Friday, January 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (#1)

1. I love Dr. Seuss! Some of his views were a little screwy, and he didn't really even like kids, but the man was a genius. One of my most prized possessions is a book of all his political cartoons from WWII, which I received for Christmas during high school. I once had a very isolationist view of foreign policy, and his book changed my life.

2. I'm planning to make over our 2 (pretty ugly) bathrooms, and spent an hour pricing things at the local hardware store pricing things so that I can convince my husband. Things I priced included paint, paneling for the walls, groutable vinyl tiles for the floors and walls, and trim. Unfortunately, it did not include new lights or recessed medicine cabinets. Pretty sure I can do it for under $100/bathroom.

3. I feel accomplished today because baby Samwise and I have managed to stay on schedule. I've never been very organized, so this is quite the adventure for us!

4. I tend to feel like I'm being a horrendously selfish person when Samwise cries before a nap. I know that the nap is good for him, but I know I look forward to it waaaaay more than he does.

5. My little sister and I have lived far away (okay, so 1.5 hours isn't that far, but it felt really far) from each other since I graduated from high school 8 years ago, and it still makes me sad. The good thing is, it gives me an excuse to go places like Spain and California!

6. I simultaneously love and hate weekends. I love having my husband around all day, going to Mass, and feeling like it's okay to just lounge around... but something about the weekend just feels so disruptive. Goodness, I sound like a crazy person!

7. My favorite part of cooking a meal is the small menial tasks-- peeling the vegetables and chopping them up, weighing ingredients, and general prep work. It reminds me of being in culinary school and makes me feel warm and fuzzy. There were times that 4-5 of us would stand around a 75 gallon container, peeling potatoes for a luncheon in our catering class. Those were the best days because we would laugh hysterically for hours at nothing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

About Coffee

I love coffee. In fact, I obsess over it. I try to grind my own beans as frequently as possible. I also weigh my coffee (in grams, so it's more accurate), and only make 2-4 cups at a time so that I don't waste it. It's the one thing I splurge on (there are two pounds of Starbucks Casi Cielo in the freezer downstairs). I enhance my home-coffeeshop experience by keeping cream and flavored syrups available (this encourages me to stay away from Starbucks). On Facebook this morning, my status claimed that I was enjoying my first cup of coffee in days. The truth is, two and a half hours later... I'm still enjoying that same cup. My sister was aghast.

I have filled out applications for Starbucks on multiple occasions. My favorite part of the application asks for your feelings/opinions etc. about coffee. My least favorite part of the application is the scant two lines that follow that question. Even writing in tiny letters so I could write four lines, I did not have enough room.

I have this thing about drinking my coffee. It doesn't have to be fresh or piping hot. It can even be the remnants of yesterday's pot that I never finished. But when I drink it, I have to be alone and settled so that I can really enjoy it. That means my beautiful newborn son needs to be taking a nap, and my husband needs to be at work. The television is off. I might be reading, journaling, or in this moment, blogging. It's a very ME-centric moment. Only God knows how long it will last.

Coffee is not my "get up and get going in the morning" drink. That would be my hot shower. I don't need the caffeine to get me through the day. What I need is that golden moment of sanity. For me, coffee evokes memories of bookstores and meeting with friends. It reminds me of quiet moments I had before I became so busy. When I drink coffee, I have a chance to take a deep breath and re-center.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Things About Me

1. I love Congressman Ron Paul. I know he's a little crazy. I know he's full of conspiracy theories. He's also an expert in economics. At the end of every fiscal year, the man manages to RETURN some of his budgeted money. He also refuses the Congressional pension plan. He's an OB in Texas, and has delivered thousands of babies. He takes a very strict stand on the duties of the Legislative branch of government-- he's known as Dr. NO.

2. I was brought up a very strict, very conservative Baptist Republican. I'm now a fairly moderate Catholic Libertarian. I generally don't like to argue politics or religion. However, if you ask for my input (and aren't trying to pick a fight), I will give it.

3. I believe that we are all spiritual beings and people of faith, whether our faith lies in the same place or not. It is my duty as a fellow human being to love and respect you.

4. For some reason, younger girls ask me for advice about relationships... I guess it's because I'm in love and married. But the truth is, I have had pretty limited experience. I usually tell them, "I've had a 50% rate of success. You should probably ask somebody else." Also, "Keep your clothes on."

5. I am a new mother, and I can't believe how much I love it! I struggled a lot with depression during a great deal of my pregnancy. Now I am thrilled to be able to stay home with my beautiful little Samwise. Although... sometimes I'm not sure of what to do with him between naps and feedings...

6. I am OBSESSED with Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. I make it a goal to read them both at least once every year. I copy down passages that I really like in a little notebook that I have... almost like some people do with the Bible. In fact, my roommates at Bob Jones University used to call Lord of the Rings my "other Bible."

7. And speaking of Bob Jones University... yes. I went there and managed to not get expelled, although I was socialled once. I think it's a wonderful school. The education and arts programs (oh, the operas they put on!!) were fantastic. The facilities were great. The faculty was kind and caring. The students were Stepford-esquely polite and polished. The grounds were gorgeous. I'm not ashamed to call it my alma mater, and I'm proud of the work they are doing to catch up with the times. My three years there were golden. But I'm glad to be done.

8. My alcohol experiences have been fairly tame. I had my first alcoholic beverage when I turned 21. It was a Mudslide milkshake at Applebee's. The first time I got drunk, I was 24. It was a bottle of Alice White Lexia wine. I had very kind friends who laughed at me. There was no vomiting.

9. My tuba's name is Sophocles.

10. I'm sure this will feel like TMI for some. My husband and I were virgins when we married.

11. HGTV and I are soul mates. Seriously. I love all things crafty, and I enjoy decorating my home.

12. I'm a pretty quick reader. I can read the average paperback fiction book in about 3 hours.

13. I have a culinary degree, and I'm not afraid to use it... to bribe people.

14. I love trying new recipes-- entrees, baking, drinks, you name it!

15. Battlestar Galactica.

16. I'm half Korean. Surprise!

17. Sigourney Weaver and I were separated at birth.

18. I love music. I think it is one of the greatest gifts of life. If music did not exsist, life would not be worth living. I like something from pretty much every genre.

19. My friends are my family. If I love you, I will bend over backwards to help you. If you hurt somebody I love... watch your back. And your front. And your car...

20. I usually totally ignore these things. And if you do, I won't blame you in the least bit. I also usually ignore the emails that end with "If you're really a Christian, you will forward this to everybody you know," etc.

21. My sister is in law school in San Diego, and I am super proud of her. She's pretty much my best friend and knows things about me that I would never ever tell anybody else. I always know that she will never judge me for my choices, thoughts, or actions.

22. I fell in love with my husband almost as soon as I met him. We got engaged after 3 months of dating, and got married 8 months after that. A LOT of my friends were really concerned that it moved so quickly, but they stood by me anyway.

23. I have one female Hollywood crush-- Katee Sackhoff aka Kara Thrace aka Starbuck.

24. Bargain shopping is my favorite. I love to buy something on clearance, used, or at places like TJMaxx, and then compare the price I paid to the original MSRP. Example: I bought Samuel a BRAND NEW Fisher Price swing at Goodwill last week. I paid $50 for it. It retailed at $140.

25. I spend waaaaay too much time on Facebook.