1/30/04

What a week of terrible lows and wonderful highs. How do you reconcile the two? How can I be so happy about one thing when the other is so sad?

Teresa’s dad passed away yesterday morning. He had been ill for a while, they think, and was in the hospital on a course of antibiotics when he died. Losing a father is such a terrible thing, no matter how old you are. You start thinking of the things that you’re going to miss out on now. Being “Daddy’s little girl.” Being walked down the aisle on your wedding day. The children you will have one day not knowing their grandfather. Seeing your mom go through the most intense emotional pain imaginable. It’s a terrible thing, and in the midst of all of these thoughts, you’re supposed to grieve.

Yet you find strength you never knew you had. You are no longer afraid of death. You will never feel alone again, because your dad is always with you. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s true – loved ones who die are always alive in your heart and in your memories. Even today, nearly six years after my dad died, I get choked up if I see something with his handwriting on it. I still miss him enormously, but I also still feel his presence. In a way, I’m lucky that he’s always with me. I wish George could have met him. I think they would have gotten along really well. I truly think that my dad had something to do with me meeting George. I know it sounds corny and weird, but it’s true. (Of course, my mom thought my dad sent me Truitt, and – blech – no way!)

So. Tomorrow is Tee’s dad’s funeral. I know I can’t do anything for her. I don’t even want to condescend to her and say “I know what you’re going through,” because I don’t. I have some idea, maybe. Perhaps more of an idea than many people. But all I can truly do is be there, or not be there, whatever she wants. As much as I’d like to, I can’t take away the pain, and I can’t ease it.

***********

Naturally, I now feel like a complete heel for the good news. So I’ll just say it.

George and I were approved for a mortgage. We’re going to look at a house tomorrow. We could be homeowners one day! Probably later rather than sooner – the houses in the Point aren’t exactly cheap….

01/28/04

Oooh. I found a house I want to buy! Now, these things can’t possibly be as easy as I’d like, and I haven’t even seen the inside of the house, but on the surface, it’s practically perfect!

And my sister and I have finally agreed on a dress for me. I hope I look like the model when I put it on, though…

01/27/04

Thirty minutes on the treadmill this morning. And thirty minutes on the elliptical trainer yesterday. Dang, I must be buff by now! Or not. There’s still a lot of chocolate at work. Wish we’d get the Weight Watchers at work thingy started so I can turn this blog into a blog with a purpose! I always liked it better when I had a specific goal to talk about in my blog. Like the London Marathon. Or the Marine Corps Marathon.

Anyway. Nothing much else going on. Work very busy. Which is good because yesterday, the day just flew!

01/26/04

Had a decent weekend. Not terribly exciting or anything, but okay. (Except for some terrible news about a friend.)

Went to the pub Friday night. Low-key.

Cleaned my house on Saturday. (Sorta.) Went to Semolina’s for dinner with George. Yum. Then to the pub.

Sunday, sat on my couch and read. Relaxed. Went to the base with Terry. Went to Barnes & Noble to read about buying a house. George and I have been in discussions about doing so. Watched some of the Golden Globes. Went to the pub. Shaved George’s head. Tee hee!

Also on Saturday, talked to Ren. Now her email makes sense. She’s pregnant! Yay, yay, yay, yay!!! I am so excited. Wish she still lived downstairs from me, like when I lived with Kristina. That was fun. Now I’ll have to go to Virginia to see her. Pooh.

01/22/04

Friends who send you an email that says only

“i feel like a defective typewriter. ask me why”

and don’t follow up are evil! (And if they’re joking, they are, well, extra evil!)

January 20, 2004

Kristina yelled at me for not posting since Thursday, so here, I’m going to post. Actually, I have lots to post about, so I won’t have to babble on about boring crap. Well, relatively speaking, anyway.

Friday night we went to the pub. Nothing dramatic there.

Saturday morning we left for Houston. We planned on leaving at 8:30 or so, to arrive at about 2:00 or thereabouts. But no. I woke up and went to take a shower, only to discover that my hot water was off. So I called my landlord, and they said they’d send a plumber out to fix it while I was gone. Meanwhile, in the background, I can hear my landlady asking, “did she pay the gas bill?” Of course I paid the freaking gas bill! Hmmph. Anyway, so then I had to shower at George’s. And it was pouring rain, and we had to run a bunch of errands before we could leave New Orleans. Therefore, we did not leave New Orleans until around 11 a.m. Ah well, we didn’t have to be anywhere at any specific time, so it didn’t matter.

It rained pretty much the entire way to Houston, which sucked, but we finally made it to George’s friend Rita’s house. Her husband was out of town, but we were entertained by their little boy, Craig, who is 15 months old and was the cutest, smiliest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. He loved George the most, of course. George, who doesn’t even like kids, had to pick Craig up and sit him on his lap. George had no clue how to pick Craig up. It was funny.

PD0160

So after we settled in, we all went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Yummy. Nothing exciting to report there. I had chicken flautas. Mmmm…flautas.

After dinner, George and I headed into Houston (we were staying in a town south of Houston) to go to a British pub we found on the internet. It wasn’t too hard to find, and at first glance, we were a bit worried. It was a freestanding building sandwiched between a Wendy’s and a Krispy Kreme on a busy road. Not too promising. The faux-Tudor building looked like it used to be a Steak & Ale. (Apparently it was a Chili’s at some point. Hmmm.) But once we stepped inside, we were in love with it. It was really amazing, and very, very authentic. (Except for some minor quibbles George had, including a lack of optics on the liquor bottles. Please.) There were people throwing darts, there was (non-American) football on the TV, there were beers on tap served in 20 oz pints, a roaring fire, copies of current issues of The Guardian and the London Times, and best of all, a food menu with bangers and mash! Mmmm…bangers and mash! Too bad we’d already eaten dinner.

Coincidentally, my sister was in Houston as well this weekend, so after the wedding she had gone to, she and a bunch of people from the wedding met us at the pub. (Oh yeah. It was called the Richmond Arms.) I saw her (in all of her hair-flipping glory) with her engagement ring. We talked about her wedding for a bit. After a little while, George and I went back to Rita’s house to sleep.

On Sunday, George and I went to IKEA. Yay! IKEA! I only bought a few things, including (how exciting) a wooden dish drainer. I’ve always wanted one. Pathetic, eh? He got a coffee table. Very nice. I’m guessing they don’t sell it anymore, because I couldn’t find it on the website, but it’s really cool.

Then we met Mike, Debbie, and Christian (friends who live north of Houston) at the Galleria. Damn, but that place is like mall heaven. Or hell, depending on how you look at it. There were so many cool stores. But at the same time, too many cool stores. Sigh. Didn’t spend a dime, though. Whew.

We said goodbye to M, D, and C (after hideously expensive Haagen-Dazs ice cream by the ice skating rink) and went back to the Richmond Arms. For dinner. Yay, I got my bangers and mash! It was so incredibly cozy. We sat at a table near the fireplace, had some pints, ate our dinner, read the papers. Just lovely.

Eventually we made our way back to Rita’s, and watched TV (ooh, cable!) until I fell asleep. (George had conked out at around 8, the wuss. He even made it to sleep before the baby. Yeesh.) Woke up yesterday morning, and headed back to New Orleans. About halfway back, George found out he’d have to go into work as soon as we got back home, because of some crises. He was not pleased. But I surprised him by putting together his coffee table while he was out. Ain’t I sweet? (You wouldn’t think so by the amount I was cursing IKEA while trying to hammer plastic thingies into holes just a bit too small for them. But eventually I got it.

Then I went to Whole Foods, bought some yummy groceries (including some rather expensive goat cheese that the multiply-tattooed and pierced cheese lady let me try) and thus my exciting Martin Luther King, Jr Day long weekend ended.

Now, of course, I’m broke. I don’t get paid until the Friday after next. Going to go home and find stuff to sell on eBay now.

01/15/04

There’s a house I want. Bad. And I feel like it should be mine. It feels like fate. It’s just down the street from where I live now, and since the first time I saw it, I fell in love with it. Which makes the current situation regarding the house even more, well, fateful.

Janice knows the owners, a young couple. They’re moving in about six months. I know how much they paid for their house (thanks to handy-dandy public records and the city of New Orleans website) and it wasn’t insanely expensive. And it was only two years ago. And they haven’t done much to it. And I met them at a New Year’s Eve party. But I didn’t know they were the owners of my house. I actually have down-payment money for a house. (Or a wedding. But I can save up for a wedding.) It is the cutest house in the world. Two bedrooms. A bungalow, not a shotgun. A little backyard. A shed in the backyard. Renovated, but not by the current homeowners. Don’t need a realtor, since my mom can do the paperwork. See, I’d save them money! I mean, I’d sell me the house! I just hope they feel the same way. It is the house of my dreams. But can I afford it on my own? (Or rather, would I qualify for the mortgage on my own? Doubtful.)

Sigh.

Onto another subject. I found a fantastic website recently, I may have mentioned it. It’s actually a blog. Actually, two. I’ve spent too many evenings reading the archives and now I feel like I really know this person. She’s a great writer, a poet, actually, and I don’t even like poetry. Isn’t the internet weird… I wish my blog was like hers. I want to be friends with this girl. (Woman, girl, we’re the same age.) But now I’m afraid if I email her I’ll come across as some kind of crazed stalker. Ah well.

01/13/04

George took me to Herbsaint for dinner last night, to celebrate my birthday. Our friend Megan works there as the grill cook. Oh man, it was delicious. I highly recommend it.

Let’s see…we started out with cocktails, a Pimms Cup for me and a gin Martini for George. They brought us out some yummy warm bread and butter. Then we got a little tasty nibble snack thingy “compliments of the chef”, but we’re not sure if everyone gets that or if it was a treat from Megan. It was deliciously unusual – some kind of smoked (I think) fish atop a mound of minced apple and fennel, drizzled with tarragon oil. Who thinks of these things? Good chefs are geniuses, I swear.

After that, we had our salads. George had a Caesar salad, which I’m sure was delicious, but it had whole anchovies on top of it, so I’m just going to take his word for it. Mine was mixed greens with dried figs, walnuts, and blue cheese (bleu?) and a sherry vinagriette. I don’t even like figs, but mmm, the salad…delicious! Mmmwah!

Entrees…George had the free-range roasted chicken with bacon and wild mushroom hash and butternut squash. Seriously, bacon and wild mushroom hash? Gorgeous. I ask again, Who thinks of these things? I had the grilled flatiron steak with fries. Yes, fancy restaurant fries. Oh god. Megan told us they were fried four times. Holy cow. And probably in beef lard or something bad but oh-so-good. The steak was so yummy. Had some herbsy-green sauce stuff on top. And there was some fancy dipping sauce for the fries. No ketchup to be seen. Mmm.

Dessert (hello, this was my birthday dinner!) was Satsuma and Cardamon Creme Brulee. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. I love creme brulee. Could stick my face in it. But I’m polite, so I don’t.

Next birthday…hmmm…hard to top….but this is New Orleans, so I think we’ll manage…

01/12/04

Aside from working like a fiend, my birthday was very nice this year. Because of a big event going on, Shelley (who shares a birthday with me) and I had to work Saturday, the day after our birthday. So I couldn’t do too much on Friday night. George and I went to the pub and met up with Polly and Colin, Lindsay, Terry and Rob, etc. We ordered dinner from the Dry Dock, nothing exciting, and George said we were going across the river at some point. Apparently we had to be somewhere at some point. He wouldn’t give me any details, though. At one point, around 8, he said we’d take the 10:15 ferry. Now, considering the ferry only runs until midnight, I couldn’t imagine where we would be going.

All became clear at around nine, when a woman walked into the pub. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “she looks like my mom.” And lo and behold, it was my mom! George had secretly arranged for her to come to New Orleans to see me on my birthday. Many happy tears were shed. I was very happy to see her. It may not seem like a big deal, considering she lives only an hour away, but she doesn’t drive to New Orleans. She won’t. And I hadn’t seen her since Christmas. And I didn’t know when I’d be able to see her again. So I was very very happy. 🙂 George is really an amazing guy. 🙂

Saturday evening was Laurie and James’s wedding. It was beautiful, and she looked incredible. She’s got the most beautiful coloring (black hair, pale skin, dark brown eyes) and she looked so beautiful. Sigh. Here’s the problem with going to all of these weddings – now I want her dress and her veil and her flowers, but if I did wear something similar, I’d come over all Single White Female. Ah well. At least she’d be the only person at my wedding that was at hers, I imagine. Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! But it’s all a moot point, of course. My wedding will be so far into the future that no one, including Laurie, will probably even remember what she wore! Ha.

On Sunday I went shopping with my birthday money. Bought a down throw and new luscious sheets for my bed. Not a particularly high thread count (my dream) but better than the cheap sheets I’ve always had in the past. Lovely. Oh, and new pillowcases. It’s like a whole new bed! And some books (one of which I read yesterday. I’m such a greedy reader) and other little things.

And then last night I went to Polly’s house and we watched a very special episode of Sex and the City. Oh yeah, and tonight is my fancy-schmancy birthday dinner. George and I are going to Herbsaint, a fancy-schmancyish restaurant (to me, anyway) where our friend Megan works. Yay!

01/09/04

Yay happy birthday to meeeee and Shelley!

Not really. So far. Has been very busy and stressful at work. Got here at 7:30. Please, God, let me go at 5:00 as promised. Things seem to be getting sorted out, though, so maybe there’s hope.

Opened a present from my sister. A book I asked for. Yay!

01/08/04

I think I need to update the design of this page. I just wanted to keep it simple, but it’s kind of blah. But I’ve moved so much away from the design mindset, now that I don’t do graphic design as my job. More importantly, I’ve moved away from sitting in front of a Mac with high-speed internet attached to it and Dreamweaver and Photoshop installed in it for 8 hours a day. So to really update my site the way I’d like to, I’d have to do it at home, on my slow computer and upload it with a slow connection. I’d rather think there’s something to be said for a nice, simple design.

Remind me not to have two diet cokes for lunch ever again. It’s way too busy at work to go pee as often as I need to. (Typed as I take another swig from the can.) (But, you ask, not too busy to update your blog? Just taking a short break, that’s all.)

Went to the gym this morning with Terry. 30 minutes on the treadmill. 2.4 miles. Not too bad, especially considering I’ve been doing 25 minutes, max, for the past few weeks. Months. Whatever. Good workout, though. Won’t be able to go tomorrow (though I’d love to get in a birthday run – however, I have to work at 7:30) or Saturday. Maybe I should visit my gym in Metairie on Sunday, seeing as I pay for my membership, yet I haven’t been in months. However, let me just say that I may be a typical gym-joiner who never goes but continues to pay, but at least I go to another gym. At least I’m not completely slacking at my workouts. Know what I mean? Am I getting a tad defensive about my workouts? I only pray that Terry will be able to work out for another couple of months, at least. She’s six months pregnant now. I’ll help her up on that elliptical trainer until the day she gives birth – I need her to force me to go to the gym. Not good. Gym codependency or something.

Ok, really should get back to work.