Brides “old” maid

 

 

I am really honored to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s Meg wedding.  There are few people I’d agree to be a bridesmaid for at this point in my life.  I love Meg.  I am thrilled she thinks of me as one of her closest friends.

Me, Angela and Meg at a super fun beer event in STL a couple years ago

Me, Angela and Meg at a super fun beer event in STL a couple years ago

Meg and I at Food Truck Friday back when we were roommates....

Meg and I at Food Truck Friday back when we were roommates….

This is the night we brought UNO to the bar to play while we waited for Karaoke to start.

This is the night we brought UNO to the bar to play while we waited for Karaoke to start.

The night we went to Sanctuaria in STL where I introduced them to my bartender crush.

The night we went to Sanctuaria in STL where I introduced them to my bartender crush.

The night of my Eat, Pray, Love & Do a Little Drinking party.  Also a night we learned that tarot card readers and drinking don't mix.

The night of my Eat, Pray, Love & Do a Little Drinking party. Also a night we learned that tarot card readers and drinking don’t mix.

Right before this picture Meg was telling me how good I look in this hat.

Right before this picture Meg was telling me how good I look in this hat.

NYE at the Casino

NYE at the Casino

 

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And here we are now… Meg’s bridal shower last weekend

I’ve been feeling a little apprehensive about the past weekend.  I’m the oldest one in the pack of adorable, smart, interesting women Meg has chosen as her bridesmaids.  And as I see 35 on the horizon, for some reason this has been making me talk badly to myself.  I even (just for a nanosecond) considered calling in sick to the event knowing I may not be up for group fun with the gals.  The bachelorette weekend is in a few weeks and I’m saving all my shenanigan behavior for that event.

Honestly, though, the weekend was fine.  Of course it was.  I did feel some of my classic “fear of missing out” pangs.  These women are younger and successful and live in more interesting places… I’m such a comparer.

We're a lovely bunch

We’re a lovely bunch

By the end of the weekend I knew I had done my part as the old maid bridesmaid.  While the ladies who knew each other from school hung together, I greeted Meg’s relatives, told lovely stories about how I met her and the first time she talked about Bill, I listened to family and family friends tell their stories.  With age comes party grace, perhaps?  The bachelorette weekend is in Florida at a beach house and I’ll be doing my best to engage in dance parties and drink out of phallic shaped straws.  Maybe I’m glad to be a little too old for some things….

 

#Ferguson

I have so much to say about this that I don’t think I can say anything about it.  Everything I have to say is speculation, opinion, and questions and there is probably enough of that already out there.  Not probably, there is already enough of that out there.

I grew up in Ferguson.  The school district that still can’t send kids back to school was my district.  The Andy Wurm Tire Store they were shooting tear gas in front of is where my dad got tires for his construction company’s trucks.  I’ve driven up and down Florissant Road hundreds of times.  My Ohio friends and co-workers don’t believe me when I say this is my hometown.  But I spent 24 years in this community.  Grew up there.  My family is there.  The first place I lived after college was in a house in Ferguson with my cousin in our super cute, little house just down the road from all this madness.  I can’t imagine what it must be like there now.

I think part of the problem is the immediacy that social media brings.  I think that prevents investigations and facts.  I also think this is so much bigger than the event that sparked it, not discounting that it was a tragedy.  I think my feelings are most accurately portrayed by this video – which is worth 15 minutes of your time:

 

Anniversaries and stuff

August 13th would have been my nine year wedding anniversary, if I were still married.  Instead it was my 4th not-anniversary.  Which is okay, too.   I know not everyone gets the “my ex husband is my best friend” thing, but it’s one of the things I’m most proud of and protective of.   It takes a strong and honest friendship to text your ex “happy not our anniversary” and know that the other person will be happy to hear from you.   Ex hubs and I chatted briefly about that recently and he put it far more poetic and succinct than I ever have.   “Sometimes you should marry your best friend, but sometimes you shouldn’t.”  So, happy not our anniversary to you ex Hubs and dear friend. 

One year ago I graduated grad school.  I miss school.  I miss learning and the academic environment and the group of people I would have never met otherwise and feeling smart and earning it.   It’s amazing what’s happened to me in the year since.  I’m so grateful for what that degree and experience brought my way.   Earlier this week I had a phone call with Mr. Head of the Leading Change Mgmt Research Company and he told me a joke and we talked about OD vs. CM. This afternoon I got pulled in by my program manager to help with another huge layer of change.   I bought a house, became a full time associate, made new friends, and just all around figured it out.  

3 years ago I got this cat…
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The orange one there. Tonight he, Quinn and I are just hanging out on the patio.
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It is an amazingly gorgeous night here. Cool and no humidity and perfect for grilling. It’s the only way I’m going to cook around here.
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Slicing buns is about all I was willing to do in my still pristine, new kitchen.
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Luckily I have a grill.
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A grill with a side burner. All cooking can be done out here.
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I made some burgers with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. They were really good and perfect for patio dining.

In the spirit of selfie stories :
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I bought a new shirt today while at the food truck festival during lunch. I’m a happy Ohio-an. And that feels great.

Pecha Kucha with you?

Do you know Pecha Kucha?  It’s a method of presenting that forces focus and values succinctness.  The presenter gets 20 slides (no more, no less) and speaks to each one for 20 seconds (no more, no less).  It promotes storytelling and connection.  No one is looking back at slides filled with text, they are speaking from their heart about images that prompt story.  It’s awesome.

This night was awesome.  I went to the Pecha Kucha event in Columbus tonight – their 30th event.  The event was at 400 West Rich which is this cool, hippie space that is a catch all for classes, co-working and art.  It had this kind of broken down, yet awesome courtyard where the event was.  Open to the sky and stars, more than 200 Columbus-ites of all walks of life were hanging out on this perfect evening. It was kind of magical.

It is also attached to StrongWater bar and restaurant.  I attended my first ever MeetUp tonight.  Dominika has been encouraging to try one out for a while now and I finally got the guts to join some strangers for a night of dinner and presentations.  And it was great.  There were 10 of us at dinner and just about everyone was interesting and everyone was friendly.  I’m generally socially awkward with new peers, but I think I did okay.  My typical gauge is if I didn’t dance on a table or make out with anyone inappropriate then I’m doing okay.

So – the Meet Up aspect was fine.  The presentations were mixed.  Two were okay.  Two were really good.  One was awesome – she was a photojournalist – and it isn’t just because obviously her photos in the slide show would be top notch – it’s that she was good at telling a story.  She told her story – how sometimes it’s hard to be the one to document the visual aspect of what might be someone else’s hardest day.  She said a few years ago she was really struggling with the work but eventually came back to the fact that it’s a privilege to tell someone else’s story.  No one has ever gotten mad at her for taking their picture when they were sad or angry.  They were glad someone was paying attention.  She ended with that idea – tell your own story.  She recommended documenting it in pictures with whatever camera you have.

I thought of this silly blog.  I come here to tell stories.  I come here to document my life.  If it weren’t so late, I’m confident I would have created a little Pecha Kucha slide show to insert here.  Don’t think that still isn’t coming.  For now – I’ll leave you with just one picture and it’s story.

Of course it's a picture of me.  Duh.

Of course it’s a picture of me. Duh.  This is me right now.

Slowly, this house is becoming my home.  The kitchen helps.  The throw pillows on the window seat help.  The cats help.  There’s still a quality that’s missing and I can’t put my finger on it.  Flipping through old photos I found several shots of me, similar to the one above… some taken after a run, one taken right before my 33rd birthday, some taken because I thought I was having a good hair day and mostly all in my old STL apartment… but tonight I’m thinking about stories.  What was the story behind each one of those selfies?  Most of them have one.  In an album full of selfies – maybe it’s not as selfish as we think.  Maybe it’s not always an act of vanity (I mean, because sometimes it is about a good hair day).  It’s about showing that picture and telling that story – even if it’s just to yourself later on.  It’s the making of a visual memory.  So tonight – this picture of me on my bed in my bedroom.  I’ll talk about the time I was trying to decide what shade of white to paint my bedroom (which will lead the ridiculous-ness of so many shades of white) so there were swatches painted on the walls.  I’ll talk about the giant notes I write to myself when I give myself pep talks – which is what the paper hanging on the wall behind my big hair (today is not one of the aforementioned good hair days).  Thank goodness for all that packing paper I have hanging around in the basement.  Sometimes you just need to write yourself a note and a post it does not provide the needed emphasis.

Confessions…

  1. I am heartbroken over the death of Robin Williams.  I am heartbroken he felt the only answer was hanging himself.  How impossible it seems that that is the only choice he felt he had.  There have been so many articles and lists in the last couple days about things to say to those with depression, warning signs of depression and how to respond to depression.  I’ve read many of them.  I agree with a lot of it.  How did the world see him one way – as a genius, talent, icon, treasure – and he didn’t see any option except hanging himself.  I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on depression, my own, in general, etc…But all I’ll say here is I’m heartbroken for him, his family and friends.
  2. I’m eating granola out of the box for dinner.
  3. I have a huge crush on Scott Michael Foster.  Okay, I have a crush on his characters, I don’t know him.  I have been watching Greek on Netflix as I fall asleep lately and I am reminded of how much I loved him.  He is in a new show (also on ABC Family) called Chasing Life, which I am really only watching because he is in it.  He’s not a main character, so I’m getting minimal Scott Michael Foster time, luckily the show is good.  I just love him.

    Cappie from Greek.  A bad boy with a kind heart of gold...

    Cappie from Greek. A bad boy with a kind heart of gold…

  4. I also have a big crush on the Property Brothers.  Could they be any cuter and funnier and charming?

    Could they be any cuter?

    Could they be any cuter?

  5. The tile saw is still sitting on my kitchen floor.
  6. I loooove my friend Meg, but am kind of dreading wedding shower weekend in Virginia this weekend with all the bridesmaids I don’t know and the socializing and feeling like the spinster old lady in the group.
  7. I had 5 chocolate chip cookies today.
  8. The weeds along my front walk are getting out of control.
  9. I haven’t made my bed in the last 6 days.  Lies.  8 days.
  10. I have a super big meeting at 9am tomorrow morning and an outing with some new friends tomorrow after work.  Big day!

The rest of the weekend

Here is the rest of the random-ness of my weekend.

  • Last week I had a houseguest.  My brother in law’s brother was staying with me.  He’s a personal trainer and was attending some kind of intense strength training clinic here in Columbus.  I have a guest room and glad to put it to good use.  I didn’t see him all that much during the week between a few late night work nights for me, his early mornings at the gym.  I did want to spend a little time with him.  He helped me with a few things around here and I wanted to thank him, plus, I like my brother in law a lot so wanted to make sure I took care of his little brother.  Friday night, after a super long work week, I was determined to leave work at 3pm and I did.  I told Mitch I would take him to this groovy “bar-cade” and the gourmet hot dog place next door.  I did tell him we had to get there Golden Girls early because the barcade gets super busy.  16 Bit is the name of the place and it’s awesome.  The perimeter is lined with old school video games and they are all free to play.  He and I grabbed a beer and started on some classics – Frogger and Pac Man.  He played some football game.  Then together we took on an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.  Thanks to free and unlimited continues – we BEAT the GAME!  How often can you say you beat an arcade game?!  Awesome.  Mitch declared the bar awesome due to the clientele and set up.  Gourmet hot dogs at Dirty Franks and a scoop of Jeni’s ice cream and I can feel good that Mitch got a solid Columbus experience on his last night in town.
  • I rented Divergent Friday night.  We were home early (because we started early) and I love that Shailene Woodley.  I read the book and thought it was only okay.  I thought the movie was a good adaptation of the book, and just like the book – only okay.  What was most interesting was the dream I had after watching it.  Part of the book is training some of the characters to face their biggest fears, so they undergo these simulations that present their four biggest fears to them.  I had a dream Friday night that presented two of my biggest fears to me.  I woke up kind of panicked and in a really bad mood.  I won’t reveal the two fears here – it was a really personal dream – just know that I’m sure it was motivated in some way by the movie.
  • I went for a run Saturday morning with the Nationwide running group!  Each month they host a run at a different MetroPark in Columbus.  This time it was Sharon Woods park about 15 minutes from me and I went.  It was mostly just an accountability exercise.  I was the slowest runner there, but I got out and did it.
  • I got some cute pictures of my niece this weekend!  That kid is a doll.
This pic is one of my new favorites.  One sock, chubs hanging out, hand in her mouth - love this kid.

This pic is one of my new favorites. One sock, chubs hanging out, hand in her mouth – love this kid.

So that’s it – a few other things in addition to the kitchen tiling.  Ready for another super busy week at work!

Kitchen update – Tiling Part 2

I can’t exclaim “It’s all done” regarding the entire kitchen quite yet – but I can say that about the tiling!  And that means I am about 93% done with the whole room.  Man, has this been a full weekend of tiling fun.  I left off last night with the thin set mortar drying overnight after all the tiles were on the wall, but having realized there was a problem with the outlets.

Did not adjust for outlet plate.

Did not adjust for outlet plate.

After I wrote last night’s post and had another glass of wine, I googled what to do about this.  In my head the outlet and switch plates would go on top of the tile, but the outlet box is recessed in the wall.  I’d have to mount the outlet box differently so it stuck out some and was flush with the tile – otherwise there is a giant gap between the plate and the outlet.  No good.  Being wine confident, as I was last night, I decided to check this out, so I unscrewed the outlet, realizing the top of the outlet was stuck under some mortar… anyway, long story short, I ended up unintentionally popping off a tile, so that is how I decided to pop the others off around it and trim them  this morning.

I bought a wax pencil to mark the tiles as I worked.  I thought this came in handy.

I bought a wax pencil to mark the tiles as I worked. I thought this came in handy.

I’ll come back to the outlets later.  This is not the last time they will annoy me.

Before - and here is a better look at the trim work I put on the sink wall at the very top.  It's like a little surprise for anyone ducking down where they'd see it.

Before – and here is a better look at the trim work I put on the sink wall at the very top. It’s like a little surprise for anyone ducking down where they’d see it.

Here we go!!

Here we go!!

It took a 2 feet section for me to find my groove.  It seemed like those first couple feet took me forever.  It got easier pretty quick.

It took a 2 feet section for me to find my groove. It seemed like those first couple feet took me forever. It got easier pretty quick.

Sink wall done first...working behind the new goose neck faucet was tricky.

Sink wall done first…working behind the new goose neck faucet was tricky.

Aaaand stove wall done!  This side flew by.  Nothing in the way on this side.

Aaaand stove wall done! This side flew by. Nothing in the way on this side.

It took about 2 hours to grout both walls.  Then almost another hour fiddling with the outlet covers.  As I finished the tiling I found myself wondering if I would grout around them or caulk around them.  I took it to the Google.  This is where I realized I’ve pretty much done the outlets all wrong.  I really should have figured out how to remount them.  Oh well.  That’s probably the only thing about this project that I’m not super thrilled with.  I’m only mildly thrilled with them.  I decided to grout between the outlet/switch cover and the tile and it looks fine.

Stove side done!

Stove side done!

Sink side done!

Sink side done!

I’m sure I should have the ambition to take on the floor, but I just don’t right now.  I don’t know exactly what kind of tile I’d put down and I need to figure out how to work around or under the appliances.  I’m not sure the floor can be a solo job.

Once I’m finished accessorizing the kitchen (curtains, a print or two near the coffee pot, and not much else really.  Trying to keep clutter off the counters since they’re so small.) I’ll put up some final photos.

Some takeaways -

  • I’m covered in several small cuts from where pieces of porcelain flew from the tile saw and hit me.  They’re small, but I should probably wear better protective gear next time.
  • Similarly, I’m surprised I didn’t poke an eye out with flying bits of tile as well
  • Tiling a floor is not like tiling a backsplash so perhaps I could have done a little more research on this process so I could have used mastic or figured out the outlet situation before hand.  I just kind of dove into it this weekend.
  • The tile saw proved worth the buy.  Renting one was at least $50 for 4 hours.  That would have been a pain in my neck yesterday and I wouldn’t have had it around this morning when I needed to re cut some of the tiles.  Buying it was only $100 and when I eventually take on the floor, or the fireplace surround, I’ll be glad I have it.

Final recap coming!

50 Shades of White

Now that the kitchen is nearly complete, I’m already thinking about the next project.

It’s time to paint my bedroom.  It’s really time to pay any attention whatsoever to my bedroom.  I bought a really beautiful upholstered queen bed when I bought the house.  It was time to upgrade my full size bed with no headboard to a grown up bed.  I looooove my bed.  For the longest time I thought I would do a blush/gold thing… like this:

This picture is on my vision board for 2014.

This picture is on my vision board for 2014.

I think I’m over the idea though.  First of all, the headboard is more of an ivory/champagne color.  I’m nervous about finding a blush color that won’t end up looking like a baby girl bedroom.  There’s a very specific peachy/blushy/pink shade and I do not have confidence that I can find it.  So, I am taking the idea of the monochromatic theme and applying ivory instead.

While I was at Lowe’s buying my tile I picked up some white/cream/eggshell paint swatches.  I had no idea how difficult this would be.  My brother-in-law’s brother stayed with me this past week and I asked him to help me narrow it down.  I now have three choices.

Dude.  How do I choose?

Dude. How do I choose?

I have a couple weeks until I have to pick the right white.  I have a the three paint chips taped to my wall.  I have one sample painted on the wall (I think it’s too yellow).  I’ll probably take Labor Day weekend to paint the bedroom.  The other furniture in my room is really pretty espresso brown – I have a chest of drawers that was my great grandmothers and a modern dresser in a very similar wood tone.  I love that my furniture doesn’t “match” but just coordinates.  I’ll have this ivory and brown with pops of gold.  I have two pretty good sized windows in my bedroom so curtain fabric will be a big decision as well.

 

Kitchen update – tile!

We made it!  We’re in the tiling phase.  Tiling part 1 took place today and tomorrow is part 2.

Part 1 is getting the tile on the wall.  I knew I wanted subway tile and found a smaller scale subway tile on the 12×12 sheets.  The smaller scale is perfect for my smaller scale kitchen.  And it’s easier to hang those sheets!  I used a thin set mortar on this project.  I didn’t learn about potentially using mastic until too late.  I’m still fine with the choice.

I prepare.  Laying out the first row of sheets on the counter to measure.

I prepare. Laying out the first row of sheets on the counter to measure.

In all the DIY videos I watched on tiling backsplashes, no where did it say take a picture of your first swipe of mortar.  Oh well, I'm doing it my way!

In all the DIY videos I watched on tiling backsplashes, no where did it say take a picture of your first swipe of mortar. Oh well, I’m doing it my way!

I knew it would be tricky to work around the light switches and outlets.  Using the tile saw was by far the thing I was looking forward to the least.  Notching little pieces of tile and all that – blerg.  Also – a tile saw is hella messy.  Assembling the tile saw was intimidating, which I was worried did not bode well for using it – but it went okay.  Putting it together was by far the hardest part.  I set up my card table just outside the kitchen side door I have and that system worked out awesome.

Me - before tile starts!

Me – before tile starts!

Stupid obstacles.

Stupid obstacles.

So… the only thing that actually went wrong today is the outlet on the stove wall.  I accounted for the outlet cover side to side, but not top to bottom.  And I didn’t realize I forgot to account for that until everything is set.  I do not know what to do to fix this.  I’m sure some googling is in my future.  Is it possible to cut tile once it’s on?  Do I need to pry it off?  Man, I hope not.  Ugh.

Stove wall complete!  Onto the sink wall!

Stove wall complete! Onto the sink wall!

Just a little bit left!!

Just a little bit left!!

I started the tiling project at 1pm.  By the time I assembled the saw, mixed the mortar, etc and was ready to start putting tile on the wall it was 2pm.  I was nearly done at 5pm and I figured a drink was in order!  I knocked out the last section, which was like playing Tetris.  At this point I cut the tiles sheets into individual pieces so I could make exact marks on them as they fitted against the wall.

Never being able to make it through a project without a trip to Lowe’s for the one thing I forgot, I changed out of my wet clothes (tile saw spray) and ran to get the trim pieces I forgot and some I didn’t realize I would need.

I found a fun piece of vintage looking trim for that little space above the tile and below the cabinet.  Pics tomorrow...

I found a fun piece of vintage looking trim for that little space above the tile and below the cabinet. Pics tomorrow…

I used some tile spacers where two sheets came together or where I needed to piece individual tiles in place.  I can’t wait for the white grout tomorrow!  I know it will pull the look together.

Done!

Done!

All done by 7:15, including my trip to Lowe's and cleaning up.  Not a bad afternoon!

All done by 7:15, including my trip to Lowe’s and cleaning up. Not a bad afternoon!

Stay tuned for the very nearly finished kitchen!!!!!!!  I’m so very excited.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck…

If a woodchuck had three margaritas and a shot of tequila?

I have about 10% of my laptop battery left.  I’m feeling great from a night out with a friend at my favorite joint in town.  Let’s see what comes out of the fingertips, shall we?

Chipotle knows my soul.

Chipotle knows my soul.

Let’s start here.  With a bag from Chipotle.  I worked from home today so I could be here for counter installation and I picked up Chipotle for lunch.  I guess I didn’t realize they were putting inspirational quotes and full on stories on the bags now.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten take out from the ‘Potle.  As I sat on my couch and settled into my brown rice burrito bowl, I saw the bag I had casually strewn aside.  Obviously, it struck me enough that I had to stop and take a picture of it.  “Do we really have the problem we think we have?”  It’s a harkening back to my OD school days.  What is the problem.  What are we really trying to solve.  It just made me stop and wonder, and for that, I think it’s share-worthy.

I met my dear friend Lisa, a grad school chum, for dinner tonight.  She is preparing to move to Oregon and I will miss her a great deal, and we met to catch up and discuss her resume for job hunting in the new city.  As she also knew D, of course the conversation drifted there for a while and Lisa said some of the nicest, wisest and simplest things to me that made me feel better.  I feel like for the first time since the break up, I actually feel better, instead of pretending to feel better.  Not only did I have great company, we went to my favorite place in the Short North – Bakersfield.  Home of interesting tacos and strong margaritas.  It is a testament to my new found “being okay” that you all didn’t get drunk text messages from me.  When is the last time I did a shot?  Probably grad school.  And now, tonight.

Tonight – I have an almost complete kitchen.  It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten to decide what my kitchen looks like.  I’ve had nice kitchens before, but never ones I had input into.  A very fun first.  Tonight – I have a little bit of swagger back after Lisa tells me I’m going to be just fine.  It can be very surprising to see yourself through someone else’s eyes – and tonight I was humbled (I may have even blushed) as Lisa spouted off my super qualities and assured me I was on my way to awesome.  D may have brought me to Ohio – but if everything happens for a reason – I was brought here for the amazing work opportunities and the personal opportunities that I just don’t know about yet.  Sigh.  Lisa also made me delete his phone number from my phone.  A good idea.  It was time.  I mean, I still have his email address, but it’s a step, right?

I head back to the Lou tomorrow for my baby nieces baptism.  I can’t wait to hold that baby girl and smush her little cheeks!  I’ll also be seeing a Cowboy Mouth concert, having lunch and dinner with friends and running in Tower Grove Park.  I registered for a 15K (about 9.5 miles) in November and I’m officially in training mode.  It’s good for me to have a running goal.  I’ve realized I missed it.  I also miss how I look when I was running.  So… back at it.  I have mileage on my calendar, just like I did for the first half.  I am slowly finding the space in my life where the relationship once occupied.  He’s really not coming for me.  And, I guess that’s really okay.  I know that’s okay.  “Because I’ve got game, baby.”  (I don’t really – it’s just a quote from Sports Night.)

And that’s time.  Battery nearly dead.

Major takeaways: I have an emerging social structure in Columbus, people think I’m cute and fun and smart, tequila shots are occasionally a good idea, The Mindy Project is a good show to have on in the background after said tequila shots.

 

OH – and break up song du jour?

I heard it in the car the other night and played it non stop a couple nights ago.  And just like you eventually get tired of a song you play non stop for hours, I got tired of my own loop of thoughts about the whole thing.

Progress.