Friday, August 24, 2007

Getting in Shape (or not)

I'm having a love affair with my new abs ball. It's great! So convenient with built in handles for gripping during exercise. It even came with a free workout dvd, complete with a real babe in spandex as the instructor. When he says I'm going to get rock-hard abs in six weeks, well I believe him. (If he said I would become a millionaire overnight and that I should quit my job and drink Mai Thais all day at the pool for the rest of my life, well I'd probably believe that too.) He's just so confident and convincing. Only problem is, you're spose to do cardio in addition to doing the abs dvd three times a week. And that's just too much. Does walking to work count? I log a good three-quarter mile each way from the metro. Somehow, I don't think that cuts it though. Boo, flabby belly it is then. Well, at least until school starts next month and I stop this crazy commute (doctor told me yesterday that commuting like this over time would take YEARS off my life! Yikes). When I start working from home, I'll have NO excuse not to get off my butt and go for a run before class in the afternoons. See, having a puppy would help.

On another front, packing is really a big ole pain. Boxes everywhere. At least we're throwing a lot out and donating as much as possible, including one of our cars. Oh yea--we bought a car last weekend!! Yay! It's new and blue. And we vow to keep it clean. It has bluetooth built in, so when your phone rings in the car, you can answer it through the steering wheel and you talk to the person through the car speakers! Awesome! still need to get used to that. Of course, I am not the one who gets to drive it on a daily basis, but that's fine--my little white bubble car suits me just fine.

Blah. Today has been so boring. Our little bro turns the big 1-1 this weekend, so hopefully we'll take him out tonight for a little late night clubbing in Baltimore. Er, I mean a rousing round of ski ball at Chuckie Cheese.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mind the Can

I think we all have our little household quirks.

Like at my parents' house growing up, we kept (and they still keep) the trash can right in the center of the kitchen. Like right in the middle. Not discreetly placed under the sink or tucked up against a wall out of the way. No, their trash can forms a little island in the center of the tiny space, a barrier that all kitchen traffic must delicately maneuver (counterclockwise, that is--it's an unwritten rule). It's been tipped, its contents dribbling and scattering out everywhere, many a time by someone in a rush to get to the stove or the sink. You'd think we'd move it. The placement is so damn convenient and yet inconvenient at the same time. But it has to be that way. Every single time the house cleaner comes, she moves in up against the wall, hoping that by some chance of fate, we'll realize that it's less bothersome, not to mention less of an eye-sore in this location, and just leave it be, but it quickly finds its way back to the center of the room. And yet if I walk in and it's temporarily missing, like accompanying my dad on a 2 minute walk to the garage to empty into the larger trash bins, the kitchen feels strangely empty and off balance to me. I guess it's earned its prime placement, and the accompanying high status, in the kitchen after all these years, and it just wouldn't seem right without it there.

In our kitchen in Maryland, Pug insists on displaying this kitchen knife of his on the top ledge of our stove. He's really, really proud of it, (called a sambuko knife or something? All I know is that he spent way too much money on it), and so he displays it in its glorious rubber sheath for all to admire. All usually being just me. And you know what, I'm not impressed. In fact, I think it's weird. I think the knife should get the hell back in the drawer where it belongs. It must scare people who walk in to see this knife teetering on top of our stove, like it's ready for quick defense should an intruder or nosy neighbor come upon us. I've tried to move the knife to other less visible locations, but like the trash can at my parents' house, it always seems to find its way back. Sigh. For better or for worse, right? Some things you just gotta learn to live with. . .

I also need to add that said knife, like every other gadget that Pug insisted we buy, gets almost no use at all. Because. We. Don't. Cook. And yet, there it is, strategically placed for easy access, should the sudden urge to prepare a meal for his tired wife who gets home much later than him each evening, come over my husband. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Man Shower

Tep's out of the office for a while-supposedly getting married or something and then traipsing through the rain forests of Costa Rica. Lame. I'm bored, and he needs to get back to the office. I've actually got plenty of work keeping me busy this week, but I'm so used to having someone to chat to and sing with while we sludge through our day's tasks. "You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far..." just doesn't sound as good without my accompaniment. Well, he can make it up to me by bringing me back something hella cool from Central America. Like a shrunken head.

So I somehow found myself in charge of planning the games for his wedding shower, or man-shower (groom shower?) or whatever you'd call the thing we're throwing from him the day he comes back to work from his honeymoon. (Weren't we supposed to do this before the wedding??) Anyway, I'm having trouble coming up with ideas. My sense of humor is definitely workplace inappropriate, and while he'd appreciate the games I'd come up with, most of the older folk at work would most certainly not. But we need to embarrass him real good--he can handle it. If you have any good ideas, please let me know!!

Gotta go, lunchtime. . . . mmmmmm . . . . canned peaches

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I was going to say that I've left this recent bout of seriousness and self-reflection behind me, but it lingers still.

I didn't get home til 9 tonight from work . . . LONG day. Sitting on the floor of my office tonight stuffing folders for a presentation, I listened to an old Guster CD (Parachute) that I'd found at the bottom of my CD collection in my car this morning. It's so incredible how putting in this CD instantly floods me with memories of my friend Dave, taken from us far, far too soon. An inexplicable feeling comes over me. What an inspiring friend and human being. He was truly Alive, you know, the kind of person bursting with energy, gusto, and determination in a way that many of us can only wish we were. I was and still am humbled by him and all that he shared and impressed upon me through our friendship as teenagers.

I was just talking to my friend at work the other day about how certain things like smells and sounds can overwhelm us immediately with detailed memories and connections to the past. And here it was, proving true yet again today. I found myself remembering how just a week before the accident, we'd gone to SuperFresh one weeknight, scouted out all the products with expiration dates past due, and piled them into our cart, knowing that per their policy, the store would have to give them to us for free. We were so excited, laughing and goofing off, driving all our loot home and then proudly dumping it all out on my kitchen table. We sat there feasting on a various assortment of yummy (and slightly stale) baked goods, feeling pretty happy with ourselves. Another exciting and perfect night with a good friend. That was the last time I saw him and the last memory I have of him. I only wish I could have held onto it longer.

Sadly, before today I hadn't thought about Dave in a long time, actually. It's amazing that six years have gone by . . . and yet time just keeps pushing on, forcing us to move forward and onward, even if we don't think we're ready, and on toward the crazy, beautiful, unpredictable maze that is our lives.

But listening to his favorite music today, I just wanted to stop. Stop and think of him and all that he was to us. And so I did.
And smiled, of course :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sitting on a Pizza Box In the Weeds

Becca just sent me an article from her local paper about trashing the dress because she knew I'd recently done this. It was interesting to read--apparently dress trashing hasn't really taken off in the Norfolk area--but the author certainly shed a positive light on this new fad, or whatever you want to call it. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about it one way or another. Believe me, I've heard every reaction possible from friends and family upon their learning that I both trashed the dress and actually enjoyed it.

Like everyone else, here I am weighing in on the matter, so to speak. My two cents: I think it's a really personal decision. It's your wedding, your marriage, your dress. Do whatever feels right for you. That's it. Really simple.

For me, it was extremely liberating. I can't tell you how much! (nevertheless, I'll try) When I first found out about it on our honeymoon back in April, I was immediately drawn to the idea. It was something I felt that I had to do. It's hard to explain. But I needed to do it. It had to do with my being tired of being so predictable and rational all the time. It provided an opportunity for a much needed release after the total craziness that was wedding planning. And it was fun. So much fun. I just didn't care, and that was an intensely powerful and freeing feeling for me. Let your hair down, get dirty, jump in, I told myself. . . DO IT! And so I did :) It was fun wearing the dress on the streets and at the beach (although I seriously thought I might fall and break my neck tripping over that poofy, humongous skirt a couple of times!) I was so lucky to have my supportive husband right there with me as well as an amazing photographer who seeks beauty and art in the uncoventional. I loved every minute of it.

I'm keenly aware of the fact that I don't look like a lot of the beautiful brides on the trash the dress website (although I think it's great that they're all real brides as opposed to models). I'm not a blonde with perfect skin, an arresting face, and a voluptous body. I'm me. Imperfect and self-conscious and inquisitive and quirky. And that's okay. It didn't matter to me that day, and that in itself made it all worthwhile. I only hope that the photos capture that.

I had the love of my life beside me, and together we had our whole future spread out there on the vast sea before us.

And it was perfect.

Can't wait to see the pictures :)

Oh, and the dress? It's fine now. I know you were wondering.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007

tonight, a poem


If I were a wristwatch
Gliding up and down your arm
with each movement,
Your gentle skin grazing my metal surface,
I'd beat for you each day
Calm, but never at rest.

Your fingers would circle my band
as you lift me from the bureau each morning
To reunite yourself,
Carefully wrap around your skin
And fasten my binding clasps,
Slide me slowly down to my Niche
just above your wrist.

Your eyes would meet my face twenty-
thirty times a day,
Staring often beyond, through to my interior,
Brown orbs following my graceful hands,
Steady as your pulse deep
Beneath your skin.
Reaching out from my center, each second pointing
To another part of you.

To be your wristwatch-
First touched in the morning
And last looked upon at night.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I just realized I've written two blogs about laundry! Gee, I'm really exciting. Who was it that convinced me to start a blog? Sadly, I'm probably living up to your expectations for it.

Squeaky Clean

This picture was snapped of me hard at work. I hate doing laundry. What a freaking chore--it never seems to end.

Pug is built like a linebacker, tall and broad-shouldered. I'm built more like a little chubby ballerina myself (of course minus the graceful element). My long chicken limbs are the source of considerable mockery (particularly from my sister!) at times. My clothes are about 1/3 the size of Pug's (and forget sharing a suitcase with him! I get no space). I can do a week's worth of my laundry in just one load. My husband's laundry pile, however, has me slaving over the washing machine for a whole day. Not even kidding. And, like many men, he claims he can't "do" laundry. It's just too complicated you know, and he'll inevitably mess it up and get yelled at. What a load of crap. For now, it's still my job, but if his clothes should mysteriously turn pink or perhaps slowly start disappearing over the balcony or something, well maybe I'll get myself demoted. Shucks. :)

Finding myself hanging out with my favorite pair of steel and porcelain appliances yet again today, I'm laughing about a time in college when my friend Ali came home from the supermarket happily announcing that she'd bought us some Durex to share. Not expecting condoms, I laughed and thanked her for looking out for my sexual health and protection. She had of course meant Purex, the laundry detergent I like, but had confused the names. So funny. She cracks me up even when she doesn't mean to--she can't get the names of things right, and forget trying to teach her a phrase or a saying because she'll always botch it, haha. I love her!

But I'm slacking. Gotta go fold.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Loving Life

Things are finally starting to fall into place just as they should. . .

Smiling. Blissful. Grateful.

*** So happy ***

Today has been great!!! My project directors have invited me to stay on part time at my company while I go to school! What a relief. Making money is a good thing. Working from home while in school and not having to commute 4 hours a day is even better. I also found out that the apartment we want will be available when we want it! Yay! We're moving on up. A two bedroom apartment sounds super luxurious, haha, after living in our current closet for the past two years. Loving married life :) Oh, and I'm getting a puppy. (Please help me convince Pug that this is a good idea--he keeps trying to appease me by offering to buy me a hedgehog--but it's just not the same)

Well, I'm off to fight the elements outdoors.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's Been Great

I love my sister. She's one of the bravest and most strong-willed people I know. She has a strength about her that I will never have but will always admire immensely. Her commitments to the U.S. Navy, her family, and her friends, are truly admirable. She was recently awarded junior officer of the quarter at her naval hospital. Yay!!

She's always been a great big sister, making sure that she gets to make all the decisions and that I get absolutely no say in matters. She's never had a problem telling me what to do. She takes her role very seriously :) Haha, just kidding, but she does have the "first born" personality (if there is really such a thing) through and through!

I'm still mad though about the time when we were about 10 and 11 respectively, and she decided to grab my hotdog out of its bun and squeeze it repeatedly in my face before dramatically flopping it back onto my plate. Mmmm, yummy. My mom made her eat it, while I pouted and wimpered in the corner. To this day, I try to sit as far away from her as possible at BBQs.

But, Bec, all in all, I think you're great. You really are an amazing, inspiring sister and friend. (Oh, and also, I forgive you for deliberately throwing that horseshoe around my ankle as a child. The scar serves as a great conversation piece--so thank you.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Honky Tonk Hubbalah

While in Nashville on business the other week, Tep and I ran into famous country western megastar, Moshe Mendalbaum, whom you might recognize as the poster boy for Tab soda. He was a diminutive man, but his presence was truly overwhelming. Just being within two feet of him was almost more than we could stand. He had a certain aura of greatness about him, while a slight aroma of rye bread and dill pickles seeped from his great white beard. Upon his head sat a modified yarmulke, which on closer examination turned out to be a tiny cowboy hat studded with pink diamonds, which attested to his fabulous wealth. Upon catching sight of us, he waved his scraggly elbows and ape-like hands (think Robbin Williams) to gesture us closer in a most grandfatherly manner. I asked him if he would sign my copy of his latest CD, entitled "My Girlfriend Mimi Left Me for Shlomo Finkelstein and Ran Over my Dog with my Pickup Truck But it was the Sabbath so I Just Stayed Home and Fixed a Reuben"-- You know, the type of album every red-blooded Southerner can relate to. It was great. We had a brief but stimulating conversation about the most efficient way to clean horse shit from the bottom of boots but were then quickly pushed back to the outskirts of the rapidly forming crowd. The noise erupting from the growing gaggle of big towering buxom women and the legions of little elfin groupies storming the country superstar was literally deafening. Wow, what a babe.

Tep and I returned to Washington, DC the next day a little more world weary but a little wiser just the same.

Gosh, I just love country music.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mr. Laura Bush?

After yesterday's shenanigans, I feel compelled to write more serious post. I do have a quite serious and mature side you know :) So this one will be dedicated to my love for the coolest kid ever-- my little brother.

For those of you who may not know, we are a "big couple" to an amazing 11 year-old boy, and have been matched with him since he was 9 years old. He's so funny and clever and energetic--so inquisitive and so craving of attention. We just love that kid. (And seeing how great my husband is when playing with him and his little sister in our pool makes makes me all smiley)

We brought him to my friend's parents house the other night because I needed to pick something up. While there, I pointed to a picture of the friend's mother posing with George and Laura Bush at some White House function, asking my little brother if he knew who that guy was in the picture. "Him?" he asks, pointing right to Laura Bush. I lost it and couldn't stop laughing. He finally got it right once he realized I was referring to the president and not his poor wife (who is by no means masculine looking). She's actually quite pretty I think. Ok fine--she's no Jackie Kennedy, that's for sure, and she should fire her current stylist immediately, but still...

I know this is a shameless plug for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but it really is an amazing organization. I've been involved for over three years now and have had nothing but great experiences through it with my former little sister in Pennsylvania and our current little brother here in Maryland. The commitment is only a few hours a month, and not only will you brighten the life of a child, but you'll also learn a ton about yourself in the process.

Even if you have kids of your own, you can still get involved and become a "Big." You'll love it! Chances are you'll be matched with a child more interesting than your own kids anyway. Kidding, kidding. But these kids need us--they need adult role models to be their friends, to listen to them, to encourage them, to laugh and have fun with them. It's such a fantastic program. Check it out at