Sunday, December 20, 2009
Okay, first I picked up Emily. Then we hit the road and headed to San Francisco!
I love San Francisco during the holidays. There's the humongous Christmas tree in Niemann Marcus, and the wreaths on Macys, and the decorations in every single store on Union Square. I love to walk around, window shop, and drink hot chocolate or a peppermint mocha.
Today's trip was even more fun-filled because we went to see 39 Steps. It's a play that's been on Broadway and was apparently adapted from an Alfred Hitchcock story. It was just two hours long, and it was great! There were four actors playing over 100 characters...you can imagine the hilarity that ensued.
Emily is my "cultural" friend...she introduces me to Music Circus, children's theater, and Banana Republic. I introduce her to country music, life outside the theater, and office supplies. We're an odd, yet good, match.
We decided to go down early and do some shopping and have lunch before the show. It was a day of firsts - my first show in San Francisco, and Emily's first venture into Nordstrom's restrooms and the Container Store. I know - totally exciting.
So, I took some pictures to document our day.
This is a picture of my lunch from Mr. Hana's. It was a teriyaki chicken rice bowl with mixed veggies...so yummy!
This was the gorgeous chandelier in the theater we were at. I already forget the name of the theater...I think it was the Curran.
I love to people watch, and I didn't have to look far to find this lady in her, um, lovely outfit.
This guy wasn't hard to find either. He didn't even need to honk his horn driving down the street...we saw him anyway.
These guys were singing Christmas carols as we walked out of the theater. They were great, so I took their picture, then gave them money for taking the picture. I thought it was only fair.
That was my day in the big city. Hope you enjoyed it - next time I'll try to take a few more pictures. Not that I do exciting things like theater in San Francisco very often...
Friday, December 18, 2009
Really, I do. I dream of writing articles, book jackets, novels, even editing...I would love to have a home office and someday, quit my day job to be a writer (seriously, I want to be Angela Lansbury, minus the scary adventures she had every Sunday night at nine). However, there are several obstacles keeping me from reaching this goal.
1. I lack discipline. I show great enthusiasm for starting projects, but finishing them is a real challenge. Finishing anything is a real challenge for me - I get bored about midway through whatever I'm doing, when the initial excitement wears off (I often tell Grant he's lucky...I must really love him because he's lasted longer than much else in my life!).
2. I lack creativity. I am great at seeing something and copying it without directions, even improving upon it. However, original ideas don't come to me very easily (unless it's a way to improve efficiency or organize something). Since plagarism is a bad thing, this obstacle could present a real problem.
3. I don't know how to get started. Should I try writing plays? Poems? Book jackets? Magazine articles? How do I get started? Do I submit them somewhere myself? Is there a process I'm not aware of to be published? I just don't know.
I think I'm finally ready to start working on these obstacles. I've decided to start small, by writing one piece a week and publishing it on my blog. It could be a movie/book review, a short story, a poem, a narrative on my day...we'll see. Hopefully, this will help with both obstacle 1 & 2. Then, I'll just need help with #3! Any writers out there in Blogland??
I've been working on many things lately, which has led to a lack of doing housework, laundry, cooking...this week I've taken lots of stuff to Goodwill, gotten my house cleaned up and gotten on top of my laundry, so now, I'm feeling in control.
I love feeling in control.
But wait, that's a totally different post. This is supposed to be about my current projects.
First, an explanation - I don't have anything I'm really passionate about. I like lots of things, but I'm not into any one particular thing enough to, say, start a business doing it. Lately, this seems to be a problem, because I spend my free time trying to master cooking, baking, quilting, sewing, decorating, cleaning, etc., etc., etc. This leads to many, many unfinished projects. Like these:
I also put up a few wedding pictures. I'm going to have a few canvases printed as well...can't wait! Just have to figure out where to have that done.
Another project I don't have a picture of - making aprons. I found the cutest pattern to make aprons, and I was sure I could dive right in and make aprons for everyone I know. However, I haven't sewn clothes in...15 years? So, I haven't started yet. But I'm going to!
So, this has been my life lately, along with working full time and taking care of the house. And, learning how to be more like Martha Stewart and Monica Geller! And Julia Child...but that's another post too.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
As we were waiting for the rest of our party to arrive, we ordered drinks. I picked up my Diet Coke (I know, I'm wild) and there on the table...was this:
I named him Stan. I don't know why, he just looks like a Stan. He made it all the way through lunch, but by the end, he was really beginning to fade.
More apps on my desk
Wanting to be routed now
I don’t want to though.
Clearly I'm not in the work zone yet. I'm thinking about work (as evidenced by the lovely haiku above), but I'm not really in my groove.The day is progressing slowly.
And may I add in a related note? Good. I'm sick of furloughs. I miss having money, and I'm tired of feeling broke.
Dear Governator - I WANT MY MONEY BACK.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For those of you who don't know me so well, he's not my son.
He's my dog.
Yep, I have a dog who is like my child. I know you're all saying, "April, a dog is nothing like a child." I get that. However, he is VERY good training for having children. He woke up every hour at night to potty when he was young; he barfs and poops and I have to clean it up, he even whines. On the good side, he snuggles and cuddles and loves me too.
For a long time, Bruiser weighed 12.9 pounds. He's a miniature dachshund, so 12-15 pounds is an appropriate weight range for him. For the first two years of his life, we lived in an apartment in Midtown, and we went on walks almost every night. Now, we live in the Burbs and don't go on walks nearly as often. Bruiser still plays outside a lot and chases his toys, but he is WAY lazier than he used to be.
The last time I weighed him, he had gone up to 14.9 pounds! TWO POUNDS GAINED! I called him porky even then, and started to worry about watching his weight. Today, I weighed him again.
Crap, in miniature dachshund terms, he's obese. So, tonight Bruiser and I went running (because technically, I'm obese too...scary). I ran, Bruiser not so much. He apparently needs to practice walking again. He's still very good on a leash, but he had to sniff EVERY light pole that we walked past, and had to pee on most of them. Needless to say, it was a short walk/run. We're going to try again tomorrow.
Here are a few pictures of Bruiser I found when I was going through my computer tonight. You can see how he got older, and fatter, in the progression (pictures are in reverse progression...starting with tonight. That sweater used to fit him much better - now he looks like a sausage in stripes).
I want to blog.
Really, I do. Ideas keep running through my head. Things I do during the day, pictures I take, and articles I read all make me want to blog about them. I read other blogs and want to be like those people.
And yet, I can't blog.
I haven't blogged in SO long. I know, I've completely failed you all. I've had things to say, and I'm sure you're all completely anxious to read them. I know, everyone wants to know what I have to say.
I think my problem is that I spend all day on the computer, and when I come home, I don't want to open my laptop. At. All. But, I'm going to be more disciplined about it. I'm going to think of blogging as a task I have to get done (an enjoyable one).
Here are some topics I've got in my head that you can look forward to:
- The movie Julie & Julia
- Projects I'm working on, both crafty and serious
- Bruiser and how he's growing...out, not up
- Mature new years resolutions (not "adult" in that sense, but grown up, responsible, well thought-out resolutions)
- Ridding my life of poisonous people
I know, you can't wait, right!? So, I'll go get started.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Why? They may have great sales, but like Mervyns, I always find that their sales are not great. Sure, you may save $30 according to your receipt...but the sweater you just bought is still $35 instead of $65. I'm sorry, occasionally that's okay, but I'm cheap.
The other reason is that in Kohls, I have to try EVERYTHING on. In some stores, I know what size I am, and that size is a constant no matter what I'm trying on. In Kohls, size can change by designer, or simply by whether it's a long or short sleeved shirt! Also, I'm not a size 6. Never have been, never will be, and I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is that Kohls has a HORRIBLE SELECTION of clothes in larger sizes. Sometimes, a large shirt fits me. Sometimes, an extra large. Sometimes, I just need a plus size shirt, and I'll be damned if I can find one there. Oh wait, I did find one, but plus size to Kohls means super long with no shape to the shirt whatsoever, and their plus size section comprises maybe less than 1% of their entire women's clothing section.
Now, I know why. In an article in the paper this morning, I saw this comment:
"Kohl's, the department store, not only varies its mix by climate – wool coats in Spokane, Wash., but not in Orlando, Fla. – but by lifestyle and size: More small sizes in California and other states with sizable Asian populations and more large sizes in, say, Milwaukee, Maschmeyer said. Shorts might not go on sale as fast in warmer climates as in the Northeast."
Apparently, Kohls caters to Asian women. Great for them, not for me. See if I ever shop there again.
Monday, November 9, 2009
After reading the story I started reading some of the comments. I came across this one and, after reading it, sat at my desk, guiltily looking around...at my Starbucks cup...and my Coach purse.
WHO AM I!?
"Starbucks, of course, is a brand. And when you have a brand, you do whatever possible in order to sell it. Starbucks has that “special” appeal, and going to Starbucks becomes more than just grabbing a cup of coffee to go. Unfortunately, I see people who use Starbucks as a way to exemplify who they are as a person, in which that starbucks cup becomes just another accessory to go along with a Coach handbag."
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I spent my lunch hour…Googling pictures of people’s desks.
Yep, I did. And it was FASCINATING.
You have to remember, I have this thing about seeing into people’s lives. I love to look into people’s homes to see how they decorate, look into women’s purses to see just what everyone is carrying around with them, and I even like it when celebrities show you the inside of their fridge on MTV Cribs.
No really, I do.
I don’t know why, but stuff like that fascinates me. Awhile ago, I’d mentioned to my SIL that I was going to do a post on my desk. Or maybe she’d seen the pictures I posted of my desk so many desks ago at my old job. Either way, she did a post on her desk, which you can see here. She did a great job!
I’ve been seriously slacking lately, so no post yet on my desk. Yesterday I moved offices (okay, cubicles) at work, so I figured it was a good time to write the desk post. Below are several pictures of random desks, both messy and clean, as well as my current desk (well, until yesterday), a former desk, and some random other stuff.
First let me say this – I have a thing about desks. My desk has to be clean; I put everything away at the end of the day, and quite often it looks like I don’t have anything to do. This is not true, however; I simply keep ONLY what I’m working on on my desk. Your desktop is not to be used as storage, so I keep my pens, scissors, tape, etc., in my desk drawers (plus, people used to steal my pens). (Disclaimer – I think there is much more stuff on my desk than usual in the following photos, because I don’t have much drawer space).
HOWEVER – a messy desk is like a car accident. You can’t help but stare at it, try to see what’s in those piles, and wonder how anyone can work in that environment. I love to look at messy desks and a) wonder about the person who sits there, and b) just take in the sheer amount of crap.
As I was researching today, I came upon a website called whereiwrite.org, which is a photographic project showing science fiction writers and their offices. It's an interesting project by photographer Kyle Cassidy, who documents American culture.
I visited the site and got so excited - this is what I want to do! This is my job, to DOCUMENT AMERICAN CULTURE!!! A perfectly legitimate way to peer into people's lives, document it, and learn a little something during the process. I like photography, so it's perfect. Now, how to get started...I need some people willing to let me photograph their lives and interview them about it. Who's interested in being a star!?
What a lunch hour - great photos, interesting websites, and the discovery of my life's work.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As the kick-off event for this year's campaign, my department held an American Idol type contest with a lunch sale, and today we're having a cake and gift basket silent auction. I decided to make some cake pops, since they seem to be so popular (I don't know, I still haven't tasted one...I'm afraid they'll be too good). The photo I posted of the Halloween cake pops were my test batch; I'm afraid the pen I had did not work very well, so I made pops with colored sprinkles instead.
I dropped off my cake pops and instantly had Cake Pop Insecurity. These people go ALL OUT when it comes to the cake auction. There were at least 50 cakes, if not more, and some of them were professional quality. Okay, some of them were done by professionals, but then again, some non-professionals around here are just really talented at decorating cakes.
I took my phone with me, hoping to get some pictures that would be worth of the Cake Wrecks Blog I like to visit. Instead, all I got were pictures of some truly amazing cakes.
See if you can guess which ones are home made - some of them may surprise you!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
pops. I wanted to make a test batch because last time I used colored
candy melts, they didn't melt very well. However, these worked great!
The black edible ink pen did not work as well...it was very hard to
get the ink to show on the frosting.
Overall, I think they're cute! What do you think?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I do. I know, we've talked about it a lot on this here blog. I love the smell and taste of the coffee, the fact that the baristas know my name, and just the overall experience.
Yesterday, I went to my favorite local drive-through Starbucks. I got an iced Pumpkin Spice latte, and drove home to leisurely sip my drink as I did homework on a fine Sunday afternoon.
Later last night, I was doing the dishes and getting the kitchen cleaned up. There was a bit of latte left in the cup, so I dumped the latte down the sink before throwing the cup in the trash. As I tilted the cup and watched the latte drain out, I heard a "clink."
Hm, strange. All the ice had melted, so I thought this was a bit strange. I looked into my sink and saw...
Yep, someone's dirty, filthy, germ-laden dime was in my latte.
It was too late to call Starbucks, so I stopped by tonight after I left the gym. The manager was apologetic and gave me a free drink (dime-free), then had me fill out an Incident Report. She figures that a dime dropped from someone's hand into the ice machine on it's way to the tip jar; apparently the tip jar for the drive-through window is kept near the ice machine. I wondered aloud how many other people had gotten an extra surprise in their drinks.
I really hope someone from the corporate office calls me. After all the germs I drank, I think I deserve more than one free drink. After all, I probably paid for that store.
Anyway, I tell everyone I have a dog, and for now that's enough. And truly, he is very much like a child. When we first got him, he woke us up every hour at night to go out and potty (and let me tell you, it's easier to go into a warm bedroom in January to change a kid's diaper than it is to take a small puppy who doesn't like the rain outside to potty). We were so tired and stressed out, we were always on edge.
Yesterday, Bruiser was apparently helping to prepare me for motherhood. How, you ask?
He barfed all day long.
He barfed three times before I even got up yesterday. Then he laid around, lethargic, all morning. Every time he drank some water, it came right back up.
It was truly, thoroughly, disgusting.
Many of you probably think that isn't so bad. Clearly, you don't have my gag reflex. It's bad. So bad that I begged and pleaded with Hubby to clean up each new pile as it appeared on the floor or the carpet, and was informed each time that it'd cost me a foot rub, then an additional foot rub, and so on.
I didn't even care.
People keep telling me it's different when it's your own child. But I don't care. Bodily fluids belong inside your body, and nowhere else.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
farmers market, and forgot my produce delivery was coming, too.
Needless to say, my fridge was a little full.
So, today I made a batch of vegetable stock. Here's a picture before I
added the final ingredient, lettuce.
I used just things that were going to go bad if I held onto them, so
this batch contained onion, garlic, sweet potato, bell pepper, tomato,
carrots and mushrooms. Now it's in the freezer to be used later in
some sort of recipe.
Monday, September 21, 2009
When I lived in Midtown, I went to the Super Wal-Mart over the river (and through the woods…); it was only a ten to fifteen minute drive. Now that I’m back in the ‘Burbs, that’s not a feasible option. So, I decided to brave (duh-dunh-dunh…) the Super Wal-Mart in the ghetto.
For those of you who know me, you know what I’m talking about – for those of you who don’t, good, you’re not supposed to know exactly where I live. Anyway, this location used to be a mall. When I was a young, young child, oh-so-long ago, it was the mall we went to, even though the neighborhood was already not so great at that point. As time went on, we just stopped going there, driving another twenty minutes or so to a better (albeit not fantastic) mall in a busier part of town.
A few years ago (or has it been that long? I don’t think so) the scary-ghetto mall closed, and plans were announced to open a Super Wal-Mart on the site. There was (is?) a regular Wal-Mart just down the street from the proposed new location, and it went from new to crap in a matter of a few years, if not months. So, although a Super Wal-Mart would be cool, I had my doubts about the success of the project.
Fast forward to a month or so ago. I drove down the main road in front of the old mall, and couldn’t believe my eyes. The mall was gone, the Super Wal-Mart was up, and there were a TON of little shops in the shopping center (along with a vacant anchor store that was supposed to have been Mervyns…oops). It looked new, nice, and I was semi-impressed.
Fast forward even more to yesterday. As I drove into the shopping center, I was initially impressed by how many stores had opened here. There was everything from nail salons to cell phone stores, from a custom-frame store to, dare I say it, a drive through Starbucks! I motored back to the Super Wal-Mart and immediately found parking, a mere four spots from the front. Hm, good parking karma? I wondered what awaited me inside.
I made my way inside, and the store was…clean. And not jam-packed. I expected it to be a zoo, as it was Sunday afternoon and church had let out. There were a ton of cars in the parking lot outside, yet the store felt comfortable inside; I wasn’t crowded in any aisle (well, except one, where a mean-ass looking chick and her four million kids almost rammed my cart to reach over me and grab something off a shelf…but then again I was in the ghetto, so I was expecting something like that to happen), and when I went to check-out…NO LINE! Sure, a couple of check stands had one or two people in line, but I walked right up to my friendly checker and began unpacking my cart (my only complaint about my friendly checker was that she appeared not used to packing groceries in canvas bags…she actually sucked at it, but was very nice about it!).
Oh and the best part? There was a Golden 1 branch inside – an actual BRANCH! And, it was open at 3:51 p.m. on a Sunday. What? A bank open on a Sunday? That’s right, I said open on a Sunday. Amazing.
Overall, I was surprised and impressed by the shopping center. I will still NEVER go there at night, alone or with a fleet of armed guards in tanks, and I am a little wary of going there alone during daylight hours. However, that aside, I say take a buddy and travel to the Super Wal-Mart in the ghetto! Once you get inside, it’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon (but don’t blare country music from your car on the way there…you never know what could happen).
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
You see, when I was younger, my dad had this thing about “not putting miles on the car.” I never understood that – it’s a car, it’s supposed to have miles on it, right? I mean, you drive a car, you don’t let it sit in your driveway while you take the bus.
Apparently, I have morphed into my dad over the years. I knew that I get very nervous putting more miles on my car; I do after all keep track of my miles, like many of you probably do. However, I don’t keep track of miles per tank to see how many miles per gallon I get. Nope, I did that in the beginning, but my car is old enough now I know how many miles it gets. No, I keep track of how many miles I drive each month, and then I compare those miles to the month before.
Like this month, I only drive 1080 miles. That’s a lot, yes, but last month it was 1572. A few months ago, before I moved back out to suburbia, I put MAYBE 500-600 miles per month on my car. Ah, those were the days.
Anyway, I know that I’m getting a little anal about mileage. My car is getting older (8 years at the end of this month!), and I worry about things breaking now that it’s getting up there.
I guess I didn’t realize just how anal I was getting about mileage. You see, last week my car turned over to 100,000 miles. A historic event, so I took a picture of the mileage with my phone (after all, it’ll never hit 100,000 miles again, right?). See the picture:
Well, I was scrolling through the other pictures on my phone, and I found this one. I guess maybe I was worried I’d miss 100,000?
Then of course, I scrolled back a little further and found this one. I don’t even remember taking this.
I think I’m getting a little out of control. I won’t tell you just how many pictures I took at 100,000 miles to get “just the right angle” where the sun wasn’t hitting it.