Sunday, August 21, 2011

We have a mystery

My nephew Max loves to say, "We have a mystery" and walk around trying to solve mysteries; mysteries that he has created. On this Sunday morning, Pat and I woke up to a mystery of our own. We were out of town for most of the day yesterday and never checked our mail when we got back last night. When I checked it this morning, I was surprised to see an 8x8 thin box in our mailbox. It was obvious from the label that it was an ebay purchase. Knowing that I hadn't ordered anything on ebay and that Pat doesn't know how, I would have assumed it was a mistake except for the fact that it was clearly addressed to "Pat and Emily Robinson."

The mailing label on the box indicated that the item was purchased from an ebay store called Valley Village Collectibles in North Hollywood, California. When we opened the box we found a seven inch vinyl record, Eye for an Eye, recorded by Pat Robinson in 1984.

Unfortunately, we have no way of playing or listening to this album. I looked up the song on iTunes but couldn't find anything. When I googled it, I was able to find the lyrics to the song and a photo and biography of Pat Robinson. It's all quite interesting, but I still have no idea who purchased this vinyl for us and what exactly we should do with it.

So, as my nephew Max would say, "We have a mystery!" If only he could actually help us solve it. Unfortunately, his skills are more equipped to finding people hiding in closets or toys that he himself has hidden. I really want to figure out where it came from. If you know anything about the purchasing of this vinyl record, please let me know. And if you have any suggestions about what we should do with it, I welcome that information, too. Enjoy your Sunday and I will leave you with a few of Pat Robinson's Eye for an Eye lyrics:

She wants an eye for an eye
A kiss for a kiss
She's getting even 'cause he's been stealin'
An eye for an eye
A kiss for a kiss … she's gettin' even
A kiss for a kiss … she's gettin' even

Monday, August 15, 2011

What I'm reading: My Sister's Keeper

As you know, due to my addiction with the game Words with Friends, I haven't been reading as much as I would like to these days. But I'm happy to report that I did just finally finish the one and only book I've read this summer (how pathetic am I?).

I know I'm about six years late and a dollar short, but I finally read the book My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult and it was really good. I haven't read a Jodi Picoult book yet that I haven't loved. If by some slim chance you, too, have been living under a rock and haven't read the book yet, I highly recommend you do so!

As usual, I have not allowed myself to watch the movie, starring Cameron Diaz, which came out in 2009, until I read the book first. I always like reading the book first, a lesson learned by my mom very early in life. So now, I've read the book and I really want to watch the movie but after several failed attempts, I'm beginning to realize, things just aren't what they used to be when it comes to the world of movie watching.

In 2001, if I wanted to watch a movie, I would have walked a block from my dad's house in Shelby to the local video store, appropriately named Rack-of-Videos, found the movie on the wall, grabbed the little circle tag with it's name on it, taken it to the counter and they would have handed me the movie.

In 2011, there is not one video store in my current city of North Olmsted, so there goes the idea of walking up the block to rent the movie. As a result of their recent price increase and new subscription plans, we no longer have the option for DVD rentals by mail from Netflix (poop on you, Netflix). We stuck with the internet streaming plan because we use it much more than the video rentals. But just my luck, My Sister's Keeper isn't available to watch instantly through Netflix.

Next, I decided to try the on-demand movies from our digital cable. No luck. Turns out they only have really old movies or really new movies and nothing in between. After strike three, I decided to try the RedBox movie rentals that you see outside of gas stations and grocery stores. Strike four. They didn't have the movie available either.

What does a girl have to do to watch a movie these days?!?! So my options are, drive to one of my neighboring cities to the few Blockbuster movie rental stores that still exist, or just buy the freaking movie on amazon.com. I have to say, as hypocritical as it is since it's digital-movie watchers like me that have led to it's demise, I really miss the old days of walking around a video store and picking out movies to watch with your parents, friends, boyfriends or now, husband.

The truth is, though, I haven't stepped foot into a video rental store in three years (and then only because we were missing a Dexter DVD halfway through season 2 and like an addict needs drugs, we needed the disk IMMEDIATELY. If you've seen Dexter, you know what I'm talking about). Now I'm kind of wishing I had done my part to keep video rental stores in business.

After reading rave reviews about the book and movie over at Running In Stilettos, I just started reading the book The Help.  If I didn't have motivation to read it quickly before, the pressure to finish it as soon as possible is definitely on. Now that I know how challenging it might be to watch the movie after it's no longer playing in theaters, I must finish the book and go to the theaters, before it's too late. So why am I blogging when I should be reading?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How do you spell breakup?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I'm really unhappy in my relationship with Words with Friends. Here are the reasons why I need to breakup with the game.

1. I don't even like scrabble. 
Six months ago if you were to ask me what my least favorite game was, I would have told you it was Scrabble.

2. I'm not good at it. 
At any given time I could be playing up to 10 games at once and very likely I could be losing every single one of them.

3. I have become obsessed and addicted to it.
I am spending WAY too much time playing this game. It is taking away from my Facebook creeping, Twitter stalking and most importantly, my summer reading which was pretty much non-existent this summer because of my addiction to this game.

4. It caused a huge argument between me and the husband
Okay, huge might be an exaggeration, but we did go to bed somewhat annoyed with each other over this stupid game. We do the play and pass version since he doesn't have an iPhone. He was getting sick of the fact that I always get to go first (it's my phone and I have to be the one to initiate games with him so it makes sense that the phone puts me first). Anyway, he decided to be fair to himself, he was going to pass on my first turn so that he could go first. I argued with him that this wasn't fair because I would then be trailing the entire game. He totally disagreed and still does. Please. Someone who plays this game, make him see that this isn't fair! I'm obviously not over it.

It's moments like this one that keep
me coming back for more.
5. My vocabulary isn't up to par
My friends used to think I was so smart because my vocabulary was pretty advanced at a young age. Unfortunately for me, it must have stopped progressing and I would even argue, it regressed during grad school when my brain became overpopulated with other information about ethnolinguistic vitality and correlation not equaling causality. Anyway, my point is, I'm not smart enough to play big, high-point earning words.

So why do I play this game, you might ask? Well, because I'm addicted to it and because I'm a social butterfly. Basically I'm just in it for the chat. And that small part of me that wants to win, but never does.

So yes, I should breakup with Words with Friends and get my life back. But as with many people in unhealthy relationships, I won't end it and I'll just keep complaining about all of the reasons why I should. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My secret life

It's been a good run but I finally decided to come clean to the government about my secret life. You see, for the past two years and two months, I have been living under the dual identity of both Emily S and Emily R. I have to admit, it was invigorating.

But, all good things must come to an end. And after my computer at work got a virus this afternoon, I was convinced the government had figured me out. So I went straight to the social security office to come clean. When she asked me "what is the reason for your name change," I told her I had gotten married. When she smiled and said congratulations, I have to admit, I was embarrassed to tell her it had actually been over two years ago. She didn't seem phased. I'm sure she's seen it all.

There are several reasons why it took so long for me to finally make my name change official with the government (I changed my credit cards, license and other items immediately). First, hour limitations at the office. Before I started at my new job, I didn't have the ability to just go to the social security office between the hours of 8 and 4. So that covers my first year of marriage. As for the second year, I guess I was dragging my feet.

Hear me out ladies. Wasn't it at all difficult for you to let go of a name you have had your entire life? It's like giving up a piece of your identity. For me, it goes even a little bit deeper than that. I no longer had my brother in my family to carry on the Steele name and that really bothered me. It still does. Sunday marked 18 years since his death. It's really hard to believe.

Anyway, this disagreement caused a lot of turmoil in the Robinson household. I wanted to keep Steele on my social security card, as my middle name, and it really bothered Pat. I read an entire ethnography in grad school about marriage and names and how husbands and wives decide what they're going to do with their names.

Some women are so eager to take their husband's name that they only refer to themselves as Mrs. Patrick Robinson (gag). Others decided they weren't going to part with their maiden names and either kept it or hyphenated it. And in some cases, the man and woman combined their names to make up an entirely different last name. It was a very interesting book. Wish I could remember what it was called so I could pass it along.

I fall somewhere in between. I am super excited to have the same last name as Pat and I want to have the same last name as our kids (no, we're not expecting, I'm talking about the future). That being said, I just didn't want to see my maiden name disappear. After a lot of (heated) discussions, Pat and I finally came to an agreement about the name change. Granted, I could have just gone to the social security office and made my name whatever I wanted, and asked for forgiveness later, but that isn't how Pat and I operate. I wanted to keep Steele, but I wanted him to be okay with it. I explained my perspective again and he either got tired of arguing or finally saw things from my perspective.

So my new name is officially Emily L. S. Robinson. If you are going to address me, I wish you to only address me with my four name title, please. Of course I'm kidding. According to the government, I can still list my name as Emily L. Robinson and never have to list the Steele if I don't want to. But I can use it if I want to as my second middle name. I probably never will but that wasn't the point for me. I just wanted to know that I kept it, somewhere. Even if no one ever sees it. Maybe that's weird, but we already knew that.

I would love to hear your thoughts about changing your name and whether or not it was hard for you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Cooking machine

It's 10:52 PM and I'm just sitting down for the first time since I got off work at 4:30. I went straight to the grocery store, then to another grocery store, came home, unloaded the groceries and immediately started cooking. We are having a cookout tomorrow night with Pat's friends from out of town.

Tonight I made pasta salad, cole slaw, baked spaghetti and a chocolate chip brownie cheesecake. While I was cooking the night away, Pat was busy cleaning our house. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm not a great housekeeper. When I do clean, I do a pretty thorough job but I just don't clean nearly as often as I should. I'm soooo lucky to have a husband who helps me!

I've never made a cheesecake from scratch before, let alone a cheesecake with a brownie bottom. I will let you know how it turns out and if it's a recipe worth sharing, I will share it!

Speaking of recipes, I owe you the wonderful strawberry vinaigrette dressing recipe. Coming soon.

Hope you had a productive evening, too. Tomorrow is hump day. Woo hoo!!!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Taking on the world today

I'm not really taking on the world, per say, but I am taking on a huge website overhaul that is consuming my life at work (and home). It is t-minus 16 days until the launch of the new website at the school where I work and there is so much left to do. Already having one website overhaul under my belt at my previous job, I thought I was prepared for this challenge but at times, today being one of them, I feel way over my head and like I really am taking on the world.

Speaking of taking on the world, that is the title of the new OAR single off of their new album, King, which comes out TOMORROW! I'm so excited. I just pre-ordered it in hopes that when I wake up tomorrow morning, it will already be downloaded on my computer so that I can add it to my iPod and listen to it all day at work. If it all pans out, my Tuesday should be much less overwhelming and frustrating than my Monday.

You know what wasn't frustrating, though? My awesome weekend! Friday afternoon started with a quick (and free) manicure that I won at a work event back in May. My nails are nicely painted with a sparkly pink polish. It's a little Barbie-esq but I'm 100% okay with it.

Friday night we met some of Pat's friends at Wilburts on E. 9th for a few brewskies before the Indians game. One of Pat's friends, Eric, had just proposed to his girlfriend an hour before they met up with us. It was so fun to be a part of their engagement celebration! It wasn't fun when the Indians lost the game 12-0 but the fireworks show after was a-mazing and completely made up for their horrific display of baseball. It was also dollar dog night, which was a huge bonus in Pat's book. I didn't think the hot dogs were very good, but that didn't stop me from eating two of them. After the game we went to Flannery's on E. 4th to continue to the celebration with the newly engaged couple.

On Saturday Pat and I took Grady to the dog beach at the lake. I wore my new "water sneakers" and it was a much more pleasant experience then the last time I went there in flip flops. I had never walked on so many big, sharp, rocks before and felt like my feet were broken. Even though I wasn't comfortable with the stigma of being a water shoe owner, it was a necessity and I will never look back.

Saturday afternoon I headed to Huron to join my Grandma, Aunt Marlene, cousin Tyson, dad and nephew at a cottage on the beach for the rest of the weekend. It was so nice to spend time with family and it was really relaxing hanging out at the beach. And by relaxing I mean while I was floating on a raft I was being jumped on, splashed, flipped over, climbed on top of, etc. by two four year olds (my nephew and my cousin) but I had so much fun spending time with them!

When I got home last night, in the dark, I was SO excited to see our lamp post in the front yard working for the first time in two years. Pat and my father-in-law were working on some of our home projects while I was gone this weekend. They rodent-proofed our back deck and fixed my light. On Sunday, Pat re-stained our entire deck. Sounds like I need to go away more often, huh?

I didn't want to see it go, but all good things must come to an end. Another wonderful summer weekend in the books. Hope you had a great weekend, too!