Put a Smile On Your Face

Friday, December 31, 2010

My belated Christmas gift for whoever reads this: a list of random things that make me laugh.

Bunnies in paper cups. 

I have no idea why they're in cups but seeing their little noses move immediately took me back to the days when I had a pet rabbit (RIP, Dusty- best bunny ever) and how his little nose felt.  So cute! 

Catalogue Living.  Always good for a laugh.

As is Damn You, Auto Correct!


And while we're on the SNL topic...

And finally, Drunk History.  I needn't say more.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!!

Given to Fly

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have no idea what the deuce is going on, but our house has been invaded by dozens of house flies in the last week.  The first night, I killed 6-ish.  Then the second night, I lost count but at least 8 were slaughtered.  The next morning I killed another one.  L came home Thursday night and saw at least 3 and I killed 3 more.  We don't know where they are coming from or why, but it is so gross!!  Our best guess is that either they are coming in through the chimney (the flue has been open because we've had fires in our fireplace lately due to the cold weather) or that they are getting in through our windows (the seals aren't great on all of them).  The weirdest part is just that there are so many of them.  Sick.  But at least they've been easy to kill!  Rolled up newspaper is my new best friend.  If anyone has any ideas about why and how in the world these gross, unwanted guests are getting in, let me know!

Sweet dreams are made of these

Monday, December 20, 2010

That's the base of our tree.  Now see that big box with the ornaments on it in the front?  It's actually not a gift.  It's just there for looks.  BUT!  It does have some fun contents inside...

I went to a cookie exchange on Saturday that was hosted by one of my JL friends.  I had planned to make these cookies, but due to my not reading the invitation correctly, I ended up not having time to make my cookies as planned (I thought the start time was really the end time.  Awesome).  So off to the bakery I went to pick up some substitutes!  I opted for some lace wings and some fresh ginger snaps, and you better believe I tried to pass them off as mine by plating them on one of my serving platters, but eventually I ended up spilling the beans.

This was our spread once everyone arrived:

Our hostess provided gift boxes for everyone to take their goodies home in.  This is what I ended up bringing home:

Let me tell you, they are quite tasty.  The bourbon balls and rum balls are particularly potent- I wish L was here to eat those because they're a little too strong for my taste, but they are still good, so I'm sure I'll eat them anyway.  I have no idea how I'll eat these all before I head back to Texas for Christmas!

Sunday Morning

FYI, this was scheduled to be posted the week before Christmas but it didn't for some reason.  Sorry!

With L already in Texas for Christmas, I was left to my own devices for most of the weekend.  Obviously that means I needed to go shopping and get a pedicure.  To be fair, I was honestly on a shopping quest that focused specifically on trying to find my sister's Christmas gift (she's very hard to shop for this year because apparently there's nothing she wants, nothing she needs, and I just gave her an entire outfit for her birthday on October so I don't want to repeat with more clothes for Christmas).  My goal was simple: find my favorite vendor at Eastern Market and find some awesome jewelry for her.  L and I tried to do this very same thing last weekend and we were met with a big fat failure due to the gross, rainy weather.  I got up Sunday morning and was out the door by 10:45 and on my way to the Hill.  As luck would have it, it was a beautiful day (albeit cold) and I scored a free parking space.  Things were looking good!!  I raced into the flea market area only to find that my guy was not there AGAIN.  I mean what the deuce!!  They're there every weekend, and usually they are there in spite of bad weather.  Something was up.  I heard someone talking to another vendor about the Holiday Market, so I quickly looked it up on my phone and decided I'd hit it up next to see if it might hold something fun for Sister.  After a quick run-through of the rest of the vendors, I hit the road and moved downtown for further treasure hunting.  Once again, luck was on my side- I found a parking spot pretty quickly and lo and behold, MY VENDOR WAS THERE!!  Of course he was.  Seriously, he has the best jewelry.  It doesn't hurt that his display method is great, too.  It's all done by color, so if you've ever seen my closet, you know that's obviously that's right up my alley.  Anyway, Sister's gift was scored, at long last.  (For the record, she does not read my blog so this isn't spoiling anything.) 

Anyway, it was pretty cold and I'd neglected to bring a hat or scarf with me, so after perusing the entire Market area, I decided to hoof it back to my car.  I parked about 3 blocks away and on my walk back to the car it was pretty windy, so when I saw the new-ish Forever 21, I decided to go ahead and go inside for a minute or two to warm up. 

UM, LET ME JUST TELL YOU THAT THIS IS THE BIGGEST F21 I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.  I mean we're talking flagship/NYC-big.  It's 3 stories and- wait for it- IT'S ACTUALLY CLEAN.  I was fully expecting to be met with the same feeling I'm met with when I go into the stores in Tysons Corner and Northpark, which is basically the feeling of having just committed the worst mistake of my life.  I mean, I could actually see what was on the racks.  Nothing was on the floor.  It was all organized.  It was great!  I didn't buy anything, but I did spot a couple of items worthy of sharing.  First, this cardigan would be perfect for Aggie fans going to the Cotton Bowl in  a few weeks:

I saw this t-shirt in the men's section. 

I immediately wanted it for 2 of my younger cousins and their dad/my uncle.  The three of them arrived at Thanksgiving with all sorts of ridiculous facial hair due to their "No-Shave November" pact.  Just picture a middle-aged man, roughly 5'10", with dark hair, and a rounder physique and Joseph Stalin's mustache.

Never in my life have any of my family members had facial hair.  That's not to say they've never sported it, but it just hasn't been during my 30 years of life.  That made for quite the surprise when my uncle walked in with the 'stache.  No one knew about No-Shave November except for his 3 sons.  For the 2 that participated in NSN, they basically just looked like creepy child molesters.  They shaved after showing off their "beards", so the only one in our annual Thanksgiving Day Family Picture with facial hair is my awesomely crazy uncle.

Anyway, for all you F21 lovers out there, if you come to D.C., hit up the location downtown at 10th and G.  You won't be disappointed.

The rest of my afternoon was spent watching Christmas movies, addressing Christmas cards, and then meeting Mrs. FBI for a pedicure, which was one of the stranger ones I've ever had.  Apparently their hot water was out so they had to heat water up in tea kettles and pour it into the tubs of each pedicure chair.  There was also another customer in the salon who had the worst collagen-injected lips ever.  And she was mean to the salon employees.  That's why I don't feel bad saying she had bad lips.  She was just too much across the board.  Note to all: pedicures are tricky to get when there's snow on the ground.  Do you tough it out and just wear flip flops back to your car, do you put your shoes and socks back on that you wore in, or do you wear booties that they'll give you?  If you're me and Mrs. FBI, the answer is you tough it out and wear flip flops all the way back to her apartment (which is only about 2 1/2 blocks away, but at 6:00 on a cold, windy Sunday evening, it doesn't seem close). 

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Union Station is a place L and I have become quite familiar with over the last 8 weeks or so.  L has been working in NYC again since the last week of October (he got a week off for Thanksgiving and another week in November) and he's been taking the train to and from New York.  It tends to take the same amount of time but usually has fewer problems than when he's flown (somehow there's always weather delays!).  I thought I'd share some shots of Union Station at Christmastime.  It's a very pretty building on its own, but it's even prettier with the decorations.

The station at night in December:

Sorry the lighting is so off!  But don't you love the wreaths??  So pretty!

And a shot of it last Thursday night after it had snowed all day long:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  It means decorating the whole house, it means picking out gifts for my family, and it also means one of my very favorite things: lots of mail.  Specifically in the way of Christmas cards.  I have no idea why I like getting them so much, but every year I save my favorites and keep them in a big bowl on one of the shelves in my living room.  I've done this for years for no apparent reason.  I can only guess my love for Christmas cards is due at least in part to the fact that up Mom was always a huge proponent of sending them, at least until my sister and I graduated college.  Since then, she's sent them out at random, and that's mostly due to the fact that it's hard to get the entire family to agree to be in the same place at the same time and all look festive and be able to stand taking more than about 2 pictures (Dad is decidedly not into photography, mostly in regards to photographs of himself).  L and I missed out on sending cards last year (thank you notes took top priority when it came to outgoing mail), mostly due to time and money constraints since we'd just moved and were still basically unpacking, so no pic of us from our wedding! It would've been fun, but we just couldn't swing it. So now we're making up for lost time!

I've been scouring the internet for the past few weeks looking for the best possible card options.  I have a pic selected to use (not my fave, but in light of the fact that L was only home for 43 hours this weekend, hauling it off to the National Tree to snap some more was not high on his list of things to do, so when you get yours, don't judge my hair), but I haven't quite decided yet what design I want to use.  Enter Shutterfly's blogger giveaway!  They have way more designs and options than I've been able to look through so far, but I love the idea of a folded card like this; something a slightly different, like this; or something traditional, like this.  I have several others earmarked but I figured I'd just give my little virtual audience 3 and not ruin the real selection (which has yet to be made- I need to keep playing.  And probably I need to take my picture to work tomorrow and touch it up with PhotoShop).  Also apparently I have a thing for red, which is weird.  One of my favorite things is that Shutterfly offers an option of sending the cards to you so that you can address and stamp them yourself, OR you can pay a little extra and Shutterfly will do it for you!  Part of me loves to hand-address envelopes (it makes them feel more personal, in my opinion), but the idea of being able to point, click, and take care of it in one swoop is pretty awesome.
Side note: I've also been playing around on the rest of the Shutterfly site and if I don't hear back from my wedding photographer soon about the status of my wedding album (it's only been 7 months since I submitted my picture choices), I may just make my own book through Shutterfly. 
And with that, it's time for me to finish playing, make some decisions on this matter, and call it a night.  Hope everyone has had a great weekend and that you're busy planning your own Christmas cards!!  Merry Christmas!

Electric Youth

Friday, December 10, 2010

As previously discussed, the weather here is definitely chilly.  We decided to get a wee space heater for our bedroom since our 21-year-old heater isn't exactly efficient in heating our home.  I had it on this morning while I was blow drying my hair.  Apparently what my 60-something year-old house doesn't prefer is to run both my tiny space heater and my fancy-shmancy hair dryer (it's an Elchin and worth every penny if you're in the market for a new hair dryer).  Without any warning, with my hair 3/4 of the way dry, all the power went off in my bedroom, with the closet being the one exception.  Thrilling.

Luckily, I had already dressed and done my make-up.  And I also happened to already know where our fuse box is.  **Notice that I said fuse box and not breaker box.**  There is a difference, which I learned today.  A breaker box is what you probably have in your house.  It's the kind that has what looks like industrial-sized, black light switches that you flip when you blow a fuse.  This is what I've had in every house or apartment I've ever lived in.  It is NOT what we have here.  This is what we have here:

Uh huh.  I mean, what the deuce is all that?  Not a switch to be seen.  Just buckle-looking things (up top, which gave me a bad feeling when I tried to pull on them) and round colors at the bottom that were neither buttons (I tried pushing them to no avail) nor able to be pulled out.  Even after reading all the notes on the door to the fuse box, I still had absolutely no idea how to resolve my no-power problem (the only instructions weren't really instructions- just a note stating that a certain kind of wire was okay to use, but no instructions as to what wires should be replaced or how to replace them, and of course L is still in New York and not due to come home until Friday night.  Waiting for him to return and help me figure it out wasn't exactly an option. The one piece of helpful information I found was that the fuse I blew not only covers our bedroom, but also the hallway, the front porch, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen.  SUPER.  Why the guest bedroom, the bathroom, and the office all have their own fuses is completely beyond me.  The office and bathroom are both tiny.  I promise they don't need their own fuses, but then, what do I know?  I didn't have much time to debate about solutions, though, as the whole thing had already eaten up 10 minutes of my morning and my hair still needed to be dried.  I relocated to the bathroom and finished getting ready for work, then snapped a pic of the fuse box, grabbed my MagLite so I'd be able to see when I got home, and headed off to work. 

My hero of the day is one of my co-workers.  He's definitely in his late 60s/early 70s, and he's done everything in his life from serving in the military to working on a farm to working in Corporate America.  I knew he'd have knowledge of some kind to help save me from a night of eternal darkness.  He laughed when I told him I had no idea how to do anything with what my fuse box had presented me with and explained that all I need do was unscrew the blown fuse and replace it with a new one of the same size and strength.  So after work I stopped by a hardware store and picked up a new fuse and after flashlighting my way through the house a la a burglar straight out of The Pink Panther or Scooby Doo, I successfully changed the fuse and VOILA!  We're back in business!  So now I know how to work an old-school fuse box, and you, my dear readers, do, too.  The only down side is that I definitely missed this week's episode of Vampire Diaries, which is obviously tragic because those guys are my Thursday night eye candy.  If you don't watch, you're in luck- there's a week-long marathon next week- you can thank me later for that info- to kick off their winter hiatus (sadness!).  But hooray because that means my summer favorite (and apparently L's), Pretty Little Liars, will be back in a matter of weeks.  Woo hoo!

The Fixer

Friday, December 3, 2010

L's and my version of Texts From Last Night (except they're from Wednesday morning and about Tuesday night):

Me: How's my man this morning?

L: I am great.  How's my sweet lady?

Me: Sleepy but okay. 2 concerns: 1) I can't find my blue topaz JA ring I always wear. Don't know if I put it somewhere bizarre @ home or lost it @ gym.  2) I went to

Me: find the box in the attic w/ the stockings & tree skirt last night & there's a potentially dead but MASSIVE jumping bug on top of the box & you won't be home to deal w/ it for another 8 days so that means I need to do it. My life is wretched.

L: Wow. That is a whole lot of drama to happen in 15 hours, especially since you slept for 8 of them.

L: Wretched was a funny word to use

Me: Well I'm glad it made YOU laugh. I know it's a little bit dramatic but it's appropriate. You know my fear of bugs. This is partly why we got married.

L: No, this is party why YOU got married. For me, this was a quirk that I (happily) accepted about my partner.

Me: I love you.

L: Funny. And I love you too.

I had a very ridiculous 24 hours between roughly 9 p.m. Tuesday and 9 p.m. Wednesday.  L and I got home from a week-long Texas Thanksgiving bender at 2:30 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning, which meant we slept as late as possible on Sunday, which meant we had less time for L to help me pull boxes of Christmas decorations out of our attic on Sunday night before he left to go to NYC for 2 weeks.  We didn't get to everything on Sunday night, but we did get The Tree down on Sunday and sort of put together.  (It only took 72 hours, but it's fully decorated now and fulfilling its annual Christmas Destiny.)  Monday night I dismantled The Tree (it was leaning) and then put half the ornaments on it and set up my Nativity scene.  Tuesday night, I finished putting the ornaments on it and then went back up into the attic to look for my box containing our stockings, tree skirt, and a couple of other random items I knew were missing.  And that's when I encountered one of the things I fear most in this world: a massive bug.  It clearly had jumping capabilities- it had those same legs that crickets and grasshoppers have that you look at and just KNOW that the bug they're attached to could jump once and get tangled in your hair as it attacks your face.  And it was sitting on top of the very box I needed.  Panic set in. 

See that Rue La La box?  The gross jumping bug was right on the top seam. 

At first, I was momentarily paralyzed with fear.  The bug wasn't moving, so I wanted to believe it was dead (or did I??  That would mean I'd be forced to deal with carcass removal... sick), but I have a history of thinking large, scary bugs are dead and then they magically come to life again when I try to move them or kill them.  I've learned my lesson there.  Those little sh!ts are sneaky.  So I took another box within arm's reach and gently slid it into the RLL box to see if the bug reacted.  Being the evil, deceitful bug it was, it didn't move.  So I bumped the box again, and then again... the bug sort of turned on its side, but not in a, "What the hell is going on here??" way... more like, "I'm riding on a bus and the old man sitting next to me just died and we took a turn and now he's leaning on me and I'm freaked out," kind of way.  L is my Fixer of all situations relating to bugs.  Since he wasn't home to Fix, I did what I do best in these situations (because you better believe there have been multiple, which I will share sometime soon): I pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and decided to forgo my desire for stockings at the moment and figure out how to handle the bug another day.

And somewhere in the midst of this, my blue topaz James Avery ring that I've worn pretty much every day for the past 11 years went missing.  No idea how.  This is a pic of the ring I pulled off the JA website:

Mine is the same, but the stone's a little more cloudy because I haven't cleaned it in a while.  I'd taken it off at work to put lotion on, but I knew I'd had it when I left the office.  I knew I'd had it at the gym because it was annoying me that I hadn't taken it off when I was using the weight machines, but I didn't remember consciously being aware of it on my hand when I left the gym.  I'd unpacked several boxes of Christmas decorations, I'd tried to pick up dinner from Corner Bakery (denied because their credit card machine was down)... I looked all over the house and couldn't find it.  I was thrilled. 

L fell asleep early on Tuesday night and therefore we did not talk before bedtime, so that's why he got the series of fun texts about the whole evening on Wednesday morning.  He thought it was hilarious!  I got home last night, resigned that I needed to deal with the bug but determined to do so.  OF COURSE when I went back up into the attic, the bug carcass was gone.  I didn't (and still don't) know if I should be excited and relieved about this or concerned... I'm glad I didn't have to deal with it, but that means that that bug is one hell of a faker OR that something ELSE that's BIGGER than the bug is up there and that IT took care of the bug.  This is not totally out of the realm of possibilities.  Our house was built in the 50s and we DID have a mouse incident in our kitchen last spring (it was immediately resolved- no further problems since).  I am doubtful that we have any extra roommates residing in the attic because I think we'd hear them, but who knows.  What the deuce eats big bugs that jump??? 
On a truly positive note, I found my ring with all the strings of Christmas lights I'd unpacked and left on the dining room table.  I don't remember taking it off but I guess I must have!  I think I'd feel it if the ring had just fallen off. 
Oh and by the way, if you're not doing Rue La La, you should be.  To join, click here.
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