A November in Michigan

It’s been years since I was last in Michigan in November. It is usually just starting to get cold but the snow is still holding off for the time being and there is a crispness in the air. It’s the typical midwestern fall feel: the chill in the air, the leaves changing colors, hoodie sweaters and scarves and white hot chocolate from Caribou Coffee. Ahhh. I always enjoyed the Michigan fall.

IMG_3281Somewhere over Illinois…

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip with the bf, yes as always. It felt like it took forever for the 13th to come so I could finally go to the airport. Thankfully the flights were uneventful except for the fake Gucci bag lady [I mean, who do you think you’re fooling with that purse?] who thought she could stuff her carry on suitcase under the seat. Um, no you can’t. Thank goodness the flight attendants saw that epic fail and took her bag to stow underneath. Because if I had to use the bathroom but couldn’t because her bag was all in the way, I was NOT going to be a happy camper. And last I checked, airlines aren’t so understanding about mid-air altercations.

Anywho, I was just glad to be back in my bf’s arms. As typical of our trips, we spent some time in Ann Arbor wandering around campus just because. I actually had to get used to there being students actually on campus. It was kind of weird, to tell you the truth. Especially since we were both older than everyone else. We spent Saturday afternoon on campus as well, taking in a somewhat warm day. The sun was out people! The sun! After coffee and scones on the Diag, we played a few games at Pinball Pete’s [where I was totally cheated out of tickets from the Skee-ball machine. WEAK], we made our way to North Campus in hopes of finding the Wave Field.

IMG_3286Brunch on the Diag

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After a few wrong turns [and a delightful trip through a random engineering building], we finally made it. While I have only been to the Wave Field I think once while I was a student, I hadn’t been there during the day so I wasn’t exactly sure where the field was located, except that I remember walking with a group of people from my floor down a street and turned a corner. Not exactly helpful [but I did eventually lead us to the general location!].

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Some of my favorite moments of my trip were the little moments: moments like sitting on the mound and talking about what we were going to do later that day and more talk of our future together [oh, so no there wasn’t a proposal or talk of a proposal so don’t get too excited], stealing kisses in the afternoon sun, cuddling and holding hands, playing with the little toy we won with our tickets at the arcade. There’s something extraordinarily special about being an ordinary couple.

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Oh the toy?

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Meet my newest addition to my growing collection of stuff: Pete, the eleduck.

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I’ve decided that Pete will be our official traveling buddy. He’ll be joining us on every trip we take from here on out and I’ll be taking his picture. I know it’s silly [and completely something I’d do] but I like it. So here’s his first picture.

We spent the rest of the weekend at the house with his family. He always apologizes for there not being much to do in Flint but I don’t mind it at all. To be honest, sometimes I really don’t want to do anything but just hang out, even if we’re just hanging out at home. I don’t always have to be doing something. That and I really love his family. They all make me feel so loved and welcomed every time I visit and I sincerely enjoying spending time with them as well. I feel very blessed that I can settle down and have a honest to goodness conversation with his mom. Yay for not having to deal with the in-law crunchiness that some people have to negotiate. And can I say just how much I adore his maternal grandparents? They are a hoot! Especially his Grandfather. I adore him, he’s so fun to talk to. I’m still amused how hard he is campaigning for me to move to Michigan.

We did catch “Where the Wild Things Are” and I was a little let down. I know there isn’t much to the book [which I still love] but the movie felt a little thin to me. The bf did not enjoy it at all. I looked over at him halfway through and I just KNEW he didn’t like it. Oh well. Not like I’ve never picked a movie he didn’t like before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time either!

On my last night in Michigan, we went out on a nice little date to a sushi restaurant on campus. We got dressed up and everything and had a nice time out. After sushi we ended up downtown at a Starbucks enjoying the last few hours of the night before turning in for an evening of Family Guy, The Office, and a new episode of The Seeker. What can I say? I’m a bit of a lazy homebody.

We’ll just say that Tuesday was the hardest day. I’ll have to wait a bit to elaborate on that because I still get a little teary thinking about it. Sigh. I love my boyfriend and I miss him every day.

But soon, soon we won’t have to say goodbye anymore.

More than meets the eye? Well, maybe.

So on Thursday I took myself out to see Transformers 2. Y’all know how much I’ve been looking forward to that. Since I had a doctor’s appointment, I took advantage of being home much earlier and got a ticket for the first evening show [and coincidentally the last matinee viewing = = CHEAP TICKETS! Woot!]

So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t read this post. Plot spoilers abound. Consider yourselves warned.

Initially, I liked this movie. Not as good as the first one but still good in its own right. However, everything happened very quickly. I know I kind of complained about how it took forever to see our first transformer last time, but they certainly got to the point quickly. So much so that I didn’t have a chance to build up that anticipation to see Optimus because BAM! There he goes. And I felt like this one was campier than the first. That whole scene about Sam’s mom eating the pot brownie? Really? Because that lasted a few minutes too long.

It was definitely more graphic…well, as graphic as you can get with computer generated robots [plenty of split heads and stabbings and shootings].

Of course there were the plot holes. I felt overall that it was a bit rushed in places but it also looked like they just slapped a few scenes together and called it a day. I was looking for how they’d explain Shia’s hand being busted [after his DUI incident] but they didn’t even do that. Didn’t address it at all. At first I thought it would be written into the part where Megatron has him pinned down on some platform but nope, he escaped scott-free. So when did they do it? Oh, after they were in the Smithsonian one second talking to an ancient transformer who then teleported them to Egypt. They fall all over and get up, they spot each other and suddenly its night and Megan Fox is wrapping Shia’s hand with a bandage. WTF dude. How did he hurt his hand while TELEPORTING?! Are there sharp objects in the vortex? It didn’t even look like he landed all funky on his hand either.

I didn’t like the new transformers they introduced: the motorcycles left a lot to be desired and Skids and Mudflaps were annoying and off-putting. I actually wanted them to die. Alas, it was not meant to be; like I was soooo excited when Mudflaps got eaten by Devastator [the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger decepticon] and then incredibly bummed when he survived. Like, my face fell, I was so disappointed. And the she-bot a la Species and Terminator? I mean, I knew something was wrong with her from the get-go. I don’t like knowing stuff like that from the get go. Though hearing Shia screech was worth it. But what’s the point of having a transformer who can turn itself into a human? Why are all the other ones still equipment?!

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Now with 50% less hype!

Today is picture day here at the office for our new badges. We switch them out every year for security reasons – we have a lot of day of event staff turnover so to keep them from keeping their old badges and getting in free later on, we change the layout every year. Anywho, it’s always reminds me of picture day at school because everyone wears their nicest shirt, makes sure their hair is perfect, and looks so put together. It amuses me to no end.

It’s also raining here in the Bay Area. FINALLY. While I was enjoying the unusual summer-like temperature the past two weeks, it’s kind of scary the way the weather’s been. It’s below freezing back east while we’re walking around in shorts out west. In San Francisco no less! In January! But to be honest, I had been praying for rain, not just because we need it, but also because I really want to go snowboarding. I don’t know if I will be going at all this season but I’d like that option.

Which means I need to go shopping for a new jacket since I always just borrowed Lindsey’s.

This is random, I know, but I feel like it should be said. Who are the people responsible for nominating movies for Oscars and such? Because The Curious Case of Benjamin Button going up for 13 awards? Really? Especially as “Motion Picture of the Year?” Really? Because I saw that and I just don’t get the hullabaloo. It was an okay movie [obviously it’s opinion based] but I just didn’t see anything Oscar worthy about it. Sure, individual performances but overall, not so grand. The movie was very slowly paced…it took 3 LONG HOURS for it to finally wind it’s way down. There’s really only so much Brad Pitt I can take when he’s not involved in some cheeky scheme to bust a casino. And there was A LOT of Brad in this movie. Like, more Brad than I needed. Ever.

Which is kind of hard to avoid considering it was his movie. But at one point I wished it would hurry up and be Brad and then sat and wondered how much longer Brad could possibly still be in the movie? It was that long and draggy.

Sure I laughed out loud at parts and it was sad in a tragic kind of way and I did tear up at the end, but I’m a sap. I cried during Wall-E remember? I’ll cry at just about every death scene if I don’t hate the character. I cried at the end of the Bucket List and I KNEW they were going to die.

Is it because it’s Brad Pitt? Is that why it’s being considered for Best Motion Picture? Or am I completely missing the point of the movie?

Nope, still not Friday…

I was watching the Parent Trap the other day, the Lindsay Lohan version…I haven’t seen the Hayley Mills one in YEARS though I would love to catch that again. Hey Disney execs, you should get on that. I’m not shy to admit that I particularly enjoy that movie though it makes me sad to see the potential in Lindsay then and think of where she’s at now. There was so much hope ridding on her…who knew but 10 years later she’d have 2 DUIs under her belt and looking worse for wear?

But I digress. I’ve watched this movie so many times [including the original] and I’m surprised that I never caught on to this point until now: for parents who supposed love and dote on their girls so much, why were they the LAST ones to know that they had switched places? I mean, technically the housekeeper and butler were the first ones to notice that something wasn’t right from the get go but the parents? Nothing. What kind of mess is that?

Parents of twins can usually pick which twin is which; at least that’s been my experience [in watching parents of multiples]. I know that suspension of belief is necessary to make this film move along, because I have a hard time thinking that a Brit would send their kid all the way over to the US for summer camp.

Maybe they would now that the euro is twice that of the dollar but still. But the euro [or pound then] wasn’t that strong when the movie was made. And for some reason, why do I want to say that the mom lived in Boston and not England? Where did I get Boston? I guess I just don’t really remember hearing much of an accent from the mom.

My eating habits were kind of mocked the other day by my friend Tim. I got on his case for eating a drumstick without peanuts. That’s the best part of a drumstick ice cream cone. The peanuts add just the right amount of crunch and taste to make it so much better. So he decided to use my reasoning for not liking baked fruits: he doesn’t like the texture.

Which is completely bogus because peanuts don’t have a different texture than what they started out as unless it’s peanut butter. But baked fruits do have a different texture. And while I do tolerate some, like blueberry muffins, most I do not, like cherry and apple pies. I used to get those Hostess pies, you know the ones that’s probably a lot worse than an actual slice of pie, and pry it open to scoop out the filling and then eat the crust because I liked it and not what was on the inside.

I did this in secret because my dad got miffed when he saw me doing that once and made fun of me. I just don’t like how the texture gets all weird in the fruit and I really just don’t like baked apples. I can tolerate them in small servings but I’d much rather just avoid them altogether if possible.

Baked fruits = blech.

Why so serious?

When you’re craving something, the best thing to do is to just satisfy it. And that’s pretty much what I did. While I wasn’t able to fit in the chili cheese fries as I would have liked [I wonder if I can get those for lunch today? Hmm…but where?]

And let me tell you, it was so worth it. Saturday I went about my business, including making a stop at the Verizon store to get my $15 back for being charged for a service I initially declined. So when I upgraded my phone, I was given the option to try their V-Cast service for free for a month, provided I cancelled at the end of the month. I declined on the spot because I knew that 1] I wasn’t going to use it and 2] I was going to forget to call and cancel at the end of the trial, things I told the sales guy. Well wouldn’t you know, I got my notice for my bill on Friday night and it was a whooping $70 something! This was way more than I usually pay and I knew that I didn’t go over my minutes at all and when I checked, wouldn’t you know I was charged for that stupid V-Cast thing.

After a few minutes on the phone with a customer service rep, I found out that I had to go to the actual store to politely demand my money back, which I did. So now I’m $15 richer. Total score.

I spent the rest of the day wandering in and around several different stores, pinching inspiration wherever I could. Yeah buddy, I sure did. The whittling, oh it most certainly does continue. But I’ll get to that later.

I picked up a box of Froot Loops at Target [on sale for only $1.75!] and made the pigs in a blanket Saturday night in time for the premiere of the Avatar movie. Oh I can’t believe it’s over! That was such an awesome series and I’m totally buying it on DVD. It’s that good. Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out, you should do so post-haste. It is not to be missed.

But eating those pigs in a blanket was so incredibly satisfying. Even when I couldn’t eat anymore and still had to pile through the Beard Papa crème puff Lindsey bought for me the day before. I think we could have considered that torture, even if she did end up eating most of it.

Church was pretty good yesterday. Our pastor was out so his wife taught in his stead and boy does she fly through things. We were out before noon [okay, by my a few minutes but still]. We hadn’t been done with church that early since January or whenever we went back to one service. It was nice and I had time to try to truck it to the theaters to catch the last matinee showing of The Dark Knight.

Except it was sold out so I had to wait an hour and a half until the next show. I know, but I managed to do that quite well after spending time in Pier One just looking around and wishing I had an apartment to furnish.

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Try Blue. It’s the new Red…

wall-e retro posterHere’s to short workweeks. Huzzah!

Yeah I totally just huzzah-ed you.

The weekend was a good one actually. On Saturday, I made my way up to Sacramento to Jacki’s for Spanish Club, dragging along my fondue pot as my contribution to the eating festivities. I made a chocolate fondue that was amazingly delicious. It was rich and creamy and tasted kind of like brownies. Or least like brownie batter. It was definitely a hit and tasted practically heavenly with the cheesecake bites I managed to find at the store. That was the best combination there, which was made even better [if you can believe that] by adding slices of strawberries. The cheesecake bites were the first to go but we ended up slicing the cheesecake Christina brought into “bites” albeit, giant ones, to dip. Its official; we’ve all gone fondue crazy. The best part is I can now make truffles from the left over fondue. Yummy.

The conversation was free flowing and fun as always. I’ve really grown to love those girls. Even though I’m not there all the time or even a teacher, we still have plenty to talk about; mostly making fun of whomever we decide deserves it but its always good times. This time it was Christina’s new budget and Akilah’s “heart burn” from jogging despite several warnings of poor air conditions and limiting outdoor physical activities due to Northern California being on fire [sadly, that is not an exaggeration]. I didn’t leave there until almost ten that night.

I love how homey Jacki’s house is getting. She’s planted a garden and flowers since the last time I was there [which she’s totally excited over] and they have a dog door for Chester who is just as happy as can be.

My Sunday school lesson went decently yesterday. I had a game board set up but unfortunately due to some weird translation blip, we didn’t get to have as much time as I had liked with it, which sucked because the kids were all amped for it. Oh well, we did get a couple go rounds though so I guess that’s all that matters.

After church I finally got my nap [yay!] before the two little girls came over to spend the night. Then Lindsey and I hightailed it out of there to go check out Wall-E. Oh my goodness y’all, you’ve got to see it. Pixar definitely didn’t disappoint and I’m so buying this one when it comes out. We laughed quite a few times [and made some great Bay Area connections to scenes in the movie] and cringed at the “future” and because no one else did, I’m going to warn you that this movie will definitely tug on your heart. In fact, I cried. I haven’t cried in a cartoon movie since The Land Before Time when Littlefoot lost his mom. I have no qualms because the movie is just that good and there was a group of girls next to me who were crying too and Lindsey did tear up a bit. This is like Brian’s Song: if you don’t cry then YOU’RE DEAD INSIDE.

Mark these words right here: I’m so going to work of Pixar one day. That seems like my kind of place.

But Lindsey totally took me for my money though. So here’s the story. On Friday I texted her and asked if she wanted to see Wall-E on Sunday. She said yeah. Then on Saturday she told me she didn’t have any money, which I was aware of and told her I was already going to pay for her ticket. On the way to the movie she said if I was hungry then lunch was on her. I didn’t think anything of it at all. We then go to Target and pick up some stuff for mom and I’m thinking about what to get at Wendy’s and I’m making sure she’ll have enough and she said she does, not to worry about it. So we go to Wendy’s, order our stuff, and she ups and pays with another $20 bill! This girl had money. Granted, my mom had given her some spending money earlier that day [probably on the way home from church] but she didn’t even mention it to me. She claims it’s because I had already told her I was paying but she didn’t even say, “Hey, mom gave me money…you don’t have to pay for my ticket” and I would have been, “No, don’t worry about it. My treat.” But I didn’t even get that courtesy. Yeah, that was sneaky Lindsey. But thanks for the fries and strawberry Frosty shake. I still love you.

We spent the rest of the night watching tv and planning a trip to Thailand after watching the final couple of episodes of ANTM where we leanred that we’d live like queens for the time that we were there. The exchange rate is so in our favor at the moment and I’m dying to go. So right now, we’re eyeing sometime next year. I seriously hope it happens. I’m so getting my passport during my vacation next month.

No son, this is not Star Wars…

In case you were wondering, and I know you weren’t, but I did suck it up and go with the bigger cups. Though it feels like they have the same coating that was the issue with the little cups. But hey, maybe that’s just me being petty.

This weekend was pretty superb, even if all the fun stuff happened on one day. The weird thing that I’m trying to figure out is how in the world does the Muni metro always manage to back itself up on the last Friday of the month. This is the same Friday that hosts the monthly Critical Mass. The strange thing is that this happens about a block and a half AFTER the Muni disappears underground so it’s not like they’re blocking traffic. But yet again, I found myself abandoning ship and hoofing it the last whatever mile it is to the BART station and walked smack dab into the start [as always] of this month’s CM. So instead of going downtown for a little window-shopping like I had wanted, I had enough time to get back on BART and head to church to be on time.

Saturday was another quiet morning without my mom since she was watching Tami’s kids while she was at work so I was stuck at home with my dad, which was not exactly a good thing since I ended up fussing at him about calling me in the morning. Since he’s gotten a cell phone, instead of acting like a normal human being and walking out of the whatever room he’s in and calling for one of us, he’ll call the house or whoever’s cell to get a hold of us. It’s incredibly annoying and I think I’m developing anger management issues when it comes to dealing with the phone and him but really, you don’t need to call me. Especially not at 8 something in the morning. He was incredibly lucky that I was already awake but I’m so over hearing him call us all the time.

I fussed at him again later when he asked if I would go out and buy him something for lunch. Mind you I was in the kitchen making myself something to eat and I was supposed to go out and BUY him something? I ended up getting him something but I was still annoyed because he tried to use the fact that he brought me something for dinner the past two days as a reason why I should do this for him. Uh, sir, do you know how many times I’ve gotten something for you when I had no intention of leaving the house? And then he had the nerve to say that I NEVER bring him home anything. And you know why I don’t bring him home anything? It’s because I DON’T BRING ANYTHING HOME FOR ME!

Anyway, I ended up trading in my old phone that had issues with wanting to turn itself off for no reason other than to annoy me for a brand new sessy [yes, sessy] new phone. I picked up the enV2 from Verizon and so far I’m still in love. The full QWERTY keyboard is taking some time to get used to. It makes me feel like I’ve never txted before and I’m a champion txter! But other than that I really like it. Though I wish the sales people wouldn’t make such a big production about checking with the manager about getting the $50 instant rebate like they offer online. I swear, they act like they can’t do it and need to check with a manager, disappear for a few minutes and then come back like they just did you a favor. Dude, I know you don’t know this but y’all have done this for me before. In fact, the other sales guy I spoke to the week before said he’d be able to do this. So let’s just save some time and face and just say you can do it, let me just clear it with the boss.

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