Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Reading

As most everyone knows, I participated in an online reading challenge this summer hosted by Cynthia at The Next Best Book Club on Good Reads. Here are the books I read. Each fulfilled a task worth points. (Example: I read Strawberry Hill because it had a fruit or vegetable in the title in honor of summer farmer's markets). I earned 540 points overall. I have listed the books by how much I liked them

Five Star
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Book Thief by Mark Zastrus
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

Four Star
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collin
A Short Wait Between Trains (anthology)
A Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Spiderweb by Agatha Christie
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Soshentieyn
North and South by John Jakes
The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld
Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkin

Three Star
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
When the Emperor was Divine by Jule Otsuka
Dream of Peaceful Dragons by Katie Hickman
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Strawberry Hill by Mary Ann Hoberman
Wife, No. 19 by Ann Eliza Young

Two Star
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
You Drive me Crazy: Love Poems for real life, edited by Mary D Esselman
The Single Hound by Emily Dickenson
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

One Star (actually all of these books deserve less than one star, but thats not an option!)
Away by Amy Bloom
Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evonovich
Wild Animus by Rich Shapero
The Shack by William Young

Point Total: 540
Page Total: 14620

That's right, I read over fourteen-thousand pages this summer. That is an average of 158 per day. Go me!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ahh. Freedom.

In case it has not been clear, I am been spending my time since securing a job lazing about, reading, watching TV and movies, being social, and in general, being gloriously relaxed.

I took this relaxation party up to Cleveland last night. I made the two-hour drive to meet two of my cousins and my sister at a Mexican restaurant. We ate Mexican food, then saw my Cousin's new house. We discussed the bio-mechanics of arm circles, the differentiation between fruits and vegetables, the merits (and demerits) of pet skunks, and other important topics. I accidentally stayed an hour later than intended and thus did not make it home until 1am.

This morning was my fantasy football draft. DH has run a league for about seven years now. It has come to include people from all parts of our lives - family members (my in-laws), college friends, current Columbus friends, and parents of friends. This year we have 10 people in the league. My team's name this year is the Minnesota Man Bear Pigs. This is a South Park reference, I did not make it up. Anyways, I do like my team quite a bit.

After that I ran off for some Outlet shopping down in Jeffersonville with some friends. I was buying clothes for the new job. The place was packed, and the sales were huge. I have never seen such big discounts there. On top of the already outlet prices, there was things like 40% the entire Old Navy store, Black&White dresses starting at $29.99, and 40% the entire Puma store. I bought quite a bit, though no shoes and only one pair of pants.

DH and I finished off the exciting day by watching Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus on the SyFy channel (do not ask me why they decided to look like uneducated nincompoops and switch the spelling of Sci Fi to that ridiculousness, but alas they did). The movie was as gloriously bad as anticipated. For some of the most priceless scenes, you tube it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Happy Moments

I got a copy of X-Files season 5. I have watched two episodes and look forward to continuing. It makes me want season 4 and 6 as well.

Saturday night I made a cup of Raspberry Hot Chocolate and lay in bed watching Twilight.

Sunday I went to my Grandma's and chillaxed in good company.

Monday afternoon my friend R came over. We ate lunch, went on a beautiful walk in Sharon Woods metro park, and then hung out for a while.

Monday evening DH and I walked to DQ together with Grim puppy and got Ice Cream. I got a super big Moo-Latte. Grim had an ice cream cone too and loved it.

Monday night I lay in bed watching television and reading with a glass of wine. Super comfy.

Tuesday, after a junk food run, DH and I watched a movie together and ate way too many calories or Skittles, Raisonets, and Hershey's.

I could get used to this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Headache Rating System

In case you had not noticed, I get a LOT of headaches, and they come in all kinds. I was going to post about the headache I had yesterday (and other of yesterday's events), and I realized I need some sort of system to explain just how my headache was, comparatively. (OK, I don't actually intend to use this system but I thought it would be interesting enough)

1 - minor headache, not even enough to change my behavior or require sunglasses, can also be the "after aura" of a full blown migraine

2 - medium headache, one step up from a minor headache, it is bothering me, my shoulder has some tightness and may make me use sunglasses but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I did not have them and I might mention it to friends or DH, but its not dominating my attention. There are also non-migraine style headaches that might fall into this category.

3 - underling (of a migraine), my head hurts a lot, but its not enough for me to change plans, I need sunglasses, I keep rubbing my shoulder without realizing it, and a lot of my energy is spent thinking about the headache. It would be obvious to someone who knew me I had a headache.

4 - migraine, I wish I could just sit home and deal with the headache, but its not serious enough to warrant it. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I am pretty unhappy about doing it. I constantly rub my shoulder, cover my offending eye (whichever is on the same side as the migraine) and avoid light if possible. I have food aversions (seeing the wrong commercial on TV or someone bringing in the wrong kind of food makes my stomach turn over and/or my head pulse). The headache is the first thing on my mind.

5 - bad migraine, this headache is severe enough that I might cancel plans to stay home and nurse it, but I am still capable of some level of function if what I need to do is really important or cannot be rescheduled. It dominates nearly all of my attention. My shoulder is so stiff massaging it myself seems pointless. I fantasize about someone injecting the muscle with a relaxant or cutting off my arm. I wear sunglasses, maybe even at night or indoors, and I keep a hand over my offending eye if at all possible. I might also be caught holding a hot compress (often in the form of a coffee) up to my eye. It is clear to other people I am not well (though it might come off as tired). I get spells of being nauseous and cannot think about eating most things, I consider running to the bathroom at the low points of these spells. I may be dizzy or have blurred vision. If I am at home, I lie in bed or on the couch wishing it would stop, maybe watching TV (with my eyes open or closed depending on the moment).

6 - nightmare migraine, stop all activity, I am not getting out of bed with this one, I can't even have the TV on because even with my eyes closes/covered the moving light is too much. I also might start to be sound sensitive. I am constantly nauseous and might actually throw up. I toss and turn, unable to sleep, and wimper a lot without thinking about it. All I can think about is the headache, nothing else can distract me.

Yeah... so that is the reality of my headaches. Those ranking 5 or 6 are few and far between, but the other varieties are all too common.

Yesterday I a bad migraine. I went to my informational meeting for the Columbus Literacy Council anyways (partly because it was probably just a regular migraine before I left and partly because it would be a month before I could do this again), and spent the entire meeting miserable, making other people gawk as I wore sunglasses during the tour of the building and kept my hand over my right eye anytime we were sitting down. It got so bad at one point that I considered called DH and having him pick me up because I couldn't fathom driving home in the sunlight. Luckily by the time the meeting ended it had dissipated enough for me to get home. At home I used DH's neck as a hot compress (surprisingly effective), and waited it out on the couch in front of the television, considering the whole time hanging a blanket to block out more light. Around 2pm it started improving. By 3pm it had greatly improved so I could read and be on the computer, until by 4:30 it was nothing more than a level 1. I am very happy it was short lived.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Girl's Night

Last night we had a girl's night. My friend J had us over to make jewelry and watch girlie movies. We started out the evening by looking at her supplies then headed to Byzantium. It was my first time there, and my assessment (comparing them to other bead stores I have been in) is that they have a huge selection of international and vintage beads, but not very many real stone beads at all, and their display system is annoying/hampering to the creative process (i.e. a much higher percentage of their beads are kept in cases meaning you have to request to look at them rather then being able to browse them). I ended up getting the Hematite stars I have wanted a necklace from for a LONG time and some other filler beads. I had to make a conscious effort to stay away from orange. I think about 75-80% of my jewelry is orange. Back at J's we ordered pizza and got to work. I ended up making two necklaces with the hematite. I am very happy with both necklaces so I thought I would show them off (as best I can, its hard taking good pictures of little beaded necklaces!)

Also, two of my friends said, in separate cases, "the stars fit your personality." I am not sure what to make of that. Why do Hematite Stars scream Amanda? Well, at least my tastes fit my personality?

Instead of watching girlie movies we watched the season premier of Project Runway that was being replayed on Lifetime. (For those of you who don't watch reality TV, it is a competition for fashion designers). I think it will be a good season. I really liked lots of the designs, and I totally agree with who got kicked off. The challenge this week was "red carpet look" (judged my Lindsay Lohan?!?!) and this dress looked like a deflated metallic soccer ball had been jammed over the model. I was going to try to post either pictures or links here but it appears that Lifetime does not want us blogging about their show since they thwart every attempt. It is a very poorly/inconveniently designed site. I think they may need to reconsider their social networking strategies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

An Empty House

The Rock Band party last night was a smashing success, good turn out and good times. This morning, our roommate left to move back to Missouri. I knew I would be sad, I did not realize I would cry. I am pretty sure it will be several weeks before I walk by their office without looking to see if he is in front of his computer, or stop checking when I get home if his car is here to know if he is home. The house is going to seem very empty for a while.

As a parting gift he left us Madden 10, MLB 09, and Rock Band 2, along with the 2 guitars and mic stand he bought while he was here. That is a huge gift. Shortly after deciding we were NOT going to buy a PS3 to replace the one Ben had here, I got a job and they announced a price reduction. Its calling our name, and we will get one when the price drop actually occurs in September. So we will have Rock Band still after all.

I was going to write more about other random things, but I just don't feel like it anymore. We will hopefully see Ben at Thanksgiving (if we go to DH's extended family, which is near where he lives).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Is that title big and bold and obvious enough?

As I said only three short posts ago, no secrets when it comes to me getting a job. I will shout it from the roof tops.

I had arrived home from another interview and was just hanging out, cleaning up, etc last week when I got a phone call out of the blue from the Bureau of Disability Determination. I interviewed with them back in May and failed to obtain a position in their June "class". They call it a class because the first 10 weeks of employment are classroom-style training. Anyways, they called me last week to offer me a position in their September class!!! I was very surprised, even though I knew I had told them I was interested in future positions, I did not think it would actually result in anything. Yesterday, I also received an offer from a bank that has large offices in Columbus. When it rains, it pours, eh? I have heard this story a million times. Unemployed for a long time, and then ending up with a decision to make about which offer to accept.

This morning I called to accept the offer with the BDD. As of Sept 14th I will be a state employee. My official title will be "Disabilities Claims Adjudicator". The basic job is assessing claims for disability payments and deciding whether people meet the legal criteria to be paid. DH said one of the requirements was "cannot mind red tape". Actually, a more accurate statement would be to say I am becoming the red tape. LOL. It is rather fitting though. After studying bureaucracy for two years, I will become part of it. I think the job will be engaging and keep me busy, it pays well, and when I get home at night I don't have work to bring with me. What more could a girl ask for?

Now... to take full advantage of me next three weeks off with no obligations and no guilt of being unemployed :-)

Aaron's B-Day

We celebrated DH's B-Day as planned. He liked the picture I got for him, I ended up going with something a little different than canvas. We like it! I want to order one more and get it hung soon. The plans for where to hang pictures (how to arrange them) in the family room changes about every five minutes.

As for some unknown reason, DH prefer's most things store bought over homemade, I bought him a cookie cake and did my best to write on it for him. My cake decorating skills are way lame, as noted by the giant "P" in happy.

Since the cake was so ugly, I took special care in coloring in his card. I used my oil crayons, which have not gotten use in a LONG time. Yes that is Chinese in the top left corner and german in the bottom left. Also, on the cookie above I put his Chinese name, that is why it says Airong.

After he opened up his present from me, and cards from both of our parents (Thank you!!) He is sharing the wealth with me and we already used up a generous Amazon gift card. Anyways, after that we headed out to dinner. We went to the Hickory House in Powell and had all you can eat ribs! The ribs were not as good there as at The Pig Iron, but being all you can eat sort of made up for it. I am pretty sure he is eating them for lunch today.

Now he is ancient (26), and I am back to being a youngin, or actually we decided that now I am"just old" at 25.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What happened again?

I have been meaning to post since Monday about my weekend, and now the details are already escaping me. I know I did some fun things... but what were they?

Lets see... I know I had something Friday night. Ah yes!!

OK. It is all coming back to me now. On Thursday and Friday night last week I had friends over to watch the third season (a mini series) of Torchwood, the BBC Doctor Who spinoff we have grown so fond of. It was an intense 5 hour mini-series, which was unfortunately very disapointing in many ways and ultimately infuriating. (SPOILERS). The biggest problem was they killed of a main character, pretty much everyone's favorite character, and that his death was entirely pointless. The other issue was plot holes so large you could drive the Titanic through them. Apparently they are planning a fourth season, I cannot imagine how it could be any good.

Saturday... well Saturday I did pretty much nothing. That is, I did nothing until the evening when I went out with DH We grabbed dinner and then headed to the theater to take him to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was his first time and my third. I am sorry to say that it did not pass the "the movie is entertaining and makes sense to someone who has not read the books without any major plot holes" test for DH. He had some questions that needed answering and I ended up explaining a lot of things from the book to explain why things happened the way they did or why they mattered. It still was nice though.

Sunday I lazed around in the morning and then drove up to my Grandma's. We were going to celebrate Uncle Curt's Birthday (that was last week), but he wanted me to hold off until my Aunt Karen could be there too, so that cake will be made and enjoyed this coming weekend instead. I have not yet decided what to make... something similar to rum cake, but it needs to be non-alcoholic. I am open to suggestions.

I also finished a book - Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It was quite good, urban fiction if I have ever read urban fiction (a genre I did not know had a title until recently). I would describe it as similar to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, except much darker.

And then the week came along. Almost all of Monday was spent getting the A/C repaired. It stopped working Sunday night and were afraid it would be a big repair, but luckily it was very minor. It kept me from getting much else done though. Tuesday was also a day of pretty much a day of nothing. I do a lot of nothing now a days though. We had people over for Rock Band last night (Tuesday), and that was a lot of fun.

The rest of the week? We have some plans. DH has his Birthday tomorrow, and weekend social events are forming up. We look forward to a friend from undergraduate visiting us Sunday night/Monday. Also, roommates date for moving out has been set - Friday the 21st. Maybe I can squeeze in one more Rock Band party before that... :-)

Friday, August 7, 2009

How scheduled...

How scheduled is over scheduled?

I know I have posted about feeling socially over scheduled before, but this time I really did it. This week, 4 out of 5 nights I have had something scheduled, and really was intending on having people over on the 6th night too.

Monday - Nestie dinner
Wednesday - Rock Band
Thursday - Torchwood
Friday - Torchwood

Now, even this would probably not be over scheduled for me if it did not just so happen that all of these events are things that DH does not participate in (actually he does play Rock Band, but only when its a big party, or only for a couple of songs). Basically I feel like I have hardly seen DH this week and he agrees! So, tomorrow night is officially date night now instead of more Rock Band.

The reason I have been playing so much Rock Band is because we might not have it much longer. Our roommate is planning on moving out before the end of the month. He discovered that he will never be able to get a promotion here due to a bad district manager, so he is transferring back to Missouri, where they will give him a major promotion instantly (at the time of the move). Its happening really fast and we will miss him. I do not know what we will do with the room when he leaves. We have so much space we could throw it at the cats, if it was throwable and not an abstract concept. Anyways, with him goes the PS3, the Wii, and most of the games. We are currently discussing whether we want to buy a PS3 or not. I know I will miss it if we don't have it, but I am not sure it is a priority either.

Well. I think I had one other thing to say, but I forgot it and I am off to go hiking with a friend this morning. Smell you later!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Patience Pays Off

I realized long after I had decided in my head what this post would be titled that some people might mistakenly mean it meant I got a job. It doesn't. When I get a job, I promise to post it with a big bold title that won't keep any secrets.

Where patience actually pays off is in throwing Rock Band parties. I invited a handful of people over to play Rock Band on Wednesday night. I had two "maybes" and one "yes". At 7:30pm I set to cleaning the house, and then my "yes" called and said she couldn't make it - sick. So... I did not even know if anyone would show up. Well, I had been planning to play Rock Band all day and had been looking forward to it, so guests or no, I started playing at 8:30 by myself. I sang a little, then sang & played guitar, then switched to Guitar alone and managed to play Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambrio first on the "hard" setting and then on the "expert" setting (this is me bragging). Anyways, by this time it was 9:45pm and I had pretty much given up hope on any guests coming, so I started into a 8 song singing set to earn some cash for one of my off characters. Low and behold, just after the 1st song the house phone rings, and it is my Cousin asking if its too late to come over and play. She was just getting off work. I could honestly tell her that it was not too late and I was standing there playing by myself!!

She came over and we rocked out until about midnight. It was a ton of fun and I even got her to sing a couple by the end of the night (she got 100% on them by the way!) So, patience pays off sometimes! If you play it... they will come :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Ranks of the Unemployed

I went to the Job Fair at COSI today and have to say it was the most depressing event so far of my unemployment.

See that line, snaking from the door to the far left of the pictures?

That is the line of unemployed people waiting to get it. That line is longer than it was when I got there.

I got there around 11 and there was a huge line of cars trying to get into the parking lot. When I did park and headed to the museum, the line was winding well out of the door. Once inside, there was a maze of ropes holding about 60 people, and then a registration table. After the registration table was another line stretching the length of the North wing of COSI. After 45 minutes of waiting in line I was actually allowed into the room the fair was held in. It was not big at all. There were about 15 booths. A couple were community colleges offering re-training. A couple were promotion/not offering jobs but rather advice. A couple were places I have been applying to all summer. The rest were mostly sales positions (sell our insurance! sell our financial services! etc).

Hundreds and hundreds of unemployed people, many of whom are more qualified than me (the man in front of me had pretty much my same description, except also a teaching license and 15 years of experience), for 15 measly booths.

I will never find a job.

After the job fair, I called DH to cheer me up and he obliged by inviting me to join him and his coworkers at a Latin restaurant for lunch. It was tasty, and it was nice meeting the people he works with (I had met some of them before, but not all, and only once). He then walked my back to COSI and I headed home, where I now sit and try to get motivated to do pretty much anything. Its not working so much.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Better than Flowers

A few days ago I mentioned to DH that I was out of bubble bath - that I really wanted to take a nice relaxing bath but without bubbles it seemed pointless. I told him I had considered going out and buying some, but that I have never bought bubble bath for myself. I always have had enough from gifts and such that it was not necessary, but I guess people begin to think I was too old for bubble bath or something because I had not gotten any more recently (read the last 2-3 years).

Last night when I got home from a girl's dinner out DH was waiting for me with a bag. Three different kinds of bubble bath! And something that I can actually use and specifically wanted. So much better that flowers :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Did you hear the one about...

The night before last I had bad dreams that put me in a bad mood.

But last night, last night I had crazy, drawn-out, non-nonsensical dreams. Or, I should say, dream, because as convoluted as it was, I am pretty sure it all flowed together. I woke up several times and in general did not sleep soundly. Do you want to hear about it? (I am going to put any explanations I can think of in italics).

OK, so first I was visiting my old Department, but as usual with my dreams the cast that played the role of my department came from all walks of my life. They shall remain nameless. They also were all male, and they were all flirting with me, (In the book I am reading, the main character is the only female in a pack of werewolves, and therefore everyone is always flirting with her) setting up social events, trying to schedule things when I could come, etc. One was asking me what Friday I could come to a steak dinner, another was talking about a Shrimp dinner that was already scheduled (he was invited people), and it made me make the comment "what a coincidence, DH and I are thinking of throwing a Shrimp & Steak Dinner!"

Eventually we settled down to a day of dungeons and dragons. (My friend's husband did not come to play Rock Band on Saturday because he was at D&D) The game was moving very fast and DH was dungeon master. He was using a silent, fast technique however that I had never seen and I did not want to admit I did not know what was going on. Also, it was not nearly as fun silently and I did not know why they were not really role-playing. In general, my luck was bad and bad things happened on my turn. The game ended, except I had to "escape" or pass the monster or something. All I had to do was not role a one. I rolled a one. I got into a fight. I rolled poorly again, and my character died.

I got a ride home with my parent's next-door neighbors. We were driving a long a road, the highway to my parents house, that I have been on a million times. All of the sudden there was a HUGE hill. (there are no hills on that road). It was so big, and so steep, in fact it was steeper than vertical, like the new roller coaster at Cedar Point. We were free-falling (floating). My seatbelt was not holding me in and I was afraid I would get hurt or worse when we reached the bottom, and was trying to adjust myself to ease the blow. My neighbors were talking about why the car was doing this and what would happen (whose fault it would be, etc) if I got hurt at the bottom. Eventually the car eased out of the hill and we continued on. They seemed to think the hill had always been there and were complaining about their SUVs inability to handle it, while I was trying to convince them the hill had not always been there. We got back to their house and they started asking me questions about what Vet they should take their dog to, they wanted one that made house calls. I told them vets only make house calls for large animal. I ended up walking around their farm and seeing strange animals. I don't remember what made them strange though.

After a tour of the farm a man who was courting me picked me up (that stupid werewolf book again). He was much older than me and had a extremely cute 2-year old son with him, a little blonde boy. He took me to tour where he works, which turned out to be a prison (I got in a debate at dinner with my cousin about prison sentencing). Not like the state penitentery is a prison, but like Guantanamo Bay or Abu Grab is a prison. He was a guard and he tortured prisoners. He wanted to show me how they did it and why. There was a lot of water involved, and we all got dripping wet. I was of course horrified by the torture, did not agree with the reasons, and could not understand why he thought I would want to see this (I just read the scene in HP where Mad Eye Moody shows Harry a picture thinking its a treat when it actually is very painful, also I think the fact he was a torturer/unstable was related to the werewolf book again where the protagonist's would-be husband is pretty much crazy and unable to control impulses). And also, his son was still with us, which was just disturbing. (I swear that boy came from somewhere in real life, but I can't place him). I was trying to rebuff him but it was hard because I needed to be polite for some reason. It was clear I had no intentions of marrying him but had an obligation to appease his attempt.

My best friend from high school joined us and we went to a restaurant, like Chiles or something. We were waiting to be seated and the guy had to leave. It was raining. I carried his son out to the car, leaving my purse inside. The whole time I was helping them I was worried about my purse, as I had not asked my friend to watch it. At the car I tried to put the kid in his car seat but struggled because it was so much different from 15 years ago when my little sister was a baby and had a car seat. I felt a bit sad that they were leaving. I did not like the man, but I felt bad that I would let him down and I knew his heart was in the right place, and his son was so cute.

I went back into the restaurant and my friend was seated, my purse was safe. While the interior of the restaurant was very casual, the service staff was extremely formal. We were about to order when my friend pointed out my sister had come in with tons of her friends. My friend seemed to be expecting this, but I hadn't. I went over and talked to them. Some of them were people from her real life, others looked familiar but I could not place them. It was LEKY's birthday party. We were suppose to order the main food from the restaraunt, but LEK had brough taco dip for after the meal when there would be more of a celebration. I went back to the table and they brought my drink - blackberrry cream soda. I started to drink it but people started to laugh. They had found a small figurine in my soda. The restaurant was very apologetic and promised to put a discount on our bill. I wanted to order Chicken to eat but they had several kinds (brands actually). The waitress started to explain the differences to me but kept being interrupted. Finally I just picked one. Then, there was a champagne toast. It tasted really good, but after the first sip it was very creamy and hard to eat (though tasty), like the center of a cadbury cream egg.

The restaurant was no longer really a restaurant, but rather I was watching a scene (made up) from Torchwood between two of the main characters, Jack and Ianto. It was their first kiss and took place on a subway car. It was really well written and acted. My friend (a different friend) was explaining the significance of it to me. DH came back to the restaurant (Back??? When was he there to begin with?), and asked me to walk outside with him. We went walking in the garden where my friends from college got married in may (St Louis Botanical Gardens) and were talking about the champagne. DH seemed to think it had spoiled, but I couldn't understand how that could be the case, since it tasted so good.

Then my alarm went off. Did I mention strange dreams run in my family?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I am a Goal-Setter

Can you believe it is August already? The summer is flying by.

I now have been unemployed for two full months, job hunting for five. One interview. No other news to report. I continue to feel very lucky that DH has a good job. The search is soon to be complicated by one of my friends entering the market (another person leaving my old program with her masters). She will be applying to a lot of the same jobs as me, and has a similar resume, except with more experience. I am quite convinced she will get a job before me, even though I had a three month head star. I will keep applying. Something has to turn up eventually.

In the spring (April) I made the following resolutions:
(1) Lose Weight
(2) Menu Planning
(3) Write more for fun
(4) Get a Job (or at least try!!)
(5) Take better care of my Skin

I was not very successful with these resolutions. I have not lost waste, though I have stabilized my weight at least (better to be holding steady than gaining!). I have been menu planning in general, but not as carefully as possible, and perhaps not with the right things in mind. I have been writing a little more for fun but not nearly meeting my goal. I have been trying to get a job, but I could double my efforts. I have completely failed to take better care of my skin.

This is not to say I have failed this summer. I think I also deserve to pat myself on the back for some good things I have done. I have done much more cleaning around the house and started to create some good habits. I have done a lot of reading. I have gone hiking. I have visited family often. I have actually started confiding in people around me. These are all good things that just happened to not be spring resolutions.

Anyways, I thought it was time for some new resolutions (or, with most of these, refresh old resolutions, start anew and try again).

So, here are my Summer Resolutions. Remember, I am no super women. I expect to be able to do all of these things because I am pathetically unemployed.

1) Lose Weight
  • start running four days a week - I want to focus on forming the habit first and then worry about distance/quality of workout, so these will be short pathetic runs for a while
  • return to lifting weights - We have a weight bench but I hardly use it!
  • eat healthier - this may take a drastic change of the availability of junk food in the house... we will see
2) Menu Planning 2.0
  • plan menus every Sunday or Monday for the week, paying attention to what produce we have to use quickly, what is on sale that week, and eating healthier
  • try new recipes - for now my cooking club is providing me with these but I have plenty I want to try on my own
3) Double Efforts to Get a Job
  • find new resources and tools
  • revise and improve resume and cover letters
  • spend more time at it!
4) Start Volunteering
  • I signed up with an orientation for the Columbus Literacy Council on Aug. 22nd. I want to actually carry through and start volunteering though
  • Also, call YWCA or other source and find volunteer opportunity DH and I can do together on a regular basis
5) Take Better Care of my Skin (2.0)

6) Write More for Fun

7) Reach 475 points in my Summer Reading Challenge (I am currently at 285)

8) Keep Up with the Laundry!!

I think that is more than enough to keep me busy. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More Help Please

Well, its clear "tree" is the favorite and I can't say I blame you guys. They are all beautiful though, eh?

But I was thinking, what I really envision eventually for the family room is three vertical pictures of China in black and white hung above the sofa. So, I played around and turned Tree into a vertical picture. What do you think? Does it still hold the same charm or should I go back to a horizontal cropping?

Then, these are the possabilities for the other two, though I am still seriously considering "stairs" I think a larger print would do it more justice because you could see what the picture is of so clearly. Any thoughts?