The night ended with Frankie Valli

May 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

I delight in mimicking Frankie Valli’s falsetto. It brings me great joy.

Especially when I’m too drunk to drive home. Robert has us parked in the driveway, and we are belting it out to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Today, we celebrated Mother’s Day early with both of our moms. During the majority of the day, Robert and I were with my mom shopping. Afterward, we all gathered together and had dinner along with Robert’s parents. We had a great time. I might have had too much to drink.

“I’ll drive,” he tells me, looking at me with that stern expression that tells me I better not argue with him. He’s right, of course. I might feel fine now, but as soon as I stand up…I’m sure I’ll be in trouble. I’m already imagining the great joy I will experience when I unbuckle (and possibly unzip) my pants for the car ride home. He’s definitely right. I really shouldn’t drive like this.

Dinner was delicious. The company was fantastic and fun. And on the drive home, halfway through my very rousing rendition of “Hey There Delilah,” Robert switches our audio to the soundtrack to Jersey Boys. My pouting lasts only a second before I realize what he’s done: he’s popped in a CD that we can both sing to. One that we love to sing to.

I take the high parts and leave the low parts to Robert. I have found that I run out of breath too early with the low parts. But when I’m drunk…maybe I run out of breath during the high parts, too.

“You’re just too good to be true…,” I croon, looking a bit crookedly at my loving spouse. “Can’t take my eyes off of you….”

I’m a lucky girl.

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Ah, May 1st. If we were in early modern England we might celebrate May Day with a Maypole and a festival.

Or maybe if we were in twenty-first century America, we might celebrate the eve of May Day with a BBQ among friends. And the celebration would be less for May Day and more for the triumphant return (read: brief weekend home) of a friend in FBI training.

And at this BBQ we might have brought along our dogs. Who have been utterly wiped out all day. And maybe on May Day, we might enjoy the warm, sunny day by grading the last 9 student papers, reading about 100 pages of a leisure book (what???), and possibly bathing a puppy that smells distinctly of a BBQ grill.

Or, at least, that’s what I’ve done on my May Day.

No, I got nary a new word written on my dissertation. No, I did not conduct additional research on the next chapter.

But I did relax. And recharge. I enjoyed my day off after a fairly productive day yesterday. And I do not feel guilty in the least.

Tomorrow will be a much more productive day because I relaxed on May Day.

Combine sea salt and EVOO and what do you get? Sexier legs, that’s what!

April 19, 2011 § 3 Comments

My friend Vikki has done it again! Last time I stole a blog post of hers, it was in honor of her awesome powder laundry detergent recipe. (By the way, I’ve now washed like five loads of laundry in it, and I am in absolute love with it!) This time, though, I am leeching off of Vikki to share a sneaky little trick of the kitchen that leads to a delicious joy in the shower. And…the title of this blog is misleading. I’m not about to talk about sexier legs. Ahem.

If I have any gentle male readers…now might be the right time to avert thine eyes and leave the ladies to their gossip. Trust me. Uhm, same goes for my more innocent female readers. If you’d like to retain your innocence, I’ll understand if you just leave it at this. See you tomorrow. « Read the rest of this entry »

Day of relaxation

March 26, 2011 § 5 Comments

“And then I said to myself, ‘Self,’ I said, ‘Self, it is time to do right by you!”

This morning, I woke up extremely stiff and sore, and I thought it would be a brilliant idea to try loosen up with a walk at the park. I brought my favorite little walking buddy with me, and she did superbly as usual. Although I failed in my mission not to leave the house, I did enjoy the walk…until it started to hurt again. Sigh.

Annie is still conked out, though–she and I took an awesome nap when we got home, and now we’re getting ready to have dinner, since it’s after 6…oh dear, it’s actually almost 7. I’ve lost track of time.

I’m probably going to do more of this same thing tomorrow. It’s been nice just laying around entirely guilt-free.

Taking time for yourself

March 25, 2011 § 5 Comments

I ramble when I meet with my director. I don’t know why; she intimidates me in the way that brilliant people intimidate the commoners, the way that authority figures intimidate people who really want to impress them. But she doesn’t frighten me. I’m not scared of my director. (Nor should I be, just to be clear. Nor should anyone be.) My director is the kind of brilliant woman who just seems to naturally get things. Even though I ramble on and on, she manages to parse out meaning in my nonsense, whittles it into a much better point (pun fully intended, thankyouverymuch), and restates it in a way that stuns me in its innate brilliance. In her voice, my dissertation topic sounds meaningful and worthwhile.

I’m learning to take deep breaths while I meet with her. An attempt to stop rambling. An attempt to slow down so she doesn’t have to try so hard to catch my meaning.

During one of my breaths, she looked at me and said,

“Amanda, you need to be happy that you turned in a draft. That’s good.”

I made eye contact briefly. “Yeah…but…when you were writing your dissertation…did you ever feel happy when you turned in chapter drafts? I mean…I’ll be finished with them, and then I just sort of sit there thinking about how bad they are and what work they need still. Was it like that for you?”

“Yeah,” she smiled. “It was. But you have to get over that and just be happy that you finished a draft. It’s a big deal.” There was a beat. I made eye contact again. “You need to take time for yourself. Do something that you enjoy. Be kind to yourself.”

I promised her I would.

This weekend, beginning tomorrow, I fully intend to take time for myself. This includes but is not limited to the following: staying in my PJs, not doing my hair or make-up, leaving the house only to take Annie and Milton potty in the backyard, and watching the trashiest television I can find.

My weekend will be relaxing to be sure. I have done as much work on my dissertation as I intend to do over the next 48 hours, and I have caught up on all my grading. I literally have nothing to do right now.

And you know what?

It feels good.

Mama said there’d be days like this

February 5, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today I did not work on my dissertation. On purpose. Today was Saturday. My day off.

I awoke around 9 a.m., my amazing husband graciously giving me not just thirty minutes to sleep in, but actually an entire two hours to sleep in. It was…glorious. He fed the dogs, took them potty, and even went to Chick-Fil-A to pick up breakfast. Whatever I did to deserve that, I hope I can make that happen again! 😉

As our morning wore on, I realized that I was itching to do something. Anything. As long as it was not in my house. This week’s worth of rain not only caused me to develop a little head cold but also effectively grounded my happy ass and kept me inside. The dogs have been rambunctious all week–Annie, the worst. I told Robert that I had to get out of the house and take them somewhere and run their energy down.

To the dog park! As soon as we got out of the car, the dogs were immediately thrilled. Milton was anxious to get off the leash and play, and Annie’s little nose worked overtime. We walked them almost two miles around the park before finally taking them to the dog enclosure to play with the other rambunctious, cabin-fever-suffering town pooches. Annie literally vroomed! around the park several times, chasing dogs of all sizes and being chased. Milton sniffed and politely introduced himself to the other dogs. He ran around a little while, but poor Milt’s hips are painful, so he spent more time just sort of meandering around.

After the dog park, Robert and I went grocery shopping, and then I had dinner with the girls at a local Irish pub. We had such a relaxing, hysterical, supportive time. I love hanging out with these girls. V and I finished our evening hatching a brilliant (not hare-brained, thankyouverymuch) idea. More to come on that later.

This has been the absolute perfect Saturday. This is precisely how I imagined spending my day.

Thank you Robert for letting me sleep in and humoring my whims. Thanks to Milt and Annie for the exercise and laughs. Thanks girls for being such great friends. The perfect day off. 🙂

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