Speck Of Texas

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 already?

I'm futzing on the internet while Michael is valiantly making mozzarella cheese in the kitchen. It's quite a process. It's the third time he's tried making it. The first one was pretty good, the second a complete failure. So far the 3rd one is working out. fresh mozzarella. yum. He's already been fiddling with his recipe for homemade bacon. He made a batch with garlic and pepper and it's so good! Now I just have to have him make dinner during the week! We're slowly coming to a compromise about how often we go out to eat. He likes to go out, and I really don't. But, I'd rather go out during the week when places aren't so busy and I really don't want to cook. On the weekends I have more time to put something together and restaurants are too busy. I need to work on putting a weekly menu together. That has helped immensely in knowing what to make each night and what I need at the grocery store.

I made chili for the first time yesterday. We went over to my parent's house and Michael's mom came over too. I made the Alton Brown pressure cooker chili recipe and it was AWESOME. Even Michael and his mom (native Texans) said it was really good (of course - no beans). I think I'm going to make it again this week and freeze it. I still have several of the ingredients and it makes sense to make it now when I don't have to buy everything all over again. I just need to get more stew meat and salsa.

I've also been playing with the slow cooker, but so far the recipes have been disappointing. I've tried a couple chicken recipes and they're just kinda gross. Luckily, I shred the leftover chicken and we had soft tacos the next night. That wasn't too bad. Just throw some sour cream on that mess.

We already have reservations for our 1yr wedding anniversary at Perry's Steakhouse. We went a few months ago when we had tickets to see Ron White at the Paramount. Their New York Strip was one of the best I've ever had. Michael wanted to go to Bohanan's in San Antonio, but I wasn't in the mood to drop $300 on a meal. We'll be going to Vancouver and Alaska in June and I'm sure that's where we'll drop some coin. Especially since Michael found a casino down the street from our hotel in Vancouver. And they have roulette! ach...I'll have to make a budget.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fully documented!

Dealing with the death of Michael's father has been very eye opening to the importance of wills, POAs, and medical directives. It made everything so much easier that he had all his paperwork together and in order. So, of course, Michael and I started talking about our situation. It's a little tougher since we aren't having children to figure out how we would want our estate handled. But, even though we won't have children, there will still be people that would have to deal with things if we become incapacitated or killed. So, my finance guy recommended an estate lawyer. We met with him and for $500 we each have wills, POAs, and medical directives. I asked a lot of my child-free friends if they had wills and if so, how they handled things....and no one did. Even my boss who is a CPA, and husband is a CPA, doesn't have a will. Texas probate is a lot easier than most states, but a will still makes things even easier. Why leave your family a mess when you die? that's just rude.

Michael is donating his entire half of our estate to charity, and I'm doing some of mine to charity and the rest to my niece/nephew. However, there's a stipulation that they can't touch the money until they're 25. ha! Yesterday I took both of our moms (known as 'The Moms') to our bank to get their names on our safety deposit box so they can get into it if needed. I believe everything has now been taken care of, and it's a load of my mind.

Monday, July 18, 2011

wedding pics

Most of you got an email with the wedding pics link, but here it is again
Michael's friend Kat took the pictures. She's a professional photographer in Manhattan and they're good friends. She's not a wedding photographer. She does still life and product photography for some major companies in NY. I think they came out great.
Dealing with the death of Michael's dad was quite an ordeal. We learned a lot about probate and Texas law. Luckily Corsicana is pretty small. He lived in Kerens (about 10 minutes from Corsicana), population about 1500, and that made it easy to find things and find out who to talk to. The funeral director has weekly coffee with Michael's aunt, the local coffee shop was the best way to get out the news about the funeral, and there was only 1 flower shop in the whole town, so it was easy to get things done. I'm not even going to get into his banking situation which was a farming bank - no website, no online access, in a town with population of 124. Dealing with them was very interesting. We're still waiting on the graveyard headstone, but everything else has been taken care of.
Besides all that, not much going on here. We're starting to save up for our kitchen redo which will happen in about 5 years. I've gotten over my new car wanting and am now back to being happy still with my 2003 Corolla. It has 125k miles. I really want to go 2 more years. By then I should be able to pay cash for my next car. At least, that's the goal. It helps that I like cheap cars! ugh...yeah...not much else going on. sorry!

Friday, April 08, 2011

going on

Hey! Yes, I'm a married woman. It has been a very unusual 2 weeks. Here's what's going on:

The Thursday before the wedding I went to the airport to pick up Kim, Jeff, and Andrea who were coming in from CA. We met Michael at Chuy's for dinner. Michael tells me he got a call from his Aunt Ruby that his father was in the ICU in Corsicana and it wasn't looking good. Michael had not spoken to his father since 2001. There had been a strained relationship (his parents divorced when he was 12) and there was an incident in 2001 and Michael chose to end the relationship. Since then, Michael has had therapy about it and worked out his issues, but still didn't want his father in his life. So, he gets this call from Ruby and tells her that he's getting married on Sunday and can't leave right then. She said she just wanted to let him know what's going on. Then, that night while we were all at my house visiting, I started to feel really sick. That began 24 hours of throwing up. I NEVER get sick like that and I could not believe I got a bug right before the wedding. I had made a bunch of plans to take the CA group to things around Austin - we were going to go kayaking, to Smitty's for BBQ, down to 6th street, etc. Well, instead, I slept and threw up all day Friday and Michael took everyone to Smitty's and then drove them around town a bit. He was such a good host. Luckily he had met everyone during our CA trip 2 years ago, and Kim and Andrea went to HS together, so they all knew each other. Then they came back and we visited for awhile and then he took them to dinner at Torchy's and dessert at Mozart's. I was so thankful he just stepped up and took care of everything for me. On Saturday he wanted to hang out with his mom and talk about the situation with his dad. The gang stayed at my house and watched RED while I slept some more. Then, we had the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at the Salt Lick in Driftwood. I was still recovering and not eating much - I was eating 1 saltine cracker every hour. It really sucked since Salt Lick is my fav BBQ and we had the family style for everyone so there were ribs and sausage and brisket all over the place. cry. cry. That night we went to Mike's to watch the old Tom Hanks movie Bachelor Party. I wasn't stressed or worried about the wedding at all. The illness really just took it all out of me.

On Sunday everything went very smoothly. I was feeling better and had a little bit of breakfast and everyone helped me get ready. We had professional makeup people come in for me, Andrea, and my mom and they did a GREAT job. My mom and Michael's mom helped me with my hair and it was all very cute. The wedding was really quick and everything went off with no problems. The food was good, the cake was good, the flowers were pretty, and everyone seemed to have a good time. We hadn't planned seating, but it all worked that the parents and an Aunt/Uncle of Michael's sat at one table with us, the ANK people sat at another table, the CA people sat at one table, and Michael's friends were at the other 2 tables. Our goal was to have a quick ceremony and then lots of good food, and I think we were successful. We don't have our pictures yet, but I'll post a link when we get them. That night we stayed at the Mansion and the next morning we left for Corsicana. I have A LOT to say about Corsicana but I'll just say this for now - Michael's dad has passed away and the services are tonight at 4pm. It has been quite a saga.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

stupid email hackers

A few months ago I got an email from Randy in Japan (he's ok btw). then, a few days later I got another email from him with just a link. I replied back that I didn't click on links that were in emails that don't have any text message with it. Randy replied that he hadn't sent that, and his account had been hacked. Well, I checked my backup hotmail address I use for shopping and that one had been hacked too! My usual one was ok cause the password was a little harder. But, now everytime I try to log on to my backup email, it's frozen cause the hackers are still trying to get in. So, even though I changed the password I can't get cause it keeps being frozen! Argh. Then, I also got an email from Mark in NY with the same link. I emailed him back as a heads up but it looks like his email was disabled. Why do people have to be such dicks? Leave my email alone!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

a month away

sorry about not being as active on the blog. I guess before I met Michael, I didn't really have anyone to bitch/complain to, so I just typed it all out. But, really, that's an excuse. I could be blogging about all the stuff we've been doing....Michael's quest for the ultimate homemade pizza (dough and sauce are figured out...now doing cheese tests), my dad's multiple surgeries (he's ok now), all the local restaurants we've been finding and enjoying (Blue Star Cafeteria!!, Phils! Dog Almighty!...), etc etc etc.

But, instead, I'm lazy. sigh. I do feel bad about this, if it makes you feel better! I know Randy in Japan was keeping up with me on the blog, and my buds out in california too....so I feel like I've kinda let everyone down. I'm not on facebook or twitter, and I'm not a big emailer. I also don't text on my phone. So, the blog was really the only electronic communication I was doing. Although, I have called everyone recently (except Randy - need to send a letter). I really should start letting you know more what's going on. Especially now that I have a laptop and can do this in front of the tv!!

Ok, here's an update:
We are now exactly 1 month away from the wedding. 4 weeks left. At this time, in 28 days, I will be married. yikes. Although, I am keeping my name, so I don't know how 'married' I'll feel. Hm. Everything is done for the planning. Final count is 31 people. We had our tasting at the mansion and I think the food will be yummy. We need to talk to Jon about the vows, but I think that's it. We are most certainly not writing our own! But, even the 'traditional vows' have different variations, so we have to do some research. Neither of us like the 'till death do us part'. I personally like the phrase 'for the forseeable future', but Michael didn't think it was wedding appropriate. We found vows that mentions 'through the seasons' which sounds a little better. Anyways...that's one thing left.

The wedding planning has been a little weird - just because we tried to keep it small. Lots of people were expecting to be invited. People we only see every so often. I didn't even invite any of the St Louis people. I am still in touch with Kim, who I worked with at the Courtyard during college, but she's not invited either. I'm really not in touch with my business school friends because they all got married, started having kids, and then they dropped off the earth. I used to try calling every once in a while, but when someone only wants to talk about their kids.......that's about it for me. Although Vicky did send me a Christmas Card this year (with pictures of her 2 kids). I will definitely be sending out wedding announcements though. I gave them wedding presents. It's my turn now!! We're registered at Amazon and Crate & Barrel, so we'll see what happens. Yeah, it's not supposed to be about the gifts....but free stuff is still free stuff. Everyone appreciates free stuff!

I was going to put more, but now Foodtv has distracted me.....

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

We're staying put!

In the past I had mentioned that Michael and I were thinking about buying a new house after the wedding. Well, we had some big talks about it, and we decided that since we both like my house and the location, we would forgo some of the new house benefits (like the theater) and instead stay in this house and refinance. I called my previous mortgage broker and she took care of everything. We refinanced for 3.75%, put Michael on the title and mortgage, and went to a 15 yr mortgage. We had saved up a bunch of money for the downpayment for the new house, but since we were staying, we decided instead to redo the master bathroom. We were already planning on updating it a bit to help when it was on the market. So, instead of just doing the bare necessities, we gutted the whole thing. We had Eduardo (IQ Remodeling) do it all. He has done a ton of stuff at my parent's house and also some stuff for me. He's not one of those contractors were you meet one guy and then someone else comes out to do the work. He's the one that does everything, comes every day, very reliable. It took about 6 weeks and it's great. Now we're saving up to do the kitchen in 4 years or so.

Here are the BEFORE pictures

Here are the AFTER pictures of the walk in shower and the cabinets. Michael really wanted the frameless doors. They make a big difference. For the cabinets, my side is low, and Michael's side is a kitchen cabinet height. There's a storage cabinet in the middle. Our mirrors are not in yet...still on order.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

For those of you

that wanted info about the wedding...
My mom talked to my Aunt and they're not coming. Oh, and she also said Michael and I don't need to bother coming out to CA. Wow, passive aggressive much? But, hey, everything is settled and that's what I wanted to hear.

The location is going to be the Mansion at Judges Hill which is down by UT
Nathan recommended it since he and Brian eat dinner there once a month through a UT discount club. Michael and I had dinner there and really liked the food and the feel of the space. It is also a boutique hotel, so we are staying there the night before and the night of the wedding. We're doing a Sunday morning since it's sooooooo much cheaper.

Here is a link to my dress. Some would say it was expensive, some would say it was cheap. After watching Say Yes to the Dress and how so many of those gowns are in the THOUSANDS, I am quite pleased with this. It's cute, it's very 'sunday morning', and the shoes are adorable. Instead of tying the ribbon in the back, Michael's mom suggested tying it in the front off to the side, and that really worked. Also, the little jacket hides my tattoos, so I won't have to put makeup on them. I'm not going to worry about my ankle tattoos...it was really the one on my arm and back that I was going to hide....it's just a little tacky in my opinion

Also, here are pictures of my amber and silver engagement ring. The dark spot you see is the black fabric behind it. The pic of it on my hand gives you a better idea of what it looks like.

Now I have the flowers, cake, and rings to figure out. I welcome all recommendations/suggestions. There are so many freaking wedding websites out there. Lately the trend is all DIY, but you know what? I don't want to DIY! I just want to show up. And, as it's a small wedding with only one attendant each, I'm just going to pay a freaking florist to do the bouquets and make it look nice. I really don't want the added stress.
Oh, and we also are going to do a registry, but I promised Nathan we'd go out shopping for that. It always helps to get another opinion. I'm hoping to get some stuff done in Sept. Wedding date is late March, so I've got time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What part of 'you're not invited' did you not understand?

Sigh. I've had the first bit of wedding 'drama'. None of my family from California is invited to the wedding. There's too many aunts/uncles/cousins and if I invite 1, I've got to invite them all. They are all also fairly high maintenance and high drama and I'm not particularly close to any of them. My mom had let them know I was engaged and that is was going to be a small ceremony with only a few people. Somehow, she started getting the impression from one of my aunts that she thought she was coming. So, to nip that in the bud, I sent an email to all the cousins and aunts/uncles that the wedding was going to be a small, private affair in austin and then we'd come out to california later in the year and have a little party out there for everyone. My aunt then responded. "We heard about the wedding and Uncle M and I thought we'd fly back with Nana to the wedding. Thought this would be nice for Nana to attend since she didn't attend your sister's wedding. Also to seee where everyone lives. If this is going to be a problem, let me know."

Yeah, it's a fucking problem. That's why you WEREN'T INVITED. So, basically she just invited herself to my wedding without even a phone call to me (she never even called to congratulate me on the engagement). And don't try to guilt me about my sister's wedding. Even my parents didn't attend that one since it was quick on a naval base in VA - I was the only family there. You know, this is why I'm paying for the whole thing myself. So I can't be told what I have to do for the wedding. An additional 3 people is ridiculous. I don't have room for it, and quite frankly, I don't want to make the room. We've been out in Austin for six years now and my parents always have offered to come pick up Nana and fly her out here to see us. She always declines. And now my aunt wants to come out and bring nana and oh by the way we'll be attending your wedding? I don't fucking think so. I'm not going to have any time for them to visit and show them around. I was looking forward to my CA friends coming out and going out to BBQ, maybe the Broken Spoke, maybe shooting, I don't know. But, driving around my aunt/uncle/nana is a whole different thing. And it will completely change the feel of the wedding (yes I know I'm being unreasonable...but I'm the BRIDE I get to be). As it stands right now, it's just parents and our friends. I felt it was going to be casual and fun. What's my aunt and uncle going to do? Sit in a corner? I'm not having a church wedding, we're not doing a catholic mass, we're not doing dancing. It's a friggin 5 minute ceremony and then some really great food. They can come sometime before or sometime after the wedding if they want to visit. Just not for the wedding weekend itself. Argh. My mom said she'll call her tomorrow and talk to her about it. My mom has a hard time standing up to her sister, but I figured I'd let her take a stab at it and be diplomatic and if I need to come in and be a bitch, that's fine. I don't want my aunt and uncle at my wedding. Simple enough.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cardboard Warfare!

I've mentioned this to some of you. It's awesome.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dress: Check

Ack! I went shopping today with my mom and Michael's mom and we found a dress! In fact, I was the first person to try it on cause the dress just came out and it fit perfectly. So we just went ahead and bought that one! I gave the consultant the numbers of ones I wanted to try, and mentioned that it was a Sunday morning wedding. She asked if she could pull some others, and I said, sure, I'll try anything on. I didn't know what would look good or what I'd like, so I was open to anything. It was the second dress I tried on and it was so cute. It's fun and flirty and perfect for a Sunday morning wedding. I did try on the 'traditional' gowns, and they were just too much fabric. They would have been fine for a larger venue or more people, but not for what I was going for. Both the moms really loved it too. Oh, and my colors have gone from black and white to black and cream cause white gowns just washed me out. The gown I got is a lovely ivory color. So, that's done. Got matching shoes, undergarments, and a hair thing. Now I just need to figure out the flowers and cake.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wedding update

Hello all! Things with the wedding are progressing. We have a date set 3-27-11 and a location. We're keeping the invite list to about 35.

Because of that we're not inviting everyone under the sun...and we're asking that people don't bring their children. I just feel weddings are not the place for a lot of little kids, and we have several friends with 2-4 year olds (it's different if it's a huge wedding and you have people to corral the kids...but 35 is NOT a lot of people). As good as they think their kids are, they still get fussy, or loud, or bored, and as it's 'our' day -we'd just like to spend it with our friends and have them be relaxed and comfortable. It's only for a few hours on a Sunday morning. I told my sister and she was like 'we don't think it's right for children to not be invited to a family event, so we probably won't come'. I told her that was her decision. Frankly, it would be better if she didn't come - she's so high stress and dramatic. She has a 2 yr old and an 8 yr old and I know she has people in town that could watch her kids for a little bit. My parents got a little angry about that saying they were 'good kids'. But, you know what? I've been over to my parents last weekend and this weekend when the kids were there. The 8 yr old gets bored very quickly and then bugs his dad to come play with him, while we're sitting around the dining room table chatting. Then the 2 yr old starts her high pitched screaming/crying/general baby sounds. All I could do was look at them and think, yeah, this is why no kids. Don't you want a morning off where you can just sit and chat and be an adult without constantly filling the needs of a kid? My friend Melanie, who had the premie a couple years ago, (whom I feel if anyone could be protective/concerned/mindful of a child's needs, she would have the right to feel that way) AGREED with me that a wedding is not a place for small children. So, there it is. We're sticking to our guns.

I've asked one of my high school friends - Andrea - to be my maid of honor. Michael will just have a best man, so we'll have a nice small wedding party. One of his friends who's done about 9 weddings will be our officiant. I'll be sending out a 'save the date' email to the invitees and I'm working on the invitiations. I invited Michael's mom to come dress shopping with me since Michael's her only kid. She's coming down this weekend and Saturday me, my mom, and she will go and check out some dresses. This is where paying for the whole thing ourselves will come in handy. I can take their opinions, but I don't HAVE to do what they say, cause they're not paying for it!

I'll post pictures of the engagement ring later...want to show it to a couple more people in real life before I post it here. Don't want to spoil the surprise!

Friday, May 28, 2010

2114 Miles, 5 Cities, 1 Marriage Proposal

Hey everyone! We're back from our New Mexico trip, and yup, I'm engaged! Michael's going to make an honest woman out of me. I'll post more later and put some pictures up. Just wanted to let everyone know. The wedding is going to be in March/April of next year and will be pretty small (around 40 people). When I graduated high school my parents gave me a choice of money for a wedding or money for a college education, and I chose college, so we'll be paying for this ourselves.

If anyone has recommendations for venues, let me know!

post more later.....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I don't want to write a title

Eh, you've probably all abandoned me. So now I get to write horrible things about you all! Yay!

All right. Anyways...

Last night I had a very vivid dream about someone I used to know. It felt very real...I was even doing some weird math computations and I think I was getting the right answers! I've always wondered if you dream about someone one night if they're dreaming about you too. Hmmm...

Things have been good lately. Michael and I went on a lovely double date with Nathan and Brian down to Bohanan's in San Antonio (remember? the place with the japanese/texas $100 steaks http://www.bohanans.com/). Brian and Nathan had gone after reading my original post and really liked it. They wanted an excuse to go again so we all went down a couple weeks ago. Brian drove his very shiny Mercedes (don't know what kind...I'm a girl)...so it was like we were being chauffeured to the restaurant. Dinner was as lovely as expected. Michael and I did are usual where I get the New York Strip, he gets the sirloin, and then we cut them in half and share so we get to try both. Brian has the Akaushi fillet and thought it was good. Nathan got the dry aged New York Strip and the thing was HUGE. We've never had dry-aged beef so we all tried a bite. It was wayyyyy too strong for me. Very powerful flavors. I don't think I would have enjoyed it. We were there about 3 and a half hours and had a great time. The bill came to about $300 for each couple, which is pretty good since none of us had any alcohol. It was a lot of fun to go out there with other people than just me and Michael - more to talk about!

Michael's been living with me almost 5 months now. It's been going good so far. We were talking about buying a new house about 5 years from now, but I think the timeline is getting pushed up dramatically. I had originally said 5 years to allow us time to save up for a heafty down payment. Michael had debt in his past and although he's all done with that, he's never really focused on saving. I thought 5 years was a timeframe that he could ease into realizing that saving was important and sometimes you had to put off purchases in order to save for the big thing down the road. Well, the other day we were looking at models in the Brushy Creek area of Cedar Park (that's just a little more northwest of me). They were out of our price range, but we liked looking at models to see what our tastes were and to make sure we liked/disliked the same things (we do). Well, the house guy mentioned there was a new subdivision being built at 1431 and Anderson Mill and the prices were lower there. So, we figured we'd go check it out. There's only one model built and of course it's the biggest plan. We talked to the guy and said we wanted something a little smaller. He told us their division down in Dripping Springs (way south) had the model of the house we really wanted to look at. They just didn't have the model built in Cedar Park, but it was the same thing. The next Saturday was a really pretty day and we decided a drive down to Dripping Springs sounded like a good idea. Well, we found our dream house. It has EVERYTHING we wanted. It even has a 3 car garage option, which would give us plenty of room for the kayaks and Michael's bikes. http://www.highlandhomes.com/730-MARTB.html Luckily the builder has 3 phases and they just started Phase 1. So, we're shooting to get into Phase 2 which won't be until spring/summer of next year. Uh. yeah, the saving plan is going to have to accelerate some. And that's frankly a good thing. I want Michael to know he can save a shit load of money when he really puts his mind to it. With what we can save, plus the equity I can get out of this house, we shouldn't have a problem with getting the upgrades we want and putting down 20%. It'll add about 15 minutes to my commute, but it's easy access to the freeway, and 1431 is getting really built up. There's a lot going on out there.

Now we're looking at our expenses and seeing where things can be cut or tweeked, and we're focusing on saving for the house. Michael has done a remarkable job of cutting some of his expenses and really taking this seriously. He even brought some food to work to make lunches there, which in the past he has refused to do. He realized spending $50+ a week on lunches downtown was not the best thing to do. I'm really proud of how far he's come with his finances. He pointed out one day that I knew everything about his finances and he didn't know anything about mine. So, I showed him my retirement accounts and my savings accounts. Although I should have more than I do, I think I have a decent amount. I think that spurred him into saving more as well, especially since he makes more than I do.

As for marriage, we've talked about it, and we both know it's in the near future. I don't know if it will be before the house or not, though. As I'm keeping my name after marriage (which he's fine with), we won't have to change the names on the deed.

Have I ranted about engagement rings before? I'm not sure. Well, here it is. Most men are lemmings and blindly follow what the diamond industry has forced down our throats for decades. That diamonds are a girl's best friend, diamonds are forever, every girl wants one. Well, I'm telling you now, before you buy that engagement ring for your honey, take a good hard look at who she is and decide if you just want to buy some cliche diamond ring, or if you want to take the time and get something different, unique, colorful, and thoughtful. Although I do own a couple of diamond rings, Michael is well aware of how much I despise the idea of a diamond engagement ring. I'll probably wear the wedding ring more anyways. I really like the look of carbon fiber rings - light weight and durable. And black goes with everything!

alright, that's it for now.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Sigh. I keep meaning to post and then I keep getting distracted. I'm not sure if anyone checks this anymore, but here goes!

Since I did so few posts in 2009, here's a bit of a recap:
Michael and I went to CA for 2 weeks and realized we didn't want to kill each other.
Michael has moved in and all is going well so far.
For Thanksgiving we had it at my house like last year. His mom drove in from Dallas and we had something like 12 people. We had 1 regular cooked turkey and then Michael also brined and then barbequed a turkey. He didn't brine the one last year and wow, it made quite a difference. It was fantastic.
For Christmas we drove to Dallas to be with his mom. It rarely rarely snows in the Dallas area, but we just happened to be driving up on the one day they got snow. For people in the east coast/midwest a couple inches isn't a big deal. But, since they harldy ever get snow, the roads are not treated properly. They don't salt anything. They just put sand on the overpasses and that really isn't enough. Michael was driving his brand new GTI and didn't want to hit anything, so we were going fairly slow. A lot of people were driving much faster and I couldn't believe it. There were several cars that had spun out onto the median. There was NO reason to rush. So, instead of 3 1/2 hours it took almost 6. The nice thing is his mom's house is on the edge of a ravine in a private area, so when we woke up the next morning all the snow was beautiful and perfect and sparkly. I ran out and did the one thing I always have to do when I see perfect snow - I put my hand right above it and let my body heat melt an imprint of my hand. It's so fun.
For New Years we stayed in and watched the Twilight Zone Marathon. Neither of us felt like going out, so it was nice and low-key.
My car odometer is now over 100,000 miles! I'm hoping to get a few more years out of it - it's only a 2003. I'm saving a little money every month for a down payment, but I'm not looking forward to having car payments again. I'll try to put it off as long as I can.
Things in general with Michael and I are going well. I can appreciate couple humor a little more. Everytime something annoys me and I talk to some girlfriends about it, I realize that a lot of people have all the same issues! It's been interesting to figure out what are 'guy' things (in a generalized way) and what are 'Michael' things. The nice part is that he does help clean and cook. Although when he cooks it's a 2-3 hour event. I just try to get dinner on the table. So, I'll ask him to come in and help chop vegetables or something so I don't feel like I'm doing it all. I don't understand women that let their guy get away with not helping. It's one thing if she's a housewife and doesn't work. But, if both people have jobs, there's no excuse for the guy not to help. That just would not fly with me. Get off your ass and come help - I'm not your chef and I'm not your maid. Michael understands that quite well. The only thing left to fix is to get a king bed. Our queen is just a little too small. We've been working on that, but I need to find a headboard that I like first. We'll probably get that done in the next few months.

Movie reviews:

The Hangover - fucking hilarious.
Avatar - yes, it really is that cool. Yes, it is Dancing with Wolves in Space, but it's still really well done.
Daybreakers - wow, Ethan Hawke must have a lot of bills to pay. It was ok. Kinda campy
Sherlock Holmes - liked the actors, did not care at all about the plot. It did not draw me in.
Transporter 3 - as much as I LOVE Jason Statham, this movie was bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD.
Drag Me to Hell - a Sam Raimi movie - well done, good horror flick
My Kid Could Paint That - documentary about a little girl doing modern art. very good, thought provoking.
Monsters Vs Aliens - Awesome! The green blob guy was the best.
Julie & Julia - very entertaining - Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci stole the show
Inglourious Basterds - someone stop Tarantino now! He needs an editor to come and bitch slap him a little. He is too in love with his rambling dialogue and unimportant scenes. That movie was WAY too long.
Extract - Mike Judge movie (Austinites love Mike Judge) - it was ok. We all agreed 'ok' was the term for that movie.
The Proposal - Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds - had no business being as good as it was, but it was quite enjoyable.

I'll try to keep posting!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ran out of time

I was going to put up this huge long post of how things are going, but then my mom called, and then Michael called, and now I've got to leave to go meet him and his two friends that go riding together every Saturday. Sorry! I'll post a ton later, I swear. I'm off to Taco Deli! hmmmm...queso.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

one more thing - I'm on a Boat!

Ok, here's one more thing I keep meaning to post.

One night while Michael was working night shift (meaning he was sitting on my sofa chair with his laptop), I was watching MTV, and Fuse, and some other music channels, trying not to feel old. I was checking out what the 'kids' were watching. It was like 2 in the morning and this video came on. I did a double take and we had to rewind it. It's fucking awesome! I've tried showing it to some people and they don't think it's funny. Michael and I think it's hilarious, and maybe some people out there will too.

Adam Samberg is in a band called The Lonely Island, and it's like Weird Al but more curse words. If you don't get it.....they're making fun of rap songs.


They also have a lovely song called Jizz in my Pants. It's a play on dance/club music. The video really makes this one.


I've got my swim trunks
and my flippy floppies!

What? It's just not seasoned salt?

So, you know the Lawry's Seasoned Salt that everyone has in the pantry? Scrolly L on the label, orange top. Well, did you know it's a freaking restaurant???? I had absolutely no clue!


Last time we were in Dallas visiting Michael's mom, we passed it, and I was like, uh.....that L looks familiar! It was also on Food Network's Steak Paradise special. Their 'thing' is prime rib. That's basically the only thing on the menu besides lobster. I told Michael the next time we came to Dallas, I wanted to go. He'd never been either, so we both looked forward to it. This past weekend we drove to Dallas to see his mom and went to Lawry's on Saturday night. It was so good! I'm not one to put salt on my food....but that Lawry's Seasoned Salt on prime rib was incredible. It's a quiet, posh restaurant that feels very intimate. They wheel these huge stainless steel carts around and cut the meat from the roast right at your table. It also comes with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding. I hadn't had Yorkshire Pudding since I was in England, and this one was really good! If you are ever in the Dallas area and enjoy a good piece of red meat, I highly recommend it. It was pricey, but I felt you got a very large piece of meat and the value was there. For the prime rib, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire Pudding, it was $33. There were smaller cuts of meat and a couple of larger cuts, so the price can vary. But, the prime rib was really thick and filled the plate up, so I didn't feel like it was too expensive. I wouldn't go every night...but it would be a nice 'special occasion' place.

We are on track for Michael to move in by the end of October. I just sold my sofa and chaise and he has to put some of his stuff for sale. We had two garage sales in July and did pretty well. As he goes through his stuff and we find duplicates, we're putting things aside for another garage sale in Sept. I had to sell my sofa cause the sides were really high so you couldn't lounge on it that well. We bought a really cheap one that has low sides, so it's easy to put your feet up or rest your head on the cushion. We went cheap because it only has to last a few years before we buy our new house and get one that fits the space.

ok, I know that's a small post after being gone so long.....eh, you'll take what I give you! hee hee.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CA Pictures

As promised, the best CA pictures have been uploaded to Michael's smugmug site. Here is the website. Some have captions at the bottom.


The ones that crack me up the most are on page 14 near the end. There are two pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and a metal view finder (I don't know what they're really called). Michael was taking some shots of the bridge, and I thought the view finders looked cool. I asked him to get the view finder in the foreground and the bridge in the background. He took it and showed me the screen. I was like, well, that's not really what I meant. So he gave me the camera and I took the picture that I wanted. When I showed it to him, he was like 'argh! that's a better picture!'. And at that moment we realized how different our perspectives are, being 8 inches different in height. I was right in front of the view finders, while Michael looked over them.

All the ones of us together were taken with my Olympus. You can't really do that 'arm out to take a picture of yourself' thing with a camera that has a 6 inch lens on it. So, my little Olympus still comes in handy. We also brought my camera in to the Thomas Keller Napa restaurants to take pictures of the food. It's a little more discreet than Michael's big camera. hee hee.

Oh,,.....and whoever deleted their comment from my previous post - you can't do that to me! What did it say??? I'm dying of curiousity now!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

lots of news

Just got back from a 2 wk trip to Northern California. We've been planning this since October, so it was quite fun to actually have it arrive. Although I usually like my trips a little spontaneous as far as where to go on each day....this trip was competely planned. We just had too many places to go, too many people to see, and it was around Memorial Day weekend so we needed to make sure we had hotel reservations. In all we saw Napa, Pinole/Stinson Beach, Santa Cruz Beach/Boardwalk, Monterey, Yosemite, San Francisco, and Muir Woods. We also saw all my family in Gilroy, Andrea in Pinole, Heidi in Stockton (on the way to Yosemite), and Kim in San Rafael (on the way back from Muir Woods). So, yeah, I had a spreadsheet to detail out where we'd be each day and what hotel we were staying at. We drove over 1600 miles in 2 different rental cars. Started with a Jetta, but it got a piece of metal in a back tire, and a nail in the other. So we turned it in and got upgraded to a Mazda 6. Two things to say about the Jetta - I DO NOT like the Jetta. I am TOO SHORT for that fricken car. My legs are too short and the head rest cut me at a really bad angle so much so that I had to stick my jacket behind my neck. The second thing- damn that thing had some get up and go! I drove it from the San Jose airport to Gilroy and it had so much power (compared to my Corolla). You hit the gas and that thing WENT. But, the Mazda was a lot more comfortable, but it didn't have as much power, so it wasn't as much fun to drive...eh, trade offs. Both got good gas mileage thought. It was about $2.80/gal for gas in CA which isn't too bad.

I have LOTS of pictures, but they're all on Michael's computer. Every night we'd take the photos off his camera and mine, put them on his laptop, and backup to an external hardrive. I'm not sure how many we ended up with, but we got some REALLY good ones. A new one of Michael's camera is like $800 and the lens we were using is $1300. I frikin LOVE that lens. We did some wedding photos for friends of his back in September and Michael rented a really professional camera and lens, lent me his camera, and rented that lens for me to use. It took such great photos he went and bought it. My pictures come out so great with it. He's going to upload the best to his smugmug account and I'll post the link then. There's a few we'll be printing fairly large and hanging.

One thing that is working really well in this relationship is that Michael really trusts my eye for composition. In Napa we were doing a tour of a cave for wine barrels, and as the guy was talking, I gestured and quietly told Michael to get on one knee and get a picture of a group of barrels that was really pretty. He didn't even say anything - just did it - and that's one of the pictures we're going to get framed. It's so beautiful. I don't understand the mechanics of cameras - iso and f-stop, aperture, depth of field, etc. So, when I want to take some pictures Michael just sets the numbers and then gives me the camera. We're going to work on having me learn that though, so I can set my own numbers. It's just confusing. Too much like geometry! But, I was still using my little Olympus and got some really good pictures with that too.

The big reason for this trip was to figure out how our relationship was going and if Michael was going to move in. His lease is up at the end of October. All in all, things went really well. We had a couple of tiffs, but nothing major considering the amount of driving and places we went to. So, we had a talk today about the things that annoyed us on the trip, we both agreed to work on them, and agreed that things went generally well. Michael said he likes me even more now after being around me so much....aw so sweet! So, we'll be working on that for the next few months. He's selling quite a number of items - washer/dryer, coffee table and side table, kitchen table and chairs, tv, computer desk, bed frame rails, and futon. He's moving most of his stuff into my extra guest room and will use that for this computer and gaming systems. We figure with the money he'll get from selling all that stuff he can buy a nice tv for that room. Luckily my other guest room already has a queen bed, so he'll move his mattress (that he bought recently) into there and he'll use that closet for his clothes and stuff. He can also use that bed when he's on night shift - which is for a whole week and it happens once a month. He gets paged all night to work on stuff, so he can just sleep in there and not bother me. I think it will work out well. I already told him he can't use my bathroom - so he can use the guest bath right next to that bedroom. This'll be my first time living with someone like that, so it'll take me awhile to get completely comfortable. He's going to pay rent and 1/2 utilities. I'm going to save the rent in a different account and use it to redo the master bath for when we are getting ready to sell this house. One cool thing - we both have Farmer's insurance, so when he moves in, even though we aren't married, we'll get 'multi car' discount since it's the same address! I think it's a 10% discount. Yay!

There's a whole lot to say about the trip, but I'm not in the mood to type it all out.

Oh, some movie review for those of you that have missed me:

Wolverine - fucking awesome! I don't care what the review say about it. I was thoroughly entertained.
Hamlet 2 - really thought this was going to suck, but both Michael and I thought it was hilarious and awesome. Rock me, rock me sexy Jesus!
Twilight - I do not base what I see and I what I won't see on how popular something is. Just cause people are going ape shit over these books don't make them good, but don't make them bad either. I wanted to see it and make my own opinion. Movie - not bad, made me want to read the books. 1st Book 'Twilight'- wow, that's really like the movie! Like, scene for scene. Huh. 2nd book (New Moon) - absolute crap, I am done with this series.
Bolt - so cute! really well done. The hamster steals the show.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Someone needs to tell Simon Pegg to get back to doing Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz movies. Hopefully he's good in Star Trek, cause this movie was horrible. But, on the bright side, it did have Gillian Anderson and she still looks great.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - at first I was livid that some no-talent director hack was trying to use the venerable Thin Man series to sell some teenage crap. But, I heard it was good so I gave it a shot. It was really, really, really, really good. It wasn't a 'teen' movie. I really recommend this one.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno - ok, with a title like that, this movie should have sucked (ha! get it?) cough....but, we saw it at Mike and Annette's and we all thought it was great. It was hilarious, had great casting, and a nice plot. It wasn't too raunchy or over the top. It helps if you know some people in the porn industry (like Traci Lords and Katie Morgan)
My Name is Bruce - Like Bruce Campbell? See this. If you don't know who that is, DON'T see this movie.
Leonard Part 6 -voted one of the worst movies of all time. I saw this as a kid so I have a soft spot for it. Michael and I got through 25 minutes of it before he was begging me to turn it off. But, it's got Bill Cosby!! And no, there is no Parts 1 -5