Monday, February 28, 2011


*Please know I didn't write this story, but I thought it was something that should be shown and understood!*


When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's been a long Month

It's been stressful and just bad. No matter what though, this video makes me laugh hysterically!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I can't stand

Acting like you are better than everyone else.
One Uppers.
Throwing people under a bus because you're trying to save your own ass.
Taking credit for work that is not your own, especially when the person who actually did the work saved your ass.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For you Weight watchers

Found a good online food and activity tracker.

And you can brag about your progress at the gym from your phone :)

Spring, Oh where Art Thou

I can't wait for Spring. I am over this weather.
Bring on the Cherry Blossums and Spring Allergies

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Playlist

By now, I'm done with Winter. I'm tired of my skin being drier than a sponge. I'm sick of being cold and I'm sick of snow and idiots in snow.......

Luckily my ipod keeps me entertained with Angry Birds and these songs. Indulge!

1. Someone Like You, Adele- Newest song. Added it today. I've listened to it over and over at least 12 times now waiting for Biggest Loser to come on.

2. Snuff, Slipknot- An older song that is seeing a revival. Mostly because I've journeyed up to the top of my Itunes Purchase playlist.

3. Heartless, The Fray- Ok, How to Save a Life got on my nerves as it was played constantly. I hated the Fray...until they took Kanye and made him not as annoying with this song.

4. Forget You , Cee Lo Green- The past few weeks of February have been hell and stressful at work. Then I sing this while sitting in traffic over and over again and I feel a little better.

5. Drunken Lullabies, Flogging Molly- Fantastic Irish Punk. Great to work out to.

6. Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet- In honor of Margarita Day today. I wonder if he ever did find his lost shaker and salt....

7. Familiar Taste of Poison, Halestorm- Another revival on the ipod. I love this song. I love the video. I love that they have finally gotten recognition for how awesome they are. However, you MUST see them live.

8. Strawberry Wine, Deana Carter- Another song I love to sing in traffic.

9. You Spin me Round, Dope- Yeah, I've been in a bad mood lately..then I sing along to this. Tell me you aren't smiling by the end. Loves me some 80s remakes.

10. My Little Secret, Cavo- Yet another revival on the purchased playlist.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Conversations of the Marrieds, Last Night

Me: " I want to go to Wegmans and shop for groceries."

Aaron: "Well, you'll have to make another stop since you're down there!"

Me: " You're going too. And where? IKEA?"

Aaron: "Nope, I've noticed you might or might not be out of yarn"

Me: picking up a huge ball of it, "Um..I don't think so. Perhaps someone else may be or may not be out of yarn?"


Me: "Wait a minute. Are you watching Youtube videos on knitting?"

Aaron: "Don't judge me."

Me: "Oh, I'm judging, and I'm laughing at you, and pointing."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Tour Time.

In honor of Tour season, a ghost story by yours truly. It seems to be one of the hits of my tour.
(just be honest, The trolley actually ran down St Asaph, but since my tour doesn't go down St Asaph, the tracks have been moved per creative license)

Across the street in the Yellow Townhouse with the red roof, there lived a young couple with a five year old little boy. There was a trolley system that ran from Washington DC, came through Alexandria down Fairfax and continued on South to Mt Vernon. That little boy loved that trolley. Every night, 8:30 PM, he would be out there at the edge of the street to watch it go by. Being that he did this every night and it was the same men driving the trolley, they would throw candy to him or wave at him and he would get so excited! Then we would run inside, show his parents what he had received, then go upstairs, take his bath and go to sleep. His nightly ritual.

Well, one night, he was there waiting, the trolley was coming, but a tan kitten jumped out into the middle of the tracks. The little boy was terrified that the kitten could be ran over, so he ran out and scooped the kitten up in his arms, not realizing the trolley was upon him and the trolley ran right over him- The kitten managed to jump from his arms and scramble across the street. The little boy lay in the middle of the street, screaming bloody murder, his parents ran out and the neighbors surrounded him and they desperately tried to get him out from under the trolley. Being that 911 didn't exist back then- the doctor came to you or you went to him and either way, you were waiting a while-the boy lost so much blood, he ended up dying in the middle of the street.

The parents were devastated, of course, and the townspeople were angry! They refused to believe that this had been an accident, so in 1907, there was a trial held at the courthouse on King St, accusing the trolley drivers of murdering this little boy. They were acquitted, but the trolley company was found to be at fault and they paid the parents a nice sum of money for their suffering. Then another new story tore across the headlines and everyone forgot about this little boy who had died so tragically.

Two years later. Dad was in the kitchen, making himself a pot of tea. It was about 8:30. The plates on the wall began to tremble as the trolley drew near and for the first time in a long time, he thought of his little boy. He stared in a trance at the pot as the trolley began to pass by the house. A loud scream rang out- that of a child, a child that sounded like his son. He thought he was crazy, but ran outside and watched the trolley pass. The scream fell silent and there, staring at him across the street was a tan cat.

Three weeks later, mom was in the living right by the windows knitting and she looked up to see the trolley start past the house. That same scream rang out. She threw down her needles and ran outside and watched as the trolley passed on. Again, across the street, sat a tan cat staring back at her. This became a frequent occurance. The parents could handle it no more and moved on and another family moved in, but the screams continued and every time people saw this tan cat staring from across the street.

The mental institution down the street ended up burning down and the patients were relocated to other places, but one of them escaped and then two months later, turned up at the corner of Fairfax and king streets, where we began the tour, and would jump out at people and scream random gibberish to them. After a short time, the townspeople ignored him, as they knew he was nuts. He got word of the screams and the cat sighting down Fairfax and changed his tune. He began chanting day in and day out, "The boy's spirit is stuck inside the cat. You must kill the cat and set the boy free!". Insteading of ignoring him like usual, the town folk began going through town tryng to hunt down this tan cat to kill it and free the boy's spirit. However, they never caught the cat and in 1932, the tracks were pulled up and bricks laid in place and it simply became Fairfax street. The cat disappeared and no one heard the scream again.....until 2007, a hundred years to the date of the boy's death.

There was a huge party (in the garden behind us) going on. The parents were dancing, filled to the brim with spirits and the kids stayed out here on the sidewalk playing a game of ball. A cat came down the street towards the kids and naturally they all had to pet the cat. It weaved it's way through them and continued on down the street and the kids went back to their game. Back in the garden, the parents were having a great time and then a loud scream came from the street drowning out the music. Of course they thought a child had been ran over by a car. Hearts dropping, they all poured out onto the sidewalk where all the kids were gathered, all accounted for, all fine. They were crying, but OK. One of the parents finally asked, "what happened?" The kids all fell silent and together pointed across the street. Staring back at them was a tan cat.

***Story inspired by the following actual event: ***

Story written by me. Any copying or distribution is forbidden without explicit permission from me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I was going to continue the previous post but I'm , you know, lazy, so just enjoy this awesome accoustical Rev Theory

Dude, We're going to Die in the Baltimore Ghetto...

If you like Rock, you might like the song below. Fantastic band and very nice guys.

My first New Years here, my fabulously awesome friend, April flew out to spend my first DC metro New Years weekend with me. Also, she had booked us tickets to not one but 2 concerts (like I said, fabulously awesome) to 2 bands...Egypt Central and Bobaflex.

The first concert was the Friday she flew in. I scrambled out of work over to Reagan Airport. We rushed to the apartment of hell (another blog for later) and got ready. April decided I had to rock it up a bit so I put on a black shirt, cuz you, know, that's totally rock chic and my, what only can be described as hooker heels...4 inches of additional height for my short, squaty butt. However, as I was looking in the mirror deciding the shows look fabulous (20 bucks at yah!) there were two things that had not dawned on me. A) I haven't worn heels in a long time and B) last time I wore heels I was 50 pounds lighter...all that weight on the balls of my feet for 4 hours of concert? If you are imagining how this is going to turn out? Yes, I'm in the future with you also.

We jumped in the Roller Skate Van (RIP 9/30/10) and headed towards the Otto Bar in Baltimore @ 5:00 PM on the Baltimore Washington Parkway, another bright idea, but hey, the GPS told us to do it. Plus we were too busy getting caught up so we didn't notice that snails and turtles were passing us laughing. Then we got to the outskirts of Baltimore (still following the GPS) and got off on the exit she claimed was correct. We continued through a beautiful neighborhood and after about 20 minutes realized the housing was getting more and more desolate as we drove on. We were lost. To make matters worse, the GPS biotch decided that she was lazy and didn't feel like giving us directions anymore. Yup. Thanks. Thanks a lot. We drove in circles, two white girls in a sweet van with moon rims, and saw, I think 2 drug deals going down on corners and probably 5 or 6 prostitutes.

To make the fantastic fun of being lost extra special, we were starving. I hadn't eaten lunch and we hadn't had time to stop on the way. However, there was no effing way we were leaving this van until we found this bar. That is, until we saw the golden arches in the distance, shining brightly among the abandoned buildings, a beacon of hope and happiness for our poor stomachs. Granted we tried in vain to get the GPS to cooperate enough to find us an Applebees but again, FAIL. We pulled in and were greeted with a Mcdonalds counter behind bullet proof glass. 2 white girls. Sweet van. One dressed like a groupie (don't be rolling your eyes over there, April, you know it's true ;~) ) and the other in Black shirt rocker chic with a ghetto booty. To answer your question, yes, we were the action in the Mickey D's. I thought my ass was on fire at one point from all the eye balls beaming towards it. I did look around...yup, that is definitely a gun in the pocket. "Dude...we're going to die in the Baltimore Ghetto." My voice kind of carries because I'm partially deaf, so it came out a little louder. April jabbed me in the ribs, hissing "Shut Up!"

I guess I should interrupt and say that April and I are extremely paranoid. Painfully paranoid. So, an innocent bullet proof McDonalds might not have been as scary as we thought but paranoia kind of heightened our fear. Once our stomachs got taste of that delicious grease though, it was all good. We got back into the van and started up the GP Ho again. I guess she felt sorry for us because she started working correctly again and we made it to Otto Bar.....a hour early. W T F???

To Be continued (probably during American Idol)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Night Randomness

Me: What do you want for dinner?

Aaron: I don't know.

Me: Well, it is Biggest Loser Tuesday. Might as well keep up tradition with Taco Bell.

Aaron: I like how Biggest Loser got associated with Taco Bell

Me: Do you want to go get some?

Aaron: Not really. I'm always the goer.

Me: Well, that's your designated position.

Aaron: I''m tired of being the goer. I'm hiring a temp. Set your own work hours, company car, free taco bell, but you pay for it. You're hired.

Me:*hysterical laughter*

***UPDATE*** We ended up ordering Chinese...lazy city dwellers are we.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Tomorrow, everyone else will be celebrating (or hating) Valentine's Day. I will be celebrating 2 years with my best friend. Happy Anniversary to my Hun Bun. I love you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Heaven does exist on Earth

Today was Woodbridge Day. A day where we aren't lazy and actually venture down I-95 to shopping Mecca, otherwise known as Potomac Mills Outlet Stores. Usually this trip entails Starbucks, IKEA and JoAnn Fabrics. (and let me just say that my husband is one of the only guys I know who can walk into a JoAnn and actually want to get stuff for crafts- Good job Mellie and Sue)

This trip was a little different. I keep hearing about this mythical grocery store called Wegmans. I had never been and found that there was one right down the road from the Outlet Mall. Since we had nothing better to do, after the JoAnn stop, we decided to journey over there.
Sweet Jesus! The place is amazing!! We walked in and were right smack into the biggest produce section I have ever seen in a store...and this includes Whole Foods. I literally just stood there paralyzed, not knowing which way to look or where to go. Plus, the colors were just so gorgeous and the fruit and veggies just reeked of freshness. It was nose paradise.

After the shock of the produce section, we ventured on into the Bakery section. Breads and cheeses and cakes Oh my! Just everywhere you look, delicious food. Of course, about the time we got through the cheese, Aaron kindly told me to shut my mouth, I would be catching flies soon.

I didn't really hear him though. I was too busy looking at 30 different kinds of gouda....mmm....gouda. I loves me some cheese. Perhaps I was a mouse in a previous life. That wouldn't explain the sick attachment to Mexican food though.

Then my eyes beheld the candy and nuts bulk section....

..two entire aisles just filled to the brim
with sweetness. It took everything I had to not buy any. The place has a ready made section with a nice cafe to eat the food. Asian, Indian, Good Ol American Cuisine and every drink you could think of. It was all a feast for my eyes.

If you've ever been to World Market, surely you have beheld the amazing and worldly wine section. Yeah.....pretty sure Wegmans alcohol area just owned World Market, took it out behind the bleachers and got it pregnant. (Go me for the 30 Rock reference, which if you don't watch it, you are missing out)I have never seen an $800 bottle of wine. Apparently true ballers shop here. By the way, we are not said Ballers. Didn't see any Jay Z juice either, so, I guess we aren't ganstas either.

After wondering through the store, hyperventilating, we finally got out and went over to Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe...probably the best chicken I've ever tasted for a Fajita..and Don Pablos has set a pretty high bar so, if you've had their chicken, this place's chicken just made Don pablos chicken it's biotch. This was just a cherry on top of Wegmans frosting.

I never made to IKEA.

The Mysterious Attack of the Utility Bill

We've lived in this apartment since May of last year. Our utility bill usually runs around 50 bucks ( we have to pay trash, water and gas) The AC is electric so we don't have to pay that...which I'm sure somewhere Home Properties is cursing the record 71 days over 90 degrees last summer. We do pay our heat though.

We are cheap and tend to leave the heat off. We're on the 6th floor, and heat rises. However, the last 3 months, despite keeping the thermostat set to a toasty 55-60 degrees, our bill keeps rising. We started at around 30 bucks and this month is 106. Wth?! Now I know there are those of you who want to beat me considering what they pay for heat, but for us, this is unusual when the heat never runs.

Also, I know I'm a little shower obsessed, but how the hell did we end up spending 50 bucks on water?!

Friday, February 11, 2011


To Turn on water or Not Turn on Water. That, my friends, is the question I'm pondering right now.......

If only I could Commit to them

Joyce Dover Forman, LICSW, of Forman & Associates's 4 Steps for Stress management

1. Make the steps to change what’s needed to reduce stress, even if they are difficult. If you need to see a counselor for coaching during this process, then make it a priority.

2. Clean your environment. Throw out what you haven’t used in a year and organize to suit your own efficiency. This helps clear the air and frees up the juice so everything flows more easily.

3. Remember you can only be responsible for yourself. When you say ‘no’ to others, allow kindness, genuineness and quiet firmness to live in your words.

4. Unless you take care of and respect your body, you’ve shot yourself in the foot before you've started. It’s basic. Stress affects every cell in your body. Over time, it is overwhelmed with the toxins that build up until the cells are unable to clean themselves and can’t function as they were meant to do. Stress also depletes minerals and trace minerals that are necessary for every cell to function.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Furry Satan Being Cute

Yeah....don't be fooled...she's just resting up and dreaming of new tortures for us.

Conversations of the Marrieds**

Me: "We're getting some good money back on taxes! Yeah! It's all for me and my bills this year. ALL about ME!"

Aaron:" I need 500 to fix my truck. I also want 100 bucks then you can pay bills. "

Me: "You should have thought about that when you decided to re-end someone. You can have the 500 but the 100 is mine. I just did our taxes so consider it payment to your accountant. It's Manda, b**ch!" *starts singing Gimme, Gimme More* (hey, I like Britney...No judging)

Aaron: I'm running to the store, you ain't right. Do you have any money? I literally have less than a dollar to my name until tomorrow."

Me: "Yeah in my work bag. Hey, can you stop by my car and see if my phone is down there?"

Aaron: "I'll just take your car to the store."

Me: "NO! I have a good parking spot and I leave when it's dark out! I don't want to trounce across the scary parking lot in the back."

Aaron: "I have to leave in the dark too"(LIE)

Me: "But you're a man. They don't bug you. "

Aaron: "Yeah I guess so. Alright I'll be back. Can you start dinner?"

Me: "Hey, Aaron! (he turns around) that's I'll be back, Manda...b**ch".

**Yes, I'm aware that this is probably only funny to us

*** My phone was in the car

**** Instead of starting Dinner in his absence, I continued to hold down the couch watching "Clean House"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On the Way to Work..and Back Home

I do find DC to be a beautiful city. However, while when I first moved here, the monuments and the buildings were a huge deal. Now, sadly, I'm so used to passing them that I barely think about it. Also, the constant threat of a terrorist attack sits in the back of your mind, but ultimately to make it through the day, you just don't even go there. Until a bomb threat, but that's just a paid day off work :) (love those Suspicious Packages....until it closes down a metro station I need)

So, for fun, this morning, I decided to pay attention to what I drive by on the way to work and home. Below is some of my highlights (random pics I've taken over the last almost 4 years)

Going to Work:

The Bureau of Engraving (next to the Holocaust Museum):

The Department of Agriculture (and the Smithsonian Castle):

Self explanatory (also the National Mall and American History Museum in this area):

Also self explanatory (the black thing in the middle of the roof is a sniper):
Where I work:

Street I work on:

On the Way Home:

Lincoln Memorial (also Vietnam Memorial and Memorial Bridge)

Arlington National Cemetery:

The Pentagon (Shown is the 9/11 memorial. The benches pointing towards camera are for the people who died in the pentagon and the benches pointing towards the pentagon honor the people who died on the plane. This is side I pass along Columbia Pike)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Just a Shout Out

To you. Though you will never read this.
Courtesy of the Dresden Dolls

Backstabber! hope grabber!
Greedy little fit haver!
God I feel for you fool
Shit lover! off-brusher!
Jaded bitter joy crusher!
Failure has made you so cruel

Rotten to the core!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Song to Add to the List

Let me start by saying, I was not a fan of Stone Sour. Something happened between their last horrible album and the new album, "Audio Secrecy". I heard Say You'll Haunt Me on Octane (which is pretty much the only channel ever playing in the car except for Kane Show in the morning on 99.5) and I liked it. I was actually shocked to find out it was Stone Sour. Well, I heard this song a few weeks ago and it is now on the "Obession Playlist" on my ipod. Yes, that list exists and it is awesome.

(I just linked it because the new blogger upload thing is taking forever)

The Swedish are Coming! Hide yo Kids, Hide yo Wife!

The DC area is a melting pot of high fashion. Walk down the streets of Georgetown or around the football field sized mall in Tyson Corner (VA) and the rows of stores read like fashion magazines: Chanel, COACH, Nicole Miller, Tiffany's, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Neiman Marcus and Louis Vuitton. Louis was an exciting day. I walked into the store and all the "LV"'s just looked at me, begging me to take them home. I wanted to and pulled out the credit card, but reality set in andwith a sigh, put the card back in the wallet, put the speedy back on it's shelf and walked out.

I'm kind of poor. I do make a lot of money, but after the credit cards get their piece, the student loans show up at my door like mafia bosses demanding their piece and the rent, there isn't much left.
However, I do go out and shop at my Holy Trinity of stores: Target, Kohl's and IKEA. I tithe at least some of my money to one of them at least once a week and attend their service faithfully.

However, I don't think IKEA is so holy. In fact, IKEA may be the antichrist, placed here by the Swedes to keep us busy with Allen wrenches while the few souls who have avoided it's Blue and yellow temptation rise up to heaven. My God, it is paradise. They have everything you could ever need for your home and a lot you didn't even know you needed. I like dazzling and shiny and they have it in
spades. Part of me wonders if they took a page out of a Vegas Casino. Make it a maze so people keep wondering and keep playing and never leave until broke. Anyone, even those with bad taste, can be an interior designer here.

Their items are also cheap. Which was a good thing last year for us. Our furniture had started to eat me (I kid you not. I have the ER bills and the pictures of the bites to prove it). We assumed spiders at first, but with the consistency, found it to be bed bugs. I still have nightmares and couldn't sleep for a year without waking up thinking something was biting me. We had to throw out our living room furniture. Everything: Couch, desk, table, and TV stand. We kind of needed these things so we waited until we moved to the new place and went shopping to replace what we threw out. (Thank you, Wellington, for the many tours you give me so I have lots of money at the end of every month) We ended up getting our sofa and chair at Art Van, but everything else in our apartment is IKEA.

We tend to make a lot of trips to IKEA. For us, we always try to keep our shopping in check. Emphasis on try. A usual IKEA trip for us goes something like this:

" We need to run down to IKEA for (insert item) here" Me.
"Ok, write it down. I am also going to get (item)" Aaron
Drive down to Woodbridge. Arrive, park and walk in.

"OK, we don't get anything else besides the what's on the list"- Aaron
"Exactly, in and out. 50 bucks, 15 minutes"- Me
"Rock on"- Aaron
We are confident as we fist bump at the top of the escalator. Look down at the list and start our shopping trip, confident that we are not going to let this place get us down. Bring it, Sweden! 5o bucks, 15 minutes, no problem ........3 hours and 350 bucks later, we leave IKEA.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grace, Thy name is NOT Manda

I am not a graceful person. Many women walk this earth and can walk into the room, well put together and everyone turns to say how graceful she is. Not me. Nope. I'm the one who walks into the room and people laugh after I trip over a non existant obstacle and collapse to the floor with the contents of my purse scattering about. Add high heels to this event and it's quite possible there will be a high chance of broken ankles.

Even as a little girl in ballet glass, it was quite obvious that was not a path I was going to take. Most of the girls in class were very lean and tall, while I was short round and tanky. Oh yeah i'm built like a tank. Big boned to the core. Also, no ounce of grace at all. If you don't believe me, ask my mom to show you the videos (I have no shame) It looked like a moose plopping around the stage. But I was into it. I gave it everything. That showed.

In middle school I decided that I just had to run from the High school back to the middle school after band. Managed to find the one raised spot in the sidewalk and fell, breaking my middle finger in front of most of the middle school. I think the slap to my pride was worse pain though.

It's not uncommon for me to run into walls or run into doors and working in an office enviornment, there is ample opportunity for this to occur. At home I can trip over nothing or open the freezer door and the glass syrup bottle will fall down and crack me on the head knocking me out for a second (true story!). The most common home obstacle is the cats. They trip me quite a bit. I think it's their conspiracy against me though. They are a satanic tag team and it's no wonder demons fear them...

My husband has given up hope and accepts that I'm going to trip or get hurt somehow. It's almost funny to a point. I will walk down the hall and hit something, cry "ouch" and he just shakes his head and sighs. He knows it's pointless to tell me to be careful. Because I'm just not.

Grace I am not....Bull in a china shop? Yes I am.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's a Man's World and Intend to Crash it (Pt 2)

Being from Michigan, I was used to cheap. Cheap gas, cheap movies, cheap rent and I had always assumed places like New York or Boston would be expensive but it never crossed my mind that DC would be expemsive.....and then I moved here.

The most expensive place I had ever seen was the townhouses off Robinson, where Aaron had lived for a bit with his "Guy Love" he had met at Spring Arbor University (they aren't gay, but if they were, at least he'd be leaving me for some one who was a genius) which was around 900 a month, but this was two stories with a finished basement and everything. 900 bucks here? That will get you a studio in the ghetto with drug dealers on the corner (which actually exists and I looked at one place way down Richmond Highway towards Ft look around and Sarah turned and looked at me and said, "I FORBID you to live here!") I settled for a 1300 a month place in Alexandria right off the highway. It seemed OK in the daylight, but you know how people say you should check it out at night as well? Yeah, those people are smart. More about that later.

I got all moved in and stood there with my puppin and watched my parents drive away back to Michigan, mom bawling hysterically in the front seat. I settled in and called the hiring girl at my new job who was very excited I got in early so I went over and had my drug test and prepared for my first day of work. I seriously should have drove to find the place before hand. I left at 7:00 am (way too late for 395) and sat...and sat..and sat. Damn traffic. Finally got across the bridge into DC and got off at the correct exit but ended up going the wrong way and crossing ANOTHER bridge back out of DC....and suddenly looked down and saw the van was overheating. I was lost, stuck in traffic and my van was dying. I did what any new city girl would do. Pulled over, started crying hysterically and called my dad. Dad of course frustrated because, really, what could he do? Not much, but dammit I needed sympathy. Hung up from him, composed myself,called my new boss and told him I was lost. Luckily, Bill , which was his name, grew up in DC so he directed me back to where I needed to be. I am a person who HATES people being late and am terrified to show up late. My very first day at my new construction job, I was 4 hours late.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My 2011 Playlist (Jan/Feb)

1. Muse, Uprising. I love them. That is all. This is a carry over from 2010,

2. Florence and the Machine, Dog Days are Over- I listen to the Kane Show in the morning and I swear to God that all the music sounds the same. It's nothing but poppy,dance auto tune crap. I was very excited when this band came on the scene last summer. It's refreshing.

3. Britney Spears, Hold it Against Me-I can't help it. I still loves me some Britney. Her new CD coincidently comes out 5 days before my birthday..hint, hint ;) (Don't be judging. We all have our things)

4. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow-When you need to chill, bust out this CD. You won't be disappointed. Unless you love the auto tune drivel mentioned above only...then you won't.

5. Journey, Don't Stop Believing/Faithfully- Admit it, you all rock out to Journey. Get those fists pumping in the air and raise up the lighters. I listen to both of these and sing at the top of my lungs. My poor car is probably glad it has no sense of sound.

6. Maria Mena, All This Time- I have an obsession with Scandinavian bands and singers. This song is simple, the lyrics are great and if you aren't smiling by the time it's over, you are too stressed, grab a drink.

7. Dresden Dolls, My Alcoholic Friends- I love the whole German Cabaret vibe of the Dolls. They are different and that is a good thing.

8. Hurt, Wars- Found this gem on Octane (Sirius Channel). I am a sucker for epic rock (the kind with the strings or orchestras or just full in sound) and this song delivers. Can't say that for the rest of their CD though. Sure glad we live in the age of downloading a single track.

9. Melody Gardot, Les Etoiles-Lite Jazz. Sometimes Jazz tends to suck, (Kenny G) but this does not.

10. Taylor Swift, Back to December- The thing I like about Taylor, besides the fact she creates good music, is the fact that she sings about what she should be singing about. She remains appropriate to her age and I think it will give her longevity.

11. Erykah Badu, Tyrone- I love Ms. Badu. This is an older song discovered in my old Itunes folder and it's on the list for 2011. Plus, it's funny

12. Cee-Lo Green, F**k You- Stress reliever for the car or home only. Do not sing to clients.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day in the Life of Manda (before work)

5:00 AM- Alarm rudely decides to go off.

5:01 AM- still in bed whining in head about rude alarm. Cats have now jumped up on bed and demanding Iget up.

5:05AM- Have stumbled into and out of the bathroom and gathering up clothing for the day. Good lord, I need some new sick of the same ones every week, but that's what I get for getting fat. No new clothes for me. I'm my own clothes Nazi. Guess i better stay motivated.

5:10 AM- Dressed. Have now turned on News and checking email on phone. Damn, My Facebook gets a lot of action AFTER I go to bed. WTH?

5:15AM- gathering up lunch. Bitchy cats meowing and demanding food. Look down at them smile and say, "not until your Dad gets up" and walk out...I usually pay for this when I get home.

5:20 AM- Walking down the hall towards the elevator. Neighbor is also leaving for work for the day. Small talk while waiting for the elevator.

5:21 AM- Downstairs and walking towards the car. Oh hell, where did I freaking park yesterday?

5:25AM- Located car parked on opposite side of apartment that I went out. FML.

5:30 Am- On the way to work. Merging onto I-395. Why the hell are all these cars already on the road? Slam on brakes as dumb ass cabbie cuts me off to get over in lane. Sigh, Where is the NIS when you need them. They seriously need to start checking for green cards.

5:35 AM- Slamming brakes again as idiots who CLEARLY know that they have to get into the far left lane to exit towards Pentagon, come across 4 lanes of traffic.

5:35 AM-5:37 AM drive across 14th Street bridge, still cussing about idiot drivers. If my car could speak, I'd be in serious trouble with the things I shout out.

5:40 AM- Pull into Parking Garage. Oh dammit, wtf is my badge. Dump purse in seat to locate said badge. Find badge and wave to Security Guard. Person in car behind honks horn. I slam on brakes and sit.

5:42 AM- Finally decide to move after the car behind me has throughly had their day ruined. I smile and wave.

5:45 Am- Walk up the ramp and across the street to work after parking.

5:50AM- Computer has finally logged in (damn Federal comps) and open email.

5:50-6:00AM- Check and answer email, read news and obtain coffee.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011