10 in '10 Update

Totally should have done 20 in 10. 2010! I'm already four books in to my goal. Here's what I've read so far:
10. Marley & Me - Cried. So. Much. It is a great story about a horribly misbehaving dog. I thought a little of Spike (naughty dog) and a lot of Domino (best dog ever). Then I cried some more.
9. Plum Lucky - Completely hilarious between the numbers Evanovich book. Complete with a leprechaun.
8. Plum Spooky - See above. Minus the leprechaun. Plus a guy that has deadly toots.
7. Bright Lights, Big Ass - recommended by my friend Diana. Just finished it and found myself completely identifying with the author. And laughing while I was agreeing with Ms. Lancaster. That's the author, if you were having trouble figuring it out. I read a snippet to Jeremiah and I think he agreed. She doesn't like her neighbors, is a bit snarky, and has pet-children. She also has problems with rude people on their cell phones. We already know how I feel about that. Funny stuff.

And -

6. Calder Game - I've started this, but haven't finished it. It's a mystery for upper elementary/junior high students. So far, I'm enjoying it.

If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. I've got a bunch of paperbacks that looked good (I bought them for 50 cents at SalArmy) but suggestions are always fun.

To all the men out there...

...and Annie Hall and Kd Lang - I salute you. How do you wear a tie and not get food on it? I wore a very cute linen scarf (from Spain) wrapped all stylishly around my neck and I swear I've tucked it into my undies, gotten yogurt on it, and closed it in the overhead cart. I am so not cut out to be a man.

Jeremiah will be so happy to hear that.

But the scarf looks bitchin'.


A Day in the Life, or, Day Tripper

I'm sure that some of you are thinking, "I've seen the inside of her house. I've seen the outside of the house, but I've yet to see AZ." Well, buckle up, people, because we are taking a road trip! Are you excited? We were. What could get two people that dislike Phoenix out into Phoenix? Record Store Day. Yep. This is our second-annual trip to Record Store Day. Held on the exact same day as Gay Pride Day in Phoenix. That's not a problem because I really like the flags. I mapped out the whole day on my GPS, Gus. Here's the day: Ikea (I needed picture frames), Lush (I always go when we hit Scottsdale), Harry & David (butt munches were out of their Easter candy), Revolver records, and Zia Records.
I didn't drive. Jeremiah doesn't like to drive my car (I think it's a jealousy/comfort thing. He isn't used to a comfortable car), so we took the Ford. Now, the above picture shows what happens when you don't listen to Gus. Gus told us to stay to the left, stay to the left, exit left, exit left, damn it. But we didn't, because really? What idiots put exits on the left side of the highway? The idiots in the great state of AZ, apparently. So the picture is what happens when you get off the highway in the wrong part of town. I was going to take a picture of a man with his shopping cart full of treasures, but he was changing out of his morning wear (just shucking some layers) into his day wear and don't we all deserve a bit of privacy for that?
'Kay. Back on track. City view on the way from Lush in Scottsdale to Revolver. Can I just say? I was on a roll in the coffee shop in Scottsdale. J. even told me to knock it off. I mean, really though. Do you need to wear your sunglasses in a dimly lit cafe? Do you need to wear platform wedges when you are eighty? One false move and that old chickie would be bed ridden with a broken hip. Relax, people.
Jeremiah was so sweet when we left the mall, though. As we approached his car in the parking garage (filled with foreign cars...totally should have taken my car!) he made a "bleep bleep" noise to mimic automatic car locks. He didn't want me to feel left out.
Here we are going through some mountains. If you feel so inclined, there are bike paths (I tried mountain biking once. I went over the handlebars. I cried. I was bruised and bloody. There was a great deal of pouting and swearing. I figure I don't need to go again.) as well as hiking paths.
There's also the Desert Botanical Gardens in case you wonder what the desert might look like. You can pay $20 and see the desert. We've actually done this, not out of curiosity to see the desert (because, duh) but because we were feeling all culture-y and wanted to see the Chihuly exhibit (which, by the way, reminds me - I am totally going to have Jeremiah start wearing an eye patch over his blind eye. Maybe then the girl at the deli won't have to worry about me jumping over the counter and attacking her as she gushes about how much MY boyfriend looks like David Bowie. Shut up, meat girl. If you keep saying nice things like that then I'm going to have to say nice things to him. He'll start to expect it. That might have been the last time we went to that grocery store. Or it might have been the time when I saw a guy with a gun in the meat department. Or the time when we shopped with someone else's grocery cart. We'll have to discuss this another time).
Here's a nice city scape. It looks nice from a distance, no?

Les Fleurs

I took some more pictures yesterday of my beautiful tree...Which of course, Jeremiah pointed out as soon as he got home - the flowers fall off, too. So I still don't think he digs it. Those flowers? They fall into the pool, which I thought looked all romantic, but not so much when you've been assigned yard-duty and pool-duty (he got pool duty because I didn't want to do it) permanently. As in, forever. Plus, see the pretty flower? Guess what likes to nibble on them? Slugs. Guess where the slugs fall? In the pool. Don't worry, dear friends & family, I am uber helpful in pointing out all the slugs on the pool floor as I float around on my floaty. "Ooh, there's one! There's another. Get that one!" That's what I say while I follow him around as he vacuums. That is how helpful I am.
For the above picture I used my fancy macro feature on my camera. Jeremiah told me to try it, which started a loud discussion on the finer points of shooting pictures using the macro feature. Our neighbors love us, for sure. Between my teacher voice (you go right on ahead and teach eight-year olds for even just one day and then we'll talk - loudly) and Jeremiah's drum playing (which has left him nearly deaf) any basic conversation is already loud. Outdoor voices. All the time. And then when I get all huffy (it's not just a bike, people) it is even worse. It's like we're Italian. Except we're not. We're deaf Pollacks (By the way, I know that many consider the word Pollack to be derogatory. As a smart, sometimes funny Polish girl, I can use the word. If you aren't Polish, you can't. I won't make fun of your heritage if you don't make fun of mine. Okay?) There's hand-gesturing, too. Just to get you in the moment.
So the tree is really in full bloom now.

That's all.


My Boyfriend's Back!

He's gonna save my reputation. If needed.

Everybody ready?

List of things I can admit to now that my Polish-American (we've decided to show some pride in our heritage. This is a long story that probably requires its own post.) boyfriend is home:

1. I'm pretty freakin' sure the house is haunted. Any time you wake up and find a balloon directly facing you when you open the bedroom door in the morning (especially when said balloon was downstairs when you went to bed and there weren't any fans, AC, etc. running at night and you are the only one home) - ghost. For sure.

2. I wasn't at all afraid of intruders. I was afraid of the weird lights that I would see in the bedroom - not from the street, our windows face the backyard and were closed, closed, closed. Plus the noises and the fact that the dogs would sit at night in the bedroom and stare down the hall intently.

3. Just in case the spirits were evil (either that or they have a fantastic sense of humor), I used my dog (shame on you, girl) as a sacrificial lamb. I slept with Spike strategically placed between the door and me. That way I could offer him up to the evil spirits if I needed to do so. "Here! Take my dog instead!" By the way, they totally would send him back from the world of the undead or underworld or whatever. He's that bad.

4. I cooked up ground turkey with the paper still attached. To be fair, I removed one of the pieces of paper - the absorb-y one that collects the blood. I didn't see the other one. Whatever. It still tasted fine.

5. I had a snarky interaction with the lady next door that may or may not be appropriate for the blog but was definitely funny so I'm debating on whether I should post it. The interaction included a mental "Oh, no you didn't just say that" on my part. Actually, the funny parts of it might have ALL happened in my head. Interesting. And those parts might be funny only to me. But in all honesty, my hooch of a neighbor entertains me, so I'm sending her happy thoughts today. Wankette.

This post was brought to you today by the letter R. Random, Random, Random.


The Flower Says "I Wish I Was a Tree".

There's this tree at our house. Poolside. The only real tree in our backyard. Jeremiah hated it because the leaves recently started shedding and falling into our pool. Bleh. Pain in the bootay. Then, look what happened after the leaves fell:
Seriously one of the most beautiful trees I've seen. Gorgeous blossoms. All. Over. I don't know what kind of tree I have, but I'm so excited to have it! The hummingbirds are, too. Itty-bitty cuties flying all over my yard!
Close-up of my flowers...
...which brings me back to Kimya Dawson's song, "Tree Hugger":

And the flower
Would be its offering
Of love to the desert.
And the desert,
So dry and lonely,
That the creatures all
Appreciate the effort.

Rather fitting lyrics, no? 'Cause I live in the desert and it's all dry and ugly. And I truly appreciate the offering. Of love. From my tree.

Side dish:
I also have this shrub thing, which flowers in the fall - purple - and I need some advice on pruning. Or whatever. Boyfriend will be doing it, since I've been banned from gardening.
There's also this:
Is it dead? Is it living? I think that's part of the fun. The brown makes it look like it is dying, yet it continues to flourish. I appreciate its effort.


Put the Lime in the Coconut

I went to the old doctor about the ant bite. I said, "Doctor! Ain't there nothing I can take?" Just kidding. But I did ask her what was up with my weird relationship to ants. She didn't even believe it was an ant bite. She asked me condescendingly, "How do you know it was actually an ant?" I told her I saw the stinkin' thing bite me. Then she had to open the bite (I'll spare the details, but it hurt. A lot. I sang la la la la la while she did it.), squeeze out the infectious stuff, put stuff on it, and give me those directions (elevate, soak, ice, antibiotic, cover, pill, repeat). Then she said the worst thing ever. I'm not allowed to do yard stuff. Never ever. She said that if this is what happens when an ant bites me, it could be super sucky if I meet up with spiders, snakes, or scorpions. Apparently those things live in the desert. Who knew?

What she doesn't understand is that I am the girl that planted well over a hundred bulbs at my parents house. I like to walk through the woods. I like to collect leaves and other outdoorsy tree-hugging stuff like that. She told me (sob) I could have, like, a rose bush. Everything else needs to be done by Jer-Bear. Now, I would have lied anyway when I got home and told him that I wasn't allowed to do the weed pulling or icky stuff like that. But, seriously? I get a rose bush and that's it? So we went shopping with that baloney in mind and I got this gorgeous planter:

So pretty, right? I thought it looked like wood or pottery or something. It's not. It's recycled plastic! Love. it. I also got a bunch of itty bitty succulents, thinking that if that beast of a doctor wasn't going to let me toil away in the yard I needed something. I planted them all in my new planter and grabbed some river rocks from the front yard. Our front yard. I didn't steal them. Take a look at the finished product:
Cutie patootie garden, right? I love it. I set it on our table we got on clearance ($17 down from $100) out on the patio. Now I get happy every single time I go outside. I sit and look at it while Jer does the mowing. And weed wacking. And weed pulling. Insert evil laugh...here.

GPS in PHX, or, I Hear Voices, or, I Once Was Lost but Now Am Found

So for Christmas, my dad got me this:
That is the adapter, GPS, and a thing to set it in because I don't want anything stuck to my dash or window.
I take all these things into the car and that way I won't get so lost. You need this, too, if you can say yes to any of the following:
1. You live in a big, ghetto-y city.
2. You travel a lot.
3. You like maps.
4. You need maps.
5. You get lost all the time.
6. Your directions (either the ones you give or receive) sound like this, "You know that Burger King on the corner? Turn there. Left, I think. Or maybe right."

Seriously, I just grab it...

...and into the car we go. I'll admit, it took me awhile to get it set up. My brother swore up and down that a monkey could use it. Not this monkey. I'll get back to this in a second. For now, I'm digressing again.

I had great intentions getting it out and looking through it, but I didn't. It took great fear - read: getting lost on the way home after dropping J-Dog off at the airport at four in the morning. I didn't want to roll around in south Phoenix in the dark. Alone. In an old, untrustworthy Ford (boyfriend's car). I wanted to live just a bit longer. I ALWAYS get lost on the way home from the airport. It's seriously the most messed up airport EVER. Kind of like the city, but I digress on my digression. So I didn't want to be driving around lost and because of that I got out the GPS. Turned it on. Set up a password.

Which brings me back to my brother's "A monkey can do it." - I tried to manage my GPS, but it doesn't work with a Mac. I had to use a (pause) different computer. A red one. Boyfriend's. So this monkey was a bit cranky and felt silly that she couldn't get it to work. But technically, it wasn't my fault, right? I should mention that you don't have to set it up on your computer. You can just turn it on and go. But being who I am (obsessive and controlling. It's okay, I can admit it.) I had to manage it first.

So on to the drive. I set it up. It told us where to go. Exactly. Several times. It told us when we were speeding, estimated arrival (which changes based on speed - fun!), I could see crossroads, miles to go, minutes to go, EVERYTHING. And then it did my lesson plans and made me an early breakfast. Seriously, I fell in love so much I almost asked it to marry me. It probably would have said yes and then planned the whole flippin' wedding, because that is how wonderfully organized this gizmo is.

One of my favorite things about it? It blinks if you tick it off. Jeremiah almost missed the exit on the way there - it comes up super fast and the off ramp is short - and it started blinking furiously and repeating itself. Sounded like a female Rainman.

I think I'm going to see if I can't find a voice that swears. I like swearing and it would make a trip even more fun and lighthearted if I could hear (and excuse my language, I never swear on here) "Geez, bitch, you missed your turn. Dumbass. Now I have to re-analyze the route." Wouldn't that be great? I think so.

And by the way - We purposefully missed a turn and it completely reroutes you. Which is great if you can't get off the motorway in time.

On a side note, the voices in my head? The real deal. You've already been introduced. Em, Emily, and Emilie. I figure Em is fun and lighthearted, Emily is no nonsense and logical, and Emilie is my European, artsy, sarcastic chickie. She has been in charge of most of the redecorating. And my need for hats and scarves. And the small dogs. And my snotty side. That's my girl. I figure they all add up to the one wonderful me. You want to hear voices? Set down your cell phone. Lordy with the cell phones, people.

But again, this was about GPS. The voices outside my head. You should get one. We all think so.