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Potpouri

Oh don’t you dare.  Don’t you dare give me a lecture about blogging.  So I haven’t blogged since July of 2011.  Big whup.  I also haven’t figured out what colors to paint my nails today, and I’m not crying about it, am I?  Maybe we should all just be quiet for a minute and consider this:  Today is Cinco de Mayo and I’m planning a nice pot roast dinner for Wayne when he gets home.  So exactly how much do you think I care about what I’m  supposed to be doing?  10%?  A lot?  What’s a lot?

I don’t know if I can really put it into a percentage.  I don’t even know if I remember what I was just talking about.

Blogging.  Well here’s the haps:  I’ve got a new orange mug.  And if you think that’s not news, you’re wrong for three reasons.  One, I didn’t have one before.  Two, it’s a different size than my normal mugs (sort of shorter and more… cylindrical) (guess who spelled cylindrical correctly on the first try?  This girl!) And three, I was previously not allowed to  purchase any mugs and just last weekend I was all “darn those rules, darn them straight to heck” and I went out and purchased two of them.  The other one is teal, but I keep using the orange one.  I just find orange irresistible on a cloudy morning.  It’s the sunshine I well deserve.

There are other things.  I wore a Great Gatsby t-shirt for a week straight.  It was last week, and boy was it awesome.  Of course I couldn’t wear it to work (I don’t think) because there are clear rules about t-shirts in the packet of rules they gave me that strictly forbid anything with a Sports Team Logo on it and I figure the classic cover of The Great Gatsby is as good as a sports team logo in that I would root for it if it was playing basketball.  But I wore it around the house, which was still very satisfying.

I also started a garden on the little ledge of roof just below our front window.  The flowers I have are:  Marigolds, mini snapdragons, what I believe look like johnny jump-ups, and an unidentified orange one.  We also have rosemary, oregano, and a jalapeno plant.  All this is on an overturned fish tank (as you know, Christmas passed away last year)(he was the fish) in an assortment of flowerpots, mostly gifts, and one red teapot that we never use.

So as you can see, life is pretty exciting.

In bigger news, I’ve written a play.  Actually written it in past tense, which means it’s finished.  This fact sets it apart from anything else I’ve written in the last six years.  I’ve been second drafting it all week.  It’s called Better and it’s a romantic comedy.  Think Maid in Manhattan without any high heels stuck in sewer grates.  And with male protagonists.  Although there’s female protagonists as well.  It’s really more of an ensemble cast.  And I actually don’t remember Maid in Manhattan all that well, is that the one where she gets her high heel stuck in a sewer grate?  Anyway.  I’ve also got a theater company to put it on.  Our theater company!  In fact we just sat down with Strawdog Theatre recently and chose a date to officially get all sweaty and nervous on.  Good thing I bought all that bulk deodorant from Cost-co.

Finally, here’s a last tidbit for you.  Our cat has recently learned how to open the fridge.  It’s his new hobby.  If you said, “Nice to meet you Seymour, what do you do?” he would be like, “Usually I just open the fridge and drive Amy and Wayne completely crazy.”  He can even open it when we put a stool there to block his way.  Oh I know, it’s probably okay.  Probably.  Until you see it open and have no idea when it was opened and are trying to gauge just how warm everything inside is.  It’s a problem when you take a nice big cold gulp of spoiled milk, before it’s due date.  Milk that was, only yesterday, probably okay.  And then he comes and cuddles in your lap like the manipulative little beast he is.

I really really really love him anyway.  But I never want to taste spoiled milk again.  Which is why I brought out the spray bottle.  The one thing that cat ever listens to.

And I think I’m going to do my nails kind of a clay color with confetti glitter as the topcoat.  It’s going to be called Party Putty.  Spread the word!  It’s a hot new manicure.

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Library: cleaned!

Today Wayne and I finally cleaned our library.  Library?  Yes, library.  We have like, a thousand books.  Probably.  If you need proof because you have a history of me lying to you, look up waynegjr on LibraryThing.  Wayne has a special scanny-thing to enter in all of our books.  He hasn’t even gotten through all of mine yet.

There was more than one “This Chaucer is a prettier copy and it has pictures, but this one is a better translation… which should we keep???” crisis, but I think we made it through okay.  It’s not like we spend any time reading (at all) Chaucer, it’s just that we’d like to keep the best copy.  With other things… T.S. Eliot, J.D. Salinger, anyone with initials like that… C.S. Lewis… we just keep both copies because we love them and are nostalgic about our own copies.  Anyway.

In the 11 months we’ve been married we’ve let our precious library fall to shambles.  There were:  dishes, garbage, piles of books that were unorganized, a guitar collecting dust, peanut shells all around Wayne’s computer (not a joke, it was like Texas Roadhouse over there), bills, magazines, journals, sewing supplies, and one barely started latch hook rug with a cat on it.

Today we said, Enough.  We had two garbage bags full of crap to haul out, but it was worth it.  So worth it!  Our library is once again the safe haven where we can sit with our friends (the books) and talk to each other (about the books)(yes, even though they are right there in earshot) and look up the ones we want because they are in alphabetical order and arranged by section.

We also started the sticker process on our v-cart.  Did I tell you we bought one?  From a Borders that was closing and selling everything.  We got it for $10.

Pretty great, right?  Now we can move a whole stack of books a short distance with no stairs.  We decided it was the right thing in our lives to cover with stickers.  So we bought stickers on our most recent trip (yellowstone)(if you didn’t know already) and put them on it.  It looks great!  All we have to do is build a collection of stickers to put on it now.

Possibly our trip would’ve been a more interesting thing to talk about?  Another story for another time.  G’night y’all!

Chop chop

I cut my hair this week!  I know, can you even believe it.  Like, umm, 8 inches maybe.  Here’s me now:

new haircut!

I know.  It’s more fun to walk around like, hey what’s up?  And everybody’s all like, “Eeek, your hair!!!”  and I totally just ruined it.  But I’m not a huge fan of surprises.

Reasons to cut your hair drastically, by Amy G:

1.  Why not?  It makes life interesting.

There are no more reasons. 

Okay, there are a couple of reasons.  Like, Wayne and I are going on a camping trip and I thought that dealing with my stringy, dirty hair for five days wouldn’t be all that fun.  Like, I have resolved to go to the beach this summer, regularly and often, and I wanted hair that would be clean, fresh, easy.  Like, doing all that hair stuff in the morning was getting to be a real drag and I wanted to have the sweet sweet freedom of skipping it.  But ultimately?  Everyone has to get their hair cut eventually.  Why not get it cut?

And so now here I feast on a frozen Trader Joe’s chicken pot pie and a guava flavored Jarritos (the pink one)(the only good one, in my opinion) while my cat is sleeping (a rare treat)(usually she’s all like “love me; I’m nothing without you”) and I’m about to do some more work on the ol’ novel for Writer’s Group tomorrow.  First Writer’s Group in like 4 weeks! 

You know how they (magazines mostly) say that to change a habit you have to talk incessantly about it?  Like, the more you say it the more real it becomes and the more other people will ask you about it and hold you accountable?  I say that’s stupid.  I find personally that when I talk incessantly about something I get really sick of it and then decide not to do it after all.   So when I get all “I’m going to write/blog/play guitar/sew/cook/do yoga/feed the fish more,” then suddenly a little baby whiney Amy voice in my head goes, “nahhhh” and I just don’t do that thing.  Where am I going with this?

Oh yeah.  I am not going to try to update my blog more.  But shhhh!  Actually I am.

And our fish is FINE… he’s like 3 lbs and has enough stored fish fat to last weeks without being fed.  I’m totally confident in this.

On Saturday night I cried thrice.  Once, of course, watching Return to Me.  Obviously.  I dare you and your cold cold heart to even attempt watching David Duchovny say to his dog, “she’s not coming home,” without breaking down.  The second time I didn’t cry cry, I just lost a little tear during Planet Earth.  There was a very sweet panda bear, who lived in a cave with it’s baby, and it licked it’s baby to keep it warm.  I know!!!!  And third….. well.  Okay.  I cried at the end of Legally Blonde.  That one is less explainable, but I would like to try by saying that I am also a spirited young woman trying to make my way in the dry and boring world of law offices.  So.  There.

Yesterday and today have been more emotionally stable.  For one thing, I sewed myself a little netbook sleeve for my netbook.  With matching iPod case!  Featuring a pocket for my headphones!  That is pretty good news.  I also have high sewing aspirations for the upcoming weeks:  I bought fabric for a new skirt (based on a book of patterns my mom bought me), and new tank top.  If there is enough leftover fabric, maybe a new scarf.  Yay!

Plus on Thursday I have a Story Studio writing class to look forward to.  I like to take a class there every now and then because it (a) gives me something fun to look forward to and (b) makes me feel like writing for another couple weeks before I start to get discouraged again.  So I have a class on Thursday about Plot.  Ooooooh plot.  Just what I need.  Seeing as I typically just make characters talk to each other indefinitely about nothing while eating well-described food in a well-described locale.  Now they might have something to do!  Hot dog!

Writer’s Group this Saturday.  So far I have 2 paragraphs of my 10 pages.  And one unrelated blog entry.

Resolutions and more

Is Christmas really over?  Well, not in my heart of course.  But everywhere else it is.  I know this because I had leftover salmon for lunch and there are a bunch of cookies waiting for me at home.  Those are the two main indications.  I’m itching to get the Christmas stuff down because I got new candles from mom that I want to put out, but I’ll probably wait until next week for all that. 

I had a fabulous Christmas this year.  Everywhere I went, I kept bumping into good things.  I gave gifts I loved.  I got gifts I loved.  I saw and talked to people I love.  There were cookies, which I love.  And now I’m back at work with some new technology in tow and an eye towards the new year.

My resolutions, then:

1)  To finally get down the novel I’ve had swimming around my head for ages.  I have pages of notes, two false starts, a playlist, concepts, characters, most of the plot.  Believe it or not, I think I actually needed all that percolation to prepare.  I’m ready now to write.  Not-False Start #1, here we go.

2)  To practice guitar again.  I need the music to help counter words when I’m in the middle of writing something– it’s thinking without sentences, and it can be a real relief.

3)  To finish:  All the time travel stories in my anthology, the Goon Squad book, The Unnamed, Who will work at the Frog Hospital, The Imperfectionists, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, some of Fringe, one Beth Moore book, my new Spurgeon devotional.

4) To start:  Memorizing bible verses, embroidery, cooking more.  (Becoming an old-timey housewife much?  I’m sorry world, I can’t help where my interests lie.)

Mostly though?  I’ll be spending most of 2011 trying to work on my novel.  Pray for me, folks.  In the meantime there will be HD tv channels to soothe my time travel addled brain.

Speaking of time travel, does time fly by or what?  I feel like I just got married yesterday.

I haven’t blogged in awhile.  It’s hard, blogging.  I find.  It’s hard to have thoughts that you actually want to share with other people.  It’s easy to keep your thoughts to yourself.  That is one thing that makes it hard for me to sit down and just blog already.

Another thing is that I started a new job recently.  My old job, you recall, involved me sending out that birthday email once a month– you remember.  With the cake graphic?  And my choice of colors?  My new job involves large stacks of black and white documents, signed by a notary, utilizing really big words like “deposition” and “interrogatory.”  I make extra copies so I don’t lose things.  I have 7 different stamps and I know what each one is for– “THIS DOCUMENT SERVED ON __________” is an easy one.  “Faxed.”  Now that is a stamp I stamp on something that I’ve faxed.  Ok, so maybe the stamps aren’t really the hard part of my job.  The hard part is, of course, reading people’s minds– the hardest part of any job probably.  Figuring out what someone you hardly know or have anything in common with (your boss) expects from you.  I’m getting there, little by little.

I am amazing at going and getting coffee.  I hardly spill a drop.  I’ve been told that the previous secretary spilled all the time and burned her hand.  This isn’t a problem I have, although filing motions, I tell ya, that isn’t something that comes quite easily yet. 

I love this new job though.  I should say (way to bury the lead, Amy) that I am a legal assistant now.  That’s my new job.

In other news, I bought this kind of dusty rose nail polish (Revlon) that I am loving right now.  Maybe I’m sick of the blues?  Never.  But the dustiness is what really gets me.  I have been sewing etc.  I made myself a purse and a blue scarf.  The scarf is really long and wraps around my neck approximately one million times.  That’s what I love about it.  The bag and I have a love-hate relationship.  I made it for beauty, not utility, and it’s not holding up to the wear and tear of life very well.  Disapointing, but what can you do?

I have this amazing butter cookie with chocolate recipe.  It’s amazing because (a) it requires little time and few ingredients and (b) everyone gobbles them up when I make them so I feel like I have bakes something amazing.  I think that cookies might be my favorite thing.

And– wonder of wonders!– Trader Joe’s was selling Jonathan apples by the peck today!  Jonathan apples are my absolute favorite.  They are dark red and round and small and they taste slightly tart like a granny smith but sweet like an apple– no pucker factor.  They are good for both eating and baking.  Typically, Wayne and I buy them from actual orchards and never really see them at the store.  NOT ANYMORE.  TJ’s is exactly 8 minutes from our house.  I love you, apples.

I am toooootally going to have an apple in my lunch tomorrow.

Reader, I married him.

Just got back from the h’moon last night, to the messiest apartment in the land.  Wayne and I are developing a new reality show with a working title of Jungle Apartment.  In it, two people come back from their honeymoon around dinnertime, and try to move one person entirely into an apartment, open a bunch of awesome gifts without getting distracted by their awesomeness, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.  Individual challenges include:  Taking the new knife set off the ridiculously high shelf you put it on like an idiot without killing yourself, getting the cat to calm down and drink some water, setting up the Brita pitcher with it’s three-time rinsing requirements, and deciding which utensils to keep.  Of course the ones you keep might not fit into the utensil holder, but that’s Jungle Apartment for you.  Always a new challenge in the last inning.

Luckily we have our happiness to increase our stamina.

Maybe you saw us get married?  Maybe you saw the pictures on facebook?  Either way, I probably don’t have to tell you that we were really lucky to have such a pretty wedding.  I watched a video of it last night, artfully taped by a 7-year-old (and I mean artfully) and I about cried.  At the wedding itself I did choke up– darn vows being so beautiful and all.  But I’m pretty proud I held it together.  That is very unlike me.

Anyway, the wedding was so wonderful, we almost didn’t want to go on the honeymoon and leave everyone.  Almost.  But who can resist a road trip?  

The Mississippi River is awesome.  I love it.  I love the river.  Even only spending a couple days following it, reading about it, looking at it– it’s wonderful.  So beautiful.  Missouri (where Mr. Clemens is from)(which we saw btw) is by far the prettiest state, and does the most around the river and for the river.  Mississippi, probably the least.  Eh, or Louisiana.  In Louisiana they have a hill blocking your view of it the whole way.  Jerks.  We also read a lot of Life on the Mississippi, which is a really fabulous book.  Who knew that in 2010 our new hero would be Mark Twain?  He’s so funny.

Dad and UB look out:  We drove across a bridge that was 25 miles long.  You heard right.  25 MILES.  Over WATER.  The guard rails were about a foot and a half high.

In New Orleans we did the usual (well not usual for us, but usual for tourists from what I gather).  We walked down Bourbon Street and wrinkled our noses (who likes that kind of stuff?), saw some jazz, ate jambalaya and gumbo and alligator sausage and oyster po’boys.  Our hotel had instant grits for breakfast and I ate them every day.  Oatmeal is for suckers, people.  Seriously.  We took a bunch of pictures.  Went on a swamp tour, which was pretty awesome and Captain Charlie, who apparently grew up on the swamp, made me really wish I had a southern accent.  Preservation Hall, beignets at Cafe DuMonde, wandering around the French Quarter and Garden District a lot.  Went to some cool bookstores, including one that was a place where Faulkner stayed.  Also, it was very hot.  HOT.  H-O-T.  Like 105 degrees and humid.  Like, figure out something air-conditioned to do between 1:00 and 4:00 because being outside is NOT AN OPTION.

I also have developed some opinionated opinions on trollycars.  They’re like if you mixed a bus and the el together.  We rode one maybe 4 times and of those times, twice we saw accidents.  Once we were in the trollycar when it hit a taxi.  Seriously.  The driver screamed, it was so crazy.

Best thing:  In New Orleans, every house is a crazy color.  Every.  House.  (Well, in the French Quarter and Bywater.  Not in the Garden District).  Crazier than my fingernails, that’s how crazy.  I’m all kindsa jealous, and it makes coming back to off-white-and-grey central (aka Chicago) a huge bummer.

Worst thing:  One of the days, my knee dislocated.  In the hotel, in Memphis.  Right after we drove past Beale Street, which was pretty cool and a fun way to end a day of driving.  I was okay, though, and my knee didn’t hurt too bad the next day and not at all by the third.  Still, ouch. 

And even though coming home was Jungle Apartment central, we had really amazing presents to open, and our friend Jessica (whose extremely useful contribution was to keep my massive Jungle Apartment fish alive while we were gone) left us a lasagna so we wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping (hallelujah!) and give us our video of the wedding to watch.  What a perfect way to end a vacation, huh?

Slideshow forthcoming.  Slideshow!!!!!!  With music.  Who’s in?  Eh??  I promise, there will be alligators and at least 20 pictures of my food.