Thursday, May 31, 2007

OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD!


Good morning, arugula!!!!
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My life in pictures

1. I pulled these out of my desk today -- a FLAT desk. Small. Overstuffed. I think I have an illness.

2. Here are my plants so far. This is from Day 3. I've been taking pictures almost every day. To my chagrin, there hasn't been much discernible change. YET!

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's hot

I mean, it's really hot here. It's a day for two showers. Not for me, though. I prefer to wallow and complain.

Today we went to the garden center for what Jeffrey calls "the magic of seeds." We picked up some more basil, along with arugula, chives, and a couple things I can neither pronounce nor imagine using. But Jeffrey promises to use it if I grow it.

We hadn't been to this particular garden center since my last green obsession, the Aloe Situation of 2001. I dug out a rewards card and showed it at the counter. Since it was so old, it wasn't in the system, but here's the VERY WEIRD THING: When I gave them my phone number, it pulled up a bunch of similar phone numbers and one was THE COMBINATION OF MY AND JEFFREY'S NAMES. My first name, Jeffrey's last name. AND she lives on our same street, probably 6 blocks away. I said to Jeffrey, Hey, what are you doing living with another person named Judy? Anyway, weird, huh?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Commercial endeavors

I don't watch a whole lot of television on our television anymore, since networks got hip to this whole streaming video thing. Plus, we got a Wii (mais wii!!!), so when the TV's on, someone's bowling, or running to catch a mushroom, or extorting some money ("Ooops! I just shot someone who was innocent!"). The computer's convenient, and since Felicity went off the air, I haven't found the need to watch something AS SOON as it airs. So abc.com, nbc.com it is.

In the process, I see MUCH MORE of fewer commercials. There's one that I absolutely love for Florida Orange Juice. It's set at a kid's birthday party, and the kids, typically, beat down a pinata. When it busts open, they all cry "Celery!" and run to get as much as they can. Cute and hilarious.

And there's a commercial that I absolutely hate for Orville Redenbacher popcorn, showing supposed outtakes for commercials. Why they gotta reanimate Orville Redenbacher? He didn't even see this century. That's just gross. Plus, outtakes? When was the last time you saw TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes? I think the last one I saw was a practical joke on Kirk Cameron. Seriously. And, uh, that wasn't during "Left Behind," either.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

If three's a charm, four is delicious

It's the second day of my four days off. A few months ago, on the advice of my shrink, I started putting in for a couple days off, with no plans, every few months. This is the first set and so far it's been remarkable and quotidian. Today I napped so hard that I think I became part of the couch. It was one of those naps from which I emerge sweaty, heart-pounding and not quite sure if I was awake or asleep. You know those? I was having these crazy dreams about my ex being invited to our wedding. In my dream, everyone was played by someone else except for him. He was Ryan.

Yesterday was a wonderful day of nesting. I put in 2 windowboxes. Jeffrey and I made an agreement -- if I do the garden, he'll cook with the herbs. So yesterday I loaded up the car at Lowes with peppermint, basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage. Today, while I'm conscious, I've just been watching it grow. This is joy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

OK, you got me

Two season finales made me cry this week:

1. Brothers and Sisters. This show is full of drama and silliness, but when Justin went back to Iraq to support the soldiers there, I just cried and cried.

2. Heroes. Love wins, even if sacrifices have to be made. See me wiping my eyes.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

In the door to pajama time: 1.3 minutes

(since I had to preheat the oven for Tater Tot/Chocochip Cookie Fest Day 2)

A hard day at work. On top of that I discovered today that I can't find a Wii anywhere to buy. This discovery came just a few hours after I discovered that I really wanted to buy one. This morning I played on one for the first time at Lauren and Laura's apartment. I boxed and knocked a few guys out in the first round. It is incredibly fun.

I was thinking about writing about everything that happened tonight, but I just don't want to re-live it. I just want to self-medicate with carbs and Bill Maher.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Effed up or excellent? You decide.

1. I drove all the way home tonight with a huge full-frontal grin because the oven was preheating for tater tots and frozen cookie dough.

2. I've heard "Play That Funky Music White Boy" on the radio at least once a day for the past 2 weeks.

3. I'm no longer watching the "Heroes" episodes because they are way too scary for me. An adult. Of 31.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Piano Town

It occurs to me as I write this that this will likely be the first blog entry in the history of blog entries to be about Piano Town music books. And that's because 6- and 7-year-olds don't blog yet. Seriously.

This is the picture that's on the cover of my Piano Town book. I'm up to the song "Bounce House" in Book 3 (yes!), which is bright purple. It is really hard for me. I mean, I look at the music, and it looks really, really simple. It sort of looks like that paper you used in first grade with the green dotted line down the middle of each line that helped you learn to write first roman then cursive. It's big, I'm telling you. And it's all just quarter notes and eighth notes. Nothing complicated. But this week I literally could not play one of the songs. My fingers just would not do it. I told my teacher I thought my brain was slowing down. For many reasons I've been feeling like it is.

But then she told me that this other book she gave me, Modal Expressions, was one she never gave to her kids until after 3 years of playing! And then suddenly I can play a lot better!

It's amazing. I'm 31, but I'm still the little kid who wants to be the best in the class.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Black ain't beautiful

Alright, so Spider-Man 3. Lessons learned:

1. All things black are evil. Also see: unkempt bangs and patchy skin.
2. Women forgive being kidnapped and slapped to the ground. If they're Russian immigrants, they really like aggressive, cocky behavior.
3. Losing your memory makes you actively, blissfully happy (Jeffrey has offered to bonk me on the head toward this end).
4. Almost everyone is selfish.

*update* I forgot to mention how much I hate the nickname "Topher" for Christopher. As David would say, poseur alert! OK, now back to the blog.

But will I watch it when it's on HBO? Certainly. I *may* even get it from Netflix.

In other news, Jeffrey and I tried the food from the American Rover today. It was of an extreme deliciousness. I've never dealt with a caterer before, so I didn't know how the whole thing would go. Would we pay for the tasting food? I didn't understand any of it. And when we got there, they weren't expecting us (even though I'd made an appointment). So we sat for a long time, just drinking water.

And then the food came. And it kept coming. First a ham biscuit, which was big and really tasty. Then roast beef wrapped around pine nuts and arugula and blue cheese. You can imagine how that was. Then catfish nuggets, then satay chicken and really crabby crab and artichoke dip. I mean, it was a serious amount of really good food. It makes our decision that much harder, because it's cheaper and so much better.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Supper surprise!

Jeffrey worked all day in the kitchen to make us a wonderful, wonderful dinner: lobster cheese and pasta, blue cheese cole slaw and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. The only one I'd had before was the asparagus. It was all so good. I cleaned off our dinner table (a feat) and we had white wine (I got a little buzz lightheaded) and candles. It was such a fantastic meal. He'd been planning it for weeks. He said it was comfort food because I need comfort right now. I wonder how I got with a person who loves to cook and take care of me. Pretty lucky, I guess. 8)

Uh, they're called "dried plums"

Example No. seven thousand, eight hundred infinity of how I am so impressionable: I bought a bag of dried plums today. You may know them as prunes. But they're actually dried plums. And I like plums. But the reason I bought them today is because of a commercial I've been seeing all over the telly about Sunsweet Ones. They're individually wrapped pru, er, dried plums, and people on TV just rave about how good they are. So I went to the site, looked up the nutritional info (bite per bite better than fresh fruit!), and went to the store today to pick some up. They didn't have them at the Teet, which is good, because I didn't want to be faced with the decision over all that excessive packaging. So instead I just bought a big zip-pack of them. And they're pretty good. Pretty sweet, no sugar added. A good buy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Minuet in F(!)

I've been playing Minuet in F by Mozart all week. It's filled with discord, followed by aching resolution. The direction at the top says Grazioso. I'm taking that to mean "Slow and uneven, with awkward pauses."

I'm sorry, but I find this incredibly funny

And I set it up for a long time, too.

Snidbits from today

The brevity you appreciate from a snippet; the meatyness you love from a tidbit.

1. At 3 o'clock in the morning, everything on TV is creepy. It's flipping between red ants eating slugs that never had a chance (they're all meat) and Rachael Ray drinking margaritas (oddly creepy) and the X-Files where a vomit monster heals the wounded.

2. Trying to find a nice hotel that's fairly inexpensive to reserve a block of 15 rooms for a wedding, yes, I'm the one getting married, oh, why thank you very much, is time-consuming, difficult and annoying.

3. Jeffrey called me on 2 different phones, 3 times, to have this conversation:
Him: Hey. You might get called in today.
Me: Why?
Him: Did you hear the news about the pope?
Me: DID HE DIE???
Him: Well, he has the birdflu.
Me: What?!
Him: He got it from the cardinal.

I got off the phone with a hotel lady for this.

- shakes head -

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A supposedly fun thing ... we may do again

Content warning: The following blog entry contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

OK first I'm forced to say, "Go see 'Hot Fuzz.'" It is very entertaining and fun. Jeffrey has wanted to see it for weeks, and I haven't been very interested in it. I haven't seen "Shaun of the Dead" or anything, but I'm actually interested in it now. It's this sort of "Wicker Man"-esque comedy/action/buddy movie about the best cop in London getting exiled in this tiny little village, and how he has to adjust to life there. I can't even begin to describe it, but the acting is really good and the writing begs to be underestimated.

OK back to topic: We went on the Spirit of Norfolk today to try it out for a possible wedding site. It's the faceless corporate alternative to the American Rover, which is the scrappy smaller underdog right now. Pros for the Spirit: a dedicated dance floor, large topside for the ceremony, tables and a place to hold the ceremony if there's rain. Pros for the Rover: more character, a caterer that runs a restaurant that we like (though we still have to taste the food), more intimate, we don't have to pay for a set minimum of 100 to charter the thing.

We had a super-fun time on the boat, but I think that might have been due in part to the fact that we were not paying for it. Before we left, I declared that we were not going to fit in because we are not 104 years old. Boy was I wrong. When we got there, we saw a metric ton of girls in prom dresses! So we relaxed and enjoyed our yeasty rolls with our two pats of butter while waiting for an "entertainer" to invite us to the buffet. There, I compiled a plate of tiny bites of everything but the garden salad, reasoning that every salad tastes the same. I mean, every salad tastes the same, right?

The food was so-so, nothing special, nothing horrendous. Except for the fact that it's probably going to determine in large part where we go to get married, we'd probably never talk about that food again.

The odd thing we will talk about again, likely, is the woman who called me and several of the prom girls "bitch." I was downstairs, checking the bathrooms for potential grossness, and I was waiting in the sink area with some of the girls for a stall to open up. Then I heard a woman with an angry voice say, "Shut up, bitch! You all look bad in your dress, bitch!" To be sure, I didn't know what the girls had said before I got down there, but I thought it was a bit much. They cleared out pretty quickly. I could see thick legs meet small Keds under the stall. About a minute after she emerged, I went in to look at the stall, and she came back and said to me, "Get out of my way, bitch!" It was so angry. I was appalled. She was short and stocky and walked slowly with a grimace. I looked at her, thinking, "Now if I lay her out, I'll be the asshole." So I just went back up to my table. I mean, I'd put on my nice shirt, you know?

So I told Jeffrey about it, and we settled in to watch the cheesy but fun live entertainment. But when they played "The Electric Slide," the second odd thing happened: Shorty Badwords was up on the dance floor dancing with all the prom dress girls! She knew the moves, which was more than I could say about myself, and she looked like she was having a good time! She shocked me again! She was on the fringe, to be sure, but she was right up there. She stayed there for a couple songs.

And then the third odd thing happened: S.B. disappeared into the crowd of people she'd called bad names! She was talking to them, and some of them were laughing. I wondered if they were making sport of her, which she might have coming to her. I chose to believe they were not laughing at her. But she got tired, and then she walked by us grimacing again. Jeffrey and I surmise that she's probably troubled or maybe has some kind of emotional or cognitive disability, but it wasn't obvious or anything. I feel bad for her.

hi mom! tx 4 evrythng!

I mean, seriously.

A couple pics

And by a couple, I mean exactly 2. I'm sort of freaky about that. Some people say a couple is around 2. It could be 3. Or even 4! For me, 2 is a couple. 3 is a few. And because they sound sim-u-lar, several is 7. Jeffrey says I'm precise. I am. But it doesn't mean I'm right. I just have ideas about how things should be. As my friend from college, Brian, used to say, beliefs must be deeply held; otherwise they'd be called whims.

Reason No. 1072 that I love Jeffrey.

This is the closest to cool in outfitry I've ever gotten. I'm into these sort of modern-for-the-moment shoes, and Lauren put my unwarranted long hair into a bun. With a pencil! She doesn't realize I'm going to ask her to do that every time I see her. I'm also wearing my Queen T, an ironic nod to the fact that the actual queen of England was visiting the country. I made Jeffrey take a picture. Hee!

File this under "Lyrics I can't believe I've gleefully/mindlessly memorize and sung"

I heard "Don't Fear the Reaper" this week. I cannot believe this was ever popular. It reached No. 12 on the the Billboard chart. Seriously.

Come on baby... And we had no fear
And we ran to him... Then we started to fly
We looked backward and said goodbye
We had become like they are
We had taken his hand
We had become like they are

It's about suicide! They have the word Cult in the name! For real!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Musical junk food

I don't know why, but today I am nostalgic for Richard Marx. He was an 80s pop star who wrote these catchy ballads that would tell a little story. Whatever happened to songs that would tell a little story? Did they go the way of the concept video? (another crappy thing I miss) The song I listened to tonight was "Hazard." Instead of trying to retell the song, I'm just going to include the lyrics here (my comments in ital):

My mother came to Hazard when I was just seven
Even then the folks in town said with prejudiced eyes

That boy's not right ...


OK, yes, you've hooked me Richard.

Three years ago when I came to know Mary
First time that someone looked beyond the rumours and the lies

And saw the man inside ...


O, how lonely you must have been until you met Mary. You're telling me. And I get it.

We used to walk down by the river
She loved to watch the sun go down
We used to walk along the river
And dream our way out of this town ...
No one understood what I felt for Mary

A beautiful love story. But ... why do the chords sound so ominous?

No one cared until the night she went out walking alone
And never came home ...
Man with a badge came knocking next morning
Here was I surrounded by a thousand fingers suddenly
Pointed right at me ...

Oh shit.

I swear I left her by the river
I swear I left her safe and sound
I need to make it to the river
And leave this old Nebraska town
I think about my life gone by
And how it's done me wrong
There's no escape for me this time
All of my rescues are gone, long gone
I swear I left her by the river
I swear I left her safe and sound
I need to make it to the river
And leave this old Nebraska town ...

So who did it? I'll never know. I must listen to the song again.

Anyway, see what I mean? It's absolute crap, but it's pretty. And I seem to remember maybe a sepia-toned video, too? Anyway, I miss it.