Monday, April 25, 2011

Movin' and Groovin'

I'm a nester.

I like to feather my little nest, to make it as comfortable and as attractive as possible (within my modest means, of course). For this reason, I tend to spend a trifle more on things that will last and things that I will cherish instead of less money on silverware the handles of which will fall off in two years, or sheets that will be holey and frayed in three years. So my silverware is the same silverware I bought when I was in my first apartment at the age of 19, and the sheets I just bought (to replace the ones that don't fit over my ginormous mattress) are real linen and amazingly soft and comforting.

My upcoming move to Houston has me thinking about my nest, once again. I'm thinking about what I love and what I don't love; how I would change a few things if I could, and how my future apartment will be arranged.

A few weeks back, I visited an apartment website to try to gauge how expensive my rent will be in H-Town, and the floorplans on the computer screen set me to thinking about how I would arrange my furniture. A quick glance at a couple of them told me that there would be no place for the three custom bookshelves that hold my hundreds of volumes, along with a few precious objets d'arts and family photos. Some of them were amazingly well laid out, though, and set my little mind racing, full of thoughts of curtains and sofa placement and where my Persian rug would look its best.

So tonight, even though I had a ripping migraine earlier and I'm in desperate need of sleep, I can't sleep, because my brain is on overdrive, excited about the future, optimistic about what lies before me.

And absolutely ecstatic at the thought of a new apartment to decorate.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Buzz Buzz

I'm still in busy busy bee mode. I'm beginning to think it's the new norm, as opposed to the old norm, which was having plenty of time to do everything, plus hours to lie around in bed and read.

On Saturday, I had my hair cut - which took forever - while my mom waited for me at my apartment.

She got bored.

When I get bored, I surf the internet and fantasize about all the Elizabeth and James or J. Crew clothes I could buy.

When my mom gets bored - at my apartment, at any rate - she cleans house.


I returned home to a kitchen sink devoid of greasy pans, the relics of my self-inflicted burn-wound-thingy. Also, my TV console was dusted and my bathtub sparkled like a herd of Scrubbing Bubbles just had a party in there.

Afterwards, we took Major Tom Shadowmaker's (Ret.) Official State Portrait to be framed. Of course, the only frame that looked good with his portrait happened to be one of the priciest ones in the framer's shop.

Nothing but the best for the distinguished World War I flying ace.

Afterwards, my mother helped me to hang a few pictures I had lying around, so there's now a lovely salon-style wall of pictures in my living room with a set of antlers thrown in for good measure.

It's Texas, okay?

After a week of dinners with friends, and baseball games with friends, and running hither and thither to see various doctors, my apartment is now, alas, back to its state of normalcy: a bedroom littered with clothes waiting to be sorted and laundered; the remains of this evening's dinner languishing on the kitchen counter, awaiting their journey to their final resting place (a.k.a. the trash can).

I've filed my most recent medical receipts and have checked the usual web-comics. It is now, I suppose, time to attend to those languishing pots and pans.

Fear not, mashed sweet potatoes and post-buffalo-steak skillet! Here I come!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Staying On the Wagon

I fell off the wagon, this week, insofar as my Paleo-Dieting goes.

It all started on Wednesday when I burnt the bazookas out of my right hand, or, as someone called it, my "money hand," called as such because it's the hand that controls the computer mouse I use for drafting, and thus earns me my paycheck.

Thursday, my hand was still smarting a bit, though it felt much better than it did immediately after the burn-incident. When I arrived at the office, I was faced with two temptations: a box of Spongebob Squarepants cupcakes, courtesy of my coworker's seven-year-old son's birthday, and a box of cupcakes from Dallas' Cupcakery, which put Sprinkles cupcakes to shame, in my humble opinion.

I had a Cupcakery cupcake around 10:00 a.m. It was a "recuperative cupcake," I told myself; it would help me feel better about my mangled hand.

I regretted it around 10:15 a.m.

I had a tuna nicoise salad for lunch, and got the munchies around 4:00 p.m.

I had obviously not learned my lesson at 10:15.

I had a Spongebob cupcake.

I regretted it by 4:30.

This tells me that enormous bursts of sugar are BAD, and that I should lay off of them. And so I will, because the cupcakes are all gone, now, partly through my selfless intervention, attempting to rid the office of the sugary menace.

Yeah, that's it! I did it for my coworkers' health, not my own enjoyment.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Busy Busy Bee

It's been a while since I last wrote, but I've been insanely busy.

After a year of unemployment (cumulatively over the last the three years), I have become a bit too accustomed to the whole "lying in bed all day doing nothing" routine. I forgot what a time-eater actually working can be, and my evenings have been somewhat hectic. Nevermind the fact that I've also been out of town for the past two weekends, it's the working every day that's getting me.

By the time I get home from the office and prepare a healthy meal, I'm exhausted. Then, I clean up the kitchen and do laundry, and I check my email to make sure no new bills have arrived in the Inbox, and I fall into bed. It's taking an inordinately long time for me to finish the (fascinating) biography of The Queen Mum that I'm currently reading.

I have two books on a wait list, patiently biding their time alongside my laptop. At least they have each other, right?

In other news, I burned my hand making myself a nutritious and delicious meal last night - and when I say "burned," I mean "currently swaddled in gauze and lidocaine gel" burned. I look like a bad Michael Jackson impersonator... a really bad one.

Because I'm bad. I'm bad. You know it.

Really Bad.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meat and Veggie Tales

Here I thought my fancy-schmancy new Paleo-Diet would make me super tiptop healthy. What do I do almost immediately?

I come down with strep throat, because life saw me feeling better and yelled "Aw, hell no!" and did a 1990s Jerry Springer hand motion before slapping me across the face.

So today, I missed a day of work - for which I'm paid hourly - because the doctor warned me that I'm contagious for the first 18-24 hours after I start antibiotics.

I went into the doc-in-a-box in the hopes that the nurse-practitioner would tell me it was just allergies. I even told her that I thought it might be allergies, but that I wanted to make sure since I didn't want to get everyone at work sick, too.

The nurse-practitioner looked at my throat, frowned, asked me about other symptoms (I ran a fever Tuesday, which I chalked up to a burgeoning migraine combined with allergies), swabbed my throat, and then declared me unfit to go to work until Thursday.


So I spent the day reading a biography of The Queen Mother, who was, by all accounts, an absolute scream. She was patroness of a secret club devoted exclusively to drinking called The Windsor Wets. One of their requirements as a club was to salute each other whenever possible in public without attracting the notice of non-Wets. A portrait of The Wets hangs in Windsor Castle to this day.

Seriously, do you see the current Queen Elizabeth pulling those shenanigans? Heck no!

Another story tells about a reception she attended during her tour of Australasia with Prince Albert. She had shaken hands with all the attendees when a stray dog wandered into the ballroom and presented itself to her. What does she do, dressed in her diamonds and silks? She leaned over, shook the dog's paw, patted it on its head, and it walked away, contented with having met the Duchess of York.

You don't get much cooler than that. Except for the drinking club. That was cooler.

In a Paleo-Diet update, I'm finally getting all the fruits and veggies I should be eating, and a pretty good variety of them, too. I'm taking my vitamins at night with my dinner, since I have to cook for myself or risk being tempted by the siren song of bread and chocolate milkshakes.

This week, I've eaten an "Oven-Finished Pork Chop" with a slaw of Belgian endive and celery, a steak with broiled asparagus and pear tomatoes, and a taco salad, made with a yummy taco seasoning from Cocina Nueva (sold at Whole Foods) and buffalo meat. Yummy yummy buffalo meat.

So I'm finally getting veggies, I'm supplementing my diet with fish oil (so my post-dose burps taste like fried haddock), a calcium-magnesium blend, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C. I think the high doses of C I'm taking are probably part of the reason I'm not more ill than I am (which isn't very; honestly, I could have worked through the day just fine, if I didn't care about infecting my coworkers), but that could be just my wanting the vitamins to be helping.

I do miss my Dr. Pepper, though. And at the pharmacy today, I had to stand right next to a display of Swedish fish while I picked up my antibiotics, and I have never wanted Swedish fish so badly in my whole life.

Once again, the constant vigilance I apply to my skincare will have to be applied to my eating habits as well.