Sunday, February 27, 2011

Seattle Mini Done At Last!

Way back when (in October) I started a minibook to chronicle my adventures in Seattle for M's wedding weekend.  I visited with my England ladies and got to travel a new city with them.  This adventure involved a suitcase and a hotel instead of a backpack and an airport bench but it was just as wonderful.

I have finally finished (minus one page) my Seattle minibook and I am so happy with how it came out.  (I'm also happy that my internal monologue loves to end sentences with prepositions.) 

Here it's like 3 million pages so feel free to scroll.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up 
* Day date plans with S.
* Good hair day.

Thumbs Down
* Two inches of ice on my car.  Tires stuck to the ground because of the frozen slush.  Twenty-five minutes of chipping away ice with the pointy corner of the snowbrush to get my car out of its spot. 
* Being tailgated by an 18 wheeler even though I was going 10 mph above the highway speed limit. 
* Watching in astonishment as the 18 wheeler passed 4 cars in the left lane (in MA on 3 lane highways trucks are forbidden to drive in the left lane!)

Thumbs Up
* Playing catch up with the Baby Mama.
* VS b-day rewards.  Hello pink safari panties!

Thumbs Down
* Cold winter weather.
* Dreading all the grown up tasks I have to do next week...i.e. taxes, car maintenance, paying bills.

Thumbs Up
* Well written books.
* Listening to mix cds from 2005.
* Finger hugs from Miss M.

Friday, February 25, 2011

FF - Summer of Suzy

I am irrationally afraid of wild animals.

I don't think this was always the case.  I believe my fear stems from many summers spent in the woods working at a camp.  More specifically from the 2006:  The Summer of Suzy. 

Suzy is was a bear.  A black bear.  A black bear with cubs who spent the summer feasting from the dumpster on camp property. 

At the beginning of the summer M and J spent hours trying to creatively scare Suzy away from the dumpster.  They yelled and used air horns to no avail.  (They also spent hours taunting Suzy for fun.)  But Suzy made it abundantly clear that the dumpster was her personal all-you-can-eat buffet. 

Later in the summer the boys were responsible for chaining the dumpster closed and watering the electric bear fence.  Nothing worked.

Suzy ambled around camp with her cubs in tow.  She took up residence behind the dumpster while her cubs sat near by in the trees.  Suzy walked into the dorm, across the A-field paths, and was almost run down by the camp van when she ran across the road.  (Yes, I was driving.)

During the Summer of Suzy, I was petrified to walk around camp alone.  We educated the kids on what to do if they happened to come across a bear.  Put your arms up, make loud noises and slowly back away.  But in the back of my mind, I wasn't convinced that I could remain calm in the face of a Suzy encounter.  I imagined myself pushing a camper towards the bear and running away as fast as possible.  (Obviously, I lack that Momma Grizzly syndrome that Sarah Palin subscribes to.)

At the end of the summer, I was alone in the camp store taking inventory.  I dropped an entire bottle of slush syrup on the ground.  Even though slush syrup is extremely sour, I freaked out and was sure that the smell would attract the bear.  My heart started pumping and I grabbed my stuff and ran back to the staff house as fast as I could.

The Summer of Suzy instilled an irrational fear of wild animals in me.  To this day I am more afraid of being attacked by a wild animal than a person.

Everyone survived the summer without incident and Suzy was "taken care of" after the camp season.  There were future bear incidents at camp but the Summer of Suzy pretty much scarred me for life.

Truth:  I had a dream last week that I was in my parent's basement and there was a bear trying to break in through the windows! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jalapenos > Olives

When I said that hummus would be next I meant to say jalapenos. 

Last night I went to trivia night at some bar in some town.  We arrived to find two large groups of older people smoking and judging K's parallel parking skills.  I was sort of baffled until I realized that we had parked outside of a bingo hall.

I didn't have much to contribute to my trivia team other than the fact that magnesium was a metal found in chlorophyll...and that was totally a guess because magnesium is the only metal I could think of that started with the letter M. 

But, I learned a few things at trivia night such as:
There is an astronaut on the back of the Ohio quarter
How to correctly spell Dolce and Gabbana
The second longest river in Maine is the Penobscot

The big news is that K ordered nachos which came an absurdly large dollop (if dollop meant softball sized) of sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos.  D convinced me to try one and I did!  It was spicy but totally more edible than the olive

D also suggested that I up my goal from 5 new foods to 30 new foods...or that I reword my goal to "Find five new foods that I enjoy."  I'll think about it.

Let's review.  Tried jalapenos.  Survived.  Basically...Anthony Bourdain. 

D2: You should try haggis.
A: Doesn't that have something to do with sheep.
D: Blah blah blah innards blah stomach lining blah blah.
A: Um...veto.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy National Margarita Day!

Apparently February 22nd is National Margarita Day.  Who knew?  Kathie Lee and Hoda did.  (File under #ThingsIlearnedatthegymthismorning.)

After working out at the gym this morning, I had only one other thing that had to be accomplished today.  I needed to imbibe a frozen strawberry margarita, in the middle of February.  So I painted my nails with Gilty Pleasure Gold (my new fav.) and headed to a Mexican restaurant with the girls.

If you know me, you know that I don't desire, try, or eat Mexican food.  But that is where they keep the margaritas.  I ordered my drink and settled on the safest option I could find...chicken tacos with rice and beans.  In my mind I pictured black beans but in reality I got refried beans with cheese on top.  And you'll NEVER guess what I did! 

I tried them!  (After some peer pressure.)  I also inadvertently tried something very hot and spicy but we won't count that.

I did not love them but I ate them and swallowed them and I am digesting them as I type.  Two down...three to go!  Hummus is next on the list.

My margarita was delicious...obviously!

On the way home we discussed our bucket lists.  Friend #1 wants to devirginize a short boy while riding an elephant and friend #2 wants to successfully scam a non-profit and ride in the pouch of a kangaroo. 

I apparently need to dream bigger because all I want to do is find a rich, piano playing husband and give his money away to people who need it.


3.5 > 3.1

Going to the gym is sooooo much easier when you rock the buddy system.  I have a tendency to stay in bed  But today I got up (I'm not going to say it was early because you would laugh but take whatever time you usually wake up and subtract 2 hours) and met K at the gym for Day 3 of #19 on The List

I did my 3.1 on the elliptical today because for some reason the treadmill kicked my ass way more than I thought it would.  When I paused to shed my sweatshirt, I didn't actually pause the machine...which turned out to be a bad idea because the thing reset on me.  Luckily I hadn't gotten too far.  So I started over and did my 3.1 in 38 min (wayyy faster than on the treadmill).  Overall, I did about 3.5 and I didn't feel like death afterwards.

Now I just need to learn how to balance my level of thirst with my water intake so I don't feel dehydrated or sloshy and close to puking.  Any advice?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oops! I Did It Again...Sort Of

Remember the time that I almost verbally assaulted someone for putting balloons into my car?  Well I'm totally kidding, it didn't happen again.

This time I tried to accidentally break into the wrong car...that's all.

After finishing two Roald Dahl books this afternoon, I finally dragged myself out of bed, into the shower, and to the grocery store.  I shopped, I paid an obscenely large amount of money for two bags of groceries, then left my cart inside and carried my bags to my car.  (This is a fancy schmancy grocery store where the bag boys always offer to carry my groceries to the car...but I am super glad that after tonight's incident I always decline their help.)

So I walk to my car and put my bags down behind the trunk.  I use my key but am unable to open the trunk.  I was annoyed because it was so cold out.  I glance up and there is an umbrella sitting in the back window behind the back seats.  I don't have an umbrella in my car. wasn't my car.  It was a navy blue Corolla that needed a wash with MA plates...just not my plates. 

To be was dark and there was an obscenely large SUV parked between my car and the car I accidentally tried to break into...SIGH.

In case you are confused:

Grocery store parking lot: 2
Amy: 0

Sunday, February 20, 2011

5K Today

I don’t run.

I want to run. But I don’t...unless something is chasing me. I read the book Born to Run last year and it made me believe that I could be a runner despite what my short, uncoordinated legs think.

In an attempt to finally pursue my half-hearted desire to run I made a goal to run a 5K. I know that to anyone who has ever run a race before this sounds small and pathetic but for me those 3.1 miles would be a big deal.

I decided that with only 348 days left to complete everything on The List I should get started. Unfortunately, cold weather and I go together about as well as pickles and paper clips.

After spending the last three months decorating my apartment, making mini books, and watching Netflix, even walking a 5K is kind of a big deal for me. But today I did it. Hey, we all have to start somewhere right?

I learned several things on the treadmill today:

1. I can’t allow myself to be intimidated by the skinny girls running a 7 minute mile without breaking a sweat.

2. Because if I do allow myself to be intimidated by them, I will select a treadmill in front of the WRONG set of TVs. (Today for the hour that it took me to walk my 5K I had the choice of viewing Sally Field die on Brothers and Sisters or Anthony Bourdain eat gross things.)

3. The iPod is the best thing ever invented.

4. I think my sneakers lack any type of arch support.

5. I prefer to walk outside.

So where do we go from here?  We go another 3.1 miles...then another...then get the idea.  And maybe we invest in new sneakers?

Open Letters: Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

Would you kindly pick a season already? You unfairly get everyone psyched about the coming of spring on Thursday with some unseasonable weather which I had good reason to ignore. But Friday…oh Friday…a day of sun and clouds, a day of melting snow. The temperature hit 63 and I was thisclose to putting on flip flops. I rocked a long sleeve t-shirt and felt wonderful that winter was finally over.

On Saturday, the sun was shining and I could only assume that the good weather was here to stay. I donned long sleeves and a vest for good measure only to find that your warmth had all but disappeared. And as I returned home from an evening of shopping, cheesecake, and strange Showtime movies the air was a frigid 16 degrees.

You are one cruel ecological Matriarch.


Friday, February 18, 2011

FF - The Girlfriend Game

Sadly, I was unable to locate a picture of Suzy the bear for today’s Flashback Friday post.  Thus, the history of my (not so) irrational fear of wild animals will have to wait. you remember this? 

It was the summer of 2005 and this song was awesome. After camp had ended, a bunch of us rented an apartment in Florida for a week to sit on the beach. (Although the beach ended up being too hot for our Northern skin and went spent most of the week at the pool.)

We ate corn on the cob and grilled steaks. We slept four to a bed and M dipped his man goodies in a bucket of ice water.

One night we mixed a pitcher's worth of fruity cocktails and decided to play the Girlfriend drinking game. If I remember correctly the boys opted out…whether it was due to a lack of love for ‘N Sync or the intense desire to avoid our strong yet very pink cocktail, I’m not sure.

Us girls rounded up every drinking implement in the condo in preparation for the game.

The rules of the game were simple…every time they said the world girlfriend, we took a drink.

If you’ve ever heard the song you’ll know that this was one of those “better on paper” ideas. We struggled to get the concoction down before the next repetition of the word and were unable to refill the cups fast enough. We drained the pitcher of pink fruity goodness before the song even ended.

The next day, we woke up and had margaritas by the pool for breakfast. Oh to be young.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

4 Reasons I Probably Won't Leave My House Today Even Though It Is Sunny And Warm Outside

1. Stephen left today to return to VA and I am sad about that.  Last year he came home for almost two months but this year stayed 12 days.  It's weird to go an entire year without seeing my brother.

2.  It is already 1:00 pm and I am still in my pajamas.

3.  My hair looks like this:

4.  I still have 250 pages left to read of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest and it now overdue.  I am expecting an email from the library any day now telling me what a delinquent patron I am for withholding reading material from other patrons who are waiting for the book.  Although to be fair...I requested this book in August and had to wait until January to get it from the library.  This was probably my own fault as I accidentally requested the large print version.  Oops!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Try New Foods: Episode One

Number 5 on The List has been a hot topic this week.  I made the goal to try five new foods because I tend to be that person that claims they dislike a food before even trying it.  Although to be fair, I do dislike A LOT of things.  Things that you probably like.  Things like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, lemonade and iced tea.

I don't have high hopes that I will try five new foods, fall in love and add them to my limited recipe repertoire; but at least I will be able to say, "I've tried it and I don't like it."

This week, I've brainstormed the types of food I would like to try and found that others are quite willing to help me accomplish this task.  I however, need more convincing and encouragement.  Today S helped me with that.

I took my brother to lunch today because sadly he is trekking back to VA on Thursday because he can't handle this New England weather anymore.  We ate at an Italian restaurant where salad comes with your lunch.  I was happily eating my lettuce when S put an olive back into the salad bowl.  (I should have stopped right there and realized that if S didn't eat olives it was unlikely that I would like olives.)

But I made an impulsive decision.

The Scene:
A:  I could eat that olive and get started on my 5 new foods goal.
S:  Go for it.
A:  What does an olive taste like?
S:  Like an olive.
A:  rolls eyes.
S:  They taste like olive oil.
A:  Are you lying?
S:  Yes.

Well, at least he was honest. 

I speared the olive on my fork and psyched myself up.  I chewed once, twice, then I almost gagged.  S urged me to swallow it but I had to spit it out.  He then surmised that because I didn't eat (i.e. digest) the olive it doesn't count towards my list.

To which I replied that my list says I only need to TRY new foods not eat them.

Things I learned today:
1.  Trying new foods is not necessarily fun.
2.  I don't like olives.
3.  Olives DO NOT taste like olive oil.
4.  Trying new foods in a restaurant where there is the potential of vomiting in public is maybe not the best idea.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Better Late Than Never?

Back in the day (and by that I mean in December) I started my holiday minibook.  But in true Amy fashion I never finished it.  Yesterday, I finally got crafty again with N and I refused to leave her house until the project was complete.

Happy Christmas in February!

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