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Posted in bff, domestic goddess, etcetera, faith is action, ghetto life, i love my life, Life, magic, superheckyes, the engaged life on August 3, 2009 by drbolte

when we saw the apartment for the first time, it was only for about 10 minutes–long enough to tour a 500 some-odd square foot apartment and to briefly talk to the tenant about utilities and such.

for the most part, it was a drive-thru tour, but it didn’t matter.

the minute we walked into it, we knew it was the one. it had an incredible vibe to us.  the bff and i both knew it–we just looked at each other and communicated, as we so often do, without speaking that this was the place.

that was the only time we saw it.  being occupied, as it was, there was no real chance to go back, take measurements, make plans. the mental picture was all we had, and even that was somewhat hazy.

or so i thought.

i drove by a couple of times in the latter part of last week. the place was empty by thursday, and so on friday i drove by again, looking in the windows, noticing that the outdoors looks sad and needs some tlc.  i thought the living room looked bigger than i imagined it. in general, i just kept trying to see if the snapshot in my mind was true of reality.

when we arrived on saturday, after what can only be described as a miraculous weekend of moving*, and opened the door to our first apartment, the same vibe was there.  the spirit that’s here is so amazing.  i don’t think i’ve ever felt anything like it.

i’ve moved several times. i’ve lived in lots of different apartments, between moving with mom before she bought the house and moving during my very long college career.  usually, it takes time to feel at home. usually, you have to grow into a place.

that is not the case here.

i’ve never felt so absolutely suited to a place, and like the place is absolutely suited to us.  everything fits.  it fits us. our things fit into it.  we love it. completely.

and i think i love it more because of its flaws.  it’s this lovely diamond in the rough.  the closets are fantastically huge and there are shelves for miles, but the metal bifold doors are a bit wonky and tempermental.  the kitchen has one million tall cabinets, but the stove is probably older than me and probably hasn’t seen a decent cleaning since i was in elementary school.  the living room is much bigger than i thought it was, but the deadbolt is seriously screwed up and there’s this strange spot near the door where i think the rain might leak in (see earlier comment about the deadbolt).  we have a mailbox that’s a real mailbox and a trash can that’s a real trash can and the beginnings of our very first home.

i am in love with this life. i am in love with this place. i am in love with this time, when i feel absolutely and one hundred percent the confirmation of the Spirit that the decisions we are making are right and true and when the pieces are falling into place in the most beautiful ways.

i’m not sure i ever really imagined what my life would be like as a married person.  yesterday, when i spent the whole day with the bff in our new house, cooking dinner, unpacking the kitchen (in order to cook said dinner), talking to my mom on the phone with him next to me, playing monopoly for hours, i realized that i really love it.

it’s nothing whatsoever like i would have expected.

it’s better.  so, so, so much better.

and i’m not even married yet.

*the two of us packed an entire van full of my stuff, got rid of truckfuls of stuff, and kept going for 8 hours straight…on friday. then we got up and did it all again–but kept going for probably 12 hours that day. and we didn’t fight, squabble, bicker, or get upset with each other once.

i swear.

the miracle of that isn’t that it’s unusual. it’s that it’s not.  we are the best team ever.

and that’s just the start of the miracles.  rain held off. things got done. keys were turned in on time.  keys were picked up on time. utility confirmations were gotten. in short, every worry that i had was eased, every problem solved, every minor glitch dealt with quickly and with cheerfulness.

i actually had a good time moving.  my feet STILL hurt and i am bruised like someone beat me with an ugly stick, but it was incredible. i am ridiculously grateful.

cxxx: dilemma in denim.

Posted in c, etcetera, ghetto life, i am not a gym rat, mirror mirror on the wall, shopping, sigh, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, will work for food, you have to be a chick to understand on January 27, 2009 by drbolte

the shred has been effective.

i use a form of the past tense because i think i am shredded out.  this week i haven’t done it once. i am not inclined to do it because a) i’ve done it most every day for a month b) i’m tired of it c) i’ll never master it (or so it feels) and d) i miss my sixty/seventy/eighty minute crazy cardio wackiness and gym psychotic sprees.  i may resurrect it twice or three times a week as a strength training supplement, but i think i may have toxed out on jillian michaels.

but it’s been effective. i’ve lost something like two inches from my hips and an inch from my waist and thighs.  in less than a month.

all of which makes my jeans even bigger than they were.

“yeah, yeah, yeah. big problem. stop your whining.”  i can hear you all now, and i understand. i really should shut up.

but i’m too busy TRYING TO KEEP MY PANTS ON MY BODY.

so…here’s my dilemma.

do i go invest the money in jeans that actually fit, since let’s be real–jeans are THE staple of my wardrobe–from the store where i got my jeans that the bff has told me he likes better than all of the rest because they actually fit (uhm…which inclines me to actually go buy 14 pairs of them if he likes them, but that’s neither here nor there) which will cost me $50 a pair at least (money that i could spend in a MULTITUDE of different ways…)?

or maybe see if jeans at real girl stores will seriously fit (like buckle…or somewhere else…) which will be more expensive but possibly last longer/look better/make me feel like i can conquer the WORLD?

or keep waiting until i get smaller?

i’m growing frustrated.

i’m also only about thirty pounds from my goal.  which is amazing and makes the dilemma even more obnoxious.  because i wonder if those thirty pounds will be two sizes (as is pretty standard–15 lbs = one size) or like four since apparently i’m losing inches INFINITELY faster than i am losing pounds.

expensive.  nice, but expensive.

so what should i do?  what would YOU do?

where are the rules and the $5K when you need them?

Posted in ghetto life, i'm so much cooler online, me, mirror mirror on the wall, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, The Single Life, you have to be a chick to understand on September 12, 2008 by drbolte

who wants to be my personal stylist?

no, seriously.

the things that routinely go through my head when choosing clothing to wear to, say, my job as a tutor on campus revolve around cleanliness, if i have a pair of $2 flip flops that match or sort of match or don’t even remotely match it, if it’s comfortable, if it will give me heatstroke as i am crossing campus, and whether or not i have worn it before.  like, you know, recently.  as in i don’t want to be that girl who keeps wearing that oxford university shirt even though i have two and they are comfortable and i can wear purple flip flops with them and do you see my dilemma?

every day that’s not a work day,  it’s pajamas and workout wear.  because i work out and then sit in my desk chair all day being brilliant, and if i can do that with turtles or rabbits on my legs, i will do it and be glad.

because seriously, folks, i have time to worry about my wardrobe like not at all.  i mean i want to.  i’m a girl. i want to be cute and adorable and put together all of the time.  i watch what not to wear like every other self-respecting shlub and wish that i could have the genetic disposition that allows me to put purple alligator handbags together with some non-matching outfit and have it look spectacular.

i also wish i had the funds to make that possible.

but that’s another topic entirely so ANYWAYS.

what was i saying?

oh. stylist. need one. right.

i do need new clothes. i believe that i have talked about the need for suit shopping before (mom has graciously offered to take my clothes shopping for my birthday, which is exciting but probably won’t happen until JUST BEFORE INTERVIEWS after christmas and that’s just too far away).  but clinton and stacy have taught me this much: when i do go suit shopping i will be looking for SUPER! SASSY! FUN! things to wear under it, but let’s be real–a suit’s a suit.

as for the rest of my clothes?  i kind of need help.  my jeans are all getting too big and that’s really all i ever wear (i know, i know, i know. i’m old enough to not wear jeans all of the time. i get it.) and now i feel interested in purchasing other things but part of me is like “why buy clothes now when they’ll all just be too big in a few months anyways and when you never wear anything but pajama pants anyways, smart one?”

sometimes my inner voice is kind of a smartaleck. right, but still smartalecky about it.

but i’m looking ahead because i am nothing if not a PLANNER.  and within the next, say, month and a half, i would like to have some solid pieces that can mix and match and do amazing things to my butt.  two of those three wouldn’t suck.

i’m kind of preppy, y’all, with some weird eclectic flair. after all, i did buy and do wear zebra striped flats.

basically, i’m a pathetic heap of sassy just waiting to express itself but can’t manage to find a way to do it well.

anybody want to go shopping with me?

routine.

Posted in dissertation, etcetera, ghetto life, i am not a gym rat, Life, me, perfect brightness of hope, wish i may wish i might on August 12, 2008 by drbolte

i’m sitting here watching olympic men’s beach volleyball on tv, contemplating taking advil for the fairly persistent headache i’ve had the past few nights (my body rebelling against bob costas olympic coverage, i wonder? i doubt it.  i hearts me some bob costas, with his deep voice and his ability to make anyone cry with the story of anyone doing most anything. in fact, i do believe that i am now having flashbacks to a dream i had as a child–perhaps shortly after the 1984 olympics (oh good heavens did i just say that out loud on the internets?)–where bob costas narrated my life as an olympian.  or it’s possible that i just made that up because i’ve eaten one too many cinnamon cereal clusters.  regardless, i loves me some bob costas) and trying to figure out my new schedule.

see, i don’t know if you know this or not but i am now embarking on the grand new adventure of having NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO.

you know, except a giant fat dissertation.

and to be cute, which takes SO much more energy and effort than it seems.

and to flip out about the future.

but let’s concentrate on the fact that my routine, normally determined by when i have to teach and work and hold office hours, is now entirely in my control.  i mean, starting in the fall semester i will be back freezing my carcass off in the reading and writing center, helping one and helping all to focus their paragraphs in their attempts to save the world one personal statement at a time.

it’s a rewarding work, let me tell you.

but really, i can work when i want to. so when the email came asking me when i wanted to work, i asked for mornings.

let’s stop for a moment to soak that in.

I ASKED FOR MORNINGS.

because my goal, fine readerly friends, is to be A MORNING PERSON.

let me tell you how this usually works.  i stay up too late–for example, watching the very exciting men’s gymnastics final on tv last night until the feed froze during a japanese gymnast’s high bar revolution, which was kind of creepy and totally annoying because it’s not like NBC is TiVO and is just going to start where they left of and OH MY GOSH there was pommelhorse going on and what happened with that guy who was notoriously inconsistent and you see how i’d be awake still–but plan to wake up early.  i set my alarm, the same alarm that i’ve had since i was 12 and just starting junior high–because in CA that’s what it is–and the alarm that still wakes me up but with whom i have a love hate relationship.  meaning that i hit the snooze button an insane amount of times and then hate my alarm for not doing its job better by, say, growing legs and kicking me (gently?) in the face until i wake.

but by then, i’m at least an hour off of my ambitious MORNING PERSON schedule, and i feel like it’s totally fine if i just eat a blueberry bagel in my bed while watching i love lucy because the whole MORNING PERSON thing hasn’t really worked out thus far.  or my grand ambitions of running up and down the stairs is thwarted–THWARTED!–by rain.

you see how i could get the idea such a routine is not organically familiar.

but i’m thinking that is what i want.  i tell you all of this because now is the time when i get to set a routine.  now, when i’m without distraction and can set my own schedule, undeterred and undaunted.

and i have decided that i want to be that morning person that gets up and goes and works out and then comes home and is all chipper and happy and spends hours in the library NOT surfing the internets or blogging about inanity but churning out page after page of brilliance.

because as much as i’d like to think that i can get things done at night, that i am more productive in the evening, i am sitting here with a pile of unread articles on ann radcliffe and all i am thinking about is advil and the complete oddity that they are playing beach volleyball in china.

mornings.

we’ll see.

accountability check.

Posted in Church, dissertation, domestic goddess, gators, ghetto life, i am not a gym rat, Life, shopping, sigh, sports, teaching, the internets, the joys of living in Florida on August 4, 2008 by drbolte

well, hi there.

how in the sweet heck are you?  no, really.  how ARE you?  whatcha been doin’ with yourself?  a little bit of reading, like me? maybe some outdoor fun?  some travel, some moving, some contemplating the mysteries of the universe?

yeah, me too.

exhausting isn’t it?

well, it’s the beginning of the longest week of my life.  i have two exams to write, 30+ six to seven page papers to grade, and 10+ two page papers to grade all by thursday.  then i have 30+ exams to grade, and 30+ grades to calculate by monday.

and i don’t do work on sunday.

and i have plans on friday night.

and i have other things to do besides just that, like you know still exist on the planet and feed my face and work out and stuff and who has time for all of this?

my planner tells me that right now i should be doing something other than blogging, but i sort of want to say mean things to my planner (inanimate taskmaster that it is, even in its bright blue hibiscus printed glory) so i’m here.

because you know what tomorrow is?

ninety days. ninety days into my 30 in 180 challenge.

HALFWAY.

we are 90 days away from november 4th, which is apparently when my finish date is.

UGGGH.

so, following in the lovely and fabulous footsteps of one of my favorite bloggy gals, brookem, i am being accountable and updating you, my devoted and eager fans, on my progress.  i’ll try to keep it brief.

(the idea of that even made ME laugh.)

here we go:

1. finish a 5K in october for breast cancer in under 45 minutes, whether that means walking or running or a mixture.

october 4th. gainesville.  if you want to join me, let me know.  i’m going to be raising money too, so i’ll keep you updated. i’ve been working to try to get myself to a 15 minute pace walking. i think i’m at about 16-17 now.  we’ll see how it all goes.

2. finish five chapters of the dissertation.

i have two completely finished drafts, one half finished draft, one draft with the research done on half, and that’s it.  i am BEHIND.  teaching kicked my trash and the dissertation had to be shifted to the back burner.  starting monday?  FRONTBURNER STATUS.

3. lose 25 pounds. or two dress sizes.

i am halfway. i have lost about 12 pounds, am now comfortably wearing the shorts i bought a size too small ages ago that i thought i’d take back but never did, and have lost about nine inches.

4. resist the impulse to dye my hair again. it needs a break–or it really will break. also, figure out if this natural curl thing is something i can actually work to my benefit.

success.  i have no desire to dye it at all now.

5. exercise at least four times a week. no matter what.

you all perhaps unfortunately know that i do this because i talk about it ad nauseum. i think the only time i haven’t met this goal was when i had a fever.

6. go to the beach four times. don’t get burned.

i’ve gone twice. i don’t know if i’ll go again. i have no real desire anymore.  and i’m too busy. and gas is EXPENSIVE. so i might get a big fat fail on this one.

7. try every luna bar i can, including the luna sunrise ones, even if i have to order them online.

sigh.  i’m getting there.  i’ve tried nine of fifteen, and i probably won’t try two of them.

8. finish my hecka big crossstitch project.

haven’t worked on it at all.  i might switch this to making a baby quilt for a friend who’s having a baby. the principle’s the same, but the task would be different. i don’t know.

9. don’t give up. but keep to the schedule. (and this doesn’t make any sense to you for a reason. sorry.)

haven’t given up.  when circumstances didn’t conspire against me, i’ve stuck to the schedule.  so basically…yes.  i’ve done this and will continue to do it.

10. present a paper at a conference.

second to last weekend in october in detroit. i gotta make those reservations…

11. submit at least two things for publication that are related to my field.

done one. totally and harshly rejected.  oh well.

12. get my eyes checked. buy new glasses that are supersassy, young but professional, and actually wear them.

not yet.

13. look for a great interview suit. don’t buy one until it makes me feel amazing and beautiful and like i can take over the world when i’m in it.

not yet. probably not until late october or early november.

14. go to the doctor. it’s been too long.

totally avoiding it. i hate doctors.

15. be vigilant about visiting teaching. pray to have the fire to do it.

meh. i’ve tried more.  but i still need to be better.

16. feed the missionaries once a month–even if it is inconvenient and even if they are a little bit lame.

i was awesomely and totally doing this, and then they changed their rules and they can’t anymore. i may still make them food every month. i haven’t decided.

17. eat vegetables or fruit at least twice a day. in general, make them much more a part of my diet.

yup.

18. write in my journal once a month. the blog’s not the same thing.

i missed june, but wrote twice in july.  i win.

19. flirt. shamelessly. at every opportunity.

yeah, i’m doing this. especially lately. i don’t know what’s wrong with me.

20. read anna karenina. finally. this time for real.

haven’t even started.  sigh.

21. experiment with a recipe to make it healthier–maybe the muffin recipe. try a new recipe out of my cookbook.

made pot roast out of my cookbook.  experiment with recipes all the time.  it’s what i do now.

22. apply for jobs. a lot of jobs. be organized about it. be on top of it. and be FEARLESS.

not time yet. i’m trying to amp myself up to be fearless, though, instead of constantly wanting to vomit at the prospect of the job search. remember when i was all zen about it?

23. be a better friend. just in general. to most of my friends.

i’m trying.

24. keep paying off the credit card at the end of every month. PAY DOWN THE DEBT.

well, considering i didn’t have an income for the first half of the summer, i think i’m doing pretty well.  i could do better.

25. reread the book of mormon. three pages a day will get it done. keep a study journal. be serious about study, not just reading.

i haven’t done the study journal thing, but i have been trying to keep up with the book of mormon reading.  i am behind, though. there are 530 pages and i am on 248.  ack.

26. be an amazing gator football fan. watch as many games as i can. go to as many as i can.

i have season tickets. i am in charge of my church group’s football block. i’m a little bit in love with tim tebow and percy harvin. i’m not really sure what else i can do.

27. have an awesome and outrageous halloween costume. it’s my last one here. make it count.

i have an idea. it’s the execution that could be problematic.

28. buy and wear cute shoes that don’t kill my feet.

yup.

29. invest in cute jewelry. and quality makeup. and yummy lipgloss. and more music (or find more people willing to make me mixes…).

done makeup, lipgloss, and music.  need jewelry, actually pretty desperately.

30. keep learning to live within my means. there’s a way to do it all. and if there’s not…choose wisely.

i am trying.

ninety more days, y’all.  crazytown.  i’ll keep working on it.  what are your goals for the next ninety days?

if i have to start carrying mace, i’m done.

Posted in drama drama drama, ghetto life, i am not a gym rat on July 24, 2008 by drbolte

before i permanently purge this from my memory from the ever-increasing creep factor alone, i must blog it. because all of the weird/creepy/disgusting things that happen to me at the gym must be preserved for posterity.  

location: apartment ghetto gym.

time: approximately 1:30 p.m.

there is a family outside in the pool, people in the leasing office, maintenance men wandering around doing handy things–the place is generally in a bustle.  the apartment gym, however, is thankfully empty. i’m on the elliptical, ten minutes in.  a guy, between 16 and 20 (i couldn’t really tell) comes in and goes into the bathroom.  i smile slightly at him, as it is now my policy to not in fact look like i will murder you while working out, even though that is my default expression.

he’s in there for a while.

i don’t judge.  listen, it happens. sometimes lunch just wasn’t a good choice, and if that’s the case, that is precisely the place you need to be.  i don’t judge, but i do notice.  on tuesday there was a little six year old girl who was in the bathroom for like 20 minutes.  i was about to see if she was okay when she came out–because she was six.  but adults?  not my business.

so it’s important for you to know that two sides of this room is covered in mirrors, much like every gym.  the elliptical faces diagonally–not right at the mirrors, but sort of at the wall between the two mirrored walls.  the mirrors, though, pick up what’s behind me, which is the men’s bathroom door and the window to the parking lot.  i pretty much can see everything.

you should also know that when i am on the elliptical, i try VERY HARD not to look at the machine’s display screen because it makes time crawl by. i normally choose a point on the wall in front of me–which happens to be the women’s bathroom door–and start at it.  it’s sort of zen and it lets me zone out while i’m moving so that i am not counting minutes.  i am usually quite successful at it.

when i’m by myself, though, i will occasionally look in the mirror. perhaps i am vain to admit that, but it helps me to check my posture, to see how my exertion level is being presented to the world, etc.  but sometimes, it’s just another place to look, especially if there’s something going on in the parking lot.  

so about…five? six? minutes later, i see, out of the corner of my eye as i shift perspectives from the wall to the mirror, that the men’s bathroom door is cracked.  this kid hasn’t come out, and i realize that he is PEERING OUT OF THE BATHROOM DOOR at me.  i turn around, i think, and look at the door to make sure that i was seeing right (i didn’t have my glasses on and, quite honestly, i was completely shocked).  

he closes it and then opens it and comes out and stands at the bottled water machine, which is probably four feet from the elliptical that i am on.  basically, he is standing right next to me.

my ipod is on, but i see his lips moving and realize that he is talking to me.

behold the creepiest conversation i have EVER had:

him: sorry.

me: you’re fine.

[put ipod back on]

[his mouth moving again–take ipod off again]

him: you weren’t upset?

me: it’s not a big deal.

[put ipod back on. i am CLEARLY TRYING TO STOP TALKING TO HIM. and yet his lips are moving again.  i guess it’s too much to ask that he’s adept at subtle body language.]

him: mumblemumblemumble me?

me: what?

[why am i even talking to him?!?]

him: did you see me?

me: yes.

him: and it didn’t make you upset?

me: it’s not a big deal.

[well, it wasn’t a big deal until you made me think more about it, you creepy freakshow.  i’m quickly reconsidering.]

[i put my ipod back on, feeling like the conversation is over.  he drinks water.  hallelujah.  oh flip, his lips are moving again and i am apparently compelled to continue responding.]

him: so if it happened again, you wouldn’t be upset?

me: [exasperated] i don’t know, i wasn’t really paying that much attention.

him: [sort of creepily chuckling]  sorry.

[i put my ipod back on.  conversation OVER. his dad apparently gestures him out and he leaves. the creep factor increases exponentially as i rehash the conversation in my head for the next ten or fifteen minutes.]

behold the next generation of stalkers, who apparently are ASKING PERMISSION of their victims?  i can just picture his defense: she saw me, your honor, and she didn’t even seem upset. i asked her! 

i have no idea what he was looking at.  i mean, i can guess what he was looking at, but i was in workout clothes–not even tight workout clothes–and sweating like crazy.  i had a hat on.  i had my ipod on. there was nothing remotely attractive about me at that moment. i was DRENCHED sweaty. i’m just not that cute.  nevertheless…apparently something was interesting enough for creepy stalker bathroom guy. 

this could really only happen to me.  

truly.

tales from just a smidge above the poverty line.

Posted in domestic goddess, ghetto life, shopping, someday I'll be a real middle class girl on July 18, 2008 by drbolte

you know that you are a poor grad student when, on payday (FINALLY! summers are beastly), you go grocery shopping and the following occurs:

  • purchasing more than one genre of fruit.  you want strawberries? go girl.  bananas?  yep.  WHAT? APPLES TOO? it’s like christmas in july.
  • prepackaged stirfry vegetables are in your cart.  who is going Asian tonight?  this girl.  right here.
  • splurge…on diet caffeine free dr. pepper.  and, yes, it feels like a big treat.
  • protein powder.  FINALLY!
  • the piece de resistance: buy a redbook.
  • in sum: more than three bags.

you know that you have definitely improved your out-of-control spending ways when, during same shopping trip, you had the following internal conversations or experiences:

  • “romaine or BOGO dole salads?  dole salads = no work. flip, the lettuce is TWO DOLLARS LESS! hello big fluffy romaine goodness.”
  • “ooh. strawberries.  they’re on sale.  SCORE!  but wait…the big one is $4.99 and the little ones are two for $5.  i get to buy the big one!  and not feel guilty!”
  • instead of just buying the big yellow onion, you bought the tray of tiny little mutant yellow onions for $.79 because it was cheaper.  the bonus of not having to deal with extra onion when you’re cooking for one and those big onions are like GINORMOUS was a factor, but let’s be real.  it was because it was $.79.
  • when looking at the toothpaste, you are immediately drawn to the one with the free toothbrush. you vacillate, because there’s some crest on sale.  but they don’t have the crest you like, so you’re paying full price anyways.  so…you immediately choose the one with the free toothbrush.  who doesn’t love a free thing that you already need?
  • despite not wanting to spend the time separating the creepy gross raw pork chops into individual bags, you could not resist the sale.  it was like a dollar a pork chop.  it was like an awesome deal.  so you did it anyways. almost against your will.
  • buying the big milk makes you feel like a big spender.  you have to convince yourself that the new use of milk in protein shakes would warrant such a purchase and that it’s better to have it than to not.  and besides…it doesn’t expire until august.
  • you have to restrain yourself from snatching the redbook off of the belt after you put it there, telling yourself “you can actually afford $3.50 for a magazine.  i know. it’s okay.  it’s got good stuff in there.  and yeah, there’s some stuff that’s lame.  but you’ll like it. and you’ll read it over and over again.” and even then? not convinced.
  • you calculate, in your head, in about 30 seconds, how much you spent. and you were right, within $.75 cents.  stupid onions.