Monday, November 30, 2009


Go to your nearest Costco and buy and eat these:

Greg and I are certifiably addicted.

Getting Christmasy

Yesterday Greg and I decorated for Christmas. It's probably the earliest we've ever done it. It was about 70 degrees out and sunny so we figured that the weather wouldn't get any better for putting up Christmas lights than that and we might as well take advantage of it. Last year we switched out our old icicle lights for LEDs and the new ones have more of a bright white/blueish hue. They are very bright and we both crack up at the fact that when you pass by the front door it looks like it's "daylight" outside. Anyway, Greg got them hung while I helped by holding the ladder. He also cleaned out the front gutters while up there.
Later, Greg brought up all the inside Christmas stuff and we went ahead and put up our tree. We have a fake tree. Growing up in NH we always had a real tree. I love the smell of the pine and still miss that, but it's cheaper and a hell of a lot easier to just do the fake tree. I have a pine scented candle that I sometimes put over near the tree for that piney smell.
I am a complete ornament hound. I LOVE Christmas ornaments. My mom started giving me new ornaments every year from the time I was little and when I left home I got to take my set. It's steadily grown to the point that it's pretty out of control and I can easily decorate the entire tree, including the back without much free space. I like to put all my favorites near the top. My absolute favorite is this miniature wooden violin. I also like this red ceramic boot with a Christmas tree coming out of it that I got when I was in Boston with my parents at Christmas time one year. Greg has like 10 plane/pilot Christmas ornaments that my mom and I have gotten him over the years. We also have a "first year married" one from 2006 when we got married. We have the four South Park kids. We have two from the neighborhood we lived in our first two Christmas's together. We have a Starbucks cup and a red wine bottle. We have a bunch from different places we've been: a margarita from Wilmington, NC, a shell from Hilton Head, and a Chatham, Ma bandstand ornament. My tree doesn't really have a theme. I would say it's mostly red/green/silver, but there's tons of eclectic stuff on it. Greg tells me every year that I'm cut off, but I can't help but still want to keep getting a few new ones every year. While decorating the tree we watched "Christmas Vacation" and drank cocoa. It was quite festive.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving was great. My parents arrived by lunchtime on Thanksgiving day. I made a pot of chili for us to eat for lunch since we weren't having the big meal until dinner time since Greg had work til 3pm. Mom and I made all the staples: turkey, stuffing, sweet potato, mashed potato, and gravy.

We also made my grandma's mac and cheese. It's a family tradition. The recipe is as follows:

1 box of spagetti noodles (cook as directed on package)
1 block of sharp white cheddar, shredded (it has to be sharp white- yellow won't taste or melt the same)
salt and pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk (eye ball it)

Butter a large round casserole dish.
Layer spagetti noodles, cheese, and salt and pepper.
End with final layer of cheese and then pour the milk over the top. Bake at about 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or so. You want the top to be bubbly/browned and a little crunchy.

We also had apple pie and pumpkin pie.

My parents brought me a few things, including this game called Apples to Apples. After dinner we decided to play and it was so fun and funny that we played til we were falling asleep. Basically the concept is that you have a "hand" of cards that are all nouns. There is a card in the middle that is an adjective. You have put down a card from your hand that best matches with the adjective. Sometimes you have NOTHING that matches well at all, but you just have to wing it. Then each person takes turns being "the judge" and they decide which card that was put down goes with the adjective card best. Very fun. I think we'll have to have a game night at some point and have everyone over to play.

Friday morning my mom and I had a plan of going to Radio Shack for a set of cordless phones Greg and I had seen in their flyer. We've been having problems with our current set holding a charge and it seems we are due for new batteries. We found out that new batteries for 4 cordless phones cost as much as buying new ones though, so we decided we'd go ahead and just buy new phones. Plus we had 2 $10 off coupons and the plan was to use those as well. We got to Radio Shack and they told us we couldn't use the coupons with the deal (even though another sales person had told us we could a couple days ago). They also were out of the phones we wanted. So that mission was a bust. The only consilation was that we headed down the street to Dunkin Donuts and got some donuts.
Once we were ready for the day we went to DSW. There's a bunch of stores we have in Charlotte that my parents don't have near them in Hilton Head, and one is DSW, which is a favorite of my mom's. I got some cute black shoes for work. I'm short, and most of my pants are a little on the long side on me, but fit great with a pair of heels, so I usually wear heels. Plus I think it's a more flattering line. Anyway, the pair of black heels I usually wear for work have been bothering me. I think it's causing some damage to my right foot especially. Therefore I was psyched to find a pair that seems comfortable and hopefully will be better for my feet. After DSW we went downtown in Charlotte and went to Nix for lunch. It's this great burger place and I wanted to show my dad, because he LOVES a good burger. This place has the best burgers I've had in Charlotte. My favorite burgers anywhere are at this place called The Tombs in Georgetown (DC).

After lunch Greg went to work at the hotel. We then went to Total Wine so my parents could load up on wine. We had a quiet afternoon/evening in. Went for a walk around the neighborhood and got a pizza for dinner.

Yesterday we did a Costco run with my parents. They have a Sam's Club membership (there's no Costco near them) and wanted to check out our Costco. I got a cute brown shirt, some crazy cheap Calvin Klein sheets, and a bunch of other odds and ends. We did a lunch of leftovers and then my parents headed back home.

Greg and I met Sarah and Josie at this bar called Brazwell's for drinks last night. Sarah pointed out a guy she thought was cute. I played "Wing Girl" and tugged on the guy's sleeve and said "Hi, this is my friend Sarah". He chatted with us for a bit. I'm determined to help my single friends any way I can!

My lasting impression of this weekend is the amount of food I've consumed: turkey, burgers, mac and cheese, pie, donuts, pizza, chili....Ugh. I think I need a diet!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving/holiday mood

I'm in a great mood today. We get out of work 2 hours early this afternoon for Thanksgiving, so that is AWESOME!!!
My parents are coming to my house for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'm taking leave on Friday too, so I can be off to hang out with them (ie go to Total Wine and buy mass quantities of wine). My parents are driving up tomorrow morning and then we're having the dinner at like 6ish I think, since Greg works til 3pm. That gives my mom and I all afternoon to whip up the meal.

The Christmas music flood gates are now open for me. I waited til this week, but now I feel like it's time. Last year I spent a while creating my ultimate Christmas playlist of my favorites. It is as follows:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- James Taylor
Christmas Time is Here- Sarah McLachlan with Diana Krall
Mistletoe- Colbie Caillat
The Christmas Song- Michael Buble
Oh Christmas Tree/Peanuts Christmas- Vince Guaraldi
Little Saint Nick- The Beach Boys
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas- Burl Ives
Hula Hoop- Alvin and the Chipmunks
Chuanaka Song- Adam Sandler
12 Days of Christmas- The Muppets
Last Christmas- Wham
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Sarah McLachlan
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Wintersong- Sarah McLachlan
I'll Be Home for Christmas- Michael Buble
Dream On- Kelly Sweet (not really a Christmas song, but I first heard it before Christmas last year, and it sounds like a Christmas song the way she sings it, so it made the list. If you haven't heard it, check it out, she has an amazing voice).
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Coldplay
Last Christmas- Taylor Swift

In case you can't tell, my favorite Christmas song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", so I have 3 different versions. I also love the Ernie and Bert version from "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street", a movie my mom and I like to watch at Christmas, cheesy and kid-like, but classic. Only problem is that we only have it on VHS and need to convert it to DVD, so it's been a couple years since we've watched it.
I'm all for not rushing a holiday (I do realize that Halloween and most of November is early to get in the mood for Christmas), but the week of Thanksgiving I start getting into a general Thanksgiving/Christmas/family/holiday type mood, so I think it's appropriate to start listening to the Christmas tunage around this time.

Tonight I'm going to do a run uptown with Gibson after work in preparation of the mass quantities of food I'm going to consume in the next couple days. After that I will go home and clean and prep for this weekend.

Greg and I did a grocery and errand trip last night. We went on a search for batteries for our cordless phones as they will only hold a charge for like 5 minutes lately and it's driving us both nuts. We went to Lowe's first because it's the closest to our house. They didn't have them. Greg is funny, he gets very upset every time we go to Lowe's about the fact that they have no less than 12 Handicapped parking spaces in front of every Lowe's. "How many handicapped people are actually doing home improvement projects??" he laments every time and, "Have you EVER actually seen a handicapped person at Lowe's??" He just doesn't understand the logic. I try to reassure him that it's going to be alright and that it's probably a requirement/code thing that every store have that. It's funny. Anyway, Lowe's didn't have the the batteries, but we located some at Radio Shack, where we also discovered that they cost $18 a set and we need 4 sets. Therefore it's probably going to be cheaper to just buy new cordless phones. Good times. We then got all the necessary odds and ends for Thanksgiving at Harris Teeter.
Looking forward to this weekend- should be fun! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

50 Questions

50 Questions.

1. What color is your toothbrush?
White and pink, but I also have a white and green electric toothbrush. I alternate.

2. Name one person who made you smile today?
Chad (co-worker)

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Checking email, entering evidence, drinking coffee...

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
pretty much the same stuff as at 8am.

5. What is your favorite candy bar?
I like Kit Kats, but don't discriminate.

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Do you want to go to lunch?" to my friend Kerrie at work.

8. What is your favorite ice cream?
Again, I don't discriminate, but I'm into this Harris Teeter Bear Claw ice cream right now. It's dark chocolate- so good!

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Brownie flavored coffee.

10. Do you like your wallet?
Yes, it's a Coach wallet my brother got me.

11. What was the last thing you ate?
an apple

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

13. The last sporting event you watched?

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message?

16. Ever go camping?
Not the real kind of camping. I want to though!

17. Do you take vitamins daily?
I try to at least take a Women's multi-vitamin every day. I also take Omega 3 sometimes.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

19. Do you have a tan?
No, I don't really tan much with this skin! I just try to not be blinding white- that's all I can really hope for.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
No, I like both.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?'
Fountain soda- yes. Can- no.

22. What did your last text message say?
It was about lunch tomorrow with Sarah (lunch plans are very important to me- in case you can't tell).

23. What are you doing tomorrow?
working, lunch with Sarah at a Hibachi place, going home to clean and prep for Thanksgiving.

25. Look to your left, what do you see?
Police patches and pins on my bulletin board.

26. What color is your watch?
I have two, both are silver. One has a black face, the other is totally silver.

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia!

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Drive thru, unless I have to pee.

30. What is your favorite number?

31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone

32. Any plans today?
Going grocery shopping with Greg for Thanksgiving stuff.

33. How many states have you lived in?

34. Biggest annoyance right now?
the airlines

35. Last song listened to?
"All I Need" Mat Kearney

36.Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Not without a lot of thought.

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?
No, but I probably should.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
black boots/shoes

39. Are you jealous of anyone?
People who have traveled a lot. Friends with kids. People in jobs I aspire to do.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?
I don't know.

41, Do you love anyone?

42. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes, some do.

43. What do you usually do during the day?
Accept and process evidence.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
Hate is a strong word...

45. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
That or some variation of it. I'm more of a "hi" or "hey" kind of person.

46. What color is your car?
charcoal gray (it's so pretty :)

47. Do you like cats?

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
My family

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Yes, I've been to three of them.

50. How did you get your worst scar?
I have one buried in my eyebrow that I got when I was young riding my bike. I fell off and hit my head on wood in our wood pile. I got some stitches.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things I did this weekend.

Friday night I made last minute plans to go to a theater production with my friend Kim from work. This plan was almost foiled by horrendous traffic during the commute home Friday night. Greg had called me on Friday to let me know that the hotel was giving all the staff free turkeys. We decided it would be best if I swung by on my way home to pick it up so it wouldn't be sitting in his car til after 11pm. It was frozen, but we still thought it'd be best to get it into a fridge. Somehow this small pit stop at the hotel combined with Friday traffic caused a riff in the space time continuum and I was then unable to get home in a reasonable amount of time. Usually my commute takes about 20-25 minutes one way. On this day, it was a good hour. I'm a really impatient driver too, so if I even smell stop and go traffic, I get off the highway and look for alternate routes, which often probably doesn't pay off in terms of getting me where I want to go any quicker, but I rationalize it in that I'm not sitting still somewhere I am MOVING. I had planned on having about an hour at home to chill and get a few things done before going out to meet Kim, but that turned into about 10 minutes. Once through the door I threw (ok, so I didn't THROW it- a large frozen turkey could damage stuff if you were throwing it around) the turkey in the fridge, put a load of laundry in the wash, changed into jeans, touched up my make-up, and that was about all I had time to do, before I was out again. Kim and I went to this British Pub called Big Ben that's over near the theater. I ordered a Woodchuck Hard Cider, to which Kim asked "what is that?" and I explained what is was and she got one too. She's now a lover of hard cider and asked me all sorts of questions about where this nectar of the gods came from. "Do they sell this in the grocery store?", "Why did I not know this existed before?", "Can I be buried with bottles of this surrounding me in my coffin?" Ok, so she didn't ask that last one, but you get the idea, she loved it. We both got cheese burgers to go with our Cider. After dinner we headed to the theater. Kim's roommate was in the production. It was kind of a medley of different one-acts, but some of it was also readings and other theatrical contributions. The theme was women, and all of the performers were women, with the exception of one dude in drag for one skit. It was pretty fun. I generally like going to anything at a theater.
Afterwords I rushed home to get to bed so I'd be able to get up early for my 5K run.
The 5K was called The Thin Blue Line Run, and was held at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Academy. I met up with Gibson and Kelly at the race and we checked in. The run was good. There was a lot of terrain on the race route. Some of the race was on pavement and some was on trails through the woods. There were also steps, hills, and a portion that wove through the firing range targets (no one was actually firing!). I felt like I did pretty good. I think my time was 30 minutes and some amount of seconds.

Greg and Kelly's boyfriend Brad met us after the run and we went to Panera for some coffee and breakfast.
Kelly and Brad invited us for dinner that night. Greg had work, but Gibson and I went. Kelly made a really good pot of beef stew. After dinner we went to Solstice in NoDa to have some drinks. I had already had two glasses of wine at dinner though, and after getting up early for the run, I was starting to fade, so I opted to just have a Coke.
Yesterday I attempted to clean in preparation for Thanksgiving. We finally decided my parents will just come to our house. Greg is working til 3pm on Thanksgiving and we don't yet know his schedule for Friday, but there's a decent chance he'll be working that day, so they might as well come here so he can be somewhat involved when he is home. Other than cleaning, it was a fairly lazy Sunday. I did the usual catch up on Tivo.
Tonight after work we are going to see New Moon! YAY!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Date nights 1 and 2

After a series of meltdowns, arguments, and major stress between us lately over Greg's job, trying to plan Thanksgiving, and everything else that goes wrong all the time, this week we decided to make the most of Greg's evenings off by having some "date nights". If we don't set up these plans ahead of time, I usually come home from work and put on pajamas within 5 minutes of walking through the door and don't want to do anything but harvest my Farmville Farm and watch stupid TV. Greg usually spends the entire evening glued to his laptop trying to predict the state of the aviation industry based on online airline forums. Therefore it's crucial that we decide ahead of time that TONIGHT WE ARE GOING OUT. Our date nights usually involve an errand or two along with dinner somewhere in the proximity of an errand. Hey, we're just really practical people, ok? Oh yeah, and we're like the least romantic couple on the planet. Have I mentioned that Greg proposed to me during a fight? Or that we slept in the same bed the night before our wedding (gasp) and saw each other for pictures before the ceremony? Yeah, I could go on and on about the lack of romance we have
Anyway, one of our favorite past times is going to Costco and cruising the aisles for an hour or so. Especially when we get those Costco coupon books in the mail. We usually go with a list of stuff we want from the coupon book and then tool around checking everything else out. Greg usually spends an abnormal amount of time in the electronics section checking out laptops, cameras, TVs, and other manly electronic items, while I like to peruse the clothing aisles trying to decide if I need a 100-pack of underwear or a down parka meant for some person living in a tundra and not in Charlotte (why do they even sell those down here???). Wednesday night that's what we did. We didn't get too out of control on this trip- mostly stuck to our list. I've still yet to get in and out of Costco without spending less than $100 though. I don't think it's humanly possible. I returned my Adidas running shoes I got on the previous trip and got the right size (yay- so glad they still had them left in an 8!). After Costco we went to Chili's for dinner as we had a gift card to use. I know Chili's is also not romantic, but I tell you, this in itself was a victory, because usually if we go to Costco anywhere the proximity of a meal, the $1.50 hotdog/soda combo becomes our "romantic dinner". We got one of those $20 for two people three-course dinners. We had cheese fries, sliders, chicken quesadillas (Dang quesa-dillllllla), and white chocolate berry molten cake. Healthy!!! That was way more food than either of us could consume, so most of my quesadilla, black beans, and rice came home with us.
Last night was a similar night to Wednesday night. We headed out to Walmart in pursuit of a air ionizer thingie Greg wanted. We were both disappointed that we didn't find any candidates for I was however, happy to find Christmas bags for 25 cents a piece that I can use for my annual gift to friends and co-workers of mass amounts of my oh-so-delicious Christmas cookies. Excellent find.
After completing this errand, we headed to Olive Garden to use yet another gift card we had stockpiled. When Greg got furloughed and people asked us what we wanted for holidays and other gift giving occasions, we usually told them we'd like gift cards for shopping or restaurants since these were luxuries we were trying to cut back spending our own money on. Therefore we have like 5 different chain restaurant gift cards. At Olive Garden we had the obligatory salad and bread sticks (always a crowd-pleaser). I had Pork Milanese, which is breaded pork chops with cheese tortellini in a garlic sauce with spinach. Good stuff and a departure from my usual Tour of Italy. Half of it is now sitting in the fridge with my quesadilla. Hopefully Greg will be eating some of that before he goes to work today. Greg had portabella ravioli that apparently upset the gods that live in his stomach. I think he'd still do it over though if given the choice. He does love portabella anything.
We got home just in time for Flash Forward (which is my new Lost), Grey's, and for Greg to continue pouring through the online pilot forums (because the 8 hours he had already spent while I was at work yesterday was HARDLY sufficient). I do love my nerd, but his propensity to spend hours and hours doing this and NOTHING ELSE REMOTELY PRODUCTIVE may actually kill me.

Just for fun, this is what our rabbit Cinnimon (affectionately known as "Mini") would look like if she had on this crazy get-up. I immediately emailed Greg this picture upon finding it this morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't get me going about global warming...

Today I accidentally got into a heated discussion about the environment with my friend Gibson. I was asked to babysit some contractors working in our building this morning, which translates to sitting around for two hours in a chair reading. Gibson, thankfully came down at my halfway mark to see if I needed to use the bathroom, as last time I was asked to perform this mundane task, I was all but forgotten had to frantically call everyone I knew until I reached someone that could relieve me so I could pee. I made sure to ask him ahead of time if he would mind coming down and checking on me this time.
I took the opportunity to bring a stack of magazines with me for my escort duty this morning, one them being a recent issue of Newsweek which featured Al Gore on the front cover. Upon coming to relieve me, Gibson took note of the cover. Later on when I returned to my office, I had an email from Gib with a link to this page.
Ok, I am pretty liberal. I grew up with liberal parents and went to a liberal New England boarding school. To me, the Democrat outlook on things just makes a lot of sense. However, I don't like talking politics with a lot of my friends, especially the far right ones. I generally avoid these discussions. But alas, Gib had already sent me the evil link and I felt compelled to defend Al Gore. Especially since Gibson royally pisses me off on a daily basis for critiquing things he doesn't even have direct knowledge of, he just forms his opinions based on the opinions of others. Like the time he went on and on about how much Twilight sucks when he HASN'T EVEN READ THE BOOKS! HELLLLLLLLLLOOOOOO???? Same goes for this. Gibson HASN'T EVEN SEEN AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and he's dumping on it. I have seen it. It was a while ago, but what I took away from it was this: The planet is not an infinite vat of resources. We as people can't all just go around doing whatever the hell we want to it forever. We will ruin the planet if we don't take care of it. Individually, it helps if we all treat the Earth well and do what we can to take care of it. Why is that bad of Al Gore to bring that to everyone's attention? Why does some douchebag have to go through the damn movie with a fine-tooth comb and go "NO NO NO, this isn't accurate!" That is not THE POINT of the movie to me. I think Al Gore is just trying to show that we can hurt the earth by being careless and that our actions will make a difference in keeping the earth in good shape. Furthermore, my opinion is that statistics and research findings can always be skewed to support a point of view. Gore's might not be completely correct, but who's to say this other bonehead's research is perfectly accurate either? I bet hundreds of people could do this research and all the results would be different. The point of the movie is to say that we need to take care of the planet. I don't see what is wrong with this making this point.
I realize that Gore's movie and Michael Moore's movies are leftist. But I think the thing to take away from them is that we all need to wake up. Walking around like everything is fine because we are in our little neat bubbles makes us oblivious to what is wrong and that the current system could be flawed. I think it's good to make people think about these things. It's a point of view to think about. Even a discussion about how much you disagree with them at least gets the issue brought up as opposed to not being dealt with at all.
Anyway, I got really pissed at Gibson and it took me a while to calm down. This was also after he claimed Fox News was the most unbiased news source. Yeah. Ok. I'm done having these conversations with him. He seems like a reasonable person. BUT HE'S NOT!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Throughout the past year of Greg being furloughed I feel like Greg have alternated feeling crappy/depressed about things. I would say for the most part it's been him that has had lower moments. It makes sense since it was him that lost his job and him that's had to continually look for new jobs, search for flying jobs, and take the brunt of the pressure and sadness that's come with all of this. There were times when he was close to inconsolable he was so consumed with his sad feelings. Usually during those times, I was actually doing ok. I think as a spouse, you realize that both of you being in that low state of mind at the same time is bad, so you keep your head up and play cheerleader and do the best you can to be there for your spouse since they are in need.
For the most part, cosmetically, the furlough didn't change my life that much. I still have the same job, drive the same car, live in the same house, etc... But it did change my life in a large intangible way. It robbed me of a sense of security. It took away the momentum we had going towards building our future. I've said it before- I just feel stuck. The past few weeks, I think I've been the one that's feeling low about everything. Greg got a boost when he left the truck driving job he hated and started the hotel job, which he loves in comparison. I however, looked at the situation differently. He is in his third job in a year that doesn't pay well, has an awful schedule, and has no real future. We don't know if he will ever get called back to Continental. I think around the year mark, I recognized this even more than I did before. We've always known that we didn't know when, but after a year, it just seems like endless purgatory. I thought maybe at the year mark we'd have more of a light at the end of the tunnel. But we don't. I feel like we're just in this hole that we're never going to get out of, and I am losing my ability to be optimistic and being taken over by this jaded attitude about life.
Being married is interesting. Like I said, really for all intensive purposes, MY life- separate from Greg, hasn't changed. But when you get married, it's like you all the sudden feel everything your spouse feels, and everything is so intertwined. I feel guilty for saying it, but I feel dragged down by my husband's situation. He's a wonderful person and I'm proud of him for doing everything he has done this year. He's worked hard to keep us afloat and for the most part he's handled the situation pretty well. But right now, I feel like his situation is dragging us waaaaaaaay down, emotionally and financially. I don't blame him, but I feel like marriage is very tough because of this. It's getting to me lately. I feel exhausted trying to stay positive and happy despite everything. I feel like I'm succumbing a little bit to the misery of the situation. I just feel like wallowing in the frustration and sadness of not knowing when things are going to get better. I know I'm going to keep getting out of bed in the morning and going about life. But right now, I am not enjoying life that much. I feel like I'm going through the motions and waiting for things to get better.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Me" time

Greg got my a spa gift card for my birthday over 6 months ago and I've been squirreling it away until I really wanted/needed to use it. Last week I took it out and figured I would use it some time soon. I looked at the card and realized it had an expiration of 10/31/09 on it and had a huge "Oh Shit!" moment. Luckily I called the spa and begged them to let me use it and they said I could if I booked the appointment right then for sometime in the next few days. They had nothing open over the weekend and all the other times were mornings. I settled on a massage for Friday afternoon, figuring I would work a half day and go to the spa and start my weekend early. It had been a long week at work and it ended up being just what I needed to go the spa for some "me" time. The spa is this older house in my town that was converted into a spa. It's kind of a mixture of Victorian and rustic and really relaxed feeling. I had an hour long massage and it was sooooooo wonderful. I get migraines and have a ton of tension in my neck and shoulders all the time, so getting some of that out was wonderful. I was complete jello afterwards. That afternoon I went home and relaxed and watched Project Runway and Grey's. I ate a big bowl of popcorn for dinner and just chilled.
Last night I did a girls night out with three friends. We went to this great martini place in Charlotte called Therapy Cafe.  I used to go there pretty frequently for happy hours after work. They have an extensive list of yummy martinis.

I got one called the Multiple Me's that was like a three flavored berry martini, and then one that had espresso and coffee liquor in it for dessert. I am not a night owl, so when I go out, I usually have to have some caffeine to stay awake. Especially if I'm drinking because alcohol makes me sleepy. It was a great night of conversation with my friends. We talked about guys, work, friends, running, etc... I really enjoyed it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recap of my Wednesday off

I've lost my bearings on what day it is because I actually had the day off yesterday! It definitely doesn't feel like a Thursday today. The day off was good and much needed. Tuesday night it took me a while to come out of my crappy feeling funk and stop being pissed off at Greg for his lack of initiative with his schedule problems and all the other stuff that came bubbling up with that. I've come to learn that basically the way I handle anger is that I have to get pissed off and be pissed off for a period of time (not that long), but once I have it out of my system, I tend to calm down pretty quickly. Greg understands this about me, but doesn't necessarily like it. He deals with anger and sadness very differently than I do. He definitely internalizes it more. He doesn't understand my need to go off about it and be outwardly angry, because he doesn't really do that. I am not a good grudge holder and when we argue, I am always the first to apologize or suggest we move on, because even when I think I'm right, it's not worth wasting time fighting about something forever because I can't get past my point of view. Knowing that we were off together Tuesday night and were going to have all day yesterday together, I knew I wanted us to make the most of it, so I quickly got over it and moved on.
Wednesday we got up in the morning and I made us eggs and potatoes for breakfast. Usually when I make potatoes I microwave them for a few minutes and then cut them up and brown them in olive oil in a pan. It works well. For some reason I didn't do that this time and used an oven safe pan so I browned the raw pieces for a few minutes and then put them in the oven to broil more. Later when I took the pan out and put in the stove next to the egg pan I was moving around the kitchen doing stuff and then I walked over with a spatula to spoon things on to the plates and forgot that the oven pan had been in the FRIGGIN HOT OVEN. Well, I grabbed the handle and burned the crap out of my left hand!! OWW! I basically spent all day yesterday moaning on and off about the burned hand. It was not pretty. Greg and I decided to go see "Zombieland" at the movies. I brought a freezer pack with me that I held during the movie. "Zombieland" was really good, I have to admit. It had me cracking up and I especially loved the Bill Murray cameo. I love going to the movies and Greg can usually take or leave it unless it's a "Resident Evil" flick, but I knew I could probably get him to go to "Zombieland" since it's a zombie movie and he tends to like other stuff in that genre too, like "Sean of the Dead". Greg and I shared a large popcorn and oh it was SO GOOD. Movie popcorn is one of my favorite foods.
After the movie we went to Costco. Greg was looking for a dehumidifier or air purifier for the basement but had no luck finding one. We did get some other stuff though: gigantic troughs of blueberries and kiwi, soy milk, veggie meatballs, eggplant parm, paper towels, coffee, Asian pasta salad mix, pumpkin pie (they have the best pumpkin pie and it's like $6) etc... I also got some new Adidas running shoes, but upon getting them home and trying them on and comparing them to my other pair, I'm wondering if I need to try and exchange them for a size 8. I'm usually a 7 1/2 or 8 and my old pair is an 8. The new ones are 7 1/2 and might be a hair small.
When we got home Greg worked on some applications. He found out a couple airlines may be hiring right now. He's got some connections at one of them and thinks it could be promising. We ended the night watching Glee (love that show!!) and South Park (I fell asleep during) in bed while eating some of that awesome pumpkin pie. In the words of Dr. Dre "It was a good day".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Good Snack

Mmmmmm, I like these!!

The Meltdown

Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend Gibson about our running group. He's the one who got me into it and for that I'm really grateful, because some of the best people I've met in Charlotte have been from that group. The thing is that the group is Thursday nights at 6:30pm. And it's REALLY friggin dark out by 6:30pm now. And the group runs through a neighborhood that's ok, but maybe not the safest neighborhood. And I'm slower than a lot of runners and don't ever really run the entire run with someone because no one is exactly my pace. When I did the Halloween run, I was by myself almost the entire way. I told Gib that I'm thinking of taking a hiatus from the run, or maybe just going to hang out and have a drink after like I did last week, but not doing the actual run for a while. He got all pissy with me about it and was saying that I need to set goals for myself and that if I ran more on other days I'd be able to keep up with the group better and it wouldn't be an issue because I'd be with the group. The thing is, I don't really enjoy running. If I could magically be in shape and eat whatever I wanted without working out, I don't think I'd run. I do it so I can eat junk and not feel like a blob. It's an easy and cheap way to work out. All I have to do is throw on running shoes and I can just do it. I have no aspirations to run a marathon. Or even a half marathon. I actually don't think that's good for your body to run that much, so I don't WANT to run that far. Four miles is enough for me. I just want to run enough that I get a workout. That's my goal. But not at the expense of my safety. I'm a very safety conscious person. If there's one thing I've learned from working in law enforcement is that you shouldn't make yourself an easy target. That doesn't mean you never leave your house, but at the same time, running alone in the dark is what I'd classify as a stupid idea if you don't want to be a victim. I don't know what I want to do about running. I really love the running group, but I just think for all these reasons, I may put it on the back burner til it gets light outside again at 6:30pm.
Well Gibson's whole jab about the goal thing really struck a nerve with me. I spent the ride home fuming over the whole thing and feeling generally pissed off. It's like my motivation post from last week. I know this isn't the most goal-oriented/motivated I've ever been in my life. I look back and know that there were times I really faced my fears or took leaps of faith a lot more than I'm doing now. I went for it when I became a cop. I went for it when I moved to Ohio and only knew like one person there. When I moved to DC. When I applied for certain jobs. I've challenged myself more before. I think lately I just feel like things are shaky enough with Greg's job situation and all the other stuff we have going on that I feel no need to shake things up further by taking big chances. I want to keep things as stable as I can, and if that means only taking little calculated risks than that's what I feel like doing. It's my life. If it makes Gibson feel all special that he sets running goals for himself, than he can do that. I just don't want to.
Anyway, by the time I got home, I was in a pretty low place about everything. I tried calling Greg, but he couldn't talk. One of the other things I HATE about this stupid van driver job is that he can't talk on his cell at work. I'm really starting to have some serious hatred about his job. From my perspective truck driving was actually more conducive to having a relationship. We could talk on the phone with each other as much as we wanted then. And at least he had a prayer of having weekends off with that job. With this one, it's never.
This morning when I was getting ready I saw his schedule on the counter. I noticed that for next week he's again schedule to have two days off during the week. He got up shortly after and I unloaded on him. I had a meltdown. I was sobbing as I told him that I hated this job and the schedule. We never see each other and can't make any plans to do anything. I told him I need a vacation. I told him I'm sick of his inability to talk to his boss about his schedule. I said I have no idea what we're doing for the holidays because of his schedule, and I'm pissed. Right now I think I'm just going to leave him in Charlotte and go to my parents' house alone for Thanksgiving. Screw him if he can't ask for a day off. I'm done trying to plan anything for/with him. I am done putting in the effort to try to make a visit to Chicago to see HIS family happen if he won't help me. I'm sick of this shit.
Oh, and I'm going to take a trip with Melanie in 2010. I'm not putting my travel dreams on hold anymore waiting for him.
Disclaimer: I do have some PMS right now, and I think this is a culmination of a lot of things bubbling over. You might not know it from this blog, but I feel like usually I'm a pretty happy person. I feel like I've been reasonably patient despite everything that's happened. Sometimes I just need to vent and have a meltdown. I love Greg. I have a pretty good life and I realize that. I just feel...crappy right now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Random thoughts...

-I love to smother Greg with kisses when he's still in bed sleeping in the morning. I know I wake him up but I can't help it. He's all warm, squishy, and cuddly, and I just like doing it.
-I don't understand what that thing our janitor is pushing around the carpet is. It seems like a combination of a vacuum and street sweeper. Weird.
-I need to buy a pot for my new plant sprouts that Gibson gave me today.
-I think I'm due for a haircut, but fear my work of growing out my hair will be "cut short", pun intended.
-The forty VCRs stacked outside my office door need to find their way somewhere else soon.
-I want to clean out my closet when I am not home and think about it, but when I am home and think about it, I don't want to.
-I'm debating about whether to ask for gift cards to Ann Taylor/Banana Republic for Christmas or an immersion blender. Leaning towards the gift cards. I can keep crushing potatoes in the soup with the spoon...
-I love the pajamas I got at Target yesterday. I think I'll get some for my mom for Christmas.
-I want to paint my finger nails dark purple this week. Although- I did just see gray nail polish on Hilary Swank on Oprah and liked that too.
-I miss my brother today.
-My passenger side rear tire has a leak. And I need an oil change. Ugh.
-I'm listening to "To Live and Die in LA"- Tupac. Love me some Tupac. That's right.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's been a good weekend thus far. Friday night I did the NoDa (stands for North Davidson) Gallery Crawl with my friend Sarah, and her co-worker Sarah. I met up with them around 5pm and we went to Cabo Fish Taco for an early dinner before hitting the crawl. I got (what else) fish tacos and a tasty margarita. Yummy stuff! The Sarahs both work for a health care non-profit and the reason for checking out the crawl was to see pictures that a photographer had taken at their organization as "the face of people without healthcare". Their organization provides healthcare to those in need without health insurance. Right in line with all the healthcare debates going on right now. I'm pleased to see organizations like this exist for those that slip through the cracks of the system. The Noda area is pretty cool. I've been there one other time for a night out, but missed the actual gallery crawl part of it and just went to two bars. We saw about 4 galleries. One was a big one with lots of littler sections of artwork. There was free wine, so that was bonus :)
After hitting the galleries we were wandering by this music venue called The Evening Muse and heard a beautiful voice coming from inside. We wandered in and stayed to listen for a while to Coles Whalen She was awesome! After that we headed to this other bar called Solstice and had a beer before heading home. It was a really great night out. I love that Charlotte has places like that to explore.
Saturday was one of my "lazy days". It seems I need one of those like once a week now. I did hang out with Greg before he left for work, and then went for a run, but lost all motivation to do anything really productive after that. I watched Donnie Brasco, a movie I had TIVOd, and then some other stuff. I also remembered to check in with the Pilot Wives Night In Chat when I was about to head up to bed, so I chatted with some pilots wives for a bit. One wife in the chat also has a husband that just got furloughed from Mesaba. I wonder how their lives will be with the furlough.
Today Greg and I headed out to Target to get groceries and some other stuff. I remembered that I had a Starbucks gift card and that Target has a Starbucks inside and was very thrilled to get my very first Gingerbread Latte of the year. OH Gingerbread Latte, how I've missed you!!! We also got the bunnies some food at Petsmart and then headed home so Greg could get to work. In the car we talked about all the pilots he's been driving to and from the hotel in the van. Yesterday he had a Compass pilot. He said half the time he doesn't think they even believe he is/was a pilot when he tells people. The Compass guy seemed optimistic about things and Greg said he felt like telling him not to get too comfortable. Guys with a couple years of seniority at some airlines seem to think they're invincible and my husband has 15 years of experience and the bottom still fell out from under him. Anyway.
Tonight I'm WICKED excited because I have tickets to see Pete Yorn!! I have loved him since 2001 when this guy I was dating before I met Greg first introduced me to his music. Sarah is coming with me. I hope she likes it! I found out a couple days ago he was coming here and just had to go, even though it's a Sunday- not the ideal night to see a concert since we have work tomorrow. Anyway, I can't wait!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fall Playlist

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought I would do it too:

Dandelion- The Damnwells
Fearless- Colbie Caillat
Lifeline- Mat Kearney
I Never Told You- Colbie Caillat
Everything- The Damnwells
The Mess I Made- Parachute
Never Be Ready- Mat Kearney
Paradise Cove- Pete Yorn
Closer to Love- Mat Kearney
Long Time Nothing New- Pete Yorn
Droplets- Colbie Caillat
Red Light- David Nail
Closer Than We Are- The Damnwells
Broken- Lifehouse
She is Love- Parachute
Down With the Ship- The Damnwells

I sometimes get a bunch of new stuff that I just put on heavy rotation. That's pretty much what this all is.
Yay, it's Friday! I had training for work two days this week and got to be out of the office, which was NICE. I pretty much love any chance to get out. In my job that I loved in DC, I actually drove around and acted as a liaison of sorts for my organization for the better part of the day most days, so when I moved to Charlotte it was kinda hard to get used to 8 hour days sitting in the office all day. That was also a nice thing about being a cop: being outside!
Last night Greg and Dan had their full-on reunion. It was decided that we would all go to my running group meeting spot. Dan seems interested in maybe joining the group, but was worried about the 4 miles. I told him he should join and I'll run with him. I am not liking how dark it gets so early now. I'm a slower runner than most in my group and running alone in the dark makes me nervous, so I ended up running when I got home from training yesterday and just going to out in normal clothes. We met up with Sarah, Kelly, and then Dan and his friend Dave showed up after a little while. Greg and Dan talked shop on airline stuff and we traded stories about a mutual friend, Austin and the shenanigans he gets himself into. It was a good time. The place was packed by the time Greg, Dan, Dave and I decided we were starving and wanted food. We went across the street and got some burgers and talked more. I had a great time. I think Greg was happy to reconnect with Dan. I hope their friendship will continue.
Not sure if I mentioned it or not, but a while back I applied to the Postal Service for Greg for a job I found. He went to the testing a couple weeks ago and was contacted for an interview today. He went and found out that the job is on-call and part-time and sounds really crappy. About 30 people were there to interview for the job too. Greg decided to just leave. I don't blame him. I felt bad for him wasting all that time. I didn't realize when I applied for him that it was part-time and on-call. Blech.
Oh Continental! Please call back the Furloughs!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I might as well talk about motivation since it's been a reoccurring theme in my life lately. Last week I attended my first Motivational Seminar. It was quite the interesting experience. My work got tickets and we were allowed to go for the day rather than go to work. It seemed like a decent enough idea, since I was pretty up to date with all of my work and figured I might get something out of it. It ended up being a pretty cheesy experience. The famous speakers were Terry Bradshaw, Colin Powell, Laura Bush, and Rudy Guiliani. Terry Bradshaw was just plain bizarre and the man makes no sense. The others made good speeches and were somewhat interesting to listen to, but I didn't feel like they were particularly inspiring if that was the real goal. Interspersed were a series of other speakers. While more talented in the whole "motivational" aspect of it, it still came across as sales pitch-y and contrived. I wasn't all that impressed and don't feel like I got a whole lot out of it. Oh well.
I usually use this blog to talk more about Greg and what we're dealing with due to his furlough and job situation, but I'll give some background on me and my job. If you've read my blog before or know me, you know that I work for the Federal Government, but don't really want to go into detail about what I do. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminology. After college I became a Police Officer and did that for about 2 years. It was life changing, extremely interesting work, but ultimately I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do long-term. I went through a somewhat devastating time where I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after leaving police work. I had never been one of those people who had known what they wanted to do from an early age in life (no, I wasn't running around with a plastic badge and gun yelling "freeze!" with a life long desire to become a cop- which might have been part of the problem). I pretty much went through all the motions of school, went to college, and found that Soc/Crim was what interested me most and literally didn't make the decision to go into law enforcement until right before college graduation. I interned at my University Police Department and enjoyed the work, so it seemed logical enough to continue the work. I was happy to settle on that and not eager to have to revisit figuring out what I wanted to do for my career, so once I left police work it took me a while to think over my options and decide what I wanted to do. Eventually the idea to apply with the the Government agency I now work for came to me. I originally got hired with an office in DC/VA about 5 years ago. I basically took an entry level job when I first got hired. Within 8 months I was promoted to a pretty great job. That was the best time in my career so far. I felt like my past experience made sense, was interested in the work, and it had promotion and monetary potential. I felt like my organization looked at me and said "wow, you're motivated and smart and we want to promote you." I felt like sky was the limit and I loved that feeling. All I had to do was set my sights on something and I had hands lifting me upward.
Then things came "crashing down". Independence Air went under, and Greg suggested that we ought to move out of DC/VA because the cost of living was too high. I was really angry initially. I felt the happiest, most needed, and most appreciated I'd ever felt in my career. It took some time but I came to see Greg's point, and agreed to move. I got lucky and got a transfer (that doesn't always happen in my agency) to Charlotte. I was sold on the idea that I could let my career take a back seat if it meant we'd get to start a family soon after moving to Charlotte. Well, that didn't happen, because Greg's career in Charlotte never took off the way we thought/hoped it would three years ago. The job I took in Charlotte was the same job I initially took coming into my agency. It was entry level. I did get promoted again since I've been here, but to a job that "tops out" in the grade level I'm currently in and really has no career path- I'm the only person that does this type of work in my office, there's no where to go. My office here is very small compared to what I came from in DC. Since being in Charlotte I've applied to a the few openings we've had in the last 3 years. I haven't gotten anywhere with the exception of getting the job I'm in now. Don't get me wrong. I like my job. I like the people I work with. The work can be interesting. I work pretty independently, which is usually really nice. I just don't like the idea that I have NO WHERE to go from here, it feels horribly limiting. And thus, in the last 6 months to year, it's left me feeling a lot less motivated about my work. It's like I said, I just figured when we moved here I wouldn't care what I was doing with my career as much because I'd have my focus split between career and children, but that hasn't happened, so it's left me feeling pretty stagnant in my career, thus, losing motivation.
On to Greg's lack of motivation. The man does have his moments. Just recently I was pleasantly surprised to come home and find that he had FINALLY called about our gutter problem (we have massive trees behind our house that dump leaves into our gutters clogging them and causing problems when it rains). He took care of that and a few other things at home I'd been hoping he'd do. I was happy about that. But sometimes he is just a master procrastinator, and it's just soooooo frustrating! Back when trucking ended a few weeks ago, he suggested we take a couple weekends and travel. He's still got Continental flight benefits even though he's furloughed and we never use them. I happily agreed and suggested Chicago should be one of the first places to go. Greg's sister had a baby in September and thus, we have a niece we have yet to meet. We also have a tradition of trying to do early Thanksgiving with her. Last year they came to Charlotte, so it's really our turn to go there. Especially with a new baby and three other kids, I don't want her to feel like they have to deal with traveling. Greg was told upon being hired at the hotel that he'd be working evenings with weekends off. So far that hasn't been the case. At first I wasn't worried about it because I figured he was new and they were training him and it would take a few weeks for the schedule to normalize. Well, they just gave him his schedule for the next couple weeks and he's scheduled both this weekend and next. I told him he should find out what's going on and whether he is in fact going to have weekends off or not ever. I wouldn't care if they had said the schedule would be random from day one, but they didn't say that, they said it would be evenings M-F with weekends off and that's not what it's been. This schedule sucks because Greg's not usually there evenings when I get home from work and now he's gone at least half the day on weekends too and it's impossible to do ANYTHING. Lovely. So I just think he needed to be motivated to talk to his boss and at least get the scoop on what is up with that. He's just so apathetic all the time about this kind of stuff. It really frustrates me. Rrrr.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Awesome Halloween night story

So I have great story to tell from Halloween night. Greg had to work at the hotel last night, so I decided to go out with some friends for some Halloween fun. I did get in about 3 hours of candy passing to the trick-or-treaters first though. The kids were very cute. It actually started to DOWNPOUR big time right around 6pm and only a couple came during the very hard rain. Luckily it let up and everyone came out. We got a lot compliments on our house decor from the kids.
So after the trick or treat fun, I got ready to go out. I have this wizard hat that I got a while back and decided to just wear mostly black: black boots, black fishnets, black mini skirt, and a maroon tank top, with a black sparkly sweater, and the hat. It wasn't really a costume, but it did the job. So I met up with two of my friends at this place I've never been to before called Andrew Blairs. After maybe a half hour a couple guys in pilot outfits came in. I could tell right away they were "legit" because I recognized they had actual uniforms like Greg's on, minus their wings and stuff (so as not to show the airline's name). I looked at one of them more closely and the thought crossed my mind that he looked familiar. I started to think I knew him and that it might be Greg's old friend and roommate from when I first met him almost eight years ago. I couldn't decide if it was him or not though and it was driving me nuts! I even texted Greg and said it might be him.
So that back story is that this guy, Dan, lived with Greg in a townhouse Greg owned when we lived in VA. Dan rented out the third floor of the house. When they moved in together they kind of made a pact that it would just be them in the house. Well, Greg and I met, fell in love, and I ended up moving in after we'd only been together about 6 months. Dan was less than excited. In response to me being there, he felt he could also break the agreement, and before we knew it he had one guy (another pilot) that was crashing there a bunch, and then eventually another guy that he kinda moved in and we're pretty sure he was even charging rent to for one of the rooms on his floor. Bottom line, Dan and Greg ended up having a HUGE falling out over everything. We're talking heated argument on the front lawn of the house and him coming in and calling me a B*TCH! So that was like the end of their friendship, and that was about 7 years ago. I always felt bad about it, because I kind of got in the middle of them. I was "Yoko Ono" as someone once said!
So back to the Halloween party. Greg was supposed to come out after he got off work around 11pm. He ended up driving through the parking lot, which was full, and it was pouring rain, and there was a long line to get in at that point. He gave up and went home. I had been waiting on him to come so that he could go talk to the guy I thought was Dan and see if it was him. When he said he wasn't coming, I decided to get up the courage to go over and see if it was him. I slyly approached the "other" pilot and asked if he was really a pilot and he said no, but his friend was. Then I said, "Is your friend's name Dan?" and he said yes, so I went over to Dan and said "Do you remember me?" and I saw him register who I was. And then it was GREAT! We talked for like 2-3 hours catching up and talking about Greg. We called Greg and they talked. Dan lives in Charlotte! So crazy!! We knew him in VA and all these years we've all been living here! Well everything is water under the bridge now. I had so much fun hanging out and talking to Dan. I had always remembered him as kind of an A-hole, but I feel like he's changed a lot and he's a pretty cool guy now. I feel like I rectified the falling out and got them back in touch. Greg could really use a friend outside of my friends that I bring in right now. He and Dan have a lot of history. I would like to see them rekindle the friendship, and I'm hoping they will now.
The only drawback of the whole situation is that Dan is REALLY successful now. After Independence Air went under he managed to get VERY lucky and got someone to put in a good word for him at another airline and he got hired there. This was back in like 2005. He's now making like $250,000 a year and has a nice house here, a bunch of rental properties in FL, a boat, and is living the kind of life Greg thought he'd be living by now. Greg was senior to Dan at Independence, so this really bums him out. Dan said he could probably get Greg a job at his airline though, so I'm wondering if that might work out.
I'm on such a high from the whole situation though. It feels really good to have the situation resolved. I kinda wish we'd gotten in touch with him sooner, but maybe we all wouldn't have been where we are now about the whole situation if we'd run into him sooner. Now that we're all older and wiser and are moving forward, it is the right time to rekindle the friendships.
I can't get over what a small world it is though. So weird that we all moved to Charlotte and that I run into him at this bar I've never even been to before on Halloween night!!

Kelly and I

Dan giving the thumbs up after we realized everything was cool :)
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