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?

Munchie Mondays - Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

I was in an autumn mood this weekend so on Saturday I made pumpkin whoopie pies! Geoff's mom has a great recipe that I need to get, but for this occasion I just googled a recipe (I forget what website I got it from now) and they came out great!

Cookie Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp all spice or cloves)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F
2. Combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. 4. Add pumpkin, milk, egg and vanilla; beat until well mixed.
5. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed.
6. Drop batter by level measuring tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Move to cooling rack and cool completely.
7. Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, until smooth.
8. Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar, beating well after each addition until creamy.
9. Spread 2 teaspoons filling onto bottom-side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom-side down. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

Now the recipe said that it made 2 1/2 dozen mini whoopie pies, so I cut the recipe in half and ended up with eight...not sure what happened there. These are the perfect fall dessert and I am looking forward to going home this afternoon and having another one! Please try this...so good!





Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - It's Fall!

1. I have a history of stress and anxiety.

2. How to play guitar is something I wish I knew.

3. I'm eating (or recently ate) homemade chicken/veggie curry.

4. I love to sing along to all my favorite songs when I'm on the road.

5. So that's it, that's how you're choosing to live out the rest of your life...sad.

6. Being able to put food on the table and a roof over our heads is certainly better than nothing!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, reading and wine drinking, tomorrow my plans include making pumpkin whoopie pies and searching for a second job and Sunday, I want to watch football!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unhealthy Conversations

I originally wrote this entry on my old college blog back in May of 2006. I was reminded after reading this post over at From the Inside...Out. WARNING: Apparently I used to swear even more back then than I do now...you've been warned.

So here is a public service announcement: DO NOT put off writing a paper/project until the very last second because your printer will choose that exact time to quit working. Today I worked on a project ALL DAY that was due at 4pm, and I was only gonna be a little late for class...I know I suck. I typed the last word, added a punctuation mark, smiled to myself and thought "Success!" I clicked on the print button and was prepared to run out the door paper in hand. Unfortunately, all did not go as planned. The damn printer refused to print. Here is a synopsis of what transpired between me and my printer:

Me: Haha Printer, very funny. Ok, now print.

Printer: No.

Me: This isn't funny...you're making me later for class.

Stupid Printer: Oh well.

Me: God dammit!! You are stressing me out!!! COME ON!!!

Fucking Printer: No, YOU are stressing you out. If you hadn't put this off until the last minute you wouldn't have a problem now, would you?

Me: I really don't have time for this...just give me my paper and we can talk about this when I get back, ok?

Stupid Fucking Printer: Um...no.

Me: WHAT THE FUCK??!!!!?!? I NEED MY PAPER AND I NEED IT NOW!!!!!!!!

Stupid Fucking Jackass Printer: You would have it now if you had started it long ago, like you were supposed to.

Me: LISTEN YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!! I DON'T NEED YOUR HOLIER THAN THOU ATTITUDE...I KNOW I FUCKED UP!!! JUST GIVE ME MY PAPER!!!!!!

Stupid Fucking Jackass Crappy Piece of Plastic Printer: Do you realize how stupid you look right now? Dude, you're talking to a printer.

Me: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Karate chops printer*

Motherfucking Piece of Shit Printer That has a Death Wish: Ouch. Yeah, violence is no way to solve your problems. Now your hand just hurts and you still aren't getting your paper. What have we learned?

Me: That HP just wasn't the way to go...and not to procrastinate. Give me my paper.

Printer: No.


Yeah, so Printer and I are SO fighting right now. But I managed to email myself the paper and print it off in the computer lab, so all is well, no worries:)


HAPPY MAY EVERYONE:)