Five on Friday: Stress Relief

  1. What stresses you out? Things that I let have that affect on me. Most of the time, when I am very stressed, it’s relatively within my control to stop letting it have that power over me. That’s the kind of outward stress stuff that other people see. It’s the stuff that others can’t necessarily see that’s the hard stuff, because that I have very little control over.
  2. How well do you cope with stress? I think that depends who you ask.
  3. What techniques do you use to relieve stress? If it’s the little stuff, I just rant and rave and talk to people and generally get it out there, as well as talk too fast and too much, and pace a lot. The big stuff… often I clean, obsessively, at inappropriate times. When I lived in Michigan, often I’d scour my kitchen or bathroom at 2 am. Last Tuesday, while Alison was in labor, parts of my house got very clean.
  4. When was the last time you did something for yourself to relax? Um… I watch a lot of TV and veg out – I try to give myself time each day to relax and be myself and not have something to do.
  5. What is your favorite comfort food? Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha if at work. Hot Cocoa if at home.

Healthful Me

My employee health newsletter (which is not published by my agency, but purchased and passed around for our general well-being) is usually not helpful to me, and occasionally laughable. Like last month, when the helpful tip was that I should go outside for 15 minutes every day between 11 and 2, even if it’s not sunny out, in the winter. Clearly, the writer had never experienced a Minnesota winter. Even if it was just on my return trip from Starbucks, which would only be about 5 minutes, my coffee would get cold, I would be freezing, and I’m quite sure I would be sick more often than not.

But anyways, I digress.

This month they decided to help me with my goal to not be stressed out by the holidays. Because, let’s face it, holidays can be stressful (especially when trying to juggle more family than I’m used to), and I love Christmas most of all and don’t want any shadows to be cast upon the joy of the season. I thought it was nice of the newsletter to provide these tips, even though most of them weren’t new. And I thought I’d share them with you because, well, I can.

“6 Ways to Simplify the Holidays” (from Unplugging the Christmas Machine by Jo Robbinson and Jean Cappock Staeheli, republished in HOPE Health Letter, December 2006) (my comments after)

  1. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all. Ask each family member to write down what they want to do most. Then decide on two or three things that will be meaningful to all. This was a new idea to me, and if I had more family members to consult, I think it’s a great idea.
  2. Give yourself permission to say NO to any invitation that you don’t want to accept. I always believe in saying No. It’s one of the things I’m good at.
  3. If you have two or more sets of relatives to visit, try to combine family celebrations or visit neutral territory, like a vacation home. Alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving with different sets of parents from year to year. Two or more? Doesn’t everyone have at least two sets to visit? Between Prince Charming and I, we have 4, if we only count parental units. Alison is so lucky – this year she can just make everyone come to them.
  4. Feel free to establish new traditions. There’s no reason to continue something you no longer enjoy just because you’ve always done it that way. I love traditions, even the ones I complain about (like lutefisk on Christmas Eve). Especially at Christmas, traditions seem important to me. This year I have to try to find a new candlelight service to go to, since I won’t be going home to Illinois for… the first time ever. It will only be the second Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house that I’ll miss. So… new traditions it is.
  5. Don’t make food the focus of your gatherings. Consider catering all or part of your holiday meal. Um… I have nothing to add to this one. I’m not really in charge of any gatherings that I foresee, so… this will have to be left to others.
  6. Avoid stressful gift-giving myths such as: You need to spend the same amount of money on gifts every year; if someone gives you a gift you must reciprocate; it’s necessary to continue the gift-giving cycle once it’s started. Talk to friends and relatives – they may want to stop the obligatory gift giving, too. Part of me loves it when families cease with the gift-giving, though it does take some of that childlike joy out of the event. I will miss watching my 93-year-old grandfather rip open his presents this year – he always starts tearing away at the corner before it’s his turn, which is really cute to watch. But as far as gift-giving goes… I like making gifts for people (though I did that a lot last year, so I’m not really doing that this year), and I like group gifts (like how Mom and I are getting Alison a set of pots and pans), and I like the gift of time (like how Amanda and Liz went to a concert together for… someone’s birthday or Christmas or something).

Note: I am wearing my 30-year-old sweater today, the one Mom knit for Dad while they were still dating. It’s olive green and only a little bit baggy on me, which just goes to show that Dad is not that big of a guy. Of course, he was still growing after they got married. I love this sweater, even though it’s wool and makes my neck itchy.

Grown-Up

I was over at Such a Pretty Face this morning (which I think someone who reads here reads) and liked this post so much that I’ve stolen it and made it my own. Don’t worry, I’ve given credit where credit is due. And all the italics thoughts are mine, not hers. For that, you’ll just have to hop on over to her blog.

23 signs that you’ve grown up for good

  1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them. I currently have 3 houseplants that I purchased a week and a half ago. They’re alive, but their future looks iffy. I have never been good with houseplants, or really any plants, indoors or out, in pots. In the ground has worked well for me though.
  2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question. Well, yes, but not for the reasons that it’s listed here, I’m guessing. If I believed that sex outside of marriage was OK, I’m pretty sure I could make a twin bed work. But what do I know.
  3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge. I’ve never really liked beer. I don’t think I’ve ever bought beer, actually. A Corona once, at a restaurant. Maybe one another time at a restaurant. I’ve had one or two at a party. So, yeah, there’s more food in my fridge. Although currently most of the food in there owned by me is expired, and almost all of the cheese is attempting to create life.
  4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed. Oh, yeah. When I graduated college, I quickly learned that I could no longer pull all-nighters, except in very rare cases which were more insomnia than anything. I haven’t done that in years. No, 6 am is not my wakeup time, because I am a lazy butt and not a morning person, but I would love to get there someday. I’ve been proud of myself this week for getting in to work before 9 every day that I didn’t have class. Woo-hoo! (Baby steps here, folks. Don’t set the bar too high, or I’ll definitely fail expectations.)
  5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator. I can’t remember the last time I was in an elevator that plays music. Do they still do that? The stairwell at college plays music in the morning, but it’s not my type. And I’m not really the easy-listening kind of girl, so… probably not.
  6. You watch the Weather Channel. No.
  7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up.” My friends marry and have babies, lots of babies.
  8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14. I haven’t had 2 weeks vacation saved up since I started this job four years ago. But before that when I worked full-time at the church, I had that. Now I earn my on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis, and I currently have 22.5 vacation hours and 161.75 sick hours. That’s almost three vacation days, and a little over 20 sick days, for those of you who didn’t want to do that math.
  9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as dressed up. No, but they’re a preferred outfit of choice, since I can’t wear jeans to work, unlike all my friends.
  10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo. We had to do that two summers ago because our next door neighbor, who is older than we are, was blaring hard-core rap (complete with mandatory swearing every other word) after 10 pm.
  11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you. No, not really, but the last two Christmas Eve’s at my Grandma & Grandpa’s house, the adults have 1) sat me at the adult table instead of the kid’s table (I know, I know, such a shock at 27), and 2) told stories about alcohol, which was unnerving.
  12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore. 2 pm. I watch too much TV.
  13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up. Well… since I don’t have a car (and finally paid off my old car last January), I also don’t have insurance. So I suppose you could say my rates went down. And I’m sure at some point I’ll need to get a car again, so then my payments would go up. Does that count?
  14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald’s leftovers. Ew. McDonalds? Gross, even for me. No, Matea gets Iams, on rare occasions she gets a packet of wet food, and even rarer I’ll give her a tiny slip of people food, which she will then not eat. She likes to sniff at it though. She doesn’t eat people food.
  15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt. Not so much my back as my neck, but that’s Prince Charming’s couch, which is a 2-seater, not a 3-seater, so you can see why that might be. And my couch, which is long enough for me, is covered in about three feet of crap from armrest to armrest, so… I probably get negative points for that.
  16. You take naps. I used to, before I worked 9-5. That really puts a cramp in my napping schedule. OK, on weekends I occasionally get to sneak one in, if I’m really tired, and Prince Charming goes for a jog or wants to clean his garage.
  17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one. The number of times I have been on this type of date is… none. Can that be right? Thinking back… even to high school… I’ve gone to a movie for a date (with ice cream afterwards), and I’ve gone to dinner for a date (with some activity afterwards, occasionally just watching TV at someone’s house), but never actually the dinner-and-a-movie combo. Prince Charming, is that right? Am I forgetting a time that we did this? Oooh, I hope not. I’d feel bad if I forgot.
  18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach. No, that would not upset my stomach, and in fact might settle it down, or at least appease the hunger gods long enough to let me sleep, if I were up at 3 am. But I can’t remember the last time I was awake at 3 am. I did have tacos for dinner on Wednesday night after I got home from church at about 9:30, and my tummy liked that very much. I only get stomach aches and nauseated when I don’t eat.
  19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests. Let’s see… I have never bought condoms or a pregnancy test, for the obvious reason stated in #2. I buy antacids at Target, but to keep in my purse for Prince Charming. I have a rather large stock of ibuprofin, Excedrin, and aspirin. The last time I was at Walgreens, I bought… food and Cosmo magazine. What does that say about me, other than I was hungry?
  20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good sh*t.” I don’t think I’ve ever had $4 wine. $6 wine, yes, and it can be good on occasion, though the last cheap White Zinfandel I had was pretty bad.
  21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time. Definitely negative points here. I don’t eat breakfast, or if I do, it’s Starbucks, or occasionally a bagel and cream cheese at about 11. And when I have milk in my house, I’ve been known to have cereal for dinner, or a late-night snack.
  22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.” I’ve never drank enough to say either of those phrases.
  23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work. The maker of this list obviously was not aware of the nature of my work.

Roughly speaking, I think I scored… 46% grown-up, loosely interpreting the questions and answers. Not bad for being 28.

Tuesday Twosome

Choose and explain…

  1. Shower or Bath: Shower. Maybe one day when I don’t have roommates, I’ll take more baths, but really all a bath means right now is spending half an hour on my knees scrubbing the tub before being able to enjoy the spa-like atmosphere that my occasionally-clean bathroom offers. Not exactly fun. Plus, it’s impossible to wash my hair. I’ll agree that shaving is easier, but hardly worth the effort of a bath.
  2. Comedy or Drama: Historically, I’ve preferred comedy over drama, but in recent years my tastes have changed. I really like a nice… middle of the road drama that’s not too tense and has some humor in there every once in a while. In musicals and plays, I prefer drama. And I love physical comedy. So… yeah.
  3. Coffee or Tea: I am a coffee girl. Have been since childhood, when my parents would have a cup of coffee after dinner and Dad would let us have the last half-inch at the bottom of the mug (cold, black coffee – yum! I don’t know why Alison and I thought this was such a treat).
  4. Fiction or non-fiction: I try to read non-fiction. I own a lot of non-fiction. But it always seems much more like work than an enjoyable leisure activity. So the fiction books get read and the non-fiction ones look pretty on a shelf. It’s not right, I know.
  5. Television or Movies: Yes. I like all both. I’m more a fan of movies on television than in the theater, just because I can watch a wider variety on the small screen. (Anything remotely scary or tense is just overwhelming on the big screen with the surround sound and the inability to hit pause.)

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy, I mean, Starbucks

Today’s coffee cup says:

“It’s tragic that extremists co-opt the notion of God, and that hipsters and artists reject spirituality out of hand. I don’t have a fixed idea of God. But I feel that it’s us – the messed-up, the half-crazy, the burning, the questing – that need God, a lot more than the goody-two-shoes do.”

-Mike Doughty, Musician

I realize that some people who only know me a little bit, might classify me as an “extremist” when it comes to God. I mean, I have strong beliefs, and they’re set in stone. They happen to be basically the same as what my parents believe and what the church I grew up in preached, but they are not my parents’ ideas. What I mean is, I have spent serious time thinking about them and evaluating them and deciding for myself if that’s what I really believe. They are my beliefs.But I also think that, at least in terms of this quote, I get to be classified as “the messed-up… the questing.” I know lots of people that would call me a “goody two-shoes,” and with good reason. But I don’t think they understand that I haven’t lived live on the narrow path necessarily for the reasons they think I have. I hate getting in trouble, and the fear of that is more powerful a motivator than guilt is for Amanda, and that’s saying a lot. Also, I honestly didn’t have a lot of opportunity to stray from the path. Well, I mean, I could have, if I had sought that out. I saw [what I thought was] a drug deal on my first day of high school, and knew plenty of people who did things with boys that I still haven’t done, or smoked, or drank, or any number of other things. I generally wasn’t interested, and was truthfully never offered to partake in any of the afore-mentioned. The closest I came to peer pressure was having to refuse multiple offerings of Mountain Dew. I know, such a sheltered life. I knew about all the other stuff that was out there, but it wasn’t right out in front of me. Most of my teenage rebellion would be considered tame to others, but to me it was still a rebellion. It was rebellion in this sense: “An act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention.” Anyways, that’s not what this post started to be about, and it’s quite a tangent, so I’ll just drop it for now.

A message board I read (that often infuriates me but has lately been tame and worth reading) for Christian singles recently had a discussion between two women who, among other things, were sharing a common experience of having doubts and questions in their faith and not having a place in the Christian community to work through that. I completely understood where they were coming from (though, to be fair, my last church was absolutely a comfortable place to work through that, as long as you weren’t staff, but that’s another post too, and one I recently made). I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to create a place to do that. I’ve felt fortunate that most of my friends have been comfortable with me expressing my doubts and thoughts and feelings in terms of my faith. But I’ve also had a few friends/family who have been very uncomfortable with it, and who have unintentionally pressured me to “get back with the program,” so to speak.

But back to this forum that I’ve created for myself. I don’t have a “home church” anymore, one where I feel at home and attend regularly, where I know people and want to do social things with them, where I know that we all basically believe the same things, enjoy the same type of worship, and can basically be like family. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that. My church in Michigan was like that for the first six months, until all hell broke loose, that is. The church I grew up in was like that, but so many changes have happened that I barely know anyone there anymore, and since Mom has moved here, my connection has been even further severed.

And I would like to have a home church again, but it’s not exactly an easy process to find one. There are so many factors, like location (given my transportation situation) and style of worship and theological beliefs (conservative, but not overly so, because I’m progressively conservative, if that makes sense) and people of the right age and socio-economic class, and yet also diverse (because I don’t want everyone to be the same, and like in any family, diversity is good too). And there’s trying to find a church for myself, which would be on non-Sundays, or trying to find a church that both Prince Charming and I like are two different tasks.

Plus, I’ve been burned in the past, and am not ready to just jump in with both feet and hope a church gives me a big hug upon landing.

So tomorrow night I start attending a kind-of Bible study at a local church I attended a few times last fall. It’s Alpha, which is basically Christianity 101. I hope to… re-construct my faith in a safe environment. No one there knows me, and so the plan is to be absolutely honest about my doubts and feelings and thoughts (which I often find hard to do in comfortable, familiar Christian communities, because there’s the expectation that I’ve got my sh*t together). And while I don’t really need to re-construct my faith, per se, because my beliefs are still strong, it’s the practical application of them, and more importantly my relationship with the Christian community, that is really in need of a Band-Aid.

I will have to avoid the temptation to switch into Youth Pastor Kelly mode, where I have all the answers. I will listen, and I will ask questions. And I will not be afraid to sound heretical or blasphemous or sinful. Because how can I expect people to get to know the real me, be honest, or provide any sort of guidance or help if I am not, above all, honest and open? (That was a little pep talk for myself, in case you were wondering where I was going with that, because the idea really is a bit scary to me.)

And so tomorrow night at 6pm, I’m going over to the church to have dinner with a bunch of people I’ve never met (a terrifying prospect) and then sit down with a small group of them and make new friends. Or, at least, that’s the plan. It’s one of the reasons I’m only taking one class this fall, because I wasn’t sure that I could handle multiple classes, a Bible study, and time for my girls and Prince Charming. This is important, and so I’m making the time for it.

Tuesday Twosome

List two…

  1. Items in your purse/wallet: ticket stub from the last movie I went to see with Prince Charming, and a wide variety of lipstick options.
  2. Food items you crave the most: Starbucks and popcorn
  3. Books you could read over and over again: Anything Jane Austen, and any children’s book
  4. Events in the past 14 days that have made you laugh and/or cry: I’m feeling particularly sappy/sad at the moment (I think it’s the weather outside – grey and cold and rainy), and I think if I watched the right movie or TV show or someone said just the right thing, I’d cry. Trying to explain the dream I was having that caused me to talk in my sleep to Prince Charming was pretty funny (it involved defining the word “infuriate” in a way that meant it was only used during the winter months).
  5. People you are missing a lot at this very moment: Prince Charming, and Betsy, who’s been silent over email for the last week.

Ode to the White Mocha

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

The sky today is grey with clouds,
Almost to match the your frothy peaks
The city streets hum with buses of school children
Steam whispers from my white cup
The air is cool, but not yet cold, no biting, snapping chill
Your warmth rolls across my tongue, slips down my throat into my belly
Where it soothes and calms my spirit
Like the memory of being curled up in a parents’ lap
Or enveloped in the arms of a loved one
I feel at home, at peace, at rest

Today’s History Lesson: Lloyds of London, the famous insurance firm, was originally a coffeehouse (from Wikipedia).

Sad

I was all set to take a break to Starbucks and mail some letters, when I realized that my debit card expired yesterday and I don’t know if I can still use it. My credit union sent me my new card, but I still haven’t gotten the pin (they come separately, you know), so I haven’t activated the new card and it’s sitting at home. So now I’m sad about Starbucks.

Boo-hoo.

ps – I did contact my credit union to see if there were reasons for concern. Hopefully, they’ll respond quickly.

14,000 calories

Cinnabon may not solve all your problems, but it sure can help you forget them for awhile. Prince Charming’s dad came over yesterday and they made Copycat Cinnabons. They are yum-my. I’m eating one for breakfast. And maybe one for lunch. Because I can. Hey, the pants I’m wearing today are too loose, and I already took them in once last year. I’d rather not take them in another 2 inches. So, the more Cinnabon, the better, right? It may also be a Starbucks day. I will try to avoid the ‘bucks, but… I’ve got absolutely no work to do, and my boss is out all week. Plus, it’s freaking hot outside. I’ve got money to go to Starbucks twice before Friday. And yes, I do owe Prince Charming’s dad $4 for the bike, but I don’t think he takes debit cards. So I’ll have to give that to him next time I see him.

Speaking of which, the bike is wonderful! The brakes are good (the back ones a little worn down), the gears shift nicely, we lowered the seat a bit so it fits me almost perfectly, the tread on the tires is good… for $4, an awfully nice bike. It’s awfully ugly, but that can be easily changed. It’s too bad that it’s so hot today, because I’m not going to go home and ride my bike. Maybe tomorrow I’ll ride it to Amanda’s though, if we meet there.

Got Mom more settled into her house. It’s smaller, but that’s a good thing. She is only one woman, after all, and her cat is practically non-existent. Prince Charming set up her stereo system and TV stuff, and I put a bunch of stuff on display and into storage. I got the microwave, finally. Haven’t actually used it yet, but it’s just exciting to see it there in my kitchen. It was waaaay too hot last night for popcorn, otherwise I would have christened it. Got a cute little table, too, and there are two more (and a sofa) sitting in her garage, waiting for me to find a way to get them to my house.

Oh, and we watched a movie on Friday night that I didn’t particularly care for. But I knew that I probably wasn’t going to beforehand, so it wasn’t all that bad. I tried to have an open mind about it, really, but it just wasn’t for me. Quantum physics is not my idea of a good time. Plus, I had a headache, and was trying hard to not leave the party to go upstairs and sleep it off. I thought that’d be rude.

I have no work. OK, I have one project, but I worked on it all afternoon on Friday, and I’m just not ready to get back to it. So what shall I do with my week? This is going to be bad. At least it’s air-conditioned here. I have no desire to go home. Hopefully Matea is staying cool. I closed the windows (left the one open a tiny crack for ventilation sake) and blinds, and left the ceiling fan on, so hopefully it won’t get too hot in the house for her. She’s got a full bowl of water. Nikki was very nice and offered to let Matea stay in her room with the air conditioning today, since the dog is at her parents’ house, but I declined. Was that wrong? Matea can take it, and really, my room doesn’t get that hot. There’s absolutely no direct sunlight, and we’re on the first floor. So as long as she stays where it’s cool and doesn’t start doing aerobics, she should be fine. There’s articles today in the newspaper about how to avoid overheating your dog, but no mention of cats.

Hmmm. Coke or Sprite? I wish the machine at work had 7-up.

Five on Friday

  1. How often do you indulge in something sweet? Waaaaaay more often than perhaps I should. Like… hourly. Perhaps more often, depending on my mood. I’m having serious chocolate cravings this week.
  2. What is your favorite kind of sweet food/beverage? Chocolate. Or coffee. Or Coke. But sometimes I just crave sugar, in which case Skittles or gumdrops are good.
  3. Do you have a preferred sweetener (artificial or natural)? Um, no. All of them are good. (Though I pick the “pink” packets for my coffee.)
  4. Chocolate or fruity? Chocolate, all the way.
  5. What is the sweetest thing anyone has done for you? Oooh, tough one. I’m pleading the 5th. All the sweet things I’m thinking of… I’m keeping to myself.

Goosebumps

I’m sitting here in my cube with goosebumps. It was so hot last night, sleeping without air conditioning, that I didn’t even think twice about leaving the porch door open – I desperately needed the cross-breeze. And this morning, knowing how hot today was supposed to be, was already feeling, I dressed appropriately, in layers – tank top, capris, and sweater for work. I even braided my hair, because I knew I wasn’t going to tolerate it hanging down my neck for any length of time outside. So I’m sitting here with my sweater on, and I’m freezing. If I leave my office to go to the bank and cash in my change, and decide that I just can’t make it through the day without coffee… I’m going to have to get a hot drink, because it’s way too cold in here. What’s with that? I am glad, however, that Prince Charming has air conditioning at his house. I mean, I like living without air conditioning too – I like the opportunity to breathe real, fresh air, not stale refrigerated stuff. But when it gets this hot out, the idea of falling asleep in the same bed as someone, or even sitting near them on the sofa, doesn’t sound nearly as much fun unless there’s some air conditioning.

Mom is currently on the road here. We offered to take her out, but she was frazzled yesterday and didn’t think she could handle it. There was drama with the vet (her cat has to be sedated for the drive), and she signed papers last night to sell her house (pending the sale of the buyer’s house), and she had to fight for her benefits and have an exit interview at work. So… she declined. And then asked us if we wanted to come up next Thursday to her new place when she signs papers for that, and we had to decline – movie night, ya know. Oh well. We’ll see her the next weekend when we help her get settled, and I’ll give her her birthday present (and Josh’s as well), and it’ll all be good.

So I have spent the morning… laying out a diagram of the staffing database I recently designed. I know that sounds thrilling, but after Boss’s comments last week about not letting me leave for any reason, and realizing that were I hit with a bus, I’d left no instructions at all, I thought I should get started on at least a rough outline of what’s going on. In case, you know, I am hit by a bus. Or get poison ivy while camping and have to stay at home for a week itching. You never know, it could happen. I’ve had poison ivy before – it wasn’t fun. Not nearly as bad as getting your wisdom teeth removed while awake/conscious and realizing that the Novocaine hasn’t fully kicked in yet, but still up there on my list of “things I’d rather not experience again.”

And I am so, so tired. I was fidgety last night, so even after Prince Charming left, I couldn’t get myself into bed, regardless of how tired I was. That’s frustrating. At least the phones aren’t ringing that much today – maybe 3 or 4 times all morning. Our receptionist has the morning off, so the temp (she’s still got another month or two before she’s permanent) and I have been watching phones. At least my co-worker isn’t here today – I think I’m too tired to deal with his personality today. And, thankfully, brunch has been rescheduled from my house to Hell’s Kitchen, so I don’t have to think about getting up early enough to get to my house and clean my kitchen and make food. I’m quite glad about that. The kitchen’s not messy, I just haven’t cleared off the table that’s piled with things I couldn’t find spots for yet. I’m working on it….

Oh, my hammock is so wonderful! It took a few tries, and two trips to Ace, but by 9 pm we were relaxing away. I love that Hammocks.com’s motto is: Accomplish Nothing. Once you get into a hammock, you really could do nothing for quite a long time. The main reason we went inside was that it started to pour. Now if I remember to get staples for my staple gun this weekend, and we figure out how to install my chandelier, I will have the most kick-a** porch in my neighborhood.

Really, it’s too cold in here. I might have to brave the crowd in the Skyway (there’s a reason I don’t travel it at noon), just to get out of this chill. My back’s starting to tense up, beyond it’s usual computer-using pain.

Can I take a nap please? I haven’t been this tired at work in a long time.

How Time Flies

First of all, normal 2-day weekends just seem like a cruel joke after a 4-day holiday weekend.

So, due to my not having a car and the way things would work out easiest for scheduling, even though our camping trip isn’t for another 2 weeks, I realized this morning that I have to basically be done preparing by Thursday night. This means getting all my camping supplies ready, checking to make sure everything that needs to be purchased has been, washing dishes, refilling the salt & pepper, that sort of thing. It also means that my duffel bag for the weekend – clothes, shower stuff, etc – needs to be packed, because they’re all going back to Prince Charming’s house with him when he drops me off on Sunday night. That way, Thursday after work I can bus to his house, we can do our grocery shopping Friday morning, pack the cooler, and be off.

Yesterday, we set up the tent for the first time, and once we figured it out, it was pretty easy. It’s a nice little tent. I say little because it’s a lot smaller than my old one. It’s a 3-4 man (or maybe it was 2-3 man), instead of the solid 4-man I used to have. But, it’s got a rain fly, and pockets (for keys to not get lost), and won’t leak like my old one. And for $20, what do you expect? It’ll be interesting to see the queen-sized air mattress inside of it.

So we were watching some Eddie Murphy comedy act from Netflix this weekend, and he does this bit about women saying to their men, “What have you done for me lately?” (Trust me, it’s funny, circa mid 1980’s.) So we got to thinking, and the list of things Prince Charming has done for me lately was ridiculously long. Gosh, you’d almost think he liked me or something.

We helped Amanda move this weekend – her new place is sweet, and so much closer to my house. Very exciting. What else? We did a lot of running around to different stores, trying to find a spit for camping, a new purse for me, other camping supplies…. Saturday we got home, showered and changed out of our sweaty clothes (it was a bit warm for moving) into pajamas, and vegged the entire night. Sunday we attempted to watch the World Cup, until we realized we didn’t care who won, or didn’t care as much as we should have (and have about previous games). So we turned it off and went shopping instead. In case you wanted to know, the Pomegranate Frappuccino at Starbucks (no coffee, no cream, just tea and fruit juice) is pretty good, if you like pomegranate.

There’s nothing to do at work today. At least Blogger can publish again.

How many college students…

Really, this one is “how many St Paul police vehicles does it take to get one car towed from downtown?”

The answer, surprisingly enough, is that it takes 5 police vehicles (three regular, one “parking enforcement,” and one unmarked) and a tow truck.

That’s what I saw when I was out for coffee. What have you seen lately?

Gurgle

I woke up this morning with heartburn. How does that happen? We ate ice cream at 8 or 9 last night, but I didn’t have any snacks after that…. Wednesday night I had a bowl of ravioli with red pepper flakes (leftover from Karla at 11:30 and I was fine (if anything should give me heartburn, shouldn’t it be that?). And now I’m relegated to avoiding Starbucks all day, since dairy and caffeine and coffee (with or without caf) are all on the “no” list, and since the Rolaids have not yet relieved my pain, I’d rather not aggravate it. Amanda, you’re the only one I know who used to frequently suffer from this – any suggestions? This is unpleasant, and could make me grumpy if it doesn’t go away by lunchtime.

Deep sigh of relief

Well, after spending the last hour re-tracing my steps and making alternate arrangements for my ID badge and bus pass that went missing, and finally accepting that I was just going to have to wait for someone to return it… that’s what’s happened. They apparently decided they wanted to work in one of our field offices, and defected from my belt clip right outside the office across the street (yes, we have a field office kitty-corner from our Administrative offices, and yes, I walk by it everyday, and no, I don’t know anyone who works there except over email, and no, I don’t think that’s odd). So someone picked it up, brought it in to them, they called me, and I’m back in business. I literally had the temp bus pass for five minutes. But I am relieved, especially since my bus pass picture is hideous, and I didn’t like the idea of that floating around.

So yay! I sent a thank-you email and everything.

I completely and entirely missed the Farmer’s Market today, so I guess Prince Charming and I are having frozen vegetables tonight with dinner, or a strictly-iceberg-lettuce-salad, or… to the chagrin of our mothers, no veggies. Well, I do need milk, but I don’t like going grocery shopping on Thursdays, since then I tend to be gone for the whole weekend and everything that was fresh… isn’t when I return.

It is h-o-t outside! Well, relatively speaking. I wore a short-sleeved shirt today with pants, and had to put on my sweater here at work, and then when I wore it out for coffee, I was baking. Makes me not want baked chicken and rice so much tonight. But I’m hungry, so it’ll be good anyways. At least it’s not 90* out.