Monday, September 28, 2009

On being sick

There are a lot of things that aren't fair in this world. 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. Chance randomly picks people to get cancer and suffer. Kids grow up without parents who love them.

There's lots of unfairness.

And while it's not anywhere near that magnitude, there is a certain annoying element of unfairness in my life that I experience about 3 times a year. It is this: I get sick as a dog and the ear doctor remains untouched.

I wallow on the couch, throwing used infected tissue all over the place and he has the audacity not to ever be affected by it. It's not that I really want him to be sick, but it just doesn't make sense. He's the one on an undergrad infested college campus all day. He's the one that gives therapy to little germ-riddled kiddos during the week. He's the immuno-compromised diabetic for crying out loud!

And yet, it's me who is laid up.


This annoying bit of whining brought to you by a lot of frustrated staring right at the ear doctor's forehead at 3 am.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Help us Design! Living room edition

Great ideas all! I sort of love all you fellow bloggers out there. So here is what we were thinking:

First, place our big couch under the front window. I think it's the only place this big guy will really fit.

Then we'll frame out the front window window with floor length curtains. Originally I was just thinking f using my thick white brushed cotton curtains, but maybe we could get a bunch of these from IKEA. It'd be a cool pattern and not too girly...

We'll put the TV and the black entertainment center on the wall across from the couch. Last, but not least we'll have the mid-century chair in the middle of the long wall facing the couch for a conversation area with the ear doctor's leaning shelf behind the chair for height. I'm pretty sure we'll need some kind of footrest for this chair. I'd really like to make a cool Moroccan pouf out of some geometric gray and white fabric. Then I could make a pillow out of the same fabric for the couch. However, I'm not so sure the ear doctor is sold on having anything called a "pouf" in our house.

After seeing this room start to come together I think we'll really need a new coffee table. The one we have was a $60 steal, but it's dark black and rectangular with turned legs. I really think we need more curved lines in the room since everything is so this one from overstock might be ok:

Maybe that would make the room feel too cramped and filled with furniture. So here is the big question: What color do we paint the walls?

If you suggest beige/tan/oatmeal I might just puke everywhere...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Help us design!

The ear doctor and I have lived in the same 3rd floor apartment for the 2.5 years of our marriage. I love how we've put the apartment together, but it has never really felt totally US. We can't paint the walls so they are the plain flat tan. The same flat tan as the carpet and even the ceiling. We're starting to feel like we live inside a bowl of cheerios.

So now that we're pretty much in the home stretch of this house buying extravaganza my thoughts are turning to what we'll do when we move it. What color we'll do the walls, how we'll arrange furniture, and all the rest.

I thought it'd be fun to get your thoughts on the subject so I'm starting a help us design! series. Fun? I hope so!

Here is a 3-D model I made in about 10 minutes of the main floor of our house.

It has a living/dining room that is all one space seperated by a cool architectural arch. Behind the dining is the kitchen. Behind the living room is our bedroom. In between the two is the bathroom. It's a pretty typical little 1920's bungalow. Here's a bird's eye view of the layout.

I thought it would be fun to start today with furniture layout of the living room. We've somehow got to work in our deep brown leather couch (88"Wx43"Dx32"H) :

The awesome mid-century chair that my dad made:

Our green 5 x 7 rug:

and our TV/entertainment stand:

Tell me to put my stuff, what to add, what to get rid of, whatever! Tomorrow I'll show you the idea the ear doctor and I came up with.

Work with what you've got

Between the ear doctor and myself we own 6 cameras. 2 use real film (a Polaroid and a point and shoot), and 4 are digital (2 phones, 1 point and shoot and 1 beautiful SLR). Every camera except our phones has some sentimental value to me, as they were given as gifts.

I LOVE my beautiful expensive camera. I love messing around with depth of field in my photos. And nothing comes out crisper that the photos taken with that lovely contraption.

However, I have confession to make. Lately my favorite camera has been my cheap little camera phone. The way natural light always saturates the color out of things blows me away. And the fact that the "shutter speed" is so slow makes the coolest images without me even trying.

At my skill level I NEVER could have got this image with my SLR.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My hero

Last weekend we had our official home inspection.

In the past 2 months I think I've heard roughly 1.23 million horror stories of people finding horrible terrors during home inspections. My cube neighbor at work had to pay $8000 on his house to fix the stucco siding. The ear doctor's advisor had 4 contracts fall through because of horrible home inspections. People flipping houses on HGTV always have problems with their home inspections.

As a result I was so anxious to know the results of our inspection I was almost sick to my stomach.

We met our inspector at 8 on the dot. We introduced ourselves and I immediately trusted this 5'6" curmudgeon. I put my full faith in his experienced eye. He held my little heart in his hand.

For the next 4 hours he took his time cautiously poking around our new house, moving the seller's furniture, opening and shutting their windows and running their dishwasher. He used his heat gun to make sure the fridge was cold enough and the oven had it's heat. He crawled in basement crannies and stretched through attic eaves.

When, after this exhaustive search, he told me the worst thing wrong with this house was an improperly installed window and hose spigot I wanted to throw my arms around his slight shoulders and deeply breath in his stale coffee breath.

Full steam ahead, little house!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The best season

This might shock my mom when she reads it, but I'm going to go ahead and let the world know. I can't keep it in any longer. If I do I might just burst.

This weekend I made oatmeal for breakfast and I REALLY LIKED IT!

Growing up in my mother's house meant one main thing: breakfast. Real food, together, r-e-a-l-l-y early. And after bowl upon bowl of hot gooey oatmeal I just couldn't take it any longer. I graduated from high school, packed up my box of lucky charms and never looked back. For the past decade the soft, mushy, hot whole grain hasn't willingly passed my lips.

Until this weekend.

Because to me a hot bowl of oatmeal is akin to a new pair of shoes and a wool coat. It's the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and Elmer's glue. It's what I eat right before raking the fallen leaves and picking my Halloween pumpkin.

Oatmeal is my mom's love and my dad's annual prayer for my personal well-being.

And just so you know, I made it with a huge scoop of brown sugar, almond extract, dried cherries and toasted hazelnuts.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Second degree

Every time I use my oven safe skillet to roast something in the oven I burn myself. I always forget that the dumb handle is the same temperature as the piping hot oven. Yesterday was no exception. As I reached in to test the temperature of my brick chicken my mind forgot to warn my arm of the impending danger. The result?

A disgusting weeping, painful blister.

I always thought a blister was a gross thing my skin did to remind my of my stupidity. Forget your sunscreen on a trip to the lake? Blisters. Forget to break in your hiking books before a 3 day backpacking trip? Blisters. Forget that a pan in a 350 degree oven for an hour might be hot? Blisters.

But that's not really the case.

From Wikipedia (AKA the source of all knowledge):

A blister may form when the skin has been damaged by friction or rubbing, heat, cold or chemical exposure. Fluid collects between the epidermis--the upper layer
of the skin--and the layers below. This fluid cushions the tissue underneath, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal.
Turns out a blister is something my skin does to protect itself from future pain. Its purpose is to help me move forward. To help me heal.

And the hardest part of the whole blister process is not the initial pain or the strange bubbled up skin. It's having the patience to just let it be. It's realizing that the best thing I can do is wait and let it heal itself. It's resisting the urge to poke at that strange water balloon under my skin just to see what will happen.

And I know if I can just WAIT, it'll all turn out alright.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It begins

The month between signing a contract and closing on a house is filled with one thing.


Already I'm up to my eyeballs and this is only the paper showing the current status of my bank and retirement accounts. Just this morning I signed my name no less than a hundred times. Yes, my social security number is what I say it is. Yes, I understand that I shouldn't commit loan fraud. Yes, this pitifully small number is my boiled down material worth.

Before this is over I am going to be responsible for the death of at least 10 Amazonian rain forest trees...

Monday, September 14, 2009

We got it!

The ear doctor and I dated for 2 1/2 years...MUCH longer than the typical couple with our religious background. Neither of us felt any hurry to get married and we both really wanted to make sure that it was the right thing for us.

Plus, up until about the 2 year mark the idea of getting engaged was daunting for me. Actually, terrifying might be a better word. It loomed at me in the background. I worried about it's potential to ruin our relationship. I worried that it would signal the end of my independence and the beginning of the seemingly never-ending life of compromise. I worried a lot.

But one day I talked to my mom and she, as usual, had some words of wisdom to share. She told me to look at engagement not as the final commitment for all time, but as a promise toward that commitment. If something horrible happened, promises can be broken but commitments cannot.

And that helped.

And that's kind of what it feels like today because we are officially 100% UNDER CONTRACT on the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure, last night I may or may not have had a moment of suffocating somewhat paralyzing fear over making a commitment that will last for the next 30 YEARS OF MY LIFE. But then I realized being under contract is like getting engaged. We've promised to love, honor and protect these particular 1380 square feet of Denver above all others. But if something horrible happens in the next month and a half we can get out of it.

If this commitment only brings me 1/10th the satisfaction I experience on a daily basis with the ear doctor I'm gonna be one lucky girl!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our second attempt at making an offer

Well, our offer to purchase this little beauty is sent and the waiting-on-pins-and-needles has commenced.

These 3 beds, 1 bath, 1380 sq ft built in 1923 might be ours soon...

Cross your fingers, ok?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Giving is better than getting

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I'm getting pretty good at surprising my man.

Last Friday was his 30th birthday! That's right folks, for the last 30 years this world has been a better place because the ear doctor was in it. And if you've followed along the course of this blog you probably know that birthdays are a big deal in our little family.

A big deal.

And what could be bigger than turning 30? Nothing.

So, on Friday morning the ear doctor awoke to a towering mountain of gifts. 30 white boxes tied up with bright green ribbons and black and white twine. Each box topped with a tag numbered 1-30. As every half hour passed he got to open a gift and find a little treat inside.

The biggest surprise came at about 4 pm when he found two boarding passes for a flight to LA that night. Because, more than Wii games, BBQ tools and camping gear, what he wanted for his 30th birthday was to be with his parents.

So, we flew out and spent the most awesome long Labor Day weekend under the California sun. We went on a whale watching cruise (where I successfully avoided succumbing to motion-sickness induced vomiting), toured the Getty for the first time ( is STUNNING), drove down and checked out the San Diego Zoo, and (of course) hit up the one and only Disneyland.

As we fell asleep in his parents spare bedroom on Friday night he looked over at me with shining eyes and pulled me close. As he held me in his arms he whispered into my hair, "this is my best birthday ever."

My heart was so full the only word that adequately describes is this: JOY

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Anyone know a cobbler?

Here's another question for you. How long do you expect a pair of nice heels to last?

I bought these cute expensive heels from Nordstrom in February and now they're totally trashed. The little rubber nub on one heel is totally gone so it clicks with the sound of metal on concrete whenever I walk. There are sparks when I run.

And the finish has totally rubbed off the cute buttons that secure the maryjane strap.

Now I know that, because Nordstrom is awesome, I can take them back and probably get a brand new pair for free. But do you think I'm expecting too much from a shoe? Should they really only last 6 months with a maximum of twice a week wear? Should I just suck it up, send them to the cute shoe graveyard and buy a new pair?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stoke that flame

Before I got married I heard countless war stories of couples falling out of love. Couples whose relationship had burned hot and heavy and with time dulled down to a small little flame, so easily snuffed out when the winds of adversity blew their way. Stories of pairs who let their familiarity become confused with the ordinary, mundane, banal. Duos who ran out of ways to surprise the other and found the lack of excitement oppressive.

Well, my friends, that hasn't happened for the ear doctor and I. And, hope against hope, it won't ever. He surprises me almost every day with new little awesome things about him.

Take Sunday. We were casually driving from church to check out a few open houses and he pulled out an innocent peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was cut, the correct way, on the diagonal, from corner to corner. I had inserted the sandwich in its protective plastic sleeve with the bottom of the loaf to the bottom of the baggie. He paused, looked up at me and said, "I don't know if you know this about me, but I like to eat the bottom half first."

He then went on to explain that he really loved the chewy top of the loaf the best and so he kept it to the very end so that he could savor it in his last, final, perfect bite.

I thought this was hilarious. To have a preferred way to eat a peanut butter sandwich? Who thinks of these things?

Yup. That's all it takes for me. So maybe the lesson here isn't try to keep the mystery alive so much as teach yourself to be easily entertained?

walk the line

I maintain there are two types of people in this world. Those who follow rules and those who don't. I land squarely in the first camp. And I'm pretty sure I know why.

When I was in 3rd grade I had the bejeezus scared out of me.

Picture this: My cousin who was in first grade and I were waiting outside the front of our elementary school waiting for one of our parents to pick us up. Soon, we got bored. We had to come up with a way to entertain ourselves, right? Well, soon we found ourselves screaming, chasing each other and SPITTING AT EACH OTHER.

Well, the principal saw us and dragged us into her office. There is nothing so scary to the pure unafraid heart of a little third grader than the face of an angry principal. I've been scarred for life and have never since felt the desire to break school or work rules.

...oh, except that time in high school I sneaked out of a hotel in Portland in the middle of the night with my friends while away on a school sponsored trip....