Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Horizontal Surface crap magnet

  • Coffee table - covered in mail to go through, mail to shred, mail to recycle, mail to read, mail to mail
  • Entertainment Center top - contents of E's pockets at some point in the last 6 months, Netflix DVD's (been there since March), bowl of keys and change, books and magazine that can't fit on the coffee table because it's covered in mail
  • Kitchen Table - fruit bowl is the only thing "allowed" but alas I'm sure there are a pair of pruners, a backpack, baking ingredients I didn't put away, and other random stuff that comes in the door and finds a home on the table.
  • Kitchen Counter - pantry items that won't fit (I love Costco, and you never know when you'll need a whole case of canned diced tomatoes), drying dishes (that have been drying for 2 days), and various kitchen things that are supposed to be there.
  • Dresser - Eee-Gads! A sealed box of Christmas cards from last year. MERRY CHRISTMAS Everyone! Books, magazines, random papers that were important not to throw out for some reason, binoculars (for bird watching, get your head out of the gutter), travel toiletry bag over flowith with sample sized everything
  • Office desk - not going there

Please help us! How do you find homes for all of the stuff? How do you stop the habit of putting stuff anywhere convenient? And when you do pick it up, how do you not just take the crap from a visible location, to a non-visible location. (say the attic, which is E's favorite solution for the mess).

This list has made me want to go home and clean. But this list also feels so overwhelming that I tend to not do anything to make it better. I used to think it was good to be able to see the big picture, but when it comes to the cleaning, it might be better to have tunnel vision so as not to get overwhelmed to the point of not being able to start.

How is your Horizontal Surface crap magnet?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

House of Crap

Our home is full of shit. It isn't actual shit (even though the two large cats try really hard to make that happen), but at this point it's more like a large load of crap. We simply have too much stuff for our space. I feel like we have been in constant purge mode for years. Very little crap comes in, and lots of crap goes out, however it always feels like there is more and more to throw out. We have tried the 'Clean Sweep' technique of pulling everything out of a room or closet, and then going through it quickly with a time limit and putting everything into piles of Toss, Keep, & Give Away. This usually starts out with good intentions, but let's just say that my living room has been riddled with these piles for for over a month.

We had the idea that we'd go through the books and nik-naks in the bookcases and make a pile of books we were ready to part with. 6 bags of books to keep, 1 to go to the library. And most of the nik-naks? in the trash (sorry mom). So the 6 bags of books remain on the floor with a pile of frames with assorted pictures of friends I don't really speak to anymore. I can't seem to put the books back in the bookcase, because I really don't want the bookcase there, but alas.. there is no room anywhere else.

Behind the fluffy chair, were about 10 large frames of pictures and mirrors that we each had collected in our young adult years of freedom. Neither of us like each other's pictures, so they didn't find homes on the walls, yet we weren't ready to part with them yet. This pile of 10 is now a pile of 3, and is now leaning against the ottoman because we still don't really like them, but think they might be ok someday. UGH!

The same project hit the office, but that project had a lot more momentum. We got rid of almost all of the furniture (including E's sister's college futon and desk, which he fought and fought against parting with, and then finally realized that the space just wasn't working). Some went to the dump and some to a consignment store which sold the same day. We bought a new room encompassing desk system from IKEA, which gives us each our own workspace, plus room for E's drafting table. It looked GREAT! Until we realized that all of the office crap was now in the bedroom. ARGH!

And so the cycle continues.

Tune in next week to see if I stop stubbing my toes on the cheap $19 bookcases, piles of really old programming books and other computer junk on the bedroom floor.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Mmm Food

My good buddy, J, just posted about something many people struggle with everyday.

FOOD - the good, the bad and the feelings around it

I started commenting on her post and then realized that I was going to take up a whole page with my thoughts. I know I have a deep passion for food, but I evidentially can't stop talking about it too.

I love food.
Food loves me
Love = Food
Food = Love

I love to think about food, to talk about food, to think about talking about food, to plan events around food, to prepare food, to shop for food, hell I even love to eat food and to clean up after the eating and preparing of the food. (Good thing I'm in the computer security industry).

If I prepare food for you, it means I love and care for you. If I plan an elaborate meal and perhaps get a little stressed and excited about it, then it means I love you whole bunches. Likewise if you prepare a meal for me, then I feel the love and caring. And if you don't pass me that dish of fried rice that is next to your elbow and you can't see that I'm desperately wanting it, no matter how stressful of a day you've had or how emotionally bothered you are about something, I will feel that you don't care or are not seeing my need for the love (uh, I mean food).

I know that my deep emotional ties with food present issues and sometimes turmoil in my life, and I am learning how to separate the food and the love. I also know that my passion for food is not just about love, as I enjoy the science behind it as well. My connections with food and love will never completely be torn from each other. But I hope someday I will find a healthy balance.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not white enough!

This country has become obsessed with white teeth. Of course we already know that our society is very judgey based on looks, and anything that makes you look "good" will sell. Who knows if all of those home bleaching kits are good for us, or if they really make a difference. They are certainly cheaper then the dentist doing it, but I've heard of some nasty side effects.

A few months ago I made an appointment to get my teeth whitened at a local BrightSmile "spa". They claim they will whiten your teeth in 1 hour, and they will look natural (no Ross glow in the dark teeth). I was so excited for my appointment because this was my treat to myself before I started my new job. E took some 'before' picture of my teeth so we could compare. I first went to have lunch with J, who said I should come by after the appointment so she could see the difference. After looking closely at my teeth (which was an odd experience to have a friend look that closely at your teeth), she told me I was wasting my money because my teeth were already white. I said, maybe I am but I think they are yellow and I wanna do it. So off I go to my appointment.

I filled out their 5 page form, and they took me straight back. I sat in a comfy exam chair and got to watch TV while I waited for the dentist. She talked to me about the procedure, and asked about my medical and oral hygiene history. Then asked if I had any questions or concerns. I told her I have been told that my teeth look just fine and was concerned if I was wasting my money. So she took out the tooth color scale thingy and showed me that I was basically 2-3 steps in from bleached white teeth, and that the current color of my teeth is most people's goal color AFTER they have the procedure. She told me that I wouldn't likely see much of a difference and that it was up to me. I decided to forgo my treat to myself and take the $400 refund.

So now I sit here chewing Trident White gum. I chew it everyday after my morning tea and after lunch. I don't know if it will whiten my teeth, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. My dentist won't be happy though, considering he told me I have jaw issues and shouldn't chew gum. Trade offs for the sake of looking good!! (Damn society)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mmmm Gelato

Monday night Eric and I went to indulge in my craving for gelato. I swung by the house on my way home from work to pick him up, and we drove to downtown Walnut Creek. We enjoyed a Happy Hour dinner at the bar in Stanford's (CHEAP eats until 6pm and then again at 9pm until closing!), but our bill was still in the $20's because they have a drink minimum so my Ice Tea was $2.75 and Eric's beer was almost $5. We each had a Ceasar Salad ($1.95) which was sadly dripping in dressing, but at leat it was real ceasar dressing that was tasty. I also had a bowl of Cream of 5 Onion soup ($2.50), and he had a BBQ Chicken Quesadilla($3.50), and we shared the Spinach and Artichoke dip with tortilla chips ($2.50). All in all the meal wasn't great, but it was satisfying and I simply enjoyed the company and being able to enjoy dinner out with Eric on a weeknight while it was still daylight out!

After dinner, we went to the new gelateria. I love gelato, and this place claims to have authentic Italian gelato. I've never been to Italy, but I'm pretty sure I've had better textured gelato in North Beach, SF. But this place is still so fun. You can taste all the flavors you want, and they have so many fun flavors, like Nutella, Rose, Banana and the list goes on and on and changes all the time. They have at least 25-30 flavors everyday. They only use really fresh natural ingrediants and you can tell by the taste.

We both ended up getting sorbetto since we had such a rich dinner, plus Eric would rather have sorbet over ice cream anyday (he's a little fruity like me). I got my fill of rich gelato when I tasted at least 4 flavors (I don't remember what they were, the guy just kept going down the line handing me spoonfuls), and then I settled on Mango and Pineapple sorbetto. The Mango was a little much to eat a lot of it on its own. Imagine a really really ripe Mango, sweetened and concentrated. But the Pineapple was light and refreshing, so I simply scooped up each bite with a little of each. It was a perfect tropical treat. I couldn't eat it all so Eric had to help me, after he finished his Rhubard and Ruby Red Grapefruit sorbetto. That's right, Rhubard! It was so exactly like Rhubard in a sweet dessert. Sweet and sour, it was very interesting, and tasty.

So, yay! I got my gelato.

(No worries Liz, I'll still go there with you too and I won't force you to try the Canteloupe!)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday wants

Brief IM between myself and Tommy's Mommy.

Cherry: I want, a nap, gelato and to figure out what I want to do when I grow up and then do it
Cherry: thats not too much to ask for, is it?
Lizzie: ummm.
Lizzie: the nap might be too much.