Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolution review

A year ago today, I posted a list of fourteen goals I had for myself to complete in 2011. Let's see how I did!

House and home
1. Redo upstairs bathroom. Done. It looks so, so much better. I still want to add a shelf and I have a print to hang, but I love going in there now.
2. Attach headboard to bedframe. Done. See below.
3. Get new nightstands. Done. We actually bought a gorgeous bedroom set (an extra-long sleigh bed [so Andy's six-foot-two self can sleep comfortably] and two nightstands) from some friends and refinished it. I am very happy with how they came out, and that the height all matches now.
4. Repaint the crappy job we did with cut-in in the living room. Didn't do. It wasn't really a fair item, though, because I can't reach the cut-in even on a step stool, so this would be more accurate as "Make Andy repaint crappy cut-in", which I wouldn't have added to the list anyway. Also, I've been assured that it's not as noticeable to people who aren't me.
5. Get our kitchen knives professionally sharpened. Didn't do. We bought a fancy do-it-yourself sharpener, which didn't help as much as I hoped. I'll add this one to my 2012 list.
6. Host a fancy dinner party. We hosted both our annual Halloween party and Thanksgiving, so I'll call this one done.
7. Take at least two weekend trips with Andy. Done! We went to Belhurst Castle in May, Maryland to see the fat baby niece in July, and Boston in October! I liked this so much that I think I'll add it to this year's list too, because it's good for us to get away.
8. Visit friends in NYC and Boston at least once each. Done. I went to New York in March and again in December, and Andy and I went to Boston together!
9. Go camping and enjoy it. Half done. I went camping, but while there I confirmed that camping is simply not my cup of tea. I have decided that I like Andy and our friends enough to be willing to spend up to two nights a year camping, but that three nights is too much. The friends we camped with were picking out our site for Summer 2012 before we even left, so we'll see how it goes.
10. Relearn to drive standard. Not done. We sold the truck I was going to learn on, so it seems a lot less crucial now. Also, interestingly, a whole lot of people have found this blog by searching "I hate driving stick," so I'm glad we can agree that it sucks.
11. See a dermatologist and learn how to better care for my specific skin. Nope. I started paying a lot more attention to what I put onto my body, and I'd like to find a dermatologist who uses natural shit as much as possible. I just don't really know how to find that, so I sort of put it out of my mind. Going back on the list, for sure.
12. Investigate laser hair removal. Nope. I remembered I'm a giant sissy with sensitive skin and would prefer stubble to lifelong scarring.
13. Complete Couch to 5K. Nope. I got to week five, but running just really isn't my thing.
14. Nail down the design of my next tattoo, then get said tattoo. Half done. The design is complete, but the artist I was planning to go to is no longer an option (she's making some choices that mean I don't want her in charge of putting something permanent on my skin), so I'll have to research artists and save up for someone who's worth it.

So! Seven and a half out of fourteen (or out of thirteen, if we remove the one that was really for Andy anyway). Could have been better! However, in that time, we also decided to become and then got certified as foster parents, became godparents, redecorated a bedroom, and generally enjoyed the shit out of each other, so overall, 2011 gets a thumbs up from me.

Coming soon: my 2012 list!

What's your resolution this year? Do you have a list? I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday interlude

The week between Christmas and New Year's is always weird, isn't it? Andy and I both have to work this week, but things are off because it's a short week, and next week is another short week.

Last night we decided to stay in and recover from all the go-go-go we'd been doing, and it looks like tonight is going to be more of the same. I stopped on my way home and got some Festive Ale and Everything Must Go, which is a Will Ferrell movie I had never heard of but which looks pretty good (and more like Stranger Than Fiction than Talledega Nights, which is a huge bonus in my book).

We actually had an invite to go ice skating and then drink hot cocoa (with booze in it), and we both felt pretty fine about saying no. Turns out I'm more of an introvert than I ever realized.

How do you spend this week? Are you on vacation, or back to the grind?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Obligatory holiday post

Morning! I hope you are all having the best possible Christmas. We had a pretty awesome morning - I had a delicious almond latte, thanks to the milk frother my friend in Brooklyn got me, and I could have put it in my badass, super-tough new Thermos travel mug from my sister and her husband, and I'm wearing a new cozy flannel shirt from Andy, who took the time to find one that would actually button over my boobs without gaping everywhere. So, yeah, definitely feeling the love.

Two more awesomes: I got a scratch-off ticket in my stocking and won $40, and also Andy special-ordered me a rubber stamp that reads BULLSHIT, and also a bright red stamp pad, so I can properly label everything at work now.

We're heading to my folks' in a few. I sincerely wish you all the merriest of holidays, and I hope you are feeling loved too.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday spirit!

I'm already home for my Christmas long weekend! I usually don't get out of work until 4 at the earliest, but here's an awesome thing: at our work Christmas party, my work-best-friend won a game and got herself four extra hours of vacation time for this week. She knew my sister and Brian and the best baby in the world were coming into town (they arrived last night), so she asked my boss in secret if she could split it with me. Boss said yes, so work-best-friend and I both got two extra hours of vacation time, and I get to be home early!

I made Yuletide nipples yesterday, and I think I'll try to fit in a batch of m&m cookies this afternoon before we head to family dinner at my parents' house. My grandparents are in town for Christmas, which should certainly keep things from being boring.

I hope you all are having the best holiday season EVER.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Doing all the things!

So Andy got free tickets to today's Bills/Dolphins game through work. There are so many awesome things about this:
1. He's never been to a pro football game, but has always wanted to go.
2. The tickets were free.
3. He's a huge Miami fan (but not in such a way that he is an asshole all night if they lose, which was high on the list of attributes that made him marriage-worthy).
4. The first person he thought to ask was my brother, who is a Bills fan. I thought that was sweet.
5. Normally I'd be bummed at spending a full weekend day without Andy (seriously, we just like hanging out), but he's already getting tired of Christmas moves so it's okay that I get full control of the tv all day.

I also have a million-and-one things to get done today, many of which are secret and Andy-related. On the top of that list: I knit him this sweater two Christmases ago. It was my first sweater ever, and I didn't take into account that the pattern doesn't include any ribbing to keep the hem from rolling. Which it does. Enthusiastically. So Andy never wears the sweater, because it ends up sitting just about level with the top of his pants. So today, I'm picking up a bunch of stitches around the edge, and knitting several inches of ribbing. This is the one thing I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find time to do before Christmas, because when would I have a chunk of several hours without Andy? And then the gods of football smiled upon us, and his sweater will be done today.

After the knitting, I'll be wrapping all of his presents, so he's allowed to go in the library again. Then it's back to knitting, so maybe my mom's sweater will be done by Christmas!

Are you done with Christmas shopping yet?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


After work today, I had to stop at the grocery store to figure out something for dinner (note, please, that the "figure out" part of the equation hadn't happened, because I had absolutely no idea what to do for dinner, and Andy's working late). I heard a commercial for the annual production of A Christmas Carol at our local theater, and instead of thinking, "I should see how much tickets are! I've always wanted to go see that," I found myself thinking, "Damn, who has time to see a three-hour play between now and Christmas?!" That's when I realized I was somewhat overwhelmed with my holiday season.

We do have a lot going on. I just got back from four days out of town. We are watching my parents' pets while they're out of town, starting tomorrow and lasting through Sunday. I have to knit one-and-one-quarter hats and half a sweater in twelve days. We have invitations to several holiday parties this weekend. I haven't even thought about sending out cards. My sister and her husband are coming into town on the 22nd (RIGHT, KID?) and staying with us. And on top of all of that, we're giving unconventional Christmas presents - baskets of our homemade preserves and jams and jellies and stuff - which were a fuckton of work and cost probably slightly more per person than the usual gifts we exchange, but I worry that we're going to look like cheap weirdos or something, so I'm stressing about making sure they're JUST RIGHT - like, compiling a list of recipes and ways to use the stuff in each fucking jar - before I can relax about it.

So I got to the grocery store, and instead of figuring out a real meal, I got makings to make myself a kick-ass cheese plate. And I stopped next door at the liquor store and got a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. And I made myself a super fancy, carefully presented cheese plate, which I ate at the kitchen table with a real napkin while I read the L.L. Bean holiday catalog. Because I needed to settle the fuck down.

I think it helped. I feel a little better, and I only had one glass of wine.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home again, home again

I hope at least one human being reads the title of this post and immediately thinks "jiggety jig."

I'm home! I came home to a clean house and pretty flowers (Andy always gets me flowers whenever I go out of town. It's a very sweet thing). I had a seat to myself on the train both on the way there and the way home, which is pretty great. I may be causing myself tennis elbow (again) and/or carpal tunnel syndrome with my knitting - my wrist was doing an interesting tingling thing on and off while I was knitting - but I more than doubled the amount of my mom's sweater I had done, and I completed about 90% of Andy's hat, so I'll still count that as a success.

New York was fun, as always. I really like visiting that joint, particularly Brooklyn. Brooklyn's weird. I'm never the one dressed funny, or being too loud, or whatever, when I'm in Brooklyn. If you happen to be there any time soon, check out the Richmond, a bar coincidentally located on Richmond Street, and get an Old Tom Collins. Very well made and very delicious. Or, if you're more in the mood for a dive and some ski-ball, try Redd's on Grand Avenue. Their Tom Collinses are less well made, but I didn't let that discourage me. And it turns out that $5 gets you 18 songs on the jukebox, which all play in a row. That's more than enough to force the other guests to listen to all of Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill in a row (and yes, for some reason they have that).

What's your favorite thing about coming home?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


My computer is fixed! Just in time for me to go out of town for several days!

I'm heading to New York City in the morning. I'm super busy getting ready tonight, so the plan was that Andy was going to pick it up while I was out of town. Instead, he surprised me by getting it on his way home tonight, just to be nice!

One of my best friends lives in Brooklyn, so I am going to hang out with her and pretend I'm in Home Alone 2 for a few days. We will be doing touristy things like seeing the tree in Rockefeller Plaza, window shopping, eating at the Carnegie Deli, and doing our best to thwart a pair of bumbling robbers slash would-be child murderers.

And to any other would-be robbers out there, Andy can't get the time off from work, so he'll be home guarding our house. Don't get any bright ideas, because he is fully trained in the use of Micro Machines, paint cans, and acetylene torches for home defense.

My keyboard is making an interesting clicking noise any time I have to delete something. Looks like this is a good time to slow down and type things correctly the first time, or to learn to love that it sounds a little like there's a tiny tambourine under the backspace key.

What shouldn't I miss when I'm in New York? Share!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Exciting evening

I don't know if I've mentioned this, and I'm still on Andy's computer which takes forever so I'm not going to bother searching for it, but Andy plays drums at a local church for Christmas Eve every year. He has practice at the church tonight, so I'm going to take my pants off and really buckle down to some knitting and some Christmas-movie-watching. I don't know how I'll be able to handle the excitement.

My computer is getting fixed, so posting should resume some sort of regular schedule next-week-ish. I just find my netbook so much more convenient and easy to use!

Oh, one more exciting thing: I'm planning to try to import two books on CD into itunes so I can listen through my ipod. I've never done this, so wish me luck that I don't accidentally delete all my files on there or something. I've been told there's a way to rip them so they take up less space, so I'll be poking around on the internet trying to figure that out. Good times all around tonight!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feeling festive!

It's December 1, which in our house is Christmas Decorations Day! I just finished setting up the tree. This is by far the biggest pain involved in decorating our house for Christmas, as we have my parents' twenty-year-old seven-foot monstrosity. I like to get it set up before Andy gets home so we can start in on lights and ornaments while we watch a Christmas movie. This year it's Elf, which has just given me yet another reason to love it: if you leave the menu up without selecting anything, THE MUSIC STOPS PLAYING after one loop! This is so great!

I have a big pot of chili on the stove ready to go, and I'm going to put up the garland and lights we loop over the weird bannister thing we have.

The one thing I am still working on for this year is a good pine-scented candle. Last year I just got one at Wal-Mart, and it was fine but not spectacular. I think I'm going to try one of the Balsam Fir ones from Bath and Body Works, as I've been assured it smells just like an actual pine tree instead of like gross chemicals.

What holiday set-up traditions do you have?