Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Non-Oween!

Normally, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the whole year. It has always felt more like New Year's to me. I mean, think about it. You and your friends are totally different people that night. You can be whatever you want on Halloween: intimidating, sexy, strange, funny...and maybe you can carry that inspiration on into the rest of your life. You get to get drunk and be reminded of the sweet things in life while being scared about what lies ahead--around every corner could be a big monster or a ghost from the past. And isn't that a great summary of life? I'm telling you, Halloween should be the new New Year's.

But I digress.

Halloween is my favorite holiday because it combines three of my favorite things: candy, ghost stories and dressing up. So what's wrong this year? Why isn't it holding my rapt attention and making me giddy with excitement? Just a few reasons:

1. Very, very busy with house stuff. Schedule is not allowing for Halloweeny activities, thoughts or shopping.
2. Very, very broke because of house stuff. Bought a fridge this weekend for about $450. (Thank you, H.H. Gregg!) My Visa said, "Ouch!"--no budget room for costumes.
3. There aren't any kids in my neighborhood. The trick-or-treaters are what really get me going. Kids are so hilarious and cute when they knock on your door. Plus, I love to scare them by using my witchiest of voices and pretending like I will drag them into my house to put them into my oven, a la Hansel and Gretel. I'm sick like that, I guess.
4. I couldn't think of anything fun to dress up as this year.

I am so lame that I didn't even dress up on Saturday night when I went out with MJ and her roomie. They were 80s Prom Queens and they looked wicked awesome. We laughed about their cosutmes all night, especially when the really drunk people would try and guess what they were. (You'd think the giant bows and big hair would have been dead giveaways...)

Unlike most females out and about, MJ and KT didn't have those slutty, barely-there sex kitten costumes on. No offense to any of you sex kittens out there (hey, we all have our sex-kitten moments, so more power to ya, Momma--MEOW!) but we are kind of over the "Slutoween" trend. This was never more certain than when we saw a girl wearing fishnets, stilettos and a skin-tight, extremely short blue dress on. I think she was supposed to be a slutty race car driver or something. Anyway, we sat in a booth and just enjoyed the show! Every time she moved, her dress would ride up her butt. She was either too drunk or too trampy to care that there were several strangers taking pics of her rear every time it would start sliding up, exposing her cheeks. Wow.

I should have just put on my costume from last year--I was a girl from a Robert Palmer video. So I looked like this:

But I just didn't feel like it. I'm too stressed out. I needed some simple, fun relaxation time. That means, no costume. This year, I am leaving it to others.

Instead, I have decided to catch up on watching some classic horror flicks. I just need to lock the doors, pop some popcorn and snuggle up with Sammy. Much less stressful. Here is a list of movies I plan on watching, whether on TV or rented from Blockbuster. Believe it or not, I have never seen these! And I LOVE ghost stories and horror pics!

1. Halloween (I know, unbelievable I've never seen this)
2. Nightmare on Elm Street (ditto)
3. The Omen (the original one)
4. Gremlins (Although I never saw it, I was petrified of gremlins as a kid)
5. The Blair Witch Project
6.The Amityville Horror
7. Helter Skelter
8. Children of the Corn
9. Friday the 13th
10. The Haunting (I think it's from the 60s)
11. Frenzy (what can I say, I heart Hitchcock)
12. Carrie

Obviously, I won't be able to watch all of these. So I will need some recs from my readers. Advice? Please tell me which ones are gory. I hate gore. Did I miss any of your favorites? Nothing is too scary for me. I just don't like slasher/chainsaw stuff.

The thing was, we weren't usually allowed to watch horror movies as kids--Czarina didn't want to deal with nightmares. I can't say I blame her, what with my over-active imagination. But now, as an adult, I won't get nightmares. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean I'm willing to watch them by myself, either! And I have a hard time finding scary movie buds. So maybe I should just try to freak myself out this year! Sammy will have to protect me.

If you want to see a good scary movie, I can recommend these, in no order:

1. The Birds (You will never look at birds the same way!)
2. When a Stranger Calls (the original one, not the one that just came out)
3. The Shining (If you haven't seen this, it will freak you the hell out!)
4. The Grudge (I heard the original Japanese version is better, but I've only seen the one with Sarah Michelle Gellar in it.)
5. The Ring (Not the most terrifying thing I've ever seen, but it has its moments)
6. Rosemary's Baby (A classic)
7. Poltergeist (another classic)
8. Psycho (the original is best)
9. The Sixth Sense

What would I advise you to avoid? The Exorcist (the special effects are too antiquated by now--it just looked too fake to me. I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for saying that!) and House of 1,000 Corpses (that movie is just wrong and disgusting. It bothers me knowing that someone thought up that movie. It made me cry! A lot! I got really, really upset watching this movie. Entirely too gory and just...wrong. If you dislike gore as much as I do, avoid this at all costs.)

Ok, I have talked about this so much, I have to go to Blockbuster now!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Blind Date

I had a blind date last night. A lady that used to work here set me up. Now, I never worked with her--she left before I came here. But I have heard all these great things about her. And I met her the other day when she came by to say hello to all her old coworkers. She is a hoot! I thought, "Gosh, she is so much fun. I should take her up on the offer--I bet the guy is fun, too."

So I did.

Boy, what a mistake that was. I went on a blind date with my DAD: he was old--he has gray hair and looks kinda like my Dad when he was younger. Ugh, it was just creepy weird. As if that wasn't bad enough, he apparently forgot to bring both his personality and his sense of humor. Ever meet someone without any spunk at all? The kind of person you can't ever joke around with? Those people who don't get any of your jokes? Yeah, it's not fun. It was so bad, that after one coke, I made a lame excuse and split, walking 2 blocks back to my car in the pouring rain--no umbrella. I didn't care about getting wet! I just had to get away from him! I went home and watched a movie. You know it's a bad date when it gets trumped by Dude, Where's My Car? (Which, by the way, has its funny parts--seriously, you might like it. Watch it. And then...and then...) -- inside joke for anyone who's seen it.

Oh, one other thing about this guy--he has a big birthmark in the dead center of his forehead. So it was really hard not to look at it. I felt sort of like Austin Powers with the Mole guy. Remember that scene from Goldmember?

I don't understand why people don't get these sorts of things removed. Big moles, large birthmarks, big warts, hairy chins (on women)....anyone have any stories about people like this? Am I the only one who wonders why people don't do something about these distracting things? I mean, come on, get that thing taken off your face!!!!

The worst part was, I was wearing my lucky purple shoes. I hope he didn't jinx them with his big purple birthmark! Or that the shoes didn't run out of luck!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things Which are Frustrating Me

1. The instructor who will be conducting her classes in the library for the next 3 weeks. She might be the MOST annoying person in the universe. One of those people who thinks the rules don't apply to them. Who thinks that shoving free Mary Kay samples in my face will make me like her. Who thinks that I want to hear her life story--again. Who thinks she knows what she's doing in the library. Who cannot explain anything to her students at all and so they come to us for help, and we get to basically teach her class for her. Besides, her hair looks like it was cut with a Flowbee. Ugh, she irritates the piss out of all of us.

2. The fact that I've been trying to write this post since 5pm and it's now quarter to 8! Her students are all very needy because they have no idea what they are doing. I'm running out of patience.

3. I cannot decide what colors I want to paint my living room and dining room--they are joined, so they have to go together. I'm thinking a pale sandy-peach color like this on the walls. And then in the kitchen, a sort of teal color. As an accent in the living room, I'm thinking a burnt orange. I don't know. I've also toyed with having a gray living room, a green living room, a white living room, a chocolate living room, a butter yellow living room and even a sort of cantaloupe color with accents of brown and pink. Argh, I wish someone would just do it for me like on TV.

4. I keep chickening out on ending things with Cop 2. He's too nice! I can't do it! Maybe I should give Shannen Doherty a call....

5. People who cop an attitude with me when I tell them something they don't want to hear. A girl came up to the desk and asked, "Can you give me some change so I can get money for some coffee?" and since we have a strict policy against that (and since we are not a friggin bank), I replied, "I'm sorry, but I can't do that for you. We don't make change for the vending machines, only library purposes." Two minutes later, she came back over to the desk and informed me that she thought I was rude! And this coming from someone who blatantly interrupted another student to ask me that in the first place! Grrrr...I'm sorry, but I don't see how I was rude at all. She was interrupting, I provided the information she needed. She can bite me.

6. Only one of my umpteen friends in Indianapolis offered to put me up when I go up there to visit in December. I can't believe that. I guess they are all just assuming I'm staying with someone else. Or that I'm made of money and I am staying in a hotel. What really gets me is that my oldest friend in the world, J, didn't even offer. Then again, she hasn't been the best of friends to me lately. Remember my weekend in Charleston with the Assholes? But that's ok. I'm staying with College Boyfriend and his parents. That means homecooked food and a hot tub.

7. I can't find information about nose-picking in China. I did learn, however, that giving a clock as a gift is not a good idea in that country. Don't know why....just saw that it was not a good gift. Hmmm...can anyone explain that to me? And if so, can you also tell me if it is socially acceptable to pick your nose in public in China? Because that's what I heard.

8. Guys who don't plan dates. I have been set up on a blind date. Blind Date guy called me and wanted to take me out. And that's as far as he got. In order to avoid an awkward silence, I basically had to come up with all the details--when, where, etc: "Ok, so....when is good for you?" and so on. This is not my job! It's the guy's job! Always be the man with a plan, guys. Please. It makes the woman feel like an idiot. We want a man who is in charge. Do guys only go so far as thinking about the acceptance or denial, and then they stop?

9. Not having football tickets. Seriously, this is killing me. I haven't gone to a single USC game this year. I would like nothing better than to go to the game this Saturday. It would make my week. Maybe I will at least be able to tailgate...after I get off work on Saturday! (I am covering for someone--it's ok, I get comp time.)

10. Lack of time to get organized and get my head straight. I have so many things to do and organize before I move! I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off for about 2 weeks now. I'm tired! But I am checking a few things off my to-do list. I got my hair done, my dentist appointment, the visit to the vet, the shoes repaired, the library books returned...I'm getting there.

11. Lady Starfish isn't coming to visit for a couple more weeks. I know it's not her fault that her trip was postponed. But I really miss her. At least now she will come when I'm in my new house. That's good.

12. Blonde Nurse is in Germany right now, visiting with German Nurse. I haven't even sent her a baby gift. The baby is about six months old now. I suck as a friend. But what can I send? I don't know what she has, what she needs, what ships easily....can you use American gift cards if you live on an American Army base in Germany? Will they work internationally on the internet? Any of my mom readers have any good ideas?

13. Money!!! I am so freaked out about having enough. Every time I talk to my mortgage guy, I swear he tells me $40 more each time--my mortgage started of "around $700" and yesterday he told me my monthly payments will be about $870!! Help! I have to buy a fridge! And decorate! And plant stuff in my front yard! Eeek! I'm going to be house poor, I just know it.

Ok, enough complaining. Now, I will make a super quick list of 13 Things that Make Me Happy right now:

1. My mortgage guy told me that in one year, the houses in my new neighborhood have increased in property value by $12k!
2. I am so freaking excited about going to Indy!
3. I actually enjoy painting rooms.
4. My coworker brought in lemon cake today. I heart her.
5. I get to go home in a half hour.
6. I love my friends. I have the best friends ever. They send me random text messages and I just love those. They offer to help me move. They give me dating advice.
7. Woo-hoo on my blind date! I guess I have broken my curse of being single for 6 months after every break-up. Fingers crossed this one isn't an asshole, loser, creep or nerd. And that he is funny, smart, ambitious and has some things in common with me. I can wish, right?
8. My Awesome Aunt is coming to Czarina's for Thanksgiving. I could just eat her up. She is the best aunt ever.
9. Tomorrow is Friday.
10. Professor Flowbee is leaving now.
11. I will be a homeowner in less than 10 days!! And I just found out that we have Election Day off, so that means I have an extra day off to move. Yessss!!!
12. I don't have anything planned for this weekend, so I should be able to catch up on some stuff I need to do. I am a dork because I love being productive.
13. Lowe's and Home Depot are offering a "6 or 12 months same as cash" deal right now on appliances. I am going to see what Sears offers, too, then make my fridge decision. Anyone have a preference between Lowe's and Home Depot? They seem to be the same to me.

Sorry for the rambling, guys....things are kinda crazy right now...I'm sure I'll have some crazy story about a guy after this weekend.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cop 2 (Part 2) and The Rat Pack

I've been so busy lately, guys. You have no idea. The other day, I got up at 6:15 and didn't stop moving until 10:30pm.

But it's all good, because most of my busy-ness is fun stuff--partying, hobbies, looking at paint chips. For example, my cake decorating class is so much fun. Here is cake #2:

You can't really see in this picture (yes, I am aware that I need to buy a digital camera), but the top of it is covered with criss-crossing lattice work. That part was kinda hard.

The cake was 100% chocolate and smelled delicious because I made homemade frosting for it. However, I haven't had a slice. Why? I gave it to Cop 2 for his birthday. Now, before you start in with the "Oh, you're so sweet, VB!" and "Yes, how is that new, wonderful guy you're dating?", let me tell you something:

Cop 2's gotta go.

No, I'm not kidding. He is driving me insane. Yes, I know he's very sweet. Yes, it's nice to have someone who's all about me (for a change). But the thing is, guys, he's way too clingy. He usually sends me 2 messages on myspace every day AND calls me every day. He has called me every day since he met me.

Now, some girls are ok with this. They want a guy who is all over her from the get-go. I'm just not that needy, folks. Really, until the guy is officially VB's Boyfriend, I only need to hear from them every 3rd day. I mean, not that much can happen in 12 hours. (Oh yes, 12. He will drop me off at my house at 10:30 and be calling me at 9 or 10 am the next morning, one day.) How can I miss you if you don't go away? Doesn't he have better things to do? Girls like hard-to-get just as much as guys do. It's pretty much a universal rule.

Ok, let's say I haven't already won you over with my argument so far. Did I mention that we've been on two dates and he's already calling me "baby"? Yeah, not good. That's more of a two-months-in kind of thing. It just comes off as desperate. Who wants to date a doormat? Not me. (Oooh...that was one of the most hypocritical things I've ever written...)

Another dating rule that has been broken is Always Be the Man with the Plan. Men, I cannot stress this enough. You must have a plan for the date ahead of time. It shows effort. It implies you've been looking forward to seeing her and that you really want to make a good impression. Otherwise, you are making the girl feel like an after thought. Not good. And so far, Cop 2 has broken this rule every time. It makes me feel undervalued. I know everyone's busy. But you can at least pick a friggin restaurant as you are on your way to pick me up. Ok, I need to stop. There is a whole post in here I could get to. But not now.

Ok, let's say you still think I'm making a mistake by giving Cop 2 the boot. Chew on this for a second: he's a terrible, terrible kisser. Just awful.

Could I take the time to fix all this and work things out? Yeah, probably. Am I too damn old to do it? Yes. If you don't know what you are doing by the time you're 28, then I don't have much sympathy. I don't have time. I'm sorry if that's harsh. But there are plenty of other guys out there who know what they are doing. And I'm not getting any younger. Maybe there's some other girl out there who likes using napkins to wipe drool off her chin when you're done kissin' on her, but it ain't me.

God, I'm such a bitch today...sorry, it's been building up for about a week now.

The thing is, I haven't told him things are over because his birthday was Monday. So now, I'm sort of stalling and going M.I.A. on him until enough time has passed that I will feel a little more comfortable telling him I don't think this is going to work. You can't get dumped on your birthday, you know? And the day after your birthday isnt' much better. Even I know not to mess with karma like that.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about my weekend with The Rat Pack. MJ's friends from New York. They all went to college with her, and decided to visit her this past weekend. And they are SO MUCH FUN! Seriously, best. weekend. ever. Here is a pic of these wonderful cutie pies:

Aren't they adorable? I tried to seduce them with my delicious homemade pumpkin bread (recipe posted shortly), but alas, it was not meant to be. I had to settle for being groped and flirting with them. I guess I got shy. Besides, how could I pick just one??? They are all so fun and cute! That's ok. We ladies are talking about going up to NYC to visit them in the spring. Yippee!!!

So my entire weekend was basically one long pub-crawl. (I can only think of two bars I haven't been to in the last week!) Oh, you want a list? Ok, for those of you who will know what I'm talking about: Liberty's, The Wild Hare, Flying Saucer, Group Therapy, Local's, Good Times, Uncle Louie's (w/the girls last week), Speakeasy, Doc Rocco', I think that is it. And then on Saturday, we pretty much repeated it all. Holy cow, it's like I'm in college again. (I was so exhausted on Sunday morning! I was cranky to the max. I didn't get up until 1:30 in the afternoon. Wowza.)

Lots of laughing, drinking, singing and silliness. We made fun of their accents, they made fun of ours. We played Flippy Cup and had a cookout on Saturday afternoon. The Rat Pack macked on random bar girls all weekend. (And let me tell you what, those guys have some serious pick-up skills!) K and MJ got drunk. We took tons of pictures. We had some great talks and even some wrestling matches. But mostly, we just laughed our asses off the whole time. It was a great weekend--we all agreed. Gotta love weekends like that.*

Other than that...I've just been working out details on my house: paint colors, refrigerator purchasing options, getting the utilities all set up to turn on on November 3rd, figuring out how in the hell I'm going to have any money....but it will all be ok.

I got my "hair did". I'm now borderline brunette. It's just for the fall. So far, I've gotten a lot of compliments. Wanna see the inspiration for the new color? Ok.

So yeah. It looks like that. If only the rest of me did! *sigh*

And Lady Starfish won't be coming down here this week. [insert sad "Awwww!" here] Her trip was postponed, so she will be visiting about 2 weeks from now--which is kind of good, because I will probably be in my house and much more relaxed by then.

9 days and counting, guys. Woo-hoo!!!

*For a different account of Friday night, check out MJ's post. I'm assuming she is going to write a post about Saturday's cookout soon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fun Friday!

OMG, I haven't done this in so long! I have been too busy with house stuff.

Ok, here goes.

Actually, first I will share some of my most recent additions to my ever-expanding shoe collection:

The ones I got were more of a pewter color, rather than these bronze ones pictured here. I already wear them constantly.

I got the gold ones to go with a red dress I have. My earrings match perfectly.

I wore my old boots to death, so these are replacements. (Rawr!)

On to the links...

This one was actually recommended to me by the authors. They emailed me about their blog, called How Not to Be Dreadful. I love it! The best part is, they take questions you submit to them. If they like it, they will answer it. I have no idea how they found me. But I'm glad they did.

This one is courtesy of Stephanie at Pickleness. The first time I went here, I almost had a hernia I was laughing so hard. I completely ruined my eye makeup because of the tears running down my face. So check it out: Engrish.

My coworker sent me a link to this next one. It's sort of a myspace for readers--you can leave reviews, show others what you have read and see what other people are reading. I think it's free. So why not check it out?. Shelfari. I think I will. I bet you can put a link on your blog to your "shelf" of book

You guys probably know all about these already. I am usually behind the trend tide!

This weekend I am hanging out with MJ and her houseguests. Tonight, we hit the bars to show her NY friends around town. Tomorrow is her housewarming par-tay/cookout. MJ and KT say that their NY guy pals are pretty cute. That is why I am planning on seducing them with homemade cookies at the cookout. Lol.

Then Sunday I am going out with Cop 2. He said he's surprising me. Woo-hoo! He said something about miniature golf...we will see. Sounds good to me!

Speaking of Cop 2, how about he offered to help me paint my bedroom and bathroom? Yeah. We were on the phone last night and I was telling him about how I am going to go buy some paint this weekend. He offered to help and then said, "Yeah, I will see if I can take some time off from work to help you. I have tons of vacation days anyway." Very sweet. Who does that??

This, of course, means that something is probably wrong with him...

I have saved the biggest news for last: Lady Starfish is coming for a visit next week!!! She got a new job and has to do some training here in Columbia for a few days. So I get to be Hostess VB and show her around and introduce her to everyone. Which is very exciting, as some of my friends doubt her existance. You see, she has not visited me in a long, long time. And now I have so many new friends and great restaurants to show her. Plus, she gets to meet Sammy and see my house. Can't wait!

Ok, I have to go update by sidebar now...have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Reasons You Might Not Like Me
(I forget where I got this topic...Apologies to the originator!)

1. I am probably a good month behind in reading your blog. Please, do not take it personally. I am catching up slowly. Ask Anne and Stephanie. Also, I might just be lurking because I don't have anything to say. Trust me, I am on a guilt trip about it, Jennster and Modigli and....well, everyone else!

2. I don't like cats. I hate cats.

3. I don't like Disneyworld. Waste of time and money. Nothing fun for adults. No, I am not a "kid at heart". I actually enjoy being an adult.

4. I hate musicals, too. They make me want to barf. Yes, even Sound of Music.

5. I will correct your spelling and grammatical mistakes. (And in turn, please feel free to correct mine.) I will also correct your incorrect movie quotes. (Again, you have permission to correct me here, too.) Actually, if you let me run free, I'd probably correct a lot of the things you do and say.

6. My room is always a disaster. As in, you can't really see the floor. Dirty dishes, dust, shopping bags,'s all everywhere. To my credit, I'm not too bad in the rest of the house.

7. I like rap. A lot.

8. Old people get on my last nerve. Yes, even your sweet little old grandma. She's too slow, she's deaf as a post, she smells funny and she only talks about the stupidest topics. Yes, I realize I will be an old lady one day. But I won't be like that. I will be cool and sharp, like The Fruitcake Lady. I will say exactly what's on my mind, not drone on and on about taking the grandchildren to the park.

9. I don't like modern art, modern furniture or modern decor in general. I think it's simplistic and sterile. I'm sure it floats other peoples' boats, but I will never own a plastic dining room set with egg-shaped chairs.

10. I think Monty Python is hilarious. (I know Gypsy does too! We gotta stick together, girl!) I don't find Steve Martin or Rodney Dangerfield funny at all. Ever.

11. I get really cranky when I'm tired. I will take it out on you. I will realize I am taking it out on you, and I will continue to do it anyway. To boot, I usually get whiny and clingy when I'm tired. Yeah, I'm fun.

12. Playing board games with me is not fun at all. I am both a sore loser and a sore winner. Some people just won't play with me anymore. I get too competitive. This doesn't stop me from asking people to play board games with me all the time.

13. If you are in the car with me, and I'm driving, and you don't have your seatbelt on, I won't move the car until you put it on.

14. (Bonus) I don't drink. We will never share a crazy, drunken moment together. So I won't toast you on New Year's. I won't take shots with you on your birthday. I will take pictures of your drunk ass and show them to everyone. If you're a guy, you'll never be able to randomly hook up with me. On the plus side, I will drive you home, I'm a cheap date, I'll hold your hair when you barf and I will remember everything stupid that you did.

15. (Bonus Bonus) If you know me in real life, you know that I interrupt you a lot. Please tell me to shut the hell up. I am trying to work on this.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

(Beef) Cake #1

Here is the first cake I decorated myself. It is also the first 2-layer cake I've ever made. You can't tell, but the top layer actually split in half and I had to "glue" it back with frosting to keep it together. Apparently, I didn't level out my layers. Oops. Anyway, it's just a box mix, so it isn't as tasty as next week's cake: a chocolate one!

Oh, and it's an umbrella because that's what the Cake Lady said to do. And I'm kind of scared of her. So I do what she says.We all made the same design, but we got to pick our colors. I was hoping for darker icing. This just looks like something you'd take to a baby shower.

Do you see all my mess? That is the best part--making the mess. You can't tell from the picture (seriously, I need a digital camera soon!!) but the umbrella panels are filled in with little icing stars. It took a while.

Ok, enough cake talk. Other news.

Went out to dinner last night with MJ, her roomie and my roomie. It was a surprise for MJ's birthday. We went to Nonnah's (a restaurant specializing in desserts) and coffees. We had a delicious meal-- crab-stuffed portobellos, crab quesadillas, chicken on croissants...mmmm. And then dessert. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of it. I was too involved in my white chocolate ginger cheesecake. (Actually, you can see a pic on their website.) We had so much fun catching up on girl time and talking about house stuff.

After dinner, we went to Uncle Louie's, a hole-in-the-wall bar that is very low-key. Then we went to The Flying Saucer, a place that has 150 different beers on tap. We met up with Stuckey, who is working on getting his golden platter (meaning, he would have tried all 150 of the beers--when he finishes, he gets a platter with his name on it, and they put it up on the wall in their "Ring of Honor").

By then, it was getting late, so K and I headed home to watch Nip/Tuck. *sigh* I think I'm in love with Julian McMahon. He pretty much tops my list now. Let's take a second to feast our eyes upon such a wonderful work of art, ladies, shall we? I mean, every day should have a Julian break in it....

...what was I talking about? Oh yeah. Maybe I should start having Julian Wednesdays....

I didn't really get a good opportunity to call Cop 2 back last night. I feel kind of bad. So, to make it up to him, I have offered to bake him a birthday cake (his birthday is Monday). I will try to decorate it using my fancy new skillz.

We might run into each other when we each go out with our friends on Friday night, but our next date is on Sunday. I'm hoping he wants to go to the fair...but I'm up for anything, really. He's sooooo relaxing. I really like talking to him. He makes me chill out.

Saturday is MJ's housewarming party. A bunch of her guy friends from NY are coming to it. She said they are pretty cute. I will seduce one of them with my freshly baked cookies. That's the current plan. We'll see how it goes.

House Update: I am going to forego the home inspection. Too many people who are familiar with the builder have told me not to worry. Besides, I have a 1 year warranty on everything in the house. I call, they fix. 'Nuff said. So other than getting some homeowner's insurance and having the walk-through with the realtors, I am all set for closing!!!

To keep our sanity, K and I have decided that we will paint everything the weekend of the closing, move little things the following week and then move the big stuff the next weekend. Too bad I still haven't decided on paint colors...oops.

Ok, I am off to take a nap before Sammy's doggie school. Tonight is his graduation. Gosh, this week has been nuts!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Vanilla Umbrellas, Chocolate Fountains

I'm really busy. I'm so busy, that I have a to-do list that is broken down by day.

For some reason, I have nothing to post about. This makes no sense. Maybe it's because my brain is all out-o-wack.

Tonight is installment #2 of the Beginner's Cake Decorating class I'm taking. And let me tell ya what--the class was free (I'm an employee of the school) but I spent a small fortune on the supplies. I needed about 800 icing tips, 14 boxes of powdered sugar, 62 do-hickeys and a bunch of plastic bag thingies. And I haven't even bought everything yet!

So maybe I'm exaggerating a little.

But I'm approaching the $100 mark...yeah. But it's fun. I love to bake already, so now I will have skillz (yes, I said "skillz") I can use the rest of my life. Yo.

Can you tell I'm in a goofy mood today?

In order to be ready to decorate when class starts, you bake the cake before class. So last night I baked a cake and did the bottom layer of icing. This was my first attempt at making a layered cake, and it was kind of a lot of work. Did you know it takes almost 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar to frost one 2-layer cake? Yeah, had no idea. That's a lot.

It was all going smoothly until it was time to put the top layer on. I looked at the top layer and thought, "Hmmm...this might not sit properly because the cake is higher in the middle than on the sides...maybe I should even out the top with a knife..."

And then I thought, "Nah! It'll be fine." So I flipped the top layer onto the bottom layer.

The top layer proceeded to split directly down the middle into two halves. Genius, VB. You are baker extraordinaire...thank God for the wonders of cake icing. Now I know why it was invented--someone's top layer split into two and they needed a way to hold it all together.

I will frost it tonight and try and take pictures for y'all. Cake #1 will have an umbrella on it. Why? Why not! (I'm sure the teach has a reason...)

Mmmm...vanilla umbrellas....

Anyway, this weekend was super duper. I went out with MJ and her roommate on Friday--we had some delicious BBQ Chicken pizza at Mellow Mushroom. Then MJ and I went to a bar (restaurant?) to watch a bluegrass band.

Aha--betcha didn't know I like bluegrass, did ya? I do. I like it a lot, actually. Especially this band--they were jammin'. You can't help but tap your feet. I think they are called Loch Ness Joe. It was Loch Ness Something. Anyway, I am their newest groupie. I will follow them like a puppy.

Then Saturday I went to a wedding in Charleston. It was a really nice wedding to attend, because I adore the couple to pieces. Incredibly sweet people. The kind of people where you meet them and think, "Gosh, I'm really glad you exist. The world is a better place because of people like you." So I will refer to them as The Sweethearts.

They got married at Alhambra Hall, which is right across the Ravenel Bridge (this bridge is gorgeous, btw) from Charleston. I know the pics on the link are tiny (yes, I am aware that I suck because I never take photos), but you can get an idea of what Alhambra Hall looks like.
Brunette and I were late as hell. We threw our stuff down in our hotel room, changed and made it just in time. Whew. We took our seats on the lawn. The weather was beautiful. The lawn backs up to a river, and the couple were married under the big live oak tree that is on the shore. So as you are watching the couple, they are under the tree and the river is in the background. Seriously, it was gorgeous.

Allow me a girly-girl moment here while I describe the decor (men, you might want to skip this paragraph). The bride's dress was strapless white satin and the top part was gathered in a downward swoop, held in place by long, dangling strands of crystals. Does that make sense? I don't know. But her dress was beautiful. The bridesmaids wore two-piece outfits in Tiffany blue. Complete with ivory sashes at their waists. To offset the blue, everyone carried hot pink roses. Can you say, "Beautiful wedding photos"? Charleston background? Check. Gorgeous bride? Check. Awesome bridesmaid dresses? Check. Perfectly punchy flowers? Check. Yeah. I felt like I was living a real-life version of an article from Modern Bride. Mrs. Sweetheart has the best taste.

The food was great--hello, fountain of melted liquid chocolate! Hello, delicious prime rib! Hello, raspberry-jam-filled cake! And there was karaoke after everyone was good n toasted. There were lots of tears, because the familes are so excited and so happy.

So yeah, great wedding.

The rest of my week is booked solid: a birthday, a house warming party, doggie school for Sammy, date #2 with Cop 2, work, house stuff, the gym, the state fair, cleaning the natural disaster that is my bedroom...aaaack.

Currently trying to decide on whether or not to get a home inspection. The house is new, so they have to build it to code, right? My house was not built by a major builder, but a local company with a good reputation. And I do have a 1 year warranty. But isn't it always a good idea??? I heard one horror story about a new house where the builder "forgot" to put insulation in the attic! My friends and family are split on this. Realtor says no, Czarina says no, everyone else says yes. I am inclined to say yes. I am on a time crunch, and (obviously) I don't want to spend money that I don't have to. Can anyone provide any advice???

Oh, and I want to change my hair. A lot. And a little shorter--to my shoulders? Hmmm...I know all my guy friends who know what I look like will now comment with, "Nooooo!" LOL

That's it for now...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cop 2

I had a date last night. It went really well. Cop 2 is a super sweet guy who is very relaxing to be around.

Which was good, because I've been pretty stressed out lately. In addition to the abscess (which is healing nicely, btw), my phone rings off the hook with mortgage brokers, my realtor, friends of the family who want to give me advice....everyone expects me to get back with them right away, or have all the answers, even though I have no updates at all and I don't know anything. Or else they don't return my phone calls, and everything is hinging on that, and people call me asking if I've talked to so-and-so yet because they have to get the paperwork going. And I do realize that I will need X amount of dollars by closing, right? (X= $800 more than I realized)

Arrgh. I'm ready for all this house stuff to be overwith. Enough with the monkey business. Just show me where to sign, people! I'm ready to go to Lowe's and buy paint!

I'm going to a wedding this weekend, so I have been packing and planning dog-sitting. Brunette is too busy (no really, she seriously has no time) to get the wedding present, so I have to do that. I signed up for a cake-decorating class and there is a bunch of stuff I have to do for it--supplies, baking, etc. (So it's not all bad stress. Some of it's fun.)

Yesterday afternoon, I got into it with Czarina, so I was on the verge of tears for the rest of the day. It's a long story that I don't really want to get into right now, but we are fine. We have the same fight over and over. This was just an emotional one. Just mother-daughter stuff. We still love each other. But I was pretty upset.

I had to run errands after work and meet up with my real estate agent. I ended up crying while I was talking to her, which was pretty humiliating. So I told her about my day, and we ended up going to San Jose's Mexican Restaurant for happy hour drinks. She was so sweet. It really helped me vent and calm down.

Then I was late taking Sammy to doggie school, so I had to rush around for that. But he was the star pupil yesterday! I couldn't believe it. He did every trick perfectly. He was a little excited, and barked a lot, but he was super smart and well-behaved. Good boy. He earned his hot dog treats.

After that, I came home and realized I had 15 minutes to get ready for my date. And I was sweaty, stressed out and smelled like Mexican food, dog drool and hot dogs. My eyes were red from crying. I had no idea what I was going to wear. My makeup was completely melted.

I hopped in the shower, threw on some clothes and had most of my makeup on by the time he knocked at my door. Whew!

He was very patient as I finished getting ready. He played with Sammy. Then we went to Wild Wings Cafe. (It's delicious. They make something like 30 varieties of wings.) I could feel all my stress melting away, because I didn't have to think about my mom or the mortgage. I just got to enjoy someone's company. He's very calm and mature, which really put me at ease. And because he is so easy going and easy to be around, I was back to my old self in no time. Conversation flowed very easily.

After dinner we went and had drinks nearby. We kept laughing because the bar was playing really funny music--sort of these gender-bender karaoke songs. Only no one was doing karaoke. Some guy sang "I'm a Genie in a Bottle". As in Xtina Aguilera. Then another male voice sang Erykah Badu's "Tyrone". Very odd.

Then we went to a nearby park and sat on a swing and just talked for about an hour. It was really nice. Great temperature, nice and quiet...he definitely had a good idea with that one.

He sent me the sweetest email today. I'm not going to say what was in the email here, but trust me, I melted. He might hold the record for the sweetest email I've ever gotten.

So, he's off to a good start. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jimmy Stewart

The Czarina called me the other day. She wanted me to talk to her banker. She thinks he walks on water, and since he's such a good friend of hers, she's sure he would offer me a great mortgage rate, so why not call him to see what he can do, blah blah blah.

She neglected to tell me that he talks like Jimmy Stewart.

A drunk Jimmy Stewart. With just a hint of Harry Caray.

So when I called him, it was quite interesting. He's a very nice man, but he does nothing but remind me of scenes from It's a Wonderful Life.

This makes it very difficult to talk to him on the telephone, as I am stifling giggles the entire time. I just want to shout out lines from his movies: Rear Window, Vertigo, Harvey, etc. Luckily, most of our communication has been through email.

In other news...

Have I told you about Sammy's Evil Twin? Yeah, apparently my adorable, loving and extremely well-behaved little Boston Terrier moved out a couple of weeks ago. He has been replaced by Evil Sammy.

Evil Sammy chews on Mommy's brand new expensive shoes. Yeah, the ones she hasn't worn yet. Evil Sammy eats K's brand new shirt that Mommy has to replace. Yesterday, Evil Sammy decided to chew holes in K's comforter. Not big holes--little ones. (Luckily, K said she wanted to replace her comforter soon, anyway.) Last week, I learned that Evil Sammy likes to chase cars. I was walking him, and out of nowhere, he decides to chase a car. Let me say that up until this point, absolutely no interest has been expressed by my dog when it comes to cars. But at 6:15am last Monday, he was definitely interested in them.

I was using a retractable leash. And I wasn't wearing gloves. Seeing where this is going? Yeah, I have deep rope burns/cuts all over my right hand. They are healing now, but seriously, they were bad.

The good thing is, I get to tell people I have rope burns on my hands and then let them wonder...

I don't know what has gotten into him. Nothing has changed in his routine. I have been a little busy with house stuff, but I'm home about the same amount of time. Why is he suddenly upset about the fact that I have to go to work? I have tried leaving toys for him to play with while I'm at work, but he ignores them.

I told him last night that I don't have to take him with me when I move. He can be a "dog of the streets". (Just kidding. But I may start gating him up in the kitchen if he keeps it up.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Quick Recap

I was sick all weekend. I had a migraine which still hasn't gone away--it's going on 3 days now. Well, it's mostly gone, but there are lingering throbs inside my skull. And nausea.

I also have nausea from the antibiotics I'm on. Why am I on antibiotics? I have Ass Abscess #3! Woo-hoo! Not. Did I tell you that Czarina is convinced it's an STD? Seriously, she won't let it go. I think she is saying it to make me feel bad about not being in the V Club anymore. Sort of a "See? This is what you get for giving up your virginity!" -- when, actually, she is being stubbornly ignorant of the fact that this is a staph infection that was originally contracted in the emergency room. It's not an STD at all. She refuses to believe me. Or the doctor, who told me there is no way it is an STD, but probably contracted through unwashed hands. Grrrr....mothers.

So I have felt like crap since Friday afternoon. My head hurts. My ass hurts. I want to barf. I'm going home to go to bed.

But before I do that, let me tell you a couple of cool things:

1. I am meeting with a mortgage guy today who says I have qualified for a below-market interest rate!!! I think it is a program from the State Housing Authority. Wish me luck. Pray I don't barf on him.

2. Speaking of barfing, I barfed this weekend when I was out. A bunch of my friends got together at J-Rich's house to watch the Carolina game (we beat Kentucky!) and then we went out afterwards. Even though I didn't feel good, I went out anyway. To try and ease the pain of my migraine, I popped two more Excedrins. This is a bad idea, and I thought it might be. Excedrin has aspirin in it, and if I take a 2nd dose in one day, it makes me barf. I thought I would be golden, since I had eaten, but not so much. So after that happened, I went home. [Note to self: Never, under any circumstances, is your tummy cool with a 2nd dose of Excedrin.]

3. But before I went home, I did give my number to Cop 2 (nicknamed this only to avoid confusion with my ex, The Cop). Cop 2 is the brother of JD, a guy pal of mine. Somehow, I had never met JD's brothers. Cop 2's really easy to talk to and a lot of fun. We talked on the phone last night for a while. He's taking me out on Wednesday after Sammy's dog class. Woo-hoo! Go me. I can get guys when I'm sick. Awesome. (I guess the bets are off on me not getting a date until December!)

4. So after I got sick and was leaving to go home, Cop 2's other brother (yes, there are three), the Quiet Man, was nice enough to walk me to my car--I really appreciated that, actually, because 5 Points isn't the safest part of town. Cop 2 thought I had already left, so he was actually talking to someone and didn't see me when the Quiet Man walked up to me and offered to walk me to my car. So I'm waiting to cross the street with Quiet Man, and he grabbed the tips of my fingers. Like a half-way hand holding. Weird. Awkward. Didn't know what to I just sorta squeezed back, made some quick, nervous small talk and then dropped his hand when we crossed the street. I don't know if he did it on purpose, or if he had accidentally brushed up against my hand and I misinterpreted things....we had talked for a little while, but it wasn't very flirty or anything...then again, he's the quiet one of the family. I don't think he knows I have a date with his brother this week! He did message me on myspace to see if I was feeling better, which I thought was very sweet. Interpretations, anyone? I can usually figure out male behavior, but this one is weird.

Sorry if this post is hard to understand. Like I said, I don't feel good. I'll try to be more coherent tomorrow.

P.S. JD and J-Rich also introduced me to Repo. Same crowd, different guy. Maybe I am making the rounds through their friends?? Is that bad??

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday 13 (Late, as Usual)

Thirteen Things That Happened This Week

Ok, I know this is a cop-out topic. But my brain is really disorganized today, so you are going to have to bear with me! Besides, I need to catch you up on what has been happening. Here goes...

1. I think I have found a mortgage offer that is actually below market interest rates! Woo-hoo! I will know more on Monday.

2. Every time I go to brainstorm about decorating my house, I want to do each room in a different shade of green: seafoam bathroom, celadon in the bedroom and apple in the kitchen. (Obviously, if you read my blog, you can see how much I love green...) Somebody stop me before I end up living in the Honeydew House! Must. Think. Outside. Green. Box.

3. I booked my (free) flight to Indianapolis to go visit all my old friends. I am SO excited I can hardly stand it. I haven't seen most of these guys since 2001. I will be there for 9 days in December. This means I will freeze my ass off the whole time because I no longer own any wool/warm clothing. I'll have to figure that out later.

4. There was only one free return flight--December 24th. So I won't be getting to Czarina's house for the holidays until Christmas Day. Oops. Luckily, she's cool with it.

5. My impending trip means I will have to lose substantial amounts of weight between now and then. I can't be The Girl Who Moved Away and Got Fat. Plus, I will be hanging out with College Boyfriend, so you know how that is. Remember, I am also going to Florida the week before, where I will run into another ex--the Big Ex. So diet and exercise is the name of the game at this point.

6. Except that I have been having wicked chocolate attacks all week. I went to the grocery store last weekend and bought the following: Milky Way bars, chocolate Twizzlers, two cartons of chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake mix and chocolate icing for the chocolate cake. As I type this, I am down to the ice cream and a few Milky Ways. Oops. (To my credit, I shared the cake with my coworkers.)

7. After having my monthly "I will never get married! I will die alone and childless!" dramatic, crying breakdown--can you tell I'm somewhat hormonal right now?-- I decided to suck it up, force myself to be in a better mood and stop feeling sorry for myself. So, I went out. I went with K to Wild Hare. We met two guys: the first one I will call Parrot Guy.
He was really good looking, but something was...weird about him. And slightly annoying. I wasn't feeling him. Then I realized the irony: He has a parrot that can talk. Apparently the parrot repeats itself incessantly. Much like his owner does. I kid you not, we had the same four conversations about three times each: football, his parrot, the fact that I don't drink and Germany. By the time we stopped talking, I was finishing his sentences because he kept repeating himself. Much like his parrot. Annoying? Yes. Yes. Yes.

8. The other guy, it turns out, used to date the girl who had my job before me. I work in her old office, in her old position. Weird. A small world moment. (Really, I need to start telling you guys about my weird small world moments. I have lots.) I prepared myself for a bitter tirade, but he was actually a gentleman about it, and said nothing but nice things. Of course (duh!) I came into work today to get the scoop from everyone, and it turns out that she broke his heart, so now I am sad to think about how much he probably didn't want to even think about that when he went out last night. If I ever see him again, I will apologize.

9. Then, K ran into her friend, the Car Salesman. His coworker met me once a long time ago and wanted to be set up with me. I had managed to avoid this whole scenario for months, but alas, last night it caught up with me. I had a bad gut feeling about it (hence my avoidance), but unfortunately, I was in a corner. I could not for the life of me remember the guy, so I was secretly crossing my fingers that he was hot or funny or at least cool. Unfortunately...he could have passed for Repo's Unfunny Ugly Twin. Yeah. Not good. Don't get me wrong--he was a nice guy. Very sweet. But entirely too much like Repo--talks like him, dresses like him, same mannerisms....but ugly. And unfunny. I gave it my best shot, but there's no way it would ever happen. I have to be attracted to a guy for it to work. And the ability to make me laugh is a definite must. And it would definitely help if he didn't remind me of a guy that broke my heart. I actually started to tear up at one point, but I don't think anyone saw me, thankfully.

10. The four of us ended up going down to 5 Points, a part of town mostly visited by college students. So I felt a little old, but it was ok. While I was there, I ran into The Cop's former roommate. We chatted for a second, and I mentioned that I hadn't run into The Cop lately--he didn't seem to be out at the bars anymore. His former roommate replied, "Yeah, he's gotten really serious with some girl." Great. Just what I needed to hear. As if it's not bad enough, sitting there, being forced to hang out with an almost-twin of my most recent ex, now I get to hear that my other ex is virtually engaged. On either side of me were reminders of my failed relationships. On a night when I was already feeling upset, pathetic and lonely.

11. Just as he's telling me about The Cop's love life, up walks another friend of K's. He is facing me, and wearing a shirt that says, in huge purple lettering: YOU ARE OLD! ....and that's about when I was ready to go home. I couldn't help but feel that was a sign for something. This night just had too many reminders that I suck at relationships, so I might as well just give up and grow old. Alone.

12. I went to the bathroom to try and knock myself out of this negative thought pattern (again, hormones. They are mean little bastards!) . As I'm sitting there, taking deep breaths, I overhear the tail end of a drunken conversation between two young college girls:

Girl 1: "You are gorgeous! Do you hear me??? Gorgeous! You can get any man you want!"
Girl 2: "But he's got a new girlfriend! And she's prettier than me!! I miss him!"
Girl 1: "Why do you care? You can get any of these guys! You're fabulous! You're gorgeous! [to a third girl who happened to walk into the bathroom] Isn't she gorgeous?? He's an idiot. And that girl is not cute at all. You don't want him anyway because he's an asshole..."

All I could think was how many times I have played the role of Girl 2, and how thankful I was for the Girl 1s of the world. I always believed the Girl 1s, and appreciated their pep talks. But this time, I was on the outside. An impartial third party listener. And as I listened to Girl 1 repeat herself, all I could think was, "She is so full of shit."

I guess I'm officially cynical!

13. I don't have much in the way of plans this weekend. I am going to go see MJ's new house, which she officially purchased today. I am feeling the urge to clean out a closet, think up more decorating ideas and do some cooking. (WOW, exciting!) But I'm sure something cool will come down the pipes. If not, I will be forced to create my own excitement. K is out of town all weekend, so it's just Sammy and me. Hopefully, he will be a better doggie than last weekend. But I'll explain that in the next post.

Have great weekends, everyone!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The House!

I am a homeowner. Mostly. Still waiting to hear all my financing offers. The important part is, my offer was accepted! Some quick stats before I show you the pics: 2 BR, 2 BA, brand-new construction, brushed nickel fixtures, ceiling fans, crown moulding, sprinkler system in front yard, fenced in back yard, covered front and rear porches, outside storage, walk-in closets, 1250 sq ft. Did I mention it is 5 minutes from work? And 15 minutes from everything else? And $13,000 less than the other house I was going to buy? Yeah, it's pretty much perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. I put in an offer about 30 minutes after I saw it. I couldn't think of a reason not to!

Can I just say how excited I am that I have a white kitchen and a flat-top stove? I will be cooking up a storm in there!!! I am also really stoked about having bathroom drawers--anyone who knows me in real life knows I am a beauty product junkie.

I will need to landscape the backyard at some point, and buy a refrigerator. But otherwise, I am good to go. The first thing I will change will be the bor-ing gray carpet. I will start saving for hardwoods.

But that will have to wait a while, because I just cleaned out my entire savings account to write the earnest check. Cross your fingers that I won't be house poor!! K is moving with me, so that will help with the monthly payments. But I know there will always be unforeseen costs....oh boy. I keep reminding myself of the following cool things about becoming a home owner:

1. Hello, tax refunds!!!
2. I am making an investment. This is not money down the drain.
3. One word: Equity
4. If I want a fluorescent pink house, I can have one. (I don't want a hot pink house, but you know what I mean. This one appeals to the control-freak within me.)

So far, this has been hectic, fun, stressful and exciting. With a lot of learning along the way. I never knew people could do such complicated things with money. It's nuts.

So here I go...I close on November 3rd. I have until this Friday to figure out which lender I will use. So I am kind of busy calling, faxing and emailing a bunch of lender people. They want everything short of my first born child and/or a DNA sample from me. So there are a lot of forms and questions. This will, sadly, cut into my blogging time this week. After that, though, I will have more time.

Once I move in and get internet, I will have even more blogging time! Yay!

So am I officially a grown-up now?