10.08.2010

someone is happy it’s friday

As you can see, Jammer is very happy that the weekend is finally within reach. My parents are coming to visit – a working weekend, where I will use them to help me clean, paint, and move furniture. This means help for me and the man, and more love for the pets. And my parents get to see me, which makes them happy. Happy all around.

9.28.2010

two more days

The roommate is moving all of his crap furniture tomorrow. I'm assuming that means he will be done moving by Wednesday night (and that we may be lucky enough to not even see him on Thursday)...but that is an assumption and we all know that assumptions often bite us in the ass.

In the meantime, the satellite guy is coming from DirecTV on Friday to get us all hooked up with a new dish, etc. That is exciting, though we are going to have to manage without HBO for the foreseeable future, given our desire to spend less than we earn. That is a small trade-off, considering we are about to gain a ton of space and privacy.

On the health front, I still have walking pneumonia and an upper respiratory infection - though I am hoping they are on their way out. I plan to work all week, leaving early if I need to, since I still only feel about 50% better. We've got a lot to do this weekend, so I'm hoping that the good health gods smile upon me soon.

9.24.2010

plans

So, now that it is officially happening, the roommate is leaving, taking his awfully disgusting, tasteless, and fugly belongings along with him, the man and I will finally be able to put together the downstairs of our house like we want. The reason why the roommate had "design rights" for the main floor of the house is because he had furniture and the man didn't (I wasn't living in WI when the man moved into the house, so I had no say whatsoever). This is mainly because the man had had his home burn down a few years earlier and had lost most of his stuff. He then lived with roommates and didn't need to procure any other stuff. All of this amounts to us living in a house with random, ugly, bachelor-looking crap. (obviously we're in the midst of the exodus...we didn't allow him to keep the space looking this all-out nasty all of the time)

This is the huge beige monstrosity that dictates the layout of our main living space. It will be leaving:

Oh, and the roommate also had a gigantic tv that he recently pushed into the entryway alcove because he doesn't have any friends to help him move it out (and he won't ask us...apparently he gets the impression that we don't care).

Here is the ugly dining set that may be comfy, but is pretty much just over-sized and out of place:

I apologize for the blurry photo - trying to snap pics between coughing fits isn't that easy. (see previous post for explanation)

I cannot wait for this shit to be gone. Keep in mind that not all of our stuff is a whole lot better, considering that I like vintage pieces, and modern pieces, and have not much monies to spend on furniture. However, I am confident that I will be much happier and more comfortable in a space that I throw together.

A couple things in the space are ours, but these spaces will be changing drastically in the next few weeks, that is for sure.

And the countdown continues...

9.23.2010

seven days...

Fab news...it is officially one week (well, 7 days + a matter of hours) until we will be rid of our unwanted houseguests/roommate.

In other news...I am off to the doctor to see about the case of walking death I seem to have come down with. I've had a "cold" for a week and it doesn't seem to be letting up. I don't remember having been sick like this before and am hoping that the doctor can give me something to help me get over it.

More news and details to come.

Update: Walking pneumonia. I'm on antibiotics now, hope to be better soon. I'll need all the energy I have to clean up the roommate's spaces, paint, reorganize the kitchen, move furniture, etc., etc., etc. next weekend.

9.13.2010

rabbit

I'm in love with a new band. Lucky for me, I fall in love with music easily. Lucky for you, I share some of my musical affairs here. Note: this really isn't a music video, just a photo w/ music, but I love this song and wanted to share it.



Have a listen to more of their music here: http://www.myspace.com/saverabbit. Also available on iTunes and Amazon.

9.03.2010

28 in 28: how did i do?

  1. paint the living/dining room – pending – paint has been purchased and is ready to go – will do after roommate's departure – see #27
  2. throw a big party – COMPLETE – did this for Halloween
  3. read 10 books of my own choosing – COMPLETE (half were about greyhounds, but I chose that topic)
  4. bake an apple pie from scratch, including the crust – COMPLETE – thought it was a strawberry rhubarb pie instead of apple
  5. plant that big ol' vegetable garden I keep pining for – COMPLETE – not as large as I’d wanted, but not too shabby either
  6. finally hang the curtains in the living/dining room – pending – see #27
  7. take a "family" photo in a snowstorm – FAIL
  8. get another tattoo (or two) – FAIL
  9. join a gym - COMPLETE – best decision ever
  10. whole-heartedly commit to daily exercise (work out at least 4 days a week - no ifs, ands, or buts) – ONGOING – I'm really happy with this goal: feeling much better, not seeing visible results, but living with less pain
  11. pay off my credit card debt - pending – setbacks and unexpected medical bills threw a wrench in this one, but am getting back on track
  12. go to Ikea – COMPLETE – went twice, and actually bought stuff the second time
  13. finish my thesis, get it conferred, shut the book on that damned project – PARTIALLY COMPLETE – all that is left is the defense
  14. visit Kristen in Door County (before she finds a fabulous new job and leaves) – VOID – she already left for a new job...I have, however visited her in the places she has lived since
  15. fix the ding in my windshield before it cracks – COMPLETE – actually had to do this twice
  16. make at least one home-cooked meal each week, regardless of the roommate's whereabouts – COMPLETE – it happened, but not necessarily well
  17. get new tires for the car – COMPLETE – it was pricey, but I did it before the first snowfall
  18. visit my nephews and the new baby at least twice – COMPLETE – have seen them three times
  19. go to some sort of professional development that I actually find useful – COMPLETE – have attended four useful conferences
  20. cardio – even though I despise it, I will do cardio at least 3 days per week (my cardiologist and my physical therapist will finally be happy) – COMPLETE – reluctantly plugging away at this one, and am doing cardio each day I go to the gym
  21. complete the landscaping around the perimeter of the house – COMPLETE – expansions will likely occur, but the perimeter is finished
  22. make a calendar for our family members – it will be funny, the man and I have discussed it for a couple years – COMPLETED – and we've begun a calendar for 2011
  23. take another college class – PENDING – I am, however, taking a couple community-based short-courses not at college level
  24. send/give thank-you cards for each gift given – COMPLETED – not including birthday gifts I've just received
  25. six-pack abs, or something close to that without being too manly – PENDING – not quite a six-pack yet, but definitely closer
  26. write to my grandmother at least once per month – FAIL – didn't do it every month, but was well over 50%
  27. make the transition away from having a roommate – FAIL – I’m glad that murderous rampage wasn't on my list, because I surely would have completed it. Roommate is draining my will to live, one day at a time – oh, and he had a mini-nervous breakdown and has guilted the man into not throwing him out just yet. We won’t get into that right now.
  28. complete three NaBloPoMo month-long blog runs – FAIL – I find this to be nearly impossible, as I like to go weekends without turning on my computer

28 things I did in my 28th year

This isn't my goal list from the past year, but it is a list of accomplishments, which is ultimately better in my opinion, because the word "FAIL" doesn't show up in this one.

  1. I chopped off all my hair again.
  2. I got new glasses.
  3. I created a new ottoman.
  4. I developed an affinity for New Glarus Totally Naked beer.
  5. The man and I became official domestic partners (at least official in the eyes of my employer and health ins. company).
  6. I got a new laptop.
  7. I finished planting around the perimeter of the house.
  8. We were "adopted" by a new cat. His name is Chuck Norris.
  9. I thrifted (or bought at extremely discounted prices) nearly all the items we needed for our “new” house.
  10. The man and I bought a car – together.
  11. I had great evenings spent with wonderful friends.
  12. I created a new coffee table.
  13. I added a niece to my list of loved ones.
  14. I said goodbye (for now) to my oldest friend.
  15. I finally began to see my parents as people, not just parents...people who I would love whether they created me or not.
  16. I went through a terrifying health scare with the man.
  17. I made a homemade pie.
  18. I finished my chair makeover.
  19. I fell in love with the man all over again.
  20. I had a no-spend month (moratorium on spending).
  21. I joined a gym.
  22. I started wearing heels again.
  23. I pared down my closet and donated things to charity.
  24. I threw a big birthday party for the man (he helped).
  25. I paid off one of my student loans.
  26. I embraced the fact that I cannot commit to blogging daily without going batshit crazy.
  27. I learned my “personality type” according to Myers-Briggs.
  28. I realized that I’m far too young to not be having more fun – hello, 29, we’re going to tear up the town.

9.02.2010

birthday cupcake - and it's orange!

I work with a wonderful group of people. One of them made me this for my birthday:


It was delicious AND it was the biggest cupcake I've ever seen. She was nice enough to pose it next to a normal-sized cupcake for comparison sake.

8.26.2010

another awesome youtube vid

If you haven't watched Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, then you are missing out. If you watch it here, then you will no longer be missing out:


8.25.2010

another band i really like

I've been listening to a lot of The Damnwells lately. They haven't become mainstream, but they are quite good. Their music is somewhat moody and it fits my frame of mind lately, which is likely why I have three of their albums on repeat as I write this.



This is their video for the song "Sleepsinging," which I believe is the only real music video they've done, though I could be wrong. I must admit that I'm not so much a fan of the video as of their music.

If you are interested in getting more from The Damnwells, you can find their music on iTunes, but it is actually (and unfortunately) cheaper to get their cds on Amazon (including shipping). Check them out if you like alt-rock/country type music.

8.24.2010

who's that knocking? oh yeah, it's the end of my twenties.

When you are happily unmarried, you don't want kids, and you live in the house you want to live in forever, what else is there to look forward to? Material things? Trips? Really, I want to know.

I'm career-minded, but not to the point that I'm going to put in 80 hour weeks to climb the corporate ladder - hell, there's a reason I work for a non-profit and it isn't money or power.

I look forward to purchasing a new couch, projects around the house, hanging out with the man for the next 50 or so years. I look forward to my niece and nephews growing up, but I'm in the periphery on that one.

A lot of the people I know have kids, are trying to have kids, want kids, etc. I think I'm struggling with the prospect that my endeavors seem small by comparison. I'm not trying to "make life," I'm trying to make my life into something. I'm nearly 29 and I'm still trying to figure out what that something is. 28 has given me perspective. Now I need direction.

7.13.2010

i bought stuff - in may, not recently

I bought a bunch of stuff at Ikea in May. I had a pretty good list going in, and as the worthless, assbag of a roommate and his dirt-faced tumor (aka girlfriend - seriously, I've heard him call her "dirtface" himself) should be moving out in the next couple months, I may actually be able to use the stuff I bought.

You likely have no idea how much it sucks to have all of these new things stacked in the laundry room, waiting for the bane of my existence to finally pack up his shit and leave. Ahem, it has not happened yet, despite indirect and very direct insistence on my part. Unfortunately, when someone has pervaded nearly every area of your property and spewed random objects willy-nilly, it becomes more complicated to "kick" them out.

Anyway, back to my shiny new treasures (well, they aren't "new" anymore, but they are still unused). I know some people are snobs and say that Ikea is for divorcees and college students, neither of which I am, and at this point I will tell those people to just suck it. I like Ikea and I can afford Ikea, which makes it even better.

Anyway, here's what I purchased for the kitchen:
This is the Norbo wall table. This table will become our new "kitchen table." We have some space for a small dinette set in our kitchen. Currently, our hand-me-down dining table is occupying that space right, but when that gets relocated to the dining room, we'll have some space for the good ole Norbo. I like it because we can put it at counter height and use it as a breakfast bar (when it is just the two of us) and then when we host parties, it can be folded down and replaced with a larger table. Call me Ms. Smartypants. Along with a table, generally one finds chairs. In this case, two stools:

Enter the Anssi bar stool. These are stackable, which makes them absolutely perfect. Oh, and they are cheap, but still kind of look reasonably un-cheap.

This might not be as awesome to anyone else as it is to me. One wouldn't think it was so difficult to find a suitable knife block, but it is (if you are unwilling to spend $50+ on a block of wood in which to store cutlery). I've been looking for a knife block that would accomodate the carefully-selected collection of knives in my possession for quite some time (ahem, 4 months). I've been to a myriad of stores in the flesh and online, all to no avail. I finally stopped perusing Amazon and finer shopping establishments and looked at Ikea for a suitable option, and have purchsed this: Say hello to the Retr├Ątt knife block. It's tall, but that is a good thing because I have some wasted space next to the stove where I need some height (the cabinet above is wider than the stove, and it looks a bit off).

I also picked up some other kitchen-y odds and ends, which I will not bore you with. Perhaps this has already bored you, but when you are in a position such as mine where retail therapy is on hiatus, talking about things you've previously purchased are as close as one gets to release.

I bought some other non-kitchen things, which will be share with you all when I do a major reveal of the house, post-roommate exodus. I'm planning to take a full week off from work (a first for me) to get the house in order, and am super-excited about it. Crossing my fingers that it will be before my birthday, but am not holding out that much hope.

7.08.2010

life list: bask in the amazingness of my domesticity

Goals, you'd better take cover. I'm on a fucking role. I'm knocking shit off my life list and my 28 goals for my 28th year left and right.


And this whole anti-spending kick...I'm kicking its ass and taking its name. I've been a goddess of domesticity and spend all of my time doing stuff around the house or going to the gym (more time at home than at the gym because I'm not psychotic, just poor).


My new computer has a memory card slot, so I'm finally able to share with you the fruits of my labor (let's just say that even though I've been cleaning, the connector for the camera is still missing). Anyway, there are a ton of pics I've been wanting to share with you, but have not been able...until now (like how the ellipses keep popping up? just wait, there's more).


Here is something ooey and gooey and delicious that I whipped up using fresh, homegrown rhubarb from my parents' place and farmers' market strawberries.




So now I can cross this off my life list. See that lattice crust? I did that...on my first ever pie from scratch. And it tasted delicious. I could hardly believe it. But then again, why wouldn't I believe it. I was wearing an apron...isn't that the prerequisite for superb baking?





Yes, it is retro...yes it is fabulous. No, I didn't color coordinate the tank top - God did. He was very excited about the pie, I guess.


There is more to come tomorrow.

7.02.2010

my precious

This is my first post from my new laptop, which arrived in the mail last night. It was a gift from my unbelievably giving parents, despite my authentic disagreement that they should spend the money on me. It is a Toshiba Satellite A500 something-or-other and it is very fast and very pretty.






Unfortunately, there was a "power glitch" which radiated a high-pitched, incessant beeping noise from the computer when I first powered it up. It took a very nice customer service rep 30 minutes to diagnose and help me fix, but now things are smooth-sailing and I'm really happy.

Funny thing is, Cat Named Jack loved the sound and proceeded to rub his face all over the edge of the laptop, getting very angry when I tried to pry him away (to the point where he bit my upper arm a couple times - not hard, but enough to prove a point). He seemed a bit confused, but not too unhappy when the sound went away.

This moratorium on spending isn't all that bad when you have a new toy to play with. I bought some groceries (necessities) for the man before I left for my parents', but other than that and gasoline, so far so good on the anti-spending month.

7.01.2010

july 2010 goal: moratorium on spending

I’m pretty frugal, all-in-all, but there have been a few things happening to our happy little twosome over the past few months which have thrown my frugality into a tailspin. We've had two major vehicle issues and I won’t bore you with the rest of our unplanned expenditures, but I’ll tell you that there were many and they sucked both my enthusiasm for shopping and my bank account dry.

As a result of the monetary shit-storm of the past few months, I've been looking at my personal budget once again and find it even more vital that I pay off my credit cards as soon as humanly possible. I am sick of paying for something that I don’t use and I don’t like having a revolving balance to remind me of the stupidity of my youth. I've decided to impose a moratorium on any and all unnecessary expenditures. Here is my plan.

I’m going to continue to pay my bills as I normally do, including:

  • Student/Consolidation loans
  • Rent
  • Cell phone/Internet
  • Credit card
  • Auto loan
  • Insurance
As for the rest of my monthly expenses, these all need to fit into a budget of $250 for the month of July:
  • Gasoline
  • Groceries
  • Dining out/Entertainment
  • Shopping (haircuts, home improvement, pet stuff, etc.)

This will help me to separate my “needs” from my “wants.” Of course, if some sort of emergency arises, I’ll have to pay for it, but $250 will easily cover the rest. I could really get by with only spending $150, but I need to be realistic and remember that I have already planned a trip to visit my family up north and that I'm required to go to a conference in Denver for work at the end of the month. Luckily, I'll be reimbursed for the conference trip expenses, but I am allowing myself some leeway since I've never been to Denver before and I might as well enjoy the only so-called vacation I'll be taking this year (I'm budgeting $50 for the trip to Denver, not including reimbursable expenses like food and cab fare).

I’ll keep you updated as to my progress throughout the month.

6.18.2010

things i did on "vacation"

  • weeded the garden
  • kept myself from buying more plants
  • ate a lot of nachos
  • went disc golfing
  • hung out with the man - a lot
  • watched a few movies
  • watched a couple Y&R episodes
  • researched new laptops
  • picked up the new Jack Johnson cd
  • cleaned the garage
  • worked from home, despite being on vacation
  • had (yet another) conversation with the roommate re: him moving out
  • picked up a new (used) pair of shoes
  • fixed the curtains in the den
  • ate a lot of cheese popcorn
  • went to the courthouse
  • walked around by the capital
  • reconfigured downstairs floor plan on floorplanner.com
  • attempted to find lost camera-to-computer cables
  • ate Chinese food
  • ate a lot of popsicles
  • played with the dog (numerous times)

6.16.2010

favorite things: 1

I like to snack. I snack mainly because I go through a couple days a week when I don't really have an appetite or feel like eating. (Perhaps that is because I snack.) Luckily, there is always a combination of food that I feel like eating. I must admit that there are two staples that must be in our house at all times. Fresca and Old Dutch cheese popcorn.


I go through at least one large bag per week. Luckily, the popcorn is air popped and a good source of fiber (and significantly healthier than potato chips).

I wash it down with Fresca. For some reason, I never get sick of it. Since I can't have caffeine, if I don't feel like drinking water, this is what I turn to.

Why am I posting this? Why do you care? Well, I'm going to be posting some of my favorite things in the next few weeks, and this is where I'm starting.

Now I'm going to head back outside to soak up some sunshine while we still have it.

6.15.2010

vacation day 1 - definitely no picnic

Today was far from relaxing. Multiple hours spent "working" from home off-the-clock. A few really sad moments due to the grieving process. Much rain and humidity causing an all-around sense of yuck. I am very optimistic that tomorrow will be better and have a goal of not checking work e-mail until Monday (unless I hear through the grapevine that shit is hitting the fan).

Also, I'm trying to persuade the man to go strawberry-picking with me (so far, no such luck). I want to go to the beach, weather permitting. I want to eat grilled chicken (that I don't cook myself). I want to listen to live music and drink cold beer. I want to go disc-golfing. I want to eat Babcock ice cream.

I'm pretty easy to please, so let's hope this week doesn't disappoint as much as the first day.

6.14.2010

days off, yippee!

Today was a 10+ hour day at work. I'm emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted after the events of the past couple days. But, good news: I have the rest of the week off from work! I'm very excited. The man has a couple days off as well, so I plan on putting him to work for part of the time (so many projects around the house) and perhaps going on a day trip later in the week.

I should have more time to post this week and hope to get some more photos up. Since I don't have much for you tonight, I will leave you with this wonderful video:


Enjoy!

6.13.2010

sad day

I just found out today that my dear, dear friend passed away in her sleep last night. Her name was Emily and she was the most amazing 90-something year-old women you could ever meet. She was my babysitter from birth through kindergarten and she was one of the most influential people in making me into a strong woman.

Emily's life began in Chicago (which she loved) and eventually led to her living in the northwoods of Wisconsin. It wasn't until her 50s that she was freed from her bad marriage and became the Emily that I knew. She taught me never to settle, to know who I want to be and to strive for my goals. She told me that I was important, and that I should never put myself behind a man. She taught me the importance of earning and deserving love, and of giving that love freely when it is also deserved. She taught me that I am independent, but that it isn't wrong to depend on others.

She was my neighbor, an additional grandmother, a confidant, and a friend to me and I am devastated that she is gone, but happy that she was able to spend her last months with her adoring daughters. I will miss her and love her forever.

6.12.2010

the sofa has been chosen

I have finally found our perfect sofa. We had the following criteria:
  • modern/contemporary
  • not overstuffed
  • not leather or microfiber
  • loose cushions
  • back must be high enough to rest head on
  • wide arms, but not rolled
  • grey-ish in color
  • removable cover (preferable)
  • and, of course, comfortable
After looking at seven different furniture stores, I faced the realization that what I wanted would cost over $1000. This was not at all feasible. Luckily, I had not yet physically looked at Ikea...I know what you are thinking, but not all Ikea furniture is for divorcees or college students. This KIVIK sofa fit all of our agreed-upon criteria.
It has memory foam in the cushions, so it is really comfy and the back cushions are high enough for the man (in my opinion). We just have to save up the rest of the money and then we'll go pick it up. I know that they deliver, but since the man hasn't actually sat on the sofa himself, he needs to do that before we spend the money.

I'm super-excited about it and knowing what we want makes it even harder to wait for the roommate's departure. It is, however, good to have things to look forward to.

6.11.2010

must see: the fall

I just watched a good movie, surprisingly good actually (Netflix sometimes steers me wrong): The Fall. It was fanciful and heartwarming and endearing, all wrapped into one. Beautiful scenery, fight scene choreography, cinematography, and storytelling:


...not to mention that I've loved Lee Pace since he was the weirdo, academic brother in Wonder Falls. See it and love it...and if you don't like it, then don't tell me (because I don't want to hear it).

6.10.2010

grow your own

With all of the negative effects of the oil spill, you may be feeling helpless. I find myself watching the news and listening to radio reports, wishing I could contribute more or fly down to help. I'm not in a position to send thousands of dollars to the effort, but I can help the environment in small ways by relying less on store-bought veggies/herbs and doing a better job of taking care of the the plot of earth that is in my stead. I'm going to grow some of my own vegetables and avoid using any chemicals on my gardens, supplementing what I can do by shopping locally. By doing so, I'm going to be able to spend less on gasoline. In addition, BP is no longer receiving my business.

If you are also wanting to help in small ways and make yourself healthier at the same time (planting your own vegetables, using a rain barrel for watering gardens, becoming independent of pesticides, etc.), check out this site (http://growindie.com/):



Whether you are a container gardener or have acres of veg growing on your property, this site will either help you get started or share some new ideas to add to your repertoire. Every small thing we do for our environment helps. It helps us and our Earth and everything that resides here. Tell your friends about what you plan to do; pass along the motivation and ideas to make a difference.

6.09.2010

BP, you should be ashamed of yourselves

I have avoided talking about BP and the oil spill in the Gulf until now. I think it is absolutely absurd that BP was so totally ill-prepared and that the government has not stepped in and fixed the problem and then handed BP the bill. It makes my blood pressure raise whenever anything about this issue comes up.

We are the United States. We can pull off some pretty awesome shit. For example, when there is a problem at a space station and lives are in danger, we rally and get some people up there to fix the problem/save the people lickety-split. Why the hell are we not doing that now? That question has yet to be addressed. I am also upset that Obama is looking for "whose asses to kick" instead of focusing on the major issue of stopping the irreparable damage that is taking place each minute we let the leak keep spewing oil.

This video is so, so sad and sheds light on how ignorant and apathetic BP (as a corporation) is being throughout this whole catastrophe:



How about we fix the problem first. We all know who to point fingers at. Accountability should come in to play after we find a solution.

6.08.2010

damn you Josh Groban

So...after hearing a few of my coworkers rave about Glee for what seems like ever, I flipped over to it about 10 minutes in tonight...and who was there? Who was the first person I saw? Who made some sort of crazed hyena-face at the camera? JOSH GROBAN.

Some of you may remember how I feel about Josh Groban (see here). Granted, that feeling was heightened considerably after the second time through the album, which an inconsiderate soul was playing outside my office one day a few years ago.

Needless to say, I flipped away from Glee and did not flip back.

6.07.2010

tattoo, tat-two?

I think I've found my next tattoo - or two. I am going to go with two swallows, facing each other on my ribs. This is the style I'm planning on going for:

Why a Swallow? Well, we have a few families of Swallows who share our property each year and they are pretty cool birds. Also, they're old-school tattoos that sailors used to get (I like that they have history). But more importantly, they are symbols of love and loyalty, as this snippet from Wikipedia explains, "The swallow also represents love, care, and affection toward family and friends, showing the loyalty of the person always returning to them." I think that is pretty cool and I've been having a bird fascination lately. I don't see these tattoos as things I'd get bored of, which is of supreme importance.

However, the tattoos are serving as an incentive for me to get some shit done. If I get the crapload of stuff done that I need to do in a specific timeline, then we will throw some money into the tattoos.

The man has a hankering for a new tattoo as well, not sure what he'll be going for. I'm trying to convince him to get my name tattooed on his chest, but he doesn't find it as amusing as I do.

6.06.2010

the perfect shade of grey

I found the color for our living room/dining room walls - finally. I've been going around-and-around with a few different colors, but today I stopped at the Benjamin Moore color center and came across this:
This is the Benjamin Moore color "Englewood Cliffs," and I have finally found the perfect grey-blue that will work with the woodwork and flooring.

Now, I just need to get the dickbag roommate and his on-again lazy girlfriend to move the hell out so I can get to work. With as well as that project is going, perhaps I should hold off on buying the paint for a couple weeks...

6.05.2010

my color personality - take the quiz

I just took a color personality quiz (http://www.testcolor.com/). These are my results, which I find quite interesting, yet not scientific. It's a fun way to waste a few minutes of your day.

My Profile :


  • You are 53 % extrovert and 47 % introvert.

Independently of any order of importance :

  • You are dynamic, your actions are only directed by your own will and you know how to lead people.

  • You are also intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action.

  • Finally you are creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside.

6.04.2010

another friend is gone

Rue McClanahan passed away yesterday at the age of 76. As you may know, my own darling Rue-cat is partially named after Rue McClanahan (my Rue and Blanche share a common trait - a need and demand for attention and tendency to throw themselves at anyone willing to show them some love). I'm very saddened by her passing and want to share one of my favorite Blanche moments with you.

This is the way I remember Blanche: a quick-thinking, lust-loving, dramatic diva.



Thank you, Rue, for all of the laughter and education you've given me over the years. I was fascinated by your portrayal of Blanche before I knew what any of the double entendres even alluded to, and you've been making me laugh for as long as I can remember.

Good-bye, my dear friend.

6.03.2010

random question thursday: it's back and about as good as it ever was

My question for you to ponder today is this: Is there anything that you excel at in one aspect of your life, that you suck at in another aspect of your life? What can you do to bring your suckiness up to par? (ooooh, two questions, wow. I bet you didn't see that one coming.)

For example, I am pretty good about working on deadlines at work, however, I am sucking at meeting my goals in my personal life. At work, things seem to go rather smoothly (by smooth I mean there are a lot of fires to put out and I can wield my hose like a champ. no double entendre intended). At home, I get to things when I get to them. I take on too many things and often don't finish things I start very quickly unless there is a clear instantly gratifying result. At work I have to do it or I lose my job. At home, not so much.

One thing I'm doing to try to get my ass in gear is going on http://www.joesgoals.com/ and updating my success/failure on a daily basis. Joe's Goals is a goal monitoring site. I feel more accountable when I see a calendar with check marks on it for all the stuff I've accomplished. What can I say, I was the kid in class who really, really viewed that gold star sticker as a major incentive. Also, by putting my goals on this here blog, I feel somewhat more accountable as well. Accountability is the main issue. Also, procrastination...which is an ongoing battle. There are always so many things that I want to do more than the things I'm supposed to be doing. I need to get over that, but that is a topic for another day.

6.02.2010

june 2010 goals - aka lay off the lays, work out the working out

I have some pretty lofty goals this month, as I'm gearing up to the big 2-9 at the end of August. They are signficant to me, even though they may seem a bit quotidian to most people, but it is damn hard to avoid the chips and dip and drag my ass to the gym every morning at 4:30AM. And that is my first world, spoiled rant for the day. Here are my goals for June:

  • six-pack abs, or at least a little more tone - I'm hitting the gym at least 5x per week and am going to up the cardio a bit. The doc wants to make sure I'm getting enough protein, which brings us to goal #2
  • food re-do - I need to start eating more consciously again, which means I need to re-focus on protein. We're doing really well on eating local foods, but the junk food is still an issue
  • plant my vegetable garden - depending on finances, this may be more of a container vegetable garden, but we shall see
  • get a date on the roommate's departure - like I mentioned yesterday, seems he is "on a break" (really? what are you in high school? or an episode of Friends? who does that?) with his equally lazy-ass girlfriend, so I'm sure he'll start avoiding the moving out topic

That's it for June. Let's see how it goes.

6.01.2010

may 2010 goals update

I didn't do too badly on my May goals, right around 80%. Above average is alright for now.
  • order glass for console table - fail. this has been lowered on my priority list.
  • finish my library book before it is due - complete
  • complete ottoman upholstery project - complete
  • get car tire repaired - complete
  • get car checked out at repair shop (and pray that there is nothing really expensive wrong with it) - complete. this was done with the man's help. I also had to get a tire repaired and my oil changed. May was not a cheap month for the car.
  • secure a date that the roommate will move out - "summer" isn't very descriptive (addendum: do not throw roommate's shit out of the house and onto the lawn in a moment of unbridled disgust for his overall disposition, appearance, and slovenliness) -fail. roommate appears to have broken up with his girlfriend over the holiday weekend, also his birthday weekend, which I'm fearing he will use as a tactic to delay his departure. this makes me supremely unhappy and distressed.
  • complete expansion of flower bed to encompass new shrub that was planted (photos to come) - complete. done and done again. I actually expanded three flowerbeds and added another in the month of May.
  • find a chair for the living room and decide on a sofa to purchase (not to be purchased in May, but category should be narrowed to one or two options) - complete. I found two chairs (which will need a little refurbishing, to be shown in a later post and decided on the sofa we'll be buying after the roommate leaves.
  • mail all Mother's Day and birthday cards on time - complete
  • finish the piggy bank project for nephew - complete

5.31.2010

memorial day weekend

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of the veterans and serving members of the armed forces. Today is a day for us to give you the respect you deserve, and to remind us that we must be thankful for you and your service each and every day. Again, thank you!

As for me, it was a long weekend away from the stresses of work. I must admit, I was actually able to relax for a change this weekend. This is a rare occurrence for me. I was able to work in the yard, planting even more flowers, and added yet another flower bed. I'm insane with an unyielding desire to tear up more ground and plant MORE! always MORE plants! Due to that unrelenting motivation to wield a shovel, trowel, hoe, etc. the yard work budget has already been busted for June, even though it is still officially May. This means I'll have to work with what I've got as we move forward through the summer.

As for summer - oh my god, I love it. I broke out the short shorts and it was a marvelous weather weekend. I cannot explain how much I love summer. I want to tongue kiss it every time I wake up to the balmy, hot weather. The man appreciates the fact that I wear fewer clothes when the weather warms up, so it is a win-win on that front.

One of the highlights of the weekend is the amount of time the man and I were able to spend together. Not too much, but just enough. I spent a good deal of our time together here:


This is one of the holes at one of the local disc golf courses. The man bought me a couple of my own discs and we hit the course on Friday and today. My game is only slightly improving, but I love being outside so even though I suck at disc golf right now, it is still fun.

I'm making an effort to take more photos to share with you all, because I know that words alone are not very entertaining and for fuck sake, if you are going to click over to my site, you must be in desperate need of entertaining...I kid. Anyway, I've also hit up some garage sales, which yielded some exciting finds. I'll be sharing those and a few of my Craigslist purchases with you in the coming weeks.

5.24.2010

dislocated, then relocated, but not like in witness protection

This weekend was finally SUMMER! That deserves all caps. As with most weekends, I spent the majority of it outdoors, and while doing so I dislocated my middle finger on my left hand. Or rather, the dog dislocated my middle finger on my left hand.

The grainy cell phone pic shows my gangley, alien hands, so disregard all but the knuckle of the second finger up from the bottom. You ca kind of see that it is swollen, and this is after I had an icepack on it for a while. It isn't too bad, but it throbs, so that isn't very fun.

I honestly never realized how much I use my middle finger (not just for gesturing to get my "point" across in traffic). Here's a brief list of the the "oh shit, that hurts" moments I've had today:

  • buttoning clothing (tried this on one button and then completely changed wardrobe to buttonless)
  • prying lid off cat food container
  • using directional signals (car)
  • snapping - worst one yet
  • air quotes
  • typing

On that lasts note, yes, typing doesn't feel pleasant so I will leave you now.

5.19.2010

make the whole world orange

Best idea ever - this is so awesome because orange is my favorite color. Not a fan of AT&T, but this commercial is great.

5.11.2010

best concert i've ever been to

Seriously...best musical experience I've had.

This video doesn't give you the full effect and the sound quality is shit, but I'm posting it anyway because it was taken by a dude standing right next to me w/ his phone, just to let you see how close we were to the stage:



Unfortunately, dude taking video did not pan to the left to show the cute guitarist we talked to after the show (a very brief hand-shake moment which added to Kristen's sense of euphoria from the sheer delight of seeing the concert).

This is one of my favorite songs of the evening. I honestly hadn't listed to very much of his music before going to the concert, except for a scratched up copy Kristen burned for me. I'm going to have to get onto Amazon to buy some albums now though. Yes, I'm still one of the weird people stuck in the 20th century who likes to have an actual hard-copy of my music.

As for you, I suggest you download some of Butch Walker's music or at least check out some videos on Youtube...make it to a concert if you ever get the chance and you won't be disappointed.

Thanks to Kristen for "dragging" me along.

5.04.2010

rumble in the jungle

My nephews love the Wii. My brother and his wife also love the Wii because it keeps my nephews entertained and helps them to burn off some energy when the weather is nasty outside. Also, it tires them out before bed time.

This is why they are tired:


It is definitely better than them actually hitting one another and they do pretty well for a three-year-old (Brady on the right) and a nearly two-year-old (Max on the left). They also play tennis, though they can't really return a serve yet. I've seen them in action, and let me tell you, there is already a competitive nature bubbling to the surface of each of them.

Their parents will definitely have their hands full when the fight is over the car keys as opposed to which Wii game to play.

may goals and why i suck

I suck at posting, obviously. Suck with a capital S. Now that we have determined that, here's my list of goals for May. You may also note that there was no April goal list, due to my sucking at posting.
  • order glass for console table
  • finish my library book before it is due
  • complete ottoman upholstery project
  • get car tire repaired - I already did this, but I did it in May, so it is now a completed goal
  • get car checked out at repair shop (and pray that there is nothing really expensive wrong with it)
  • secure a date that the roommate will move out - "summer" isn't very descriptive (addendum: do not throw roommate's shit out of the house and onto the lawn in a moment of unbridled disgust for his overall disposition, appearance, and slovenliness)
  • complete expansion of flower bed to encompass new shrub that was planted (photos to come)
  • find a chair for the living room and decide on a sofa to purchase (not to be purchased in May, but category should be narrowed to one or two options)
  • mail all Mother's Day and birthday cards on time
  • finish the piggy bank project for nephew
I think that is a good and do-able list for May. I also aim to post at least once per week. (And this makes post one for week one: so far, so good.)

3.04.2010

music for action

I've mentioned my commitment to sustainability on this blog earlier. I'm still committed to this issue and if you are as well, here is a very easy way to join the movement and get some great music. Go to http://www.musicforaction.org/ to take action on climate change (contact your legislators) and download the Best of Bonnaroo. Even if you don't share my taste in music, you're bound to find something you like on this album (includes artists like Jack Johnson, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Decemberists).

It's definitely worth a couple minutes of your time, and those minutes can make a difference for our planet.

3.01.2010

march goals

Here's my list of March goals:

  1. Cardio and strength train 5 times per week - focus on getting toned for spring/summer
  2. Complete March NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) edited: this isn't going to happen this month, obviously, so it has been changed to 2. Complete necessary steps to get the man added to my health insurance benefits.
  3. Finish current book and read at least one more
  4. Finish laundry room cabinetry project - will post details soon
  5. Make the roommate-less zone more livable (meaning, find a new furniture arrangement that makes the rooms feel less crowded) - will be posting about this as well

2.15.2010

where have I been, where am I going?

It has been a while...over a month, since I've posted. I just finished a six-month work project, which is uber-relieving and I'm now able to go to bed without dreaming of work after having spent 10+ waking hours physically being at work. This past weekend was spent getting some alone time in with the man (and not all of that is referring to sex), so hopefully he remembers now that his girlfriend isn't always a stressed out hag. My words, not his.

I'm going to be traveling to Michigan this weekend for my niece's baptism. I'm taking the train so I'll get to catch up on some non-work-related reading.

Here's a picture of my niece Kaitlyn. You can see that she must already know I'm coming for a visit, and appears to be too young to realize what awesome presents and treats come with me (either that or she needs to poo).

1.05.2010

ringing in the new year with sugar and spite

Well hello there, my few readers. I can happily admit that I've achieved all but a couple of my goals for 2009. I'm happy with this, very happy. I am also making some steady progress toward my goals for my 28th year and in lieu of adding more goals for 2010, I'll just stick with my birthday goals.

Here's my update (as I'm now 5 months into this goal listing):

  1. paint the living/dining room - pending - will do after roommate's departure
  2. throw a big party - COMPLETE - did this for Halloween
  3. read 10 books of my own choosing - pending
  4. bake an apple pie from scratch, including the crust - pending - halfway there
  5. plant that big ol' vegetable garden I keep pining for - pending - waiting for spring
  6. finally hang the curtains in the living/dining room - pending - will do after roommate's departure
  7. take a "family" photo in a snowstorm - pending
  8. get another tattoo (or two) - pending - already know what I want, this is a reward for thesis completion, so it is on hold for a bit
  9. join a gym - COMPLETE - best decision ever
  10. whole-heartedly commit to daily exercise (work out at least 4 days a week - no ifs, ands, or buts) - ONGOING - I'm really happy with this goal: feeling much better, not seeing visible results, but living with less pain
  11. pay off my credit card debt - pending - working on this, am on target
  12. go to Ikea - COMPLETE - didn't buy anything, but did a lot of looking and planning
  13. finish my thesis, get it conferred, shut the book on that damned project - a big fat PENDING on this one
  14. visit Kristen in Door County (before she finds a fabulous new job and leaves) - VOID - she already left for a fabulous new job...now I need to visit her in West Bend
  15. fix the ding in my windshield before it cracks - COMPLETE - actually had to do this twice since August
  16. make at least one home-cooked meal each week, regardless of the roommate's whereabouts - ONGOING - this is going well, though I haven't been too adventurous and we eat a lot of leftovers
  17. get new tires for the car - COMPLETE - it was pricey, but I did it before the first snowfall
  18. visit my nephews and the new baby at least twice - COMPLETE - have seen them twice already and will see them again in February
  19. go to some sort of professional development that I actually find useful - COMPLETE - have attended two useful conferences
  20. cardio - even though I despise it, I will do cardio at least 3 days per week (my cardiologist and my physical therapist will finally be happy) - ONGOING - reluctantly plugging away at this one, and am doing cardio each day I go to the gym
  21. complete the landscaping around the perimeter of the house - PENDING - waiting for spring
  22. make a calendar for our family members - it will be funny, the man and I have discussed it for a couple years - PENDING - we've begun a calendar for 2011
  23. take another college class - PENDING - I am, however, taking a couple community-based short-courses not at college level
  24. send/give thank-you cards for each gift given - ONGOING - I've been giving more phone calls than thank-you cards, but it is going alright
  25. six-pack abs, or something close to that without being too manly - PENDING - not there yet, my resistance of holiday treats was futile
  26. write to my grandmother at least once per month - ONGOING - this is going alright
  27. make the transition away from having a roommate - PENDING - this should happen in the summer, though I'm trying to get him to lock down a date
  28. complete three NaBloPoMo month-long blog runs - PENDING - first will begin in February or March, hopefully when more is happening to write about (it appears that I'm more boring than normal during the winter months)

I do have one resolution for 2010, I guess. I am striving to be more positive and to complain less, to make any self-fulfilling prophesies positive in nature instead of worrying so much that the end result is forced to be negative. It is going to take some time, but I am confident that a much happier and more positive Trish will be the result of 2010.