Monday, March 31, 2008

#46 Bill

I only met you once, but I feel I have a bond with you. My online friend, who also escaped a bad relationship, met you online just before I met Jeff online.

Home improvement

Good lord, I have so many projects that I need to do. Here are just a few of them:

1. Move bowls off of rack that is next to garbage can and into pantry and move things we don't eat off of onto rack (or things kept in boxes). Having to wash a bowl before using it is tiresome. That area is exceedingly dusty for some reason.

2. Paint dining room slash dressing room slash library room the lovely shade of blue for which we bought paint in July and which is sitting in our basement. Although we can hold off on this for a while since Jeff expertly covered up our paint test area with a Rogue sign yesterday. Now we will no longer be reminded on a daily basis what color that room ought to be (which is not actually that particular shade of blue, either).

3. Hang curtains (Ha! This is amusing. We have lived there for 8 months and we still only have one curtain, which is in the bathroom.)

4. Hang poster that is over the sink higher and then hang shelf thing underneath is. Put spices on shelf thing.

5. Switch location of pepper and artichoke paintings with location of old timey ads (in kitchen).

6. Drill some holes in the wall beneath pass-thru to figure out where the studs are.

7. Find drill.

8. Hang more shelves all around apt., esp. in bedroom. My plan is to do away with the bedside bookcase I have currently and instead just have some shelves next to the bed (Since the room is very small, I expect this will look good. But ref. #5 re: what I am able to envision before doing something and how it actually turns out. A: not well.)

9. Procure more shelves.

10. Take ill-fitting clothes to Goodwill.

11. Watch TV.

Things which absolutely must be accomplished before my parents come over on Friday, May 9:
3, 4, 5

Things which absolutely have to be accomplished this weekend because my dad needs that info ASAP:
6, 7

Things which I have full intention of doing this weekend:
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10. But most likely, a lot of #11.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Goodbye, ugly and unflattering clothes

Items in my closet/drawers that I have finally decided it is time to part with:

-turtleneck sweaters (most of them, anyway)
-the older versions of the items which I have bought to replace older versions
-black boots with 2-inch heel that I no longer wear because I have a flat version (see previous)
-brown boots (same case as above)
-pale yellow silk flats with embroidered butterflies from Chinatown (cute but don't match a single thing I have owned in the several years I have owned them)
-wooly white sweaters (Two of them! They were presents, as if that excuses hideous fashion.)
-a few pairs of black shoes (namely ones I have not worn this year or last year. See note above about getting rid of former versions of replaced items. No longer need older versions! Very unlikely I will need less nice black flats for traipsing through a mud-slide when, if there were no mud, I'd be wearing the nicer pair.)
-as much as possible of the items which I classify as "to be worn on the weekend" (but which are in fact ugly). Unless they are items to be worn to bed (those get a pass), these items need to GO.
-I'm on the fence about shirts that are too tight or have a stain but which are good for wearing under sweaters. Because, what if I get hot? Then I'm stuck. I need new t-shirts -- ones that fit and ones that are stain-free.

I declare this spring the season of dressing with more pizazz.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tea, not Kool-aid

Just to clarify, yesterday when I was referring to there being liquor stores inside of grocery stores in NJ, I did not mean all NJ grocery stores and I did not mean that you can pick up a bottle of wine along with your lettuce. The stores that do have the liquor stores have them attached. In all the ones I have seen, you can enter the liquor store via the regular store, but they have a different cash register you must use. And they keep separate hours, usually closing earlier than the grocery store, and not being open on Sundays.

How much tea is too much tea? Today I felt groggy from the moment I woke up and so I drank 2 mugs of hot tea before noon. Then I had a cup of iced tea in the middle of the afternoon and now I'm having another. I feel as if I am thwarting the rule of one or two cups of caffeine per day. But it's just tea! It's not like it's coffee. I clearly drink more of both the hot and cold varieties now that I have an electric kettle on my desk and a huge stash of tea in my desk (thanks to Jeff).

The thing is, I really love the taste of tea. And I don't see the point of drinking caffeine-free anything.

I got a new camera! I got an unexpected bonus at work, so I spent all of it right away on a fancy new camera. What? No judging. Especially not the fact that I spent it before I even got it and I asked Jeff to figure out how much I would get after they took out the taxes and he over-estimated by $150 and I spent the amount he guessed I would get. Oh well! I can pretend that I got a fancy new camera for $150, right? Right. I went out on Saturday and played with it while Jeff stayed home reading that Potter stuff.

Speaking of that Potter stuff, should I read it? I feel like at this point I should just wait until our future kid is old enough and I'll read it out loud then. Jeff was always in that camp with me until, for some reason, he decided to go ahead and read them. And then he got all Potterfied and did nothing but read for over a week. He even stayed up until 2:30 a.m. last Saturday night, finishing the last book, which is totally unlike him. (Normally, if he reads in bed, his eyes are closed within 20 minutes.) And now he's trying to get me to drink the Kool-aid, but I'm still not sure I'm going to buy into this cult. I just don't want to invest my time reading 2-3 books that are guaranteed to be especially childish. And I do recall rolling my eyes a lot at the first movie. And then of course, there's that part of me that rebels against reading what everyone else is reading.

For the record, reading in bed does not put me to sleep. I suppose I could read the dictionary in bed. That might do the trick...

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Jersey love/hate

Things I love about New Jersey:
-the kitschy boardwalks
-Jersey City
-my in-laws
-my in-laws' pool
-my in-laws' snack pantry
-the beauty of the refineries, especially at night
-how easy it is to get to EWR from Penn station
-that the smoking ban was passed several years ago
-the Italian food (both made by my extended family and in restaurants)
-that anti-pasto is a staple at every gathering of more than 4 people (maybe that's just my extended family and not all of NJ, though)
-that you can buy liquor in the grocery store

Things I hate about New Jersey:
-the way you have to turn right to turn left and vice versa
-all the mall traffic
-the PATH train
-Bergen county being closed on Sundays
-having to pay to go to the beach and it still being really crowded
-only being allowed to put my first and last name on my drivers' license
-the stench of the refineries
-that a taxi from EWR to home costs $35, even though it's only a 15 minute drive
-the St. Patrick's Day parade in Hoboken

And last, but not at all least, I hate its horrible reputation. Don't knock it until you've tried it!

I reserve the right to add to this list.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


There is a restaurant in our town that we frequent fairly often. We go there because the food is cheap, but good, and they have craft beers.

The down side is that the wait staff does not seem to have a clue about serving food. They are very nice, but all they seem to know is standing behind a bar and uncapping Heinekens for people sitting at the bar.

Couple that with the fact that the owner seems to think that the bar is running itself nicely enough without him ever seeming to be there any more. And what you get is really lousy service.

Wednesday nights you get a small order of cheese with a select few beers, of which of course we always partake. And pretty much every time, the cheese comes out 15 minutes after we order our beers, along with our meals. Not exactly when we'd prefer to have it.

Then there is the matter of our never being offered glassware of any kind with our beers. I do not understand how you could own a bar and offer up all sorts of craft beers and seemingly not have a clue that good beer is intended to be drunk from a glass. Not to mention, its flavor comes out more when it's poured into a glass and then drunk. Would you want to drink wine out of its bottle? No. Of course not. Anyway, that's a different rant for a different day.

What happened tonight is that I started coughing as I do sometimes, where I cough really hard and then it sounds like I'm about to vomit. In the past few years this has only happened a few times, where I am coughing with such force that I then, I guess, start to hyperventilate? It's the only thing I can figure. At first I signalled to Jeff that I was fine. Because I was coughing after all, and that means air is coming in.

And then I couldn't cough any more and I think I got scared. I stood up and mouthed "Heimlich!" and he tried to do it, but he didn't do it hard enough. He said afterward that he was afraid he'd hurt me. Awww.

The waitress sauntered over from behind the bar, smiling. I didn't see any of that, but it royally pissed Jeff off. "Help!" he said, "she's fucking choking here!" The waitress clearly had no idea what to do and offered to call 911. Jeff yelled, "doesn't anyone know the Heimlich?!" No one stood up.

And then, all I can say is, it passed. I could breathe again, just like that. I was mortally embarressed and had lost my appetite. I think I was just hyperventilating, but it was scary. The same thing happened at work a few years ago and at least then a group of people gathered around and offered any help they could.

Afterward, the waitress offered me a glass of water with no ice. "This should help," she said. Thanks. My water glass was empty.

I feel bad bad-mouthing this place and that is why I'm not naming it by name. Because it's a good restaurant/bar to have in our town. It just pisses us off almost every time we go there, despite its good food and good beer.

We made a vow to make the effort to try more restaurants and stop defaulting to the places close to home. We paid a bundle on a mortgage to live right outside of Manhattan for a reason, dammit.