Monthly Archives: September 2010

Catching Fire

catching fire2

****************SPOILERS*********************SPOILERS**************************

I could never be a book reviewer because I wouldn’t be able to write about it without giving away spoiling information and ruining it for everyone. On to other career options…

So, I read Catching Fire.

The other night, my eyes wanted nothing more than to close and drift peacefully off into dreamland. But I had to finish the last 20 pages. No choice. It had to be done.

Some of you may have seen my tweet at 1:30am. The one about my mind being blown? Yeah. The ending to this book was intense. And shocking. I NEVER saw it coming. I knew something had to happen, but not this.

But let me go back to the beginning.

First of all, I’m a HUGE Peeta fan. Like, in love with him. And I think he and Katniss are cuter than anything, if only she could let her guard down and let herself feel for him what she knows is deep down. Gale is nice and all, but there’s something about him I can’t connect to. I can’t see them together and he just seems whiny and moody. Am I alone in my love of Peeta? Yes? Sad day…

Then, when they said that the new players would be other victors, I almost died. It broke my heart. These two had been through enough and I couldn’t stand to see them go back.

Also, do I find out in Mockingjay why Snow’s breath smells like blood? I can’t figure it out and it’s incredibly creepy.

I loved that Peeta and Katniss continually fought back, whether intentionally or not. Offering their winnings. The noose and painting with the Gamemakers during training. The pregnancy. The outfits. Etc. Also, whenever they make this movie, I can’t wait to see Cinna’s outfits. I hope they stay true to the descriptions in the books. They seem fantastic.

And then there’s the Games themselves.

WOW.

The only thing I was confused about after reading was who all was involved in the plan and who wasn’t. Obviously Finnick and Johanna and Beetee and Wires. Duh. But the others? Were they just there, fighting each other, trying to be the ultimate victor, or were they trying to save Peeta too? Especially when the Careers attacked at the cornucopia.

I love how Collins wrote the ending.

It was fast paced and confusing and hard to quite figure out what was going on. She wrote it just like Katniss was experiencing it. It threw me off and I loved it. Especially when I found out what was really going on. I never saw the ending coming, and I’m the person that usually figures out books and movies halfway through. I knew the chink was important, but I never would have imagined what they would do.

These books are captivating.

I know they’re YA (young adult) fiction, but who cares? They are written so well and the story just draws you in. As a teacher, I would want to teach it along with either Communist societies, or even the Holocaust and talk about people doing what they are told and ignoring the atrocities happening around them. I think this would be a powerful book in any classroom. Also, it would be a book to draw in the boys. Traditionally, boys don’t want to read and too many books can’t keep their attention. However, this would be great for both. Yes, it’s violent, but so is The Great Gatsby and Killer Angels and The Odyssey and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This book would also be a gateway book. Many would want to know what happens in the rest of the story, and anything that gets kids to read is great. I may just talk to some teacher friends and see if they would teach it. I know there may not be a lot of lee-way in curriculum, but I think this would be good.

So, if you’ve read it, what did you think? Any big surprises headed my way in Mockingjay? Am I going to be devastated? Will Peeta and Katniss finally be together for real? Probably not, but a girl can dream….

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Laundry Etiquette 101

laundry_room_1

I dream of a room like this. Don’t quite need 3 dryers, but all the space. A folding table. In my own home.

But we are not so lucky.

We thought it was a key item to have a washer and dryer in the apartment when we were apartment shopping, but after seeing hell hole after meth lab after rat home, we decided to go for clean and safe and  get over the laundry situation.

Our apartment complex has it’s own laundry room

laundromat11

You have to have a key to get in, so only people from our little complex can use it. There are 12 washers and 5 dryers.

I have no clue who decided a place that holds 12 washers only needed 5 dryers. Yes, the dryers are big, but they aren’t new and if you put too much stuff in them, things NEVER dry. EVER.

It’s also stupid expensive. I spent nearly $10 yesterday on our laundry and didn’t even wash sheets or all of Mr. A’s clothes.

Yesterday, I had lots of laundry. And it drives me nuts to have to take everything over there, including two hampers, our big tub of laundry detergent, a book to keep me occupied, and the ridiculous amount of quarters it takes to do our laundry.

When I show up, 7 of the 12 washers are full of wet clothes. And guess what? Not a single person around. Also, a dryer was full of clothes.

I know these are college kids, but I was a college student a year ago and I still had common sense and manners.

So, here are my rules for sharing a laundry room with other people, even though I’m sure all of you reading either have the privilege of having your laundry in your own home or you are nice enough to be considerate of your neighbors.

1. We are on limited space here. Don’t put your laundry in, go to lunch, then your afternoon classes, all the while, leaving your clothes in the washers and dryers. Otherwise, I’m putting them on the floor. (I was there for about 2 hours and NO ONE came in. How do you forget all of your clothes are in the laundry??)

2. If you use powdered detergent, more power to you. But when you pour it all over the top of the washers, the folding table, and the only open space in the room, CLEAN IT UP!! It’s sticky. I don’t use it and don’t want it all over my stuff. My clean, folded clothes.

3. Don’t get mad at me when one of the only washers you left open, starts to make insanely loud and obnoxious noises during the spin cycle. I can’t fix it and I’m not paying another $1.25 to switch washers.

4. More than 3 pairs of jeans can go in one washer. And more than 5 tshirts fit in another. Please don’t take up 9 washers.

5. When you and another person are in the laundry room, you both have 3 washers (which is completely understandable since you both came in with a decent amount to wash and the washers aren’t huge.), please don’t take up all 5 dryers. Especially when we put our clothes in at the same time. Meaning, I will have to wait the 30-45 minutes for your clothes to dry since you insist on drying your jeans on the lowest possible setting for the longest time allowed.

 

Basically, common sense and manners. (Not all of these happened yesterday. These are things that have happened to us since we’ve lived here.)

This and how much the rent will skyrocket a month if we want a puppy, we are quickly leaning towards moving to the other apartments that we fell in love with. They have washers and dryers in each apartment, and only $20/month for a pet. Yes, please!

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Filed under Life After College, Married Life, The Others

Menu for the Week

First off, thanks for the support from the last post. I feel like some of these issues are just at Mr. A’s schools and others are universal. We’ll get through it, but I appreciate the kind words on the subject.

So for last week’s meals:

Sunday: Use leftover chili to make chili-mac and I made The Bread

***The chili-mac was delicious. I thought the bread was good, but Mr. A started to not feel very good from all the butter. May try it again and just use a little less butter.

Monday: Borrowing a couple recipes from Duoly Noted. We’ll be having her bruschetta and her linguine with clam sauce that is apparently “to die for”.

***I know I mentioned this in another post, but please make her bruschetta. We didn’t use plum tomatoes because we couldn’t find them, but this was so delicious. Even if you don’t like tomatoes, try this. I usually hate tomatoes, but I could eat this all day. Add a little more salt to the tomatoes and you’re set. Yum yum yum.

Tuesday: Fried round steak and mashed potatoes and green beans.

***This was so delicious. Wow. Obviously not the healthiest option, but man it was delicious.

Wednesday: Hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese. Nothing fancy but Wednesday is usually Mr. A’s late night, so this should be easy and can be made whenever he makes it home.

Thursday: Outback’s coconut shrimp with spicy orange sauce, grilled vegetables, and fingerling potatoes. We received a cookbook with restaurant “secret” recipes and I have been craving coconut shrimp for a while.

****These turned out really well. I had a little problem getting the batter to thicken up and stick, but they were still so yummy. And I used peach preserves instead of orange for the dipping sauce and it was perfect. It was also really good on vegetables as a dipping sauce.

 

So this week, I’m taking it easy. I didn’t put together a bunch of new recipes. Husband is going to be very busy and getting home later, so I’m not really trying anything new. I’ll get back to some new and delicious recipes next week.

Monday: Frozen lasagna and salad

Tuesday: Bruschetta and asparagus

Wednesday: Chicken and rice bake

Thursday: Grilled Cheese and Soup

Friday-Sunday: We will be at my house and eating all sorts of delicious things. There’s a huge food festival in the city this weekend, so I’m excited for food and food demonstrations from famous chefs and wine and good company. Sunday, my uncle will be in town from Colorado, so we’re doing BBQ and watching football. I’ll be cheering for my city’s team, especially since they won yesterday, which is a HUGE deal for our team.

So what are you cooking this week? I need a yummy and easy dessert. What are your ideas??

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The Hunger Games

*************SPOILERS********************SPOILERS**********************

hungergames (Source)

 

I know. I’m so late to this bandwagon that the wagon has already forged the river and all my oxen have died. I probably have a snake bite and running out of food. I miss Oregon Trail.

But you were all right. This book was so good.

I know others have made the comparison, and while the content and writing are very different, it had a Harry Potter-esque feel to it. More in the way Collins created a new society that was still new and intriguing, but not so far fetched that I couldn’t connect or understand what was happening. At times I wanted a little more detail, but I am glad it didn’t drag on about all the minute details that I would have forgotten anyways.

I loved (in a morbid and “it makes an interesting story kind of way”) the concept of the Hunger Games. I would love to know more about the original rebellion and who and why District 13 was obliterated, but maybe in Catching Fire? I’m wondering also about how Panem came to be, but that’s probably along the lines of more detail than anyone cares about.

Katniss made for a great protagonist. Her attitude and drive to do anything to save her family was admirable. Also, I liked Gale, but after meeting Peeta and the progression of events, I can’t really cheer for him. I like Peeta too much. He’s sweet and genuine. I think his simpleness is endearing and I honestly believe Katniss had/has real feelings for him.

The only issue I forsee is my connection to characters and the very strong possibility that they will die. Rue? Too precious and then destroyed. I was so sad for her.

I think it will be interesting what duties Katniss has to take on when she’s the one advising and training the new tributes. What will happen when she goes to visit District 11? What will the Capitol try to do to her and Peeta? Will they stay together? (Man I hope so…) What will happen with Prim? Who will get picked for the next Hunger Games? And what insanely awesome costumes does Cinna have hiding up his sleeves?

So many questions!!!!

I was so hooked and had to continue, I looked to see if I could get it from the library. My library had it checked out, so I tried the interlibrary loan. I guess because the series is popular, the other libraries won’t place a hold on it. WHAT??

Luckily, my husband is super sweet and knows my boredom is reaching epic levels, we went to Walmart and bought Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I’m about 20 pages into Catching Fire and just as hooked. I’m a little nervous for Mockingjay since there were so many mixed reviews about it.

I can’t wait and I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Tomorrow will probably be spent reading as well. I love a good book.

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Told Ya

I told you I would be back to my chipper self in no time.

Not everything is fixed or better, but I can’t obsess over them or things will just get worse. I did it when I had to go to school at home for a year and I added more pounds than I’ll admit on the internet and all self esteem went out the window.

Must. Stay. Positive.

So, on that note, I give you some things that make me so ridiculously happy. Probably more than they should, but whatever.

1. GLEE. I know you already know this. I LOVE GLEE. So wonderful. No, not all the acting is great and some episodes are better than others, but being a huge theater fan and the fact that I love swing choir (my high school version of GLEE club minus the competing), GLEE is wonderful. I love the music and the dancing and the bizarre plot lines. I was so happy tonight with the premier. Mr. A even watched with me and it was wonderful. He even ordered the entire 1st season for me. (He had an Amazon gift card AND it was on sale, NEW, on Amazon tonight. He’s super.)

2. Duoly Noted’s bruschetta. People. You don’t understand how truly fantastic this is. I also made her linguine with clam sauce and it was also amazing, but the bruschetta. I almost wished my husband wasn’t eating so I could have had it all to myself. I learned I loved bruschetta in Chicago at one of the famous pizza places. I’ve tried to make it myself and it would turn out okay, but nothing great. Tonight it was mouthwatering and better than the restaurant. No exaggeration. Husband thought the same. Probably going to have an entire meal of it next week. And I don’t like tomatoes. So if you don’t like tomatoes either, try this recipe. It will change your life.

3. Puppies. I already wrote a ridiculously long post about this, so I’ll leave it at that.

4. Wine. We went to a wine festival here a couple weekends ago and we found some local wines that we LOVE. We bought a couple bottles and I could drink them all by myself. I love white wine that isn’t too dry. We found a Vignoles that is so yummy with just about any meal you put in front of me.

5. Hunger Games. I know I’m late to this party and pretty much all of you have already read the entire series, but it is so good! I’m about 90 pages in and I’m hooked. I would have spent all night reading if it hadn’t been the premiere of GLEE and then Biggest Loser. I can’t wait to read all of them and I hope Catching Fire and Mockingjay are just as involving. **Sidenote: I am DREADING when the games start because I’ve already fallen in love with Peeta and how the heck am I supposed to cheer for Katniss to kill him?? I must read more tonight.

6. Bubble Baths. I love them. More than an adult should love a bubble bath. a couple times a week I take one and read whatever book I’m on at the time. I usually have to re-warm the water because I’m in there long enough for the water to cool. In This Wonderful Life is hosting a “Keep Calm and…” giveaway. I was looking at the possible prints and they have a “Keep Calm and Soak On” print with a bathtub on it. I’m so hoping I win so I can get it. It will fit in our bathroom so well and it fits me perfectly! Probably going to go take a bubble bath and read as soon as I finish this.

7. Jillian Michaels. Not really. I really more hate her. And her perfect abs. And the other girls’ perfect legs. I want to watch other out of shape people struggle through the workout like I do, not girls who wish the video would end so they can get to their real workouts. BUT I can tell it’s doing something. Actually, it worked SO well yesterday, that I couldn’t hardly walk today. Or move. Or bend. Or breathe. I found 3 positions that were comfortable and didn’t make me want to cut off my legs. It goes without saying that I couldn’t do the workout today, but I have every intention of doing it tomorrow. Even if I can’t do everything or all the reps, I WILL workout again tomorrow. Jillian knows what she’s doing and I love that. I might have a chance to lose the weight I want. If I can eat better, smaller portions, and keep with this workout, I hope I can get there.

8. That my husband doesn’t freak out when I tell him I chose the wrong career path. He even TRULY thinks I should go back to school now and we’ll live off loans. All to make me happy and get the career I want. He’s a doll sometimes. This will be it’s own blog post, but it’s good to know that he will support me should I choose that path because my parents might try to commit me. Not even kidding.

9. Blogging. All of you who read and comment and give advice and encouragement and tell me you’ve been there and it will get better. I love the blogs and I love Twitter for connecting me to bloggers. We tweet about shows and celebrities. We ask questions. Vent about whatever is going on. Tell funny stories. Share pictures that are in the moment. I love this community I have found. YOU have helped me in more ways that you probably know. You’ve gotten me through this very difficult and stressful time with your humor and sarcasm and dry senses of humor. Snarky blogs? One of my favorites. Thanks for sticking with me and keep the comments coming. They make my day.

10. I’m doing this for Life of a Doctor’s Wife. She has to end lists at 10. Figure if I keep her OCD calm, she’ll keep reading.

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Filed under Happy little posts, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it)

A little rant

This will probably be a random rant. I completely understand if you stop reading now. I won’t be offended. Come back tomorrow and I’ll be chipper again.

 

  • I would give anything to have someone else come and do the dishes that are in the sink. When he graduates, we will not settle for an apartment or house that doesn’t have a dishwasher. I may be working on becoming more domestic, but I don’t like spending at least an hour of everyday washing the same dishes over and over.

 

  • College students: Learn to drive. Seriously. When at a four way stop, you TAKE TURNS. And if the person next you was there first, they get to go before you. Just because you roll a stop sign doesn’t mean it’s your turn and doesn’t mean I am going to be happy when you nearly t-bone me EVERY time I go through the intersection by my apartment. Get off the phone, pay attention, and go back to driving school.

 

  • Note to husband/law school friends: I no longer want to hang out with your law school friends. I’m sure they’re great people and I’m glad you like them, but I can’t do it anymore. I DO understand that law school is completely time consuming and it also takes up most of your thoughts and your brain power. I live with a 1L. I get it. But can’t we go out and you not make jokes about whatever “funny” law school term you learned this week? And once, it’s funny. The 20th time in an hour? No longer funny. Also, quit asking me every time you see me if I found a job. I haven’t. And if I had, my husband, who is counting on me to pay bills and buy food, would have told you that I found a job. Especially since you guys spend about 20+ hours a week together. It’s a touchy subject and I don’t like being reminded of it when I’m out drinking and trying to enjoy myself. And no, I can’t go back to school right now. Guess what? I can’t afford any more loans. Thanks.

 

  • I really want to send out a Christmas card this year. It’s our first year being married and not everyone has access to see our wedding pictures. I found an awesome one that doesn’t cost that much, especially when I used a couple promo codes to get the cost down. Husband thinks they cost too much. $35 for personalized cards and matching address labels that on any other site I found that would be at least $100 is not bad. AND it costs less than the trip he wants to take to Utah this Christmas break to go rock climbing with his cousin. Give me the effing $35. It’s not too much to ask.

 

  • MIL is now mad because we spent all day Saturday with Mr. A’s father and stepmom out on the lake. YOU WERE AT A GOLF TOURNAMENT/GIRL’S WEEKEND. You DON’T have to see him every time he’s within 50 miles of you. And he also needs to spend time with his dad, who he sees drastically less often than he sees you. We never planned on being there all day. We were going for lunch then heading home. But the weather was amazing and they invited us out on the boat for a little bit with all of their marina friends. Then, they were having a fish fry that night, and since we were already there, we figured why not take the whole day off and enjoy it. Also, Mr. A made some networking connections and may have a summer job lining up already. So guess what? It was worth it and I refuse to feel bad about our impromptu lake day.

 

  • I want a dog. I know we have no business what so ever getting ourselves a big financial commitment. I do. I’m not dumb. Dogs are expensive. But we said we were going to get one this summer and I really want a dog. I’m home by myself all day and I would love a little companion. Also, I have all sorts of time to work on training the puppy. Oh well. This is a losing battle because Mr. A really wants one as well, we just can’t.

 

  • Anyone find a HUGE bag of money? If so, send our way.

 

  • I know things will get better. I know this. I’m just bored, which then turns into resentment and anger. I’ve been looking for volunteer opportunities to get out of the house, but that’s also turning out harder than expected as well.

 

  • So I don’t look like a complete whiny bitch, I’ll end on a happy note. Husband and I were meant to be married. We are better than we have ever been. I can’t pinpoint it, but there is definitely something different now that we’re married, and it’s more than the piece of paper we signed. We talked about this the other day and we are just a couple meant for this. We still have our rough days or times when I wish I could go away for a couple hours, but overall, we are a great married couple. I do love him with all of my heart. Times aren’t easy right now, but he has been more supportive than I ever would have imagined.

I’ll go make my derby pie, eat some chocolate, and I’ll be back to my positive self in no time. After some wine, of course.

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Filed under Freak Out Much?, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Useless

This New Hobby

With all this time on my hand, I decided that I needed to find a hobby that would benefit the husband and I.

I have started scrapbooking, but that is more for me and the husband doesn’t get so much out of it.

So I’ve been working on my previous lack of skill in the kitchen. I had started this little endeavor a while ago, but I would only make like one thing new and the rest came from a box or Mr. A made it.

My new favorite thing? Meal planning.

It makes everything so much easier.

I used to go to the grocery store and just buy random stuff with no clear meals in mind. By Wednesday, we were out of main course food and just had a lot of side dishes and snack food. I love mashed potatoes as much as anyone, but I can’t shouldn’t live off of them.

So now, during the week, I start looking online for new recipes to try. It has been so much fun to find either new things to eat or recipes for meals I already like.

My favorite places to look are The Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen. I just love the Pioneer Woman’s sense of humor and love her pictures that go along with her amazing recipes. I have also found a lot of recipes from other blogs. You guys sure are crafty in the kitchen!

From last week’s meals:

Sunday: Grilled chicken

             Spinach salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and strawberry vinaigrette

             Brie and peach biscuit bites from ARealLifeWIfe

***I think I just don’t like grilled chicken by itself. The salad was amazing, as were the biscuits, but the chicken was just blah. Anyone know a good grilled chicken recipe?

Monday: Turkey sloppy joes (spicy)

             Leftover salad

****Amazing! I got the recipe here. They were so yummy and definitely not the blah sloppy joes you had as a kid.

Tuesday: Stuffed crab

               Baked rice

****The stuffed crab we buy at our grocery store and it is so delicious. The rice? For being as simple as it is, it was yummy. It was full of flavor and I could have eaten it every night.

Wednesday: Frozen lasagna from MIL and garlic bread

Thursday: Turkey Chili

****I got the recipe for this here. One of the best chili I have ever had. I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I added a pinch more heat to it and a whole can of corn, a huge onion, and instead of the smelly juice from the canned beans, I used some chicken stock and some water for the liquid. It was spicy and delicious. Add some shredded cheese and sour cream and you’re set!

Friday: Leftovers or go out to eat

Last week’s meals all turned out pretty amazing and better yet, no one got sick!

So this week, this is what’s ahead:

Sunday: Use leftover chili to make chili-mac and I made The Bread

Monday: Borrowing a couple recipes from Duoly Noted. We’ll be having her bruschetta and her linguine with clam sauce that is apparently “to die for”.

Tuesday: Fried round steak and mashed potatoes and green beans.

Wednesday: Hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese. Nothing fancy but Wednesday is usually Mr. A’s late night, so this should be easy and can be made whenever he makes it home.

Thursday: Outback’s coconut shrimp with spicy orange sauce, grilled vegetables, and fingerling potatoes. We received a cookbook with restaurant “secret” recipes and I have been craving coconut shrimp for a while.

 

These meals are a little less healthy, but I have been working out more, so I’ll go for it.

I’m also planning on making a derby pie tomorrow. This is a chocolate nut pie with some bourbon. Mr. A loves bourbon and being from the state he’s from hopefully he will love the derby pie. I have a recipe that I’m not crazy about, but if you have one, please share!

I’m pretty excited about these upcoming meals. I hope everything turns out well, especially the shrimp. I can’t believe I have to wait until Thursday!

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