Toys for Tots

I’ve always loved Christmas. And my birthday. Mostly just winters in general because all of the best holidays fall within it. I think it boils down to the fact that I love to celebrate. Whether it is Easter or my best friend’s birthday – I’m first to arrive and the last to leave.

Which is why it was such a shock for me to learn that Easter actually falls on a Sunday. The Bunny always came on Monday evening – why on earth would he come so late? Same with Valentine’s Day. We always celebrated on the 15th. Totally normal, right?

Wrong.

My mother created this lovely illusion that holidays’ fell after they actually did. What sounds terrible from the eye of an onlooker, was really joy in the eye of a child. Anything on a discount meant I got that much more. 20% off? 20% more! 70% clearance candy? Yes, I will have 70% more please.

So, when “santa” came a couple days after Christmas, I wasn’t even taken aback. I got a few great gifts – fake barbie dolls and a few coloring books. But… why was Christmas coming for a second time? Hadn’t Santa already left the loot?

Somehow I knew that it was really Toys for Tots bringing me my presents. But, Toys for Tots didn’t mean anything to me. Sure, we were on welfare and sure, I was in a single parent household… but… does that warrant free Christmas gifts?

To this day I struggle with it. I feel so less deserving than kids that truly grow up in rough times… Yet, I didn’t grow up in a basket of roses. Was Toys for Tots created for children like me? Am I really the target audience?

Writing a book is not easy

It is my birthday and I am alone at Rock Bottom. I am kind of being an emo cat and I cannot figure out why. Maybe just because I was in a really long two hour meeting at the end of the day that didn’t go exactly as I had hoped. Maybe because it is my Birthday but I’m alone at the bar.

I don’t mean to be a whiney little bitch. I go to the bar alone quite often and usually really like it. And this time I even have Family Guy playing in the background which is really just enhancing the experience.

Joe woke me up at 5:30am to give me my birthday present because he had to be to work early. He got me a case of the Android Series 3 action figures!!! How awesome is that? They were exactly what I wanted and he even acted like he didn’t get them for me and secretly smirked when I gave him a little bit of crap for not getting it for me because it is what I really want. But then it was what he got for me because he is sneaky! Major improvement from last year… (luff yooouu!).

I came here to write. Which is technically what I am doing but I’m not actually making progress on my book, what I should be working on. It is like, day 97 of NaNoWriMo (also known as day 20), and I’m at less than 20k words. That averages at less than 1000 a day when my goal is supposed to be 1,667. If you have a failure stamp, I have a forehead that could use it.

I make lists. Here is one of things I am stressed out about.

Things I am stressed out about

  1. Money
    • Lack of it. Especially around Christmas time. Plus, I went shopping this weekend and maybe shouldn’t have. But it was fun and good retail therapy while the high lasted. Now I just have the guilt. I’ll return the shoes most likely. The sweater is really cute.
  2. Work
    • Not busy enough. Things were better last week and are hopefully good this week, but still. Sometimes I’ll read a tweet about a company I’m interested in out in San Francisco and I’m mad that I’m stuck here in MN. But, not really mad because I know I will get to leave as soon as Joe is done with school and I’m being a supportive girlfriend.
  3. The party
    • Cleaning. This house isn’t like, bad, but just the typical stuff like vacuuming and what not before people come over. And I kind of want to do laundry, but I bet people that are coming over for our birthday party won’t care if there are dirty clothes in the hamper.
    • Shopping for supplies. Both food and drinks. And figuring out the deets on how I want to decorate. I have most of the stuff figured out and I know what I’m going to get and what not, but this week is a busy week for Joe (I just found out he has a paper due Saturday night… how stupid is that?) so I’m left to do most of the stuff on my own. Like shopping.
  4. Writing
    • I’m super far behind on NaNoWriMo
    • I have stuff to do for my memoir class too, which isn’t until later this week but I’m still allowing myself to be stressed about it
  5. My weight
    • I’ve been feeling like a fatty lately
    • My weight isn’t up, but I just am not as muscular as I once was. I should be working out more, but a gym membership costs money and I’m probably too lazy to do it anyway
  6. Losing stuff
    • I can’t find my skewers. It isn’t a huge deal and I can just go buy some more at Target, but where the heck did they go? I’ve checked seriously everywhere.
    • I also can’t find my glow sticks. I’m less concerned about this one because I wasn’t sure if I had kept them anyway, but now instead of inserting awesome glow sticks into self-blown balloons, I’ll probably just get a couple dozen helium balloons. Except, those cost money.
    • While I was down in my storage unit looking for skewers and sticks and bringing back down Halloween decorations, I found a box that something had spilled all over inside of. The box was filled with cards and memorable newspapers, and pictures too. Not to mention my Mary-Kate and Ashley video games and dolls. Those have more or less survived though, thank god.
  7. Watching too much TV
    • I got rid of my TV for a reason, and things were fine then. No, that is a lie, things weren’t necessarily better but at least I didn’t have a TV. Now I watch TV and I’m having a hard time figuring how much is normal and how much is the line of me turning into a sack of potatoes.

Making lists makes me feel better. I will stop crying now.

Ms. President?

I wonder if I’ll ever be the President of the United States, or if I’ll stick to running companies instead. And by “stick to” I mean stay with it once I actually get there. In high school, I was voted most likely to be the President, however, they were specific to  what I would be President of.

Joe let me sleep in late this morning. Then, as we were laying there he found a bug. So I jumped the hell out of bed, googled “bed bugs,” looked at the bug and determined we needed to check the whole bed. So, we ripped off all the sheets and thoroughly inspected the bed. We didn’t find another bug, so, it probably was just one of those little guys from my plants that got into the bedroom. I know my mom is going to read this now and freak out though, but I really am sure we are good.

Then I was kind of in my “mmrraah” mood and Joe said “No, put a stop to that right now! You will not have the Sunday blues.” Thinking he may be right, I made him breakfast and then started to clean. I vacuumed and have the mattress pad in the laundry and even cleaned the mirror from when my little brothers were over and spent a half hour licking it.

Next I started googling some fun new recipes because I feel like a fat cat/bloated and I am really in the mood for vegetables. I have been eating too many carbs lately mostly. I got salmon and salad stuff and peppers and cucumbers – it is going to be a good week in food land. Once I got back from Lund’s (I heart the new one downtown!!) I made us some yummy chicken lettuce cucumber wraps. Ohh! And, on the walk to Lund’s a guy gave me a postcard that said Crave is now giving out a free drink to anyone with a Twin’s ticket the night after the game. “Damn!” I said, “I have season tickets and I live in this building.” Can you imagine a night where the back of my ticket has the free drink at Rock Bottom and then I get to go up and have a free drink at Crave too? It only amounts to two drinks which makes me obviously not a lush, but the cool fact is that they are free and would normally cost me like, $14 + tip for the two.

After our lunch I went to Target because I needed to get fabric softener. I also had my 5% off coupon for all day, so I got some other needed items. Like a martini shaker that Joe thinks looks like a dildo. And a pack of the new LuckyCharms cereal bars for Halloween. And Candy Corn flavored M&Ms because after my post the other day I found out there are Candy Corn M&Ms too.

I got a little too excited at all the Halloween stuff and became disappointed I won’t be having a raging Halloween party this year. With our birthday celebration only being 2 weeks later, it makes sense to delay a party, and who wants to have a Halloween themed birthday party in the middle of November? Not me.

Oh Honey

So last night I went out to dinner at the Bachelor Farmer with Joe and a friend from work. Conversation was really flowing well, until my last trip to the bar was brought up. I think I was making some snide comment about having been to Marvel a few times, with all the guys I go out with and what not. My friend and Joe had a little laugh about that, and then she felt the need to remind me that no, I probably don’t go out with other guys because I was a sobber-fest when him and I were apart for just two weeks. To emphasize my bad-assery, I explained that it was I who initiated the conversation with Justin at the bar. Joe tried to put on his fake jealousy face so I played into it. “What??” I said “I just needed help spelling a word!” My coworker jumped in to say that there are other sources to find correct spellings, especially when one is on a computer with internet access. So, I had to tell the story from the start.

Weeks ago, I walked in to Rock Bottom, minding my own business, intending to get some writing done for the evening. I chose my spot based solely on the placement of the TV’s; I wanted to make sure I could watch the Twin’s game, duh, and only one TV was playing it. I happened to be sitting right next to a guy, but it was a mostly full bar so that was fine. After a while of being deep into my work, I came to an impasse. I was stuck on the spelling of a word, and Google couldn’t even help me. This is because I’m really a genius with all things except for spelling, I swear. I kept going with wrip, and other various spellings that I can no longer come up with because I know how to spell it now. Anyway, I look over to this guy and I interupt “I’ve got a weird question to ask you… how do you spell rip? As in… like… ripping of a bandaid?” I got a blank stare for a few seconds, and finally he responded “R-I-P…” Ahh, okay, that makes sense. “Thanks!” and then I returned to my writing.

Except him and I began talking a little bit more after that, and he ultimately bought me a drink. I was explaining that the reason he bought me the drink was because I was such awesome company. However, Joe and my friend argued that he thought he was getting laid. I fought this for quite awhile, because I don’t indeed believe I was hitting on him, I truly needed to know how to spell the word. They claim, though, that no one needs to know how to spell rip because it is the easiest word in the world. My friend suggested that a harder word would be more justifiable, but I denied that on the basis that a more complicated word would more likely result in spell check suggestions. She compared it to a guy asking a girl “how to I spell THE?” and it not being a pick up line. Joe offered that all week Justin probably complained to his friends “and she asked me how to spell rip – she was hitting on me, and then nothing even happened.”

After a lot and back and fourth, I concluded that maybe Justin interpreted it as a pick up line and I was wrong to accept the drink when I had no intentions of taking him home.

On a completely separate random note: earlier in the evening, I was sitting on the floor of the office clipping my nails. I don’t what made it enter my mind, but I looked up at Joe and asked “how lame would it be if we celebrated our birthdays together?” Trying to play it off like maybe a couple I knew had been planning on doing that exact thing. He just started laughing and probably didn’t stop for a good five minutes. He thinks he can see right through me and he is so wrong.

Anyway, we will be having a joint birthday party this year, and I’m totes excited for it :)

After dinner we stopped off for a night cap because it was such a beautiful evening. In the midst of making flirty eyes with each other, I say “you know what I’m most excited to go home for?… … … … Buncha crunch!” A look of disappointment took over his face and he just said “I thought you were going to say sexy time” I responded with “oh honey…”  It’s bittersweet to reach this point…

Best. Friday. Ever.

So I got into work around 7:15a this morning. On the way in, Joe was all like “ooohhh… let’s get Caribou,” so I had to say yes. Technically I’ve spent my coffee budget already for the month so I shouldn’t have gotten any, but my sugar daddy was paying.

Flash 40 minutes later to when the donuts for Donut Club arrive (a Friday ritual). The email said they were from Yo-Yo, so I jumped up and skiddadled to the room. I love Yo-Yo more than anything and last weekend was my half birthday and Joe and I were going to go to Yo-Yo bright and early to get celebratory donuts, but then his mom called because she was on her way to his place to get a couch and we had to raincheck it. I was excited by this alone (Yo-Yo being featured for Donut Club) but then when I got there.. the miraculous occured. We scored S’mores donuts. I kid you not.

All of my dreams have come true. This is the best Friday ever. In the world.

Gummy worm

I wrote this on Friday, November 18th. However, I had to post it later as to not give away anything for Joe!

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So today at work I was on facebook, and one of the ads on the side of the page had a picture of a huge gummy bear- aparently it was a lamp. Of course I then googled gummy lamp and was brought to a website, perpetualkid.com. Here, on the gummy page, I saw a 2 foot long gummy worm that looked like a double sided dildo.

This is super special because just this morning, as I was teasing Joe about the awesome gift I got him, he said that the only thing I could get him that he probably wouldn’t like would be a double sided dildo. I was like “shit, well, that’s what I got you.”

A little bit later, I asked him how weird it’s going to be for him to open up that present in public. We talked about how if its a dildo I should just tell him so he can open it in private, but I said “no, that I wouldn’t allow that.”

I obviously didn’t get him a double sided dildo. BUT, seeing the gummy made me sprint into action and run to every candy store in downtown Minneapolis. None had them (and it made for a few interesting conversations). I came back to my cube, went online, and was able to purchase it. Fingers crossed it gets here before his birthday… A+ for Kate’s gag gift idea!

UPDATE:
It arrived on time!!!!

Birthday weekend!

So it’s Sunday night of my birthday week(end). Friday night was a great time- I got a hair cut after work, from basically the best stylist ever. Afterwards I got PIZZA LUCE! It was pretty much fabulous. Joe and I spent the night hanging out over at my aunt and uncle’s, helping prepare for the baptism. A whole bunch of my family was there, so Joe got to meet a lot of new people. They all really liked him, so that made me happy. I always love seeing my grandma though, she’s a really good sport about things. I make fun of her a lot, for things like the fact that her thumbs don’t bend (they seriously don’t- she doesn’t even have the creases!). I opened the birthday card she got me right as Joe and I were leaving- I read halfway through it- looked up at her and said “Grandma. You got me a romantic card?” I started laughing right away. They made me read it aloud to prove it:

Because you are in my life, the sun shines brighter, the sky is bluer, and rainy days feel romantic, not grey. With you in my life, I see all that is possible, all I can imagine, and all that I dream of.

My aunt laughed so hard she may have peed herself a tad. My grandma claimed that she didn’t really read more than the first line, and she thought it was pretty. She also didn’t expect me to read it either, she assumed all her grandchildren just went for the check. Hmm… seems rather similar to the time she bought the wrapping paper with black Santa on it… she didn’t realize until the grandchildren pointed it out- all the presents were under the tree. She tried to play it off as an attempt at being multicultural I think.

Saturday Joe and I got up early and went out driving. I get antsy just sitting around the house all day, and we had some time to waste before the baptism. We went to SuperAmerica- I’ve been trying to cash in my damn speedy rewards points for over a week now, still to no avail. Next we went driving around the lakes to look at the big houses- always a favorite thing to do of mine. As we were winding around Lake of the Isles, the snow started to fall. I was looking at my phone trying to find this listing for a house I saw online- it had a rooftop deck! Joe said to me “Are you watching this?!” I look up, and look for people fighting or maybe a dog attacking a duck. It takes me a minute to figure it out, but sure enough, the snow had just begun. It was pretty much the most awesomest moment ever.

The baptism was interesting. My aunt is Greek Orthodox, and this was my first real dabble at her religion. There was spitting and tons of talk about Satan probing my young cousin- not very pleasant. Then there was this weird ritual where they had to say everything thrice. Since when is once not enough? Isn’t He always listening anyway? After the rubbed him down in oil and dipped his entire body in the water 3 times (don’t worry, they did remove the clothes), it still wasn’t over. There were candles and walking around in circles and I was told to sit and stand about a hundred times. My grandma and I were just whispering in the pew about why the priest was calling my cousin “Mark” when that isn’t his name. After everything was (finally) done, we took a family picture. My grandma made sure Joe was in it too, that made me smile :)

Joe doesn’t have anti-lock brakes. He said he did, and thought he did, but as he was driving and we were slipping down a hill and only missed the car in front of us by maybe an inch, I concluded that he did not. My Camry had anti-lock breaks and she always sounded like she was dying when they kicked in. I told him he would know damn well when they were working. I looked in his manual and I concluded that it was just disabled, but his mechanic friend looked at it and determined he doesn’t in fact have them. It’s a 2007! How does that thing not have anti-lock breaks?

Joe’s birthday present to me: a double boiler and a Christmas ornament. I totally love it. I can’t wait to use it, it will definitely come in handy for all the balls I plan on making over the holidays, no more wasted almond bark for me :)

Joe left earlier today, and I was all emo about it for a few minutes then I was like, that’s shit, I love it when he leaves. Then I cleaned up a ton and researched things online a bit. I went to Target and a fat man farted in the candle aisle. It stunk. Afterwards I was going to go see the new Twilight movie, but my friend Mollie called me and then once I got off the phone I wasn’t in the mood to leave the house (maybe because it got dark out?). I ended up making the best cupcakes that have ever been created, and I am actually pretty damn proud of myself.

I made “Better than Sex” chocolate cupcakes. I got the recipe here, but used a different frosting. The cupcakes came out kind of… sunken in the middle. Not a big deal, and it actually worked nicely for holding the frosting, but I don’t think that is how they were supposed to be. Also, it kind of crumbled a bit more than other cupcakes I’ve made, so I’m not sure what exactly I may have done wrong.

For the frosting, I used the same recipe that Mollie introduced me to last year on my birthday:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

 Combine sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan and whisk until cocoa is dissolved. Add butter, milk, corn syrup and salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil (about 10 minutes). Continue boiling; stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (approx 1 hour). Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla and pour on cake. Frosting will spread easily and will set up itself after a few minutes.

However, I decided that those directions sucked and didn’t use them. I instead realized that the mixture boiled after about 2 minutes, that I only needed to boil it about an additional 4, and waiting an hour is dangerous. As is using the full 2-3 cups of powdered sugar, because the frosting sets very quickly. It tasted like fricken heaven, and I am quite pleased with myself. I took a picture even…

There was almost not enough frosting to go around, so I used the un-sugared/what-was-left-in-the-pan-chocolate for two of them (thus the darker coloring). For the topping, I used my most favorite candy combination: M&Ms and Nerds. I used to only get this in my Dairy Queen blizzards, but last year my roommates topped my birthday cake with it and I was like, holy crap, this is amazing. This was my attempt at repeating that amazingness (and it was amazing!)

Joe called me a bit after they were done to ask me how they tasted. I hadn’t actually tried one yet and so I put a candle in it and he sang me happy birthday. It was perfect.

My weekend was good, and now its 9pm and I just remember the homework I have to do. Urgle. Oh! And I should update on MBA stuff… tomorrows maybs.