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March 31, 2006

Vying for Rookie of the Year...

Well, we did it. It's our first anniversary today. We are officially "not-newlyweds". At first I was kindof sad by that, "newlyweds" is such a fun title. A connotation of bubbly-happiness, laughter, and fun - oh yeah, and being sex-crazed. It means that we are now considered "adults". We're not single, not engaged, not newlyweds. We're just married. It's like the end of an era - a two year period of engagement rings, wedding plans, honeymoons, moving in together, and where everything that goes right or wrong can be attributed to it being "your first year".
I decided it's a good thing though. Before we got married, everyone either told us "The first year is the best" or "The first year is the hardest". What advice to the engaged! "You're either going to love it or hate it!" Yikes. I haven't asked Caleb what his opinion is - did we get heads or tails?! - but I personally think it was a difficult year. Our circumstance was a bit different though, not only did we get married, but Caleb bought a business and we moved away from our home, our friends and family, to left-wing, highly organic, can't-pump-our-own-gas Oregon. I think if I were to take those "stress tests" we used to do in high school, I'd be at the top of the richter scale. They'd give me my paper back with "Go See Your Therapist Immediately" in bright red letters. Not that we haven't had good times, we definitely have, but it's probably safe to say that I've had a harder time with it than Caleb has. Maybe he's just been busy with work, or maybe he's just more happy-go-lucky than I am. There were definitely times when I think I was certifiably depressed. Maybe it's all part of the game though - you're on such a high with all the fun wedding plans, and then in one day it's over and you have go back to living a "normal" life - a life that is now riddled with trying to get along with your new room mate, sort through your finances and learn to live on less. When I first got to Australia to study abroad, all the international students met for a meeting with the international counsellors. They told us that it was common for people who are in new situations like the one we were in, to experience a high at first. You're in a new place, new things to see and do. After a while you come off that high and plummet - become depressed, or homesick in this case - and finally your mood levels off. You get used to your new life and learn to enjoy the new opportunities. Of course at the time I thought there was no way I could NOT want to be in Australia, on my own, running around Sydney. But of course a month later I became their poster child. I believe I went through something similar to this after we got married. The first little bit there were definite highs. Newly married, new city, new apartment, new things to see....and then off I went on the rollercoaster ride. I think it took me a bit longer this time to get back to the "normal" phase, maybe because this is more permanent than 4 months in Australia? I've always been the kind of person that wants to know that there is an "out" to something I agree to. That I can quit the job, move out, or turn around. Marriage was the first thing that I couldn't get "out" of - not without severe consequences for someone other than myself at least. I think that scared me the most, I really had to come to terms with it - still do - and realize that I chose this for a reason. I saw that I wasn't the only newlywed to feel this way, that not everyone is blissfully, constantly in love at first, and started to feel less of a freak. So I am hoping that this second year is a more level year - a year where we start to work better together, learn from our mistakes. That the refiner's fire gets turned down a notch (please!), and I can go back to being ME. Which will be nice, as I've missed that.

March 23, 2006

Killer Bear

Last night Cabe and I went to Costco to fill up the bus (hopefully soon I will be filling up a wonderful nearly new Corolla....not as often....). Caleb of course, insisted we bring the mutt. Bear sits inside all day long with his "Daddy" and is absolutely positively GIDDY when he gets to go on car rides. Car rides for Bear typically end at the park, or the kennel, so either way he freaks out. Sadly for him though, this was just that - a ride. When we returned home there was a white cat on our porch. Bear, who usually is scared of anything new and wouldn't hurt a flea, FREAKED OUT. He barked so loud and with such force he sprayed my arm with slobber - I thought he was going to bark up his lung. He continued whining and barking until I (devil that I am, wishing for some excitement) let him out. Meanwhile, the cat was frozen with fear, until it saw the car door open, where it promptly hid in our little bushes. Bear, being the stupidly optimistic dog he is, ran right past the bushes and to the porch (I've always said the dog doesn't use his nose - case in point). Naturally the cat who was smart, fled as soon as Bear passed it, never to be seen again. Bear was sure it was still around, and for several minutes ran (okay, let's be honest here, more like frolicked) around the yard, to the fence, to the car, to the door, to the bushes, looking for the pesky intruder. He even insisted on checking the backyard when we finally got him to come inside. Though I had come to terms with the fact that I couldn't count on him to be a guard dog as he's too trusting of people, I think I can rest assured at night that I don't have to worry about any cats breaking and entering - unless of course, they hid under the couches....

Bear chewin' on his cud on the coast

March 17, 2006

And the color is..........

The transformation of my hair: Liz swore it was the color she used to make hers darker. Apparently it decided to change my hair to a nice flaming orange. At 10 pm we ran down to Smith's Marketplace (which will always and forever be known to me as Fred Meyer, no matter what they do) to get more dye. Lots of it. Two boxes of nearly black....even now, it still has a red tint to it, most likely from the florescent color before...... way to go Liz! :) Our first dying experience. :)

March 8, 2006

This week's stupid scientist: "Vanilla Extracted from Cow Dung". Yup, you read it right. Apparently some Chinese scientists had nothing better to do with their meager existances than figuring out how to make vanilla scented cow poop. Lignon is a chemical compound (which just happens to also be found in cow dung) that is used to produce the vanilla smell. Since cows produce poop for free, it's cheaper than actually buying vanilla beans. Apparently they get one big pooper-scooper and heat it up for an hour (can we say "Dirty Jobs" candidate?!?!) and then extract the vanilla. They've decided to only use it for things like shampoo or candles (which still makes me dry heave). According to their article, "compared with usual vanilla, this component is exactly the same but it would be difficult for people to accept it in food, given the recent rules of disclosing the origins of ingredients". Yeah, I think people would want to know that the wonderful vanilla flavor they are tasting comes courtesy of Bessie the Cow's bowels. What would they do with the poop after it was officially de-vanilla-ized? Put it back where they found it. I say they should skip the whole heating process and just sell poop smell. Lovely, earthy, organic cow dung. The hippies here in Oregon would dig it. That's even cheaper than making fake poop-vanilla................

That's refreshing....

You know when you read something over and over and over again, never thinking of it? Then one day you read it and go ".....YEAH!!!!" I had that moment a day or so ago at the gym, reading some celebrity magazine (lame, I know....). They were talking about how "40 is the new 20" and why women are more stable and ready for long term relationships. In your 20's they say, you're still trying to figure out who you are. How many times have I heard that kind of thinking? Lots, let's just say that. At that moment however, I felt like someone had taken all of the rambling thoughts that had been squirming in my brain and told them to sit down and shut up. Wow, is that why I feel like I have no direction? No real talents? Nothing that is ME? I feel like just in the past year my tastes, likes, and dislikes have taken a complete 180 degreen turn. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. No realistic jobs sound exciting. I've found myself having the same childish desires I had when I was in junior high wishing to be famous, an actress, a singer. Things that I neither have the talent for, or are workable in the life I have now. While I get depressed about this, I think I've finally decided it's a good thing. I haven't figured out what I want to do with it, but that only means I'm free to do most anything. And that's pretty cool.

March 3, 2006

Welcome to Oregon

So I'm driving to work right? Nearly there, I'm on a fairly busy road. One of the only one that goes into Philomath from Corvallis (not that most of you even care, as you don't "get" to live here. I needed it for effect okay?). Traffic is moderate, definitely lots of cars, but no major slowing. I see an old truck pulled over on the side of the road up ahead. Didn't think much of it until I saw an old guy walk out of the trees just a few yards away from the road. He was gruff, wearing one of those Cousin Eddie style hats with the little flaps over the ears (come on, think "Christmas Vacation"?) but of course those flaps weren't neatly down nor neatly up, but one down, one sticking straight out. Strangely, this wasn't what caught my attention. It was the body language we all know of a man just getting done pulling up his pants, and then buckling them. You know, the classic "shake shake" to make sure he wasn't about to zip his family jewels. Obviously the man had just relieved himself ("I just pissed in my pants....and there's not a thing anybody can do about it!"), and recently at that. He didn't even feel the need to cover up the fact that he'd done so, by completely doing up his pants BEFORE he walked out of the trees. Now, I can understand that when you gotta go, you gotta go. I myself have had to pull over to pee, but that was IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (if you drive to Lake Powell the Scio way there isn't a stop for about 3 hours, it's killer folks). Not two blocks from downtown Corvallis. His car was parked literally yards from an exit. There is no way on this green Earth that I would pull over on such a busy highway. I would like to think that I could wait to get to the gas station, which in this case, just happens to be two minutes down the road. I understand that I'm living in Oregon, and that this sort of thing isn't so ridiculous, but come on people. Have a little dignity!!!

March 2, 2006

Life Changing Moment

Last night Cabe and I bought something that could possibly change our entire lives! Okay, maybe that's a bit drastic. We succumbed to peer pressure and joined the ever-growing number of people with continuous music in their ears. We bought an Ipod. We were given a fair amount of money to Costco for Christmas from both of our parents, and have been trying to decide something fun to buy with it. Of course, while we were pondering we were slowly spending it on little (needed) items like food and house supplies....Until yesterday. They had Ipods for sale, and were much cheaper than the ones you could get online, even on Ebay. So we went in determined to buy the new nano, 4 gb. Black, Caleb insisted. We went up to the stand and were suddenly faced with a moral dilemma. For $50 more we could get a video Ipod. Now I've always seen these as kindof lame, why would you want to spend the money just to watch a video? Why isn't the music enough? The clincher was this: the 4 gb nano held 1,000 songs, the video Ipod held 7,500. Do I think that we could possibly come close to filling that up? No (well, Cabe might, he's a music slave). But more is always better right? So we did it. We gave in. I have never had an Ipod and have no idea how to work the thing. Cabe spent the entire night setting it up and downloading songs, and I'm sure I'm going to get a lesson today about the inner workings of the Ipod. Cabe thoroughly enjoys knowing something I don't, and will no doubt revel in it a while.
While we were checking out I said "I can't wait to take this to the gym tomorrow!" immediately Caleb said "No, I'm going to take it tomorrow, I have to drive all day!" For those of you who don't know Caleb and his history, I'll sum it up with the fact that he's had his car broken into and / or stolen at least 9 times. The last time it happened (a year ago!) they ripped his stereo out and tore up his dash. It's stayed that way because we haven't had the money to fix it. So not only does he not have his cd player, he doesn't even have a radio. He has a hole. It makes even the short ride to the grocery store seem hours.... It's a little sad that we've become so dependent on things like that, but I guess that's just how it goes. Needless to say, he has it today. :) But you can bet that it's mine tomorrow....