Sunday, March 27, 2011

In My Perfect Universe

March in Miami. We had to sleep with the air conditioner on last night. The temperatures have picked up and it is starting to get uncomfortable. Then again, I’m a temperature enigma: I’ll be sweating and whiny about the weather one minute and then shivering cold with goose bumps after 15 minutes in an air conditioned car. However, I’d rather be cold than be hot. Still, I know that dreaded summer is coming. The only reason I REALLY liked summer in Wisconsin was because school was out and there are fireworks on the 4th of July. I’m sure there are a few more reasons, but really, if I could design myself a universe it would be fall for half of the year, winter for two months, spring for three months, and June for 30 days. I could skip my birthday in August and be ageless as well.

In a perfect universe I would also have a ton of energy. And there would be no such thing as caffeine because I wouldn’t need it. I used to be a great sleeper. I’ve always had the dual fortune and misfortune of incredibly vivid dreams. Sometimes it is entertaining to see what my brain cooks up when I’m asleep, but lately these dreams are EXHAUSTING even if they are not nightmares. I’ve always been a tosser and a turner, but ever since I’ve lived with J, I’ve become a light sleeper to boot. The smallest noise will wake me up- this is incredibly inconvenient when you have to sleep with the windows open (another reason I like AC—white noise). I’ve taken to sleeping with ear plugs in. This results in comical just-before-sleep conversations with J, but they do help some. In my perfect universe I’d have a couple of switches in my brain: 1. Stop worrying, 2. Let it go, that dude’s just a jerk, no need to get mad, and 3. No, thanks- I don’t feel like dreaming tonight. Oh, and 4. Sleep immediately.

In my perfect universe the dishes would do themselves. Laundry would be free and do itself too. Spring cleaning would only take an afternoon. And I would tackle my to-do list: each item, every time. I’ve got a painting half-done, staring at me. I currently hate it. I’ve got dust bunnies mocking me from underneath the bed and couches. And I HAD a blog post nagging me in back of my head, but I’m conquering that “to-do” as I type. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, though. We did get quite a bit accomplished recently. J filed taxes. We finally got decent frames for our wedding photos and they are hung. J started an herb garden that sits neatly on a window-sill. I started following a budget- not that I’m a big spender (and I’ve almost always balanced my checkbook) but it’s good to know where the money is going. Still… I really hate laundry.

My current universe is about to get a little more perfect. There is an impending arrival of several very important individuals. My mom, dad, and lil’ brother are coming to visit and I’ve been counting down the days in my planner. I keep seeing things in Miami thinking, “oh- they’ll like that” and “let’s be sure to drive this route with them.” I’m so excited to see them. It will be nice for them to see what I see and know what I mean when I talk about people, places, and things down here. J is able to go back to Wisconsin in May and I’m terribly jealous. I want to see family and friends. I want to eat cheese curds and frozen custard. I want to spend a week at my parent’s cabin reading books and sitting by a fire. Harrumph. Plus, he’ll be leaving me. All by myself. I am kind of dreading the ten days. I have “people I know” down here. J has some friends we’ve hung out with, but it is not the same as being able to call up all my friends and demand dinner dates, coffee runs, and movie extravaganzas. I enjoy my alone time probably more than most people. I can be a hermit and sometimes get sick of humans really fast, but still, I like my husband on those days and I’ll miss him when he’s in WI. (Eating delicious cheese and burgers and brats and being around friendly people and hearing the Northern accent and driving on relatively safe roads with 80% of the population being competent drivers…)

The new job is going well. I’ll withhold comment until I’ve been there long enough (one of the weeks I worked most people were gone for Spring Break). Some days are more tiring than others- hence the wish for a to-do list that does itself. The job has also allowed us to spend a bit more money and actually GO places. We’ve been to an NHL game (Florida Panthers- Go Cats!) and had a couple of dinner dates. Today we explored a cheaper botanical garden. I’m still partial to deciduous trees, but it was nice. Hot… I won’t be hanging out in a rainforesty place in the summer, but it was interesting. We’ve taken in more scenery… even if it is driving past some of the rich-people houses and gawking at their “humble lodgings.” When we are on lunch we sit by fountains or under trees- nature helps ease my anxieties. I’ve seen more turtles than I can count down here. Our campus has a pond full of them, as did the botanical garden. Anyone who knows me well knows I kind of have a thing for turtles. (Turtles and pandas and orangutans and hummingbirds and okapis and hippos and dogs and pythons [I’ll never pass up an Animal Planet special on them] and tree frogs… etc etc) We also took in the giant moon a couple of days ago. It was HUGE. Very cool. We started walking on the bridge that leads to Biscayne Bay and as we turned a corner there was a giant orange disc sitting in the sky at an angle that made it look like it was on the high point of the bridge ready to roll down at us in a moment. Paired with the Miami skyline at night it was very impressive.

There are some interesting sights in Miami. I’m glad we have funds to explore a bit of them now. I’m enjoying being married. It is just the two of us and we both believe it has been good for building the foundations of a partnership. To quote a movie I recently watched, “Me and you- just us two.” However, in a perfect universe I could teleport myself to my childhood home in seconds to have dinner with my family, see my lil’ brother’s concerts (he’s a trumpeter), nab friends for coffee, and take a break from the Miami heat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Day Jitters

I’ll admit it- I’ve been bad. I haven’t updated the blog in FOREVER. But let me explain myself. See, the last post I wrote was about the job I had working in retail. And I chalk that experience up to one of the worst months in my life. So why on earth would you want to read anything from grumpy old me? Okay, I forgive myself for being complacent with posting now. You should forgive me too.

But all’s well that ends well! I left that job in retail for a much better one! I am now a secretary! I have always wanted to be a secretary as I like anything to do with organization and customer service. Plus it is at J’s school. So I cut my commute time and cost by a lot. We’ll carpool, and we’ll be able to have lunch together on campus once in awhile. The job is OFFICIALLY full-time. No 37 hours a week here! And while I’m not swimming in piles of cash, the pay is a way better reflection of my abilities and education.

Needless to say, I’ve been in a much better mood since I left that job-that-shall-no-longer-be-named-after-this-sentence 11 days ago. Those 11 days have been almost blissful. I’ve read four books. I’ve watched a movie (Stranger Than Fiction). I scrubbed my porcelain sink and tub clean. I did laundry. J and I swept and mopped the floors. I’ve been able to keep dishes out of the sink. I’ve actually MADE dinners instead of just assembled random foods to munch on. And I’ve not had to worry about driving to work or being under appreciated.

The last night of work I had was rough (okay- I mentioned it one more time) and it was made even worse by the fact that I was coming home at 11 PM (I said it was ROUGH) to grab my stuff and leave the apartment for 48 hours which actually turned into three nights and four days. Our landlords told us that the apartment was going to be fumigated for termites. J and I were in a tizzy- we had never had a home fumigated before. The chemicals they use are odorless and colorless and LETHAL if you come in before they air the place out. Your home is covered by a circus-like tent and everything that can be consumed must be either taken with you or stored in these bags that rip really easily. Pillows needed to be placed in bags and I took the extra precaution of taking almost everything off of horizontal surfaces. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with one of J’s classmates. There is no way we could have afforded a hotel for that long with two cats. (Speaking of, they hated us for days for disturbing their peace and moving them…)

The time at J’s friend’s apartment was actually pretty good. It was nice to talk to someone normal. We had dinners together, went grocery shopping at Whole Foods, she introduced us to a U-Pick Farm with the BEST strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers, and J helped her start an herb garden. I was anxious to get back home though to clean and re-organize my life. All of the plants that were around the apartment building turned black and withered away. A poor little lizard was a victim of the gassing and limply hung from the laundry door. I was grossed out, but luckily our neighbor removed his corpse so when I did my laundry I didn’t have to work around it… Ugh.

J and I got back into the swing of things now that we had a normal schedule again. We tried two recipes in addition to our usual menu. One was stuffed green peppers (stuffed with hot peppers quickly pickled in Red Wine Vinegar) topped with bacon. It was pretty good, but cutting the peppers set my hands on fire, so I was mostly angry eating them with the fork barely in my hands. The second recipe we made tonight and it was a big success: English Onion Soup. It’s like a blonde French Onion Soup. We used onions from the U-Pick Farm and chicken stock that we had made from a previous meal. We made our own croutons by broiling them in the oven, some we covered with a sharp Irish Cheddar cheese. I’m getting hungry for it again just writing about it.

The only sad news is that getting a puppy is set back by a couple more months. My car decided to take a turn for the worse. After $500 of preliminary repairs that we hoped would solve the problem, I noticed the car was misfiring after I started it on a chillier morning. Turns out three of our four fuel injectors were cracked and one was almost completely black. That was $1000. Well, at least my car runs much better now and I get even better gas mileage. But .:poof:. there went the money for a puppy. I’m glad we were able to cover the cost of the car. We’ll just have to keep saving those pennies…

I’m sorry the posts have been few and far between. Now that I’m on a regular schedule I won’t be so exhausted. Wish me luck for my new job tomorrow! It feels like the first day of school. I’m excited!