Monday, September 28, 2009

Christmas In July - Well Not Quite

Autumn is here. And from the looks of the ten-day weather report on, it's here to stay at least through next Tuesday too. I can not express in words how thrilled I am about this, save for the fact that the sooner it gets here, the sooner it's gone. Although, even the little bit we will get in Minnesota this year has to be better that what seemed like a nonexistent fall last year. Who knows?

I just know that this weather ushers in my favorite time of year. A time of changing leaves, pumpkin patches and apple orchards, cashmere sweaters and thick, dark tights. Time for fires, both inside and out. And steamy, savory, fragrant comfort food. A time of putting on some classical music, wrapping up in a blanket, and listening to storms outside my windows. Time for FOOTBALL!!!! Besides Christmas, it's pretty much the best time of the year.

How did a California girl, through and through, come to love the changing seasons, but particularly changes that usher in coldness and the promise of an inevitable winter? How did someone who grew up in perpetually 80 degree weather even come to love the middle of winter as the "best time of the year"? Am I mad? Secretly born in another part of the country, and then transported far, far away to the Sunshine State. That would make so much sense, considering my biological family and our, ummm, shall we say, differences?

I have no excuses, no explanations. I only know I do love the falling snow, the white blanketed streets, the allure of cashmere (there we go again, maybe it's all about a fiber) scarves and mittens and sledding, and hot apple cider and carols. The joy I get from bundling up. Some people like to take it off. Me, I like to put it on. And on, and on. And even before all of this, the thrill of chilly autumn nights, watching kids trick or treating, blustery winds, Charlie Brown specials, there is so, so, so much I love about Autumn. And Christmas, did I mention Christmas?

Christmas, without a doubt, turns me into the most blathering, starry eyed, romantic wishabout. All traces of the sarcastic, cool, cynic disappear without a trace under the prospect of stockings hung by the chimney with care. It's quite the transformation really.

I was told last week, however, that a certain roommate, who's initials are now A for Anonymous, was thinking of moving out for the months of November and December, as a result of my adoration for all things Christmas. It only took two little ornaments that I brought home to bring on this kind of reaction, so I have to wonder what bringing home all the decorations that are at my desk at work will elicit? Quiet time maybe? If I start walking around the house humming carols to myself, will I get to take a nap? Will hanging lights in the windows, or putting out some fake elk with white lights on the lawn get me another weekend alone? This could be the beginning of some seriously manipulative behavior, all in the name of the overwhelming needs of an introvert. Truly I jest.

Seriously though - I am thrilled to the bone at the prospect of decorating the house I love, and live in coincidentally, for Christmas this year. Pottery Barn catalogs, bring it on! It's been a good few years since I've had a place that I've wanted to decorate, much less could. Two years ago I was in the Squirrel Palace, and though I had a few guests over around Christmas time (le sigh, the UCE and the BFF), I didn't really go all out, you know, with a tree or anything, for lack of space, and fear of rodents flying out of it. Last year I had the colossal joy of sharing Christmas time at home (i.e. Minneapolis) with the family that has only enriched my great love for the holiday, my adopted MN family, the J's.

Though I have always loved Christmas, being able to share the beautiful holiday with them, both enjoying old and creating new traditions, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, and just soaking up massive amounts of family time, has greatly grown my adoration for Christmas. Just thinking of it makes me feel like I'm in a movie, a Christmas movie, where we sing around a fire in matching sweaters. Though if it ever got to that point, I'd probably escape to the kitchen for some fresh air and another glass of homemade Irish Cream. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have the storybook family time that Christmas is partly about, and it blesses my reindeer socks off. For many years, having a family of my own, that loves and knows Christ, and enjoys Christmas together-time, as much as I do has been top of my Santa wish list. And though we're no relation, they are to me all I want in a family - loving, godly, accepting, funny, warm, snuggly, and in love with Christmas too. Maybe Christmas miracles really do come true.

This year, as I brainstorm and shop and prepare to decorate my own home in celebration of this holiday (don't worry roomies, not for months!), I can only imagine that my joy will be enhanced, both by sharing Christmas with my awesome, adopted family up the street, and by being able to come home at the end of the day, to my own place, lit up with twinkly lights, smelling of apple cider and pine trees, and then share all the joy in my heart with my roommates as well. They may find my Sally Sunshine Christmas loving attitude slightly in contrast with their own cynical little ways, but I know, in my heart of hearts, that some fresh baked gingerbread cookies, a nice fire, and maybe a little Bing Crosby/David Bowie in the background can win them over to the dark side. I just can't wait to find out!

Autumn and Christmas. Whether we like it or not, they are on their way. I am the last person to protest their imminent arrival, so friends, if you're not quite there yet, thanks for bearing with me. For now, we'll agree to disagree. After all, October 1st is only a few days away.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Bored. Come Save Me John Krasinski!

I'm so bored right now, that I feel like I'm literally crawling out of my skin. I have some dessert in the car, and I know I should go home, instead of being here, typing, and letting it get gooey, but I'm so afraid that if I go home, I'll only be bored there too.

I could go home and clean and do laundry. I probably should.

I could go home and finish the series I'm watching - Fringe - which pretty much rocks in a Lost meets X-Files meets House kind of way. I'm really enjoying this first season, and find myself turning into an Easter Egg hunting kind of geek, the same way I did when Lost had my attention. I should probably go home and try to get through an episode or two.

I could go shopping and grab a few things we need for the house, like soap for the bathroom or lightbulbs. But then the dessert would still melt in the car and I'd run the risk of ending up at Von Maur checking out the tres adorable shirts in their juniors section, which I'm afraid might only lead to a case of "I just have to have this to wear (insert occasion here)".

Instead I'm here at the library wondering why the clearly vanilla looking dude in the blue polo shirt, who frankly is so clearly vanilla looking that you'd think he was FBI (or maybe that's too much Fringe getting to me) is smiling at the people at the computers, myself included. Creeeepy. Or wondering why the guy sitting across from me is laughing to himself every once in a while. Or marveling at my own amazing typing skillz as I rock the keyboard better than anyone else in here.

I don't know what I want to do. I'm really bored.
In the meantime, here is a pic that brought a great big smile to my face earlier. I think it's time for me to head home - but in all honesty, not before I hit the Gap's 4 day 40% off sale, so I can find a cute white bohemian looking blouse to go with the my favorite old jeans that I can get back into.

I pulled them out of a box in the basement this morning, glorying in all their old fadedness, the paint splotches that make them look kind of punk-rock-glam and the fact that I can get back into them!! I have been jonesin' for a pair of distressed looking, torn up, "boyfriend" jeans for the better part of late summer/early fall. The best part of these, is that they totally fit the bill, minus any price tag. I can't wait to go home and rip 'em up a bit, so they're in perfect fierce BA shape to wear out tomorrow night. With jeans to rip up, dessert in the car, and the thought of some Fringe to watch tonight, maybe I won't be so bored after all.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Overwhelming Need for "LEAVE ME ALONE!!"

So maybe you’ve all noticed, and maybe you haven’t, but I haven’t been blogging as much these last two weeks. In part it’s due to a changed situation at work, and in part it’s due to the fact that I’m stretched beyond thin for brain power and have not been able to construct a complete sentence other then “Me. Needy. Sleep.”

Yep, so I finally got the promotion I had applied for at work. And I’m so tempted to say something along the lines of “And it’s about freaking time!” For the last two years, since leaving the wild, wonderful world of being a pastry chef, I’ve been a receptionist. I answer phones. I listen to old people give me their life story, just so three minutes later I can tell them they have the wrong number. I get yelled at by rude, foreign men who may or may not have bought our equipment illegally off the internet. I’ve discovered the sad fact that it’s actually harder to look busy than it is to be busy. And all day long, all I do is talk. Talk. TALK. ALL. THE. TIME.

So usually, by the time my day is done, the absolute last thing I want to do in the whole wide world is… I’m glad to listen, just don’t ask for me to do more than smile and nod. I am an introvert by nature anyways, recharging myself more through alone, quiet time, than social interaction. And while I love social interaction, too much of it no good for Trinettey. Such as this past summer, where for literally 5 weeks straight I’ve had something going on in a major way, every day. So for the first time in about forever, this weekend afforded me the chance to just be home, around the house with nothing to do. And going into Saturday, I knew I was going to relish every second of it, but most especially those precious hours spent napping.

If only that would’ve happened. Let’s just say that the combination of my own inability to settle down and relax, the crazy two-day house party thrown by our Asian neighbors to the south (complete with 24 kids running across our lawn screaming and what I’m pretty sure was an animal sacrifice), the fact that I share the house with three other highly outgoing people and my own need for a perfectly quiet atmosphere when I sleep, kept me from getting any rest and relaxation this weekend. And by Sunday afternoon I was feeling it.

Like a child who is unable to communicate or express exactly what is wrong with them, all I could manage to spit out was “I’M CRABBY!!”, as I buried my head into a sofa cushion and screamed, coming up half laughing half crying. At that moment I knew I was hitting the wall, in a big way, and I had no way to fix the problem. With all these factors weighing in, I didn’t even want to try and lay down for a nap, knowing I’d end up more frustrated for trying. Finally, I grabbed E, and decided to make a Target run. When all else fails, Target never lets me down.

As I was processing on the way back from Target (I’m telling you, something in their air clears my head and allows me to think more rationally), I realized that as an introvert, I really do need alone time, solitude and quiet, to recharge and re-energize. And in a long, long time I haven’t had any of that. Even when I’m home, I’m never alone, nor is it ever really quiet. And I love that about where I live and my roommates, etc. I really do. But I had not been able to see, until now, the toll that lack of solitude and quiet was really taking on me, or that really, I have a legitimate need here that is not being met.

And sadly, right now, I don’t have a great solution for this problem either. I’m toying around with the idea of taking the house hostage this weekend, since all three of my roommates will be gone, closing up all the windows, soundproofing all the doors, turning off the lights, and pretending I’m not home, just so I can sit down in the basement, and watch some TV, or fall asleep on the sofa. The simplest of things can become so complex.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, back to the promotion. Yep, I got it . And amongst other things God is teaching me through this blessing, is to trust in His timing and His way of doing things. Through all the details that have been inherent to this promotion and the story of how I got it and how it's working out, he's also taught me to lose gracefully, to live in gratitude and contentment, and to be glad in all things that He does, even the things that are starkly different than what I have expected or would've done myself. It's a lot to take in

When I will actually get to take my place as our new International Account Services Representative for Germany and Japan, I don’t know. We need to hire someone to take my place (pshaw, like that can be done!) before I can move into my new role. After two years of what can be called Not Rocket Science, I am anxious and excited to be challenged and new and formidable ways. I do know that with great power comes great responsibility, i.e., no more blogging, browsing funny websites or taking naps. I have to work for my living now. The good ol’ days are over. *Sigh* But in the meantime, till that actually happens, I will not forget that God is great, beer is good and people are crazy. Or something like that.

Thanks for tuning in…. it’s about time for me to go tune out. Tootles.

Back By Popular Demand

Here are a few more hilarious websites to amuse yourself with during the day. You know, cuz I never do that. This is basically the world’s scariest and creepiest and saddest children’s playgrounds. Fun – I totally would take my kids there if I had any! And then listen to them quietly sobbing in their beds at night. Playgrounds From Hell. Or the former Soviet Union. If you’ve spent any time in Asia, you’ll recognize the awesome signs and half-baked signs. One of my favorites, whether in print or online. Of course it claims to be America’s Finest News Source, but I believe that’s only true since the Weekly World News went under. One of the best examples that people who breed dogs have too much time on their hands (sorry Sue, I didn’t mean you!) In case the poodles weren’t enough

Like Mental Floss is just kind of random fun stuff.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the hilarious movie Fanboys yet, you may not appreciate this site. But for those down with driving cross country just for a chance to break into Skywalker Ranch, enjoy this article

Last week I posted about the Building A Better Man website, which I was only able to halfheartedly endorse…. This one’s much better trust me.

And because I’m not just one of the guys, or even close, I’m going to admit that one of my all-time favorite girly sites is Southern Beauty, which is written and edited by a bunch of Southern Women. Now trust me, nobody does Beauty like Southern women. Naturally strong and resilient by nature, their fortitude often applies itself in shellacked hair, shellacked nails, head to toe matching accessories, flawless makeup even in 102 degree weather with 70% humidity…. there is something so appealingly OCD about the studied beauty of Southern women. There is part of me that embraces my boho, neo-hippie roots, embraces the way I rebelled as a teenager into the perfect, argyle wearing Young Republican, but there is very little in me that is truly a Southern belle inside. I can only read, and learn and wish.

Well, that’s it for my more current suggestions. Over and out good buddy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Community Education

If I were to ever write a book about the concept of Community, I would not need to actually write anything, since I can’t begin to tell you how many half baked blog posts I have about this subject. I got more rhymes than the Bible’s got Psalms…. Sorry, just a little House of Pain there for y’all. I’m warning you, this post is gonna be mad ADD.

Ok, though, getting back to community, and what it means, how it affects our lives, why we need it, etc. I could just go through those old posts, make some sense of them, and boom, a novel. The next great American tome. Minus some focus and coherence and a plotline you can follow. There’s really that much material.

But the thoughts in my head today about relationships and community and my three day weekend and even just life are so much more scattered and random than I can even believe. I am sooo ADD today. Have I said that? And even if I were to try and flesh out my thoughts like I should, I would just end up with more fodder for the make-believe book and non-postable posts. Therefore, I’m just doing bullet points and deal with it.

1. The intimacy of two becoming one is starting to scare me. Is it really just about the day to day? If so, I’m screwed! I don’t want to give away all the little things to someone that’s not my husband. Rob Bell, in his book SexGod, which thankfully hasn’t been about sex that much, says that the whole process of two becoming one isn’t so much about gettin’ it on, as about just doing life together on a small things basis. You know… what kind of sauce do you like for your Chicken McNuggets? Night owl or Early Bird? That kind of stuff. I really hope this isn’t true and that Rob Bell is off his flippin’ rocker.

2. Community is such an amazing thing – being able to kiss my nephew on the head and send him off with a banana bread muffin on his first day of 1st Grade, stoop parties and porch parties and just hanging with the girls, having someone help me fix a tire, picnics in the park, you name it. I’m loving being part of a community and a neighborhood.

3. I can’t do car stuff. I break down and become a totally helpless girl. I panic. I shut down. I turn into the most helpless female ever. Even just driving somewhere I’ve never been to before, at night, alone, is enough to put me into helpless female mode. Like last weekend when I had to drive down to camp on my own, at night, alone, and I was so panicky about it. I did pretty good, and was really proud of myself for it, till I got to LaCrosse, and took the wrong turn and got about 50 miles towards Madison before I realized I was going the wrong way. I had to call R for Roommate and whine and ask for help and endure “Really? You’re lost going to camp?? Really???” before I was able to turn around and head back down the right highway. Then I got as far as Lansing, missed my turn to camp, and was almost to Harpers Ferry before I turned around, crying. As I was wiping the tears away, fearful of hitting a deer or going back to Madison or having to pull off and sleep in my car, I remember wishing for Jesus to speak to me audibly in a voice identical to Josh Turner’s and tell me where to go. Because really, that’s what Jesus sounds like to me – Josh Turner. I hate to admit it, but when it comes to car stuff, directions, flat tires, oil changes, broken mirrors, I really need a man to step in. True story.

4. Diablo Cody is so pretty. Brunettes pretty much rock the beauty world, but she’s just so cool and smart and funny besides. Her and Kat Von D are awesome. I want to be pretty like them. Cool and pretty and smart and inked.

5. Great Is Thy Faithfulness is an awesome hymn. Love it so much! I think it might be my favorite right now. That should change by oh, I don’t know, 6:05. ADD remember?

6. How on earth am I going to get everything done this week? Block Party stuff. Hawaiian Luau Team Building Event stuff? Birthday shopping for Sierra. Painting?? Sleep? Finishing all my library books to get them back fee free?? Sleeping?? Pshaw!

7. I need to apologize to my roommate for posting on facebook that I was going to throw a shoe at his head. I really, really, really needed a nap yesterday and wasn’t getting it because he kept talking to me. I need to learn that it’s ok to communicate my needs to other people (like “Can you please shut your stinking pie hole so I can get a nap here?”) instead of passive-aggressively posting my frustrations in open air. This is a big lesson for me. That and that lack of sleep, sleep deprivation, not sleeping and needing a good night’s sleep all make me crabby. Really really crabby.

8. I want my hair to be long again. I want to be a a bijillion & two sizes smaller, really cute with a button nose and blonde hair. I want the guy I have a crush on to not want that for me and to say I'm crazy because he likes me just as I am - wacky, chubby, brunette with awkward middle-stage hair. I want him to totally see past my faults and embrace my quirkiness. Hell, I embrace all of his, though he’s not really quirky so much as wonderfully amusing and wholesome and normal and nice and totally the mayor of Laugh City.

9. The bathroom upstairs looks like the inside of a chimp cage. Really, the whole house looks like it was vandalized by an errant gang of chimps. I really need to get motivated to clean. Or find a nice Mexican mama-type maid I can pay to do it. Like the maid Nancy Botwin had in the first two seasons of Weeds, minus the morality lectures.

10. My socks are blessed right off my pretty painted feet today thinking of the amazingly fantastical time I had Sunday night with my fellow Dirty Couchers. There about three of you right now who know what I’m talking about, and to you three, I throw off my hat (feathers and all) and applaud your mighty womanly ways. Normally I eschew all traditional female gatherings - too much estrogen on the dance floor. But it’s been a long time since God brought me female friends who didn’t want to sit around and knit or scrapbook and sing As The Deer and then trade recipes for banana bread or watch Christy: The miniseries. I am thankful and I love you all, for being who you are, smart, fierce, wickedly funny, hip and cool and intelligent and cultured and wild, wacky and wonderful. You guys are restoring my faith in the XX Chromosones!

Well, I’m pretty sure that’s about it for me today. I could so use a nap right now, and some more deep fried Cajun spiced pickle, but alas tonight’s another night I have stuff going on. I’m learning to treasure days with nothing planned. I’m sure that I slack enough for four people here during the day, but quiet evenings home alone, with wine and a book and an early bedtime are a luxury I dearly treasure. And I think to myself....what a wondah-ful woild. Till later, thanks for reading, and keep on truckin’!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mad Props

Ok, as we all know by now, sometimes during the day, I am less than challenged or stimulated with a constant flow of responsibility. I’m ok with this. Because my lenient schedule allows me ample time to peruse some of the more interesting and humorous websites out there. Here, is my top ten lists of things that amuse me daily, in no particular order:

1. Awkward Family Photos – I can only hope to find a man willing to recreate our love story in awkward knee shelf and back hug photos. The irony that would ensue!

2. LOL Cats – Cheesy, yez, I knoe. But something bout dat weird LOLCat languages haz me hookd. Thar’s even LOLCat languages generador dat I often type mah emails into, 4 amuzement an 2 confuse mah coworkerz. Sadzly, spell check katchez me evry tiem.

3. Don’t Even Reply– I almost peed my pants yesterday reading some of these responses, such as Insulting Parrot and Horse Farm and Special Wife.

4. People of Wal-mart – Because beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

5. F*** Yeah, Neil Patrick Harris – NPH, wherever he can be found. Awwwesoooome!

6. Stuff Hipsters Hate - Like... “Sobriety: Hipsters know their ABCs: Adderall, Booze, Coke” or “Other Subcultures” or “Washing Their Hair”.

7. Stuff White People Like – Like ….. “Camping”, “Vespa Scooters” and “Girls With Bangs”.

8. Celebrity Baby Blog – yes, I do stalk celebrity babies, I know, I know. But with such cuties as the Stefani-Rossdale boys, Suri Cruise (she’s such a little doll!), and of course the Jolie-Pitt clan out there, I can’t resist.

9. Furry Puppet Studio – maybe it’s my obsession with Jason Segel and the fact that he’s making a puppet movie, or maybe it’s just how fantastical and tactile and detailed they all look. Nah, it’s Jason Segel.

10. New Math – think of it this way …. Store Manager = Employee + Neck Tie. Or, Dowry = Marriage + Door Prize.

Potential Runners did include Hot Chicks with Douchebags, but sadly, it’s blocked most of the time. There are rip-off websites that provide me hours of trainwreck stupification. You don’t want to, but you just have to look. Oooh, that gelled hair, I think I just threw up in my mouth. Mom, where’s my protein ma??

You know what really bothers me about these people though? The proliferation of HC’s & D-Bag’s suing the makers of the book “Hot Chicks With Douchebags” for slander, libel and personal trauma. You’re a douchebag! You wear Ed Hardy. You’re the bimbo that overtans, overbleaches and overhangsoutofherclothes that’s plastered to his arm. Get over it. Don’t sue the makers of a book for calling you out on your ridiculous behavior and meticulously sculpted facial hair or Tara Reid worthy implants and embarrassing you in front of all your friends. Just get some class, a real job and put your camera away. Urgh!

There was also If I Had To Choose, which basically gives you two choices and you have to choose which you’d eliminate from the waking world. Such as “Arrested Development or Seinfeld?”, “We Will Rock You or We Are The Champions?” and “Lloyd Christmas or Ace Ventura?”. Nice.

There’s always the blog “Just A Guy Thing: Building A Better Man”, which I might recommend to my male audience, though sometimes I look through it just to see if they’re getting it right. They aren’t. There’s Church Sign Maker, which let’s you put whatever text you want into a church’s marquis sign. But sometimes their server freezes up. And then there’s also (crazy random admission) Rock N Roll Bride, which is basically goth wedding pictures, but classier. It’s where I got my idea to have my entire bridal party wear Converse at my (prolly never gonna happen) wedding.

I also read other people’s blogs, write in my own blog (such as right now, a few minutes before I get to go up to the mall for lunch), and look for cool, new blogs. Productivity has never been so high!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's A Girl Thing

I’m feeling a little psychzophrenic today. I’m simultaneously surfing the pics from Ted Kennedy’s funeral and memorial service on, admiring the class and sophistication of a bunch of New England Republicans all dressed in black, while also surfing one of my new favorite websites “People of Wal-Mart” which pretty much has every mullet sporting, too tight jeans wearing white trash fatty shopping at their favorite discount superstore. They’re both, in their own way, pretty sweet.

But granted, not as sweet as the new argyle cardigan I picked up from the Limited yesterday. It’s so cute! It’s the perfect fall colors – grey, and this new muted greenish yellow that I’m in love with and taupe. Very preppy Harvard girli-sh, which is a good look for me to experiment with for fall, I think. I’m really excited for fall, actually, as it’s my favorite season for dressing. I love being cuddled up in warm tights, boots, cardigan sweaters, scarves and hats. It’s not quite winter, where practicality starts to cramp my style - it’s just the perfect time of year.

I just love the whole Ali McGraw/Love Story look for fall. Ali McGraw at that age would play my sister in the story of my life. I pretty much love that movie too, and watch it every fall, weeping on my sofa and going around for weeks, in scarves and sweaters, saying “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” But I digress – back to cute argyle sweater and fall looks. I was thinking of pairing it maybe with a grey tunicy top, some dark jeans and motorcycle boots to toughen the whole thing up?

Speaking of cardigans – I have been wondering why, lately, my phone has stopped ringing, and there’s no more late night phone calls from John Krasinski on the other end. You know, John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert on the Office? John Krasinski – who next to Jason Segel is in my top three Celebrity Crushes*? Anyways, turns out that while I was away camping, and at camp, and camping some more, and at camp again, he was out getting engaged to some actress named Emily Blunt. I always knew his heart was a’roaming, but in the busy-ness of life I thought that my cardigan sweater obsession had him in lockdown. After all it was he who, when asked what he looks for in a woman, replied with “It’s not about celebrity or not. It’s all about, do you have that ‘girl in a cardigan’ in you. You gotta have that.” Clearly Emily Blunt delivers the cardigan goods.

Well, Jason, I guess it’s just you and me now. Call me. Maybe we can throw on some cardigans and go walk in a park where the leaves are turning colors. Happy Autumn to us!

*I’m starting to see that I definitely have a type.