Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hi. My name is Amy and I’m an addict.

A Mormon blog addict.

I don’t know what it is, people, but I cannot get enough of these things.

The fetching ensembles they wear, the photographs of their vintage wallpapers, the surprisingly sassy references to married sex, the baked goods, the allusions to mysterious LDS practices, the cozy family gatherings. It’s like reading a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel with a bonus chapter on red lipstick and Sprite.

If I weren’t a devoted atheist, rabid gay rights supporter, and overall hippie skip, I’d totally get onboard; I just happen to disagree with 91% of their beliefs. It’s no one’s fault.

I’ve heard Mormon dudes bitch about the huge disparity between the missions they go on and the women’s assignments (Savannah, Georgia vs. Siberia - etc) but what they’re not getting, is these mostly-by-women blogs will end up converting wa-ay more people than any knocking-on-foreign-doors-in-ill-fitting-suits will ever do. They are – by far, by leaps and bounds - the best Mormon PR that ever was.

Lord knows it wasn’t this chick.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It looks so grand, yes?

I lived here for two whole years, my junior and senior years at BU, which in college time is really kind of astounding. My apartment – shared with a rotating group of four others - was on the ground floor in that upper right, shaded corner. Oh, the stories those marijuana-scented, old-fashioned walls could tell.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grace, Day 34

1.) The work team treating me and another February-birthdayer to a Chinatown bingefest lunch. The walnut shrimp they serve at this place makes me weep with happies.

2.) Remembering I've forgotten about shows I was addicted to (CSI Vegas). It's kind of nice not having to see all those bloody heads roll around every week.

3.) Bobby pins.

4.) Crooked smiles.

5.) This bronzer from Benefit, a berfday present from Mom. I've never worn bronzer before, but since I stay out of the sun like a vampire - I'se need it. Problem is, most of them are orange or sparkly or streaky or creepy. Hoola is none of those things - it just makes you look healthy and glowy and not dead. Really, really good stuff.

Another tale from the old days of thea-tah

This time told by Matt. I totally forgot this one. No wonder I'm petrified to tell employers I have an appointment.

when i was a freshman in college, i took a required class called "singing for actors". this was taught by a woman named claudia, who in addition to teaching our music class was a pyscho-analist. she was a sharp tongued women with a hairstyle akin to jay leno's, she'd recently dropped a few lb's due to a strong commitment to weight watcher's meetings. she was full of pearls of wisdom like, "always wear black and a splash of colour."

claudia mainly lived in new york, but took the train into boston to teach for a few days each week. i imagined new york to be a city full of people wearing black suits, black turtlenecks, black jeans... all with a red scarf, a green shoe, or a fluorescent pink undershirt peeking through.

the class would begin with a group warm-up and then move onto everyone singing solo in front of the class. each solo would end with a critique from claudia... often with an insult. either outright or veiled. once, a friend sang "razzle dazzle" from chicago. before he was even finished she made a big hit-the-road-jack gesture and said, "well you didn't razzle dazzle me - sit down!"

another time a friend had to leave class early for a doctor's appointment.

"good bye, amy; i hate you," she said.

it seemed horrific at the time, but thinking about it now she was basically a comic genius.

I could probably get them to pay for therapy, no?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just now getting used to having a camera again

- so I've only got a couple of pics from my Mom's visit. Both taken during our long walk along the Marina, Crissy Field, and then lunch at the Warming Hut - my old unemployment haunts. We were lucky the downpours stopped for just a bit, just for us - and our red Sauconys.

P.S. That globe thing my Mom's standing next to? There used to be about 50 of them, cluttered all along my daily walk; I had a complete breakdown when I thought they'd be there forever, blocking my view. Turns out they were just a traveling exhibit, with only one or two left behind.


Grace, Day 33

Oh, the lazy glory of today! We slept till after 11, then puttered around - drinking mugfuls of coffee, playing on the interwebs, eating grapefruit, watching Netflix and reading stockpiles of magazines and library books.

I eventually worked up the nerve to jog, after a 1.5 week hiatus, and felt my lungs weep the whole way. That's what I gets for slacking off and enjoying 5 or 8 cupcakes in one week. Frankly, it was worth it.

1) Red tulips on our little table by the window.

2.) S'mores.

3.) Realizing a) I'm going to be a few different things when I grow up and b) no one's watching my choices with a clipboard. The near-constant career worry is finally, slowly dissipating. Hallelujah.

4.) Clay in his navy v-neck sweater. Yum.

5.) The tiny ceramic animals that come in Red Rose tea. Of which I need a new box...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grace, Day 32

So! Mom flew away today, after a really nice week in the city together. This was her third visit to our little city and in my opinion, the best so far. The other times, I was so overwhelmed with work - sweating bullets over Comcast and eating my stress away with buckets of Poptarts - and didn't know the city well enough yet to find the good stuff; feeling relaxed and in-the-know goes far. Plus, it was my birthday and I got many cupcakes and birthday presents and my Mom cleaned the apartment with Method stuff while I toiled away at classes! I will seriously miss waking up to a bowl of already-made oatmeal and coming home to a cup of tea and dinner in the oven. A visit from Mom does a body good.

And now, I've got a leisurely weekend with the hubs-band ahead of me. I ran around a lot this week, having the fun, so it'll be nice to sit and then sit a little more and then play some Rockband. I also just got 5 new books out of the library and want to read them all at once. One set of eyes is so limiting, no?

1.) Candied pecans. Thought I hated these suckers, but ate them tonight in a salad and couldn't stop shoveling them in.

2.) Getting off the pill. A huge decrease in headaches and a huge increase in, uh, wanting to do, uh...romantic things. You kind of forget how stuff's supposed to work after 12 years on the stuff.

3) Lime rickeys.

4.) Stripes.

5.) Christina Aguilera. I can't help it, people - I love that woman.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maybe the cutest exchange I’ve ever heard

After chugging two large cups of caffeine pre-class, I was in pain by the middle of the proceedings. Sneaking out the back door, I hurried outside my annex classroom and into the bathroom across the way.

Exiting the stall that I promptly re-entered, was a white lady in her 60's, sporting a striped sweater and Mom jeans. She looked like she might teach piano and cook her bran muffins with soy milk. Already washing her hands at the sink was a sassy multi-culti girl in her twenties. She looked at little like Claudia from The Babysitter’s Club. (OH YOU READ THEM, TOO.) It was clear they didn't know each other.

As I begin the pee behind closed doors, I hear:

Piano Teacher: Sigh.
Claudia: Don’t make that face at yourself! You look good!
Piano Teacher: Startled. No, I don't! I’m never happy with how I look.
Claudia: Wow! Why?
Piano Teacher: Uh, I don’t know. I’m just… not.
Claudia: You should LOVE yourself. You look good!

The whole dialogue was so wacky and sweet and really illustrative of the City College experience. People from different walks of life that would never interact otherwise, sharing little moments.

The bathrooms on the other hand? Not so sweet.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace, Day 31

Just realized I've been kind of shhhh over here the past few days - lo siento! My Mom's in town and I've been busy running around doing fun things in the rain with her. I'll post some pics (taken with my new almost-berfday camera!) of our muddy adventures soon. My Gram was supposed to make the trip, too, but had a bit of a health scare the day before; she'll come along next time when it's not so rainy. (Hi Gram! Glad you're feeling better! We miss you out here!)

1) Those new tea lattes from the 'Bux. Sweet and milky and foamy and heaven.

2) My three new pair of Levis, purchased by the hubs on V-Day after trying on many after many after many. Finally! Pants with buttons and zippers that are comfy and cute.

3) Rockband. We took a short break, but are back at it and it's badder than ever. You shoulda heard me rap Beastie Boys style yesterday. I won't was awesome.

4) Sweatpants. There was no better clothing invention ever.

5) Birthday presents !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grace, Day 30

1. All the free stuff - bus ride! sour cream and onion chips! frappucino! - I got today. I'll write a post about it when my head removes itself from the vice upon it. Or the vice removes itself or whatever.

2. Umbrellas. Genius!

3. Watermelon sprinkled with salt.

4. Almost skipping class because of aforementioned head clamp issue, but somehow pulling it together and trudging through the deluge and oh, do I love myself now.

5. The Nickelodeon cartoon Doug. There's some bastardized version on Disney, with a horrific theme song, which bums my face out. But the original show (and theme song) were awesome; I've been wanting to watch an episode all day. And I really don't do cartoons.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grace, Day 29

1. My BU sweatshirt from ebay. Old and slim fitting and a lovely shade of red.

2. The bus driver who let me ride free today.

3. The Easter candy with the maple filling. Really, anything maple flavored. Maple maple maple. What a strange word.

4. Our Tempur-Pedic pillow aka TheraFlu aka T.F. from way back in the Cambridge days. Cold and firm like tofu if I liked tofu.

5. Getting the email from the library saying your books are in from the Main Branch.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Grace, Day 28

I need to get back on these everyday, 'stead of skipping.

1. Law and Order binges.

2. Getting a left-side, window seat on the bus.

3. Having curves.

4. Sipping hot cocoa out of a straw.

5. Freckles. Don't have them, but gosh they're cute.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Why I heart my husband, Part 5,912

He celebrates my Middle Eastern heritage while completing his American work:

To combat the sudden onset of Sunday coma,

instead of polishing off the last three chocolate chip cookies and lying face down on the brown couch, I'm going to talk about the goodies lying in wait.

a) Once Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are gone into the past I can collapse into a relief puddle. Two different, detail-y corporate events I've been organizing will be over; I can stop worrying about shuttles and raviolis and confirmation numbers and officially cross "Event Planning!" off my potential future career list. (If you saw/spoke/smelled me during our wedding planning, this is no huge surprise. I was happy to be married, not happy to pick napkins.)

b) If I'm not too knackered, I'll storm Manjiri's couch on Tuesday post-classes for some Idol.

c) I've got macaroni 'n cheese and spaghetti leftovers as well as cookies and tiny carrots and two delishy Kashi frozen meals to eat this week while I run around from work to class to work to class. Also lots of milk for lots of coffee and tea. Eating well = coping well. Being not caffeinated = not an option anymore.

d) We cleaned the place and ORGANIZED THE BEDROOM SO HELP US GOD this weekend so there's a much greater chance I won't turn this place into a den of slack and villainy as the week progresses. Greater chance doesn't = no chance. But there's hope!

e) Hubs-band plans to fly back home Wednesday instead of Thursday, score team! (Sidenote: I almost wrote "Wednesday vs. Thursday", but I try not to do that anymore. Why? At my old ad job, I once wrote an email that said: "For our copywriter, we'll be using Larry vs. Phil" ... The next day the creative team had mocked-up a poster of Larry and Phil boxing each other with crowds cheering. It was my first week at work; I was mortified. The end.)

f) My Mom and Gram are flying in Friday for a week long visit to my city and me! Ba-boom boom uh yay!

g) Valentine's Day on Saturday!

h) Three day weekend! (Thanks for doing the whole President thing, Presidents.)

Do I see the clouds parting? Do I hear the birds chirping? Do I hear the tea kettle bubbling for a cup of decaf and a spoonful of wildflower honey? Yes. Yes, I think I do.

Another Saturday Night

Sometimes I still feel a genuine guilt pang for that time in first grade, away on a class trip sleepover, I pretended to be asleep on the top bunk because I knew the first person to zzzz won a cupcake. (Inappropriate, past teachers of mine, but nonetheless incredible.)

In the same grade, to the same teacher, I lied about having a sore throat so she'd give me an orange candy from her secret tin. I still feel bad about that, too.

Apparently, if ever taken hostage for information, my torturers just need to wave a doughnut in my face and I'll tell them everything.

In other news, I cooked up some din din for mah man and two other menfolk tonight. Baked pork chops with apples, Martha's mac 'n cheese, sauteed broccoli, Mexican Coca-Cola out of glass bottles. Then warm cookies and peanut butter ice cream, made fresh on the premises.

Back in college, where I lived exclusively on Spaghettios and Gatorade and "entertaining" meant finding a lighter for the smokers, I would never have guessed it in 12,000 years - but I really like to cook and throw together these little nights. And making tonight even better, my delicious hubs-band just gave me, as a pre-birthday (holy S*&T I'm almost 27 CHOKE GASP DIE I'M DEAD) present, a vintagey apron with a twirly bottom that makes me feel happy and wholesome and helpful. Because we all know how much I love aprons. Basically, if you cook without one, you're doing it wrong.

And now I'm going to stay up late and sing songs to stay up later because falling asleep makes tomorrow Sunday and we all know how I feel about Sundays.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Had quite the of-the-times moment

yesterday morning in Mill Valley, a poshy suburb nestled in Redwoods across the Golden Gate. Why I was there will remain a secret for now.

But anyways. It was raining and I was drinking a chai and eating an onion bagel at a small table in a small cafe bookstore. (All of those words together = my paradise.) Two hip, stay-at-home dads walk up and ask if if they can sit next to me. Sure, I say.

Dad #1: "Wow. Does nobody work anymore?"
Dad #2: "Looks like no. Ha!"

And it was true. The place was packed with usually-employed types. Strangely, the vibe wasn't frantic; I think everyone was just happy to be eating onion bagels. They're pretty cheap, but plenty delicious.

Dad #1: "It's kind of cozy, all us folks being unemployed together!"
Dad# 2: "Yeah! It is!"

Then they sat down and schemed up some business ideas ("Let's do what we really WANT to do for once!") and I read a rather sad George Saunders short story and licked cream cheese off my fingers.

It was a nice morning. And yes, rather cozy indeed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Grace, Day 27 Maybe?

Guys. My hubs-band is back in the hood. Tomorrow be Friday. I get to sleep a lot soon.

More formally:

1. Banana bread without walnuts. Warm with butter. Maybe a small whisper of cream cheese.

2. Finding your keys on the first grab.

3. Red Starbursts.

4. How basketball players used to wear Chuck Taylors.

5. Blue Sharpies.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Crabby and Grace

I was a real thundercloud today. Usually a jog in the morning starts things off right, but the air was too cold and my lungs caught on fire and construction workers were always on the sidewalk I needed. Then I missed the good bus (#41) and had to take the bad one (#45).

At work, I had to pack up lots of product into boxes and I got all sweaty and unladylike. As I packed, I fixated on all the things I hate about all the things I hate. I didn't even know I was doing it until my eyebrows were so tight together I looked like one of those angry cloud guys in Super Mario. So then I'd think about something happy (usually food or bed or food in bed) to reverse the spiral, but the next time I tuned in? Oh, I was off steaming again -- onto that time in high school when a friend's mom made fun of my cowboy hat or how I always get water up my sleeve when I wash my hands and it feels so bad.

Things got better once I started classes and now I'm relaxing on the couch with Judi Dench and Kashi eaten out of a measuring cup, but yowza. My hormones should be bottled and used to fuel rockets.

Grace things:

1. "Gimme Shelter" -- I wanna get all up on that song and marry it.

2. Good bangs days. The grammar doesn't seem right there, but the alternative is weirder.

3. The day my Gram took T and me to the A&P and bought us, from the rainy parking lot vendor, hamburgers wrapped in English muffins and rootbeer floats.

4. Ears popping on the way down.

5. Sea turtles in Hawaii.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Another long day in da bag!

So I'm still really liking classes, somehow. Sorry to keep marvelling at it, but most of you didn't have to live with me through the many hours/days/months/years of me hating school. The novelty's going to take awhile to rub off.

But there's 1 of my 4 that sucks wind. Essentially, the lady stands up front and reads the worksheet packet she's handed to us. And doesn't even read it right; she'll mispronounce words and say nonsensical things not on the page and shit? Luckily I found a dude to sit near who thinks it's ridiculous, too, so at least I can roll my eyes toward someone.

At one point this afternoon she was putting super low-quality mimeographed (that's right - not even xeroxed) images up on the projector and then...describing them? Because our eyeballs broked?

"That's a boy standing on a pretend boat looks like maybe...the 40's? Yes, it's true! Children in the 40's pretended they were on boats, too."


Then we watched a VHS from 1980. She left the room during the whole thing so I did some homework from another class. Then she came back and let us out a half hour early. There's more funny stuff, but I'm too tired to be funny.

But the thing is, I thought all my classes were going to be like this. And they're not. So I'll shush up and take it.

In other news, the song "If You Seek Amy" sung by the lovely Mz Brit Spears is 100% complete nonsense -- but a fantastic song for the end of your day when you just want to sing 100% complete nonsense.

In other other news, here are some happy things:

1. The rubber band book I made/wrote today - at my work desk instead of eating lunch - for Curriculum class. It was called "Olive and the Sandwich" and told the story of Olive who woke up one day and really wanted a PB&J.

2. Trail mix.

3. The non-horror Stephen King book I'm reading - Lisey's Story. He's a dang good storyteller.

4. Coffee from McDonald's. Surprisingly delicious and strong.

5. Blowing bubbles in class.

Monday, February 02, 2009

grace, day 25

1. My pink Prana yoga top from Amanda. Super cute and the only thing that keeps the, uh, girls in place whilst jogging.

2. Cucumbers dipped in ranch.

3. When I want to read every story in the New Yorker. Like this week's.

4. Juice glasses from Ikea.

5. Funfetti frosting. (Do they make it anymore?)

(Oh! They do!)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just flew home from Texas

and boy are my arms tired.

Clay's in Dallas these days for work and because a friend got hitched in the Big D this weekend, I took the trip down south to partake in the festivities and save the hubs a coup-la plane rides. I somehow dodged a frigid ice storm that came earlier in the week and instead frolicked in three days of super sunny t-shirt air. Yeehaw.

We hit my three favorite brunch spots (though one of them - I'm talkin to you, All Good Cafe - is now bumped because yay food nay waitresses) and did lots of shopping-without-buying and lounged around the hotel and got dolled up for the nuptials and ate some good foods there and danced a bit.

I was sad waking up today because it was Sunday and Sundays are always a bit sad, aren't they? They've made me grumpy since the day I realized that A) school was a must and B) musts are rarely fun. But they make me especially sad when I have to hop on a plane and head home without the hubs and lose our Sunday night. Blergh.

And oh my poor, patient Buddy; he lives through a version of the Sunday Blues Breakdown every single weekend. Here's how today's went down.

We're in a baggage store, perusing the luggage. We walk outside into the sunshine.

Me: "I'm done. Done. I don't like this shopping thing I don't want to do this anymore I hate it I need to pee my back hurts and I'm going to sit here and not move I'm done."

Clay: (Mouth agape - five minutes before I was happily strolling along, singing showtunes. Quick on his ever-thinking feet, he realizes this is half blood sugar half Sunday Blues related.) "It sounds like you need some food, Buddy. Chipotle?"

Me: "I'm not moving."

Clay: "Hmm. (Pats my hand.) Chipotle?"

Me: (Pictures sour cream. Removes self from sidewalk.) "Okay."

We drive to Chipotle. I inhale three tacos in five minutes.

Clay: "Feel better, Cram?"

Me: (Sniffling.) A little. But doesn't seeing people eat alone ever make you want to cry?"

Clay: "Hmm. Not really? I sure eat alone alot so I'd spend a lot of time crying."

Me: "Did you not SEE that man in there alone? Eating ALONE?" (Crying.)

Clay: "Hmm. No? Wait - are you really crying? Ummm he was probably just grabbing a quick taco after church before going home to his wife and kids! Then he'll watch the Superbowl!" (Desperate to stop the tear deluge.)

Me: (Full sobbing now.) "HE WASN'T WEARING A WEDDING RING!!! You're probably right though! He probably DID come from church, where they're repressing his homosexuality and now he's staring into space at a random strip mall Chipotle and sipping a small cup of water and thinking about the boy he once loved! Alone!" (Heave, sob, heave.)

Clay takes my hand, gently drives us back to the hotel, and puts me down for a nap. I wake up semi-un-psychotic and pack up my new navy nail polish for the trip home. Oh, my. My poor, good Hammy.

And now! I must call his cute bum to say goodnight.

(Goodnight, friends.)