Sunday, December 28, 2008

Xmas '08

Christmas was good. I hope everyone else had a nice holiday as well.

Mine was spent at The Farm with Trevor's family. My own family was invited as well but my mom was actually spending the holiday working and my dad certainly wasn't going to leave her alone. Add in the fact that my parents are a bit wary of driving places which they are unfamiliar. I had to drive my own mother to my bridal shower in order for her to attend.

In any case, it was a nice time. It was however punctuated by a lot of car trouble.

Yes. Car trouble. Times two.

First we're making our merry way out to Boston to visit with some of the extended family and Devin's car doesn't go into gear. It'll go into Reverse, but none of the forward moving ones will work. We were right behind him thankfully, so the boys (and a nice stranger) rolled it out of the intersection and we eventually got a tow to come move it back to The Farm to be dealt with after the holiday weekend.

Since Devin was without his car he jumped into ours. More specifically, mine because Trevor's car doesn't like any kind of precipitation related weather. We're sitting in a bit of traffic on the way through Boston (naturally) and my car starts to smoke. It's very obviously my car because it is coming from the hood region. After sitting in an overheated car for what felt like a lifetime, although it was likely just about 10 minutes, we got off the next exit and found that the hose to the coolant had exploded green coolant. The boys think that it wasn't attached correctly when I had my major car overhaul from my accident a few weeks back. It was reattached and appeared to be okay.

So after all of that, as though I weren't already traumatized enough from the original accident I now am totally petrified of driving at all because apparently at any moment things can explode, stop working, or slip and land head first into the guardrail. I'm over it. Bring on the teleportation chamber.

But the part of the holiday where we got to see Trevor's aunts and uncles and cousins was really nice. I ate a lot of cookies. Well, I made the cookie dough and then cooked them up Xmas Eve so we could all enjoy hot cookies. Nothing is more enjoyable to me than cookies fresh out of the oven. I like fancy dessert too of course, but there's something about a fresh, warm cookie with all it's warm cookie smells wafting through the house that makes it a total sensory experience. Lacking more time and prep space in my own kitchen I decided against bringing a dessert. Usually I'd try to make...something. But this year we bought some David Glass cakes and called it a day. They were delicious. Trevor's mom made the black forest cake. It's a heck of a lot of work. It was very creamy and tasty but I guess I'm not as much of a cake person because there was a ton of steps to get that fella assembled.

I had made a cranberry bread in our oven, our new-old house oven because Trevor's Aunt Peggy gifted me with a wreath shaped bundt pan and I figure if I don't use it now I'd never use it this year. So anyway, I throw one together and of course my oven isn't level and my bread is now lopsided. Naturally I immediately scream to Trevor that the oven is messed up. I think it's more level now but I am doubtful it is at exact zero. This old house thing means a lot of lopsidedness.

Presents are nice and all but I'm really quite fond of the family and the eating. If you asked me what I got last year as gifts I couldn't even tell you. The presents are a...non-issue. I like presents and all but I'm admittedly annoying and hard to shop for. My husband and I really didn't do a big exchange this year because we've already bought SO. MUCH. STUFF. It actually felt incredibly selfish to think about getting something just for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's not too late to Apologize

I've been reading blogs (what a surprise, she writes in one and she reads them) and what typically happens is that I absorb the snark and I begin writing in a much more abrasive fashion than I would ever actually express myself in real life. So if I by some irrational reason have rubbed you the wrong way I totally don't intend to rub anyone the wrong way. In fact I don't want to rub anyone on the internet. It seems both inappropriate and weird. I really just want to get thoughts out of my head.

It's that simple.

I think many thoughts...although they are rarely deep and meaningful. Thankfully I don't have to think wedding prep thoughts anymore and that's a huge weight off my shoulders, but I still have weird things floating in my head that worry me in some way. Mostly it's about things I still need to buy for the house that cost way too much money. Occasionally it's about how I really don't like working side-by-side with my husband on a physical task because we cannot communicate effectively when under physical and time related strain. (We are not bound to participate in The Amazing Race any day soon.) Sometimes it's as simple as "what the heck am I going to make for dinner?" but they're still there chirping away.

A friend had expressed that what I wrote upset her. It somewhat surprised me because I don't intend to upset people. I just write what I feel at a particular moment and I don't think about it. I say things that are typically factual, mostly opinion based, and somewhat self-indulgent...but I always try and make it a point to not single people out and say "dude, he was so stupid" or "that girl was the ugliest person I've ever seen." That kind of meanness is unnecessary. Mostly I will state the fact that I really liked, or really disliked a meal. That's pretty much the extent of my annoyingness. I talk about food a lot. I also do that in real life though so it's not really isolated just to this webpage.

Of course I apologized and of course I thought about it...a lot. I very rarely aim to hurt anyone's feelings. I can't even really remember the last time I was intentionally an awful mean witch of a person. Probably high school. And at first I felt guilty because, that's what I do. Actually to be more accurate, I have a very high empathy threshold. So I always put myself in someone else's shoes and in this case I felt that if the situation were turned around I'd likely be upset too. Not like, "let's bust out the Louisville Slugger" upset but a little emotionally bruised.

Now here's my own personal Kelly defect; I might listen to what you have to say, but if I don't agree with it...that's all there is. I won't even argue with you because I don't think less of your opinion. You are entitled to hold whatever opinion you want even if it is diametrically opposed with mine. BUT if I don't agree with it I'm not going to be swayed to being on your side either. Trevor realized this after shopping with me and realizing that even if he said he didn't like the shirt I was looking at, if I liked it I still bought it. It's not that his opinion doesn't matter, it's just that I know that I'm the one who's going to be stuck wearing it so my opinion trumps his. This is true of many other things than shirts. Politics for example. For some reason I feel other people have this same defect in them. So if I say "I can't believe you wouldn't consider eating lamb after I toiled for weeks picking out this menu" I don't really think I'm going to sway you in any way to trying it. Maybe as a child you had a pet lamb you named Betty Jo, and you loved Betty Jo so much and every time you see a lamb you think of her and it makes you cry rivers of tears in her memory. She was the best lamb ever. RIP, Betty Jo.

Hey...that's your story and it's okay, I won't torture you into bending to my will. I'm just a writing in my little blog. I'm not looking to change the world. So if you think my opinion is wrong, or weird or mean...it's not really meant to be a personal affront to your love of lambs or gigantic SUVs or purple leopard print pants...whatever. Just because I don't wear purple doesn't mean I will judge those who love it. In fact, my best friend's favorite color is purple. MY BEST FRIEND. I don't judge her lifestyle, I love the person inside of there.

(By the way, that was a joke.)

In all seriousness, take a breather. If I've offended you then you can simply make the choice not to read and we can still walk away and be friends. I still feel bad but what's been said has been said.

This makes me think of a really weird awful movie called "The Cell" where Jennifer Lopez somehow goes into the mind of a serial killer in order to rescue his victim from some kind of overly complicated death causing situation. I don't really remember the details but in any case, this is like a little flash into my head. It doesn't always make sense. It doesn't read very well. I'm sure it's riddled with gramatical errors but hey...you chose to click here. Be happy it doesn't have really gross images of inside-out cows being ridden by naked prostitutes (the movie had some very gory imagry) The things you find here might not be what you're looking for, but that's how people are. You take the good and the bad when you make the decision to read someone's thoughts. I think it's nice to believe that I'm 100% great and nice all of the time but the honest truth is that I'm just a person and I'm going to say dumb stuff. My opinion about purple pants will not always mesh with yours; I didn't ever say it had to. The beauty of friendship (or family for that matter) is that we're don't have to agree in order to appreciate one another. Also, 100% politically correct, nice behavior is boring. No one wants to read about that...trust me. It's like watching paint dry.

With that thought, I hope everyone has a happy holiday season celebrating whatever holiday your people believe in.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shopping around Christmas time is for crazies

Went to the mall today. It was as awful as I thought it'd be.

P.S.-Car is fixed but I'm totally in the market for some snow tires. I thought I was going to die on my way home from work Friday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who's been Naughty or Nice

So...I really need to get some shopping done. Talk about procrastination. The only worse thing would be to wait until the last minute on Christmas Eve.

Hopefully the person who picked me out of the Secret Santa pull is better than I am and would complete their shopping much earlier than this but just in case...I'll spit out a few things that are always big hits in Kelly-land.

1.) Vichy. I am addicted to the stuff. You can never have enough of the greatest day-cream ever. Plus I am lazy and enjoy built in SPF in everything. Also I am fond of their calming solution liquid cleanser.
2.) Food. In particular restaurant gift cards because if there is anything better than eating indulgently, it's eating indulgently for slightly less money. Plus once it's used it does not take up any space in my home.
3.) Good sheets. I spend like 8 hours in bed every single day. I think having good sheets is worthwhile. Plus over time you'll have to replace them as they get dirty, holey or just magically destroyed in the washing machine.
4.) Gift cards that I can redeem at a store within a 20 mile radius of where I live. I know that seems pretty self explanatory but there's nothing worse than getting a gift card to an establishment that you cannot readily get to without a full tank of gas.
5.) A set of dresser drawers. Mostly because I don't have one and I'd fall over with joy to not have to pull my teeshirts out of a suitcase anymore. Being ghetto is fine when you're a teenager but I'm an old married lady now. I'd like to pretend I am mildly civilized.
6.) A single wedding picture album with pictures in it. Let's just admit it right away that I'm a lazy bum and I totally haven't made an album of all the wedding pictures. Dude, it takes HOURS to compile that kind of thing and find the perfect album is a huge undertaking for me.
7.) Authentic Matcha Green Tea Powder. It's really hard to come by in our neck of the woods without traveling way out of my way to the Asian grocery store and I'd like to mix it into everything. I enjoy the pleasant green hue to gives to ice cream and cake. I also wouldn't be too sad to get some Thai Iced Tea Mix stuff. I think it's a combination of tea and miscellaneous herbs. Man, I love that stuff. I can even forgive that weird unnatural orange color because it tastes so good. If you can't tell, we're fond of tea. Particularly iced.
8.) Comforters. I have two, but now that I have a futon and a guest room I don't have enough to go around, unless of course we have guests that enjoy shivering while they sleep.
9.) Alcohol. I blame Emily for my recent fondness for Amaretto. I don't drink even 1/10 as much as I did in my younger years but when I do I'm definitely not sipping on whiskey. Girlie beverage me up, man! Life is too short to drink anything that feels like liquid fire.

I have resorted to ordering one of my gifts online. I usually don't because it makes returning things really difficult for the recipient but I can't shop...just can't bring myself to go to the mall. So I'm sorry, my-Secret-Santa person but you'll hopefully like your gift. Otherwise, feel free to regift it to someone else. I totally allow it. :) I like having Christmas cheer, but man this year I'm running on low. Perhaps that's why I need the Amaretto.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Furnished...sort of

Kitchen Island....Check

Futon...Check

Washer/Dryer...Check

Fridge...Check

We almost appear to have a home. I'm relieved to finally have the capacity to wash our mounting piles of clothing. Not like I don't have plenty enough clothes to last me, but I don't like doing a lot of laundry at once. Plus now I get the joy of doing laundry inside my own home and I don't have to drag it up and down stairs only to wait for available machines. And I'm glad to have a refrigerator which has door storage. The last one was mustard yellow and somewhere along the line lost all of the bars on the door that you would typically store your orange juice and milk in.

The kitchen is still quite small and even with some new toys in it I'm insane when I see things on the counter that shouldn't be there. The clutter is somehow amplified ten fold because there's only about a square foot of counter space and I loose it. I can't stand it. It's less noticable in a bigger kitchen but since it's so confined you can't get away from the mess...it's right in front of your face.

However now that I have enough appliances to feel less like a roaming college student I can now refocus on Christmas. Not like I'm Christian or anything but in my experience people tend to like presents around this time of year and tend to think it's weird when you're cheap, thoughtless and come empty handed. In any case, Devin called tonight distributing Secret Santa Assignments. Since I haven't really bought any Christmas presents it's good timing. Well I got my other Secret Santa gift for among my girlfriends, and bought Trevor a gift he promptly already ripped into well in advance of Christmas, but it doesn't particularly feel like the Christmas season.

Since I've been so occupied buying home-type things I haven't been casually shopping at the mall and accumulating Christmas gifts like I normally would. But since there's been an economic decline I don't really think it's a localized feeling. I'm sure a lot of other families are feeling less materialistic than normal, but it's actually quite nice. I don't want to come off as an ingrate because I very much like the holiday season and spending time with everyone but this whole present thing is really overrated. I never know what to buy anyone and they never know what to buy me in return. It's really just a lot of stressfulness. I know the root of it all is that we give gifts as a thoughtful token of the love we feel towards our family and friends but then it all gets so out of control because someone inevitably feels that they received a "bad gift" or inequitable gift was exchanged and it gets really uncomfortable. Or you feel some kind of gift competitiveness. It just tends to snowball into something weird.

So even though I only have one person I have to buy a gift for in this family secret santa dealie I still haven't figured out what I'm buying. I really need to get into gear, but per Liza the dollar limit should be around $30. You can't really buy anything really awesome and great for $30 so I'm a little confused about what I'm supposed to do.

I read a lot of posts recently about horrible Christmas gifts. I think it's funny mostly because it wasn't me. Like, the situation of having bought you a pair of earrings and then the next year you had forgotten I got you those earrings and you actually wrapped them back up in new paper and gave it to me as though it were a unique original gift. How awful...but terribly funny.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Moving on up

We are moved in.

I don't really want to talk about the horrible stress of moving and being yelled at...so I won't.

We're living among many boxes. The problem with older homes is A.) lack of storage space anywhere B.) tiny little closets C.) creaky floors. The great thing about older homes is that they're ridiculously sturdy. This poor house has been quite thoroughly abused in the past few weeks. My poor couch is somewhat broken trying to move him in (and in particular up 3 flights of stairs) but you have to anticipate that things will be broken when you move.

It's not as though I invested in fancy Ethan Allen furniture. If any piece of furniture I owned cost over $1,000 I'd be a bit more upset but perhaps one day when we have our "stay for life" home then I'd feel better about investing in long-term furniture. We actually made a small investment I guess because we're getting a futon at the end of the week delivered to our home. Delivery is key. Delivery means we don't have to try and maneuver it up the stairs. I don't consider myself an old creaky person but it's rough moving boxes up 3 flights of stairs and then running back down and repeating it over and over again. But having a futon will be very nice. I've never had one. I know that's hard to believe given the fact I graduated from college but I'm not gonna lie, Em and I never invested in one because we were poor and we didn't want to bother with moving the darned thing back and forth every year.

This one's pretty cool. It's not that frumpy dumpy looking thing when you think of a futon and I think that's probably why I was okay with it. It's moderately comfortable for what it is and what we paid for it and it's immensely better than having house guests sleep on the floor or fight over the one (now broken) couch. It totally doesn't coordinate with anything but...eh. It's fine. It performs it's function of being both a seat and a bed.

We also bought a kitchen island thing today. It has not been assembled but I'm excited because right now I have zero counter space and when I was trying to make pasta the night before I couldn't find a space big enough to put my 6x8 cutting board down. I ended up putting it on a cool burner I wasn't occupying with a pot. It was sort of ghetto and sad so I complained and Trevor agreed we needed another piece of furniture to assist me.

We have less space now than we did in the apartment, but even with this lack of space we need more storage so we have to buy these things to manage the belongings we have in an efficient way.

Don't expect any fabulous Christmas presents this year; I've spent most of my holiday money on the house and random furniture. lol Kim, Alexis, Amanda and I pulled names because we all want to buy gifts for one another (particularly since for the first time in many years we've all reconnected) but are all struggling because we have our own economic struggles to account for.