Thursday, October 30

Noteworthy Thursday

Welcome to a new feature on this website! It’s called Noteworthy Thursday, and here’s how it works.

Way back in junior high, my friends and I passed notes. A lot of notes. And I happen to have saved nearly every one of them. They’re all in one of those big holiday popcorn tins (this particular tin features red-hat wearing cows with the caption “Silent night, holy cow!”). And every Thursday I shall randomly select a note from the tin, scan it in, and post it here for your reading pleasure.

Sounds easy enough, yes? Let’s get to it. As you’ll see in this first note, we used code names. This way, we cleverly avoided being identified should our notes fall into the wrong hands. Brilliant, eh? Little did we know that this method would also prevent me from having any clue what was going on in my life 15 years later. (PS - 15 years?! Where did the time go?)

Saturday, October 25

Well, that was fun.

Andrew and I are in beautiful northern California, and guess where we were this morning. You guessed it, one of Davis's hot spots and top-rated tourist destinations--the emergency room. Andrew was severely dehydrated, nauseous, shaky, barely able to move on his own, etc. So we took him to the ER for some fluids and assurance. Two hours and two liters of fluid later, he was able to walk out on his own. So glad we went and didn't just "wait and see." It seems he has a touch of the flu and desperately needed hydration. Thankfully, we don't fly back until tomorrow evening, so I'm hoping he recovers a bit more before we have to get on a plane. Right now, he's playing a video game, so he's definitely on his way back to normal.

Monday, October 20

An Open Letter to CVS

Dear CVS,

What’s the deal? Why must you be so environmentally irresponsible? I had higher expectations for you. I must say, you really let me down this time.

It was just a simple errand. I needed one little item—travel-sized, airplane-approved contact solution. Less than a four-dollar purchase. But it turned into the day I lost faith in one of the nation’s largest drug-store chains.

For that one small item, my receipt was nearly two feet long. Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty-one inches of wasted paper. What, CVS, do you think paper just grows on trees or something? Come on. Get with the program! This is 2008 and you ought to know better. I don’t need your coupons or your “extra bucks.” If you insist on including them, try printing them on the back of the receipt. Here’s another novel idea—maybe you could NOT print your logo and tagline three times.

I’m sorry, CVS, but I just can’t be with someone who insists on being so wasteful. I’ll give you one more chance, but next time you try to pull something like this, we’re through.


Seven is a Magical Number

I was tagged by Domestic Goddess to write seven weird things about myself. And, since I don’t want to anger the Blogger gods, I must comply. But first, The Rules.

Rule #1: Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Rule #2: Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.
Rule #3: Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Rule #4: Let each person know that she’s been tagged by leaving a comment on her blog.

And now, on to the good stuff (and believe me, I use the term “good” loosely).

1. I totally corrected the grammar in the rules listed above. I’m weird like that. I just really, really like things to be correct. Obviously, on this site I make exceptions to that rule, for style and voice and MY ART, and DON’T HOLD ME BACK, PEOPLE, I NEED TO BE FREEEEEEEEE. ahem.
2. Nail polish remover makes my skin get really weird. Weird, like wrinkly and dry and numbish. And it last for several days. Hence, I don’t like nail polish remover. Sometimes I wear rubber gloves to remove nail polish (but then I can’t use the gloves for anything else, because I need everything to serve a specific purpose, and I know it’s weird, and this little idiosyncrasy could really be it’s own number on this list here . . .). Sometimes I wrap plastic bags around my hands to remove nail polish. And sometimes I go get a pedicure, specifically so they will remove the old polish and I don’t have to do it. Really. I will pay someone $25 to remove my old, chipped nail polish.
3. I’m addicted to the snooze button. Last week I snoozed for over an hour, unable to truly sleep because I had to reach over to hit a button every nine minutes.
4. I came THIS CLOSE to buying my cat a sweater yesterday. Shut up, she’s getting shaved next week due to a matted fur problem, and I don’t want her to be chilly.
5. I’m becoming a bit obsessive about composting. Our trash gets picked up tomorrow, and tonight when I collect the trash from around the house, I’m going to sort through it and pull out the things that can actually be composted. (This is primarily going to be used tissues. I know. Gross. But you’ll be sooo jealous when I have a beautiful pile of humus and you don’t.)
6. I recently checked out a book from the library called No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. Two things about this: 1) Y’all better keep reading, because my blog’s future content is about to knock your socks off, and 2) I honestly thought you did care what I had for lunch. Today I had leftover hash and some cottage cheese, and the whole thing left something to be desired, namely a chocolate chip cookie. Aren’t you glad you know that?
7. I’ve been looking for a great pair of boots for at least three years. And I haven’t been able to find “the pair.” See, I apparently have enormous calves and a lot of the really cute boots don’t zip over my giant extremities. Some retailers sell wide-calf versions, but for some reason they think that if you have wide calves, you must also have thick ankles and wide feet. Which I don’t. I have very normal ankles and feet (with the tiny exception of my freakishly long second toe). And so the search for a great pair of boots continues.

Now, in alphabetical order, I tag . . .

Fresh Sodapop
Miss Zoot

Saturday, October 18

Making Bobby McFerrin Proud: A Top Ten List

Top 10 Things That Make Me Happy Today

  1. Waking up under piles of squishy blankets
  2. Feeling the warm sun as it streams through the windows
  3. Wearing the first sweater of the season
  4. Seeing the gorgeous fall leaves
  5. Noticing the inexplicable smell of macaroni and cheese in my car
  6. Taking a really hot shower after an exhausting workout
  7. Drinking a pumpkin spice latte
  8. Driving by Krispy Kreme and smelling the delicious scent of original "hot now" glazed doughnuts
  9. Seeing the compost in the compost pile start to compost (compost compost)
  10. Hearing birds chirp while sitting at a stoplight

Tuesday, October 14

Monday, October 13

Take a Seat

Today was the big day. The day we moved the furniture from the garage to the living room. But then it rained, and the couch has to go outside to then come back inside. Soooo... we only moved two chairs. The couch continues to keep the power tools company in the garage. But Couch, we still love you, too. Someday we will come back for you.

But for now, may I introduce to you, dear readers, Chair One and Chair Two. (they could really use some better names, eh? but naming things is hard.)

Shall I tell you about my weekend? OK then.

It was a big weekend in the Langford household. Andrew didn't have to go to work. And he didn't do any homework until Sunday evening. And that means he had plenty of time to hang out with me and have lots of fun. We had an awesome time Friday night hanging out with JiaoJiao and her cutie-patootie boyfriend, Jason. Then on Saturday, we slept late and went out for breakfast.

And this is an interesting story. Not so much interesting, I guess, as just sort of weird. We had heard that the coffee shop next to Stonewall Inn was doing some sort of waffle breakfast and chili tasting event. I know, I wouldn't have thought those two went together, either. But who am I to judge? Well, Andrew and me, we luurve us some waffles, so when we got our sleepy butts out of bed around 9:30, we decided to head over there for waffley goodness. The time was 10:05 when we arrived, and they had already shut down the waffle maker. The barista man (what is the masculine of barista? does it have a masculine version? baristo, perhaps?) invited us to join in the chili tasting, but we said we hadn't had breakfast yet and would maybe just get coffee instead. But the nice man offered to turn on the waffle maker, so yay! Waffles! More and more people--a surprising number of people, actually--came into the shop, all there to taste chili (at 10:15 in the morning). Another barista came in and mentioned the chili tasting to us, and the first barista man said in a low voice to her, “They wanted waffles . . . they haven't had breakfast yet.” And she looked at us in a sad way, as though she'd just found out we only had six months to live. Really? Is it that weird to be wanting breakfast at 10AM on a Saturday? Such judgment, coming from a crowd that included a 40-something man with zebra-stripe tattoos down his arms and legs, and a woman who perched her toddler on the back of a large dog for the picture-taking pleasure of her companion. (The child was not amused.) In the end, though, we got our delicious waffles and coffee and didn't have to taste any chili. (note: they announced the chili competition winner just before 11:00. Wow.)

The rest of Saturday was mostly just Andrew and I hanging out and enjoying the beautiful day. We ran some errands and got various hardware for the house. We went to the library and I checked out a book I've been wanting to read, then we sat out on the back deck and read books. We went to the grocery store and then cooked dinner together. It was so ho-hum, yet so glorious. Does anyone else love that kind of day as much as I do?

Sunday was a day of productivity. The in-laws were over to help out with the house again, and guess what. Furniture is going in tonight! For reals. We completed all the painting touch-ups and messy dirty work in the living room, so we can move back in. We even rented a Rug Doctor and scrubbed the dust and my summer memories out of the carpet. There is still plenty of work to do (paint kitchen windows and door, paint bathroom door and bathroom, paint dining room, paint and install more trim...) but for now, I'm declaring a victory.

Thursday, October 9

A Reason to Still Go to Westport

I just had a sangria milkshake and I am not even kidding. It was quite delicious. Though not as delicious as Stephanie's Midori and Malibu milkshake. Mmmmmm... Also, truffle fries. (All this goodness was from Blanc. You should go there.) Ahhh, I love happy hour. There's just nothing better after a sucky work day. Happy hour is one of those things that is very appropriately named. Unlike Pottery Barn. It doesn't really sell pottery, nor is it a barn. I mean, what's up with that?

Tuesday, October 7

Blahbity, Blah, Complain Complain, etc.

I’m having one of those evenings where everything just sort of stresses me out. And of course, some of it I brought on myself. Which in a way, just makes it that much worse, because I can add a little bit of guilt to the stress. Let me tell you about my evening.

I went to Crate & Barrel after work because I wanted the countertop composter that I saw in their catalog. It turns out to be nothing more than a bucket with a filter in the lid. Of course, I buy it anyway because I’m determined to start composting. And now that I have the composter, I will actually have to start composting, which I have no idea how to do. I know this isn’t logical, but that is stress #1.

After C & B, I picked up our produce from the CSA we joined this year. This stresses me because we’ve been wasting so much food (hence the desire for composting) and I hate wasting such good food. But with Andrew so busy, we haven’t been cooking much at home. And when I say “much,” I mean “at all.” In fact, I can’t remember the last time we cooked at home together. I hate when Andrew is so busy because I really love hanging out with him. So wasting food and missing my husband encompass stresses #2 and #3.

Picking up the food reminds me of the fact that I have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner tonight, and since Andrew’s in class, I’m again on my own for eating. Stress #4.

When I arrive at home, this note from Marrs Tree Service falls out of the front door: “The maple in front has a lot of damage to the trunk. It would probably be better to remove it and start over. Remove it, haul away, grind the stump: $150.” Is that not just the most depressing thing? We’re probably going to lose this beautiful tree, the largest tree in our front yard, the one that shades the front of the house and gives us some privacy in the bedroom (which we need a lot of, if you know what I mean. I mean, Andrew likes to walk around in his boxer briefs. what did you think I meant?). And on top of that, we’re going to have to pay them $150 to lose the tree. So this is stress #5.

After heading inside, I go about the business of washing the produce from this week and throwing out the produce from last week that has gone bad. I decide to make pizza sauce with all the tomatoes we’ve got, so I set about doing that. But that’s going to take awhile, and still won’t produce any dinner for me. And I’m hungry. And because I’m feeling stressed and just worn out and the pizza sauce reminds of pizza (obviously), I order pizza. And ordering pizza is bad for me because I will eat the pizza. And because I will eat the pizza, I won’t go to the gym, only making the effects of eating the pizza that much more pronounced. Stresses #6 and #7. (told you it wasn’t logical—I totally brought these on myself)

So that’s my evening. I’m now going to watch the Presidential debate. I’m sure that will be just the pick-me-up I need.

Thursday, October 2

Joe Versus Sarah "The Volcano" Palin

The hot topic of the day seems to be the vice presidential debate. Yeah, I watched it. Did you watch it? Sadly, Sarah Palin did not entertain me nearly as much as I hoped she would. Except for when she called Obama and Biden “you guys.” And her sparkly flag pin.

What did entertain me was this: When I was at the gym earlier this evening, I saw a TV news segment about how Joe Biden would prepare to debate a woman.

Um. Seriously? Is this really something that needs special preparation? Why should debating a woman be any different than debating a man? I don’t recall any segments on how John McCain would prepare to debate a black man. I mean, really, WTF? Were they afraid Biden would stare at Palin’s cleavage? Or that if he disagreed with her, he would say she was just on her period? Or maybe, instead of shaking her hand afterward, he might slap her ass?

Sigh. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could focus more on the issues in this campaign and less on the gender of the candidates?

Wednesday, October 1

The Great Tulip Project of 2008

I planted bulbs for the first time last weekend, and while I know it’s not rocket science, it is science, sort of, and I don’t know if these bulbs will actually produce any tulips, come spring. I also don’t know if perhaps I planted my ability to write something other than a run-on sentence, because wow. I absolutely love tulips, so I couldn’t let another fall pass me by without planting some.

We have a small berm* in the front yard around our marriage tree. (Have I mentioned our marriage tree? We planted it when we got married, and now on every anniversary, we are taking a picture of us by the tree, so we can see how much it’s changed and how we’ve changed. It’s like a metaphor for watching our love grow. I know, it makes me want to throw up a little, too.) And I wanted something other than the sedum** that Andrew planted around the tree. So I went to the nursery (the plant nursery, not the baby one) and bought 40 tulip bulbs, in varying shades of red, orange, and yellow.

This is where it gets complicated. I thought this project would take about two hours, from the removal of the ground cover to the planting of the bulbs, to the laying of the chicken wire over the top, to the spreading of mulch. FYI, the tulip website I looked at said that squirrels just love bulbs, so to prevent the squirrels from eating them, chicken wire could be placed over the top and the flowers could still grow through it.

But, clearly, it took longer than two hours. I’d say it took closer to six hours. Most of that time was devoted to ripping out the sedum. Those suckers have quite a root system. (And may I just point out that this, this right here, is a wonderful example of a topic I never ever thought I would discuss, had you asked me three years ago.) Once I finally got the sedum—okay, most of the sedum—out, the dirt was packed so hard, that I really was only able to dig down about four inches to plant the bulbs. I’m sure that had I not already been working on this project for three hours, I would have kept trying, but I was totally ready to throw in the towel. But I still wanted all the work to produce results, namely tulips.

To solve this problem, I bought more dirt and made sure the bulbs were planted deep enough. Brilliant, eh? I’m sure all you horticulturists out there are cringing. So more dirt, then chicken wire cutting and placing, then mulch. Then lots of watering. I must say, the berm looks fantastic. And, if I’m lucky, it will look even more fantastic this spring when 40 tulips bloom.

*berm: a word I did not know until I bought a house
**sedum: another word I did not know until I bought a house