Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's That Mean?


I have always wondered what the "M" on RSVP cards means. I looked it up.

The idea is that everyone's title (for the most part) begins with an M. Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc. Apparently whoever invented the RSVP card format decided that it would be most helpful to provide the first letter to save the respondent some time.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sleep

For whatever reason I require more sleep than most people, even when I am in full health.

As the wedding draws ever nearer I am finding Rozerum a helpful friend (although I have not yet played checkers with a Beaver and Abraham Lincoln in my dreams).

The only problem is that sometimes it wears off at ridiculous times like 5AM when I have no desire to be up and am still quite tired.

Gah.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Demotivation

I'm off today and it's my last day off before Scott's family comes to visit on Friday. I'm sitting on the couch with Chou and we are watching Comedy Central.

I need to go to the grocery store. I also need to do more laundry. And put away my scrapbooking stuff. And find Scott's military paperwork.

I'm a little overwhelmed right now, and anxiety is rearing it's head at me. Last night I had a very difficult time going to sleep despite the fact that I took a sleeping pill and was already falling asleep on the couch. Once I got to bed my mind would just not stop processing details for the wedding, my refinance, that we're probably moving in a few weeks into a house nearby...

I need a personal assistant, maid, chef and a few clones would be nice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Moment With a Plastic Surgeon

When I was between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I lived with my aunt and uncle in Mt. Shasta, California for a couple of months.

In theory, I was an assistant to my aunt in her billing for my uncle's anesthesia patients. In reality, I was a crappy worker (I was 14) and spent the majority of my time hanging out with a friend of mine from school and riding horses, which made my cousin (who was six at the time) very jealous.

My aunt and uncle have always taken good care of me, and this summer was no exception. They purchased a mountain bike for me so we could take rides together.

One afternoon my aunt and I were returning from our ride into town to get the mail. We had to cross a country road to then turn onto their street. My aunt crossed ahead of me and I turned my head to see if there were any cars coming. There were a few but they were far enough back that I had plenty of time to cross.

Suddenly I was face down in the gravel with my bike on top of me. There were strangers all around, two cars parked nearby and everyone saying "are you ok!?"

Apparently my bike chain ate my pant leg and tossed me into the dirt. One of the helpful bystanders bundled me into his truck and rushed me to the ER. By this time my aunt had realized I wasn't behind her anymore and turned around to see me on the ground surrounded by cars and people. Of course she thought I had been hit and rushed to the scene, but was reassured that I had trashed myself without outside help.

My aunt met us at the hospital where I was having my face scrubbed with a sponge to get the gravel out. I had landed in the dirt with my entire left side at a great rate of impact and scraped most of the left side of my face and neck. There were large bruises on my left shoulder, elbow and hip, the latter of which was so sensitive it was extremely painful to even have the feel of cloth touching it.

I had split my upper lip across the lip-line and so they called in the on-call plastic surgeon to re-sew it. They gave me several shots to deaden the pain and then he went to work.

The large scrapes on my face and neck were scrubbed out and covered with a transparent "skin" style bandage for healing.

Once I was done at the ER and cleaned up, I was taken to the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (conveniently a close friend of the family) to make sure I hadn't injured my nose to much and then on to a dentist (another family friend) to check out the tooth I knocked loose. He determined that it didn't need to be pulled, but would probably die a slow death and ultimately need a root canal down the line.

My aunt called my mom and started the conversation with "She's alright, but it's not pretty..."

As it was the summer of 1991, it wasn't too awkward-looking for me to wear my hair parted on the side with my hair hanging over the left half of my face. I slept on the couch and ate a lot of milkshakes.

My lip was swollen out so far that I could see it in my peripheral vision. A chunk the size of a fist was broken out of the front of my helmet, which was a great sales pitch to my young cousin to always wear hers.

Ten years later I had to have the afore-mentioned root canal, which was remarkably un-painful since the tooth and it's nerves were totally dead. They even managed to make my crown in line with the rest of my teeth, giving me a straight row for the first time in a decade.

I'm lucky to not have any visible scars, save the very faint mark on the left side of my cheek near my chin that passes for a pencil mark.

Help From Other Bloggers, Please!

So, I've decided to become a stop on Bossy's Road Trip.

She gave me a cool badge:




That I'd love to put in my sidebar, but can't figure out how!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jewelry Hoist

I am going to share with you something that I am not proud of.

This is my bathroom.
I am planning to make this travesty beautiful by February 1st because A) I can't stand it anymore and B) my inlaws are coming to visit and we give them our room.

The Plan of Attack is outlined as such:
  • Organize jewelry that is strewn carelessly about the counter and sink area.
  • Store my makeup and hair products in a way that they are not visible but easily accesible.
  • CLEAN for heaven's sake!
The first step is the jewelry. Some of it has been in a tupperware bucket since I moved to Key West in September 2006. I decided to create my own jewelry organizer since I can never find one to purchase that will suit my needs.

I went to the (only) craft store and purchased a plain, empty wooden picture frame. Then on to Home Depot where I purchased some screen and some small bits of hardware: two sizes of screw-eyes, a picture hanger and some silver thumbtacks.






Next I rolled the screen out over the frame and trimmed it for the correct width of the frame.











Then I pinned the screen to the back of the screen on the inner level and outer level with the thumbtacks and trimmed off the excess screenage.






I screwed a small size screw eye into the front side on the top two corners and a large screw eye into the lower front side corners, followed by two additional sets of large screw eyes a bit above the bottom set.



I placed a skinny dowel (I purchased one and cut it into thirds) through the large screw eyes and hung necklaces on the bottom rung, rings and hoop earrings on the 2nd rung, bracelets on the 3rd rung and hung earrings on and in the screen.







Here it is just finished, and hung on the bathroom wall.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Little Skunky Love

Another Day, Another Project

I'm off again today, which was a wonderful surprise considering I didn't realize it until about 5:30 last night when I was at work and took a gander at the schedule.

I slept until 2:30pm.

But since then I've gotten plenty accomplished, I cooked lunch and cleaned the kitchen and am about to embark on the jewelry-frame-holder-thing.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post some proof that I actually do accomplish things I say I intend to. Most of the time, anyway.

Here's the family tree I've been working on for my Father and his Wife for Christmas. The frame is about 2 feet x 18 inches. I was inspired to do this project by a similar one I did for my almost-sister-in-law last Christmas.

My original inspiration was a Crate & Barrel catalog. It had a kit for sale for $85 that was two frames and some leaves and two half-trees. The idea is that you put the wife's family in one side and the husband's family in the other side and when you hang them together it makes a whole tree.

My thought was why pay $85 when I can make the same thing or better for about $25? The picture on the left is before I put names on all the leaves, but you get the idea.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mmmmmmm.

Having a friend that has been to chef school is a lot of fun. A couple of weeks ago our friend Jenny came over and made us dinner.

We had individual chicken pot pies. Not only did she make them from scratch (with the help of some frozen pastry dough) but she made some of them just for me with fake chicken (Fri-Chik, my favorite!). Her pot pies were so delicious that I was inspired to make a cobbler with what fruit we had left in the freezer. The peach-mango-mixed berry and sour cream cobbler was well received and heralded. (Has anything YOU ever made been "heralded"? Didn't think so.)

This week Jen crafted a pizza with homemade crust, carmelized red onions, marinated portobello mushrooms, vine-ripened tomatoes, kalamata olives and goat cheese. It was fabulous. I mean really really good. The olives and onions were very tasty together, and the portobello and goat cheese also made a lovely duet. It was interesting how all the flavours came together but were still individual. I have never enjoyed a non-sauce pizza so much in my life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Idol in Dallas

A lot of yelling, mostly off key.

The girl that thinks Carrie Underwood looks like her has a nice voice but is too arrogant for my taste.

Ms. Hatfield is joyful, indeed, it will be interesting to see what she does in Hollywood.

The final contestant has a nice voice but we'll have to see if she can develop her own sound as opposed to developing her impersonations of everyone else.

Nothing too interesting.

Ok, apparently that was the first day or the first half or something...

Douglas is a freak. What is the arm movement thing about? And the circling the room and the funny breathing? Scary.

Angela is totally Broadway. Her husband is a hottie though.

The young man that is convinced that American Idol is really the Iowa Caucus is cute in a dorky way, but he has a little bit of a Josh Groban voice surprisingly. He's on to Hollywood! Yay! First they made him promise not to do "weird things" with his hair and wear a red leather jacket like Clay Aiken.

Celine Dion impersonators should stay home. All of them.

Colton Swan is a great name. Funky hair, but good name. He can sing pretty good, y'all. He sounds a lot like Wes King to me, which is a compliment for those of you that aren't familiar with the christian-country genre. He also looks a bit like Blake from last season.

Drew is a cute tractor guy. I agree with Paula though, he has a good voice but doesn't have any fire to his performance.

Kyle thinks he's a rocker, but I think he's gay. I don't mean lame, I mean I think he's a homosexual. Not that homosexuals can't rock, but he's just a total conflict. It's just weird. His singing is about as good as his bottle-tan.

Thanks for the weird "Since U Been Gone" montage.

I do wish that the producers would let less of the weirdo-just-here-for-publicity people get through to the audition room, as much fun as it is to watch the crazy guy bow to Ryan Seacrest. Although I will say it was pretty fun to watch Simon, Randy and Ryan enjoy the "I Am Your Brother" ballad, swaying and raising fists as Paula does interpretive dance.

Next week is San Diego, where I highly doubt anyone will call Simon their "Glory."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Confession


This one's not about picking my nose, for which I am sure you a grateful.

This time I'm confessing that I am a big fan of American Idol. Tonight is the season premier and I'm thrilled.

First stop for auditions is Philadelphia. I like Paula's outfit and hairdo. Simon looks exactly the same... Randy is all "yeah dawg" as usual.

First contestant Joey has lost 205 lbs. and I don't know what he sounded like before, but he has a great voice and did a spot-on rendition of Maroon 5's Sunday Morning. They sent him through to Hollywood.

I didn't catch where the contestant in the orange shirt hails from, but he has been "waiting for the right woman that he can love from up the top of hair down to nipple". And he can't sing. Bee Gees or otherwise. But boy is he enthusiastic!

The poor young man in the chartreuse suit cannot sing. He needs to stick to tour guiding.

Stinkerbell doesn't think much of American Idol. She's hiding her head. Just in time for the bad ones. Boring and Horrible.

And then miraculously someone who can sing! The young man singing "The Blues" is great. Jose is good - singing in espanol or english. A few more yesses, and a crazy lady taking off her shoes to dance around.

Of course I have to root for the Oregonian, Kristy. She has a beautiful voice and I like her instincts.

The gentleman in the cloak should have kept it on. I don't understand why people bother to dress up in a ridiculous manner to audition when they are clearly not about being a musician. But he's going to get his chest waxed and come back.

I have always felt that I can tell 90% of the time if a contestant can sing or not prior to opening their mouth based solely on their confidence and comfortability. Those that seem quirky or uncomfortable often cannot sing. Those that are comfortable in their skin and speak confidently are most often great singers.

So far I'm right on. Paul seemed nervous and then broke into his love song for Paul Abdul. He's a crazy person. He has an ok voice but his songwriting skills are awful. "If she were a dog, I would walk her, but instead I'll just stalk her". Ick.

Beth seems pretty confident, I'm interested to hear her sing. She has a nice voice. Maybe a little bit too much affectation, but I think she's talented and should move on. She has a very nice delivery. Simon doesn't think she'd stand out, but Randy and Paula say yes. I think she'll make it at least to the second round of Hollywood cuts.

I honestly didn't expect the Star Wars girl to have a very good voice, but it honestly wasn't bad. I do agree that she wouldn't have probably gotten far, but I think it would have been interesting to let her through.

I am looking forward to this season and am looking forward to the auditions continuing in Dallas, Texas.

Varied Accomoplishings or Not So Much

Apparently I ordered cardstock from which to make the invitations about a week ago. I did not recall this fact until I was looking at my wedding budget spreadsheet and saw, sure enough, that I have pinked-out (my code for something being paid for) the "paper" row and put in "$66.55" as the cost. Fortunately I noted a website where I assume said paper will be coming from, but as to when it will arrive, I have no idea.

I managed to run the dishwasher yesterday and complete addressing about 80% of the remaining invitation envelopes. My goals for the evening are to finish all the envelopes we have addresses for, do some laundry, and start clearing out the guest room/junk room/bowflex room.

I'd also like to get our rooms reserved at the hotel in Portland so we have one more line "pinked-out".

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Expensive Time


I don't think that there is ever an increment of time in my day that could actually be termed "free".

There are merely moments in which I am choosing to do one thing (or two or three or six) instead of something else.

I have worked at the pet store the last 6 days straight. The ensuing exhaustion probably contributed to the fact that I gave a baby hamster mouth-to-mouth on Thursday and ate nothing but a Snickers bar and a LOT of iced tea today.

I have addressed about a quarter of the outer and inner envelopes for the wedding invitations, but still don't actually have any invitations made because I: A) don't have the paper I want to print them on and B) don't have ink for my printer. I can solve B by going to Office Max. But A is proving to be more difficult as Key West is not a booming metropolis of paper craft (or much else besides bars) variety.

I have this evening and the next two days off and am starting off by taking a good long nap until I wake up. Then I will likely eat something.

Tomorrow I will clean and organize and hopefully address some more envelopes, although I am already bored of that, and maybe even spend a little time at the pool. Tuesday I am being completely self-indulgent and getting my nails done.

Somewhere in the next 60 hours I hope to build a jewelry frame to hang on my bathroom wall and finish my dad's christmas gift.

Free Time? Hardly.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Red Agent Dodo saw his chance. It wasn't often that he left his cell for exercise, so he knew he had to act quickly. All his practice runs had gone smoothly, and this was his moment.

Black Agent Fuzzbutt had been placed in the new apartment this afternoon. He was immediately comfortable with the "big boys" and was making his rounds and checking out his new surroundings.

Agent Dodo made his way around the square. The timing was perfect: a big crowd, the teenagers chattering endlessly, and the Black Agents all unaware of the impending doom.

He stepped carefully onto the glass walkway. Closer and closer he inched until he had the clip in his claw. He aimed the bottle and dropped.

We did our best to resuscitate Agent Fuzzbutt, I even performed mouth to mouth, but it was too late. Agent Dodo was swiftly whisked back to his cell to gloat.

Rest In Peace, little one, you were the cutest of the bunch.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gourmet

Tonight I made a mushroom alfredo lasagna.

I combined whipping cream with some canned mushroom soup, about 3 to 1 and stirred in some minced garlic.

I layered sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, thinly sliced and sauteed portobello mushrooms, feta cheese, sauce, noodles, sauteed button mushrooms, sauce, noodles, feta, noodles, sauce and shredded mozzarella and provolone.

It's REALLY amazing. Horribly fattening, but SO good.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

BRIDEZILLA!!!!


Today there are 100 days until the wedding.

I couldn't sleep last night and finally got up at about 2am and took a sleeping pill. I suspect I'll have to take one tonight as well, considering that I've been stressed out about wedding stuff nonstop for the last 24 hours.

This morning I got a phone call from the bridal boutique that is handling the purchase of the bridesmaids and groomschicks dresses (also where my dress was purchased). Between Scott and I there are 8 ladies total to get dresses ordered for. Scott's ladies will wear a black version of the same dress my ladies will wear in red.

The phone call started like this:

Boutique Associate: "Hi! This is xxx with Bridal Exclusives, may I speak to Marisa please?"

Me: "speaking..."

BA: "great. It looks like we still need measurements for XX, XX, XX and XX."

Me: "Actually, you should already have measurements for XX and XX, I mailed them at least three weeks ago along with a check for the remainder of XX's dress. Did you not receive them?"

BA: "Really? I don't see anything about that."

Me: "Well, it went out well before Christmas and I'm concerned that you don't have the check!"

BA: "Would you like me to double check?"

Me: "Yes, that would be very helpful."

She placed me on hold, which turned into being hung up on. I called her back after a few minutes and asked if they have a fax machine (I already know they don't have email) so I could just fax them. Apparently their fax machine is located at the storefront that holds their alteration department. Not helpful. I let them know that I was at work and really needed to get back to the store.

About 10 minutes later I received another call from the boutique:

Boutique Associate: "Hi! This is xxx with Bridal Exclusives, may I speak to Marisa please?"

Me: "speaking..."

BA: "I just wanted to let you know that I found the measurements for XX and XX."

Me: "And the check for XX's dress, right?"

BA: "Yes."

Me: "Great. Thank you so much for calling me back!"

BA: "No problem, we just need measurements for XX and XX now."

Me: "Right, I know. I'm pushing them both as hard as I can to get that."

BA: "Ok, just get those to us as soon as you can."

Me: "Thank you!"

I was a little frustrated, because I would rather not trust giving them important information and money by snail mail, and whenever they call me they speak very quietly, so I can hardly hear them at all. My original associate doesn't work there anymore, and ever since she left I have gotten calls monthly telling me that they don't have all the measurements yet. Granted, I'm sure that they have many brides don't have a clue as to what is going on, but I am not one of them. I have a spreadsheet of all the info and details and know exactly who has done what, etc.

About an hour after that final call my phone rang again.

Boutique Associate: "Hi! This is xxx(a different BA) with Bridal Exclusives, may I speak to Marisa please?"

Me: "speaking..."

BA: "great. It looks like we still need measurements for XX, XX, XX and XX."

Me: "hold on a second. I spoke to someone there earlier today and we went over all this."

BA: "Really? I don't see anything about that in your file..."

Me: "You're kidding me. We talked three times today and I had sent XX and XX measurements in the mail along with a check, which she just found today. That's not in my file?!"

BA: "Would you like me to double check?"

Me: "YES! I know who I need measurements for and deposits and everything, this is really frustrating! I can't email you, your fax is in a different building, and apparently if I mail something, that's not reliable, not to mention that whoever I spoke to this morning didn't bother to mention that they already spoke to me THREE TIMES today!"

She was offended. I was mad. I was very polite but explained that my faith in their business was wavering quickly and I was not happy. She responded in the fashion of a teenager who is being forced to apologize for breaking their parents lamp during a big party.

BA: "Well, I'm sorry. We'll do our best to make you happy for the rest of your wedding and just not call you anymore."

I took a deep breath and explained that I was not trying to be a B**** I was just frustrated at the lack of communication on their end. I even apologized if I had hurt her feelings or made her think I was trying to attack her or the business. She didn't even accept my apology.

We hung up and I called my cousin/coordinator. She is going to deal with them from now on, I can't handle talking to them again. They should be very thankful that they are as far away from Key West as you can get and still be in the contigous US.

My next hurdle is trying to figure out how to get the invitations printed in Miami and get them here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ready for Babies


I will probably go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight thanks to the chihuahua.

When he first came home with us for Christmas, he slept in a kennel all night and only cried in the morning when he needed to go outside.

Last night he wasn't interested in being in the kennel, and cried from the time I put him in at about 2am until I took him out at about 5:30am. With the bedroom door shut I couldn't hear him, but at 5:30 Stinkerbell started scratching at the door. I didn't want to lock her up since I've been letting her stay up every night.

Stinker made herself comfortable under my bed and I made myself comfortable on the couch with the chihuahua. We slept there until Scott came down around 9am.

I took Buster out and then went back to bed, the chihuahua was happy playing downstairs until we got up around noon.

It is very sweet to walk around our complex with Buster and the little dog on leashes, it makes us feel very familial. But having the chihuahua here has also made me realize that he is a baby. He still doesn't sleep through the night, he still needs to go potty at night, he needs to eat and drink frequently.

Regardless of our decision to keep him or not, this has made me decide definitively that when we do have a human baby I want to stay at home at LEAST until it is old enough to sleep through the night. I can't be productive on the kind of sleep I got last night!