movin' on up...

so my move up to the 12th floor and my new office is complete. it is a bittersweet transition for these reasons:

-sweet: bigger office. MUCH bigger. like 3 times the size. very good. i no longer feel like i am in a closet.
-sweet: carpet! yes! i have carpet instead of yucky institutional tile!
-sweet: bright lights! my boss insisted if they were moving her (and subsequently me) that they were going to do it right, so she ordered the best lights and best ceiling tiles. which may seem trivial to some, but i dig nice, bright white light. especially considering...
-bitter: no windows. ugh. as if i didn't already have a dearth of vitamin d in my life. my old office didn't have a window either, but it had an office behind it which had a window, so i could peek through the doorway or walk in there to catch a little sunshine or a glimpse of the outside world. here, i am in the middle of the building and have no idea where i can find a window (at least, i don't know the people with the offices with windows).
-bitter: i left my girls downstairs! on the seventh floor, i had my pals brie and krystyna to gab with on occasion. i can still go down there when i want, but it's just not the same as walking around the corner.
-bitter: i don't know anyone on this floor. there are two ladies down the hall who i know sort of, but they're older than me, whereas brie and krystyna are much closer to my own age. i'm friendly, though... i'm sure i'll meet plenty of folks in due time. :)
-sweet: i have a nice full-size leather couch in my office. perfect for friends who visit, emergency naps, or reading boring ass grants, or heck, even reading for pleasure during lunch or something. also, i have taken to watching 24 on myspace most tuesdays, so now i can sit back on the couch and turn my monitor that way!

so, i guess tallying it all up, there are more sweet than bitter things about the move. then again, it's only day 2 in the new digs, we'll see how it goes as time goes on!

in other news, bryan and i are on the hunt for furniture for our front living room. this is proving to be more difficult than i expected. i realized i am a picky lady. i have a vague idea of what i want (modern but not overly so, nice but not stuffy, comfy but not overly so since it is the "formal" living room), but nothing we looked at really jumped out at me. we went to 7 furniture stores on saturday and there was nothing that i felt like we absolutely MUST buy. now that i've seen pretty much everything that's out there that's not super expensive, i am hoping we can revisit the couple of stores that seemed the most promising and i'll rediscover something i've already seen as the set that we actually will buy. we shall see.

of course, starting this week bryan will be working longer hours and more weekends, as it is outage season and he'll have to be at work making sure things are running smoothly. (well, i think that's what he does, generally. :) ) so who knows when the actual furniture buying will happen. i'm really hoping to have it in the house in time for the grammer/klinger birthday extravaganza on april 7... keep your fingers crossed!


becoming julia child

so i may have already told you this, but a while back, i realized the problem with me cooking is that i never could decide what to cook. i used to arrive home after work and stare into the freezer trying to decide if defrosting meat would be worth it, and what would i do with it anyway once it was ready to cook. for a couple of months, i've been picking out several recipes before each grocery trip and buying the ingredients so that i know exactly what i'll be cooking over the next week or so. this has worked out rather nicely. i have subscriptions to both cooking light magazine and real simple, and own several cookbooks, along with the box full of recipes i got at my bridal showers.

i have always liked to cook, but i feel like i'm on my way to becoming the next julia child. i really got into this past season of top chef on bravo, and even asked bryan to get me a gift certificate to sur la table for christmas, where you can go do various cooking classes. and now, i get excited about cooking the recipes i've selected.

for example, on sunday night i made sirloin steak with tarragon-garlic sour cream, over pan fried potatoes. it was pretty good, if i do say so myself. then monday, i drooled the whole bus ride home over my planned menu: homemade chicken pot pie. and honies, it did not disappoint! in fact, i ate so much felt sick. :)

of course, my excellent cooking skills are periodically interrupted during the week, as bryan and i are both addicted to chipotle, and we must have it at least once a week. plus we do tend to eat out a fair bit on the weekends in particular. but i went to the grocery store on wednesday and have big plans for french onion soup, pork chops with tomato-sage pan sauce, mahi mahi with a citrus ponzu sauce and chicken enchiladas with salsa verde. (the enchiladas give me a chance to make my guacamole, which i must say is pretty good!)

also, i used my gift certificate to sur la table and signed up for a 3-part cooking essentials series. i figure it will be nice to have a professional cook show me how i'm supposed to be cooking this stuff, and then i can move on to culinary divinity from there. :) those classes start march 8 and run three thursdays in a row. i am very excited!!

you'd think from this blog that i'm hungry right now, but the opposite is true. in the past two days i've eaten way too much (my coworkers and i went to a great italian restaurant for lunch yesterday to get out of the office). but with all those recipes waiting to be cooked, i think a lot about what sort of masterpiece i can create in the kitchen next! :)


ok, i'm done with winter.

well, i was really pulling for a good old fashioned snow day here in the RIC, but it appears that is not happening. and so, i've given up on winter and am urging spring to come a little sooner. the government appears to be with me since they've decided to move up daylight savings time, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

winter and me don't mix. i am loathe to do anything but lay on the couch and watch tv when it's cold outside. which is why you haven't heard from me in a while--i've either been working or under a blanket on my couch or in the bed! i guess that's not entirely true, though. a few things that have been going on since we last met...
  • one week ago i managed to get a new VCU id card with my real name on it! i'll spare you the other 20 steps that took, just know that it never did get easy. but it happened. next is tackling IT. i am not excited at this prospect, and have therefore been putting it off. soon, though...
  • one sunday a few weeks ago, after realizing that i virtually never exercise, i told bryan we should go to the park and go for a walk. so we did, and it was a lot of fun! we went to pocohantas state park, which is just a few short miles from our house, and did a 2.5 mile loop. at one point we passed two men running, and this inspired bryan to suggest that we run as well. i must inform you that i do not run. nor have i ever. but i decided to humor him and see if i could actually move faster than molasses, and i ran! i believe in total about 1/4 mile. that was over 4 or 5 different instances. (one of those stretches i swear i ran constantly for about .05 mile!) it was... kind of exhilirating, actually! (although i have not done it since then. but it's cold.) anyway, very slim chance i'm going to become a runner. my hips hurt for a couple days after that, proving to me that i am just not made to be a runner. that, or i'm in really bad shape as i suspected.
  • our first valentine's day as a couple was not exactly what i had in mind. i had an attack of the swelling condition i have, an autoimmune disease called hereditary angio edema. i'll spare you the science, but suffice it to say that i get an enormous excess of fluid in my abdominal cavity, it presses on all my guts and hurts like a sonofabitch and makes me nauseated on top of it. so i woke up wednesday morning 110% miserable, i even had to have bryan call my work because talking made me feel like i was going to hurl. so i rifled through the medicine cabinet and found some pain meds i had leftover from an august 05 foot surgery and anti-nausea meds i had leftover from my october 03 chin surgery (don't worry, the box says it doesn't expire until august of this year!), took those and stayed in the bed ALL DAY. i did manage to get up and take a shower around 4p that day because i thought it highly inappropriate for a newlywed not to have showered on valentine's day, even if i wasn't going to be much of a date for my dear hubby. bryan brought me roses and a card home, and then proceeded to work his culinary magic in the kitchen, making us lasagna for dinner. unfortunately i was only able to eat about 4 bites of it--all i ate the whole day--but it was good, and has provided excellent leftovers! :) after that, i went and got back in bed and he brought up my next valentine's surprise. one of his co-workers had videotaped our wedding ceremony, but we haven't been able to watch it because we haven't converted it from the camera-sized tape it's on. so bryan had asked the guy to bring the camera to work, and he plugged it in and put in our wedding ceremony tape and we laid in bed and relived the day. it was very romantic and a nice way to spend valentine's day! he was bummed to learn on thursday that the flowers he had sent me at work had not yet arrived. they actually didn't arrive until friday afternoon, and they were not what he ordered!! this actually happened to a friend of mine in tennessee as well, and we discovered that both our sweethearts used ftd.com for the flowers. so, a word to the wise, don't order flowers from ftd.com.
  • this past weekend i took advantage of an occasional perk here at work--free tickets to a vcu basketball game! we had a couples date with our friends todd and sarah and went to dinner at a restaurant called popkins on east broad street in richmond. they've renovated the old popkin's furniture store and turned it into a restaurant, it was pretty good! it was fun to go to that area of richmond, where they're working really hard to revitalize. the basketball game was fun, but it was kind of funny to see that arena compared to the fabulous john paul jones arena in charlottesville! vcu lost unfortunately, but thankfully none of us are vcu alum so we didn't mind too much. it was just a fun thing to do on a saturday!
  • yesterday was my friend jodie's daughter's (and my flower girl) jordan's birthday, she turned 8. as her gift, i thought it would be fun to take her to the circus, so jodie and i took her two kids to see the greatest show on earth. it was fun, but obviously doesn't have the magic it held for me as a child anymore. now i look at the performers and wonder if they are happy in this lifestyle and look at the animals and wonder if they are treated well... freaking conscience! i'll still probably take my own children if i am blessed with them, but bryan and i will have to save up for a few months beforehand. it cost us $120 for 4 tickets, then another $46 for 2 sno-cones in souvenir cups, popcorn and cotton candy, then another $36 for a stuffed lion for jordan and a light up sword for dylan. good lord! i felt kind of bad because the family in front of us had gone the frugal route and brought snacks from home, and the little girl, about 5, kept turning around staring longingly at my sno-cone. even though i knew i couldn't offer her some, her little puppy dog eyes were really doing a number on me! my favorite part of the circus was the dogs doing tricks and flips and stuff. while some of the animals look completely pissed to be forced to do little circus tricks, those dogs looked happier than pigs in... well, you know. they were panting and jumping up and down and practically peeing themselves from joy! it was cute and fun to watch.
so, another week begins! next week we move offices, so this week i am trying to get everything in order for the move. fun!