Monday, December 7, 2009

Our First Christmas Tree

I have been feeling a little bit blue so I decided it was time to snap out of it and get into the Christmas spirit! I just love Christmas, probably because it makes an excellent precursor to the most important holiday of all; my birthday!

Anyway, I digress (but my birthday is coming up so I hope everyone is ready!), Matt and I went on an epic trip to purchase our tree and decorations. I am picky and this was a hard decision for me. I over-think things and took this quite seriously. I suppose I can always switch the ornaments up later on. I was firm that I wanted a big, fake (I've never had a real tree) tree with multi-colored lights already on it. We had to go to a few places but I finally found what I was looking for.

When we hauled it home Steph was waiting for us (she was studying at our apartment). We had a moment of panic because it looked like the tree was going to be TOO BIG and not fit in our place. However, it is just perfect! Yay! So now we have a tree and I like to think that all the people waiting at the bus stop across the street can see it and admire it.

Friday, December 4, 2009


With all this rage and stress it's comforting to know that I have my beautiful sister best friend to de-stress with. What would I do without her? (And what would I do without martinis?)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cell Phone RAGE

Something that has been stressing me out for awhile is my cell phone. You may remember that Matt and I got matching LG Rumor (1) phones in June. His phone is fabulous- peachy even! My phone, however, started doing this "cute" thing where it would shut off for no reason. Initially it happened once or twice when I slid the QWERTY keyboard out to text something. This started happening about 3 weeks after I got it but I sort of shrugged it off because it didn't happen often. I stopped by the place we bought it and they told me that if I wanted to get it fixed I needed to call Virgin Mobile and they would send me a loaner phone. This sounded like a lot of work for a problem that didn't happen often.

Well, it started happening often. Like 10 times a day. And not just when I was sliding the text keyboard out. It would happen when I was talking on the phone regularly or if I was at the end of writing a massive text message. The phone could be fully charged and fresh off of the charger and it would do this. I would also like to add that I am incredibly careful with my belongings- I have never dropped this phone or had it anywhere near water or done anything to damage it. This is clearly a flaw with the Rumor phones (I know someone else who had a similar problem with their day old Rumor phone).

Finally I bit the bullet and decided that the annoyance of calling was less than the annoyance of living with my malfunctioning phone. So I called customer service and told someone about the problem. They listened carefully and then told me I needed to speak to another department and transferred me. I explained again and this person told me that I needed to call them back on a phone that wasn't my cell phone. Apparently I had to remove my battery and do a bunch of tests. I explained that is was my ONLY phone and no, I didn't have a landline or a friend handy. I eventually broke down and used Skype and was on hold for almost half an hour. Awesome start.

When I finally spoke to someone they didn't ask me to take out the battery or do anything so I didn't need to Skype after all. They said the loaner phone would be there in a week, at the most.

Fast forward to a month and a half later! Yes, that's how long it took the loaner phone to get to me. My phone had stopped shutting off (as much) and I'd figured they forgot about me so I was just continuing on. The phone shows up and it's hideous. I hate it. Maybe you think it doesn't look so bad but trust me, it's the phone devil. You know it's a bad sign when you turn a phone on and someone has programmed it to say "F*ck this Phone" on the background. Yeah.

I was conflicted about what to do at this point. If it took that long to get the loaner phone, how long would it take them to actually fix and return my phone to me? I called them up and they were not helpful. They made excuses. I procrastinated. Finally I had a nervous breakdown and had Matt help me figure out how to package my regular phone and hook up the loaner. This took more time than it should have! Also the first person screwed up which led to my phone and Matt's NOT WORKING AT ALL. So we had to call them back (put on hold even longer) so they could fix this. Not cool. Supposedly this is supposed to take maximum 3 weeks. It's been over a week and I'm not holding my breath.

Oh loaner phone, I hate you. I hate your crappy ring tones. I hate your screen. I hate texting with you, especially since you keep finishing my words with the wrong word and that this auto feature cannot be turned off (I've asked many people to help me with this.)! I should be able to answer "No" to someone but instead I have to write "Nope" because when I type "No" you understand it as "On". Leah's name is Leag because you won't let me write unfamiliar things. Abbreviations don't exist and you tack extra words that make no sense on the end of my sentence after I hit send! WHY!? I HATE YOU I HATE YOU! What good is unlimited texting if writing a text is a battle? Ugh. I hope they send me my regular phone back soon and that it's working or this is going to be a long, long phone contract.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review: Bel Canto

This is the second novel I've read by Ann Patchett and I have to say, this one was much better than the Patron Saint of Liars. The plot was interesting- a famous opera singer is hired to perform at the birthday party of a wealthy Japanese businessman in an unnamed Latin American country. There are numerous wealthy and important people invited from around the world. At the end of the party everyone is taken hostage.

Reading this book was such a treat. Her descriptions were beautiful and moving. It was romantic and I found myself frantically scribbling quotes that resonated with me every other page. It's a wise and compelling novel and I enjoyed everything except the ending (I guess nothing is perfect?). The ending was okay but a few things seemed a bit unnatural and forced.

Quotes to Remember:

"If what a person wants is his life, he tends to be quiet about wanting anything else. Once the life begins to seem secure, one feels the freedom to complain."

"The kind of love that offers its life so easily, so stupidly, is always the love that is not returned."

"She prayed that God would look on them and see the beauty of their existence and leave them alone."

"A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air."

"It didn't matter that he didn't understand the language, he knew what it meant."

"Love was action. It came to you. It was not a choice."

Read this book!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Murder of a Very Fine Gentleman

For Matt's 30th birthday party we hosted a murder mystery dinner party at our apartment. Matt wrote the mystery himself and spent a really long time making up cards and games. He sent out character sketches to everyone invited and even made up a fake newspaper! We invited 10 of our nearest and dearest to participate and everyone really got into their roles. The costumes were fabulous! Steph was pretty silly- hopefully no one is offended by her "black face". It was in good fun- she put cocoa powder in her foundation and smelled delicious all night!

We spent the whole morning cooking. We decided to take a very organized approach and chop and measure everything out and label it before it was time to cook. Sort of like a birthday cooking show. This worked out pretty well since it's tricky to have everything ready at the same time. Here's the menu:

Chai Tea

Nariyal Chawal
Garden Salad

Butter Chicken
Aloo Gobi
Palak Kofta
Palak Paneer

It all turned out great (except the sambaar) and everything was made from scratch except the naan and the palak paneer. Oh, we also didn't make the butter chicken sauce from scratch, but we did pretty good!

The story goes, Mr. Pagels was an extremely wealthy man, but loathed by many. He came into his money through marrying his poor Indian wife (me). I have to take care of his blind sister (Alisse) and my only friend is the maid (Laurie). I am tied to the kitchen- this was not fun. Also invited were the Madame (Bryn) from the local brothel, Mr. Pagels' war hero brother (Sev), a Nun (Leah) from an orphanage Pagels plans to bulldoze to make into a bar, a gangster interested in becoming a bar partner (Steph), an unwed mother (Kasia) who claims the child is Pagels, a fortune teller (Tia), a gambler (Dylan) and a doctor (Steve). It was so much fun!

After the dinner party we met up with some more friends at a local pub and helped Matt forget he's turned 30. He decided to stay in costume and ended up looking like a Hutterite! Haha. We stumbled over to Steve's to play Rock Band and have some birthday pie and then it was time to call it a night. If you want to see all the pictures (in a non-slide show format) click here.