Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Review: Wherein I Excel at a Variety of Talents

My weekend was...interesting.

As you may have gathered from my last post, Lobster came to town this weekend (hooray!). We had no real plans to do anything except hang out with friends so Saturday we got up and spent the day about town running errands and window shopping. Yes, ladies, Lobster likes to shop with me. I am probably the luckiest woman alive. He cooks, he shops, he is very tall and manly. A lucky girl, indeed.

But I digress. So, we're shopping in one of our favorite places: a bookstore. We exit said bookstore in a state of after-purchase giddiness. We enter the car and a popular booty-shaking song is on the radio. We do some car dancing. I begin to carefully back out of my parking space...

Talent #1: I am a master dingbat. I excel at being an idiot. I should have a Ph.D. in Buffoonery. Why? Read on...

While backing up, I check all my mirrors like a good girl. Lobster and I are chatting and laughing and I am checking my mirrors. I am almost done backing up when I hear a sickening crunch. My reaction: freeze and drop a few F-bombs, check the rear mirror to see a large car far too close for comfort, fumble with the gear shifter thingy to pull forward and continue dropping F-bombs, sometimes spiced with a little "mother" and "sonofa" for good measure.

In case you hadn't noticed, in times of high stress or extreme distress, I turn into a sailor.

Anyhoo, I manage to pull into an empty space and jump out of the car to assess the damage. Luckily, their vehicle was not damaged. Probably because it was the size of the Titanic. Which is also probably the reason why it was sticking so far out of its parking spot. But it does not, in fact, explain why I FAILED TO SEE IT.

My poor Beluga, on the other hand, has a dent in her rear corner bumper and the corner of the hatch. After trying to exchange insurance information (they didn't want to and I am 98% sure that it's because they didn't have any), I got back in the car and burst into tears. Lobster knew that he needed to let me cry it out and so he sat patiently and said soothing words. Lobster also knew that because I have Period-Head, I was far more emotionally sensitive than any rational person should be. So he just let me cry. He is a very smart man.

I am still very upset at myself. I feel stupid and embarrassed and, most of all, guilty for having hurt my sweet, shiny new Beluga. And I can't afford to have it fixed right now so she's just going to have to go around wearing her shiny new bruise for a while. Poor Beluga.

Talent #2: I am an excellent baker. Which means I should probably bake more. Oh, huzzah.

I promised Lobster I would make him my Yum Yum Chicken goodness on Saturday night. I was very nervous that he might not like it. Or that I would screw it up somehow. Thankfully, neither of those things happened. He loved it and we have added one dish to our list of things I can cook for dinner! My list now has a grand total of...wait for it...ONE thing I can, bake! Woo!

Talent #3: I am an exceptional navigator when I am intoxicated.

The past two weekends in a row I have ended up blitzed on a Saturday night. This is not normal for me. Nor is it pleasant the next morning. But it sure is a fabulous source of entertainment for Lobster. The past two Saturdays that I've managed to drink far too much, Lobster has been a good boy and driven us home. Of course, each time we've been in strange cities (for him) where he does not know his way around. In both instances I have come to the rescue. Also in both instances, Lobster is shocked beyond words that my directions are actually right. It's almost insulting how surprised he is.

By way of background: I can get lost in a paper bag.

Unless, it seems, I am completely schnockered. Awesome.

Talent #4: I am the World's Best Solution Finder. Especially when it comes to finding cheap solutions to expensive problems. Behold...

Remember my latest self-imposed form of torture home improvement project, The Great Re-Upholstery Project? Well, in researching my options, I have come to find that fabric is FLIPPING EXPENSIVE! WTF, fabric people? I'm clearly in the wrong line of work. Anyway, after many hours of fruitless searching for affordable (read: cheap) fabric that would still be sturdy enough to become a slipcover, I went in search of affordable (read: cheap) pre-made slipcovers that I could either (a) mold to fit my chairs, or (b) rip up and re-sew to create a custom fit.

Guess what? Pre-made slipcovers cost just as much, if not more, than buying fabric! For the love of Pete. But I did notice that JC Penny's had some on sale for about $30 a pop. Hell yes, I thought and sped over to the nearing JC Penny's Outlet store.

Surprise, surprise, they did not have any slipcovers. I am dismayed. I am about to give up hope and resign myself to a fate of lounging in grandma chairs. But then, as I walk by the curtain section, I have an epiphany:

(cue angels singing and a beam of light shining on the rows of curtains) Curtains, dear friends, are simply yards and yards of fabric with hemmed seams. (cue Hallelujah chorus)

I found 72-inch ivory twill (the fabric I'd been eyeing all along since it's easy for beginners and looks nice and natural) curtain panels for $6.99 each! I bought seven.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I cannot explain to you the elation I felt at having once again found a loophole in the Fascist Movement to Trap Non-Clever Consumers In Spending Ungodly Amounts of Money on Overpriced Fabric. Okay, maybe there's no real Movement, but if there were I would have annihilated it!

I am a winner!

My next task it to actually make the slipcovers. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I know I am.

So, that's my weekend in review where I reveal that I am extraordinarily multi-talented individual. Go me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Town?

That's right. My sexy Lobster. Woo hoo!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Upcoming DIY Project!

I don't know why, but I am constantly creating new projects for myself. This time, I decided to turn my rarely used guest room into a reading room/library/office. I've always wanted a library and since Lobster and I installed two huge bookcases in the extra room I thought, Why not? I rarely have guests and so 90% of the time, the room goes unused. Why not create another living space that I can enjoy and relax in? I am paying for that space every month after all. So I made up my mind to create my very own personal reading room/library/office! Woo!

Of course, every proper reading room needs comfy chairs and an ottoman (like the one pictured), right? Luckily, before I even knew what to do with it, I found a fantabulous ottoman on sale at the Pottery Barn Outlet for $39!!! Why so cheap, you wonder jealously? Because it was not upholstered. HELLO?! Don't these people know how simple it is to re-upholster a square box? A monkey could do it (which is about my level of skills, mind you). I snatched that baby up lickity-split, shoved it in my Baby Beluga and sped away before they could realize their mistake of selling it so cheap. HA! Suckers.

But I digress. So, I had already found a fab ottoman and now all I needed was a pair of comfy chairs (Lobster might want to sit and read with me someday...a girl can always hope). Off I went to my new favorite store in the whole thrifty world: The Salvation Army. Oh, how I love thee! And what do you know? I found two very sturdy, pretty darn comfy, smallish armchairs to become my newest treasures. Sure, they have old, grandma-ish upholstery that could use a good cleaning but they were well made and didn't smell (I checked). I also happened to find the cutest lamp EVER and it was 1/2 off the already ridiculously cheap price. BWAHAHAHA!!!

Anyway, here's my current dilemma: attempt to re-upholster or just make some slipcovers for the time being? I've never done either. And let me remind you that I have the skills of a monkey with the sewing machine (a very smart and cute monkey). Nevertheless, I am determined to make these chairs bee-u-ti-ful. Or at least not grandma-ish. I'm thinking that a slip cover might be the easiest option for now. I'm terrified of tearing the current upholstery apart and then deciding it's too much work and being stuck with a mutilated chair.

Sooo...I'm going to stop by the discount fabric store on my way home and see what there is to see. I plan on taking plenty of pictures of my foray into this project so that I can thoroughly humiliate myself for all of you to see! But, if I turn out to be any good at this Lobster will probably have to ban me from buying every piece of old furniture I can find just to see if I can make it "pretty."

Poor Lobster. He sure has his hands full. Hehe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

35 Before 35

I seem to be drawing inspiration from my fellow bloggers lately! This one is inspired by Suz over at 30 Before 30 List. Suz is trying to accomplish her list of 30 things before she turns 30. Since I will be turning 30 in January (eek!), I decided to give myself a bit more time to accomplish some very big goals. Thus, my 35 Before 35 list!

It's only a partial list so far. I will be thinking up more things to add to it as they come to me. But for now, behold the list (to be accomplished in no particular order):

35 Before 35
  1. Plan and execute an affordable, meaningful wedding.
  2. Start a family.
  3. Buy a house.
  4. Take at least one exotic vacation with Lobster.
  5. Become a published author.
  6. Argue before an appellate court by myself.
  7. Become somewhat fluent in a foreign language.
  8. Pay off my credit card debt.
  9. Go back to Scotland.
  10. Buy a professional camera and learn how to use it.
  11. Take a sewing class.
  12. Swim with dolphins or beluga whales.
  13. Visit my relatives in Illinois.
  14. Learn how to surf.
  15. Open and invest in a retirement account (no, I have not done this yet...I know, I know...)
  16. Start my own business.
  17. Successfully grow a garden.
  18. Find a church that I love.
  19. Learn to play golf.
  20. Learn to play more than just one song on the guitar.
  21. Host Christmas and/or Thanksgiving dinner in my home.

Off to an ambitious start, no? Ah, the heart and mind of an over-achiever...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This I Believe, Part I

Inspired by the NPR series and a post on A Perfectly Cursed Life, I present to you Part I of:

This I Believe
  • God is a loving and forgiving God and everyone will have the opportunity to know Him upon their leaving this life.
  • It is my privilege to live my life with Love. Love of God, Love of Self, Love of Others, Love of Life, Love of this World. It is my duty to protect what I Love.
  • Fear is my worst enemy.
  • Trust must be earned.
  • Happiness is a matter of perspective.
  • Love will not last if you are not, first and foremost, the best of friends.
  • Natural beauty far outshines that which is manufactured.
  • I will always strive to make my parents proud.
What are some of the things you believe?

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Tequila, Two Tequila...

Why is it that I always forget that tequila makes me feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck? That is, of course, until I've had three (maybe four) shots in the course of a night and don't remember taking this photograph. least we're all wearing our clothes and somewhat conscious, right?

Darn you, fun Mexican-Irish wedding! Darn you, lively Mariachi band! Darn you, celebratory $200 bottle of Don Julio!

I'm too old for this.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Just a few loverly images that make me happy on this Friday:

This chapel makes me want to go back to Scotland. Gorgeous.

Red wine, a stack of books and candlelight. Simply perfect.

Estate sales and thrift and antique stores make me giddy. Today I found a matching Argentinian leather wine caddy and serving tray set for $50 (originally priced at $200 each). Holy bargain, Batman!

There is nothing better than French press coffee on a lazy weekend morning...

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I'm such a dork.

Here I am challenging all of you to read books and then POST YOUR REVIEWS. I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society a week ago and totally forgot to write a review. Sheesh...

I'll chalk it up to PMS (or, as I like to call it, Period Head, because let's face it, you just don't think normally when the hormones are rampaging through your body).

Moving on...

This book is actually written as a series of letters. I didn't know this going into it and it kind of threw me at first. I wasn't so sure how much I'd like it. But after about the first 20 pages or so, I was hooked! The characters are so charming and really funny and I loved reading about a little known history of the German occupation of small British islands during WWII. If I ever have a chance to visit Guernsey, I will certainly do so after reading this book! I just wish all the characters were real so I could visit them, especially the main character, Juliet Ashton. She and I would get along very nicely, I think.

I gave this book 5 stars on I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cupcakes and Happy Pants: A Love Story

Several weeks ago I told you the story of how Lobster and I met and eventually fell in love. If you missed that story, you can find it here.

The following is the story of how Lobster's best friend since he was in diapers went from being Blue Shirt Guy to Happy Pants and falling in love with my sister in the process.

Cupcake and Happy Pants: A Love Story

Very, very early in our relationship, Lobster and I attended a wedding together. In fact, it was the first wedding we went to together. Little did we know that we would attend several thousand more in the next year. But I digress...

That weekend, I drove to Houston on Friday night and checked into the Magnolia Hotel (very nice). Why a hotel, you ask? I'm no hussy! This was technically our second weekend to ever meet. I certainly wasn't going to spend the night at a "strange boy's" house! (Let's not discuss how he ended up passing out in my hotel room the next evening...that makes him the hussy, right?).

Anyhoo, on Saturday I went over to Lobster's house where his best friend, soon to be known as Happy Pants, had stayed as he and Lobster were both good friends with the couple getting married that day. All I knew about Happy Pants before I met him was this:
  1. He was Lobster's lifelong best friend; and
  2. He had just graduated from law school and had just taken the Texas Bar Exam.
I already liked him. Upon meeting him, however, I liked him even more. Not only was he funny and good-natured, but he immediately began giving me a hard time and when I shot right back at him, he laughed and fired right back instead of being shocked and offended that a mere girl was as quick witted as he (if I do say so myself). I knew right then that he and I would get along just fine.

That was the first time I met Happy Pants. The second time we met was at another wedding (shocker). As we arrived at the reception, Happy Pants and I took a few silly pictures and chatted casually. At some point in the evening, Happy Pants jokingly said to me, "You don't have a single sister, do you?"

"As a matter of fact, I do." I responded. "You can find her on my Facebook page," I said and I told him her name. And then we went about our drinking and dancing and generally having a fabulous time. In fact, Happy Pants had such a good time that he later fell out of a truck at Whataburger. But that's another story...

Several days, maybe a week, goes by and I am visiting with my sister Cupcake (over at Who Are You Callin' Cupcake?). I am showing her and my mom the pictures from that evening at the wedding. In fact, I show Cupcake this picture:

To which she responds, "Who's Blue Shirt Guy?"

So, I tell her about Happy Pants and how we jokingly talked about setting him up with her. She smiled and laughed at the story. I never thought anything would come of it because she had just had her heart broken and, for all I knew, Happy Pants would never really contact Cupcake through my Facebook page.

Oh, but I was wrong...

Several weeks go by. Lobster and I are happily skipping along our new relationship path. In passing one day while talking to Cupcake, she mentions that she and Happy Pants had said a few words to each other on Facebook. Really? I thought. How interesting.

As they continued to chat through Facebook over the next couple of weeks, I told my sister that I was going to stay out of it. Not because I didn't approve, I assured her, but because if it didn't work out I didn't want to be caught in the middle, or worse, blamed for encouraging a doomed relationship. Because, in all honesty, while I secretly had fantasies of a double wedding and living next door to each other and raising families at the same time...I also secretly harboured doubts. Surely, I thought to myself but never voiced aloud, this is too good to be true.

But weeks turned into a couple of months and Cupcake and Happy Pants were still happily chatting away. They hadn't yet taken it to the next step of exchanging phone numbers and actually having a real live conversation, until...

The Story of How Lobster Became Known as "The Convict"

One evening while out with a bunch of his buddies, Lobster was bar hopping and texting me random (cough naughty cough) messages throughout the night. Around midnight, however, I responded to one of Lobster's texts with one of my own and waited for his reply. And waited. And waited. No reply. So I texted him again, "Are you ok?" Nothing. I waited an hour before I called. No answer. I left a message, "Just call to let me know you're okay when you get this." I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. No response. Now I was starting to panic.

I know, I know. He's just out with the boys, right? He probably went home and passed out, you're saying. Sure, that's what I kept telling myself too. However, my gut was adamantly disagreeing with me. While he and I hadn't been dating for too long by conventional standards, we had grown to know each other quite well since our constant source of getting-to-know-you was through long conversations on the phone. I knew that, no matter what, he would not leave me hanging like that. Eventually, if he were passed out, he would wake up and text or call me back.

So, I tried to calm down and go to bed and wait for the morning. In the morning I woke up to go to my bootcamp class and immediately checked my phone. No text. No missed call. Nothing. I was beginning to worry again. As I was getting ready for my bootcamp class, I called Happy Pants to see if he'd heard from Lobster. "No," he said, "why?" I told him what had transpired and my gut feeling that not everything was okay. He said, jokingly, "Ah, he's probably in jail and will call you when he gets out!" Very funny. I said. Thanks for nothing.

I went to class. I worried through the hour long grueling workout. I checked my phone as soon as I was done. No call. No text. I called Happy Pants again and reiterated my concern. He was more worried this time too as he had been trying to get ahold of Lobster since my first call. I also called my mom and sister to see if they had any advice. I told them that I needed to call Lobster's mom to see if maybe she had been called to a random hospital bed and no one remembered to call me. Cupcake and my mom promised to do their part by staying in touch with Happy Pants since Cupcake had been "talking" to him on Facebook earlier that day.

After much searching and calling and crying and worrying, around noon that day I finally got the phone call I had been waiting for. It was Lobster!!! And he was okay!!! I was so relieved to hear his voice that I started blubbering on the phone. It was not pretty. When I finally had my wits about me, I asked, "Where the HELL have you been?"

"In jail."

Not kidding. Evidently, the night he was out with his buddies, he had gone out to his car to find a few guys sitting on the hood. He asked them to please get off his car and they decided to jump him for it. Being a black belt, Lobster had no problem fighting back, but that's about the time that the cops came around the corner and arrested everyone there, no questions asked, no excuses taken. So, Lobster spent the night in jail. And I spent the night in worry.

(Sidenote: When Happy Pants learned he was right about Lobster having been in jail, I thought he would be shocked. Nope. Apparently, they've been there before...together...while in college and after singing drunk lullabies to a random cop who was not amused. Idiots.)

End Of The Story of How Lobster's Became Known as "The Convict"

So, where was I? Oh, yes. During all of that hullabaloo, Cupcake and Happy Pants finally exchanged numbers. In a way, Lobster helped to break the ice of this budding young couple and spurred their romance into the sunset. Way to go, Convict!

And once they started talking, they just couldn't stop. (Seriously. Like, I really don't know what those two have to say to each other for hours on end.) And now, almost a year later, they are very much in love and Cupcake and I have the great pleasure of going to a billion weddings and family vacations and holidays and everyone already knows and loves everyone else and we're all one big happy family!


This morning the topic of national conversation is the First Lady's shorts.

Let me repeat that: the First Lady's SHORTS.

First, why the hell do I care whether or not the President's wife wore shorts on her vacation and was photographed while wearing them?

Second, why in the name of ZEUS do people (read: 70 year old white male politicians) question the appropriateness of a woman wearing shorts in 106 degree heat while on her vacation?

I'm sorry, but the last time I checked a woman could vote, run for office, have a career AND a family and show her legs in public. Have I missed something? Is there some secret book of rules for the President's wife that says she must, under all circumstances, dress like a school marm and speak only when spoken to?

News flash, gentlemen: women have legs. If you have a problem with a woman showing some skin on her legs, stop looking. If you don't have the ability to stop looking, maybe you should start talking about your lack of self-control. Oh, and while you're doing some soul searching, GET A LIFE.

Good grief.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

YUM YUM Chicken

I don't cook much. I wish I did. But I don't. So I'm not very good at it.

Despite all this, last week I decided to get a new recipe from my mom that seemed easy enough for a culinarily challenged person like myself and would provide a large amount of food that I could eat off of for several days.

Mom suggested Yum Yum Chicken.

Er...okay. Is it an Asian dish? I asked. No, she said, it's just so good that no better name need be given to it then "Yum yum!"


So, last night I created this chicken-y concoction and I must say...


I am so impressed that I have to share it with all of you. A few disclaimers:
  1. No, it is not considered healthy. Far too much butter and creamy goodness.
  2. No, I don't care.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time. Let's just say I ate dinner at 9:30 last night.
  4. It was worth the wait.
Without further ado, I give you YUM YUM Chicken!

  • 6 - 8 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 cup chicken broth reserved from cooking the above mentioned breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 8 oz. cornbread stuffing crumbs
  • salt, pepper, dried onion
  • an oven (just in case you didn't know)
Now do this:
  1. Boil your breasts! Oh, um, I mean the chicken breasts. Season your water with salt, pepper and dried onion to taste.
  2. Remember to reserve one cup of the broth. (Editor's note: Being culinarily challenged, I forgot to reserve the broth. Luckily, I had a 5-year-old can of roasted chicken broth in my pantry and it worked just fine.)
  3. Let breasts cool (this could take a while...I told you to give yourself plenty of time).
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter in the cup of reserved broth on low heat.
  5. Once your breasts are cool to the touch (tee hee), chop them up (or rip them apart like a crazed animal. I personally like this method) and place them in an even layer in a 9 X 13 inch greased casserole dish.
  6. In a bowl, combine the soups and the sour cream. Whisk together until blended.
  7. Pour soup mixture over chicken breasts evenly.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the cornbread stuffing crumbs over the chicken/soup mixture.
  9. Pour butter/broth yummy goodness over the dish evenly.
  10. Pop into the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
  11. Wait impatiently for an hour while salivating uncontrollably from the smells seeping out of the oven.
  12. Burn your mouth as you gobble up the YUM YUM Chicken while it's still piping hot because it's too good to resist.
Sweet heaven in a casserole dish! You can serve this over rice if you're feeling really crazy. OHHH....or pasta. Or you could toast some bread or a french baguette (I just sopped up the creamy parts with a toasted English muffin because I didn't have any bread). Oh, and be sure to add a leafy green salad with lots of tomatoes to counteract all the non-healthy goodness you're about to eat.

Hope you like it! Happy eating!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear Friday,

I looooove you. You make me happy on a weekly basis. Tonight, dear Friday, this is how I will celebrate your awesomeness:

With a bunch of this:

And a glass (or three) of this:

To be enjoyed while doing this:

Followed by a little bit of this:

Ahhh...sweet, sweet Friday. I will never tire of you.

Hugs and sloppy wet kisses,

P.S. Dear Bloggie Friends,

Are you going to join me in my 2009 Busy Bookworm Challenge? I would love it if you would! No pressure...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 Busy Bookworm Challenge!

Friends! Book lovers! Bloggies! Come one, come all and join me in the 2009 Busy Bookworm Challenge!

What is the Busy Bookworm Challenge, you ask? That's an excellent question! I've just made it up! Here's the gist:

I am a very busy lady, as I'm sure many, if not most, of you are as well (unless you're a guy and then you're a very busy lad...obviously). Nevertheless, I LOVE to read as you may have gathered by now. I know many of you also love to read. I also know that many of you also love to blog/chat/gossip/bitch/moan/list/review/discuss about the books you have read, are reading, and have yet to read. I ALSO know that if you're anything like me, you love a good challenge if for no other reason than succeeding in that challenge.

Enter the 2009 Busy Bookworm Challenge! It goes like this: make a list of all the books you want to read before the end of the year. Go ahead. Make the list. I'll wait...

You back? Okay, so there is your goal. You are to read those books by the end of the year. Once you've finished one of the books on your list, write a blog post about it telling everyone that you've (a) read it, (b) how you liked it (or didn't as the case may be), and (c) if you'd recommend it. As you read others' blog posts/discussions about the books they've read and you want to read their book just add it to your ongoing list of books that you will use for the 2010 Busy Bookworm Challenge. After the new year, we'll start the new challenge. Easy peasy, right?

Hopefully, this will encourage and inspire all of us Busy Bookworms to spend more time reading wonderful stories and nourishing our inner nerd instead of watching t.v. or otherwise wasting our creative energies. Of course, your personal list can be edited to be longer or shorter depending on what you have going on in your life because, honestly, the whole point of the Challenge is to remind ourselves on a regular basis of the joy of picking up a great book and getting lost in another world if only for 10 minutes a day. It's a way to refresh and renew and have a little bit of "me time" before jumping back into the fray of jobs, kids, husbands, pets, and chores.

What do you get out of the Challenge, you ask? Besides nourishing your inner nerd...I don't know yet. But I'm going to try to think of some nice little trinket (a blog award? a small gift?) to present to those who succeed in reading all the books on their list by the end of the year. Honor system, people. And besides, I'll know if you don't review the books as you read them. Because I'm smart like that.

So, grab a glass of wine (Cabernet is my favorite, what's yours?) have a seat in a comfy spot and make your lists. Then grab your current to-read and get started! Happy reading!

So...who's in???

My lists:

Books Read in 2009 (to the best of my recollection)
  1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  2. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
  3. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
  4. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
  5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  6. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  7. Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos
  8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Challenge List (to be read by December 31, 2009)
  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (currently reading)
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  4. Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
  5. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  7. The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman
  8. The Rose Labyrinth by Tatiana Hardie
  9. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  10. The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

First Class A$$

Lobster has been having weird numbness and tingling in his left side, particularly his left arm and foot. (Don't worry. I think it's a pinched nerve caused by stress.) After about a week of the progressively intensifying pain, he decided to see a doctor who suspected a nerve issue (surprise) and referred him to a neurologist.

Lobster just called to tell me about his neurologist appointment. He said he was poked with needles about thirty times. Lobster hates needles and he was feeling very nervous and trying to calm down when he talked to me. He told me what the neurologist had discussed with him and that he wants to order an MRI and a deep tissue massage. Upon hearing all of this and knowing that Lobster was not looking forward to the prospect of being further poked and prodded, I should have done what I could to assuage his apprehension. Like a good girlfriend.

Should have.

What did I do instead? I began my crazy hippie tirade about how doctors are a bunch of drug pushing, surgery happy fiends who find every excuse to run every possible test under the sun before coming back (3 months later) with a diagnosis of a pinched nerve or a simple cold or (my favorite) "Hmmmm...we're not quite sure what's wrong with you."

Yes, I understand that doctors have to do everything they can to rule out conditions, etc. thereby covering their butts from lawsuits (I should know). But in the meantime, they do all of these tests, most of them unnecessary, and FREAK OUT the patient and their family who can only imagine the worst because why else would the doctor order a test like that?

And then I continue my psycho speech by singing the praises of chiropractors (truly, the good ones are miracle workers) and that Lobster should go see his chiropractor and have a few treatments before letting the slap happy neurologist do more wacko testing just to turn around and tell him that yes, in fact, you ARE normal and how strange that you don't have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, leprosy and a small baby alien growing inside your belly.

Lobster, after listening very quietly and patiently like the good boyfriend that he is, says to me after I've finally paused to take a breath, "Well, now I'm all worked up again."

Sigh. Poor Lobster. Why does he put up with me?

I am an a$$.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Second Blogger Award for GVTW!

Woo! Talk about a nice surprise! V over at *uncorked was nice enough to present me with this:

Yeah, that's right. Effing fabulous.

Aw, shucks, V. For those of you who don't know V, you should go check out her blog. She's awesome and lovely and one of my dearest friends. She makes me laugh and keeps it real. There are not many people in the world who are as open and honest as V, and that's why I love her. I don't deal with sugar coating or bullsh*t very well and neither does V. We're two peas in a pod.

So, I humbly accept this award. I would like to thank the Academy. What? Wrong award? Oh. Sorry.

Anyhoo, by accepting this award, I must now list five of my greatest addictions. This will not take long at all...

  1. Books/Writing--can't live without them. They make me happy. They make me sad. They make me hope and dream and think and feel. They are my oxygen.
  2. Wine--especially Cabernet. I have tried to live without it and it's not pretty. I seek to be more knowledgeable and begin a collection of fine wines someday.
  3. Health/Fitness--I was horribly overweight throughout college (by 50 pounds) and I was unhappy and ashamed of myself. After educating myself about good nutrition and fitness principles I was able to shed the weight and I have never felt (or looked) better. Now, I strive to learn more every day about being the healthiest and fittest person I can be.
  4. Home Decor and Improvement--I love making my home a beautiful, welcoming space. Right now I have to do it on the cheap so I am obsessed with all things thrift. It's amazing the kinds of wonderful things you can find at thrift stores!
  5. Lobster--he's an addiction, for sure. I've waited a long time to find the kind of love that my grandparents and parents have: a deep friendship laced with passion and infused with laughter. Partners in crime. A team. We are Team Lobster and he makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.
There you have it! And now to pass on the award:

Who Are You Callin' Cupcake--she's my little sister and one of my bestest friends. When I read her blog I am constantly surprised at how witty and charming she is. I don't know why. Maybe because it's hard for me to see her as anything but "my baby" with the cornsilk ringlets, big round tummy, bow legs and a pacifier. (Sorry, Bee, but you'll always be "my baby").

Steppin' Up to the Eastepp's--my best friend and her awesome hubby! Her blog is fun and real and she's sure to let you know what's going on in the wonderful world of baseball. Batter up!

Duoly Noted--my fab new friend and fellow jurist. She just moved to Dallas with her hubby and some of her latest (mis)adventures have me laughing out loud!

30 Before 30 List--Suz is trying to accomplish 30 things before turning 30 and I love her idea! I relate to her on many levels and she makes me laugh and think and want to accomplish many things, too. And she loves books! She's fabulous!

Thanks for having effing fabulous blogs, ladies!

A Productive Weekend

This past weekend was an incredibly productive one, if I do say so myself. Every now and then I jump into a project frenzy where I decide that I'm going to get everything done in one or two days. It's exhausting and a little crazy. But we all know I'm a bit crazy, so what's new?

So this weekend, Lobster came to town and we decided that we were just going to relax and do some things around the house. One of our main projects was (finally) installing the great chandelier the folks over at CSN Lighting graciously sent my way. Lobster and I read the installation instructions and it seemed simple enough.


Word to the wise: installing a light fixture, if you have never done it before, is not simple. At all. Especially if you have crappy "girly" pliers and only a 3 foot step ladder. It's a very good thing Lobster is (a) strong enough to ply open chain links with crappy pliers, and (b) really, really tall.

Of course, I forgot to take a "before" picture of the ugly original light as it was hanging in my kitchen. I remembered after we had taken it down. Oops. So, this will have to do:

Please ignore the curious and annoying kitty. Lovely light, eh? You can see why I jumped at the chance to replace it.

Lobster got to work splicing and threading wires and what-not.

Then we spent the next hour installing, un-installing and re-installing the new fixture. And here's the final result:

Ahhh. Much better. Simple, elegant, curvy and warm. Just like me. Hehe. Kidding?

Of course, we will have to un-install this beauty and re-install Mr. Ugly before we move. Because I'll be damned if I leave my pretty new chandelier in a rental house! But at least we'll get to enjoy it for the next eight months or so...

The other projects I got done last weekend included, but were not limited to: cleaning and washing Baby Beluga (my car), organizing the garage and putting a ton of crap in the attic, repotting the blackberry bush, hanging hose holders on the side of the house, hanging a decorative bell outside in the patio area, assembling and filling two six foot bookshelves in the office, and cleaning the house.

Why, yes, I am the energizer bunny.

Oh, and while I wasn't going 90 miles an hour, Lobster and I managed to do a little shopping and bought ourselves a new copy/scan/fax/printer/photo printer:
All together now: oooohhhh....aaaaaahhhhh. I know! I'm in love! It's the Epson Artisan 700 and we got it for a great deal! As soon as we got it home I started printing pictures like a mad person. Who needs Snapfish, I ask you? Not me. Woo! Not only does it print beautiful photos, it will also make very professional documents such as save-the-dates and wedding invitations...

Oh, wait. Sorry, Lobster. I mean, documents such as legal briefs and presentations. Yeah...

Anyhoo, we had a good weekend and I got a LOT done. I feel very accomplished. And tired.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

I finished The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger this weekend. When I saw that the movie adaptation of this book was coming out soon I knew I had to hurry up and read this one so the movie didn't ruin it for me like Memoirs of a Geisha. So, I started reading it...and I couldn't put it down.

I really loved this book. It wasn't particularly beautifully written or anything, but the story was just wonderful. It's a love story. One that conquers time and space. And while I did not necessarily enjoy the random let's-list-the-popular-punk-bands-of-the-'90's renditions that the author seemed to think was necessary, such renditions didn't really detract from the story.

At first, the time jumping is a bit confusing but you soon get the rhythm of it. There were a few sex scenes that used crass language that I could have lived without but it didn't bother me enough to detract from the story.

Overall, I thought it was a great book and I'm glad I read it. I am very much looking forward to the movie!

Up next: I think I'm going to re-read a children's classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, and see how the adventure changes when read from an adult perspective.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Early yesterday afternoon, my boss called me and said, "What are you doing tomorrow morning?"

"Uh...working...for you..." I replied, confused.

"Excellent. You're going to a hearing on a motion for new trial."

"I'm sorry?"

"You've been specifically requested by the trial attorney to be there since you wrote the motion for him a couple of weeks ago. I told him I'd go and he said he wanted you."

"Really? When did I write a motion for new trial?" I have a hard time remembering what I had for breakfast in the mornings, much less what kind of motion I wrote and when. I spend endless hours writing motions. All day. Every day. You can see why I'd draw a blank.

After my boss helped me to figure out what in the blazes he was talking about and we got off the phone, I had to begin my mental preparation. I was going to court in the morning.


You see, I am an appellate attorney. I write. And research. And sometimes talk to people on the phone. I am very rarely in the courtroom. And I like it that way. I am terrified of the courtroom.

I knew that this courtroom experience, however, wouldn't be quite so bad because I was assured I wouldn't have to do anything. I was just supposed to be there with my thinking cap on in case the other side threw any cases at us which I would have to very quickly and brilliantly distinguish from our case. I was the secret weapon. And since I did actually write the motion upon which the hearing was being held, I had a good idea of what the other side was probably going to try to pull.

So, I spent all day in a courtroom listening to testimony and shaking in my boots fearing that I would be called on to say or do something amazing in my role as the secret weapon. I read the other side's response to my motion and was happy to see that they had very weak arguments and did not write them very well to boot. It seemed that we had a very good chance of winning.

But courtrooms are very strange places where interesting things happen. Surprise testimony. A secret recording of a private conversation. Revelations of twisted sexual dalliances. Indications of fraud and collusion.

And then the judge sits up and says rather sternly to both parties, "I am not happy with the way you two have behaved." I think we have lost...and then:

"Motion for new trial is granted."

I am dumbfounded. This is the second time a judge has granted a client of mine a new trial after I was certain we were going to lose. I was shocked, but happy. I was even happier that I had to do nothing more than revise the order that the judge signed. And yet, I still have nervous stomach and sweaty palms. Why do courtrooms do that to me?

Meh. Whatever. I won.

Sheesh. I need a drink.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bibliophiles Anonymous

Confession: I am a bibliophile.

A big one. Like, I would rather buy books than food.

I know. It's a little sad. I can't help it. I LOVE books!

I love the sight of books. The smell of books. The texture of the pages, the perfect spacing of the words on the page. I love the stories they tell. I love everything about books.


Naturally, I must have a library. Wouldn't it be loverly to live in one of these rooms?

Don't you just love them? Me too. This weekend one of my goals is to assemble the two 6 foot tall bookcases I bought on the cheap at Target. They will go on either side of the Murphy bed in my spare room (go ahead, google "Murphy bed." I had to, too, before I rented my place because whether I liked it or not, it was coming with the house. Ah, the joys of renting...).

Of course, because I am getting more shelf space to store all my beautiful books, what did I do at lunch today? I bought more books, of course! I went to the Salvation Army Family Store and bought five, count them FIVE, books for $5. I could have bought more but I'm trying to show a little restraint. Very little.

I did a little happy dance at the check out counter. Woo!

You know what's even better? Lobster loves books too. When we started getting to know each other and confessing each of our nerdy life dreams we were shocked to discover that each of us has always dreamed of having a home library! I found the perfect nerd soul mate for my nerd self!

Is there anything you love like I love books? Spill it...

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