Sunday, September 30, 2007

An Early Christmas Tale

I hate to do this because I am afraid it will create a monster, and yet I do it anyway.

H is not what I would call patient when it comes to receiving presents. His birthday is just four days after Christmas, so on December 1, he starts to go present crazy. He will go through every closet and look in every crevice in the hopes of finding his presents. When he finds a wrapped present (this has never happened with me, but he used to do this at his parents' house), he will use a knife to slit the tape, unwrap the present, and then rewrap it. And then he will brag that he knows what he is getting for the holidays, so I don't know why he bothers to rewrap his presents. I guess because his parents would have taken them away from him if they knew he had found them.

Our first Christmas living together, I kept everything at work until the day we were opening presents. Our second Christmas, we had access to each other's bank account statements, so of course H figured out where his present was from, even though I didn't bring it home from work again until the day before Christmas. Last year, I took out cash from the ATM and gave it to my friend and had him buy H's birthday present for me and keep the present at his apartment. This year, my friend and I have the same game plan, except that the friend is now in charge of both Christmas and H's birthday, and H knows the birthday present was stored at my friend's apartment last year, so now my friend will keep the presents at his office since we go to my friend's apartment from time to time.

The reason I am telling you all this is that I already wrote my friend a check this year because I thought that since it was September, H wouldn't notice. But of course, H did and assumed that I had loaned our friend money without talking it over with H first. So I had to tell H that the money was not a loan, and I couldn't come up a cover story for the money fast enough, and H figured it out. Aargh.

It is cute and sweet that H gets so excited about getting presents, but it is so much work! I must admit though that it is kind of fun for me to figure out how to keep the presents a secret from H every year.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

We Are Old

We started off the weekend with a bit of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Then this morning we watched part of the show Clean House on the Style network and were inspired to go through our clothes and get rid of a lot of things we don't wear anymore.

My 5 bags of things.

H and the t-shirt he refuses to give up. Also, I should note that, as usual, H asked me to take this picture but then posed as though he didn't want to be in the picture.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Awkward = Me

Remember my nemesis? We are not best friends or anything, but we are actually pretty friendly to each other these days. I guess he either got over his secret love for me or just toned down a little on his social awkwardness.

So today he stopped by my office at the end of the workday to see if I wanted to go to an impromptu happy hour with a group of coworkers. I couldn't go because I had dinner plans with Stefanie. So I told "John" that I had dinner plans but that I would be interested in going out with coworkers another time.

And then something bad happened. You guys, I can't believe I did this. I winked. Inappropriately. And largely. And involuntarily. John smiled and said he would definitely let me know next time. I am scared.

What if this is my new quirk and I can't stop winking?!

Monday, September 24, 2007


What I Did This Weekend:
fall asleep at 8:30 pm on Friday
not wake up until 9:30 am on Saturday
read a book outside on my back porch
make s'mores around a campfire
read another book while H watched some UFC fights
go to church
buy $207 worth of work clothes for only $107 - woo!
eat dinner at a new (to me) Mexican restaurant with friends
watch my husband swoon over Clive Owen

TV Shows I Will Watch This Season:
The Office
30 Rock
Friday Night Lights
Project Runway, if it ever comes back on

Books I Read Last Week:
Certain Women by Madeline L'Engle
Meet the Austins by Madeline L'Engle (yes, this is a "juvenile book"- what is your point?)
Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry

Should I try to find time to watch Ugly Betty? I have seen a few episodes, and it looks good.
What should Stefanie and I do when we meet up later this week?
Who does H love more: me or Clive Owen?
Do you have any questions for me?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mmmm... Donuts

When I was in first grade, I made a little book about jobs.

Page 1: My dad works for a telephone company.

This was technically true. I remember that on this page I drew a picture of my dad talking on a rotary phone. Why do I remember that?

Page 2: My mom is a stay at home mom.

True. She also worked part-time at the library of a grad school, which meant that twice a week we had a crazy old lady babysitter who was obsessed with The Price Is Right.

Page 3: My Grandpa D. is a retired barber.


Page 4: My Grandpa E. is a retired donut salesman.

WHAT THE HELL? My mom laughed so hard when she read this. She asked me why I wrote that, and I said, "Duh. Because he was a donut salesman."

First of all, what the hell is a donut salesman? Does he go door-to-door with a briefcase full of donuts? Does he wear plaid suit coat and stand at the counter and ask customers, "What's it gonna take to get you to walk out of here with a donut today?"

Second, my Grandpa E. was a retired farmer.

I think I got him confused with the guy on the commercial who had to wake up early and said, "Gotta make the donuts!" I was such a weird child.

Did you have any odd misconceptions when you were younger?

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Flamingo of Regret

You will have to excuse my nonsensical ramblings tonight because I am excited. I have been putting off two projects for a really long time because they are hard. But then I finally sat down tonight and just did them, and I didn't even take breaks to check my e-mail or Go Fug Yourself. I just sat down and did the projects, and now I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders, as I won't have to have nightmares about my boss secretly being in the mob and hunting me down because of the lateness of these projects. Wooo!

I have a big bug bite on my neck. I am afraid that it looks like a hickey. But it is not a hickey! It is a bug bite! I don't even think it really looks like a hickey. But I do have a puffy pink area on my neck. Attractive!

What other random exclamations can I share with you? I watched Hot Fuzz on Sunday night. It was super good, right up there on my scale with The Sound of Music. But not anything like The Sound of Music. It was a really funny murder mystery movie by the same people who did Shaun of the Dead. Two thumbs up! Also, in random exclamation news, Liz got a tattoo for her birthday!

Have I ever told you about my college roommate's tattoos? During our freshman year, she thought for several months about what kind of tattoo she wanted to get on the inside of her ankle, and one night when she was bored, we went to the tattoo shop and she got it. It was a Chi-Rho and looked very cool. But she didn't want her parents to know about it, so she wore a couple of band-aids on her ankle every time she went home for at least the next four years. In a hot, swampy suburb of Houston. Her mom actually saw the tattoo once, but my friend just told her mom that it was just a doodle she had drawn on her ankle with a pen and the mom didn't question it.

Then during our sophomore year, my roommate decided she wanted another tattoo. So we went to the tattoo shop one night when we were bored, and my friend really wanted to get this tattoo of a devilish teddy bear holding a football. My friend hated football and was not really a fan of devilish teddy bears, as far as I knew, so I tried to change her mind. She would not listen to reason. She wanted the devilish teddy bear. I suggested other religious symbols, but she wanted the scary teddy bear. Somehow I convinced her to get a tattoo of a flamingo. She got it on her right shoulder blade. And then a few hours later, she regretted it and blamed me. She continued to blame me for the flamingo for the rest of our college careers, but I do not feel bad. I actually think the flamingo is kind of cool, though random. And MUCH better than the scary football teddy bear.

I do not have any tattoos because (1) it hurts to get a tattoo and (2) I do not trust myself not to get the equivalent of The Flamingo of Regret.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Important Update

While I was in Maine, I got a call from the eye doctor that my glasses were ready. But I couldn't find time to drive all the way to the eye doctor's office and pick them up until Tuesday morning, before my lawyerly presentation. Would you like to know which glasses I picked?

Option 3!

When you helped me to decide which glasses to pick, options 1 and 3 were neck in neck. But what you did not know was that the glasses I chose were $100 less than both other options, so that was really the deciding factor. The other thing you did not know (except for Stefanie) was that these glasses were actually the ones that I already owned (thus explaining why they are so much cheaper - I only had to pay for lenses). I didn't want to tell you that I already owned them so that you would feel free to criticize them if they were ghastly. But I am keeping them for another year at least, so please pretend to like them.

In other news, I saw a work-friend as I was leaving a coffee shop yesterday morning. I said hi to him as I walked past, looking over my shoulder. And I walked right into a big column. It was very smooth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prepare Yourselves Before Reading Any Further

I had what I thought was a great idea for a blog post. I was going to post pictures of the guys I had crushes on in high school so that you could see what a fool I was in the mid 1990s. I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I was in high school. In order to do this, I went through some old photo albums to see what pictures I had. I found one guy that I actually still think is quite cute, and I see why I was interested. But the others? Oh, man. I was pretty pathetic. But then I started thinking about how I would feel if some guy I went to junior high with posted a picture of me in junior high and wrote about what a loser he was for liking 13-year-old me. To be honest? I don't think it would hurt my feelings because I think if someone liked me in middle school, there was probably something wrong with them. Exhibit 1 is the picture below, which was taken during the summer between 7th and 8th grade. This picture makes me laugh SO HARD. Seriously, why did my parents let me be seen in public like this?! And that is my sister on the left. OMG. I have no words.

Hello, seventh grade -R-! I really enjoy your crazy, flyaway bangs; your gigantic, plastic framed glasses; your plaid shorts; and your GREEN socks!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hold Me Now

I am very nervous because I have to do a lawyerly presentation type thing tomorrow. And I am speaking in front of people who know a lot more than I do about the subject. So good times will be had by no one. I am praying that I don't make a fool of myself, which is always a good goal, I think.

This past weekend, H and I went to one of his friend's house for a pig roast. I can't say I had ever been to a pig roast before. It was fun to pig out (I am hilarious!) and hang out with H's friends. H's friend lives in a really nice neighborhood in St. Paul that we have never been to before. H and I both loved the neighborhood, so when we got home, I spent the night looking up real estate info for the area. I found a few houses that H and I both really liked, and we started talking about visiting open houses and calling realtors. And then a few hours later I thought about the fact that we only have $200 in savings. I don't think that will quite cover the down payment or even the closing costs. Not to mention the fact that we can't actually afford any of the houses that H and I fell in love with. But it was fun to think about for a few hours. Much more fun to think about than this presentation I have to do in 11 hours. Aaaargh.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Shoe Emergency!

Sent: Friday Morning
From: Me
To: Coworker

IT IS A SHOE EMERGENCY. I wore my flip-flops on the bus this morning (as usual), but I brought brown shoes to change into at work. And I am wearing black pants. I do not think this will go well. I am going to Macy's at 10 am.

From: Coworker
To: Me

I would love to come, but I got a really bad haircut last night, so I shall be hiding in my office all day.

From: Me
To: Coworker

Ok. I will stop by after my shoe extravaganza to show off the new shoes and to make fun of your hair.

From: Coworker
To: Me

Sounds good. Please bring some Kleenex, as you will cry after seeing my hair. Also, please wear your flip-flops so that I can laugh at your stupidity.


Having good friends at work makes my life so much better.

PS I bought these (on sale at Macy's for $40). They are much cuter in person. I feel like my feet are wearing little tuxedos.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


When I was in Boston on Sunday, I saw a lot of fresh-faced college freshmen driving around U-Hauls and carrying big boxes into their new dorms. And it made me feel sad. I'm out of chances to start all over. I wished that I could go back to college and figure out my life again. I would go to a different school, be more confident, look better, care less what other people think of me, and take classes just because they sound interesting. I could move to new cities, travel to exotic places, and try new jobs. But really, what I was nostalgic for is the opportunity to define myself.

I thought that going to college meant I could reinvent myself. When I was in high school, I narrowed my choices to four colleges: a tiny, liberal arts college in Maine; a large university in Boston; a small-ish school in Tennessee; and a medium-sized school in Texas. I think that I saw four new visions of me: a sporty, outdoorsy liberal; an outgoing city woman; a preppy Southerner; or ... I'm not sure what I imagined at the last one. But that's the school that offered me a full scholarship, and that's where I went.

I realize now that college didn't define me; I defined myself. Maybe if I'd gone to school in Maine I would have a different accent or have a different job, but I would be the same essential -R- that I am today. And I really don't want to go back to being 18 and having the old issues about confidence and fears about What Am I Supposed To Be Doing With My Life. (Not that I don't still occasionally have those fears, as this whole entry is pretty much just a reflection of last week's minor 1/3 Life Crisis.)

So I'm feeling better now about being old and having already made a lot of the major choices in my life. And I realize that if I did want to move across the country, I really could. H and I aren't being forced to stay here. We live in Minnesota because we like it. And if I want to have a new career, I can. I could go back to school or apply for new things, if I wanted to, but I don't. (Although my current job is taking up a ton of time lately, which is why I have not been blogging much.)

There's another part of me that always thinks my life would be better if it were more like [insert name of other person here]'s life. I am always comparing my situation to others' and deciding that the other person has it better. So I got to hang out with my friend in Maine, and then I thought that I should move to Maine because he and his family love Maine, and he has a great job, and he probably has more friends than I do. And I see people hanging out at the beach, and I think they seem so much happier than I am, so I should move to New Hampshire, and then I could be as happy as them. Why do I do this? I don't know what people's lives are really like. And moving would not necessarily make me happier. Plus I'm not even unhappy now! But I can't stop comparing, and it is kind of a sickness. Ugh.

I think I am over my nostalgia now and am remembering how happy that I am day to day. I really wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's right now. Well, maybe Melinda Gates. But only if H could be Bill Gates. And I could still be 28. And H could still be 29.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me

Two years ago today, we got married.

One year ago today, we celebrated with a little casino action.

Today, we came home after five days of this:

We stayed at Chapman Cottage, the yellow house pictured above. Our room was the one on the top right. The place was fantastic. Do you know who else stayed there (though not at the same time as us)? Dan Brown, who wrote The Da Vinci Code, and Ian Maxtone-Graham, who is a writer/producer of The Simpsons.

I know what you are thinking. Nice try, -R-. That is not a real celebrity encounter. But I am just warming you up for the good story. H and I were just innocently having lunch at an inn by the beach, when in walked a man that I thought was former President Bush. But I didn't want to look dumb by announcing that it was former P.B., so I said, "H, doesn't that man look a lot like former P.B.?" And H said, "Yes, but that is because that is former P.B." And then in walked Barbara. And one of their granddaughters. And a contingent of "undercover" secret service agents. So, yes, I had lunch with George H.W. Bush, Barbara, their granddaughter (the brown-haired twin), and the granddaughter's boyfriend or fiance. I wanted to take a picture but wasn't sure if it was allowed. I did not want to be tackled by the agents. I considered asking the agents if I could take a picture, but I didn't know if it was ok to talk to the agents, since they were "undercover" and all. I considered going over to the table where the agents were sitting and announcing, "I would really like to take a picture right now. I hope it's ok. If it's not ok, I hope someone will tell me. Ok, now I'm taking out my camera. And now I'm taking a picture. I really don't want anyone to confiscate my camera." But instead, I did what I always do, which is wuss out and not take a picture.

So our trip was fantastic. Maine was very similar to how I remembered it and was really everything I hoped it would be.