Monday, October 30, 2006

Trick or Treat?

Oh, of course I choose treat!

I made these for Aaron and I instead of buying candy because we don't get trick-or-treaters at our apartment. They're chocolatey and delicious, best slightly warm yet great at room temperature, and a fantastic accompaniment for a cup of coffee. At one point yesterday Aaron looked at me and said, "Tell me to stop eating these because otherwise there won't be any left within the hour." I guess this means he likes them. Here's the recipe:

Halloween Cookies
Source: Everyday Food, October 2006

Makes 40 to 50*
Prep time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and cutting out dough
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
small candies or sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. On low spead, mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half, and form into 2 disks, each about 3/4 inch thick. wrap disks in plastic; chill until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.

On a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate fora few minutes.)

Using 2- to 3-inch Halloween cookie cutters, cut out hapes, dipping cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking; place on a baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Bake until surface is dry to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes (if decorating, press candies into dough halfway through baking).** Cool cookies 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve, or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.***

*We only got about 30 cookies out of this recipe and this includes those made by the last little scraps of dough that I just pressed into circles.
**I didn't do this step, as it just seemed too fussy. I thought about icing them, but they're sweet enough as is.
***Damn, I guess I should get to eating them then. What a great excuse to pig out on cookies!


Another note on treats: I really miss trick-or-treating. Not so much the dressing up and going door-to-door aspect, but the variety of candy you get. To get that variety nowadays I'd have to spend a fortune. My absolute favorite candy to get were mini-Snickers. I love Snickers bars. I also, weirdly, really liked those little peanut-butter flavored taffy-like candies that were wrapped in either black or orange. You know the ones I'm talking about? I love those things!

My least favorite to get, and therefore the candy my dad was hoping for, were Good 'n' Plentys - those pink and white black licorice candies. For some reason those were the candy of choice for many people handing out candy in our neighborhood, so my dad usually got quite the cache of these every Halloween because none of us kids liked them.

Other than those, I was fairly indifferent to the candy I got, but, of course, would eat it all, saving one Snickers bar for very last (unless my dad got to my candy first and then he'd eat the Snickers and there would be hell to pay!). So, what was your favorite candy at Halloween? What do you hand out to trick-or-treaters? We usually give chocolate - typicall Snickers bars and Peanut M&Ms. Although now that Take 5 (aka perfect PMS food) is out and in mini-size, those will probably be what I hand out in the future.

Damn, now I really want some chocolate. Happy Halloween everyone!

Becoming Stronger Competition for Wife of the Year

Last week Aaron called me, excited because he had just been given free tickets to this weekend's University of Michigan football game. "Can we go?", he asked.

"Most definitely," I replied. Who am I to tell my husband that no, we can't go to a football (his favorite sport) game played by his favorite team? Yeah, I definitely didn't want to be that wife. So we went.

It was raining in the morning, but the line of storms looked like it would be through by game time, so we headed to the stadium. The first quarter was cold, but manageable. I had on my warm winter coat, a stocking cap and gloves, along with many layers under my coat. The biggest problem was that wind was swirling around the stadium, and it was blowing hard.

Then, right about the time the second quarter started, it started to rain again. First sprinkles started coming down - definitely still a manageable condition. Then it started drizzling. Aaron asked if I wanted to leave, and I said, "No, I'm fine. I'll stay as long as you want to stay."

So we stayed. About mid-way through the second quarter it started pouring down rain, and the wind started blowing harder. Everyone around us had on ponchos (everyone around us was obviously smarter than we are) but those ponchos were blowing in the wind and spraying additional rain all over us. My jeans, gloves, and jacket were soaked, but the rest of me was okay (thank God for water-proof, insulated shoes!). Aaron kept asking if I wanted to leave, but I kept saying, no, I'm fine.

Right around half-time it started raining even harder, something I didn't think was even possible given the stinging drops that had been blowing into us previously. Aaron looked at me, and said, "Okay, that's it. Let's go."

It seems we weren't the only ones that had that idea, because at the beginning of the third quarter the announcers stated something to the effect of, "and we're back, with a mostly emptied stadium."

I swear it took me the rest of the day to get warm again, but it was worth it to get to see the smile on Aaron's face as he watched his favorite team play. I would have stayed the entire game if he had wanted to because I love to see him happy like that. But, I won't deny that I was thrilled when he said it was time to go before the game was over. That was some miserable weather.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh, My Aching Rear!

In an effort to be healthier and in order to lose a couple of pounds that have recently snuck up on me, I've been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. I spend a lot of time on the elliptical machines, and also attend a couple of classes. I love the classes, but the elliptical machines are so much nicer to me. I can actually walk the day after I use the ellipticals. After the classes, though? Not so much.

Last Wednesday I went to a class called "Step and Sculpt". This meant that we spent about 20 minutes stepping, 10 minutes lifting weights, another 20 minutes stepping, and then 10 more minutes doing ab exercises. The day after this class I was a little sore, but still mobile. I spent practically the whole day in the car though, and that was apparently a bad idea because on Friday I could barely walk. I went shopping with my mom and sister and they were walking behind me laughing hysterically at my attempts to walk normally. And stairs? Forget about it. My knees were not working well. Last Saturday I was finally able to move almost normally, and by Monday I was back at the gym and pain-free.

So last night I decided to tempt fate again, only this time with the "Cardio Kickboxing" class, which I like to describe as "Tae Bo on Steroids". This is one hard-core class. Last night was the first time I made it through without feeling like I was going to die or throw up, or maybe both. However, my rear end is so sore today that it pains me to sit. It hurts more to walk, though, so I'll choose the sitting pain. My left ear is in pain too, but I'm not sure I can tie that one back to the class. I may have slept on that side all night last night to avoid moving and subsequently waking myself up with a jolt of pain.

I really don't know why I do this to myself, other than I must be a glutton for punishment. Aaron always tells me to take it easier, but also gives me a hard time if I'm not at the gym since we pay so much for it. So, next week I'll be back at the "Step and Sculpt" version of hell. I'm just hoping that my body adjusts eventually so that I can do these classes and not feel like I need to swallow a bottle of motrin the next day. Because, seriously? I feel like asking someone to put me out of my misery today. Think I'm overdoing it? Or is the pain a good thing, a la "no pain, no gain"?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yesterday's post got me thinking more about when I was younger. Aaron and I were talking about our childhoods this past weekend, and I revealed to him what my life goal was when I was a kid: to be a teenager. I was absolutely looking forward to age 13 more than anything else. To be a teenager was it; the coolest thing that would ever happen to me. At 13 I would be old and sophisticated. I could wear makeup. I could shave my legs. I could wear cool clothes, and go to the mall to hang out with my friends. It would be the best.

I was so excited about getting to be a teenager, that I couldn't even wait to be a "pre-teen". Once, when I was eleven, I told my mom that I was a "pre-teen" and she said no, that 12 was when I was a "pre-teen". So I said fine, I was a "pre-pre-teen". That led to endless teasing of course, but I didn't care. Anything that could remotely link me to being a teenager was fine with me, teasing or not.

Then, of course, the teenage years came and I was miserable. I wasn't allowed to do many of the things I wanted to. Of course I was able to wear makeup in public instead of just during dress-up play. I was able to shave my legs at 12, so that wasn't a big deal any more. But I didn't have that freedom I thought being a teenager would bring me. My parents were still as strict as ever and I felt like I wasn't allowed to do anything. It just wasn't fair!

The teenaged years were also my "awkward period". I was still finding where I fit in and my sense of style. My hair was awful in every picture taken during those years, and my makeup wasn't much better. I was moody. I was angst-filled. I caused trouble at home, not by doing anything that would be considered dangerous or illegal, but basically, I was just being really annoying.

The realization came to me this weekend that for the first half of my life I strived to be 13, and now more than 13 more years have passed since I reached my goal. I'm much happier now than when I was a teenager, thank God for that, and if only I knew how great the post-teenaged years could be I think I would have wished to be 26 instead of 13. 26 is much better.

I just have to keep remembering this instead of getting depressed that another birthday is right around the corner.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Childhood Fears

I'm a scaredy cat, generally speaking. I'm scared of a lot of things: the dark, spiders, heights, ghosts, and fire, to name a few. Thankfully this list is much shorter than when I was little. When I was a kid I was scared of more things. I had one specific fear that was really bad until I was around 4 or 5, that is pretty ridiculous, and which I'm embarrassed about now. My family still teases me about it because it was so silly. I don't mean to offend anyone with this, so be forewarned. It was just the fear of an imaginative little child.

I was scared of little people.

The first time I encountered a little person was in daycare. The daycare owner's brother and his wife were little people and so was their daughter, who attended the daycare. It really bothered the owner that I was afraid of her niece, so we were asked to leave. It didn't matter how much she was explained to me, she freaked me out. She was older than me, but the size of my little brother.

I thought she was an elf.

This is the only incident of this fear I remember. I may have blocked further incidents from memory. This past summer my grandmother was telling me a story about when we were at the grocery store once, and a little person walked down the aisle we were in. I, apparently, completely lost it. I started crying and hiding behind my grandmother. I can't imagine how embarrassing this must have been for her. My parents too - can you imagine your kid getting kicked out of daycare because she was scared of another kid? I really was a wuss.

I got over the fear, obviously. I don't remember when that happened either, but maybe when I learned that elves weren't real, and that these little people were just that: people. But, for a while there, I was irrationally afraid of little people.

So, am I alone in this? Did any of you have embarrassing and irrational fears when they were little? How about now? What freaks you out?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Delicious Dinner

Go here.

Print out the recipe.

Make it for dinner.

Seriously? This is super easy and pretty damn delicious! And the apartment still smells wonderful.

I Feel Like a Giant Dork

(but probably shouldn't)

Last night after dinner Aaron and I were sitting around watching television, when I noticed that he was curiously sniffing the air.

"Do you smell that?" he asked.

"Smell what?"

"Something burning."

I sniffed. "Yeah, actually. I do."

We first deducted that the smell was not coming from within our apartment, so then we headed out into the hall, where the smell was much worse. Then I looked at the light and noticed that the air was a little smoky.
"What should I do?" I asked Aaron and he ran outside to see if there was something burning out there. "Should I knock on the neighbors' doors?"

"Yeah, sure," he replied. "See if any of them burned anything, and maybe that's what I'm smelling."

So I knocked on the next-door neighbor's door, where, it turns out, they were having a birthday party and there were about 20 people there. No burning coming from in there, but they noticed the smell was really bad and the smoke when they came out into the hall (yes, all 20 of them).

Then we knocked on the door across the hall, where a new family had just moved in. They didn't burn anything either, but also noticed the smell and the smoke in the hall. They joined the crowd formed on the small landing trying to figure out what was going on.

Lastly, we knocked on the door of the really shy couple across the hall. The husband opened the door, and looked confused, but assured us that he didn't burn anything and then shut the door in my face. Par for the course there.

Aaron knocked on some of the doors downstairs, but no one down there had burned anything either. We were all starting to feel walls and the ceiling to see if maybe it was inside the walls because it kind of smelled electrical. Then I looked down to see Aaron on his hands and knees sniffing around the heater in the hallway downstairs.

Yes, that's right. There was no fire. The heater turned on and the smell was the heater burning up the dust that was in there. Stinky? Yes. Dangerous? Probably not. Embarrassing? Definitely.

I felt so bad for disturbing all my neighbors' evenings, even though they assured me that we could always disturb them if we smelled something burning. I still kind of feel like a dork about it though. Fire is one of my biggest fears, and so I tend to overreact when I smell something burning. At least they all overreacted a little too, because it really did smell like a fire in the building.

Want to know what makes me feel even worse? The neighbor lady from the apartment next door brought us over a huge slab of birthday cake about an hour later, I'm assuming to thank us for alerting them of possible danger. We've lived there over a year, and last night was the most time we've really spent talking with the neighbors. I kind of feel like an ass. But hey, maybe this is our chance to get to know the neighbors better. Yeah, that makes me feel slightly better, yet still like a giant dork. Gah! This is such an example of my social awkwardness at its worst.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hardest Conversation To Not Laugh During, Ever.

What I want to know is, how old were you when you figured out how a library worked? I'm guessing I was probably 5, perhaps younger, but I'll stick with five. So this means I've known how a library works for approximately 22 years now. It doesn't take a genius IQ to figure this out does it? Because if it does, I'm apparently a genius.

Now, this is what brought this to mind today. I was having a conversation with an older woman, I'm guessing she's in her late fifties/early sixties, who has an advanced degree, and who I see a couple of times a week. She saw me reading a book and asked me if it was any good, and indicated that we seem to have the same taste in books. Then she asked me where I got it.

Me: The library.

Her: Oh, you go to the library? How often do you go?

Me: Every week or so.

Her: Well, how much do they charge per book?

Me: Um...nothing.

Her: Just the membership?

Me: Membership is free too.

Her: Wow! How many books can you take at a time?

Me: As many as you want, actually.

Her: And it's all free?

Me: Yes. They have free videos too, but they do charge late fees for those. Fifty cents a day.

Her: That's it? I'm going to have to check this library thing out!

Me: You do that.

Seriously. I had this conversation today. And the woman is definitely older than five. Maybe I'm just assuming "how libraries work" is common knowledge. I could be totally wrong about this, but I just can't imagine that there are a lot of people out there who don't get this.

The Possibility I Chose

As I was leaving work on Thursday afternoon, I thought I had chosen to spend my Friday running errands in the morning and relaxing in the afternoon. Then some moron rear-ended my sister, and so I re-chose and headed up to my parent's place. She's fine, she was just a little shaken up, so we got a chance to hang out and relax.

Little did I know that it was also harvest dinner at my parents' church that night, so not only did I get to hang out with my family, I also got an early Thanksgiving-like dinner, complete with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. That? Was awesome.

We spent Friday morning lounging around the house, the afternoon shopping and gossiping, and then I headed home and proceeded to do basically nothing for the whole weekend. Well, okay, I did clean parts of the house and we did take the six bags of clothes we had set aside to the Good Will store. But other than that we watched The Breakup, The Fly, and I read a book and a half.

And it was wonderful.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Emeril Has Spicy Nuts

So! Yesterday I was bored. Actually, I was really, incredibly, mind-numbingly bored, so I decided to play around with the content on my side bar. This is exciting, no?

First of all (even though it’s lower than the other change), notice the banner over there that says that I’m participating in NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. This means that I’ll be posting every day in November, even the weekends. If you click on that banner, it will take you to the official NaBloPoMo site, which gives the complete details, as well as a list of all NaBloPoMo participants. Should be fun! It will at least be a lot of new blog posts to read next month.

Secondly, I took down my Obsessions/Pet Peeves links. Really, this was for two reasons; one, I never update them, and two, no one really clicked on them anyway. I decided to replace those with a new section, “Recipes of the Month”. These are the recipes that are currently rocking my world. Actually, the recipes up there have been rocking my world for a while now, but they’re among my favorites, so I thought I’d share. I’ll try and update this section every month with new recipes for you to enjoy.

I actually have a somewhat funny story related to one of the recipes. The recipe for Puff Pastry Cheese Twists is from Emeril’s show. The episode on which these appeared had a lot of other great appetizer recipes (they’re linked to on the bottom of the page that the link takes you to), including Emeril’s Spiced Nuts. *giggle*

Now, when we watched this episode it was still early in the morning. So early, in fact, that we were apparently 12 year olds, because this was some hilarious television. We started giggling when he said the name of the recipe. We started laughing when he said “Now, I like my nuts spicy.” We almost fell out of bed laughing when he said something to the effect of, “Mmmmm…now those are some spicy nuts. Those nuts are so good! I love my spicy nuts!”

Seriously? That right there, is hilarious television.

Almost as good as the “olive oil money shots” from Wolfgang Puck’s show. You know, when they would slow down the shot right when he was drizzling olive oil over something, and accompany the shot with some soft-porn-type music?

Now that’s entertainment.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

So Many Possibilities...

and so little time to fit all of them in. So I need help deciding.

I've decided to take Friday off from work because I really need a break. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Not that it takes much to excite me like this; I was this excited about hamburgers last Friday.

Anyway, so I have this day off, but I don't know what to do with it. I've narrowed it down to three options, all with their pros and cons, but can't choose which one to do. So, I want your opinions.

Option 1: Stay home and run errands that need to be done. This includes dropping off a bunch of stuff to Good Will that's been sitting in my dining room for two weeks now, getting two pairs of pants re-hemmed (these were two fairly new pairs of pants and both left hems fell out..grrrr....), hunting around town for a copy of "The Breakup" to rent, and working out.

Pro: I would get a lot of stuff done that I need to get done, and some things done that I really want to get done.
Con: Not a whole lot of fun and not really that relaxing.

Option 2: Go up north to my parents' house for the day, and hang out with my little sister who will also be in town that day. Okay, my reasons for this are mainly selfish, in that my parents have something that they ordered for me that I want. Also, it's fun hanging out with my sister. But, I won't really get to see my parents unless I head up the night before, which is an option too.

Pro: Fun!
Con 1: Also not relaxing.
Pro: Fun!
Con 2: Have to drive a lot, by myself, which I hate.
Pro: Get loads of free makeup (the thing they ordered). Also, Fun!
Con 3: Missing Aaron.
Pro: Lots of fun! Also get to eat my favorite kind of bagel for breakfast and get delicious lattes. Fun!
Con 4: I wouldn't get a chance to work out, which I really need to do that day, unless of course I hit the gym with my sister. Yeah right, that would totally not happen.

Option 3: Stay home, don't leave house except to go to the gym, make romantic dinner and dessert for Aaron.

Pro: Get done some of the things I need to get done around the house, and I get in my workout.
Con: Possiblity of being very bored.
Pro: Most relaxing of the three options.
Con: Seriously, I get bored when I'm all by myself for too long, which means I'll probably piss Aaron off by calling him about 3 million times that day.

So those are my three options. I also need to add in that there's a strong possibility that we're going to be out of town on Saturday and Sunday (to visit Aaron's grandparents), so that affects my ability to get stuff done this weekend.

I just can't choose. There are things I like about all three options. I'm just horrible at making decisions (also out of ideas for what to write today). So, if you were in my situation, what would you do?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bound to Happen

Last night Aaron went grocery shopping. I was at home waiting for him to return, and it just kept getting later, and he still wasn't home. About 30 minutes past when I was expecting him home, he finally called. He was running late because he had to put the spare tire on, because the left rear tire was completely flat. Great. I felt bad for him, because not only did he have to change the tire, but he had to do it in the rain and cold. Poor guy!

He took it in to get the tire fixed this morning, and unfortunately it can't just be patched. We need a new tire. Since the existing tires are almost in need of replacing, he just decided to buy four new tires, an unexpected expense that puts a real set-back in our savings plan. I mean, we do have the extra money and have budgeted for unexpected things like this, it just sucks when something like this happens.

And it happens every year at around this time. Last year it was the car accident. The year before that it was some unexpected wedding expenses. And the year before that it was Aaron losing his job. Since I've had this job, this is the month when I get my raise and bonuses (we get them really early for Christmas), so at least we have the extra money when we need it. I just wish it could either go to something fun (I would love to spend my bonus on a vacation some year) or into savings (where it was planned for this year, and where most of it will still go), instead of to whatever big expenditure fall brings us once again.

On a completely unrelated note, I seem to have, lately, an incredibly strong aversion to chicken (no, I'm not pregnant). The thought of eating chicken, touching chicken, or even really smelling chicken is really grossing me out. Usually this only happens with pork (which, still, unless it's in ham or sausage form, I really am not a big fan), but now it's happening with both pork and chicken. Aaron is not happy with this development because he likes his diet to be heavy in both, and gets a little testy if I go too many days without including some sort of meat in our meals.

So, unfortunately, tonight's planned dinner is chicken in order to appease him. But I told him that if he wants it, he's cooking it. He, unfortunately, agreed to this. I was hoping making him cook it would mean we wouldn't have to eat it because he wouldn't want to cook. That totally backfired!

Monday, October 16, 2006


I'm a horrible runner. I'm not able to run very far at all without becoming seriously out of breath. I get horrible shin splints after I run. Aaron laughs at me when he sees me running - he says it's funny to see me try, and that I run like a girl. (I've got news for him: I am a girl. Thanks for noticing!) I think the longest I've ever successfully run was about 800 meters and that was when I was in 6th grade and was forced to be in a track meet. I'm definitely not fast, so they thought maybe I could do distance. I definitely proved them wrong. I'm just horrible at running.

But, I dream of running. I have dreams where I run for hours at a time. In these dreams I run everywhere. I run to my parents house 80 miles away without ever getting out of breath. I run to work in record time. I never stop running in these dreams, and it's the most fantastic, free feeling I've ever encountered. I wake up feeling incredible and relaxed, all because of running, which is something that stresses me out if I try it in waking life.

Maybe it's just because I've never stuck with it more than one day at a time every few months. Maybe if I really tried I could find that relaxing free feeling that comes with my running dreams.

So, starting in January I'm training for a 5K. I know that most people don't have to train for this kind of event, but I definitely will have to. Who knows, maybe I'll find that free feeling that I'm longing for and I'll start training for a 1/2 marathon after that. I'm kind of hoping that's what happens.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Special

Today's special is: Random paragraphs that have not too many connections. You're welcome!

I am overly excited about what is happening tonight. We're going out for hamburgers! Seriously, I'm excited about this. Mostly it's because we ran into some friends in a park this weekend and they were cooking hamburgers that smelled delicious, and I've been craving one ever since. Also, I love the pub where we're going for hamburgers, and not only do they have amazing hamburgers (my favorite is one that's a cheeseburger with banana pepper slices...mmmm....) they also have incredible cole slaw and the best long island iced teas in the area (also a 2 long island limit because they're so strong). I'll probably skip the long island because I actually have things to do tomorrow and don't want to be hung over, but I'm definitely going for the hamburger and cole slaw.

Aaron is in charge of dinner a couple of nights a week, which are the nights that I have an exercise class and don't get home until around seven. He's been doing really good cooking dinner on these nights, but last night he fell into his old habit, of smiling at me when I walk in the door and greeting me with a one word question, "Pizza?" (Wow, can you tell that my healthy eating plan is going really well? That's why I'm having yogurt and berries for lunch.) Now, I like pizza and was really happy that we weren't having chicken, because I was so not in the mood for chicken (or brussels sprouts - the planned side dish). The only problem is that the cheeseburger tonight was supposed to be my only "bad" meal this week. Oh, well. Aaron will just have to deal with non-fattening foods for the rest of the weekend.

Speaking of being healthy and going to exercise classes, I went to a cardio kickboxing class last night, and rocked it! My new shoes came earlier this week, so my feet hurt much less than they have been after these classes, which is awesome. I have really high arches, so I definitely need lots of support during classes where there's a lot of jumping (like the whole hour of jumping I did last night). My feet still hurt, but I'm not avoiding walking like I was after last week's class. That's a definite improvement.

Also, during this class I did something to my left hamstring (does it bother anyone else that we refer to part of our bodies as ham-anything?). It's not a pull or a sprain, but it definitely hurts. I think maybe it's just a weird persistent cramp from too many squats.

Speaking of hurting muscles, Aaron made me watch something on television last night that made me gag. Literally. Some baseball player (I think it was Sean Casey) tore his calf muscle and you could totally see it happen. It jiggled. It was gross. I almost threw up in my mouth a little bit. I'm now no longer going to look when Aaron says "Hey, wanna see something totally gross, but kinda cool?" I should have known that lesson without having to learn it the hard way.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Craptastic thing the first - look at this. Also, this. (Since blogger is also being craptastic today, I can't post them directly.)

Yes, in fact that is snow. On October 12th, which is way too early for snow! It's just crap. (Completely and utterly beautiful) Crap! Since that time it stopped snowing, turned all grey, started snowing again, this time accompanied by thunder and lightning, and then turned all sunny, but is still snowing. On October 12th!!!

Craptastic thing the second is something that I am irrationally sad about. Last night I went in to have my eyebrows mostly de-haired, and the woman who has been doing my eyebrows for, like, 4 years told me that today is her last day! Thank goodness I had an appointment with her before she left. She always does a great job, and, even more importantly, I was comfortable with her.

I have major issues with having my face touched. It creeps me out unless it's me or (more recently) my husband doing it, and even more recently it has become okay for my waxer to touch my face, because you know, she has to in order to do my eyebrows. And I got to know her, which helped. I even let her do a facial, which is like, a whole hour of touching, before my wedding.

Now I have to get used to a new person touching my face. Apparently the new waxer's name is Deborah, and she's really good, I guess. But still. A stranger will be touching my face in four weeks. I'm getting a little creeped out by the thought. Fortunately I'm just slightly more weird about my eyebrows (they must be waxed otherwise they take over my face! which is no good!) than about a stranger touching my face.

I'm still sad though. I even cried about it last night. I blame the sadness plus a little touch of tiredness, and maybe some PMS thrown in for good measure, for that little outburst. She got a good job outside the beauty industry, and so I understand why she's leaving, and I'm happy for her, but I'm still a little sad. Just fortunately not crying about it anymore, because that would just be weird.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wendy's Thinks We're Stupid

I have recently come across something that really has started to annoy the hell out of me. It could just be me being annoying and putting to much thought into something, but seriously. It's annoying however you look at it.

Have you seen those Wendy's commercials where they're touting their 99 cent menu? The one where this guy gets something bought for $9,000,000 and he and his two friends are like "That's 3,000,000 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers each! Before taxes!"

I don't know where they learned how to do math, but $9,000,000 will buy you 9,090,909 of something that costs 99 cents each, and that's a good 90,909 more than they state in the commercial. However, there are taxes, and so if you got $9,000,000 (and didn't have to pay any taxes on that - which is so not likely), then in Michigan, which has a six cent sales tax, you'd get about 8,571,428 of something that had a 99 cent price tag, which is almost 500,000 less than they tell you in the commercial. That's all a big difference, no matter how you look at it.

When did society get so lazy that they think that the extra cent that makes 99 cents into a dollar doesn't matter? Like I said, this could just be me being annoying or a giant dork (quite likely), but it just annoys the crap out of me.

So, that being said, what commercials annoy you so much that you want to smack the person that made it every time you see it? Or am I alone in the "being really freaking annoyed at commercials" camp?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

We're Planners
(alternate title: How many times can you use the word plan, or variations of, in a single entry?)

Aaron and I like to plan things. We're sometimes spontaneous, but only about little things like ordering pizza spur of the moment instead of making the dinner we had planned, or all of the sudden deciding to buy a new pair of running shoes (I'm in love and can't wait till they get here). We're just crazy like that!

This weekend Aaron and I were talking about future plans. We had originally planned on this being the last month I take birth control and that we'd start trying for a baby next month. Then we realized that this interfered with some other plans - mainly a winter filled with cold weather fun such as cross country skiing (which I'm sure my doctor would discourage were I to get pregnant), snowshoeing, geocaching, and the like. We're also not where we had planned to be financially at this point (see: unplanned buying of a car earlier this year), and Aaron wants to (maybe) look for a new job. So we decided to make a new plan.

Our new plan includes a winter full of fun (and free) activities such as cross country skiing, hiking, staying home and finishing old projects that need to be finished, saving a lot of money in the process, and starting to look at houses (the reason for the big money saving plan). It also involves waiting until next May to start trying for the baby. That's when my prescription for birth control runs out anyway, so it kind of makes sense. Once we talked out the details of the plan (I'm telling you, we're just a barrel of spontaneous fun!) we shook on it - this time there will be no delaying it, no matter how scared or nervous or unprepared we feel.

A good sign that this plan may actually stick is that yesterday on his way to work, Aaron was listening to NPR and heard a segment that really inspired him. The segment was talking about failure, and how it can be a good thing. The speaker was telling about how he wished for his daughter to fail after she graduated from college, because if you have immediate success, you are only trying things that you already know how to do and aren't challenging yourself. Failure is a necessary part of learning new things.

Aaron and I discussed how, as planners, and apparently major control freaks, we tend to play it safe, trying those things that we already know we're good at or that we've spent aeons researching beforehand so that we at least have a fighting chance going in. We really don't go for things that are outside of our comfort zone. I think this is why we've been putting off a baby for so long, even though before we got married we thought we'd have one right away. We've already put it off about 6 times past our original planned date, and have delayed all sorts of other plans too because, basically, we're just to chickenshit to make important and life-changing decisions.

Last night Aaron decided that he's ready to fail (or at least take the chance that he might fail), and I agreed to the same. Even though we have this current "baby plan", once the time comes we're going for it. We're also going to try other activities that we might not otherwise think about trying, like looking for new jobs, maybe, or perhaps even moving far away. It's scary but we're up for the new adventure(s).

It's about to get a whole lot more interesting in the "Ca" house.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Haircut

Well, here it finally is:

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to style it, but I'm liking having short(er) hair. Aaron likes it too, so it's all good.

The only downside of short hair, though, is bad bedhead in the mornings. I wake up and it's all over the place. Aaron's hair is pretty much too short for bedhead, so he wakes up looking great. I wake up looking like I slept with my finger in some sort of electrical device.

Also, when looking at my last haircut, I notice that it's still the same haircut, just shorter. Oh, well. At least I know it looks good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

This One's For My Husband

This weekend is the big game: Michigan State University (Go Green!) versus the University of Michigan (BOOOOOOOO! Down with the Wolverines!). I'm a MSU fan (can you tell?) and Aaron, well, he's a die-hard UofM fan. He was born in Ann Arbor, and I think they put something in the water there, so I guess he can't help it. I may be able to forgive him.

I do still remind him regularly, though, that due to MSU (my alma mater - twice) we have a lot of nice things.

So, this is for Aaron: Tomorrow your team is going down, and this time we won't need an extra second to kick your asses!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Love It When People Make Up New Words

Yesterday morning I was engaging in my usual ritual of watching the Today show while getting ready. Just as I was headed to turn off the television and head out, a person being interviewed stated that something was part of the "Oprah-fication" of America. I think the story was about how celebrities mess up and then in order to fix it all you hear about how they're headed to rehab, because apparently rehab fixes all of your problems.

Out of this whole thing, it was the word "Oprah-fication" that really stuck with me. Now, I'm a big Oprah fan and watch as often as possible, so I suppose I would know a little bit about this topic, and I don't see how people heading to rehab is due to "Oprah-fication". I can see how women wearing properly fitted bras and the perfect pair of jeans could be a result of the "Oprah-fication" of America. Also, I can see how people joining a boot-camp-type fitness program could be part of the "Oprah-fication" of America. People gathering to fight against child molesters could be an example of this, too. I can even see women joining together to read great fiction, and discuss it, being part of this "Oprah-fication" (seriously, how many times can I use this word? I think it's great!).

But going to rehab? To escape from your problems? I can see Oprah doing a show on this and calling people out on it, but I can't see it as being caused by Oprah. In fact, I would love to see how she lays into the people the story talked about, including Mel Gibson (she could have some choice words for him, for sure), and Mark Foley. Mark Foley especially, since he's like a two-for-one deal: heading for rehab after engaging in and admitting to some child-molester-like activities. Now, that would be a show to watch!

Mostly, I like that I have a new word to throw around: "Oprah-fication". Maybe it will replace my current love of words like "ersatz", "supposition", "generalizability" and "efficacious". I'm definitely going to have to find more uses for "Oprah-fication" and related contractions, such as: "This party is so not glam enough, so let's Oprah-fy this bitch! Break out the pomegranate martinis and the Rachel Ray appetizers! Where are my Jimmy Choos? And call up my new best friends (insert name dropping, such as Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts) to get this party started!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well, I Tried

I tried to get a picture of the new haircut this morning, but there are a few factors that prevented me from getting one, including:

1. Too much product = bad hair day with new haircut. It's a lot shorter and I haven't quite figured out the amount of product to use in my newly-cropped 'do. I used a little too much this morning, and while the hair still looks okay, it's not great. I'll try again tomorrow, and I should be more successful, as long as:

2. It's not five point three million degrees in my apartment. Seriously. It's hot in here. I'm sweaty and my hair fell flat about two seconds after I styled it, despite the massive amounts of product. We even turned on the fan and opened the windows, but it's still hot. Thankfully the temperatures are falling a bit today so it should be cooler in here tomorrow morning. So then there was only one thing left in the way of taking a decent picture, which is:

3. Nothing says it's a good morning like an argument first thing. I just couldn't get a realistic smile on my face for the picture, so I finally just gave up.

I really like the new cut. It's actually sort of different than usual, which is a big struggle between my stylist and I. She likes to continuously give me the same cut, and I usually come out looking exactly the same as before. This time I finally convinced her to try something different. Which, doesn't it usually go the other way?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Definitely Not Like an Elephant

I had a great post all planned out for this morning. I even revised it in my head a few times last night while I was trying to fall asleep. It was great - funny, touching, and then funny again - but I'll be damned if I can remember one singular detail this morning. My memory, it is failing me. So instead you get to hear about what is exciting me today.

Thing 1: Aaron is bringing me a latte any minute now. He didn't make coffee this morning and I was a little bummed (for some reason I can't make a decent cup of coffee with our current coffee maker, but he makes excellent coffee with it), so I said "I'll just grab a latte on my way to work". Then he said, "Or, I'll grab you one since I have my dentist appointment right down the street from your office this morning, and damnit, Jess, why do you always ruin my surprises?"

Oops. So, yes. He's bound to be here any minute with a steaming hot, sweet, coffee-licious latte. Mmmm.

Thing 2: I recently discovered that you can rent dvds for free from our local library. Not only that, they have quite the selection. So I put "The Family Stone" on hold and they'll call me when it comes in. This is the best system EVER! They do charge late fees, but only $.50 per day, so it's not too bad. I love the library. (For books, too, of course.)

Thing 3: This is the thing I'm most excited about, and the thing that will make the day crawl by until 5:30 rolls around. I'm getting my hair cut today. Like really cut. Short(ish). I can't wait. I'm tired of my long flat boring hair, and when it's short I can do more things with it because it's not all weighed down. I'll have volume! It's just so damn thrilling I can barely stand it. Of course, Aaron's not thrilled, but he'll live. I'm sure he'll love it when he sees it, he just can't picture it now.

Oh! Here he is with my latte! This is going to be a great day.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I don't text. Honestly, I don't even know how to send a text message, and we don't have it on our wireless plan, so I just don't. Sometimes I wish I did though, especially after reading posts like this one over at MetroDad, which made me laugh till I cried. ("Ninjas killed my family. Need money for karate lessons." = Texting Genius)

Now, although I don't text, some of my friends do, so I do get a text message every now and again, and this weekend I got a doozy.

You see, it was homecoming weekend in town and so it was a little crazy around here. Aaron and I wisely (or lazily) avoided the downtown area, but some of our friends headed out for some alumni fun. One friend texted me Saturday night, and I didn't get it until Sunday morning, otherwise I would have attempted to text her back.

The message was: "I just saw a black cowboy, thought of your mom, and giggled."

I had just woken up, so it took me a moment to acclimate, but then I read it to Aaron and we both laughed until there were tears streaming down our faces.

Of course there is a good backstory to this, which can be summed up thusly: we spent an entire half day once searching for evidence to prove to my mom that there were black cowboys. Not that she has anything against black cowboys, she doesn't, it's just something she never considered, so it didn't mesh with her world view I guess. She insisted that we were wrong, but we did manage to round up some evidence to the contrary. I have to say there was much laughing that day.

I had forgotten about this story until this text message came through and reminded me, and I laughed almost as much all over again. Note to self: must learn to text so that more hillarious moments ensue.