5.27.2015

Movies and Gloom

It's been a really gloomy May.  Rain off and on (mostly off), misty, and mostly in the 60's.  Very unusual for San Diego.  I feel like I know what it's like to live in the Pacific NW.  Well, probably not quite, because even though it feels like it's been forever we probably haven't even touched the gloom that goes on there.  Day after day of consecutive gloom without any sign of the sun is just slightly unsettling.  And gloomy.  I feel really bad for all those vacationers who came here expecting blue skies.  I promise it usually is this time of year; we're not just making it up.
Nothing to do with movies but it's the only pic I took all weekend AND my favorite snack lately
I'm actually glad I didn't have plans for the long weekend because if I did I probably would have been bummed.  I didn't even realize it was a long weekend until the Wednesday before.  I'm already a homebody by nature, and when the weather is chilly and gray and MJ is out of town, I retreat even more.  The weather definitely affects my mood.  I'm just not as excited about doing things when it's gloomy.  I only left the house all weekend to pick up food (twice) and exercise (once).  I didn't even have to go grocery shopping; which was really odd, but greatly appreciated.  Other than that my weekend consisted of cleaning house, a lot of movies and a lot of You Tube videos.  I'm going through this phase where I obsessively watch ballet videos and documentaries on You Tube.  I got hooked on this City Ballet Series and now I totally regret my decision not purse a career as a ballerina and audition for the School of American Ballet in New York City.  Twice in one week, I dreamed I was a dancer on on pointe wearing a black leotard and pink tights.  I was long, lean and oh so graceful. It felt amazing, and then I woke up.

So about those movies.  Netflix sent us four instead of three for reason unknown (love it when they do that) so I had plenty to choose from.

Annie
I'm not usually the biggest fan of musicals but the second I saw the trailer for this I couldn't wait to see it.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those classic Annie songs.  I broke out in goose bumps during Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Maybe.  It's not even just the songs themselves.  I love the songs, but it's also that I associate Annie with little girls having their dreams come true performing it on Broadway.  It is the quintessential plum role for a little girl to play on Broadway.  This is definitely one movie I'm better off watching alone because I sang the songs and danced, very badly so it was nice that there was no one there to judge me for it.  There were some cheesy parts, and other parts where the singing and dancing was a bit awkward, but what do you expect?  It's Annie; but I loved the modern spin on an old classic.

You're Not You
This one is available on Neflix for streaming. This was another movie that it's a good thing I watched alone because at the end I was sobbing.  Chest heaving, loud sobbing; the whole bit.  The ending was just so so painfully sad.  If you get emotional on movies there is no way that you won't cry watching this and if you NEVER cry on movies I dare you to see if you can get through this one without a tear.  Hilary Swank did an amazing job playing a character suffering from ALS.   I ended up having to watch it on my laptop because as per usual whenever MJ leaves the technology in our house quits working and I couldn't get into Netflix on our TV.  

Godzilla
I fell asleep on this at the drive in when we went to see it because I am not capable of staying up for the second movie.  At the drive in you get two for the price of one but if we go to the night showing there is a good chance I'm only seeing one. MJ however, did not fall asleep so I specifically waited until he was gone to rent this one. 

Best of Me
This was a typical Nicholas Sparks movie.  Very sappy and full of the romantic angst that only star crossed lovers can produce but also very good.  I didn't cry until the very, very end. 

Big Eyes
I really like Amy Adams so I was excited to see this one.  I despised her scheming swindling husband and what he did to Amy Adam's character, but I loved everything else.

And that concludes my weekend recap.  

5.12.2015

No Shoes Allowed

The no shoe thing started when I moved into my very first place entirely on my own and found myself surrounded by wall to wall light beige carpet. I was broke.  I didn't have money for repeated carpet cleaning so I saved money by leaving my shoes at the door and keeping the carpets clean.  It started as a matter of economics and then it became a matter of dirt when I walked by a neighboring doorway one day and saw an icky trail of brown leading from the doorway to the kitchen.  That was it.  Shoes are dirty and after five years of keeping them out there was no going back for me.


It's a pretty easy rule to enforce when you live in a 400 square foot studio by yourself.  Throw in a husband who agrees, but tends to get lax about the rules and it felt impossible.  When we moved into our new house five years ago I started looking for a cute no shoes allowed sign to help my cause and quickly realized that I would have to be the shoe police if this was going to happen. 

What about my flip flops?  Can I wear those in the house?
Do you wear them outside?
Yes, but they aren't real shoes.
Do you wear them in public restrooms?
Yes.
Then you can't wear them in the house.

I caught him putting on his shoes in the morning upstairs and then wearing them downstairs.  Bare feet on floors and carpets sounds different then shoes.  I was half asleep and half blind so I grabbed my glasses to take a peak.  Busted. What part of no shoes in the house wasn't he getting? 

And the conversation repeated.

I'm getting dressed in the morning upstairs and the shoes are upstairs.  I'm just going straight out the door.
Do you wear those shoes outside in the streets and public restrooms?
Yes.
Then you can't wear them in the house. 

I even caught my dad upstairs with his shoes on when he stayed at our house a few months ago and I had to say it.  Take them off please.

When we replaced our carpets with hardwoods downstairs MJ relapsed a little thinking it wouldn't matter so much but dirt is dirt and we walk through a lot of it on any given day.  Sidewalks, black top parking lots, public restrooms and that grimy movie theater floor.  I like the idea that the hardwoods are fully cleanable, but I still don't like the idea of dirty shoes tracking in outside grime.  We compromised on house shoes since those are only worn occasionally outside and not in public places.  I had to give him something. 

Not wearing shoes in the house seems so simple yet it is ever so complicated to enforce and a real pain in the butt sometimes.  Like, when you put your shoes on and then have to come back inside because you forgot something.  Also, dealing with all the shoes that inevitably pile up.  We have a nice bench with a shoe shelf underneath it by our front door but we don't use our front door very often.  We park our cars in the garage and enter through the garage door which opens right into the kitchen which is not an ideal location for removing shoes while juggling a lunch bag, a purse, the mail and a water bottle.  Especially tall boots that require at least one hand to remove.  When leaving the house he wanted to put his shoes on by the front door and walk through the house to the garage and again I had to be the meanie and put my bare foot down.  Yes, it's easier to sit on the cute little bench and put them on, but a rule is a rule and if we agreed on no shoes in the house we will not wear shoes in the house.  It might sound like I'm being a bitch and in a way I am, but it's kind of an all or nothing thing.  If you are going to wear shoes half the time don't bother at all because you have already defeated the purpose. 

Then there are the guests.  We don't entertain a lot, but when we do if it's an inside type of deal I have no problem with asking people to take their shoes off.  If he won't ask his friends I will.  If it's an outdoor/indoor type of thing with a large group of people it can get a bit more complicated and I'm willing to make exceptions if need be, but in general it's not that difficult to get people to respect your house rules if you ask.  Most people either do it themselves in their own homes and/or they understand and are not offended. 

I can't even imagine wearing shoes in my bedroom or bathrooms now and it's weird (and gross) to think that I once did.  I even feel bad wearing shoes in other peoples homes.  I want to take them off on principle, but not everyone has that rule and if they don't then taking mine off isn't going to help much.

It's true that you have to pick your battles, but I'm glad I stuck to my guns on this one because it's not an imaginary germ floating through the air.  It's dirt, and I can see it when I look at the bottom of my shoes.  I wanted to throw up my hands and forget it, but MJ eventually came around and I really appreciate that he did.  I never did find a no shoes sign I really liked, but now he rarely forgets even when he's running in and out to the grill.

Do you allow shoes in your house?  Why or why not?


5.05.2015

Strong Silent Type

MJ is even less of a Birthday person than I am if that's possible.  For me it just kicked in more recently, but he's always been that way.  I organized a surprise dinner party for him on his 30th because it's a big Birthday and because I don't think he would have consented.  He just doesn't care that much about the hoopla.

We usually do a dinner of choice but he didn't want that this year.  I was raring to go to dinner too since I just came off Whole30 but he wanted to do a picnic and then invite the guys over to play poker and watch the big fight. 
The one picture I managed to get out of him.  Doesn't he look thrilled?
My husband is the strong and silent type.  He has a high tolerance for pain, doesn't complain much, doesn't get worked up about much, doesn't stress, doesn't get giddy with excitement, and is not a naturally chatty person although I've managed to coax him into it over the years.  I am basically the opposite and maybe that's why we balance each other out so well.  I'm a girl.  I like to to talk and sometimes he won't cooperate, but he's worked on it and his willingness to do so is just one of the many reasons I love him so much.  Well, he was really chatty that day at the park.  We picked up sloppy sandwiches from Capriotti's, wine from Bev Mo and sat in the sun talking about everything from our future house, our savings account, and our trip to Kauai among other things.  It was awesome and we had a really fun time just being together and hanging out.

You know that thing with kids, how you can't believe their getting older because somehow you've frozen them at the age they were when you met? Well, that's how it is with MJ.  Not that I think he's a kid or anything, but at four years younger than me he seemed like such a baby when we met.  He was this young hottie in his twenties and I was a sophisticated "older woman."  Okay, I don't know about the sophisticated part but I felt like I'd been around the block a few times and wasn't quite sure what a younger guy had to offer.  The years between us seemed huge but once I fell in love with him they all melted away and of course I realized four years does not a cougar make and that it wasn't such a big deal after all.   Now we joke about how I robbed the cradle and how movies like The Sure ThingThe Breakfast Club and the Brat Pack phenomenon were before his time.  He most definitely is not a baby now, nor when I met him, but I still kind of think of him that way and can't believe he's getting older.

I made myself scarce when the guys came over that night so they could have their guy time.  I was not interested in the fight anyway and anytime I have ever gone to a "fight party" I barely even watch it.  I stayed downstairs until everyone arrived to say hello then went downstairs again for food but spent the majority of the night catching up on my DVR while sitting in his bean bag. The one he's usually sitting in.  The one I didn't originally want him to get but have since changed my mind to believe that everyone should have one.  So cozy.

I felt like the crappiest wife because his gift did not arrive in time for his Birthday as it was supposed to and I didn't have anything to give him.  I tried to make up for it by professing my love for him while we were on our picnic.  Isn't that really the best gift of all?  That was my lead in when I told him that his gift wasn't here.  Hopefully, I redeemed myself by making sure that his football jersey was washed in time for his game and laying out his entire outfit from jersey to socks on Sunday.  He said, that's good wife stuff right there, and it made me feel good because although I could always do better that's what I'm always trying to be.

On my Birthday I made a point to tell him that I enjoyed it and had a good day.  He's not the type to do that so I asked.  "Yes," he said simply and while it was not the gushing response that I might have given if he says yes, he means it and that was good enough for me.

4.30.2015

Doing That Library Thing

I'm not very good at this library thing.  I said I wanted to read more books this year and I am thanks to the library but sometimes it feels a little complicated and I'm always two seconds away from getting a fine.  Which isn't the end of the world or anything, but I'd rather not.  I had a fine balance of a whopping $4.00 in 2010 and it took me five years to pay it off.  It's cheap enough.  When all is said and done I come out ahead when you consider how much I would have spent just to buy one book, but it's the principle.  I need to return them on time.  I have a calendar reminder in addition to the e mail reminder they send three days before.  I renew what I can on line, and cart around what I can't in my car plotting the optimal time for me to swing by and drop it off.  I had to renew the last set twice and one was on a different cycle because it was a second renewal from the first set.  Are you still with me because even I'm confused?  Anyway, I couldn't renew it again because someone was requesting it so I had to drop that one off before these were due and I barely avoided a fine because I put it in the book drop on the last day pretty close to closing.  These three made it back exactly on the due date.  It's basically a game of let's see how long it takes me to get a fine and when I do, I'll just consider it a donation.

I'd probably do a whole lot better if I limited myself to 1 or 2 but when I walk up to the new release table which is sitting right at the front entrance, and see 4 or 5 that look interesting I have to get them all.  Get aaaaaaallll the books and worry about finishing and turning them in on time later.  The time limit is annoying, but I'm pretty sure it's helped keep me reading.  Heaven forbid I don't get a chance to read one, or even worse if it's really good and I don't get to finish.  I might have to take the fine for that one.

Remember the old days when it was so much fun to go to Blockbuster and pick out a movie for the weekend?  And how annoying it was trying to remember to get it back in time?  Their fees were much worse, but it's like that and I know there has to be a better way.  In fact, there is a better way and the information card that the nice man at the library desk gave me about it is still bumping around in my purse.

The next book I read will be Gone Girl.  I've waited long enough so I'm going to download it from Amazon and dig in this week.  The plan was that I read the book so we can watch the movie before MJ heads off to Europe because if I watch the movie I'll never read the book and I'd hate to miss out on what I've been hearing is an awesome reading experience.  I won't even need to do a review for it because everyone already read and liked it.

Even knowing that I planned to read Gone Girl I STILL couldn't resist checking out books when I turned in my last set.  I should have done the book drop to avoid temptation but at least I limited myself to two.   Maybe I should keep them in the car so I don't get too attached and we'll see if I can keep my no fine streak going.


The Wonder Spot
by Melissa Bank
The Wonder Spot follows Sophie's quest for her own identity—who she is, what she loves, whom she loves, and occasionally whom she feels others should love—over the course of 25 years. In an often-disappointing world, Sophie listens closely to her own heart. And when she experiences her 'Aha!' moments—her own personal wonder spots—it's the real thing. -Via Goodreads

It's kind of a slice of life kind of story.  There is no dramatic plot or storyline so if that's the type of book you like this may be a little long winded for you but I actually enjoy that kind of story.  It follows a girl from adolescence to adulthood and is basically about what she discovers along the way about herself and life.  The author's writing is very artistic and descriptive and she throws in humor where you least expect it.  I really enjoyed this book. 

Otherwise Engaged
by Eileen Goudge
Jessie Holland is in search of a hot story for Savvy magazine when her editor poses a compelling question -- can you ever really go home again? Jumping on the idea, and with her love life currently at a crossroads, Jessie plans to return to her Arizona hometown and follow the path not taken -- with a twist. Her best friend back home, Erin Delahanty, is dealing with a crumbling marriage, a teenage daughter, and the demands of running a bed & breakfast. Needing to take stock of her life, she agrees to Jessie's offer: she'll live in Manhattan for six months, while Jessie steps into Erin's shoes. But the choices and challenges they face take them by surprise...and what began as a daring magazine article will change both women forever. -Via Goodreads

This was another good read for me.  Who in their real life has never wondered what if or wondered what it would be like to live the life of such and such and that's basically what this book is about.  The story that unfolds is very interesting.  Each of them have man drama they need to resolve which also affects their decisions about whether they want their old life back or if they want to keep their new one. 

I've Got Your Number
by Sophie Kinsella
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!  Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.  What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life. -Via Goodreads

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this one but once I did I found it to be a really straightforward and fun read.  The one thing that bugged me is that there are footnotes throughout the book to say things that are not necessarily relevant to understanding the character or the story.  It really annoyed me at first because I didn't want to read them, but if they were there I felt like I had to.  Like, my eye immediately went down to read the footnote even though I already knew I wouldn't be missing out on much and that I didn't want to read it.  Cute idea, I just wasn't a fan.  The book eventually picked up, I got better at ignoring the footnotes and it turned out to be a really cute story with several laugh out loud moments.  I don't usually find myself laughing while reading so that was cool.  It's a girl talk easy read kind of book. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic and I like that one too. 

Not pictured because I had to return them in a hurry and didn't get a picture.

Where We Belong 
by Emily Giffin
Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her. -Via Goodreads

I really liked this book.  I was interested from the start and it didn't take me too long to get into it.  The story switches back and forth between the perspective of Marian and Kirby and it's really interesting to see the struggles and emotions surrounding adoption from both sides.  I hate it when books don't end the way I want them to and this one did not disappoint.  It wasn't the perfect storybook ending but it was a good ending and leaves you hoping that there is more of that happy that you want to come.

The One & Only 
by Emily Giffin
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.  But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets. -Via Goodreads

This one was a slow start for me, but it got good.  I was a little bit skeeved out by the idea of this woman being interested in her best friends much older father but he was described as handsome and striking so that helped.  I was all over her dating the hot NFL guy but in the end I found myself rooting for her and the older man.  There is a lot of football talk and football worship in this book.  I am not interested in football at all and there is a lot of football talk and football worship but it didn't detract from the story at all.

4.17.2015

Fashion Don't

I was humming along just fine all week until Thursday hit and I spent the day fighting the urge to hide out in my car and take a nap.  Or go home.  Today is better, but as always Friday could not come soon enough and I'm glad it's here.  I'm looking forward to cleaning my house (not really), getting some errands done (not really), relaxing and spending the weekend with MJ.

How 'bout some Friday confessions.

I confess that I think this might be the longest time I've ever gone without a glass of wine.  It's been two weeks.  Send help.

I confess that I let all of my magazine subscriptions lapse and it's like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  At one time I was up to three and even when it dwindled down to one I just couldn't keep up anymore and was always a few months behind.  If I have a magazine I must read it cover to cover.  I'm allowed to skip articles if I want to but I can't just skim the pictures and be done.  I enjoyed them but getting through each one became a chore so I ignored all of the LAST ISSUE notices from Glamour and let it go.  They have not yet tried to coerce me with a free gift.  Yet.

From the Fashion Don't Files
I confess that I wore a fuchsia shirt, a black and white skirt and black boots to work with Navy Blue leggings and I did not realize that my leggings were not black until I was getting out of the car at the end of the day.   Looking back, it did cross my mind at some point that the black seemed "off" with my boots but I chalked it up to lighting and kept on stepping.  And there I was all excited that my outfit matched my lunch bag which also matches my cell phone case.  Little did I know.  I guess that's what happens when you get dressed in the dark and spend all day under ugly fluorescent lighting.  Hopefully there were no other fashion don't moments this week but there is no way to know for sure.

I really hate getting tagged on Facebook in pictures from high school.  It doesn't happen a lot but when it does I'm mortified.  Appearance wise I was a hot mess.   I mean, HOT MESS.  It's just too embarrassing to have to publicly revisit those images.  I always untag myself immediately and recently just switched my sittings so that I have to approve all tags.

I confess that I didn't know Kate Middleton was pregnant.  The first time around I couldn't NOT know.  It was everywhere.  Either baby number two isn't nearly exciting as baby number one or my head is buried in the sand.   

I confess that I hurt myself getting dressed.  I think that's also a fashion don't.  The only thing worse is probably hurting yourself sleeping and I think I've done that too.  I pulled my shirt over my head and somehow managed to tweak my left shoulder to the point where it hurt for a few days to raise my arm and do push ups.  Getting old is hell.


4.10.2015

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden

We usually end up in The Gaslamp, Hillcrest or North Park when we go out to eat.  I love those areas but I also like finding places a little closer to home where we don't have to deal with the whole parking situation or lack thereof.  La Mesa has some really cute restaurants and I'm so glad it's the home of  BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden.  It's usually pretty packed and we couldn't even get a reservation for last Saturday eve but they said we could call ahead to check on the wait so we decided to give it a shot.  There was no wait at the time we were ready to go so we got seated right away in the outdoor patio.  It's a really pretty area under a canopy of trees surrounded by lots of greenery.  It's one of those places where you walk in and feel right at home.  The ambiance is just right.  The tables are dark and rustic and I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement over those blue mason jars.  
Their Brussel Sprouts with bacon are some of the best I've ever had.  This is our second time and I will have to get it whenever I go there because they are just so good.  Vegetables can be really bland but these brussel sprouts were full of flavor.  I ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon which is basically like a beef stew with potatoes, baby carrots and onions.  It came with a side of hot bread in a cute little brown baguette bag.  I wanted to eat the whole thing in one bite.  I almost did, but I'm off bread for the time being so I restrained myself.  The meat was so tender it fell apart as soon as I stuck my fork in it and the sauce was delicious.  It didn't look like that much food but it was.  I ate as much as I could, but had to take some of it home and it was even better the next day.  MJ ordered the Burger Royale and added a fried egg on top.  Not my cup of tea but he really liked it.  It was huge.  He was only able to eat half of it.  

I ate out a lot that week.  Let's see,  Bertrand at Mr. A's on Saturday, Rei do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse on Wednesday, The Yard House on Thursday and Bo-Beau Kitchen on Saturday.  All of which are in the Gaslamp except for Bo Beau Kitchen and it also was one of my favorites.  Two were Birthday related, but also I had to get it in while the getting was good before I started Whole30 which basically cuts out everything.  Well, not everything, but practically.  I did a modified version of Whole30 (so not really-I'd say closer to Paleo) during that week by cutting out all grains, dairy, added sugar and processed foods.  I called it my "transition week" because I made all Whole30 compliant food choices but allowed wine and didn't worry about the exact way my foods were prepared.  When you are eating Whole30 supposedly you don't have to give up dining out.  You can eat out, but you have to be willing to be "that person" that wants every minute detail regarding the preparation of food and every substitution in the book.  I really don't want to be that person so I won't be eating out for a while.  Bo + Beau's did not disappoint for my 'last meal' or my last sip of wine. Sniffle.