Wednesday, September 14, 2011


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 Céilidh (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.

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