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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Silence is golden.

I wish I could say I’ve waited almost a week to blog because I’ve been really busy, but sadly, that is not the case. I will start by recommending a restaurant to you—Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I first read about this magical place on Mindy’s blog, but didn’t think much of it. Just a few weeks later, Brian’s friend Chris, who lives in Washington DC, called to inform him that Five Guys was coming to Rosenberg (Richmond’s other half). Well it opened last week, and Friday night we decided to give it a try.

If you are planning on trying out Five Guys, which I recommend that you do, then you need to be aware that literally all they serve is burgers and fries. And they are amazing. And that concludes my very professional and impressive review of the restaurant.

We followed up our cheeseburger and fries dinner by going to Dairy Queen to get blizzards. Because if you are already stuffing your face to the point of morbid obesity, then you might as well just go for the gold. I’m not sure what it is about DQ blizzards that makes me love them so, but I am starting to think that they mix some kind of addictive drug in with the ice cream. In case you were curious, my favorite blizzard is a Reese’s blizzard, and I very rarely rotate. If I do try something different, it’s going to be Kit Kat or cookie dough. Then there is Brian, who pretty much gets a different one every time we go. The blizzard of the month is the Thin Mint blizzard which contains actual Girl Scout thin mint cookies… I tried it and was impressed.

I am a little embarrassed to admit how much I love Dairy Queen (although really, all I love about them is the blizzards), primarily because I spent the better part of my youth believing that Dairy Queens only existed in very small towns and that you were only allowed to frequent them if you wore overalls with no undershirt or sported jorts on a regular basis. But being the townie that I am, my ways have changed, and I am embracing my obsession… so much so that I recently became a member of this amazing club.

Ok now I’m a little embarrassed that I spent 4 paragraphs talking about food, and fast food at that. Moving along: yes, Brian is out of town again. What would a blog entry be from me if I didn’t mention Brian being gone and something about cockroaches? And because we haven’t (knock on wood) seen any cockroaches in the house in the last week or so, I am going to talk about the former instead of the latter.

Brian left at 5 am on Sunday morning and I am already anxious for him to get home. Last night while I was on the phone with him, I saw light coming in from the bathroom window, and although Brian swears this happens every night as a result of headlights of cars turning onto the street behind us, I was fairly convinced that it was a rapist frolicking around my backyard with a flashlight. If you didn’t already, please try to visualize a rapist frolicking. It’s pretty amusing if you think about it.

Anyway, I somehow managed to fall asleep and woke up unharmed, but I can just about guarantee you that I will struggle with the same fear tonight when I see that light coming in the window again. When did I become such a big baby? I lived in an apartment alone for a year and managed to tough it out somehow. I blame marriage.

Speaking of marriage, just 6 more days until Brian and I can celebrate our one-year-anniversary! I will post more about that at a later date and time, but you should know that I am pretty excited. Anniversaries rank just under birthdays in my book (unfortunately for Brian), so I have high hopes that it will be a good day. We are going out to dinner to a restaurant whose name has not yet been disclosed to me, but Brian did assure me that it’s not in the Rich-Rose area, for which I am thankful. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great townie eateries, but they aren’t exactly fancy and romantic. Like me. Ha.

And because I very rarely blog without referring to a pet peeve, allow me to close this entry with one of my recent pet peeves: when people talk on the phone in the bathroom. I think Allison wrote about this recently, so forgive me if it feels like a repeat. I cannot for the life of me figure out what is so urgent and important that you have to discuss it in a public restroom. I think this pet peeve is probably commonly held, so no need for me to go into it any further. However, I did want to tack on 2 things (which occur semi-frequently at my place of work) that make talking on your cell phone in the bathroom even more obnoxious:

1. Speaking LOUDLY in a foreign language. At least if you are going to make us listen to your conversation, make it so that we can understand what you are talking about.
2. Talking on SPEAKER PHONE. Seriously? It’s bad enough that we have to listen to your series of “likes” and “OMG”s, but now we have to listen to your friend as well?

Can you imagine our grandmothers doing this? Mine would be horrified. And I am too. And in fact, maybe to retaliate, next time I catch someone chatting on their cell phone in the bathroom, I will just flush the toilet over and over and over again until they decide to leave. Now there’s an idea!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

AARP or bust.

I received an e-mail from my grandpa (or “Roy” as we creatively call him) last night at 11:30 pm… a good 2 hours after I went to sleep. He is 85 years old… a good 60 years older than I am. Does anyone else think this makes me kind of pathetic? But props to you, Roy, on being such a night owl! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go soak my dentures and get one of the nurses to give me a sponge bath.

No worries, I like being “mature for my age”—that’s the description I use to make myself feel better. And no matter what, Allison and Wade will always be far more elderly than Brian and I are, so that will always be my consolation. Love you, sis!

In case you haven’t heard (or in case you don’t read the news/live under a rock) there is a hurricane wreaking havoc on the Texas coastline at present. Don’t worry, it’s not headed for Houston, so we are in the clear. All we are getting is a little bit of rain and a lot of wind, both of which we need (to cool things down), so you won’t find me complaining. However, with the amount of news coverage it gets here, you would think Hurricane Dolly was making a beeline straight for downtown.

This will be my first hurricane season in H-town, so I am just now learning the protocol. For example, I learned that if you see giant flashing warning signs that say, “HURRICANE FORMING IN THE GULF. FILL UP YOUR GAS TANKS.” scattered intermittently along the freeway, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to panic and take immediate shelter. And I should also add that part of me wonders if those signs were actually funded by Shell and Chevron (rather than the government), but whatever :o)

I really don’t have much else to report, except that I am growing more and more inclined to turn my back on Walmart. I am just really tired of the shady produce area that requires extensive investigating just to find anything edible, the lack of variety in the products offered, and please don’t even get me started on their inability to keep everyday items stocked on a regular basis. Brian and I have gone to Wally World on several occasions in search of basic weekly groceries (spinach, pasta, etc.) only to find they were out. Seriously? That’s like if I went to McDonald's and ordered a burger, only to be informed that they are currently out of burger meat. I don’t actually go to McDonald’s for hamburgers, but still.

Last night was the final straw (possibly) when I realized they don’t carry the Wild Berry Skittles (the purple ones) that I have recently fallen in love with (dangling preposition). I understand that they are not as popular as the regular Skittles, but COME ON. If you can carry chocolate Skittles in your store, I think you can handle throwing in a few packs of the Wild Berry variety. I settled on Gummy Bears, and while I enjoyed every single little bear I ate, I still left the store feeling a little disgruntled. Sadly, much like my sister’s battle with Starbucks, I have a feeling that my threat to abandon Walmart is an empty one.

Kroger, which I have found to be quite the rage in the Houston area (if any grocery store can actually be “the rage”… there I go sounding like a senior citizen again), is always much more enjoyable. The store is cleaner, the other customers are cleaner (sad, but true), the variety of choices is better, AND you don’t have to bag your own groceries. But of course, they are also more expensive. And thus the eternal debate continues. I know, I know, how do I even get up in the mornings with questions like these weighing on my mind? I lead such a hard life :o)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yep, I'm that girl.

So in case you were wondering, I managed to survive the weekend of weddings without a date. But let me tell you, it was tough! I quickly became painfully aware of just how needy marriage has made me when the thought of having to go get myself a drink (rather than have Brian get it for me) paralyzed me with fear. Allison and Wade (among a few other couples) were kind enough to babysit me and make sure I didn’t have to stand in line alone at the buffet, or worse, hang out alone on the dance floor.

A good time was had at both weddings, and it was fun to visit with high school friends and stuff my face full of food. The second wedding even included macaroni martinis, which were exactly what you would think—martini glasses full of macaroni and cheese with a variety of available toppings. I think I could eat one every day for the rest of my life and be happy. And morbidly obese.

For those of you that were wondering, I only attempted to get in one round of the WHS Fight Song, and quickly stopped when I realized no one else was participating. And such is my life. I also discovered another very embarrassing habit that I have—talking about facebook. I honestly don’t think I went 5 minutes without including some variation of the phrase, “Oh, I saw that on facebook!”

Someone would be telling me about a recent vacation, a friend that got married, or what kind of cake they served at their child’s birthday party, and I simply could not help but inform them that I had, in fact, seen all the pictures and read about it on my news feed. I wanted very badly to just seem like I was “in the know,” when instead, I just made it very clear that my mini-feed is the only thing that keeps me in the loop. Fortunately, I noticed that I was not the only one mentioning the “f-word” in all of my conversations, so I felt like a little less of a stalker.

So basically, I spent the whole weekend trying to downplay my pathetic co-dependence on my husband and covering my mouth with my hand in order to avoid talking about recently updated profiles and who wrote on whose wall. I have a feeling I was really fun to be around.

But not to worry, Brian has (temporarily) returned home, so maybe I will stop being such a loser. But then again, he is going back out of town this weekend, so I’m sure I will regress in no time after his departure :o)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A way with words

So I recently had a conversation with someone in which he informed me that his relationship with a female that he worked with was “strictly plutonic.” Oh really? Because I looked up “plutonic” on and the definition was as follows: noting or pertaining to a class of igneous rocks that have solidified far below the earth's surface. Wow! That is some kind of friendship! It took a lot of self-restraint not for me to correct him and tell him that the correct term was “platonic”… such is the life of a grammar freak.

And before I move on from that topic, I have to tell a sad/funny story. Once, when I asked a person to describe himself in 3 words or less, he used the word “self-defecating.” I tried really hard not to laugh—because he was very likeable—but the fact that instead of saying he was self-deprecating (implying that he was humble), he had just informed me that he poops in his pants. YOU try keeping a straight face in that situation.

Brian has left town yet again for a week-long mission trip with 10 of the youth group kids. While he is building houses, sleeping in tents, and hanging out with high schoolers, I am watching obsessive amounts of HGTV, playing (ok, stalking) on facebook, and eating a lot of chocolate. But let’s be honest, that’s how I spend my time even when he is home.

I have been trying to think of other productive ways to spend my time, but amazingly enough, there is really nothing waiting on my to do list currently. It kind of makes me miss the days of wedding planning when every waking hour outside of work was filled with editing the programs, updating the wedding website, writing thank you notes, and daydreaming about our honeymoon. And then I remember that I came down with the most ridiculous case of the hives that covered my ENTIRE BODY (yes, including my eye lids) as a result of all of the stress that came with the planning, and I am suddenly overwhelmingly thankful that I have nothing to do.

Speaking of weddings, I get to go to 2 of them this weekend—both for high school friends. I am excited for these brides-to-be (and their husbands, of course), but also equally excited for some mini-WHS reunions. I can almost guarantee that I will break out in the fight song at some point (“Fight the team across the field, show them that Westlake’s here…”), especially because Brian won’t be there to put his hand over my mouth and stop me from further embarrassing myself.

I am not, however, excited to go date-less to both weddings. Fortunately, Allison and Wade will also be attending, so it’s not like I have to show up alone (because that would suck), but still. The funny thing is that Allison is a bridesmaid in the wedding on Friday night, so Wade and I are planning to arrive together. I’m sure that will result in some confusion, but that’s part of the fun in being a twin, so I’m just going to roll with it.

By the way, you should all be very proud of me because I did something very out of the norm today: even though I brought my lunch from home, I didn’t eat it, but instead went out to lunch with some peeps from work. Yes, I said peeps. We went to Cupcake CafĂ©, and there was no way that I was going to turn down a meal that comes with a CUPCAKE for my typical turkey sandwich, apple, and chips combo meal (and let’s not forget the dark chocolate Hershey’s kiss that comes with it). Don’t worry, I am planning on eating that tomorrow, so it will not go to waste!

This act of spontaneity proved well worth it as my vanilla cupcake was life-alteringly amazing. And let’s please ignore the fact that for my meal, I ordered a turkey wrap and chips. Please, just save the comments about how pathetic I am. I was born this way, people.

And because it’s been a while, I will close with a Richmond fun fact:

The cockroach population in the city of Richmond is estimated at 8.38 BILLION, 8.37 billion of which used to reside, currently reside, or will at some point reside at my house. Ok I made that up. Here is the real fun fact:

If you go to this website, you can find lots of basic facts about my fair town of Richmond. There is a section that provides some stats regarding Oak Bend Medical Center, our local hospital. One line reads: “Skilled Nursing Unit: Yes.” Um… is having skilled nurses at a hospital an option? Is there an unskilled nursing unit in some hospitals? And how much would it stink to be stuck in their section?

Friday, July 11, 2008

A blog-worthy series of events

Ok bear with me because my head is so full of potential blogging material that it might explode!

First of all, Shannon (my wonderful sis-in-law) got me this amazing t-shirt on a recent trip to Maine. The city listed above the word "townie" is Camden, ME... not quite Richmond, TX, but I'll take it! I plan on wearing it often, and may even make it my staple outfit for shopping at Walmart.

Secondly, Buster has turned into Houdini. He has escaped from the backyard 6+ times in the past week. Brian spent more than one evening perched by the window facing the backyard to determine where Buster was getting out. After catching him sneak out of one part of the fence, Brian patched it up only to find that he escaped out of a different part the next morning.

Because Brian is going out of town next week, we decided we needed a quick and permanent solution to this problem: an electric fence. I know, I know, it seems a little cruel. But we are thinking of it as tough love. So we hopped in the car last night and made a trip to the ULTIMATE townie establishment: the Tractor Supply store. It was an entire store devoted to horse antibiotics, tractors (duh), viles in which to store animal urine, and clothing. Yes, clothing. Pink John Deere socks and a plethora of jorts in all shapes and sizes. It was a sight to behold.

Anyway, we bought all the supplies needed to get the fence up and going and headed home to get to work. I assisted Brian by taking a few swings with the hammer and that was about it. I tried to be helpful, but let's face it, I'm a girl and serve better as a cheerleader than a fence-constructor. So an hour or so later, the fence was up and running. At the time, one of our neighbors was outside chatting with us about our new contraption. When Brian flipped on the power, he yelled to us that it was live. However, Buster was leaning up against it and nothing was happening. So our poor neighbor reached down to touch it and after yanking his hand away, declared that the fence, was, in fact functioning just fine. Nothing makes your neighbors like you quite like shocking the crap out of them with a wire.

Buster was the next unfortunate soul to test out the fence... Brian "gently" shoved him into it to make sure it worked, justifying it by saying that since Buster is the reason we are getting the fence, he should be the one to serve as the test subject. Buster yelped accordingly and ran away for dear life, fairly convinced that Brian had delivered the shock. We have since only heard 2 yelps from the backyard (both from Buster... apparently Noah is the smarter dog these days), so we're hoping they get the idea. We'll be saying our prayers that this keeps the dogs from getting out, and that we don't end up with an array of electrocuted squirrels strewn about in the backyard... although Noah the Squirrel Whisperer would probably love that.

And by the way, I'm kidding about the electrocution- the fence can't injure the animals- just shock them a bit! And while it is very sad to watch them learn how the fence works, we can't help but laugh a little. Is that horrible?

And lastly, but certainly not least, we came home to a surprise on our front porch this afternoon that just might be the pinnacle of my townie experience. Here is what we saw:

Yes, readers, we had a yard bird in our yard! It was clucking and trying desperately to get away from us. Meanwhile, I was acting like the newest member of the paparazzi and took about 80 million pictures of him before I was satisfied and agreed to come back inside. Brian served as my faithful assistant by cornering the bird in attempts to get him to come out of the bushes and pose for the camera. We didn't have a lot of luck, as you might guess from the pictures. Guess it's time for a new assistant :)

I wanted to close with a video I took of the little guy, but for some reason both and youtube are completely unwilling to cooperate with me at this time. Maybe another day. Anyway, welcome to Richmond.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Adult swim

Recently Brian and I decided to spend a little time at his parents’ neighborhood pool. And by decided, I mean that my skin’s lack of pigment insisted that I go outside in the sun. And Brian, forever a kid at heart, is never one to resist the opportunity to spend a summer day near the water.

When we arrived, we found that the pool was packed full of families who apparently had the same idea as we did… although their aim was more likely to find a way to entertain their bored children. Of course the pool was filled with little kids playing Sharks and Minnows, pre-teen girls flirting with the significantly older lifeguards, and the parents resting as peacefully as possible on the nearby lounge chairs.

Brian and I were participating in said lounging, listening to our ipods and trying our best not to melt from the temperature. All of a sudden, one of the lifeguards stood up from her chair and blew her whistle. I looked up, expecting to see a rebellious little boy being publicly scolded for running by the pool or diving in the shallow end. But instead, I hear the lifeguard yell, “ADULT SWIM!”

Adult swim? I haven’t heard those words in forever, which I guess is due to the fact that I haven’t been to a public pool in forever. All of the kids responded appropriately by groaning and acting like their lives had just come abruptly to a tragic end. Meanwhile, some of the lounging parents scurried quickly into the pool to make the most of the allotted 10 minutes. Rather than swimming, most of them actually just stood in the water looking pleased not to have anyone interrupting their pool time with cannon balls or breath-holding contests.

And me? I sat there and thought to myself, “Lucky adults… 10 minutes all to themselves, kid-free!” ……………… Yes, I TOTALLY and completely lumped myself into the kid group. In my brain, “adult swim” did not apply to me in any way, shape, or form. Um reality check—I’m 25 years old and married. I think that classifies me as an adult.

Am I alone or have any of you had these strange light bulb moments where it suddenly dawned on you that you have gone over to the dark side and are no longer one of the kids? And by the way, I decided to take full advantage of the fact that I’m “allowed” to be a part of adult swim and climbed right on into that pool, despite the fact that I really had no interest in doing so at the time. But I will admit that I did feel a little bit guilty when I got in, as if surely the other adults were going to stare me down and demand to see my grown-up badge as proof that I was of age. But don’t worry, they didn’t.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite tv shows: “We're adults... when did that happen? And how do we make it stop?" -Meredith (Grey's Anatomy)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work I (grudgingly) go...

Happy belated 4th of July to you all! I realize I have not posted in over a week, and please know that I am losing sleep over it. Ok that’s not true… I’m actually losing sleep because I keep having work-related dreams, like that I am assigned to give a huge company presentation on the sport of soccer and no one ends up attending. Fear of failure much? I think so.

So many exciting things to share with you that I don’t even know where to start! We had a fun-filled weekend with the Olivers in Richmond, and tried our best to convince them that we weren’t rapidly evolving into trailer trash. Brian didn’t help matters much when he went outside to play with the dogs wearing a green t-shirt, bright orange Adidas shorts, and cowboy boots, but oh well. And believe it or not, they actually REQUESTED to go to the Dollar Store! Last time they visited (in November), we dragged them there for lack of anything better to do, but this time it was their idea. And I must say that they found some useful items. And I also must say that they left behind some useful items—such as a 99 cent doo-rag, a 99 cent candle that smelled like butt, and a 99 cent pair of underwear. But not to worry, they can always pick those things up on their next visit.

We also ensured future visits from the Olivers by quickly getting them hooked on Guitar Hero 3. Not quite as educational as Hooked on Phonics, but definitely more entertaining. Allison has a special way of playing the game which involves stomping to the beat and making strange faces. Wade, of course (I say of course because I think all males were built with a special video game gene that automatically makes video games easier for them), picked up on the game quickly and was playing on the Hard level before the weekend was over. I was forced unwillingly into moving up to the Medium level by Wade and Brian, who think I was simply continuing to play on the Easy level because I don’t like participating in things that I’m not good at (yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition). Again, fear of failure much? And they are right, because every time I get below 90 percent on the Medium level, I die a little inside.

Moving along, the dogs wreaked havoc over the weekend as expected. Not only did Buster escape from the yard TWICE in one day (he found a new route), but he also chewed his collar to shreds AND ate a chunk out of one of the wheels on our "new" (new to us) bbq grill. Brian and his dad spent several hours cleaning and repairing the grill so that it would be ready and raring to go on the 4th of July. And while it still functioned just fine with a chunk missing from one of the wheels, it wasn’t quite as pleasing aesthetically. And let’s not forget the fact that this “snack” resulted in Buster spending the better part of the day vomiting and sulking around the backyard. That’s what you get for eating rubber, dummy. He is making Noah look smarter every day.

Allison and Wade left to head back to Austin yesterday and Brian and I spent the rest of Sunday resting and recovering from all the fun we’d had. I guess we are turning into old people (maybe the Olivers are rubbing off on us?) because we were really worn out after all the eating, walking, and staying up past our 9:30 pm bed time. We ended the weekend by watching our latest Netflix pick—I am Legend. Minus one unnecessary canine death in the movie, I enjoyed it. It almost makes me feel bad for refusing to watch the movie with Brian in the theater when it was out a few months ago. But then again, I did agree to go see Transformers with him last 4th of July, so I think I’m still using up the bonus points that I gained from that one.

As you would expect, I was none too pleased when my alarm clock when off at 5:18 this morning, thus ending my weekend of fun and beginning another week of work. And as you might also expect, when I opened the curtain to turn on the shower, there was a small (but still disgusting) roach crawling around in the tub to greet me. And yes, to answer your question, I did wake Brian up and ask him to come kill it. And he did. The end.

Oh and PS- Allison and I used to LOVE Smartfood white cheddar popcorn (pictured here) when we were growing up. We ate it all the time, and when my dad would pick up New York Sub and bring home bags of it with our sandwiches, we were known to get into some pretty intense twin fights over who got the fuller bag. Allison and Amanda fighting over something petty as children? Shocking, I know. But trust me, it was nothing compared to the fights over whose turn it was to sit in the front seat of the car or who got to wear the infamous Old Navy white mock-turtleneck shirt first…

Anyway back to the point. Yesterday when we went grocery shopping at Kroger, they had 100 calorie packs of the popcorn! Of course I HAD to buy a box, even if it is ridiculously overpriced. I can’t wait to eat them with my lunch this week… I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday morning tidbit

Ok so the wonderful Sally (formerly Mullins) Armstrong tagged me to do the following, and I am nothing if not a loyal blogger, so here goes!

The rules of the “meme”:
1. List your top ten favorite films (in no particular order).
2. If you're tagged, you've got to post & tag 3-5 other people.
3. Give a tag back (some link love) to the one who tagged you in your post
4. Give a hat tip (HT) to Dan.

1. Top Ten Favorite Films (if there was any doubt as to my gender, this should clear it up):
1. Sweet Home Alabama
2. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
3. The Notebook
4. Mean Girls
5. The Wedding Planner
6. Troop Beverly Hills
7. 10 Things I Hate About You
8. Love Actually
9. Elf
10. Father of the Bride 1 & 2

2. Tagging:
Ok, so TAG, you’re it: Kimmie, Angela, Lauren, and Desiree ... and any other blog friends that want to do it! Enjoy!

3. Tag back love:

I already put a link to her blog up above, so instead I’ll just leave her some love! I have sadly not talked to Sally in years, but we recently reconnected through the wonderful world of blogging, and I am having a great time catching up and reading about her adventures with her husband, Lee! Interesting fact(s): Allison and I met Sally and her twin sister, Mary Helen, at A&M. They are also twins, also have brown hair, were also in a sorority together, also drove matching Jettas, and also worked at Camp Ozark!

4. Hat tip to Dan:
Dan, I don’t know who you are, but I tip my imaginary hat to you, stranger.