Thursday, April 26, 2007


Finished Middlesex. I really enjoyed this book. Strangely, even the shocking parts of this novel didn't bother me. The book is about a hermaphrodite, you have got to expect some off-the-wall things going in. The voice of the main character was constant throughout and I really enjoyed the journey she into he took.

I am currently reading another book about self-discovery. This is Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. The main character of this novel, an insecure mid-Western girl at a East coast boarding school, is haunting me. The writing is so pointed and the situations are so believable and recognizable that I really hurt for her. I cheer at her small little victories. But most of the time, I want to somehow reach through the pages of the book and shake her. I am also enjoying this book because it gives an inside glimpse to life at a preppy boarding school, something most of us are not at all familiar with. The book was a NYTBSL Top 10 book of the year at some point (am reading the paperback, so I am not sure when it was published). The book is dragging on a bit at this point - she's a senior now and the book begins at the beginning of Freshman year, but I'm interested to see at what point in her life the main character is narrating from. A few times in the book, she mentions how much she has changed, but also how much she is still the same.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Whole New Territory

Today, a new airline burst onto the scene in Columbus...with $10 fares. Yep, 10 bucks. Woo hoo! Chris and I took about two minutes to decide to fly to Vancouver for a getaway before our wedding. Yes, I know the honeymoon is supposed to to take care of the relaxing need, but with 7 months of wedding planning to go, I'm thinking the end of August will be a nice time for a little break. I've never been to that part of the Pacific coast and I'm so excited! It's also fun to do something so spontaneous. Here, basically, is the e-mail chain that led to us booking the flight.
Amy: Hey Skybus is booking now - do you want to go to Vancouver for your birthday? $10 flights.
Chris: Let's go.
Amy: Really?
Chris: Yes, book it.

I'm hoping there is a cute little B&B we can stay in. So excited! Any travel trips to the Seattle / Vancouver area? Also, please book flights with the same airline because I don't want it to go under. I'm not too worried because something like 10,000 flights were booked by 10 a.m. (they went on sale at 6 a.m.), but still.

Must run now, have a bottle of wine chilling to celebrate.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Earthy Days

Since I choose to think every day is Earth Day, we didn't take part in any of the celebrations going on this past weekend. Okay, that is a cop out. I didn't want to take part in any of the celebrations this past weekend. Instead we worked in the yard and I sat in my glorious hammock swing and read. Hammock swings are way better than full-sized hammocks, in my opinion. First of all, you only need one tree and secondly since you can kind of sit up they are much better for reading. My lettuce is doing nicely, having survived the freezing temps and snow around Easter. I brought some of the lettuce to my parent's for dinner. Everyone got about 5 baby leaves - it is early in the season! More lettuce got planted, along with morning glories, cilantro and parsley seeds. I'm holding off a few weeks for everything else. As much as Chris and I are enjoying the current nice weather we are having, Prada is not. She sat in a window and cried for 4 straight hours yesterday because she couldn't come outside with us. Poor kitty.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Quirks

In response to Heather's blog challenge, behold my quirks. Both my Mom and Chris insist that I'm quirky, but I'm having a tough time coming up with a list of the little odd idiosyncrasies that would define my quirks. Actually, I suspect I don't have enough discipline to truly be quirky, but here goes:
  • I have a SWOP bag. These are Socks Without Partners. I imagine the socks hanging out in this bag and having potlucks, going to meetings and discussing the difficulty of being a lone sock in a paired up sock world. Every couple of months, I hold a major SWOP event where I match up the socks who have found their mates.
  • When walking to a destination, I like to cross the street so I am on the correct side of the street for the destination as soon as I leave my house even if I have another mile to go. Actually, I don't think this is a quirk, it just makes sense to me, but Chris seems to think it is strange.
  • I like to have the heat on and the ceiling fans going. I guess this isn't so much quirky as it is just bad for the environment.
  • In bed, I need to hold onto the covers and I always like to have something covering me even if it is really hot out.
  • The doors (or curtains as the case may currently be) to the closets must be closed when I go to sleep at night.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yet Another Reason to Imbibe

Another reason to celebrate the end of the week with a nice, tall, and cranberry. It seems adding alcohol to any dark colored fruit juice enhances the antioxidants. Must be why wine is so good for you. I'll drink to that.

Speaking on antioxidant-rich drinks, I'm hoping with the changing of Liu Pon Xi to the BlueFish, they keep around the blueberry mojito. This fun rum, mint and blueberry puree concoction quickly worked it's way to the top of my favorite summer drinks list. It's right up there with the Italian mojito from Martini. Who knew that basil infused simple syrup mixed with vodka and lots of lime would be such a refreshingly different drink? No antioxidants in this one though.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Household Chores Through the Eyes of my Cat

Much to my everlasting disappointment, Prada isn't much help around the house. In spite of the fact Chris and I often leave the house asking Prada to do the dishes or pick up a little, she isn't much one for pitching in. Here is a list of how I imagine she sees household chores in her own voice (translated by me).

  1. Vacuuming - loud, rude, scary machine which usually strikes when I am deep into a weekend afternoon nap. I try for a few seconds to make friends with the vacuum, but it is so loud it doesn't hear my attempts at small talk. Furthermore, I spend many of my waking hours distributing fur and milk rings on the carpet. I don't appreciate it undoing my work so quickly.

  2. Dusting - this is one of the more agreeable household duties. Fun feather-like swifter items are used which is really a cat toy in disguise. Why else would people dust in slow circular motions? Clearly enticing a cat is the idea here. I also help out with this task by using my tail as I walk along surfaces. And they say I don't do anything.

  3. Cleaning of the bathroom - I like the toilet a lot. Cleaning usually involves making the water go round and round the bowl. This is one of my favorite things to watch. Other than this feature of bathroom cleaning, I'm not really affected. I only use the bathroom as a waiting area in the morning to remind these people to feed me.

  4. Doing dishes - I really don't see what the big fuss is about here. My dish rarely gets cleaned and you don't see me complaining. However, I like that doing the dishes requires the people to stand very close to where the kitty treats are kept. If I hang around long enough (trying to avoid getting splashed), I sometimes get a little treat when the dishes are finished. This is worth it.

  5. Bed making - MY MOST FAVORITE CHORE - I wish this happened more. First, beds are kind of my thing. Burrowing under the covers, snuggling up with my people, lots of good petting happens in the soft and fluffy bed. When sheet changing day comes, I make sure I am around for the fun. Even though I get short of breath, I like to get on the unmade mattress and have the layers of bedding added over me. The first layer is the fitted sheet, it goes on like a huge parachute. Woo hoo! Next, is the flat sheet. At this point, I roll over onto my back with all four paws in the air. My people play with me through the sheet by tickling my tummy and paws. So much fun! This is followed by a blanket and then a down comforter. By this point, I am a little worn out so I usually take a nap. Love it! Sometimes I get stuck under all the covers, but I always find my way out though the side. Really, this whole changing of the sheets should happen way more often.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


So many people have wrote so many eloquent words about the Virginia Tech tragedy. I don't feel like I can add any more to the mix, other than this: As a graduate of a medium sized University tucked into the peaks and valleys of Appalachia, I can so clearly see myself, friends and professors in the faces of those at VT. This horrible and unthinkable situation could have happened anywhere, because it is simply horrible and unthinkable. My wish and prayer for the VT community is to stay strong and to stay together.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Recently finished:

The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield. My mom loaned me this one and it's been on the best seller's list for a couple of months. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I found there were a few sections which tried to be a little shocking without moving the story forward. This isn't a trait I find endearing in books. It was a good story and the author did a nice job of me drawing me in, however I wasn't fond of some of the more trite aspects of the narrative (yes, we all loved Jane Eyre - move on, now). Another thing that didn't thrill me about this one, was I couldn't figure out the genre - was it a mystery or historical fiction, a love story or a family saga? I don't mean to be negative here, because I really did enjoy this book it's just not the novel of the year as some are portraying it to be.

The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne. Yes, this is chick lit, but I read it in Vegas by the pool and while the other girls were showering (I was waiting my turn), so it doesn't break my rules. It follows the classic chick lit formula, we get a lot of self-affirming girl talk, and it is even set across the pond. One twist here is that the heroine doesn't only act like a prostitute, but is mistaken for one is this book. It's not a bad read for the beach; just know what you are getting into with it and you won't be disappointed. Suffice to say I won't be reading the sequel anytime soon.

Am Currently Reading:
Middlesex:A Novel by Jeffery Eugenides. Sara passed this on to me after she finished it in Vegas; she said she had a tough time getting through it, but that it is a really good book. I'm about half way through and so far I am really into it. I like the voice of the narrator and how I feel like I am traveling with him in time through his ancestry.

Mik - I will take up your suggestion for that historical fiction book. I really like these types of books. The Other Boleyn Girl really got me hooked on the Elizabethan era of England. Guess it's time to move elsewhere in Europe!

Tax Man

And, yes, I completed my taxes. They were in the mail on Thursday. A small rebate should be coming my way soon! Not enough to retire in one of these places, but enough for a couple of facials before the wedding.

Family Connections

Chris and I went to Bloomington, IN for his grandmother's 79th birthday. Well, it was actually her 89th birthday, but Chris was confused. I was glad to get there and find out the party was not for a 79th birthday (I thought that seemed a little strange). Anyway, she is a cute little lady who seems to have a good outlook on life and good advice for those willing to listen. I really liked her. She told me she has outlived all but one of her siblings - it would be so strange and a little sad to be almost 90 and have no one around who can remember you when you were young. Ever on the lookout for future baby names, I kept asking her what the names of her siblings were (I really like the idea of using some type of family-connected name) and was pleased to hear one good option.

I hadn't met this side of Chris' family before and was glad I could do this before the wedding. I had even never met Chris' father, so it was good to spend some with him as well. It's funny because I could spot some of Chris' mannerisms from him. Unfortunately, his name is Milton and I don't think we'll ever be using that as the name for a child.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


On my way home from work today, I was listening to NPR - this clip I found especially interesting and I was thinking about my blog. Right now, it's not so much Notes From Clintonville. I'm not able to speak for the whole community and, honestly, I don't know much outside of my bubble. Maybe I will one day, but for now this blog is really more me-centered. Thus the change in name. From now on, expect to see things that are all over the board, but that I in someway find interesting. If you find anything interesting out there, please let me know.

It's Not What You Think

About the middle of each month, my hormones decide to attack. I become unbearable to live with and would much prefer to stay in bed for about three days. It's almost like I can feel my hormone levels bottoming out and then slam: my personality totally changes. In addition, to the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde routine, I get a nasty, painful cystic pimple somewhere on my face. These are not only unsightly, but dang it, they hurt! This month the pimple decided to show up just on the edge of my upper lip. Ouch! I realize, I am 29 years old and should know better than to want to pick at blemishes, but I can't help myself. I even offered to do this for my brother last weekend. I think I missed my calling as an facial-giver. Anyway, I tried attacking this thing on my lip last night, but cystic pimples aren't really ideal candidates for popping. Not only does it really hurt, but they're too hard and solid to get anywhere with. I just ended up making it more red and noticeable. Now instead of a harmless pimple, I have what looks like some type of STD you would get in college from spending too much time around fraternity boys.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I've always been really good (or really bad, depending on how you look at it) with procrastinating. I'm the one in college who would write the entire paper the night before (the time, when naturally, inspiration would strike). You would hate me, because I usually got a better grade even though you began your research the second week of class. I'm also the one who has been known to wait until the last moment for gift buying - on the way to the event, anyone? I always redeem myself here because I find the perfect card to go with the gift. It's a gift.

So, yes, procrastination is an old friend of mine. However, I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't filed my taxes. In spite of my procrastinating ways, I usually get the forms filed and in the mail by early February. There is the return check to think about after all. Sadly, this year the return check will come late because my W-2 was lost in the mess that is the second bedroom until last night when I valiantly found it amongst the half-way unpacked boxes. Now if I can just track down that calculator...

Oh, and if later this week you see some pictures on here from the freeze snap last week and Easter, that, too, is procrastination. If you don't, it's been taken off the to-do list and replaced by a more pressing matter - like filing the taxes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Drinking a cappuccino from an actual coffee shop (rather than a Starbucks or something) at a 3:15 meeting makes me a very jittery girl. Who kind of wants to throw up. As much as I have learned to like coffee, I hate this feeling of my body not being able to go fast enough for my brain. I have to hand it to the guys at Brioso though, they can really make your eyes stay open.

Anyway, this unexpected caffeine buzz gives me the opportunity to update you all on my trip to Las Vegas before working out, covering the plants because of the impending freeze and doing laundry so I'm not naked at work tomorrow, oh and watching Lost later on (of course). Vegas was super fun. First, I'm not a big fan of Las Vegas. I find it to be a completely invented experience with no cultural value. It pretty much represents a lot of what I think is wrong with America. There's very little substance to Vegas, but there is a lot of glitz. Having said that, it wasn't my bachelorette party and I wanted a couple of days in the sun, so I gladly signed on to the trip.

It's hard with a group of nine girls to decide on what to do and when, but it went fairly smoothly. We stayed at New York, New York which I have always really liked even though I continually got lost wandering around the casino trying to find the right bank of elevators. And, no, I wasn't even drunk. We hit Pure, which was completely packed full of chachy people. I mean really, so what if DJ A.M. was there? At 29, I felt way too old for the place, which really made me wonder why so many creepy 49 year-olds were there. Being girls, we spent plenty of time in the sun poolside. I love the sun! We had a fabulous brunch at Wynn, which is simply stunning. Because it was a bachelorette party, we went to see Thunder From Down Under. This is something I never would have chosen to go see, but it was better than I thought it would be and although extremely cheesy wasn't all that poorly executed. Still, though, ugh. All in all, it was a great trip and I'm glad I went.

Am now off to cover those poor little lettuce seedlings and cut the daffodils for a bouquet. Stupid snow and below freezing temps in April...