Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My mom rocks!

Mom and I were chatting about the upcoming semester earlier today, and I mentioned that I needed to order my textbooks while I'm here, so they're ready to go by the time school starts on the 5th. (Ew. Way too early.)

So I get online in the library at home and went to town, adding everything to my cart. I go to check-out, and Mom says she'll pay for my books for me! Holy cow. Eight textbooks later, I am so grateful to my awesome mama! She saved me SO much money. Merry Christmas to me!

She also called earlier and made me a massage appointment and a chiropractic adjustment appointment for tomorrow afternoon. Super excited! I haven't had a real massage since April or May, and I'm long overdue for one. Did I mention my mama rocks?

I started re-packing my suitcase tonight, and at the bottom, I have my nice new Jack LaLane juicer tucked in to the corner. Yay for having parents that overspend and then are unhappy with the results! I'm so glad they like their blender much more than the juicer and that they never use said juicer. Juice cleanse, here I come!

Dad and I went out to dinner last night at Bombay Deluxe. Of course, no trip there is complete without hair in the naan, and we weren't disappointed. But the food was delicious, as expected! We ran into Matt's parents (Sara's new fiance's family) while we were there, which was a nice surprise... after I got past the initial surprise at "Oh hi; you must be Brianna!" from a complete stranger.

And with a belly full of Indian food leftovers and a heart still elated because Prince Charming called tonight, I bid you adieu! I'm super sleepy and have a lot to do tomorrow. Ciao!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

365 questions: 161 - 175

161. If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?  I just finished up Christmas dinner with the family, and I'm about to head downstairs to watch a movie with Mom. So sure, I guess. I've gotten to spend some awesome quality time with my mama today. 

162. If today was the last day of your life, who would you call and what would you tell them?  I'd call Prince Charming, thank him again for being so amazing, and say the L-word (for real, this time).  And if I was away from home, I'd call my mama and tell her I love her. 

163. Who do you dream about? Sadly, I almost never remember my dreams.  

164. What do you have trouble seeing clearly in your mind?  The future. I am mildly terrified of being forced into the adult world. 

165. What are you looking forward to?  New Year's Eve and my parents' anniversary. New Years' Day and seeing Prince Charming again. <3 And in the not-so-near future, graduation!! 

166. What is the number one thing you want to accomplish before you die?  Visit all seven continents. It's my life goal. 

167. When is love a weakness?  When it holds you back from anything, or stops you from accomplishing your goals. 

168. What has been the most terrifying moment of your life thus far?  Probably having The Conversation with Prince Charming. I've never opened myself up for failure and rejection the way I did that night, and I was absolutely petrified. 

169. Who is the strongest person you know?  Probably Kris. She is a warrior. She has triumphed through emotional and physical pain and come out on top. She truly is an inspiration to me. 

170. If you could take a single photograph of your life, what would it look like?  It would be bright and smiley. It might be a snapshot of my hike with Prince Charming a few weeks back, when we stopped for lunch. The weather was perfect, and we were stretched out on our backs seeing what we could make of the rock formations around us. 

171. Is the reward worth the risk?  Depends on the situation. If it's something you're passionate about, almost always. 

172. For you personally, what makes today worth living?  It's Christmas! I spent some wonderful time with family, read sweet things from Prince Charming, and snuggled with the puppies. 

173. What have you done in the last year that makes you proud?  Stuck up for myself. Left an awful and toxic relationship. 

174. What did you learn recently that changed the way you live?  I learned good-paying jobs are hard to come by. I was shown how important residual income truly is. And I learned how wonderful apathy can be. 

175. What is your fondest memory from the past three years?  I think the fondest and most terrifying might be the same. The night of The Conversation, and Mark's reaction. He couldn't have been more perfect and I want to smile and cry every time I think about it.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions

If I don't make a list of 'em, I know I won't actually complete them. I love lists. I love order. And I love things that make sense.

With that, I resolve to accomplish the following five things from my 101 list:

  • Complete a half-marathon.
  • Complete a 5-day juice cleanse. (I will be starting January 2nd)
  • Achieve my goal weight (125 lbs.) and maintain it to the end of the year.
  • Acquire 75 customer points.
  • Write to Billie and Wally once per month.

And things that are not on my 101 list:

  • I resolve to fit in my new turquoise Banana Republic dress by Mark's brother's wedding in February. 
  • I resolve to make more of an effort to keep a spotless house. 
  • I resolve to go 30 days with no alcohol. 
  • I resolve to apply 100% of myself to my schoolwork. 
  • I resolve to keep a journal of thanks, updated daily. 

We'll see how things go! I think I'm going to try to make a thanksgiving journal with Mom when I'm home, or go out together and see what I can find. That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to. 

I still have to pack tonight, since I work fairly early tomorrow, so I am outta here. Ciao! And since you won't see me until Christmas Day at the earliest, Happy Holidays!! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Highlights of 2011

January: No real highlights. The most memorable moment would be Kyle storming into my office to scream at me, and the subsequent blowout / breakup.

February: California trip! Being skinnier than I have been in 7+ years.

March: Starting my 101 list, and meeting two of my very best friends!

April: My daddy coming to visit. Moving in with said new best friends. Starting my own business!

May: Another California trip, this one with my sister. Meeting Sam! <3 The heart-to-heart with Ryan in some seedy little Carlsbad bar.

June: Buying my ticket to Europe. My birthday! An Alaska trip.

July: July 4th week. Hollywood with Ryan. The beach with Ryan. Leaving for Europe!

August: Austria. Innsbruck. Meeting Andy.

September: Finally having the cajones to stand up for myself. And a new job!

October:  Asking Prince Charming out on a date.

November: Our first date. Candice's wedding. Thanksgiving. <3

December: Turning my ring around. Saying the L-word. And in four more days, I'll be headed back to Alaska again for a white Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Oh my God; can we have sex please?"

Last night in one word: shitshow.

I picked up GI Joe around 4 to go up to Four Peaks in celebration of the semester being over. One of GI Joe's friends was waiting for us, and Awesome Artist met us there after she got off work.

The girls each had one beer; the guys had more, and we decided we wanted to booze it up cheaply. So we headed our separate ways for wine and swim attire, and reconvened at GI Joe's house. Between the three of us work buddies, we polished off about four bottles of wine before Prince Charming showed up. And then we decided to get in the hot tub.

Well I had consumed one glass out of each bottle, and maybe got two glasses out of one of 'em. Point being, they were the booze hounds. So by the time we hop in the hot tub, they're both hammered.

GI Joe's wife came home to find him hooking up with the Artist in the hot tub. (Super awkward for the rest of us - particularly Prince Charming, since he had just popped his first and only beer at the time.) The dogs ate my panties while we were hot tubbing. (There are 18 new holes. I counted last night.) Then Prince Charming and I took the Artist home since she was so sloppy drunk she could hardly stand. Went and hung out with Finn for a little bit (borrowed some books; yay!!) and came home. We had a sleepover so he could take me back to my car this morning, since there was really no point in going back to GI Joe's last night to get it. It took both of us to get the Artist home and it was super late so neither of us felt like going back to get the car.

Then I had to be up at 5 this morning for a photo shoot. I'd be grumpy, but I think we got some AMAZING shots out of it! I absolutely adore this guy's work. I really am thrilled to see what we've created together. I think we're sitting down to go over all the photos some time early next week. Yay!!

I ran into the ex at work today. Or more appropriately, I suppose he ran into me when he came through my line. He made some stupid comment about how he had been wondering when/where we would run into each other next. Really? I haven't. We have very few mutual friends. We don't frequent the same places. He can't even get into the school I attend - probably until I'm finished with my degree. We rarely shop at the same grocery stores. I'm not sure why we would run into each other. And I certainly wouldn't mind if it never happened again.

Oh well. I should probably be mildly productive. My sister and her fiance are coming over to meet Prince Charming this weekend, and I have a little post-finals clutter to get rid of. My fridge could use a good cleaning, too. Last time, I only got halfway done. So between cleaning, freerice, the cookie dough I have chilling in the fridge, and the three new books I have on the end table, I'll have plenty to keep me occupied in the next few days!

Ciao :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lots to catch up on!

Yikes; it's been a while!

Prince Charming and I went over to Kris and Dave's for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a wonderful night with wonderful friends. We had some delicious wine, and slow danced around the living room after dinner.

He and I also both had the day off last Sunday, so we went out east and hiked Peralta! I had left my camera at his house and my phone in the car, so we are completely photo-less. But we had a blast! We hiked for about five and a half hours, went back and got some steaks and wine, grilled at the house, and watched a movie on the couch.

He helped me clean the puke car on Wednesday night after he got off work. We walked down to Kiwanis Park Thursday morning after breakfast and fed the ducks. (The blind one isn't there anymore, and we saw one who had a fishing hook stuck in his mouth. :( I hate irresponsible people.)

Thursday night, I went to the Champagne & Sparkling class at my favorite wine store. I fell in love with two new wines and left a little gift hidden for a special someone there to find this weekend.

Then this weekend, I spent in San Diego at a rockin' business conference! I got some amazing training from John Maxwell, who started off his talk by saying, "Hi. My name is John, and I am your friend." I heard from some amazing, inspirational people and I am so glad I went. I met up with Sam on Saturday night for a glass of wine and some girl talk. I got to share her second round of legal drinks. <3

Finn and I went out to lunch today at Pita Jungle. I can't believe I've never been there! Holy delicious. We had a selection of tapas off their happy hour menu - none of which were more than $2. New favorite place.

Today is the mailing deadline for my cookie exchange, and I got my first dozen in the mail today! I am not proud to admit that I didn't share any, and I have none left. Definitely need to run a few miles this week - particularly because I've been contacted about three upcoming shoots in the last three days. I've already gained a bit of weight. I can't afford to gain much more.

I submitted my last programming assignment of the semester tonight! I can't believe that in only eight days, I will be done with this semester. I can't wait! I have been so exhausted and overwhelmed lately with everything I have going on, and am so ready to have some time to relax, and to do things for me.

I've been invited to speak on a conference call tonight by someone I have the utmost respect for, so I should probably head off. I apologize for the lack of updates! Hopefully you'll see a little more of my smiling face around here soon. :)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Every day gets a little better.

I was so stunned last night by him that I was almost in happy tears.

I don't think I have ever met someone so amazing. Admittedly my only two "serious" relationships were with douchey guys, but I truly didn't believe there were men out there like Sir Gingerbeard. I thought other women made men like him up. That he only existed in dreams.

He couldn't be further from the guys I've dated in the past, which I LOVE. I've had two "serious" relationships. Boyfriend #1 thought an acceptable birthday gift was sex with a condom in my favorite color. Boyfriend #2 - well that relationship ended in a restraining order. Not much else to say. Sir Gingerbeard is amazing. There's no doubt about that. But I think I probably see him as even more amazing because of the douchers I've dated in the past.

Anyway. Last night. Sunday. We had The Conversation. There's something important that needed to be discussed, and I bit the bullet last night. (Admittedly, it took some encouraging from him.) I said I had penciled in an awkward conversation for the evening, but still had a hard time spitting it out. He took me by the hand, led me to the couch, sat down, and encouraged me to talk. I was so nervous I couldn't even make eye contact until I'd gotten out what I had to say.

He told me that this new information really didn't change much, and then leaned over and kissed me. We continued to chat about plans for the week (yay, Thanksgiving!) and he suggested going out of town on Sunday, since we both have the day off. When he left, he blew me kisses.

If I was the crying kind, I certainly would have been bawling last night. His response just reaffirmed everything I've heard about him, and solidified my feelings (not that they were in question). I am so amazed to be treated the way he treats me (he also paid for my groceries when we went shopping, and washed all my dishes). I feel so special and adored.

This morning, I got a "good morning" text message as I was getting ready to walk out the door. After having The Conversation last night, that meant the world to me. I can't fully put into words the way he makes me feel. Adored. Enamored. Smitten. I feel like I'm walking on clouds. Other people have commented on how happy I am.

The more I learn about him, the more I want to pack him in my suitcase and bring him home with me to meet my parents. The more I want to tell him to put a ring on it. I've had three people in the last 24 hours tell me to marry him tomorrow. Not that I'm seriously considering it, but it's almost scary that something like that doesn't weird me out. We've been on eight dates and he's not only been my date to a wedding, but I've agreed to meet his family at his brother's wedding in less than three months. We've been on eight dates and he's already buying my groceries.

I could go on, but I'll spare you all. Plus, I'm exhausted and I might have mentioned something about making a zillion cookies tomorrow after my morning run. Ciao!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I didn't think I could be more smitten.

And then last night happened.

We had already established that he is kind, generous, and giving. He has a huge heart. He is fun and respectful. Last night, I learned that he is both patient and... sacrificing might be the wrong word, but whatever the opposite of self-serving is, that's him. We were in a situation that was just really eye-opening for me. It made me appreciate even more the man that he is. I feel so lucky and blessed. And as weird as it might sound, I feel protected. He is amazing. No doubt about it.

We chatted on the phone tonight for two hours. He's coming over tomorrow for dinner (and maybe to meet Shari, if she's here late enough!) and I should probably head to bed if I have to head to the grocery store in the morning. I think we're going to have that scary conversation, too. I won't lie; I'm pretty nervous, but at the same time, I am fairly confident it will go well.

My eyes are trying to close. I'll try to get some of our super cute pictures up soon! Ciao.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Candice got married!!!

Sir Gingerbeard and I got all dolled up last night and headed off to Candice & Danny's wedding! What a blast! I am so amazingly happy for them. They are so beautifully in love and witnessing their wedding was such an honor. Danny is so obviously head over heels for her. He was singing to her during their first dance song, took her shoes off at one point in the evening since her feet hurt, and was giving her sweet kisses all night. Candi is so enamored by him. Just watching two people so in love was such a blessing.

My favorite part of their reception was their photo booth. SO much fun! I got two shoots in with Sir Gingerbeard, photo bombed Candi and Brittany, and then got a shoot in with Candice as well. The photos are so adorable. Two strips printed out after each set - one for us, and one for the scrapbook. Such an adorable idea! I definitely think I'm going to need to do something similar.

Sir Gingerbeard was just amazing. I wore my green heels (which are broken) but brought a change of shoes since I figured I'd probably need them at some point. As the buffet line was opening, we were walking to get in line, and I made a comment about how my toesies were hurting. He, being the wonderful man he is, rushed off to the car to grab my other heels for me.

He dipped me at the end of "At Last," on the dance floor, and requested Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight." We shared a piece of wedding cake and relaxed on a bench outside at the end of the evening. I feel so lucky and special. He opened my door for me all night, told me to blame being late on him (I didn't), and... totally swept me off my feet. He makes me feel like I'm on top of the world.

Tuesday, we had a dinner date here at the house. Sir Gingerbeard came over when he got off work, and we made dinner together. He brought over two bottles of wine (the FireBlock Grenache and a bottle of bubbly!) and we hung out all night chatting on the couch, watching silly music videos, showing off our dance moves, and talking about life. His mom called at one point and left a fairly important voicemail, so he called her back. He said he was having dinner with me, and praised my cooking like crazy. She asked about me and how I was. It was pretty obvious they've had at least one conversation about me in the recent past. Adorable.

He also said that if things continue to go the way they have been, he would love to have me as his date for his brother's wedding in February, and for his best friend's wedding next summer. Both are out of state, on the East Coast. Planning for the future! Exciting!

I just got home after dropping off several drunk people and cleaning vomit from my car. I am totally wiped and am going to pass out. More on Sir Gingerbeard's wonderfull-ness and everything else later!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I was quoted!

And one of the quotes isn't entirely correct, but I'm pleased with the article anyway.

I was interviewed for an article on PTSD & Addiction last month. The author had contacted the organization I volunteer for, looking for women to share their stories, so I offered to contribute what I could. Since it is on an addiction site, I think it will primarily help those that already recognize they have an addiction and perhaps prompt them to seek help. If even one person seeks help as a result of hearing they are not alone, I will be happy.

My computer has been super slow and ridiculous lately, so I am WAY behind on my freerice. I donated just over 3000 grains while I was in the library between classes, though, so I'm catching up.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011
Today is the last day to sign up for the Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I am super excited. Not sure how I'm going to package my little goodies yet, but I know I'm definitely making the gems that I brought into work last week. With as much as everyone talked about them? Absolutely. There are over 600 bloggers signed up right now. That's over 600 amazing cookie recipes I'm going to get out of this deal, aside from the 3 dozen cookies I'll have shipped to my door. I can't wait!

I'm off to bed so I can get up early tomorrow, go for a run, get some cleaning done, do some grocery shopping, and get ready for date night! Sir Gingerbeard is coming over for chili and cornbread. I sent him pictures of the dress I'm wearing to Candi's wedding tonight, and he said something about running out to get a black & green tie so we can be all cute and matching. Adorable! I can't wait.

I'm outta here. Ciao!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A quick note on a good friend.

I brought in my shrimp curry leftovers for Sir Gingerbeard and me to share for lunch, and got a smooch in return. Success! I also may have convinced him not to cut his hair. He said something about only trimming the sideburns. I would certainly approve.

I have also been thinking over the last few days how lucky I am to have Er in my life. My best friend has been there for me through thick and thin for the last 16 years. My best friend from elementary school is still the first one I call when I have news that is happy, sad, exciting, or depressing. She is simply amazing, and I am so glad she has stuck with me. She hasn't felt too well lately (nasty cold or a variation thereof for the last three weeks) so we haven't chatted quite as much, and I've missed that. We got some Skype time in tonight, though. My withdrawal symptoms are now kept at bay.

I've just been remembering how many of my important life events she's been there for. The summer our family had to put the two dogs down. Fourth grade. She was there. When the Backstreet Boys album first came out, and we would listen to it on the playground during lunch on someone's Discman. 8th grade graduation, when we took the limo down to Beluga Point and she put KFAT on the radio. High school. Youth Court. And some of my favorite memories - our first year away at college. Fraternity parties. Snuggling in my twin bed on the sleeping porch. My birthday dinner with Anne, when we essentially got kicked out of Village Inn. She is one of my only long-time bffs to have met The Ex. And my most recent in-person memory: breakfast and then car shopping at the Toyota/Lexus dealership in Anchorage, right before I moved down here.

Erika Gail. You rock my world. You are my best friend and I don't know what I would do without you.

Love letter aside, I think I'm going to head to bed before midnight for the first time in... I can't even remember. I have another long day tomorrow (school, and I close at work) and I am totally exhausted. I still have to muster up the energy to clean for my CouchSurfer and my dinner date with Sir Gingerbeard on Tuesday! (If you're lucky, I might post pictures of us all dolled up for Candi's wedding on Wednesday.)

The sleepy time, she comes. Ciao!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My favorite veteran.

I was tooling around on facebook Friday night, and noticed the new contest hosted by The Melting Pot. You're supposed to post a story about your favorite veteran.

It got me thinking. Who is my favorite veteran? The one that comes to mind immediately is Army Guy, from work. I seriously can't say enough good about him. He is spectacular (even if he doesn't wear his helmet). He is a blast and a half to spend time with. He's nice. He's kind. He's hilarious. He is complimentary - both times I've brought goodies into work, he's practically tripped over himself complimenting everything. And even today as I was walking up to the wine bar (he was pouring), he asked if I had lost weight. The opposite has happened, in fact, but he really appears to care about people, and let them know he cares. As I was standing there tasting today, an older woman walked up. Army Guy complimented her on her jewelry "getup." He's always super positive. I love it.

Or a veteran I know a little better. Matt-One. Someone that I know without a doubt I could call in the dead of night, and he would be there for me. One of those 2-AM flat-tire friends. I might not have talked to him in a while, but I know he doesn't care any less. We were both there for each other when we needed it most. When Katie was being a megabitch and dumped him without telling him, I was the one he called at o'dark-thirty from Iraq. When I was struggling in my relationship with Kyle, he was the one that listened. No matter how many times I said the same thing, or how frustrated he must have been telling me to leave, he still listened.

Or Ryan. The veteran I've known for 18 years. The one I planned a trip to Europe with this summer. One of the most respectable and respectful guys I know. I've shown up to his place at 4AM and been welcomed with open arms.

Or either of my two grandfathers who served - Grandpa Harold and Mom's dad, Grandpa Bud. Grandpa Harold served in Korea for two years. Grandpa Bud also served for two years, and got out as an E-5. He left the Army because they had implemented a freeze and wouldn't promote him. That makes me laugh now. I know someone who has 8 years in and JUST made E-5. (Or maybe it was E-4?) Grandpa was such a stellar soldier that he advanced that quickly.

I'm getting really sleepy and having a hard time keeping my eyes open. The point I was trying to make (mostly to myself) with that is that I know so many truly amazing veterans. I have allowed my failed relationship to color my opinion of Marines in particular, and my interactions with other less-than-stellar service members to color the military and veterans in general. It's unfortunate, and I need to work to change that, because I know so many veterans that are wonderful people. These five people are far from an exhaustive list. The great service members I know are much more common than the awful ones, and that's something I know I need to work on in my head.

I might be having a beer chili date tonight, so I should probably get some sleep so I can pick up the kitchen mess I managed to make earlier. (Side note: I don't know why I ever dated someone who doesn't love curry. I love cooking it, love eating it, and love sharing it with someone who also enjoys the finer things in life!) I have a few errands to run before work, and it's almost 2AM already, so I should get to bed. Ciao!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

365 questions: 151 - 160

151. When does silence convey more meaning than words?  In times of intense emotion, I think silence conveys much more than words. There are not always words to properly convey what you're feeling, and if you try, it can cheapen the moment. 

152. How do you spend the majority of your free time?  I try to do something for myself - whether it's attending a hot yoga class, working on my 101 list, or cleaning the house so I am less overwhelmed during the week. Lately I've also been spending quite a bit of time with Sir Gingerbeard. I also love chatting with my best friends. 

153. Who do you think of first when you think of ‘success?’  My daddy. He has gone from rags to riches twice. He is the hardest worker I know, and he is able to reward himself however he chooses because of it. 

154. What did you want to be when you grew up?  When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a pilot. 

155. How will today matter in five years from now?  I'm not sure, to be honest. I haven't done anything remarkable today, and don't have anything remarkable planned either. Today is the day after date #4. It is the day after I met Victoria. The day after I enjoyed my first Bathhouse Brewery beer. Sir Gingerbeard and I hung out in the car until nearly 1:30 this morning comparing music selections. Tonight, I will attend my P-Chem class and then probably pick up the house a bit. 

156. How have you helped someone else recently?  I covered the burgers and party snacks last night. 

157. What is your greatest skill?  I think I'm pretty skilled at listening and offering advice. I also like to think I'm a skilled driver. (And my completely spot-free driving record would agree! I've never even had a speeding ticket.) But practical skill? I'm skilled in the kitchen. That probably counts. 

158. Do you see to believe or believe to see?  A little of both, but I tend to be a see-to-believer. 

159. How are you pursuing your dreams right now?  I am finally a math major! After wanting to pursue a degree in math for years and years, I am finally doing so. 

160. What’s the next big step you need to take?  The big, big step will be graduating in 3 more semesters! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ich hab' gestern mit SAM ├╝bernachtet.

And he has a new name. Sir Gingerbeard, so dubbed by Kelli. Love it.

Went over to his house for dinner. Met his roommate (who is super awesome) and his roommate's... not quite sure. More than a girlfriend, it appears. She's from Australia and is a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines. We chatted about all the spectacular places she's been. She's super fun, too.

We snuggled and smooched, and I stole all the covers. He asked how I felt about his nickname for me and I said I wasn't the biggest fan, so he tossed out some more options and we giggled about them. I hit snooze on my alarm this morning so we could hang out in bed for another ten minutes. We had coffee (or I did, rather) and then I headed home.

He's picking me up around 5:30 for tonight's brewing get-together. Should be a blast! I'm pretty excited.

Driving back home this morning, I saw a trailer full of cows, just goin' down the highway. It was pretty bizarre, and highly entertaining.

I should head off to class, and then I'll be busy getting ready for date #4! Ciao!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am on cloud nine.

I am dating the most amazing man.

Wednesday was date #1. I already mentioned he drove me home and was absolutely spectacular. He also picked up my $40 tab. Yikes.

Friday, I brought him cookies at work. <3

Saturday, we worked together. I ran errands in the morning / early afternoon, and didn't even check out at the grocery store until half an hour before I was supposed to be at work. I tossed a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and rushed out the door. SAM was off a little bit before me, and he went to the store to get quinoa since the grocery store I went to didn't have any. He showed back up to work dressed all fancy, and looking spectacular.

Kris and Dave came over, and the four of us enjoyed dinner and some adult beverages together. (He helped in the kitchen - cutting up the veggies, cooking, and doing dishes.) After Kris and her man left, SAM and I hung out on the couch until 4AM just chatting. He put his hand on my knee a few times, but nothing more than that. He is super respectful, and it is so cute!

I had told him he was welcome to crash at the house since we had a 6AM meeting at work the next day, and so he did. He helped me make the bed, because he rocks! (I had washed the sheets earlier that day.) We snuggled a little bit. He kept his hands to himself because he's that awesome. I rolled over at one point because we hadn't even kissed yet, and I wanted a little smooch goodnight. He took it upon himself to make the first move. Made a comment about how he would like to kiss me before I fell asleep, and did the whole soft touch on the face thing. Gave me the sweetest kiss ever! We smooched for a little bit before I rolled back over and we passed out.

Woke up the next morning a little late for the meeting. I had pre-planned that I was going to wear my footie pjs, so I did. I was struggling to put my slippers on over my pjs since it was super early and I was still half-asleep. SAM got down on the floor and put my slippers on for me. Adorable! <3

We established Saturday night that he will be my date to Candi's wedding next week, and that he is accompanying me to Thanksgiving dinner at Kris & Dave's.

We closed together at work tonight, and he was super cute again. I got a smooch in the cash office. He came in to finish off my paperwork and said, "I'm just going to be really forward. I have been wanting to kiss you all day." So I suggested he do it. He also walked me out to my car at the end of the night and I got a goodnight kiss or two.

He invited me over to his place for dinner tomorrow night with his roommate and roommate's "beau." He's also having a little brewing shindig on Wednesday that he's coming over to pick me up for. (He makes his own home brew.) We are going over to Kris's one night this weekend to go out dancing, and Candi's wedding is next Wednesday!

I have been walking on clouds. He is sweet, respectful, nice, funny, intelligent, and makes me feel like I am on top of the world. Plus, not only did he see me out in public in my footie pjs, but he encouraged the outfit and helped me get my slippers on... and he still wants to spend time with me, and invites me to meet his friends.

I am completely smitten. <3

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today couldn't be better if it tried.

I have had a truly spectacular day.

School was acceptable. Nothing special. Organic Chemistry test today. Didn't totally finish it, but neither did probably 80% of the class, so I'm sure there will be a hefty curve.

Stopped by the bank on the way home and deposited last week's paycheck. Yay for money! Got back to the house and started the delicious cookies as atonement for my actions on Wednesday. Called Rose and chatted for almost an hour and a half. One of the best decisions I've made in a while. Not only were we able to talk through past disagreements and hurt feelings, but we both did some apologizing and ended the call with a much more positive impression of each other. Like, she's someone I might actually like. Never thought I would find myself saying that, but I'm really glad we talked today.

Got off the phone and ran out the door to work with a plate of cookies. Dropped 'em off at the front and went back to chat with Dawn and my favorite wino about a few things. Got a few meager tastes (definitely not an ounce) and then inspected the heavier stuff for tomorrow night.

I gave Kris a call to see what she's wanting to drink, and she asked what I was making for dinner, so dinner it is! I asked SAM what he was wanting, since he was standing there. (He's not picky.) And when he found out I was making dinner, he said he would bring a bottle of wine. <3

We chatted for a few minutes about logistics. I told him if he wanted to meet me back at work when I'm off and we can head over to the house together, that would work. He said he knows exactly where I live, but it would probably be easier to just follow me. So I looked at him with a suspicious look and said, "Uh, you know where I live?"

He started laughing and said "Yeah, I stalk you. I'm definitely going to give you a hard time. I wonder how much you remember from the other night." And of course then I wanted to die of embarrassment. Yes, I did remember he brought me home; it just slipped my mind momentarily.

I go up to the bar to sample some the spirit I was contemplating, and Army Guy comes rushing up, licking cookie off his lips, thanking me for bringing them in. I fell over myself trying to apologize, and he totally brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal at all. Then told me if I ever need someone to ride one of the motorcycles in the garage, he'd volunteer his services. :P

Came home and called mom. Chatted with her for a while. Chatted with Kris and Dave for a while. Got a text message complimenting my fab cookies. Slathered mask on my face and then walked down to check the mail, completely forgetting that I probably looked a fool. And now it's raining, which I absolutely love!

I let go of some 2+ year old negativity today, and it feels amazing. Ate a delicious cookie (only one!), finalized plans for tomorrow, and now I'm sitting enjoying the beautiful Arizona fall weather.

I should probably give the bathroom a once-over before I have guests, so I'll get on that. I'll update Sunday after our date. <3


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh hi there, 6AM hangover.

Day drinking is a bad idea.

Day drinking on a first date is probably a worse idea.

And Mom, you probably shouldn't read this one.

Sometimes I'm not the most responsible person I know. Yesterday was one of those times. Super Attractive Man (can we just call him SAM? That sounds much easier) had asked me out on a lunch date with friends. Awesome, right? I had initially told him that I wouldn't be able to stay long because I had a 1 o'clock class that I couldn't miss. Well I got an email from the professor that morning saying she had already uploaded that day's recorded lecture, so I changed my mind.

Hung out, had lunch and a few beers (I don't know why I let PBR ruin me for so long. There are some delicious brews out there!), bullshitted. We were there for almost three hours. We finally decided we should probably get a move on and either move the party elsewhere or head home, so of course we decided to hit Mill Ave for happy hour.

Poor choice. For me, anyway.

We headed straight to Canteen. Got a round of tequila & pineapple juice shots. Then ordered margaritas. I only ordered one. Then I think Awesome Chick ordered another one for me when I was in the bathroom. Then I wasn't paying attention and ended up with a third.

Uh oh.

SAM drove me home, and Army Guy took my car. I woke up on the couch just after midnight.

Things I learned yesterday:

  • I work with the most amazing group of people. Truly. The people are what made me go back for the last two years, and working there, I value them even more. Some guy that I just met a month ago drove my car home for me because I was irresponsible. He could have shoved me in SAM's car and said "See ya!" but he didn't. And I love that. [Side note: In all my years of driving, I have never once let anyone drive any of my vehicles. Never. Not even the guy I was dating for four years. So the fact that I even trusted him with my car says a LOT.]
  • Awesome Chick has apparently been dreaming of a baby-making relationship for SAM and me. She told him on the day I was hired that we will make beautiful ginger babies. She told me yesterday she loves me and she is 100% behind SAM and I dating if that's what happens. She went on and on about how wonderful he is. Fantastic. 
  • SAM is apparently super excited for our date this Saturday. And he held my hand yesterday. Adorable! <3
And today turned out surprisingly awesome, too. Texted a bit with SAM, told him I'd bring cookies in tomorrow as a peace offering. Went through some super ridiculous drama. I love it when someone on the internet tries to cause shit between my real friends and me. Sorry, guys. Not interested. And out of that mess, I gained new understanding and dropped a ridiculous old grudge. And tonight, I was invited (and asked to bring SAM!) to a beautiful friend's wedding in two weeks. She is so amazing and inspirational and I feel so honored and blessed that she invited me to play a part in her special day. I truly can't say enough good about her, and I feel so special right now. 

Didn't get the chance to swing by Old Navy for jeans before their sale ended today. I hung out at home like a hungover slob all morning, and then didn't feel like going anywhere this afternoon. Oh well! I'll find something and make it work. 

My life is amazing, and I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in it. For the first time since I moved here, I feel like I'm actually making quality friendships rather than the surface friendships I've made in the past. 

Not even the fact that I missed my P-Chem quiz today can bring me down. And on that note, I have some German homework to finish. Ciao! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So discouraged.

Today has been amazing, and I *should* be on cloud nine right now.

I ran about 2.5 miles earlier. While I was on the treadmill, I got a text message from Super Attractive Man. I gave him my number as he was leaving work yesterday, so he wanted to make sure I had mine, and he invited me out with some other people for lunch and drinks tomorrow.

Great, right? I was super happy earlier. I went into whirlwind mode, cleaned the living room - vacuumed everything, cleaned off the end table, went through all kinds of papers. Made decent progress on the house.

Then I decided it might be a good idea to figure out what I'm going to wear tomorrow. I put on a jean skirt with a short-sleeved sweater, and thought I looked fat. My legs don't look awesome, either.

So I put on my shorter skirt, just to try it on, as a maybe for this weekend. Fits. Barely. Still not happy with my legs.

Then I tried on jeans. Maybe I don't want to show off my legs tomorrow - especially since there's not much to show off. I have two pairs of jeans that I've tried on that I can button and don't look hideous. Still, they're not super flattering and not what I want to wear.

So I went through my entire stack of jeans looking for my 27s and 5s. I have two pairs left to try on and hope they'll look better. One of them desperately needs to be hemmed... like several inches, hemmed. I had to pin them when I wore heels. So those are probably out even if they fit.

And to top everything off, I went to take a drink of water from my favorite water bottle, and there's a dead fruit fly floating in it. Awesome.

I just feel so defeated. I haven't eaten sweets since the last of the 7-layer bars were gone, other than the 90 calorie pudding things I have. (And even then, I might have had three in the last week. I'm pretty sure that's an overestimate.) For lunch today, I had two zucchini, a yellow squash, and an orange pepper cut up, sauteed, and served with balsamic vinegar. That's it. I'm not eating food that should make me gain weight, and yet I've still gained 35+ lbs. since February. I know a lot of it is from Europe, but I got home more than two months ago.

Defeated. Discouraged. Frustrated.

I burned about 200 calories in the gym earlier. I've probably burned another 200 with my little house dance party today. I'd still have to burn another 3100 calories in order to lose just ONE pound between now and Saturday. Yeah, not going to happen. And one pound isn't going to do much when it comes to fitting back in my pants, anyway.

To top everything off, both bikes in the gym are broken so running or the elliptical are my only options. And when I was rummaging through the fridge earlier, I dropped a container of grape tomatoes and one of them ended up under the fridge, I think. So I'll have to move the damn fridge in order to get it. It's not a problem, it's just a huge pain. I guess it won't hurt to clean behind the fridge, but I'm still irritated that I was so careless.

I have two loaves of bread in the fridge that are fine, but that I won't eat, so I think maybe if I get out of lab a little early tomorrow, I'll take them and walk all the way down to Kiwanis, walk around the lake and toss the bread to the ducks, and then walk the long way home (up to Baseline, over to Kyrene, and back down).  That's a little longer than I walked today, and it will give me some fresh air and an emptier fridge at the same time.

So I guess I'll be going to get some new jeans in the next few days. I think I'll check out the selection at Old Navy. They're having a sale right now and I hope to God I won't be in these pants for long, so I don't want to fork out too much for them.

I have some German homework to do, so I suppose I should get on that. Ciao!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I grew a pair today.

Super Attractive Man was leaving work today, so I called him over and asked what he was doing on Saturday. Well, now he's going dancing with me, and that settles that. Super excited! He also appeared pleased that I decided to wear a skirt (with 3" heels) to work today, rather than my usual boring black slacks. I received a several compliments at work - both from him and others.

I put in my time-off requests today for the weekend before finals (crossing my fingers for that one) and for my Alaska trip, which I already cleared with the manager. I also left a note with the days I'm able to work extra hours (time and a half on Thanksgiving!), so hopefully the paychecks will beef up a little. And I guess the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year, so that should be exciting.

Fantastic day. I have a ton of cleaning to do in the next few days. Have to take a trip to Goodwill and get rid of some things. Maybe find a place for my miniature table, so it doesn't look like I just moved in. (This restoration business still has me stressed out. I wish my house could actually look like a home. And it would be awesome if I could actually sleep in my room, on a bed. Ugh.)

I should probably get started on my P-Chem homework. Don't worry; I'll be doing it with a grin on my face. Nothing can bring me down from my high today. :)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

I love my job.

I truly have the best job ever, and I work with the most amazing people.

Last night as I was leaving, my manager Biker Dude was outside in the parking lot. He had ridden his Harley to work, so we chatted about it a little bit and I gave him shit for riding a Harley. Called myself a Harley Hater (because I am).

So this morning, I get into work. Things are slow; we're chatting. I apologize and say I don't really know him well enough to give him shit about his bike without sounding like a bitch, so I'm sorry. He says it's all good - he used to give his buddies shit about riding Harleys, too. And life is grand.

Then one of the other women comes into work. She's helping out a customer, and the customer is looking for a particular beer, wondering if we carry it. So she uses our handy dandy headset radio system and asks if we have a beer called "Raging Bitch." Biker Dude is feeling pretty feisty, so he replies that in fact, we do have Raging Bitch. It can be found in the front, and has red hair.

Could not stop laughing.

Next, the HR manager comes in. She's having man problems (from what I could overhear of the conversation, the guy she's been dating for the last three years is a total d-bag). Her, Biker Dude, and Super Attractive Man are chatting about it. I'm sorta listening in, but not really paying attention. Then all of a sudden, Super Attractive Man pipes up, "That's why Brianna and I are staying single. We're just going to hook up every once in a while." I look over all confused, with an apparently displeased look on my face, because Biker Dude looks at me, laughs, and says something along the lines of, "Judging by her expression, I don't think she's totally on board." And so we laughed some more.

But the most entertaining part of my day - it's time for me to close out for the day. Super Attractive Man heads over with his keys to do his thing with my register & print out all the reports. I see him walking over and tell him to "work his magic." He looks at me, holds up his hand, wiggles his fingers, and says, "With my hand!!"

Totally wasn't expecting that one. Definitely laughed.

He takes me back and lets me into the cash room. I do my thing, and call him to count my deposit and go over all my paperwork when I'm done. He tells me I'm finished and can go, and I hang out talking for a few minutes. Asked if he would be working tomorrow. He's working a nasty shift, so I commented on it. Just banter.

I walk out of the cash office and see Biker Dude and my shift supervisor standing at the front desk, looking at me / the cash office door, with shit-eating grins on both their faces. So I walk over there and notice they're standing in front of the video feed for the fancy camera system we have set up. (There are two different cameras in the cash office.) They've been spying on us!

Biker Dude gets on the headset and says "Hey Super Attractive Man, need some cold water in there?"

Embarrassing. Laughed some more.

Super Attractive Man responds that he's had plenty of cold water for the day, thanks. I go and do my thing, grab my crap, and go back to return my radio and clock out. Super Attractive Man is walking toward the desk, and Biker Dude is still standing up there. Biker Dude makes some comment about how he was just looking out for Super Attractive Man (who is wearing athletic pants), to avoid an awkward situation.

Couldn't decide if I wanted to die, or die laughing.

In other news, I think I'm going to ask him if he wants to come out dancing with Kris and Dave and I next weekend. We'll see if I grow some cajones between now and tomorrow late afternoon.

As a side note, Super Attractive Man impressed me during some of our brief conversations today. He is pretty awesome. The conversation that impressed me the most was him talking about languages. He walked up to me and said "Por que?" (or however it's spelled), which got us started talking about Spanish. I mentioned I am not a Spanish fan; that German is more my thing. He said German is one of the languages that has always interested him, along with...

(wait for it)

GAELIC. Because he loves all things Irish.

My heart just went pitter-patter, a little. Perhaps when I'm back visiting the parents in December, I'll take a picture of my room, to show everyone just how perfect that comment was.

Enough gushing about attractive men. I'm off to finish my German homework, and take care of what's left of the roast and potatoes in my crock pot. Ciao!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I love my mama!

I have pretty much the best mom ever. <3  [Even my ex used to say he loved my mom. He probably loved her more than he loved me! Haha]

I used to say that my mom was my best, best friend. Then we kinda got into it over a night of debauchery back in April, and I got a little stand-offish. I've been that way for the last 6-ish months. Not that I get plastered all the time, or often, or ever, really. But I have drank more now that I'm single than I did before, and my mom has a big problem with alcohol, so I just haven't been quite as chatty. I know she would love me no matter what, but I don't want to feel like I've disappointed her. So I just didn't call as much. Then I left the country. Then shit went down when I came home. And school started, so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Then I started working at my amazing job so I have even less time. You get the picture.

Anyway, Mom texted me tonight, and I called her. We chatted at first about pants, because I need some of my fat pants that are still at her house. Then about a former friend's dad, which morphed into growing up and friendships and decisions. That moved on to facebook (since that's where I found out the drama encircling the old friend), which prompted a conversation about the ex. Mom had accidentally added him on facebook when she got her new phone. It went through and added all her phone contacts on facebook, I guess. So she got a message back from him saying it was not appropriate for her, as the mother of his ex, to be friends with him. And that moved into a conversation about me. And us.

I didn't really talk about it when it was happening - partially because I didn't know what was going on myself, and mostly because I didn't want to feel judged. But Kyle and I spent a lot of time together when I first got home from Europe. Even before I got home, he talked about getting a hotel room in Sedona. It never happened, but the discussion continued for the first two or three weeks after I got back. He mentioned asking off from work so we could go up there. He came over on a fairly regular basis (yes, even though Dad said he was not allowed in the house. My bad. I don't learn very quickly). He changed my air filter. He brought me bread from Great Harvest when I asked him to. He brought over dinner and wine the day after I got home. We even had a conversation about getting back together.

Well it all ended in a protective order. To the best of my knowledge, he was served on September 15th. (I never actually got anything in the mail about it, so that's a guess.) And I told Mom all of that tonight. She asked if we had had any contact since the protective order (she found out about it online the weekend after he was served, which I feel a little bad about. Probably freaked her out). I said no, and realized that for the first time, not out of anger, I truly don't care about him anymore. I used to say I no longer care for him, but I will probably always care about him.

I'm not there anymore. I don't regret the last 4 1/2 years of my life, and I don't regret our relationship. I have learned SO much about myself, about what I want (and mostly what I don't want), and how to communicate, as a result of our relationship.

But if I thought I had baggage entering that relationship, I have a whole hell of a lot more now. I finally felt comfortable enough to voice to my mom that I was seeing a therapist for a few months, that I have not been diagnosed because I haven't seen a doctor, but that I firmly believe I have Secondary Traumatic Stress. And I told her about the manifestations of it for me. The ridiculous urge to flip someone off a few days ago, when the poor guy was just sitting at a red light. How hateful and negative I am now. How judgmental I am. My lack of ability to sympathize/empathize.

And I feel so much better. It's like I told Victoria earlier - a load has been lifted off my shoulders just being out of that toxic relationship. And I feel even lighter now that I've talked to Mom about it. She listened without judgment, and did everything I needed her to do. She even suggested I see a therapist again, which I have considered.

For the first time, I told my mom that Kyle had tossed me around. I told her that when I turned him down for sex, he shoved me across the room and into the corner of his desk. I told her that I've raised a hand to him before. I told her that I've had dreams that I shot his mother (hilariously, more than once!).

I got a lot of things out that I'm not proud of, and a lot of things that needed to be said. I couldn't be happier.

I love my mom! (Too much to add her on facebook. :P ) I am so thankful that my family always supports me, no matter my decisions. I am so lucky to have a mom as amazing as mine. I am so grateful to be born into the family that I was. And I'm excited to go visit them for Christmas!

Ironic that "Kiss with a fist" - Florence + the Machine just came on my Pandora station? Perhaps. I realize that's satire, but I am so glad I don't subscribe to that mindset any longer. A kiss with a fist is not better than none. It took me long enough to realize that, but I couldn't be happier that I did.

I'm off to be an old lady before bed. I have some dishes to put away, some clothes to fold, and a comfy bed waiting! I have to work again at 10 in the morning. Ciao!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's a blog party!

Ain't no party like a followers fest party...

A group of four awesome ladies are getting together to host a followers fest tomorrow! Link up, chat about your fall favorites, crafts you're working on, life in general, or whatever strikes you! Click on the button for more info. :)

I'm home after watching Im Juli tonight, and think I'm going to do some picking up around the house tonight before a super long day tomorrow. School, then work. And I'm working all weekend. Joy! Hopefully I'll have time to snap a few pictures of my Halloween costumes (we get to dress up Saturday - Monday!) and put 'em up.


Let's go to Japan!

I came across this article today. Could life get any more perfect?! The Japan Tourism Agency is giving away 10,000 free round-trip tickets, starting in April. The "catch" is that you have to present them with a full itinerary, and blog about your trip. So I guess I should start building followers on my food blog between now and then!

I found an online deal through Target a few days ago and got 3 pairs of jeans and 3 t-shirts for $14.47 or something. Just under $14.50, including shipping. [When my order shipped, the dollar amount changed and I still have yet to hear back from them after I emailed customer service yesterday. Not totally pleased about that.]

Anyway, everything was sent out in three different shipments. My jeans got here today. And since I don't have morning classes anymore, I've been lounging around in my pjs... which consist of nothing but a pair of sweatpants right now. So. UPS man knocks on my door, and since I'm not expecting anything (I just placed the order three days ago), I'm hanging out in my sweatpants. I reach for the nearest top I can find, which just so happens to be a cardigan. Of course, it's not the button-all-the-way-up kind. It's the one where the buttons start at your navel. So I answer the door with one hand holding my stupid sweater together so I don't end up flashing the UPS guy. With my luck, it's a package that I have to sign for. So I'm holding my sweater with one hand, trying to hold the little signature pad thing with the same hand, and signing my name (badly) with the other. Then trying to hand everything back, grab the big bag of jeans, and still avoid flashing the UPS man. It was hard work; let me tell you!

All that, and the jeans don't even fit. I'm having the same problem with them as I have had with the majority of my jeans since I came home from Europe. I did so much walking that my ass nearly doubled in size. I can't even start to get them over my huge butt now. And they're a 5! So frustrating - especially considering I have size 1 shorts in my room right now. These are the biggest size I own now, and even they don't fit.

I give up. Maybe I'll start shopping in the "jeans for girls with a huge ass" section. I don't think I even have any of my jeans from when I did have a big ass, four years ago, at my parents' house. Note: Banana Republic pants are not for big butts. Also of note, I no longer like big butts. And I don't lie.

At least now I can take some comfort in knowing that of the 25 lbs. I've gained since June, a good portion of it has gone to my substantial badonkadonk. Now Mom can't say I don't have a butt anymore, or I look like a rail. Because that certainly isn't the case. Baby got back.

And with that, I'm off to shower before class. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Registered for classes!

I registered for my Spring classes this morning! 16 credits. I ended up signing up for the German Theater class instead of the Holocaust class. I may end up changing my mind, but I also think it might be a little easier. Then again, the Holocaust class could end up being like Doug's class, and be simply amazing. I'm debating emailing the prof to see what he's thinking as far as syllabus, etc.

I used up all my fresh spinach today, and boy was it tasty. I'm about to post the recipe on my new food blog (which I'm too lazy to link here right now, but you can find in my profile).

I found a scholarship today where basically you play a game on facebook, be environmentally conscious and have other people vouch for you, and then you can enter to win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Just when I had successfully weaned myself off facebook games completely.

In other news, have you tried being mad while listening to "Get Low?" Because I'm pretty sure it's not possible. Go ahead. Try it.
Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I need a dance night some time soon. Maybe I'll have to pick up the house until it's presentable so I can have Kris and Dave over for a night at Graham which will certainly involve them spending the night. Maybe I even get over my awkwardness enough to ask a certain mister out dancing with me.

I've been in a ridiculous mood today, so this Pandora station was the perfect choice. I think I'm going to work on the house a little bit and see if I can scrounge a Halloween costume out of what's in my closet. Ciao!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Such crap.

Warning: I'm probably going to do a lot of whining and feeling sorry for myself. So if you don't want to hear it, you might want to make your way to the next post, or click the little red X and go on your merry way. 

I feel like crap. I felt fine when I woke up this morning, and most of the afternoon, but right now I just feel like ass. My tummy hurts. My back hurts. My bra has decided to be an inadequate boulder holder, so I've spent half my day shoving my boobs back down in it. Good times, right?

Then I had an appointment this afternoon. Paid $30 to hear something I had already figured out myself. Tres unhelpful, doc. Thanks. 

I ended up dropping my German comp class this morning, too. This is the prof who has marked me absent when I haven't been, has grading policies that... I disagree with, let's say. She also gave me a B on my first essay but the one I just got back last week? Failed me. Sorry, my writing style hasn't changed that much in the last month. And it certainly hasn't gotten that much worse. Rather than argue about everything, I decided to drop the class and use that time to be more productive in my other classes. I'll just retake it next fall. Pain? Yes. Worth it? Also yes. 

It always astonishes me how much food I can have in this house and still not find anything good to eat. Looks like I will be going to the grocery store later this evening, if I can muster up the energy. 

Lying on the floor, I'm noticing what a crappy job the restoration team did. The paint on the walls is uneven and streaky. There's a dent near the french doors that looks like a bad patch job when they swapped out the bottom two feet of sheetrock. The hall wall outlet is crooked. Spectacular workmanship, Pinnacle Restoration. Thanks a million. I'm still waiting on my old sink back. My favorite part of this whole ordeal was getting a shittier faucet contraption than I had before. This one is reminiscent of the one at my parents' first house in Alaska... built in the '80s. Just what I've always wanted. Two thumbs up, guys. 

I started a new blog today. Yeah, I know. Just what I need - another time waster. I've thought about having a food blog for a while now. I looked up the requirements for the FoodBuzz program (not only do they send you cool stuff to try every once in a while, but you can earn money through their ads - and actually earn money; not just think you can like the Google program), and 9/10 posts have to be food related. This one definitely doesn't qualify. 

So I started a new one! It's going to be food- and wine-centric. I love food, and experimenting in the kitchen, and I love wine, and can get discounts on some awesome bottles. So there we have it! I only have an intro post up right now. I don't think I'm going to transfer any of my food posts from here over, since my photos are all crap. I'll post a link to it when I get things more up-and-running. In the meantime, I'm using Blogger's boring Dynamic Views layout. If anyone comes across a good wine layout, please sent it my way! They're apparently few and far between, and most of them suck. 

I haven't been very productive all day, so I should probably make my way to get some groceries before I hunker down and finish memorizing this ridiculous German script for tomorrow's performance. Ciao! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't mind if I do.

I got a 500 point coupon for Fry's a month or so ago. I forgot that if you redeem it at a Shell station, you only get $0.10/gal off every time. So my gas light went on today, and I stopped at the Fry's gas station on my way home. Picture 38!

$2.77/gallon? Don't mind if I do. I filled up for less than $27 for the first time in... I can't even remember how long.

Jess and I studied in BioDesign today for our German presentation on Wednesday. We're doing a scene where I'm laughing outrageously - over and over and over. We practiced it probably five or six times inside before we moved outside. I finally made the comment about moving outside since I'm sure the guard and the poor reception lady were getting tired of my maniacal laughing and us repeating nonsense in German. The guard piped up and said he was enjoying it, and we started bantering in German a bit. That was pretty fun.

I have O-Chem homework due tonight, so I should probably get on that. Ciao!

So much for bed.

I thought I would be super productive today, and do some multi-tasking. I woke up late and didn't get up until noon, so my morning was already shot. I ended up taking a load to the recycler on the way home from the Water & Ice store to refill my water bottle.

Then I got home and put some laundry in before I left for my run. Came home and put it in the dryer when I was in the shower. I turned off the dryer as I was leaving for work, since it doesn't always turn off on its own, and I wasn't interested in coming home to a house fire.

Then, 12:45 AM rolled around and I realized my damp sheets that belong on my bed are still in the dryer. That is one of the few reasons it's now 1:05 AM and I'm still up while my dryer is running.

Despite the typos, I really like this image. Not only do I have goals surrounding running as part of my 101 list (to run 1 mile without stopping, which is obviously the first of the two that will be accomplished, and to finish a half-marathon), but running is something that I have used in the past - especially to get emotions out. I remember a day when I must have been in 9th grade. I don't remember what exactly had happened, but it had something to do with Matt. I want to say that I had found out Matt was cheating on me, but that was a few years later. Anyway, I laced up my shoes, left the Red Talon house, and went for a run. I ran all the way down 68th, weaving through the neighborhoods, down to Dowling. I ran and ran and ran, until I felt better. Until I was too exhausted to be angry anymore. Maybe that's the reason why I ran so much that year. I just need someone to get mad at, and then I'll get skinny. Running has always been a way of relieving stress and anger for me. And though I haven't used it that way in a while (okay, okay, a month), I love this image for that reminder. Run when you feel fat. Run when you're mad. Run when you're upset, or lonely. Run when you're happy. Run when you feel thin and beautiful. Because no matter the reason why you run, it always produces positive results. I think possibly even more than yoga, running produces more positive results for me as far as my STS is concerned. Yoga helps me relax and puts me in a more positive mindset. Running releases endorphins. So not only does it make me too tired to care, but it makes me happy... to a much greater degree than an hour of crow pose and standing bow pose does.

I passed 150,000 grains of rice today. I'm ranked #1315 so far this year as far as quantity donated. My goal is to be top 1,000. I would actually like to be much higher than that, but I didn't start taking this seriously until pretty late in the game (last month) so unless I put in a lot of time between now and December, that's not really realistic. And I don't have the time to put in, so I'll be fine with top 1,000.

Sitting here listening to Mumford & Sons. Their most recent album is pretty awesome. Before Sam (and Ryan, from my May CA trip onward), my music library was pretty limited, I'm finding. I have listened to some indie music (The Strokes) in the past, and even some on a fairly regular basis, but some of my new favorite bands (Carbon Leaf, Matt & Kim, Mumford & Sons) I hadn't even heard of before this year.

I have O-Chem homework due at 11:30 tonight, so I suppose I should head to bed now, since I certainly won't be going to bed early tonight. Ciao!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I fail at life.

But first, before I tell you my ridiculous story of embarrassment, I will share photo #37. Because it makes me feel better about myself. Actually, it makes me feel better, period. I LOVE having a clean house, and one of my favorite things is seeing lines in the carpet after vacuuming.

So I took a picture of it today.

I'm actually too embarrassed to even share my ridiculous tale of fail, so perhaps I will say this instead. It involves an attractive coworker, and then me, being a fool. And saying / doing dumb things. I hate looking/feeling like an idiot.

I'm listening to my Matt & Kim Pandora station right now. Their "Sidewalks" album cover reminds me of my trip to Hollywood with Ryan. What an awesome trip that was. Looking like a booty call when I showed up at the gate at 4AM. The first morning, when Ryan forgot he had to go pick up his friend from the airport. He called me when he was out on his run and asked me to meet him downstairs pronto. Met me at the car and told me I looked great, or nice, or something. I thought he said something about it being a nice DAY, so I said "Oh, I know," and then felt foolish. Our trip to Hollywood and blowing money on stupid "museums." 4PM beers. Shooting at the archery range... or watching the guys shoot, because I'm a weak girl. The awesome day at the beach, where I proceeded to burn and look like a ridiculous tomato. Meeting his friends at the 4th of July party at Pat's parents' house. Waking up the next morning after going to bed with Pat's cousin, feeling totally awkward because I was the only one that had spent the night. Pat's parents still being awesome in the morning, making me coffee and breakfast. Going out to the bar and having... drunk, memorable moments with Mike and Ryan. Going out to the bar the next night and having drunk moments with Jessy. Going out to breakfast the next morning and having mimosas.

That's why I love California. Not because of Ryan, but because I feel like I have friends there. I have one really good friend here that I hang out with on a regular basis. She rocks, and her fiance rocks, but I miss trips to California, where I had Ryan, Mike, Blayne, Sam, Jessy, and my amazing grandparents. People in Arizona suck.

Need to get started on this German homework before midnight, so I'm outta here. Ciao!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another recipe success!

The picture is crap. I forgot to take a picture before we dug into it, and then I put the small bit that was left into a snapware container... dumping the contents of my big pan right in there. The marinara left a lot of "juice" behind, so it looks like some sort of strange soup rather than a lasagna. But oh well! It was amazingly delicious.

Spaghetti squash lasagna!!

1 roasted spaghetti squash
Mozzarella cheese
Ricotta cheese

And that's it! Super easy. To roast the spaghetti squash, cut it in half, scoop out the innards, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake (on a baking sheet) at 350* for about an hour. When you take it out, grab a fork and scrape the sides. It will produce some awesome stringy bits that resemble spaghetti noodles.

Take your casserole dish. Mine was 8x8 and could have been bigger. Put down a layer of marinara. Cover with a layer of spaghetti squash. Top that with more marinara, some ricotta, and mozzarella. Do it again. Spaghetti squash, marinara, mozzarella. (I didn't top it with ricotta because it doesn't look as pretty that way.)

Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.

Delish! It's fairly healthy, and tastes amazing.

I also altered my usual marinara recipe when I was cooking yesterday. I like it more than what I was doing before, so here's the new recipe! (And photo #35.)

olive oil
1 large yellow onion
~4 cloves minced garlic
4 ribs celery, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper
~ 1/2 c. red wine

Saute all the veggies in olive oil. Dump in the canned tomatoes. Stir in the spices. Finish off with the red wine. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. Success!

No, it's not the most beautiful sauce you've ever seen. You'll get over it.

I had a wonderful day at work today, and a wonderful night with some of my best friends. Looking forward to going for a run (or a mostly-walk) in the morning, as well as crossing off several things from my to-do list before I have to go in to work tomorrow evening.

A side note: FreeRice is one of my 101 goals - to donate 1 Million grains before my 1001 days are up. But more than that, it's something small that you can do that truly makes a difference. All you have to do is answer a few questions on the topic of your choice. For every question you answer correctly, rice is purchased to feed the hungry. If you are bored and fooling around the internet, searching for random crap to entertain you, consider doing something to help others. You can make a difference and help solve world hunger without ever getting off your butt, and without donating a dime. So why wouldn't you?

I have some things to finish up, and then I think I'm off to bed at a decent hour tonight. Ciao!

Well... fail.

Guess I'm starting all over again. No blog for yesterday means I didn't blog 31 days in a row. I was so close, too!

Oh well.

Things I love:

  • a house that smells amazing (like the marinara I made this afternoon!)
  • the tradition of parking lot shots
  • my fantastic coworkers. (Though I suppose they're probably people and not things.)
  • 7-layer bars
  • compliments. Period, though ones on my cooking are probably most well received. 
Kris and Dave are coming over for dinner tonight. I'm going to improv another recipe and see how it turns out! I'm pretty excited about this one. 

Things I need to do: 
  • vacuum (in the morning)
  • roast my spaghetti squash (in the morning)
  • empty the dishwasher and clean the sink (in the morning)
  • shine the sink (some time this weekend)
  • empty out the fridge and totally clean everything (before the end of the month)
I'm off to bed. Long day of work that starts early in the morning, and I have to get cookin' before I leave the house! 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello, heartburn!

I have had ridiculous heartburn all day, so I decided this afternoon after my P-Chem test (which I ROCKED, by the way! More on that later), I needed to quash it with some dairy. Dairy neutralizes the acid in your stomach somewhat. Or something. I've never really had problems with heartburn before, so I could be spouting nonsense, but I could have sworn I heard that somewhere.

Anyway, quashing it with dairy turned into a trip to the store, since I am all out of everything but soy milk, which is too sweet for me to drink on its own. And a trip to the store had me walking out with graham crackers, another bag of nuts, and some sweetened, condensed milk. Curiously, those were the missing ingredients I needed for 7-layer bars.

The recipe I've used in the past is for a 9" x 13" pan, and I only had an 8" x 8" and a 11" x 15", so I used the bigger one and came up with something similar on my own. It's not totally perfected, but it wasn't bad.

Delicious Seven-Layer Bars!!

1 c. (+ 2.5 Tbsp, because I wanted to use up the last of the butter in the fridge) unsalted butter.
1 package low-fat honey grahams, crushed
1 package cinnamon grahams, crushed
12 oz. chocolate chips
11 oz. butterscotch chips
2 oz. walnut chips
2 oz. sliced almonds
~ 5.5 oz. sweetened coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk.

They're a little sweet, even for my taste. I think next time I would opt for unsweetened coconut, if such a thing exists. Probably more nuts, to cut the sweetness a little bit. And maybe mix the condensed milk with some regular, unsweetened stuff.

Melt the butter. Make sure you butter the bottom and sides of your pan. Mix the rest of the butter with the crushed graham crackers. Spread that layer on the bottom of your pan and pat it down. Top with a layer of chocolate chips. Add some butterscotch ones. Then sprinkle with nuts. Add the coconut, and top everything off with a can of condensed milk. Pop in the oven at 350* for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.


Things I would change:

  • not use so much butter next time. The crust is not quite crispy enough for me. 
  • cut the sweetness somehow, without taking away any of my precious butterscotch chips. 
And that is all. Because they are super delicious. 

About that test that I totally rocked - Definitely finished it in under half an hour. I feel really good about it! Like, probably better than the last one I took, that I got a B on. Bonus!

I had an appointment with my awesome new adviser today. I could hypothetically be out and done in two semesters if need-be, but I think I'm going to wait and do it in three. Not super interested in overloading myself - especially this late in the game. My course load for next semester is totally reasonable (15 credits, though half of them are 400-level courses). Another programming class, Linear Algebra, Mathematical Structures, Applied Statistics, and my German course. I talked to her about petitioning for the financial aid nonsense ASU is trying to stiff me with, and she didn't really give a hint as to whether or not I would be successful, but did offer to help me with completing the paperwork which was pretty awesome. 

I invited Kris and Dave over for dinner this Saturday. I am in desperate need of a back massage, and hoping I can con him into bringing his table over here. <3 

I'll finish things off with the picture that made my morning. 


Can't sleep.

I'm sure I probably could if I actually headed to bed, but for some reason I can't actually motivate myself to do that right now. So here I am instead.

I feel like I'm going through some sort of ridiculous crisis. And by that, I mean I have found myself craving a new tattoo out of nowhere. Or a piercing. Or a trip. And the hilarious alternative - a cigarette. Yes, apparently that is in the same league as inking myself. At least in my head right now, anyway.

My house is such a mess right now. I feel like my life is a mess right now, too. And to keep me feeling overwhelmed, I have a test pop up every once in a while. Like this super awesome P-Chem test tomorrow afternoon. Spectacular, right? I would love just one week where I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. This upcoming weekend was supposed to be spent in Tulsa, but Andy is working so it wouldn't make sense to fly me out there. That probably would have been the perfect little getaway. Oh well.

I had 30 things on my to-do list this week. It's Thursday, and I've completed 8 1/2 of them. That's ridiculous. I don't even know what I'm doing with my time that I have so little left to work on my to-do list.

I'm just so discouraged, I guess. I want it to be this summer again. I want to be in Europe, completely carefree. I feel like I'm never going to be an "adult." And I feel like, even if I was out in the real world, I would hardly know what to do with myself. I'm so tired of having my entire life revolve around school, but I don't know anything else.

I'm not even accomplishing much on my 101 list. I have donated a ton of rice this month, yes, but so many of the goals require either time or money - neither of which I have a whole lot of right now. And yes, writing that down did just motivate me to do something about that, since that's exactly the line I've used. But that doesn't make things any less frustrating right now. And even that venture is frustrating sometimes. I know it's my own fault, numbers and all that, but it's hard not to get discouraged sometimes. One of my goals was to make five phone calls this week, and I still plan on it. I think I'll carve out some time tomorrow evening after I get home from my test.

I was daydreaming earlier today, and I dreamt that I went "camping" with Josh & Miranda at the same spot a group of us went in January, and that I had an awesome, huge silver truck. Guess what won't be happening any time soon. And that's almost frustrating, too. Not that I won't have a gas-guzzler, but that I have three friends here that I would call up to go camping. And two of them probably wouldn't do it to avoid the drama that would probably ensue.

I need a shower, and then some sleep. Pouting never does me any good. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A freebie! And life as I know it.

Attention caregivers!! Caregiver Village is a new site for caregivers that just recently launched. They are offering a 12-month membership for free to get the word out! By clicking through this link, one dollar will be donated to the amazing non-profit I volunteer for. Caregiver Village is for all caregivers. I know most of my amazing friends and followers that are caregivers are caring for their veteran. But no matter if you are caring for a veteran, a special needs child or loved one, a disabled parent, or if you are a home nurse or professional caregiver - they have resources for everyone. There is a caregiving game section, a journaling section, a book club to talk about articles you've come across that have helped you, and many other resources. I've heard some pretty positive things about it. Check it out! Please pass on the link if you know a caregiver or someone who might be able to benefit from their resources. 

Today was the German Reception on campus. Free German food and sweets (marzipan! yum!), as well as information about study abroad programs and the courses that will be offered next semester. I hadn't actually planned on taking a German class this spring, but they are offering a Holocaust class that I don't know that I can resist. Especially after visiting Auschwitz this summer, I would love a class like that. The Holocaust and Jewish history has always interested me. I read Anne Frank's diary at a very young age. I'm interested in seeing what the class is like. 

Picture 33, from today. My little monster was hanging out on top of the kitchen cabinets. Yes, that is my microwave at the bottom of the photo. Raj was being super adorable today. She hung out on my shoulder for quite a while - something she rarely does. No complaints here! Plus, she didn't poop on me. Always a bonus. 

I have a raging headache. I think I'm outta here for the night. Ciao! 

Women and media

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook earlier today, and I'm actually really looking forward to the film now. It looks like another take on the "women are hypersexualized in media, the portrayal of women is unrealistic, etc." topic that has been around for ages. But they also interview several women in powerful roles. I think that part will be the most interesting, actually.

Women hold only 3% of high-ranking positions in the media and entertainment industries, yet they are 51% of the US population. An equal number of male and female 7-year-olds aspire to be president, and yet only 17% of Congress is female.

I attended a seminar on campus last semester on women and body image. It focused on portrayals of the female body in media, and how society is bombarded by images of something unrealistic and made to think it is the norm. Even if people don't think they are affected, many men idealize the body type they see in magazines, and most women aspire to look like that. A size 4 is no longer modeling material. Celebrities can afford to maintain that body type because they are paid to. Normal women starve themselves, or purge, or exercise for several hours a day, just to achieve what they have been told is ideal.

This is a really sensitive subject for me as well. Not only am I really struggling with my weight and the way I look right now, but I have been in recovery from an eating / compulsive exercise disorder for several years now. Some days, I still struggle. Particularly when I first came home from Europe, I kept food journals so I could keep myself accountable and know I was not eating too little and exercising too much. I was so unhappy with the way I looked (and still am some days) that I found myself skipping meals without even thinking about it.

Anyway. Media and body perception. Even men are affected. The woman who presented on campus in March mentioned something her husband had said offhandedly unintentionally idealizing the "skinny mini" image. And it reminds me of February of this year. I was the thinnest I've ever been - sub 120. I haven't seen that number on the scale since I was 13, probably. (I was 127 at my thinnest in high school, at age 14.) I had seen an awesome deal on designer skinny jeans. I usually wear a 26, and these were a 25. They were also about 80% off, so I figured I'd buy them, try them, and if they didn't fit, I could still probably sell them and make a profit.

I'd lost weight since I bought them, so I figured I'd try them on and see how they fit. I think I was getting ready for date night, because Kyle was over. Well they didn't fit quite as well as I had hoped. Kyle thought it would be funny to try to pull them up as far as they would go so I could button them. It took him lifting me up off the floor by my belt loops, but I finally got 'em on and comfy. They still were obviously a little small, though, and not super flattering. Kyle made a comment about how fat I was, because I had love-handles. Let's be clear - I was far from a heifer. You could see my hip bones and ribs. At the time, I was wearing a size 0 pants. I shouldn't have been fat by anyone's standards. (I can't actually say that the media influenced Kyle's perception of my weight. It was most likely him just being an ass. Still, it boggles my mind that people actually think that way, and would vocalize thoughts like that.)

All that to say, Miss Representation. No idea when it's coming out, but check out the trailer. I think it looks pretty good.