January 31, 2006

I'm Going to France!

I bought my plane ticket to France today! I'll be there March 1 - March 8. It's still a whole month away, but I'm so excited. I wish I could go twice, because I really miss DS. I attempted cooking again without him, and it was sloppy at best. I had to ask my mom questions over the phone like every 2 minutes. At least she took some responsibility about never teaching me how to cook. Not that I really want to learn...

I've been really tired lately. This is mostly why I haven't been updating as much. It just has seemed like a better idea to curl up watching tv or reading until I fall asleep. I really enjoy sleep. *dreams of my bed* I think I might do that soon.

January 29, 2006

I love Target

I decided today that I need new socks, and set out for Target to aquire some. Generally, I tried to avoid Target. This is not because I don't like it, but precisely the opposite: I like it too much. In fact, I love Target. The things they carry come in the most wonderful colors God has invented, and it all has such nice lines. They're a very modern store.

My plan to run in, get socks, and run out was foiled immediantly upon entry. The words CLEARANCE shot out at me, drawing me into the store. Naturally, I decided to make a quick roundabout. This too was ruined as I reached the rear of the store, their seasonal section. It is apparently "Global Bazaar" time there, something I have never seen. Rows and rows of home decor organized by the country in which it was made. India, Thailand, Latin America... It was beautiful. It is lucky I am so broke, or I'm sure I would have walked out of there with several hundred dollars worth of stuff.

I managed to run for a full 20 minutes today, which is quite a feat for me. I'm not sure what got into me, if it was running with someone else, or the fact that it was an elliptical instead of a treadmill. Though, the elliptical has never helped that much before. Maybe the cold has helped my allergy problem and therefore also my asthma? I don't know, but I feel good. I'm also about to eat some sausage pizza, which is something I'm finally admitting I like. I still like plain cheese the best, but every now and again, I can make room for a thin crust sausage. I blame my brother.

January 26, 2006

Blogger is Mean

I've been trying to post for about a day and a half, but I keep getting error messages saying that Blogger is down from 4-4:30 PST. I think they may have a confused sense of a half hour. I know that other people weren't having all the same problems, because Gmail was notifying me of comments, but I couldn't read them on my site, or leave my own, or do a post. It has been frustrating.

I'm currently working on another site dedicated to my and DS's effort to visit all the zoos in the U.S. I like to make big projects for myself that I probably won't finish, so this one includes me going through the AZA database and logging the locations of all these zoos into a Google Earth map. I also have to back-post about the zoos we've already visited. This is proving difficult, as my initial excitement about them have vanished, and I only remember bits and pieces. When it's ready, I'll let you know (though you can probably find it through my profile).

It's also getting close to tax time for me, and I've remembered that I have to do taxes for two states. I wasn't overly concerned about this until my boss at work told me how confusing the partial-year residence forms for Wisconsin are. I assumed they would be like any other state tax forms. She needed a professional to help, but I'm hoping I can figure it out.

And lastly, I would like to mention that I'm reading a biography of the early years of Queen Elizabeth I. Things like this spark mini-obessions with me, so if anyone knows of any movies about her (excluding Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, which I just rented), please share. I'm all about it.

January 25, 2006

Tagged Again

I was tagged by Kimberlina, and I'm doing it because she rocks, and 4 is my favorite number.

4 jobs i've had:

* flower caretaker
* walmart slave
* intern
* manager

4 places i've lived:

* louisville, ky
* fayetteville, nc
* georgetown, ky
* madison, wi

4 movies i could watch over and over:

* funny face
* garden state
* amelie
* princess mononoke

4 tv shows i watch (currently on air)
I too am lacking in cable, so here are the dvd's DS and I watch.

* charmed (this one is just me)
* aqua teen hunger force
* the office (bbc)
* scrubs

4 places i've been on vacation:

* florida
* germany
* cuba
* nolin lake

4 websites i visit daily:

* gmail.com
* somethingpositive.net
* other webcomics
* the blogs on my sidebar

4 of my favorite foods:

* sushi
* lipton's cheesy noodles
* salt
* sugar

4 places i'd rather be right now:

* lyon (or anywhere ds is)
* japan
* chicago
* sleeping

4 bloggers i am tagging:

* spinning girl
* bobi
* mo
* monkey

January 23, 2006

Valentine Hearts

I found this link over at Spinning Girl's. I steal stuff from all the time. But you know what they say.. mimicry is the highest form of flattery.

Anyway, this one in particular caught my interest, as you can design your own Valentine Heart candy. This caught my interest for two reasons. 1) I know how much Kelly loves these things. 2) I can do this:

I actually cooked something

The zoo is collecting old cellphones for recycling, in an effort to raise money. I took them three today, but the place you're supposed to drop them off is close for the season. I found a volunteer who stays near the chimpanzees, and she didn't know what I was talking about. Not that I mind going back to the zoo, but geez people. How are you supposed to raise money when you make it this hard for people to help you? Also, river otters are hard to photograph in the water...

After the zoo, I went around the block to the lake that butts up to it. I got to use the ice skates my mom got me for Christmas for the first time. This was my first outdoor ice skating experience. I learned two things: 1) Skating on ice that has snow on it isn't that much different than ice with no snow; 2) Breaking in ice skates hurts as much as they say.

When I got home, I decided to try out this "cooking" thing everyone talks about. I made Italian Hamburgers. I swear, it was me! They didn't taste too bad either, but I don't see how it was any better than something out of the microwave...

January 22, 2006

DS is blogging

Because I know that if you did read him, you quit, I'm officially announcing that DS has started blogging again. He felt like starting afresh, and erased everything. Now he's attempting to keep a promise to update everyday while in France. So far, so good. His pictures rock!

Also, we did some background research on this "Zoo Quest" we have. According to Wikipedia, which is our source for all useful information, there are 75 zoos in the US. We have been to 4 together, leaving us 71 to go. I'm working on making a map, so you can play along at home. Or really, just for me, because you probably don't care quite so much :)

January 21, 2006

Snow Daisies

I bought some daisies at the grocery the other day. It was like the 2nd day DS was gone, and I thought some flowers would cheer me up. The vase is by Anthony deVito, and I bought them when I bought my red mugs.

In other news, it snowed today. I haven't been keeping up with the forecast lately, so it was a complete surprise. I was starting to think that winter was over for the most part. So you can be sure I was pleasantly surprised when large flakes started falling around 3pm. They fell all evening, and now the world is once again blanketed in a calm, comforting white. I love the quiet of snow. I just wish DS were here to enjoy it with me. It's too warm for snow in Lyon.

January 19, 2006

No Pillow Fight

There were many attempts last night to get a picture of the three of us (from left to right, me, KT and L). Basically, we laughed the whole time, while D, KT's husband, kept shooting. By this point, our cheeks were hurting. And do you see those pajamas I'm wearing? The penguin pajamas. They made fun of me relentlessly all night for those. I was in shock!

So basically, the night went like this (for those of you living vicariously): KT and I had to close the store, so we got a late start. We stopped by the liquor store for some tequila and Spotted Cow, and then headed back to KT's house. Beer was passed around, the pool table was opened. KT and I kicked pool butt both games. I love winning pool. L and I looked through KT's wedding pictures, which made us both jealous. Though L is at least engaged, so she can actually say that she'll be married sometime soon.

After this, I made my famous popcorn (the only food I'll willingly and consistantly cook on the stove). Margaritas were made, and the talking on the couch commenced. We had intended to watch a movie, hence the popcorn, but once D went to bed and we realized it was 1ish, we nixed it. KT and I had to open the store the next day. So L and I snuggled into the guest bed, and tried to fall asleep. I always have trouble sleeping in strange places. About 4 hours later, I had to get up for work.

So, in summary, last night was great fun, even though there was no hair braiding, or make overs, or movie watching. This morning came way too early, and even with 4 ibuprofen, a headache threatened on the horizon all day. I deservedworse really, so I'm not complaining.

Tonight, I rented The Company, and A Wedding Date; movies I'm sure DS would never rent with me. I actually expected A Wedding Date to be bad, but I wanted a girly movie. It surprised me really. I mean, not award winning great by any means, but I should have seen it sooner. The Company was awesome! A large part of it was filmed at The Auditorium in Chicago, where I have been and loved. Plus, it was about ballet, and I love moves about dance.

View of the Auditorium, 2004

On the way home from getting these movies, I passed a house decorated for Valentine's Day. Half the block still hasn't gotten around to taking down their Christmas stuff, and here's this house fully decked out for a holiday only elementary schools decorate for. I was shocked. Luckily, I've been keeping my camera on me, so you can be shocked too!

In a window around the corner, there were red glass hearts hanging all over. I still can't believe it.

January 18, 2006

Slumber Party!

The day DS left, he really wanted me to get out of the house for the evening. I had some intentions to, but deep down I knew I wouldn't.

So, because I feel a little better, and I know he's right, I arranged a slumber party tonight at a friend's house. He asked me to take pictures if a nude pillow fight broke out. (He's quite sure these happen when girl's have slumber parties, and I let him think it's true.) So who knows, maybe you'll have some fun pictures upon my return!

Chicago, Day 2: The Lincoln Park Zoo

On Sunday, DS and I continued our quest of visiting all the zoos in America. This time, it was the Lincoln Park Zoo. Both of us have been there in the past, but we hadn't been as part of our quest. Or together for that matter. As I've said before, the winter is the best time to visit the zoo. No crowds, and the animals are actually active. Plus, you see Zoo Babies!!

DS thought these guys looked like little old men. He loved them.
I got kissed by a hippo.

These monkeys were quite friskey. In fact, that black one peed on the glass after this was taken.

Lions are so precious. I want one.

These were my favorite. There were baby gorillas, and this one was the youngest. The mother wouldn't even let anyone else near it yet, and this poor gorilla in the foreground really wanted to play. He inch up to her, and she'd carry the little baby off. They were all so cute.

And this was DS's favorite. The bear on the right had been hiding from the bear on the left. When the bear on the left got close, the bear on the right jumped out and attacked! A bear fight ensued, and there were many oohs and ahhs.

January 17, 2006


I took DS to the airport yesterday. The past few days, I pushed all bits of me away that wanted to cry out and keep him here. I know he had to go, and I was a little afraid that if I pushed too hard, he might just stay. Not to mention that it would only make it harder on him to leave.

So I packed his suitcase Monday morning. I made him a batch of brownies to take on the plane. He made me pancakes like he usually does on mornings we're both home. We watched a movie together. We made sure we each had pictures of each other, and something special that belonged to each other.

And then he left.

I wish I could put into words this feeling of emptiness inside me. I know full well that I'm going to see him while he's there, and that he'll be home in April. Yet I can't get this feeling to go away. I feel like I've lost him.

I did well yesterday for the most part. I caught up on some episodes of Charmed that I'd taped. I watched High Fidelity. Both my mom and his called to make sure I was okay. I lied and said I was. I made popcorn for dinner. Played pogo, and then decided to go to bed.

And that's what killed me. He's always in bed when I go to bed. I've never been to bed before him. And seeing his pillow there, empty, I had to think about all the nights of him not being there ahead of me. I couldn't pretend to be okay any longer, and I cried myself to sleep.

I feel like a zombie today, but I have to go to work and face people. Hopefully, that will help. But really, all I want to do is curl up and wait for him to call.

January 16, 2006

Chicago, Day 1

DS and I spent our last days together in Chicago. We took our time getting there, and the sun was trying to set when we arrived.
Also, I think we got there around the same time as a Bears game. Or something...
This time, I came home with pictures for my two favorite puppets. For Calzone, an entire store full of Pumas.
And for Monkey, Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake monkeys from the Cheesecake Factory.

January 15, 2006

A Birthday at the Glass Nickel

Friday night was Alane's birthday. A bunch of us gathered at the Glass Nickel for dinner and drinks, one of our favorite pizza parlors.

There were several guests in attendance who hadn't been seen in a while.

I found this guy. Isn't he hot? Also, I've been developing a growing fondness for Spotted Cow.

January 13, 2006

Goodbye Party

Tonight, a bunch of us gathered at the climbing gym, as per usual for a Thursday night. After hours, the PBR was opened, and the party commenced.

Apparently, this dude James is "leaving" for Arizona and wanted a send off. He's only leaving for 17 days, but he thinks this is a good enough reason. Our crew made sure to gather as well, as it was DS's last night in the gym until he gets back from France.

I was introduced to the art of finger fencing. There were some rope swinging competitions (which I'm sure Monkey would have won). Pizza was ordered from the best pizza parlour in town. YUMMY! I even had some good down home bourbon from Kentucky slipped into my Coke.

Though I'm still very sad that he's leaving, gathering with friends helps a lot. It always helps that we're making all kinds of cool plans for the interim. It's good to have friends.

January 09, 2006

An Unexpected Trip

I hadn't planned to go to Chicago until next weekend, but things don't always go as we plan.

DS's flight out of Columbia was delayed long enough that he missed his flight out of Chicago. It was actually quite impressive, considering how long his layover was supposed to be in Chicago. With me missing him so much, and us not really having the spare money to put him in a hotel for the night, I drove to Chicago to pick him up.

I think it's really cool that Chicago, a city I have been in love with since 5th grade, is now only 2 hours away from me. I think it's really uncool that I passed 5 tollbooths to get there, one way, and spent 9 dollars in quarters.

I do wish it had been daylight so I could have admired the scenery, but I guess I can do that next weekend.

After the airport, we were both hungry and in the mood for coffee. I had my first "Oasis" experience. Here you can see me playing with my camera as we looked over the interstate. The Starbucks is there behind me. We argued over whether coffee is better black, or as a white chocolate mocha with raspberry syrup. We agreed to disagree.

DS has made a game out of avoiding my camera. Hence, pictures like these. But I've decided that I like this one. You can still see a merry twinkle in his eyes at the thought of foiling me once again.

And finally, for Spinning Girl. Because I know how much she loves them. Starbucks was having a sale. And yes, that's a teddy bear holding a teddy bear...

All is well now that I have him back. At least for a week.

January 08, 2006

A Strange Day

I woke up late today, and stayed in bed to read my new book, Wicked. I really like it.

DS called, and he felt very far away, even though he's coming home today.

I've spent the day messing around online. I ran across the website of the band of some old friends, The Jimmy Carter Experience. Which led me to their "MySpace" site, which led me to lots of other sites. Those pages have their "friends" at the bottom, and I just kept going from old friend to old friend. A string of people I no longer talk to. They all seem very weird and distant. I guess I should expect that when I have seen most of them since high school.

I feel like I'm at some kind of impasse. It's scary.

January 07, 2006

DS is Gone

Don't be alarmed. He's not gone for his big disappearance just yet. He's visiting his family in South Carolina. He didn't get to go home for Christmas, and he didn't want to go another 3 months without seeing them. So I'm spending this weekend all alone.

I had a big dilemma tonight when it came time to feeding myself. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had to make myself dinner?? Long enough that I stood in the kitchen and whined like it might make him come home and make it. In fact, I called him and said, "Where's my dinner?"

Luckily, he reminded me that my new favorite spaghetti sauce was hiding in the back of one of our cupboards. Spaghetti is one of the few things I'll turn the stove on for. And this is mostly because I can ignore it while it cooks. It's almost like cooking in the microwave. Close enough.

Not that I didn't complain. I definitely did that.

Also, last night, I woke up to an empty house. Generally, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I go to the restroom, and then curl back up next to him and fall asleep. Except he wasn't there, and I was suddenly reminded of all the nights I would wander around my mom's house when everyone was asleep. I always had these fears that there were people lurking near the windows and doors in the dark, waiting for me to leave so they could break in. Or worse, get me. So last night, when I got up and found the restroom in the dark, I saw scary people in all of the shadows. When I went back to bed, it was cold and much too big.

So now I ask you. How will I survive these three months? It's obvious I've let myself become very dependent on his presence...

I think I'll start by sleeping in my old bed. It's small and cozy. And against a wall, so I can have my back covered. You know, just in case those fears come true.

January 06, 2006

Loose Ends

There are several things I have been meaning to do, and I've spent some time doing them.

1: DS and I finally filed to be Domestic Partners, according to the rules of his university, so that I may receive some of his benefits.

2: One of these was a library card, which I now have. You know, in case I ever decide to write my thesis.

3: The other was a membership to the school gyms. In case Katie 1 (DS's friend, as opposed to Katie 2, my friend from work) decides to hold up her end of the bargain and keep me occupied while DS is away.

4: I thought it was about time that I got a current driver's license.

5: Monkey once asked me about the army of Santa's in my kitchen. It's a tic tac toe game, Santa's vs. Snowmen. DS and I have mini tournaments when we were cooking. Well, we did. Now it's packed away with the Christmas decorations.

6: Janelle asked me about the apples and mugs. The mugs are a collection of pottery that I have bought from local artisans. Most universities with an art department will have an annual pottery sale, where the students can sell the things they've made. I love these sales. I have a set of blue and cream mugs, a mug and bowl set, and my newest additions are those little red bowls. Or teacups. Really, they could go either way. As the guy who sold them to me said, they're great for tea or ice cream. And it's true, I've tried both.

Putting the apples in them was a whim before the Christmas party. I didn't want them spread all over the counter because I knew we'd have a lot of food out.

January 05, 2006


I was reading my magazine and flipped by the horoscope page. I always like to read my horoscope, just in case. This month is said I should go ahead with that business I've been meaning to start.

This advice came at an interesting time, as I was just refused a reference for a job by my former boss. I'm quite sure she did it out of spite over an incident that I had nothing to do with. Now that I think of it, perhaps I too am a superhero, as my nemeses are continuing to plague me.

So now I am making a decision about how to spend the bulk of my time once DS leaves. The horoscope says go with the business...

January 04, 2006

New Blog in the Family

My mom has started a blog. There's not much there yet, but it's pink, her favorite color, and is named after her dogs. Go figure! *wink*

January 03, 2006

Mirror Image

When my mom's mother died, my uncle bought the house from his siblings. Because of this, he ended up with a lot of my grandmother's posessions for a long time. This year, for Christmas, he gave my mom and my aunt each a photo album filled with original pictures of them as children, and pictures of their mom. Most of these pictures had been lost in a box in his storage since not long after she died. It was one of the best Christmas presents ever, even for me. I had so much fun looking at them, and seeing my grandmother young and beautiful, and my mom as a little girl.

What I found out, which I had never known, never having had baby pictures of my mom around before, was that we looked exactly alike. Here, I'll show you.

The little girl in the foreground in my aunt, Kellea, blowing out her candles on her fourth birthday. The background? My sweet momma. Sorry about the quality of the picture. It was a scan of a scan of a scan, and very pixelated, so I blurred it up a bit. Though now it looks a lot like something I would paint, so who knows, maybe I'll do that.

And here you have me, at that same table in my great-grandmother's house, this time at Easter. As you've seen before, pictures of me at this age are always full of attitude. It was so strange looking at those pictures, because it felt like I was looking at myself, yet knew I wasn't. And the thing that cracked us up the most was that even after 20 years, my great-grandmother had the same table cloth in both pictures. Apparently this woman never threw anything away.

January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

I've decided that New Year's on Central Time is lame. My New Year's Resolution? Be back in Eastern Time for the ball drop next year.

However, spending the night with DS and beating him at Scrabble is not.

All the same, Happy New Year!