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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will it Fit?

This weekend, we went to World Market and bought a media cabinet. Fully assembled, the cabinet is 62 inches long - the box was closer to 6 feet. As we backed Joe's Prius up to the loading dock, the store employee just shook his head.

We've seen that reaction before - that look of "who are you kidding, this is never going to fit in there." We've also seen the disbelief before when, indeed, this DOES fit in there.

"Did you see that Hummer pull out as you pulled in? He bought the same cabinet. We had to tie his hatch down. Hope he wasn't going far." We then closed the hatch on the Prius and took off for home.

Other things we've fit in the back of that car:
  • three boxed toilets
  • a full-size porch door
  • a futon
  • 50 inch tv
  • 2 angry (caged) kitties
  • 5 adults, comfortably enough to get around town (wouldn't want to road trip)

My point? Don't tell me you HAVE to have that big-ass SUV to haul stuff. We can get just as much or more in some cases in our little Prius. And then when you're getting 16 mpg riding around town with an empty cargo space, we're getting 50mpg. If you want/need the SUV for other reasons (the Prius isn't great in snow, for example), that's fine. But don't tell me it's because of cargo space.


P.S. Sarah's eleventy bajillion 21 questions are coming Thursday.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Six Word Saturday


c'mon, weather, make up your mind!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Answering Two Questions

Since I skipped the questions I was supposed to answer on Tuesday's post and I also had no idea what to post about today, I tweeted the following last night:

Let's do this - you ask me some questions, I'll answer them in tomorrow's post. Anything you like. You have 30 minutes.

After which, I received two questions from "normal" people, and 21 questions from my "friend" Sarah. I'll tackle Sarah's questions next week but since today's post is already late (I had a busy morning and I was too distracted assembling new bookshelves last night/this morning to blog), let's just answer the questions from people who aren't overtly insane.

@CBethTweet asks: "What's your favorite fast dinner? (Optional: One to be cooked inside, one to be cooked on the grill)". Thank you, Beth, for asking one reasonable question. I may have griped about the two part answer but you labeled it "optional" and did not follow it up with 20 additional questions.

A quick but awesome inside dinner is a pasta dish I tweeted about earlier this week. Boil some angel hair pasta. Put some olive oil in a pan, saute some garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Dump in some basil and a can of diced tomatoes, including the juice. Stir and let it cook down until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in a small can of evaporated milk. Toss with pasta and bury in parmesan cheese. I like this because it's very forgiving. If you're too lazy to chop up some onion or if you don't like the heat of the red pepper flakes or you're out of basil, it doesn't really matter. Sometimes I like to splash a little white wine in my mouth the pan before adding the basil and tomatoes. And sometimes we add some cooked shrimp or chicken to make it more hearty.

I find the majority of grilled meals to be quick. Let's go with salmon. Joe slathers on a little olive oil and some salt/pepper. Then he takes it outside and I have no idea what he does with it until he brings it back in to the table. It's like a tv cooking show - voila, it's prepared! A quick side salad or a microwaved baked potato and we're in business.

@religionbites asks: When & how did you meet your beloved Joe?. Thanks, Patti, for asking one question. Though I guess it's also kind of a two-parter if I want to get technical about it.

Joe and I attended neighboring high schools and a mutual friend asked if I'd go to their prom with Joe. I told him since I had never met this Joe guy, I'd like to at least meet him first to make sure he wasn't a serial killer. We went on our first date (a double date with mutual friend and his woman of the week) about a month before prom and have been together since. First Date Fun Fact: I've always been more or less anxious and spazzy, including the night of that first date. I called and told my friend I wasn't going and begged to cancel. He wouldn't let me. I then seriously considered jumping out of the car at a stop sign. Yeah, I had serious game.

Next week, I'll deal with Sarah's many questions. In fact, I may spend both posts next week dealing with Sarah's many questions.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some Random Stuff

I have friends who participate in a Random Tuesday post. And then I was tagged over at Torizworld. While I'm not always responsive to tagging, I had a whole lot of nothing for today so I'm gonna go with it as an opportunity to share some of the little things bouncing around in my head that haven't been worth an entire post.

Eleven Random Things About Me: (aka the small stuff that isn't necessarily small or at all related to each other)

1. This morning, I woke up to discover a friend request on FB from a convicted murderer sitting on death row. I accepted. And then I spent two hours reading about the denials for a new trial and appeals and lost untested evidence and circumstantial evidence. I spent that time mourning for his family - I was 13 at the time he was arrested for murdering his estranged wife and her boyfriend. He left behind four children younger than me and they continue to go into debt to seek a new trial for their father. They (and I, for what it's worth) believe in his innocence and they've spent the last 17 years missing their dad. Sad as hell.

2. I told my grandmother that Joe is excited about going to India for work. Five minutes later, she said "where's he going in Chile?" No, Gramma, not Chile. India. "Oh, I always confuse them because they're so close to each other." Huh?

3. I told my parents that Joe is excited about going to India for work. "Why?" Why is he going for work? "No, why would he be excited about it."

4. In looking up tourist attractions for his trip (not that he's going to have much time for that kind of thing), we came across the Art of Living Center. Wow, is their Bangalore ashram ever beautiful. Anyone have any experience with this organization? They're non-denominational and seem to do some really interesting things. They have programs everywhere, including my undisclosed location, and I'm considering their intro course about meditation next month.

5. Next month. Is almost here. How did that happen already?

6. I haven't reported on the kitties in awhile. They haven't been interested in blogging because they seem to be hibernating for the winter. Tonya's had a nice spring in her step lately and we made a resolution for Rusty that he wouldn't poo outside the box anymore. So far, he's "only" done it three times, which is, sadly, a huge improvement.

7. I mentioned on Saturday that the new routine is kinda working. I'm still falling short of things every day, but overall there is progress. I even managed to spend some time yesterday brainstorming some edits for a story.

8. My sister took pictures of my nephew, staged to look like mugshots. I don't think she should encourage that. Kid is a (completely awesome) terror. I don't dare ask what crime was committed.

9. I had a dream last night about a baby. Her name was Paige. I'm pretty sure that had more to do with caring for a book (Paige = page) than it did with an actual baby. Right?!?!

10. If anyone ever tells you that Mary Karr's The Liars' Club is a funny book? They are lying.

11. Is it Spring yet? I don't mind the temperatures and I wouldn't even mind some snow. But I do mind how gloomy everything looks right now.

So, that's eleven. I'm also supposed to answer eleven questions and tag some people. I'm not going to do that because this is already long. And also because it's my blog and you can't make me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Six Word Saturday


finally getting the hang of this

After two weeks of the new routine, it's finally starting to feel, well, routine. I even managed to visit more than 50% of 6WS entries last week!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is It Supposed To Look Like This?

I've spent a lot of time this week working on my resume. Finally, I was ready for my husband to take a look.
me: I'm only concerned about the content right now. I know the formatting needs work.
Joe: Okay, sounds good. Formatting isn't my thing anyways.
me: Thanks!
a few minutes pass
Joe: Is it supposed to look like this?
me: Seriously?!?! I said disregard the formatting! I'll fix it later!
Joe: Okay.
We have some discussion about various job duties and wording.
me: (pointing to Joe's screen) What's with my name?
Joe: You mean how it's not actually your name?
me: Must be you don't have that font installed so it's just symbols.
Joe: That's what I pointed out an hour ago when I asked if it was supposed to look like that.
me: Oooooooh.
Joe: I was wondering how you managed to spell your name wrong.
One school of thought would say that I shouldn't have been so quick to assume he was picking on the design of my resume. The other school of thought would say that Joe should've said "your name is appearing incorrectly" instead of being so obtuse.

Guess which school of thought I attend? Yeah, the second one. (Duh.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Two Rules of the Husband

A couple of weeks ago, I baked little heart cakes to enjoy after dinner. Unfortunately, I was a bit distracted chatting with my pal SomeMonkey and they burned a bit.
me: crap, i burned the cakes
i checked them, the top was still really wet but now they're burnt
SomeMonkey: are they burnt on the bottom or something? or through?
me: the one is just the bottom
the other, seems a bit more through
i think i can salvage the one
and i'll eat the smaller less-hearty looking one
thankfully, i know the two rules of the husband
1. he'll forgive anything if it tastes good
2. he thinks everything tastes good after enough alcohol
And that is why I then poked in a few holes in the plain yellow cakes and doused them in Baileys. And that is why I was then heavy-handed in mixing the husband's drinks.  And that is also why he thinks those were the best cakes EVER!!!

P.S. It may also be why he woke up with a headache the next morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Six Word Saturday


stop being sad, be awesome instead

If you get the reference, I'll send you all the cat hair you can eat. For the record, I am NOT sad. Just awesome.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Will It Crock?!?!

Remember how a million years ago there was a company with super-powerful blenders and they came up with this really viral marketing campaign called Will It Blend?"? (Question - did that sentence really need an extra question mark? Does it just show that I'm double questionny?) The idea was that their blender was SO awesome that you could put in anything and it would blend it up. Ipods, skeletons, glow sticks. Yeah, so they'd make a video of them sticking this random stuff in their blender and seeing if it would blend. (Spoiler: it always blends.)

Yesterday, I used another kitchen appliance to invent a new game method of cooking called "Will It Crock?" (Again, I'm questioning the punctuation. I need to look this stuff up.) By which I mean, if I stick all this crap in my slow cooker and set it on low for 8-10 hours, will it be edible?

This week's "recipe" includes: pork roast, a can of flat Coke from 2006, half a bottle of Kraft Basil Parmesan Vinaigrette w/ Olive Oil (that expired in Sept of 2010), Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, part of an old onion, and red pepper flakes.

Verdict: The pork was tender and yummy. Joe was pleased with his dinner. We both survived the night without intestinal distress. So, yes, it WILL crock!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Posting Schedule

Yesterday officially began my new year and it wasn't a bad start. I didn't get everything on my list done because some things took longer than others. And that's okay. What I'm hoping is that the list will become the normal - I didn't expect it to necessarily happen on the first day. It takes awhile to find that new routine, especially when you're busy playing catch-up.

One of the things I'm carving out specific time (one hour) for each day is blogging. It's hard to keep up with multiple blogs and even though I gave myself permission not to post every day, there was no set schedule and so every day I was still feeling that anxiety about whether or not I should post something. Now, I have a nice schedule I'll be trying out - this blog is scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, and of course (Six Word) Saturday. I've set similar schedules for my other blogs.

I've also dedicated a certain amount of time to other priorities - freelancing/professional activities, reading, writing. Exercise I tackled a bit differently - a minimum amount of time per week. The latest suggestions are at least 30 minutes a day so my weekly goal is no less than 210 minutes (excepting legit interruptions like sickness or travel). More is obviously better but I feel good about that as a minimum requirement.

There are other things I'm trying to incorporate into my routine as well. Quick daily activities that keep the house from raging out of control. Tasks that keep me organized. All of it with the goal of moving towards goals this year instead of just treading water.

Not every post is going to be rocket science but within a few weeks, I hope they will at least be appearing regularly and the goodness will come with time. I like writing and storytelling - and I want this blog to get back to that.

I hope 2012 is behaving for everyone so far!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Six Word Saturday


my new year starts on Monday

Yes, that's right. I've decided that my new year officially starts on Monday. This past week involved some travel (Lake Tahoe and Reno are beautiful) and some ups and downs and unnecessary drama and a general lack of routine. And that's okay. I'm thinking of it as a transitional period. Monday, Joe will be back to a normal work schedule which means I can also get myself on a regular schedule of so many things - exercising, posting, writing, reading, 6WS-visiting, and the other bajillion things that go into this thing I call life. I'm excited!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Monday, January 02, 2012

Word of the Year: 2012

Each year, I pick a word that I want to guide me. You can see past picks in my sidebar to the right. Last year's choice, better wasn't a huge success. This year, I'm choosing mindful.

Main Entry: mind·ful
Pronunciation: \ˈmīn(d)-fəl\
Function: adjective

1: attentive, aware, or careful (usually followed by of)
2: tending toward awareness and appreciation
3: having specified facts or feelings actively impressed on the mind

Synonyms: alive, conscious, cognizant, sensible, thoughtful, vigilant
Antonyms: absent-minded, careless, unaware, insensitive, oblivious

I've cobbled together the above from several online dictionaries and thesauruses. (Thesauri?)

Here's what mindful means to me for the new year:

  • aware of long-term goals when making short-term choices
  • appreciative of opportunities in the here and now
  • thoughtful about the effect my words and actions have on me, others, the world
  • able to find gratitude in current situations even if they aren't my ideal

How does that apply on a practical level? I'll think (long-term) before I act (short-term). It comes down to being conscious of my goals at all times, making them a priority over instant gratification. It also means making the most of this moment as I seek those results. I'll skip the right-now-yumminess of that cookie because I'm focused on my overall health and weight goals. I'll take ownership of my actions and attitude in my current place instead of using circumstances outside of my control as an excuse to be lazy. I'll appreciate the efforts of those around me and be aware of the attitude and effort I'm giving back to them.

A lot of this is about approach. Instead of seeing myself as unemployed while I wait for Joe's job situation to work itself out, I now consider myself a full-time freelancer. I will dedicate time each day to actively seeking new opportunities. (Know anyone that needs some writing, editing, or marketing done? Hook me up!) Instead of focusing on the overwhelming amount of weight I need to lose, I'll concentrate on the benefits of being active, drinking water, and taking vitamins every day - all of these things have immediate advantages in addition to moving me towards a lower number on the scale. I will take the small steps necessary now to make progress towards those larger goals.

I've experienced a lot of discontent and depressions and anxiety this year. My attempt to change this is in being mindful. If I'm making more deliberate decisions and being more aware of my destination, maybe that will bring me some peace of mind.

So, in 2012, I intend to move forward even though we're still in a place of flux with Joe's job. I wasted the majority of 2011 because I was waiting and putting too much responsibility on him. He has enough worries without me running amok. It's time for me to make my own way. It's time to remember where I'm going so I can actually get there. I hope that twelve months from now, I can look back and say that I was indeed mindful in my thoughts and actions.