Friday, December 31, 2010

Cliche Resolutions Post, Party Time, Excellent!

Yesterday I joined a friend in utilizing a 7-day pass to Bally Total Fitness and we took a Zumba class. If you aren't familiar with Zumba take latin dancing, through some cocaine on it, lots of hip and leg movements, tribal dancing and masochism. It looks like this, except our instructor was faster (if I recall correctly she said she had been doing it for 12 years and was in the Air Force), harder and maybe a dominatrix on her off time.

My body is giving me a talking to this morning but I'm glad I did it. They say an hour of Zumba burns about 500 calories, but that didn't really matter to me since I had already negated that by drinking a grande green tea Frappuccino prior to the class.

I digress.

The thing about the class though, is that it made me think about making some resolutions. And I figured since I'm here a lot I could stick to them better. Hopefully.

So here they are- Amanda's List Of Resolutions

1. Not feel like I'm torturing myself when I take a Zumba class. Which is to say- exercise more. Last night was more of a wake up call as to how out of shape I am. It was embarrassing and I want to change that.
2. Drink about 50x more water than I do now. It's really a no brainer. I've been getting better at it by just not buying soda or juices but occasionally I slip and go on a Hansen's Mandarin Lime bender. It's really unfortunate to watch my husband see me slip into a sugary spiral of empty calorie consumption.
3. Start collecting for my store! This one will be fun, but it means that what I'd usually spend on treats for myself will have to go to the store. But I think it will be worth it.
4. Take the blogging to a whole new level. I'm perpetually inspired by so many blogs and there's really no reason I can't fulfill my own desires to have my own unique place in the blogosphere. This means sitting down with one of my computer savvy friends and creating Lullabies To Terrorize 2.0. Set your VCRs to "stun".
5. Call and write people more often. I'm kind of embarrassed about how much I rely on technology to keep in touch with loved ones and friends. Sure I keep in touch but it feels more superficial. I want to pour my heart into everything more. I think the results will be better and my life will feel richer for it.
6. Submit an opinion piece to the Tucson Weekly. People have been telling me I should do it for years but I've always been too...something. Meek, scared of rejection, unexperienced. No more. I'm perfectly adequate and I can only get better, so I need to start taking some leaps if I want to get anywhere.
7. Become a better cook. I know I could survive on spaghetti almost entirely but the world, and my family, think differently. And since they deserve the best, that means a more well rounded wifechef.
8. Take the clothes out of the dryer on time. The dryer isn't an expensive laundry basket where you pick out shirts as needed, Amanda. Realize this now!
9. Try to communicate more effectively with Greg. At best we are on the same wavelength about 75% of the time. At worst we are oil and water with fire on top, fire usually fueled by my temper/tone (I'm usually very soft spoken and consequently I haven't quite learned how to use an assertive tone without it sounding angry and combative, it's always one extreme or the other so I need to work on that).
10. Find Devendra Banhart. Marry him. I already got clearance on that from Greg (even he has a dude crush on him I think, or appreciation, I don't know what you'd call it in dudes terms).
11. Ease up on the coffee.
12. ....Nevermind. I think I'm going to need coffee to deal with a lot of these.
13. Bust out the camera more.
14. Bust a move more.
15. Put more in savings.
16. Pet more animals. It really is calming.
17. Have more jam sesh's with Jack.
18. Use more patience.
19. Use less salt.
20. Smile more at strangers.

I think this is a good start. I'm usually not a resolutions maker but I felt I should break out of the box this year, which is really what this whole list amounts to anyway. Breaking out of my self-imposed comfort zone and shaking it up more. Not expecting results with minimal effort and actually making efforts. Great efforts. Looking for goals instead of waiting for them to find me. Being less pessimistic because lets face it, I've done it for 23 years and it hasn't really done too much for me other than providing bitter punchlines.

"Lets fuck it up boys/lets make some noise."

I hope you all find yourselves in a New Year of prosperity, whatever that means to you. In relationships, in creativity, in family or jobs. I wish you all the love and happiness in the world. Goodbye 2010. It was nice knowing you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Because sometimes I like a challenge...

So. I got a random idea for the ol' blogstead that either derived out of one too many glasses of Christmas pinot or one too many hours of boredom (what the hell did I do before my time was consumed by my sons Pacman-like time suckage?!) or maybe a dastardly combination of the two but here it is-

I want to start a 30 Day Challenge every month. Something new, something different, all documented here every painstaking inch of the way. I've come up with three ideas thus far-

Month 1- 30 Days Vegan- Because I've always wanted to and I have a lot of moral support and knowledge (my friend Colleen has made the venture into full fledged veganism months ago and has a library of books and knowledge and I'll be interviewing her and including videos) to help me along.
Month 2- 30 Days Running- Because I've never quite been a runner but I've also never quite been as unhappy with where my exercise has gone these days (hint- down the shitter).
Month 3- 30 Days of Sexercise- This one I am most interested in because I actually think it may be the hardest. Pun unavoidable. I think it will open us up as a couple in communication and intimacy and I'd like to include interviews about the progress of that challenge as well.

Those are the first 3 that I came up with and I think it's a good start. All of these will be challenging and hopefully interesting for those of you who come with me on the journey.

Please don't sue me Morgan Spurlock. I swear I didn't try to rip off your idea. Plus all you'd get out of us is a collection of Wes Anderson movies, a decent couch and a lifetime of harassment from an obviously odd woman.

Anyway, I hope it works out well. I'm thinking about starting up come January and I'm kinda jazzed.


Now, any recommendations for the next months?

*Also, this blog isn't going to turn into a 30 Day Challenge only blog. I'd still be posting the usual musings along with whatever challenge is that month.

My cure for this blustery day

I actually wrote a legitimate post but it started going down a Sadfuck McGee route so I started poking about youtube in search of music videos to post and I stumbled upon these which pretty much made my morning and fed my Devendra habit (that was a really long winded sentence)-





It's in three parts but totally worth it if you want to see some funny ad libbing and that face.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That one time I had a Joanie rack...

Awhile back I found a picture my camera must have been holding in it's memory card and when I saw it I had to laugh and reminisce. And post it on my blog for all posterity.

I've always been on the smaller scale when it comes to boobage. I watched all my friends fill out bras and all the other girls get asked out and there I was rocking a 38A and then, eventually, a 34B. So I relied a lot on humor and wit to get me through high school dating. When I got pregnant the first thing that reacted were my breasts. And it wasn't until I saw this pic that I remembered just how much so-


Christmas Eve '07 (with my in-laws). I was almost 7 months here. Notice the fact that my collarbone and my boobs have started to move in together.

And that was the time when I got to know how Joan Holloway feels.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wedding Revisited

In my last post Chelsea left a comment that made me think "hmmm, why not post a bit about our wedding?!" I did shortly after we got married, but I love revisiting things. I think we change so much that we always look at things with different eyes and it's fun to compare and contrast (I would have chosen a different hairstyle and taken more time on my makeup, would have changed and added more songs, different shoes, etc). I didn't post much about my wedding because it was a really low key affair. There were no photographers (my aunt came and agreed to photograph everything she could with her trusty Nikon). There were no DJ's, mostly because I simply wouldn't allow it. "I'd take care of it, that you very much." We thought food was of the utmost importance so we booked a Mexican food buffet and called it a day because if you don't like Mexican food you aren't human. Plain and simple. My wedding plans probably looked like this-

Mexican food+music+endless margaritas&booze= happy happy joy joy

So I did all that and called it a day. I didn't even pick out my own dress. My mother-in-law found a lacey white sundress at Saks one day and bought it just in case and I approved and it was done.

Anyway, I made a playlist of some of the songs off our wedding soundtrack and I figured I'd share it here. This is an extremely edited version, since the actual playlist was over 7 hours long. I picked everything and arranged it based on what would be going on at the time. I had more low key, relaxed music for dinner, some more upbeat music for after dinner drinking and socializing and more dance worthy tracks for after all those margarita refills. So here you go-


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


"Ladies And Gentlemen We're Floating Through Space" was used for the procession. I didn't want the traditional wedding march and I felt like this was a decent alternative. It's pretty and it has a modern waltz sort of feel.

What were your favorite songs from your wedding? Or do you have any songs you're hoping to use for a future wedding? Share your stories!

Bittersweet Symphony.

This weekend I watched from the back of our Centennial Hall as one of my dear friends graduated. The procession played and suddenly I felt myself getting a little emotional. It shocked me a little bit and I tried to brush it off as a mere spike in my menstrual cycle. But it wasn't. I always cry at things like this. Graduates with their square hats marching formally down the line. Brides greeting their grooms. Babies being placed on the chests of their mothers. No matter how often I think I've hardened myself to life and its cycles, think I've seen it all by now, I know it's all merely defense. Inside my heart is perpetually breaking and being filled back up. Stitched and kissed and overflowing. Waves and hurricanes.

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!


I watched a class of students embark on something new. And I cried for the parent in myself and for my own parents that never got to see their daughter turn that tassel (well, a tassle that wasn't spirit glued to her breasts). I watched those caps and gowns and wondered where I would have fit in. If I would have made it had I truly believed in myself. Had I pushed hard enough or not gambled on a pipe dream. Spinned the bottle and kissed the unknown.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.



I cried because of all that potential. All of those people's dreams realized. For now.
"There will be more, and they don't even know it" I thought to myself in the safe dark of the back row.
And there will be. So much.


You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?


Whether you've clutched your diploma or a pregnancy test, the feelings are collectively the same. Fear, excitement, newness testing out your balance. Whether you roll the dice or play fair, take your time, we're all trying to get somewhere.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.


And so, I cried for the unknown. The hope and the places you don't know you'll go. The unmarked paths and revised plans that everyone will be making, taking on. I cried for when the caps and gowns are taken off because with them will be an old shell and on their backs will be a new skin. Different and ready or unready. I cried because I was proud. Because I knew what it was like to be a proud mother and friend. A feeling I hope to feel more and more with time and a feeling I was glad to be let in on that afternoon in that theater hall with clapping hands and bellows of pride echoing from the mouths of families all filled with one thing- love.

"So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"




Congrats Tyler*. I'm so excited for your journey.




*Yep, that's my friend in the picture. The picture is via The Arizona Daily Star. Already making headlines.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Totally Looks Like Part 2- Greg's Meth Headed Doppelganger

So Greg and I are watching another disc of Breaking Bad and something looks familiar. It's then that I turn to my left and realize the meth dealing kid totally looks like Greg!

Example-


Dude named Aaron Paul


Husband (in the beige sweater, kind of an older picture but since he is elusive when it comes to cameras finding his mug, this is the best I could do.)

Aaron Paul's eyes are bit more squinty but for the most part I think Greg has an Emmy winning doppelganger. Between this and discovering Jack looking like a toddler Kevin Arnold I've come to realize...I watch way too much TV.

Friday Fondue

When I drink out of my favorite coffee mug that holds the equivalent of 3 normal coffee mugs worth of caffeine and peruse the internet weird things can happen. This is why I've created Friday Fondue, it's a way to get stuff that I've collected on my computer out there so I can delete it later (maybe).

So, here are some lurvely things I found on in my favorites section of my overflowing bookmark folder.

A top at Anthro who's price tag makes me weep inside.
The PERFECT holiday party dress.
A dress similar to one I have, but makes me want it anyway.
A mobile for a future baby Martin (maybe...we've decided if we have another boy his name will be Vincent though...that's a start).
I heart mod dresses. Although I need to work on my back combing to achieve perfect 60's hair.
If somebody got me this I'd forever be their slave.
This skirt is waaaaaay to cute for its own good.
I'm going to recreate this look ASAP.
Purdy necklace.
Remember that time I wrote about the Royal Tenenbaums? Well, I totes need this for my reading nook.
For my dining area (as if I needed to be reminded though, types the woman who guiltlessly ate a red velvet cupcake for breakfast).
Awesome.
Yum.

And that's enough of that. Nothing interesting to write. I've been feeling pretty tired and if I'm not tired I'm actively getting tired with all the errands and shopping and bank account sabotage that the holidays tend to bring about. One more week. Then everything will finally ease up and we can relax. One more week. Think happy thoughts...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nap time Wars

Jack has pretty much severed naps out of our lives. I say "our lives" because those naps were my happy hour. A time to do chores peacefully and without worry that I'd trip on one of the many land mines (hot wheels cars) he plants or have to stop every 10 seconds to assist/serve/play/scold/teach him . A time for a shower or blogging or catching up with people. Night time is usually a time to catch up with the husband and try to connect but nap time is MY jam.

Until it wasn't.

I can't say I still don't try. I do, but it's all in vain. Lets take a look at the decline of naps (and my sanity) in the Martin household-

Exhibit 1-

2/25/2010- The Stuffed Animal Revolts

Exhibit 2-
video
12/03/2010- The WTF Incident
* Somehow he managed to pull that toy out of his closet and up on to his bed while I was ironing, without me hearing a damn thing until he started pressing the buttons and having it make its noises.

Exhibit 3-
video
12/14/2010- The Peaceful Protests


So naps are pretty much finito and early bed times (the kid has been pretty willingly going down at 7 lately) have taken their place. How do you like them apples Jack?! You won the battle little dude, but you lost the war.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh, the places you don't know you'll go

This weekend was a doozy. Saturday snowballed into a gigantic clusterfuck. We got all our Christmas shopping done in about 3 hours (most of that time spent commuting to and from downtown) so I thought we were on a roll. Until night came and with it a spousal spat so unnerving I decided to pick up some milk we needed right then and there so I could diffuse. We needed some time apart to recompose and come back to more level headedness and indoor voices. On my way there I got a phone call from a friend which led me to sit in my car in the parking lot of Fry's for half an hour pretty much bawling. I became a snot filled mess. I was having "a moment", if you will. I just couldn't freaking stop.

As Dane Cook (who isn't even my favorite comedian) would say-


When I cry my nose runs non-stop, my eyes swell like I've come down with a shellfish allergy and my lips puff up into this pathetic Angelina Jolie imitation. So it was safe to say I walked into Fry's Food and Drug looking a little off to the staff. Something about my sudden presence in the wine section looking like a defeated boxer made all adjacent shoppers look at me with this pity that was palpable. The conveyor belt pushed my sadfuck treats (ice cream sandwiches and pinot grigio, and our milk/excuse to leave an arguement) closer to the cashier and the bagger double bagged my milk (something NOBODY ever does, but it really comes in handy when you live on the second story set of apartments) and smiled at me and I swear I wanted to open mouth kiss this kid. It was the kindest thing I had encountered all day and I wanted to cry more because of it.

When I got home the fight had diffused. We talked and I drank two glasses of wine and watched Breaking Bad.

Sunday my mom called me and said my uncle isn't doing too well. He had a stroke over the last couple years that left him in a wheelchair and stole the wind from his sails. This man was one of my favorite people in the world. He was endlessly funny and when I was depressed I'd read these old letters he wrote my mom when he moved out of their parent's house and I'd find myself laughing until it hurt. Even my friends at school were soon throwing "Uncle Mike-isms" into our jokes and conversations. He still made me laugh after the stroke but something was off. Something in him was taken away and that killed me and a lot of my family. I haven't seen him since I got married May of '09 and before that I hadn't seen him in years. And now, there's the prospect of me not seeing him ever again. A little bit of laughter gone from my life, my family, permanently.

Sunday night my aunt-in-law and grandmother-in-law had us over for dinner and it felt normal and I even enjoyed it, but inside I knew my heart was all over the place. Upset, hurt, trying to find the positive and failing.

Sometimes change happens too fast, sometimes too painful. But I hope that it's for the best, I hope that I can find the open doors after the others close. I'll leave the light on.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fondue

I am grouchy. People just have a way of getting under your skin and I'm crawling with parasites. Whether it's the people who are anonymous or people you know intimately, it all irritates the same and I'm extra pissed because for the last couple days I've been rocking a pretty good disposition. A sweet disposition, some would say (if that some were The Temper Trap). And I'm pretty sensitive, no matter how often I try not to submit to my emotions, as Manny on Modern Family says- "we both know that your Latin blood makes that impossible." So I'm grouchy, trying to refrain from lashing out, saying what you REALLY want to say, will do that to you. I am forever a product of my heritage-

Swede genes- Suppress it.
Latin genes- Throw it into a wall.

So enough about my conundrums. Here's some cool stuff to look at!

* A couple looks from Lookbook that I'm all a'flutter over.
* Let's do lunch with these!
* This makes me want to make some cupcakes and hand them out to strangers. But "society" won't let me.
* A pretty reminder.
* I think this would be a cute alternative for a diaper bag.
* This would be cute to put next to a baby's crib in a nursery.
* These chairs are adorable.
* Apartment Therapy wonders if you've had a nap lately (and makes mothers everywhere twitch in sleep deprived jealousy).
* More stuff to feed my Banhart addiction!
* If I could inject more Christmas spirit in myself I would. In the meantime, I listen to this.

Tonight the fam and I will take in some Christmas lights with a couple of awesome friends and I'm hoping that will slam the door on my bad mood. Something about lights in the dark and hot chocolate to warm you and tiny hands pointing out stars tends to do that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lunchtime Serenade

video

* Fact- Jack is often pictured and filmed in a diaper due to the fact that the kid is a damn nudist. He never wants to put clothes on unless we're going out.
** I think he's singing about a train as the only lyrics I could decipher were "chugga-chugga-choo-choo!"
** Sorry about the sideways filming and my monotone voice.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On another note-

My mom is a total GILF.


Seriously. The lady cracked open her noggin one night (she tripped over her comforter and fell, hitting her head on the corner of her dresser and leaving a gash so gnarly I almost gagged when she showed me the picture. It was really messed up.) awhile back and she STILL looks awesome. Three kids and she's skinnier than I am. I'm hoping those Swede genes are going to tie me over until my 30's (she's in her 40's now) but I have a feeling everything is going to go to shit in about 5 years. I digress.

She's moving to California (Sacramento, I believe) on Sunday, joining in on an expanding list of people that have ditched me in the last couple months for greener, coastal pastures and summers that don't involve ass burns whenever you get into your car.

So adios mum! I hope California embraces you and you have many days and nights by the beach, visiting San Fran and enjoying reasonable temperatures.

House Hunters lead to a revelation last night...

While Greg and I lazed about after another day of toddler rearing exhaustion, watching HGTV an idea hit me so clearly that I felt stupid for not truly thinking it through before.

I should open up an online vintage clothing/accessories/knick-knacks store.

I told Greg and his eyes widened like I'd found the answer to a hardcore algebra problem merely by doodling daisies. Why the hell hadn't I thought about it before?!

The truth is, I had. I just didn't take myself seriously enough to attempt to take the idea into fruition. I thought I was too naive. Too unskilled. But frankly, sometimes I need to tell myself to shut the fuck up. I need to start squashing any self-defeating teenage angst bullshit and take the reigns on my own destiny. Even if I fail, even if I fall flat on my face in front of everybody at least it wouldn't look as pathetic as sitting there whining, taking no action, atrophying.

For the longest time I've been boxed into this corner thinking that I'd never find a job/career/whathaveyou that I'd truly be passionate about. That would still allow me to feel free. I didn't go to college, I didn't have the money, the stability, more importantly I didn't have the drive. I wanted/want to be a writer or anything in a field involving writing and I thought voice was more important than technical skill so I blew off college for experience. I experienced my way into an unplanned pregnancy and while Greg flourished out of grad school and into a great job I stayed behind and cared for Jack. The gaps widened in my resume and suddenly I felt worthless. Not anymore.


It's going to take work. I didn't come into this idea thinking I'd just go off finding cool vintage dresses and la-di-da! I'm still going to have to find a job to cultivate a nest egg for inventory. I'm going to have to get better at HTML and webpages so I can create an online store. I'm going to have to get intimate with my local post office. And it'll probably be awhile before I see any reward for my efforts and time BUT this feeling...this hopefulness and optimism about the future that I hadn't really felt in awhile, well, that's kind of reward enough.





P.S.- I think I'm going to name the shop Margot's (yep, as in Tenenbaum). What do you think?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Movies I Love- The Royal Tenenbaums


I had been a Wes Anderson fan for awhile but never fully let that fan flag soar until Greg and I got together. His favorite movie is The Life Aquatic and by the time we had Jack, our Anderson movie collection was in full swing and being new parents with a baby and no social life to speak of we spent a lot of nights at home watching movies. Like all good movies it took awhile for Tenenbaums to fully bewitch me (this was the same scenario with "Lost In Translation"). I like movies that you find layers in. Little nuances that you only notice after watching it 2, 6, 25 times. By now I've peeled back all (maybe) the layers and it hit me the last time I watched it. I knew why I loved it so much. I knew what it was like to have an estranged father whom you don't quite trust enough to let in. I knew how it felt to be secretive and fucked up. How dysfunction is sometimes the only function to operate within and the resentments built up because of that.

And I always cry at this scene-


If you haven't seen it (although I don't know anybody that hasn't and I'm being highly unoriginal in even writing about The Royal Tenenbaums on my blog) I highly recommend it (Anderson also always has amazing soundtracks to his films, another reason why I love them).




Friday, December 3, 2010

My family


He's a little bit country...



I'm a little bit rock n' roll...



He's a lotta awesome.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have- the facts of life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GGC's Good Wear Days prt- 3(?)


Outfit Details-
Tunic blouse thing that makes me feel like a poet in a bar- Urban Renewal by Urban Outfitters (remixed)
Velvet-like leggings- Target (these have become my new go-to for mixing things up, I love them)
Boots (ad nauseum)- Buffalo Exchange (ad nauseum)

This was the only picture I got that was semi-passable. Greg was deeply entranced in his Fallout: New Vegas game, or as I like to call it "the other woman", and the look on my face that came across was along the lines of "man, I wish anything made me as excited as fictitious alien and outlaw slaughtering makes you"...oh wait...there is something-

And this!


So I guess there are things...

In all honesty I really posted a picture of Ryan Gosling and a piece of tiramisu to detract from the fact that I only got one picture.

And not because I'm guilty of thinking about those things often.

No..definitely not for that reason.