I don't want to say I gave up on "Infinite Jest" cause I'll read it now, dang it!

So far, it's amazing, but it's such a monstrous book to lug around. When I come home from work, my go-to reading is usually a blog. My goal is to start it again this week, and finish it in the next few weeks. We'll see what happens.


I'm tempted to write a book

While Karen participates in Research Paper Night, I trawl the internet for goodies.  

These are some of the things i found:

If I were a cooler, younger, eukelele playing hipster who sat in front of my open fridge this would totally be me.

How to write a novel in 100 days or less
Tempting -- we'll see how far I get

More to come...

This made me laugh so hard diet coke came out of my nose

If I had easy access to a helicopter, I'd get married in Amsterdam then honeymoon in Mykonos.

Crazy cats

It's funny how often I write about our crazy cats.  Yesterday morning, Moxy knocked the bedside lamp over in the middle of the night.  She does these things to get attention while we sleep and this morning, she actually turned on the clock radio.  I can only assume she hit the sleep button, but it's pretty disconcerting to wake up to music that your cat turned on.

These photos are from Research Paper Night, which I'm pretty sure is turning into a weekly if not twice-weekly holiday.  Note how angelic they all look...


Snow days

I'm sure there are people out there who can, with a clear conscience, stay home from work when the weather is bad.  I am not one of these people.  This morning I woke up and turned on the news (which I almost never do) only to find six-hundred seventeen school closings (that is not an exaggeration, btw...) and 'road conditions so bad you should allow at least twice your travel time to get anywhere' so trust me, I thought about it.  I walked outside to find that they hadn't plowed the side street we park on, and I told myself that if I couldn't pull out of my parking spot, then I'd have a legitimate excuse to stay home.  Of course, I  had no problem pulling out of my spot.  The drive to work is typically about fifteen minutes of hassle-free highway driving, but today was over an hour of stops and starts, near-misses and countless gasps as I could feel the road slipping under me.  This guy got here THIS MORNING.  I kid you not. 
We found a pizza place that's still delivering today, so I'm not going anywhere. 


My first job: Grocery store checkout girl

I worked at Russo's in the center of my town. I was sixteen, and I remember driving to work listening to my Michael Bolton tape. I hated that job and lasted three months. I then got a job at the local video store, and my obsession with movies began.

I recommend checking out The Blue Mosque when you're in Turkey

Weekend recap

Tobogganing was a big hit.  The stairs up to the chute platform were a little steep, and you have to carry the 9,000 pound sled yourself, but it's a great workout.  We had a blast, and went out for drinks afterward. 


Karen's new car

Congratulations, Karen.
We picked this up yesterday after tobogganing, and drove out to see Will and Jess for dinner.  I'm now in need of a new car.  Nice work, Shaniuk...


It's a good day for tobogganing

We've been planning a snow day for a few days, and it seemed like a really good idea when it was in the 40s here...  But we just got back from walking across the street for breakfast, and it's pretty flippin' cold.  So, we'll get layered and head to the chutes.  If you're in the neighborhood, join us!
The video makes it look a little steep and fast, but I'll suck it up and try it.  I'll see if I can add my own video this evening after we get back.
We're also picking up Karen's new wagon SUV today.
Enjoy your Saturday!


the wonder that is facebook

I joined Facebook about a year ago in an attempt to woo Karen, then didn't do much with it until about two months ago.  I have since found seventeen-hundred friends and family members to chat with (okay, maybe not THAT many).  I like reconnecting with people I haven't seen in years; many have husbands or wives that I've never met, children who weren't around back when I knew them.  Some live in other cities or other states now.  I've even become closer with family members who live both nearby and far away.  The one thing that I've learned recently is that you can update people about the little things in life -- what you're having for dinner: 'Susan is making meatloaf', what you need to buy for your car: ' Susan is in desperate need of a new windshield wiper' -- but it's very difficult to give any real glimpse into your life in a single-sentence format: 'Susan is contemplating the meaning of life.  Relationships seem to be the only...'  and more than half of my followers have lost interest by that second sentence.  Facebook is the attention-deficit way of blogging these days, and it is contagious (note that I update FB more often than this site...  sorry about that folks...  wanna know what I am making for dinner?  Cause I can totally blog about that every day.)

Why is this?  If facebook had a blogging section, would people read (and write) more often?  Are we just that lazy, that we need to be able to give people quick little updates throughout the day?  And, do people REALLY care if 'Susan is tired'?

More on this after I leave work and update my status, and figure out how to import this into FB...  :)


L&O Special Letters Unit

Chunk chunk!

and, worth it just for the opening:


pretty pictures

Oh, to be somewhere warm in the middle of all this snow!

How the Tremont Convenience Store saved the day (or, how I walked five miles in the snow, unintentionally)

We woke up early on Sunday, around 7am.  I made breakfast, we watched some TV, played online, and soon got bored with the lounging.  I decided I'd go for a short walk in the snow, maybe take some pictures.  I pulled jeans over my yoga pants to keep me extra warm, and layered to the best of my ability.  I am coated and scarved, gloved and hatted.  Oh, and I am booted -- Very important in a foot of snow.  (Sidenote: if you find a pair of really cute pink and brown winter boots that have been marked down from $35 to $18, maybe try BOTH of them on before buying.  Maybe they were marked down cause the liner on the left one is all ripped up, and maybe the plastic ankle support thingamajobs bend into your foot like angry little knives.  Maybe.)

I grabbed my own keys, but then saw that Karen's CSU parking pass is waiting to be put in her car.  Her car has also not been started in about a month, since we've been driving mine exclusively.  I figured I'd grab her keys, the parking pass, and start her car.  Maybe even dig it out of it's cocoon of snow. 

Her car starts right away, and I then realize that I'm just sitting there, in a snow-covered car, with nothing else to really do.  The shovels are inside, and since her keys are in the ignition, I'm stuck.  I ponder leaving the keys in the ignition to let it melt itself out of the hole, but figure that'd be a really hard thing to explain when it's stolen.  So I turned off the car and went on my merry way, and figure I'll dig it out after I get home.  Or maybe tomorrow...

I remember putting the keys in my front right pocket, where I always put keys.  I remember specifically thinking 'nothing ever falls out of my pockets' (can you say foreshadowing?) and then I looked at my watch.  It was 11:30am.   I continue to turn and twirl, taking pictures and finally making my way down the street.  I crossed paths with many church-goers, took some nice cathedral shots, almost fell forty-three times on slush, and made my way back up the alley, maybe a mile total.  It's warmish in my many layers, and I am enjoying the snow and the cold and the almost-silence.

I ran into Greta and Danny on my way back into the building.  They joked about Karen's buried car, and we laughed.  They held the door to let me in.  I walked up the stairs, and at the top of the stairs, went to grab my keys from their snug, secure front pocket.  Nothing.  (O M G.  Seriously?)  I did that thing where you check the same pocket twenty times, sure that THIS TIME you'll find them there, hiding.  Silly, silly keys.  But nope -- nada.  It's now that I remember that not only have I lost keys, but I've lost Karen's keys.  (dun dun DUN!)  I immediately walk back outside and retrace my steps two more times -- staring at the ground, not really enjoying the snow or the slush or the semi-quiet anymore.  I kick around the snow by her car, on the street, the whole way around the block, but nothing.  I have to admit defeat.  I get Stephanie and Brendan to let me in the building, and knock on the second floor door.  She doesn't hear me.  I walk up to the third floor door, and knock there.  She's on the phone, and somehow doesn't think it's odd that she had to let me in.  I remove my many layers and listen to her talk to her mom on the phone.  This is not going to go well.  I write a note on a post-it (brave, aren't I?) that says:

'You love me?  Unconditionally?'
She puts her hand over her heart, and shakes her head yes.  (Still not wondering why I'm acting so weird -- silly girl.)  I motion that she should look at the next post-it, that says only:

'I lost your keys.'

She conveys this little story to her mom pretty calmly, and we venture outside to retrace my steps again.  Long story short, we went back around the block AGAIN, and didn't see them.  It's possible that they've been covered up by snow, or that someone picked them up.  Not a good start to the Sunday.  We're just around the corner from the house when I decide I'll stop at Convenient for beer on the way home, you know, since we're out...

'How are you?'  asks Mike, Mr. Convenient Store.  Most days, regardless of what's been going on in Susanland, I give the pat answer of 'I'm doing well, thanks.  How are you?', but for some reason, I answered honestly, and told Mike that I lost Karen's keys, and I've had better days.  He says, 'hmm.  someone dropped some keys off... let me look...'  I'm sure they're not ours, of course.  He turns around, and I reconigize the red bottle opener she keeps on her keychain.  Holy shit, what are the odds? 
After I show them to Karen, she throws me into a huge snow drift, and admits that she had already thought of the worst-case scenario...  someone steals the car, realizes we live there, since it's parked outside, and returns to steal all our things.  I didn't even care that I was covered in snow, I had never been more relieved in my life.

Next time you think of doing something nice for someone, don't.  Let this be a lesson! 
(Or, secure the keys in some way before you go for a mile walk in the snow.)


a plea, from Charlotte

Thank you, Susan, for not killing me in the shower today.

I know that Karen is very afraid of my kind, and would've made you banish me from the house if she knew I was around.  But you took pity on me; you allowed me to linger as you washed your hair, even though you watched me a little nervously before and after you washed your face.

I was just there to get a little drink of water.

You fill the sinks for the cats, but if I venture in that direction, they tease me.  (and just a month ago, they ate uncle Lester.)  But, the shower is perfect for me.  When you're done getting clean, sometimes I just need a little sip, and I scoot right back into the walls.

Thanks for understanding.

P.S.  Maybe Karen just needs to read Charlotte's Web again...
P.P.S.  Maybe she should read this again too.

shoes and socks

Karen:  What shoes are you wearing?
Susan:  My new ones, why?
k:  I was going to wear them if you weren't.
s:  oh, you can.  I'll wear my black ones
k:  no, no.  I was only going to wear them if you didn't
s:  no big deal, you wear them.
(a few minutes later in the car)
s:  I hope you're enjoying those shoes, cause I have white socks on with black shoes
k:  Um, maybe we should switch socks...  (pulls up pant leg, to show gray and black trouser socks.)
s:  No way, my feet were cold all day yesterday, and I wore thick socks to stay warm.  Besides, I am a sharer, and I have shared my shoes, damn it!
k:  So you're selfish about socks, then.
s:  Well, technically, these are your socks too.
(pensive silence)


A condo of waterfalls

We decided to stop at Lava to eat dinner last night, before we stopped upstairs.  We calmly (if coldly) ate, and walked back to lounge, and within a few minutes, Karen starts this panicked 'something is really wrong' mantra in the next room.  (This is the point where I can't tell if she's just noticed the overflowing recyclables bin, or if a wall has caved in.)  Turns out, the roof above our west-facing windows is leaking...  technically, the wall is leaking, but that's a strange mental picture.  The bricks are soaked, and a different color than the others.  There's water on the floor, on the windowsill, on the window, on chairs, in the cat bowls, it was just lovely.  We went to the roof to see what might have caused it, and found a lot of slush beneath the surface of ice and snow.  We shoveled, and it seemed to stop the dripping.  She's home to assess / fix and I'm sitting at work freezing.   For anyone who doesn't live in Cleveland, have you realized that you're missing all this?  :)


new year's eve weekend

Oh, the fun we've had.  We have had several small gatherings in the past few weeks, and have (of course) taken some pictures.  There was the new year's eve party where we were actually awake past midnight (yey, us), the game nights where friends proved to us that we are not as good at games as we think, and the pot of chili we made for Mike, Denise and Ally that we subsequently left on the stove 'to cool' for what should've been half an hour, and ended up being all night.  What a pleasant wake-up surprise THAT was.  I actually called mom to ask if I could boil the germs out of it, and she was appalled at the suggestion.  Clearly, she's never eaten an unrefrigerated day old chicken sammich.  Sheesh!

Here's the proof.  Enjoy.

Aside from the obvious fun we've been having, we have started a health kick.  Yes, we are following the centuries old (?) tradition of making new year's resolutions, and we have vowed to pound get ourselves into shape.  For Karen, this simply means adding exercise to her already healthy-esque eating habits.  For me, that means no longer enjoying a few bags of Cheez-Its from the vending machine at work for breakfast, and no longer cooking very filling (and very comfort-foody) meals every day.  To aid in our venture, I ordered Jillian's 30-day Shred workout video.  I must admit I have never been a fan of workout videos, but this one is actually doable.  As much as Jillian seems like someone I would never want near me in a gym when I watch her on TV, she is very motivating and almost kind in this video.  I did it for the first time last night and actually woke up this morning and did it again.  Jillian promises twenty pounds in thirty days.  We'll see...  Updates to come.

And, I think I mentioned a new camera for Christmas...  It's a little plastic guy who loves to take strange pics. Here's his latest work:


oh, the mess Karen's coming home to...

Karen left for Milwaukee yesterday and Phoebe, Moxy and Muffin decided to have a little get-together.

It started out small, the way parties always do.  We invited some neighborhood cats, but then they invited some friends, and so on.  They came over all kind, 'hi, thanks for having us over...' but before long, they were drinking all the diet coke.  (Okay, they didn't really drink ALL the diet coke, because I made them leave before they could finish the last few.  Diet coke is apparently like crack for cats.  Catnip isn't as enticing as diet coke.  For real.)  We played some bridge and watched movies, and then for some reason, they decided to try on all of Karen's clothes...  I told them not to, but you know cats.  They also ate all the snacks in the place.  And used up all the ice cubes.  It was terrible... before I knew it, it was 5am and I had to put out a small fire in the kitchen and take away their beer bong.  I made them leave, but I think they plan to come back for more tonight.  

Okay, none of that really happened...  We sat quietly on the couch all night and read books.  The other story's more interesting though, admit it.  :)