Monday, April 26, 2010

Enjoy my avoidance

i wish i could click my heels 3 times and just be home already, so i'm doing the next best thing and avoiding my commute altogether by taking pointless photos!!! MOM OF THE YEAR.

clockwise, from the file cabinet in front of my desk

the file cabinet which holds about 5 files with 1 piece of paper each. it does allow for some cute, pithy magnets, including lots of dwight schrute. the schrutes produce very thirsty babies, you know.

next are the 3 printes i found for $7 each in some random store. they warm up my wall nicely and i get lots of compliments on them. klimt flanking van gogh. beneath these bad boys is a chair for visitors to sit in. we look over the top of my laptop at each other.

there's my office door which is only closed because i wanted to eat some cheetos with no judgment. and you can see how my office stretches over to the right . . .

very important things like office supplies that several people on my floor raid periodically even though they're not for them. also note the boxes and bags of crap underneath - those would be full of things i moved from my old office last summer that i've never gotten around to sorting out. plus paper for my printer, and a stash of grocery/catering bags that i thought i'd use for etsy packaging. still need to do something with all of that. ideas?

the office-mate's desk and bookshelf. she lets me steal mint gum/candy when i run out. we whine about stupid things we have to do for our jobs together. solidarity, baby.

my own bookshelf which is simply a repository for "things i will file one day." that yellow box near the top used to hold mints but i haven't been to CVS lately and the entire floor is disappointed in me. i'm not sure what that box on the bottom shelf is but it probably contains multiple copies of something important.

my recycling box, my messenger bag, my red scarf, my laptop bag (the backpack kind are so nice! no shoulder pain).

crap under my desk. the box (not crap) holds yarn from dora (several individual balls of yarn have made it home). tennis shoes, a candle i got on sale at CVS back when i was all excited about my MAD SAVINGS i could get there. cords.

more crap under my desk: the basket from when i won all that special K stuff. i keep thinking i will use it for something here. flip flops and boots.

piles of crap i need to sort through. my cheerios notebook i made at one of the chicago craft socials. i never use it but i like how it looks so it stays on the desk. people ask me about it and i tell them where i made it and they think i am all crafty. I AM A FRAUD, I TELL YOU! they will find me out and burn my etsy shop to the ground.

better shot of that part of my desk, just want you to see my ikea print up top. and my lamp shade.

more crap on my desk! more piles of crap to wade through and file! post-its galore with all kinds of notes. my beloved coca cola. my awesome printer/scanner/copier/fax (though i don't use the fax, those come to my email as a pdf, wheeeee). my family photo collage.

my laptop! my cup of coffee from this morning and cup of water from lunch when i said YOU DO NOT NEED A COKE ASHLEY DRINK WATER. the coke is from around 4:40pm so i held out a few hours. be proud of me.

THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now i'm going to miss the last bus. I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Books for kids

I was just talking to Jenn about this . . .

Remember in school when the teacher would pass out the book order sheets, that listed all kinds of books and activities/materials, at discounted prices? We'd take the sheets home, mark them up with Xs or circles (like above) and hopefully our parent would send a check with us to school so we could order books.

The day the book orders were delivered to the classroom was always great. It would be weeks after the orders had been placed, and I don't know about anyone else, but I'd always forgotten about the orders. Our teacher usually announced that the books had arrived near the end of the day, because no one could concentrate on class after that. It was like Christmas or a birthday when the book orders arrived - maybe even better because it's such a surprise. I would always have finished at least one of my books the first evening before bedtime.

Those book orders are a really special memory of mine.

But what about the kids whose parents could or didn't ever order books for their kids? How did they feel when the book orders arrived, the class went crazy, and they sat there knowing they woudln't have any books passed to them? I know we don't order books for our kids every time they bring home an order form, but we do at least half of the time. Most of the decision for us has to do with whether or not they're doing a good job taking care of their things at the time. If they're being responsible, I'll get them books. If not, I tell them they're going to have to wait until next time, and show me in the meantime that they're going to do a better job of taking care of their things.

It's these seemingly little things that can really make an impact on a kid for the good or the bad. I know as an adult, I cringe when my more well-off peers and co-workers ask why we only drive one car, or why we haven't bought a house yet. There are a lot of "why don't you just dip into your savings?" and "why don't you just use your credit card?" sort of questions thrown around - and I'm sure these people mean no harm, but still it puts me in an awkward position - do I explain our financial situation? Do I need to - is it any of their business? What if our decisions aren't based on lack of money but a concious decision to live a more simple lifestyle? Do I have to explain that?

So back to the kid - how does the kid in class feel when his/her classmates say, "where are your books?" and "why didn't your parents order any for you?"

I wonder how many teachers have bought books for kids whose parents couldn't or didn't?

I think the next time we order books this way, I'm going to send along a little extra money and ask the teacher to get a book for a couple kids whose parents didn't order them anything. I guess some parents might balk at this (pride) but maybe the teacher could just tell the kid that the book company accidentally sent some extras.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Soft, soft feet

Appointment Set:
At 5:15pm tonight I begin my new life as a real woman.

wow, some actual text!

Please forgive my lack of capitalization in the following, when I wrote it I was feeling very lazy. This is actually kind of boring, I think, but will give you a glimpse into a day of my life.

Oh, if you read my entry a ways back about living in a 2 bedroom - we're moving! As of June 1st we'll be the proud renters of a 3 bedroom townhome back in the suburb we love the mostest, super close to our babysitter, which is a big deal. Kori, our 10 year old daughter, will get her own room. She's very excited about this.

For another entry: my conflicting feelings about wanting more & "better", while believing that these things really aren't necessary and are sometimes harmful to our characters.

today i took a personal day so i could go sign the lease for the townhouse. vincent's school/work schedules would make it impossible for me to get to the realtor's office after work (impossible to get there by public transit) so i needed to be available for the window of time he (and more importantly, the car) was home.

i slept in a bit, got up and braided kori's hair (2 french braids ending in small puffs, her request). laid around a bit, then got showered and dressed (rian too), then we hopped on the bus.

this bus goes by the local community college so it's always full of people on their way to class, i had rian sit down next to this young hipster chick. she was talking to her friend about some bar they wanted to go to . . . she also mentioned something about how all her friends were potheads. then she looked at rian, like "oh crap i'm talking about pot in front of a little kid, oops!" and it was funny, when she got off at the college, i said to rian, "are you going to say bye?" but instead of waving and saying "goodbye!" like he usually does, he got this angry look on his face and pointed his finger at her and wagged it!! she and i both cracked up. then she got off the bus and caught up to her friends and acted out what rian did to her.

Does your city plant tulips in the Spring the way Chicago does? These are next to the bus stop.

we got off the bus at my bank, went inside so i could get a cashier's check for the rent/deposit on the townhouse (the owner required a cashier's check for the first payment). thankfully it was dead in the bank so it wasn't a big deal that rian played around, and all the tellers were young women who thought he was so cute. they had a little kid table and chairs set up and gave him suckers and pictures to color. thank goodness because the chick working with me was new, i think, and messed some stuff up so she had to do it all over again. i wasn't in a rush so it was no biggie.

we walked across the street to eat lunch at potbelly, where rian saw the guitar guy setting up. if you're not familiar with potbelly sandwich shops, they often hire musicians to play guitar quietly during the lunch/dinner rush. at the potbelly by my office they have the musician up on this loft above some of the booths. today's guy was just set up near the soda fountain. rian is familiar with guitars since vincent has several basses, a couple guitars, we play guitar hero and are always rocking out on air guitar. :) so he stood there and watched the guy hook up his amp. then rian and i sat down right across from the musician and i just had this huge grin on my face because the first song he played was "peaceful easy feeling" by the eagles. y'all know i love me some eagles. then he went into "what i got" by sublime, which transitioned into a tiny bit of "tub-thumping" by chumbawumba (it actually sounded really good) and then i forget what else. this guy was probably in his mid 30s, possibly early 40s, so it was fun to hear him singing those range of songs. and it was funny to listen to him get creative with the cussing portions of "what i got."

Hello, Ashley's favorite tennis shoes. That she wore yesterday which is why the photo is somewhat relevant to this entry.

then rian and i walked to the library (the bank, potbelly & library are all in the des plaines "downtown district"). i hoped to find the 4th season of weeds, which vincent and i are working on right now, but it is STILL CHECKED OUT. grrr. we're getting it on netflix, i'm just impatient. it's due back in 2 days. i hope they can't renew it and turn it in on time. oh, we also went to the children's floor and played on the toddler-size desk/computers where they have easy games w/numbers, letters, animals, shapes, etc - all from sesame street, dora, bob the builder, etc. i also looked for the books "wench" and "the help" but both were STILL CHECKED OUT. what's up des plaines? you just don't want me to have any fun?

rian was getting very cranky so we walked over to the bus stop, sat down, i held him and made him "lay down" and he was asleep in no time. does everyone else love the "baby is asleep on me" feeling like i do? got the bus home, he was still cranky, time to lay down some more. vincent came home, i left to get some groceries and sign the lease. it was a good thing i decided to "just make sure" i knew where the realtor's office was first, because i couldn't find it! i thought her office was on rand road in mt. prospect, but it was on rand road in arlington heights! see, we have these major roads that go straight through suburb after suburb, and each suburb has its own little E/W/N/S boundaries. so if you see an address that says 123 e. rand road, you have to know what suburb it's in because every suburb that rand road runs through probably has a 123 e. rand road. after driving around forever and determining that my realtor did NOT have her office set up in the bathroom of a taco bell, i stopped, looked up her email (where she gave me the address but not the town), clicked on her website link, and found the town. looked it up, found it easily, got there in time to make sure i didn't look like a scrub, went in to sign the lease.

i love this realtor lady. she was hired by the townhouse owner to list it as a rental and to do all the showings, but she admittedly worked harder for vincent and i than she did for the owner. she liked us so much, apparently, that she put our application on the top of the stack. there were other applicants who were willing to sign a may 1st lease and to pay both may and june rent up front, plus deposit. we said we'd do may 1st if needed but would prefer june 1st. we were never asked to provide june's rent up front, apparently that was something the other applicants offered. the realtor got the owner to move our lease date to may 15 and to only ask for the 1/2 may rent + deposit. it's funny, we only met with the lady for like 20 minutes AND we were late because i got lost, yet she still liked us so much that she pushed for us. and it worked!

she was funny - she has this very strong east coast accent . . . and she would say things she shouldn't have (like how something in the lease was stupid and she was just going to cross it out) and look around and ask, "is anyone taping me? do you see any cameras?" she asked about where i worked and asked about the location. she was oohing and ahhing over my downtown riverside location and said, "look at the shit i have to look at!" motioning to the window, which looks out on a strip mall parking lot. it was funny because she was very put together and professional, yet so funny and every once in a while she'd cuss. and she made all these assumptions about us, knowing NOTHING about us. according to her: we would never pay rent late, we aren't dirty, we are nice people who will get along with all of our neighbors, and we will decorate the place beautifully.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Remember Little Golden Books? I had one of their classics, “My Little Golden Book About God” which was illustrated by the famous Eloise Wilkin.

I remember the images in this book so vividly – I came across it in a store recently and the illustrations took my breath away. They’re pretty, sure, but it was more about being taken back to my childhood. Here are some great images from the book. You can find it all over.

In my attempt to find images to post of this book, I ran across a spoof someone did where the kids in the book are all aliens, ready to take over the human race. It’s pretty funny, and then creepy (those kids always did have freaky eyes!), but nevertheless I just wanted a way to post the images, so here . . . drumroll . . . My Little Golden Book About Zogg!

zogg_1 zogg_2 zogg_3 zogg_4 zogg_5 zogg_6 zogg_7 zogg_8 zogg_9 zogg_10 zogg_11 zogg_12 zogg_13 zogg_14 zogg_15 zogg_16 zogg_17 zogg_18 zogg_19 zogg_20

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In the mood for a scary movie

2 movies which scared the pants off of me years ago.

This one I saw at a slumber party when I was 7 or 8.

And this one I saw when I was pregnant with my firstborn . . . the TV was on when I went to sleep, I woke up near the beginning and began watching it, got creeped out, fell asleep before it was over, and thought it was probably a nightmare. Years later I remembered it and looked it up, and turns out it was a somewhat famous movie by the guy who directed it, about a real location in Australia.


NO!!!!!!!!!! I just spent a freaking hour putting together a post with tons of pics and THE INTERNET ATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You'll just have to wait because I'm not doing that again right now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

red shoes, oh yes

Recently I went on a trip to New York City to see some girlfriends. It was an exciting trip for me (that I hope to write about later, in detail), part of which revolved around wearing some hot red heels one night out dancing.

These heels:

Around the same time that I was shopping for NYC, I saw one of my guilty pleasure movies, "The Prince and Me" which features Julia Stiles wearing a pair of dark red clogs. Then, I had a conversation with some friends about how I have always wanted to get some red cowboy boots.

Theme, anyone? Have you ever realized that you liked something, and after realizing that, decided to purposefully make that a part of your life?

I don't do the stereotypical "I'm a woman, I drool over shoes" thing but I do like a few types of shoes a whole lot, and red is my favorite color, and red shoes are distinct, so why not? When it's time to buy new shoes, I think I am going to get them in red as often as I can. Here are a few styles I would like to eventually own one day:

(I already own these soccer sandals in blue and am due for a new pair - comfort like no other!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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