Saturday, May 30, 2009

so much to do!

the kids and i are going to the drive-in tonight, to see the new night at the museum and star trek. we're all excited, them more so because it's their very first drive-in experience. can you believe it? i'm glad i get to be the one to take them, because (not to toot my own horn) i am awesome at drive-in's. i pack great picnic snacks, i totally buy popcorn and bring lots of blankets and pillows and will let you act like a jackass as much as you want. before we go, though, there is a ton of stuff that needs to be done around the house. boo hiss!
  • the lawn needs to be mowed. the front and the back, and it has to be done today because grandpa will want his mower back tomorrow.
  • the living room needs to be cleaned. it looks like a tornado hit it, and i swear we just deep cleaned the damn thing a few days ago. if we weren't such slobs...
  • dishes need to be put up!
  • laundry needs to be folded. although i'm willing to let that one go until tomorrow.
  • the big car needs a good cleaning and vacuuming. mainly because we want to take it tonight (the seats in the back fold down and we can open up the back and watch from there!), and partly because D is having one hell of a week and i think if i take his car today and return it clean and sparkly he'll be happily surprised.
  • i need to go out to my house and pick up some of my stuff. i want to get it all out of there, and SOON so i don't ever have to go back.
  • we'll need to go to the grocery store for supplies and food as well today. we're out of a bunch of stuff, and i want to pick up cold-cuts and stuff for sandwiches.
knowing that after we do all this lame-0 house stuff we get to go to the island and watch movies is making the kids begrudgingly okay with helping out. besides, they do grumble, but they do also get stuff done so i can't really complain. sure, sometimes i have to nag, but i don't mind too much. hee hee...

Friday, May 29, 2009


D and i picked out the place we want to get married at! we are now officially, semi-officially engaged. we both agree it will be a "real" engagement when we go get rings. don't worry, we're not going to wed any time soon; the plan is october of next year. we wanted to pick a place early, because after that the planning is much easier. we've been talking about weddings and getting married, but picking a place makes it that much more real. we sort of stumbled into picking the venue; neither one of us was in a huge rush to nail it down, but we did want a lot of time to look. we also have a few weddings to go to this month and it got us talking and taking notes, and doing the whole, "yeah, we're not doing that, " or "ooh, that's a good idea..."

we knew that to plan a wedding the first thing we should do was to pick a venue, so we could set a date and start working on stuff (and saving money for it) and while on-line i came across the quarry. it looked interesting, not like your usual church or lodge or hotel wedding. i sent the link over to D and that afternoon we drove out to see where it was. you can't see it without a reservation, but we liked the area and what we could see of it was really pretty. i sent the owner an email the next day explaining that we'd like to come out and take a look, and he had an opening that night. after i got off work yesterday we headed back out and to be honest, we knew pretty much right away. part of me thinks this is just way too easy, but part of me is just stoked we found a place so perfect, within our price range, and so totally unique right off the bat. at the risk of sounding hokey, finding such a great place the first time we went out seems kind of like a sign. in any case, the location is great, there's all this art everywhere, the grounds are gorgeous, there's a ridiculously beautiful B&B right there, and even if no one else likes it but us, no one will lack for things to talk about!

we went home and talked to the kids about it, and they seem pleased. we told M first, because she wanted to know where we were going and what we were doing and why she couldn't come with, and so we explained that we had been talking about getting married next year and wanted to start looking at places to get some ideas. she immediately got giggly and smiley and so D made sure she knew that it would be a while before we actually did it, which she did. we told C when we got home, and when i asked him what he thought he said, "well, you like octopods, i like octopods; you like zombie comics, i like zombie comics; i think we'll be fine." i gave him a little poke in the ribs and he gave me a smile and went back to work starting the fire for dinner. his friend O came over later and i heard them talking about it and C sounded more than okay with it. knowing that both are okay with it, that so far there hasn't been any fallout or fussiness (knock on wood) is a great feeling. we talked about some ideas we had, and of course C wants to wear a sword to it, and M wants a fancy dress that isn't "too poofy," and when we told them we just want it to the be the four of us in the wedding they were delighted.

it's so exciting. i never thought i'd be all ga-ga about being a bride, but i am downright giddy. it's not just being a bride, of course, it's marrying D specifically and getting two lovely step-kids at the same time. i'm happy, i'm excited, and we keep going back to the website and looking at things and talking about what sort of food we want, what D wants to wear, what color my dress should be...we are all very into the celebration aspect of it. we are excited about being a family, corny as it sounds. i know i've said it before, and i'll say it again, i'm a happy, lucky girl in love. gross, right?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

i need something new to read

i'm in the midst of finishing up the dark tower series, which has been a fun little romp. i'm kind of slogging through anathem (sometimes keeping up with stephenson's is difficult for me, i admit. i think i'm smart, but sometimes, not so much!), but what need something that grabs me. the last book i read that i absolutely adored was the yiddish policeman's union; it was quick and smart and had beautiful sentences. you're smart, you think of something for me to read, okay? thanks!

good morning!

lulu face, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i hope you all had a lovely memorial day weekend. i always have monday off, so for me it was pretty normal, except that everyone else also had monday off, making for a fun time.

on saturday D and i went to a wedding where he made a gigantic cheese cake. it was well over 50 lbs of cake; with 22 lbs of cream cheese, about 60 eggs, four pounds of was a massive amount of dairy all in one place. needless to say, most of it was eaten, but they sent a chunk of it home with us. i've been telling the kids they have to eat it at every meal, and lo and behold, they actually can get sick of eating cake at every meal. who would have guessed?

lulu and puddin are getting along well. they walk up to each other on occasion and bump noses. i'm not sure exactly what this means in the cat world, but it seems like a friendly gesture to me. they've also been busy being outdoor, jungle cats. i make lulu wear a collar with a nametag on it when she goes outside, but puddin is far too mean and crotchety to ever get stolen so she gets to go out without. lulu is all about climbing trees and jumping over stuff, stalking birds and making wild dashes across the yard. puddin is older and not as spry, but both of them stayed out all night last night and came home this morning hungry and damp from the rain, but in good spirits. it's nice to see them palling around, and i think having lulu around has actually made puddin a bit less crab-tastic.

we did a ridiculous amount of barbequeing this weekend, including some giant spotted prawns. they were crazy delicious. tonight we're going to stuff mushrooms with crab and nosh on leftovers, topping it all off with more cheesecake. i finally got my hands on a copy of role models to watch, and we started part of it last night so tonight we'll finish it. we also bought a copy of fiddler on the roof for the girlchild, and yesterday while folding clothes i pulled it out and we all got sucked in. i'd forgotten how fun that movie is, and how awesome the sing-along parts are. i'm quite possibly the world's worst grown-up, though, becaue i also let the kids rent harold and kumar escape from guantanamo bay, which is pretty inappropriate for a 10 year old. it is, however, pretty funny, and we had a good time staying up way too late this weekend and watching movies and goofing off. i love it when we're all home together, and no one has to work. we don't get a lot done, but we do have a good time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

home again

me and D and boosh, originally uploaded by pinprick.

vacation was awesome. seriously. what i love about this photo is it sums up the trip pretty accurately. this is D and i in wicker park, with my friend megan and her cute boyfriend R, having eaten a great lunch, spent time browsing bookstores and having one celebrity sighting (i met danger mouse! whoo!).

i didn't realize how huge chicago was/is, and didn't get to see all the people or places i wanted. this is unfortunate for a few reasons, but i'm also glad for a good reason to go back. by the time we left, D and i were talking about coming back. there are a million things the kids would love to see, and while chicago is definitely a big city, it seems family friendly. we saw lots of families out and about, and with all the museums and parks and shops, there's something for everyone. it was great to have a grown-up vacation by ourselves, but the next time we go we're totally bringing the kidlets.

i have a million things to tell you, but i also have to go back to work today (boo, hiss), finish cleaning up and posting photos, and the house is wrecked and needs a good cleaning. tomorrow or maybe tonight i'll have a better summary for you.

did i mention the food in chicago is superb? because it IS. i could tell you as much about the meals i ate there as the other awesome things i saw. i'm pretty sure i'm fifty pounds heavier, and i don't regret a single bite!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

hey, guess who isn't packed yet?

book, originally uploaded by pinprick.

that would be ME. ahem. i stayed up way too late last night, pretty much doing anything but pack. what did i do instead? ate hot sauce on chips. watched some mighty boosh. painted my fingers and toes. made lists of things i want to pack. played with the cat. angsted about how to break up with my roommate (who is living in a fantasy world if she thinks i'm staying!). read a book. started and didn't finish a million emails.

today at lunch i'll have time to sneak home and put some stuff in order, and then after work i can finish stuff up. i'm staying in seattle tonight because my flight tomorrow leaves crazy early (6 in the morning!). i'll try to blog tonight since i'm not taking a computer with me. D is convinced i won't be able to make it without my precious internets, but i told him, emphatically, that i'll be fine. he said sure, but what about him? "i'm going to have to hear about how much you want to check your email!" i told him that's why i bring paper journals and pens and write postcards. after all, this should be a vacation, and maybe that means i should take some time off from my internet addiction. we'll see how well i fare and how long i last!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

countdown: 3 days

eek! three days until chicago. i've been all sorts of geeked out and spastic about it, leading to me getting very little done in the way of actually getting ready for my trip. today at work i plan on making yet another list of things i want to bring, things i need to pick up from my house, places i want to go, etc. (i will probably invest in one of those little pop-up maps, just so i can always figure out where i am. i love those things.) so far, here is my list of absolutes:
  • myopic books. sharyn clued me into this, and after checking out the website, i can hardly wait to get there. before i go, however, i'm going to need to make another list, this one of all the books i'm looking for. going into a place like that unarmed is a bit dangerous. you never know what i'd wander out of there with!
  • rotofugi. another sharyn pick! i can never resist the urge to buy fancy toys in a new town. when my sister lived in alameda, we would go into san fransisco just to hit kid robot.
  • vienna beef factory store. OH MY GOD. not only am i going to eat delicious, all beef hot dogs, but i'm totally going to buy a poster of them as well. i wll hang that poster over my bed, so when i sleep at night, i'll have sweet, beefy dreams. yeah, that sounds dirty. do i care? NO.
  • occult bookstore. as much for me as for the boychild, who is all about the mysteries of the occult. i bought him a copy of the necronomicon the other week, with a stern warning that he is not to summon any old ones or demons while he lives at home. he rolled his eyes at me, but i think he understood.
  • cocktails. with chicago peeps as well as with D. preferably, with all of you at once.

honestly, all i want to do is spend some time with my man, out of town, in our funky little hotel, and if we get to see the sights, then i'm stoked. i hear the museum of science and industry is amazing, and i want to see that, as well as some chicago art. i want to wander around, and take pictures, and hopefully get a little sun. i get into town early on friday, and am there until tuesday! that's such a long time to get out of town. whoo! any more suggestions? i'm open to them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

domestic stuff

yesterday i brought lulu over to D's. it was a bit of a mad rush to get in and out of there without running into my roommate, and in the process i forgot to grab a few other things (like my checkbook! damn), but i am so happy she's here. she seems pretty pleased as well. D's room has a million little nook's and cranny's for her to hide in, there's lot of space for her to jump and run around, and this is just one room. for now i'm keeping her in here so she can get settled and get used to the smell of the other animals. there's another cat, puddin, and a dog, daisy. no one is sure how long daisy will be with us, but we know puddin is here to stay. so far, lulu seems totally curious about puddin, and puddin seems nonplussed. i guess we'll see how they really do when they are actually up close to each other, and not just eyeing each other across a room.

today is all about doing stuff around the house. D and M went to borrow the lawn mower from his folks, C and i are going to fold clothes and watch firefly. we need to do all sorts of stuff in and around the house, and it's a gorgeous day to get stuff done. this morning was lovely and leisurely and included the making of german pancakes (thanks kristy!) and drinking of coffee. i have some hankies i need to finish embroidering for a friend's wedding, and a mountain of clothes that need to find a home. i should have brought over my dresser yesterday too, but i wasn't really thinking.

the housing situation is a pretty crappy one right one. my roommate is being a bitch about me not being there, and ever other second she's either pissed that the cat lives there, or doesn't want me to take it because her kids love it. there's no winning in this situation. she's a whole lot of drama i don't really want to deal with, hence the sneaking in and out of my own house. ugh. this is why i hate living there so much, and why i can't wait to get out. i want to be with my man and my cat and the kids, not avoiding my roommate and getting mad that her kid is now pretty much just stealing stuff right out in the open. what a sucky situation. hey, if anyone is ever looking for a good roommate, don't pick her, okay? great!

go enjoy your mother's day!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

happy cinco de mayo!

or, how i learned to love the pig flu.

cinco de mayo, what a great excuse to drink mas tequila y cerveza and make an ass of yourself. luckily for me, those days are past (and i'm a mite broke). tonight we'll eat bean burritos to celebrate, but only because we happen to have all the fixin's for them. this morning on the radio i was listening to reports that all the big cinco de mayo celebrations in mexico were cancelled due to swine flu, which made me sort of sad. at the same time, it's nice to know that people are at least being prudent when it comes to disease control.

the whole thing with swine flu seems to be an awful lot of hype for a pretty standard flu. the only good thing to come of all the hubbub is that i think more people understand just how deadly the regular old flu can be as well. when you compare the two strains, the pig flu is killing less of us. the only other positive aspect i can see is how many people are rejecting the urge to go out and call everything a pandemic and disaster. it's heartening to think that so many people are becoming more media-savvy, or at the very least, are taking a critical look at what's being presented. that's not to say swine flu isn't dangerous or deadly, but when taken in context, compared to the flu we already know and love, it's not as huge a deal as some would make it out to be.

that being said, make sure you wash your hand and stop picking your nose. no pig kissing, and make sure if you imbibe massive amounts of agave-flavored liquors you have a driver or the number for a cab!

Monday, May 04, 2009

it's been a little over a month since my pop passed away. i went home this weekend to see my mom and my niece, and on my way out of town i stopped to see dad as well. you'd think some grass would have grown on his grave by now, but it hasn't. not wet enough, i suppose. there were some other people in the cemetery, which annoyed me, but it was nice to sit with him for a while. he was never much for flowers (he had allergies and swore up and down we were trying to kill him whenever we brought any home!) so i brought him a smoke and some whiskey. technically, this is a traditional indian thing, plus, i think it would crack him up. he always favored old granddad whiskey, but i couldn't find a tiny bottle of that, so he got some good old jack. the headstone won't show up for a few more months, so for now there's an awful aluminum marker. i will say, though, that while his grave isn't on the slope of the hill (the most popular spot and with the best view), he's got a nice view. lots of farmland, a pretty big red barn, and you can see the town from where he is. i can understand better now why he wanted to be buried; being able to go and see him, such as it is, is a comfort. he always wanted coupeville to be our home, and now we'll always have a place there.

while nothing is ever going to be the same again, i think my family and i are settling in as best we can. pop was a bigger buffer between my sister and mother and i than i realized; every little bump along the way this past month has been harder to navigate. there were quite a few weeks when i couldn't even talk to them. not in an angry sort of way, but our nerves were definitely raw and we had a hard time expressing ourselves. on the one hand, all i want to do is talk about him with them, but it's so hard to bring it up, and i don't want to make anyone else cry or feel bad. i can also only take so much. it's still way too new, way too sharp a feeling. i can't believe everyone goes through this; that seems completely, crazily unfair. it's simply a matter of whether you have gone through it, or you will. honestly, that thought blows me away. that we can go on after this, that in a sense it's a normal part of life, is amazing to me. it doesn't make me miss him any less, but it does comfort me in a odd way.

i know i say it all the time, but i do really miss him. he wasn't always easy to get along with, either. i want you to know that i'm not idealizing him or my relationship with him, but for all his jerky qualities, i still miss him. i'd take all the lousy stuff about our relationship if it meant i got to have him back. i just wish i'd had longer with him.

okay, enough of this for today. i spent all weekend thinking about and dealing with this stuff. today i'm going to do laundry, run some errands, make the house tidy and wait for my little family to come home. i love having one day to myself, but i love it when they come home from school and tell me about their days, and we sit and talk and listen to the radio. i also need to dye my hair all one color; right now it's kind of a hot mess and i'm going to chicago in less than 2 weeks time! i want to be foxy for that trip, and i'm pretty sure foxy doesn't have streaky, ridiculous hair.

Friday, May 01, 2009

you can make fun of me for this if you'd like,

planted stuff, originally uploaded by pinprick.

but lately i'm all about buying wedding magazines. don't get too excited! it's not official or anything (in that i don't have a ring and am not engaged), but i am having one hell of a good time looking at cakes and dresses and wedding favors. D and i started talking about it a while ago, in a hypothetical way, and i started buying magazines to see how much things cost (since i know that we'll be paying for it). i wanted a clear idea of what sorts of expenses we'd be incurring, and how much we'd need to save, and if a wedding was something we really wanted to spend money on, that sort of thing.

does it seem ridiculously early to plan this sort of thing? sure. i admit it's quick. however, there's a big difference between planning and doing. looking at the magazines, having the "that's so hideous!" or, "ooh, i like that" talks are a lot of fun. you know, i always thought if i got married i'd run off to vegas and send my family a postcard, but D is a little more traditional than that. he thinks if we're going to get married, then he wants a wedding. i can see where he's coming from; it will be a first for both of us, so why not have a ceremony and party? it's funny in some ways, because i want things to be less formal, but he's actually got some serious ideas for it. like, i thought a mexican food buffet would be awesome; it could cater to both vegetarians and meat eaters, the foods could be easily customizable, and who doesn't love cheap mexican beer? but the first thing he said was, "amanda, i'm not having a taco bar at my wedding reception." damn. i wanted that taco bar! or else get a bunch of those awesome taco trucks to park right there and cook to order! that would be awesome. i also want a guest list of about 30, but he's got a much bigger family and that's not going to happen. if i made my list today, there's be 15 people on it, and i'd be stretching. if D weren't so handsome and persuasive, i'd tell him to can it, we're going to the justice of the peace.

there's my guilty little secret! me and wedding magazines, sitting a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. ooh, that and i'm moving in at the end of this month. aw yeah, hello to shacking up!