Monday, December 29, 2008

I've been a very bad blogger

Bless me, interwebs, for I have sinned. It has been almost 2 weeks since my last entry. I've meant to post a couple of times ( no, really) but have lacked motivation among other things. So let's have a recap of what's been going on:

My sister-in-law got laid off. Not good. Since she is on an H1B visa she needs to find something soon or she's forced to go back to India. Going from being a fun-loving, educated, single 27 year-old woman thousands of miles away from home to moving back to an ultra-conservative community she hasn't lived in in over 5 years would not be fun to say the least. I really hope she gets something so she doesn't have to go back; I know she feels the same. We don't see each other very often but I genuinely like her. Plus, she is my hubby's only relative in the US; he would be so lost without her.

We had our first sizable snow storm the weekend before Christmas; about a foot in total. And although we live in New England & should be used to & well prepared for such weather, the local & state plows did a super shitty job clearing the roads. It's gone now thanks to a couple of very strange 60 degree days but I'm sure there will be more to come.

Christmas was good; everyone was well behaved & Santa gave a lot of nice presents. It was the first Christmas since my mom's mom died & her absence was noticeable. Also odd was that we did not go over my dad's friend Rick's house for dessert on Christmas night; I can't believe he's been gone 4 months now.

My cousin who is a year younger than me & also got married earlier this year announced she is expecting her first child @ the end of July bringing the total to 2 cousins pregnant without even trying. Also, one of my mom's oldest friend's daughter announced she is expecting baby #4 even though she is unmarried & not stably employed. Meanwhile we're still trying without success. As we come to the 6 month point I am beginning to freak out; I literally bawled when I got my period last week. But on a happy note my best friend asked me to be the Godmother of his son that is due to be born in about 5 weeks. What an honor!

So that's that. This will probably be my last post of 2008; time sure does fly. As far as what's on tap for 2009, well, we're still working on the whole getting pregnant thing. And we'll start looking to buy a house soon too. Will achieving both of these finally make me feel like an adult? I somehow doubt it; that's so not me!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We had our immigration interview

As Borat would say "Great success!". Vid was approved for a permanent green card & will be eligible to apply for citizenship by the end of 2011. So, he may actually be able to vote in the next presidential election.

Vid spent most of the morning pacing our apartment; thank God we live on the first floor or if we had downstairs neighbors they surely would have complained about the noise of size 13 feet clomping back & forth! He was wearing the new shoes I bought for him @ the factory outlets in Maine. There were black marks from the soles all over my kitchen linoleum! So guess who's scrubbing the floor when he gets home from work tonight?

The interview was in the afternoon; the guy who interviewed us was really nice. He himself told us he is working on his PhD & married to a non-American. We gave him copies of all things joint (lease, insurance, etc.) & photos of the wedding. He quizzed us on who's who in each other's family. We were done in under an hour.

What a great end to an otherwise pretty suck ass year full of death, lay offs & health issues!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I can haz kitteh


My mom came to take Romeo out for a walk last night & found 1 of the stray kittens stuck between our fence & our neighbor's. She rescued it & put it in our bathroom; I stopped @ the grocery store on the way home & bought some kitty stuff (food, etc.). She said it was shivering cold & it snuggled up in her armpit. It hid under our clawfoot bathtub for a few hours & came out when I gave it food. It climbed up my leg & buried its head in my armpit it which I took as a good sign.

I called this morning & got an appointment @ the vets for tonight. It's a boy; we named him Chilly since he was so cold when we found him. The vet thinks he's about 5 weeks old; far too little to be out in the cold winter on his own. He was well behaved @ the appointment & the vet said he looks pretty healthy. He goes back @ the end of the month for his first series of vaccinations.

Our dog is very accepting of the new addition. They played for a bit tonight (the vet said it's fine for them to be in contact with each other since my dog is up to date on his vaccinations) & are now sleeping side by side on the couch.

Tomorrow I will call some rescue groups to see if I can get some humane traps & try to gather up his littermates. I obviously can't keep them all but there are several no-kill shelters around here who would take them in a heartbeat, especially if they're as sweet as Chilly.

Monday, December 8, 2008

ZOMG kittehs, uber-emotionality & behbehs

Vid went to take the doggy out for a good night pee last night @ arounbd 10:30pm. It was cold; in the teens. We had had our first snowfall in the morning; only about an inch, thank God. When he opened the door, he jumped back & yelled. I came running, thinking there was a skunk or something. Nope, there were 5 itty bitty kitties huddled in a row between the storm door & wooden door. They didn't look big enough to be away from mom & out & about on their own. They were probably trying to keep warm. I reached down to try & scoop them up but the storm door was open ever so slightly & they ran in 5 different directions down our steps & through the bushes into my neighbor's yard.

I started tearing up. Vid looked @ me like I was on crack & asked why the tears. I told him they were too little to be away from their mom. I told him their mom is probably a street cat, unfixed, who keeps popping out babies nobody will adopt since there's a cat overpopulation problem. I told him if they were the babies of a cat that has owners, then the owners are stupid for letting their cat out to get pregnant & have her babies in the cold outdoors.

What can I say? I love animals. If I could be a crazy cat lady I would. When we buy a house I fully intend to get more pets (that will be fixed & kept in the warm indoors, TYVM). It angers me & makes me sad when I find itty bitty kitties huddled together in between my doors for warmth.

I'm just super emotional lately. I don't know what's up. Just a few hours beforehand I went off the deep end when my husband asked me why I was making him go outside to put salt on the walkway while I was busy swapping out the winter clothes from storage. Then I started sobbing. Then Vid started crying too because seeing me cry makes him cry. I felt so bad that I made him cry.

Speaking of being emotional, Vid had his checkup on Friday. He's put back on some of the weight he's lost since his diagnosis of diabetes (non-insulin dependent) last fall. He is now a salad eating machine in the hopes of losing it again (& then some) & has an appointment with the nutritionist @ the doctor's office.

We also talked to his doctor about our TTC & were given a referral to see a urologist since diabetes can cause low sperm count &/or quality. We've only been trying for 4 months but the doctor gave it to us anyways since he said it can take a while to get an appointment. Well, he was right. Our appointment is February 13; not quite what I had in mind for an early Valentine's Day present.

So now Vid has made it his mission to get me pregnant by then. Well, he's been on a mission since day 1 of TTC. It bothers him it's "taking so long" for this to happen. I told him friends of mine who have a 22 month old tried for 11 months before they got pregnant; he was not amused.

I try to remember that he was brought up in a place where a person's worth is very much tied to their ability to produce children. A woman should be visibly pregnant by the time she reaches her 1st wedding anniversary; even if I got pregnant tomorrow I would merely still be fat by the time that date rolls around in 7 weeks. I remind him we didn't start trying right away since he was unemployed for the first 6 months of our marriage but it doesn't help.

Christmas is only a few weeks away & his birthday is next month. I can think of no better gift to give him than a positive pregnancy test. I just hope Mother Nature can provide.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Well, not yet. But we may get our first batch of giant white turds, er, snow flakes, on Sunday. Being a lifelong New Englander (sans a few years in the Midwest & Africa during grad school) one would think I enjoy winter but I don't. Mainly because despite the fact we northerners have lived with the reality of snow & ice forever, nobody can drive in it. The state dept. of transportation also has yet to learn how to properly plow the roads here. Also, most people are incapable of shoveling their effing sidewalks which makes taking the dog for walks quite the adventure.

Also, my dog is not a fan of squatting his fuzzy butt near the snow covered ground to do his thing; he requires grass or dirt. Since he is a Pekingese he likes the cold weather & will therefore trot about to his heart's content looking for the lone piece of lawn in neighborhood while I'm freezing my ass off holding an empty poo bag waiting to be filled. I'm proof positive that just because you're obese doesn't mean you don't get frostbite. In fact, as I type this I am covered with a fleece blanket while wearing a sweatshirt sitting in the living room.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving recap

My dear, sweet mother, wearing the souvenir my sister brought her from her trip to New Orleans in May:


All was quiet on the western front; no drama to speak of & a generally mellow time was had by all. My grandpa C. (mom's dad) didn't come, supposedly due to his gout acting up. (It wouldn't act up if he laid off the hooch but that's another story for another day.) It was the 1st T-day since my grandma C.'s passing in April so I can understand if he was sad; we all noticed the empty feeling. For me it was helping my mom set the table in the kitchen for the buffet (we've always done it this way; you take what you want & eat in the dining room) & noticing the absence of g-ma's homemade apple pie. She may have been pretty well handicapped in her last few years but she still made the best apple pie.

It was Vid & I's first T-day as a married couple. Actually, it was his first one with my family since when we were engaged last year but he wasn't able to come since we were living in the Midwest & I came home for my 10th high school reunion over T-day weekend. He ate more than his share of turkey (he eats meat every so often but not at home; I'm a total veggie) & slept like a log that night, as did the dog, who got the rare table scrap from my mom & sister because of his cuteness factor.

I can hardly believe Christmas is less than a month away! We will be putting up our small, fake tree next weekend; other than that, I'm not going crazy with holiday decorations. We are going to a performance of Handel's "The Messiah" in a few weeks & I'm going to try to get tickets to the Boston Ballet's "Nutcracker". I will also be taking my husband to Lasalette Shrine to see the lights & to midnight Mass so he can attempt to sing along to the Christmas carols beforehand. My Hindu hubby is more into the season than I am; kind of sad really. Maybe I'll get back into it when we have children & Santa becomes "real" again.



Ahhhh, Maine...

We started our vacation in Ogunquit where we had visited when we first got married back in February as our "mini-moon". Here's a photo from the beach off the Marginal Way:


While we were there we went shopping @ the Kittery Outlets & got some great deals. Then we went to L.L. Bean in Freeport on our way to Bar Harbor. Vid got new snow boots; I must say I was rather disappointed in their teeny tiny plus size department. They did, however, have a super cool gingerbread lighthouse:


The place we stayed @ in Bar Harbor was gorgeous! Check out the view from our room:


Bar Harbor is on Mount Desert Island where the majority of Acadia National Park is. Because it was so late in the season some of the roads in the park were closed to vehicles due to icy conditions (not a good thing on the side of a mountain!). Still, there are a series of carriage roads which are now used as hiking trails; they are "paved" with small pieces of shales that have been shattered. We walked on a few of them; some of them have hand-hewn bridges over them that are driven over. Here's the view on one of them:


Acadia is a gorgeous combination of mountains and water:


The sunsets are spectacular:


It was a bit on the chilly side but sunny the whole time we were on vacation. However, the weather turned crappy just in time for our 6 hour drive home; traffic in Boston was insane but we got home in one piece. Every time we go to Maine we want to go back; someday, when we win the lottery, I want a house on lake there...


Friday, November 21, 2008

Vacation!!!

The hubby is loading up the car & I'm about to wash dishes from breakfast. After that we drop our doggy off @ my parents, stop @ the bank & off we go! I'll post pics when we get back on Wednesday. Maine: here we come!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The US government is not the model of efficiancy

Oh looky-loo what came in the mail! Our appointment with immigration has finally been set 8 months after we filed & gave them several checks worth thousands of dollars! And they wonder why we have so many people who bypass doing it the right way.

December 16 @ 2pm in the afternoon it is! Needless to say, my baseline neurotic husband is even more neurotic than usual. He is convinced they are going to deport him despite the fact he has never been out of status. I told him when they look @ our taxes they'll know we didn't marry for money so it must be love. Well, that & the fact we were both nerdy grad students when we met. I could totally use this to my advantage this next month, telling him if he doesn't do "X" I'll tell the Feds he married me for a green card. He does not find this amusing but I do. Hehehe...

But seriously, I hope everything goes well. We've got the support of family & friends so God forbid anything goes awry we will fight it. He's also let his work know so they can help if need be too. So hopefully his temporary green card turns into a permanent one just in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When I grow up...

I'm just counting the hours, nay, the seconds, until our vacation in Maine. I still fantasize about getting a new job but I am lucky enough to live in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, RI. The more I think about it the more I realize I need to go back to school if I have any chance of doing something professionally that will give me a decent paycheck. So I sent in my application for a second Bachelor's degree & now just need to get official transcripts from my graduate school.

Even if they let me into the college along with all my student loan debt, I have to apply separately to the nursing school after a semester of at least a 3.0 (never mind I graduated with a 3.6 the first time around) & even then there may not be space for me right away. But I'd rather wait & see than not try at all & guarantee myself misery @ my current job. And once I'm in I'm done in 1 1/2 to 2 years with a guarantee of doubling what I make now.

I found out last week there's another employee in my agency who has applied to a similar program for a second Bachelor's degree @ another school. I found this out from a student nurse, actually. It's funny, because at my job we have student nurses come in every week as part of their practicum & I'd say easily half of them are on their second degrees. One of them even had an MA & went back in her 40s. So I guess I'm not all that unique or weird, which is a nice feeling to have.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Presenting our Routan baby!

You've probably seen the obnoxious Vokswagen commercials with Brooke Shields talking about people having babies for a Routan. Well, there actually is a Routan baby maker! I uploaded a recent photo of Vid & one of myself. Here are the results:


My dear, sweet husband exclaimed "He's so cute!" upon seeing this. He kept looking @ the computer screen & smiling. I can only imagine what he will be like when we have a real child. Well, after he passes out from the sight of blood at the birth, of course.

Of course, I did this on the day my period arrived & had to tell him we weren't pregnant this cycle. I think he was more disappointed than I was to be honest; it was only our second month of trying & I know it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to conceive for a healthy couple. I think his disappointment is partly due to him being brought up as an Indian male where your manhood is closely tied to your ability to produce children, preferably males. Although Vid talks about having a daughter (he has a name picked out for a girl, not a boy) as much as he does about having a son.

But also, he is very much excited to become a dad for the experience of showing the world to a new being. I've seen the way he interacts with my friends' kids; he's a big guy with a deep voice but they love him. He also has a child-like wonderment about him. Sometimes, honestly, this trait annoys me. I tell him he's 5 at least a few times a week. And going grocery shopping with him means being asked "Can I please, please have this?" over & over again while I watch a mother with a toddler being asked the same question down the aisle. However, I have no doubt he will be a great dad when the time comes, hopefully in the near future.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My 101 things

1 I was born on my mother's 23rd birthday.

2 But I was 2 weeks late.

3 And arrived by emergency c-section.

4 I was clinically dead when I was born.

5 They found out I had a congenital heart defect known as ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) but couldn't figure out where I got it from at the time.

6 They figured out where I got the ASD from when my dad, who had never had so much as a cavity in his life, was rushed into open heart surgery when I was 17 to repair a tiny ASD that got aggravated from a still unknown cause.

7 My ASD was treated as an infant.

8 My first memory is of dumping hot chicken soup on my head.

9 My mom says I was about 18 months old at the time.

10 I got a cock-a-poo puppy for my 3rd birthday.

11We named her Sparky.

12 My sister Sharon was born when I was 4.

13 I remember sitting in the waiting room on the sticky plastic chairs in my sun dress while she was delivered by c-section.

14 Then I started pre-school.

15 And I hated the fact the teachers wouldn't let me play trucks with the boys.

16 I then went to a Catholic school for kindergarten through second grade.

17 There was a kid in my 2nd grade class who I now understand was probably mentally ill.

18 He jumped out the classroom window one day.

19 We were on the 3rd floor.

20 He was uninjured, but didn't come back to school after that.

21 We moved into the house my parents still live in when I was in 3rd grade.

22 I started going to public school at this point.

23 At this point I started getting bored in school.

24 My mom bought me a set of encyclopedias piece by piece at the grocery store each week.

25 I read them all by the end of the school year.

26 In 4th grade they tested me for the gifted program.

27 I scored exceptionally high in everything but math so they didn't let me in.

28 I would continue to be bored throughout elementary school and beyond.

29 I also continued to stink at math.

30 I got my period the summer between 4th and 5th grade.

31 We were on vacation at the time.

32 They didn't even teach us about getting our period in sex ed until the next year.

33 5th & 6th grade were nothing great & nothing terrible.

34 I was put in the "excelerated" class when I went to junior high.

35 I tied for the highest score on the state wide geography test.

36 But I missed representing our state at the National Geographic Geography Bee by 1 question.

37 I was in the school play when I was in 7th grade.

38 I started questioning my sexuality then.

39 Now, I don't feel the need to label myself in such a way.

40 I learned how to play the flute in junior high.

41 I still have the flute but I don't really play it much.

42 I became a vegetarian when I turned 14.

43 I picked up bassoon & upright bass in high school.

44 I also joined the speech & debate club.

45 That's where I met my best friend.

46He's married with 1 child & another on the way.

47 We don't get together much since he lives 1 1/2 hours away but we talk on the phone or IM all the time.

48He keeps me sane to this day.

49 I went to the national speech & debate tournament my sophomore, junior & senior years of high school.

50 I lost my virginity along the way.

51 I wasn't super popular but I also wasn't the butt of everyone's jokes.

52I was, however, fat.

53 And I started binging & purging for a few months.

54 My mom took me to a therapist who referred me to a nutritionist.

55 The nutritionist didn't get that I wouldn't eat meat.

56 So I stopped going.

57 And I'm still fat, but don't binge & purge.

58 I was in some plays in high school too.

59 I was also an extra in "The Amistad".

60 I decided I wanted to go to college far away.

61 I went to school in Montana for a year.

62 It got too expensive.

63 And I took Japanese.

64 That was a mistake.

65 I sucked it up & came back to RI.

66 I worked at JC Penney full time for a year.

67 I hated every minute of it.

68 Sparky died at this time

69 It was the first time I saw my dad cry.

70 I was 20.

71 I went back to the state college.

72 I found 2 profs who mentored me.

73 We are friends now.

74 They encouraged me to study abroad.

75 I wrote for a grant & won.

76 I spent a semester in Ghana.

77 I traveled around West Africa on my own.

78 I got malaria.

79 That's when 9/11 happened.

80 It was both scary & weird to come back to the US & see all the hatred & fear after 6 months.

81 I went to grad school in Indiana.

82 I went back to Africa a few times.

83 Once I roomed with a fellow grad student from Michigan.

84 We became very close.

85 She died in a car accident in Nigeria while on a Fullbright 2 years later.

86 That was also the year my uncle was killed by the cops.

87 We're still waiting for it to go to trial.

88 I have memorial tattoos for both of them.

89 I have 7 tattoos so far.

90 I plan on getting more.

91 I slowly got sick of being a poor grad student.

92 I slowly grew sick of grad school politics.

93 I decided to Masters out.

94 Little did I know a Masters in my field means nothing.

95 I got married around this time to the gentlest man I know

96 We've got a Pekingese dog named Romeo

96 Now we're trying to start a family

97 I am both excited & scared to have such responsibility

98. I'm also still figuring out what I want to do with my life

99. Nursing school?

100. My husband has the patience of a saint.

101. That's a good thing; I'm still not fully grown up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Deepavali!


Happy Deepavali! "WTF is Deepavali", you ask? Perhaps you've hear of it as Diwali which was depicted on an episode of The Office in which Michael Scott sings The Diwali Song a la The Hanukkah Song? Here's the song for your enjoyment & click here to find out more about this holiday.

We spent the day going to temple, eating special food (OMG yum!) & lighting oil lamps hubby's parents gave us as part of our wedding gifts that they bought from India. If I would've thought about it I'd have taken a photo of them (they're silver & hand made) but since I didn't, oh well. We should also be setting off fire crackers as part of the celebration like they do in India but I'd rather not have the cops show up at my door.

In other news we're going away the weekend before Thanksgiving to Maine, staying at the same hotel we went to on our mini-moon when we got married back in February. "Grandma & grandpa" (my parents) will babysit the dog; my mom does doggy daycare for me on the nights both Vid & I work late which is great for him. He loves my parents & has 3 playmates: my parents' dog & cat as well as my sister's dog. I'm still on the lookout for cheap airfares for when Vid has his semester break at the end of December but it's nice to know we at least have this small trip to look forward to.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Seeing the future


I went to a "girls night out" last night with a friend I've known since childhood who I haven't seen in about a year; it was nice to reconnect. It was a psychic party & there were about 10 or so of us. We went to a local place my friend has gone to for a while; this was my first experience with this sort of thing. We had munchies & drinks & had 1 lady do past life readings for us everyone could hear while we were waiting to go into 1 of 2 private rooms with tarot readers for 30 minute private sessions.

I honestly don't really believe in past lives but as my hubby is Hindu he was intrigued by the results. Apparently most of us have lots of past lives, but the woman doing the reading asked "The Creator" for a happy one. I ended up on an all women wagon train heading out to California in the last half of the 19th century. We faced lots of stuff (cholera, hostile Indians, etc.) & not everyone made it but I did; I even saved a few lives along the way, including that of a young soldier. I nursed him back to health & over the journey he fell in love with me; I thought he was a nice guy but wasn't overly interested. We arrived in a little stagecoach town where we settled; I was some sort of nurse-midwife & he was a sheriff. Eventually we married & had kids, leading a good life. My name was Cassie. The reader said she thinks I am a traveler across lives, even into this one & that nothing much makes me fearful or at least I'm good at hiding my fears. Very true to both of these!

My tarot reader was a hot sketch. She told me I am dealing with a group of uncooperative people who are holding me back on a goal I worked hard for in the past but is now on the back burner (hello, grad school thesis committee who won't tell me what is up!) & I'm trying to figure out if I stick with it or move onto something else (see a couple of posts previous for my mention of nursing school). She flipped a few more cards & said if I completed my grad work it'd be hard but doable as there is 1 person I can align myself with (the lone person who actually e-mailed me recently). If I did the other thing I could easily do it but it might not give me as much satisfaction as completing the other, but it would be a guarantee of livelihood (exactly; there is a nursing shortage & starting salaries are double what I make now!).

She knew I was married (I always wear my wedding set so it's a dead give away) & told me I don't always appreciate my husband & sometimes he's a bit child-like (true on both) but he really, deeply loves me. She said I was a traveler & open to different ideas, including alternative medicine & I would be traveling again in a couple of months to a new place (see 2 posts prior). I then told her I was a medical anthropologist & she said "Rock on!"; love it!

Here's where it gets interesting: she then said "I don't know if I should tell you this" which freaked me out but I said for her to tell me whatever. She asked if we had kids & I said no. She said she saw a pregnancy happening in the near future & most times when she sees this the person she is talking to is not trying. She said there was some waiting involved (yes; we waited to start trying until hubby had a job) & possibly a scare but everything will turn out fine with the pregnancy for both of us.

After we were done I went back out into the main room & sat around with the other girls having snacks, talking with the past lives reader about how she does what she does, etc. She then out of the blue asked me if I was pregnant; I told her no, but the girl sitting to my left was 18 weeks along. She said she already knew that, but I "have a baby floating around me; it's pink too." I then told her what the tarot reader in the separate room told me. She smiled & said to come back with the sonogram when it happens, which will be soon & to be sure to drink plenty of water "so the seed can grow". She didn't say if the pink meant a girl or not; I guess we'll wait & see with all of this.

Overall, it was a really fun evening. But who knows what the future holds really? We'll soon find out I suppose.





Monday, October 13, 2008

Enjoying nature's bounty

We went apple & pumpkin picking at a local farm yesterday. The weather was perfect & the fruits were perfect for the picking. Vid ate 3 apples off the trees & then proceeded to eat 1/2 a pint of figs we also purchased at the farm. I explained to him how much fiber that was & he was rather unconcerned. This is part of the reason why he is assigned to clean the bathroom. Here are 2 photos of the fun we had:






I am currently baking cookies & making an apple pie from our pickings; I think the pumpkin pie will have to wait until next weekend since I have to get my butt in gear to go back to work tomorrow. I may have had a 4 day weekend but it sure didn't feel like it!

In other news my 21 year old cousin got engaged this weekend. Nothing makes you feel old like hearing the news someone whose diapers you once changed is going to be someone's wife. No date has been set yet but they're thinking sometime in 2010 since she still has 1 year of undergrad left & her intended is currently in the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.

I don't remember if I mentioned it previously or not but Vid's parents are back safe & sound in India. They left last weekend & are still recovering from the jet lag. They had a great time & would like to come back next year. Should the stars align, by this time next year we will (hopefully) have a house with plenty of room for them to stay & perhaps a grandchild for them to fawn over. Hopefully by then they'll also have learned to lay off my single but happy 27 year old sister-in-law ab out getting married.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

I need (another) vacation

Yes, I know we just spent 4 days in fabulous Las Vegas 3 months ago. However, if you did what I currently am forced to do for a living, you'd want to get away more often than not too!

So, Vid has 2 weeks off @ the end of December/beginning of January & I'm planning to take some time off @ that time too. We should be getting interviewed by immigration soon to move things along in his citizenship process. Until then, we can't really make plans since you have to show up when they tell you unless you have a really good excuse, like you're dead.

I've been looking @ airfares; holy shit are they expensive, even to places that are supposedly off season, like Europe. I thought a quick week long jaunt to Paris in winter would mean reasonable airfare but flights from Boston to Paris are $600+ a piece; going to Ireland isn't any better. In either of these places we'd stay with folks we know (a family friend in France, my mom's cousins in Ireland) so at least we wouldn't have to pay for a place to stay (outside of a nice gift as a thank you) so it's not completely out of the question. Maybe we'll get a nice last minute deal since the airlines will be so desperate for business with the economy tanking?

Part of the reason we're doing this (besides wanting to get the hell away for a bit) is we started trying to conceive (TTC) last month so this may be a "babymoon" for us depending on what happens this month. Now that Vid has a stable job & with turning 30 coming up in a few months we agreed to take the plunge into parenthood. Holy shit.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A recipe to share




Here's the recipe for the cookies mentioned in the previous post:

Raisin Drop Cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups raisins
Mix wet ingredients first, adding dry ingredients next followed by the raisins last. The cookies seem more fluffy if you leave the milk & eggs @ room temp for an hour or 2 before mixing. Drop mixture from spoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on cookie rack.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sugar rush!

I can't say October without thinking of the way Arnold Schwarzenegger says it...
Oktoobah...
hehehe...


I can hardly believe 2008 is almost over; we're in the double digit months now! And thus begins the season that is a dieter's worse nightmare, known as "The Holidays". I can already sense an epic fail on my part. Candy is everywhere, as are baked goods & numerous other delicacies that I could just save time digesting by simply rubbing them on my thighs for the same result. While I have not experienced a turkey coma since going vegetarian in middle school trust me, there's still plenty of ways to overindulge!

Since we are in a new neighborhood, I am unsure about the kids situation on Halloween. There's a sizable playground @ the other end of the street which seems fairly active but I don't know numbers. Do I buy some candy to hand out, which I will have to hide from the hubby since I am certain he will eat a good portion of it even though he was diagnosed with borderline diabetes last fall? And do I trust myself to not mange on the sugar-laden goodness?

One of my biggest candy vices are Reeses PB cups. They are the perfect combination of salt & sweet & I have no problem polishing off a 4 pack. I've tried to sugar free versions & they all suck. The PB in the sugar free is dry & crumbly; it also tastes like they removed some fat & therefore flavor. I appreciate natural PB & the sugar free stuff seems to be missing a lot of oil; I'd go so far as to call Reeses PB cups downright moist compared to the sugar free ones. And while I do enjoy one particular sugar free candy, chocolate coconut candies, they do not cause me to feel the intense euphoria PB cups do.

And because I can't pass up the opportunity to try new sugar-filled recipes at this time of year, I am participating in a cookie swap with some internet friends later this month. I will be baking my mother's famous raisin drop cookies (I will post the recipe when I find the book in one of the few remaining unpacked boxes) for the exchange which are sure to be a hit! They taste so good straight from the oven with a hot beverage!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy autumn

It's my favorite time of year, when all the flowers die & I can breath again! Also, I love it when there's just enough chill in the air to warrant wearing a sweatshirt. And I love the colors of the leaves changing.

I'm hoping to go apple and/or pumpkin picking with Vid in the next few weeks; I would like to try my hand at making pies. Growing up we'd usually go down to NJ over Columbus Day weekend to visit my mom's parents. My grandma was quite the gardener; she also had an apple tree in the front yard. We'd pick, peel & cook the apples, then make pies en masse. She'd put a bunch in her deep freezer to save for the holidays & usually send us home with a couple as well. I don't know if I'll be able to replicate her pies but I'll sure try.

So, work is still work; I'm still looking elsewhere but given the economy nationally & even more so locally I'm not holding my breath. I'm also thinking about going back to school to get my BSN (I know, I know) which will only take me 1 & 1/2 years to complete since I already have a college degree. I'd double my salary (at least) & actually be able to use my brain, which is something I miss a lot. We'll see.

Vid is loving 2 out of his 3 classes; the students in 1 class are PITAs but his dean has been really great so far. He's so grateful to have a job but very paranoid about keeping it given the 8 months of unemployment he recently experienced.

He should be fine since he works for a private university, but with the state going in the toilet a lot of other agencies similar to mine (non-profit community mental health) are seeing staff being let go. While we were told there are no plans for lay offs at my place, I can't say I believe them given the news we got last week that there will be no raises next year.

Anyways, I will try to think lovely thoughts & enjoy the crispness in the air.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sick




I think I have the flu. My husband came home from work 2 days ago with a cold; he's better now. But whatever he had he gave to me in some mutant form. I've gone through almost 2 boxes of tissues in under 24 hours.

I came home last night thinking I had caught his cold; no big deal. I had dinner & watched Ghost Hunters like I do every Wednesday. By the time 10pm rolled around I felt like death warmed over. Full sinuses, a rip-roaring headache, body ache, a slight fever & chills. I took a Nyquil which lasted me until about 4am when I woke up with (pardon the graphic description) snot dried on my pillow case. I called in sick at that point, took another Nyquil & went back to bed until about 10am. And I still feel tired.

So I'm at home in bed spending quality time with the dog. It was a challenge taking him out for a walk earlier this afternoon; I had vertigo big time. I'm hoping to be better enough to go to work tomorrow so as not to burn through what little sick time I get at my suckass job. But it's now almost 6pm & let's just say it isn't looking good.

Blargh.

Friday, September 12, 2008

JibJab, oh how I love thee!

The geniuses at JibJab are back at it again! Click here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

100 things to eat before you die

This is stolen from a friend's blog (http://tastybaby.blogspot.com). I've eaten 46 of the following 100 items (bolded):

1. Venison
2. Nettle Tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak Tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black Pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
15. Hot dog from a street tart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Fois gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna Cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly - aka, Jello shots
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth over $100
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed donut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umbeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV.
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, Elephant Ears, funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and Blini. .
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu or shaojiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose Harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Obviously the ones containing meat were eaten before I became vegetarian at age 14. Well, with the exception of #42 (insects); I did try a fried locust dusted in chili powder in Niger in 2004. And as I'm a lover of all things spicy, I'm going to try & find #30 (bagna cauda) after learning what it is on Wikipedia.

How many have you eaten?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Moving...still...

*sigh*

So we're still not completely in but should be by the weekend. The people who lived there before us were supposed to be out on 9/1 but really weren't until 9/3 which was fine since I didn't have the moving truck rented until 9/6. But they left the place a mess; my mother & I have been cleaning all weekend. I'm talking epoxy spilled & dried into the sink & tub among other things. I called my landlord & he came to look at the damage done. Let's just say he is not happy about having to fix all this since the former tenants made no mention of things that needed repairing, etc. He's not giving them their damage deposit back but meanwhile we're stuck with the clean up.

Because we've spent so much time on cleaning we're not done assembling the new furniture we bought from IKEA. Seriously, we'd already be in if it wasn't for the massive amount of cleaning. And the cable guys are coming Thursday since they had to cancel for Saturday with the tropical storm we had. I swear nothing is ever easy!

With all this added stress I've also fallen off the Weight Watchers bandwagon a bit. I'll get back on once we're settled in & I have a kitchen to work in again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another freakin' funeral

One of my parents' best friends died rather unexpectedly yesterday. He was 48 & leaves behind a wife & 18 year old daughter who is supposed to start college next week. The funeral is Thursday, the same day as Vid's graduation.

Rick went in to the hospital to have his esophagus removed due to cancer. This type of cancer is very random; he was a non-smoker, non-drinker, etc. Besides being a big guy, he was healthy. He went through radiation & was deemed cancer free but they wanted to take out his esophagus which had been burnt as a just in case measure. He went through the surgery fine, then ended up with several staph infections (including MRSA) before dying.

Just when things are starting to look up shit like this happens.

RIP Rick.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Movin' on up

Houston we have an apartment! One of my parents' friends owns several triple & double-deckers so we went apartment shopping with him yesterday & are set to move starting next weekend. Our place is the first floor of a double decker: 2 beds, 1 bath, kitchen, dining room & living room, plus a screened-in front porch. It's on a side street but maybe 50 yards from the corner of a main street with a bus stop which is perfect for Vid being able to get to work. It's also extremely Portuguese, which I love for the kitsch factor. We've got a Mary-on-the-half shell in the front garden & a grape arbor in the back. I'll post pics when we're all settled. Here's an example for those who have no idea what I'm referring to:



Vid is excited/nervous about starting his new job. He's actually doing some syllabus planning as I speak. I'm still waiting to hear back from my interview of almost 3 weeks ago. My boss will be on vacation next week & I'm hoping to have some bad news for him when he returns. I'm still looking just in case though.

I lost 2 more pounds this week. And that was with some serious cheating (having 2 regular Dr. Peppers on Monday & 2 cupcakes yesterday). I still need to get my ass moving though. The weather has been perfect so I have no real excuse.

Off to IKEA to go bedroom set shopping!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Some good news finally

I lost 4 lbs this week. Yay! Well, it's a start & I haven't wanted to shove massive amounts of chocolate in my face or anything. I need to get my butt in gear with the exercise still; most days I come home from work & just pass out. God I need a new job. Hopefully I hear something positive back from last week's interview soon.

In other news, VID FINALLY HAS A JOB! And by job I mean full time, well above minimum wage, with medical & dental insurance. It's been a long 8 months I don't mind saying. He's now a full time faculty member at a local university; he's always wanted to be a prof & one of the perks about this job is he can take courses towards a Ph.D. in the future. He starts the position when the new trimester begins in mid-September.

If I get the job I interviewed for last week we'll be working literally blocks away from each other so we can be a 1-car family which will be great for the finances. Our next step will be looking at apartments. One of my mom's friends is a landlord who is pet friendly so I think I'll give him a call next week. Things may finally be moving in a forward direction!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Charting



I've started charting. We aren't TTC until Vid gets a job (and God knows how long that will be) but I thought I should get into the habit of taking my temp every morning for when the time comes. I know a lot of you out there also chart; feel free to comment.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weight Watchers

I joined today. I figure if I've starting charting I might was well get my butt in gear & also start getting healthier (less carbs, better portion control, more exercise) for when DH finally gets a friggin' job & we start TTC. I have over 100lbs to lose to get to my ideal BMI; I would honestly be happy with 50. At -50 I would be back at what I refer to as my "Ghana weight" from when I spent a semester abroad in undergrad & lost about that much in 5 months. I was still a big girl, but in shape, mainly because I walked all over creation. This was also despite everything being fried & there being no such thing as diet soda in Africa. Yep, there are obese vegetarians out there; I'm one of them! I'll post how much I lose (or gain) here every week after my meeting; I figure being "open" about the struggle will help me in the long run.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Interview

So I had an interview today for a research position in a hospital. They told me they'd get back to me in 2-3 weeks & that since they're the psych dept. they really mean it because they know how crazy waiting makes people; that made me chuckle a bit. I don't know how it went; I think it went ok but as someone who has been on more than my share of interviews over the years who really knows? The one bright spot is one of the doctors did her undergrad in anthropology; it was nice to talk to someone who had a clue of the applicability of my degree.

Vid has an interview on Thursday. At this point I'm basically ready to commit murder if it means getting him a job. Just make sure the bills are non-sequential & put them in a plain envelope under the back doormat. :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Today is our sixmonthaversary

On 2/1/08 we were married by a JOP in a "shotgun" wedding; of course, I wasn't pregnant but it was for Vid getting his green card paperwork started so it was "shotgun" in its own special way. To (kind of, I guess) celebrate we're going out to dinner tonight with 2 of my old college profs who are married 40 years as of this weekend themselves. Today is also the sevenmonthaversary of Vid getting laid off *sigh*. Still no job but lots of interviews. Please, God, something?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Holy shit it's almost August!

So what's new with you? I can't believe the summer is almost over but will be happy to see the tourists go home. Traffic on the way to work has been a nightmare lately!

I was off work yesterday & am off today since I worked last weekend & will also be on this coming weekend. We are short 3 positions in my section of the agency which means more work for all of us, including having to work 2 weekends a month instead of the 1 I usually work. And if we were every fully staffed I wouldn't be working weekends at all since I am a supervisor. But I've been here for 6 months & we've not been fully staffed the entire time. Welcome to the wonderful world of community mental health. /sarcasm

Anywho, I do have an interview next week. It's for a research position at a hospital; much, much better commute! I'm so psyched but after the last time when I was beaten out for a job by someone who would work for free I'm trying not to get my hopes us too much.

Vid also has a smattering of interviews as usual; he goes for the gazillionth time to the career services place @ his old grad school next week. I try not to let the unemployment thing get in the way of our relationship but it's hard. He's so sensitive & whenever I have a bad day at work (which unfortunately are most days) I usually end up yelling at him for something miniscule & feel super bad after. The stress level is on high & I'm thinking of going on anti-depressants more & more each day. I'd just like to be a fly on the wall for one of his interviews so I can see what he does there that screws him out of a job. That may sound bad but it's been a full 8 months of no job as of Friday; he must be doing something wrong.

In other news my sister has moved back in. She says it is temporary. She & her boyfriend are still together but she finally had enough of living at his parents'. Yep, my parents now have both their adult children living at home. **hangs head in shame** Not only does she live here now but her dog does too. Thank God my parents have a big house. I love my family dearly but all 4 of us haven't lived under 1 roof in over a decade. Aaack!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Las Vegas = AWESOME!

Our honeymoon was GREAT! the Venetian was beautiful; by far the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. Neither Vid nor I are gamblers (even if we could afford to be); we spent maybe 2 hours playing slots the whole 4 days we were there. We went to Hoover Dam & Red Rocks; we didn't have enough time to go to Grand Canyon but we did see it from the plane on our flight home. We'll definitely do it in person next time though! We rode the monorail up & down the Strip, walked around several hotels & just generally soaked in the Vegas atmosphere.

The one sucky thing was our flight got delayed about 3 hours on the way home due to shitty weather back on the east coast. They actually had an F1 tornado in RI just 1 town over from where we live; weird! So our 11:30pm arrival ended up being 2:30 am & I had to be at work for 7am. Let's just say thank God for Dunkin Donuts!

Here's the link for pictures of our trip.

So back to reality. :( Oh well. Vid is now at least working on a temporary basis part time for a Brown University prof doing math-type data analysis stuff; maybe she will "know someone" who can employ him permanently. He's working half the hours & making twice what I do full time; who said grad school isn't worth it? Hahaha!!! I'm still also semi-looking but not killing myself since we still don't know where in the world we (literally) may end up.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just as I suspected...

The red dragon showed up yesterday afternoon. Perfect timing as I'm about to leave for Vegas in mere hours. I'm still kind of surprised I didn't have massive cramps, etc. beforehand; maybe there's a wee bit of residual BCP chemicals left in my system which helped with that. Next month could be a completely different story! See you when we get back. Viva Las Vegas!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Aunt Flo is still MIA

I peed on a stick this morning (POAS); a high-brow, digital one at that! And it said "not pregnant", which is a good thing. However, Aunt Flo is still MIA & I don't have any symptoms signaling her arrival. I know it's quite possible for my cycle to be screwy after being on BCPs for almost a decade but it's been ~5 weeks since my last period (33 days). As I said previously, knowing my luck I'll probably get it in Vegas. So I get to carry to following: tampons, condoms & a basal body temperature chart so if I do get it I can start charting for when hubby finally gets a permanent job (he has a well paying temp position at the moment; maybe this is a sign of good things to come?) & we can start trying to make a baby.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weird & vivid dream

I had one 2 nights ago & it's been on my mind since. I kept trying to find a place to pee on an at-home pregnancy test since I couldn't do it at my parents' house without getting into trouble. And I really had to pee BADLY; it was an uncomfortable dream! And when I finally peed on it, it was positive, I started crying & woke up.

Vid & I have been living at my parents house since he got laid off in January so there is a bit of reality in the dream. But why would I be hiding a pee stick from my parents? It's not like I'd be some 16 year old kid knocked up; I'm married & 29 for God's sake! I was an adult in this dream, FYI.

Given our current economic situation they probably wouldn't be thrilled with the timing; I know I wouldn't be. We've pretty much planned all along to start trying around the end of this year, but this is (of course) so long as he is employed & we are therefore moved out of my parents' place.

I have memorable dreams fairly frequently, but they're usually repetitive; some I've had since early childhood. And I've never had a pregnancy scare dream, even back in the days when I was single & (kind of) living it up. I have had a dream where I was wearing a hospital gown, walking up and down the hospital halls with an IV pole in active labor. And instead of needing to pee badly in that dream, I felt pain; perhaps contractions? But that was several years ago & I haven't had it since. But I remember it like it was yesterday.

So what does the POAS dream mean? I did go off BCPs last month to give my body time to get itself "normalized" before we (hopefully) TTC this winter. But we've been using condoms (much to the hubby's dismay) since with no known issues. And since this is my first cycle off BCPs I have no idea when the Red Tide is coming.

I took my last active pill on 6/7/08. Should I be having a flow akin to that of Niagara Falls by now? It's been over 30 days since Aunt Flo's last visit. Which I didn't even realize til looking a the calendar just now.

No keeling-over cramps or (TMI) diarrhea yet, which were normal in my pre-BCPs days back in high school. But no boob tenderness or wanting to vomit, which if I were knocked up I would most likely be experiencing, right? I've never been preggers before, after all.

With my luck I'll get it on the fucking plane ride to Las Vegas for our belated honeymoon this weekend. That would be too perfect.

But I'm also slightly paranoid; should I POAS?


Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm now a tour director

So we have custody of Vid's parents for the week; they came on Thursday 7/3 & will be here until next weekend. I'm taking Monday & Tuesday off from work to do touristy stuff with them & Vid will be in charge of entertaining them Wednesday through Friday.

We had a nice 4th of July; it was spent in Jamestown. First, we went to Beavertail where his parents got to stick their feet in the Atlantic Ocean & see the lighthouse. Anything that concerns water is a big hit with them. Then we went to a family friend's house for a clambake. The family friends actually have lived in Hawaii for the better part of 20 years but came back for a visit as they do every couple of years; they were here for our wedding, in fact. Their oldest daughter who is my age & was my first "best friend" was also there; she now lives in Connecticut, is married & has 3 kids of her own. I hadn't seen her since she was still single & not yet a mommy! It was great to catch up; she's only about 2 hours from my parents so we exchanged e-mails @ cell #s in the hopes of being able to do more catching up. It's kind of funny how when you get to be my age & are thinking about starting a family in the near future that a lot of your own friendship decisions are based on whether or not the folks you may hang out with are child friendly themselves or have kids you wouldn't mind having your kids be around.

Here we are at Beavertail:












Here's a photo of me & Chrissy with her youngest child:














Saturday we took them to their first American baseball game followed by fireworks. My dad had a great time explaining the fundamentals of the game to Vid's dad; India is a cricket playing nation. He was also intrigued by the ballpark snacks. I think the only food he didn't try were hot dogs because they're forbidden since they're made of beef!

Here's dad, Vid's parents & Vid (I was taking the photo, mom was sitting on the other side of me which is why she isn't in the photo).














His parents are also fascinated by the washer & dryer; I felt like a salesperson at Sears today giving them the specifications of how they operated as I was doing laundry. The dishwasher has also been a big hit as has the swimming pool.

We will probably head down to Newport either tomorrow or Tuesday & take in a mansion, walk the Cliff Walk & generally be tourists for a day. Every place I've taken them to so far they've collected numerous brochures as souvenirs; they truly are sponges soaking everything in which has been neat to see.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vegas!


We booked our honeymoon: 4 nights at the Venetian in Las Vegas next month. It was affordable & neither of us have ever been to the southwestern US. Plus, I know folks who frequent LV & say this hotel is awesome; all their rooms are suites. I'd like to see if we can do a day trip to the Grand Canyon; I've always wanted to go & don't honestly know the next time we'll be in the area. Neither Vid nor I are gamblers but we may take in a show or 2; I'm sure we'll have a blast. I'm just sooo excited to be going on a real vacation this year!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wedding pictures!!!


Here's the link:

http://jaimeafrique.googlepages.com/weddingpics

This is just a small sampling of the over 500 photos taken by my friend/photographer who did an AMAZING job! I'll post more when I have time.

I am also happy to report I really like my in-laws! They are coming back to RI for the 4th of July & we are hoping to take them to Washington DC thereafter. Vid has also never been to DC & is very excited. My dad is taking him to a NASCAR race in NH this weekend so he can learn a thing or two about redneck culture. I can't wait for the stories!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Clear the road!


Just as it looks like my grandfather will be losing his license, Vid got his license on the second try. Now all he needs to do is get a job so he can pay for the insurance to drive.

Today is the day before the wedding; so much to do & I'm trying not to murder Vidya with all the complaining about getting things done; he is the king of procrastination. I'm more looking forward to having everything over with finally since I was all for just going to Vegas since the beginning but was basically guilt tripped into this. Whatever; I'm sure I'll think it was worth it 20 years from now or something.

I had a root canal yesterday morning then got mehendi done in the afternoon & did laundry last night since Saturday is my normal laundry day. Today I cooked breakfast for tomorrow morning, washed the floors & am currently burning CDs for the reception (DIY DJ). His parents should be arriving with his sister any minute so I'm very much looking forward to that. There's a glass of wine with my name on it tonight for sure!

Monday, June 16, 2008

How do I know it's the week of my wedding?

Because shit like this happens:

My grandparents (dad's side) got into a horrendous car accident this morning. My mom saw 4 cars in various states of smashing on her way home from Walmart & thought "dayum, what a weird accident". She no sooner pulls in the driveway then my dad calls & says g-parents were in an accident, the very one she just drove past. Their car somehow made it to the highway, 4 flat tires, all smashed up. G-pa remembers nothing of this; apparently Walmart has it on film from their security cameras.

Ambulances came & took them to the hospital. G-ma's arm is being checked out because it's killing her, plus her neck; she pops Klonapin like candy on a good day so needless to say this has put her into neurotic overdrive. G-pa's BGL was 400+ (he's diabetic) & they did a CAT scan since he remembered nothing; it looks like he may have had a stroke. So they are keeping him for tests indefinitely; he is not happy & my dad is still at the hospital almost 12 hours later waiting to find out what the next step is.

The police now want to charge him with leaving the scene of an accident among other things; incredible. G-ma doesn't have a license & when my mom said she though they may take away his license I asked her who she thought would drive them everywhere, to which she responded, "Not it!".

God only knows if one or both of them will be at the wedding. I need a draaank...

Friday, June 13, 2008

They're heeeereee...


My in-laws, that is. They arrived today from Chennai via Frankfurt. Vid met them at the airport; it was the first time they'd seen each other since he left India to come to the US for grad school 6 years ago. They made it through customs with no problem which I'm kind of shocked at since they had 4 suitcases full of mostly saris & jewelry. They are staying at his sister's in NH for the week & will be coming down with her for the wedding. I'm super excited to meet them & hope everything goes as according to plan as possible.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I sound like a 3 year old


This post can be filed under "w" for "whiney".

So I found out today that I didn't get the job. Not that I wasn't qualified, but because I (heaven forbid) wanted to have a paycheck attached to it. I'd love to know how they found someone to do it for free; there aren't too many independently wealthy people running around here that I've seen. Actually, the current director told me I was her top choice but given the current budget woes a decision had to be made. I cried when I read the e-mail letting me know their decision this afternoon & have been bitchy since.

But I should've known it was going to be "one of those days" when at about 11am my supervisor tells me he is taking a couple of mental health days & "should be back Wednesday". Not good when you're a psychiatric social worker. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he took an extra few days; many people at my place of employment seem to be at their breaking point, myself included.

I am seriously thinking about going back on an anti-depressant. I'm burnt out emotionally as well as financially & motivationally. I hate my job. I've lost all patience with my husband who has been unemployed for over 6 months now (not completely his fault). Everyone around me seems to be moving forward with life, except me.

I hate how whiney I sound as I type this; I sound like a 3 year old. Somebody smack me!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tick, tick, tick...

So my BFF tells me today he & his wife are expecting #2. I am so thrilled for them; it's something they've been trying for for about a year now. Maybe it's just because I'm "at that age" (29) but it seems everyone around me is having babies (see previous post). My supervisor & his wife just found out they were expecting a couple of weeks ago as well. The hubby & I plan on trying to join this seemingly ever growing group later this year (pending him getting a freaking job) so it's not like parenthood is something out of reach in my near future. I have other friends (a married couple I've known forever; him since elementary school, her since high school) who are also trying for #2. I secretly hope she gets knocked up around the same time as me so I have a "preggo buddy" to go through the experience with. Am I weird for that? Probably. No, make that definitely.

And as I sit here I'm on my last pack of birth control pills. We'll be practicing Roman Catholics (I'm a confirmed Catholic, though I obviously don't follow all the rules) for a few months until my cycles straighten out & I can start charting. We have sex about once a week as it is so avoiding during the danger period shouldn't be a problem. And of course as I type this I'm thinking in the back of my mind "With your luck you'd be part of that unlucky 15%".

The plan is to start trying to get knocked up (as in "I'm ovulating now, so let me have my way with you!") around Thanksgiving/Christmas; I'd like to be with child by my 30th birthday next April. Ultimately, it's up to the Man Upstairs I guess.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New cousin!


My cousin Kelli had her baby Thursday night, a little girl. They live in Florida so I don't know when I'll get to meet the wee one, but mom, dad & baby are doing fine. My sister (she & Kelli have always been close; they are 2 months apart) is going down next week & promises to take tons of pictures. Yay for babies! Hopefully we'll be able to afford one of our own someday.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank the Lawd it's Friday!

So what's new you ask? Here's a brief recap of the past week:

Vid had part 1 of his sleep study on Wednesday night; part 2 is next week. The clinicians said he was very talkative while they were preparing him. My husband a "Chatty Cathy"? *snicker* He was most concerned with getting random patches shaved out of his chest hair; thankfully, minimal "manscaping" was required.

He had an interview on Wednesday & another today. He is now working closely with the career center where he got his Masters degree so maybe that will help him find a freakin' job.

In wedding news, I had my second dress fitting last night; just a few alterations. I found that the chocolate melts I need to make the favors are about 1/2 the price online as they were in the craft stores so I ordered them. Plus, I need to pay off the cake. Let's just say although I complain about being poor an awful lot, the next few weeks are going to be a financial challenge. I'm just focusing on the positive, such as the checks we will get from relatives! Go ahead & call me greedy; that's the one Bridezzilla thing I've said ever!

I haven't heard back from my dream job yet but haven't lost complete hope either. I sent them a thank you note & got an e-mail reply acknowledging it. The e-mail also said they had left messages for my references & asked for a writing sample which I gladly gave. In the meantime I'll spend the weekend wondering when I'll hear back & going over in my head the wonderful day that will be when I get to give my 2 weeks notice to my current employer. If I don't get it, I may cry; no, I will.

Now it's time to go pick up hubby from the commuter train. Then, it's time for pina coladas at home!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How could I forget?


They had their 4th trip to the US embassy today & finally got their visas approved. They arrive on 6/8 & will be here for a month. Now DH really needs to get a job so they don't drive him nuts. He is teetering between being thrilled to see them after almost 6 years & a sense of dread that all they will do is yell at him for not having a job; poor dear. "Oh, God", followed by muttering under the breath in Tamil is what I have been hearing as hubby paces the halls lately.

His parents will be staying mostly with his sister up in NH & traveling a bit around before the wedding. I can't wait to meet them finally & hope they don't drive DH to tears at the same time. And they better not ruin MY DAAAAAYYY. For cereal, if they pull any "Why didn't you marry a good Tamil girl" crap I will go ninja on their a$$es.

Just got back from the interview

I don't know what to think. The current director seems to really want me (it pays to know people I guess) but she kind of warned me about the founder of the organization being a difficult person to work with. I must say she was right; I was talked over several times in the interview. Why ask a question when you have no intention of listening to the answer? Anyways, I still think it'd be an interesting job & a great resume builder; getting your foot in the proverbial door is such a tough thing with NGOs. And apparently finding a French speaker has been a problem; this obscure skill may play into my favor. They said they hope to have a decision by the end of the month & the start date would be sometime in July. Hopefully the hubby gets something with health insurance soon so if I do get an offer I can accept as the health insurance is very minimal. I'm hopeful but trying not to be overly hopeful. I'm really looking forward to the day when I get to post something happy on here!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am so sick of hospitals

My grandpa S (dad's dad) was sent to the ER from his endocrinologist's office this afternoon. My mom & dad are currently waiting in the ER for him to be admitted to the hospital. His legs are super swollen, his sugars are off & he sounds "fluidy". They are leaning towards either congestive heart failure or pneumonia, neither of which are good for a man of 80. This means I will probably be stopping by to see him post-interview tomorrow since the building's just a few blocks away. Uh; when will it ever end?! I want some good news for a change.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Good news coupled with bad news (per usual)


First, the good: I have an in-person interview for the job I posted about previously! It's on Wednesday afternoon 5/21 so I will be coming down with a mysterious illness that day & calling out of work. Bonus: the current director knows my undergrad advisor who I know will give me a good reference. Please, God, please!

The bad: Vid failed his road test. Seriously, I am so pissed. He's had numerous driving lessons that I've paid good money for even though I really can't afford it. He gets so nervous when driving with me I've all but given up on teaching him and honestly, gas is too expensive for me to drive him around for no reason. What really sucks is what errands I do run tend to be over the line in Massachusetts where he can't drive because they don't honor RI learning permits. So now he has to call the DMV & get a busy signal for 4 days to reschedule the test. And no I am not making that up; when he called to schedule this one it took him 4 days to get a real live person on the other end.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I *fuzzy pink heart* my coordinator!

S. is such a nice lady to being with, but she is doing me such a huge favor I want to hug her, squeeze her & name her George.

Background: S. knows how much the hubby's unemployment has been weighing on me lately after almost 6 months. I've also been upfront about the fact if he doesn't get something in the area & soon we are looking elsewhere & I will be following him since, as an engineer, he makes more than double what I do when actually working. Let's just say she doesn't want to have to replace me considering how long it took to find someone to fill my position.

So S. was talking to her hubby one day & mentioned out tale of woe. S.'s hubby is also an engineer who works for a company my hubby applied to back in February but never heard anything back from them. He has been there for like 30 years & is buddies with the owner.

To make a long story short, I forwarded my hubby's resume to S. who then forwarded it to her hubby who e-mailed back with their home phone # saying to call him to set up a time to meet. So Vid is meeting/interviewing with S.'s hubby on Monday.

Whether or not anything comes of this, who knows? But it just goes to show you it's who you know when looking for a job, not what you know. Anywho, I really do *fuzzy pink heart* my coordinator!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

St. Cajetan, pray for us


I sent my CV a month ago & didn't honestly think I'd get an interview for it given how much HR sucks in most places. Lo and behold, the person who currently has this job is the one who screened the CV's, which may explain why I'm actually being interviewed & not passed up for someone's cousin. It would be so nice to have a position that actually uses my educational background & is intellectually stimulating! For those who don't know, I'm wrapping up my MA in Medical Anthropology with a specialization in African Studies so this is literally my dream job. My interview is @ 10am on Friday. Vidya also has another interview on Monday. Here's the job posting:

The Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS (GAIA) Vaccine Foundation is seeking a highly motivated, organized, and committed individual to serve as the Director of US operations on a part time basis. GAIA is directly involved in the support and implementation of HIV education, treatment, and prevention programs in Bamako, Mali.

This person is responsible for the operational and financial activities that sustain the organization. Daily responsibilities include: interfacing with staff in Mali; processing and translating financial data locally and from Mali; translating important documents, monthly reports, and clinical data; organizing Board of Director activities; and carrying light administrative duties.

The Director is responsible for the management of funds and the daily accounting operations. The Director will lead efforts in fundraising from sources such as our World AIDS Day benefit and symposium, corporate and foundation grants, and individual donors. The Director will coordinate and provide direction to student volunteers, interns, and associated staff. The Director will work directly with the Scientific coordinator.

The Director will also have the opportunity for travel in West Africa and to health related conferences around the world.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience. We encourage soon to be graduated or recently graduated individuals to apply. This position is an ideal stepping-stone to graduate school or medical school.

Qualifications:
-BA/MA in anthropology, community health, or related field
-Strong facility with MS Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
-Working knowledge or the willingness to learn QuickBooks accounting software
-High quality writing and communication skills
-A willingness to work odd and long hours when necessary
-A commitment to global development and grassroots activism
-Multi-tasking abilities
-Highly effective organizational skills
-Competence in French
-Familiarity with public health and development interventions
-The ability to think conceptually, creatively, and strategically
-The capacity to set goals and follow through
-Experience with grant writing
-Keen attention to detail

It's almost too perfect. It's actually only a part time job but with weird hours since I have to be in contact with Mali (5 hours ahead of us). Still, with a slight cut in pay & not having drive all over hell & creation like I do now, I may actually end up making more @ GAIA. Of course, that's if I even get the job. God knows simply having an interview isn't a guarantee of employment or Vidya's have a dozen jobs by now. Anyways, let's hope for the best.

PS
St. Cajetan (a.k.a. St. Gaetanus) is the patron saint of job seekers: http://saints.sqpn.com/saintc31.htm

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vent

Vidya is obviously still unemployed, otherwise the title of this entry would be "Alleluia!" After 5 months of looking in New England, we're now starting to seriously look in other areas of the country. Vidya has some old colleagues from grad school on the West Coast he's contacted for job leads. We are both so incredibly stressed it's putting a strain on our relationship; I feel like I'm going to burst into tears several times per day. I just pray something happens for him job-wise soon; I have no idea what we would do if any major unplanned expense came up. All I can say is thank God for my parents letting us stay with them for the time being.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Green is my new favorite color

Vidya has been awarded a provisional green card, meaning he can now apply for work anywhere. This is especially great news since as an engineer he needs special security clearance to work in many places. Also, since with the H1B anyone who hired him would have to spend thousands in legal fees; as a permanent resident he's "free". Now he has to get a "biometric scan" & we will be scheduled for an interview so they can make sure our marriage is legitimate (with his snoring, I must love him to marry him!) before he gets the permanent green card. So, hopefully this will mean he gets a job in his actual field sooner than later so we can move out of my parents' house & on with life. With all the bad stuff that's been going on the past month or so, this good news is most welcome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life continues to suck


We just got back from the vets with Romeo. Vidya was walking him when a neighbor on the next street's pit bull came charging out of their house and lept on our dog's hind quarters. Vidya managed to free him with the help of a passer by and took him home, trembling all the way. I had just gotten out of work and was driving home when my mom called to let me know she took him to the vets to be checked out. He's relatively ok; he has a few puncture wounds which they are giving him antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to help with the swelling. The neighbor will be getting the bill for this, rest assured. What else could go wrong? I am so sick of every post here being bad news!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grandma died this morning


At least her suffering is over. We've been holding vigil at her bedside for the past 3 days. The funeral is Saturday, which happens to be both my mother's & my birthday. Right now we're calling family & friends to let them know; quite the daunting task given her huge Irish Catholic family. All I can think about right now is the empty seat I'll have to look at at my wedding in June; it's going to be hard not to tear up. RIP, grandma; you're in a better place now.
(in the photo: grandma at Christmas dinner 2007 on the far left)