Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snow, Back Home & Good To Go

I'm sitting at the most charming little Dunn Bros ever. The one up on 3rd & Washington, the two story one with all the brick. The snow is falling outside, the classical strains of violin play in the background, there are people in hats, in scarves, in snow boots, myself included. I'm just glad to be home. I'm glad it's snowing, I'm glad it's Christmas, and I'm glad I'm in a place I love again. Minneapolis.

I can't imagine my life, as the person I am now, back in Los Angeles, not even for one more day. I would love to say that the people I love are all here. But most of them have moved away. And even though there are still plenty of people I love in this town, I have never felt more alone. Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's the resonance of family drama still echoing in my soul, trying to convince me I'm not who I really am. Maybe it's the fact that I really am all alone. My MN family is all down in Iowa, seeing their family, forgetting to ask me to come see Grandpa's farm. Close friends have either all moved away or are traveling, and no one I know is around anymore. The friends I have who are here still forget about the single girl when the obligations of family/married life at the holidays come calling. (In all honesty, I can think of one friend, who is probably alone these few days, but at least he has Netflix & a few kids to keep him company.)

In even better news, the guy I'm crazy about (the UCE) is close but so far away. He's here in the cities, doing family stuff, but so busy with all that, that I do believe he has forgotten me, or maybe he's just ignoring me after the massive ass chewing I gave him recently when I found out he lied to me about something. I deserve his silence, I think. But if he keeps it up, he won't get his Christmas gift, and really, it's not every year some girl who thinks you're wonderful bakes you a giant cookie inside an ashtray shaped like a pistol (never used of course!)

I guess, today it's just me and the snow, and you know what? That's ok. I kind of like the snow. It tickles my face and is beautiful and white and when you're in it, it's completely silent. Yeah, I think I kind of like the snow, it has everything a man should be.

This may all sound like one huge complaint, but I swear, it's not. I'm past complaining about being alone. There are times, like today, when I can do whatever I want, and live life according my own schedule, that I rather like it. In all actuality, what sounds like a big complaint, is actually something of a Godsend right now. And what better season to be grateful for all things?

You want a complaint out of me? How about this? I got rear-ended yesterday, at the lightrail tracks on 42nd & Hiawatha, and was pushed onto the tracks. Talk about a scary experience. I'm feeling ok today, but I was exhausted, both mentally and physically last night. I was coming back from the park & ride, where I had left my car and decided to detour onto Hiawatha, in order to return some Redbox movies. And asI approached the light at H55 & 42nd, I noticed that the little white light that signals an approaching train was flashing, and I could hear the train coming closer in the distance. What I didn't notice, however, was the fact that the light itself was still green, and so I stopped, right there, at the green light. Soon, I saw another car approaching behind me, and as I watched in the rearview mirror, I saw that it was not stopping. I must have been in a fog, because I had no reactionary skills at that moment. Suddenly, Boom, the car slammed/plowed right into the back of me, pushing me out onto the tracks, where my little car stalled. In a panic, I looked up and saw that the signal was green, so I drove to the opposite corner of the intersection, where the car followed me. My already cracked bumper is now non-existant. I took his information, but really, am I going to call this guy's insurance over my little bumper? More than anything, I was scared out of my wits!! Welcome home Trinette.

Am I some sort of freaking drama magnet? Because at the moment, I felt like one!!! I know some people seem to think so, but honestly, I don't ask for this kind of stuff to happen. It just does!

Well, hopefully, today will be a thoroughly drama free day, as I do some housecleaning, wrap presents, watch a movie or two, and hit the hay early, in preparation for what a lovely Christmas Eve tomorrow will be. I can only hope it's still snowing. Because as I type this, my fingers moving, as my eyes focus on the falling white flakes outside, nothing would make me happier than my hometown being covered in snow, and experiencing a true White Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone! In the words of one of my favorite old-timey Christmas songs "Love & Joy come to you, and a Merry Christmas too, and God bless you & send you a Happy New Year. May God send you a Happy New Year!"

Friday, December 07, 2007

A New Poll!

So, I guess this means I'm getting a cat. I don't really like cats much. But I like mice even less. Here are my thoughts on the cat thing:

Things I'm not looking forward to:
Cat hair on my clothes & furniture
Being categorized as a cat lover, a huge misconception
Cleaning the kitty litter box

Things that might be good about this cat:
It will keep the mice away, hopefully
It might keep the squirrels/rats/racoons/neighbors away
If I happen to need some affection, it might crawl up on my lap and let me love it.

Notice all the good things about the cat are "maybe"s. Like maybe it will do this, maybe it will do that. That's the crap thing about cats, in the end, they do what they want. And often times that's exactly what you don't want them to do. Cats are much like teenagers or rich women that way.

In any case, I posted a new poll, called "What Should I Name The Stinking Cat?" A friend recently entertained getting a cat, for his daughters, and was going to name it after someone who hates cats vehemently. So, unfortunately that name is out, though it wouldn't be one I'd choose anyways. All my names are kind of fun, and have meaning. I've listed said meanings below, so make sure y'all vote now!

Watson - A faithful companion. To Sherlock Holmes. This name reeks of irony, because I don't hold out much hope that my cat will either be faithful, or a companion. Cats - they're tricksy that way.

Grendel - A male ogre, from the old English poem about Beowulf (which happens to be a movie out right now, no connection I swear!). The ogre was slain. Nice. Maybe my cat will do some slaying instead. Also, Grendel was the puppy from the 80's show, "Thirtysomething", which is now my current age. OMG, I'm "thirtysomething". Oooh, I remember I used to watch that show and think how old they all were. That was back in high school of course, but still. Anways, I digress.

Burt - Since my cat is black, who better to name it for but my favorite Chimney Sweep (from Mary Poppins!)

Nigel - "Were only making plans for Nigel. We only want whats best for him". Remember that song? If I'm going to have a cat, I can pretend he's Brittish, and dignified, and imagine that he's going to talk to me in a Brittish accent. I can! And anyways, Nigel literally means "Black Haired One", and wasn't one of the members of Duran Duran named Nigel??

Brutus - Because this cat is bound to betray me, and my original intent in getting it. He's a cat, it's as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. So, shouldn't I name him after one of history's most famous betrayers? Judas just didn't have the same ring to it.

Samson - Yep, I want this cat to be strong, fierce, a killer of Philistines, I mean mice. A strongman who received his strength from, yes appropriate to a cat, his hair. If it's going to be on everything I own, why not ascribe it some strength?

So, those are my name choices. Check out the picture of the new cat, and let me know what y'all think. I really do listen to the poll results - my new car is now named Sean Preston, the clear leader in my last poll, called "Name My Car". The name has turned out to be so fitting too, I mean if something is going to be slightly beat up and chock full of junk food, it might as well be named Sean Preston right??

A New Pest Problem!

So, can anyone guess what’s worse than the kid who sings the song about wanting a Hippo for Christmas? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Mice. Mice are worse than that kid. Because that kid is slightly intangible. I’ve never met him. I never want to. I will never have to. But mice, mice I met last night. During dinner. And White Christmas. On my living room floor.

Yeah, after work, to avoid traffic, I headed to the mall to get a little Christmas shopping done. After not finding what I needed, I grabbed some cheap Chinese food and headed home.

Tired and weary, I threw on my VS flannell pj’s, the red ones with the hearts and flowers all over them, and grabbed some Sricha sauce to douse my chicken & rice in, and cozily sank into my sofa. I had already popped in a movie (White Christmas), and so, as my day wound down, I began to eat my dinner, and sing along to the movie (not at the same time obviously). Right about the time that the Haynes sisters & Wallace & Davis were singing “Snow, snow, snow snow” on a train, a little brown field mouse scampered out from behind my TV/Entertainment center, and made it about a foot and half before I shrieked in terror and shoved the coffee table at it. It then quickly scurried back behind the TV, disappearing into the radiator hole in the floor, as I hyperventilated on the sofa, chanting “oh no, oh no, oh no!”.

Ten minutes later, as the “oh no, oh no, oh no”’s were winding down, I gathered the courage to untuck my legs from out from under me, and run (literally) to the kitchen to grab my cell phone out of my purse. Scenes from The Parent Trap ran through my head, as I banged the two remote controls against each other along the way, making enough noise to irritate my easily irritated neighbors, in hopes of keeping the mouse from making any more surprise appearances. My biggest fear was that it would decide to run out, just as I was running to the kitchen, and somehow our feet would meet. It’s little clawed, gnarled feet running across my soft, clumsy ones.

I dashed back to the sofa, out of breath more from fear than running. I immediately called my mom, and as soon as she picked up I reverted back to the 6th grade whining that often earned her backhand. I got absolutely no sympathy. So, I called the BFF. She didn’t pick up. So I text messaged the UCE, got no response, till about 1:00 am when he texted me back “Maybe you should get a cat. Hahaha!”.

The fourth person I called was my friend Kelly, who for two weeks has been trying to convince me to take her cat, Elvis and keep him and love him forever. So far my response has been “yeah, because I want kitty litter crumbs traipsed across the bathroom floor and hair over every inch of clothing that I own”. Last night I changed my mind and my new response immediately became “he’s a natural mouser, right?”

OMG. I don’t really want a cat. But I don’t want mice either. Or squirrels in my attic. Or the potential for other fearsome creatures that live downtown. And I definitely don’t want a cat named Elvis. Can I think of a better name before tomorrow morning?? We’ll see.

In the meantime, I pray that I get a good night’s sleep tonight, because I sure didn’t last night. The threat of mice crawling up my cute jammie pants in my sleep kept me up for quite a while. Will the sound of an erratic, nocturnal cat pouncing around all night long be any better? I guess I’ll find out soon. Could be worse, though. I could be the mother of that poor “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” kid. That kind of critter problem can’t be solved with just a housecat. You’d need a lion to shut that kid up!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Three Things About Christmas I Can't Stomach

1. That god awful I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas song. And that obnoxious little kid that sings it. If I were that kid, as soon as I grew up and realized how lame I sounded, I would shoot myself!

2. The Dead Barefoot mom song. Aka The Christmas Shoes song. I cried like a baby the first time. Now I just want to send the kid home with a good scolding, saying "If your mom is dying, why are you out shopping, you little whiner??"

3. Grandma, and her reindeer hoofs on her chest. Or some white trash, half drunk old grampy singing about how he let his wife out of his sight long enough for her to be mauled. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. But I can even take that, more so than the damn Hippopotamus kid.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The One About The Skirt

Ok, the votes are in, and the skirt is OUT! OMG! In case I didn’t feel self conscious enough about this stupid skirt I’m wearing today, I have had three people comment on it, both positively and negatively in the last hour.

The first one was rather humorous. I was walking past CTB’s (the new acronym for Cute Tech Boy) desk earlier, when I heard him call out “Hey, the gypsy camp called. They want their skirt back”. Ok, now. This is actually funny, since it’s a foray from his usual “Hey, the Senior Home called, some old lady wants her coat back”, which I get every single time I wear my cute Nordstrom coat with the fur on the collar & cuffs.

Secondly, I got up from my desk to get something and I noticed that there is a trail of tiny silver sequins along the path from the copier to where I sit. It’s like a tiny little fashion Hansel & Gretel have been here. Except it’s my skirt. As I was picking them up off the floor, lest anyone else see them and further humiliating comments ensue, the guy who sits across from me said “Yeah, I noticed those earlier. Yeah, your skirt is really, umm, girly”. Good night! When did girly ever get you anywhere in the workplace? Then again when did blogging all day long either?

Third, and lastly. As I was picking up said sequins from in front of the printer, one of the rare nice people from Account Services happened to walk by, and she said “Hey, I like your skirt. I meant to tell you earlier”. Of course, since I’m a “let it all hang out there” kinda person, I replied with “Really? You don’t think I look like I’m channeling Stevie Nicks?” to which she replied (thus causing me to hate my attire & cringe with horror) “Oh, but that’s what I like about it!”

Waaaahhhh! Waaaaahhhh! (In a whiny, crying voice) I look like a circa-80’s Stevie Nicks, but more colorful!!!! Actually, you could say I look like a circa-70’s-80’s-90’s-Present Day Stevie Nicks, because Dear Lord, she hasn’t changed her skirt or hairdo in thirty years!!! This skirt was really fashionable when I bought it!! Two years ago!! Oh no! It’s so going in the Hand-Me-Down bag tonight, although I really don’t have the heart to pass its tragic unfashionableness along to Michelle, because I love her. I couldn’t lead her astray down the path of tackiness that seems to follow this garment like a cloud or a shadow. Maybe I’ll give it to L.S., since its right up her alley (which, without meaning to be, is kind of an insult. Sorry L.S.!)

Anyways, that’s the one about the skirt. I know it’s vapid, shallow, slightly insensitive to L.S., but I had to write it. I had to share my skirt woe. Sigh…..I do digress.

Not Sure What To Title This, So This Will Have To Do.

A thought occurred to me this morning. A horrific, fear inspiring, terrible thought. Something that shook me up with insecurity for probably the rest of the day. Today, I could be mistaken for a homeschooler. OMG! The fear. The terror. The shaaaame!!!

So, what made me come to this terribly painful possibility. Well, today, I caught myself singing to myself, profusely singing to myself. Humming, singing, and Christmas songs nonetheless. That and I’m wearing a skirt, turtleneck and tall boots today, which could either be construed as fashionably warm or plain old Mormon based on the fact that I’m not showing an ounce of skin (yes, I have been watching too much Big Love).

Anyways, I used to know someone who did this very thing. No, not be fashionably warm - sing to herself. All the time. She would hum, or sing, quietly, under her breath, no matter what she was doing. She was just happy. So am I. But she was homeschooled, and though she was a raving liberal, she had the tragic foundation of freaky geekiness that only homeschoolers could fail to hide. Perchance, could I be mistaken for this kind of weird today?

I can’t help it that I hum and sing to myself. It’s freakin’ Christmas time people! The best time of the year! I have family I love so very much. I have a cute little apartment. I’m getting a cat. I have the joy of the Lord for goodness sake, and can I help it if it manifests itself in tone-deaf renditions of “Melikelikimaka” as I do my work? Or “We Three Kings” or “O Come Emmanuel” or “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. I just love to sing. I love Christmas. I love to sing songs about Christmas.

So, as I was walking through the office, singing quietly to myself, wondering if my outfit really was a step too far on the path of “I’m starting to look my age”, that’s when it hit me. I look like a home schooler (well, not really, I have a hairstyle, and wear makeup). I sing like a homeschooler (I could throw some Kanye in there for good measure). I could be mistaken for this bane of coolness. The antithesis of all things me. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggghhhhhh!!

Now, I must admit, not all homeschoolers are freaks of nature. Just 99.98% of them. And I say this with just a tad of caution, since one of my best friends has fallen for a homeschooler (Why, oh why? When I thought you were so wonderfully smart???) I don’t want to offend anyone (Wow, was that ever a lie!). I’m sure there are some exceptions to the rule out there, as in any major group of people who attempt (but sadly fail) to defy classification & stereotype. But, the fact remains, there just is something uniquely “off” about them as a group. And frankly, I want to make a good impression on the Cute Tech Boy at work (who, I caught looking in my direction as I was walking back from the copy machine). And he’s just cool enough to fall into the category called “Common Sense” that recognizes that most of this blissfully ignorant, deprived community (the homeschoolers) are total dorks without a smidge of social aptitude.

I don’t want him to think that about me. At all. Why, why did I wear this skirt today? It’s so last season! Older than that even. It’s two years old. It looks like something I should’ve handed down already. And black tights with brown boots? Thinking no one would notice? Yes, shut up, I am this shallow.

I wonder if I can head up to the mall at work and get brown tights from Target. At least that might assuage some of my (probably unnoticed and unfounded) fears. Ok, this is good, all this unnecessary worrying about my skirt being mistaken as “Made In Utah” has caused me to stop singing. Progress. Progress indeed.

In the meantime, mull over this, one of the songs so ironically stuck in my head this morning: A favorite carol (and a movie with both George Clooney and Mark Wahlburg), “We Three Kings”. Note the references to Easter towards the end. That’s kind of why I like it. It’s more than just “He was born a babe”, it’s the full lifespan in one song.

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
Worship Him, God on high.

Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Sounds through the earth and skies.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light

Monday, December 03, 2007

Merry Christmas Baby!!

So, I'm so excited! What a great weekend. In the words of a sweet friend, I totally owned it. Except for the part where I had to deal with a cranky neighbor looking for his dustpan (I returned it already, I swear), I did exactly everything I wanted to do. Including a nap, some Kill Bill, some cleaning, family Christmas decorating time, a game, and another nap (wow!).

On Friday, I went to a super-fun craft show (not your mama's craft show, actually, kind of my mama's craft show, but she smokes pot, so whatever!), and while I was there, I got sucked into the mass consumerism disguised as artsy eccentricity that somehow has a way of vacuuming me up like an old Hoover.

So, what did I get??? Only patterns for what are going to be the coolest tea towels known to man (Viva Las Vegas, I Love Sushi, Chinatown & Lucha Libre). And a super cool print for my kitchen. And while I was there, I stopped by the booth for a store up in NE that I've been meaning to get to - Crafty Planet. I found out they are way cooler than I could've expected, and I should've visited them a long time ago.

In any case, a good friend, the U.C.E. actually, (who is now someone I maybe have a crush on) went as a Mexican wrestler for Halloween last year, and so in honor of his dedication to new & exciting Halloween costumes, I am making him some tea towels for his apartment with none other than the "Lucha Libre" design on them. Check out the pattern I got to make them. I hope he likes them - I kind of do like him.

Also, at said craft show, another friend turned me on to the super cool art of Adam Turman. Being the comic geek that I am, how could I not love it? Skulls? Pin-ups? Landscapes of my beloved city? Super neat-o! So, this is the print I picked up, as it is a little more than appropriate to how I spent half my summer - bicycling this great city.

Anyways, that was my Friday. Saturday I discovered a new Menards, and as I walked up from my primo parking spot to the front doors flanked by brick columns, the cold winter air nipping at my legs and pushing me forward, it was like a scene from some sci-fi movie. I swear the Mother Ship was calling me home. I love my new Menards. The way people grandparents love their grandchildren, I love this Menards. The way I should love my grandmother - I love this new Menards. Ohhhh, shiver!!

And ironically, all this love amounted to me spending less than $6 there that day. All I really needed was anchors for my shelf. Yeah, I did good.

Did a whole bunch of other stuff this weekend, Came home, put up said shelf and watched in amazement and gratitude as it stayed up on the wall. Put a vase up on it. It still stayed. A picture frame, it stayed. Some candles, it stayed. I didn't push my luck any further.

Watched some TV. Did some dishes. Took a nap. Got up & went over to the Coulons, where they were in full Christmas decorating mode. Josiah and I ate raisins as he put all the ornaments in one spot on the tree. Then Leah & I went for a Chipotle run, and miraculously all of us managed to sit through Hairspray, till it was time to go home.

There was so much more that I did this weekend, I can't even begin to list it. Yesterday was a positive whirlwind of football & the Wheaties (what I call my body's unsavory reaction to too much Gluten).
But now, I have something else on my mind. I'm kind of deflated. I just found out that the UCE went and saw a movie we were supposed to see together, without me. The last time he came into town we hung out and were supposed to go see this one movie together. I was so looking forward to it, because of how wonderful artistic and auteristic it looked (not autistic, you dorks!). But then, that day, I had a super busy time helping out a friend with car troubles. And by the time I got home & started getting ready for what was essentially our date, I was running super late. So, we missed the movie. But he said we'd go see it next time he was down. Now, today, I read that he went to see it already, in his blog. I couldn't be more deflated. Urrrrrrr!

Hmmm, is he tea towel worthy, I'm starting to wonder? In any case, I am having fun embroidering them. And even if he's not completely tea-towel worthy (much different than sponge worthy, trust me!), I'm sure one day I will find someone who is, and hopefully, at that time, the Lucha Libre references will still make sense. After all, if I can't find someone with whom to share Stretchy Pants references, then what good is love at all?

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Love Lucy!

So, prior to this morning, I thought the kind of stuff that has befallen me only happens in movies, or on I Love Lucy. I guess I was wrong. It has been THAT kind of morning. Pretty funny, if it weren't me.

It started off with the ever present squirrels in my attic waking me up, as they dueled. There is some serious Gladiator action going on up there that I would pay big money to see. If it was behind a screen and I was covered head to toe in protective, squirrel-proof gear, I would pay to see it. Seriously though, I can hear them fight, complete with the sound of pounding and thudding as they hit the floor, locked in little mini squirrelly headlocks. I can hear them chattering, arguing back and forth with one another, as they fight. I'm sure somewhere in there are some pretty crude squirrel yo' mama jokes. I just don't want to have to meet any of these street savvy, tough squirrels in a dark alley, or back behind the garbage dumpster.

So, as I'm lying in bed, mildly amused and yet still annoyed that they live up there, I decide to glance into the living room at the clock. 8:08, umm, I love my duvet. I roll over, warm and toasty, tucking my feet under the blanket.....what?? 8:08??? I have to be at work in 22 minutes. OHGOODNIGHT!!!! Yeah, that's how my day started out. I guess this means no Starbucks this morning. Oh sad.

I don't think I've ever flown to work as fast as I did this morning. I am not even going to admit to my average MPH going down 35W, but let's just say if it were years, it'd be a ripe old age. So far so good, though. I mean, I pull into the parking lot, only 6 minutes late technically. As I'm rushing up the walk, purse slung over my shoulder, tall boots under cropped jeans, Gap scarf flying out behind me, I actually could pass for a sophisticated, Type-A New Yorker, on a mission. That is till I miss the handle of the front door, and actually walk into the glass, smack my forehead (which surprises me, because that's not usually the thing on me that gets hit first). I'm standing there, stunned, with what will soon be a lovely little red goose egg on my now throbbing face, rubbing my forehead in pain and shock, as I look inside the glass doors and see three people including the receptionist huddled around the front desk laughing at me. Nice. Thanks guys!!

What was I supposed to do but be cool, open the door calmly, and walk in to face the music? Good morning to me!

So, as I head up to my desk, trying to act cool, thinking I still might actually look cool if no one notices the Pinky & the Brain style boo-boo now developing on my forehead, I pass cute Tech Boy's desk. As I'm walking, I thought I'd wave, kind of nonchalantly, in a devil-may-care fashion that masks the fact that I really do have a crush on him. As I wave casually, and turn my achy head to see him, I am disappointed to find there's no one at his desk. But there is someone standing right next to it, who then proceeds to ask me "Who you waving at??". Ummmmm, just keep walking. Pretend like you didn't hear that.

Now, here's where it really gets good people. We're building up to the grand climax! Get ready, because here we go.

I approach my little cube, finally relieved to be in somewhat familiar and comforting territory. As I set my stuff down at my desk, I think to myself, "Hmm, I probably should make a bathroom run to check out the cranial damage." So, with my purse still in hand, I walk over to the restroom, not expecting anything more can go awry. Boy, was I wrong. I walk into the restroom, and set my purse down on the counter, check out my forehead, reach into my purse for a little powder to cover the redness, use it, put it back in the purse, and as I do, the cuff on my shirtsleeve catches the handle of my purse, and the whole thing drops to the floor, spilling make-up, my phone, my wallet, everything in that kitchen sink, onto the tile.

One item however, quickly becomes the catalyst for mass hilarity. As my belongings spill rapidly out of my purse, onto the floor, my Bare Essenctuals “Warm” blush container hits the wall across from the sinks, the top pops off, and brick colored powder splays itself graffiti style across the whole wall. Then, it hits the floor, and since it’s in a little round container, it spirals across the area in front of the sinks, trailing brown powder in its wake. Spiraling, it continues to the low point in the floor, which happens to be in the handicapped stall, all the while leaving a trail of blush everywhere it touches, like the tail behind a shooting star. As I survey the damage, it looks like someone brought an airbrush gun loaded with burnt sienna paint into the bathroom and opened fire. There is makeup EVERYWHERE! Including all over my jeans leg, and my new boots.

Panicky, I grab a handful of paper towels and hit the floor, trying to mop it up, only spreading it out more, and making a bigger mess. I wet them, and that seems to help. I circle my way around the bathroom, praying no one walks in, and the end of my trail leads me to the handicapped stall. I clean, I scrub, I grab more towels, I wet them down, I scrub some more. And when I’m done, minutes later, I throw them in the toilet (not thinking obviously), and hit flush. Only to watch the toilet water, now a beautiful dark amber color, start to back up, as the toilet begins to overflow.

What could I do? I had to laugh. I just stood there, watching it fill, surveying the stall for a plunger, finding none, and all I could do was chuckle. Ha ha ha ha ha. And then I reached my hand into the toilet bowl, grabbed what paper towels I could and pulled them out, dripping brownish-red toilet water all the way to the garbage dispenser in the other part of the bathroom. My hand dripping, mixing toilet water with makeup on the floor, creating a beautiful brick colored mud that reminded me of Native American paintings.

The mess that begin with a bump to the head has now become a full fledged disaster area. My hand was covered in the murky mess of makeup and toilet water. The floor has a lovely brown tint to it. My head is throbbing. My purse contents are still on the floor in front of the sink. And I’m standing there, in the midst of it all, clocked in, laughing.

That was my morning. After many more minutes of cleaning, with paper towels (that now went into the garbage), and attempting to disinfect my right hand with scalding hot water and Bath & Body Antibacterial Hand Soap, I was able to trudge back to my desk, a slight smirk on my face, and the knowledge of Murphy’s Law on my heart. At least no one walked in on me, which would’ve only added public embarrassment to my already burgeoning sense of shame.

That was my morning. It’s 11:30 now. I’m about to leave for lunch. I am afraid to go outside. I’m afraid to get up from my chair and leave my desk. I’m a hazard to myself. But at least I can laugh about it. It’s been one of those days.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


So, I am in a baking mood, no doubt! I just have the urge to go home and make something delicious and pretty and wonderful using either Baileys or Eggnog (the two delicious liquids I have on hand right now).

Sadly, however, when I moved into my new apartment, someone who shall remain nameless, but who's already on my naughty list, dropped my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer, and since then it's not working. I just need to take it in to get looked at, but till last week it wasn't a big deal. Then Thanksgiving hit, and with it so did the orders for Gluten Free pies, and boom, I was without a mixer and having to borrow one from none other than the guilty culprit himself. Who then proceeded to ask for it back like his life depended on being within a 5 foot vicinity of an appliance he hasn't used since 2005. Turd!

Urgh, some people just annoy me.

Oh, speaking of which, I just had to turn away some kid trying to raise money for D.A.R.E., and I felt like a total tool. How do you look at some poor kid, straight in the eye and say "No, sorry, we don't allow solicitors in the building" when it's below freezing out and he has puppy dog eyes. I'm so ashamed.

Ok, back to ripping on this person who, I believe I remember, broke my Kitchen-Aid. Yeah, so anyways, as I'm remembering that my mixer is broken, and his is returned, it occurs to me, I can't bake anything sweet & lovely tonight. Without a mixer. I am very disheartened.

That is, till I start thinking of what else I'd like to cook, as I settle in on this chilly night, ready to nest on the sofa, warm & toasty in my favorite blanket, watching more episodes of Big Love.

Risotto. This is perfect Risotto weather.

Risotto is one of those foods that is, by it's very nature, comforting. I mean, to make it right, you have to open a bottle of wine. And the aroma of it cooking is so wonderfully delicious and romantic and heady. It usually contains something savory and herbacious, in tonight's case a little fresh oregano & thyme. The taste of it is melty, and creamy, and always salty enough to satisfy even me. It takes time, so you have to be in the kitchen, stirring, which opens the door to something else that makes me grin - the fact that I can turn on some Christmas music, throw on an apron & with my glass of wine hang out in the kitchen for a while, proving that just because you live alone and eat alone doesn't mean you have to be a Debbie Downer. Waaaw-waaaaaw.

So, that's my plan tonight. I'm excited to head to the grocery store right away after work & get the few things I will need for this delicious concoction. For anyone who may feel inspired, here is my favorite Risotto recipe. It's perfect for a night like this.

Italian Sausage & Mushroom Risotto
Serves 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch Pieces
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scrapedout, caps diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups red wine
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice (about 13 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. (I find that a Le Creuset dutch oven or casserole is perfect for this.) Add sausage and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add all mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot & set aside.

Add 1/2 cup wine; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 minute. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot.

In the same pot as before, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes.

Just before the last of the stock is stirred in, add and stir in the sausage mixture and ¾ of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Pass the remaining cheese separately.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Problem With Polygamy - It's More Than Just The Clothes!

So, this weekend, I did get some quiet time in, watching a movie or two. I shouldn’t say “movie” necessarily. More like a few episodes of “Big Love” an HBO series about polygamy set amongst a family of Mormons in Utah. Yeah, uh-huh.

Hey, it’s got Bill Paxton, who in my mind will always be Chett, the obnoxious, sadistic hunter/older brother from Weird Science. But I enjoy him as an actor. The HBO gratuitous shots of his ass, maybe I don’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. I’m still crushing on that guy from Rome (the series, not the city). The one who played Titus Pullo (something about those tall, big guys. Snack!).

So, Big Love. Yeah, it was interesting to say the least. Unlike most HBO shows, it lacked the crazy sex or the abundant, colorful language that trademarks a few of their shows. I guess it is about Mormons, and all, so you know, they have to keep it clean, in case any Mormons do tune in. Hey, speaking of which, it has that chick from the movie about the seal, who was also in Napoleon Dynamite – Tina Marjorino. I guess she’s really staking out a great career as the face of young, female Mormonism. Maybe if they found someone a little more attractive they might win a few more converts, but I guess there’s something to be said about truth in advertising, right??

The show, it got me thinking, though. A lot. About polygamy, and what my life would look like if I was part of a polygamist family. Heck, much less if I was married! I can’t even imagine the latter, much less the former. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to get married, some day, to the right guy (does the word complementarian ring a bell??). But, polygamy? Whoah sparky! There are just some things I don’t think would sit well with me. Sharing my man might be one of them.

If I am understanding this correctly, and really, since my research is based solely on Wikipedia & HBO, there’s a good chance that I’m not, it seems that polygamy is a practice based on the belief that only married people can attain to the blessings of heaven, and only plural marriages are truly valid under the beliefs of Joseph Smith (yeah, cuz he’s right up there with the Bible. Or not.)

It just seems so far fetched! It makes me want to stand up for all the wonderful, God-seeking, passionate single people I know and say “What, so they don’t get to heaven because they never got married???” I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life, but it makes me want to stand up and scream and shout and kick for Single People’s rights. Yeah, me, as a SP Advocate.

Anyways, back to this whole polygamy=sharing thing. What the heck is up with that? Talk about screwing with your flippin’ self esteem. Like it’s not hard enough for most women (and by most women I mean me) to get it through their thick skulls that they’re loved, valued and honored, these Mormon guys have to throw one or two more legitimate relationships in there to muddy the situation? The show follows the relationships between the three wives as much as it does the relationship Bill (yeah, that’s his name on the show too), has with each of them.

Of course my sympathy goes out to them, even though they are fictional, as I watch the dynamic they have with one another, trying to respect each other while dealing with the fact that there are too many hens in the house, as they compete for his attention and affection, as they struggle to schedule time with him and as they pretty much do life without his support and help. Urck! This is definitely not the way the Lord intended it, I’m pretty sure. Sure, it worked well for Mr. Smith, him with his 34 wives (yeah, THIRTY-FOUR, that’s more than a month’s worth). But I bet if someone did a poll of those 34 wives, 85% of them would say he was a sucker & a bastard. Or something like that, because I don’t think Mormon’s use the B word.

Anyways, as I was researching more on this fascinating subject, I ran across more than a few articles that attributed “evangelical Christian” groups as being advocates or supporters of the pro-polygamy movement. They must not be running in the same Evangelical Christian circles I know, because the men in that group are decidedly fearful of any sort of commitment or marriage, much less to more than one woman. Maybe they should hop on their bicycles for an afternoon or two of door to door annoyance, to loosen up their staunch views on waiting for Miss Perfect 2007.

Anyways, I guess this lifestyle is affecting more people than I realized. One website, called Principle Voices (polygamists often call their belief tenant The Principle), sites that with regard to Fundamental Mormon Polygamists, there are probably somewhere between 20,000-100,000 of them in the US alone. Wait, is that 20,000 to 100,000 women or men? Because if it’s women, than that number could be as low as 100-200 men. That was supposed to be a joke.

So, as I head home tonight, awaiting discs 4, 5 & 6 of Season 1 of this show, I am glad for a few things. #1, that I’m not Mormon. The wardrobes suck! Those buttoned up to the collar chambray shirts with the long skirts, they just scream HOME SCHOOL MOM! #2, that God does have someone perfect out there for me. Someone who can tolerate my weird sense of humor and affinity for TV on DVD. Just one someone perfect, by the way. And I am more than happy waiting, till the perfect time is here. #3, that Tina Marjorino has not slid down the greasy, sleazy path of most child actors, into robbing convenience stores with Todd Bridges or appearing on Rock Of Love. You go Tina!

Till later, 10-4, over & out!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Brief Highlights

Here are the brief highlights from the past 4 days, in a quick, condensed, easy to read format. More shall be expounded on later.

  • BFF came into town.
  • Lots of people came over to my apartment for game night, and a few things broke. I wasn't happy.
  • I have a "Santa Baby" nightgown.
  • Made Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pie w/ GF Gingersnap crust & Marshmallow Meringue.
  • Spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with my favorite family in the whole wide world.
  • Got to see Scott - that made me happy!
  • Played Ticket.
  • Got a text from the UCE (Unchivalrous Ex) which made my night. Called me "Sunshine" & wished he could keep me warm on such a chilly night. Urrr!
  • Slept in. Needed it.
  • Shopped a wee bit. Got the mirror I wanted for my room. And Beaujoulais Nouveau.
  • Went to the Gasthof. Partied like a rock star. Lost my cell phone. Know what Kirstie must've felt like.
  • A friend was flashed boobs.
  • I did snuff. Loved it.
  • Drink lots of Cider. Danced like a maniac.
  • Had a slumber party. Giggled a ton.
  • Went to breakfast with two great friends! Got bison sausage. The only time I'll eat buffalo.
  • Slept it off.
  • Did my weekly Home Depot pilgrimage. Learned a LOT!
  • Found my cell. Cried with relief.
  • Played more Ticket.
  • Church. Eh.
  • Had Family Dinner. Am amazingly blessed with love, acceptance and a wonderful family to be part of. Took community naps.
  • Hung out with my other BFF, and scoured the Christmas stuff at Bachman's. Great to have girly, Christmas loving friends.
  • Hung a shelf. Got it to stay. Love my power drill. Can't remember life before it.

Now it's back to work and I'm in the Christmas spirit. I love my friends, my family & Christmas. Yeah, I'm a happy camper. Now, I want to go out dancing again. Soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Christmas Wish List

If you would've told me last year, that this year for Christmas I was going to be asking for a Stud Finder, a Cordless Drill and a Power Sander, I would've laughed at you, and reminded you that No, I like men!

But then my apartment came into my life, and with it, the need for furniture. Sadly, a money tree did not come into my life at the same time, so I turned to that resource for all things fun, funky & free - Craigslist.

Today, on my measly 1/2 hour lunch break, I broke the sound barrier to get to St. Louis Park and I picked up an enormous coffee table. The kind I've been looking for for two reasons -scrapbooking in front of the TV, and playing Settlers. This couldn't be more perfect, in size, for either of those two things. It also couldn't have been more perfect in Sadly, though, it could be in more perfect condition generally speaking. It has these two white, weird, Gorbachev's head looking marks on it that remind me of ginormous pigeon crap.

So, of course I want to refinish it, and add it to my collection of tastefully refinished Craigslist treasures. But looking at it, I really, really have the urge to sand it. I just know it will hold the paint so much better than the last two things I refinished, which are already starting to get tiny little nicks. Urgh, I really hope I get the power sander for Christmas, and if I don't, maybe my little bakery business will pay off and I can get a sander on CL for pretty cheap.

Speaking of bakery business - I have officially kicked off my Gluten Free/Organic baking business, and so far I have two orders for Thanksgiving, for GF Sweet Potato Pie and GF Sugar Cookies. I'm so excited! The name of my little venture is "Chatterbox Goodies". Chatterbox was the nickname an old friend (Pastor James) gave me many years ago, around the time I had just discovered my love for baking. It was kind of one of the nicest nicknames I've had, when you consider that Trinity Turrets & Turkey were the other two. In any case, I have advertised it on Facebook, and am in the process of getting an Etsy store going, where people can just order directly online & I can either ship or drop off their goodies.

All in all, it should be a busy, bustling holiday season, hopefully one packed with power tools and edible goodies, a much different season than Christmas's past.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I'm going to beat a dead horse now, so get ready.

This is my most favorite time of the year. Seriously. No contest. I am so filled with joy at all the wonderful things to look forward to this week alone, that I peed my pants earlier and didn't even notice it, so happy was I.

Soft wooly sweaters, cute socks, large intricate snowflakes, lights everywhere, the ringing of bells in the background, red, green, gold, silver, children's bright rosy cheeks, my bright rosy cheeks, matching hats/scarfs/mittens sets, the smell of cookies baking, another reason for taking pictures, another reason to wear tights, another reason to not shave my legs, presents, family time, carols, caroling, the gracious lyrics of truthful hymns, elves (haha, just kidding), Elf (the movie), making pies, the Nutcracker Suite, The Carol Of The Bells, decorating the tree, the smell of pine & cinnamon, family time and some guy named Baby Jesus, or something like that......ahhhh, the list could go on!

I do know this - there is so much to look forward to this season, that I am beside myself with joy. Just this week alone I get to spend time with so many people I love. My BFF is coming out to visit and staying with me (FINALLY, that back rub I've needed for months), and on Thursday, long-awaited Thursday, I'll get an extended amount of family time, including many, many family members I haven't seen in a long time. Then Friday, boots, beer & snuff with the bro (take it for what it's worth & if you don't know, then you just don't know). Saturday, more BF time, this time the other K, and Christmas shopping and decorating.

Wow, when I put it that way, it sounds crazy busy. I should not, then, forget why this wonderful season is here (I promise, I will not break out crazy-stupid sayings like "Christmas starts with Christ" or "He's the reason for the season", I want y'all to be able to keep your egg nog down). Hopefully, this, one of my favorite Christmas hymns, will be a good reminder (and, will be the first in a series of hymns or carols that I will post till Christmas comes).....

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming

from tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
as men of old have sung.

It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,

When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
the Rose I have in mind;

With Mary we behold it,
the virgin mother kind.

To show God’s love aright,
she bore to men a Savior,

When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story
proclaimed by angels bright,

How Christ, the Lord of glory
was born on earth this night.

To Bethlehem they sped and
in the manger found Him,

As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
with sweetness fills the air,

Dispels with glorious splendor
the darkness everywhere;

True Man, yet very God,
from sin and death He saves us,

And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary,
who felt our human woe,

O Savior, King of glory,
who dost our weakness know;

Bring us at length we pray,
to the bright courts of Heaven,

And to the endless day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ich Leibe

I could not be more excited that it’s Christmas season, even though it’s not. Well, not really yet. Christmas season doesn’t start officially til Thanksgiving is over. The radio stations & shops at the mall haven’t read that memo though.

In any case, last night, as I was driving home, I was flipping through the stations and what did my perky little ears happen upon, but Christmas music on the “Lite” station. Now, normally I would never listen to that station. That chick Delilah needs to be shot – no one is that emotionally atune & grateful. Oh barf! But even I can deal with Delilah if the promise of Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas” or Peggy Lee singing about “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” follows after it. The people in the cars surrounding me, as we wormed our way through an hour’s worth of traffic on 394, must’ve thought I was doing my Buddy The Elf impression, because I really did shout out, to myself, in the car “I LOOOOVE CHRISTMAS MUUUSIIIIC!!!!” And then, with a huge, goofy grin on my face, I proceeded to sing along to every song that came on till I pulled in my driveway at home.

I realized that part of the reason I really do love Christmas is because it makes me think of the Johnsons, my Minnesota family, and the great times we spend together at Christmas. We haven’t had one bad Christmas yet. Whether it’s huddled together on Nicollet Avenue, watching Holidazzle, or listening to Harry read from Luke chapter 2, with Josiah perched up on his lap, or doing a puzzle with the girls, all my Christmas memories of years recently past are wonderful, and include the family that I love. That could be part of the reason I do get so excited about Christmas.

In any case, this week has been full of things I love (Delilah excluded). There has been some massive flirtation going on at work, with the cute Tech Services guy. It really does throw me for a loop when guys flirt with me. I mean, it’s ME. Do they know that? Do they realize who they’re flirting with? The least attractive (in many respects) person I know?? Hey, I’m not complaining. But maybe I crossed the line today, when we were talking about yummy beef dishes, and he said he’d been thinking about finding a fancy restaurant and trying Beef Wellington for the first time, and then I offered myself as an expert opinion. Does inviting yourself out for what could possibly be considered a date constitute crossing the line?

I guess I’ll find out when he never talks to me again, huh?

Seriously, though, I can never tell when guys like me, but this time, it might be a little plain, for even me, to see. He comes over to my desk like ten times a day. Even when it’s totally out of his way. Or he has nothing to do over in my department. I’m flattered, and blushing as I write this.

Ok, other things I have gathered joy from this week….mmm, Christmas music, the thought that a cute boy likes me, looking forward to a Johnson family Christmas…..

….Oh, yes, finishing painting my room, and seeing it come together quite well. I have been going for the look of a boutique hotel, crossed with a Tiffanys box I think I’m accomplishing it quite well. The walls are painted, the trim is almost painted, the dressers are refinished and ready to be moved from the kitchen, where they’ve been living for two weeks, back into the bedroom. I even have a friend coming over tomorrow to help me “Spring Clean”. Couldn’t be more excited.

And I’m happy to announce that, other than the above, not much is new. Thanksgiving is this coming week. I am thrilled with excitement of yet another Johnson family Thanksgiving. This can be said despite the fact that a certain friend who’s continually pissing me off is supposed to come, and I’ve been thinking of ways all week to uninvite him. Nothing yet. But even an irritating friend can be handled when I’ve got so much family to spend this gracious day with.

And then Friday shall be spent putting up Christmas decorations. Saturday, another good friend and I are going to get in the Christmas spirit by hunting down ornaments & decorations together. And somewhere in there I’ll be polka dancing & downing boots of beer at the Gasthof’s.

Hmmmm, maybe it’s worth a cute Tech boy invite?? You never know what a man is made of till he has to snuff tobacco while chanting “Ziggy Zoggy, Ziggy Zoggy….Oy oy oy!” with my family.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"I am NOT a ridiculous person!" - Meredith Morton, from The Family Stone

I've been told that I am a "Wear My Heart On My Sleeve" kind of gal. It's true, that I'm pretty transparent - an open book. If I'm feeling it, I'm almost incapable of hiding it, though at times it would serve me better to be more discreet.

Today, more than anything, I just want to write on here how frustrated, hurt, angry, sad and irritated I am at more than just a few things. Namely, the actions of friends this weekend. I just want to get into every detail of every hurt from the last two days. No worries though, I won't.

What I will say is this: The causes for my irritability run the gamot from last minute cancellations of my tourney (for some pretty stupid, selfish reasons if you ask me!) to a strong sense that all my hard work went vastly unappreciated & unvalued, to some more personal hurts from the (I hope) unintentional meanness of a good friend. No matter what the reasons are though, the combination of these factors with the fact that I'm running on about 11 hours of sleep since Friday are making me want to flippin' cry today.

And tonight, of all the things I have to do, I am having a pow-wow with the landlord of my building regarding the unchecked squirrell problems & deteriorating state of my apartment. I'm sooooo looking forward to that, or not.

In any case, that's all I feel safe disclosing though it's the least of what's weighing on my heart. I know I must sound like a sensitive baby (trust me, the guilt and confusion I'm feeling for even having these feelings is disturbing), but I can not tell a lie. I'm really bumming out right now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Cinematic Anti-Heroine

The stores are doing it. A few of my friends have been doing it for a while. At work, we're darn near doing it. I'm totally doing it. Getting in the Christmas spirit. We're talking songs, movies, decorations, colors, decorations, you name it!

I know, I know, how obscene this can be to you Scrooges out there, who insist on no mention of the word Christmas till at least the turkey's cleared from the table at Thanksgiving. I must admit, I'm surprised at how shameless our consumer-driven, consumable society is, as witnessed through the fact that Halloween was barely over before trees and stockings were lining the aisles at most shopping malls. But, as much as I'm surprised by this, I doth not protest! After all, what's so wrong with celebrating Christmas? If I had my way, we'd be doing this on the first Thursday of every month, the second Tuesday, the third Thursday and every single Sunday!!!

Anyway, I was at Ikea last night, my totally favorite place in the whole wide world, and the decorations are out in full force. It drives me into the festive, cheerful, Fa-la-la-la-la singing mood. It doesn't take much to send me other this edge. Just the word "rejoice" the other day broke me into full fledged humming of "O Come Emmanuel" for over an hour. Which led, rather smoothly, I might add, to "Go Tell It On The Mountain", which transitioned to "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming". Wow.

So last night, as I settled into my snuggly sofa (the aloneness of this sometimes gets to me, and then there are other times when I relish being able to stretch my legs out over the entire length of it), cozy blanket around my shoulders, another one on my legs, bowl of popcorn, mug of hot chocolate and remote in hand....what did I put in, but The Family Stone?

I mean, it's perfect, right? It's a Christmas movie. A love story. A family story. A Connecticut story. It's got Dermot Mulroney AND Luke Wilson. There are more chiseled jawlines in that sentence than in an entire room of Greek statues. Whooo! And something about the liberal free-spiritedness of the family, Stone, makes me smile. Especially when set against the uptight, fidgety prissiness of Sarah Jessica Parker as Meredith, the antithesis to their free-wheelin', pot-smokin', cuss-signing family.

I dig her in this film actually. I sympathize with her. I feel her pain - her tight bunned, throat clearing, control freak pain. That's the exact way I feel around my own family, Kaiser, aaaalllll the time! As I was watching this movie, for like the fourteenth time, last night, an overwhelming sense of sympathy came over me for her character. It just hit me how hard she was trying, and yet how miserably she failed. She was not the villain, in this film, though the scenes where she earnestly tries to defend her stance on homosexuality and parenting, would make her seem so. She was no more than misunderstood, both by the Stone family, and by her own self. Her intentions were sincere, her stance conservative but eager, yet she just didn't have the gumption to make it in the face of their familial assault on her.

But there is so much more to this movie, than just her uppityness, that I like.

There's the interactions between a family of many siblings, that makes me long for a family of my own. There is the fact that they have this grand old house, yet it's cozy, warm, lived in, with many scenes set in the cluttered kitchen. I just love the circular driveway though, and the big old pine tree out front. There's the warm, loving acceptance and spirit of tolerance, amongst the siblings (Meredith aside), that makes me wish I came from a family a little less judgemental and critical. And then there's Christmas. Lots and lots of Christmas. And Snow. And Luke Wilson.

So, this was my kick-off to the holiday season. I'm committed to doing one Christmas movie a week till the big day.

Next week, a classic - White Christmas!

P.S. A bright, shiny dime for "Spot the Irony" in this post! Come on' think about it people!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Three More

So, I'm looking for just THREE more people who'd like to be part of this weekend's greatest event ever! The 2007 Annual South Minneapolis Hand & Foot Tournament. The card game, not the disease.

It's frustrating, because I sent over 30 invitations out. And all of 2 people have returned their registration cards. 2. 2 people.

I'm bummed. I mean, I want this to be neat. Not the slacker fest that it's currently turning into. There are a few people coming that should be fun, but I'd really like to see it be awesome!

URGH! I feel like this:

"Bueller? Bueller?"

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Think I Have A Crush

Wow. I'm a walking cliche! I think I have a crush on a guy at work, and am too shy to do much of anything about it. Great huh?

There's this guy over in our Tech Support department, I think he supervises the unit, and I think he's pretty cute. He's friendly, funny and reminds me of a mix between a football player & a little boy. Recipe for cute. Oh, and he wears nice dress shirts, the button up striped kind.

Yeah, I think he's neat. But I'm too shy to talk to him really. Every once in a while I get a chance, when he has an interview come in, or when I pace past his desk on my way to the restroom (reason enough for that extra cup of coffee). Today I was doing some work in the conference room near his desk & he came through and said hi twice. I fumbled over my words, muttered a little bit, blushed a lot and probably looked like a Jerry's Kid.

Hmmm, great impression. I want to get to know him more, but I'm not sure I should do anything about it. But if I don't, well then, what good does that do?

Just a thought. Maybe I should start a poll......

Should I:
1. Email him a note asking him if he ever leaves the building for lunch? Hint. Hint.
2. Ask him to if he plays cards & invite him to the Hand & Foot Tourney I'm hostessing?
3. Stroll up to his desk and make small talk about the Vikings game yesterday?
4. Send him a note with the following: "I like you. Do you like me? Do you like the Beatles? Check yes or no"

I'm open to suggestions here people!

Sleeping Quarters

So, this weekend, I got to work. I pulled almost everything out of my bedroom, and started the painting project that will, I estimate, take me the rest of the week. It is so worth it, however.

It's worth it because....

....I'm gonna have the cutest room of anyone I know! I am! I am so excited about it. People might laugh, but my inspiration has been none other than a Tiffanys engagement ring box (something I might never see in my entire life, but can replicate in my room).

I've chosen, for my walls, two different shades of that signature teal/robins egg blue. Most of the walls will be the darker color, Aqua Bay, and the lighter, accent wall, directly behind my bed, will be Alpine Valley.

The trim, on all the molding and door, will be Kiss Me Kate, a cool white. I just love that name, and it alone was reason enough to choose this ubiquitous color.

With my newly refurbished four post canopy bed, and matching dresser and end tables (almost all free from either Craigslist, friends or dumpster diving, then newly refinished into a glossy, lustrous ebony), and all white cotton bedding, including my oversized, overstuffed white goose down comforter and silver frame accents, I can't imagine a more luxurious looking, inviting, relaxing atmosphere to sleep in.

I am so excited. I'll try and post pics, if I can find my camera batter charger amongst the mess that my apartment is right now. Otherwise, here are some of the photos I've used as inspiration, in the meantime.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Home Sweet Home

This was taken during the recent wildfires, in California, by a friend of mine, who lives less than a mile from this lake (Lake Mission Viejo). In addition to the fires in his area, my family experienced evacuation, as the fires approached their homes, in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Growing up with the cycle of wildfires, Santa Ana winds, rain & the mudslides my whole life, not to mention the ever present danger of earthquakes, I guess I just take these kind of natural disaster's for granted. But this picture really shook me, in it's dramatic tension between the fiery sky and ground ablaze, and the reflection of that phenomena that only water can provide. It also reminded me that people I know and love are living with this kind of disaster, literally right at their doorsteps.
It's important to remember those in California, and keep them in our prayers, even as the fires are extinguished, days later, and as they deal with the aftermath of this destruction. I guess I'll take a tornado anyday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Five People I Really Don't Like

1. Colbie Caillat - get a real name punk! I hate your song!
2. That obnoxious United Way woman.
3. Tailgaters - ok, that's a lot of people, but the group can count, collectively, as one. Reason enough to hit my brakes.
4. Al Franken and/or Hillary Clinton - ok, that's two people, but again, their collective obnoxiousness and unattractiveness kind of makes them one entity in my mind. I thought political candidates were supposed to be good looking?
5. I can't think of anyone else. That's kind of good, isn't it?

Now, in the spirit of fairness, and to show that I'm not a total Scrooge McDuck, here are Five People I Really Like

1. Kaya Herdle - c'mon, that's a no-brainer!
2. That cute guy from our Tech Support department, B. - why won't he talk to me more?
3. The entire Coulon family. They're each wonderfully unique and great in their own way, and I love each & every one of them!
4. Babies - again, another no-brainer. But only the cute ones. I kind of feel bad for the ones with thin faces and protruding ears. Snake-bait!
5. Pat Monahan from Train. Cute, great voice, loves his family. Ohh, and John Mayer too.
6. Speaking of loving your family, I have this new appreciation for kind, respectful, considerate men, born a little bit, I think, out of dealing with men who are uncommonly rude & disrespectful to me, as a woman, either as I answer the phone at work, or as I shop at the Home Depot. Just because I wear a skirt doesn't mean I'm dumb. God didn't move part of my brain to my chest, trust me. As for those who set a chivalrous, character-filled example with their gentlemanly ways, you are acknowledged & appreciated!
7. People who give it to me straight, like my BFF, for one, or anyone else who will shoot straight with me. I'm tired of being lied to, given the runaround or talked to like I'm a child. I'm a big girl, I can take it!

That's it, for now. I think. I'm sure there are more people on the latter list, rather than the former, and as they come to mind, I will try to give credit where it's due.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Heck, I'd Date Me

I don't know what inspired that title, today, other than an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and confidence, inspired by my most recent Home Depot outing. Seriously, by the time I left there, a huge grin on my face, my plywood purchase and Cherry Coke in hand, I was postively walking on sunshine.

Could it be the fact that it's a beautiful day outside? Or, that, compared to yesterday's Murphy's-Law-mishaps, today is going relatively smooth? Could it be that I feel very polished today, in my favorite pink turtleneck (yes, I really DID say pink turtleneck!)? Or maybe the fact that my wit was in high form, as I flirted this morning, with the cutie-pie IT guy I'm maybe sort of thinking is kind of neat, a little bit, or something like that, maybe? I don't know....maybe it's the fact that, as the condescending old man at Home Depot gave me crap regarding the beams I was having him cut, I knew exactly what I wanted, and could communicate it to him succinctly, much to his bafflement (you mean, women really DO know about wood? Oh, I know wood!)

It could be a million different little things, but today, I feel great. For the first time in about two weeks, I'm not sporting a giant migraine (no wheat yesterday has a LOT to do with that). I really do think a lot of it has to do with the great weather, but no matter, I am almost bi-polar in how happy I am today. Seriously. And with that kind of walking-on-clouds feeling comes a great sense of confidence.

That confidence enables me to say, today, that really, I think I like me. I can do all kinds of stuff around the house. I know my way around both a Home Depot, and Bloomingdales. I smell good. I'm cute (not gorgeous mind you, I'll never be gorgeous, but I'm cute, and cute is good, I think. Phoebe Cates is cute.). I'm hilariously funny, if you think that spilling stuff on yourself is funny (it's a whole kind of physical humor, go watch some I Love Lucy, and get back to me). I'm remarkably intelligent, can cook up a great meal, mix up a strong drink, tell you anything about the Revolutionary War, Whiskey, Cigars or French Literature. I will kick your ass in Scrabble, but let you win Risk. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I like me, and the way I'm feeling today - Heck, I'd date me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Kind Of Day It's Been

I am about to complain - big time. So, this is my disclosure. If you don't want to hear it, go read something else. Otherwise, this is the kind of day I'm having!

So, my day got started off on the wrong foot this morning, when someone called my cell phone at 5:30 am inquiring about the desk I'm selling. You've got to be kidding me, was all I could think when I finally hung up. What a retard, no offense to the actual retards out there.

(Sorry, I know I shouldn't say retard, but I just can't be that politically correct, no matter how hard I try. I'm not that girl. I'm the girl who quotes Dennis Leary to make my point "I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy that could sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs or the side order of gravy fries? I want high cholesterol. I would eat bacon and butter and buckets of cheese. Okay? I want to smoke Cuban cigars the size of Cincinnati in the nonsmoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-O all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I might suddenly feel the need to. Okay, pal?” Yeah, my thoughts exactly, so I apologize for saying retard now, and I apologize, in advance, for any future uses, of which there might be many, of the word retard).

Ok, back to my day - the 5:30 wake up call, yeah, that sucked. Then there's the fact that, for the second day in a row now, I have spilled an entire Venti Cinnamon Dolce latte on myself. I have really shallow cupholders. Really shallow. Like, if you're using them to hold a coaster, maybe they're deep enough, other than that, they seem to be very oddly shaped. And, lazy bum that I am, I just can't get myself to grab one of my twenty-seven no spill, commuter mugs on the way out the door. So, yesterday, as I was taking a corner, at like 60, my entire cup of coffee tipped over, the lid popped off and it soaked my pants in yummy cinnamony goodness. Causing me to cuss. Like a sailor. At least my car smells really good now.

But then this morning, the same thing happened. At that point, I couldn't even be frustrated, the irony was too much to get mad at. I just laughed. "Really? Really Starbucks? Really?" was all I could think. There was no way I was going to just write this one off, either, which is what I did yesterday. Uh-uh, that'd be like what, at least $9 down the drain. So, after I wiped most of the latte out of the cuffs of my cute black pants, I decided to hit the Starbucks here in Eden Prairie, on the way in to work, and get a replacement.

The good news is that they replaced it, fast and free. The bad news is that some snooty, entitlement-issues, Kenneth Cole purse swinging blonde Dobby lookalike gave me grief for what she called "cutting in line". I was in no mood to deal with it! There I stood, as she tossed her perfect little blonde, bobbed blow-out at me, and with her face that could make a baby cry she muttered something about waiting my turn, under her breath. Oh, if she only knew.

It kind of got me to thinking - I will never look like the typical Minnesotan. I know this, as I observe the hordes of blonde, perky nosed Scandahoovians I'm surrounded by, both in downtown and here in Eden Prairie. At least in L.A. there was enough diversity that I could pass for most anything - Armenian, Mexican, Italian, Persian, whatever. The irony is that I passed for all those things, but no one would ever have guessed at the German/Spanish (like from SPAIN, not Mexico, those are Mexicans)/Portugese that I really am. I could always blend into the melting pot of California culture, and never felt that my ethnic looks were counted against me, or somehow made me inferior or unattractive. Till I moved to Minnesota, and realized I look like everyone's maid or nanny. Seriously. I was out with the Cuolon kids at Target one day, and realized that I looked like I was the help, out doing the shopping for the Missus. Yikes!

Anyways, I digress. That's just the grumpy mood I'm in today. Back to my coffee - or at this point what's left of it. So, I get to work, and as I'm walking up the stairs, 5 minutes late, I run into B., the cute Tech Services supervisor that I want to be flirting with a little more. And what do I do? I trip on my pants as the heel of my shoe catches in the cuff of my pants. Causing me to spill my coffee, again. Not the whole thing this time, but enough to splash my chest (big surprise), and look pretty stupid, and for him to notice and ask me if I was ok, and for me to blush.

From there on out, the day kind of improved, except for dealing with another grumpy co-worker, who gets on my nerves anyways. Every single day she looks like an unmade bed. I don't know why it bothers me, but for some reason, today it did.

The highlight of my day, and enough to redeem most all of this - I got to talk to Kaya, who had her first day of preschool today. Yeah, she learned about the letter N. I got to hear all about it. She is so precious, and I know she will excel, both in intelligence and charm, in her scholastic career.

As for the rest of my day - it's not over yet. There's some Rangpur with my name on it, in my freezer at home, and I'm just digging into East Of Eden by Steinbeck. I have plenty to keep me busy, with taping and painting my room and kitchen cabinets. And right now, I'm just venting. I feel okay with that. Tomorrow is a new day, it's a holiday and as the song goes "Bet your bottom dollar, that tomorrow, there'll be sun".

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ten Things I Love Right Now

1. Boston winning the World Series

2. The Taj Mahal - My bookends, sculpted in miniature chalky white, are only a shadow of the beauty and mystery of the creation that I dream of seeing for myself someday.

3. Domino Magazine - quirky, hip decorating/shopping magazine. Need I say more?

4. Clive Owen - Tall. Dark. Handsome. Brittish. Ooooh.

5. Knocked Up - Yes, I know, the language, the birthing vaginal shots....but the heart, the fact that she stuck to doing the right thing, the laughs, the "Doc Brown" and his DeLorian scene. Come on!!

6. Wes Anderson - Genius man. Can't wait to see The Darjeeling Limited....anyone interested in going with?

7. English Bulldog puppies. I want one. I'll name him Ivan.

8. The heavy, pleased, accomplished sleep I got this weekend after refinishing the bedroom set I got for FREE on Craigslist.

9. Rangpur & Tonic - my new drink of choice. So smooth!

10. Gellato - Proof that Italians do do everything just a little better.

Friday, October 26, 2007

TBT's for October 26th

Today's Three Beautiful Things:

The thought of new life being brought into this world, soon. By people I love. AJ/Lindsay, Pat/Amy Lee

My adorable new red tartan ballet flats

The truth that God's love for me today, is unchanged. Same as it was yesterday, same as it will be tomorrow, and same as when He wrote this:
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
I will build you up again
and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.
Again you will take up your tambourines
and go out to dance with the joyful.
Jeremiah 31:3-4

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Joy I Get

I am full of joy today - we got Dilly Bars at work today for October birthdays. It is gorgeous, cool & crisp outside. I love my hair (switched to a new shampoo which smells amazing, and leaves it so silky straight and soft). I am listening to Snow Patrol sing of someplace cold & caked with snow, a secret place. I am wearing my favorite new sweater from Express (after discovering how much I love it in charcoal grey the other day, I went back and got it in espresso brown, which I'm wearing today). Really, it doesn't take much to please me.

But two things I'm most excited about today are this - I have Halloween plans and pre-Halloween plans. My Halloween plans are simple, but thrilling. I get to hang out with my friend Amy Lee, and she's making Ratatouille, and I'm making Tarte Tatin, and we'll drink sparkling apple cider and pass out candy. Nothing special except it's two dorky women and a baby (she's preggers) hanging out, thrilling little trick-or-treatin' kiddos, and making French Food.

What really brings me joy, though, is this: Saturday I get to spend time with my two favorite people under three feet tall. Ana & Josiah. This post is basically going to be about how cute and wonderful they are, and all the fun things I have planned for us to do Saturday afternoon.

First of all let me say, they are an idiosyncratic little bunch. Ana has fallen into the habit of calling me Mary Poppins. I love it! Whenever I go over to visit, it seems, she's down in the basement, hanging out. And when she hears my voice, I can hear her start to yell, sing-song like, "Aunt Trinette, Aunt Trinette" as she pitter-pats her way up the stairs. But as soon as she reaches the top, and I sweep her up for a hug & a (usually slobbery) kiss, she's all "Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins". It's pretty hilarious.

The last time I spent quality time with them, Josiah repeatedly told me "Aunt Trinette, do you know why I love you? Because you like to have dance parties", or "Aunt Trinette, do you know why I love you? Because you like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, just like me" Imagine if life and love were really that easy. I could go up to any man I might like and be like "Hey, So-and-So, do you know why I love you?" (Whoah, newsflash, I didn't even know you did love me!), "Because you like to watch Entourage, just like me", or "Hey, So-and-So, do you know why I love you? Because you like Honeycrisp apples, just like me". Wow, simplicity!

Anyways, we always have fun together, the three of us little dance partyin' maniacs. And this Saturday should be no exception, well, except I'm kind of getting tired to listening to the Robots soundtrack or Faith Baptist's Christmas program cd. So, I will probably be bringing some music of my own for us to jam to in our pirate costumes and princess accessories.

I also have planned some fun little pumpkin activities, like carving, roasting the seeds and maybe even making some marshmallow treats topped with orange & black candies or something spooky-festive like that. I can just see the mess that will ensue, and so I must be sure to spread out newspaper over the mess that may already exist. The mess is half the fun though, and who, if not an indulgent aunt, better to let them make a mess? Or let them play with knives, for that fact? I mean, if we are going to be carving, we better do it the right way, and really, they're old enough to learn (well, maybe not Ana, but she'll survive, I did).

I did find some pictures, for our inspiration. Hopefully we can manage to make something slightly resembling jack-o-lanterns, all artistic, Martha Stewart ambitions aside. The main thing is, we're going to have so much fun, and spend time together, making memories and being family. Really, that brings me the most joy of all.