Saturday, December 11, 2010

Most of All I Like Liking You

When We Met

December 31, 2009—I show up an hour late to meet him. He mentions my blog within the first five minutes. I decide he is witty, interesting, and a gentleman. He decides I’m quirky, artsy, and enjoyable. He decides to ask for my number. I decide to give it to him as he’s dropping me off at 3:30am.

We both seem to independently and simultaneously decide to not play the waiting game.

January 1, 2010—Joe picks me up and takes me to a dueling-piano bar (coolest date ever). I order water and he chuckles. He mentions Duchamp and takes me to the Freemont Troll. He puts his hand on the small of my back while walking across the street. I decide I’m interested. For these and many reasons.

And the reasons just kept coming.

January—Joe and I exchange the first of over 500 e-mails. And Joe calls for the first time. We talk about eggplants while I’m at the grocery store. The phone became an integral part of our always-long-distance relationship.

February 13, 2010—Joe gives me an early Valentine’s gift, a vegetarian cookbook. I hate vegetables but Joe is supportive of my goal to eat and like vegetables. He’s shown again and again how much he supports whatever I’m interested in. I have a shiny new yellow yoga mat and seven hours of yoga instruction to prove it.

February 14, 2010—Joe gives me a real Valentine’s gift. I thought he would never kiss me. I realize I care a lot about Joe.

April 2010— Joe and I begin seeing each other on a regular basis as we start living in the same when we start living in the same state. He brings me the first of many bouquets of flowers. I’m more impressed when he brings my sister a bouquet. I send Joe weekly thank-you cards. I discover Joe is a phenomenal cook. Joe discovers I take pleasure in insignificant things. I learn Joe knows a lot about a lot of things. Joe learns I don’t play team sports but make great tortellini soup. I begin to learn what makes Joe tick. Joe begins to see what makes me come alive.

May 2010—We make a few pretty big moves.

June 2010—I discover six hours in a plane can be fun when shared with Joe.

July 2010—We discover being together is not optional. And take this really great picture.

September 2010—Joe and I take a nine-hour road trip and still love each other by the end. I find out Joe likes podcasts, jerky, and talking on road trips. I like those things too. But Joe aslo finds out I like sleeping on road trips. We find out we are good at making us both happy.

Day We Got Engaged
November 2010—Joe begins a series of big weekend surprises. 1) Visiting me at school for the weekend. 2) A six-hour drive for a visit of three. 3) Hiding behind a car when he’s supposed to be out of the country. 4) A ring more beautiful than I could ever imagine and a feeling of happiness and peace I didn’t know was possible when the realization sinks in that I get to marry my best friend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Better than the real thing

Today Joe sent me a dozen flowers. They look like this:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Me and Ty...and Harry

I keep seeing previews for the new Harry Potter movie, (for which I am very excited) and every time I do I think of reading the seventh book.

My brother Ty and I went to Hastings at midnight with a few of our friends to pick up our pre-ordered copies. That night we went home and sat in twin recliners with our twin books and read until our eyes refused to stay open. Ty has always been a faster reader than me so I always knew when something funny was ahead of me by the soft snort of air we call his laugh. I loved that he was usually a few pages ahead of me so I could talk to him about what I had just read without ruining anything for him.

Thinking back on this I realized Ty and I have always been Harry Potter buddies. I can still remember a fall night when I was in 4th grade walking with Ty in a dry ditch bank to a neighbor’s house to borrow Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This was before Harry Potter had really become popular and I hadn’t heard anything about the books yet. Ty told me enough of the first book to get me interested (I distinctly remember him telling me about Harry sleeping in a closet—something we had in common :) ). He brought the first book home from school the next day for me to read.

When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out my mom surprised us both with our own copies. We read it together on the trampoline all afternoon, shaded beneath the willow tree with the leaves casting shadows while Harry cast spells on me and my brother.

While thinking of all of this I realized maybe the reason I love Harry Potter so much isn’t just because it’s an entertaining, romantic, and enchanting story. Maybe the reason I love Harry Potter so much is because of all those hours Ty and I spent reading and re-reading Harry Potter together, both silent and aloud. Maybe a small reason I love Harry Potter is because I love Ty.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Aww Man

My earphones finally broke (they've been threatening to for a while). I don't mind them breaking, I wanted new ones anyway, I just didn't want it to happen while I'm at the library for four hours and I have to hold the end by the port to bring music into both of my ears.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Worries...

...Your kids are safe with me.

Here’s what went on in my education class today:

The hypothetical scenario: Your student brings a pet bunny stuffed into his backpack to your high school classroom.*

My teacher asked me what I would do.

I said I’d roll with it. I’d use it in my lesson and discipline the student later in private. My teacher then asked how I would use it in my English class and what I would be teaching.

The first thing that popped into my head and out of my mouth?

Of Mice and Men.

You know. The novel about the guy who likes soft things (like bunnies) but inevitably kills everything he touches by snapping their necks?

Good response, no?

You ready to trust me with your kids?

*Or maybe not so hypothetical since this happened at the local high school.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Death or Pirates?

Either way...I'm not sure it's a good omen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Today was my last day of work for the summer. Five months of working at Soil Test Farm Consultants. It was a great job. Want me to list out a few of the perks? I thought you might. So I made this list.

  • No name tag! (Remember this? This was when I swore I wouldn’t wear another name tag.)
  • Wearing jeans, old, soft t-shirts, even older pumas (they got duct tape on them at month three), no make-up, and my hair in a pony tail.
  • Drinking Diet Dr. Pepper through a straw that tastes how the Shell gas station smells.
  • Driving at least 600 miles a week allowed for a lot of time to listen to the radio. This gave two perks in itself:
    1. Knowing the words to every country song on the radio.
    2. Listening to books on tape (Favorites included: Beatrice and Virgil, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, No Country for Old Men, The Scarlet Pimpernel.)
  • Leaning how maps really work! I no longer get irrevocably lost! I now understand if a road is N.E. it means N.E. from a certain point and does not mean if you turn around then all the sudden that road becomes S.E.
  • Naps on Mondays (I often had to wait for farmers to bring their soil samples to a designated point.)
  • Lunch at home on Tuesdays.
  • Driving past a mini-horse farm mini-horse farm! on Thursdays.

Great job, no?

But the biggest perk had nothing to do with books on tape, my work “uniform”, or discovering maps.

The biggest perk was I got to work with my dad.

  • He shared sips of his Diet Pepsi whenever I was around.
  • We drove miles and miles together listening to political or classic country radio. He entertained me with stories and discussed life.
  • He bought me gas-station corn dogs for breakfast and occasional lunch at Inca’s.
  • Many mornings he walked me out to my truck to give me a hug and send me on my way.
  • My dad reminisced at the office in the a.m. and shared his pretzels with me in the p.m.
  • He never got too mad at me when I messed up (and I messed up a lot).

And the best of all of these was that we got to spend more time together this summer than we have ever spent.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I love cereal.

I mean. I. really. love. cereal.

It’s basically been the only food I’ve eaten with any consistency (that I “prepare” myself, of course) for the last five years. In fact, I think there are only a handful of days where I haven’t had a bowl (or three) of cereal in the last 1,825 days. I got really good at pouring the exact right amount of milk per bowl of cereal. But if we are being honest, I usually poured extra so I would have to pour more cereal in later.

But today something terrible happened.

Today while I was eating a bowl of Sugar Smacks for lunch I realized something I’ve been trying to hide from myself.

I’m kind of over cereal.

And have been for like two weeks. Two weeks!

Why have I been trying to hide this from myself? Because now I have nothing to eat!

I feel like a part of me has died.

And that I might die. Of starvation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soiled and Foiled

I’ve been working for my dad this summer. Collecting soil and plant samples. Driving. Digging Holes. That’s what I do.

But not today…today I wrecked the company pick-up.

Well not really wrecked so much as left the truck in drive and walking 20 feet away only to see it gaining speed and hitting an irrigation circle...and then bouncing back from the inertia to hit again.

My thoughts went something like this (as I was literally jumping through the driver's-side window I had conveniently left down), “Dad is going to kill me!”

A few choice words, many hugs, and an “I’ve done it, too” said by my dad later and I am still alive.

The truck’s radiator on the other hand…

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Post in Which I Write a Letter to My Blog

Dear Blog,

It’s not you. It’s me.

I know I haven't written in a while, but I’ll write again soon.

Not an empty promise to you, my dear blog, I just needed to break the ice of our awkward silence.

Consider it broken.

Love, Ande

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Secretly Sexy

As a rule I don't let anyone look through my ipod. Especially not my working-out playlist. Too many songs that bring me guilty pleasure.

Today I was working out and feeling all good about it. Thoughts like, "Yeah!" were basically dominating my brain activity.

Blame it on endorphins, blame it on my general lack of a sensor, but before I caught myself I was singing, "Bringin' Sexy Back" out loud. (Out loud!)

I didn't even notice until I looked up at the mirror and saw the guy next to me staring. I looked over as nonchalantly as possible, gave a small nod and said, "hey."

He didn't say anything.

I went back to cycling and after a small grace period, left.

Not completely because I was embarrassed (I was), more because someone knows my secret that I know every word to "Bringin' Sexy Back".

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Abe

Happy Birthday!

I like this picture of us.

I like you more.

In fact I love you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Two parking lots, one car wash garage, a hole in the fence, a reusable cup, and sixty cents later…

A measurable amount of joy.

44 ounces to be exact.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stands with a Fist...?

Today I noticed this:

Looks an awful lot like this:

If only I had some leather fringe.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Day with Alexander

I didn’t realize my day was so bad until I called Mom and told her about it. She laughed and told me I should write a book about my day. “It could beat Alexander,” she said.

It’s true. In the last picture of this book Alexander ends up hugging someone he loves. Sunshine, crayons, and a blanket are all present.
My day ended with me throwing up. No hugging. No sunshine. No crayons.
I won. Or lost. Either way I plan on ditching Alexander tomorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Old Woman and the Gym

My journal entry from a few weeks ago went something like this:

Tonight I went with some friends to the Peking Acrobats. Amidst all the amazing (and audience-stress inducing) talent all I could think of was a conversation between myself and the old woman who issues required clothing at the gym. It went something like this:

Me: Can I get a size X swimming suit please?
OW (in thick Russian accent): I don’t think you know what size you are. Do you know what size you are?
Me: Oh. Uh. Yes?
OW: I don’t think you do. Size X is for the little Asian girls. Girls like this (holding up hands about three inches apart). You are like this (hands a bit further apart).
Me: ……
OW: Here is size Y.

It was too big.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Our water heater is broken.

So is our heater.

It's hard to recover from a day that starts with a cold shower, an apartment that is 65 degrees, and an outside tempeture of 4.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dynamic Reading

Robert Duvall as Boo Radley

I remember reading it for the first time while lying on the porch swing. I don't know if the image of light, filtered by the canopy of the swing, on the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird is real or imagined, but I do know that I loved the hours spent reading it. I remember closing the book and just laying there thinking. More importantly I remember I was changed by it. It was one of those changes I didn't know how to talk about. Like the character Jem, I turned inward with my thoughts, knowing I was different, but not knowing how, not knowing what to do with my new knowledge, my new self.

I just finished it for the fourth time. The circumstances around my completion were hardly so picturesque. I was on my bed, my desk was cluttered, a pair of dirty jeans on the floor. But closing the book caused the same reaction. I just laid there thinking, knowing I was once again changed.

I still don't completely know how to talk about how this book moves and changes me each time I read it, I think I will always be like Jem in that way. But it does. I think the thing I gained from it the most this time was the virtue and value of sight.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I haven’t set any yet.

But I need to.

I decided to start small.

No need to rush on improvement, I tell myself.

Goal: No melted cheese for a week.

Unfortunately (and surprisingly) this has ruled out a lot of my food options.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bookstores and Such

I was recently walking with a friend past a second-hand bookstore. I remarked to said friend how much I love not only second-hand books, but the idea of second-hand books. It brought up a seemingly insignificant memory of a small, perfectly chaotic second-hand bookshop I found in Italy. An elderly man, wearing a sweater in May, sat in the doorway reading not just a book, but books.

I found myself thinking of this elderly Italian gentlemen again when I read George Orwell’s “Bookshop Memories.” It said, “When I worked in a second-hand bookshop—so easily pictured, if you don’t work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios—the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people.”

Orwell then goes on to talk about these people who seem to frequent and annoy second-hand bookstores. Those who are looking for a nameless book with a red cover. Those merely, and always only browsing. Most offensively are the consumers wanting first editions or rare treasures just for the sake of “having.” Each of these individuals is unaware that it is not their purchase that subtracts from the store; it is their presence.

For the last hour I have tried to convince myself the reason I didn’t go inside this seemingly perfect Italian second-hand bookstore was to preserve its integrity. Telling myself that only the Italian literature-lover would not accost the store. Only those who were not seeking for a treasure (like the first edition hunters) but for an experience could go inside and come away with a book and still leave the bookstore whole. Because I’m not fluent in Italian I didn’t belong, I tell myself.

Since conversation with aforementioned friend I have been kicking myself for going back to the bookstore only for a picture and not a browse and purchase of a book that would never be read, but because of the memory, always endeared.

Elitist literature readers be dammed, I should have gone in for the treasured experience.