Tuesday, January 19, 2021

MLK Day Recap

It's nice to think about the fact that America was progressive enough and respectful of Great Black Leaders at one point in time to declare Martin Luther King's birthday a federal holiday.  Kudos to you, Reagan Administration.

On the flip side, the campaign for the federal holiday began not long after his assassination in 1968, so it's really unfortunate that it took 15 years to actually be recognized.  Also unfortunate is that it seems like our country might take 30 years to recognize something of the same nature in the times we're living in right now.  I'm hopeful that this year or next or maybe some time during the Biden administration, we can get Juneteenth recognized as a federal holiday considering the impact it had on so many lives.  Unfortunately, to my own fault but also history classes' fault, I didn't really know about Juneteenth until this past summer. However, I'm determined to celebrate it in the future with festivals and recognition...you now, once we're all allowed to congregate again. 😊

Speaking of last year, this year's MLK Day looked a lot different than it did in 2020.  For starters, the Coronavirus/Covid-19 was something I was aware of and considered a possible threat (not near the extent it turned out to be), but it was still halfway around the world, and I mainly just joked about not catching it with my coworker Deborah or mentioned it here and there with Nathan.  

Shortly before MLK Day in 2020, I'd had two interviews for my job at the Dallas Doge, and I'd convinced them to hire me. 

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Nathan and I knew we'd need a place to put all of our crap once we'd arrive in Dallas, so we took advantage of the three-day weekend by taking an extra day off (the Tuesday after) to make a weekend trip to find a place to live.  We left New Orleans on Saturday, January 18th to make the 7.5 hour drive and stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel right off of 75.  We had a really great hotel room for the weekend, and we had a great and also surreal time checking out places to live in our future city.  I want to say we looked at 4 or 5 apartments, and it was fairly easy to decide.  We also spent time driving around the city, with Nate showing me where he used to live when he went to school here, as well as where he lived before he moved to those apartments (which were now torn down), and hitting up some yummy eats. 

Sadly, when we arrived back here in February and pulled into the Mockingbird Station to enjoy some Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom again with Burt (in town for the night after helping us move), it was closed down. :( 

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We'd had Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom the first time when we mini-vacationed to Denver in April 2017, and we really enjoyed it, so we had it again.  It did not disappoint again.   
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We also enjoyed this Texan beer for the first time, and fell in love with it after that first pint.  We couldn't wait to get back to Dallas to have it again (and again and again and again...).
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We also enjoyed quite a few Trader Joe's yummies and relaxed in the hotel room with fine hotel room movies on cable like Tremors!

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We also dredged through Bad Boys II, which was really really bad, but it was playing because Bad Boys III was near release in the theaters. 

WhichWich's Courtney Cookie!

Nice view 😉

Apparently good hotel bathroom lighting called for a photosesh


We had a really great time, but the best part was realizing that we had a nice apartment to lay our heads in when we returned in just a month.  We departed Dallas on the morning of Tuesday, January 21st, but not before meeting our landlord Pat at a fun two-story coffee shop to sign our lease and pay the deposit.  

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It's weird to think about going to Toasted now, because it's only a hop, skip, and jump from my beloved Trader Joe's on Greenville Ave, and both are only a 5 minute drive from our place.  A year ago they felt so far/disconnected because all of these streets were foreign and hard to map out in mah tiny little brain.

We rolled into the city again a month later on February 20, 2020, after saying goodbye to NOLA, and here we are 11 months down the road.

This MLK day was still really nice, but there was no traveling involved.  Also, there were no Tremors (sorry, Reba!), and not near the "yummy" intake of alcoholic goodies paired with desserts. ('cause you know, health.) BUT there was still a lot of fun.  There was relaxing and playing on our new Quest2 (mini golf and puzzle games) and also planning and plotting by me to get this place even more decorated.  I'm really excited to pick out some more artwork to frame (eyeing three or so of these, or these, or these to hang above our couch, as well as getting some frames for these that I got at Christmas!  

So yeah, not really any pictures taken, but pictures bought-en.  Except not really yet because I'm waiting on a few of the Etsy joe's to get back with me on customization.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

What a week...!

What an eventful past week and a half!

I birthed (weird, but we'll go with it) the idea for this blog post a few days ago where this would have been started with "What an eventful past week!" but things got busy and my eyes and brain were tired after work, and so here we are on Saturday evening.

Monday, January 4 - Nate's official first day as an employee with his energy company here in the BigD!  Woohoo!  He's been working for them in a contractor-type position since April 2020, but then was made permanent by his headhunter guy as of October, and then shortly after asked to come on board as a true blue employee.  I don't know what "true blue" means, but again...we'll go with it. ALSO - this was the 12th anniversary of our first date on 1/4/09. ;)

Tuesday, January 5 - My employer (The Doge) informed me that we qualified for the first round of the Covid-19 vaccine, so I hopped on that gravy train and booked my little tushiie to Parkland to get my arm shot-up with who knows what the good stuff. This is pretty crazy considering only frontline health workers, people with pretty serious conditions, and a few over the age of 70 or so were the only ones authorized to get the shot at this point.  Considering I'm going into work either 2 or 3 days every week AND I don't want to risk getting the virus AND I don't want BigNate to get the virus, I didn't hesitate at the chance to go ahead and get it.  I did not feel the shot at all (like for-realz), but then after I got home, I had a little bit of a headache, so I went to bed a tad early.  I woke up mid-slumber with a sore arm, and my arm was PRETTY sore the whole next day.  But then I was back to normal on Thursday.  They went ahead and scheduled me an appt. three weeks later (on 1/26) to get the second dose of the shot.  

Discreet purse shot whilst waiting the 10 min. after the shot was administered to make sure I didn't drop dead.
Wednesday, January 6 - What we all hoped would be a normal, non-exciting congressional session to officially approve the Electoral College votes from the election on 11/3, turned out to be quite the opposite.  Here's a glimpse.  
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Unbelievable.  Saddening.  Sickening. Other wordly.  Before even hardly any of the pictures and footage were released and Nathan remarked to me while sitting at the kitchen table, teleworking (3pm our time) "Some people just broke into the Capitol," I still couldn't have imagined this.

Thursday, January 7 - My brother-in-law turned the big 33!  Still some joy in the chaos and confusion.

Sunday, January 10 - It snowed in the BigD!  Other parts of North TX (and Shreveport - go figure!) received a substantial white covering on the ground and trees and whatnot, but sadly, we didn't.  It definitelly fell and was really pretty floating down from the heavens, but it'd been rainy before that, so it just turned to water on the ground.  Still pretty rad, though!

Monday, January 11 - We signed a renewal on our lease on the ole Gaston!  Not that memorable, but it's kind of crazy that we're about to hit our 1-year mark in Dallas.  (I bet you thought I was going to say "The BigD" there. ;)) Cheers to the nexty year filled with (hopefully!) waaaaay more exploring, waaaaay more socializing, and waaaaay less social distancing, mask wearing, hospitalizations, and death. 

Tuesday, January 12 - My niece, and daughter of said brother-in-law turned the big 4! She's such a cutie! 

A PawPatrol-filled Christmas

Not much eventfulness after Tuesday besides just learning more about the Capitol Riots and Trump officially being banned from Twitter (thank God!), but everyone is worried about Biden's inaugurations, which is scheduled for Wednesday, 1/20.  They're sending in lots of National Guard troops to stand ready, and tons have already been deployed to the Capitol.

So wild.  I remarked to Nathan on Wednesday when he told me about the Capitol chaos..."what country are we living in???!? Seriously??"

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Monday, January 4, 2021

2021!

So this is the new year    

On Thursday night, we rang in the big 2-0-2-1 with a bang! And by bang, I mean goofing around making pancakes in the shape of 2s and 0s and 1s.



Team work makes the dream work pancakes.

We attempted an "NYE," but that blasted N just didn't want to cooperate and stay n-shaped in the flipping process, so we opted for a smiley sausage to add a little extra pizazz!


Sopping in syrupy goodness.



Mandatory goof-ness

We also watched a few episodes of Taskmaster (the British version, of course), and toasted a little bit of sparkling wine grape juice in celebration. 'Cuz, y'know, this is the year of making it happen.

As I mentioned here, it was a cold, nasty day, so crawling into bed at 12:03am 'twas quite nice.  Also, no nasty hangover the next morning was a win-win-win.  (I feel like I've referenced this Office episode on the ole blogarony before, so if you know, you know.  And if you don't know, then you can get the hell out of here!)

Back to work it was today.  Or back twerk it. --whichever fits your fancy. (I swear I'm stone cold sober.  But it is 8:27pm, and mah brain stops functioning at about 4pm.) I remarked to Nate that this might be one of the hardest Mondays to go back to work since it's following all the many weeks of holiday funtivities coupled with practically no 5-day work weeks, but we survived.  Nay, perhaps even thrived.

Nah, just survived. :)


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Make it happen, cap'n

Today I have an early release from work at 3pm, and you really have no idea how excited that makes me.

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It's not even that big of deal, but it's the little things sometimes, y'know.  It's being able to wear jeans on Fridays (although at my new office, it's only the first Friday of every month. blah. 😒). But again, it's better than nothing.

On top of my early release AND having tomorrow off for the kickass start of 2021, I am also teleworking today!!!! It's the perfect kind of day to be teleworking, too.  It's super cold, and it's been raining non-stop.  I feel sorry for all those mad foolz who had mad plans to shoot off some fireworks tonight because I'm pretty sure they won't be able to get them lit with all this rain.  Rest assured, mad foolz - all your fun shalln't be spoiled as the rain does not prevent you yourselves from getting lit!

Speaking of getting lit, Nathan and I crazily decided to kick off our "Let's get healthy in 2021!" on Monday, so we're 4 days in and have promised ourselves (and each other) that we're going to make.it.happen. this year!  To facilitate this, we've issued dollar amounts that we will either earn for every day of making.it.happen (i.e. sticking to allotted calorie amounts) OR we will have to forgo the moneymoneymoney to a cause or a person we wouldn't ever dream of contributing funds to (i.e. The Proud Boys, Mitch McConnell, Trump, etc.)

Pretty brutal, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I was thinking about my post yesterday on my recent read, and I think I really left off a lot more that I wanted to say about the book, particularly how strong I found Lisa Brennan-Jobs to be at times and also how much it seemed she used her unique past and childhood to learn and grow into the person she is now.  It reminded me of the girl who wrote Educated (Tara Westover).  I don't know that had I experienced some of the things that these women endured, I would have come out in the way that they did:  a New York Times Bestselling author. :)  Kidding, but really...I feel really strong sometimes or proud of the way I come out after facing trials and adversities over these past 33 years, but other times I'm like "just give me the EFFING dessert, and let me donate all my money to stoopid Trump."

On an unrelated note, I had a dream that involved Nathan and me hanging out with my bestie T-Swift and her guy pal Joe, and I'm now convinced this was a premonition.  This could be because I've been streaming Evermore and also Folklore like a mad woman (😉) very, very softly with headphones while I work for the past 3 days.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Small Fry, Big Thoughts

Two nights ago, I finished reading Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs.  I've had it on my TBR list (as the cool kids say...I'd just as well call it my "reading list" because we all know that nothing on the reading list is still waiting to be read if it's on there since it would then be moved to the "read" list. nonetheless, TBR list is kind of cheesy to me, but I've been trying to be cool since about 1996, so there's no since in stopping now.)** for a while ever since my sister-in-law mentioned it months, maybe a year or so, ago.

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As is the case sometimes with books, at least for me, it got pushed further and further down the list over time.  Then a few weeks ago, I finished a book one night and was an eager beaver ready to start a new one.  I requested a few from Libby (my lady-love library app), and I downloaded Small Fry and something else at the same time.  I ended up reading the other one.  Sorry, Lis.  However, one day when I was knee deep in the other book, I accidentally clicked on Lis' work and read the first few lines, which went something like "Three months before my father passed away, I began stealing things from his house."

and I was like "OoooOOOoooh, girl! No you didn't!"

So then I was re-excited about reading it, and so I did.

For starters, bless dear Nathan for lending an ear to my rants almost every evening after reading a portion before going to bed.  I'd heard things over the years indicating that Steve Jobs (who shall henceforth be called "Steve" since that's what Lisa called him, and it's kind of ingrained in me now.) was maybe not really the nicest to people he'd either worked with, who worked for him, he'd encountered through the years, etc.  But I'd never really heard anything concrete to tie this notion down.  I'd just heard it generally and figured it must be true and also that you probably don't become a billionaire by being a really nice person. That is, unless you're Willy Wonka.

But oh my goodness, I had no idea what I was in for.  Between the manipulation and the physical and financial AND emotional withholding, and moodiness, and at times just being off-the-wall CRAY in his actions and words (e.g. asking your teenage daughter if she masturbates. Hello! Not really appropriate, Steve!), I don't think I'll ever think about Steve the same.

I should say, I know there are always at least two sides to every story, and this memoir was written by Lisa, and it was published after Steve's death so there isn't a whole lot of arguing he can do regarding the way he was painted in this book, but I also don't feel like this was an expose to get rich on her part.  I think, sure, she probably knew she could sell a few copies because people would be intrigued to read about Steve from an insider's perspective, a daughter he blatantly lied about fathering for many years, but there is just so much of a common thread in his actions and words throughout the book that it would be just too hard to make it all up.

I also know that there are times throughout my life where my dad disappointed me (and I'm sure I did the same to him. Maybe.  I was his angel child, so it doesn't compare to what my heathen brothers did. hah!), but as a whole, I love him and I'm so grateful for all that he did for me, and I'm also grateful that I didn't have Steve growing up.

Enough about crazy Steve.

The book was good, a four out of five stars on the Courtney Richter*** scale...whatever the hell that is.  I feel like I had more to say, but my time is running out, and I've got to keep some stuff for my memoir. 😉

Only 1 more day of 2020, folks!


**you're so welcome for that.

***If there's a Courtney Richter out there and you ever come across this blog after googling yourself, please DM or IM or something-M me. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

T-minus 2 days 'til 2021

Apparently, Blogger decided to change up it's draft-posting interface while I took a little hiatus, so this is new. You can't see what I'm seeing right now, that is unless you're peeping over my shoulder during my lunch break at work, and if that's the case, kudos to you good sir for your invisibility and your ability to bypass the courthouse marshals, that is...unless you work here, and in that case Darren! Turn off your invisibility powers, and go back to your desk! 

Oh 2020 - just a mere 2 and 1/2 more days of your tomfoolery and then so long forever to your crazy self! What a year! Can I just say that again? Okay. thanks. What a year! 

We sent out Christmas cards with photos this year. I always thought this would be something we'd never do until we had cute little cherubs' faces to grace the card, but this year is what it is. Also, I'm narcissistic and I thought "Everyone's had a rough year. Maybe they'll smile at getting a card from us where we're dancing and laughing, and their holidays will be merry and bright!" Not really. But we did make it weird in typical Nathourtney fashion in taking a jab at the usual photo cards. AND and we included a puzzle for curious minds to solve.
(I redacted our last name from the card.  I swear we know how to center text correctly.)

So far only 3 people (out of almost 50) have solved it. I don't credit our mad puzzle-making skills for this, but more so that 40-something people saw the front of the card, thought "I don't get it. These people are weird," and then turned the card over to discover some ancient hieroglyphics strung across the bottom and proceeded to toss said card in the trash. 

Well, you know what I say to those 40-something people...


Okay, I've got a confession. *cue Usher* When I just typed out "hieroglyphics," I was convinced I spelled it incorrectly, but I didn't get the little red squiggly underneath it.  So I thought this new interface doesn't spell check.  Then I found an arrow and clicked on it, and switched from HTML view to Compose view, and now Blogger looks normal!  Hooray!  

Also, apparently I know how to spell "hieroglyphics" correctly because I checked Google, AND I don't have a squiggle. But I did misspell "invisibility" up there, so there's that.

Do you think 2021 will be like switching Blogger back to Compose view after a harrowing year of HTML view?  I sure do hope so.

I know I can't complain much.  I've got a man who loves me, a cat who loves me relies on me for food every day, a nice place to lay my head at night in a city I've dreamed for a few years of living in, a job that pays, and a heart that beats regularly, for which I am oh so grateful for.

but

man, this year's been a toughie.

I've had the urge to write more these past few days/weeks, so maybe you'll get a few more ramblings from me here and there, but that's it for now.  I'd like to write more, but it's back to the grind, and I fear that if I leave this unpublished 'til later, later might not come for who knows how long.  And then I'd have to go back up there and change the number of days that it's been after 2021 started and it'll all just be a big ole mess.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Gretchen and Delia

Well......I didn't plan on taking a month off to update you on all the exciting changes happening around these parts, but life uh....finds a way.

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That doesn't make any sense.  You know what else doesn't make any sense? Nothing really changed about the coronavirus except that cases decreased a lot in some areas because everyone was social distancing/teleworking/wearing masks during the very limited number of outings they were taking and then SOMEBODY was like "Well, I guess we're through the worst of it.  Back to normal, folks!" ...and here we are again with the number of cases increasing skyrocketing...and when will my better half and I finally be able to venture out into the great unknown of glorious Dallas??? #firstworldproblems

Okay, I'll stop being a little storm cloud now.  Onward to sunshine and rainbows.
Recent Reads

After rereading one of my favorite books for the fourth fifth sixth time (I don't really know...more than a few, but less than the number of times Nath'n has watched The Empire Strikes Back), I decided to give a book I started years ago another chance.  Back in what I would guess was probably 2014, I decided to read The Happiness Project because it seemed like an interesting topic, it was a New York Times Bestseller, and who couldn't stand a little more happiness in their life? Win-win-win, right?

I remember getting through the first few chapters back in '14, but I wasn't as avid of a reader as I am these days.  So naturally after not picking it up very often and feeling like it was taking for-ev-er to get through (my fault, I thought), I decided it just wasn't for me.  Since then I've wondered if maybe it was just me, so why not give the ole gal Gretchen another chance!?

I was wrong.

While I won't say that I hated the book, it was rather hard at times to get through.  I've told myself in the past that if I'm just not feeling a book after a few chapters in, it's okay to put it down.  Coincidentally, Gretchen says the same thing in this very book.  There are plenty more fish in the sea books on the shelf.  But then I'd think "Well, that's what I did last time!" So I'd make myself keep trudging, and boy was it a trudge! I found parts of the book interesting and enjoyable (at times), but all-in-all, it just wasn't my favorite.  I feel like it could have been three-quarters, if not half as long as it was, and it was just really hard to relate to the author at times because she has such a different personality than me and values things differently than I do. I'd give it 2 stars.

Needless to say, it won't be my go-to stocking stuffer for family members this year.  Except maybe the ones who wronged me.  hahaha jk #nohateforgretchen


My subsequent and latest read was Where the Crawdads Sing.  To be honest, I wasn't particularly stoked about starting this because I'd been burned in the past by a New York Times Bestseller (cough, cough-see above), and I sometimes get a little weird about a book that I feel like everyone raves about when it's probably not typically something I'd read.  I knew this was set in the south in the mid-20th century, and I'm more of a modern fiction person.  But I thought, you know let's just see.  I can always put it down if I'm not digging it.

I was wrong.

It was sooooooo good! Count me in on the bandwagon of people who really liked (maybe even loved or lurved) this book!  While it was more nature-descriptive than I may like at times, I will say the author, who is a zoologist, has a way with words.  It also had a good amount of suspense throughout, which is not the norm for my reading choices.  A few nights when I was going to bed, I was like "Lawd Jesus, please let me not have any nightmares about the Marsh Girl!" And then one night when I was brushing my teeth after a particularly suspenseful chapter, Nathan showed up behind me in the mirror after I had closed my eyes for a minute, and I was so startled! #scaredycat

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Anyway, it kept me guessing throughout about who may have murdered the town superstar, but I won't give it away in case you read this and don't want the ending ruined.  And by "you," I mean you, Nathan.  Hah!  (p.s. thanks for being amazing and reading my sorry excuse of a blog) Back to the book - all in all, it was a great read, and I'd definitely recommend it!! 5 stars, Delia!

So yeah.  That's about it on the reading front for now.  I've just started this, and I'm already digging the small intro portion I read last night.  Excited to report back here hopefully soon with my overall thoughts.

Until then (which may be a month, but let's hope not), keep it funky and fresh and for goodness sakes SOCIAL DISTANCE AND WEAR YOUR DAMN MASK!!!!

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**Who am I doing blog posts with back-to-back Jurassic Park gifs in my posts? Oh...Nathan's wife.