Friday, June 22, 2007

Optimism & lightnin' bugs

Good news: I'm starting to get happy about the trip to Disney World.

Yesterday (Thursday, as I'm typing this late on Friday night) I was feeling incredibly intimidated by this trip. It's been a decade since I've been to WDW and, believe it or not, things can change there rather quickly. And since my beloved husband has never been to WDW, I was all the more concerned. So Sylvia (the mum-in-law) and I headed over to a bookstore to gather information.

Have you been to the travel section of your local bookstore lately? Have you noticed the SHELVES of books dedicated to Disney World? It's unreal! There's the offical guide, the unofficial guide, there's the guide for grown-ups and the guide to "the best of the best" (AKA the most expensive stuff). There's the Top 10 guide & the Zagat guide the interesting planne in a spiral bound notebook with tabs and on and on and on. And that's before you even start to consider other non-Disney options like Universal Studios or Sea World or a thousand other things. It's frightening! At one point, the mum-in-law sat down in a comfy chair with a book and let me do my research on my own, but before long I just felt dizzy from information overload. So I wandered over to her with 4 books in hand & said, "I just don't know what to do. It's so overwhelming!"

And then Divine Providence stepped in.

"Excuse me," a voice said. "Are you going to Florida?"
The question came from the man sitting across the way from my MIL.
"Yes," we said. "In fact, we're leaving for Disney World in just a few days for a family reunion. But we've been too busy with other things to plan our trip and now we don't know what to do!"
"Well," said the kind man, "I used to be a travel agent. Maybe I can help."
And help he did. He gave us handy advice and even told us which books to ignore and which are actually helpful (and luckily, the helpful books are smaller and cheaper than the not-so-helpful books). This man was fabulous! After chatting with him for 10 minutes, he went about his way. He never even told us his name. But ever since I spoke with him, I've been feeling much much better about this trip. Yay. :)

In other news, I am tipsy. Tonight is the mum-in-law's last night in NC, so we decided to have a bottle of wine with dinner. The others gave up early, so I ended up drinking about half the bottle on my own. As a result, I am making TONS of typos and I am trying my best to fix them as I go along. I hope I'm doing an excellent job and when I come back to re-read this post tomorrow I'll be supremely impressed with my own Tipsy typing skills.
We decided to eat dinner in the breakfast nook so we could enjoy the beautiful view of our wooded back garden. While we were eating dinner, Sylvia noticed some small flashes of light. And for a moment she was concerned that maybe there was something wrong with her! Maybe the alcohol was affecting her vision. What else couled explain these tiny flashes of green light?!? Luckily, she said something to us and Tim explained that what she was seeing were fireflies ... or "lightnin' bugs" as we call 'em in my neck o' the woods. She had never seen them before! Can you imagine? It was then that I realized that during the past week, we'd always been out shopping at dusk so Sylvia had been missing this every night. How glad I am that we started dinner later tonight and she was able to catch our own, miniature electric light show. Yay. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Orlando - T-minus a couple days or so

Tim's mum arrived on Monday evening. Poor jet-lagged thing! But she is recovering nicely and we've been very lazy together for a few days and plan on continuing the laziness until the weekend. Because it aaaaaaaaall comes apart after that.

Ya see, next week is the final week of June. The week I've been dreading for nearly a year now. Because next week I have to be in Orlando.
Now don't get me wrong. I've been to Disney 4 times. The place is great fun! Love it! Unless, of course, I'm there during the heat of summer when, coincidently, the parks are the busiest. It is HELLISH!!!!!! But this is what Mom wanted to do. This, for some ungodly reason, is the way that my mother wants us to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of my parents. So I and 15 other loved ones will be down there together, burning and sweltinging and melting and suffering from heat stroke, all for the love of my parents.

Seriously, Mom. You want proof that you and Dad are loved? This is your proof. Because this is the closest approximation to "going to hell and back" than can possibly be conceived of while we are still living. You're welcome.

The good news is we'll be around loved ones, of course. That will be fun. But other than that, I have no earthly idea what we're going to do with our time. Tim and I have been totally consumed with house stuff for so many months that I have not spent even 5 minutes planning this trip. So that is my goal for the next couple of days: research Disney & Orlando, find out what sort of weather is ahead of us, & maybe possibly make some decisions about something.

Or I'll just sit around and eat grapes with Tim's mum. One or the other.

Final kvetch: It's steamy hot in this part of the country. High of 97 two days ago with humidity to match. I wish I were in Seattle!!!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shut the damn windows!

Once upon a time, my mom's best friend, Helen, lived in a haunted farm house in Pennsylvania. That's right - haunted. Helen & her family believed that the ghost was a woman because some members of the family had seen her silhouette from afar. Also, the ghost had a habit of moving Helen's jewelry around and rearranging the china in the hutch - typical girly stuff. The only bad thing about this ghost is that she had a habit of opening the windows and the front door and just leaving them open. It didn't matter what the weather was like outside; she just kept opening the windows! Well, one cold and snowy winter's night, Helen and the family drove home after an evening out to find the windows WIDE open & snow blowing into the house.
Helen had had enough.
She stormed into the house & yelled, "Listen. I don't mind that you move the china. I don't even mind that you play with my jewelry. But will you PLEASE shut the damn windows!!?!?!?!!!!!"
And the ghost obeyed. From that day on, the doors and windows were never mysteriously left open.

I love that story. I often think of it whenever I'm closing windows, be they the windows on a house or even the internet windows on my computer.

The problem is ... well, I have a nasty habit of leaving windows open for a loooooong time. Internet browser windows, I mean. I just keep finding good stuff! Not great enough to add to My Favorites, but still really good, ya know? Plus I like to have a lot of windows open at once. A LOT. For instance, I have 13 pages open on my browser right now & that's actually a fairly small number for me. This isn't good because, inevitably, Internet Explorer will crash from my over-enthusiasm & I'll lose all of those precious windows that I had kept open. This always breaks my heart.

So I think occasionally I will post links to interesting things here on my blog so I can shut some damn windows and still be able to refer to them later. And if any of you feel like following the links & enjoying my finds, so much the better!

Bake & Destroy blog:
Married ... With Dinner blog:
Recipe for ice cream in a bag:
Paris Daily Photo blog:
"Durham: The Making of an Image" article:

And here's a simple recipe I like. I found it at one of my very favorite blogs: Posie Gets Cozy.

(Bis)Quick Applesauce Muffins
2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. applesauce
1 slightly beaten egg
2 T. vegetable oil

Melted butter
Cinnamon sugar

Mix ingredients together for 30 seconds. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Cool slightly, then dip top lightly in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. Makes a dozen.

PS: Yes, I know I should be posting the 400 photos I have saved on my camera. It's just such a hassel & I can't get things to look the way I want on the screen and blah. If anyone has some tips, I'd appreciate it.

PPS: One more link. This one is for george.
NPR/Marketplace story: "What's an escrow?"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Quirks of marrying a Simpson's fan (who also happens to be a foreigner)

Scene: Mary and Tim are sitting on the couch, looking at the Falkland Islands on Google Maps. After much hunting, they finally find a city.

Tim: That must be Stanley.
Mary: Stanley? They have a city called Stanley?!
Tim: It's the capitol.
Mary: [stunned with confusion & awe]
Tim: What. It's a perfectly cromulent name.
Mary: I've never heard anyone use the word "cromulent" in ordinary conversation before.
Tim: And that's why you love me.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Tony or Tony?

So which did you watch: Tony Soprano & the series finale of "The Sopranos"? Or did you watch the Tony Awards? Honestly, I have never seen a single solitary episode of "The Sopranos" (yes, really!) and since I don't have HBO, it didn't bother me one bit that I was missing the big finale. Probably a good thing, though, as I hear that tons of fans are seriously pissed off with the lame ending to the show.

Oh well!

Good thing I was watching the Tony Awards. :D

The only problem, of course, is that there are now all of these shows that I desperately want to see! I have spent a LOT of time today watching footage of "Spring Awakening" on YouTube, so I have "Bitch of Living" playing on repeat in my brain (complete with stomping and jumping around). And oh how I looooooong to see "The Coast of Utopia"! I don't care that it's 9 hours long. I want to see it! Or at least read it. The very very best part of the night, though, was when David Hyde Pierce won his Tony for "Curtains". Oh my god. When they were listing the names of the nominees, you could see the blood draining out of his face, as he realized that there was no possible way he could beat the competition. He was heartbroken. I felt ill just looking at him because I was so sure that the kid from "Spring Awakening" was going to win. But then .... but then! ... They called his name! And the man was so shocked I thought he was going to pass out. You know how people say, "You could have knocked him over with a feather"? I think that was literally true in this case. It was amazing. He started to cry a bit as he walked towards the stage & it was so clear that this meant the world to him. Loved it. LOVED IT!

So of course, the down side of this is that I find myself REALLY REALLY missing the world of theatre today. It's been a year and a half since I've been on-stage. It doesn't feel like that long, but there you have it. I've got to fix this. Really. I know that this is a new town and they do things differently here and I'll have to start from the bottom, but I really need to start. This is just too big a part of me to let it die.

The only problem? I got to put together a resume. I can't remember half the stuff I've done, let alone when I did it! Eep!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Good-bye Friday

So what does one say after neglecting one's blog for a while? I know it is customary to apologize, but that's boring. So forget that mess. ;)

It's been a week now since we walked away from the old house. That was a sad day for me. I really grew to love that house. I enjoyed the colorful walls. And I will desperately miss the enormous bathtub.

And of course, Dinosaur Duck, the bizarre bit of statuary in the back garden that (at least, in our eyes) looks more like a brontosaurus than a bird.

There are oodles of things I like better about our own place, but ... well, it's always hard to say goodbye to something. So last Friday when I shut that door for the last time, I got a little misty-eyed. Plus, the old owner of our new house stopped by one last time before flying out to Italy. And then my mother flew back to Tulsa that evening. So it was just one good-bye after another last Friday. No wonder I've been feeling low since then!

Luckily, before Mom left, we found a little time to visit a tea shop in Raleigh. The place is called V's and it is located in a Victorian house that, oddly enough, is laid out almost exactly like the house where my mother grew up. It was the perfectly, girly way to end her visit. The food was soooooo good. Tim likes a nice cream tea, so I'll have to take him there sometime.

So that was last week. And I've felt a tad low this week as a result, but I'm starting to perk up a bit. I have plenty of projects lined up in my mind. And I'm meeting a potential new girlfriend Saturday morning! So now that things are starting to happen in my life, maybe I'll actually start posting a few times a week again. Ya never know ...