Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Best of Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I was terrified to learn to drive, so I convinced my Driver's Ed teacher to not make me drive on Main Street in Kingfisher (very high traffic, you don't even know). Three days after I got my driver's license, I totaled my mom's Cadillac on a side street in Kingfisher.

2. I really want a Boston Terrier puppy.

3. I would live in Florence, Italy, if I could. Washington, DC, is a close second. Anywhere with number 5 is high on the list.

4. After completing ten college applications, I drove them to the Post Office, where I threw them all away. I was afraid of getting rejected. I didn't tell my mom until April. Thanks, OU, for still accepting me.

5. When Grant called to ask me out for our first date, he asked, "Do you like cheese?" Indeed I do. We're meant for each other. When he called, I was in Nevada with Peggy, and when I saw his name on my phone, I got all flustered, and asked her what I should do. She gave sound advice: answer it. She now calls him the cheese boy. I love cheese, and I love the cheese boy.

6. My shoulder is dislocated or something, so I can pop it completely out of socket. Most people think this is gross and do not want to see it. Let me know if you're not one of those, and I will amaze you.

7. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a teacher, doctor or comedienne. I'm none of the above... yet.

8. My favorite place to read is in a closet.

9. I have a tattoo.

(Oh, did I bury the lead?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Best of Things I Used to Do and I Wish I Still Did Them

1) Work out. I need to get back in the habit, and I'm thinking about joining a gym in Sapulpa, because I'm only in Tulsa two days a week. I HATE gym contracts and debited accounts (remember that time I paid $37 a month for two years?). My gym in Tulsa, who I affectionately and creatively call "Jim", is amazing. Ladies only, TVs with every piece of equipment, and NO CONTRACTS. Regardless, I need to find a way to get my aggression out again. I haven't gained any weight that I lost, but I am missing the healthy and happy feeling I get after exercise, both physically and emotionally.

2) New Music Tuesday! I used to ask Jessa and then Micah "What day is it?!?!?" every Tuesday. The obvious answer: "New Music Tuesday" on iTunes. (Gah, who wouldn't want to share an office with me?) I would browse all the new music and load up my iPod (which would then accompany me to see Jim, see #1). Then the real world sunk in, and because it was attached to my credit card, and I bought one too many songs, I went over my credit limit and jumped up my interest. For a 99 cent song. Sometimes I love being a grownup. Anyway, I need to get back to treating myself with one or two songs (and exercising discipline to only buy that amount) each week. I miss the music.

3) Read. Since I've been back from Turkey, where I read 4 books (because what else was I going to do?), I haven't finished a book. I've been playing catch up with my two jobs, one of which is only getting busier, and time at home is spent cooking dinner, cleaning, talking, working, but not reading. Anyone have any suggestions for a book to get me out of this rut? I need one I can't put down.

4) Spend time alone. Whitters thankfully understood how much I needed this today, and got everyone out of the house. I read Real Simple, gave myself a pedicure, and just had some time to think.

My life is FULL. Full of work, full of love, full of puppies & roommates & cooking & family & plants. Life is good, but I want to make some room in the fullness of it for the important (and lately missing) items above.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Best of Dogs

As I wrote earlier, I had a sudden urge to be home in Kingfisher this week with my family and dogs. I'm glad I went and was able to say goodbye, although I didn't know it was goodbye at the time.

My dog from high school, a beautiful yellow lab named Daisy, was put down yesterday. My mom called me last night, and I did not handle it well. I snapped at Grant and his friend, pulled away, shut down, and built up some nice big walls. I don't know why I act this way. When I am hurting the most, and needing other people to comfort me, I push them away as hard as I can. Sometimes I'm not a very good person. Sometimes I'm not good at life.

Daisy was always good at life, and really was a "Best of Dogs." I got her the summer before I was a junior, when I was 16, which was a very tumultuous time for me. She was an adorable puppy, who really took to the farm, and was a great guard dog if you are afraid of being licked to death.

To get her to come inside, I used to sing out the side door at the top of my lungs:


And she would come running. When I left for college, I could not take a full-grown lab with me to live in the dorms or subsequent apartments, but she would not have left the farm for anyplace in the world. She became Kenneth's best friend, who would patiently wait for him at the door, and not understand if he went to do anything with the cattle without her. If she were allowed, she slept next to his side of the bed any chance she got. And she licked everyone.

Other dogs showed up, Chester, Gracie, Gallagher, and Daisy mothered them all (most of all, Gallagher). Because she had a bad hip, Mom got her a really nice dog bed that the other dogs KNEW they were not for them. Still, though, Mom said even though Daisy was the only one on the bed at night, in the morning when everyone got up Gallagher would be snuggled up against her. She mothered everyone around her: the cows, the dogs, and my family.

Before I got home, Mom told me she was worried about Daisy because she would not come inside, which never happened, especially if Kenneth was in the house. I pulled up and saw her almost in our neighbor's yard, so I yelled for her, and she just kept circling. Mom and I went to get her, and I led her into the house to her bed, where I sat with her, and got to tell her I loved her and play with her ears, my absolute favorite part of Daisy. She licked me the entire time.

The next morning, when I left, Kenneth and I were talking about her, about the weird circling, and we thought she just couldn't go to the bathroom. She was headed to the vet that day, where they found out why she could not go to the bathroom; her whole body was riddled with tumors. Surgery would not help. My mom and Kenneth made the difficult decision to relieve her pain and put her to sleep, and had to call me and tell me last night.

I will miss her, and as I write this, Henry (who looks almost exactly like the little Daisy the sixteen year-old me held and adored) is jumping around the living room. I wish that they could have met. She would have taken care of him, and taught him about being the best dog. Somehow she already taught him about the licking, though.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Best of Advice

I don't know if you read my earlier post, but I recently spent a whole lot of time at Starbucks. I worked, but also needed to escape, and because I couldn't physically (no car, lots of rain), I found time to watch a 70 minute YouTube video.

If you have the time, watch it here. If you don't, you can read a great article about it in the NY Times. It's worth it to do both.

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and he delivered a lecture last year as part of their Last Lecture series. What has made millions of people, including myself, watch it? He's dying of pancreatic cancer and gives a humorous, honest and touching lecture about reaching your dreams & helping others reach theirs.

I like people with good hearts - he's one of them.

Two pieces of advice he gave really stuck out to me. 1) He reminds us that brick walls are there for a reason - "they let us prove how badly we want something" and keep out those who do not want it as much. 2) He tells young women that the only piece of advice they need about men is: "Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do." I'm glad I have someone now who passes that test.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Best of Weather

Last night, I had a sudden desire to be home with my family and dogs, so instead of staying the night in Norman, I drove to Kingfisher to stay with Mom, Kenneth, Daisy, Chester & Gallagher. We also have a calf named Noel.

I got home late after a late-night meeting, but everyone had waited up and Mom and I had a drink and then I told her stories and made her laugh really hard. I wish I could share them with you here, but most of them are not blog-appropriate. (I can't tell you how grateful I am to have a mom who I can tell inappropriate but hilarious stories, and who laughs as hard about them as I do.) Anyway.

We had plans for the next day involving the Festival of the Arts. I also have a mom who thinks art is important enough that she would take Seth and me out of school for a day to go to this. I love it, and all the memories I have associated with it, so I like to share it with special people. Hence, Grant and Whitters were going to drive down to enjoy the art and the food, too.

Mom woke me up this morning to tell me that we might have to literally raincheck because of the weather.

First, I was pissed. I was ready for a spring-time activity with my friends and family, and Grant had never been. Then I was disappointed.

As I was cycling through these emotions, I talked to a friend about it online. When he said that he hadn't heard anything about it, I went all caps on him and said "YOU'VE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THE ARTS FEST? IT IS THE COOLEST!" I misunderstood. He had heard about it, he just hadn't heard anything about it lately. (If you clicked on the link above and noticed the dates, you also might get what he was hinting.)

He hadn't heard about it, because IT STARTS NEXT WEEK.

I'm not going to hear the end of this anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Best of Roommates

I have three roommates.

This is my newest one, Henry:

Yes, he is THAT cute in person. You will have to meet him. He likes to sleep, eat and pee.

The other boy roommate likes to leave the toilet seat up. I have talked to him about it, and so has Whitters. He is rightfully afraid (but not scared enough to put the damn seat down) that whichever of us falls in first is going to freak out. I'm sure you'll hear about it when it happens.

I spent the past few days with my two human roommates, basically celebrating spring. We've gone to brunch* at Palace Cafe (great food, mediocre-to-bad service), shopped for plants, cleaned, hung pictures, drove with the top down, cooked, planted those plants and found our new roommate hanging out on the street. Sometimes we just look at the puppy. Just because he is that cute.

When I say "cooked", I mean COOKED... I've made fork-mashed purple potatoes, turkey meatloaf, homemade whole-wheat pasta with lemon, garlic & artichokes, tomato & mozzarella salad, roasted garlic for bread, homemade pasta with tomato sauce, and some pretty incredible apple cinnamon muffins. We've got leftovers if you want to swing by. Plus, there are plans for lemon poppyseed cake (I probably won't be eating) and chocolate chip cookies (just try to stop me).

Whitters is my sous chef (and the co-chair of the brunch committee and also the social chair - ask her about the Court-a-palooza birthday-redo that is occurring this Saturday at 632), and she cleans after all that cooking. Yup, I know I'm lucky.

Right now I'm enjoying a glass of wine after a great dinner with two of my favorite people in the entire world. I'm about to have tea with water from my new lemongrass green Le Creuset tea pot. Life is pretty good.

*Brunch committee (also co-chaired by Grant) meets every Sunday around noon-ish or later. We are searching for the perfect brunch location in Tulsa (so far committee members have tried McNellie's, the Chalkboard, and the Palace Cafe... and we're still looking for the best, inexpensive, tasty, and would-it-kill-them-to-have-a-good-bloody-mary? place).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Best of People I Used to Not Like

I'm not really a fan of Anderson Cooper. In fact, I think he's kind of arrogant. Tonight, though, he made me somewhat of a fan a little against my will.

He was interviewing one of the moms, Kathleen, from the polygamist compound, and she told him that they were treated "like the Jews were when they were escorted to the German Nazi camps."

Anderson: "You are saying you're being treated like people sent to concentration camps?"

Kathleen: "Yes, we have been treated that way. In a country that professes to be free. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we have been persecuted for our religion."

Anderson responds with, "Just for accuracy's sake, do you actually know what happened to the Jews in World War II, because it does not seem to be the same, just factually speaking..."

I probably like him a little more now.