Not a Sleuth

The Clipper has been caught. Or not "caught" so much as "turned himself in."

Really, it got to the point where I was starting to doubt my own sanity. I wondered if I had done it mindlessly. But this morning, as Squirrel Boy and I mused again over who might be the Clipper, I put binder clips on some more utensils and decided that no, it was too deliberate to be mindless. Someone else had to have done it. But who?

There are few people (okay, so one person) who I could really see coming into my office and opening my drawer. That is Squirrel Boy. We've been friends for years. He can get away with opening my drawer. I just couldn't see any of my other coworkers targeting me, coming into my office, opening my drawer, and psychologically terrorizing me by clipping my key chain and plastic knives.

This morning, I saw The Boy come on google talk for the first time ever. And this is how the conversation went:

11:06 AM The Boy: So it took you that long?
me: what took me that long?
11:07 AM The Boy: Overestimation is as equally dangerous as underestimation.
I take it you don't often use your knives.
me: I don't get what you're saying.
Are you sure you're saying this to me?
Or do you think you're talking to Chris?
The Boy: Quite. I'm just being cryptic.
11:08 AM me: Yes, you are.
Too cryptic.
The Boy: Paper Clips.
me: YOU!
The Boy: Or binder clips, should I say.
The Boy: I did that when we went to Lagoon.
11:09 AM me: I was starting to think that I'd gone crazy and it was actually ME!!!!
The Boy: I put a clip in your keychain, and put them on several knives. And only the knives.
me: I KNOW!
The Boy: That was what? Three weeks ago? Two?
me: So I thought they were two separate events.
11:10 AM The Boy: I cried when I read that blog post.
So very proud of myself.

So two weeks ago, The Boy, Murray, and I went to Lagoon for a corporate event. While we waited for Murray to come so we could carpool, The Boy hung out with me in my office. Obviously I left him alone long enough to do this horrible thing to me.

So I'm not a sleuth. First of all, when I found the binder clip on my key chain (likely the next day) I was sure that it could have only happened that day. I was sure that I would have noticed it if it had been there before. That was my first mistake. Secondly, two weeks later when I found the binder clips on my knives, I was convinced that they hadn't been there that morning. Such a wrong assumption.

From this I conclude:

1) No one at work is as fun or funny as The Boy.
2) I should never be trusted as an eye-witness of a crime because obviously I get all my details wrong. This is ironic since I've been subpoenaed as a witness twice in my life (but never had to testify).
3) Simple psychological terror like this is almost enough to make me believe I've gone crazy. I'm an easy target.


Pretty Flowers

So my BFF Martha Stewart told me last year that I could put potted mums in a white pumpkin. Of course, she didn't necessarily say to do it for my wedding; it was more of an "October" thing. But I was thinking they would make nice centerpieces for the wedding. Now, does anyone know where I might find 10+ white pumpkins?

I am being terrorized. I am a victim.

Last week, as I was locking up my office for the day, I noticed a binder clip on my key chain. It didn't just accidentally get tangled up with it. It was intentionally fed through the ring onto my key chain. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

Squirrel Boy doesn't have an office. I remind him of this every now and then. His cubicle is right outside my office, so I asked him if he saw anyone come into my office. I showed him my key chain and explained that since the binder clip was in between my home key and my office key, I would have noticed if it had been on the key chain earlier. It meant that someone had entered my office, strung the clip onto my key chain, and left. Squirrel Boy said he didn't do it.

Today, after serving the community and donating blood, I came back to my office and decided to indulge in a delicious piece of chocolate cake to reward my blood-donating efforts.

I opened my drawer to find my box of utensils and noticed the following. See Exhibit B. These knives were inside my box of utensils. I know that the clips were not there earlier today because I'd already used a spoon from the box and given a coworker a fork.

Exhibit B

Again, I confronted Squirrel Boy because he should certainly be keeping an eye on my office. I know it's not him because he says that he really wishes it were him because it's so funny. Someone is coming in and terrorizing me. It's so subtle. So deliberate. So terrifying.

I will get to the bottom of this.

This picture is now hanging on my door.


I've been waiting to post a picture of the ring. I tried to take a picture with my iSight, but it was too blurry for you to really be able to tell what the ring actually looks like. So last night, Murray and I were using his work's studio to do some test shots for our engagement photos and I had him snap a picture of me and the ring so that I could share it with all of you.

So this is my unique and perfect ring, compliments of Murray.

Premarital Weightloss

So I am trying a new workout program, thanks to El Senor. I may have mentioned before that when I was growing up, El Senor would put Weight Watchers and Shape magazines on my bed and tell me to use them. (He hates it when I say that because then you all think that he's a jerk---he's not a jerk. He just used to be. And I used to be a jerk to him.)

But when I moved in with him last year, I was surprised to see that he had slipped into his old ways and subscribed to Fitness Magazine. I saw the magazine in the mail and brought it to him, asking why he had subscribed to a women's magazine. He claimed he hadn't. I pointed out to him the women's magazine that clearly had his name on it. And then he remembered that after a cycling event he'd attended that summer, for his participation, he was allowed to subscribe to a few magazines for free. So he chose Men's Health or something, and something else, and then saw the name "Fitness" and decided to subscribe to that magazine, too.

Of course, reality is that in the last 20 years, he's become a better liar. I know he subscribed to that magazine because he figured I needed to do something about it.

And it's only taken me a year to finally implement a regime from the book. My coworker and I are hitting the gym three times a week together to follow this kick-butt workout, and I really do hope that it kicks my butt. So far, my butt, thighs, abs, and back have been sore. I could probably pick up a higher weight to get my arms and shoulders.

And this is why I need to kick it into high gear:

No hablo espanol.

So today I ran to the cafeteria to grab lunch. I go for some standard menu items when I'm there---either a soup, a turkey-cranberry wrap, or a chicken quesadilla.

Today I was in a chicken quesadilla mood. I got in line at the grill and heard the guy in front of me order a quesadiLLa. You know. He pronounced the Ls. I thought that was kindof dumb. First of all, it's not pronounced that way. Second of all, the people he was giving to order to were Hispanic. Didn't he think that maybe they'd like him to at least attempt to say it right?

As I was thinking all these thoughts, my turn came up.

And I ordered a chicken quesadiLLa.

Ohhhh, the shame.

Canadian Beach Experience

I received this picture today from my aunt and uncle. The picture features family friends from the Toronto area with my grandpa, who recently moved into their inlaw suite. It portrays the true Canadian beach experience. Please note:

1) Everyone is fully clothed, including the one person in the background.

2) There is only ONE other guy in the background. Why is the beach not crowded?

3) My grandpa is wearing a hat, a jacket, pants, socks, and a blanket.

Maybe next year, instead of going to San Diego or Ocean City, I should take a trip up to Canada and go to Sauble Beach.

Not to give away the ending, but I said yes.

I'm engaged.

Sorry it's taken me so long to post it. I just didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings who felt that they deserved personal contact before I just spilled it to the web. So, sorry if you're only finding out now. The truth of the matter is that Murray and I have been so open about the fact that we're getting married (on November 3rd) that it seemed kindof silly to "announce" it to friends and family after pretty much everyone already knew.

But enough about that. Let's get back to the fact that I'm engaged.

You'll probably all want to know how it happened. Well, Murray and I headed out to Maryland along with all my other siblings. We drove straight from the airport to Ocean City, New Jersey, and Murray was subjected to intense, non-stop family exposure for the next five days. He needed to get to know my parents really well so that 1) they could know he was a good guy, and 2) my dad would give him his blessing when Murray asked for it.

After two days in Ocean City, we headed back to Columbia, Maryland where I was able to show Murray around my parents' home. He even got to participate in a real crab feast.

When things were quiet after church on Sunday, Murray and my dad conspicuously disappeared for a walk around the neighborhood.

And when they got back, Murray found himself, once more, surrounded by friends and family. A cousin and his wife came by for a game of Cranium. Drs. Rogers Rice and Gibbianton came for dinner and a game of Cranium. And then someone suggested we go to Baltimore Inner Harbor for a walk and Rogers Rice joined the whole clan for that excursion, too (she was around when Murray and I started dating, so it only seemed appropriate for her to be around when we took it to the next level).

At the Inner Harbor, Murray leaned over and said, "I'd kindof like to break away from the group if you think we could do that without being rude." Of course, since everyone would know what we were doing anyway, no one would think it rude. So when the family stopped to watch a really lame street performer, I told my mom that we were just going to run ahead.

We walked around, both knowing that we were walking toward the Next Phase of our lives, and only needed to figure out exactly where we were going to make that transition. We even talked about it. Murray made a couple of remarks like, "It feels kindof surreal, knowing that we're walking to a major moment in our lives that we're going to remember forever... and figuring out where to do it" and "See? We have an equal partnership! We're both working to decide where it should be done!"

Everything was beautiful. It was getting dark and the whole harbor was lit up with lights. It was also a very busy place. We walked toward the aquarium where things began to get a little quieter, a little more peaceful. We found some quiet benches overlooking the harbor and I sat down on a bench (under the neon waves in that last picture) and Murray got down on one knee.

After telling me a few things that were heartfelt (and perfect) he asked if I would marry him. And he pulled out the ring he had in his pocket. And I said yes.


What I love about Southwest: Being able to choose your own seat. (And direct flights from Salt Lake to Baltimore.)

What I don't love about Southwest: Having to get up early 24 hours before your flight to make sure you print off A-group boarding passes.

This morning, I made it to my office by 7:10, 24 hours before our flight to Baltimore. I was talking with my mom on the phone as I booted up my computer and pulled up ticket confirmations for Murray, The Boy, El Senor, and me. Of course, it was still slightly before 7:10, so I had to wait till exactly 7:10 to press the check-in button on each individual screen. As soon as it was 7:10, I pressed those buttons!

Then my mom asked me which boarding passes I got---apparently they number them in the order they are claimed. I looked at my printouts and saw my numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4!

What I love about Southwest: Knowing exactly how bad you beat out everyone else for the good tickets.

(Of course, if we didn't get A passes, there was always Plan B. Seriously. Read this. You won't be disappointed.)

Message in a Bottle. Or a Blog Post.

I rely on Murray to get me through my day. An email here, a thought there. But yesterday and today he has had no access to email. So when he got home yestereday, he found 12 messages in his inbox. They were just random things. A request to send me his Southwest ticket confirmation so I can check us in online tomorrow morning. A link to an artist who I think he'd like. The fact that I didn't see any car accident deaths on so I figured the fact that he was not responding to my emails was not, in fact, due to death. (There are many ways to die, I guess, but car accident seemed the most likely.)

Today, since I know he can't get emails, but can somehow read my blog, I dedicate this post to him.

First: A picture of my Virgin Mary bracelet that I bought in Puerto Nuevo. Honestly, I really liked the colors. But then the fact that it was the Virgin Mary made me laugh. So I bought it.

Now, on to notes to Murray:

1. I love you.

2. I have been very indecisive about what to make for your parents for dessert tonight. After consulting three people and several websites, I've decided to make molten chocolate cakes with ice cream. I know this is silly because your parents won't care what I make for dessert but I think you've given me a reputation to live up to. I really hope those lava cakes turn out...

3. Yes, I am aware that it's likely your mother will read this post before dinner tonight, and in her head she'll think that of course I don't have to make anything special for dessert. She's sweet that way. Of course, she's made me Sunday dinner almost every week for the past two months, so it's really about time I give a little back.

4. I bought you a really nice pan because I'm really picky about my cookware and because there are several dishes that I make (including tonight's dinner) that require this pan.

5. I bought you a set of five melamine bowls. El Senor is currently on Google Talk trying to take ownership of them. I've always wanted melamine bowls but he already had a ceramic bowl set and a metal bowl set---both very expensive. Why he would want your melamine bowl set is beyond me. But he says he wants them because "they're nice."

6. I'm excited to see you and your folks tonight, but I have to do laundry, so today's outfit is entirely composed of items that I haven't worn in months. Yikes!