2007 November | Somewhere in Middle America

Yesterday on WeddingBee.com, I came across a couple’s itinerary for their honeymoon to Italy. Amazingly they took nearly the exact same trip J and I want to take! I got really excited and started some maniac research on hotels in Rome, Florence and Venice. Thanks to the itinerary I found, we might also add Naples/Capri, a place we didn’t think of before.

It’s funny – growing up I was never DYING to get married. I knew I wanted to eventually, but I wasn’t really losing sleep over it. However, I’ve been DYING to go to Italy for as long as I can remember! My parents have been, some friends have been, and I’ve been anxiously waiting for my turn. I can’t wait to suck in all the culture – the food, the architecture, the art, the Vespas. Just thinking about being there makes me feel more cosmopolitan.

I need to start learning Italian!

(image from etsy)

I’m home sick today with some sort of stomach ailment. I woke up in the middle of the night with insanely severe pangs of illness and had to wake J up because the hypochondriac in me thought I was going to die. It was the worst I’ve felt in as long as I can remember. J sat with me in the bathroom, rubbing my back while I had my head in the toilet. I’ll spare you the details of what happened next, but I’m sure you can guess.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel so well when I woke up. I thought it would pass after I had some toast and some tea, but it didn’t. So now I’m checking my work email from my living room couch and watching lousy daytime television. I want to curl up in bed and be fed chicken soup and Saltines, but we have neither in our pantry and J’s at work. Le sigh.

I’m back at my desk.  Back to the real world.  It was such a treat to be able to spend 5 days at home in NJ, although none of them were relaxing.  We zipped through our list of Things to Do for the wedding: bridesmaid dresses, flowers, rehearsal dinner location and invitations.  I also had the chance to look at some ketubahs, which I had only previously seen online.  There are so many!

I came to work directly from the airport this morning.  When I get home tonight I’ll post some pictures from my weekend.

The next month appears on paper to be quite a stressful one.  I feel like I’m already playing catch-up, and it’s not even December.

Certain songs remind me of certain people, of a particular time in my life. This morning on my drive to work, my iPod shuffled to a live version of “Who Will Save Your Soul?” by Jewel, and suddenly I was 15 again, listening to the folk-pop singer/professional yodeler with Ali while hanging out in her bedroom. Did we have her album, Pieces of You, on a CD or a cassette?


Dang, that was a long time ago.

Last night Jamie and I attended our first Zumba class at the JCC. Zumba? What?

From the official Zumba website:

ZUMBA is a fusion of Latin and International music – dance themes that create a dynamic, exciting, effective fitness system! The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. Zumba utilizes the principles of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body toning. It is a mixture of body sculpting movements with easy to follow dance steps.

I first heard about Zumba on a segment of the Today show back in October. It looked like fun. Ann Curry seemed to be enjoying herself.

Taking an aerobics class at the JCC is an interesting experience. There were girls as young as seven and women as old as 70 participating. But everyone gave it their all, even though we mostly looked like idiots trying to shimmy and shake our hips, and it was a pretty good cardio workout. By the end of the class, my thighs and my abs were a bit sore–proof that I actually worked them.

I’ve been pretty lazy when it comes to working out, but I’m going to try to go to Zumba weekly. Well, except for next Monday when I’ll be in NJ.

Reading is bad when you become so invested in what you are reading that you must stay awake until 2 AM until you finish it. At that point your adrenaline is at its peak because you can’t believe you just read what you read, a book filled with so much emotion and so much action it could not possibly have been written by a first-time author, and now there is no way that you are going to fall asleep anytime soon. So you stay awake until nearly 4 AM and wake up unbelievably tired for the second day in a row.

That’s what happened to me last night with The Kite Runner. I’m playing catch up with the literary community.

I’m not comfortable saying it was the best book I’ve ever read, or even that it’s now a favorite, but it was a damn good book. Better than anything I’ve read in a while. I’m very happy that I have an untouched signed copy it sitting on a bookshelf in NJ (the one I read was from the library). I love my signed copies.

Now I’m very excited to start his second one, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I have with me in Omaha.


On Saturday J and I took a trip down to Kansas City for the day. We passed a lot of nothing on our three hour drive. We knew we hit Missouri when hills started appearing on our left; Iowa is flat, flat, flat. But once we got down to KC, I had no idea if we were in Kansas or Missouri. We probably went back and forth between the two all afternoon.

After checking out a Nordstrom in a suburb of KC (I bought a red puffy winter jacket), we spent the remainder of our afternoon walking around The Country Club Plaza, an outdoor shopping center with stores we don’t have in Omaha, like Anthropologie, MAC and Betsey Johnson. Ironically, we did the most damage at Urban Outfitters, which recently opened in Omaha. This one, however, was much bigger and had great housewares on sale.

For dinner we went to M&S Grill, a more contemporary variation of McCormick & Schmick’s. The food was pretty good but the service was terrible. They forgot to bring out part of our dinner — shrimp — and when they did we couldn’t eat it because it wasn’t fully cooked! Of course we sent it back, and the manager came to our table to apologize, but they didn’t compensate us at all. In my experience, when the kitchen messes up big time on your order, you don’t have to pay for it. Not this time.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend the night in KC because I had to be at work at 9am the next day. We started the drive back close to 10pm. It was a lot of driving in one day–for J. I have a hard time driving long distances because I get highway hypnosis. Seriously. While J drove us back, I watched Borat on his laptop with the sound coming out of the car stereo. That definitely helped to make the time pass quickly! Can you believe I had never seen it before?! The bear sequence might have been my favorite part.

Here are a couple of photos from our adventure:

Clementines, originally uploaded by pjinomaha.

But thank goodness not anybody I know! Honestly, he looks about 74 in this picture. I feel somewhat embarrassed for him.

Friday night we went out for dinner and drinking in Dundee (where I took this picture) with Eric and LB. This was after a bizarre revival-like Shabbat service led by a guest cantor. She wanted us to wave our hands in the air and soak in the spirit around the room. I just couldn’t.

So at dinner, J played wingman for Eric and invited our waitress to join us at the bar across the street when she finished her shift. Sure enough, she did. Brave girl!! She and Eric even exchanged phone numbers at the end of the night, though I’m not so sure Eric is serious about pursuing her.

This post was brought to you by the number 21.