Friday, January 28, 2011

Lordy Be!

Well it certainly has been a long time since we last spoke, hasn't it? I swear chronicling our lives seems like an important thing to do (and it is!), but sometimes things get in the way. Like life. And it's hard to make the commitment to writing things, just like it's hard to start an exercise routine if you've been living a sedentary life. Or give up drinking so damn much when you really enjoy it. Or stop eating crap food. Or stop eating Chick-fil-a because they want to deny me and mine the right to marry. Yet all of these things we've done in the past few weeks. It's been tough, but in a way I've enjoyed the process. When you let yourself have everything you want, there really seems to be no pleasure in anything. Everything is pleasurable therefore nothing is pleasurable? But when you restrict yourself, you really appreciate that brownie (even if it does give you a headache later on).

So what has happened in the past several years? Well I worked at a sustainable farm in Pittsboro during 2008 and 2009 part time. It was exhaustive work, but it was really rewarding and we definitely enjoyed the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor. In early 2009 I decided to apply for the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs at UNC. I got into Dental Assisting, and decided to take classes that spring to get into the Hygiene program - hopefully. I ended up dropping out of the chemistry class I would have needed to get into DH. And wouldn't you know that after that happened a spot in the Hygiene program opened up. Life's a bitch, ain't it? So I continued with assisting...hating every minute of it. But I finished and now, over 6 months after graduating, I still don't have a job. I'm working very part time hours for a temp agency, but it's nothing too exciting. It helps a little $wise. A little.

Michele's dad passed away in September of 2009 after a long and debilitating struggle with body inclusion myositis. Despite my feelings on him and his relationship with Michele (or any of his kids for that matter), it was difficult to see him in such a state. I think it's always hard accept an aging parent's condition, but he was fairly young, and the disease had thoroughly ravaged his body.

In the spring of 2010, there was talk of adding on to our home, but with the banks being so stingy and cautious, we would have had to come up with a decent amount of clams and we wouldn't be able to get the house we want anyway. Plus we worried about overbuilding. I mean we ARE next to a shitty trailer and a crappy house with a confederate flag on the garage!We ultimately decided to put our house for sale and use the money we get as a down payment for another. Whether we go with a "used" home or a newly built remains to be seen. I guess when we sell our house we'll have to make a definite decision.

We both got new cars in 2010, and of course with that came two car payments. Yikes and yikes.

Angus was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, among other things, in the spring of 2010. We knew something was up so we decided to take him to the vet hospital in May. His murmur had worsened over time and his heart was enlarged. While there, he was diagnosed with a mitral valve defect. As well as a possible(and later confirmed) collapsing trachea. And pre-congestive heart failure. This dog couldn't have more issues. We love him to death; I love him so much it kills me. I wish there was a miracle drug to make his remaining time on earth comfortable. To see him cough and gasp for air hurts me so much, even if he does sometimes do it for attention. I can hardly stand it sometimes. When I look at him I still see the three-and-a-half year old dog who came to live with us on the condition that it worked out for all parties involved. I think it worked out pretty well.

Around Thanksgiving we went to New York to visit Andrew and see the city. It was a small and quiet holiday. In December, after many months of Lucia being sick all of the time (throwing up and diarrhea) we euthanized her before Christmas. It was sad, but ultimately I feel like we ended her suffering - and I do believe her existence on earth for those last months was miserable. For the first time ever, we had Christmas at our house. We went to PJ's and Michele's mom's house in the afternoon, but it was very low key. It was nice to have a small and quiet holiday season. Because who knows what the future holds this year?

What I'm getting at is this - we decided after the new year that after months - okay, years - of talking about it, we were going to try to have a kid. So we've done everything I think we possibly can to get that ball rolling. And at this point we're thinking we'll start the inseminations in March. Michele signed up for more disability through her work so that we can get more clams when she's out. So we have to wait. We've been charting. And poking and prodding and reading all we can about how to go about conceiving this child. The thing that sucks about trying to get pregnant while being a gay woman who doesn't have sex with a man ever, is that it's not going to just happen accidentally. By nature we're planners and want to educate ourselves about as much as possible beforehand. When we look up information about our insemination options, whether it's ICI or IUI, the target audience is usually someone who has a fertility problem. We aren't there yet. In fact I just know that everything is fine, and we'll have no problem conceiving a child. But it's been difficult to find much information online that doesn't mention shots of clomid, hCG, etc., as well as monthly ultrasounds and whatnot. Right now we just want to know how to time our inseminations properly and it's not the easiest thing to locate.

So to recap, I'm looking for a job, our house is for sale, our remaining animal is basically knocking on death's door, we're (probably) going into significant debt trying to conceive a child....not to mention all the health conscious changes that have taken place in the past few weeks:
- No caffeine
- No/low sugar
- Low amount of refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice)
- Low dairy consumption
- Running several times a week
- Low/no alcohol

Lots of changes going on here, but Michele and I have talked for a while now about how we feel like we're spinning our wheels - waiting for something to happen. Well, some things are now happening. Dietary changes were necessary anyway - regardless of the thought of children. The fact is, you can't eat like we did all the time and expect to live forever (well I will because I am MEAN!) And sometimes life already feels pretty stressful, so I don't know how we're going to handle a child, and everything that comes (and more importantly goes) with one. But in the 15+ years we've been together, we've handled the ride pretty well. And everyone always says that having a child bonds you like nothing else. I guess I just can't image that since I feel like we're already so...bonded. But if they're to be believed, I supposed our relationship will just continue to get a fine wine. Which reminds me....I could really go for a glass or two right now!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Radiohead, and all that jazz....

Ok, so a little less than two months ago we went to go see Radiohead. I mentioned before about how I was nervous and anxious about the situation. I was so excited to see them (it's been since 2003), but worried about all the "what ifs". So anyway, a few days before we ask Michele's brother to come by and take Angus out, and he says he can't. So we think that he'll just have to pee and poop on the floor while we're gone for 12 hours. Then we get an ad on our mailbox about a boy down the street will pet sit. So I call him come over and meet Angus. That didn't go too well as Angus apparently didn't care for the fellow. Of course, he doesn't care for anyone except me and Michele...and a select few others. I think it's about someone coming into his territory or something. Doesn't matter. The boy came, and I showed him where his leash was, etc. And so that got taken care of, thank goodness.
So we wake up on Friday, and leave for Charlotte around 1:00. We get there to the venue early as hell...they weren't letting people in yet. We decided to go to Chick-fil-a. We find the closest one via my phone. We eat and then return to the venue. People are in their cars drinking and whatnot. There's tailgaiting, hackey sacks, frisbees. Of course we're not into that whole socializing thing, so we just sit in the car and drink. Around 6:00 we decide to try to go into the actual venue. They've already let people in, so we have no problem. I wait in line to pee in a port-a-potty and wonder why I have to drink at a concert like this. Anyway, we buy a poster (and Michele returns it to the car) and head to the pit. It wasn't that crowded when we got there. It filled up of course, but it still wasn't bad. We left a few times to pee or get beers, but once it got tight we stayed put. The Liars came on and the Radiohead. They were perfect, everything I imagined that they'd be. I love seeing them live because I truly believe they're the best live performers in the world. They give me chills and take me places where other bands cannot. So we were amazed by the show, and then we had to wait in the car for a couple of hours before we could leave. The traffic was horrendous. It couldn't ever be worse, could it? It certainly could.
On Sunday morning we got up to leave for the show in Bristow. All day I was a bag of nerves. But look at the situation. We left a little later than we should have, then for some reason I started going the wrong way. Michele was looking at coupons, so she neglected to see I was going the wrong way until about 20 minutes into the trip. So we turned around and got on the right road. Graduation just happened to be getting out as we were going by the UNC campus. It was raining, and the traffic was horrible. Finally we passed that area, and I thought we'd be ok. The traffic up to the DC area was awful...starting before Richmond. My blood pressure was high, I am certain. We finally got to the hotel around the time I had wanted to LEAVE our hotel to go to the venue. So of course we were rushed. We were hungry, and there just wasn't time to eat. The rain just would not stop and it was COLD! So we finally got to the venue and the parking lot didn't look too full. However, all the people were lined up at the gates, and of course the gates did not open for another hour. So we stood there freezing, wet, and pissed. And hungry. For no other band would I do what I did. After we finally got in, we raced to the pit area where, again, we had to wait. It was rickdiculous. Finally they started letting people in. People were pushing each other. It was a rough crowd. Despite the fact that there were a lot of people in the pit, at no time was I ever warm, or even comfortable. My shoes were wet, my jacket was thin. It was awful. RH's show was great save for the little midget bitch who got in front of me right before they went on. I kept knocking her with my camera lens (which was a beast) and coughing in an attempt to get her to move. She told me to stop hitting her with it, and my reply was "If you hadn't cut right in front of me, you wouldn't be feeling the lens in your back, so you should probably move if you want it stop". She finally did. The crowd was super tight, and after a while, I just couldn't take it. We went to the back, and then finally I told Michele I just wanted to leave. I couldn't believe I was saying that, but I was exhausted and hungry and wet. It had been such a rough day. Water was pouring into the pit. Our feet were soaked. I had wet pants up to the knees. I just wanted to curl up in our hotel bed with coozles and sleep for a looooooooooong time. HAH! We went to the car and saw that others, too had the same idea. I figured our wait couldn't be too bad, since the concert was still going on. Well I was wrong. Later we found out that a road had been flooded out. Apparently some people couldnt even get into the venue. So I guess we were lucky in that sense. However, we didn't get home until about 5 hours later. This trip should have taken at most, 45 minutes. I wanted to die. I wanted to kill someone. The police were doing such a fantastic job standing around. They couldn't even be bothered to direct traffic. We ended up in one line - everyone. It was a nightmare. I lost it. It was awful. I could never ever go back there. On the way to the hotel, we thought we would stop somewhere to get food, but at 3:00 in the morning nothing is open. We found a 7-eleven and got some food there. Yogurt, cheese, banana...juice. It was probably better than getting garbage from Taco Bell. Then we couldn't find our hotel. It was insane. We were just delirious I guess. All I could think about was Angus wondering where we were. I felt bad for him being all alone. We finally got to the hotel. We took showers, ate, and called it a night. I didn't want to talk about it much on the way home. And even now writing about it on this blog makes me irritated. I love Radiohead, but jesus christo, I was tested that night.
Thank goodness we had a pleasant experience the first night. Save the traffic, the second date would have been fine too. I would have overlooked all the other bad things that happened. But the killed me

Monday, May 5, 2008

Arcade Fire/ Superchunk Obama rally

About two weeks ago I read about the plan for Superchunk and Arcade Fire to play a concert at the Carrboro Farmer's Market to help support Barack Obama's presidential bid. Despite not having made up our minds about who we really want in the White House come January 20th, we decided to go. I mean it's the Arcade Fire. That's all.  Of course there were some strings attached. First we had to WAIT IN LINE to get the tickets, which were free.  That meant that 1) we had to get up early to go hang out in Carrboro, and 2) people who weren't fans of either the Arcade Fire or Superchunk were there getting tickets just for the hell of it. I would have rather paid for the tickets and slept in. But we survived the process. I very much love the fact that when I need tickets to a concert I can get online and buy them in a matter of (usually) minutes. I don't have to go camp out in front of a freaking Macy's or the like, with who knows what kind of people. I remember waiting in line for tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins in 1996, and since then (I think) we've been doing the online thing.   ANYWAY...Obama's people were late, and we had to deal with some pretty irritating people. But I guess anytime me and Michele have to deal with the general population, especially a mass of people, we tend to get pretty irritated. So last Friday we attended the concert, and it was good. Superchunk came on at about 2:15, and played for about 45 minutes. Then the Arcade Fire came on pretty swiftly afterwards. We were appreciative towards them because they didn't take forever to set up. They were all pretty much out there setting out their own equipment - sort of unusual. But it made for a nice quick transition, and since I was roasting my chest I was happy. I managed to take some pretty decent pictures, and they sounded really good. I could tell that they weren't in touring mode, because they weren't as tight as I've seen them, but because they're so good, they're still above and beyond most.

This weekend is Radiohead!!! Friday and Sunday! I am so excited, but in a very conservative way, if that makes sense. I love them so much, but I know my tendency to fall into wacko mode concerning all things I'm holding back. At least for now. I don't have the energy for months of obsessing...and I realize it's not healthy. I know that I'm going to see them, and even if I had to sit in my car in the parking lot of the venue, I'd still be a changed woman for having heard them. Of course I'd slit my wrists thinking of what the experience could have been, but nevertheless...we have general admission tickets. I plan on getting there early and not drinking much at all. So I think we'll be ok. I love them. They are so awesome live!

So aside from going to see the show on Friday, we went to the Embassy Suites to visit with my parents...had drinks and pizza. Then we came home and went to bed. They ended up coming over the next day for a visit. I gave my mom her mother's day present, they ate lunch and delivered our requested items from Costco. We did some laundry, planted some of our vegetables, and then came in pooped. We watched Man vs. Nature, and then went out to do a little shopping. First Walmart. Yeah. I got some magazines there because they had coupons for free deodorant. Coupons that I could use to make money at CVS. We also got some pots to put some of our plants in. Then we went to CVS and got some sweet deals. I paid about $2.00 out of pocket for three bags of chex mix, a toothbrush, two cans of cashews, some toothpaste, a facial scrub, and some deodorant. Then I MADE back about $8.00 in extra care bucks, on top of what I already had. So I was happy with that. It was kind of stressful because we were there around closing time, and next week's sale were already up and they didn't have a current circular. So we had to kind of go from memory. But all in all it was a good trip. Then we went to Chipotle and had dinner. Yum.
Yesterday we got up and had breakfast, and then came upstairs to look at career paths for me. I guess I am trying to decide what to do. I mean I have been at home now for about 7 months. I can't say that I am bored, I just don't feel like I'm doing anything, big picture-wise. And it would be nice to have more money, not that we're not ok. We spent a good while up here and still don't have a specific plan, but the ball's rolling I guess. We went to Michele's mom's house for a visit. We got some of our stuff that had been in storage there. We wanted to get some of the stuff because we cleaned out our attic area and would just feel safer having it with us. And then stuff like the picture albums we wanted to get because they're deteriorating, especially after years of being in sticky albums and more recently in hot storage areas. So that's going to be a process....going through them and making the transition to new, better albums. Hell, just removing them from the ones they're in will be a great help.
Well today's a lovely'd be a shame not to go out and experience it somewhat.
Peace out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It seems like all of my posts have been about music, and that's ok since I really do love it. I really really do. So today, more of the same. We went to see Sia at the beginning of March, and she was really really good. I will say that we didn't like the 9:30 club when we went there the first time. And then of course we went back a few weeks later and it sucked once again. I'm sorry - a beer should not cost six bucks. They should cost around three, maybe four in a bigger city. But whatever. That's why I don't like to drink at places like that. I prefer to drink on the way. Or before we get there. But of course I don't drive when doing so. Anyway, we went toDC and my sister and her family went, as well as my parents. We all had separate hotels, and so we didn't really see each other much. Friday night, we took the metro to my parents' hotel and then walked to a Chipotle from there. And then walked back to the metro to get to the 9:30 club. We had the lovely surprise of standing next to a douchebag who kept bumping into me and telling young girls to shut the fuck up. I mean, what's wrong with people? Granted the girls were text messaging, but they were being fairly quiet...I think he had 'roid rage. He eventually left, so that was great. The show improved greatly from there. Saturday we went to the city and did a lot of walking. We went to the Jefferson Memorial, as well as the museum of natural history (science?), and an art museum. I just had a good time taking pictures and being on "vacation" with my snuggs.
So we came back and decided we were going to try to pay for a lot of our other trips that were coming up. We tightened the belt, and we were able to pay for all of our gas and food out of pocket. I was proud since we had only planned on doing that for a couple of weeks. We're on a budget anyway, so it really was a big deal. It's been hard learning to live within our means. I mean, if I was working we'd have no problem, but since I'm not, it's been tough. I just imagine what it'll be like when I do finally get a job. It'll probably feel nice not to have to watch every penny.
Speaking of watching money, I've gotten into clipping coupons. Also, I have discovered the wonderful CVS, and have been stockpiling free/cheap items from the store. It feels good to get stuff that you'll actually use for free, and that's exactly what i've been doing. There was a time when I'd go to Target to get all of our health and beauty aids. And since they had the lowest everyday price on items (besides Wal-Mart, which I abhor), I'd just get stuff there. Nowadays, I don't really want shampoo unless it's something that I can get for cheap or free. Granted, I don't generally buy stuff that we'd never use (like who wants VO5 shampoo?), but I do buy some things if they're going to be free after getting extra care bucks back and I have a coupon. It's a pretty sweet deal a lot of times. Sometimes you can "make" money by using a coupon. I have to say it's become a bit of an obsession. I just feel like if I'm in charge of the finances, I should be stretching our money as far as possible. The money we save on those types of things allows us not only to eat better quality foods, but also enjoy meals out without having to deplete our savings, or worse - charge it on a credit card. Of course this still happens, but all in all I think we've done well for having one income only. Our life is so much better now. I just wish I could find the perfect part time job.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

So we had a couple of concerts in the past month. Good times, good times. Except I forgot to say that we didn't make it through either. At the first concert we left due to lack of sleep (nine hours just isn't enough), and the second one we left early because we knew that we could make it through because of what had happened the previous time. Michele had a pretty busy week at work too, what with all of her newfound duties. But I wanted to go see The Fiery Furnaces, and so at least we got to see them. I don't know what Super Furry Animals really sound like, but I'm never generally disappointed at hearing live music. I'm sure they were good. As far as The Fiery Furnaces go, I'll say this - they were tight and sounded pretty much exactly like what I thought they'd sound like. They seem like perfectionists, as far as their music goes. I don't know if that's a good characterization of them, because honestly I know little about them. But perfectionists or not, they were tight, and they were insane. One minute the music sounds all normal (if dorky with Matthew's little keyboard...but in a good way!) and then BOOM -- all hell breaks loose and there are crunchy disjointed sounds that, when given more time (MICHELE) would start to work, and make sense. I'm not saying I'd go all crazy and become obsessed. But I do like to listen to music that challenges sometimes, rather than always instantly liking what I hear.
Speaking of liking music instantly, we picked up a new cd at School Kid's when we were on our way to Chipotle, before going to see The Fiery Furnaces. It's called Some People Have Real Problems and it's by and Australian singer named Sia. Now I don't know much about her, but she was in Rolling Stone (which I did not subscribe to on my own - thanks Tower Theater) last issue, and she seems quite nutty. But that's ok. I think "normal" people are pretty boring. But anyway, she's in there talking about her outfit, and how she took off her undies so she wouldn't have VPL, but then she was totally sporting a full on camel toe. Now there's someone with a sense of humor. Anyone who could talk about their camel toe is someone I'd be proud to call a friend! That's my favorite section of RS. I love learning how to dress like my favorite musicians (where does one buy their tight emo-boy pants?). So the music is good, her voice is good. She seems to have a good range, meaning some songs are super pop-y (Buttons), but then she also has more dramatic fare as well. Her song "Breathe Me" (not on SPHRP) was featured on the last Six Feet Under episode, and it's good. I like the vocal phrasing and the annunciation in that song especially. I also like how you can hear her getting ready to sing at the beginning of the song.  We're going to see her in a few weeks.  I am excited.  I like concerts!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Here it is, only January 9th of this year, and I'm already ready for it to hurry up and move along. I'm tired of the election coverage, especially since we have, what eleven months left? I'm all for change, don't get me wrong, I just don't need to be bombarded with this stuff so early on. Not since we spent all last year talking about it too. I remember last Thanksgiving -2006- talking about who had a chance and what not. I'm tired of the writers' strike. I want my new shows, and I want them now. I'm not looking forward to the fact that there won't be an awards season. As much as I don't like to admit it, I like the shows, mainly because we usually have a party with hors d'oeuvres, and that's fun! Plus I like to see what the stars are wearing. Anyway, I'm just wanting things to get ironed out. No more of this hurry up and wait crap.

I'm wondering what's going to happen with Michele's brother. I hate to say that it's bothering me, but it really is. I mean I know that whatever happens, we're not going to go to the wedding if it's on my bday. The thing that scares me though is that I might just go crazy if they do get married then. I don't want two people, who bother and irritate me to no end, to take my birthday. They have three other Saturdays to choose from. And the person inside of me who thinks (sometimes) that people are out to get me believes that they chose that date on purpose, and that infuriates me. You just don't even know. It's enough for me to wash my hands of them. But hopefully it will not come to that. Michele told her bro that she thought it was really tacky of them to chose my birthday as their wedding date. I'm not some distant cousin. I'm glad her mom said something to them about us going to Europe, because it's so early on and they can't use the "we didn't know and now all the plans are made" excuse. If they still stay with that date they're just being bitches, and we're going to look like the bad guys to everyone. Fuck anyone who thinks so.

So we have a couple of concerts coming up in a few days/weeks. The Rosebuds are on the 16th (I think) and then Fiery Furnaces are playing on the 28th (I think). We haven't seen the Rosebuds since May, but they're always pretty good. And then of course there's a chance to go to Chipotle, our new obsession, both times. We're going up to the mountains this weekend to go to my cousin's daughter's birthday. She'll be four, and she's dang pretty cute. We want to get a cabin, but they're so expensive. I'm going to look at some options a little later and see if I can't see anything affordable.

So I have started walking three miles a day, in addition to our usual exercise regimen. I watch Hope and Faith while walking. I figure if I watch that show (a vice) I have to do something to offset it. We're drinking a glass (or two) of wine a night. Last time I had wine, I didn't like it much, but the wine we've been having isn't bad. In fact I look forward to it, because it's nice to decompress.

All in all our lives are pretty good. We have an old person routine, which was bound to happen now that we're, well, old. I'm looking forward to my Metamucil and Geritol cocktail in the mornings. Dinner at 4:30 isn't so bad. It's good because my heartburn goes away before we go to bed. We have to tape Law & Order. We're old. It's ok. We still love each other so much!

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year, New Us

Ok, well it's January 4th, and we were making these resolutions before the new year came, but still I wanted to mention them so that if/when we do stop doing them we will have more reason to feel bad. We'll have proof we made them.
1) Stop using plastic bags from grocery stores. I'm not saying that we never will use them again, I'm just tired of having to take them back to the store because I always forget to.
2) Reduce soda consumption. This is a tough one. We love soda, and switched to diet a while ago. But then I got kind of concerned about drinking one every day, just because of the artificial sweetener. So we went back to regular. Tastes good, but if you drink too much, well, then that's too many calories.
3) Make a budget and stick to it. That's hard because I don't have a job right now, but once I do, my money will mainly go towards paying off debt. That will be most fabulous.
4) Exercise 5 times/week. This shouldn't be too hard since we've been exercising regularly for a while now.
5) Watch less crappy television. We just picked up Law & Order though, so somewhere we have to justify that.
6) Less liquor, more wine.  I like some new cheap wine we got from Trader Joe's.  So we'll see if we can stick with it.  

About #3 - I quit my job on September 25th. It was the best day ever. Actually the day wasn't that great, but I closed down the Teet' and then came home and had a great dinner from Maggiano's. And Cheesecake Factory. Since then we've had the weekends off together and it's been so great. It's nice to go places, and not have to worry if I am going to get the time off. Of course we're lower on cash than before, but Michele is supposed to get a promotion soon, and with it hopefully a raise. Not saying that i'm not going to get a job, I'm just saying that we'll be better off financially. But anyway...

So Michele's brother got engaged on Christmas. Ever notice how there's a "gag" in the middle of the word enagaged? I just thought I'd point that out. But the funny thing is their wedding, at least at this point is on my birthday. So unless things change we won't be going. We are planning on going to Europe right around that time, so oh well. Michele really wanted to be the flower girl. And I remarked how upset I would be that I wouldn't get to see his fiance's best friend (a woman) as the best man. Folks, she ain't pretty, and she looketh like a man. That's all.

So Christmas was a little irritating. When we were at my house and then later when we were going to have Michele's family over here to exchange gifts and have dinner. It didn't happen. Next year we want to be somewhere else. And hopefully we will be.

So we're in love with Chipotle now. It's on Franklin in CH. And we go there whenever we can. We'd rather eat there twice then eat other places once. It's so fucking good. Good lord we're going tonight.

Hurry up and get home Michele so we can go eat!!!!!