Saturday, May 31, 2008
- Finally exploded in a fit of hormonal rage that had been building for a week. Was surprisingly not as bad as in the past: St. John's Wort to thank maybe?
- Emailed someone I really used to care for, he actually emailed me back. Friends perhaps? Full circle moment for sure.
- Decided against buying the dSLR, for now at least. I'll revisit the idea in the fall after a few months of working again. But, it was definitely a more complicated purchase than I thought and I felt I was rushing it too much in the name of vacation. My camera will suffice for now.
- Worked out plans to redesign "my" room after vacation. I'm going to make it multifunctional so it transitions to Mom's craft room when I leave the nest. Am almost too excited about working out the plan and picking up paint samples and such.
- Bought all of the supplies to bake a cheesecake this weekend. Holy crap, when did cream cheese start costing an arm and a leg??
- 12 Days. That's all.
- Made a to-do list. Have about a zillion things on it that all need to be worked out this weekend.
- Bought an ASUS EEE PC. Will definitely put up a review when it gets here. But I'm initially super geeked about it. I love the idea of a mini laptop that I can throw in my purse and go with.
- Made plans to yardsale in the morning, which if you know me and my history of poor yardsale skills then you'd realize this is laughable. But one of them is going to have a luggage carrier tomorrow and we could use one.
- Had an hour long conversation about what you do at a wedding reception with no alcohol or dancing. Seriously...what do you do???
- Nearly fainted at the following headline: CLAY AIKEN IMPREGNATES A WOMAN.
- Then laughed at the structure of said headline. "Clay Aiken To Be Father". Nope, more shocking that he impregnated a woman.
- Spent 2 hours of my life watching Lucky 7 on Lifetime. Could say many things, but will stick with this: Patrick Dempsey IS dreamy...end of story.
- And I'll end with this: Chris Brown and Rihanna are freaking adorable. Like, seriously. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that.
P.S. Sex and the City...THIS WEEKEND. If you saw, don't tell me. But I really hope I can squeeze in a couple hours at a theater before the weekend's up.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Here's a secret just between you and me: Molly is quite seriously, the most beautiful animal in our house. Her markings, her expressions, that long body with those cute *huge* ears...ahh, she's just regal.
I know it sounds insane. Martha Stewart? Right. I mean, when did she become my style icon? Up until this morning she wasn't. I could have cared less about her to be honest. And then a little thing I like to call "free magazine subscription" happened.
You see, a few weeks ago I signed up for a free subscription to "Hallmark Magazine". Not really thinking or caring too much about it. That's my thing, free subscriptions. If you look enough you find them by the dozens. I get Time, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Spin, Interview, Travel and Leisure....all free.
And I like it.
But until last month I didn't have a favorite. The logical choice used to be Time. I like politics. I like their format. It fit, you know?
But then Hallmark lured me in with their Key Lime Pie.
And this month with this pretty cover:
Then a wonderful little piece on must-reads for the beach. And they all SOUNDED WONDERFUL.
Then Hallmark caught my eye with this little shell inhanced page:
Which mentioned MY vacation spot, Sanibel Island. Any mag that mentions Sanibel automatically gets major points from me.
And by the back flap of the magazine I was admiring Martha Stewart's hair.
That's how I ended up coveting a Martha Stewart haircut.
I'm such a sucker for advertising and photoshop.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Umm. Hello? When did this happen and who allowed it?
Am I allowed to gloat? Please say I am.
I apologize in advance. But seriously! In 15 days I'll be back on my little slice of heaven. I'll be shelling and beaching and it will be WONDERFUL.
So anyways. I feel the need to leave the following link here in case anyone who reads would be interested:
The Business of Being Born
This is that documentary that Ricki Lake helped do all about childbirth, midwivery, and homebirths.
As I get older I find myself becoming more and more in touch and in tune with that maternal instinct of mine. I begin to wonder how I'd like to create my family, the number of children and the manner in which they come to me. Adoption is still in the forefront of my ideal life, however I could see myself having a biological child in addition.
My mother has so many co workers whom are pregnant as we speak and our conversations sometimes are all about how those women are planning to birth. One in particular in interested in finding a midwife which sparked a whole conversation about hospital births. My Mom is adament in saying if she'd had another child after Jon she would have never, ever gotten another epidural.
After watching this documentary I think I definitely see where she is coming from. Too many women are coming home from hospitals with C-Sections. Then staph infections after that. When did we stop trusting our bodies to just do what they do?
So there is my spill. Watch it. It's fascinating. Cultivate your own opinions. I won't beat you up if they are different than mine.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
In 1966, my grandmother had a bit of a menagerie of birds. Come to think of it, they had a menagerie of animals. Several dogs, several birds, and a Caymen Alligator. The poor Caymen would meet a tragic fate at the hands of my father, but that's a later story. On this particular day, my young dad had his sights set on one thing and one thing only: my grandmother's beloved canary.
There are two versions of this story that circulate through family lore. It really depends on who you choose to believe.
The version by my own Dad goes a little something like this:
I was just sitting there in the living room, watching Captain Kangaroo on TV when Mom's canary flew to perch on the top of the television set. I accidentally shot my cap gun in the general direction of the bird and she fell over, dead.
I think it generally goes without saying, I don't believe this version of the story, ONE BIT.
The second version of this story goes a little something like this: as transcribed from my Aunt B,
Your father was a mean little boy. I mean, really mean. He would guard our front yard and not let people walk on the sidewalk in front of our house. Mean, okay? Mama loved that canary. She would let it free to fly around the living room and he would perch on her finger if she whistled. Your father, as you can imagine was quite jealous of Mama and the bird. Did I mention he was mean? 'Cause he was also jealous of anything that might love Mama too. So, he took one look at that bird that day and killed it...on the spot. It's a wonder he isn't a serial killer now.
That's the version I believe. Because you take one look at these pictures and try to deny that my father was a mean kid:
So yesterday when Jon managed to kill a bird while it was innocently eating in a retreat I created with my own two hands, I knew I finally had my equivalent bird story. Especially when Jon denied aiming at the bird that he killed, "it just flew in the way of my shot" he said.
And Dad just accidentally killed the canary on his TV set.
Monday, May 26, 2008
As fate would have it the biggest threat to my bird retreat has been my own brother.
Yes, you read that right.
All weekend long Jon has been out in the backyard playing around with his various BB gun things (I say things because they are different then your average Red Ryder, yet I don't know exactly what they are), while I laid on the back patio working up a good sunburn in prep for Florida. I kept telling him to be careful, to not shoot at the bird retreat. Yet, over and over he disobeyed my directions. I guess it all has to do with that being 13 thing again, no longer is his sister's word good enough.
I knew that at some point, whether he wanted it to happen or not, there was bound to be tragedy. Especially after finding pellet holes in EVERY SINGLE CONTAINER full of plants in that retreat.
I just didn't realize how right I would be.
(THE FOLLOWING IMAGE IS ONE OF TWO THINGS: DISTURBING, OR HILARIOUS. I CAN'T SAY FOR CERTAIN WHICH KIND OF PERSON YOU ALL ARE, SO JUST CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED:)
Now, for three solid days now I've been taking St. John's Wort supplements. Sometime last week I began my monthly two weeks of emotional hell and after a particularly bad day of screaming, crying and general hysterics I concluded that perhaps I was dealing with more than just PMS here.
I won't deny. With the help of Dr. Google I diagnosed myself with PMDD. It just makes sense. And let's face it, in terms of a condition like that, all my doctor would be doing is guessing too. So I saved us all the trouble.
Except PMDD is usually helped with the assistance of a few friends I like to call Mr. Pro and Mrs. Zac.
I'm not much for the antidepressants. If you take them and you like them and they work and you want to braid their hair, more power to you.
I just am not at a stage in life where I feel ready to submit myself to such a scary drug with such scary side effects. My Dad just got off of a year of Cym*balta and that was a scary withdrawal process and for the first time in a year he is just now active again.
So, I'm just not there.
I did, however, do a little research to find something that might help me in my hellish little mood situation. Something that wasn't copious amounts of booze.
Am also not ready to be an alcoholic. See, I'm non-discriminatory!
St. John's Wort. That was my answer.
And in three days time I can honestly say I'm beginning to see a difference.
How, you say?
Well, the old April would have cried after her brother killed a precious little bird. She'd have cried and told him "I told you so" and then been mad for a while. It would have been a real spectacle.
St. John's Wort-April COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING. It was seriously the funniest crap ever. From the moment he opened the door with that look of dread on his face, to watching him preside over its last little feather flop, to the moment St. John's Wort-April said, "hang on, let me get my camera."
Later on my father asked me why I felt the need to take a picture of the dead bird my brother had killed. And I gave him the honest answer, "So I can have it for every Christmas party and family gathering from here until eternity."
And I meant it.
Friday, May 23, 2008
--John F. Kennedy, 1960 on Democrats and Republicans
Let our patriotism be reflected in the creation of confidence in one another, rather than in crusades of suspicion. Let us prove we think our country great, by striving to make it greater.
--John F. Kennedy, 11-18-1961 on Patriotism
And my absolute favorite:
"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, our sweat, and in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came."
--John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1962 on The Sea
Jon could have cared less. Something about being 13 has morphed this kid into an iPod listening, texting food. Whatevs. I didn't want to talk to him anyway.
Speaking of this kid. I mean, teenager. He's totally been working on his Jimmy Buffett vibe in prep for our upcoming vacation. I'm totally jealous that he's 13 and working on his 4th beach trip, he's the kind of kid I hated in school. (Just kidding, I didn't hate y'all. I mean, not really. Well, just a little bit.)
Anyways. Here he is with the infamous "Florida Hat". The hat that was bought in Florida once and only makes an appearance once a year. Jon's claimed it this go 'round.
Ignore the fact that my foot is in this next picture. (Yes, I know, tiny toes. Flat footed. Stubby. I get it.) Look at those flip flops! Gorgeous.
Well, basic. But gorgeous nevertheless.
I'm breaking here for a moment to give a glowing review of "Havaianas". They are made in Brazil. I bought my first pair two years ago, and for a rubber flip flop they still look as new as the day I bought them. I hate when the cheapos from Target or Walmart rub all over my foot after a day of wear, or the pattern on the bottom wears off at all the pressure points. So I invest a little more. In Havaianas, Rainbows, Reefs, and Ocean Minded. AND IT'S WORTH EVERY PENNY. Even if my father just doesn't get it.
End of PSA.
Okay, where was I? Oh yeah. Pots de Creme. I made this yesterday. It was delicious. Pioneer Woman taught me how:
Love coffee, adore chocolate and aren't afraid of a little raw egg? This is the dessert for you.
My vacation is officially 20 days away. It blows my mind to even think about that number. I'm so ready to be on the road. I am a firm believer in the idea that getting there is half the fun. This year with gas what it is, getting there will be half the budget. But it will be amazing. I love rest areas and Pilot Stations and crappy coffee in paper cups at 3 am. Oh gosh. Am salivating at the thought.
But there are of course still things that need to be bought and taken care of. The van needs alignment, Jack needs his shots, we need a box of the crap to take put together and then there are beach chairs....
Last year I managed to come home from Seagrove with 4 shiny, beautiful beach chairs from Publix.
Fast foward to this year and you'll find me pilfering through the garage moaning, "where are my CHAIRS" like a crazy lady.
The chairs for the record are gone. Nobody will give me a straight answer about where they went. But I'm hoping they are in a better place now.
In the meantime, I've now got to get more chairs. Until then we've taken turns claiming the lone leftover beach chair. Jon's got dibs currently.
The Florida Hat and a Beach Chair and I wonder why he asks me today to find him more tropical music for his iPod. "You know, songs about the beach and beer," he says.
From the Church of Buffett.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My mom has had this Betty Crocker cookbook for years and years. I can recall not even being in school yet and thumbing through this cookbook. It's got a section for everything imaginable: appetizers, soups, salads, condiments, pork, chicken, beef, fish, cookies, cakes, candy...etc. I think every kitchen needs a good all around cookbook and this is a great candidate. Not to mention it was recently updated, and I've seen dozens of the updated versions sitting in the clearance sections of Borders and Barnes and Noble.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
My polling place is at Plum Creek Baptist Church. Thankfully I remembered as we left the church basement today that I had Jon's little camera tucked into my purse. I knew I wanted a few shots of my surroundings and immediately got to snapping. To the chagrin, I might add, of my family.
I have a thing about cemeteries, and old structures. And I knew I could make the images I took look sufficiently creepy with a little editing.
They did not disappoint. At least not me. I love them.
Jon on the other hand says I'm sick and demented for photographing graves and that the barn looks like a serial killer shack.
I was flattered.
Needless to say, it's not going so hot:
She might be right.
Anyone seen any good deals on those doggy strollers lately?
Monday, May 19, 2008
2. Not dieting: You know what? I talk a good game. I'm going to get fit and trim and work it out. But you want to know the truth? I love food. A lot. I enjoy baking things that are chock full of butter. I really like red meat. And there is nothing like a good bag of potato chips. I like to eat, I find joy in eating. And despite all of my best efforts, I don't think I'll stop anytime soon.
3. Couponing: I'm throwing this one in. Because while couponing is not a guilty pleasure for say...Moms, it is one for a 22 year old single woman. I don't even have a need to coupon. Except it fills a certain time slot on a lazy Sunday. It's a good outlet to get my shopping out, and I figure I will someday use my money saving skills to good use, like saving for amazing vacations. Still, I only tell the internet about this one. ;)
4. Running the A/C: Here's a secret for you, I hate driving with my windows down. It seriously fucks up my hair, I spend most of the ride spitting my bangs out of my mouth and attempting to see through the fury. I also hate letting other drivers at stoplights hear my embarrassing taste in music. So, I don't do it. I know that we are all supposed to love driving with the windows down. But, I don't. I happen to really enjoy running the A/C.
5. Dancing with the Stars: I love this damn show. I love it so much, I once contemplated paying to see their live tour. I get fully invested in one couple, every season. I'm also eerily good at predicting the winner by week one or two of the competition. I've managed to get it right every season, and this year I predict Kristi takes it home tomorrow.
6. Celebrity Gossip: When I was in high school I used to spend $1.99 every single week on In Touch Magazine. I bought it because it was cheaper than People or Us Weekly. By the time I graduated I had a stack of those magazines like you wouldn't believe in my closet (nope, I didn't throw them out either). Sometime during my freshman year of college my In Touch obsession was replaced by Perez Hilton and Pink is the New Blog. I'm not proud of knowing every single latest celebrity hookup, but the popularity of those blogs tell me I'm not the only one.
7. Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Have I ever mentioned I can not go to the mall and leave without purchasing an Auntie Anne's Pretzel? I can't even remember the last time I did. In fact, just this past Saturday I indulged. And it was amazing. I think it's their buttery-ness that attracts me.
8. Reading Online Message Boards: When I was in middle school I belonged to a University of Kentucky basketball forum called "Wildcat Faithful". I posted a bunch. Made friends with people. Even got together with the whole group at a UK exhibition game. I don't participate in online forums anymore, but boy if I don't love reading them. Some particular favorites include the forums at Television Without Pity, where the snark flows in the reality tv forums, and a few Grey's Anatomy ones to keep up with the spoilers and speculation. I also take advantage of the coupon ones like "Hot Coupon World" to help with my drugstore trips.
9. Harlequin Romance Novels: No kidding. I love those little books. Not all of the time, or even half of the time. But when I need a quick pick me up I'll grab one of those little jewels (the "Super Romances" being my favorites) and read through it. 1/2 Price Books usually has them packaged up, four of them for $1 and every time I'm in there I usually grab another stack to keep on hand.
10. Blogging: Can I say this here? I guess so. There really is no reason I can think of to blog. I could use the excuse that I'm exercising my writing muscles, but I could do that alone and to myself in a journal. I suppose I enjoy the community. Even if people don't always comment. I really enjoy reading what other's blog about and feeling apart of it all. Most of us will never be Dooce, but we all share this common thread. People don't drop in on their neighbors anymore, we don't stand together on front porches sharing stories. But we get together on the internet. We share things with strangers that we sometimes don't even tell our families. And in the process we make new friends and a new support group. And really, it may be a guilty pleasure that I don't have to partake of, but goodness if I don't love it.
*cue the violins*
Tagging: All of you. I hope you do it.
Jack is 8 years old, in a dog with a lifespan of only 10-12 years, but you'd never know it half the time. He runs, fetches and walks his boy like a pup. His troubles arise in the early mornings when his hips bother him and he can't hear what you are trying to scream at him. Bless his heart.
But he's nothing if not loyal. And goofy. And downright loveable.
I tell people I'll never have another labrador, but I myself wonder if that's true.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was a girl enamoured. As soon as I was old enough my parents let me use their gigantic point and shoot. And when I was 13 they purchased me my first, in a long line, Fuji. I loved that camera, carefully taking it with me anywhere I went. It was the camera I used to capture all of my UK basketball pictures from my obsessed youth.
I resisted the digital age. For a long time, when everyone else was using measly 3 megapixel cameras to produce grainy shots I was refusing to give in to this new media. That is, until my freshman year of college. Before my first trip to Sanibel I decided I absolutely had to have a digital camera. So my Mom bought a 4 megapixel Samsung.
It's was a decent little camera. I can't complain since it did all of things I ever asked it to. And when it ceased to suffice my needs I bought the Fuji S700 I have now.
For the past year I've loved that camera as though it were my child. I had never owned such a wonderful piece of equipment. And from the first sharp, color saturated picture to the last I've adored its capability.
For what it is, it's been a fantastic camera.
But I feel limited in what I can pull off with it now. The biggest limitation is indoor shots. They are, quite simply, horrendous. No matter how well lit the room is, it just can't manage a good indoor shot. And I hate using flash. So, I just don't take inside shots. Except for the ones I have to.
So, if you've been following me on Twitter you'll already know that I've been in the market for a D-SLR for days now. I've decided to forego the macbook for now and instead spend that extra budget money on an SLR. Vacation is my biggest picture taking time of my entire year and to commemorate being back on the island (ugh, miss it so much!!!) I really want to have an SLR in my hands this year.
Which, hello! Totally means I'm running out of time to figure this out.
I've managed to make my head, literally, hurt from all of the camera reviews I've spent hours reading online. I've been tempted by Olympus and Sony flashing their shiny features in the corner, confused by Nikon and Canon and have found myself waist deep in "Camera Wars".
I don't know what I'm going to do. Hopefully a trip to Best Buy tomorrow to hold the Nikon and Canon in my hand will help solve the situation. Maybe.
But at least I've blogged about it. I like to keep my blog abreast of the situation.
(Side note: I live with a 13 year old boy, abreast is a funny word in this house.)
I consider Jill to be my parents late in life baby. You know, when a woman hits menopause she either accidently gets pregnant again, or...she gets a dog. My mom got a dog. It's almost disgusting the amount of attention that little thing gets from my parents.
Jack, is. Well, Jack is like an old man. An old man in dog clothing. He snores loudly. Wakes up needing his fiber. And goes to bed early, every single night. He is also probably in need of a hip replacement.
Molly is the dog. The licker. The biter. The mess maker. Everything a puppy should be. At 9 months old she is the one who wakes up hyper and goes to bed hyper. I don't think she has an off switch.
But I love her. Even if she acts like a crack baby.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I think I have a tendency to run on full throttle when on vacation. I guess it has to do with how alive I feel when doing something I love, like traveling. I always want to see, touch, feel and do as much as possible. And in the process I can lose focus of what a vacation is really about. It's the simple moments I always remember most, not the ones I freak out over and try to create.
Like the very first time I walked onto the beach with Jonathan. Or eating key lime pie last year with my toes in the sand which was so simple and unexpected. And the night I sat on a pier for four hours with a pigeon staring me down the entire time. The last one I bitched and complained about the entire time it was occuring and yet it has become one of my favorite travel memories. Because it was quirky and unusual.
Remind me to take more pleasure in quirky and unusual, okay?
So that's what I'm doing here, I'm vowing to myself that I will chill out and promise to not run on maximum pressure for 9 days. I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride. Even if Jon sticks his stinky feet in my face the entire time.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
- alphabetized my spices
- tried to cook a casserole
- burnt a pot holder
- watched "Beetlejuice" 8,495,838,783 times; and it just keeps getting funnier
- read 13 trashy romance novels
- watched the birds in the retreat
- got the dog's leg unstuck when it came out of socket
- stopped couponing for the time being because I couldn't find the energy to clip them
- read a book about birds, front to back, can't remember any of it
- painted my toenails their signature pink
- organized my pictures
- attempted to learn aperture
- twiddled my thumbs
- wrote 6,000 blog posts...deleted each one
- became dyslexic
- cured cancer
- wrote a love song, not cause you asked me to
- bought britney spears songs on itunes
- watched a lot of jimmy kimmel
- am now fucking matt damon
- read exactly one piece of actual literary work; hated it
- ate a lot of white cheddar popcorn
- didn't exercise
- bought squash and promptly killed all nutritional goodness by frying it
- come to think of it, fried lots of foods
- called my mom's dog, "the baby jesus"
- changed her name to "el diablo"
- then back to "the baby jesus"
- watched my father become a huge OBAMA supporter
- for the record: that's 2 against 2 in this house
- we hillary supporters are a slightly delusional bunch ;)
- sniffed permanent markers and gasoline
- suggested that someone should make a candle out of that shit
- avoided all family member phone calls
- lied to my dad about the cost of our condo for vacation
- took up shoplifting for sport
- watched a lot of "king of the hill"
- debated bobby hill's true parentage with my brother
- pan broiled ribeyes, causing every smoke alarm in the house to go off
- annoyed by father by:
- calling him by his first name
- refusing to twist tie the bread or potato chips
- not double bagging the garbage cans
- and breathing
- contemplated the merits of ramel bradley's rap career
- admired robert downey jr.'s ability to wear the color purple and still seem manly
- took entirely too much of my time writing this
(Disclaimer: some of these may or may not be embellished. You decide which you would like to be true. Too many are for me to admit.)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I can't stop perusing the lovely halls of Etsy. The idea of an online art village of handmade goods is incredible to me. It makes it super easy to find wonderfully handcrafted gems of all sorts. Like this sparrow print I've had my eye on for a few days: