Saturday, April 30, 2011

Delay Delay Delay

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
John Lennon
Jared and I are not in Minneapolis right now. We're still in Platteville in the old house. We were supposed to be merrily on our way this morning, but oxidation got in the way. Apparently the rusty curved piece of piping we found in our driveway was not just debris thrown into our yard by drunks --- it's a part from the Jared's Camry.

The car should should be ready to roll on Monday. The bad: the earliest we can get internet installed is on Friday; Jared's interview on Monday morning needs to be moved; all the fun retro shopping I planned will be missed. The good: we're leisurely cleaning the house instead of rushing around like headless chickens; I'll have a whole week internet-free to arrange and decorate my house; I will be exploring my neighborhood without Google maps to guide me (which should be refreshing).

Just in case you didn't realize that I need internet to blog: hiatus until Saturday. Then, another week long hiatus while I'm in fabulous, culture-saturated San Francisco! Prepare for a photo slideshow of my chill vacation. Bring your yawn faces.

Friday, April 29, 2011

100 Things That I Love

Today I read articles on minimalism and happiness. The article on minimalism spoke of Dave Bruno's 100 Thing Challenge. The article on happiness was about how hard it can be to pinpoint what makes us happy. Because my brain is really into remixes, I bring you the 100 Things That I Love list.
  1. I love reading about the news online, but hate televised news.
  2. I love movies that have good Rotten Tomatoes ratings and explosions (e.g. The Rundown), but generally dislike movies with amazing Rotten Tomatoes ratings (e.g. Gran Torino).
  3. I love bar-b-que.
  4. I love any show or movie that is set in space... but I don't like Star Wars.
  5. I love prints, but hate stripes.
  6. I love long hair --- on anyone else but me.
  7. I love dancing solo or with ladies, but hate dancing with a guy.
  8. I love to see people get what they deserve.
  9. I love to window shop online. I spend hours filling up a cart and then close the tab.
  10. I love making Excel charts.
  11. I love trying new foods.
  12. I love hanging out with one person at a time, and feel a little lost in groups.
  13. I love being out in the sun no matter how bad it is for me.
  14. I love customizing everyday items.
  15. I love unexpected uses of everyday items.
  16. I love that I can solve most problems with vinegar.
  17. I love cheese bread from Domino's pizza with ranch dressing.
  18. I love that outside smell that you can't bottle. You just have to go outside and let it sink in.
  19. I love anything from the Rosebud Perfume Company.
  20. I love affordable shipping rates.
  21. I love 7 for $25.50 undies sales at Victoria's Secret.
  22. I love catfish.
  23. I love that I can realistically sketch anything in front of me.
  24. I love the Barenaked Ladies. If I was trapped on a desert island, they could serenade me everyday.
  25. I love mnemonic devices.
  26. I love portmanteaus. (I even love the word "portmanteau.")
  27. I love small, pretty things with excellent design value.
  28. I love Jane Tran bobby pins.
  29. I love TOMS classics.
  30. I love jigsaw puzzles.
  31. I love crossword puzzles.
  32. I love cryptoquotes.
  33. I love zucchini bread.
  34. I love asparagus.
  35. I love spinach, but I hate lettuce.
  36. I love flea markets.
  37. I love garage sales.
  38. I love big concerts, but hate the crowds.
  39. I love vinyl records.
  40. I love plants.
  41. I love campy movies.
  42. I love puns.
  43. I love satire.
  44. I love exaggerated facial expressions
  45. I love to make loud, weird noises.
  46. I love Heavenly Hash ice cream from Food Club.
  47. I love The Beatles, but hate Across the Universe (the movie) and The White Album.
  48. I love Doctor Who (2005- ), but grow very tired of Doctor Who (1963–1989).
  49. I love blue cotton candy at the movies.
  50. I love a Chicago style hot dog with cajun fries.
  51. I love laughing so hard my chest hurts, and I'm out of breath.
  52. I love Colin Firth. He's easily my favorite actor.
  53. I love SNL Celebrity Jeopardy.
  54. I love regular Jeopardy.
  55. I love Whitest Kids U Know.
  56. I love Flight of the Conchords.
  57. I love funny t-shirts, but hate text t-shirts.
  58. I love talking about anything that isn't religion, politics or sex.
  59. I love having close friends who can tell me all about their personal lives, but hate when complete strangers tell me their business.
  60. I love being honest, but hate that I have a reputation for being brutally honest. (There are things I keep my trap shut about.)
  61. I love being able to look up anything I want online.
  62. I love corgis. (You guys knew that was coming.)
  63. I love shopping and going to museums alone.
  64. I love talking with food in my mouth. (True story. Ask Jared.)
  65. I love RED RED RED.
  66. I love our cushy orange chair.
  67. I love documentaries.
  68. I love reading about real life tragedy.
  69. I love Amelie.
  70. I love purses, but hate backpacks and messenger bags.
  71. I love floral tapestry print luggage.
  72. I love having painted nails.
  73. I love David Sedaris's biographical short stories.
  74. I love brightly colored houses.
  75. I love colorful, interesting socks.
  76. I love sweet tea. (Or, for you Northerners, Iced Tea with sugar.)
  77. I love heavy-handed design from the 1970s.
  78. I love furniture that is multi-functional, but I hate multi-tasking.
  79. I love short sentences that clearly get a point across.
  80. I love my bed.
  81. I love anagrams.
  82. I love pizza.
  83. I love notebooks. (Especially Moleskines. And, I'm okay with how hipster that is.)
  84. I love cliches.
  85. I love fruit flavored, sugarless gum.
  86. I love silhouettes.
  87. I love snarky cross-stitch.
  88. I love Coke.
  89. I love my insoles.
  90. I love cheese. (Especially goat cheese, Havarti and aged cheddar.)
  91. I love smoked oysters and clams.
  92. I love shell fish.
  93. I love bracelets.
  94. I love copper anything. (My copper piggy bank is amazing.)
  95. I love finding new television shows to love.
  96. I love making my own sound effects and theme songs.
  97. I love straightening things.
  98. I love really well seasoned salsa.
  99. I love metal works.
  100. I love lamp(s).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they feel they can't do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do.
Chuck Norris

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Top 5: Best and Worst Purchases

Top 5 Best Purchases:
Netbook $399.00
I am deeply, unflinchingly in love with netbooks. Not only was the idea of a truly portable computer amazing, but the realization of the idea was phenomenal. My netbook has connected me to family and friends, entertained me for months on end, and provided light to the dark room in which I sit tonight --- it has also inspired me. It has taught me about living small and editing what you hold onto in your life. I don't need the glitz and speed of a 17" laptop/desktop. Everything I need can fit into 3 lbs and a 10.5 inch frame.
Crockpot $4.00
My Crockpot was bought at a Goodwill. It's cord had been snipped; it looked brand new. It's most likely from the 1970s or 1980s. I saw one just like it at an art fair once. It was being used to keep brats warm. I asked the chef how long he had his Crockpot for, and he told me it was a wedding gift to his wife of 25 years. I use my Crockpot at least every other week and sometimes twice a week. I cook up chili, jambalaya, corned beef, beef stew... all sort of meals. She's not the fanciest of cooking vessels, but she is sturdy and true. (Man, I have watched far too much Firefly this week.)
Teapot $29.00 - Free
I have killed many teapots. I burnt through my copper teapot that had no whistle when I forgot that I was making tea. I panicked, took the teapot off the stove and put it in the sink. The spout fell off; it was horrible. From then on I only used teapots with whistles. My white teapot that I got at Goodwill now lives with Ciera, because I traded up to a teapot with cowspots that my Gram gave me. The valves were getting loose on that one, so Jared bought me one from Menard's on Black Friday. One afternoon, I went to make tea and noticed the telling white dust of calcium in the bottom of the teapot. I confronted Jared about this, and he admitted to accidentally leaving the teapot on to boil while empty. Generally this is fine if caught early enough. However, this was a $3.00 teapot (and not a second hand $3.00 teapot). The valve that made the teapot whistle was warped and rendered the teapot unusable. I was miffed. I resorted to retail therapy (which is cheaper than Type-A anger management). I bought an OXO white teapot for just under $30.00. I am very pleased with this teapot. If anything, the whistle in too loud, the lid is too tight and the teapot reaches boiling point too quickly. (I use the time it takes to boil water to clean the kitchen.) The price is justifiable on a cost per use basis; I make tea once a day. Drinking tea also saves me money (as opposed to soda). And, drinking tea is better for my health. (Although, Jared will claim I am too thirsty all the time.)
MP3 Player ($199.00 - $40.00)
I spent the majority of my high school graduation money on a 30 GB iPod Classic. I used that for 3 years until it only produced sound in one earbud. I'm planning on hooking it up to my radio in Minneapolis, which only has one speaker. Everything else still works, and it still has terrific battery life. I bought a Sansa Fuze 4 GB and put a mini SD card that held 12 GB in that. I used that for one year before that became touch and go. Then I replaced that with a 8GB Sansa Fuze. I like the Sansa Fuze, it's cheap, good sounding, and can hold all the music I have. (I edit down my music like I do everything else.) When I was in college, I listened to my iPod constantly. I would dance to Girl Talk or Big & Rich and render oil paintings. I would hum Belle and Sebastian and draw nudes. Music kept me from going crazy. It stills my brain. I'm planning on buying an iPod for myself once I get a job in the city. Much like the iPod of my high school graduation this will be a "congratulations, you're an adult" gift. (I'll hold out until September and get the latest. From the looks of things... I'm thinking nano.)
Insoles $340.00
Wow, that's a lot of cash. But, I use my insoles every standing moment of the day (or at least I really should). My doctor says that my feet are so flat that I should never go barefoot. Outside of that slightly restraining thought, my insoles have made my back stop aching, my knees stop swelling and ankles stop pinching. It's amazing what feet can do.

Top 5 Worst Purchases
Prom Heels $49.99
I wore heels for ten minutes at prom. I wore them to prom, took them off and then put them back on to leave. My dress was ten dollars less than those shoes. I really wish I just bought some fancy flats instead. I was limping from those things for weeks. Pulled my bones out of place. It taught me that I can never wear heels, and that's a life lesson to live by. Whatever that means. Secondly, I held onto these shoes far too long. I just now got rid of them last May. That's four years of rented closet space wasted.
Rollerblades ~$100.00 and my immortal soul
I don't know if I can take credit for this one. I mentioned once once to John that I was interested in learning to Rollerblade. The guy goes out and spends somewhere around $100.00 on Rollerblades for me. Maybe he should have taken me to a podiatrist with that money instead. For those of us just joining me on this blog, Holley has bad feet and puts weight on the wrong sides of her feet. It's physically impossible for me to use in line skates. The best part, years later when I wanted a bike he told me that I never use those Rollerblades he bought me. If only he knew I had a clubbed foot... oh wait he did.
Turkey Roasting Pan $9.00
Everyday I look on top of my refrigerator at the embodiment of my self-loathing (or addiction, whatever makes this more dramatic). I own a huge turkey roasting pan. It was mostly Jared's idea, but I went along with it. I hate turkey, and that pan is too large for standard lasagna noodles. I hate this pan so much.
Jones New York Pink Cardigan $16.00
I am an avid sale shopper. I have rules for shopping, but sometimes I break my own rules and end up regretting purchases. I used to own a Jones New York Cardigan that was hot pink with black floral print. The design itself was awesome, and I had been eying it up for months. But, by the time it was finally at an affordable price, it was only available in large. I wear a small, sometimes x-small, in Jones New York. I bought it anyways. I looked at it in my closet for over a year. I put it on consignment last month. I was happy just to have it out of my house! Every time I looked at it I felt guilty for owning it and never wearing it.
Mini-skirts and Short-shorts $... more than I want to think about
I don't know why I keep forgetting that I have jumbo thighs. Every two or three years, I put on my skinny-goggles and buy something way too short. I get it home, try the item on, think "this will be great for summer!" and then spend four months avoiding wearing it. Right now I only have one pair of shorts that I own and feel guilty about. I keep them, because if I don't move, they look great! If I walk five steps, they're migrating north and fast. The price of these short shorts/skirts goes beyond the monetary cost, they make me feel bad about me. They also cause me to feel guilty about owning something I never wear. Added up and short shorts/skirts are the Top Top Worst Purchases I've made in my young life.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Final Countdown

We are in the final days of the move out countdown. Here are the few things I have left to do:
  • File a Change of Address
  • Take my cell phone to US Cellular and cancel my contract
  • Get a new phone with Verizon (US Cellular doesn't cover Minneapolis.)
  • Call my two student loan providers and change my billing address
  • Cancel my Younker's card (I'm a Macy's girl at heart. Thank you Mall of America.)
  • Change the billing address for my Old Navy account
  • Cancel utility services to the Platteville house
  • Find a cheap, yet reliable internet service for the apartment
  • Nag Jared into ordering more Insulin
When we get to Minneapolis I need to get these things done:
  • Find a place to volunteer a few times a week
  • Arrange the living room where it looks less cramped
  • Set up the kitchen
  • Hang up my clothes
  • Unpack everything
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Get a Minnesota ID
  • Register to vote
  • EDIT: Take photos of new place and send cards to the grandmothers.
I won't be applying for jobs until after my trip to San Francisco. And I won't be shopping for anything until after I get a job. The great news is that I'm in the home stretch for moving. I keep thinking about things I'd like to replace that are broken (like I have two Barenaked Ladies Stunt CDs that are scratched in the same place). Then, I realize that because I buy second hand, everything is going to be cheaper in the city. Another bit of great news is that I'm being added on to Jared's family's cell phone plan. That will cut my bill in half! I also called US Cellular and they're waiving the fee for early contract termination as long as I turn in my cell phone and equipment.

So far serendipity has been good to our tiny household.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Slow Going

Moving for me has never been a drawn out process. Usually I'd have less than 24 hours to get it all done including cleaning; if I was lucky, I'd have 48 hours. Jared and I have been packing (actively), moving and cleaning (sluggishly) for almost a month now. I feel kind of stuck where I'm at right now. I really need a push to get the house all squared away by May 1st. Instead, I wake up late, make some food and watch television shows on Netflix until Jared comes home around 2 pm. I get a lot of energy once he's here, but I really can't do anything with all his stuff in the way. I nag him about picking up his stuff, but we aren't getting anywhere. I've gotten so nervous that I'm back to taking 5-htp once a day again. Man, I don't care if it's a placebo effect. If it works, it works. I have people coming over tomorrow to look at the blue recliner and the orange chairs that I put up on Craigslist. We'll see how that goes.

This is what I have listed on Craigslist:

I did have a very strange call about the blue recliner. I can only quote a small section of it verbatim, but the gist is that I had to ask a lot of unnecessary questions. The woman that called asked if the chair was one piece or two (which is confusing because, in the picture it is very obvious it is in one piece). I said it was one piece. She asked if it had any tears. I told her that there was some wear to the bottom, which is visible in the photo on the advertisement. She then asked "Where can it be seen at?" I had her repeat this, because it's odd phrasing. "Our home in Platteville," I replied. "Where's that?" she questioned. "Platteville or my home in Platteville?" I replied. She never really answered this, but instead muttered to herself (possibly me?) something about $10.00 or best offer and having seen another chair. And then she disconnected the call. At that point, I decided that if she called back, I was not answering.

The woman who called about the chairs was very nice, so hopefully that goes well.
I am also expecting a call from a woman about the jewelry armoire I'm selling.

It should be an interesting tomorrow.

In other news, I have spent an obscene amount of time on this spreadsheet of the Best of the Twin Cities 2010/2011 spots I'm interested in. And, I've started a bookmarks folder titled "If I Had A Million Dollars" that will hold all the links to my window shopping finds. I'm doing whatever I can to distract myself, but at the end of every night I have Dire Straits stuck in my head and a brow sore from furrowing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 5: Bad Things That Have Made Me Better

Acne has by far made me a better person. Because, looking back, I was easy on the eyes in middle school/high school even if I was a little chubby. With my lack of moral standards, I really could have been slutting it up a very popular girl. Acne made me feel ugly and unwanted. It made me feel like I was dirty and diseased, like I couldn't be friends with pretty people. It made me feel less than. When I decided that I was a monster... I wasn't going to go down without a fight. Other than a substantial investment in Neutrogena, I invested in me. I got smart; I got witty. I made my own humor. I tapped into my genetic ability to charm people. I learned the art of self-deprecation. When I grew older and the acne didn't go away, I learned that I wasn't a monster. I found peace in me. I accept my own flaws and the flaws of others. I don't need a perfect body or a perfect complexion. Acne made me hate myself at an early age, and that time has passed. I'm grateful for the strength that trial has left me with.
One of my few childhood memories is splitting a pizza with my mother for lunch while at work with her in a bikini shop in Panama City. When you're five years-old you don't realize that this is the only thing you'll be eating that day, or that your mother is only going to eat your scraps that day. My mom did whatever she could to hide that we had no money. It wasn't until I moved to Madison that I realized we weren't middle-class. (Part of me thinks everyone likes to believe they are middle-class.) We really weren't. I grew up in a trailer; there weren't family vacations; having money for lunch at school was a big deal. My mother always was worried about money. Because of this, I don't think I'm better than anybody. I'm white trash incognito which is fine, but I don't forget where I've come from. I know how to get by on nothing. I know how to budget. I don't need that big, fancy thing with all the latest gadgets. I value quality craftsmanship and ignore trends. I don't turn my nose up at charity or secondhand anything. Growing up poor has taught me that pride has nothing to do with money, and you don't let your big, turned-up nose get in the way of what you really need.
Authoritarian-Neglectful parenting
Oh noble reader, if you've met me and talked to me, I'm sure I've said something that has made you uncomfortable about my parents. If so, feel free to skip to the end of the paragraph, because old news is old. To explain my parents' parenting style as quickly as possible I will give a small example that represents the whole. My step-dad loved, loved to tell me and anyone he met that he never said "no" to me. He'd say it implying that I was spoiled and a brat or he'd change the emphasis to mean I had a fantastic, indulgent childhood. But, really, I was trained at a very young age not to ask for anything. If I asked for money and was given money, this act would be seen as a favor to be paid back. This act would be held over my head for years, years. I remember my step-dad yelling at me my senior year of high school and bringing up that he drove me to school for a year in middle school (because I was beat up on the bus) like that was some great act of kindness. Looking back, I should have hid my bruises better. But, the silver-lining to this dark cloud, is that I learned self-reliance. I learned how to do things for myself. I learned how to take care of myself when the adults were to drunk to notice me. I taught myself how to cook. I found my own transportation. I was my own boss. I learned that I liked depending on me, because I am my own constant. (Downside is that I still don't like asking for help.) I also learned how to fight dirty in an argument. To me an argument is not about right or wrong; it is about ending the argument as quickly as possible.
Did you guys know that I'm depressed? What, no? Holley? But, she's so cheery! Well, I am. I always am. I've been seeing shrinks on and off for 13 years ever since I told my mom that in my free time I like to think of all the ways I could die right then and there. And, that my favorite was the idea of the ceiling fan falling on me and chopping me into tiny bits. I learned pretty quickly that people don't like hearing about all your dark fantasies, no matter how gory. So yes, if you've ever felt that I'm a fake and am putting on a happy face for the world to see... you just might be right. Because, I have made the choice to be a happy, positive person. I struggle to focus on the great things that are happening to me everyday and to ignore the shit that I wade through on the way to a sunny demeanor. I've honed my abilities to remain steady, stable and happy. I'm getting really good at it. Because I'm depressed -- slightly -- all of the time, I'm happy. I have accepted the fact that I have to try for it. That's just something I have to live with, and I'm happy about it.
I have never had a time where I did not have shelter to sleep in. However, I have never felt like I have had a home of my own. Growing up, the house I lived in was a prison and a terror to return to. I would do what I could to delay going home and be out as much as possible. Being my boyfriend in high school had one big catch: you had to have a car, because I hated my being at my house. Since I left home in 2006 to go to college, I have lived in a dorm, a junky old house on Market, an apartment on Main, a junky old party house on Southwest, a nice house on Main, an apartment on Main, and a house on Furnace. I move a lot. I lack roots. Because of this, I don't have a lot of stuff (I hate stuff.), and I never get homesick. I have no place that I long to be or fond memories of a place for that matter. I like that I'm not attached to any where, because it negates any kind of nationalism, state pride or hometown spirit. Keeps all sorts of pride from fogging up my decisions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holley Projects

I've done a little renovating on the blog tonight. Previously, I was deciding on the best blog title for my post-move blog. Well, the decision has been made. I chose "Holley Projects" because of the word play of the heteronym.

Holley Projects can mean the following:
Holley's series of projects, or great tasks that require effort
Holley directs her voice "so as to be heard clearly in the distance"
Holley forms a new plan or intention for...
Holley "juts out"
Holley "communicates vividly"
Holley makes a picture appear on a screen
As my first project of Holley Projects, I am going to get some sleep. I have a nice day out to attend tomorrow followed by Senior Show at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

P.S. I was quoting the dictionary above

Monday, April 18, 2011

Headlines and Snippets

For whatever reason, I cannot organize my thoughts coherently enough to form a journal entry in the usual way. So, instead I'm doing headlines and snippets.

Things I want to talk about:
Having My First Period in a Year and Thinking I Was Dying
This is a pretty obvious title. But here is the story: In March 2010, I had an Implanon implanted in my arm. This is a great little device the size of a matchstick that guarantees no babies for three years. Which is awesome. The bonus was that it stopped my Aunt Flo from visiting monthly. I haven't menstruated in a full year, but last Monday I woke up one morning bleeding like the best of us. Of course, I jumped to the conclusion that I'm dying. It took me two mood swings and side cramps to figure out what was going on. The good news was that I hadn't yet given away my tampons (though I offered). I hope this is just an annual thing.
My Decision to (Radically) Avoid Contact With My Mother
I asked my mom to come down to Platteville April 4th and pick up her photo albums that I have. She was supposed to arrive at 10:00 am. She called at 12:43 pm to tell me that she wasn't coming because it was hailing like crazy. It did not hail here, and I have spent the last two weeks telling Jared we can't walk to the store/drive some place because of "The hail! the hail!" This Thursday (10 days later) I called my mother again to ask when she'll be down. She told me that the car doesn't have insurance and that the hail broke the windshield. I told her she should have informed me sooner, so that I could make arrangements. She told me that she had just found out "this morning." The whole time she kept reminding me that her phone was dying, so eventually I said fine we can hang up. She blared into the phone "Wait! Wait!" with increasing urgency. "What?" I grimaced. "Call your father! He doesn't have much time left! He's only 120 lbs!" At this point I couldn't restrain myself. I harped back that she shouldn't pity him or feel guilt or shame. He put himself into this position. Half an hour later she called back. Jared yelled down the stairs, "It's your mother." To which I replied, "If you want to talk to her, you can answer." She left a message telling me to call her back. She wants to see me, and she doesn't have "$80.00 for gas."

Now, that's the backstory. Some where between my call to my mother and her call back I had a little break down from the stress she puts me under. Also, when I thought they were going to visit on the 4th, I couldn't sleep and called my friend Brittany in a panic, because I didn't want to be alone with them. It was a good thing I called her and told her not to come too... they didn't even show up. So, here is my stance as of late Thursday night: I am done. I am through trying to talk my mother into being someone she isn't. I have given up on her. And, more importantly, I am now avoiding her. No more calls, no visits, nothing. I don't need the extra stress in my life. This seems selfish, because it is. I am the child. She is the parent. And, although as a young child I looked up to my mother as a woman who could take care of herself, she has now become a helpless, hopeless individual. I wish her the best and hope she can find the courage to seek the help she needs.
Stressing Out About Jared (Not) Packing
This week I was becoming increasingly tense about our move. My biggest issue was that, for the most part, I have been packed up for weeks; however, Jared had a closet full of god-knows-what and stuff scattered everywhere. I couldn't help him pack for two reasons: I have no clue what he wants to keep, and he won't be able to find a thing if I pack for him. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of me saying "I have no earthly idea" when asked if this or that box was important. I don't enjoy how helpless I feel sometimes when living with another person.
Moving and How Great Jared's Parents Are
How grateful I am towards Jared's parents for helping us move cannot be put into words. Jared's dad arrived right on time in a big, white, unmarked van. It became quickly apparent that he had a plan. That was a man of action. He knew exactly what went in the van first and what next. We fit a full sized mattress with box spring, two dressers, a desk, a kitchen table, three end tables, a coffee table, two kitchen chairs, the flatscreen and a whole slew of boxes into the pedo-van. We placed our orange chair, the black rolling chair, two endtables and two rugs into the mini-van. Really, this could have been a one van move. We decided that since we had the room we could bring both dressers and the rugs at the last minute. It was a regular clown-car of furniture. This van is what I would imagine Mary Poppins would drive if she liked little kids ... too much.

And, the drive up was interesting and energetic. I was in the big van with Jared's dad. We told stories and talked the whole time. I learned a lot about Jared and his family. I told Jared's dad that I was very worried about him and Jared's mom meeting my parents and that reflecting poorly on me. He told me not to worry about that. Oh! And I finally feel comfortable calling Jared's parents by their first names. (This is an issue with me and parents. What do you call them?)

Unloading with four people was very easy. Jared and his dad took up the heavy stuff. I was pretty weak from still being sick. Jared's mom was hauling stuff up stairs too. She's also very courteous with door holding. Jared and his dad went to the landlords' and picked up a loveseat out of their basement. I put together the furniture that needed to be put together and made the bed.

The only thing I'm not too thrilled about is the living room arrangement. That will need some work. I also need to put together some creative storage in the kitchen. (I'm thinkin' Ikea.) The bedroom looks great just the way it is, so that's a good thing. I want to have a good number of plants in the apartment, too. It's all very exciting.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

House Plants

List of house plants I like:



  1. snake plant 
  2. croton 
  3. jasmine
  4. gardenia 
  5. peace lily
  6. zeezee plant 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Positive Things

Now is a very stressful time in my life. I've decided to focus on the positive things to distract myself. I'm also taking part in recreational shopping.

I'm a college graduate. - I bought nice, matching frames for Jared's and my diplomas.
I have a good amount of savings.
I'm purging a lot of clutter which will lead to a less toxic environment.
I'm moving into the first apartment I will share with my wonderful boyfriend.
I'm moving to a big city that offers an urban environment.
There is food in the fridge and in the pantry.
There is a roof over my head.
The weather is beautiful.
In three weeks I'll be visiting my aunt in San Francisco.
I've been feeling better and am getting my energy back.
My skin is looking great.
I have a cute haircut with a little color.

I do have to say that Jared is the highlight of my every day. He cracks me up.

Let's consider how awesome my life could be if everything falls into place. Somehow we move all of our stuff in only two trips. Our apartment is in a great neighborhood where we have easy access to a grocery store and library. The couch our landlord offered us is in good shape and attractive. We befriend our neighbors who are helpful, kind and courteous. We get jobs within three months of the move which allows us to have a good amount of savings to cushion our accounts. We make friends at work and around town. We attend concerts, go to museums, eat at nice restaurants, volunteer in the community. We go to Disney in winter. We like our apartment enough to stay another year. We buy a fuel efficient car. We get a corgi that can travel with us around the nation sightseeing. We still make it back to visit with friends and family for holidays. And, then one day, we decide if we like the Twin Cities enough to buy a house with a yard or a condo with a rooftop garden. That's the dream: Jared, a corgi and me living in a nice city in a small, affordable home, traveling to nice places and eating tasty food.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Live in rooms full of light. Avoid heavy food. Be moderate in the drinking of wine. Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics. Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water. Change surroundings and take long journeys. Strictly avoid frightening ideas. Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements. Listen to music.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Justice Beaver

Today, I couldn't stop laughing at this conversation between Dwight and Jim on The Office.
Dwight: Who is Justice Beaver?
Jim: It's a crime fighting beaver

I can't sleep; here are some quick mock ups of Justice Beaver. They look better in person, and I don't own a scanner. C'est la vie.

A Quick Photoshop Vector (not my strong suit)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Packing (to Move) is Awful

I am very much a student by nature, and I choose to research most topics before diving into projects. I have read many different how-to's on the best methods of packing. While I did enjoy and employ many methods of purging excess objects, I found most how-to's lacked a tactic on actually packing up your home. A lot of them just stated to pack up your house and label the boxes. Easy peasy? Not quite.

I believe the void of packing instructions is due to people owning and choosing to keep a wide variety of objects. Packing is done on a person by person basis (or unique room by unique room).

Now the best thing about moving is that it's a great opportunity to downsize and take stock of what holds value to you.

Here is what I do when I pack to move. First, I pack my closet. I spend a good week going through every item of clothing I own. I hold the pieces; I try on the pieces; I ask other's opinions of the pieces. I tend to purge between 25-50% of my clothing that week. The select group gets the honor of living in my closet/dresser rent free and the opportunity to clothe me. I pack up the majority of my clothing, but leave out enough to be worn over the next two months. (Yes, I said months. I like to plan ahead.) Next I pack my shoes. I make note of which shoes I wear most often, which shoes still fit with my insoles, which shoes are beaten to a pulp. I then go through my jewelry. I take all the clothing, shoes and jewelry that didn't make the cut to a resale store. What they don't take is donated. I DO NOT go through my donate pile again. I DO NOT have a "Maybe" pile. If I even consider donating it, it should be donated.

Next, I go through the trinkets in my closet (I haven't unpacked much, because Jared and I thought we'd be moving sooner.) I spend time objectively going through my artwork and deciding what will be on display in the new apartment. Any trinkets or artwork I do not plan on displaying are boxed to be stored.

Jared and I go through our kitchen together once already. We take out all of the pots and pans and deliberat on what we will keep. This is a huge mess that we have to go through yet again. We simply have far too much bakeware.

I pack up the trinkets in the living room.

I go through and dispose of 80% of my toiletries.

Now I am a good month and a half into the packing process. My closet is mostly empty. (I need to give my mother back her photo albums.) Our dresser is empty. Our endtable is empty. Our bookcase is empty. The agony is the scattered items on every available horizontal surface. It's like the floor, kitchen table, dining room table and coffee table have become our maybe piles. It's aggravating to work so diligently at packing up when all you've done is pack up things that were neatly stored away and caused all the miscellaneous items to pile up. The house is pretty trashed. I've been sorting all the keeps into a back room which makes our house look like it's been robbed... only the robbers weren't interested in flat screens or laptops.

I'm considering just taking a big cardboard box and filling it with everything I find in these "maybe" piles.

Corgi in a Swing GIF

My favorite news source is doing it's own version of March Madness. I've been on Team Corgi since Day 1. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Rabbit in the Room

I would like to preface this entry by acknowledging that I sometimes will make horrible statements. This is one of those times.

I hate our rabbit. 

Three years ago Jared told his mother he wanted a pet rabbit. A family friend was giving away rabbits that year, and his mother picked one up for him. This was perfectly nice of her, but I seriously doubt Jared put any real thought into what having a rabbit would be like. 

In my short experience with the rabbit, I have come to the conclusion that rabbits are unrewarding pets. They do not want to be held, touched or bothered with. They take up substantial space (when in the correct size cage and given running room.) They defecate constantly. Training a rabbit through conditioning is time consuming and dissatisfying.

I understand that people have different views on what makes for a rewarding pet as people have different views on what makes for a rewarding vacation. I recognize that there are people out there who enjoy having a rabbit in their homes. I just (unfortunately) am not among them. 

Right now, Jared and I collectively have a rabbit, a hamster and a fish. The rabbit is in very good health with an aloof demeanor. She nibbles on cords, defecates everywhere and stomps on you if she feels threatened. The hamster is for the most part autonomous. I provide food and clean out his cage on an irregular basis. He's extremely neat and sorts his food according to type in different piles around his cage. He also chooses to relieve himself in one area of his cage. (He's admittedly a little strange.) Our fish, Scoopie, was once the favored pet. "How can you favor a fish!?" one might ask in an exclamatory way. Scoopie had a personality. He would creepily watch me dress every morning following my every move. He would flare out his gills if Jared got too close to me or him. He would readily swim to the top of his bowl and attack the pellets of food provided to him. Without looking, I can guess what Scoopie is doing right now. He's at the bottom of his tank, lying slightly to his side, struggling to exist. 

Taking the hamster with us to Minnesota is a no-brainer. He's the easiest pet I've had to care for ever. Part of me is considering euthanizing Scoopie. He's barely alive as is, but Jared keeps expecting a miraculous recovery. The whole of me wants to ditch the rabbit. When Jared's father visited two Sundays past, he said that he might be "winning [the rabbit] back." I was pretty happy to hear that, but Jared is really fighting for her. My main issue with her is that she is not litter trained and her cage has a wire floor with a large litter troth below the wire mesh. Right now, we have a backyard and a hose to clean out the rabbit cage. Jared rarely cleans out her cage. I can't imagine how infrequently she would have a cleaned cage once we no longer have access to a backyard. Jared is trying out a system of plastic bags to see if he can find a remedy to the situation.

I would like to leave the rabbit behind with his parents. I have doubts towards Jared's ability to care for her once we move and he finds employment. Also, in such a small space, I would rather not have her destroying the few pieces of furniture we are keeping. This situation makes me very grumpy.

Today, I felt I had the choice of two topics: how much I hate our rabbit or how much I love mustard. Then, I realized that my love cannot be put into words. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why I'm Taken

Fellow blogger Erin McManness wrote an recent entry entitled "Why I'm Single." I've decided to write a differing viewpoint not to argue against Erin, because she is an intelligent, capable person who will one day take the world by storm, but because I need content the way Kathie Lee needs Regis, the way Kanye needs Jesus. (But I hyperlink digress.)

I pride myself on being capable, upstanding and grounded. I've ripped myself from the grips of an abusive home. I've worked and saved for a life I can afford. (With the help of a few years of therapy), I have conquered my demons. I'm a happening, righteous woman that is easy on the eyes. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but my words can cut deep enough. I've bricked and mortared a friendship network I can count on through any storm. I consider myself my own super hero, because I've saved myself. This doesn't make much of an interesting coming of age tale; it's more of a one woman show.

My boyfriend is my companion. He's here to share in my successes and defeats. He'll stand by me and laugh at the ridiculousness of life. We crack each other up everyday. We know how to piss each other off, and for the most part avoid it.

I am very lucky to find someone so willing to listen to my crazy and shake it off. He grounds my flights of fancy far before they've had the time to take off and crash. He'll listen to my awful analogies and smile if I punctuate word play with, "Pun!" I get him out of the house and push him out of his comfort zone. We help each other with everyday life.

My theory of life-long relationships is thus: Find someone you want to watch the movie of your life with in real time.

I like the idea of travelling through this nomadic period in my life with a buddy. I need someone to experience the events I'm experiencing to get a differing point of view. In these modern times, it is easier to find a life partner than to convince a friend to drop what they're doing and travel with you. Dogs can't share their opinion.

When faced with the possibility of having to start over with a different man in a different town, I shrink back thinking of the time I've invested with this person I love. No-thank-you to retelling every unfunny story of my life. Also, it'd be like having to watch the rest of a long movie with someone you have to explain the beginning to. I am plain awful at retelling events. Not to mention, I suck at dating. I'm pretty great at being single though.

TLDR: I'm taken, because I want to share my life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ready Set Go: Part IV

My moving checklist is doing awesome! I packed up a lot of my things and they are ready to go. But, more important than what I've packed is what I haven't packed. I sorted out my clothing twice - once by myself and once with Jared. I filled two garbage bags so heavy with clothing I could barely lift them into Jenni's van. We took the clothing to The Hanger in Dubuque. They gave me $30.72 up front for one basket of clothing and then put another basket up for sale on commission.

Now all of my clothing can fit inside one box and my large and medium Leisure brand suitcases.

I boxed up my trinkets and jewelry. All of my jewelry fits inside of a cigar box and all of my trinkets fit in the medium sized box under that lamp shade pictured above. Everything else is either in a plastic tub to store in Jared's parent's basement or in a box for donations.

I went through my blankets and art work and cut both down by half. Artwork is going to the basement. Jared still needs to go through the blankets. We went through the kitchen and have a mondo box for pots and pans to donate. Basically, all of my pots and pans came from thrift stores and are really showing their wear. Early this week, Jenni and I went to Monroe to the Swiss Colony Outlet store, and I lucked out and found some nice enamel pots and pans for a whopping $52.47. They retail for $139.95, but one handle's paint was cracked and I had a 25% employee discount. The new set makes a lot of our older pans obsolete. I went through my toiletries last night. I really wanted to just toss all of them and start fresh, but once again Jared was the voice of reason. I can fit all of my remaining toiletries into a small travel bag.

The other thing I did this week was finish up those pesky tables I've been meaning to paint. I started priming the tables in early March when the weather was suddenly warm for a week. It was really cold the following three weeks and this Wednesday was the first good spray paintin' day. Here is a before and after of my metal end table and just an after of my typist's desk.

Previously, I said I wanted to reupholster the chair we have upstairs, because the fabric was worn out and faded. Jared thought that wasn't a good use of money. He tends to keep me grounded when it comes to projects. However, on my trip out to Monroe, I found a cute pillow that matched in both color and kitsch. The pillow really covers up the faded back of the chair (that, apparently, only I see.)

I'm really ready to move. I just can't wait. Today, we're visiting Jared's folks and dropping off boxes for storage (mostly artwork, records, and Christmas decorations). I emailed our landlord to double-check our address. I want to order checks with a current address on them. I want to see if Jared's dad has some pegboard I can fit into two identical frames. I plan to hang them as his and hers key holders.
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