Monday, December 19, 2005


This is the busiest week of the year for the store. Consequently, I cannot post as much as I would like. Keep watching.

My tootsies ache ferociously... yes, I said 'ferociously.'
My cold is mild but lasting; today is day six, and my voice sounds like a smoker frog.
I am exhausted.

*Sound of head hitting keyboard*

Friday, December 16, 2005

Fa la la la BRAAAK!

As you might have guessed, I am not going home for Christmas.

Lack of money
Job security
Expensive flights
a Darin & Louise Apartment Christmas!

Darin and I decided that since a West Coast Christmas is impossible, so is a Christmas with the inlaws. I would be far too homesick and pouty, thus invoking misery in each of my extended family members.

I will be heading back home, however, in January! Eleven days of West Coast lovin.' The only downer is that between a heavy class and work schedule, Darin cannot come. Argh.

Here's a preview of my little winter vacay:
  1. Wait for Lulabelle to stop ignoring me, plead for her forgiveness regarding my long absence, and cuddle her before I go to sleep.
  2. Jump on Mom and Dad's bed (while they're in it, of course).
  3. Scandalize my eldest sister with the clothes I wear and love. Caren has rebuked my fashion sense ever since I lost my baby fat. To her, dressing prettily is dressing as a lady of the night. Maybe so, Caren. Maybe so.
  4. Go hiking where Darin proposed. (The first time.)
  5. Visit my buddy Mandy across the street. Harass her parents. Tease her mother.
  6. Read in the guest bedroom with the heater on full blast while lying on my tummy. This has been my "comfort food" since I was a little girl, reason unknown.
  7. Eat mom's pumpkin custard.
  8. Get a back massage from my wonderful brother Dave.
  9. Leave family dinner early enough to avoid religious debates, late enough to properly digest.
  10. (Edited for content)
  11. Go to the beach with my parents, make a fire while sitting on driftwood, eat clam chowder from Mo's, go crabbing.
  12. Without flinching, tell Dad I love him.
  13. Drink lots of mochas from my favorite hole-in-the-wall coffeehouses.
  14. Get "love vibes" from Mom.
  15. Spend the night by the Christmas tree.
  16. Meet our new little calico kitten, Tib.
  17. Dance in the living room with my nieces and nephews until someone gets hurt.
  18. Order in from my favorite Mexican restaurant and watch old movies with the parental units.
  19. Instead of avoiding the Annual Family Blow-up, take pictures for future blackmail usage.
  20. Continue the argument with my father on why "Kill Bill" is a great movie.
Keep reading through January, for the posts will be frequent and (I have a foreboding feeling) extra juicy. Shudder.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Of Cabbages and Poles

On Phase 2 of our honeymoon, Darin and I drove a U-Haul from the W.C. back to Midwestern Lands. On the way, we took a detour to Preston, Idaho. Yes, THE Preston, Idaho of Napoleon Dynamite.

The picture below is of me glorifying the very place Jon Heder played some raucous games of tetherball. On a second inspection of this photo, I realized that the tetherball pole looks similar to another kind of pole. Any old perv who saw this pic out of context might think... *Groan*

Anyway, isn't Idaho beautiful? Not half as gorgeous as my home state, but it has its purpose. I invite those of you live east of Montana to renounce your Midwestern roots and move to the west. Man cannot live on crap alone.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


And now it's time for another installment of...

Schmeez Droppings
Thoughts, Realizations, and Excremental Wisdom
  1. I cannot tell you how desperate I am to get out of this bloody Midwest freeze and into some West Coast warm lovin'. Forsake sinful slush and godawful grey! Come with me, the Pied Piper, to the land that knows little or no snow!
  2. Speaking of that, I slid into a ditch on the way to work. A nice blue-collar kid smokin' a clove pulled my little sedan out with his macho Ford. Such a nice guy- I got to work on time and offered up my interaction with crazy shopping moms for him.
  3. On the same day, Darin slid into a parked car. This sounds so cliche, but "go figure."
  4. Black pinstripe pants are a must for every modern girl's wardrobe. Dress 'em down by pairing them with Pumas and a graphic tee. Dress 'em up with a blazer and heels. Perfecto.
  5. This was a superb Sunday: Mass, a Coney Island breakfast, catching "Narnia" (which we loved - check back for a review), a Christmas tree/decor purchase, and topping the night off with decorating and eggnog. Oh, and "Desperate Housewives" of course.
  6. Husband #1 semi-updated his website. A super-cool advent montage awaits you.
  7. My friend Katherine emailed me! Her emails always warm and fuzz me. Definitely the coolest, yet wenchiest Canadian I've ever known.
  8. After checking out this website introduced to me by my dear Dr. Beiting, I almost sympathize with anti-Christians. Objective Ministries would turn anyone off to converting. By the by, have you accepted Jesus yet? This one's just for kids. (Make sure to check out that mean old atheist, Mr. Gruff.) For those who are struggling with purity, here's the answer!
That's all have to say in twenty minutos. Yes, I did mean to say "minutos." Spanish is fun!

I have a 5 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow morn. Working my way through marriage, that's right! And there I was, naked in ShopRite.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ready to Dye

Completely exhausted...

5 am wake-up calls...

Watching "Cinderella Man" with Husband #1... with Red Vines and York patties...

He's also going to dye my newly trimmed and banged up hair...

Shepherd's pie in oven... mmm...

Here's a picture of Darin and me. I really think we're a gorgeous couple.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sing Me to Heaven

In my heart’s sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poet’s gloss.
Words alone are vain and vacant, and my heart is mute.
In response to aching silence memory summons half-heard voices,
And my soul finds primal eloquence and wraps me in song.

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby.
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song.
If you would mourn me and bring me to God,
Sing me a requiem, Sing me to heaven.

Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure,
Touch in me grief and comfort; love and passion, Pain and pleasure.

Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem,
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God:
Sing me a love song, Sing me to heaven.

- Daniel E. Gawthrop (b. 1949)

Ahem. When I visit my alma mater, I feel an immense amount of warmth from both genders of the campus. This is probably because I am a wacky/married/open-minded woman that can and will say what anyone else can't or won't. We're comfortable with each other.

So, as an objective onlooker and active participant, I am disappointed in both the men and women of AMC.

Now that the population is down to circa forty, it is more vital than ever to love. As AMC students have learned in VanShajik's Human Person or Dentino's Theology of JP2 classes, "love" must be in action for it to be effective. This is the lacking element on our campus. This is the virtue that keeps our college from the greatness it deserves.

Disclaimer: I understand that the administration, whose example we should follow, forsook the privilege of admiration and leadership long ago. I also admit that I am pathetically guilty of the behavior I am about to criticize.
For the women: Many of us were taught to apply wisdom and sensitivity in our dealings with men to get what we want and need. We were taught how to create and maintain a happy and well-functioning relationship using our "feminine wiles" in benevolent and mutually satisfying ways. We have replaced this innate femininity with disdain, criticism, hypersensitivity, and manipulation. Men are not the insensitive creatures we like to think; men need respect and love whether or not they 'earn' it. Encourage men to be men.

For the men: I won't refer to you as "guys." You are men, and men you shall be called!

How many AMC girls feel similar to Chaucer's "gat-tothed" Wife of Bath? Rosy-faced broads with sexual energy hot enough to melt Fr. Roy's heart of stone, existing for the sole purpose of man's temptation and distraction? Personally, I felt more like Monty Python's hussies of Castle Anthrax, but that's just me. It's a pitiful cop-out to use a woman's beauty as an excuse for distraction and impurity. Everybody knows it, but we femmes somehow agree and blame ourselves. (Immodesty is an entirely separate issue.) Appreciate the beauty of the women around you. Pre-theologate or not, beauty is meant to be recognized, not shunned.

AMC ladies are tough; we need, however, the love and sensitivity of our wonderful gentlemen. Because I am a somewhat *vibrant* woman, some treat me as if I lack the capacity to have hurt feelings. When I was teased somewhat malevolently, rarely would a man in present company defend me. (Thank you, Cory, for asking someone to stop the foul language in a lady's presence last year. Thank you, Darin, for chasing that flirtatious homeless man. Thank you, "Crazy-eyes" Rutherford, for defending me against inappropriate comments instead of laughing or ignoring them. See? Elephants and women never forget.)

Destroy your copy of Paradise Lost if that's what it takes. Seriously.

Please stick together. Only one more semester to go. Like it or not, we are each bonded by faith and education. In our everyday interaction with one another, strive to remember the fundamental reason God placed man and woman together.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Check Back Tomorrow.

Just what I said. Check back tomorrow. (Free popcorn!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

For your Viewing Displeasure

11-8 is a dreadfully long shift. Forgive my decaffeinated grumblings.

Luckily... I work an early shift tomorrow morn so Husband #1 and I can *gasp* spend the day together! I propose we clean the apartment (we're delayed gratifiers), take a nap, play a game, and go out for coffee. Hey, I just planned my day in a sentence! This is simply groundbreaking!

Here are some... ahem... creations that Darin concocted this afternoon. Some men watch football in their spare time, some sleep on the couch. Husband #1? See for yourself.

A Googled kid mixed with Jennifer Aniston. Charming.

Osama bin Bean

The NEXT Ave baby?

Feel free to put these on your desktop and paste on Mom's birthday card. Darin also extends an invitation for suggestions.

Go ahead, feed my hubby's hobby.

Post your ideas for new freaky/hilarious/huh? combinations, and I will choose the top five. Okay, Darin will. Anyway, the top five will be created and posted on this fabulous blog.
Good luck!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


(phone rings)

Male Customer: Hey, do you have that nylon jacket, called the "Warmest Jacket?" In blue? In a large?

Ian: (happily) We certainly do, sir!

Customer: The one with fleece lining?

Ian: (happily) Yes, sir!

Customer: In blue, called the "Warmest Jacket?"

Ian: (yet still happily) Yup!

Customer: A large with fleece lining, nylon shell...

Ian: (with slight wonder) Large blue Warmest Jacket with fleece lining, sir. Yes. We have it.

Customer: You're sure it has fleece lining?

Ian: YES.

Customer: Well... Put it on hold for Randy, please.

After Ian got rid of Randy, I handed my coworker a hold ticket. "I'm spelling his name with an 'i' out of spite!" Ian did, and I laughed. Poor Randi.

I am a rabid participant of spite. Just the other day, I took a massive swig of orange juice from the carton when my germ-conscientious inlaws were in the other room. Just to spite them for frustrating me and for not being my parents. (We've discussed my "I miss mommy" complex.)

Quick, tell me something that YOU have done spitefully, especially if it crosses over to outright malice. Then I might not feel quite as evil.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

An Untitled Evening

I'm heeeeere.

Back from Thanksgiving, two excruciatingly long work days equipped with evil mom-shoppers, and icy roads. I welcome the change. I happily return to my cozy apartment, devour my mother-in-law's delicious pie, and relish the fact that I finally have a Sunday off. I plan to sleep, watch TV, grocery shop, and sleep some more. *Homer drool*

And now it's time for....

Schmeez Droppings
Thoughts, Realizations, and Excremental Wisdom
  1. Darin's family is quietly dysfunctional. The familial resentment lies underneath the surface, occasionally exposing its ugly one-eyed head. My family's dysfunctionality, however, is overt. Wonderfully overt. With unsurpassed comedic undertones. From the eldest sister's insecurity ("Louise, you dress like a skank") to Dad's mood swings ("Hee hee hee... Aah, I'm a failure!"), we put the "fun" in dysfunctional.
  2. Kendrea and I had our lunch break together this afternoon. We went to a Mexican restaurant and had a lovely time until we found out that our two diminutive sides of guacamole cost $3.25 each. Kendrea employed her anger by witholding a tip, relaying the story to everyone at work, and constantly muttering "Three twenty-five" under her breath.
  3. I don't exactly know what to say when my homosexual coworkers/managers gush about my husband. "Um... Louise, are you sure he's married?"
  4. Be nice to retail employees at this time of year. Most people are utterly rude... ironic, this being CHRISTMAS and all!
  5. Eric, my brother-in-law and longtime buddy, is now comfortable enough to commit the sin of flatulence in my presence.
  6. I hope that tonight is one of those nights where Darin and I lie in bed, laughing our heads off about stupid words and phrases we just made up.
  7. I am so fortunate that I married a man with a good natural smell. Darin perpetually smells good, which is more than I can say for most men. Even his morning breath qualifies as 'cute.'
  8. I need Lulabelle.
The java has worn off and I suddenly have nothing interesting to say. The current temperature is 33 degrees. But it feels like 27 degrees. There are Southeast winds from 5-10 miles per hour, which will increase to 20-30 miles per hour as the night goes on. And then I found 20 bucks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President....

Thanksgiving with the inlaws... A strangely impersonal dinner with seventy people who eerily resemble each other. Mmmm... A home-cooked meal makes my mouth water, for my steady snack diet of grease and carbohydrates is killing me. Love to all!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Not with Child... Formally.

You know your blog is suffering when friends have removed you from their blogroll. Sigh... I'd better step this thing up. It is difficult to achieve a perfect balance between profundity, personal anecdotes, and humor. Not too serious/boring, yet not completely hung over with mental illness. Toughie.

Okay, the formal update. (As in the dance on Saturday night.) After a little off-key serenading from Darin and Justin, the girls and I headed downstairs for some pictures. We dined Deutschedly at The Heidelburg, where Darin and I finished our meals before anyone else. We like food.

Upon arrival to the botanical gardens, I overheard a certain fellow speaking about me.

"Oh, Louise is pregnant!"

The world stopped. Before that moment, I felt beautiful. That single phrase, spoken with the utmost callousness, almost destroyed my evening. Darin completely laughed the comment off, dismissing the speaker as an idiot who "ruins all our lives and eats all our steak." It took compliments and several glances in the mirror to feel reconciled to myself again. I suppose that every woman will be mistaken as preggers someday- I'm glad that my time is over. But please, never again!

For the record, I do not feel guilty that I am not pregnant yet. Many of my acquaintances (notice I don't say "close friends") wonder why my tummy ain't swelling (and married four months!) *Big Groan* People have neither tact nor ability to mind their own business.

The fact is, Darin and I can't wait to have children. But! We are enjoying every second of where we are in our lives right now. When and if God places a child in our life, Darin and I will accept it lovingly with open arms. SO WHAT if right now is not the time for us? Maybe tomorrow is.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Oily Homeschoolers with Lebanese Memories

Okay, there's a valid reason I haven't posted in a while. There's also a valid reason why my recent posts have been less than worth reading. I'll let you know when I think of said valid reason.

I spent the night at AMC (my lovely alma mater) and had a long-awaited conversation with Nat. We hadn't really had a chance to "reconnect" since she got back from her semester abroad. It was wonderful to laugh, complain, and philosophize with her again. Mona joined in for a while before we went to bed. (I also met the infamous "Suzanne." A single word sums up the interaction: Whoa. I should have heeded Corwin's nosebleed warning.)

Nat and I slept on the living room futon.
"Sweet dreams, Schmeez."
"Sweet dreams, Chinky. Pardon me if I start to undress you."
Just call me Sappho.

Now that I am a married woman, I can get away with more than I ever thought possible. *Sigh of contentment*

I slept well for the first time in weeks. After a hot shower, I trotted over to the Student Life office for coffee with Suzanne (not Whoa Suzanne) and Torie. I am convinced those women have gradually strengthened their daily dose of java to an illegal point over the past two years. (God knows they've needed it, employed at AMC and all.) Both teased me for putting too much cream in my coffee. A generous dosage of cream is absolutely crucial when the coffee actually moves by itself. It's dripping up, Tor! Just say no, gang. Just say no.

The walk from the Ark to the class building was strange. The wind chilled my nose, leaves swirled around me, and I pondered the fact that after this year, Ave Maria College will not exist. The short walk brought several recollections to me.

The tree Darin and I slept under... the sinking terror from passing Fr. Roy on the sidewalk... Dr. Izzo's constant warnings against running on the pavement... Freshman intramural ultimate frisbee... watching Darin play volleyball, furious at the apparent peace without me in his life... hurrying to theatre practice with a Drogo latte in hand... the weight of that damnable medieval history book... Ann's smile as we'd meet at the picnic table for Mudd House studying... falling constantly on that infernal Michigan ice...
joyfulness... anger... desolation...

Now my computer screen is blurry. It was one long 30-second walk.

After scandalizing/evangelizing some friends in the class building, Meghan and I enjoyed Lebanese cuisine, somewhat incoherent conversation, and a little shopping. Much to my chagrin, Psycho is not on Meghan's "Must Watch" list. I expressed my frustration to the former home-schooler (Don't deny it, Meg.)
"You're annoying me."
"I know, but that's because I can't think of anything cool to say."
A nap was in order.

The fall formal, entitled "An Evening in the Orient," is tomorrow night. Only last year was I crowned the queen- actually a defining moment in my life. In high school, the boys would call me "ugly" and "fat," while my supposed friends stood by and snickered. It still hurts when I think about it. Moral of the story: High School is Hell. Thank God for College.

Tomorrow will be mine and Darin's first formal as a married couple, wedding reception excluded. My white party dress will be more than appropriate. Heh. Heh. Look out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Wisdom of John Mayer (Ironic, huh?)

I wonder sometimes about the outcome of a still verdictless life
Am I living it right?
Note to self: Slow down. Slow down, I tell you! This week has been nothing but work and virtually no play. Up at 5 am on Sunday for a nine-hour work day, Husband #1 working nights all week, sleeping alone (and restlessly), long work days, no cash in pocket, still haven't cleaned up from Sunday's dinner party, living on potato chips and bad coffee... Good times.

Last night I stayed with some girlfriends at my alma mater. We spent a couple hours eating veggies and dip (not to mention Panera bread and chips), just talking and collectively coping with burnout. Meghan stayed up all night starting/finishing a Dante paper; as a result of her fatigue, she went to bed with her brown slacks and belt on. That horrified me and I demanded she put on pajamas. She complied amicably enough, proceeding to make unnecessarily long statements. That was pretty funny.

This morning I drove to work, realizing I didn't have any money or food. No food? I almost perished at the thought. Darin saved the day and visited me on my lunch hour, feeding me the choicest Koney Island food and Starbucks Christmas blend. Husband #1 also bestowed a little note on my car for when I finished work.

Well, I have a lot to look forward to this week: Darin's taking me to a dance, I have Friday and Saturday free, markdowns are tomorrow, and I'll have some girl time opportunities.

Weird moment of the day: Before work, I visited the Student Life office. I unabashedly asked where our "sexy Dean of Students" was. Dr. B was certainly there, good-humored and frizzy-haired as always.

And now it's time for...
Insight: Courtesy of Mel Brooks

"Humor is just another defense against the universe."
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ramblin' Rod

Dearest Darin,
In answer to your question, I probably will be in Phase 2 forever. My apologies.

I have been getting a lot of questions from fellow bloggers, coworkers, etc. concerning the difference between NFP and birth control. Consequently, my friends Kate and Arwen did the work for me already. Check it out. And this.

My friend/coworker Jon is an atheist. He believes that science leaves no room for the possibility of God. When he recently divulged this to me, he thought I was angry at him; I wasn't angry. I was floored. The reason I was so surprised is because in Jon, the presence of God is alive and well. He is such a selfless and loving person. For such a kind and generous man as Jon to deny the very thing that makes a home in him is frankly devastating.

The Best of Rooms
Christ, he requires still, wheresoe'er He comes,
To feed, or lodge, to have the best of rooms:
Give Him the choice; grant Him the nobler part
Of all the house: the best of all's the heart.

--Robert Herrick, from Christ's Part (1647)

hug from behind
Hug from Behind - You like to feel what the other person is feeling and see things how they see them. You tend to be serious and emotional.

What Sign of Affection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"I Wish I Could Clone You."

My manager Pam said that to me this afternoon. A kind compliment, for certain. I didn't go into the ethics of cloning with her, but I was tempted. Oh, was I tempted. Ahem....

I have been discovering (reluctantly) that each day can be a good one if I make it that way. It is a little scary knowing that I have the power whether or not to screw up the day. For example, I had to wake up at 5 am this morning to get to work on time. It actually hurt to get up- I was so tired. I actually considered staying in bed. Instead, I put a carrot in front of my nose- a large cup of Tim Horton's hazelnut coffee. I changed my clothes, straightened my hair, and kissed Darin goodbye. (He nodded in response to my affection. Nodded! He doesn't remember me even leaving.) I drove to Tim's and ordered. Sometimes coffee tastes better when you don't make it. Sigh... $1.40 can buy happiness. Unfortunately, it's only temporary.

The point is, I can decide whether to let the 8 Long Lady bother me or not! (She haunts the GAP, lives in the fitting room for hours, and orders us to find every 8 long in the store only to return the pants the following day.) I can decide to not be bothered by my malicious/catty elder sister. I can choose to love Darin despite the fact that Phase 1 approaches. (Know your NFP, people!)

To tell you the truth, I don't necessarily want this control; it's easier to blame others. Awful, but true. But then again, my days wouldn't be as sweet. Or acidic.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday, Monday

I had a lovely time with several of my friends last night- drinking Bailey's and coffee, watching movies, and playing poker. It was nice to finally have my friends over. After Justin, Mel, Sean, Chris, Joe, and Kelly left for home, Natalie, Meghan, Theo, Mona, and Crazy Tom stayed the night. We watched the beloved 80s classic Some Kind of Wonderful. That was my Sunday. I slept until noon and am going to have lunch with Darin soon. My apologies for this biting post. Yes, it really does bite.

This list is written happily at Havilah's request. Ten things I would do had I an exorbitant amount of money:
  1. I would take Mom and my three sisters on a clothes shopping spree. Only one catch- I must approve everything they buy. Mwa ha ha! We would hit all the hole-in-the-wall boutiques as well as the mall.
  2. Get facials and massages on a frequent basis.
  3. I would buy a beautiful home in the country (close to a larger city). Near enough to my family, but far enough from my family. This house would be complete with indoor pool, hot tub, music room, home gym, picket fence, and stone counters.
  4. Travel everywhere with my husband. I would also have a Girl's Only trip to Europe every summer with my buds.
  5. I would buy Darin and I each a car, plus a little white convertible for me in the summertime.
  6. Record a CD and produce the heck out of it.
  7. Go to the theatre and opera every Saturday night.
  8. Purchase new homes for my brother Dave, Mom and Dad, and sister Faith.
  9. Get my mom better. Take her to some real doctors.
  10. I would host a huge Christmas party every year, complete with dancing, banquet, drinks, etc. It would last an entire weekend.
Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be

Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me?

-Mamas and the Papas

Hope your Monday turns out better than Mama Cass.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Absence Makes the Heart grow Fungus

ME going CRAZY! (Can you imagine?) Darin left me, his gorgeous wife, for the weekend. Just to visit a good friend that he hasn't seen in years. Gosh, where are this guy's priorities? Anyway, I am kinda lonely just sitting at home... watching Simpsons reruns... drinking coffee... playing obsolete computer games... leaving messes... not making the bed... Wait a minute, THIS IS GREAT!

When it comes down to it, I'd definitely rather have Husband #1 here. I hate the fact that we don't see each other very much, let alone spend the night together. Unfortunately, the non-togetherness negatively affects the little time we have together. Sigh... poor little guy... I wonder what he's doing now... (cut to scene of Darin sipping apple martinis on a warm beach)

Sidenote: I love the fact the when I run spellcheck on this blog, "Darin" comes up as "Drain." Absolutely hilarious.

I already had my Jazzercise class this fine morning, so I'm kickin' it with my buddy Justin in a little while- maybe visit with some girlfriends after that, then home for a very important nap. Oh, and I need to finish my latest Agatha Christie. So many things to do on a day off from work. How can I live with all this chaos, you may ask? Coffee. Lots of good Starbucks Italian Roast coffee. There, you have my secret. Now give me some candy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blue Label Applesauce. Applesauce IS tasty.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. -J.R.R. Tolkien

I may despise it next week, but my job is splendid fun right now. Pardon my lack of humility, but I am really good at it. The managers are getting a little suspicious at how many customer compliments I receive. Even The Scary Turtleneck Lady was impressed. I will take over the world using fashion retail. Ye have been warned.

"I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally." -W.C. Fields

It was a historic day in Louise and Darin Land. For the first time in history, Husband #1 purchased certain feminine products for Wife #1 from the local CVS. Congratulations, you two!

"A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on." -William S. Burroughs

Women actually come into the GAP asking for "high-waisted, tapered jeans." I have successfully converted some of them to bootcut or the Long and Lean (a GAP staple and my personal favorite.) It has been a challenge to tactfully explain how the tapered jean is unflattering, a detriment to every woman's wardrobe, and just plain ugly. Some women welcome the change, and others... I guess they actually like looking like a pregnant popsicle.

My alma mater is hosting a trip to Rome this summer. I am so there. This is a dream come true! Spending two weeks in Europe with two of my favorite professors, close friends, and husband. Since I am currently childless and unpregnant (just in case you were wondering), it's the perfect opportunity. Ich bin sehr glucklich! Ja ja!! (Not the sisterhood.)

God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind, love, charity, obedience, and true duty! -William Shakespeare

Monday, October 31, 2005

May your Halloween be better than my Yesterday

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day- a pumpkin day. Alas, I spent most of yesterday in bed. This is the tactic I famously use when I am depressed. The entire day started out horribly and continued to be horrible. (I will not incriminate any husbands.) At a certain point I felt so numb that the tears just poured down my expressionless face. Feeling like a complete waste of space, disappointed in my unused, uninteresting theology degree, furious at my in-laws for asking Darin how much I got paid, furiouser at Darin for answering, missing home, regretting my choices, wanting more out of life, just plain angry... But the worst part about yesterday? My mom had emergency surgery.

I got a semi-panicked call from my brother Dave about noon. Apparently mom had been rushed to the hospital just moments after I talked to her Saturday night while dad was on a weekend retreat. She was having stomach pains, so I told her it "must have been the Splenda." I also gave her the bad advice of ordering in from our favorite Mexican restaurant and renting old movies. Good one, Louise.

Warning- Gross description to follow: Turns out that mom had a fifteen-year-old lump of fat on her stomach that formed in order to protect her body for some reason. (My mother has a lot of health problems, so we're not sure why.) Her intestine started to strangle the lump, causing it to leak. Luckily, no intestine was damaged and the surgery was successful. After a few days in the hospital, mom should be back to her definition of 'normal.'

After Darin forced me out of bed, we went on a walk through the leaf-flooded ravine behind our apartment. The weird day ended with alcohol, ice cream, and Monsters, Inc. Considering the circumstances, I slept very well.

I hereby declare that today will be a Good Day! I have the entire day to read/relax, my triceps ache gloriously from my morning workout, my coffee is dark and delicious, and What Not to Wear is on in twenty minutes. Things can only get better from here, right? Right? Um... Guys?

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'll Be Home for Christmas?

On the way home from the market, Darin brought up our Thanksgiving plans. He told me that he would like to take a few days off from work so we could visit his hometown family and friends. Something in me snapped and my happy-go-lucky persona did a 180. I viciously replied with an unnecessary comment about how Darin needs his mommy. After Husband's surprise turned to anger, he demanded why I said that. I dissolved into tears and sobbed, "I wanna go HOME!" Turns out I'm the one who needs her mommy.

When Jim returns from his vacation next week, I am going to present him with reasons why I should be allowed a week or two off from work during Christmas. Pray for me- I need this!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The homosexual workplace

I am in an entirely different environment working in fashion retail. I am no longer surrounded by Latin verbs or cradle Catholics. The Real World has been a challenge with some fun thrown in with a dash of employee discounts. One of the difficult yet most interesting aspects of fashion retail is interacting with different "lifestyles."

My manager is a practicing homosexual. Until today, I could have told you that he never mentioned this to me. The men that I work with are typically artsy and well-dressed. Many of them are also, like Jim, practicing homosexuals. Most of them do not advertise this fact. Tommy, on the other hand...

Tommy started working with me about a week ago. He is a stylish fella, a pretty nice fella. His mother is Jewish and his father is Catholic, so he calls himself a "Cashew." (I found this rather clever.) The first thing I noticed about Tommy was how friendly he was while introducing himself. The second thing I noticed was how tight his pants were on his bottom. The third thing I noticed? Tommy seems to feel a need for everyone to know that he is a practicing homosexual. He interjects the fact into almost every sentence- including staff meetings.

Shift leader: We are getting a shipment Friday night-
Tommy: You know where I'll be- at the club for gay night!

Shift Leader: These new jeans are men's-
Tommy: Well, I know men.

If a straight man said anything like the above regarding women, it would be sexual harrassment. Tommy also tends to boss around, snatch coworker's customers if he finds them attractive, and interrupts constantly. My impression of Tommy is that he does not find his identity outside of being homosexual. He does not see himself as an individual human person, but merely as a part of the homosexual movement. My opinion on active homosexual lifestyles aside (rather the Church's opinion), this is not right.

Despite our differences, Tommy and I get along just fine and work together well. Maybe just by loving him and treating him with kindness, he will come to a better understanding of his primary identity as a beloved child of God.

My existence outside of the comfortable Little Catholic Bubble is collectively amusing, scary, disheartening, and pleasant. I hope I keep my identity in check, too!

Friday, October 21, 2005

To my neglected readers

As I am acquainting myself with the new work schedule, I haven't been posting as often. My apologies, oh illustrious blog viewers. Here are some highlights/lowlights of the week thus far:

  1. Working at the GAP has been great! Compared to my old insurance job? Let's just say that we actually have a training program regarding what the job entails, unlike said insurance co.- And I am a believer that insurance is more important than fashion. That was the hardest part of working for the insurance company. I may have royally screwed up people's life insurance because of my lack of training.
  2. The first few weeks of a new job is the hardest part for me because of the criticism. I don't like it when "the scary turtleneck lady" (a moniker which my co-worker Azra gave one of the managers) constantly informs me of the "way things are done." I mean, I'm still learning! Don't take that tone with me! Wench! But seriously, I don't mind that much. She's just a scary turtleneck lady that overdoes her job.
  3. Going from seeing Darin too much to not seeing him at all has put a strain on our relationship. We're actually in a "fight" right now... well, actually... I am in a fight with him. The apologetic messages on my cell to giving me much-needed back massages do not change the inherent fact that I am a stubborn German woman. Groan.
  4. The leaves are finally changing and I love it! On the west coast we don't have many trees that change colors. Very beautiful.
  5. I still miss my crazy mom.
  6. I desperately need chapstick. If anyone has seen a tube of Burt's Bees sans label, please contact my dry lips.
  7. Hey, you know how McDonald's has been advertising their "Premium Roast" coffee? Well, I finally tried it yesterday morning on my way to work. It's GOOD! Better than Tim Horton's.
  8. I need to pray more. I need more motivation. I feel very secular right now, and I am not sure when/how to combat it.
Thanks for stopping by! I promise that my next post will cover something more interesting. Au revoir!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Inlaw Lovin'

My in-laws are visiting this weekend. Which is good. I like them a lot and we've known each other for years. Things are a tad awkward right now- Darin went to work, leaving me with them for eight hours. Mr. Dad is tinkering with the beautiful oak dresser he built for us (and a bedside table to match!) while Mrs. Mom reads a book about Celtic spirituality. I, on the other hand, alternate between reading my latest Agatha Christie, surfing the net, and changing outfits on a whim. These various activities are dotted with conversation about nothing in particular.

This is the first time the Mr. and Mrs. have visited Darin and I since we've been married. I have definitely impressed them with my unique culinary and Feng-Shui decorating skills. Napoleon Dynamite says, "Yesss." I am very different from my husband's parents. I have absolutely no qualms about disagreeing and arguing with Mr. Dad about ethics and religion, making me the antithesis of his placid wife. I don't think he's used to lasses of a fiery nature such as myself. That's what a Catholic liberal arts education will do to ya. And compared to Mrs. Mom I am a sloppy disaster. No wonder Darin had a hard time with my ability to actually leave the dishes in the sink overnight.

In 30 minutes, we are meeting Darin at Applebee's. I feel like steak. Take that literally if you like. Oh, and tonight I am going to treat our guests to classic film viewing pleasure.
***Brace yourselves for this next comment. Stop reading completely if you are prone to heart failure and/or hemorroids.***

My inlaws have never seen a Fred Astaire movie.

Have no fear- this enigmatic issue will be resolved as of 9 p.m. Eastern time.

UPDATE: I miss my mom and dad desperately. I miss their quirky personalities, their immature way of arguing, their innate understanding of who I am, my mother's raucous laugh, my dad's annoyingly obvious comments... I am homesick and I need "love vibes" from Mutti. (This is when she hums while holding me super tightly.) This weekend visit has deepened my need for mom and dad. I called Ma after they left and cried,"I need you! Even though you and Pop annoy the hell out of me sometimes, I need you!" She understood perfectly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm Cocoanuts

"I can see it now: you and the moon - wear a necktie so I'll know you." -Groucho

There's nothing like a good Marx Brothers flick. Watching Harpo accost every female in sight makes my day. Ooh, I came across this great cartoon:

I'm a huge Muppet fan. At age five I would pretend that I was Jim Henson's daughter, assisting him in creating his puppets and such.

I got the job, by the way. I am now a lingerie consultant. Poor mom. She's a bit scandalized by my new career. "What!? Oh, honey... Do be careful." "Don't worry," I reply. "I'll make sure the underwire can't cut me."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Coffee, Artichokes, and Weird Al

I am glad to say that today was one of those rare "perfect days." Since Darin worked all night, I made sure to stay up relatively late reading a book. (Unfortunately, it was one of those murder mysteries where the main character is disturbingly similar to yourself. FREAKY. I had to call Darin twice.) He came home early this morning and we slept until noon. I could have gotten up earlier, but I was much too warm and comfortable. A definite bonus of unemployment.

I brewed the last of my Jack Daniel's coffee and enjoyed a buttered english muffin while Darin feasted on strawberry poptarts and his grapefruit juice concoction. The weather was perfectly cool and crisp. An apple cider and pumpkin day. We began it with overdue grocery shopping, selecting pillows for our new couch, window shopping, and simply enjoying each other's company. After dinner, we started off for Michael's to buy frames for our apartment decor, namely Mary Mark's "Still Life with Artichokes" and Klimt's "The Kiss."

At a rather long stoplight, we noticed a Hollywood Video employee waiting in angst to get across the street to work. (Darin and I recognized his uniform immediately because we were shift leaders at HV for three years.) It was exactly 5 o'clock, so we assumed it was time for work. The purple-shirted young man (let's call him Herb) paced maniacally, growled, and kept hitting the button that supposedly controls the stoplights. They totally don't. As Darin yelled in vain, "They're only there for your peace of mind! They don't care if you want to cross the street!" Anyway, Darin and I had a big laugh watching poor Herb and his dilemma develop as not one bloody car let him cross. When the light finally turned green and the white glowing man miraculously appeared, Herb booked it across the street to Hollywood Video with flailing arms and a desperate face, not paying any attention to the blind Michigan drivers almost colliding into him. Darin and I just hysterically laughed. Poor Herb.

After our errands I ran into Starbucks for a vanilla latte, and we headed home. Oh, and I got 10 cents off my drink because I answered their trivia question correctly: "What country does the word 'chai' come from?" I said omnisciently, "It is a Chinese word meaning 'tea.' 'Chai tea,' therefore, is quite a redundant phrase." Amazing what one can learn from a Celestial Seasonings box.

The entire day was highlighted with Weird Al car music. Darin rapped. It was simultaneously hilarious and screwy. I had to remind Darin that he is an Ohioan white boy. Here's an excerpt of my husband's musical talent (he has this memorized):

Always at my PC, double-clickin' on my mizouse
Upgrade my system at least twice a day
I'm strictly plug-and-play, I ain't afraid of Y2K
I'm down with Bill Gates, I call him "Money" for short
I phone him up at home and I make him do my tech support
It's all about the Pentiums, what?
You've gotta be the dumbest newbie I've ever seen
You've got white-out all over your screen
You think your Commodore 64 is really neato
What kinda chip you got in there, a Dorito?
You're usin' a 286? Don't make me laugh
Your Windows boots up in what, a day and a half?
You could back up your whole hard drive on a floppy diskette
You're the biggest joke on the Internet
Your database is a disaster
You're waxin' your modem, tryin' to make it go faster
Hey fella, I bet you're still livin' in your parents' cellar
Downloadin' pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar
And postin' "Me too!" like some brain-dead AOL-er
I should do the world a favor and cap you like Old Yeller
You're just about as useless as jpegs to Helen Keller

Darin actually understands what the above means. Computers. I live with a man and eight computers.

I am home now and the apartment is decorated and rationed. The soundtrack from "Annie" is playing and I just finished doing a little dance routine to "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile." Darin laughed. Out of pity? Out of embarrassment? Perhaps, but he's too nice to mention it.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cute Animal Quiz

Happy Sunday! Since Darin will be at a friend's house all day (and not home until tomorrow because of his mentally-ill work schedule), I must amuse myself. What better way to waste one's time than taking a quiz to find out what cute animal you would be if God changed His mind? Ah, the mysteries of life... It'll give you a little self-esteem boost, too. "I'm a wittle duckie? I'm not such a lazy self-righteous wench after all!" See what I mean? Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

You Are A: Puppy!

puppy dogBeloved by all, puppies are energetic, playful, and loving. Your playful and outgoing nature is part of what makes you a puppy. Known for their loyalty, puppies make great pets for young and old alike. And an innocent puppy face can melt anyone's heart!

You were almost a: Pony or a Bunny
You are least like a: Turtle or a FrogWhat Cute Animal Are You?

Take the quiz and report back with your results!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

In a Name

Some of you have wondered about the title of my blog. If you are still in wonder, keep reading.

Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange; she knew them all. "I see," she said. "This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see... world within world, Narnia within Narnia..."

This excerpt from C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle describes the ending of the enchanted world of Narnia. I have had a devotion to the Chronicles of Narnia since I was about five years old. When I was ten, my brother David suggested that I read the entire series every three years or so. He told me, "The stories will change as you have changed." I took his advice and found that he was absolutely correct. As I mature, these so-called children's books mature with me. The stories and characters change, the typology deepens, and my understanding continues to awaken. They bring me back to the 'basics' of what the Christian life is truly about.

Since I graduated,stepped out of my little catholic college, and got married, my world has gotten bigger. It is the same as it was, but as Lucy affirms, it is "more real and more beautiful." In short, "world within world" is what I am presently experiencing.

"World within world," however, extends far beyond my current status. The phrase also refers to my quest, my purpose. As I strive to know, love, and serve God (and continually fail, I might add), my hopeful end is heaven. Lewis' description of heaven in The Last Battle somehow gives me motivation to continue striving towards becoming a better person: I want to see a deeper, better, bigger, more awesome earth, where there is no such thing as 'subjective truth.'

So, friends... I hope this somewhat crude posting makes a little sense. I hope each of you have a lovely autumn day!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Just give me a d@mn job!

I feel at peace with my decision to leave the sketchy insurance company. No more jokes about rewarding a job well done with milk and cookies instead of a stiff drink at the bar like "normal people," no more secret meetings solely dedicated to trashing other employees, and no more "Join-us-and-make-40K-a-year!" false promises. I've spent much of this past week watching the Style network, scouring antique stores for my much-needed dose of Agatha Christie paperbacks, Jazzercising (it's not just for blue-hairs anymore!), and hangin' with hubby.

On a whim, I went into the mall yesterday to see if the GAP was hiring. Yes, they are. Yes, I interviewed on the spot because the manager's 3 o'clock appointment didn't show. Yes, I had a second interview with the merchandising manager this morning. Yes, they love me. Moral of the story- start potentially crappy days with a Memorare.

I believe I will get the job. I'm pleased, but a little heartbroken because this means that I probably won't be able to fly home for Christmas, as the holidays are when the employees are most needed. Sigh. I desperately want to go home for the holidays. But who can resist a 50% discount?

On a lighter note, my Astaire & Rogers DVD Collection came today. I'll make Darin watch The Barkleys of Broadway with me tonight before he pulls yet another all-nighter at work. When he has to work all night, I stay up as late as possible so we can sleep together longer when he comes back at 8 am.

I know this next paragraph will not flow as well as a college graduate's "professional" blog should, but this is funny. I walked in the apartment yesterday and Darin was asleep on the couch with nothing on but my bright yellow ladybug boxers. (Laugh, twitter, tweet)

I 'll be back later. In the meantime, enjoy this wedding picture.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Getting to know me

1. Laughs are good. Laugh a lot. Humor is not from Beelzebub.

2. As a strong Catholic, I invite anyone to disagree with me. Let's discuss our differences and embrace our similarities. I love my Catholic faith and believe in everything She teaches. Bring any questions to the table and we'll talk!

3. Books rock my world. From Poirot to Betsy & Tacy, from Theology of the Body to Harry Potter, books trump television in a major way.

4. ...But I do like my TV... I am a follower of TCM, "Desperate Housewi
ves," "What Not to Wear," "How Do I Look?," and am trying on "Reunion" for size.

5. Gumby is the greatest cartoon ever made. Who agrees with me?

6. Van Gogh is a genius. My brother has a mug with his portrait on it: when you pour hot liquid into the mug, his ear disappears. I could amuse myself with that cup all day.

7. Although I adore Gene Kelly with an unhealthy passion, no one compares to Fred Astaire.

8. I have a coffee addiction. My new favorite is the "Jack Daniel's" blend. I am not a lush by any means, but the java has a lovely subtle flavor.

9. Marriage is more difficult in certain ways than I thought it would be and easier in others. Now when I am angry, I can't run back to my dorm room in tears and make cookies with my girls. Darin and I are now forced to immediately solve the conflict. This has been challenging, but wonderful for our relationship as well.

10. My confirmation saint is Perpetua.

11. My favorite accessory? Shoes! (On Sale!) Oh, and a good lip gloss is crucial to any face.

12. Because of my friend Angel, a White Russian is my current alcoholic beverage of choice. My classic favorite is a "Bun Warmer," hot chocolate with a generous amount of peppermint Schnapps.

13. A "half-assed Catholic" is one who has no intention of following the teachings of the Church, yet calls oneself a Catholic. I have little tolerance for half-assed Catholics. If you're gonna do somethin', do it right! I will temporarily step down from the podium.

14. I love to exercise! Jazzercise is a great way to do it. Cardio, strength, stretch, dance... it's a blast. My instructer Sophia is amazing and oh so fun.

15. My family: I am the youngest of five- 3 sisters and a brother. We are all amazingly different, too. My parents are hippy pagans turned staunch catholics. Very funny people.

16. I just quit my job at an insurance company for several reasons: first, my boss would shamelessly gossip/lie about others in the office. Secondly, he was dishonest about the job's perks and pay. Thirdly, I am much too fun for insurance.

17. I love my animals. I have a black mutt named Pepper, Lulabelle the cat (my pride and joy), and a mother-daughter kitty duo named Betsy and Tacy. Sadly, they live with my parents on the west coast, so I don't see them often.

18. I think I am getting a job at the GAP. Heaven. For a job.

19. Switchfoot is an amazing band! Check 'em out. They are one of the very few secular bands who support the pro-life cause.

20. Darin and I definitely want a lot of kids, but we are postponing right now with Natural Family Planning because he is still in school for Graphic Design.

21. No, NFP is not "Catholic Birth Control."

22. My friend Megen says I dance "ghetto." I say she's probably right.

23. Did I mention I love being Catholic?

24. If I could do anything at all, I would perform for a living. Acting and music are my passions, and I must admit that I am very good at them. My grandfather was an actor, too. (Most of his career was in theatre.) I would have loved to meet him.

25. I used to show horses, but it proved to be the type of thing that whoever has the most money does the best. I plan to get more horses someday and just have fun with them- no unnecessary competition.

26. A major reason I started this blog is to write more and write better. I want to keep up on my edumacation. Oh, and I would love to make new friends and keep old ones through this blogamajig, too. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let's try this again...

I have to admit that I tried this once before about five months ago, but wedding planning, an evil academic dean, and college graduation in the works made a blog practically impossible. I am glad to say that I am back! A little more composed, a little more confident, a little happier. A little wiser, perhaps? I have now been married 2 1/2 months. After an extremely intense four years of dating, Darin and I have experienced an amazing growth in friendship these past few months. I am fortunate to be able to experience all these changes coming my way with him and Him. Get my drift?