Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here's the Deal

We are still experiencing some technical difficulties over here. I sucked it up and sat through a Genius Bar session Saturday morning, bought a new computer battery and went on my merry way, thinking all of the problems in my world were solved.

Not so.

Now my computer doesn't want to connect to the internet at my new house, and since I got my computer two years ago and only opted for the one year warranty (idiot), I'm screwed. I either have to buy Applecare or pay a one-time service fee. I troubleshooted my little heart out and couldn't fix it myself, which was quite bothersome.

Meanwhile, I attended a joint bachelorette party for my friends AG and SR on Saturday and I can't upload pictures to my computer because even if they were there, I'd be unable to show them to you since OH YEAH, NO INTERNET.

On the flipside, I'm reading and cooking more, since there is no mindless clicking to be had in the evening hours for now. I also contacted someone about piano lessons, then decided that my brother and I will be hanging out poolside while he teaches me to play chess this holiday weekend.

Almost forgot what it was like to have hobbies.

We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.
-Eric Hoffer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

AM in the A.M.

Of all the random things, I seem to have taken a liking to sports talk radio.

My morning commute takes 20-25 minutes, and I usually just listen to music like a normal person who insists on applying mascara at stoplights.

A few months ago I found myself scrolling through AM stations and landing on one beloved by men all over the metroplex: SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket. I enjoy sporting events, more than most girls I would say, especially football, basketball and baseball. I even watch them at home, though I'd be lying didn't admit that the first thing my roommates and I just watched on our new big screen was Confessions of a Shopaholic.

I mean, we are girls. There are pink polka-dot curtains in our kitchen and lemons in the window sill.

So anyway, the first time I listened to them, the Morning Musers on the Dunham and Miller Show were talking about where to go to find attractive women in the DFW area. For one thing, they were referring to them as "Hots" the entire time, then started listing places to see different types of women: NorthPark mall, certain specialty grocery stores, Target as opposed to Wal-Mart, etc. It was like listening to an outdoorsman give advice on deer hunting.

They always have an interesting angle on sports-happenings and cover an unrelated to sports topic like awkward things to do with your parents, serial killers and nudist colonies. They make literally any topic entertaining and I'm not one of those people who thinks everything is funny, and a few months back even accepted a challenge to play against a local high school girls basketball team.

Guys are better in general at telling stories, in my opinion, and they can make something mundane like car trouble or a family vacation and tell it in such a way that I will be laughing out loud, by myself, in my car, pre-8:30 A.M and sometimes even pre-coffee. That is no small accomplishment.

Needless to say, this station has become a fixture in my morning routine, and if you live in Dallas and have never listened to them, I would suggest giving them a trial-run. Unless you are completely averse to all sporting events and humor in general, I think you might like it.

If you nothing else, you'll still get to work with your mascara applied.

I watch a lot of baseball on the radio.
-Gerald R. Ford

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy I'm-Not-a-Parent-Day to Me

After returning early from my work trip to New Jersey, I went by to see my parents and give my Dad a big Happy 24th Father's Day hug. It was a good hug, I assure you. Definitely worth driving home for.

So this was my dad's Father's Day gift to me...

It's a Nespresso machine which makes the best coffee known to humankind.

The culinary experience at my new house just keeps getting better and better... I came home from work last night to a Tom Collins with a twist waiting for me on the counter. I had never tried one before, but it was delicious.

You should seriously re-evaluate life if you don't live with girls who make cocktails on a Monday.

Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.
-Drew Sirtors

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekday Toasting

A conversation from this morning that sums up last night:

BF: i am a mess!
Me: why?!
BF: hellllllllllllllloooo surprise party at a winery.
on a worknight
who does that

BF's boyfriend threw her a surprise birthday party at a winery last night. If you're wondering- yes it was his idea, yes he coordinated everything, and yes he is precious. We had two long wooden tables full of fun people sipping and talking and moving around to see everyone over the course of several hours.

There were five flights of both white and red wines, and many of us who had not gone home beforehand started feeling both tipsy and hungry around our fourth white. We practically attacked a cheese and cracker tray, and I glanced at a menu to see that for those desiring more food (me and company) there were five nearby restaurants who could deliver food within minutes. My kind of winery. Someone had legitimately thrown out the idea of a Taco Bell run, but then we spotted pizza delivery as an option and phoned in a large margherita.

Such a great decision.

I lasted through five whites and three reds and turned into a pumpkin around 10:30 when I realized that 1.) I needed to pack for my work trip to New Jersey this weekend, and 2.) how do you pack with no suitcase?

I was there long enough to enjoy my dear friends, the wine, the pizza, obviously, and to see BF's bf (ha- funny) give a thoughtful toast about how crazy he is about her and what a wonderful woman she is.

Something everyone in that room already knew, to be sure.

My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne.
-John Maynard Keynes

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Credit Is Due

I would love to have taken Latin at some point in my schooling, to learn more about how our language has evolved. From where I sit, seven years of German was a semi-huge waste of time since you don't hear much of it in Texas. Seems like a dead language would have been a more productive undertaking.

I guess it's not too late if I want to be a life-long learner some-such, but I don't know if my abundant spare time would permit me the opportunity.

Who am I kidding? I don't make time to do things like that. File it away under Wisful Thinking behind learning to play the piano and chess. Someone please sit down and teach me to do those things one day- ball is in your court.

Anyway, I like knowing where people's names came from*, and why they were named that name in particular...

Two of my childhood friends, MK and MD, have the same first and middle name, both spelled the same way, because their mothers (who did not know each other at the time) read the same novel while they were pregnant.

An old coworker in New York was named after a legendary Dallas Cowboys football coach.

One of my childhood neighbors got her middle name because her dad loves the Rolling Stones and named his daughter after one of the band members' daughters. He even went to one of their concerts the night she was born.

FR's parents heard her first name used in an elevator in Las Vegas.

My own middle name is four generations deep with women on my mother's side of the family, which I love since boys are typically the ones named after family.

Since no one has ever asked, I'll tell you that the name of this blog actually came from a book. Manhattan Transfer, by John Dos Passos, was a book I read for the 20th Century American Novel class taken the fall of my senior year of college, before I had seriously considered the idea of moving to New York. I unearthed it a few weeks ago, in preparation for my move, among several other novels from that year, while going through boxes that have been in storage for almost two years.

I remember it popping off the page of my syllabus when I glanced over the lengthy list of novels we would eventually cover. It's not the greatest book I've ever read (Pride and Prejudice holds that distinction), and it wasn't my favorite of that semester (Fitzgerald and Hemingway are tough competition).

If nothing else, the title made an impression.

*(Of course I would love to know how you were named and/or how you named your blog...)

What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
-Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

My laptop is having issues. I think the battery is shot, and I just need to make an appointment with a little Mac Genius and figure out how much money I'm going to have to cough up for a new one.

Let it be known that there are few things I enjoy less than the Apple store and paying to fix technology. Add that to the fact that the new iPhone is coming out this week and there is no place I would rather avoid that the throngs of crazies waiting in line for their Latest and Greatest. Let's just be clear that there aren't many things that will scare me away from the mall, but iPhone release day is one of them.

I am not computer savvy- I'm sure I don't understand half of what my computer is capable of, and I also don't care. I have simple needs- I want to edit my thousands of pictures, sync my phone and carry on with my life. Oh and I love making lists on the little Stickies. Those are cute. Since I sit in front of a computer all day at work, I prefer to read, cook, watch pointless T.V. shows, exercise or just have a little old-fashioned human interaction when I'm at home.

Speaking of pointless T.V. shows and "technical" difficulties, I hope that someone else also saw the previews for next week's Bachelorette. I don't think that anything so personal, invasive or downright mortifying for men has ever been so publicly discussed on a reality show. We even had to rewind it to make sure we heard them correctly. I can't imagine anything so public that could possibly be more embarrassing.

I guess there are worse things that could happen to me this week than having to buy a new computer battery?

Technology...is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.
-C.P. Snow, "New York Times"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crisis Averted

One thing I like about my new Dallas house is that there is no shortage of excitement. I love my parents, but they are not this entertaining.

My roommates had gone to dinner with some other friends from our Community Group last night, but I had gotten home late and decided to stick around and manage dog relations in our house (Ruby has been joined by another puppy, just for the weekend).

KS and MG arrived home and our friend AW and BF came with them to see our house and watch So You Think You Can Dance. The tally is up to five girls and two dogs, if you're keeping track... and we may have replayed the opening dance number once or twice.

A guy stops by to see KS- which apparently she was expecting but still sounded shrill and surprised when she answered the door "PE-TER... Hi! I wasn't expecting you! Just kidding, I knew you were coming over!" it was a little odd. I am oblivious to anything going on at this point, and KS shows him her portfolio for one of her design classes, he stays and watches the show and plays with the dogs, etc.

Peter eventually leaves and KS comes back inside looking relieved. Apparently she had gotten a call in her car on the way home from dinner, which her Bluetooth picked up, and since not all of her numbers are plugged into her car, she assumed she was actually talking to another guy, Jack, who she just went on a date with last week. She and Jack had talked about hanging out last night, so when she got a call, she assumed it was from him. So obviously when Peter showed up at the door, the potential for disaster was definitely in the back of her mind, and she kept thinking of what to do if for some reason Jake came to our house unannounced.

She said that when he came up to the door she first thought: Jack looks a lot cuter than he did the other day!

Yep, that's because it wasn't him.

KS was pacing the entire time she was telling us this- stressed the entire time, even after he left, by the very idea of something happening.

On a walk with the dogs and MG this morning, she said that Jack eventually did stop by for a while last night to see KS. I joked that we will have to employ the Halloween tactic of turning off the lights when you run out of candy, so that guys coming over to our house will know when her dance card has already been punched for the evening.

There's no reason for either of them to know she has a date with a completely different guy tomorrow night, too.

You know, I'm not really any good at working out when people are flirting with me. And I think I'm too flirtatious with people I'm trying not to flirt with! What I am good at is making people feel uncomfortable.
-Josh Harnett

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Swiss Family Robinson

At the new house, my room is refered to, affectionately, as The Treehouse.

This is because my room, which is large and in-charge, was an addition to the house and sits atop a dozen-ish navy blue carpeted stairs. It's kind of like having my own apartment within the actual house, but it presents a decorating challenge as far as furniture arrangement is concerned. I've never lived in a room this big! I currently have a queen-sized bed, a vanity, a small table with a T.V. and two bookcases in the room. I'm not trying to cram it with stuff- the furniture I have in there currently doesn't make it feel crowded in the least... the cardboard boxes are the ones accomplishing that.

The room has windows on three sides- I can see the neighborhood and they can see me. This is comforting when you are in close proximity to teenage boys. I have blinds but I'm currently searching for drapes and valences because the windows are an odd size. Put it on my tab.

After going to church and brunch with CC on Sunday, I ventured out into the hot afternoon with the goal of finding a duvet cover, a comfortable chair, lamps and possibly small tables for next to my bed.

I came away with a duvet cover, as well as manicured hands and feet, a diet cranberry limeade from Sonic and various household items. So if we're going to be technical: I was one for four. I still felt productive.

I knew I wouldn't find everything in one day; even if I did I wouldn't be able to buy it all in the same afternoon. Nevermind the fact that the total of pillows on my bed will soon reach 11 once I get them all arranged, and I'm still, for some reason, looking at pillow shams. I think it's compulsive.

There are never enough pillows.

For a solid 45 minutes I roamed around Crate & Barrel with every couple in the zip code of the Dallas Galleria (funny enough, I didn't know much about the store until I started going there every five minutes or so for wedding registries so I guess I have to thank them?) I sat in every chair that looked substantial enough in size to have potential for occasional weekend naps, laying down while gazing blankly at the ceiling and talking on the phone, draping legs over one side to curl up and read and something accessible and less suggestive than my bed where guests can sit. Since I have so many male guests and all.

I don't think that's too much to ask from one piece of furniture. Either way, I think I found something that fit my criteria...

I know it looks like part of a couch or some-such but it is amazingly comfortable. I liked it so much that I made a very large lap around the entire three floors and came back to sit in it a second time and examine all of the color options. There's even room for two, should I ever decide to share my personal space and my recorded DVR shows with anyone else.

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
-Erma Bombeck

Monday, June 8, 2009

All Over Again

I started a class last Wednesday morning at my church in Dallas. I'll spend the next 11 Wednesday mornings among three friends and a room full of 50 or so others, who want to learn how to spend quality and consistent time in the Bible.

For someone who loves to read and who is also a Christian, I know that I have failed to combine both of those things into consistent Bible reading. My Bible studying up to this point has been more random and sporadic; I'm looking to make it more methodical and applicable to my daily life. For all the time I've spent reading books by Rick Warren, C.S. Lewis and other Christian minds, I've successfully edged the Bible without reading it in its entirety. Ever. I have always blamed it on not knowing "how" to read it without getting lost somewhere around Moses. I've read chapters and books here and there, but nothing cohesive.

Truth be told- the desire hasn't always been as strong as I find it to be now, to learn more.

I have been attending church my entire life, became a Christian at age 12, and have more or less sought God mostly depending on my circumstances. The more I feel I need God or want something from Him, the more I spend time praying and studying and in the Bible. This means that the opposite is also true; if life is coasting along, I don't seek God when I feel I don't "need" Him as much. Truth be told- that is my own misconception, because I need God all the time. Everyday. The most important relationship in my life cannot thrive with such a lack of effort my my part.

It was encouraging to walk into a room that morning with all of those people, dressed in their business casual, consuming coffee by the gallon and ready for a full day at work. There people have also made a small sacrifice to wake up once a week for a 6:30 AM class.

I've sadly never done anything like this before, but I'm optimistic as to how 11 weeks can make a difference. I think it comes at a good time- the friends I do Bible Study/Community Group with just wrapped up our study of Galatians on Thursday, and we will have less of a standard format as to what our studies will look like over the next two months since summer has arrived.

My friend MK's younger sister is home from college for the summer and confessed to her the other night that she prefers hanging out with us because we seem to be pretty entertaining in our post-workday delirium. This is after we readily agreed with my roommates that Community Group is the thing we most look forward to during the week.

That might qualify me as the most boring 24-year-old in the history of my age group, but I'm strangely okay with it.

"The trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done."
-C.S. Lewis

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Is Where The Hair-Dryer Is

Lucky for me- I own three.

I am currently moving my life from Family's House to New Rent House in Dallas with my friend KR, MG and MG's black lab, Ruby.

They are already living there; I am still in between. I loaded my car down this morning with living necessities like my eight million summer dresses, a basket for my bathroom cabinets and various belts. Not to worry- my books, various champagne glasses and blender are already in place.

Just the basics for survival.

Since I have an indefinite number of trips to Lowe's and Target left, which will inevitably necessitate some assembly required, I'll probably keep everything short and sweet on the blog-front this week.

I did realize in the three-ring circus that was our new house this weekend (parents of three girls, two dogs, three movers, various siblings, heavy furniture, lots of polka-dotted dishes), that I've really missed living with roommates. I love my family, but I'm excited to be back living with girls my own age.

Yesterday evening, while waiting for my mattresses to be delivered, we all camped out in KS's room, playing Harry Potter Scene-It, eating Hot Tamales and drinking white wine-spritzers with our friend CC, who stopped by for a visit to see our progress.

I'll post before and after pictures soon, and you will see that I live with proteges of Martha herself.

"Life is too complicated not to be orderly."
-Martha Stewart