Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Life in France

I finished it! I finished Julia!

Wow, I had been working on this one for a long time. And as I said, it was a pleasant enough read--just not super intriguing or on-the-edge-of-my-seat exciting. Funnily enough, it wasn't until the last hundred pages or so that I really didn't want to put it down.

I never would have read this if it hadn't been for Amy Z.'s book club idea (which didn't work out, but I had already started it and didn't want to quit)--I know little about Julia Child. I know she has a funny voice, wears high-waisted bottoms, and cooks. But this book so opened my eyes as to what her passion is, and why she enjoyed cooking for a television audience--and, indeed, what got her interested in the cooking business in the first place. I always find it so fascinating to learn what happened to make an expert fall in love with their area of work.

This is going to be a must-read for Dad, too, I just know it. I had to return it to DBRL, but he'll get it someday. A good last line, too: Toujours, bon appetit!

The cover, adorably, is the picture from one of the Childs' annual Valentine's Day cards that they sent instead of Christmas cards; they were too lazy to ever get out Christmas cards in time. My favorite V-Day card (there are two or three pages within with many they made) was a photo of Julia and Paul, in a bubble bath, looking bemusedly at the camera (and covered strategically with bubbles) with a stamped word bubble coming out of their mouths saying "Wish you were here!"

I wish I could have known them. I might have even tried fish.

Me And Magazines.

Sassy, 1988-1996.

Jane, 1997-2007.

Budget Living, 2003-2006.

And the latest victim: Organize, 2007-2008.

Now, I love magazines. We all do. In my younger days, the most exciting day of the week was coming home and seeing that Dad had left out my shiny new Entertainment Weekly. I'd read it cover to cover immediately, not understanding 2/3 of it but not caring a whit.
And I won't lie: I kept my Highlights subscription well past when it was probably appropriate to do so. (Aside: What the hell kind of name is Goofus?)

Nowadays, I subscribe to multiple periodicals, $10 meaning a little less to my 31-year-old self than that junior-high-$5-a-week-allowanced kid. Neil and I decided we could each have three subscriptions, and (okay, I cheated a little...four or five for me) Real Simple, Simple Scrapbooks, Entertainment Weekly, Nylon (I don't pay--Lily did that for me), and Figure come regularly to my door. I love them all. But I don't race upstairs, throw myself on the bed, and read them the minute I get home. In fact, to my shame, I have a huge green IKEA box of backlogs.

But Organize, now. Organize gets read.

I can't even remember what got me into it...maybe I saw it in B&N as we were making our Magazine Decisions, picked it up to try, and got sucked in then and there.

Whatever it was, it doesn't matter now. Nothing does. And I like you, Real Simple, I do. Your simple, light photographs...your matte cover...your ultra-thick thickness...they're gorgeous. But you're a little too polished for me. I am, make no question, glad you come to me. I like having you. But you're not the same.

They tell us they'll be continuing our subscription with some "appropriate" substitute. I've been down that road before, guys. Was Good Housekeeping a suitable sub for Budget Living? NO, it wasn't. When Jane folded, and sent me the same letter, I nipped that one in the bud by calling to get my $2.56 of the remaining year back before they could subject me to Lucky or whatever else Conde Nast needed subscribers to.

I have kept my backlog of Janes and Budget Livings, because I want to make them last. I have too many magazines to reread many of them (although I do keep the ones that I like), so it will be with a heavy heart that I read these dated magazines and put them away in the dank little corner I put all my old Week-after-the-Oscars coverage magazines. But they will be in good company. All the old Sassys are there, all the Janes and Budget Livings before them, and now, Organizes...and all the environmental fanatics in the world can't make me recycle an article interviewing the new It Actor, baby-faced Ethan Hawke.

I've now begun to read ShopSmart, but I hesitate to start anything else new, because it looks like I am Quirky-and-Enjoyable-Magazine Poison. If it's a bimonthly magazine, aimed at people my age, that has nothing (or very little) to do with fashion...and my name is on your subscriber might as well call it a day. Should I just throw in the towel now and subscribe to magazines I know will stand the test of time, like the aforementioned Good Housekeeping? Time? Rolling Stone? Newsweek? Even....even VOGUE, for God's sake? Hell, maybe it'll work in my favor, and they'll all shut down. (Even as I say this, I wonder if GH is any good. Anyone? Anyone with advice?)

Also, I really liked Rosie O'Donnell's magazine, the one that replaced McCall's. I never subscribed, so I didn't include it above, but that was another one that might have tasted my poison and succumbed.

P.S. Blogger, I have accidentally deleted photos in many, many posts. Please, please introduce an Undo feature. Here's a Mars bar, with my thanks in advance.

It's even deep-fried. Doesn't that sound disgustingly delicious?? I kind of want to make this happen on my next Cheat Day.

(another P.S. to the existing P.S...
Don't "Thanks in Advance"s seem kind of patronizing? Like "I'm going to pretend to ask you to do this for me, but I'm really expecting it, so do it, THANKS!")

P.P.S. How come Blogger seems to be auto-correcting my typing so there's only one space after my periods? If there's ONE thing I know about punctuation, Blogger, it's TWO SPACES AFTER THE PERIODS.

P.P.P.S. Look what I found in my archives, from way back in March. A foreshadowing?

"Am loving my new "Organize" magazine. Every page makes me excited. I have a propensity for falling in love with and subscribing to magazines that get cancelled, though (Sassy, Jane, Budget Living) so I hope I don't jinx this one"

Saturday, July 26, 2008


So, for awhile now, Neil's brother Paul has suffered from this inexplicable itch. He's up nights, taken trillions of tests, listened to docs say "It's probably your liver," "It's the weather--try Florida," "It could be anything." In response, Paul's had his liver tested. He went to Florida for a week with his fantabulous wife Stacy to see if he felt better. He did hours of research online to see all the things it could be.

If it were me, I'd be screaming. I'd be bitching. I'd stomp my feet and stay in that office until they ran every test in the book to stop the infernal itching. It makes ME itch, just thinking about HIS itch. (See? Aren't you a little itchy?)

Okay, so Paul's itchy most of the day. It's a testament to him that when we visited last month, I didn't even notice. What kind of self-control must he have to not itch when he itches?

Anyway--after the Florida trip (which was pleasant, but not miraculous), Paul and Papa (the Dazet Dad) turned to the internet. They scoured sites, looking for all of Paul's symptoms, knowing that if THEY didn't do it, no one would. (I am certainly not a fan of docs after my mom's constant misdiagnoses, however much I abhor the scare tactics used by people on the internet looking to victimize folks who have diseases.) Papa and Paul agreed that, given Paul's symptoms, Hodgkin's Disease was the best match. (I mean, it's not the best thing ever...just matched what they were seeking.) Paul was so excited to find the source of the itch, and wanted to get tested right away. Luckily, his doctor was impressed with his findings, and scheduled Paul a visit with the oncologist.

(I HATE these words. I hate them. I hate that I can't control my tears even seeing the word "oncologist.")

At this point, we were all pretty relieved that Paul might be on the road to wellness and relief--after all, Hodgkin's is treatable, and Paul and Papa might have caught something that the doctors couldn't figure out.

But it's still cancer. And it still makes me cry like a baby. Big heaving sobs that make me cover my whole face in an effort to control them.

I was okay, though. Neil was worried, but I was strangely confident...I knew that IF the test showed up positive for Hodgkin's, Paul would be fine, and his uncomfortable nightmare would be over soon.

It was still a big, huge punch to the gut when Neil called the other morning to say that Paul's first tests showed tumors in his neck and chest.

Next is "staging the cancer," (which sounds fun, until you realize it isn't at all like a splashy musical) then a biopsy. I am torn between wanting to do research myself (on a librarian-approved med site, of course), or remaining in ignorance.

I know I am not the only one who has gone through this. I know I was one of the lucky ones who have been a part of this awful thing--I didn't see Mama die slowly. She was healthy and fun and happy and sassy and hopeful right up until the last month or so, and even then, she was never despondent or regretful. I loved seeing her like that...I mean, it was the hardest time in my life, ever, but I loved that she, to borrow a line, went gracefully into that good night, and wasn't scared. THAT is how I remember her.

I don't believe this will be an easy road for Paul, his wife, his adorable children, his brothers, his parents, his congregation, his hundreds of close friends...any of us. But I DO believe he'll come out just fine in the end, itch-free and goofy as ever. And I know I'll get that confidence back.

This week, though, it's hard.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I feel a little better now.

I just needed to get that off my chest.


It's funny how posting on here lately hasn't been as frequent a habit as it was during the school/working year.  I suppose it's because since I've had so much to accomplish on my own this summer (wedding planning, selling my Oz collection on eBay), I feel guilty if I spent more than an hour or so doing pleasurable activities on the computer during my home-alone hours.  Then at night, when I do have time, I just feel like playing Word Twist while TVLand plays in the background.

I go back to work next Friday, so this Monday morning begins my last full free week.  And it's not even like my schedule is going to whup my butt or anything...Bossie's even letting me work five hours a day, four days a week so I have an extra day to plan each week.  And if there's anything I love, it's having my Fridays off.  For some reason, a four-day workweek is sooooo much easier to handle than a Mon-Fri schedule.

So how has my summer been?  Am I happy with what I've accomplished?  

Genny Dawson
Unit B, 3rd Grade
Mrs. Russell
September 4, 1985

What I Did This Summer

(Okay, obviously the date was just for effect.  I'm not really in 3rd grade.  I just felt like a personal essay, and I wanted an assignment.  One of my weirdest idiosyncrasies--and one that I have been forced to break--is vowing NEVER EVER to date something with a date that isn't today...or, the date I dated it.  Thereby forcing myself never to postdate checks.  It has been surprising to me the number of times I've had to date things differently.  And I think of this vow every time.  So in reality, I can't keep my promise to myself.  But in my heart, I wish I could.  Anyway, that's why the above doesn't make sense either--I didn't even date it the same month as now, trying to keep the illusion going of returning to school after Labor Day.  Remember when we used to do that?  Yeah, that was nice.  None of this August 20th bulls%$*t.)

But I guess I digress.

So, this summer.  I'm unna bullet-point.
  • I do not like the new horror-movie Verizon commercials, where people say not to go somewhere because it's a Dead Zone.  Do not like them.  Scary.
  • I think my goal of finishing my eBay stuff by next Friday--at least, having all the auctions end--is doable.  And that's a huge relief.  I still have some to do, but the pile isn't going to be impossible to get through this week.
  • I visited Emmsies a few times, and we got a lot accomplished.  The invite we made up last week, the special one, is awesome!  I'll probably need to go there once or twice more to finish up, but it feels so good to have something in my hand.
  • I got my dresses, and though I'm having one altered, I like knowing they're procured.  
  • Many decisions were solidified: Paul will officiate, I know what I'm carrying, we decided on an exact location, the reception and wedding dinner are beginning to take shape, and Steve, Joe and I visited Mike Straw's to practice the song they'll be singing.
  • I finished Season 2 of 90210 and began the juiciest one, Season 3, with Paris and the Brenda-Kelly-Dylan triangle, this weekend.  And I'll never forget the mock-90210 credits on the Special Features of Season 2.  Worth the Netflix rental alone, people!
  • Saw the SATC movie with AGA.  Awesome.  I laughed, cried, and it didn't seem to last 2.5 hours.  I don't see movies in the theatre a lot (despite living, basically, next door to one), so when I do, I'm selective.
  • I joined Facebook, and have spent many merry hours reconnecting with folks and wasting my life away with word games.  One great friendship that has re-emerged out of this Social Network is Betsy Arthur, who I've known since we were THREE!  It's been awesome to read and write long chatty e-mails about where our lives have taken us.  Also, I need to go through all my friends' profiles to see if they have blogs.  Other old friends surprisingly found: Laura B., Andrea D., Bruce H., Paddy A., Kevin R., Elizabeth B., Lauren N., Aaron D., Ellen H.,  Jimmy K., Jen L., Amy G., and Joshie S.
  • I am really starting to get on the FlyLady bandwagon (a community of mostly women who make changes in their lives to keep up with housecleaning without making it a full-time career), but haven't had time to keep up with the backed-up LOAD of ultra-long digest e-mails that come each day.  I've begun, though, and hope to keep on keepin' on.  For awhile, I made the bed every day even, but now that's probably only a couple times a week.  I do like the habit, though.  And dishes are never left in the sink for very long anymore.
  • Sean has grown big-time (as painful as it is to recognize), and even though I know it's because he'd rather have the freedom of running around, I love it when he clings to my arm and tries to scramble back up it whenever I try to put him back on his driftwood after playing.
  • BOTH Lily & Steve came into town, separately, so we had good family visits for two weeks.  She gave me some great advice about my dress and has dark brown hair, and Steve is funny and still denying his latent homosexuality.  (Kidding, ladies, kidding.  He's still on the market for touchin' some boobies.  I just like to tease.)
  • I've been learning some terrific and awesome dietary recipes, ones that make my cravings for carb-rich foods surprisingly low.  I'll say it again, it was *extremely* helpful for this that I was dieting before I started the new plan, because all this meaty, cheesy stuff was restricted before.
  • I re-read Twilight and am now on the second, in preparation for the third and Breaking Dawn.  Since I sped through New Moon so recklessly, I'm sure I missed some details.  Although...I'll be honest, I don't think these books have near the depth that Harry Potter explores.  They're just intriguing and emotional and fun.  And the second go-round, predictably, isn't as good as the first time.
  • Speaking of reading...not much done on that front, I'm afraid.  And after I vowed to read an hour a day, too!  My other duties just took priority during the day, and I guess when I'm not home alone, I don't want to sequester myself in silence when there's a Neil around to play with.  I did finish A Light in the Window on audio CD, though.  It was pleasant and heartwarming, just as the first had been, with added bonuses of relationship drama to keep my romantic side satisfied.  I just got a message from DBRL saying I'd better return My Life in France soon or they have dibs on my first-born, so my goal this week is to finish it.  It's a wonderful read, but not....gripping.  I'm not dying to read the next chapter to see what happens when Bella and Edward finally get some alone time, you know?  I mean, does anyone read with bated breath to find out if Julia Child's going to be a famous chef some day?  Cat's kind of out of the bag.
  • I got a really good start on the Reception/Gathering guest list, and only have one more paper resource to exhaust for our family's contacts.  Next is finding addresses, getting Neil's list, and making the final invites with Emily.  I feel like mailing everything in late August is definitely a possibility.
  • Speaking of Emily...we've been able to have time for some wonderful visits, both over the phone and in person, this summer.  Ostensibly it was to get some planning done, but I have loved seeing my bestie so often and spending time with her beautiful glorious boy (Noah, that is.  You're totally effervescent, Joe, but I don't see you wriggle all over when you're getting ready for bed).  I have never seen a baby so happy to come home after we took a walk!  Or to have his diaper taken off for the bath!  Or having free rein to kick at my legs as I lean over him while Emily makes his dinner!  His whole body flails around and he laughs with joy and looks like he just CANNOT STAND ANOTHER MINUTE of this or he will EXPLODE FROM ALL THE GOODNESS MOM I'M SERIOUS!
  • Lily and I have good long talks once or twice every week, and I love that we are of the ages where this doesn't seem like a big/little sister relationship anymore but that of close friends who happen to also be sisters.  After not getting along with each other through the majority of....well, the's pretty cool to me that we emerged scot-free with no residual hatred or resentments.  (Well, I can't speak for her.  But I'm assuming she wouldn't be calling if she was hatin' on me.)
  • Still sit on the porch one or more nights a week with Dad and his Muriel Coronella cigar (best in the business, sweetheart--so cheap you can only get it at the Gerbes on Broadway!  Dad's so used to them he can't even smoke good ones when people give them to him, thinking he can't afford them or he'd never be smoking them.  The same holds true for all of us and champagne other than Andre)...we get a lot of good talking done out there, to the point that it's our own little therapy sessions about Mom and our lives. 


All in all, a great two months.  I feel like I got a lot done; maybe different things than I had in mind, and at a different pace than I'd planned, but I'm not panicky because things didn't turn out exactly as planned.  I do know that life will continue to go in Crazy To-Do List Mode for awhile, and may not be calm until January, right when the weather makes me want to just curl up in a ball under the covers all day.  At least I'll have time for it then.

Also, I have more than a week and a half left until I have to go back.  I'm talking like this is the last night before work starts tomorrow.   PLENTY of time to do nuttin'....

Oh, no.

So I just heard a term.  And by GOLLY I hope it doesn't catch on or, worse, HAS, and I didn't even know it.

This word is "Movical."  Oh my lord.  

People--I have sat silently by while "Rom-Com" catches on, inwardly screaming at how the "Rom" and "Com" parts don't rhyme (because it totally looks like they would, if you were a stranger to English and learning our next-to-impossible language).   Grinding my teeth at the dumbing-down of one of my favorite movie genres, because now it seems even more stupid if I say I want to see the new Ellen Page movie and people are all "Oh, yeah, the rom-com," all condescendingly.

And now comes my other favorite movie genre, totally made to sound INSANELY stupid by people who...what?  Think it's easier to SAY?  Are the type of people who think two extra syllables are just too tough?  (Well, it's probably the same folks who type "lol" instead of the one-extra-lettered-and-a-smatter-more-intelligent "haha.")

I have been cursing whoever starts these for turning Every Little Combo into portmanteau words, when in this case it's just a GENRE of movies.  I mean, are we going to do this for every genre now?  What's freakin' next?


ANI-motion pictures?

So, NO.  I refuse to accept F%#&ing "MOVICAL."  It sounds like a COW, SEARCHING FOR HIS CALF.  

And for that matter, I will no longer recognize "Rom Com" as a viable term.  That's right, folks.  You try to use it, I'll pretend I just went temporarily deaf and will ask you to repeat yourself until you say something different.  Or else I'll just bop you in the nose.

'Cos you should know better!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Independence Day, Independent Week

Our July 4th celebration began with preparations throughout the latter part of last week. I made slaw and mock potato salad, and started a flag cake, went food shopping with Dad, and visited the fireworks stand (Bob's) with Neil, Joe, Tina, and her mom and cute l'il bro Ethan. I am telling you, buying fireworks on July 3rd at 9:30 p.m. is downright pleasant! I am permanently switching from buying them on July 4th. It's always too hot and too many people and all the pagodas are usually gone. And the fireworks workers smell. Anyway, we had an awesome time picking out fountains and 'silent' fireworks like tanks and tractors and flowers and UFOs and snakes (I know, lame) and turtles. (Silent because Dad said the cops were cracking down.)

Oh! I forgot. During the week, Sean was being awful cute during Playtime. Here he is watching his own kind on YouTube:

Okay, back to the subject.

Friday dawned temperate and partly cloudy (what am I saying? I wouldn't know if it dawned green clouds and blue and red striped sun considering my wake-up time), and I set to work. I finished the Flag Cake (which quickly turned into a simple striped cake--I'm no artist), kept watch over Daddy's beer-marinating brisket, and got the house ready for the evening. Amanda and Braden joined us, and Dad and Steve pulled up from the airport at about 6:00. Steeeeeeve! He makes me laugh so hard. And I'll never stop with the gay jokes. (Last night we were playing Yahtzee [Triple], and he rolled the dice and said all happily 'small straight'! I said 'It may be small, but it sure as hell ain't straight'--one of my best performances, I think.)

We started dinner, and my mock potato salad was teased mercilessly. After we were full of Hoss' sides and brisket, we adjourned to the front porch.

We began small, with snappers (both Amanda and a visiting Jordan Parshall got Bum Boxes) and snakes, (which....always boring. Always):

See how much fun everyone's having?

...then tried out an innocuous-looking Frog in the front yard. Frogs are supposed to do this:

Emits Sparks and Flames, maybe lets out a whistle...not much else. I mean, this thing doesn't have wheels, you know? We considered putting it on the porch and lighting it, but thought better of it.

It was a good thing we did.

That Front Yard Frog flat-out exploded. Like, big ol' BOOM! Frog parts everywhere! No fizzling, no minor sparks.

After that, we moved to the backyard. I long for the kind of huge patio/basketball court or whatever it is that Ree The Pioneer Woman used, but we had to make do with Dad's temporary patio (he's putting in a new back porch, so all the bricks have been taken up, and relocated to the front driveway--which looks awesome).

I tried taking photos, but they were mainly blurry...

However, once Neil took over, all was right again. He got this unbelievable shot of the Raddest Firework Of Them All, the TRACTOR!

Soon after we dramatically reduced our fireworks stash, we headed over to Turner Avenue parking garage to watch Fire in the Sky. Roger and Heidi, Steve's ex and a super-duperly sweet girl, joined us, as did Tina. I busted out the Ol' Glory Energy Drinks ("Keeping Americans Strong") and Neil and Joe showed their patriotism:

I noticed that Mom decided to peek out a bit and join us...only partly, of course; she's never liked fireworks...

Fire in the Sky was....meh. Just meh. I had much more fun at home, and when we returned and shot off the best fountains ($4-5 a pop, people!), I felt we'd ended the night on a high note.

So that was our 4th. Dad, show some respect to our country, will ya?


So Monday morning, I woke up earlier than I have in a lo-o-o-ong time (EIGHT a.m.!) and Neil and I drove to StL so he could fly off on a jet plane to business training in D.C.

I wasn't looking forward to this week, but I had a consolation prize to look forward to: a Visit With Emily that day! I first got mondo-serious lost, though, trying to get back on 170 from my innocent little stop in the Ladue Barnes & Noble. After about half an hour of fruitlessly driving toward what I thought was Delmar, I called Dad. He's much more of a map-reader than I am (and yeah, come to think of it, I totally had an atlas in the car with me. Duh) and quickly ascertained where I was, and where I needed to turn.

I made it to Em's, and got a chance to enjoy her heavily-shaded beautiful street for a few minutes before she arrived from teaching. It's getting to be summer, finally (though I wouldn't care if this early-fall weather goes on forever), so the day was pretty muggy and stickily hot, but you wouldn't even know it under the Westminster trees. Emily arrived, all adorably curly-headed and rosy-cheeked, and we traipsed upstairs to her little family.

After hanging out for a couple hours (Noah. is. CUTE!!!!), we visited what may be my favorite store on Earth, Archiver's, in this kick-ass mall--The Mills. We took our time strolling around, coming up with wedding-invite options, and I am *totally* excited to start in on those details.

The rest of the day went fast...TOO fast! Noah is at his possible cutest during dinner/bath/bed time, and I was thrilled to see my little unofficial nephew growing up, but not too much.

I drove home late, because I can't leave when there's still a million things to chat about and giggle over. It's way too much fun to be with my bestie. But I got some Diet Sunkist from Walgreen's and, armed with my Jan Karon cd, I made it home safely.

Getting to sleep wasn't so easy. It was hard coming home to a dark, empty apartment, and even harder to fall asleep. I don't think that's going to change until Friday night...but that's okay. I kinda like knowing I don't fall into independent living too easily!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Bad Pattern.

I love this song.

What I don't love is how often I'm actually seeing 3 A.M. these days.  

I had to guess this would happen.  Two months off, with barely any days in there where I have to get up, and I am completely a night owl at heart.  I kept staying up later and later and later, and here I am, stuck in the 3-to-4-a.m. pattern, losing every morning to blissful sleep and calling an 11:30 wake-up "surprisingly early."  I mean, it's not like I'm sleeping too much, or losing sleep, and my nights are often spent doing productive things (I made two kinds of sugar-free jell-o tonight!  And flax crackers!  And edited photos until I couldn't tell if what I was looking at was an Emerald City Guard Doll or a pair of Flying Monkey Slippers!  [Note to those who don't know: I used to collect Wizard of Oz stuff.  I still love it, but there's not room for it anymore, it is a bitch to move with, and I'm gladly trading it in for money!])

So, I'm not in a bad sleeping mode where I'm tired all the time or anything like that.  I don't take naps, and since my days are so busy (I normally don't even have time to check e-mail more than once when I get up and again after Neil gets home and I'm slowing down with the house-duties), I am subsisting just great on eight or so hours a night.

Okay, maybe it isn't such a bad pattern.  But I seriously went to bed the other night, at like 4:30, and Neil woke up when I went in, and after talking and cuddling for a bit, he got up for the day.  It was turning light outside.  

I really do love the mornings.  I feel so awesome when I actually can get up before the clock strikes noon (on a day when I don't have to already) and have a productive day.  Maybe if I ever live in a house with a pool, I can get up and swim that early.  That would be some kind of cool wake-up.  I used to take swimming lessons in the morning, and while at first I cursed it, after it was over, I missed that jolt of cold water and exercise right away to cure me of the grogglies.  

In other news: Lily was here last week!  We squoze each other in when we could, and had a super time.  We took a sisterly trip to Sam's to get dad's Father's Day gift (a chair massager he's always liked, but never would have bought for himself), had dinner out that night with the fam (minus Steve, of course, and Neil, who stayed home after a cruddy day at work) at this wine bistro on Cherry Street (Lily got beef cheek!  Like, the damned cheek of a cow!  Good though), she checked out my wedding/reception dresses and gave me the awesome advice I really needed, and Neil &I took her and Dad to Madison's in JC Friday night for a late, late Lily-birthday present.  We took a walk around the capitol building and downtown while Dad smoked his cigar, and it was the most pleasant evening I have had in a long time.  I was reminded how much I love, love, love summer nights (though it was more like an early fall breezy and almost cool outside).

The only bummer was the drive home.  I adore night driving, especially if I don't have to drive, particularly on a longish drive such as the one from JC to Columbia.  I know, it's a weird thing to look forward to, but I was.

Unfortunately, my bladder wasn't going to let me have a good time.  I spent the whole trip counting down the miles and cursing being born as a girl, as I couldn't hop out of the car and let it all out behind a bush.  I do not squat, and I do not use any sort of natural substitute (i.e. leaves) for toilet paper.

Is it uncouth that I just talked about peeing for a full paragraph?  I'll change the subject for our more sensitive viewers.

My to-do list is slowly being hacked at, thanks to the goodness.  As disciplined as I'm trying to be every day with my mini daily to-dos (written on paper), with items like "1 hour: work on eBay photos" or "Swiffer and wet-mop kitchen and bathroom floors," I just can't work that way--yet.  I'm getting better though.  So if I do eBay photos, I know I may not have the drive to do it again tomorrow, so I do as much as I can before I lose my eyesight for the day (and I played a little Keith Urban today during my first go, which made it go by fast).  Wedding planning is going decently enough.  I can't say anything is definitely figured out (I just changed my mind today about my reception dress, currently hanging in the closet), but I feel more comfortable about what I need to do in the coming weeks.  I'm meeting with Emz next Monday, and I have lots of ideas about where to start, invitation-wise.

Do you think rugs shrink?  Because we washed the kitchen one, and it had rug tape under it, but today when I put the rug back, it didn't meet the ends of the tape.  We wash our bathroom rugs all the dang time, so I figured it would be okay.  In other sad news, I can't find my personal property tax receipt.  I lose this thing every time!  I even have a hanging file folder with "Personal Property Tax Receipts" on the tab.  What is wrong with me?  Is there some receipt imp that comes in every other July, right when I'm looking for it, and throws it in the toilet?  What would he look like?

I'll keep an eye out.  I bet he just sneaks in my folders, and clips all the important registration documents together, and clips 'em away somewhere.  That has to be it.

I think I'm getting tired.  But Steve will be here soon!  Whoo-pee!  I loves me some Steve.