Cloudy With A Chance Of Storm

My forecast for life. Be ready to jump in puddles.

Things to do everyday for happiness and health

I was catching up on posts over at The Happiness Project and ran across a post with a similar title. This one line caught my attention:
“Put your keys and wallet away in the same place”
It got me thinking how much less stressed I’d be in the morning or when I arrive home from work  if I always knew I had both my wallet and keys with me. Sometimes I get to work only to find I have one of them. Sometimes I get home, worried that I’ve locked myself out of the apartment.
Such a simple thing, right?
So here’s a few other things that I am going to follow to make my days happier and healthier:

  • Clean the kitchen after dinner.
  • Lay off the salt.
  • Stop at the gym after work. For 10 minutes or an hour, it doesn’t matter how long.
  • Walk the dog
  • Take something with you when you leave a room(socks to the laundry. Dishes to the sink). Suddenly, I remember my dad telling me this when I was young.
  • Take 5 minutes to appreciate one thing each day. (The sunset. The way the dog jumps when you come home. The way the leaves fall from the trees this time of year)

That’s all I have. What would be on your list?

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At least I didn’t step in dog crap

So, today was sort of tough at work in terms of dealing with other people. I wanted to lose it a few times. But, then I got a text from The Bus. He stepped in dog crap while walking Maddy. It wasn’t her poo. He didn’t even know he had stepped in it. So he walked back to the apartment, trekked it inside and went to his car to drive to work. That’s when it hit him … his car smelled like crap. He found the pile stuck to his shoe and on his jeans. He had to go back to the apartment and change.

The moral of the story: Your day isn’t that bad if you haven’t step in crap.

 

Photo 30 and 365 projects

I’m foolishly ambitious this year. I took on two photo projects when I rarely finish one.

This month, I’m going to attempt to finish something I started with my friend Christine over at Arte Di Stine. It’s a 30-day photo challenge in which you take a photo of something different every day. The subjects are vague, allowing you to interpret it anyway you chose. It’s main goal is to get you in the habit of taking photos, carrying your camera with you and attempting to see everyday things from a different perspective. Here’s the plan:

My other project is a year-long personal photos session. I take a photo of myself everyday for a year. Life goes by so fast and sometimes you don’t take the time to notice the little changes in yourself and the places around you. One snap of me, each day, for 366 days (it’s a leap year).

Here are some examples of the self-portrait idea. The first guy did it for 10 years!

When you know you need the day off of work

Yesterday I tried to swipe into the building using my sandwich instead of my badge.

Resolution: Make ’em

After  years ignoring the tradition, I’ve decided to make a few resolutions for 2012. I’m doing it mostly because I think it’s practical and helpful. I’ve lost the ideals of my youth that had me thinking a few lines on paper would make me a better person. Maybe it’s completely selfish, but I’m not too interested in being a better person right now. I just want to prove to myself that I can keep a blog for a year, lose weight and start investing – even if all I can afford is penny stocks.
I think not making resolutions is either a side of effect of being too lazy or being an amazing over-achiever who gets things done all the time regardless of resolutions. The way I see it is that I’ve been lazy for a number of years and the only way I’m going to achieve anything is to have goals and stick to them.
So with no further ado … my 2012 resolutions. Feel free to harass me, encourage me or pull me aside with a few stock tips.
1) Lose weight. Yeah, I said it out loud. It’s always been a goal, but this year there is a friend’s wedding in Hawaii and, wait for it, I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this summer. We’re wearing purple. I don’t want be forever looked at in photos as the purple grape girl. 50 lbs is a good start. And I’m going to meet this goal by regular trips to the gym and participating in one 5k each month of 2012. A little something to keep me motivated.
2) Blog. It’s more than just writing. And it’s more than just writing to see if people read my stuff. It is a practice in self-discipline, something I’ve always been bad at but especially so since stepping away from jobs that demanded it. So I’m going to regularly blog in two places. Here, where you’ll find some personal stuff about my journey this year. And at http://www.stovephobe.wordpress.com, where I’ll be cooking up some creations about my adventures in the kitchen. Input is greatly welcomed.
3) Investing. Because at my ripe old age, it seems silly not to. I finally have steady flow of money into my 401(k), now I want to diversify, baby!

That’s it. Simple as 1,2,3, right?

Lost in IKEA

I found myself pushing an office chair with my belongings around the IKEA parking lot this afternoon in search of my lost mother.
Two things brought this on:
1) I took a small, small car to IKEA.
2) I found the chair I’ve been wanting in the “as is” section and had to get it ASAP.
It started as a trip to get a white board, a simple 2’x3′ white board. Then, I said I’d also pick up the shelving unit to go over our toilet. It’s pretty small, actually. Smaller in the box than on display. So, I figured the small car would be fine.
And then #1 happened. I immediately dropped my white board on a couch and claimed the office chair sitting there in the “as-is” section. I didn’t remove my finger from it for a second for fear that some other cheap vulture would claim it.
I wheeled that big, black, leather beauty through the check out line, swiped my card and practically skipped it through the parking lot to the car. The tiny, tiny car.
It didn’t fit. No matter how I moved it. There was a family actually standing across the parking lot watching me in amusement. I had to re-park the car for better access to the passenger’s seat. But, no luck.
So who do I call? My mom.
Mom says, “You’re killin’ me. You know that, right?”
As if I didn’t?
While I’m waiting for mom to make the 20 minute drive to IKEA with her SUV, I wheeled back, with less enthusiasm than before, to the merchandise desk to pick up the shelving unit.
Interesting. It’s a six-foot tall box.
So I wait for mom. She calls twice. She wants to know how to get to where I’m at. I know she’s in the parking lot, yet I don’t see her. She says she must have passed me. She says she’s on the top level and there’s nothing above her. Who goes to the 3rd story of the IKEA parking lot?
Alas, she was not there. She was clear across the parking lot. So I tell her to stay there while I wheel my goods back to the area where my car (and hers) are located. As I’m wheeling back that way, she passes me in the opposite direction.
Cue the Benny Hill music.
So I’m wheeling and talking to her on my cell phone.
She’s driving and talking to me on her cell phone.
I tell her to park when she can. I about-face and break into a swift pace with the swivel chair and six-foot box. She parks in the dark abyss of the parking lot. She tells me her section. I find her car and then see her in the distance walking away, toward the store. Are you kidding me? Never leave the car! Haven’t we learned anything from the crazy wilderness stories of 2011?
I yell. I yell again. She responds. We load up the car and finally make it to my place where The Bus is patiently waiting in the parking lot to help unload.

Damn, my desk looks snazzy.

Note the new chair, the white board (with clips), the shelf and lamp. Score!

Catching up

Let it be known that my problem isn’t always the lack of writing. I just forget to publish. I’m getting the stragglers pressed by the end of the year. It’ll make me look so prolific.
Happy New Year’s all.

The dog ate your gift

Growing up with cats, I never got to use the line, “my dog ate my homework.”
This week, I came close. “The dog ate your Christmas goodies” is exactly what I said.
It wasn’t my dog Maddy, of course, because she has no teeth and is vertically challenged.
All those things belong to Jessie, the hulk of a Golden Retriever we were watching this week. It was our fault really. We had securely wrapped the plates of mini bundt cakes and put them in the middle of the kitchen table. Sort of forgot about them after that.
Upon our arrival home from errands, The Bus declared, “wait a minute.” And there is was — in the corner, a few pieces of knocked over papers, some empty paper plates, and bits of saran wrap. All six mini cakes were gone. Jessie was taking a nap and we were left wondering if dogs get drunk easily.
It was a whiskey cake, a rum cake and a cranberry Galliano cake.
Both dogs are fine, btw.

Jessie the cake thief

Maddy got no cake.

Hearts in a jar

I shouldn’t be allowed to sit by my cousin at events where laughing is considered inappropriate. Like when we’re at a bridal shower and we’re asked to hold crystal hearts next to our own hearts and “put all our love in our heart into the crystal heart.” And then we all place our crystal hearts in a pretty glass jar for the bride to keep.
What kind of cult is this? This is my family? Holy hell.
It was hard enough to focus on transferring all my good thoughts. You know, there’s not too many.
So right when everyone is having a moment of silence to transfer their thoughts, my cousin leans over and whispers in my ear, “This must be hard for you … since you don’t have a heart.”
I suspect for our hypothetical wedding showers one day, the two of us will choose to sacrifice real chickens and keep their hearts in a box.
It’s more our style.

Welcome to the family

There’s always that one defining moment when you dare bring your significant other to a family event and hope that he or she is still dating you by the time the event is over.

I tried to avoid that moment for a long time. I’d rather risk being accused of having an imaginary boyfriend than subject him to my lunatic relatives.

But that lifestyle can’t last forever. So I picked a cousin’s kid’s 6th birthday party. People are behave at kid’s birthday parties, right?

It was a nice afternoon and we’re all sitting out on the deck having drinks and watching the kids play. My aunts are meeting The Bus and he’s holding his own quiet well. Not that I would expect anything less from him. He’s a pretty social guy.

At some point one of my aunts walks up behind him, while he’s sitting at the table having a conversation with someone else, and starts rubbing his recently buzzed head of hair. So there she is rubbing his head with both hands. He begins to have trouble continuing his conversation because he’s a little weirded out by my aunt’s rubbing. And, really, who wouldn’t be?

But, he’s a trooper. He adjusts and carries on.

Until another aunt casually walk by and, out of nowhere, yells at the aunt rubbing The Bus’s head, “you’re a real bitch.”

Que awkward silence. The Bus can’t turn around because one aunt still has her hands on his head while she fires back a quip. The two of them are going at it, while The Bus is stuck with his head in a vice grip.

So this is where every other cousin stands up, gathers their children and calls it quits. There’s a choir of “it’s time to go” and “we’re going to head out now” as everyone makes a mass exodus to the front door.

I have to wait there until The Bus gets a clean break. And then we leave. Since The Bus is the new guy, he’s doing his best to be polite. I’m just mortified and want to get the hell out of Villa de Crazy.

My words to him, “Welcome to the family. Are you going to dump me?”

He decided to hang on to me. Apparently his family has similar moments. Go figure!

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