Monthly Archives: April 2008

This Means War

Tonight when I got home from work I attempted to take a picture of the ugly-but-awesome-all-at-the-same-time bird feeder for your viewing pleasure. But when I stepped out into the back yard, my attention was distracted by the fat squirrel’s rear hanging out the side of said bird feeder. Yes, friends – the squirrels strike again.

I did the obvious, logical thing, and immediately threw a rock at the squirrel. (Oh, calm down. I missed.) Then I felt really guilty for throwing a rock (albeit a small one, more pebble than rock, really) at a poor, defenseless squirrel. And just as I was feel particularly guity (doesn’t HE deserve to eat just as much as the birdies?) the fat ass stuck his head out the bird feeder, turned around, and looked directly at me. I waved my arms and shouted at him, thinking that this would scare him off (or, at the very least, alert my neighbors that they should call the men in white coats, and then I would be taken away to a nice safe room where I could sit in the corner and mutter about the squirrels and their EVIL, EVIL ways) but instead, he stared at me for a few seconds before resuming the stuffing of his chubby cheeks.

So then, I thought that AT LEAST if I couldn’t foil the squirrels, I could get a good blog-fodder type picture. But WOULDN’T YOU KNOW that as soon as I zoomed in on that furry squirrel rear-view, the little shit hopped down and scampered away.

I know I could have taken a picture of just the bird feeder, as originally intentioned, but somehow it had lost its luster at that point.

I’LL GET YOU YET, MY FAT SQUIRREL FOES.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home

This is totally a sign that we are getting old.

(The scene: Matt and I are perusing the aisles of Christmas Tree Shops looking for cheap stuff for Project Make the Yard Not Look Like Crap – 2008 edition.)

Matt: Oh, we should get a birdfeeder.

Me: Didn’t we get a birdfeeder last year?

Matt: Yes, but the squirrel masterminds figured out how to climb down from the deck onto the birdfeeeder and eventually their weight was too much and it crashed to the ground. In my expert opinion, it is beyond repair.

Me: Stupid fat squirrels.

Matt: Look, here are some birdfeeders. I like this wooden one.

Me: Great, it’s only $9.99. Sold. Let’s look for bird seed.

Matt: I think there’s some over there on that display.

Me: Which one?

Matt: The one with those… what are those? They’re so bright.

Me: I think…? They’re birdfeeders? But who would paint a birdfeeder those colors?

Matt: I don’t know. But… they’re kind of interesting.

Me: I like that it’s on a stake so you don’t have to hang it.

Matt: Do they have any that aren’t so… gaudy?

Me: Doesn’t look like it.

Matt: I find myself sort of strangely drawn to them.

Me: Me, too! It’s like, my brain is telling me they’re hideous, but my heart is telling me to love them.

Matt: So. Do you want to buy one.

Me: Oh hell yeah.

 

So we are now the proud owners of a brightly colored bird feeder. It is on a (brightly colored) stake in the far corner of our back yard, and while it may just be the New England equivalent of a pink plastic flamingo, I can’t help but love it.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home

Blinded by the Light

Believe it or not, this week’s sucktitude(I’ll get to that in a minute) is actually made WORSE by the fact that this past weekend was so nice. On Saturday, Matt and I went on our first mini-golf adventure of the season, complete witha lunch made entirely of ice cream (all lunches should be this good). Matt also wanted to use the batting cages that the mini-golf place had, because he just joined his company’s softball team and he didn’t want to embarrass himself at his first game. (To this I say, Dear, you work at a software company, and I’m fairly certain that most software developers aren’t known for their software prowess. Now, if you found yourself competing at Dungeons and Dragons, that might be a different story. Oh, but I kid!)

Anyway, Matt somehow convinced me to try the batting cages, and I really don’t know how I let myself get talked into this. Sure, it was slow pitch softball, but please remember that I have never played an organized sport in my life. My parents enrolled me in the science club and Girl Scouts instead of t-ball and soccer, because they clearly wanted a little nerdlingas a daughter. But I tried the batting cages anyway, and I am proud to say that I hit 3 balls out of the 30 that were pitched to me. I consider this to be a rousing success.

On our way home from this outing, we drove past a driving range. Matt asked to stop, and since I had a book with me I figured, sure, I’d just sit on the bench and read while he hit a bucket of balls. (Bucket of balls! Heh!) So I sat on my bench reading, and kind of watching the people, and I thought, “Hey, that looks kind of fun.” It didn’t hurt that the girl using the tee directly in front of the bench I was sitting on was really (REALLY!) awful, so I figured if I sucked at it, at least I wouldn’t be worse than her.

So I asked Matt if I could use his clubs. And I didn’t suck! I didn’t suck at all! I could hit the ball straight, and by the end I could actually hit it pretty far. I don’t think I’d really like to play a round of golf (I’d get bored by the 4th hole and end up sitting under a tree reading a book) but it was pretty satisfying to hit a bucket of balls (Heh!).

As you might have guessed from all of the weekend activities, it seems that Spring has finally arrived here in New England. The weather has been pretty awesome, and the only cloudy day was Monday, and since that was Marathon Monday and I don’t imagine it’s very pleasant to run 26.2 miles AT ALL, let alone in the blazing sun, I was willing to let that one slide. I was not, however, willing to let it slide when the police were puttingup barricades at the end of my street a full hour before they were supposed to start closing the roads. The marathon runs down the road that our street emptys onto, and while there are many ways out of my neighborhood, all of them involve getting onto this road at some point (or else going about 15 miles out of my way). So I made sure to check when the roads were being shut down. Luckily they took pity on me and let me out. Which, really, maybe that wasn’t such a good thing, since if I couldn’t get out of my neighborhood I certainly couldn’t be expected to go to work!

Work has been the source of this week’s sucktitude, as you might have guessed. It’s been very busy, meaning that I have come in to the office at around 7am each morning, and I have not left at a time before 7pm. Twelve+ hour days do not make a girl happy, especially when the weather is so nice and the sun is shining, and I have books waiting to be read while sitting in my Adirondack chair on the patio. Perhaps while sipping a glass of wine. And eating some of the delicious pasta salad that I made last weekend. But alas, it is not to be, the sitting and the reading and the sipping and the eating. Instead, I am here in my cubicle.

It’s OK though. Today it is supposed to get up to eighty degrees, so I have decreed it to be the first skirt-wearing day of the season. And so, if anyone annoys me today, I’ll just flash them a little leg. The light glaring off of my pasty whiteness is sure to make anyone run for cover.

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Filed under Life in New England, My Sweet Babboo

Oh Sunny Day

So I guess the boy has sufficiently redeemed himself by apologizing profusely and proclaiming that he had every intention of cleaning it up, but was then distracted by the fact that our stupid upstairs toilet wouldn’t stop running again. So he fixed that but forgot to clean up the spilled water. I suppose that in boyfriend points that leaves him about even.

***

I just got back from eating lunch outside, and man, was it hard to come back in to work. This is why I say that I could never live somewhere without seasons – because I would miss having this type of appreciation for a nice sunny day. After winter has kicked my ass for like the millionth time, it’s nice to think that nice weather is coming. I think if I lived somewhere that had this type of weather all the time, it would become “Eh. It’s nice out. Again.” instead “OMG I CAN ACTUALLY SEE SUNLIGHT AND I CAN WALK AROUND WITHOUT A PARKA AND SNOW BOOTS YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

***

Speaking of sunlight, does anyone have a recommendation for a good moisturizer that includes SPF? I’m fine with slathering my very fair-skinned face and body with sunscreen (SPF = ONE ZILLION) when I am going for an outing in the sun, but I’d like to eat lunch outside without coming back into work with a nice tinge of pink. I know that I could use some type of sunscreen before putting on lotion/make-up in the morning, but that seems like a lot of work when companies so helpfully combine two products in one for the lazy folks like me.

I’ve tried some drugstore brands in the past with limited success – I guess the best of all of them was Aveeno; I used both the calming and the ‘radiant’ ones. They were, ok, I guess, but then I had a taste of the Sephora Kool-aid and started using the Philosophy line of products. And I love them, and my fickle, blotchy, combination skin has been happier than it’s been in years. Only one problem – my beloved Hope in a Jar doesn’t include SPF.

Philosophy does make a moisturizer with SPF, but it’s for ‘aging skin’ and I don’t think I qualify. I’m especially reluctant to use it in the summer, when I definitely don’t need something heavy clogging my pores. The Sephora ladies tried to convince me that it would be OK, so maybe I’ll ask for a sample, but I’d like to find an alternative if possible. I don’t mind paying a semi-decent amount of money if something can tame my skin into submission AND prevent sun damage. (Semi-decent = about what I would pay for Hope in a Jar, I’m not made of money).

What say you? Any brilliant recommendations?

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Filed under Life in New England, My Sweet Babboo, Retail Therapy

Shit List

Dearest darlingest Matthew,

This morning you woke up when my alarm went off, and immediately freaked out because YOUR alarm had not gone off. You reached over for your phone (which, by the way, is a complete piece of crap but you keep using it because you are simply too lazy to get a new one from Verizon, who will give you a new one FOR FREE) and apparently something was wrong with it because after several attempts at removing the battery and putting it back in, you threw it against the wall.

I do not think that this is appropriate behavior. I do not think it is appropriate behavior AT ALL.

But do you know what I think is even LESS APPROPRIATE? The fact that after you left for work and after I got out of the shower, I discovered the reason for the broken phone. Yes, I figured out that you had spilled a cup of water on your night stand. A night stand that was VERY EXPENSIVE, and that is one of the few pieces of furniture in our house that is not 1) a hand me down from some relative, 2) a Craig’s List find, or 3) from Target. Do you perhaps understand now why I repeatedly ask you not to leave cups of water so close to the edge of your nightstand, where an errant limb or pillow could easily knock it over? This was a long time coming, buster, since you have the sleeping habits of an untamed rhesus monkey on speed.

So, fine, anyway, spills happen, and I’ve spilled things before, and that’s not to mention how many dishes I’ve broken in the last week alone (count: 4) so I can be a little bit understanding. But what I absolutely CANNOT UNDERSTAND is why you thought it was acceptable to leave for work without cleaning up the spill. DId you think that it would be great for our VERY EXPENSIVE NON HAND-ME-DOWN/CRAIG’S LIST/TARGET nightstand to get warped and damaged? Did you think that the cleaning fairies would clean up after you?

I have news for you, buddy. This is NOT. OK. AT. ALL. So, clean up after yourself, go to the Verizon store after work and get a new (FREE) phone, and perhaps consider apologizing to a certain someone. Flowers would work nicely.

XOXO,

Cookie

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Filed under My Sweet Babboo

I also went grocery shopping and saw a movie, but those are the less exciting parts of the weekend.

People, this weekend I made a major discovery. And that’s funny, because it was on the Discovery channel! Ha! Have you ever seen Deadliest Catch? There was a marathon of it on this weekend in preparation for the Brand! New! Season! starting on Tuesday.

When I tell you I was completely hooked, that is an absolute understatement. I stared slack-jawed at the TV for a good 4 hours straight on Saturday afternoon, and I couldn’t tear myself away. Then I started frantically recording episodes to watch later because WHAT IF I MISSED SOMETHING? I’m a little bit obsessed with the Discovery channel, namely Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters, and that’s not to mention my extreme and undying love for Bear Grylls. However, I hadn’t really seen Deadliest Catch before, but don’t worry, because that situation has officially been remedied.

If you haven’t seen it, you should consider watching this season. The show follows fisherman in the Bering Sea as they try to make craploads of money in a short period of time by risking their lives to go out and fish. It’s way cooler than I’m making it sound, and what drew me in was the fact that it’s got a little bit of everything – these guys are tough, and sometimes they’re mean, but they are also funny and kind of warm-hearted despite their gruffness, and they work harder than I can even imagine. You will find yourself rooting for all of them.

I also recorded the behind-the-scenes episode, and I’m actually dying to watch it the very second that I get home from work, because I really want to know how they film this stuff. I mean, what kind of training do these camera-men and sound guys have to go through? How many of them are on the boat? Do they get along with the fishermen? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Good Enough

I’ve been feeling kind of mopey this week, just kind of crabby and maybe even a little bit sad. Nothing specific has happened, but, I don’t know, did you ever get the feeling that no matter what you do, nothing will ever be good enough?

I’ve lost weight in the past year, and yet, when I go shopping to find some work-appropriate attire that actually fits instead of falling off my body, all I can think is I still don’t look good. Instead of feeling proud that I literally NEED to buy some new pants, lest I want my co-workers to get an unexpected glimpse of my pink polka-dot underwear, I berate myself for not looking perfect in whatever I am trying on. And don’t even get me started about my ill-fated bathing suit shopping experience a few weeks back. Four words: Dressing. Room. Melt. Down.

I’ve cracked down on my budget, too – planning better for expenses, actually saving a decent amount each and every month, paying off debt. I’ve had some unexpected income and have made significant progress in changing my attitude about spending. And yet – I feel defeated. I think ‘if only’. If only I had planned better when I was in college. If only I hadn’t had to pay for this or that. If only, if only…

I’m making a lot of progress toward a healthier lifestyle. In the past, I’ve been a fan of the ‘all junk food and no exercise, please’ way of life. Now, I eat fruits and vegetables every day. I don’t crave junk food. I am shocked when I think about what I used to eat on a regular basis. I exercise somewhat regularly, and I’ve found things that I actually enjoy instead of dread, like pilates and dancing. But I still don’t feel like it’s enough.

I’m well-respected at work and I’m damn good at my job. I’ve been promoted, and I’ve received awards. And yet, when I sit in a meeting and don’t know the answer to something, all I can think is, “You idiot.”

I don’t know why I can’t be happy with myself and content with where I am and what I’ve done. Is this the curse of being a self-motivated person? I’ve never needed anyone to put pressure on me to do anything, because I put enough of it on myself. But is it too much? Will I spend the rest of my life constantly feeling like I need to be better and smarter? I don’t want to do that. What’s the use of working this hard if I can’t enjoy it?

Blah. Being all sullen and moody really isn’t my thing. So here’s a little funny story to end an otherwise grouchy post:

Many of you may not know that in New Jersey, it is illegal to pump your own gas. Every gas station is full service. Being from NJ, I did not pump my own gas until after college (as I didn’t have a car when I was in college). I really don’t enjoy it – I hate when the pump is broken, or the machine doesn’t read my card, and of course it’s always freezing as you are standing trying to get some juice for your car. But, whatever, it’s just one of life’s small annoyances and I deal with it.

Well, on Easter Sunday, Matt and I were going to his parent’s house. I was driving and as usual, I had no gas, so we had to stop on the way. I go to this gas station all the time, because it’s really convenient. So I pull up to the pump, and go to get my gas. The thing pumps about 2 gallons worth and then – gas starts spewing out of the side of the nozzle thingie! Yikes! So, I don’t know about you, but MY immediate reaction was to scream at the top of my lungs and make the thing stop as fast as I could. (It’s pretty embarassing that I would scream in this situation, but, you know what? I’m a girl and I’m allowed to act like one sometimes.)

After the scream, Matt got out of the car to see what was going on, and I told him, and he went inside to tell the gas station man while I went wiped gas off the side of my car (I don’t really know why I did that, but it seemed like the right thing to do). Then, I went to the gross gas station bathroom to wash my hands. (Now we’re getting to the good part.) When I came out of the bathroom, Matt was talking to a police officer! I came over to find out what was going on, and the man told me that he was parked next to the gas station and he heard me scream and got concerned!

How embarassing. Now, not only am I a stupid Jersey Girl who can’t pump gas properly, but I scream about it and now have to explain to a cop that no, Matt wasn’t beating me, I am just an idiot. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts