I'm at Matt's family's house in St Louis for the holidays and most everyone has been struck with a nasty 24-hour flu bug. I'm the last man standing. It's like ship wrecking with your entire family, and you are all left floating in open water, and one by one some giant invisible creature is pulling folks into the murky depths below until you are the last one left paddling, and you have the ominous feeling that you are next, yet there is the tiniest glimmer of hope that your 9 family members that went before you served to satiate the great beast below. A girl can dream...
(I apologize for the dramatics--I was up into the wee hours last night reading The Swiss Family Robinson, which of course opens with a rousing ship wreck!)
My husband just informed me that on his walk home from work tonight he saw a man in a large truck at the gas station open his window a crack, shove out a cheap kitchen knife, then drive off. After the obvious questions (Was it covered in blood? Did you get a look at his face? Did you call the police? Does he know you saw him?), he tells me he merely kicked it to the curb so noone would step on it. So weird.
I love that my husband trusts me enough to cut his hair. Fortunately for him, I get a little better every time. In a few more years, I just might get to the point where it turns out like I mean it to...
Last night we hosted a "California Proposition Party" because there are so many stinkin' propositions on the ballot this year and they were a bit much to muddle through by one's self. So each person was assigned a proposition and given 12 minutes to layout the basics, list pros/cons, and field any questions. Overall, it was a rousing success! I felt waaaaaay more informed afterwards and was surprised by how many issues I would've mis-judged had I just merely used the quick blurb on the ballot to decided which way to vote. It's amazing what just a teeny-bit of digging can reveal. For example, my prop (#10) sounded great on paper, but after checking it out I discovered it was primarily funded by 4 billionaires looking to further line thier bulging pockets. Seriously, it's a completely ridiculous proposition. Glad I did some research first! It was a great lesson on staying informed and understanding the issues. Gee whiz, I am such a grown-up it's not even funny....
I made a cake decorated (more or less) like the California state flag!
Favorite quotes of the night:
"So after all those checks and balances..." -Mike
"You end up with the world's best boy band!" -Chad (interrupting Mike)
"Fill up your wine glasses, its abortion time." -Matt*
"So does 1 bid-ness days equal 1.5 regular days?" -Chad
"Yeah--God created the world in four bid-ness days." -Erika
"How many gigawatts is that compared to the Back to the Future car?" -Mike
"Oh, you mean jigga-whats?" -Matt
*[This might be a classic example of "you had to be there". ]
The world renown San Diego zoo has a lesser-known Wild Animal Park branch out in the desert on the outskirts of the city. Matt and I went yesterday to experience a bit of wild-animal shenanigans.
If you look closely you can see the giraffes standing among the palm trees.
Desert Antelopes, or something...
They have huge expanses along the mountain-sides where many of the animals run-free ("free," as in the caged-up-but-with-lots-of-room sense) intermingled. Antelopes, rhinos, giraffes, itt-bitty African deer-thingys, etc. all hanging out savanna-style. It's really a sight to see. The poor cheetas are in another area, not too far away, just pacing back and forth, eye-balling what they wish was going to be their next meal. It's like lining my porch with cheetos and pringles, allowing me to see and smell their gloriousness, but then locking the screen-door tightly so that I can never get close enough to devour them. That's gotta be a rough gig.
Ok, folks, it's time to come clean. I've been avoiding you. It's not because I don't miss you, 'cause I do. Madly. I miss your friendly comments. I miss seeing you showing up on my google stats. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you!
Really, it's me, not you. You've got to believe me.
I know lots of bloggers disappear due to lack of material, but I've got the opposite problem. I've got WAAAAAY too much to tell you. It's like reconnecting with a long lost friend and putting it off merely because there just aren't enough hours in the day to have a conversation long enough to cover everything that's happened since you last spoke. That's how it is for you and me, dear readers.
But it's time for that to end. I'm finally sitting down at my computer after many moons in order that we might catch up a bit and rekindle our friendship. Here goes...
For starters, I quit my job. It's a long story. We don't have time to cover the details. Basically, it was a good time for me to quit and my boss inadvertantly convinced me of this. We left on good terms. I miss working there and I definitely miss my co-workers, but I can't say I miss answering the phone all day long. For those of you who may have tried to reach me in the last couple of months, I've been on bit of a phone-hiatus. I'm slowly recovering. Soon I'll not only start answering my own phone again, but maybe even check a few voicemail messages. We'll see -- I make no promises.
So what's next, you ask? Nothing. Well at least not as far as paychecks are concerned. I've decided not to get another job right now, and instead pour my efforts into honing my house-wifery skills. I'm still getting used to telling folks that I'm a housewife sans children. Everyone looks at me a bit strangely, but I can't say I really mind. I've certainly never been a very career-driven lady. My motto has always been that "I was born to work part-time."
Since we last spoke (minus the kitty post, as that was pithy), I've traveled to the Grand Canyon, New York City, Kansas (Lawrence and the Farm), and San Francisco. I've taken up sailing (although it's still to be determined as to whether or not I finish the course---I'm a bit of a sissy). I've startedselling vintage goodies online.
And as of this afternoon, I've started a new blog.
I've got pictures galore and stories even more. I'll try to post more as I can. There's sure to be mishaps aplenty as I take on my new role as house-wife extraordinaire. I make no promises, though, as there's nothing worse than reading a blog that only posts in order to apologize about not posting. I cringe should that be my fate.
Anyway, I truly have missed you all (all 4 of you that actually read my blog!). Til we meet again...
Matt just called from work to tell me that there was an earthquake in LA. He felt it for several seconds. Little ol' me was washing the dishes at home, totally oblivious. How did I miss it? Such a bummer. I love natural disasters...
I've (FINALLY) listed more items on my lovely little ETSY store. My newest items are all vintage items. They are hard to part with, but I feel I must or I'm liable to bury my patient, loving husband in my overflowing stockpile of vintage goodies. I'm cooking up some more handmade jewelry ideas, as well, so I'll try to start listing those soon.
As some of you probably know all too well, I have an obsession with picking things up off the ground. Maybe it started when, as a kid, I quickly learned that the sun and I are enemies and that to shield my eyes from it's fierceness was vital to my survival, thus kick-starting my fascination with the ground instead of the sky. It's probably genetic, though, as there is definite family tendency towards this behavior on my mom's side. My grandpa was notorious for finding treasures tucked here and there on the sidewalk. In college one of my favorite tank tops was one that I found run over in the back-alley outside my apartment. And I've worn many a fabulous baseball cap gleaned from the ditches of the beautiful Mid-West.
I have plans to someday (when I'm old and delightfully senile) open a Found Museum and display all my findings in some road-side shack and charge a buck or two to passing road-trippers who see my billboard on the side of the highway and just can't bring themselves to miss a rare opportunity like that.
The largest display in my Found Museum would be dedicated to all those single shoes I see littering the world. Who loses a shoe? Seriously! Why just one? It's such a mystery to me how that even happens. I see them everywhere.
My husband gave up coffee today. This is a man who can drink an entire pot of coffee at 11pm and still fall asleep within minutes of getting into bed. I'm inclined to think he's an addict, but quitting cold-turkey like this seems a bit drastic. His dependence on caffeine has become quite evident tonight, though. He passed out on couch within an hour of coming home from work and hasn't moved yet. He's out cold. Poor guy. This could be a rough month for us...
So the last two days yielded nothing. Highly anti-climatic. Sorry, folks. All in all though, I still had fun!
Total Spent: $30 Total Won: 9 Tickets + $11
And as for the cold, hard cash nesting quietly in our freezer--Our little wager among friends left someone in our group $1 richer than when they started. The BIG WINNER (with a winning guess of $85) is....
Much to my surprise, Matt and Nate were counting on me to win them their millions. Matt guessed $214 and Nate estimated a whopping $913.25. I definitely had them pegged incorrectly. I guess I did encourage them in the beginning to go big or go home. Turns out Sarah was the reasonable one among the bunch. I told you she was a wildcard. And I'm excited, 'cause she promised that we'd spend the winnings on sushi! I'd say I definitely came out ahead.
So what do I take from this experience? Any valuable life lessons gleaned along the way? Will I accept that lottery tickets are a total scam and turn from them for all eternity? Umm...nah. I don't think so. I will agree that it's probably a waste of money. I certainly don't think the lottery would be so successful if the average joe-schmoe actually came out ahead. However, I still LOVE scratch-off tickets and can't foresee them disappearing completely from my life. I'll probably just leave them as they were before this little experiment of mine--a fun treat best left for long roadtrips.
Perhaps I should try my luck at the $2 tickets next time...
I guess they wouldn't be able to keep the lottery afloat if it were actually profitable for those of us suckers who continue to buy tickets on a regular basis. Three more days have passed and yet still no more money. I still think there's got to be a big payout coming my way in the next two days. Otherwise this little experiment of mine will be highly anti-climactic.
Matt and I got back last night from our 5-day excursion to Chicago. I'd been there once before, but I somehow forgot what a beautiful, established city it is. The architecture is stunning, especially when covered with a lovely dusting of snow.
It's been nearly two years since I've frolicked in the snow and it was absolutely fantastic. I know it's been an especially harsh winter for many of my fellow Americans this year and it probably sounds hollow coming from a girl who spends many of her days basking in the lovely San Diego sunshine, however, I REALLY miss cold weather--especially snow. I find innate joy in seeing my breath on a cold, frosty morning. I firmly believe that I look best in layers. Bikini beach weather is rather lost on a sun-sensitive gal like myself. I get sunburned just thinking about it. Maybe after four months of winter, I too would be ready for the soft breezes of spring, but regardless, it was great to spend a few days enjoying the cold.
Happy in the Snow
A lovely little store, managed by a former KU grad
Amy and Brad were lovely hosts and we spent lots of time lounging amidst their half-unpacked moving boxes and staying up waaaay too late. We ate alot (including Chicago-style hotdogs!), laughed even more, and watched lots and lots of basketball on their new flat-screen TV. They've got a great apartment, complete with a view directly into the new Trump Tower ballroom. Pretty fantastic. It was also wonderful meeting up with our friends, Adam and Jessica, whom sadly we have no pictures of. I can't wait to go back and visit soon!
Between yesterday and today, I'm up another $5! There may still be hope. Actually, these most recent winnings guarantees that either Matt, Nate, or Sarah (depending on who the closest bidder is at the end of all these shenanigans) makes back their initial investment, plus a $1 gain. Not bad, not bad at all. And of course I'm still quite convinced that I've got a big win coming my way any day now. I still have six days left of my little experiment to strike it rich. Wish me luck!
So far Chicago has not proved itself to be a profitable place to play the lotto. Two days in this city and no big money. Although you might think that there's not much to scratch tickets, thus far, Chicago has the most satisfying scratchers I've encountered. The games yield the best suspense. When you've scratched as many lottery tickets as I have in the past month, you come to realize there a many fine nuances to scratch tickets. Some are just clearly more fun than others.
From the title of this post you can probably venture to guess that the last three days yielded very little. I won an extra ticket yesterday, but that's it. I'm only two-thirds through this little experiment of mine, but I better start winning some serious cash soon. Matt and I landed in Chicago tonight (we're spending the week with Brad and Amy!), so perhaps the Illinois State Lottery will energize my winnings a bit.
So Friday, Saturday, and Sunday resulted in winning 2 extra tickets, but still no more cold, hard cash. One thing worth mentioning is just how darn friendly all the gas station attendants usually are. Everyone of them wishes me good luck when I buy my daily ticket. My favorite guy will sometimes even hold the ticket I just bought up to his ear and shake it a bit, telling me it's very lucky before handing it to me. Maybe he's listening for that familiar rustle of all the dollar bills hidden within the card. Hmmmm...not sure what to make of that. It makes things interesting, at least.
I can't decide if I'm becoming addicted yet or not. It is rather disappointing losing all the time. That could keep me from making it a permanent fixture in my daily routine. We'll just have to wait and see.
It's necessary that I start this post with a bit of background information. Upon our first visit back to the states after moving to Hong Kong (last April, to give you some time reference), I was excited to hear what was playing on American Top 40 radio stations. I felt so out of the loop, not knowing the most recent Kelly Clarkson or Britney Spears release. One of the little gems I heard, contained a ridiculous chorus that went something like:
(Growly Male Voice with crap-tastic rap in the background): "If a girl's hot, you know she's hot, 'cause she's hot just like her mama....If a girl's hot you know she's hot--she's hot just like her mama..." "Where'd you get your hot, hot looks?"
(Whiny Female Voice with the crap-tastic rap continuing in the background): "I got them from my mama... I got them from my mama..."
Needless to say, it was bad. Really, really bad. So bad it was hilarious.
So, with that little bit of nonsense out of the way, today I went to the corner store to get my daily lottery ticket, and upon entering the shop, I got thoroughly looked up and down by a visibly inebriated man in the process of buying a large bottle of Jack Daniels.
"Blippss....," I heard him mutter.
I looked him straight in the eye, and gave him a clear look implying that if he had something to say regarding my body, he better say it straight to me.
"Hips," I heard him say a little more clearly. "You got nice hips, lady."
Without hesitation and perfectly straight-faced, I declared, "I got them from my mama."
It took everything in my power not to bust a smile. The station attendant was cracking-up, though, so maybe he got the reference.
I was going to track down the video online and post it here, but I don't think it's crabby-rangoon appropriate. I'll let you fine folks hunt it down yourself. It's sure to be a classic someday. An oldie, but a goody, for sure.
***--------Ok, folks, forgive me. After I finished this post I went and looked up the video, and decided it was too funny not to post. SO, here it is in all it's glory. Again, please forgive me for subjecting you to this music video. And, PLEASE NOTE--viewer discretion advised. It's really, really stupid. Don't say I didn't warn you.--------***
It's time I come clean. My name is Erika and I'm a thrift-aholic.
I'm a stay-at-home wife, mama of one, and on those rare moments when I'm not at a thrift store, garage/estate sale, someone's attic, etc., I can be found at home in my teeny-tiny apartment in sunny San Diego making things out of felt, reading blogs, baking pies, chillin' with my fat cat, Quincy, smiling at my husband and making up ridiculous jingles.
Although the sun and I are not the best of friends (I prefer cold, drizzly days to palm trees on the beach, and long socks and scarves to flip flops and bathing suits), I'm discovering the many joys of Southern California living.
I'm making it my new goal in life to bring you a treasure-trove of vintage and handmade goodies and hopefully bring some cheer and goodwill into your life.