Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Brain Dump

Since I am stuck at work on what is for everyone else a holiday I feel like I should spend a little time doing a brain dump.  I have a few thoughts and things that aren't worthy of a whole post and probably aren't worthy of a bullet-point post either but humor me.  I need to amuse myself today.
  • We have a pond frog.  I would post a picture but he is terribly skittish and I haven't been able to get one.  He leaps into the pond from his little froggy hollow he has made in our moss if you even come near the screen door.  I spend a lot of time trying to frog spot these days.  I think he came over from the big pond about 20 yards away.  I imagine he prefers being a big frog in a little pond rather than a little frog in a big pond.  I also imagine he was bullied and picked on by the frogs in the big pond and so ran away to our place for shelter and safety.  We have a little dorky nerd frog.  I am getting too attached and perhaps spending too much time creating stories for the little guy. 
  • The fact that it only took me 35 minutes to get to work this morning should make me happy but it mostly annoys me.  When I know it can be like this I resent the hour and a half evening commutes that have become the norm even more.  I am starting to dread going home because of the hellacious traffic.
  • Being sick when it is sunny and beautiful outside is just wrong.  I missed a baseball game Friday night, a race Sunday morning, spent all day Saturday and a good half of Sunday basically asleep or just generally feeling crappy.  But I'm all better for cloudy weather and work on Monday!  Whee!
  • Tilda Swinton frightens me.
  • Today the Squeeze Pandora station is providing much joy.  Also, listening to Pandora has ruined me for regular radio.  I keep looking for the "thumbs down" button to make the song I don't like disappear.  Easy to remedy in the car but harder when you listen to regular radio online through your computer. 
  • The podcast I listen to refers to the comments section of any internet article as "the dark heart of the human soul".  I agree and rarely go down there to look but today I found this beautiful comment by a gentleman named Ian regarding an article on "Community". "I don't know if my internet works like your internet. My internet has articles with titles, in the titles are subjects. And if I have no interest in the subject, I don't have to click it and read about it. I'm guessing your internet forces you to read through everything? Maybe there is a setting you can fix." 

  • You are watching "Community" aren't you?
  • Last week I had a minor surgery that involved getting up at 4:30 a.m. and being put under general anesthesia.  Is it a bad sign that I discovered I would prefer to do that every day than come into my job anymore?
  • If you a woman who likes to participate in athletic endeavors or know a woman who does or heck, if you are just a woman or know one, please read this article by the always awesome Jelisa Castrodale.  She is one of the wittiest, smartest writers out there and she wins at internet this week (and really most weeks).  This piece has a more serious tone than many of her others do but I think it might be my very favorite. 
  • In spite of, or because of, the weird muscle aches down the back of both of my legs I am going to go out and go for a run tonight.  The muscle aches were there when I woke up Sunday morning and haven't really gone away yet.  It is a weird feeling and the dark, weird part of my brain goes automatically to "degenerative muscle disease"; the normal part of my brain says this is probably just residual from whatever sickness I had over the weekend and/or just too much laying around. 
  • How did I ever get by before discovering Chobani yogurt?  It is absolutely worth the extra cost.  Nummy and satiating in one little tub.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our First Anniversary

In my grand tradition of posting nothing in a timely manner I give to you: our anniversary weekend trip back to the Edgefield two weeks ago.

We started by bringing our cake top out of the freezer.  I originally had no interest in doing this when we were doing all the wedding planning but Kevin is a sentimental guy and insisted on it and I am so glad we did.  It was very special to have something from that very day and seemed to bring the year full circle.  It is a really sweet (ha!) tradition and one I am fully behind now. 

The cake was actually still incredibly beautiful and incredibly delicious.  The top tier was chocolate with chocolate ganache and cream cheese filling and cream cheese frosting.  I had very low expectations for how it would taste after a year but it was as amazing as it was when it was fresh.  It helps to have had a super moist cake to begin with and then I think the fondant helped seal in some of that moisture and flavor.  We also had this beast wrapped up super tight in the freezer.   We hated to cut into it almost as much as we hated to cut into the big cake at the wedding.  But we did and took frozen slices in a cooler down to Edgefield with us to enjoy every day we were there.
The original creation.

We had four days of wonderful, relaxing, romantic vacation.  We took our time getting down there on Saturday and stopped and did a little wine tasting on the way.  Then we spent the rest of the time just unwinding and enjoying spending time together.  We didn't even leave the property until about 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon.  Drinks were consumed, pedicures enjoyed (by me with wine and Willie Nelson and the Clash - Best. Spa. Ever), food was eaten, naps and soaks were taken, Grateful Dead was listened to, more drinks were consumed, books were read, plants were purchased and new memories were added to our already overflowing Edgefield memory bank.

Wine and Kindle at 11:30 a.m. Vacation is good.
On our actual anniversary we went to the spa and had a couple's massage like we did the day we got engaged and the day before our wedding.  We then hung out in the soaking pool for awhile reliving his proposal. 

We went back to the room to exchange presents and get ready to read our vows to each other and I opened the door to this...
the same gorgeous dozen red roses and romance package that were waiting in our room when we got back from the soaking pool after getting engaged.  It was the sweetest most romantic thing and I didn't think it could get any better but then my sweetie gave me my anniversary present. 
An anniversary journal made out of elephant poo paper!!  The first anniversary is the paper anniversary and I knew he would try to stick with that theme.  He did the calligraphy himself and then scanned it into the computer and then stuck the pieces to the journal.  It has two pages that have each of our vows on it and then two pages for each year of our anniversary with the number and date of the anniversary done in calligraphy on yellow elephant poo paper.  Each year we will write what we did and put pictures from our anniversary inside.  He also gave me yellow poo paper roses.  My honey knows me well!!

Armed with our nicely bound vows we headed out to the vineyard to read them to each other again.  Shh, dork alert....for the first year we were reading them to each other on the 14th of every month.  Sappy I know.  Yearly is just fine by us now.

We brought along the bottle of bubbly we got in our romance package when we got engaged.  The other cool thing is the vintage is the year we met.  We drained that thing pretty fast.  So tasty and such a perfect place to drink it.  We even saw a bunch of rabbits bouncing through the vineyard but sadly none of them were black.  Although I was tipsy enough to give them the black power salute anyway.  Yeah, that was weird.

We reminisced about our wedding and how a year after the fact after the rush of the day has faded we would still do everything exactly the same (minor technical tweaks notwithstanding).  There were no regrets regarding time or money spent.  We put our hearts and souls into that day and even though we drove ourselves crazy with stress, needlessly at times with the amount of tiny little details we obsessed for hours upon hours over (you really have NO idea), it was 100% completely worth it (although with hindsight we would have started fluffing pom poms waaay earlier).  For the rest of our lives we will have the memory of a truly special, truly amazing day that was authentically us and that hopefully our friends and family will remember forever as being unique and special.  Now if we could just get that photo album put together.

We also marveled at the paradox of how our wedding seems like both a few days ago and a lifetime ago.  Neither of us can quite wrap our heads around that.  I can't even imagine my life before I met Kevin but we only met six years ago.  We talked about how it wasn't weird to say "husband" or "wife" anymore and how the word "wife" doesn't make me want to run screaming away from it.  I did what I had hoped to do which was define "wife" for myself and it doesn't have all those negative connotations I wrestled with so strongly before the wedding.

There was the one thing missing from our weekend.  As much as we wanted to just get away by ourselves and spend some time together, there was a little part of us that missed our people.  We were completely glad we didn't invite others because we really needed some alone time but it was still a little wistful.  Last time we were at Edgefield we couldn't turn the corner without running into someone we knew.  And now that moment is gone forever and the place feels a little haunted.  Haunted, but in a happy way.  When I look down the halls of the Edgefield or peek up the stairs to the Attic I feel not only those that lived and died at the poor farm and nursing home but ghosts of our loved ones who helped fill the grounds with their spirits.  Maybe that is what is meant by the hotel being haunted.  Yes, everyone is still alive for now but they will never all be there again and they definitely all left a little of themselves behind.  We will see them forever in our memories and will hold tight to those visions walking down the hallways or winding through the paths of the grounds.  Edgefield has always felt a little magical to me but even more so after our wedding weekend there.  

Happy first year my sweet (that is the equivalent of 5.07 Kardashians)!  I am looking forward to whatever adventures life holds for us.   I love you very much and, well, ....I fink you freaky and I like you a lot!

p.s. What the hell kind of jacked -up spell-check doesn't recognize the word "ganache?"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Excellent Coprolite

I got the last of my birthday presents at dinner with a friend tonight. I got fossilized dinosaur poop!! How awesome is that?!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 7, 2012

Riddle Me This

This isn't a new topic and many, many people have pondered this before so I am not covering any fresh ground here.  With that said, I am still consistently amazed at how dang hard it is to drag your carcass out of the house and exercise.  Why is this? 

I know that I feel good when I run, I feel good after I run,  and I am always glad I went out there and did it.  Always.  I also know it is good for me and that I feel better physically and mentally after I run.  So why, oh why, do I have to force myself to go? 

Sunday I finally talked myself into heading out for a three-miler down at the lake.  I had to fight myself all day about it and even through the first half-mile.  After that I was hap-hap-happy as could be.  The sun was shining, the temps were perfect (usually perfect running temps are about 50 degrees for me but yesterday felt great after so many cold, rainy days), and it felt good to get my legs moving again.  I could almost hear them saying "Oh yeah, I remember what this feels like.  This is what we are supposed to do.  Let's do this more often."  Sure legs, I hear you and I second that.  And you know what will happen when I lace up again on Wednesday?  The rest of me will whine and bitch and moan and I will have to, yet again, convince myself that I really want to run that night.

I know that once you get in the habit and get the fitness back it gets easier to get out there and you actually start to look forward to it.  I miss those days and I want them back.

Am I the only one who struggles with this?  I can't be. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

No Babies Were Harmed In the Making of This Post

  I always wondered what people did with them when they used the restroom. Question answered.

Two Years Ago Today...

It's our two year engage-iversary today!  I think the traditional two year engage-iversary gift is tickets to a baseball game between two teams vying to be kings of futility.  Such luck!  We happen to have just those very tickets tonight. 

In a week we will be sitting in the soaking pool at the Edgefield reliving the moment. 

Happy two years sweetie!  May the fourth be with you always.* 

*No, Star Wars Day had nothing to do with the engagement but it does make it easy to remember.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday Week

Here are a slew of pictures from my birthday week.  And yes, it was almost a week of celebration.  For the first time in six years my birthday weekend wasn't spent down in Eugene so I actually feel like it wasn't sort of an afterthought this time.  I'm not complaining mind you since Eugene was always my choice but it was nice to have a birthday at home at the normal time and not after the fact. 

The fun started last Wednesday with a session with Corks and Canvas to make "art".  While I harbor no illusions about either of our painting skills, I don't think we were downright horrible.  Regardless of the outcome, we had a good time and actually learned a few things about perspective and color.   Clearly, neither of which we used in our paintings.

Mine is on the left, Kevin's is on the right.
After seeing a really bad movie about Gauguin at the Seattle Art Museum on Friday night we decided to try to squeeze in one more visit to the Gauguin and Polynesia exhibit at SAM early Saturday morning. The horrible steaming pile o' movie actually did give us a new perspective on his work and I looked at the paintings differently this time around.
I call this one "Taurus with Taurus"
From SAM we made a quick gelato stop, mmmmm......cantaloupe and passion fruit gelato, and then headed out to our main destination, Woodland Park Zoo.  I love the zoo and haven't been in a ridiculously long time so I decided it would be the perfect birthday treat.  Also, my Groupon was expiring ; the story of our times. 

Minutes before getting his ass kicked by another peacock.

Lined up waiting for the artificial wave to start so they could jump in and play in it.
Look closely at the above picture of the tapir.  That is not a skinny leg protruding back there.  That is a ginormous tapir wang.  Boy did that tapir look pleased with himself!  He can move that thing like an elephant trunk.  A lot of dexterity for that appendage.  We looked up tapir penises on the internet later because we  were so fascinated and then proceeded to learn all sorts of fascinating animal kingdom penis facts.  Just let me know and I will totally share them with you.  Detachable penises are real, people!
We had a great time at the zoo.  We got to hang out and watch the penguins for quite awhile (my favorites), see the orangutans get their temperatures checked and get shots (fascinating how they are trained so well to put their heads and shoulders up to the wire for the keeper) and see the above mentioned manly tapir display.  We didn't get to see everything though but there was another visit scheduled for Sunday morning so that was alright.

From the zoo we went down to Greenlake to sit and kill time until our dinner reservation was ready.  I chose Poppy because I had heard such good things about it and the food looked unusual.  I wanted to try something totally different.  Somehow I became enamored with the idea of eating fiddle head ferns and decided that my meal must include them.  The meals are made up of either seven or ten small dishes served together on a tray and included some interesting flavor profiles. 
 Mine was sadly just sort of "meh".  There is far too much greenery on that plate for it to excite me too much.  Nothing was bad but nothing was outstanding.  Kevin, on the other hand, out ordered me and everything on his plate was delicious. 
Notice the total lack of green things on his plate.  Tasty correlation?  I think so.

Afterwards we walked Broadway for a little bit.  Man, has that street changed in just a year.  You can hardly recognize it any more.  But we surely recognized this guy.  If it wasn't for him, Dick's Drive-In and a few other places I wouldn't have known what street we were on.

Me and Jimi
Sunday brought more birthday goodness.  We headed back to the zoo in the morning for an "up close" tour that didn't take us as up close or behind the scenes as we hoped.  Still an informative tour and very interesting but I really wanted to get closer to the penguins.  Later, we did get to feed the little guys some little fish so that was fun.  Maybe someday I can be filthy rich and donate a bunch of money with the condition that I get to snuggle some penguins.  I hear they are practically chickens!

We left the zoo and went down to Mom's place for the family birthday celebration.  That meal was much tastier than the fine dining experience I had on Saturday.  We had cowboy beans, deviled eggs and cream cheese dogs with caramelized onions and bacon.  Holy hell was that a good meal.  Future sis-in-law made a hummingbird cake that was quite tasty too. 
Sadly, the actual birthday was filled up with that pesky old job but Kevin and I enjoyed some lovely leftovers, presents and some mini-cheesecakes we picked up on Broadway Saturday night from The Confectional.

It was an exhausting but fun birthday week but I am totally ready for things to be back to normal.  I did schedule one little treat/indulgence for myself for early Saturday morning but that is the last of it.  Who knows?  Maybe next year will find me back at Eugene running my inagural marathon.  That would be a delightful present for myself.