Monday, November 14, 2011

So That Happened

My life is full of Famous Last Words, you know?  I had so much fun with Schmillie (as well as free shots and new friends) that I was home around 3:00 am on Saturday...ish.  (I don't remember, guys.)  Which also meant I kept telling Hike all night that I wanted to stay longer, and that maybe I wouldn't be home to cook him dinner, and maybe later again, etc. etc. so finally I was like Yeah, you should sleep at home because this party train is going to be delayed.  Which he was mostly fine with, once I called him to check in...  I wondered why he had so much 'tude at the time, but to be fair, I do need to be realistic about my "home eta" when I plan these things, as this is not the first time I've done that to him.  And as I also discovered the next day, he bought me flowers to surprise me for Friday night and so yeah, he had to wait to give them to me until Saturday night.  Oops.  But still aww!


So right, I slept in until noon on Saturday, then of course needed Mexican food and had lost my voice by screaming/drinking/smoking so many cigarettes on Friday, so I ordered tacos & enchiladas online.  I ate half of the food, then basically was in and out of sleep all afternoon while catching up on the new Top Chef.  Finally I didn't feel like puking in the evening, so I showered, ran to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for my big plan-ahead cooking (which would now have to be delayed, since I obviously didn't get to it on Saturday), then home for Hike to pick me up and we went to a Spanish/Peruvian place on Steinway.  The food was pretty good, and it was fun to try a new place with this coupon he had from Yelp.  I probably wouldn't go back but we love exploring restaurants, and we had really nice date conversation.  We went back home to watch the American with G. Cloon, and other than G. Cloon's beauty, that movie is terrible.  It was so slow and boring, and I guess supposed to represent the monotony of trade professions (ammunications maker, prostitute) but GOD DAMN IT stop trying to be meaningful by being sparse!  I hate that.  We gave up on it around midnight since we were getting sleepy anyway, but finished it last night.  Do not recommend.

Sunday we were up early despite our best efforts, then I made breakfast, then we had a fight because he was reading some wrestling blog on the computer while I made breakfast, but I thought he HAD to study, and I was like why am I serving you while you're relaxing?  Which is a terrible attitude but one I'm fighting with this school thing.  I know he needs a mental break now and then, but from my perspective, while studying he always has the tv on (muted) and is flipping around to webpages and it seems like LOTS O' BREAKS.  I realize that's dangerous to assume, plus his style seems to be working since he's getting good grades, but when both of our lives have to center around his studying schedule, I have some bitterness.  It's not great, and I'm working on it, and he's working on not reacting so strongly when I do criticize him (which is when the cycle begins) but ugh.  Anyway, that happened.  Then we had to leave for his high school friend's second baby's christening on Long Island, and we finally sort of made up in the car on the way there.  The service was at 1:30 pm and there were like 8 babies and they were all crying plus everyone in the pews was talking and this guy near us kept his BLUETOOTH in the entire time like a total asshole, so right, it wasn't a very meaningful service from where we were sitting.  But then we went to a steakhouse for lunch ON THEM!  It was really good, and I know I went over my extra points, but sometimes that is going to happen.  (It would have been ideal to not have DRANK THEM ALL on Friday, then eaten them with my hangover, but oh well.)

We came home exhausted around 6:30, and he went back to the books/football on mute while I (instead of being bored with football) decided to cook those meals I'd been planning on.  Well, the Taco Chicken Chili had been in the crockpot all day while we were gone, but I made these WW Red Velvet Cupcakes (3 pts) which I was nervous about but turned out quite good!  (They're for tonight's Harpie dinner.)  Then I made the Buffalo Chicken Lasagna, which seems like it'll be good and still really spicy even though I bought Extra Mild Wing Sauce, but I'm annoyed because it went up to 10 pts per serving because I couldn't find non-fat ricotta (just part skim) and I think that's it...  the recipe says it's 7 pts per, but when I entered it into the WW Recipe Building it gave me the 10 value.  So we'll deal with that....though now that I'm remembering I have 29 points per day, that seems OK.  I was working in the kitchen pretty much all of last night, which wasn't so relaxing, but at least I'd laid around all day on Saturday.  Plus, now I have about 18 dinners ready to go for the next few weeks!

And today I'm sort of sleepy and still have the voice of a drag queen, but tonight will be a fun Harpie dinner and tomorrow night I'll be at home with Hike.  Though I do still have to do laundry... so I think there won't be as many gym trips this week, but as I said before, I'll go when I can.  Oh, and the scale I ordered arrived!  I tried it after lunch (shoes off) and I was still at 153, but we'll see where I am naked first thing in the morning.  (TWSS?)  I probably will wait until next week to start my official weekly weight reporting program, so I can be consistent with it, but you know how I love data.

Today's food:
B - apple, cereal, milk - 5
L - turkey sammy, string cheese, special k, orange - 7
D - TBD, but I know Kate is making a wild mushroom ravioli...
S - yogurt with blueberries
TOTAL - hopefully not too high

Friday, November 11, 2011

TGIAlmost Happy Hour

So I haven't had drinks in awhile...like drinks where I could get a wee buzz, so I'm very excited to be meeting Schmillie for happy hour tonight.  I have all of my flexi points for the week (49!) left for this weekend, so that's enough for some beers and hopefully enough left over for some other bigger meals -- date night is tomorrow, and then we have a reception after a Christening on Sunday.  I'm going to do my best to stay inbounds.  I do think the reception is at a steakhouse, so I should be able to order smart and still get me some steak!  Just a small one, though.

Tomorrow was going to be bowling, but I called the bowling alley to reserve a lane and it's INSANE -- they don't have open bowling except from 12 noon - 2:00 pm.  And tonight only after 11:30 pm.  And not on Sundays until later in the month.  Is this normal?  It's all taken up with leagues and stuff, which I get, but shouldn't they also allow customers to come in?  Why would you sell a Groupon that one can barely use unless you happen to not have a day job?  I e-mailed Groupon to try and get my money back, and we'll be doing something else tomorrow.  Blerg.

My plan for daytime tomorrow is to make some WW-appropriate dinners and freeze them in portions for us.  I'm going to try Buffalo Chicken Lasagne and a Taco Chicken Chili in the Crockpot.  I know they're both chicken, but that's OK, right?  They'll be staggered/not every night anyway.  It should last us at least two weeks, too.  Plus I'm going to make dessert for Harpie dinner on Monday -- and it has to be red.  I'm not going to OUT IT yet, though, but I was able to get a healthier recipe on a traditional favorite, and I'm hoping they taste as good while being guilt-free!

I have been talking to the receptionist about WW lately, and it's great to have someone to nerd out with, plus she JUST gave me her WW online password so I can totally user their tools, like the Recipe Builder!  I've never paid for it so I'm super pumped to see all the fun gadgets.  And to see how many points some of my traditional favorite recipes are...like the Rachel Ray Creamy Chicken Chili.  Mmm.

OHHH and last night I found Edy's Pumpkin Ice Cream on sale and I had to buy it for a treat.  I was expecting to save it but I forgot to eat my homemade granola bar after work so I had a ton of extra points so I had a cup of it after dinner -- so good!  And I forgot to bring a granola bar TODAY, annoyingly, so I need to make sure not to get too drunk.  I may eat more Special K bars, which I keep at work.

Happy weekend, friends!

Today's food:
B - apple, cereal, milk - 4
L - turkey bagel sandwich, string cheese, orange, special k - 7
D - TBD
S - yogurt with blueberries, beer, tbd - 3+
TOTAL - we'll see

Thursday, November 10, 2011

But Not That Habit

I realized I haven't checked in on the smoking front yet -- I'm not smoking.  I mean, I had one stressful day two weekends ago where I bought a pack and smoked, and then stopped again when the pack was gone.  I am still using the lozenges occasionally, but I really don't think about it anymore unless I'm drinking or feeling extremely upset/emotional.  And neither of those things happen very often, so I think we're in the clear.  And I'm not going to worry about a few social drinking cigs, either.

Tonight is also my night/weekend off from the gym (well, maybe I'll go Saturday.)  I'm going to Skype with Britch, then see my honey again.  I'm so smitten this week, and I'm just enjoying it.  ALSO I woke up at 5 am to pee this morning and I couldn't fall back asleep until after 7, and I had brief but scary rat dreams, and then the alarm went off.  So I'm sleepy.  I finally sat up, drank some milk and watched an episode of Good Eats on demand, then fell right asleep after.  I really need to make myself stop trying and get up and drink some milk in the future, instead of waiting for 90 minutes first.  My brain was just all over the place! 

Concerns:  When we moved into this apartment, we had to put down 2 months' security deposit.  Now that years have passed, I'm afraid my dickbag landlord will fight me on that -- I mean, I will withhold my last month's rent for one of those payments, but I won't be able to give two months' notice of moving, so he'll basically have to write me a check for the other part of it.  And I have a feeling this will be a fight.  Should I remind him that we have that two months' security deposit now to lay some groundwork?  Casually, like "oh, did the new tenants have to pay two months' security deposit, too?"  Ha.  Also, what if we can't find an apartment we like or Hike's too busy with school to come look and I find the perfect one and have to decide ON THE SPOT BY MYSELF?  So I'm getting to talk to Britch finally but what about how I'm still kind of upset that I went to all that expense and effort to go to/be in her wedding and then she hermits on me right afterwards with no appreciation for it.  How do I handle that when we talk tonight?  What should I bring to his Dad's house for the Friday-after-Thanksgiving awkward-fest?  And that's all I can remember right now but there were so many worries at 5 am, dudes.

And in other news, I'm considering the IUD because I like the idea of not taking hormones and I'm curious as to how/who I am naturally after ten years on the Pill, plus now on 50 extra mg for my acne.  Plus, it sounds possibly easier/cheaper/more convenient and I could hopefully have fewer mood swings/strong emotional reactions, but hey, maybe I'd have more?  Plus it could be a long adjustment period (6 months sometimes) with lots o' cramps and bleeding and my acne might come back with a vengeance (seriously, when I brought it up with my mom, her first question was What about your acne? and her second was Are you still smoking?  So at least she was concerned about my health EVENTUALLY.)  I don't know if I should do the copper one or the Mirena (which releases some localized hormones) and I was talking to Hike about it and I said that they're good for three years, which seemed fine because we wouldn't want to have babies before then, and he was like Well, we might.  So now mentally I'm all BABIES? YOU WANT BABIES RIGHT AWAY? in very manic way, like it's exciting and also terrifying and I didn't get that far in my "in the next few years" daydreams.  Now there's a timeframe, people.  He just said that he does think about it a lot and in context of his age and stuff, and he'd like to start our family on the sooner side, and I was like OH, ok... I didn't realize, but I'm amenable.  (I didn't visibly freak out, don't worry.)  I mean, I'd be all for it, as long as we could afford the little thing.  And maybe not live in an apartment...and maybe we should try a dog first...but who knows.  Obviously there are other bridges before that bridge, but that was a surprising conversation.  And he's going to read up more on the IUD to give me his informed opinion, but he loves the idea of no artificial hormones. 

Oh and I got my haircut at lunch and I LOVE this feeling.  So light and swingy and soft and healthy!  Remind me to get a haircut more often than 3x a year, ok?

And that's what's rolling around in here today.  Adieu!
Today's eats:
B - Cereal, Milk, Apple - 5
L - Turkey sammy, orange, string cheese, Special K bar - 7
D - Taco Bake (7?), ff sour cream, roasted apples & squash & turnips & onions - 8
S - yogurt, pumpkin pudding, homemade granola bar - 8.5
TOTAL - 28.5, so .5 under but I have to look up that taco bake recipe at home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back in the Habit

Well, so far, so good.  I had a few Girl Scout Cookies at lunch today, but I have the point room for them.  This PointsPlus thing is pretty awesome so far -- I haven't been able to eat my full day's allotment for the past two days, but I'm only shy by 1 or 2 points, so don't worry, I'm not starving myself.  I'm probably underestimating the amount of milk I have daily, so that'll even it out.  (Milk in coffee, tea, cereal, etc. but I only count 1 cup.)

I did 30 minutes on the bike last night, and I'll go again tonight and do 40, but then tomorrow I'm going to Skype with Britch after work and then Hike will come over, so no gym, WHICH IS FINE.  Laaaiiiiid back.

It'll be good to talk to Britch again.  We haven't communicated very much at all since August, when I saw her for her wedding, and it's not like we got to talk a lot then, anyway.  She's had a lot going on and I've been trying to be patient, but I though I was losing her for awhile though today we just hashed it out and it seems like she's been a bit reclusive, but it had nothing to do with our friendship.  I was really sad and worried about it, but I think things are going to get better again. 

Hike and I had some really productive conversations last night, so I'm feeling very optimistic that we'll make progress on our "how to fight" problem.  He's also admitting that with all of his stress and multi-tasking with school and work and his home business, he's not been the best boyfriend lately, and he's going to do better, which helps me.  I mean, he's not like mean or awful or anything, he's just not been as thoughtful as he used to be and I look forward to that returning a little.  I hope it can happen.  I've been trying to be very supportive but I have gotten a little impatient, too, and I'm glad he's recognizing that sometimes the focus needs to be on me.

Plus we've got like five dates booked because of Groupon-type deals!  This Saturday we'll use a bowling groupon and that should be a fun and different actvity -- something we've never done together.  And we have movies, restaurants, etc.  He said that he wants me to always have something to look forward to, like some specific plans, and so far that's working out well.

When it's good, it's so good, friends.  (And when it's bad, it's awful.)  Ah well, today I'm going to bask in the good.  Also I have been on a bit of a shopping kick this fall, as I've needed new boots due to the wearing out of my work brown boots and my black ones.  I bought these brown ones from Kohl's, these black ones for casual-wearing from Zappos.com:

And I've just tried these from Macy's, but they were too small in my normal size, so I'm sending them back for a half-size up.  These are a bit of a crazy purchase but come on, they're so hot.

FUN SHOPPING.  And I got some clothes, but those will be more fun once I lose some poundage.  And finally, I got a good deal on pots & pans & stuff that I'll need for when we have our own kitchen, since most of the cookware is currently my roommate's.  They arrived today, and though the box is probably too big for me to take home, I want to!  But I'm going to make myself wait to use them until I have a new apartment.  I don't want Roommate getting her mitts on them!

Oh, and I bought these flannel sheets from Overstock.com for the new Queen bed so we'd be cozy this winter.  We already put them on when the temperatures dipped recently, and they're sooooft.

I think that's all the purchases I can brag about for now, but I am so ready to nest in a new place.  I still look at apartments pretty frequently on Craigslist, though it's difficult for me to look and not act, and I don't think it'll be time to act until the new year.  But I do like knowing what's out there and in what price range.

I also need to ramble to you about how I'm contemplating switching from hormonal birth control (aka the Pill) to an IUD.  But that'll be another day.  Happy Hump Day!

Oh, and I'm going to plan my meals because it helps me to have it written somewhere!
B - apple, cereal, milk - 5
L - Bagel thin with turkey, LT, honey mustard; string cheese; orange; 4 cookies - 10
D - butternut squash ravioli, tomato sauce, veg - 6
S - yogurt with blueberries, homemade granola bar, pumpkin pudding - 8.5
TOTAL - 29.5 (so today I'll be .5 over but I will earn activity points, so it's ok)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's up, Shorty?

This will be brief, but as I'm beginning my grand return to the world of Weight Watchers (starting yesterday), I figured I should also begin my grand return to accountability. 

First off, I threw out my scale in the bed bug panic of 2011, and I'd sort of been lax about diet (there are so many treats to eat) and just trying to walk a lot so that I could have a healthy, active lifestyle.  Guess what.  I can't!  It's not enough -- at least, not when you combine relaxed diet and exercise.  I have felt bigger, and my clothes have felt tighter, though I was hoping some of that was from the high-heat drying, but at Hike's mom's house this past weekend, I noticed her scale and was curious.  GASP.  It's high, folks.  It was like 153 pounds high. 

I've also noticed my insecurity about my weight causing some unnecessary sensitivity with Hike, and the worst of that crested recently, too.  We were talking about why we argue/misunderstand each other, and the issues I've been having with not being happy with myself, and I asked if he even noticed my weight change, and he said "You want me to be honest, right?  I could see it a little in your stomach, but that's only because you pointed it out a few times."  SO WHAT THE MAGAZINES TELL US IS TRUE, LADIES:  If you draw attention to your insecurities, those spacey boys will notice what they did not notice before.  SO WE MUST STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.  I even consider myself pretty decent at this, like I'm not a complainer and I'm generally satisfied with my reflection, but yikes, it's so easy to fall into this mud puddle, huh?

So perfect storm time, since the receptionist at work has been talking about going back on WW and she was telling me how great the PointsPlus system is (which I'd previously refused to follow).  I investigated it and was hooked -- it's like the same game but updated!  New rules, new values, new puzzles!  I can also eat about what I usually eat on a normal weekday, but I'll be more mindful at dinner and then on weekends I'll have to clean up my act a bit.  I also returned to the gym last night, and rode the bike for 30 minutes and felt good.  Unfortunately my membership expires on November 30, so I'll have to try to sweet-talk my way into a 6-month renewal or something, since I won't be living in my apartment for another whole year and this gym is so ghetto, the only draw is that it's around the corner.  Anyway, we'll figure that out at the end of the month.

I'm looking forward to feeling comfortable in my clothes again (literally and figuratively) as well as comfortable getting my tummy rubbed by Hike.  And the best part (well, one of them) is that I can still eat my Superfoods Pumpkin Pudding!  It's pretty low points, especially since I use Splenda for baking instead of sugar.  (And by the way, when I first found this recipe, Patty had no claim over it, so I refuse to acknowledge her name in the title.  F that B.)

And that's about it here.  Still trying to stay patient and happy with the stress of Hike's very full schedule and my own supportive role, plus trying to manage a social life while maximizing my time with him.  We are constantly making progress but I do get discouraged when we have a particularly bickery week, like last week.  At least we were able to be "intimate" (ahem) twice over the weekend, and it had been a full week before that -- which I know puts me on edge!  So now I feel better and I'm very excited about this WW+ plan.  I am tracking my food on my phone app, too, so I won't be getting too detailed here, but my main weekday food will consist of:

B - cereal, coffee, milk, apple
L - turkey or chicken sandwich on a Sandwich Thin or a Bagel Thin (the Everything ones are delish!) with lettuce, tomato, honey mustard; light string cheese; fruit; special K bar with chocolate
D - varies
S - yogurt with fruit in the afternoon; pumpkin pudding or something similar and sweet after dinner

Here we go!  Oh, right, and I have to buy a scale -- it's clear I work best with hard data.  (Yes, that is what she said.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slogging Along

That what it feels like I'm doing after all this gross warm humid weather lately.  We had such a brief, shining week of Fall, and now it's hot and uncomfortable again.  Though this weekend should be cooler, and I can bring out the hoodies again, thank goodness. 

What a week!  As I've now become quite comfortable spending most of my weeknights at home, I really pushed the envelope with Harpie dinner on Monday night in Brooklyn (theme: Johnny Appleseed) and then a concert last night with Schmeather.  We saw The Head and the Heart at The Bowery Ballroom, and they were excellent, but they didn't go on until about 11:15, after two opening bands, and so I got home at about 1:15 am.  The opening bands were kind of boring -- actually we only went up to the main room for the second one -- so as much as I love seeing fantastic live music, I think I may have to not go on weeknights anymore.  Or now that I'm typing this out, maybe I'll just be really picky about it, since today isn't as hard to survive as I thought it would be.

ANYWAY, I am very much looking forward to a night at home tonight.  I have to pick up the veggies after work, and then Hike will be coming over at some point, but before then I can probably get in some couch and DVR time...  and it'll be nice to go to sleep before midnight (I hope, at least.) 

I need to start re-incorporating the gym or some sort of activity into my life, since after a month of letting myself go/eat whatever, I am feeling the results.  My clothes are all tight (which could partially be due to high heat drying, but who knows), my tummy is big (I swear I'm pregnant while having my period, because it feels so firm.  Is that possible?), and I am feeling decidedly dumpy and unsexy.  (Well, except that Hike and I are sexting right now, so I'm still looking forward to it -- just with the lights out.)  Um I guess I also have my extremely light period right now, which could be contributing.  Now, is it light because I'm pregnant or because I'm now taking more hormones (a light dose) for my acne?  Probably the latter.  Oh, and I've also decided that I need to start dressing more like a grown-up, so I've spent a lot of money online shopping recently.  I know I won't keep it all, but I can at least perk up my wardrobe a bit.  And it doesn't help that I'm totally sick of all my summer clothing options.

There's not much news.  The weekends have been full of homework (him); puttering around the house baking, cooking, cleaning, reading (me); visiting the family on Sunday and doing our laundry (me) while he studies more (him); and my weeks have been made up of things like book club, walking home from work (last week, when we had some gloriously cooler days), and catching up on all the new fall television.  Last weekend I had time on Saturday to borrow his car and visit Schmillie in Brooklyn for the afternoon, then head to Trader Joe's in Rego Park to stock up on pantry items.  I'm cooking more dinners, but I enjoy it.  I feel like I'm contributing what I can do to his overwhelming school schedule now.  I also have started making homemade granola bars for him to throw in his bag to eat during class, since he gets so hungry and wasn't bringing anything, plus he likes natural, healthy stuff.  It feels good to support him in that way, and I'm lucky that he appreciates it.  It's how I'm showing love.  (Barf, amiright?)

We've had some serious talks about the future recently, so I'm very happy with where we are and what's to come.  And we've gotten much better at arguing.  The fights do still happen, but usually we can head them off at the pass -- and we're learning how to balance his schoolwork with time together, plus I'm nagging him less to be more organized as he's making a good system for himself.  I'm feeling optimistic about this thing.  And the one-year anniversary of our first date is coming up on October 13, so it feels like a big milestone.  I'm excited!

And that's the story, morning glories.  I feel like I'm getting so repetitive, but hey, consistency is the salt of life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tit Bits

There was a lot of serious future talk with Hike this weekend, which was mostly really nice, but until I have a chance to write it up for you, I'll leave you with these two gems.

-He asked me if I'd be able to be patient with the kids, and he was only half-kidding.  YES FINE I'm not that patient normally, but I'd be better with my own kids, I think/hope! :)  I said well, that's why I have you anyway, and he said that I'd be spending more time with them.  So I mean, it's a positive that he's thinking like this, but not so great that he's worried about my patience level.  I'm sure it's because I've been on his back about schoolwork, but he's getting into the swing of being organized and I'm calming down.  Really!  I am great with children that are not annoying.

-He also asked me if we could make cheese from my (future) breast milk.  I said we could sure try!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homebodying

It feels like ages have gone by.  Aren't we all excited for Fall?  There's a certain crispness to the air, especially in the evenings, and I know my mood is improving.  It helps that so far things are now bug-free, and I had a nice Scottish break, and I'm feeling rather caught up in my life (as in, no huge to-do list at the moment.) 

So a quick trip rundown for you.  The beginning part in London was a little stressful, with nine people in one apartment and lots of luggage to be buried under, but once we escaped to the Scottish hills I felt so relaxed and at one with nature.  I loved the view out of our lodge, too!  The best part of the whole wedding was the Scottish dancing, though, called CĂ©ilidh (prounounced kay-lee).  There were set steps that the band would teach us and then call out, and our new friend (aka the groom's friend from home) Kevin asked me to dance the first dance so he taught me the steps, too -- it was so fun and twirly!  Like that scene in Titanic when they're dancing in steerage.  Plus it was the first time a boy has ever asked me to dance!  (Obviously it wasn't anything scandalous, don't worry.)  Kevin and I danced like four of them together, and in between those I danced with Jude (the girl groomsman) for one, a girl named Haley, and with a 10-year-old Scottish boy , and with one of the best men John (he was so drunk I just pushed him around the twirls.  I'm glad he didn't puke on me.)  And though I drank all day, I didn't feel particularly drunk OR hungover the next day because of all the exercise. :)  It was thrilling.

On the flight home, I started coughing, and felt pretty under the weather that first weekend back, but I felt better by Tuesday, I just haven't been able to shake the cough (even now).  I finally called the doctor today to make an appointment for tomorrow, since just when I thought it was getting better yesterday, it's gotten a bit worse.  Might as well make sure I don't have the Contagion, especially since people at work are refusing to sit next to me now.  And this past Monday night I had a sudden and sharp pain in my right ankle, and it's a bit swollen.  I think a summer of mostly wearing flip flops has caught up to me!  I wore sneakers to work today and kept them on, and it's already feeling a ton better.  I just feel like I'm falling apart in general, but hey, when do I not?

I haven't smoked since the Saturday after I returned from the UK.  I knew I wouldn't be able to re-quit before then, since we'd be drinking and smoking a ton there, but now that I'm home and having trouble breathing anyway, it hasn't been so bad.  That means it's been 11 days -- almost two weeks!  I'm sucking on the nicotine lozenges plus Cepacol throat lozenges, sometimes both at once (one in each cheek), and it's not been as hard as expected.  I'm sure hard times will come, but for now, I don't think about it too much.  Shoot, except now I am.  MOVING ON.

Hike started his MBA classes while I was gone, and he's got two on Monday evenings, two on Wednesday evenings, and one from 9 - 1 on Saturdays.  It's a lot, and he has a lot of reading and homework to do, but I think he's getting it down.  In the beginning I was worried about his organizational level, especially since I am The Queen of being organized and also Very Bossy, so we were bickering a bit, but it seems like he's getting into the swing of things and I'm trying to step back a little, too.  (He likes my help and advice, but obviously I need to be nice about it.)  It is still stressful, but hopefully we can figure out a workable lifestyle for the next few years.  I think we're close now, actually. 

I've also started casually looking at one-bedroom apartment listings in Astoria.  After traveling and having my own bathroom for a blessed four days in Scotland, I just sort of came home and craved more space for myself.  I knew I wanted to move sometime this winter anyway, but now I'm considering moving out sooner and then Hike would join me when he's ready and able and when we're ready to be engaged.  At first I was hesitant to proceed this way since I don't want him to feel like he's moving in to MY home, but on the other hand, it'd be good for me to live alone for awhile, plus he'll be there a ton anyway (he's already at my place a lot as it is), and I doubt he'd be as sensitive about moving into my place than if the situation were reversed.  He likes this plan because it means we're progressing but it gives him a little flexibility to figure out his timing, too.  So now the question is, when? 

I went to one open house on Monday, but the kitchen was just on a wall in the LR and I need it in a separate room so that I don't stink up the main room with garlic/cooking smells plus make all that noise of washing dishes, etc.  I am going to another one tomorrow night, and Hike may come with me so we can start feeling things out together (though he likes my taste, as he's said), but if I like it, I'm still in a tight spot.  My roommate's Dad isn't doing very well health-wise, and she was planning on going to visit him in Florida for a few weeks at the beginning of October.  After over five years together, I'd feel like a dick if I surprised her by announcing my intention to move out in 15 days while she was already planning to travel.  So that's a consideration -- but I still think it's OK to look at places.  I'm just half scared I'll like one, you know?  But also THRILLED about the concept.

OH, and just to vent for a minute -- I'm looking mainly on Craigslist, since how else do we find apartments nowadays?  Sometimes I'll go to a realtor's site from their Craigslist posting and find other options, but I still hate the whole broker's fee situation.  Anyway, there are so many posts for Astoria that don't say WHERE the place is in the neighborhood, or they'll say an avenue but not the street.  This makes a HUGE difference, so obviously I'm not going to respond to them since I feel like they're trying to pull some bullshit, but what if they're stupid and I'm missing a good apartment?  Ugh, I guess when I'm looking more seriously I can investigate those further, but come on.  We want to be somewhere between 30th and 36th Aves, and Crescent and 37th Streets, so work with us, Craigslisters.

And finally, I just bought my first Christmas present today.  I guess it could be a one-year anniversary present for Hike, but it doesn't seem very romantic.  HOT TIP -- you can buy Always Sunny in Philadelphia seasons 1-5 PLUS the Christmas Special on Amazon for like $48.  Buy it for someone special in your life.  You're welcome.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bon Vivage

I think I made that word combination up? But it works.

Hello and goodbye, lovers!  Today, finally, I leave for my grand UK adventure.  Yes, it's rainy here, but the hurricane hasn't hit yet so I should be OK for my 11 pm departure.  I'm sad that Hike can't join me, but I'm still very much looking forward to some fun high-school-friend times, some party times, and some quiet, relaxing alone times on the Scottish moors.  I just wish it were already time to go!  I'm even excited for the airplane and the airplane food (it's so organized, and it's a surprise!) and my new travel pillow and landing in London and navigating my way to Britch's neighborhood.

So right, I land tomorrow at 11 am in London, the Hen Party is tomorrow night, Saturday night we may do a movie night, Sunday we take the train north to Glasgow, Scotland and stay in a hotel, we move to the castle grounds on Monday (I'm staying in a lodge with my two other best high school friends, who are married to each other), Tuesday night is the rehearsal dinner, Wednesday is the wedding, and then Thursday I can recover and Friday morning I take the train to Edinburgh to catch my flight home through Amsterdam.  Whew!  It sounds busy but also has some down time, which I'm very pleased with.

Bug-wise, things seem good at home.  I'm mostly unpacked, we've gone a week since the new company sprayed, and we haven't had any issue yet.  I did find one long-dead bb in the bottom of a shoe that had the heel cap missing (a sandal!) so that freaked me out because it was in my closet on the floor, and that was the first I'd found in the closet area, but nothing else has shown up.  I also sprinkled Diatomaceous Earth around the corners and floorboards and everywhere last night, so I feel extra defended.

Now I can just run away and not worry about my apartment for a week!  And poor Hike has his first class on Saturday morning, ugh, but it'll be good for him to get the MBA started so he can stop being so anxious, not knowing what to expect.  And it'll be fall and then winter before you know it, and I love those seasons, and we already bought our Xmas tickets (I'll go home from Xmas to New Year's, he'll come for New Year's) and I'm just very much in love.  I hope that Hurricane Irene doesn't sweep him away while I'm gone, and without a phone!  It's back to the 2000s with calling cards for me!

Anyway, enjoy your distaster weekend, friends, and I'll fill you in when I return.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Much Like the Economy...

My mental state is very in flux.  So on Tuesday, my roommate gets bites -- 7 of them, to be precise.  They appear to be bed bug bites.  She has started washing/cleaning thoroughly, but is busy at her job and only last night called the crappy exterminator we've had, who can't come until Friday or Saturday.  So I asked her to call more today, but she's decidedly less urgent about this than I am.  I'm just very worried they'll re-spread to my room/side of the apartment, and while it's been safe so far, I don't want to tempt anything!  And also, what if I have to wash all of my belongings again?  I will, but goddamn, this is awful.  And it's worse because so far no exterminator is scheduled and that drives me batty.  (Roommate said to me "I'm not as freaked out about this as you are."  THAT IS NOT OK.  YOU SHOULD BE FREAKED OUT.)  Obviously they somehow migrated to her end of the apartment, though it's been a month since I discovered them in my room, and it's all so confusing.  Plus, she had a ton of bites at one time, but why did it just suddenly happen?  Her room was sprayed twice of the three times that mine was, and while she didn't wash/bag all of her things, shouldn't the sprays have killed any eggies that were around?  Obviously they were hiding, but it feels like a neverending problem and I'm having some rough moments (and some optimistic moments, too.)  I just hope she has called another exterminator by now.  I'm going to harass her.

Otherwise, today is a beautiful day, I'm planning on sleeping at Hike's tonight in order to be less tempting to any bugs in my apartment (though so far, so good), and I made some Saturday "drunch" plans with my neighborhood girls, plus Hike already made plans for our Saturday night, which you know I love.  We'll do dinner and a movie in Astoria (seeing Captain America), but it's nice to have an actual date planned, you know?  And I THINK/HOPE I can Skype with Britch tonight.  I haven't talked to her in SO LONG and I leave in like two weeks to see her in England (hopefully the riots will be over) and I can't wait!  The idea of running away for a week is very appealing, too, though I will miss Hike dreadfully.

OH, we planned our winter holidays yesterday.  It began because he was looking at his vacation schedule for work, which he has to use by the end of the year, and he's trying to take time off when he can maximize it for completing schoolwork.  I asked if he was going to come home with me for New Year's again, and so he looked into it and planned the long weekend for when he'll come to meet me there (after Christmas).  I was a bit whiney about it, in the "I would have hoped you'd think of that yourself, since for our relationship to move forward, don't you need to spend some more time with my parents?" way, by which I meant "You'll want to ask my dad for permission to marry me ASAP, right???"  But it was fine, once I mentioned it (and he was like "Oh yes, I want to do that, I just wasn't thinking about it and you hadn't told me your plans to go home, either...") he got right into the planning and looking up airfare, so I calmed down.  Plus, then the BB World War II news hit, so I was distracted.

To top off my bad day yesterday, I volunteered to get the veggies for Roommate so she could go buy a steamer and a box spring cover, etc., and on my walk down Crescent, I passed Mex.  I mean, I am always afraid of going that way because of that reason, and wouldn't you know, I get myself calmed down and am walking and there he is.  Looking either already drunk or hungover, and making a really sullen face and not looking at me, so we passed like ships in the night.  I think I rolled my eyes (like, of course I have to see you today) but he didn't acknowledge me, though he would have surely seen me.  It's fine, I don't want to talk to him, but it's so strange to know someone intimately for two years (or at least know part of them) and then totally not acknowledge them on the street.  I'M SO MUCH BETTER OFF.

And finally, in good news, I got my bracelet from Hike repaired and back yesterday by a great jeweler on 47th -- he only charged me $20, he fixed the broken place and another spot that looked weak, and he cleaned it, in 24 hours!  Amazing.  So now I get to admire it on my wrist again and think of him, aww.  Ok, back to being bored at work.  Enjoy the blue skies!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ketchup

Hola amigos!  Ha ha, just kidding, I hate Spanish.

Well, life goes on.  I'm surviving life post-apocolyptic bug problem, and it's getting a bit better every day.  Unfortunately last night my downstairs neighbors found two alive bed bugs in their living room, which is below my bedroom.  They hadn't had any bites or any in the bed, so we're hoping it's just a few stragglers that escaped from my poison-filled walls.  They had the exterminator come this morning, and he's coming twice more, though he doesn't think he needs to do my apartment again.  I'm thinking of buying this Diatomaceous Earth stuff and shoring up the walls of my room to prevent re-entry.  Why not?  And I haven't had any more problems, thank goodness.  My bed is an island fortress (so far.)

So this past weekend was a nice one.  Friday Hike and I just chilled at his place, beat that video game we'd been playing, and hung out.  Saturday morning he headed out to Atlantic City for another boys' party for his friend's 30th birthday.  I want him to go and have fun and have man time, but I do get slightly worried about, I don't know, STRIPPERZ and hoes and stuff.  But I trust him very much, so I try to banish those thoughts.  (I was just reflecting on that this weekend -- how far I've come from a year ago as far as trusting a man.  I really found the right one after the last fiasco.)  So I kept the car and off they went, and I spent the rest of my Saturday cleaning, doing laundry, and baking some sugar-free cookies for his Grandma's 92nd birthday party on Sunday.  (She's diabetic.)  I enjoyed myself very much!  Oh, and I walked up to Steinway to buy her a brooch from one of those costume jewelry stores, and wrapped it all up pretty and signed the card from us.  I felt very wifely. 

Sunday (after texting with Mom and calls with his sister-in-law), I drove to Flushing to pick up Grandma and then we headed out to Huntington to his mom's house.  I helped with some food prep and hung out with the family friends and a girl cousin I'd not met before who was very friendly, and I did his laundry in the basement (I didn't mind because it gave me an escape every once in awhile) and then the boys (he and his brother) finally arrived at about 4 pm, and we ate steaks and chicken and salad and all sorts of good stuff.  Then when it was time for dessert, we had a million things -- peach pie, blueberry tart, my cookies (they were a hit!  The biscotti was very good, if I say so myself.), ice cream cake, this grape/walnut/cream cheese concoction, etc.  I ate so much that I got a tummy ache, but it was all delicious and I was happy to have Hike back.  He looked so cute and was being very sweet, so I felt appreciated for what I'd done to help celebrate.  (He said he met me at the perfect time, which was a new one, and made me feel great.)

So I drove us home, since he was worn out and I love driving, and that was about it for the weekend!  This week I still have some errand-y things to accomplish, such as getting my Christmas present bracelet fixed (finally), bringing home the rug I ordered for my room, buying some slimming underwear for my bridesmaid dress, etc.  Tomorrow we're seeing our free Tuesday movie, and this one will be Cowboys & Aliens, so it should be fun.  I leave in two weeks and three days for London/Scotland, so I should start thinking about packing and planning for that, too!  I am getting very excited, though I plan on traveling with lots of garbage bags to stay as bug-free as possible. 

One good side effect of this stress is that I've lost some weight.  I have no idea how much, since I threw out the scale, but my clothes are fitting better, so that feels good.  It's probably partially due to my smoking again (I don't know how to handle stress without it yet), but I'll take what I can get.  In a week or so, or maybe right after my trip, I'll re-quit.  (I know a few of my friends will be smoking there, so maybe that's too tough to stop beforehand.) 

It's been a fun/crazy/fast summer, and it feels like it's starting to wrap up, but I did get in a good visit with Schmauren last weekend at the beer garden in Astoria, plus a nice trip to Vermont and I'll be international before it's over.  I'm also feeling very happy about my relationship, so I'm excited to see how that grows in the fall and winter, and plus, you know how much I love autumn and the winter holidays! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vermont Catch-up

So let's talk about that weekend trip, shall we?  Vermont was lovely.  When we drove up, we left around 3:30 pm so of course got stuck in traffic all through Connecticut, but it was OK, we made it in around 10 pm and had a bottle of wine and a cheese tray waiting in our room.  The inn was adorable, but of course there were some gnats buzzing around and the door was hard to close since it was over 100 years old and creaky, but it was OK.  I liberally sprayed bug spray and we settled in for bed.

Saturday we were up for our complimentary breakfast (I had oatmeal with fresh fruit and Vermont maple syrup!) and we made our plan for the day.  The canoeing turned out to be on a lake, not a river, so it was less appealing to me, and it seemed hard to combine with other things (because of the location and rental was for a whole day) so we decided to go to the state park and hike.  (Ha, hike, yes.)  We had half of our packed picnic sandwiches beforehand, then took the Scenic Overlook Trail, which was deserted so just us for the whole thing.  It was steep with a big payoff view at the end, and so beautiful and fun.  We were spotting wildlife, swatting bugs, jumping over muddy creeks, and I loved it.  Then we decided to hike a separate trail to the waterfall, since I wanted to see it, but that was a bit longer, so all told we hiked for about 6 miles and 4-5 hours and I enjoyed it all but it wore us out!  When we got back to the car area we ate the rest of our picnic on a picnic table overlooking the river.  And rested.  Then on the way back to the inn we stopped in little towns, bought a Christmas ornament souvenir, checked out houses for sale (in a wishing way), looked at old cemeteries to find the oldest gravestone, etc.  It was ideal.  We even saw a wedding letting out of a church, and the big fat bride waved to us (from next to her tall skinny husband in a cowboy hat!)  Then it was back to the inn for some resting before dinner at the inn's restaurant.  It was delicious but mellow, as we were so worn out!  We didn't stay up for beers in the tavern but headed to bed on the early side. 

Sunday morning we had breakfast there again, then checked out and drove through Bennington to explore more of the Vermont countryside, which was so idyllic.  I then showed him Bennington College's campus, where I'd spent time a few years in a row with my girlfriends, as one of them is an alumnus.  We stopped for lunch in town, then drove back through Albany, stopping at a roadside stand for fresh raspberries and raspberry jam.  We also stopped to check out the old camp Hike's family used to attend every summer, Shapanack.  It's closed now and all decrepit and overgrown, but sort of romantic in its own way, as a ghost of Catskills glory past.  We took lots of photos to share with his family, and we stopped for ice cream at the go-cart place, and then finally headed back the city and were mercifully spared more traffic.

All in all, it was so peaceful and relaxing and felt like a real break from the city.  We barely turned the tv on in our room, which I really appreciated.  Once the shit hit the fan on Monday, all I wanted to do was run back to Vermont and leave the city for good.  I'm now more in the temperate area of that wish (I could do suburbia now, though), but we talked about how nice it would be to have a summer place up there.  Oh, some day.  I'd love it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vampires are So In Right Now

Well, I'm still alive.  I have good news and bad news, interfriends.  Turns out my mysterious, terrifying bug bites were indeed caused by bed bugs, aka my worst nightmare.  The Monday after we came home from Vermont, I lifted my bed skirt (dirty) to check the tape around the mattress-cover zipper, and I saw some tiny dead baby bugs stuck to it...as if they were trying to escape from the zipper.  And I recognized the body shape from my internet research.  I promptly called my landlord, who helped me drag the mattress and box spring outside, and began bagging up my possessions.  The landlord had called his exterminator friend, who came on Tuesday morning for my first treatment, and then I began washing everything I own in hottt water and drying it on high heat.  (I ruined fewer things than I thought I would!)

I did find one live bug under the bed on a canvas bag, and then after the exterminator's second visit, I found one dead bug on the floor and one in an empty dresser drawer, which scares me, since I didn't throw out the furniture, he just sprayed it.  This morning was my third (and what should be final) visit from the exterminator, and since the second visit I've been unpacking all of my possessions again (per his instruction), and I haven't found any more evidence.  I'm feeling more encouraged now that I sort of have a bedroom again, but you can imagine why I couldn't talk about it for awhile.

So for the first week, after one exterminator visit, I slept on my couch, swaddled like a Muslim.  (I didn't know how far they'd spread.)  My roommate was away on vacation, so I had to call her with the news on Wednesday, but thankfully she was calm and helpful and even offered to let me sleep in her bed while she was gone.  I stayed on the couch, though, just in case.  I never was bit, and never saw anything there or in my roommate's bed upon inspection, so I think they were just in my box spring and surrounding area.  (The mattress cover didn't have dead babies under the tape, even.)  There were some tears in the vinyl box spring cover, probably caused by my underbed storage bins, so that would explain their access.  Our whole apartment was treated twice (my room thrice), so now everything should be dead or scared away.  The dresser does worry me, like I said, but he sprayed it and I only found one dead one, and I'll be careful with clothes, plus the bed will be well-guarded, so hopefully that doesn't lead to a re-infestation... more hopefully, it was just that one, trying to run for his life.

After my second visit, the exterminator came to inspect and spray at Hike's apartment.  He hadn't had any problems and we didn't find anything in my paranoid inspections, but we wanted to be sure.  After that clearance, I started sleeping over there so I could stay in a real bed and not get woken up by my roommate's odd hours. 

So now, after today's third visit, I need to buy a new bed.  And protectors, of course, and I won't use any comforter or bedskirt for awhile -- just a mattress pad over the expensive mattress/box spring protectors, light-colored sheets (to easily spot blood smears) and a fleece blanket (easily washable.)  Tonight we're going to check out Macy's, since they have a great sale on, and they seem to offer good financing and delivery options.  I just have to make sure that the new mattress will be protected from the old mattresses they pick up in that same truck.  Ugh, so many details.  It's been very overwhelming.  And so frustrating because my bites didn't really match the descriptions/photos online.  I'm taking comfort in some facts, though -- bed bugs feed once every 7-10 days, which was about the frequency of my bites, so I can't have had too many feasting on me or it would've happened more often.  I also don't think they could get through my foam mattress topper, so my theory is that they were living in the box spring and just walking up to my exposed arms at night, since they didn't bite me anywhere that was under covers.  In short, it seems/I hope it wasn't too many bugs and that we got it early enough to wipe it out totally.

So yeah, I'm very grateful for Hike, who helped me finish washing everything I own on that Tuesday, and who has been really kind and supportive and generous by sharing his tiny room with me.  He also bought me a recent Groupon for a facial and massage at my favorite Astoria spa as a "reward" for surviving this.  So nice!  (I'm saving it until I feel like the crisis has passed a bit.)  We're looking at beds together, and I think we're going to get a queen, so that it's big enough and adult enough and we can use it for many years, since we'd like to be getting engaged/living together within a year.  So on that front, I was ready for an upgrade anyway, and the sale is really great so I don't feel too terrible about spending the money.  It ended up that getting infested was cheaper than I thought, though fully exhausting and stressful, with the living out of plastic bags and moving clothes from a clean bag to me to a dirty bag (all sealed) after wearing.  Then washing.  I didn't even use a bath towel for a week, since I'd put them away and didn't know where they were.  I had a hand-towel and then mostly air dried...while cooking.  It was slightly dangerous.

But now I am a mostly normally functioning person again...just very cautious, and will be for awhile.  Please don't be afraid of me or my apartment, as I promise, I'm policing everything very carefully.  At least I reacted so strongly to the bites that (unless my body suddenly adjusts to it) I will know if I get another one, BUT I HOPE TO GOD I DO NOT.  I've had two mosquito bites over these few weeks that freaked the hell out of me, but they behaved totally like mosquito bites and weren't so itchy, so they can't have been the BBs.  (Riiiight?)  I bet there will shortly be a specialty for therapists that's something like "post-infestation fallout management," as this experience is still fucking with my head.  Anyway, that's why I've been so quiet.  I will hope to entertain you more in short order, but I wanted to explain (and vent) first.  Thanks for your kind words as I was dealing with this, and hey, I survived my worst nightmare (that didn't involve a death!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

West Dover, West Dover, Send Stevie Right Over

In a few hours Hike & I will be on the road for our weekend minibreak to West Dover, Vermont, which is in the southwest quadrant of the state (according to Google maps.)  I can't wait!  As my confirmation e-mail says:

"Your Historic Getaway Escape Kit includes 2 nights stay for 2, breakfast for 2 each morning, a $50 credit towards one dinner in our restaurant, a wine and cheese tray delivered to your room, 50% off a kayak, canoe or bike rental, a picnic lunch and trail map to local swimming holes and an artist’s tour of Skip Morrow’s gallery. At the inn you will receive a packet with all the details, maps and info you need to enjoy your amazing deal!"

This is the inn:

And this is our room:


And this is the forecast:


We'll head out once Hike gets the all-clear to leave work (banks are so stuffy) and then we'll run back to Astoria to pick up our stuff and the car, and then hit the WIDE OPEN ROAD (after NYC traffic, that is.)  I hope it's romantic and outdoorsy and relaxing.  Don't worry, I've packed bug spray -- this week I have another bad few on my arm, too, so I know better now than to risk getting eaten.  But we decided we want to canoe (instead of biking or kayaking) since that's the activity we'll have the least opportunity to do here, and I'd love to hike (ha, with Hike) and swim and eat and read.  I may never come back!

Geez, think I should manage my expectations?  Oh well.  Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seriously, Cootie?


This is on my hip...which has been covered at all times (except in the shower), as far as I know.  I mean, my underpants cover it, even when I'm asleep!  (You can see the lovely imprint from the waistband of today's boyshorts.)  So I'm confused, still, as to what is biting me and why I'm only recently reacting this way.  Is it a radioactive spider??

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekends and Bookends

Well, I was very quiet last week, and at this point, I can't remember/won't bore you with details about the weekend before this one.  But this one! Was nice and long and relaxing.

Friday I snuck out of work at 4:30 to meet Schmillie and see Bad Teacher.  I thought it'd be dumb funny and Jason Siegel was in it and how wrong could that go?  But oh, so wrong.  And you guys, I know I'm supposed to be all up in Justin Timberlake's jock or whatever, but NO.  He's just so asexual to me.  Yuck.  And so there's a really creepy "love" scene (or rather, "dryhump" scene) and it only makes him more revolting.  Anyway, the movie was bad but we got through it together, then wandered a bit to Banana Republic, and it was a lovely night, and I bought a soft sweater on sale, and then heard some lovely opera in the Union Square subway station before getting home to relax and watch True Blood.  Hike came over after the Mets/Yankees game (he went with friends to CitiField) and then to bed.

Saturday he left, and I was terribly PMS-cranky and took a two-hour nap and then went to the gym and met up with Hike and his friend Yoshi for dinner and UFC watching, yawn.  But it was nice to be out and have some beers.  Sunday we went to church with his Grandma, then back to her house for family dinner in the afternoon (and doing his laundry), and his mom brought me a white jacket that she bought but didn't fit her right, so now I have a white casual jacket.  She wears petites so basically can hand things down to me, and this is something I'd wear to work and not too mom-ish, so good!  Sunday night we just stayed in at his place, cooked dinner, and played our video game.


And then Monday we picked up his friend Yoshi and headed out to Long Beach, where we met up with his bro and sis-in-law plus some other of their friends.  It was so pretty -- the cloud cover had cleared by the time we got there, and the water was cool but totally comfortable, which meant I could go in to cool off every 20 minutes (as I need to when I'm hot!)  It was fun and we stayed about two hours, which was the limit on his parking spot, and he tried to move the car but couldn't find another spot so we just gave up and came home.  It was for the best, though, as we beat the return traffic and had time to relax and shower before meeting Yoshi again for dinner on Broadway in Astoria.  We sat in the back garden of a Thai place and I had a pink drink and it was relaxing.  Then home to hold a two-week old baby!  One of my roommate's friend's just had her and they were over for dinner, so I nabbed the baby and sat in the quiet living room to hold her for awhile while she slept.  Adorable. 

Now it's Tuesday already!  I can't wait for this weekend's Vermont trip.  I hope it's entirely relaxing and outdoorsy and loving and rejuvinating.  And until then, I'll gym it tonight, go to softball tomorrow (and Hike may come over after), then get my nails did on Thursday (and I need an eyebrow wax really bad -- they're caterpillars), and then we leave early afternoon on Friday.

OH and I'm re-reading Forever.  I love this book.  It starts out in Celtic Ireland, which I've always enjoyed learning about, and then is set in various Manhattan time periods, so it's the best kind of historical fiction.  It's also getting me (more) psyched to watch the New York documentary that I bought Hike for his birthday.  We have less movie time lately, but I hope we can break that puppy open soon.  Anyway, I'll finish the book this week and then I can bring our new book club pick to Vermont.  Ahh, summer reading, I love you.

Why I Am No Longer a Career Girl

I'm having a mini-anger attack at some news that just appeared on my Facebook feed.  Apparently the publishing company for whom I worked for five years just recently signed a partnership deal with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's website/movement HitRECord.  This was an idea I brought up about five years ago, when I worked mainly under the company's entertainment publishing arm, and JGL was just starting this project.  He'd also just done Brick (so this was around 2005), and I did a lot of research and reaching out to his people, and the Executive Editor was vaguely interested, but not enough to bite, so he eventually passed on the idea.

And now, the new entertainment division has partnered with HitRECord.  And I am sure my initial pursuit has been forgotten, and someone thinks it's their fantastic idea, and they've now paid much more than they would've in 2006.  Yes, it was too early then, but we would've been on board before it got expensive (i.e. before 500 Days of Summer and Inception.)

All that to say, after one giant Fuck You, Your Ideas Are Worthless Amidst our Large Corporate Machinery in the form of a laying off (with generous severance, thankyouverymuch forced union membership), things like this both anger me at what I could've brought into the publishing world if ever given enough power and also make me grateful that I no longer am at the mercy of someone else's ignorance or opinion.  I've lost the power to influence culture, but I've also gained the freedom to cultivate my own tastes and not feel so desperate for the next big thing.  Instead, I can marinate in my current obsession(s) and actually enjoy them, instead of trying to monetize them.

It still stings, though, to matter so little professionally.  So I literally have no upwardly-mobile interest at this point.  I want to do my work and find it relatively interesting, but more importantly, I want to life a full and rewarding private life.  I wouldn't mind earning a salary on which I can live comfortably in the suburbs, but I don't want to climb to the top of any org chart.  It costs too much.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bomb Pop

This morning I set off the bug bomb (aka "fogger") in my bedroom!  I'm so nervous and excited.  I hope when I get home that it didn't ruin any of my possessions and that I can feel like I'm actively taking action against my enemy.  Even if he's already dead, as he's been pretty quiet for awhile.  We will prevail!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Does Not Bode Well

AND IN OTHER NEWS, yesterday I lost one of my favorite earrings AND the bracelet that Hike gave me for Christmas broke at one of the hinges.


(Note that's flipped on its side/underside, so not the pretty view.)  Can anybody recommend a good jewelry repair place, possibly in midtown? He bought it at Macy's on Long Island at the Roosevelt Field mall, and I called to see if there was any warranty business, but they were iffy. They suggested we bring it in with the receipt and they could maybe exchange it if they still have a similar one, but since it's not fine jewely (la ti da) and outside of the 30-day return window, we'd have to see. So I guess the first step is him trying to locate the receipt (it doesn't bode well) and then if not, I'll get it repaired, if that's even possible. If they have to just re-attach a clasp and I'd lose those two stones, that would work and still fit. But I'm sad! He's sad too, actually. Maybe I shouldn't have worn it everyday but I liked it! And I told him that this was why I can't have nice things, and he smiled and said he'd keep that in mind. Oops.

Co-Payola

So I had my dermatologist appointment this morning, and there were highs & lows. 

First, as I don't have any insane bite reactions at the moment (knock on wood), I showed pictures of the last two and I showed the healing ones on my right wrist.  She said they looked like spider bites, and that I should call an exterminator.  I said we'd had one come by in early May, and she just sort of shrugged.  She did verify that they didn't look like bed bug bites, but other than that, she just prescribed some stronger topical cream for if I get another one.

Secondly, she looked at my body for moles/freckles, and said everything looked fine but that I should wear sunscreen in my moisturizer as I'm freckling a lot on my face, and I should also wear sunscreen when I wear tank tops, as my shoulders and upper back have a lot of freckles.  Now, I think they're cute, but fine.

And thirdly, we talked about my acne, which as you know, has been a constant struggle.  I'm off the Proactiv and using Dermalogica's MediBac line, which somehow feels more adult, but I still have a few zits.  She prescribed an oral medication that will give me more of an ingredient that's already in my Yasmin (I forget what it's called) and that I need to help control my hormonal breakouts.  She also gave me samples and a prescription for a topical acne cream, so I'll give it all a shot.  It'd be nice to have pretty skin!

I did like her, and she wants to see me in 6 weeks to check on the acne, though I'm not too eager to pay another $50 co-pay (my insurance sucks), but I feel like an adult now that I have a dermatologist.  You know how I love doctors.  (Maybe I can justify the co-pay since I won't be going to the gyno twice a year now?)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smahty Pants

One of the best decisions I've ever made was to keep a pair of tweezers in my purse.  I don't know about you ladies, and I also don't know my ethnic origins (so I can't blame it on genes, dammit), but I get some random dark hairs in some decidedly unfeminine places (oh hello, goatee) and instead of trying unsucessfully to use my thumbnails to pull the occasional one out, I now can just take care of it immediately.  At my desk, of course, but sowhatwhocares?

Anyway, yes, the joys of womanhood.  But seriously, the joys of good planning!

Want another one?  If you're one of those suckers who buys that "Bikini Zone"-type shave gel for underarms or bikini-line shaving, as I used to be, just stop.  Buy a $.99 bottle of VO5 or Suave hair conditioner and use that instead.  It's miraculous and really helps with razor burn.  (Granted, nothing I do helps that 2nd/3rd day bikini-line stubble issue, so please share if you've figured that one out. Cheaply, that is.)

Keep granola bars in your purse, too.  Otherwise you'll get so hungry you'll end up eating mounds of food when some is finally available.

Use Mederma on acne scars.

If you're eyes don't stop making "sleep" crumbs until about an hour after you wake up, wait to put on eyeliner until you get to work.

Mom taught me to wrap rings that were too small with thread (underneath the finger) to make them fit.  They used to do this with their boyfriends' class rings, but now I have some that I love and lost too much weight to wear, so black thread ahoy!  Keep it smooth (literally) by putting some clear nail polish on top.

In the winter, use saline nasal spray.  I'm afraid of Neti pots, but the regular drug store saline spray keeps me cold & flu free all season -- for at least three years now.  Seriously.

For some aromatherapy (or bug prevention, like me), you can buy some natural oils and dilute them in a small spray bottle with water and a dash of dishwashing soap, shake it all up, and spray around your bed before sleep.  I've been relaxing with lavendar & citronella (a high note and a middle note, for those who know fragrance), and while it may be doing jack shit about the bugs, I feel like I'm doing something plus it smells lovely (even with the citronella!)

On my dresser, my picture frames double as earring racks.  Granted, I can't always see those faces so clearly in the photos, but it keeps things organized.

Buy giant sale bottles of detergent and then one small one to keep refilling and carrying with you to the laundromat.  So much cheaper.

And I'll stop, but please feel free to share tips with me!  I love tips.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something Black & Blue

First of all, I'd like to thank Kelly for her comment on my last post -- you really helped calm me down in the midst of a bed bug-panic attack!  And the more I think about it, the more I think you're right.  So I appreciate the chiming in!  And since according to history, the next bite explosion will happen today or tomorrow, I'm on the edge of my seat and also planning on continuing to wear long sleeves to bed as well as stick with the closed-window/AC plan.  I also have that dermatologist appointment on Wednesday, so I can discuss it with her and show her pictures, even if I have no new evidence (knock on wood.)

Weekends!  How were they?  Mine was a lot of fun but today I'm just wiped out.  Friday I found out at the last minute that Hike's high school friend (who now lives in Texas) was in town for the weekend, so we drove out to Huntington to meet up with a whole crew for a few beers.  I enjoyed the divey bar with the juke box and we even got in a game of pool, but man, I was so tired and would've rather spent the night at home.  (Of course I ended up having fun and getting a little buzzed, but it was not my ideal evening.)  Then Saturday we were up earlyish to get ready for our brief trip to the Poconos!

So his brother picks us up from my house, where we then drive back into Manhattan to pick up his brother's wife, since his brother decided he'd have to go back that way anyway?  It was all confusing and we ended up waiting for forever and I was grumpy about it, but we finally got on the road and then up to the Shawnee Resort, after a stop for lunch at Holy Guacamole, of course.  The wedding was romantic and we got drunk and silly and danced a lot (I may have taken a knee while trying to limbo?)  The place was nice, and the ceremony was outside on the banks of the river (but hot and buggy! don't worry, I used bug spray) and then the cocktail hour was on the veranda and the reception/dinner was in the ballroom, so it was cooler.  But we got sweaty dancing anyway!  And his friends are all so fun, and it's very comfortable now, so I had a great time.  I also loved the view of the river and the foothills beyond -- oh, nature.

Sunday morning we were up early and hungover after about 3 hours of sleep, and we get the hotel's all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet (biscuits and gravy! bacon!) and then hit the road back to the city.  Once we finally made it, Hike and I immediately put on PJs (at like 1 pm) and climbed into bed to watch movies and nap the rest of the afternoon.  It was a tough weekend, energy-wise.

Then last night I took sleeping pills since I was worried that after the napping I wouldn't fall asleep, and this morning I was a tired mess -- I still feel like I could fall asleep at any minute!  I had a ton of crazy dreams last night, too -- a big, long one was about a bed bug infestation and in my dream they looked different than they do in real life, and I had to go through the whole bagging of clothes and everything, and then I woke up and went to the bathroom and the rest of my dreams remembered that one, like I couldn't tell in the dream (or even this morning when I woke up) if it had really happened.  Ugh, my biggest fear.

Anyway, I'm exhausted but had a lovely time at the wedding, and am equal parts excited and totally money-worried about my own!  Happy almost-summer, friends!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jet Sweating

I bought my tickets to London/Scotland for Britch's wedding!  I leave on a Thursday night at 11 pm from JFK, land in London at 11 am, try to recover for the afternoon and then it's the Hen Party aka Bachelorette Party.  We're in London (all staying at Britch's apartment, maybe?) until Sunday, when we take the train to Glasgow and all stay in a hotel.  Monday we go to the castle and move into our lodges (as in, I'm staying in a lodge with my good high school friends who are now married) (in separate bedrooms) and then the wedding is Wednesday and on Friday morning I'll take a bus down to Edinburgh to catch my flight home (through Amsterdam), landing at JFK at about 7:20 EST.

Whew!  I'm much more excited now that I booked it (and that it was about $200 less than the price I'd been seeing.)  We were really disappointed that Hike couldn't join me, but now I'm seeing the silver lining there, too -- I would be more worried about his comfort when bunking 6 people in an apartment or while doing girl stuff (Hen Party, bridesmaid duties) and also I'd feel guilty making him miss the first week of grad school, since I know he'll be anxious about that.  So I think it's worked out rather well, and it'll be some great time to spend with my two best friends from the ol' high school days, and I'll try to look at it as my last great traveling alone adventure.  (I mean, I hope...) 

I also discovered that I already have shoes I can wear with my bmaid dress, so I'll save a bit there, and I'm just going to enjoy this trip and try not to stress about money so much.  I hate money and how I worry about it all the time.

So, in other news, remember all my optimism about the bites?  Well, yesterday two little red itchy bumps showed up on the back of my right wrist, and I honestly thought they might just be random mosquite bites, but now the insane itchiness and some swelling is making me think my nighttime vampire friend came back.  Maybe he couldn't get up my arm to the sweet stuff (due to my long sleeves) so he bit where he could?  I mean, they don't have those red streaks or anything, but the itching is really intense like before, so I'm not sure.  I am very upset that it happened again, in the once-a-week timeframe, too -- so I still haven't solved this mystery.  SO ANNOYING.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday the 13th: No New Blood

Wow, I had to go on Wikipedia to look at all the Friday movie titles for that joke, so I'm pretty sure NO ONE will get it.  I barely do.

So today marks eight months since my first date with Hike, and it's a sweet feeling.  Of course I'll be celebrating by having happy hour drinks with my Harpies, since I mean, we spent all weekend together already, but it's a nice milestone!

The weekend was nice and relaxing for the most part.  Friday night I went home, talked to Britch for a bit, hit the gym, then picked up around the house, made a yummy dinner (TJ's butternut squash triangioli with a squash/walnut/apple sauce I invented) and watched Netflix stuff until Hike was done with his all-boys steakhouse night and came home to me.  He was a bit tipsy after some martinis, and it was fun to see him like that since he only rarely drinks that much. 

Saturday we woke up and watched The Green Hornet with breakfast in bed, and then somehow the whole day moved quickly while we were being lazy, until we split up for two hours to get cleaned up.  Then he picked me up for a Bareburger dinner and to see The Hangover.  It was really funny!  I know everyone says it's no different than the first one, but who cares, it's still amusing.  We got into a stupid argument that started when he didn't put the armrest down to cuddle and I said something pointed and it just sort of went downhill from there.  It was stupid, but we talked about it later when we got home and it did enable us to have a very honest and good conversation about some sensitive issues.  Then we played our video game for awhile, then went to sleep. 

Of course in the morning, I woke up swinging, as he was up before me and decided to put on some UFC fight he'd DVRed and I woke up (unhappily) to that noise.  I threw a mini-fit because I just wanted more SLEEP, but whatever, it was fine after awhile.  Then we played more of our video game, then I napped while he watched the Mets, and then we headed out to try Five Guys' Burgers (yum!) and do a Trader Joe's run.  He'd never really shopped in one, and I was nervous (like when your friend meets your boyfriend, you know?) because I love it so much, and it was really crowded but he liked the food options (he's a health nut) and we got a good cartful of stuff.  It's fun since almost half of what I buy is for both of us anyway, so it was nice to have his opinion, too. 

And I was home at 6 for a night of settling in at home and watching A Bronx Tale (which was my homework assigment from my Italian Stallion).  I talked to my mom for awhile, too, and it was a very relaxing end to the weekend.

ALSO, my last two bites have shown up at the beginning of the past two weeks (first on Tuesday after Labor Day, the next last Monday) so my new theories are that I either got them at Hike's (after a 36-hour delay period) or they were on the little sweaters I wear to work that are all stored in the same drawer at home.  So I slept in long sleeves all weekend, I sprayed my natural oil sprays on the beds, and I didn't wear a little sweater today (though I brought one in case I got really cold.)  So far, no bite.  I HOPE HOPE HOPE we've cracked this case, friends.  If I can go another week without one, I'll start laying off the precautions one by one to try to determine the cause.  And no, that doctor's office never called me about setting up an appointment but my arm started clearing up really well with the Benedryl spray last week and is now totally fine, with just some residual discoloration.

Otherwise, I ate rather well this weekend (two burgers, I know, but one was bison, I didn't have fries with them and they were both topped with healthy things), I felt better about my body after going to the gym twice last week plus walking four miles to softball on Wednesday, and I feel good about my relationship and its future, if we could just stop this damn bickering.  Does everyone do this?  Help.

OHHH and I forgot the big news -- Hike heard on Friday that he was accepted into grad school for his MBA!  Just when I was bugging him to fill out the application for a safety school.  So that is good news for him and us and the future, but it'll be a tough four (?) years as far as time management, since he'll work full-time (at least for now) and have school two nights a week.  But I want to support him and make it easier for him, and I hope I can be patient.  This means we'll be able to better figure out how and when our relationship will grow over the next few years.  It also means he won't be able to come to Scotland with me for Britch's wedding, but I knew that was a possibility.  I'm disappointed in the short-term, but it's for the best.  And it'll be cheaper if only one of us is going, too -- only $2,000 instead of more.  So it's good news!  Also scary, but good, right?

Happy Sleepy Mondays, everyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oh, Right, and I'm Clean

Oh, so I called for the results of my HIV test today, and the nice man who answered tried to help but then told me that no one but the doctor is allowed to tell me those results, and he was like "but this is true for negative results, too" and then later was like "she'll call you next week but let me just say, don't worry" so basically I love this man for his risky law-breaking behavior.  He made it clear that I can rest easy.  Why aren't more medical professionals able to talk me down so nicely?

Right, so all clear!  I wasn't really worried, but it's still good news!

Lady's Night

I actually have NO PLANS tonight, and while I tried (and failed) to connect with some grrlfriends that I haven't seen recently, I'm sort of happy it worked out this way.  It's been way too long since I've had a weekend-night-date with myself.  Hike has a boys' steakhouse dinner at Peter Luger's to (again) celebrate his brother's birthday with a different group of friends, so I'm planning on heading home, hitting the gym again (I went last night!) and then running some small errands on my block before showering and climbing into bed to watch True Blood Season 3 on my laptop.  Could there be a better home-alone plan?  I think not.  OH and I will make TJ's Butternut Squash Triangoli for dinner with a squash/herb sauce that I'll invent (and walnuts.)  PERFECT.

And then, if all goes according to plan, my prodigal boyfriend will return to me so that I don't have to sleep alone, since I think he might be a spider repellent.  (That or I'm getting bitten at his house...tbd.)

I'm very excited.  I've also been a bit neurotic with him lately, admittedly, so I probably could use some me time.

Right, and on the gym topic, I am really sick of feeling so heavy and guilty for gaining weight again, so mama needs to get back on some serious track with my exercise and diet.  It's going to be hard to eat out and make wise decisions, but I'm trying (and eating lots of fish. That is not a euphemism.)  But I have been off the smokes for a couple of weeks now again, and it's not so bad as long as I remember my lozenges.  And my broken-out chin is clearing up again.  I went back on the Proactiv out of desperation, and I'm using up what I have until it's gone, and then I'll use this Dermologica MediBac stuff that my last facialist recommended.  She also gave me samples, and it seemed to help right away, so I feel good about the switch.  Hopefully I will no longer need a product that is endorsed on MTV every morning for preteens.

So that is the status, folks.  Happy weekends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Woman's Prerogative

Hike still wants me to see a doctor.  (Should I respond with the list I just made for you?)  So...I called a dermatologist and the office person on the phone (with a British accent! so authoritative!) said it sounded like I shouldn't wait for a normal calendar appointment (in July) so she took my number and they'll call when they get a cancellation.  While it's probably a waste of time, at least I can also get a skin scan, which I've never had.  That is the upside.

Eaten Alive

So I come to you with my most crazy-making problem this spring: ITCHY SKIN.  Mainly spider bites, I believe, though my skin seems to be reacting to any possible irritant so it's hard to tell. 
  1. Awhile ago (around Mother's Day) it started with two bites on my lower back about five inches apart, and one on my right thigh -- these got pretty big and welty and were very itchy, and the one on my leg had a purplish hue after a day or so, then they went away. 
  2. Then another couple of weeks later, my left forearm itched and I absentmindely scratched it, only to see three hives/welts come up with large red, swollen circles around them, so that my whole forearm was rather enflamed and very itchy/irritated.  I went to my doctor (my general practitioner) who was stumped, but determined it was definitely not bed bug bites (which was my greatest nightmare) but some sort of skin allergy.  She called it Contact Dermatitis and prescribed steroid cream for the itching.  She said if it didn't improve in a day or two that I should see a dermatologist.  Well, it improved slowly and I figured the cream fixed it, and I also took a break from wearing synthetic materials in case they bothered my skin.  This particular problem happened the morning after I shaved my forearm (which I've since stopped doing), applied self-tanner, and then wore a new, tight-sleeved cardigan with acrylic materials in it.
  3. Then last Thursday, June 2, a red irritated circle with a tail extending downward appeared on the underside of my right upper arm.  It itched like hell, and I used the steroid cream.  Finally after a day or two I could see the bite in the center, and I determined it was possibly a spider bite or a really bad reaction to an otherwise unknown bug bite.  It went away in about three days, and the cream helped a bit, as did taking Benedryl at night.  (Once that wears off, the itch wakes me up.)
  4. And again, this past Monday evening, I realize I have an itch on the same arm, but on the underside of my elbow.  I saw a small bump/bite with a red tail and put the steroid cream on it right away, which seemed to reduce the size of the welt and help the itching.  I thought I'd conquered it!  And then yesterday morning, it was big and red and angry and so, so itchy and irritating.  I still think spider bite, and I did some more internet research -- I saw a photo of a similar-looking bite and the guy said his red trail grew longer and was the poision going towards his blood stream.  His moved quickly so he went to the ER, and they stopped the spreading, but my "red trail" isn't growing or anything.  I used the steroid cream again all day yesterday and took Benedryl last night, then today consulted with Britch, my pre-med/biology expert, aka personal physician.  She advised me to use Benedryl cream (or spray) as it sounds like part of the red welting is my allergic reaction to the bite/venom, so something to help reduce itching plus stop allergens would be better.  I bought some around 11 this morning and it seems to feel a bit better, plus the main center of the bite isn't as red and angry-looking.  That said, there is a red halo forming around the outside (don't worry, this is not Lyme disease!) that I think is the irritation/infection dissipating, but my co-workers are all encouraging me to go to a dermatologist. 
Here is how it looked this morning:
    And here's how it looks now:
    Slightly better?
5.     And finally, the reasons to NOT seek medical attention are the following:
    1. According to my research, the danger would come when red streaks are spreading outward, which mine are not -- they've stayed at the same place since they first appeared.
    2. I don't currently have a dermatologist, so I would be attempting to be a new patient for one, and it's highly unlikely they could see me right away.
    3. My co-pay is $50 for a specialty appointment.
    4. Also according to my research, the doctor would only treat the symptoms, probably prescribing antiobiotics if an infection were possible, but what looks like an infection is more likely just the allergic reaction.  And if I take antibiotics, it will mess with my birth control. 
    5. I think things are improving, not getting worse, judging by the amount of discomfort/irritation, and if I have a minor infection, I think I can recover just fine.  I may have a slight fever, but it's hard to tell in this heat wave.  My forehead is only a little clammy.
If anyone has any knowledge or wisdom to share, please do so.  I'm also investigating ways to repel spiders while I sleep.  I read that they don't like natural oils, so I diluted some lavender and citronella oils in water and sprayed all around my bed last night, and I intend to keep doing so -- plus give the room another good vacuuming.  Otherwise, I'm at a loss, and these are highly disruptive bites.  Help, please.

Oh, and I am ruling out bed bugs.  Don't make me crazier, people.  The bites are spaced out in time and on my body, and they're huge reactions, and the bed is fully zipped up and we've investigated it for any evidence, finding none, plus my parents slept in my bed a few weeks ago, as has Hike, and nobody else has any issues.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Getting Too Old for this Sh*t

Interlovers!  Hello!  How are we on this sunny Monday?  I hear it's gorgeous outside...and it seems that way from my window.  (I don't go outside, especially since I'm re-quitting smoking after a short relapse.)

Well, this was a weekend.  I mostly love sharing a social life with Hike, as we get to do all sorts of fun things and we're integrating our lives pretty well, but lately it's been very busy with his side of plans and I need a rest.  Yes, I like resting more than the average 29-year-old, but so what, who cares?  Anyway, here's what happened.

Friday I had a lady-doc appointment at 1 pm in Astoria, so after waiting for 90 minutes and then waiting another 30 for a blood test (I figured it was time to get tested for HIV.  So fun, right?  I have no reason to worry, but I don't remember the last time I was checked.  I like to be sure of these things.), I went home and immediately started in on the three large loads of laundry that had been waiting around for washing (all the sheets and towels from the parental visit plus my stuff), and then fixed the broken medicine cabinet (which had collapsed on Hike when he was peeing at 4 am last Wednesday, poor thing), did a half-manicure on myself, then got showered and dressed up to head into the city at 7:30 for Hike's brother's 30th birthday party.  We had a big crew of the boys' high school friends (many of whom I'd met before), and then after our butter-soaked dinner, we went to Hudson Terrace.  And guess what?  His sister-in-law had decided to commit to bottle service, since that's the only way they'd give us a reservation -- but she didn't tell any of the party guests.  Whatever, we made the most of it and drank a lot alot ALOT of vodka.  And shouted at each other since we could barely hear anything.  And Hike and I danced a bit, which was very fun.  It ended up being really enjoyable (especially dancing with the open-roof, so under the night sky!) but I don't remember getting home very well.  And Saturday was a day of puking and napping, of course.  I was so dead. 

So Saturday night I manage to get dressed again without falling over (barely) and we go to Hike's mom's and then out to dinner in Huntington with the whole crew (Franny, mom, bf, bro, sis-in-law, us) and the restaurant was LOVELY.  I felt better after eating something, too.  After dinner, we put in our appearance at his best friend's girlfriend's suprise birthday party at that restaurant's bar.  We nursed one drink each (it was an open bar that we sadly could not take advantage of) and then said our goodbye's, got some Ralph's Italian Ices, sat on a bench to eat them, and then headed back to his house to play some more of our video game and crash.

Sunday was up with an alarm so we could be all cleaned up in time to go back out to LI for a fancy brunch buffet with his bro and sis-in-law again and his father and stepmother and the sis-in-law's parents.  It was to celebrate the boys' birthdays, as both were recently, and we went back for plate after plate (raw bar! omelette station! cream puffs!)  Then it was back to Dad & step-mom's house for chatting and presents.  We got back to Astoria around 7 pm, worn out and sleepy.  (Plus I was half-teary all day as I'd started my period.) 

Anyway, lots of good family time, of course, but lots of diamond-ring comparing on Sunday and wedding-picture looking and talk of MONEY and man, I feel poor around these people, but I also feel pressure.  Like, I'm mostly fine that I want my whole wedding situation to be more affordable (so we can buy a house someday, of course), but these ladies make me feel pretty intimidated.  It's going to be tough, I think, to make everyone happy, but I shouldn't be worrying about that now.  Still, a day like that is psychically challenging.  Otherwise it was a nice weekend, and I had lots of silly fun with Hike throughout, but I'm looking forward to some more alone time and down time next weekend (before a wedding trip the following one.)

Tomorrow we're going to see Bridesmaids, too, and I can't wait!  Then Wednesday is softball (and it's supposed to be HOTTT) and Thursday he'll probably just come over for dinner, then phew, it's Friday again.

And tonight.  I finally have a chance to get a pedicure and wax and stuff, so it's time for that.  Of course I keep putting on weight from all this social eating, but when will I exercise?  No idea.  I have to figure out a better plan.

Wellll thanks for listening, pals.  Until next time.