Friday, July 31, 2009

Queens of Weird

Okay, so I know I'm weird, but people who actually get to know me are shocked when they find out how weird I really am. Maybe I don't look very weird. How are weird people supposed to look? Apparently not like me.

Anyway, not only am I weird, but when my sister and I are together we are the Queens of Weird.

Case in point:

When I bought my very first car ever, it was a big deal. A ginormous deal. The minute I signed my life away for the next 72 months, that car became my baby. My big, beautiful, blue baby.

What does one do when they get a new baby? Why, name it, of course!

My new baby's name came to me very quickly. I named her Baby Beluga. Why, you ask? Because it's like driving a big blue whale. A baby whale, but a whale. I think her name fits her nicely. This is Baby Beluga:Oh, she's purty!

Anyhoodle, my sister, Cupcake (over at Who Are You Callin' Cupcake) is about to buy her very first car ever. Again, this is a ginormous event and we're very excited. I'm going to be an Auntie! This is what her future car will look like:So, we've been testing out names. I suggested Polly the Polar Bear or Stella the Swan (it's a white car, people!). Nothing really seemed to fit just right.

And then Cupcake jokingly called it...wait for it...

Squishy.

Hmmm. I like it.

It shall be her Squishy.

(A billion trillion points to the first person to guess what movie it came from).

Weird, I'm telling you. Weird.

Cultural Friday

Breakfast: Scottish oats and coffee.

Lunch: Sushi and a Greek salad.

Dinner: Chicken fajita burrito.

How's that for international cuisine?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Be Still My Heart


The Cheesecake Factory has declared it National Cheesecake Day!

I have died and gone to heaven.

Today only, if you dine in at The Cheesecake Factory, you can get a slice of their famous cheesecake (any kind!) for half price! WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?

You can't see me, but I'm doing the happy dance.

Now if I could just find a Cheesecake Factory near work...nuts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Steal!

I went to the Crate & Barrel Outlet at lunch today. That place always cheers me up. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, but as I'm casually strolling by the clearance shelf (clearance shelf in an outlet store = happy), I spy these babies:
I heart bookends. I heart books. I heart everything having to do with books, libraries, etc., etc. I could live in a Barnes & Noble because, let's be honest, all I really need in life is books and coffee.

But I digress...

I snatched up those little gems with a price tag that said $9.95. Yes, please, thank you. After browsing a bit longer I took my new lovelies up to the counter and noticed that they were "packaged" with packing tape. It didn't bother me, but I realized that this might pose a problem seeing as how the globes were covered in paper maps. So I carefully started untaping the bookends and ended up annihilating half of India. These were the only pair of globe bookends in the store. You'd think I'd be upset, yes?

No. I was gleeful. Usually, I would be upset that my new babies were ruined, but it was such a small tear and I knew no one would really notice, especially if I positioned India to face toward the back of the bookshelf. But of course I acted quite sad and said to the sales lady, "Oh no! India is gone. That's such a shame. Do you think I could get a discount?"

Of course, she said, not a problem.

I got them for $5.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (cue evil-plan-gone-right music here)

I heart a good steal.

Confessions

Do you ever have those days where you are just bored with it all? I have been having that week. I am bored. With my job. Life. Day to day routine. I want...something. I don't know what. I need a change of pace or something new to focus on. I'm really not even sure what that means. Has anyone else ever felt like that?

Lately, I have been feeling an unquenchable need for more creativity. I am tired of being so analytical all the time. I want to write but I have no stories to tell. I feel like my stories have all been sucked out of me. I want to create. Sew. Take pictures. Decorate. For this I need tools. Tools that I do not have. And time...never enough time.

I can say the one thing that I am not bored with is my love, my Lobster. He is wonderful and amazing. But I do admit that I am so tired of waiting for us to be together on a regular, permanent basis. Living in separate cities and seeing each other only on weekends twice a month is exhausting. My heart is ripped out every time we say goodbye. All I can do is pray that God will make it possible for us to be together soon. Pray and wait. Pray and hope.

Sorry for such a gloomy post but I needed to vent. Thanks for listening. I promise to be more cheerful next time!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Today I Am...

... a little bummed. I don't know why. Maybe it's the rainy, gloomy weather and the fact that it's a Monday.

... missing Lobster. It gets harder to be separated every day. Long-distance relationships suck. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

... thirsting for creativity. I want to write so badly but have no inspiration. No ideas. I want to spend more time reading and creating, but have no time to do those things.

... tired. I've been having nightmares, cold sweats and mini-panic attacks every night for the past week. Not sure what's going on.

... grateful that it's almost time to go home. Maybe I'll have some tea and curl up with my book and two fuzz-kittens and just read until it's time for bed.

... proud of myself for riding my bike for 30 minutes this morning instead of my usual morning run. It was sprinkling and the tornado sirens went off (which I ignored), but it was a great way to start my morning.

What are you feeling today?

Book Review: Memoirs of a Geisha

My review on Goodreads.com:
This book was beautifully written. It was also a fascinating historical account of a geisha's daily life in the years before and after World War II. I enjoyed the story immensely but it was hard to read about how women of that day and age in Japan were so incredibly subservient to not only men, but older women, despite much abuse. It was very sad to read about some of the things Sayuri, the main character, had to endure just so that she wouldn't end up thrown out into the street, or as a maid or prostitute. There were very few options for women in Japan in those days and none of them were ideal. I also enjoyed the brief glimpse into a different view of WWII and how it affected the Japanese culture. I recommend this book to anyone who loves history, learning about a new culture, vivid imagery with the use of beautiful writing, and a story about sacrifice, love, and redemption.
This book is not a fast-paced, can't-put-it-down type page turner. Nevertheless, it is a gorgeously written story that keeps you engaged and makes you care about the fate of Sayuri. I think the fact that I had seen the movie before I read the book took away from the greatness of the book for me because I already knew what happened. I am trying not to make that same mistake with the book I'm reading now, The Time Traveler's Wife. Stay tuned for my review...at the rate I'm reading, it will come soon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Letters

Dear Annoying Male Drivers,

Please, for the love of all that is Holy, STOP honking at me every time I walk from my office door to my car. I know you're there. EVERYONE knows you're there since you blast your awful music out your open windows of your broken-down, smelly cars. Nothing about you rudely blasting your horn at me makes me think, "Oh, wow, I'd love to meet that guy!" So what is the point? Just stop.

Threateningly,
Girl on the Verge of Losing It

* * *

Dear Whole Foods,

I love you. You complete me. Except for your prices, which are a little high. Otherwise...

Affectionately yours,
Local Foodie

* * *

Dear Lady Gaga,

Kindly refrain from singing and/or creating any more music. It's horrid. It has made me lose faith in the music industry entirely. You have no talent and you are not hot. Please find some other way of amusing yourself, preferably out of the public eye.

Thanks but no thanks,
Not a Fan

* * *

Dear PMS,

Why do you insist on torturing me (and those around me)? You fill me with The Crazy and I do not like myself when you're around. Please, for the sake of my sanity and in order to keep Lobster from running for the hills, give it a rest, will ya?

Begging,
The Crazy Lady

* * *

Dear Lobster,

I'm sorry for The Crazy. Please forgive my irrational thoughts and actions for the next...oh, 20 years or so.

Love,
Me

* * *

Dear Guy Who Drives the Late '90's White Sedan with Ginormous Truck Wheels on It,

Seriously?

Hoping you soon find a life,
Incredulous

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Inspiration Thursday

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."

C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things I Covet, Part IV

As you may recall, two of my Big Dreams is to become a better sewer (seamstress?) and photographer. In order to achieve those dreams, there are two very important items a girl must have:


This lovely Brother CS-6000i computerized sewing machine (at a very reasonable price at Wal-Mart!). Reviews say that it is an excellent machine for beginners and is very light. I can finish the quilt that I started sewing in college and make some pretty summer dresses (oh, and pillows and curtains and slipcovers...the possibilities are endless)!


And this neat-o Canon dSLR camera. Reviews say it's good for those wanting to nervously step out of point-and-shoot land and start using a more professional camera with more control. Bad news: it ranges from $700-800 dollars...and that's considered cheap for a dSLR. YIKES!

Sigh...I guess I'll become a better seamstress first and just start reading books on photography for now. Dagnabbit!

Wake Up Call

Usually in the mornings I get up pretty early and go for a run or to work out at the gym. This morning I was supposed to go for a run, but I wasn't in the mood. I was feeling lazy so I slept in a little. Once I finally decided to get up, I groggily made my way to the shower.

In the shower I noticed some brown oozy stuff on a couple of walls in the shower. This puzzled me. I had no brown colored potions in my shower. Nothing looked like it exploded. I started to check the shower head and pipe to see if something ungodly was leaking from it.

Hmmm. Nothing.

Then I reached for my washcloth which hung from the wall very close to the head of the shower. I had barely touched it when a GIANT COCKROACH scurried out from under its folds and dropped to the shower floor right at my feet.

I screamed bloody murder.

Then the cockroach began chasing me around my 2 X 4 shower. I hopped, skipped and jumped around that little shower like an idiot, screaming like a little girl the whole time. It never occurred to me to get out of the shower. Oh no. I just continued to run around tossing the washcloth at the cockroach, which was highly ineffective.

By the way, while I was running around my shower screaming, I did happen to notice that the brown oozy stuff on my wall was cockroach blood. Yeah, he had lost a leg and was oozing. Apparently this did not slow him down one bit as he chased me thinking to himself, "Hell YEAH, I've got myself a naked lady!"

Finally, after much running and screaming and throwing washcloths, I managed to corner the little bastard with the washcloth. I took a deep breath. And then I squashed him like a...well, a bug.

I squashed him over and over and over. Because we all know cockroaches will pretend to be dead, even when they're really not. And then they'll pop right back up and start their evil little scurrying again. EEEK.

So, although I didn't go for my run this morning, I certainly got my heart rate up and gave my lungs a good work out.

Ew. Ew. EW. I never want to shower again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Survey On A Slow Day

I stole this from Heather over at ...Mrs. Southern Bride... At the end, I'll "tag" a few of my favorite bloggers to steal it from me and tell more about themselves!

Make a list of things you can see without getting up:

  • My messy desk
  • A few pictures of me with my sisters, with my bestie K, and with my Lobster
  • My coat rack with a little worn sweater hanging from it
  • A view out my window of the street downstairs
  • Lots of legal books
What were you like when you were five?

Very imaginative (I had an imaginary friend), creative, a little shy, loved to change dresses 20 times a day, much to my mother's chagrin.

What are you wearing now?

Brown Banana Republic top, khaki Gap pants and cute flips from Target.

What color is your bedroom?

Stark raving, rip-out-my-hair, bore-me-to-tears, nothing-I-can-do-about-it white.

What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading?

Memoirs of a Geisha

Do you nap a lot?

HA! I'm sorry, but what planet are we on? I didn't know normal people had the option to "nap a lot." Sign me up!

Who was the last person you hugged?

My Lobster!

What’s your current obsession/addiction?

Oh, to have just ONE current obsession...books, writing, gardening, health, fitness, natural beauty products...

What was the last thing you said aloud?

"I'll be back." But not like the Terminator.

What websites do you always visit when you go online?

Blogger, Pandora Radio, Westlaw, Examiner.com

What was the last thing you bought?

Soaking hoses. They broke. Will be taking them back. Grrr.

What are you listening to right now?

Pandora Radio, but about to switch to iTunes.

What is your favorite color, and has it always been your favorite color?

It changes on a yearly basis (therefore, the answer to the second question is "no.") This year, it's sage green.

What song are you currently listening to a lot?

Anything by Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. Instantly travel to wherever I want to go for free! WOO!

What is your favorite weather, and why?

Sunny, highs in the low 70's with a slight breeze. Because that's how I roll.

What was the last reality tv show you watched?

I hate reality t.v. as much as I hate Taylor Swift. Well, does HGTV count? Then nevermind. But I still hate Taylor Swift.

What is your most challenging goal right now?

Patiently waiting until the day when Lobster can move in with me.

If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?

Probably on or near the beach in Hawaii.

Favorite vacation spot?

Haven't been many places, but I can't wait to go back to Scotland.

What is your favorite children’s book?

I read voraciously as a child. I can't pick one! I loved Judy Blume books, Charlotte's Web...

Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you:

Cheesecake!

If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be?

Grace Kelly, Gerard Butler (because he's hot and Scottish).

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Yikes. I would be a successful author, I think.

Okay, now for the tags. I challenge these fine fellow bloggers to take the survey:

*uncorked
Who Are You Callin' Cupcake?
Steppin' Up to the Eastepps
skinnybitching
Duoly Noted ... but only if she can spare a few minutes from studying for the bar!

Have fun, kids!

Oooh...Neat!

I just learned how to create a personalized signature to my posts. What do you think? Too big? Too small? Too slanty? I'm still learning and playing with it but I kinda like the idea.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Best. Anniversary. Ever.

Hello, bloggie friends! I had an awesome weekend!

Lobster rolled into town around 4:00 on Friday, which means he got to laze around on my couch and watch the History Channel while I slaved away for another hour or so. When I finally got home we decided to go grab a bite to eat at a local Tex-Mex joint just down the street called Anna Mia's. It was fabulous! Excellent food, very strong drinks and great service. What more could a girl need?

After dinner we came back home to be fat on the couch (as I guzzled water because I'm bit of a lightweight and was feeling silly after one and a half margaritas). After about an hour or so we headed back into town to go see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was very good! Very dark, kinda creepy, a little sad, a bit of romance...I'm looking forward to buying it on DVD.

Saturday morning we slept in late and then headed to a local diner for brunch. Mmmmm...eggs, sausage and pancakes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. After brunch we headed back to the house so I could pack my bag while Lobster downloaded directions to his super-secret surprise downtown hotel. After a while, he decided to tell me where we were going so I could help him keep an eye out for it since he isn't too familiar with downtown Dallas. I had had a few guesses on which hotel he booked us but boy was I wrong! Turns out, Mr. Swanky Pants booked us a SUITE at the Ritz-Carlton! I've never even stepped foot in a Ritz-Carlton, so this was rather exciting news to me. Soon, our bags were packed and we headed to Dallas.

We arrived at the beautiful hotel and went up to our room where we walked into this loveliness:
I was beyond impressed with my Lobster. He was very proud of himself, as he should be.

There's a t.v. in the bathroom mirror! LOOK!
After taking a gazillion pictures we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the pool (salt water, no less) where we lounged like rock stars and sipped on berry mojitos. It was pure lavishness and I loved it!
After we were done soaking up the salt water, mojitos and rays, we headed back down to the lobby for Lobster's favorite treat: gelato! Oh, boy, was it yummy. I got the dulce de leche and Caribbean coconut and Lobster got dulce de leche and hazelnut chocolate. YUM! Heaven in a tiny little cup.After gorging ourselves on gelato we laid around the suite being fat and lazy (this was our theme for the weekend) and watched cable until it was time to start getting ready for dinner. We got all dressed up and spiffy lookin'.



Dinner was at Sullivan's in Addison. This is where we had our very first date so many moons ago. In fact, they were having the same special menu as we had last year and we ordered the exact same thing we had a year ago (plus a bottle of fabulous Cabernet). The waiter was simply ferklemped that we were celebrating our year anniversary at the same location with the same menu. He even brought us a sparkler. Lobster and I decided not to exchange gifts for our anniversaries but instead do things with and for each other. Clearly, his gift to me was the fabulous hotel and dinner and my gift to him was a poem that I worked on for a couple of weeks to get just right. I haven't written anyone a poem in many years and it was a lot harder than it used to be. Being a lawyer really does make you a dull writer. Sigh. But I digress...

After dinner, Lobster and I went over to the jazz bar connected to Sullivan's where we enjoyed a few more drinks and some fun jazz/hits of the 70's music. Originally, I had wanted to dance with Lobster but we were having so much fun just sitting there enjoying ourselves and acting like two love-crazed teenagers in our nice little dark corner that I was perfectly happy doing just that. After a couple of drinks we decided to head back to the suite. I was, shall we say, silly, from all the drinks I had over the course of the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed our ride back to the Ritz by propping my feet up on the dashboard and singing very loudly and badly to music that I didn't know and blabbing on about random pointless things and laughing at myself. At one point I looked over to see Lobster chuckling and shaking his head. I asked him what he was laughing at and he said, "This is the girl I'm going to marry. I love it."

I was a happy, silly, girl.

Sunday morning we slept in very late and then ordered some in-room breakfast. While it was by far the most expensive breakfast we've ever had, it was very good and a lot of fun to be catered to in our room and share a lovely meal in our bathrobes. We spent the last few hours once again being blissfully lazy and fat before we had to pack it up and head back to reality.

It was, by all accounts, the best anniversary celebration I have ever had. I jokingly told Lobster that he had set the Anniversary Bar way too high. He somewhat seriously responded that next year we would be celebrating at home with burgers and beer. Ha! So be it. As long as we're together...

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Stubborn Girl and a Lobster: A Love Story

In honor of mine and Lobster's anniversary celebration commencing this evening, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you how we met. It was no ordinary meeting...in fact, we may never have met had it not been for the almost obsessive persistence of a mutual friend.

I grew up in the Houston area and moved to the Dallas area when I was 18. My parents and sister remained in the Houston area for quite a while after I high-tailed it out of there. Soon, though, my sister ended up going to the same college as I, and then a few years later my parents decided to move into the area as well. It was a family migration of sorts. However, while in the Houston area, my parents were heavily involved in the local Presbyterian church and made many very close friends with whom they're still very close to this day. One of those friends was named Mr. Matchmaker (clearly, that's not his real name, but go with me here). Mr. Matchmaker just happened to work with Lobster. This is where our story starts.

Throughout college I suffered my share (perhaps more than my share) of heartbreak. By the time my senior year rolled around and I had to decide where my life was going from there, I had made a conscious decision to boycott anything that had to do with men, relationships, love, etc. from my life for at least the time being. This decision was further solidified when I was accepted to law school and knew that for the next three years studying had to be my primary and sole focus. Sure, I dated a few guys here and there but I was notorious for saying adios after the first (occasionally the second) date. Over three years of discovering who I was, how strong I was, and what I wanted in a man, I had no time to waste on those who didn't make the cut. I was hardcore. And stubborn (still am, actually).

Anyhoo, while I was still in law school and my parents still lived in Houston, Mr. Matchmaker told my mom (many times) that he had found the perfect guy for me and that we should exchange email or meet the next time I came home for a visit. My mom passed on the idea to me, which I flatly rejected. First, I told her, not even I know who the perfect guy is for me, so how can a friend of the family who hasn't even spent much time with me? Second, I continued, I am not interested in dating someone who doesn't live in the same city and whom I've never met or even spoken with in real life. Third, I concluded, I don't have time to get involved with anyone right now. So, thank you very much, but no.

Nevertheless, Mr. Matchmaker decided to work his idea from a different angle. He went to Lobster and told him he'd found a great girl for him and he should try to look me up on MySpace (I know. Ick.). Apparently, Lobster was unsure of this idea as much as I was but decided to give it a shot. He found me on MySpace and wrote me a nice little message. Of which I have no memory because I arbitrarily deleted it. I was not one to read messages from men I didn't know. Lobster still gives me a hard time for that.

Anyway, after my lack of an enthusiastic response, Lobster gives up and so did Mr. Matchmaker...but not for long.

A year and a half passed and Mr. Matchmaker had come to visit my parents at their new place in a brand new neighborhood with a beautiful golf course amidst acres and acres of untouched land. One of my family's favorite things to do when people come to visit is to drive them around the back roads looking for wildlife like deer, wild turkey and coyotes. On this particular occasion, we decided to take my dad's truck. My sister, Mr. Matchmaker and I piled into the bed of the truck to better enjoy the cool night air and get a better view of any wild creatures we came across. Of course, instead of looking for wildlife, Mr. Matchmaker begins trying to convince me to meet Lobster again. I listened and nodded politely and tried to explain that I had no desire to be set up with some random guy who lived in a different city (even though I was having no luck in my own city). By the end of our conversation, I felt that the matter was closed.

It wasn't.

Mr. Matchmaker enlisted my mom to go behind my back and pass along my email address to Lobster. Again, Mr. Matchmaker approached Lobster with my email address and told him to email me. Lobster, being a kind soul and not one to disobey his elders, politely stated that while he had no hopes of hearing back from me (again) he would try one more time and if I rejected him (again) he didn't want to hear anything more about me. Mr. Matchmaker understood and agreed to Lobster's terms.

Several days after scheming with Mr. Matchmaker, my mom, who can't keep a secret to save her life, admitted to me her part in the evil plot. Needless to say, I was not pleased. She told me that she had passed on my email address as well as a few choice bits of information about me (I love to travel, I love Scotland, I love to write, dance, read, etc.) to give him a "good start" for his email. How nice of you, mom.

Days later, on July 7, I did receive a very nice email from Lobster, who, lo and behold, also loved to travel, read, etc. What a surprise! I thought to myself. Knowing that my mom had passed along such information, I was certain that Lobster's email was carefully crafted to cater to my interests and thus make me ooh and ahh over how wonderfully we'd get along. I was not going to fall for it. I did not respond to the email.

A day or so passed and I mentioned the email to my mom. I told her it was very nice, but clearly catered to my interests because of what she had just happened to pass along to Mr. Matchmaker. She then told me that Mr. Matchmaker never told Lobster anything about me other than my email address. I was suspicious at first, but I knew my mom wouldn't lie to me. All of a sudden, Lobster's email took on an entirely different light. It was genuine. And he was interesting. And we had lots in common.

Crap.

That night I spend a good hour or so crafting my response. I was nervous and had made up my mind that all we would be was friends because I still didn't like the thought of dating someone who lived so far away.

But over the next few weeks, Lobster and I formed a friendship through novel-length emails and hours-long phone conversations. We talked about everything, including all the hard, scary stuff that people put off talking about until well into the relationship. Neither of us wanted to play a game and had decided early on that we were going to be completely ourselves and completely honest with each other. It was a good decision because we were able to get to know each other very well before we even met.

About a month after that first email, Lobster made the drive to Dallas to take me on our first date. We went to a lovely restaurant in Addison where we had the best steaks either of us have ever had. After dinner we went dancing and had a few drinks. He was a perfect gentleman and did no more than hold my hand and give me a nice hug at the end of the evening. I went home feeling hopeful for the first time in years that maybe, just maybe, there was a guy out there for me.

My resolution to remain "just friends" was shattered that evening and I am so grateful that Mr. Matchmaker, as crazy and obsessed as he seemed at the time, listened to his instincts to help two people looking in all the wrong directions, find the path that would lead them to one another.

So, thank you, Mr. Matchmaker. Lobster and I will raise a glass to you this weekend as we re-visit the restaurant where we first came to the shocking realization that you were right all along.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm hot. And tired. Who's with me?

Summer in Texas = misery. I'm pretty sure I know what hell feels like. I'm not a fan.

In other news, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this weekend. Of course, that means that today and tomorrow are CREEPING by.

Grrrrr...

I have nothing of great importance to talk about today so I wanted to share with you a fabulous website I found. It's called Pandora Radio. I love it. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yes, I Am A Nerd...Deal With It

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!

Guess what starts playing in theaters tonight at midnight? Yup, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! Woo!

Ordinarily I would be tempted to go watch it tomorrow evening after work (because we all know that I can't stay up past 10:00, so midnight is just out of the question), but I am holding back and waiting until this weekend because Lobster is taking me to see it on Friday night! Woo! You know a guy loves you when he'll sacrifice three hours of his life watching a movie he could really live without seeing just to make you happy. Sweet Lobster.

Anyone besides me excited about this new installment? I loved the book...I love all the HP books. I know my bestie K over at Steppin' Up to the Eastepp's is just as excited as I am. Any other proud nerds out there? Don't be ashamed!

In other news, this week seems to be creeping by at a tortuously slow pace. Why, you may wonder? Well, I'll tell you.

This weekend Lobster and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary. Last July Lobster drove all the way to Dallas from Houston to take me on our very first date after several weeks of getting to know each other through emails and phone calls (I'll be detailing our "how we met story" later this week). We had such a great time that weekend a year ago that we actually went on three dates in just as many days (this was a record for me as I was notorious for kicking men to the curb after the first date). So this weekend we will be going back to the restaurant where we had our first date. I know Lobster has a few surprises in store for me so I am very excited to see what those might be. Although I would LOVE for one of those surprises to be a certain sparkly shiny thing, I am not holding my breath about it. Although I am trying NOT to think about when Lobster might pop the question, it's hard not to do! But I don't think it will be this weekend. Don't ask me why, that's just my feeling. But whatever my surprises might be I know I will love them just as much as if it were a sparkly shiny on my left hand!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keeper Quote


I found this quote over at The Lettered Cottage. I liked it so much, especially on a Monday when the last thing you want to be is enthusiastic, that I thought I should share it with all of you:

Enthusiastic Attitude

Stop fighting against what you have to do.

Turn it into what you want to do.
For any given task, you can be miserable and plodding or you can be enthusiastic and highly effective.

It all depends on your attitude.
Instead of dreading and avoiding something that you must get done, choose to look forward to it. Then jump in, make it happen, and get it finished once and for all.
It's really very easy to make a change in your attitude.

You can do it without lifting a finger.
With a positive, enthusiastic attitude toward whatever task you must complete, the work will go more quickly and smoothly.

And, you'll feel a whole lot better while doing it.
Decide that you truly want to get it done, and soon you'll be reaping the rewards of your effective effort.


-- Ralph Marston

Friday, July 10, 2009

Things I Want NOW

First, this:


Followed by hours of lazing about in this:



Sipping on one (or three) of these:



Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

I'm stealing this idea from one of my favorite bloggers, V over at *uncorked. We like to steal things from each other. It's how we roll.

I am...

excited about mine and Lobster's upcoming anniversary weekend!
worried about money, big life transitions coming just over the horizon.
reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
creating this here blog post; but otherwise, a bunch of research regarding civil versus criminal contempt and when each type is appropriate to impose.
loving my Lobster, my family, HGTV.
hating the oppressive Texas heat, working all day instead of playing, paying bills, having student loans, stupid drivers.
wondering when a very exciting event will occur in my life and whether I should go to yoga or mow the lawn when I get home tonight.
craving coffee, a nap, and dark chocolate. And sushi. And cheesecake.
listening to classical music on iTunes and one of my bosses having a phone conversation in his office.
watching my words as they appear on the screen. Later, So You Think You Can Dance. And then HGTV.
netflix-ing nothing. I have not yet jumped on that bandwagon, although I'm quite tempted. Is it worth it?

Anybody else want to play this game? It's fun. I promise!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Answers to Your Questions

Alrighty, friends. I think I've waited long enough to give everyone a chance to ask me random questions. Only two bloggie friends took the bait and neither are related to me, so I consider that a success! Here are their burning questions and my answers.

Averill over at Odi et Amo asked:
So what made you decide to go to law school? Do you regret the decision and wish you'd pursued a more creative profession?
Very good question, Averill! My decision to go to law school, I believe, was very much a God thing. That may sound strange to some people, but I truly felt led by God to look into, apply for and persevere through three years of the hardest work I've ever done. I have always believed I have a calling in this life and I feel that being an attorney is one of those callings.

I do not regret the decision. In fact, I think it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I don't deny the fact that I blame law school for draining a lot of my creativity and replacing it with analytical thinking, but I am confident that with a little practice I can bounce back and find all my creative genes again! Plus, I am using some of my creativity as an attorney on a daily basis. There is nothing harder than winning a losing argument on appeal! You must be creative or you don't have a job! And I don't feel that I have to limit myself to this one profession. I have so many interests and God has given me many gifts and talents. I would not be surprised if I used those many gifts and talents in other professions throughout my lifetime. At least I hope that I can!

V from *uncorked, threw this one at me:
What three songs would be on your deserted island soundtrack? Those three you just can't live without, and never get sick of.
This is a hard one! I think I would need three different types of music with different "moods." For example, I would want something peppy that I can dance to like Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. Then I would want something classical and beautiful that I can relax and daydream to like Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Last, I would want something chill that reminds me of my Lobster (since I'm deserted on an island I assume he's not with me), so that would have to be one of "our" songs like I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (or Better Together by Jack Johnson).

Finally, V put her smart-ass hat on and asked:
A swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
I'm glad that you asked, V. In fact, an actual study of two European Swallows flying in a low-turbulence wind tunnel in Lund, Sweden, shows that swallows flap their wings much slower than earlier estimates, at only 7–9 beats per second. Compared with other species of similar size, the swallow has quite low wingbeat frequency and relatively long wings.

The maximum speed the birds could maintain was 13–14 meters per second, and although the Lund study does not discuss cruising flight in particular, the most efficient flapping (7 beats per second) occurred at an airspeed in the range of 8–11 meters per second, with an amplitude of 90–100° (17–19 cm).

Averaging the above numbers and plugging them in to the Strouhal equation for cruising flight (fA/U = 7 beats per second * 0.18 meters per beat / 9.5 meters per second) yields a Strouhal number of roughly 0.13, indicating a surprisingly efficient flight pattern falling well below the expected range of 0.2–0.4.

Although a definitive answer would of course require further measurements, published species-wide averages of wing length and body mass, initial Strouhal estimates based on those averages and cross-species comparisons, the Lund wind tunnel study of birds flying at a range of speeds, and revised Strouhal numbers based on that study all lead me to estimate that the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.*

"And there was much rejoicing." (Anyone know the movie???)


*Disclaimer: No, I am not that smart. Yes, I did steal that answer from a random google search. Evidently, someone took that question VERY seriously.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July Goals

Sheesh! It's already a week into July and I haven't posted my goals. Where did the time go?

Oh, wait, yes...I seem to remember it floating by on the river with a few beer cans as companions. Hmmm...

Ah, well. Whatareyagonnado? I'll just have to try to accomplish my July goals in three weeks. No prob.

So, as a recap, the following are what my June Goals were and how those turned out:

June's Goals

1. Follow the Essential Living Challenge to the letter. NO CHEATING! (Hmmm. Well, I did follow the plan, but I also cheated. FAIL.)
2. Organize closets and cabinets to create more space and declutter. (Crap. FAIL.)
3. Ride my bike at least once a week. (Will once a month do? FAIL. This isn't looking good...)
4. Finish organizing my Fitness and Home/Garden Inspiration Notebooks. (Woo! ACCOMPLISHED!)
5. Add three more follower friends to my blog. (ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks, bloggie friends!)
6. Stop watching HGTV into the night and go to bed ON TIME! (Um, well, I'm still watching HGTV at night but I've been going to bed on time, so ACCOMPLISHED!)

Okie dokie. Seems I didn't do so hot in the accomplishment department this time. Nuts.

July, then, will have to incorporate the goals from June that weren't accomplished. But maybe with some modifications.

July Goals
  1. Begin Reasonable Living. Try not to cheat (see how I modified that one? Tee hee.)
  2. Organize closets and cabinets and declutter.
  3. Ride my bike at least once a week (won't modify this one since I finally bought a helmet and bike lock).
  4. Read more and watch TV less.
  5. Build raised bed garden, wherein I shall...
  6. ...plant more tomatoes for a fall harvest. Don't kill them.
  7. Install new lighting fixtures in bedroom and kitchen.
  8. Find a better solution for the front garden beds (i.e., clear out dead flowers and plant something cheap and easy to care for).
  9. Replace air conditioning filter.
  10. Find cheap but nice bookshelves for overflow of books.
That seems like a reasonable list, no? Anyone else have any major goals this month?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Home Improvement Quick Fix: Lighting

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I love home decorating but am unable to do all the things I want to do because I am still renting (boo!). As a renter, I am very limited in my ability to make my house a home. Of course, painting is the quickest and one of the cheapest ways to personalize a room and make it your own, but there are other quick and easy ways to make a rented space a reflection of your own style.

One way I am changing my space without doing permanent improvements (or damage as the case may be!) is by replacing old, 70's-inspired lighting fixtures. Not only do new lights change the look of the room, they can also change the ambiance by replacing a dated, harsh or low light fixture with a brighter, warmer light and a more modern look. It's amazing how something as simple as light can change the entire atmosphere of a room!

A few months ago Lobster helped me replace the outdoor light on my back porch with a traditional lantern style fixture that was super-cheap and really easy to install. As a renter, I have the option of either leaving the new fixture or putting the old one back when I move. I haven't decided what I'll do yet, but it was so inexpensive that I might just decide to leave it.



Within the week I'm planning to install my new Ikea wall lamps on each side of my bed and take out the bedside table lamps that take up too much space on my small side tables.





Ceiling lights are next on my list. They are also easy to install and can be relatively inexpensive. My next project is going to be replacing the old tacky glass and brass hanging light in the eat-in kitchen with this simple but lovely chandelier:I found this guy over at CSNLighting.com. I liked this one because it has beautiful curving lines and a simple elegance to it. I will definitely be taking this guy with me when I move!

So, if you're like me and want to make some changes to your space and are limited because you either 1) don't own your home, or 2) are afraid to make permanent change right now, keep in mind that you can do some easy, non-permanent, but great looking changes just by swapping out a fixture or two!

Happy decorating!

If You Think Hell Is Hot...


I can pretty much sum up my weekend camping trip in one word: HOT! But there's another word to describe the weekend: BEER. Lemme just give you a quick run-down of things I learned this weekend:
  • Camping in July in Texas is stupid.
  • Drinking lots of beer while floating on a freezing river and baking in the hot Texas July sun for 8 hours is even more stupid.
  • Drunk guy dancing all night in a speedo = immensely entertaining.
  • There is something fundamentally wrong with having Rock Band set up at a campsite. And then playing it until 4:00 a.m.
  • A double tube (big tube that seats two) that cost $60 is a good investment. Until it springs a gigantic leak and we go down in a flurry of bubbles.
  • Two and a half days with no shower = eew.
  • Two sweaty, hot, grimy people sharing an air mattress in an itty-bitty tent = kinda fun actually. The top pic is our view from the tent. The bottom pic is our site. That's our tent on the left.
  • Coming home to a shower and air conditioning = HEAVEN.
Besides 4:00 a.m. drunk Rock Band play-offs and the oppressive heat, the camping trip was a lot of fun. Lobster and I had a great time sharing a big double tube the first day. The second day we had to resort to a single tube for each of us because our double sprung a leak. Not nearly as romantic and cute, but fun. I have more pics but they will have to be developed the old fashioned way from the inner confines of the waterproof camera.

The drive home was horrible. Everyone and their grandmother was driving home from Austin evidently. A three and a half hour drive turned into a seven hour drive. The only thing that made the drive bearable was my pitstop at Ikea. It was my first visit EVER and I must say...

I heart Ikea.

I ended up getting the wall lamps I have been lusting after for a while. Remember these babies? Oh, yes, they are mine! I also found a great duvet cover and a cute old-fashioned alarm clock. There was a ton more that I really wanted to buy but I'm still trying to be a "reasonably" frugal shopper. Besides, there's another Ikea near Dallas that I can make a day trip to if I'm desperate!

Anyhoodle, the camping trip was fun but I am certainly glad to be home with air conditioning, a shower, and no Rock Band. How was your 4th of July?
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