Monday, April 7, 2008

christopher walken/SNL

I haven't laughed this hard over something in a long while:

("A good rule of thumb is...don't turn your back on a cactus.")

Also I would like to note that I glued googly eyes to J's cactus pair today while he was at work.

the arrival of spring

It's here. I like to think it is, after all I've taken a walk yesterday and today outside in non-snowed-on ground in only a light jacket. Spring.

In spite of the light breeze, sunshine and fresh air I don't feel springy. I feel blah and jumbled and so I shall make an entry of my favorite photos of our trip to Maine to get myself back in the groove.

Some random "not posed" photos with a friend that came to see me while I was in town.

Me and my favorite sisters. :-D

Gramps and J with their purses, me and my gramp...and us with Grammy, Gramp, and my sisters' hamsters :)

With GrammaC.

Sister time :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

i'm back

Okay, friends, I'm back. Since my last post I have been grieving with one side of my family over the unexpected death of a dear cousin, and drove up to Maine to help the other side of my family deal with hospital stays, surgery recovery, and moving/settling into new digs...not what I would have chosen as an interruption to my blogging ways, but this is just a little ditty to say soon (this week, possibly) I will fill you in on some of the past couple of months and get things back to normal.

I'm tired, the apartment is a mess, my Fibromyalgia is acting up, we have literally NO clean clothes, and our pets are acting deranged - but I'm back! You may rejoice :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

valentine laundry gerbils

Valentine's Day

J surprised me on V-Day with roses, dafodils, and having the day off - hooray! We had lunch at our favorite spot, Moe's - where we split our usual Billy Barou and drank an obscene number of refills of Cherry Coke.

Our day continued by visiting the local pet stores and admiring/talking to/petting gerbils, hamsters, and bunnies.

The evening concluded with chocolate cake and a homemade meal by mois with strawberry dacquiris. <3

On Saturday Munchkin and GooberBear assisted us with our laundry:

* Munchkin took each piece of clean laundry, sniffed it, and then carefully set it on the floor in a crumpled pile.

* GooberBear took over the socks by shoving the socks' mate down into the toe.

"Uncle J, do you know how to find the sock? You just put your hand down inside and then there it is!"

* Goober was also very impressed with one of my socks that had snowmen, reindeer, and snowflakes on it:

"Ooooh Aunt B, this sock is soooo cute!"


Grizzly Bear was in rare form on Sunday (yesterday, if you will) - he's still pretty grumpy, but we've tricked him into putting his paws on us when we have sunflower seeds (by far his favorite kind of seed) - but yesterday he actually hopped right out onto our hands, looking around with his little blind eyes and quivering his whiskers like crazy smelling his surroundings. It was so cute! And he didn't bit us once!

I've also discovered something rather disconcerting: gerbils...shed. There are little gerbil hairs all around in his cage - I've never seen such a thing from a rodent!

Monday, February 11, 2008

valentine's cheer

Waiting for Valentine's Day to have a special dinner out is for chumps - that's why J and I hit Red Lobster on February 7th to celebrate our love. J came home from work and exclaimed "Tonight's the night, let's go!"...I love it when he's all spontaneous about things like this, it makes it so special. So we got dolled up (...I got dolled up, J did the male equivalent), and after 30 minutes of chipping the ice off the van we were ready to go (J chipped the ice while I got dolled up. He's such a nice man!).

We went to Red Lobster because 1) we had gift cards and 2) I adore's my favorite restaurant. One of the benefits of having your Valentine's dinner early is none of the restaurants are mobbed (it annoys me to no end that Red Lobster does not take reservations, I think they take sadistic pleasure in making people line up straight out the door into the freezing cold). Even though there were clearly empty tables they gave me a buzzer...a new, fancy buzzer that not only beeps when your table is ready, it tells you in a creepy automated voice: Your table is...ready.

We got such a bounty of seafood goodness, you would not even believe it - but the most exciting feature of our dinner by far was the 'ultimate fondue'. This cheesy greatness was filled with little shrimpies and crabmeat and auuuugh!! it was SO good.

The only downer to the night was that we had one of those mystical disappearing waitresses, so when we were ready to go it took a good 30 minutes before she came back with our bill.

All in all, however, the most wonderful evening was had. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

my return to civilization

Life goes slowly and predictably until it socks you and suddenly you are reeling and busy and tired and not so interested in updating your online journal. :) I'm back for now, friends!

Grizzly Bear is doing soooo well. He is the cutest grumpy old man in the world - he spends his days rearranging his cage. This means hours of rustling and banging sounds as he shoves his food dish and cozy log around, and it also means that the carpet all around his cage is littered with shavings and food husks. He is kind of messy.
His favorite food EVER is sunflower seeds. And apple. And spinach. And he thinks carrots are stupid. Anyway, yesterday I held my hand to his cage door with a pile of sunflower seeds on it and he hopped out onto my hand. (!) This is the first time he has willingly come out on my hands, though he's done it for J a couple of times. I was SO excited and we gave him lovies and then he bit me and we put him back in his cage. Yay!

Oh! I should mention that Griz is apparently very hard of smelling. And seeing. He's very old, and we are realizing his humorous disabilities as time goes on. He'll be hunkered down eating and drop his seed...but he won't be able to find it again. It's so cute. And pathetic. And sort of sad.


Super Duper Tuesday (as our local news station called it, dorks) was yesterday and I proudly voted in my first primary. It was pretty impressive and great. I couldn't figure out how to close the curtain to the voting booth or how to vote for who I wanted for that matter, but with the verbal coaching of J and some little old ladies I did the deed! Because I hate the guck that comes with all political discussions I will not inform you of who I voted for, you will just have to squirm with curiosity.

My watch died the other day. It is now perpetually 5:15. I tried wearing J's watch for a couple days, since it works and we are trying to save money, but in the end I couldn't stand it and layed down $7 at Wal*Mart. J's watch is nice (my folks gave it to him a while back) but it kind of large for my bony little wrist and kept getting stuck on my sleeves and driving me crazy. Anyway. New watch is on and telling time and all is well in the world. We are contemplating smashing my old watch with a hammer, I'll keep you updated on that.


Unfortunately for you I suddenly have zoom and am going to clean up the apartment a little, but just so I don't forget these topics will soon be written about and posted by me:
* Our new mentally disabled cocaine-addict friend, "Bud".
* My inability to resist purchasing picture frames on clearance.
* Taxes for the self-employed are a pretty sad and mildly stressful thing.
* Having lunch with J and our grandparents (i.e. the toilet water story).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

grizzly bear, the wondergerbil

I shall preface this by saying that J and I should just not be allowed in pet stores.

Yesterday we went to PetSmart, that haven of cute animals in need of homes. They've recently partnered with a local pet rescue mission and so all of the animals are up for adoption from previous homes/abandonment situations, not just kittens or bunnies newly born and shoved in a showcase. They've had this one adorable, fat, old gerbil for months...the lady said since August of last year, and I've been in and seen him numerous times and wished I could save him and give him a home in his old age.

J and I walked in and he was there and I made a sad face and J caved like...instantly. We're way too soft when it comes to tiny furry faces of cuteness. The next thing we know we've adopted a little fellow we've named Grizzly Bear.

He's 2 years and 5 months old. That's old for a gerbil, who live up to 3 years if they are lucky. He's a cantankerous old coot and because he's been up for adoption since August he hasn't been handled much and isn't used to people. Basically what this means is I've already lost count of how many times he's nipped my fingers (though he doesn't bite to draw blood, like our psycho hamster Mutton Chop). His old-mannishness is also characterised by the middle picture. I say 'smile!' so nicely and he just turns his back and runs.

We are trying to get him used to people again, but mostly we just want him to have a happy retirement home. And so far he seems to love living with us. He runs in his wheel and shuffles his shavings all around to his heart's content. He is so hilarious because he's always perking up and listening to us talk or stopping to watch us while we sit and talk to him.

AAAAW!! Look at him so tired in his wheel in picture #3! He is diurnal, which means we've already seen him awake/playing more in a day and a half than any of our hamsters that we've had for the past year and a half. He does get tired out though (he is an old man) and takes little nappies during the day.

Now we just have to figure out where to keep his you know our apartment is weighed down by tons of books and the usual amount of furniture and finding a spot for a third rodent cage is proving a little tricky.

Yes. We're going to stay away from the pet store for a good long while after this....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

the best shopping day ever

Hello, jealous people. Yesterday was the day of glee and spending - Mom and I went to JC Penney for the much anticipated storewide 75% off sale. We went, we shopped, we bought things for much less than their ticketed price. The purse you see at the left is no doubt wowing you with its amazing shiny red leather and chique sliver clasp. You are longing to have one for yourself, you are picturing it on your own shoulder and matching it to the outfits in your closet. You love this purse for its roomy interior and comfortable portability. But it's mine, all mine BWAHAHA!! I adore it and every time I see it sitting there so pretty and new I giggle and clap my hands. :)


What's this? Another fabulous bargain of greatness? Mom and I found this shirt and I fell in love with its groovy awesomeness. I had a very sad face at first, because we found it in a small and a large - both of which fit just wrong, but later we found it in a medium in a different section and it fits perfectly. It goes with jeans, it goes with dress pants, it complements every skirt I own beautifully. *sigh* I love this shirt.


The color of this fabulous dress came out much brighter in the photo - the blue is more a deep royal blue than a POW! royal blue and you can't really appreciate that in the light it shimmers. Now like all clothes, it looks much better on an actual body than hanging from a curtain rod, but since I'm incapable of taking a full-body pic of myself on my own this is the view you get (don't worry, Mama, I intend to have J take pics of me in these clothes for your viewing delight once I'm rested from the day of shopping...I shall email them to you so it's JUST like you were there with us).


Another dress of awesomeness...I realized while shopping that I own exactly one dress aside from a prom dress and my wedding gown and was struck with the irresistable desire to rectify the situation.

Also purchased was a dress shirt for J, which I photographed, but which came out badly and I'm too lazy to retake a photo of it and then rehook the camera up to the computer and then wait again for everything to load and then wait some more for it to upload to this you can just imagine it as it is: a nice blue dress shirt with tan and white stripes/plaid. :)

In all we shopped for I think 5.5 hours and my purchases totaled an initial retail value of $223.29 (not including tax), but because of the 75% off sale, plus two coupons Mom gave me for 15% of each I actually spent $47.04, including tax. But wait...$35 of that was a giftcard from Christmas, so in reality all these things you see before you cost me $12.

I think you get the idea. It was a glorious day. :-D

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

random thoughts

MSG. It wasn't that long ago that there was a big uproar over Monosodium Glutamate and how tons of people are allergic to it and it was largely eradicated from food products. I know it wasn't more than 10 years ago...but time has passed and food manufacturers have been quietly adding it to their products again. ALL their products.

I'm one of those people that are allergic. At first, bizarrely enough, only in Pizza Hut pizza and Chinese food...but now in anything, and it's still one of those preservatives that you can ask your waiter in a restaurant "Is this made with MSG?" and they have no idea what you are talking about. I now religiously read the ingredients on everything I buy, but I forget sometimes.

Like last night. Veggie dip. Who thinks VEGGIE DIP is going to have MSG in it? J and I were devouring pretzels and dip and loving it and then I think to look at the ingredients and voila...hidden in the middle somewhere Monosodium Glutamate. Mocking me, laughing at me, smiling triumphantly in my face. Sure enough 20 minutes later I'm shaking and nauseous and sweating and my head is pounding.

I can't eat chips...Doritos, we got Doritos as a treat a while back only to discover when we got home that they also have MSG. One might say this is a great incentive to eat only whole, natural foods...and it is if you can afford to only buy such things. I'm trying little tiny bit by little tiny bit to improve our eating habits, but still I have to go by what we can afford and right now what we can afford has MSG in it half the time. Chips, dip, salad dressing, some spices (I've been experimenting with chicken dishes and am shocked at all the stuff I cannot season it with because of MSG), snack mixes...a million other relevant things I cannot think of at the moment. ARGH!

Rant over.


Today I'm resting. It helps that my body seems to be doing that chronic fatigue thing that goes with Fibromyalgia - I slept until 11 a.m. and am, at 1:26 p.m., ready for a nap. But I'm resting because tomorrow is the JC Penney sale of greatness.

Tomorrow is a day Mom and I are waiting for with glee and joy. Tomorrow is devoted to fun, to being girls with gift cards. Girls who love to hunt through the biggest clearance sale of the season for purses and clothes and anything that catches our fancy. A day for playing and laughing and having fun. That's why today I'm resting. I must reserve all my energy for the day of I think of tomorrow I'm tempted to jump up and down and giggle...but I will contain myself. For the sake of our glorious day of fun. :-D


My favorite time of the day is here: the mail just arrived. This post will continue momentarily.


HaHA! I love mail. I unlocked our box and the mail literally fell out all over the floor. To some this might be annoying, but to me it's a laugh-inducing, joy-giving experience. Look at all the mail! I scooped it up off the floor and poured over today's yield:

- 2 credit card offers (I love these because I open them, seal the empty no-postage-necessary envelope and mail it back to them. HA! Take THAT credit card companies!)
- our Discover bill. (I love getting bills in the mail because it means I get to write a check, which gives me the same thrill it did when I wrote my first check years ago. It also means I get to stamp and seal an envelope and mail something myself...*sigh* I love mail.)
- a letter from Progressive. They still want me to switch to them even though my policy with Geico is waaaay cheaper than anything they can offer me. Trash.
- a clothing catalog from Chadwick's. I've never heard of Chadwick's before, but it means my address and name have been sold, which means I'll be getting more useless catalogs in the future. Bummer, you say? Not at all, say I! I have a catalog full of models and clothing to mock to my heart's content. :)


When we were watching the Packers/Giants game on Sunday I swear that Favre shouted something specific every time before the customary "Hut hut!". I swear that that thing he shouted was:


J does not quite agree with me, but I found the game more fun because of it. :-D

Monday, January 14, 2008

time to clean

*Twinkle, twinkle.* Those are our Christmas lights, still up and twinkling...but for how long? Last year I made it until February before the decorations got to me and I ran around the apartment ripping all signs of Christmas from the walls - it might not last that long this year.

Already I'm starting to twitch. Already I'm planning what decorations to put in what boxes to make it easier for next year. Already I'm sensing how relaxing it will be to get back to a less-cluttered apartment life. Already I'm thinking...maybe tomorrow is the day. Maybe I should just give in. Take down the (3 foot, fake) Christmas tree, box up the snow globes and village houses and nativities, coil the lights and unhang the ornaments. Put the holiday movies back on the shelf and let my Christmas spirit have a rest. I had a good run. I'd been ho-ho-ho-ing since September so there's nothing to be ashamed of, right? Still...I feel a little sad that I'm so ready to toss the holiday cheer into a box and throw it in the closet until Christmas 2008.


Feeding this desire to return to 'normal' living is finally finishing our honeymoon scrapbook. I love scrapbooking and we have a tonnage of pictures from our honeymoon since September 2006 I've been scrapping away...two HUGE 12x12 albums later I am done. Finished. I have to stick down the last two pages of pictures I've set in place and that's it.

Anyway, my point is that we have a cute little one bedroom apartment, and nearly the entire time we've lived here I've had the card-table up in the middle of the living room with my scrapbooking stuff on it. I love the size of our apartment, it's perfect for us...unless I put up the card-table and then the living room shrinks dramatically. It drives me crazy, but what can I do? I have to scrap...I must...I am compelled to by forces stronger than my need for open space. So now, at long last, my big scrapbooking challenge is completed. Tomorrow I will collapse the table and our living room will be back. For practically the first time since we've been married we will not have to walk in circles around it, or be careful not to trip over the extension cord connected to the lamp on it. We will have a big, open room of greatness!

At least until one of us decides to do a puzzle...


It struck me as I was typing about decluttering our home of the Christmas decorations that our rooms will be essentially just as cluttered. A few less nick-knacks perhaps, but I'm talking about our obsession with books. Our five bookshelves are crammed full, with volumes stacked sideways on top of neat rows, on some shelves we've stacked them to the top two books deep; in the past few months we've taken to stacking them wherever there's space.

As I sit typing this I look up and see a stack of 11 classic novels on the desk...wait I just scanned to the left and noticed 30 more books stacked next to the computer speakers. There are books on our table, a large stack on my dresser, next to the TV, and on the floor beneath our console table. Our little Christmas tree has been sitting on a covered box...a box filled with books.

You would think this would make us stop buying them, but we can't. We just can't go to the library and turn down a 25 cent edition we don't own. Every time we think we've completed a collection of a classic author we find something else they've written. We've tried to slow down, but the fact is we still have quite a bit of money on two different Barnes & Noble gift cards...and so no matter how we watch our money the madness continues. We are enabled by friends and relatives to bow to our sick need for literature.

I can't imagine not being married to a fellow nerd. J hears it from me quite often...I adore the fact that both love to turn pages and smell new and used books and I love that while it clutters our apartment that I can look anywhere in our place and find a story waiting.