Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Happy new year!! Tonight was a great night. I got to spend the evening with some of my very favorite people in the world (Tom, you were missed), and some pretty baller people I haven't seen since college. There were lots of great moments, but I'd say my favorite was listening to Biff explain how Jay Z has done more for civil rights than anyone else. MLK? Rosa Parks? Wannabes. Amateurs. It was pretty incredible.

2011 was a pretty wild year for us and I'm really hoping 2012 is less exciting. And by exciting I mean emotional and gypsy-filled.
Highlights of the year:
* The birth of sweet baby Joey. I can't believe he is already seven months old! I still have the text from Christine saying that her water broke and they were headed to the hospital.
* The birth of little baby Jack. That sweet boy always has the sweetest smiles.
* Volunteering at the animal shelter. Miserable, hard work but really gratifying.
* Running the half marathon. I've already got the itch to do another one.
* Dana's visit before we moved. In one night, we saw Bridesmaids, Teeth, and Human Centipede while drinking buttery nipples and amaretto sours. There was a lot of laughing.
* Trip to South Dakota. Going on a three hour hike in perfect weather almost makes living in North Dakota bearable.
* Trip to Colorado. Even though we were there for a sad reason, it was so awesome to hang out with Jacob's family and celebrate the life of his grandmother.
* Engagements of Daniel & Hannah and Michael & Kayla. Daniel and Hannah are only a few weeks away from their wedding and I am so excited. Both Daniel and Michael picked amazing girls and I'm so happy they are going to be in our family.

I hope 2012 is a great year for you and your family. Here's hoping the Mayans were wrong and we make it to 2013.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Sad Saga of Jacob's Back

The day after Christmas, Jacob threw his back out really bad while playing basketball. Since then, it has been a less than stellar vacation for both of us. I don't want to diminish his pain, because this is obviously the worst it's ever been and I know he is really miserable and can't move. But here's the thing. He's was driving me a little bit crazy with the complaining. Since he hurt his back, he's really been forced to just lie around and not do anything (which sounds incredible to me), but he was whining about it so much! My only advice to him was to use the heating pad to get comfortable, take ibuprofen, and go to a doctor if it doesn't get better in a few days. Naturally Jacob doesn't believe in doctors or modern medicine, so he would always say something like "what can a doctor do for me?! They can't help.". This is normally where I (foolishly) try to use logic to explain to him that doctors have an understanding of our bodies and how they are affected (effected?) by medicine that goes far beyond his and my elementary understanding of anatomy. Even at this moment, I find myself trying to song that "dem bones" song and I heard myself sing "the head bone's connected to the...knee bone". Physiologically I know that's wrong, but when I sing it, it sounds right. So I'll stick with it.

ANYWAYS Jacob was confident that no doctor or medicine could help him, despite me saying things like "but they could give you muscle relaxers! Or pain medication!!". He scoffed at both ideas. Medicine. So pedestrian. This morning I was awakened by a huge ray of sunshine, standing over me and saying, "can you make me an appointment somewhere? If I don't feel better soon, there's no way we'll be able to drive back to Dickinson in a few days. I'll never make it.". Oh and good morning to you too, sir. I made an appointment and was trying to fall back asleep when Jacob yelled at me from the living room "the toilet is running!". The smartass (and second grader) in me wanted to yell back "you better go catch it!!" and then go back to sleep, but I decided against it. This back pain has really taken away his sense of humor and general good nature.

I ended up just taking him to an urgent care facility (he couldn't wait till the dr appointment) and we were pretty pleased with the experience. The doctor was super nice and gave us a lot of instructions and info and spent a lot of time with us. She have him two shots to help immediately with the pain and then gave him a prescription for steroids to help the inflammation, pain medication and muscle relaxers...... So I feel like I deserve an "I told you so". He seemed to be feeling a bit better when he went to bed, so please just keep him in your prayers. I can't even imagine how miserable 25 hours in the car would be if his back isn't better by the time we leave. There is a very good chance I would just ask the vet to give me some horse tranquilizers to knock him out.

In other health news, tomorrow is my doctors appointment, and unfortunately it's still very much Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? over here. I guess I'll call in the morning and figure out if I need to cancel. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Period Woes

Well well well.  Once again, my period has me in quite the pickle.  Last month, knowing I would be in Houston for awhile after Christmas, I made an appointment to see my gynecologist while in town.  I'm about 4 months past due on my yearly exam, so I really wanted to get that done while I was here.  Not to mention there are only 2 OB-GYNs in Dickinson, and one is the doctor I have been writing that book for, so I'm not necessarily anxious to let him examine my uterus.  I'm sure he's a great guy and a wonderful doctor, but that's just a bit too familiar for me.  ANYWAYS, as some of you may remember (probably no one, although my brother did) I got my period at the beginning of the month.  More specifically, I got my period right around mile nine of the half marathon.  Soooooo...I was pretty sure I was done with my period for December (I'm an idiot), so I didn't think about it again.  Well, yesterday I was greeted with some horrible cramps, and said to Jacob "oh geez.  I think I'm getting my period."  Five minutes later, I had confirmation of that fact, and now I'm in a bit of a pickle.  My gyno appointment is for Thursday (the 29th), and I can't really go in the situation I'm currently in.  Most likely, the period will be over by then--my uterus never really gets the chance to build up much of a lining since I get my period like twice a month.  Unfortunately, I would imagine that the doctor's office has some sort of cancellation policy if I don't call within 24 hours or something.  So I need to be able to decide by tomorrow morning if I'll be done and ready to see my doctor, or if I have to cancel the appointment, suck it up, and go see someone in Dick-town.  UGH.  So annoying.  Seriously, what is the matter with my body?!  It's like every week, off go those little mischievous cells that live in my uterine wall, sledding through my body like some sort of game.  THIS ISN'T FUN FOR ME.  What I need is for Ms. Frizzle to shrink down that Magic School Bus of hers and let me know what's going on in there.  Just as long as she doesn't take that lizard of hers.  I do NOT trust that thing.

I don't want some spiny bearded dragon bouncing around in there. That probably won't help the situation.

I just don't know what to do about the whole thing.  I don't want to cancel my appointment, but I also don't want to risk getting down to the doctor's office and being all, "oh, my bad guy.  Still bleedin!"  Or maybe my gynecologist will be fascinated by my cycle, find that tampon that got lost inside me in high school, hear my other tampon stories (PG-13 easily), and I'll end up with my own show on TLC.  I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I want the show to be called "Period Perseverance" or "Hayley's Hormonal Hijinks" and I want everything Kate Gosselin got from her show.  A customized van, free trips to Disneyland, a bodyguard, and a flock of seagulls haircut.  And 8 children.  But only if they totally resent me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So good to be Back

We have only been in Houston for 24 hours and all I can think is how superior it is to NoDak. I finished almost all of my Christmas shopping today, and was overcome with joy upon entering both kohls and target. I'm realizing Herbergers is like that boyfriend you have in high school. At the time you think it's great but then you leave and realize there are so many better options and you're almost embarrassed about who you were settling for in high school. Sorry Herbergers. You're a nice guy and all, but I'm just not that into you. It's Target I really want to be with.

I have to say happy very belated birthday to Dana. We were driving all day Wednesday so I never got to give her a shout out. Unfortunately I can't put pictures or videos on here using the iPad, which sucks because I had some great ones picked out. Anyways happy birthday to the most baller roommate I've ever had. I'll be honest, there are lots of days when I'd go back to living with Dana over Jacob. He's great and all, but he's not very tolerant of my television choices. Dana not only accepts my love of terrible tv, but embraces it and even encourages it. That's why we are such good friends. I miss living together and seeing each other regularly, but thankfully she's always willing to listen to me complain over the phone. She's the best and she deserves a better shout out than I can give. Happy late birthday Dana!!!!!!!!!

Okay hopefully I can write a longer post in a couple of days. Until then, enjoy Christmas and if you get bored, watch some parks and rec clips on YouTube. Merry Christmas fools.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Today is HUNTIE'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Happy Birthday to my dear sweet brother, who turns 28 (?) today.  I love love love love Huntie and I can't wait to stay at his house in a few days.  More importantly, Oscie can't wait to stay at Huntie's house and have a couple of naps with him.  I love you!! Happy birthday Huntie! 

Today was a pretty long day.  This week, I'm only working today (Monday) and tomorrow, so I've been rushing trying to get this prenatal guide finished for the new OBGYN.  They really want it done before I leave so we can give it to the doctor and his staff to proof.  That was looking pretty good until the other lady I work with showed up today.  She's super nice, but she's a talker, and every minute that passed that I wasn't working on the book was totally freaking me out.  Then, at the end of the day, she took me down to the women's clinic to meet the doctor and his staff, so that ate 45 minutes I could have spent working, so naturally my blood pressure wasn't great.  Tomorrow's going to be a pretty crazy day, since I'll be rushed trying to get the book done, AND I have to leave at 11am to go get my oil changed.  Hopefully someone from the office can take me and it will go fast, because I will be a wreck if I'm sitting around the dealership tomorrow, wasting time. 

My life has gotten much less entertaining since I've started working, which you have probably picked up on.  I did stumble across a lovely little jewel at Walmart the other day that I meant to write about, but forgot until just a few minutes ago.  I was waiting in line to check out (this is before I spotted Om), and behind me was a young mom and her 11 year old daughter.  I know what you're thinking, but no, it wasn't my arch enemy, Cyndy.  The daughter spotted one of the tabloids that had Prince William and Kate Middleton on the cover, and she started talking about how awesome they are and how pretty Kate is.  Now, I don't disagree with that one bit.  If I looked as baller in my wedding dress as she did in hers, I promise I would wear that thing every single day.  So the mom starts teasing the daughter, saying things like "You are so weird.  You're 11 and you're interested in this stuff.  That is so stupid.  Look at him, he's so ugly!  He's like the opposite of hunky."  OKAY MA'AM.  Here's where I need to interject.  Okay, yes, 12 years ago we ALL would have assumed that Harry was going to be an ugly, ginger chipmunk and William was going to turn out all super suave sexy, but WE WERE ALL WRONG.  Does that give you the right to act so superior? NO.  IT DOESN'T.  So the daughter continues to defend Kate and William, stating how pretty Kate is and how William is "so cute!"  It's okay, kid.  When I was 11, I was in love with him, too.  To drive home her point, the mom said "He's just so ugly.  In 2 years, he's going to look exactly like his dad--bald and retarded."  Ooooooooooookay.  That's maybe just a bit offensive.  Yes, royals tend to be inbred and they may not possess all of the necessary chromosomes, but let me remind you that you're an unattractive 26 year old with an 11 year old daughter.  So..... judge not lest ye be me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pretty Weekend!

I would like to start by saying that I legit have zero reasons to complain (don't worry, there will be complaining later) because this was the best weekend.  It was super sunny and it even got up to 50!  Just let that sink in for a minute.  50 degrees on December 17 & 18 in North Dakota.  Seriously, thank you Jesus.   We took the dogs for two long walks on Saturday and another long one today.  It was so incredible walking around in the sun, and watching the snow melt.  I can't tell you the joy in my heart when I can see the snow and ice melting.  Imagine watching evil people dying a slow painful death-- Hitler, Bin Laden, Michael Vick, Kim Kardashian, Muammar Gaddafi.  It just makes you feel like the world is getting a little bit better.  That's how I felt watching the ice melt. 

We went to the Lutheran church this morning and were both surprised to see that the worship service included the children's program.  Oy.  I don't necessarily consider myself a Scrooge, and I don't envy the poor volunteer who had to write the script for this program, was rough.  I'll say this--it started with Adam and Eve.  Yep, they went all the way back.  There was an obvious antagonist, a girl wearing a hat with her hair tucked inside playing the role of "Spike", a skeptical boy who knew nothing of the true Christmas story.  It included dialogue like "Christmas program?  Where's the fat guy in the red suit?"  It's not like I expected Julliard trained acting in this thing, but it was awkward.  And a little confusing to me, because despite having kids playing the roles of Adam, Eve, King David, and Isaiah, the only person in costume was the one playing John the Baptist.  Not sure why that kid needed to wear a shepherds cloak and head cover, but the little girl playing Isaiah could wear a purple dress covered in rhinestones.  Also, I'm super confused about why the people planning the program decided "well, we have equal boys and girls, but you know what?  Let's not have people stick to their gender-specific roles.  Too traditional."  Typical Lutheran church.  Always busting down societal conventions.

A lot of work was done on our house this week, but for some reason I don't have any pictures to show you.  We haven't been in the house for several days because the flooring was done, and there was a note on the front door saying no one could go in because it was wet.  So we haven't seen the flooring, but that should be done.  They did the brick on the exterior as well, and I got to see that.  I like it, but I wish our siding was lighter.  I like the color of our siding and I like the brick, but together it's just a bit too brown for me.  If I had known from the beginning that they were going to have us put brick on, I would've gone for the lighter tan siding color, so it would contrast the brick more.  Oh well.  I still think it looks okay.  Hopefully I can get some pictures up here before too long.

Jacob and I had planned to go to the gym together today, but when we realized how beautiful it was outside, he decided he was going to run outside.  I figured I'd go too, so we suited up in some warmish running clothes and headed out.  Our plan was to run to the gym, go inside and do some abs, then run home.  I was doing okay for about the first mile, but then the wind hit us.  At this point it was probably high 40s-50.  My legs were already covered in goosebumps, and then the wind hit right as we started going uphill.  I struggle uphill in perfect conditions, but when it's cold and you're running into 20 mph winds, it's basically hell.  I tried for a little while to be a trooper, and just pumped my arms a little harder to really push through the resistance.
 It didn't work.  I had a temper tantrum on the streets of Dickinson.  I just started screaming.  REALLY LOUD.  I was like 'THIS IS SO MISERABLE.  THIS IS THE WORST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!  I HATE THIS!!!!"  Sweet Jacob.  It's a really good thing he's an oldest child, because my youngest child was spewing out of my body at a rapid rate.  We had to stop at a corner to cross the street at one point, and I was crying and flailing my arms and stomping my feet.  I'm hoping that people who drove by just assumed that since Jacob's a giant, it's feasible that the bratty girl standing next to him was just his giant 4 year old daughter.  Jacob was a good sport, though, and he let me whine.  Once I'd snapped myself out of it and we turned and crossed the street, the wind started hitting us from the right side.  My ponytail, which was tied by two hair-things and secured extremely tight, got blown over to the left side of my head, so that when we got to the gym, it had worked itself all the way over to the side to give me the most ridiculous side ponytail ever.
We did abs really quickly and then headed home.  Thankfully the run home went way better since the wind was with us, but I was still super cold.  For the next hour, my veins felt like they had Slurpees running through them.  All together we ran just under 5 miles, which felt pretty good, so I'm guessing it's just the track at the gym that makes my legs feel like I'm trapped under a steel pipe.  Not sure what I'm gong to do about that, since I won't be able to run outside anymore. 

The boys were in rare form this weekend with the pretty weather.  The long walks have them totally exhausted, and Oscar's sleeping even more than normal.  When we came back from our walk today, I told the boys they couldn't get on furniture until I'd wiped their bellies with a towel because they had walked through so many wet, slushy puddles.  When we lived in Houston and it would rain, I would take a towel outside and wipe their paws, bellies, and legs really well before they came in so that the carpet didn't get really dirty.  If they cooperated, I gave them each a treat after they got wiped.  Today, when I wiped them off, I said "Okay, good dogs!" and they both SPRINTED to the treat jar.  I think they're just a bit too conditioned, perhaps.

I'm getting super excited about going home this week and also really excited to stop in OKC to see my sister.  I drew Hilary's name for Christmas this year, and I just finished buying her presents and I'm SO PUMPED.  Let's just say she's gonna get her GURL on after she opens these presents.

I've already sunk into my Sunday pre-work funk.  Haven't even been working for a week.  The lady I'll be working with the most is going to be there tomorrow (she was out all last week), and I just want things to go well.  I'm just already convinced she's going to pull me off from what I was working on, and then I'll get major anxiety about not finishing that book, and I'll be overwhelmed with the new stuff she'll give me.  It really shouldn't be stressing me out, but it totally is.  Also, I keep trying to type and every time I start typing, Jacob starts talking about the logistics and possibilities of our trip down to Houston.  I have told him probably one thousand times that we just need to see how we're feeling during the first day of driving rather than trying to stick to a schedule and driving too far when we're tired.  Despite my constant efforts to essentially shut him up, he continues to throw out different possibilities.  I'm not listening to him, but it makes it SO DIFFICULT to write when you keep hearing "OR we could get up and leave by 3 and try to make it to..." UGH SO BORING.  Stop talking.
 I love him, but sometimes he just needs to figure out when I've stopped listening and when he's distracting me from more important things.  Like complaining.

I almost forgot!  Today saw the return of Om, the nosy cashier at Walmart.  In case you've forgotten, here's the story where Om asks about the plans for my womb.  Thankfully I didn't go through his line, but as I was checking out, I realized he was at the register right in front of me.  At one point we made eye contact, and I was terrified to see a look of recognition in his eyes.  My stomach was blocked, but I'm sure he looked to see if I was with child.  He followed that up with some finger guns
then went back to scanning his customer's groceries. more than ever I am certain that I have an awkward conversation lining up in my future.  Who knows where he can go from the last conversation, but I think it will pick up where it left off.  "I see no baby.  Did you find someone to do that abortion for you?" 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Workin Lady

Sorry I didn't get anything posted yesterday (Tracy), I was just so exhausted when I got back from bunco last night. Work has been going really well the last two days. Yesterday was especially baller because they didn't have a computer for me until about 11:45, and I was only supposed to work until noon. While waiting for the people in IT to sort out my computer situation, I just hung out in my boss's office until she suggested we break out the meat and cheese tray they got as a gift. While stuffing my face, another coworker came over and offered me a coke. Free meat, cheese, crackers and coke?! Here's the thing about me-- I'm pretty easy to please. If you're going to offer me two things that are essential components of my #1 favorite food (sandwiches) and offer me my #3 favorite drink, that's like manna from heaven to me. It's like being at a party with unlimited juice.

Today went pretty well, too. I ended up staying until about 3:40 because I've got a lot to do before I leave for Christmas. I'm working on putting together a packet of materials for our new obgyn to pass out to his pregnant patients. He had a big packet that he used at his last office, which included a 63 page guide to prenatal care. My job right now is to basically rewrite that booklet, since we can't just copy the one from the other clinic for copyright reasons. It's kind of mindless, but I'm enjoying it. Today I got 17 pages done so I actually felt like I accomplished something, which is unusual for me. Unless the goal is to finish an entire season of a tv show in 24 hours. Because I can DEFINITELY accomplish that goal. Speaking of tv, I took Tom's suggestion and got disc one, season one of Criminal Minds from Netflix. I feel like I should really love it since it's about profilers for the FBI, but I just can't really get into it. Maybe it's my fault that I just haven't sat down and watched it without any distractions. I have been putting on episodes while baking or cooking so I'm mostly just listening and I'm totally lost. Okay now that I'm saying that, I realize it's totally my fault I'm not into it. I'll start over and watch it distraction-free.

Last night was bunco, which went pretty well. It was held at the home of the boss of the whole office here, so my neighbor and I were both anxious to see how redonkulous their house was. We drove by, and saw that no one else was there yet, so we decided to drive around for a bit. Their house is actually on the street right behind ours, so my neighbor, Nicole, and I drove by our house so I could show it to her. They put the brick on the outside, which I'm super pumped about. Unfortunately they had it covered with a big plastic tarp, I guess because of the crazy cold. So we couldn't see it. Hopefully by this weekend it will have set well enough to take the tarp off so I can take pictures.
Anyways, after driving by our house then driving around a bit more to look at Christmas lights, we pulled up to the house. Thankfully lots of other people had shown up with lots of food, and I began to gorge myself on my SECOND meat and cheese tray of the day. Now, I don't want to take away from our wedding, because it was great and all that, but I think any day you get two meat and cheese trays, it is certifiably, unequivocally the greatest day of your life. Right? I'm pretty sure. Besides filling our belies with lots of meats and Christmas cookies (great combo huh?), bunco was pretty subdued. I think that had to do with whose house we were at. I don't think anyone wanted to get toooo crazy.  It was fun though, and I ended up winning $10, so now Momma's making the big money. Between my $10 win and my part time job, I'm basically supporting our family at this point.

It's a good thing this marathon is over with because my legs have officially quit on me. I tried running again tonight and again was only able to make it half an hour. It just feels like I'm wearing cement shoes and my legs can't get any blood to them. It's not like a sharp pain, but it is an unbearable pressure that I can't figure out. Maybe I'm getting the bends.

Welp. Guess that about does it. I have a feeling that I'm going to get pretty bad about updating everyday now that I'm working (see:yesterday). I shall do my best, but I'm pretty sure if I don't put anything, you're missing nothing. Unless you want to hear about how Andy squatted like ten times this morning and then ended up dragging his butt across the snow. Because I can talk about that all day long.
 That little kid is seriously the worst.  And that mom needs to chill.  Don't try to act like you haven't seen the dog do that a million times just because you have a guest over.  No one's buyin it sweetheart.  Something tells me that little smug, ginger son of yours doesn't exactly leave the house smelling super clean, either.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kitchen Pictures

We just ran by the house to take pictures, so I thought I'd put some up here so you could see.  Enjoy!

The Kitchen!
The island:
 The upstairs guest bathroom:
 The house is not slanted (that we know of).  I took this picture at a weird angle on accident:

Last Free Day? Snoozeville

Well I totally wasted my last non-working day.  I went to Walmart, ran, and then spent most of the rest of the day on the phone with DirecTv.  It was foggy and really cold today, so maybe that's what had me in a funk, but I just didn't feel like doing anything.  I took the dogs for a walk, even though it was only 20 and there was frost in the air.  The trees all looked really pretty because the frost just sat on the branches, so they looked like fake, flocked Christmas trees.  Unfortunately the frost is not so beautiful on me.  Once again, the snow got in my eyes, and melted my mascara off without me realizing it.  I just got back from the bathroom, and realized that for the last four hours, I've had black lines under neath my eyes, and also in my eyebrows.  It was pretty obvious and looked like maybe a six year old had tried to draw eyeliner on me. 
Somehow, Jacob did not say one word about it.  Not one.  He came home from work and we sat and talked for like 45 minutes, and he didn't say anything.  I don't know if he really didn't notice or if he was afraid to say anything, but come on!  You can't think that this is what I was going for.  Maybe the whole winged eyeliner thing has him rethinking my makeup strategy.

Last night for dinner I made a new recipe that I was a little apprehensive about.  They were Spicy Bean & Rice Burritos, and they were vegetarian.  I really REALLY wish I could be a vegetarian.  I have been wanting to do it forever, the problem is I live for sandwiches, and I hate beans.  I try to make one thing each week that doesn't have meat in it, but that's pretty tough to do for us.  Despite these burritos consisting almost entirely of beans, I actually thought they were pretty good, mostly because they didn't taste like beans.  I added quite a bit extra of the adobo sauce for flavor, and they were pretty spicy.  Jacob really loved them, so I'm sure I'll make them again, if for no other reason than me being able to say "no animals were harmed in the making of this meal." 

Well, tomorrow's the big day.  Surprisingly I'm not that nervous, yet, although I know I won't sleep very well tonight.  Tomorrow is just all day HR stuff, so I'm hoping it just goes by really quickly. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Technically I'm about 40 minutes late on this one, but I did want to do a birthday shout-out to my dad.  I got to talk to him a little bit earlier, and sufficiently grossed him out talking about my swollen ear.  HEH.  Oh Quinn.  You gotta love him. 
My dad is easily one of the biggest cornballs I know, which is my favorite thing about him.  I don't think a single day goes by that Jacob and I don't laugh about something my dad has done, said, or says regularly (I'm on the internet.....WHO PICKED UP THE PHONE?!).  Sisters, I really think we need to get a list of the best Dad stories, because it would be epic.  When Angie told me the story of him falling off the roof into the holly bushes, I nearly wet my pants.  Same for when he fell asleep on the toilet and broke it. 
The first winter after I bought my first car (Peach), my dad was driving it to work, and I remember one day we had a crazy snowstorm, and he showed up at our house without the car.  I asked him what happened, and he casually said "Oh, I left it on Battlefield [a major road in Springfield with ZERO street parking] while I went into a Japanese steakhouse to eat.  When I came out, it was so covered I couldn't find it, so a man I met in there brought me home.  Don't worry about it, babe.  Peach is a snowdog."  WHAT!?  I still don't really understand what happened there, and how he ended up parking my car on a busy road, but he wasn't worried about it.  Until I got rid of that car last year (RIP Peach), every winter, Dad would remind me how I didn't' have to worry about the car, because she was a snowdog.
My dad also deserves all the credit for talking me down from the most ridiculous panic attack I've ever had in my life.  I have never freaked out like I did before my wedding, and thankfully my dad was ready to ham it up to make me laugh.  If he wasn't willing to act like such a dork, I honestly think I would've fainted.  I'd like to think he was emotional too, but when the photographer asked us to take a fun picture together right before we walked down the aisle, he did this:
FYI, he's holding up six fingers.  For six daughters that have gotten married, I guess.  I don't know, it's the face I love more than anything.  If only he'd done the classic horseface, I think I'd blow this picture up poster-size.  At our reception, Jacob and I had our first dance, followed by my dance with my dad.  Even though I kept telling him I can't dance, the second that music started, he was off and dancing faster than I could keep up, hammin it up for the crowd. 
I may avoid him at all costs when he's carving a turkey, doing home repairs, or working on Christmas lights, but he's still an awesome Dad and I'm lucky to have him.  LOVE YOU DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quick Update

We saw some big time progress on our house when we went by this weekend.  I took a picture with Jacob's camera, so I'll try to load that tomorrow, because I have no idea where it is.  The inside has been painted, and there was a guy in there all weekend working on trim, closets, and the cabinets.  I am SO EXCITED about how the cabinets turned out.  They're exactly what I wanted, so I can't wait to see how they look once the lights are in and the countertops are on.  We still don't have a closing date (who needs it?), so I have no idea when the house is going to be ready, but it's nice to actually see some progress. Also, the carpenter (?) had brought his dog into our house to hang out while he was working, so when we walked through yesterday, I of course spent 10 minutes petting and talking to the dog.  Somehow, when we got back to our apartment, I got my coat off before Andy and Oscar smelled the dog's scent on me, so while we were at Jacob's office party, Oscar discovered my dog-smelling coat and decided to mark it.  So we came home to my coat soaked with urine.  Note to self: ALWAYS let Oscar smell anything a dog touched before he discovers it on his own.  Maybe that's what happened to our Christmas tree last year....

Well we survived the office Christmas party.  It was pretty uneventful, really.  The entertainment was this improv group they flew in from NY, and they were pretty good, but NO ONE in the crowd was participating except for me and Jacob, so I felt really bad for them.  Improv totally relies on crowd participation, and apparently a bunch of nerdy engineers and oilfield workers make for a terrible and unimaginative crowd.  I ended up wearing the lace dress I ordered online, even though it was way too big for me.  It totally hung off my chest, so I should have stuffed my bra.  It looked like I had either borrowed the dress from a heavy friend, or had just had gastric bypass.  That would've been a great way to meet Jacob's coworkers "oh, yeah, sorry about my dress...a little should see all my loose skin!"  There was a professional photographer taking pictures there, so we got one taken, but other than that, we didn't take any pictures all dressed up.  I thought about it as we were waiting for the party bus (which did have black lights and a stripper pole) to take us home.  It was cold and I was tired, so neither of us took our jackets off.
DANA-notice in the picture you can see my wonky pinkie finger from when I broke it.  I told you it looks terrible. You might have to click the picture to make it bigger, but you can't tell me you don't see how that finger shoots off in a different direction.
Okay, sorry.  I had to prove that point to her.  ANYWAYS, I decided to experiment with my makeup for the party, so I bought liquid eyeliner, and tried to do a winged eyeliner.  For my first try, it came out pretty good, although not super noticeable.  I wanted to make sure it wasn't obvious so Jacob was embarrassed to be seen with me, so I asked him what he thought about my eye makeup.  He was like "it's fine. it supposed to flare out like that?"  I told him it was, and he seemed satisfied with that.  He assured me he wasn't embarrassed to be seen with me (for that reason anyway), and I kept it.  I wish I had taken a closeup picture, because I wanted an opinion on it.  Oh well. 

We gave the boys their Christmas presents early, and I think it's a success.  Oscar's gotten really bad about always having to lay on the couch.  When Jacob and I are both on the couch and there isn't room for Oscar, he seems genuinely concerned and worried about how he'll rest.  He always looks at us really pathetically like "my legs are so tired and my big head is so heavy!"  The thought doesn't even occur to him that he could lay down on the floor.  So we bought them big dog beds, and Oscar's actually been sort of interested.
He really likes when they're pushed together like that, so he can stretch as much as he wants without having to touch the floor.  Of course, at the moment, he's curled up next to me on the couch, covered by a blanket.  Baby steps.

Tomorrow is my last day before I start work, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself to make it worthwhile.  Obviously there's a trip to Herbergers and Walmart in there, but so far I can't think of anything else.  Suggestions?

Tonight I made brownies, my first attempt to make them from scratch, and they are GOOD.  For my additions to the batter, I added chocolate chips and marshmallows, and they're the moistest, gooiest brownies ever.  The only downside is that the recipe makes a 9x9 pan, and we're almost out.  I mean, I did give some to my neighbor, but not enough to justify how little we have left.  Next time I make them, I'm definitely doubling the recipe.  And make sure you have enough milk handy, because you'll want it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tetanus Shot

Well I'm super exhausted and for some reason my inner ear has swollen up so much that I can no longer fit a q-tip in, so I'll make this brief.  Tonight for dinner, I made a recipe I got from Dana, Tomato Tortellini Soup, and it was SUPERB.  It's in the low 20's right now, and this soup was the PERFECT thing to eat.  I have been looking for a really good soup recipe lately, and this will definitely be in my rotation from now on.  AND, the whole thing took like 20 minutes, so in my mind, it's the greatest meal ever.  If you're cold, and you love soup, I definitely recommend it.  Go here for the recipe. 

For my job, they require my immunization records, so I've been trying to track those down for the last couple of days.  Talking to my mom, I realized it had been more than ten years since my last tetanus shot, so I have been trying to figure out how to go about getting one.  I called both of the doctors offices in town that are covered by our insurance, and both refused to give me the shot because they said that I had to be seen by one of the doctors before they would allow me to get the shot.  Note to fellow Dickinsonites (Dickinsoners?  Dickinsonians?), if you happen to fall on a rusty chainsaw, step on an old nail, or run through barbed wire, you're out of luck, because the doctors just aren't quite sure if you should get that tetanus shot.  When I asked the lady at one of the offices how I could go about getting the shot, she referred me to the Southwest District Health Unit, which to me sounds made up.  All she said was "well, we can't give you the shot, and I don't think anyone else in town will, either.  So...I'm not sure if they will do that, but it's worth a try."  I googled the SDHU to get their phone number and ended up on their website which seemed a little vague to me.  When I called to see if they'd give me the shot, the old lady on the phone seemed very confused by the question and told me to call back in the morning.  The next morning (today), when I called, I spoke with the old lady again, and went through the situation again.  She was confused, but told me to come in between 11:30-11:45.  I asked if I needed to pay up front for the shot, or if they'd take my insurance, and she was like "oh sure, we take insurance,  yep."  But she never asked me what insurance we had, so that was a little confusing.  When I googled the location so I knew how to get there this morning, I realized they were directly behind the building across the street from us-the one with the big garage and the metal things.  They were also right next to the Dakota Sew & So and the Crop Insurance Company, so I knew it was a good location.  When I pulled up to the building, it was....pretty ghetto.  I walked in and approached my old lady friend from the phone, and said "I talked to you earlier, I'm here to get a tetanus shot."  Rather than speak, she just pointed ahead of her with glassy eyes like E.T.
Off topic--Has anyone else ever noticed that it looks like E.T. wears a coconut bra?  But back to the clinic--I looked in the direction she pointed at and saw a lady in another office.  "Over there?  Do I need to go over there?"  She just continued to point rather than answer me, so I just walked across the office to the other lady and told her I needed a tetanus shot.  E.T. clearly hadn't communicated any of this with the other lady, so I had to run through the whole story again to her.  We got it sorted out, though, and next thing I knew, she was telling me to relax so she could do the shot.  Thankfully, I don't have a phobia of shots like I do with getting my blood taken, so I was able to endure the shot with dry eyes and no hyperventilating.  Hooray!  After the shot, the lady told me that if I wanted to make a donation of $13.99 to pay for the shot, that would be great, but otherwise I was done.  I asked if I could do that with a credit card, but she told me they don't have a credit card machine.  She was like "oh, no, don't worry about it.  If you're ever driving around and think about it, that's great, otherwise you're all set."  Let me be clear.  At NO POINT did they ever ask to get insurance information from me.  What makes me more confused is what it says on their website:  "As of March 31, 2008 Southwest District Health Unit will be able to bill private insurance for immunizations.  Please bring your insurance cards for any insurance to be billed and your policy information with you to your appointment."  So, having read all that, how did I end up with a free tetanus shot?  I really and truly don't get it.  I'll be honest, if this is what it will be like with Obama-care, SIGN ME UP. 

Herbergers is having a crazy huge sale this weekend, and they had a bunch of boots on sale for $19.97, so obviously I had to buy a pair.  So here's my dilemma-Dana, you've heard all this-when I tried the boots on, I thought they were cute, but I was a little bit worried that when my pants can't be tucked into them, and all you can see are the bottoms, they look a little like cowboy boots.  That freaked me out.  I convinced myself they were cute though, and I couldn't pass up the deal, so I bought them.  When I got home, I was searching the website for a picture to send Dana, and the website describes them as "western-inspired."  UGH. That is NOT the look I'm going for.  What do you guys think?  Keep or return?
And be honest-it won't hurt my feelings.

Tomorrow night is Jacob's office party.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about that dress.  I do have a backup dress I could use (minus the belt and flower)-
It's not super dressy, but it's pretty cute.  The problem with this dress is that I've only worn it once, to Barrett's rehearsal dinner, and the waitress wouldn't serve me champagne for the toast because she thought I was pregnant.  So...looks like either dress option, people will assume I'm with child.  So which one do you think I should wear?  My neighbor offered for me to borrow one of her dresses, which, bless her, is very nice.  However, she's like a size 2, so I'm pretty sure I can't borrow anything she owns.  Besides the dress situation, I am kind of excited about the party.  The company has rented transportation to pick people up and take them home so they don't have to drive after drinking, which is pretty baller.  Not that we'll be drinking any more than probably one drink each, but it's nice to be shuttled around.  I found out today that we've got a legit party bus coming to pick up us and our neighbors, so that's gonna be awesome.  Apparently for the party last year, the party bus had a stripper pole in it.  Here's hoping this bus doesn't have one.  After living with KT, I think I'll be happy to never be around another stripper pole again.  Unless it's to watch Tom hang upside-down.  Dude's got skills.

Alright this ear situation is getting out of control.  I didn't even know it was possible for your ear to get swollen shut.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

When Realtors Attack

On Tuesday, when we were still in Vegas, we got a call from our realtor, which we knew would be bad news.  KEEP IN MIND AT THIS POINT WE'RE 9 DAYS FROM CLOSING.  So our realtor told Jacob that our house will not be finished for closing on the 15th.  She said it's impossible.   Jacob told her he was disappointed, since we made it very clear a few weeks ago that they should alert us the moment they find out it won't be ready on time.  Something tells me they figured this out before Tuesday, but just didn't feel like telling us.  Jacob told her he thought it was unacceptable for them to not finish when they were supposed to, since they've had this date for the past four months.  She IMMEDIATELY ripped into him, saying she's told us from the beginning that we can't rush the last two weeks because there is so much little stuff to get done.  Here's the thing, jackass, I wouldn't say we've got little things left, so much as we have the painting, the cabinets, the plumbing, the electrical, the flooring, the trim, the appliances and the cleaning.  TO ME THAT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF BIG THINGS.  Jacob tried to explain that we were just frustrated because we have no recourse or leverage against the builder and we keep getting strung along, but the realtor totally missed that point and continued to attack Jacob.  At one point, he said something along the lines of "We aren't asking them to rush it.  We want a quality house, this is our house and we want it to be good.  We're just so frustrated because right now we're homeless and all we can do is wait and hope that it's done soon."  She made some snidey, sarcastic remark like "Oh, you want your money back?"  LISTEN, HUSSY, YOU BETTER WATCH THAT TONE BECAUSE YOU WORK FOR US.  Then he asked when the new completion date was, to which she replied that she couldn't give us a date.  She was very frustrated and felt it was unfair for us to even ask for one, and just kept insisting that she wouldn't give one.  Here's what I want to know.  How do they normally plan a house closing?  How are we supposed to line up our financing and schedule movers if we don't have any idea when the house is going to be completed?  Also, if we're 9 days away from what was supposed to be the closing date, and you know you CAN'T make that, you should have a pretty good idea of what still needs to get done and how much longer it will take.  Right?  Long story short, we're basically on worse terms with our realtor than we were before, which is saying something.  I'm not even that frustrated at this point about the house not being ready on time.  I get that construction in the town is super crazy right now and it's hard to get contractors.  Honestly, I understand that, and I'm fine with that.  I wish they would have let us know sooner, since we had already started counting down the days, but I really do understand.  More than anything I'm EXTREMELY frustrated with our realtor.  You can't weasel your way into our contract so that you get paid and then CONSTANTLY complain about how busy you are and how many clients you have.  YOU'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR US.  HOW BUSY CAN YOU BE?!  I just don't have a single nice thing to say to her at this point, and if she ever talks to me like she talks to's going to get REAL ugly.  There will be yelling, name-calling, and inane insults.
Also, as most of you know, I am TERRIBLE at faking how I feel about someone.  If you annoy me, or I'm mad at  you, it's pretty obvious.  I'm pretty sure that if I see her and she says something that rubs me the wrong way, I'm gonna go all opposite George Costanza, and take her outside and show her what it's like.

I finally got the dress in the mail that I ordered for Jacob's office party.  Remember, the black lace strapless one that I got for a great deal?
Well I made a huge mistake when I ordered it because I completely forgot that I'm not built like a model.  When I tried the dress on yesterday, I could not believe how horribly unflattering it was.  The band at the waist hit me lower than on the model, so it cuts me off at a terrible point, and makes me look like I'm 10 weeks away from birthing triplets.  What's even worse is that the top makes me more flat chested than I could ever have imagined.  So much so, that I feel like you could put me in this dress, and I'm like Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry or even Terry Griffith in Just One of the Guys.  Basically, you put me in this dress, and I can land the role in any gender-bending movie.  I'm like Hilary Swank, minus the huge teeth.  Unfortunately, I still have to wear it to the office party because it's this weekend, and I don't have time to order anything else, and Herbergers doesn't have anything in the store that I like.  Looks like I'll be throwing a cardigan on over it.  Even sweet Jacob, when I asked what he thought, said "Well, I think it's a pretty dress."  I was like "See!  You didn't say that it looks good or I look pretty, you said the dress is pretty."
His response was "Well, but if you aren't happy with it or you don't like how it looks on you, it won't matter what I say.  You just won't like it."  Now, in theory, I agree with what he's saying.  HOWEVER, he still never said it looked good on me, so I'll just assume I got confirmation from Jacob that the dress makes me look like a big dumpy frumpster.

Jacob's office sent out an email asking people to buy Christmas presents for local kids in need, and we ended up picking an 8 year old girl.  Originally I picked her because I thought it would be easy.  She's young, and there are lots of great gifts for young girls (I thought).  In her information, she listed her sizes for tops, jeans, and shoes, and asked for "fun things."  When I got to the store today and started shopping for her, I was hit with the realization that I had no idea what to buy.  I had planned on buying Barbies, but then I couldn't remember what age I thought I was too cool to get those (if it was acceptable, I would totally still ask for them).  The only frame of reference I had was my sister's 6 year old stepdaughter, Reagan (she's 6, right Hil?), and I have never seen a Barbie in her room.  Reagan doesn't dress like a cutesy, Osk-Kosh kinda girl, either, so then I was like, if Reagan's six and is too cool for Barbies, what the heck will this girl like?!  I must have spent 45 minutes walking up and down the aisles at Walmart.  Ultimately I ended up getting her a jewelry thing, some shoes, and then a shirt and jeans from Herbergers.  While walking through the kids clothes at Herbergers, I stumbled across some extremely adorable baby clothes.  Let's just say my baby fever spiked, because I was SO tempted to buy some of this stuff.  But I knew if I bought clothes for a little girl, I would never have one, so I resisted the temptation.  But look how cute!

Who wants to have a baby girl so I can buy these for you?!?!  Also, I'm pretty sure I  need that turtleneck sweater dress in an adult size.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegas Tales

Oh man.  It's been awhile, huh?  I meant to write updates from Vegas, but it's kind of a pain to do from the ipad, so.....I didn't.  But I've got alot to say now, so relax, grab a glass of cranberry juice and a bowl of Greek yogurt, and enjoy, because I've got a lot to say and I'm gonna be sitting here for awhile.

Well, we did it!!  I survived the half marathon with basically no injuries (minus bruised toenails), and am really happy I did it.  It was a pretty awesome experience overall, and even in spite of the training injuries, it was totally worth it.  My time wasn't the best, 2:15, but in my defense, people did NOT get in the right corrals, so even though I was supposed to be surrounded by people who would pace about the same time as me, I got stuck behind hundreds and hundreds of walkers.  That's not even an exaggeration.  And it's not like these people were alternating running and walking, they were just straight up walking from the start.  So for the firs 6 miles or so, I couldn't run at my comfortable pace.  I was either running really fast to try to fit through gaps in the crowd, or I had to slow way down because I got stuck behind a wall of power walkers, and had to find a way to push through.  I am proud to say that I never stopped to walk once, not even at the water stations.  So despite getting stuck behind all the walkers, I basically just elbowed and pushed my way through.  I even got stuck behind one lady walking with skies.
I nearly slammed into her and probably would have been impaled by her ski pole.  Seriously lady?  If you HAVE to use those things to walk, line up with the freaking walkers.  So annoying.  Also, I'm probably remembering it wrong since there was no snow, but I could have sworn she was wearing snow shoes.

During any run, there are always event photographers that are stationed throughout the course to take your picture so that they can charge you like $70 for one picture.  Normally, the pictures they get of me are crap, but sometimes they make me look like I'm running like a baller--
I was extra ready for the photographers in Vegas.  Since it was a longer run than I'd ever done, I expected many more opportunities for pictures, and I was prepared to stand out.  I wore my brightest running outfit and was on the lookout, but the only time I ever saw one was at the finish line.  I got to the far right side (where he was) and slowed a bit right as I crossed the finish to make sure he got my picture.  For some reason, my first inclination was to do the Kevin McAllister face from Home Alone. 
You know, because I'm known for my timely pop culture references.  Seriously, though, I must have been super delirious, because I have NO IDEA why I did that.  I even remember thinking to myself "you know what would be funny?  The Home Alone face."  I am SUPER bummed to say that somehow, the photographer didn't get it!  I even saw the flash go off, so I know he took the picture.  I think he deleted it just for spite.  He was hatin on me for thinking of something that hasn't been done since 1992.  Anyway, they only got one picture of me, and it's okay, but I can't figure out how to steal the image from them yet, so if you want to see it, click here.

Immediately after crossing the finish line, I was greeted by a wall of thousands of people who finished before me.  I'm not sure if the finish area wasn't wide enough, but you literally came to a dead stop one step after crossing the finish line.  That pissed me off pretty bad because I really needed to be able to walk a bit and stretch my legs to keep from getting tight, but it was so crowded I couldn't move anywhere.  After about fifteen minutes and only moving about 10 feet, I started to completely lose my mind.  I could feel my legs getting tight and I was DESPERATE for water, and I had no clue how much further I had to go before I could get even a fingers length away from another person.  I became convinced that I was trapped in the biggest clusterfudge I'd ever seen and that if I didn't get water soon, my mouth would crumble into ashes.  I became very much like Elaine when she's trapped on the subway.  Paranoia, anger, and extreme facial expressions included.

Heading down to the race, we tried to give ourselves plenty of time to walk to the starting line (about a mile from our hotel), check our bags, stretch, and find our corrals.  Because of some pretty bad signage, it took forever for us to get to the bag check area, so once we came out, we had to separate and I went to my corral (21), and Jacob and Hunter went to theirs (2).  Basically, that meant that because of their expected race time, they would be the second fastest group, so they would be the second group to go.  Waiting in my corral by myself wouldn't have been too bad, except that it was really cold.  Realistically, I think it was only probably in the 40s, but because I was in shorts and a Dri-Fit shirt and t-shirt, I was freezing.  I think my leg hair grew about six inches while I was waiting for the race to start.  Not to mention that my muscles were tightening up because of the weather.  Eventually my group was up, but because I'm so much slower than Hunter and Jacob, my start time was more than 25 minutes after theirs.  Add that onto the fact that they ran the race much faster than me, and they were waiting outside in the meet-up area for me for a really long time.  It was pretty miserable outside, since it got colder over the two hours the race lasted, and they were handing out free warming blankets--the ones that look like you're wrapping yourself in aluminum foil.  By the time I met up with them, they were both shivering and I was ready to get in a warm building, so unfortunately I didn't grab every free thing in sight like I normally do at a race.  I managed to come away with 2 bottles of Cytomax, 2 bags of pretzels, a warming blanket, and my medal for finishing.  I would've grabbed more snacks, but my fingers were pretty numb.  We asked a guy to take a picture of the three of us together after the race, but it turns out he's never used a camera before because it's super blurry and terrible, but this is the only one we got after the race (actually during the entire trip).
Yeah, we're lazy and could've gotten another one, but it was freaking cold and we all just wanted to shower and eat dinner.  The race didn't start until 5:30, so by the time it was over and we walked (gingerly) back to our hotel and showered, it was pretty late and we were STARVING.  We went to some pizza place in New York New York, and it was the single greatest pizza I've ever had in my life.  I INHALED this thing.

Besides the race, it was a pretty fun trip.  Because it's Vegas, we saw plenty of weirdies there.  I don't have much to say about most of them, but I thought I'd just hit some of the more notable moments:

I only gambled once while we were there.  I can't explain my pessimistic logic, but in my mind, if Jacob and I are both gambling, we're going to lose twice as much money, which means the trip will be double miserable.  Honestly, I'd rather watch anyways, because I don't have a great understanding of the games.  Hunter and Jacob peer-pressured me into playing Craps with them on Wednesday night, though.  The first time I shot the dice I was TERRIBLE, and I think I crapped out after two rolls.  Thankfully it was just Hunter, Jacob and I on the table, so I didn't feel so bad about losing the money of some strangers.  My next turn to shoot, though, I was on fire.  I was super awkward and threw the dice so hard a couple times that they went off the table, but I think I was able to roll like twenty something times before I crapped out.  After a few rolls, a lady watching saw we were making money, so she jumped on the table, and just started making bets that I would roll certain numbers and I made her A TON of money.  The whole thing was making me so nervous, though.  Every time she set more money down on me, I could feel myself sweat more and it's possible that I may have sweat through the shirt.  When I finally did lose, I decided I had won enough that I should just get out while I was up, and when I went to cash out and I tried to set my chips down, my hands were shaking so bad I knocked the stack over. HEH.  No, dealer, I don't have a nerve disorder, I'm just very awkward.  

SO.MANY.COWBOYS.  We knew going into this weekend that the National Finals Rodeo was also taking place in Las Vegas, I guess I just didn't anticipate the number of country boys that would attract.  Just at the airport in Bismarck, when we in line to check in for our flight, Jacob and I were literally the only people that were NOT going for the rodeo.  Every other person in line had Wranglers, a cowboy hat, boots, or bejeweled/turquoise-encrusted crosses.  When we got to our hotel, MGM Grand, we realized that it was the official headquarters for the rodeo, so I think all the rodeo participants were staying there, plus most of the spectators, and the place was PACKED.  You really had to watch yourself when you were walking through the casino, because was there was a good chance you'd get a spur to the legs. 

Going back to the Bismarck airport, let me tell you about the jags in front of us in security.  So there was this couple, who must have been mid-40s at least, obviously going to the rodeo.  The wife's bag was holding everyone up in the security line (we only have 1 metal detector in the airport), and the lady operating the x-ray machine, or whatever it is, obviously was nervous about something in the bag.  She decided it needed to go through again (not sure how that changes anything), and so they pulled it out, and walked around front and scanned it again.  Still, the operator was not sure, so they repeated the process.  The third time through, they gave up and a TSA agent came over and pulled the bag and the wife aside to go through it.  As I was waiting for my shoes and purse to come through the other end, I obviously was eavesdropping on the conversation between the TSA guy and the wife.  She said "I don't know why you're doing this!! There's nothing in there, and I'm gonna be pissed if I miss my flight!"  Immediately after saying so, he began pulling out toiletries that were obviously well above the allowed amount.  Full tubes of toothpaste, full size hair products, face wash, that kind of stuff.  I was (slowly) putting my shoes on when he pulled a giant utility knife out of the bag.  I literally LOLed at that because he was like "uhh...yeah.  You can't fly with this."  She said "oh...I forgot that was in there.  It's for when I go huntin!"  Oh boy.  So then, he makes it clear that he's not giving it back to her and she becomes more frustrated.  At this point, Jacob and I had to walk to our gate because there was a chance we might miss the flight, so we hustled down to Gate 1 (of 4) and were nervous when we saw the doors to the jet bridge were already closed.  That's never what you want to see when you're running late for the flight.  Naturally, there was no attendant anywhere nearby to explain if we were too late, and as we stood there hoping the doors would open, the husband and wife caught up behind us and I was treated to more of  her nonsensical ranting.  "They took all my stuff!  My knife!  My shampoo, conditioner, hair gel!  They even took my Proactiv!  That's expensive s*#$!!"  Now, I can sympathize with my fellow acned individual, but still.  There are signs EVERYWHERE.  I even overheard the guy offer to let her run down to the ticket agent to try to put that stuff in her checked bag, but she refused, so he tossed it.  She continued complaining that they had confiscated her knife (a small victory for PETA), and I believe her exact quote was "I told him, 'Are you f*#$ing kidding me!?  This is the stupidest s$#* I ever seen!  Give me an f*!#ing break!'"  Classic.  Thankfully, the gate agent opened the door to the jet bridge at this point and started letting us on, so I was both relieved we made the flight and elated that I had gotten to listen to this clueless lady complain about how security had screwed her.   

In addition to the Rodeo people swarming our hotel and casino like sugar ants on an old pop-tart, there was also some Country Music awards being filmed in MGM.  I can't remember when it was, but at some point, we were walking to the elevators, and we saw some girl swarmed by people lining up to take a picture with her.  I knew she had to be from some reality competition, but I wasn't sure. 
Turns out she was the runner of American Idol last year.  Ehh, I wasn't impressed.  The dress is okay I guess.  For country awards.  But one look at that hair, and I wanted to be like, "Oh honey, no.  Try again."  I was surprised by how many Asian tourists were flocking to her.  It seems ironic to me, since they seemed to struggle with English, but they were excited to see a former American Idol contestant.  I'm wondering if they didn't just see all the other people trying to take a picture with her and see the blond hair and think "Ohhh Taylor Swift!"

In general, we saw a ton of foreigners taking really strange pictures.  Here's the thing, Las Vegas is like the city of overstimulation, so anywhere you look, you're probably going to have something to take a picture of.  But we kept seeing tourists taking pictures at weird places or with questionable things.  We saw a 20ish Asian girl posing for a picture in front of the Flamingo casino.  She was bent down, puckering her lips right next to the door handle like she was kissing it.  Huh?  Is there some cultural barrier that's causing me to miss the reason for taking that picture?  Was it worth it to risk putting your mouth on all those germs?  We also followed some Eastern Europeans for about half a mile.  The only picture we saw them take was when one of the ladies stopped to pose in front of a Walgreens.  Now I'm no world traveler.  I've never been to Europe, but I would think the appeal for them would be the gaudy, ornate American resorts and casinos.  Not pharmacies. 

Continuing our long walk down the strip (we walked 5+ miles each day), we passed all the typical weirdos; the guys handing out the cards with naked girls, the sexual predators dressed as Disney characters, the street urchins pandering for loose change.  We were going through a mixture of all of those groups, and there was additionally some guys handing out cds they had made with their rap on it.  After trying to get us to buy a sample of some "really dope rap", one of the guys said to Jacob "hey man, you're a basketball player right?  Out here to play basketball?"  That's height discrimination!  Just because Jacob's a giant doesn't mean he plays basketball.  I didn't look at you and see that you're black and ask if you were a rapper.  Oh wait.....

One guy was walking down the strip in the opposite direction of us, so he was coming right towards us, and had his camera held up, describing where he was, obviously making a video.  That's fine, lots of people do that; just record the strip as they walk by.  This guy decided that he needed to include a bit of street flavor in his video, so he lowered the camera and started walking directly towards 2 girls that were walking ahead of us.  As he is clearly zooming the max his camera will allow, he was saying "ohhhh, you see them, man?  The mamacitas?  Oh yeah, I know you see those mamacitas.  Yeah, man, some major mamacitas out here!"  He got so close to their faces that we all had to stop to avoid walking directly into him.  After explaining to the viewer how lucky he was to see all the pretty ladies, he raised his camera and continued walking, filming the buildings.  The girls laughed it off, but I was creeped out by the whole thing.  Not only that he filmed them so close to their face, but also because both of these girls were 20 something and had braces.  That's the best you could find for your video, guy?  You know professional whores walk up and down the Strip everyday, right?

At one point Hunter and I had to pop into a Walgreens (to admire the architecture, of course), and Jacob waited outside with our drinks, since you can't bring alcohol into the store.  Apparently while we were in there, some homeless guys approached Jacob and started talking to him about his choice of alcoholic beverages.  The guys saw the frozen drink he had and told him he shouldn't mess with those things because they're a rip-off.  They told him what they do is just go to any store off the strip and buy the energy drinks that have alcohol in them.  According to these guys (who were hammered), those drinks will MESS YOU UP.  One of the guys continued chatting with Jacob saying things like "I'm gonna try to be as sober as I can with you right now., because you're not telling me to eff off like most people....I've been livin on the streets now for 9 months, and I LOVE it....."  They stumbled off before Hunter and I made it back out, but not before reminding Jacob to go get the alcoholic energy drink.  We did not take their advice. 

On Sunday, the three of us made an epically long journey from the MGM to the Mirage, a decent walk that we somehow turned into about a four hour hike.  Along the way, we stopped in Caesar's to look at the lines for sports betting, and while the boys debated putting money on some games, I decided to finish Jacob's drink.  I didn't actually have very much, but it must have been strong, because the next thing I knew, I was giggling so hard I was crying.  Dana, I'd like to apologize right now for the texts I sent you.  At one point the boys went to the bathroom, and I was left by myself in the sports book area, laughing to myself so much that I attracted the attention of another table, who proceeded to point and laugh at me.  Even though it annoyed me, it made me laugh harder.

Another time, while walking the strip, we got passed by an older black man wearing a Santa suit, saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone he passed.  A nice enough gesture, I probably wouldn't have even noticed him had it not been for the old lady in front of me.  The bitter old thing turned to her husband and said "Now THAT'S not the right kind of Santa Claus.  I mean, seriously.  That just makes me mad."  Oh hey, White Power Ethel, how's your trip?  Having fun?  FYI, you're racist.

Well that's about all it for Vegas.  I'm sure I'll think of other hilarious things, but I've been typing this for like 4 hours and I'm exhausted.  We did get an update on our house (spoiler alert: it's not great), so I'll probably write about that sometime tomorrow.  Get ready for a lot of rage filled caps lock.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Here We Go

Race day. I think it starts in about three hours but we are gonna head down way sooner to make sure we aren't rushed. I can't even describe how nervous I am. So far I am not experiencing the panic I felt on our wedding day, but I do think a major anxiety attack is imminent. If I could just shake these nerves I'd be fine. Eeks! Here goes nothing...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vegas, Baby. Vegas.

Well, we leave for Vegas tomorrow, which means that the race is just a couple of days away.  EEKS.  That really freaks me out. I'm really excited about the race, but I'm also really excited to be DONE with the race.  I can't even begin to describe how sick I am of training.  I can't imagine being a professional athlete.  I guarantee I'd get burned out in about a month.  I'm really looking forward to taking a little break from running after this, and then adopting the Liz Lemon workout:
Also, I'm a very anxious person by nature, so I've been stressing out about the little things like when I should eat the day of the race, which socks should I wear, and when I should wake up, and what happens if I oversleep and my whole schedule for that day is thrown off?  It's a little bit ridiculous.  The sad thing is that every time I watch "The Hot Tub" episode of Seinfeld, I legitimately get stressed for Jean-Paul Jean-Paul because I worry about him not making it to his race in time.
 I have a feeling I'm going to be setting no less than 7 alarms.  And it's a night race!  Imagine if it was in the morning.  I can't even think of all the fail safes I'd have to put in place to make sure I got up.  Thinking about it is making me sweaty.  But I am excited about this weekend.  I think the race will be fun, and I plan on planning a game in my head to pass the time where I mentally tally the number of hookers I see.  If it's less than 25, I'm going to be VERY disappointed.  Also, I'm not sure what the setup is for people to watch the race, since it's not like a normal marathon and goes up the Strip, but I really hope there are people lined up cheering for us.   Not only because I'm vain and like to think they're all personally congratulating me for being amazing, but I NEED to hear someone yell "YOU'RE ALL WINNERS!"

I think that could get me through 5 miles alone from the laughter.

I had to suck it up and buy a new ipod tonight so that I could have something to run with for the race.  I know it's strange to have an attachment to my old one, but I did. I totally loved it and I miss it already.  I'm really going to have trouble when I'm an old person if this is how I'm adjusting to change now.  It's entirely possible that while setting up my new ipod. I said,"What is this newfangled thing?  Ugh. Technology.  Harrumph."  Plus my old one had so much storage--30 GB, and the nano I bought today only has 8.  Total downgrade.  Also, most of my music is on my old computer, which is currently in storage somewhere in South Dakota, so I just have to rely on the things I've downloaded to Jacob's computer.  Needless to say, my new iPod is seriously lacking in sweet 90's tunes, J.Lo, and Britney.  Don't worry, I made sure to put some Bell Biv DeVoe on there.  Priorities, am I right? 

This morning was my drug test, and naturally I spent all last night and this morning stressing out about it.  Not because I thought I'd fail it, but because I was getting really anxious about the whole thing.  Remember how I said I was an anxious person?  I convinced myself that I wouldn't have enough pee for the test, so I started chugging water like crazy for the hour before the test.  I had some issues finding the right place to park (cue the sweating), and slipped on the ice a few times (more sweat), and once I got inside the hospital I told myself to relax.  They took me back for the test, and had me fill out some paperwork.  For some reason, I reverted to high school Spanish class because I totally filled out the date portion the wrong way.  I did Day/Month/Year, rather than Month/Day/Year, like is generally practiced in America.  I sweat some more as I crossed out my mistakes.  "Lo siento" I told her, and initialed the errors.  At this point, I realized I was in the chairs they use in the labs to take blood.  I won't go into detail, but I have a bad record with having blood drawn and it's been a few years since I've done it without crying.  I really didn't want my first experience in my future place of employment to involve tears, so I started psyching myself up for it.   Thankfully after a few (stressful) minutes, the lady told me they just needed a urine sample, so she got out the cup, pointed to the minimum line, and sent me off.  In all the anxiety (and sweating) I had completely lost the ability to pee.  I got halfway to the minimum line and was dry as a bone.  Thinking about it now, I don't even know how that is possible, since I'm pretty sure the minimum line was like 1/8 of a cup.  The lady was really nice about it and was like "well...they can probably use that.  They'll just have to tip it."  So....that wasn't great.  But at least my pee wasn't a weird color!

Oh crap.  I totally just realized my library books are going to be due while we're gone.  Looks like I'll owe the city of Dickinson 70 cents.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nailed It.

I got a call from the HR lady today, saying that they wanted to offer me the job!  Hooray!  She rattled off a ton of information, so there's a good chance that I missed something important about the job, like you must dress in Amish clothing everyday or you can't wear shoes on Wednesday, but I was too excited to worry about any of that.  I have to take a drug test tomorrow (fingers crossed!) and then my new employee orientation is December 13, so I've still got some time to live it up.  So far the only people who know I got the job are Jacob and Dana (the inner circle, you might say), so I guess I should probably call my parents. 

As promised, as soon as I got off the phone, I drove straight to Herbergers and bought myself the purse.  $100 off, you really can't beat that.  In my excitement, I forgot about the streaks of mascara on my face (see earlier post), so I'm sure the girl that checked me out at Herbergers thought I was mourning something terrible, but it was just my snowflake eyes.  I managed to make it to the mall and back in less than 10 minutes, because I was on a mission. 
As you can see, I'm quite satisfied with the purchase.  I wonder why it took me so long to get a job, because I'm really professional and totally act like an adult...

Technological Difficulties

Today has not been a great day for me, electronically.  While I was running today, my ipod died.  When I say died, I don't mean the battery died and it's charging now and works fine.  I mean RIP ipod, thanks for the memories.  And if that doesn't make you feel crappy enough, Apple programs the thing to give you this icon:

 Thanks so much, Apple.  Like I needed the sad face with X's for eyes to communicate to me that I'm about to be out $150.  What would Steve GOBS have to say about that?

After I walked the dogs this afternoon, I decided I wanted to watch some streaming Netflix, but NATURALLY my instant queue was messed up.  So for the second day in a row, I spent 20 minutes on the phone with Netflix, trying to get the situation sorted out.  The girl was basically no help and told me that the technicians were working on my account, and they would try to get my instant queue fixed soon, but it might erase all the movies I have stored in there, so I'll probably have to add all those back in.  When I realized she had no clue, I just asked how long I should expect until it's working.  Her response, "it should be fixed by today."  What does that mean.  Fixed by today?  Is that even a phrase?  If it was fixed by today, it would be working currently, right?  Ugh.  Currently it's still not working, but it's still today, so I guess I just have to wait.  Not long after I got off the phone with Netflix, Tom called me and quickly told me that I sounded like an underwater robot, so he hung up.  When he called back and I was still robotic, we realized it was my phone, so I had to turn my phone off and call him back.  So I guess the girl at Netflix thought she was talking to Small Wonder that whole time.  
I was telling Tom my electronic woes and how everything was going wrong, and twice during the conversation my cell phone dropped the call.  Perfect.  Thanks, irony!  I called him back and he said that he had full bars, so he didn't know why we kept losing each other, and I again told him it was because I was having such bad luck today.  His response: "Good thing you don't have a pacemaker."

It has been snowing the entire day today.  Like, since I woke up, I have not seen it stop, which really sucks.  Oscar seems a bit clueless about the whole thing, and Andy really loves eating snowballs and licking the snow off of our neighbor's doormat.  The cold weather in general makes Oscar really crazy, which you can see here:
I took some pictures of what it looks like outside, but these were all taken at like 3 pm, so everything got way more covered in snow.  I just can't take pictures after 4pm since the sun goes down then.
You can see here where Oscar and I walked to the mailbox.
Don't we have such a beautiful view out our front windows?  I still have no idea what that giant garage is for and what those iron things are, but it's not pretty.
 Again, this is early in the day.  The grass is totally covered now.  Perfect for making snowballs for the dogs to eat.

Despite the snow, Oscar still begged for a walk, so I bundled up (five layers on top) and took him.  The first half was not so bad because the snow was blowing into our backs, and since I was so puffed up, I wasn't even very cold.  The second half, we were walking into the wind and snow and it seemed like every flurry was landing directly on my eyeballs.  As we got close to home, it started to burn so bad that I felt like my eyes were getting boiled.  Great Zeus and Athena, it was painful.  I kept saying to the dogs "Help!  Mom's gone blind!"  After about three minutes of rubbing my eyes, I realized it wasn't just the frozen snow drops pelting my eyeballs that was hurting, it was the water washing all of my mascara into my eyes.  I went into the bathroom to try to get the mascara out of my eyes and was startled at the look of myself.  It looked like I had been trapped inside a coal mine explosion.  I wiped my eyes for several minutes and got 99% of it off, and then realized I should take a picture to show you how gross, grey, and raccoony I was:
It's fine, we're all thinking it.  I need a nose job.  That's just what happens when you mix Czech and German with a drop of Jewish (allegedly).  But yeah, this picture doesn't really do it justice.  It was solid black from my lash line to my eyebrows, and extending down to  my nose.  I still have a grey streak down the right side of my face that got smeared almost out to my ear.  Should I be worried that Jacob didn't notice that when he came home?