Thursday, January 29, 2009

I probably should have posted this sooner...

...but I've got to move in 6 weeks and I have 15 people coming over for the Superbowl and I have been going to the gym like a demon and...I'm a bad blogger.

Check out the video for "Water on the Coast" by Schocholautte.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Miss Sunshine

Today's Happy Thought is kind of special. It's a realization I had about myself.

When I first found that we had to move, I had my typical High Drama reaction. I sank to the floor and started crying and wailing "What are we gonna do?" But in about ten minutes, I pulled it together and got out the door to get on with my day. When I brought it up with my mom, I cried again, but got over it. By the time I told my sister a little later, I was upset, but able to hold back the tears. 

That night, I told Kris I was doing better, but I was just pissed. There is no denying that is sucks that we are basically being evicted, having done NOTHING wrong, and forced to move on someone else's timetable, when given our choice, we  wouldn't do any of this. So we both tapped into our anger about that and shared it with each other. And then we let it go. 

Sunday, I spent time thinking about it, talking about it with Kris's family who were up for a visit, and getting excited about possibilities. What if we get more/better appliances? Or our heat bill is less? Or our place is more modern? Or my commute could be shorter? Or we have more outdoor space? There's a million ways this could make our lives better and I started to see that without very much prodding.

By the time we went to bed last night, we were talking about it as accepted fact and planning and hypothesizing about what new good things we might find. I went through real estate listings today and I'm actually pretty stoked to look at some of these places.

And another thing. I mentioned it to my coworkers and they were very sympathetic. The one who's kind of a drama queen and very negative started to go off about how unfair it is and how much it's going to suck, in the context of feeling bad for me. But I found it annoying and I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to just experience the positive side of this change and leave the negative alone.

My point is this, and those of you who've known me a while know this is true. In past years, dealing with something like this would have been a totally negative experience. I would never stop bitching and complaining about it and would frequently stress and get upset over it, like it's the end of the world. And now, my processing time for that sort of thing is much shorter and I'm able to see the bright side without having it underlined and highlighted for me. 

I'm incredibly proud of this kind of growth. I know it has a lot to do with Kris, from him teaching me to deal better with situations like this, from him being someone I can rely on for help in situations like this, and a little because I know he gets tired of my drama in situations like this. In the future, I'd like to eliminate the High Drama reaction (possible) and only ever see the positives (doubtful), but for now I'm happy with how much I've grown and I'll celebrate that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Starting Over. Again.

We're moving. We have to be out of our house by March 15th. So, if I don't have a lot of time to update, you'll know why. Here's what happened.

You probably know the part where our landlady wanted to sell the house, tried to sell it to us, we couldn't afford it, and so she put it on the market. There were a few weeks of showings and judging by how they went, we expected that it would take a long time to get the place sold. We reconsidered our options, realized we didn't have enough money to buy anything that we would want to own, and decided that, since we were going to rent anyway, and it didn't seem like our place was going anywhere, we would just stay here awhile. We had just gotten used to that idea.

This morning our landlady knocked on our door to inform us that she accepted an offer on her house and that if all goes well, we all have to be out by March 15th. This comes as a total shock, knowing that she rejected three offers less than two weeks ago because they were too low and having been told that she would not accept any less than she was asking, saying she'd rather stay here than lose money. So we are surprised to learn that in this market, someone actually offered her the price we figured that no one would give her. 

This is not terrible news. As much as we love our place, the amount of the space and the incredibly low rent, there are other things we wish we had in this place that hopefully we will be able to find in a new apartment. Mostly what upsets me is that I am suddenly being made to do this on someone else's schedule and that the decision is made for me. I don't get a choice. I have to spend the next 2 months in total upheaval and leave a place we are perfectly comfortable in. Thanks, Universe.

So wish us luck and offer us help and support because we will need it. And when this whole thing is over, the party's at our place (assuming our new landlord is cool.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes. We. Can.

I was incredibly inspired watching the inauguration today. I admired the gravity in our president's face as he took on the solemn job of leading our country to a bright new day. He didn't look overjoyed. That would have been all wrong. A man facing this many challenges should know how hard the road ahead will be and that was all said by his face as he entered, even before he spoke those inspiring words.

What struck me most as I watched, was the massive size of the crowd gathered on the National Mall. I cannot ever remember knowing of an occasion in my lifetime where that many people gathered for one purpose. I admire those people, for braving the cold and the crowds, sure, but more for setting aside their lives and making a point to be there. To show up to support our president. To say, we are here and you can count on us. I realized that there was no good reason that I wasn't there myself other than it never occurred to me to go. I wish I had been there to witness history, but at least I am aware of the shift that happened today.

The crowd made me think. Look at all those people here for this one thing. Imagine what all those people could accomplish if they worked together to try to solve our problems. And as naive and idealistic as that may seem, I think that that is what this is all about. President Obama is here to lead us, to show us the way, to teach us to work together to solve the problems of our nation that were caused by doing just the opposite. So I say, let's not let him down. Let's do what we came here to do. Let's not let the battle cry of the campaign die out, but instead let us put it into action.

For me it all goes back to one of the earliest pieces of campaign propaganda. Before Obama was a rockstar, when he was a relatively unknown politician from Illinois. Will.I.Am made this inspiring video that still moves me. So let's follow it's call to action. 

Yes. We. Can.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back in the Blog of Things

It would seem that quitting the bookstore has one other added bonus: more time to blog!
  • Spent nights in watching some GREAT movies. If we miss a movie in the theater, we don't always catch up, but my foresight about the weather caused me to ask Kris to rent stuff in time and we got to see Burn After Reading, Tropic Thunder, and War Inc. BAR was great, classic Coens, really clever and funny. TT was even funnier than I expected it to be. We were howling from the very first minute. I mean Jesus that movie is funny. War, Inc. was interesting. It had a few too many things going on, but it was funny and insightful and everybody in it (Tomei, the Cusacks, and even Hilary Duff) was great.
  • Cooked up some yumminess. Made myself Light Blueberry Muffins and homemade Mushroom Barley Soup, both of which I have been enjoying all week, as Kris has been with his improvised raisin-flax muffins.
  • Had a fun Saturday night out with the Schocholautte girls. The gig was kind of a bust, but at least we got to hang out and I looked great. And it will be recorded in history as the first instance of a merch table at a Schocholautte show.
  • Hung out with my sis and her fiancee on Sunday for the Steeler game and our team was greatly victorious. Added bonus: went shopping in her closet and came away with a few great items to wear on my upcoming business trip.
  • Successfully endured a 2-hour workout on Saturday morning, including water aerobics and Zumba. I've really started to take this physical fitness thing to the next level and I feel like 2 hours is the right amount of activity, as long as the other hour is less strenuous than Zumba :)
  • Tried yoga at the gym. I could do without the Native American, Kenny G-esque music the teacher used, but I found it relaxing and feel it will do me good if I can make it to that Monday night class more often.
  • Spent last night hanging out with Frankie V (my former bookstore boss) and Co. at her house. I find it's more rare these days that friends will invite you over to their house to hang out and that it's more often a case of "let's go out and do something." Both are different kinds of fun, but I do enjoy the "come over and play" aspect of chillin at someone's house. The girls were great, they didn't have to work today so they were getting wasted on Jack and being extremely silly. I sat back as a semi-sober observer and laughed my ass off.
  • I FINISHED MY PROJECT. As of early yesterday afternoon, I completed management on a project that was solely my own AND I finished it on time, YEAH BITCHES! It did make me angry, miserable, and anxious by turns but it all came out well and I learned A LOT. Work is kind of a boring drag, but as unpleasant as that is, it is a relief-filled change from the frantic pace. I'm going to be given something else to be in charge of shortly, but in the meantime, I'm taking it easy and looking forward to my business trip.
  • I have a LOT of things left to look forward to this month. Quitting the bookstore has totally freed up my schedule and I have filled it with wonderful things to do! But I will save blogging about those until after I've done them or this will go on FOREVER.
So, what happy stuff has happened to you in the last week? 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

101 by 30 - The Ones I've Already Done

The wonderful fabulous Miss Sarah gave me a book she no longer needed after last spring. It has kind of languished on my desk for a while as time has ticked down, but it's time to dive into it while I still have time. So make it feel a little less daunting, I started by going through and finding the things I've already done, and as it turns out, I'm already halfway done. I'll try to keep up with posting the other half (with stories) as I get them done, but for now - 
  • Swim naked.
  • Break all your parents' arbitrary rules.
  • Dump toxic friends.
  • Speak a foreign language.
  • Buy a kick-ass mattress.
  • Create your own sisterhood. 
  • Travel solo.
  • Know your friends' family trees.
  • Embrace your inner eight-year-old.
  • Make the first move.
  • Master a signature family recipe.
  • Quit something.
  • Google yourself.
  • Hold your booze.
  • Masturbate.
  • Claim your granny panties.
  • Make brownies from scratch.
  • Exorcise the words "like" and "you know" from your vocabulary.
  • Find your religion.
  • Write thank-you notes for everything.
  • Declare your birthday a national holiday.
  • Minimize pointless drama.
  • Own your mistakes.
  • Get health insurance.
  • Hook up something high-tech by yourself.
  • Be a gracious guest.
  • Invest in earplugs.
  • Walk in heels.
  • Have a mantra.
  • Do it somewhere risky.
  • Open a bottle of champagne.
  • Make more money than you spend.
  • Eat soy.
  • Kick one habit.
  • Defy gravity (have a bra fitting).
  • Own a cashmere sweater.
  • Sleep in a hammock.
  • Own a toolbox with all the basics.
  • Jettison your "skinny" jeans.
  • Get a massage.
  • Fall in love (or lust) without blowing off your friends.
  • Care about where your food comes from.
  • Carry something to read, a notebook, and a pen at all times.
  • Be a dork.
  • Make a killer cocktail.
  • Read your old diaries.
  • Cry often.
  • Learn how not to be a flake.
  • Give yourself a make-under.
  • Be notorious for something.
  • Bounce back.
How many have YOU done?

New Year, New Happy Thoughts

Wow. December was the month that wouldn't quit, apparently :) I feel like it would be too long to tell you everything I've been through since then, but the highlights have been:

  • Thanksgiving dinner did indeed go off without a hitch. In fact, everything came together and hit the table at the same time, which impressed my mother (YES!) and all my other guests said all the food was wonderful which makes me really happy and proud of myself.
  • Work was hell for most of the month. The project I was in charge of had an insane schedule and it made me stressed and unhappy. It's best if we don't talk about that, really. The upside is, everything got done and most of it got done on time and none of the problems were my fault.
  • We had a couple of happy visits with our niece who can now sit up on her own. She turned 5 months old yesterday. Hard to believe, it goes by so fast. But I continue to love her more every day.
  • While every minute up until Christmas was packed to the brim with stuff to get done, the holidays were relaxing and enjoyable. A lot of good quality time was spent with both of my families and I was able to relax and act like a normal human being once again.
  • Work, outside of my  project, has been REALLY nice. I didn't expect anything for the holiday because of the economy and the constraints its put on small businesses (one of which I work for). However, the company was able to provide bonuses and small raises (which is more generous than anything I've experienced in my professional career). This financial boost has enabled me to quit my part-time job at the bookstore which was beginning to take a heavy toll on my body and my psyche. In addition, I've been invited to go to a conference with my boss and will going to Florida in two weeks to schmooze clients, learn about new facets of our business and be somewhere WARM. So that's going quite well as you can imagine.
  • The band's been having a decent amount of success. But since this is my blog, not their's, I'll just tell you to go check them out if your curious.
  • My little sister got engaged! This makes me very happy and excited for her. It naturally brings up the question of when it will happen to me, to which I answer, it will when it does and if I'm not worried about it then you shouldn't be either. So YAY for my sis and her hubby to be, I'm so thrilled for them!
So now it's a new year and there's lots to do. I have my life back from the clutches of the bookstore and it's time to do something worthwhile with it. While I don't believe in New Year's resolutions really, it is a natural time to renew your commitment to your goals, and in my case that means insisting on good things for myself. My new focus is to improve my physical condition as well as my mental and emotional ones and I'm optimistic that I'll be able to do that. 

Also the house I'm living in is now officially on the market which means strangers traipsing through and judging my living space. The timing of it is inconvenient in that I have things I'd rather do with my time than make sure my home is suitable for visitors at all times. But it is pushing us to move forward with our own home-buying plans, so that's something to look forward to news on as the weeks pass. Stay tuned.

I hope all you out there in reader-land have had great and restful holidays and have a hopeful outlook on the new year. Stay positive and keep thinking happy thoughts!