Here in My Car...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On this snow day, I was reminded of three things: 1) how lucky I am to have such a good teammate in life (a.k.a., L), 2) how white I am, and 3) how horrible L is at working from home.  I mean he was not meant for a job that requires him to do that daily.

If you haven't heard, DC got hit by a snowstorm yesterday afternoon, right around the time rush hour started.  I'd planned to leave work at 3:00, but the weather looked like it might hold out a bit longer so I opted to stay for my daily 4:00 conference call with a west-coast co-worker.  That was a mistake.  L called around 3:40 to say he was thinking about leaving around 4:00, and after some debate, we decided he'd come pick me up on his way home and we'd ride back to the house together, and that he'd leave his office immediately instead of waiting 15 minutes.  An hour later, he called to tell me he'd made it to the street my office is on to let me know he was getting close, so I high-tailed it to the lobby and ended up waiting about 2 hours for him to go roughly 3 blocks to get to my building.  While I waited, I composed the following email on my phone and sent it to several friends, hoping that they'd respond and keep me entertained.

Subject: Entertain me, por favor

So, I'm chilling in the lobby of my office building, waiting on L to get here to pick me up. It's snowing ridiculously hard outside and I'm the fool who opted to wait til the snow started to even think about going home... Anyway, my office looks out on one of the drives leading into 2 different garages (jealous of such an exotic view???) and the traffic to just get out of the garages is INSANE. So I decided to carpool home w/ L b/c who wants to drive in this? Not me. The security guard hanging out w/ me right now told me he's been monitoring the traffic of the garage where my car is parked and people haven't moved in an hour. I'm going to say he might be exaggerating a little, but then L called me at 4:45 my time to tell me he was on my street a few blocks away and he's still not here. I'm definitely bundled up and ready to go as soon as he calls to tell me he's here though. For your mental picture, I'm wearing my grey pin stripe suit (the one that matches L's, and luckily I opted for pants today or the rest of my ensemble would look extra attractive), a teal top that you currently can't see, my suit jacket (also hidden right now), my green pea coat, gray knit scarf and hat, blue and white striped knit gloves, and my tan snow boots, which means I'm carrying my tall black boots around. I also have my purse, an over flowing black and white purse-style lunch box, and a book. All I can say is that I'm a hobo-chic color explosion.

So reply back and tell me what's going on this week! I got nothin' but time. Or feel free to call if you're done w/ work. I'll be around!!

Luckily AMVS and SRGR both came to the rescue with phone calls and The Roommate and H pulled through with emails back, so that helped immensely.  My sister also called during our plight home, so that also helped pass our time while we were stuck in one spot for a long stretch.  Anyway, I ran out to L's truck around 6:15-ish and we continued to inch forward on my office's street for about an hour, then the same thing with the street after that, etc., etc.  We got to the house around 10:45 (so, roughly 4 1/2 hours for me and 7 for L... and if you're looking for distance, my office is about 7 miles from our house), which pales in comparison to several of my co-workers who had 9+ hour drives home and were in their cars by themselves.  That's the key to our sanities- we were together.  It wasn't scary being in the traffic because no one was moving, but when you did move, it was super slow.  I drove about 95% of the way home so that L could hop out and push us when we got stuck and help other people around us when they got stuck.  He ended up wearing my snow boots because he only had his dress shoes with him and our feet are almost the same size, plus the boots are a little roomy on me.  Also, they are very gender-neutral, so it's not like anyone could tell they were women's shoes, but even if they could have, who would've cared??  This is the one pictuer I got the whole night because I didn't have my camera with me and L refused to take pictures with my phone while I was driving, and I wasn't about to start snapping away while I was behind the wheel of his truck.

That was our view for about an hour and a half, except more cars came along and packed in the empty lanes to our right.  Anyway, once we got home, we had to park the truck in front of a random neighbor's house at the end of the street because the truck couldn't make it up the gentle hill that is our street.  The street hadn't been plowed and there was just too much snow on the ground to get any traction.  That meant hiking it through the snow up to the house in my high-heeled boots- not something I'd recommend!  Also, if you go out in the snow, wear more than just suit pants.  Not the warmest.  Then, just as we were drifting off to sleep around 12:45, the power went out.  SO, obviously a snow day was in order after all that!

Luckily, the power came back around 8:45 this morning and it's been smooth sailing ever since.  L slept in til noon- exhausted from running through snowy streets and pushing cars around all night, as well as building a snow dam around the truck since our parking job at the end of the night was not the best- and then started working from home.  Which brings us to a funny story.  That man is great and is great at many things, but focusing on work while at home is just not one of them.  A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, he decided to run to Target for something specific, although I don't remember what it was now, so obviously it was very important.  I asked him to pick me up some yoga pants that were on sale (success!) and he also brought me home a hibiscus bulb and kit (cute and random and thoughtful because he knows I love flowers).  Anyway, I thought that was about it.  He called me the next day and told me he was going to go home from work early so that he could do some voice recordings for a work project (he has to do this from time to time and our house has better acoustics than his office).  I came home to find him set up at the dining room table, laptop open, microphone hooked up, but instead of working, he was watching episodes of some show called The League.  Apparently we own season one of this show now, which is purely the product of The Gamblor incessantly raving about this show.  L had never watched a full episode (he didn't like the parts he'd seen), so obviously instead of using Netflix to watch the show and determine if he liked it, we needed to become the proud owners of said show.  Today was pretty similar, only he kept one eye on whatever was on HBO.  He also stopped to come help me shovel out spaces for us to park our cars, although I'm proud to say I did about 90% of the clearing.  Go me!  That never would have happened last year.  It was hard, and it wasn't fun, but it was my workout for the day, so in that regard, I enjoyed it.  My arms and upper back will be ripped in no time.  Also I'm pretty sure my face is sunburned, which is weird, because the sun wasn't out, but I guess it's just like when you go snow skiing. 

I also realized today that my skin is currently pretty darn close to the color of the snow outside.  I definitely Tan Toweled it up after my post-snow shoveling shower this afternoon, so hopefully that will help give me some much-needed color. 

I'm looking forward to going back in to work in the morning.  I don't love that I have a day of work before my weekend can really start, but I'm glad the worst of the snow is over and I'm ready to feel productive again.  But now, it's time for a low-key Date Night In so that we can gear up for work (and more snow) tomorrow morning!  Hope everyone is having a good week and staying warm!

Oh, Oh It's Magic! You Knooooow

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yes, it's a post about magical things.  Specifically, magical food and magical products.

On Friday night, L and I had dinner with an old friend of mine (we go all the way back to 1985) and her husband.  They just moved up here and we thought it was our duty to introduce them to one of our favorite restaurants, Founding Farmers.  (Side note: if you're ever visiting D.C., whether you're with me and L or not, I highly recommend eating a meal there.  Just delicious. In fact, if you stay with us, it's highly likely that we'll take you there if we can get reservations.  But if not, we'll take you somewhere equally delectable, so fear not.)  After yet another home run of a meal, we headed home and conversation turned to rest-of-the-weekend plans. 

L: "So is there anything you want to do this weekend?  Anything you need to get done?"

Me: "Nope.  Just work out.  And look into more churches to visit.  Anything you're interested in doing?" (Another side note: we've been trying to find a church to attend regularly.  So far, we've struck out, but we're continuing our search.)

L: "Well, I was thinking we could work out tomorrow morning and then come home, clean up, and I could take you to Georgetown for lunch.  And then maybe we could go to Kiehl's."

Let's pause for a moment so I can fill you, my dear reader, in on some backstory details.  1) L hates Georgetown, especially on the weekends, because the traffic is always a total Cheesecake Factory.  Generally it takes as long or, in many cases, longer to get down M and park as it does to get TO Georgetown.  To be fair, we don't live that far from it, but still.  It's kind of ridiculous.  2) When I went on my girls' trip to Las Vegas last fall, L was on a simultaneous boys' trip, also to Las Vegas.  Apparently while there, he tried one of his friends' face products and decided that he particularly enjoyed the Kiehl's Facial Fuel Moisturizer.  3) L has never before cared about facial products.  Santa (aka, my mom) gave him some after-shave in his stocking for Christmas 2009, and it's still sitting unopened in our bathroom cabinet.  Thus, color me intrigued when the man announced he'd maybe like to go to Kiehl's, especially since I don't use their products regularly after a bad reaction one one eyelid (???) from their avocado eye cream last spring. 

Anyway, back to the conversation:

Me: "Sure, that sounds great.  What's at Kiehl's?"

L: "My face is very dry.  I tried some of B's face lotion and I really liked it, so I want to get some."

Me: "Well that sounds good.  Let's make sure to do that tomorrow."

So, after our weekly Saturday morning work out, showers, and a quick lunch at the Italian Store (which. is. AWESOME.), we headed over to Georgetown to solve his winter dry skin woes.  I dragged him into Blue Mercury because I'd seen it for months and months and never been in, but given that we were on a mission for face products, it seemed feasible to coerce him into joining me.  He agreed and was especially excited that they had Kiehl's products there, but we opted to hold off on purchasing so he could see the entire store. 

We ended up at Kiehl's and after reviewing their entire mens' line in all of five minutes (I couldn't persuade him to try anything or ask the staff any questions- he just wanted to grab and go), he decided to go for a package deal.

Kind of cute and Valentine's-y, yes?  This is what was inside:

Also a bar of soap.  Definitely more than just the Facial Fuel moisturizer he'd intended to get, but the man loves a deal and couldn't resist this one, and far be it from me to deny him facial products when I have a gazillion when you count washes, moisturizers, and all the different make up I own. 

L used all of the products on Sunday night and immediately wanted to show off his handiwork by having me feel his face (extra smooth and soft, if I do say so myself).  He announced that he liked it all, but the shaving cream was not his favorite.  It was pretty cute that he was so excited about it. 

So to the ladies out there, if you're looking for a gift for your man, apparently some Kiehl's products is a good one.

Read My Mind

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm a big fan of reading.  I'm not one of those people who only reads a certain genre; fiction, non-fiction, youth (yeah, I've read all of Twilight and Harry Potter and I'm so not ashamed of it), cookbooks... I read pretty much anything.  I recently finished reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at the suggestion of several friends.  (Yes, I was very late to the Dragon Tattoo party.)

I know several people reading this blog have read it. Was anyone else annoyed by the number of times sandwiches are mentioned in this book??? I asked the former Champagne & Sprinkles about it and she didn't notice it. I took to Google to see if anyone else in the world was as annoyed by it as I was and lo and behold, this is apparently a thing.

Depending on the search string you use, you can get anywhere from 258,000 to 1,180,000 returns.  Glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed this!  Allegedly the word (or variations of the word) only appear 18 times in the book, but I'm skeptical.  What I do know for sure is that 99% of the time that food is mentioned, it's sandwiches.  Seriously.  I can think of two meals the main character had where he didn't eat a sandwich.  Is it so stupid to be annoyed by this?  Of course.  But once I noticed it, I couldn't turn it off. 

I'm now reading a book called Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls because my mom and I loved her memoir, Glass Castle, so much when we read it back in 2008.  Mom loaned me her copy of Glass Castle and she wasted no time giving me Half Broke Horses for Christmas.

Half Broke Horses is a prequel of sorts to Glass Castle.  So far, I'm enjoying it just as much as the first book!  Her style of writing keeps you turning the pages, especially because each chapter is short.  If you're looking for a good read, I definitely recommend Glass Castle, and I'm thinking I'll probably recommend Half Broke Horses when I'm done with it.  If you're turned off by the description on the back of the book or the dust jacket of GC, I promise, promise, promise that it's worth the read.  The author has such a shocking life story and it's truly amazing that she ended up where she is today.  Plus, you'll read the whole thing in a weekend.  It's short enough and totally a fast read.

Anyone else have any good suggestions on things I should read next??

Heal the World

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A pic of the wounded phalanx after exactly a week:

And a pic after getting the stitches removed, a full 9 days later:

Sorry for such poor quality in both photos.  It couldn't be helped.

It definitely hurt to remove the one closest to the palm of my hand- the inner-most one (inner-most being the one closest to the bottom side, not the one on the inside of my finger).  I have no idea if this is actually possible, but it felt like that stitch was going through a nerve, and if not that, it was definitely wrapped around it or something.  Totally that white light kind of pain as that one was removed, but luckily it was just for the moment the stitch was coming out. 

Two days after the stitch removal, it's all healing nicely.  I never realized how dry your hands get until you don't use them for several days, and WOW- talk about ashy!  But I'm back to frequent moisturizing now that I'm sans gauze wrapping.  There's definitely some nerve damage- I have a stripe of numbness down my fingerprint- but the doctor told me that should heal over time.  Hopefully by this time next year, a good portion of nerves will have regenerated and I'll have at least half of my feeling back, if much more.  Until then, it's just taking some time to get used to not having the normal touch sensations in it and getting the mobility back.  I still can't make a fist with it, but it's getting better every day, so that's good.  There are certain things I still can't do and ways that are incredibly uncomfortable to move my hand (it creates a similar feeling to when you hit your funny bone, except more of a searing pain, all around the wound and in parts of the tip of my finger), but luckily I can say that those moments happen less and less every day.  Woo hoo!  After all this, I can say for sure that I'm a huge fan of stitches (seriously, if I'd just used Band Aids, I don't think it would look nearly  this good) and I'm pretty sure I will NEVER AGAIN cut anything I'm holding in my hand.

At the Stars

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One of my favorite things I got to do over my "Christmas break" was go with 3 of my best friends to see Better Than Ezra play at the House of Blues in Dallas.  It was my first time to go to the venue (it's pretty new to Dallas) and I hadn't seen BTE since college.  I was ready for a fun night!  HLS was able to score us tickets to the Foundation Room, which was very cool.  Who doesn't love a little VIP action every now and then, especially when it's unexpected??  Some shots from our evening:

I tried to take a video, but since it was my first try with the new camera, I didn't totally know what I was doing and I think I screwed it up.  At any rate, we all had an awesome time and a little girls' night out was just what I needed, especially since it was with some of my oldest and dearest friends. 

It was a great show and we all really enjoyed it.  Thanks for a fun evening, ladies!!

The First Cut is the Deepest

Thursday, January 13, 2011

L and I just got home from the E.R.  You might be wondering, "Why were you at the E.R. on a random Wednesday night?"  We (okay, I) had an emergency, obvi.  I was in my p.j.s, pretty much all ready for bed and was just getting my lunch ready for the morning, which included slicing open a sandwich roll.  Except I didn't stop at slicing the roll; I decided to slice my left pink finger right at the middle joint, just about where that vein runs up through the finger.  Uh huh.  Awesome.  I now join the ranks of my friends AMVS and KDC who both had major finger injuries in college.  My wee pinky wouldn't stop bleeding after being elevated and wrapped in paper towels with a tourniquet (aka, a rubber band I'd had in my hair at the gym earlier in the evening) so after about a half hour, L convinced me it was time to seek medical aide.  Luckily we were in and out in right about an hour.  I am now the proud bearer of 3 stitches (my first stitches ever!), a massive bandage of gauze, and a very numb pink finger. 

I was instructed not to use my hand tomorrow and to keep it elevated.  This works well with my job that relies heavily on my using a computer.

I leave you with two pieces of advice: 1) Follow my wonderful father's advice and do not ever cut anything that you are holding in your hand.  That's what cutting boards are for.  2) Wusthoff makes a killer serrated bread knife.  They definitely aren't joking around with it.

Walking On Broken Glass

Monday, January 10, 2011

L's contribution to our collection of drinkware when we got married was filled with items made solely from plastic, few of which matched and even fewer that weren't commemorating some sort of event.  There's nothing wrong with a commemorative, plastic cup, but those are what I've been referring to as "to go" cups for several years now because I don't mind not getting them back.  Consequently, among other things, L and I put glassware on our registries when we were getting married.  On our Crate and Barrel registry, we opted for Charlie highballs and double old-fashioneds

Water goblets

Oregon champagne flutes

and some wine glasses that don't matter for the moment.  In the 14 1/2 months we've been married, I/we have managed to break one piece of all of the glasses pictured above.  This is shocking to me because that the five years living on my own prior to us getting married, I never broke any glassware.  Plates?  Yes.  I think I managed to kill 2 salad plates and chip at least one more.  And a dinner plate of one of my roommates in college.  But never glassware.  You'd think I was coating everything in butter with the way I manage to break our glasses.  For example, the champagne flute that died never even got used- I was hand washing it when we first moved in and dropped it in the sink as I was rinsing off the soap.  I was thrilled.  That prompted us to get a dishwasher the following week (hooray for old houses that haven't been updated!!), although we found out that our wine glasses and champagne flutes don't fit in the top rack of our dishwasher, so we're still hand washing those.  But Mom pulled through and gave me one of those rubber mats that you put in the sink when you're washing breakables, so that's helped.  The Charlie pieces and the water goblet all met their demises due to being dropped or- even better- putting them IN THE DISHWASHER!  I don't even know how that one happened.  One second it was all in one piece, and the next it had a big chunk missing.  Weird!  One of these days I'll be making a trip to C&B and stocking up on one piece of all of our glassware.  Until then, let's hope I stop breaking stuff.

Brass Monkey

Monday, January 3, 2011

One of the many things I managed to do while back in Texas for a week was get crafty.  I had a special request from my sister-in-law to paint a stool for L's and my soon-to-be-born nephew.  When our niece was born, I made one for her that matched her bedroom.  While I don't have any pictures of the finished product, I have to say, it was pretty stinking cute.  I wasn't planning on doing one for the new baby due (less free time now, and honestly, finding a way to ship it without it costing more than the stool was worth was going to be problematic), but when she asked me if I would mind creating one for Baby K, I couldn't say no!  Since I had a week to work, I decided to take on the challenge of getting it finished before I left Dallas.  Baby K's room is Cocalo's Monkey Time bedding collection.  Here's what I ended up making:

Top of the stool:

Front view:

Side view #1:

Side view #2:

Interior side view #1:

Interior side view #2:

The yellow things on the interior sides are bananas.  I'm not great at drawing/painting bananas.  Guess Baby K will just have to deal with it!!

Also, on a completely unrelated note, today (January 3) is Gabrielle Carteris's birthday.  Not sure who that is?  Maybe you know her better as Andrea Zuckerman.  And guess how old she is?  Wait for it... wait for it... FIFTY.  Yeah, our good ol' resident nerd from 90210 TURNED 50 TODAY.  Television casting at its finest.

Building a Mystery

Something super weird is that this spot randomly appeared on our duvet:

It sort of resembled urine, but I can tell you with absolute certainty neither of us wet the bed.  Especially not the foot of the duvet.  Plus L's been gone for the majority of the last 8 weeks, and I found it the night before I went up to visit him.  It's possible that the stain had been there for a couple of days but I think I would have noticed.  It was definitely dry when I eventually did find it.  Neither of us has any idea how it got here or what it really was.  Luckily it came out when I washed the duvet (which happened immediately upon discovery).  Any thoughts?  There's no leak in the ceiling in our bedroom and we don't have pets.  Bizarre-o.
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