Monday, June 27, 2011

Birthday Weekend

On Friday, Mom made pizza for dinner, and then we had Election Cake.  During the 1800's - not sure which decade - Election Cake was given to persons who voted a straight ticket.  Election Cake has figs and walnuts in it.
On Saturday, we went to Gina's house.  Jocelyn, Robert, and Andrew came over.  It was fun.  The boys played Twister.
On Sunday, we went to church, then to Trinity's softball game.  After, we went back to the Cuff house.  Trinity, Matt, and I went swimming for a little bit, then we got ready for Dave's party.  The party was very fun, but I was exhausted, and I took a nap on Matt's bed for a few hours, then he took me home.  Sharon has pictures - I'll try to get them.
Today, Matt has an interview in Lynwood.  I'm excited for him, and I hope it goes well.  Lynwood is 12 miles from my house, but it's 36 miles from his house.  I wish it wasn't so far for him to drive, but I want him to get it so we can live in Orange County after we get married.  Most of my friends are moving to Irvine over the next six months, and I would like to live in Irvine.  It's an absolutely beautiful area, and one of the safest cities in the United States.  It's the kind of city where the police get called to get a cat out of a tree, not for a bank robbery. 
Matt really wants to live in the Valley, though.  If we live up there, we will live in North Hollywood or Burbank.  But Irvine - ah, that would be wonderful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Start of a birthday weekend

So.  Last night I left my badge in Matt's car.  I called him at 5:57 AM, and I wailed, "I left my badge in your car!!!"  After 20 minutes of negotiations, Matt said he was meeting me before work to give me my badge. 
So when I came up from the Pershing Square station, Matt was across the street, with my badge in hand, and a bouquet of purple tulips, since tomorrow is my birthday. 
Then he walked me to work, where we kissed for about three minutes on the steps of the skyscraper where I work.  (OK - so now you know my approximate area.  You really think I'm telling you the name of the skyscraper? ;)  Gotta be kidding!)
My life is like a movie.  :)  Seriously.  And Matt is the most wonderful man in the whole world.
My coworkers also brought cupcakes.  This is going to be an awesome birthday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Shark in the Water

I have realized that I cannot trust my own judgment of people. 
On first impression, I generally like the "snake in the grass" and distrust the "knight in shining armor." 
This isn't quite always the case, because I tend to like everyone, but if there are two partners in a job, I tend to not like the good guy, usually for reasons like, "He's overly friendly." 
Here at work, we have a shark in the water.  Someone that took advantage of an honest mistake that anyone could have made. 
I have 40 weeks left.  It can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Will I get another assignment with my temp agency if I tell them about the emotional distress I'm suffering at my assignment?
I have 9 months to go, and I'm not sure if I can make it.
I cannot quit, not now.  We need the job.  It doesn't stop me from looking at other jobs, though.
Ideally, I would like an administrative assistant possition that paid $16 - 17/hour.  With benefits.  I can't deal with a micro-managing supervisor.  It's awful.  I can deal with a heavy workload - after the past three months, I'm used to the stress from work.  I just can't deal with a micro-manager. 
I have nightmares about work.  What would the temp agency do if I told them what was going on?  Would I be fired?  Would I not be trusted in another assignment?  Or would they say, "I'm surprised you lasted this long..."
If I can just get through the next 9 months, I can do anything. 

Saturday & Sunday - Gaming & Father's Day, respectively

I wish I had pictures to share, but sadly, I did not take any.  Sharon (Matt's mother) has some of Father's Day, so I will ask her to email them to me.
On Saturday, Mom and I started sewing the petticoat for the wedding dress.  We cut out the satin for the base skirt, and sewed the skirt.  Mom put the zipper in.  I'm not good at zippers.  :)  I cut out the netting for the petticoat.  I'm using about ten yards, so it will be very poufy!  I got frustrated with the uncooperative netting, and so not all the edges are exactly 24".  Some a little less, some a little more.  It's just netting!!!  We had to stop after sewing the bottom layer of tulle together, because it was 11 AM, and I had to go gaming.
Matt and I drove out to Riverside to game with his friends.  Robert's girlfriend Jocelyn was coming, and I felt like I should come to keep her company.  (I was going to try on wedding dresses at Mon Amie in Costa Mesa, but that is postponed for a few weeks.)  I fell asleep - twice - at gaming and managed to spill Hawaiian Punch over my character sheet, but I brought yummy food (upside down pineapple cake!  Yum!). 
On Sunday, Matt and I went to church, and afterwards got Dave a popcorn bowl from World Market and some popcorn.  Sharon made lunch - which was quite yummy!  After, the boys were playing with a shooting game that Dave got.  I fell asleep - again.  Later that evening, we went to see The Green Lantern, which was not my favorite superhero movie.  The bad guy in it was just way too creepy, and it was just... cheesy.  I liked X - Men way better.  Everyone else had a good time.
On Monday night, Matt picked me up from work, and we saw Bridesmaids.  I did not really like it.  It was very painful to watch.  BUT, we saw the trailer for The Help, and I promptly downloaded the book on my way to work on Tuesday.  I must say, this is seriously one of the best books I have ever read.  It's amazing.  The author captures the characters so perfectly - I couldn't put it down, and I finished it that evening.  One of the girls at work gave me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I will start that on my lunch, perhaps. 

Les Miserables - Opening Night

Matt and I got Hot Tix to Les Miserables at the Ahmanson Theater.  We went to Portofino Cucina for dinner (amazing!  Amazing food!  Best fettuccini alfredo EVER!  Really cheap too!), and then over to the theater.  The production was amazing.  It blew me away.  Les Miz is in town until July 31 - and you should definitely go see it.  Best.  Musical.  EVER.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This is Where the Liberal Arts Majors Die

The company that contracted me for the year is a Fortune 500 company.  This is Serious Business.  This is where the Liberal Arts Majors work.
Out of the seven people on my team, four of us were/are liberal arts majors.  One was philosophy, another anthropology, I was history, and the intern is currently majoring in English. 
Those of us who do not want to teach, or who cannot find jobs in museums or other liberal arts bastions end up here: corporate America.  With useless degrees (unless you work in an aforementioned field), we take administrative positions, working ourselves up a level or two until retirement. 
Yes, these jobs are dull, but they are busy, and they keep us occupied for 40 hours a week.  They earn adequate paychecks, and hey - free coffee!  And what else would we do?  There are only so many teaching positions.  There are not many museums, and they do not hire people constantly.  Only a few archeologists can dig, and newspapers do not need any more political philosophers to write commentary.  Interesting jobs are few and far between, but dull jobs abound. 
So I dream of working in the field I studied, knowing that it is just a dream.  Real needs are pressing, and I need steady a paycheck.  (Money is nice!)  So I will continue to work in this cubical, like a mouse in a cage.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Engagement Party Recovery

It is official.  I am a Bridezilla. 

Let me explain.  Yesterday was my engagement party (to Matt), and this past week has been an absolute frenzy of preparation.  I had paper chains to make, bunting to sew, and cake pops to prepare. 

Friday night after Matt picked me up from work, we were driving to Alin Party Supply to place the balloon order ($0.99 a balloon!  Rediculous!), and I was upset because a LOT of people said they couldn't make it (we invited about 80 people).  I said to Matt, "If K**** ever gets married, we are not going to her engagement party because she didn't come to ours!!"  And I said that about everyone that declined our invitation.  Matt must have been like, "Where did this monster come from and how do I not marry her?!?" 

By the time we got to Gina's to make taco salad and sandwiches, I was (almost) calmed down.  We had a good time at her house.  She made lasagna roll ups - they were sooo good!!

So then we get back to my house about 10:30 pm, and Matt was running a fever.  Not a big deal, he could be dehydrated or his thumbs could be fighting an infection.  I send him off to bed, then start the white cake and the lemon tart.  (OMG the lemon tart was SO GOOD!  The white cake.... more about that later.)

Saturday morning, Matt woke up with a 102.6 fever.  I finished the cake pops, the two cakes, and the taco salad.  Mom, Kim and I cleaned the front yard and decorated the back yard.  I got gorgeous flowers at the farmers market.  Matt's fever broke (thank God), and he helped set up the chairs.  I had the fastest shower ever, and I looked very pretty. 

The party was a great success.  Beth brought watermelon, Mom made oatmeal cookies and potato salad, and Sharon brought a veggie platter. 

I made:

Taco Salad (my grandmother made this when I was a child - so good!)

Blackberry Tart - which I forgot about - but it is sooo good!!!!  More for me!!

Lemon Tart - AMAZING.  It is a new favorite.  But must add tart pan to registry...

Cake Pops - These were a HUGE hit.  I should have made more.  I will make perhaps 200 for the wedding, even though it is SO time intensive!!

Spice Cake - from a box, was not really eaten

And then some snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies.

But I made this gorgeous white cake.  Truely  - gorgous.  I'm not going to post the link, because the recipe has been corrected, and I will try this again with better results.  The problem was, the recipe I copied three weeks ago listed 4 teaspoons baking soda.  The recipe corrected 10 days ago listed 4 teaspoons baking powder!!  I hadn't checked back to read comments, which I should have.  I'm a good baker.  I am.  So that this recipe tasted awful was mortifying!  Luckily only one person tried it, and I put it away when I realized it was bad.  But wow.  People need to PROOFREAD THEIR RECIPES.

Today, Matt is resting.  He has a virus.  Of course.  :)  I slept and slept and slept, cleaned the house, and wrote thank you cards. 

Here are pictures from the party.  As more are posted on Facebook, I will share more.

Matt and Me

My parents, Kim (sister)


Cousin Heidi, Aunt Debbie, Cousin Chris
(note the pretty paper chains - which are carefully saved for the wedding)

Cousin James, Beth (sister), Mike (sister's boyfriend)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So You Don't Want to Look like a Princess...

Well guess what - you don't have to. 
This is in response to this blog:
OK ladies.  If you're plus sized - heck, if you are any size, you are going to find it difficult to find clothes that fit you.  But shopping doesn't have to be painful.  Not at all!  You simply need to know what kind of clothes fit you well.  For me, it is dresses with a full skirt ending about knee length.  Generally sleeveless or strapless, and I throw on a bolero or sweater.  Jeans don't really work for me.  I look best in 50's style dresses.  And that's what I shop for.  I don't try on scads of sheaths, only to despair when they freaking won't go over my hips!!  I get dresses with lots of room down below. 
So.  Now it's time to get married.  And you don't want to wear a.... a what?  A mess?  Pfft.  So you don't like lace and beading and halter dresses.  Stop freaking complaining, go to a store that you normally shop at, and freaking get a dress in white!  Or ivory!  Or pink!  But stop freaking complaining about it!!!  And don't call dresses I LIKE a mess!  Because I like poofy princess dresses!! (OK - not halter, either - those just look weird.)  But seriously!  You are not better than me because you are choosing a non-bridal gown for your courthouse wedding.  And it feels like you're trying to be better than me just because I'm going the traditional route, at least, as far as dresses go. 
And honestly, there are SOOO many places to find dresses, you don't need to write in complaining that you cannot find a dress.  Pul-eeze.  You're just begging for attention.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photo Collage

This is a drawing of a project I want do make for the wedding.
You build a frame, and then tie pictures on ribbon, and hang the pictures from the frame.
Pictures used can be loved ones that have passed on, or your parents and grandparents wedding pictures.

The Pretty

I didn't want an engagement ring.  I don't like how women compare rings, sizing each other up by the piece of decay on their left ring finger.  So when Matt and I got engaged, I did the practical thing: insisted on matching recycled sterling silver rings.  Bonus: they were $15 on

Gina send me the below photo of a stunning yellow sapphire ring she wants when she gets engaged.  First thought when I saw it?  "I want that!"  It's a gorgeous ring, with sparkling diamonds surrounding the sapphire.  Personally, I think sapphires are the prettiest gemstones: pink, blue, yellow - all gorgeous. 

So then I started thinking about my birthday (in 17 days, thank you very much).  I'm not expecting anything grand or extravagant.  Money is not exactly tight, but we don't have extra to spend on frivolous presents.  I'm asking for Jo-Ann's gift cards - I have wedding dress fabric to buy, and it's expensive.  More on that another time. 

But seeing that ring - oh! the pretty! - made me wish I was getting something impractical.  I wouldn't wear it as an engagement ring, just as a "Oh this old thing?  It was a birthday present" kind of ring.  But maybe next year.  Maybe then I can get the pretty.  Maybe things will go right and Matt won't lose his job and I'll be hired on at the company I currently work for (or land another year contract at another company immediately) and maybe we can spend money on pretty.  Right now, we can't.  I'm okay with that, but sometimes there are fleeting moments (like now) when, honestly, I'm a little resentful.  I know Matt has only been out of work five days, but I don't have much faith that things will improve in the long term.  I feel guilty for being resentful, because I'm the one that picked Matt.  :)

Wow, that was a lot.  And all of this over a silly ring.  Now you see why I didn't want an engagement ring?  ;)   


Sorry guys - I'm experimenting with a new mobile upload thing.  Continued!!

Now the stands must be assembled for the engagement party this weekend... Yes, an engagement party!!!  Squeee!!!!

Last night I spend 3 hours cutting paper strips for paper chains.  Matt is coming over tonight, so he gets to make them and make an "engagement party here" sign.  Oh!! I need to order balloons!!  Tonight I am starting cake pops and sewing bunting.  Matt also gets to glue the cake stands.  

Too much to do!!!

At work, the main program (that we cannot work without) is being redone, so I am filing and unpacking my last 3 crates.  And I think Jackie needs help with a subpoena.  So at least I will stay busy!)

Gina, Matt, and I went thrifting this weekend, looking for plates/candlesticks to make cake stands. Found quite a few great finds at the AIDS thrift store in Long Beach. This is Gina at the Feed Store right next to the AIDS store.

Monday, June 6, 2011

An Interesting Weekend

This past week was rather slow and boring, until Friday midday.

I got a text from Matt: "I might not be able to go to the observatory (Griffith) tonight.  I cut my fingers."

This was obviously more than a paper cut, so I started to freak out when he didn't text me backFinallyhours later, he told me he had gotten stitches, and he was okay.  I left work early on Friday (we moved from the 16th floor to the 27th floor of the Gas Tower), so I went to meet him at Universal City Station. 

What happened is that he was trying to drill a hole in a razor blade to make a scraper, but the blade started to spin and cut his thumbs.  Unfortunately, the company he was working for has a policy that if a temp worker gets hurt, the assignment is ended.  So, Matt lost his job.

We are financially okay; hopefully Matt will get unemployment insurance, but my income is just enough to pay all the bills and leave a little extra for fun.  We will have to use unemployment to pay for the wedding, and then when Matt gets a new job, we will use his income to pay for the wedding and for our apartment. 

Hopefully life settles down quickly.