Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Ben and I went to the doctor last Tuesday for my 2nd trimester ultrasound. This is the big one where they do a full anatomy scan of the baby to make sure everything is healthy. This is also where you would be able to find out the sex of your baby, but of course we didn't chose to do so -- they told us when to look away and we both did! So that means there is no going back now -- Shim is officially a Shim (she + him) until May!! Anyway, the doctors say that everything looks great with Shim and even though we really had no cause to be concerned it is still nice to hear that from a doctor!
I need to get some better 19 week belly pictures done, but for now here is a picture of me this morning.
Now, I KNOW that I am getting bigger. I think I've gained about 10 pounds, which may be a little on the high side considering I'm only 19 weeks, but I think most would agree that it is typically best to not point that out to any pregnant woman. Fortunately, I haven't had too many people make annoying comments to me, but the few I have heard have reeeeelllly set me off! For example, I was at a family Christmas lunch the other day and someone who I hadn't seen in a while said:
"So you're only 19 weeks, huh? Do the doctors say you're going to have a big baby?"
Now, I'm fairly certain she wasn't trying to insult me. BUT was that really necessary to say? I think not! I was polite in my response but I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from snapping!
There are 3 people in this world that can get away with making fat, pregnant comments or jokes to me: Mom, Sister, Doctor. Anyone who doesn't fall into one of those 3 categories should probably stick with more generic comments.
Other than that I feel like my pregnancy has been fairly boring - no major cravings other than cookie dough. I got so excited yesterday when I was reading a sugar cookie dough recipe because I didn't see where it called for an egg but then I realized that had to be a mistake - I highly doubt there is a such thing as an eggless cookie! Although I say my pregnancy has been uneventful, I will admit that I have a major case of prego-brain. The other night after dinner with some friends I went to leave and couldn't remember where I had parked my car. I literally walked the parking lot, in the cold, for 10 minutes searching for it! I've also noticed that I've been a little more ditzy/forgetful than usual but apparently that is something everyone experiences. (Right????)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So anyways, I'm trying to get us situated to move next week. NEXT WEEK!! I've been so organized with our packing and really feel like I'm ahead of schedule on that. This week I've lined up the repairs that we have to do for the buyers, scheduled the movers, and am in the process of turning off our utilities. Everything has gone smoothly until today when I called Dish to cancel our cable. This should have been fairly simple, right? WRONG!!!
I was prepared for them to ask why I was canceling and not transferring our service to our new house, etc. I quickly explained that we're in a temporary situation (aka ... back home with the rentals') right now and wouldn't be needing service immediately. Then the lady begins to explain to me that I am under a 2 year contract, blah, blah, blah. I stopped her right there -- I'm not under contract! She claimed that I was because they had upgraded my receiver last January. I calmly explained to her that:
a) I had been having troubles with my service and they sent me a new receiver because they couldn't offer any other solution
b) new receiver didn't work and I actually sent it back, we went through 2 more before I ended up keeping my old receiver
c) they didn't explain to me that by sending a replacement (non-defective) receiver that I was agreeing to another 2 year contract
I went through all of this with her and once it was clear that she couldn't do anything, I asked to speak with a supervisor. She ended up putting me on hold and came back claiming that she spoke with a supervisor AND her executive team and that they would waive the cancellation fee since they could not find a signed document on file. I'm pretty sure this was one of those cases where they just try to scam their customers into paying a cancellation fee unjustifiably because this (alleged) conversation took all of 60 seconds.
I'm sure this post is pretty boring for anyone reading but there are 2 take-aways here:
1) Dish Network is the devil
2) whenever you feel that you are being treated unfairly by a customer service representative, ALWAYS escalate your problem to a supervisor -- if you don't ask for them to rectify it to your satisfaction they certainly won't do so
Oh and also, I'm not sure who our cable provider will be when we move but I can tell you who we won't be using!
Monday, December 7, 2009
and I have my regular doctor's appointments and stuff like that but no major news. Its maybe a little harder that we don't actually have our house yet so it isn't like I have little nursery updates to talk about. I'm pretty sure we're going to close on the house about 5 minutes prior to Shim's arrival so that means we're going to rely HEAVILY on Meme (my mom) and Aunt Kimmie to help us throw it together!
I do have my big ultrasound appointment on the 15th, and this would be the time to find out the sex of the baby. But we aren't finding out so this appointment is mainly an anatomy checkup to make sure Shim has properly functioning organs and such. Speaking on the sex of the baby - if you have a second go to the poll on the right hand side of this blog and vote whether you think its a boy or a girl if you haven't already!
You know what I really really really miss and never thought I would? Cookie dough and cake batter. Those aren't things that I eat all that often but just the fact that I am unable to eat them right now drives me crazy. It is one of the few cravings I've had and the only one I'm unable to feed. I don't really miss wine or beer unless I'm in a social situation or if I've had a particularly long day. I do sometimes wish I could take a mucinex or sudafed but I wouldn't say those are things that I necessarily miss -- just necessities during this sinus season but I've been able to get through without them.
Only other update is the fact that our whole life is packed up in boxes. I literally spent all last week packing things up room by room. I'm to the point now where there isn't a whole lot I'm going to be able to do until the very last minute which is rapidly approaching. I'll be so much more relaxed once we get through the closing. Then maybe I can stop to enjoy the fact that it is Christmastime!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A few days after my last post, I turned 30. I've been telling my parents for years that I was 'pushing 30' but now it is official, I am old. However, just because I'm old doesn't mean that I can't have multiple birthday celebrations like we used to do in college. Ben's parents were even sweet enough to drive down to Atlanta for the family celebration! We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at La Grotta -- even Ellie joined in the fun! Here is one of the only pictures we have from the night. Notice my new Tahitian pearls? Ben did a FANTASTIC job on my gift (and so did his mom as she was the one who shopped for them!)
In the midst of all my birthday celebrations, we have also been frantically looking for a house. I hadn't wanted to mention anything on the blog until our contract was binding, but we ended up getting an offer on our condo and are scheduled to close on December 17. Although it is a good thing that we have a contract, it also really put the pressure on us to find something.
The weekend of my birthday, Ben and I were driving to meet our realtor at a house that we both really liked but I knew it wasn't going to work for us. We both really wanted to make it work, because we were just so discouraged about everything we had found up to this point and this was a really great house. Anyway, on our way to the house we drove past a neighborhood that we have both always loved. Long story short, the old builder went bankrupt and had built out (and sold) about half of the lots. A new builder came in and bought the distressed land and is about to start construction. The downside here is that there is no standing inventory so that means we have to build! That sounds like so much fun to everyone, but the reality is that when you build, you wake up in the middle of the night worried about silly things like where to put cable jacks and whether or not you chose the right tile in your bathrooms so it really isn't all fun and games. The upside is that we will end up with a great house that we both really love. As of now, our tenative closing date on the house is April 8.
Just in case you forgot, Shim is due to enter the world May 16. So, yeah we're literally going to close on our house and move in about 5 minutes before Shimmy is born! Awesome. At least I won't be expected to do any heavy lifting! But yeah, just to reiterate I am 30, pregnant, and (almost) homeless. That sounds like a really great TV show doesn't it?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We're still looking for houses. Still a stressful process. Everyone says we'll find the right house but that hasn't happened so far. Our Realtor sends us emails every day with new listings and we just don't seem to like many of those. We're looking for a certain thing and in a certain area and I'm thinking it maybe we need to relax our criteria a bit. Problem is, we want something that we both really love. We don't want to settle. A house is a major investment so why should we buy something that we're not both 100% in love with?
Not a whole lot of Shim updates today. I went in a few weeks ago for my 1st trimester screening -- just a quick blood and ultrasound test where they screen for chromosomal abnormalities. At my first appointment, Shim just wouldn't cooperate and get into a good position for the doctors so I ended up having to go back about a week later for another ultrasound. It turns out it was a good thing, because Ben was able to make it to this appointment and see Shimmy on the monitor. This was a more detailed screen and also Shim has grown significantly since the very first ultrasound so we could see his fingers and nose, and all the details of his little body! He even had the hiccups while I was having my ultrasound! I have a picture to share, it isn't the greatest quality because I couldn't get the scanner to work right. I took a picture with my regular camera so sorry about the flash -- you can't see well enough in the no flash picture. And he/she doesn't have a club hand even though it may look that way in the picture. (I'm pretty sure both hands are above his face)
In case you haven't already figured this out, Shim has lots of nicknames ... he/she started out as just plain ole' Shim and now his or her nickname has morphed into about 12 variations of Shim and depending on who we are talking to Becky-Rebecca or JoBeck. When I refer to it I tend to call it he. That is more because I don't want to refer to my baby as "it" all the time and less because I really have any inclination as to the sex. We'll all find that out in May!
That is all I've got for today. Fingers crossed we'll find a house soon so we'll have a home to bring Shimmer home to!
Monday, November 16, 2009
So I made a phone call to someone this morning, this person is supposed to be a dedicated customer advocate for our company meaning that this is our "go-to" person to handle situations or questions that may come up. Just to clarify, he is not employed by our company, he is employed by the major corporation for which we are a supplier. He wasn't in the office at the time I called so I just left a quick voice message explaining what I needed and asking him to return my call. (It should also be stated that this person is a new advocate for us, and I haven't had the opportunity to speak with him voice to voice yet.) Now, in this person's defense, he DID get back to me within about an hour of my phone call. However, he responded via e-mail.
I find that unacceptable. I initiated the contact by placing a phone call. Shouldn't his response come via the same medium that I used to contact him? And before you use the argument of email being a good way to document things in writing -- this was a simple question. I needed him to do a simple task. No documentation was really necessary, so that argument isn't valid in this case. And for the record, he didn't actually DO the task I'd asked him to do ... he instead sloughed it off on me by telling me to call a different department. Which is fine if this man weren't supposed to be a dedicated support person, but he is.
Anyway, that is all for my rant today. What are your thoughts though? Am I wrong? Is it acceptable to return a business-related phone call with an email?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
That is another reason I haven't been blogging for the last month. Obviously, Ben and I and our families have known this news since early September but we didn't want to make any announcement until we had reached the 12 week mark. Now that we have so I am making the news totally public.
I'll be totally honest - Ben and I were both in complete shock when we found out. We were happy, and of course wanted everything to be okay and for the baby to be healthy but it isn't necessarily the best time for us to have a baby right now. But once we sat down and thought things through rationally, when is really a 'good' time for a baby? That sounds terrible, I know. I'm just being totally honest here as to what our initial thoughts were. (Probably our child will read this one day and need lots and lots of expensive therapy because of those statements) Anyway, we were happy but maybe just slightly overwhelmed and of course our families were ecstatic.
Now that we've had some time to digest everything we are thrilled! I'm getting as much sleep as I possibly can right now because I know I'm going to have to give that all up once the baby arrives. I have already had several doctor's appointments and ultra sounds and everything looks to be great with the baby. Right now baby is the size of a lime and I think that is HUGE compared to the poppyseed that it started out as! I was actually able to hear Shim's (that one of his/her nicknames for now) little heartbeat which was so amazing. I was telling Ben last night that I cannot believe there is another human inside of me -- with a heart and lungs, and fingers and toes and everything else! Its just crazy to think about.
We decided that we will not find out the sex of the baby before delivery. That seems to drive everyone bananas, but to us just seems like it will be a fun surprise at the very end. I also think it is fun to hear people's predictions and we'll see if they were correct in the very end. I laugh at people now when they tell me their opinion because I have ALWAYS done that and Ben would typically respond "well you have a 50/50 chance at being right ... you're bound to be correct some of the time". Now that is what I think when people make their prediction to me.
As for my blog, I really do intend to blog more regularly. I do it for fun, and for my own entertainment so it is something I would like to keep up with. A few people have mentioned that they think my blog will change tunes (less cussing, less bitchiness, less shallowness) and I'm sure it will to a certain extent but I really do intend to keep this blog about me and just whatever I want to write about. Although I'm sure that will include quite a bit of baby stuff too!
This post is getting long.
We did our first 'belly' pictures over the weekend. I won't share them all because there was one pose that we took especially for Ben's blog -- so stay tuned over there if you're interested in that. Also, my mom made fun of me and said I was sticking my stomach out, so you be the judge! I think I'm starting to look kinda fat though! (And this is terrible lighting, I think. I'll have to work on that!)
This is my last paragraph, I swear. So I went to another doctor yesterday morning for my 1st Trimester Screening and when I checked in there was a vigilante nurse who asked me several questions: "do you have a fever?" "have you been around anyone with a fever?" "do you have a sore throat, runny nose, etc?" Well, I HAVE had a little sore throat, and some sneezing. I mostly think it is sinuses but I had to be honest with her. So I said that yes, I did have a bit of a sore throat and I'm pretty sure it is just sinuses but maybe it could possibly be a cold. Two seconds later, I looked like this :
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I realize that most people out there say "this is a buyer's market", "interest rates are so favorable", and "its a great time to buy!". But let me tell you, that simply isn't true. It isn't. There is plenty of inventory out there and some really good deals to be found, that is a fact. But those deals are most typically in a foreclosure or short-sale situation. We're not opposed to either of those but short-sales typically take a long time to close and your typical foreclosure, well, more often than not they were trashed by the previous residents and we really want something that is move-in ready. And the homes that aren't foreclosures or short-sales? There is usually a reason why they haven't sold. Either they are priced above the market, in a bad location, in a subdivision that isn't built-out, or a whole host of other things. It just seems that the good homes are not on the market right now**. Probably because those good homes are selling fast and we miss them due to the fact that we're not scouring MLS every 10 minutes. We have a Realtor, and she's doing a good job with the information that we have given her but we seem to change our minds every 3 minutes so its a tough job she has.
Another issue is our commutes. Basically, Ben works in-town and I work on the northeast side of town so we're working with a fairly limited area here. Neither of us wants to spend 2+ hours/day commuting to and from work so that is a major consideration as well. We love the area we are in now, but the school system sucks. We were both raised in the public school system, and my sister happens to be a teacher and huge proponent of public schools. Therefore, private schools aren't really in the cards. Oh and also the fact that they are expensive. That plays into it as well!
It is no secret that Ben and I are complete opposites in many respects, but for the most part we agree on what we are looking for in a home: reasonable commute to work, good school district, decent back yard, and room to grow into. We also agree on the aesthetics of the homes we are looking at, and pretty much want the same thing. So I guess that is good. This would be an entirely different shitstorm if we wanted opposite things.
Anyway, I don't really expect to find a solution right now so I guess we'll just keep looking and hope that we find something we love and can see ourselves in for a long time.
** That said, we do currently have a good home on the market. I'd like to say I am willing to make you a sweet deal on a condo right now but frankly that would just make Ben and I homeless, so I'm not so sure!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I actually have been fairly busy since the last post, and rather than go through every little detail here on the blog I'll highlight a few things that I have taken pictures of recently.
The first is our trip to Lilburn Daze, a local craft festival held each October in my hometown. For me, it is basically an excuse to walk around and eat funnel cakes and carnival food all afternoon but you can also find some cute home made goodies there too. This year, I went with Mom, Kimmie, and Ellie and the three of us really enjoyed watching Ellie take everything in. She is such an active baby and loves to be out and about seeing new things. One thing she was obsessed with was the hay rides. Each time the tractor would ride past her she would excitedly flap her arms and legs so of course I took her on a little ride! She LOVED it.
The next major event this month was the GT vs. Virgina Tech football game. It was uncharacteristically cold that day in Atlanta but despite the weather we had a really great tailgate before cheering the Jackets on to a victory! According to my own personal encyclopedia (Ben), this is the first time Tech has beat a top 5 team at home since 1962. Needless to say that is a pretty big win for us and should make the rest of our season interesting.
Finally, this weekend we spent some time up at the lake to celebrate Mom's birthday on Saturday night and Liam & Gavin's birthdays on Sunday afternoon. Ben and I got up to Hartwell late Saturday afternoon - just in time to play with Ellie for a few minutes before we all headed out to dinner. Then the 7 of us loaded up in the car and went to The Galley, which happens to be one of mom's favorite restaurants on lake Hartwell. After dinner we headed back to the lake house for some wine and football and to rest up for a big day on Sunday.
Sunday morning, we all got some time to play with Ellie a bit more.
She is walking all the time now and her little personality is really beginning to show through! Then we went over to my cousin's house for Liam's 7th and Gavin's 5th birthday celebrations. Their theme was 'bugs' because they both love outdoors and animals so much and Liam even had the brilliant idea to fry crickets for people to eat!! True boys! (And no, I did not even consider eating a cricket).
So, as you can see, I haven't exactly been lacking for blog material so much as I've been lacking motivation. I'll try to do better!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
So thanks Costco, thank you for the gentle reminder that I have absolutley no clue what to buy anyone for Christmas this year. Under normal circumstances, Halloween stuff would be out in stores right now and I would begin to think about Christmas. I would start a little list of the people we buy gifts for and jot down ideas as they came to mind. I would pick up a things here and there as I came across things I thought would make a good gift. I like to have time to think about it. To collect things so that once December rolls around I only have a few last-minute things to pick up. I hate, hate, hate last-minute shopping because it typically leads to buying crap that people don't really care about anyway.
I'm sure I will figure it all out, but I just hate the pressure I feel when I walk into a store with Christmas stuff on display. (Costco isn't the only store doing this) I don't have panic attacks, but when I begin to think about Christmas I think I am on the verge of one. I think my blood pressure has shot through the roof right now just blogging about it!
Last year, about this time, Mom and I had this great idea that our family would just draw names. We would think of a great gift for ONE person and all exchange on Christmas. And of course we would all probably buy Ellie (my niece) gifts but that wouldn't be difficult because she is a baby. Anyway, of course that idea was squashed quickly by my sister and my Dad. (Really? My dad of all people .... shocked me a little). I don't think Ben or Dave (brother in law) were in favor of the idea either. We ended up doing the full gift Christmas and it worked out fine.
Mom and I had this conversation again yesterday. And I think that it probably won't fly with the rest of my family once again. So I will remain stressed, I imagine until December 25.
I think I wrote about this last year too. And I swear I'm not a Grinch. Its just that in our house, all the pressure falls to me to think of, buy, and wrap gifts and it is a tremendous responsibility. I don't say that to bash Ben - he really is thoughtful and creative but usually only after about December 15. So that just doesn't work for me and I end up doing it all myself. My mother tells me to just let him handle portions of it himself and not to worry about the timeline, etc. But I do because I am a control freak. Then again, even if I did do that I still have my part of the family to think of ideas for so it wouldn't totally solve my problem. So I guess its my own fault for being stressed because if I were a little tiny bit more relaxed I probably wouldn't have these problems.
Geez, that was a very rambly and introspective post, huh?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Today's victim happens to be Panera Bread company. A place that I've been eating since college. I used to absolutley love Panera and would try to convince my roommates to go with me all the time. I literally craved it and couldn't find one thing on the menu that I disliked. Even today, I go there a minimum of once a week for lunch. (Its one of like, 3 restaurants near my work) I've had everything on the menu at least 75 times and while I admit the quality has taken a bit of a nosedive, its still consistent and edible. That said, I have a huge bone to pick with them.
I try to drink a lot of water -- I drink it all day at my office, at home, everywhere. Lunch is no exception. There are times when I'll have an iced tea or a soft drink but usually its just water. Now, most places will give you a regular sized cup when you order a water. You're just on the honor system to not be a cheapskate and get a regular drink. Not at Panera though. Oh no siree!
Panera discriminates against people who drink water. They give you a little, teeny, tiny dixie cup. Seriously! The water glasses they give you hold about 1/4 the liquid that a regular sized cup will hold. This is so wrong. Just because I choose to drink water, means I drink less than other people? Or do they just want me to get up, out of my cramped table in the corner, hit my head on the stupid hanging lamp they have over the table, walk around to the drink station, slip on something someone spilled, fill up my cup, and proceed back to my little cramped table in the corner? Repeat sequence 4 times. All the while, your food is getting cold and/or soggy.
Well, I'm finally sick of it. I'm taking a stand .....
Yes, I am! I'm standing up for myself and getting multiple glasses of water. If you notice in this picture, there are actually more than 3 cups but the line behind me of people waiting to get drinks was long so I had to quit at 3.
Anyway, I know this is silly. And probably not worthy of a whole blog post. But its what I've got going on in my life, at this moment. But still, Panera is soooo on notice.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I love heels. I know they damage my feet, and I'll regret wearing them so much once I'm older but I just can't give them up quite yet. I've cut back and wear flats from time to time, but really heels just look so much better. And I think they make your pants appear to fit better as well. So, with that said, these are a few of my favorites that I found at DSW's website.
Like I said earlier, I'm trying to wear flats more often but its just tough. I'm short so the height boost is necessary and I have such high arches that some of my heels are just as comfortable as my flats. Anyway. I am on the lookout for one or two pairs of smart shoes and I think these just might be winners.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Keeping up with all the storylines is an absolute nightmare right now. Each prominent cast member has about 37 things hovering over or around them right now. It's ridiculous. I THINK they are juniors this year. They are 28 year old juniors. Pretty much this entire episode is on the group of people most affected by the end of season 1 prom night debacle of epic proportions.
NewDylan was barely seen. Also got nothing last night from Kelly and Teacherdudewhobangedbrenda.
No Drama Adrianna’s hair grew like 8 inches over the summer. Cause that’s possible.
I think 9-0 has finally broken its own record of oldest dude to play a high school student on TV. I give you .... Teddy. This dude looks 35. He looks like he has the potential to be aw- ful/esome.
Things we know about OldTeddy: tennis star, son of world famous movie star, went to summer camp with Adrianna back in the day and was her first romp in the sack, good dancer. Oh and he’s now enrolled at West Beverly.
Good segue to the choreographed dance part. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember ever just busting out in a dance with e’rbody at the parties back in 94 in the boro. Can you imagine just hanging out then and Coolio’s “Fantastic Voyage” just creeps on over the speakers at the party and next thing you know there’s like 25 of us just killin it like we were the dance team at a pep rally. “Slide, slide, slippity slide, hittin switches on the block in a ’65”.
So anyway, that part was awesome.
Poor Navid. Everybody in the entire cast has had tons of ass by junior year and he can’t even get any from No Drama Adrianna who apparently signed the prom promise after she boned so many dudes she had a baby. Big ups on the sex jams CD he made though. And now he’s got OldTeddy the deflowerer to deal with.. The deck is stacked against Navid I’m afraid.
There are some episodes where I love Naomi. And there are some episodes where I want to punch her in the throat. NewDylan has got her all messed up and turned her into turboslut. She was even illegal turboslut mistress until she put her foot down about her values…she is not a disgusting cheater.
Bipolar Erin Silver is batshit crazy.
I think it's about to be Bad News Bears for Annie. Let me see if I can get straight what has happened with her since the end of the school year and over the summer:
-she didn't sleep with NewDylan but Naomi is convinced she did so she embarrassed Annie pretty awfully at the prom party and set the tone for the battle royale
-Annie calls cops on prom party and busts EVERYONE there for underage drinking, thus making them all hit summer school and of course all hate Annie
-On the way home from prom party Annie possibly hits some dude with her car and then leaves him for dead. Dude possibly suffers, falls into coma, eventually dies. Also there was a car behind her that saw everything or something.
Pretty sure the car shown ends up being the car OldTeddy drove to school on the first day of school in the fall. I fully expect some sort of haunting / blackmail for Annie.
-Annie's family moves out of Grandmas enormous mansion into a more humble abode. Nobody in her family can have a civilized conversation with annie without getting some horrible acting thrown at them.
-Annie finds out dude she hit dies and tries to confide in Dixon who doesn't even listen to her and instead flips out on her and abandons her at a beach party where everybody hates her. (It's worth noting that Dixon has turned into a complete douchebag this season.)
-Annie gets approached by a senior while sitting on the beach as an outkast. She drinks his flask, makes out with him, ends up in cabana with him, may or may not have done the nasty but definitely got nudie pics of her taken unknowingly. Bad news.
-Naomi goes 1-up in battle of who can ruin who's life faster as she obtains said pic of Annie. I think it's safe to say when this gets out Annie could potentially go Carrie on west beverly.
Sounds not awesome for Annie.
All this before junior year even gets rockin. And we all know teenage girls handle their emotions very well. I think with the addition of the Beverly Hills Beach Club, OldTeddy, and Annie starting to turn towards the darkside, I am going to call this show - TERRIBLE: Saved by the 9021 OC.
Two things I’m waiting on:
NewDylan to tell Naomi he banged her slutbag older sister and not Annie.
OldTeddy’s part in the post prom hit and run.
Everybody else could get the clap for all I care.
The show is real real bad. It might be can’t turn away bad.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I had planned to give a full recap of the show based on the notes that I took last night, but the more I think about it - it really wasn't that interesting. Instead, I'll talk about the merits of the show since that might be slightly more likely to keep your attention. (Slightly being the operative word there). I would apologize for any spoilers I include in here, but I honestly do not feel one bit bad about spoiling it for you here. If you read this and still have intentions to watch it, you are a glutton for punishment.
Evidently, Annie's call to the police at the end of last season resulted in all of West Beverly going to summer school due to their underage drinking. Totally a reasonable punishment, right? WRONG. When I got caught drinking in high school I was suspended for 3 days. Not relegated to summer school. (True story. I would maybe tell it some day but my mom reads this blog and I'm pretty sure she's still pissed at me about that!) Digression aside, everyone hates Annie now and she's about to turn Emo on us. Adriana, Naomi, and Silver are BFF now as evidenced by their coordinating Wayfarers. (Was this whole show one giant advertisement for Wayfarers? Seems like it to me)
Rut-roh. This is turning into a recap rather than a discussion of the show's merits. Indulge me though.
So the whole show basically takes place at the Beverly Hills Beach Club, which is odd considering Beverly Hills isn't even on the beach. But whatever. Navid shows up in a yellow Ferrari (I could be wrong about that, I don't know cars). Now, I don't care how rich you are. Why on earth would you buy your child a car like that? Another totally unrealistic element of our beloved show. Now, I do realize that in the original show Dylan did drive a Porsche but that worked somehow. Not sure why but it did.
Naomi is clearly not over her heartbreak with Liam and is crazy about every male she sees or speaks to. I think maybe the best line in the whole show last night was when Naomi was talking to her friends about the (older) man she had met at Barneys "... he's so brilliant. He reads books you guys - for fun!!"
Yeah, read that line again. Its priceless.
Probably the only other highlight of the show was when Naomi had a little run-in with an older soccer mom at the BHBC. MommaSoccer makes fun of the girls' clothing choices, Naomi asks MommaSoccer to come to their beach bash that night, MommaSoccer says the high schoolers should be required to have chaperone's at BHBC to which Naomi brilliantly responds by saying "over-50's shouldn't be allowed to wear sleeveless". SNARK. FEST. 2009. BHBC EDITION!
A bit later in the show we find out that TheReader is in fact, MommaSoccer's husband. TWIST!!
Lots of things happen but frankly, it was pretty drama-filled and I don't feel like rehashing so I'm going to skip ahead to the beach bash. Scene: everyone is dancing and having a good time. That's pretty believable. Then the camera pans out a little bit and we discover that ....
Everyone is doing the very same dance!!!!!
Yes!!! Choreographed high school dance parties. Doesn't everyone do that? Iloveit!
At the end, we see that Annie was most likely date-raped (it seems that she had no recollection) and Naomi manages to get hold of the naked picture of her with intentions of passing it around the school.
Next up: Annie officially becomes an Emo.
In summary, the show was bad. Worse than usual. It seems that they pack too much drama into one episode. I know the real 90210 dealt with many of these same issues but that was over a 10 year span. Clearly, this 9-0 isn't going to survive 10 years so they are trying to pack all the drama into 3 or 4 seasons.
I would love to talk about Melrose Place but: a) this is getting long and b) it is worse than terrible. As in I only watched about 15 minutes of it. No way on earth it will be picked up for another season.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
1) I really try to avoid baking at home because I tend to eat the lion's share of any goodies that we have around the house, but I stumbled upon a Chocolate Peanut Butter cookie recipe yesterday and just couldn't resist going home to make them. I found the recipe over at Mrs. Southern Bride (I think she checks in here from time to time, so THANK YOU!) They were fairly easy to make and no strange ingredients -- you'll find everything right in your pantry. So try them out!
2) Is anyone else out there watching Giuliana & Bill? Ben absolutely thinks its the worst show on TV and I. LOVE. IT. The show eerily similar to Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, which probably explains why I enjoy it so much. And the good news is that the show was picked up for a second season!
3) As I've mentioned before on this blog, my family spends A LOT of time up at the lake in summertime. Around our dock though, we seem to have a terrible time with bees and wasps. Other bugs too, but mainly those. Soooooo, mom showed up at the lake a few weeks ago with what I think is the ultimate redneck toy ....
Is that not awesome? Its basically like a mini-tennis racket for zapping bugs. It actually works pretty well -- its a wide enough area so that you don't even have to have very good aim to zap the little pests! Of course after mom got it out of the package and put batteries in it, I decided I wanted to zap myself so that I'd know what it felt like. It HURT. LIKE. HELL. I knew it would, but its basically one of those "don't touch this plate, its hot" situations so I just had to see for myself.
4) This weather is on my nerves. I absolutely love the muggy, hot, end of summer weather that we typically have here in GA in late August/early September but not this year apparently. It just makes me sad. I want summer back!
That's all I've got today folks. And to be honest, I probably won't have much inspiration tomorrow so I'll be back with a weekend recap on Monday!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I've lately been going to the grocery on Monday afternoons after I get off work, and typically there are not many people in the store when I go. Because there are not too many people in the store, there is rarely a wait at the cash register which is a good thing. But a few months ago, I started noticing that the manager was always standing in front of the line of registers every time I checked out and he occasionally would come over and help customers unload their carts onto the little conveyor belt thingy.
I do realize they are doing this in an effort to please their customers, but I simply do not like or want their help. I really like for my groceries to be bagged a certain way: produce with produce, meat with meat, dairy with dairy, cleaning products with cleaning products, etc. I think that is fairly reasonable, no? I've found that if I lay my groceries onto the conveyor MYSELF everything is usually bagged the way I like. If somoene helps me,well, inevitably I get home to find my bag of chips crushed because it was bagged with heavy potatoes, or I'll find meat in the same bag as my produce (some of which I eat raw). Its just gross, right? Not to mention its so much easier for me to unload if things are bagged properly.
This wasn't a big issue until the last two months or so. I could get away with no-help from the manager about 66% of the time so I just growled to myself the few times that he did beeline over to help me. Now, the manager AND the assistant manager stand at the front so there is no hope of scooting through without their help. I've tried every possible thing : not making eye contact, rushing to the first register before I pass them by, telling them "you really don't have to do this". Nothing works!!!!
Here's the thing. These are nice people, and I go to this store every single week. I don't want to be rude and I also don't really want to let them catch onto the fact that I'm a little bit crazy*. What should I do? How can I explain that I really don't want their help without explaining my rationale**.
*I know I just stated this publicly on my blog, so why should I have trouble telling someone at Kroger the same thing but if you read my blog, you already know I'm a little nuts. The Kroger people don't.
**which is totally valid and all, its just maybe a little over the top
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Of course we spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach and we also discovered how much fun it was to play in the ocean and body surf in the waves! I realize that probably sounds juvenile, and perhaps it is but we had the best time with it. The currents are so strong and the waves are pretty big -- unlike anything you'd see in the Gulf or the Atlantic for sure so this makes it perfect for body surfing and boogie-boarding.
I also joined Ben on the golf course at Kapalua on Thursday afternoon. When we decided to go to Hawaii and more specifically Maui, this was the one course that Ben just insisted he had to play. He did a good sales job on telling me how pretty the course was, how great the views would be, etc so I decided to ride along for his round. I hadn't ever done this before and I'm pretty sure I am now spoiled as this course sets a pretty high standard. I'll share this one picture which really doesn't even do it justice.
We really had a good time on the golf course. Ben lost a few more balls than he had anticipated, and had a tough time on the front nine but redeemed himself on the back. And I just enjoyed riding the cart, having a few drinks, and seeing the views. By the time we finished, the sun had gone down so we really weren't able a great picture of the two of us on the golf course but that's okay. We'd had a long day and were starving so we went out for pizza (!) that night and planned out our final day.
Friday, the last day, I woke up early as usual and took my daily walk down to Whaler's village for coffee. They had this little coffee stand down there and THE BEST cup of coffee for $2 so I indulged each day! We had a great view from our lanai so I would spend the mornings having coffee and breakfast and looking at the garden and the ocean. Man, I miss that place!!
Anyway, after breakfast we spent a little time poolside and when we got too hot we walked down to this place called "Black Rock" to snorkel. It was just down the beach from where we were staying, and supposedly had a good reef and was also home to a few sea turtles. According to the guidebooks, you have to look closely to see the turtles so I didn't really expect that we'd get a glimpse at them. I was wrong ....
We stepped out off the beach and into the water and probably no more than 10 feet off shore we saw a ginormous turtle swimming around. He didn't seem one bit bothered by people and the thing had to be 100 years old. Anyway, we were swimming along and Ben and I stopped to get a little self portrait when I felt a fin on my butt! I looked down to see THIS!!!!!
This guy was directly underneath us. It was awesome and scary at the same time. Ben will tell you that I nearly drowned him, but we got over our little scare and continued out into the reef. We snorkeled for about an hour and Ben started freaking out and yelling all of a sudden! Naturally my first thought was SHARK! and I immediately began planning my escape route. As it turns out, there was no shark but Ben had been stung by a man of war. He never saw the thing, but just felt it sting him several times -- on the back, ear, forehead, and arm and was in pretty severe pain. We swam for what felt like an eternity about 150 yards back to shore and looked at Ben's back. Of course every other word out of his mouth was "f*&k" and I was worried about him but didn't really want him dropping f-bombs in front of all the kids on the beach! (Lord knows, I say my share of cuss words but I try not to do it in front of kids) He of course just glared at me when I asked him to watch his language and somehow he managed to walk back down the beach to our resort. We talked to the lifeguard there who sprayed him with vinegar and told him to sit in the sun and the pain would go away with time.
When Ben felt better and we ate some lunch, I was finally able to convince him to rent boogie boards and get back in the water. I'll share one of my favorite pictures that I think does a good job at capturing the whole boogie board/body surfing experience.
We had our last dinner at a place called Leilani's in Whaler's Village. I even got Ben to try some sushi!!! As I've documented here before, he is an extremely picky eater (sorry, Ben, but its true) so this was quite an accomplishment for me.
We managed to get up early on our last morning and spent our last few hours on the beach before our long journey home.
I said this would be a short recap, and again I lied. BUT. That's it for Hawaii. Thanks for indulging me by reading my little blog!
If you want to see the rest of the pictures, and be forewarned there are lots, you can see them here
Thursday, August 20, 2009
So, our first full day in Maui was Tuesday. This also happened to be our anniversary so we had initially planned to book a snorkeling excursion for the morning and to spend the afternoon at the pool and beach. However, before we left we heard about a hurricane (Felicia) headed towards the islands. By the time we were in Maui, the hurricane had died down to a depression and we weren't in any danger but because it was supposed to hit the island on Tuesday, we thought it best not to snorkel that day. Of course, we woke up that morning to a beautiful day, but it was too late as we would have already had to book the excursion. Soooo, we talked about it and decided that Ben should go ahead and squeeze in a quick round of golf at a nearby course since we didn't know when or if the bad weather would come. (Much to Ben's friends chagrin, the hurricane/depression turned out to not be a big deal at all. Sorry you didn't have anything to laugh at, assholes) Ben took the camera to the golf course that day, so I'll share one of those photos. He'll have to comment here on the Kaanapali golf since I didn't ride with him. I spent the morning on the beach while he golfed and the rain did finally come in late that afternoon.
We went out for our anniversary dinner at The Plantation House at Kapalua. It was FAAAANNNTASTIC! And beautiful. You get a nice bay view as well as a view out over some of the pineapple fields there in Maui. We didn't quite make it there before sunset, but I would imagine it to be an ideal place to watch the sunset. I really wish I liked fish, because that was obviously their specialty -- but since I don't I ended up going with scallops over orzo and Ben went with the NY Strip. We shared a wonderful bottle of wine, called Amavi, it was a Cab, and I'm pretty sure it was from California. Try it if you find it in your local wine store. One funny little story from that night though. We were trying to decide what to order and Ben was leaning towards steak. He usually orders fillet, but he didn't want the side dish that came with it and wanted to substitute it for the truffle fries, which came with the NY Strip. Now, most nice restaurants don't really appreciate you doing this sort of thing, but will usually oblige your request. Not this one! Ben asked our waitress, who in turn asked the chef, who said that he would do it but that he would charge us extra for it. Well, that obviously pissed Ben off because he just said "fine, then tell the chef that I will instead have the NY Strip which DOES come with the truffle fries". He basically did that just as a matter of principle -- if the chef was going to be a Gary Stevenson about it, then he was just going to order a less expensive entree. Just to make a point. (I do this type of 'on principal' stuff all the time, maybe I'm rubbing off on him too much). Despite chef Gary's tude' we really did have an excellent meal.
We spent the next morning walking around Lahaina for a few hours, shopping and seeing the town a little bit. We took a million pictures (of course) but one of my favorites was of us in the Banyan Tree. This tree was planted in the late 1800's and literally takes up about a city block. It really is quite a sight, and a nice place to take pictures. (Although the tree is so big and shaded that it is difficult to get the lighting right with a point and shoot camera). Then we rented snorkels, had lunch at our condo, and drove around the island a bit for some snorkeling.
Our first stop was Honolu'a bay on the very westernmost tip of the island.
The bay was extremely crowded with snorkelers, so I felt that my chance at becoming a shark's lunch was significantly decreased. I always like to have other shark bait in the water with me. I really didn't think the snorkeling would be all that good here, but as it turns out it really was pretty impressive. I don't know the names of everything we saw, of course, but I do know that we saw lots and lots of different colors and really, some pretty large fish. (Isn't that how you rate your snorkeling? Based on how many colors of the rainbow you see and the size of fish?) This is also the place where we took one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip.
After Honolu'a bay, we headed to Nipili (Ben, is that right?) beach for another round of swimming and snorkeling. However, when we parked the car, saw nobody on the beach, nobody in the water, and this sign we decided it might be wise not to stay there.
We drove around the Western part of Maui for a little while longer, stopping at various beaches and then went back to our hotel to watch the sunset.
After sunset, we got dressed and headed into Lahaina for dinner at this great place called Cheeseburger in Paradise. I know it sounds like we went to some cheesy Jimmy Buffet (uugggh) place, but a) this one is the original CiP and b) I've been here on both of my previous trips to Maui and they really do make a fine hamburger.
Okay, I guess I lied in my first paragraph because I said this would be the last installment but I feel like I'm getting a little wordy so I'm just going to finish later.
Monday, August 17, 2009
We woke up on morning #3 and headed out to hike Diamond Head. We decided to get an early start on this for a few reasons: a) I always get up super early on vacation b) we needed to hike before the heat of the day c) we wanted to be able to have some more beach/pool time on our last day in Waikiki.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We left last Friday morning for Oahu and landed in Honolulu at about 2:30 pm, local time. The best part about heading west is that you gain time so although we were exhausted when we arrived we decided it was best to just re-adapt our clocks to local time.
When we first got off the plane, we were greeted with these gorgeous orchid leis (I later read that these orchids are most likely not the native, Hawaiian ones and are probably imported from Thailand, ha!)
If we look a little tired and greasy here, its because we were! We had literally just stepped off the 9 hour flight, but we were so excited to finally be there! (Ben was a little concerned about getting through the flight as he's never had one that long and didn't know how his long legs could handle the cramped conditions. Luckily we were able to get the bulkhead seats so he was able to stretch out his legs somewhat).
Then, we got dressed and hit up the beach to see this breathtaking view of Diamond Head. This is also what we saw each morning as we sat in the little beach side restaurant to eat breakfast. It really doesn't get old, at least not to me.
We hung out on the beach for a bit, then moved to the pool and went inside to get dressed for dinner. I had (of course) made a list of places that I wanted to try and we walked and walked before finally deciding we were too tired to go on a restaurant-finding adventure. We stumbled upon this really nice place called Wolfgang's Steakhouse. I wish I had taken a picture of our actual meal -- it was a ginormous steak and although it said it was meant for 2 people, you probably could have fed 4 with that thing! We finished it off with Key Lime Pie (Ben's favorite) and it was a really great way to start off our trip. After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep and to get ready for our trip to Pearl Harbor on Saturday.
We got up early Saturday morning, had some breakfast and grabbed a shuttle from our hotel to Pearl Harbor. I had seen Pearl Harbor before, but I was probably 10 years old at the time so basically this was a new experience for me as well as Ben. Certainly, I have a different appreciation for the memorial this time.
We knew going in that this wasn't a quickie thing to do -- you have to go and get tickets where they give you a specific time that your shuttle will leave for the memorial. We basically had 2 hours to mull around the park and museum before actually seeing the Arizona. When you think of Pearl Harbor, you always think of the USS Arizona as well as the other ships that were actually in the Harbor but you don't necessarily think of all the other ships lost at sea during the War. The park there, looking out onto Ford Island, really does a nice job at paying homage to these other ships.
This is Ben in the Park looking out at Ford Island. This wasn't meant to be a cheesy, posed picture ... I was just capturing him looking at all these plaques. Each one represented a different ship lost at sea during WWII.
One thing that I found fascinating, and I know people who visit Pearl Harbor always say this, is the fact that there is still oil leaking from the wreckage of the Arizona. They say that it leaks up to 2 quarts/day. That is just crazy to me.
We then headed back to our hotel, had some lunch and relaxed on the beach and by the pool for the rest of the afternoon.
My original intention for this post was for this to be a report of days 1, 2, and 3 but its getting a little too long in my opinion so I'm going to continue with the rest of the vacation later on in the week. (And don't worry .... I won't detail every single meal and every single picture for you. Just hit the highlights!!) So ... next up ... our Diamond Head hike!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
For the last several years, I have really loved big sunglasses. HUGE ones. Obnoxiously so, in most cases. Its just the trend, and I've embraced it. However, I do have an abnormally small head so it usually makes my sunnies seem even bigger than they actually are. I've bought a few new pairs recently, and I want some feedback.
Are these too big? As always, please be honest. You're not going to offend me and I'll probably wear them regardless of what yall say.
This first pair, I have had for quite a while. Actually I think the longest I've ever kept a pair of sunglasses -- over a year for sure. Maybe two. Anyway, that isn't the point. The point is that I've had these for a long time but I still wonder if they're slightly too big?
These may not be too big, but I'm just not really sure how I feel about the aviator look on me. Also, are aviators even in style anymore?
I decided to smile for all of you in this last picture! These are my newest pair. And I think these are the worst of the bunch. How silly do I actually look? I sent a similar picture of me wearing them to my mom and her response was a polite "maybe they are okay for the beach, but I'm not so sure about them for just wearing around". i.e. "THROW. THEM. AWAY. NOW, KATIE!"
Oh and just for the record, I wasn't driving in these pictures .... just sitting in my car. But I came up with the idea while I was driving so once I got back to my office, I took them in the parking lot. (So that explains the seat belt)
Also, I know my face is shiny. I need some powder.