Monday, May 17, 2010

What happens in Mexico, stays in the UK

Multiple choice question - which of the following did not happen to me in Mexico?
A) Someone in the UK played stealy stealy with my credit card number
B) Hubby's identity thieved and credit card automatically cancelled
C) Jellyfish got kinda friendly with my legs
D) Nose re-piercing incident stemming from some (unsuccessful) boogie boarding
E) All of the above happened. Cheers.

Ding, ding, ding. If you guessed "E," you've won the big prize, which is the satisfaction of realizing that these things can only happen to yours truly.

Not that the vacation was bad by any stretch of the imagination. It was a much-needed almost-week of laying on the beach, gorging myself on beverages that contained both rum and the moniker "Especial," and more food than should be humanly possible to consume. But these few ... we say ... glitches came up and made things a little more stressful than a beach vacation should be.

Fortunately, all was straightened out with the two credit card companies (although not until we were back stateside), though it was a bit un-nerving to be stuck in a foreign country with nothing but a checkbook linked to a meager account. Especially when the jellyfish struck and we thought for a while I'd need to seek medical treatment. Mainly we were disappointed about not having our credit cards to use at the duty free (which was a moot issue because our connecting flight was closed to purchases by the time our first plane landed). Basically, instead of stressing, we just drank more rum. And pineapple juice. Lots of pineapple juice. And coated ourselves in sunscreen like it was nobody's business. As a result, no burns...and also, no color.

In truth, though, the resort was beautiful, the ocean was calm and friendly (a little too friendly there, Mr. Jelly McGee) and we had a great time just chilling, hanging out, and watching Alf creepily dubbed en espanol. We also tried sushi for the first time (and second time, talk about deeeelish). Also, we discovered that peacocks are awesome, and free-range peacocks are exponentially more awesome, and that ostriches are always angry. I also re-established my love of hermit crabs and Canadians. Go figure.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On This Day of Mothers...

Since I am on a plane, bound for paradise and rum and all-inclusive wonderment, I found it fitting to pay tribute to the reason I am here (literally, she dropped me off at the airport): my mom.

I don't even think she knows this blog exists, but I do, and in honor of the holiday, I felt it only fitting to honor her appropriately. So, Mom, if you ever read this, or know that I have a blog, or what a blog is, this one's for you.

Thanks for instilling in me early on a love of bargain-hunting that is worthy of its own show on TLC. My retail-therapy engaging self appreciates that you taught me early on that 30% off is NOT a clearance, and that paying full price for anything is for suckers.

Thanks for letting me be brave enough to embrace my nerdhood through all those awkward pre-teen/teen/okay still now years that had voices from everywhere telling me that what I liked was uncool. You made it okay for me to prefer the History Channel to E! and libraries to dance clubs. Rock on.

Thanks for thinking that you still want me around and even hanging out with your friends, even though I'm a total dweeb. I realize that I think I'm awesome, but it's nice to have backup.

Thanks for teaching me that politeness is always important, but if someone is doin' you wrong, from salespeople to friends to family, you best be willing to defend yourself.

Thanks for instilling in me the value of an education, and for insisting that I could be a pole dancer if I wanted to, but I'd better dang well be a college-educated pole dancer.

Mostly, thanks for just being awesome. You rule.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Lately, my shopping mojo has been revving like nobody's business. Funny, my desire to buy, buy, buy is inversely proportionate to my income. Mi madre thinks it's because I've spent most of my life being Extremely Responsible Finance Girl, and that I'm starting to rebel. I think it's that I've discovered the joy of buying things that I love. Either way.

Once a year, I do a major weed of my closet, mostly because of size restrictions: My closet's too small and my...everything else is too big. Plus, I have an unhealthy love of thrifting, and sometimes I end up with some ... interesting stuff that needs to make its way back to the local Goodwill. This year was harder than most, because I had to tank a lot of my college and immediately-post college stuff. But there is something invigorating about both liking and fitting into everything in your wardrobe. It makes getting dressed more fun when you aren't taunted by clothes from two sizes ago, sitting there with their single-digit numbers, laughing at you.

Plus, if you've got hoodies that have wear holes bigger than the one you put your head through, it may be time to retire them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Library Land Isn't Lunch Lady Land

In the library world, I hear a lot o' things. For the most part, I maintain composure and keep on typing/cutting/pasting/etc. But sometimes, a giggle escapes. Or a snort. Or an eyeroll. Geez, I'm lucky no one has called 9tothe1tothe1 yet, thinking I'm having some sort of seizure.

* A high school girl came up to me last week and asked me for the book Heroshemia. I thought maybe it was some manga-ey thing, so I asked her what it was about. This is how that conversation went:
Me: Okay, what was that one about?
Girl: It's a made-up story like about when the Americans thought they were going to have a bomb.
Me: Oh, you mean Hiroshima. You're looking for a book about Hiroshima.
Girl: Yeah, that's it.
Me: Okay, do you need a specific book, or just any old book?
Girl: I need a pacific book. It has a Ferris wheel on the cover. And it's a made up book, like with chapters?
I was able to find what she needed (neither made up nor featuring a Ferris wheel), but it wasn't in, so she left disappointed, and I, once again, became disenchanted with these youths of America.

*There's this a-plus-dorable little girl that comes in with her mom on Tuesday nights. She's about seven, really sweet, and tells me all the time that I am her favorite because I have fun shoes and jewelry in my nose. Loves her. But she also has an issue, just a teensy one, with passing gas. It's actually kind of hilarious. She'll be talking, then mid-sentence, you'll just hear a "toot," and she keeps on going. Happens several times a night. Haven't snorted yet, but I have had to leave the area to keep from giggling. You go, non-self-conscious girl. May you never be embarrassed by bodily functions.

*There's this older guy that comes in with younger kids. They are very well behaved, they just sit on the computer and play games. But the dad, well, he has the most fun of them all, because he builds these epic structures with the giant blocks we have in the preschool area. The kids are all, "hey Dad, come help me find Winnie the Pooh," and the dad's all like "hold on just a second, let me finish this tier." Awesome.

*One of my favorite storytime kids is an absolute doll, and really well-spoken for being barely three years old. She comes up to me today and asks me why I look like Ariel now. "Ariel?" I asked. "Yah, the Little Mermaid." I've heard worse.

* This gruff sounding guy calls in, and he's looking for a book called The Very Cranky Bear. "Okay," I tell him. "Let me see if we have it." We don't. I check a few other local libraries. No one's got it. So I tell him that I'm having a hard time tracking it down. He sighs this big, awful "you're ruining my day" sigh and asks me if I am spelling it right. I told him, yes, I'm sure that my second-grade spelling skills can handle Very. Cranky. Bear. Would you believe that he hung up on me?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Things I Love...

...just because.

The weather has gotten to be downright springy here in Chicagoland, which leads me to believe Apocalypse is coming because spring doesn't exist in Chicago - we go right from parkas to swimsuits. But warm weather has perked me up, and as such, I felt like sharing the love of some new finds:

*Arrested Development. Yeah, I know I am a few years behind the curve here, but someone bought it for the Hubbs to entertain him while recouping from surgery, and I just loves it. Also, Jason Bateman is my new TV boyfriend. Sorry Alton Brown. It's smart, and funny, and I want to watch it all day.

* These rain boots. I ordered them a couple of weeks ago, and I've worn them several times. Without rain.

* These wedges in yellow. Angels sang when I pulled them out of the box. And I cried, for the beauty was so great. One of my storytime kids told me they were the best, and that she couldn't take her eyes off them. Win. Plus, I love Steve Madden like a fat kid loves cupcakes, except, you know, I haven't really tried to eat them. Yet. But these may tempt me, with their little perfect rosettey goodness. Omnom. Nom.

* Marshmallow Peeps. Only yellow chicks or pink bunnies, thankyouverymuch.

* Crystal Light Lemonade. I always get a hankerin' for lemonade when it gets warm out, and combined with my increased consumption of Peeps and my desire to not look like a beached whale in Mexico, I've started drinking this stuff like it's water. Because, well, technically, it is.

* Hot boys sans shirts. Yummo. I mean, I only have eyes for my husband and never look at the scenery. Because that would be wrong, righ?

* My new bike. Guess who can ride it like a big girl with no training wheels? This kid right here. I am a few handlebar streamers away from full-on lurving it.

* The History Channel. Shut up, I'm a nerd. I get it.

* Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Oh. My. Word. If this book was a guy in a bar, he wouldn't even have to buy me a drink to get me to go home with him. Its awesomeness probably deserves its own blog post, but alas. I heard the movie rights were optioned by Tim Burton. If that actually comes to fruition, there will be much swooning. Loves.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The one where I relearn a skill every kindergartener has...

Do you remember the episode of Friends where Ross finds out Phoebe never learned how to ride a bike, so he buys her one and tries to teach her, with comically disastrous results? What, like every adult just *knows* how to ride a bike? an attempt to get fit, get fresh air and have more o' that coupley-quality time that we lurve so much, the Hubbs purchased me (used, from Craigslist) a fabulous hot-pink mountain bike. I went with him to pick it up, but refused to test it out. "You do it," I told him, "since you know so much more about them," (do I know how to stroke an ego, or what?).

He sees, he likes, we pack it up and get in the car to head home. Halfway through rocking out to "Hotel California" (which might be one of the greatest songs OF. ALL.TIME), he turns the radio down (bad move, mister).

Hubbs: So, why didn't you try it out? It's yours, you know. You can ride it.
Me: Oh, you know, I don't really know much about breaks and gears...
H: Um, do you know how to ride a bike?
M: Of course I do? Who doesn't know...okay, maybe I haven't been on a bike in 17 years. And maybe I've never been on a mountain bike. And maybe the only place I was ever allowed to ride is up and down the sidewalk in front of my parents' house, so I've never really been able to "ride" ride, per se...
H: *laughter* You are going to fall on your butt in front of all the kidlets in the neighborhood and they are going to laugh at you. This is going to be great.

And that's the supportive relationship I'm in. The bike, by the way, has been sitting in the garage for a week, just waiting for me to hop on...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Words of Encouragement and Calorie-Free Love, Please

So we're going back to the Mexico again for a little taste of heaven. All inclusive in Puerto Vallarta was calling our name, and we answered.

Sadly, this has meant a complete overhaul of current lifestyle-ness. Back to dieting, back to the gym, and thanks to the beauty of a little ol' thing called Craigslist, hopping on the for-reals bike to burn some cals and tone some booty.

By the time I get to Me-hi-co, I am going to be in desperate need of every frozen drink they will give me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Seeing Red

For most of my college life, I was a redhead. Not naturally, of course, but courtesy of my good friends at Clairol. I liked being a redhead, it made me stand out in my group of friends (because really, when all your friends are hot, smart, and funny, there's no sense trying to corner the market on one of those). It gave me license to let me temper flare. It was more of a lifestyle choice then a hair color.
But, one instance of grabbing ruby instead of auburn, and gone was the sexy Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge look. Here to stay was the Ronald McDonald's crazed offspring look. So I kissed red goodbye and went back to brown.

Until Saturday. At the behest of the hubbs and a couple of other friends, I told my stylist I wanted to go red, but natural looking red. She lit up with glee and got to work a-mixin' some goop. She oohed, she ahhed, but alas, this color is only found in nature on tropical birds and poisonous lizards...but I think I love it anyway.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hopped Up on Gasoline and Conversation Hearts

This morning, the smell of gasoline greeted me at the door of my workplace, which is not a bus terminal or mechanic's shop but a library. Second time in a couple of weeks. It seems the ventilation system keeps grabbing air from near the snow plow storage area. Good times.

Also, I'm having an unusually difficult time finding the regular Necco conversation hearts. Yes, they taste sort of like chalk. Yes, they are full of empty calories and will probably rot my teefs out. But alas, I loves them and their cutesy-wootsy messages. Now all I can find are the fruity ones, and they sort of have a Windexy taste to them (I prefer the sidewalk chalky originals by far).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Probably Not Welcome at Disneyworld...

There is a mouse
living in my house
He's quite a louse
And so I grouse
To my spouse
And I will douse
This little mouse
...with toxic chemicals

So last week, I was up in my study (okay, so it's not really a study, per se, just a spare bedroom with a bookshelf and a shoddy desk), and I decided to do some organizing.
The hubbs and I had placed a bag o' Christmas joy up in the study right after the holiday, and I forgot it had some chocolate treaties in it. I pick up the bag, one of those "re-use me and save the trees" bags from La Target, and there is a big hole in the bottom. Odd, I think, since it was intact last I saw it. Then I see the poopies. I do not like poopies of any sort floating around my house, and these were clearly the excrement of a rodent, either mouse or perhaps wild dwarf hamster. I was annoyed that we had a critter, but living in the middle of cornfields and suffering through the Arctic temperatures we've had in Chicagoland lately, I thought nothing of it. I'd just get one of those humane little boxes and catch the bugger, then let him go in some other subdivision.

Then I saw what was apparently worth chewing through a bag for.

Candy wrappers, shredded like confetti. The little bastard ate my gourmet chocolates.

Gone was my earth-mother, peace-keeper, animal-loving urge to play catch and release with Mickey. Went to the hardware store, bought some traps. Homeboy's in trouble now...if only I could catch him...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Like Big Baubles, and I Cannot Lie

Is anyone else as thrilled as I am that ginormous costume jewelry is making a comeback? I was out shopping the other day, and it seems like every where you turn, there's something huge and beaded. Things that are eerily reminiscent to the dress-up days of yore...

I had some Christmas gift cardage to spend, so I went out last week, looking for some goods. Not that I hop on every trend bandwagon (maybe I do own a pair of leggings from Miley Cyrus's Walmart collection, so sue me), but as a jewelry lover (and designer), I'm really psyched about this one.

I ended up grabbing a huge silver sparkly flower ring, and I've been sporting it every day since.

How's that for fab?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Of Broken Knees & Busted Caps

The man I'm married to is made out of spun sugar. Before you go all "Aww, isn't that adorable" on me, let me clarify. He is made out of spun sugar not because he is super-duper sweet, but because he is so fragile, a stiff wind can bust his junk. Well, maybe not his junk per se, but anyway.
He's always had rotten knees. Blame genetics, blame sports, blame me for going after him with a baseball bat, but regardless, he's not in the best of knee-shape. Two years ago, a trip to his alma mater, combined with an ice storm and some Jager, resulted in intensive knee surgery. We thought all would be well and good, until Hubbs got the genius idea to play a tackle football game this fall. Yes, he scored a touchdown. He also scored another round of "rebuild the knee."

The doc told us this one would be way more intensive, that he'd be off work for up to 8 weeks, so on and so forth. We made peace with the idea that he was going to wear a two-month butt groove on the couch. We put in the paperwork for temporary disability. We ... didn't get him that mountain bike for Christmas because that would have just been cruel.

He went under the knife on Friday. He'll be back at work most likely next week. The injury wasn't as bad as originally expected. Hubbs is sad that he's not getting the two-month nap he was expecting, but I think under it all, he's feeling the same thing I am: Relief.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The One Where I (Don't) Make Resolutions

I hate the concept of the New Year's resolution. It's a lot of pressure to put on one day, not to mention, people are usually overestimating either their drive, their ability or the governing rules of physics. I mean, really, could it be any more of a setup for failure?

So I don't do "resolutions."

But...who doesn't like a clean start for something? This year, the hubbs and I are going to try to be more *ahem* responsible with money, which I guess means no more fabulous-if-too-expensive handbags. It also means fewer delicious take-out meals, which will probably be better on ye olde waistline. We also *CAUTION: GROWNUP TALK AHEAD* just finished a re-fi on our house, and paid off the hubbster's car, too.

Last year, I also got my nerd on (moreso than usual) by taking on the task of reading one non-fiction book per month, a) to expand my own horizons, and b) so I'd be better at my gig a la biblioteque. I think I may do something similar this year, but I gotta say, I don't know what to pick.

Those aren't technically resolutions, right? Anybody got anything good they're giving up, changing, starting, etc.?