Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I guess if my life were a chick-flick...

So here's today's funny story:

This afternoon as I worked on updating employee time cards and making the company deposit, I received a phone call from my sweet Sister-in-Law, Skye. I assumed we'd be discussing how soon we could go see "Eclipse." I considered the possibility that she might need me to watch the nieces. Because she was at work, it was possible she needed me to look up a phone number. But that was not the reason behind her call.

"Are you getting married in 11 months?"

Well, not that I know of.

What happened is this:

This morning, like most any weekday morning, I checked the facebook feed to see what was going on in the world and in my friends' lives in the last 12 hours. Most of it is insignificant, but you never quite know when someone is going to say something interesting. The big oops is when it's you, and you didn't mean for it to be.

As I scrolled along, I happened upon a picture of one of my college chums, Eric Christensen. This is not the picture, but I did pilfer this one from his page.

Handsome, no? As my avid readers know, I've talked about Eric and his best friend, Eric Otto, before. Also, many may recall that once Eric C. joked that we ought to get married around our 30th birthdays (he's two days older than I am), and so it gets brought up from time to time. Including today, when I said something to Eric Otto about it. And that's when my friend Cara saw it on HER news feed, and called Skye to get the dirt. Poor Skye said she THOUGHT I'd tell her if I were engaged before spilling the news on facebook, so I assured her I would.

I guess I didn't think anyone would take that seriously, especially considering I didn't have a changed relationship status and hadn't created a "Hell's frozen over and Rachel and So-and-So Are Tying the Knot so please join our group so we can send you invitations, which really means so you can send us presents" group. One would also think my reference in a later status update to my best friend Jake in a speedo would cast some doubt on the validity of my relationship with Eric (or Eric, for that matter).

So for the record, no wedding bells yet. Though the truth is I'd be happy to marry Eric Christensen, and I actually think he'd look much better in a speedo than Jacob would.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Then and Again + Antiques and Festivals

This weekend was a great one to be in New Mexico. If you were in Central NM, where I live, I hope you made it to a) the Lavender Festival and b) the 4th St. Antique Stores and their big 20% off sales!
I look forward to the Lavender Festival every year, and the coolest thing I picked up this year was a lotion bar-- looks like a bar of soap, but it's really solid lotion. Ingenious! Also, loved having lavender in great food, dried lavender for decorations, and the cool little finds out in the booths.
The festival was smaller this year, and there was a decided missing presence from the normal antique stores, but you know it would be a ton of work maintaining two spaces at once! Instead, some of my favorite antique haunts banded together for a great, great sale! Not only was the regular merchandise available at a discount, but many shops (notably Legacy Antiques and Vintage & More) brought in local artists to sell their wares. The Antique Co-op had the best refreshments, and you really miss the boat if you go to the North Valley and don't stop in for some inspiration at Cabin & Cottage.
One of the biggest highlights of my day was running into the very talented Carol Van Den Avyle-- Weems enthusiasts would certainly recognize her work! Guess what everyone-- Carol checks this blog!!! Amazing, right? I'm super honored. What's more, Carol and her friend Len Estill recently visited my famous Aunt Sylvia in Artesia, and took a trip to Carlsbad to see the beautiful Debra Mendoza and her new shop, Then and Again. Carol was kind enough to send me these pictures of the shop, which I hope will inspire you to take a little jaunt to Carlsbad. Check out the Caverns, of course, but this store is reason enough to go to C-Bad!

Isn't Debra the cutest woman you've ever seen? This picture doesn't begin to do her justice, but she is one of the nicest people I've ever met, and beautiful to boot!

Sylvia's booth-- I love my aunt!

Jane Paul's booth-- her wreath is made out of book pages, and I've been coveting it for some time.

Seriously, don't you just wanna jump in the car and go? Do it. And let me know when you do, because I want to come with you!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vegetarianism, Day 25

Today I had the best meal I think I've had all month-- cheese enchiladas, beans and rice from Teofilos. Ahh. It was so good I didn't have to envy my mom as she tucked into her beef tacos, though my mouth waters now as I think about them.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I'm going to the Lavender Festival, which includes a nice little farmer's market. Lavender lemonade and heirloom tomatoes should get me through the home-stretch of my month-long experiment.
This afternoon was the first time I started thinking about some of the things I'll want to cook when I'm back to my (moderate) carnivorous ways. Surprisingly, I'm mostly craving another dish of Claire's garlic pasta with mushrooms (which I normally hate, but these were adorable and delectable) and bay scallops. You'd think I'd be craving red meat, but I'm really anxious to try my hand at this incredible dish. Claire made it for my birthday, and at the time it tasted like the best meal I'd ever had.
Another thing I'm looking forward to? Roasted vegetable soup. I suppose I could make it with vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, but I'm just gonna wait it out.
But for now, I'm too busy to think about any of that. I've got glittered swans to finish and glassine bags to emboss. Tonight I'm off to find a pattern for my Sound of Music skirt, and to hang with the Friday Nighters at Main Street Muscle and Fitness. Kinda sounds like I need a life, no?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A few minutes of brutal honesty

No one likes a Debbie Downer, but I have to do some confessing, or I might just go crazy.
I'm sad/mad/exhausted with life today. Here are some of the reasons why:
* Pay cut= do more work with less appreciation and more criticism for less money. I really hate that. Say goodbye to vacation plans, say goodbye to anything fun. Paying bills is gonna be a challenge. I guess I should just be happy I have a job, but I positively hate it at this precise moment (10:51 a.m., Mountain Daylight Time).
* My crazy body= It hurts all the time, but not in a good way that comes from working out, because I haven't slept well in weeks, and I haven't gone to the gym since last Wednesday. I'm making myself go tonight. My skin is terrible, and I look awful in my clothes. I am tempted to shave my head because my hair is just a disaster. And because I can't afford to go anywhere, it really wouldn't matter if I were bald.
* My family thinking I'm a failure for not being married. Pretty self-explanatory. I'm ok with being single, but it would be much easier if my family didn't talk about it ALL the time.
Can I just crawl into a hole for a little bit until this all blows over?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Zoey Story Yet AND How I'm Living the Technicolor Dream

Two nice bits from the weekend--
First, I unfortunately wasn't there to witness this firsthand, but here's another reason I love my funny, funny niece: My parents, brother, and brother's family went to a wedding this weekend in Colorado Springs. Jealous! Love that town! Anyway, the groom was one of my brother's best childhood friends, and the groom's mother is still one of my mother's closest pals. One of the groom's nieces, a darling seven-year-old named Ashlynn, became Zoey's newest heroine, and Z followed Ashlynn around without a break. At one point, they were near my family's table and Ashlynn said she was seven. Zoey immediately piped up and said, "I'm six," to which her mother laughed and said, "No you're not, you're only two!" Apparently Zoey got really mad that her mother outed her as Ashlynn said, "I thought she was a little small for six." HAHAHAHA! Oh, how I wish I could have been there for that one!
Second, this weekend I procured some very nice old drapes. And now, even though I can't sew, I plan to revamp my wardrobe, a la Maria Von Trap and Scarlett O'Hara. I'll let you know how it goes, but I think I'm going to look smashing in my very own drape dress... er, skirt. Yeah, how hard can a skirt be anyway?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vegetarianism, Day 18

In case you were wondering, yes, I'm holding out and staying strong on the vegetarian front.
I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and I'm not sure he was super-impressed with me giving up meat, but I am. This thing is harder than it looks!
I feel a little guilty only doing it for a month, though. I was talking to my friend Brennan the other day and he suggested I might really like it so much that it would be a permanent change. I don't know why, but I felt terrible telling him I didn't think so. I might just give up meat on the weekdays. Hmm... something to ponder as I eat my salad for lunch today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Curious Encounter with Benjamin Button

There's this boy I know. We're not really friends. I admire him greatly, and wish we were, but it seems really impossible. Maybe someday I'll get up the courage to talk to him. Maybe someday he'll respond to one of my lame jokes.
There are a lot of things about this boy that make him worthy of my attention, but over the last few weeks, I've noticed something fascinating-- he seems to look younger and younger all the time. I think it's because he's lost a lot of weight over the time I've known of him (and a lot of muscle too). His hair, once spiked and trendy, has grown out into a little-boy, side-part style. For a while he had whiskers, but now his face looks smooth as it would have been as a child. He seems shorter, too. I think he's slumping his shoulders. Or maybe it's because his face is always down, particularly when he feels my gaze. Gone is the vibrancy and confidence of the man I once saw, exchanged with something like timidity, though it might be old-fashioned pride. I haven't heard him really speak for weeks. He keeps to the shadows like my light will destroy him, and he resents it. Ironically, seeing his diminishing persona clouds my own countenance and I feel darker when I am around him. We're both starting at shadows.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Operation Monte Cristo: Because Looking Good is the Best Revenge

I am TAN!
And sure, maybe if you run into me IRL, you'll still think I'm pretty pasty, but believe me, for me, I'm tan.
Also, I have really good hair today. I'm bringing back the side pony tail.
I'm energetic, because I had a great workout this morning.
I had oatmeal for breakfast, and so far, Vegetarianism, Day 9 of 30, is super.
And because I cleaned out my closet and gave many of my clothes to the good people at the thrift shop, I'm finding what's left of my closet is heavy on the Anthropologie, which = soft, feminine, and slightly unusual clothes.
Cue the "Westside Story" soundtrack.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Yesterday I know I sounded extra grumpy, and I wanted to do a point-counterpoint type of post that way you'd know I'm not jumping off a bridge or something, but pride kept me from two posts in one day.
So today is happier, I think. Sometimes things are tough, but you just work around that.
For example, last night I felt a little sick and didn't go to FHE. I would have liked to have gone to town, particularly to see Dallin and Daniel, my little heroes, and Pam who just got back from her trip. But rather than wallow in self pity, I went home and got to work. I cleaned out my closet, ridding myself of 8 paper grocery bags full of clothes and shoes. That felt good. I also finished my filter flowers (a beautiful project, if I do say so myself) and did a ton of laundry. I mowed the lawn and set up an appointment I've needed to make for weeks. I went to bed feeling mighty accomplished.
Though it's early, today has had its hurdles and successes already. I woke up from a bad dream where Pretty Boy George (thanks, Gerri) was dating a certain girl I know and don't particularly care for. Her eyelashes look like spider legs, and she walks like a killer. She's mean to a lot of people I love, so she's never really secured my good opinion. Anyway, in my dream PBG chewed me out while Spider Eyes looked on admiringly.
The good news? I was super stoked to wake up and go to the gym, because then the dream couldn't continue. Already today I returned a library book, dropped the clothes off at the thrift store, and did a little more house cleaning. On the not-as-bright-side, I found out this morning that Los Lunas no longer offers plastic recycling (boo!), and I got a rather dirty look from a kid who passed me at an intersection. So, you see, nothing to ruin a person's day-- just the ebb and flow of good and bad. Not eating animals is making me more philosophical.
PS. Great news! Debra and Sylvia are going to let me sell some of my smaller creations at Then and Again in Carlsbad! Whoo hoo! My glitter and I will take over the decorating world!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Little Something to Make Me Sweeter

It's vegetarianism, Day 7.
So far, so good, except I'm famished today-- not a good sign because it's only 10:19 a.m. and I keep wandering out to my parents' kitchen. Not a lot of great options here, but I'm sure the feeling will pass.
The meatless weekend went pretty well. I wasn't able to eat a couple of my favorite salads at Sweet Tomatoes, but that left room for a bigger one with the fat-free honey mustard dressing I love.
And as usual, I was a little too busy to eat or think much on it.
The only snafu was yesterday at Break the Fast. I really ought to have left right away as planned, but my friend Dallin asked me to come sit with him while he ate. So I thought, "OK, I can handle this." Plus also, the gracious James and Tyler had provided a huge bowl of salad and I was looking forward to sitting with someone who makes me feel a little less bad (D.Y.). But I'll be darned if those kids hadn't eaten ALL of the salad! Dang it!
I'll admit, I snapped. Hardcore. I sat in my car sobbing for a good 20 minutes before I drove home.
Lest you think I've gone totally nutty in the last 7 days, you ought to know it wasn't really about the salad. The salad was just the perfect representation of it all.
I was moody from the moment I set foot in the Institute on Sunday. I think the whole place still had the couple's-karma from AFK's birthday bash the night before. I'd attended the black-tie event, but was a little shocked to see that people had really taken the date thing seriously. Couples everywhere! One boy offered to be my escort through the evening, but no one wants pity. I ended up leaving early because I felt super uncomfortable and lonely.
So yesterday it didn't get all that much better. I sat alone in the front of the chapel because I'd been asked to lead the music. I don't think I would have even noticed being alone, except when I got up to wave my arm, I saw people packed in like sardines in the back, and couldn't help noticing all the empty chairs in my vicinity. It might have had something to do with the geographical location (because for some reason the front row is off limits?), but it felt pretty bad.
Also hurting my feelings? A certain former friend of mine who wouldn't look at me. But that's another story...
Anyway, things got a little better as the day went on. My friends the missionaries offered to beat a particular person up for me-- and let's face it, Elder Boden could break someone in half just by looking at them, and Elder Van Etten isn't a slacker either. Relief Society was really good. I thought I'd gotten past the grumpies until someone asked me if I'd been sunburned or had a rash on my chest-- not exactly what one wants to hear when they woke up thinking, "At least I'm super tan." And then there was the issue of the salad. Oh, the salad!
I tried to leave, but as I said, I had to get some crying out. And then I couldn't back out because there were some chaps gathered around f-BFF (former Bestie) and his truck, and I didn't really want them to all see my face red as a beet (or red as my decolletage, as the helpful girl had suggested). So I had to wait for what seemed like hours, crying like a nincompoop, shooing away the helpful comforting arms because a) I didn't want the negative attention and b) there's only one set of comforting arms I wanted at that point, but they're attached to a head that won't look up when I walk in a room and hands held up in defense or in fists.
So I went home. I turned off my phone. I took a long nap, because it's nice to have that sensation of waking up and not remembering right away what brought you to that sad place. When I turned the phone back on, I only had one message from someone telling me I'm doing a bad job at something (which is actually pretty good, on average). Things really did get better.
So now it's Monday, and I'm sleepy, but I'm at work. I'm hungry, but my family only eats meat and candy (exaggeration, of course, but that's what it feels like). I'm looking forward to getting a lot of paperwork done in hopes that it will take my mind off things a bit. And I'm hoping to cultivate a sweeter disposition and a little respect.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vegetarianism, Day 3 of 30

In answer to Louise's text query (sorry Lou! I got distracted last night), I'm not nearly as grumpy today. Good thing, because no one would want to be around me for the next 27 days were the trend to continue!
Last night my mood greatly improved after I went to the gym and came home to watch a nice foreign film whilst crocheting a baby blanket for a certain Ellie Mae (sorry T, if I messed up the spelling!). So even though the kiddos were a complete chore yesterday and things kept cropping up to hinder my zen path, I think the key to happiness is not meat but possibly craft projects and working out. It's a winning combination so far.
I'm actually not hungry at all at the moment-- just sleepy. I'm learning that if I'm going to make my 530 workout (which I did this morning, thank you very much-- have only missed going to the gym while out of town since I re-enrolled a few weeks back), I simply must go to sleep early. Had an interesting conversation last night that only lasted 15 minutes, but the aftermath left me up and pondering past 1030, and it made getting up a little tough. My cute orange hoodie made it easier though (why, oh, why are workout clothes and my body not friends? I guess that's the thing-- gotta keep going to the gym if they are to come to better terms, but in the meantime I'm just glad that there's not much of a morning rush, as this isn't January).
Oh, but you wanted to know about the v-word, right? Hmm. There's really not that much to tell. Fiber One bar for breakfast, cheddar cheese and banana for lunch. See what I mean? I'm just not hungry today at all. Oh wait. I did have a midmorning snack--animal crackers. Hope that wasn't a no-no. Hahaha! Dinner is away from home this evening, so I hope that I can get veggie-licious with the salad (the only thing on the menu friendly to my month's plan). Must. Go. Grocery. Shopping.
You know what else I'm craving? Getting out of the blasted office! I know I should be grateful for the short work week, but my mind is just elsewhere these days-- no place in particular, just not with me. My fingers keep twitching. Getting myself to do simple tasks is just a monumental struggle this week. I don't know where else I even want to be, but 5 p.m. can't come soon enough. Shall I blame it on the vegetables?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vegetarianism, Day 2 of 30

I don't think people need meat to be happy and healthy, but I sure think the mental hurdle of feeling deprived is no good. Yesterday, no meat, no problem. I mean, yes, I thought it was a touch insensitive for my mom to cook some hamburger while I was still at the office, but in her defense, she did make me some broccoli. You know, I think that if I weren't thinking about it, there wouldn't be a problem at all. How many times do I go for several-day stretches without even noticing that I've not had meat of any kind? And I don't even want any now, but I strongly suspect that this is somewhat related to my wanting to pummel just about anything that comes in my way today.
I am grumpy in the worst way. I can't seem to get anything done today-- this is not a huge surprise, as my nieces are here, but it's worse than usual. A certain person who shall remain nameless keeps calling and adding to my list of things to do. The girls are completely grouchy and naughty. Paizlee has smeared Cheetos all over my shirt, and I had to take my necklace off because she's nearly choked me several times. Zoey won't have anything to do with me except when she wants me to carry her over to grandma. My customers are being demanding, except for the ones who owe us money, who are being frightfully elusive. My house is a mess, I never got around to making an appointment I need, and I generally want to grow crawl into a hole and not come out... ever.
Again, I don't know if this has anything to do with the vegetarian thing, but I don't know how I'm going to stand 29 more days of this if the trend continues.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer-- It Turns Me Upside Down

There are three things I positively detest about the season between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It's hard to rank which is the worst in my book, so they are, in no particular order:

* Heat
* White Shoes
* Summer Sales Guys (with a few exceptions)

Can I get a witness?

Still, there are many, many, many wonderful things to love about the season, and while I was out running errands this afternoon, I made a mental list. If you are grumpy about the countless knocks on your door regarding satellite dishes and security systems (or worse, if these chumps, who inevitably wear huge, white K-Swiss sneakers are asking you out-- ick!), then I offer you my list to make you feel better:

Amusement Parks
BBQs (though I'll be grilling all veggies for the month of June, my friends)
Cabin time in Colorado
Farmers markets
Fresh produce
Flea markets
Family reunion
Garage Sales
Lavender Festival in Rancho de Albuquerque
Monsoons (if you are lucky enough to live in NM or AZ)
Outdoor concerts
Picnics in the Park
Summer Blockbusters (hello, Twilight!)
Summerfest (again, go Albuquerque!)
Tanning (yes, I do this in a booth, but no one questions it in the summer-- I'd look a little weird bronzed in say, December)
Weddings (expensive, but fun)
Weekends (because a good number of my "bosses" go out of town, and I get a little bit of a mental break)

I'll think of more, I'm sure... Feel free to add to my list.

"There are two sides to every question: my side and the wrong side." -- Oscar Levant

I'll be the first to admit it. I'm opinionated. And you know what? I'm proud of it.
Because if I weren't, I probably wouldn't have bothered voting at 7 this morning when the polls opened.
And I don't mind telling you that if you smother me, I'll think you're weird and you are social toast. If you are a man with a girlfriend and you want to take me out, you're gonna have to dump sister first, because I'm not a home wrecker. If you are going to try to tear me down, and tell me all the reasons I'm not good enough to be your employee, your leader, your girlfriend, your whatever, I'm not gonna agree with you. I'm feisty.
Of course, I'm not unreasonable. I'm happy to hear what you have to say. But if you are wrong, I'm gonna just do what I want anyhow.
Still, I'm trying something new. Today is Day 1 of the Month of Vegetarianism. Yes, I'm doing it.
For years, I've told people I would have no problem giving up meat. Now I'm going to see if I was lying.
Do you like the way I chose a "short" month?
Anyway, I'm not going extreme (read: vegan, because I think people who don't eat cheese and honey are nutters), but I'm just gonna see how hard it is, and how I feel at the end of the month. Much harder will be the month I go without processed sugar, but that's not on the list of "30 Things to do before I'm 30" at the moment. Let's see how June works out for me.
And speaking of working out, can I just say that I love my gym? The people there are really nice, and a pretty clean-cut lot. I'm grateful. I like seeing my 5:30 a.m. buddies.
Plus also, I'm hoping to make some 5:30 PM buddies starting this week, because I'm starting two-a-days on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Boo-yah.
Other random thoughts:
* Best part of my weekend was finding out that my adorable cousin and his adorable wife have a similar weakness for antiques.
* I might be allergic to grass. I sat down in a park last night, and last night I thought I'd have to amputate my legs (not really, but I don't have any Benedryl at the house... add that to the Wal-Mart list).
* The bed I'm refurbishing is not coming out the way I want it to yet. I'm not super happy with the silver leaf at the moment, so it may just end up with a new coat of paint. I can justify this because even though it will have been a huge waste of money on the metallic leaf front, at least I'm getting rid of things in my craft closet.
* When I go dancing this weekend, my friends will be out of town. Lou Lou moved, and Pammy will be at a wedding. Therefore, I'm just gonna dance in the corner by myself. I actually feel pretty good about this decision. I may also opt out of any partner dances, if the mood strikes me.
* Gonna go get a library card today. Hooray!
OK. Off to kick butt and take names. Or do some invoicing. Whatever.