Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome to Drunken Piano Night

Before you think I'm completely crazy, let me explain the reasoning for drunken piano night. A few weeks ago, I wanted champagne. I love champagne, but my biggest complaint is that I can't get single girl sized servings. They make little wine bottles, but they don't carry little champagne bottles in my grocery store. So when I wanted champagne, I had to buy the big bottle and drink the whole sucker. Yeah, bubbly things don't store well.

Upon completion of half the bottle that night, I realized I'd never played the piano drunk. I've never had a piano at home! So I ran and played the piano and realized that all the tightness, all the inhibitions......were gone! I made tons of mistakes, fell off the bench laughing, but managed to get in some amazing work. The next week at lessons, my teacher was in shock at how far I'd gotten on some of the more difficult pieces. It was the best lesson I'd had, and I joked with him that I should have regular drunken piano nights.

So last night, I mentioned to Jere that I was due for drunken piano night, and he told me to go for it. I went to Martin's, got fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes for a spinach salad, and a bottle of pink champagne (my favorite). I had dinner while the bottle chilled, then went at it. And here is the photo chronicle of Drunken Piano Night, August 2008!

I toast to you. And to me. And to my camera. Salud! Slainte! Serefe! Cheers! (That's the most important thing I learn on my travels....toasts in every language. For reference, that's Spanish, Gaelic, and Turkish)

Bottoms up!

Without a piano, a drunken pianist is just a drunk.

There is a point at which one becomes too drunk to play the piano. I had to turn to movies around my 6th glass...

...and to playing with my bimbo.

At some point during the evening, I went online shopping. I checked my Amazon account this morning, and it turns out I bought "Champagne for Dummies", "Wine for Dummies", and Norah Jones sheet music. Guess I decided to make this a regular event.

If she were awake, she'd roll her eyes at me.

The bottle is gone and the movie is over. I guess I decided to steal her pillow. I was fast asleep as soon as I put the camera down, I'm guessing.

Today's lesson: They say that people who drink alone are alcoholics. That's why I have a cat, a piano, and AOL Instant Messenger.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lazy Saturday?

Come on! Isn't Saturday supposed to involve sleeping in? I love having my cat to keep me company, and yes, we've been going to sleep earlier than usual so I can get up before the crack of noon. But Saturday is about staying in bed all morning, and Miss Ginger wasn't about to change her schedule.

Time to get out of bed, mom, I've been up for hours!

Put down the silly laptop and give me food!

Fine. I'm just going to sit here and stare at you until you feed me.

And once I fed her, she left me. She's fast asleep in her daddy's bed.

Today's lesson: I saw this on GraphJam last night, and I think it fits.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I really deserved a great day.

Yesterday was fantastic. Which makes up for the crap that was Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday morning was fine. I got up, baked four dozen cookies to give out to people here, and went to have a great lunch with Andrea. My day should have continued on just as fine, right?

Instead, I got sick after lunch, and it somehow drained every last bit of energy out of me. I looked like Superman does when he gets near kryptonite. But my day was far from over, so I dragged myself to the post office, then came home to finish all my baking. Jerry's office at the Pentagon wanted cake, and was willing to trade some of Monique's Hawaiian meatballs for it. Those meatballs are the one reason I can't be a true vegetarian LOL.

So while waiting for the oven to preheat, I stood in the kitchen trying to eat. And then the inside of the oven burst into flames. And not little flames. Big flames. It's electric, so I leaned over and punched the button to turn it off (thankfully that stopped the whole bursting into flames thing), and ran to the leasing office. The girl up there saw me running in and asked what was wrong, and I told her my oven had blown up and she laughed. Apparently the heating element went out, and they've had 8 of them go in the past few weeks. Normally I would have had to wait a day or two for them to replace it, but since I was in the middle of baking, and I had dropped off cookies to them earlier in the day, the maintenance man came and fixed it at 7:00 at night. Sweet!

Unfortunately, it meant not finishing my baking until well after 10. I finally got to sleep around midnight, and got up before six to get myself together and get on the road to fight DC traffic. Then I had the half hour metro ride, and then security at the Pentagon. Let me tell you, everyone is so friendly there at security. They laughed when I begged them not to squish my cake, told me the pictures on my ID's were gorgeous, and showed me exactly where I needed to go. Not to mention they were fast and efficient. TSA needs to come learn from these guys.

After I left there, I went to Ikea. I found some wonderful things, then dealt with the surly checkout guy. Is it just me, or do they seem to have a rule at Ikea where they refuse to help small people load big things back onto their cart? Finally, this woman and her two kids helped me drag it all into the elevator. I told her she was the most help I'd gotten in the store all day. She must not have been from DC. ;-)

And after all this, I came home. My Ikea purchases are still in the car, half a container of the meatballs and rice are gone, and I fell happily asleep at 5 yesterday, and slept until 5 this morning. I feel better than I have in days. Going around DC yesterday reminded me how much I miss it there, and hearing one of Jerry's collegues speak so highly of him made me miss my husband and all our friends in that office. I may finally be adjusting to life here in Staunton, but my heart is in Washington.

And it's why there's still $40 on my metro card.

Today's lesson: Despite traffic, rude people, and smelly metro riders, it's still easy to miss the city you love. Even when you're sitting at a dead stop on the expressway at 8:30 in the morning.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Strange last few days

How do I even go into how angry I am? I always feel like Jerry and I are having to justify our marriage to people around us. The latest incident involved an old female friend of his asking if he was sure I wouldn't go around cheating on him. The quote from a certain source asked if "I had all the play out of me." Goodness sake. Jere and I have been married for a year and a half! Do I have all the play out of me? Geez. Any of my friends can attest I'm not exactly motivated enough to go out and play the field in the first place. I'm a marrier, not a dater. Just because I'm 20 years younger than Jerry doesn't mean I'm going to run around. I'm sick of having my character constantly called into question.

If it hadn't been for my friends, I would have stayed ticked off a lot longer (or made my way through a ton of red wine). My husband wrote a nice email back, explaining my undying fidelity and talent for producing baked goods. And Andrea had lunch with me and very smartly said, "OH NO SHE DIDN'T!" I feel much better now, just a little residual insult left now.

Today was a day of baking and cooking. Jerry wanted butterscotch cookies, and they smelled so good they almost didn't make it into his care package. I ate one. Exactly one. And with Rachel's help, I packed and sealed the box before I could eat another. But what I'm most proud of is the roasted red pepper eggplant tomato sauce I made to go with dinner. So good on top of some whole wheat organic pasta. A glass of sweet red wine, and it was the perfect dinner. I don't even need dessert now! But maybe a decaf latte would be nice in a little wihle. :) And now I'm settling happily with Yours, Mine, and Ours. The original.

Other than everything I mentioned at the beginning, and some other small annoyances, all is good here. I'm busy. Washed the bedding. Have piano lessons tomorrow. Learned that Windex kills and repels ants. And I need to get up bright and early to make a bunch of chocolate chippies for some friends. Time for Sunday to be over and the week to begin.

Today's lessons: Love may be enough for you and your spouse, but be prepared when love isn't a good enough reason for those around you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warm and fuzzy

August 17, 2008

Old movies make me happy. I woke up this morning, admittedly hungover from my champagne and brownies. I thought about getting dressed to go to the movies after my bath, but while I was surfing to find something to watch while putting on my makeup, I saw a Gene Kelly documentary was on, so I left it and wandered away. Then they announced a Gene Kelly marathon, and I dropped my makeup, climbed back into my jammies, and haven't left the bed since.

Les Girls, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, For Me and My Gal, Summer Stock, An American in Paris, and now I'm in the middle of On the Town. I've been laughing, singing, crying, and gushing all day long. I'm completely crazy over this marathon. There were so many of his movies I hadn't seen. Next is Singing in the Rain, one of my favorites. But right now I'm swooning over Gene Kelly in Navy uniform and eating sugar free Butter Pecan.

Short blog, because I'm going to go get giggly over these old movies now.

Today's lesson: Weekend entertainment doesn't have to cost you a fortune in popcorn and overpriced movie snacks. You can have so much more fun with some old favorites, ice cream, and microwave kernels.

(Note to Joana: Next time I come up, you and I need a date to watch Meet Me in St. Louis. I was watching Judy Garland today and thought of you!)

When a flexatarian gets the blues

August 15, 2008

Everyone has bad days, and today was one for me. There isn't a particular reason. A little lonely, a little impatient, and a little sad. If it weren't for my friends calling and emailing and IMing, I would have gone completely insane. You guys rock!

But even after booking a flight to California for October (YAY my Sara!), I still had the blues. I knew I needed comfort food, and fast! Usually, when I want comfort food, it involves pizza or Chinese takeout or macaroni and cheese. But my diet doesn't allow for those things, and eating them would just make me feel worse. What's a girl to do?

Well, this girl went across the street to Martin's and wandered the organics aisle. Actually, I wandered the entire store. You know what? I could have bought the normal comfort foods, but I saw plenty of things I wanted instead: organic Spaghetti-O's, California rolls with carrots and brown rice with a pair of chopsticks (because you can't eat sushi without chopsticks), vegetarian lasagna, corn chowder soup, Hint water, and pistachio gelato. I came home and tucked into my new comfort food, watched Hannah Montana, and finally felt better. Now I'm happily stuffed and watching Friday Night Fights. And yes, Jere, I'm recording it.

Prior to sinking into today's funk, I actually accomplished quite a bit. I've been going to bed earlier, so I'm waking up earlier as well. I love mornings! There's something different about the light and the mood that makes me feel like even though I don't work and I don't have anything in particular to do, by waking up early, I become part of the world again.
It's time to settle in for the night and watch some boxing.

Today's lesson: Today's lesson comes from two of my friends. It is quite often worth saving your old letters, cards, and journal entries. They may not seem important, but they're worth a very good laugh at how young and silly you used to be. KVB forever! *sigh* So romantic...

Peru/Now my cat has abandonment issues

August 6, 2008

I must first admit that I am very lonely now that Ericka isn't online. :-( Boo.

Peru was fantastic. There's no other way to put it. The hotels were mostly nice, the members in my group were all so friendly, and the scenery was beyond words. Actually, for as beautiful as Peru was, I think it was the people I explored it with who made the experience so memorable. I made amazing friends, and have already added their cities to my Travelocity watch list. I predict there will be a party in Miami coming up soon!

Ginger is recovering from her two weeks at the "condo". She's curled up to me as close as she can get, and stares in fear each time I come within 20 feet of the front door. And she's taken up yowling for attention. My poor kid. Though she got her revenge by waking me up before 7 this morning because she was hungry. Twit.

And now, in the spectacular fashion that has become the staple of my blogs, I present you all with a list, because writing about what I loved would take days, and though I loved my first South American trip, I am so grateful to be home with my cat.

Things I Will Never Take for Granted Again Now That I've Been to Peru:
1. Toilet paper, toilet seats, and toilets that flush. Not to mention getting to pee for free.
2. Being able to not only drink my water, but also being able to brush my teeth in it and shower without being paranoid.
3. And speaking of the shower, I love water pressure and hot water. Something that doesn't seem to exist anywhere in the Andes.
4. Walking down the street without being accosted by people selling things or begging for money.
5. Traffic. Because compared to Lima, DC rush hour has the ferocity of a kitten.
6. Guinea pigs and alpaca. Yummy suckers.
7. Oxygen. You never realize how much you love oxygen until you're at 11,000 feet gasping for air.
8. The English language. Though actually, this applies to anyone who lives in their own country and speaks their own language. Because the second you go somewhere you don't speak the language, you discover what helpless feels like. (Thank you to my lovely Miami friends for ordering in the Chinese restaurant, because I would have never survived!)
9. Traffic cops. Mmmm.......some of the young men were gorgeous.
10. Jackets and sweaters. You never know how badly you need one until you forget it.

All in all, Peru was a thrill ride of mountains, ruins, new cuisine, Spongebob in Spanish, Pisco sours, and crippling hangovers. I'm completely in love with the country. Never before have I been so motivated to walk farther and climb higher in search of the next great discovery.

Today's lesson: You should never be afraid to try new things. Countries and people can surprise you. Not to mention Guinea pig and alpaca turn out to be extremely tasty!

This title isn't supposed to make sense...

July 10, 2008

It seems like a great deal of my blogs touch on the subject of old people. Today, I'm sad to inform you, is no different.

Actually, I went and had lunch with a girl Jerry used to date today. For as weird as it probably should have been, it definitely wasn't. It was so nice to sit down and have girl talk about our men and friends and religion and even a little politics. Not to mention Mexican food rocks my socks.
My favorite store called me a couple of days ago to let me know about a sale they were going to have today, and since I was already in Harrisonburg, I decided to stop on by. I'm so happy I did. I went into the mall through Penney's, because I love to dress shop there. So I called my grandma to chit chat, and started sorting through the racks. At some point there was an announcement over the loudspeaker, no clue what it was about. I kept talking, as I thought I was the only one there, and it was my grandmother, for goodness sake. All of a sudden, I heard what could only be described as a voilent shushing noise. This little old woman came up behind me to SHUSH me! SHUSH! First off, I'm not that loud. Second, I'm on the phone with my grandmother. Yeah, I'm one of those good granddaughters who calls her grandma, so don't shush me! I turned around, looked the woman in the eye, and said, "Oh my goodness, grandma, you won't believe this. I'm being SHUSHED by an old lady." I'm terrible. It's the mall. If I can't be on the phone at the mall, where can I be on the phone? Sheesh. So I walked around to the other side of the rack and kept on talking. Apparently, I'm just that rude. I swear the lady had to come from the other side of the store just to shush me, because I certainly didn't see her there before.
One more thing, to defend myself here. I generally have really great cell phone etiquette. I don't talk in restaurants, I don't answer when I'm visiting with other people, I turn off my ringer in theaters and church. I also don't talk on the phone when I'm paying for items at the checkout counter, because that always drove me insane when people did it to me. I'm not loud. My phone is always on vibrate because it takes forever to find my phone in my purse, and I don't want it to ring the entire time. And today, in a nearly empty department store, in the middle of the day, I decided to call my grandma to talk. Because I try not to talk on the phone when I drive, and my downtime while I shop is the perfect time to call, especially because it feels like we're shopping together even though she's in Florida and I'm here. So kiss my tush if I want to be on my phone at the mall.

Anyhow, I bought a cute sun dress and then headed to my favorite little store. And before I talk about how much I spent, I want to tell you how much I saved. I'm just so proud of my shopping today! By shopping at this sale instead of at any other time, I saved $471. Yeah. That's right. I completely rock. My favorite store completely rocks.

I managed to get 5 dresses, 4 skirts, 3 sweaters, 3 pairs of earrings, 2 necklaces, 2 dress shirts, and 1 very fabulous pair of petite dress pants, all for just over $300. I bought almost everything I took into the dressing room. The poor girl who set up my dressing room looked at me like I was one of those people who tries on 25 things and only buys one, so she gave me a big smile when I walked out of the dressing room with a pair of pants and top in one hand, and the pile of clothes that fit in the other, and handed her the small pile. On top of it all, I love this store. B. Moss is awesome, because they're kind of small, all the clothes are consistently sized, and their staff is so friendly. The outfits are already put together for you, and it so organized! And by shopping today and buying so much, I won't have to do any major clothes shopping for quite awhile.
And did I mention I bought all my dresses and skirts in size 8? I haven't worn a size 8 in many years. I'm so happy! YAY!

Now my only problem is finding room in my closet for this abundance of clothes.

Today's lesson: Sometimes you don't even know you need retail therapy until you're smack in the middle of it. And that therapy is twice as effective when you're paying half the price.

I am so happy!

June 25, 2008

I really am! I had the best day. It started with a little trip to the DMV in the next town over. I didn't want to go back to the DMV here in town for a couple of reasons. The first was that it was darn hard to find. The second was that the woman at the information desk was mean mean mean and made me cry.

So I put in a great CD and drove the 20 minutes to the next town with the window down. So what if I missed my turn and then ramped a curb trying to turn around? I got to the DMV with no TomTom. But if you've read my blogs about old people in southern groceries stores, you'll understand why it took me two hours to get done today. There was a little old woman and a little old man renewing their licenses, and the woman took 45 minutes to pass the vision test because she couldn't figure out that you had to actually press your head on the little machine to make it light up so you could see the letters. Then she was reading the letters from right to left. She was up there with her walker, and after all that they still gave her a license! Daytime driving only LOL.

However, everyone greeted me with a "how y'all doin' today" and called me hun. And when I got up to the window, the woman processing my application was an Air Force wife, and we chatted and she was wonderful. Best part was that after several trips to the DMV, she said I could have my Virginia license, and that she wouldn't have been nearly as picky as everyone else had been, seeing as we have had four different addresses in less than two years.

So I got my picture taken, and a couple minutes later, was handed my license. And my picture is GORGEOUS! So I skipped out the door, got in the car, and promptly turned to go out the wrong way. *grin*

When I got home, Jere was online so I got to talk to him for a good while. It's nice that he finally has access to the internet on his computer, instead of having to sit in his office until ten at night. Plus now I can IM with him, which is so nice, and so worth what we're having to pay for that privilege. And I found out I correctly recorded the boxing match correctly! Glad I hooked this DVD player up without getting the wires crossed.

And then, I decided to go find the liquor store. My grandma was talking about Bailey's and coffee, and I've been craving it ever since. But when I went to the door, there was a package for me from Jere! YAY more presents!

Let's see. I'll make the rest of this short. I bought Bailey's and Jameson. Went to Walmart and found the perfect clear glass mug. Came home and made the most perfect yummy dinner. And then Ericka told me she's definitely coming here for the 4th of July, YAY! Then amazon emailed to tell me my Playstation will be here tomorrow. And then I made my Irish coffee. And I'm so happy! And a little tipsy. I so need to use less whiskey in the coffee. Whoops. But it looked so pretty!

Anyhow, it's time for bed soon. Miss Ginger says so.

Today's lesson: Enough y'alls and darlin's, and even a hothead like me can have the patience of a saint. Even when it's patience for old people taking up the only two open windows at the DMV.

8 dozen chocolate chip cookies and a lumpy arm

No matter what, I can't be write a blog as adorable and endearing as Kari's tonight LOL. Seriously, I would make the shake and bake people send you money for the lost chicken AND the pizza you had to order. Plus a settlement for emotional damage. :)

I have not had a pleasant few days. Thursday, I went to meet my new doctor, and let me tell you, she is fantastic. I walked in and was the only patient. This was after I couldn't find the place and the sweet receptionist stayed on the phone with me while I drove, just to make sure I found my way. The entire staff was chatty, and my doctor is a riot. We covered everything, and basically shot the breeze for 45 minutes. She even said if I want to start working on the fertility stuff in a few months, we can do that since she's affiliated with UVA.

She then sent in the nurse to do my vaccinations for my trip to Peru. Now, I haven't had a shot since I was 11, and I actually remember that trip. It was to the public health stand in the middle of our tiny mall, and my mother had to hold me down while I screamed. I don't do needles (says the tattooed girl). And I told my nurse that Thursday, so she nicely walked into the room hiding the needles behind her back, snuck up behind me, and stuck me in the arm where I couldn't see. I didn't feel a thing! And I didn't cry. Apparently it hurts more if you tense up your arm muscles when they're doing it, which is what brought on the screaming fit when I was 11. I'm good now.

Well, sort of good. I'm vaccinated, but I've been feeling terrible ever since. My doctor warned me it would probably happen, but I've been running a fever and trying to chase away a nasty, nauseating headache. And I've been eating nothing but Cheerios and ice cream. Plus one of the vaccines went crazy on me, and I have a lump there now, and am having trouble using my left arm. Pretty tough trying to prepare for this week's piano lesson. Clementi is kicking my ass.
I finally felt well enough tonight to do my weekly cookie baking, but discovered it's hard to stir with one arm. And I managed to break my favorite wooden spoon in the process! It doesn't matter, though, because I came out with eight dozen of the most beautiful cookies! I finally bought myself a sifter and a little ice cream scoop, and the cookies are gorgeous and uniform. And I sang and danced in the kitchen while I did them, of course.

Hopefully this burst of motivation and energy means the worst of the vaccination side effects are over. I just want this awful swelling to go down. And I want Ginger to quit jumping right on it. She's aiming, I tell you.

Today's lesson: Only when you have a lump the size of Virginia on your arm will your stuck up cat decide you're worth her affection.

Should have just painted a stupid target on the thing....