Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Place You've Probably Never Been

We have just returned from Wyoming. Yes, you read that right. Wyoming. In case you don't know, it's the big rectangular state that separates the other mostly rectangular states from the one that looks like a boot. You know, where all the aliens go in the movies. Also, there's Yellowstone - that's where the bears all try to swipe your pick-enick baskets.

R is from Wyoming and you can usually find us shivering there during the holidays. The last xmas we were there it was negative thirty degrees. Also, in order to enjoy this frigid, wind-blown landscape, we must brave crappy weather conditions and canceled/delayed flights in order to get there and then again to leave. This has been the foundation for my frequent claims that this is the last year we are going to Wyoming in the winter! (Note: This claim apparently has no impact on reality whatsoever)

So I am pleased to report that it was warm in Wyoming this year. A balmy forty degrees! - and no, I am not joking. I walked around without a coat and was damn chipper the whole time.

The improved weather conditions allowed me to more fully appreciate the beauty of the scenary and wildlife, which are there in abundance. I have no interest in living there, but the mountains rising from rolling plains dotted with herds of deer and antelope can be quite impressive. It makes me shake my head when I realize how often I took/take it for granted...but living there, or in Montana, which is for all practical purposes the same thing, makes you forget that there are people crammed into cities who have never seen such vast expanses of unmarred scenary.

Also, there were friends and family, laughing and gossip. All good things. I will miss that, because this was the last year we're going to Wyoming in the winter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snowboarding, a lesson in gravity

Note: NOT a picture of me!

Hey you guys, guess what? We did it! We went snowboarding - twice! Huzzah!

For those of you who have yet to hear my woesome tale of snowboarding woe, let me summarize. R and I used to snowboard (him with much more zeal, skill, and grace than I). Then we moved to SE Ohio, with its pathetic slushy winters and total lack of mountains. And we did not snowboard for 8 years. Eight sad, sad years.

So it was high on the list of things that must be done when we moved to northern Idaho. We have now gone two times. And it. was. awesome! I picked it up right away...I'm not saying that I'm good, but I am not the pathetic, scared snowboarder that I was worried I would be.

On our first outing, I fell frequently, but hopped right back up to practiced basic maneuverability. Yesterday, outing number two, I worked on improving my control and tried for a bit of grace. I also worked on not freaking out when I start going fast*. I was mildly successful. I fell a fair deal, sometimes spectacularly, but had some really good runs.

*This is really hard to do.

I knew I was going to be sore, but WOW. After outing one, I took a salt bath and then curled around the heating pad - for two days. My whole upper body was rigid and overworked from pushing myself up after my various crashes. Today I am feeling pretty good. Stiff, sore, and with the mother of all bruises on my knee, but mobile. I will partially attribute this to improvement in my skillz, but must admit that after outing one I started exercising everyday (once I could move), including using my 5 lb dumbbells and doing lots of stretching. As I'm sure many of you have experienced, once I get back into regular exercise I enjoy it.

Anyway, I'm excited to go back. I hope I continue to improve, and I sincerely hope that no one posts any of my accidental aerial cartwheels on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Dingleballs!

As a young adult, I begged and begged for a dog. My parents are not 'animal people' and almost every animal we ever had was because of me and my aforementioned begging. So when I finally wore them down and got a dog, all responsibility for the animal fell to me (though he was only my dog when he needed something, otherwise his moniker was family dog).

The dog was a German Shepard Keeshond mix. Thus, he had lots and lots of crazy thick hair. Which is why he sometimes had dingleballs. For those of you not 'in the know,' a dingleball is a little ball of crap that hangs around, rather than falling to the ground as gravity intended. And guess who in my household got to deal with dingleballs?? Come on, guess.

Now, grown up (and the owner of sleek dogs with very short hair) I realize that I continue to be the groomer of dingleballs in my family. If shit goes wrong, I'm the one everyone calls.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A reason for blogging

I'll come clean. I read other people's blogs. Usually women. Usually women with children. If you've been following my silly blog at all (a.k.a. stalking, but I'll forgive you), you know I'm incapable of not researching important things. And reading all about mothers with infants/toddlers/children falls into the researching category because I plan to be a mother someday and must prepare; way in advance. And obsessively.

Ahem. Anyway.

Many blogs have an info section which details other locations where the author's writing has appeared. These bloggers have contributed to mommy blog sites, major news sites and even wrote books. So many women are awesome sauce!

I, too, have been published in other locations. If I told you my name, you could google it* and discover that I have published many, many things. If, in a fit of maniacal boredom, you actually tried to read one of these publications your eyes would cross and would slip instantly into a coma.

*There is only one other person in the country with my name. No joke. I've considered emailing her, but what would I say?

Most of my publications are in academic, peer reviewed-journals and are therefore boring. (The very words "peer-reviewed journal" are boring!) Which is too bad, because some of my research is on really interesting topics. BUT academia has created a wall of formatting, jargon, and post-hoc tests to ward off the most interested readers without advanced degrees. Why yes, that does severely limit the usefulness of the research. Thank you for asking.

Therefore, more people are likely to read this anonymous blog than my published work. Disregarding how hard it is to get something published in a peer-reviewed journal, this is depressing because I am an applied researcher and my work could make a real, positive impact. I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with making you smile. So smile, damn it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Atheist to you too

I read a scholarly article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that demonstrates religious people distrust atheists - as opposed to finding them disgusting or unlikable. Basically, religious people are concerned that those without religion have nothing to bind them to good behavior. The logic goes something like this: If you don't think anyone is watching, who knows what you might do?!? The article goes on to show that people would prefer having any other minority member as President or marry their future, non-existent children**, rather than an atheist.

**Most psychology research uses college freshman as participants.

As an atheist, I didn't find this particularly shocking. Though it does rub me the wrong way, like the holiday sweater my mom always tried to get me to wear. After all, don't my charitable actions speak more strongly of my character because they are not tied to threats of hell or promises of heaven?

Additionally, I think this research sidesteps the heart of the matter. Religious people are threatened by disbelief. They are more accepting of differing belief, in the form of another religion, than no belief at all.

I think this is why most religious people I have encountered are very hostile toward atheists, claiming that atheists are opposed to anyone having religion*. Personally, I have never witnessed this. Most atheists I know share a live-and-let-live approach to religion. I'm sure their are vocal atheists hell bent (buh dum dum) on making their views heard - since they rarely are - or those who are just tired of having religious views pushed upon them - as they so often are. In fact, I have heard many atheists express regret that they do not believe in a deity; it would be nice to believe that someone cared, kept score, or even paid attention. Further, considering the often hostile reactions encountered when someone finds out your are an atheist, most atheists I know tend to try to avoid the issue all together.

*It's worth mentioning that people typically assume you believe what they believe, so often this hostility was not aimed at me but rather told to me about someone else.

I don't have a good conclusion to this entry. I could talk about how much volunteer work I have done and how I have been donating to food banks and homeless shelters since I moved out of my parent's house, and that shows that a moral compass is not a direct result of believing in a higher power, but I know that many will disregard this argument. I could point out that many people justify bigotry and hatred with their religious views, or try to discuss how very different personal beliefs are among members of the same congregation, but I don't think that would be effective either. So instead, I will simply say what I believe: trust and acceptance should be founded on actions rather than beliefs.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Technologically Appropriate

Well, I'm back. I was mostly away from the computer for a whole week - depending on your view of technology you either find this notion briskly refreshing or soul-crushingly oppressive. Personally, I spend so much of my time in front of the computer, or on the phone, or texting, that I love being able to ignore it all for a while. I'm the weirdo who intentionally leaves their phone at home when she goes out*.

*When with my husband, who will never be without phone. So, I have my emergency back up if necessary, while simultaneously ducking all responsibility.

For the first time in my life, I took part in separate holiday dinners with each of my parents. It was weird, and yet completely absent of yelling, so I give it a B+.

R and I put our new futon frame together** and spent many hours languishing in front of our Wii and surfing Netflix. Awesome! And also, how does this fit with my ignore technology platform? Eh, well, I guess I only ignore the technology that notifies me of work or babbles on-and-on-and-on...not that anyone I know does that. No. That was completely hypothetical.

**We got rid of the majority of our furniture when we moved across the country and haven't had anything resembling a couch for months. I thought we could wait until we bought our next house. After all, we were without a TV for 6 months following our past move across the country. However, I vastly underestimated the basic human need to lie on a couch.

We ate lots and lots of good food (good tasting, not necessarily good for you). The tightness of my jeans is a testament to my focus on hedonism and neglect of all forms of exercise. I blame the futon.

The highlight of our break was the winter parade. Which we found out about in a grocery store 15 minutes before it started. It ended with an amazing fireworks display that completely overshadowed the lighting of the giant tree that it's supposed to introduce. Now that we know about this annual post-thanksgiving celebration, we will definitely be prepared to take part in it again - by wearing warmer clothes and bringing hot chocolate.

Now, back to technology. [insert appropriate congenial sign off here]

Monday, November 21, 2011

Less Would Be More

I have established an absolutely-no-blogging-about-my-family rule; however, in light of current on-going events, let me toe the line a bit.

It is can be horrible very difficult to deal with a family member who suffers from a mental illness. Navigating the slippery slopes of family interaction can become a dark labyrinth full of booby traps and poisoned spikes  - that's built onto a slippery slope.

This year's holiday season can be captured thusly:
 proximity*(mental illness)squared = my own little circle of hell

I have a rabid monkey on my back and there is no 12 step program for this kind of bat shit crazy problem.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I will remember that the rest of my life is fantastic. I am grateful for what I have and will not let this burden diminish everything else. Also, I will drink.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you have food, and warmth, and love.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And...she's off

In a heroic example of masochism, I have taken on an independent contract for another grant. In all honesty, I only agreed to do one piece of the grant - the needs assessment piece (a.k.a. all the damn data). I consider this an act of heroism because I am doing it as a favor to my grant-writing mentor who keeps failing at retirement. They asked her to do this; she asked me; I asked my husband, who looked at me quizzically and said, "Do you think you'll have time?" I don't. But I said yes anyway. Thus, the masochism.

I do have ulterior motives. I am hoping this will launch a very small, independent contractor side business. Because, I am clearly insane. Also, I am trying to create a non-traditional career path, which will allow me to fulfill all the hopes and dreams I was spoon-fed throughout my childhood: actually using my education, balancing work and family, having aforementioned family, and maintaining some free time to write and paint. (insert reality here, along with much taunting.)

My Internet presence is likely to be sparse for a while. I'm going to pretend someone will notice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Creative Obscurity

Shhh. It's a secret, but I'll tell you if you promise not to tell anyone.* My secret is that I am writing a novel. I know, right? I am surely the ONLY person you know who is working on that particular pet project (read this last line with dripping sarcasm for optimal effect).

*She says to the entire freakin' Internet.

But, it's true. I am. In fact, I have the first draft completed and am currently editing/revising. I'm also toying with the idea of finding an agent. Writing it down, right here and now, is about as close as I have gotten to working toward getting an agent. However, it's my blog and I say that counts. 10 points for me. Ahem, moving on.

Anyway, it's a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book and as I am editing, I am finding myself pleasantly surprised that it is not completely horrible and I am not embarrassed to be reading it. However, few people know about this hobby of mine because it's kind of personal. Not the story. Nothing about that is personal. But rather the creating is personal. It seems very similar to showing my drawings and paintings to people. It's very revealing. I always find that it makes me edgy. I want people to see what I've done, and possibly even enjoy it. But at the same time, it feels a bit sleazy - like stripping. Also, at least one in every three people feel the need to critique your work, to you. "You could have...," or "Did you think of doing..." And it never fails. These people and their critiques make me feel ashamed, while conjuring an almost knee-jerk need to punch them in their noses.

So, when I am all done and (hopefully) published, I may share this book with you, dear mysterious Internet reader. Or I might not. I might leave it to you to find it on your own. Because it's personal. And, it would totally make my anonymous blog un-anonymous. And that would be horrible. That would cause my neurosis to slosh all over everything. I would have to delete 95% of the things I have written here on general principle.

Do any of you people, creative geniuses that you are, have similar feelings toward sharing your work? Or is that just my neurosis again?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A load of crap

Right now, my dogs are curled up next to me, attempting to convince me that they are not loathsome creatures. Neither is barking, jumping, or smearing poop into my carpet. It is this third, and most heinous crime, that requires them to flout their lovable qualities. Because, in the past three days, a poop-covered dog paw has twice breached the sanctity of my home. That's right: poop, in my house. Two times. The dogs seem to intuit the need to be adorable, lest they be destroyed.
See how innocent they appear? All lies. Stinky, stinky lies.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Work Related Fun

Grant writing is not a lot of fun. I know, right? Shocking! But there it is.

To make a boring task more exciting, the organization that I work most closely with (a.k.a. the agency that needs external help the most often, as in all the time) mixes thing up for me by do I put this delicately? Not, umm, well. They do not have their shit together. Yeah, that's about right.

Grant due Wednesday. Necessary details needed to complete grant, yeah, they might show up Tuesday night. And tra la la la la, la la la la. 'Tis awesome. This does not cause me any stress.

*shoves pencil in ear and smiles maniacally* Ahhh, my unmet need for control is crushing me! What about my not procrastinating life philosophy??! Is death!

Wrap up whiny rant from privileged, middle-class American...and...scene!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Riding The Wave

I am not a procrastinator. I know that angers all of you who are...and eventually you will get around to giving me the nasty look you considered throwing my way. When you remember. And have the time.

I admit, I dabbled in procrastination. There was some experimentation. It was more of a phase I went through in college. It lasted less than a month.

While frantically pounding out a paper in the single free hour between my last class of the day and my 8 hour shift at KMart, I swore to NEVER do this again. And, amazingly, I meant it. I was too busy to procrastinate. Also, I couldn't handle the stress.

Ever since that fateful day, I have employed a method I have come to think of as The Wave*. The first phase of The Wave involves total frantic immersion into a project/paper/task. Often, I can get 50%-75% of a project/paper/task completed in this first phase and in record time. After phase one, I take a step back and pat myself heartily on the back, aglow in productivity. Then I move on to phase two.

Phase two ranges, depending on the scope of the project/paper/task and other associated deadlines, from occasionally prodding the keyboard to completely ignoring the thing. In my defense, phase two usually involves thinking about how I am going to organize my next steps, wording or approaches I plan to use, and oftentimes making a list of things I'm going to do, eh, eventually.

The final phase of The Wave is the last push to complete the project. Usually phase three is completed right before the project deadline smashes into the metaphorical shore.

And why, you ask (or don't, whichever, because I'm answering anyway), am I bothering to share this strategy with you, dear Internet? Because I'm struggling to push myself into that third phase right now. I have two big projects due just a few days apart. And lo, phase one was glorious to behold. Then, within sight of the shore on both projects, the first crest of productivity diminished. Much futile keyboard jabbing later, and the motivation carried to me in the third phase has yet to arrive.

Perhaps, I thought, writing about this may help. And, if not, perhaps others will share their own motivational slumps with me. So, feel free to push my face below the ripples of your own momentum, you know, when you get around to it.

*No, The Wave is not procrastination in a less stereotypical format. Shame on you for suggesting such a thing. Phase two is simply the inevitable dip in, the, err, momentum, and its, um, organic nature. It's physics, dammit!

Friday, October 28, 2011

For Your Amusement

As I promised here, a picture of my newly blue hair. For the record, I was attempting not to squint, not trying out my new Clint Eastwood look. Now giggle quietly to yourself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mission Accomplished!!

You may recall my previous post where I discussed my detailed plan to dye my hair blue. Well, I did it. Hair = blue.

I am smug in my badassery. Behold! My head, it is a primary color! (insert swelling, theatrical music here)

Actually, you can't behold, because I need to charge my camera in order to take a picture. know...I got stuff to do. But, in order to accomplished my previously detailed plan, which included sending pictures of my blue hair to my parents (see Step 5), I will have to get on that. So, I promise to post a picture of my ridiculous self and my awesome blue hair soon. Maybe even today. Maybe.

Along a similar thread, I have not yet left the house with my blue hair. I'm going to have to do that. 'Tis scary.

Finally, I did follow through with all steps of previously detailed and aforementioned plan, including my appointment with my new OB. Yes, I have decided to keep him. (What can I say? He followed me home.*) He gave me the all clear; R and I are free to conceive our first child...when we get around to it, in a couple months...after I have gotten to go snowboarding. **

*I joke. He was great and answered lots of questions, but did not have the time available to follow me home.

**I've been living in Ohio for years and years (where there are NO mountains and very little snow) and I want to go snowboarding before I get all bloated and pukey. Also, I want to end my third trimester in cooler weather if at all possible. Is my freakish level of planning and need for control showing?

So, wait breathlessly until I return with pictures. Or leave me virtual tisk tisk's for dyeing my hair. Or post pictures of YOUR outrageous hair. Or check back later to what other silly things I've been up to. Or don't. Them be your options.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Not Getting Stuff Helped Me Have More

I see a lot of children today with what, in my humble opinion, is a lot of stuff. Expensive stuff like game systems, designer clothes, phones, and computers. Now, I don't have kids, and so I probably don't know what is normal these days. I understand that peer pressure - what other parents are getting their kids - carries a lot of weight. BUT, I frequently find myself shocked and appalled by what I see in the hands of children these days. Why does a first grader need a phone?? Not only does that strike me as ridiculously lavish but also dangerous (how closely can you monitor who your young child is talking to if they have a phone of their own?).

Let me share my father's strategy toward material possessions, as I believe it has had one of the most positive impacts on my life. First of all, growing up, I rarely asked for things. I learned early on that toys, games, candy, etc. were special and rare treats that would be given to me when an adult wanted to be extra nice. Asking could actually decrease the chances of getting something. Good behavior, such as going to a store and being quiet, patient, and keeping my hands off of stuff, was more likely to lead to a happy surprise.

Second, and this is the primary parental strategy that I'd like to share, after 13 years of age, I had to buy what I wanted with my own money. That I earned. From working.

Basically, the rules were outlined like this: if you want something special, get it for yourself. The family shampoo is Brand X. You want special shampoo? Buy it then. We'll pay X amount for pants. You want more expensive pants? You pay the difference.

Of course, at the time I thought this was grossly unfair and bordering on neglect (I was 13 after all). I wasn't even old enough to get a real job. Also, I lived in a teeny tiny town where work options were limited. But, my dad held firm, and I wanted better stuff, so I soon found a number of babysitting jobs to earn extra money. (Interesting side note: my little brother started earning money at the same age by picking up golf balls at the golf course and painting lockers in the summer at his high school.)

Importantly, I was in a lot of extra curriculars as a teen. That restricted the hours I had available to work, which ultimately forced me to prioritize my time. Also, it meant I really had to save up. I earned most of my money in the summer (babysitting gave way to nannying as I got older) and I learned to hoard my money. I also learned, at an early age, to weigh the pros and cons of a purchase against depleting my meager savings or giving up one of my preciously few open weekend nights to babysit.

The older I got, the larger my contributions were expected to be. For instance, I could have driven the family vehicle* but I would have had to pay for my part of the insurance. I was never given a car of my own. At age 18, my parents co-signed a loan for me. I even paid for my own college, and that was a big motivator to get scholarships! No freebees.

*It was a minivan. There was little desire and even less motivation to work for the privilege of puttering around town in that beast.

Sometimes I think my parents were a bit too tough. an adult, I have impeccable credit. I was 22 when I bought my first house. R and I own our vehicles outright; we have a 2000 Subaru, which we paid off before we bought aforementioned house, and have decided it's not worth another car payment just to get a newer vehicle.

Let me share a much-abbreviated comparison: a good friend of mine got whatever she wanted as a child. As an adult, she has an advanced degree. She owes over $100,000 in student loans. She has a nice car and a huge payment she can barely make. She has great clothes and tons of credit card debt. I doubt she will ever own a home, her credit it awful. I realize that this is a sampling of one person's experiences, but I maintain that you can find many other examples.

Though I think that we will probably give our future children more than my parents gave me, I will definitely insist that we employ a similar strategy. I strongly feel like it helped mold me into a better prepared adult.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feeling Blue

Okay, bear with me on this one. I am planning on dyeing my hair. Blue.

What the what?! Did you just roll your eyes?! I'm pretty sure you did.

I totally get it. Why would an adult dye their hair blue? In fact, you could very well stretch that line of reasoning out to why would anyone dye their hair blue?

Well, because. Because I work at home and no one from my work will ever see me and thus, my professionalism will remain intact. (Unless the blue dye does something to my brain and my ability to type emails. I guess that could happen. But I'll risk it.) Because I don't really know anyone in this new town yet and I'm mostly okay being judged by people I don't know. Because my hair is super short and will grow out in a few months. And the real reason: because I have never done anything outrageous like this before, I can now (see aforementioned becauses), and I want to do this before I have kids and am all grown up and stuff.

Also, I sprayed my hair blue once for Halloween, and wore a blue wig on another Halloween, and I actually looked really good with blue hair. And, my husband is salivating over this idea. Seriously, he won't stop mentioning it. I'm pretending not to notice.

Here's the plan:
1) BEFORE dying my hair, meet my future OB for an interview and pre-conception check up. I have already scheduled the appointment!  Squee!!
After spending a lot of time looking up the facts/bios/on-line ratings of the OBs my insurance will accept, and then talking to a couple girlfriends who reminded me that I'm not locked in for life if I don't like a particular doctor, I have (probably) chosen my OB. Of course, he will have to pass The Test. As in, "reassure me your not one of those knife wielding weirdos who wants to push the c-section/episiotomy envelope," and you know, that he listens and shit. I've researched his educational and work background but Idaho doesn't seem to track or make public surgical procedure rates by doctor. So I have to ask. Because I will be so seriously pissed off if I have to suffer through major surgery without a damn good reason!
Anywho, I don't want the OB's initial impression of me to be tainted by blue hair.
2) Order dye. Haha. I has tricked you, because I has already done this! (Yes, I researched this too and have found the exactly right dye...I hope.) It will actually be arriving next week. Too bad I couldn't get an earlier OB appointment, because I will now have to resist the dye for approximately 1 week. And my husband, who, I'm guessing, will have a harder time with this delay.
3) Drum roll please...dye hair. Holy shit. This is going to be scary!!
4) Stare into mirror obsessively.
5) Take a gazillion pictures and email them to my parents. I have already told them (Jokingly) that I might just do something crazy like dye my hair blue if I didn't have to worry about finding a job when we moved here. And, since I got to keep my job...well, 'nough said. I'm sure they are going to be so proud.

Here are the anticipated consequences: everyone is going to think I am a teenager, everyone already thinks I'm way younger than I am and this won't help get me served alcohol I am sure; deal with the 1,000 nasty things my mother will have to say about this; awkward encounters with the few people I do know here; SUPER awkward encounters with my conservative in-laws at Christmas. I think I can live with that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I like (and maybe don't like) my work

In case you do not obsessively read all my bloggy posts (and if you do, my condolences, and also Go Get Yourself A Hobby, sheesh!), I am a social psychologist and research associate. I'll now hold my breath in anticipation of blank stares. It's okay. No one knows what I do. Sometimes my boss does not know what I do. Just that it's all researchy and stuff.

So, briefly (I swear), here's a synopsis of what I do to earn my $: I research, write about, and analyze topics (mostly) related to public health. Also, I write grants.

**What I really do, in geek-eeze: I use qualitative and quantitative techniques to determine meaningful data trends and identify reasonable organizational changes based on these findings and the relevant literature. Also, I write grants.**

Now that absolutely no one is paying attention anymore, let me get to my point. One of the projects I am currently working on is to determine ways to increase breastfeeding in rural Appalachia. Part of this project requires me to do an extensive literature review on breastfeeding. Now, this is pretty cool (the favorite part of my job is learning about different topics, because I <3 nerdy things) and very timely, as I plan on breastfeeding the future offspring I hope to soon conceive. However, it is also very not cool. Not cool because I keep having to read about damaged nipples!
Nipple trauma, nipple lacerations, and nipple damage, OH MY! Also, other words that keep popping up: engorgement, infection, swelling, biting, and pain.

For some reason, this is throwing a shadow over my rosy future-mommy glow. For the life of me, I can't think why. 

The bright side is that I have learned a lot about how to increase the likelihood of successful breastfeeding. And I got paid to learn about it! (insert happy dance here). This is really great and helps fill in my knowledge gaps. Though I have seen both relatives and friends breastfeed, I never really thought to ask them procedural details. Now I know AND avoided lots of awkward conversations. Huzzah.

Also, this is infinitely better than learning about the early warning signs of diabetes (my bladder is the size of a doll's tea cup and every time I read "frequent urination" I hyperventilated a tiny bit), or the likelihood of developing some sort of cancer. So, yay for personally-relevant, non-life threatening topics!

That said, I am now going back to data coding...which is definitely a part of my job that I could do without. Seriously, it is just as exciting as it sounds. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Community Garden

R and I volunteered at the Community Garden this past weekend. We helped clean up and started "putting the garden to bed for winter." This largely involved ripping everything out of the raised beds and a lot of raking.

It was enjoyable. Working with your hands on a beautiful autumn morning is amazingly refreshing. But it was also hard, not the manual labor but because we had to rip up plants that were still alive. Mainly sunflowers. I LOVE me some sunflower, and I was all Oh NO! But it had to be done. Soon the frost will come and the plants will die anyway.

So, under the judgmental stares of many little birds, we tore up all the sunflowers and nasturtiums. We raked up the remaining vines, now mostly withered, and piled up the remaining carrots.

Oh, and I smuggled a lot of sunflower blossoms home with me. They are sitting in a ceramic cup on the rattan truck to my right at this very moment.  I also gave one to a four year old girl next door. She smiled and thanked me, and then proceeded to rip off all the petals. Oh well. I guess we each appreciate beauty in our own way.

Anyway, it was really nice to connect with some people from the community. I'm thrilled that we are finally in a place we plan on staying long term. Volunteer efforts at our previous location were sparse. Partly because we were leaving and I didn't want people to come to rely on me (cause I'm obviously irreplaceable and they would weep at my departure) and partly because ehh. It just didn't seem as meaningful when all my hopes and dreams revolved around leaving said community.

We may or may not be volunteering this weekend. Either way, I have plans to do so next spring. These people don't know it yet, but they will be teaching me how to keep plants alive. Poor people.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In which I go a' ramblin'

A blog in which I don't know what to talk about. Which is part of the reason that I haven't posted anything in so long. And I was really busy with work. And also, the family of which I dare not speak. That makes it sound more ominous and, honestly, more interesting than it actually is. So, a brief synopsis (cause I know y'all are just dying to know*): my parents split up and divorced this past year(ish). Which is sad, and weird (you know because I'm 30, and I was one of the few people my age whose parents were still together), and frustrating, etc. etc.

*That was sarcasm. And P.S., this is the first, and hopefully only, time I use y'all. Not being southern, I feel like a fraud using it, but the northwest simply doesn't have any homey idioms that I can toss out.

So, anyway, stuff and things not related to divorce. Hmmmm. Well, gmail keeps asking for my phone number. I am greatly annoyed by this, since I use their service for free and then they want something from me to supposedly increase the usefulness of their free product. The nerve. I hope they are ashamed of themselves.

In other news, I have been reading about pregnancy and things related to pregnancy, since the calendar is creeping closer and closer to The Baby Making time. Which is also weird (the baby making thing, not time creeping forward; I've gotten used to that one). I have spent so much time trying NOT to get pregnant, that the idea of doing it intentionally still rocks my little world.

Tangentially related to that, I have finally gotten off my lazy rump and started really exercising again. I am pretty active in the summer - hiking, swimming, and so on - but that activity is usually paired with regular exercise at home. Not so much this year. I think that part of it concerns our impending attempts at The Baby Making. Because, who cares if my thighs are a little more plump than usual? I'm planning on throwing in the towel on looking hot, cause I'm going to be the size and shape of a big ol' pumpkin. However, I have firmly removed my head from between my plumping butt cheeks and started getting back on the elliptical, if only so I can be in really good shape before being pregnant. This is, of course, so the baby will be healthy, I won't be on bed rest**, and the real reason: maybe it will then be easier for me to loose the bloated pumpkin after the arrival of aforementioned baby.

**Bed rest!! AHHHH! I would lose my mind and I swear, I will take as many people with me as possible.

Okay, well, rambling accomplished. I feel like I have successfully blogged about nothing, which should not surprise you in anyway. I mean, c'mon, I did warn you right up front. That's right, go back and read the beginning. You were warned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Things are a changin'

Erring on the side of way too much disclosure, I thought we should talk about hormones. Mine, to be specific. Because things are not what they once were. I have gone off The Pill.

Now, calm down. I'm not trying to get pregnant yet. This is one of The Steps that shall be taken in advance of The Baby Making. It is suggested (I don't know by who, but I have it on good authority that The Authority says so) that women go off The Pill a few months before trying to conceive. Interesting side note, I asked my GYN about it last year, and he was all ehh, whatever. But, I've decided that I needed to get back in sync with my own body sans artificial hormones. So, pills are no more.

And I have learned something. You see, I thought I knew my body. I thought we had a good line of communication open. But, it turns out that I really had a relationship with Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, who was just pretending to be me. The mask was ripped away when my birth control ran out and low and behold, AN IMPOSTOR! An identical twin sashaying around in my own body. It's just like a soap opera plot. Except [fingers crossed] no one is going to be falling into or out of a coma.

We had a good thing going and now that's gone. I'm left having awkward conversations with my own body, just trying to keep those uncomfortable silences to a minimum. I have been on The Pill for ten straight years, and its like I'm embarking on a whole new relationship with someone I can't break up with.

Some of the differences are so subtle that I am can't be sure that I haven't invented them. Things like food cravings (I'm not that into chocolate...what???) and appetite. Then there are the more obvious changes, like acne. WTF?! Not the teenage acne that I finally beat in my late 20s. Now I have little sprinkles of acne that arrive and disappear in a matter of hours. That's right, hours. If I wake up with clear skin, I have white heads by noon and vice versa.

Changes aside, I really hope this new relationship works out. I've got my fingers crossed that we can become BFFs, just in time for me to get pregnant and mess it all up. Doh! Damn you hormones!! It's starting to look like I'll never win this one.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Preparing for the winter

R and I have been spending a lot of our free time preparing to feed ourselves in the coming months. And yes, I do know that grocery stores are open all year long. In an attempt to stay as local as possible and get the highest nutrition content available, we are buying excess food at the farmer's markets and getting it ready to eat in the months ahead.

The primary weapon in our arsenal is a vacuum sealer. We clean, chop, and blanch vegetables and then seal portions and freeze them. We have the whole process down and together can now quickly get through several batches of veggies in a couple of hours. I am happily chortling to myself about how easy it will be to cook with these vegetables this winter; all I will have to do is thaw them out and dump them into whatever recipe I'm preparing. We also have vacuum seal steamer bags that work just like the expensive bags you get in the freezer section at your local grocery store. We'll be able to pop these straight into the microwave and have delicious, farmer's market veggies in January! I'm totally geeking out about it. Note: vacuum sealers and bags can be bought at many major retailors. We get our vacuum sealer bags from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

We are not winter food prep virgins. We found ourselves in the metaphorical back seat several summers ago with some tasty green beans. We are really going all out this year and have increased both quantity and diversity (I'll forgo a metaphorical representation of that one!).

As I've mentioned before, we are hoping to get pregnant in the next few months - me with the pregnant, him with the helping. Anyway, in true geek-tastic fashion, we want to make sure that I reduce pesticides from my diet as much as possible during and directly before the first trimester. Thus, the squirrel-like hoarding of food.

With fruit, we primarily use the dehydrator. Though we have frozen some berries and pie filling. Mmmm, rhubarb strawberry pie in February. I can already imagine it: me, inside slowly savoring the zingy flavor, staring out the window at the snow covered wonderland. Extra delicious.

Two books should be credited with amping up our commitment to supporting and eating local: The Omnivore's Dilemma and Plenty*. And, of course, our soul-sucking hippie** liberal commitment to our local economy and sticking-it-to-the-man avoidance of corporations. Gah! What's the world coming to?

*If you haven't yet, read these books. Reeeeeaaaaaadddd them.
**I still take showers. I love showers. I swear on all that is science.

Anyway, though it is a major time sink right now, and we spend all this time prepping food to only end up with nothing to eat for a meal that day, it has been a lot of fun. We both enjoy the farmer's markets immensely. We spend a lot of time working toward a shared goal. And it's a great way to constructively spend time together.

Just to amp up our geekiness, we are planning on taking an inventory of our food supply. We will also be making a way to track our inventory so we know what we have left once we start getting into the freezer this winter. Ahh, our geeky love will flourish in the light of our well organized food preparatory skills.

Friday, September 23, 2011

[insert relevant title here]

Hello Internet. How are you? Mmmm. Really? That rash might clear up with some cortisone. Let me know if that works.

Anyway, stuff and things are happening on my end too. Yesterday, after work, I got to visit a bunch of my family. My niece from Portland, her family (including baby/toddler adorableness), and my nephew from Montana were up visiting my sister. So I got to see all my sister's kids, together, for the first time in years and years. That was fun.

Today some of very good friends are on their way to visit (with their baby!). Since we have rented a tiny house here in Coeur d'Alene while we look for our super-awesome permanent home, we have no place for guests to stay. Thus, we have rented a house for 2 nights so we can all stay together!

It should be a fantabulous time! I will let you know if anything dramatic, exciting, or embarrassing happens. In the meantime, I am off to scrub my house. Even though we won't be spending any time at our house. Because I am a freak and people seeing my house when it is not spotless makes me break out in hives and my hair fall out in clumps.*

*This is a rampant exaggeration. I just don't like it.

Until next time, get your butt outside and enjoy the fall weather - because it's officially fall now! Crazy time passing silliness is definitely afoot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Things

I was "tagged" on Facebook forever ago. You know, one of those write 25 random things about you. Well, months later, I wrote up a list and since I don't have anything else to say, here it is:

1.     Due to my parents’ previous marriages and the spaced out nature of their cumulative children, I have been the youngest, an only child, the oldest, and the middle child. Take THAT birth order effects! (A brief explanation to keep you from either obsessing over how this is possible, calling me a liar, or both: my oldest sister lived with us until I was four, I lived alone with my parents until my brother was born when I was 7 1/2, I was the oldest until we all got old enough to be around each other again, which put me in my current position as middle child.)

2.     I had tons of freckles as a kid, and in my head I still ‘see’ myself as having them.

3.     I have a recessive genetic mutation that causes my molars to have an extra root.

4.     I prefer temperate mountains to tropical locations.

5.     I spend a lot of time memorizing visual details: shadows, colors, proportions, scenes, etc. for paintings I rarely get around to creating.

6.     Even numbers are superior to odd numbers, or so I believe. Note: visual compositions are the obvious exception to this rule.

7.     My eyes were dark brown my whole life. Now they are shifting to hazel and getting lighter all the time. Go figure.

8.     I have never locked my keys inside my house, car, office, etc. because I compulsively check that I have them with me before locking anything.

9.     I have never had a nosebleed.

10.   Drowning is the most common way that I have almost died, followed closely by bicycle accidents.

11.   In my humble opinion, documentaries are awesome!

12.   My husband and I speak to one another in a code composed primarily of South Park phrases.

13.   Four is my favorite number simply because that’s what I told someone the first time I was asked.

14.   I am rarely in my own dreams. When “I” am in them, “I” am usually someone else.

15.   When I was a kid, a lion sprayed me through the bars of his cage. Not cool, lion, not cool.

16.   I have never had a moving violation.

17.   I am not that kind of doctor or that kind of psychologist.

18.   My most annoying behaviors emerge in the classroom. I blame it on operant conditioning.

19.   My knowledge of pop culture might fill a thimble. Maybe.

20.   Aliens are real. I 100% believe this. Just look into the sky at night and consider the odds.

21.   My books are always organized by genre, theme, and author.

22.   Cutting off all my waist length my hair was the most liberating and scariest thing I’ve ever done.

23.   I am probably shorter than you. Again, consider the odds.

24.   I research lots of random things in my spare time. For example, I have extensive knowledge of most medium to large dog breeds.

25.   I last had cable television when I lived with my parents in high school - over 12 years ago.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Geeze, enough about that dog!

I know my last post was about my dog. I KNOW you don't want to hear about it. That's why I haven't posted anything new, but now you're stuck with it. You see, I have once again been bitchslapped by Irony.

Previously, I wrote about loving beer, and then was put on a super-sucky diet of total suckiness by a doctor. THEN, I write about dobermans and Odin gets all cut up. I get it Irony. Sorry if I stole your boyfriend or showed up at that party wearing the same dress as you, or whatever it was. I promise not to do it again. Pinkie swear.

Now, come with me on the magical journey of aging pets. {Swishhhh}*

*You know, that sound effect that represents transitions in movies and sitcoms. Come on people, keep up.

Odin is 7. And, in big dog** years, that's like a gazillion or so. He doesn't know this of course. He runs, plays, and bounces around the house and yard, same as always. But he is starting to get a tiny bit of gray on his muzzle and he has developed fatty tumors on his tummy - my previous vet affectionately called them old dog lumps (when I say affectionately, I mean my knee-jerk reaction was to slap him across his face and tell him to watch his mouth because HE was the old one).

**aka: "Holy sh*t your dog is HUGE;" "Wow, that's a big dog;" and my personal favorite, "Are dobermans supposed to be that big?"

Odin became lumpy overnight. I had starting worrying about how quickly the tumors were growing. But, we were moving, then we were getting settled, and last week I kind of panicked because I hadn't got the tumors looked at (or even found a new vet), which was making me get that sick-to-my-stomach-ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away feeling.

So, I found the dogs a vet, and Odin went to get checked out on Tuesday. The vet had me point out the two tumors that were growing the fastest, aspirated them, and called me later that day to tell me that one of these tumors was bad, as in a mass cell tumor. She wanted to remove it as soon as possible. And, moments later, an appointment had been booked for Odin to go into surgery the next day. Gulp!

The vet had warned me that, to be sure they got it all, she would have to take a "good chunk" around the tumor, in addition to the tumor itself. The growth was maybe 3/4th of an inch. I was expecting a 3-4 inch incision, so I was a bit freaked to see the 7-8 inch row of stitches bulging from my poor puppy's side.

Ridiculous details later, and Odin is fine. He had a small growth on his lower eyelid removed while he was out, so he could see better. And a big chunk of his left side was taken out. He was very whiny, and remains very clingy, but is doing great. Though he smells. And the details include gross things that I will spare you from; things that are best described by words like 'seep' and 'exude.'

You don't know it***, but the vet just called me while I was typing this - to check on Odin. That's nice of her. He really seems to like her. At least, he liked her during the first appointment where she fed him cookies and poked him with needles. He might like her less now.

***An aside: Now you know it.

Anyway: dogs, dogs, dogs. I swear, I'm not quite that focused on them. Though now I'm feeling like Karma is getting left out. I love her just as much, and she has even better surgery stories, and more of them, and thinking of how much money I have thrown down on these dogs makes me feel a bit foolish and a quite a bit more defensive. And, obviously, it is hell on my grammar and sentence structure. So, that's that. I have been working on grant applications, forcing drugs and t-shirts on my doberman (the t-shirt keeps the incision site clean and lick-free), and forcing my doberman-rottweiler to leave the other dog alone, and trying to air out the house as much as possible because healing is a smelly business.

In closing: You win Irony! I will never do it again! Just, please, tell me what IT is!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Doberman People

AKA Ridiculous Oversimplification for Blogging Purposes

There are two types of people in the world. Those who are terrified of Doberman Pinschers* and those who LOVE them. Unfortunately, both camps can be annoying.

*Fun Fact: Pinscher is the German word for terrier. The United States is one of the few places in the world that refers to this breed as the Doberman Pinscher, because Dobermans are not true Pinschers. Also, that means your Miniature Pinscher is a miniature terrier - NOT a Doberman, thank you very much.

People who are afraid:
BUT, first, an aside. Odin is a red Dobie. He's also an enormous 105 lbs. and we didn't crop his ears. So, he looks like this:
That means that many people don't recognize that Odin is a Doberman. Among those who don't recognize that he's a Doberman are people in the Afraid Camp.

On several occasions, some random person will walk over, start petting Odin, and we will have the following conversation.
Person: Oh, he's so sweet! And SO well behaved! What a big dog. Is he a Great Dane? (Seriously, people ask me that all the time. I don't get it either.)
Me: No, he's a Doberman.
Person: Snatches back hand and backs away. OhmyGod, I'm terrified of Dobermans!

I have also been forced to hear various stupid, ill-informed stories about the breed that I own and researched extensively (Because I research everything and a dog is big responsibility and you have to be sure that it is exactly what you wanted, and what? You're telling me you don't research every commitment you make?). These people are convinced they are right and are doing you a great service by telling you a bunch of bullpucky. I have gotten much better about not rolling my eyes, though it's always hard to resist shaking them.

Made up facts by random people: 1) A Doberman's brain never stops growing and it gets too big for it's skull and the dog goes CRAZY and destroys Manhattan; 2) Doberman are like sharks, and they grow rows and rows of teeth; 3) You can never trust a Doberman and if you make it mad it will smother you with a pillow in your sleep; 4) Once you have a Doberman you can never invite people over to your house, EVER; 5) It's so smart it will resent you training it and will attack you.

People in the Afraid Camp like telling me these stories while eying Odin suspiciously; all the while Odin leans up against my leg and yawns loudly.

People who LOVE the breed:
At least these people don't tell me crazy made up facts that they heard from this one guy who had it on good authority from this other guy that was someone's sister's cousin from high school.

Instead, this camp is made up of Bad Asses and Gushers.

Bad Asses:
They are all about the TV stereotype of the Dobie. You know, the stereotype perpetuated by Hollywood because these dogs are so easy to train, intelligent, and athletic. Yes, you can get a Dobie to jump over a car and chase some guy off set. And the dog is going to look fast, and sleek, and those teeth are going to gleam! What the camera isn't showing is that the Dobie catches the guy by running in front of him, play bowing, and then licking his face.

The Bad Assess ignore the fact that Dobermans have been bred, at least in the last 40 years, to be pets. These people want the ears cropped so the dog looks scary. They may even be the assholes that taunt their dog or train it to be overprotective, making it legitimately dangerous. These are the people who loudly tell me how I shouldn't have neutered my dog.

These people give Dobies a bad name. If you see one of these guys, kick 'em in the shins!

Gushers are the true aficionados of the breed. They get it. They know that Dobies are the only dog bred to be a personal guard dog. They know that this makes the breed awesome! That Dobies want to be with you always! That they are wicked smart, and if properly socialized, they are only a danger to knife-wielding psychos. Yes, the Gushers know that!

Which is awesome, if you want to hear every detail of every Dobie they've ever owned, saw, or heard about. You see, Dobies are a lot like having a toddler. Forever. They are smart. Smart enough to get bored. You have to teach them appropriate behavior, they are going to test you and you have to be firm, and then they are going to test you again just to be sure. They want to be with you. Always. With you in the bathroom, with you in the car, with you when you're doing the dishes, with you with you with you!! They want to be entertained. They really want to communicate, but they don't have a larynx and that is super frustrating. So they moan, groan, sigh, whine, woof, sneeze, yawn, whine, grumble, whine, and make this ywnwownmmnn noise.

Basically, a Dobie is almost a person, and the Gushers love them for that. They want to communicate that love to another Dobie lover. They want to tell you all the funny stories. They want to share their hatred of the Bad Asses. They NEED to TALK and TALK. Even if you are out on a walk and your dog is beginning to wind its leash around you in a desperate bid to get your attention. And the Gusher sees this and starts in, all "MY dog does that too!"

Gushers are the people that stop us mid-walk and talk for 15 minutes about all the stuff we already know. It's like, "enough about dobermans already!"

So, anyway, I wanted to share this really funny story about Odin. You see, he used to have this blanket that he carried around like Linus from The Peanuts...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The awesome weekend of awesome

Incredibly sucky diet of total suckiness aside, this past weekend was awesome.* Two of our friends came up to visit us (OK, really his mom lives here too, but we were an integral part of the visiting). We went out on a pontoon boat two days in a row. We were pulled behind the boat on various plastic floaty devices. I got to dive off the boat to my hearts content. Important side note: diving is not allowed pretty much anywhere. Not even on the floating dock, which, c'mon! It's all floaty and shit!

The only negative part about swimming in the middle of the lake is my ridiculous fear of fish. I don't want them to touch me. I am totally, irrationally panicked by the idea that some humongous fish might rub against me. Also, I was traumatized by a catfish as a kid (not a joke), and do you have any idea how big fish can get?!? We were near the edge of the lake, and the water was 80+ feet deep = AHHH scary fish!

*Awesomeness was previously noted in the aforementioned title.

R and I also re-re-celebrated the sale of our house in Ohio. Given the current economy, one can't take these things for granted! The sale closed on Friday. We got our check on Tuesday, and since we both had the day off, we went to Spokane and visited a couple parks. I was all "I remember this," and "We went here a lot when I was a kid," at nausea. But R's a good sport.

Then we went to a nice restaurant, where we ate on the deck overlooking the lake and mountains. Much seafood and wine were consumed (I'd been feeling fine for days, so don't you dare mention the doctor-prescribed diet). It was fantabulous.

The only downer was some family-related craziness. But, I have decided not to bring my family up in this here blog because: 1) Some things are too real, dawg; 2) Someday they might read it; 3) I'm hoping to be able to block out the majority of my memories of a particular family member, rendering my life much happier and myself much less neurotic. Wish me luck on that one.

So, family craziness aside, this weekend was awesome. We were away from the house quite a bit, and so there are dog-related repercussions. Odin - who's my baby and I love him so much he LOVES his mamma - is extra-super clingy and whiny. He's kinda driving me a wee bit crazy, but I'll let it slide. It's a small price to pay for having such a good time.

Friday, September 2, 2011


It's priceless. For the last few days, I have had abdominal pain. The day after posting about my love for beer, I have been put on a restrictive diet = no beer!

Let me back up. The abdominal pain was weird, and, most importantly, not going away. It was centered in my lower right side; I googled symptoms (there were others, but I won't be gross) and Appendicitis came up! And then all these dire warnings about waiting, and ruptures, and infection led me to flee to Urgent Care. Interesting side note: I waited overnight, possibly risking ruptures, because R's insurance didn't kick in until the beginning of the month. Oh, and no we haven't gotten a card from the insurance company, and no they can't give us our individual number. So, yes, we will happily fight it out with the insurance company post-hoc, thank you sir, and may I have another!

Anyway, a urinary test, blood test, and much abdominal poking later and the Dr. announces that I have the flu. (P.S., I have had no flu-like symptoms and am not a moron or a hypochondriac) It's a rare strain of a gastrointestinal virus and the symptoms are primarily pain - localized, crampy, stabby pain. Yay!

Because it's a virus, there is nothing you can do to get rid of it. To ease the symptoms (PAIN), I have been put on a super-restrictive diet of total suckiness. Things I cannot eat: spices, vegetables, meat, cheese, chocolate, most fruit, caffeine, alcohol, things that taste good, anything life sustaining. I'm allowed to eat plain noodles, broth, unbuttered toast, bananas, jello (ew), popsicles, mashed potatoes, rice, tea, chicken noodle soup (I bought Chicken and Rice soup = stickin' it to the man!), and Gatorade. Everyone probably stopped reading because the list of foods I can eat are BORING!

So, for several days I will be quietly salivating to myself. And, of course, it's a holiday weekend. And we have friends coming. And I will be eating my dry piece of toast and dying quietly inside.

On the bright side: it isn't appendicitis and I don't have to have surgery! Oh, and I'm sure to lose weight because I can't eat a damn thing.

Have a beer for me! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This girl drinks beer

Well, Internet, what would you like to discuss today? Mmmm, no, I don't think that would be very appropriate. Let's stick with something safe - I know, how about beer?!

I love beer. Which still seems a bit odd, because there was a time that a proffered beer led me to make little gaggy noises. But R, my husband, coaxed me into trying wheat beer (the PG13 of beer) and slowly I began trying other kinds of tasty fermented malts and hops. It was touch and go for a while, and I mainly stuck with mixed drinks.

**Note: In case you haven't noticed, girls rarely drink beer. I think this is sexist. Women, drop the martini and grab yourself a bottle of fermented malt this minute...maybe then beer commercials will start showing slovenly women getting themselves a piece of half-naked hunky man-flesh**

But a week in Germany and beer and I cultivated quite a love affair. Oh beer, how I love thee, let me count the ways: amber ale, lager, dunkel, stout, IPA, Belgian ales, golden ales, seasonals...the list goes on and on. My tastes have surpassed R's. And, overtime, I have turned into a veritable beer snob (my coffee snobbery should have foreshadowed how this would turn out; I've owned my own espresso machine since I was 18! The only cheap coffee I ever drink is the first cup of hotel coffee, which gets me to the nearest gourmet coffee bar.). Important side note: good does not necessarily mean expensive! (But a lot of time it does.) 

R and I always have an eye out for microbreweries. Where we go out to eat often revolves around beer selection. There is usually a couple different selections of beer in our fridge - often purchased with consideration for what we will be eating over the next few days.

Before the shock and judgmental mutterings commence, let me point out that in an average day I have a single beer - usually with dinner. Admittedly, this average tends to go up in the summer because: summer. Obviously.

There are a couple of reasons that drinking and beer has been on my mind lately. 1) There is an Irish Pub a mere 4 blocks from our newly rented house! Score!! 2) Many of my friends from high school [now known as Facebook Friends] are religious and Do Not Drink Ever and the majority of the pictures I post on Facebook have beer in them. Beer sitting innocently at the table, in every single person's hand at BBQs, raised in toasts, etc....I'm fairly certain that many of my high school friends are praying for my soul right now. 3) I vaguely recall that you aren't supposed to drink when you are pregnant and, if things work out, I will be in that very situation in just a few months. Oh WOE! Please, beer, don't forget me. 4) There is a live music festival coming up this week and I just read online that there will be several "adult beverage stations." And that got me thinking...I wonder what kind of beer they'll have there?

Monday, August 29, 2011

So...I have a blog

I feel silly. I go back and forth: Am I writing for myself? Will anyone actually read this? What if they do read this? I still haven't figured out who "they" are. I'm guessing it's you.

Anyway, I decided it was appropriate to share some background info. Of course, that brings me back to all those questions above. To circumvent that problem, here are some facts about me, a la stream of conciousness.

I am short. I just made it to 5'0". Not exactly a claim to fame.

I have a Ph.D. in Experimental Social Psychology. No, not that kind of psychology. The kind where you do research and statistics (currently, I specialize in public health research and grant writing) and don't give a crap about anyone's mother.

I used to live in Northern Idaho. I now do again (yay for me!) after having lived in central Montana, a brief stint in Wyoming, and way too many years in southeastern Ohio.

I have been married for 8 years, and since I'm 30, that's a long time. My husband is amazing, but I try not to brag about him too much.

This is a time in my life where lots of transitions will be happening: we just sold our house in Ohio - sale is official in 4 days!, we will be buying a new house **fingers crossed**, we will be starting a family (Or we hope we will. And then all my family can stop with that "You're going to be so OLD when you finally have kids" thing that I've been hearing so much about). So, exciting times! So exciting that I just threw grammar and sentence structure straight out the window!

OK, enough self-disclosure for one day. [insert drammatic signing off gesture here]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some General Info

AKA I can't believe I'm blogging.

We have recently managed to move to the exact location we've been dreaming of moving to for years. By we, I mean my husband and our two giant dogs, Karma and Odin.

My husband managed to beat out 79 people and land his dream job! (Yay! My husband is awesome!) I managed to keep my job and am now working from home. It's this last bit that has led to random, I can't believe I'm doing this, blogging.

I'm home a lot, and working a lot. But, there is the need for social outreach that Facebook alone cannot provide. Or, I just think I'm very clever and want a forum where I can blather on and on - even if it's only to myself. Kind of like a child's tea party, except on the internet instead of in my head. goes. Momentous occasion and blah blah blah. Cheers!