Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Today is a special day in Casa de Son, as it marks the 2-year anniversary of "when things got real." Actually, things were pretty real right from the start three weeks earlier, but Roland really pulled out all the stops on Valentine's Day ' a little plan he now refers to as "Operation Woo."

I arrived at R's apartment that Saturday evening with my contribution to his home cooked Valentine's meal - a few scraggly heart(blob)-shaped blueberry muffins. As I had not yet sampled Roland's cooking and didn't realize I was dating a gourmet-worthy cook, I wasn't immediately embarrassed by my sad baking skills. All I knew was that my sweet, 24-year-old almost boyfriend was cooking dinner for us. I maybe expected macaroni and cheese, or if he was especially talented perhaps a roasted chicken. What I did not expect was this:

Roland's "Woo to the Max" Meal
Roland had gone out to Central Market (like Whole Foods, but local & better) and purchased Patagonian Toothfish, baby potatoes, and fresh asparagus. He then poached said toothfish and crafted a special lemon-butter-caper sauce that to this day is the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. To top it off, he had the bottle of wine that was the key in turning me into the wino that I am today. [Confession: Patagonian Toothfish is not as scary and exotic as it sounds. It's actually just the less marketable moniker for this guy]

After the most wonderful dinner ever, I gave Roland a special musical card* I'd hunted down (he had been humming a particular song for the past week, and I'd finally found a card that played it), and he serenaded me with a song he'd been practicing on his guitar. He then told me that he was "madly in like" with me. Needless to say, "Operation Woo" was a smashing success. I was hopelessly smitten.

Valentine's Day 2009 - first picture of Kate and Roland
Happy Valentine's Day to my Love - I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be able to call you my husband!

*The musical card didn't fare so well. When I came back to his apartment later in the week, Roland had carefully taken it apart into dozens of tiny pieces so he could figure out exactly how it worked. Of course, all I saw was a torn up Valentine's Day card strewn across the table. It was only when he started to explain the wiring, amplifiers, etc. to me that I realized I was dating an electrical engineer, after all, and I probably shouldn't take it too personally.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow Holiday February 4, 2011

Preparing for the cold!

Not a whole lot of snow by most of the country's standards, Dallas' first-week-of-February storm still shut down schools and businesses for several days. The worst part was the ice - because we're not used to this kind of weather, the city doesn't have fleets of snow plows on standby, and salt isn't stocked to treat the roads. As a result, the streets were an absolute mess. Luckily, we were able to stay home on Tuesday and Friday (the worst weather days), and on Friday we decided to brave the elements and take to the streets. Well, to the sidewalks around the neighborhood, at least.

Taking a break from work to enjoy the snow


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Pony for Sale"

Although we both work hard at our respective jobs, Roland and I still find time to communicate via email at least a couple times a day. Early on, our emails had tentative and boring subject lines such as:
  1. "Message"
  2. "Good Afternoon"
  3. "Hi"
  4. "Wednesday Movie Night?"
After things got serious, our emails became less so:
  1. "Love you!"
  2. "Sweet like a Dinosaur"
  3. "Meow"
Then, one day, I sent Roland a now infamous email with the seemingly harmless and par-for-the-course nonsensical subject line of "Pony for Sale." The only problem was that Roland hadn't told me he was headed into a presentation where his computer would be hooked up to a projector for his coworkers to see. Of course, as soon as he got everything set-up and was about to close down his other programs, my email popped up with a loud "ding" and Outlook displayed "Pony for Sale" in the right hand corner, magnified to about 2 feet on the projector wall. Poor Roland got a lot of crazy looks during that meeting.

Flustered but ever good-humored, Roland sent me an email to explain what had happened as soon as he got back to his desk. The title of his email: "DO YOU LOVE SWEET BABY PONIES AS MUCH AS I DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11"

We decided that from that point on, we should disguise our silly emails with serious, business-oriented subject lines in case an email ever popped up again at an inopportune moment. (Which worked out well, because a week later I was showing my boss some reports when Roland checked-in). Now our emails appear slightly more professional, if sometimes only at first glance:

Kate to Roland (the Design Engineer):
  1. "Layout Meeting and Design Specs"
  2. "Exciting Update in the World of Semiconductors"
  3. "Calculator Quarterly Report"
  4. "The Link Between Semiconductors and Semi-trucks: Semi"
  5. "Important Engineering-Related Question"
Roland to Kate (Marketing/Promotions for a Bookstore)
  1. "Sales Figures"
  2. "Donate to my Personal Library"
  3. "To Engineer a Bookworm"
  4. "Books for Tots: Tax Deductible Donation Event"
  5. "Important Book-Related Question"
These worked out pretty well for us, but now that we've learned to simply filter spousal emails to a separate folder so they don't pop-up, we can be more relaxed. I recently received an email requesting a campaign to end the serious problem of "Manatee Illiteracy," and Roland may now have one waiting for him called "Semiconductors and Squids: How Squishy Sea Creatures are Redefining Electrical Engineering."
Won't You Help Us Learn to Read??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This here's a story 'bout a bed named Bed...

Our new, handmade in the USA (by Roland's dad), bed is here!

After spending countless hours designing, building & staining the bed from raw oak boards, R's dad brought over the pieces yesterday afternoon (over 100 pieces in all!), and he and Roland got to work on assembling it. After 1.5 hours, most of the frame and bolts were together:

Another half hour, and assembly was complete. We discovered that with the platform height of the bed, we no longer needed a box spring. This is how our bed looks all made-up:

Just for fun, we decided to try the bed with our old box spring to see how high it would really be. The answer: really high.

I kind of liked the extra altitude, but I admit it wasn't too practical. Maybe if I was 8-years-old I'd be more insistent on this "princess elevation." Plus, R kept hitting his head on the ceiling fan, so it was a no-go.

 All together, this solid oak bed weighs 220 pounds and is held together with about 90 bolts. It carries a 400-year warranty, and will surely be in our family for generations to come.
The End.