Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fair & Square

I redeemed myself!

Last night I beat my phone at Scrabble, fair and square.

Vanquish. That was the word that won the game for me. Ah, sweet victory...

Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Low - I Cheated at Scrabble

I downloaded the Scrabble game to my phone on Friday. I don't know just what made me feel compelled to do it but I did it. For $7.99, I have unlimited access to Phone Scrabble forever and ever. My Grandma was a HUGE, kick butt, cut throat Scrabble player and since I love word games, I thought it would be fun.

On the Easy level, I won several times. "I won! I beat the computer! Whoo hoo!" I told Steinvic.

"Great! What level is it on?" Steinvic asked.

Grrrrrrrr... "Easy," I confessed, going to the settings and upping the difficulty level.

Since then, I've played about five games, and that flipping computer beats me everytime! I mean, I get rid of all my tiles, but my words are baby talk compared with the computer's vocabulary.

So, I had this combination of letters: mgipear. And then, got an evil, wise idea to descramble them here and see if I could make one big fat word out of as many of those letters as possible! HA!

And guess what? It came back with "epigram" and there was a place for that word to butt up against an "s" and make "epigrams!" So I did. I used all my tiles and it was like a 98 point word or something ridiculous like that.

I laughed my evil, underworld laugh and then instantly felt guilty.

The computer must have felt pretty bad, too, because it started spelling easy, sucky words like, "cat," and "for."

So I won. I finally "Won on the Medium Level!" And I did it by cheating.

Who cheats on Phone Scrabble? I've never cared about winning in my life, just having fun! But there was something about being referred to as "Player 1" instead of by name. Something about the phone relentlessly winning with no apology. Something about the glare of the crimson screen...

Enough. I need to get a life. And do some word game practice thingies to build up my vocabulary. Geez...

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Friday & The Shred is Really Freaking Hard

I am always surprised at how quickly my weeks tumble by. Mondays feel like the longest day of the week. Tuesdays are non-days. Wednesdays make me realize that "Holy Crap...I have a TON of stuff to get done before tomorrow! I have slacked the last two days!" Thursdays are about finishing things and in many cases, packing for the weekend away. Fridays are...well, just perfect. And exciting. I get to see Steinvic on Fridays. I usually don't have to work on Saturdays, so Friday feels like a big sigh. I love Fridays. It's like Christmas Eve for weekends.

I wasted an hour of last evening, (half) watching the (not so) Real Housewives of Orange County. I feel bad about that, as I've said before, but at least I spent a half hour before that with Jillian Michaels', doing my second day of Shred Part One.

If you need a wake up call to just how not-in-shape you really are, do this workout. It includes jumping jacks, "jumping rope" (there is no rope...you pretend), pushups, diffent crunches, and a variety of lungey-type exercises. You also need some hand weights, because you'll do some squatty things and some lifty, arm-raisey things.

When you are finished, you will temporarily hate Jillian Michaels. But then, as you find that you really will be able to take the stairs once again (after your muscles stop protesting), you will like her again.

I learned from a colleague that Jillian apparently swears at overweight clients on The Biggest Loser. I have never seen this show (yes, I watch the Not Real Housewives, but not reality shows with actual goals or substance) but I can't imagine her screaming at someone about his or her "f***ing fat a**," which I guess was an exact quote because this colleague used it a few times in her description of Michaels' behavior. (Actually, she used it enough that I wanted her to stop, lest a passerby think she was calling me that...in which case I would have had to slap her loudly to defend my honor...)

Anyway, I'll let you know how this 30-Day Shred program works out for me. You're supposed to do it every day, but I won't be doing it on Fridays. Fridays are mine. I love them and they don't include early wake-ups for working out or pre-Steinvic-arrival work-outs. That is just how I roll. Hopefully, the Shred will still work for me and at the end of the month I will be...shredded. (That's a good thing, right?)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A List of Things (because we love lists...)

1. I don't really know if that missing contact is still in my eye or not. It is irritated on and off, but mostly off. Like 95% of the time off. So that makes me think it dropped out and I just didn't see it.
2. The couple who owns my favorite Chinese restaurant slipped a note in my last order that said they were going to close from November 21 - November 30. What? How could they do this? No tofu or veggie lo mein for like...days. I might die. Actually, I think it's nice that they are able to take a break! We all need a break, right? But I will miss my tofu...
3. The news that women should wait to have mammograms or only have them ever so often or not do at-home-self-exams is shocking and stupid. I know three women at work who each had breast cancer before age 50 - two found during annual mammograms, one found through self exam. The one colleague ended up having a double mastectomy and she is 100% in remission now, but still under age 50, for the government's information. Tell one of these ladies that they should have waited! Now, as a result of the findings in this "study," insurance plans will probably drop this as a paid-for preventative care option. Thanks, government-task-force-loser-jack-asses...
4. If you haven't seen the new dark comedy series, Bored to Death, which is on HBO, do it. It's really good.
5. We may have found a place for our wedding reception. This weekend, we'll put together a guest list and set a date. On the 27th, we'll check out the reception place. It's coming together...

A short list today! More later...

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Contact Lens May Be Stuck In My Eye. Or Not...

So, I'm trying not to panic. It might be in there. It was visible and then it wasn't. I was crying and rubbed my eye. I didn't feel the contact fall out, but it still could have. I do feel like something is kind of up in that eye, but it could be that when I rubbed it, I also scratched it a little, and that the contact isn't in there after all. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

"Why were you crying?" you're wondering... Well, it's because I'm a baby. I get my feelings hurt from time to time. I come off to many as this indestructive ball of reasonability (those of you who know me well and know better can stop laughing now...thanks.) But the truth is, I'm sensitive...not high maintenance, but I do get my feelings hurt. It's stupid. Crying sucks. (Possibly losing your contact within your eye also sucks.)

Things will all work out fine, right? Of course.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is coming and we'll be with Steinvic's side of the family this year. We thought my sister and her family would come to Ohio the week before so that we could all celebrate together, but that isn't happening. My parents have a dinner to go to in Indianapolis, but really appreciated Steinvic's offer to join us at his Mother's. So...everyone has somewhere special to be and I like that.

I'm taking two appetizers (maybe three) to Steinvic's Mom's. Miniature twice baked potatoes (so fun to make!) and stuffed mushrooms. That should keep me busy next Wednesday night!

That's it. Just a little update today from your moody, recently sporadic poster. I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday is a Good Day...

Hi! Yesterday sucked. I don't talk about work on this blog because...well...everything I've ever heard indicates that it isn't a good idea. But...what sucked wasn't my job at all. Love my job, love my company. I was just reminded yesterday that it only takes one person to make a day suck really, really hard. If you let them. And in one day, I devoted more energy to that situation than it deserved so today is all about wrapping that up and moving on. So...moving on!

Steinvic is HOME! Hooray! He flew in last evening, got to spend time with his son and then we got to catch up before bed. I am just glad we're in the same state again...Texas was too far away. :) He'll be here this weekend and I just can't wait!

And it's a good day because I got a letter from my pen pal. I haven't mentioned it before, but we have a pen pal program at work where we write with children at a rural elementary school about a half hour away. I've been in the program about 8 years and I love it! So fun to get to know the kids (they're in the 3rd grade) and to see how their writing improves throughout the course of the year. We get to meet them twice - once at Thanksgiving at their school, then once in the Spring at work. If you don't have a program like this at your company, suggest it...it's a little work that means A LOT to the kids!

One of the best part is how stinkin' cute the letters are. Total whatever-is-on-the-brain topics and crazy grammar and spelling and punctuation (hey...kind of like this blog!) and I love it. Here is the letter I just received moments ago - you should know that her dog Max just died and that I sent her a handmade witch handpuppet for Halloween:

"Dear (insert creative spelling of my somewhat difficult name here) Yay

im sad about my dog maxe it is sad and I'll was gana say I am a mickle jaskon fan too are you one well I am so I liked that pupet it is nice thank you and I have tow cats and one dog and I like Sneckers too and your my best pen pal and do you now my Mom her name is Michelle and she works at (insert our company name here) I thank my Mom sented you Webkins email I like Webkins and I like some Fear Real Firends. PS you have great colering

(My Pen Pal)"

No punctuation at all! But did you need it? No! You totally know what she is saying. Who needs punctuation and proper spelling?! :) Of course, if you read it like it's written, you might run out of breath somewhere in there, but that is the fun of it...

Now, go hug a child...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things Are Strange Today...

It's kind of warm outside instead of cold, which is great, but weird. Steinvic is in Texas for work. I'm wearing a suit today because I have to go to a swanky dinner as a thank you for being on an extra committee at work. (A suit. I don't wear suits anymore...)

Everything is fine...just off...

Last night was productive. I grocery shopped, unpacked from the weekend, cooked a little (black beans + olive oil + Rotel original + salt + pepper + crushed red pepper...simmer and stir until no liquid is left...add two tablespoons Daisy light sour cream, chill. Reheat to use on whole wheat tortillas for quick lunches), worked on our laundry, watched Scrooged, updated my music collection on my beloved Zune and power-cleaned the kitchen.

I just learned that today is bonus day at work. I know that bonuses are really, really reduced this year and we're lucky to get a bonus at all. We're not getting salary increases this year. (Please don't take that as complaining - it's more of an annoucement.) I feel lucky to have a salary - I certainly wasn't expecting an increase! (We know people who are taking decreases...) So, I'll have a meeting with my boss soon and find out what to expect, and then later, we'll meet to discuss my review. It all makes me nervous, so I'm actually glad that I just found all this out.

And that is what is going on here...stream of consciousness post. Sorry for the disorganized thoughts, but I'm feeling scattered today! Here's to it all coming together...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Veggie Dogs & Gold-Plated Cake...

It's somehow Monday again...another super fast weekend! It was a good one though, complete with checking out a new hang-out spot. We didn't eat there this time because I was jonesing for Mexican, but we will try the all vegetarian menu soon (every kind of veggie dog imaginable!) For this weekend, we just had a few drinks and talked to a very bright and charming barmaid, who was really knowledgable about all kinds of booze and beer, and who grasped customer service as she sincerely greeted and waited on every single person in the place. We'll be back to Hal & Al's soon!

We also started talking about wedding things...we've got lots of time to plan, but realize that with a lot of venues, you've got to work a year or more outside of your date, and so we're musing. I think - and we're still discussing - that we're leaning more toward a cocktail-style reception after the ceremony. This means great drinks, heavy hors devours and wedding cake, but no traditional buffet/sit down dinner. It's more because "this is who we are" versus a money-saving attempt (his sister actually always teases us because we're more likely to share tapas than to order an entree..."You never eat!!!") We checked out one venue this weekend and Steinvic is going to research it a little more.

We also looked at wedding rings for Steinvic (very exciting!) and I have looked online at dresses (non-traditional, but no photos here because it will be a surprise!) and at wedding cakes, just out of curiousity.

Now, this isn't going to become a Wedding Blog or anything, but when I'm stunned or excited about something, I'm probably gonna write about it.

And $45 per slice cake stuns me. First, I want to know what $45 per slice cake looks like. Then, I want to know what comes with that...like, I'm thinking a foot rub, a car wash, or some other sampling of a luxury service. And finally, I want to meet the person who orders $45 per slice cake, and hear how they explained to all but 10 of their guest that unfortunately, they could only look at the cake and not eat it, because the budget wouldn't allow it.

I read Cake Wrecks and I see the cake shows on television and I know that cakes are often a work of art. I also know that I am not a big dessert person, so maybe my value-per-cake-o-meter is somewhat skewed or off and I shouldn't be permitted to comment. But wow!

At the end of the day, I want Steinvic and I to be happily married. It would be wonderful to celebrate our marriage with the entire world! But who can do that? So, it's more important that our celebration is special, and it's totally fine if our wedding day is simply us, a few friends and our families, with cheerful announcements going out to everyone else. I'm so happy that we're going to be married! Love! It's amazing that people go broke over weddings, but from this pre-shopping, it looks like that would be easy to do...

Oh! We watched Swimming with Sharks last night. Despite the utterly horrifying title, I really liked this movie. It is one of those that when it was first over, I was like, hmmm. But after sitting with it the last 12 hours, I have been thinking about it and I think it's worth a second watch. We also watched The Godfather I and II, because I was making Italian and I think Steinvic was giving me a break from football. ;)

That's it! The weekend in a nutshell. I hope your weekend was just as lovely...

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Need an Intervention...

There is something wrong with me.

I'm above average intelligence, love art, writing, books and poetry. I'm creative, fairly articulate and reasonable. I am not lazy and I'm not a couch potato. I may be momentarily distracted by sparkly things or shiny objects, but generally, it takes something really special to capture my attention (like Steinvic, for example...)

So, why in the heck to I watch those damned Real Housewives shows when they're on? Why?

Please know that when I do watch these shows, I'm not sitting there on the couch with my mouth hanging open, thinking that what I'm seeing is real.

You'll most likely find me with scissors, a paintbrush, a full laundry basket, a trash bag or some other accessory in my hand, working on something. Or passing through the room on my way to do something else.

But the show is still on...

I "watched" the stupid second half of the RHO Atlanta reunion last night. Why won't anyone say to Kim's (now mysteriously puffy probably from some kind of treatment/injection) face, "Darling, you can't sing...please stop." Why? And why do I care? That is all I got out of the whole hour-long ordeal.

And then I "watched" episode one of the new season of RHO Orange County. What I took away from it was, big surprises: Tamra's marriage has hit a bumpy spot because money isn't flowing as freely, Vicki is a douche for telling everyone that Jeana asked to borrow money, and everyone is still back-biting.

Oh, and Gretchen is in some photos that show her naked and...um...doing things, but she didn't know they were being taken (she was looking at the camera, so...) or didn't know they were going to be on the Internet or something. And I kind of felt a little bad for her. I always do...she is the underdog, in my opinion. While she clearly has horrible judgement and doesn't always think ahead, she doesn't seem to be malicious...just ditsy and not careful with herself. We've all done stupid stuff and thank goodness most of it doesn't turn up on national television. And I guess when you sign up for this crap, you can pretty much count on some kind of humiliation if you're human and have done human things.

During the little preview of the season blurbs at the end. Tamra is looking at herself (another surprise) in various scenes and the voice over says, "Looking like this has a price. And the price is not eating." Well, that's just great. The only plus is that I think most of the people who might be influenced by this statement wouldn't be interested in this show primarily focused on desperate, aging money-grubbers who don't realize that it looks silly to dress a certain way past a certain age.

Enough. Now you know what I did with my Thursday night. As for what I was working on during these shows...well, that's for another post...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Week Has Passed...

I've been home from vacation for a week and realize that I can't keep giving these sporadic, partial details of our trip forever, can I?

So let me sum it up by saying, I think I've hit the highlights - we got ENGAGED!!!!, we saw U2 twice, we had a blast with family, the weather was awesome and I wish we were still out there!
But we're not...we're here. Although every time I look at this ring, I feel like I'm still on vacation. I feel loved. I feel hope for the future. I'm excited about things in a way that I have never been. So...Steinvic you already knew you were the best, but thanks for this lovely treasure that has me smiling every time I look at it...I'm not worthy!

We're still telling friends as we see them and many ask about wedding plans, the big date, all that. And instead of planning wedding things, we spent last weekend looking at real estate online! First things first...I think we'd like to be in our current spot at least a little while together to save money, pay things down and build up more equity so that when we sell, we've got cash to decorate and fix up a new place.
My parents took us to Prima Vista this weekend. If you're in the Cincinnati area and you haven't been, please go. You'll be glad you did. It's a fantastic restaurant and for as fancy as it appears, it's surprisingly comfortable. The staff is knowledgable and really attentive, but not stuffy at all. The food is excellent. The view is amazing and as the sun sets and it gets dark, even better (I love the twinkling city lights!)
(Of course being downtown had Steinvic and I wondering about the real estate - we want to live there or in Mt. Adams or in Covington.)
Yesterday, Steinvic sent me an excited e-mail mid-day...he bought us tickets to see U2 in Chicago in July! So funny...people must think this is all we do! But the fact is, we love the band (LOVE!) and they always seem to go places we enjoy anyway, so why not combine the things we dig and make an adventure of it? So, something to look forward to for Summer 2010...
No idea how I missed this, but it looks like the Coens are at it again!
And.........I guess that's it! Here is to more regular updates again. I just got side tracked with all the readjusting the last week. But I promise...more regular writes! Until then...