Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Leavin' on a jet plane ...


I'll be in Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon. In the hours before that, I will be running around like crazy, trying to accomplish all the crap I should have done in the last few weeks. Joy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bunnies & waffles!

We officially have a social life. For 4 weekends in a row, Tim and I saw people. We had them to our place or went to their place or went out someplace else. Amazing!

Saturday night, we visited Kevin & Shawna's place (They own bunnies!). Jennifer and Kyle and Mark (the only other F1 fan in the area) came over, too. Jennifer and Kyle had just left a bell choir concert. T'would seem that the local bell choir kicks some serious ass! They do the traditional Xmas songs, of course, but apparently they do an amazing rendition of "Rock You Like a Hurricane"! Oh, how I wish we'd known about that concert. Maybe next year.

And did I mention the bunnies? Yay! Anyway, Mark and Jennifer had not had the pleasure of playing on the Wii yet, so we played doubles tennis, as well as bowling & golf. And we drank a bit and shared the fact that "Fergilicious" is following us all over the place and there seems to be no escaping that damn song!!! And after dinner we played Texas Hold'Em and I did sooooooo well. I took risks I wouldn't have taken a year ago & won oodles of chips! Guess all those hours watching poker with Tim is soaking in, afterall. And I got to pet the bunnies, too.

But I gotta confess; bunnies are kinda ... creepy. I mean, they seem really sweet and fluffy and the hopping is adorable, of course. But they make no facial expressions whatsoever. They just STARE. And STARE. They even sleep with their eyes wide open sometimes. How can you tell when they're happy? Or annoyed? Or even tired? That's not right. At least we all had a great time and agreed that we have to get together again after Xmas.

And then there was Sunday!

Remember Thanksgiving? When Tim and I went over to eat with "Tes" and about 2 dozen of her loved ones? That's when we met her best friend, Meryl. Meryl gave me a call last week & said, "Let's get together!" but she's still recovering from a surgery she had a month ago, so we decided to have a girly brunch-&-a-movie thingy at her house. We ate waffles & apple cinnamon muffins & tea & chocolate. We talked a loooooot; we've had some eerily similar health issues (that I won't get into here) & it was amazing to talk to someone who really really understands some of the things I've been through.

We eventually watched "Memoirs of a Geisha", which is basicly a chick flick dressed up to look like an artsy movie. It's got love-at-first-sight, a make-over montage, a wacky "This isn't what it looks like!" scene ... the whole bit. It's very pretty to look at, too, but the story is VERY chick flick. Just so ya know.

Since Meryl still cannot lift anything over 5 pounds, I whipped up a little dinner for her while she drifted off into a Xanax-induced cloud. She has another MRI scheduled for after Xmas. Fingers crossed that she gets to return to work soon. Staying at home is driving her insane!


Getting out and being social is good. It's making me feel less anxious about living here for a while. But ya know, it still isn't as good as hanging out with my old peeps. I love you guys!!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back to our usual diversions

How can it be Saturday already? It doesn't feel like Saturday to me. It feels more like ... oh, I don't know ... Thursday. Maybe Friday. But since Tim is home and puttering about the house, it must be Saturday. Which means it has officially been more than a week since I visited the local yarn store.

Yes, that's right. Yarn. I know that I said that I was switching over to cooking as a hobby, but all that talk made me feel nostalgic for the feeling of sitting on the couch with my latest project sprawled across my lap.

So I stopped by the new yarn store & met the owner & had a nice chat with her. I told her I was thinking about making a light shawl for my mother-in-law. She brought over a huge book, opened it up to a random page and suddenly my mind was flooded with memories. The first picture was an undeniable image of the Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge (see left). There were photos of Kings College and the Clare Bridge (see right) that I crossed every day on my way to meals. It was a wonderful journey down memory lane.

And luckily, the patterns also featured on these pages are GORGEOUS. The book is titled "Victorian Lace Today". Kris, if you are reading this, please take my advice and hunt down this book. The photos from it on the internet do not do it justice. Beautiful things. Tons of inspiration. I think I may have to pick up the needles again.

In other hobby news, last night Tim had a dream. He dreamed up a variation of Double-12 Dominoes that involves playing the game with poker chips. He described the basic rules to me & we've been discussing the variations in game play & score keeping. I imagine we'll test it on the family at Christmas. They're good guinea pigs for this sort of thing (even though my brother Mike can get a bit emotional about the results sometimes). If only there was a way that Tim could profit from these games he invents! I'm afraid there's little hope for that, though. Afterall, whatever happened to the guy who invented No Limit Texas Hold 'Em? Has his idea earned him anything more than bragging rights?

I must say, though. It's kinda comforting knowing that he's back to his ol' game designs. Gives him that charming air of a wacky scientist.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Snippets o' Conversation


Here are some things said to me during recent phone converations.

Derek: I think I'm getting my first period.

Mom: Oh dear. Maybe I should have included instructions with the marshmallows.

George: They should put signs on each individual Christmas light saying, "This light is not funded by the City of Seattle".

Meryl: It's Thanksgiving and I'm wearing a freakin' neck brace, but my mother is accusing me of being an abusive child.

Leazle: I just drove past the Liberace Museum. Holy crap, how did people NOT know he was gay?!?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas List


My family has been asking me for my Christmas list. Since I am spoiled rotten, it was hard for me to come up with things, but I beat my head against the arm of the couch for a while & came up with these gems. I've sent the list to my family via e-mail, but hey! Why not make a blog entry that details my desires, too?! What better way to peak into a person's mind than to see what they want for Xmas? The following is the entire e-mail.

Sadly, I forgot to add mint M&Ms to the list. Drat!

====================================================

Here are some ideas for me for Christmas! I would also be fine with gift certificates or a hair cut or interesting books I've never heard of or just love and understanding. I honestly can't think of much that I need! But I racked my brain for you & came up with these.

DVDs:
"Moulin Rouge" box set (complete with all the extras, please!)
"My Neighbor Totoro" 2-Disc set (NOT the full-screen edition)
"Waiting for Guffman"
"Beauty & the Beast" Platinum edition box set (This is the one with all the special extras, but I don't think it's available in stores anymore. You might find it on Amazon, though).

CDs
Scissor Sisters - "Ta Dah" (But if you can't find that, their first CD "Scissor Sisters" would be nice, too)
Regina Spektor - "Begin To Hope" (I'd like the one in the YELLOW box, please. It has an additional disc of songs.)
Soundtrack to the "Josie & the Pussycats" movie (No, I am not kidding. The movie would be good, too, but I want the CD more)
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer - (Actually, anything by this band would be nice. They're hard to find.)

Books
"I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence" by Amy Sedaris
"The Everlasting Story of Nory" by Nicholson Baker

Magazine Subscriptions
The Sun (No, not the gossip rag! www.thesunmagazine.org )
Cooks Illustrated ( www.cooksillustrated.com )
Cabinet ( www.cabinetmagazine.org )

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Company Holiday Party


Last night was the big holiday party for Tim's workplace. And right on schedule, I felt severely nauseated about 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave. Silly psychosomatic blahbiddyblah. Not to worry, though. I managed to pull myself together & we only left 20 minutes late. And since the first hour of the party was just a cocktail hour thingy, that means we didn't really miss anything.

[Speaking of Scooby-Do, some guy on Antiques Roadshow just said "Purple is the color of morning." But he may have meant "mourning". But neither of those versions of the statement makes sense to me. Granted, this is the UK version of the show and you know how crazy those English chaps can be.]

Anywho. So we got there & Kevin & Shawna were there & waiting for us & we picked a place to sit together & drank wine & wondered if Jennifer & Kyle were going to show up & I speculated that they were avoiding me. First they skipped our dinner party last weekend, and now this! Yeah, so maybe Jennifer got in a bad car wreck & is having back problems. But I know better. They hate me. That's the obvious answer. 'Cause it's all about me, ya know.

Next the hors d'oevres were presented. Which we then called "horse derves", like ya do. Then we just started calling them "whores" for short.
Tim: I'm going to go get some whores.
Kevin: Mary, do you want to get some whores?
Me: No, I'll just eat some of Tim's.

Ah, the hilarity!

We had a fun time. I met more people. Talked a lot. I couldn't eat all of my filet mignon because I was still feeling sickly. And then we noticed that some people had gotten to the point where they were having a little too much fun. Honestly, why do companies provide an open bar at company parties? They're only asking for trouble. One guy in particular was talking with Tim about a current project and, while he mightily praised Tim and his efforts, he also said some rather harsh things about another co-worker ... and he said these harsh things kinda loudly. And then he suggested that Tim should go to the bar with him and get smashed. It was around that time that Tim decided that we should head home. I'm sure Tim would rather hear about the scandals on Monday morning rather than be a participant on Friday night.

Kevin & Shawna invited us to their place next weekend. I like them. Kevin is Tim's office mate & they have very similar temperments. They spend their days solving programming riddles & debating the differences between hot pots and proper electric kettles. Shawna is sweet, too, & her piercings remind me of friends who are far away.

The only downside is that they are yooooooung. So young. Neither of them had heard of Abba. Or Erasure. But they own bunnies and they're going to let us pet their bunnies & that's why we really wanted to befriend them in the first place, so I'm sure we can get past our differences for the sake of the bunnies. Yup.

You're Dead To Me!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hobby or disease?


I'm kinda crafty. Not in the sneaky sense, but in the sense that I enjoy making things as a hobby. I learned how to crochet just before I left for college - way back before it was the hip thing to do. In the years since then, I've knitted & crocheted many things, including 3 blankets, a handful of hats, and more scarves than I can recall.

And here is where we confront the problem with this hobby; When you're done with a project, you're stuck with this object. This thing that takes up space. My hobby began to make me feel restricted. I felt that either I had to make something useful for myself or for someone else. This is why so many of my loved ones now own scarves made by yours truly.

But I have developed a new hobby since moving to NC: cooking. It's fantastic! I can finish a project in one day! And other people can enjoy it with me! Indeed, I'm making something useful that everyone needs everyday: food. Why didn't I realize this before? Love it! So as you can imagine, I have been cooking a lot lately. We barely ever eat out any more. Tim definitely enjoys my little experiments in the kitchen and I love the fact that the house isn't crowded with the results of my efforts. Although I must confess that I have bought a few more kitchen tools, but I humbly argue that these are far more useful and take up much less space than all of those scarves.

My latest purchase was a rolling pin. And you would not believe the amount of research I did on rolling pins (there are a lot of opinions out there on the subject). I was compelled to buy a rolling pin because we had friends over for dinner last weekend (Tim's office mate, K, & his girlfriend) and Tim requested apple streudel for dessert. Yup, real apple streudel. Homemade. I rolled out the pastry dough on our countertop. And I gotta tell you, I have never been more happy while using a rolling pin.

Which kinda makes me concerned. I mean, what the hell is that about? Could it be that something bizarre is happening to my brain? Am I officially turning into one of those precious little stereotypical housewives? Or is it something I can blame on the brain spider? I don't know whether I should be concerned or if I should just sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labors. Is this an illness? And if so, did I catch it from The Food Network or Cooks Illustrated magazine? I don't want to give up Cooks Illustrated, though. That's a reeeeeeally good magazine. It's like Consumer Reports for cooks. You should check it out sometime. Really. It'll blow. your. miiiiiiiind, man.

See?!? Now I'm becoming a pusher! Ack!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another American accent quiz

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
Boston
North Central
The Inland North
Philadelphia
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Forgive me, but I find these accent quizzes to be simply fascinating. Who knew I had so much Boston in me? I have to agree, though, that I have a very dull middle-of-the-road accent. No one in this country ever asks where I'm from because my voice isn't different enough, but that really isn't a bad thing. When I was at Cambridge I met a guy with that sereotypical Boston accent and, holy god, I could barely understand a thing he said! Granted, he wasn't as bad as Brad Pitt in "Snatch", but it was still difficult.

Anywho, as you can probably tell, I'm tinkering with the color scheme on my blog. I want to make the header shorter so that you don't have to scroll down to see the top of the latest post, but I can't figure that out on my own. I'll pester Tim about it when he wakes up. As for the colors, the greens felt too dark and gloomy for me. Plus, I'm not fond of reading light-colored text on a dark background. I've still got some tinkering to do. And I'm open to suggestions if you have any. Just put 'em in Ye Olde Comment Box.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hoffy B-day, G!


Today is george's birthday! Everybody say WOOT!
WOOT!
Here's hoping it is her first chocolate-free birthday ever.

Last night I called her just after midnight my time 'cause I figured she might as well start celebrating early, right? Right! I also thought that maybe she could open her b-day box from me whilst on the telephone, but said box was languishing at the local post office. Poopie. Here's hoping that she can make it there today, despite the blizzard-like conditions. I hear the weather is miserable in T-town, too. Ice! Sleet! And up to 2 feet of snow! Madness! Especially considering it is currently a sunny 72F in my neck of the woods.

Back to birthday stuff. There is one little thing that I could not include in george's birthday box, but I've decided to make up for it by sharing it with all of you. It's an unusal gift because it's a link. But it's a good one. It will fill your heart with gladness. Delight and good humor will flow through your veins. You'll be shvitzing joy. Truly.

Warm up the printer. Grab some scissors and crayons. And above all else, enjoy.
"I <3 The Hoff" Super Fantastic Activity Fun Book.

What's that, you say? You'd rather not hassel with The Hoff? Prefer your arts & crafts to have a more punk edge to it? Fine. For the hipsters out there, I also bequeath unto you, the Dead Milkmen's Punk Rock Girl paper doll

Happy George's Birthday to everyone!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Visitors, past & future



Hey, gang! Check out these hot chicks! Does it get any cuter than that? I think not. As I said yesterday, it was sooooooo so good to see Kris & talk with her & just hang out with a friend who has known me for ages. Very fun, and also comforting in a way. Yay!

And it sounds like another pal will be visiting the area in April. This is an internet pal (I have quite a few. No shame in that!), so although I've been aquainted with her for about 6 years & we've chatted & mailed stuff to one another, we've never met in person. Her name is Janice. She's a writer. You can learn all about her at Girlbomb.com. I am so thrilled that we'll finally get to meet!

By the by, Janice finished the final draft of her second book this week & she sent the first chapter to me today.
Oh.
My.
Heavy stuff, as I was expecting. But sooooo good. Can't wait to flip the pages & read the rest. But knowing the publishing biz, it might be another year before I can pick it up at the local Borders. Oh, the anticipation!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving weekend


From a recent phone conversation ...
George: How was your Thanksgiving?
Me: Well, we have a 20-pound concrete chicken sitting on our dining table. I think that about sums it up.

Thanksgiving was SOOOOOO fun! This was quite a surprise, seeing as we were surrounded by people we'd never seen before, but no matter. We had a blast. That's what counts. As you probably know, Tim and I met on the internet on a message board. Another person on that message board ("Tes") invited us to her house for Thanksgiving. Tes is a hilarious lady and I was flattered that she invited us (and relieved, as well!). There were about 20 other people there, all of them very sweet and welcoming and funny and interesting. Tes was an excellent host and really helped us all feel comfortable, which lead to some great conversation. I had a great time!

There was also a concrete chicken in attendance. Apparently, this chicken is very well traveled. Tes and her husband bought the chicken a number of years ago as a prank. Since then, the chicken has periodically disappeared, always returning accompanied by photographs from its journey. With help and encouragement from Tes' niece, we decided that the chicken should see Oral Roberts University. So we are now in posession of said chicken. I wonder if Tes has figured that out yet. Tee hee!

On the day after Thanksgiving, we got together with Kris! She and Josh were in town visiting family for Turkey Day. It was soooooo nice to see her and talk with her! We did a little shopping, ate a little lunch, & even brought her out to the hizzouse, peeps. So she can confirm that, indeed, we live in a cute little corner of the world. We played on the Wii with her (and took pics just to make Josh jealous), then spent a couple hours hanging out with Josh's family. Good times.

But here's the problem. Two days of solid socializing has totally spoiled me. Now I feel like Tim and I need to GET OUT! And SEE PEOPLE!!! What a concept!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Whut kinda 'merican do youinz talk like?

Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
20% Dixie
15% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wii! Stuff I like from the last week

1. Cinnamon ice cream. Our local dairy is making it as a seasonal flavor. Nummy. Not as good as sticky toffee pudding ice cream, but still loverly.

2. I can tell that I liked the new James Bond movie because I didn't finish my bag of candy ... and the movie was about 2 & 1/2 hours long. A good sign for me.

3a. Sounds like out darling Love Gunn has pierced many a heart out there! Tim Gunn is featured in the People sexiest-men-blah-blah issue. Haven't seen the issue, but I'm thrilled for him anyway! Yay! You can watch a video of Tim here. Who knew he prefers boxer briefs! Niiiiice.

3b. Mr. Gunn on the Colbert Report! Check it out here. Tim shows up around Minute #1. My vote is for Jefferson #2.

4. Here's where the geekiness begins. You've been warned.

I like the Wii! I actually like playing video games. Who knew this could happen?! Astounding. We got ours late last week, a few days before they hit the shelves. It's smaller than I thought it would be and certainly more fun than I expected, too. I wish you all could go to a store and try it out, but that's kinda impossible because ... well, the handset is wireless & I guess they don't want to risk anyone wandering off with it. Sorry. Such a shame because the handset is the BEST part of the system. That and the cute kawaii-esque interactive menu thingy. But the handset (they call it a "Wii-mote") is so fun! For those who don't know, it senses movement. So you play games by moving the handset. So, for example, when you're playing tennis, you just swing the handset as if it were a tennis racket. Super cool!

The machine came with Wii Sports (the sports consisting of golf, bowling, tennis, baseball, and boxing). Good times! The golf game takes a bit of practice (especially the putter). But the bowling! Oh, the bowling. I scored a 147!!! Coming from a gal who usually scores around 40 during real-life bowling, I couldn't be more thrilled with my Wii bowling score. Oddly enough, Tim's Wii bowling score was pretty similar to what he gets in real life. Interesting, that. I think it's because he's putting more spin on the ball than I am. And yes, you can put spin on the ball simply by twisting your wrist a bit. It's so cool the way that the handset works! Tim said that at work they were playing doubles tennis & it was fan-damn-tastic. Sadly, that won't be happening in our home for some time because we only have one full handset (in gamer's terms, that's 1 Wiimote and 1 nunchuck). We will bring it with us to T-Town for Xmas. Should make my brothers happy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Top 10 - or Shot Through the Heart by a Love Gunn

I am convinced that there is some sort of evil blog-eating monster out there that goes around, eating blog entries. I suspect this because not only did George lose a post recently, but so did I! I just know that I posted in here more recently than the 3rd. Hmmm.

Well, here are the top 10 events of my life since my last post.
1. We went to a post-Halloween party and met some more of Tim's co-workers. They're actually really cool! And the guy who was hosting the party has converted his basement into this amazing video arcade. I think there were 15 old-school video games down there! Soooooooo kick ass! Tim and I also played pool and a lot of people sang karaoke. A nice time was had by all.
2. I finally finally saw an entire play here. It was The Exonerated, performed by a company that Byron recommended to me. I saw it with Tim and Pam. It was good, but it kinda shook me up because it made me think of Richard. Sigh. George and I need to start having theatrical-viewing experiences that do not bring us to tears.
3. We ended up seeing the play on the afternoon before Guy Fawkes Night. How bizarre is it that we saw a play about death row inmates on a day that is named after a man who was publicly executed? Very odd. At any rate, we ate bakes potatoes and hot dogs, so we kinda sorta kept up with tradition.
4. The election! Yay! I know that not everyone who reads my blog is a Democrat, but I hope that a part of them will appreciate the idea of having a more balanced system of checks and balances. Yay!
5. Britney left her skanky sperm factory! And yes, I know it sound ridiculous to be happy about this, but I am.
6. Tim's company had a fancy surprise breakfast catered for the employees ... just because. Chefs were available to make omelets & everything. How cool!
7. My favorite thing: George met Tim Gunn!!!!!! TIM GUNN!!!! From Project Runway! My FAVORITE person on television! He just walked into her workplace of his own free will and stood around and chatted with her for a few minutes! And she told him about the fact that my cable system is trying to come between me and my love of PR. And he told her to thank me for remaining a fan! Tim Gunn THANKED me, people! Tim Gunn appreciates my love! Can you say eeeeeeeeee?! I know I can! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
8. Lots of happy foodie things are happening around here. We have a genuine French patisserie right here in this tiny town in which I live. Yay! And we went out to a pub in this widdle town for dinner, where I ate quail for the first time (New foods! Yay!). And we went to our favorite gourmet foodie place, where we met someone from Joseph Schmidt Confections and ate free chocolate truffles and bought even more truffles.
9. I finally saw Flushed Away. It was okay. The characters are not nearly as endearing as the ones in other Aardman films, but it was okay. I wish it were doing better at the box office, though, because that would translate into more sales of the video game! ;)
10. The only down side: I hurt my foot. Basically, my foot was asleep and I tried to walk on it, but instead of putting my weight onto the sole of my foot, I ended up stepping down on the top of my foot. There was a popping sound. And pain. But since my foot was still kind asleep, the pain just got worse and worse as my foot continued to awaken! Ouch! It's okay now, though. After 4 days, I'm now walking normally.

Ummmm ... I think that's about it. Random happenings. Yay. :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy things


The internet is bothering me a bit lately. So negative! So much bitchery! I'm weary from it all. Let's focus on things that make us happy, shall we?

Happy thing #1: I bought a sweater shaver. And I am in love. Laugh all you like, but this thing kicks serious ass. I have a teal-blue sweater that was covered in ugly pilly bits & was looking tired and old. But now that baby looks brand new and feels sooooo smooooth. I feel compelled to shave all the woolens in the house. So far I have merely shaved 3 sweaters, but I need another fix. By the by, the image here is not of the shaver I got. I simply purchased the cheapy $5 version at Target. But that baby on the right is the fancy-schmancy Alessi sweater shaver. It has 3 different settings and costs almost $40. It may be a bit more shaver than I need, but I may buy it in a moment of weakness just because it's so freakin' cute.

Happy thing #2: Trick-or-treaters. I stayed home on Halloween this year for various reasons. But I'm glad I did. I enjoyed going door-to-door for candy as a kid & I'm glad to be keeping the tradition alive for the next generation. So I saw princesses and pirates and even a little frog that was so captivated by our aquarium that he ran into the house to look at the fish!

Happy thing #3: Leftover Halloween candy. Mmmmmm ... Junior Miiiiiiints ...

Happy thing #4: I saw a play with Pam and her friend Byron last week (I will probably write about that later). And this weekend Pam and I are hoping to hang out again. And on Saturday night Tim and I are going to a party with his friends at work. So we are slowly developing a social life! Wee!

Happy thing #5: A fluffy duvet on a cold night.

Happy thing #6: Bjork singing "Cry Me A River" (Click here to hear it). Not a happy song, I know, but she sounds great singing it. It also somehow got me to wondering what it would have been like if Bjork had married Robert Smith and they made babies together. Wouldn't that have been fantastic?

Happy thing #7: The soft ginger cookies I'm going to bake now. Yum!

Happy thing#8: Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Omigawd! Shoes.
(Just watch this. My favorite part starts at the 3 minute mark.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween


Apparently, there is some old wives tale that says that if you look in a mirror by candlelight before midnight on Halloween, you will see your true love/future spouse standing behind you in the mirror's image.

This creeps me out even more than the traditional ghost stories. Eep!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mail and love and such.

This week I got the BEST piece of mail EVER. I really wish I knew how to take photos from my phone and put them on the internet because the world deserves to see this thing. I'll try to describe it to you. You know those squishy sponge-like "stress-reliver" squeezable thingies? Well, imagine one of those in the shape of the continental USA. And put the American flag on it. Like this.
Then draw a dot and the word "me" over the approximate location of Seattle. Then imagine another dot and the word "you" on top of the Chapel Hill area. And write "I Miss Mary" and a little red heart over the plains states.

That's what I got in the mail this week. It was the sweetest and saddest thing I've seen in years. And I LOVE it! It is the mail-equivalent of a sleepy little kitten that is struggling to stay awake but keeps nodding off despite its efforts. Adorable. I've considered putting it in my purse and taking it with me wherever I go. At the moment my talisman is a 2-inch-long rubber chicken. The chicken is more portable, but not as cute. Hmmm. Decisions.

At any rate, many many thanks to george for the amazing mail. I will be bragging about it to others for quite some time. When people eventually come over to the house, I will proudly display it on the coffee table and when they ask about it I'll do the Oh-this-old-thing? routine. And they will know that somebody - somebody in the northwestern corner of the country - loves me. And they will wish that somebody out there sent them kick-ass mail, too. And then they will think "Anybody who gets mail as rad as this must be pretty friggin' cool. I want to be closer to that coolness. I want her to be my friend. Oh yes."

Then someday they'll find this post in my blog and it will all be ruined. But that's okay. 'Cause I love my georgie. EEEEE!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I said Brr! It's cold in here!

There may not be Toros in the atmosphere, but there certainly is a cold front. Brr! It's chilly! We actually had to turn on the heater. How crazy is that? But it is beeeee-yoooo-tiful 'round these parts. The colors of the leaves are quite vivid! I thought we'd have to drive to the mountains to enjoy such lovely colors, so it's nice to see them outside our front door.

Events in recent history:
1. I have officially been in NC for 6 months. Half a year! Wowza!
2. Jeffrey won Project Runway. Yawn. Is it weird that a part of me really doesn't care who wins this show anymore?
3. Mom had surgery on her other eye and it's looking great! Woot!
4. We got a new TV. It's pretty! Me likey!
5. I've been sick for a week straight. But so far I managed to eat twice today without becoming ill immediately afterwards, so my hopes are high that I'll be over it soon. And no, I'm not pregnant. Promise.
6. The F1 season is over and Michael Schumacher is OUT! I feel oddly conflicted about this. A tiny little part of my heart wishes that Mike had at least made the podium for his final race ever. But mainly I'm just happy for Kimi. Because next year he'll be in a decent car and he might actually WIN something for a change.

Which reminds me ... During the pre-show I noticed that Kimi was smiling before the race. SMILING! I thought it was just because the albatros known as Maclaren was finally being removed from his neck. But there may have been more to it than that.

"Okay. Thanks for that."
Tee hee.
Now do you understand why the UK coverage of F1 is better than the Speed Channel? Do ya?

In other news, I've been thinking about getting crafty again. This urge usually hits people when the weather turns colder. When it's less humid. Frankly, when the idea of laying a warm, woolen project in one's lap sounds appealing rather than oppresive. But I am in no way as crafty as Lauren Porter. The woman knitted a full-sized Ferrari. She used 12 miles worth of yarn to make it. Don't ask me why. She says humor is an important aspect of her work, so maybe she isn't completely insane, afterall.

But oddly, my desire to knit/crochet/embroider has lessened this year. Instead, I am drawn more towards cooking. I have a long list of cooking blogs that I check. I read cookbooks as if they were novels. Kinda creepy! But good. And there's a definite satisfaction to be felt when one makes a fancy, lump-less sauce from scratch. What's odd is hearing that george, too, has discovered cooking as a new hobby. What is wrong with us?!?!? Why weren't we so excited about cooking back when we could have cooked for one another?!? Oh, the unfairness of it all! Oh well. Knitting is soooooooo 2002, anyway. And crochet is too 2005. I think cooking is the next wave, kids. Depend on it.

It's just a shame that a good afghan is better at keeping me warm than a loaf of pumpkin bread.

Oh-Ee-Oh-Ee-Oh!
Ice Ice Ice!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wal-Marketing

I'm ticked off with Wal-Mart. Or more specifically, I'm ticked off with their marketing/PR firm, Edelman.

A while back I heard about a website called Working Families for Wal-Mart. If you go to the site (and I honestly hope you DON'T because I don't think we should encourage them), you get the impression that the site was set up by independent consumers - Wal-Mart lovers who think that Wal-Mart is marvelous for communities, the environment, blahblahblah. There's even an "About Us" page that gives you the distinct impression that the so-called blog is run by a bunch of ordinary people who simply want to offer support to this enormous big-box store. In addition to this, a new "blog" was created that is tied to the "Working Families For Wal-Mart" campaign. The blog is called "Wal-Marting Across America". The point of this blog was that a couple of people were going to travel across the USA in an RV, spending their nights in Wal-Mart parking lots.

Sounds pretty damn suspicious, doesn't it. And for good reason. Within the last week it was discovered that this grassroots campaign was nothing more than astroturf. It's all a PR gimmick. The head of the PR firm finally admitted this on his own blog (after flatly ignoring all questions on the subject for many days).

But guess what. The website for "Working Families for Wal-Mart" still looks the same!!! There is NOTHING on the website identifying itself as advertising. The "About Us" page remains a lie. Anybody who does not frequent advertising and marketing blogs would not have a clue that Wal-Mart is funding that website. Gullible people might get sucked into the lie. It's disgusting, underhanded, and lacks any credibility.

Oddly enough, the final post on the "Wal-Marting Across America" blog is a rant from one of the authors, wondering what was so wrong about them taking money from Wal-Mart & their PR firm to sponsor their vacation. Ummm ... honey, there is a HELL of a lot wrong with that when you aren't honest and transparent about it. They were working for Wal-Mart - paid in free transportation, accomodation, and lord knows what else - but even they seem too stupid to realize that their sposored trip was a form of payment. The problem is not that they "dared to write positive things about Wal-Mart". The problem is that they were paid to do it, but never revealed that fact. Hence, the fury.

Grrrrrrrr. You see, THIS is part of the reason why I've stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. I have other reasons, but this little incident is certainly reaffirming my choice to shop elsewhere whenever possible.

Links to more info:
MediaPostPublications
What'sNextBlog
Mark Evans
Shel Holtz

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

24 Hours From Tulsa


Let's say that this old movie poster represents a dramatic interpretation of the last 7 days. Oddly enough, Robert Preston is portraying my mom. Just kinda try to imagine my mother's face there, but make sure you cover half of her head with lots of bandages & a strange mesh eyepatch-like thingamy. As for Susan Hayward? She's playing me, the ever-loving and doting daughter.

Last Tuesday I got on a plane and went to Tulsa to tend to my mother. She had eye surgery to remove a cataract & implant a new lens. The poor woman was nervous. And who wouldn't be?! I mean, EYE SURGERY! Few things make people wince as dramatically as the thought of sharp objects near eyes. The same people who guffaw at the sight of a guy getting a swift kick to the nads will shriek with horror at film fotage of eye surgery. So. I went to Tulsa to look after Mom and lift things for her (since she couldn't lift anything) and pick up things for her (since she wasn't allowed to bend down) and drive her around (since ... you know).

The good news is that the surgery went very well! Mom only had to wear the bandages for 1 day (I said the poster was a dramatic interpretation, people!). And although she suffered from some discomfort and pain, she is happy with the results. So yay! And we did sooooooo much together. We watched a Project Runway marathon and ate at The Polo Grill and saw the opera of "The Little Prince" and visited Rhiannon & baby Max and bought shoes and stopped by Merritt's for some lovely baked goods and much much more. It was a great week! And it certainly reminded me why I enjoy Tulsa (and why I miss it).

The problem, of course, is that I had very little time to see anyone other than family. So for those of you who I missed, I hope you'll forgive me! Tim and I will be back at Christmas time, so we'll have to get together then.

In the mean time, I better get cracking on the dirty dishes and laundry that has piled up in my absence. And maybe find out how much it costs to fly to Seattle!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Seattle or bust


Just got a phone call from Derek informing me that he and george have officially left California! Woo hoo! They are enjoying the mountains, clouds, and coniferous trees of Oregon. Can't you just imagine them taking deep, cleansing breaths of fresh Oregonian air? Sounds marvelous! As I'm sure you'll read on their own blogs, their escape from LA has not been easy. But thank goodness they are on their way. I'm sure they'll be much happier in Seattle. This week I watched part of a special on the Travel Channel about Seattle & I'm already excited about visiting the town. I also feel a strange urge to watch Sleepless In Seattle now just to see snippets of the town.

By the by, there isn't a whole lot happening here. I got some new luggage. And tried on some expensive shoes just to say that I did (Jimmy Choo's! Eep!). And the usual other things (baking, cleaning, tending to the yard, etc). And by the way, it is turning very autumnal here and it is simply gorgeous! I actually wore a sweater when we went out last night. Wee!

Or should I say "Wii"? As in the Nintendo Wii. It seems that we will be getting one of these newfangled machines. Note that we will not be purchasing it, though, as Tim is not really a console gamer. But his company is giving us a machine, so I suppose I'll start playing Super Duper Mario Cart - Now with more Super-duper-ness!

Personally, I'd rather have a fancy new TV. We visited some friends last night just so we could christen their new television (A TV-warming party, if you will). Oh my cod, people. It is a thing of beauty. Flat, LCD, widescreen. I'm guessing it's about 40 inches. Jennifer said that when they first turned it on, she wept tears of joy. I must say, I think I would do the same.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"I'm Down with T-Town"

You know what it's like when you go out of town for a week? And your pets are left on their own? And you know that one of your friends or siblings will be stopping by to feed your pets, but ya still kinda worry about them anyway? Well, that's kinda the way I've felt about Tulsa since we moved. And now I feel that I have even more reason to be concerned. Check this out.

TulsaChannels.com

And no, that is not "channels" as in television stations. These people are proposing that islands be built in the Arkansas River. For some reason, this idea makes my nose wrinkle (probably because it sounds expensive). I mean, it could be good, but it feels a little gimmicky. What do you think?

In other news, I found a couple of L.A. citizens (who are not george or Derek or even Tara) who like Tulsa just fine as-is. Granted, they were only there for one night, but it's still nice that they had such positive things to say.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Movin' on up!



Just wanted to say congratulations again to george an Derek! They finally get to leave Hell-Ay and move on up to Seattle. Marvelous! Granted, I hear that Seattle has its own bunch of freaks, but hopefully they will be freaks that seem more, uh, normal(?) compared to what they've faced in LA.

What's funny is that in the last couple of weeks since george told me they were going to move, I have seen sooooo many things that make fun of the shallowness of the LA Lifestyle. The ads for the county fair in LA are hilarious, but I think I like the elegant simplicity of the above graph better than anything else.

So how have you all been? I'm getting by okay. Somebody on my favorite message board is vomiting hateful, racist comments all over the place. And I read that LonelyGirl15 on YouTube was all a big hoax. And, as you can probably tell from my post earlier this week, I was pretty emotional over the whole 9/11 anniversary. So it has been an odd couple of days.

But!
But but but!
I went out with my New Friend last night. Eeeeee!!!! We had drinks again and talked and talked and talked. Have I mentioned before that this woman kicks ass? Because she does. Here's some proof.
1) She loves Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series.
2) She likes Jane Austen stories, so she can easily tolerate my girly tendencies.
3) She has a weakness for cheesy movies like "Bring It On".
4) She thinks we need to have a charades party.
And we have similar political views and we tend to hang out with crazy artsy people and and and and. I told her that george already suspects that I'm going to suck friendships off of her like the pathetic, lonely person I am. Luckily, she said that she is happy to be the host for this sad little parasite. So it's all good.

In other news, my parents are in Hawaii! Wee! And it feels like autumn has arrived in our area. Which means it will soon be pumpkin season! And I looooooooves me some pumpkins!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years later



My life on September 10, 2001: I had recently returned from my study-abroad trip to Cambridge. I was preparing to apply to grad schools. I felt strong and inspired. My mind was full of creative ideas. My heart was full of hope. I knew that my life would never be the same.

My life on September 11, 2001: Horror. Crippling terror. I couldn't tear myself away from the news for weeks. I was afraid to leave the house. I knew that my life would never be the same.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Science of Sleep

I'm still thinking about this template. I kinda like it. And it was such a nightmare to set it up that I'm reluctant to change it for a while. Feel free to comment on it, though. I appreciate the opinions of all of my readers. Even the few strangers out there. Hi, strangers!

I found a movie that I really want to see. It's called "The Science of Sleep" (or La Science des Reves which actually translates to "The Science of Dreams", yes?). I saw a trailer for it tonight and it looks goooooood. Kinda weird and quirky and magical and all that good stuff. It's from the director of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", so if you didn't like that movie, you may be out of luck (Derek).
See the trailer in Quicktime or on YouTube.

In other sleep related news, Tim did not get up until around 1pm today. And then he went back up to bed at 9pm because he was falling asleep while watching poker. A bit concerning, no? I suppose it's just as well since we have to wake up early for the F1 race tomorrow.

And in completely unrelated news, I decided that kittens are cuter than babies. Tim agrees. So maybe we aren't cut out to be parents afterall.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Do not be alarmed!

Today I decided that I might need a new template for my blog. I'll probably be trying out different things for a while, so don't be surprised if things look different, mkay? Mkay!

So here's my week thus far.

Monday: Went on a mini road trip with Tim. We drove up to Virginia for no particular reason. On the way home we stopped at a Sonic (Sonic!!!) and had happy beverages and tater tots. Yum.

Tuesday: Tim got off of work early. And he brought me flowers. Just because. Aaaaaww!!

Wednesday: Mom announced that we will be going to Florida in June next year (more on that later). I met my new friend, Pam, for dinner. We had the best time! And Vincent finally got kicked off of Project Runway. Glorious!

Thursday: Went out for Indian food for dinner. Lamb Biryani. Yum!

Friday: I decided that my blog might need a new template.

So I guess we're all caught up now. Tell me what you think of the new looks!

Edited to add ...
Here are a few more that I really like.
Tub Time
Happy forest
Lacey
Daisies (which feels a bit too prissy)
Blue flowery things

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Quirks of marrying a foreigner, Part 2

Due to our differing accents, Tim & I still occasionally struggle with a slight language barrier. In the following snippet of conversation, Tim is telling me about a book he just purchased.

Tim: The first book in the series is called "Pawn of Prophecy".
Me: Did you just say "Porn of Prophecy"?
Tim: No. Pawn.
Me: Porn?
Tim: No ... [takes out book to show me the cover] Pawn! Pawn of Prophecy.
Me: Ooooooooh ...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sucking ... in a good way

About a month ago I made the "suckage" post. It was a bad time. I had lost hope in finding any friends. I needed a vacuum cleaner. And although I don't think I mentioned it at the time, I was bleeeeeeeeeding. There was a massacre going on in my pants. Not at all fun.

Now, I know that one of my brothers reads this blog so at this point I'm going to apologize for reminding him that his sister has Girl Parts that are used for making Babies and that those Girl Parts bleed occasionally. Sorry Ray!

Anyway, that was a sucky day. A sucky time. But now it is one lunar cycle later. I feel as though I've been smacked across the back with a cricket bat. I am bleeding again. Hemorraging practically (I'm reeeally sorry, Ray!). And yet, that is the only thing that today has in common with that sucky day from last month. Because I, dear friends and strangers, am HAPPY.

1) I met a friend. She recently started posting on the on-line community where I hang with my on-line peeps. We've written back and forth a bit. Talked about going out. Then on Friday I got a message from her that said "I will be working at Such-&-Such on Saturday from ThisTime until ThatTime. Stop by! I'll give you free wine!" Well, how could I refuse? So I put on my Le Tigre shirt (because george has a matching one & I feel better when I have George Power on my side). And I met her. And it was great! She is fun and nice and we have lots of similar interests & I like her a looooooooooot. A lot a lot. And we're going to have dinner together on Wednesday. And I really hope that I don't seem too desperate or lame because she kicks some major ass & I think I would really really like to have her as a friend. I mean, even if I were back in Tulsa & surrounded by loved ones & I met this woman, I would still reallyreally want to hang out with her. Which is an excellent sign.

2) I have a vacuum cleaner. And no, it isn't a Dyson. Tim thought he really wanted one of those $600 Dyson things, but then we consulted Consumer Reports. Oh, how I looooooove Consumer Reports. It's just one of my favorite-est things. Many thanks to Dad for exposing me to the glories of CR. Anyway, we went with CR's favorite bagless vacuum: the Hoover Windtunnel. Cost? $160. That's right, kids. I just saved us $440. What kicks ass? Consumer Reports kicks ass. Remind me to get a subscription. By the by, there are fancier and more expensive versions of the Windtunnel, but we just went with the model CR recommends. The others are too heavy, anyway. In the end, I think Tim is pleased because he can go back to his English vernacular & refer to "vacuuming" as "Hoovering" ... as in "I should hoover up all the black lint that Tim's socks have scattered all over the house".

So there you have it. I'm smiling and happy. And because I want you to smile ane be happy, too, I urge you to watch this video about the Penguin Man from Belgium. Yes, george, even you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The unexpected quirks of marrying a foreigner

The following conversation took place while we were watching television recently.

Tim: Who is Charo?
Me: Ummmm ... Have you heard of The Love Boat?
Tim: No.
Me: Ummmmm ...

Seriously. I dare you to answer that question without consulting Wikipedia.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Old-school Eddie Izzard

I found an old performance by Eddie Izzard that he made back when ... well, back when he was painfully preppy-looking. Check out the blue jeans! Luckily for us, the performance is amusing in ways that are unrelated to his clothing. Enjoy!

Eddie Izzard - Live at the Ambassador's
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
And there should be a part 7 or so, but it isn't on YouTube. Bother. Instead, I suggest you watch this last bit. More blue jeans, but they look far more flattering.
Eddie on Comic Aid

A Week of Living Angrily


So I was angry this week. I seem to be taking on a new emotional theme each week lately. One week I'll feel hopeless, the next week I'll feel inspired, and yet another week I'll feel ...
well ...
fucking furious!!!!!!

There were just too many things ticking me off this week. The insurance company owes me hundreds of dollars because it screwed up. And some of our mail is being sent to a wrong address. And there's this guy at Forbes magazine who is the definitive male chauvinist pig. And the job I wanted has already been filled. And I think a certain person I know may be neglecting his daughter. And now said daughter has a black eye AND Rocky Moutain Spotted Fever. And we have ants coming out of the electrical socket in the upstairs bathroom. And to top it all off, Project Runway is overflowing with vitriol & I don't even want to watch it anymore.

And that ain't right.

By the by, Tim has been working his ass off this week. Last night he came home from work at 2am. I think that means he spent about 17 hours at work yesterday. He has had to stay late at work night after night after night. I only cooked one meal for us all week. He barely spends any time conscious while at home. Why must they sacrifice sleep and family time for a friggin video game?! Ugh!!! Of course, I know why they must sacrifice their time. Because there is already a set release date for the game because there is already a set release date for the movie.

Maybe we should've moved to France. I bet nobody in France has to work such hours.

This is the point where I tell you that there are good things happening & I try to redirect my thoughts & be Little Miss Sunshine and let you all know that, no, I'm not spending my time weeping alone at home. Really! Because Tim is enjoying his work, even though it has been rather demanding lately. And he's making friends at work. Some of them even invited us out! And I have made a pseudo-friend; I think we may go out together sometime this week. So see? That's good! And it's even good that I didn't get the job that I wanted. Because now I can go to Oklahoma & take care of my mom when she has cataract surgery in October. I could even visit G & D before they evacuate from LA! And it's even okay that Project Runway sucks right now because it means that I don't have to buy the episodes off of iTunes. So you see? I'm turning that frown upside down. Life is aaaaaaall good.

But just to make sure things stay on the up & up, I'm going to make some blondies and watch Curse of the Were-Rabbit again.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Look Ma!



Yes, I'm still here! Not to worry. I just thought that, after posting such a downer of an entry, I should wait until good stuff is happening before I made another post. So that means that good stuff must be happening, right? Right!

I have finally cheered up a bit. I even went ice skating! Yes! For the first time in, like, 5 years. Even after all of these years, my mind remembers well how to do a scratch spin and even a flip jump. The problem, of course, is that my legs don't remember it so well. How long does it take for all of your cells to be replaced, anyway? Is it true that my current leg muscles have never experienced ice skating until now? Quite a thought. At any rate, we had a great time! So we'll definitely be going back.

I also applied for a job! Imagine that! The work itself doesn't sound terribly taxing, but the company itself is faaaaaaaaab. I simply adore what they do in their wee widdle office & I think I'd enjoy helping them do what they do. Luckily, I am also in the enviable position of knowing that I can turn them down if I don't feel good about the situation. I'm just afraid that they may think I'm over-qualified for the job. Ha! That would be a first.

And third, I may've found a friend. We're just chatting over e-mail right now, but she sounds cool. She even enjoys the theatre.

Before I go, I must tell you the highlight of my day yesterday: talking to Derek, Tara, and george at the same time ... and then throwing everybody at the Theatre Club meeting onto the phone, too. I'm sure everyone at Scott's house was completely baffled & convinced that we were raving drunk. Now that's fab.

The only bad bit at the moment is that Tim has been working his ass off. Twelve hour days. He'll have to work all this weekend, too. But this will all be over soon, as the Big Deadline is Monday morning. Yay!
Need me to say it again?
Yay!

And since I'm in such a good mood, here's a little something you might enjoy. If you're at all confused about why I may be posting this, just ask. ;)

Monday, August 07, 2006

I suck ... in a bad way


Saturday we were supposed to go to a dinner party thingy hosted by one of Tim's co-workers. The whole company was invited. But we didn't go. I won't go into the details. I'll just say that it wasn't Tim's choice. It just boils down to the fact that I'm crap & I suck. In a bad way. The way that doesn't make you popular with boys.

This is not to say that I don't also suck in a good way, but I'm not going there.

Moving is crap. You all know this. I don't have to explain. That's why I luvz ya. It also sucks when the first day of your period coincides with important events in your life. Like meeting your husband's co-workers and their wives. Especially when it looks like a massacre took place in your pants.

Of course, this is about much more than bleeding and bloating. It's about the things we have to do to convince people that we're worth knowing ... that we're worth their time. It's about the posturing. The insincere smiles. The things you don't say so that you don't risk offending someone right away. The way you have to be on guard when you encounter new people.

I think the idea of going out & trying to meet people & make friends isn't really the right way to do this. You know how people tell you that you shouldn't go in search of a mate & that you should just let things magically happen to you? I'm thinking it's got to be the same thing with friends. Because whenever we have to go out to meet people, it makes me feel like I'm preparing for a job interview. And that sucks. It's worse when I'm meeting Tim's work colleagues because then I feel like I'm on a job interview for him, too.

So I need to just focus on doing whatever the hell I want. And if I meet people along the way, that's fine. But I shouldn't make it a priority.

In the mean time, I'd really like a new vacuum cleaner.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm listening


It's been a whole week since I posted anything on my blog! How did this happen?!?!?

Okay. I know exactly how it happened. I've gotten into an interesting pattern of listening. I don't feel much like talking lately. Instead, I'm trying to listen to others much more than I talk. I think this is good because, damn, I can really ramble sometimes! And I'll admit that there have been nights when I've kept Tim up for hours while I just yammered on & on & on about something. But this listening thing ... Listening is good. Taking sounds in & digesting them is good. S'all good, yo.

My favorite thing to digest at the moment?
Project Runway! Woo hoo!
In fact, I'm not always good at the just-listening thing when the topic is PR. I heart this show. The sad truth, though, is that I am starved of PR love (Damn you, Time Warner Cable!). I take whatever scraps I can find on the internet & on NBC. I validate my love of this show with the fact that I have spent a hell of a lot of hours in front of a sewing machine, so I know a thing or two about clothing construction. And oh lordy, am I seeing some poor construction on the wee snippets of the show I've seen so far. Designing is fine, but we got some "home sewers" on this show. And for those who don't know, that's a majormajormajor insult.

Anywho.

In my internet search of all things PR, I went to obvious places like the Bravo website & Television Without Pity. I gotta say that the Bravo site has some true gems (Tim's podcasts are beyond fan-damn-tastic). But there was one thing I did not expect to find.

Daniel Franco.

Now is the part where I must beg for forgiveness because, had I posted this link earlier this week, then you, dear reader, may've had the opportunity to speak to Danny Freakazoid Franco. Alas, the time has passed. But you may still hear/watch telephone conversations with, not only Fancazoid, but also Andrae Gonzalo! Yay Andrae! Santino is on there, too, but Andrae!!! Woo!

Ring My Bell - http://ringmybell.tv/

My hope is that our dearest darling Nick Verreos will do an appearance on Ring My Bell someday. In the mean time, you can get your fix at Nick's blog.

So other than listening to Andrae cackle on the telephone, I've also been listening to music lately.
I, uh, think I might like Jared Leto's band.
And All-American Rejects ('cause they are fellow Okies, for one thing)
And Wolfmother.
And Amerie.
And Xina, of course.
I'm even developing a fondness for Harry & The Potters, who will be performing at the LA Central Library TOMORROW, peeps!
There are also a few I'm already sick of (Panic! At the Disco! Ugh!).

So I'm curious ... what are you listening to?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Well, poop.


So george is unemployed again. Which means I guess I won that bet that she'd be outta there within 2 weeks. But I was joking, people! I did not wish that doom would befall her once more! I just thought that a little challenge (even a jokey one) might urge her to yank up the ol' boot straps in that "Oh yeah? I'll show you!" kinda way. But now? Now I feel guilty. I am a poopy pants who doesn't support her beloved friends. I su-huck. Oh well. But the good news is that george doesn't have to spend another moment with Stupid Inconsiderate Trainer Lady.

My new suggestion is that george should stay home for a bit & get sucked into the whole Housewife Whirlpool that has consumed me lately. Granted, she'll have to get out sometimes so that she doesn't suffer from Derek Overload. But she'll enjoy the fact that there's absolutely no reason to fake interest or be polite to anyone. Before long she'll develop a strong fascination for the culinary arts, too, & we'll publish a cook book together. We'll be the not-so-desperate housewives. It'll kick ass.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why I'm proud to be a feminist, vol. 1

Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech. Definitely worth watching. I may have to go out and buy all of his stuff just to show my support.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Randomness

This is a post that george can ignore. But for those of you with a bit of time on your hands, enjoy!

The World Cup. Damn it. Freakin' Zidane comes out of retirement for this tournament and what does he do? He throws the whole game away by doing something that is soooooo obviously a red-card-worthy offense. I smell a conspiracy. Just imagine if we all went through life, head-butting anyone we wanted. It might look a little something like THIS. By the by, the song in this clip is from a group called Pink Martini. I heart them.

Subway maps can be pretty.

I looooove animation. That's why I love the National Film Board of Canada. You can now watch a ton of excellent short animated films on their website (many of which have won awards). If you ever went to the animation festivals that they used to show at the old Williams Center movie theater (RIP), then you'll especially enjoy this.
Just click HERE.
My favorites: The Cat Came Back, The Big Snit, and George and Rosemary.

My vote for New Website That Should Thrive: Long Awkward Pose. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese. My favorite is John. Anthony is a close second.

A dose of interesting advice for all of us: "How To Be Creative" from the guy at Gaping Void.

And lastly ... how long before Animal Planet starts airing The Fly Whisperer?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Glamorous Life




Monday night I was talking to my old pal, Leazle. L & I lived across the hall from one another in the honors dorms. We became friends after she threatened to throw an apple at the back of my head. She's an odd duck, but she makes me laugh.

Anywho, she had found some of our old classmates from college on MySpace & called to tell me about it. Within minutes, I was on-line, looking at profiles, seeing what all of these old acting & music theater majors were up to. The biggest surprise for me is that so many of them are still living in LA or New York, chasing the ol' dream. Only one of them seems to be making some sort of living at acting. She appeared on the show "Rescue Me" last season & this year she was on an NBC show called "Conviction" which, sadly, has been canceled. As for the rest? Well, it looks like some have gotten little parts in mediocre independent films. I saw one of them in a beer ad a few years ago.

And that's about it.

I feel conflicted about this information. Part of me admires them for still trying, mainly because it looks like they may actually be enjoying themselves out in LaLaLand. But mainly I'm just reminded of how sad and difficult The Industry is ... and I'm reminded of why I've made the decisions I have.

Oddly, I never felt drawn to act for a living simply because of all of the crap that comes with it. I love to act. I love it because I love storytelling, but to actually work as an actor for a living is sooooooo difficult. All of those auditions. Headshots. Begging an agent to take you on. More auditions. To quote a favorite film, "Desperation - it's the worst cologne." Which must be why the very idea of acting for a living makes my nose wrinkle.

Most of the people reading this know why I didn't follow the same path as my peers. I originally wanted to become a theatre professor. But then I realized that the last thing this country needs is more actors. To teach a bunch of students knowing full well that less than 10% would get any sort of job in this field ... well, it would break my heart. I can't do it in good conscience. That's why I restrict most of my acting to the realm of community theatre.

Which brings me to last night. Tim and I visited an open house for a local theater company to find out about volunteer opportunities. Long story short: they found out that I have experience with stage management ... and began to drool. They also said that someone is working in that building every day of the week - building costumes, selling tickets in the box office, painting sets, the works. So if I'm bored, I can just drop them a line & they'll put me to work.

Strangely, they didn't seem interested in the fact that I act, too. Hmm.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Daniel Franco, where did you go?

M'kay, peeps. I've got a MAJOR problem. Majormajormajor. It seems that, in the nearly 3 months of living here, I have overlooked something. And I don't know what to do to fix this.

Our cable company does not air the Bravo channel. No Bravo. Which means no Project Runway.

No Project Runway?!?!?! Eep! What do I do? How do I proceed? Help! Suggestions? Please? Other than writing a big WTF e-mail to Time Warner Cable, of course. 'Cause that won't put Tim Gunn on my television tomorrow night.

Dammit. Moving sucks.

But you know what doesn't suck? This Mr. T sock monkey on Crafster. Kick ass!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Inside looking out



I am told that while goerge was visiting Tulsa, people asked her about me. "How's Mary? What's she been up to?" And george's response was basically, "I don't know. I don't think she leaves the house."

Well, that's not quite true. Not quite. I mean, I definitely got out of the house a TON while the parents were here (saw the ocean and the mountains and much in between), but most of the time I'm alone & I don't have a lot of reason to leave. But I do go out! Really! And not just to buy groceries. Lately I have gotten up the nerve to explore the countryside a bit. Oh yes! The other day I took an exit off of the highway that hinted that a lake might be near by. So I drove and drove for about 10 miles and found the lake. Woo! And drove around the hidden neighborhoods near the lake & enjoyed the scenery & took a pamphlet on a house that was for sale. Because my latest interest is real esate. Real estate and becoming a kick-ass cook. Can you say "nesting"? Yes, I think I'm nesting. That's probably why I spend so much time at home. Some sort of nesting urge is kicking in. Next thing you know I'll be begging to have a baby or some other four-limbed creature.

Tim does not necessarily help, justsozyaknow. After a long day of programming happy shiny games, he doesn't really want to go out. He wants to eat some tasty food, watch a bit of poker, & play with his Legos. So don't just blame me, people! I'm living with an enabler!

But I'm determined to fix this. I even checked out some books at the library to help me. There's a book about taking walks & short drives around the Triangle area. And I got another book called "The North Carolina One-Day Trip Book"
and also "North Carolina Weekends". So whether we've got one hour to spare or 48, we've got some inspiration. Also, I'm going to an event on Tuesday sponsored by a local theater troupe. And next weekend I'm going to the Rock & Shop Market. So ya see? I'm not a pathetic lump of lonely flesh! Honest!

There are days, though, when it's hard to walk out that door. Today, for instance, we have plans to go out. But I must admit that I feel torn. The World Cup Finals are today. Italy vs France. Should be an exciting game. In this house, we're supporting France for political reasons (Only England gets to pick on France, you bastards!). But I'm afraid that we've jinxed our previous favorites simply by watching their matches (I still cannot discuss what happened in England's final game. Like Beckham, it makes me feel misty). So I think we'll walk away from the TV just to ensure France's win. Will it work? Probably not. But we must try. At least we'll get some fresh air in the bargain.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Time for (a) toast!


He's here! Little baby Maxwell has arrived! When I got the news this morning (no, george, I honestly don't mind that you called after midnight), I was so excited! And nearly 10 pounds, too. Goodness! That's one healthy baby! Hooray!!! Here are some more exclamation points just so you can see how excited I am about this!!!!!!!!

Truly, I'm just thrilled for them. Yesterday I was thinking about Ed & Rhiannon a ton (especially when I saw these food trays at Pottery Barn Kids). I gazed at photos of the two of them and thought about how they just look like cute little parents. So I'm glad to know that the wait is finally over and that darling little Maxwell has arrived.

So what does one do when one is celebrating a momentous event? Why, one makes a toast, of course. And Tim and I pulled out all the stops. We got out our toaster and the bread, of course. And then we retrieved our huge stash of toast-toppings.
- butter (actually, parkay. It spreads more easily)
- strawberry preserves
- blackberry preserves
- grape jam
- lemon curd
- pumpkin curd
- cream cheese
- lime marmalade
- marmite
- apple butter
We prepared our toast with the marmalade & parkay, held our slices aloft and proclaimed "A toast to Maxwell Phinaeus Sullivan! May his life be as sweet & delightful as lime marmalade."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Halleluyah + Kahlua = Hallekahluyah!


I am a happy person tonight, y'all. My darling husband went out & bought me some booze before coming home. This is fantastic because (a) I have gone a whole month without having any Kahlua in the house and (b) I meant to buy some after my trip to the grocery store today but, dammit all, I spent all my money on friggin' groceries.

Stupid friggin' groceries.

But hey! It's okay! Because last night after shopping for more Lego sets, I conveniently showed Tim where our local liquor store - or the ABC store - is located. "That building right there! With the sign that says 'ABC'! Go there!" We pulled in front of the store and a friendly neighborhood highway patrol officer informed us that the store was closed. But luckily for me, Tim remembered my desperation & stopped by the store on the way home. So I had to wait nearly 20 hoooooours before I got my hands on some Kahlua & milk. But it happened. It finally finally happened. And I am happy.

And by the way, I know that the comic above (from the London Times) is not very amusing. But I discovered that if you do a Google search on the word "Kahlua", most of the pics you get will be of pets. Dogs. Cats. Rabbits. There was even an alpaca, people. Here's the proof.


Anywho. Now I get to explain what the first three letters of the alphabet have to do with booze. From what I have been able to gather, in order for an establishment to sell "spirituous liquor" in this state, they must obtain an ABC license. "ABC" stands for Alcoholic Beverage Control or Alcoholic Beverage Commission or Certificate or Consumption or Carrot or Children or Cheesecake or some other C word. Go ahead. Pick a C word. It's fun.

I'm kinda amused by the ABC store thingy that we have here. It reminds me of the liquor stores in Utah ... all of which are closed by some ridiculously early hour like 4pm. And I think they're all run by the state of Utah, too. And just ordering a glass of something alcoholic in Utah is just such a major hassle. You can see why we chose not to live there. Apparently, the liquor stores here are not run by the state. But why is the signage so vague? In Oklahoma, they have nice, simple, yellow signs that say "LIQUOR". You know what it's all about. But here? I don't know how many times I drove past ABC stores before I knew what they were. I was only able to decifer the code becauase I noticed some small print on a restaurant menu a couple of weeks back. Why are they being so secretive about the booze? Why do you have to know the local lingo just to buy a bottle of gin in this state?


Then again, this is the state where the panhandlers are required to wear orange safety vests while they're on duty. I am so very serious about this. There are some guys who beg for money near the exit ramps on some of the highways. They set themselves up next to the stop lights with the usual paraphenalia - cardboard signs and all of that. But oddly enough, they're all wearing these orange safety vests. I actually watched one guy walking over to the intersection vest-less BUT! As soon as he got to his favorite corner, he pulled out an orange vest and put it on! Tim thinks he may have even spotted some of them wearing special badges around their necks. Maybe they have to wear their panhandling licenses or something.

Whatever it is, it's bizarre. I mean, why is this necessary? Why are they doing everything they can to make the beggars more visible, but they try to make the liquor stores less visible? Where's the logic in that, I ask you?

Hmmm. Well, I think it's time for me to build a big Lego viking fort with Tim. Sadly, the kit did not come with a commemorative Panhandler Keychain like the one pictured. But if we finally decide to build a Lego town, you better believe we'll be getting one.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy B-day, USA

Independence Day is a strange holiday around our house, what with there being a non-American under our roof. I imagine it's probably interesting for Holly and Andrey, too, but ... well, Andrey is Russian, so it isn't the same as our situation.

Because Tim, my darling life-partner-person-thingy, is British, I must confess that I feel a bit uncomfortable celebrating the 4th of July. Guilty even. Afterall, this is when my country celebrates the fact that we finally broke up with his country. It's as if the entire USA is gleefully singing "I Will Survive" at karaoke, occasionally glaring in the direction of the U.K. because ... well, the U.K. knows what it did. Anywho, if I were to celebrate Independence Day, it'd be as if I were up on that stage, singing along with everyone else. And after the song was over, I'd have to step down & say, "You didn't take that personally, did you honey? I mean, I don't want to live totally independent of you ... just your evil evil homeland." And even that wouldn't be right because, frankly, I'm rather fond of the UK! Oh, I feel so confused.

So as you can imagine, we haven't been grilling hot dogs & singing the national anthem 'round these parts. We had a fun day, though! Tim bought this great Lego castle set which we put together. And we watched the Italy & Germany World Cup match (We wanted Germany to win. We were disappointed). And I made a scrumptious dinner (Italian, in case you're curious). And now Tim is watching poker.

However.

The family that lives immediately across the street? They're setting off fireworks. And if I sit right in front of our front door, I can see everything they're setting off above our pine trees. And as a bonus, I'm not getting eaten by mosquitos. But it still doesn't feel like I'm a part of the celebration.

Well, USA, I'm sorry I didn't make it to your birthday party. Hope you had a nice time anyway!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm back!

Well, it's been almost a fortnight since I've posted anything. I've been sooooooo busy! But my parents are gone now and I'm feeling rather sad and lonely. And a tad worthless. But! At least we had a good time while they were here. Here's a run-down of what we did.

My parents and I drove over to Atlantic Beach and stayed in a condo right on the beach - which was expensive, but sooooo worth it. There isn't a single grain of sand in my car, babies. And the seats stayed dry the whole trip. Yes, I have my priorities straight. Anywho, Mom and I spent a day on the beach, flying kites and splashing about in the waves, but mostly laying under my new beach umbrella & reading. I loooooove my beach umbrella. Best $30-something bucks I ever spent. If any of you ever go to the beach, I highly recommend you get one. It may sound decadent, but it's not. It's a necessity. Because of this beloved beach umbrella, I only got a light sunburn on my back. That's it! A sunburn so light that I didn't even peel! So yes. I'm in love with my beach umbrella. I am not ashamed. What else. We ate a lot of seafood. Walked around the cute beachy towns. Took a boat tour of the area, saw some wild ponies. Stuff like that.

So that was Wednesday through Friday of the week before last (the 21st - 23rd). On that Friday we drove back here, grabbed Tim, & drove out to Lake Lure for the weekend. Lake Lure is over in the Blue Ridge mountains to the west. Sooooooooo damn pretty! I can't find any pictures on the internet that do it justice. However, we know that parts of Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans were filmed there, so ... well, come on. I know you people have watched Dirty Dancing. Don't lie to me. Anyway, I wouldn't say I had the time of my life, but I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping we get to go back. Maybe we'll take Tim's mom there when she comes to visit. While we were staying in Lake Lure, we went to Chimney Rock Park which is just down the road. A bit of hiking. And the town is very touristy, but still very pretty.

But the bestbestbest thing was we got to see Megan!!!! Yay for Megan!!! She was dancing with a ballet troupe in Ashville, so we caught the last performance on Saturday night. Holy god, it was soooooooo good. Really truly amazing stuff. And Megan was wonderful, as always! This troupe does some really amazing work. I really truly wish they were a year-round company. They've only been around for 4 years though, so there's time for it to grow. I'd mention the name, but I don't want to put it out there without Megan's approval. But you can see some of the troupe's work on-line at their website. Just ask me or Megan.

Sunday we had brunch in Asheville with Megan before she drove back to Tulsa. Did I mention that Asheville kicks ass? And that it's gorgeous? Because it is. I kinda wish we lived there instead. The Triangle has a ton to do, but Asheville is just so damn pretty and artsy and lovely. Anyway, we ate with Megan & talked about baboons & various other things. After hugging Megan goodbye, we went to the Biltmore Estate. Very pretty, but .... well, the place is too damn big to feel cozy and homey. 250 rooms! Not my ideal home. But ya gotta love a house with an enormous library big enough to hold 10,000 books. And you gotta love a house that has a patry kitchen. Yes, a kitchen devoted just to making baked goods. You also gotta love the free wine tasting at the vineyard. Everything else there is pretty damn expensive, so if you go, definitely take them up on the free alkeehol.

My favorite part of Biltmore was the gardens. For those who don't know, I seriously considered becoming a landscape architect back when I was 18. Silly me, I chose theatre instead! But back then I developed a serious love for Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the gardens at Biltmore, so it was a thrill for me to walk those paths and see the environments he designed. Tim seemed to really enjoy it, too.

The following Monday (the 26th, about a week ago), we drove back to our house. Tim went back to work & my parents spent the rest of the week puttering about. We went to Duke Gardens & Chapel, visited a big historic home that's about 1/2 a mile from our place, hung out at the library a couple of times (yes, george, I finally have a library card). I also cooked a lot, which I'll talk about later. We had dinner with one of dad's oldest friends who just happens to work at UNC. This guy was so frickin' cool! I liked him a lot. He worked for the Clinton administration & now heads a department at the university. I'm hoping he enjoyed talking with me Tim. I think it'd be fun to go out to dinner with him sometime without the 'rents around.

So. Friday the parents left. I cried. I must admit that I was a bit out of sorts for most of their visit (Gary's death was hard). But ever since I left Tulsa, I'd been looking forward to having them here. Now I don't feel that I have anything to look forwad to. Doesn't that sound pathetic? Ugh. Gotta get off my ass & fix that.

But not yet. This weekend is all about the World Cup and the U.S. Grand Prix. I'll work on getting a life on Monday.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sad today

My parents arrived yesterday. They're fine. But they brought bad news.

Our Gary kitty cat died on Sunday night. He'd been sick for a long time, but it's hard. He was just such a fantastic cat.

So. I'm glad I heard it in person & that my parents are here to soften the blow. Because losing Gary has made me feel rather heart-broken & extraordinarily homesick.

Sigh.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A big whale & a smattering of "Dick"

Feeling a little home-sick today. But I found this & it made me smile a little.


But watching Ed in this clip made me smile even more. Yay!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The parents are coming! The parents are coming!

Hey kids. Sorry I don't post very often anymore. Frankly, my life is pretty dull lately. Watching a bit of the FIFA World Cup (and liking it, actually). Doing a bit of experimental cooking. Looking at videos of an adorable kitten named BeiBei on YouTube. Talking with my on-line pals about that televised interview with Britney Spears (Throw out the gum, honey! And for the love of gawd, put some clothes on!). So, uh, I just don't have much to write about! But hopefully that will change because the 'rents will arrive on Monday. And boy oh boy, do we have plans!


We'll spend a couple of nights next week at Atlantic Beach. During our stay, I'm sure Mother will relax on the beach and acquire a lovely tan, whilst my father and I will cover ourselves in SPF 50+ and burn anyway (see photo at left from our last visit to Atlantic Beach in 1987). Just like our previous visit, I'll be wearing a red bathing suit so at least my flesh will match my attire. Then next weekend we'll come back here, grab Tim, & we'll all head west to the mountains near Asheville, where we'll tour the Biltmore Estate ... and then drive home in silence, thinking about how terribly unsuccessful we are, financially-speaking. But I hear the gardens are gorgeous! Yay!

So what am I doing this weekend in preparation for their arrival? Other than buying more toilet paper, of course? Well, you better believe I'll be listening to "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me"! I think that listening to it and imagining Chris in the audience, will make me feel that much closer to her. Which will make me very happy, indeed. Yay!

Other stuff I might do:
1. Catch up on my NPR listening. I lurves me some NPR, but I'm not really a fan of the local station. It's too polished. I miss the quirky people at KWGS! So I've been catching up a lot on the internet. I'm especially looking forward to this story about a book called "Funny, But No". The book is kinda based on an old feature on the internet that I used to read weekly (they never mention the internet connection, but I know the truth, man!). Click on the link & read a few of the examples.
2. Oogle the items at A Southern Season. Mmmm ... gourmet grocery stoooooooore. This place is huge. Take LaDonna's & multiply it by 20. Something like that, but with a bakery and patisserie and every kind of gourmet chocolate ever made and 3000 varieties of wine and ... pardon me while I wipe the drool off of my chin.
3. Drive past the Hog Day festivities, but not necessarily stopping & getting out of the car. I found out that the barbecue they serve at Hog Day is (understandably) North Carolina Style. Which means that the sauce is basically vinegar &, therefore, not the thick, sweet stuff to which I am accustomed. Screw that.

So what are you doing this weekend?