Wednesday, January 23, 2008

And 57 layers of clothing.

It's a little late (like almost a week), but I must mention that Susie and Josh came to town last weekend and it was the best time ever! This is always the case when they visit, though, so that part isn't a surprise. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to matter at all what we do when they visit, it's always a fun time. The reason this is fortunate is because over the weekend we had the coldest. weather. ever. That special brand of crystal clear, frozen-inside-of-nose-burny-fingertips weather.

But did we let that stop us? No, we did not! Below are some of the things that were accomplished over those three days (because it's always about quantity, people!), despite the great icy adversity we faced. A tally o' fun, if you will:

1 aMAZing batch of toffee almond bars;
1 birthday party with endless bite-sized hors d'ouevres (mmmm...pigs in a blanket...why are you not more present in my life? );
2 meals at Sunrise Cafe;
1 game of Apples to Apples;
1 all-inclusive game of Wii bowling;
2 games of Wii boxing. Dave made it look like dancing and Josh made it look like an example video of how the Wii remote should ALWAYS be strapped to your wrist;
1 unexpected and deeeeelicious meal of homemade beef stew and macaroni and cheese (courtesy of wonderful Pete and Robin);
1 very large table of teachers at brunch at Flying Saucer, made possible by the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.;
Countless long overdue, overly detailed conversations about nothing and everything.

I like "list posts." Pat on the back for good reflective practice! Miss you Sus and Josh...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

To-go coffee will do.

Okay, maybe at 6:45am in Chicago I've been awake for a considerable amount of time and I'm either exercising or freezing my butt off outside, while at the same time when we were in Argentina I was still sleeping! Maybe at 12pm in Chicago I'm usually quickly finishing what's left of my lunch (the rest of it having been surreptitiously consumed at my desk between 9:30 and 10am), while in Argentina I was having a leisurely cup of coffee from the french press or, let's face it, maybe still sleeping! Maybe between 2 and 5pm here I am rushing to or from a school for programming, trying to answer the phone in the car while simultaneously inserting a hands-free earpiece, operating a stick shift, and executing a left turn in heavy traffic, while in South America I was seeing a cultural sight, going on a boat ride, working on a silkscreen project, or volunteering at a youth arts organization! Cereal versus steak! Alarm clocks versus the tango!

But do not feel bad for me!

Seriously though, do NOT feel bad for me. I jest. Yes, we had a wonderful time and we'll never get to be that carefree again, but this post is actually about how I am happy with being back. Our transition back into "real" life has actually gone quite beautifully, if I do say so myself. First of all, we timed it perfectly, getting back the minute before Christmas. Just in time for warm houses and festivities and stockings and trees. For dancing to the music I brought home while getting the house ready for the family party, for my sister's osso bucco and ridiculous almond tarts. Then there was moving back in, and New Years, and having the chance to just reorganize everything. (Again, "organization." I'm on it.)

I've even been fine so far with the cold and going back to work. I have a lot of high hopes for my job in general and it looks like (fingers crossed) things may be going the way I want them too. I am busy and stimulated and taking on more responsibility. And the best part is, I'm only working with one organization instead of three.

Again, it's been less than two weeks back in full swing, but it's been great. I wouldn't mind a big, delicious, inexpensive steak though.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another year, another blog header image.

Hi! I'm back. Happy New Year!

Thank goodness I'm one of those people who thinks change is usually exciting and fun. Brian and I were able to leave everything and be really excited about taking off on an amazing journey, and get excited about coming back and starting new (or slightly new) lives. To celebrate the return, I figured out how to put my favorite Buenos Aires picture on my blog header. (There is some thinking about maaaybe switching blog services, but I'm not quite ready. Not because I don't like the change, but because I'm indecisive. Something I need to work on. So we'll see. For now, new, colorful, antique soda bottle image! Yay!)

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions, or at least not public about the few I've had in the past. I have had a considerable amount of time to think about how I want things to be, though, now that I have this weird sort of "fresh" start. A friend of mine told me about the idea to have a "theme" for what you're going to focus on for the year ahead, which I think is great because it's a) really fun to think of the possibilities, and b) very positive all around. For example, another friend's theme was education, which would involve her learning a language for a foreign trip, and various other classes and self-enrichment type things, that are fun for her and not work. If I were to choose a theme, I suppose it would have something to do with organization. I hate the way that sounds, though, like I need to buy a bunch of coordinated boxes to contain my clutter (I do). In my version, it's sort of a mental organization, a shift in attitude to one that involves lots of thinking ahead, procrastinating less, and finding ways to be relaxed, clear-headed, and proactive about things. It definitely involves work, and home, but also friends and love and art and social consciousness.

So we'll see. Aren't those bottles pretty?