Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Living Room

It's time for me to finish this place up! Since the university was nice enough to declare today a holiday, I'm using my time to whip the living room into shape. It basically includes painting the walls (Sage Gray) and the trim white and then putting pictures up...and perhaps a little craft project too. The gray has a little green tint to it so in real life it doesn't look as gray as it does on the computer. I think it'll be nice. Here are the "before" pictures...


**Updated**After... (Still have white trim to do tomorrow.)


Come back later for the "after". Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ran


Shalom does not mean penis

It's hysterical to watch someone answer a phone call that doesn't exist and then get frustrated when she can't hear it.

Ginger peach candles smell yummy. They smell even yummier when they are on clearance.

I might have a date at IKEA on new years day. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but at least it's a big store so if he sucks I can just "get lost".

My desk is put together, curtains are up and I used a gift card to buy a pretty silver lamp with a pink lamp shade. Now all I have to do is unpack the boxes and put up pictures and my office will be done! (Pictures will follow, of course.)

I don't let Bella in my room at night but when I take naps I keep the door open so she can come in if she wants. She always does and she always curls up in the nook of my tummy (I sleep on my side) and stays with me the entire time. So sweet...

They made me stay home from work yesterday because it is so slow. I didn't think I needed to, but I used the day to rest and nap. Turns out, I needed it!

The other night I heard someone honking their horn out front. They kept holding it down for what seemed like minutes. When I looked out the window, a pickup truck was blocking a car in their driveway purposely. Someone jumped out and ran into the house and then the truck sped away. It was weird. I was afraid that I'd witness a fight or worse...luckily I didn't.

I'm feeling crafty. I need black contact paper. Hopefully I'll be able to show you by the end of the new years break.

2010 is going to be my year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Home Sick & Stuff

I am watching Sponge Bob because there is nothing on and I was told to stay home sick today. I actually wanted to go in because I don't feel horrible but I don't feel good either, so I guess they are right. Especially because there is no one in the office and nothing is going on. I did work for a good 2 hours yesterday but after that it was just play. At least here I can stay in my pajamas and take naps.

I'm not posting Toosdae ?'s today because last week there was little activity due to the holiday. I'm assuming it would be the same today so maybe next week they will start up again.

I've decided that I am in fact going to paint my living room. It's too bad that the landlord paid to have this place painted and that he chose such an ugly color. Everything looks washed out and too bland. I suppose some people would like it and be able to live with it but I need a little pizazz. But the color I chose isn't very...pizazz-ish. It's a grayish blue color. My furniture is a grayish greenish brownish color (if that makes sense) and I have blue accents in the room. It'll work well with the red room which opens up to the living room too. My 2nd choice is a grayish green, but I think my furniture would blend into it too much. I'll be painting over the New Year break...after that, I'm doing painting. My bedroom and the office will remain this ugly color but b/c the rooms are small, they look OK. The hallway will also remain as is. I might not even paint the trim in there. We'll see.

I'm excited to think it's almost done. It's been a lot of work and I'm ready to be able to sit back and just enjoy the space. My family is visiting in a couple of weeks for the first time and I'd like everything to be done by then. Having another deadline will do me good.

I'm thinking of calling an electrician to come in to put an outlet in the bathroom and to wire the bedroom and kitchen with switches. I know it's an apartment and I shouldn't invest any money in the place, but I'm planning on living here for at least a couple of years and I feel like it will make me happier to be able to turn lights on and blow dry my hair in the bathroom without a huge cord coming from my bedroom. Does that make sense? I don't know. I wish I knew an electrician who could do it for me.

Do you have any plans for New Year's Eve?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Over!

Well, it's come and gone. My favorite day of the year was over in a flash, but it was a wonderful flash full of laughter, love and lots of good food. I received many wonderful presents-which included a GPS for my car! I love it so much I use it even when I know where I am going. :)

Unfortunately I managed to get sick and so the last 2 days have been spent in a daze. I've been in and out of naps and at one point I had a fever but it's gone now. Thankfully it's a short week and I don't have to cook, so I'll be on the mend in no time. For now, this is all I can post-even this has hurt my head...

Here is an updated picture of my first cousins. This year there is an addition-my sister's fiance on the right, in white.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Here, It's Here!!

It's my most favorite day of the year!!!!! I'm home in CT and the presents are stacked by the tree. That's not why it's my favorite day, though they DO have something to do with it...but it has nothing to do with what is inside those boxes. It's how we open them.

Every year for my entire life (with the exception of when I lived in Florida) I have spent Christmas Eve in New York at my Nana's house. We all pile into her small cape and eat and laugh and just enjoy ourselves. It's wonderful. But since we are not home on Christmas day, we open our gifts from each other before we drive to NY. We sit in a large circle around the living room-always in the same spots-and open one gift at a time, taking turns who opens next. It sounds simple, but it is so fun and we always have such a good time doing it.

Then we drive to NY and spend the best night with family. My NY family is so wonderful. They are super loud and funny and it's really hard not to have fun around them. Every year my Nana acquires little throw away stupid gifts and tonight she'll pass out tickets and call out numbers. When yours is picked, you get the prize! So stupid, yet so hysterical because the gifts, most often, are nothing you'd ever want. Hysterical, I tell you.

Last year I had just gotten laid off. I was worried about how I was going to pay bills, I felt like a loser and overall, I was just really depressed. It was hard for me to be at my Nana's because I knew I should be smiling and laughing but I just couldn't. So this year is even better for me, because I'm in a mostly good place and have a lot to be thankful for. It's going to rock. :)

Tomorrow we'll go to my Aunt Carol's annual brunch and then make our way home in the afternoon. We usually have a tradition of going to a Japanese Restaurant for dinner but I'm not sure we're doing that this year. Probably, but no one has said anything yet.

Anyway, I truly hope that each and every one of you who celebrates Christmas has a wonderful Eve and day tomorrow. I might pop in to post some pictures, but I'm just going to try my best to enjoy the time with family...Merry Christmas!

Girl 1st Cousins (minus one), Christmas Eve 2008

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Randomivity


Stories about a friend thinking his seat was wet with drool cause me to laugh hysterically.

Catching up with said friend makes my heart happy.

There are lots of very weird people in local Irish Bars in Boston.

Toilet seats sometimes fall off. When you are on them.

I told the story out loud today. It felt good and bad at the same time. I'm happy I wasn't told that everything happens for a reason. It may be true, but I'm so sick of hearing it. There should never be a reason why someone you trust rips your heart out and stomps on it without remorse.

I won't get a Merry Christmas call or an after Christmas visitor this year. I'm so ready to be done being sad about this.

Bella is a freak. She seems to get wicked hyper around 10pm just when I'm trying to relax.

I'm starting to see the side of my boss that everyone else told me about. He's still very nice to me however.

Some people are just miserable fools who like to bring other people down. It sucks when these people are the bosses. (Not mine this time. But she influenced him.)

I apparently know more Christmas carol lyrics than I thought.

Yesterday I had stomach pains and I'm afraid of what that might mean.

I'm also starting to worry about my health. I pray that I don't inherit some of the diseases my family is known for.

The drive to CT is not usually horrible, but I am not looking forward to it later today. The traffic might be bad. I can not leave work early due to the miserable fool mentioned above.

I've been saying "I wanted to punch him/her in the face" a lot lately. I'm not sure where that came from.

I received a very weird and confusing present the other day. I don't know how to address it. I am not offended, just confused.

I need to remember not to post interactive posts around the holidays. It makes for a very lonely Toosdae.

I saw the trailer for the movie my father's last famous client was making while my dad was working on his house. It made me smile to know that while he was learning his lines, he was also talking to my dad.

I am sure this is not true for all people in Geneva, but so far, the ones I have communicated with are very, very rude and try to make me feel bad about the fact that they have to work.

Strap ons require 2 people. This is what is confusing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toosdae ?'s

Have you ever wondered why Bruce Springsteen is laughing while singing at the end of his version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town?  It actually kind of annoys me and perhaps there is a reason he's laughing, and in person it might have been funny but it doesn't translate well on the radio.  I also just realized that I spelled Claus wrong when helping the oldest girl I cook for write her letter to Santa.  What a dope.  Are you ready for some mind blowing Toosdae ?'s?!?  OK...they won't blow your mind-not even close-but they'll make me smile if you answer them, so go ahead, won'tcha?

1.  What was your most awkward gift opening experience?  Explain.

2.  What color do you feel you look the best in?

3.  Look to your left.  What do you see?

My Answers...

1.  The first year I worked at the publishing company in CT we did a Secret Santa gift swap.  When I opened mine up, there was a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and mouse.  I didn't know who gave it to me but I was mildly offended b/c I always have clean hair and thought they gave it to me b/c they felt otherwise.  So I must have looked confused and crushed while smiling.  Later I found out that the guys wife was a sales manager for a salon and the products were given to me because she knew I'd like upscale shampoo.  That's what he said, anyway.

2.  I have no idea what is really the color I look good in, but I like myself in red and green.  Red because I get a lot of compliments and green because it makes my eyes look even more green and I like that.

3.  To my left is a wall.  But on my desk I see my Magic 8 Ball, an uneaten clementine and a candy cane hanging off of my inbox.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, Monday

Saturday morning I woke up very tired and slightly hung over. I had a hair appointment, an eye doctor appointment and had to drive to CT for a holiday party. I wasn't looking forward to any of them. I had the foresight to cancel the hair appointment so I could sleep in a little bit and when I knew I couldn't *exactly* see straight so the eye appointment was out too...and luckily the party was canceled prior to me driving to CT. So Saturday I fed my hangover, drank lots of water and took a very long nap with my kitty. I was so very glad that I did not have to dress up and go to another party with lots of free wine.

When I finally got up from my nap, I still felt...icky. Knowing that we were due for a whopper of a snow storm, I headed out to buy a few items I needed. The cold air felt good and I bought some fast food for dinner which seemed to make me feel better. I feel good about the fact that I was able to find cheap but nice gifts for the people in my office and can officially say that I am done-even though I said that last week too.

Yesterday I woke up to LOTS of snow. And it was still snowing. And it continued to snow well into the day. All in all, I think we got about a foot and a half or so of powdery white snow. I kept waiting to shovel because I thought it would end, but it just didn't so around 1 o'clock I ventured out and cleaned up. I'm happy to say that one of the couples in the building hired a plow and the cost to me will only be $7/snow. That's well worth it. I'm not sure I could have handled shoveling all of that. Just my spot alone was hard work.

After I shoveled I came inside and heated up some tea, had a piece of rum cake and relaxed. I then went outside to bring the garbage out because today is trash day. It was dark out and I didn't feel like changing so I walked outside in my pajama's and fuzzy white robe with my snow boots. Normally I'd be OK with this considering the weather, however I discovered that living across the street from me is a very hot man who was shoveling his driveway. And of course my first encounter with him was in my fuzzy white robe, ponytail and snow boots. Oh, and snow that came up to my knees. That was sexy.

Besides shoveling I took another nap and made some beef stew. It was a lazy, snowed in weekend and though I always feel guilty relaxing like this, it was a very nice and needed change from the last month. I think you know I've just been going and going since I decided to move and now that the party is over, I'm just really looking forward to taking my time with the rest of the place. There are many goals I'm setting for myself for 2010 and I'm taking the next couple of weeks to gather my thoughts and hopefully close out this long, horrible year on a positive note.

It's a short week people-enjoy it!

Did you get any or much snow where you live? What are your plans for the holiday?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What's Cookin'? Duck & Blue Cheese Canapes!


In my garde manger class in culinary school we made many, many small bites. Of them, this recipe was my most favorite. The rich blue cheese butter-slightly melted from the warm duck-is cut by the sweet, refreshing mandarin orange. It's truly a simple and delicious combination that your friends will devour. The hardest thing about this recipe is finding the duck. I found mine at Whole Foods.

Ingredients:

3 Duck Breasts, skin scored
1/2 # Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 C. Blue Cheese, room temperature
48 Mandarin Orange Slices
48 Crouton Rounds or crackers
1 C. Toasted Pistachio Nuts, chopped
Salt & White Pepper

Method:

1. In a large bowl, combine butter and blue cheese. Using an electric mixer, cream the two together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Shell and toast pistachios. Allow to cool slightly before chopping them. Set aside.

3. Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin diagonally to make diamonds. Season both sides of the duck liberally with salt and white pepper. In a very hot pan, sear the duck skin side down until it's a deep golden brown color. The majority of cooking will be on this side to render out the fat. Once this happens, turn the duck over and cook for about 1-2 minutes more. Allow to rest 5 minutes prior to slicing.

4. Spread blue cheese butter on crackers. Top with thin slices of warm duck, then one mandarin orange and sprinkle with pistachios. This canape is best when the duck is still warm, however they are still delicious at room temperature.

Make Ahead!
*Blue Cheese butter can be made up to 3 days ahead. Simple cover and refrigerate until 45 minutes prior to use. Allow to become room temperature before spreading.

*Pistachios can be toasted up to 1 week in advance. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Party Like A Rock Star

Actually, someone did tell me that I am a rock star last night. I'll take that as a sign they liked everything. I left work at noon to get ready. I needed to stop by Target to pick up a few last minute items as well as get vodka and ice. By 1 o'clock I was home getting things ready. I had lots to do-the week prior was a busy one, so most things needed to wait until last minute. At 3:30 I was shaking and worried I would not get everything done. At 6:30 I knew I over reacted and by 7-when the party was supposed to start, I was sitting down with my first ginger lemon martini waiting for people to arrive.

It was my most successful party yet. Everyone who said they were coming came (with the exception of 2 husbands) and most of the food was gone. Everyone went back for 2nds and 3rds and the drinks I made were wildly popular. Here is how I set the party up:


The tree in the corner is the one I got for $1 at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. It's made of foam balls and is sprinkled with glitter. It's hard to tell in the photos but it's so pretty! I wanted the entire table to be white and silver, so I used only white platters and risers. When I ran out of white risers I used clear vases and filled the bigger one with silver Christmas balls. I then scattered the table with clear, silver and white stained glass pieces and lit tea lights for some added sparkle. Everyone was very impressed and loved it.

Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail Shots-rimmed with lime juice and celery salt


Duck w/ Blue Cheese, Mandarin Oranges and Toasted Pistachios. My favorite canape from culinary school & a favorite of the night!


This is one I made from my one of my favorite entrees. It's Coriander Encrusted Seared Tuna w/ a White Bean Puree, Cilantro Pesto and Balsamic Drizzle. Next time I'll put the balsamic on the beans and the cilantro on top.


Prosciutto Palmiers. Prosciutto, honey mustard and Parmesan cheese in puff pastry. Another favorite of my guests. To the right of those are Chicken Cigars, which I made for snack day last year.


Of course, my Artichoke Dip


The dining room, all set up. On the left I had Gingerbread Cupcakes w/ Lemon Cream Cheese frosting, Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ Raspberry Coulis and Rum Cake.




Ginger Lemon Martini's-this was made with the vodka I infused for 2 weeks, a splash of lemon and ginger beer. The recipe called for bitters also, but I forgot to but that. The drink was the most popular of the night without it and I'll keep the recipe as is. These suckers are DANGEROUS. I do not like vodka and I drank 5.


Empty glasses at the end of the night...success!



Housewarming presents


As I said, it was a very successful and fun party. There was lots of laughter and food and while my old friends and new friends did not mingle together very much, everyone had a great time. All of my hard work in the apartment did not go unnoticed and people really liked what I've done so far. It really feels like home now...and now, I'm off to CT for my father's holiday party. Pray that we really don't get a foot of snow tonight!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Was Grumpy. Now I Am Not.

I was NOT in a good place yesterday. This time though, I wasn't sad. Instead, I was frustrated and grumpy for some reason. The morning started out with really horrible dreams. I am still having flashbacks of the faces I saw, which is not pleasant. I also felt like I was running late all day long. During lunch I went to Trader Joe's to pick up all of the wine for the party tonight and on the way I got lost. On the way back, I got stuck in traffic. So my 1 hour lunch turned into 2 hours. I felt horrible. The people on the roads were pissing me off and I was cold and tired and my back hurt and all I wanted to do was come home to clean, cook and sleep.

I planned on going shopping after cooking last night then going home to bake. The Mom did not come downstairs until 8:30 however and therefore I got home at 9pm. No shopping. Also, no heat. Incidentally, Boston.com had just posted a headline that last night was the coldest night so far and it was likely to be close to 0 degrees. I could see my breath inside the apartment. Also, my oven would not heat up properly and I spilled water in the flourless chocolate cake batter. It looks OK but I'm not sure how it will taste. I'll have to test it to see if it's OK just in case I have to bake another one quickly.

My chicken mixture for one appetizer doesn't taste like it normally does and my duck is still frozen. It just seems like the universe is trying to stop this party. I really hope it goes off without a hitch and that everyone loves the food.

So I am sorry I did not visit or post much yesterday. I just simply was in a bitchy mood and needed to keep to myself. I'll post some pictures of the setup later on if I get the chance. I'm taking a 1/2 day so I can prepare so hopefully I'll get some up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grumpy

I got nothin'.  At least right now.

It's very cold out and windy today.  I can't wear my long wool coat because it's too big and I look ridiculous in it.  I'm over tired, had horrible dreams about people I love being dead and my back hurts.

Needless to say, I have to shake off this grumpiness before I can communicate.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Randomivity


Jamie used to check everything I did. Once I cleaned the kitchen but forgot to wipe the underneath of the faucet. When he saw it he said, "We all fall short in the eyes of the Lord." I hated that but years later when I have something perfect except for one thing, I whisper that to myself. I hate that too.

I made a chandelier out of Christmas balls. It needs more but I'm not sure I'll have time.

Next year I would like to decorate a tree with someone special. I haven't done that in...a really, really long time.

When you IM me and I don't know you very well, please try to keep up the conversation. I take your long ass pauses as you not being interested or interesting.

Yesterday was the campus holiday party at the President's house. It's pretty in there and I think it would have been fun but it was so hot I had to leave. My face was embarrassing me. I don't know why I don't use my medicine all of the time.

I'd like to preface this with the fact that I really like this person. She's a co-worker and becoming a friend. The other day she said mentioned that she'll be at my house early on Friday before the party. She said it again later too. I'm wondering how early and also why she would not ask me first if that was OK. I find it a little rude, actually but I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Yesterday I visited my new primary care physician so that I could get my inhaler script renewed. After she did that she asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot. Then she asked if I'd also like the H1N1 shot. I've never asked about it before. Doesn't it seem like it should have been a little harder than that? Anyway...I got both.

My boss wants to take me out to lunch to thank me for doing such a great job. This is flattering but also very scary. It's going to be very awkward.

I am nervous about a gift that was sent to me. My friend told me he just wants me to be happy and that he doesn't like how I have been treated in the past. And that it might be offensive but he did not mean it that way. What the heck could it be?! (Kurt if you read this-I'm nervous!!!)

I found myself humming and singing yesterday while I did the dishes. This makes me happy because it means I'm getting there. It seems like I am fighting with myself to let it go...like it is trying to, but when I find myself healing I grasp at a memory so that it doesn't happen.

I wish we were still friends. When I can write that sentence without tearing up, I know I'm there. I miss you.

The other day I was grocery shopping in my work clothes and my underwear were not being nice. It's not a very good feeling walking around knowing that people can tell b/c you are wearing dress pants.

It's frustrating when there is more than one itinerary for the same conference.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Toosdae ?'s

I. am. tired. Yesterday after work I went grocery shopping for my party on Friday. I stopped to get dinner, came home and ate and the started right on my list. This list is extensive, broken down by day counting down to Friday. Last night I made the white bean puree, cilantro pesto and coriander spice mix for my tuna canape. I also made the blue cheese butter for my duck canape, steamed my shower curtain, did dishes and cleaned up a bit. Oh...so much more to do. *yawn* Because Christmas is on my mind (Oh! I also wrapped gifts last night) today's questions surround Christmas and Hanukkah...


1. What was the most memorable Christmas or Hanukkah gift you ever received?

2. If you could only listen to one Christmas song for the rest of your life (only during the holiday season) what would it be?

3. Finish this sentence: "It's not Christmas/Hanukkah until..."

My answers...

1. You know...I couldn't think of any one really memorable gift but after a while I remembered the year my then boyfriend gave me a radio for my car because I needed one. We were in high school and didn't have a lot of money, so he took his out of his car and wrapped it up. I thought that was really nice, especially because he really loved music. I did not install it into my car though.

2. Silent Night, as sung by Sarah McLachlan. My 2nd choice would be Oh Holy Night or God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

3. It's not Christmas until we sit in our circle and take turns opening gifts...then cram ourselves into my Nana's house with lots of crazy Italians. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holy Hannah!

You would not believe the weekend I've had. Last night when I fell into bed at 11:30 it felt like I would never be able to wake. It seems like I have been going, going, going ever since I moved in last month (how has it been a month already?!). Between working both jobs, unpacking and getting settled as well as redecorating and updating the apartment...I just have not truly relaxed in a long time. This weekend was really busy because I had to get everything done before my party on Friday. This included:

Paining the trim white in the dining room

Painting the trim in the living room (I did not get this done. Only the archway is finished.)

Painting the bathroom, hanging the pictures and shelf

Putting chairs together

Setting up the Christmas tree

Dishes

Laundry (did not get it done)

Hanging pictures (did not get this done either)

I only stopped to eat and sleep this weekend. I did go to the store on Friday to return some things and to get plates and stuff for the party. Yesterday I also had to run out because I seem to have lost an entire box of Christmas items-including all of my lights. The only box they had at Target-literally, the only box-was those icicle lights that you put outside. I had to get them because the tree was up, waiting to be dressed. And with the party on Friday, I needed it done today. It didn't come out too bad-I tried to hide the white wires as best I could. I also decided not to put any of my sentimental ornaments on the tree this year. I'm not sure why, but I just did not feel like it. Instead, my tree is all red and silver. I find it funny that in this picture it looks like I photo shopped some balls in-those are just velvet covered balls and have no shine which is why they look so flat. I think.

I said velvet covered balls. :)

The bathroom is painted but I am not happy with it yet. The medicine cabinet is so ugly and gross. I want to change it but I feel like I shouldn't invest money in it. I have a mirror that I can put up and I think I'll try that-because the cabinet is really gross and I'm embarrassed to have people in there. Otherwise, I'm glad I painted it white instead of that tan fleshy color the walls have. It looks much better with the pink tiles. Which are another yuck, but what can I do about that?

I've also decided on a menu for the party. I have about 6-7 little bites in addition to 3 desserts, 2 special drinks and wine. I think it'll be a good time. 16 people are coming, which to me, is a smashing hit. Only a few people can not make it and only 1 person did not reply. Not bad, I'd say.

This has become a ramble. I am sorry. I haven't rested much. I'll come back later perhaps to tell you what food I am making. In the meantime, have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dining Room Trim

I debated for a couple of weeks about whether or not I would paint the original wood trim in the apartment. I went back and forth only out of principle-I felt badly about covering up the wood as I know that people often strip paint to get back to it. But it was too dark and I felt like I was living in a grandma's apartment. Once I painted the dining room red, the decision was made. It needed to look fresh and clean and the way to do that in my opinion was to paint the trim white. It only took 2 coats to cover the trim and I am THRILLED with the results. It has become my favorite room. I still need to paint the top trim, but I suspect that will only take 1 coat as the base is cream.


Dark trim, before


Long view before


White trim, after


Long view, after


View from the dining room before and after-please excuse the mess!


Dining room, full view

You like? I love...

Today I will be finishing the top trim and painting some of the trim in the living room. I'll also be putting up my tree-which will be in the dining room. Then, I'll rest. I hope.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Traditions...

If you know where I work, you might want to look up a tradition that happens this time of year...that night is tonight.  It would be creepy for me to go, but I find traditions like this one fascinating.  Especially because the police don't stop it nor do the security guards here.

It's cold outside today and I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this...but tradition is tradition!

PS.  If you DO know where I work, please don't say the name of the place in comments...

Freakin' Friday! WoooHooo!!

Tonight I have the unfortunate duty of returning some items that I bought over the last week or so.  Unfortunately, I have overspent and while I did not allow my account to go below zero, once bills are paid this week, it'll be darn close.  *sigh*  I guess I got carried away with being about to buy stuff now that I have a job and with Christmas just around the corner, I felt so happy that I could buy presents for the people I love.  I'll be returning that cute dress I bought for my father's party...I'll just wear the same one I had last year, which is equally cute, but a little dressier.  I'll also have to return the present I got for the girl's I cook for.  I wish I did not have to do that, but I don't think they are expecting a gift anyway, so it won't make them sad not to get one.  I'll also return the curtains I bought for the dining room-but that's because they were too short.  Sadly, because I got such a great deal on those items, the money being returned back to me is not all that much.  And as you might recall, my party is next Friday.  That means lots of food, wine and my Christmas tree need to be bought by then-food really needs to be bought by Wednesday so I can prep everything.  AAAAAAHHHHHH

I hate money.

After the holidays I expect that I'll be able to start saving again.  That will be a nice feeling.  It's been a looooooong time since I've been able to do that, so it'll make me feel good when I have a little pot built up again.  I'm also looking forward to not having to spend money on things that I need but instead be able to use budgeted money to go out with friends.

In other news, I have amazing friends.  To those of you who have emailed me, called me, facebook'd me...you're fantastic and I love you.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that even though one person has moved on and forgotten me, you all are still here, loving me, caring about me and wanting to be in my life.  So thank you for the subtle and not so subtle reminders that I am worthy of love.

To all of my Jewish friends and readers, Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favorite Craigslist Ad of the Day

Roommate found it; roommate left; creepy thing still here; please take away.

Rambles

Human resources finally got back to me and reassured me that just because the Dean is leaving it does not automatically mean I will be out of a job come July 1.  She did say that if any "restructuring" happens (and then said, 'that can happen with any job') I would be given 6 weeks notice, as well as help finding a new job hopefully at the university and also get a severance package.  I do not want this to occur, but it makes me feel better that I am here to stay unless something like that happens. 

I continue to get things done in the apartment.  The bed skirt was ironed and put on the bed and the 2nd curtain rod was put up so the sheers are hanging too.  I still haven't hung my jewelry, but I'll do that this weekend for sure.

The dining room is coming along.  You haven't seen pictures yet because the place was a mess.  I have all of my Christmas gifts piled high on the table and it was hard to take the picture.  I still have to hang the wine racks, 4 pictures and paint the trim.  I also need to figure out what curtains to put up.  I bought a pair that I though would look great, but the packaging was wrong and they are too short.  So it's back to the drawing board.  I think I'm going to switch the rugs around too-I currently have a flowered one in the living room (which used to be in my bedroom) and the geometric one that used to be in my living room is in my bedroom.  I'm going to put the geometric one back in the living room for color and take the flowered one and put it in the dining room.  I won't have a rug in the bedroom-it's too small anyway. 

I also hung a candle holder and 3 pictures in the kitchen and put the light cover back on the fan.  I'm not sure why, but the painters took the covers off of all the lights in the apartment and neglected to put them back on.  Weird, but that's fixed now.  So overall, the place is starting to feel like home.  You'll have pictures soon, I promise.  This weekend will be my very last push for a while (funds have run out) so it'll surely be done by Sunday.

Did any of you watch Top Chef?  I'm sad it's over and also sad that the guy I wanted to win did not win.  I will not elaborate just in case you haven't watched it yet, but I'm sad he lost.  He did not even come in 2nd.  Which is lame.  I'm sure they did that for dramatic effect, but still, it's lame.  The guy who won was my 2nd choice, but I don't think he should have been the winner.  I hate that my 2 favorite "reality" shows are over: Amazing Race and Top Chef...I guess I'll have to start reading again. :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Randomivity



It's weird when people constantly rub their bellies. In public.

Memories of where I have been inspire me about where I am going.

Memories don't fade fast enough.

Those of you who are my facebook friends already know this, but my boss announced yesterday that he will not renew his contract in June. This means a new Dean will step in. I am worried about my job, though I am told I need not be. Still, there's a chance, and I hate that.

Waffle fries pretty much rock. Especially crunchy ones washed down with ice cold beer and lots of laughter.

My apartment is freezing. This is better than my old apartment which was hellishly hot, but at the same time-I'm cold! I invested in a nice fuzzy robe and I snuggle under blankets while reading or watching TV. I could raise the heat, but I'm trying to tough it out as I know I'll have to do that later in the month.

All of my Christmas shopping is officially done. It's a lot easier this year since I have less presents to buy.

I dislike how easily people are replaced or forgotten.

I found a nice dress for my father's holiday party (which I am bringing a friend to!) for $30 and a pair of sexy silver shoes for $5. The little black clutch I am bringing was a gift from my mother so it's a very cheap night.

IKEA's cinnamon buns are lethal. They're so good I could bathe in them. Or smear them all over a sexy man and lick it off.

Did I type that out loud?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I Did Stuff

I've been very productive. I finished painting the red in the dining room. Sadly, it's still a little streaky, but it's 5 coats of paint and 1 coat of primer...that's about all I'm willing to do. Next I have to paint the trim white, but that will wait until this weekend. I wish I did not paint it red, but live and learn...

The kitchen is now done. As I was painting I actually said, "Green paint, I love you.". Yes, it's weird, but I only had to do one coat and it went on like a dream compared to that stinky red! The entire thing only took about an hour and a half and though the room is still torn apart, the walls are done!! That ugly flesh color (that's still all over the rest of the apartment) needed to go. The kitchen is so cute now! I can't wait to put up my pictures and start cooking... I also managed to procure a bed frame! I found on in a local used furniture store in my old neighborhood for $24. I was a little worried to be honest that it would not be the right size when I got it home (they have a strict no return policy) but it was right and I will sleep on a raised bed for the first time in a while. My bedroom is now almost done. I have to put up the 2nd curtain rod so I can hang my sheers and put the bed skirt back on (now that I have space under the bed!) and hang some pictures on the opposite wall...oh, and hang my jewelry. But here is what it looks like at this very minute.

That "headboard" is a little something I picked up for free on the sidewalk in my old neighborhood about 4 months ago. I was going to ask a certain person to help me hang it the next time he came to sleep over, but well...we know how that went. But I managed to do it all by myself in this new place, and I'm quite pleased with how pretty it looks.

And here's the big news-I finally managed to get 4 chairs from IKEA! Every time I went there, they were sold out. But this time I looked online and saw they had 75 in stock. After cooking, I drove out there and picked up 4. I was going to get 6 but thought better of it. I'll get more later on once I have an actual table, but for now 4 works because I have 2 chairs in my kitchen. So I'll just use those for the party next week. I can't wait to put them together and set up the dining room!

Last, I got martini glasses. IKEA was also out of those when I went this weekend but tonight they had them. I only got 8 even though about 15 people will be at the party. I figure that not everyone will be drinking the martinis-they'll switch between the cran-tan cosmos or wine which are all in different glasses.

Overall, I am very happy with how things are going now. What is left?

1. Paint trim in dining room, living room, hallway and bathroom white.
2. Paint walls in bathroom white
3. Paint medicine cabinet black
4. Hang curtain rods in bedroom
5. Put up curtains in dining room
6. Get and decorate a Christmas tree
7. Get a dining room table
8. Get a computer desk and chair
I'm sure there is more, but my head hurts and I want to remember how happy I am with my progress, so that is all.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Frustrations & Mysteries

Never buy Glidden paint.  It is thin and streaky and it does not cover well at all.  I know that red is a particularly hard color to paint but I've done it before and it was not nearly as hard as this has been.  As you may remember, I primed the (already freshly painted walls) with pink primer.  I then waited over an hour and painted the first coat.  It was streaky, but I thought that this would be fixed with a 2nd coat.  It was not.  Instead, what I got was darker streaks showing the older streaks from the prior coat.  After one more coat, I was fuming-it looks horrible-unless the lights are off.  Then it's OK.
 
So today on my lunch break I am making my way over to Home Depot to buy another gallon of red paint-but this time Behr brand, which I've always used.  So if you were wondering what I'll be doing tonight after work-it's not relaxing.  I'll be painting, again...and not the trim like I wanted.  That will have to wait until the weekend.  Luckily I only have plans on Saturday so I can use Friday night and Sunday to paint.  Hopefully that'll be the end of it.
 
This weekend Bella was sitting on my lap while I was reading, happily purring and snuggling like she often does.  (She's so cute!)  Suddenly she jumped up and went down to her bathroom.  This is not odd, but she usually gets a drink of water and comes back.  This time she did not.  I thought that she was maybe just sleeping on my bed, which she sometimes does so I didn't think anything of it.  But then I got up to use the bathroom myself and she did not show up.  I went into the guest room and she was not there.  I called her name, I dropped food in her bowl and made her water bubble.  Nothing...so I checked the cabinets.  She hasn't yet hidden in them, but my other cats used to, so I checked.  No Bella.  My  heart dropped.  I opened the fridge, which I had opened hours earlier and worried I would find her in there dead.  Thankfully, she was not there either.  But where was she?!  I hadn't opened any closets or doors since she was on my lap, and there were no windows open.  I thought she had a really great hiding place.  I called her name again and again and I started to panic.  I started wondering if there was an opening in a wall somewhere that I didn't know about and then I thought about ghosts.  I just could not fathom where she was.  The last place I looked was my closet in my bedroom.  As soon as I opened it, she jumped out and ran to her bowl in the kitchen.
 
How did she get in there?!  I really do not think I opened that door after she was on my lap.  I know I must have, but I've gone over this in my head lots of times and really, I can't see why I would have opened it.  I was already in my pajamas and robe and I had socks on too-which would have been the only reason I can think of to open that door.  It's a mystery to me-but even more a mystery is why, even after being locked in the closet for hours, Bella still runs in when I open that door...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dining Room, B4 & During

Did you get any snow where you are? We were slated to get about 3-7 inches and though I have not yet been outside, it looks like we got about 2-4...and so starts the "I hate winter!" comments.

My holiday housewarming party is in a couple of weeks and I'm really trying to get everything done. That means painting, organizing, decorating and planning. The fun party today so far was making the vodka for one of the cocktails being served at the party-a ginger lemon martini. The main ingredient, of course, will be this ginger-lemon vodka. It will steep for 2 weeks and then I will strain it. It sits on my kitchen counter:

I had a busy day yesterday and when I got home in the evening I was just not up to priming the walls in the dining room. I really should have because I'd be in better shape today, but I think it'll all work out if I'm diligent. Here is the before:

And here is the after. JUST KIDDING! This is the "during". The primer is tinted pink because I am painting the walls red. This will help ensure I won't have to paint 4 coats...hopefully.

I really wish that I could paint the trim white today too, but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow night after work. I don't want to mess up the paint job by taping, which I have to do for sure since it's red.

Next week I'll be painting the kitchen. Luckily that trim is already painted white, so it'll be an easier job. I might also go ahead and paint the bathroom at that time too. I decided to just paint it a clean white instead of gray. I already have a huge thing of white paint left by the painters and with the mauve tile it might just be better to have it white. I don't mind the sterile feeling in a bathroom.

So, I have a lot of work to do. Later today I am driving to IKEA to hopefully purchase the chairs I need for the dining room....at least 4 of them. We'll see. I've gotta go! Lots to do, lots to do!

Friday, December 04, 2009

And It's Not Even Wednesday...

Apparently free or cheap furniture is not in my future.  Last night I was supposed to pick up the bed frame but I got horribly lost.  That window of opportunity was very small and I blew it.  Thanks to Morgen though, I have a tip that WalMart might sell them at an affordable price, so I'll go check that out this weekend.  I'll also go to IKEA to buy some chairs too.  My search for a free or cheap table will continue.  In addition, I'll be priming and painting my dining room and hopefully painting all of the trim white.  I'll take before and after pictures.  I think it's going to be quite dramatic and when it's done I think it'll look great.
 
I hate people who don't commit (in general) but I really hate people who won't accept an invitation until they find out if something or someone better comes along.  News flash-I am the someone better. (JK)  But really-either you want to come or you don't-just reply.  This is especially frustrating when said person is the one who sent the invite and then won't confirm once you yourself commit.  I just think this is extremely rude and inconsiderate.
 
This is turning into a randomivity post and it's not Wednesday.
 
I am sick of hearing about Tiger Woods.  People just talk and talk and talk about the same thing for weeks until something better (hey-is this a theme?!) comes along.  I rode to work in silence today because I could not stand to hear every station talk about how many women he cheated with and why he did it. 
 
Tonight I am going to see my friend Danny's play, "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde.  He is the Artistic Director for Bad Habit Productions and I must say, he's amazingly talented.  Every time I go to see one of his shows, I am blown away.  He has a way of putting a spin on classic tales and it just blows my mind every time.  And the actors they cast...just as amazing.  When I first saw a show put on by BHP I could not believe that I was seeing community theater.  The talent is just out of this world and I often remark to my friends that I can not believe these people are not famous or on Broadway.  Lucky for us, they are still here and Danny and his team scoop them up to perform for us.  Needless to say, I'm psyched for tonight.
 
I updated my Facebook page to say that I was going to see "An Ideal Husband" tonight and one of my friends' husbands commented that since I was coming to see him tonight he'd have to cancel his plans.  Funny man.
 
I had a very long, sad dream last night.  It was confusing and conflicting just like the situation in real life has been and I woke myself up several times to try to stop it but the dream just came back each time.  Starting my day like that is not fun.  It's harder to live in the moment when things cycle through my brain because of a dream.  For the most part, I'm doing well and I'm looking forward to making the shrink smile tomorrow because I won't be crying.  At least that's my hope.  I am still in the hate phase though.  I want to move past that.
 
Pretty colored post it notes make me smile.  That is all for today.  Live long and prosper.  Peace out, goodbye.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Running Late

Today did not start out well.  In addition to me being super tired for some reason (and therefore not able to get up on time) I woke up to a leak in my ceiling.  The archway between the living room and dining room seems to have a leak and so I spent a good amount of the morning cleaning up.  Which of course, made me late getting into the shower and then doing my hair and of course, I could not find anything to wear considering it's 60 frickin' degrees here!  *sigh*  The rest of the day should be better....right?
 
My father's Christmas present was delivered yesterday.  It wasn't on his list, but I know he'll like it.  He's been taking online classes at a certain music school here in MA and so I got him a sweatshirt from the bookstore.  I picked the same one that I see all of the on campus students wearing on the T so I know it's a good one. :)
 
I am not getting the dining room set.  I was going to rent a van to pick it up but then realized I have no help getting it up my stairs.  Unfortunately the girl can't hold it until Saturday when I would have help, so I have to let it go.  I'm so bummed.  $30 was a steal for this thing...so the search continues.  I think I might go to some used furniture stores this weekend to check them out.  They sometimes have delivery for a small fee, so that would solve all of the problems I'm having.  As long as I have something (at least chairs) by the 18th which is when my party is-I'll be fine.  Luckily it's not a sit down dinner.  That would be quite the dilemma.
 
Last night I signed into my etsy shop and saw that I had a repeat customer.  I've had several friends (thank you!) order multiple times, but this person is a stranger to me.  Not that my friends would order the stuff if it stunk, but having a stranger come back to a random shop to buy my cakes is pretty cool.  Luckily, I have all of the ingredients in the house and I don't have to work tonight so I can send it off tomorrow!  (BTW-do you need to send a rum cake, lemon cake, cupcakes or cookies to a friend for the holiday season?  Go check the shop out!)
 
That is all for now.  Talk amongst yourselves and play nice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Randomivity

Every now and then I Google my name to see if anything crazy comes up. Yesterday I found 2 links to this blog using my real name, which is NOT cool. Luckily at least one of them has been removed. I also found out that I was in the university newsletter last month. My bio is there and everything. Sure wish someone told me!

I am starting over. Last night before bed I cleared out my Google Reader. Today I am going to start being a better blog friend and I'll try to click over to comment more often. I'll also start responding to comments here again. I can't do it from work though, so it'll be at night, but it is a start.

It's funny to watch Bella inspect the heaters when they come on with a loud clank.

I finally found a free bed frame and will be picking it up tomorrow! Finally...my bed will not sit on the ground and I can use the underneath for storage!! And it's free. :)

I also found a dining room table and 4 chairs for $30. I have to rent a truck b/c I don't know anyone with a truck or SUV (who is free on Friday) but it's still significantly cheaper than buying one. I'll purchase 2 chairs for a set of 6 and paint it so it all flows together. SO excited!!!

There's a cute boy who works in my general area and when he goes to get water or coffee I get to smile at his cute little face. I think he's taken though, but it's fun to look.

I have a window in my shower-which I detest. It's frosted but I often worry that people can see in. I have a little curtain up, but it's not enough. Luckily my neighbor was showering in his bathroom last night and I got to see how the frost works...I couldn't see feature but I could see flesh colored skin and his outline. Definitely time to get blackout curtains for that sucker!

It's nice to have friends who email you to say they miss you and they want to get together soon. I've never really had that. People who miss me and actually tell me. It's nice.

I know this is weird, but I love the way my Bella smells. She's getting so big too. I love her.

Frank (my neighbor who likes to get freaky with his wife while I'm trying to sleep) rolled down his car window yesterday morning to say hello and to see how I was doing. It is nice to have neighbors who talk to you...but at the same time, I'm kind of antisocial and when I see them I want to sometimes turn around.

Only 16 more days until my party. I. Am. So. Excited!!! What's neat to me is that I have friends from all over coming-different stages in my MA life all coming together. I know I've said this before, but I'm so very happy I moved to Boston! I've never had so many friends and such an active social life.

I stole a pickle yesterday and it was good.

I once wrote a speech about pickles.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And So It Begins...

It's SNOW time!!



I know most of you hate me for loving snow...but you know what? I don't care. :)

Toosdae ?'s


Happy Toosdae everyone! Did you survive your first day back to work yesterday? It's hard to go back after a long weekend, no? I'm still in the "honeymoon stage" of my job, so I didn't mind so much, but it was still hard to wake up early! Take a break (for goodness sake!) from your day today and answer some Toosdae questions...

1. I love the smell of skunks, home improvement stores and dry erase markers. What weird smells do you like that "normal" people don't?

2. What do you put in your deviled eggs?

3. When was the last time something embarrassing happened to you? Care to share what it was?


1. See above...skunks, home improvement stores and dry erase markers...

2. I don't make them often mainly because not many people I know eat enough of them to make it worth it, but I put mayo, a touch of mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I don't do this but I love onions, horseradish or pickles in it too. (Now I want a deviled egg!)

3. Last night in the parking lot of Home Depot. My belly didn't feel too good and it was making weird noises, just as a hot guy walked past me to get into his car. I know he heard it because he looked over and chuckled. Needless to say, I sped away very quickly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Baking Soda & Vinegar

I would like to know why there are so many assholes in the world. Does anyone know? Because sometimes I just want to punch people in the face, ya know? Today I worked a double because The Dad is away and they asked if I could work Mon-Wed this week instead of Tues-Thurs. This actually worked out better for me as I have plans on both Thursday and Friday night so I said yes. Anyway...

I decided on a paint color for the dining room:

I forget what it's called, but I bought it at Home Depot. They offer 3 kinds of paint there-Behr, the "new" Behr and Glidden. I've always used the Behr but thought I would see if Glidden was less expensive (it is) so I picked out colors from both. At the paint counter (where I waited for about 10 minutes without anyone there-lots of HD employees walked by ignoring the fact that I was waiting.) I asked the guy (who finally showed up after I stopped someone to ask for help) if Glidden was OK paint. He asked what I was using it for and I told him my dining room. He shrugged and said it was OK but Behr has a better reputation. He said it in kind of a snotty tone so I was sort of put off by what he said. I asked if the paint would peel off the walls or something or was it good enough. I don't even remember what he said because he made it seem like I was the stupidest person alive for asking questions. Knowing that I've used WalMart paint before and had good results I went with the Glidden. He wasn't happy about that. Maybe he would have gotten a bonus if I bought Behr? Who knows...but his customer service was horrible.

Before he started mixing the paint he told me to go "over there" to get brushes and rollers. I told him I already had them, but thank you...he said, "You can't possibly have everything."

Excuse me? Why not? Because I asked if a certain paint was OK? I don't understand why you think I "can't possibly" have everything I need minus the paint.

I let it go. Mainly because while he was talking he allowed my paint to overflow. He must have punched in too many numbers or something because the can looked like a 5th grade science project (volcano). I took a small bit of pleasure watching him try to move that can without spilling the mess all over.

I then asked his advice (I don't know why I bothered) about whether I should paint the white trim first or the red walls first. He looked at me (again) like I was the stupidest person alive and said, "I'd rather have you paint the red wall first. You'll mess up the trim if you do that first."

This is when I wanted to drop an "F' bomb on him, but I did not. I was tired and at this point, grumpy and my tummy was starting to hurt so I just took my paint and primer and went on my way. It's the last time I'll shop at that Home Depot. Which is a shame, because it's on my way home and also, I have more paint to buy.

Busy Bee

Friday I managed to get a lot of shopping done. The crowds were not at all crazy but the stores were much busier than normal. The lines were insane but they did a great job of funneling us through. The most I waited was about 5 minutes. I went to Kohls and got my mother's Christmas gift purchased, a pretty candle for myself and one of my sisters Christmas gifts too. At Target all I got was my microwave-for $24! It's a small one, but it's perfect for me and the price was right. Later that evening I went to IKEA where I got 6 wine glasses for $2. I got 2 sets. They are not the big glasses I usually like, but for my party in December I'll need quite a few, and this was perfect. I also got a lamp for my living room, which I really needed.

Overall, it was a very successful Friday.

Saturday my Mom, Dad and niece went out for lunch and then-shopping! I managed to find my Christmas cards and this years wrapping paper but did not succeed in getting anything I really wanted-decorations for my party. But at least I'm all set for cards. Later that night I met a friend for dinner before heading home. I like to leave late at night during the holiday season b/c less people travel. It was a good idea, because I did not hit any traffic.

Yesterday I unpacked the rest of my boxes (with the exception of the ones in my office-those will stay packed until I get a desk.). I broke them all down and put them outside for trash today. I also put lots of things in their place including all of my formal china. That has not been out of boxes in the 2 years I've been in MA, so I'm excited I have a place to put it now. Overall, my entire apartment is pretty much put together now! I still don't have any art up yet mainly because I'm going to be painting the kitchen (green) and the dining room (red) and the trim (white) and I don't know which pictures will go where. I also have a weird wall set up and most of my things don't work here. Which means I'll be looking for some new art for my walls sometime in the near future.

I had quite a productive day yesterday, wouldn't you say? It feels good to walk around without boxes everywhere. I'm excited for the next stage-decorating and then entertaining. I do really love this apartment-even with its quirks (like no outlets or light switches). So far, it was a good decision. I do miss the city, but the parking space makes that better. :) And it's always just a short ride away...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day Recap

I am up and awake for several reasons, the first being that my niece Rye Bread slept over my parent's house with me last night and the poor little thing has a cough. The 2nd reason is because I'm heading out to go shopping in a few minutes. Today I'm going to hit Target, Kohls and The Avenue. Later today we have a family portrait being done and then I'm going down to IKEA to see if I can get some good deals on dining room chairs. It should be a busy and fun day.

Yesterday was really great. My mom and I prepped the meal-minus the turkey-the night before and I made my gravy base, the pies and the stuffing that night too. So on Thanksgiving day, all I had to do it pop the turkey in the oven and mash the various foods we had cooking. It was very relaxing!

This year I tried a new technique I've read about. I soaked a cheesecloth in melted butter and then draped it over the turkey the entire time it was roasting. Every hour I basted it through the buttery cloth. The result was fantastic. The coloring on the turkey was a deep caramel and it was even and crispy but not too crispy. And the meat-oh my goodness-SO MOIST. I was secretly nervous that it wouldn't work...I mean, it was the turkey. But I watched it for the first couple of hours and once I saw it browning under the cloth I felt better.

I also switched some things-I added sausage and apples to the stuffing. This may not sound like a big deal, but my mom makes stuffing a certain way b/c her mom did etc., etc. I was worried they would hate it because in my family the stuffing is the favorite food item-including the turkey and pie. Everyone loved it and I think everyone had 2nds. I also did not make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Instead I made a brown sugar streusel topping. It was delightful. I added MUCH less orange juice than usual to the actual potatoes too, so the contrast was really good and the little crunch of buttery brown sugar was so good.

The only thing I was not happy with was my pecan pie. While the flavor was really good and the crust fantastic, the pie plate was a bit too big, so the filling did not fill the entire shell. It is not a big deal, but to me, it was.

After dinner was all watched the parade-which my father recorded because we were cooking and my sisters were sleeping. It was fun, but after a while it was getting old. To get over our boredom we played a very inventive board game that my sister and niece made up and then continued what seems to be a tradition of playing charades. It's also so fun to play that with my family. They're a bunch of nut jobs!!

So my holiday was a success! How about yours?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Randomivity

Today is my Dad's birthday. It amazes me how much he has changed since I was little and I'm so grateful that we are able to have a relationship now.

The Dean is letting us leave at noon today! Which is good because I am driving down to CT for a birthday dinner and I also have to bake.

The Dean was told that the team in the office now is the smoothest team they've ever seen in that office. Which is nice to hear. Because, you know, I'm new.

Today I got an email from a meeting coordinator who wants me to tell her when The Dean is NOT available for a call. From January to May. Seriously? He's a very busy man. That list will take me a day to compile! I told her she is crazy. I'm waiting for her reply.

January to May. Really...

Hedwig is a great show.

Being friends in elementary school and junior high does not mean we've been friends for 24 years.

I do not respond well to people who try to guilt me into things. Especially when it comes to friendship.

My dad asked for a Harley Davidson Hog for his birthday. So I bought him one...


The university is swarming with the hog flu. They've modified the sick leave policy so that people don't come to work and lots of kids are in quarantine. Yesterday I thought I had a fever and for the first time I worried about having the flu. I've been in contact with a lot of students over the last couple of weeks...

I didn't have a fever.

Living in the moment is helping. But I'll miss having "our" holiday time.

Frank and Marie still love each other. I know this, because I could hear them getting busy on Friday night through the wall. Incidentally, they are probably in their late 60's or early 70's. And he does NOT sound sexy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spew

I've been a bad, bad blog friend. You've all been so great coming by and commenting pretty much without any reciprocation and for that, I thank you. I've said it before, but after Thanksgiving, I am really going to start visiting and commenting again. Things are settling down here and though my schedule is busy and I'm often tired, I miss interacting with you all. So, please forgive me.

I'm trying my best to live in the moment. For the most part it works and I feel good but every now and then memories creep back in and I realize that things aren't the way they used to be. I'm trying to get myself out of it faster though. We'll see. I used to spend time with him around Thanksgiving and also Christmas, so I'm sure that this season will be a little sad but I have a ton to be thankful for and I am certain that I will snap out of it.

Sunday I got most of my things unpacked. I only have about 10 boxes left to unpack and while not everything is put away where I want them to stay forever, things are coming along. I put the table in the kitchen together and placed all of my kitchen items away. I am AMAZED at how much room I have here! The cabinets are gigantic and with the built in china cabinet and large closet, I'm just swimming in extra room. It's fantastic. I really love this apartment. I do need to do a few things to make it nicer though. For instance, I am definitely painting the bathroom. The tiles are pink which is hideous, but what makes it worse is the color of the walls. Every wall is painted tan in here and I'm grateful that it's not white, but in the bathroom it just looks gross. So I am painting it a gray color, painting the ugly old medicine cabinet black (with the shiny paint I used for my furniture) and I added a silver towel rack. I'm also pretty sure that I am going to paint the wood trim. The painters kind of messed it up in places and while it probably was nice at one time, it just isn't perfect and it drives me nuts. Painting it white will make the entire apartment uniform (1/2 is painted white already) and also make it look more fresh. The kitchen will be painted (maybe a bright blue? green again?) and the dining room will also be painted. Depending on how the trim looks with the color of the walls, I'll keep the living room tan. My bedroom is too small to really worry about painting and the office is even smaller so those will remain tan as well.

So-I have a lot of work to do before my holiday housewarming party on the 18th. 8 of my new friends from the university are coming along with a bunch of my friends I've had here for a while. I'm excited-it's been so long since I've been a hostess. Any suggestions about what drinks I should serve? Wine for sure but I want a couple of drinks too. What would you want at a holiday party?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

5th Anniversary of Me

Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me. For those of you who just started reading, you might be interested in visiting my past posts for a background. (First, second, third, fourth.) If you had to choose one to read, please pick the first one.

Five years ago today I took my life back. Five years ago today, I left the house that I owned with nothing but the clothes on my back and I vowed not to go back until he was gone. I said "no" to being put down on a daily basis, to being blackmailed, told not to laugh when things were funny, being told I was fat and ugly and not worthy of love and most of all, I said no to being beat up. I did not know whether or not he would chase me or kill me and I lived in fear for quite a while after he was gone. But even that fear was less than what I felt everyday he was in my life.

This year was one of the hardest years of my life. My confidence was shot, I was humbled and humiliated. There were times when I felt like I had nothing to get me through the day. But I was safe and I was free. And even five years later, it feels good to be able to say that.

I can't get those years back. But I can thank God that I got through it, that I am strong enough to have taken control and that I had good people who gave me shelter when I needed to hide.

As I look around my new apartment, tired from a night out with new friends, I am so very grateful for the woman asked me if I felt safe at home. It seemed so random-especially because that was the day I decided I was not going to go back home. I'm not certain that I would have had enough courage to really go through with it had she not told me that I need to get away from him. I like to think I would have-but really, I'm not sure.

My life is so enriched now with family and friends who love me, a craft that keeps me centered and a job that I think I'm really going to love. Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me and today, more than any day, I am grateful to be alive.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good News

The other day my boss hosted a lunch for a group of faculty in our school. It's basically so that different departments can get to know each other and so that he, the head of the school, can put a face with a name. It's a pretty big deal to get asked to lunch with him and so I try to make it as nice as possible-well, as nice as ordering sandwiches and salads can be.

In any case, this one in particular my boss's EA (I'm his AA) contacted the faculty and asked them to RSVP to him with any dietary restrictions they might have. As he got the RSVP's he forwarded me the emails so I knew who was coming and what they could or could not eat. One of the girls in the office offered to make table tents with each of the professors names and so I asked the EA to give me a final list of those coming, which he did.

The day of the lunch people filed in as I matched the special lunches with the name tents. One professor had lunch but no name tent and one had a name tent but no lunch. This is a big deal b/c we order from off campus and well, it makes us look disorganized. I was worried my boss would freak out after lunch because he offered his lunch to the one person who was without.

While the lunch was going on, the EA and I tried to figure out what happened. At first we thought that the lady w/o the table tent did not RSVP but we knew that wasn't the case b/c she had her special lunch. Basically what happened is that she called him instead of emailed him which is why he did not have a "paper" trail. When he sent the list, she was not on it and because I was only looking at the number of people on the list, I did not catch it. We were both to blame. Surprisingly, my boss was not at all phased. In fact-and here's where the title comes in-he came over to me and said, "You seem to really have picked up the job quickly. Usually when people first start there's a rough period, but you seem to have it down pat."

Wow. Coming from him-someone who is notoriously harsh (though I have not seen it) this is huge. And also, he said it in front of the whole office, which was also nice. Here I was thinking he was going to freak out about lunch and he goes and gives me a huge compliment. The next day, he emailed me and told me again that I was doing a great job and he thanked me for joining them.

That made me smile.

In other good news, I had my doctor's appointment tonight. I was a little nervous about it because I didn't want to open up and feel bad for the rest of the weekend-especially not this weekend. But he is very easy to talk to and he asked me lots of questions which helped me tell my story. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start, but he prompted me and we got on with the session. The good news is that though I did cry, I feel good. He confirmed a few things I was having trouble with and the best news of all is that he said I can be fixed easily. (He didn't use those words.) He acknowledged that growing up the way I did probably has something to do with why I gravitate toward men with broken wings and why I stay in relationships that are not fulfilling. He then gave me some suggestions about ways to cope with the feelings I have and how to redirect the memories that make me sad. I have another appointment with him after Thanksgiving. It feels good to attack the feelings/problems head on. Somehow even though I still feel badly, I feel like I'm actively trying to kick sadness in the ass. Ya know?

I have a big exciting day tomorrow. First, I get my front tooth fixed. It's been chipped since elementary school (but filled in so you couldn't tell) and it slowly started wearing away this year. I did not have dental insurance so I couldn't get it fixed, but now I can and I'm super excited b/c I'm self conscious about it now. After that, I'll head over to Trader Joe's to pick up some wine (a friend suggested a couple of good ones for the party and I want to try them before I buy them) and then to my massage. Last, I'll meet my work friends for dinner and go to the show.

It'll be a great day. And Sunday, the actual Anniversary of Me (the shrink thought that was funny-in a good way) will be spent getting my home together and relaxing.

And now, I am going to relax in my new fuzzy robe with a nice cuppa tea. Love to you all!