Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bon Jovi Concert

When you think of New Jersey, what comes to mind (aside from cheaper gas prices and bad signage/drivers)?


The Bon Jovi "because we can" concert was fantastic.  I had great seats in the club area, the night was perfect (this was important because the MetLife Stadium is open), Bon Jovi's voice was amazing and the stage was unbelievable.

What is even better is his personality.  I've seen quite a few concerts that the music was great, but the performer was there to earn a paycheck...it was all business.  Bon Jovi was different; when he saw the crowd react to the songs, he smiled ear to ear...but you saw it grow, it was 100% real and he look both surprised and honored at the same time that the crowd was pleased.

Do you remember before cell phones, you couldn't bring a camera into a concert?  Back in high school and college I paid a few dollars for a picture of the group.  But now we can take our own.

The set list was a good mix...I knew most of them, I didn't know "whole lot of leaving going on" but I really loved it and will download it for my play lists. There were a few others I didn't know, but they were all great.

To avoid major traffic leaving the stadium, we left during the encore...I should have searched for the set list before hand to get a better idea, so we missed a song or two, but heard the finale of the encore 1 and the first song from the encore 2 from the parking lot.

Set List (from setlist.fm)
  1. (w/ "Jumpin' Jack Flash" & "Start Me Up")
  2. (w/ "Old Time Rock and Roll")
  3. Encore:
  4. Encore 2:

Monday, July 29, 2013

it isn't about missing him

I am still having these insane thoughts about ManFriend.  I certainly don't miss him, but I find myself having conversations in my head.

As I am scrambling to the train, walking fast, I think, if I saw ManFriend and he wanted to stop and say hello, I'd blow him off saying I was late meeting up with someone, yes bozo, a man, who else would I walk this fast for?

Sometimes I think maybe he still has a key and when he is up visiting his family with his new lady at his side...because yes of course she will meet them when I didn't, that he'd stop here thinking it was vacant and I'd be sitting on the couch eating my pint of ice cream (no, I don't really do that) and he'd think he has it better than me, and make me feel horrible that I am still alone and clearly miserable without him...even though I am eating that ice cream because it is hot.

Unfortunately living in the same apartment he did, I am still getting junk mail in his name.  I will probably for 5 years.  I can't escape it.

I can only hope that I haunt his thoughts as well.  Every time he lights those candle I got him during the hurricane, puts on the survivor bracelet that I had made for him, puts a book on the bookshelf that was mine, puts his feet up on the coffee table that was mine, spends money in the grocery store because I used to buy him groceries, when he eats another woman's food and isn't as yummy as mine was, after parties he doesn't get leftovers...and remembers how great that was that I gave him piles of food, if he attends bar trivia and sucks...he'd remember that we came close quite a few times, that he new breasts he plays with aren't as big and delicious as mine, and that another woman isn't picking up fast enough how he likes his sex, etc.

It isn't about me missing him.  It isn't about a heartache.  And it isn't about revenge.  It is about him knowing that he played me and treated me like crap intentionally and feeling a little bad about it and me wanting him to realize that.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

should have went to Africa

I decided this year I needed a vacation...I told myself I deserved a vacation.  I haven't been away for a personal trip in quite some time, I'd say my last 'vacation' was with Doofy in Mexico, what was that, 3 years ago? maybe 4?  And I wouldn't say that was a relaxing few days.

I originally signed up for a 15 day trip to India, but that didn't pan out, part of me was relieved because that was quite a bit of money.  I was also eyeing some of the Groupon escapes, quite a bit of great deals out there to some amazing places...but I felt like I couldn't commit to a place or a time even though they were so reasonable.  How to decide between an African safari, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru, Europe or the Middle East?  I want to go everywhere.

But, I wanted to go with someone I knew and experience it with someone else...so instead, I reached out to a friend I don't see often but who I get along really well with, but even more importantly, that I know we travel well together.  I've been talking about Yellowstone National Park to be my next National Park I saw for the last few years...it was time to make that a reality.

Originally we spoke about going for about a week, so I started doing research.  Many in-park hotels were already sold out.  And flight prices kept going up and up and up.  I waited two and a half weeks before booking my flight because the flight prices never went down.  I wasn't expecting such a high cost flight.  Right there I should have known this trip was going to be expensive...but I figured I'd be splitting most of the costs with my friend, making it not so bad.

After weeks of research and looking at maps, an itinerary was set.  I love lists, I love knowing where I am going, and I love not scrambling around at the last minute wasting time and trying to figure out where to go.  I started to become very excited, so many great things to see and hikes to walk.  I couldn't wait to get away.  I wanted to clear my head and spend time with nature, seeing and experiencing things I normally don't.

Unfortunately, my friend was not able to make it for as long as I was going to be there.  She was fortunate to get a great new job and needs to start working...just bad timing, but life happens, and I am so thrilled that something better came along for her and hopefully other life things will fall into place for her.  So all those costs I thought was going to be in half, are not.  I just added up all the hotels (they aren't even nice ones...below my 'regular' standards, you know the ones that you might not sleep a wink because you skived out and worry about bugs) and transportation and that is already $1,400+.  That doesn't include baggage fees, entertainment, food, gas and one night hotel in an expensive city that I still need to get.  So I am guessing a trip to Yellowstone & Grand Teton will be running me about  $2,000 - $2,500.  Plus of course I needed to get a better camera, hiking boots, and maybe a pair of shorts and a few long sleeve shirts.

That is a domestic 7 1/2 day trip...I keep thinking about those international Groupons.  For a few hundred more I could have seen elephants, giant turtles or amazing architecture.

But, I will be seeing geysers and mountains, and even camping for two nights (so glad I did that one night camping last September!).  On days that my friend won't be there I've filled my days with some great activities that you will soon read about.  I don't want to spoil the suspense.

I am really looking forward to getting away and even though this vacation is pricier than I would have liked, I will be leaving with memories and relaxation...and that is all that really matters.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I hosted my first BBQ for the first time this past weekend.  Since I live in an apartment, I don't have outdoor space...but I found a way around it, I borrowed my sister's deck & grill.  I don't know why it took me so long to even think about that solution.

I invited a handful of people, only a few showed up...but those that did are great friends and I am happy it was a nice intimate but relaxing lunch.

I prepped the food but had my friend's husband actually grill it.  I don't have a lot of grill experience since I don't have one.  I would probably overcook the food...I would eat it, but I don't think others would. It was so nice that he took over and I didn't have to worry.

So we all just sat and talked and a few people met for the first time.

One of the ladies mentioned that I 'have some life' as we were chatting about upcoming trips.  I am usually jealous of everyone else's lives....their marriage, that they had kids 'early on', trips they've taken, stay at home, work part time, work at cool job, make a lot of money, etc.  I struggle so much that I have deprived myself of any real 'fun' in a long time and now finally now - I am saying "f*ck it...time to enjoy life!"  And I feel great (big change from last month) and I have things to look forward to.  Part of me is happy that this lady is a little jealous of me...who would have thought.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

stay with a stranger

When I was in Indianapolis, I met this guy at a work reception.  Actually, he approached my group.  We chatted for only 5 minutes or so but the conversation led to an exchange in business cards at which time I looked at his and found out he lived where I will soon be vacationing.  I told him I'd email him closer to my vacation date.

As my trip plans started to solidify, I emailed him saying I'd be in his town these particular two nights, and if he still wanted to get together I gave my cell phone number and said I'd call that day.  He responded he'd love to get together, and if I'd like to save a few bucks I could stay at his house.


But then I remembered, I've offered out of towners to stay at my house if they are ever in the NYC area...totally innocent, like "I have a couch and am close to the train into NYC".

Why then did I worry that the invitation would imply sex?  Because it is reverse...men are always thinking about sex.  But that isn't a fair assumption.  And I do always think about rape and murder, I don't trust strangers immediately.

I haven't replied back to this man yet, but I am 90% thinking I'd get a hotel room.  I don't do casual sex and even though a one night stand is on my bucket/sex list...I know his last name so he isn't really a true one night stand (if it were even to get that far).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

weekend trip to New Hampshire

I was able to cross New Hampshire off my bucket list.  My sister & I went up there for 3 days.  On Thursday we went to Water Country Water Park.  The park had a variety of slides and pools that our six hours there flew by.

From there we drove a little bit down to Hampton Beach where we rented a room in some beach motel.  The motel was typical beach motel...a little yucky, but the convenience to the beach was great.  The beach got pretty busy, but we had our space and the water was so calm.  The first day the water was a bit sea-weedy and the second day the water had some ocean bugs, but really this was a great beach and we spent a decent amount of time in the ocean.
Since I was there with a seven year old...I also spent a little time making sand things including a boat and a castle.  We also looked for sea creatures and played on the rocks.  I should have played with him more...but I also just needed time to relax because the last few months have been so stressful.

The 'boardwalk' they mention isn't a boardwalk in the sense the shops are on a walk made from wood...but their main street had the typical tourist beach things...convenience stores, fake tattoos, shirt imprints, arcades, restaurants, boogy boards and ice cream.  They have a stage and play live music in the summer, a playground, and they have movie nights and other activities.  One evening we ate dinner on the fourth floor of a restaurant overlooking the ocean and then we stopped in the arcade.  The seven year old I was with is kinda easy going...for five dollars we spent a good 45 minutes in the arcade playing the 25 cent games, and he was very happy with his airflyer and army men he won with the tickets.  People up there were nice too...this man kept giving us tickets he won because he was just playing for fun, it made the little guy so happy, things like make me smile.  

The second evening we went to the L.L. Bean outlet in town, had dinner at a mom & pop kind of place and then played mini golf at Captain Cove's Adventure Golf.  The 7 year old got three hole in ones....and ended up winning the game with 49 points.

If you ever feel insecure about your body...go to a public beach.  I felt I was being visually responsible.  I am not skinny and even felt a little insecure in my tankini, but I was there with a 7 year old and felt it was appropriate..and I was so burnt that I needed more of my body covered by the end.  So many men and women were wearing much smaller suits and most of the time the people were larger than me.  Also, what is with all the mix-matched bikinis?  I saw quite a bit white tops with random color bottoms...or completely different color pieces.  I usually buy the set...not two random pieces.  I guess going forward it is something to consider, maybe even save me money getting whatever is on sale.

Monday, July 22, 2013

need & wants of people

After my breakdown last month, my life coach suggested I write a list about what I need & expect from people that cause me stress.  here is my homework.

I love lists, so why not give this a try.

Wantto feel a need or a desire for; wish for
Needa requirement, necessary duty, or obligation

What I want from a lover                                    What I need from a lover
*faithfulness                                                             *honesty
*honesty                                                                  *faithfulness
*a little romance                                                       *to feel comfortable around them
*reassurance                                                            *my family to like them
*emotional support                                                   *to like his family & friends
*happiness                                                               *companionship
*appreciation                                                           *love
*to be told they desire me                                         *adventure
*slightly more outgoing than me                                 *conversation
*encourage me to try new things/better myself           *to say thank you or show thanks
*to call/return call in timely manner                               in small ways
*value my time                                                      *respectful of others
                                                                                 *understands my fear
                                                                                 *to do things together

What I want from friends                                       What I need from friends
*to do things with                                                     *emotional support
*understanding that single life is different                    *no stupid excuses
  than theirs                                                               *to get together socially
*to call/return call in timely manner                             *respectful of others
*value my time                                                          *gratitude
*motivate me to do better                                          *time
*similar values                                                           *not to judge me
*similar sense of humor                                             *keep secrets
*no peer pressure
*no back stabbing, not overly gossipy
*similar interests
*gives good advice
*understands my fears
*can disagree with me w/o ruining friendship
*honest (food in teeth, dress makes me look fat, etc)
*to be set up on a blind date?

What I want from family                                       What I need from family
*understanding                                                         *understanding (single at 30
*to hang out, sometimes without the kids                     vs their lives)
*trust, don't doubt my answers                                  *to be treated as an adult
*not everything revolves around the kids                    *more decisiveness

These lists are just the beginning....soon I'll have to make my needs/wants/expectations known because having my needs met means I will be happier and less stressed.  I am a realist...I know broaching these subjects softly and maybe even slowly will needed and I am not going to discount someone just because they can't fulfil all my needs...But seriously, I am just tired of the way I let people treat me, it isn't right, and I am ready to stand up for myself and be a little more assertive.  baby steps.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

where'd it go?

You know that I have a bug phobia.  My first morning in the apartment a centipede greeted me in the bathroom.  i did what I had to do, and I left the bathroom/apartment for the day because I had plans.  I knew full well leaving the bug alive it would either greet me somewhere else or not be seen for days/weeks if at all.

Two days pass without a sighting, then I spot it, dead up against the bedroom wall.  I know I didn't kill it, so I was hoping if my tenant had the exterminator spray, that maybe some of those chemicals were still working...but I am not sure if he ever had the exterminator over.  

I did't pick up the bug.  Instead, I left it there.  I have an issue with not only killing a bug, but also picking it up, knowing that it is in my hand or between my fingers in toilet paper....no thank you.  

Every day when I got home from work or when I woke up, I made sure that the bug was still there.  I watched the centipede change colors. It went from a brown-tan to something darker, to brown, to black.  It shriveled up.  It sort of looked like a small hairball.

When I woke up on day 7, the black pile of bug was gone.  I had the ceiling fan on so I wondered if it was blown slightly to the side.  I looked around. I was a little freaked out...walking slowly, looking around, waiting to be scared when it surprised me.  But it wasn't there.  It wasn't anywhere.  Where did it go?

My two theories are 1)  that in the heat, after 7 days it disintegrated.  Unlikely.  and 2) a bigger, stronger bug came and took it away.  Theory two seems more plausible and more scary for me.  Now I creep around the apartment on the lookout...where will this big bug be?  I hope he found his way back outside.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

uncontaminated for future husband

How often do you get STD tested? I started getting it done after I found out about SI's mistress.  I was still occasionally sleeping with SI, and I eventually started to sleep with other people...and who knows where they have been, so I started getting tested once a year, until about 2 years ago.  All results have always been negative.  While my sexual partner number is low, I am not a very good safe sex person...the only person I sort of use condoms with is Cop#1, and that is more to prevent pregnancy because he only puts it on at the end.  When ManFriend told me he gave my earrings to another woman...I got nervous.  A year and a half ago he told me the number of sexual partners he had in his 42 1/2 years was as high as 150+...(at first a shocking number for me, but since he has about 3-8 minutes of sex...I can see why women didn't last long).  Anyway, I had no idea if he was sleeping with other people or not during our year and a half 'relationship'...and clearly, once he moved, he wasted no time finding other women to have sex with him.  What did this mean for me?  I convinced myself I contracted something.  Because what kind of woman takes other's earrings...probably one that is skanky or dirty.  I thought I felt funny down there.  I had to have blood tests for my doctor, so I asked if she could tack on STD tests.

After my blood tests, I was eagerly awaiting my results.  I kept having thoughts, what if one/some of the STD results came back positive?  Would I text/call ManFriend to tell him he infected me?  Would it be curable?  I was really stressing myself out.

I log into my healthcare group and look for my lab results.  The results are listed.  I open the first one.  HIV, negative.  Phew.  Although honestly, I wasn't as worried about this one, although I probably should have been.  Next I found the results for syphilis, even though it is curable in the early stages, this one still worried me.  But, the results were negative. Phew.  Last was herpes.  I was the most worried about this because it is so common, most people don't even realize they have it and worse, there is no cure...if I had this, I'd have it forever...one thing I was so worried about and told ManFriend I didn't want him to blemish my sexual  health - and I had this conversation with him a few times early in our relationship, but yet, we didn't have protected sex at all.  Herpes 1 - positive.  Herpes 2 - negative.  I think I forgot to breathe, I was stunned.  Did I have herpes?  I was at work when I looked at my results and I didn't want to google search which 1 or 2 was.  But I couldn't wait until I got home, I ended up searching for it.  Herpes 2 was genital herpes, the worse one...thank god that was negative!  Herpes 1 is the one associated with cold sores and whatnot.  I still wasn't thrilled about this, especially because I didn't realize I had anything going on.  My doctor was on vacation so I had to keep waiting for her to call to review this. I had questions!  Finally she called.  She said that the positive herpes 1 test just meant that at some point in my life I was in contact with this virus or had a cold sore (which I did back in high school), but at this particular moment in time, there was no evidence of the virus.  unfortunately, this result will always be positive, but at least I know not to freak out again in the future.

I have a high deductive insurance plan, meaning I have to pay out of pocket all medical bills until I meet my deductible of $1,500 in network...and while these tests costs a bit of money...at least now I can sleep at night knowing that I have zero need to talk to ManFriend, but more importantly, I am healthy and uncontaminated for my future husband.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

I have WHAT?

I like to be scratched.  There are phases I go through that once someone scratches me, I want more and even more the next day.  Bodies are weird like that, craving things. But then the cravings stop or you don't have it, and then it forgets.

One day I am so itchy, I need scratching.  But the itching isn't in the usual places, it is my toes and under my boobs.  The itching lasts days. It is mostly itchy at night.  I can't sleep.  I start to wonder if it is some new kind of bodily craving.

But, it turns out as I am complaining about it one night to the guy next to me, he was also itchy.  I start to wonder if we have some sort of rash, but what?.  Since it lasted days which turned into weeks, we finally went to the doctor.

I am not sure if he had health insurance at the time or not, but he either goes to the doctor before me or he just knew what it was.  After I looked up what it was....I freaked out.  I have WHAT?

I went to my regular doctor.  He recommended to see a dermatologist.  I  told him that wasn't necessary, that we believed it was scabies, and I just needed a prescription.  The doctor was very hesitant, he said no one gets that anymore.  I asked for the prescription anyway, and he wrote it.

Of all people to get scabies, it is the person who is terrified of bugs.  That is essentially what it is, these little bugs that are crawling around under your skin.  They get restless/wake up when you are trying to go to sleep.

The medicine eventually worked, but every time I itched and even when I didn't, I just kept thinking about how disgusting it was that I had bugs in my body.  I also had to wash the bed sheets, towels and our clothes in hot water every day.

I had to ask the guy, where did you get this from?  He blamed this guy he was renting an apartment to, one of his friends.  But the truth was it was from his mistress.  How they got it, I have no idea. I don't think I want to know.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

sexually cranky

How long is it before you get sexually cranky?  It is now 4 weeks since I've gotten laid, and I am starting to get a little cranky.  I know there is an adjustment period that you go through before you don't even realize it anymore, but I am not there yet. 

I am not sure why I am cranky, having sex for 3 minutes over the last year+ isn't really sex...but at least I had amazing kissing and intimacy.

In fact, desperate times calls for desperate measures.  I reached out to Cop#1 to see if he'd be interested in a denise relapse.  I know he isn't the best choice because of his situation...but he is the best choice for my satisfaction and really, for me, right now, that is what I need.  

Hopefully something more permanent will come my way soon.


Friday, July 12, 2013

my life on pause

Today?  4 years ago?  How do I know the difference?  My life seems to be almost the same.  I am living in the same place, I work in the city and I am still single.  Sure little things have changed.  The apartment is slightly decorated different, I have a different car, and I have a different job in the city but really, it is all the same.  I still read, I still like to check things off my bucket list, I still don't have too many friends.

I look mostly the same too.  My hair is growing out and it is becoming a bit more grey, but you'd easily recognize me.  Maybe I gained a few sunspots/freckles.  I even have a lot of the same clothes and shoes in my closet.

I still have a mortgage and student loans.  The one thing that changed is that my credit card debt is less, or maybe at 4 years ago it wasn't high, I don't remember.

When you don't see someone for a while, and they are like "what's new/going on" I hesitate. I want to make something up that sounds fantastic.  But I don't do the lying thing.  Nothing.  Nothing has really changed since I saw you.  How depressing is that?

I am not sure if my life is on super slow motion, because it is taking so long for things to change, or if it is on pause because the little things are so insignificant.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

ABCs of Dating

Adventure.  Not only is dating an adventure, but you should be a bit adventurous.  Try something new.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Experience new things together.  Make memories.

Breakup when the time is right.  Don't drag it out and don't mislead the other person.  Don't be childish and don't pick a fight just have the other person end it because it is easier that way. Act like an adult...more than likely the other person won't be completely surprised.

Conversations.  It is imperative that you talk easily with the other person...and more importantly that there is a little substance in the conversation. Talking about nothing all the time gets boring and losing interest is a possibility.

Dates.  Don't stick with just dinner, vary it up!  There are some fantastic free things to do together and there are many over the top date ideas.  Select dates that fall in the range.  It gets boring to do the same thing all the time.

Effort.  Put a little effort into how you look.  Not only will you feel better about yourself and gain confidence that you look good, but the other person will notice and appreciate it.  I know after dating for a while, you loose the desire to do this, but do it at least every once in a while.

Flowers and/or cards go a long way to show someone you care about them.

Genuine.  Be yourself.  If you are pretending, it will eventually come out and you can't pretend forever.  When you are genuine you tend to be more fun and relaxed because you aren't trying to impress anyone so you aren't constantly 'on', trying to remember how to win someone over, or keeping up with lies is a lot of work.

Honest.  There is no reason to lie, be truthful and honest.  Build a relationship on honesty.  And don't cheat and lie, just be honest and break up - save the person the unnecessary heartache.

Intimate.  A relationship needs intimacy.  Kiss.  Cuddle.  Sex.  Sit knee to knee.  Eye contact.  Caress.

Judge...don't judge the other person based on first impressions.  She might seem standoffish, but in reality she might just have a lot on her mind and is looking for you.  He might look like a meat-head, but he might be really smart and have substance.  Give it a try, at least once.  What do you have to loose?  A few hours?  Better than sitting home alone.

Kissing is so intimate and necessary in a relationship.

Love. Only say 'I love you' when you mean it - and not too soon where it will freak the other person out.  Don't hold it against the other person if they don't say it right after you.  You'll know they love you too, but saying it for the first time could be a little hard.

Messages.  Everyone loves to feel desired and thought about.  Sending a message, whether a text, email or phone saying you are thinking about them or are really looking forward to your date later that evening or that you had a nice time out or that you can't wait to get naked again - it will make the other person smile.

Night away.  The first night away means a lot.  It means you are ready to see if there is even more potential there.  Can you travel well together? Will the quiet lulls in conversation be normal or intimidating?  Will the person's personality change in different locations?

Outings.  It is important to get out of the house! Go do things together.

Pay the bill.  As old fashioned as I am, I don't think the man should always pay the bill - but he should on the first date.  Other dates, I think, should take turns - maybe not one-to-one, but offer and be willing to go through with it.  You might be spending many years with that person....they aren't going to pay for everything, so get used to it now.  Take some responsibility! Especially if it is a date you arrange.

Questions...ask them!  Everyone loves to talk about themselves, but especially in a new relationship it is important to ask questions, and hopefully a little specific questions.  I hate those broad "tell me about yourself" questions...where do I start? I can't think that fast.  I might be different, but I to be asked more direct and specific questions.

Romance.  People say they don't need romance, but everyone likes a little bit of romance. It makes you feel special and loved.  It makes you smile.

Surprise the other person.  It doesn't need to get expensive or be elaborate.  It can be doing something or making something you remember the other person said they liked.  It could be ordering them soup when they are sick or a surprise date.

Trim your body hair.  No one likes an ape or a wild jungle.

Undress each other.  Constantly taking off your own clothes and hopping into bed looses that rush and excitement; it is more routine.  Undress your partner, fast because of the urgency to be intimate or slowly and savor what is before you.

Voice your opinion - even if it is different.  We like to know that you are your own person and won't always agree with us.  It shows you know what you value, what you like, and even that you might be passionate about something.

Wait more than 4 dates to have sex with someone you see a potential relationship with.  This time will let you know if you are attracted to them, have something in common and most importantly, it will allow your body to start to crave that other person.

X aka ex, as in what the person might become if the relationship doesn't last.

Yell. You don't always need to be quiet in bed.  When the moment is right, make some noise.

Zealous.  A feeling you should have in a relationship, one of enthusiasm, intensity and passion.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

addicted to cards

Both of my parents worked, so when I wasn't feeling well I was brought to my grandmother's house.  My grandmother had problems of her own, but she made sure we had soup and crackers.  She is also the person who taught me and my little sister to play cards.  We learned Rummy and eventually Rummy 500 as well as memory, go fish, crazy eights, solitaire and clock solitaire.

I was soon addicted to cards.  Actually, I think all my sisters loved to play cards.  Some of my fondest memories was me and my sisters sitting around the table playing Rummy 500.   And even now, many years later, we try to have a few 'sister nights' where we'll play cards or a board game. If we play cards it is either Rummy 500 still or Phase 10, which is what we've played more often in the last 7 years.

I don't need other people either, a few years ago I became addicted to spider solitaire, but haven't played that in about 2 years.  Maybe I'll start back up again tonight. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

summer bbq fun

This past weekend I helped to plan a BBQ with my favorite family.  The party was the result of our March Madness brackets - and I was in the loser half which meant I had to plan, buy, prep, cook and serve the food to the winners in addition to providing some sort of entertainment.

I used luckypotluck.com to enter the items that I wanted the other losers to do.  It worked out really well with people signing up for items and taking control of certain parts of the day.

I also hosted a houseparty that got to sample Redd's Apple Ale. The ale tasted a bit like apple juice / apple cider, it was pretty good, but I wouldn't drink a lot of them at once.  Party favors included bottle openers and those foam bottle things that catches the condensation.

The lunch menu was typical BBQ - hamburgers & hot dogs with the typical sides.  The dinner menu included chicken or beef kabobs and ribs.  I wanted to do something a little different (there was a rub, a marinade and homemade BBQ sauce), so the ribs I made for the BBQ I made only once before when I lived in NJ and had a BBQ but I remember everyone loving them...and they did this time around too.  I was happy since this crew could be picky eaters.

First, we honored the winners with winner medals - making them feel even more special.  The losers were all identified by our matching outfits.

For the 'entertainment' portion of the party, my sister and I planned a team relay race that included 6 tasks:  potato sack race, swim a lap, hula hoop 5 times, transferring water from bucket to bucket, building a Lego tower on a plate that you hold while balancing on one foot and finally picking out 23 cherries from a pie.  Since there were about 12 people for each team, these tasks were done twice and the game ended with a puzzle of which the pieces were given upon completion of each task.  The 'winners' won the relay race by just a few seconds.

The rest of the day & night were spent talking to each other and having a great time.  I am glad our friends had a pool because it was unbelievably hot.

Monday, July 8, 2013

making sushi

 As soon as I saw the Groupon for a sushi making class, I knew I had to go.

When we arrived at the restaurant offering the class, they had shirts set out for us to wear, making the experience even more fun.

The instructor walked us through how to make three rolls:  an avocado, cucumber & asparagus roll (I don't remember the name), a California roll and a spicy tuna roll.  First we spread the rice on the seaweed, then we put the ingredients onto the seaweed then roll up.  He had us cut the roll into 6 pieces, but I think I would have preferred 8 pieces because the 6 pieces were a little big for my tiny mouth.

I did pretty well, the only negatives the instructor said was that my cutting wasn't good and one roll wasn't as tight as it should have been.

After we made each roll, we were able to try them.  I am glad I saved a few because I definitely filled up pretty quickly.  I was actually surprised how much white rice is used...when I see the sushi cut up, it looks like such a small amount of rice, but it was more than I thought

I would like to try this again but with a more complicated roll.  Something to try at home on a rainy day.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

like I never left

I spent the last few days moving some of my stuff over to the apartment.  I didn't want to move everything because that is a lot of work for something that might be temporary.  I bought some furniture because I sold the living room stuff, and I am very happy with the way it looks.  The new furniture has more shelves - so I had to pick up a few things to fill those shelves.  Items at Pier 1 and Home Goods are great...I bought more than I needed, but it was so hard to decide!  The good thing about the larger entertainment area is that I probably can get away with not hanging pictures on the wall.  I have some amazing photos, but I don't want to worry about fixing the holes and paint upon my departure, if my departure is right around the corner.

Being back here is a little weird, but it is like I never left.  I am very comfortable in the apartment but at the same time it brings back memories of the heartache I had from SI and then the awful relationship with ManFriend.  I am sitting on my couch and all I think about is kissing ManFriend because that is where we did the most kissing.  And I smile because the kissing was amazing but I got teary eyes because I remember I am alone again.  This apartment is becoming a recovery zone.

I am looking forward to living alone again.  I do worry about being a little lonely, but that will pass.  But more on my mind is that this is supposed to be temporary, the apartment is still on the market.  I could get an offer at any time.  Am I going to fall in love with the apartment again and not want to leave?  Am I crazy for wanting  to move (I am sure renting a place I like will be more expensive)?  I hate all the uncertainty; I want to be established and I want stability.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Independence Day

I moved my big furniture on July 4th.  So not only was it the country's Independence Day, but it was mine as well.  

Instead of renting a moving truck, my family arranged for a flat bed tow truck to come and get those few big items I have - the king size bed, a couch and a chair. It was an easy move because it was just a few miles...and it was even better for me because I had a few men to do most of the hard work...although everyone was sweating because it was so hot and humid - not the best day to move!

The rest of the small stuff I was bringing over took a few trips back and forth and will continue when I realize I need something else here....but until then it is quite minimal living.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

busy busy

I love being busy, it keeps my mind from thinking too much.  But I've felt so overwhelmed this week with the list of things I need to do in such a short period of time.

Last week I was on a business trip, which resulted in a lot of work that needed to get done in such a short period of time.  Even today, when I took a day off, I did two hours of work in the morning, a few minutes in the afternoon and then again in the evening.

This week is also our local carnival, which I volunteer at.  I hoped to work 4 nights, but I cancelled tonight because there were so many other things I had to do that are more important.

Then there was my 'eviction' that I found out about on Saturday.  So I had to buy some furniture.  I went to IKEA to pick up a few items, but forgot the one item that I went there for.  Grr.  I haven't gotten around to packing anything yet or going through all my boxes in the basement and taking out a few kitchen items & other things I'll need.  I am hoping to assemble some of that IKEA stuff tomorrow and I guess on Friday move the 'small' stuff and on Sunday the big stuff.  Oh right, and I have to get the apartment back in order by Monday because there will be a broker open house on Tuesday.

On top of that, this Saturday I have a big family party that I am planning.  Thank goodness I did most of the planning a month ago because I've neglected this item for the last few weeks.  But today, I went to both Costco and BJ's Wholesale club (and they were insanely crowded) and the supermarket.  I have to go back out on Friday because they ran out of ground beef.  On Friday I also to prepare the food.

And, I have that trip coming up in August that I haven't thought about in weeks.  I wanted to look into it tonight again, but I am too tired to think.

Oh, and my sister asked me to take a few days off so we can do something so that is right around the corner and I have no idea where we are going.  That stresses me out a little because I am a planner.

What else...I've had BBQs, bookclub, doctor appointments, a little kayaking and other outings & events.  The next few weeks and months will be busy too, but I think after next week, several things will be complete, and I'll be busy but not insanely busy and hopefully will have time to blog a little more.