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removing contact paper

Helpful household tip: If you are trying to remove old contact paper from shelves, drawers or cabinets, hold a hair dryer on high heat for 10-20 seconds over a spot and slowly peel the paper away. Works like a charm!

Finally hung up a photo in our room. Looks like we have a window into West Texas. Don’t worry, we got earthquake proof wall mounts!

Baby Jessica

It was a great day back at work today.  Usually first days back are tough but today went really well — thanks to a nice recovery day yesterday.  

A super productive day at work (complete with the kickoff, er, second kickoff, of Cheryl and I’s juggling training) followed by a even more productive tennis practice with the husband.  He drilled me on my backhand — I can feel the improvement, even though I can already feel my back getting tighter by the minute.  Tomorrow might be a bit painful.  I was hitting my forehands more consistently and with more power, I just need to get in shape.  I usually get tired after a half hour of playing and then I stop bending my knees and getting in the right position.

Then we assembled our first lasagna from scratch!  I read online that the trick is to get fancy ricotta cheese instead of the regular kind from Safeway or Lucky so we picked up some fancy stuff at the Village Market yesterday.  Super cute little grocery store with specialty items and overpriced normal food.  That’s also where we got our free-range, organic chicken that we roasted — come to think of it, maybe that’s why the chicken was so good.  Will have to try the recipe with a regular Butterball or Tyson chicken to see.

The most frequently asked question today was, “How was Texas?”  It’s hard to sum up my visits to Texas.  It’s been a little over two years since we moved to California and it definitely felt like we were coming home to California this time.  That’s bittersweet to me.  I’m glad we’ve made a home in Oakland and have started to put down roots (something we really haven’t done since getting married) and for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying familiarity and routine.  Does this mean I’m growing up?  With that said, when I’m in Texas there are these moments where I feel an overwhelming amount of affection for where I grew up.  It’s hard to separate nostalgia for a time and nostalgia for a place.  The moments are really mundane, diners at a restaurant clapping and singing happy birthday to a nearby table of strangers instead of ignoring the celebration altogether, the charming, southern twang of an older woman’s speech, the feeling of speeding across extra wide freeway lanes, I don’t know, so many little things.  

On a sort of related note, Michael Ian Black is a comedian that I follow on Twitter and I normally skip over his crazy tweets but every now and then he’ll tweet something hilarious.  Today he was tweeting while he watched an episode of House Hunters International (HGTV) and he tweeted this:

There’s a well in the house. England, get ready for your own Baby Jessica! 

I almost died.  Do you guys know who Baby Jessica is?  My family was really into this crazy story.  Basically a toddler named Jessica fell down this well in Midland, TX in the late 80’s and they covered it like a Lifetime movie on the news.  Then they made a movie out of it, which I remember watching together as a family.  We were obsessed with this story.  I specifically remember the part where they measure all of the town’s men’s arms to see who had the longest arm so that they could send him down this hole they drilled adjacent to the well and then the man could then reach Baby Jessica and pull her out.  It’s random stuff like this that brings me back to Texas.  It’s really strange what kinds of things will trigger your nostalgia.  

If you’ve never heard of Baby Jessica, educate yourself! Here’s the wikipedia article.

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