Wednesday, June 30, 2010

baby steps

Today at lunch I was thinking about the things I've done to be more eco, budget and nutrition-conscious since Leaf and I bought our house . While I was reflecting on the little changes we've implemented so far, and how much more we still want to do, I thought of the name "Life: Unplugged" as a potential contender for the future incarnation of this blog.

I read so many blogs of people who have already switched over to growing most of their own produce, lacto-fermenting food for storage and added nutritive value, soaking grains, etc. But I never see any blogs written by people who are still in the process. And I have no idea whether we'll ever be able to achieve that level of independence from commercial grocery stores, but I know we at the very LEAST want to save money while we save for our dream home (which is another blog post entirely) and be healthier.

Any thoughts? Is the title completely lame? It felt a little lame, albeit accurate. Holla at me, people.

Here are things we've done so far, which I'll hopefully be writing about in the future:
-Put shelves in the back yard for seedling trays and potted plants
-Built a raised-bed garden (full credit to Leaf for this one)
-Began baking our own bread (we haven't bought bread ONCE since we bought the house, except when we needed a ton of rolls all of a sudden)
-I made yogurt for the first time this past Sunday
-Joined a local CSA
-Started a compost heap (also credited to Leaf, although we've both been neglecting this one...)
-Reduced our refined sugar and caffeine intake(s)

I wouldn't want to write solely about those things, but I think it's a good start. I couldn't write without still having my random rants and personal anecdotes. I see it more of a "this is what we did to save money and improve our lives today. Recipes and how-tos and the like. Probably a lot of documentation of failure. Remember failure loaf? I sure do.

Sooooo...I guess I'll just start writing those sorts of entries and then we'll see how things go...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a giveaway! kind of.

Do you know where I'm going next week? Vacation! I am going to be a 12-hour drive from home in Hilton Head, South Carolina. There will be sailing and day-tripping and kayaking and blessed NAPPING. There will probably also be blogging because I'll be with my extended family, and there are bound to be lulls while 16 people are being coerced into doing the same thing, all the time.

Here's the bad news for me: I won't be able to pick up next week's farm share, and it'll be thrown out if no one's gotten it by next Wednesday night.

The good news for YOU is I don't want this produce to go to waste.

So who in the Greater Wilmington area wants some free deliciousness? Here's what will most likely be in the box next week:

1 2-lb bag red-gold potatoes – certified organic – Millwood Springs Organics
2 green slicing cucumbers – certified organic – Elm Tree Organics
1 bunch cippolini onions – transitional* – Liberty Branch Farm
1 bunch Detroit red beets – certified organic – Farmdale Organics
2 yellow straight-neck squash – certified organic – Goshen View Organics
1 bunch spring onions – certified organic – Healthy Harvest
2 hearts Romaine lettuce – certified organic – Riverview Organics

I am already so jealous of whoever gets this.

Possible Bonus: fruit shares will be starting early in July, so next week COULD be the first week of fruit share deliveries...which would mean you'd also get one or two varieties of fresh fruit. You lucky jerk. But I can't promise that...things vary so much with the weather. If they DO, you should probably use the fruit to make me us a tart or something. JUST SAYING.

Rules, etc.:
-Comment on this post with the words "Feed me, Ceej-more!"** for one entry.
-Post about this giveaway on your blog (and then leave a comment here saying that you did so) for one entry.
-Subscribe to this blog (if you don't already do so, and again leave a comment telling me) for one entry.
-Post a status message linking to this giveaway on Facebook for two entries...then comment here so I know. Sometimes I don't notice stuff. Don't judge me. I'm trying to give you fresh produce. Sheesh.
-Giveaway closes Friday, July 2nd at 12pm (noon), Eastern time.
-The winner will be selected using (if more people than just, you know, my best blog buddy enter) and will be announced Saturday.
-Produce needs to be picked up at Harvest Market in Hockessin, Delaware between 9am and 7pm on either Tuesday, July 6th or Wednesday, July 7th. Transportation is the responsibility of the giveaway's winner.

I also can't recommend strongly enough that you consider joining a local CSA. We only have a half share, and we keep finding ourselves with more vegetables than we know what to do with...and we are totally vegetable-loving people! We NEVER have a vegetable surplus! I think it ends up being about $19/week for the half share, which is such a laughably small price for the huge box I lug home. If you have any questions about them, let me know!

*A transitional farm is one that is in the process of becoming certified as organic. It's a 3-year ordeal, during which time the farmer IS using all-organic techniques and materials, but the government organization that oversees this stuff requires 3 years to determine the soil to officially be clear of toxins.

**Reference? Reference? Anyone? (Crickets...)


So I just wrote an email to Leaf informing him that he doesn't know the first thing about me. Then I told him the first thing about me.

Which is a weird statement.

The first thing? The VERY first thing? If you had to identify THE first thing about yourself, which thing would it be? Anybody can know a single thing about anybody else, so be picky.

My first thing is:

I detest refrigerator/freezer aisles in grocery stores.

I wish I knew how to put the "the more you know" sound clip here...

Monday, June 28, 2010

sippy cups for grown-ups

As much as I would LOVE to wear a bridal beer hat on our wedding day, it just won't go with my dress. And would block my hair, AKA 33.3% of my personality. Inconceivable.

Then I saw this on OnceWed today.


I can't figure out how to edit pictures the way I want to on this computer, so instead of cropping...see the bottom left image? Mason jars with holes punched in the top and fun straws!!!

Now, I'm kind of sick of the mason jar thing. We get it. You're homey. You're crafty. You like to imagine you lived up the street from The Waltons. But not in real life, just for the purposes of your wedding. Noted.


I have a tendency to be sloppy with drinks. By that I mean...I dance. Badly. With drinks in hand. And there's lots of sloshing. There could be just a tiny drop left in my glass, and minimal motion, and somehow I will still end up with wine on my arm.
And it's going to be outside at the end of summer! One of my biggest concerns is how to keep bugs away from the food and drinks! Hello, perfection.

Now to decide on a drink to fill my sippy cup...hmm...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

excuse me, sir, i want some more

Another site I absolute LOVE is A Practical Wedding, which I think I've also mentioned, oh, a gajillion times. And up until now I have been 100% in agreement with Meg, the blog's owner/writer. But yesterday I read the comments to a post about how a wedding ceremony does or does not affect the marriage that follows.

Somebody posted a response that said she loved the symbol of the chuppah, and wanted to use it in her wedding as to be reminded of the meaning during her marriage. To which Meg responded that, FYI, Jews take offense when non-Jews use Jewish symbols.


A HUGE discourse followed, as apparently a LOT of people were as confused by this statement as I was.

Here was her main point:
-Jews have been persecuted pretty much forever. It's the trademark of the people. The trademark of their WEDDINGS is the chuppah. It's theirs. They've had everything stripped from them over and over, and taking any more away is hurtful to them. And considered by them to be "violent."
-Judaism is cultural, as much as it is a religious background.
-All Jews should have access to Jewish customs. Whether the person is just descended from a Jew, or is practicing, or non-practicing, or whatever. If a person has ANY BLOOD CONNECTION or has converted to Judaism, then they have a right to Jewish traditions.

She also drew such parallels as Catholics being upset if a non-Catholic receivs the Eucharist*, and mentioned hand-fasting and broom-jumping. One woman responded to this, saying that she's African-American, and that coming from a cultural group that has ALSO had many traditions and lifestyles ripped away, she takes issue with people using the broom-jumping tradition.

There was a response to this from a woman saying that she and her now-ex-husband used broom-jumping in their wedding, because they were both of Irish descent, and broom-jumping was actually a Gaelic, pagan tradition. To which Meg responded that it was a case of two groups having the same tradition with different meanings, and urged the Irish woman, "lets not begrudge them figuring things out for themselves, since we ripped their culture away from them, yes?"

Excuse me?

Am I reading this right?

I, as a white non-Jewish person, am being asked to atone for the sins of (maybe my, maybe not) fathers? To the extent that I shouldn't use traditions because somewhere in history, religious and cultural groups that are not my own were persecuted? Of COURSE the history is ugly, and we should all be reverent and aware of it. But it wasn't my doing. I didn't run Auschwitz or run a plantation. And as far as I'm aware, that African-American woman was never a slave, and none of the Jewish women I've read from on wedding blogs were given Stars of David to wear on their lapels.

You totally get to acknowledge your lineage's history. By all means. Those who have been persecuted and kept traditions alive did so in large part for their children. But I sincerely doubt that when they were thinking, "My daughter will survive this, and she will get to use [tradition x] freely and happily...but you other kid on the playground, no, totally don't use this symbol or I will be highly upset about it." The tradition belongs to the person who suffered for it. You don't get to take ownership by association. I don't celebrate myself on my birthday, because I didn't DO anything. My mother and grandmothers did all the work (my dad rules, but he was at sea, and therefore no help whatsoever at my birth).

Meg kept sort of saying that non-Jews using a chuppah makes a chuppah mean less to Jews. Which of extraordinarily similar to people saying that gay people getting married makes their heterosexual marriages less valid. Less sacred. Which OMG Meg would be P*SSED if she read, and thank goodness she closed the comments on the post before I read all this business and had a chance to say so. She is a huge, staunch, crazygonuts supporter of the LGBT community. But really. She kept saying it's one of those things that you eventually just have to concede and say, "I don't understand, but OK I won't use this tradition because you're saying it hurts you." I see NO difference between these two.

Another commenter asked whether she (Meg) thought that appropriating another religion/culture's tradition was more hurtful when used by a secular couple who finds deep meaning in the tradition, as opposed to a non-practicing person (with the "appropriate" heritage) who uses the tradition just because it's tradition. And she said yes. Like...seriously. I read it several times to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong because ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

I absolutely LOATHE seeing non-religious people having religious ceremonies just because that's what's done. In fact, that line of thinking is exactly the sort of thing that A Practical Wedding is normally SO against. I see couples who were raised Catholic but are now...I don't know...atheist? Completely agnostic? Whatever the case, they no longer practice, but since they identify as Catholics by family, they decide they have to get married in a Catholic church. And then they "shop around" for one. Because they want it to be pretty. Because they don't HAVE their own local parish, and a parish community. I would SO MUCH rather someone who finds deep meaning in my faith's traditions be able to use a church or be married by a priest, than someone who doesn't even know when Advent is, but happens to have been baptized in the first days of her life.

So this has been an extremely long post. Without pictures. And I feel kind of badly about that. But I really needed to put this out there, and I want feedback from anyone who's willing to give it.

*So.not.the.same. Ingesting the Messiah is NOT like standing under a chuppah. But even when I do see non-Catholics (erroneously) receiving Communion, I am not offended. It doesn't mean the same thing to them at all, so they're not getting the same thing out of it. The only regret I feel about it is wishing that they DID understand and believe, so that they'd really be celebrating with the rest of us. And I think that a secular recreation of a Communion service in a secular couple's marriage would be quite beautiful. Breaking bread together is one of the oldest acts of community there is, and I don't have a patent on that.

Note: I asked Leaf - who was raised in a practicing, Conservative Jewish household, and attended private Jewish school, from 3rd grade through senior year of high school - whether he thought Jewish people would be mad about secular couples using a chuppah, and he was confused as to whether it was even a question, because why not?

and it was all yellow

As I think I maybe mentioned once or twice, I've been reading Dooce from the very beginning. She started her site early in 2001, and I'm now up to April of 2006. I can't say enough good things about the site...her absolute honesty in dealing with depression, marriage, pregnancy and raising her child (she has two kids now, but the second one wasn't around in 2006). It makes me laugh out loud and makes me so grateful to have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall of someone's life while she struggles with the sorts of things that I - and probably a lot of women - think about, but can merely imagine on a hypothetical level. I can only dream of writing and expresssing as well as she does someday.


Part of the genius of her site is that she divulges pretty much everything. I mean, she doesn't talk about her fights with her husband, and there are certain topics that she won't touch because it could hurt family members' feelings. And I totally respect that. But for the most part, you hear it all. And she still pokes fun at her family members, because she's crass and they're easy targets, but she gets away with it.

I don't think I could get away with it.

I would SO like to be able to write about my family and the family into which I'm marrying. But I just don't think I can. Leaf (formerly referred to as "The Foliage") doesn't mind at all when I mention him. But I haven't really gone into detail about him. I've never waxed poetic about the fact that sometimes he just talks. And talks and talks and talks. About absolutely nothing*. And sometimes it's really, extraordinarily annoying. Just because silence makes him uncomfortable. Or the way that he's swallowed his emotions for so many years, that sometimes I just want him to YELL AT ME, but I have to work REALLY hard to get him that pissed off*.

I would LOVE to be able to discuss the history of WHY he's shut down the part of his brain that had a temper. But I'd have to go into his family's history - and their present - and that could get really messy. Like really.

I have to watch what I say about his family out loud, even. Starting next September, they are going to be my family FOREVER. But MAN. We are so close with both of our families, and so much of our life together is a direct result of that. I don't know how to be honest without be TOO honest. I overshare. Always. It's what I do. And there's just so.much.potential. for sharing.

So now I'm trying to figure out what's OK and what isn't. And whether any blogging I'll do in my life will purely be random anecdotes and musings, or if I'll ever get to tell The Story. Whatever that means.

Feedback is appreciated.

*To be fair, he hardly ever does this with me anymore. When we were long-distance and would talk on the phone, he'd do it all the time, and I'd literally just fall asleep because WHY THE FACE?! Also the reason that this is annoying is that I YELL. I like yelling. I like to have a fight, be really really angry all at once, and then be done with it. If one person just clams up during the fight, no progress is made. Yeah?

**It annoys me that these are literally the only two things I could think of that irk me about him. I kind of revel in having pet peeves, but he's just so...not irritating. Gross.

Friday, June 25, 2010

i use military time and the fact that you can't read it only makes me like it more

Behold, my magical new living room:

Awwww, YEAH, son!!!

It's currently a little sparse, but this is SUCH an improvement over how it used to be. And unfortunately I don't have a picture available at the moment to demonstrate. Basically, our smallish room was filled with huge furniture. One egregious piece in particular - the couch. Which my blessedly frugal fiance bought when he lived in his old apartment.

I never liked this couch. Never. I didn't even like sitting on it when I visited him.

Red. Microfiber. Sectional. But not the whole sectional...just two corner pieces next to each other. So the thing had no arms. And if you laid down across it, the pieces would inevitably drift apart, which is one of the top 5 worst ways to wake up, in the history of mankind.


The day before yesterday my friend Leah* sent me a link to our new beauty/ies, just FEELING that I would love the set, after finding it on craigslist. And, um, duh I did. So yesterday El Foliago and a friend of ours with a pickup truck retrieved the lovelies from the seller. For $100. For the set. I still can't get over it.

And THEN. Oh my gosh. You guys. World. You. Just wait. You'll never guess.

My betrothed sent me a link to another craigslist post.

That...looks familiar...

OK that's definitely...

That is so our set! Crazy!

Here's what's really crazy about this:

Today's seller wants $999 for it. We saved $900!!! It's like booking our wedding photographer all over again! Except I get to gaze at it lovingly multiple times per day**!
Now excuse me while I brainstorm ways to thank Leah for the genius find...

*I'm toying with the idea of just using real first names for everyone already. 'Cause seriously whateverrrrrrr.

**After we get some pictures, I guess I'll be able to gaze at those, too. Good point, Internet...good point.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

another glass of water and i'm passing out

Copyright Jennifer Yi Jewelry.

So Jennifer posted a picture of MY ring!!! And I had to post it. That is all.

i'm not surly today, i swear!

Universe, take note:

This is SO going on my honeymoon registry!!!!!!!!
Can you imagine a huge black bear face peeking out of the cute little window of a teardrop camper?! Gahhhhwantsssss!!!!

well now i'm just on a roll

Dear people who say "this could only happen to me" any time something disagreeable happens,

No. No it couldn't. It's actually happening to everybody. All the time. You are not unique in your misfortune. Focus on something nice.

If you live your life like a victim, you will always be a victim.



coulda shoulda woulda

You know those times when something happens in your life that's REALLY annoying, and you complain about it, and you say things like, "If only this person had only done this one thing, instead of what they actually did, it wouldn't be so bad. I wouldn't be nearly so upset."

In case that's too confusing, here's an hypothetical scenario:

Say you ask your significant other to pick up flour from the store, which s/he agrees to do.
Say s/he comes home
without having even gone to the store
and instead went to dinner
with friends.

THEN you say to your life partner, "It wouldn't be so bad if you had JUST not gone to the store, but you went and had dinner, too. If you hadn't gone and had dinner, I wouldn't even be upset!"

Don't kid yourself.

You would be just as ticked if s/he had come straight home and not gone to the store. Sure, now that the person did TWO annoying things, you have more argument ammunition, but acting as if you would have been completely fine with just the first of the two things happening is a total joke.

Ferreal, this scenario didn't happen, and it hasn't been an issue in my life as of late. I've just listened to a few people recently complain in this manner, and it frustrates me. The next time you get annoyed that someone did ONE thing you don't like, try to think about something else that they could've done to make it WAY worse, and take a breather.

this just in

But while we're on the topic of my kitchen*

That's what the refrigerator currently looks like. It is being taken over by produce. TAKEN.OVER. This is neither a joke nor a drill. We only got a HALF SHARE from the local CSA and we can't handle it. This is both backlog from previous weeks, plus this week's share. I couldn't get it all in one frame. The bottom right section of the fridge is stacked up. GoodNESS it's ridiculous. And awesome. And intimidating.

Other kitchen awesomeness, courtesy of my kick-ass fiance:

That WAS a 4-tier shelving unit which The Foliage got for free (thanks again, craigslist!), but then he hung the top-tier from the ceiling by some hardware store chains. Which means that he really got me a pot rack and a baker's rack!!!

Behind it, so you know, is the wall that we're hoping to eventually knock down and turn into a peninsula with storage. I know, I know. You're riveted. I'll stop before I accidentally make you wet yourself.

*I think I might begin all posts as though I'm in the middle of another thought from now on. Like when news anchors begin their schpiels by turning to the camera as if you just walked in while they were talking to their colleague, and they're only politely humoring you by reading the news.

proposal part 3, or, the part that isn't really a proposal so much as an anticlimactic disagreement

After we got engaged the second time and I had a ring to wear every day* I asked The Foliage how he felt about wearing a ring. Not because I wanted him to wear a ring, I was just curious. Suddenly I was "marked"...there was an outward symbol that I was unavailable. Which is pretty bizarre. And what's even more bizarre is that there is no such marker for men until after marriage.

Again, I didn't WANT him to wear a ring, I was just CURIOUS.

In any case, he said he wasn't down with it. But all his reasons were ridiculous. And that irritated me. It irritated me to the point that I kept pushing the issue. Repeatedly. And then got so frustrated that I refused to talk about it anymore.

That night, he went into some nondescript alley in downtown DC to get me a free craigslist find:

Hellz yeah butcher block island!!! Underneath you'll notice enough pasta, tomato sauce, and baked beans to feed a small third world country, thanks to our 60-day free membership to BJs which expired this month. June 1st has never been so sad...

Anyway, in the DRAWER of the island was this

It's sterling silver, and it fits, and The Foliage has worn it every day since.

Which concludes the proposal story in 3 parts (4 if you count New Year's weekend when he took me to Brooklyn to meet the ring designer and discuss the specifics of my ring...which you shouldn't, because I certainly don't). Parts 1 and 2 to follow...some time. Eventually.

Only-marginally-related-aside - last night around 11pm this went down via text message:

Foliage - Hey babe, I'm going to need to stay late for a work function tomorrow.
Ceej - How late? Should I make dinner or no?
F - Definitely no. The event is 7-10.
C - If you were any other dude it would totally sound like you're having an affair. What with the sudden, without warning, out of nowhere late night for work. Luckily I know you just suck with dates so I'll only be annoyed as opposed to annoyed and suspicious.
L - I'm glad my long-planned ploy to appear hopelessly unplanny is working.
C - Tell the bimbo to wear a femcap.

Then tonight, again around 11pm:

F - Left late, won't be home until 12:30. Sorry babe!!
C - It's ok I figured I'd be asleep when you got home anyway.
L - Sweet, free sex.
C - My piggy bank is on the nightstand. Nothing in this house comes for free.
L - Except butcher blocks and engagement rings.
C - I paid for that butcher block. WITH MY FUTURE.

*When you say you're engaged, people's women's eyes flit to your left ring finger automatically. When nothing's there, you look like a total psycho. Not that I don't enjoy looking like a total psycho most of the time. But when I want to be humored in my wedding-related queries, I don't need the post-flit raised-eyebrows-face all up in my biznass.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

your lipstick stains

I had a dream last night that Dooce wrote an entry about me. That she'd found out some girl was reading her entire blog from the beginning. And her link to my blog made me blog famouns and she and I hung out and ate pop tarts and rolled our eyes at our fans.

I was so happy.

Today I fell in bloglove with the Tiny House Blog while trying to locate Teardrop Campers in the Mid-Atlantic.

I LOVE!!!!!! But they are SO HARD to find, let alone to buy. Just forget about trying to rent one in Delaware. The closest I've found has been the Western edge of Pennsylvania. And they generally cost $3,000 to $8,000 before shipping, depending on the model. Which is just way too much. If anyone has information about where to find these, to rent or buy, within 4 hours of Wilmington...please holla. The Foliage and I are swooning pretty hard.

Anyway. I am crazyinlove with the Tiny House Blog, and I want to curl up and go through the archives for hours. And then I want to buy a modest plot of land in a good location, and build a tiny house on it. And then build a greenhouse on that. And then add wings and floors and stuff as we need them. Sigh*

I subscribed to WeddingBee this morning, too, after seeing a couple of posts with some interesting ideas, but shortly thereafter realized that those ladies are INSANE. There's literally a new post every 10 minutes or something. I don't have that kind of stamina. Even Pioneer Woman can't do that. And she's cuh-razy with the posting.

Now soliciting ideas for new blog names for my WordPress redesign...

Monday, June 21, 2010

keeping it light

Wedding check-in!

Venue - Done. Ceremony and reception at St. Anthony in the Hills (in the Grotto and Field, respectively). They're now open for summer, so The Foliage and I will go get some pictures soon. There are literally no acceptable pictures online. None.

The ceremony location is carved out of the side of a hill, and is a shrine to Mary with a stone slab altar. It really makes you feel like you're in a cave. The reception is steps away*, and is a grass clearing, surrounded by trees. AKA perfection. And even though it's outdoors, just up the hill there is a covered pavillion (the backup location) with full bathrooms.

Yeah, I'm discussing bathrooms in my wedding planning post. I always wonder about that when I see pictures of outdoor weddings, and The Foliage and I have shied away from several potential venues because we didn't want our guests to have to use port-a-potties, so I feel that it's relevant. You can wipe the disgusted look off of your face now.

Dress - Got one. Because it fit perfectly and was only $150. I'll probably fall in love with something else before the wedding, but whatevs. I'd been engaged all of 4 days, and was hung over, so I decided to try on some white dresses to make myself feel REALLY awful. And then the dress was awesome. Oops.

Photographer - Holy majoli, we love her. Love love love love LOVE!!! I stumbled upon her old site when she was still in DC, and it looked like I would have to move there if I wanted to make my relationship short-distance, and so was researching wedding ish in the District. Then she moved to Connecticut, but I still loved her. Then I showed The Foliage her site, and he loved her, too. Then we went to her house and were all, "you really don't have to do this whole presentation, because we love you." Then we ferreal booked, and I cannot WAIT for our engagement session. Ohhhh, the ideas...

Via Green Wedding Shoes.

Colors/theme - OK, so initially we thinking nature-themed and rustic-feeling elements for the wedding. Which I still think are totally great and lovely. But we got a sweet foresty location. So creating nest centerpieces and woodland table runners seemed like it would be overkill. We're not THAT outdoorsy. We love nature, but we also hate bugs. I mean hate. Both of us. It's bad. If we ever have a house with any infestation, we are so screwed. Anyway.

So I'm really feeling citrus. Which is perfect for both of us, because The Foliage is a citrus fiend. One of his favorite foods is limes. Just limes. Eats them all by their lonesome. Lemons, too, but he prefers limes. Yeah. My favorite pie is Lemon Meringue (it's his second fave), and his is Key Lime. I have a tattoo of an orange slice. We are serious about our fruits.

That's the sort of aesthetic I have in mind. Dark, charcoal grey backdrop with white and citrus (lemon, lime and orange). In the middle of the woods. Los Angeles boutique hotel vibe. The Foliage keeps adding, "and raspberry!" when I explain the palette to people. I try to ignore him. But he's very insistent.

Favors - Meg of A Practical Wedding, and Miss Manners are totally forgainst favors. And it makes sense. The idea of favors at weddings is kind of ludicrous. However...I like favors. In general. Regardless of the type of party. It's because my mother is THE hostess, through and through, and I inherited her hostess sensibilities. So I like to give my guests stuff. The Foliage found this link online, and ZOMG we are so doing it. With lime and orange, too. YUMMMMM!!! We'll just have to find something non-boozey for the non-drinkers and kids in attendance. It actually might not end up being a favor so much as something we have at the wedding on the tables to sip and pass around at the end of the evening.

I started emailing my church back in December, and despite my continued efforts, STILL cannot get my priest on the phone. It's incredibly frustrating. I've made a point of wanting to do things through my own church, within the rules of the church overall, but I can't do that unless I can at least MEET with a priest. Sigh*

Alright that's enough wedding for the moment.

*YES David Tutera, people will be able to see the reception area as they approach the ceremony space. And I don't care. I could not care less, actually. I used to like you, but now I find you appalling. Why did you think you needed to make wedding gowns? Or push for desserts topped with real gold? How creative is it to just 100% cover up a space with draperies? Anyone can fill in a total blank slate. An artist works with and appreciates complications.

rant: n. to complain vehemently.

So I have this friend. I've mentioned her here before, but I won't link to her blog for the purposes of this post.

She has written some GREAT entries about being a working mother and some pet peeves, but has been PRESSURED to take them down. All she said in the aforementioned post was that she is a working mother and she is proud of it, and that it is a rarity in her community. But members of said community were OUTRAGED and made calls to her family member to delete the post.

Only people who are uncomfortable with their own actions would REQUIRE their FRIEND to stifle his or her opposing viewpoint.

Seriously. What is the point of a blog if not to express one's opinions? Nobody starts a blog to "keep it light." And nobody reads those blogs, either. And I'm not taking this down.

EDIT: the friend in question did delete the posts, and she isn't even particularly annoyed by this, because she wants to make people happy, and deleting the posts made her friends and family happy. I specifically asked why the posts were gone, and she told me the story, and that got me riled up. For the record.

we are all wonderful people

I think I'm going to switch from Blogger to Wordpress. As soon as I can justify spending the nominal amount a domain requires. I didn't realize how Wordpress worked before this weekend, and I've read a lot of complaints about Blogger. The more of my life Google "streamlines" the more nervous I get. I don't want someone else to own my words.

Also do this. I don't know how many "pounds" I can actually lose, and we don't have a scale at the house, but I'll figure something out. I've weighed pretty much the same since high school, I just keep changing shapes. I'd like to be more in high school shape, though. And there's the little matter of the Army 10 Miler and the Vegas Half-Marathon, I guess...

Friday, June 18, 2010

keep feeling fascination

Here's a mock up of what I ended up getting at Target last night:

Yes, I got 2 pairs of black heels. I know I know I know. BUT! I have been needing some, and one is patent leather with a round toe, while the other is matte and pointy. Huge difference. And while that might still sound wasteful to you, I'll have you know that I wear black heels until they literally fall apart. I get them repaired over and over again until it just seems ridiculous to patch the weak little scraps any more. One pair I wore so much that I got holes in the soles. I've never even had Keds with holes in the soles.

Bottom line: I am a professional black heel wearer.

And I've been looking for a low-heel nude pair, so I had to get those.

And the grey wrap cardigan is the most comfortable piece of clothing of life.

My hair looks so effing fabulous, there aren't even words for it. FINALLY I have BANGS and short layers by my face again! Thank you, extra $3.60! I'll post a picture later. Don't hold your breath, because it won't be for several hours, and I don't want your accidental self-asphyxiation on my conscience. Geez.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Tonight: Cage Match

Ceej v. The Bank Account

Let's get ready something other than RUMBLLLLLLLLLE!

I am seriously terrified of what I might do tonight. I'm starting at the Christmas Tree Shop, AKA Heaven, where there is lots of cheap furniture I so totally want, but so totally don't have room for, and will be with an accomplice who also totally wants stuff.

Then I'm probably going to at least one of the following: Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowes, H&M, Barnes & Noble, Ulta.

THEN I'm getting the haircut that will cost $3 than it potentially could have. Correction: $3.60 more than it could have, counting tip.

Can some please call the bank and cancel my credit and debit cards? Ugh.

i hate elsmere


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I was just chatting with my friend about how much I've been posting lately, and how I feel like her posts make me post. She has a full-time job, a husband who pretty much never cooks, a new baby, and a dog...and she still posts several times per week, sometimes about how I love Bonnie Hunt! And then there's me...who is just barely employed. To which she said:

"are you kidding?!
you are my BLOG HERO!
you are the reason I started blogging."

And omg I teared up.

Do you realize what this means?! 11% of my readership blogs BECAUSE OF ME. Whoa!

strong bad's cool game for attractive people

Friday I'm going to the Chesapeake House, which apparently EVERYONE I know has been to a bajillion times, and they all love it. So thanks for leaving me out of the magic, City o' Wilm. Geez.

It's a quadruple date, and the girls I'm going with are all GORGEOUS and we all agreed (without the boys' input) that we were dressing up. Because hellO there just is not enough dressing up in life. There just isn't. Not by a long shot. So I've been in a TIZZY thinking of what I should buy to wear.

But what with the haircut cost conundrum and the constant budget battle of living in a post-barter-system-society, I just couldn't fathom spending more than, like, $50 (gah, and even that is so much!) on clothes for a night out. PLUS, my killah fiance recently moved my whole wardrobe from my apartment to the house, so now it's HERE! I don't even remember what I own anymore!

I desperately want to wear a short dress, but hate my legs (working on it, working on it), so I'm going to wear a knee-length black shirt dress that I've had for a few years. Cinched-in waist, standing collar, just a hint of boobage, and a-line. AND it's a really light material, so it breathes really well. I love those H&M pieces that just keep making you happy and don't fall apart in the wash...

Here is idea #1 for Project Shirtdress Goes Evening (not my exact dress, but you get the idea)

There are panama hats in the men's section of Target for WAY LESS than I've seen anywhere else. If you're in the market for one. Or if you're like me and are in the market for seven. Either way. Target's got our wasteful backs!

If I go with neutral, I've already got the shoes. I'd try to curl and scrunch my hair into some sort of wavy mass and wear candy apple red lip gloss.

Shopping list:
-Scrunching spray

And the second idea

Both images via polyvore.

This is more the direction I usually go. Black with brights. Serious with childish. Smoky eye, neutral lip, teased but still straight hair. Since this is my usual style, I've got the accessories, although I might look for a new clutch and shoes if I have time, just to see how much money I can waste what's out there.

Shopping List:
-Maybe some shoes or a purse. Maybe.

So obviously the second is a lot more financially responsible, but UGH I've tried to commit to a neutral ensemble so.many.times. and I always end up veering back to my brights. I'm going to attempt the neutral palette. We'll see how it goes. Stand by for pics of that AND my new haircut, which I'll be getting tomorrow night at a salon I've never tried. Oh, dip!!

PSA: Please don't go to will suck up all your time and ruin your life, except that you'll have exceptional idea boards. But other that THAT...ruined.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"talking to 21 year olds is like talking to babies, except babies haven't had stupid ideas yet" -comedian on "last comic standing"

In looking for a new hair salon, would you be swayed by a $3 difference? The two I'm looking at are one block away from one another, both very close to my house, and have pretty much the same reviews (99.9% fab) online. I have to wonder what that extra $3 gets me.

Also: Did you ever read "Fahrenheit 451"? Have you seen the commercial for the TV that lets you pause in one room and then resume in another? CUE TERROR. Is no one else seeing this?!

But the hair salon thing is WAY more pressing at the moment, so if you've only got the stamina to respond to one of the two concerns, choose the coif conundrum.

faking suicide for applause in the food courts of malls

One month ago today The Foliage proposed back to me, making us double engaged (or engagedx2 or whatever). I figured, for posterity at least, I should post all of the aversaries to date, because you obviously REALLY CARE slash are dying to know:

3/30 - Meetaversary
6/7 - Makeoutaversary
6/27 - Dateaversary

5/7 - Weekaversary (when The Foliage unexpectedly was stuck in Delaware, staying in my apartment for a week...thus making it clear that we needed to be in each other's grillz, and starting us on our house hunt)
10/29 - Houseaversary (closed on Little Biddle)

4/29 - FirstEngageaversary
5/15 - Engaged*2aversary

I try to celebrate each one every quarter. Except for today, of course, which is a single monthaversary. But this engagement already feels like it's been forever long...I just want to be MARRIED already. Is it kind of ridiculous? Yes, of course. But I figure...why not just celebrate? People don't celebrate things nearly enough, in my experience. And if I don't repeat the dates over and over I'll forget them.

These are the cufflinks I had made for The Foliage (via Etsy Alchemy):

by Sonseeahray.

They're made to be an artistic representation of the Large Hadron Collider*, and didn't arrive until the day after I proposed. There's no aversary for that, though. That would just be excessive.

*He's followed the Collider for as long as it's been publicized. I got two bids for the of which totally fit my taste, and Sonseeahray's, which is SO HIM IT'S RIDICULOUS. Rainbow geeky dressiness?! We so win at gifts. And both of our engagement gifts were custom-made by Etsy vendors! Score!


Via ShopMamie, which is a local business, so support it or I'll cut you.

Reasons I can't ever wear this dress without extensive plastic surgery:
-That neckline. Everyone who reads this blog has met me, and therefore knows that I can't wear a dress with that neckline. Please. I'd have to layer it with bra strap-disguising tank tops which would be counterproductive in summer.
-That hemline. It is short. Really short. Where-did-I-misplace-my-virtue short.

It's totally in my favorite colors to wear during summer, though.

I could maybe swing it as an in-between seasons piece, with leggings and a cardigan.'s just SO FREAKING CUTE. I feel like it should really stand on its own. On someone without imagined leg issues or not imagined boob issues. Sigh*

If you love me and you get this dress, please keep it a secret from me. I just don't think I could bear it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

i've been taking a multivitamin for a week now, and my hair is LOVING it

My baby sister graduated high school. My baby. Mine. I read blogs of people with babies who can't believe their offspring is 2 or 3 or even 5 weeks. This kid...oh, man. She was MINE. Don't tell Mom. She might disagree. But now my baby has GRADUATED. She is going to COLLEGE where there are meal plans and boys and extra long twin beds and BOYS.

Ugh. Dislike.

Her graduation party was Saturday. Towards the end, only a few family members were left, and my parents' neighbor came over. He's a little older, and had a young girl helping him. A friend of the family or something.*

So The Neighbor is talking to my grandparents, while we (my sisters, The Foliage and I) talked with Helper Girl**. We ask about school (UofD), her major (Nutrition), her career goals (unsure...which veered into...

"...if I can even find a job; Obama wants us all to be Socialists. (giggle)"


Cue: uncomfortable laugher, frozen smiles, and nervous glances.

She continued to make HIGHLY POLARIZED statements, then giggling, then saying, "I'm sorry I'm sorry" but then following up with something even more extreme.

When I heard people say that politics aren't appropriate for small talk or first dates, I never really listened. If I'm on a date, why waste my time? I don't make out with people who oppose gay marriage. I just don't. I like to lay allllll these cards on the table really early.

But not in the first five minutes.
And not in a room full of people I don't even know with largely opposing viewpoints.
I mean, the odds are stacked against you with ANY extreme political sentiment.
At best, you've got about a 40% chance that THE ONE PERSON you're talking to agrees. Let alone a room of 10.
And giggling doesn't make it OK.

Dear uber conservatives that accuse Obama of having a Socialist agenda,
Jesus was totes a Socialist.
Love, Ceej.

For the record, I like Obama. I don't love every single thing he does or doesn't do. But I doubt that would be true of any president, ever. Because last I checked, the president is the president of EVERYBODY, not just you or me. And I'll deal with the current political and economic climate's impact on my life myself, without making extraordinarily exclusive statements at other people's graduation parties.

*This was shady.
**Who was wearing a teeny tiny tank top and teeny tiny shorts, accented by a LOT of spray tanning and hair bleaching and eyeliner. Just FYI. I like to really set the scene.

Also for the record: none of us challenged her. The statements she made sounded a bit rehearsed. And also it was my freakin' baby's graduation party.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I just remembered, like, 5 minutes ago that I'm running the Army Ten-Miler in OCTOBER. For all you Math geniuses out there, that's only 4 months away. 4.5 if you consider the fact that it's towards the end of the month. Either way...cue terror. This is the chick who just yesterday decided to forego running for...I don't know. Anything other than running. I've been planning to run a half-marathon only 1 month after that. I wonder how my workplace feels about abuse of Xanax between 9 and 5.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I would totally like to post, but I'm totally consumed by reading every single entry by Dooce. Seriously. The Foliage made fun of the way I get obsessed with blogs, but whatEVER. He knows every single spec about cars he will never, ever own. I just want to be THOROUGH when reading someone's segmented life's story. Sheesh.

Anyway, here's stuff I did today that absolutely justifies several hours of poring over blog entries circa 2001-2003:
-Went to my apartment and got study materials which I promised to loan to a friend (to be picked up tomorrow)
-Came home and did laundry (including ALL the towels, and only used a rack for drying since we replaced the basement windows and haven't re-routed the dryer vent yet)
-Wrote ALL the thank-you cards for our engagement gifts
-Didn't eat anything in the fridge that The Foliage would potentially want to have later this week
-Folded his laundry, which he left in the dryer but didn't mention to me. I have no idea how long they've been in there. Nice.

Things I fully intend to blog about once I've covered the last 6.5 years' worth of blog posts by Heather Armstrong (nee Hamilton):
-My Terrain-inspired herb garden
-Proposal #1
-Proposal #2
-The fashionable accessories accompanying the multiple proposals
-Gynecological care. I probably shouldn't. But I really really really want to.
-My ridiculous and random bouts of narcolepsy.

OH I should probably write about makeoutaversary. Since that's today. Eh...I'll throw that in with the "after Marlo's born" blog-spirations. Just...stand by for awesome.