31 December 2008

goodbye to the old

today is new year's eve! huzzah.

we have mini plans - going to hang out with Gran a bit - go to the church festivities, then my dad's band is playing in medicine park (where uncle shawn and i had our mini honeymoon stay in a cabin) so we'll go to that - then back to beth-a-roo's for some mac & cheese (homemade) and chicken bites (via walmart - prepurchased) and maybe a drink or two and a movie before ringing in 2009. placing bets on whether o-man will stay awake? safe money's on YES. he's quite the night owl.

los tres amigos today - the place where uncle shawn got cheese sauce dumped on his head the first dinner out with my family ... didn't scare him away though! (this was pre-pre-engagement) - then wayne's for a vanilla diet coke - a lawton-only restaurant similar to sonic, only different. nom nom nom.

missing my new year's kiss, but i guess i'll get that on jan. 4 in the evening once i make it back to bed bug city. YIPE!

~marilyn jean...

PS - Rumor dispelled: I am NOT pregnant, despite rumors to the contrary (that's right - someone told me they'd heard from someone at church that i was expecting ... uh, news to me)..

29 December 2008

post-Holiday

just a few days left in 2008, which has been a whale of a year.

i made notes about my Danville holiday experience - a first newlywed christmas/our first christmas as Dr. and Mrs. so i could do a whole SERIES of posts about that.

i need to keep notes about my Oklahoma experience as well - i'm at Beth's apartment right now, waiting for her to bring me lunch, with Wall-E on the TV for Owen and working away on the January e-newsletter. pain in the ... but it's getting done. need to work on Feb line up and a few other maintenance things - then will be done for the year. Holla.

plan to go to Hobby Lobby this evening - SO looking forward to that. am planning to crochet myself a floppy-ish hat - sort of a beret, hard to describe. have a pattern and will post pics upon completion. i haven't completed anything in a long while because i'm still working away on the bedspread, and even that is slow going because of the bedbug situation and no good place to crochet at home.

weird to spend so much time away from shawn - but that's a post on its own.

dur. ~m.

23 December 2008

chilled to the bone

colder here than i expected. i didn't bring enough sweaters (basically because they're bulky and i was trying to pack light). oh well - going shopping today and hope to find some presents to myself!

as shawn says, no matter how crowded it is here during christmas shopping time, it will never be as bad as a regular day in NYC - or the worst was the day after thanksgiving when beth and i went to macy's - as in THE macy's. oiy. goodtimes and good memories.

guess i'll get going and hope to find some sustenance/lunch soon too.

funtimes! ~mari.

22 December 2008

Re-worked

DANVILLE, Va.--I was supposed to be working in my in-laws' basement. But, of course, with my previously mentioned country-song luck, the internet at their house is on the fritz - and I've been forced to seek wifi elsewhere.

First I spent a couple hours at Starbucks - about 15 minutes from their house. These southern people are SERIOUSLY nice. I can't remember hearing baristas be that nice - I guess the grumpy stereotype doesn't always have to be true!

Then Shawn brought me to the Mount Hermon Public Library - a branch near their home - that has wifi. It's pretty quiet. There's no table, so I'm sitting in a "comfy" chair with my laptop heating my legs to about 300 degrees (I'm known to exaggerate of course). And of course the system keeps bumping me off and requiring re-logging in. And usually when I'm in the middle of something - not sure if I hit a wrong key to refresh it or what. It's a totally insecure network anyway and if I had any skills I could access it without the login. But whatever.

But I'm sitting here - listening to some Christmas music and my view is of their wall of DVDs - they've got some good/new ones - Baby Mama, Wall-E, Forbidden Kingdom, Battlestar Gallactica, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Coupling (!), etc., etc. Wishing I had such a branch library near me - behind me is a rack of latest magazines - I would love to spend a few hours perusing the women's magazines. Something about those ... I just adore them!

A lot of things going on today at work, and I'm envisioning some work falling on me tomorrow (not a problem if I have internet access at the inlaws' - although I cannot and will not stay online all day - and I won't make the trek around the city of Danville to find free wifi) - and I worked this weekend - probably about 45 minutes of work total. Not exactly my idea for a fun Saturday break, but whatever.

Gonna stop diverting even bits of attention to this - have been writing this for a long while, a few sentences at a time. Am ready for 5:30... We have our Evans family christmas party at 6. OIY!

21 December 2008

Danville Has a Sonic

ALERT ALERT ALERT

My husband's hometown now has a Sonic restaurant - so my time here is so much happier. Also, Claritin may be working to stop my symptoms of allergic reaction to his family cat.

Christmas MIRACLES!

~m

20 December 2008

k thx bai

Prayers for safe travel and on-time departures much appreciated. Car to the airport coming at 9:30... snow has stopped. Amtrak was sold out anyway - here's hoping.

Shawn's got the dadgum windows taped open - so it is colder than a ... well you know.

See you on the flip side, assuming we can flip.

Bah humbugs still lingering, but pressing on.

19 December 2008

whether, weather?

I guess this is what you'd call a Nor'easter. Blugh.

Snow started this morning - snowed all through the day then turned into sleet. Major airline delays. Our flight is scheduled for tomorrow at about 11 am. It's a direct flight to Raleigh, but then another hour plus drive to Danville.

US Airways will allow us to change our plans BUT the flight has to be taken within seven days of the original travel (i.e. would have to be by next Saturday) - and that's not really happening. Maybe I'm misunderstanding their rules, but that's how it seemed.

If US Airways would just give us a credit to use on our next flight, we could just get Amtrak tickets and be directly in Danville in about 9 hours - not bad, especially when considering delays and other nonsense could have us at the airport at least that long ... perish the thought.

But who knows - maybe we'll wake up tomorrow and it won't be so bad ??? Somehow I doubt my luck would be that good.

WHAT IS IT NEW YORK?!?!?! Do you want me gone or are you trying to trap me here?

My to-do list in preparing for the trip, one way or another we'll get out of here.
  • Sew button on coat (that's right, a button fell off the other day - am I cursed, unlucky or just really ... I don't even know the right word?!) - done
  • Pack toiletries and make up - including the 3-1-1 airline regulation baggie (ugh) - done
  • Pack USB stick for work - in progress
  • Load iPod with latest podcasts - done
  • Find backpack (done - woo hoo!) and pack it as carry on (in lieu of purse and with my laptop bag stuffed inside it) - backpack will make trudging with laptop MUCH easier - plus I've got my new Samsonite rolling suitcase carry on, so I'll be within the 2-item limit if we fly. Huzzah! - few last minute things to add
  • Get cash
  • Light cleaning
  • Put away Christmas decorations (semi-done)
I've done most everything - still have to venture out for cash. We need something to eat tonight too. This weather is so depressing to me. It's cold and nasty and just UGH. Nothing seems to be going right, and I can't do anything quite right workwise, lifewise or otherwise.

BAH HUMBUG has been my battle cry today - I hope this weekend it is better.

~mari.

Photo from Flickr - peterjr1961

18 December 2008

Sweeeeeet

Sweet peanut butter kiss cookies - yum!

My free "luggage tag" turned out to be a travel wallet! WOAH! I had been looking for these forever for my sister (I got her something else, although she doesn't read this blog, let's keep it a secret anyway) - but I love this - AND it has purple on the inside, so I'd say it's meant to be!

I love HARO! What what. Cover says "high maintenance doesn't begin to cover it." how appropros!

Housekeeping Monthly


Real 400:

DRAT - there was a rogue duplicate draft throwing off my entry count. 400 isn't even that much. I've twittered 428 times as of this moment, and I started that in July!

About to have the phone call/meeting to discuss how 6-7 people are going to organize and run a monthly meeting. Recipe for disaster.

~m

17 December 2008

Post 400: Elf Yourself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Haiku for a Luggage Tag

@skydiver did a mini-contest today - the first 10 people to write a haiku about his Help a Reporter Out site won a luggage tag. I was #2 with my haiku:

Help a reporter
Be a top expert on call
Reap the accolades

Bully for me!

15 December 2008

Via Gawker: Bedbugs at Marie Claire?!

It has NOTHING to do with a "filthy intern" as one of the first commenters says. UGH.
Bedbugs aren't just for dirty hovels like Fox News and hipster Bushwick. The filthy bloodsuckers have allegedly infested the very flower of our national womanhood—the offices of Marie Claire:

A tipster tells us this dirty rumor:

"Marie Claire magazine in the brand new hearst tower was infested by bed bugs on Friday, courtesy of a fashion intern. employees in the affected area were sent home on Friday.
Over the weekend, total fumigation of the floor. Will it appear in the reality show they've been filming up there?!
The girls were acting like they'd contracted HIV."

Read the whole Gawker tip here - and hopefully they'll update the post or do something new when they get more info. How insane am I to follow things like this?! (and i didn't search for this - came thru my twitter ... i follow Gawker)

Trisha's Wishstory

14 December 2008

Christmas Music

I have almost six hours of holiday music that I've been enjoying ... and because I purchased some Amazon music as gifts I got a free $5 Amazon MP3 download, and the new Faith Hill album happened to be $5 - so now I have a little bit more Christmas music to enjoy. SCORE!

Cleaning up my receipts. I never fail to misplace every single $5 Duane Reade reward coupon. Why can't it all just be on my card? Why do I have to keep up with a slip of paper. And I usually get the reward (which you get for every 100 points you earn, each point being one dollar spent) right as I'm about to leave. I have a week left here before we jet off to VA, but I hope I find the coupon by then. They expire two weeks after issue or something.

I have to get new glasses. The frames - Prada, the most expensive I've ever had - were cracking the lenses, which were high dollar polycarbonate that shouldn't break even under pressure. So basically a flawed design - WTF?! I went back to the place, picked out a new frame (it's similar but a different color and brand). I should get them in a few days, definitely before the trip. They were about $50 less, when all was said and done, so I just got some contacts with that money (plus paid a little extra). I've got contacts in now - SO nice to see. SUCH a drag ... these glasses have been nothing but T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!!

Update: Found the DR coupon - in my coat pocket. Argh.

Some baking I did yesterday: Peppermint Cloud Brownies (gag) and White Velvet Cutouts (YUM!) ... Let's see how they hold up in shipping.

Shawn and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, then Mari and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree:

(who's the better photog?)

Shawn and the Saks Fifth Avenue Snowflakes (SO pretty):

Me and SOME of the gifts we're giving this year. Some are already in Oklahoma, others are already being shipped, etc. It's exhausting, especially ... well we all know my life the last six months has been like an awful country song (along the lines of "my wife left me, my dog died, i lost my job, then my best friend ..." - you know, everything going wrong).

I think I'll edit a few newsletter articles, just to get them going for this week. The more times I can look at a given article, the better I can make it.

~mari.

PS WOW am on "A Baby Changes Everything" on Faith's album. SO good. Can't wait for a baby to change my everything ... but that's another story.

12 December 2008

funky, funky christmas

right - just looked at Amazon to see if i might want to get a new christmas album download (i put several on my wish list, but i wouldn't get to enjoy them until next christmas, but i digress)... i checked out NKOTB's ... and it wasn't as special as i remember.

in the old fashioned bedroom, the three girl cousins sleeping together, with a small tape player and the NKOTB tape being worn out from so much use. i may be melding memories together, but i remember trying to convince Lisa to stay up all night so we could prove there wasn't a santa claus (she believed, i did not). i remember the NKOTB tape and giggles. we fell asleep i know for sure - because i never proved his non-existence (but neither did she prove his existence).

about to head to Shawn's office party. i am having writer's block on the annual report sections i'm working on, so hope to come back with a clear head and give another stab...

in other gretching news - my $400 Prada glasses are cracking the lenses again. so i'll have to go back to Lenscrafters and pick out a different frame. i'm thinking plastic and sturdy. blurgh. also, the contact prescription the doctor gave me has got to be incorrect, as i can't see ANYTHING when i put them on. so right now i'm rocking old lenses (old prescription, not physically old or funky ... not that type of funky xmas), and i can see somewhat OK, but i wouldn't want to drive like this.

i hope 2009 proves to be less horrific for me, although 2008 was my wedding year for crying out loud.

~M.

11 December 2008

tweet tweet cloud


gotta click on it to see it clearly - but obviously WORK is what i tweet about most ... whoops!

10 December 2008

The Meaning of Christmas

Right-a-roo

This is my fave part of this CB Christmas, and I used part of this scripture on our Christmas cards, which will be in the mail tomorrow! HUZZAH!

Forward: The Crocheted Table Cloth

I don't believe this for one second, but put "crochet" in an email subject line and I'm going to open it...

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet... 'Pastor,' she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?' The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home; that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

09 December 2008

technical difficulties

Currently I cannot reply to emails in my work inbox, but I can read them, so that's something. I don't know if it's IE that's acting up or what. I can reply to things in Firefox, but Outlook/MS Exchange e-mail HATES Firefox, as in, doesn't display properly, you can't preview messages (or I don't know how to configure preview), etc. etc.

This morning, into the afternoon, I spent more than three hours on the phone with an IT guy from work - we don't have an on-staff IT support person, but we do outsource that. Anyway, he had to remote in to my computer, meaning he was working on my computer and I could not. NICE. If there had been deadlines or something I could have figured out something else, but as it was, it kept being "only a few more minutes" or "let me try one more thing."

In the end, the problem isn't fixed. They're sending out a tech tomorrow afternoon (the IT firm has an NYC office, which is lucky).

Back from the whirlwind trip to DC and back - we had the holiday party and a gift swap. Here's what I ended up with - a $35 glass candle holder. Um, the limit was $10 - I took a $9 picture frame that I bought in Austin (that many people loved).

For my coworkers I created little gifts - magnets! Based on this tutorial at Not Martha, I made 23 small tins of magnets, using CHEAPIE CHEAP stuff, and they turned out so freaking cute. I think my favorite was an image of the Capitol dome in moonlight.

Speaking of Christmas, I still have a bit of holiday shopping to do. Was looking at my list, and I've done PRETTY good, but not completely finished. Hope to be able to go shopping this weekend and finish off the list. Not sure what "good" gift to get Shawn. We originally were going to get each other Ikea chairs - but we don't think our apartment/life will be back to normal any time soon, so that idea is toast.

Ah, and ideas for me - I will be updating my Amazon wish list. OK, in updating this it's a little depressing to look at my "recommendations" from Amazon - so much about bedbugs, because I bought our AllerZip bedbug proof mattress and box spring covers from Amazon.

Starting on dinner. I don't think I'll ever post as much as I did in November (although it was fun, I didn't even win any prizes from the NaBloPoMo Ning group), but will strive to put something up about my day during the week.

~M.

06 December 2008

guesstimano

At Starbucks waiting for housekeeping to finish our room so I can go lie down as I am still sick and need to rest more! I went to target at pg plaza and almost fainted. I am ok but obviously not well enough to go out or have fun. Boo hiss!!!

Am not good at iPod typing so this is just a time killing short post.

Mari...

03 December 2008

Last Week in Photos


Mari & Shawn at Micah & Abby's Wedding - Nov. 22, 2008


Uncle Shawn and Owen working on "J" homework


Shawn & Mari's Pumpkin Pies - Gran's Kitchen, Nov. 26


Uncle Shawn and Owen bowling - Nov. 26


Austin skyline - my camera couldn't handle it - Nov. 29, 2008


Owen's sad face en route to the Austin airport (he was sad about not getting to go to Toys-R-Us, not necessarily about me leaving), Nov. 30, 2008

30 November 2008

dull-us

Delayed by hours

So tired

Shawn found another bug ready for a change

This is not ok

Boarding soon - finally

In Austin airport

Finito

Ah, last forced post - I know I forced myself but since being away from my regular workspace it's been harder to post...

We're getting ready to go down to breakfast. I'm trying to download some things on my iPod. I cannot believe that the iTunes people wrote me back and solved my problem. Yay good customer service!

Feeling sicker. Took some medicine. Flying with a head cold is HORRIBLE. I guess better than puking though, which I've also done. Just call me Public Health Hazard!

Holly's wedding was A-Mazing. The reception was so fun (Owen was a b-r-a-t ... and you know he was bad if I'll say that! ... so we didn't stay too too long), and I just loved their vows - so touching and rich. I couldn't be happier for her and John if I tried! Can't wait for her post-wedding blog re-hash.

Guess I'll trail Owen and Gingi down to breakfast. I should suck on a losenge to get my throat better ... but I am very hungry so we'll see.

~M.

29 November 2008

From the NaBloPoMo Leader

Just two more days until we cross the finish line, and what have you learned this month? Have you managed to post something thought-provoking every day, or do you feel like you clogged up the Internet with less-than-satisfying content for the sake of endurance?Just two more days until we cross the finish line, and what have you learned this month? Have you managed to post something thought-provoking every day, or do you feel like you clogged up the Internet with less-than-satisfying content for the sake of endurance?
Uh, probably the latter. Dur.

sickness creeps in

oh dear - it never fails. i leave Oklahoma with a sore throat and throbbing head, swollen eyes and runny nose.

we're still in Texas - today is Holly's wedding day - HURRAH!

i'm having trouble with my iTunes. tried to download some video for the flight back to NYC, and it's saying my account as been disabled. I'm thinking it has something to do with me being on a different computer than normal, but still, I'd think they'd want my money. Blugh. I guess I can always crochet.

Owen's crying to go to Toys-R-Us and doesn't want to go to the wedding ("no weddings on my list") ... so that's a struggle. The hotel has an indoor pool and a spa - so nice. He swam last night with Holly's nieces and nephew. Funtimes!

Shawn got to NYC safely and said he didn't see any bugs. Here's hoping...

So tired and hope I feel better ... HATE flying sick. Ugh.

28 November 2008

Deep in the Heart of Texas

EIGHT hours later we arrived. EXHAUSTED. and about to go out and party down with Holly and her wedding party at a rehearsal dinner. Should be OK. Will be glad to go to sleep in our hotel, which again is REALLY nice - the same Marriott suites.

Hungry so on the way - just checking in for the NABLOPOMo. Maybe more after.

~M

27 November 2008

turkey in a straw

very tired. i guess if you eat four plates of anything you get tired. KIDDING! Beth heard something like that on NPR this morning (saying triptophan isn't really the reason people are sleepy on Thanksgiving)...also, I didn't eat 4 plates of anything - just over one I guess - plus a piece of the punkin pie Shawn and I made ... not quite like his Grandma's but good anyway.

Owen is taking a nap and I should too. He's such a funny bubba.

~M.

26 November 2008

Hippy Bird-day

Today I am 28. Eeek!

About to go bowling with Owen, Beth and Shawn. I have photos to share but haven't taken the time to upload them. Blimey.

Bought a new suitcase - good times since we've got another trip to take next week ... blow me down.

Short and ready for NaBloPoMo to be finito.

~M.

25 November 2008

T minus one

tomorrow is my birthday - hey hey hey.

my coworkers gave me a card and a Michael's gift card. that's exciting! there's a store in Queens that i can get to on the subway.

working at Beth's is a bit of a comedy show. I've got my laptop set up, but she only has one internet connection. her router doesn't recognize firefox when i put the ethernet cable in my computer (although i can use my computer and IE) - and it's just easier to use hers as set up. but i also have to use my computer to do my non-internet computing (writing the annual report, creating the NL line up, etc.) - just because it's a little easier (although i guess i could convert everything and do it here on this box)... whatever. so i'm running back and forth between them. am so glad this is my last day to do this.

i am very very tired, since i did laundry last night and was up until after midnight, and then popped up at 7 a.m. of course my clothes weren't dry so i'm wearing a shirt of my mom's. funny. i hope shawn finished things - he's been staying in Indiahoma while i work from Beth's apartment in Lawton. he can use his computer in my mom's office at the school library - and it's T1 internet so faster than this (plus we only have one internet connection here)... It's been a pretty good set up for him.

Today we get to go to Owen's school for lunch - it's a special thing for Thanksgiving. My Gran and dad and Shawn are coming out. I think they'll pick me up and we'll go. Should be good - fun to see Owen and officially meet his teacher. I picked him up yesterday but was still listening in on a conference call for work, so my brain was divided. Today I'll pick him up and it will be my undivided attention. What a sweet moo hoo. He's got a cold or something though, and I'm FRIGHTENED of getting sick. Just what I DO NOT need.

Back to running between the desk and kitchen table. Maybe I'll get a work out this way? Doubtful.

~M.

24 November 2008

a remote worker

telecommuting across the country wasn't so bad. the time difference was rough - i.e. having to get up and start working by 8 am! HA.

got to pick up owen from school - during a staff meeting conference call. i just muted my line and could continue to listen ... he was on Yellow today - which means not good, but not TERRIBLE. he apparently threw three fits. bummer. i was feeling like throwing some fits myself. was just a gripey day on my own in this BIG apartment. jealous much?

i am also starving. only two days til the big two-eight. blurgh.

mari.

23 November 2008

to the window...

to the wall...

the wedding was a lot of fun. i'm sitting in Beth's apartment - where i'll be working from tomorrow. Not too shabby.

we're about to have Papa John's pizza for dinner - haven't had that since Virginia, because why order PJ's when you can have Mercado's (not my personal favorite, but it's what we do)...

in a funk ... treats.

~m

22 November 2008

Oklahoma Hurray!

Dateline Oklahoma City

A nice Marriott suite ... two together - very nice. We have kitchenettes, couches and desks. Free high speed internet and HURRAH nablopomo doesn't get ruined by lack of access.

Owen is being a sweet little jay. Such a funny kid.

About to head north for a quick trip to Stilly. It's so hot in this room though. Blurgh.

xo. ~mari.

21 November 2008

greetings from Dulles

attwifi came thru for me. i can access it at starbucks and apparently at Dulles International Airport. Huzzah!

flight from NYC was uneventful. hope the same is true for the flight to OKC. didn't miss much at work - but will have LOTS to do on Monday...

got a little nauseous on the small jet. hope the bigger jet for the longer flight leaves me NOT feeling wobbly stomached. blurgh.

good bye NYC ... for at least a week. ~M

Casual Fridays

A colleague sent me this - in a forward with a million other pictures. oiy. I've seen it before but wanted to save it here.



The smell of comet is overwhelming. UGH.

Zing

Today's the day I'll be squeezing my sweetest nephew!

My eyes popped open at about 7:15 a.m. There was drilling or something going on outside on the street below ... but I was so excited I couldn't go back to sleep. I'm like a kid on Christmas (and it's driving Shawn nuts!) ...

I'm working away - my newsletter is being finished, which will be a huge relief. I'm putting together my report for next week's staff meeting ... and a few other minor things as I wait for time to leave this bedbug infested place.

OH they're going to spray on Tuesday. Dear lord, let that spray work... It will have plenty of time to settle. Blurgh. We need a bedbug sniffing dog!

~Marilyn Jean, the beauty queen.

20 November 2008

Empower - HOPE

First, I found my crochet hooks - they were in the trunk at the bottom of my closet, which meant pulling out the tubs and the other heavy trunk ... but I got them. And saw no signs of bedbugs, but you never know. *shudder*

I can't wait to write something AFTER this whole ordeal - write the thing that I went searching for online when I first discovered this infestation ... that it CAN be OK and people can make it through this. Because from where I'm sitting, that's not seeming realistic or plausible.

After a late lunch today - I started to feel better (today's previous entry was depressed, to be kind about it). I don't feel great, but I'm also OK with that. It sucks that this has happened to us, but this is certainly not the worst thing that could happen (although I hope it's the worst thing that Shawn and I ever face together! Wouldn't we have a happy, carefree life then?).

We have each other - and our stuff isn't destroyed. We WILL eventually leave this behind us, even if we can't get them knocked out of this apartment. And we've found coping mechanisms and a way to live with the bugs (buy stock in Comet, right?!) if we absolutely have to. And I'm no longer shelling out co-pay after co-pay for a skin allergy that wasn't.

It's going to take a while until I'm comfortable in this apartment (which is a struggle, since I spend up to 24 out of 24 hours in a day in this room) ... but I have to remember all the blessings I have and the ways in which life is GOOD, despite this bad THING that's happening in it. If only that nugget of positive emotion and empowerment and HOPE could stick with me and dry the tears that I inevitably shed when looking around and thinking about it all... Baby steps, though. Baby steps.

Also - now it's OK to listen to Christmas music - giving myself just over a full month to enjoy my collection - including Mariah, Trisha and a great Merry Mixmas CD that has classics re-mixed. Minimal decorating will commence when we return from our Thanksgiving trip, as will Christmas card writing and baking - cookies and candy and good stuff! I'm ordering custom Christmas cards (the first try wasn't what I wanted, but I've found a company that can do what I want), and I'm going to put up a ceramic tree with light bulbs and a mosaic picture holder thing that my mom gave me - instead of photos I'm going to hang/attach ornaments that I've got - it will be fun times.

fraidy cat

our bed arrived and i accepted it. we've got it encased and had an ok night sleeping in the middle of the room.

i've got no new bites. but Shawn has found a couple more bugs (taped to white paper, the best photo I could get was with the macro setting and no flash, since the flash blew out the image too much) - and we're going to try to get the exterminator to come next week while we're gone. That means we have to bag up our stuff in one day, since we're leaving for the airport tomorrow around noon. But the plan is to have them not treat our closets again - or any of the stuff in there ... I'm not sure how that will work out, but whatever. We've got to try something.

The emotional aspect of this is really wearing us out. We're both one mood-swing away from snapping. It's just back and forth - as soon as we're feeling good and positive like "we can survive this" ... something happens - he finds a fat bug, I get more bites or something and we come crashing back to the reality of this unfair, awful and overwhelming situation.

Why can't the university find us a new place to live? As obviously we're unable to clean this one out of the bugs ... The comet SHOULD keep them at bay, and another spraying would help I'm sure, but there's no way to fully rid ourselves of the bugs. Not to mention any way to get ourselves over the trauma.

I think I need a therapist. I've gone to therapy before. But in this big, horrible city that I loathe, there's just no way to find a place. It's disjointed and awful.

And yes, I am feeling incredibly negative today. My T-shirt smells musty - even though it was washed recently (everything I own was washed recently!) ... I misplaced my lavender drawer sachets somewhere ...

and I've lost my crochet hooks. I have one of them - the one I'm working with on the bedspread, but I wanted to do a few snowflakes with some different thread and hook ... and the hooks are no where to be found. they could be in the closet, but i don't remember. and i am frightened that i tossed them accidentally ... all the hooks i've used to make my many projects. those hooks have memories. ack, i've got to get over myself.

i can't wait to go home tomorrow, although i won't technically be HOME until Sunday afternoon...

19 November 2008

cheesy bacon pasta

dinner is ready - waiting for bubba shawn to come home.

made cheesy bacon pasta - a rachael ray recipe ... short cut pasta starts in boiling water; cook bacon in a skillet, when done, pull out cool and crumble. in the bacon grease, cook an onion that's been sliced in strips until brown and soft. drain the pasta. add the bacon back to the skillet - stir in one 16 oz container of ricotta cheese, 1 ladle of pasta water and the pasta. stir to combine and lap it up. really good as a left over too.

apparently you should add some basil - but i haven't ever done that. oh well. not so fancy schmancy.

our bed arrived - dear lord keep it (and us) safe. it's covered with encasements guaranteed to keep bugs out. i am just ready to NOT be itchy and move on/not have to worry about this nonsense anymore.

SHAWN'S HOME!

~M.

tick-tock

oh dear - my twenty-seventh year is coming to a close in one week. i've seen a lot - the good, the bad, the ugly. praying that 28 multiplies the good and gets rid of the bad. for pete's sake!

still waiting on the new mattress/box spring arrival. i think THAT will improve my mood greatly and make Shawn happy. the encasements will protect it and we'll be able to get better sleep.

count down to seeing Owen baby is getting smaller - only TWO more sleeps until i'm squeezing my bubba max!

i made burgers last night, and our friend Frank stopped by for one. i would feed him every night for the rest of our time here if he wanted! he has let us stay in his apartment, which is just beyond what i would expect a casual friend to do. after dinner we watched House and Fringe. that was pretty funny. his girlfriend Beth came by later - on her way back from a trip to Baltimore - i really like her. actually, i've never met a Beth i didn't like!

Getting into the tail end of the window for the delivery. This place is absolutely crappy. I would never recommend anyone in the NYC area ordering from Sleepy's. They'll be getting e-mails and/or a letter from me - it's been all sorts of drama just to get a clean, new bed.

SO tired.

18 November 2008

good night - good therapy

blogging daily (and in today's case, thrice daily!) is very therapeutic for me - especially in this situation with the bugs.

we've got the air mattress back up and dressed - with fresh sheets and cleanly dried pillows. i'm so tired, so looking forward to a sleep. we've got the comet ring around the mattress, i'm sprayed with DEET again (freshly showered in clean PJs). so i should be OK for the night. dear lord, keep us safe.

i still feel a little creepy crawly, but there you go.

these are the images taken today - the bite/bruise/mark on my inner right arm - it's even more purple tonight. and then the marks on my neck - i just took this shot... i still hope these were from sunday night and not last night (when we were sleeping at Frank's). shawn washed Frank's sheets and checked his bed - didn't see any spots BUT Frank has brown sheets ... and I'm just overly paranoid, but I obviously got bitten in the last couple days.

Oh man alive. This has got to end someday, right? Ready to run.

~Mari.

Edit - it kind of looks like a Christmas tree shape, right?

NYTimes - ‘Lipstick Jungle’ Lives!

‘Lipstick Jungle’ Lives! - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com:

"Reports of the demise of “Lipstick Jungle” look like they were premature. The NBC drama about well-heeled women in New York, starring Brooke Shields, was shuffled off to Friday nights two weeks ago amid reports that the show was canceled and the remaining finished episodes would not get on air. But as of this week, “Lipstick Jungle” is breathing again."

Hoo-ah! Silly. Wonder if they count my web viewing? I have watched the last 3 weeks online during Saturday afternoon slumps... Don't know when I'll watch this week's, since I'll be jet-setting on Friday and then Still-watering on Saturday.

As expected, exterminator came and said without proof they can't spray again. It's definitely a survivor from our stuff - he chastised me for not inspecting everything thoroughly enough when we "re-introduced" to the room. TECHNICALLY our stuff was never un-duced (?) from the room and has always been in here. But I get the point. I looked as closely as I could, but the fact is, we missed something... And maybe it's just a straggler who got lucky and chomped on me, but we'll see. He left a lot of "traps" - just sticky roach things (which don't catch bedbugs really). He said if we find one, put it in the trap and then call them. Nice. He had a lot of other choice things to say (several 4-letter words and such, weird for someone to speak to me that way).

Be ... all that you can be. Make a difference, give your dreams to me. No time for wasting, there's so much to do. Don't you forget that ... something, something me and you. Let's get something, let's do the bada-bada. Woo! Woo! Read ... my ... lips!

(My version of the Lipstick Jungle lyrics)

~M.

i should be sleeping

our friend Frank let us sleep at his apartment again last night. i feel so guilty about it - i don't like being so pitiful. really, i don't. i also don't like risking infesting his apartment.

anyway, this morning Shawn has class, so he had to get up early, and i just got up too. now i'm waiting for him to finish showering and go to class, then I'll get dressed and start my day/work for real. i am so tired.

the bed delivery is rescheduled for today - we rejected the mattress they brought yesterday because there was a hole in the plastic covering it. they use the same truck to transport old mattresses (read: potentially infested mattresses), and they couldn't guarantee that the hole was made when they moved it off the truck vs. loading it on the truck. (the delivery guys were Jerks with a capital J.) Shawn will be in class when the second delivery attempt happens. so that will be something for me to deal with.

once they arrive and i sign off, i'll have to wait for Shawn to have time to come home and help me slip cover them with the bedbug-proof allergen covers. THEN we can set up the bed, put on some sheets, etc. we should be able to keep the bugs away from the bed itself - even if there are some surviving. we've got comet around the bed frame's feet, plus double sided tape wrapped around each. the bed will be away from the wall, and we'll use short/smaller bedding so it won't fall off (because once it does, it has to go into the washer/dryer before gaining re-entry to the bed). this is all too much.

i definitely got a bite on Sunday night (no bites sleeping at Frank's that I can see). the reaction to Sunday's bite(s) is massive though - a giant welt on my inner right arm that's actually bruising. also there are a few spots on the right side of my neck that are probably bites. they're not itching but they're there - and i'm not sure if they were there in a milder form yesterday - oh, the horror if i got them at Frank's. i can't take being bedbug food for much longer.

also the exterminator is coming again today for a "consultation." i don't know what to tell him - because there's no evidence of them (no sheets/mattress to look at for smears) except for the marks/welts on my body. they will probably spray again next week - but we're not planning to re-wash and re-bag all our stuff. i'm not sure what to do since it didn't work last time.

i guess i'll make some coffee, eat a bagel and maybe watch some morning TV. going to smear some anti-itch calamine lotion cream stuff on my neck and arm. i AM pitiful, and i'm so tired of being this way. what can i do to make this go away?

17 November 2008

marilyn

character building

This morning Shawn found another bedbug ... a fat one who had just fed on us. He squished it before I could see it, but I guess that's good, as I'm less freaked out than I would expect. Denial was a nice place to live for a while though ... now it's back to reality, and a horrifying reality at that.

Our new mattress and box spring are supposed to arrive today. 9am-1pm delivery slot... It's creeping toward the end of the slot, which is crazy. I think we should have been first, as we made our appointment an entire week ago. I hate Sleepy's ... for the rest of my life.

We've got the bed frame set up and waiting - with extra comet around it. Shawn's hypothesis is that the bugs survived in some of our belongings that we had stacked in the middle of the room - and then as we've been unpacking they made it out. We had removed the ring of comet directly around our air mattress ... leaving a clear path for the "little bastards."

I've purchased high dollar covers for the mattress and box spring. We'll leave the box spring in its plastic as well. These are guaranteed to keep the bedbugs out of the mattress/box spring ... scientifically proven and all that. We know how I feel about RESEARCH. Right.

Anyway, even if there are survivors still lurking (which it's likely that there are, given Shawn's discovery this morning), the bed will not be infested and we can still move it to another place without carrying the bugs with us ... hopefully sooner rather than later. But that's another story.

I've been on Prednisone for one last round for the last couple weeks. Of course, now that I have new bites (and I only have a few, but definitely bitten at least last night, and perhaps even longer) ... the steroid treatment is again rendered moot. I'm done with that. I guess I should go back to spraying myself with DEET - but even that loses its potency and effectiveness I think. I'm still popping Benadryl like a mad woman every night. And I am not going to change that. I am beyond caring about addiction to a sleep-aid (that's really what it is for me). Give me that problem over bedbugs any day. PLEASE?!

I'm getting the feeling that New York really wants me gone. I hate feeling a prisoner in my own home and workspace. I mean, obviously I'm free to leave, but ... well you know. On the positive side, before this week is out I will be squeezing Mr. Owen Max! And having THAT to look forward to is better than anything I can imagine.

More later. ~M.

16 November 2008

Waldorf-Astoria ... Night to Remember

So I'm convinced that New York City is out to get me... Well not really, but come ON. How much more can I take?

Shawn and I received a night at the Waldorf-Astoria from my coworkers as a wedding gift. Took us almost six months to redeem it, but finally this weekend was right - it gave us a posh bed to sleep in (instead of the air mattress) and refuge from any chance of being bitten by bugs. Plus it was a mini-honeymoon on November 15, which was one of the wedding dates I considered, since it was my grandparents' anniversary ... and I L-O-V-E November!

Check-in was at 3 pm, but we arrived at about 2:15, just in case they could get us in early. Plus there's people watching and things to do in the lobby to pass the time. Little did we know the excitement in store for us.

We're lounging and waiting - the front desk said they would call Shawn's cell phone when our room was ready. Then suddenly we hear pops - GUNFIRE - and people start running and screaming "robbery" and "get out" and "RUN!" And so we ran - ran out the Park Avenue exit, luckily carrying all our things.

Within minutes the hotel is surrounded by police cars and fire trucks. We booked it - like ran a few blocks away, Shawn dragging our suitcase all the while. We found a Starbucks to get wifi (I twittered it, in my shock misspelling Waldorf as Waldorph ... but I digress) - and found no news about it. I called the NY1 tip line and told them what I knew - they told me that a cop had been shot but they were still working the scene. Ah, the journalist juice was flowing in me a bit - as I half wanted to go back and see what was what and get the scoop!

After an hour and a half we decided to go back - figuring that with all the cops there it was probably the safest place in Manhattan. We'd called the front desk a few times and gotten no clear answer about when our room might be ready or if we could even check in.

When we got there the jewelry store where the robbery happened was blocked off, so we had to walk through some back hallways. The little bell hop guys were chattering away and acting like nothing was wrong while the place SWARMED with cops in "NYPD" jacket. Like a scene out of Law & Order for reals!

We waited in line - AGAIN - and got our keys - getting up to our room around 4:30 and getting a later check out to compensate (although I felt like they should have offered something more for the inconvenience of sending us running screaming into the streets, although I concede it wasn't their fault or under their control)... The room itself was fine, and fancy-schmancy. No view, which was sad, but a really comfy bed with lush sheets, pillows and comforter. The shower was leaky and the toilet seat broken ... but I figure that's just part of NYC hates Mari (perhaps the REAL name of this blog?!).

Here are some articles about the shooting/robbery:
The gist is this (via AP):
Gunfire erupted in the lobby of Manhattan's storied Waldorf Astoria Hotel during an apparent robbery Saturday, wounding at least one person and resulting in one arrest, authorities said.

The shooting started inside a jewelry store in the hotel Saturday afternoon.

So, what with the bedbugs and crime ... what is this all trying to tell me? Maybe it's just giving me good fodder for my NaBloPoMo challenge? I swear though ... I'm ready for some suburban life - or at the very least to have a comfortable place to sleep each night where I won't be eaten alive/have my blood sucked by vermin... A girl can dream I guess.

Yours truly, ~Mari.

A happy Mari image from our room:


Happy Honeymoon!

15 November 2008

positives < crank

rainy day ... on our way to the Waldorf Astoria for a sleep in a REAL BED! huzzah.

I've treated myself ridiculously this month (kind of a negative) ... but I've so enjoyed it. AND I found by reading a glut of magazines about "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen," that my fave singer Trisha Yearwood wrote a cookbook. I bought it theoretically as a gift but love it so much, happy-birthday-to-myself. YEAH!

I adore magazines ... and lately have been reading "ladies" magazines ... Better Homes, etc. I had been VERY good about cutting those out of my life. But the bedbug situation has left me feeling ... like "if a magazine will make me feel better, I'm going to get it." And that's SUCH a bad attitude. Got to break it again.

In one short week I'll be rolling into Stillwater with my sweet husband and sweet baby bubba nephew. What a sugar dump. And my mammy and sister will be along for the ride too ... for a quick trip before the wedding of my cousin and his lovely bride. SO looking forward to going home.

Peace OUT.

14 November 2008

Forward: A Miracle...

This is a forward. I don't like forwards, but I like some of the sentiment in this. I am pretty sure that the images won't come through. I don't have time/can't figure out how to save them OUT of the email and then post them on the blogger server, so whatever. We'll see when this publishes. BLURGH. Yeah, I just stripped out the photos. WHATEVs.

When God is about to reposition your life know that the devil will began to attack

Read to the bottom - watch the water

Do You Love Him?

This is a simple test:

IF YOU LOVE JESUS, SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE INCLUDING THE PERSON WHO SENT IT TO YOU!

The Poem
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.....
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
'Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time'

Now do you have the time to pass it on?

If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything,
If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.

READ THE FIRST LINE CAREFULLY.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

They say if you pass this on, you will receive a miracle.

pretty things > pessimism

or: "Why I'm Feeling Cranky"

Let's recap the hits I've taken of late, small and large, in no particular order:
  • Bedbugs - huge one, definitely covered in this blog - and all the money we've spent on it ... trying to figure out the problem/dermatologists and then washing everything and replacing many things ... and JUST when i think i'm over it/we're getting our lives back together, i find a welt (or three) on parts of my body that may or MAY NOT be actual bb bites...
  • New, expensive glasses - first they had a minor flaw that I just accepted, then the frames fell apart (fixable) and then the lens cracked (replaced by LensCrafters) ... i'm DREAMING of the glasses being smashed and wonder if they'll last the year
  • Walking into the subway a couple weeks ago I missed a step and twisted my ankle - it hurt excruciatingly only for a bit, but absolutely made me think "what else could go wrong?!"
  • Back ache - and all the money spent at the chiropractor ... plus the PAIN
  • Purchase/Return - I ordered a "99 Crochet Snowflakes" pattern book - and it arrived without all its pages (not damaged - just defective) and with other pages repeated.
  • Purchase/Return - I created and ordered 75 custom Christmas cards ... they are SO cute, a cartoon version of me and Shawn. When they arrive, they're not actually cards - but just prints, and the prints have writing on the back (like the file name). SO I have to send them back - a cost of $10, but at least I don't have to eat the entire cost of them ... and maybe I can/will reorder them from another company ... which will cost more, but I can get what I want.
This is a really lame entry. I will try to write something substantive later today to TRULY count as a NaBloPoMo entry. Blurgh.

13 November 2008

indigo

i am SO blue.

i have a welt on my elbow. it wasn't there earlier this evening. could a bedbug bite me while i'm awake, in the light? i was laying on the air mattress to watch TV. is it something else? what about my ankles, which have been itchy off and on (more off today but on yesterday)? why do i have to obsess about this? it's not interesting, but it's TERRIFYING.

i don't know if i have the mental and emotional fortitude to survive this. i just want to ... be finished.

be all that you can be, make a difference give your dreams to me...



NBC Axes 'Lipstick,' 'Enemy' - Entertainment Weekly
No big shock here: Sources confirm that NBC has canceled struggling dramas Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy.
Blugh. I totally don't care about My Own Worst Enemy - I thought that was the dumbest idea. BUT I have a soft spot for that horror that is Lipstick Jungle. I really did watch it - every week, maybe missing one episode. I hope they air the remaining eps, or at least make them available on Hulu. I am not emotionally invested in the show (do I really care what happens to Nico and Riley ... wait, is that his name? I can't even remember?! KIRBY is his name - Reilly or Riley is Nico's last name) ... but it was a fun, fluffy show to relax with. I guess now it's back to Numb3rs for me! AH.

READ MY LIPS! (at least it had a good theme song)

~mari.

Via Romenesko: Saving Newspapers

People-press.org
Among African Americans, more than half (55%) say they're saving a newspaper with election headlines, reports Pew Research Center. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to be saving a post-election newspaper (36% vs. 9%).
My mother-in-law occasionally saves newspapers (right, just occasionally?!). Wonder if she saved any from the Obama victory? I did not rush out and get a NYT or anything. Might have value someday (they said people were selling them on eBay for hundreds even now) ... but I can't handle it.

Speaking of "extra cash" - I was stopped last night on the subway - an older lady tried to sign me up to make and sell jewelry. Very weird. It wasn't a scary conversation and she didn't freak me out, but still. Kind of bizarre to get a marketing pitch on the subway. I wouldn't even look at her materials. Sad.

Another post momentarily. Making the most of disparate items coming across my radar.

12 November 2008

just when you think...

that you hate hate hate the city, you look up after your chiropractor appointment and see a landmark building sparkling with purple:



still hating the bedbugs and the idea that the city is SOMEHOW responsible for that ... but my heart may be softening up again for this magical kind of place.

~m

loner in the city

OK - it's ENTIRELY possible that I got bitten again last night - I had a small welt on my right ankle when I woke up. It's not itchy anymore, which wasn't really the case with all the previous bites, but who knows. I'm SO paranoid and upset.

Shawn left for his presentation in Kentucky. So I'm on my own until late tomorrow night. Should be able to get a lot of work done - plus tonight is webcamming with Mr. Owen! I will be home next week and can squeeze him in person. Hurrah!

Got an early birthday pressie from Shawn - a flat keyboard like his. Figured it was time to get rid of the RA-issued one ... seriously, bedbugs can live within the keys... not that I think they were. NOW, what to do with this keyboard. Would cost more to ship it back to the office than for them to just buy one. Minor dilemma, right? Meh. The keyboard is really nice. I also got an external hard drive to back up my personal files on my old-as-the-hills laptop. In 2009 my goal is to save up and buy a new, small laptop for myself so I can get rid of the toxic laptop of the past. Yeay!

It IS in fact too early to listen to Christmas music. I tried and it didn't work.

11 November 2008

to the capital city ... and back

anyway - the train ride was a blur. took "acela" on the way there - ZOOOOMED by and was on the quiet car, a nice ride. i rode backward!

the event at work was fine, a little rushed in my teaching of our web site's content management system to a couple new employees. i always want to gossip with my friends and ... well it just didn't work out this time because i was so rushed.

the train ride back was a doozy. it was delayed a little - but that was good because it allowed me time to get situated (i.e. use the facilities - don't care for going ON the train if i can help it), buy some magazines and all that before boarding. i made the mistake of sitting behind a creepy talkative guy. he wouldn't let anyone sit next to him, which i think is technically against policy unless he paid for two seats, but who would want to sit next to him anyway. he tried to talk to me several times. i avoided eye contact and just nodded. he was guzzling budweisers from the cafe car ... NICE. finally i put in headphones and acted busy! a real reminder of why you don't talk to strangers! (and he had a thick Boston accent - Masshole anyone?) *shudder*

even though i am sleeping on an air mattress (bed buying story will be forthcoming, as it happened last night, but i want to put in all the details ... short version is the new mattress/boxspring set is coming on Monday), i am glad to be home. will be glad to see old Shawn too - even though i last saw him at 6 am ... i've got a chicken casserole in the oven - bubble bubble - and my internet connection and computer are working fast enough to let me catch up on the emails i missed through the day (although i'm staring at more than 300 blog posts to weed through ... i should really pare down my RSS feeder).

10 November 2008

is it too early?

In a flurry of customized Christmas ornament buying ... I included one for us:

Calliope Designs - how darling? And they were SO FAST!


And these are just ornaments I got at Macy's ... because I'm a sucker like that.

Can I start listening to Christmas music now??? Well, I'm not actually doing that, and I haven't actually started displaying these decorations, or the other meager things we have to spruce up/festivize our apartment ... All in good time, my pretties. All in good time.

coming together

on hold with the IT tech support desk - can't access the VPN. i can get webmail. who knows. the VPN doesn't recognize my username/password combo, even though that combo works for webmail. LAME.

things are coming together in the apartment. i unpacked so much yesterday. just PRAYING PRAYING PRAYING that no bedbugs have survived. i'm definitely not being bitten. i have phantom itches at night while i'm falling asleep - can feel crawling things that aren't there. but when i wake up and am still sleepy/waking up, i'm not itchy - and when i was being bitten - it was a horrendous unbelievable pain and itch that was hard to describe - so much that it woke me up and was an involuntary scratching i could not control (and i have the scars to prove it!). so i at least know i'm getting better.

tomorrow i have a big day and will be taking the train to DC and back. it's silly of me, but Shawn leaves for Kentucky on Wednesday and I want to be here before he goes, even if that means giving up the chance to sleep in a real bed (if I had stayed in DC I could have gotten a room). But the work event is a wrap up for a project I've worked on for two years, so I couldn't imagine NOT being there to hear how the partners respond.

the plan today is to go mattress shopping after work, then order the mattress encasements to fit whichever bed (the height - definitely getting a queen b/c of our sheets) we order - i think we'll pay the extra for 2-day or 3-day shipping once we decide. (the encasements will keep any surviving bugs from infesting a new mattress.) BUT i may want to wait until my chiropractor appointment on wednesday to get some advice about what type of bed to buy/how firm it should be, etc. i'm just so ready to have my life back in order, to get our new chairs and be able to RELAX in our apartment. ugh.

THEN i can order a new comforter - or something. maybe i'll wait until later to get that ... next paycheck cycle perhaps? i'm thinking down alternative - or just a comforter/not a duvet set. we're down to 6 pillows, which is PLENTY. OH, shopping is going to be so fun. Thinking of a black and white pattern - and then can use purple pillows/throws to add the punch that I so love (we're going to get black Ikea Poang chairs)...

things are coming together ... just hope the g-d bugs stay away!

~m.

09 November 2008

some pix of shopping haul


HEY! The pile is getting SMALLER...


My new groovy men's slippers ... covered in comet - gosh what a mess!


My new pocketbook (!) and the cushion for me bum ... it keeps me elevated enough to avoid more funny bone bumps. but it's SLIGHTLY larger than the seat of the chair ... going to think of ways to rig it up to keep it on straight. so cute though!

urbania

Sunday - on the subway to church. Nothing exciting. Then lunch at Cozy, our favorite/closest diner. You can see it in "Big Daddy" the Adam Sandler movie from several years ago. Rob Schneider plays a Cozy delivery guy. We've never actually ordered from there.

At the diner there was a family with two cute little girls - a ~4 year old and an ~18-month old (guesses). They looked so alike with blonde hair and similar features. So charming.

Then Shawn and I went to Lenscrafters AGAIN. The back story:
  • First, I bought the glasses and had to wait for them longer than normal because the screw holding the right lens in place was stuck and they'd have to send it out or use a special tool or something to get the lens in place.

  • THEN when that's done, I come in and they tell me that one of the ear pieces has a flaw - the metal decorative bit has fallen off and they can't get a replacement, this frame isn't made anymore, whatever. I say OK, since it's small and not noticeable. And they give me a $75 discount.

  • THEN I've worn them for just about a month and they fall apart - like literally pop off my face. They don't drop, but they're definitely unscrewed. I capture the screw and the popped out lens (again the right one) and put them in their case (this is of course while I'm on my way to catch a train to DC, with no time to go home and get my spare ones). So I go back to Lenscrafters after my trip and get chided because OBVIOUSLY I must have mishandled the glasses (SO untrue). They put them back together and tighten the screw extra tight.

  • WELL, this week, probably three weeks after I got the glasses screwed back together I notice a crack in the right lens at the top - near the frame. It's not in my line of sight, but still these are EXPENSIVE lenses with top-quality coatings that SHOULD NOT BREAK. I did not drop them. I did not get hit in the face or anything...
Shawn came with me for moral support. After a lackey told me they could sell me new lenses for 50% off, I waited to talk to the doctor in charge. After explaining that I really didn't drop them or get hit (also I wear my contacts a lot of the time) and maybe the tightening had something to do with the crack, she checked them and said they're cracked through and through (which would be unlikely to happen from a drop), and she realizes it's not my fault and will get the lenses replaced. I feel SO bad, because I know that the store (or company or whatever) will just have to eat that loss ... and there's no guarantee that the frames won't crack the next lenses ... If that happens I'll have to get different frames and start the process all over again.

After that ordeal, a SMALL bit of Christmas shopping - walked down to the MOMA Design store in SoHo - not so bad, and I found something for my dad, although I'm still looking for the perfect thing for my sister. I know what I want but don't know where to find it ... Now I'm back home, facing a mountain of stuff and needing to unpack and sort. Going to keep many of my clothes boxed up for safety's sake - but in a more organized fashion, with the boxes stuffed into the closet. I'm in desparate need of a nap, but my back says no more time than necessary laying on the air mattress. Hopefully next week we can get a bed ??? One can hope.

08 November 2008

shopping saturday

some of what we purchased today:
  • Dyson vacuum - that's right, a top-of-the-line model that works on all floor types (so is good for our hardwood floors now and potential carpeted suburban home we'll have in the future). it even has the BALL! Somehow I think Shawn will LOVE sweeping the floors with this bad boy. We got it at Target on sale, AND we got a $50 gift card, which I then used to purchase some of my items.
  • Computer chair cushion - I work at Shawn's desk and his chair - so they were purchased with his height in mind. I had been sitting on a purple cushion, which raised me up just enough so that my arms were parallel with the keyboard - good times. Unfortunately in the Great Toss-Out of Ought Eight, I sent the purple cushion packing, thinking it could have been a potential harboring place for bedbugs (and by that time I'd done enough laundry to last me a lifetime and wasn't going to do another load just to save this pillow, which was smooshed anyway). SO I found a stellar cushion at Target that is in our wedding pattern - the black and white damask! So what if my butt will smoosh this pillow too within a week? It's so comfy and no more tingly elbow from banging my funny bone because now I'm tall enough that my arms are in the right place again.
  • Slippers - again, I tossed out two pairs of slippers, and if I have any others I'll probably toss those too (as they aren't really washable and they lived under the bed ... also known as bedbug central). Kohl's women's shoes didn't have any to fit me, so I just moseyed on over to the men's section and got a cheap, comfy grey pair that have rubber soles, SO i can wear them to do laundry if i choose. my feet are in heaven right now! We used a wedding gift card here - and Shawn got a new shirt for his talk this week (in Kentucky!) and I got a new pair of pants and two T-shirts (less than $5 each!) in addition to the slippers.
  • Bed feet - got a set of rubber feet for our bed frame. I don't intend to jack up our bed again/will not be storing anything underneath it (sad because that's a huge loss of storage space, but good because it means i'll have to purge even more!) ... these rubber feet will also allow the bed to be away from the wall and not move around.
  • New purse and black pashmina ... there was a street fair when we came home ... and a POURING thunderstorm. We got thoroughly soaked, and after the rain settled and Shawn had gone to work (CV stuff), I ventured out and found a $5 black patterned pashmina (to go with my new purple dress for the wedding(s) that should be coming next week) and a new purple purse...which I talked the vendor down by $3. The purse I had been using broke after being dried, and ... well I can't say I deserve it, but I wanted it and I got it. I also got a quick haircut while I was out, so now I just need to do the hair dye and I'll be set.
I'm really tired - shopping does me in all the time! We don't have any comfy furniture yet, but we'll get there ... first need to pack up our closets, get our clothes back into the drawers and clear out the big pile of stuff in the middle of the room. Hopefully we can even get the apartment painted while we're away for Thanksgiving week.

~M

suburban paradise

we're up and about today ... getting ready to hit the PATH train to Jersey City for a little shoppers' paradise. we're going to get a few things we need - at least as much as we can carry (if only i knew where my backpack and shopping bags were).

even though it's just across the river, being out of the city is a psychological boost for me ...

if only it weren't raining/supposed to rain all day today. oh well, at least it will be warm and we'll deal.

hopefully pictures of our finds when we return. just wanted to get my daily post done in case i forget - i'm really not used to posting on the wkends.

~Mari.

07 November 2008

No Larry Summers

I just signed this petition asking that Obama appoint a Treasury Secretary who can clean up Wall Street, not one who helped deregulate it. Right now, the leading candidate for the post is Clinton administration official Larry Summers, who had a hand in reducing regulations on banks in 1999.

We can't fix this mess by handing control to the people who made it.

Read the petition and sign up here:

http://action.openleft.com/page/petition/nosummers

Also - he was the president of Harvard who got into hot water by saying women aren't as smart as men, and his name was on a memo written while he was at the WHO that said developed countries should dump their pollution on "under-polluted" countries in Africa, since the people there wouldn't live long enough to suffer the effects of the pollution, etc. etc. How about NO?!

~Mari.

11/7: how long do you wanna be loved?

is forever enough? is forever enough? (first heard the song on Medium, I think)

was singing that song all last night to Shawn. he's funny about me singing to him. today i've been singing "oh where have you been, billy boy, billy boy; tell me where have you been, charming billy?" it's a song Gran used to sing to me... i remember. so it's a good sign that music is back in my heart!

i thought of another "positive" out of the whole bedbug situation. i was worried that my allergic reactions being so out of control would mean no more hair dye for me (i have grey roots in places ... and i love having darker, richer brown hair)... BUT since it's bedbugs that were causing the allergy, it means i CAN dye my hair, something i haven't done in months. so that will be on the agenda in the next week or so. Since I'm being such a good NaBloPoMo blogger, I'll post pictures here once I do it!

i love this gossiping vs. networking image. not that i gossip with anyone, or really even network. but i'm always a sucker for retro-women images. is that sexist?

Even though I hate NYC, I'm doing Xmas shopping/thinking and there are some definite plusses to New York - the museum gift shops. :) Here's an idea ... New York City in a Bag! Also, tomorrow the plan is to re-trek to Jersey City, not to flee bedbugs, but to shop. There's a nice suburban mall, a Target and a Kohl's! I have a Kohl's gift card left from the wedding, so maybe we can find something to buy there. The problem will be getting all the purchases back on the train, so we'll have to be conscious of that. But Shawn plans to come with, so ... May be able to get a few Xmas items as well, although I'm getting close to having my list checked off... just have to wait to see whose name we draw in the Danville Thanksgiving Day raffle for who buys whom a gift for Christmas. LOVE IT!

OK - going to publish and move on... been writing this in bits for an hour and a half. FOCUS.

~M

06 November 2008

some bedbug aftermath pictures

i know you're dying for this:


The Comet mess - you can see the ring that's around where the bed goes when it's on the floor - plus the ring around the walls. Better to be vigilant than bedbug food!


Shawn after a re-arrange of our stuff last night (just compacting it more into the middle of the room ... still not fully unpacking until we're SURE these things are gone)... As his boss might say he looks "worse for wear."

And now, the moment you've been waiting for ... pictures of my bedbug bite scars, which will probably get better, but yikes. Toward the end I had flipped in the bed, and then slept on Shawn's bed - both putting my feet in the line of fire and getting them closer to the g-d bugs. So here are some shots of my feet, taken today, on top of my desk (nice, right?) ... teleseminar notes in the background.


Right foot - usually bedbugs will bite in rows of 3 - "breakfast, lunch and dinner." These suckers (literally) like me so much it looks like they did "breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two midnight snacks" !!!


Left foot - so gross, and yes, I know a pedicure or pumice stone or SOMETHING would do wonders for me, but I'm working with what I've got... I'm going to try to get a haircut this weekend, just do little things that need to be done that will make me feel better/improve my appearance now that my skin is returning to normal (arms are almost completely spot free, or at least the spots don't look anything like the ones on my feet, which are the "newer" bites, just about 2 weeks old).

on with the show I guess. ~Mari.

i wanna be the lady he...

loves with all his heart and soul.

(cowboys aren't MY weakness, but i cannot tell you HOW MUCH i love that trisha song ... how much i love ALL trisha songs)

in addition to being National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo - see right rail), it's also NaJoMo (National Journal Month) - although this picture that I found online looks like "ojomo" ... so who knows. I just LOVE the typewriter keys ... and it's still the same concept 'one a day for 30 days' ... so far so good, although this is just post six.

the air mattress patch held and i got a relatively good night's sleep. we're going to try to book a room at the Waldorf with our wedding gift from my coworkers for the weekend ... we'll see how that goes. hopefully the economy tanking means empty rooms. will be nice to sleep in a big fancy bed and snuggle in, sleep in and probably even watch a giant TV (the TV at Frank's spoiled me, not to mention he has an actual comfy chair instead of just our hard backed kitchen chairs). So fingers crossed.

Webcamming last night was good. I had to take a phone call during it, and usually he doesn't pay me any mind. But while I was talking, I hear "MARI. MARI. MARI." Sweet little Owen Max trying to get my attention. He just wanted to talk. Silly bubba. How I love him. Maybe he should have his TV privileges banned every time Auntie M wants to webcam!

More posting later I'm sure. ~Mari.

Edit: It's November Journaling Month and the "n" in the picture above is just really small/can't see it well over the keys. Meh.

05 November 2008

Dress for a Wedding

Oh I am BAD... Shawn will think I'm nutso, but I'd been eyeing this dress, as I have TWO weddings this month ... and I'm so excited about them. Anyway, it went on sale - HALF PRICE. (we're talking $22 here, people) With shipping it's still under $30. I've got some comfy purple shoes to wear with it.

And if it's chilly I can wear tights, and I have a wrap, although I probably should go with something a different shade of purple - I have a lavender one that's from London...who knows where it is. Will ponder that a bit.

Anyway, it's frivilous (I have plenty of clothes and could have worn one of the dresses I already have), especially given the current hit we're taking financially with the g-d bedbug crisis of 08. BUT I'm not going to beat myself up about it. IF it doesn't look so cute, I'll return it... But here's hoping it DOES look cute, and then I'm set for a happy wedding and holiday season with this dress (I'm sure there will be a Christmas party to attend ... and believe me, I'll never wear a sweater to one of those things again!)

Much love and feeling fine, webcamming tonight with Owen Jay mine.

~mari