Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Halloween Costume

The beauty of my costume is that out in public, no one knows I'm dressed up, but at the office, it was hysterical. Everyone said it looked really convincing. In fact, I was answering the door earlier for trick-or-treaters, and one mom said to me, "You look like you're about to pop." When I told her it was a costume, she was shocked. That was fun!

All day, I couldn't help but rub my belly. Is that some sort of maternal instinct kicking in or something? Or is it the Everest effect--"because it's there"?

I won't even begin to delve into the other feelings this costume forces me to confront--the tiny voice inside that says, "You dressed up in this costume five years ago, and it's still only a costume." Besides, who wants to be pregnant anyway? Ever tried using a laptop (on your actual lap) with a belly that big??

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NC Mountains - Fall Foliage

Last weekend my parents and I went to visit my brother and my niece in Laurel Springs, NC. That's where my brother recently moved. It's funny, because his new house is across the street from where we all stopped for ice cream on our first trip to NC back in June of 2005. It's weird how things like that work. For instance, on that same trip, my mom and I ate lunch at a little Italian restaurant that turned out to be in the same shopping center where I did all my grocery shopping when I lived in Apex. And my current dentist is in the same shopping center where my parents got a PO box at a UPS store when we were still living in CA, so they could forward their mail while searching for a house.

Anyway, Cassidy is cute as ever, even if she refused to give me "sugars" the whole time we were there. She does a thing with Matthew where he'll say, "I love YOU more," and she'll say, "No, I love YOU more!" and they'll go back and forth like that. So adorable. She also does high fives with him. And she's totally into Finding Nemo. The girl has good taste.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to enjoy the scenery. Here are some pix:

iPod Meme

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. -- from Heather

I will admit that the answers sometimes were really dumb, so I did it twice and below are the best of the combined results.

How does the world see you?
First: The Nutcracker
Second: The Perfect Nanny (kids from Mary Poppins)

Will I have a happy life?
A Little Respect (Erasure)

What do my friends really think of me?
Belong (REM)

What do people secretly think of me?
First: Tangled Up in Blue (Natalie Merchant cover of Bob Dylan)
Second: Funny Honey (Renee Zellweger in Chicago)

How can I be happy?
Baby Girl (Sugarland)
Guess that means I should make my dreams come true so I can stay in the Ritz

What should I do with my life?
First: Mr. Jones (Counting Crows)
Second: Wonderwall (Oasis)
Great songs, but what are they even about?

Will I ever have children?
There Will Come A Day (Faith Hill)
Wow, all righty then!

What is some good advice for me?
Losing My Religion (REM)
Literally, don't have any to lose; idiomatically, to lose one's patience--not generally good advice

How will I be remembered?
Building a Mystery (Sarah McLachlan)
They say Scorpios are mysterious...

What is my signature dancing song?
The Smurfs Theme
At least it wasn't Family Ties

What do I think my current theme song is?
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me (Boy George)
Maybe two years ago, but certainly not now

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Higher Ground (UB40)
I LOVE this song!! Awesome message.

What song will play at my funeral?
First: Beauty and the Beast (Celine Dion)
Second: Latin Chant (Evita)

What type of men/women do you like?
Waiting for That Day (George Michael)

What is my day going to be like?
Candle in the Wind (live) (Elton John)
That's depressing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Time for a change

I haven't had a haircut since, like, May of 2006. Not even a trim, which I know is bad. I haven't had hair this long in quite some time. When I was little, I had long hair and wanted nothing more than to chop it off, and I finally convinced my mom to let me some time around the 5th grade, I think it was. But I remember in my 7th grade school picture, I was sporting the long hair again. It was fine (texture-wise), but thick, perfectly straight, smooth, and healthy.

Then, in 8th grade, I made a hair styling choice that changed everything. I got a perm. (Insert Psycho screeches here.) It was not attractive, to say the least, and when it finally grew out, my hair was never really the same. It gets frizzy very easily, and if I don't blow dry it, it has some lame looking waviness. Not pretty waves, but like three weird, oddly placed and shaped waves. And ever since then, growing out my hair has not really been an option, because it wasn't thick enough for it to look halfway decent. It would get scraggly looking.

Recently I found these multivitamins that say they're good for nails, hair, and skin, because they have tons of biotin. I really think my hair did grow faster, and was at least a little thicker. It's gotten to the point where if I'm sitting in a chair, I lean against my hair, so I'm always pulling it forward over my shoulder. And with summer's heat, I always had it in a clip to keep it off my neck.

Well, I think I'm ready for a haircut. My hair isn't long enough for Locks of Love, and it would probably just get sold (I read about how if the hair isn't exactly what they need, they sell it to Chinese wig makers for like $4 per ponytail). And I don't want to just get a couple inches trimmed off the bottom. I want to do something a little different. So I found this website, Makeover Solutions, that lets you upload a photo and try out different hairstyles for free. (In the Virtual Makeover section, click "try it free." Requires registration.) I tried lots of styles, and found these three to be my favorite options. Granted, they're not drastic (the pixie styles don't exactly suit my face shape) but they're a little more stylish than what I have now. Which one do you like best? I'm digging A, but I don't know how I'd achieve the curl thing easily. (I'm not a hot rollers kind of gal.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Waterbury, CT

When you're little, the concept of your parents being born anywhere other than where they live at that exact moment seems so foreign. Then, as you get older, school projects prompt you to ask more questions about your roots. The one thing I always remembered about my mom was that she was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. Might as well be a million miles away as far as a kid whose whole life was spent in the West was concerned.

But it figured that sooner or later, in my travels with my job, I would come near Waterbury, and today was that day. It was right on my way, so I called my mom to let her know. She remembered her old street address, so I plugged it into the Garmin to check it out. She speculated, "It could be a ghetto now." I offered, "Maybe they bulldozed it and it's a Best Buy." Neither of us was right. It's the same duplex she remembered as a kid, in very good condition considering its age, complete with a pretty spiffy view from the side yard (my camera doesn't adjust well to shade, but you get the idea):

Here are some nearby houses, to give you an idea of what the neighborhood is like now:

My mom also remembered that her grandmother had "pancake pictures" taken in front of a family gravestone in a Waterbury cemetery. (I can't find anything online as to what pancake pictures are, but she says it's like a formal photo session.) But without an address, that would be more difficult to locate. As I whizzed by on the highway, though, I saw this from the road:

Maybe it's one of those...


It's October in the Northeast (well, it's October everywhere, but Fall up here has certain expectations), so the leaves are turning, but as you can see, there's still a lot of green.

It was a gorgeous day today, perfect for scenic driving. Making my way to breakfast at a diner in Mt. Kisco, NY, I saw this quaint sight:

I'm hoping tomorrow I'll get to go to the Mark Twain House and maybe also the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. Hartford has lots of historical sites, that's for sure!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marshall, Michigan

This is for Nicole, and she'll know why:

And this is for Mom and Dad:

Alas, I could go into neither, because they weren't open yet and I had to leave for my training.

It was a gorgeous day--low to mid 70's, crystal clear sky. SUCH a welcome break from the heat. I'm glad I left when I did, though--it was supposed to drop to the 50's and start raining the next day!

The B&B was tres cute (National House Inn). Here are some pix:

My hand's reflection on the surface of the plane at 22,000 feet:

Coming in for a landing at Baltimore International Airport:


Taken October 5, 6:53 pm, in the parking lot at work as I was leaving the office. Sometimes you just have to stand in a parking lot and get out your camera.

My office

When my company moved from 27609 to 27607, in addition to a longer commute, I got my own office. Having your own office has its plusses and its minuses. On the pro side, you can close the door and have some privacy, either to read a book during lunch, or to call and make a doctor's appointment. Also, you get to decorate it. On the con side, you are kind of stuck in a little cave, deprived of human interaction, unless you make a point to leave your office frequently (which I do). Anyway, here are some photos of my office. There is still one naked wall, crying out for some adornment. My original idea was to hang curtains, to make it look like a window, but then I decided that was lame. So my second idea was to buy some blank canvases and do some simple artwork, like I've seen them to on home decorating shows. I just haven't gotten around to it. So for folks who walk into my office all day, the blank wall kind of glares back at them, but for me, I sit with my back to it, so it's kind of out of sight, out of mind.

The aforementioned blank wall, and my desk. Can you spot the Slinky?

My lovely tapestry blanket/wall hanging, which I got at the flea market. The blue vase to the right (which looks kind of black in this photo) is also from there. And I love my cute mini pumpkins for Fall. I've since bought a cool multi-colored squash to join the arrangement.

My view from my desk, and also my lovely plant, which I've managed NOT to kill despite having it for nearly a year. It was a Christmas gift from the management company of our previous building--no one else wanted it, so I took it. It had a rough start--when I was gone for a week on my cruise in January, no one watered it, but it recovered nicely.

God, could this post have BEEN any more boring?!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Total bum

I have things to post about but I'm being a complete and total lazy bum. I think because there are so many topics I could discuss, it's overwhelming to consider which one and where to start, so I just avoid the whole kit and kaboodle.

I'm in Michigan right now, staying in a very quaint bed and breakfast. I'm about 90 minutes west of Detroit in Marshall, and it's definitely got heaps of small town charm. Too bad it's such a short stay. But I'm glad to be hurrying home to take care of Comet. He got in a fight with another cat on Friday night, and Saturday he had a high fever and wasn't acting himself, so I took him to the vet. She shaved him in several spots to reveal bad cuts, some of which had become infected. So he's on antibiotics and I have to give him a pill everyday. Tomorrow's dose will be late but ce la vie. Needless to say, no more outside for Comet. Apparently he's a lover AND a fighter. Guess the screened porch will have to be higher on my list of home improvements.