Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hey, wha' happened!?

Have you guys seen A Mighty Wind? It's my second favorite of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries I love so much. Anyway, there's this bit from it that sticks with me in which one of the characters says Hey, wha' happened!?

I say it a lot, typically in a week like this when I feel like I have a good grasp of what's coming before it all comes tumbling down like a John Cougar Mellencamp lyric.

I set myself up for it good this time, boy. I spent four days and five nights at the shore, where I don't watch the clock and am more apt to run my day according to where the sun is in the sky. I was alone from Thursday night until Sunday at noon, sinking slowly and resolutely into myself and just being, which I love to do. I never turned the TV on and was lost in four different books during that time. I mostly drifted along aimlessly with very few cares. I have a loose routine down there (come on, I'm still me), but loose is the key word.

How I live down the shore when I'm not spending my free time doing the necessary shore chores is so different from how I live here that it's a jolt to get back to reality when I'm down there longer than a weekend. Uncomfortable, too, like trying to fit in skin that's suddenly become too tight. It's a physical disengagement just as much as it is a mental one - there I park my car and never get in it again until I leave unless we leave town, which we rarely do. I walk or ride my bike everywhere. I spend a lot of time on the beach or just outside in general. I miss that when I'm here. But life is in two places and I need to figure out how to make it work best for me, which includes working from down there some days and coming back at the crack of dawn Monday mornings.

Of course I woke up yesterday and thought it was Monday, like the rest of America. I drove home from the shore in the morning for the second week in a row, and I quite like it. It allows me to be mindlessly productive - get laundry in. Tend to flowers. Get ready for work. Feed dogs. Stuff I don't need to plan or think about but can do on autopilot as soon as I walk in the door. I was feeling good, had some stuff done early, and strode into work purposefully with an iron grip on my coffee. I was going to rock it today.

I opened my planner and thought hey, wha' happened!?

Where did these appointments come from? 
Oh that's due.
Shit I forgot that was coming up. 
That should have been done last week. Must follow up immediately.
Whyyy are my library books due today, it's going to rain and I need to haul ass over there!
Fuck I need to get those birthday cards in the mail. 
Do I have any blog posts scheduled for this week? 
That fucker never got back to me!
What kind of groceries do we need? 
Wait, what do the dogs need? Let me take care of that order first. 
Maybe just ramen this week. No? 
The IT department needs to do what tomorrow?
Do I have to do that or can that wait until next week? 

etc. etc.

My home persona is appalled at this as she is never unprepared. My shore persona is all take a nap, it'll be fine. I need those two bitches to meet in the middle. I had high hopes for last night but alas, I ate ramen for dinner and fell asleep on the couch by 9.

Happy is Wednesday, right?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May Recommendations

Yo yo yo MTV used to rap. I don't know if they have any music anymore, do they? Some things to add to your list if you're so inclined:

1. Prolong the life of your celery by wrapping it in tin foil. I don't know the science behind this but it lasts a crazy long time. Trust me. 
2. Bee's Wrap - This is the shit. It acts like saran wrap but you wash it in cold water and re-use it.  It's a little pricey but being a good citizen of the earth is not free. Consider it an investment in the environment. Thanks to my friend Michelle for the recommendation when I shared my Reducing and Reusing post. I am a firm believer in sharing the word about good products/hacks/ways to live (hence this monthly recommendation post) and I love when people share stuff with me. 

3. Wool dryer balls - And another recommendation I got in response to that post, from Patty. These are awesome. I have given up liquid fabric softener and I just scent these with essential oils. 

4. Nordic Ware for baking - Everything I have is Nordic Ware at home and at the shore. It wears beautifully and cleans up in a cinch. This is a before and after with no soaking and minimal scrubbing and this shit was dried on there. Sometimes you can find it at Marshalls or HomeGoods. I think Target has it and I know Amazon has it. Baking sheets, cupcake pans, and loaf pans are the bomb. Is that still said? 
5. A quick and easy lunch: whole wheat or multigrain tortilla topped with peanut butter and honey and sliced banana. 

I'm linking up with Lauren & Bre for their Add it to my list linkup, which they're doing the last Tuesday of every month. 

Did you miss the weekend that was? Find it here

What have you been using or doing lately that I might want to add to my list?

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, May 29, 2017

TWTW - the one with Memorial Day

The unofficial kickoff to summer that felt with non-summer weather at the shore. Let us begin.

1 - Grocery store, made macaroni salad, marinated london broil, packed a bag, packed the car, and I was touching up paint in the bathroom at the shore by 10:30 pm.
2 - You know when you shouldn't paint trim paint? After 11 pm after you've worked all day and driven through the worst rain and hailstorm in your 23 year driving career.
3 - Finished The Story of Arthur Truluv and passed out at 12:40

1 - Sunrise and a bike ride before starting work at 7. Can every day start like that?
2 - Hung out with the dogs on the porch
3 - Made london broil in an electric skillet because I couldn't get the grill on. Seriously.
4 - Actually freaking napped
5 - Long walk down to the bay around sunset

1 - Sunrise and a very long bike ride followed by a long dog walk down to the bay
2 - Finished It Happens All the Time
3 - Another nap - project learn to nap this summer is already successful
4 - Porch reads, I started and finished Roses of May
5 - Crunchik'N for dinner, a new Korean fusion place on the boardwalk
6 - An hour on the beach when everyone else was off of it
7 - A truly glorious sunset we caught by accident because my dogs are slow pokes

1 - Spectacular sunrise with lots of reflections
2 - Long dog walk to tire them out
3 - Saw a huge pod of dolphins at the Music Pier and followed them all the way down to 5th Street
4 - Today's book is My Sister's Grave
5 - Awesome clouds and some sun with coffee from Local's mid-bike ride
6 - Skies cleared to blue but reflections stayed
7 - Caught the flag raising ceremony at the water park, which happens every day the water park is open at 9:20a
8 & 8.5 - MFD arrived around 12:30 and we took the dogs for a long walk. By day three down here Geege needs a stroller if he's going to make the long walks. MFD kept his distance from me when I was pushing it lol
9 - Late lunch at Ike's
10 & 11 - Board and beach walking
12 - Mae got a bucket bath and we settled in for a rainy night watching the Godfather saga. I finished a book too.

1 - Pork roll, egg, & cheese on an english muffin at Bob's Grill
2 - With a seat by the window, we had a nice view of the ocean and the boardwalk Jesus guy rolling his show out
3 & 4 - Rode bikes down the boards, stopped at Local's for coffee, saw a high school friend's mom and chatted for a while, and stopped at a few points to observe the frothy, angry ocean
5 - Reading and relaxing on the porch
6 - Our renter for the weekend is a baking instructor at a college and she left us delicious treats that we devoured like wild animals

7 - Relaxed, started The Sun in Your Eyes, and watched Saving Private Ryan, appropriate for Memorial Day
8 - Biked over to pick up dinner from 16th Street Seafood
9 - Nails: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Cherry Fast
10 - Tried one of two new ice cream places on the boardwalk: Sweet Charlie's rolled ice cream (there's one in Philly but I've never been)
11 & 12 - Biked to the bay for the sunset with MFD incessantly ringing his bike bell

Reason for the Weekend
So many have died to protect the freedoms the American flag represents. If you are ever in Ocean City, I urge you to go to the flag raising on the boardwalk. It's good to stand there and reflect on what the flag means to you, and know other people are doing the same. I think a lot about my America, and it definitely includes stopping to observe the flag being raised because to me it represents the freedoms we talk about so much - the ones that belong to ALL of us, not just some of us - and it also represents all the people who have died to keep that flag aloft. I took a video Sunday but I was crying a little so here's a better one LOL. I'm standing over by the stairs.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is breakfast burritos from the freezer; lunch is PB&J on Dave's good seed bread with a side of cucumbers; snacks are yogurt and carrots with hummus; dinner is TBD but I'm trying to go through my freezer and pantry so it'll likely be a chicken dish and a pasta dish.

Sleeping at the shore tonight means an early rise tomorrow. Short week. Let's ride. 

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - some nights I call it a draw

1. Jesus crapbag this week has been nuts at work and home. Lots going on, one of those weeks you skid into the end of out of breath and happy to be alive.

2. Monday night errand fails: Went to Target #1 to pick up bedding I ordered online, which did not look like it looked online. Strike one. Only dull coir doormats strike two. No 3 foot extension cords. Strike three. Went to Target #2. Coir doormat score. No 3 foot extension cords. Who knew they'd be so fucking hard to find? And then to Marshalls, where I was delirious and bought bedding that was too expensive and is being returned. Regretskies.I came home and ate a cupcake. No regretskies. Tuesday was mildly better with success at Sherwin Williams and Home Depot, fail at two different TJ Maxx stores, and a blessed massage at 9 pm. Amen.

3. Wednesday I took off to hang with my niece, the inimitable Lola Jean. We had a fun day playing outside and reading Madeline books that were my grandmom's while laying on the floor in her room. She makes me laugh and I'm so glad she is in this world. We also listened to music, of course.
4. While she was napping, I painted my nails terribly (Zoya Sia, and there there the excess came with hand washing) and MFD dropped off a coffee. I also took a little snooze myself and didn't wake up in a troll mood. SUCCESS, you guys. After I left there, I got a pedicure (OPI Innie Minnie Mightie Bow) and brow wax using a birthday gift card from Debbie. It was a great day off and I was home over 1.5 hours earlier than I would be from work so I got 40982 loads of laundry done too.

5. I actually don't think the world is getting worse, but I do think social media makes it seem like it is. We have the power to share all the negativity we can find in an instant, which we do, relentlessly. The news cycle is also focused on the bad. Look, bad things have always happened and will always happen. In those times we should not only look for the helpers, but condition ourselves to BE the helpers. If all we do is lament online about how things are going to shit, we are not being the helpers. Being the helper is simple. Be aware. Be open. Be compassionate. Be present. Be the change you want to see in the world. If you see a need you can serve, don't overthink it. Just fill it, no matter how small of a thing it seems. Small gestures save lives and ease situations every single day. People who have good in their hearts need to be putting themselves out there. When we don't, people look around and can't see the helpers. Our energy and presence is needed. It's okay to get discouraged, disgusted, upset, weary, or afraid. We all do. But we shake that off and we get back out there because we are helpers and that is what helpers do.
6. Can meme creators watch the grammar? It pains me to share this given that an should be and, but I have to. If Mae looked like a fawn pug, this would be her. It cracks me up when she runs and leaps with the zest of a mighty dog.
7. I have not gotten so many laughs out of one thing in a long time. Thank you man rompers. You are giving me the grins.
8. Oh except this. I have watched this a million times. And I typically hate gifs because they give me motion sickness but this...this is gold. Call me petty but it brings me joy to watch this white supremacist architect of the Muslim ban appear so uncomfortable in Saudi Arabia.

9. No matter how much strife this country is experiencing at any given time, one of my favorite things to photograph is our flag. I believe in what is stands for. I am humbled by the true meaning of this three day weekend that kicks off the summer. My personal pet peeve is that it is treated like Veterans Day. Listen, every day is the day to be thankful for our veterans, but Veterans Day is a day in November specifically dedicated to the appreciation of veterans. Monday is not Veterans Day. Monday is MEMORIAL Day. It's a day dedicated to those who have died in service to this country. Monday is for the ones who did not come back.
Last Memorial Day weekend in OCNJ
10. E-card of the week: appropriate for a three day weekend ahead, no?

I'll see you back here with a late weekend post on Monday night and this month's recommendations on Tuesday. Follow on Instagram this weekend! My account and the shore house account if you're not following there! I don't duplicate, but I do use the shore house account to do more OCNJ-centric things. 

Enjoy your long weekend and remember the reason for it. 

Linking up with Kristin & Joey 

Stuff, Things, etc.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shit MFD Said: Vol 41

Waiting on sushi
MFD: I need to eat.
Me: You just had a salad.
MFD: That was nothing. That was like I went outside and yawned and grass blew into my mouth.

After a four day who will empty the dishwasher standoff
Me: So I noticed the dishwasher has been emptied.
MFD: Oh? I wonder who did that.
Me: I'm not sure, because the dirty dishes are still in the sink and weren't put in the dishwasher. 
MFD: Weird.
Me: Must have been a moron.

MFD: Steph, this is very good.
Me: What is?
MFD: This salad you made.
Me: The one portioned out for my lunch in the little containers?
MFD: You didn't make this for the house? There were lots of containers.
Me: Five days in the week. Five containers for lunch.
MFD: Well I'm eating it for lunch now and it's excellent. It's so good, if you died tomorrow, this salad is what would get me through the week. I don't know what would get me through when it was gone, but would get me through the week.
Me: Well I'm glad. 

Me: Aren't these shoes pretty?
MFD: Another pair of new shoes? Are you Imelda Marcos?

Me Driving his car to the shore
Me: I thought we discussed how your music isn't good driving music for me.
MFD: I thought we discussed how you're a turd.
Me: No. We haven't discussed that. 

MFD: What kind of lettuce is this?
Me: It's lettuce.
MFD: Is it spinach?
Me: It's lettuce. 
MFD: It looks like cabbage patch kid lettuce.
Me: Still lettuce. 

As he's heading down to the basement
Me: Bring up that bag downstairs that's full of towels.
MFD: It's actually not full of towels. It's full of butts and turds.
Me: It's not.
MFD: Where is it?
Me: Open your eyes.
MFD: singing open your eyes look up to the skies and seee...I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Me: Very nice. Do you see it?

And via text

All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1Shit MFD Said Vol 2Shit MFD Said Vol 3Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5Shit MFD Said Vol 6Shit MFD Said Vol 7Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9Shit MFD Said Vol 10Shit MFD Said Vol 11, Shit MFD Said Vol 12, Shit MFD Said Vol 13, Shit MFD Said Vol 14, Shit MFD Said Vol 15, Shit MFD Said Vol 16, Shit MFD Said Vol 17, Shit MFD Said Vol 18, Shit MFD Said Vol 19, Shit MFD Said Vol 20, Shit MFD Said Vol 21, Vol 22, Vol 23, Vol 24, Vol 25, Vol 26, Vol 27, Vol 28, Vol 29, Vol 30, Vol 31, Vol 32, Vol 33, Vol 34, Vol 35, Vol 36, Vol 37, Vol 38, Vol 39, Vol 40

Monday, May 22, 2017

TWTW - the one traversing New Jersey

Friday night taking care of hausfrau biz like purging and reorganizing kitchen drawers, making hard boiled eggs, changing and washing sheets, and putting laundry away. The dogs were all enough, sit down with us.
Saturday I spent way more time on the Garden State Parkway than is advisable. Firs I headed to North Jersey for MBD's first birthday party. He is so cute and pleasant. Laura and Chris for the combined win with the combo of the rainbow balloon arch (Laura) and the Prince welcome (Chris). It was great to spend an afternoon with my family of choice, and especially nice to see the littlest members MBD and Natalia because I don't get to see them in person often and they don't text or email.
I left around 6:40 and headed south on the Parkway to reach the shore by 9. I just wanted to peek upstairs at the new carpet but ended up putting most of the two bedrooms back together, which meant 49 trips up and down the stairs. The carpet is dark enough to hide hide stains and the 98374982734 pounds of sand it will swallow every year. I also realized I needed a new quilt and ordered it from the couch at 11:45 pm. I love technology.
MFD and the dogs arrived late, and I was up until after 1:30 thinking about all the shit that needed to be done Sunday, so no sunrise. We got right to work at 8 and kept going until 6. There were no large projects or picture-worthy shit but it was an ass breaking day all around. Basically we spent 10 hours going up and down three flights of steps 52974 times carrying shit up. We finished putting the third floor back together, touched up paint up there, took a magic eraser to the walls in all bedrooms and hallways, dealt with a sudden dresser top problem with contact paper, cleaned out under the beds on the second floor, patched a ceiling hole, cleaned off the steps, wiped down the railings, applied brackets to secure a side table, got rid of all the outdoor mats, weeded the insane shit growing in the driveway sand, cleaned out the bike alley behind the house/outdoor shower/driveway area, and hung bunting for Memorial Day. We also removed everything that will not stay in the house for the summer season, which is a lot when you've been using it personally. And shit I originally thought we needed but made it through a rental season without using went too. We ran over to Somers Point to buy a new air conditioner for MFD to install on the top floor and Jen & Tara stopped by to see us on their way out of town but otherwise, no breaks. MFD does not like no breaks but I only had to threaten him with death and divorce like five times. The Sunday before Memorial Day is always stressful but we killed it and not each other. Success.
We rewarded ourselves with dinner at Luigi's and a bike ride on the boards. Biking on the boards at night is coming to an end next weekend. This is MFD's I survived the Sunday before Memorial Day with my insane drill sergeant wife face.
I made the executive decision to paint the trim on the top two floors on Thursday night. Lord help me.

Weekly food prep: I only need breakfast for three days and lunch for two since I'm off on Wednesday, which is good timing since I had neither the time or inclination to do this this weekend. Breakfast is power breakfast muffins and hard boiled eggs; lunch is peanut butter, honey, and banana roll ups on multi-grain tortillas with a side of bell peppers; and dinners are spinach and artichoke pasta and avocado toast.

We stayed at the shore Sunday night so this morning means an early rise and ride for me. But it's a short week - I'm off Wednesday and I'm working from the shore Friday and we'll probably close early. 

Happy birthday to Sarah today! 

Memorial Day week already, man. 

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, May 19, 2017

And then I threw up on the train.

I wasn't planning to close down the week with a blog post about how I threw up on a goddamn train but here we are. Yesterday one of my worst non-life shattering nightmares came true.

I felt off in the morning and thought maybe I hadn't had enough water the day before. I trudged into work and drank some Gatorade and ginger ale and a lot of water in case I was dehydrated. By around 11 I knew I needed to go home. The trains are running on the hour at that point in the day so I was stuck in my office until 12:04.

When I got to the train station, of course my train was 10 minutes late. I slumped over on a bench next to a mother and her son who could not stop talking about what they were going to have for lunch AND dinner. Breathe through it. Breathe through it.

The train was a local making every stop and the ride felt like it took place over the span of four years instead of just over 40 minutes. We were rolling up to the stop before mine when it happened. The unthinkable. The public puking as a not inebriated or hungover adult on public transportation.

I whipped out an empty Old Navy online order bag and dispersed all the liquid I consumed that morning into it. Four pukes in the less than three minutes between that stop and mine. I tried to be quiet and hold myself as still as possible.

Then it was done, and the only thing my stomach was full of was mortification.

The lady next to me was looking at me with a mixture of sympathy and horror. I briefly considered telling her I was pregnant to explain away the spontaneous public vomiting but instead wiped my mouth on the inside of my dress and apologized profusely for vomiting next to her on public transportation. She scooted out of the seat to give me a wide berth and I rolled my puke bag securely down and gathered up my shredded dignity to exit the train.

If anyone ever needs to throw up in public and then carry it around with them, I would like to suggest the Old Navy online order bag. It's strong and it doesn't leak.

Can I also take this opportunity to blame SEPTA? If the train hadn't been late, I would have made it to my stop and puked outside of the train. I would like to be able to blame someone. Right? I am against blame shifting but lord I need to blame someone for this. Just this once.

At home I slept for five hours. My eyes were closed before my head even hit the pillow. Can your body shut down from public shame? I think that happened. I was back in bed at 9:30 last night and woke up at 6 this morning feeling fine.

What a weird fucking day. One that I never, ever want to repeat. When you take public transport, your main fears are 1) bed bugs 2) accident 3) needing to puke 4) uncontrollable diarrhea. Out of the four of those, puking is the least horrifying and I hope it's the only one I ever have to deal with. Thank God it wasn't my regular train so I don't feel the need to don the paper bag of shame over my head for the foreseeable future.

Lessons learned:
1) do not travel without a solid, leak-proof bag
2) do not leave your computer at work so you feel the need to come in when you shouldn't
3) leave an hour before go time if you are sick at work

I haven't thrown up today, so it's already 470% better than yesterday.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - sliding into third

1. This week is carnival week on my street so some dick in a box from outside of the neighborhood parks the wrong way on the street constantly. Turn around and park correctly, you lazy shitgibbon.
2. I watched in fascination as a fellow commuter set out her trashbag seat cover on the train and then again next to me on the shuttle bus to the park-n-ride. I mean, I fear bed bugs. I get it. This lady had her shit down. Her husband was the only one who was visibly annoyed by her until she started yelling "Oh no, oh no, JESUS CHRIST IN YOUR NAME NO!" on the shuttle bus because there was a car in sight on the road as the bus was making a left. Then people got snarky as fuck with her, telling her the bus driver did that every day.  She replied, "It only takes once for us to all die a fiery death." Thanks for that. Cheers and goodnight, lady.

3. I have worked three blocks from here for years, walked by it a million times, and I swear I've never noticed this.

4. I can't get in depth this week with politics, but the resistance is clever as fuck. And mighty.
5. Crazy Christians who want to control women's bodies and who other people can marry among other things scare me more than ISIS...mainly because my fellow citizens don't seem to have a big problem with that form of control.
6. The Progression of Productivity this week:
Monday night...I went to Marshalls, made turkey taco lettuce wraps and prepped breakfasts and lunches for the week, washed pans and ran the dishwasher, packed up bathing suits to take and leave at the shore, mopped the bathroom floor (AKA Dog Pee Town), washed and dried a load of shore towels + home towels, sorted mail and opened packages, reorganized my laundry stuff, watched the season finale of Billions, and read.
Tuesday night...voted, went to to the fool carnival, folded towels, unloaded dishwasher, finished a book.
Wednesday night...slumped, slack jawed and lifeless on the couch, hot and annoyed. Rallied to make naan pizzas, fold more towels, wipe down the kitchen, put a vat of iced coffee in the fridge to process, pick up the living room, cycle MFD's laundry, and do a load of my own laundry, all while humming a tune called special prosecutor under my breath.
Thursday night...can she make it four productive nights in a row? Probably not. I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and MFD will be walking 10 miles in the heat with the Earth Quaker Action Team for Green Jobs & Justice so it'll be a slow night at home.

7.  Sometimes when I'm in a stabby mood I google fuck you images and then I feel calmer. Is that how you define crazy?

8. I feel like I see car selfies more than ever. Just me?

9.  I'm super pumped for this weekend. I'm going to get some shit done at home, I'm going to see some of my people and celebrate MBD's birthday, and I'm going to put the shore house back together after the carpet replacement that happened this week and be mostly done with shore chores inside for the summer. There is some touch up painting that needs to be done but otherwise I'm fucking free.

10. E-card of the week...we might be waiting a while this week.

Home stretch of the week. 

Linking up with Kristin & Joey 

Stuff, Things, etc.

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