Wednesday, January 30, 2008

confessions

Braindead from a long week (and, yes, it's only Wednesday). Found this over on Jennifer's blog (a new visitor).

52 Confessions

1. The phone rings, who do you want it to be? The Boyfriend
2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yes and occasionally an extra random one near the cart corral. Why do people get them so close but then not give them that extra push?
3. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed again, would you? Yes, please.
4. Do you take compliments well? Not really but I think I'm getting a little better.
5. Do you play Sudoku? Yep.
6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Depends what the conditions were and how long I'd be alone there. Not too good with the survival skills...
7. If your house were on fire, what would be the first thing you would save? Pictures.
8. Who was the last person you slept in the bed with? The Boyfriend. I know...you're shocked and appalled, aren't you?
9. Who do you text the most? The Boyfriend and the FSIL.
10. Favorite children's book? The Taste of Blackberries.
11. Eye color? Blue.
12. How tall are you? 5'7"
13. If you could do it over again, start from scratch, would you? Nope. Not that there wouldn't be some moments I'd want to go back to if only to soak in every little detail into my memory.
14. Any secret admirers? Not that I know of...
15. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? I can't remember. Months? Somewhere on the road probably.
16. Favorite ex? What a terrible question. I guess it depends on how you define it. Perhaps the German.
17. Where is the furthest place you traveled? Probably Seattle.
18. Do you like mustard? Not really. Sometimes it's ok on a hotdog.
19. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? Yes? Right now probably sleep.
21. Do you miss anyone? Yes.
22. Can you do splits? Nope, never could.
23. What movie do you want to see right now? Juno.
24. What did you do for New Year's Eve? Went out to eat with The Boyfriend and then met some people at Big Texas to go country dancing.
25. Do you think The Grudge was crappy? No, creepy.
26. Do you own a camera phone? Yes.
27. Was your mom a cheerleader? That's funny. No.
28. What's the last letter of your middle name? E.
29. Are you Hispanic? Nope.
31. Do you like Care Bears? Oh, I loved them. I only had Good Luck Bear.
32. What do you buy at the Movies? Usually nothing but I enjoy popcorn and Jr. Mints.
33. Do you know how to play poker? Not really.
34. Do you wear your seatbelt? Always.
35. What do you wear to sleep? Depends. Usually shorts and a t-shirt.
36. Anything big ever happen in your city? Yep, I'm sure way more than I realize.
37. Is your hair straight or curly? Straight.
38. Is your tongue pierced? No.
39. Do you like Liver and Onions? No.
40. Do you like funny or serious people better? Funny.
41. Ever been to L.A.? No.
42. Who is on your mind right now? The FSIL since I just got off the phone with her.
43. Any plans for tonight? Staying in at this pretty nice, historic hotel and eating room service. Perhaps a little work. Obviously a little blogging.
44. What's your favorite song at the moment? I really like that Sugarland song "Stay." I like her voice and how she becomes empowered by the end (even though the video doesn't show empowerment).
45. Do you hate chocolate? Does anyone?
46. What do you and your parents fight about the most? They don't and I can't really remember them fighting when they were alive.
47. Are you a gullible person? I don't think so.
48. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy? Nope but it's a lovely bonus.
49. If you could have any job what would it be? The one where you get to travel to wonderful places and stay in fantastic hotels and things and eat great food and then force your opinions on people. That would be awesome.
50. Are you easy to get along with? I think so.
51. What is your favorite time of day? Lunchtime. Bedtime.
52. Are you generally a happy person? Yes, generally. Everyone has their moments.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

master bath redo

Instead of whining about how I apparently cannot become completely healthy in 2008, I'm going to show you my latest project.

Perhaps you'll remember from long ago that the master bath looked something like this:

I know, raised toilet seat. I know how that bothers some of you (and doesn't make for as good of a picture). Rest assured, I was more considerate in the more recent pics. Because I could not stand the sight of that wallpaper, I've been living with something like this (wallpaper remnants) for quite awhile:



Yeah, it wasn't good but I swear it was better than those flowers. So, during recent bouts of wellness, I finally decided on how I was going to tackle this one. The walls under the wallpaper were not prepped for painting. The thought of removing every last speck of wallpaper made me want to commit self-injurious behavior. I decided to get some paintable wallpaper. I've used it before and was pleased with the results. I'd recommend it if you have walls in not-so-good shape; it covers a myriad of sins. Because of all the funky angles in this room, I went with a random pattern that looks somewhat like Venetian plaster. Here's a close-up:


The paint is a National Historic Trust color (something I've stuck with in all my rooms except the living room--apparently no one in history loved a good orange). It's a grayish-green that changes colors throughout the day. I also removed the old roller shade and installed wide, white faux-wood blinds. Love these! So easy to install and make such a difference. And I installed a towel ring and a new toilet paper holder. So cute and on sale! And replaced the old mirror with a bigger round one. This has made a huge difference--no more bending down to see yourself and it actually reflects some of the window light back at you. Since the whole place was getting a makeover, I went ahead and reorganized and threw out lots of old product. I still need a few little finishing touches but could not be more pleased with the final results.



Note, the fun mirror reflections that are not part of the wall in real life...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

sunday scribblings - miscellaneous

Yeah, so it's not Sunday. I just needed a miscellaneous post and low and behold, that's the topic for Sunday Scribblings. Here's my mishmash:
  • Amidst my numerous beginning-of-the-year illnesses, I managed to start and nearly finish my master bathroom. Pics coming soon! I'm very excited about it and feel rejuvenated in regards to getting the rest of the big projects completed. Next up? The Ugly Bathroom.
  • I've realized that while I am blessed with a good metabolism, I will never have that perfectly flat stomach that many celebrities boast. I had absolutely nothing in my system after that stomach virus thing and I almost had that stomach. I eat half a dozen crackers? Pooch.
  • Being able to actually eat enough to get that pooch? Made me unbelievably happy. The little things, people.
  • I also have some new and/or updated light fixtures in the guest bath. Pics of that soon, too.
  • After installing my new light fixture, The Brother went to flip the breaker back on and it didn't work.
  • That breaker controlled about 1/3 of my house including the heater. You know, during the one cold snap we've had this winter. Not good in a house that is slightly less energy-efficient than a tent. No heat for about 24 hours when The Boyfriend replaced the breaker. It was a surprisingly easy (yet much appreciated) task.
  • I've finally started the volunteer training; it got postponed until after the holidays. I am really enjoying it and am very excited. This needs a post all its own.
  • The study I've been working on since I started this job (which was about when I started this blog), is FINALLY! coming to an end. We'll be done with the first segment on my birthday. Then I'll be transitioning to a new study that will be psychiatry-related. Could not be happier about that.
  • At most, I'll only have to come back to Shreveport twice. Yea!

I think that's about it for my miscellaneous. You know, for now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

mondo beyondo--with completed blanks

To continue on with Mondo Beyondo...

What I Want to Acknowledge Myself for Regarding 2007
  • Doing a really good job with work. I think I kept my strong work ethic and was able to see beyond just financial compensation to what else is truly important in a job. I remained loyal despite getting non-stop calls for other options.
  • Having the (you know, I want to say "balls" so I'm going to) balls to take a vacation on my own. To a place I'd never been but have wanted to go. To use that airline credit instead of just letting it expire. To not feel sorry for myself for doing it because I could have sat at home alone or taken this fantastic trip alone and I chose the more exciting one.
  • Taking time to enjoy parts of life outside of work.
  • Being open enough to know that some really fantastic guy crossed my path and not letting that opportunity pass me (him, us) by. And being vulnerable which, you know, is not very comfortable.
  • Managing a household (with an actual house and all the grown-up things that come with that) all on my own. Well, mostly on my own.
What I Have to Grieve About Regarding 2007
  • I grieve the loss of Rachel.
  • I grieve the closeness of many of my friendships. I was a terrible time manager during the last half of the year and let too much time go by between visits with the people who have been the most important to me for years. I miss my girlfriends. I forgive myself for my time management skills and for focusing more on a new relationship than the old ones.
  • I grieve the relationship I had with my brother when we were both single. I don't think we have a worse relationship now, it's just that other things and people take up more of our time. I miss having alone time.
I declare 2007 complete!

The focus for 2008? I'm going with The Year of Reconnecting. With people, with myself, with everything enjoyable that I've let slip by the wayside.

The next part of this is to state what you want to bring into your life in 2008. The inspiration can be found here. They're the things you're scared to ask for, the things you may not think you deserve...
  1. I want to feel like I'm on a very real path to marriage. (Um, yes, this is scary to write. Makes me want to throw up a little bit so it must be a good one.)
  2. I want to have even closer relationships with my loved ones.
  3. I want to take better care of myself. In every way.

Anyone else want to share what you want in '08?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

sunday scribblings - fellow travelers

Taking a break from 10 on Tuesday. I don't know if I'll pick that up again or not (or maybe just sporadically). After surfing some blogs, I found Sunday Scribblings. I like that it's just a topic and it gives you a lot of freedom. We'll see how it goes. This week's topic? Fellow Travelers.

What a funny topic to be my first one... Traveling. Fellow travelers. I've mentioned this before but it still holds true. Sometimes I cannot believe that this is my life. That I get to travel so much. I've been a business traveler for almost three years now. Three years! That's so hard for me to believe.

Before that, I wasn't much of a traveler at all. I was the kind of traveler I have grown to, well, despise is a strong word. I was a very infrequent leisure traveler. Ack. The kind who isn't sure about all the travel rules. Who gets anxiety over airport security and goes through it way too slowly. Who feels uncertain when faced with navigating new places. Who packs too many outfits and takes full-sized bottles of product. Who had never stayed in a really posh hotel. Who got excited over a rental car.

What a difference time makes... I'm a superb packer. I can tell you the pros and cons of staying in a nice hotel vs. a budget hotel vs. a B&B. I can tell you which rental car companies I prefer for business travel (when it's important to be able to get through lines quickly and it's on someone else's dime) and which for leisure (and, in those cases, to never settle for their first offer--upgrade!). I can explain to you the science that is choosing the best seat. I can tell you how to get through lines quickly (but won't because I can't give away all my secrets).

I can tell you what it's like to be in Seattle's Public Market when it's still sleepy out and the vendors are just beginning to stock their tables. How this could not be more different from the bustling excitement that it transforms into just hours later. I can tell you how the vineyards outside San Francisco just go on and on and made me realize for the first time that this, too, is farming. They just have grapes as a crop instead of the corn and cotton and maize with which I grew up. I can tell you how humbling it can be to stand in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, imagining all the great artists who have passed through that building. And wishing that your parents had a chance to see it, too. I can tell you about York Beach, Maine and how the lighthouse and the waves crashing against the rocks and the nearby lobster eateries make you think, "this is Maine."

I can tell you how weird it feels to go from that infrequently traveling novice to an old pro who cannot believe it's been three whole weeks since the last flight.

Odds are, I am your fellow traveler.

Friday, January 18, 2008

mondo beyondo 2008

I'm happy to report that I'm finally feeling human again. Not 100% but I actually left the house yesterday. Ok, so I drove the few miles to The Brother's place where I just sat around keeping the cat company, but I was out of the house. Also? I've been able to eat food besides crackers. Yea me!

While I've been home so much this week (and not feeling at all like doing things on any personal To Do list), I've caught up on some blogs. The last link in my list over there in the sidebar is new. I've been meaning to add it for a long time. The author/artist has some amazing jewelry for sale (I bought a necklace about a year ago and love it), an adorable baby, fantastic photography skills, and some great ideas.

Since I was behind, I missed her New Years post. It was called Mondo Beyondo 2008. Go check it out to get the full explanation. It's basically a way to put the past year behind you and move on with the new one. Clean slate, etc. I know it's mid-January but better late than never. I'm going to think on mine over the weekend but thought I'd leave you with the questions in case you thought it was a good idea, too.
1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?(What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

Okay, the next step is to say out loud, "I declare 2007 complete!" How do you feel? If you don't feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say...

The final step is to consider your primary focus for the year to come. What is your primary intention or theme for 2008? Is it the year of joy? the year of self-care? the year of partnership? Stand up and say it proud, "2008 is my year of...."
There's a part 2 but I think this is enough to ponder for now. Anyone with me?

(Blockquote taken directly from the blog at superherodesigns.com, specific post referenced above.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

i'm still sick

In apparently more ways than one... How funny is this?! Go ahead, take the quiz to see how many little kids you could fight. You know you want to...

14

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

i have food poisoning

For the 4th time in my life. And I don't even know what we could have eaten that would have given it to us. But it lets me use the "I'm feeling crappy" face over there...

Friday, January 11, 2008

picking favorites

Is it too much information to tell you that I'm forcing The Boyfriend to answer some questions from this book called Things You Should Know About Your Mate: 1,000 Questions for Couples? In all fairness, I'm answering them as well. Surely this doesn't surprise you given my psychology background.

Tonight's list was about favorites. I thought I'd just copy/paste (censored a little bit) for you here. What have I learned from this exercise? I can't easily pick favorites.

1. Do you have a favorite type (or a couple) of music? A favorite singer? Or musical group? I'm really varied as you may have already noticed. My iPod is pretty eclectic. My favorites are probably Texas Country, 80s (of course), and Top 40 type stuff (I know that makes me suck just a little bit but I can't help it). It depends on my mood...sometimes I just set the iPod to shuffle until some genre strikes my fancy and then switch to that. I'm a little bit of a music snob sometimes, too. I'm not sure why. Favorite singers and groups...REM, Johnny Cash, Robert Earl Keen, amongst many others.

2. What is your favorite fast-food restaurant? I know I should never eat fast food but my life is conducive to it sometimes. I like Whataburger and ChickFilA (I scored me some chicken tonight but I had the slaw and fruit instead of fries.) How often do you eat there? Maybe once every 3 weeks or so. Depends on my travel schedule to some degree. What's your favorite restaurant for casual dining? I'm not sure. Why is this one harder? Maybe Tookie's or Mom Alone's. I do like Texas Land & Cattle and Saltgrass. Apparently I can't pick a favorite. Favorite special occasion restaurant? Bailey's like I mentioned before. And The Melting Pot. And maybe any good steak or Italian place. My favorite restaurant of all time? Ortanique in the Miracle Mile in Miami.

3. Do you remember what your favorite childhood books were? The Taste of Blackberries. To Kill a Mockingbird (still one of my faves...need to read again). I liked little horror stories and the Sweet Valley High series for awhile. And the Ramona Quimby books. I read a lot then, too. I always read the Bluebonnet and Caldecott award winning books in elementary school. Oh, and Little Golden Books. Those were the best.

4. Do you have a favorite movie? Actor? Actress? Comedy? Drama? Geez, I like Sideways and Garden State. And Gone With the Wind (that was Mom's favorite). Breakfast Club. Princess Bride. The ones I can watch over and over again are usually romantic comedies. Gasp! I'm a girl! Actor/Actress...eh, I like Johnny Depp. I guess I'm kinda apathetic. I don't think anyone would make me want to see the movie just because s/he was in it if the storyline weren't also good. I dislike Keanu Reeves.

5. What's your favorite alcoholic beverage? Rum (with virtually any mixer) or wine.

6. What meal would you eat most often if you could? Something with lots of carbs. Maybe chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and mac n cheese. Oh, God... Do you have a favorite "fancy" meal? The best meal ever (at Ortanique) was steak (perfectly medium), truffle mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Also super good herb bread and a mojito or two.

7. What is your favorite snack food? Mostly anything sweet. But I like jerky and bean dip/chips, too. And a slab of cheese. Dessert? Creme brulee. And bread pudding (no raisins). What's your favorite ice cream flavor? As boring as it is, probably vanilla. Then anything with chocolate (rocky road, that toffee stuff I bought at Braum's, etc.). But there's not much ice cream I'd turn down.

8. Do you have a favorite and least favorite day of the week? Why do you feel that way? Least favorite is an early flight day; most favorite is coming home [insert cheesy "because I get to see you" comments].

9. What is your favorite time of day? I think it varies. [Deleted more sappy comments so that readers do not barf.]

10. What's your favorite candy bar? I don't eat many candy bars. Hmmm, I like Mars with almonds. Oh, and toffee.

11. What is your favorite ethnic cuisine? Mexican. Then probably Italian. And Greek.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

11 years ago

This time last year there was a sad post recollecting my mom's death. One of the points of that was the lifelong need a child has for his or her parents. There have been lots of times over the past year where I've wished Mom were here. No doubt my brother has felt the same way. And no doubt there will be even more times this year (especially considering his upcoming nuptials).

I guess what's been on my mind the most lately is the need for a parent to give relationship advice. So lay it on me. What lessons have you learned? Or advice you wish you'd been given or things you would have done differently or tips you'd like to share regarding everything leading up to and including marriage? You don't have to have a successful marriage to play...everything's a learning experience.

Monday, January 07, 2008

housekeeping (again)

I feel pretty good about the fact that I've now taken care of all the year-end blog stuff and it's only a week into '08. New "little things" list up there in the subtitle, new poll, new quiz. New start to the reading list. There have also been a few additions to the Concert List over there in the sidebar.

For memory's sake, here's the list of '07 reads:

16. Four to Score
15. Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother's Story
14. Three to Get Deadly
13. Two for the Dough
12. One for the Money
11. Wicked
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
9. Marley and Me
8. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
7. Elegy for Iris (about half of it)
6. The Cider House Rules
5. Still Life with Woodpecker
4. Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God
2. Sex and the City
1. Me Talk Pretty One Day

Also, just an FYI, you may have noticed no 10 on Tuesdays lately. I've either been too busy or just not excited about the topic. This week's is the 10 Best Moments of '07. I think those were pretty much captured here (give or take). I may or may not go back to it. I'm not sure why I feel compelled to keep you all in the loop but I do. I'm sure you've been waiting on pins and needles for an update...

Maybe because I feel the need for lists, I'll give you a bonus one here. It's of things that have been so low priority (whether or not they are deserving of that description) on the To Do list that I've been putting them off, sometimes for months. What have you been ignoring? Please tell me so I won't feel alone in this.
  1. Getting the oil changed in my car.
  2. Returning the shredder that doesn't work. But crazy ol' me didn't test it right when I brought it home and I've since thrown away the box. Must look for receipt. Hopefully they'll take it back or something.
  3. Buying make-up. I've really stretched this one out. I'm so close to running out that I may have to do this tomorrow.
  4. Any home improvement task. I'm feeling uncharacteristically indecisive about everything in this area.
  5. Finishing any of the numerous home improvement projects I'm in the middle of...kitchen light box, end-of-bed bench upholstery in the guest room, wallpapering/painting my bathroom, new lights in the garage, yardwork.
  6. Drilling a hole in the entertainment center so that the DVD player can move to a shelf where it won't have to be diagonal.
  7. Filing.
  8. Throwing things away that no longer need to be filed.
  9. Transferring the rest of my CDs to the iPod.
  10. Organizing closets.

I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something(s). It never fails; the new year really does make me motivated. I've taken care of some financial stuff so far. Finally joined the gym. Put away Christmas decorations. Cleaned up the sunroom which I lovingly use as "the staging area." Guess what? It has a floor! (Well, sort of.) Now if I could just find my desk under all this paperwork...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

out with the old, in with the flu

Ok, not really. It's a sinus infection but that didn't have as nice of a ring to it.

The cons? Feeling sickly. Not getting a good night's sleep. Using up way too many tissues.

The pros? Having realistic supervisors who allow you to stay home instead of going to Shreveport. The chance to take out garbage on an actual trash day. Naps. Perhaps time to take down Christmas decorations between said naps. The fact that I made it a whole 12 months in between bouts of this stuff (instead of what was becoming my usual 6 months).

I know, I know. I'm sick. I should stop thinking about how I can productively use the extra at-home time. I'll do my best. Perhaps starting with a nap...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008