Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I've had a super grand time lounging around; working 3-4 hours a day, napping, reading, watching movies, chit-chatting with my parents and Mallory. It's been the ideal situation. The word "perfect" would come to mind, but the writer's strike and lack of quality evening television programming is throwing a damper on the situation (though the writer's strike would be occurring at my Boston abode as well, so that's not really Portland's fault now, is it? Struck from the record.).
The ease with which I transition so easily into the Writer's Strike discussion is the source material for which the blog originates. I love TV. If you know me, you know that. Some relationships I have with people were forged early and easily by watching the same shows. (They have escalated into larger-scale friendships now, whoop.) I'm kind of a TV guru; I enjoy being in the know. Other people have their music (heck, most everyone has music besides me), but TV/Movie industry is my love and passion.
My mom knows this about me. Today, she timidly asked if she could pose an honest question; not judging me by my answer, but just out of curiosity. I complied, and she asked, "Do most people your age watch as much TV as you do?"
I thought honestly, and answered honestly. "Not really," I said, "I'm on the higher end. But it's surprising how much discussion of TV happens."
Not five minutes later, (I'd been online and chatting with friends in New York, Boston, and Dallas) the following conversations occur simultaneously.
I may watch a lot of TV--but you'd better believe it gives me something to talk about.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
The Kick(er) in the Pants:
So there I am, reading through my glowing list of wins. There are some 66% (more tech-savvy, better friend, better public speaker) and 50% (better dancer, more powerful, famous, confident, entertaining) wins here and there and I'm still hanging in there, riding the glow of my 100%s.
Then, scanning the list, I find my first goose egg. Would make a better mother. Ha! I really did laugh outloud. My f-book friends unanimously voted me 0% less likely to be a better mother. Totally random and strange. Want to hear my other zero percents? Drum roll puh-leeeeeeeze: rather date, sexier, more attractive, prettier eyes, rather have dinner with, smells nicer, a better smile, more likely to succeed, better listener, more outgoing, more naturally talented, cooler, funnier, more trustworthy, better at science. Phew! Uhhhh... it makes me nervous that a good chunk of the things on my 0% list are physical traits.
Ironic, because before now, I would have considered myself as someone who looks good on paper--educated, good job, socially-ept, full head of hair... but now I'm not so sure. Phew! Remember what I said about that one part disconcerting!?
ALright friends, I'm off to review a science book I just bought on Amazon. Gotta rack up some votes somewhere; that seems like the easiest place to start.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
In the past seven days, I have....
- gone outside four times--I hear it's freezing cold in Boston. I wouldn't know. The few times I've been outside have been for transportation purposes only.
- showered thrice--I have a shower bag. It's good that I have impeccable one-leg balance as I rest my leg on the tub wall and try my hardest to get all the shampoo out of my hair. My left leg is super tired after a shower. Turning is tricky, and dangerous. As is entering and exiting the tub. And crutching on one wet foot. Showers are a neccesary high drama event.
- existed solely on imported food. Last night Julie brought groceries, made tacos, and left me with bananas (my good leg needs to potassium!), yogurt, cheese, rainbow sherbet (by request), and Diet Coke. Before that, it was a Joe's salad (and subsequent leftovers), a 41 ounce bag of Skittles (that's right, you read 41oz.), and a box of Hot Tamales. I know what I like, and apparently others do too.
- had a weekend getaway. I was literally kidnapped by some lovely, thoughtful, wonderful girls in my ward to come spend Sunday after church and Monday with them. We laughed, lounged around, studied, worked, and ate more chips and Skittles (it took a bunch of us awhile to eat that many Skittles) than you can imagine. It was wonderful, and I cried when I got back to my own house.
- put on a bra maybe once. Oh that's right, when I went to church. And for the record, no photo of the Gucci fannypack exists, but maybe I'll recreate the outfit later so you can check it out.
- literally had my blood boil. My inner temperature has permanently risen. I'm always warm. I sleep with a fan on, the door to the non-heated screen porch open, and one cotton blanket. I'm in my room wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, no socks, and am smart enough to realize that's probably not normal given the actual temperature in my room.
- learned that sleep positions can be changed. You think you're only a side sleeper, or a back sleeper. I guarantee if you had a ten pound cinderblock wrapped in melted burlap sleeping with you, you'd learn to adjust too.
- talked to myself quite a bit. I'm alone enough, it's bound to happen. But in all actuality, it's not chit-chat, but usually happens when I'm on my crutches; motivation or warning to take it slow and easy. "Okay-okay-okay-okay-okay-okay-okay-okay." That's when I'm slowly sitting, readjusting my leg, or trying to prop up my crutches.
- gone over my text limit (1000) and am close to my minute cap. Too many calls to work, insurance, doctor, staffing service, family, etc. Luckily, I roll on Saturday. Apologies if I don't return your text (I'm pretty good about emailing instead); it's nothing personal. I've so appreciated everyone's thoughtful comments and checking-in-ness. It's keeping me sane. I still have 952 picture messages; go ahead and keep those babies coming.
- been hooked up (technologically speaking). You well know my computer has been on the fritz since April. Kirsti, in an act inspired from up above, sent me home with her laptop so I could continue to work from home. In addition to bringing physical sustenance, Julie came and routed a hard line to our wireless router so my Internet connection doesn't cut in and out.
As much as I can get down about the situation--stress about work, traveling, commuting, finances, insurance, cleanliness, I realize I'm being blessed. There are plenty of people looking out for me--who call to check in daily, who email, who IM, who are genuinely concerned with how I'm doing. There are about four girls who are going above and beyond the call of friendship at this point--I'm sure you know who you are, and I sincerely thank you.
For the rest of you! Thanks for your comments, emails, calls, and even thoughts of well wishing! I have a long way to go, but I'm hoping I'm past the worst of it. Enjoy your independent mobility! Your ease in going to the bathroom! Your text messaging and minute plans! Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Surprise! My leg is busted. Fractured. Broken. Can you believe that? WHO breaks their leg? Kids jumping from trees and idiots on trampolines. That boy in your 2nd grade class. Claudia in book #10 of The Babysitter's Club. Remember when you were a kid and secretly wanted a cast? Or a broken bone? Or when crutches used to be a toy?
What a mess. This is me in the doctor's office when I got the news. (In a stroke of good luck, I also got pink eye the night of the break, hence the glizzasses.)
So now I'm a cripple on crutches trying to figure out what on earth I'm going to do and how I'm going to get around. How I'm going to work, how I'm going to keep the bone from snapping and needing surgery, how to prevent blood clots and how I'm going to navigate the exceptionally steep and uneven stairs to our 2nd story dwelling. Hell, how I'm going to navigate the two-bus commute in good weather, let alone snow, rain, or ice. Long story short, I'm in trouble.
I try not to be too melancholy on this blog, so I'll keep it light. After I was rushed from one doctor's office to another (they were closing and I needed casting STAT!) by my personal chauffeur Whitney, I chatted with the Ortho doctor. Six weeks is the guess, I'm holding my breath for a walking cast in 4 for Ireland. Hold your breath with me, huh people?
As the nurse came in to wrap my wound, I asked if I could take photos for my blog. This is how dedicated I am to you people. I promised not to take photos of her but of the process only. I told her yall would be very happy. Not much explanation is needed...Now I'm home. I have two positions at home; leg elevated in bed, and leg elevated at the computer. It's pretty dull and rather boring.
Saturday was broken up with visits from Linda, Peggy & Rachel, and a dinner drop-off (my favorite salad from Joe's, woot!) from Laura, and numerous calls, texts, and facebook wishes.
Today is Sunday and I had some lovely helpers (Kirsti and Esther) come pick me up during Sunday School for Sacrament Meeting. I've spent the afternoon lounging at their house eating nacho cheese, baked goods from the cute girls next door and talking about love, live and the pursuit of happiness. It's buoyed my spirits tremendously.
BIG decisions to be made in the next few days. As soon as the holiday is over the calls to work, the doctor, the staffing service, the insurance people, and everyone in between can begin.
I used to claim that there were two activities that always brought out the swearing--bowling and ping-pong. I now officially add using crutches to the list.
Friday, January 18, 2008
In case you haven't heard, yesterday I fell victim to the lamest sounding injury of all time. I finally slipped on ice, and hurt my ankle. Just the description hardly warrants any sympathy, right? I mean really; it seems so sissy. However, to my credit (and for anyone who cares), I didn't just slip and fall down, I slipped and fell down five stairs and then hit the ground.
I was showered, dressed, outfitted with food, gym clothes and my bus pass walking out the door when I fell victim to the worst set of front steps you've ever seen. (Funniest comment goes to my sister Mal for the email comment, "Man I wish people knew how to use a level.") I'm not sure how I hauled myself up the 30 stairs to our second-story dwelling, but it was a must I guess.
It hurt(s). But I won't give superfluous description of the pain. You think you know, but you have no idea. Blah blah blah. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be an ankle issue as the swelling is on my actual leg. It seems I'm having a tendon/ligament/snore bore issue. I'm going to the doctor shortly (thanks in advance for the ride Whit!) probably to get the BOOT! Oh the boot. How fashion forward of me.
Yes, I'm icing and elevating. No I haven't changed my clothes. My bed is wet because the ice keeps melting. Dangerous Minds (thanks On Demand!) is kind of after-school specially. I wonder if it was "hood" in the early 90's. I think the streets are more dangerous now. Brenda bailed me out with a 64ouncer of DC and two extra bags of ice (can't refreeze it fast enough), flowers from RachelMtz in exchange for my FNL Season I (yup, still spreading the love), computer usage so I can "work from home" courtesy of Ky, an Ireland planning meeting moved to my bedroom, and my Gram calling daily for the update. Thanks for accommodating the cripple.
My leg is wet and I need a shower. Happy long weekend everyone!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The one month countdown began yesterday. With the inevitable freak-out of "ohmygosh, it's coming so soon, can you believe it? can you? can you?" comes the freak-out of "sweet mercy, we're hopping the pond in less than a month and have slim to little figured out."
Julie and I had a little pow-wow at lunch and I came away from our rendezvous with several action items. You see, Ju, Mary, Esther and I are getting together tomorrow night to enjoy merriment, watch an Irish-based movie, and discuss all things trip related.
But back to the informational action items I was to research. Are you prepared to be bored? (I promised to blog more, I never promised they'd be worth reading.) It's a good thing I know how to handle the Internet. How did people do anything before Al Gore came around?
- Distance from the airport to the hotel: 42.2 km; 44 minutes driving
- Irish electricity: 230v/50hz; 3 square pins. Adapter required; not sure if hotel has hair dryer.
- Cash--Euro vs. Pound: conversion; where, how much to carry/bring
- London transportation from airport to hostel: Gatwick Express train, 30 minute trip, runs every 15-minutes. Running a 4-for-2 special right now--meaning we travel for half price. Geez, it's ridiculous how much I love the Internet.
- London hostel research: reviewed dozens of hostels based on price, review, location, amenities, and have nearly locked-down on a pretty nice looking place right near Hyde Park and Notting Hill.
- Also researched: Bike rental, local pub info, pool(!) hours, and what constitutes an Irish Breakfast
That was this afternoon's research. Tomorrow's meeting we'll nail down our itinerary, lobby for sides in the luggage check vs. carry-on debate, discuss the wardrobe situation, and any and all other things related to taking a week-long vacation abroad.
This is what being a logistical stressball is all about.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Last night, at 7:39:02 PM EST, my 50,000th page load was recorded by a visitor in Bellevue, Washington.
In the limited time I had, I commissioned an online-contest to create a photo tailored for this historic event. Users of the world wide web responded, and I chose a winning photo.
The children of the world thank you dear readers. Here's to the next major milestone!
Monday, January 14, 2008
So I’m behind on my blogging. I vow to be better. The winter months are where blogging formats have to get creative—nothing is happening socially, so there’ll be less recapping and more random wanderings of a somewhat disjointed mind. Huh. Maybe I should rename my blog. “Random Wanderings of a Somewhat Disjointed Mind.” It’s not very catchy, is it? In all actuality, if I were the kind to rename my blog (which I kind of wish I could be, but I need some consistency in my life), I’d rename to “Honest to Blog.” (One of the few times I laughed out loud at Juno. Don’t hate me for not loving that movie.) But no renaming here.
I haven’t done a year end post yet. I want to, and I will. I posted before that 2007 was my best year yet, I want the recap for my own sake if no one else’s. I’ll get on that soon. Lucky for me, my year anniversary of living in Boston is rapidly approaching, so I’ll do that recap in place of an actual 2007 (or a hybrid of the two, who knows? The world is an oyster and it’s at my feet).
As predicted, the BIG ONE HIT. Okay, not really that big, but another Nor’easter passed through Boston last night. We had 60 degree weather last week (no joke! it was warmer on the 4th of January than on the 4th of July) and it’s ended now with a merry dusting of six inches of snow. (Speaking of merry, I think it’s time for us to take down our Christmas decorations.) Schools all over the state were preemptively closed, including my boss’ day care. He’s working from home means I’m working from home. What what. I’m still in my pajamas at 2:35 in the pm. I need a telecommuting job, I’m telling you what.
Saturday night I discovered the “Free Movies” section of On Demand. I enjoyed a “Sleepless in Seattle” viewing. It made me remember the days when Meg Ryan was more cute than cynical, and Tom Hanks was still just an ordinary guy. Oh wait, he still is.
Last week I made it official. I’m now a Massachusetts resident—and my car now has boring mass plates. (Get it? Get it?) Getting to the DMV was kind of high drama. All my car “rules” expired at the same time—so coming back from the holiday meant I was driving with expired registration, expired insurance, illegal state license, and illegal state plates (UT) don’t match the license state (AZ) that don’t match the state the vehicle is operated in (MA). If pulled over, I was looking at $1000+ in tickets. I know, I check. Did I mention it was high drama?
I guess that’s it for now. I could keep wracking my brain for things to write about, but what on earth would I write about tomorrow?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
The Writer's Strike: I'm beginning to make irrational decision with my DVR. Now that the everlasting strike has halted production on all but a smattering of my favorite shows (bless FNL for having five, count 'em five, episodes left), I'm making hasty and questionable recording decisions. Do you hear me four episodes of Saved by the Bell? True Hollywood Story : Mean Girls? America's Next Top Model has been on MTV nonstop for six days now. I maybe recorded all of Cycle 2 and just finished watching. Drat that Eva. Before you know it I'll be recording reruns of Family Matters and Antique Roadshow.
Eating healthy: How trashy is it to love a Lean Pocket? It's not very classy, that's for sure. In an effort to detox post-holidays, I've been sustaining myself with fresh produce and frozen entrees. God bless Lean Cusines--heaven knows I'd never cook something so "elaborate" for myself. The frozen meal extravaganza has confirmed that I'll eat anything cheesy with marinara sauce.
To-Do Lists: After avoiding all adult responsibilities for the last few months, I've compiled my most daunting To Do ASAP list in history. Some items are easy 10-minuters. Some are exceptionally complicated. Some are costly. (Sounds like I'm describing relationships, huh?) Unfortunately, all are well past due and need immediate attention. Here's the short list: get a passport, buy a bus pass, decide on car insurance, meet with the agent in person, get the sign of approval, go to DMV and get car registered in Mass, get a Mass. license, call insurance and figure out vision insurance, schedule/attend eye appointment, order contacts, pay December bills, budget January bills, get front axle in car fixed, get cash, and kick the stuffy, congested face I picked up this morning. Phew. Being an adult is awesome.
Contract Work: My division was sold in early December to another company. The Feds are going to investigate the legalities for 4-6 months and then chances are exceptionally high I'm going to lose my job. I'm not super stressed because I don't love the highly technical aspect of what I'm doing--I'd like to get back to my project management roots; that's where I excel. My big idea is to have enough money saved that as soon as the axe falls I'm ready to take a trip. Overseas. Not sure where, but I'm planning to do something last minute and take advantage of the time I'll have. I'm hoping someone wants to quit their job and run away for a short time. Any takers?
White noise: This summer I owned an AC unit. Believing it was too heavy to move 20-feet, I left it on the sunporch instead of ever installing it. I sweltered through the heat of a Northeastern summer with a $9 box fan from Target. Somewhere along the way the fan stopped actually blowing air. It still makes a heck of a lot of noise though, that's for sure. It became habit to turn the fan on (I'm pretty sure it didn't work for months and I didn't notice), and I still do to this day. I've found that I like the noise--it's comforting and drowns out the radiator. (Side note: very few things make me as irrationally angry as the pops and hissing of my radiator. I get SO mad; it kind of cracks me up.) I love my white noise maker.
Being clever: I had a really interesting discussion yesterday with someone I adore. We were talking about the power of words, and the impact they have. It seems there's a huge desire to be clever these days--but clever so often crosses into mean. For a lot of people, being clever comes at the cost of kindness. It might be funny, but it doesn't mean it's nice. It was a good reminder for me. I apologize to any or all if I've overstepped the line at anytime.
Words I can't spell: license, unfortunately, responsibility, consciously
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It's taken me so long to post on my Christmas vacation due to the sheer volume of photos taken--my hard drive (thanks Santa!) has Christmas photos from seven family member cameras. That's 1500 photos to sort through. It's overwhelming to look at them, let alone take the time and sort, choose, and upload to Blogger. (But really readers, has anyone figured out a faster easier way to post a ton of photos? Clue me in!)
If I were writing this post the day after (like I do with most recaps), I'd waste time giving you the nitty gritty details. Why do I do that? A good chunk of you don't even know me, let alone care who drove in whose car, or whose burrito didn't have onions. Oye. So. This blog will NOT be split into a Portland, Phoenix, Mexico section. I'm going to let you do critical analysis on your own.
And so it begins....
Rachel made a list of her favorite moments from the trip. To her list, I add some of my favorite memories: "Acting natural" in the lounging photos on the beach chairs; having the Mexican cooks come in to feed us every night--I'd about die to have some more of that bacon-wrapped shrimp; the fascination with the babies, watching the hundreds of photos every night on the TV (I've told many of you friends that we do this on vacation, here's the proof!); my continued streak of terrible posing; rehashing some of Pierre's choicer phrases.
I've blogged before about being a double cousin. Eight of us, two sets of parents, but all identical genes. Yeah, it still sounds funny to say it that way. The last time the 8 of our photo was taken was 2.5 years ago, here's the update.
The only reason this picture is so large is to show you how incredible the scenery/landscaping is and how well the shot is set up. My sister Alaina does an amazing job--check out her business blog.
Everyone and their sister did a jumping shot or two--check them out on this Mexican Christmas recap post.
More fun memories: the activities Gram planned so no one would get "bored"--a treasure hunt, felt ornament beading, and a late night (6pm) glow stick rave; running after cars and waving when people are leaving, seeing dolphins with Grandpa and Alaina (I'm not only good at whale watching), and watching all the Grandmas (3!) take care of everyone else.
During the sunlight hours, this is what we do in Mexico. Sometimes we'd go to town, but most of our waking hours were spent in this location drinking Vita (sugar-laden Mexican soda that creates the funkiest/most vivid dreams), and debating whether the longest part of the "day" was in the late afternoon waiting for the cooks to come or at night when it was cold and dark and we had to be inside.
After the babies and the 9-year-old owner of the Wii went to bed, the tennis tournaments began. Most of us are actual players, so it was fun to duke it out in the virtual world when we were mostly equals. Rachel and my Williams/Williams took down Babb/Babb, Nielsen/Nielsen and any other combination of Williams/Williams put together. But really, it was all in good fun--and a good way for the 3rd generation to bond.
There were several "not planned to be funny" activities that were perhaps the highlight of the trip, and they turned out a little different than planned--including the Diet Coke/Mentos rocket launch and fallout, the kids fort to trap the "bad mexicans" ("It almost trapped some good mexicans! so I know it's going to work!" --PR) and the great White Elephant Movie/Music/Book exchange. You can't imagine what kind of multimedia treats there were. The best gift was "The Italian Job"--until Rachel stole it and we discovered it's a NYC knock-off. I had to leave my 1994 Olympic highlight VHS at the house in Mexico because no one wanted to cart it back across the border.
I love vacation. I love my family. The two are always a genius combination. Coming back to reality is always a bummer--especially considering it's -5 in Boston and I was in my bathing suit less than a week ago. Sigh.
It's taken me 2.5 hours to write this blog and I'm ending it before something tragic happens.