Friday, January 30


jimmy and i were walking through walmart and saw the aisle full of giant bears and fake bouquets and he said "it's not even february!" and i agreed and then i thought about it for a minute and said . . . "actually, it almost is! valentine's day is in two weeks!"
as usual, where has the time gone?!

anyway, all that it really means is:
it's that time of year.

i'll nearly give myself a million cavities eating bags and bags of candy hearts. now i know everyone else hates them, but when i get a bag of hearts that are still soft and chewy there's no stopping me. sugar is sugar is sugar and i love it.

they're so worth the sugar headache.
and i don't think i've ever seen the hearts that say "heat wave" before - must be new?

also, i found this cute website, where you
make your own candy hearts:

oh, also try it goth style:

all too soon they'll be gone, so i'm making myself sick on hearts while i can. yeah!

the house. part three: laundry + kitchen.

the laundry room is judge's room. that's where his bed is and where he sleeps, most of the time. he actually loves his bed. he'll go get in it when he's tired. he usually sleeps with all his toys in his bed with him.
what a baby.
i just took the cloth curtain off the window a couple of weeks ago. it was ten years old and dirty and ripped and now i have all of this great natural light. the placement of the house is really nice. the sun comes in the back windows all morning and leaves us be at night.

and here's the ktichen. there's a lot i'd like to do if i could. it could be so awesome.

oh yeah. this is my first decent attempt at meatballs. they were goooooood.

Monday, January 26

the house. part two: the sketch(y) drawing of the main part.

. . . click it to make it big.

okay, this is an obviously-not-to-scale, took-me-five-seconds rough outline of the layout of main side of the house. now when i do a walk-through, you can figure out where all this stuff is.
by the way, this is taking a long time. why? because i keep cleaning the house to my liking and, suddenly, moments later, it is destroyed in some way or another.
it is fun living with three grown men and a dog. it is fun living . . . okay, that is not my mantra.

my mantra is:
someday, it will be my house and i can boss everyone around accordingly.

until then, just let the small aneurysm grow and grow until your brain bursts (or maybe the ulcers will get to you first, who knows?). right? :)

Wednesday, January 21

back on the wagon(s).

i fell off several wagons over the course of the weekend, but at least it was fun.

we had a weekend extension when john's cute chinese friends (he's in grad school, studying and teaching chinese lit) came over monday to make some food. we had a huge dinner and it was absolutely delicious. i should have taken some pictures of the cooking and eating, because it was the most interesting and exciting part of the day. however, we were too busy and it was too tasty to stop and snap photos. sorry you missed it!

we also made a chocolate cake for the inauguration. i tried to write on it, but the frosting was too soupy so i made a jackson pollack cake tribute instead. i think it looks better. we pretty much ate the whole thing in an hour.

not only did we eat a lot of junk this weekend (including a huge burrito meal and nachos, plus an entire bag of candy hearts that i ate all by myself), but we slipped from our strict budget experiment. we did get some very nice speakers and a printer for a steal - about $140 total - so i don't feel too bad.

one weekend off isn't so bad . . .
but today i am definitely working out, eating right and not spending money!

p.s. - i think this is a sneak preview to the inside of my home . . .

Sunday, January 18

the house. part one: the outside.

here's a little tour series of where we live, starting with the outside. it's mainly for my family's benefit (and because their hotmail inbox is too full to get any of the pictures i send!!). ha ha. above is the street we live on, from the mailbox. below is the front of the house, back of the house and the backyard. remember that, until this summer, nobody lived in this house for ten years. so if it looks neglected, it was and we're working on it. also, i took some of these pictures a few weeks ago and a couple today. it's rainy and foggy in all of them. sorry. i could go on with the apologies, but i think we've had enough for today. here we go:

Saturday, January 17

different kinds of cold.

so winter finally decided to show up in georgia.
thing is, it doesn't look any different than fall. it might be a little more brown.
it just FEELS different.

i woke up yesterday morning and i couldn't get out of bed. i had wool socks, sweats, a beanie, gloves, four blankets and a dog keeping me warm and i wasn't about to give that up. our heating system had broken and it was fifty-five degrees inside. it was my day off, so i got up, put on some boots, and tried to clean the house. i've never felt cold like this and i used to work at a ski resort (at six in the morning, usually).

this was completely different. walking around hurt my exposed skin. every object i touched felt like it had been soaked and frozen. all my clothes felt damp but it was just the cold, somehow penetrating deep into the fibers. i tried to turn up the heat, but since the problem was an unattached pipe, it didn't help. we called a guy to come work on it, but he couldn't make it until later in the day.

i tried to go about my business. i opened all the curtains and let the sun heat the house. when i tried to shower, i couldn't feel most of my body as the water hit me. when i started to warm up, it stung. it made me gasp and cry. this is humid cold. it hurts your blood. it hurts your bones.

now that the heat is fixed, it's kind of funny watching the news and hearing phrases like "we're your center for updates on closures - we'll tell you what schools are closing due to weather before any other station" and "stay tuned to find out when we might see some sleet."

i used to wonder how come i can only remember one snow day in my whole life and this state stops for sleet?
then i froze yesterday and now i know.

Monday, January 12

if you aren't already a believer and worshipper . . .

. . . of the almighty wikipedia, you should be ashamed.

i'm an extremely curious person. i spend a lot of my time wondering about those little things in life: where and when did diamonds become the traditional engagement stone? do we all see the same color "red"? what is the history of the peanut in our culture? oftentimes i'll write down what i'm wondering about in a book so that i can look it up on wikipedia later.

anyway, today i was eating a huge plate of grilled squash and i thought,

wow. what kind of weirdo wants to eat a big plate of squash for dinner?

and then i thought,

i've always liked vegetables. even when i was a kid. i hated white bread and bolonga and mayonnaise and ketchup and i loved mushrooms. i loved beets. i loved spinach. and i always made all the other kids look bad because i could clear my plate with a smile.
unless it was boxed mac and cheese with cut-up hot dogs in it.

and then i asked myself

why do some people like the taste of some foods and other people hate it?

well, wikipedia, you've done it again. you've answered my question and more!

turns out that - besides the factors like age, hormone levels, and stuffy sinuses - there is actually a genetic reason behind what we like to eat! the whole article is here, but it pretty much just says that some of us can taste this one taste more than others and it helps us decide to like or dislike food. cool!

also interesting: there is a formula behind why we like fast food.


E is energy. s is the amount of time it takes to get to the food. h is the amount of time it takes to get the food, prepare it, eat it and digest it.

so pretty much the theory is that we want to eat the most amount of calories possible while using the least amount of calories to get it and consume it. what uses less energy than sitting in a car, ordering out the window, eating in the car on the way home and then throwing away all the packaging?

anyway, learning is fun.
especially on wikipedia.

Thursday, January 8

most wanted, least wanted.

james and i were listening to our favorite podcast, this amercan life, from npr.

it included this story we hadn't heard before about these men who set out to poll people on what they most enjoyed and what they least enjoyed in music and art. after the polling, they made the most and least wanted art and music based on what they people said.

the results are interesting and hilarious!

you can listen to the most unwanted song here, at the end of the article (be warned, it is almost half an hour long!). there is also a link to the most wanted song, which i thought was just as bad.

you can view the links to the art from around the world here.

my favorite paintings are from italy.

most desired painting:

least desired painting:

thanks komar and melamid, for making us laugh so hard we cried for the first time this year.
there was just one thing that didn't quite fit into my retrospective. it wasn't a part of my somewhat silly bunch of random lists.

it was 2008's greatest loss: my grandfather, george lyman nielsen.

he was a wonderful, wonderful man and things just won't be the same without him here.
can't wait to see him again.

Wednesday, January 7

a blurbie retrospective: 2008.

i know it's kind of late for this sort of thing, but i wanted to do a little tribute to 2008.

i mean, 2008: you're too cute to be forgotten.

so anyway, here's what i deem memorable.

11 albums we had fun with in 2008:

fleet foxes: self-titled.

shearwater: rooks.

she & him: volume one.

my morning jacket: evil urges.

lil wayne: tha carter III.

jenny lewis: acid tongue.

mogwai: the hawk is howling.

department of eagles: in ear park.

coldplay: viva la vida.

conor oberst: self-titled.

bon iver: for emma, forever ago.

10 movies we probably watched in theaters during 2008:
(this is not a statement of quality films by any means.)

the dark knight.
body of lies.
eagle eye.
prince caspian.
indiana jones. journey to the center of the earth.
burn after reading.
ghost town.

9 books we read (between us) during 2008:
the plot against america the wind-up bird chronicles inside delta force after dark abarat a fighter's heart beloved into the wild
the jungle

(there were definitely more . . .)

eight people on our new, updated list of siblings for 2008:

erynn, nate, john, sarah, miles, lauren, tatum, and noah.

2008's seven most fun events:
erynn's wedding, trafalga with kate and eric, fourth of july at grandma's (or really, any party there), summer visitors at jana's - john and miles, the cabin sleepover, ufc fights with friends . . . well, pretty much any time we spent with someone we love!

6 favorite places to get food in 2008:

nicolitalia's pizza
famous dave's
little caesar's
del taco
waffle house
the globe

5 different places that dumb, busted-up ford ranger took up space during 2008:
eric's house, our apartment, russ's yard, linda's driveway, scott's house.

four people who slept over at our apartment in 2008:
noah, john, cassian, and cory.

january, february, march -
three months of night crew at home depot in 2008.

2008's two biggest hits:

we got married! that's right, married!
(january 5th, i got the cutest husband in the universe. also, he got me for his birthday . . . which is, of course, january 5th.)

we moved to georgia!
(we packed all our belongings and our doggie into the ford focus and a trailer and drove straight through. that's right, it's like, 2000 miles.)

one great doggie who was with us through it all, the best pet of 2008:


Sunday, January 4

tybee island beach.

tomorrow is our first anniversary.

seeing as our honeymoon was a little bit of a bust, we decided to take a trip this weekend. we drove to tybee island, off the coast near savannah.
it was overcast and foggy until the last couple of hours of our drive home. i'm pretty sure the first few days in january are not ever going to have good weather. we'll get used to it (or we'll go to another hemisphere where winter is summer).
anyway, i actually preferred the cloudy day. it was gorgeous! driving through savannah in the fog is awesome. the streets are lined with giant oak trees covered in spanish moss. it looks like the entire city is a ghost world.

anyway, here are some pictures i got at the beach (with my new camera! did i mention i have a new camera?! i'm sure there will be more to come on that).

(before i forget, i got two things from my wish list: a vacation and a camera. i'm really having a pretty good year so far.)