Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Rewind - 1 Year Ago

Last year JB had to work over Christmas, so I went along with him on his trip to Brussels. (Best Christmas Ever) While we were there, we found a cozy bar with a warm fire where could watched a holiday light show projected on the side of an old cathedral.

I captured a bit of the show on my iPhone. On the flight home, I edited this short clip and added music.

Where will I be this Christmas? It's looks like we're going to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Hot Cookie

I remember listening to the story in high school with a curious mixture of revulsion and fascination. It actually led me to believe it was a common college fraternity ritual to hold a circle-jerk around a cookie.

It turned out that in my seven years of frat life (I really liked college, okay?) the cookie legend remained just that; more illusive than Sasquatch, cafeteria food fights or panty raids that didn't end with a restraining order, sexual harassment refreshers and twenty hours of community service.

Not sure what brought this random memory to the surface.

In other news, it looks like Stevie B did some holiday baking yesterday. His mouth-watering iced lemon cookies look so scrumptious, I've been having daydreams about them.

It always starts the same: The sweet smell of wafting citrus
with a hint of,  is that... cloves? Ooo, risky! I like that. 
First a tentative lick of the icing,  followed by a tiny nibble...
From there I vary it.

Smart, hunky, sexy, funny and he can bake. That Stevie B really is the total package.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flickr Shock

JB said, "Don't get me anything for Christmas." It smells like a trap.

He's feeling guilty after wiping out his flexible spending account and then some on a new pair of no-line bifocals with designer frames. Absently I say, "Got it. Nothing for Christmas" and return my attention to my Amazon shopping list.

A few weeks ago JB flew off the handle when I said I planned to buy myself an iPad 3. You know, sometime next year when there is an iPad 3. "No more gadgets! What's wrong with the iPad you have?"

"It's an iPad 1?" I reply sheepishly, caught off guard by the vigor of his disapproval and the obscurity of the question's point. How could he understand? He and his fancy iPad 2.

The hypocrisy wasn't lost on me last week when JB, during a TV commercial break, dropped a hint about wanting another new camera. Maybe a Nikon this time. (Nikon? Until now JB has strictly been a Cannon man. I will never understand his attraction to Ashton Kutcher.)

And honestly, who can truly be satisfied with only six digital cameras?

I blame myself. When I met JB nearly 15 years ago, he was practically Amish. He didn't have a computer let alone an e-mail address. He thought my mobile phone was a frivolous luxury used mainly to flaunt my disposable income in a feeble attempt to deny my natural place in the social strata. And he didn't own a camera.

On our first Christmas together I bought him a camera. It was a simple, compact, point-and-shoot affair that used something called "film". If you wanted to see the pictures you took, you had to wait. Sometimes days.

He seemed to like that camera. On our first trip with it, the little plastic part that covered the flash fell off. But the camera still worked. What I failed to appreciate was that the 4,000 volt capacitor circuitry for the flash was now exposed. I remember framing the shot and saying "Say cheeEEESUS CHRIST!!" as every muscle in my body contracted simultaneously. I remember seeing sparks. And I remember seeing the camera fly about 20 feet through the air before bouncing and rolling another 20 feet on the ground. I'm not sure if the camera still worked after that. We were afraid of it.

I felt bad about breaking JB's camera, but he wasn't concerned. He took it back to the camera shop where I had bought it originally and came out with a better camera. No charge. He has a knack for exchanging things. I don't know how he does it, I really don't. Because I opt to wait in the car when these exchanges go down.

(He once bought a vacuum cleaner and used it for a couple months before it stopped sucking. After asking me to troubleshoot the obviously defective appliance, he was incensed to learn he had to buy replacement vacuum cleaner bags if he wanted to continue supporting his domestic habit. He returned the vacuum to Lowe's Depot – stuffed full of dirt – and exchanged it for a new, sleek bagless model. No charge.)

"I'll have these back to ya
in three days, toots."
For some reason I can't remember, he then took his newer, better camera back and exchanged it. This cycle continued until JB was the proud owner of his first 35mm SLR. Then he had two. Then one year for his birthday I got him his first digital SLR with a whopping 64MB memory card. Because only cavemen wait to see their pictures.

It might have been around this time when JB decided he wanted to become a professional photographer. (Evidently all flight attendants need a secondary career. He didn't have the patience for a realtor's license, and I refused to let him sell VitaJuicePlus to our friends.) It's not that he didn't make any money as a photographer, he did make money. It's just that all the profits went back into more photographic equipment.

So I find it ironic that while I'm still stinging from my pre-emptive iPad 3 denial, I'm clicking the "Buy it Now" button for another new camera for JB. What can I say? Cameras make him happy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Perpetual Calendar

Between renovating my bedroom and decorating for the holidays, I managed to concentrate the clutter into a single room in my house. As usual, the casualty is my "Den"/"Guest"/"Computer"/"Gift Wrapping" room. It's were I usually sit in the morning to drink coffee and catch up on y'alls blogs.

This has gotten especially challenging now that my fortress of solitude is filled with boxes and piles of stuff. Yet I still manage to find my way to my Aeron chair, coffee in hand, and... wonder where in the hell all this stuff came from.

Part of the problem is that I have a hard time letting go of things. I have so much stuff I need to throw away, but just can't bring myself to do so. Case in point: This calendar from 2009. Why throw out a perfectly good calendar that will be useful again in 2015?

Each month was personally autographed by the appropriate team member.
It's been three years and I still get aroused by the smell of Sharpie.

Oh Seth, I'll never forget that wonderful May we spent together.

What I wouldn't give to spend Christmas in July.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Don't Be Alarmed

I know it's been I while since I posted last. A combination of work demands, home improvement projects and the cold & flu season have kept me from my blog. Plus I've just been really lazy.

My plan was to get the bedroom floor completed and the heavy Eddie Bauer bedroom suite reassembled before JB returned from his trip over the weekend before Thanksgiving. Of course, the floor was only half completed and everything from the bedroom was stacked in the living room -- including my lifeless body -- when JB got back from his trip.

I'd started feeling sick during that weekend and by Monday I was out of commission on the sofa. It was Wednesday before I started to rally, and since Thursday and Friday were a work holiday, I focussed on getting the bedroom finished before JB's head exploded.

I'm very happy with the results, but it was definitely more work than I anticipated. Among the many surprises discovered when pulling up the carpeting, the most distressing had to be finding all the phone and sensor wiring for the security system. At this point I had no choice but to snip it all out. I knew this would disable the alarm system, but I didn't expect it to knock out our phone and Internet. Oops.

The good news is that I'm not only an Electrical Engineer, I also work in the telecom industry. The bad news? That means squat. Who has ten thumbs and is colorblind? You guessed it... moi. I relied on simple trial-and-error to reconnect the tiny color-coded wires until I found a dial tone. It's a miracle my router didn't burst into flames.

I have yet to total my expenses, but the new (wireless) security system more than doubled the cost of this project, including the flooring materials and all the new tools I needed to install it. JB seems pleased with the new floor but made me promise to not take on any new home improvement projects until after the holidays.