Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Vacation day four= now i'm broke

Day four started in the customary leisurely way and featured a shopping trip with my fave shopping buddy, Erica. She is a fellow fashionista and makeup-whore and we have great fun in the consumerist tradition.

We meet at noon at our favorite place, Sephora, and spend an hour or two browsing the goods and dodging the rabid salespeople (these are unlike any salespeople I have encountered- they will latch on to you in a given area of the store and you literally have to signal your friend to "call you over" to get out their clutches. I know they are paid to sell, and paid even more when they do make an actual sale, but geez-oh-pete... It makes shopping there a bit like a safari- hiding in the bushes until the salesperson leaves the aisle you want to go to, then dashing over and looking while you keep one eye out for the salesperson's return path). We both make admirably small purchases and eat at a yummy bistro for lunch. then it's off to the MAC store. This place is the first entire store I would purchase (after paying off all the money I owe and buying a fabulous house and car and spa-vacation) if I won the lottery. I. Love. MAC. Erica and I each leave with two new eyeshadows, a lipliner, and a lipstick- another admirably small purchase considering that we both want a little MAC store attached to our bathrooms for our daily beautification needs. We browse the rest of mall, resisting shoes and handbags that we can't justifiy paying for, and decide we've done all the damage we can allow to our wallets and feet and part ways.

I return home, take a nap, eat a delicious soup-and-salad dinner and journey to the last movie I have to see in a theatre for the Oscars. Memoirs of a Geisha. I have read the book and forgotten the plot, except that it's about a geisha. I remember that I liked the book, however, and I need to see the costumes becaseue i know they'll be breathtaking. Now, I prefer to see a movie made from a book after I have read the book, especially when I read it long enough ago that other important facts have crowded the plot out of my mind. This way, I enjoy the book and I enjoy the movie. Well, I really enjoyed this movie. I had totally forgotten the ending, which is the best part, and the costumes were beautiful as expected.

I also heard from the hubby that he and monkey are going to head back tomorrow, instead of driving overnight tonight as planned, so I have a partial day of freedom left for tomorrow. so, coming up, Vacation Day 5.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Smorgasbord of Minor Annoyances

My apologies in advance for what may be a whiny post, but sometimes, you just gotta get it off your chest -- and what better way to do that than on the internet, to total strangers?! I tell you, sometimes I think that blogging just may qualify as a symptom of a diagnosable mental disorder.

In Korea, today, March 1, is a national holiday called "Samil-jul." It commemorates the 1919 protest movement for Korean independence against the Japanese occupation that had started in 1910. At a designated time, people all over the country gathered, pulling homemade Korean flags out of their cloaks and protested. Independence didn't happen, of course, until 1945. For the March 1 uprising, scores were jailed, tortured, and killed; only some names are remembered. Any participant, though, is eligible to be buried in the National Cemetery in Daejeon (don't know how you prove it). And almost a hundred years later, their bravery is commemorated every year. Quite a commendable thing, don't you think?

Nice back story, and "national holiday" would normally mean a mid-week rest day for the family, together. Very Norman Rockwell-Kim, no? BUT, hubby's division at work decided they'd have a little overnight workshop/retreat for everyone. Koreans would never use a work day for such things. So I am at home with two restless boys until such time as he appears from this meat-grilling, soju-swilling, mountain-climbing "team-builder." And ugh, to this pregnant nose, he's gonna smell! (Admittedly, he'd rather be here than there -- none of those activities appeal to my dear man -- but I'm not above collecting the brownie points and whining a bit anyway. There's a fine line between cool wife and doormat that MUST be maintained.)

As if that weren't tough enough, it is COLD here! We even got a dusting of snow overnight. I know it's only the first of March, but there is something in the human animal that senses the coming of Spring instinctively. Son the Older begged me to wear shorts today. I, too, am very tired of winter, and being cooped up inside, but the Siberian winds here just do not allow for anything else. Over the weekend we decided to brave it and go to the playground, but after about five minutes, even the boys were saying they wanted to go back inside!

So inside it is today, and it ain't always peaceful. We can't do Play-Doh for a while because Son the Younger, who Knows Better, inserted a ball of it into his nose the other day (when?! I still don't know), which took two days to work its way out. (I take after my nurse-mother in the way I am maybe too not-hysterical about such things.) Markers and crayons went on the Thomas Trains, tracks, and the computer screen a week before. That leaves, what? Inviting a glue disaster? Rotting their brains with Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network all day? I am perilously close to undertaking another potentially disastrous collective baking project just to stay afloat. Someone stop me now!

Oh, and just one more to pile it on, we were very excited to find Rice Krispy Treats at Costco the other week. We hadn't eaten any in quite a while, and they're perfect for young son and pregnant snacking. So we bought the mammoth box. But guess what? There's no acounting for pregnant aversions, and the strong vanilla scent emanating from the first mouthwatering bite turned my stomach immediately and turned me off of food the rest of the day! WHY do they add vanilla? Now I want non-vanilla-ey Rice Krispy Treats, but Rice Krispies cost about $8 for a small box here at the import supermarket. And I'd have to get someone to send me marshmallows. And it's just not that important, but it sure is annoying. That nauseating box is just staring at me from the top of the fridge. C'est la vie.

So Happy March 1st to you. Give thanks for your independence, and that you probably didn't have to put your life in peril, or lose a family member, to enjoy it. Gotta go make peanut butter sandwiches now; naptime is coming, hooray!

Vacation Day 3- this is the life

I think I've finally figured out the whole vacation thing: planning is still necessary to avoid long hours in front of the tube. Today I actually have an hour or two of work to do (which was the whole bargaining point my argument rested on for Hubby taking the monkey with him- it may be weak, but it worked!), so I awaken at 10am (woo-hoo!) get ready and have my breakfast and surf the 'net some. I get to work about 12:30, and am out of there by 1:30, leaving me a whole day and night to frolic. I promptly head to the nearest movie theater where I order a bagel-dog and settle in for Brokeback Mountain. The movie was fine, but I think alot of the Oscar-nomination comes from the amazing nature-views and the fact that the cowboys are gay. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are yummy, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway are attractive and sweet, but do we really need to give these boys an oscar just beacuse they made out onscreen? I think that's a little generous don't you? ( and it smacks of the "Eww, Gay" attitude- which, being a theatre-techie myself, is just rude and unacceptable in this day and age). And do we give the oscar to the guy holding the camera, or to freakin' Mother Nature? my vote is with Mother Nature. All in all, it was a fine movie, delivering everything it promised, and the experience was completed by the seemingly naive twentysomethings behind me who had to express their pleasure at looking at Heath and Jake as well as their "shock" at seeing a little front-end or back-end exposure on the boys. (Puh-Lease!)

Next up, Barnes & Noble. I cruise on over to the bookstore, pick a few magazines and settle in with that most sinful of coffee treats- a Frappucino. Yum. Several hours later, I feel a rumbling and realize it's time for dinner. I head over to Panera and have a little salad and a little sandwich and head over to movie #2. Chronicles of Narnia. I really enjoyed this one. The computer graphics are always noticeable to me, but excuseable here because how else are you gonna give a man goat-legs? I liked that they actually tried to cast kids who looked like each other to play the siblings, too. I know that sometimes it's more important to cast the ones who can actually act, but it's nice to find the best of both worlds when you have the entire child-population of the universe to pick from. So, good movie, It followed the book nicely and we did get to see a short scene where the children are grown kings and queens of narnia- again, good resemblances to the children (and yow, that King Peter!) and a book-faithful, sequel-encouraging ending. I do hope they make at least one more of these movies. Oh yeah, and Tilda Swinton rocks. She could be reciting "Green Eggs and Ham" for all I care and I would still give her an Oscar.

So, all in all a good day. Tomorrow: shopping!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Vacation day 2= fate is against me

*yawns and stretches*

Day two of my mommy-vacation started off well.
-Woke up at 9am, started coffee and took a long, hot shower.
-Leisurely drank coffee as I beautified for the day. Decided to go with a smoky eye look that takes longer than 15 minutes to complete.
-Had a sausage egg and cheese croissant (from the freezer, but I luv 'em) for breakfast.
- Figured I should do the dishes and scoop the kitty litter, so that no work would be involved when I got home from my day's outing.
- checked movie times and wrote a couple down, just in case.

The plan for the day was to go hang at Borders for much longer than any toddler could stand, do a little shopping for my friend's wedding shower next weekend, and maybe catch a movie after dinner. I arrived at my preferred Borders location to find that the cafe was being renovated- which was a major bummer since without the cafe functioning, I could not feed my now growling tummy. Decided to check out Barnes N' Noble... As I approached, I noticed their parking lot was jammed with the cars of those earlier-risers who had the same alternate plan I did, so I went a little further to Panera- same parking lot scenario, so decided on Starbucks. Starbucks was nice and empty with a cushy chair open just for me, so I settled in with a latte and a scone to read my book. The last quarter of my book turns out to be something of a tearjerker, so I decide to save it for home where I can blubber uncontrollably if need be.

Before I left home, I had looked online at the gift-registries of my friend, and decided that perhaps hubby wants a say in what we get her, since this will likely be the only gift we can afford after my buying the bridesmaids dress, shoes, alteration costs, etc. so the shopping is cut from the schedule, and I notice that it's ten minutes 'till the start-time of one of the movies I wanted to see (the frugal-mom in me has decided that the same movie for more money in the evening is ridiculous, so a matinee must be chosen) and I took off like a flash to try to make the movie time. Arriving at the theater ten minutes late, I ask how long the previews run and am told that since this particular movie is longer, there's only five minutes of previews, and I have missed the first five minutes of the movie. Now, I am one of those people who hates getting to a movie even during the previews- I prefer to sit in the theater and watch at least ten minutes of those stupid ads and trivia questions before the previews start- to me the previews are just as much of a draw as the movie itself, so five minutes missed of the feature presentation is unacceptable, and I walk away. I find myself driving back to my quiet house about four hours before I'd planned, and spent the rest of the day watching the tube and trying not to eat myself into a bigger pant-size.

This single life wasn't all its cracked up to be- thank goodness I found re-runs of Project Runway on for a couple of hours, at least.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Vacation Day 1 =La-HOO-sa-herrrr! (loser, a-la Jim Carrey)

Every frazzled stay-at-home-mom has a moment at least once every other day when she dreeeeeeeeams of having one day, or better yet one weekend, off of mommy duty. Well, let me tell you, perhaps the biggest curse of mommyhood is never really appreciating what you've got (oh, wait- that's the human condition... the grass is greener and all that jazz) . So anyway...

Due to my fortunate marriage to a man who has no problem taking care of of his own child and some artful southern-belle manipulation on my part(thank you for the lessons, mom), here I am on Day two of four days off of mommyhood and I. Am. Bored.

After watching hubby take off through the security line juggling Monkey and her various acoutrements, I turned around and Giggled all the way out of the airport. I may have even done a little bouncy-walking to the car. I then had the rest of the day to DO WHATEVER MY HEART DESIRED. So, what did I do? I went to the Mall and walked around "just browsing" and found myself wondering why my purse seemed so heavy- oh yeah, that's cause I usually stash it in the stroller (dang!). So I found a couple of things to buy (yes I actually needed them) and jaunted my way out of the mall. What to do next? ah yes, go to the grocery store with no list and wander leisurely through it, making spur-of-the-moment decisions about what non-nutritious food items I will eat during my 4-day sabbatical.

Armed with new PJ's, and the calorie-laden, vitamin-free spoils of my relaxing two hours, I return home and settle in for an afternoon and evening of L-A-Z-Y. By 8 pm, I have watched and old romantic movie(2 tissues), consumed a dinner that no mother would feed her offspring, and now, I'M BORED. I finished off Day 1 in bed with the TV on. Sleep was fitful as there was too much room in the bed, and too little noise in the house.

Green grass, anyone?