Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Year Off for Good Behavior

Today was my birthday. Tim took me to P.F. Chang's for dinner, and we had tons of fun taking glamor shots of one another with the new camera he got me! Yay for Canon! Before, I used a Kodak. It had 10x optical zoom, but it couldn't focus, so I'd get amazing pictures of fuzz, up close. In any event, I know you want to see some of our glamor shots.

At right, you can see me panicking trying to do something photo-worthy before the last timed shot went off. Success? Nah, I didn't think so either. I look like my head was pasted into this picture later by aliens unsure of what the human body actually looks like. I think that soon I'll make an appointment to get actual pictures taken of Tim and I, by a professional. I figure a few years down the road when we have three kids and we're both all double-chinny, we'll want to remember what it was like before. I'll be honest - I can only stick around in this weight class for so long.

At left, you can see my hottie husband! How did I get so lucky? Anyway, we've recently been enjoying some shows on Hulu, including the Tick. It's surprisingly funny, if a little "off." Hey, I'm a little "off," too. In any event, a character named "Captain Liberty" looks exactly like a human version of the animated human Ursula (Vanessa) from the Little Mermaid. Really. We've also been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I realized that a good portion of the plot of the episode where *spoilers* everyone finds out that Angel is a vampire *end spoilers* seems to have directly influenced Stephenie Meyer's idea for Twilight. Coincidence? Probably. I can't imagine a self-respecting writer watching Buffy—except maybe me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"There is Sunshine in my Soul Today"

I complained enough about winter when it was snowing buckets (can it do that? I'm used to raining buckets), and I think that for the sake of balance I must now sing the praises of spring.

First, being able to go outside with only the most minor preparations (putting some clothes on) is probably one of my favorite things. I no longer have to worry about whether my jacket coordinates with my scarf and my blouse. I can throw on whatever is lying around my bedroom and just walk out the door to enjoy the sunshine.

With the coming of spring, I get to enjoy one of my most favorite simple pleasures: reading outdoors. I can toss out a blanket and just lie in the grass, listening to the sounds of the weather and the neighbors' children. It seems like a stupid thing, to sit outside, especially for someone who deplores insects and arachnids the way I do (really, I can't stand anything with more than four legs). However, it's hard not to appreciate the absence of a few of my least favorite sounds:

(1) The water heater. Every time we run any moderately hot water, the cat that the previous tenants must have trapped inside starts bouncing off of the walls of the tank.

(2) Computers. Especially since Tim got a new computer, the sound of CPU and case fans has been maddeningly loud in our whole apartment. Outside, there is only the sweet sound of cars swishing up and down the road (yes, swishing).

(3) The Refrigerator. Wymount was kind enough to give us a new "energy efficient" fridge sometime in the last year or so, but it's really quite loud.

In other words, there is an entire chorus of noise in my apartment that I can finally escape each spring.

Of course, there's more that I love about spring than just being able to leave the house without mummifying myself in insulation. Several summertimey activities regularly add a spot of joy to my day:

(1) Getting in the car when the sun has heated up the inside to feel like an oven. I find the feeling of baking relaxing.

(2) Nighttime walks. Taking walks at any time of day is at best unpleasant during winter, but in spring, walks are irresistible. Besides, any woman knows that a walk on a warm night is the most romantic thing you can do outside for free.

(3) Being back in touch with old friends. Even if it just means an extra email in my month, it really cheers me up that once school ends, I have a social life again.

I realize I'm not alone in thinking spring and summer to be the most pleasant seasons. Picnics, outdoor plays, capri pants, and the return of the pony tail are just a few of my favorite things. What do you do in the summertime?