Monday, November 17, 2008

Best of Spam

When I used to share an office with Jessa, and then Micah, I'd always ask them "What time is it??" Depending on the day, they would answer "New Music Tuesday!" "Horoscopes" "Peanut Butter Jelly Time*" or "Time to read interesting/dirty spam out loud." We probably should have worked on the name for that last one.

Anyway, if I weren't the last one still employed here, I'd read them this out loud today:

"The ideal age for pregnancy is 27. How old are you?"

Thanks, spam. Thanks a lot. Like I needed a deadline from you.

(*Only Jessa ate peanut butter and jelly every single day like clockwork. But we all sang the song!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Best of Whining

Internet, I don't feel good. I feel horrible, and I've been whining about it for over two days, so it's about time you got to join in on the "fun." My back is KILLING me (seriously, I've asked Whit to take an axe to it, and also wanted to get out on the turnpike so someone could run over me rather than continuing the back-breaking ride in the car), my nose is running, I can't stop sneezing, and recently I've felt nauseated.

We went to Kingfisher yesterday to partake in some Eischen's (not even back pain is going to keep me from fried chicken, dill pickles and beer), and we all stayed with the fam. This morning, I made a really good breakfast for my entire family. I'm only telling you this because I ONLY JUST REALIZED I COULD BE COMING DOWN WITH THE FLU. For everyone who has had my cooking in the past twenty-four hours (Whitters, Henry, Mom, Kenneth, Seth, Henry, Gallagher, Chester and Grant): YOU'RE WELCOME FOR THE KICKASS FOOD AND I'M REAL SORRY ABOUT THE HORRIBLE SICKNESS THAT MIGHT BE COMING YOUR WAY.

But maybe it's not the flu. I've been having some back problems lately, but they've gone away. This is persistent and awful and I just asked Whit if she would get me some Nyquil to pour into my red wine. Deep down, you know how good that sounds. I also asked my mom for an epidural, and she demurred. Oh well. I'm going to finish this bottle of wine, lie on my back on the flat floor and make people wait on me.

Tomorrow, we're doing housecleaning and working on organizing the garage and putting up Christmas lights. I must be a masochist. BUT if someone wants to come over with some Nyquil for my orange juice, I won't complain. That doesn't mean I'll stop whining.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The Sapulpa Daily Herald's response:

"Members of the Afro-American community have been very vocal about the Herald’s failure to put Barack Obama’s win in the Wednesday edition after the elections."


I think white and brown and red and black people were offended by the omission of the RESULTS OF THE HISTORICAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Who wants to go protest? I've got shirts and signs and white skin, to show them that not just the members of the "Afro-American community" are pissed. I am, too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best of Sapulpa, Oklahoma

This is why I'm leaving.

And this.

And this.

As my Dad said, when I told him that we're the ONLY state where every single county went for McCain, "We're number 1! In bigotry!"

Buying plane tickets to DC tonight.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Best of Celebrations

Yesterday, Grant and I marked the one-year anniversary from our crazy first date. It was the first "first date" I'd ever had, and appropriately it felt like high school for both of us. I was still staying with his aunt and uncle, who did not know we had a date planned. I came home from work as fast as I could to get date-ready, bathing and shaving and brushing teeth in a nervous hurry. After I got my clothes, jewelry and make up on, I sat and waited with Whitters, still giggly nervous. Grant called, and HOLY CRAP was it an awkward conversation. He said he'd be at the house in a few minutes, and that he'd regularly pick me up at the door but, and I interrupted him saying that there was no need and I'd meet him in the driveway, and Whitters could hear the whole thing and was laughing so hard she had to leave the room. I felt like I was sneaking out, and felt more like sixteen than twenty-six.

We went to the White Lion, a British pub, where we had the cheese plate and beer and I thought he didn't like me. BUT after dinner, he asked if I'd like to have a drink, so we walked over to Sutures and put all of our respective baggage on the table. I'm pretty sure that's a first date no-no. We went to a party after that... and I'll end my story there... but neither one of us knew what to think the next day. I wondered if he'd ever call me again, and he wondered the same thing.

He did.

One year later, we've had ups and downs, but HOLY HELL have we made it through some rough times. We have a strong and loving relationship, which made yesterday like Christmas. He had to work at 7:30am, so I got up at 5:30am to make him pancakes before he had to leave. I WILLINGLY got up on a SATURDAY MORNING BEFORE THE SUNRISE - this is love, people. We ate, he left, I napped :), then I went to finish shopping. We met for his lunch break, I continued shopping, and made it home in time to make him an apple pie before we headed on our date adventure.

Also like Christmas: PRESENTS!!! I got him a Rabbit wine opener, a fuzzy king-sized blanket because I keep it so cold, a set of sheets so we could move his bed to our house, a new sweater, and a glassblowing lesson. HE GOT ME A LE CREUSET FRENCH OVEN. Shut up, I know, it's the coolest. And a set of cheese knives, and deep dish pizza pans, and DID I MENTION THE LIME GREEN LE CREUSET?

After we had a glass of wine, we headed to Tulsa for the glassblowing lesson. He made a glass flower entirely by himself -- he's a gaffer -- and I assisted the glass artist in making an ornament. The studio, run by Sarah, is wonderful, and after Tuesday's dismal Oklahoma results, having some of the arts here is a little reassuring. Added bonus: she likes Obama and wanted to trade for Grant's shirt.

We headed to the White Lion for dinner, where we ate cheese and held hands and kissed and did all the things that piss off other people in the restaurant. One year ago, we began a journey of healing for both us there, and we're still going and loving, and it's exactly what I want.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Best of Questions

Where were you when you found out we made history?

I first found out that we were leaning toward good news in my car in Claremore, when I wasn't in front of a computer or television, but thank GOD Giles was twittering, and I called him as soon as I knew they called his home state of Ohio.

When the newscasters called it for Obama, I was in Arnies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drinking a Blue Moon with Micah Strongrope. His friend grabbed us to come to the big screen, the entire bar cheered, and everyone near the bartender took a free shot. Not quite as exciting as dancing in the streets in DC, but perfect for me. I texted Grant, left in time to record the speech for us to watch when he got home, and we shared a bottle of champagne.

Oklahoma, you've been warned, you are very disappointing. Nation, thanks for representing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Best of Results

President-Elect Obama.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Best of Voting

It's almost over, it's almost oooooover. Ban-nan-uh-nan-nan-uh! It's almost OVER! IT'S ALMOST OOOOOOOOVER!!!

I made up this song this weekend, and if you're nice, I might sing it to you. Right now, Whitters in WINDIANA is the only one who has heard it, because I want to keep her motivated and working hard for THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a certain Barack Obama.

I've been singing it in my head (and in my car or office if I'm alone) just to get through the days leading up to the election. And now it's down to ONE DAY.

I went to vote early on Friday morning with Grant at the Creek County Election Board, and there was a line. The doors opened at 8am, and at 9:30am, when we voted, I was number 250. Pretty damn cool. When we got back in the car, Henry had taken my seat (it is important to take your kids to the polls with you so they grow up thinking it is a normal activity - THAT IT'S JUST WHAT YOU DO), so we shared it on the way home. I told Grant that I had waited so long for that day, to get to vote, and he asked how long. FOUR YEARS, PEOPLE.

For four years, my daily life and work has directly or indirectly centered around this moment.

It's hard to work in a field where compensation does not even come close to equaling time and energy. It's hard to work in a field when you are expected to work during the regular work day, and then keep working when you can reach voters when they are at home, on nights and weekends and holidays. It's hard to work in a field that you are not supposed to talk about at the dinner table.

That last part is what drives me crazy. I work hard for something I believe in, but it is off limits for polite conversations. I'm trying to change at least my part of the world for the better, but I shouldn't talk about it. What the hell? Why is it, in America, that we can fervently support sports teams (Go Sooners!), wear shirts, paint our faces, put flags on our cars and our yards, and that is not crazy, but wearing a political shirt or having a yard sign or bumper sticker or wanting to talk to your friends, family and neighbors about something that actually affects them is?

It's not too late. Put out a yard sign. Let people know your views. You don't have to be afraid to be a Democrat anymore. Tell your family that you are voting for change. Make phone calls and tell complete strangers why they should, too. Knock on your neighbors' doors, or in a completely different part of town, and tell them to vote for Obama. Be a part of history. It's not too late.

But it's almost over.

I'm predicting an Obama win and hoping that dedication equals victory in House District 9 in Claremore USA (knock on wood, cross fingers, hope and pray). BUT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WE GET A NEW PRESIDENT AND GEORGE W. BUSH IS OUTTA HERE!!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best of Pumpkins

Our Obama pumpkin was just on! I think they might have been shocked that it is sitting on a porch in (the reddest state ever - seriously, only here and Tennessee is McCain IMPROVING right now) Oklahoma, so we got chosen as one of the pumpkins featured today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Best of Posters

I just visited the cutest baby for Obama tonight. He is so tiny and so sweet and so good, but I will wait to write more about that incredible experience until I can link to some pictures from Tim (hint, hint, I mean I know you aren't busy at all with a newborn).

In other Obama news, my best friend sent me really cool posters that will soon be framed. And THEN, I just found this site, and I think I will stay sane through the election countdown (TWELVE DAYS!) by putting up a different one each day on my facebook.

I wanted to post this one here.

Vote hope, not fear. Vote OBAMA.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Best of Seth, Volume Two (Political Edition)

We are 15 days from a history-changing election, for better or for worse. My brother is voting for Obama, and last night in an email I found out he is campaigning for his friends to do so as well. He is the chair of his precinct, and I can't wait for him to get to vote in his first presidential election.

I talked to mom about it today, and she told me that he told her he was voting for Obama, and then asked her who she was supporting in the Corporation Commissioner race. (SO PROUD that he even knows that race is on the ballot.) She said she was supporting Roth, and he told her he was thinking about supporting Murphy. (SO PROUD that he even knows the names of the candidates running.) She asked him why, and he said it seemed like she had more experience. (SO PROUD that he knows about her background, even though she's not up much on TV.) That doesn't seem like many 19 year olds, now does it?

But he better still fucking vote for Roth.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Best of Confessions

This is hard to write about, but you probably need to know. I like to cook, and I cook most everything I see on smittenkitchen. I also use the term "YUM-O" to ironically describe food, since I'm the opposite of an RR fan. She says EVOO (just say Olive Oil like the rest of the world - it has half as many syllables), she carries all her ingredients at once (instead of making two trips), she has a GARBAGE BOWL (why not just throw it in, I don't know, the GARBAGE), and she's annoying.


Last week, I made a recipe off smitten. Here's the confession - it was actually Racheal Ray's. And I liked it.

I'm still not a fan, I know I'll get shit for this, but at least I hated the name of the dish even if I liked the taste: You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best of Audrey

Thursday was Audrey's birthday, and today I am in Stillwater for her birthday party. It is nice to escape politics for awhile, especially to celebrate the life of one of my absolute favorite people. She didn't want a birthday cake, so we had birthday cookie, and that's just another reason I adore her.

In related news, Andrew and I left because Marla and I ran out of secret beer (we are sneaking drinks to survive the party), so we went to Wal-Mart. I bought Bud Light, and he bought 3 air guns. We admit that it looked bad. Or like the best party ever. You decide.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Best of Perspective

On this day last year, I was a girl with a broken heart. Not anymore. I'm not saying everything gets better, but, thank God, everything changes. At least it doesn't stay the same. A year ago today, I slept alone in my bed in Norman, tears streaming down my face, without the courage to even tell my best friend the details of the heart-breaking.

Tonight, I just had a wonderful conversation with my best friend, and I'm not sleeping alone.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Best of Advice

This is one of the blogs I look forward to reading each day, because it only takes a minute, and the rules are very insightful. I just don't want it to end at 1,001.

Related: my dad might be Irish, because he always leaves family functions with what is apparently termed as an "Irish goodbye," except not with the intoxication part. Just the no goodbye part.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Best of ... WHEW

It's back. Different name, same game. It's lexy.

Best of Pick Up Lines

Holy crap! I forgot to tell you about one of the first things that happened on the Vegas trip. Grant and I made it to the airport on time, even after having lunch and having to turn around to go get a swimsuit that SOMEONE forgot to pack (it wasn't me). We got checked in, got seats together, and headed to security.

I walked through, it beeped, and I realized that I needed to take off my earrings. The TSA guy told me as much, so I went back through the magnetometer, put my earrings in a bowl and on the conveyor belt, and went back through. Success! The guy is still holding on to my boarding pass and giving me a look, so I'm wondering what the problem is. He starts to hand it to me, just out of my reach and says, "This is the point in the conversation when I tell you that you didn't set the machine off, but you still look alarming."

I shit you not.

Grant got to hear about it the entire time we spent at the bar while our flight was delayed. He better not act up, because now... well, now I have a back up, and I know right where to find him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Best of Boyfriends and Birthdays

Today is Grant's birthday. I'm writing this the day before, because, as I promised my computer is staying in Oklahoma. Send him some good thoughts, and maybe some lucky ones, too, so we can come back as millionaires and share the wealth. Baby, I love you.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bets of Court

Grant and I are leaving tomorrow for VEGAS. I CAN'T WAIT. I feel like I'm already officially on vacation, even though I'm still in Oklahoma, so I'm currently enjoying Blue Moon's Harvest Wheat beer (which is way better than the Honey Moon), and waiting for Grant to get home from work. As soon as he does, I'm going to hand him a beer and probably start jumping up and down.

I don't think I realized until the past few days how much I need to leave everything for awhile, and just go crazy. Sin city seems like an appropriate place.

That being said, one of my birthday presents to Grant is that I'm not even taking my computer on this trip -- so I can't even be tempted to work. But that also means I can't blog or flickr, but at least I've still got twitter. (That sounds pathetic even to me.) You'll get a semi-detailed report as soon as I get back.

Wish me luck and relaxation and "satisfaction" if you know what I mean. You do.

We're OUT.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Best of Fall

Oh, THANK GOD, it's here. Right? Yesterday, Grant and I drove to Vinita to spend the day with Dad and V.V. on her birthday. We had a great and low-key day, but when we were driving home, we got lost. Only we didn't really get lost, we just thought we were, so we turned around for no reason, and just lost time. We were so ready to get home. I drove, and we were on the turnpike when my car suddenly sounded like it had been on Pimp My Ride to get glass packs. Or pipes. Or whatever the hell. We made the decision to just keep driving and crossed our fingers and wished on one-headlights to make sure we made it home. We did.

I took the car in today to the Muffler shop in town, and just hoped that it would not take away all my trip money for Vegas -- we leave in 3 days. When they called me to give me the verdict, the woman told me that something happened to my converter, and that he would have to weld it back. She wanted to know if they should go ahead and work on it, and I asked the dreaded question: "How much would it cost?"


Fall, I have waited for you so long. You are my favorite season, and we always have such a good time together. This just is more proof of your love. During the Spring, my car cost $1200 to fix, and during the Summer, it required a $300 follow-up. But I'll take 45 and Autumn ANY. DAY.

It's my favorite season. Fave. Fave. FAVE! And I got the coolest postcard IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

Because of all this, it didn't hurt so much when we got pulled over in my car tonight -- not for speeding, not for rolling a stop sign -- but for having one headlight. Hey Oklahoma, you're welcome for all the wishes I've been giving you, but now I've gotta go get it fixed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best of Today

So true. I'm glad I've been financially irresponsible enough to not have a mutual fund or stocks. Also, if you aren't sending someecards to show off your wit to your friends, I just have to ask you: why?

In other news, in scrabulous today, I got a bingo for this word: ROVINGS. Yup, big news in the life of Court.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Best of Relief

Last week, and I twittered about this, I attempted to do something that really really really terrified me. I am afraid to do new things, I think in part because of my perfectionism -- if I can't do it perfectly on the first try then why even do it? -- but also because I don't want to be judged. The content of that last sentence is a post or a book itself.

What was so terrifying?

A class at my gym. Sounds ridiculous, but I could not bring myself to try. Yesterday was my one-year anniversary of "dating JIM," and I think that realizing that the one-year mark was coming up, and I hadn't toughened up enough yet to try a class got to me. DBAP, Court, DBAP. I decided to go to the Body Sculpt class, because it sounded the most innocent. And I wouldn't have to look coordinated. THANK GOD, I wasn't the only newbie, so Jenny and I sat in the back. I made a new friend, and I'm trying new things, and I'm so proud about it you'd think that I was in kindergarten. Except I use terms like DBAP.

Half way through Body Sculpt, when my body was definitely feeling the burn, Jenny turns to me and asks me if I'm staying for Kickboxing - because she is. I was NOT planning on staying for kickboxing, and the inner me was having a huge debate: YES, NO, YES, NO, YES, NO and my voice chose YES. Partially because I did not want to BAP in front of my new friend.

I'm so so so so so glad I did. Kickboxing is amazing. I beat the shit out of a huge bag for an hour while listening to loud music with really cool girls. Somehow, they aren't judgey at all, they are just nice, but they could also kick your ass. Soon, I will be able to kick your ass (and that statement also goes out to my current Best of Asshole in Indiana - watch. your. self.). I have a great time, I'm learning fast, and I want green gloves. I'm not the best at anything on my left side (shit, I probably shouldn't have revealed that weakness), and especially when I don't even know which side is actually my left side, but when I get my green gloves, Grant is going to put a big L and R on them respectively. The best thing about the class, though, is that when I leave, I'm in the best mood ever.

I'm pretty badass.

In other news, I'm really not coordinated, and I'm not doing as swimmingly in the Zumba class, where we do Latin dance - YET. Shakira best step off, son.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Best of Mee-kah

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICAH!! I hope you don't accidentally break a toy that puts slime all over your crotch. Also, I hope you get laid.

Happy hour, soon? Arnie's would like to wish you well on your birthday, too.



Best of Updates

Dear Blog,

Maybe it is because I finished a self-imposed writing assignment earlier this week and no longer having something I HAVE to write, I have lots of things I want to write. And tell you about. Please be patient with a lot of updates, and I hope you have it in your heart to not think of the two letters L & P while I do so. Only 2 people will understand that, but it's worth a mention.

Anywho, as seen by the comments here, I'm not the only one acting odd. And I'm not the only one off in my house, either. The past two days, Henry has willingly gotten in the bath. Not to bathe, not with water, but just to hang out while I do my hair. The first morning, he cried and whined like he does when he's gotta pee really bad (if he were a person, he'd be crossing his legs, dancing and holding his crotch, but since he can't do that, he vocalizes his need). I tried to take him outside - that's not what he wanted. He's indignant when you can't read his mind. Anyway, after crying for about five long minutes, which really impaired my hair straigtening along with the humidity, he decided to risk getting in trouble, and jumped in the tub.

And he did it again this morning. Weird. Hadron, I tell ya.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best of Conversations

Grant: "Baby, I don't want to fight anymore."

Me: "Why, because I'm so good at it?"

Grant: "Yes."

Fight over.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Best of Karma

We have a parking lot next to our building where we pay for 5 spots. I am the only person who regularly comes in everyday, so those other spots are sporadically empty, and I think that tempts people. One spot, in particular, is right by the alley, and people who shouldn't park there LOVE to park there. When I see this happen, I'm supposed to call our parking people and have them towed.

There's a car there today, but I'm not calling, because their window is rolled all the way down, it's raining in Tulsa, and they've got enough problems to deal with already. Right?

Best of Things I Would Rather Be Doing

Eating fish tacos at Chica's.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Best of My Family

I called my mom today, to see what the fam was doing this weekend. I haven't seen her or Seth or Kenneth or the dogs in way too long, plus I have convention swag to give them. She tells me she is going to Stillwater on Sunday to bring Seth food, so I ask if I can come along and join them. I ask her what time - she says she'll have to get back to me after she texts my brother.

Ten minutes later, my phone rings again. She tells me that she wrote Seth (he doesn't often answer phone calls, at least from us) to ask him what food he wanted to bring and that I would drive over and what time should we get there? He writes back "yay bring me my sister." No time, no food (and he LIKES food, let me tell ya), but I made the text. I feel loved.

My mom wanted to tell me that because she thought it was funny as I do. After she said it, I said back "WHAT WHAT!" to let her know that I was happy and excited to be so loved. I think she thought I just said it once with a question mark, because she just repeated herself. When I said it again, she told me she didn't understand. I tried to explain it, saying that "WHAT WHAT!" is kind of like saying "YAY!" Really, it's like saying "HOLLA!" but I knew she wouldn't get that. The explanation didn't work, so I just gave up.

Also, he sent another text telling us to get there "10ish," which is notable because I think he likes sleep as much as he likes food, and there's a game the night before, which means alcohol (and he might like that better than sleep and food combined, as we all should). Mom texted back to say that it was awful early for him, but she was glad that we'd have more time. He wrote back to say that's why he chose it.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Best of Summing it Up

"I am angry. I am infuriated. And I don't think I would be if Sarah Palin were a qualified or competent choice as McCain's running mate. But the fact, the reality is that she is not. And instead of demanding better from their party, instead of going, wait a minute, no, we deserve better than this, many Republicans are contorting themselves into a denial of reality." speaks truth to power.

Also, as a former community organizer, I have to say Palin is an idiot for calling out organizers in her speech. 1) They have a lot of "actual" responsibility, 2) They are "regular people" who are not politicians working for their communities, 3) Why, when you are trying to insult one person, would you insult a whole group of people who work on both sides of the aisle, and 4) THEY WORK ON HER OWN CAMPAIGN.

How do you spell incompetent? P-A-L-I-N

And, I say this as a woman, a proud Vagina American, I'm not voting for someone just because we share the same special parts. Especially when she opposes the rights that come with those special parts.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Best of Days


While I'm in Oklahoma, trying to get caught up on sleep, my best friend is celebrating her 24th birthday by knocking doors in Indiana for Obama. Maybe not exactly how she thought she'd mark the day of her birth, but she's making a difference, like always. Whitney Marie Denton, I miss you like crazy! I wish you had been in Denver, getting to watch the shows (both the convention and the other one) and seeing firsthand what all your hard work is about. Thank you for letting me call you at crazy hours to tell you about my adventures during this week every August.

I wish you were here to party it up for Whit-A-Palooza, but we'll just do that in November (when we'll have TWO great things to celebrate).

Love you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best of Convention

Apparently I go to Denver and forget all about you or the fact I have a blog. That, or I am working so much that I get finished just in time to go to a late night party and probably stay out too late, only to have to get up a short 3 or 4 hours later. I'm working hard and playing hard, and I think that's the way this is supposed to be done. I LOVE Denver. It hasn't been too hot, the light rail system is great, and there are Democrats everywhere.

The absolute highlight of my trip so far was getting to be in the room when Michelle Obama gave her amazing speech. I wasn't supposed to be. I had an Arena pass, which, while better than a Perimeter pass that only gets you to the parking lot of the Pepsi Center, got me in the building. But that's all. I could stand at the door and look over heads to see the speakers, but couldn't step forward. I stood there for over an hour, watching everyone lead up on Monday night to the wonderful finale, and a volunteer, Trudy from California, felt so sorry for me, she let me in to hear Michelle. Trudy's got some good karma coming her way. I got goosebumps and felt like I was a part of history. Then I went to a Sex, Politics and Cocktails party hosted by Planned Parenthood (that someone keeps referring to as the Sex in the City party -- it wasn't) that really rocked. Great music, great food, cool swag, and an open bar. All absolutely free. Plus, Grant and I were the last ones let in before it hit capacity AND he got us VIP passes to the upstairs. Still missed Ashley Judd, so maybe I shouldn't even go home to face my dad.

I went to an EMILY's List event yesterday and before my body was run down so much that I had to leave it and throw up, I got to hear Hillary give another graceful speech and Nancy Pelosi raise hell.

I think this is my mecca.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Best of Quotes

I read a daily quote from Levenger almost everyday.

Today, I read it several times, and EVERY TIME, the first time I read it, I saw this:
"All serious dating starts from within."
It actually says this:
"All serious daring starts from within."
What does that say about me?

(First quote, courtesy of my strange mind. Second quote, courtesy of Eudora Welty.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Best of Carpe Diem

I just got this shirt at Busted Tees for Grant for his birthday. He's not a regular reader of the blog, so I feel safe showing it here:

Too soon?

Best of Best Friends

Mine reads my blog. And then she takes the time to make these, even while she is working 7 days a week on a very important presidential campaign, and sends them to me. They made my day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best of Getting the Hell Outta Dodge

After recent events, we're ready for vacation. In less than two weeks, we're headed to Denver, Colorado, with a million other Democrats for the National Convention. Grant was able to take off work, and we got cheap flights, so we're going to be there for the nominating speech. So so so excited! The weather should be cooler, we're going to be hanging out with progressives (most of them, anyway), and (how should I put this delicately?) it's not Oklahoma. We'll be in the mile high city (HELLO mile high club!) from Sunday through Friday. Activities planned so far include partying, going to a free day at the Denver Art Museum, listening to speeches, going to a Sex, Politics and Cocktails party, seeing friends in the area and going to see Michelle Obama and Speaker Pelosi at "gala reception." And I also have to work.

The more exciting trip is exactly a month later, when Grant and I will leave for Vegas for his birthday! It was a surprise trip for about a day after I purchased the tickets, but I couldn't take it anymore. I told him Friday night before things got crazy. We're staying at Treasure Island (or TI if you are hip - I'm not), and I'm ready to eat, drink, laze about, gamble, lounge by the pool, and really celebrate with Grant - everything you are supposed to do in Sin City. We're going for three nights, which is really not that long, but seeing as there is something going on in November (and all the other politicos take the Vegas trip AFTER the elections), it'll have to do. I'm probably leaving the laptop (and all connections to work) at home.

Thank goodness for escapes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I guess it's about time for an update.

I know there's no "Best of" in that title, but I'm breaking with that habit for this post. Because there's no "best" in what happened on Friday, except for what happened after. You'll understand in a second. After our harrowing experience, Grant and I have spent the weekend just lazing about our house with Henry, alternating between watching Olympics and Weeds in the living room and bedroom.

Friday, 8/8/08, was our 9 month anniversary. I had an amusing post planned to commemorate it -- was gonna write it yesterday -- about how we could have had a baby by now if we had had sex on the first date. (Some of you know just how possible that situation could have been :) Instead, I'm writing this.

We went to an expensive dinner at the Chalkboard on Friday night, getting all dressed up and taking pictures with our new cameras. We shared a bottle of wine, ate a lot of food, and then decided to go home to watch the Olympics opening ceremony and maybe celebrate a bit, if you know what I mean. The only reason I mention it was an expensive dinner is because after we ate, I got all stressed out and worried about how much we had spent on one night. I worry a lot -- too much -- about money. All the time. We got in my car to go home, and Grant asked me what was wrong. I didn't want to tell him I was worried about money AGAIN, so I said nothing, and was kind of silent for the first part of the ride home. He knew something was wrong, and offered to drive, but I told him I was fine. We weren't even listening to the radio. When we got on the highway, we were both silent, and I was mad at myself for being worried and mad at Grant for not understanding.

He slammed himself into the passenger side window and then back in his seat. I thought he was acting mad, which made me more mad. It was dark, but I looked over, and his entire body was convulsing. At this point, I started screaming at him "GRANT! GRANT! JESUS CHRIST, GRANT ANSWER ME!" He didn't respond at all. His hands were contracted and pulled into his body, every muscle seems to be spasming, his eyes were rolled back into his head, and he was unconscious. I made sure he was still breathing, and I think I checked to make sure he had a clear airway, but I was terrified that he was dying and I didn't know what to do. I fought with his convulsing legs -- while driving -- to get to my purse at his feet and get my phone. I tried calling my mom on her cell, and then got her at home, and just said, "Momma, Grant is having a seizure in the car and I'm driving and I don't know what to do and I don't know where the nearest hospital is and HE WON'T ANSWER ME and he won't stop..." There was lots of crying, lots of "I can't do this!" and probably some "FUCK"s as well. My mom is a saint.

She told me to keep driving (we were almost to Sapulpa at this point, and I knew I could find the hospital), asked if he was breathing, and said she'd call his parents so they'd meet us at the emergency room. I tried calling his mom's cell phone, but no answer, so I called her back, and she hadn't gotten a hold of them either. I tried calling Whit, so she could call her parents or her aunt and uncle, but no answer. I don't think I've ever felt so helpless. I was crying and screaming, and staying as calm as I could while watching someone I love so very much seize in the seat next to me.

Grant spoke. I started asking him what had happened. He didn't know who I was. I started crying harder. I asked him if he knew his name. He said "Grant." I asked him the year (2008), I asked him if he had a girlfriend (yes), I asked him her name (Court), and he said he knew who I was. We were in Sapulpa. I asked him for his parent's phone number; he didn't know it. I asked him if he remembered anything; he said he remembered dinner and offering to drive. Thank God I didn't let him. He thought I was acting crazy. I told him he had had a seizure and that I was driving him to the hospital. He was so pale and confused. My phone rang, and "Grant Thompson" showed up on my screen. I thought he was joking with me and calling me, so I was confused, but when I answered, it was his dad and they were on their way. (I still had their home number programmed in my phone under Grant.) My mom was able to get through to them, and they met us at the hospital a few minutes after we arrived.

I had to tell the nurses what had happened because Grant still doesn't remember a thing. He threw up, and they put him in a room for a few hours to make sure he didn't seize again. They asked him about medications, about being in the hot weather, about doing anything out of the ordinary. He was less confused by this point, and I recited all his meds and habits and told three different people what had happened. After not being able to find his vein, he finally got his blood work done. Rich, his super nice doc, ordered a cat scan to make sure he had no blood on his brain. Suddenly, I remembered a new medication that his doctor had prescribed a few weeks ago. Grant had only taken it once, and it made him feel watery-headed and punch drunk, so he didn't take it anymore. Until Friday morning, because he had an appointment with that doctor. That medication causes seizures in my boyfriend. When everything came back normal, Rich agreed it was the medicine. We were relieved it wasn't something worse.

We came home and crawled into bed. We spent the entire next day together.

I'm especially clingy and like to just touch him to make sure he's still there.

I still haven't let go of what happened, and I'm carrying it around with me. Go hug and kiss whoever you love RIGHT NOW.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best of Good Intentions

Got this text from Grant today: "Fridge is clean" It made me very happy, because 1), I hate cleaning out the fridge and 2), it was Grant's turn and 3), he'd never done it at 632 and 4), I'd been asking him to do it for a couple of days. How much are you wishing you lived with me? Sorry, I'm taken.

Anywho, news of anything being cleaned in my house makes me excited and content. These feelings started to fade away over dinner when I heard about the cleaning process.

Me: "Thank you for cleaning the fridge!"
G: "Sure. Henry helped, too. He ate 1/3 of the chocolate cake, a turkey burger, and..."

I love my boyfriend, but this was not a good idea. Henry does not know when to quit eating. He'll eat everything he can. Grant didn't think this through, and just gave him all the leftovers. And then, when he left for work this afternoon, he put him outside in the hot.

Needless to say, when I got home from work a few hours later, Henry wasn't feeling too well. He came inside, drank a lot of water, threw himself down on the cold tile, then joined me in the living room. To throw up on the carpet.

Beware, here's a visual*:

Here's a sick Henry:

I felt sorry for the poor thing (even though they should BOTH know better), so I just loved on him, and then a good idea occurred to me. Rolaids. Henry ate 2 of the chewables (Grant swears by them), and is now wreaking a different kind of havoc on the living room. The fun kind.

*This was taken by my new toy I got today. Look at that detail! Granted, this is not what I thought I would take to feature my new camera, but, hey, it works.

Best of the Best News!

I have been working hard on fixing so much of my life, and man has it paid off the past two days! I've been fighting to get healthier physically, financially and emotionally for almost a year, and I knew it wouldn't happen overnight. I didn't expect it to all happen in the same day, though!

1) I got a bonus at work. One that I was promised almost a year ago, but I finally got it!
2) I subsequently paid off all my credit cards last night. WOO. HOO. I feel so responsible and relieved.
3) I finally got the original appraisal for a piece of jewelry I am interested in selling.
4) After the medical problems and treatment I had earlier this year, I went to the doctor again to see if all the precancerous cells were gone, and I found out a few minutes ago that my test came back NORMAL.

Let the (financially responsible) celebrating begin!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Best of Truthiness

I feel the exact same way about "I don't disagree." Oh, you don't disagree? Then just say you agree. It's not that hard.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Best of Things Left in Pockets and Discovered Too Late in the Dryer

1) Change. This one is fun, though, when I do the laundry, because I take it ALL and put it in my change bank.
2) Bad quality paper towels. These tear apart in the washer like Kleenex, and little bits stick to every piece of clothing.
3) Kleenex.
4) Good quality paper towels (VIVA). These amaze me, and they act like cloth by not falling apart.
5) Cut up pieces of straw (Grant chews on them).
6) Whit's passport.
7) Gum.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I don't think that last one is really Italian, and, if by chance it is, I'm sure I didn't use it correctly. But. You are missing the point! My bedroom is a bedroom again, with four walls, no holes, and no unplanned sprinkler system. Maybe you remember me mentioning Operation Get Rid of the Hole in My Bedroom? Well, last night, I finally finished.

If you want to read more about the details, start here in my photostream on Flickr.

After my mom came to visit, and they fixed the leak (if you can call a pipe cut clean in half a leak), we just lived with a hole in our wall. Then I decided to just fix it. After looking up "how to dry wall" on Google, I came up with a plan. Grant doubted my plan, but it was my plan, I knew it could work. When dad came to help with the tree limbs, he helped with the hole dilemma, too, and improved on my original plan. The problem with drywall is that you have to have something on which to attach the sheet rock. (How many sentences on the internet do you think have both "drywall" and "on which" in them? Not only can I mud and tape, I can do it grammatically.)

Our hole was too big for just a mesh covering, so we made the hole bigger. Dad then cut a piece of new sheet rock to fit, and he left me to tape, mud and sand it. I did, and I'm proud to say that you can barely tell where the hole was. I'm available for hire.

Then, to make something happy come from this, I painted that wall green.

See? Where's the hole?

And this is how it looks now.

Operation Get Rid of the Hole in My Bedroom? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Best of Simple Motivation

Today is Primary Day in Oklahoma (Q: Do only political nerds say "Happy Primary Day!" to fellow politicos in text messages? A: Yes.), and I am proudly displaying my participation.

I live for these stickers on Election Day, because I like the written sticky proof that I am involved in our democracy. Just another incentive to vote, because I have PROOF that I did so.

I thought about the stickers this morning, and I think more entities should use them. Maybe it's another form of the gold star system from Kindergarten, but I would like to see these stickers available to me.

From the gym: "I worked out!"
From my house: "I made my bed today!"
From my bank: "My account is not overdrawn!"
From my credit cards: "I paid my bill on time!"
From my job: "I'm a hard worker!"

I would be so much more responsible if there were stickers involved.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Best of Finally Dealing with the Ice Storm

How did you spend your Sunday? Relaxing in the air conditioning with an icy drink?


Sunday morning, I joined my Dad in sporting a hardhat, and we worked in my front yard in the scorching Oklahoma sun. I have the nicest Dad ever, since he decided to spend one of his weekend days helping me. Ever since the ice storm, we have had dead limbs in the big tree in the front, just hanging there ready to live up to their "widow-maker" names. They've been there for a long time, and every time it storms, a smaller one falls. I began to realize I was pressing my luck, and my Dad came to the rescue.

Grant had to miss out on the action because he had to work, so Dad climbed the tree while I was on the ground crew. Dad threw a little sandbag attached to twine over the highest limb he could reach, used the twine to pull a rope over that limb, put on his harness (also known as his "butt belt"), and climbed up the tree.

Before he began the ascent, he taught me two knots so I could be helpful on the ground. One, a bowline, and I don't even remember the name of the second knot, much less how to tie it. I'm a great assistant. Anyway, in my defense, it is really fucking hard for a girl who doesn't know her left from right to remember how to tie a knot. I do remember that the bowline involves going out a hole, around a tree, and back in a hole.

While Dad was in the tree (scaring the shit out of our squirrel, Sammy), he pulled dead branches down, I gave him the all-clear, he dropped them, and I, being the Brush Crew Team Captain (and only member), made them into a pile in our front yard. I also gave car warnings, so I think that made up for the lack of knot-tying knowledge. I had to send up his chain saw on the rope, and my made-up knot worked great. I'm going to call that knot The Court, and you have my permission to use that label on any knot you make up to sound like a knot professional.

Only one limb came close to getting me, and that's because it bounced.

Then Dad's chainsaw stopped working, but that's okay because "we" already got all the dead limbs out of the tree. It was also okay because he had plans to make the bigger limbs into firewood (and I would assist), so those plans fell through, and we got to go inside. To air conditioning, with a lunch of shrimp salad sandwiches and fresh tomatoes. And lots and lots of iced water and tea.

Then we began our second project - Operation Get Rid of the Hole in My Bedroom - but I'm saving that for later, because I want to be able to post a picture of the final result (the happy ending, if you will) and we're not at that place yet. Almost, though. Almost.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Best of Signs

There's going to be a new restaurant on Brookside! In the exact spot where a new restaurant on Brookside failed! For the new new restaurant's sake, I hope the cooking is better than the spelling.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Best of Doing It Anyway

I. HATE. SPEAKING IN FRONT OF GROUPS. I do not enjoy giving a speech to a crowd. I think I do whatever the opposite of enjoying it is - my stomach gets tied up in knots, I get nervous as all hell, and sometimes I have to shotgun a beer or drink a screwdriver (nicely packaged in an innocent orange juice bottle) right before I get on stage. I know it's not a big deal for some people, but I hate it. See my first sentence. I think it ties back to my perfectionism, and being afraid I'm going to both make a mistake and that people will judge me for it.

HOWEVER, I do it anyway. Someone asks me to speak, and I agree to it, and then I dread it until the day comes. Then the dread turns into terror, and maybe I have a drink to calm those nerves, and I get through it. Sometimes with a shaky voice, and once memorably when I fell flat on my face on the stage, but I do it.

Today was one of those days. I had to speak to a group of young Latin American leaders about what I do in politics, and I was hoping something would happen (maybe a fender bender?) so I would have to cancel. I worried, fretted, and griped about it all morning, trying to stay in bed. Grant made me get up.

I got dressed, bitching the whole time, threw myself out of my house, and got in my car. I read over the materials about the group again, and realized they were being sponsored by the Secretary of State. That made it cooler and also freaked me the fuck out all the more. When I got to the venue, I was the only car in the parking lot. I tried the door: locked. I thought, "THANK GOD. I can get in my car, drive away, and tell the host organization that I TRIED to make it, but no one was there." I almost drove away.

But I stayed. And I spoke. And I did a good job. And I did it without the edge-taking-off effects of a drink. And I think it is one of the coolest things I've ever done.

Best of Birthdays

The Thompson boy named Gavin has a birthday today, and I like him so much I'd bake a cake for him. (And I HATE cake.) Instead, I'm going to D-FEST with his Irish twin tonight, where I will drink lots of beer in his honor. He was invited, but he already had better plans with his new girlfriend in Kansas City. I'm betting they share a hotel room, but I live in sin, so who can judge?

Happy 30th!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Best of Reuniting

Last weekend, I spent 6 hours in the car to get to Granbury, Texas, for a family reunion. It's a massive group of people on my Dad's side - my grandmother's first cousins and their progeny. I'm on the third-cousin (fourth generation) level, and we have five generations that attend. Here's my level:

When I was little, Garrett and Grant would come to Grand Lake for one week every summer. It was a constant. Sometimes their other cousins or my other cousins would be there, but the three of us always showed up. The first day, we weren't quite sure of each other, but by the last of the week we were inseparable. We played a lot of Monopoly until the middle of the night, slept in our swimsuits, and once Garrett drove my Uncle Kenny's Jet Ski (the stand up kind) into the shore of our cove. I basically worshiped Garrett, even though he is one month to-the-day YOUNGER than me. He is still cooler.

Everyone is so grown up now. I think the fact that I just wrote that makes me old, but I still feel behind. My cousin Corey, who is just a year or two older than me, is married and 8 months pregnant with her SECOND child. Garrett is married and his wife is very pregnant with their first child. That's what I learned this weekend. That I should have a ring on my finger and be knocked up. I'll get back to you on the progress of that. I sure WANT a baby, but I know I don't need one right now. I'm barely grown up enough to take care of me. Give me a few years to get it together, I guess.

The other thing about a weekend reunion is that I didn't have very much time to talk to the people I really wanted to catch up with, and it still felt like the first day syndrome with my cousins I hadn't seen in 8 years. If we would have had a few more days, you would have seen people in their twenties spend five hours playing a very intense and competitive real estate game. Instead, I still felt slightly insecure like I am the gray sheep of the family - not pretty enough, not successful enough, not married enough? One of my second cousins once removed (that's right, I understand that shit) told me I was pretty now. Now?

I think reunions are good for second-guessing life choices, but at least this is preparing me for my 10-year high school reunion next May. Maybe I'll Romy and Michele it - I use post-it notes enough to make it work.

AND there is talk to reunite the parts of the family that consistently came to the originals at Grand Lake, and to spend a little bit more time, and I think that would be loads more fun. Without all the distractions (Can you refer to some members of your family like that? I can.) we'd get to talk, laugh, play games, drink, swim - everything important about the family and summer combination. Also, when I'm a grandmother, and I organize this stuff, I'm going to tell my kids and grandkids that they don't get to bring friends. If I would have brought friends during my summer reunions growing up, I would have never bonded with Garrett and Grant*.

To the fun stuff:
1) We got in one round of spades - Oklahoma (Marla and me) vs. Texas (Lori and Garrett). I won't tell you who won, but let's just say BOOMER SOONER! Which is good, because I hate losing.

2) I got to hang out with Audrey Grace SO MUCH! We decided we are Best Friend Cousins (BFCs) for life.

We went shopping together (where I bought a dress she said LOOKED SO GOOD on me), we swam together (where she broke out into Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" - pretty impressive for an almost 11 year old), and we screamed on the Sea Doo together. When I was getting tips from her on working out (she's a gymnast and works out 17 hours a week), and I told her I wanted to lose some more weight, and she said, "YOU'RE NOT FAT!" See, you love her, too.

*The fact that I have a Grant and Garrett in my family, and that I'm dating a different Grant who has a brother Garet isn't confusing AT ALL. When I was at the reunion, and I was telling someone that Grant (my boyfriend) couldn't make it because he had to work, someone overheard and told me that Grant was on his way. Too much explaining.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Best of Welcomes

This was waiting for me when I got home from work today, and it was badly needed. Red wine, flowers, post-its - can it get any better? Grant's a keeper.

Best of Rain

A good friend of mine once told me that rain is good for the soul, because it washes away everything old and bad, allowing a clean start.

I must be needing a new beginning. Rain is showing up in unexpected places.

For about a year now, whenever it rains outside, it also rains in my car. I think it is getting in the back window since I have an old soft-top convertible, and it collects where the top folds down. If it rains too much, that overflows, and somehow my back floorboards get wet (but the seats and the front are fine). This is annoying, but I can live with it. I don't put my briefcase on the backseat floor (and I yell at car visitors who try to do so with theirs), I put beach towels in the back window and pull them out sopping wet, and I have gotten semi-used to the smell of mildew.

What I can't live with?

Rain in my BEDROOM. That's right. About a week and a half ago, I was still in bed with Henry while Grant was in the shower, and suddenly I was getting sprinkled. I thought Henry was peeing on me - MAN WAS HE GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE - but then I realized that he also looked confused. And the entire bed was getting wet. And so was the dresser. And so were the walls and the floor. What. The. Hell? I jumped out of bed, ran to the bathroom, and yelled at Grant to turn off the water. He couldn't hear me, so I tried the door... locked. I yell at him even louder TO TURN OFF THE WATER. He thinks I'm yelling at him to turn off the water so he can hear me - not because Noah could build an ark in our bedroom - so he yells back that he is still soapy, and he'll be out in a minute. I don't want to think what the down comforter would look like in a minute. I yell at my loudest (you're welcome, neighbors!) that it is raining in our room, and that a pipe must have burst. He turns off the water.

I start mopping up, with Henry at my heels, saying a few choice words. Grant dries himself off, and much to my shock, gets dressed before coming to help. In his defense, he thought there was just water on the floor, not covering everything -- including me -- in the room.

After a small hole in the wall, then a bigger hole, then covering it with a picture for my mom's visit, not showering for a few days (but baths were fine), then having a plumber come out, cutting out an even bigger hole - we found out that the soft pipe for the shower had been cut clean in half. It must have happened when the contractors put up new sheet rock before we moved in, and ever since then, when someone took a shower, the water sprayed inside the wall, eroding it away, little by little. This makes me think of the escape in the Shawshank Redemption.

Then, because the universe loves me, it succeeded in making a hole and creating a sprinkler system in my bedroom the day my mom arrives for a visit.

We had just rearranged the room, and I loved being in there, but now I'm back to hating it. My dresser is in the other bedroom. There is a big hole on my wall. When we wanted to watch TV, we put it on the ironing board until that bent the metal.

How depressing is this image? That's my bedroom, folks. I'm waiting for the clean start part.

(Also, George Bush is letting us know that the economy isn't so bad. At a 10:20am news conference, shocking scheduled at the same time as the Fed Chairman is telling Congress that the economy is pretty bad and not gonna get better anytime soon. That's even more depressing.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Best of a Happier Ending

This is Gallagher:

Gallagher has the strongest personality for such a short little dog. He does not realize he is small, so he'll jump right on your belly when you are resting on the couch. He acts tough, but he takes care of everyone. When our calf, Noel, was born on Christmas day, Kenneth had to take care of her and bottle feed her milk. Gallagher stood by and would lick her face clean when she was finished. He loved my lab Daisy, and you may remember that he took her bed after she passed away. After that, though, he started chewing up both dog beds, even after mom safety-pinned the covers down, which earned him a trip to the vet. It also pissed off our boxer, Chester, so he took the big bed back since Gallagher ruined his. But... that's okay. Gallagher just snuggles up to him in the middle of the night on the same bed. He's so big and heavy and stubborn; when he decides to do something, you can't really convince him otherwise. When he stayed with us earlier this year, Whitters was having a rough night, and while she cried in her room, he put his paws on her back and just comforted her for an hour.

On Sunday night, after my mom returned to Kingfisher from hanging out for the weekend with us in Tulsa, he was hit by a car in front of our house. He made it up to the house, and Mom got him inside and realized something was really wrong. She stayed up with him all night, petting him and giving him water, while he was in shock, and they both waited until she could take him to the vet early in the morning. He has a broken hip, and might need surgery, but he is going to make it. As the vet put it, he's a "tough pup." That he is. He's a lover and a fighter. Thank goodness he is a stubborn little motherfucker, and I know he will fight to survive this and live on to take care of my family. Your thoughts and prayers would sure help, though.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Best of the IRS

Like everyone else, I was excited about my own stimulus check (yay $600 free dollars!) even though I don't think it will be very stimulating to the economy. Here's an example of my bad luck. They send them out based on the last two digits of your social security number. What's yours? Mine is "99." Seriously. I get mine in the last batch. Gah, this should be like getting in line in elementary school, when sometimes your teacher would let you line up in reverse alphabetical order. This Ruark finally got to be towards the front! So, IRS, if we do this stimulus again (hopefully Obama will win, and we won't), make sure you do reverse numerical order. Thanks.

I was supposed to get my check around this time in July. On Saturday, I got an envelope in my mailbox from the IRS that said "Stimulus Information - IMPORTANT - Do NOT Throw Away." Would you think that was a check? I did. I opened it, and no check. They sent me a LETTER to let me know that my check should come in the next week. But not to call or write for 6 weeks if I don't get it. What?

Our brilliant government just spent millions of dollars mailing pre-letters to all tax-payers. That's so dumb. I'd rather them forgo my "hey, you think this is a check, but really it is a letter to tell you what you already know about your check" correspondence, and just add $0.42 to my payment. I promise I'd spend it better.

I was going to use mine to pay down on debt (not what I'm supposed to do, but it's mine, so I will not be stimulating anything with it, so suck it), but then, did you hear? I have a crazy expensive medical bill that it will be going towards ("towards," because it won't completely cover it). There's irony there. I'm getting money from the government to cover something that I think the government should cover for me anyway. Stimulate that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Best of Restraint

One week ago today, I started a "cleanse" for my body. Yeah, yeah, it sounds new-age-y, and it kind of is, but I thought it would be good for me. I heard about it here, and since I love Dooce and think she's the coolest, I thought - why not? I went to Borders with Whitters to get the book Quantum Wellness, and started reading to get to the cleanse instructions. It also had recipes* with obscure ingredients that met the restraints. Here's what The Cleanse entailed - for 21 days I could not consume the following:

Animal products (no milk, eggs or CHEESE)

If you read that, and think "what the hell is left?" well, then, you're right. I could eat:


Try it for ONE day. It sucks. SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. But I stuck to it. It is impossible to find foods that are easy to make that do not have either eggs or gluten (found in wheat) in them. I'm lucky I'm not a lactose intolerant with Celiac's disease, but man, at least then I could eat sugar. And drink coffee. And drink wine until I forgot about everything I couldn't have.

Regardless, I stayed on my journey. My lack-of-caffeine headache went away, but I felt hungry at all times. I also started to not feel so great, and got front headaches, but I thought it was my body "detoxing." WRONG. On my day four, I read this. Oh, cool, I just shocked my system so my immune system is shutting down. To retaliate, Grant and I went out to eat and I had CHICKEN. Tasty, tasty meat. With mashed potatoes that had better had some animal product mixed in them.

I'm still trying to keep part of it up. I haven't had coffee or alcohol in 8 days. I try to follow the cleanse guidelines for breakfast and lunch, and then I have a regular meal with Grant, but we're cutting down on meat (for health and cost reasons). I made some great discoveries of foods I would have NEVER tried otherwise. For breakfast, I found this hot cereal, Rice & Shine, made from brown rice, and it is so so good with some soy milk, agave nectar and blackberries or blueberries from the farmer's market. I also had some really great toaster waffles that were both gluten and dairy-free, that I covered with agave nectar and fresh fruit. Instead of coffee, I drank orange juice and water. For lunch, I had steamed veggies and cold peanut sesame noodles. For dinner, I made a great black bean, tomato, rice and avocado meal with cilantro that I will eat again and again. Grant grilled me veggies and mushrooms. It was possible, just not enjoyable.

Trust me on this - never try gluten-free and dairy-free bread made from brown rice. The entire loaf went directly in the trash can once I tried one bite (and made Grant try it to validate me). Bread should always be made from wheat and eggs. ALWAYS.

I have eaten almost everything we bought at the farmer's market. In 13 days, I fully plan on having a glass of red wine with a fabulous dinner. I drank a whole lot more water because I was not drinking coffee, and because food was so restricted. I still am, and I can see a difference in my complexion and skin. So that's cool. And, you know, probably a good thing since we're about to lose some Starbucks. Now I just have to figure out where I can still get my Sunday NY Times...

*It was only after I quit the cleanse (or at least Kathy's version) that I realized she had included IN HER BOOK recipes and meal plans that included ingredients with sugar and gluten. I spent two hours at Whole Foods trying to find items that I could eat - like veggie burgers (have diary) and soy sausage (has gluten). Do some research. Gah.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Best of Feeling Like a Kid

Gah, I love summer. Tonight I've done several things that make me feel like I'm 9 years old in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.

1) In the house, Grant and I hear loud noises. We go into the backyard and can't see the fireworks. When we decide to jump on the trampoline for awhile, we climb on, and SEE THEM exploding in the sky. This feels like the time Jennifer Stuteville, who lived a few houses down, and I figured out that we could see each other from our respective backyards if we jumped high enough on our "tramps."

2) On the trampoline, Grant jumps me so high I pee a little in my pants. I tell him with the condition that he MUST NOT LAUGH or make fun of me. He doesn't.

3) I get out of breath from doing back handsprings.

4) It's dark. We lay, bodies going opposite directions, with only our heads next to each other and look at the stars and think we could sleep outside. We talk about sleeping on trampolines, and how it is great, until you wake up at dawn slightly wet. During sleepovers, we used to get on the trampoline (or once, memorably, on a blanket on my front lawn) and sleep until we got dewy.

5) My feet are covered in black smudges, and I will crawl in bed with them still there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Best of Finds

This name really gives some creativity to design and function. And it reminded me of two of my favorite things: 1) hating Rachael Ray and 2)...

This dedication goes out to Indiana and Norman, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best of What I Forgot to Do Today

1) Brush my teeth. That's a bad one. (You wanna hang out later, and I'll talk real close to your face?)

2) Put on deodorant. Ewww, also bad. (When we hang out, I'll give you a BIG hug.)

3) Put on perfume. This is not so bad, but it sure would have helped with number 2.

I'm obviously distracted, but YOU WOULD BE TOO if your best friend were moving across the country. Good news: Whitters got a job working for Obama in Indiana. Bad news: she leaves TODAY. We're about to go have Indian food for lunch, maaaaaaybe get a pedicure, and probably cry a little bit.

We had a goodbye party last night at the 632, and it involved a two year old's birthday, homemade pizza, the trampoline, HENRY, lots of family, baked cheese, cupcakes, beer pre-party and wine after. I'm pretty sure we did it up right.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Best of Quizzes

Okay, here's a chance for some audience participation.

I found a math quiz online from The Morning News headlines, and you can try it, too. We talk a lot about math in our house these days, and a few nights ago Whitters and I sat at the kitchen table doing it all night. Grant hates math so he just hung out in the living room with his headphones on, so the evil math terms couldn't even make their way to his brain. Whitters also hates it (LOATHES IT & DESPISES IT), but I'm a fun tutor (most of the time), and she found herself having a tiny, tiny bit of fun doing truth tables. I cannot wait for proofs. Transitive property, here we come!

But back to this test. I'm a little ashamed to say that I only got 3 out of 4 right, but that's okay. How did you do?

Another fun quiz is the 50 states one. You get 10 minutes to type in the names of all the states. The first time I did it, I only got 48. Don't cheat! I gave the test to a coworker (and spelling is not his strong suit), so when he said he got all 50, I was a little surprised. And a lot suspicious. Even if he remembered all the states (doubtful), I knew he wouldn't be able to spell Connecticut. I asked if he cheated, and he said no, so I checked his history. Suuuuuure, he didn't. He just happened to google "50 states" during the test. He still says he didn't cheat. Right.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Best of Dinners

On Sunday afternoon, I was feeling down. It could have been (probably was) hormonal, because I was in a depressing mood even after the Brunch Committee had finally found a worthy, good-service, not-too-expensive brunch in Tulsa at Lava Noshery on Brookside. That's enough to be happy about, but I wasn't feeling it. In going to the restaurant, which really was fabulous (Grant had the biggest french toast I've ever seen with bourbon peaches), we even braved the intimidating white buildings to go eat there. And now that I figured out that the modern places wouldn't turn us away (think the first shopping scene in Pretty Woman), I'm going to be unstoppable on that side of the street. But enough about that. Because I was still in a bad mood.

I turned down a trip to the bookstore with Whitters, which really had her worried, and for good reason. I never turn down a trip to the bookstore. I got some alone time, though, that I needed, and even though I was not looking forward to the act of getting there, I climbed in my car and drove to Vinita for a Father's Day dinner.

And I'm so glad I did.

Because my air conditioner is broken (AGAIN), I drove the entire way with the top down, just absorbing the sunshine. And maybe sweating a little bit. I sang along to my radio, narrowly avoided a rainstorm, and got there a little windswept and a little bit more content than when I left my house. Dad got me a beer, liked his presents, and Mary Ma came over bearing a TON of food.

They both kept saying, "I thought you were bringing Grant," and while the amount of food she brought over was a lot for just the three of us, it also would have been a lot for the four of us. We dug in and did our best, eating steak (medium rare - YUM), pork chops, a bean salad, green beans, and a really tasty squash casserole.

Dad asked for the squash casserole as his only request for "his" meal, and Mary Ma said she'd make cheese grits, and he could grill zucchini outside. I think that gave him pause, and then he countered saying, "But that's not squash casserole." Mary Ma responded with saying that grits and a squash casserole would be two heavy dishes, so... I'm guessing Dad won.

At the end of dinner, with no dessert necessary, the three of us sat in Dad's living room. My great-grandparents built the house, and he is renovating it after it was in the hands of people outside our family for some years. I have a few scattered memories of the place, and one of the most vibrant is eating lunch with my Grampsie, because the after-lunch activities were a little frustrating to this little girl. He wanted to take a nap. I wanted to play. In the dining room, he'd put his feet up on his dining room chair while lying on the floor and cover his face with his handkerchief. And then go to sleep, or at least try to, with me right next to him. I'm not patient as an adult, and I sure wasn't then, so I'd keep asking if we could wrestle or read yet. I'm sure it was a satisfying siesta.

But after the big dinner we had Sunday, I can see the appeal. Instead of lying down in the dining room, I chose the couch, and Dad made me coffee for my drive back. We all talked and watched the storm out his big windows. I love getting to spend that kind of time with my family.

Dad went into the kitchen, and my Mary Ma asked me if I had a tattoo. I said yes, and she asked me where, and I told her it was on my hip. She said that wasn't so bad, and she told me that her grandmother used to think the same things about ear piercings and ankle bracelets that she does about tattoos. I explained that the three stars had meaning to me and represented Orion's belt, one of the first constellations my Dad taught me about in the car rides we took together across the state. That constellation has always been a constant in my not-always-stable life and comforts me whenever I see it. Orion is a hunter, and his belt is a symbol of strength, and I'm glad I have it permanently represented on my body. Not to mention, Seth has three stars tattooed on his back, so it really reminds me of family. My family.

I told all this to Mary Ma, and told her my mother's reaction to the same explanation. When I talked to Mom about it, Grant and I were talking to her in the living room in Kingfisher. She said she might as well go get the same tattoo since it represented family. I told her she should, and she said, "COURTNEY." as only a mother can. I'm guessing that meant she was joking. Grant told her that nothing would make Seth regret his tattoo more than finding out his mother had the same one. Probably true. When I related this story to my Mary Ma, she said that the only way SHE'D ever get a tattoo was if she went with me. Isn't that the best compliment?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best of Dads

This is mine. He's the best. I call him Dird, which he doesn't like so much, so it stuck. At my 26th birthday party, also known as Court-a-palooza, he came and after much encouragement from Whitters and other friends, built a bonfire in my backyard. I was more worried about it than he was, which kind of describes our relationship. He taught me to cook tortilla soup and gooseberry pie, taught me to fish (though I hate it), taught me to tend bar, and is still trying to teach me how to drive the boat and effectively manage money.

I used to spend my summers with him in Tulsa, and I love being back near the places we frequented. He'd take me to Steve's Sundry in Tulsa, where I would beg for more and more books, and we'd share a float. He finally began to make me put back books that weren't at least 300 pages (so they'd last more than a day and maybe help his pocketbook). He'd always let me buy a Sweet Valley High or Babysitter's Club super edition book, because they stayed partially read for a longer period of time.

We also went to Woodward Park where I would climb in the waterfalls and splash him. I'm sure he loved it, because one time I wanted to go to the pool, and he said he'd take me, but then he just took me to one of those big fountains in front of a huge office building and got in it. I sat in the car and fumed (I'm not much of a rule-breaker with those types of things), but then he looked like he was having so much fun, and I was so hot, so I got in. It was awesome for all of five minutes before the security guard kicked us out.

We'd go to Utica Square, to have dinner at Olive Garden (my-then VERY FAVORITE RESTAURANT), where I'd have minestrone soup and manicotti every single time. I'm not proud of my past love for chain restaurants and menu-adherence, but my taste buds and palette hadn't evolved yet, OKAY?

Anyway, my dad has always encouraged me and believed in me, from letting me read in the car when he'd drive 6 hours across the state to pick me up (and I read for the entire 6 hours back) to changing his registration to be a Democrat when I worked on my first presidential campaign (even though I had to, in return, shoot a gun). He's funny as all hell, with a very dry sense of humor, and he makes me giggle in church and get in trouble from Mary Ma. He's lucky to have found a very wonderful companion, V.V., who is also hilarious, and it makes for fun family meals. He's currently remodeling his house, and loves to hear suggestions from the entire fam-damn-ily about exactly what and how he should do next. I'm sure he'd love to hear your advice, too.

During the weekends I spent with him at the lake in college and after, he loved to try to wake me up for Meet The Press around this time every Sunday. I love MTP, and I love my Dad, but in the OKC area it comes on at 10AM, which is more doable. I'm not a very easy person to get out of bed, so I slept in more than I should have. I wish I were watching Tim Russert grill politicians with him right at this moment.

I wrote this post a few days early, and honestly wrote the above paragraph about two hours before I found out Tim Russert had died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. I am extremely saddened by the news, and I know my dad is heartbroken, because our country lost an objective and REAL political analyst who challenged all politicians (no matter the party), and my family's living rooms lost our Sunday morning friend.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Best of Saturday Afternoons

Gavin and Brisket, his bulldog, came over for lunch today. I made roast beef sandwiches and asparagus, and they were delish. ous.

Currently, I'm reading Real Simple and enjoying an afternoon beer. We're having a lazy afternoon because we got up EARLY to go to the farmer's market on Cherry Street again. We got bread for our lunch sandwiches and tons of fresh produce. And cheese, because we love cheese.

Grant is taking a nap next to me on the couch. Every once and awhile he grins and lets out a little giggle. Someone is having some good dreams.

Whitters is getting ready to participate in a wedding this evening (Grant and I will be in attendance), and MAN IS SHE EXCITED TO BE IN IT. That's a yoke.

Best of Things in My Backyard

One of these things I like more than the other
Originally uploaded by cruark

I decided I wanted to start posting more pictures on my blog, so when I went in the backyard this morning with Grant, I noticed just how beautiful my hibiscus was getting. After Grant left, I took my camera outside to try to get a shot of it, and HENRY WOULDN'T HAVE IT.

He's been in trouble the past few days, because during the day he stays outside in the backyard and is trying to turn it into a trash heaven. He chews up paper, drags out the hose (which Grant thought Whit and I were doing everyday), makes piles of trash, and has recently begun to eat our plants. Grant and I are plant people, so this hasn't gone over well. Henry attacked some sweet potato vine and our elephant ears we got last week at the farmer's market. Then he moved on to Grant's cacti, so now he has the shits. That's called justice.

The Henry vs. plants battle in the backyard is also causing tension in the house. I won't name names or parties, but someone is mad that plants bought are getting eaten (and suggested we might as well give him $5 bills to chew on), and someone else is mad that people in the house are mad at a puppy for being a puppy. Both sides are justified-ish, and both sides are a tad-ish angry. Any solutions? I didn't think so.

But back to this morning. I kept trying to take a picture of this flower, and then a dog nose would show up in it. Or a puppy would jump on me while I tried to take the shot. Finally, I just pushed him out of the way, and he crawled over and laid down as close as he could get to the flower. I think he's trying to say he's sorry. This is the very cute result.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Best of Appropriate

After the soundtrack from the ride into work, I cannot get one line from the Bodysnatchers song out of my head.

"...I have no idea what I'm talllllllking about..."

Hmmm. How apt is that?

I feel overwhelmed this week. Like WAY TOO OVERWHELMED, just-give-me-a-break-okay-universe? type of feelings. Just ask my roommates. And anyone who talks to me on IM. Or has happened to call during the past few days.

I'm freaking worried about money. Does anyone else think we are going to end up in a Depression (with a capital D, not just the kind that I experience occasionally?) if our entire country is not careful? Not to sound all gloom and doom, but it freaks me out that I have personal experience with the crises on the news. It wasn't like this 6 months ago. The housing crisis sucked, but no one I know is getting foreclosed.

But now.

I feel the pressure from rising gas prices, from rising food prices, and from unemployment. Which just makes me all that much more worried about the fact that I have debt, not savings. It's a difficult time to have a job in politics or in the non-profit world (and I work for an organization that combines the two), because when the economy gets rough, the first thing people give up is donating to causes. I understand, but I'd also still like to work for something I believe in and also, you know, get a paycheck. Especially to help payoff that debt.

It's summer. Isn't everything supposed to be all sunshine and light?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Best of Advice

Somehow the universe knew I needed to read some of this today. Do you need it too?

Relationship advice from Sarah Brown (a Tulsa native living in NYC) via Dooce (the coolest blogger ever).

Money advice from NYT. We spend too much. But I'm trying to be better! And save! It is taking me awhile to learn this lesson in all aspects of my life, but I really am trying to focus on the long-term.

Life advice from J.K. Rowling to Harvard graduates, some of whom did not realize how lucky they were to be in the audience. If only I had gone to Harvard. And stayed in school there for 9 years.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Best of Weekends

Why couldn't mine have just one more day?

I'm at work, looking at the rain fall on downtown Tulsa, and right now all I ever wanted was to be in my own bed, under the covers, reading a book, and drinking hot mint tea. I feel like I should have called in sick. I can't lie, but I'm in desperate need of a personal day, and I have cramps. Those are two reasons enough to escape the working world for a day.

One of the reasons I wanted my weekend to continue today is that I had such a good one! Friday night, Grant and I went on a date at Local Table in Brookside. The concept is cool - only serve what is in season and use local ingredients, but it kind of sucked, especially for the amount of the bill. The company was great, though, as per usual. It was Grant's idea to make sure we go on a real date every week, even though we live together, and I must say it has been a fabulous idea.

We got up early on Saturday morning to go to the Farmer's Market in Tulsa on Cherry Street, and it was worth not sleeping in. We found tons of fresh produce, and it's now a date for every Saturday morning. We had green beans with lemon and shallots for lunch, and felt like we had the entire day to conquer. I'm glad I found a way to make the weekend last just a little bit longer.

On Sunday, the brunch committee had planned an outing, but after a surprise 10 am phone call from AUDREY, those plans got changed. The Stillwater Ruarks showed up at our house about 10 minutes later, and Grant finally got to meet them. Audrey and Andrew met Henry, she jumped on the trampoline, Marla (with the help of Why Bother) discovered the true lyrics to Smack That, and we went to eat lunch at the riverwalk. And Audrey, Whitters and I were brave enough to run through the fountain. And then hug everyone else. After they left to go to Andrew's baseball game in Glenpool, I fell asleep with Henry in the hammock reading David Sedaris. Perfect.

And then raindrops hit me, so I headed inside.