Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, Right?

I guess unless you are as much of a LOST nerd as I am, you won't really pick up on the awesomeness of this little onesie a friend of mine was so thoughtful to give us. She also gave us one with "4 8 15 16 23 42"...again, unless you watch LOST, you're probably feeling lost right now. Mark was pretty stoked to see these when I got home last night too. This little one may permanently alternate between the two to ensure everyone knows how much her parents are geeks. Although I am guessing she will pick up on that pretty early in life.
This gift had to be the perfect precursor for tonight. Yes, as even more proof to our nerdness, we are anxiously awaiting the season finale of LOST (8:00 central time for all those who want to watch). As I say every season (and have yet to be disappointed) this episode is going to be awesome. How could 2 hours of LOST, not be awesome? This back half of season 4 has not disappointed and is right up there with season one in terms of greatness. We've been given answers (like who gets of the island) and have been left puzzling (we don't know HOW...is everyone else alive, or dead, or...something else. What about Claire? Christian? Who the heck is Jacob? And why haven't we seen more of Desmond?! I swear, if they kill him....I might just have to have a little chat with Damon and Carlton.)
While there is a level of euphoria over tonight's engagement, it is not without a little sadness. Mainly the fact that after tonight it will be many months (some very cold and lonely) until we meet up with our friends again. I am not one of those LOSTies who spend every waking second online trying to crack the code, dreaming up theories and have conspiracies all worked out in my head, I like to watch, be amazed and scream "WHA???" and "this hurts my brain" at my TV screen. I used to have to research everything and try to figure it out, but I have found that just enjoying and being absolutely dumbfounded by what they keep throwing at me is so much more fulfilling. I like not knowing what is going to happen - it amazes me to think what these writers have done and will continue to do. I still have to laugh a little about Mark and how we became obsessed with this whole LOST thing; It was a very warm day in our subletted apartment in NYC when I first saw an ad for this new fall TV show called LOST. I didn't think much of it at first, but since I had no job, it was as hot as Hades and I lived in a less than desirable neighbourhood of northern Manhattan, I tended to stay inside and watch a lot of TV... so I saw a lot of ads for this show. Mark saw them too when he was home at night, and I told him I was going to check the show out but I was hesitant because it looked kind of hokey. Mark figured it would just be some Jurassic Park rip-off and he was not interested in it. Well fast forward 4 years and the kid is hooked! It's funny how some things never change, mainly the fact that he never listened to me then, and he still doesn't, yet without fail he always has to end up muttering a "you were right". But that's a topic for another day.
Anyway, I've stumbled off the path of my 8567458968th love fest to LOST since starting this blog. I am excited to see what is in store for us tonight...I am even willing to stay up again until 10:00 to watch it!! Mark you had just better be home on time so I am not up later! Yes that's right, in the household of the shrine to the DVR (we have 2), we watch LOST in realtime. Once in awhile we will have to start it later, like if Mark is taking his sweet time coming home from somewhere, but 95% of the time, when the clock hits 8:59, ABC is on and we are ready to go. No fast forwarding for us! Commercials are the time to digest what we've just seen and prepare for what's to come next! So if you're thinking about calling us tonight, and it is between 8:00 and 10:00 CST - please don't...or make sure it is during a commercial...because we won't be answering the phone! So if you watch, enjoy it and leave me a note on your thoughts. I just might come back tomorrow and give my final Lost lovefest for the year so leave me some ideas and thoughts to throw around for the masses!!


Book Club For A-Holes

Mel and I ride the bus to and from work every day and like most married couples have very little to say to each other so we spend our time with our faces stuck in a book, magazine or staring into space with the ipod on. I recently finished a couple of books and do not have anything on deck to read next. I need the Smith blog fans to help me pick a new book to read. I will give you some suggestions and hints as to what I like.

The most recent books I finished were:

Mergers and Acquisitions by Dana Vachon, a fictional account of a smarmy investment banker in NYC.
The Warren Buffet Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor by Robert Hagstrom.
The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson, a great collection of political stories from a man who drank whisky, did coke and shot guns while following politics for Rolling Stone.
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayan Rand.

I know what you're thinking, "Capitalism, gambling and politics, that pretty much sums up Mark." I also enjoy higher tastes in literature. I thoroughly enjoy a little Camus thrown in with my Kerouac. (Yes, I am a pretentious prick.)

Here is a list of some of my favorite books and authors:

Anything by Hemingway. Papi's short stories are the best; read The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, you can thank me later.
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.
Kerouac's On The Road.
Hayek's Road to Serfdom.
Poems by Robert Service.
Multiple other authors including, Dante Alighieri, Joseph Conrad, Frederic W. Farrar, Nick Hornby, C.S. Lewis, Bruce R. McConkie, David McCullough, Patrick F. McManus, Edgar Allan Poe, Jeremy Siegel, John Steinbeck, Henry David Thoreau and countless others.

I think the problem with literacy these days is that teachers assign the wrong books for kids to read. I want to slap most women with a British accent after reading anything by a Bronte and I would much rather read about Ralph and Piggy than Pip any day. So I am asking for your help in selecting the next book I read. Please leave comments with your recommendations. If I don't find something new to read then I will be forced to blog about this article, in which a 14 year old girl starts acting slutty because she is a fan of Sex and The City, luckily all ends well when she converts to Mormonism and moves to Utah; please do not make me publicly unload my thoughts on this, you've been warned.


Nukers Beware!

Why do brussel sprouts explode in the microwave? I haven't been able to figure this one out...is it due to their compact little head-shaped vegetable-ness, or is it because they are such a dense veggie? Or is it because like most people, microwaves hate brussel sprouts too?Please don't worry brussel sprout...I don't hate you. In fact I find you quite yummy! Even if you do explode all over my microwave.


Baby Got Back?

I usually have a daily annoyance when we go to the park and ride each morning, but since I am such a nice, quiet, un-opinionated person, I will usually mutter it to Mark and leave it at that. For some reason today though I feel I need to share it with the world because for the life of me, I can not wrap my head around this one.
So the park and ride...everyone knows what that is, right? No? OK, crash course. It is an extremely large parking lot where people park their cars to ride a bus and/or train into their destination. For us, it takes us from our Northern suburb into downtown Minneapolis. We ride in early, we catch a 6:18AM bus, the second bus on our route in the morning. These first two buses are always full, but the parking lot is so big that you'll always get a spot.
Now, on to my annoyance. I don't claim to be the best park-er in the world, and Mark will vigorously agree with that, but I can pull a car into a spot without hitting others cars and do so in a very timely matter. You're probably wondering what could possibly be my annoyance with a parking lot, right? Maybe not, but I will tell you anyway.
People who BACK IN. Why? Why do you do this? Is it really necessary? I know your car has the ability to drive because you just drove to the parking lot. So, perhaps there is an unseen force pulling your car backwards into the parking spot? I can't think of any other reason why you would want to take the extra time to have to drive past the spot, put the car in reverse and then slowly back yourself in, possibly straining your neck in the process. not to mention annoying everyone who has just driven in behind you because now we all have to wait for you to finish backing in your car so we can drive by to a spot of our own (where 3 out of 4 drivers will also back in. I would be the minority in that situation).
Maybe what annoys me more is the reason I have uncovered for this backing in phenomenon. It all begins with the bus ride home. Yes a good 35 minutes before we even get to the cars. See, the folks who ride our bus are crazy. Everyone sits at the front. The back could be completely empty, but nope, they will jam their little bodies into a seat beside someone as close as possible to the front of the bus. Just last night when I got on the bus, I went to my usual spot (the seat before the back door of the bus - we have the bendy buses, or articulated buses for those of your wordsmiths) and saw that every other person who had got on the bus with me was sitting at the front. Same thing at the next stop...about 85% of the riders squished their bums in beside some other person while there were plenty of empty seats in the back. Anyway...the whole reason people squish together in the front is so they can get OFF the bus first and fastest. Considering the bus empties out like an airplane...seriously...row by row. If you even make a move that someone might interpret as trying to get off the bus in front of them...I hope you have enjoyed your life, because you might die. Now, it's not just good enough to sit at the front of the bus, oh no. When it is your turn to get off the bus, you must RUN down the steps, through the parking lot and into your backed-in parked car. Hurry!! If you don't get out of your spot, you might have to wait a minute at the parking exit because someone got in front of you.
It really is something you need to see...I know I am not explaining it well, but something needs to be said because I just sit there shaking my head at all of the people who take the line for the bus so seriously. I had one lady (I secretly call her the line Nazi - I have names for everyone), scold a new comer to the line because when she joined the line she took the line out to the right when it should have curved to the left. Seriously, people? We're all going to get on the bus.
Mark and I discuss whether or not it would be worth it to show up at the stop at like 5:45AM one morning just to be the first people in line to shake things up a little and then steal the front seats. I'm not sure that people would know what to do...

I think the thing that makes me laugh the most is trying to picture anything remotely like this happening on a NYC bus. Can you imagine the M15 with a nice, orderly line waiting to get on, and then an orderly and polite line getting off?? That makes me laugh.
If anyone has a legitimate reason for backing a car into a parking spot, will you let me know?? I am trying to come up with one and I can't!


One Sweet Day

I am not a highly patient person..I don't bust out in anger or rages, I just quietly stew and mutter things under my breath (although the longer I lived in NYC the louder those mutterings became).
I also am not one to show my excitement to the world, unless it has to do with fluffy fur and four paws, then I melt faster than ice cream!!

So it's hard for me to write this, but I just can't contain my excitement any longer. I have been sitting/standing/waiting for the last 9 months for this day to come. I didn't think it would pass by so quickly to be honest with you, but it has been much more bearable than I thought. It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the big day, I'm not sure it has actually sunk it. I was very excited knowing that there would be no work and that I would not have to get up at 5:15am. Sleeping in until 7:00 or so seemed like a dream... and then Mark informed me he needed to go into work early on Tuesday. That means I have to get out of bed at 5:45 and drive him to the bus stop. Lovely. Oh well, at least I can drive him there in my pj's and glasses, come home and crawl back into bed for a few hours. However, once 7:30 rolls around, I need to be ready for the big day. I may have to wait a little bit, as it's not a guarantee that the joyous occasion will commence exactly at 7:30, but yes, tomorrow is the day we welcome the newest member into our family...let me give you a sneak peak:

Yes, this little beauty should be sitting outside the side of my house come noon tomorrow, ready to keep me cool and happy all summer long. No more window AC's, or whatever we had in NYC...no sirree, central AC for us! This could be one of the most exciting days I have had in my life in a long time! Now we just need the programmable thermostat, but since it seems it will be awhile until summer temps arrive, we have a few more days (or weeks) before we need to purchase one.

What a glorious day tomorrow will be (the AC and not going into work!)...wherever you are tomorrow early afternoon, take a minute and think of us and our little guy! I know I will be basking in the gloriousness.


Anyone have a Tylenol?

Wow. Does my brain hurt. I didn't think a TV show would cause me so much stress and mental anguish, but boy was I wrong. As I sat on the couch watching Lost last night by myself, I discovered that I like to talk out loud to myself. Okay, so it's not really a new discovery, I've known for a long time that I talk to myself, out loud, when I am home alone. Anyway, I found myself saying, "my brain hurts" many times while watching the latest installment. Have I told you how much I love this show? For a split second of a split second I had the though of "I don't think I can watch this anymore - it hurts too much", but then I snapped back into reality and said "of course I will keep watching, what am I? A Moron??" Lost is seriously the best show EVER on television. I know, I know, everyone has their own opinions, but this is mine and I think it's the best. Just when you think you might have a very slight idea of the direction the show is going...BAM! up against the wall with something new. I don't think the show had been on for more than 5 minutes before I had my first jaw drop of the night. I just don't know how the writers do it...and how will this all wrap up in 2010? I don't want it to, but I do want it to - we need to know!
When Lost first came out, we (okay me more than Mark) would spend much time online trying to find theories, ideas, comments to help figure out where this show is going. People have dedicated their lives to explain Lost and the theories behind it. Over the seasons, my diligence in online digging has waned, and I am okay with that. It hurts my head too much to read all of the theories out there. I have found I enjoy the show much better when I watch it, ponder it, discuss it with Mark and a few others, read my one recap of it and wait for the next episode. I used to like to know semi-mild spoilers...not so much anymore. I like not knowing what's coming. It's interesting to have an idea about a storyline and then see if it comes to fruition, or if you were just way off base.
I know I spew my love for Lost a lot on here, so it comes as no surprise to anyone that I am doing it again, but when you watch an awesomely excellent episode such as last night's "Cabin Fever", you just have to let the world know!!
I'm pretty grateful that the season finale will be May 29th... if it was any later than that, with my luck I would go into labour 5 minutes before it started, and that would not be good. We'd definitely have to find a way to halt labour. Do you hear that Little Girl?? No coming before the end of May!!
On the topic of pregnancy...I have found a diamond in all of this gestational diabetes muck. You know how you gain about a pound a week your last trimester of pregnancy? Well thanks to GD and the lovely bland diet...I now have 6 less pounds I will have to lose after this little girl makes her entry! It's not quite enough for me to yell, "Yay for GD!", nor is it enough to quell all of my desires of eating chocolate chip cookies and peanut M&M's, but it does help me put it off for another month. So if anyone is in the area after we have this little girl, feel free to bring by a batch of cookies and the XXL bag of M&M's from Costco (or ship them if you won't be by, we have a decent sized mailbox- it'll fit)! :o)


I Want Your Socks

Tomorrow is a very special day and I wanted to make sure no one forgot.
May 8th is No Socks Day!!
I don't know how someone could forget this mighty special day, but I know that I will be joining the masses and shirking socks tomorrow. Considering I shirk socks pretty much every day once the weather hits above freezing - it's not that different of a day for me but I wanted to do my duty and pass on the joy in liberating your toes to anyone who is still jailing their toes in thick, hot, sweaty socks. Let them be free!!
Apparently the only rule is that you must have washed your feet that day, but there is no requirement to have perfectly painted toenails - just an added bonus if you do. I probably won't be going the polished toe way since it is a struggle just to keep them clipped right now, and the only person who might be willing to paint them for me will be working late tonight. Due to my low level of restraint when someone touches my feet a pedicure is out of the question (unless there is someone willing to risk a mighty kick to the head).
So treat yourself tomorrow, let your toes see the sun, wiggle hello to all of the other toes around and let them smell the roses...hopefully no one will smell your feet, which should have been washed before participating in this national day of toe baring! And for all of you concerned with the environment...think of the quantity of laundry that will be saved if we all abstain from dirtying a pair of socks up!
Bring on the peep toes!!

And just to get you ready for the days ahead...May 9th is Lost Sock Memorial Day, so start thinking about what we can do to honour those socks we've lost over the years and all that they provided us.