Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Time for Everything

This weekend at Brooke's cookout, I touched my friend Katie's belly for the first time. I've never reached out and touched her at random, never even asked. I think this freaks out pregnant women, but really, a lot of people feel like they have free rein to touch the belly. It's weird. I mean, if someone is just, ahem, plump, people do not walk around going, "Oh, let me touch your fat belly." No? So, until last Friday night, I resisted. I'm not THAT curious, but there just came a point where I thought, "Everyone else has, why should I miss out?" I did ask and receive permission first. And I know Katie. She really would have told me no if she wanted to. Anyway, Brooke (to whom I owe photography fees) snapped a shot of the occasion. Hey, it was a big deal!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pay Your Debts, Kim!

Know what's more annoying than collection agency calls (not that, uh, I've ever had one, personally)? Collection agency calls for someone else...for more than four years! That's right. Shortly after I moved into an apartment in 2003, I began to get phone calls for a Kim Conway. Evidently Kim likes to ignore bills and pass bad checks, and I was lucky enough to have scored her old phone number. The messages were standard at first, firm but polite. But the operators got increasingly frustrated. Being totally naive, I thought I'd just return the calls, explain in my own firm but polite tone that, while I appreciated their efforts to collect a debt, Lil' Kim didn't have this number anymore. I used my best you-must-believe-me-I'm-an-honest-girl voice, and I really thought this would be the end of it. But Kim followed me. "Hello, Domino's? I'd like to place an order for delivery." "Yes, ma'am, Conway?" NO! For the love. Gradually the calls stopped, and I figured Kim must've paid up. But they've started again. Just last Tuesday we came home to a message that said, in part, "By not responding to this question, you are affirming that you are Kim Conway..." What? I missed my chance to say, "No! I am Stephanie! I pay my bills! I don't order pizza with extra-thick crust and ham! No Kim here!" The madness starts again.

A Subtle Hint?

Sean and I attend a weekly small group on Tuesday nights. It's a lot of young couples, and during the summer we're working through a DVD/study guide about marriage. The focus of the first two sessions has been about the desires that individuals bring into marriage, and how resentment can build up when these desires turn into expectations that aren't met. We were discussing this last night when the subject came up of thanking your spouse for things he or she does that you don't even think about. Sean spoke up about his laundry, how he never really gives much thought to it, he just always has clean clothes and fresh towels--neatly folded too. This isn't something he expects, it just happens, but he doesn't necessarily wake up each morning and say, "Wow, Steph, thanks for folding my T-shirts." While everyone is nodding in approval, no doubt thinking how sweet Sean is to call out my laundry efficiency, my only thought is of the mountain of clean clothes that has taken up permanent residence on the spare bed. Is this a hint? He swears no.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thinking Back

This post is going to be a little long. Get some coffee.

Something reminded me about football today, and I took a trip down memory lane. Ever since I graduated from college, I've attended home games at Georgia with my dad. He and I have a very specific routine. Drive to Athens. Eat at the Taco Stand. Visit bookstore, rub my name (for luck) on the plaque listing the 2000 graduates. (Well, the ones who paid $25 to have their names printed anyway.) Go to game, eat pizza at Peppino's. Drive home listening to the Fifth Quarter show till it's nothing but static. Sometimes it's just the two of us, other times my mom and my sister or Sean and my brother come along. This is my favorite part of fall.

It always makes me a little sad that I'm not in college anymore, but reliving the memories is good too. I always think back to the first game I can remember going to with my dad. We drove up with my Aunt Robin and Uncle Ken (my dad's brother). I remember we were playing Baylor, and my mom sent us with a pink paper bag full of boiled peanuts. It was a long time ago--the end of the stadium closest to the Tate Center wasn't even closed in yet. I don't remember the score, but we beat Baylor good. At some point, my dad tried to talk me into leaving early (maybe 5 minutes). I don't much hurry for anyone; the only thing I do fast is talk, and my dad foresaw a long walk back to the car. He got me to the top of the steps, but I wouldn't leave till the game was over. I know I was little, but it's one of my favorite memories. I think that's the day I decided I was going to college at UGA.

In the photo above: My dad and brother, Zach, with UGA football coach Mark Richt. I couldn't go to this function because I was in the ATL airport for seven hours that day trying to get to Arkansas. Long story.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Viva la Cantina!

Sean and I went to Cantina with our friends Brooke and Louis tonight. Brooke got me hooked and I got Sean. We had a great dinner--tasty food, weird conversation. It was a little sad that Brooke's boyfriend, Alex, wasn't working tonight. He likes to give Brooke free food. I don't have any pictures to post because we forgot to take any. Brooke even had her camera out at one point, and we still forgot. I even put on extra eye makeup so I'd get a good photo of myself. (Kidding, really.) Guess we'll try again another time. On a different note, during dinner we tried to determine the top five episodes of Saved By the Bell. We went back and forth and I'm really not sure we ever came up with a solid list. But we all agreed that number one is definitely the episode where Jessie gets whacked out on caffeine pills. Anyone?

Grown-up Friday Night

I don't have a problem with getting older, I just kind of forget that I'm almost 29. (I do, however, have a problem with crow's feet, but I'm watching closely in my 10x magnification mirror. And when they show up, I'm heading in for a little Botox. I can get past the needle. Don't judge me.) It's hard for me to believe I started college ELEVEN years ago, and I've been out for seven. My 10-year high school reunion has come and gone--a year ago! Anyway, Friday night really reminded me that I'm an adult. Brooke invited a bunch of people over to grill and hang out. She and Louis are living at his parents' house until they move to CA in August, and the 'rents are out of town for a couple weeks, so they have the place to themselves. So here are my observations about why this party was so different from the house party you throw when you're in high school and your parents go away for the weekend.
1. I arrived at a grown-up house in the suburbs with a homemade cake.
2. Instead of wine coolers there was red wine in stemless glasses.
3. More than half of the girls weren't drinking red wine because they are pregnant. (At least I hope this wasn't your high school experience!)
4. Instead of chips and Oreos we ate grilled chicken, salad, tomato tart, and fruit salsa.
5. There was a 3-week-old baby there.
6. The baby's diaper leaked all over my shirt. (Anytime, Scarlett, it was worth it!)
7. We talked about makeup...concealer, not lip gloss.
8. I felt my friend's pregnant tummy and asked what it feels like when the baby kicks.
9. We traded recipe tips.
10. At 9:30 everyone started to leave. Because it was getting late.
But you know what? It was an awesome night with friends and zero boyfriend drama. And I learned the trick for making perfect omelettes. Who wants to be 18 again? Please.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sweet Validation

I don't think you ever really lose that need for approval. At least I haven't. I was rather concerned about being labeled a blogosphere dork. But I didn't consider the fact that I have great friends. And my great friends told a few others about the blog, and now I have some very nice comments about my posts. This is fun. Thanks, guys! And even if you truly don't enjoy the blog or find it all that funny, you're awesome liars, and that's all that really matters.

Fire Safety

Recently our company has drafted a fire evacuation plan, and they are taking it very seriously. (Which they should; we have three buildings, 1,000 employees, and pregnant women everywhere.) Anyway, my friend Cindy and I are "searchers" for our department, and a few of the guys are responsible for helping out the ones who are preggers. We had a drill on Thursday. I don't think a June fire drill is the best idea, but we didn't have a choice. It was all very dramatic with alarms and strobes and real fire trucks. I think we did pretty well evacuating, although one of the aides (Christopher!) took my friend Katie to the wrong area and we were all briefly distressed because we couldn't find her. We got ice cream on the way back into the building. It was kind of like being in elementary school again.

The highlight of this whole experience is the fantastically flattering orange vests we get to wear. Sweet. I'm so VIP. (I wore an orange bracelet to coordinate, but you can't see it in the photo.)

Disclaimer: Certain people aren't happy with the posting of this picture. Someone even threatened me. I just wanted to get this down in a public place in case something happens to me...

(l to r): Julia, her aide Ryan, me, Chris (aide to Libby), Libby

PS: In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that in the case of a REAL fire, I'm not gathering everyone together to make an orderly exit from the building. I'm outta there!

Two of a Kind

People think my sister and I are twins. This baffles me. I don't think we look that much alike. But in the last year or so, we get lots of stares, murmurs, and then the "Are you two twins?" question. And it isn't like people think we just look like sisters. They think we are identical twins...and sometimes they don't believe us when we say no. It's gotten to the point now where we can anticipate the question, see it in their eyes. And, really, twins aren't that uncommon anymore. But maybe they hide or something because people sure seem intrigued when they see us. Like we're aliens. It used to be funny. Now it's a little creepy.

What do you think?

PS: These aren't our clothes. We are at a PJ party for the outgoing Miss Georgia in this picture, so, we're in pajamas.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poor Larry

I was talking to my dad last night, and he told me he'd read in the paper that Larry Munson might be retiring this year. Larry is the Voice of the Bulldogs. He's been calling UGA games as far back as I can remember. But his health is failing, and, to be honest, he's been a little off for the past couple of seasons. This makes me want to cry. Some of you will find this silly, but I can't imagine not hearing him yell, "Touchdown, Georgia!" ever again. I'm kind of sad.

UPDATE: Larry Munson will call home games this season, but he won't be traveling to away games. At least it's something.

Slow Down

I'm a pretty fast talker. I think there's a misconception that Southerners talk slowly. (And that they don't pronounce the "r" on ends of words...but moving on...) Not me. I talk fast. I slur my words. And I talk a lot. My mother can understand me. My dad usually can't. He doesn't have patience for my stories either. (Admittedly, they can get rather long.) My dad thinks it's fun (and necessary) to caution me, before I launch into a story, "Thirty words or less." It's exasperating (in a humorous way), because, as I tell him every time, there is background info he needs to know. The story isn't the same without it. And, when he tries to rush me, I only talk faster. Sean finds it "endearing," though he interrupts with this gem when I get going too fast: "And period. Pause." With my friends, well, I know I've lost them when they start nodding robotically, eyes glazed over. But my thought on the situation is this: I'm such a fast thinker, my poor mouth can't keep up with my brain. It's a curse, really.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

No Filter

This will be it for today. Three posts on my first day of blogging seems like enough. I don't want to appear overeager, as if I'm trying too hard. Anyway, my story. I like to think that, for the most part, Southern women are blessed with a filter. You know, what comes up doesn't necessarily come out. We tend to edit our thoughts before we speak. But I'm beginning to rethink this. My friend Katie, who I work with, is pregnant. She's due at the end of July so, you know, it's obvious that she's great with child. Lately people have been pointing out how, well, big she is. People she knows, people she doesn't know that well, everyone seems to have something to say. For example, in the middle of June in hot, sticky, humid Alabama, you do not tell a pregnant woman who isn't due for a good six weeks that she doesn't look like she'll make it another week. Or that there must be one big baby inside her tummy. In fact, you don't tell any pregnant woman anywhere that she looks anything but amazing. Period. What's wrong with these people, these grown Southern women? I think it would be funny if she started telling people she isn't due till November.

About Me

Huh. So, I think if people are going to be interested in my blog, they need to know a little bit about me. How do you sum it up? Maybe if I list a few of my likes and dislikes, you'll get an idea of what I'm about.

Things I like:
Matlock (If you're snickering, you and I aren't going to get along.)
pickles & chocolate (not together)
UGA football
TiVo (esp. episodes of King of Queens & Gilmore Girls)
reading (books & magazines)
crafts (I am unapologetic about this.)
DVD marathons with my husband (currently addicted to Boston Legal)
the beach
popcorn and plain M&Ms for dinner (together)
my video iPod
Diet Dr. Pepper & Pibb Zero
cereal, all kinds
monogrammed stuff
celeb gossip sites & blogs

Things I don't like so much:
slow talkers
running out of coffee cream (This happened today.)
DVDs with scratches on them
people who don't like to text message (I don't get this.)
intimidating people
waking up 15 minutes before the alarm goes off
Indian food (What's the obsession about?)
misspelled words (This pains me. I'm a copy editor.)
places with cutesy names, ie. Klassy not classy

Late Bloomer

I can't believe I've just created a blog. I've always been a little slow, hence the title of the inaugural post. I'm just now joining the blogosphere. Hmm...where to start. The name of my blog comes from a line my husband, Sean, says I feed him a lot. Shortly after we got married three years ago, I discovered something: I'm very opinionated. I have strong opinions about things I'm not even sure I care that much about. Is that possible? Anyway, whenever Sean makes the mistake of telling me a decision he's made or, God forbid, asking my opinion about something, I launch into long, detailed, sometimes heated explanations about my thoughts and why my way is (of course) the right way. And then, to soften the blow, I finish with this: "That's just my opinion. You can do whatever you want." Which, of course, means, "You're an idiot if you don't do it my way." Something to work on.

This is serious pressure, kind of like choosing a lunch table at a new high school. Will the cool bloggers read mine? Do dorks exist in blogger world? Will anyone read this? Sigh. I'm going to forward the link to Sean now. That guarantees one instant fan. Right?