But the question is, what do we name it?

Four years ago, we acquired a sad-looking but functional ’97 Dodge Caravan. It was a hand-me-down from Darren’s parents and we payed exactly zero dollars for it. But it’s been on its last legs for a few months now and especially after this winter, replacement is a necessity. Since around September, we’ve been passively searching for an affordable vehicle that can handle the weather that we deal with in this sorry state.

Darren’s coworker Joe buys cars at auctions, fixes them as needed, and sells them. When he told Darren he had a Subaru for sale, we were intrigued. It’s a 2002 Impreza; the car itself has 150K miles on it, but the engine was replaced at around 130K. There’s some cosmetic issues – small dents, mostly, and a wee patch of rust on the wheel well – and the muffler needs to be replaced. It also needs a good cleaning. But instead of taking care of all these things and selling it for double the price, we got a sweet deal (so sweet that the loan payment is only $35 a month) and will be unloading the stupid van at the same time.

I have exactly one picture of said car.

I have exactly one picture of said car.

Darren got a shop recommendation from someone in the know, and made an appointment for muffler repair next Thursday. So we can’t really drive it yet, unless we want to risk a ticket because it’s so very, very loud. We’re hitting up the DMV tomorrow I think, and we’ll get the insurance switched over sometime this week.

All of this to say: ALL WHEEL DRIVE, YOU GUYS! And I’m so excited to not be rolling around in that shitty mom-van anymore.

“Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?”

Darren and I saw Peter and the Starcatcher last night. It’s pretty rare for him to come to a show with me, but when I told him it was supposed to be super funny and wasn’t really a musical, he was on board. It is essentially a prequel to Peter Pan. The book that the play is based on was co-written by Dave Barry, so I was feeling optimistic.

The show moves quickly and can get a bit quiet, so you definitely have to pay attention. They do sing, but not all the time. The humor is pretty corny over all, but it’s a family show so it works. Also, there are many puns! Many, many puns. And the bit that happens when Black Stache (Captain Hook, pre-hook and super campy) gets his hand cut off is the kind of bit that’s sort of funny, then not funny, then suddenly hilarious. There’s a lot of physical humor, which I like.

There is one woman in the show. She plays a 13 year old girl (who is one of the Starcatchers and the main character) and sounds like a 35 year old woman in a way that was kind of annoying and a little distracting. She’s super talented though. Her voice can’t be helped so what can ya do. The one other prominent female character, the nanny, is played by a dude who also plays multiple other characters. Totally funny but kind of a bummer with the lack of women. Lady pirates can totally be a thing, y’all! Lady pirates are the best pirates.

We both enjoyed the play; so did all of my coworkers who saw it, and the couple Kate and I sort of know from all the after-parties we end up at together. Apparently a lot of people didn’t. About six people sitting in front of us left at intermission, and two of my coworkers said the same thing happened where they were sitting (I believe they were not sitting in the same location). I haven’t heard any complaints yet, so we’ll see.

We hit the after-party for about an hour. Had a beer, shared some chips with a pirate, ate some tiny burgers. Hooray me for finally getting out of the apartment! I’ll make up for it tonight by watching TV at home in the dark.

clover

Darren’s dad had a stroke two weeks ago. He went back to work yesterday, so apparently he’s okay, but D had his mind set on making the trip down to South Carolina and he finally booked his flights today.

So I get to take him to the airport at the asscrack of dawn on Thursday (legit. His flight leaves at 6 am), and I’ll pick him up after work on Tuesday. I wish I could go with, but the money, dude. It’s expensive to fly from MSP to Charlotte, even with layovers both ways. He could’ve booked months out and it wouldn’t have been any cheaper. Plus the logistics and added expense of pet care? Meh, I will stay home. I think my in-laws think I don’t like them. Quit living so far away, y’all!

The real question is, what will I do with my three-day weekend now? No Darren. Car to myself. I’m thinking a little jaunt to Ikea is in order. Buy discounted Valentine’s candy on Saturday and eat it all. Woo, I party hard.

UPDATE: His flight got canceled and he was put on a new flight Friday afternoon, because of the weather happening on the East coast. Hooray for not having to wake up hella early on Thursday.

Two Zero One Four

Hey guys, happy new year! I spent my evening at Rec View with Kate, Susanna, and Michelle. We ate too much food, drank Bailey’s milkshakes, built a Sweet Fort, and watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. That’s the full title, guys.

Check out Fort Kickass:

fort kickass

Now I’m home and about to crawl into bed. I have one day left of my 12 day vacation and I plan to spend it doing as little as possible (which is how I spent most of said vacation). Everything will be closed so that helps my cause. First, though, I wanted to post this. It’s Dear Abby’s annual resolution column, full of wisdom and goodness.

DEAR READERS: Welcome to 2014! It seems like the world spins faster every year. With each new year comes our chance for a new beginning. It’s an opportunity to discard destructive old habits and create healthy new ones. With that in mind, I will share my often-requested list of New Year’s resolutions that were adapted by my mother, Pauline Phillips, from the original credo of Al-Anon:

JUST FOR TODAY: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully — if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.

Have a good year, friends. Get some sleep.

2013, summarized

It’s only December 10, but I think it’s time to post my annual year-end summary list of things. It’s not very exciting! This year had many ups and downs, but I managed to always come out on top. Success.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any. Although I did accomplish some things on my 30 by 30 list.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

This was the year of many babies. So, so many babies.

Did anyone close to you die?

Not super close, but Jessika and Carl’s deaths are still stinging.

What countries did you visit?

Stayed in this one, once again.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

My answer is the same as last year: Always more money. More time. More sleep. More warm weather!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

No babies in 2013! Got a raise. Finally took a real vacation.

What was your biggest failure?

Didn’t manage to acquire the new car we were hoping for. Mostly because we are lazy car shoppers, but also because car shopping is daunting. Also I am a cheap bastard.

What was the best thing you bought?

This laptop, although Darren is the one who purchased it, as he thought the matter was more urgent than I did. I’m also really loving our new humidifier.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Wendy Davis.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Ugh, lots of people. Although I know a guy who robbed a bank a couple months ago…

Where did most of your money go?

Bills and vacation.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

MN legalized same-sex marriage and it is awesome.

so gay

What song will always remind you of 2013?

I love Miley but I still hate to say it: We Can’t Stop. The video is SO BAD though, I won’t argue that.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or Sadder?

Same-ish. Maybe a little happier!

Thinner or fatter?

The same, I think. I bought pants today and was not disappointed by the size, so it’s a win.

Richer or poorer?

Same.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Saving money, AS ALWAYS. Gotta make money to save it though I guess.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas Eve with my family. Don’t know about Christmas, probably snuggled up at home.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

I fell in love with my re-arranged bedroom and the aforementioned humidifier. I still like Darren just fine, too.

How many one-night stands?

Zero.

What was your favorite TV program?

The Mindy Project.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

One of Darren’s friends. Whatever.

What was the best book you read?

I finally read The Giver just last week and it was fabulous. Fabulous!

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Was this the year of Mackelmore? I think so. It’s also is the year I decided to own my love of pop music.

What did you want and get?

Another raise.

What did you want and not get?

A new car.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Sharknado! Seriously though, I only saw one movie in the theater this year, for no reason other than I am a cheap bastard (as previously noted). That one movie was Identity Thief and it was hilarious. Still hoping to see Catching Fire though. But most of my entertainment comes from Netflix.

What did you do on your birthday?

My friends threw me a friggin’ surprise party at the Rec. There was a TARDIS cake and it was amahzing!

tardis cake

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Comfortable. Suitable. Sort of starting to develop a personal uniform, which I’m fine with. Makes things easier.

What kept you sane?

My fabulous friends,

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Anne Wheaton, my new idol.

What political issue stirred you the most?

What didn’t? These last few years have been dramatic.

Who did you miss?

Brenna.

Who was the best new person you met?

Michelle! Love Michelle.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

For all the shit that life puts me through, I survive all of it. Now I just need to remember that.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

My day at work was just like it always is
The same old same old
I appreciate the opportunity over and over
But I had supper with my shadow
And we had quite the discussion
If I truly believe that things can change will I wake up to something different?

“imagine a scarf as an unlimited canvas.”

One of the things on my 30 by 30 list is “learn how to knit.” Thanks to Kate’s unused copy of The Knitter’s Handbook and several sets of needles, I have succeeded. Or, I know the basics anyway, well enough to make Darren a new scarf. Ribbed for maximum knit-purl experience.

scarf

You know what I don’t like about knitting? Blocking. I had to pin this scarf to the hallway floor and shoo the pets away while I steamed it. It was worth the effort though, obviously, because it’s a nice scarf in the end. I should probably make one for myself, because I definitely need MOAR SCARVES.

Now that I’ve managed this simple guy, I’ll have to find time this winter to learn more complicated patterns. Knit things for everyone! One day there will be sweaters. One day.

I don’t think that means what you think it means

One post a month is apparently the new normal here. Unfortunately this has been a sad but otherwise unremarkable November. Such is life.

A couple weeks ago, Darren expressed an interest in seeing We Will Rock You, which is playing here this week. So we went, and it was not great. It was also not the worst – that honor still goes to 101 Dalmatians the Musical – but it has a weak plot, hokey dialogue, and there are several instances where they’ve changed the lyrics to Queen’s music in order to make it more modern. Radio Ga Ga is suddenly a song about the internet and it pains me. Brian May and Roger Taylor collaborated with the show’s writer and that might make it worse somehow, like how could they let this happen? They way they try to work the songs into the plot is so, so awkward. It’s also weird to hear Queen sung by not-Freddie Mercury or that guy from YouTube who sounds just like him. Under Pressure sung by not-Mercury and not-Bowie is so much less impressive.

Also, the people sitting behind us were drunk, loud, and the one dude in the group legit passed out and was snoring. These were people twice my age, mind you. I was seated next to a coworker and once intermission rolled around she asked them to be more respectful. They were pretty rude about it, but there was a little improvement for the second act.

After curtain-call the entire cast sang Bohemian Rhapsody (like this, but minus Brian May of course), which I knew was happening at some point, so that was pretty rad. Over all, I’m glad I got to see it but I’m also glad I didn’t have to pay for it.

What else? One of my air plants did not survive long. I think it was still a little wet when it was shipped – actually, they came wrapped in plastic and there was some moisture in the bag when they arrived, so yeah. I didn’t think much of it at first, until I realized the one was showing some signs of some rot. I failed to save it, sadly, but the other two are thriving. They’ve grown, even.

Darren and I have been making an effort to mix up our dinner routine. Expect some future posts about whim-based cooking, including popovers, a tasty but slightly failed Yorkshire pudding, and lots of soups.