No Holiday Party For You

We didn't go to the holiday party this year. I'm still not sure how I feel about this although I guess I'm okay with it considering I gave up my campaign to go on Wednesday.  I don't even know why I was still trying to get MJ to go at that time when I never had any idea what I was going to wear in the first place.

We ALWAYS go to the company holiday party. Mine is an employee only lunch during the day for my department but his is a THING and we haven't missed one since he started working there.  That's four years of holiday parties and I have documentation for all of them; 2010 here, 2011 here, 2013 here, and 2014 here.  You know you've been blogging a long time when you have to use the search function on your blog to find your own posts.  Normally the party is on a Saturday, there is a cheesy band and we get a hotel room for the night wherever they are having it, but this year they decided to make it a happy hour thing. Two years ago they moved it to January which actually worked out really well and this year they moved it back to December.  On a Friday.  At 4:30pm.  Ugh.  I find it difficult to pass up free drinks and a meal but there is something about a holiday party in December that feels really exhausting when all I can think about is making it to Christmas break.  It finally got cold, it was supposed to rain, I'd have had to get off work early and I figured I wouldn't feel like bothering anyway so I said, "If you don't want to go, we aren't going.  I'm over it."

That Friday we ate carne asada tacos for dinner out of paper containers, drank Bud Light and watched a movie.  The weird thing is that he can't even tell me why he didn't want to go.  He was actually on the committee this year and all he could say is that he wasn't feeling it.
What he was feeling, the second he heard about it was a co-worker's birthday party.  For the last two years this guy has thrown a big birthday bash that we couldn't go to but he had no intention of missing it this year.  And when I think about it, by the time I was one glass of wine in I thought it was a holiday party.  It was downtown so we had to pay for parking just like usual.  There was an open bar on the balcony.  There was a nice little spread of finger foods and snacks.  I'm still wondering what he did with all the furniture.  All of it was removed so there was plenty of space for dancing.  There was a nice sound system playing hit songs from this decade.  I even got to see a ton of music videos on the synchronized TV that I would have never otherwise seen since I still haven't figured out where all the music videos have gone.  That alone was so entertaining I spent the first hour of the party saying things like, "So that's who sings this song."  It was the same crowd too.  The co-worker friends that I see at every company holiday party, dodge ball, and kick ball game of year's past, were there.  And so was MJ.  I'll hang out with that guy almost anywhere; including the ER
I think it's safe to say that we had fun.

No, it wasn't THE holiday party, but it's not too hard to convince myself that it was actually better.  I didn't have to feel like a fool dancing to a cover band on an empty dance floor.   I didn't have to shop for a dress or figure out which one I was going to recycle.  There were Costco wraps and chocolate chip cookies which I love and the house wine was a sweet white moscato.  Drink tickets at the company holiday party NEVER include moscato.  Also, I'm not so sure I would have survived going out two nights in a row.  We are on a two party night per year average right now.  Our last one was Las Vegas in August so I figure we will be due for another around June.

The only thing missing was the raffle prizes and we never win those anyway. 


Empty Fridge and Mutant Carrots

It's time for a confessions post.

I confess that I don't understand the elf on the shelf thing.  Is it just this really skinny elf that you take pictures of in different places?  If so why?

 I confess that we have a missing TV remote that we have both stopped looking for.  The last one that went missing turned up after about a month so I imagine this one will too.

I confess that I was almost late to work one day because I couldn't figure out if the stripes on my dress were white or off white.  I didn't know which leggings to wear!!  Inside they looked off white but when I went outside they looked white.  I grabbed the white leggings and took them to work with me because I couldn't make up my mind and I had to get out of there.  

Our sad empty refrigerator
I confess that we've been eating out a lot!!  And when I say eating out I really mean picking up food and bringing it home.  It's usually Subway on Wednesday's and Santana's on Friday but last week I had Subway three nights in a row.  We literally ate out Monday through Saturday.  We stick to healthier options (unless we go with pizza which is only occasionally) but our sodium count definitely goes up.  I was solid for four weeks.  I cooked every Sunday and then I quit.  I stepped up to the plate and made Chili this week.  I know.  ME?  Santana's is on the menu for tonight and we'll see what happens next week.

I confess that I recorded and watched four episodes of Prison Wives Club.  It's so bad.  In my defense, the DVR has been empty for months and I was desperate for something to watch.  I used to be able to count on House Hunters for something new but even that is done.  Over Thanksgiving break I decided to get hooked on Red Band Society since it was on Hulu.  The show is really good.  There is nothing trashy about it-my only confession on it is that I watched nine episodes in two days.  There are so many good shows I'm not watching but I really, really try not to get involved with too many.  It becomes difficult to keep up with and I end up feeling bad about myself when I spend too much time in front of the TV.  There are still a few shows left that we watch together, but most of what I watch on my own is out of season so for the time being I have NOTHING.  This is a really good time to get into some books. 

I confess that we had a fruit fly infestation.  We have no idea how it started but one day there were just a few of these tiny little gnat like flies and each day there were more and more.   MJ googled it and made a trap to kill them off but it took a few weeks for the last one to finally disappear.  I haven't seen one in a few days so hopefully we are in the clear.

I confess that I take pictures of my mutant carrots before I eat them because they are just so bizarre looking.  It's funny because when I show my mom she wants to know if I ate it.  Of course I did!  It only looks funny; but they taste like any other carrot.  I guess it was some kind of factory malfunction but they deserve to be treated normally just like all the other carrots.  Right?

Well, it's been a long week and it's raining right now but I'm not going to complain like I usually do because our state is in the middle of a serious drought.  We need this, so I have to get over myself.


Wicked Good Date and a Wicked Bad One

When we were in New York we were interested in seeing Wicked but saw Kinky Boots instead so when Wicked came to town for eight weeks we were all over it.  I thought tickets were expensive just because it was New York but unfortunately I think theater in general is expensive.  We got really good seats though and it was a really good show.  I grew up knowing about Dorothy and Toto with their gang of friends off to see the wizard but new nothing about who got smashed under the house, the background of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and how Glenda and the Wicked Witch of the West came to be.  Turns out the wicked witch was not wicked at all; just misunderstood.
It was my first date with that cute little Louis that required documentation.  There is a neat story behind it too that I will share later.
We planned it so we could go to the play and then have dinner at Fleming's downtown.  I have no sense of direction but when MJ said it was on the opposite side so we should drive I looked it up.  I tend to believe there isn't any place I can't walk to and I didn't want to give up the parking we had already paid for.  It was only .7 miles.  We walked a million miles in New York and I was wearing my comfy flat knee high boots.  Definitely walkable, and then we got to stop for cheap drinks along the way.  I got this $40 off coupon from my AmEx card which may or may not even cover an entree depending on what you get, but a discount is a discount.  I'd never been and it sounded like a great idea to add it onto our date.  After having eaten so much chicken over the last year I crave juicy steak's more then I ever have before.  I got the filet and it did not disappoint.  MJ got a filet with crab and caviar on top.  Eww.  The steaks were juicy and full of flavor, the garlic flavor of the mashed potatoes was perfect and the bread was hot and crusty.  Fine (very expensive) dining is kind of overrated in my book.  I don't need a $40 steak but if I get one it better be good; And it was.   Forgive me for a second while I swoon over my husband.  I didn't get a picture of him so you will have to believe me when I say he looked so cute!  He was freshly shaved which I love because it brings out his baby face.  He refused to wear slacks or dress shoes but he wore a nice button up.  It was a wicked good date.
How does he manage to look cute at a time like this?  Cute but gross!! And hey, they won  the championship so he'd say it was worth it.
Sunday's date however was terrible.  It was very poorly planned or should I say not planned at all and the ambiance was terrible.  I met my grungy blood spattered husband at the emergency room where he promptly devoured a foot long subway sandwich plus cookie while we waited for hours in butt numbing chairs amongst a crowd of injured and/or potentially contagious people.  Fun, I tell ya.  I got the dreaded text message that Mr. Accident Prone had done it again and I needed to find an urgent care.  He got hurt in his last (of three) flag football games and when you get hurt after 5pm on the weekends the only option is the ER.  He hadn't eaten all day and they told him it was a 90 minute wait so I plucked my pajama clad body off the couch, threw on some sweats and made a Subway stop before meeting him there.  He got there at 6:30pm, I got there at 7:30pm, he got called back at 9:45pm and we were out of there around 10:45pm with seven stitches in his head.  He's quite the trooper.  He actually went back into the game after he busted his head, didn't even flinch when the needle went in and was up by 4:30am for work today.

It's going to be a long Monday.

It wasn't an ideal way to spend a Sunday evening but I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I would have felt like crap sitting at home while he starved alone for hours with a busted head.  Being married means that sometimes you just gotta step up to the plate and choose the inconvenient option.  When he thanked me and told me what a good wife I was it made the whole ordeal more then worth it. 


Thanksgiving in a Box

That whole cooking thing. Well, we decided not to do that this year.  I realize that some people love to cook and believe that Thanksgiving is not the same without a ton of home cooked food that you worked really long and hard to prepare.  I am not one of those people.

My parents house is a disaster.  When you are moving the week after Thanksgiving chances are your home is not equipped to handle cooking a Thanksgiving feast, leftovers or having guests so we knew that Thanksgiving would be at our house.  If I never make a Thanksgiving dinner in my life that will be fine with me.  I just don't have it in me to do such a thing.  MJ did it a few years ago, but was not interested in doing it again this year.

So what do we do about food, because Thanksgiving is nothing without food, or so I'm told.   Turns out, there is quite the market for this conundrum.  We aren't the only slackers who don't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner and there are plenty of places that will do it for you at an affordable price.  We decided on Fresh & Easy because they offered the best variety for sides and we love their freshly made food.  I've never eaten anything I didn't like from there and it really is Fresh and Easy.   Decisions about food are always critical for my mom but when it's Thanksgiving, it's really serious business and this was only going to work if my parents were okay with it.  There were a lot of text messages back and forth and at one point I thought we were going to have to cook but it worked out.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I saw that cute little box I knew everything was going to be okay.  Even though we didn't cook anything it smelled like we did and that's part of why you love it so much right?  The turkey needed almost three hours to cook and all the sides had to be warmed so we still got to use the oven.  The house smelled exactly like someone was in the kitchen all day, and someone actually was, it just wasn't us. 

After much discussion we agreed on brussel sprouts with bacon, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce for sides.  It even came with a free pumpkin pie.  MJ is currently working his way through it by himself since I don't eat pie.  He isn't even a fan of pumpkin pie and says it's pretty good.  My mom was nervous about the stuffing and yams so she made stuffing and picked up yams from Boston Market and my dad refuses to eat anything but the cheapo cranberry sauce in a can.   Throw in some dinner rolls and we had a complete Thanksgiving spread.  For dessert MJ made marble cake and peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  We also had ice cream but we all atE so much that it never came out of the fridge.

Thanksgiving dinner came out of a box but no one was disappointed.  Not even my mom.  It was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I've ever had.  The turkey was all breast so we didn't have to deal with all those nasty bones, everything was full of flavor and we had just enough left overs.  The best part about all of this is that no one had to slave away in the kitchen for hours the night before or the day of.  MJ picked up our food the day before Thanksgiving, made the desserts in the morning and we were chowing down by 2:00pm.  There were dishes, but not the mountain it would have been had we cooked.  Some might think a store bought Thanksgiving is sad, but I call it efficient.  Okay, and maybe a little lazy.  

The best part about the day was spending time with MJ and my parents.  We sat around, drank wine, ate, talked and watched football the entire day.  I knew it was going to be the last time I saw them for a while but it didn't hit me until they were on their way out the door.  I kept it cool while they were putting on their shoes and it wasn't until we were outside when I was giving my mom one last hug that I lost it.  We clung to each other and sobbed.  I'm a grown woman and I have always been very independent.  I don't see my parents every weekend but the idea that I can't see them every weekend or even every month if I want to makes me really sad.  She's still my mommy and not having her and dad nearby is going to take some getting used to.  After they left MJ put his arms around me so I could cry some more.  I'm crying even as I write this.  Dramatic much?  Maybe so, but I'm emotional and those are my parents.  I'm going to miss them.
A photo posted by Cece (@pinksunshine94) on
We got our tree two days after Thanksgiving which is a big deal because we get it later and later every year.  Last year I don't think we got it until the week before Christmas so I was determined that we not procrastinate.  We really have no excuse because the tree farm we use every year is right across the street.  We drive by it on our way home from work every day.  We walk to the ATM if we need cash, walk across the street to the lot and then MJ carries it home.  He remembered to bring his gardening gloves this time.  We got a really good tree.  The shape is perfect and with the decorations it looks about the same as it did last year and I love it.  The four day break lasted a really long time which was great.  I think that's what happens when you don't pack a lot into it.  The only thing we did was go to the movies to see Mockingjay.
I'm a mac and cheese girl.  I don't eat stuffing, I don't do yams, cranberry sauce or pies and if I only have one thing on Thanksgiving I'd be happy as long as it was mac and cheese.  I knew I wasn't getting it this year and that was okay because I know that someday I will eat it again.  I don't plan on this being my last meal, ever.  I know that nobody is promised tomorrow but I'm pretty sure that even if it was, the last thing I'm going to regret is that I didn't eat macaroni and cheese on November 25th.  If I was on death row and didn't get it for my last meal, that's another story.

The thing I will think about more than anything else is who I spent it with because it's just food, and people are infinitely more precious than macaroni.  I think everyone can agree on that. 

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored by Fresh and Easy but I wish it was.


From Diapers to Double Dates

My parents are retired now and California 'aint cheap so they started house hunting in August.   I was fine with it, as if I have any say so in the matter. When they got back, they told me they found a house.  Okay, so their really gonna move.  I knew it was happening and I was still fine with it.  I was at work when I got a text message that the new house would finish being built in December.  I was no longer fine with it and I cried because it wasn't until then that the move felt real to me.  Like, really, real as in I will no longer be able to see my parents whenever I want to.  My sisters' moved a way a long time ago so they already know what it's like not to have mom and dad nearby, but I don't.  I moved out six months after I graduated from college so I really didn't expect to be crying about mom and dad moving in my thirties.  They sold my childhood home last year.  It was sad, but they were still here and I knew this was coming, but it feels different when it's happening next month.  When I say next month that's next week since November is all but done and they are moving the week after Thanksgiving.  Las Vegas isn't far.  I've been going there at least once a year already, but it's not here.  It's not forty five minutes away and that is going to take some getting used to.

They spent their 43rd wedding anniversary knee deep in packing and fielding inquiries on Craigslist about five drawer dressers and sofa tables.  Does anyone remember the Penny Saver?  Well, my parents sure do and that's where they put an add to sell a bunch of stuff, but us young whipper snappers know that Craigslist is everything.  My mom is learning, but not quite computer savvy enough for Craigslist so I posting their stuff and oh, my gosh is it crazy!  I have to forward all e-mails to my mom and I've only seen a portion of the interaction she's getting, but she says keeping up with it is a part time job.  They got two calls out of Penny Saver. 
We are trying to squeeze in as much as we can with them while they are still here.  My mom and I did mother daughter facials and lunch a few weeks ago and on Saturday we met at  The Cottage in La Jolla for a double date.  It looks like a house that's been turned into a restaurant and I've never had food come out so fast.  I'm always on a quest for the best french toast in San Diego and this place takes the #1 spot away from DZ Akins.  We've come a long way baby.  My parents used to change my diapers and now we go out on double dates.  They have been through a hell of a lot in their 43 years of marriage and yet here they are stronger than ever, sitting across from MJ and I who have barely just begun.  It was one of those days that I stood there tilting my face into the sun and smiling, just because it felt so good to be where I was in that moment.  My beautiful parents.  My amazing husband.  The weather, which was 75 degrees because San Diego still has no clue that it's not Summer.  Sitting outside chowing down on french toast and sipping on mimosas was a really nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

This is the last Thanksgiving with my parents, and I don't even want to talk about Christmas.  I'm grown and married.  Why am I taking this so hard?  Just thinking about it gets the tears rolling but, we're making the most of the time we have left.  


About Walking Dead, Just Wondering

Is there anyone else still completely obsessed with The Walking Dead?  Dumb question.  The show has beat Sunday night football in ratings for three weeks in a row.  I can't even glance at Twitter until after I've watched it or else it's spoil alert city.  If that's not a hit show I don't know what is and if you aren't watching it yet you're missing out.

Spoiler alert: If you have not watched the episode from two weeks ago (Season 5, episode 5) you may not wish to continue reading.
Five seasons in and I'm still completely fascinated with this show.  The zombies, the plot twists, the raw exposure of human nature at it's worst.  The characters are so complex.  Some I've wished would die five episodes before they finally did.  I vowed I would quit watching the show if Herschel or Andrea died.  That was a lie of course, because there is no way I'm not watching this show.  Bob was a love hate character.  I hated him when he couldn't put down the bottle but he redeemed himself.  I still can't believe nobody cared about Bob as much as I did.  I'm the only one I know who cried for him and if anybody deserved tears it was him.  Seriously, that was a really bad way to go.  The worst.  How could you not cry for Bob?  Daryl was a love hate for me too.  I hated him almost as much as I hated his evil brother but now I think he is one of the most beloved characters on the show.  Now that I think about it, I've also love hated Herschel (may he rest in peace), Rick and Carl at different times.  Even sweet Beth was driving me nut at some point.  It's the kind of show where you don't know whether to pull your hair out or cover your eyes.  I know anything can happen, but it's really nice that they have gotten so efficient at zombie killing so I'm not terrified that everyone is going to die anymore.  Well, everyone except Eugene also known as liar liar pants on fire who needs to learn how to start taking care of himself now that the cat's out of the bag. I will shed no tears over his death.

This show has it all, but season after season I find myself asking some of the same questions, none of which have been answered to my satisfaction. 

+How are the women of Zombie Apocalypse land handling that time of the month?  It has to be dealt with. 

+It's obvious that they wear the same clothes every day, but are they wearing the same underwear everyday too?  I remember one episode last season when Beth found a sweater and looked clean for about half a second before a zombie killing ruined it.  The dirt, blood spatter, and vagabond lifestyle have to make cleanliness impossible.

+How bad is the body odor?  Between their rugged, outdoorsy active lifestyle, lack of deodorant, soap and toothpaste it must be pretty bad.  I'm assuming that even if they still had those things at one time they have to have run out by now.  I'm sure they can pillage some of them stuff on their runs but it has got to be hit and miss.

+How sexy can sexy time be at a time like this?  It's not happening a lot, but people are doing it and it seems a little awkward what with the lack of privacy, hygiene considerations and dead people running around.  Lori and Shane were the worst in season 1.  They had no shelter whatsoever at that time.  The apocalypse had just happened and she ended up pregnant.

+What are the men using to shave?  Rick is looking pretty scraggly lately, but I've seen people on Naked and Afraid with beards bushier then his after 21 days.  Glenn is smooth as a baby's butt and how does Abraham keep his mustache so nicely shaped?  I wouldn't know this type of man thing.  I suspect you can make a knife work, although it would be really tough without shaving cream. 

+I imagine Carol must be resorting to a knife to maintain that pixie cut.  It's also, not entirely unreasonable to think she may have scissors.

+How have they not wasted away to nothing?  Their entire life is one big giant work out that never ends what with all the keeping watch, miles of walking and zombie killing.  Their calorie expenditure cannot possibly be met with whatever squirrels and canned foods they find along the way and carry with them.

+Is baby Judith eating squirrels too?  She's a big girl now.  Surely, she has run out of powdered Milk by now.  What are they doing about diapers?

This is an example of the randomness that runs through my mind anytime I watch an apocalypse, on the run, war, type movie.  I'm a 1-2 shower a day kind of person, who is scared of spiders, very picky about food and feels anxious when my house is dirty.  Tent camping is hard core for me.  I am the definition of wimp and I already know that I would not manage well under those conditions and would have probably died or wanted to not to long after this whole thing broke out.  I don't even like eating meat off a bone so I don't know if I could bring myself to eat roadkill.  I'd like to think that I'd be as bad ass as all the girls on the show have become out of pure instinct for survival but I'm not so sure.  
More questions:
+How long has it been since all hell broke loose?  I haven't seen much of a change in weather conditions but that may or may not be that obvious in Atlanta.  Look at Carl.  I almost forgot that he was just a little boy when the show started.   His voice has changed and he looks so much older.  With everything that's happened and the size of Judith it's got to be at least two years.  Maybe more.  If it doesn't wrap up soon Chandler Riggs may age himself out of the role.  

+Why has Maggie never once mentioned Beth?  When Glenn was lost, she risked life and limb to find him even though she had no idea if he was alive or dead.  Not a peep about her sister Beth.

+Is it really that swift and easy to slice through bone to brains when you are stabbing someone in the head? I don't think I really want to know the answer to this one.

+I'll probably never find out if they are brushing their teeth, but what I really need to understand is what was so terrible about living in the hospital that Beth would rather jump down an elevator shaft into a basement of dead bodies to escape?  She was safe.  Outside she has to sleep in the dirt with one eye open to avoid being eaten by zombies.  That police lady (and her henchmen) seems a little off and they have to work to earn their keep but clean sheets and edible food sounds a lot better than the alternative for this clean freak.

I do realize that most of my questions, specifically those related to hygiene are completely non essential to the story line, which is pretty outrageous on it's own, but I can't help wondering.