Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008: Take Two

We had Thanksgiving at my parents' house the Saturday following Thanksgiving with the whole family. My poor mother made all of the food ahead of time and froze everything, heating it up in the oven two hours before everyone arrived. Unfortunately, the stuffing and mashed potatoes were still frozen solid...thank goodness for microwave least it turned out to be a funny story!

Husband: The Crazy

My Dear Cousin in all her loveliness.

My Daddy is the cutest.

Grandma and me. Her birthday was just a few days earlier, the day after her 61st wedding anniversary.

Megan and our maternal grandfather.

Just me. Possibly praying that the congenial atmosphere continues.

Thanksgiving 2008: Take One

Thanksgiving at Husband's parents' house on Turkey Day. My parents were invited over for the meal. We ate too much and laughed just enough!

The table was set with Mother-In-Law's lovely china.

Cornish game hens! They were delicious...and huge...I felt just a little bit bad because it seemed like eating baby turkeys.

Sitting down to the big meal. I seem to be the only one that looks marginally happy...

After dinner we went for a walk and got a picture with my mommy.

Brother-In-Law hug!

Perhaps this is why Husband could use several thousand dollars worth of chiropractic work...

Our second Thanksgiving together as married people!

Brother-In-Law and the family dog, Kasey. Otherwise known as The Greatest Picture Ever.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I hope your Horn of Plenty overflows...

Ah, Thanksgiving. After tomorrow, I will no longer have the ability to whine about the premature Christmas tidings. Maybe I'll even get a little perspective on our housing situation and forget my frustration for a day or two (after all, we aren't living out of our cars or like trolls under a bridge).

On the actual holiday, we will break bread with both of our parents and Husband's brother under one roof. No pheasant this year, but I won't complain too loudly. My mouth will be too full of Cornish game hen. Then, Saturday, we will endure my maternal extended family Thanksgiving get-together at my parents' house. I have no close extended family on my father's side. Saturday, I'm just hoping for no bloodshed...this is, after all, an election year.

I hope your Thanksgiving festivities go swimmingly and you offer up a little bit of appreciation for your current situation, something we should really do every single day.

Image from

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And the beat goes on...

About a week ago, we finally heard back about our counteroffer. Not surprisingly, the news we received was that we would receive an actual answer in...another two weeks. So, imagine our surprise when, over a bowl of ice cream and the local newspaper Saturday night, Husband's father suddenly announced an advertisement he had spied in the classifieds.

An advertisement for a sheriff's sale for the house we want to buy.

The auction will take place on January 15 at 10:00 a.m. I'm so glad the bank was professional enough to tell us what they were doing rather than letting us find out by reading it in the newspaper.

*Heavy sarcasm*

Apparently, our counteroffer is still valid, and we continue to wait to see if they will accept the offer before the auction takes place. I cannot understand why the bank ignores the fact that our offer is far more money than they would probably get if the house does in fact go to auction. Although we *might* get the house for less if we bid on it at the auction, we might also have some stiff competition that could end in a bidding war. Additionally, I discovered that, often in these situations, a check must be written for the full amount of the house on the day of the auction.

Because I have $100,000 just lying around in my bank account.

We would also not have the opportunity to get an inspection of the property (scary) and might have to absorb the cost of any liens that are currently on the house (past work, back taxes, etc.).

When we moved out of our dorm room at Dinky College and (TEMPORARILY) in with Husband's parents, we were excited about the prospect of purchasing our own home and settling in together, really starting our lives, grounded, no longer nomads. Now, over five months later, we are tired of the whole situation and harbor bitter feelings. This just isn't fun anymore, and it's very, very sad.

An Intrepid Traveler

The word "intrepid" is characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance.

So, on second thought, maybe I'm not quite that kind of traveler.

I trekked to Indy this weekend simply to be with some of the most beautiful women on earth and also to spend money. Oodles of money. And, no, not all of it on myself.

I had never before driven to Indy, near Indy, or even seriously contemplated the city of Indy. Dedracula has been working on me for months (years?) now to come visit, and I finally made myself go, not because I didn't want to see her and her voluptuousness, but rather because of pure, unadulterated fear.

I've already chronicled my not-so-stellar driving experiences here and here, so I wasn't looking forward to certain death on 465. But, I made myself go because I needed to just jump in and do it. And I didn't die. Thanks to the anxiety brought on by some construction and a demand that I "SEEK ALTERNATE ROUTE," I probably took a few years off of my life, but I didn't die. I ended up having a lovely time and feel much more confident returning in the near future.

However, I don't think I'm ready for Chicago...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three Cheers for Gainful Employment...

Yesterday marked Husband's one year anniversary at Big, Fancy University, and I couldn't be more proud of him! The beginning of this week also marked by five month anniversary at my new job. I can't believe how far we've come in just one year. We're out of our dorm room and into a house that has a kitchen (albeit, not our own house...) and we both have secure and successful positions. We're working on buying a home (by the way, we should be hearing something on our counteroffer in about two weeks!) and are able to spend a lot more time with family and friends.

Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, HOORAY!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A good (short, I promise) read about Prop 8

Here is a link to an article I found through BlindIrishPirate's blog A Human Attempt at Flight from an artist who lives the consequences of the Prop 8 decision. A good read.

I thought the West Coast was supposed to be liberated, forward thinking, contemporary...logical? Yet another reason I am not terribly interested in visiting California.

Friday, November 14, 2008

As Tevye would say, "Traditiooooooon...Tradition!"

As if the world needed more proof of what a truly vile person I am and the questionable company that I keep, the one Christmas tradition that I am most looking forward to this year is a little something I like to call "Christmas letters." While I may decry the premature arrival of the commercial Christmas season, I will admit I've been anxiously awaiting this tradition for months.

In an annual event that has been occurring for several years now, sometime during the Christmas holiday, a group of my dear friends will gather together, possibly exchange gifts, perhaps munch on some sweet goodies, and get down to the real business of the day: we bust open the local newspapers and read elementary kids' letters to Santa. There is no other time in my life when I laugh more uproariously than while sitting with fellow sick-minded individuals and mocking the wide-eyed children's letters to the Great Bearded One. If nothing else, these letters reveal the sad state of our public education system (or what people in my county would more likely refer to as "book learnin' ").

But they don't stop with just letters. Oh, no. There are poems, individual letters in words spelled into other words (for example, SNOW: soft, neat, outdoors, white), and plain old itemized lists of "I Wants." The best gem we have ever uncovered occurred during last Christmas' festivities. In a letter that probably should have elicited some kind of intervention by a social worker, one little girl reminded Santa, "You're my best friend in my heart. YOU KNOW THAT, RIGHT?!"

(I know I'm a terrible person. The first step is acknowledgment...RIGHT?!) I'm starting to get even more excited just thinking about it...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All the girls want me in their pants...

KittyMarie: you're so great!
Dedracula: got an A and thats all I really care about
KittyMarie: NICE!
Dedracula: its done and over
KittyMarie: *round of applause*
Dedracula: haha--ur cute
Dedracula: i want to keep u in my pocket

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I feel like I should be in The Lion King...

Life seems to have a definite rhythm. It is cyclical; it is repetitive. Events, both large and small, are experienced again and again, but each time with renewed circumstances and perspective.

Sunday afternoon we attended a baby shower for Husband's cousin and his girlfriend who will welcome a little girl in three months. Last night we attended a wake for my grandmother's sister's husband, affectionately known as "Uncle Jack," a man who was rarely seen without a beaming smile.

Perhaps surprisingly, both events were joyous celebrations of life. I always enter funeral parlors expecting shadows and hushed voices, but am instead greeted over and over with boisterous conversations and laughter and joy, remembering the life being commemorated, not the death.

The circle of life continues. Enter singing cartoon animals.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One week reflection: can you hear the music?

If you have a few minutes, read this post from a man who teaches American history to Canadian students. It is quite poignant and well written, reflecting upon Barack Obama's recent election and how the writer heard our music and became an "American for A Day."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Deck the Bloody Halls

This weekend Husband and I spent Friday evening dining with friends and family and then wandering around The Biggest City Within 50 Miles trying to fill the hours before we met a fellow Dinky College alum and his sister who were in town for a wedding. We visited the local mall, Best Buy, and Barnes and Noble, and I noticed something very disconcerting.

Christmas. Is. Upon. Us. At least according to the commercial powers that be.

Although Santa wasn't yet sitting on his throne in the middle of the mall, the entire joint was already extensively decorated. As we meandered into other stores, there were even jaunty carols being piped out of the loudspeakers.


May I take this moment to remind everyone that there are still seventeen days BEFORE Thanksgiving. If I haven't yet eaten my weight in slabs of turkey and pillows of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce shaped like a tin can, I don't even want to think about Christmas.

I understand that the sale projections for the Christmas season are grim and so the stores are trying to jump start consumer spending (although putting a price on Christmas is quite disgusting), but forcing me into the Christmas spirit more than a fortnight before I even have to be in the Thanksgiving spirit is just cruel. By the time Christmas actually arrives, the shimmering lights have becoming blinding, the sharp scents of pine and cinnamon offend my olfactory senses, and the merry carols nauseate me. I get Christmas'ed out and seriously begin contemplating buying gifts in July and hibernating until the eve of December 25.

As I chatted about this matter with a dear friend who does not celebrate Christmas traditionally with the giving of gifts, this beautiful lady (beautiful both inside and out, and, by inside, I do mean the inside of her bra) said, "My main thing know I love you. I should tell you more than just one day a year." Although I probably won't ever celebrate Christmas without the giving of gifts, I heartily agree with her. So, know today that I love you. Know that tomorrow I love you. And if I don't seem to be in the Christmas spirit come the 25th, know that it's only because I'm busy throwing up after hearing "Deck the Halls" for the billiondy-ith time this year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I can still dream, can't I?

I am thoroughly exasperated by our lack of real estate. Still no word from the bank on our counteroffer as they continue to turn their financial noses up at our hot little pile of money we're just aching to lay at their feet. We have a garage full of furniture and no house, so I dream with the help of Join me in my dreams, won't you?

This is a lovely organic, branch-inspired mirror. If I had a house I would possibly hang it in the bedroom (no, not that kind of mirror...) or in the foyer area. You know, if I had a house.

I would get pillows like these for our couch and loveseat. The couch and loveseat are a soft tan color and I absolutely hate the pillows that came with the set. They are stripey and mostly maroon, but not a pretty stripey maroon, and these pillows don't make me want to throw up when I'm taking a nap.

I would hang this chandelier over our dining room table. Again, it is very organically branch-inspired. Plus, SHINY. VERY SHINY. We would enjoy our meals beneath its soft light. You know, if I had a dining room.

Beneath that lovely chandelier, we would eat on plates that look like these. Most of the items in this post I would not actually ever buy because EXPENSIVE. The silver lining, however, is that we already DO have plates that look like these. We got them as a wedding gift. They remain unopened in the box, probably in some dusty corner of my parents' spare bedroom, yet untouched by my majestic culinary creations (...errr...Kraft macaroni and cheese).

We already do have a very nice comforter that is very warm and soft and I love, but it is plain white, and this one is HELLO PRETTY. Plus it is made out of organic cotton. Because I'm a green snob like that. It could always go on the guest bed, right? You know, in that guest bedroom we don't have...

The alarm is ringing. Time to wake up. In my in-laws' house.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

As I heave a sigh of relief...

I will admit, I am more than just a LITTLE bit glad that this election is over. On to incessant Christmas advertising, I suppose.

I did have a bit of an adventure trying to vote yesterday. This was the first election since I changed to my new married last name. Of course, being the nomads that Husband and I are, I still have my own parents' house listed on all of my important paperwork (like my driver's license). My new name was correct on my voter card, but I knew that the township written was not correct. However, the lady I called at the courthouse told me to go to the polling station for that township anyway, so I did. And was promptly turned away. Luckily, I only had to trek one more block over to reach my actual polling station (although I was still listed under my maiden name...ahhh, hick county and your inadequacy). There was no line, and, in fact, no other voters in the building at that time, so I was finished in about three minutes. It pays to "live" in a town with only 300 people.

After I cast my ballot, we ventured on to Husband's proper polling station and entered at the same time as his parents and brother. Then, the waiting began. We stayed up about an hour extra flipping back and forth between the numerous news channels. Once we were assured by CNN's "projections" that Obama would be Mr. President, we drifted off to sleep and awoke to find that the "projection" was correct (although I am still looking forward to the final word on which way Indiana, a "battleground state," actually fell, to the red or to the blue).

I truly feel that the better candidate won, but now the real work begins. I am very interested to see if the promised "change" comes to fruition. He's still a politician, after all.

I hope the country continues to display as much interest in the everyday inner workings of the political system as it did in the presidential election. If nothing else, this election got people to care. That is certainly true for me. Whichever candidate you voted for, whether I agree with your choice and your reasoning or not, thank you for voting. It makes me proud to call you my fellow American.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New look, same old dribble...

So now my blog is pretty. Or prettier. Ahh, white space, how I love thee. I could write sonnets to my devotion to white space and untrapped copy and images that face the proper way. Yes, there is a proper way for images to face. Thank you, yearbook! Thanks go out to my eight (EIGHT! I feel so popular!) faithful readers for your input. It was five to three, and you all voted for my two favorites, so I'm proud of each and every one of you. *Sniffs* Brings a tear to my eye.

A big thanks also to Chris The Carpool Buddy for providing the inspiration for the new tag line. It's supposed to be contradictory, you know, because I fancy proper grammar. Did I need to explain that? Oh, well, I just did. I had to use proper apostrophes, though, sorry. I can only go so far.

I wasn't sure that we would make it...

...but we finally did. November 4 is here. It's today! Get out there and vote! It's a small, precious act, but it's all we've got.

Husband and I are planning to leave work a bit early today to hit up the polls. This will be the second presidential election that I have the opportunity to vote in, and I am surprised by how interested I am this time around. This will be a history-making election, either way the vote swings, and it is an honor to be apart of it. Everyone has a right to keep their vote to themselves, but I will gladly announce that today I will be voting for Barack Obama for President. Not because I think he is the best person in the country for the job, not because I think he is America's political messiah who will right every wrong that we face today, but, for me, he is the lesser of two evils (a sentiment I felt echoed in the last presidential election). As a woman, I am embarassed for Sarah Palin. As an American, I am embarased for John McCain choosing her as a running mate. I am embarassed for his intolerance of issues I believe in, based upon religious convictions rather than civil liberties. To be sure, there are plenty of issues heralded by the Democratic party that embarass me, and I do not claim either side, but I will buy right in to Obama's oft-repeated catch phrases; this country needs change. If McCain wins, nothing will change, for better or for worse. I'm taking a chance on change for the better. At least it will be different.

If nothing else, I hope Obama wins, just so I can see the looks on my staunchly Republican grandparents' faces. That will be the real treat.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Boo: A Halloween surprise (hint: it wasn't candy)

Husband and I left work midday and both went to see an allergist Friday (Halloween). This was something we'd been thinking about doing for quite some time but kept putting off, and we finally made appointments and drug ourselves there. We are both plagued with sniffly noses and watery eyes due to a variety of perceived allergens, and we went to identify exactly what those allergens were and to arm ourselves with some kind of medication.

The nurses performed our scratch tests at the same time. Husband and I had both had scratch tests around similar ages when we were younger (I had mine in the sixth grade). On children, the test is performed on their forearms, but on adults, there are a larger number of scratches made on their backs (55, to be exact). Once scratched with various allergens, an excruciatingly itchy fifteen minutes must pass before the doctor can return to evaluate the results.

When I was tested eleven years ago, being the weak, wheezing child that I was, in addition to my asthma, I was found to be allergic to cats, ragweed, and unbaked flour. Husband wasn't allergic to anything when he was originally tested (lucky fellow). The results Friday, however, were quite different. Husband showed allergies to quite a few naturally occurring triggers (like grass and some kind of mold that grows in corn...he should probably think about moving from Indiana to a desert...). I added a few new similar allergens, but the biggest disappointment, in addition to my already well known allergy to cats, was a new allergy to dogs.

DOGS! *weeps with anguish*

I had always resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to have an indoor cat as a pet. The saving grace to this sad, sad reality was that I would be able to have a dog! An adorable, cuddly, purse-sized dog! BUT NO MORE. Thank you very much, Dr. Clayton, for stomping on my pet owning dreams. And then stomping some more. And then pissing a little.

At least he gave us prescriptions for Flonase.

Of course, I am currently living at my in-laws' home with their miniature poodle, Kasey. He's very lovable and is always in the mood for some attention, but I try not to touch him too much, and he gets a firm talking to if he jumps on our bed. Silver lining: at least poodles don't shed?

So now I need to console myself by beginning to repair my dream and think up a new plan to welcome some cuddly bit of fur into my future home... bunnies have dander?