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I Plum Forgot

Oh hi! Remember when I said I was going to post every day in November and then, on November 4th, I totally forgot and didn’t post?  Yeah…. that happened.

Anyway. Saturday evening I posted a verbal panic attack over emergency preparedness and little did I know, Kim had just posted an awesome, super informative post on HOW to be prepared in an emergency. Kim 1 : Trish 0. Not that we’re keeping score. I love you Kim! Thank you for your super helpful post that I will print out and follow to a T!

Unrelated:

Lately (read: the last three weeks) I’ve been feeling like I completely suck at life. But you know what I don’t suck at? Super cute hair styles. LOOK:

Yes, I took this picture in the bathroom at work. (Yes, I’m blogging at work but I’m on my lunch hour so it’s perfectly fine.) (Even though I should be studying TORT LAW.) This horrible cell phone picture and my weird cross-eyed crazy-face doesn’t do the cute up-do justice, but I promise, it’s so freaking cute.  YOU SHOULD SEE THE BACK. SO PRETTY. I tried to take a photo but it did not come out. You’ll have to trust me. I call this my “Five minutes to FABULOUS 60’s inspired up-do”.  My mom used to wear her hair like this in the 1960s and she taught me how to do it.  It literally takes less than five minutes to pin up and then I feel pretty all day which is the best feeling ever. Next to feelings of accomplishment, self-fulfillment, and love.  If you ask (or even if you don’t), I’ll post a tutorial.  For reals. You’ll love it.

I’m going to go study TORTS now, which, unfortunately, are nothing like tarts. Peace out lovas.

What I’m Thinking About

Doll Head in Trunk, Rancho Camulos

Creepy doll head photo via Thupancic on Flickr.

So apparently NoBloMoPoBloPop is a serious thing involving sign-up lists and badges and daily writing prompts. But you know what? That is too much pressure. Too much. Can’t do it. I fully intend to post every day for the month of November, but I just want to come here and typety-type and not fucking think about what I’m writing or why I’m writing it. Is that bad? Maybe. Don’t care.

One of the reasons I stopped blogging eight months ago was because it just felt like too much pressure. Of course the pressure was entirely inside me. There was no pressure from the outside – it was all internal. But it had begun to feel like I wasn’t writing for me anymore and it wasn’t fun and everything I wrote was garbage. I spent this morning reading through a bajillion draft posts and deleting them, one by one, because they were so stupid. Not that this is brilliant or anything, I’m not saying that, but ugh I don’t know what I’m saying. I just don’t want to feel pressured to do something that is supposed to be fun. Does that make sense?  I don’t want to feel like I’m trying so hard. I just want to be. Even if that means incoherent sentences and an over-use of the caps lock key.  I just want to be me.

Anyway. Moving on. Can we talk about the East Coast for a minute? I am so hyper aware of how lucky I am – I don’t personally know anyone who has been adversely affected by Sandy. All my beloved East Coasters are safe and sound. Thank heavens. And here I am, in sunny California, my biggest worry which shade of nail polish I’ll wear this week. It hardly seems fair.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately – how strange and twisty and unpredictable and wonderful and awful it is.  And how fragile.  One minute you’re thinking about nail polish then suddenly everything is upside down and people are dying and babies are being born and someone is drowning but someone else is blowing out birthday candles and we think things will always be this way but nothing ever stays the same. Never ever. The moment we get comfortable we collide with life and it either works out perfectly or we’re left picking up the shards and broken bits and wondering how we’ll possibly survive.  I don’t know, folks.  I guess all we can really do is love with our whole hearts and get our emergency disaster kits ready. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

How are you? (Safe and sound, I hope.) Do you have your emergency disaster kit ready?

Are You There Guys? It’s Me, Frosty

The blinking cursor. It taunts me. How long will I stare it down? I have no idea what to type but I can’t stand staring at that awful, evil, nasty little blinking cursor and so I will just sit here and type and type and type and type. There are so many things going on and I feel like I can’t write about any of it, I’m keeping my life locked up in little metal boxes and the keys are broken off inside the locks so you can’t ever open them again, not ever again.

It’s horrible.

I used to love this. I would sit here, happily, for hours and hours and write all about my feelings, record all the little moments. Life was easier then. Or was it? Am I glorifying the past because it’s the past and all I can remember are the pretty pictures I posted here? I have no idea. It doesn’t even matter. I’m just so, so, so tired. I’m so tired of feeling like we’re fighting, constantly, just to keep our heads above water. And I know, I know that someone is reading this and they want to punch me in the face because whatever my stupid little suburban problems are, they are nothing, nothing at all. I know. I have so much to be grateful for. And most days I’m really good at remembering it. I don’t complain. I am grateful for the things that count. Most days. And then there are days like today when I sit on the balcony with the birds and I cry. And cry. And cry. I just wish things could be easier. I wish I didn’t worry so much. I wish I was more patient and more careful, more thoughtful. I wish I had more energy. I wish I’d made better choices when I was younger but I can’t think about that now or the mean little monster who lives behind my heart will thrash around and make me say awful things to myself.

I probably sound crazy. Maybe I am.

Things have not been going according to plan. Life has been life-y because, as they say, Humans Make Plans and God Laughs or whatever it is they say. BUT STILL. Anyway. Like I said. Most days are great. We’re fine. I’m fine. We work hard and we keep our heads above water and we’re okay. Today just hasn’t been one of those days.

Something, Anything

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything here that I’m beginning to think I’m avoiding it. I’m so out of habit and there’s so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s suddenly awkward. I want to recap everything that’s happened since December 8 because so much has happened but what a chore! And do you really want to see all 500 pictures I took of the dogs in Christmas bows? But you guys, I have hundreds of pictures to share and there’s just so much to tell you.

Only I’m not going to tell you tonight. I’m exhausted. I have cramps. The best part of my weekend was sleeping ten hours on Saturday night. My next-door neighbors are fighting again and I just can’t relax while they stomp around and scream until their little kids start crying, horrible sobs that resonate through the wall.

Actually as soon as I typed that everything went really quiet over there. Eerily quiet. I hope Daddy didn’t decide to kill everyone.

Do you see where my head goes?

Anyway, I’m exhausted. Last week was a very long week. It was my birthday on Tuesday and my birthday could not have been more perfect, but from Wednesday on, things were tough. The weekend was super fun but I was too tired to really enjoy myself so the best thing that happened was sleeping in on Sunday morning and then sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee while I pet my beasts for an entire hour. Oh. my. goodness. The luxury of it! But back to the point. I’m working in an office again, instead of from home, where I’ve worked for the last year, and some days are ten hours without a break and I am just so very very very tired. I’m not complaining! It’s good work I’m doing and I’m happy to be doing it. I don’t take breaks because I’m so engrossed I don’t realize ten hours have gone by. I’m just very very tired. So I should probably stop writing now and go get ready for bed. It’s already past my bedtime.

Until we meet again…

Hello Foxy

hello foxy

Remember this guy? I like this photo because he looks just like a little dog. A little dog who is missing most of his face and has plastic eyeballs and is awfully dried out.

I cannot believe it’s already Friday. This week went by very fast. I had so many plans for all the wonderful posts I was going to write about Bolivia and all the little things we’ve done around the house, there were going to be pictures and everything, but now it’s very late on Thursday night and I’m trying to get something up for tomorrow and it’s not much but dag nabit if I don’t get back into the habit of posting every day I’ll go crazy. I really will. I need blogging like a pregnant lady needs ice cream and pickles.

And I’ll leave it at that. Until next time.

Hiker Geek

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! Three cheers for our country’s heroes. Let’s take a minute to reflect on this country of ours and thank the men and women who helped it become what it is. You may say it is  flawed  and I would agree, but it is still a great country and we are lucky to live here. We’d be even luckier if we all had access to health care and jobs, but still.

This post was written on Friday, May 27, 2011. I’m only mentioning it because I think it matters. That sounds kind of weird but I don’t mean it to.

***

Today we got all our vaccines. This was, so far, the most expensive part of our trip. We have been saving up for this trip for a whole year, so it wasn’t a big deal, but still. I hate spending money in large doses.

The good news is we are now vaccinated against yellow fever, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus*, hepatitis A, and after we take the live virus pills in our refrigerator, typhoid fever. Isn’t that reassuring?

I was really nervous about the shots because I hate needles, but I kept it together. I kept it together so well that Michael treated me to lunch afterwards. It was awesome. Then we went shopping!

Only not for seedlings or pots at the Garden Center. Instead we went to R.E.I. for their gigantor anniversary sale and we bought the most expensive clothing I have ever owned in my entire life. Not because we were trying to be fancy, but because everything is meant for the utmost comfort while carrying gear amounting to a third of your bodyweight in a backpack on your back while walking uphill for ten hours a day. I let Mike pick everything out and you guys, he picked the cutest stuff. I mean, it’s as cute as convertible hiking pants, merino wool under layers, and fleece hoodies can be, but it’s super cute. He picked colors that look great on me and every.thing.was.on.sale. Also? It’s all really high quality clothing that will keep me comfortable on the trail, and that’s really what counts. I was going to do a little fashion show and post pictures of all my new outfits and everything, but you’re going to be seeing a lot of these clothes for the next couple of months, so I decided against it. But you guys? I am totally hiker chic.

This Sunday we will hike Mount Wilson. I don’t even know what Mount Wilson is, but Mike had me read a yelp review about it (read the fourth one down – it’s hysterical) and it sounds pretty serious. It’s six miles and will take between five and six hours. And it is almost entirely uphill. This is going to be a six hour walk, friends. Six hours, uphill, in the California heat. But I have a brand new, really cute and unbelievably comfortable outfit to wear (I am so excited about these clothes it is ridiculous) and we’ll be hiking a real trail in a real national park, instead of just the empty lots behind fancy houses we’ve been hiking.

It’s funny that I had that complete melt down last weekend, and now I’m so excited to hike this weekend. It’s just that I finally remembered why I decided to go on this trip. I didn’t want to miss sharing this with my husband. The John Muir Trail was such a hugely positive experience for him and I was really sorry I chose not to go. I didn’t want to miss another one. Besides, I’d rather be miserable in a field of stickery thorny waist-high weeds with him, then miserable in the comfort of our apartment without him.

And now a photo of a hairy wiener:

needsSLR

Mama needs an SLR

*Have you had your tetanus booster? Because it’s really important to. Apparenty you don’t only get tetanus from a rusty nail. Tetanus lives in the soil everywhere in the world, including where you live, and tetanus is a terrible way to die. GET YOUR TETANUS BOOSTER.

I Love Palm Springs

Four Palms

Before last week I never understood why people vacation in Palm Springs, but I totally get it now.

Paradise

In some places people are bundling up to go outside and dig their car out of the snow. But in Palm Springs, in February, you can gaze at palm trees as you roast in the sun.

You guys, I love the sun. If I wasn’t already married, I would totally marry it.

mexican food

A dear friend from college joined us on Wednesday and we all went to dinner at this fantastic Mexican restaurant called Las Casuelas Terraza. It’s been there since 1958 and the food was unreal. It was a Wednesday night but there was a live band playing the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Journey, Chicago, and other such classic rock & roll staples. There was a dance floor and you guys, PEOPLE WERE DANCING. Not the kind of epileptic-type dancing you see the young people doing today, but actual, real, grown-up dancing. I almost died of happiness.

joe

On Thursday Joe flew out from the city of New York to join the party. We picked him up from the airport and headed straight to Ruby’s for the World’s Best Burgers.

best burger ever

I’m not kidding about those burgers. (Nor am I being paid to write that.)

After lunch we hit a matinee performance of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, a troup of sixty to seventy-eight year-old ladies who dance like whipper-snappers and look like, well, very attractive and fit older women in pancake make-up and feathers. It was absolutely delightful.

street fair

On our way to dinner that night we discovered a street fair. It was as if all of Palm Springs was gathering to celebrate Adam’s birthday!

AandJ

Dinner was a feast at Wang’s in the Desert. We ordered the catfish which arrived head and tail attached. I tried to get a pictures of Joe and Mike licking the fish’s eyeballs, but I hate and despise my camera so you are getting a photo of Adam and Joe being adorable instead.

I miss them already.

Perfectly Perfect Perfect

When we moved from Hells Kitchen to Harlem I was working eleven hours a week and Mike was unemployed and on Spring break from school. We were able to spend the better part of every day cleaning, unpacking, decorating, nesting, and we were all settled in a matter of weeks. It was fantastic. But this time I’ve been at work every day and Mike’s had to do most of the heavy lifting without me.  Me, who likes to do everything myself because I want everything to be perfectly perfect perfect.

This has been the source of several very high energy moments in the past couple of weeks. Mike is very patient and very laid back, and I am the Tazmanian Devil. We signed our lease on a Monday but by Tuesday I’d spent four days decorating the apartment in my mind and making long lists of everything that needed to be cleaned.

One morning as Mike was driving me to the office, we had a huge fight.  Except it wasn’t really a fight. Calling it a fight implies yelling and screaming, and that’s not our style.  Anyway, immediately after lecturing Michael on how I won’t be able to live in the apartment until the bathrooms have been scrubbed inside and out, I started telling him that I thought it would be fabulous to decorate said bathrooms with all gold vintage decor.  He made a face at me and said he thought that was the most horrible idea I’d ever come up with ever.

Except not really. What he said was, “That will look really tacky,” but what I heard was, “That is the most horrible idea you’ve ever come up with ever. Also, you are fat and ugly.”

When he dropped me at work I was nearly in tears. I was also on my way to being late for work, so I couldn’t sit in the car and talk about how I was feeling. Instead I had to sit in my office and stew about it.  And stew I did, for a nice long while. Then I texted him:

“I love you. I want for this to be a fun and happy time for us.  I want to feel like you accept me and like my ideas. It’s crushing when you think my ideas are stupid. You’re my best friend and when you think my ideas are stupid it’s really painful. So far you’ve hated every idea I have and I’m starting to feel like this is your apartment, not ours.”

Don’t you love how dramatic I am? It’s so awful it’s funny, right? “So far you’ve hated every idea I have…” Straight out of Days of Our Lives, the generic suburban version.

He texted back:

“All I’m doing is cleaning. I understand how you feel. I’m sorry. I don’t want to feel the same – like you want to make this your apartment, and all I do is scrubbing and hauling. The good news is that we are not in a huge hurry. I want us to work together to make a home. I respect your ideas, and I know we can make this work.”

I took a deep breath. Why was I so angry? I mean, seriously. Sixties gold décor in the eighties-era bathroom with the clamshell sink. It wouldn’t have worked at all. So I called my mother and my girlfriends, some of the most brilliant and wonderful women I know. “What should I doooooo?????” I whined. They all three said the same thing. They pointed out that we both had valid points and we’d both expressed a desire to work through the situation.  They said we were ahead of the game. They offered help, advice, encouragement, and comfort.  They made me laugh. And Kim gave me complete instructions for how to wash out my filthy dishwasher, something I otherwise would not, for the life of me, have known how to do.

I wasn’t angry that Mike didn’t like my ideas. I was angry because he was doing it all without me. I felt like I was missing out on everything.  All the cleaning, all the moving, all the furniture-arranging.  He thought he was getting a big chore out of the way, but I felt like I was being cheated of an opportunity to nest – something I’d been aching to do since August. Meanwhile, here he is, spending his days scrubbing and hauling while I yammer on about curtains and throw pillows and give lectures on how to clean the toilet. No wonder he didn’t have the patience to talk about gold vintage décor.

When we finally got another chance to talk, we realized that we were both aiming for the same thing – a fabulous little home we’ll love for the next two to five years, depending on how long it takes us to save up for a house.  Once we figured that out, we were able to talk about all of the things that needed to get done, his priorities and mine, and I realized that moving comes before decorating and maybe my evenings were better spent scrubbing the filthy toilet instead of shopping online. Which, of course, was what I really wanted to be doing anyway.  After all, there is nothing in the world like a freshly scrubbed toilet.

More than enough dire consequences

Today I deleted 167 spam comments from my blog. Some of them are so fantastic I had to share them with you. I think you’ll appreciate the craft with which they were drafted. I have not edited them in any way, they are exactly as I received them. Check it:

You get being funny and also sounding too severe all at the exact same time, I can’t tension that importance in writing and modifying one’s personal net space.

Dude. I can’t tension that importance either. Also, what is a personal net space? Is that like, the space around you underneath a net?

I cannot suggest you sufficient for your efforts and skills for what you’ve posted here. There should be no 1 to be able to get to the point quicker than you.

Um… Thanks?

This topic is simply matchless , it is pleasant to me.

I think he means that my posts are the best posts on the Internet. Or else he means they can’t start a fire for sh*t.

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My greatest entry “for the time being.” That is brilliant. I will make certain keep it up me.

I apologise, but, in my opinion, you commit an error. I suggest it to discuss. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

Right. I’m going to email you and we’re going to “communicate”. That’ll happen. (Never.)

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Did he just call me a hack?

Financial Infidelity

getoffmyproperty

Get yer filthy paws awf my moneys!

The other day I came across an article about “financial infidelity”. Wikipedia defines financial infidelity as “a term used to describe the secretive act of spending money, possessing credit and credit cards, holding secret accounts or stashes of money, borrowing money, or otherwise incurring debt unknown to one’s spouse, partner, or significant other. Adding to the monetary strain commonly associated with financial infidelity in a relationship is a subsequent loss of intimacy and trust in the relationship.”

Basically, according to the Internets, married people are cheating on each other with money.

Dude.

Within a week of our moving in together, Mike had added my name to his checking account and I’d closed mine out and deposited all of my funds into his account. Now, I wouldn’t recommend this to all couples, in some situations that could be a really stupid thing to do. But in our case it made sense. For one thing, I had excellent credit and a knack for data entry, while Mike made lots of money that he never took to the bank. He used to get all his bills in red envelopes, not because he couldn’t afford to pay them but because he never had money in the bank. Instead, all his money was scattered across the kitchen table, shoved into cracks in the walls to keep out drafts, tucked into books like so many bookmarks, and wadded up in the dryer lint catcher. It drove me crazy. So when we agreed to move in together, we agreed to a joint bank account so that I could manage our finances. And manage them I did! Every night when Mike came home from work he would put all his cash in a cigar box we kept next to the bed. Every morning I would deposit his cigar box cash at the bank. I paid all our bills, balanced the checkbook, and watched our budget.  By the time we married we had zero debt and a nice little nest egg. Then we moved to New York and blew it all. Then we paid down our debt again, built another nice little nest egg, and moved back to California.

The value of a man who, without complaint, hands over his paycheck every week, is not lost on me. I know how lucky I am to have a partner who is so careful of his spending, so sincere in his desire to help me build the future we want for ourselves. It’s a blessing to know that we have the same goals in mind and that we’re both doing the best we can to meet them. Which is why the thought of financial infidelity is so absolutely horrifying. Aside from death or actual infidelity, I can’t imagine many things more terrifying than discovering that my husband has secret credit card debt. Or secret gambling debt. Or secret anything.

I thought about this when I read the article, then I googled “financial infidelity” and found 809,000 more articles, and with each word I read I climbed higher and higher on my money-management pedestal. Patted myself on the back and told myself how superior we are because we would never lie to each other about money. We’re better than that. And then I remembered the parking ticket.

If I get a parking ticket and send the check off and don’t say anything to Mike about that $55 – is that financial infidelity? What if I go shopping and tell him I only spent $100, but I actually spent $350? Or like, we each have a budgeted personal allowance of $80 a month and Mike never spends that much, he hardly ever spends more than forty bucks, but I sometimes spend three times my allotted amount and I’ve never told him (until now.) I just let him think I stay within my budget because I don’t want him to get mad and it’s not like he ever looks at our budget sheets, because he totally trusts me to take care of it – so am I cheating on my spouse with money?

AM I A CURRENCY INFIDELITE?

What do you think? About all of this, I mean, not just whether or not I’m cheating on my husband’s bank account. How do you handle money with your partner? Not that that is any of my business, no siree. Oooh, touchy subject, this is. Money! Scary stuff, I know. But I’m curious. What do you think?