The Cocoon by Grid-It

Boo is a genius. He’s not the best explainer, but he’s a genius. So here’s the deal. A while ago, he was like,
“Yeah, I want to go to the container store.”
Me, perplexed, confused and taken by surprise, “Why?”
Boo, “I saw this post on Lifehacker and I want to check out this thing that organizes all of your electronics like on your desk or wherever.”
Me, “What?????”
Boo, “I don’t know, it’s this thing, and it has all the things, and you can put your electronics in it and it organizes them.”
Me, “Like for your desktop.”
Boo, “Sure.”
Me, not convinced or motivated, “OK.”

Well, yesterday after seeing the Town. Which we loved. My school was in like every scene, and now I am afraid to double back by banks because really, I was probably lucky to have passed it once while it wasn’t getting robbed, I don’t need to push my chances… Anyway, we were by the container store. And this:

is what Boo was trying to tell me about. Is that what you had in your head upon previous description? Yeah, me either. But that thing… That thing I love.
This is what my bag contents look like

not including phone and keys! Can you imagine what organization the cocoon is going to bring to my Sharpie erase-able pencils??? Oh my gosh. That man is a genius. When I told him this at the store, he just looked at me like,
” I freaking told you about this forever ago and you looked at me like I was moron.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he didn’t explain it to me in girl so there was little hope of me understanding.


Can’t you just burn calories by eating?

In a conversation with AM last weekend she raved about the app I showed her that evaluated her fitness and her calories, moving her toward her health goals. Why would I show the woman who effortlessly and truly joyfully organized my entire wedding as if it were a lunch for her friends? She has become the master of it. It totally motivates her (keep in mind she’s 100% self-starter.) She’s chanting on and on about how she knows what she can eat and if she can drink wine… In the moment it all sounded so logical and inspiring. So I reviewed the app on my phone. Tried to reacquaint myself with it. And then promptly ordered fries and a beer.

Then I decided that Boo and I needed to join the Y. It’s starting to get cold and I don’t like running outside on icy sidewalks. Not that I have been running at all. No less, if I were to run, I would not want to do it on an icy sidewalk I would want to do it at the Y. His well founded fear, was much like running, I would also not participate in the Y. Little did he know I had a plan, he would be my workout buddy. Welcome to 6:00 am people. He’s a saint. Do you know what I am like at 6:00 am? So. We started. During the week we’re doing weights and machines. I am trying to cram some classes into my schedule, but all the ones I am interested in are at all the wrong times. Grrr. Then on the weekend we did yoga each day. Um, can someone say PAIN? Thankfully, there are some men in the class, so Boo is not alone. But it is hard and as we ate our farmers breakfast at Jim’s Deli after, we discussed over hash browns how sore we were. More beer please.

Wellllllllllll. I decided to pick up the little app and start putting my food in this morning, and my workouts and see what was happening. Since I am not really on a weight loss streak or anything. I thought maybe the little took might motivate me. As far as food goes, I am generally fine. BUT WHO KNEW GIN TONIC HAD AS MANY CALORIES AS A COKE??? Someone freaking create and GTzero please! Beer, wine… All those things have a lot of calories. WHAT A BUMMER. I hate that freaking app. My beverages on Saturday night alone (A&A were here – what could I do?) pushed me almost 400 calories over. Isn’t there a way to burn calories just by eating?

Anyway. Motivated by AM’s tales of earning glasses of wine by running, as well as by Ben Does Life’s video about running, I have decided to force myself back into a healthy running lifestyle. SOOOOO I did some miles on the treadmill last week. Then the yoga break. I decided to do my outdoor “long” runs on Mondays, since they are my most relaxed day. Here’s what I looked like at the end of today’s run:

I know. Hot. No. Literally. I was really hot. For those of you that think running comes easy to me because I ran some longer races a couple of years ago… One year off from consistent running has turned me into a whiny baby. I often thought to myself on my run,
“The treadmill lies, it never put me on an incline.” This was generally when I was near the top of a hill and thought I was going to hurl.
“I am running so much faster than those people.” In observation of people standing at a bus stop waiting for a bus.
“That man takes speed.” About the man that passed me running.
“Why aren’t they all honking and waving?” About the cars passing me as I reached the top of a hill
“I wish someone I know would drive by and tell me later how they saw me running really fast on Washington.” After I came over the top of the hill and started walking.
“Why do those people already have silver Christmas trees on their porch?” As I ran past “Eighty Six Washington” That’s what it says, written out like that. I bet pizza delivery guys get so mad, who is looking for Eighty Six? Just freaking write 86… Well, the rant distracted me for like 30 seconds.

Anyway. That’s kind of how it went today. So now I am mad at AM for telling me about that stupid app after I had forgotten about it, and taking my drinks away. I am mad at the app for making me run. And I am mad at food for not letting me burn calories while eating it. I think I wasted all the positive thinking that my yoga teacher helped me achieve this weekend.

4 things… or more.

1) Sharpee liquid pencils. GO BUY THEM NOW. They are so awesome. Beautifully erasable for the first two days, then permanent. They have changed the way my hand written cards look.

2) OLD FASHIONEDs??? Who knew about these and didn’t tell me? Here’s the thing. Our friends J and C came over last night. They proposed recently that we do a night weekly. We have a washing machine, they have Old Fashioneds (HOW DO YOU WRITE THAT?), we eat together, watch a movie, talk, whatever. We were thrilled. We love them and love the excuse to get regular time with them. We didn’t even know what Old Fashioneds were. NOW WE DO AND THEY ARE YUMMY. I wish that J&C needed to do laundry every night. That and we had an incredible time with them. We feel so grateful for the friendships we have here.

3) hmmm. Not sure. I was going to tell you something but I got distracted because my friend A was texting me about skinny jeans on sale at Anthro (I am pretty sure my husband will chop my hands off if I buy another pair of jeans) and then she told me that she had a BEASTIE BOYS song stuck in her head. Sick. I do not like the BB’s. I do like Amy. She is my biggest glass of cold water right now. Every time I spend time with her, or she and her husband and baby E I have that deep rich feeling that my cup overflows.

4) Yesterday I got in the car and sports talk radio was blaring. It was a moment of total shock and confusion. Then I remembered that I am married. And I laughed and shook my head. And promptly changed the channel to 101.7. The radio station that we have a love hate relationship with. They play Listomania at least twice and hour and they play the Beastie Boys back to back far too frequently to be acceptable. But they also play Mumford & Sons, Passion Pit, Temper Trap, and The xx. So we cope. But it’s love hate. As for sports talk radio – that’s hate hate for me. Bill Simmons is the best I’ve got in me. And I do love him.

5) It is a Dolce Vida time of life. It is rich and lovely and sunny and right. I love school. I absolutely adore my husband. I love T, the Berklee student living with us. Our friends are incredible. Their children make me laugh. Our church is great. The weather is lovely. My family is wonderful, and I will get to see them SOON. I found a great part-time job. And I learned to make a fantastic red sauce. I feel waves of gratefulness so rich and deep it’s unreal.

Also, for some reason this week I have moved from the green chair in the dining room to my bed for studying. Here’s a little picture of my mornings. That’s my calendar, German book, Math book, favorite bakery’s bread schedule and this month’s Food and Wine, which looks both decadent and delicious.

Also, here is a really funny pic of Boo and I at Jacob’s Wirth on Saturday enjoying the Oktoberfest menu. The reason that it is funny is because it took us like 4 times to take this picture to send to Occhiverdi and Rita the Redhead, who were enjoying Oktoberfest in Ft. Worth. A few hours later as we recorded Bob Schneider singing 40 Dogs ( wordpress won’t let me post vimeo) we realized that we are total idiots. One of the coolest features of our phone is that you press a button and the camera “swings around” and you can take a picture of yourself VERY easily. Oh well. Like Kip we love technology, but apparently we are not as tech savvy as we envision ourselves to be.

Community, as in College

That’s right.  Picture Adam Sandler as a grown man, waiting for the bus with his lunch box and back pack,  singing, “Back to school, back to school, got to prove to Dad I’m not a fool.”   It’s my life.

I am not going to tell you how long it has been since I have been in school FULL TIME (12 years) lest I give away how old I am (33) but this is definitely a new ball game.

I will say as well that language school in Berlin was nothing like college and CC is nothing like university or language school… It’s like this:

I am Shirley.  Like 100% Shirley.  I am so Shirley it scares me, and I can definitely identify each of the other characters in my class mates.  So all of my friends have asked me to tell stories… They may be reminiscent of some of my old stories from Waco.  Like the time I told you about Hot Guy.  The one that Return of the Jordi likes to remind everyone that I kissed on Bagby after too many margaritas at Ninfa’s (on a first date… my character shines questionable here in Bible Belt terms.)  I think we also need to be reminded that Hot Guy remains one of my dear friends.  He is also still single, though I am trying to hook him up with Rita the Redhead.  OK, so we’ve got some characters.  That’s all I am trying to say.  Here are a few of the first two weeks highlights.

Business:  My professor is from the North Shore.  He definitely refers to Revere as REVIAH.  He sat down on a table and it collapsed, he also frequently asks us if previously explained business theories are, “Wicked clear.”  Also, on the first day of class one of the two walking designer label ads that sit in the front of the class asked a question while  twirling her Gucci pencil (do they make those?  Not totally convinced…) it sounded something like this, “Dona pia lucka lucka assess code?”  Let me tell you, every ounce of empathy I have ever had in my life reached for Gucci Girl.  I WAS THAT GIRL IN LANGUAGE SCHOOL!  So many Germans looking at me in helpful confusion as I tried to figure something out.  Prof Reviah responded, “Excuse me?” Gucci repeated more slowly, “Do na pia tucka lucka assess code?” This happened with progressive clarity, and patience multiple times until finally Reviah said, “I am pretty sure you’re asking if you need an access code to gain access to the class online, and the answer is no, if that’s not what you’re asking, let’s talk after class.”  I was both totally amused and completely impressed with a school that is so open to helping foreigners achieve.  I would have been WAY too chicken to try to go to real school in Berlin, these people are amazing.  Also, I am one of TWO native English speakers in that class.  It makes for some incredible anecdotes.

Let’s move on to Composition.  This class is taught by Prof Cambridge.  She is fresh retired from teaching high school English at THE MOST prestigious private school in Boston.  She looks like a mix of a 1970’s hippie and a Talbot’s add.  It’s strange, but somehow perfectly Boston.  You know what I like to say, if it wasn’t for bad fashion, Boston would have no fashion at all.  (spoken by the girl who only shops at 2nd hand shops and thrift stores, I believe that’s the pot calling the kettle black) Anyway.  This is hands down my most entertaining class because of the Troll.  I know it’s mean, but there is no other way to describe her.  

This is LITERALLY what her hair looks like, but black.  Cambridge, Troll and I were the first three to arrive the first day of class.  Cambridge headed to the front of the room to get everything out and Troll in some sort of grunted communication, with her chin pressed tightly to her chest, blurts out, “ARE YOU MEAN?”  Cambridge, calm and cool looks at her and asks graciously, “Excuse me?” Troll, “ARE.  YOU.  MEAN?”  Cambridge, winning my immediately respect, asks, ” Are you mean?”  No one could have expected what came next, “WELL I AM NOT NORMALLY MEAN EXCEPT FOR THE TIME MY DRIVER’S ED TEACHER PISSED ME OFF AND I WANTED TO PUNCH HER IN THE FACE.  SHE WAS TOTALLY MENTALLY UNSTABLE.  BUT I STILL LEARNED TO DRIVE, KIND OF.”  Cambridge responded kindly, and professionally while I tucked my face deep into my jacket and stifled uncontrollable laughter.

Character two in this class is Master R.  He is 65.  Reeks of smoke.  When he speaks it sounds like he collected all the displaced gravel in Boston and tucked it into his throat.  He is inappropriate in the most innocent way and he is my constant neighbor in class, he is also a loud talker (my husband is one, so I am full of patience for their inability to contextually control their volume.) The first day of class he rolled in late,  scooted in next to me, “quietly” introduced himself, “HI I’M ‘MASTER R’, I’M REALLY OLD.” (the class snickers and Prof Cambridge struggles to stay focused as Troll compulsively comments and Master P yells privately to me) I shoot back and amused laugh and indicate with my eyes that PC is speaking and we need to pay attention.  Master P follows my lead until his cell phone starts blaring rapped profanity, to which he characteristically yells to the class, “SORRY I LEAVE MY RINGER ON IN CASE MY GRANDCHILDREN NEED ME.”  Ohhhh the irony.

Math is taught my a very thorough and monotone professor, who so piques my interest that I literally do not know his name.  It reminds me of Luigi though.  He is in no way Italian, but I am thankful for his attention to detail as I currently feel like math has the same capacity to kill me as chemical warfare.  Too dramatic?  I cried in the math lab last week, all I could hear was Tom Hanks in my head yelling, “There’s no crying in math!”

And then there is German.  Oh German.  My professor is a picture of a perfect German.  She is rigid, efficient (she refuses to use all the lights for the class room because it is wasteful), she is direct to the point of offensive (she told me I would not do well in the class because I had too much experience with street German and I would get lazy and bored, and then lit up when I told her about a place in town that had great, authentic German bread) and the people in the class are hysterical.  My absolute favorite is Boris.  I have no idea what his real name is, but it very well could be Boris.  When asked why he wanted to take German he answered, “They historically have the strongest government, army and fashion (???????????????????????????????????????????) in the world and I want to learn the language of the strong and brilliant people.”  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  So.  Many.  Thoughts.  Frau WM, in perfect German humor answered back, “Vell, I don’t know so much about fashion, but OK.”

So there you have it.  I will try to keep you updated as life goes along.  I keep telling Boo this is where we are going to make our money.  I keep detailed notes in the middle of my class notes of this hilarity in class, and I am going to find a way to publish it.  I am going to need to, especially since AM says I am not allowed to publish anything about my family until her entire generation is dead and even then, I have to change everyone’s names to protect the guilty  innocent.

I need to make my flash cards for German, there is nothing I like more than proving someone wrong…

Blogging Break

So I took a blogging break.  I didn’t mean to.  BUT some stuff happened.

I can’t remember what all I’ve told you but here’s the run down:

1. Boo’s dear Grandmother passed away and we spent 5 hot days in Little Rock in the throws of family.  Boo’s mom is one of FIVE girls.  They loved their mom and I was very moved at what an incredible woman she was to have such adoration and devotion from her family.

2. The Canadian moved in.  Yes.  That’s right.  We have a boarder.  He’s young and a student at a local university.  We love him.  Maybe the nicest kid that ever lived.

3. Boo’s mom came for 10 days.  We went to see her in New Hampshire – oh yeah, I’ve told y’all this.  So yeah, we went to NH.  Then she came here.  We went to the cape, just she and I for a couple of days.

4. Rita the Redhead came.  She came while B’s mom was still here and we had the most fun weekend traipsing around Boston as a team.  So thankful for lifelong friends.

5. The day that B’s mom left… I STARTED SCHOOL!!!! WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTT???? Tell you more in the next post.  It’s so much.  So much.

6. That Friday my friend H came in and the next day one of my best friends from Berlin came in.  H stayed for the weekend and the German stayed until last Thursday.

7. Boo and I spent our first weekend alone in over a month.  We are newlyweds.  Unless you consult our marriage license, which (signed my AM, AND THE PASTOR, AND THE STATE OF TEXAS) clearly and legally states that we were married in 2003.

8. I am really considering this my first week back in the saddle.  So I updated my dry-erase calendar.  Caught up with my friends, met some new babies and I am starting to blog.

So there you go, now you are all caught up.  It’s like we never spent a month apart.  A lot of you have been asking what’s happening in the kitchen lately.  I did an incredible quinoa risotto (quinoa (white or red), shallots, dry white wine, chicken stock, asiago.  I also made red sauce from scratch, finally.  So I sautéed onion, garlic, shallots for a bit with some chile flakes, S&P, oregano, basil etc Then I threw in a can of Italian canned tomatoes (the big size) and a cup of cheap Chianti.  Simmered for about an hour and a half.  It was delicious.  We had a big brunch here Sunday, we served drunk eggs at that, DTB made some delicious breakfast risotto.  Anyway, even in the busyness, we’ve been cooking.  I’ll start posting recipes soon.  My composition teacher has encouraged daily writing as we take her class, so I am going to try to be disciplined to get something up every day.

Next post… SCHOOL.

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