August 31, 2015

My New Roommates

This weekend, Derrick and I moved in with three new roommates. They don't have the best breath, and two of them keep walking in on me when I pee. They also keep pooping in our neighbor's yard and expecting us to pick it up for them. Because they're not our roommates. They're dogs.

Okay, Derrick and I were dog sitting this weekend for a friend who was out of town.

I'm going to be upfront with you here: I'm not great with animals, just like I'm not great with children. I mean, I like them, but I don't know how to do a "baby voice" or a "dog voice." Instead, I treat them both like human adults; when I meet a new dog, I end up uncomfortably saying something like, "Hello dog. I've heard great things about you. You're a big fan of bacon, right?"

Luckily for me, one of the dogs we dog sat was extremely human-like. In fact, I don't think I've ever bonded with a dog as well as I bonded with Mira.

Because Mira wasn't like your typical goopy dog rolling over for a belly scratch. No, Mira was sophisticated and was not particularly impressed that we could open the treat bag. She spent most of the time in the corner of the room looking more or less unamused.

I mean, she was a very kind dog; every once in a while, she'd come join us on the bed or sit next to us on the couch. But even when she did this, it was like she considered us equals, as if we had come over for a dinner party that she was politely hosting. And she still wore that same, unamused look. Like she was thinking, "Okay, I'll humor you, but I'd like you to leave once my humans get back."

I felt like I understood Mira better than I understand most people, in fact. I felt sad leaving her, like I was leaving a good friend.

The other two though, they were a different story.

One of the other two was a tiny kitten named Gypsy.

Gypsy was also somewhat distant, but not the "I'll humor you because you seem desperate" kind of aloof that Mira was. No, Gypsy seemed like a hipster who was forced into a Taylor Swift concert. She knew she was too cool for this crowd and was just waiting to get back to her kind.

Which, I mean, was understandable. You see, Gypsy is a street cat who our friend saved.

Literally. Our friend was at a red light when she saw baby Gypsy jump on the tire of the car next to her. If our friend hadn't jumped out of the car and pounded on that car's window, Gypsy would have probably ended up as a cat-shaped splat on the road.

So given Gypsy's history on the streets, I can understand why she wasn't impressed with her new roommates. Because while Mira was cool, collected, and civilized, Piper the Jack Russell was the complete opposite. You see, Piper is just a puppy, which seemed to multiply her Jack Russell level energy ten fold.

The best way I can think to explain Piper is to imagine if Spongebob Squarepants was made of springs. She was always there and always wanting part of the action; Derrick and I would be sitting on two separate couches and Piper would spring back and forth and up and down from our heads to our chests and back again.

Sometimes, she wasn't even looking for our attention at all; sometimes she was just bouncing around the kitchen like a ping pong ball without any particular direction. And on the rare occasions we could get her to sit down, I swear she would buzz like a battery. I think Piper did have a battery, a battery that never, ever died.

Derrick and I would find it somewhat amusing (at least after 7:30 AM), but Gypsy did not. I could try to explain their relationship, but I think the following montage of pictures does it best. I was trying to get a nice picture of Gypsy and Mira to send to our friend. Instead, I got this:

As you can see, Piper couldn't stand to be left out. The moment I pulled out my camera, you could basically hear her little heart pounding, like she was screaming, "ME! OVER HERE! TAKE A PICTURE OF ME! KITTEN! PICTURE! WEE!" And Gypsy wasn't having it.

And Mira? She just did what she always did; gave me that look that very clearly said, "I'm surrounded by idiots."

August 28, 2015

What My Life Really Looks Like

You know how when one thing in your life changes, you decide you want to change everything? No?Just me?

Like, now I'm a Floridian working from home, so I decided I'm also going to be a grown-ass adult who cooks things other than oatmeal and can do a pull-up and takes care of my eyebrows. So I dive right in, going to Publix to pick up a whole chicken, giblets and all, start doing CrossFit during the week, and go to a salon for the first time in six months.

Which is good for a few reasons: my eyebrows are no longer a scene in "Finding Bigfoot" and I'm eating things that aren't microwavable. Also, I should really have a ton of great blog content, because all of those things I'm doing are totally blog-able.

(Except the giblets. Giblets in a bag and particularly un-bagged giblets are really misleading. Giblets sounds like such a fun word, you know? Like, not a word you'd use for pulling a chicken liver out of a chicken's butt.)

But the sad truth is none of this stuff has turned into pretty blog material yet. I don't have rosemary crusted chicken or extreme CrossFit action shots yet because, well, most of my time has actually been spent getting lost on the way to Publix or literally hitting myself in the head with a kettlebell at the CrossFit "box."

Or, you know, pulling a chicken's liver out of its butt.

I thought about waiting until I've settled into being this blog-worthy person taking blog-worthy pictures of the blog-worthy life I'm dreaming of. (I even asked Derrick if he'd go to a free butterfly tour with me this weekend. Because how much blogger can you get than butterflies?)

But I'm beginning to worry that I'm never going to be blog-worthy, or at least worthy of the kind of blog I'm imagining. The blog that always has the perfectly lit recipe pictures or the daily workout routines. 

Maybe one day, but not today. 

So instead, I walked around the other evening and took completely unstaged pictures of how my life really looks at the moment. Maybe one day I'll look back on these as the "before" pictures, before I became a lifestyle blog guru with huge guns.

Or at very least, maybe one day I'll have unpacked one of the boxes still in my living room.

Happy Friday.
Be back next week with some homemade chicken soup and red wine. Or maybe just the wine.
Yeah, probably just the wine.

August 25, 2015

The Picture That Almost Ruined Our Relationship

The other day, like most days, we had a pile of laundry sitting on our bed. Being the sweet man that he is, Derrick decided to take care of the situation and asked me, "Nicole, where does this pink shirt belong?"

Now, normally when someone is doing something nice for you, you let things like incorrect color identification go. But ever since the Great Rug Incident of Last Week, when Derrick was positive that our living room rug was black when it is clearly blue, I've been a bit sensitive about colors. Mostly, I'm just afraid that everything I learned about Roy G. Biv was a lie.

But the shirt he was holding was without a doubt, undeniably purple.

However, when I pointed this out, Derrick remained as adamant as he was over the rug incident (which still hasn't been resolved, by the way). I should have let it go then, but I just couldn't. I mean, you can't go around calling purple things pink and expect me to just accept it. What's next, are we going to start eating soup with "forks"? Start calling our Diet Coke iced tea? Calling Tom Brady a legend? (Heh.)

But seriously, the shirt was purple and to prove my point, I held it up to the pink shirt I was wearing for comparison. "This, what I'm wearing, is pink. That shirt is purple."

And that's when Derrick looked at me like I was truly crazy. In the same tone I imagine people use to discuss imaginary friends, he said very slowly, "Nicole, the shirt you're wearing is orange."

And this... this just drove me nuts. I was outraged. Purple is pink and pink is orange? This is America, we have rules and standards here and Derrick was defying all of them. So I did what any American would do when someone is threatening our sense of personal peace: I went to Facebook.

Yes, right then and there, I snapped a "boob shot" (as Derrick called it) showing my pink shirt next to my purple shirt. I knew I was being one of those people but I didn't care: I needed justice.

After a few minutes, the comments started rolling in. But far from solving the matter, it just made things worse. Because Facebook is not a place where adjectives like "pink" and "purple" exist. No, instead we were told that one shirt was lilac, and the other was in between a salmon and a coral.

And once you've crossed the line to where you're arguing where exactly on the pink/purple spectrum lilac falls, there's really no going back. I got flustered, Derrick thought it was funny, I got livid, Derrick got flustered, then we stopped talking for thirty minutes. It was reminiscent of the time in college when we didn't talk all night after a particularly emotional game of HORSE.

Luckily, we've matured a bit since college and were able to agree that one shirt was a pinkish purple while the other was a pinkish orange, meaning we were both right. I think it was a big step in our relationship for both of us, a step that every couple has needed to, at one point, take ever since "the dress."

Although, if I'm being totally honest, I still think I'm right. And our living room rug will forever be blue.

August 24, 2015

How I Made My First Friends in Florida

A lot of things about Southwest Florida are completely different than DC. For example, there are panther crossing signs here instead of bus stops. And people say things to you in the grocery store other than "move." The seafood is a lot better and the drivers aren't.

Also, unlike DC, I still don't have friends here.

Because how in the world do you make friends when your office is next to your bedroom? The CrossFit thing has potential, as long as I can keep carrying on through the bursting capillaries and pulled hamstrings (the latter being why I haven't gone in five days). But the thing is, I want to have a backup plan in case the next jumping snatch ring tire jump I do at CrossFit completely incapacities me.

Which is why Derrick and I decided it was time to pack up and head to the beach this weekend.

At first, I didn't think I was going to have any luck here either. Even the birds were not impressed with my presence. But then Derrick told me his secret: shuffle your feet. So of course, I started shuffling.

You're probably wondering how this would help. Well, because shuffling your feet is the only way you're going to find these guys:

Turns out that sand dollars live in places other than the 99 cent basket at souvenir stores.

So that's the story of how I made my first friends in Florida, Father Sand Dollar and Junior. And just think, I thought making friends as an adult was difficult.

August 21, 2015

Three Reasons You're Probably Wasting Your Life

August 20, 2015

Working From Home: Expectations vs. Reality

August 13, 2015

A List of My Complaints

I always have a hard time finding that much sought after blogger balance, where you're not too negative but you also don't have daisies growing out of your butt. I'm naturally more of a realist (which is not to be confused with pessimism if the worst actually does end up happening), so I find that I sometimes overcompensate on my blog and end my posts with "this feels like the start of something great."

Don't get me wrong; I truly do think my life is pretty great right now. But this is real life and even the greatness comes with at least a small side of WTF.

So instead of boring you again with how my grocery stores are magical and my fiance grows daisies out of his butt, today I thought I'd post a list of my general complaints so far during this move.

1. Movers.
I hired movers because if there is one thing I'll spend my money on, it's convenience. And convenience is having someone else move 30 boxes and a queen size bed from my apartment to a moving van. I did, however, go with the cheapest movers I could find.

So I wasn't too surprised when they gave me a delivery window of about a month.

I had brought all of my essentials with me so this really didn't bother me; I figured a month was a large timeframe, but I can be patient if it means saving a few hundred bucks. However, what I didn't realize was how large the window actually was.

You see, their delivery window was literally the entire month. Meaning that my delivery man called me at 7:30 PM on Tuesday evening and told me that they would be delivering my stuff that evening... at around 10:30 PM.

Since he wanted me to pay in cash, I scrambled to the bank to withdraw the money. But it turns out that the bank is only open during banking hours, because generally people don't need to withdraw large sums of money at 8PM. (Or, if they do, the bank is probably the least of their problems.)

So I called the delivery man back and asked him if he could come tomorrow so that I could withdraw the money. He said yes, sure, he will come tomorrow... at 6AM.

So this is my first complaint: the first people I saw Wednesday morning were two very sweaty men carrying my recently broken desk.

2. CrossFit.
Moving to new places can be fun, but it also means that you have to start from ground zero in the friends department. The only people I know in this town are Derrick and his parents. I love them all, but calling them my friends seems a bit misleading. Like saying you splurged after eating an apple and fifteen dark chocolate chips.

Usually in this situation, I sign up for a running group. But to be honest, it's hot as balls down here and I'm in terrible running shape. So I did the next logical thing: I signed up for a free CrossFit class.

This isn't on the complaint list because CrossFit sucks. It was actually everything I thought it'd be: a big black room littered with monster truck tires that the members presumably throw around during the week.

No, my complaint is actually two somewhat unrelated issues:

One is that Derrick considers this the trendiest thing I have ever done, even more so than eating organic almond butter. He also doesn't hold back when making fun of me for it; for the past three days, he's been doing things like the "CrossFit fridge open" which includes him squatting with one leg to get the milk.

The second is that it made me explode. Like, literally, explode.

You see, the first thing we did was handstands. It turns out that doing handstands in the pool is a lot easier than real life handstands though, so I did mine against the wall.

Or, I should say, I attempted to do them against the wall; the first time I kicked up, I was in the handstand position for about 0.5 seconds. Unfortunately, my arms are used to my legs doing the standing so they were not prepared, causing me to come crashing down on my head.

After that, I was too scared to get myself up in the handstand position. That's not the CrossFit way though; when one of the coaches saw me dolphin kicking against a wall in the corner, he came over and forced my legs up into the handstand position.

It was really uncomfortable because it did not feel like my head was meant to be stood upon.

And it turns out that I may have been right. After I got out of the shower later that evening, I noticed that the skin around and the whites of my eyes were covered in little red dots. After a panicked Google search, I learned that this was a result of capillaries in my face bursting. It apparently happens somewhat often, when people give birth or have constipation or are forced into handstands.

So that is my second complaint: mockery and a mild face explosion.

And with that said, I have run out of things to complain about... which is lame, because I don't think two things really counts as a list. Sort of like fifteen chocolate chips does not count as dessert, and future in-laws do not count as friends.

I guess this means I'll be sticking with the positivity from now on, at least until I bust a kneecap making chicken salad or something. Which, judging by the last three days, isn't as unlikely as you might think.

August 12, 2015

Living Together 101

August 10, 2015

I'm Home

August 06, 2015

Was That You I Heard Asking How My Move Is Going?

This is what moving looks like.

August 03, 2015

Eight Things You Learn From Your Sister