Monday, March 31, 2008

Final(ly) Four

It finally happened. I got to see Lawrence go crazy when our beloved basketball team made it to the Final Four. I've been waiting for this since it happened in 2003. Then, my highschool self wasn't allowed to go get crazy with college kids that might influence me to do bad things. Dad could still shelter me back then...somewhat. Er...I mean...very well.

I watched the game with my brother Adam. He's the one in the pic. Watching the game with him and his friends is really fun. They crack me up the entire time, which was needed in order to stay sane in this nail-biter.

When it was finally over, I fought the urge to cry, and at the same time couldn't stop smiling. Ever since I went to KU, I have had this overwhelming sense of pride to be a part of such an awesome tradition. At my first game, I was so excited that I almost cried too. As the students locked arms for the Alma Mater, I didn't know the words yet, but I still felt like I belonged. KU has been such a huge part of me in the last few years and I'm so glad that my parents raised me as a jayhawk. It was so hard to leave it all when I graduated. I actually did cry at graduation. Not tears of happiness, tears of sadness. It felt like I was losing a friend that had been there to share all of my successes and to see me grow into an adult (or a version of one).

Sunday night, as I stood on Mass Street and watched my fellow hawks go nuts and scream "Final Four baby!", I felt some sense of contentment. I've done and seen all that I ever wanted to do and see in Lawrence. But...I ended up going home by 9:30 and I only had 2 beers. Yeah yeah, I'm a grandma. Don't judge.

I know that some of the best times of my life were while I lived in Lawrence. I also know that it only prepared me for even better years to come, but I will always cherish the time that I had at the best university in the world. I met my very best friends there and met my future husband along the way as well. I'd say I made out pretty well. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's weird. I'm aware.

I’m a self-proclaimed self-diagnoser. You tell me about a disease or disorder and if I don’t have it, I can tell you someone I know who does. In psychology class with Dr. Holmes (I love that egocentric jerk!), I used to assign a disorder to people I knew to help me remember the symptoms and tendencies for tests. Only, this wasn’t just for tests, I seriously thought people have these problems. I still think some of them accurately depict my original diagnosis.

Continuing on to my point…I have a germophobia that has appeared almost out of nowhere. Its not only driving Aaron insane, but now the family has noticed it too at times.

To see if I’m crazy or not, I’ve made a list of things that freak me out. I like lists. Short and to the point.

1. I cannot fathom drinking out of a carton or container. If the apparatus is designed to pour liquid into a cup, then that’s what I do. I will not and cannot drink out of the container. Yet, I can drink out of a bottle of water that someone else has drank out of. Explain that rationale.

2. That brings me to milk next. I will not drink milk if it is within two days of the expiration date. If it’s one day, the actual day or past that day…don’t even think about it. I’m not touching it. The same goes for other food items kept in the fridge. (This wasn’t the case in college. I had dressings and condiments that were well past their dead dates and I didn’t care.)

3. I almost couldn’t take communion at church. Come on people! It’s cold and flu season and you expect us all to grab out of the same containers and eat and drink stuff? I know the symbolism of the act is what’s important, but I don’t think Jesus is going to be mad at me for not wanting to upchuck my lunch for three.days. That’s what happened when my parents had the flu last week. I haven’t thrown up anything without alcohol mixed with it for years. I plan to keep it that way.

4. I can’t drink something that is more than a day old. Ya know, you buy a bottle of soda at the store and you can’t finish it. I will NOT screw the cap on and put it in the fridge for tomorrow. No sir-ee. That thing is toast. Do you know how many things can ferment in that bottle while it sits in the fridge?

5. Don’t ever ask me to clean up puke or poop. Dirty diapers from babies are ok, but no big people messes. Honestly though, I can’t even clean up actual baby puke. I’m not talking spit up here. That’s nothing. Real puke with chunks and stuff, count me out. I’m gone.

6. Drinking milk at the end of a bowl of cereal is sick. So is drinking soup. You’ve been putting a spoon that has your saliva all over it in liquid and then you’re going to drink that liquid? Why don’t you just drink your own spit? Which brings me to the mother of all gross things in this world…

7. Spit. I cannot see it. I cannot touch it. I can’t even listen to someone do it. It makes my stomach turn and triggers my gag reflex so fast that I will run far far away from you. I even get grossed out when I have to spit toothpaste out of my mouth in the morning. Spit is sick. Someone once spit in my face in high school and it was one of the most horrible experiences in my life. It was a grown man in Lenexa too. I’ve been scarred ever since.

So yeah, I’m kinda weird. I realize it and I admit it. I’m sure there’s many more things that I forgot to add to this list. Hopefully this list will dwindle down before I have kids cuz …it’s gonna suck for Aaron. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Will work for sushi

I've decided that the only thing scarier than getting your first real job out of college is getting your first real job out of college in a foreign country.

I began sending resumes out to places in Singapore yesterday. My options are limited based on whether or not I understand what the position is and whether or not I think I will be able to understand what people are saying to me on a daily basis.

For example, as a journalist in Singapore, I doubt I'd understand anything said to me in an interview. This would result in me sitting in front of a computer crying the night before deadline without a story because I couldn't understand what my source said to me. Negative. Not gonna happen.

I've opened up my horizons a little. I'm applying for PR stuff, office administration stuff and other stuff that sounds somewhat close to what I went to school for. By close, I mean that some of the words match things they used to tell us we could do in school. I really have no idea. The whole journalism degree is funny. I studied magazines, but the professors tell you that most likely, you'll end up in something totally different. The entire scope of the degree includes PR, advertising, broadcast, newspaper, online news and magazine. To me, those are all VERY different careers. They did teach us a little about each, but I'm pretty scared to see what I'd come up with in a creative team at an ad firm.

Then again, people say that you just need a degree for most jobs. In that case, let's just roll with the punches.

So I sent a resume out for two US Embassy jobs and one job as a PR and Marketing Consultant at a cosmetics company. The last one asked for a recent photo with my resume. Interesting. I'm actually pulling for that one. I like the superficiality already.

Really though, I'm not holding my breath just yet. I just figured that I should get the ball rolling before I end up spending my first two married months on the couch with Oprah, Ben & Jerry. Not so good on our finances and not so good on my ass.

We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

40 days and 40 nights

The wedding is officially 40 days away. I really cannot wait and not just for the day itself, but also so I can be married to this really amazing guy...AND he seriously needs a nutritionist.

The other day Aaron ate only buffalo wings and ice cream for dinner. Then he had a stomach ache all night. OMG. Sorry to call you out babe, but seriously.

He also eats an entire bag of chips in one day and I've seen him eat a family size tube's worth of Pillsbury cookies in 2 days.

His metabolism is faster than Speedy Gonzales on crack. He has no idea how lucky he is. Anyone else with his eating habits would weigh 500 pounds. I can't wait till I can monitor this food intake. Even though he can't get fat, I just want to make sure he's not eating crap everyday. (Uh oh Sis, maybe the mothering gene is kicking in after all.)

Speaking of marriage related stuff, I've gotten really into this new reality show called "Here Comes the Newlyweds" and it's great. Pre-engaged Megan would have hated this show and thought it was sickening. Now, I think it's awesome. Basically, there are couples that compete to win a huge money prize by doing challenges that mimick married life. The challenges really show how much the couple knows about each other and reveals just how close they are.

Tonight, the challenge was that the men had to go into a store and buy their wife a bra, underwear, top, bottom, jacket and belt. The catch...they had to get the right sizes in everything and they had to like it. Seriously, if Aaron and I were on this show, we'd have these challenges in the bag. He could walk into a store and pick out all of those things in exactly the right size and I'd love it. He'd even prove me wrong by getting a size I didn't think would fit, but actually does. The show also had a grocery shopping challenge. That'd be cake for us too. These people are ridiculously bad at this stuff. How are they married? Do they even speak to each other? Put us on the friggin' show. We would be awesome.

So yeah, I'm pretty excited to be old and married.

Now if only I could convince him to take "Heffley" as his name....(just jokes).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The recurring dream

I'm convinced that I'm crazy. I have had this recurring dream about the wedding for the last 4 months. It always starts out that I wake up on my wedding day and nothing is ready and nothing is done. I have no invitations sent. I have no dress. We don't even have anything to serve for dinner at the reception. So I scurry around all day and try to put everything together last minute and it always fails. There is no wedding. Then Aaron's leave runs out (on that day for some reason) and he leaves for Singapore...without me.

It's a horrible way to wake up and start your day.

Well, now the dream is taking other forms of "horrifying" as I am getting things done. Last night I dreamt that in order to calm my nerves on the big day, I "over medicate" myself and wake up not remembering anything from the whole wedding day. Which apparently didn't go so well. In the dream, my family is pretty pissed at me and stages an intervention and forces me into rehab rather than trotting off to Singapore. Isn't that pleasant and inappropriate?

What the heck is wrong with me? Why can't I have happy dreams about this day?

Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy excited for the wedding. It's going to be the best day ever and I promise to not be crazy about every detail being perfect. It's just so dang stressful to plan these things. No one tells you about this part of planning a wedding. I totally understand why people hire wedding planners now.

I just can't wait till we're married and everything can fall into a new state of normal and I'm not a crazy girl anymore. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A post for Aaron

Since Aaron still hasn't seen the gifts or the pictures from the shower, I thought I'd post some on the blog. Drum roll, please....

I believe this is me opening up the gift from Paula. It's definitely going to Singapore, Aaron. Loves it.

Tyson had a little too much fun. He passed out.

I was very excited about the coffee grinder from Aunt Karry. Thanks Aunt Karry!!!

The Heffleys and the Spreers hanging out by the yummy food. The cheesecake bites were AMAZING.

Here's what I call the "Spreer corner". The Heffleys' corner was downstairs. They intermingled when they got bored with me opening stuff. :)

The girls watching me open presents. It's like you're 5 again and all of your friends come to your birthday party and sit there and stare at you open presents. Kinda fun. Kinda awkward. Just like me.

All of our fun stuff. It's really hard not to open it up and try it out now. :( I promise to wait till you come home.

Aaron, meet Imola (Mat's fiancee). She's absolutely adorable and very sweet.

Ok so I really hope you look at all of these because it took me 45 minutes to post them. I hope your test went well today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I heart Milo

I found Milo! It might have been one of the happiest days I've ever had.

Milo is this delicious drink that Aaron introduced me to in Singapore. It's made by Nestle and it originated in Australia. It's insanely popular in Malaysia (Wikipedia says they consume 90% of Milo's products), Singapore and surrounding areas. They sell iced Milo in almost every fast food restaurant including McDonalds. The Asians love it. I'm sold too.

Milo is described as a chocolate malt energy food drink. It is much more delicious than the description. It's like a creamy melted milkshake. I'm mildly obsessed.

I found it at the Chinese food market that I buy my phone cards at. They sell Milo in powder form or liquid. Since I'm kinda "special" at times and lazy (see Sis, I admit it), so I buy the liquid. Really though, I'd be somewhat devastated if I messed up the Milo while trying to mix a powder concoction. It's way too high on a pedestal for me to break it down by messing it up.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So this is what it feels like to be a grown up

Through my teenage years and my college experience, I valued sleep probably more than I should have. I could sleep for hours and hours and not wake up until something or someone was loud and obnoxious enough to do so. Trust me, this was no easy feat. My family used to joke about how impossible it is to "wake the beast".

However, a graduation, three internships and a fiance in Singapore later...I now wake up everyday before 9 am, like it or not. I mean, I physically cannot sleep in anymore. Even when I was on Singapore time and Aaron would have left for work, I got right out of bed usually right after he left. I've become this mutation of the girl I used to be.

Perhaps the most disappointing part is my new bedtime. I used to think that my day or night didn't begin until 11 pm. Now, I pray that I make it to bed way before that. I actually get excited to go to bed at a decent hour. It's so nice to wake up for work feeling refreshed from 8 hours of sleep as opposed to 3 or 4 hours on someone's couch.

I do try to "treat" myself on weekends. Occasionally, I'll stay up late talking to Aaron and I fight my urge to sleep because it's so nice not being limited to our usual half hour conversations. Yet, you better believe I take a nap to make up for our 3 am phone calls. The time difference sucks big time.

But the most amazing part of this whole thing is: You can get a hell of a lot of stuff done before noon! I'm amazed at how productive I've become when I wake up when grown-ups do. Places seem to stay open for hours when you live on real world time.

So all in all, my youth may be slowly slipping away, but at least I'm getting my to-do list checked off.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I like "different"

How many times have you heard someone say "Oh, that', different"? I'm sure many of us have even used this phrase ourselves at some point. I've heard this used towards me several times in the last year. Today, I wondered when did "different" become a bad thing? And why is it used to undercut someone without obviously insulting them?

Let's get down to it. I love being different. Here's why.

I have flaming red hair. Less than 4% of the world's population is red headed. I'd say that's being pretty different. I've yet to meet someone with my EXACT shade of hair. I think it's pretty awesome that I'm that unique. How many people have the same shade of poop brown hair? Exactly.

Then comes the fact that I refuse to do things as everyone else and their brother do. I remember my eighth grade graduation dance like it was yesterday. My mom and I found this dress at the Mall of America on a sale rack and it was gorgeous. It was teal, knee-length and had cutouts up the back that I could only get away with in my slim 13-year-old frame. Not to be vain, but I looked awesome. I curled my hair and was so excited to get dolled up. When I got to the dance, no one, I mean NO ONE was wearing anything more exciting than Sunday church clothes. I totally stuck out like a hippie at a hip hop concert. I didn't care. I rocked that dress and never had one regret. Yet, I looked different.

AND don't we like to switch things up in a while? Who wants to eat vanilla ice cream for the rest of their life? Screw that. Bring on the Ben and Jerry's Half Baked or Birthday Cake Remix from Coldstone.

We all make different decisions. We all like different things. THANK GOD! I actually pity the people that follow the crowd like sheep because they're afraid of what everyone will think if they have an opinion. Have a brain people.

So next time you say or even hear someone say the phrase "oh, that's different", remember how boring life would be if everyone was the same as everyone else.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Showered and excited

My bridal shower was today. It was perfect! My sister did such an amazing job with everything. We had cute little rollup sandwiches, cheesecake bites, mini eclairs, cupcakes, veggies, strawberries and this delicious punch concoction that she whipped up. She's pretty much a rock star.

There were a lot of people there and for the first time ever at a Heffley function, I think we were outnumbered! The Spreers came in full force. I had met them all before, but it was kind of a long time ago and I had to reintroduce myself to remember all of their names. I'm very excited to be joining such a sweet family. Everyone was very welcoming and eager to talk about the wedding. I really can't wait for May 2.

We got all kinds of really cool stuff. Even the stuff that wasn't on the registry totally rocked! My friends and family have impecable taste.

44 days till Aaron comes home. 54 days till I become Mrs. Aaron. Can I just pack everyone up with my stuff and take them to Singapore with me?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

By the numbers

So it's finally hit me. I get married in 8 weeks. I move to Singapore in 9 weeks-ish. Holy crap. Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy excited about this. I just didn't realize how fast the time would go. It seems like one minute it was Christmas. Then I blinked and it was March. Woah.

I've also been making lists of things I want to make sure to do before I'm gone for a while. Here it is thus far:

  • Eat Taco Bell once a week. (Only small quantities. I still have to fit into my dress.)
  • Soak up everything about my niece and nephews. (I'll start begging to babysit. I've already got 3 playdates lined up.)
  • Walk on KU's campus one last time.
  • Have a 2 am breakfast at Perkins with my best friends like the old days.
  • See my siblings more. I'd love to just stop in to say "hi" for a few minutes everyday.
  • Take my grandma somewhere fun. (Nothing too strenuous. Maybe a little shop somewhere.)
  • Watch as much TV as I can without being lazy. I will greatly miss this big box once I go overseas. (You do remember the post about Singaporean TV right?)

That's the list so far. It'll get much much longer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Real jetlag is not as fun as the Jetlag bar in Lawrence

I'm jetlagged and it sucks. I got home okay though. Flying back was a lot easier than flying there. I flew 7 and a half hours from Singapore to Tokyo. Then, flew 7 and a half hours to Seattle, which is waaaaay easier than the 13+ hours I endured while flying from DC to Tokyo. I will keep this in mind when Aaron and I book trips back home later.

So from Seattle I flew to Denver and then from Denver to KC. I was dead tired. I still am. I slept for 11 hours last night and took a nap today and I'm still drained. Argh! I don't sleep well either. I think my body still thinks it's on Singapore time. I wake up about every couple hours. Fun. Not.

It's really nice to be back home with my family and American food though. However, I insanely miss Aaron...and the warm weather. On the good side, Aaron had me download Skype last night and now I can talk to him via webcam on the internet. It's so much nicer and it's FREE. I'm going to get everyone set up with this before I ship off again. I love being able to see people when I talk to them.

Well, I'm going to rest up because it's Melskey's birthday this weekend and my bridal shower. So, I need to catch my Zzzz's and get some HNTB stuff done. (Miss you all!)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dinner at Simon's

Last night, Aaron and I went to dinner at one of Aaron's coworker's. Simon is about 60 years old and is of Indian descent. He wanted to have us over to introduce us to authentic Indian cuisine and I think to show us what a good cook his wife is. (He tells Aaron that that's the reason he married her.) I was excited going into this, but Aaron was a little scared about what my reaction would be. I'm a little pickier of an eater than he is.

On the way to Simon's we stopped and got a bottle of wine to take with us. We didn't really know the Hindu or Indian custom on giving hosts gifts, but we thought that we could at least show the American custom. Then we took a Taxi to where Simon lives.

Simon lives in an HBD flat. This is like an American apartment. The buildings are 16 to 20 stories high and have about three to five flats per story. I've read that about 85% of Singaporeans live in HBD flats and of those people, 90% of them own their own flat. Simon's flat had 3 bedrooms, a closet (which is used as a Hindu prayer room), a huge living room/dining room, kitchen and bathroom. All of the walls are painted in bright blues, greens and reds. It looked like colors that I would have chosen to paint my room in highschool, but with the decor, it fit somehow.

Simon and his family had lived in their flat for 26 years and bought it for 60,000 Sing. (This is about 43,000 dollars US). Because of the growth of Singapore and the excellent condition the country is now in, Simon's home is worth about 260,000 Sing. (186,000 dollars US) However, he told us that he would never sell it. His home is one of the bigger HBD flats in Singapore and all housing prices are pretty comparable. They can't move to a big house with a yard in the suburbs like we do in the US. The suburbs here are filled with malls and more HBD flats.

Dinner was served very differently that what we do at home. Simon served us while his wife tended to the food in the kitchen. Once Simon, Aaron and I were all seated, the wife and daughter sat off to the side watching television and not eating. It is not customary for Hindu women to join in conversations with men or of guests. Men usually host the guests. (We read this online and it's how the night went too.)

We ate curry chicken, chicken flavored rice, curry/pepper chicken wings, and this most delicious ball of something. I think it was chicken, rice and spices, but it tasted really good so I don't care what else. Only Aaron and I used utensils. Simon used his fingers, which Aaron says is always how he eats so it must be a cultural thing. The food was really good. Aaron said that they took it easy on us because he's seen Simon eat some really odd things.

We finished out the night watching the Indian version of American Idol. The people compete as married couples and have to sing, dance and answer questions. It reminded me sort of the Miss America pageant. I couldn't understand a word that was said, but it was entertaining anyway.

As we left, the mother and daughter presented me with a gift. I was very taken aback and appreciative. They had given be an Indian style shirt that has silver sequins sewn around the neck. It's very pretty. That is a customary thing too. They present their guests with a gift and usually the woman gets the nicer of the gifts if there are two.

So the night was very interesting and educational. Simon and his family are extremely nice and welcoming.