Thursday, December 31, 2009

Excuses, excuses

I'm still sorry guys. I keep trying to get the energy to write a nice post, and I just can't do it. A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks involving my family, and I'm really pretty depressed about it. I might write about it at some point, but it's all so sad and depressing and embarrassing that I don't know if I can. It's really hard to write a post about anything else though with so much on my mind. I just don't know what to do at this point.

Still reading you. Miss you guys.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oops...

I'm sorry that I have been MIA, blog buddies. I miss and love you all and am still reading you. Work and life are just very busy right now and I haven't had the energy to post during my free time. I have 3 days of work left before my 11 DAY VACATION(!!!) so I will be back very soon. Wait for me?

In the meantime: Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. I wish you all the best this holiday season and I can't wait to start blogging with you guys again.

See you soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm baaaaack

I suck. I'm so sorry that I have abandoned you all for so long. I missed you, I swear! Because it's been so long I will make this post in list form so that I can clear the clutter from my brain and start anew tomorrow.

- Thanksgiving/my birthday weekend was awesome. Geoff and I each had two dinners and were STUFFED by the end of Thursday, but we got to see lots of family so that was nice. I also had an extra visit with my dad and brother on Friday, before going out to the Old Port for drinks with two of my friends. It was so good to see them and I got to wear a cute new sweater dress that Geoff's mom got me for my birthday. Saturday morning my mom took us out to breakfast and that night we went to a big party for one of Geoff's friends. It was so great to see everyone. Four days was a nice amount of time to be there. I didn't feel so rushed like I usually do and while we did a lot and visited lots of people, I still felt like we had plenty of relaxing down time.

- Though the people at my job drive me up the wall (every. single. day.), some great things have happened at work that I am so thankful for. My benefits FINALLY kicked in (I waited a year) and this university offers a top notch health insurance plan that's pretty inexpensive as well as vacation and sick time, holiday pay, etc. Also, because we didn't get raises this year and things have been so dismal what with budget cuts, we got two great Christmas gifts:

  1. Four extra paid vacation days at Christmas. This means that I will have from December 24-January 3 off and still get paid in full. Freaking awesome.
  2. Earlier this week we got a surprise bonus check. This place has never given out holiday bonuses before and these were REALLY decent checks. We're not talking $50-100 here. I was sky high the day we found out. Now I can afford to get Christmas gifts for people and to go out for New Year's Eve with friends! So happy.

- I'm pretty upset about Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Not only because it will cost us $30 billion a year that should go to helping people here who have lost jobs and can't feed their families, but because that means people I know are going to be sent overseas sooner than expected. I found out yesterday that the first to go will be 1,000 Marines from where my brother is stationed and they will leave before Christmas. My heart sank. I spoke to him last night though and he's pretty sure that he won't be sent until later since he just got back 6 months ago. That made me feel a little better. I do feel for my old college roommate though. She just got married and moved to Fort Drum with her husband who is in the army. A large group from there will be leaving in January even though originally they weren't supposed to go until October. It'd be a terrible surprise for her if he got sent so much earlier than expected so here's hoping he doesn't go quite yet.

- What. The. Hell. Patriots? Geoff and I went to a bar to watch the Monday night football game since it was on ESPN and we don't have cable. It was ugly. Luckily there was pizza, buffalo wings, and beer to make it a little better, but it still sucked. Tom Brady's lackluster performance also seriously hurt my Fantasy team so it was a double blow. Freakin' football.

- I can't wait to decorate for Christmas! I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit right away since it always goes by so fast and I really want to enjoy it. I love this time of year, but it just blows by so fast every year. I've gotten some shopping done but still have quite a bit to go. It helps that I have a week and a half vacation to look forward to along with it! Also, Rudolph was on CBS last night so watching that was fun. Why are these specials on so early now though? I totally had no idea that it would be on and I would have been so sad if I had missed it. I know, I'm weird...but I love those specials!

What's new with all of you?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This will Probably Make You Gag. You've Been Warned.

I am at work right now, working a half day (yay!) and then I have a 4 day holiday weekend. After work I am heading home to clean, cook, and pack for our trip to Maine. We will leave after Geoff gets home around 7pm, and I am so excited. We are celebrating Thanksgiving and my birthday this weekend so yeah...awesome.

Tonight we will arrive at Geoff's mom's condo in Portland around 10pm. Diane is working all night but Geoff's brother, B will be there (sans our nieces unfortunately). Tomorrow Geoff and his brother will have dinner at their father's place and I will have dinner at my dad's. That one will be small as it will be my grandmother, my dad, my youngest brother, and myself. Hopefully Dad and I will get some football watching in and lots of eating before I leave. Then I will pick up Geoff and we will head to my uncle's house for another dinner with my mom's side of the family. That one will have probably about 15 people. I'm going to be very full and very tired by the end of the day! But that's what Thanksgiving is all about, right? Oh...and being thankful.

Friday will be a relatively relaxed day and I am hoping to go out with a couple of friends to the Old Port (where all the bars are) to celebrate my birthday which is on Saturday. Saturday I have breakfast with Mom, a quick visit with Dad, then we're off to a huge surprise 30th birthday party for one of Geoff's friends. I'm so excited for a party on my birthday even if it's not my own...we still get to see everyone!

Sunday I will hopefully not be nursing a hangover as we drive back to Rhode Island.

Having divorced parents is hard as I'm sure many people know. Geoff and I both have parents who divorced, so it makes the holidays really crazy and frustrating sometimes. This will be the first Thanksgiving that we're actually having a dinner together since we're usually pulled in so many directions. It could be much worse though. We are so lucky to have parents who love us and big families full of wonderful people. I wouldn't trade them for the world. I know it's sappy and cliche, but I am going to do a quick bit on thankfulness.

I am thankful that I have a boyfriend who loves me and who treats me so wonderfully. He has stuck with me through some very hard times and I'm in awe as to how I am so lucky. He is an amazing man who really cares about others and who makes my world and others' a much better place. Also, he's pretty easy on the eyes so...I'm one lucky woman.

I'm thankful for my family. Yes they drive me crazy most of the time and yes we have our fair share of problems, but they love me and I love them. They will always support me and be there for me and for that I am forever grateful.

I'm thankful that my brother is stateside this holiday season and not fighting in Afghanistan like last year.

I'm thankful for my cuddly doggy. He makes life better.

I'm thankful that Geoff and I both have jobs and can pay our bills this year.

I'm thankful that I was born in a country that for all it's problems and ridiculousness...still is one of the best places to live. I have so many freedoms, rights, and opportunities that others in the world don't have access to.

I'm thankful for my friends. They are amazing people and make my world so much brighter.

I'm thankful for a million things that I can't possibly fit into one blog post...but I think these top the list.

Oh yeah, I'm also thankful for good wine and food. Bring on the turkey, pies, and booze. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

What are your plans?

Monday, November 23, 2009

More than You Ever Needed to Know About Me...but I'm Awesome and Superior so Deal with It (please?)

Anyway, last week I was given two awards by two lovely bloggers! The first is the awesome blogger award and it was passed along to me by Smileyfreak. She is a very nice girl and always leaves me wonderful comments. Thanks Smileyfreak!

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank whoever gave you the award.

2. Copy and post the award to your blog.

3. Tell your readers 7 things they don't know about you.

4. Give the award to 7 bloggers.

5. Keep being awesome.

Alright, let's start by talking about me, because apparently I am awesome! Here are 7 things most of you probably don't know about me:

1. One of my best friends from high school and my best friend from college are marrying each other in June of 2010. I'll be in the wedding, and I'm very happy for them! I'm also a little worried about them as they tend to do the on again off again thing every now and then...here's hoping they'll have a long, happy life together!

2. I love helping people and I want to get back into working in non-profit organizations. My dream is to someday open my own non-profit and travel the world helping others. I was lucky enough to be born in a country where I have freedom and many rights that others in the world do not have. I believe that since I've been given this chance it is my responsibility to help others who are less fortunate.

3. My brother is a Marine and he will be home for Christmas this year!

4. I am terrible at hiding how I'm feeling and I'm also a very emotional person. I cry at commercials, I'll laugh at most anything, and I get irritated easily. Whether I'm happy, sad, or angry...you'll know it. Which is why I can never do the "What's wrong?" "NOTHING." thing with Geoff as my "NOTHING" always sounds like something.

5. I LOVE camping. It is one of my favorite past times. I don't mean on a nice campground with a pool and a playground, either. I mean in middle of the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont with no one around for miles but Geoff, Bandit, me, and the mountains and river. It depresses me to see that other people leave their trash and belongings behind in this beautiful landscape. I hate cleaning up other people's garbage...but I hate seeing this amazing land treated like a dump even more. I can't even explain how much I adore the tent, the campfire, and the great outdoors. Talking about it now makes me wish the camping season wasn't so far away!

6. I love playing Mario Party but hate most other video games.

7. I grew up in Maine but have never been skiing or snowboarding and as much as I'd love to learn, I'm pretty sure that I'm too much of a wimp to ever actually do it. I'm not very athletic or coordinated so sliding down a mountain on my feet probably wouldn't end well for me.

Now to pass the award along to others!

Amblus - She is a fun, quirky read. I love her biking stories as well as the funny things in her day to day life. You must at least check out the post about the greatest butternut squash you'll ever see.

f8hasit - I love her blog! She is a wonderful writer and always has a good post to read. She also has a great sense of humor. And she does a "Follower of Note" segment that can help you find even more great bloggers! Go see her!

From the Inside...Out - Kathryn is fantastic. She is always good for a laugh and her posts are all so creative! You really never know what you're going to get...but it's always worth your time and you'll be glad you stopped by. Plus in her welcome section she invites you to pour yourself a glass of wine and join in a toast...so yeah. Awesome.

Picture Imperfect - Penny is an amazing photographer. All of her posts are accompanied by beautiful photos she has taken. I am so jealous of her talent, but so thankful that she shares it with others. She is also a fun read. Thanks for blogging, Penny!

Ok, I am only passing this award onto 4 people as you can see, but it's because I also got presented with another award, and I'm too lazy to pass these on to so many people.



This award came from Dreamfarm Girl, and it's the Superior Scribbler award! As she said, I already have one, but I'd love to have two! Thank you so much! Before you finish reading this post (or when you're finished, whatever) go visit her. She's delightful!

The rules are the same as the other award above so here are 7 more things about me (gah! the pressure!):

1. I am an absolute sucker for holiday specials. I watch the same ones every year, and it drives Geoff crazy (he's not so much of a fan). Of course there are the Peanuts specials...Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I don't stop there. I also have to watch Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Garfield Christmas, A Christmas Story, and It's a Wonderful Life (though I do miss that one from time to time). Every year, without fail, you will find me spending the weeks leading up to Christmas watching these. Yes, I'm a sap. I don't care.

2. I am constantly battling between wanting to move back to Maine and wanting to move far away (the west coast? Europe?). I can't seem to think of a happy medium between my strong desire to travel and my serious homesickness.

3. Geoff and I met at work in the summer of 2006. We were both working for the same nonprofit and discovered that we also had the same major at the same school and would have two classes together the upcoming semester. I had just become single for the first time in a long time that spring and was planning on staying single for awhile. Geoff was supposed to be a summer fling at the most. Obviously it didn't quite work out that way. :)

4. I am turning 25 the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That is less than a week away. I am not super happy about this.

5. I play fantasy football. I've been a football fan for quite a long time, but I usually would watch all of the Patriots games and only a handful of other games each week. This year Geoff and his friends needed another person to join their fantasy league so I signed up. I love it. I have become way more interested in all of the NFL games and I listen to sports radio more often so I can get updates on players. My record so far is 8 wins 3 losses. I'm kicking some serious ass on those boys! I actually played Geoff's team last week and won...he was not too happy. His friends made fun of him...but I've won against most of them too so I don't think they have much room for talking.

6. I'm not much of a pie person. I love most desserts...cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. Pie...not so much. The only kind of pie I actually do like is pumpkin pie, and that is one of my all time favorite desserts. Yum.

7. I love to learn. I am really such a geek. I love science, politics, international studies, sociology, psychology, literature, and so much more. I always was a great student and while no part of me misses homework, I do miss school. I will have to go back sometime soon.

And now to pass this on to others!

Island Roar - I actually just started reading this blog very recently...and I found her through f8hasit's Follower of Note section! She's also an amazing writer. When reading her words I feel like I'm being transported the the time and place that she's describing. Good read. Go!

Lost in Thought - I found Meg when she started following me, and I'm so glad I did! If you're a dog lover like myself, you do not want to miss Furry Fridays when she posts pictures and stories from the dog shelter she volunteers at. If you're just looking for a good story, check out her Travel Tuesdays where she posts about her travels in Europe. Those ones always make me laugh:)
Jen's Voices - I was actually just noticing that Jen has received a lot of awards lately...but she deserves it! I am always so excited to see that she has a new post waiting to be read in my Google Reader. Her PSAs are the best!

The Checkout Girl - Some of you may have been lucky enough to have already discovered TCG. If not, this is your lucky day. TCG's blog shares the humor and ridiculousness in everyday life as a...well...checkout girl. Having worked in retail and food for minimum wage myself, I find so many of her posts to be funny and true. She's such a great writer that I actually read her entire blog last week. Yeah, go see her.

That's all for now! I'll try to do a post about my weekend later today. How is everyone? I know I've been blogging less lately...I miss my bloggy buddies!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Confession

Hi, my name is Jen and I am a semi-thief.

I can almost NEVER return something I've rented on time.

This might sound like a minor problem to you, and of course in the grand scheme of things, it is. But guys, I'm seriously bad. I can name two libraries and three video stores that I can no longer borrow books or rent videos from and I'm thisclose to adding another library to the list.

I've mentioned before that I am the queen of procrastination, so that has something to do with it. "Oh I'll return it tomorrow." There are only so many tomorrows before you get a letter or email stating the ungodly amount of money you owe and a suggestion that you "Fine just keep the damn thing, but send us our money!" I mean, I use the library because I am broke and I can read their books for free, so how is it that on more than one occassion I have ended up owing them more money than the book is worth? How does that happen?

This all started when I was a teenager. I would borrow books from the library and then forget to bring them back for over a month. This resulted in me being unable to borrow from our hometown library anymore, and because I used my mom's card...she couldn't go either. Sorry Mom!

I managed to rack up a couple of late fees at the local video store as well, but I usually kept it under control. Until my freshman year of college. I was home on break and rented Basic with John Travolta. I left it in my closet at my mother's house and returned to school later that week. I couldn't remember where I'd left it and my mother kept calling to complain that the video store was calling her house wanting the video. It ended up being returned about 9 months later. What with the large sum of money I owed, I also can't go back there anymore. And for Basic? That movie wasn't worth a toenail. Sigh. Also, because I used my mom's card...she can't go there anymore either. Sorry again Mom! My younger brother went there with his girlfriend about a year after the video got returned and tried to get a movie. He had a card from my mom's account as well...and they practically tossed him out of the store. When he called my mother to see what the hell that was all about, she explained that his sister is hell bent on getting the whole family banned from every rental place in the area. I didn't know my plan was so obvious.

As the years went on I opened up my own accounts at video stores and libraries and similar things happened. If it wasn't them banning me it was me being too embarrassed to face the people behind the desk. I know what they were thinking. "You owe us money, lady. You owe us retribution! How hard is it to return something ON TIME?? Loser." I mean, it does get old to be reminded that you owe money every time you reach the circulation desk and have to mumble an apology as you thrust some singles at the librarian and push your way through the crowd head down, red-faced, as they glare at you, shaking their heads in disgust.

I thought I could start fresh after our move to Rhode Island...but I don't know who I was kidding. I had been doing so well at our local library...but I just got an email reminding me that the three books I took out are two weeks overdue. I could go home after work and take them to the library but I have a bunch of other errands to run, and I see the same thing happening tomorrow. Hopefully I'm still allowed in there by the time I finally drag my ass back over. It's doubtful though.

Do they have a help line for this?

Monday, November 16, 2009

How They Find Me and Weekend Happiness

Geoff and I had a pretty uneventful, but nice weekend. Saturday it poured and we did absolutely nothing all day except for cook, eat, and watch more stuff on the Netflix player. Yesterday morning we went out to breakfast at a little place Geoff had noticed on his way to work. Breakfast just might be my favorite meal, and it's definitely my favorite meal to eat out. Geoff had an italian omelette with pepperoni, olives, onions, garlic, mozzerella, and marinara sauce with a side of toast and home fries. It looked delicious! I had french toast, home fries, an egg, and bacon. We sat and chatted while sipping our coffees and enjoying our food. It was glorious!

After breakfast I had to go get measured for a bridesmaid dress (joy) before heading home. We enjoyed a lovely walk with Bandit, and it was so nice to have fall weather in the 60s again. Then we planted ourselves on the couch for the rest of the day to watch some football. Dammit Patriots! What was that all about??? I'm still disappointed this morning.

Anyway, I've noticed that from time to time other bloggers will post about the funny ways that people stumble upon their blog through Google search and I thought I would do the same! Below are some of the things people have typed into their Google search bar that led them to my blog. I've grouped searches that had similar themes together.

Love and wine and Wine Love - These make sense.

Pin the Part on the Old Fart and Old Fart Picture - These are a little strange but I'm pretty sure that they refer to the game from this post. If not we have a serious problem with the elderly in this country.

Kids Boyfriend Life Wine - How does one fit everything they love into a happy life? Perhaps that is what this searcher wanted to know.

Why is Wine Keeping Me Up at Night? - Good question. You probably aren't drinking enough.

I love camping - Good for you. Me too.

Who is the woman who talks to the cake in the yoplait commercial? - I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter. She's obviously delusional and we don't need to associate ourselves with people who think yogurt and cake are the same thing. Also, who talks to Google in complete sentences?

Special Life and Love in Turkey - I'm really not sure how I could have helped this person. I've never been to Turkey, and I'm really not sure what "special life and love" are.

Wine and its effects on love life - If you're having problems with wine affecting your love life, you obviously need to prioritize. He's not worth it.

Dangers of Bran - I was happy to see this. I thought bran was only out to get me, but I guess I'm not alone.

What to bake when you have the munchies - Seriously? Ok, well I think anything would probably do the trick, but it's probably best not to bake when you're stoned. I would just open up a bag of chocolate chips and go for it. Otherwise you could very well forget about whatever you put in the oven and start a fire. Also, opening a bag of chocolate chips takes very little effort so it's a win all the way around.

Be careful what you Google...someone may be watching you. And laughing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Time I Almost Got the Boot

As life has been pretty uneventful lately, I figured I'd share with you another adventure from my Subway days.

During my summers as a Sandwich Artisit, I was often chosen to either open or close the store as I was more trustworthy and more all around awesome than the other kids that worked there. That's right. I actually cared a little about my Sandwich Artist duties.

In the summertime we were open until 11pm or midnight, and because it was a small store I was often working alone for the last hour or two. This was fine, but sometimes a little creepy. While the store was in a plaza, everything else there was closed by 9pm. This store was in a small town in Maine and there really wasn't a lot going on around me. At times it felt a little eerie walking to my car across the empty parking lot. Working inside the store alone didn't bother me too much, however, as most everyone that came in at night was a regular, a teenager, or a frantic mom.

One night I had a group of camp kids come in right before close and I wasn't able to get them all served and out the door until about 15 minutes after close. Because I was in a rush, I forgot to lock the door. A few minutes into my closing duties, I heard the bell go off indicating that someone was entering the store. "Shit" I thought to myself as I scurried back to the front.

When I got to the register my jaw dropped. A short and stout older man (who looked like a hobo) was walking toward me wearing a winter hat, raggedy smelly clothes, a long snarled beard, and a few layers of grime. He was carrying a boot. A tall rubber looking boot.

I thought, "Holy crap I'm about to get robbed. This is it. There's probably a gun in the boot." That was the only logical explanation...right? Right?

"I...I'm sorry sir, but we're closed."

"That's ok. I'm not here for a sandwich."

(ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod! I should push the panic button. Should I push the panic button? ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod)

"I...I'm sorry?"

He reached the register and set his boot on the counter in front of me.

"Can you tell me how to get to (insert place I've forgotten here)."

"Um...sure...it's (insert random directions here)."

The conversation went back and forth like this...he wasn't understanding my directions, but a lot of the things he was saying just weren't making sense. I was sure I was about to be murdered. After what seemed like a long, twisty conversation, he picked up his boot.

"Ok, thanks."

"Y...your welcome!"

He left.

I was still shaken, but wasn't really sure why. I felt bad that I had just figured this smelly old man with the boot wanted to rob me just because he looked homeless...but the "I'm not here for a sandwich" line really set off the *FREAK OUT NOW* alert in my head for some reason. I finished closing up still feeling nervous, and was wondering if he'd be waiting outside in the parking lot for me. He wasn't.

Looking back I'm pretty sure he was just a drunk, homeless dude lugging booze around in a boot. Hopefully he and his booze-boot got whereever it was they needed to go.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Many Dangers of Oat Bran

Well I'm still sick and actually feel worse today than yesterday. What the hell, cold?

This morning I had too unfortunate incidents with oat bran.

Now, I like oat bran, but not oatmeal. I think it's a texture thing. It just tastes so yummy with cinnamon and brown sugar. So this morning I decided to have some for breakfast before work instead of my usual peanut butter toast. I figured it would feel better on my throat.

Unfortunately, after making this decision I realized that both my small pots and all of my bowls were in the dishwater. Dirty. Yeah, I'm a domestic goddess. To improvise I decided to cook it in a tupperware bowl in the microwave. Win!

When the microwave beeped I scurried to it, excited for my breakfast. Upon opening the door I found that my oat bran had all boiled over and was puddled on the tray. I mean there was nothing left in the bowl, but there was stuff oozed all over the outside of it. I looked at it, sighed, and went over my options. I didn't have enough time to make another breakfast. Our microwave tray is covered by this thin protective mat that is easy to remove and clean.
Ours is white
So...I wiped the bowl down with a paper towel, placed it in front of the microwave, peeled off the mat with both hands, and funneled the oat bran back into the bowl. It all slipped right back in! This is only a little gross...right? I mean it can't have been that long since I cleaned the thing. Riiiiight. Stop judging me!

Next I sat down in front of the computer with my bowl. I was happily reading emails, sipping tea, and eating my breakfast when I suddenly had to sneeze. I tried to finish chewing and swallowing my I couldn't...this sneeze was coming. I plugged my nose (I don't know why but many times when I sneeze I do this) and sneezed. I opened my eyes to see oat bran all over the computer monitor. Awesome.

How was your morning?

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Use Crying Over...Burritos?

I still have a cold and have been feeling rather crappy lately, so I don't have a whole lot to write about.

Geoff had a meeting for work Friday night and wasn't getting home until 9pm so I had to amuse myself after work and grocery shopping were done. I made myself some Kraft mac'n'cheese (I know, I know...but it's a guilty pleasure. I only ever buy or eat it when I'm feeling down and when I'm alone), changed into sweats, and decided to catch up on some of my Netflix movies.

I haven't watched a movie in quite awhile. We have a Netflix player and can download movies onto it...but I almost never watch them. In my weakened sick state, however, I managed to watch 4.5 movies from Friday night to Saturday night. Yeah.

Friday night I watched Seven Pounds. Holy depressing, Batman! I turned it off when Geoff got home. Once he arrived we snuggled on the couch for the night.

Once in bed, I could hardly sleep. My nose was runny, I was coughing a lot, nd I just felt miserable. I finally pulled myself out of bed at 7:30am. On Saturday morning. So not right. Geoff and Bandit stayed in bed snoring away and I hit the couch to finish the movie. After that I started watching Mad Money. It was cute, but far from great. A few minutes into it I couldn't stand the boredom of a quiet morning anymore and dragged Geoff and Bandit out of bed. It was after 10am by then anyway. Geoff made breakfast and tea while I snuggled back down on the couch to watch the movie.

Later that day Geoff went to get my tire changed finally. I have been driving around with the little donut on my car since my tire blew out on the way home from NH 3 weeks ago. I am the queen of procrastination after all, especially when it comes to car stuff. Oops! While he was gone I started watching Mr. Holland's Opus. Love that movie. I remember loving it as a kid too which is why I wanted to watch it again. The end always makes me cry. I was about halfway through with that when Geoff got from the tire place. Being as it was around 2pm I decided to shower and get us out into the beautiful fall weather that we were blessed with this weekend. I quickly showered and then got caught up watching the first half of Righteous Kill with Geoff before we ventured outside.

We headed to Providence where there was a Rock 'n' Roll Yard Sale going on. We weren't sure what to expect but the weather was nice and it sounded fun. Upon arriving at the building we found 'Gansett Girls selling beer, live music and DJs, and tons of people selling vintage records, clothes, and handmade everything. It was really neat! We browsed for about an hour before the insane crowdedness of it got to us. It was a very small space with lots of people and lots of tables. Still a good time though!

On the way to the car we stopped for burritos. Very yummy and a nice treat. Being as broke as we are we usually only have about $10-$20 worth of "fun money" for the two of us each week. These burritos were HUGE! While we were sitting down eating a woman ran over to us looking frantic.

Woman: (whiny voice...looked about to cry) "Do you have $6.99???? I ordered my burrito and I don't have my wallet and now I can't pay for it!"

Geoff: "Sorry, no"

Me: "We just used all of our cash on these."

Woman: (Sounding annoyed with us!) "Well do you have a credit card or something???"

We shook our heads. She sighed exasperated and went to another table. They told her the same thing and she KICKED MY CHAIR then ran out into the streets. I was apalled. What the hell lady???

She came back about 5 minutes later with a guy. I guess she had been out on the street begging for burrito money and this guy was nice enough to come pay for her. I felt a little bad for her at first but seriously who cries over a burrito? And who asks pissed off when complete strangers won't pay for your food?

Anyway, we headed back home where we finished watching Mr. Holland's Opus and then watched Out Cold.

I actually got a good amount of sleep that night and we spent the first half of Sunday lounging on OUR PORCH IN THE SUN!!! Finally! A day warm enough to go sans sweatshirt and get some rays. I love reading in the sun:)

We spent the rest of the day watching football, eating chips and guac, and enjoying the fall season. I pretty much did not move from the couch once I sat down. I'm still nursing this cold, but am hopeful that it will go away soon. I hope I get an energy boost in the next day or two because the apartment is a mess!

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Time Veggies Taught a Five Year Old to Condemn Me For All Eternity

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much this week, but I've been battling a cold that's left me in kind of a tired/bad mood. For the same reason, this will be quick.

I was just reading a story that reminded me of something kind of humerous that happened to me years ago. I worked at Subway during high school and if I had been blogging then I would have endless stories to tell you about the crazies I worked with and the crazies that came in. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I had this conversation:

Customer: Can I get a (insert type of sandwich here) sub?

Me: Do you want a footlong or a six inch?

Customer: I dunno...how long is the footlong?

or

Customer: How long is the six inch?

These were serious questions and I kid you not, I was asked this more than once a day. I probably heard it as much as "no pickles". And I had to be all customer servicey and answer with a straight face.

That's not the story I set out to tell though.

One night while working the sub counter a little girl, probably about five years old walked in. She was very cute and sweet looking and had come in without her parents. When I asked her if I could help her she said "My mommy is at the grocery store and told me I could wait in here til she comes for sammiches." This Subway was in a plaza and the grocery store was one store over. Still weird.

Anyway, she sat at a table and since no one else was around I chatted with her from behind the counter. I don't remember what we talked about but she ended up talking about "Veggie Tales". I had seen it on PBS or something before and I think it's a cartoon where different veggies act out different parts of the Bible.

Little Girl: Do you watch Veggie Tales?

Me: No, I don't. Do you?

LG: Yup. (insert random commentary about the veggies and their adventures) Why don't you like Veggie Tales?

Me: I don't know...I just don't watch it...

LG: Do you believe in God?

Me: (unsure of the appropriate way to answer such a question while at a place of business) I don't know...

LG: (jaw drops and a look of horror fills her eyes) YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!

Me: Um...

Just then the mother walks in.

Mother: Hi! How are you today?

Me: Well apparently I'm going to Hell...

Mother: (turns to daughter and yells) Janie! What have I told you about preaching????!!!???

Haha, never a dull moment working in customer service or the food industry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not the Way Life Should Be

I usually try to keep my blog very non-political so as not to offend any of my readers. This is hard for me sometimes as I was a Political Science major in college and have great interest in many political and social issues. Today, I have to break the trend. I hope that I don't lose any readers after this. If you are afraid you might be offended by this post please skip it and come back tomorrow when we return to our regular programming.

As most of you know I was born and raised in Maine. I just moved to RI in September of 2008. Earlier this year the Maine state government passed a law that legalized gay marriage. I was so happy and proud. I have several friends and a family member who are gay and it meant a lot that they were finally granted equal rights in my home state.

Let me just say for the record that I respect everyone's personal opinions. I know that for religious (and other) reasons some people don't support gay marriage. That is your right and that is fine. But just because you disagree with something for personal reasons doesn't mean that it should be made illegal. The government shouldn't be able to decide who gets married and who does not. I have heard the arguement that allowing homosexuals to marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage. Bullshit. I don't see how two people of the same sex marrying for love can harm the institution of marriage more than all of those who get divorced, those who marry for money, those who marry because they got knocked up, and those who marry for convenience. That argument does not work.

Anyway, in Maine they have what is called the "people's veto". This means that after the state government passes a law any group that opposes it can collect signitures to have the law go to referendum to be overturned. As soon as the state legalized gay marriage, people took action. They gathered the number of signitures needed, though several of them lied to get them. Many people I know were approached by people with clipboards saying "If you support gay marriage sign this petition!" Luckily, many of my friends know to read things before they sign and also had the intelligence to question why they would need to sign a petition for something that was already a law. It was a trick. The anti-gay marriage campaign was using any means necessary to gather signitures, knowing that many citizens just don't take the time to think about what they are doing.

Once they got the signitures it was time for both sides to campaign. Thousands and thousands of people came out in support of homosexual rights and held news conferences, public meetings, and created tv ads. Most of the "No on 1" (the side that wanted to keep the law in place) ads were based on accepting different kinds of families. They begged the question "if you can marry, why can't I? What makes you more of a citizen than me?" One particular ad showed a man knocking on someone's door. An older man answered. The younger man said "I'd like to ask for Ashley's hand in marriage, and I need your blessing. The older man gave it to him. Relieved the younger man thanks him and leaves...only to knock on the next door and ask the same thing. It shows him travelling from town to town knocking on doors asking for permission from strangers to marry the woman he loves. Heterosexual people do not have to do this. This year homosexual men and women in Maine did.

The "Yes on 1" ads were completely different. The stated that if gay marriage were legal it would be taught to elementary students in school along with "gay sex education". Yes, of course if gay marriage is legal we will start teaching kindergarteners about gay sex. Obviously. (Are you kidding me??? Do people believe this crap???)

Well, the "Yes on 1" campaign was smart. They know that scare tactics work. Yesterday, Mainers voted to repeal the law legalizing gay marriage, stripping rights from people who had only held them for a short period of time. It was very close. 53% to 47%. Over 200,000 people voted to embrace equality for all Mainers. Unfortunately, over 250,000 people did not. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country. I can't quite see how this doesn't contradict that. Besides people's religious beliefs...why?

I am heartbroken for my friends and family who have lost the right to equality this week. Heartbroken. They are amazing people. They don't deserve to be treated as second class citizens. Maine is supposed to be "the way life should be". Today, it is not.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Going out in Costume the Day After Halloween is Always a Good Idea

Halloween weekend. What fun!



Geoff and I knew we wanted to go out and do something for Halloween, but until October 31st we didn't really know what. We still don't know many people down here, and those we do know didn't have any set plans. Last Halloween we had been here for about one month and didn't know a single soul. As it turned out, a friend of ours knew someone down here (Emily) who was having a Halloween party and connected us through Facebook. Emily kindly invited us to the party being thrown at the house she shared with some friends and we decided to attend. Don't get me wrong, I am a shy person and was pretty anxious about going to a party where the only person I had ever even seen before was Geoff, but we dressed up and went anyway. It was a blast! Three floors of crazy fun. I'm so glad that I was brave enough to go.

This year there were no such plans in the works. In the end we decided to attend Waterfire with our friend from college, Mark, who just moved to RI with his girlfriend, Jenny. As of Saturday morning I had no idea what I was going to be. I spent a good part of the day pulling random items of clothing out of closets to try to put something together. This is what I ended up with:

(Note: Pics taken on Sunday night and thus are costume is not as cool as it was on Halloween)








Geoff was a zombie and used ripped clothes for his costume and a red marker ink/toothpaste/cocoa mixture for blood. It was pretty good...I don't have pics unfortunately.

We met up with Jenny and Mark downtown a little after 9pm. It was about 70 degrees but SO WINDY. We're talking serious wind people. And of course it started raining as soon as we got out there...not too hard for most of the night though. They had never attended a Waterfire before so they thought it was pretty cool. It seemed strange to us as the city was pretty deserted. Usually on Waterfire nights you are shoulder to shoulder and heel to toe with people walking along the river. After we walked the length of the river we walked to another part of the city for beers at Trinity. Yum. Mark was sick so they were ready to head home after that. Geoff and I decided to find more fun. He called his friend Peter and we met up with him at a club across town. I had never been there and probably won't go again...it was pretty sleazy. But it was Halloween so who cares? We finally made it home around 3am and made drunk nachos. They were delicous and exactly what we needed.

Sunday, as usual, was a lazy day. We spent most of it on the couch watching football and eating...yeah that's how we roll. Around 7:30pm I was flipping through the Providence Phoenix and saw an ad from the pool hall right down the road from us. It said that if you came in costume on Saturday or Sunday you could play pool for free until 10pm and get a free, one-year VIP membership (which means discounts and stuff). Also there would be a costume contest with cool prizes. I mentioned the ad to Geoff and we thought man...that's cool...too bad we're too tired and lazy to do it! A few minutes later we looked at each other and decided "What the hell? Let's go!" We gathered the pieces of our costumes once more and dressed up for another night out. This is big for us guys...we never go out anymore...too broke. When we got to the pool hall we found that we were the only ones dressed up! Some people were looking at us like "Ummm...Halloween was yesterday?!?" but others were like "You guys rock!" We got in a couple of hours of free pool and got our memberships as well. Two other people showed up in costume while we were there...Death and Little Bo Peep. Cute couple.

Just as we were leaving one of the beer girls (or whatever the girls dressed in Catholic School Girl uniforms who brings me beer are called) came over caring a big case of beer.

"Hey guys, thanks for coming dressed up tonight! Since there wasn't really much competition the owner wanted to give everyone who dressed up some gifts."

Me and Geoff looked at each other and then her. "Sweet."

"He wants you guys to have this case of beer (!!!) and gift certificates too."

"SWEET! Thanks!!"

It was pretty funny walking out of the pool hall in our costumes carrying a case of beer. People driving by were probably a little confused.

While it would have been great to be back in Maine celebrating the weekend with our friends, this weekend turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. What did you do?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have one of my (free!) beers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Desertion

When Geoff and I moved to RI last September we didn't know a single person down here. We spent most of our first several months here holed up in our apartment, enjoying only each other's company. Eventually, we got to know the upstairs neighbors and began hanging out with them regularly.

Tony is in his mid-thirties, Italian-American (like most of the Providence area) and kind of a badass. Really nice guy, always welcoming, offering us food, drink, cable television (we don't have cable in our apartment), etc. Mel is also in her mid-thirties, Portugese-American (I think) and has an eighteen year old daughter and a ten year old son. Their apartment is on the 3rd floor of our 3 apartment building and there is NOT enough space for all of them. They still manage somehow.

It started out during the Super Bowl last year when they had us up to watch the game. After that we came up to watch several different sporting events (mostly baseball and football games), drink beers, watch random television shows, and stay up until all hours of the night. We even began playing poker every Saturday night with them and their family/friends last winter. Lots of fun...seriously. With us being too broke to go out much and not knowing many other people it gave us something to look forward to every week.

Whenever me or Mel bake, we send some of the goodies up to the other one. When either of us needs to borrow or use something, we simply knock on each other's doors to ask. It's been nice. They are pretty different from us. Tony has been in jail on more than one occassion for minor offenses. He hasn't worked or seemed to be looking for work since we've known them. He actually almost never leaves the apartment. He acted kind of like a teenager in many ways, kind of immature humor/personality. He and Mel seemed more like roommates than a couple. But they are always welcoming and invite us up for this and that all the time. Tony especially has always been a really fun person to hang out with.

A few weeks ago, when we were in Maine, Tony left for Florida to visit friends. It's been pretty quiet since he left as he was the one that most often came down to invite us up and was always making noise laughing, etc upstairs. He was supposed to return on Saturday by bus, but never arrived. Yesterday after I arrived home from work I was just finishing changing into more comfortable clothes when there was a knock at the door. It was Mel.

"Do you guys have any super glue?"

"No sorry...just tape."

"Oh that won't work...I broke my glasses."

"That sucks...sorry we can't help!"

She stood there for a moment in silence.

"Tony's not coming back."

"...Ever?..."

"Nope. He called me yesterday to say he's staying down there."

"Oh my gosh Mel...come in."

We stood in my kitchen while she talked. She's a mother of two children living in a cramped apartment having trouble holding onto jobs in the state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. She's behind on her bills. I already knew all of those things. Tony was a nice guy, but was never affectionate to her. No hugs, no kisses...rarely anything more. He helped out with the bills he helped accumulate by donating his unemployment checks to the household each month...but that was it. He never left the apartment to help her with anything. This stuff I kind of knew too. But I didn't really know how bad it was.

Tony liked to gamble. That was the only thing he left the house to do. "I don't know what I was thinking being with him" she said. "I've always been smarter than this. I haven't been happy since we've been together." They'd go to the track from time to time with the little money they did have and come back more broke than before. She owes our landlord a lot of money. And the gas company. And the electric company. Her car is toast (we knew that part too). He basically was a lump in her apartment who never lent a helping hand, never contributed to the household by looking for a job, and invited friends and family over all the time without consulting her. And she never confronted him about it. "That's not me," she said. "I honestly don't understand what I was thinking."

When he left for Florida he told her it was to pick up an inheritance from his aunt who had died: $32,000. He told her when he got back they'd get caught up on all the bills, get a better car, and start getting everything on track...the way it hadn't been since she took him in. She wasn't happy, but she felt pretty stuck. She had wanted to end the relationship a few times as she wasn't getting much out of it, but for some reason she didn't. Then she got the call. "I'm staying in Florida."

"I don't know how to start figuring out what to do," she said. "I don't want my kids and I on the street, but I have no money, and now even the little income he was bringing in won't be here anymore." She's hoping she can keep the gas on until November 1st when in New England they can't shut it off until spring, but that won't do her much good if she can't figure something out with the landlord.

"The Mel you guys know isn't me," she said. "You'll see the real me now. I smile sometimes you know. I'm not always flat and sad. I can be really happy. I can also be a demanding bitch. You haven't even met me. I wasn't myself with him. I'm not so upset about the relationship ending, but while he's down there basking in the sunshine, he's left me and the kids in this situation. I gotta figure something out."

I hope she does. I feel so bad for her and for her little son especially. I'm pretty angry with Tony, even though he was "fun". I knew he was childish and had no sense of responsibility, but I'm so disappointed in him. Mel is better off without him, I know that. I just hope that she is able to pull out of this financial mess sooner rather than later. For her sake and the kids. I wish there was something I could do.

Geoff and I have our own share of financial troubles, and crazy dysfunctional families too. But I am so lucky. I'm with a good man. A real man, and we both come from families who would do anything to help us if we ever couldn't make it on our own. For this, I am thankful. For so much in my life, I am thankful.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Falafel Dinner

Tasty Tuesdays? What happened to Munchie Mondays? Well I have found that on Monday I just want to write about my weekend, so I've altered my format a little bit. I'm crazy like that.

Speaking of being crazy, last week I decided to make falafel. I've never even eaten falafel before much less tried to make it, but Geoff loves the stuff and I'm a big fan of chickpeas so I figured I'd like it too. I was right! I know it doesn't look to pretty, but this is really yummy so this is one of those times that you don't want to judge a book by its cover, ok? In case you're wondering I found the recipe here.



Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas (I actually used one can which was probably more than 1 cup...oh well)
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (mine was right out of our garden!)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (mine wasn't fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (I used cayenne)
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for pita filling
Diced onion for pita filling
Diced green bell pepper for pita filling
Tahini sauce (I actually used guacamole...I'll explain later)
Pita bread

Instructions:
1. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

2. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.*

3. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

4. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.



5. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and drizzle with tahina thinned with water**.



*Ok, probably because I used too many chickpeas my dough did not form a non-sticky ball. I also did not refrigerate the mixture...I used it right away. Everything turned out fine! It was a little more difficult to roll the mixture into balls as it was pretty sticky, but they stayed in shape and fried up nicely.

**I went to three different grocery stores (including Whole Foods) looking for tahini and could not find it. I figured I'd make my own since all you have to do is roast sesame seeds and combine them with oil in a food processer. I did this, tasted it, and gagged. I am NOT a fan of sesame seeds or anything flavored with sesame so why I thought I'd like a sauce made almost entirely of sesame seeds is beyond me. I tried mixing the paste with garlic and seasonings but it still wasn't up to par. This was a little frustrating since I'd spent hours of my life searching for and then making it, but oh well. Instead, I made my famous guacomole (avacado, mayo, salsa, garlic, onion salt, black pepper) and spread it on the inside of the pita pockets. Geoff liked my tahini mixture so he stuck with that.

Falafel? Is yummy! It had a nice kick to it because of the cayenne and came out so great. I really recommend you try it...it's worth it! There was even enough for lunch the next day...it sure beat my usual PB&J!

Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Weekends = Friends, No Pants, and Google Sucks

Today is one of those beautiful autumn days that I love. Sunny, temps in the 60s, and beautiful foliage everywhere. Yesterday was like this too...wonderful.

I had a pretty nice weekend. Friday night we went to a dinner party with people that Geoff works with. His friend Peter was the host and had everyone over for chicken, pork, potatoes, salad, rice, and drinks. Peter and Geoff weren't very excited about the whole thing as most of the people they work with at the YMCA school program are girls ages 18-22ish, but the girls had asked them to do this. It was a little strange hanging out with a group of college girls...I felt so old! Especially the 18/19 year olds. They were all so loud and crazy...cute and nice...but wow. Two of them weren't wearing any pants. That's right. No pants. You know how right now the "in" look is an oversized shirt or mini dress with leggings or tights?

Well one of them kind of did it right and wore sheer gray tights with her big shirt or mini dress (not sure which it was). The other? No tights. No leggings. Just what looked like an extra large, baggy, sequinny, tank top and nothing else. I happened to be sitting next to her in the living room and saw her ass several times as she reached toward the table for chips. She was a cute little thing...but oh my god honey...wear pants! The evening got a little nicer once everyone left and it was just Peter, Geoff, and I hanging out and chatting.

Saturday we slept in pretty late and had coffee and breakfast in bed. We ran a couple of errands and then I baked a yummy pumpkin pie (mmmm...my favorite!) for a dinner we were going to that night. A guy we went to college with just moved to RI and we are SO EXCITED to have someone we know living here! It will be nice to not have to drive all the way to Maine just for a social life. Anyway, they live about 30 minutes from us in an hour we have yet to visit. I printed directions from Google Maps and we headed out into the dark, rainy night. What should have taken us 30 minutes took us over an hour and a half. The directions I got were oh so wrong. We drove by the correct road about 10 times. Not only was it dark, raining, and hard to see, but the directions had led us to believe that the road we were looking for was on the opposite side of the road than it actually was and that it was called something completely different. The hell Google? I don't remember doing anything to you! Asshole.

By the time we finally arrived I was upset, carsick, and HUNGRY. We had a nice time though. The guy and his girlfriend had made chicken with cranberries, broccoli, acorn squash and rice and had beer on hand. I was pleasently surprised by the squash. I strongly dislike most squash but had never tried that kind before...so good! Geoff was happy that we'd be able to incorporate this into future meals.

We sat around their kitchen chatting for hours about life since college. They had moved from Maine to Utah and lived there for a year before running for their lives back to the east coast. Sounds like an interesting place with a cool outdoors scene at least. We'll hopefully be seeing them again soon.

Sunday we slept in again and had breakfast in bed...again. I know, we're lazy. We went to the store and bought a pumpkin that morning and then watched football all day. We made a pizza for lunch/dinner and had leftover pumpkin pie (seriously guys...soooo yummy). That night we carved a jack-o-lantern:



Bandit stared at us the whole time begging and trying to sneak bites of pumpkin guts. Gross. He kept running off with a mouthful and I'd have to grab it from him as he tried to slurp the stringy goo into his mouth. Geoff and I roasted the seeds and it will make a great snack to take to work this week!

It was so nice getting to hang out with people down here and enjoy ourselves without having to run home to Maine. Last winter was a really hard one for us...me especially...and I'm hoping that this one will be better.

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yogurt is not Cake and Other Reasons I Covet the Mute Button



Usually during commercials I mute the TV and get a snack read, talk to Geoffrey, or snuggle Bandit. From time to time, however, I find myself watching them. Some I like (Coors commercials...hahahaha...you guys are so funny!!! But your beer sucks). Most don't affect me one way or the other. But some? Some make me want to stick a knife in my ear and scratch my eyes out.

Subway commercials - Really Jared? Really? Have you no self respect? No standards? The worst is when he's singing about subs with those 2 football players and they are pretending that Jared is the one with the really deep voice and then they all laugh really hard because ohmygod they're so funny. NO YOU'RE NOT FUNNY! YOU'RE WEIRD AND ANNOYING AND NOW I'LL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SUB FROM YOU. Except I will because you have a sub shop right on the campus where I work, but still! Just shut-up! Gah!

Yoplait commercials - These drive me crazy. What is wrong with these women? They are comparing chocolate cake and Boston Cream Pie to a cup of yogurt!!! I'm sorry, but as I said on Twitter last week: Anyone who thinks that yogurt is as delicious as chocolate cake has completely lost all touch with reality. In fact, watching these commercials has made me afraid to eat Yoplait yogurt because apparently everyone who eats it becomes a brainwashed Stepford freak who can't tell the difference between a cup of dairy and a yummy slab of cheesecake. I like yogurt as much as the next guy, but I'd prefer to enjoy a rich, ohsobadforyou piece of cake everyday on my birthday and I would NOT be just as happy to see a candle stuck in a cup of yogurt thankyouverymuch.

Lamisil and Mucinex commercials - Seriously. So. Gross. Do the makers of these ads not understand that sometimes people are eating while watching tv and we really don't want to see fungus and mucus incarnated? Even when I'm not eating I gag thinking about these ads. In fact, I'm gagging right now just thinking about it. Blech.

So faithful readers, what commercials grind your gears? What ads make you say "are you kidding me right now? Or, if you'd rather, which ones do you really like?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Kid's Bringing Home the Bacon...err...Turkey



I called my mom's house to talk to my 14 year old brother, Grady last night.

*Ring Ring*

(extremely deep voice) "Hello?"

"Hey, how are ya?"

"Good."

"That's good. What's new?"

"Nuthin'."

*Roll my eyes at the total lack of verbal skills held by teenage boys*

"Mom told me you had a hunting story to share..."

"Oh. I got a turkey."

"You killed a turkey??? Wow! What's the story?"

"Nuthin'."

"There's always a story...come on!"

*He lets out a deep sigh*

"Dad and I went hunting for turkey's on opening day and had given up because we didn't see anything. Then we stopped the truck at this clearing just to walk around and take one more chance. As soon as we walked out there we saw three turkey heads look up. Then they started to run. I chased after them down this hill and shot the slowest one just before it got into the bushes behind the others."

"WOW!!! That's awesome!!! What did Dad do?"

"He laughed and thought it was cool."

"Cool. How big was it?"

"14 pounds."

"Holy crap, that's big!!!"

"Yup."

"Did you eat it?"

"No we're saving it."

"For Thanksgiving?"

"Yup."

"Sweet! Can't wait! Who's cooking it?"

"Probably Mom."

"Oh...hmmm..."

So I'll be eating the turkey my brother chased down and shot for Thanksgiving. As long as Mom doesn't screw it up anyway. (Mom, if you're reading this I'm just kidding. Kind of.)

My brothers and father love hunting...mostly for deer, sometimes for birds. Usually with a bow and arrow so it's more of a sport, sometimes with a rifle. I could never do it myself, but I'll happily eat what they bring home (mmm...venison). Do you have any crazy, red neck hunters in your family?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Lovely!

I completely forgot to write about this, but last week Penny at Picture Imperfect gave me this award:



It was a lovely surprise, from a lovely lady. Go check out her blog!

Now I am to pass this award on to 5 other bloggers.

Meg at Lost in Thought - I found this blog after Meg commented on one of my posts. I love reading her posts, especially Furry Fridays! She's a dog lover and so am I, so if for nothing else at least go check out the cute puppy pictures!

V at *uncorked - V lives a crazy life and has crazy stories to tell about it. She's a funny gal, go read!

Kathryn at From the Inside...Out - Amazing posts. Kathryn is so creatively funny and you will love her writing! I guarantee you at least a laugh a day over there!

Sami at *Herding Cats* - Ok, so I'm not a cat person. I still love Sami's blog! She's a great writer and I enjoy reading her posts. Especially the recent one about the flood in the garage.

Claudia at Life In Scribbletown - Great writer. She has fun stories to share about day to day life with her daughters. She also has a recipe page that you don't want to miss!

Please go check out these wonderful ladies! I would never lead you astray:)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun, Cuteness, and 2 Blowouts

Warning: This post is long. But there are cute pictures at the end.

Well, I had a nice weekend.

Friday morning I threw chili together in the crockpot and let it cook all day. It started off a little busy after work on Friday. Geoff was still at work and his brother, B, was at our apartment watching Season 1 of Lost. They had gone to the Patriots Hall of Fame earlier in the day and had a good time. As soon as I got home I walked Bandit, threw the guest bedding into the washer, and began baking B a birthday cake and frosting...from scratch. I've never done a cake from scratch before. It wasn't too hard, but it didn't come out as well as I had hoped. The frosting was great and the cake tasted pretty good, but the texture of the cake was a little dry and stiff. I'll have to try something different next time.

Anyway, I left the cake baking in the oven while I went to pick up Geoff and had B pull it out for me when the timer went off. When Geoff and I came back we all sat in the living room with our bowls of chili and ate. So. Freaking. Delicious. Seriously. Just thinking about it now is making me hungry.

We had a nice time eating, drinking black and tans, and chatting. I've never gotten to hang out with B without his kids around so that was nice.

Saturday morning B had to leave early to pick up his girls. Geoff and I slept in VERY late (11:30ish) and it felt really nice. I can never sleep past 8am, even on the weekend, so it was great to get caught up on some sleep. After breakfast and packing we headed up to B's house in NH with the leftover chili and cake in hand. We didn't get there until a little after 4pm, and the girls (R is 4, M is 2) stood in the door and yelled "HI UNCLE GEOFFREY, HI AUNTIE JEN, HI BANDIT! HIIII!!!!" So cute and a nice welcome.

After collecting our hugs and kisses we hung around playing and chatting until there was a knock at the door. The couple from the other side of the duplex were building a fire in the fire pit and wanted to know if we'd all like to join them. We bundled the girls and headed out side. Geoff, B, and the kid from next store tossed the football around, the girls alternated between building sand castles in the driveway and throwing sticks into the fire, and Bandit ran circles around the property. The place is very rural and set back into the woods with a beautiful view of a pond and fall foliage. We stayed outside until a little after dark and then headed indoors for leftover chili.

After the girls were in bed, B left for the store to get food and beer. Geoff and I played Wii sports (I won at tennis, he kicked my a** at boxing) until he returned. At that time we all played Mario Party 8 on the Wii. I was terrible, but it was still a lot of fun. By the time we went to bed at 1am Geoff and I (and Bandit!) were exhausted.

Sunday morning we were awakened by the girls crying for their daddy to come get them up. We had a yummy breakfast of whole wheat pancakes and then headed downstairs to the couch. While the girls and B watched Snow White Geoff and I did a crossword. When football started we hardly moved from the couch except for a delicous lunch/dinner of steak, broccoli, and rice that B made for us.

The Patriots kicked major butt! They won 59-0. It was great to watch, though I couldn't help but think of how we had to drive through the snow that they were playing in that night. Yikes! We hit the road around 7:45 and couldn't believe the snow once we hit Massachusetts! There had to be 1-2 inches in some places...on October 18th! Unbelievable.

We were about 45 minutes from home when we heard a sound indicating that one of our tires was getting low. Geoff felt sure that we'd make it home no problem. I wasn't so sure as the sound seemed pretty loud. About 25 minutes later the tire blew and we had to pull over. I felt about one moment of panic (it was after 10pm, we were tired, had to get up early for work, and OMG would we have to wait for AAA? We all know how that goes!), but then collected myself. We had all of the supplies we needed in the car and Geoff is very handy. I grabbed our emergency kit and Geoff got the jack and the spare tire. He set up the little orange triangle to warn oncoming traffic that we were there, I held a flashlight for him, and he set about changing the tire. About fifteen minutes later we were back on the road. I love that man...he's just plain awesome. Right now I have the spare tire on the car so I will have to get a new tire put on this week. That kind of sucks as we are already very broke, but it could have been worse!

All weekend the girls were just adorable. M repeats a lot of things (or tries anyway) that R says and it is so cute to see her try to be like her sister. R talks A LOT and comes up with silly games to play. It was so great to see them. R is so tall now, long and lean, and such a kid...not a baby anymore. M is a peanut like she has been since birth, and is the size her sister was at age 1 except with smaller features. The cuteness is multiplied by the tininess on that one! The fussing and fighting was reaching full throttle by the time it was time for us to leave, however, and we were happy to leave the girls behind with B, haha. I can't wait to see them again!

I know I promised to take pictures, but we all know I never do. I did get my hands on some pics from R's birthday party last week, however.


M being held up so she can play air hockey.



M going crazy with Whack-a-Mole



M being ridiculously cute.

R loving her big girl bike

R playing air hockey

Too cute, right?

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - Chili, Family, and New England Weather

1. So are we going to New Hampsire? Probably.

2. My 25th birthday and Thanksgiving is (are) what's up ahead.

3. I love to read while relaxing in the sun or on my couch, spend time with friends laughing and having a good time, go out with Geoffrey for drinks and fun!.

4. I really need to get a second job of some sort.

5. I walk a lot during the summer and almost never during the cold weather. Sorry Geoff and Bandit, looks like you're on your own!

6. Laughter (or wine?) is the true elixir of life!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating the chili that's at home cooking in the crockpot and seeing B, tomorrow my plans include driving to NH to see the nieces and Sunday, I want to watch football and eat leftover chili!


I had to take matters into my own hands yesterday and basically force the plans on Geoff and B. I texted B and said "I'm stopping for chili ingredients on the way home, you're coming over for dinner tomorrow and staying the night". Later I made Geoff call him and now it's all set. We tossed together the chili ingredients last night and this morning I put them in the crockpot before leaving for work. Mmmm...I've been thinking about it all day! B and Geoff are at Gillette Stadium visiting the Patriots Hall of Fame and then Geoff is going to work until 6pm. B will be at the apartment when I get home and I will bake his birthday cake before going to pick up Geoff. Then we can all eat chili (yum!), relax, and enjoy the evening. Tomorrow we'll drive up to his place in NH and see the girls. Very exciting!

This has been a cold week in New England. Today it even snowed a little...WTH? It's much to early for this. Much. Too. Early. I finally cracked yesterday and turned the heat on. Our goal was to make it to November 1st like last year, but too many days in a row of below 60 degrees in the apartment was getting to me. It's not as bad at night when I can throw on several layers and a blanket while watching tv, but I was tired of literally shivering while getting ready for work in the morning. So, for two days in a row the heat goes on to 68 when I get out of bed and I shut it off when I leave. I'm a little disappointed in myself, but I hate being cold!

How is everything going for all of you? Any plans for the weekend? How's the weather where you are? (Anyone who is living in a part of the country where it's sunny and warm need not reply...just kidding...kinda).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beautiful Girls

This weekend we are supposed to go to New Hampshire to visit Geoff's brother (B) and nieces (R & M). These girls are SO CUTE. I will post pics after this weekend as the most recent ones I have are at a birthday party and their mouths are full of pizza.

R just turned 4 this past Monday and M turned 2 last month. I love these girls to pieces and wish I could see them more often. We see them about once every two months, sometimes less often. At this age so much changes so quickly. Apparently M is quite the chatterbox now where as before she never said a word. Probably because her older sister did all the talking anyone could handle, haha.

The original plan was that we would leave Friday night and come back Sunday evening. Geoff talked to his brother yesterday and now the plans are more up in the air. B just brought the girls to his ex-wife (the whore-sorry, can't help but add that everytime I mention her) and won't have them back until Saturday afternoon. Now he might come down to RI Friday afternoon and go to Gillette Stadium with Geoff. Then he might stay for dinner? He might stay the night? We might leave Friday or we might leave Saturday? This drives me crazy. After their phone conversation I asked Geoff what the plan was. "I dunno," he said.

"Well, is he coming for dinner Friday?"

"I dunno."

"Are we leaving Friday or Saturday?"

"I don't know! Who cares??? Why are you freaking out???"

"I'm not freaking out. I'm just wondering what the plan is." Sheesh.

I really hate that. It's not the end of the world I know (and I AM NOT FREAKING OUT), but I like to know what to expect. If we're not leaving until Saturday, I won't start packing tonight. If B's coming over for dinner tomorrow, I want to plan something nicer than the spaghetti I originally planned. If he's staying over Friday night, I need to wash the guest bedding and make sure there are enough clean towels and yummy breakfast food. If none of these things are happening I'd rather not do extra chores. Geoff is a very fly by the seat of his pants type of guy...I'm more of a planner. When we have guests I like them to feel special and comfortable...not like we weren't expecting anyone. Also, I hate being told I'm freaking out. I swear I asked very calmly and nicely. Sigh.

But! I do know that I'll be seeing the cutest girls in the world! Ok, here is a pic of R at dance class. I'll post one of the two of them after this weekend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pin the Pfft! on the Old Fart and other Maine Tales

I have to say I wish I was still in Maine. Every time we go back for a visit it gets harder and harder to make myself come back to Rhode Island. Almost all of our friends and family are back home and everything is so familiar. Geoff would be fine with moving around forever...but I miss my Maine.

We arrived in Portland around 10:30 Friday night and enjoyed snacks and laughs with Geoff's mom. I ate WAY too many cookies, but I didn't really regret it.

Saturday we lounged around the condo until it was time to go to the party at 5pm. I was so excited! There were about 20 of us there and we had a blast. The food was amazing...homemade guacamole, buffalo chicken nacho dip, cupcakes, homemade carrot cake with real vanilla beans, etc. Awesome. When we arrived one of the birthday girls was well on her way to being drunk which was pretty funny. We laughed, talked, drank (a lot!), sang, had a dance party in the kitchen, and played Pin the Pfft! on the Old Fart. There was a picture of our friend who was turning 30 as a face of an old man, and you had to pin the Pfft! on him in the correct area, haha.

We ended the night with 10 (or more?) rousing rounds of Flip Cup. It was so great seeing everyone and I didn't want to leave.
Needless to say, Sunday morning was painful. I made it from the guest room to the couch, and then didn't move for a few hours. I couldn't sleep, but I couldn't move either. Ouch. Geoff and I watched the first round of football games from there and then went to a friend's house for the Pat's game. We stopped at the place where the party was to get our car and all three of our friends who lived there were in their jammies on the couch at 4pm, haha. I guess we were all feeling the same way. Then we headed to another friend's house for the game. The Pats lost and so did the Red Sox, so overall it was a sad day in New England sports.

That night my friend Caleb stopped by for a visit. It was great to see him (I think it had been over 6 months?) and we had fun just chatting and catching up.

Monday I met my mom for lunch and we had a nice chat. It was good to see her even though she only had a half-hour lunch break. That afternoon Geoff and I took Bandit to the dog park in Portland. It's HUGE and so beautiful. Acres and acres of open field (fenced from the road) for him to just run free. There aren't really any dog parks in RI that we've found, so it was nice to go back to this place. Bandit loves it there. We arrived back in RI around 9:30 last night. Sad:( I'll be headed up again for Thanksgiving though...only 5 more weeks!

On a side note, remember that crazy girl I told you about that was at the wedding last month? Well a bunch of the girls and I had a little gossip fest at the party. Oh my gosh you guys, she's worse than I thought! For the sake of this conversation we'll call her A. Apparently the first time everyone met A was when the girl who's boyfriend she stole took her out to the bars in Portland with a bunch of our friends (obviously this was before she realized that A was sleeping with her boyfriend). On the way out of the bar, A grabbed every single guy's...ummm...package while walking to the door. This includes guys in the group (who almost all have wives/girlfriends) and strangers that were at the bar. WHO DOES THAT??? Also, she was married at the time. Yeah.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and I can't wait to go back again. How did you spend your long weekend?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - Maine Bound!

1. Sweet dreams are hard to come by; my dreams are usually cah-razy.

2. When I was younger my dad built a room designed especially for me.

3. Silliness is part of what makes life so grand! I love acting crazy with my friends.

4. I'm a little bummed that we don't really have any plans for this Halloween.

5. Outstanding or not President Obama did not deserve to with the Nobel Peace Prize...not yet anyway.

6. A stress/anxiety free mind is what I want right now! Also some new clothes...

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to leaving for Maine, tomorrow my plans include hanging out with family, then going to a birthday bash for friends and Sunday, I want to kick back and watch football with them!

Tonight, Geoff and I leave for a 3-day weekend in Maine. I am so excited for this weekend, and have been looking forward to it every since we came back from our last trip there in September. It's so great when we get to see our family and friends since we don't really have anyone down here. Saturday night is a party for three of our friends who have birthdays this month. There will be grilling, beer, and plenty o' wine. I probably won't post again until Monday, but I will miss you all until then!

What are your plans?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Simply Fabulous

What a great week! I'm honored to say that the wonderful woman over at f8hasit has presented me with an award! I love her blog, she's funny and anyone can relate to her posts. Thank you!



Isn't it great?

The rules for this award are that I have to list my 5 biggest obsessions and then pass the award onto 5 other fabulous bloggers. Here goes nothing!

I can't say that these are actually my BIGGEST obsessions...but they're the ones I can think of right now...

1. Wine and Margaritas: I'm sorry, but nothing tops of a long day or revs up a good night like a glass of red wine or a perfect margarita. Love these things.

2. Muffins: Yummmmmm. I love muffins...pumpkin, coffee cake, chocolate chip...mmmm. Especially this time of year!

3. Cuddling: I know, gag, right? Can't help it...I love to cuddle. Whether it's snuggling in Geoff's arms at the end of the day, experiencing the joy of my dog curled up in my lap, or even just leaning my head on a girlfriend I love to cuddle. It makes me feel good, ok??

4. Talking politics, global issues, etc. I keep this stuff out of my blog so as not to offend anyone...but I'm opinionated and love to debate. I was a Political Science major in college and am a real "bleeding heart" as they say...these discussions get me going...and it's hard to stop once I start!

5. Water and mountains: I know that's technically two but I don't care. Hiking mountains, laying on the beach at the ocean, kayaking a river, swimming in a lake...all of these things make me feel at one with nature and are an instant stress relief.

Now onto the awards ceremony!

1. Boots at You Think it's EASY Being This Awesome? Go read her. Right now. She's so funny and inspiring. This girl just moved from Maine to London all by herself to start an amazing journey towards her Masters degree. I love her stories, she cracks me up.

2. Kathryn at From the Inside...Out. I can't explain to you how funny Kathryn is, so you will just need to go find out for yourself. She was recently a Blog of Note and totally deserves it...she's completely fabulous.

3. Courtney at Sticky Lipgloss. We pretty much don't agree on anything except that people are ridiculous, but I love the way she "funnies up" her opinions anyway.

4. Jules at Night Notes on Napkins. Great writing. You don't want to miss Haiku Monday or the latest Night Notes!

5. Lisa at smacksy. I very recently started reading her and am so glad I did. The stories she tells about her son are so funny...a recent favorite is a post she wrote about two nannies at the playground. Go see!

That should do it! Congrats everyone...you deserve it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Celebrating

Hi all! I'm sorry that this won't be much of a post. Work was crazy today and Geoff is sick so I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time to write. I will say that I got some really good news today that I will share with you later this month. It is a great relief and takes a lot of stress and anger away.

Tonight I finally caught up on some housework that I've been slacking on and am making an easy dinner of spaghetti and marinara. At this moment I'm having a glass of red wine to celebrate my good news and the fact that the apartment looks better.* I haven't felt this happy and relaxed in weeks.

I promise to write tomorrow and will share today's news in about two weeks (it's nothing major and probably won't matter a lick to anyone else but it's something I've been waiting a year for).

*I never actually need to have a reason to drink red wine, and I have a glass or two almost every night. The only difference is this one tastes like sweet victory:)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lazy Days

I had another very lazy weekend. I'm forgiving myself for it as the next two weekends (at least) will be very busy and crazy. I was worried that a couple of lazy weekends in a row would lead to a little antsyness and depression from not being productive...but it was actually nice! Friday night I had planned on being alone until 9pm as Geoff had a meeting scheduled for after work. He called at 6pm to say the meeting was cancelled and he was on his way home! We made a pizza, enjoyed some Gritty's Halloween Ale that I had found at a local liquor store, and watched some old episodes of Lost. I think I fell asleep on the couch around 9:30, haha.

Saturday I woke up and made pumpkin muffins and coffee then went back to bed with both and woke up Geoff. We laid there for quite awhile eating, drinking, reading, and snuggling...perfect for a rainy day. Later I made pumpkin whoopie pies (delicious!) and then probably didn't move from the couch for a few hours. That night we went to the pool hall down the street for some beers, calamari, and pool...this is our standby thing to do as it is about 2 minutes down the road and pool is fun! When we got home we went upstairs and hung out with our neighbors for a little while before finally going to bed.

Sunday morning was pretty much a repeat of Saturday morning. I grabbed us some pumpkin muffins from the kitchen, Geoff made coffee and we met up again in bed to eat and read. When we finally got up around noon Geoff made eggs and toast and then settled in on the couch for a day of football. The Patriots were great! It was a little stressful at the end, but Brady seems to be shaking off the rust and our defense really picked it up. I think the season will only get better from here.

It was a beautiful day with sunny skies, 70 degree weather, and colorful leaves everywhere. It was nice to have the door and windows open again! I made chop suey for dinner and then we enjoyed the Sunday night game upstairs with the neighbors. We'll be back up there tonight for the Monday night game as well...yay football!

What did you do this weekend? Anyone else baking yummy fall treats?