Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Week in the Life...

Monday: Back to work after a nice 4-day weekend. (Boo.) Went to dinner at Marty’s Boston Crab in Green Bay. Adam’s idea, obviously. He’d been wanting to go for awhile. Invited his parents to come along. Forgot that Monday Night Raw was being taped live at the Resch Center right down the street. (And Donald Trump was in town.) Thankfully traffic wasn’t too bad. The food was alright (aside from my burger, but, really, when you order meat at a seafood restaurant you can’t expect greatness) but the service was awful.

Tuesday: More work. Month-end has been bumped forward a day so that means one less day to prep. Got home to a 77 degree house. Guess the A/C stopped working. 24/7 service line called, came to look at it, couldn’t find anything wrong. Told us to not use the programmable part of the thermostat when it was so hot and humid out. It appears to work when on “temperature hold.” Discovered my AT&T phone order had been cancelled because they no longer had the phone I wanted. (I had to go ahead with getting the pre-paid plan a little earlier than anticipated since Adam was antsy to get the iPhone and thereby cancelled his Alltel plan - to which I was an add-on.) Adam made a late-night Walmart run to get a phone there and transfer my number over. If we had known we could do that we wouldn't have bothered with the online thing in the first place but all the AT&T stores told us they couldn't transfer a number from another carrier onto a pre-paid phone. Idiots.

Wednesday: Up early to make strudel for Adam’s breakfast party at work. It apparently went over well. Consequently tired all day. Got a call from a salesperson at 2:25 needing profit margins for a meeting that started at 3. *sigh* Way to think ahead. Who cares what else I might have been doing? Thankfully they were pretty basic and I was able to get them to him by 3:10. Go me. Got home to start laundry, found dryer with an inch of water in the bottom. So humid it was “sweating.” Awesome.

Thursday: Boring day. Caught up on some DVR shows.

Friday: Had a haircut appointment after work. Since we planned to go to the drive-in Adam came along with me. Spent his time in the guy room, drinking beer and watching TV. Movies were Night at the Muesum 2 and 17 Again. It was a great evening - not too hot, not too cold. It was PACKED. Thank goodness they have their second building completed so the bathroom lines were ridiculous.

Did some morning shopping, bailed on Chicken Fest due to rain and tiredness. Met Trisha, Amber, Rachael at Friar Tuck's for dinner, then somehow ended up at the Monkey Bar in Appleton. Drinking ensued. Still got home at a reasonable hour. But then was stomped on every hour by Carly.

Sunday: Brunch in Elkhardt Lake with Dad, Cheryl, Catherine. Followed by some graduation planning for next May and some MindTrap. Returned home to do laundry and try to get through Benjamin Button.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Random Updates

The party yesterday was a success - we had more than ten people show up! So yay.

Not too many leftovers, mostly because we gave lots of people bags full of meat on their way out. We've got brats and one piece of chicken. And vegetables.

I finally got to the library on Friday. Checked out one Margaret Atwood, one Alice Sebold, and one John Irving (to re-read.)

I had vacation on Thursday and Friday (for absolutely no good reason - just needed a break) and it was wonderful. I didn't really accomplish much, but it was nice to be away from work.

We went to Menasha Grill last Wednesday as Adam's first choice in our monthly meal experiment. Review is here.

This next week is not too exciting. Country USA starts and we might try to meet up with some friends who will be in the area for that. We hope to get to the drive-in again next weekend. It's Chickenfest in Darboy. We'll be heading to Sheboygan on Sunday for brunch with my dad, Cheryl, and a visiting sister Catherine.

I got a new deep fryer. I've been hating the fry daddy I had for a while now (it's hard to clean, bulky.)So hopefully this one will not annoy me so much.

Marion, the French girl I stayed with for a week back in 1998 while I was over there with my high school, just added me as a friend on Facebook. We haven't spoken in 10 years. How neat is that?

That's about it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a Conspiracy

I think the world is trying to prevent me from going to the library.

Last weekend I headed down on Saturday, completely forgetting it was the weekend of Neenah Streetball. Roads all blocked off, traffic everywhere. Darn. Turned around and came back home.

Now today I head downtown, get to the library, wonder why there are absolutely no parking spots within a five-block radius. Darn it. It's Thursday - Out to Lunch day.

I have no luck. Guess I'm stuck re-reading my own books for another day.

Speaking of which, did you know John Irving's new book comes out in October? Hello, early Christmas present!

Me from A to Z

A – Age: 27
B – Bed size: Queen. It’s not big enough.
C – Chore you hate: vacuuming, dusting, anything outdoors
D – Dog’s names: We have cats - Ted, Connor, JC, and Carly
E – Essential start your day item: Varies depending on my mood. Cocoa Pebbles are good…
F – Favorite color: purple
G – Gold or Silver: silver (or white gold?)
H – Height: 5′3″ (well, almost)
I – Instruments you play: currently? Hand bells. In the past? Piano, Cello
J – Job title: Cost Accountant
K – Kid(s): nope. Just the cats
L – Living arrangements: single-family ranch in Neenah
M – Mom’s name: Ruth
N – Nicknames: I was “Marty” for awhile in high school. Also “La rouge” (which is totally incorrect French, by the way…)
O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None
P – Pet Peeve: Bad drivers
Q – Quote from a movie: “Had my dream again where I'm making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I'd nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount.” from the best movie ever - When Harry Met Sally...
R – Right or left handed: right
S – Siblings: Older brother Evan and younger sister Catherine
T – Time you wake up: Weekdays 5:45, weekends 7
U - First word that comes to your mind for “U”: Umbrella. Yeah, it’s been raining a lot lately.
V – Vegetable you dislike: Cabbage is kind of gross.
W – Ways you run late: I’m usually early.
X – X-rays you’ve had: None that I can remember
Y – Yummy food you make: all of them.
Z – Zoo favorite: Elephant. Or maybe the koalas.

My brain has holes...

Geesh, let’s hope I’m better at remembering my wedding anniversary than I am remembering our house-iversary. I totally forgot again this year!

This second year of home-ownership was expensive. We replaced the water heater, furnace, and air conditioning units within months of each other. We also replaced both toilets, the instant hot water in the kitchen, built a shed, planted trees, removed trees, painted. And many other things that I’m sure I’ve forgotten about (or repressed.) But things generally seem to be going well. No big plans for this next year. The hope is to pay off the furnace and then start planning the deck/siding/grading project. Fun, fun.

In other news, we’re almost out from under the cloud of negative equity!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Thoughts Exactly

From She Likes Purple

You know what's hard for me, what's nearly impossible to come to terms with even after twenty-six years of being beat in the face with it: some people aren't going to like me. NO MATTER WHAT I DO.

Some people will always think I'm too ugly or too fat or too insecure or too liberal or too open-minded or too close-minded or too messy (which, well, they've got a point) or too happy or too depressed or too awkward or too wound up. They'll think my nose is too big or I'm too short or I don't listen to good enough music or I eat at Chili's too often or I make my dog talk or I watch too much reality television and not enough educational programming even though educational programming makes me more bored out of mind than more knowledgeable. Some people will think a million things of me, and they may dislike me for each one, and, regardless, I'd still be breathing in and out, and it would all be okay. It's even slightly self-absorbed to worry about all the ones who don't like me, isn't it? Why would I expect every breathing human to find me witty and likable?

But it's still tough, and it's something I haven't quite hurdled over yet. How to easily be myself while letting everyone else's opinions of me roll right off my back.

What's more, some of my own friends aren't going to like me sometimes. There are so few people in your life who will be with you through everything. Who will support you when you're wrong, who will comfort you when you're whiny and lame, who will defend you to other people, who will fight for you and stand up for you and will like you when you're at your worst and who will never---not for a single moment---have a hidden agenda. When they get annoyed with you, they'll tell you, and when they think you're wrong they'll say, "Hey, I love you, but that skirt is not your best look."

Of all the countless people we come in contact with in our life and the hundreds more we form real relationships with, there are maybe five people who you will ever be able to truly trust to hold your friendship in the palm of their hands without ever crushing it or letting it slip through the cracks in their fingers.

And, that's how it should be, I think. If the miracle was handed out to us all willy-nilly---at the grocery store, the movie theater, while sitting in traffic---it wouldn't be quite so beautiful. We would inevitably take those incredible friendships for granted if our life was chalk full of them.

Some friends are going to talk about you behind your back and some friends are going to let you down. And, funny enough, you'll do all of these things to friends of your own. We're all just as guilty as the next.

And it really is all okay, that some people will never like you, some people will only tell other people that they don't like you and very, very few people will ever tell you to your face when you're bugging them. And, let me tell you, those last ones are the ones you want to drink with because there will be no surprises after that last tequila shot. Well, there may be some surprises but of a completely different variety.

But, still, it doesn't make it easy just because it's okay, does it?
I was talking to Jonna yesterday---who I kind of want to visit and drink strong margaritas with; she just oozes cool and awesome energy---and she referenced this quote from Rocky:

"It doesn't matter how your life looks to other people, it matters how it looks to you."

I've been repeating that to myself since yesterday, and I even repeated it to a few other people, and I kind of want to print it out and frame it in my "writing room" and perhaps put it on shirts and hats because it's just so damn true. No, it's not easy to wrap our heads around, and it doesn't take away the sting completely when we know people are judging us, but our life is our own. And we're the only ones who have to live it.

We may as well enjoy the view even if our neighbors hate what we're doing with the place.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Movie Update

I watched Last Chance Harvey yesterday and I liked it. It's kind of a combination of Rear Window, Seredipity, and The Graduate. That makes it sound kind of weird. But really, not too far into the movie I wondered if I had thought the film was about something else. Perhaps it wasn't a romantic comedy, but actually some psycho thriller horror thing. Luckily I was not mistaken and it turned out well. But really, Dustin Hoffman's character was totally stalking the woman again. Anyway, cute, sad, but happy.

I hope to go exchange it for Revolutionary Road this afternoon since Adam's going golfing. Almost through my Oscar list!

I think we could use some cute animals around here...

(Once again, click to view full-size versions)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Let's move on, shall we?

Perhaps a less, hmm, controversial topic?

We finally watched Frost/Nixon this weekend. It had been sitting on the end table for a week (or more). We just kept doing other things instead. We actually watched it in two chunks. We started it on Saturday night and, when Adam started nodding off on the couch, postponed the ending until Sunday morning. I am ambivalent. (Aah, random Threesome quotes pop into my head at the strangest times… seriously – it’s a great movie. It was on one of the movie channels last week. I can quote most of it word for word.) It was not snoringly boring (I’m sure Adam was snoring because he was tired, not because the movie sucked) but it wasn’t riveting either. Not being very interested in the subject couldn’t have helped. Eh, one more down. We swapped it out for Sex Drive, which Adam watched Sunday afternoon while I was working my way through my to-do list. I caught bits and pieces of it (bwahahaha, pun intended) while he watched part of the un-edited version - random naked girls would walk into frame, pose, and then walk back off. Odd.

In an effort to not be totally boring, this month we’ve enacted a new “night out” plan. Each month both of us will choose a day and we’ll go out to wherever we want for a meal. This way we can try new restaurants out that we might not try otherwise if we’re choosing together. Our first one for June was last night. It was my pick and I chose Uno Chicago Grill. They were surprisingly un-busy, which was just fine. We sat down and perused the mega drink menu. I ended up getting raspberry lemonade while Adam ordered an Iguana martini. (Despite what he’ll tell you, it does NOT have iguana parts in it.) My drink was pretty good – a little sweet for being lemonade. Adam’s drink was terrible. I mean really bad. He downed it as fast as possible and then was fighting to get the taste out of his mouth for the rest of the night. I told him he should have just had them take it back, but he didn’t listen to me. He then got a mango lemonade, which, while also a little sweet, was still better than the awful Iguana. We ordered the pizza skins as an appetizer. It’s a neat concept – a deep-dish pizza crust with mashed potatoes and baked potato toppings on it. I think we both liked it. For main courses Adam had the steak and shrimp. I had a personal sized deep-dish Chicago Classic pizza (meaning sausage and cheese.) After the appetizer, neither of us finished our meals. I had some leftover pizza for lunch today and there’s still more in the fridge. We also skipped dessert. All in all, a nice place. Their crust is great - not too crunch and thin, but not greasy like a pan pizza. I don’t know that we’d go there again, but I’m glad we tried it. Adam’s night is next week. He says he doesn’t know where we’re going yet.

*sigh* I hate annonymous commenters

Luckily I have the power of DELETE! (see the Strongbad reference there? Ha!)

But really, if you're going to criticize and insult me, at least have the balls to sign your name. That way I know if it's just a drive-by (on a related note, have you ever clicked on "next blog" up at the top there? It's fascinating. Usually Asian porn, but fascinating...) or if it's from someone whose opinion matters to me. I'm quite sure that no one I know would be leaving comments at 1:30 in the morning on a weeknight (because, remember, I have a dull life - oh, and no friends), but you never know.

And by the way, that wedding thing? From the wise one herself, Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have attended several weddings lately where we have waited up to an hour and a half for the bride and groom to arrive at their own reception. Can you enlighten me because, frankly, I am ... ONE CONFUSED GUEST, LEWIS CENTER, OHIO

DEAR CONFUSED: Sometimes there is a delay between the wedding ceremony and the reception so the wedding party can be photographed. Rather than being confused, use your imagination. These days there could be many reasons for a delay -- the limo ran out of gas, someone's zipper stuck, the bride went into labor....

According to Emily Post: "Any delay longer than 30 to 45 minutes becomes excessive, unless (the) invitation included a starting time for the reception. ... If there is likely to be a considerable delay, be sure that guests will be served beverages and hors d'oeuvres while they await your arrival."

Invite stated the reception started at 4:30. No hors d'oeuvres were served. I don't think my reaction is an unreasonable one. So there. :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Wedding, a Boat, and a Cat

Mega blog slackerage. Anywho, what's been going on lately?

We went to Catherine and Tony's wedding last weekend down in Delafield. We got there a little early so we stopped at Hobbytown USA, which just happened to be right by our hotel. We grabbed a quick lunch at DQ before heading to check in and change for the ceremony. (As an aside, I hate pantyhose. I haven't worn it since Katie's wedding back in October of '06. Such a pain.) We arrived at the church in plenty of time since it was much closer than we thought it was. It was a nice church. Looked pretty new. Lots of stained-glass windows and Adam especially liked the exposed ceiling beams. They had a holy water fountain which I found kind of distracting since it ran the whole time. I hope no one had to pee... The ceremony was a full mass. Although it was never really anything we had considered, I'm certain we made the right choice in not doing that for our ceremony. It was long. It was boring. Although they did get to sit down for most of it, so that had to be nice. The priest was...eccentric. I told Adam if we weren't in a Catholic church, I'd be tempted to think he was gay. (Not that being in a Catholic church necessarily rules that out, but you know what I mean.) Anyway, strange ceremony. But it gets the job done so it's all good.

After the ceremony was over we headed back to the hotel to kill some time since the reception didn't start until 4:30. When we got to the restaurant (which we realized was the same place we went to dinner with Catherine and Tony after we saw a movie a few years ago) we were the first ones there. Most people didn't show up until around 5. Dinner didn't start until after 6. It was odd. We sat at the table right in front of the head table (seating wasn't assigned) and no one else sat with us. The photographer dropped her stuff there since it was close to where the action would be. Finally two other girls joined us. It would have been totally embarrassing to be all alone at the table. I guess maybe we smelled? Anywho, when the wedding party finally showed up there were some toasts and then dinner. Decent buffet - good potatoes. Then some more downtime while the wedding party went upstairs to take more pictures. Cake. First dance then father-daughter then mother-son (after which I joked it was time for the sister-brother dance and the other girls at our table commented that we weren't in Arkansas... They were fun ladies. We spent a good deal of the downtime going through all the little bags of Hershey kisses and picking out the cookies and cream flavored ones. We're a menace to weddings every time...) Our plan was to stay for the first slow song and dance and then head out and hit the Marshalls near the restaurant before going back to our hotel. It took over an hour for a slow song. And they played every bad remix/medley song ever made in the interim. We finally got a slow song, danced, caught up with Catherine and Tony on the way out, and made our way back to the hotel.

Now, it's human nature that you'll always compare other peoples' weddings to your own. Everyone has their own preferences, but I thought it was almost rude the way their reception was done. The invitation said dinner and dancing beginning at 4:30. So we got there at 4:30. And sat alone at a table for almost an hour before the wedding party even got there. After dinner we sat, doing nothing, for another 45 minutes to an hour while the wedding party disappeared. It was just very weird. I hope people weren't that bored at our reception...

But overall, a lovely day. Seeing as how we both started dating around the same time, it's about time that they got married! I always thought Tony was a little tightly wound, but after meeting his mother I can see why. Catherine drew the short straw on the Mother-in-law pick...that lady is a control freak.

I did managed to cause a stir on Facebook though. I posted that I was going to a wedding and it was raining, but I thought that was supposed to be good luck. I said "Catherine" but didn't specify. So my cousin, Joanie, freaked out and ranted that she just found out her cousin was getting married and she found out about it on Facebook and why does no one ever tell her anything? Whoops. We worked it out. :)

This past week was month-end at work again. We have an intern helping fill in for a maternity leave, summer classes, and a summer internship with a different department. Some of the items on his "do-to" list were to help me out, but really it's usually just easier for me to do them myself than try to explain how to do them. There were quite a few things during close that I probably could have passed on to him, but at this point, having done this for almost two years, I've kind of got a rhythm to my first five days. I did give him resin counts to key in and he "couldn't find" almost half of them on the spreadsheet. *sigh* Anyway. The rest of the month should be interesting - all the key users are gone for SAP stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to get caught up on some stuff that I've been putting off for months since there will be no one around to give me special projects. We'll see.

This weekend was kind of a bummer. We rented a boat out in Fremont and invited Adam's parents, my dad and Cheryl, and Mark and his son, Sam, to come along with us. It was cold on Saturday morning and it was supposed to rain a little, but we toughed it out and decided to go out anyway. We stopped to fish after a little while but no one had any luck. Then we got onto Lake Poygan and it started to rain. And it was windy. Miserable. But we made it to our lunch destination in Winneconne. Where I told everyone I was not going back on the boat. I'd wait here and they could come pick me up. Fortunately, the idea wasn't as crazy as I thought it was and everyone but Adam and his dad ended up staying at the restaurant. Luckily they weren't busy at all. Two and a half hours later Adam and his dad came and picked us all up. Unfortunately (as it seems to go when we do things like this) the boat people allege that we must have hit something and damaged the propeller. They're getting an estimate, but apparently we'll be lucky if it's under $400. Just another notch in the "we get shit on when we try to have fun" board.

The rest of the month has a few bright spots: We have our party on the 20th, the second IMA planning meeting is the 16th, Adam's helping Mark move next weekend. Hopefully the weather will get the stick out of its butt and be decent soon. This cold, rainy stuff is getting old.

Ok, enough of that. Lately Carly has been more explorative. Not necessarily a good thing since she has a tendency to wander and then pee in random places. Got to watch her like a hawk. Anyway, sometimes she'll squeeze herself into places and it takes a little while to find her. This is one of her favorites:

Crazy eyes! Another is on the other side of the sink between the deep fryer and the blender. Apparently she thinks she's a small appliance...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Photographic Journey into the Past

So, I went to get passport pictures taken today. Yes, I'm finally getting around to getting a passport with my married name on it. It's only taken about two years. *sigh* But I figure since we plan to go into Canada in August and there are those new rules...

This is my third passport. The first one was procured at age 16 from the post office. (This is actually from my Carte Orange (a public transportation pass for Paris) but it's the same as my passport picture.)

It allowed me to spend three weeks traveling around France with my high school French teacher and a group of students from Fargo, ND. It was a crazy trip, and one of my best memories from that time of my life.

My second was five years later, since at 16 the life of your passport is only 5 years. (Holy cow, that's a huge zit!)

I needed it for yet another foray into international travel with France as the destination. This time it was six weeks with a group from New Orleans. Most definitely NOT the best memories from this trip.

And today, a third try, and a nice, new, hideous photo that will grace yet another legal form of identification. (Yes, my shirt is totally crooked.)

And while we're on the subject of horrible identification pictures, let's not forget the horrible driver's license photo (AAAAAAAAHHHHHH):

Oh, and the college ID picture that I had taken at 7 AM after driving up from Sheboygan (Urkel glasses!):

So horribly unphotogenic!