Tag Archives: about mle

It’s that time again

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I started a (wee) business. I planned a bachelorette party and helped plan two weddings. I did the flowers for four weddings, one fancy wine cave dinner, and an elopement. I refinished two floors, stripped wallpaper, painted cabinets, and rearranged paving stones. I picked and used or canned a buttload of locally- or yard-grown fruit. I saw an up-close magic show and became a mostly-willing magician’s assistant. I designed and painted sets for a professional play. I attended a Harry Potter-themed birthday party. I got really close to being employed by my dream employer. I walked 966.4 miles and cycled 1,713.8 miles (that I tracked, as I didn’t track what I did in January or February).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any resolutions (other than to resolve our situation, which, as of the end of 2011, is not officially resolved) but in 2012 I hope to finally be able to be in a financial position to pursue IVF.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Several friends had babies. I made blankets for them and got to eat some of them.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What places did you visit?
Since we basically had zero money, we only ended up going to Colorado twice (once using gift cards for our plane tickets and the other time we got our tickets as a gift). We drove to LA so Dan could audition for Jeopardy and flew to San Diego for my cousin’s wedding (I did the flowers in exchange for our tickets).

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

The same as last year: a job, to live in the Bay Area and no longer be sponging off my mom, to get pregnant.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Our friends had their baby on our wedding anniversary. I was the matron of honor in a wedding in April, and a bridesmaid in another wedding in October. And Larry didn’t come back.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Officially starting my business and having someone who only knows me from the internet believe enough in my work to sponsor my vendor listing on A Practical Wedding. I was really proud of myself for painting the sets for the play. I stayed really physically active. And I spent from early September to the end of December essentially by myself five days and four nights a week, stuck in this small town and holding down the fort.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I feel like a pretty huge failure, to tell the truth. Getting so close to being hired and yet not hired by my dream employer was one of many gigantic punches in the gut this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Actually, I think 2011 was the healthiest year of my life. With the exception of a few weird bouts of indigestion that lasted a few days each time, I don’t think I’ve been sick, and the only injury I can recall was from wearing my flip flops to walk about 400 miles. There are some benefits to being virtually isolated from other people, namely: I can’t catch germs if I’m not around people who have them.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought almost nothing this year but essentials. New bike tubes so I could continue to ride my bike, I guess.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, food. I managed to live for nearly two months off the money I made from the wedding I did in September.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Laurel’s wedding, seeing the play for which I did the sets, when Larry didn’t come back so Dan could continue to work at his job.

14. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Larry, for abandoning his job. Thanks, Larry! Dan’s, for spending nearly four months couchsurfing so we could afford for him to do the job he started in early September. Everybody who has let Dan stay with them so he can afford to do the job he started in early September. Friends who fed us from their garden. My mom, for a variety of reasons. My sister-in-law, for a different variety of reasons. Everyone who came out after DADT was repealed. The people of Mississippi for voting down the Personhood amendment.

15. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
All of the people attacking Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. The Duggars, for continuing to famewhore (including publishing photos of their miscarried fetus).

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, because I didn’t hear it until 2011 and it was particularly apropos in a number of situations.
“This Year” by Mountain Goats has been my personal theme song for the latter half of the year.

17. Compared to last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, I guess, because Dan is working even though he hasn’t officially been hired permanently yet. We’re pretty sure it’s going to happen, so yay!
– thinner or fatter? Definitely thinner, though not intentionally. I haven’t fed myself especially well these last few months of being alone, and that combined with some stressful stuff that happened in November and December means I have one pair of jeans (purchased about a month ago) that fit. Everything else looks like clown pants.
– richer or poorer? About the same, because we’re building our savings back up now that Dan’s been working. Better prospects for future wealth, I guess.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Getting paid to do work.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wallowing in despair

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We flew to Colorado and spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas with Dan’s family at his parents’ house. I drank a lot of bourbon and cleaned up a lot of chocolate dog vomit.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Dr. Who, Fringe, and Friday Night Lights

22. What were your favorite books of the year?
I read a lot of books, both with my eyes and with my ears. Not sure I can pick favorites, as so many were good.

23. What were your favorite films of the year?
We didn’t see very many in the theater (King’s Speech, Super 8, Thor, Captain America, Contagion, Tintin), but we recently saw Hugo and I found it utterly delightful.

24. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I fell in love with flowers, I think. And getting to be creative. All this time with just me without Dan around has finally endeared me to Princess Robin.

25. What did you do for your birthday in 2011?
I tried to have a picnic birthday party, but it poured rain, so I hung balloons to look like trees and sky and put paper birds on the walls and we had an indoor picnic instead.

26. Did you make some new friends this year?
Yes! I reconnected with a few old friends and made some new friends on the internets. I got to meet some internet friends in real life, and I also made a few new meatspace friends who are kindred spirits.

27. What did you want and get?

To be thinner, though I would have preferred it happen in perhaps a less lonely and more healthy way.

28. What did you want and not get?

Aside from a steady paycheck and a fetus? I’m still waiting (10 years and counting!) for a t-shirt that has Teddy Roosevelt on it saying BULLY!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If my work had gotten the publicity it was promised, as I think I might have been able to book more weddings.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
January – March: Multiple layers for cold house
April – October: grubby stuff for doing all the work on the house/yard/painting projects while staying cool. It was Really Hot for several months in a row and I only had one pair of shorts for a fair amount of that time. I wore right through them.
October – December: Multiple layers, plus having to buy a new pair of jeans because all of my pants are too big now. Boobs are still the same size, so I don’t even know.

31. What kept you sane?

Exercise. Alcohol. Dan. Same as always.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
George Takei, for his acerbic wit.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay marriage and DADT.

34. Who did you miss?
Some of our Colorado friends for sure. I miss getting to chat with my little sister all the time now that she’s in Ireland and no longer planning a wedding/needing big sister advice.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011

I don’t know if I’ve learned anything especially dramatic or useful this year in terms of life lessons. I guess I mostly learned that people can surprise you in unexpected ways, both positively and negatively, and part of being an adult is rolling with the punches that both life and other people will bring.


A bolt from the blue (or the yellow) (or the green)

Oldest Friend hired a professional photographer to document her birthday ball last month, and she’s spent this week posting the photos on her facebook account. I looked through them, happy to see so many of her having a good time, remembering what a good time I had, and honing a critical eye on the job the photographer did of capturing the evening. Luckily, I think he did a fantastic job, especially considering how dimly-lit everything was.

Unfortunately, I found virtually every photo I was in (and I was in a lot!) to be unflattering in the extreme. One of them actually made me wince when it popped up on my screen. I thought I’d looked good in the dress, in the heels, with my hair curled and my makeup done and my dead grandma gloves, but damn did I look terrible in that photo. It may very well be the most unattractive photo of me in existence.

I was chatting with Oldest Friend about it the other night, and chatting about my current gym habits and eating habits. I told her about the swearing off of chocolate at work, and about how much I’m working out these days (a lot, especially with the snowshoeing we’ve done on the weekends). I told her about how the only ways I seem to be able to lose weight are a) exercise compulsively and obsess about what I eat, which is what I did to lose weight for my high school reunion in 2006, and b) travel to another part of the world and spend a few weeks walking around (I lost probably 10 pounds in 3 weeks when we went to China, and even lost a few pounds when we were in Italy last January despite the weather).

Oldest Friend, being even more into fitness and health and exercise than I am, she of the Iron Man finish last August and multiple triathalons a year, she who posts daily about her 30 and 60 mile bike rides and her training runs as FB status updates, said to me that it’s possible I’m working out too hard.

(cue sound of record scratching)

Whuh? was my initial response.

Yeah, she told me. Some bodies are more likely to lose weight when doing long periods of low-intensity exercise, rather than shorter periods of high intensity exercise. Do you have a heart monitor? she asked.


Thinking about it though, it kind of makes sense. If I’m walking around for 5 or 7 hours a day, for a couple of weeks, I lose weight without even trying. I can eat whatever I feel like eating (and our eating habits in China weren’t great; lots of processed white flour stuff, lots of oil, and lots of sugar and not enough fresh veggies; because of the risk of hepatitis, all veggies we ate the whole trip were cooked), and I still lose weight. I’m not thinking about it, not trying to do anything except enjoy myself, and I lose weight. Every time.


I live in a world where I earn my keep by sitting on my butt for 8 hours a day in front of my computer. I don’t have time to walk for five hours every day. And what kind of exercise do I do in my daily life? Without fail, it’s usually high-intensity stuff because of the limited amount of time I have in a day to exercise. I walk to and from work, which is relatively low-intensity, but that’s only 15 minutes in each direction. I take the stairs at work sometimes. At the gym, I don’t feel like I’m doing much unless my heart rate is up – bike, treadmill, elliptical, strider, weights class, cardio/weights class, all of them get my heart rate up pretty high, according to the machine heart rate monitors. I live at a reasonably high altitude, and my heart rate is usually somewhere between 160 and 180 for the majority of the time I’m exercising. As soon as I’m finished, however, it goes back down to my resting rate in a very short period of time – which leads me to believe my cardiovascular fitness is excellent. (Also a good sign: I can do snowshoe hikes uphill for hours at very high altitudes.)(The corollary to this is that when we go down to sea level I have to work like crazy to get my heart rate above 140. It’s seriously difficult.)

But honestly, I don’t do a lot of low-intensity stuff. The pools around here are mostly outdoor (and therefore not open this time of year). I haven’t done much bike riding, again because of the season/weather. I don’t do a lot of weight lifting outside my classes because I feel like weights twice a week is enough since I’m not looking to bulk up any more. I haven’t been doing yoga anymore because every time I do it my neck hurts for days afterward. So what can I do?

I’m going to try some new classes at the gym, probably add a few pilates classes since the pilates instructor I like came back. I’m going to try some spin classes, where I can control the amount of difficulty. I’m going to cultivate the habit of walking for an hour or so after work now that it’s light so late into the evening. (YAY!) And this weekend, I’m going to buy a heart monitor, and I’m going to do what Oldest Friend suggested – spend a month doing only (or mostly, I’m not giving up my cardio weights class!) low-impact activity and see what that does to this body of mine.

This is what I looked like when I was 22. A friend of mine posted this photo for me today, and I’m glad he did, glad someone caught an image of what I looked like back then. I didn’t appreciate the body or the health I had then, and I probably don’t appreciate the body I have now as much as I should. But I’m glad that body was captured for posterity, and here it is for the world to see. I’ll probably never look that good again, but that’s OK, I’m not 22 anymore. (Also, I prefer being a c-cup to an a-cup). I do think I can look better than I did at the birthday ball, though.

Hey, so that’s the color of the inside of my belly button!

As I sail through the last hours of my twenties (only 48 to go!), I find myself thinking about the past 10 years and how I’ve changed, physically, mentally, emotionally. I feel like I began my 20s in such a different space as compared to how I’m ending them that if I were to go back and tell my 19-almost-20 self, “Self, these are the things that you will do and see and experience in the next ten years,” I wouldn’t have believed myself. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve met the love of my life, and married him. I’ve seen an African-American man elected to the presidency. I’ve gone no farther with my education past a bachelor’s degree. I’ve moved to Colorado. I’ve grown pretty happy with who I am and where I’d like to be. And I’ve changed shape so drastically (up 2 cup sizes since I was 19, for example) that I have about 3 articles of clothing from my teens that still fit (and I don’t wear them, because they’re too damn short – styles have changed, my friends, oh yes).

Every so often I like to take stock of myself. I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself, see what I look like, but also see how I view myself, for these things are very different. I’m much happier with my skin, and happier with my boobs, and happier with my physical capabilities (I can climb 14ers and snowshoe for hours and I ran in a marathon and I can lift a lot of weight). But I’m really quite unhappy with my appearance, and this was brought strongly to my attention this past weekend when I wore a dress I’d made a year before to fit me and it was uncomfortably tight. And then I saw the photos other people took of me and how much THICKER I am through hip and thigh (and belly, let’s be honest). Though I haven’t written about it in a long time, I’ve been faithfully spending 5-7 hours a week in the gym (this means most Mondays and Wednesdays I go twice) plus at least a couple of hours of some physical activity on the weekends. My meals are, for the most part, healthy and of proper proportions for my nutritional needs. So what gives? Why am I gaining weight (and it’s not just muscle), when everything I’m doing says I should be losing?

It was time to take a much closer look at my habits. I am a creature of habit, as are many people, and I have addictive tendencies that I am aware of and do my best to curtail. When I get to work in the morning, the first thing I do is fill up my liter-sized plastic Black Eyed Pea cup with water. At 10:30, I pay a visit to a coworker who keeps a candy jar at her desk and grab a couple of pieces of dark chocolate (especially if I’m particularly tired that day, since caffeinated beverages seem to affect me so strongly). At 11 or 11:30, I have a piece of string cheese or fruit. Between 12:30 and 1:30 I go to the gym. When I get back, I refill my water and eat my lunch. At 3 or 3:30, I have more chocolate. When I get home (some days after my second gym session) I have a protein snack, a couple of pieces of turkey lunchmeat and 5 walnut halves. And then I eat dinner. After dinner, there might be a tasty beverage or hot chocolate or something dessert-ish, though not every day.

At my office, we don’t have trash cans at our desks. Our building is very green-aware and we are encouraged to recycle almost everything – so food trash has to be deposited in special trash cans in our kitchen area. I keep my candy wrappers in a little container at my desk and when it’s full, I empty it into the kitchen recepticle. I hadn’t emptied it in a while and when I did so on Monday, I looked at all those wrappers – all that chocolate I’d consumed, that I didn’t need. No wonder I was gaining weight. Even with all the exercise, there’s no excuse for eating as much chocolate as I have been for the last six months. So I stopped.

This week, I ate no chocolate at work. And you know what? Once I told myself that it was a habit that needed breaking, I broke it. No problem. I haven’t changed anything else – still keeping to the same workout schedule, same food intake, etc. I wonder how long before I notice a difference. I’d like to be a hott 30-something, not just a hott 20-something, and want to make sure I’m in really good shape before Project Give Dan’s Grandma a GreatGrandchild begins.

Not too shabby for nearly 30

Here’s a meme that’s been going around; I got it from Cil. It’s called the bucket list. You have to review all 100 items and put in bold the ones you’ve already achieved in life. (I am also italicizing the ones I want to do.) So, here — with my annotations — is my bucket list:


1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does it count if I was in the school band in middle school?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower many times
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world Been to Land multiple times, not World, no interest in going again.
8. Climbed a mountain several times!
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris would love to go again!
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch – Someone taught me at least the basics of all the artsy things I do.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – not sure if I would want to do this.
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill — duh.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon I ran IN one but wasn’t able to finish. I’m counting it anyway.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – sunsets all the time, sunrises rarely.
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors Most of my ancestors have been in the US a long time but I’d like to go to the part of Ireland where my great grandmother was from.
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language – Never taught myself, but maybe someday.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – but I did pay off all my credit card debt!

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – tried to see it from the train, no dice.
39. Gone rock climbing – only once, but I was pretty good at it.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt – Someday we’ll get to Yellowstone.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – have given away a lot of food to street people in Berkeley, never actually bought someone a restaurant meal.
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight it was cold and windy.
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris I climbed up all the free parts and didn’t pay for the elevator to the very top but I’m counting it anyway
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater – alas, the last nearby drivein closed down last year. The nearest one to us now is more than an hour’s drive away.
55. Been in a movie -This one time I was accidentally in one take of one scene of the movie Phenomenon.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
and walked 10 kilometers!
57. Started a business – Got ideas for this one!
58. Taken a martial arts class – Tae Kwon Do in college, it was fun.
59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – My sisters were Girl Scouts but not me
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason – Yesterday!
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp –
Never go to Auchwitz alone after you’ve spent 3 weeks traveling with a friend.
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt — I think so? I know I helped with some of my mom’s quilts.
73. Stood in Times Square —in January!

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper – I won the Geography Bee in 7th grade!
85. Read the entire Bible – I’ve read parts but not the entire thing
86. Visited the White House – I stood outside but haven’t gone in.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous — I met Shiloh Strong one time (most notable for being the older brother of an actor on Boy Meets World). Does he count?
92. Joined a book club My cousin runs a book club/cooking club called Iron Rainbow, and if I ever live in the Bay Area again I will join hers!
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person – Shockingly, there was not a basement.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

All about us

Here’s a meme that went around Facebook,and then the bloggers started getting into it as well. I don’t write a ton about our relationship on here, so thought this might be kind of interesting.

What are your middle names?

His is Gordon, mine is Rose. Which is why our wedding website was gordonrose.us (we don’t have the url anymore)

How long have you been together?

Officially together since July of 2001, married nearly 11 months. So, like, almost 8 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

I noticed him posting on our mutual interest message board in the fall of 2000, maybe October. We started chatting/emailing in April of 2001 and started talking on the phone in May. Our first in-person meeting was in June of 2001. The whole we-met-through-the-internet thing makes the “know each other” question a little tough to answer.

Who asked whom out?
I gave him my phone number first. Our first kiss was mutual. I don’t think there was really any sort of “asking out” bit.

How old are each of you?
I am 29 for 2.5 more weeks. He is 31.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Overall, probably mine (they live in California) because his brother lived in Guatemala for 2 years and now lives in Latvia. Even still, we see his brother more frequently than you might expect.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

This is a tough question, because it has changed a lot over time. At first it was the long-distance thing. At one point it was dealing with unemployment/money issues. Sometimes it is scheduling. Right now, thing are pretty good, though we are both more than ready for him to finish school and to move on to a new chapter in our lives.

Did you go to the same school?

Nope, I’m a Cal Bear and he’s a UNC Bear/Metro State Road Runner.

Are you from the same home town?

Cloverdale, CA vs. Greeley, CO. Not even close.

Who is smarter?

I think we’re both pretty smart, in both similar and different ways. Each of us has a head for useless trivia (he wins at trivial pursuit but that’s because I don’t know sports stuff); we’re both pretty articulate and good with words. Our IQs are I think within just a few points of each other. I think I probably have better test-taking skills and am better with spatial visualization-type stuff (like making up a fabric pattern to fit something/construct a garment or knowing what configuration of furniture would work well in a given space) but he’s not shabby at that sort of thing. He is more well-informed on a variety of subjects and far better at anything artistic.

Who is the most sensitive?

For most things, probably me. I’m more likely to wear my emotions on my sleeve (though I’ve gotten better about that) and he’s more likely to have something hurt him but he’ll cover it up for a while. We both get very romantic and squishy with each other and are well-matched when it comes to touchy-feely stuff.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

We eat out so rarely that I don’t even know. Years ago we had a regular breakfast place where we went every other weekend or so but that closed down. Now when we do go out it will depend far more on what we feel like eating – we have a favorite place for a variety of cuisines (pizza, thai, mexican, indian, etc.)

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

China! Followed by Italy.

Who has the craziest exes?

I have more exes than he does but I don’t really think any of them were crazy. The chef came closest to being a “crazy ex” but I wasn’t emotionally invested enough to even call that a relationship.

Who has the worst temper?

I think our tempers are pretty evenly matched, it just depends on the situation. I know he moderates his temper a lot more he might if he were with someone who didn’t have some of the past experiences I’ve had.

Who does the cooking?

For most of our time living together, Dan had cooked nearly every night (or we cook together). Last semester I cooked 4 nights a week because he didn’t get home until 10 PM. Now I’m cooking twice a week (or once, depending on if he has a good dinner idea and I don’t) and enjoying it because we eat together.

Who is the neat-freak?

HAHA. HA. Um, neither of us? Though I see mess more than he does, so I’m usually the instigator of The Cleaning Frenzy. One thing I wanted to accomplish this year was to live in a sty somewhat less of the time, and so far it seems to be working pretty well.

Who is more stubborn?

We are both quite stubborn but I probably get my way more than he does. Most of the time I’m happy to give in on something I don’t care that much about, but if I really feel strongly about it, I’ll probably get my way.

Who hogs the bed?

Me. And Loki. Poor Dan often gets trapped under both of us. I try to be more cognizant about staying on my side, but I’m not always successful.

Who wakes up earlier?

When we were first together, I was far more of a morning person and he was a night owl. The longer we’ve been together, the closer our sleep schedules seem to be matching. In the winter, I have a hard time waking up before it’s light out, so we both sleep late unless we absolutely have to get up. In the summer, I wake up first (usually). Unless we stayed up really late the night before, we’re both likely awake between 8:30 and 9:30 AM on a weekend morning. Weekdays completely depend on Dan’s school schedule. This semester he has an early class twice a week so we’re both out of the house around 8 AM. On days when he doesn’t have to get up, I’m a bit lazier as well.

Where was your first date?

I guess our first date was the first time we met in person? I met him at the airport with flowers, and we came back to my place in Berkeley. We walked all over town and I showed him the campus.

Who is more jealous?

I think we’re both so ridiculously secure in our relationship that there is no jealously at all. Sometimes he jokes about it. Neither of us is really the jealous type I guess.

How long did it take to get serious?

I think we both knew it was serious by the second in-person meeting (July of 2001) but we took things slowly because a) it was long distance, and b) we were both pretty young. Hence the whole not getting married until we’d been together nearly 7 years thing.

Who eats more?

If we go out to eat he will eat way more than I do. If we eat at home we eat about the same amount, or he might eat a little bit more. We’re both mindful about eating for the most part so we don’t eat a ton.

Who does the laundry?

I think this chore is pretty equal. Usually we take turns on a weekend running the machines and we share folding and putting away. It is my least favorite chore, so sometimes he will hang up my stuff for me.

Who’s better with the computer?

He is with a Mac and we’re probably equally proficient on PCs. I guess it depends on the program.

Who drives when you are together?

I am thoroughly ashamed to admit that I still can’t drive my car (a stick) and I’ve owned it nearly 2 years. It’s time to bite the bullet and learn. So when we are at home, he drives. When we’re traveling (rental car) he’s more likely to drive if it’s dark but otherwise I think we split driving time pretty well.

In which Jive Turkey asks me questions, and I answer them

So over at Jive Turkey, she had to answer some questions another blogger asked her. And I volunteered to be interviewed, because a) I like doing that sort of thing, and b) I don’t have any photos from the weekend or of the baby blanket I finally finished or of Dan’s sweater that he wore 3 days in a row because either he really loves it that much or to make me feel better about all the time I spent knitting it.

Or something.

Anyhow, Ms. Turkey was kind enough to email me with five questions. If anyone would like me to interview them, please let me know in the comments.

1) What is your dream career?

Wow, you really don’t pussyfoot around, do you? I go back and forth on this one, especially because I think there is more than one career I’d ultimately be happy doing. But here are some of the things I’d like to do if money were no object and I could easily complete the education needed to work in these fields:

Genetic Counseling
Physical Therapy
Corporate Training
Someone who takes difficult information and transforms it into an easy-to-understand format and then teaches the information to other (adult) people using that format

In a nutshell, it’s really difficult for me to answer this question. I like working with people (but not “the public”, like a customer service-type job). I like science. I like teaching in a non-academic setting. I like how bodies work.

2) What movie/scene from a movie has left you a complete, sobbing,
emotional mess?

There are some movies that you watch because you want that emotional catharsis, and some movies you watch knowing you’ll only see it once because it’s too damn hard to deal with otherwise. I always cry at the ending of Beaches, I sometimes cry at the end of Big Fish, I’m sure there are other ones if I sat and thought about it for a while. Movies I have seen only once (and they made me cry plenty): Schindler’s List, Requiem for a Dream, Million Dollar Baby. Movies I haven’t seen at all because I know they would be too much: Boys Don’t Cry, American History X.

3) What kind of behavior/attribute is an absolute deal-breaker when it
comes to a romantic partner?

Smoking. Hard drugs. Bigotry. Condescension. Arrogance. Stupidity/lack of intelligence. Someone who makes me feel like less of a person or less valuable than I really am.

4) You’re on death row. What is your final meal?

Wow, the last meal I’ll ever eat. And I get anything I want? No matter how well it doesn’t go together?

Crab cakes, salad with freshly picked greens and veggies, grilled portabella mushrooms, fancy cheeses, at least 3 different wines, and cheesecake with dark chocolate and raspberries.

5) If you could go back in time and erase one thing you did or said,
what would it be? Assume that erasing it wouldn’t substantially alter
the course of your life.

Of course there are things that I wish I’d done or said differently, but mostly I try to go through life without regrets. And I try to make decisions that I think will lead to positive outcomes rather than negative ones (maybe it’s just my lifelong proclivity for being a Good Girl). I think if I could go back and do it over again, I would NOT have spoken with The Chef (I met him while waiting for a BART train back in the fall of 2000). This led to dating him, which led to me breaking his heart, because a) I wasn’t over my college boyfriend yet, b) I wasn’t that into The Chef, because c) he wasn’t very smart. And he was a lot older than I was (which, at the time, was kind of a big deal – he was 27 and I was 21). Also, I found out later he was both a liar and a drug user. And possibly an alcoholic. But I learned stuff from the time I spent around him, namely a) how to make my own salad dressing from scratch, b) how to do pan-flipping when sauteeing something, and c) how to play competitive scrabble. I also learned that I wasn’t over my college boyfriend, that I really needed to be involved with someone long-term whose intelligence I could respect, and that if I’m not that into someone I shouldn’t let it get past a date or two. Ultimately, I probably would have learned those lessons in other ways, so to go back and undo the whole Chef incident probably wouldn’t have altered the course of my life.

Here are the meme details:
If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” (And realize I might take
a while to get back to you.)
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the
questions. (Eventually!)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure
you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone
else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five

I can ride my bike with no handlebars

2008 was a big year for me and my various family members and loved ones, in a lot of ways. Last year I was traveling and didn’t get a chance to do this meme, but I did it two years ago, and I’m doing it again now, courtesy Linda of All and Sundry and Jive Turkey.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I got married! So, you know, that was pretty good.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn’t make any. I knew 2008 was going to be crazy going into it, and I was right. I will make some for this year, but I think they’ll just be between me and me. (robble me.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Wombat Agirlandaboy was born on December 14, 2008 to our great friends Leah and Simon. His was the most-anticipated birth in my world since my sister was born in 1986.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No dead people (or pets, even) this year.

5. What countries/places did you visit?
January = Rome and Florence, Italy, plus spent a day back in California before heading home
March = drove to the Bay Area for the wedding, passing through Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.
April = Drove home from the wedding through Southern CA, Nevada, and Utah.
May = Quick trip to the Bay Area to surprise Leah for her birthday.
June = Flew to So. Cal for my sister’s college graduation
July = I went to Nor. Cal at the end of the month to help my sister get ready for their wedding on August 2
August = Started the month in CA, flew home.
September = Philadelpha, PA for work
October = Traveled all over CO for work.
November = CA for Thanksgiving

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A new job. To be debt free (nearly there!) Maybe a fetus.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 29, 2008 was the day we got married. August 2, 2008 was the day my sister got married. December 14, 2008 was the day Wombat was born.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making it through 2 family weddings, a college graduation, 6 weeks of work travel and 2 major family holiday celebrations withot going nuts. I think planning our wedding from 3 states away and having everything happen smoothly was pretty good, but most of that was done in 2007, just culminating in 2008.

9. What was your biggest failure?
To find a fulfilling and challenging new job. Losing my camera in Italy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I started the year off right, with a nasty cold in Italy that culminated in a sinus infection and 2 ear infections. Simultaneously! And, of course, the Leg Incident. I still have a divot in my calf. And last but not least, the weird hives/bumps on my face that lasted from February until June really could have gone away much earlier. There was no need for that, and I never did figure out what caused it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The services of our wedding photographer, which I still maintain was the deal of the century. I didn’t buy a whole lot of stuff this year, other than stuff related to the wedding (either before or after).

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Barack Obama, throughout the entire election process.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Whoever was behind the horrible campaign ads (both for people and propositions) here in Colorado. Ugh. Also, the people who were originally going to stand up with Dan in the wedding. I won’t even go into that.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding, travel, paying off debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Um. Our wedding? My sister’s graduation? My other sister’s wedding? Wombat’s arrival?

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Love Today, by Mika (our wedding)
Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis and Take back the City by Snow Patrol (summer and fall)
Handlebars, by Flobots (fall/winter)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier now that the holidays are over and I’m feeling excited about what 2009 will bring.
b) thinner or fatter? Ugh, probably fatter, but I’ve got a lot more muscle and I’m not paranoid about fitting into a wedding dress.
c) richer or poorer? Definitely richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Job hunting. Reading new books. Listening to new music. Bike riding. Swimming.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I – don’t think there was anything I did too much of. I wish my leg injury hadn’t been so debilitating, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With Dan’s family

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I fell more in love with Dan. 9 months of marriage and we haven’t killed each other yet, woohoo!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Gossip girl. Battlestar Galactica. We just started Mad Men on DVD; I have a feeling I’m going to love it, too.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate? no. There were some people whose behavior earned them demerits in my book.

24. What was the best book you read?
I think the book I enjoyed most was The Year of Living Biblically

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

26. What did you want and get?
The wedding was exactly what I was hoping for. Plus, so many people helped us out and did way more for us than we deserved. Also, two new cameras (point-and-shoot that’s mine; fancy Nikon d40 that Dan and I share).

27. What did you want and not get?
Photos from Italy.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I liked most of the movies we saw (a paltry few, alas) but I probably enjoyed Wall-E the most.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My 29th birthday was a spectacular non-event, being 2 weeks before the wedding. I took the day off, took myself to breakfast, and went to the gym. And did wedding stuff.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would have to say that NOT tearing my calf muscle certainly would have improved my May, June, and July.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
How to Cope When You Gain a Cup Size in the Boobage Area and All Your Work-Appropriate Blouses Stop Fitting. And Your Bras. Hello, Cleavage!

32. What kept you sane?
Dan is the king of keeping me sane. Also, liquor.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I was pretty enamored of Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
GLBT rights.

35. Who did you miss?
Friends who couldn’t be at the wedding (but will see them next week!). Friends we wanted to see more.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I got to meet two longtime blog crushes in 2008, Holly Burns of Nothing but Bonfires and Adina of Crazy Asian. Plus I made new friends on the internets, like Jive Turkey who rocks my socks.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
You never know what sorts of behavior (good or bad) people will surprise you with when weddings are involved.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

See title of post.