Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving: Picture Edition

I'm thankful for my wonderful home,
which happens to be a cute and cozy apartment.


I'm grateful for this nice lady.
She's my mom, my assurance that I'll age well, and my teacher (still).
I'm thankful for my dad and my brother.
They work on my car, share my sense of humor, and let me take their pictures when it's clear they don't enjoy it.
My sisters are my oldest and best friends.
We shop together, make fun of people together, and if I have to live in a nursing home, I really want them to be there so we can thoroughly discuss 40 or so years' worth of gossip.
Also, they make me laugh.

These people are a huge part of the reason why I like walking, arts and crafts, reading, and hugging people till it hurts.
I can't imagine how different my life would have been without them,
and I'm so glad I got to visit them this summer.
This guy poses for my pictures, puts up with my arts and crafts projects (which he hates) and my moods, makes me dinner, makes me laugh, and has a beard.
He's always my date.
A girl probably shouldn't ask for more.
He makes me so happy.
This exciting guy makes Laine happy.
He tells stories, he shows us wrestling moves,
and the fact that he makes Laine happy makes us happy.
I'm sorry, this is the closest thing I could find to a good picture of both of them.
This guy makes Sara happy by taking her on dates to places he doesn't want to go, watching movies he doesn't want to see, and helping my parents around the house.
Performing manual labor around the house makes everyone happy.

This guy has been amazing since birth, and makes everyone he's ever met really happy.
He's smart and funny and always enjoys learning.
He's also an excellent bowler, photographer, and reader.

I just love big dogs.
He hugs my feet.
I love my books.
I love yarn.


I love decorating for Christmas
and I'm so excited the time is almost here.


I'm grateful for this family...

...and this one.
I'm so thankful to be off all maintenance medications.
I'm thankful to live in a world that has
Sweet Potato Queens, literary festivals, and book signings.
I'm also grateful for stuff I can wear on my head.
I'm grateful for independent bookstores because they feature local authors,
are generally prettier, and usually have animals living in them.


I'm thankful for pictures like this,
because it could be the greatest photo I've ever taken.



There are other things I'm grateful for, like Mt. Dew and coffee and my car and bands and economic stimulus packages and my friends, who have probably noticed they're conspicuously absent from this post. With regard to this, especially the friend part: there are too many pictures to choose from so I just didn't do it.

Everyone should be so fortunate as to have problems like this.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving (3)

I have a lot that makes me grateful.

I have empty photo albums waiting for me.
I have more yarn than I realized.
I have a husband who cooks well and often.
I had a productive weekend.
I have a brief work-week.
I have been informed that I will be spending some long overdue quality time with Dallas this weekend as soon as he gets his schedule how he wants it (he is 7, by the way).
I have very cool friends (see above).
I have fixed my hair today--hooray for getting up on time!
I have just enough money to make my car payment and my student loan payment before we get paid again--hooray for covering all of the bases!
I have a great notebook: It's spiral bound, and hardback, and I just really, really like it and that's probably why I carry it everywhere with me.
I have a good BMI.
I have glasses. They were a good idea.
I have great families and I'll be spending time with them very soon.
I have recently taken advantage of Kroger's 4 for $11 sale on Mt. Dew twelve-packs.
I have lots of milk in the fridge.
I have a really attractive spouse, and sometimes he dances.
I have 6 inches' worth of free space on my two main bookcases.
I have been decluttering for quite some time now and it's really starting to show.
I have insurance.
I have rights most people can only imagine.
I have a really cute dimple in my right check and I like it.
I have an incredibly resilient camera.
I have a chipped front tooth, and for some reason I really like it.
I have a couch. I love that ugly, comfortable thing.
I have amazing superpowers. Just trust me.
I have lots of good ideas.
I have been getting the Sunday paper delivered to my apartment for the past month or so. We don't why we're getting it, but we like it!
I have some great books to read at the moment.
I have a beautiful life.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving (2)

There's a lot to be thankful for, so naturally I put it down into a categorized list!

Cody and his eyeballs
  • Cody had another doctor's appointment and will be taping his eyes shut when he sleeps for 2 more weeks. After that, I'm supposed to be checking him while he sleeps to see if his eyelids are more trained now. If they are, he'll just have to put ointment on them before he goes to bed each night.
  • He also has to have some of his eyelashes plucked every couple of months because he apparently has trichiasis, which is a condition that makes his eyelashes grow inward and scratches up his corneas even more.
  • I read a story in a James Herriot book about a puppy with trichiasis and it nearly went blind before he figured out a way to help it. I'm thankful it didn't come to that with Cody.
  • And his vision is improving as some of the scratches heal up! Woo!
Babies
  • My cousin Angela had a bouncing baby boy!
  • A couple of girls I went to school with and keep up with through social networking sites had beautiful, healthy daughters this year.
  • My friend Erin had a little boy who insisted on arriving 2 months early and bringing medical problems with him. But now he's much better and thriving and I've been told he's the smartest baby in existence. And even though I've never met Isaac, I'm pretty thankful for him. I love looking at his pictures on facebook whenever I'm having a bad day. That kid cracks me up with all of his facial expressions.
  • I have 9 million pregnant friends who are having healthy, happy pregnancies.
  • Seriously: Sarah is having a boy, Joanna is having a boy (he's apparently the size of a football now!), and we found out this week (finally!) that Cody's upcoming second cousin is a boy! Because that family totally needs more boys.
  • Even though it means breaking with this year's tradition, my cousin Whitney is pregnant with a girl!
  • And we have no babies. And for now, as excited as I am for all of these parents, I'm pretty thankful that Cody and I are just a two-person family. I am looking forward to holding lots of babies in the upcoming months...and then handing them back. (:
Music
  • I made a quick run to the store last night, and stuck in a CD that I thought was one thing and it turned out to be something else: our reception music! We completely forgot to play it at our wedding reception, but it's still one of the best mix CDs in the world. Crying ensued.
  • I listened to the CD some more this morning. It was a good commute.
  • The new Nickelback CD is here! I don't have it yet, but I'm excited about its existence.
  • A couple of weeks ago, two different myspace friends had the song "Last Stop: This Town" by the eels on their profiles. I'd forgotten I love that song so much.
  • Some guy (I forgot who it is. Just google it.) did a show in honor of some other guy (I think) this week, and guess who came out to sing with him? Jim James!
Friends
  • I'm seeing some this weekend.
  • I have them.
  • I love them.
  • They're great.
  • I will (I hope) be making some new ones because......
Work
  • It's picking up and....
  • The temps will be here in December! I hope they're pleasant.
  • I'm getting faster and more experienced.
  • We're almost done with saying "We'll see" about everything. What we know isn't ideal, but at least we're not left wondering about very much now.
  • I seriously love the days when both Barbara and Diane are here.

Family
  • Dad text messages
  • Mom let me 'help' get rid of some of her clutter and in doing so, I scored 8 or so baskets that will help me with Christmas presents
  • Laine emails me and makes me laugh
  • Robert helps Laine with the laundry
  • Sara doesn't know it yet, but she's going to help me with my scarf project next week
  • Levi is coming in for Thanksgiving
  • Mrs. Dicy always lets us have UPS packages sent to her office so she can sign for them
  • Casey goes with Cody to things that I don't care about
  • Spencer laughs at my jokes
  • Cody is the best life partner/reception music maker/husband/cook EVER.

I might do another thankful post based entirely on food.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everything is funnier out of context

Jen calls Laine.
Laine: [Name of company], this is Laine.
Jen: I think Mom's been having a heart attack for the past 3 days. This is Jen.
Laine: Why do you think that!?
Jen: Well, I was on WebMD--
Laine (shouting): Get off WebMD!
Jen: But--
Laine: That is a website for hypochondriacs. Every time I get on there, it tells me I have a brain tumor.
Jen: How do you get 'brain tumor'?
Laine: Type in "headache."

Cody discusses his plan for surviving prison.
Cody: Okay, now I've only seen on this on Walker, Texas Ranger, but if you're in prison and some big Hispanic guy sees you and goes, "What you looking at, ese?" you should run.
Casey: You're in jail! Where do you go?
Cody: Somewhere......ah, somewhere that guy is not.
Casey: That's really great advice.
Cody: I know. It works for Walker.

Jen and Levi discuss politics.
Levi: [Something about stupidliberalhippies who hate America.]
Jen: How do you reconcile all of your prejudices with, uh, actual facts?
Levi: I don't worry about it. I made that last one up just now!
Jen: Ahh! I just burnt myself again with the hot glue gun.
Levi: You still don't watch Chuck, do you?

Dad gives me one more reason to want to move to North Carolina.
Dad: It's just the coolest town. You'd love it. It's like it's still in the 1950s.
Jen: But without the segregation and other scary parts?
Dad: Right. You can drive your car there. And vote!
Jen: Yay! I love that!
Dad: I know!
Cody: You will have to stay in the kitchen a lot, though.
Jen: What will I do in the kitchen?
Cody: I don't know.
Jen: I can only disinfect counter tops so many times.
Cody: I don't know. It's just the rules, Jen. I'm sorry.

Jen catches up with family friends.
Kari: Is Laine enjoying being married?
Jen: Yeah, I think she really is. Robert's great and we love him.
Steven: Do you think she can really give you an honest answer for that?
Kari: She would with me.
Jen: I'd tell her the truth.
Steven: But how do you know whether your sister's happy or not?
Jen: Laine doesn't really hide her feelings. I think they'd just show up for some family thing and we'd ask, "Laine, why does it seem like you hate Robert?" and she'd say, "Because I don't like being married and I hate Robert." and then we'd know. I'd tell Kari if that happened.
(Laine later confirms that this would be the case.)

Jen emails Laine.
Jen: This flower book is killing me! In addition to using the word "gay" far too frequently, she also wrote this terrifying passage in the brief chapter on bathroom arrangements that I have to share with you.

"One woman had a most original idea for her bathroom decoration. Knowing that African violets grow well in a humid atmosphere, she turned the top of the toilet tank (which was under a window with good light) upside down and filled it with pebbles. On these she has pots of African violets. They thrive in the light and humidity and are usually a mass of blossoms." (p 143)

These people are not like us.
Laine: Wow, just...wow. That is too much. That women must homeschool and bake her own bread. Has to. That is so wild. Who would have ever thought of that? I like that the author said, "One woman had a most original idea..." Original, not good. Just weird. No, not like us at all.*

Jen reacts to a friend's story of premature delivery.
Erin: [harrowing tale of premature delivery].... and then they pretty much snatched him up and put him in an ambulance for Little Rock.
Jen: Wow. You pretty much...birthed a kitten.
Satan decides to go ahead and punch her ticket for Hell right now.

Sara discusses film.
Sara: Oooh, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II is out! We should rent that!
Mom: I didn't know there was a first movie.
Sara: Yeah, I own it.
Jen: Y'all should watch it, and then rent the second one, and it'll be like a marathon.
Sara: Yeah!
Chad looks unhappy. We laugh at his misery.

Brad Anders objects to the term "trailer trash."
You know, if you think about it, having a trailer is kind of like apartment living for rural areas.

*Jen and Laine are homeschool graduates and Jen is married to a man who bakes his own bread.

Thanksgiving (1)

I'm spoiled.

Around this time two years ago, I was waking up at 5:30 a.m., leaving my house at 6:30, and driving over an hour to a receptionist job that paid $7 an hour.

Cody had failed Spanish I for the second time, and so we were putting $20 in a box every week so that he could take it a third time in the spring semester.

I was building back up to maintenance allergy shots (that means paying $35 every week for several weeks) at an emergency care clinic because they were open during lunch hours.

I left home when it was dark and I got home when it was dark.

We were abysmally broke.

We weren't adjusting to living together very well.


Now we're nearing Thanksgiving 2008.

I make twice as much as I did (albeit before anything gets taken out of my check).
Cody is a college graduate.
I have a nine-mile commute to work.
Gas is cheaper now than it was when I was in college.
Our wedding rings are paid off.
We're making quite a dent in the car payments.
We have insurance.
I might be going off allergy shots soon.
We get to spend more time together.
Cody is a much better cook.
Somehow, I think we might be getting to spend more time with our families now.
We've made new friends.
We have more books and more places to put them.
We're in an apartment that's cuter, bigger, and easier to heat and cool.
Cody's cholesterol is better.
We've gotten better at being married.


These are all fantastic things and I'm thankful.

Pictures from October and November












This was a very fall-ish roll of film.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend of food and books and family

Oh right, I was going to tell you about my weekend.

Friday night: I don't want to talk about it any more.

Saturday:
NLR farmer's market--they were packing up early because it was cold, so we hurriedly bought apples and tomatoes.
LR farmer's market--we bought eggs.
Lutheran High book sale--we got:
  • The Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cookbook
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas Friedman
  • The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
  • The Jesuits, by Malachi Martin
  • A Treasury of Russian Spirituality, edited by G.P. Fedeltov
  • Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  • Anna Karenin, by Leo Tolstoy
  • A Long Fatal Love Chase, by Louisa May Alcott
Home--we dropped off a lot of stuff
The restaurant--we ate and visited a little with Cody's grandma

Saturday afternoon--bad movies and lounging around
Saturday evening--we canned apple rings

Sunday--we went to Romance! We played Scrabble and I stole some junk and we played with the dogs and watched the race and ate pork chops. Man, I love Mom's pork chops. Also, I found out that Chad doesn't want me to make him a scarf for Christmas. That's sad. I finished reading The Hours (I saw the movie for a class after we'd read Mrs Dalloway and it was so good and then I read the book and it was even better and I have to say it again: Virginia Woolf is the coolest!).

The End

Friday night Target date gone terribly wrong

I have many things to do today. Very busy, important, pressing matters, let me tell you. There are emails to answer, papers in my desk to organize, overdue library books to re-check out, other blog posts to write....

But first, let me tell you about how I kicked off a lovely weekend in the most pitiful and disorganized fashion EVER.

It was Friday night. Cody and I decided to go crazy and buy a frozen pizza and watch the CBS Friday night line-up. Things got really wild when I suggested we even buy a bottle of Coke. So we quickly grabbed some keys and phones and money and whatever and I slipped on shoes and a jacket and we hopped into the car and drove through the dark and somewhat rainy night.

We found a parking spot.

We parked.

We continued our conversation about something that was apparently not very memorable because I don't recall it now.

We got all the way to the door and....

I looked down.

I yelled, "You have got to be kidding me!"

I was wearing two different shoes.

And just so you know, I looked cute that day!

I was still wearing a top for work that doesn't make me look like.....who ever it is that I look like when I'm at work.

I had on a not-entirely frumpy cardigan.

I had on some cute jeans.

And I was wearing one of these shoes:

and one of these:

Well, dang it.

I tried to not feel distraught, even though I was thinking about sitting in the car for this trip.

But then I thought about how much I hate waiting in the car. And that even if Cody thought he was in there for four minutes, I would have waited outside in the dark and rainy parking lot for at least half an hour.

And I'm not some silly, self-conscious pre-teen who would write this story up and send it in the YM magazine with the ending "....and right then as my friends were laughing at me, my crush walked by. I was mortified!" after all.

I'm in my mid-twenties! I'm employed. I wear serious-looking glasses. I'm married.....to a guy who really wants to laugh at me, but is instead trying to look concerned and is asking, "Hey, you sure you're doing okay?"

We go into the store. I immediately decide we will certainly not be doing as much browsing as I had previously thought because I would really, really, really like to get what we came for and go home and never wear shoes ever ever ever!!! again because they are apparently far too complicated for me to keep up with.

So we buy some floss, frozen pizza, coke, Clorox wipes, and as we walk to the check-out we pass this woman that Cody works with who also works part-time at Target. Cody starts mumbling, "Oh no, it's Candace. Oh no, she sees us, oh no-- Heyyy, Candace."

She replies, "Hey Cody."

He says, "We just came by to see your sweet, smiling face." (He says things like to women all the time. It should make me nervous, but really it just makes it so apparent that he couldn't pick up another woman even if he wanted to.)

She kind of laughs at him and tells us to have a good night and passes by.

I panic. "Oh no! She's a girl! She probably noticed I can't dress myself!"

Cody laughs. "I know, she'll probably say something about Monday. It's pretty funny."

He looks down at my feet and laughs again. "Come on! It's funny, you have to admit."

I did not admit.

I punched him in the chest.

He said it really hurt.

I assured him that was my intent.

We go to the check-out.

We pay for our items.

We then immediately run into my boss's boss's boss (no, really!), who remembers my name and I swear we only ever see each other and she asks about my weekend plans on weekends when I wind up replying that I'll be baking 3 cakes for one birthday because my friends are gluttons, or that I'll be attending a battle of the bands in a bar. One of these weekends, I'm going to just lie and tell her that I'll be reading to the blind.

So tonight I get to see her when I wearing two different pairs of shoes like I'm a five-year-old!!! Excellent.

I met her daughter, who, it must be said, had a really snotty nose. She met Cody, who was quite handsome and charming. We briefly discussed something about the weather and evening plans (the embarrassment was starting to cloud my brain by this point) and parted ways and made it to the car without running into anyone else we knew.

I was mortified.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Resemblance

I'm surprised I just now noticed this.

This is me playing with Laine's camera in the back seat of my car.
It was going to be a serious picture, but then Laine turned around and started talking to me.
So I almost laughed.

This was taken the next day in a feed store.
Levi was trying to give Laine a mean face because she kept taking his picture.
He's about to laugh

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book Sale results

I bought books Saturday.

I prepared for this wonderful event on Friday night by going through our books and removing ones we don't like or need. I think there were about 10 or 12. I loaded them up and put them in a grocery bag. I forget to take them and drop them off at the library, but at least they're off the bookcase and I had space for these new treasures.

A Million Little Pieces. James Frey I'm reading it now and it's great. Finally!
Night Shift. Stephen King. I've been thinking about him a lot lately. "Lets talk about fear, you and I."
The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. This one is Cody's.
The Great Hunt. Robert Jordan. Also Cody's. It's fiction! I'm so proud of him!
Backlash: The Undeclared War on American Women. Susan Faludi. I've heard a lot about this.
Leaving Home. Garrison Keillor. That's right, kids. Cody bought two fiction books on this trip.
A Bowl of Red. Frank X. Tolbert. It's a chili cookbook. Cody checked it out a couple of weeks ago and liked it and was really happy to find it at the sale. So am I.
Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age. Greg Klerx. It's a Cody one.
Chapterhouse: Dune. Frank Herbert. Yes, I know I said I was done with the Dune saga. I changed my mind.
Briefing for a Descent Into Hell. Doris Lessing. I like Doris Lessing.
Africa. Eds. Phyllis M. Marting and Patrick O'Meara. This one is Cody's. It's huge.
Forever Erma. Collected writings of Erma Bombeck. I'm not sure who's getting this as a gift, but I've got some ideas.
Dune. Frank Herbert. I am officially a nerd. Or at least more official than last week.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I forgot to write down the translator.
Vatican Council II. Something Flannery. Sweet!!! Yes, I was the one to find and buy this.
Book of Common Prayer. I picked this up, but it turned out that we'd both been thinking about getting a copy of this for quite some time.
The Borrowers Avenged. Mary Norton. Okay, I saw this and thought it was just The Borrowers, and remembered that my Mom had mentioned liking them when she was little and these books are always on lists of books for children and I thought maybe she and Dallas might enjoy this, but then I got it home and realized 1) it's part of a series and 2) it has "avenged" in the title. Is that even appropriate for a seven-year-old?
Cabbages and Kings. O. Henry. It's a collection of stories.
Naked Lunch. William S. Burroughs. I saw Monica reading this one time and she said it was good. I don't know if it's worth the whopping 50¢ I paid for it yet, but I'm hopeful.
The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill. Hermann Hagedorn. This is out of print. Score for me!
The Summer Before the Dark. Doris Lessing. I now own four Doris Lessing books, even though I've only read one. I need to get on that.

I'm already getting excited for next week's sale.

Update: I left off a book! Virginia Woolf's Quarrel With Grieving. Mark Spilka. It's critical essays on the theme of grieving in some of her works. It's going to be so depressing. I can't wait.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Used Book Sales!!!!!!!

Okay, get very excited.

Why?

Because.

Because we (Little Rock) are going to be experiencing two (2!!!!!!!!) used book sales on back-to-back weekends!

Book sale #1

November 7-9
Main Library Basement
100 Rock Street
10 a.m.--4 p.m. Friday and Saturday
1 p.m.--4 p.m. on Sunday

Hardbacks are $1.
Paperbacks are 50¢



Book sale #2
November 15
Lutheran High School
6711 W. Markham
8 a.m.--2 p.m.


Now, I've never been to the Lutheran High sale, but it's a school affiliated with a church, and churches are sometimes affiliated with older people, who sometimes have really good books so.....obviously I'm going in the hopes that I'll be picking up some (more) cheap gifts for friends and family and add to my own collection.

I hope to see you there. I'll be the girl falling under the weight of her own purchases.