Tuesday, July 29, 2008

27 Random Comments

1. On another blog on which this one is linked, I noticed I hadn't blogged in over two weeks. Ouch.
2. I bought a new sewing machine. I was sick of wrestling with my grandmother's and decided she'd rather I be sewing often and with ease than using her old machine. I will be attempting to finish my dog bed project this week.
3. We are taking our dogs camping for the first time this week. I am worried it will be a veritable symphony of barking, whining, and growling at every little noise throughout the night. Will they annoy me to a point of not enjoying myself? Stay tuned.
4. Shopping for new clothes is the most fun part of losing weight.
5. I bought said new clothes for my business trip next week. (I like to call it that, because it makes it sound way more professional than teacher training.) Out of 36 people going, I somehow wound up as the only person without a roommate (someone, I think, requested to be alone). Is it weird that this makes me really sad instead of happy? By the by, here is the hotel we're staying at. Hello???? What budget cuts? This IS the hotel where the conference is being held, but sheesh.
6. I should be working out right now, but I am blogging instead.
7. I have been sleeping way later than I should be.
8. Last night we rearranged the furniture in our living room to accommodate the new armoire I bought on craigslist. We are getting rid of our old corner entertainment unit and our big ugly coffee table, if anyone is interested.
9. It's a long way to 27.
10. I have signed up to volunteer with a political organization. I have donated money for a couple of years, but this time, when they called me, I felt compelled to say yes. Do I want to call people and knock on people's doors? No. But I am going to. Because I am sick to death of our current government and I need to do something other than complain and write checks.
11. I have also looked into volunteering at the Veterans' Home, so near my house. I have the coordinator's phone number. I am wary of making a commitment and then regretting it. That is certainly not the volunteer spirit. Maybe in September, when I am back in the swing? I just feel like such a slug.
12. Did you know fences are expensive? We are getting a new fence in our backyard, and the bids we've gotten are WAY more than I expected. I could buy LOTS of new clothes for these prices. Apparently cedar and nails have gone up in price, just like the rest of everything we buy.
13. There are four men in my backyard right now. They are cutting down trees. We have two huge black walnut trees and one ugly pine tree. One of the walnuts (the one threatening to crush our house) and the pine are being taken away. We will miss the shade, but will enjoy both the space and the ability to sit on our patio without a) sap and b) walnuts falling on our heads.
14. I finally read Wicked. Wow. I had no idea how great this book is. I hadn't even heard of it until the musical (of course). Now, the musical is coming back to Minneapolis. I need to go. The book is so much more than just a back story to the Wizard of Oz; it is excellent commentary on politics and love and family and the nature of good and evil. Worth the read. Now I want to read more of Gregory Maguire's books.
15. I also read my first Meg Wolitzer. Her latest, not even on that list, is The Ten-Year Nap. I am bookclubbing about it in less than two weeks, so I won't give a complete rundown, but I have to say: eh.
16. I love chocolate.
17. I miss chocolate.
18. I'm lamely trying to get to 27.
19. I have wonderful friends.
20. I have the best husband in the world.
21. My family loves me.
22. I'm going to paint the living room this week.
23. It will be a subtle stone, with one ostentatious orange accent wall.
24. I'm hoping it will draw out the crown-molding.
25. The weather is very humid, causing me to shy away from the bike ride I had planned. Instead, I will treadmill indoors where it is a cool 76.
26. I shall watch Friends, Season 5 whilst I treadmill.
27. Ta-da! I did it. Why 27? I turned 27 years old on Saturday. It was easier than 26. As long as I still get carded for buying booze (which I do), I'll feel young. And despite my making a stink about getting older, I know that I am still young. Plenty of time to do all the fun things I want to do. Like get highlights, and have lunch with my husband, and get a massage, and go to parties, and get presents, and go bowling (all the things I did to celebrate my birthday). Happy birthday to Anne, whose birthday was yesterday, and to Angie, whose birthday is this Sunday. Kisses.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Don't you live all the way downtown?"

Alec: I live right near here.
Carrie: Don't you live all the way downtown?
Alec: That is near.

Or something strikingly similar. (I have loaned my SATC collection to Kristin, so I can't watch the episode to verify.) One of thousands of lines from so many tv shows and movies taking place in New York City for which I had no frame of reference. But now, after annoying the hell out of my husband and friends by referencing so many said shows and movies (carriage ride in Central Park= Carrie and Big did this!; Impressionist rooms at the Met= This is where the Thomas Crown Affair took place!, etc, etc), I feel like I have captured a glimpse of that surprisingly massive and intimidating place.

Way back in December, some friends started seriously tossing the idea of a trip to NYC around. We had talked about it previously as a place we could all enjoy going together. This year, the conversation became serious for two reasons (and they may actually be equal): 1. our friend Mike was going to be living there for 3 months as a summer associate at some big, fancy law firm; 2. both Yankee and Shea stadiums are having their last hurrah this season. (My husband and my friends' husbands are huge baseball fans, so yes, that's enough to get us out there.) After many, many planning emails, we found ourselves together in a Midtown hotel on Friday, June 20th.

We really had an excellent time with many experiences, but it still felt like four days of trying to figure out what New York was all about. Friday when half of us went to a Broadway show, the other half went to the Village to hang out. When Patrick and I had a "date night" in/near Central Park, the others went to Coney Island. We went to ballgames in two burroughs, had dinner near Harlem, lunch in Little Italy, went shopping in Chinatown, walked Downtown and across the Brooklyn Bridge, and went to as many tourist (but WAY cool) locations as we could handle. Yet, there was so much we didn't do.

New York is absolutely immense. Being on top of the Empire State Building and looking down in every direction at building after building is crazy. But there's also water in every direction. I can't imagine there's any other place like it in the world. I can't wait to go back.

This is just a small glimpse. To see a more thorough depiction, click here. Disclaimer: my husband took these pictures, not me. I always give credit where credit is due. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Go, go, go, go, go, go, and go.

This is not my New York post. One might still expect a New York Post. Maybe even today. Indeed I have many things to say about New York; it was a great trip. But my head is a spinning, throbbing whirlwind of thought and experience now. Order is lost. I am sitting on my couch in my house alone with nothing to do for the first time in many, many days. And I'm not even supposed to be alone with nothing to do. But alas, I am. Okay, there are things I could do: unpack, do laundry, blog about New York, take the dogs to the park, finish my book club book (probably next on my list after this), take some ibuprofen for this headache, plan my meals, go grocery shopping, clean the bathroom (isn't there always something to clean?), figure out how to get my sewing machine working again so I can finish the dog beds I've been working on for two months, weed my haphazard garden, rake the backyard of walnuts and twigs; so, so much I could do. Frankly, I don't feel like doing any of it.

We left for New York on June 19th. We have not been alone since. When we returned from the East, family had already flown in for the big reunion extravaganza. Plans with them every day leading up to said extravaganza. To the homestead for partying and pictures and tree planting and hayriding and all the other things that make an extravaganza an extravaganza. Home on our one-year wedding anniversary, but not alone. Family needing a place to stay lives on our floor until we left last Thursday to camp for the holiday. Last night, on our way home from camping, to my hometown to see my mom and pick up my sister and her husband. Houseguests once again before they fly back South, their migrations quite shorter than birds. But finally MY houseguests. We have played hosts to my husband's family more times than I can count, but finally someone of my blood needing, nay wanting, to use our guest room. My sister and I were going to spend time together for the only time this year. I visited her in March, and that will likely be the next time I see her as well. They are not coming home for Christmas. This was their one trip. They are not in my guest room.

A miscommunication results in them not coming home with us. Hopefully, I will still see her today. Then, it is only one more week until we leave again, this time for a family reunion in South Dakota. The weekend of my birthday free, then all of August is booked. Literally. 1-3: camping; 3-8: work training; 12: book club; 14-17: BWCA; 22-24: fishing weekend with some girls; 25: back to work. WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO? Where are my lazy days doing nothing? Here, today, in my lap, unwanted and with headache.

Next year, if you ask me, "So, what are you doing this summer?" and I reply anything but, "Oh, not much" please slap me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Coming Soon

Feature attractions coming soon to this blog:

1. Pictures and commentary from our trip to the Big Apple starring Emily, Patrick, Anne, Josh, Val, Mike, Heather, and Travas!

2. Thoughts (and pictures) on love and family starring the entire in-law clan!

3. Comments from viewers wondering why I don't blog more often when I am not working. (I wonder the same thing, frankly, as I know I am very busy, but so is Molly and she blogs on each of her many blogs many times a week. She, however, is SuperWoman, and I, most evidently, am not.)

Cheers, bloggers.