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Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Law and Order" is life... the rest is just details

I mean that. Both literally (the tv show) and figuratively (law and order). Wow, deep, right?

So here's the thing... after 2 or 3 days go by without a new post, I start to feel a little guilty. But, like many of you, I put it off because there are more pressing matters at hand (checking facebook updates, watching Cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model for the third time this week, laundry, etc). However, without fail, a blog fan (ok, reader) always comments to prompt me back into a more regular routine. You can thank Brittany Preston Sciba for this update.

So it was a pretty slow weekend with the Joiners. Our weekends actually start on Thursday evening each week since Brian has Fridays off. This may sound appealing (and in many ways it is), but by Sunday evening, I am usually ready for Monday to roll around so that my laziness and overeating will come to a hault. Anyway, of course Thursday evening was spent watching the first episodes of Grey's Anatomy & The Office. Duh. Both were more or less what we expected... except for George professing his love for Izzy so quickly. It seemed a bit abrupt, but whatever. No one pays me to write the scripts, so I guess my opinion is irrelevant.

Friday started off with a bang. The Fort Bend County Fair (largest county fair in Texas, boo-yah) started this weekend, and the kick-off parade was held on Friday morning approximately .75 miles from our house. The answer to "WWTD?" in this situation was obvious. So we walked over to the parade and found the festivities already in full force. Lots of overweight white men in pick-up trucks pulling teenage girls in cute dresses in the back (umm, that sounds sort of creepy) who were candidates for the Fair Queen. I even saw the Ft. Bend County Farm Bureau Queen with my own two eyes... literally just 20 feet away from me! It was a dream come true.

We took some pictures (which I will put online soon), but got bored after about 45 minutes because all of the floats were the same (HS football teams, cheerleaders, obscure community service organizations - Jesus's Puppet Pals?) except the one with the dancing black people that was blaring "Crank Dat Soulja Boy" on a boom box. That one was Brian's favorite- go figure.

The remainder of Friday was pretty anti-climatic...we watched a lot of TV and sat around. We went out to eat an overpriced dinner in Sugar Land. After dinner, we decided to go walk around one of those neighborhood lake things to burn off the calories (Brian is such a health nut). That's when Brian tried (using reverse psychology, mind you) to convince me to pee in a public park. Though the challenge was tempting, I opted for a Whataburger bathroom instead. (Side note: does anyone else hate that creepy guy's voice that goes "What a burger!" on those commercials?)

Saturday morning was fun times- I went on a walk in K-town with Brittany, followed by lunch at La Madeline. Let me qualify that: lunch at the slowest and most inefficient La Madeline in the world. After that, Brittany came over to watch the A&M game with Brian and me. In the meantime, I helped her grade papers! I thought I was pretty good... except when I said that 100 minus 45 was 65. Oops. I even got to write "Awesome!" and "Great job!" if a kid made 100 on a spelling test. I heart good spellers. Now I feel fully equipped to teach 2nd grade.

Another side note (sorry this post is getting long): I helped out with the 1st-2nd graders at a church function on Wednesday night. At one point, the other adult that I was with asked the children, "Do any of you remember getting baptized?" and this little girl raises her hand and says, "One time, my dad took me to the airport!" ... ? The adult was a teacher, thankfully, and politely avoided a 10-minute rambling from each child about their own experiences at airports with, "The airport, huh? Well at churches, people get baptized!" Smooth.

Back to the weekend- I didn't feel great yesterday afternoon/evening, so we stayed home, played Sonic the Hedgehog on the Wii (best.game.ever), and went to bed. Today we went to church, cleaned the house, and while Brian has been at youth group, I have been mindlessly watching episode after episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I prefer SVU, but I take what I can get.

I'm almost done- promise. So I was folding laundry earlier, specifically Brian's boxers. He literally has like 8 million pairs of boxers. It's baffling. So while I was folding them, I thought of a really great joke to tell: "My husband has more boxers than 'The Contender'" ... funny, right? But then I thought to myself, "Wait.. is 'The Contender' about boxers, or did I make that up? If it isn't, my joke is ruined." So I decided to go ahead and tell the joke without looking it up to verify the facts, for fear of being wrong and not getting to tell the joke at all.

And one final note: do any of you other fellow bloggers find yourself doing things throughout the day just so you can blog about them later? Or a thought comes into your head that seems amusing, and you pridefully think you should probably write it down just to blog about later? Not that this happens to me or anything... just wondering :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Breaking news!

This just in: I, Amanda Jane Nelson Joiner, just took my very first bath at our house. I won't get into the details of my bathing- gotta keep this g-rated, right? However, I thought I should share this feat of courage with you all. It took a lot of encouragement from my wonderful husband (who probably thinks I am crazy... as if he didn't have enough reasons to already), but once he assured me for the last time that I could not get an STD from our dingy looking drain, I knew I had to just go for it.

You see, I have always loved baths... even the ones that included all 4 Nelson children in one bath tub being bathed by our heavy-set red-headed Scandinavian babysitter (shout out to Phyllis!). I know that baths are more of a girl thing, and I have often had people point out that baths are simply a way of soaking in your own filth, but I'm really not concerned about it. However, just like I mentioned my flip-flops in foreign showers thing, I never take a bath in another person's bath tub. So essentially, through my willingness to take a bath at our house, I have officially christened this as our new home. August 11th may be the move-in date, but September 25th is clearly the real milestone. So props to me. Thanks.

In other news, I have developed a new slogan to go along with the topic of the previous post: WWTD? Yep, that's right. Would would Townies do? Last night, I even made Brian give me scenarios, and I formed my answers based on WWTD? Example:

Brian: "You're in the mood for a sandwich. Where do you go to get one?"
Amanda: (pauses to consider WWTD?) "Duh. Sandy McGee's. Definitely NOT at Quizno's, Subway, or any of those other chains."

See? The slogan is really working out for me.

And in final news, I have another interview tomorrow for a job I am excited about... prayers for God's direction in my job search would be greatly appreciated :) Much love to my peeps! Yep, I said peeps. Peep peep.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My quest to become a local

So today as I was leaving for my run, I noticed a dead (or so I thought) roach by the door. I promptly yelled for Brian to come and remove it. After I closed the door, I heard Brian squirming a bit and realized that he had found the roach to be only half-dead. Oops. Sorry, Bri.

Anyway, that got me thinking, and I realized that we haven't seen as many of our little multi-legged (I googled it... did you know roaches have 6 legs and 18 knees? And did you know that a cockroach can live for a week without its head? You should check out http://www.roachcom.net/rofacts/ for more fun roach facts) friends in the last few days. Maybe it's because it hasn't been raining? I don't know if there is any correlation, but it makes me feel grown-up and smart to have assumed such a connection, so I'm going to go on believing that thankyouverymuch.

Ok so that has nothing to do with the topic of this post, sorry. Let's get down to business. I am on a new quest, a journey if you will, to become a local. I prefer to use the term "townie," but realize that this term can be confusing, especially if you google it. So we'll just stick with local.

Brian and I have lived here in Richmond for approximately 6 weeks, and I decided that it's time for us to start planting our new roots. As long as we're gonna live here, we might as well make the most of it, right? Right. So we'll start with yesterday:

We woke up and went for a walk, but not a typical around-the-neighborhood walk. A true townie walk. We went cruising around downtown Richmond to see the sights. We even ended up adding a few things to our future Townie To Do List: visiting the Fort Bend Museum, go shopping at the Treasure Hunter's Gallery, etc. After our walk we went on a (strange) little drive- through Morton cemetery, around the trashiest neighborhoods in town, and even to the spot where all the little league baseball games take place. Pretty intense, I know.

After coming home for a shower and a change of clothes, we then went out for lunch at Larry's, a local Mexican food restaurant whose meat tastes questionably like cat meat, in Shannon Joiner's opinion. The food and service are decent at best, but it's Brian's favorite, and it's a local spot, so it was the perfect choice.

We then went to check out some of the shops/boutique type stores on 359, and I was quite impressed to find that one store even carried hanky pankies (the underwear... if you don't know what they are, you are missing out)! All in all, our quest to be locals/townies is off to a good start. Future plans include visiting Brazos Bend State Park and the Museum of Southern History in the Sugar Land area. If you have any suggestions to add to our list, please feel free to comment.

And in honor of our quest, I am going to add some fun tidbits (I hate that word) of information about the Richmond area to the posts every now and again. Enjoy!

Richmond Fun Fact:
Named after Richmond, England, the town is rich with Texas history as it was among the 19 cities first incorporated by the short-lived Republic of Texas, in 1837.

*Please note that when passing by the Fort Bend Museum, a plaque informed us that Richmond was named after Richmond, Virginia... which one is true? You decide.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Welcome to Salt Lake City, where service is state of the art...

I discovered that "Salt Lake" is a nice substitute for "Circuit" in that catchy Circuit City jingle. I'm smart, I know. So it's been a week since the last posting- I know you've all been dying in anticipation of the next post. Don't worry, I won't be doing any more cross-country traveling for a while, so I should be home more and therefore more available to blog consistently.

With that said, let the next post begin! I spent a fun-filled weekend with my twin sissy this past weekend in Salt Lake City while her hubby was on some science trip... nerdy, I know (jk, bro). Anyway, there were some amusing and post-worthy moments, so I will share them with you in the form of a list. In case you hadn't noticed yet, I really like to use lists in my posts. Maybe I'll grow out of it, or maybe you'll just accept it. You decide.

Some amusing moments from my weekend in Mormon-land...

1. I learned that Allison is an expert on bees.
So we were enjoying our lunch at Wild Oats (similar to Whole Foods) outside on the patio when an unwelcome visitor appeared... a bee. He swarmed around my food suspiciously before attacking Allison's meal. She was understandably alarmed, but quickly came up with (based on the pleased expression on her face) what she considered the perfect solution: She cautiously reaches for the piece of swiss cheese from her sandwich and tosses it away from our lunch saying, "Here, we'll give him this!" Cheese? Seriously, Allison? Yep, you've always heard about bees' favorite things: honey, sugar, brightly colored patterns, and swiss cheese. Needless to say, this did not work, so we were forced to move. Nonetheless, I got a good laugh at her expense.

2. I decided that I really do not like people who recline their seats on airplanes.
I don't care who you are, how far you've traveled that day, or how tired you are... it is always annoying when you jerk your chair back mid-flight and crush the bones in my knee caps, or tip my 2-inch tall glass of ice water over. I can honestly tell you that I have not once used this evil reclining tool on an airplane, nor will I ever. And you know why? Because I have the ability to empathize. I think to myself, "Does the innocent stranger sitting behind me want my chair in his lap?" (no) "Does he value the continued use of his knees after this flight?" (hopefully) "Will my reclining make his trip more enjoyable?" (definitely not). I urge you, my friends, to ask yourself the same questions next time you think about pressing the recline button on your seat...

3. I got the obligatory post-wedding haircut.
Yep, that's right. I joined the club and chopped a good 5 inches off of my hair... well, I didn't, but someone else did. I felt like I lost 5 pounds, and I'm still having that phantom hair feeling in the shower (you know, the one where you reach to shampoo the rest of your hair and it's not there anymore)... it's pretty great. I do miss the long hair, but thankfully, it grows back. And now Allison and I look a little more twinny, like the good old days. Twinny... that's a really annoying word. Here's a before and after:








4. I became more firmly convinced that Allison & Wade need to move back to Texas ASAP.
I have always known this, but each time I get spoiled by a weekend with her/them, I am reminded how much I miss her/them! Deep down, they know that there is no better place to raise their first child (Gizmo, the goldfish) than around family... so it seems like a simple choice, really. I am thinking about starting a petition to send around... maybe if we get enough signatures, they'll come back sooner. Let me know if you are interested in helping with that.

Anyway, I had a great time and can't wait to see the Olivers next (Thanksgiving is too far away). If you have a free weekend, I suggest you go visit them... Allison is a great trip Nazi, er, I mean, planner :) And they are good cooks, so at least you might get some free food out of it (if Allison doesn't eat it before you get to it- ha ha, just jokes sissy). That's all for now- viva Salt Lake City!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We live in an unjust world

Pardon my seemingly unjustified disappointment with the society that we live in, but I must vent briefly. Today I went into my beloved Target to pick up some groceries. As has probably happened to many of you fellow Target-lovers, upon entering the store, I was quickly distracted by the One Spot.

For those of you who don't know about the One Spot, it is basically a special section of the store where people (me) are tricked into buying things that they don't really need, simply because they only cost one dollar. Hence the name "One Spot." They have everything from plastic hot dogs to greeting cards to wedding favors (likely only appropriate if you are getting married in a trailer park, but that is another story).

Alas, I have strayed from my story. So anyway, I walk in and head directly to the One Spot, in hopes of finding a fun treat to take to Allison in SLC this weekend, or maybe a surprise gift to give my husband. I see that they have some fun Halloween decorations, and I am drawn to a bright orange pumpkin candy bowl. I think to myself, "This will hold my dark chocolate Hershey kisses perfectly (even though I already have a Halloween candy dish at home), and it only costs one dollar! I must purchase it!" A safe assumption in the ONE SPOT, right?

WRONG. No sooner had I fallen in love with the pumpkin candy dish when I noticed a sign above my head that says "2 for $5." Ok kids, now I'm not a math major or anything, but I am fairly certain that 5 divided by 2 is more than 1. In fact, if my memories from my days at Robert S. Hyer Elementary serve me well, that means that it was $2.50 per item, NOT $1 per item.

How can Target get away with this? If you are going to have a section where things cost $2.50, then it should be called the Two Point Five Oh Spot, and not the One Spot. Anyway, so that I don't leave you hanging, I continued shopping. But I left that One Spot as quickly as I could and didn't look back. My relationship with the One Spot just might not be the same ever again...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A weekend with the parents in Nueva Mexico

Greetings from the great city of Richmond, TX! I should be working out right now, but the last comment written ANONYMOUSLY (pathetic) on the blog inspired (ok threatened) me into creating a new post for you all to enjoy. I figured since I spent the latter part of last week in Santa Fe with my parents, I should give you all a few highlights in the form of a top 10. So here goes:

Top 10 Moments in Santa Fe (in no particular order):

10. I got my fi
rst "charley horse" ever. It was in the middle of the night, and most likely due to the concentration camp amount of uphill walking that my mom made me do the day before :) I got to wondering where the term came from (and I must admit that I thought it was spelled "charlie"), so I looked it up on wikipedia. Here is what I found.

9. I ate THE BEST blueberry muffin ever made. It's true. Ask my dad for confirmation, because we talked about it for the entire trip. It was at Bagelmania, and it changed my life.

8. We attended Santa Fe's annual "Pet Parade." Apparently this is a really popular event, as parking was a nightmare and the sidewalks were covered with onlookers. Basically, a bunch of the townies dress up their animals (mostly dogs, but also cats, rabbits, snakes, goats, guinea pigs, etc.) and walk them through the streets. I think the "best dressed" gets a prize. Anyway, there's a picture on the left.

7. I almost died from a coffee spill.
Ok, not really. But a waitress at dinner spilled a cup of coffee on my dad, which somehow splashed all over me? Anyway, I guess I was being punished for wearing white after Labor Day, because it was covering the left leg of my white capri pants. They are soaking in Oxiclean as I type.

6. We shopped. A lot. If you know my mom, you know that she loves Santa Fe and she loves shopping. We left no jewelry or clothing store unturned, all the while chatting with the people that work at the stores that have become some of mom's dearest friends over the years. Seriously. One of them was even invited to one of the Nelson weddings. We tease her about it, but it's all in good fun :)

5. I accidentally hopped in the hotel shower without flip-flops. If you thought showering in my new house without flip-flops was intense for me, this is even bigger. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice hotel. But who KNOWS how many feet have touched that shower floor. I am probably going to get an STD from it, but so far I've survived ok. I'll let you know if any suspicious rashes develop on my feet...

4. I left my straightener at home. This was an accident that was realized in Austin, the night before we flew out to Santa Fe. In a panic, I began rummaging through drawers in Allison's and my bathrooms at my parents' house, hoping to find an outdated straightener that had been left behind when a new one was purchased. Well I was in luck, but managed to find what appeared to be the first straightener ever created. It was by "BabyBliss" and weighed around 300 pounds. It also took about half an hour to heat up, and I had to re-straighten 2-3 times a day to maintain even remotely straight hair. This is a mistake that I will NEVER make again.

3. I missed my husband! Ok, I know, this is lame. But as a newlywed, this had to go in here. And I guess I have gotten used to seeing him 24/7, so it was a tough break. But not to worry, we have been reunited less than 24 hours, and I have already started nagging him again. And on a side note, I have already had him capture and set free 2 rebel geckos in the house.

2. We made fun of dad. Unfortunately for Steve, this is a Nelson family favorite pastime, but he's a pretty good sport. Most of it was about his love affair with his blackberry. Normally I don't participate much in the teasing, but really, he makes it so easy. One night in the hotel, I was showing Mom the wedding pictures on the computer. We look over to see Dad passed out on the other bed, cuddling with his blackberry on his chest. He denies the incident, but we saw it with our own eyes.

1. Mom and I got lost on a hike. What started out as an innocent 3o-45 minute walk on our last day there turned into a 1.5 hour trek through the Santa Fe wilderness. We started out on a trail near the hotel, and somehow ended up on a random highway. Thankfully, Mom knows Santa Fe like the back of her hand, so we were able to hike to a nearby resort and call Dad to come to our rescue. Meanwhile, directionally-challenged Amanda followed along mindlessly. We were fairly certain that we were going to end up as news on the Today Show like that grandma that was lost in the wilderness for 2 weeks. And was my mom's biggest fear that we would be stranded? No, it was that the news would refer to her as an "elderly woman" lost in the woods with her daughter. Ha ha, gotta love Betsy.

Anyway, all in all it was a fun-filled trip, and I was thankful to be included. And for all of you other Nelson siblings, Dad confirmed that I am, in fact, the favorite child :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Just another rainy Tuesday

So it's only fair to tell you that as I begin this post, I am in the company of a dead roach... oh wait- I looked up right after I typed that and he is moving. So let me amend that last statement: I am in the company of a dying roach. He's about 6 feet away from me. It's so nice to know that I don't have to spend my time at home alone! Guess I'll leave him there until Brian gets home- lucky husband :)

I know it's been a few days since the last post, so forgive me. Brian and I spent the Labor Day weekend in LaGrange, TX, with Brian's extended family. Fun times were had by all- many, many rounds of Mexican Train (dominoes) were played, and far too much food was consumed (as evidenced by my rude scale this morning).

I am making an impromptu trip to Santa Fe this weekend with my parents, leaving my hubby to fend for himself. Don't worry, I stocked him up with frozen pizza, lean pockets, ice cream, and freshly washed sheets for the weekend. Let's hope he survives.

Speaking of cleaning, Brian and I cleaned the whole house together last night- what fun! The big adventure was mopping, which we did "tag team" style (every other time that we had to ring out the mop, we switched moppers- efficient, right?). Brian even got on his hands and knees scrubbing our bath tub clean. As such, I decided that today was the big day... one small step for a normal person, but a giant leap for Amanda (Nelson) Joiner. Yes, that's right folks, I showered for the first time in our house today without flip flops! I know you're thinking, "What?! You've lived there 3 weeks and were still wearing flip flops in your own shower?" Well don't be so quick to judge, Judgey McJudgerson. I would go into my reasoning in an attempt to defend myself, but instead I will just ask you to stop and take a look at the posting written before this one. That should suffice :)

In other news, I am watching "The Hills" right now (I heart DVR)... anyone else think Spencer is a total dork? If we are all going to pretend that this is reality TV, at least they could get believable non-actors. These people are horrible.

Alright, the hubby has arrived home from work. Time to be domestic and go cook something while he takes care of the half-dead roach. Much love to you all!