Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A big eye roll from atop my X-mas soap box

I am soooooo over the self-righteous, self-appointed christmas cops who go around getting their panties in a wad about people who use X-mas and wish Happy Holidays. FOR REAL. I'm not even going to go into the whole X is a symbol for Christ argument here... we're just going to put it like this: Yes, I love Jesus. Yes, I am aware he is the 'reason for the season'. I am also aware that my beliefs and celebrations are not the only ones going on in this entire world. In fact quite a few people i meet on a daily basis have beliefs that differ from mine, so why would I want my good cheer to exclude them? I am celebrating Christmas and I love Jesus, but i kinda feel like Jesus doesn't wish ill on those who don't and so He's okay with me wishing them a Happy Holiday and spreading cheer because of him... even if i am not throwing his name in other people's faces. So there you have it. Don't judge me because I Wish you a Happy Holiday instead of a Merry Christmas... and for goodness sake I am not 'taking Christ out of Christmas' because I use abbreviations. No one needs the guilt trips or the judgment.
And with that... I want to wish each and every one of you the Merriest X-mas and Warm Happiest of Holidays wherever and however you are celebrating this season! Woot!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her Iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40 : 1-5)

Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts; Yet once a little while and I will shake the heav'ns and the earth, the sea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come.
(Haggai 2 : 6-7)

The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.
And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3 :1-3)

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, GOD WITH US.
(Isaiah 7 : 14; Matthew 1 : 23)

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
(Isaiah 40 : 9; Isaiah 60 : 1)

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
(Isaiah 60 : 2-3)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(Isaiah 9 : 2)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9 : 6)

There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.
(Luke 2 : 8-14)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Anniversary

19 yrs ago today I was excited to get a day off school when my sister and friends were still in class. I went to the doctor with my mom. I got a sticker from the toy box. I went to another doctor with my mom, my dad met us there. I got a sticker and a toy from the toy box. They dilated my eyes, and I got a pair of sunglasses to wear home. I waited with the nurses and the staff for a very long time, and they gave me candy. I went back to the room and the doctor was crying. My mom was crying. We got in the car, they let me sit in the front seat, I was excited. My dad was crying. I had never seen my dad cry before. I remember patting him on the shoulder and telling him it was going to be okay. We went to another doctor. I got a ring from the prize box, the doctor asked me if I was married, which I thought was so funny. We went to have some 'tests' done. They strapped me into a bed and put me into a machine that sounded like a washing machine. They told me they were taking pictures of my brain, and I didn't know if I needed to smile for the pictures. My parents could finally come in and they were still crying and trying to smile and telling me I was brave. I didn't feel brave, I wasn't scared, but I didn't know what was going on. I didn't get a toy out of a prize box, but I did get a mini can of soda, which was COOL. I got to ride in the front seat on the way home again. My parents were talking about how to have a 'normal' Christmas. CHRISTMAS! I couldn't think of any reason why it wouldn't be normal, and I was excited about presents. My parents said after Christmas I had to have a surgery, because I was sick. I had cancer. I didn't know what cancer was, and I didn't feel sick, so I was not concerned. I was wearing sunglasses and felt cool.
This is all I remember from the day I was diagnosed with cancer. I know there was a lot going on that day, I was unaware of most of it and what it meant. Because of that, I was not upset or scared. Actually through the whole thing-- the surgery the next week and everything I remember having a great time. The doctors were really nice, my surgeon wore a funny hat that looked like a duck, I got stickers, toys, and candy every time I went to a doctor, I also got a teddy bear from my doctor when I had the surgery, so it was not an entirely bad deal for me.
I am happy to report that cancer hardly slowed down the happy-go-lucky five year old that I was. My recovery was quick, and mostly miraculous. Thinking about it now, i think it was a blessing to defeat cancer at the age of 5, as I can't imagine the toll such news would have on me at this point in my life. I can't imagine the toll it must have taken on my parents at the time, but I am also blessed with strong, faithful parents who led a our family past that crisis, while I was barely aware there was any crisis whatsoever.
So on this Dec 19th anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, I am happy to report that I have been cancer free for about a week shy of 19 years now. Praise God! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Appropriate Language for Work

WARNING: This posts does contain language that some of my readers may find offensive. If you are prone to take offense to mild expletives, this may be a post for you to skip over.

Today one of my co-workers came in to ask if I had completed a task he had asked me to do. I said that I had, and explained to him the rest of it, and he said, THANKS! You are the shit!
I replied, Nope. Try again.
He said, You are awesome? and I nodded my acceptance of this substitution.
Later his boss came in to ask if I had completed a task he had asked me to do. I said that I had, and gave him the info. Then we had the following conversation:
He said, "THANKS! You are the-- Wait, i can't say you are the shit because Jason said you yelled at him for that. Can I call you the shizz-nit?"
I replied, "Okay, First, Jason's is a rather broad interpretation of 'yelling'. And second, you may not call me 'shizz-nit'."
"Then what am I supposed to call you?"
"You can tell me you appreciate me, or you can call me awesome like Jason does... use your imagination, I am sure you will come up with something more appropriate."
"Poop. I could call you the poop."
"Nope. Try again."
Unfortunately... I have the feeling this is going to be an ongoing battle. But one I am willing to fight. If you are trying to compliment or show your appreciation to someone, you don't do so by calling them various names for excrement. Surely you can make a better decision. Surely I am not out of line for requesting they make a better choice of words?

In somewhat related news, little kids are funny. I had a 2 year old wander into my office this morning singing a song about the "Itchy, bitchy, spider" Of course, I just giggled as she was singing... I could have corrected her and asked her to make a better choice. But I didn't-- because apparently I find a two year old with an unintentional potty-mouth ammusing. (30 yr old plumber? not so much)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blog-gy Goodness

New blog for you to enjoy... still penned by Yours Truly, but different kind of deal: It's all foooooood. So you can see why this is appealing, right? I needed an outlet to post recipes I make and pictures I take of food, so here it is. I am sure you will love it. Maybe you will love it so much you decide to stop by my kitchen some day to see where the action REALLY happens... ? Well, thats okay too.
(for those of you not inclined to follow a click-y link enbedded in the text you can go to www.valsgoodtaste.blogspot.com to veiw the same information!)

What to get Valerie for Christmas:


I am seriously obsessed with this Christmas Apron. It is so cute I just want to squeal every time I see it. But for real? Check out the entire collection. It is adorable, vintage-y, charming, and ruffles and bows and everything that makes Valerie's heart sigh with happiness. I would take one of each-- but if you have to limit yourself (hey, I know economic times are rough) definitely DEFINITELY want the christmas apron.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Good Night

Just spending a lazy night at home... in my living room lit up by the bright twinkle lights on my gold Christmas tree. I'm wearing PJ's and socks. I ate a cookie while it was still warm, and drank a glass of milk. My 'puppy' is sleeping close by and Josh Groban is singing Christmas carols from my computer with unparalleled sincerity. I watched some TV, read a book, compiled a list of things I *should* be spending my time on, then crumpled the list, because who cares? I think I will brush my teeth and go to bed soon. It's been a good night.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I'm making tonight:

There are some days when you need to make something but there's not much around to make... but... some leftover junk. And So you make the favorite of roommates everywhere: Leftover soup. Okay, my roommates liked it. And I like making soup, because there is really nothing that can go wrong with soup. I always have a couple cans of chicken stock, beans, or tomatos in my pantry... use some leftover fresh or frozen veggies... easy and yummy.
The only regret for this one is I didn't take a picture. It was very colorful and pretty. And you know how I feel about pretty food-- I like pretty food so much I am considering making a food picture blog. (mostly for Rebecca's enjoyment) Hmmm... I'll let you know if that happens. But I digress... back to food:

Leftover soup: Mexican style
2 (ish) carrots cleaned and coursely chopped
2 (ish) cellery stalks cleaned and coarsley chopped
1 small yellow onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
saute until vegetables start to get soft then add:

2-3 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies
1 can beans (black, kidney, white, whatever you have in the pantry)
2 ish cups shredded chicken (rotisserie, baked, leftover turkey...)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
and bubble it for a while (till vegetables are fully cooked). Add chopped cilantro before you serve it and top it with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and/or more cilantro... Yummy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

JONAHED!

My fiance's favorite book of the bible is Jonah (...and right about now he would be stopping to correct me that Jonah is not his favorite book, it is his favorite old testament prophet. ) I hear about Jonah a lot. Which is cool, because there is much to be learned from the book of Jonah... But when he starts bringing out Jonah, just sit down because you have just lost the argument, and you are in for a dissertation length lesson.
Sooooo... it was a momentous event when, in the midst of a 'discussion' the other day... I got to play the Jonah card.
The context of the 'discussion' was something to the effect of:
Sometimes I don't necessarily feel as though you appreciate how smokin' hot your fiancee is... so once we get married the game is up and I am just going to let myself go, and you still have to love me.
To which his response was... Okay, I still love you, but i will probably be mad at you.
You can't be mad at me for being unattractive!
(and my favorite Zachary response ever:) The crap I can't!
(and here's where I got to play the Jonah card... can you see where this is going? We're going to use Jonah 4:5-11 ish)Let me see if I can explain this in a manner that you can wrap your brain around, Dear Zachary:
You, my friend, are being Jonah. When he was mad at the vine that shriveled up and died and he starts whining and saying, I want to die, and that's not fair you can't do that, and God says: The crap I can't! (paraphrase) Then God all puts him in his place by saying, I'm sorry... did you create that vine? Did you cultivate or care for it? No? You don't get to be mad that it is gone then.
And you can see the little wheels in his brain going double time formulating his rebuttal that I didn't let him interrupt with...
But I made him let me finish. I told him: Even though it is not necessarily in your nature to regularly notice or comment on the physical appearance of your loved one... it is something that you must work to be better at SO THAT you can 'care for' and 'cultivate' this beauty that you so desire. If you do not learn to care for it, you have NO RIGHT to be mad when it is gone.
And, YOU my friend have just been Jonahed!
AND I won with my Jonah card for the first time ever... because even if he didn't want me to be right, he KNEW I was. And even though we both knew I was pushing the boundaries of the Jonah story to fit my analogy, I STILL got my point across so he let me have it, because it is a rare occasion I actually win an argument-- er-- 'discussion' -- and I have never actually got to use Jonah against him before. (It was a big day for me.)
Plus we coined a new term for winning an argument by citing Jonah. So thats cool too.
We have the strangest relationship ever. haha

Dealing

I don't really know how to handle 'hurt feelings'. It seems like such a childish position to be in, and yet it is inevitable... Even as an adult i guess people will say and do things that deeply hurt or offend me. I want to blow it off and pretend like it's no big deal-- but it is kind of a big deal. I want to do something equally as hurtful to the offending party-- but then, not really because I do (or did at one time... ?) truly care for them. The only thing I can do it try to put it behind me and hope that some day they will note the error of their ways, but the chances of that are unlikely. So basically I am left hurt, down a friend, and with no hope of vindication or restitution. Sucks.
I need to go bake something.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Passive Aggressive RSVP

The favor of your response is requested by 18 November, 2009.
M____________________________

____Gladly Accept
____Regretfully Decline
____Decline to Respond but will ultimately attend anyhow

Hehehe... I love it. I would SO send something like that out... just because I am a little bit snarky like that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Delays

It looks like culinary school is a no go becuase I can't come up with the funds and I can't justify clearing out my savings for it. I am really disappointed, but I guess I have plenty more years of my life to learn to cook... and maybe when I do finally get myself in school I will have convinced my significant other that he does, in fact, want to eat things I make.
In other news: We shopped and registered for fine china (tableware) last night, and it was one of the happiest days of my life. Only SLIGHTLY dampered by dear darling FI telling me the whole time, this is so expensive, this is really pointless, no one is going to buy us fine china. He obviously doesn't understand how this works.... so don't try to rain on my parade because registering for china is one of those little girl dreams I have been looking forward to all my life. (As far as I am concerened it is one of the MAIN reasons to get married.) I don't even care if not a single person feels inclined to indulge my expensive taste in tableware for a wedding gift. The point is: I WILL get it... eventually. Even if i have to buy it for myself... if I have to spend the next 12 years collecting it piece by piece. Thats kind of how it works. China is not an instant gratification kind of thing. Try explaining that to Fiance. He didn't get it.
To his credit, he did admit he kind of enjoyed the experience... not because he found it interesting or satisfying (as I did) in any way. But he said, "It was fun for me to watch you get so excited." Awwww... even if he was lying through his teeth he still got bonus points for that one. Good work, Zachary!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teaser

About a week and a half ago we spent an afternoon on the plaza doing an engagement photo shoot. It was actualy kinda fun-- I think even Zachary enjoyed it a little. Our Photographer Claire is FANTASTIC and took some KILLER photos of us. I will probably post a big album on FB once I sort through all 222 pictures I have to choose from... but just to get you excited, here's a little 'teaser'.


(Oh, just admit it. You are impressed. We clean up pretty nice, right?)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best. Joke. Ever.

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous girl sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her. Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back to her.
'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. 'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she says. They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theatre followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, and she asks him if he would like to come back to her place. The next morning, she cooks a gourmet breakfast. The guy is amazed. Everything had been so incredible!
'Are you this nice to every guy you meet?' He asks.
'No,' she replies, 'You just happened to catch my eye.'

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha My favorite joke ever. For obvious reasons.

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend of 24 years got engaged this weekend. She told me the same way I told her... with a texted picture of a ring, and then wait for the screaming phone call. (Yes, girls scream when their friends get engaged. It's our thing.) Anyway, she told me the story and I told her i was so happy for her and then she told me they had set a date... June 5th, which just so happens to be 2 wks after my wedding.
To be very honest, I wasn't immediately thrilled about this information. I was a little irked. The mere two weeks she scheduled in between our date felt a little like she was stepping on wedding toes. My fears were confirmed when *B called because she had heard the news and she said... "Sooo... everyone is going to be talking about her wedding during your wedding?" Guess that makes yours the warm-up event. UUUUUUGH. No little girl dreams of someday having the wedding that will precede her friend's better wedding the next week... no no no, we dream of our day totally in the spotlight in which each and every person there views this day, and this wedding ONLY as the event of the year. And two weeks seemed like too little time to pull off two 'events of the year' especially since there will be considerable overlap in the guest list.
And so I spent approx 16 hours wallowing in my self pity and irked-ness when I remembered this picture that I found just a few days ago of bestie brides:
As it turns out, we are in a very unique position. We have been friends since birth. Literally. We have grown up together, played 'wedding' together, and lived together. We went to school at the same time, we graduated at the same time, and now... we are getting married at the same time. All the significant events in my life have happened with my friend, and so why would our weddings be any different? Here I was thinking that my friend of 24 years was trying to steal my wedding thunder... when in reality, we are really just sharing-- no DOUBLING each others wedding thunder. haha Anyway, once I realized how petty I was being and how excited I truly was to share this thing with my best friend, I thought OMG we HAVE to optimize this circumstance and I IMMEDIATELY contacted my photographer and scheduled a post wedding bridal photoshoot for 2 brides. It shall be the Bridal Photoshoot of Hotness x2 and I can't even begin to explain how much I want a picture of the blondie, boppy twin brides cheesing it up in their poofy white dresses. LOVE IT. I am so happy and so excited for us! As I said to April last night while squealing and jumping up and down:
OMG! WE'RE GETTING MAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRIED!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mystery Solved (and it's kinda sad)

One of my favorite things when I was little was going to the bank, because they always gave out dum-dums. You know those little suckers... YUMMY! To this day I can't see a dum-dum without feeling like a Pavlovian dog that I should go to the bank. Anyway, my favorite flavors were butterscotch and root beer, and my sister's favorite was lime-- unless there was a "MYSTERY" then we would fight over that one. You know the one that had the little question marks on the wrapper instead of a picture of fruit. The mystery flavor was the best because you never could tell quite what it was... It was like pina colada-butterscotch-grape all in one... and we would argue over what the flavor was, thinking that of course our taste buds' deciphering ability was far superior to anyone else around.
Well the other day while watching a show on the food network I discovered the secret of the mystery flavor. Spoiler alert: You are about to learn the unexciting truth, and may prefer to remain blissfully unaware and form your own opinions about the actual flavor of the mystery flavored sucker. This may ruin nostalgic childhood experiences for you-- it did for me.
As it turns out in the lovely factory where dumdums are made they have more flavors than they have vats to mix them in, and so several flavors are made in the same vat. However they do not fully clean and purge all lines before a new flavor goes through... so there is this in-between stage where coconut may be followed by blue raspberry, but they are mixed for a certain portion of suckers... It is these mixed/hybrid/mutt suckers that fall into the mystery flavor bin to receive the wrapper with the purple question marks... and THAT is the secret of the mystery flavor. It is not a flavor at all, it is a leftover. Don't believe me???
See, I told you it was a little sad.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Groovy Babies


Everyone and their dog is having babies right now. I'm not really into buying baby gifts, I just can't get excited about it. But inspired by my friend Erin, I found a way to combine baby gift-giving with one of my favorite things to do-- TIE DYE.
I purchased a package of diapers and onesies to create some unique pretty baby girl gifts. I dyed and tie-dyed and hand stitched on a few embellishments and... VIOLA! Baby gifts I can get excited about. This is a set of hand dyed burp clothes and onesies going to a baby girl who will be born next month. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish to complete this project. Not bad. I am really happy with the way it turned out. The tie-dye is soft and pretty in pink but still fun and groovy in a stylin' baby kind of way. :)

Heart Redheads

I don't know what this fixation is that I have with redheads. I just love them so much. I am pretty much devastated that I was born with pale to dishwater blonde hair and definitely do not have the coloring to ever pull off red hair.
I desperately wish I had more red-headed friends.
I am trying to figure out if there is any way I will someday have a redheaded child. I don't think I will. I may have to adopt one.
Seriously though, redheads are just so interesting to look at.
We went to this bridal show one day and I found the most stunning redheaded girl. I was seriously about to go up to a complete stranger and ask her to be in my wedding party. I told *Francesca she had been replaced, but being a good friend and understanding my quirks and love for all things red-headed she willingly made the sacrifice. In the end it didn't work out.
But I do love red-heads. So very very much.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unfounded Assumption of Trampiness

I was having lunch with my boss and some co-workers the other day and I happened to mention that at the end of the month I would be moving into a new place. They asked what my move in day was and I made the mistake of saying "We will be moving the 23rd" immediately everyone perks up-- WE? Oh, so you are moving in with your boyfriend? You and Preacher boy living together before marriage? Apparently they can't pass over a good scandal.
"No no no no... I'm moving, he's not moving in til next may when we are married, he'll be helping me move." I tried to correct them, but the damage is already done. And I get, "So you are doing the: pay two rents to keep up appearances thing" and "Oh, everyone knows you guys are shacking up anyhow"
Wait-- what? What does everyone know and what is your source for this info? Because there is no shacking up-- none. Trust me, I think if anyone knew for sure it would be me. And they all respond with sideways looks and patronizing nods. They don't believe me, and now I am really uncomfortable for several reasons... 1) Maybe I am not really cool with discussing this with my co-workers to begin with 2) Since we are discussing it, and I can't even set the record straight... how can I win? I can't.
So what it comes down to is I have all the reputation of being a trampy whore without any of the actual benefits of trampy whore-dom. Perfect. But it gets better because they also believe I am lying about being a trampy whore. So that's cool. I'm a liar, a tramp, and I'm still not gettting any. My life is awesome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on today

Started off the day approx a half hour earlier than usual. I pretty much just got up the first time the alarm went off, not the third. Turns out I prefer to have extra minutes in my day and not be flying out the door with just mascara and lipgloss on and a slimfast shake in me hand. The result is a more pleasant, put together, attractive Valerie who also had time to make her bed this morning. NICE. Did some research on wedding related stuff today... started the day feeling good about it, ended the day in a big pile of I don't give a crap about this wedding anymore. So thats lovely. I inquired with my groom about eloping. I was serious. He blew off my request. Later we were discussing wedding related things and he seems to think that if I decided he was going to wear pink for our wedding he could a) say no or b) bargain (i.e. okay, I'll wear pink, but you have to make it worth my while) This is my shaking my head while clicking my tongue. This man knows so little about me-- it's a tad disconcerting considering he plans to marry me in seven months, but I suppose that is his problem not so much mine. Make it worth his while. Pshh. How about option c) just do what Valerie says, Army T-shirt. Ooh, I am exceptionally snarky and bridezilla-ish today. Mmmm... it's like... vintage Valerie. Love it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Canning is sexy

I have believed for a long time that I was born in the wrong era. My love for all things house-wifey and traditional methods of food prep and preservation really have me better suited for a much earlier era. I was standing at the stove making apple butter today lamenting the fact that so few people can these days... and that most people my age would find my love for this process laughable. sigh. I love canning. It's a beautiful thing. My favorite part is when everything is in the cans and you are just waiting for it to seal and you hear pop, pop, pop which means you did it right!
I like to imagine myself in an age where people (or young men?!) find traditional home cooked foods more appealing than a 2 minute fast food run to arby's. Or a time when an hour glass figure the the ability to cook well were highly sought after attributes in a woman my age.
I have always had this fantasy that one day I would be standing at my stove doing something crazy cool like making apple butter or a pie from scratch and my husband walks in looks at me and tells me his wife cooking for him is the sexiest thing he can possibly think of (and, since you insist on knowing, I am most definitely wearing a June Cleaver-ish dress, heels, and pearls in this fantasy) and then with me glowing in the adoration of the man I love we probably eat pie and spend the rest of our day watching TV or something (you don't really need details)... but the point of my story is, I have always had this dream that cooking was sexy... SIGH.
Occasionally while cooking I try to convince myself that this is actually the case...
Okay, well, I have heard about 6 of the 8 jars pop which means they are sealing now, and my blog break from apple butter is over--I need to go wash dishes. Ugh. Not so sexy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Limited by my blog

I kind of feel like blogging was much more therapeutic for me when it was anonymous and no one actually read it. Don't get me wrong-- the idea that there is actually an audience for my thoughts and ramblings does wonderful tings for my already over-sized ego-- but there are some things that I can't really get away with anymore. In the past, every time I got really angry or annoyed or needed to vent I would blog. I used to do it all the time... it's how I deal with things... writing. And there was a certain thrill to going anonymously public with your thoughts. It was just a venue to get what was inside my head out of my head and then I felt a sense of release from it. It was cathartic. But... I have come to a point where I can't really do that anymore, because now people know the author of this blog and and people actually read this blog (which is weird for me) and now, when I need a good vent or want to put my thoughts and frustrations out there so they are out of my head--- well, it ends up sounding more like a snarky passive aggressive jab at those I am otherwise quite fond of. Which... is never really my intention.
I guess I am just feeling the limited today. Sort of. I guess.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Waste of a good haircut

We were supposed to get engagement pictures taken today but our beautiful fall weather got rained out... and no pictures were taken. I was pretty disappointed because I was looking forward to having the pictures taken, but also (and I am sure this shocks you) because I have been meticulously planning and preparing for these pictures so that everyone involved looks their best for the pictures that shall go down in infamy. Okay, so perhaps I am being dramatic, but i did manage to perfectly time haircuts and color for two people and 2 dogs. And do you know how hard it is to get fiance to cut his hair? Seriously I had to make the appointment drive him there sit there while he was having his hair cut and pay for it. All that and we arrive at the day of pictures only to be rained out... and the rain date? Um... next month. He's going to need another haircut by then! UGH! Sooooo... all that for nothing, and the waste of a perfectly good haircut. boo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sickie

So I went to the doctor today becuase I have felt LOUSY the past couple days. As it turns out, i should have been feeling lousy, because I have an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis. Not so fun. The most frustrating symptom is just fatigue and exhaustion. I could sleep all day get up and drink a glass of water and be so exhausted I need to go back to sleep all night. It's so incredibly frustrating to know you have so much to do but don't have the energy to stand long enough to do it. even now as I am typing this I am leaning my head against the side of the couch so I don't actually have to hold it up. And I have been awake for a solid 4 hours now, so it's time for me to go back to hibernating. So it's more water and back to bed for a Valerie. I need to feel better soon... tomorrow is kinda a big deal!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fortitude

for·ti·tude
Pronunciation: \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis
Date: 12th century

1 : strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Prayer

Today is a weird day. There seems to be a heaviness about it. So many people around me are hurting and burdened and I can't help but be exceptionally aware of it. I feel as though some action should be required of me, but don't know how I can help other than prayer. And perhaps that is all the action that is required of me... though I am feeling lost and unsure how to continue to pray. All I feel the heaviness of those hurting around me and all I can think is I know this is not what God intended for his children.
Lord, hear our prayers.

Mad crafty skills


I made this really cool bracelet for my wedding. I am making other wedding jewelry as well, but only have the bracelet done right now. It took several hours to figure out, but once I got the technique down I cranked it right out. I really like the way it turned out and even though I only have kind of crappy pics of it, I am still really proud and needed to share with you the fruits of my labor. It sparkles a lot in person.
Zachary didn't even have a clue he was marrying a girl with crazy mad crafty skills. What luck! ;)

Continuing Education

So I've been feeling pretty bad about myself recently. I've been bummed and feeling uneducated and inadequate. Maybe because I feel like all my friends are in grad school and here I am (with a degree that is mostly useless to me at this point) working a lame job as a receptionist. And it's a fine job, but it's not really fulfilling. I decided I needed to do something either academic or utilizing my talents and passions in some way...
When I expressed this desire to the fiance the other day he wasn't exactly encouraging. Well, to be fair, I guess I can see where he is coming from. He is working through his last year of undergraduate work and wondering how we are going to have money to live and him go to seminary and I am supposed to be saving for our honeymoon and helping him pay for school when I say-- I think I want to go back to school. And I won't say he discouraged the idea... but he acknowledged that I probably do feel this way and that I probably should do something to utilize my talents and pursue a career I would enjoy but thats something we could look at in a few years. He was maybe a tad patronizing.
So... I... was frustrated and ignored what he said and did some research on language courses and culinary schools and settles on the latter. Went ahead and signed up-- starting in January. I couldn't be more excited. A bit impulsive-- I know, but that's the only way I get things done. When I told him about it tonight, he didn't have much response. And I guess I don't know what I really expected his response to be... but I didn't expect it to be a nothing.
So now I have this really yucky feeling of unfulfilled inadequacy mixed with disappointment and it sits in my stomach like a heavy rock. I really wanted him to be encouraging and excited for me. Maybe he is just taking time to process.
I wish he didn't process. I wish I were not so impulsive. Regardless, Culinary Arts school in January... here I come.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Dam House

"You know what I love about John? I think his inability in spell allows him to candidly express his true opinion of his job."
My job frequently includes correcting the spelling and grammar on the paperwork the guys in the field turn in. It's not that it needs to be perfect, but it needs to be legible.On their paperwork the guys have to include the location of the work, but on the occasion that there is not a specific address or they don't know the address the use the closest street name or defining landmark such as "the lake house", "Black St. House" or "Water Tower Job". Which brings us to today's instance when I walked into my boss' office after editing some paper work and said: "You know what I love about John? I think his inability in spell allows him to candidly express his true opinion of his job." And... pointed out at the top of the page where it clearly stated he had been working at "THE DAMN HOUSE" that day.
We all got a good chuckle... and now I have to call John and tell him how to spell DAM, so he will not make the mistake of being so candid in the future. Hmmm...
***names have been changed to protect the illiterate.

Friday, September 25, 2009

You're uninvited.

Soooo... I got a call from a really good friend today. Initially I was really excited because she lives in Indiana and I live here... so we don't get to talk that often. We are both planning weddings so we have a lot to talk about, and it's always fun to hear from her. In college we had a mutual friend who--to put things really nicely--I had a falling out with. Her family got involved and it was actually quite nasty... but it's been quite a few years since that and the few times I have seen her since she has managed to be civil even if the family has not. Anyway... got a call from my good friend who is still really good friends with former friend and the hateful family... and she was calling to tell me that she cannot invite me to her wedding because former friend and the family cannot handle it. So I'm like-- thats weird because I kinda thought we were all adults who could handle being in the same room with someone we weren't overwhelming fond of for the sake of not putting the bride in a really crappy situation. But apparently not ALL of us fall into the aforementioned category. SO I'm a little bit confused and a little bit hurt but I manage to gulp out an it's okay, and I am sorry that there are people in your life that put you in that kind of situation-- and she imediately jumps to their defense, and defends her decision-- because obviously me not being there is best for everyone. And... at that point I don't really have a clue how i am supposed to respond. So I tell her I hope her day is great, and she says she hopes this doesn't affect our relationship-- you know, because why would it?
It's not so much the non-invite to the wedding that offends me, but the fact that when I was trying to be gracious and let her off the hook in her crappy situation she turned around and told me this was the best way. I'm already offended-- you wanna go ahead and twist that knife when you could have bowed out without making yourself look like a total ass, your friend feel like an unwanted idiot, and effectively permanantly damaging that relationship?
It's just... it was a crappy thing to do and a really crappy way to do it. (And Erin told my I could say that. haha)

I lose already

I promised to be better at blogging more frequently then get all sickly and lose all motivation to think for a few days... so sorry for the slack. Give me a day or two to recover and catch up on other things, and I'll... be back. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whats in the box?

I took a 3" cube box into the post office today. I needed to overnight it to Iowa. I filled out the correct forms and was standing at the counter. Oh, and I need to insure this package. "Well, it comes with insurance for up to $100, do you need more than that?" Chuckle. Yes. "How much do you need to insure this package for?" Three thousand two hundred and twenty five dollars. (incredulous look) "Whats in the box?" An Eye. "No really?" A prosthetic eye. She scoffs. "I didn't even know there was such a thing." Well, there most definitely is, I have had such a thing in my head for almost 20 years. "I couldn't even tell." Thats why it's three thousand dollars... so the lady at the post office never knows. "Yeah..."
Yeah.
I guess thats the first eye she has shipped in a while.

New Blog Effort

It has been brought to my attention that I apparently never blog anymore and the last 64 a certain individual checked my blog there was nothing new and his work is boring due to my lack of commitment to daily blog posts. My deepest apologies.
I have noticed however, when I try to blog more frequently the quality of the content declines considerably. That being said (and don't judge me harshly because I have often failed in this attempt) I try to blog only when I have something interesting to say. Which is... you know, not as often as I would like to think it should be.
Anyway, I will make a concerted effort to be more interesting and update more regularly-- all out of dedication to my fans, that their blog reading experiences might be frequent and fulfilling.
You're welcome, Joe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
Ill cross the stream
I have a dream

Friday, September 11, 2009

This month's to do list:

1) Nail down a location to get married.
2) Pay off debt owed to parents. (SOOOOO CLOSE!)
3) Haircuts for me, fiance, and dogs-- for engagement pics.
4) Complete mailing list for work.
5) Complete wedding fascinators and veils.
6) Lose about 8 lbs and locate abs.
7) Try out 3 new recipies.
8) Complete paperwork for move.
9) Obtain certified copy of birth certificate for passport.
10) Learn how to make that stupid mint chocolate cake.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Church weddings are for rich grumpy people

Will someone please explain to me why churches are so expensive? And why they have so many rules about who and how and when you can get married there? For real. the majority of churches in the area want to charge me 500-1000 to use their facilities for a couple hours on a saturday afternoon. And included in that $1000 is someone who tells me when i can get married, how I can get married, who can officially marry me, what I am going to look like, who can take pictures of my wedding, and i am pretty sure they have a stop-watch running just to make sure I don't go over my allotted time. FOR REAL people. Your building is not that special. I'm sorry-- did Jesus personally roll around on your bricks and you are afraid we might rub all the Jesus off if we are in there too long?
It's.... a wedding. A sacred ceremony recognized by the christian church, and yet I am being treated as a heathen intent upon destroying their facilities and inconveniencing or disrupting their church schedule. I am a member of an AWESOME church... my deepest apologies for being a member of one that doesn't actually own bricks, but please understand my request to borrow yours for a wedding was by no means done as a personal attack toward you or any of your church's members or belongings.
And with that... I think I am over the idea of getting married in a church. Not because I don't like churches, I just don't like church people.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Carbon Leaf lyrics to ponder o' the day:

It's no surprise that nothing rhymes with woman.

For Now

There is a song from the musical Avenue Q called "For Now". I was thinking about it today, as I am faced with some kind of life-altering kinds of decisions... and as a whole I agree with the theory of this song. There is one line from it that I disagree with, after listing many many things that are only 'for now' the last line of the song claims: Except for death and paying taxes everything in life is only for now. Meh. Okay, taxes will always be there, and you mostly can't get out of them unless you want to suffer some consequences... and well, death is a more or less permanant state, unless you are Jesus or Lazarus (or that fish I had in college) which the majority of us are not. I think if I had to write my version of that song mine would say: Except for tattoos and marriage, everything in life is only for now. Some people might argue the latter with me, but when you really really think about... yeah marriage is always permanent... and Tats you are stuck with. So there you go. Those are my two things that aren't 'for now'. (so if you are keeping track I am stuck with a Zachary and a pretty sweet cross tat on my side.)
But I digress. The original thought of this post was my consideration of things in my life that i feel are permanent but definitely are not. As I am making some life-altering type decisions I am reminding myself right now that most of the things i worry over are only for now. That a year from now things could change (will change). Which... feels scary but really comforting all at the same time. Sooooo... deep breath. A year from now we will re-assess and make the changes necessary, but for now... lets make some decisions. After all, it's only just for now, right?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Creeper Update

Best UPS creeper conversation to date:
UPS Creeper: Chello!
ME: Hello.
UPS C: No, It's CHELLO!
Me: Oh, Chello.
UPS C: I havn't seen you in a while.
Me: Yeah, I had to move.
UPS C: Why?
Me: I am pretty sure my UPS guy is stalking me.
UPS C: Oh. Ohhhhh...

Huh. I wonder if that got through or if he just thinks I was joking???

Over-committed

I think my brain is just too full. I can't keep anything straight anymore and i am screwing up left and right... i have so much to do, and even if I had the time to complete it all, i DEFINITELY don't have the attention span. I am pretty sure they are about ready to fire me at work for all the stupid mistakes I am making... and on top of everything else, I just am trying to keep the people around me happy because i love them and I want them to be happy and I seem to be doing a pretty lousy job of it. UGH.
I'm pretty sure i over-committed myself in one too many areas... but i don't know how to back off, who and when to say no, and then if i do... then you deal with guilt guilt guilt. Blah. I have the Sass curse.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lumpiness?

I was showering this morning and scrubbing down my arms when I felt this largeish lump on my upper left arm. What in the world? I'm thinking... and I had my suspiscions, but waited til i got out of the shower to get a closer look. Sure enough... there it was. A bicep. huh. It appears I have one on the other arm too... and when i twist my arm around there is that little tricep line accross the back of my arm. In fact, upon further inspection, my whole upper body is starting to take a little bit of shape.
Now I'm not ripped; i am by no means muscular; but my arms, chest, shoulders, and back are starting to look just a little bit toned. I only started working out 2-3 weeks ago, so I am feeling pretty good about these results. Here's hoping this success moves it way on down my torso and takes a shot at my abs and bootie. How awesome would that be???

Friday, August 14, 2009

My heart just got all pumpy and my stomach feels all squishy because I just had a WONDERFUL idea... that I don't know if I am brave enough to pull off. And if I do pull it off-- and it goes well, it would be like, life changing amazing. If things go a little wrong, though, it could be catastrophically bad. I am weighing right now if the results are worth the risk... or if i would be better to just push that thought aside... and my stomach is doing somersaults in anticipation of my decision. Oh goodness gracious!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My future husband

All I ever wanted was a man with a nice baritone voice and a hearty appetite who was so crazy about me he never wanted to let me go. I ended up with... "I don't sing" pickiest eater I've ever met over the age of 3 who says, 'meh, i could watch TV or I could make out with my smokin' hot girlfriend... lets see whats on the other channel...'
Why, oh why?!?!

Things I am lovin' right now:

1. Cool-ish evenings outside on the backyard swing.
2. Wedding photographer blogs (see: http://rootphotography.blogspot.com/ or http://visionairestudios.blogspot.com/ )
3. Garden salsa Sunchips
4. Carbon Leaf new album: Nothing rhymes with woman
5. Fiance's roommate being out of town... (so he spends more time with me!)
6. Rockin' gifts for my bridesmaids. (I'm so darn crafty!)
7. House-sitting/dog-sitting.
8. Surprises ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The few, the proud...

...and the ones who sit under trees yelling profanities at their wife because she got a flat, while their petite sister-in-law changes the tire. The Marines.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A year of living dangerously happy

Yes, I am quoting Carbon Leaf again... I just can't help it, not only are they one of my favorite bands but they have such clever lyrics that seem to stick with me... or make an impact at just the right time.
On their newest album, Nothing Rhymes With Woman, they have a song called The Lake of Silver Bells. As best as I understand it, it tells about a sort of dream world... but their songs are always open for interpretation (Every girl in the world has a horse??? What DOES that mean???) Anyway, one line in the song talks about a 'year of living dangerously happy'... I liked that idea: living dangerously happy. It makes a lot of sense. When you get to a place where you truly allow yourself to be happy, you also have to be a little bit vulnerable. And thats a little bit dangerous. Maybe a lot dangerous at times. But I spent a lot of years being safely miserable, sooo...
It was time for something different. A little over a year ago I decided to live a little bit dangerously in search of happiness. I didn't wait long before I found it, and...
Next weekend (august 2) is the 1 year anniversary of the day I met Zachary, my fiance. It's been a great year. Not perfect, but one of the happiest of my 24 so far. So when I heard the lyrics to that song I thought... hmmm... yeah, thats fitting right now. We've been living this year dangerously happy. I really am so happy with him. And I love that. And I love a little bit of danger... I love being so blessed and so loved and so happy.
I kinda get that it's not always rainbows and daisies, but it's a choice to still be happy and look for joy during worse times. Which is where the danger comes in... because it hurts to make that choice sometimes, right? Regardless, thats how I want to live.
Here's to another 'year of living dangerously happy'!
(Thanks again, CL)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm really not a 'moment' kind of person

It happened. I walked into a bridal shop a little tired and not looking forward to stuffing myself into another 15 dresses just to feel indecisive and a little self conscious... but then it happened. I put on a dress and I walked out of the dressing room and I immediately liked what I saw in the mirror. My sister, best friend, and the dressing room attendant all confirmed that it was perfect. They put on the veil and the pearls and I just stood there for the longest time staring at myself. I took it off, and tried on a few more dresses just for the sake of comparison, and we did find a dress that was a close second... so then I was torn and studying my reflection closely and cataloguing all my like and dislikes about each of the two dresses. They stuck a veil on my head... and really, I know I sound vain, but the effect was just stunning. So now I was REALLY torn. And I started to feel a little stressed and I got a little sweaty. So we took a little break and then I put the first dress back on...
and this time when I stood up on the platform and peered into the mirror... I was standing in this beautiful gown, complete with veil and accessories, looking absolutely classic and beautiful... and I FELT classic and beautiful. And I had a little moment-- and I'm not a moment kind of person-- but I got just the tiniest bit misty. I didn't think anyone noticed, but the dressing room attendant caught me-- and said: I think you just made your decision.
Yeah I did.
So I bought my wedding dress today... and there is this strange sort of high that follows that kind of significant purchase (One that the fiance totally could not comprehend), and i am still riding on that... because it is now 2:30 and I can't sleep to save my soul. So I think I will go put my dress on the dress form in the sewing room and admire how pretty it is...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pink

Overall, not a bad way to spend the day. I left work early for an appointment that really didn't last very long at all, but opted to join my girlfriends at the pool rather than returning to work. (shhh... don't tell!) We soaked up the sun and chatted and enjoyed the cool water on rafts floating about the otherwise empty pool... then when 4:00 rolled around we headed to go workout. (And I decided tonight that working out is just that much more enjoyable when you are a little pissed off). After working out I spent the next couple hours trying to ignore my sweaty-ness while i got somethings packed at the duplex then FINALLY headed to my parents house to shower.
When I stripped off my stinky workout clothes and glanced in the mirror i was pleasantly surprised to find my tummy chest and shoulders a little pink. I turned around to examine my back and it too showed signs of being in the sun and a dramatic line across my lower back where the sun met the top of my suit. Nice. Turn on the water, hop in the shower... OH CRAP! I forgot that steamy hot showers and even slight sunburns don't mix well. Yikes.
But now I am relaxed, exercised, clean, slightly pink, and sitting around in my underpants... because who wants to put clothes on sunburnt skin? No one. And who else is living in the house I currently inhabit? No one.
Anyway, like I said... overall, not a bad day. Oooh... you know what would make it perfect? If I had a nice guy to cuddle up with for a while... I wonder where I could find one of those... anyone???

Friday, July 17, 2009

A week after Birdie

A week ago today was opening night of our three show run of Bye bye, Birdie. The six weeks leading up to a week ago today were pretty much insanity... which is why a week later and I am pretty sure I still havn't caught my breath. And for whatever reason I was under the impression that after the musical was over I would have some time to relax and life would 'settle down' a bit... but, um, no. Not so much. Now there is moving, and wedding, and so many other things dominating my time... How do you ever catch up? I don't know.
Regardless, I LOVE the things that happen during a show. Things like making new friends or reconnecting with old... or getting to tap into your 15 yr old self and be a little silly and 'boy-crazy'... or learning how to make something from nothing (or a leopard print robe from a scrap of fabric, as the case may be)... I think my favorite moment of a show is at the end of the curtain call when everyone just stands and waves as the curtains close. It's a really spectacular moment because all your nerves are gone but your energy is still high and you have just completed something great with all the people around you. Mmm... GREAT moment.
So now it's a week later and the cast party and veiwing the DVD is tonight and I am excited to have Bye, Bye Birdie back just for one night before we say so long to it forever... But such is the case with theatre, always moving on to whats next. Hmm... what IS next?
(pictures, in order: Me and my 'Mom', With my fav trio of girls, trying to evade Conrad's advances... and smooching my for-real boy after the show!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yes!

What's that word...? You know the one you are supposed to say when the man you love is kneeling in front of you with a ring asking if you will marry him? Because i swear my mind went blank as that ring sparkled in the sunlight... and I was just smiling like and idiot and and pulling him back up to sit next to me. I nodded. I said-- uh huh... but the right word didn't come to me until several minutes later...
Okay, our engagement story from the beginning:
It's saturday, the fourth of july, one of my favorite days because i love fireworks displays. I had been up LATE the night before at a concert with my friend, and i was up EARLY that morning because I was on TV (long story, BBB promos, anywho...). Zach came and picked me up to take me out to lunch. We hadn't made any definite plans for the day (or so I thought) which I was slightly annoyed about but trying not to be. We went and got some pizza for lunch and after Zach suggested we go to the park and walk around for a bit. So we headed to Black Hoof Park in Lenexa. It sits on a nice lake and there is a big fancy dam with fountain things and water... i don't know, it's pretty. Last time we were there we didn't get to walk all the way around to the dam, and I was disappointed so Zach suggested we do so today, it was a beautiful day, so I was game.
So we get to the dam and check it all out and it's cool and we are sitting at the top watching the water and enjoying the nice breeze, when he says... "I got you a present." Um, okay. "It's in my pocket..." And he pulled out a ring box and I laughed and said... "oh shut up!" And then he got down on one knee and said will you marry me... and I am pretty sure he didn't even have it out before I was nodding and pulling him back to sit next to me... and I didn't actually say yes until a little bit later because I was smiling like an idiot and staring at the sparkling ring and trying to kiss him and hold back tears all at the same time.
So we get the ring on my finger and it is gorgeous, and I remembered to say yes and I am still smiling like crazy but we sat for only about 30 more seconds before he said, do you want to go so you can start calling people? (Good man.) And I said Uh huh. So I am pretty sure I skipped and giggled all the way back to the car, and asked him about a million times if this was for real...
And it is. And he asked me to marry him. And I said YES! And we are so excited!

p.s. We went back to the spot later that day with a friend (thanks Caleb!) and staged a few pictures... corny, I know. But whatever so am I.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Awkward couple and my new obsession

Okay, so my friend sent me a link to Root Photography blog the other day becuase their most recent entry (Meg & Rob: Engagement) features an exceptionally awkward couple. And becuase we have a very special place in our hearts for awkward couples, she thought I would enjoy. After getting a giggle out out of the initial post I was supposed to look at I started browsing through their other posts... and then through their website... and by now I am pretty much in love with Nathan and Jensey and the amazing, beautiful work they do! Check out their galleries... they are pretty cool. Now all I have to do if figure out if they would come to Kansas should I ever be in need of their services. ;)

I'm Not Snoopy


The other day while hanging out with my best girlfriends, we were discussing our significant others when one of the girls admitted to be a 'snooper'. "I totally go through all his stuff when he's not around. I go through his phone and email too. He knows he can't hide anything from me, I will totally find it." The others jumped right in and claimed that they too regularly search their husbands/boyfriends' phone/email/belongings and that they know theirs are regularly searched as well. I hadn't joined the conversation. Crickets were chirping as the conversation turned to me, and I had nothing to add. "I don't snoop." What? Everyone snoops... how do you know you can trust them...?
Here are two things I learned about snooping from past relationships: 1) Snooping only uncovers things I would rather be blissfully unaware of and 2) I don't want people to snoop through my business, so I should probably extend them the same courtesy.
Upon further self-examination on point #2 above, I decided it's not the snooping itself that I mind, because I really have nothing to hide. I would be pretty upset to learn someone thought they had a reason to snoop through my business. It's the dishonest/lack of trust thing about it all that bothers me. I would not want to insert that into an otherwise healthy relationship by snooping... so I decided I just wouldn't ever again.
So there you go-- that's why I'm not Snoopy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Valerie gets really annoyed when...

...her phone randomly shuts itself off.
...people at work ask her to start projects at 4:28.
...she discovers winston has eaten another shoe.
...it's so humid even HER hair can look curly.
...she doesn't even get a five minute conversation with her boyfriend all day.
...her friends don't respect her limited monthly number of text messages.
...her roommate's boyfriend is over every time she comes home.
...she gets paper cuts from filing at work.
...she loses her keys/phone/shoes when she is already late.
...she expresses her desire for a more fulfilling occupation, and someone gives her the 'just be glad you have a job in this economy...' speech.
...her toes are not pretty (too long between pedicures).
...people use the phrase "It is what it is."

Music teacher

Annie called me a music teacher tonight. And it made me really happy. I miss music. I miss singing a lot. My mom laughed at me when I proclaimed my favorite song from the show was "Hymn for a Sunday Evening" She said, "The only reason you like it is because it has the most harmony of any song in the show." SO? I miss harmony... nice, thick, choral harmonies... or, even better... choral polyphony! A once a year sing through of the Messiah cannot fill that void. I miss serious music. And I miss being around serious music people... I am rapidly losing skills that I have no need for in my current occupation: I couldn't play the piano to save my life anymore-- probably couldn't make it through warm-ups, I remember little more about proper voice leading than no paralell 5ths, and my vocal technique these days is in the toilet. I want to sing for real again.
I am supposed to remember al this stuff. I was supposed to put that degree to use. I was supposed to be a music teacher. I was supposed to marry a man with a beautiful tenor voice so we could sing together and have little singing babies and it would be perfect and wonderful and musical... whatever happened to that plan?
Why do I work for a plumber and only sing along with the radio in the car?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brush off

My boyfriend is out of town for the weekend, so my weekend it pretty much wide open. And... becuase I've got some stuff going on sunday evening I will not be participating in the regular weekly family date night. So when my mom stopped by work earlier today to chat, I thought to myself... hey, I would like to spend some time with my family on saturday. My mother confirmed they had no plans on saturday, so I said-- Hey, would you and Dad be interested in doing something Saturday. You could see my mom thinking... she had just admitted they had no plans, but she obviously wasn't thrilled with the idea of hanging out with me becuase she cooly responded, "Why don't you use your free saturday to catch up on some sleep?" "Um, okay, Mom, but I'm not going to be in bed ALL DAY." "Yes, well, it wouldn't be bad for you..." And then she bolted for the door and quickly waved on her way out.
So there you go. I got the brush off from my mom. Awesome.
Wanna be my friend?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Say what?

Have you ever been singing along to a favorite song and all of a sudden people around you are snickering and what? What are they all laughing about? And as it turns out you have been singing completely incorrect lyrics to a song for years and never even knew it! This happens to me DAILY. I actually recently discovered there is an actual term for this: MONDEGREEN. A mondegreen is the official word to describe misheard phrases or lyrics.
I am pretty sure this is a trait i must have inherited from my father as he is also famous for mishearing or changing the lyrics to songs... some of our favorites include: "I am a friend of dog, he calls me Fred!" and, "...I can see all the popsicles in my way!"
I sang sang the following incorrect lyrics with Joylia for years: "...I wouldn't dance with her mother" and "In the naaaaaame of love, one night in the name of love!"
For the longest time I was certain the Beatles were saying "I want a beer, ain't that right, yeah?" I had no idea what the rest of that song was about... but it seemed racy and inappropriate so innocent child that I was decided not to listen to the beer song, and always wondered why it was called paperback writer. And I shall never live down belting out: "...Some other worse guy, or the wife of a postman, wife of a postman!"
The other night at rehearsal I was having issues with my native language and couldn't quite get out a correct phrase, but the people around me got to hear me sing about "...one boy to quack with." And it was just all down hill from there.
So there you go, next time you find your face flushing from embarrassment over the wrong words you have been singing for years... you can share with your friend that you are not stupid, you are simply the victim of a mondegreen. (either that, or you can tell them about the stupid things I admitted to singing... either way, you look better.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A grown-up decision

Tonight I chose not to use my blog as a passive aggressive venue for venting my anger toward certain un-named entities. See? I am so grown up, it's sickening.
BLEH.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Random holiday

I stole away for the weekend to spend some time relaxing with my best friend and getting my summer wardrobe in shape (B and I in the same city and you didn't assume we would spend a solid 48 hrs shopping? Seriously, the debit card was panting by the end of the day. haha) I flew up here and as is always the case with that kc/chicago flight, it was delayed. So I sat for two exta hours in the kc airport watching BBB DVD and reading through my script twice. I was frustrated to be delayed but I guess it accomplished what I needed it to after the insanity of the past couple weeks, I was able to sit and relax, and think through some things while working my brain through this character I am supposed to play. I still don't think i have fully wrapped my brain around the concept of playing one of the leads in the GCT musical this summer. Friends, I am not a lead kind of girl-- I am a chorus girl. Blend in the crowd, sing with the masses, and goof off while the leads are working hard... sooooo... i'm not exactly sure how this thing is going to fly. I feel overwhelmed and under-prepared already. Grr. Anyhow, flying out of midway tomorrow means I will no doubt have another delayed flight and plenty of time to get a thrid time through that script. Oh, I got a pink coach bag. I think I forgot to mention that about our shopping extravaganza. It's pretty...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UPS Creeper Update

(Some of you may not know the full background of the creeper. The creeper story starts here on my old blog. Just don't get too cozy there-- thats not where we hang out anymore, right? Right.)

So the UPS creeper took things to a whole new level today. I am actually curious to know if he is ALLOWED to do what he did today, so I was hoping all those UPS and FedEx friends who secretly read my blog (come on, who are you kidding?) might be interested to fill me in... I returned to work from my lunch break at the same time the UPS truck was pulling into the parking lot. Another day... another awkward moment with the creeper. He hands me a package and said, I thought you might want this right away, so I brought it to your work since you aren't home during the day. Um, Okay Creeper. Why would I want my personal packages delivered to work? If I wanted it at work don't you think I would have shipped it to work? Why did he feel it was appropriate to make that decision for me? He doesn't deliver things for my roommate at work. And... I'm still just a little concerned that he knows when I am at work, when I will be home, when I take my lunch break, etc. That seems like he is going a little bit above and beyond good customer rapport-- and not in a good way.
(shivers) ooh... creeper.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Year

A couple weeks ago Zach found The One Year Bible my mom gave me on my book shelf. He started flipping through it and liked it, so because he already has a shortage of bibles around his place (Ha!) he decided to purchase one like mine. Well, sort of like mine, mine is NLT I think his is NIV. Anyway... we are going to read our way through over the next year, which should be a fun and hopefully edifying experience.
Last night while we were hanging together, he decided he was going to read the day's selection to me. I am a literate person-- but I LOVE it when people read aloud to me. It is perhaps a childish pleasure, but I don't think I will ever grow out of it. My mom used to read to us on car trips, I used to love it when teachers would read aloud to us at school, and I get excited when we read long passages in church. I like listening to other people read. In one's adult life, you don't get to very often, so it's a very pleasant surprise when it happens. So I was tickled when he grabbed the book and started to read. But I digress...
To be honest, I am not really good at keeping up with these one year kind of things, I usually hold on for about a month, then things start to go downhill, and excuses come easy, and pretty soon it's like, wait-- how did I get four months behind??? Hopefully it won't go that way this time around since boyfriend is participating as well... excuses don't come quite as easy when someone else is working through it with you. Anyway... check back in a year-- I'll let you know how it went. :)

I hate cats.

Let me say that again, in case you didn't hear me the first time: I HATE CATS.

Friday, May 8, 2009

We had babies!

While at work the other day I received an email from my dad (who was also at work) with the following subject line: We had babies!
What in the world could this be??? I was thoroughly confused as there was no explanation for the email, just an attachment. Included were these pictures, taken in front of the building my dad works in:
















This morning I received another email from my dad saying: We have baby ducks also. And because I am not the kind of person to deprive my friends of baby animal pictures to 'awww' at, I have included the attached pictures of ducks as well:


So there you have it. Baby pictures compliments of Dale Sass... enjoy!

Ex-boyfriend love letter free!

For reasons unknown to me, my boyfriend has always been really irritated by the 'guest' account on my computer. He refuses to use it, constantly reminds me to delete it, and is frustrated when other people are able to use my computer because of said guest account. About a week or so ago, I guess he finally had it, and decided he would just delete the guest account for me. I finally agreed because a day earlier I had caught a glimpse of the screen on the offending account, which shed some light on the otherwise baffling situation. My boyfriend's unexplained animosity toward my guest account may or may not have had something to do with the fact that the wall paper on that account was a lovely little picture that read:
Dear Val, I love you so much! -Joel
Uhhhhhparently, Valerie doesn't often use the guest account on her computer. Or hasn't for about two or three years now... because I was unaware this ex-boyfriend love letter was still embellishing my computer screen each time a guest signed on. Whoops. Okay, I admit, upon this discovery, but I did get a bit of a chuckle out of the situation. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.
Anyhow... the account has been deleted and my computer effectively cleaned of all ex-boyfriend love letters. Whooo!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My smile is mine!

You are most likely aware I have always been a slave to my own vanity, but about two years ago it manifested itself in a particularly grotesque form of torture and disfigurement widely referred to as orthodontia. It's been painful and heartbreaking-- but I've made it through the tears and ridiculous amounts of drool (ew, right?) and I am now in the home stretch of my orthodontic treatment... a mere weeks from my liberation! And as fantastic as that day will be-- it pales in comparison to this day. This day, I received a letter from my orthodontist thanking me for my final payment-- thus completing the financial arrangements I made with them about 18 months ago. You may or may not be aware that orthodontics is rarely a cheap endeavor, and my case was no exception to this rule. Thus I have been making payments for the past year and a half to pay for the straightening of my smile. But as of today I officially own all of my teeth (and all of the spaces between those teeth) again. I have made my last payment. I no longer have any debt in my mouth. And it feels good. And... well... it looks pretty darn good too. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Notable

My purple Honda, Barry, hit the 100,000 mile mark last week. We celebrated with a full tank of gas, rather than the half tanks Barry is more accustomed to. I think Barry appreciated the extravagance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Valerie's Wish List

Things I can honestly live without, but still desire very much to live with. Most of these are-- er-- higher price points, but feel free to indulge me for the next gift-giving holiday, or you know, just for fun. :) I've included links for each item. In no particular order:



Kitchenaid Mixer
: It's pretty, shiny, red... I mean, I could mix things by hand-- but, why???












Hammock
: preferably on a beach or in my own backyard (but that requires me actually having a back yard) But... ahhh... yeah. (Side note: I enjoy that the hammock website's catch phrase is 'accomplish nothing...')






Jimmy Choo: Dear Jimmy, I might love you... These are just so pretty, I can't stand it. I'll take a pair in size 6 please!









Vera Wang Mattress: Okay, for real, it doesn't have to be Vera Wang. But it just cracks me up that she started off designing wedding gowns and has moved on to a mattress collection? Weird. However, my bed is old, sad, and worn out... and in my wildest dreams, I wake up in a big ridiculously comfortable bed--sans backaches and soreness. Ahhh... :)









Cast iron grill: (Note: also kitchenaid, same shade of red.) Who doesn't love enameled cast iron? I could do some serious damage with this in my kitchen. Flank steaks, anyone?








1 ct Diamond Ring: Self explanatory. And beautiful.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No, I'm not engaged.

I am pretty sure just about every conversation I had today started with no, I am not engaged yet. Then they want to know why. Then they think they are the first to recommend that i should really get going on that. The next comment is, oh maybe someone should have a talk with that boy... and maybe someone should. But I am not going to be that someone, so knock yourself out. Thus far it has not been an overwhelming success, which is one of the reasons I decided to post here. Let's clear up this matter once and for all:
Henceforth, all questions regarding engagement (including, but not limited to: if it has happened, when it will happen, how it will happen, if there will be a ring, if he already has the ring, if he is planning on talking to my dad, if he is going to surprise me, how long we plan to be engaged, and/or how we will announce to the masses) should be directed to a Mr. Zachary Pogemiller. Contact info is available upon request.
(sorry, chief. I love ya, but I'm throwin' you under the the bus on this one.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Best quote of my week:

"I got my eye brows waxed once-- I will never do it again. I was Michelle Kwan for a week."

Random List

I thought it was time for more random thoughts of a valerie, and you all know how I love a good list... so here we are, a list of nothing in particular, in no particular order:
1) My job gets a bad rap, so I feel it is time I said something positive about it: Working with two mom's who bring their children to work every day has been EXCELLENT birth control. Now then, see what a nice place it is to work? I am sure your perception has changed greatly. Okay, I feel better.
2) I was really excited about these little no-show socks for wearing with ballet flats. They are kind of not effective. well, I guess they funtion as socks, but the definitely show and look silly. I think I have discovered the flaw: They are 'one size fits all', right? So I am thinking if i had a size 11 ft as opposed to a siz 6 ft, they would stetch out more, and thus not show. I have never before wished for larger feet and I am not going to start now, so i guess I must be wishing for smaller socks, becuase the concept it amazing, even if the execution leaves something to be desired.
3) I do not know what Twitter is, nor do I understand how it works or why it is necessary.
4) I believe I have been asked at least once a day every day since December if I am engaged yet. Nope. Not yet. The next question is always... when's it going to happen? Um... how am I supposed to know? And If I did know... why would I dilvulge the info to a curious acquaintance while keeping it a secret from everyone else? Silly people! Stop asking!!! It will happen soon enough... and as soon as the info goes public, I am sure you will know-- because Judy Sass can barely contain her excitement as it is, and given the chance she can spread juicy information faster than old ladies at a prayer meeting, It's truly amazing.
5) My favorite pair of earrings don't actually belong to me. They are a pair of earrings I bought for my mom on a whim one day becuase I thought she would like them. As it turns out, she did, quite a bit, as do I. And so the earrings travel between us-- me sometimes stealing them for months at a time before she spies them dangling from my lobes or in my jewelry box, and reclaims them. Right now they are in my posession! Shhh...
6) I applied to be a public notary for my work... which kinda makes me feel as though I should have poofy blue hair and thick glasses with one of those pearl chains to keep them around my neck... because every notary I have ever known was about 400 years old. Turns out the age requirement is 18. Who knew?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Different Kind of Job Security

It's one thing when YOU feel like your job is worthless and below your intellegence level, it is quite another thing when your boss affirms that very thing:
"...don't think of it as a bad job, think of it as job security--because no one else around here would stoop low enough to do the job you do." --My Boss, when discussing with me the new changes in my job description.
As you might have guessed, my self-worth is sky high today. I also have a strong sense that the people around me respect and appreciate what I do. I'm going to go bury myself in some paperwork now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The IRS just isn't worth it.

I'm a procrastinator. And a panicker. And when I procrastinate and things go wrong at the last minute I panic BIG TIME. Which brings us to 'tax season' which is just code for 'big breakdown waiting to happen'... because lets just be honest when you wait til the last two days to do your taxes, things are not going to be where you filed them, your numbers aren't going to make sense, and your bank is going to charge you $20 to print the statement you lost from last year. (yeah, they did, that was kind of crappy of them , wasn't it?)
So I was preparing my taxes, poised and ready for the breakdown... and there it was, (or wasn't as the case may be--) the necessary missing and unattainable document that would send me in my panicking downward spiral to IRS failure, death and doom. Ready to forsake all hope, and cry like a little girl over my lack of ability to get my taxes done correctly and on time... I did the only logical thing anyone in my situation would, I called a friend to whine about how much i hate taxes. After a good 15 minutes of cursing taxes, and cataloguing all the evils involved with filing them, my good friend sympathetically agreed, "The IRS just isn't worth it."
And she's right, you know. Probably not worth my drama and panicking and tears and hatred. The IRS doesn't know. They don't care. I would have thrown in the towel right then and there and just said "SCREW YOU, IRS!!!" But I was afraid that they might hunt me down and kidnap my dog for ransom if I didn't pay (which i inevitably always have to do...)
So I pulled myself together and grumpily worked my way through the rest of my tax preparations, and filed my taxes the next day.
As it turns out, the IRS is worth it-- because for once, they owed me money, instead of the other way around. HA! I feel strangely vindicated this side of filing my taxes. And I did it with hours--nay, DAYS!-- to spare. I'm pretty much a tax genius.