Monday, October 31, 2005

I must be getting old

Today I suddenly remembered something that I had meant to include in yesterday's post. It was actually the reason why I was writing the post, or at least it was my original inspiration. I still can't believe that I forgot.

I have always been one to multitask. That meant that while I was painting, I needed to be doing something else. About two months ago, I bought a DVD recorder. The goal was to transfer all of these wonderful movies I have been saving on the DVR to DVD. The problem is that to do this, one must actually play the movie as this is a real-time recording. Which brings me to Sunday.

I thought I'd also add a couple of new photos so that you can get a better idea about the color.

No, I still haven't moved the furniture back. I wanted to make sure everything was dry.

One of the movies I had been putting off transferring is Lagaan. Now don't get me wrong. I love this movie. That's why I wanted it on DVD. The problem is the movie is three hours forty-five minutes long. It's hard for me to find time to actually sit down for that long. Actually a friend and I once joked that at points in the movie, one begins to think that one is watching a cricket match that is being played in real-time. It all worked perfectly. I hit the record button, painted my room, and returned to watch the last hour or so of the movie.

Thinking of the movie, made me think of The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. Then I began to wonder why this book had not been turned into a movie. I mean Shoeless Joe was made into a movie. I guess baseball movies aren't in fashion now.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A listing post

After I wrote the title to this post, I instantly thought of Quinn's ... but this is not that kind of post. However, if you are ever in Oakland on a Thursday night, you should check them out. Nothing like a Thursday night at Quinn's.

I have spent this weekend being clawed in various ways. Currently Boris is sitting next to me as I type. I would move him but I still have the memory of claws in my back a couple of days ago as I sat at the computer. Actually I think the wounds have just started throbbing once more. This is all while the little bugger is trying to put new wounds on me.

I would like to think that I have had a highly productive weekend.

1) I started on my new exercise regimen. Denise Austin kicked my butt. A co-worker (my former boss but now she's been promoted) said that Denise is old school. I really don't care. All I want is someone who inspires me to get off of my butt and to exercise. The kittens thought that I was playing with them. Natasha quickly realized that I wasn't but Boris as quick. When I started doing crunches, Boris decided that it was a good time for a nap -- on my stomach. There are no pictures of this which caused my aunt great disappointment. I thought about quitting but then decided that if it wasn't bothering him, I would just keep going. Under the Denise plan, Sunday is a day of rest. It wasn't one for me but I'll get to that later.

2) I cleaned like a demon. On Thursday night I ran into my neighbor and one of her friends on the way into the building. They ended up in my place. I was ashamed. I awoke early on Friday to clean and ended up doing five loads of laundry. I also put the back issues of cooking magazines in their proper place.

3) I stopped by my mom's house. She has returned to Mexico and the soonest that I will see her is March. That's only if she decides to file her taxes on time. Otherwise, I won't see her until next summer. I am hoping for the latter. As the house is basically unoccupied, she asked me to unplug the refrigerator. This means that I did some shopping from her fridge before I actually went shopping. The best item was a pound of frozen Blue crabmeat.

4) I went shopping. I got the kittens more food and picked up a few items for myself. On my Saturday out, I stopped at Bevmo and picked up this cute glass with my Bombay Sapphire. I think I'll have to get at least one more because I think that glasses should be in pairs.

5) Before I went to BevMo, I stopped at OSH. I had been thinking of painting my bedroom. Then I discovered that they had paint on sale -- and the last day of the sale was Saturday. That meant I had to buy the paint right then and there. Once I got the paint home, I realized that I had to paint immediately. If I didn't, I would have to wait at least two weeks before I had time to paint. I think the color is really pretty. I'll post another photo once the furniture is back in place.

6) I remembered after painting that I wanted to go to the library today. They're holding an item for me. Unfortunately I remembered this about five minutes before closing time and it takes me at least ten minutes to walk to the library.

7) I am sitting here typing this list of things while getting ready to head out to a friend's going away. She's a post-doc, like my neighbor(actually I met her through my neighbor). She has accepted a job in Australia. I have already begged her to take me with her. So now I have to head off for one more appeal...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A little self restraint

We are always receiving challenges at work to reach certain targets. In July my then boss and I received one of these challenges. (We needed to bring our accounts receivable down below a certain percentage level of revenue.) We met the challenge and have been patiently waiting for our reward, a $100 gift card. (Money has always motivated me quite a bit. Perhaps that's why I took a job in which at least half of my salary is based upon hitting target numbers each month.)

Today I finally received my gift card. I suddenly thought of all the places I could go shopping. There were so many. Then I remembered the horoscope from yesterday and had a minor epiphany. I need to enroll in my intermediate Portuguese class that costs $97 in the next week. It suddenly dawned on me that this would be the perfect use of the card. I mean I can't buy any new clothes until the DVD I ordered from Barnes and Noble shows up. If the customer reviews are true, this means that I won't be ready to go clothes shopping again until sometime shortly before the Christmas holidays. Oh, and for those of you who have been wondering, I am working towards getting into all of the size 2 and 4 clothes that currently inhabit my closet. Oh, and yes, I know that I am far from fat but I have spent years building this wardrobe. There are pieces that I will never be able to replace in a larger size.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Retail therapy denied

Every now and then I like to read my horoscope. Here is today's.

Whether you're at the mall, that boutique you've been dying to peruse or just at your desk visiting a great new online shopping site for the very first time, try not to have your credit card within reach. Your willpower won't be at its very peak at the moment, and just a minute's walk across the house to your wallet could make the difference between a year's worth of finance charges vs. a pat on the back in two days -- which is about when this urge will have passed.

How wrong is that? How did they know that I have the Anthropologie gift catalog sitting on my desk? The one thing that they don't know is that I have no intention of buying anymore clothes until I drop a few pounds or at least a couple of inches. What I am desperately looking for is a workout dvd. I don't care what they say. I'm buying it when I find it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The bag

Is is synchronicity or what? It all started on Tuesday night while I was at my mom's house.

When I got there, Gilmore Girls was just starting up. On this past week's episode Rory received a Birkin from her boyfriend. My mom turned to me and asked, "What's a Birkin?" My first thought was under what rock has she been living. Then I remembered that my mother has not been one to keep up with what's hot and what's not. (Don't tell her this though. She likes to think that she knows all about such things.) I explained, "It's a very expensive, highly desireable Hermes bag." I received a puzzled look and decided to give up there. If I told her that Carolina Herrera is one of my favorite designers, I'd probably get the same look.

Then I was doing my usual blog reading today. (I know. I know. I need to do laundry. I need to start packing up stuff in my bedroom if I really plan to paint it. There are a lot of things that I should have been doing.) I saw that Gloria managed to slip in a reference to the much beloved bag in the comments to her latest post.

Finally, I just started reading Everyone Worth Knowing. There is a section discussing -- yes, you guessed it -- the Birkin. The poor main character is apparently much like my mother.

I am beginning to wonder if I am ever going to escape the bag. Or perhaps this is a sign that I am about to receive one soon? (You don't have to laugh so loud.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Depression sets in

Yes, I am feeling a bit depressed. Why? It all started this morning while I was getting ready to go to work.

I have gotten into a rut as to what I chose to wear to work each day. Of course this will all soon because we are supposed to be changing over to uniforms. In the meantime I must continue to search my closet for something appropriate to wear. Today I decided to get out of the rut. I pulled out a skirt that I haven't worn in sometime to discover that it no longer fits. I could get it on but I could not fasten the button at the waist. Yes, I tried sucking it in. It did not work. That is when the depression started to set in.

I discussed this to a coworker. She asked if this is something I have experienced before. Never. In fact I have spent most of my adult life fighting to keep the pounds on. This is uncharted territory for me. I have worn the same size for at least 20 years. I cannot afford to replace a wardrobe that I have spent many years acquiring. Besides there is the vanity/pride angle. I refuse to buy the next size up.

I realize that anyone who has actually met me might not have much sympathy. It's just that we all have the things that we will not bulge on. I remember talking to former coworkers a few years ago. These women were talking about the plastic surgery they would have performed as the lines appeared on their faces. I do not mind the lines. One of my best friends from high school recently told me that they add character. (She's a stage actress.) I just don't want to gain weight.

Perhaps I will end up like my stepmother, having tummy tuck after tummy tuck. I don't think that's really the answer. The answer is that I need to get off of my butt and become more active. I know that I have gained the weight in this last year. This is the first year that I have had a fairly sedentary job. There was the slight weight gain when I stopped going out dancing a few times a week. That was tolerable because my clothes still fit. This is not. The real challenge is to find a way to exercise (and no, I do not do gyms) that I can fit into my crazy work schedule.

sigh I am sure I will find an answer.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My day (literally)

My day started early with a phone call from my dad at something like 7:30 a.m. asking if I wanted to go with his friend to a football game. My dad should have known better. I have never really been a football fan. Now if it had been baseball, I probably would not have minded the call as much.

Then my mother called. The first question was why I didn't take any leftovers home with me last night. The next was whether I was heading over today. Ummmm. I was just there last night. Nope.

Third call was from the niece of an aunt by marriage. She is visiting a friend in this area before she heads for Hawaii tomorrow. I had no intention of getting in my car so seeing her was out of the question as well.

What I did do:

1) Watched chick flicks on cable -- When Harry Met Sally and Here on Earth.

2) Went shopping at Andronico's where I managed to resist everything in the cheese case. (Yes, I did actually walk past it.) I was not there for cheese but for Twinings tea and Schweppes, both of which were on sale. I don't think you can have too much of either.

3) Unloaded groceries at home and did some light cleaning. Now the kittens can kick more litter out on the floor around the litterboxes.

4) Much to the kittens's dismay, I quickly headed back out the door to make it to the theater just in time to see the previews before settling in to watch Elizabethtown. I had to see it. I have always been a huge fan of Cameron Crowe. Just sent an email to my ex because I am sure he has seen it and I needed to discuss it with someone.

Previews are a big part of my moving going experience. I hate going to the movies with my mom because we usually miss some of the previews when we arrive. She also believes in talking through the previews and the first ten or so minutes of the movie -- about stuff not related to what is on screen. If you are going to talk to me, let it be about what is on-screen. Otherwise, shut up.

The other thrill was having popcorn, red vines, and cherry coke. I don't buy soda at home except to use as a mixer. The one place in which I will allow myself to have soda without alcohol is the movie theater.

5) Came back home with plans of cooking dinner but then realized that I was kind of full from the popcorn and red vines. We're having Indian summer around here though. Therefore, I decided that there is nothing wrong with a mojito while I debate the dinner thing. (Picked up the ingredients on my shopping foray.)

Perhaps it sounds boring. The cool thing for me was I got to spend the whole day doing exactly what I wanted to do instead of trying to make someone else happy. I don't do this nearly enough. I might have to schedule in more days like this in the future.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The return of Melrose Place

Not long after moving into my building, I started referring to it as Melrose Place in conversations thanks to the antics of my neighbors. I am glad that I am now able to contribute personally to this. Even though I haven't quite figured out which character I am, as I told my neighbor, I refuse to be the demented Kimberly. I assured her that I have intention of trying to blow the place up.

On with the tale. As you know from my previous post, I headed out Thursday night, had several cocktails, and met a bunch of boys. Now let me pick up where I left off. The aforementioned bachelor #2 whom my neighbor and I have now dubbed "Hallway Boy" felt the need to walk me home. (I walk to the bar because I don't feel like moving my car and am usually not in condition to drive at the end of the evening.) He was cute so I let him walk along with me. We got to my apartment and he came in. After talking a bit, he had to leave -- something about having to go to work. I was talking to him at the door when I realized the cats were trying to make a break for it. I stepped in the hallway and meant to pull the door partially shut to contain the cats. Instead I shut the door completely. Of course my keys were inside. To add to the situation, Natasha being the quick creature that she is had managed to make it out the door as I was shutting it. Thankfully my neighbor has keys. I knocked on her door a couple of times but didn't get an answer. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that it was 3 a.m. I handed Natasha to Hallway Boy and went out the front door, leaving it ajar. Why? So I could try knocking on my neighbor's bedroom window. I then went back in and tried her door again. She gave me my keys and I apologized profusely. The boy went on his way after the phone number exchange.

Last night over wine my neighbor filled in the rest of the story. She had heard me knocking at the door and had managed to tiptoe to the door by the time I went to knock on her bedroom window. What she saw upon looking out the peephole was Hallway Boy fighting to hold onto Natasha. Her first thought was where was I. She then started to think that perhaps Hallway Boy had killed me off and was now using Natasha as a lure to get into her apartment. As she watched, Hallway Boy lost his grip on Natasha and she managed to climb to the top of the door jamb where she remained until I re-entered the building. My neighbor said this tale got loads of laughs when she went out for beers after work. I think their were also some questions about our sanity. My neighbor and I have agreed -- Hallway Boy will never call unless he is into totally insane women.

On a sadder Melrose note, my neighbor then shared that she had heard from the boy who used to live upstairs. Apparently he has leukemia or something like that. He called her a few days ago looking for comfort but then he had to hang up because his girlfriend was calling on the other line. My neighbor thinks that she will head to NYC, where he now lives, soon to make sure he is OK.

Oh, and I did talk to bachelor #1 last night. He has since changed his mind about inviting me to the event on Sunday as he will be working. He said, "I would have to leave you on your own because I will be busy working. And you are so pretty, you will probably be surrounded by guys." Well, duh. Isn't that why I would go to something like that?

Friday, October 14, 2005

The inner partygirl

I have felt like I have been stifling a part of myself for months. Now I know that it is true.

Right before I left work tonight, I checked the entertainment schedule for my fave bar. All I can say is that it is a good thing I decided to show up tonight.

Bachelor #1 is the manager for the band tonight. How cool is that? Besides, he properly worshipped the ground upon which I walk.

Then there is bachelor #2 who is the complete hottie. The man could start a four alarm fire on his own. (No, I do not have photos but if he turns out to be a keeper, I promise you that I will.)

I could mention bachelors #3 and #4 but that would be pointless. I took their drinks and blew them off in the bar. C'est la vie.

I thought that life at 39 would suck but I have discovered that it only gets better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Trivial matters

On my way home from work it suddenly dawned on me that I do not have to get up at the crack of dawn on Wednesdays or Thursdays. This means that I am free to go out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I decided to take advantage of this tonight. I mean except for the party on Saturday, I really haven't been out in over a month. How will I ever expect to keep up my membership in the partygirl union with attendance like that?

Tuesday nights are quiz night at my fave bar. I was going to leave just as the quiz was starting up but got sucked in by a question in the first round. I just had to ask one of the teams seated near me what they had given for their answer. We all agreed on the answer and so were sure that it was correct. They then asked me to join their team as the next round started. (They had been perplexed by one of the questions that I answered easily.) We ended up in fourth place. We could have done better if they had only trusted me on one of the questions in the final round. The question was "What was the highest grossing movie with adjustments for inflation?"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm it.

I have been tagged by Gloria so here goes. I am supposed to list five idiosyncracies. Only five?

1. I am a collector.
This is not a positive thing. This is just a nice way of saying that I am a packrat. Like the typical Cancer, I have great difficulty in letting go. This is not limited to possessions. Oh no. I like to collect people too. Why else would I still be friends with the ex? The breakup was painful and I cried for months. Well maybe one month. Then I acted out. This involved lots of dancing on bars and all the other fun things you do when you have lots to drink. One day I realized that I was in the fastlane to self destruction and could only keep going at this pace for another year tops. That's when the ex became my friend again. I just couldn't imagine him not being a part of my life in some way. It's kind of how I feel about my Paddington bear and the box of Nancy Drew mysteries.

2. As as result of being a packrat, I believe in organized chaos.
I am a control freak. Everything has it's place. The biggest example of this is the flatware. Flatware should not be just thrown into the appropriate slot in the drawer. No. It must be neatly and precisely stacked within its space. If it is not, then I will have to stand there and rearrange it. This behavior used to drive my mom nuts when I was in high school. She has learned now though and stacks her flatware in a similar manner. I say similar because she has still has not mastered the symmetry of the teaspoon stacks. (She owns extra teaspoons and so they have to be placed in two stacks. Does she care that one stack contains 7 while the other contains 9? Of course not. It just about sends me over the edge.)

3. I should have been a librarian.
I have a large collection of books and music. There is order here as well.

Music is alphabetized by artist. If there are multiple recordings from a single artist, then they must be in chronological order.

Books are organized similarly. However, books are first sorted by genre and then alphabetized. Just like the music, multiple works from the same author must be in chronological order. When in doubt I use the copyright dates. This was lots of fun when I had to put the 30 or so Agatha Christie novels I own in order. Sometimes I mix them up just for the satisfaction of putting them back in order.

Visitors are free to remove music or books from the shelves. They are not allowed to put said items back though as they will invariably put them in the wrong place. Of course if you want to drive me mad, then go ahead and do it.

4. I remember "useless" information.
This makes me a prime candidate to be on Jeopardy. Why do I remember the stuff? Who knows. Perhaps it's because in childhood my father and I bonded over our knowledge of trivia. (I am still the only person who can beat him at Trivial Pursuit.) Now I justify it because it gives me lots to talk about at cocktail parties.

5. I don't do lines.
I will wait in lines if I really must. I just don't believe that some of us should have to. If I can find a way to get around waiting in a line, then I'll do it. OK. There are some limitations but you get the idea. Perhaps it's an inflated sense of self that leads me to it. I have shocked friends with this tendency in the past. They seem to think that I am such a nice person. I am. I just don't feel the need to mix with the "little people" at times. Isn't that what VIP is for? (Feel free to call me a bitch. I like to think of it as a compliment.) Perhaps I just did too much clubbing in the 80s when it was easy to get an inflated ego. It was after all the accessory to have back then.

Enough about me already. Guess it's my turn to tag someone else. Guess the only one who is left is Joe. I would tag Daniel but he doesn't seem to be reading much these days.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Shaken or stirred?

As promised, here is the dress.

Fortunately the party was as fabulous as the dress. Unfortunately I had to leave the party at 1 a.m. -- the misfortune in going with my neighbor. However, she doesn't drink much (one drink the whole night) so she was the designated driver.

I was accused of being Brazilian (sorry but I just started learning Portuguese a few weeks ago) as well as being Cuban. What I really regret is not getting a picture of the guest of honor from New Zealand. The man can mix a very nice cocktail. We started off with Mojitos and then went on to Cosmos. He works in the wine industry, or perhaps it was food. I think I have met my future husband.

Women at the party asked what was my secret as I have obviously tapped into some fountain of youth. I told them the secret was Ivory soap, lots of drinking and smoking, and an attempt to eat as healthy as possible. I will also curtail the party scene if I feel that I need more sleep. Be warned though. I sleep no more than six hours a night if I am not sick. As the saying goes, "I'll sleep when I'm dead.'

I think I'm going to crawl back to the futon and clutch the remote. My head is killing me. If only the kittens would stop running across me.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Why can't there be 30 hours in a day?

I feel as if I have been remiss in posting over this past week. Perhaps it's because I have been. I suppose that is a good thing because it means that I have been busy.

The whirlwind of activity started last Saturday. My cousin, who already has a cute little boy, is expecting a little girl around the end of this month. Her sister-in-law threw her a baby shower last Saturday afternoon. All I can say is that all of the little girl stuff was just too precious for words. I think I will have to borrow the kid occasionally. (I have decided at this point in my life that there is no need to have children of my own if I can occasionally borrow kids from friends and relatives.)

Then it was off to change clothes to go to a retirement party for my real dad. My mother takes entirely too long to get ready so we missed the cocktail hour. Thankfully there was wine with dinner. Dad worked for a car manufacturer so the party was held at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum. There were so many lovely cars there. Oh, and the food was delish as well. The surprise was that the company was not paying for the party. Apparently they do not believe in retirement parties. Instead a number of dad's customers (he worked in sales) paid for the party. They also provided the gift -- a membership to the Pipe Club of London and a one-week trip for mom and dad to London. Dad will get to be a guest of the club during their trip. He has been an avid pipe smoker for as long as I can remember and says that he may open a shop now that he is retired.

One would think that that would be enough for a single weekend but no. I had to go out on Sunday to explore the neighborhood. It was time for the Third Annual Spice of Life Festival. Lots of food, crafts, and music. And all within walking distance of home. I would have taken photos but then my mom would have asked why. Then she would have asked, "What is a blog?" In other words, too much trouble. Perhaps next year.

The rest of the week has been spent at work. I got a new boss on Monday. Don't ask how many it has been in the last year. I think I am starting to lose count. There are electricians here today doing a bunch of rewiring and making lots of noise. I cannot wait for tomorrow afternoon. (I have to work tomorrow so my weekend doesn't really start until about 3 p.m. tomorrow.) I do know that I will have a couple of interesting things coming up though.

Tomorrow evening this post-doc I know is having a cocktail party. Well, at least my neighbor says it's a cocktail party. I know what to wear too. My mom talked me into buying this Jones New York silk chiffon dress last weekend. Actually there wasn't a great deal of arm-twisting involved. It was my size and it had been marked down from $150 to $26. It seemed like a no-brainer. (Yes, Gloria, in my next post I will be sure to include a photo.) Next week a woman I know from Tribe will be in town. I think she is coming for the Bioneers convention. It should be interesting to talk to her as she has just returned home to New Orleans from the Dallas area. Oh, and she's a chef. A bit further off is a class I have to attend for work. It seems that I am being "forced" to go to San Diego at the end of November.

Stay tuned for party details...