took snickers and wrapped it up in the egg roll wrapper and threw the package into the deep fryer! OMG! Sinfully delicious.

My take away from last night's experience: a yen to make my own egg rolls again AND to try frying them! The last time I made mine, I baked them, which was probably more healthy, but I somehow don't think a candy bar baked in an eggroll wrapper will come out the same as if it were fried, so I might as well fry up the egg rolls too!

What's for dinner? I wish I had that plate of egg rolls right now!

08 July 2009

Full Moon?

When shit has gone all sideways and out of control, I often ask, "is it a full moon or something?" Well, kittens, today has already had all kinds of sideways, crazy, heart-attacky-ness AND it is a full moon. Or it was as of 9:23 p.m. GMT last night. The full moon is no joke and I believe it's power to invoke a crazy situation or two has just been proven, at least in my life. Judging by my friend K's recent blog post, she may agree!

First thing this morning: brought the VW into my dealer to have them tighten up a rattly something or other that they've fixed with ease before. That same exact noise this morning turned out to be a serious need for a power steering pump! And apparently I'm rather lucky I brought it in when I did because the power steering pump could have exploded (not really, but really bad things could have happened resulting in some sort of automotive disaster!). Feeling really lucky about the prospect of handing over my check book when I get my car back sometime in the next 24-36 hours. They also will do my front brakes, something they've been reminding me of the last few times I've been in.

Does the full moon have the power for good, say to help me win tonight's Lotto?

So then...I get into work via the dealer's shuttle driver to find out that the ad I've been working on has a certain similarity to something within another company's current ad campaign. I don't watch TV. I had never even seen the ad in question. Spent rest of morning and afternoon tweaking the ad with our designer. Ad has been finalized, but not without severe anxiety! My heart literally felt like there was an invisible hand clutching it VERY tightly. I don't like that invisible hand, it has quite a grip. I don't want it to return or ever have to shake hands with it!

The calm has returned. I'm hoping it stays. I don't need any more Full Moon Maddness!

How's your day so far? Anything out of the ordinary you'd like to blame on the full moon?

07 July 2009

food confessions

This might not be pretty...

I bought a small tub of Cool Whip for strawberry shortcake over the weekend. It was actually Friday, which may help lessen the pointy-ness of judgement fingers. I made two actual shortcakes for desserts and somehow the tub is almost gone. I've been dipping pretzels in it. Chunks of fruit may have been dipped in. And, yeah, I've eaten a spoonful or two. As an aside, I'm not particularly fond of the fact that the English language uses the word "tub" in reference or proximity to any food item.
Guacamole. I've been eating it like it's my job. I make a little batch using only 1/2 an avocado at a time so as to not completely go overboard. But that tend to mean I'm eating it two nights in a row. Avocado is a vegetable and they're actually considered to be good for you, but I still feel like I'm somehow doing something wrong - like just realizing that an actual "serving" is 1/5 the avocado, not 1/2! Oops, my bad. But it's soo good!

I'm getting better about eating the fresh produce I buy. It didn't use to be such a good thing. Every now and then I have to put myself on produce restriction though. I find having an actual plan for what I'm going to do with what I'm buying and when this event will take place. Without the what and when - produce goes bad at my house.

Am I the only one that can eat the same thing for breakfast or dinner repetitively? I'll get on kicks and eat the same thing (English muffin egg & cheese sandwiches, cereal, nachos, quesadillas are a few that come to mind) a few times a week for a while. Maybe that's something that happens to those of us who live alone?! I wouldn't subject a guest or family to the same thing a few times a week.

Butter not margarine

Silk not milk

Heinz is the only company that can make ketchup. I'm serious. I believe I'd be able to taste the difference in a blind ketchup taste test. Take the Ketchup Challenge.

It's been over six months since I quit Diet Coke and I still miss it.

If I ever ate meat again, as many of you already know, I'd be angling for a rack of bbq ribs.

Anyone else have any food confessions they want to make?




02 July 2009

Thursday that's really a Friday

This day is a little off, what with the holiday weekend just a few hours away. I've been a day ahead of the calendar all week. "It totally feels like Friday...". The following ought to give you a taste of how the day's going:


I'm operating on very little sleep and becoming an expert at alleviating the toll of sleep deprivation during the work day. The weekend outlook involves sleep. and then maybe a little more sleep.


*****


My feet/shoes decided to rebel against me on the way out of the building for lunch. I went down like a bowling pin. I even did the little spin that sometimes happens when the ball hits the pin just right. Knee is currently developing a ripe bruise. Left hand feels the sting of hitting the river rock-like pavement. Right foot + river rock = abrasion. The only saving grace of the whole deal is that I did not rip my favorite pair of jeans.


*****


On the way to lunch today we discussed the different breads available at restaurants and how it would be fantastic to have a progressive meal that just involved bread. First stop Logan's for yeast rolls. Second stop: Red Lobster for cheddar biscuits (while I've never had them, what could be more fantastic than a baked marriage of cheese and biscuit?!) Third stop: Johnny Carino's for their warm bread and dipping oil. What's curious about this list is that all the restaurants are chains and that the bread is probably the best part of the collected menus. Just saying.


*****


My co-workers and I joked around all day about working on a 4th of July musical called - "Continental Congress - the musical". It was going to be what would spring us from work early. "Gotta go rehearse...." Turns out we didn't have to resort to that. We entertained ourselves most of the day and before you knew it, it was time to go home.


*****

Long weekend! I'm so psyched for three days off. People have been letting off fireworks for days now. I'm sure it will be quite the show on Saturday. I may have to dig out the sparklers. I just realized that this the holiday that celebrates our independence from Great Britain also marks my official independence from the ex. I had never made that connection until now. Very happy to be where I am today. Very happy to be independent! What are you doing to celebrate our Independence?

29 June 2009

lost

I don't want to be writing this post about another lost item, but write I must. There's just so much going through my head. In pouring it out, I hope I can process a little, grieve a little and figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do next.

My bike was stolen this morning. Non-bikers may be thinking, "ah, just get another one...". A few years ago I probably would have said the same thing.

I bought the bike - a dark green 1998 Gary Fisher Aquila - used from a local bike shop. I still remember the the way the shop felt on that day, the smell of bike tire rubber and chain grease, the way the dust floated in the sunny/hazy shop and the hand written receipt. My ex was with me. We had grand plans of riding around town. In all honesty, I can only recall one or two bike rides with the ex. That bike and I got close after he began making the kind of choices that would remove him from my life on a permanent basis, something that I have come to see as a gift.

That bike helped me find myself and my own strength and I'm really sad that it's gone.

Summer 2007. I began riding what I thought were ridiculously long rides with my friends T & L. We rode most weekends that summer and wound up our summer of rides with a 68 mile ride through the borroughs of New York City. It was so much fun and something I still talk about today. That bike had been in the City with me, in MY City! I got a flat tire, but we repaired it and kept on riding. I carried it up and down a couple different bridge stairs in order to cross into/out of the different borroughs. It carried me for 68 miles, our longest ride ever.


Summer 2008. My bike and I completed the Give Peace a Tri Triathlon. My first triathlon. While there are lighter/faster bikes, designed specifically for triathlon biking, my bike and I made it work. I'll never have another first triathlon.


Summer 2009. I met a boy who likes to bike as much as I do. That bike played a part in our getting to know each other. We've logged many miles already this summer. Wednesday Evening Rides. Rides to Rockford and back. Rides to the ballpark.


Sigh.


I found a bike that's almost exactly like mine, but it's not mine. I think that's the part I'm having the hardest time with. I want the bike that's been there for me. The bike that had become part of who I am. The bike that helped me find my strength.


I'm still the same girl that got on that bike and rode somewhere worth being, both literally and figuratively. I know that's something that can't be taken away from me, but I'm still sad for the loss of the chromoly representation of where I've been and where I am today.

28 June 2009

The 'Rents

My dad is visiting for the weekend. I wasn't sure how long he'd be here and as it turns out he's here until tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've actually seen my dad, let alone spent hours on end with him. The visit is going well, but in terms of having my own space I'm feeling a little boxed in. Just trying to go with the flow on that one, knowing very well it could be years until I see him again. 

I don't know what other people do with their dads, but as long as I can remember, my relationship with my dad has usually always involved some type of project. Give us a purpose and things go well. Friday we had Project Vespa. Yesterday, he helped me get the right wood/screws to replace a warped board on my deck. I got to use my drill and my muscle. We also watched Quadrophenia, which ties directly into Project Vespa. 

Today, I have no idea. I'm feeling the need for some space and time do to my own thing. I think that may come later this afternoon. And now for a bit. He just left to meet my mom for church! They've been divorced for nearly 10 years and have probably seen each other three times in those 10 years. She mentioned to me yesterday on the phone that she'd meet him for church if he was going. I thought it started at 11:00 a.m., they're on summer hours apparently and it started at 10:00 a.m. He left a bit ago, deciding to just go late. I don't even know how that whole reunion's going to go and honestly am grateful I don't have to be involved. 

I love my mom and dad. I do. Their separation/divorce when I was in my 20's was kind of odd and there are probably still parts of it that I'm still coming to terms with all these years later.  I think they're both different people today than when they divorced. Would they ever be able to be friends again? Hard to say. I don't think either of them hate each other, it's just been easier to not see each other. I know that feeling. 

So that's my reflection on the parental units. Happy Sunday morning to you. I'm going to see about something to eat.