Saturday, December 11, 2010

Call Me Slacker

This photo does not serve a purpose.

I know, I know ... I've been so bad about keeping up with the blog. But I have a few excuses. And they're good ones.

First ... I started a new job. A job where I'm actually busy all day long. Professional productivity - welcome to my life :) You've been missed. Also, I work for the semi-important and very corporate proverbial "Man" who prefers that I keep my iPhone tucked neatly away in my purse. And I keep my internet browsing to a ... well ... no browsing at all. But you know what's wonderful? I don't even have the time to THINK about perusing blogs or Facebook. Isn't that lovely?! I think it is.

So you see, my friends ... when I get home at night, all I wanna do is take off my very-important-business-lady slacks, snuggle with Husband, and watch the Discovery channel. And maybe read some blogs (if I feel like staring at a computer screen some more). AND we've also joined the local Y. And we go every other evening. I on the treadmill. Brian in the pool. And then we come together for some lifting. I love to lift. I wish lifting burned as many calories and had the same heart-healthy effects as aerobic exercise. I also wish lifting didn't make me look like this:

That's right. You'd forgotten about this photo, hadn't you? Well I haven't. I actually think I should include this photo in my resume and add the following:

BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY - VARSITY WEIGHT ROOM                                  2003-2007
- Responsible for growing and sustaining Trapezius, Deltoids, Latissimus Dorsi, Flexor carpi ulnaris, Pectorals, Biceps and Triceps  
- Assigned to elite squat team by program leadership
- Proficient in tire flips, lunges, pull-ups and grunting
- Recognized for excellence in Lat Pull-down exercise

Anyway ... I feel like I have quite a few things to say but nothing is very important. Here are the highlights:

1. I like my job. It's very different, but so far so good. I have my very own cubicle and phone extension. And I've already started decorating.

Not me.
2. My boyfriend Sidney Crosby is on fire. Must be the Creep 'Stache™:

3. I'm already sick of winter. This is not a surprise to anyone.

 5. Brian wants to join the Masters Team. Swimming back in my life in 3 ... 2 ...

6. In one month I get to go to Disney World and spend a short week with some of my most favorite people. Words cannot explain my excitement.
It's almost as exciting as holding Tink in your hands.
7. Brian uses a loofah (is this emasculating?) And he needed a new one because the old one was unraveling. The only thing they had at our little grocery store was this:
We call him Ricky.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A New Leaf

More on this later.

It's been a few days since my last blog post, and it has certainly been an interesting and fun week. Thanksgiving was lovely, even though I spent most of the day at work. I came home to find Lisa still in the sack, sick as a dog. Special K was busting her butt to get everything prepared for dinner, and Dads was watching football. Shocking.

Anywho, I was working most of the day because my current/former job is/was based on a 10-week contract without the luxury of PTO. I say is/was because today is my last day, and while I've met some great people, made some new friends, and had an all-around awesome experience, it's time to move on. Starting tomorrow I'll be ditching all-things-creative, start-up and small business, and moving in with the big boys. I'll be working as a Recruiter (yipes!) for a government contractor located A LOT closer to our home.

It'll definitely be a trade-off, but I'm looking forward to having those things that a small business can never guarantee (you know ... like a paycheck, job security, bonuses, etc.) I say that with a smile because I've had great experiences since entering the working world even though I never saw myself having three different jobs within 6 months. But this is the way life works, and so much has changed that I can't feel sad or despondent about any of it. I'm grateful for the experience, for the people and friends, and for the changes I've gone through.

I can definitely say that I have more confidence in myself and my own abilities. I'm a lot less worried about starting this third job than I was starting my second. I feel like life is a whole new ballgame now, and it's time to own up to my responsibilities, take ownership and know that I'm smarter than I give myself credit for.

ANYWAY ... rant over. There are so many things to be excited about and grateful for, and seeing my husband for the first time in almost a week is one of them.

This guy has been living in a barn with friends for nearly a week ...

Please note: this was at a White Trash party where I was pasty
and wearing excessive eyeliner. Brian's duds and
accessories are from his own private collection.

Shocking, isn't it? I am not kidding. Living in a renovated barn. In the woods. It's Deer Camp, and it happens every year. As soon as he's cleared the turkey from his plate, Brian heads to Camp and I become a hunting widow.

 He's currently drinking excessively, playing cards and sleeping next to these gentlemen:
 Doing these sorts of things ...
 Beer pong ...
 Scary shenanigans involving firearms and too much alcohol ... and antlers ...

 Good friends ... good times ...
Thank Jesus there are two counties separating us when these things happen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here are some things I'm thankful for this year:

My hubs, who is probably the cutest, hardest working and most loyal person I know. I am so grateful for his dedication to our little family.

Good friends. Hard to come by, easy to love. They all mean so much.

My parents. The ones who steer the ship no matter what happens. Love you both always.

Family. Where would we be without them? Our wedding this summer was a huge testimony to their support and love that never fails.

Farm animals. Obviously.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Look Ma, Clean Gutters!

Thoughts on Harry Potter will follow after a second viewing. Lisa is coming home today for Thanksgiving, and I'm gonna try and get her to go with me :)

Anywho, it was unseasonably warm 2 nights ago, and Brian decided the gutters could use a pre-winter cleaning. Woof. But I figured this is a husband's job, and hey! What are husbands for? Well cleaning the gutters, to be sure! So he brought out the big extension ladder, climbed up and told me he was going to clean from the roof. WHAAA?

"Yes," my beloved said. "From the roof." Apparently this is how he cleans the gutters at my in-laws' house. I had never heard of this technique before, and since I'm adverse to putting my loved ones in danger IN ANY WAY, PUT THAT SEAT BELT ON RIGHT NOW, I was a bit ... hesitant.

But up he went, as I steadied the ladder with all my might. He started climbing all over the roof, looking for a good (safe) place to start. Panicked, I circled the perimeter of the house, thinking of a contingency plan should his body come hurling to the ground.

I'll keep my phone in my pocket. Yes. Right here.
Then I'll call 911, obviously.
Then I'll try and remain calm and I won't move him because there could be a spinal injury.
And then I'll say 10 Hail Marys.
And then I'll stay very calm until the paramedics come.
Maybe I'll have to perform some sort of CPR. That's okay. I was a certified lifeguard. I got this.

Hi Sweetheart. Be safe. Can I throw you a helmet? Or elbow pads? Or rock climbing gear?

Then he peers over the side of the house, and tells me that the roof is too steep and he can't reach the gutters without toppling over. You know what I did?

Guess what I did?

I happen to love heights. It's true. A month before our wedding, I cleaned out my parents' gutters (with the help of Special K) like a CHAMP. So I suggested I climb up, clean as far as my arms and hands can reach while remaining on the ladder, climb down, scoot the ladder over a few feet, then repeat the process. Brilliant.

So I did it. And Brian steadied the ladder, and I scrambled up the ladder, mucked out the gutters and scrambled back down again until it was finished. It was actually a beautiful evening and a nice way to bond. Is this considered marital bonding? I think it should be.

So it was a nice team effort and I was proud of my domesticated, brave self. Except that climbing up and down a ladder at a steep incline, over and over when you are severely out of shape can only result in one thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cleaning Out My Husband's Closet

As a relatively new wife, I have been lamenting with my mother, other wives, girlfriends, mother-in-laws (or is it mothers-in-law?) about the state of their sweethearts' closets. My sweetheart's closet (and his dresser drawers) are chock full of items that belong in one or more of the following places:

A.) The garbage
B.) The Goodwill store
C.) The woods
D.) The garbage

On my current most (or least) wanted list:

Camo hats ...

And this isn't even all of them.

and t-shirts (destination t-shirts are his favorite) ... 

Brian accumulates more camo hats and t-shirts than any boy should. I loathe these items. A few are okay. STACKS AND STACKS are not okay. Would you like to meet my worst enemy? My arch nemesis? I give you ...


It's holey. It's wrinkly. It's silly ... and a bit ... stupid.


And this is my struggle.

Edit: Brian just saw the words "t-shirt" and "stupid" on my screen. I think he took offense.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Letter

This excerpt from Persuasion, known by Janeites as The Letter, gets me every time. It might be my all-time favorite excerpt from a novel. Enjoy!

Her eyes devoured the following words:

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony,half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."

Stick a fork in me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Best Jane Austen Movies

The little Netflix robot who lives in my computer makes all kinds of lovely film suggestions for me. Her name is Peggotty. (Can you see where this is going?) Peggotty ranks and sorts movies for me, and she knows all I really want in my life is Understated Romantic Dramas Based on British Literature. And I am not ashamed.

Over the last several years, I've become an Austen addict, an Armitage Army follower, a Firth fanatic, a Dickens dork ... tell me you know where I'm coming from. I love them all, and I watch them all (over and over). This led me to compile a list of The Top 10 Best Jane Austen Movies, and hopefully will be followed by several more lists ranking and sorting historical dramas and adaptations. (And maybe even a review or two).

Strict Jane Austen Purists beware: lately I've grown to accept and embrace adaptations that offer some leniency and creative license. It spices things up. And I think Ms. Austen would approve of some spice. So without further ado ...

The Top 10 Best Jane Austen Movies

10. Mansfield Park (2007)

Billie Piper was an interesting choice for Fanny, and I still have to get reacquainted with the cadence of this movie every time I watch it. But the cinematography (part of Masterpiece's 2007 Jane Austen jackpot) is crisp and dynamic.

9. Emma (1996)

Toni Collette and Jeremy Northam save this movie. I'm not normally a huge Gwyneth Paltrow fan, but she manages to give Emma a certain brightness and pluck we've come to expect from our heroine.

8. Northanger Abbey (2007)

Andrew Davies does it again. This man is the screenwriter for Jane Austen adaptations, and he has given us a quirky, youthful adaption of Jane Austen's first published novel.

7. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Do you hate me? Please don't hate me. While Keira Knightley wouldn't be my top choice for Elizabeth, and many aspects of the movie were manipulated for cinematic awe rather than historical fact, I had to include this film in the list. Why? Because at the end, I still want to go there. Be there. Watch it unfold. Isn't that what it's all about?

6. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Ang Lee + Emma Thompson = genius. And if you haven't seen Emma Thompson's acceptance speech at the 1995 Golden Globes, you're in for a treat. I want to be her best friend.

5. Persuasion (

Let's forgive the romp through the streets of Bath. I'm a sucker for delayed gratification - repression - untold feelings and wounded hearts. Oh, the drama! And the cinematography! This adaptation of Persuasion is one of the most beautiful movies in my collection, right down to the textiles.

4. Emma (2009)

I love, repeat LOVE Romola Garai. She is spunky and bright and witty and everything I imagine Emma to be. And while I was skeptical of Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley, I think he held his own very nicely. I particularly enjoyed the colorful and brutally honest arguments between Emma and Knightley. This is not a side of Austen adaptations we often see. Hooray for artistic interpretation.

3. Persuasion (

I'm afraid people judge this movie too harshly. It was filmed in 1995, and has a very different quality than movies we're used to watching. But Ciaran Hinds is brilliant, and the self-imposed denial and restraint is palpable. I love Persuasion for this reason, in film and on the page.

2. Sense and Sensibility (2008)

I could watch this latest adaptation of Sense and Sensibility over and over again. Everything from the casting to the costumes to the location is just lovely. Andrew Davies and Co. took risky artistic liberties that I think even Ms. Austen would approve of.

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

The holy grail of Jane Austen film adaptations, 1995's Pride and Prejudice made Colin Firth the world's most dashing Darcy. True to the novel, this historically accurate rendition of Jane Austen's most famous story was a smashing success. A dip in the lake, anyone?

And there you have it, The Top 10 Best Jane Austen Movies. Do you agree? Disagree? Are we fighting over my Number 7 choice? I want to hear what you think!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wedding Shots

I was looking through our wedding album a few days ago, and several photos caught my attention. Because there are SO MANY pictures, I think I glazed over them the first few rounds.

So many people I love in one photograph!

The groom accessorized with aviators.

I was a little stressed about finding the perfect shoe, but after a few days of perusing the internet, I fell in love with these:

Winslet by Benjamin Adams

This one makes me want to relocate to Fiji and spend my days lounging under a mosquito net eating exotic fruit.

And I think this one sums up the day (and my friends) perfectly.