Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A new friend

Yesterday David and I got a new friend-Paco. He is a small dog, and we are so glad to have him live with us! Paco was David's sister's dog, but when we told her we wanted one she kindly gave him to us. Right now the transition is going well. Paco seems very laid-back and friendly, which is good. The biggest problem is our spoiled cat. She is nuts! She keeps hissing at Paco and swiping at him with her claws. Last night I was wondering if it was such a great idea, but when we went to sleep and Paco curled up next to our bed so cutely, I knew that it would be a good choice. So, without further ado, here are pictures of the dressed-up-for-Halloween Thorina and our new doggie, Paco!



Monday, October 29, 2007

My personality

So I have a profile on Facebook and have a personality application, which means that I can take a ton of worthless personality tests. I always hate taking those tests because I can never figure out the answers to the questions, so I end up saying, "Julie, do you think I am more like a turtle, a dog, a horse, or a moose?" and that defeats the purpose because it turns into how my roommate perceives me, not a reflection of my personality.

So anyway, for fun, I'm going to post the results here. What do you guys think? Are these accurate? (These are all from http://apps.facebook.com/)

Which Beatle are you?
George Harrison
You are a quite person,Dreamer,You have an inspired soul,you are a very good hearted person!

Which city are you?
Stockholm
Stockholm is famous for the castle, design, architecture, shopping, music and the very old streets. It’s a small, quiet and calm capital but with a good nightlife.

If I were on Seinfeld, I'd be Jerry Seinfeld
You're a natural comedian and known for your wit. Sometimes you feel like you have the strangest friends and the office work style probably doesn't suit you. You often find yourself contemplating why all your friends walk right into your place.

If you were a Disney Princess, You'd be Jasmine
You are a strong, independent person that doesn’t mind taking matters into your own hands. You don't want much, but do love to seek adventures.

If were on Sex And The City, I'd be Carrie Bradshaw
You love the idea of love and always search for it but aren't really sure it exists. You're smart, funny and free-spirited. Above all, you have style.

If I were on Saved By The Bell, I'd be Screech Powers
No need to deny it, you are a nerd. You love to learn and consider yourself a bookworm. At times you can be naive. You are attracted to your exact opposite (stylish and a bit spoiled).

So does this mean that David is spoiled? I guess so!

If you were on Friends, You'd be Monica Geller
You’re a neat freak that always needs things in order. You have a very competitive nature and have an athletic instinct. You can be pretty bossy at times, but you just like to get things done. You might be really into cooking.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Oops.

I was just taking a bath so I would read some for school tomorrow (the bath is the only place where I do not get distracted while reading), and David walked in the room and spotted that I was actually reading my Bridget Jones book instead. Don't you hate it when people catch you doing something that you are not supposed to be doing?

Ugh

Yesterday I ate a ton of chips and Queso dip, which made my stomach hurt sooooo much....yucks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Favorite books

Disclaimer: I apologize that none of the titles are punctuated correctly, but for some reason this computer will not allow me to italicize or underline in Blogger.

David's mom recently made a list of her favorite books for someone, and I thought that it would be fun to do the same for my blog. Books have always been a huge part of my life: my parents read to me religiously when I was little, and as I have grown I still enjoy reading.

Mostly, I enjoy realistic fiction books. When I was in high school, I took it upon myself to become really well-read, which meant that I spent most of my money buying books from the "Classics" section in bookstores. This carried into my two majors: Classics and English, where I focused on World Literature. Now I have a big book collection that is finally nestled in three bookcases in our house. Now I feel like I have read many of the Great Books, but I have nobody with whom I can discuss them since my husband is a fantasy fanatic. Boo.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- This has always been one of my favorite children’s books. I love the character of Sara Crewe because she was always so optimistic and creative.

The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder- The best children's book series written. Ever. Plus, they are beautifully illustrated.

The American Girl Series- There are lots of books in this series, but I learned a lot of history from Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly (yes, I am that old: those were the only American Girls when I was little).

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech- This book is about Salamanca Hiddle and her struggle with finding her mother. I love this book but hate reading the ending because it makes me sob every single time! If you have never read this book, you should sit down with it (even as an adult) because the writing is beautiful and there are many wonderful themes.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll- This book is an act of creative genius. I love it. And the movie does not even come close to doing the book justice.

Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories, and J.D. Salinger’s other books- Franny and Zooey is about a brother and a sister grappling with religion and their place in the world. It is amazingly written: I have not read it in a while, but I believe that the entire store takes place within a span of a few hours. Nine Stories is a collection of nine stories (bit of a surprise, huh?) in which the characters (again) grapple with their place in the world. J.D. Salinger is hard to explain—you kind of have to read his stuff and from there acquire your own interpretation of his works.

Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen¬- Beautifully written and beautiful books. I enjoyed reading them so much…they are mostly easy reads.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera- While I was in Prague, I made David read this book with me and we would discuss it via e-mail. I think that one of the reasons why I love this book is because it is set in Prague during the Communist era. It is also infused with philosophy, which I love. The recurring theme of the book is whether humans should choose to live lightly or heavily. Again, even though it is translated, it is beautifully written and invites the reader to examine his or her own life from a different perspective.

Night by Elie Wiesel- This book is about a young boy’s journey through the Holocaust and its aftermath. Again, I cry throughout the entire book, but it is so worth it.

Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky- I took an entire year of Russian Literature and this was one of my favorite books that we read. I especially enjoyed the look into the mind of the main character and how he suffered with the tension of murdering another.

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy- This book was my other favorite from the Russian Lit class. I remember loving all of the characters and not putting the book down until it was finished.

On Free Choice of the Will by St. Augustine- I am Catholic, and I really wish that more Catholics (and anybody else interested in the religion) would take Medieval Philosophy. It was a wonderful undergraduate course and really helped me understand the roots of many of the church’s teachings. This was my favorite text that we read during the semester.

The Symposium by Plato- This was one of my favorite books to read during my undergraduate education. My first read was for a Greek Literature course, so it was just really fun to read and discuss the book on a more superficial level. The second read was for a Greek Philosophy course, and I really enjoyed learning how to understand the philosophy. If you decide to read this book, I would highly recommend getting some sort of supplement to aid your reading, because it will be much more interesting!

The Aeneid by Virgil- Unlike many of the other foreign books on my list, I have had the privilege to translate this work myself. And let me tell you: it was amazing. Being so engrossed in such an ancient text was a wonderful experience, and I would highly recommend it to anybody. However, if you are not into learning Latin and translating this book, I would still read it because it is full of adventure and a wonderful story about the founding of Rome.

Strength Through Peace¬- This is a collection of essays that generally focus on how to lead a more peaceful life. It was so interesting to me to read about how violence is such a large part of our mindset, whether it is going to war or even thinking violent and negative thoughts. It has many different sections and really promotes a pacifist point of view, but I would recommend it to almost anybody who enjoys thought-provoking literature.

The Bridget Jones Series by Helen Fielding- This is a fun set of books that I love. Right now I am re-reading the second book again. They are so easy to read and also hilarious—I literally laugh out loud while reading them. The books are about Bridget Jones, a young, single woman living in London. Not everybody would find them amusing but I love them.

The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella- This is also a group of “fun” books. Becky Bloomwood, a loveable but sometimes not-so-good-in-the-common-sense-department character, struggles with managing her checkbook, getting married, finding out she has a sister, and having a baby in this series.

Welp, there you have it: a very long list of my favorite books right now. It is three pages long, but I certainly enjoyed compiling my list! What are your favorite books?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Update

So David completely did a 180 in the cooking business...last night he created a beautiful fried rice dish. It had some egg, brown rice, asparagus, onion, and other yummy veggies. Basically this means that I have to take back all of my joking comments about his cooking for now!

We had a bad morning yesterday...all in the span of about 30 minutes, our kitty Thorina knocked down a basket of cleaning supplies, spilling it all around her room, and peed on our bed. Not only did she pee on our bed, but she peed right above our feet, so we discovered it by feeling a creeping wetness all around us. In her defense, I had shut her in our room, so there was no way she could have gotten to her litterbox. But still, cat! Arghhh!

Nothing is really happening this weekend--we are tailgating tomorrow with some friends for a while. Tonight it is cold and rainy and I might take a bath and read for school, although I will probably end up reading a girly book instead.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

David's cooking

Tonight I went out to eat with friends, but told David over the phone to make some polish sausage, sauerkraut, and a vegetable from the freezer for his supper so that we could have leftovers for our lunches tomorrow. When I left law school, I told him how to prepare the meal and said to put the sauerkraut in a pan to heat it up and then grab some peas or another vegetable from the freezer and cook that as well.

When I got home to an interesting odor, I discovered that he had combined the sauerkraut and peas in the frying pan, thinking that I told him to do so. Yucko! He tried to cover it up, saying that they would be combined on his plate anyway, so why not just combine them in the frying pan?

And people wonder why I don't have him cook.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

more pumpkin pics


After carving the pumpkins, we had all of this yummy pumpkin and seeds left, so I baked the seeds so that they were crunchy and good! We used the pumpkin to make pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins, which were soooo tasty. Yum!

Here is a picture of my finished pumpkin:

And another pic of David's carving his pumpkin:

And finally, a picture of Thorina climbing on the chairs. She seems to put herself in life-threatening positions often. Poor kitty!

Friday, October 19, 2007

More storms


Last night we had more incredible storms here.


Today we decided to go to a pumpkin patch and carve our Halloween pumpkins! Here is David with his chosen prize:

And a picture of my carving the pumpkin:

And our (not so helpful) helper:


Pictures of the finished products coming soon!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

My husband is sneaking around behind my back

Tonight I had a revelation--perhaps a signal of sorts from my husband. Many women experience this after they first get married, and who knows what makes the husbands do it. Maybe it is because their houses are cold and sad. Maybe it is because they are not happy, or maybe it is simply because their husbands are not happy. Whatever it is is hidden deep in the psyche of the husband.

After I had finished doing dishes, I noticed David's lunch sitting on the kitchen table. This annoyed me because he failed to actually empty his lunch dishes into the kitchen sink, and it was after the dish washing time, which meant that either he or I had to do these last few dishes, and really, I'm not his personal lunch-emptying servant. But that is beside the point.

I opened this bag and found an item. A book. A fantasy book, particularly. One with dragons and swords and goofy fights with spears.

I asked him where he got the book. He stumbled around and said that he got it out of his car. Then he confessed--he had snuck to the library after work without telling me! Yes, sweet David took a side trip to the library instead of coming home to his two girls. A "ten minute stop", according to him, but it seemed like many more as we were waiting for him to get home and decorate his pizza that we were making tonight for supper.

Sigh. The perils of finding out your husband’s deepest, darkest, secrets. What is worse is that David has a history of secret trips to library. Two days before our wedding, he signed up for a new library card. We always laugh about that because nobody we know except for David would feel that they had time two days before their wedding to spend getting a library card. Hopefully he won't pull a stunt like that when we have kids!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wedding pictures


We have been to two weddings in two weeks, and both are beautiful. The first was for two of my high school friends and the second was for one of my mentors (and former boss). I lived with her during my summer in D.C., and she married her then-boyfriend, a fantastic guy from Colombia (the country, not the city!). Both weddings were really fun and I was glad to be invited to both! I am just realizing that I wore the same dress to both. Just ignore that.


Tonight, we made marinated chicken breasts and decided to grill them. Good news: we stayed within our food budget for the week! What a relief. And now, just because they are super cute, here is a picture of my husband and my kitty:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Recipes and other news

Today Thorina went to the vet for the first time ever. Poor kitty! She saw some parakeets and a dog there and got two shots. The Doctor said that she "doesn't miss a meal". Hmmm... maybe we should stop feeding her so much?

David and I have been getting up at 6:00 a.m. to run. I'm not sure how I feel about this: it gives us more time in the morning to see each other and we get our running out of the way for the day. I always feel so much better when I have exercised a little in the morning. However, it is SO EARLY! I had to take a nap today in order to recover.

Finally, I have decided that I love cooking. As much as I deny it, I enjoy trying new recipes and preparing meals. This is a huge advantage for David, because every night he has a meal ready for him when he comes home! So now I am giving up my idea of having David cook for now, mostly because it is usually a disaster and I enjoy doing it so much more than other jobs. He is starting to study again for more actuary tests, so I am trying to be really helpful around the house.

So anyway, tonight, I made Chicken Piccata (sort of). It is basically some chicken breaded with bread crumbs, quick fried, and with a white wine/lemon sauce. My chicken ended up being more like chicken strips and my sauce, well, I'll just let it speak for itself:



Yeah, not so good. I tried the recipe (kind of) exactly and it tasted really bitter from the nasty lemons we got. So then I added carrots for more nutrition. Then it seemed really runny, so I decided to make a Rou, which I thought meant that it was just thickening a sauce but now I think is something else. Anyway, I added flour to the mixture. Well, the sauce was boiling at that point so all that did was make dumplings in the boiling hot liquid. Aek!

I really do make a pretty good white wine sauce for like pasta, but really my foray into the wine area of sauce cooking has been pretty unsuccessful.

I don't think David minded, though. We also had oven-baked potato fries, breaded zucchini, spinach salad, and some dumplings for the chicken. Tomorrow: stuffed bell peppers!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

one year ago


This weekend we went to a wedding of two of my high school friends. It was really fun--and in the exact same church and reception site as ours. Crazy! They had a fun live band at the reception and some of my friends were bridesmaids as well. It was great to see some of my older friends and have fun at another great wedding.

Also, Thorina went with us back home. The poor kitty hates traveling in her travel case in the car. However, she did much better at my parents' house, and has not gone to the bathroom (as far as we know) in an alternative litter box since last Sunday! Yay!

One year ago from this past Saturday was when David proposed to me. If you want to read our engagement story, you can click on the October 2006 posts under my history bar. We are not very big on anniversaries (much to David's relief): we do not really know when we began dating, so we have not had to really even deal with them before. But so much has happened in the last year that it is hard not to stand back and reflect upon everything: getting engaged, buying our house, getting married, and so many firsts. I have certainly enjoyed the past year and look forward to many more with my best friend.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Friends

We just had a little dinner party for some of my law school friends. It was a ton of fun, and I am excited to be meeting all of these new people. I have been thinking tonight of how important my friends are in my life--during school, I was with the same 42 people for 13 grades, which produced some lasting friendships. I still hang with some of my high school friends, and am going to a wedding of one this weekend. My friend Rach was definitely my best friend during high school. We would have fun doing a lot of goofy stuff, but I always had a blast with her.

Then I went to college and became great friends with my college roommates, hallmates, and fraternity friends. They are all so fun and interesting people, and I truly treasure their ongoing friendships. I hope that we always remain close. It seems that the four years I spent with them was the time during which I matured the most and really found out what kind of person I want to be. Therefore, they are extremely important to me, and I feel like we have a sort of unconditional friendship. My roommates and I still email each other daily, which is really fun. We give each other advice on things like boys and what kind of fridge to buy. I love thinking about how much fun we had on Monday nights, just hanging out and playing darts.

Then, there is my family. Besides my grandparents and aunts and uncles, I feel so lucky to have a good friendship with my brother. I feel that our relationship is really honest and open: we do not have to put on a facade around each other or feel stilted when we hang out. I also feel really lucky to be close to my cousins--I know that most people could not have a fun afternoon or evening with just them and their cousins, but I really like mine and feel lucky to have them. Finally, I have my parents. It is really fun to live near them so that I can see them more often. Plus, their friends are really fun, and even though they are older than me, I love hanging out with them.

Of course, the most important friend to me is David. He and I became really close friends before we even began dating, which was really wonderful because it meant that I actually liked him as a person and loved his company rather than just dating him out of convenience. Now I feel so natural around him (not like granola-eating, but like I can really be myself around him).

Now that I am starting law school, I am in a very different life situation. I am married and have a house. Everybody seems a lot more mature. But my law school friends and I share a huge bond: we are all attempting to get through the three most grueling years of our lives together. They are all really cool people and I am looking forward to knowing them more.

I know this entire post is pretty cheesy, but having friends is one of the greatest joys in life, and I love all of mine. I hope that I have such good friends throughout my life.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lotsa pens

One of my classes got canceled today, which made me sooo happy. When I came home, I found Thorina in this position, scaling my desk.

Yesterday David's parents came to visit. It was a lot of fun and a good visit. I even beat David at Scattergories! It took me a while to get used to his family's rules of the game, though. Whenever I play that game, it seems like there are pretty strict rules as to what is accepted (this is probably because I try to get away with nonsensical answers a lot), but with his family, I thought the rules were a lot more liberal. For instance, they allowed "Willy Wonka" to pass as a boy's name. Now, I know that Willy Wonka is a boy, but I think that would allow me to say, "oh, Walter William Wilson is a boy. Let's look him up online! Oh, he's on Google! Three points for me!"

On the other hand, when we played Boggle at one point, David almost stalked off because we were playing wayyyy too liberally with the doling out of points. Apparently he played a different way, where if someone has zero points you don't let them get by with "guh" as a word so they could have at least three points, even though you have six hundred million points.

However, Willy Wonka is, in fact, a boy. It is such a quandary, and another example of a difference between our families. I am glad they are so minute.

Anyway, his mom brought some of his childhood items with her, probably because she wanted to get them out of her house. And I can see why:
Yes, folks, that is David's lifetime pencil collection. Now it is sitting on our desk because I can't bring myself to let him throw out all of these unused pencils. So if you need a pencil anytime soon, feel free to stop by our house.