Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Eeyore Moment

I am feeling generally blah. It has nothing to do with anything going on in my life. Instead, it is due to the weather. I have seen the sun about once in every five days for the past month (or two). It is getting really old. So I'd love to write a nice blog post, but I'm too hum drum to think of anything. I'm a Texan, and Texans should probably not live in places where the sun only exist about twenty percent of the time. It is just wrong.

Supposedly, the sun is going to come out on Monday. I'll believe it when I see. Excuse the pessimism, but I've been disappointed more than once by unfulfilled promises from Yahoo Weather. But if it is sunny on Monday, I'll write a really cheery blogpost, one that will make your day bright and wonderful. If it isn't sunny, I'll probably write a blogpost on decay, depression, the fallenness of the world. Either way, it would probably be best to skip reading that blogpost all together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The car that never dies, but comes awfully close

BJ has been driving the same car for a very long time, much longer than I have actually known him. This car has, to put it mildly, seen better days. Here is a quick list of everything that is broken/damaged/decayed on this little Acura Integra:

1- tree damage: smashed in side panel, broke plastic around side view mirror, cracked windshield, dented top of car (this happened when a tree fell on the car during the ice storm in January).
2- paint worn away to steal on top of car
3- no door handle on driver's side
4- can't put license plate on front of car because the bolts are rusted solid
5- car won't idle right and the throttle bounces up and down (this makes me feel really cool when he comes to pick me up at work)
6- heater doesn't work
7- AC doesn't work
8- rear-view mirror is held on by electrical tape
9- hole in driver seat and enough padding missing that the steal frame shows through
10- dash lights only work part of the time
11- automatic seat belt on the driver's side doesn't work so it is unplugged in the right place
12- rear windshield washer doesn't spray
13- rear windshield defroster doesn't work
14-sometimes the turn signal indicator light on the dash doesn't work. It still makes the clicky sound, though.
15- board over the spare tire in trunk has fallen apart, so everything you put in the trunk falls down by the spare tire
16- when you turn the car on during a rain storm, water rushes onto the passenger-side floor.

All of this, though inconvenient, has been bearable. Unfortunately, something else broke last night. When we got in the car to head home from church, the seat belt light start blinking red and a loud beep started going off. I have never seen/heard either of these things happen in my five years of riding around in this car. We both started to fiddle with our seat belts trying to make the really annoying beeping and flashing stop. Suddenly, awareness dawned on BJ. Due to problem number 11, the sensor that says the seat belt is locked has been bumped. Which means there is nothing he can do short of killing his car to stop it. The light and beeping are yet another quirk he is going to have to learn to live with. As BJ realized the constant irritation that is going to accompany every drive he takes in that car from now on, BJ started yelling "No" and hitting his head on the steering wheel in frustration. It was kind of sad. Except that I was laughing too hard to appreciate the sadness of it at the time.

For the record, I really love that old beat up car. I fell in love in that car. I told BJ I loved him for the first time in that car. We took our first long road trips in that car. It has a certain smell that immediately shoots me back five years to when I would get butterflies every time I got in the car of the boy I really, really liked. My heart will break (and no, I am not being over-dramatic when I say 'break') when we sell that car. I will weep sentimental tears of anguish and woe. It will be a monumental heartbreak. But until then, BJ has to drive around in a decaying car that beeps at him constantly. And that, well, that's just funny.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My fashion-forward soap box

I have been following The Sartorialist for over a year. It is a fabulous blog that chronicles street fashion. The photographer behind the blog, Scott Schuman, is rather mysterious. There isn't a lot of biographical information out there. However, today he did a post that shed a little light on him.

Due to stereotypes that are hard to ignore, I've always assumed that most of the men who frequent high fashion or who care at all about fashion must be homosexual. I know it is wrong to stereotype, but it is also really hard to separate the images we see in media from reality. So anyways, Schuman is an impeccable dresser who has an eye for both the beautiful and the avant garde in fashion. So I had thought he was probably...well, you know. But today, he posted a picture his girlfriend took of him. Which means the guy is straight. Which mean something else really, really important.

You are probably wondering at this point why I care, so here it is: if Scott Schuman can put that much care and thought into his appearance, so can other straight men. In fact, heterosexuality can't be an excuse for wearing nothing but cargo shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. So BJ doesn't really have an excuse for wearing that ratty, torn mustard-yellow t-shirt on our first date (not that I'm holding a grudge or anything). So the cover of straight men everywhere is blown: they aren't fashionally annept due to their straightness, but instead, it is due to laziness and generally not caring. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, careless dressing became a badge of masculinity.

So that is my rant for the day. It is probably totally inappropriate, but I do enjoy a nicely planned outfit. I really do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Predestination and Deontolgy: Just Another Date with BJ Gensic

BJ budgets every facet of our lives. Each penny has a purpose and a plan. (Since I'm married to a theologian, it is very tempting to insert a joke about predestination here. I'll refrain.)

Each week, we have exactly $20 set aside for 'date money.' This leaves us with few options. We either go out to eat, go to the movies and get a latte on the way, or rent movies and get ice cream. That's it. I don't like wasting this money on non-date activities. This week, we have been planning on a lunch date for today (Thursday) because we will be in St. Louis for part of the weekend and busy with church-related activities the rest of the weekend.

Unfortunately, I did a stupid thing yesterday that is jeopardizing my date life. Yesterday afternoon as I was leaving work, I forgot to grab BJ's sermon that I had proofed. This sermon, though good, has more than a few foibles that need addressing. Normally, forgetting such a thing on Wednesday is no big deal because we can easily go over it Thursday night, and he can fix it Friday, but this week we have been frantically trying to take care of business so that we can both leave work early Friday and hit the road. Which means he needs to fix the sermon today. Which means our lunch date has turned into a business meeting in which we will go over his sermon. Which means our $20 dollars of 'date money' is going toward us dissecting the theological implications of deontology. Which means life isn't fair, kiddos. It just isn't fair, so if you were expecting it to be fair, you are in for a world of disappointment and despair.

(I don't know how I just worked my way into bemoaning the unfairness of the world, but it probably has something to do with me being a depressing, pessimistic, and, quite possibly, bad person. But that's a whole other blog post for another day.)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

For the first time in my life, I maintained a flower bed this year. I wasn't good at it, but things lived for the most part. I have resisted cutting flowers and bringing them inside all summer because I liked the way they looked in the bed, but the lows in the coming week are in the thirties, so I figured I might as well cut away.

Being me, I didn't want normal flowers. Basically, I went through the seed packets at Lowes and picked the wierdest looking flowers. Here below is a cockscomb. It is a fuzzy, HUGE flower. this one is about five to six inches lengthwise.

Here's a close-up of the freak-a-zoid flower:

I've always loved zinnias, so I was really excited when I came across the seeds for candy cane zinnias. It's one of my favorite flowers with a twist! Here are some photos of the candy cane zinnias.

Hopefully, these photos will serve as reminders next spring that outdoor work is not the worst thing ever, and that it does in fact yield good results. I'm one of those people who could be perfectly content never leaving my kitchen and/or artroom. But these flowers are pretty, so I'll consider that incentive.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things

I was thinking this morning about how many wonderful things in my life brighten my day. I'm a person who tends to feel very passionately about anything I happen to like. I thought sharing some of these favorite things might introduce whoever reads this blog to something that will brighten their own days, so here are a few of the things I'm currently adoring.

1. NPR: BJ and I don't have any sort of TV plan. We just do without. I use to miss TV, but now I hardly think of it. This is mainly because NPR provides all the entertainment/news/education of TV but with better quality and depth. If you've never paid much attention to this radio gem, go to their website and listen to a pod cast of The Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, anything Frank Deford does, or my favorite, Story Corp, a five-minute segment done every Friday morning at 7:30. I could list more, but these are a sampling of my favorites.

2. The Office and 30 Rock: On Friday evenings, BJ and I take our dinners into the computer room and watch the new episodes of these two shows. It is the perfect way to relax after a long week.

3. Anthropologie: I can't actually afford anything on this website, but I love to go look at it for the inspiration in provides. I especially love, love, love their jewelry. In fact, if you really loved me, you would go buy me this or this or this.

4. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett: This is the book I am currently reading. It is so engrossing. In fact, it is preventing me from doing a lot of things that are more important and/or urgent.

5. High heels and scarves: If I had to choose an outfit to wear everyday for the rest of my life, it would include my tan linen scarf with a teal flower and my navy blue, peep-toe heels. I don't care if it is impractical.

6. The Pioneer Woman: I never knew a blog could be as addictive or engaging as a book or sitcom until I began following this blog. I have gone back in the archives and read almost everything she's written. My favorite is Black Heels, a blog book she wrote about how she met and fell in love with her husband. She also has fabulous recipes (I've made a ton of them, so I should know), and she recently started the website Tasty Kitchen where other foodies can post their favorite recipes. I found one of the best desserts ever on this website, You Rock My World Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

7. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: The best cook book. Just the best. And after learning only a few recipes, I've been able to do impromptu cooking with whatever ingredients I have that turn into lovely Italian dishes. This book really teaches you a foundation on which you can significantly expand your cooking repertoire.

8. The Sartorialist: This is a blog that chronicles street fashion in America and Europe. Although I don't wear all of these trends, I love following them. And the photography is beautiful.

9. Historic Properties: I love looking at real estate websites. When I'm bored or restless, real estate websites offer page after page of potential. Historic Properties is my favorite real estate website for obvious reasons, it is only old houses. One day, I want to buy a real junker and fix it up. This is one of my favorite daydreams.

10. Gus, Gus, and Gus: But you knew that already.