Thursday, January 29, 2009

The year was 1996...

...And it was a magical year to be me.

-Hello contacts.

-Good-bye braces.

-Farewell Algebra 1 (Oh wait, you passed because you can sweet talk your way out of anything. You will have to retake this again in 9th grade - and still struggle for a B. Sucker.)

-Shortalls. (You stay classy.)
-Nice jorts combo with the socks and loafers. (Photo likely taken in 1995.)

-Thank goodness for TGIF (The best line up: Full House, Step By Step, Boy Meets World, and Perfect Strangers. NO thank you Family Matters and Sabrina the Teenage Witch)

-I love Saturday Mornings on TNBC. (Teen NBC - Saved by the Bell, Hang Time, California Dreams)

-Girl Scout trip to home of Girl Scout Founder Juliet Lowe in Savannah, Georgia. Entire trip paid for with cookie sales. Boo-yah.

-Socks + Sandals = a winning look. Lookin’ good.
-Way to graduate 8th grade from a small private school and enter a big and scary 5A public school. (Making it through the 1st day of high school without being shivved and only sobbing once - VICTORY! Shank you, shank you very much.)

-No more practicing piano at 6:15am. "We were on a break!" (Read: QUIT)

-Hooray for pithy journal entries that say things like: "This is my link to the past..." Thank you Captain Obvious.


-Filling out an application to be the Brio girl was an absolute highlight. Dear Susie: pick me!
-LYLAS. Love you and you and a sister. (Don’t read into that too much, Val and I still side hug.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures.

  • The slight possibility of an ice day tomorrow. Very, very slight.

  • Chinese food and "Slumdog Millionaire"

  • My turn coming up to pick the movie for film club

  • A plethora of gloriously irrelevant TV on my DVR (The Bacherlor, American Idol, The Soup, etc.)

  • Eating dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Real dinner in a real house with food that someone else made for me.

  • Awards season

  • The teensiest hope of an eventual "Veronica Mars" movie.

  • Still basking in the glow of six days spent with roommates

  • My electric blanket

  • Spotting Bill Haverchuck in a movie trailer

  • Listening to Harry Potter 7 again. Again. (Still?)

  • Finding someone that knows all the words to TJ McCloud's "All These Things"
  • Peter Pan Honey Roasted Smooth Peanut Butter

  • Finding an awesome shortcut to the library.
  • Reunion with my Teddy Bear after an involuntary month-long separation.
  • Twinkle lights on my office desk. Twinkle lights. Not Christmas lights. Totally different.

  • The return of "Lost," and therefore Lost theories, essays, and mindbenders.

  • My department's commercial running locally during The Superbowl. Yes, that one.
  • SceneIt on XBox- my new very favoritest game.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ikea - Swedish for "Why am I doing this to myself?"

Yesterday I officially became all grown up. It was my 27th birthday and my Aunt Kathy assured me that "You are really a grown up now."

To prove my independence, I drove to the nearest Ikea last week to pick up my Christmas present from my parents. It took 45 minutes to get there, an hour in the store, and almost half an hour to get the boxes loaded into my car. My new entertainment center came in two very heavy boxes. Spring made a brief appearance in Phoenix, and I sweated through the labor of loading 140 lbs of furniture in 78 degree weather.

Once home, I opened the boxes and carried the pieces individually up to my apartment. I decided to document the entire procedure, having been warned by my father: the challenge is putting anything together from Ikea without a) screwing it up and having to partially redo or 2) cursing or 3) throwing a tool or implement or 4)missing a vital part that should have been enclosed.

If I had only known what lay ahead for my Friday afternoon...

Construction of an Ikea Entertainment Center
as documented and narrated by yours truly:

I also purchased new boxes to hold my dvd collection. I had no idea they would involve construction.

The End.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ginger!

Today is my co-blogger and sister's 27th birthday! In her honor, here's a look back at a few past birthdays. I'm sure she could tell you exactly how old she was turning in each picture, not to mention exactly what presents she got. Her memory is freakish like that....

I think she's turning maybe 4 or 5 here? I love how intensely she is opening her present. Concentrate, G!
Valerie: too preoccupied with the chocolate to participate in that whole singing "Happy Birthday" thing....
This is the very birthday where she got her Samantha doll. Bliss!
I guess she has birthday... cookies? I have no idea why she doesn't have a cake.

The piece de resistance: the Babysitters Club birthday party. All of her friends dressed up as different BSC members! Ginger was Stacey, of course.

Cheeeese! Also, please note the copy of BRIO on the corner of the table. Awesome.

Happy Birthday, G! Hope God blesses the pants off your day! High Five the Holy King.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My gift to you.

Val's in the O.C. kayaking in the Pacific Ocean with her best friends and I'm going to Ikea tomorrow. I suppose that's comparable. I've been holding onto a few images that have brought me great joy over the past year and decided to just share them all. I come bearing gifts of all sorts.

From Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I am waiting with baited breath for this moment.

And now a shirt (from I intend to own and wear as a tribute...err... statement for several people in my life, but just around my mom on Tuesdays when she does the LAUNDRY. As in, "Have been shoe shopping w/ Clay. Success. He's got his LAUNDRY going. Need to go up and nudge him into doing some more packing."

In September I offered up one of my spare mixers to the highest bidder. Annie was the big winner, and yes, I autographed it and decorated it. In response I received a wonderful handwritten note and some extra spending money. Little did she know how much joy I would derive from my breakfast burrito and tall coffee on an early Sunday morning before work. The proof is in the picture. Who's that excited about breakfast? Me.

And finally I would like to share with you the AMAZING gift I was presented from one of my kiddos this past weekend. A third grader walked up, hugged me and said, "This is for you Miss Ginger." Holla. Love it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now

I feel like Ryan Atwood. My world is grey because I am in Chino.* Chino is grey. It sucks the life out of you. People live with mattresses on their lawns. There is no joy in Chino.

On Wednesday I will be Ryan as he steps into a world of color and wonder and sparkles and Cohens. I will be in Orange County.

I will be in The O.C. For real.

More importantly, I will be with Dani. I will be with Julie. It will be the first time all three of us have been together in a year and a half. I will also be with Kisha. It will be the first time all four of us have been together in two and a half years.

I cannot express to you the joy it brings me to finally, finally, have the sisterhood reunited at last. These are my dear friends I navigated the treacherous and wonderful years of college with. My traveling buddies that experienced London and Paris and Rome with me. My lifeline to what is real and true and ….me. We have an infinite number of inside jokes, you cannot even imagine. I think of these girls when I hear about a button, tires, spontaneous combustion, flamingoes (or is it penguins?), toucans (what’s with all the birds, ladies? Oh! Seagulls too, am I right? PERCH!) and any other random assortment of buzzwords that transport me to times of laughter and hilarity.

Kisha, Jules and I have the express honor of standing up at our dear sister’s wedding on Sunday. We knew she would be first, and that she is. She found her One. She found her Adam. I still have no idea how I am supposed to stand there and look pretty and smile as our DaniLin gets her happy ending without COMPLETELY BAWLING MY EYES OUT. Tips, anyone?

I can’t wait. I’m packing, making my lists, running to the store (againagain), and trying to calm myself down from the giddiness that threatens to overtake my sanity. In the midst of sad job loss, sorrow, work insanity, and everything else going on in this crazy life, I can’t believe I get such an amazing sigh of relief. I get to act happy and go to the beach and take crazy pictures and love on my girls and wear a pretty dress and get my nails done and laugh and remember and rejoice.

I’m on my way, blog world! California here we come, Right back where we started from...

“Welcome to the O.C., b....!”

*Note: My life is not Chino. I love my job and my life in Texas. It is actually very colorful here. But for all intents and purposes, these two days before I leave for California are totally Chino.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flying it loud and proud?

"You have a freak just don't fly it." – The Family Stone

Some call it a freak flag, others a secret single behavior, needles to say, we've all got them...and I seem to have them in spades.

-I often imagine that a song playing in my car is actually the music behind the opening credits of a movie. I then commence to write my character’s entire back-story. Where am I going? What kind of car am I driving? If Fix You by Coldplay comes on, my character most certainly dies in a car accident. In the rain. In slow motion. It’s very touching and moving. It makes me cry.

-Sometimes when I’m at the gym I think I'm a real Bad you know what. I have this intense track of music playing in my head as I come through the door. I don’t make eye contact or smile. I purposefully act tough…it’s some sort of a coping mechanism. I also choose my shirts particularly – wearing anything on with the state of Texas mentioned on it. You should have been in my head last night as I wore my Texas shirt. “Yeah. That’s right. Texas. As in Longhorns. As in just won the game on Monday night. I wonder if that guy is thinking that he wish he had a Texas shirt? Probably.”

-I also like to roll my windows down while I listen to NPR on the radio. I don’t know, maybe it’s my way of making a statment to the world. “Check it out. Intelligent AND cultured. Beat that. Diddy ain’t got nothing on Michelle Norris.” I can pick out all of the correspondents just by the tenor of their voices. “That one? Come on. Ann Taylor. Yep. Another. Lakshmi Singh. Wicka, wicka, what!”

-I google my name. More often than you’d think.

-I wrap my arms around my pillow to sleep. Sometimes both of my arms fall asleep in the process. That actually happens quite often. Once I tried to shake them awake on my way to the bathroom. I didn’t turn the lights on as I wanted to return to sleep quickly. My arms wouldn’t cooperate and ended up knocking the toilet paper roll off of the wall and out onto the floor…in the dark. My arms were worthless for what seemed like hours. I began to feel desperation rising in my throat, “Dear God, I just want to go back to bed!!”

-I watched The Bachelorette last season, and might watch this season of The Bachelor. I hear Deanna is back. WT!?

-Sometimes when I meet a guy for the first time I think, "Remember this moment! This could be the one and people will ask you about this very moment in time!" It usually only takes me a few moments to then realize that this is in fact, not the one. Next.

-I ride the back of my grocery cart as I push it around the store, not constantly, but probably 4 or 5 times a shopping trip. I secretly hope other shoppers are amazed and confused by the sight of this.

-I can't cook without narrating everything that I am doing. "You want to take the E-V-O-O and just coat the bottom of the pot and get some nice heat on that." I'm constantly working on the presentation of the food I cook. I'm pretty good at "plating it up."

-I use material from comedians in everyday conversation and don’t let people know that I didn’t actually just think up all those jokes about Hot Pockets. (Thanks Jim.)

-I’m the funniest person I know. I promise it’s not an ego thing. It’s just that I can keep myself laughing the longest. I was g-chatting with my sister yesterday and started laughing about a joke I made. 45 minutes later still laughing. I’m hilarious.

-I eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes I eat them for lunch and dinner on the same day.

Not nearly everything, but enough to begin to wave my flag.

P.S. Peter Sagal is a rock star. Need I say more? Fly flag, fly.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In This Box

Once again I could think of nothing to blog about. Once again I started sifting through my old papers, notebooks, and diaries again. Maybe there’s something here that I can use? Maybe?

Amidst my searching, I stopped to go through a box of old “things.” You know, the items that we save for who knows why. It’s such an intriguing assortment of objects and papers and memories and junk. I sat on the floor poring over everything and wondering why I kept half of it.

I tried on my old glasses from seventh grade. I only wore them for reading, and just that one year. My eyes magically corrected themselves after that, and I haven’t worn glasses since!

I found an old Psalty tape, my favorite black harmonica from Galveston, and several piano competition medals. There’s a small box of my senior picture (anyone interested? I still have lots!), my uber trendy WWJD bracelet, and a set of sticker pictures two of my friends and I took at the mall. Awesome!

I really enjoyed discovering an old Footprints day planner from 1997. Everyone’s birthday is marked with a plethora of confetti and squiggle drawings. Very festive. Some of the activities I have listed are “car wash,” “hockey,” “braces,” “church potluck.” This pretty much epitomizes my junior high existence.

My favorite find, though, was my stack of mail I received while at camp the summer after ninth grade. Oh don’t worry-- I will share some with you!

Mom closed one letter with: “Keep using that sunscreen. ARE YOU WEARING YOUR RETAINER? Love Mom.” The next day she ended by saying, "Remember to brush your teeth, use your sunscreen, and DO YOU HAVE YOUR RETAINER ON?"

I laughed out loud reading one from Grandpa: “We leave for Colorado this morning and will spend the night in COOL! Mountains. Eat your heart out.”

My favorite is from my amazing great grandmother. It says “Dear Valerie: Hope you are having fun and making lots of new friends. Love Annie Mae.”

She addressed it to "Ginger."