The Mind of Bluesleepy

Lose your face, lose your name 1 September 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 10:35 pm

My dad always says that he’s trying to shove ten pounds into a five-pound sack.  It’s insane how much we tried to pack into today, yet we managed to get everything but one thing done.

Go, us!

Our day started before 7am this morning.  If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know that I am not a morning person.  Amazingly enough, I was able to fall asleep last night not long after I went to bed.  Usually when there’s something I have to do the next morning that involves me getting up at an insanely early hour, I can’t sleep.  My mind just races round and round and round, and I can’t shut it off.

The early hour was dictated by Kurt’s re-enlistment ceremony.  Yes, folks, he has signed up for another four years of defending our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  I couldn’t be prouder, of course, and my heart grew three or four sizes to see him stand up in front of all his buddies and coworkers (a veritable sea of varying shades of blue) and swear allegiance to our great nation.  I wish I could have taken photos of the sea of blue, but I was part of the ceremony.  The girls were amazingly good, so well behaved and beautiful and sweet.  I can’t wait to get the photos back from the official command photographer.

Besides, I had on my new outfit (thrift store — $5 each for blouse and adorable skirt), so I looked awesome.  Haha.

244: Bravo Zulu

After the ceremony, every guy Kurt works with came up to me and assured me that they’d help me with anything I needed while Kurt was out to sea come October.  I joked with Kurt later and told him he ought to make up a watch bill for when it snows, so someone would always be available to shovel my driveway.  Brilliant!  And that’s really all I need.  Everything else is taken care of by the housing company.

Kurt hadn’t been able to re-enlist till today because of his schedule and that of his command, which sort of left it till the last minute.  Our ID cards expire tomorrow, see, and without IDs we can’t get on base or be covered under our medical insurance.  We showed up at the ID office at 2:30 this afternoon and noticed a sign on the door that said they wouldn’t take walk-ins after 3pm.

They still wouldn’t take us, though they didn’t close till 3pm.  They won’t start the process of issuing the ID cards that they can’t complete before 3pm, you see.  Gotta love government efficiency, and the fact that customer service ends at 3, not 5pm.

*rolls eyes*

So now I have to get up first thing tomorrow to renew my ID card.  I am not relishing the idea of dragging my two kids with me to sit for a few hours while the system prints a new card, but it has to be done.  You know how people moan about the DMV?  Those are people who haven’t had to deal with the DEERS system in getting a new ID.  The last card I got before I was married (I was a Navy brat, so I’ve had an ID since I was two), it took a good eight hours, waiting at the DEERS office, to renew my ID.  Granted, the DEERS system was going down after every card that was made, requiring a reboot of the entire system, which took a good twenty minutes or so for every reboot.  It was insane.  But I had to get it; I was going back to college the very next day, so I had no option to come back.

I’m under a time crunch tomorrow too.  I just hope nothing goes wrong, but I’m not terribly confident it’ll go smoothly. I have a history of breaking the DEERS system every time I need a new ID.  Let’s hope I set a new record tomorrow.

The one thing we did manage to get done today was purchasing new tires.  Oh man, how we needed them.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of highway driving since we’ve moved here, what with having friends that live hither, thither, and yon.  One time I took my friend E up to Massachusetts to visit the Target there, and as I hit 70mph (speed limit on the highway here is 65mph), she freaked out a bit and said, “What is wrong with your van?!”  See, it would shake horribly as we’d go over 65 or so, though it would depend on the surface we were driving on.  On Sunday I had to take another friend back home to Boston, and I had about an inch of seltzer water left in my can that I hadn’t gotten to yet.  Within about five miles or so, it was completely flat from being shaken up so badly.

We had a $70 off coupon for tires at the wholesale club, so off we went.  The awesome part about getting new tires on a Wednesday afternoon??  No one is there!  We walked right in and were immediately slotted in to have the tires installed.  Five hundred dollars later (!!!!), and we were on our way with tires with an actual tread to them.  In fact, I can sink the entire tip of my finger into the tread.  It’s so lovely.  And as we drove down the highway on our way home, Kurt took it up to 75mph for just a moment — and there was no shaking.

YAY!

I can only imagine the horror of the tire installation guys who saw the state of our tires.  They were that bad.

As Kurt said, that’s one more check in the box on the Must-Do List before he leaves on deployment.  Next up is getting new inspection stickers for both cars, and renewing our base stickers.  Of course, we need to get our ID cards first.

Happy September, everyone!

 

Live like there’s no tomorrow 31 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 7:25 pm

And I am back online!  Finally!

Yesterday I had a hair appointment, and it was while I was sitting with the color on my hair that I got a text from Kurt telling me the internet had gone down.  Not only that, but we had no cable either.

Initially I wasn’t that concerned.  No internet or cable meant more time for reading.  How could this be a bad thing?!  However, ME also chose that day to scream her bloody head off instead of taking a nap.  I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with her, but she’s getting fussier and fussier as the days go by.  She is turning two in a couple of weeks, so I suppose we’re just heading into the Terrible Twos already.

The screaming was rather distracting, I must admit.  I tried several times to soothe her, but not much was working.  I just ended up having to let her scream it out.  I’d put her down for a nap because she’d been so cranky that everything was making her scream, so it wasn’t like I could just cancel the nap.  That just would have compounded the problem.  Ultimately she did fall asleep for a little bit, giving us a bit of respite.

But the internet was still out!  And the recipe that I’d planned on using for dinner was online!  Kurt took pity on me and decided we needed to go out instead, and since I’d had such a rough day with a screaming toddler, he took me to the brewery.  Mmm beer!  I only had the one, but I have to say, it totally hit the spot.

Once the kids were in bed, I decided it was really time for me to sit and read.  Except then I remembered I needed to call my mom to thank her for the package she’d sent.  Somehow that ended up into a 45-minute conversation, especially since I’d talked to my dad for a while at the outset.

My parents and I are weird.  We’re not terribly close, though there’s a lot of love between us.  They live their lives and I live mine, is what it boils down to.  They understand the military lifestyle, since they lived it themselves, and they know I can’t come home for every holiday.  We talk at least once a month, sometimes more often, but sometimes less often.  Occasionally when they call, the conversation dries up within about ten minutes, and other times we’re on the phone for an hour.  It all depends.

I rounded out my internet- and cable-less evening by attempting to kick Kurt’s ass at Wii bowling.  I’d earned PRO status last week and was so excited to have a star-studded bowling ball.  But then over the weekend, I didn’t bowl well enough and lost that PRO status!  I wanted to cry.  I don’t know what it is.  I have to stand in just a certain spot and move my arm in just a certain way to get strikes, while Kurt can simply power the ball down the lane as hard as he can and he ends up with a strike.  Then again that’s what he does in real life, anyhow.

Needless to say, I did not kick Kurt’s ass in Wii bowling.  But I did reinstate my PRO status.  Yay!

At 1:30am I noticed a weird flickering coming in my bedroom window, and realized that there was a cable utility truck on my street.  So I wasn’t surprised when the cable was back on when I got up.

Problem.  We still had no internet.  And of the two, I would much rather have internet.

*sigh*

Kurt called the cable company and was told someone would be out between 1 and 3pm.  My friend down the street who also had experienced an outage had had her cable, internet, and phone restored at 1:30am last night, so I had no idea why I didn’t have internet if I had cable.  Finally I got tired of waiting for the tech to show up, so I started doing my own troubleshooting.

Our cable and our internet came out of the same socket in the wall in the living room.  Kurt had installed a splitter so that we could have the cable box and the modem on the same plug.  So I switched the co-ax for the modem with the co-ax for the cable box on the splitter.  I could get cable, but I still had no internet.  I began to wonder if it was the modem.  It was pretty old, probably from our time in Washington, which would make it anywhere between three and seven years old.  I unplugged the splitter from the wall and plugged the co-ax for the modem straight into the wall.

Voila!  Internet.

Hmm.  Maybe the splitter was bad?  I unplugged the modem and the router, moved all that to the office where we have another cable connection, and set it all back up again.  Still had internet, and now had cable in the living room since it was plugged straight into the wall.  Since everything was now working, I figured we didn’t need a tech to come out and canceled the appointment.

Ten minutes later, a tech showed up at my door.  He was skeptical of my having “fixed” the issue since there were other techs in the neighborhood working on the lines.  See, the whole issue came about when the construction workers that are working in the neighborhood cut the cable lines.  The cable techs had been able to put a band-aid on the situation last night at 1:30am, but it was far from being fully fixed.  The tech that showed up at my door tested my signal strength and sure enough, it wasn’t that my splitter was bad — the problem was the signal strength was far too low to support the splitter in the first place.

Finally around 3pm this afternoon a tech came to the door and let me know it was fully fixed, and that I should have no more problems.  Until the groundskeepers come around tomorrow.  If they aren’t paying attention, they could end up mowing over the line that’s laying on top of the grass and cut service to all the houses that lost service yesterday.  Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen; I’d rather not be without the internet again any time soon.

But I have to say, I am proud of myself for doing all that I did to fix the problem on my own.  I think I like the new set-up better anyhow, with the modem and the router in the office.  The signal’s stronger, since it no longer has to go through a splitter, and my iPod keeps the WiFi connection so much better now.  So I guess it was a good thing that this all happened, even though it was a humongous headache.

Hopefully this doesn’t happen again any time soon.

 

The phone rings, it’s early 24 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 9:46 pm

236: Reach

After two and a half years of my daughter attending a local preschool twice a week, all year round, she is finished.  Tomorrow is the last day of the summer camp, but since Grace doesn’t attend on Wednesday, she was done today.  It was so strange to go in there , knowing it was my last morning to drop her off.

But things are changing in there.  I found out one teacher decided not to come back after the summer, so she won’t be around.  Another teacher needed a switch from the room she’d been in for years.  One of the baby room teachers always takes the summer off, which meant she wasn’t around to say goodbye to anyhow.  And the girl who’d been Grace’s assistant teacher, and was her main summer camp teacher, has decided to go back to school to get her teaching degree.  The turnover in a preschool is pretty high anyhow; Grace outlasted much of the staff in her two and a half years there.  But there were always those few stalwart ladies, the ones who were always there.  Yet even those are changing.  It’s… strange.

I suppose nothing stays the same, however.

Today felt like such a wasted day.  I managed to do more today than I did yesterday, however.  Yesterday was a total lost cause.  What with the chill and the rain, it was all I could do to snuggle down under a blanket and read till my eyes hurt.  ME decided she only wanted one nap, which works out better for me because then she’s napping all afternoon long, instead of waiting till 3pm to snooze.  I did put a good meal on the table for dinner, a delicious eggplant parmesan lasagna that was quite a bit of work but totally worth it.  But that was all I managed to do yesterday.

Today I caught up with some laundry and ironed my capris.  See, all of my capris (or short pants, or whatever you call them — the ones that go to just past one’s knees) have cuffs, and when I wash them, the cuffs get all messed up and wrinkly.  I can’t stand how that looks, so every time I wash my capris, I have to iron the cuffs so that they’re flat.  For some people, that is entirely too much work, but it really doesn’t bother me.  It takes all of a minute per cuff.  It’s almost not worth dragging the ironing board out, but I usually find something else that needs ironing.  Funnily enough, ironing doesn’t really bother me.  There’s something so satisfying about eradicating wrinkles.  You can see your results immediately, and then when you put on the ironed clothes, you look so sharp and fresh.

I probably don’t mind ironing because I do so little of it.  Kurt’s camouflage uniform doesn’t need ironing at all.  When he wore khakis, I’d iron his uniforms (two pairs) on one Sunday, and he’d wear one set per week.  That meant I only had to iron twice a month.  I didn’t really have to be the one ironing; I just felt it was my duty as a Navy wife.

I always felt badly for my mother.  After dinner on Sunday was her time to iron.  And she ironed probably one set of uniforms per day for my father — and another set of uniforms per day for herself.  Ten uniforms to iron, every Sunday night.  Ugh.  Fortunately, they mostly wore khakis, which are pretty much permanent press, but they still can get a bit wrinkled in the dryer.  Every so often, though, one of them would need a dress uniform.  That meant ironing and starching a white cotton shirt, never a fun job.  She did it well, though.  Lots of practice, I suppose.

Now the only things I iron are my few blouses that seem to require it, plus my capris in the summertime.  Not much.

Before you ask, yes, I have tried the wrinkle release stuff that comes in the bottle.  I don’t find it to work very well.  And I hate starting up the dryer just to get rid of a few wrinkles.  It’s the environmentalist in me, I guess.

So the iron it is for me!  Besides, I had to put a patch on a pair of Grace’s jeans.  That girl can rip through the knees of jeans like you wouldn’t believe.  Sometimes I wonder if she’s half boy.  She’s nearly destructive enough!

And in just a couple of weeks, she’ll be off to kindergarten.  I can’t believe how quickly the last six years have flown by.  It feels like I’ll blink, and she’ll be graduating high school.  All I can do is just hang on for dear life, and enjoy the short time we’ve got.

 

Only to find Gideon’s Bible 23 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 2:01 pm

Ahhh, can you feel that?  Folks, it is a balmy 66º right at this moment on my little island.  The wind is pretty steady, and the rain has been dripping down all morning.  Sure, it’s overcast and somewhat gloomy — but you can feel it.  There’s a hint, more than a hint, maybe, of fall in the air.  And I am in heaven.

I’m wearing jeans.  I’ve got socks on to keep my toes warm.  If I sit too long on my couch, I start longing for my Snuggie.

This is my favorite time of year.  I love fall so much.  The beauty of the changing leaves, the brilliant blue skies against those bright crimson leaves, the tang of woodsmoke floating on the breeze, the chill winds that require a snug jacket.  The time of year when it’s pleasant to be outside, when your body isn’t sweating and your skin isn’t crisping under the harsh summer sun, and when you can finally open the windows of your home to sweep out the stuffiness of the air conditioned atmosphere inside.

Call me crazy.  I know most of my friends long for the sunny days of summer, but I just can’t do it.  It’s probably my contrary nature that makes me love things that others don’t, but I’m okay with that.

This is, however, a bittersweet season.  Kurt leaves on deployment at the end of October, leaving me to take care of the house, the kids, and whatever else needs taking care of.  Plus it’s the year that Grace finally starts school.  It will be so strange having my daughter away from me for six hours a day, considering that she’s been with me almost constantly for the last nearly six years.  I’ll miss her, sure… but I’m also so excited for her to be in an environment that I know is going to stimulate her.  She’s such a social creature that I know that she’ll do well in school.  I don’t think I could ever homeschool her.  I know that homeschooled kids have lots of social activities lined up, but I think that Grace is one of those kids that needs to be around others as much as possible.  She shines so much in her preschool, and it really brings out the best in her.  ME, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as social, and probably would be content to stay at home with me for years to come.

So Grace starts kindergarten, Kurt leaves on deployment… so many changes in such a short time.  And once Kurt leaves, the countdown to our move will begin in earnest.  That in itself is bittersweet.  It may very well be our last move while Kurt’s in the military.  He’ll have to retire in six years, so we might have just one more move left.  And yet I feel like I haven’t really been anywhere.  Just southern Virginia, Washington state, Rhode Island, and back to Virginia in the last ten years.  It just doesn’t seem like enough.  My one friend is going to Germany next.  I only wish I could tag along.  I would so love to live in Europe, where any other part of Europe is just a short plane or train ride away.  To be able to say, “I think I’ll go to Paris this weekend,” and then make it happen.  To have it be as easy as getting to NYC from where I live now.  But it’s not to be; it’s not in the cards for us, based on Kurt’s job in the Navy.  It’s a lovely castle in the air to dream about, but that’s all it will remain.

It’s been hard not to focus so much on all the endings of things.  I realize that there are lots of good things about moving to Virginia, and that there will be many new beginnings.  Rhode Island’s been good to us, however, and I really like it here.  It’s not just a change of scenery, moving south.  It’s also the start of another four years of not having Kurt around.  It starts in just a couple of months; our three-year “honeymoon” of having him home every night for dinner, most afternoons for lunch, and every single weekend is just about finished.  Soon we’ll be back into the mode of having him gone for weeks and months at a time, long workdays when he is in port, standing duty every six days.  It’ll be quite an adjustment, considering I now have two kids to keep me busy.

I know I can do it.  It’s just not my favorite part about this whole military life.  I’ve been lucky, in that we’ve been able to stay in one place long enough to set down some roots, and that Kurt has been present for the birth of both of his kids.  And it’s strange to think that this is probably our last sea tour as well.  He may never go to another ship before he retires.

So while I have been eager for the start of my favorite season, I’ve also been dreading it.  It’s a weird mixture of feelings.  And time marches inexorably on.

 

Let all this hope be history 13 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 10:05 am

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the weather.  I am not a hot weather girl.  I am not one who likes to sit out on a sun-blazed beach, soaking up rays and sweating.  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the water or being outside.  I just want to do it when it’s not insanely hot.

This has been a very unusual summer for Rhode Island.  We had to install the a/c units back in June, and they’ve been running nearly constantly since then.  The ocean breezes here on the island are supposed to keep us cooler than the mainland, which did happen this summer — except that the mainland was broiling even more than we were.

Right now it’s 69º, after having been in the low 60s overnight.  The windows are open, I can hear the birds twittering (and the rumbling of the heavy construction equipment in my neighborhood — grrr), and the breeze is divine.  I tell you, it doesn’t take much to please me.

On to news of the children!  I have to say, I am so glad I had two kids.  The way Grace plays with ME is so wonderful, and it takes a lot of the entertainment load off of me.  I’m so relaxed now with ME that I find myself playing with her and being silly with both my kids a lot more than I was with just Grace.  I think part of it is because having Grace helped me to find my inner child again, which makes it easier to play with ME.  And when I say I am more relaxed now with ME, I don’t mean because I was a paranoid momma with Grace.  In fact, my mom was always amazed at how calm I was with her, not being nervous that she was going to get hurt or whatever.  I figure, small injuries are part of being a kid.  If she gets a scraped knee, of course I pamper her and clean it up and stick a Band-Aid on it, but I’m not going to try to prevent her from scraping her knee at all.  My entire childhood I had scraped knees — mainly because I was outside playing, and enjoying every second of it.  My mom, on the other hand, says she was very protective of my brother, and was nervous every time it looked like he was going to topple over or hurt himself.

Also on the Grace front, I am so amazed and so pleased at how well she can read!  She pretty much taught herself.  I listen to her reading to herself, which she does a lot and of her own volition, and I’m always surprised at the big words she knows.  She’s well beyond Dr. Seuss and into longer books, and she loves to pretend to read some of my books.  We’re now working on her penmanship.  I’ve bought her several workbooks and I’m trying to teach her the rules of when to use upper-case letters and when to use lower-case.  She loves to do her “homework,” as her daddy calls it, which consists of doing as many pages of her workbook as she feels like.

She’s just so dang smart, and I’m always amazed at her abilities.

With ME, she’s now starting to come out with more and more words.  She’s now using “DO!” as a request for me to do something for her, and she’s starting to try to say, “please” as well.  She’s been saying, “more” while she signs it for a while, but it’s so nice to hear her attempt more words.  I do wonder a little bit about her hearing; she isn’t terribly fond of saying the ends to her words, though the speech therapist assures me that it’s normal for someone at her stage of development.  My BFF’s daughter has some hearing loss, which was not detected until she started speaking since she just couldn’t say certain sounds, and that’s what I do worry about.  ME hears and comprehends just fine, but for me that doesn’t rule out some hearing loss.  Also, I met a mother once whose son has the same ear tags ME does, and she told me that the doctors had wondered if her son would suffer hearing loss.  I’ll be asking for a hearing test for ME at her 2-year well-baby visit next month, if they can do it for a kid that small.

She’s still very quiet around strangers.  That’s a bit of problem when I take her to her speech therapy play group because there aren’t the same therapists there every week.  In fact, last week a new-to-her therapist tried to work with ME, and she was having none of it.  She would just walk away when the therapist came near her.

Stubborn girl.

I know she’ll get it, eventually, though I don’t think she will ever be a chatterbox like Grace.  She’s just so quiet in general.  It’s frustrating, though, when I see a kid half ME’s age, babbling away and stringing several words together.  I know kids develop at all different rates, so I shouldn’t worry.  It’s hard, though, when ME tests way off the charts in everything else, with results like a three- or four-year-old, but she just. Won’t. Talk.  It’ll come, I know, I know.  But the frustration is still there, especially when she’s desperately trying to tell me something and I cannot understand her.  That’s the worst part of all.

Hmm.  So much for listening to the birds chirping this lovely day.  Now I have the sound of the house across the street being prepared for demolition drowning out the twittering.  *sigh*

 

Just a little push and you’ll be smilin’ 9 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 9:47 pm

My back, it is killing me.

I know what happened.  My friend G had come for an overnight visit on Friday, you see.  That night we’d gone out to dinner and to see The Kids Are All Right (good movie! Though I am the everlasting optimist and was a bit bummed at the ending), and once we came home it was time to light a fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores.

Yes, folks, it is occasionally cool enough at night to sit around a fire and roast marshmallows.  It’s not the most legal thing to do here in housing, but considering how much “rent” we pay it should be allowed.  Besides, if our houses burnt down, we’d be doing housing a favor.  One less house to tear down!

Anyhow, after a delicious breakfast at a local diner and a lovely walk at the wildlife refuge, it was time for G to head home.  That meant it was time for me to pack up the raised AeroBed we have for guests, as we’d invited Kurt’s buddy and his family over for dinner.  And the last thing I needed when I was going to have five rambunctious kids (and that’s including my two) in the house was to have an expensive air mattress still out for them to destroy.

So here I am, wrestling and wrangling the damn thing, trying to get it small enough to go into its little carrying case so that there’s still enough room for the mattress pad that goes with it, and I have to unfold the damn thing like four times to get it small enough for my preferences.  And instead of taking it out and unrolling it properly, I’m getting so annoyed that I’m flinging it around to open it up so I can start over.

That’s probably why my back is killing me now.

I can sit just fine.  It’s getting up or switching positions that causes me massive pain.  I took some Motrin earlier today, which seemed to dull the pain a bit, but I’m pretty sure it’s worn off already.  I spent most of the afternoon either in my reading nook or laying in bed — reading.  ME napped for a good long while, since she hadn’t had her morning nap, and Grace was being really, really good and entertaining herself.  At one point, though, Grace decided she needed to be on my bed with me, so she grabbed a book too — and we cuddled and read.

It was the sweetest thing ever.  Oh, how I love that kid.  And she is so much like me!  That is, except the parts where she is just like Kurt.

Backache notwithstanding, I also managed to make dinner, although Kurt helped a lot.  What, you ask, did we eat?

May I present:

221: Dinner time

Chicken Carne Asada Tacos with Pickled Onions!  (And yes, that is my own photo.  I’m quite proud of how gourmet it all looked on the plate.)

This recipe could be completely tweaked to whatever your preference is.  You want beef, make beef instead.  (Side note: I hate that it’s called Chicken Carne Asada, since “carne asada” means “roasted meat” — as in beef.)  You want ground turkey?  Go for it.  How about a veggie substitute, like soy crumbles?  Heck, throw in black beans as the protein.  It doesn’t really matter.

The pickled onions were super yum.  I don’t like raw onions, but the short boiling time and the marinating in the acid of the orange and lime juices took all the bite out of the onions.  For me, this is a plus.  They tasted even more sweet after sitting in the juices, too.  We didn’t use Cotija cheese, mainly because finding any Mexican ingredients in this Portuguese town is nigh on impossible.  We had feta, so feta it was.  Of course, we did toast the tortillas like we always do.  Heat a cast iron skillet till it’s just about smoking, mist each side of the tortilla very slightly with cooking spray, and throw it in the hot, hot pan.  Twist the tortilla around in the pan so that it doesn’t get too burnt in one spot (it helps to have asbestos hands), and flip when the tortilla starts to bubble.  Repeat on the other side.  This only works with flour tortillas; my family doesn’t care for corn ones.  I use my Japanese cooking chopstick to flip the tortillas. It makes sense to my brain!

And of course we had to sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.  Cilantro’s one of those polarizing ingredients.  People either love it, or they hate it.  Me, I came to love it.  I wasn’t sure about it as first, but eventually it grew on me.  And now I can’t stop eating it!  In fact, I tend to sub in cilantro when I can’t find flat-leaf parsley at the commissary, which is pretty much all the time.

Hopefully by tomorrow my back will be back to normal, so I can get back to my housewifely duties.  Laundry waits for no woman!

 

Shoot first, apologize later 3 August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 8:03 pm

Ahhhhhhhh.  Thankfully, we’ve gotten a bit of a respite from the heat and the humidity that has been plaguing us all summer long.  I realize that mid-80s with high humidity is the norm for much of the South — but I don’t live in the South.  It’s not supposed to be that hot here.  Last summer, it was in the 60s and 70s with loads of rain, which isn’t normal either.  But of the two extremes, I’ll take the c0oler one.  I am not a fan of the heat.

Right now I’m sitting here in my living room, with every single window wide open, and a cool breeze wafting through the house.  Tomorrow will be heading back up to the high 80s, which means I’ll have to put the A/C back on.  I love fresh air so much that I’m not really looking forward to it, but I’d rather not sweat, especially when I’m inside.

I don’t know how people do it, the folks who go straight from the heater in winter to air conditioning in the summer, and they never open their windows.  There’s something so… cleansing about having the windows open, like you’re sweeping all that stale, musty air out and replacing it with fresh, sweet air.

Good thing I don’t live within smelling distance of the waste treatment plant here, though I have to driving through the miasma every time I go to Walmart.  Yuck.

I spent this last weekend in New York visiting my friend Craige.  She’d joked one day about starting up a eating and walking tour of NYC, and I told her I’d love to be the first to sign up — and the next thing I knew, I was on a train to the city.

Let me just tell you.  Taking a train to NYC has to be the awesomest thing ever.  No sitting in traffic, no cussing at other drivers, no road rage, no parking worries, no nothing.  You get on the train, you sit in your seat, and you veg out for three hours.  Bliss!  They even have power outlets for every seat, so you can use your laptop or plug in your phone.  I elected to plug in my phone since it’s such a battery drain if I do too much on it.  I spent most of the ride texting my husband and reading my book.

The only dark spot to the whole weekend was getting lost in Penn Station.  Our friend Jen was supposed to pick me up, as it was to be the only time  she was free to see me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I was still one level too low, so I wasted most of her break trying to describe to her where I was when I was seriously in The Wrong Place.  *sigh*  But she did have time to hand me three books she was done with — YAY!

I won’t waste your time by describing everything I did while I was in NYC; I’ll just give you the highlights.  Besides, I basically got an insider’s tour, instead of doing all the normal touristy stuff.

So Friday night I had my very first experience with Ethopian food, right after my very first subway ride and my very first cab ride.  Let me tell you, Ethiopian food is good!  And it was so interesting not to use a fork with dinner, to use the injera instead to get the main dish to my mouth.  I also had my very first dim sum experience on Saturday.  Yum!  I wish there was a dim sum restaurant around here because there is something so nifty about eating a bunch of little things, instead of ordering one big entree.  I tell you what, though, we also all ordered Cokes to go with our dim sum, and it was really the perfect pairing to the salty Chinese dumplings.

Pepsi would have been better, of course, but Pepsi wasn’t available.  Hmph.

After dim sum, we wandered a bit through Chinatown, and that was when I had my first celebrity sighting.  At the time, all I noticed was a huge cluster of people that was clogging up the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians into the street — never a good thing in the city.  It wasn’t till I was past the big clump that I looked back and saw a woman being photographed.  It was then that Craige’s husband, who knows all of these things, informed us that it was Krysten Ritter.  I elected not to take my own photo, figuring it wouldn’t be in the best taste, but she does look just like her photos.  It helps, of course, that she was all made up because of the photoshoot.  I wouldn’t recognize an incognito celebrity if s/he bit me in the ass.  First off, I never ever recognize people because why would a famous person be in the same space as me?!  Secondly, I am woefully ignorant of famous people.  People are always asking me, “But you’ve seen [insert movie name], right??”  Chances are, no.  I’m not a movie watcher.  I used to be, when I was in college, but I just got out of the habit.  Besides, I am too cheap to want to go out to the movie theatres and spend a jillion dollars when I can wait till it comes out in the Redbox and pay $1 to rent it.

That said, I do like to go to the artsy-fartsy theatre downtown and see whatever’s playing there, but that’s a girls’ night out thing between me and my friend E.

Anyhow, speaking of famous people, we also passed Ajay Naidu, who played the Indian dude in Office Space, having lunch with his girlfriend Heather Burns in the East Village.  Jeff recognized him because of his girlfriend, but since I have no idea who she is, I was more impressed by seeing him.  And then I had “so you wanna be a gangsta” stuck in my head all day.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a printer to beat up.

We continued our eating tour by stopping at Russ and Daughters to get lox for the next morning, and then it was off to Katz’s Deli, where we sat right next to where the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally was filmed.  We didn’t do it intentionally; that was the first free table.  Oh man, but their pastrami is to die for!  I didn’t even think I liked pastrami.

NOM NOM.

On Sunday, Craige and I stayed over on her side of the river, where she managed to indulge my addiction of acquiring cheap books.  We went to a church book sale, where I picked up eight more books for 50¢ a piece.  Considering I’d brought three books with me (I’m an over-packer when it comes to books), I ended up taking thirteen more home.

Good thing I wasn’t flying.  My suitcase was heavy.

We also visited all these nifty little stores in Jersey City, from vintage to housewares to a combination of both.  And since we had walked just about five miles the day before, we stopped to get pedicures, which was heaven to my sore feet.  From there, we headed to Mitsuwa, a huge Asian market with an amazing food court.  We stuffed ourselves on noodles and followed it with black sesame ice cream, which was amazingly and surprisingly tasty.

We wandered around a bit, since I needed a few things (like miso soup and a new scoop for my rice cooker).  It was then that I ran into one of Bergen County’s weird blue laws.  Look, I get that it’s not legal in many localities to sell alcohol on Sunday, and I even understand why that is.  But not to allow the sale of home appliances?  That was strange.  The entire aisle was blocked off with ropes so you couldn’t accidentally grab a rice cooker or an electric kettle and expect to buy it.

But now I am home and thrown right back into the mix of things, what with Kurt having duty tonight.  In fact, I just now heard colors go off at 8:01pm, which means Kurt was bringing down the flag for the evening.  It’s kind of neat that I can hear it from the house and know exactly what he’s doing.

So now it’s time to get those grimy kids in the bath and off to bed so I can get a little bit of quiet time to myself.