Friday, May 30, 2008

Holy Bedhead, Batman!

I just slept from 5:50pm yesterday to 8:30am today. I must have been sicker than I thought.

Today I work from noon to 7:30ish. Hopefully my nap of doom gets me through.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hold the phone!!!

A two Carat White Topaz:


And a MASSIVE "aqua colored stone" in a great filigree settings. They don't say Aquamarine, but who cares?? Look at it!!!

Neil Topaz?

Alright. So. The deal at work is that basically all of our Educator positions are being dissolved/turned into other positions and I have to choose which new one I want. I'm tired and still don't have all of the information I want about each of the positions to make an informed decision, so that's all I'm going to say about that for now. I'll be sure to keep my readership (Bobbie) in the loop.

I've been trying all week to get to the gym, but I've had a cold since Monday and just can't bring myself to do it. Today would be perfect, but it feels like the worst day of the cold. I'm stretching and doing crunches at home though, so that's good.

Since Steve and (well, maybe just) I have been talking marriage, I've been scoping out rings. I've determined that my taste and our meager salaries are incongruous, so a diamond may not be possible. I'm thinking white topaz or white sapphire, or something else altogether. Here are my favorites so far:

White Topaz Solitaire

White Sapphire Stackables (there's an Aquamarine in there too)

Smoky Topaz

Hessonite Garnet with Diamonds (this is the most expensive one)

Another White Topaz


All of them are handmade by Etsy sellers, which I think is really great, but I'm also open to going antiquing for something vintage and fabulous. Steve said that he 1) would want me to pick out his band for him and 2) is nervous to pick something out for me because I clearly know what I want. And while it's nice to get what you want...isn't it supposed to be a joint activity?? Anyway, I like these for him...I guess..since he doesn't own a PIECE of jewelry and hence has no style preferences:
Hammered Oxidized Sterling

Sterling (this one is by the same artist that did the first White Topaz up there)

Dirty Titanium


I know I should probably just chill out on this subject for a while, but I'm bonkers for bling!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I need a vacation

Memorial Day Weekend was one crazy clump of days. Let's review, starting with Thursday (because, let's face it-- it counts as the weekend).

Thursday: Worked from 8:30 to 4. I left early to attend the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner of the lovely couple I did Day-Of Coordination for on Sunday. Dinner was delicious and quite a fun event.

Friday: Worked from 1:15 to 7:45 and went directly to the bachelorette party after teaching at the detention center. It was a 3-part party with an exotic dance class, dinner, and a sex toy party. I missed the dance class for work, but dinner was great and the party was also awesome.

Saturday: I spent my day lounging and running a couple errands. I also set up my new hammock stand only to discover that it is 6 feet too long (6 feet too long!). Now I have a project for this weekend coming up. I redeemed my Marshall's gift certificate for a cute pair of work-appropriate sandals (the new CEO is very strict with the dress code), and that evening I went to the bride's house for smores and girl talk.

Sunday: I was at the bride's house again at 11am to keep time and crack that whip (and do lots of other things). We made it to the venue by 2:30 for a 3:00 ceremony, and everything went really well. It was a gorgeous wedding and a great time all around.

After the reception, I drove to the Jersey shore to meet up with Steve, who was playing there. We wanted to hit the beach the next day, so we stayed there...um, in his car. It's kind of neat to be able to say that we did, but I don't think that I'll ever do it again. It was cold and uncomfortable.

Monday: We got breakfast, lounged on the beach, and played mini golf. We ate delicious food at a friend's BBQ on the way back, and I crashed nice and early, exhausted from the wedding, my car nap, the sun, and the drive.

Tomorrow I discover what the hizzle is going on with my department at work, but tonight I relax.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weddings, abortions, and holidays-- oh my!

Well, it's wedding weekend #1 for the brides of 2008! (It's actually the second wedding this year for my relations, but I was unable to attend the first.)

Last night was a fabulous rehearsal and dinner. I'm doing Day-Of Coordination for this one, and after watching the rehearsal, I'm beginning to wonder how much responsibility I'm actually going to have, since the venue has it down. I've been doing a lot of little things here and there, though, so hopefully the bride will consider me a worthy investment anyway.

Things at work are...strange right now, and I won't know whether it's a good strange or a bad strange for a little while. And that's all I'm at liberty to say. Oh, also, Bush is attempting to reinstate Reagan's domestic "Gag Rule" that restricts abortion providers. Keep your eyes open in case things get ugly, and do what you gotta do on the grassroots level to keep our reproductive freedoms.

Monday is Memorial Day! My town is so cute, with American flags lining the main street. Although I don't really care to be blatantly patriotic myself, it's kind of fun to live in a town that is. I'd like to go to the beach on Monday, but am worried about the crowds. Any outdoor ideas for a day that the whole country likes to spend outside?

Grievance of the day: My mail carrier keeps delivering mail, but is not taking the outgoing mail when he does so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh. My. Porn.

So. That two-day training I mentioned? Oh. My. God. What it is is a Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR) that Planned Parenthood educators (from PA, NJ, and DE) attend every so often (maybe annually). I know I'm not going to be able to explain it properly, but let me just tell you a little bit about it.

Basically, we watch films, and then go into breakout groups and talk about them.
Film #1 was a collection of mostly photos, but some live action, of naked bodies, closeups of vulvas and penises, and even action shots of masturbating, inserting a tampon, etc. No big deal; nothing I hadn't seen before.

Film #2 consisted of interviews with several women and men on how they came to start masturbating, as well as their habits. They masturbated on film.

Film #3 was the most explicit. It featured six couples, all going through sex therapy. First we watched them caress each others' faces. Then we watched them have sex. There were two heterosexual couples, two gay male couples, and two lesbian couples. It was really interesting because, even though I'm sure the film would be classified as porn by definition, it was so refreshingly far from mainstream porn. They used real couples engaging in real intercourse that meant something to them. And to begin the film with the caressing of the faces, it set the scene for it to be respected as a learning tool (they show it to clients in therapy).

Film #4 was about seniors and sexuality. Some old people are sooo funny.

I don't remember what's in store for tomorrow, but I will say that this SAR is the most unique, most interesting training I've ever been to. Also, I've decided what's next for me academically: the Jefferson College of Health Professions Couples and Family Therapy Masters Program. Word.

Monday, May 19, 2008

That last post was my 100th!

Hey May, what's up?

Marshalls Results, Part II: I came home from VA last night to a $25 Marshalls gift card and letter of apology. Thank you, corporate!!!

Weekend Report: VA was wonderful! Bobbie graduated and I am so proud of her!!! I got to see Jay, Laura, and quite a variety of characters that are Bobbie's family and friends. Also, despite her house being mostly packed for her move to Boston (South End, represent!), her decor was super inspiring and I am so excited to build up my furniture and housewares collection for a future abode that will house only me and Steve (sigh, someday).

This Week: Mary Kay unit meeting tonight, a two-day training tomorrow and Wednesday (grocery shopping somewhere in there), a rehearsal dinner on Thursday, teaching and a bachelorette party on Friday, relax on Saturday, day-of wedding coordination (and guesting) on Sunday, and the shore on Monday (if the crowds don't scare me away). Should go pretty quickly!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bathing Suits and Wet Bars

Marshalls results: I got the discount off the bottoms (not as much as I thought it would be), and an additional 10% off, as discussed. I won't be going back for as long as I can stay away (which, let's face it: may not be very long, dammit).

Dan is in the process of moving out (very sloooowly). He had a furniture store worth of stuff in the garage, and I had mentioned that I really liked his wet bar when he moved in. So he sold it to me for a cool $50! It's antique, and those babies go for at least $100 on craigslist. It's missing a knob, but Steve didn't even notice (not that that's saying much), and I might just find fun replacements for all of them anyway. Trip to Anthropologie, anyone?

Getting new furniture is one of my favorite things in the world, especially because most of my current furniture came with the house. Eventually (soon, I hope), Steve and I will move into our own place and need furniture that's actually ours. So even though there's not a lot of room left in the house, I think gradually buying pieces is the best way to go (and we do have a garage). A move is so expensive, you don't want to have to think about the furnishing the place too. Then again, it's hard to buy pieces when you don't know what kind of space you'll be living in. Sigh. How did I become so attracted to furniture??

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Marshalls Schmarshalls Update

I just got off the phone with a manager at Marshalls. He wanted the name of the representative that I spoke to, but I unfortunately didn't notice the name tag in the midst of my rage.

Anyway, he offered me 10% off my next purchase at Marshalls, which was nice (though not enough, in my opinion), but then also needed to know when I was planning to go shopping there again because he has to be there. Instead I asked if I can bring in my bathing suit receipt tomorrow evening to get the original discount I was supposed to get for not having bottoms, along with the 10% for my troubles (which still isn't enough, but right now I'll take what I can get, you know?). So that's what's happening. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Great Eight

List-style update time!

1. I have a pair of sandals up for sale on ebay, and no one has bid on them. No one's even watching them. Maybe I'm asking too much for them. There's one day left of the auction.

2. Still no reply from Marshalls.

3. A friend from high school (who I haven't spoken to since HS) ordered some MK stuff from my website! I actually had it in my inventory, so I'm sending it out to her ASAP.

4. Speaking of MK, I'm ditching the weekly meeting because it's cold and raining and I don't want to use the gas (it's up to an hour away in traffic).

5. Dan moves out tomorrow!

6. I interview a new roommate, Gooch, tomorrow. (Rob and Steve have already approved. I've met this guy once. Briefly. In a loud bar.)

7. We hired a 4th educator at work. She starts a month from yesterday, the day before I leave for California.

8. Speaking of my travels, I'M GOING TO VA THIS WEEKEND FOR BOBBIE'S GRADUATION!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What I just sent to Marshalls:

Hello, I am writing because I recently had a very unsatisfactory experience at one of your stores (Marple Crossing in Springfield, PA).

Here's what happened:
Earlier this week, I was in the store and found a swimsuit that I wanted to purchase. It was missing the bottoms, so I went to Customer Service to see if I could get the top at a discount. She informed me that the top could not be sold without the bottom. She then took my name and phone number, and said that the store would call when they found the bottoms. I asked if I could still purchase the top if the bottoms were not found. She said yes.

When I didn't get a phone call for the next 4 days or so, I decided to go back to the store. The Customer Service rep couldn't find the suit behind the register and said it must be back on the racks. And that's exactly where I found it; still without a bottom, but WITH MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER ATTACHED!

I purchased the suit at full price without the bottoms (because I didn't want to go through this ordeal again), but informed the representative of what happened and got only a blank look in return.

It's very upsetting to know that not only was I not followed up with as originally told, but my name and phone number was floating about the store for anyone to discover. Also, I don't believe I should have had to pay full price for just a bathing suit top.

Part of me wishes that I could have walked away without buying the item, but come on: a good bathing suit is hard to find.

I appreciate your time and any action you may take to make me a happy Marshalls customer again.

Thank you,
Nina Baltierra

Mi marido esta dormiendo

This week has been crazy. I worked Monday through Saturday, including Friday night, and today I get to relaaaax. I stayed in bed a little longer than I ordinarily would, since--grab your buckets--Steve is just so good at cuddling. I brought my coffee pot down out of the cupboard to avoid making myself look semi-presentable and walking to Wawa.

Steve hired some neighbor kid to mow our lawn. This morning the kid knocked on the door and asked if it was okay to start. He wanted to know if my husband was home and if he'd wake him up. That was both a hilarious and heart-warming experience, let me tell you. It was also really appropriate because I just read a book last night called, Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple. I particularly enjoyed the chapter where they discuss what to call your partner (they advocated for that one), what to call your partner's family, and a bunch of stuff in between. Steve and I had actually talked about this before. We usually use boyfriend and girlfriend, but I often switch to partner in certain company. A couple years ago, Steve suggested that he call me his One and Only (or something equally cheesy), and I said no (because of the cheese-factor and the fact that I was satisfied with girlfriend). But now I'm starting to get it, because there's something about "boy/girlfriend" that just doesn't connote the kind of relationship we have.

So hearing the kid call Steve my husband sounded appropriate, but it was hardly accurate. Spanish is awesome, because it actually has a word that means spouse without the legal meaning of husband and wife: marido (though a lot of legal spouses use this term anyway). But Spanish also has words that mean husband and wife too: esposo/a. If only English could make as much sense.

But anyway, I highly recommend the book to anyone in a situation similar to mine and Steve's, where marriage may or may not be in the future (either by choice or because of lame laws). The writers also founded a grassroots organization for the rights of unmarried people (whether they're in a marriage-like relationship or not) called the Alternatives to Marriage Project. Check it out!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

All that and...

As we approach Grocery Day in the Soltierra household, I managed dinner with a grilled cheese sandwich. I wanted something to go along with it, and found one of those single serving bags of chips atop the frige. Instead of eating them bag-lunch style, I decided to pour them onto the plate that would hold my gooey sandwich. Behold, the entire contents of the bag:

At first I was outraged (and I still am, a little). How DARE they put so few chips-- and soooo few whole chips-- into this bag and sell it to people? Then I read the nutrition information. The bag contained 1/2 ounce of chips (about 7 of them), and will supply you with 70 calories. Fair enough, I thought, and proceeded to supplement my meal with a small salad. In considering the second side to my sandwich, I became grateful that the bag contained so few chips and gave me the opportunity to add something nutritious and-- gasp!-- grown-up to my dinner.

As I took my final bites, I was still a little bitter about the lack of chips the bag supplied, but will now think twice about grabbing some for a snack. I think they should change the saying to, "All that and a side salad." *air snap, snap, snap*

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

DRESSES!

Yesterday, I went to Marshall's. At Marshall's, I found TONS of cute dresses. Many of these dresses were by the same designer, one I've never heard of: Debbie Miller (for Rigo). I ended up buying two of hers and one crazy-awesome one that wasn't hers. I tried them all on at home (I reeeeally didn't feel like it at the store), and will be retuning one of Debbie's later this week (unfortunately-- but I need the money).

ALSO, my bridesmaid dress for Jenna's wedding arrived today! Please see my lovely dresses below.

The Debbie Miller dress I'm keeping (it's actually a little bit greener in person).


Neckline detail. So sexy.


I fell in love with this silky sensation:


And some detail...


This dress is from my friend's vintage store. The picture doesn't do it justice; it's really adorable and fits me perfectly (even with the underboob seams!).


And finally, my white satin bridesmaid dress with a hot pink sash. I haven't tried it on yet (I was sweaty from the gym when I came home and found it), but I think it's going to need to be taken in. I really love the cap sleeves.


It's going to be a very dressy summer.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

N.B. Confidential

I'm sitting here, eating toast with peanut butter and honey, thinking, "I can't finish this. It's just too much. That's what I'll post in my blog. Wait, why would you post something so uninteresting? Your last post was about cooking chicken...Oh my god, has my life gotten boring??? ***does quick review of life*** No, not at all. I just happen to be keeping some very exciting things private right now, and will share when it's time."

Muahahaha, you can't stand secrets, can you?

The plan has been to go to the gym today, but I'm feeling so...Sunday, you know? Also, the house needs a cleaning, which I might do, but it's not my turn yet (whose turn is it? I have no idea; our chore system has fallen apart). And my car needs gas. Again. Why is it that the month gas prices skyrocket (more than months before), my driving increases too? I can't wait for my (sorry attempt at an)economic stimulus check!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Iron Nina

I made delicious chicken last night! In my time buying groceries and cooking things (a pretty new thing for me), I've learned that I'm an overcooker. I certainly don't try to take all the juices out of chicken breasts and pork chops...it just happens. I think it's my fear, instilled partially by Chef Gordon Ramsay, of serving raw meat. The other night, I cooked up some Italian sausage. Adamant in my goal not to overcook it, I served it too soon and had to head back to the stove, my fear realized. So last night, completely scared about e coli, I whipped up some chicken breasts flavored with lemon and lime juices, and the chicken was perfect; and just the right amount of tangy! I'm so proud of myself.

In other news, I got my hair cut today and it feels so fresh and fab. My stylist also got super excited when I mentioned Mary Kay. New client time!

Future plans:
Tonight- AC with Steve and Sara to see Steve's band, which he's not playing in tonight (former bassist's last gig).

Tomorrow- taking most of the day off and SLEEPING IN, getting my oil changed, running any other necessary errands, and teaching at a detention center at night (oooh!).

Saturday- a health fair and drinks with some ladies in Philly that night.

Sunday- free, free, free!!!