Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
After you read this post the first thing you think will be: "I'm glad that's not me. I'm glad I was able to fly home to meet my family for Christmas, and not have my flight canceled and likely spend Christmas Eve in an airport. I'm glad I was not stuck in a snow storm trying to get to the airport and have to turn around half way after the second cancellation of the day. I'm glad I needlessly did not open my Christmas presents early. I'm glad my department of transportation has a way to deal with record breaking snow (or any snow)."
After having hopes dashed and moments when I feel like the universe has turned its back, I have to look at the positives. We have a flight scheduled for early Christmas morning that for now is not canceled. We have newly purchased tire tubes for sledding our neighborhood's snowy hills. We have great friends with a fireplace, generosity, and a newly purchased Christmas tree (stranded vacationers band together!) We have saved tons of money in gas while our car sits under a pile of snow.
Sometimes things go wrong, sometimes you actually live out a piece of a horrible 80's Christmas movie plot, but we still have each other and Jon is going to have angel food cake tomorrow. And I have 5 new mini bowls. Everything is going to be ok.
Posted by Malorie at 12:47 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
While eating my lunch...
Co-worker walks into the kitchen.
"So, it looks like someone has taken out a knife to cut all the chocolates in half. I guess they want to see if they like what's inside."
I nod my head. "Yeah, looks like it. But they probably don't want to eat the whole thing, either."
"And, someone really likes dark chocolate. Almost all of them are gone."
"Wow, yeah. Uh huh..."
(So getting out the knife was a bad idea? However, I have no regrets or apologies for eating the dark chocolate.)
Posted by Malorie at 12:07 AM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 10:34 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thanks to our friends who provided the letterpress, ink, instruction, aprons, design skills, hot chocolate, cookies, music, and cards. (!)
We can't even try to repay them at the same level of coolness. Sundaes and free babysitting? Naming rights to our firstborn? Unlimited accordion serenades?
Posted by Malorie at 11:07 PM
Monday, December 8, 2008
My roommates in college gave me cat-related nicknames. This was brought upon by my awkward movements, sometimes high pitched noises, and huge pupils. And I might have crouched on counter tops. After an unusual freshman roommate who chose to be called "kitty" and spoke to her cat on the phone, I did not particularly enjoy those comparisons. I tried to stop cat like behavior, but things like my pupils could not be helped.
Those memories resurfaced today as I sat in the optometry office of the aptly named Dr. Peek, who asked me a question I have never heard in all my many years of eye exams--"Is it ok if I dilate your pupils?" My first instinct was to look disgusted and refuse. I thought dilating eyes at exams went out of style about the same time hard contacts went extinct. Plus, weren't my pupils massive enough on their own? The wrap around sunglasses, the sensitivity to light--timidly I found myself saying, "Ok." The exam wasn't all that bad besides the million-candle-power lights shined into my retinas, Dr. Peek's bad breath (how do you not have breath mints as an optometrist?), and how he kept calling me "ma-LOR-ie". I actually left with a little optical pat on the back as my eyes have finally stopped worsening and improved instead. ("Well Dr. Peek, if you have to know, I do take a vitamin D supplement daily.")
As I left, I was given a pair of magical wrap arounds that clung to my face. I accepted them because I thought they were funny, not because I would actually wear them. As I was squinting painfully on the drive home, I gave up and stuck them on my face, and sighed in relief as the bright lights dimmed.
Posted by Malorie at 1:01 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
To all our wonderful friends and family-
We are sending out Christmas cards this year, and would love to include all our family and friends in what will surely be a singular amazing moment in your Christmas experience. However, I have almost no addresses. So if you are reading this and you think, "Oh, she has my address. We have the same birthday and shared a womb."
You are WRONG.
So if your connection with me or Jon is anything less personal than womb sharing, I would love it if you left a comment with your address or sent me an email at maloriehall [at] gmail.com. If you want to get one, we want to send you one. Thanks!
Posted by Malorie at 4:52 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 11:24 PM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Anyway, I went back to work in the reject cubicle (the girl I was subbing for came back...I tried to ignore her co-workers' exclamations of joy) and finished my day by laminating hundreds of tiny things. I was about to leave when I looked down at my wool sweater dress and realized I had brushed against a newly retouched wall. I saw the sage green streak and loudly yelled a choice word ("shiz"--it was my last day, after all). Serendipitously I had an extra dress in my backseat, changed in the parking lot, and took my dress to an eco-friendly dry cleaner, where I was given a 50% survival rate for my dress.
Adding to that the fact that I found out I only took home 60% of my actual temp wage, Thanksgiving could not have come at a better time. Early Christmas, pumpkin pie, thrifting, and little Reese put that day far in the past.
Posted by Malorie at 8:53 PM
Monday, November 17, 2008
I add things to my Christmas list a lot.
By the way, what do you do when you are in a store alone? Almost always I am the only customer, and I know I have no intention of buying. I say hello to whoever is working there, and proceed to browse while pretending no one is looking at me. I always feel a little awkward. And once a dachshund tried to attack me.
Posted by Malorie at 9:43 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
But my parents are 50! Yes, they have the same birthday.
Happy birthday, I love you both so much! Listing your wonderful qualities would make this too long of a post, so just know that my parents are amazing people.
However, buying a vacuum for your birthday isn't too worthy for turning a half century. You may take a cue from Jon and me and buy an accordion, or you could get something equally ridiculous and/or frivolous.
Posted by Malorie at 5:13 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 10:12 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Happy birthday Mere. Even a night early, I'm probably not the first to say it, but what about the first in Oregon?
Posted by Malorie at 11:24 PM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 7:13 PM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Jon is much better at this than me. Look at those eyes! He is selling that sweater! Or he is staring deeply into your soul.
I don't mind admitting that I like reality shows. Modeling/fashion based reality shows. But for all the shows I've watched--ANTM, Petra's "Model Life," Project Runway, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, 10th and Ocean (Don't you judge!)--models are constantly whining about how "hard" their job is. And yeah, if Tyra's making you hold a tarantula between your teeth while being dangled above a pit of stilettos WHILE frozen in a block of ice, that might be difficult. But real modeling is usually a simple recipe of a cat-like pouty face, an eastern European pedigree and a diet of red bull and cigarette butts. Easy. At least that's what I thought. I met Jon for lunch a few days ago, and also decided to take some pictures of a bunch of sweaters I'm posting on the etsy shop. It had to be done, and how hard could it be? I don't have a Slovakian cat-like face, so I had Jon cut my head out of the pictures. 15 minutes later I felt embarrassed, frumpy, and very JC Penney catalog-esque. There was no face involved, and yet I struggled. I just felt so dumb, standing on a sidewalk getting my pictures taken between joggers on the sidewalk. It was a tortorous, humbling experience. I hate it when Tyra is right.
Posted by Malorie at 11:52 AM
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I wasn't going to go political, but how could I let such a historical night go by without comment? I live for election night. It's a night I forget my jaded feelings about politics and am amazed at the democratic system in our country. I love the fact that people can have such different political ideas. I love that my dad has not disowned me.
And I'm kinda relieved it's finally over. If only to stop the Smith/Merkley ads.
Posted by Malorie at 9:37 PM
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Kenz and I have similar posts today. (check out her blog, their Halloween costumes are great.) We were both talking and decided to each make a mom Halloween favorite. I made her delicious sugar cookies, although my frosting job could never compare to the magic of Lorrie. Jon helped me decorate, but that was probably obvious. I'm staring at them right now, knowing that overnight they have become amazingly soft and delicious...
Also, I was tagged in a post by Jessie (at first I had to figure out if she knew another Malorie) but for those who roll eyes at the sight of a tag post, I've only chosen one category. I've ignored too many tags and I know my mom would enjoy reading this (Happy early birthday!). I was going to split my post but the instructions were too complicated.
8 THINGS THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY (and the day before)
1. The washing machine ate $1.25 (total lost: $3.75)
2. Sent my first purchase from my etsy shop, and now my net profit is -3 dollars. When the guy told me shipping was $17 I nearly threw up.
3. My visiting teacher came over with her potty training 2 year old, and I'm 90% she fell in my toilet.
4. Made enchiladas with pumpkin sauce.
5. Made my mom's sugar cookies for the first time. Bought shortening for the first time.
6. My free internet came back, and I lost my desire to purchase it.
7. Cut myself side bangs with my cutco kitchen scissors.
8. Went to book club and discussed vampires. NOT the Twilight ones. Thank heavens.
I was supposed to tag 8 people. If you just read that sentence and secretly wished I tagged you, you're tagged.
Posted by Malorie at 7:49 AM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 12:31 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 3:59 PM
Saturday, October 18, 2008
At one point on Thursday night, I looked outside of my situation and had to laugh. There I was, dressed like an Olive Garden server (minus the tie), spending the greater part of my night in the corner of a 6' by 8' elevator, saying things like, "Are you headed to the Penthouse?" and "Yes, I am actually the elevator operator." When I arrived at my temp gig, I found out that I was working at an upscale housing open house, and I was the one pegged to take the guests from floor to floor because a passcode was needed.
My first trip was a little rocky. The guy in charge told me the code, which I was to use until I got a sensor. I got my first elevator load, including two extremely flamboyant nice men and their dramatic female companion, who by chance had an elevator phobia. The doors closed and we started moving, and the code didn't work. Because I had forgotten it. I kept trying new numbers until I got to the embarrassing point where I had to explain myself and go back to the lobby and ask. The girl started freaking out because she thought the elevator was stuck, and when we reached the lobby she ran out, demanding water. From that point on, 4 hours in an elevator was not the death sentence I thought it would be. Elevators are a perfect place to crack jokes with rich folk who are extremely relaxed due to the open bar, and people were acting like my button earrings were on par with the invention of the Magic Bullet. A jeweler asked me about them, and I felt a little sheepish saying I had just superglued buttons to posts. (not even my original idea, by the way). I also explained what gauged ears were to an inquiring pair of elderly English twins. I found out that most high class older women in Portland wear a version of a polar fleece vest, but made of high class fibers like raw silk or quilted gold leaf. It was also an interesting observation on how the economy has affected this wealthiest class, hearing side comments about how the units wouldn't sell in this market, and real estate agents being grateful they still have jobs. One of the realtors working that night looked and sounded exactly like Sarah Palin. Which was funny until she put her arm around me and I felt extremely uncomfortable.
Posted by Malorie at 11:20 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The bile had not fully settled when I came upon this...
Bacon brownies. (involuntary shudder)
Posted by Malorie at 10:44 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 11:27 AM
Friday, October 10, 2008
You may not know Amber, but if you do, you probably think she is one of the coolest people you have ever met. I mean, she speaks Chinese, is amazingly tall and owns a pink spandex bodysuit.(!) I met Amber when I was assigned to visit teach her, and when she showed me the bomb shelter in her apartment and told me about the Hello Kitty bikes that were retrofitted to her size in Taiwan, I thought she was a little crazy. Which meant I really wanted to be friends with her. Serendipitously some friends and I moved into the House of Creepy for a summer and so did she. Our lives were never the same.
Besides the mind blowing dance moves, Amber is simply a wonderful friend. For instance, when I was doubly afflicted with the friend killing disease of marriage and the flu, she made me laugh and brought me gatorade. She is great at making your day--and when it comes to friends, she's a lifer. Happy birthday Amber!
(and yes, I know this picture is with Kenz. My laptop with relevant pictures crashed and so this is the best I could do. Why be an identical twin if it's not useful once in a while?)
Posted by Malorie at 9:25 AM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Oh, my need to try new recipes. Experimentation with Beans, Part I, was a shudder-worthy gastronomical disaster. This time I had high expectations because all the ingredients were things I liked to eat (black beans, sweet potato, a large amount of cumin), and nothing was pureed. And Martha had a really pretty picture.
See? Don't you want to eat this? I don't know what happened with mine, but they kind of looked like shiz. And while edible, we gave it a "meh." They were bland. And don't even get Jon started on the shiz patties' companion food, jicama slaw. I should have known to never mention that word that is associated with a mayo based salad purchased from KFC. It created a tension experienced rarely in our marriage, even though no mayo or sauce was involved.
Posted by Malorie at 2:43 PM
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 8:21 PM
Friday, October 3, 2008
"My" internet at home has been out since Wednesday morning. Having to go to the local library to use the wi-fi has made me realize a couple things--I've forgotten how to use a PC and your fingers can get chafed from using a trackpad. I love libraries, but one thing I don't like is the potential for complete strangers to approach me while I'm enjoying my blogs. Yesterday a guy came up to me and started asking me about my typing skills. He eventually asked me to take a few parts of an employment test for him that he couldn't pass. I told him no because it was dishonest. (and if you can't type 30 wpm, maybe you're just not cut out for the job...) Then he tried to make me feel bad because he just moved here a week ago and he had been taking these tests ALL DAY. I told him to talk to me after 2 months. Amateur.
p.s. Wearing sunglasses inside a library is weird and wholly unnecessary.
Posted by Malorie at 11:41 AM
Monday, September 29, 2008
So I still don't have a job. I probably enjoy this a little too much, as it gives me all the time for sewing projects I have been meaning to do for months. I made Jon a slightly girlie oilcloth lunch bag (Using this tutorial with the same fabric, but brown), a scarf, embroidered pencil bag (gifted), a toddler sized drawstring backpack and tiny coin purse (could not resist the smallness!), and finally, the Amy Butler Weekender bag. (choir sings in the background) This bag scared me. It involved making my own covered cording, stabilizers, template plastic, and the ever horror-inducing zipper. Not to mention the fact that I needed to sew really straight lines. And there was a billion pieces to cut out in 4 different types of fabric/stabilizers. This bag is amazingly big and awesome. From reading other experiences with the bag, I was prepared for days of stress and seam ripping. Perhaps due to my cautiousness, I did not have to rip out any major seams. (Although it took me the better part of a week to make.) Miracle! I am so proud of myself, I should be struck down by a lightening bolt. I have to thank Kenz for choosing the lining/contrast fabric, which is way cooler than what I picked originally. If you gifted me a Boston terrier or firstborn child, I may be willing to make you one. Just kidding, I'm only accepting Boston terriers.
Posted by Malorie at 7:41 PM
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As poor people, experiencing different seasons in apartment living is a lot like childbirth. It's like we have a hormone that helps us forget how miserable we once were. During winter in my old apartment, I forgot about the pools of sweat and sleeping under damp towels of summer once I was cozy warm due to all the heat I wanted at no additional cost. Yesterday I was shivering and typing with numb fingers as my resilient will to not use the heat crumbled and I turned the thermostat to 63 degrees. It reminded me of the last house I lived in before I got married. It was old, and I had a private room in the back with wood floors and 6 windows. SIX windows that had one job--creating uninsulated avenues of cold. As winter approached along with a roommate's unflagging will to keep the house at 55, I began changing my sleeping habits. My attire started with a base of normal sleep wear, a t-shirt and shorts. Then I added socks. And a hooded sweatshirt. And a fleece adult onesie. Then I took the fetal position under my jersey sheets with a Norwegian comforter and three additional blankets, and created a breathing hole, tying the drawstrings tight on my hood. Coincidentally my roommate next door had a room that was in a constant sauna-like state. She melted at night while I hunkered down in my own Everest base camp.
Marriage forced me to sell my contract early. In December, I would crank up the heat for prospective buyers. I walked barefoot through the apartment. "Look here, we have a dishwasher! Oh, and here is the room. The desk is included, it has wood floors (so hot right now) and a vintage dresser, lots of closet space. And the most amazing part... it has SIX windows. So great. I love this room."
A few weeks and a $200 signing bonus later, I sold my contract. Little did she know I had sentenced her to 4 months in her own private icebox hell. I should have felt bad, but I didn't. I had $1200 on the line and my new apartment to move into. And it was nice and warm, with utilities all included...
Posted by Malorie at 8:53 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This week I learned that it is not evil to put off running for a while. Sometimes you just don't want to do it, but by Saturday I was back. I think the running gods knew it too, and they were grateful. I made my way to Gabriel Park, my new favorite place. It was one of those crispy fall days that wasn't overly cold, just overcast. After a large climb I made it to the community gardens. There I saw a group of people gathered in the parking lot at tables cutting apples. There was a large manual apple press, and some kids with tie dyed shirts turning the crank with the help of tie-dyed shirted parents. Then I was offered what was to be the most delicious hand pressed cup of apple cider I have ever had. Once a year all the garden volunteers harvest the apples from the orchard and make and drink cider all day, and I happened upon this utopian activity by chance. I finished my run without directing a single curse word at the hills. I told Jon about it, and we stopped by after he was done studying, but they had disappeared. Mysterious...
And if this day couldn't get any better, I totally sneak attacked my football watching friends with a plain-yogurt-and-tofu-filled baked artichoke dip. ShaZAM! I love tofu sneak attacks.
Posted by Malorie at 12:21 AM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Kenz and I painted them the same color the last time I saw her. Yes, I can go buy the same color or remove it, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm supposed to repaint it when I go over to Kenz's and we hang out, talking about grandma dresses and project runway and cinnamon ice cream. I can't really wrap my mind around 2000 miles. She might as well be in Antarctica. We're identical twins, womb buddies, and if you want to revert back to elementary school bullies, you can even sing the "we are siamese" song at us (but please refrain from pouring pixie stix in my hair). Now that I've had some time to get used to our new place, I've got phantom pains. Some essential part of me has been amputated and removed but it still hurts and feels like it should be there. Tyler, you took her practically to Canada. You know how I feel about Canada.
We have cellphones, Skype, and I have nice people around me. But I still feel a little down about it. And for now, I think I have the right to be.
Posted by Malorie at 3:59 PM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Don't stand in a prime middle-front spot. Jon and I love 31knots. They are Oregonian virtuosos of rock, but they always put on a unique and surprising show. (Let's just say the rafters of Kilby have been climbed by at least one front man.) The lead singer, Joe, ventures out into the crowd for about half the songs, and as he passed me, we did a little "I-don't-know-what-way-to-go-dance." Then I stood on the cord as he passed me, and for about 10 seconds there was nothing I could do apparently but continue to step on the mic cord. Later, I was summoned by Joe to hold a white lace tablecloth in front of him while he sang behind it holding a flashlight. As much as I enjoy the music, at concerts I like to be an inconspicuous observer, keeping a beat but never singing along or dancing exuberantly.(Beyonce-style dancer at Pinback, I still have wrath for you!) In hindsight the front corners would have been a much more comfortable place for me.
And, to top off the awkwardness that must follow me, at this small show I saw the girl who interviewed me for the vintage clothing descriptionist job. The night was basically "Hey, lead singer in my face." and "Hey, person who didn't hire me! Nope, still unemployed." At least, that's what I would have said if I had the courage to say hi, which I didn't. I kind of regret that. She was nice.
Posted by Malorie at 4:23 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
That's how I feel after a great thrifting trip. Among the usual (dress, sweater, tee) found last night, Jon and I hit the Halloween jackpot. One kid's skeleton costume, homemade clown suit, and two pairs of matching hammer pants later, we had the real start of an amazing costume collection. I also got a really weird look and a good awkward silence moment from the cashier who asked me if I had kids, and I said "No."
It was a kind of high where you feel like a spontaneous song and soft shoe tap dance number could erupt on the street.
Posted by Malorie at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Lately our weekends have been filled with reruns of the O.C. on a Japanese web site and Costco trips. Thanks to other people that plan really well, the wives of other 1st years were able to meet up with them at the end of their retreat at Canon Beach to go camping. Jon and I are such camping moochers. We were able to contribute exactly two roasting sticks and 4 camp chairs, paper plates and a tea kettle. (and our own air mattress...thanks to Jon's parents). We slept in a palatial tent built for at least 10 (thanks Steve and Danielle) and in a ginormous sleeping bag (Ann and Willy (-ie?) I can't get that name to look right). We had 12 people, 1 baby, and 4 tents smashed in a way small space, and made foil dinners in the smokiest campfire ever made. For extremely inexperienced campers, our foil dinners were amazing. Salmon with a spice rub, fresh garlic, red potatoes, red pepper, onions and carrots coated with just the right amount of olive oil and herbs. The next morning we spent some time on the beach and the touristy parts of Tilamook before driving home. Mother, sleep easy--we have made friends!
Our weekend did not end there. We went to go see Menomena at Music Fest Northwest, which was absolutely stellar, although we were there until one and I was about to pass out from lack of sleep. My phone is acting weird otherwise I'd post a photo, but instead I will post my favorite snippet of easedropped conversation.
girl1: So, I think I have glaucoma.
girl1: You know, glaucoma. I keep having these weird headaches and fuzzy vision.
girl2: Is this like the time you thought you had leprosy?
And...here's a preview of this weekend. Hint: Jon made this band mini cupcakes, they called us "their friends" on exactly one occasion, and it might secretly be a large reason we moved here...
Can I just say that I love Portland?
Posted by Malorie at 2:57 PM
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I graduated a year and a half ago, and I've unsubscribed to this list about 10 times. One sign up to get info about free food has turned into a full fledged, blindly octogenarian-pro force that really wanted to vote for Mitt Romney and now doesn't know what to do with themselves but send really hopeful, peppy emails to everyone so they can still feel like true Republicans. I don't know what it takes to get rid of these emails, but I am willing to do almost anything to get them to stop. Please please please.
With sincere gratitude,
Posted by Malorie at 8:34 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
When we moved I thought about getting rid of this clock we got for our wedding. It was huge, which was nice, but I didn't really love the faux tuscan antique look. We decided to try to give it a makeover. Jon and I brainstormed a bunch of different ideas (putting tiny figurines inside, decoupage, etc.), but nothing seemed to fit. My friends gave me a bag of antique buttons for my birthday, and it inspired me to cover the thing with amazing buttons. We bought an assortment of 600-750 on eBay and sorted them into colors. I decided to just concentrate on the light colored ones, and we chose a color theme (aqua and red). After some spray paint and industrial strength glue (E6000--can bond metal engine parts) we had this.
Posted by Malorie at 12:39 PM