Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Daily Note: December 31, 2008

Bromance? Brarf. That show was terrible!! The only redeeming quality was the one gay contestant who was all, "Ew, this place is DIRty. This is nothing like The Hills. Where's Lauren Conrad?" Amen brother, my thoughts exactly.

The City, however. Wow. LOVED IT. All the drama with Jay and Alex? Loved it. Olivia? Loved hating her. Erin? Love her. Staring at Whitney's never ending skinny legs? Loved it like I love a train wreck that I can't tear my eyes away from. Watching Kelly give motherly advice to Whitney? Loved it. Officially my new favorite show.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daily Note: December 29, 2008

How do you spell excited? T-H-E C-I-T-Y.

It starts tonight. Be there. Or be square.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Daily Note: December 26, 2008

Well, it's been a weird 9 days trapped in the house with all this snow. We had a merry Christmas and I hope you all did too. Since I've been pretty much slowly dying of boredom over the last week or so, I have very little new to say. For this reason, I offer you a photo summary of my time.

Here I am on the first day of snow, thinking that frolicking in a winter wonderland is fun. We walked up to the video store and rented a few movies to watch while we were snowed in.
A day or two later and the boredom had really hit. We started posing Maurice in various pieces of furniture for entertainment.
Then it just kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing. On day two or three we took this photo of the front of our house.Our backyard:

A few nights ago our neighbor's bamboo on the right side of our yard was so laden with snow that I worried it would break our fence. Jeff went out in the dark with a broom and beat the crap out of all the bushes to get all the snow out. I don't know if you can tell, but he's almost knee deep in snow.
Once we'd officially seen pretty much every movie at our neighborhood rental store, I shifted to cooking to keep me entertained. We made chicken and dumplings from my America's Test Kitchen cookbook.

Christmas morning:
The egg scramble and Early's Sausage special ordered from Tennessee (a Culver family tradition). Below that is a photo of me with my prized apple skillet cake from Jacques Pepin's fast and easy cookbook.Family photo war. My brother and my Mom and I all taking pictures at once:
Sitting down to breakfast:Our most exciting present (from my parents)- A new flat screen tv! I know... we're spoiled. But my parents have a weird obsession with their new flat screen tv and felt it was necessary to buy us one.
So that's about it. I was supposed to make a fancy dinner for me and Jeff last night but we were both too full and lazy. So... countless episodes of What Not to Wear, a marathon of House, and many, many bowls of chex mix later, the snow seems to be melting. I think we might actually dig our car out today and - gasp - drive somewhere other than our neighborhood.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Daily Note: December 21, 2008

For CHRIST'S SAKE! The snow will not stop and I'm going totally crazy. We had to cancel our big holiday party last night (after I already baked 2 dozen cupcakes) and today I didn't get to see my friend Heidi on her birthday because of the snow. I spent the ENTIRE DAY in my pajamas (after showering I actually put them back on) so I know I shouldn't complain but seriously! All I've done today is flip channels aimlessly and stuff my face with leftover cupcakes. Thankfully the giant batch of chex mix I made for the party never got unearthed from our basement freezer because in order to get to our basement you have to go outside (read - I'm too scared of our slippery snowy stairs to the basement to go get the chex mix I so desperately want). In even grosser news, Jeff and I ate tater tots for dinner. Nothing else, just tater tots. And yes, we had plenty of other, more nutritious options.

Happy Birthday Heidi! Sorry Mother Earth is such an asshole.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily Note: December 17, 2008

Sometimes when I log into blogger to write a post, our home computer automatically logs me into Jeff's blogger account without asking me for the password. Jeff has a businessy (ie super boring) blog where he talks about charts and graphs and how much he loves them. When this happens I often think of how funny it would be for me to write a post pretending to be him. My post would say something like:

Graphs are hella awesome and I think business is "the business". Sometimes when I'm shaving I like to pretend I'm Santa Clause and say "ho ho ho" to myself in the mirror. Woooooooooooo!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Daily Note: December 16, 2008

Apologies for the long absence. I've been super busy and keep thinking I'll upload some pictures to share our holiday party outings as well as our near death snowstorm-driving experience on Saturday night. But in combination with being super busy I am also incredibly lazy. So, no pictures. Instead of giving you actual content about what I've been up to, I feel that I need to share something I found on tv last night:

Drama High = the best tv special ever. This two hour special was put on by 20/20 and follows the making of a high school musical (not the lame ass movie, but a REAL high school musical). The musical in question was The Wiz. Having more than one personal connection to the concept of high school musicals, I was beyond sucked in. I hearted it so much that I (gasp) decided to keep watching it even when I knew the season finale for The Hills was starting. Because here's the deal - 20/20 doesn't rerun their specials 24 hours a day for 5 days like MTV does.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Daily Note: December 12, 2008

As predicted, my hair looks significantly less awesome today. I had a mini freak out this morning while blow drying my hair that I had accidentally acquired a fashion mullet. But I took a deep breath, stepped away from the blow dryer, cooled down (literally) while eating breakfast and then tried again. The second blow dry attempt significantly reduced the mullet factor and I think it's pretty good today. I wish I could fast forward a week to when I fall into the haircut-groove. Or better, keep a pocket sized Emilio in my bathroom to blow dry my hair with the round brush every morning.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Note: December 11, 2008

I got my hair cut tonight and I must say I'm feeling pretty fucking great. My hair has been looking beyond terrible for at least a month, with horrible grown out layers and a halo of frizz framing my face. On Tuesday I finally got that panicky, desperate feeling I always get after going like 5 months without a haircut and called Emilio to see if he could fit me in. He asked about my availability and I told him I could be there in 5 minutes (I was all kinds of desperate). Sadly, I had to wait 2 days, but it was totally worth it. I couldn't decide whether to go short or invest in the long look that I had accidentally cultivated by lack of regular maintenance. I told him to treat me like I was on What Not to Wear and that I was at his mercy. I thought for sure he'd cut it short, but he decided to keep it long and give me lots of layers and thinned it so much there was a small dog's worth of hair on the floor when he finished. I seriously feel 5 pounds lighter. I thought I'd blog about how hot I feel right now so that tomorrow, when I'm trying really hard to blow it out to look the same as it does right now and it's not working, I can relive this glowing feeling. I'd take a picture and post it if my face didn't look so much like a piece of greasy pizza right now.

Oh and also, on the way home from my haircut I caught myself singing along to Greenday's 'Time of Your Life' on the radio. I had sung the whole first verse (loudly and with passion) before I was jolted out of my reverie. Self awareness suddenly flooded the car and I shouted out loud, "Are you seriously singing along to Greenday?!" Then I angrily switched the station.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daily Note: December 10, 2008

I just realized that I've been wearing my underwear inside-out all day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Daily Note: December 9, 2008

Our house is so festive right now it's ridiculous. It's like Christmas exploded all over our house. Or like Sandra Lee used my entire house for one of her giant, themed "tablescapes". Every time I walk in the door I'm hit by a wall of gold, silver and fir. It's suddenly very easy for me to see how some people can spend thousands of dollars on holiday decor. I feel like all of our decor when looked at individually is very classy, but I am starting to wonder how many classy decorations you can put in one room before it starts to look not-so-classy. The truth is though, that I don't care. Part of me wants to go totally overboard. I've been to Target like 10 times in the last week and every time I find an excuse to visit the seasonal aisle. Mostly, I really want to get a tiny Santa suit for our cat. Or at least reindeer antlers. Like this (only better because my cat isn't ugly like this one):

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daily Note: December 7, 2008

I have company coming in 15 minutes for a dinner party but I can't motivate myself to change out of my yoga pants. Do you think they'd notice if I just kept them on?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Daily Note: December 6, 2008

Best day ever. After sleeping in, Jeff made us his breakfast special - homemade egg mcmuffin sandwiches which I was able to eat in bed while reading my book. Then we headed to the Hunter Tree Farm to pick out our Christmas tree!

Then we headed to Fred Meyer for a tree stand and skirt. Sadly, we didn't buy a tree skirt because they only had heinous ones with big pictures of Santa on them. In better news, I did have an awesome photo shoot in the seasonal aisle.

After Fred Meyer, we had grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, I finished my book and napped (I wasn't kidding when I said best day ever). And then, as if the day couldn't get any better, we had my brother and his girlfriend Emily over for dinner. I made flank steak, garlic and rosemary smashed potatoes and sauteed greens. For dessert, we baked off the M&M cookie dough I made last night at a holiday cookie baking party. I was too busy stuffing my face to take food photos, so this part of the day is not documented. With the help of my strapping brother (and his strapping girlfriend) we were able to move furniture around to get the tree into the house. Here we are decorating.
I'm not sure if you can tell, but I'm pretty pumped to be decorating my very own tree. My brother was slightly less pumped, but after 2 giant cookies and a glass of wine, he chilled out a little. He kept hanging ornaments in a big gross cluster and then saying, "Umm, Emily, I think you put these ornaments a little too close together".

Also, these photos don't capture the Charlie Brown Christmas music playing in the background that added to the greatness of the night. After the family left, we had a self directed photo shoot in which Jeff used his extremely long arms to take our picture. Jeff is a foot taller than me and before the invention of the digital camera, 90% of our vacation pictures were taken in this manner. At least 80% of these photos have Jeff's whole face and my forehead OR my face and Jeff's chin. Here's the shot where he was able to get both of our heads in the shot. Taaa daaaa!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Daily Note: December 4, 2008

Alright. So I totally fell for the romance and loved the chemistry between Bella and Edward but every single time Jasper would enter the picture I got the giggles. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t meant to be funny, but wow. Also, I’m pretty sure he got confused and thought that Edward Scissorhands was a vampire. I spent an unhealthy amount of time on Google images looking for the perfect pictures to illustrate my point, but had a hard time finding a really good one of Jasper. This was the best I could do:

This photo doesn't really do the comparison justice, but it'll have to do. Anyways, aside from some horrible casting choices in the Cullen family, I still walked away with a major crush on Edward. I went to the movie with my friend Heidi who also read all the books. Our post movie debrief went a little like this:
Jill: I feel like the actress who played Alice looked more like 30 instead of 17.
Heidi: What about Edward? He’s older. Probably like our age.
Jill: Actually, I already looked and he’s only 22.
Heidi: Seriously? But he had wrinkles on his forehead?!
Jill: It’s true. He’s only 22.

Thoughtful silence

Heidi: I’d still do him.
Jill: Me too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Daily Note: December 3, 2008

Well, my dear readers. Tonight is the night. I have a date with Edward Cullen at 7:00. We're meeting at the Meridian 16 Cinemas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Daily Note: December 2, 2008

Deep thoughts about shallow things:

1. I only caught a few minutes of the Britney special, but wow. Thankfully, I'm pretty confident that they'll be running it all day, every day for the next two weeks at least, so I'll be sleeping easy knowing I haven't missed my only chance.

2. Jeff was in the room at 10:00 so I couldn't watch The Hills without mass ridicule. He finally left at 10:16, but by then I couldn't follow the complex plot twists that the show had taken during the first 16 minutes. Kidding! About the plot twists, not about missing the first half of the show.

3. I saw a preview for The City and I wish they sold advent calendars for it. I'd like to open a tiny window and eat a crappy piece of chocolate for every day that takes me closer to the premier of that show. Two words - baited breath.

4. Bromance? As much as I love Brody Jenner, I'm feeling a little lukewarm on that concept. Although perhaps it's aimed a little more towards the males 15-21 audience and less to the married, nearly 30 year old women demo.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Daily Note: December 1, 2008

Holy shit! It's December! Where does the time go?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daily Note: November 28, 2008

Me: "How much do you love me - a little or a lot?"

Jeff: "Um.. is there a third option?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Daily Note: THANKSGIVING 2008

Today I give thanks to:

1. My husband. Who spent at least 2 hours standing in the shower yesterday "recalibrating" the plumbing so that I had the most lovely shower in our beautiful new(ish) bathroom this morning. Apparently, the shower head may not in fact be broken, just super fussy.

2. Whole foods. When I went to bake my apple pie this morning, the horrible memory of me breaking my beautiful deep dish pie pan two weeks ago came crashing back to me. In a panic, I realized Target and all other kitchen goods stores would be closed today. Thankfully, Whole Foods was open and had one yellow Le Crueset pie pan left with my name on it. Luckily, I made my pumpkin pie last night so I only needed one pie pan.

3. My Dad. Today is his 60th birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Daily Note: November 26, 2008

What happened to The Hills?? I haven't watched in 2 or 3 weeks, but I tuned in for a minute last night and it sent my head spinning! Justin Bobby hooked up with Lauren? Or maybe not? Since when does Audrina have a sister? Audrina and Lauren aren't friends anymore? Speidi got married? Heidi got fired?? Her sister moved in with Lauren? How is it possible for such a simplistic show to get so complicated in such a short period of time? I feel like I need The Hills: CliffsNotes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25th, Update

2.5 glasses of wine and 3 pieces of Domino's pizza later, life is looking up.

Daily Note: November 25, 2008

If you're not really much for angry rants filled with all caps, I would advise not reading further.

Today was maybe one of the most cranky-making days ever. Horrible PMS coupled with a personal disappointment this week put me in no position to deal with the incompetent pile of retards that I had to talk to today. Rather than pull a Dooce and go into details, I will just reassure any random coworkers that might stumble upon this blog - I'm not talking about you.

Also, this just in: Our new shower is broken. After months of it only spewing scalding water, my lovely husband finally called the plumber. For the low, low price of a bazillion dollars, the plumber informed us that it is not in fact his shoddy work that caused the problem as we had suspected, but a faulty shower head. Luckily he DID rig it so that now the shower only spews freezing cold water, which is AWESOME. And of course we ordered the shower head off of some obscure piece of shit website that will probably never read the strongly worded letter Jeff sent them today insisting that they send us a new shower head. And PS my jaw hurts really bad so it's pretty great that I'm totally out of my TMJ pain meds.

I should go, I think I hear someone calling my name from the kitchen and I'm pretty sure it's coming from a giant glass of wine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Daily Note: November 24th, 2008

True or False: Eating a giant piece of sourdough toast slathered in butter is a healthy late night snack.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daily Note: November 20, 2008

I've returned from the land of the Grand Hyatt Seattle and am happy to report that the conference went really well. My only war wounds from the week of craziness are bloody feet from making the mistake of wearing new shoes one day. In my defense they were flats, so I thought it would be okay. Right now I am wearing so many band aids on my feet, I started to wonder if there might be a market for socks made entirely out of band aids. I could have used some this week. Anyways, I have nothing of any real value to offer in this post except to let you know that I'm thrilled to be done with my conference and am looking forward to what will hopefully be some laid back holiday time. Oh! And Jeff found out today that he's been offered a "transition package" at Wamu to help with JP Morgan Chase's buy out, so he isn't getting laid off until April! This is good news on many fronts, so we are all kinds of pleased today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Daily Note: November 15, 2008

Before and afters seem to be popular with my two loyal readers so here are some more. Oh, and to answer Lindsey's question in the comments, we live in Maple Leaf, which is north of UW, but south of Northgate. If you drew a line North from the Roosevelt Whole Foods and a line East from Dukes Chowder House on Greenlake they would intersect at our house. I have a feeling that only made sense to me, but whatever.

So this before/during/after series is of our stairwell and upstairs landing.

First is the before photo. Note the filthy carpet that had been in the house for years and years before we bought it.

Here is the before of the landing upstairs. Note the sad, bare bulb hanging from the ceiling, which was our only source of light.
This next one was taken after we ripped up all the old carpet. We were hoping for slightly beat up original floors, but instead we found fir floors that had been painted gray with bare spots stained black on the treads. Pretty.
And here are the floors after we had them professionally refinished and stained, but before we'd painted (you can see the different paint color where the carpet had been on the sides).
Here I am sanding all the cracks in the plaster.
This is what our upstairs landing looked like for a week or two during the sanding process.
And then I painted the fronts of the steps white:
Here we are priming all the walls and trim work. This photo makes me laugh every time. Jeff thought he was so smart by devising a "tool" which would allow him to cut-in on the ceiling (Jeff is always in charge of cutting-in and I always roll). His "tool" is a long pipe that Jeff found in the basement and he basically just stuck a paint brush in the end of the tube. Then he would gingerly wave the tool left to right over his head while the paint sort of swiped the edges where the ceiling meets the walls. It worked, so I couldn't laugh too hard. Every time I would laugh he would say, "When I patent this brilliant invention and sell it to painters world-wide, guess who will be laughing then?!"
Here's the first flight of stairs after we finished painting and in the midst of Jeff building/installing a hand rail.
And here's the landing taken from our bedroom after it was all done. Note the new light fixture that replaced the bare bulb. It makes me feel like I'm in a submarine. In a good way.
And here is the stairwell 99% finished (we don't have a good shot of it 100% finished, but you get the idea). We have since filled all the frames with pictures of family and friends (I think in this photo they just have post-it notes on them so we could decide which photo would go in which picture).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Daily Note: November 13, 2008

Today I'm too lazy to write something so instead I will give you some pictures of the recently finished living room. Everyone loves a good before and after, right? This was taken a year or two ago with our pretend walls made (literally) out of paper hanging on either side of the archway between the dining room and living room. Jeff is the King of Prototypes (one time I even made up a song about it Weird Al style to the tune of King of Wishful Thinking from the Pretty Woman soundtrack but that is another story for another day) so before we built real walls, we lived with simulated paper walls for at least 3 months.
And here is after we ripped out some rotten plaster under the center window (and before we replaced it with Sheetrock). This is after we installed the picture rail but before painting.

This next one was taken while we made the paper walls into real walls. In the area between the new beam and original the wall, we put in heat vents that go from our basement to our bedrooms upstairs. Now the bedroom is always toasty warm.
Here is me working on the trim work we added to frame out the new, narrower archway.
And here is the Ta Daaa shot:

It's really sunny in this picture so it washes the paint out, but still, it gives you the idea.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Daily Note: November 12, 2008

What do we think of the new Nicole Kidman movie Australia? Do we want to see it or not?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Daily Note: November 11, 2008

Almost exactly a year ago, we woke up to find our garage looking like this:

Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but that's water. A lot of water. Where it doesn't belong. It had rained for days and days, and the rural areas around Seattle were all flooded. Since we live on a hill and had a sump pump in our garage, we figured we were fine. Only it turns out our sump pump sucked. It stopped working in the night and when we woke up we found we had 6 inches of water throughout our entire garage. Here's a close up of the "flood line" after we'd bailed out the entire room:

Despite Jeff's many attempts to get the sump pump working (while I freaked out about him getting electrocuted) and other more experimental efforts to empty the room that involved physics and long hoses (which I only learned about much later), we realized that aside from purchasing a very expensive machine (of which everyone had sold out because of the extensive flooding), our only concrete option was to start bailing. We spent hours and hours bailing buckets of water out of this room and into a laundry sink in our slightly higher basement room next door. After a while the only way I was able to keep going was by pretending I was on some sort of boot camp reality show and I had to be the one girl who didn't complain. That worked for a little while, but eventually I started to whimper a little. After two days of bailing, mopping, and strategic fan operating, here is what our garage looked like after:

After that week, every time it would rain, we would have to set our alarm clocks for every 2 hours in the night and take turns waking up to check on the sump pump and make sure it had self-activated like it was supposed to. If it hadn't (which was frequently), we had a wooden broom handle we used to stick in the pool of water and activate the switch. It was like having a totally un-cute baby. But then in January we set to work and installed the biggest sump pump in the entire world. I could fit inside this sump pump it's so big. The process involved cement saws, jack hammers and a very expensive trip to the dump, but we did it. And we've been sleeping soundly ever since. This week has been VERY wet here in Seattle and we've kept nice and dry.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daily Note: November 10, 2008

Conversation with Jeff this evening:

Jill: I love you the most
long pause
Jill: Say it back!!
Jeff: You're in my top 5
Jill: (silently gives Jeff the stink eye then punches him in the gut)
Jeff: I kid! I kid!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Daily Note: November 6, 2008

Here is a list of my top 10 pet peeves in no particular order:

Picky eaters
Uncomfortable shoes
When people want to show me a card trick
Clogged shower drains in the bathtub
People coming into my office without knocking when my door is shut
Blow drying my hair
Really fast channel surfing
Pumping gas
When the comforter gets all bunched up inside the duvet
When people bring young children to fancy restaurants

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daily Note: November 5, 2008

Jeff and I started dating just 2 weeks shy of my 15th birthday. He was 18 and I think it’s fair to say that we were in love within a month or two, although neither of us remembers when we actually started saying it out loud to each other. I know that when he left for college just 6 months after we met, I was devastated in the way only a 15 year old can be. My devastation was made worse by the fact that no one really understood how serious we were. Of course in hindsight, I totally get why everyone thought we were stupid. I mean, I was 15! We’d only been dating 6 months. And Jeff was going off to a good school that was thousands of miles away where he would meet other girls and move on. Except he didn’t. We may never know what combination of factors allowed us to stay together despite only seeing each other twice that year and in the end it may boil down to the fact that we were “meant to be together”. Except by typing that I just barfed in my mouth.

Anyways, Jeff and I wrote each other letters (real letters because this was 1994) almost every day. We also talked into tape cassettes and sent tapes back and forth until they were full. Some prematurely nostalgic part of me decided very early on in our relationship to save everything – every letter, every nerdy collage made out of magazine cut outs and filled with inside jokes that I barely remember now, every humiliating cassette tape containing our angsty voices that we recently promised to never, ever listen to again. When I was 15 or 16, my Mom took me to Pier 1 and bought me a weird, kind of ugly trunk (that I loved) so I could fill it with all my “Jeff memorabilia”. I don’t remember, but I assume my bedroom was being swallowed by manila envelopes and driving my Mom and Dad bananas. My parents have moved a few times since I left home 11 years ago but they’ve always trudged this trunk along with their things.

Jeff and I have now lived together for 8 and a half years. (This may seem like a subject change, but I will loop it back around eventually, I promise.) We lived in a tiny apartment for the first 5 years. Then 4 years ago we got married and soon after bought our house and immediately started tearing the shit out of it to make it “ours”. I tell you this to explain why we have never had a Christmas tree. Our space has either been too small or too chaotic. Two years ago during the holidays I think we were staying with our friends while our floors were refinished and last year in December most of our furniture was piled into one room while we built a fancy box beam ceiling in our dining room. A Christmas tree was out of the question. But THIS YEAR. This year, our house is 95% construction free, our living and dining rooms are DONE and Jeff and Jill Culver are buying a Christmas tree. And it will be awesome. This is our 9th Christmas cohabiting and our first Christmas tree. After almost 15 years together, it’s exciting to find that there are still “firsts” left for us to experience.

I haven’t thought of that trunk sitting in my parent’s basement in years. (See how I'm looping back around?) But a few weeks ago when I was standing by myself in Home Depot waiting for them to mix some paint, I turned around and noticed the elaborate holiday display. I had some time to kill so I walked up and down the aisles while thinking about our Christmas tree. I realized we don’t really have any ornaments for this much anticipated tree. Then the paint lady called my name and I went to retrieve my paint. While driving home with my two gallons of “chocolate froth” paint in eggshell finish, I remembered that ugly trunk from Pier 1. I thought of it because I suddenly remembered that there was something in it I needed.

Last weekend, Jeff humored me and drove us the hour and a half to my parent’s house in the pouring down rain so we could pick up the trunk and bring it home. It reeked of mildew but we crammed it into the back seat and drove it home. That night I rooted through the trunk and found what I was looking for.

In December of 1994, when I was still 15 and Jeff was about to turn 19, he came home from college for Christmas. We hadn’t seen each other in 4 months, almost as long as we’d been together before he left. I have absolutely no recollection of what I gave Jeff for Christmas that year, but on the drive home from Home Depot, I remembered what he’d given me and at the very bottom of the smelly trunk I found it.

For our first Christmas, Jeff bought me an ornament in the shape of a small, gold hand with fingers extended and a heart held between the index finger and thumb. When he gave it to me, it was with a note that said he was sure that one day, we’d have our very own Christmas tree to put it on.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Daily Note: November 4, 2008


Monday, November 3, 2008

Daily Note: November 3, 2008

It's officially cold out. I unearthed the electric blanket and was snug as a bug in a rug last night.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daily Note: November 2, 2008

This is our cat Maurice. About a year ago, we installed a cat door for him. He's an outdoor cat and getting in and out of bed to let him in and out of the house every night was getting really annoying.

When we first adopted Maurice, he actually belonged to our neighbors. He'd clearly lost interest in them, or maybe they'd lost interest in him, but for whatever combination of reasons, he took to spending far more time at our house than theirs. Eventually, we asked them if we could just have him and shockingly, the answer was yes.

His previous owners had one of those fancy cat doors operated by a magnetic system. The cat wears a magnet on his collar and when he gets within a foot or two of the cat door, it unlocks as a result of the magnet and allows him to use the door. This keeps killers, possums and other creepy animals from sneaking in the cat door.

The problem with the magnetic system is that the magnets are not unique. Before we installed our cat door, it came to our attention that Maurice was not the only cat with a magnetic door in the neighborhood. Apparently, he had been seen entering and exiting other cat's homes through their magnetic cat doors. Jeff and I were torn between humiliation upon learning that our cat was a big bully and awe at the fact that he had the balls to just walk into another cat's house. Upon learning about Maurice's house hopping habits, we decided to up the anty. We went to the fanciest pet store in the land and bought him the Jaguar of cat doors - the INFRARED CAT DOOR. The thing cost us like $100 PLUS the hours spent installing the thing. This door does not mess around. It comes with a unique infrared signal that Maurice wears around his neck like a charm bracelet and only his signal will unlock our door. This also prevents him from entering other houses with the magnetic system because he no longer needs to wear the magnet charm around his neck.

We thought we were sooo smart. The problem? The cat door is clear. Maurice spends hours and hours standing in the kitchen looking out his "kitty window", admiring the backyard, watching the fall foliage, checking to see if there are any birds or cats hanging out there. As a result of his almost constant proximity, his stupid cat door locks and unlocks incessantly. While cooking dinner all I hear is "cha-chank..... chank... cha-chank...... chank". The batteries on this fancy door were supposed to last a year or more, but instead we practically had to buy stock in The Tiniest Battery In The World Company because I swear to you that we replaced those batteries like once a week.

I think it was a few months ago that the battery died again and we just finally decided to give up. We manually unlocked it and now he comes and goes as he pleases. I think we even lost his fancy infrared charm. I hope no killers or possums are reading this website and getting sneaky ideas.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Daily Note: November 1, 2008

Sources inform me that Mr. Jay from America's Next Top Model is currently in Seattle. He was last seen being accosted by a mob of excited gay men at the Apple Store in University Village.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Daily Note: October 31, 2008

Adults in costumes make me uncomfortable. I feel that it is really only appropriate if you work with children to come to work dressed in costume. I’m a total Halloween hater. I think Jeff and I are going to spend the night hovering in our house with all the lights out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daily Note: October 29, 2008

Was I the only one who got totally choked up during Obama's 30 minute commercial tonight? Please oh please oh please oh please let him win!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Daily Note: October 27, 2008

"17 Kids and Counting" update: I watched 2 more episodes last night after posting my note. Their oldest son is getting married at the ripe old age of 20 (honestly I was shocked he was that old) and there was an entire episode focused on their "courting" process. In case you were wondering - “courting” involves holding hands and spending all their time together with at least 2 chaperones present to ensure that they save their first kiss for their wedding day. All they do is moon over each other, hold hands and repeat ‘I love you’ over and over. Honestly, how can they love each other? They don't even KNOW each other. They’ve never been alone! It sort of seemed like when he took her to his office it was the first time he’d told her what he actually did for a living. It was unclear if she did anything other than maybe spend hours scouring second hand shops for skirts from the late 1980s. I don’t know. Maybe when you’re that conservative, you’re just so happy to have found someone else with the same values that this is all that is necessary to equal love? Granted I was a big slut and lived with Jeff for 5 years before getting married, but sheesh. Isn’t there a middle ground somewhere?

The most confounding part – I’m pretty sure they’ll be really happy together. I know for damn sure that they won’t be divorcing. Which is more than I can say about some of my married friends.

PS: The entire episode I kept wondering how he managed to meet a girl that looks and dresses exactly like one of his sisters. I started to wonder, “Is this just what everyone in Arkansas dresses like?” Is the long, shapeless dress to Arkansas what the fleece is to Seattle? Then it was finally revealed: he met her at a national home schooling conference. Seriously. I wish I could plan that conference.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Daily Note: October 26, 2008

I just finished filling out my absentee ballot. I can't wait for November 4th!! It took me 3 episodes of "17 Kids and Counting" on TLC to read the whole voter's pamphlet and thoroughly fill in all those circles with an ink pen.

Have you seen that show? It's crazy! Or maybe I should just be honest and say that while nice, that family is CRAZY. Also, why does having 17 kids mandate that you have to have horrible hair and make terrible fashion choices? Or is that less about their abundance of children and more related to them living in Arkansas? Do they know they need haircuts? And I'm not saying the girls should run around in mini skirts or anything, but would it kill them to wear a pair of pants once in a while? Or maybe just anything that I wouldn't have worn in 1989? Because that is what every one of those girls looks like. Me in 1989.

PS - The Dad in that show is named JIM BOB! If your parents named you Jim Bob, why in the world would you not just go by Jim?? My face felt like one big question mark the whole time I was watching that show.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daily Note: October 23, 2008

I had a hot dog for dinner. By this, I mean that I bought a package of hot dogs at the grocery store, cooked one in a skillet, toasted a bun and ate it in front of the TV. By myself. If you look up my full name in Wikipedia, it would just say one word - WINNER.
Actually, I don't think I'm in Wikipedia, but maybe I should add myself. With a picture of me eating a hot dog with one hand and giving a thumbs up with the other. Too bad Jeff's not home tonight or I'd make him take this picture right now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Daily Note: October 22 2008

"Wouldn't it be nice to have a president whom the people under thirty won't laugh at?"

Quote from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I was reading during lunch just now and giggled a little at its relevance to the current election even though Owen is talking about the election of 1960 in the book.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Daily Note: October 21, 2008


I just wanted to write you a quick letter to let you know that you are perhaps the best thing that has ever happened to my 9-5. You are like the husband I never had; anticipating my needs better than I can. By simply typing in that I like Sufjan Stevens, you determined that I would like to spend my morning listening to a variety of artfully chosen sad bastard songs. And you were right! How did you KNOW that after hearing an old school Ben Folds song that the perfect next artist to play was Radiohead? Seriously. I didn’t even know that I wanted to hear Radiohead next. And yesterday when I was feeling just a little more dark and ironic, you knew that by typing in “Girlfriend in a Coma by The Smiths” I would also want to hear U2 with a sprinkling of Morrissey.

And that time you accidentally made the mistake of thinking I wanted to hear that Sarah Bareilles song “Love Song” after I told you I was in the mood to hear Feist? I clicked that thumbs down button and you IMMEDIATELY stopped the song and apologized. And not one of those “I’m sorry if you feel that I chose the wrong song” sort of apologies either. You said you were very sorry and that you would NEVER play that song again. Well, I forgive you Pandora.

Love always,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily Note: October 20, 2008

It's cold, dark and rainy today. I would pay $500 to be in my yoga pants, in my bed with my cat. And an extra $10 to anyone who would bring me a grilled cheese.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Daily Note: October 19, 2008

The 'danna is needed to keep plaster dust out of my hair, the mask is needed because, dude it is DUSTY up in my house, and the goggles are not needed, but I feel that they really tie the whole look together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Daily Note: October 18, 2008

Two different conversations with my husband last night.

#1. Over dinner-

Jill: I feel like this construction will never end, I'm sick of eating dinner standing up in the kitchen.

Jeff: Pretend your camping.


Jeff: maddest camper ever.

#2. During drive to Home Depot-

Jill: Are you getting a haircut soon?

Jeff: (annoyed) YES, I have one scheduled for Tuesday!

Jill: Dude, you gotta keep that shit in check. It's way too long.


Jeff: (quietly) Maybe I'm growing a tail.


Jill: That's a terrible idea.

Jeff: I bet I'd be the only banker with a tail.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Daily Note: October 17th, 2008

I went to see the musical "Spring Awakening" last night. Fantastic show. That said, I think there is a private place in hell for people who arrive after the show has started and then expect everyone in their row to get up for them to scooch into their seats, which are ALWAYS in the middle of the row. I don't care how many apologetic looks they give me while scooching past, I do not forgive them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Daily Note: October 16, 2008

Today while driving to work, I saw a man leaving a medical building wearing stirrup pants. He was probably 60, roughly 6 feet tall, weighed maybe 160, sported a beard, a button down shirt and navy blue STIRRUP PANTS. they were tight, worn with socks underneath, loafers, and his button down shirt was tucked in. I couldn't have been more stunned if he had slapped me in the face.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Daily Note: October 15, 2008

I think maybe I will be 50 and still have zits. I will just have wrinkles too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Daily Note: October 14, 2008

Has an undecided voter ever driven under a freeway pass, seen a group of people waving political signs in the rain and thought to themselves, "I wasn't sure who I was going to vote for, but after seeing those people waving Dino Rossi signs, I'm totally voting for him!" If yes, I would like to meet that person. And slap them.