Friday, December 30, 2011

- Hecticness

Right now things look a bit like this: 
And I don't want to brag or anything...but I packed my entire apartment in about 12 hours.  8 of which were yesterday.

I'm sitting in the corner blogging as movers pack it all on the truck.  Hiring these guys was the best decision I made in 2011.  Other than becoming a rugby fanatic.

There have been three great saves so far; the first of which was remembering to unpack this bad boy before the movers whisked it away:
"I will do it.  I will take the ring to Mordor, though I do not know the way"
Yeah, I'll be nerding out all the place pretty soon.

The second was remembering to unpack my camera usb cable so that I could show you the picture that I had just taken of the Fellowship of the Ring.  I'm dealing with some pretty important issues today.

The third was remembering to measure how high my headboard is hung.  It's at 67 inches right now, and I think I will lower it to 65 at the new place.  But if I don't document that here then I'll have to do a lot of math when I get there and re-measure about 18 times and then it probably won't be in the right spot still.  So I'm really glad I remembered to do that.

Also, remember when I could pack up Jeepy and move wherever with one or maybe at most two carloads?  Well those days are long gone.  This pile is just the stuff going to Goodwill, and I'll be lucky if I can fit it all in one trip.
Beer and Wii not included with donation - the Goodwill pile is right next to the pile of stuff staying with me in my interim 4 days of homelessness.  Which is actually quite small considering.

The most exciting thing left concerning this apartment is waiting to see how much they will charge me to patch the holes that I was instructed not to try patching myself.  Even though I'm smart and know how.  Base rate is $5 PER HOLE.  Realistically speaking, we're looking at A MINIMUM of $100.  At least.  Heaven forbid you anchor your load bearing shelves and mirrors correctly.  


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

- Radio Silence

Yo December was all hectic and stuff for me, as I'm sure it was for you.  Here's what I did in chronological order, because I'm fancy:

December 12-14: Preparing for my venture home.  I tried to get ahead of the game at work by running some experiments except I made the rookie mistake of weighing up everything incorrectly.  I also went to my first work Christmas Party where I started that whole "It's the holidays so I will eat 3 plates of food because these calories don't count".  It was successful.

December 15 & 16: Travel days.  Emma and I left the Minnie around 6 AM and managed to drive through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana before crashing out in Dayton Ohio.  On Friday we arrived in Raleigh and crashed out for the night with the Grandparents.  It was wonderful getting some one on one time with them and my Aunt and Uncle as usually we're in all in a big group and sometimes difficult to have a real conversation.

December 17th: I started the morning with some Christmas shopping around Raleigh and I have to say that driving my own car around my old stomping grounds had this fantastic familiarity that I never realize how much I miss until I'm right there in the thick of it.  Then we had our family Christmas.  Then I totally crashed in on Kelsey's family gathering as it was also graduation and I felt it necessary to welcome her into Doctorhood.  Went out for a bit and was super tired, but ended up partying until 4:30 AM and then crashing on a loveseat.  Crashing is my word of the day.  Y'all, I'm getting too old for that nonsense.  Also my hair is getting way too long as evidenced by the massive resulting rats nest.  Will be chopping it off soon.

December 18th: One of my favorite days spent back in NC since I got to hang out with two of the families I used to babysit for.  The first family I saw I spent 6 years with, and their house seriously feels like a second home.  I loved catching up with them and talking about their lives, while checking out new photography hobbies, and laying on the floor building legos.  Then I drove out to Clayton to see my favorite set of twins and even though they are way too young to remember the time that we spent together I loved seeing that Jack is still a big flirt and Eliana finally has hair.  I climbed into their play house with them and there may or may not have been a totally unflattering picture taken of me wherein I look like I showed up to playtime drunk, but it was fantastic.  And so sweet to have an almost 3 year old break down in tears because they couldn't go home with "Miss Laurie".  I finished out the night by driving home to the Hayne.

December 19th-25th: Family time.  Family time = Discovering Paper Mario for the Wii, wearing my pajamas all day every day, an epic session of Lord of the Rings extended edition watching, egg nog, crocheting with Mams, watching the most amazing try ever scored and a bunch of other rugby games with Fahtar, and lots of talking in a completely butchered English, Australian, New Zealand hybrid accent.  I spent lots of time with Brotard #1 and Shelayla and even though Brotard #2 is way too cool for school, he managed to fit me into his schedule a good bit.  In health news I guess all of the crazy traveling and "partying" caught up with me because within 24 hours of arriving home I got sick with an awesome Christmas Cold that resulted in more "snot-splosions" than I'd care to admit.  I also went to the dermatologist for a second opinion.  Her opinion was mostly that my Doctor in the Minnie was pretty much wrong about everything. Which means I will now refer to him as the The Toz, because he reminds me of The Todd from Scrubs, in that I completely doubt his competence.  She sent me off with a new diagnosis and some new meds, which so far seem way more promising, in that they are WORKING.  The lesson learned: Doctors aren't always right.  Emma also only made it a few days before she wound up at the vet with a skin infection.  Her aggressive initial steroid dose to get her lupus under control pretty much has her immune system wiped out. There were a few days there where we were pretty much the saddest Mother/Dog-hter pair ever.  

December 26th-27th: Traveling back to the Minnie.  Living in Minnesota is all well and good until I do things like go home for a week and realize just how much I miss being close to the people I love.  Tears were shed upon leaving.  I stopped off in Fuquay to spend some time with my BFF's and their adorable little Buggie.  I cried again sitting on the floor of her living room because I mean I was already emotional and then we had to go and talk about serious things.  There may or may not have been several more instances of tears when it was just Emma and I in the car.  Goodbye is hard.  Not knowing when I'll be back is harder...so I'll probably have to fix that soon.

Today.  I'm at work.  With about 20 other fellow employees who I guess didn't have enough vacation to make it through the end of the year either.  I had some minimal tasks to take care of which were made enjoyable by the sweet voices of She and Him and I will probably head out a bit early because the movers are coming on Friday.  And y'alll - my apartment isn't packed.  If you're surprised by this at all it's because you clearly don't know me and my procrastinatory ways.  I mean it's like 25% packed, which isn't good enough since I intend to move 100% of my stuff.  I think we're entering that phase of packing where I just throw stuff in boxes all willy nilly and call it a day.  Or throw it all into dressers because the movers said I don't have to empty out the drawers.  How nice of them to aid in my laziness.

After Friday there will be a few days where I trespass on the hospitality of my friends here in the Minnie since I will be in between apartments.  So if you bear with me for about a week longer I might have something interesting to talk about....or maybe some fun pictures to post of the new place.  Or, after the move I could be way too busy watching my TV that will have CABLE that I don't leave my couch for a while.  Who can really say?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

- The Cone of Shame

Emma's nose biopsy came back as Canine Discoid Lupus Erythematosus.  Basically what that means is that because Emma was already allergic to everything else, she literally became allergic to her own skin.  It's not super serious, but could be something we deal with for the rest of her life and it does require a long term steroid treatment.  Which works out well considering she's itchy as heck and since she became allergic to her allergy medicine, steroids are our next alternative to keep her symptoms under control.

Friday she went into the vet to get her stitches taken out and when they came out a lot of the scabs fell off so her nose was looking pretty raw and gnarly.  But, since the stitches were gone and her nose didn't seem to be bothering her I figured she no longer needed her cone.
Those grey hairs under her eyes look like tears from where she's been crying about her sad life.

So, I brought her home and then ran back out to do some other errands.  Can you count how many mistakes I've made up to this point in the story?

A few hours later I returned and really really really had to pee.  So, I stopped off in the guest bathroom, and I was sitting there I looked over to the wall and saw some red smears.  Red smears that pretty much resembled blood.  Then I looked down at the mat in front of the sink that was also tinged in red.  I called Emma into the bathroom and by the way she guiltily skulked in there, she knew that something had gone horribly wrong in my absence.  But, her nose was fine.  So, I checked her stomach, which had been so itchy that all week that she couldn't even walk outside to pee without hobbling on three legs, because she had of her back legs pulled up to scratch her stomach - while walking.  But, it wasn't her stomach.  Instead it was her lip.
This is not what it looked like when I left.  
It's a tad blurry, because she didn't really want me to document this.

In about 2 hours she managed to scratch out a bunch of hair and basically rub her lip raw until it bled all over everything.  Well, not everything, just anything white.  Like the freshly laundered load of whites I had put in the guest bedroom, on top of the white sheets.  Luckily she managed to avoid the starfish chair and my bed.  Silver lining!

Thankfully, her steroids and topical meds seem to have kicked in, so she's not currently scratching anything and everything is looking a lot better.

But, I don't trust that ho bag, so she's going to be rocking this look for a few more days...
Poor Emma - she's got it ruff (sorry, couldn't resist!)

And just for fun...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

- Faking It

Yesterday I drove way flippin' far away to pick up my free boxes from my moving company.  I would just like to take a minute and say that my moving company is kind of rocking my socks off.  I don't want to get ahead of myself here, because the move hasn't happened yet or anything, but there is something to be said for a family owned long standing business.  Who else would stay 30 minutes after closing time to meet me because I was lost way over in Eagan, but I was close enough that they would give me directions and wait?  And then load the boxes into my car for me?  So sweet.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is I finally started packing today.  And I packed just enough to do this:
Because when life gives you lemons and you can't unpack your decorations - you decorate your packed decorations.

Then I made myself a drink.  Apple cider and bourbon (thanks Katie!) with a red and white striped straw - how festive!

Monday, December 5, 2011

- Magical

I was sitting here wondering how my butt got so burnt from 6 minutes in a tanning bed* when I looked out the window and saw this:
And it just made me melt into a pile of Christmas spirit...which goes nicely with the AMAZING candy cane Hershey Kisses I found tonight at Target.

People up here are all "UGH the snow is back" but I just can't help but love it.  I find myself smiling every time I watch those flakes fall ever so lightly and gather on the Christmas trees that are planted in the courtyard.  I can't believe that anyone would disagree.  It looks like a scene right out of Narnia.

It's so magical it almost makes me forget that on the other side of that line of trees is a parking garage that regularly exudes the sounds of car doors slamming, horns honking, tires screeching, alarms sounding and the yelling of kids from the skateboarding gang that commandeers the gentle slopes of the ramp after 11pm.  

So yeah...I'm excited to move.
*Y'all Rosey has reached a new level of insubordination and I therefore have hit my personal point of  desperation.  I am still completely opposed to tanning in every way shape and form...except as a possible treatment for ridiculously stupid skin rashes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

- Like Mother, Like Daughter

Emma used to have really flaky skin.  The vet prescribed Sebolux medicated shampoo.

Now my scalp is determined to flake off and leave me and I kid you not, Dude Man mentioned Sebulex shampoo as a treatment before opting to stick with T-Gel.  I am slowly convincing it to "Come on in and sit a spell".  Sometimes I need to say really southern things when I start to feel like I've assimilated too much into Minnesotan culture.

Rosey is still going in full force and regularly finding new places to colonize.  This is a hostile takeover since I have granted her no such permissions.  I've heard UV light/sunlight can help from a few people now which means I'm considering the unthinkable - going to a tanning bed as treatment.

But since my skin is having a teenage girl moment and screaming "I HATE YOU, You never let me do anything I want to do!" at it's Mother - it's only logical that Emma's would as well.  Sunday I noticed that her stomach was looking pretty rash-y so I scheduled a vet appointment for today...and I decided we would knock out that whole nose biopsy thing while we were at it.  I mean what's $313.60 more at the vet other than just a drop in the bucket at this point.  Plus if she's going in, we might as well just make a day of it.  I also noticed last night that it appears she's been chewing on her armpit, because it is bald and scabby.  That dog is itchy, y'all.

This morning I dropped her at the vet and in order to biopsy her nose, she had to be put under.  It was only going to be for like 10 minutes - tops...but she's my furbaby so I was nervous.  I didn't do my lab work this morning because I wanted to sit by the phone and make sure I didn't miss the call saying that she was fine.  And that's the only reason I didn't do my lab work - it had nothing to do with how I didn't really want to do that experiment anyway.  By lunch time I hadn't heard anything and having inherited about 50% of my Mom's capacity to worry, I was nearing a panic attack.  So, I called them to check on her.  They hadn't done the procedure yet.  They did it about an hour later and when they called me to tell me that she did really well and was in "recovery" I was in a meeting and missed the call.  Funny how that stuff works out.

Last night that dog made me laugh because she is incapable of resisting a freshly dried pile of laundry.  While I showered she made herself at home - and somehow got wrapped up in a pair of undies.
The dog that doesn't like anything on her head doesn't seem too bothered.

But today that's a different story.  The two places that were biopsed now have sutures - which means someone has to sport a super sexy cone so that they can't scratch them out, or rub her nose on everything.
I understand the logic here, but y'all, this dog doesn't.  I am pretty sure she thinks that this is a crazy torture device.  Plus she couldn't eat after 10 last night so she went almost 24 hours without food.  That's just cruel and unusual in her book.  This cone makes even walking hard because she's so low to the ground, it doesn't take much for it to get caught up in the carpet, or on the asphalt and it just stops her dead in her tracks.  And she hates it because that has got to feel weird.  And she bumps into everything.  Lucky for her she's got 10-14 days to get used to it.
And she's so groggy still from being put under it's all she can do to open her eyes halfway.

What a pathetic little bear.

Friday, November 25, 2011

- So Thankful

Every day I am thankful for a lot of things - yesterday I was mostly thankful for my friends that like to buy a lot of beef, cook it, and share it.  Because turkey is kind of "meh".

Plus it works out because the rest of us are pretty good at cooking side dishes.
This table does not include the massive piece of meat, or our desserts.
 My plate.  Before I cleaned it.

As you can see, it was a rough go of things, and we very nearly starved.  Especially because I was only able to eat about 47 pumpkin whoopie pies.  

Emma was thankful for my lack of recent cleaning.
She loves it almost as much as the starfish chair.

The end.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

- Rough Patch

If I'm being completely honest...I've had a hard time maintaining my usual level of awesomeness lately.

I guess you could say I have hit a rough patch.  And by that I mean that my body is literally covered in rough patches.

Remember back when I decided to get sick?  But the doctor was all "Oh you don't even really look sick" and we both decided it was a virus and that I should sit in the sun and avoid getting chilled?  Well it turns out that virus was the onset of something called Pityriasis Rosea.  And it is totally a pity.  It's this thing where you get awesome red, scaly itchy spots all over your torso.  By awesome I mostly mean sucky.  Before I knew what it was I went to the dermatologist because I was all - "Dude man will tell me what's up and give me something and fix it".  Except he said this instead: "There's no treatment.  It can last a few weeks or a few months, but will eventually go away on it's own."  And then I slapped him in the face.  Just kidding.  He was a really nice guy and it's not his fault I have really good luck, or really crappy luck...or maybe I am lucky because I mean at least it's not Shingles...or something worse.

Also, let's just all take a moment to be like "Yay Winter!" because otherwise it would be kind of hard to make sure that my neck, chest, back and arms were covered at all times so that no one thinks I will infect them with something gross.  "Don't worry, it's not contagious." is not something I like to say in casual conversation.  Because no one really believes you and they all back away like you're contagious anyway.  I'm officially into week three with "Rosey".  I would like to be optimistic and think I'm headed into the homestretch but let's face it, this is me we're talking about.  Today when I got out of the shower I realized Rosey is still spreading and finding new places to set up shop...so I'm just hoping that my the time my birthday rolls around she's figured out how to quit me.

And as if that's not fun enough...my scalp is in horrible shape.  I've known for a while now that I was lucky enough to inherit my dad's psoriasis but this fall it has just gotten unstoppable.  Side note: fall is apparently a terrible time for skin and allergies.  All of my conditions are worse in the "fall" and apparently so are Emma's - whose nose has been bad for so long that the vet wants to biopsy it.  And she wants me to pay her $300.  Vets should really have a preferred patient program.  Emma and I would totally win at that.  So on top of having to keep most of my skin covered, I also feel like I have to keep my hair in just the right style so that it covers all of the areas where at any given second 2000 skin flakes are ready to jump ship.  That mental image is so sexy, right?  My scalp will hopefully clear up faster than Rosey - but dude man said it was bad enough that I should expect it to take 2-3 weeks.

Dude man did have some good news though...all those moles on my back that look sketch are totally fine!  I guess one out of three isn't too bad!

What I'm saying is that I'm currently running at about 85-90% awesome these days...which may be awesome enough for some, but I hold myself to a higher standard.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

- Lazy Sunday

My weekends have been jam packed lately.  I will be staying here for Thanksgiving and one of the biggest things I have planned is to clean out all closets and random drawers of crap before the big move.  And trust me when I say that there is A LOT of crap up in here that will not be moving with me.

But that's next weekend.  This weekend I had very few things planned.  After going out Thursday and Friday night I kind of didn't feel like doing much else.  And the lazy weekend that ensued was amazing.  Was it well deserved?  Let's just go with yes on that.

Things I did that will have no bearing on any to-do list anywhere:
  1. Caught up on all the TV shows I missed throughout the week thanks to Hulu.com
  2. Re-dedicated myself to Mario Galaxy and my Wii.  I'm on the verge of blisters and have gone through two battery packs for my controllers (in my defense they weren't fully charged because I forgot to plug the charger in) but I discovered 3 new galaxies and won at least 15 more stars.  I beat Bowser and his little nephew (or son?) twice, although there is still much left to do in the game.  Which is great because I am completely addicted.
  3. Wore my pajamas all day today.
  4. Slept until at least 10 am both days.  I don't want to brag, but today it was 11:30.
  5. Watched the snow fall for an inordinate amount of time.  Yes I know I'm Minnesotan now, but I still think this is magic.  And pretty.  
  6. Watched the American Music Awards.  I don't get music awards shows.  That 4 minutes I listened to Justin Bieber sing about kissin' "shorty" underneath the mistletoe is time I will never get back.  And if that song means something to you, we can't be friends anymore.
  7. Sang "Lazy Sunday" to myself a few too many times.  Reference the SNL skit if you don't know what I'm talking about.
  8. Stayed completely up to date on the Heineken cup by watching real time commentary - and tweets. Did not expect the Saracens to lose, or Glasgow to lose by so much...Also got way excited for the start of the HSBC World Series next weekend and the Australia/Barbarians game.  I will be making new friends at the pub again.
  9. Forgot to feed Emma breakfast.  That's how lazy I was.  In my defense, it's not exactly like that dog is on the edge of starvation or anything.
  10. Bought an external hard drive.  That was on my to do list.  I thought that once I put all my pictures on there my computer would have some major space freed up.  But I was wrong.  There still isn't enough free space for a software update and I that makes me pretty unhappy.  I guess I have too much music on there now?
  11. Spent a good amount of time considering what NC State decal I would like to buy for the back of my car.  My old one fell off forever ago and it's high time I get that replaced.  
What's kind of funny is that it was family Thanksgiving in Raleigh and Aaron and Kayla are home in Castle Hayne.  If I was there too, I would have had pretty much the exact same weekend.  Except Emma would have gotten fed because Mams would never forget.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

- This is Happening

Right now:
November 19th - The day the snow came back.

To celebrate I'm going to Happy Hour to eat sushi.  Minneapolis has the most snow I've ever seen...but it's also the only place I've ever been with happy hour on the weekends.  So that's something.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

- Randoms

  1. I'm all up in 30 Rock again.  Which means I'm all in love with Tina Fey again.  Also New Girl has my Zooey Deschanel obsession in full force.  Along with my obsession with her bangs.  Zooey is the whole reason I cut my straight bangs in the first place because I just wanted to be a little bit like her.  I just re-cut them because I'm not sure the side swoop is my jam anymore.  I also love her sister Emily Deschanel.  Bones is my all time favorite show.  Those characters on that show...they mean a lot to me.  This all makes no sense, unless you watch as much TV as I do.
  2. My scalp is determine to flake off and leave me.  Yay - I need a dermatologist.
  3. I need to know that I got the apartment I want.  I need to get that phone call.  Because I've already decorated it in my head and I completely love it.  I've also planned several parties...so this needs to happen.
  4. White or black iPhone 4s?  White?  I thought so.  Can I afford it right now?  Probably not...so I should go ahead and order it right now.
  5. I gave Emma a bone.  I haven't seen that ho bag in like forever.  Because nothing matters to her except that bone.
  6. That Penn State scandal is no joke.  
  7. THIS.  Is.  Hilarious.  

"Look at him.  All he cares about is treats and snoozin"
Like Emma.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

- Christmas in November

Today almost tanked.  First of all someone called me at 7:14 AM.  AM people!  I mean ANYONE that knows me knows better.  They didn't know me and I didn't know them.  But then someone else called around 9 and since it was another unknown number I decided to answer and be like "YO - you best forget this number fast".  Except I heard: "This is not a sales call - do not hang up".  Turns out...it was a collector.  And yes, they had the right number.  Let's all learn from my mistake: When you go to e-statements, make sure you add those random people who send out your statements to your contacts.  Otherwise your statements will start going to your spam folder and all the sudden you will have missed two payments on a $28 balance that's on a card you thought you paid off and now with all those fees you owe like $100 and these people on the phone aren't playing around.

I do not recommend starting days with this phone call.

But you should wake up excited about the amazing apartment you found yesterday and will be filling out an application for today.  Oh the furniture placement possibilities!!  I could say a lot about it the granite countertops, hard wood floors, 15 foot ceilings, underground parking, the fact that heat, water, and a storage locker is all included in the rent, the awesome location that is literally like half a mile from where I currently live...but what I'd really like to emphasize is the price tag - cause it's LITERALLY $550 cheaper than what I pay now.  I mean that's a ridiculous amount of savings...at the end of the year I'm going to take all that money and roll around naked in it.  Not really - but you can bet your asses Imma buy me a plane ticket to somewhere real nice.  In the southern hemisphere.  Where they play rugby.

Speaking of rugby...you could find this on sale with an additional 15% off online: Go USA!  And in other shopping news you could pull up the Ikea website and find that if you buy that couch you've had your eye on forever, you can get a gift card for 15% of the price before taxes...which will cover the dining room chairs you also want.  Sometimes the stars just align for these things.

If you're lucky your day will continue with something like this:
Yay!  A package!

My awesome friend Megan is SUPER talented, you can check her out here: Textile Love.  And when she posted pics of a slouchy hat that she knitted I pretty much knew that I was going to need one of those bad boys to keep me warm up here in the Arctic North.  I got to be her beta-tester for Etsy and even though I knew what I was getting, I left the color choice up to her... 
Aubergine!  
Emma was all: "So it's not food?  Lame."

This is the same color as the one she made for herself and I can't help but kind of love that even though she's tearing it up in the ATL while I'm rocking out in the Minnie...we're totally twinsies!  I tried to take a picture of myself in the hat...but you know how that goes...
Why am I standing so ridiculously awkwardly?  Also it's too dark in this bedroom, and look my bed is a disaster.
Okay the light is better here, but I look like I'm on drugs.  Or sleepy.  Or sleepy because of all the drugs.  I'm not on drugs.  Currently.

One time at East Village Jaclyn and I conducted a highly scientific experiment involving camera angles and determined that from above is the best.  I mean you totally get to avoid a double chin.
However, you can never avoid your inherent gooberishness.  What is this face I'm making.  Is that how I really smile?
Just totally embracing my lack of photgenicity.

Despite not being able to hold my cool in this hat for pictures, I totally LOVE it and might need another 2 or 3 in different colors.  Thanks Megan - you rock my socks off, kind of like the way that Iron & Wine is rocking your socks off right now.

But the awesome day doesn't stop there.  Because, if you're really lucky you will catch the first half of Bones on TV when it actually airs because you actually remembered and finished all your "chores" in time.

It's okay that you don't get to see the whole thing because instead you get to go to the airport and pick up some great friends for a fun-filled weekend of drinks, familiar faces, and football.
Kelsey Cube!  I love this picture of us so much it's framed in my living room.  And one time I posted it on her facebook page just to be all "I love us together".  It was special.
This is also "special".  Jon and I can sing in piano bars like nobody's business.  I can't promise you that we won't end up at one on Saturday night.  I mean when was the last time I sang Journey or Bon Jovi at the top of my lungs?  It's been too long friends.

Christmas in December has a tough act to follow.  


Monday, November 7, 2011

- Cookies

Last night Emma decided to eat what was left of my package of Oreos that I might have left on the coffee table easily within her reach.  While I am appreciative that she saved me the calories (Side note: don't ever read the nutrition information on Oreos - just slather them in peanut butter and eat no more than 4 and then skip at least two meals that day) I'm not exactly sold on the gas they gave her that materialized in the form of machine gun farts.  ALL DAY LONG.

And yet somehow while enduring this all day, I still managed to have a craving for cookies.  So, I busted out an old standby recipe: cookie cake.
Cookie cake consists of a stick of butter (like any respectable recipe), 2 eggs, a box of yellow cake mix (courtesy of the General) and then you add in some chocolate chips and m&m's and mix it all together then smoosh it into a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 min.  This incredibly simple process will create a cookie cake that will change your life.

There's just one problem with said cookie cake.  There's all that cookie cake, and just one of me.  Also, cookie cake wasn't the only thing I made tonight and now my kitchen looks like this:
Emma should learn how to do the dishes.  This is all her fault anyway.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

- It'snot Fun

Okay fine.  I'm totally sick.  My throat is all hurty and scratchy and coughing is no es bueno.  And I dealt with this for 4 days like a champ.  I watched rugby, went to a halloween party, played beer pong, went to brunch, and went to work yesterday and I could handle all this because there was NO sinus pressure.

Today sinus pressure rolled into town and now I'm just a sniffling pile of crap attached to a box of tissues.  At least they have a really cute halloween hologram on them.

This cold appears to want mostly Oreos as treatment.  And red wine.  But I feel like when you stay home from work because you're sick you can't drink red wine.  That's wrong right?  It's not that it really makes me feel any better, but when you're tipsy things suck less.  And anything that makes sinus pressure sucks less is okay in my book.  Remember how I'm bad with headaches?  I'm not any better with sinus pressure.  My main thoughts today revolved around how much I need my Mom to take care of me.

I went to the Doctor today because I was concerned about the level of hurtingness my throat was feeling.  I mean I don't have tonsils and I wasn't running a fever but man it was still managing to feel a bit strep-ish.  The Doctor said I'm pretty much fine.  By his determination I wasn't even really all that sick.  He told me to get in the sun if I could - because I'm fair and I'll absorb sun quickly and "Don't worry, you won't get a sunburn in November".  I neglected to tell Doctor man that I'm not worried about the sunburn, but I am deathly afraid of the aging effects that the sun is scientifically proven to have and made a mental note to just buy a multivitamin.  Also, what about sitting in the sun will keep me well?  I think the rest of his advice included "don't get chilled" which should be like really easy here in Minnesota.  So far, I'm winning at getting well.

Oh and to drink hot things.  Mulled wine it is!

Just kidding.  I was good and drank tea and broth and hot water with lemon.  Or a redneck equivalent of hot water and orange juice, whatevs, it worked.

I mean I'm sure that people out there are dealing with real problems, but between this cold and spilling my brand new bag of pretzels all over the kitchen floor last night - things are bad here.  REAL bad.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

- I'm All A-Twitter

I guess I'm sick.  I might be in denial about it as much as I am about having to find a new place to live.  True Story: I decided to outsource that.  From now on a guy named Doug will be looking for my next home.  But the facts are that my throat is killing me and my voice is nearly MIA.  I am treating this with red wine and Castle episodes.  Which means, I'm like a little bit tipsy as I'm writing this...and slightly distracted by the awesome onscreen chemistry of Beckett and Castle...

It might have become obvious on this here blog that while I don't have a lot of problems with "addictions" I do have a bit of an obsessive personality.  Things like Facebook, Pocket Frogs, leggings, and rugby have all come into my life and set up shop with a vengeance.  Some have been intense but short lived (Pocket Frogs, I'm looking at you) while others have come in strong and stayed that way.  That's rugby fo sho.  And leggings.  I mean, Jebus do I love leggings.

But rugby didn't come in by itself...it brought along Twitter.  Now looking at the timeline, I was on Twitter way before this rugby thing took root.  But rugby made me love twitter more.  They were all synergistic and stuff.  I mean, who the heck knew that Twitter was the best way to stay up to date with breaking rugby news?  It started with the World Cup, and following that to keep up with match results and team line up announcements and pretty much every bit of news I could get my hands on.  That led to like a million other people (okay really only about 40) to follow who posted news updates from prominent rugby clubs all over the world.  So I could keep up with all the players that I enjoyed watching in the world cup.  True Story: A lot of those rugby players tweet.  I did not expect this, except I probably should have because in other countries rugby players are celebrities.  This is all really great, because quite frankly, if rugby had ended after the World Cup, I'm not really sure what I would do.

Realistically I knew it wouldn't "end" but it's always a bit harder to keep up with a sport like rugby (or soccer for that matter) when a gigantic tournament isn't going on.  It's not super easy to know where to go to find the right places to get the information.  But, Twitter just brought all of that right to me and this way I get to keep learning.  Stay in the loop.  Which means that I know the Lions won the Currie Cup.  And I know what the Currie cup is.  And I can easily follow ALL of the breaking news surrounding the USA Eagles and all of the Sevens tournament stuff that's happening.  Like how the USA won a bronze medal in the PanAm games today.  And how the USA Sevens tournament is happening in Vegas over my birthday weekend.  I mean if that's not a way to ring in 29, I'm not sure what is.

Also, Rugby Sevens is going to be an AMAZING olympic sport in 2016.  You should all get in on that early and start watching now.

What I'm saying is...Twitter is now my jam.

We'll see how long it lasts.

I promise I'll write about something other than rugby next.  It's just that everything else seems pretty boring in comparison...things are great, but a bit "ho-hum" right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

- Things That are "In Progress"

  1. Officially becoming a Minnesota resident.  I know everyone else and their mother already took care of this after moving here, but I didn't.  If I'm being 100% honest, I didn't do this immediately because there's a part of me that felt like it provided an "escape plan".  As in: "Oh snap!  This isn't working - I'm quitting and running back to NC.  How convenient?!  I still have my NC license and my car is still registered there.  Easy Peasy."  But, even more than that...I just wasn't ready to claim Minnesota yet, and I needed more than the 60 day trial period the DMV grants to get to that point.  Is all of this wrong and against the law.  Yep.  Especially since in the process my registration expired and I got a ticket for that this past weekend.  Which was really the catalyst for all this, because I guess you can't ignore doing the right thing forever.  Lame.
  2. Making those sequin pillows.  So I made that awesome pattern.  But then I never sewed it into a pillow, and now I'm kind of afraid to try that out because I'm not quite sure how the sewing machine will handle stitching through hot glue and if that doesn't work out so well I don't really have a back up plan.  The other pillow I was working on I have screwed up so many times I'm not sure it can be saved.  So that's all working out well.
  3. Painting that canvas.  And by "in progress" I mean that it is STILL in shrink wrap propped up on the back of the couch.  I think I know what I'm going to paint on there.  I think.
  4. Finding a place to live.  I guess I am handling this much like the whole becoming a resident thing...I'm avoiding dealing with it.  I just didn't exactly have a successful first day and I've been in training all day every day this week and there just isn't time for me to do much else except write this blog post about how I don't have time to fit this into my schedule.
  5. My rugby obsession...I don't see this one losing steam any time soon.  Who has two thumbs and is  going to watch the USA Sevens team on ESPN3.com this weekend in the PanAm tournament?  THIS GIRL.
  6. My life.  Just seemed appropriate to add it to the list.  
  7. Vacuuming.  Why is this always so necessary?  It seems like as soon as I do it, it's just a matter of time before I have to do it again.  I hate vacuuming.  It's like the worst ever.  
  8. In short: everything. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

- Christmas in Late October

Early this morning - at like 3 AM - Wales and Australia took the field for the bronze medal match in the (do I even need to say it?) Rugby World Cup.

I DO NOT KNOW THE OUTCOME OF THIS MATCH.

Luckily, I spent the whole day (literally from 7:30-4:30) in training and only had time during my breaks to check work email.  Otherwise, I would NEVER have been able to hold out on not checking the final score.  I mean, I have had to avoid Facebook and Twitter all day (because I follow the World Cup in both places) and my day feels totally wrong having not visited the World Cup website AT ALL since that is my morning ritual...but I did it!  And now, I am SO close. The game is being replayed at what has become the bar I frequent the most - a British pub downtown - at 6 pm.  Which means I literally have about an hour to wait until I get to watch it.

And y'all, I feel like a little kid on Christmas about to check out their pile of gifts.  I mean you know what you put on your list, and you know that Santa has already come - because in my family Mom and Dad made us wait in the hallway while they set up the video camera and they would be all "Ohhhhh Laurie I see something in your pile that is going to make you so happy!" - but you just don't know what that something is.  I really hope it's the surprise dollhouse that "Santa" built one year that was complete with real carpet and curtains on the windows.  I hadn't asked for it, but it was pretty much the best thing ever.  Barbie and Ken lived there quite happily for many many years.  Seriously, I played with Barbies until I was like 13.  Now 13 year olds will only talk to you through text messages on their cell phone.

Anyways, this World Cup match feels like Christmas because I did something totally crazy...I didn't make a prediction on who would win.  Maybe I got a little tired of being wrong with my picks, or maybe I got to the point where I liked both teams and just wanted to see a good game (Oh man!  I really hope it's a good game!).  I don't know.  But I just couldn't bring myself to pick one team over the other.  I've pretty much gone back and forth depending on the day of the week, the time of day, what I ate for lunch, or whether I like red or yellow best.  I have been undecided at best.

Which I think is why I'm so excited right now...it's not about the outcome for me as much as it is about the 80 minutes leading up to it.  I can't wait to see how every pass, scrum, line out, ruck, maul, try, drop kick, and even penalty (but hopefully not a red card) come together.  I did not just list a bunch of terms - I actually know what all of those things are, and can recognize when they are happening...I'm just still working on picking out the infringements because those are tricky.  I'm at the point where I just want to watch the game.  Which means, and I hate to get all sappy, but I think rugby and I just reached the next level in our relationship: true love.

Don't get it too twisted though: I did totally make a prediction for the World Cup Final (the same one I've been saying since the beginning): All Blacks all the way!

Update: I had the BEST time watching this game.  The pub opened up the "clubhouse" which is a special room I didn't even know existed and there was a great crowd cheering.  The game turned out to be WAY exciting to watch - except for that part where Wales handed Australia like 3 penalties in a row.  I ended up cheering for Wales because I felt like they were the underdogs and the two tries they scored were absolutely awesome, especially that one right at the end.  However, I also find it impossible not to cheer for Australia.  Quade getting injured was sad for me.  I know the Kiwis hate him, and he has been made a lot of mistakes (Pocock handed over quite a few penalties as well) but at the same time he's made some really great plays as well.  And speaking of great plays...O'Connor is a flippin' rockstar. That kid is 21, so with some luck, we'll be watching him for years to come.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

- Anxiety Abounds

Today I came home early from work because I was feeling totally exhausted and I have training early in the morning tomorrow so I thought I'd catch up on some rest.  Except as I was driving home I remembered that I needed to check in with the apartment office about when my lease was ending and what my options were.  I found out that my lease ends December 31st.  I will refrain from mentioning how that is the dumbest thing ever.

Since my complex chose to offer insanely crappy alternatives to moving out - today I gave notice that I will be vacating this apartment at the end of my lease.  Because really, December is pretty much the best month of the year to move.  Especially in Minnesota.  I mean, there should only be about 2 feet of snow on the ground and it will probably be downright toasty with an average temperature of, oh I don't know, 10 degrees?  Who wants to help me move?!

Here's the thing: I loved my last apartment in Raleigh.  I hated the complex and the location, but I LOVED the actual apartment.  Here, it is the opposite.  This apartment I do not love.  I think I have come to resent it because every month I write the biggest check of my life to pay for it.  Because it's location is pretty much kick ass.  I have a CVS, Panera, Trader Joes, Liquor store, Starbucks, Tailor, and Drycleaner on my block.  There's a Target 5 minutes up the road.  There have been weekends where I never even moved my car.  But, I have paid dearly for these conveniences.  And quite frankly, I would rather save HUNDREDS of dollars a month rather than being able to walk somewhere to buy food and drinks in several forms.  And the real point is, the place where I actually live...I don't feel much attachment to.  So, I'm quittin' this beotch.

You probably want to know: where am I moving?  Well that is an excellent question...one that even I don't have the answer to.  One that is making me absolutely crazy with anxiety.  So crazy that I never even got to take my nap earlier because it's hard to sleep when you feel short of breath and all farklempt.

I do know that as of right now, I have no options in apartment complexes.  Up here most do not allow dogs and the ones that do are either super old and ghetto, or super new and awesome and therefore will require me selling a kidney on the black market to afford.  Also, most of the ones I've talked to do not have any December availability and it's still a little too early to know about January.  Craigslist is geared more towards immediate moves and while I would love to rent a duplex or condo...a lot of those around here don't have covered parking.  And this southern girl still totally refuses to dig her car out in order to go to work in the morning.  That just isn't my style.

Am I worried?  A little bit.  Maybe kind of a lot.  BUT, these things have a way of seeming pretty flippin' terrible, until they don't anymore and everything starts to look awesome.  Here's hoping that happens sooner rather than later.

Monday, October 17, 2011

- Reunited

Last week Emma's stomach apparently decided that the allergy medicine I pay $90 a month for is all no es bueno anymore.  This resulted in days of her throwing up, not wanting to eat any food, laying around like a pathetic little bear, and then there was that one time she was so sick I had to carry her outside so she could poop.

Yeah.  So, there was that.

One morning I came home to a ridiculous mess all over everywhere and realized that even the starfish chair...my favorite starfish chair...HER favorite starfish chair...didn't make it out of this unscathed.  Sidenote: even if I had more than one starfish chair, this one would still be my favorite.

Luckily most of the damage was done to surfaces that could be removed and washed.  Which resulted in the disassembly of everyone's said favorite chair.  Emma missed it the most.  When she started to feel better she would walk over to it and realize that it wasn't as awesome as she was used to then she would literally sigh and walk away.  Her mourning period was palpable.

Tonight I put the chair back together.  The lighting sucks...but as you can see, Emma is the happiest little bear in the whole wide world.  She hasn't left her chair all night.
Once the bottom cushion is broken back in I'm confident she'll move onto the back cushion and smoosh it all down, like the ho bag that she is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

- Rugby World Cup Semifinal Picks

Oh you were hoping for a post not about rugby?  Well check back around October 24th when all of the rugby is over.  Although I don't know how interesting it will be to read the sad, mopey, rants of someone who no longer knows what to do with their time.  If you're not my dad you can just go ahead and skip over all this "nonsense".  I'll have some more sparkly pictures soon, and maybe even a sneak peek at a canvas I'm working on...and by "working on" I mean it's still sitting on the back ledge of my couch in it's plastic wrap.  I'm ideating.

Let's just get this out of the way - I apparently know nothing about rugby in the northern hemisphere.  Wait, that's not fair because I live in the northern hemisphere, so clearly most of my knowledge is based on what I've seen here.  What I'm saying is those European teams are tricky.  I mean how the heck was I supposed to foresee that after such a strong showing, Ireland would decide to be all lackluster?  Or how was I supposed to know that the French would be able to get their act together after a crushing loss to Tonga and come back to prove that England is also pretty darn inconsistent these days?  I mean it's France!  They can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag...until they do and get Yachvili the ball.  So that's two quarterfinals I was completely wrong about.  I am most disappointed that Ireland let themselves get knocked out - but the World Cup marches on.  Looking towards a Wales vs. French semi, I'm going with Wales.  I don't know why France winning has irked me so, but it is resulting in me vehemently NOT wanting to see them advance.  And aside from my gut feeling, those Welsh youngins have been nothing but strong (Hello!  Jamie Roberts!) and have a MUCH better defense than France.  So, yeah I'm with the Dragons on this one.

I was much better with the teams from the southern hemisphere and totally called that Australia would prevail...which is kind of a big deal since most thought South Africa had it.  Especially all the South African supporters that were at the bar with me.  And they nearly did...I got really nervous when it took Australia so long to answer to the try they scored 10 minutes into the game.  Then South Africa scored a try that was luckily not awarded due to a forward pass penalty, but their drop goal was good and when they took the lead I spent some pretty tense moments gulping a Jameson and Ginger and staring at the screen willing something to happen.  In Australia's favor.  Mostly because I hate being wrong and I'd already picked incorrectly twice in the quarterfinals...but the Wallabies pulled through for me.

It's really not much of a victory that I picked the All Blacks to beat Argentina, because, of course the All Blacks were going to win.  Since I've picked New Zealand from the beginning to win the whole thing, it's kind of a moot point that Australia made it to the Semis - because I think it's only going to buy them a spot in the bronze final.  But, a test between the 1st and 2nd teams in the world should be ridiculously fun to watch nonetheless.  Due to the timing there will be no live games this time weekend - so it's going to be pretty hard to stay away from the scores, especially since checking the World Cup site has become my morning ritual.  Again, what am I going to do when this is over?

In local rugby news: the Division 1 team here, Metropolis, lost to Palmer this weekend 58-5.  Palmer is the only team that's beaten them this season (twice now) which begs the question - what the heck is it about chiropractic colleges that breeds such strong rugby teams?  What do you mean you weren't asking that question?  I've talked this over with my dad and he didn't know quite why, but also mentioned that there was a chiropractic college in Georgia that had a hugely successful team.  Being a scientist, I decided some good old fashioned googling was in order for my research.  I found this article talking about the program in Marietta: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/sports/16rugby.html?pagewanted=all.  But that still didn't explain it.  So then I found this: http://wesclark.com/rrr/life_c.html which really got down to the history of both Palmer and Life...turns out rugby was bred into these rival chiropractic schools from the beginning, making them two of the strongest clubs in the country.

And yes, that was the most fun thing I learned today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

- Dear Monday

How come I am never well rested enough for you?
Because you stay up late every night of the weekend drinking and watching rugby games.
But Monday!  Those were on live from New Zealand - I had to stay out until 2 AM Friday and Saturday in order to watch the games.  I couldn't miss live coverage - it is too hard to come by!  And I took naps!  And even when I don't go out on the weekend I'm still too tired when you come around.  Also, can you watch rugby without drinking?  I'm not sure that's possible.
Naps mean nothing to me.  They don't even count on the weekend.  I laugh in the face of naps!  Even if you get two full nights of sleep, and then nap, then the naps become excess and the excess sleep will also make you tired!  YOU CAN'T BEAT ME!  And no, you can't watch rugby without drinking.  That's a crime against nature...much like trying to be prepared for ME.

Why does time go by so slowly when you're around?
Because I like to really drive home the suffering.  Or I like to fly by if you happen to have a lot to do.  That way, there is either too much time, or not enough time.  I also like to make sure that the internet does not hold enough distraction while I'm creeping by because your misery makes me incandescently happy.
Monday you're mean.  That's not nice.  How come you don't like me?
I don't like anyone.  Don't be so dramatic, this isn't all about you.  Except when it is and then I add in things like: spilled coffee, bad hair days, weekend bloat, horrific traffic that makes you late, missed deadlines for things I deleted from your calendar, no time for lunch, and a broken CD player in your car to go along with the radio which is playing every crappy song ever written on every station.

Why do you suck so much?
Your mom sucks!
You leave my mom out of this Monday.
Make me.
Monday I will totally take you out back and do something mean to you.
No you won't.  You're too nice.  
I'm not that nice.  I could maybe be pretty scrappy in a combat situation considering all the practice I got growing up with two brothers.
Laurie - how many times have I kicked your ass?  You've had at least 1460 visits from me (wow you're old!)...although I didn't start getting bad until you reached a certain age, we'll call it junior year of high school.  That's at least 572 failures at beating me.  You always come back for more thinking that maybe today will be your lucky day.  Except lucky days can never happen when I'm around.  I thought you would have learned this by now...
You just had to bring my age into that didn't you?
For sure.  Age was important in order to get the math right.  Don't frown so much, you're just making new wrinkles.
I hate you Monday.  Can you leave and never come back?
You will NEVER be rid of me!  See you in 6 days SUCKER!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

- Because I Miss My Dad

Sooooooooooooo yeah.  As I have previously mentioned, I am totally obsessed with rugby these days.  The problem is that most people don't know what rugby is.  And the sad part is - I'm having a hard time recruiting people who would like to know.  Generally peeps are happy in their ignorance of this completely awesome sport.  Totally their loss.  But, this does illustrate my main problem right now, which is a complete and utter lack of rugby friends.  As in I have like 1.  So when she's busy that takes my grand total down to 0.  This is deeply affecting me because there is a BIG rugby weekend coming up with the World Cup quarterfinals, the local team playing, and Rugby Day Minnesota where the U of M will take on Wisconsin - Madison in TCF stadium where the Gophers play...which means it's kind of a big deal.  I want to go to all of this.  Ideally, not alone.

Right about now I'm really missing having my dad 2 hours down the road, because he's the one person I know that I could ask to do all this with me...and would actually be excited about it.  But he's a 20 hour drive away.  Or a ridiculously expensive flight.  Side note: I actually looked up airfare for this weekend from RDU to MSP = $634.  This is not fair.

And I know Dad had probably given up on having a kid that really liked rugby.  And if we're being honest, out of the 3 kids, I'm sure he would have picked me last to grow into this role.  I mean...I'm the girl.  I never played a team sport.  I rode horses, which was awesome...but different than Aaron playing select soccer, or Trevor playing lacrosse.  I ran around in the backyard with the boys and kicked soccer balls, and threw the baseball around and can even throw a football, but the idea of doing that in a competitive setting with people watching makes me quite nervous.  I would surely flounder all over the place.

In my later years at the Sevens Tournament there was a part of me that secretly wanted to play rugby, but I'm not sure I've ever seriously thrown a rugby ball and I am much too wimpy to ever get on a pitch and take a tackle.  Have you ever seen the girls that play rugby?  Although, I have always wondered if I could handle being knocked to the ground so loudly that people on the sidelines can hear it, or if I could tackle someone else like that.  Or, if I could catch a ball when it mattered.  But at this point I'm so old, I would probably be broken into a million pieces in a matter of minutes.  And let's not even talk about the running aspect.  Because running is still very much against my religion.

What I'm saying is...it took me a long time to really fall in love with the sport, and I've been doing my best to make up for lost time by watching, reading and learning.  I've gracefully fallen into the role of Grade A sideline supporter and since I've been paying so much attention to the sport lately, I would like to do something that absolutely NO ONE will care about.  Except Fahtar - who used to make rugby look pretty.

I now present my 2011 Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal Picks!

Just like in the Soccer World Cup, my picks revolve around a thorough knowledge of team performance in the current World Cup, a little bit of knowledge about where teams stand in worldwide rankings, and my gut.  Sometimes it's like "Yo, I like Scotland" or "I love New Zealand and want to go to there" and that's about all that goes into me cheering for a team. What I'm saying is...I got my own system and this is how I think it may shake down:

QF1: Ireland vs. Wales - This could be a pretty tight match (like all of them from here on out), because both of these teams pretty much rocked it out in pool play.  And even though Wales is playing at full capacity with no injuries, I'm going with the luck of the Irish - because I think they showed just how powerful they can be when whooping up on Australia.  At this point in the tourney I think tries are going to be harder and harder to come by and the Irish have been completely impressive with the boot - or that's what all of the announcers say anyways.
QF2: France vs. England - Les Bleus have kind of limped into the quarterfinals here, and I think it's going to become pretty obvious how out-classed they are when they go up against England.  The English are one heck of a rugby powerhouse, although they certainly didn't look like it in the first half of their match against Scotland.
QF3: Australia vs. South Africa - This game kind of blows my mind...I mean these are two top teams, and one of them won't make it past the quarterfinals.  Since the Springboks won the last World cup, I'm leaning towards seeing Australia advance, which will be tough considering the horrible luck they've had with injuries and the emotional blow from their loss to Ireland.  In fact, according to the poll on Facebook, the majority of people think that South Africa will win, but I just can't NOT cheer for the Wallabies.
QF4: New Zealand vs. Argentina - Man do I love a good underdog, which means I was actually pretty excited when Argentina beat Scotland...except that started the beginning of the end for Scotland and led to them not qualifying for the quarterfinals.  Which made me sad.  BUT, I'm thinking this is New Zealand's year so I'm expecting them to easily power over Argentina, with the emotional loss of Carter proving to be something they can completely overcome on the pitch.

The most exciting thing about all this?  The pub up here is showing QF 1 & 3 LIVE Friday and Saturday night.  I may be there by myself - but I just don't think I can bear to miss it.

And now for my other 3 readers who don't care about this kind of thing...LOOK!  Something sparkly!
Yep that's 3 pictures of the same piece of fabric on which I painstakingly created the pattern I wanted with sequins.  It turned out WAY better than expected and whenever I decide to make it into a pillow - it's going to rock your face off.

Monday, October 3, 2011

- Things I Did Tonight...

...That I should have done several weeks ago:
  1. Vacuumed.  Remember when I put that on a to-do list in a post forever ago?  Well I still hadn't done it.  I honestly don't remember the last time I vacuumed.  It was becoming crucial, and since I'm leaving town again for a few days, I decided I really didn't want to come home to a dirty house, yet again.  You know it's bad when you have to empty the canister after one trip around your relatively small apartment.  I blame most of this on Emma - it's a wonder that dog isn't bald with as much as she sheds.  Seriously, barely any of that hair was mine.
  2. Re-hung my curtain rod.  About a month ago (that is not an exaggeration) I realized that my curtain rod was looking crooked.  Turns out when I hung it I did not use a wall anchor for the bracket on one side and after all these months I guess those screws finally decided to loosen.  When I noticed this a month ago, I took the curtain rod down and placed it on the floor.  It wasn't until tonight that I finally got out a wall anchor, took the screw out, hammered the anchor in and then re-screwed the screw in.  Then I put the bracket on, and put the rod back up there.  I think this whole process took about 3.24 minutes.  Because I waited a month with the rod AND CURTAINS on the ground guess whose curtains are all wrinkled now?  Don't expect those to get ironed any time soon.  That's crazy talk.
  3. Picked up a roll of duct tape.  This roll of duct tape fell on the floor when I was doing all my spray painting, so again...a really flippin' long time ago.  It was right in the way of the storage closet bifold door, which I have to get into periodically to get food for Emma.  I've just been forcing the door over it.  Tonight I actually picked it up and put it back in the drawer where it belongs.  
  4. Figured out that the stains in my toilet are due to hard water.  Despite my utter laziness, I do clean my toilets fairly regularly, but I realized a while ago that there was like a discoloration that wasn't going away.  I realized this in the Target toilet bowl cleaning aisle, which is way more extensive than it should be.  One of the products was specifically designed to treat this, so I bought it.  Now both toilets are amazing and sparkly.  This makes me happy, as my biggest fear was having the complex charge me for unacceptably dirty toilets when I moved out.  That's embarrassing.
  5. Fixed my sink.  Now that I started swooping my bangs instead of wearing them straight I don't cut them nearly as much.  Or at all since they are clearly in the growing stage.  But I used to cut my bangs nearly every day.  And yeah, I just washed all that hair down the sink.  I'm thinking that caused a bit of a problem since I've noticed for a while that my sink is slow to drain.  I tried to do thinks the all natural way with baking soda, lemon juice and boiling water...but no dice.  So I resorted to some draino.  It worked, yo.
  6. Folded laundry from the dryer.  I did laundry a week and a half ago when I got back in town from my last trip.  
  7. Cleaned my full length mirror.  I noticed yesterday that it was covered in a visible layer of dust and while I was being all crazy cleaning woman tonight, I decided to tackle it.
So, there you have it.  Seven points that fully illustrate just how lazy I am capable of being.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

- Addiction

I have managed to live 28 years without ever forming an addiction to any substance.

Sure, I smoked.  Sometimes more heavily than others.  But mostly it was social and one day after I smoked the last cigarette I had, I never bought another pack.  I've never missed the smoking, only the activities I was doing while smoking like dancing in the grass at a concert or talking all night with bff's.  I have maybe smoked 3 times since "quitting", and that was nearly 7 years ago.  I regret it every time.

Alcohol and I totally great friends and have a pretty awesome together (until the next morning) but we are not dependent on each other.

Sometimes I feel like I'm addicted to things - bands, facebook, rugby, an awesome hoodie sweatshirt, or leggings...but they aren't really addictions...more like obsessions.

But, now I have a legitimate addiction.  About 2 and a half weeks ago I started drinking coffee every day during the work week.  Like pretty much every other person in the world.  That is unusual for me though, since I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine and can get totally jittery, I pretty much avoid it.  But it's fall and Starbucks has some delicious seasonal coffees and I started to like that my morning commute included a cup in hand.  That first week I didn't sleep much, so I downgraded from a grande to a tall.  Then I went to NC and drank coffee every day over the weekend, which is definitely not part of my normal routine.  But, I wanted to.  I enjoyed it.

This past Wednesday I decided to forgo my cup because I was running late and felt like I was awake enough to get through the day.  Then Wednesday night I got a headache that was persistent.  I thought I could be dehydrated, or just tired...I get so headaches so rarely, and for only those reasons, that I decided to just drink a lot of water and go to bed.  That headache woke me up promptly at 6AM.  Still going strong.

Can I just say that I usually consider myself pretty tough, but with a headache I am a complete and utter wuss.  I mean I just cannot handle that kind of pain.  Do I take medicine?  No.  Because in my experience I have found that it doesn't really help, and I don't like to take pills if they aren't going to make me feel better.  So I just usually sit there and wallow in my utter misery.  Granted, usually drinking water or sleeping helps, but this time I had proven to be SOL with those treatment methods.

Even with my head pounding, I was able to realize that this could be the result of caffeine withdrawal.  I didn't want to admit that my body could already have become so dependent on something I'd only been partaking of for a few weeks, so I got all scientist-y on this and did an experiment.  It involved going to Starbucks, purchasing a nonfat grande salted caramel mocha - no whip, and drinking it.  An hour later there was no headache.

I think that's pretty flippin' conclusive evidence.

I haven't skipped any coffee since.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

- One Week

It has been one week since I last opened Mac Daddy.  One week since I last posted.  In that time I traveled home.  Home to Raleigh, and back home to Minneapolis.  As my plane landed here I watched out my window as the city lights came closer and realized that I now feel the same way landing here that I used to feel when I landed in Raleigh.  A switch has been "flipped" and I am now more at home in Minneapolis than in North Carolina.  While NC will always be home and filled with comforts and familiarity which I can never fully describe - I now completely live my life here.  In Minnesota.  It is a weird realization to come to...and yet one that fills me with great relief.  I always wondered if I could make a home for myself somewhere else.  Now I know that I can and have.

My flight back had a layover in Chicago and I was eager to find a bookstore.  It seems that with every flight this year I have bought a new book and most I have finished.  This year I have read more works of literature than most others and I am proud of this accomplishment.  It didn't hurt that I started up this Books and Bars thing.  You know, to get my culture.  Consider it gotten.

Our first book was Room.  I went to the discussion when I was only 100 pages in.  Even though I learned most of the plot points before finishing the book, it didn't ruin it for me.  Instead it only made me more curious to see how the story was woven to get from where I was to the many different places I couldn't imagine the Author had in store for me.  To say that this book affected me, is an understatement.  The story is so captivating, and so unexpected and yet terribly beautiful you just can't forget the imagery formed from the words written on the page.  I finished it in mid-August and yet brought it up in conversation this past weekend.

The next book was the Lonely Polygamist.  I don't know how else to say this, but I hated it.  It was 600 pages that I read hoping somewhere along the way to form a connection with just one character.  Which might have been possible if I could have ever gotten over my severe hate for the protagonist.  The only thing I took from this book was the phrase "What a gyp!" and a profound sadness that there are children and people in the world that know the neglect of never being loved properly, and the long lasting emotional and physical scars this can leave on a person.  I did not attend the discussion.  I hadn't quite finished the book and I was so angry at how it turned out and just utterly exhausted that day that I couldn't face the subject matter.  Maybe if I had something would have been said that changed my mind.  Probably not.

The book for October 11th is the Gargoyle.  I bought the last copy Monday night in terminal H of the Chicago airport - which never fails to remind me of Home Alone, and my trip to Europe.  I started reading it once I boarded the plane and it had me sucked in by page 9.  I finished the 516th page tonight.  Every day I left work this week I was mostly thinking about how long it will take to get home so that I can put on pajamas and get to reading.  I have thoroughly lost myself in the stories of medieval Germany, Iceland, and Italy that are woven into a modern day survival story filled with a love that I cannot quite comprehend because at the base, is completely insane.

Other books read this year include Tina Fey's Bossypants which if you love Liz Lemon like I do, will never ever disappoint you.  Pride and Prejudice has been revisited because it has been too long since I read the words of Darcy: "In vain I have struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."  I even upgraded to a new hardcover edition because my copy was passed down from Aaronus and purchased in the days when he clearly hated english.  He wrote in the back: "$4.95!  I had to buy this one because it wasn't in the library!"  I can nearly feel his highschool rage at not only being forced to read the words of Austen, but also having to pay for them.  I wonder what he would say if he learned I gladly paid $20 for my new copy and consider it one of the best purchases I made this year.

I started Lord of the Flies but did not finish it.  It seems to be headed for a depressing end.  Harry Potter is always in constant rotation, especially after being so disappointed over the last movie, and feeling the need to replace my memories of the movie with the much better ones found in the books.  Animal Farm was purchased and put on the shelf - never opened.  Several iBooks were downloaded, but that is as far as I made it in the process.  The Hunger Games is probably next.  A co-worker suggested the trilogy and it sounds like my kind of jam so that's where I think I'm headed...although I am a bit scared at the possibly of how absorbed I will become with reading those books.  When I fall into a book, there is little else that interferes with my need to consume every word on every page.

Much like my ability to remember what I was wearing on a certain day when a certain event happened - I also remember where I was when I read certain books for the first time.  I almost always read while laying in bed.  So, I remember reading Red Dragon and War and Peace in a small twin bed in the mountains at Roaring Gap.  I read all of the Twilight books in less than a week and was so wrapped up in the story of Edward and Bella that I rarely left my bed, room, or apartment in Inman Park...and I certainly didn't attend much grad school either.  I remember racing out to buy the 6th Harry Potter when I lived in the basement.  I read it very gently because I returned it afterwards, knowing that Mamsie had already purchased a copy.  I remember falling in love with Mr. Rochester just as Jane Eyre did while laying in bed in my last apartment in Raleigh - an apartment that I have been missing a lot lately for it's manageable size and rent.

And now I will remember how Emma curled up next to me as I propped myself up against the headboard I made earlier this year and lost myself in these last few books.  How I constantly left my windows open so that the incoming breeze caused my blinds to rattle in the background.  How my room smelled of leather due to all the new pairs of boots bought in anticipation of the cooler seasons. I will remember how I read these books while appreciating how beautiful my first Fall in Minnesota was, and how much I loved being home for every second of it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

- My Commute

Most people do not enjoy their commute.  And when it takes me 45 minutes in stand still traffic to get home, I want to take my commute out back and punch it in the stomach.  In fact, I think that the time people spend in their cars commuting is inversely proportional to the level of their personal happiness.

Having said that...I will now surprise you and say that I absolutely love my commute into work when I'm going to my downtown office when the sun is shining and I have the windows down and the music blasting.  This is a very specific set of circumstances and admittedly it doesn't happen too often...but, when the stars align, I never fail to arrive at work in a great mood.  This drive has become one of my favorite things about living and working here - especially once Old Man Winter moved out.  And even with him looming on the horizon again - it was 48 degrees when I drove in today - I still love it, especially with a pumpkin spice latte.  Or a salted caramel mocha.  Or basically anything from Starbucks.

My favorite stretch starts after going around this curve.  The skyline is finally up close and personal.
This is slightly crooked.  Because I might have been taking pictures with my phone as I was driving.  As a side note, the ramp in the above picture is where the HOV lane merges back in with traffic.  I know this because the ONE time I accidentally got in the HOV lane, there was no exit off, and when I got to the end a State Trooper was waiting.  He immediately pulled me and gave me a ticket.  Jerk.
I like this straightaway when you can start to see the line of trees.  I don't know why, I just do.

If this was panoramic to the left you would be able to see the Twins Stadium, which also makes for a great view.  I actually drive underneath that part and then continue downtown then over the Mississippi River to get to my office.  Some day I will take pictures of the Riverfront to show you, because it's one of my favorite views, especially at night when the skyline is all lit up.  But, you should probably just visit and see that for yourself, because it really is best in person.  Just ask Karen and Katie.