Friday, March 31, 2006

Doing the Good Credit Happy Dance

I read on another blog earlier about checking one's credit report every 4 months. The last time I checked was in October (I think). But, then, in November, I bought an apartment, so I didn't think it was overly necessary to check it at the beginning of the year.

Well, because it's April (nearly), I checked my credit report this afternoon. It was *stellar*. Well, stellar enough. It doesn't seem like anyone has co-opted my identity recently.

My birth year is wrong though. It was right on my previous report. Now, I'm a year younger.

Woo hoo! I see no need to correct that.

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better


Some friends suggested turning Tomoko's haiku into a t-shirt.

The above picture is one I made this morning while wasting more time than usual. I challenge you, my loyal readers, to do better.

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone, Redux

Who's ready for a month of mope-y "I Miss John" entries???

[I am! I am!]

He leaves tomorrow morning. I think I'll be OK once I get used to it. The hardest part will be coming up with a routine for taking care of my cat at my house and the dog at his. And, keeping my mind occupied on other things.

Right now, I have several plans in the works for the weekends: Possible day trip to Philadelphia to see Body Worlds, Saturday Afternoon Margarita: Hot Tub Edition!, drinks at Christal's, work happy hour at Strike Bethesda, hair appointment (woo hoo!), cousin's wedding in Atlanta [I'm a bridesmaid!] ... Plus, Jake K said he may be coming to DC for work. It would be totally cool to meet him in person.

During the week, I have one plan to meet a friend for dinner next week. I also have lots of knitting projects (finish my sweater, 2 Harry Potter scarves), several books to read and jobs to apply for, AND I want to work with Oscar, maybe get him trained a little better.

My big during-the-week project will be to organize John's friggin' kitchen. That thing drives me crazy. He just throws things in cabinets with no rhyme or reason. The silverware drawer alone will take an hour or two to straighten up.

The only thing preventing me from doing all these projects: CABLE!

Yes, John gets like a gabillion channels. Back before I was "coupled," I rarely watched TV. Now, I'm a CSI addict. [Speaking of which, did anyone watch the new episode last night? I found it terribly disturbing.]

I can watch like 3 hours of CSI a day - reruns on Spike! and TBS (I think) and original programs later in the evening. Not that I like CSI: NY and CSI: Miami as much as the original, but they both have some serious eye-candy that make them worth watching ... kind of like the only reason to watch Criminal Minds is Shemar Moore. Yum.

And, now, back to work ... er ... "work"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Memory Triggers

When I opened my Honest Tea Kashmiri Chai this afternoon, the little inspirational quote on the lid was:

"He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder."

-- M.C. Escher

I remembered that somewhere I have a poster of the print pictured. My best friend from college, Isa, gave it to me one year for my birthday. I always liked the oversized fungi in the lower left corner.

I'm not sure where the poster is now. I think it's at my parents' house. The glass in the frame broke and my mom is supposedly replacing it.

Isa bought the print for me when I was teaching high school.

My first year of teaching, I lived in a log cabin in the Uwharrie National Forest. The cabin had three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a beautiful view of the lake, especially at sunset. All for $400/month. Plus, it was in a gated community. The only things to fear were the crazy deer and the occasional copperhead sleeping on the stairs (eek!).

I lived there for one year. During the summer, I moved to Albemarle, NC. It was farther from the school, but closer to civilization (Wal-Mart, Food Lion, the bank). I lived in a two-story, two bedroom, 1.5 bath, washer/dryer, brand new townhouse for only $405/ month. Total bargain.

Anyway, the half-bath on the ground floor had this totally funky blue and white wallpaper. Whenever I used that bathroom, I would end up spending hours staring at it. Isa gave me the poster to hang in the bathroom ... I guess so I would have something else to stare at.

I loved that townhouse. Actually, I loved both places I lived when I was teaching there. I didn't love the teaching part though ... but that's another story.

2 Days

Two days until John leaves. GAH! I think I'm keeping it together pretty well so far. Yay me.

I received an email from the director of the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL). She suggested that since the puppy is hyper and the kitty is declawed to either 1) not take the cat to John's house or 2) keep them separated entirely. There really isn't a good place to keep the cat separated, so I will probably leave Isabella at my house and make frequent trips home (like during my breaks). I hope she doesn't suffer from Abandonment Issues.

In even better news, John has moved up from 2nd alternate to 1st alternate. [and, yes, that was sarcasm]. If that man has to go to Ethiopia for 6 months, I think I may freak.

In happier news, Robert sent me a fun Copacabana mix. I've uploaded to my savefile account. You can download it

[Can someone tell me why half my post disappeared?]

Anyway, here's the download: Copacabana

My friend, Tomoko, sent an email which was practically haiku. I rearranged some words and deleted some others for the 5-7-5 pattern:

A White House Morning
Squirrels humping crazily
At last, Spring has come.

*Spring-like smooches*

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And on the Fourth Post, He Rose from the Dead

I've spent the past few hours thinking of ways to occupy myself while John is away and I'm trapped in his house with the DemonDog Puppy from Hell and Psychokitty Isabella, Giver of Vomit of Joy, Attacker of Feet that Move in the Night, Killer of Alien Crickets.

Diablo suggested reading some books on climate change, which is a pretty good idea - considering the job search. I also need to read two books I've purchased recently: Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd and Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. And, I have about $75 in Barnes and Noble gift cards to use, too. More books! Woo hoo! I love books.

I've also come up with an idea for a little photography project, thanks to a conversation with Jake. That should be fun to do once I get it all worked out.

And, knitting! There's always knitting!

Meanwhile, I'm open to other suggestions as well ...

Three Boring Posts. Three Boring Posts.

Do you think someone will revoke my blogger account after this?
GAH!

I've found two semi-interesting jobs to which to apply. [Ha. All that to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition!]. One is with the EPA; the other with the Pew Center. Interestingly [?] enough, both positions involve issues with Climate Change. I haven't read any serious policy work on climate change in ages. I need to bone [*heh* "bone"] up on it before I apply, I suppose.

In fact, I'm still reading a book that I received months ago to review for my other blog. It's good. I've just been focusing on other things ... like butt sex.

In Case My Previous Post Wasn't Boring Enough


Here is an excerpt from an email I had to send out today:

"If you are removing the PCB-containing equipment for disposal, you will need to comply with 40 CFR 761.65. According to 40 CFR 761.65(c)(1), if conditions stipulated within the regulations are met, certain PCB Items maybe be stored temporarily in an area that does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section for up to thirty days from the date of their removal from service [emphasis added], provided that a notation is attached to the PCB Item or a PCB Container (containing the item) indicating the date the item was removed from service. Please read section 761.65 to verify that this section pertains to your situation."

*yawn*

Situation Normal

Hm. Let's see. I have a cold. My two consistently late co-workers are late. I need coffee. I forgot my security card to get into the office and -even worse- my bathroom key. I'm not quite sure where they are. Hopefully, in my other bag. I'll find out this evening, I guess. John is still leaving. I'm still dog-sitting. *gah*

I need to call the animal shelter today or tomorrow or sometime to see if they have any "introducing pets" advice.

I'm completely uninspired to write anything today. Maybe more later.

*germy smooches*

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Breaking News

As John put it when he called, "What do you want to hear first, the good news, bad news, or OK news?"

Here is the order I chose:

Good news: John won't have to go to Iraq or Afganistan.
OK news: I like his dog.
Bad news: John will be leaving on Saturday to go to Georgia for training for 3-4 weeks. After that, he will be an alternate for some security job in Ethiopia.

I will be moving into his house for the duration. I may move my cat too.

Does anyone have any advice on a) temporarily moving a cat, b) introducing an older cat to an overactive puppy, and c) being boyfriendless for 3-4 weeks?

Update: On second thought, I scratched (c). I figure I've lived at least 34 boyfriendless years, only 3 - 4 weeks should be all right. Right?

Woozy [Kurtz]

Yes. I know this is Swoosie Kurtz, but, still, I'm woozy. Cut me some slack.

I'm feeling a little light-headed from the cold medicine I took this morning. TK says to enjoy the balloon-headedness, but I'd rather it just be over. I almost called in sick today, but changed my mind. I prefer to use my paid leave for fun vacations, not moaning about the house.

There is still no word on John's potential job transition. He said he should find out something today. If he does have to go to training, I need to start mentally preparing myself for a month of dog-sitting. GAH!

Maybe I'll move Isabella over to John's. I worry about her being alone so much. I've thought about getting a playmate for her, but we all know what happened the last time I did that.

Speaking of FrankenKitty Gertrude, she is having a ball living at my parents' house. She is definitely Queen of the Castle. Let's review her gradual takeover [These are mostly actual quotes from my parents]:

"We'll take her. But, she will only stay in the garage."

"The garage is a little cold at night, so we let her sleep in the laundry room."

"She can come into the kitchen, but only when we are in there."

"She has learned to open the laundry room door, so she sometimes sleeps in the kitchen."

"She comes into our bedroom every morning to wake us up."

and last week ...

"Gertrude sleeps on your mother's pillow."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kidneys and Ethiopia

*cough*

*hack*

*spew*

What is it about being all sick and germy and phlegm-filled that makes me have to pee?

Usually during the work day, I have to visit the Little Boys' Room once. Today, it's not even 2:30, and I've already been 3 times. THREE! What up with that?

Do germs make one's kidneys go into overdrive? I don't think I've had much more liquid intake than I normally have.

In other news, I just got off the phone with John. The latest job news is that this weekend he may be going to some sort of 3-4 week training to be an alternate for a bodyguard position in Ethiopia. Apparently, the alternate is similar to being 1st Runner-Up in the Miss America Pageant:

If the bodyguard is unable to fulfill his duties, the alternate is then sent to Africa. On the bright side, while serving as an alternate, John can't be sent anywhere else. Meanwhile, I may be DemonDog Puppy from Hell-sitting while John's at training (which would begin this weekend). GAH!

Germs and the Like

"I told you not to come over the other day," John said. "I told you, you'd get sick."
"You said you didn't think you were contagious anymore," I shot back. "Lying bastard."

Did I say that outloud? Hm. No response, so I must've only thought it. Whew.

I had gone four days without sex. Germs be damned. I needed some nookie. Well, I got it.

Nookie and germs.

Actually, I felt fine until Sunday morning. We had had a relaxing weekend. Friday night, we had a quiet dinner and blobbed around the house. Saturday, we had a nice lie in. Then, I drove to the post office to pick up my birthday package from the folks.

They really outdid themselves this year. Usually, my birthday packages are Dollar Store Extravaganzas. This year, they sent me a package full of gift cards: $25 to Austin Grill, $50 to Jaleo (my favorite restaurant), $50 to Barnes and Nobles, and $100 to Target. Wow! I made out like a bandit. Sometimes, I wonder why they are spending so much on me (and my brother) now.

I think maybe they are trying to make up for not being able to buy us things when we were younger? Or maybe now that they are retired, child-free, and relatively debt-free, they have more disposable income? I don't know. All of these presents from them twinge my conscience a bit. I tell them I don't need anything, that I'm happy with what I have. I guess it's one way that they show they love us.

Anyway, after dropping the package off at my house, I drove back to John's. While he worked in the yard, I made lunch - french fries, salad, and burgers. I touched ground beef! Ew. I also did about a gabillion loads of laundry.

That night, we went to Austin Grill (gift card! yay!) then to planned to see either V for Vendetta or Inside Man. I started feeling a little rundown, so we skipped the movie.

Sunday, I woke up feeling like crap, which didn't stop me from gettin' a little something something however. John drove me home around noon and I blobbed around the house, knitting, watching movies, and playing with my pussy.

Mom also sent one of those toy chicks that peeps when you touch it. Everytime I did, Isabella would come running up to it and sniff at it. FUN!

I also made espresso for the first time, using the stovetop espresso pot my parents gave me for Christmas. And, I got to use one of the cute little espresso cups and saucers I bought back when I was dating the Italian Proffesor. And, one of the cute little espresso spoons my parents gave me. AND, I knitted another 2 or 3 inches on my sweater. Good God that thing is taking me forever. Speaking of knitting, Ms. Martini, I'm going to be ordering yarn soon. Let me know what you want :-)

I felt OK when I got up this morning. But, now, I'm starting to feel a little light-headed and stuffy. I think I'll wander over to Whole Foods in a little while to get a Coldbuster Smoothie. Mmm. Smoothie.

oh. And, thank you for all of your thoughtful comments on my previous post. It's made me think a lot about how I write and how I express my opinions. I wasn't as clear in my writing as a should have been. If my head weren't as foggy, I would make an addendum. For now, that is going to have to wait.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thoughts on Pets

My manager told me this morning that his mother's dog may have brain cancer.

Some of you who read my journal back when I was in the Land of Diary-X may remember that about two years ago I dated an emotionally unstable veterinary oncologist. Putting the emotionally unstable bit to the side, I always had a hard time wrapping my head around his job:

You treat pets for cancer?
Yes.
People bring you their dogs with cancer and you cure them?
Sometimes.
And they pay thousands of dollars to do this?
Yes, it's for their pets.

He always made me feel like people (me) who were unwilling to drop 6 thousand dollars to possibly cure their pets of cancer were bad. Seriously, he told me about this one woman who nearly went bankrupt paying for her little dogs medical care. And, he thought it was the greatest thing.

I told him (not a direct quote, but close enough), "I'm sorry, but if my cat, the wonderful Psychokitty Isabella, Giver of Vomit of Joy, Attacker of Feet That Move in the Night, Killer of Alien Crickets [pictured], ever got cancer (or some other illness which would potentially bankrupt me), I would have her put down."

He looked like I had told him there was no Santa Claus.

I love PKI very much; however, I love my quality of life more. I would want her to die peacefully, rather than endure kittychemo or some other painful procedure and, maybe even then, still not be cured. Part of loving is being able to let go.

I have no resources to back this up, but I have heard that people can get health insurance for their pets. In a country where a lot of children can't get basic health care for lack of insurance, that is completely fucked up.

Thoughts?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

We're all familiar with the joke and the multitude of punchlines that go with it. The question I've been thinking about since my post yesterday on misunderstandings is not the why but the how: How did the chicken cross the road?

In other words, how do different cultures approach the task of crossing a busy street? And is the way one crosses the street indicative of that person's cultural upbringing?

Let's examine three different cultural approaches to street-crossing: 1. American Individualism, 2. Japanese Societal Constraints, and 3. Street-Crossingism with Chinese Characteristics.

First, as an American, I am most familiar with mom, baseball, apple pie and the American Individualistic approach to crossing the road. How does the American cross the road?

Every man for himself. Walk/ Don't Walk Signals are suggestions, not written-in-stone laws which must be obeyed. Most Americans use crosswalks at busy intersections, unless 1) no cars are coming or 2) the crosswalk is just too friggin' far out of the way. Most Americans will obey the Walk/ Don't Walk Signal unless 1) there are no cars approaching or 2) they think they can dash across in time.

Crossing the road for an American is an individual pursuit. We don't care about anyone else (unless you're a Boy Scout and the "anyone else" is a Little Old Lady, but I don't even think that happens much anymore). We look for gaps among the cars and dash through. Our primary concern is "Will I make it across the street?" Screw everyone else. It's amazing more of us aren't smashed by big trucks and buses.

In contrast, the Japanese Approach to crossing the street is governed by the saying The Nail Sticking Up Gets Hammered Down (or smashed by a big bus). The signal says Don't Walk. No one walks. The signal says Walk. Everyone walks. This is the land where people stop once the Don't Walk signal starts flashing. Craziness!

This is the land where at 3 in the morning with nary a car in sight, people wait for the signal light to change. This is the land where the slightly intoxicated businessman waiting at the light at 3 in the morning with nary a car in sight makes "tsk, tsk" noises at the two very intoximacated foreigners crossing against the light. This is the land where the two very intoximacated foreigners turn around and say [in mostly perfect Japanese], "What? You think we are going to get run over by all these cars?"

Sarcasm is so lost on those people.

Japan is a society where conformity tends to be a more admirable trait than individuality, and this is reflected in the way people cross the street.

Finally, Street-crossingism with Chinese Characteristics is a unique blend of American Individualism and Japanese Conformity.

Where I lived in China, on the outskirts of Beijing, there were no crosswalks, no traffic signals, and no Boy Scouts to help people across the busy busy super busy streets. And, man!, were they busy! Cars and cars and buses and trucks zooming by, spewing out smoke and exhaust, and leaving pedestrians to cough and gag in their wake. To cope, those clever Chinese came up with a brilliant method to cross the street - The Peloton:

After waiting by the side of the road, eventually a crowd of people would meet critical mass. Then, ever so slowly, they walk -as a group- into the traffic. The cars drive in front of the peloton, which keeps inching forward. Eventually, there is enough space behind the advancing peloton that the cars begin driving behind the group. This occurs across each lane of traffic, until, eventually, the peloton reaches the other side of the road.

As a foreigner, I had little faith in the Peloton and would usually hide in the middle of the group (buffers in case a car/truck/bus driver decided to drive through, not around, the peloton). My confidence increased dramatically one day, when one of my students said, "Steven, you cross the street very well."

I may have blushed.

In conclusion, the way one approaches crossing a busy street is determined by that person's culture and societal influences. However, whether you are American, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, or German, the question remains: Why *did* you cross the road?

Buzzing

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling thinky. Today, I have about a gabillion ideas floating around in my head. Stay tuned for exciting updates all through the day! Woo hoo! Are you as excited as I am?

But, first ...

John's been sick. He missed work yesterday and is also off today. It's very hard to get out of bed and go to work, when the boyfriend is lounging there laughing at you: "Ha *cough* ha! You *hack* have *snort* to go *gack* to work *snuck*!"

Anyway, ever notice how much better a day seems after getting some nookie/ some hot sweaty steamy manluvin/ some "movie-watching?"

It had been four days! FOUR DAYS!

I feel much better now.

more later, my peeps!

PS. What ever happened to Kris Kross?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Misunderstandings

During the three years I lived in Japan, I took a weekly pottery class. We laughingly called it the Gaijin (foreigners) and Old People's class, because the class consisted of me, two fellow language teachers, and 6 or 7 other students who were 65 or older. We had a great time. The other students were amazing and would always give us helpful advice and encouragement.

My pottery teacher, Sugi Sensei, studied in Hagi - a city/region famous for beautiful pottery, like this:


I love Hagiyaki. My friend, Anne-Marie, and I would make frequent train trips to Hagi to buy pottery. I suppose I have about 10-15 pieces of Hagiyaki, including the most expensive piece of pottery I've purchased (to date): a tea ceremony bowl made by the owner of my favorite kiln. It cost about $175. I couldn't afford anything made by his father.

Anne-Marie bought one too. It was on our last trip to Hagi, so we justified the purchases as "Going Away Presents" to ourselves. Unfortunately, the box-maker was on holiday. The owner's wife took our mailing address and promised to send the bowls once the boxes were made.

About a month or two before we left the country, we received a package from Hagi. Our tea bowls had arrived, in simple, yet gorgeous, handmade boxes. Plus, the wife had added two large teacups (yunomi) to the package. YAY! Free stuff rocks!

OK. Back to the class, which was the original point of this entry ...

Sugi Sensei had several different glazes we could use on our works - hard white, soft white (like the glaze used in Hagiyaki), brown, clear, and green. The green glaze bucket was labelled in katakana (the Japanese writing system mainly used for foreign words): Oribe [pronounced oh-ree-bay].

For the longest time, I believed that, because there are no l's or v's in Japanese, "oribe" was how my pottery teacher wrote "olive."

Then, as a going away present, one of my classes took me to Ume no Hana [Plum Blossom], a fairly expensive restaurant. Each room in the restaurant is decorated in a different way and uses a different style of pottery. I hoped we would be in the Hagi room or the Bizen room.

It was not to be. All the pottery in our room was similar to this:

One of my students, looked at the pottery and said, "Oh. We must be in the Oribe Room."

And, that is how I learned, after 2 years and 9 months of pottery class that Oribe is not olive, but a style of pottery.

Don't Spend it All in One Place


My taxes are done! And for the first time in 3 or 4 years, I'm getting a refund!!! Woo hoo!
$41.00 federal and $102 state for a grand total of

$143.00

Here are a few things one can buy for $143.00:


-A student membership to the Archaelogical Institute of America

-Buffering Techniques for Delivery of Compressed Video in Video-on-Demand Systems (The International Series in Engineering and Computer Science) (Hardcover) by Wu-Chi Feng [on Amazon.com]

-Nokia 3220 Unlocked GSM Phone

-6' x 10' Koralex US Flag

-Levels of DiscoveryAll Star Sports Table (No Stools) ["stools" *heh*]

-Sunsational 8' Traditional Awning

-Makita 6217DWDE 12V 3/8" Cordless Driver-Drill

-Safariland 6004 Tactical Gear System SLS Holster

-Larry King Corporation Sulphuric Acid Anodizing Bath


decisions. decisions. decisions.

Thinky

Yes, I know this is an odd image, but I Google Imaged "thinky" and this was the first option. So I took it.

I haven't been feeling overly thinky recently, more like I'm letting my life pass by-y. Not that I'm an overly thinky person anyway. I let other people take the deep thoughts, saving the shallow ones for me: "I certainly look cute in my new sunglasses" and "Ooh. Olives are good." But, sometimes, on my walk to work, I feel like I do have an original and/or interesting thought or two.

Not today. I can't even remember what I thought about on my long (15 minute) trudge up Wayne Avenue to my office. I'm sure it was far from earth-shattering. For lack of anything thinky to blog about, here's my To Do List for Today:

  1. Print out DSW ($5 off) and Borders coupons (free 12 oz coffee).
  2. Search for a reasonably priced ticket to Atlanta for my fabulous cousin's wedding in April.
  3. Finish my taxes and prepare for mailing them.
  4. Pay my cell phone bill.
  5. Update our Internet Table and Factsheet (ooh. something work-related).
  6. Mail my mortgage and co-op fee payments.
  7. Decide where I want to eat lunch.
  8. Decide what I want to make for dinner.

That's about it.

#8 reminded me of what I was thinking on a part of my walk: Blue cheese.

John doesn't like it, but I think he may be willing to try (taste?) the pasta dish I make with blue cheese. Basically, I saute mushrooms. Then, I add spinach. Once that has all cooked down, I crumble blue cheese over it and stir until it is melted and smooth. Then, I toss it with pasta. It's surprisingly yummy. And simple. And, I'm all about simple cooking.

More later, my friends.

*Tangy Blue Cheese Smooches*

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Nose Hurts

So ... yesterday was my first day back at work. I was extremely busy, as evidenced by the fact that I only updated my blog three times, took a short 1.5 hour lunch, and then an even shorter 1 hour coffee break to meet Robert.

My friend and fellow blogger, Billy, gave me a book for my birthday - The Underminer: Or, The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. I have been assured that there was no underlying meaning to this gift. I finished the book over the weekend, so I passed it on to Robert. It's a quick, funny read. And, it's radically changed my life: Now, I go about undermining as many of my friends as possible. It's fun! It's exciting! You should try it!

After work, I walked home, packed a bag, fed the kitty, checked my mail, and headed to the metro station. Halfway to the metro station, I realized I had forgotten: 1) my hat, 2) all my toiletries, and 3) my phone charger. So, I turned around and walked back.

Just as the train was arriving at Fort Totten Station, John called, "Where are you?"
"Almost at Fort Totten."
"Oh. I wanted you to pick up a bag of salad."
"GAH!"

There are no stores from the Ft. Totten to John's house. Once I arrived, he started whining about not having salad. So, I started to put on my coat.

"Don't think you're going to the corner store without me."
"Why not?"
"There's an 'element' there."
"What, like hydrogen?"
"You know what I mean and you're not going."
"Fine. Will you stop moaning about salad?"
"No."
"GAH!"

Anyway, we had a saladless dinner, watched some TV, and then I went downstairs to watch my Harry Potter DVD (thanks, Mush!). John went to bed at some point. He's sick and hopefully not contagious.

That was my day. Exciting, huh?

Oh. Regarding this entry's title: My nose hurts. I don't know why. Whenever I blow it, I experience a stabbing pain inside my left nostril. Ow.

Mush-as Gracias


That fox, Goblinbox, rocks my socks! The most marvelous Mush sent me, not one, but two, Harry Potter DVDs for my birthday! Yay! So happy!

*Magical Smooches for Mush*

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

File Under: Dee-friggin'-licious

Before I forget, Mush gave me a fantastic idea for my birthday party's martinis.

And, because I *heart* you all, I'm going to share:

Buy a jar of jalapeno stuffed olives. Remove the jalapenos. Replace with cubes of blue cheese (or bleu cheese. whatever.). Eat. And say: OMGWTFBBQ!!!11one ... supercallafrigginyummy. Spicy! Tangy! Olive-y! Martini goodness! So good you will say "GAH!" ... repeatedly. Either that or you will skip the martini and just eat the olives.

We should all fall to our knees and bow to the magnificence that is Mush.

Product Review


A few months ago (I think), prior to Diary-X crashing and burning, I wrote a little product review about the what-I can-only-imagine-feet-taste-like Kettle Chips Cheddar and Beer flavor.

Today, I am happy to report I have found a new love: Kettle Chips Spicy Thai flavor. My mouth is burning, but not in the Kettle Chips Jalapeno and (whatever) flavor oh my god douse my head in a bucket of ice cold water way, more in a mild tingling sensation way. Hints of lime and ginger and the aforementioned chili are mixed with the sweetness of honey. My only complaint is that they may be a little too sweet.

I still want to eat the entire bag right now. And I may do so.

Back, Less Briefly

Even though I was blogless for 4 DAYS (nearly), I thought of you often. Really. And trying to catch up on four days worth of entries from all of my regular reads is exhausting. At least it will keep me busy today.

BUT, here's a rundown of my long weekend off ...

Friday [Have I mentioned that Friday was my birthday?], I had a small gathering of friends over to celebrate. A good time was had by all. At least, I had a good time, and that's all that matters. Ha. We drank lots of martinis and manhattans. And ate lots of yummy food. [May I mention here that Trader Joe's Thai Lime and Chili Peanuts ROCK?] Yay! The last stragglers left around 1:15 or so. I stayed awake cleaning until a little before 2.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 8:30, finished cleaning, and ate some leftovers. I also discovered that my kitchen sink was clogged. Perhaps one of the guests thought I had a garbage disposal? Eh. No worries.

Around 9, I called John to see when he was picking me up to go to Philly. No answer. I did more cleaning and more eating and a little knitting. I called again around 10. Still no answer. I started to panic. Maybe he didn't make it home last night. He never called when he got home. I didn't call him before going to bed because it was so late. What if he was in an accident? Or in jail? Or something?

He called at 11. During the night, his power went out so his alarm didn't go off. He said he would pick me up around noon. At 1 [noon John Standard Time (JST)], he pulled into the parking lot. I rushed out to the car and we hit the road.

We checked into the hotel around 4. Then, we walked down to Antique Row - lots of fun shops to wander around. At Linu, I bought a linen table runner using money the parents sent me for my birthday. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

After wandering through a few more stores, we had dinner at Mixto, a Cuban/Latin restaurant. The food was OK, but the drinks were amazing. I had a pineapple mojito. YUM. OK. I had 2 pineapple mojitos, but who's counting?

We walked back to the hotel to hang out until the clubs got going. Around 10:30, we taxi'ed to Woody's, where we drank and danced and drank until around 1. Both John and I developed a little crush on one of the barbacks at Woodys - which gave me an idea for a film, Barback Mountin'. Coming soon to a theater near you. *heh* From what I've seen, I like Philly's gay scene. It seems a little less pretentious than DC's.

Sunday morning, we were both a bit overhung. But managed to get to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by 11ish. Sundays are "Pay What You Wish" at the museum, so we managed to save a few bucks. I think if I go again, I will definitely do one of the taped tours, because there was so much to see. I did get to see what I wanted though - the American Art, Asian Art, and Contemporary/Modern Art Galleries. John liked the Arms/Armor Gallery. We also got to swing through the Impressionist galleries on the way to the Modern Art.

Then, we punched in a destination for lunch and ended up at a cute little restaurant, London Grill. Yum. It's near the Eastern State Penitentiary, which will be on my "Must See" List for our next visit.

After lunch, we drove home. We ordered Chinese food. John started feeling sick (hacking cough, chills), so I took his car and spent the night at my place.

Monday morning, I went to pick up Oscar at the kennel. Then, I met Robert for lunch and spent the rest of the day watching DVDs and eating leftover party food. I also unclogged my sink. Yay.

So, all in all, a good birthday weekend!

*Happy Spring Smooches*

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back, Briefly

Greetings! I'm back! Miss me?

I had a super fantastic birthday weekend! Thanks for all the comments and cards and presents!!!

A few photos from my weekend are at flickr.

I'll write more later, but, now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my day off! YAY!

*many happy smooches*

Thursday, March 16, 2006

And, now, the waiting ...

Waiting for presents to rain down like manna from the heavens...

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Type to you on Tuesday (maybe before if I'm at John's).

*smooches*

City of Brotherly Love

I've been researching things to do in Philadelphia! Yay!

So far, I want to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And maybe do some of the historical stuff, like the Liberty Bell.

I found a restaurant that looks interesting - Valanni. It's Mediterrannean/Latin fusion. Anyone from Philly care to chime in about this place?

And, shopping on Rittenhouse Row and Antique Row.

AND AND AND AND

Seems like the gay club Shampoo is only gay on Friday nights though. *sniff* We are only there Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, after I pick up the Demondog Puppy from Hell, I'll go SHOE SHOPPING! YAY! I have $30 in reward certicates from DSW. SCHWEET.

In the meantime, have I mentioned lately that tomorrow is my birthday? In case I haven't, it is! YAY!

Shameless Plug

Did I mention that it's my birthday tomorrow?
I did?
oh.

5 Albums and Some Change

The Love Lemming posted an entry about 5 albums which mattered to him. Since I am a Love Lemming lemming, I have compliled a rather odd selection of 5 albums I love (and a couple extra).

The thing with me is that I usually don't LOVE entire albums. I will love one or two songs, like most of the others, and be *meh* about one or two. So, after much deliberation, I came up with these (in chronological order of when I first heard them):

Peter, Paul, and Mary's Peter, Paul, and Mary is one of the first albums I ever heard. My parents owned it. My brother's favorite song was Lemon Tree. I think mine was 500 Miles.





Spitz's Sora no Tobikata was the first album I bought in Japan. I listened to it over and over and over and over again (mainly, because I only owned 2 or 3 CDs at the time. It was my initiation into the joy of J-Pop and it helped me learn to read and speak (and sing!) that crazy Japanese language.



Ah. The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, the first album I bought after returning to America from living in Japan for 3 years. What can I say other than it's an awesome album?




Patsy Cline. The Ultimate Collection. 'nuff said.






What's not to love about Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose?






I have two runners-up:

Michael Jackson's History Volume 1. I mean, who's Junior High School life wasn't influenced by Thriller? AND, I saw the History concert when I was visiting a friend in Hawaii. It was awesome.





B-52s' Nude on the Moon. Sheesh. I mean, who's college life wasn't influenced by the B-52s?





OK. Guess that's it. I completely missed a deadline at work. So, I suppose I ought to get to work on it. *GAH*

The Most Important Day of the Year Eve

All over the world, little children are bouncing excitedly on their beds! The sun is shining. When they awoke, they remembered, "It's The Most Important Day of the Year Eve! It's The Most Important Day of the Year Eve!"

*bounce* *bounce* *boing* *boing*

I don't know how these children will be able to stand the excitement, as it only builds ... until tomorrow: The Most Important Day of the Year!

GAH! I can barely stand it, too!!!

I love my birthday! Sometimes I travel. Sometimes I have parties at home. And, when I was a little kid, my parents would take me to see St. Patrick's Day parades and I thought they were just for me. What? They weren't? *feh*

As a quick rundown of how I've spent my birthdays since keeping a journal (now defunct):
2003 - Trip to London. The next week, drunken revelry at the Lebanese Taverna in Woodley Park. [Y'know, I think I went to London for my 32nd birthday too. I like London.]
2004 - Trip to Puerto Rico.
2005 - Totally crazy party at Halo. [No pictures. They've been destroyed.]

This year? I'm having a few friends over for drinks and appetizers. Then, John is taking me to Philadelphia! The City of Brotherly Love! The City of Hot, Steamy Mansex! (rowr) Yay.

Yesterday, after work, I picked up Robert and we went shopping. I had to buy some necessities for the party (likker already purchased on Likker Buying Day). I'm still searching for a punch bowl. GAH! How come stores don't sell punch bowls?

I did find a nice ice bucket at Target.

At Trader Joe's I bought: cheeses (blue, havarti w/ dill, brie), olives (kalamata, garlic stuffed, jalapeno stuffed), pita, dips (hummus, olive tampanade, tsitsiki), crackers, roasted peanuts with Thai chili and lime, and chocolate covered soy nuts. YUM! I still need to get some vegetables for dipping. And the punch ingredients. And ice. I'll do that tomorrow, since I'm not working. YAY!

I decided to take Friday and Monday off! YAY! No work. No work rocks! [Which, unfortunately for y'all, means no updates either. No updates suck.]

But, take heart, dear friends. I will probably be updating frequently today because my mind is definitely not on work.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You Are My Density

Last night, after a beer and a nice long soak in the hot tub, the phone rang. It was John.

He was a little tipsy. At one point in the conversation, he started joking that he was going to pick me up and throw me out the window. I said, "I may be skinny, but I'm very dense."

He agreed. And we both got the giggles.

Hello? You're High Maintenance.

To the woman in front of me in line at the Border's Coffee Shop:

Have you ever worried that you're high maintenance? Probably not, but you are. high. maintenance.

Low maintance people do not hold up a line of caffeine-craving coffee lovers with the following inane requests:

1. Can you put my rice crispy treat in a bag, not a box?
2. Is it soft or crunchy? [answer: crunchy]
3. Oh. Could you put it in the microwave for, like, 5 seconds?
4. Could you dump out some of this hot tea and put a little ice in it?
5. [After touching the cup], Hm. Could you put a little more ice in it?

Not that you will ever do anything about your high maintenanceness. I just thought you should know.

*smooches*
Vuboq

Meanwhile, here's a Public Service Announcement from the research team at Vuboq, Inc.:

If you type "okeydokey" with your fingers not on the home keys, it comes out "plrufplru."

That is all.

I Hope I'm a Dirty One. Dirrrrrrrty.

I went with the intention of determining how evil I am (via the Love Lemming), but I take a different quiz and ...

You Are a Martini
There's no other way to say it: you're a total lush.You hold your liquor well, and you hold a lot of it!


This is possibly the first time EVER one of these quizzes has been completely accurate.

Sometimes, I Hate Being Preached at by Honest Tea Lids

Two days.
Two lunches from Whole Foods.
Two bottles of Honest Tea Kashmiri Chai Tea.
Two "inspirational" cum "make you feel guilty about your life" lids

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
--
Mahatma Gandhi

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. --
Winston Churchill


Honest Tea Lids. Written by a Your Mother. Designed to Make You Feel Like Your Not Achieving Your Potential.

[Did I use the word cum? *heh*]

Now, to catch you up on my life ... last night, after checking my mail and feeding my neglected kitty [When John gets back I promise to spend more time at home, Isabella. I do. I do.], I drove over to John's. The dog went batshit crazy. GAH.

Then, the dog collapsed in a pile and slept for a few hours.

I ate dinner (frozen vegetarian lasagna), watched lots of CSI (woo hoo!), and blobbed around on John's computer. Of course, when the DemonDog Puppy from Hell woke up, he had lots and lots and lots of energy and he wanted to PLAY! GAH.

Around 10 o'clock, I got in the hot tub, drank a beer, and watched a police helicopter make lazy circles in the sky shining a searchlight around the cemetary south of John's house. Wonder what that was all about?

I went to bed around 11. Watched a little more TV. Fell asleep. Slept OK. Waking up with John tends to be a lot more fun than waking up without him though.

Today, I'm going shopping! YAY! PetSmart! Kohls! Target! Trader Joes! And, I'm helping Robert get his new microwave home. I'm sure a fun time will be had by all.

*smooches*

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thoughts on Blogging

There are a few blogs that a read daily (sometimes several times a day). They are over there -->

Then, there are some blogs that I read when I'm on one of my daily reads and I think "Oh. I haven't read that person's blog in awhile."

And, so you start reading this person's blog and they seem like an entirely different person. Cruising in leather bars? What? Single? Where's the boyfriend? The one that completed him? Huh? What happened? Like you're reading a novel and three chapters are missing.

And, then you think, that's pretty much what most of these blogs you read are - novels. The people aren't real. You'll probably never meet them. They are only your friends in the way that Elizabeth Bennet or Sherlock Holmes or Jane Eyre or, heck, the rabbits in Watership Down are your friends.

And, then, you realize that writing in the second person is pretentious and annoying, so you switch to first person, which is not so pretentious and annoying. Suddenly, you feel better.

Because if there's one thing I hate, it's when I become pretentious and annoying. Anyway, that's what I was thinking about earlier. It's a little harsh and not entirely true, because I do feel a deeper than just-a-novel connection to some blogs. I read them and I worry about the author. Which means there was really no point to this entry. Let's talk about likker some more.

I went to the Likker Store during my lunch break.

I bought: 750 mL Maker's Mark (and thought of Hot Toddy), 750 mL of Bombay Sapphire (and thought of ME), and 1 L of Ketel One (and thought of no one in particular). I also bought some vermouth.

Vodka and Gin martinis and Manhattans are in my very near future. WOO HOO!

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

I know, I know, I know, I know ...

John left for Mechanicsburg, PA, this morning. He's there for work and will be gone until Friday, which, by the by, is the most important day of the year. While he's out enjoying the hot hot nightlife in Mechanicsburg (even the name sounds HOT), I'll be at his house sitting the dog. Fun times. At least the hot tub is working again. YAY!

Who wants to come over to entertain me?

My other plans for the week sans John are to drive his truck around and do lots of shopping! Yay! Plus, I told Robert I would help him get his new (to him) microwave home. Today is likker-buying day: gin, vodka, bourbon, and vermouth.

I think Likker-Buying Day should be some sort of national event in which everyone, young, old, black, white, goes to their local likker store to buy likker. Wouldn't that be fun and help to foster a sense of community? I think so.

Having grown up in the Bible Belt (as John said the other day after I mentioned something about shopping at the Winn-Dixie, "Excuse me, but your Southern is showing"), I am used to having to buy likker at separate stores. In North Carolina, they are called ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) stores. Here, we just have likker stores.

However, I remember the first summer I worked in San Fransisco (at SFSU). My co-worker and friend, Andi, and I walked to the grocery store to buy staples [y'know, bread, peanut butter, a couple cases of beer]. As we were wandering amongst the aisles, Andi said in her Oklahoman drawl, "Oh. My. Gawd. They sell likker here!"

Sure enough, in the midst of the wine and beer was a row of sweet sweet hard likker. AT THE GROCERY STORE! Do you people understand the implications of that? No special trips to a separate store? No extra hassle? While you're buying olives for your dirty martini, you can also buy the martini! It boggles the mind. We stood there for a moment staring at the rows and rows of booze. It was like we had died and gone to heaven. Likker. At the grocery store.

We hurried back to the camp to tell the other teachers. We found a few of them sitting outside. Breathlessly, we told them what we had discovered. "They sell likker here. At the grocery store!" They stared at us like we were crazy. "LIKKER! AT THE GROCERY STORE!"

It was like we were talking to the wall. Sometimes I think it was all a dream.

And in the writing world, we call that "completely going off topic." [What? There was a topic?] Anyway, this weekend (Sat and Sun), John's taking me to Philadelphia. I must remember to call the kennel today.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Smelly Pee

Vuboq, the Great Prognosticator (or is the Procrastinator), has a prediction:

I will have smelly pee tonight.

Why?

Lunch today: Salad from Whole Foods, containing spinach leaves, red bliss potato salad, corn, broccoli, cucumbers, cheese, chick pea salad, and -here's the kicker- steamed asparagus.

Just thought you'd like to know. Now, get back to work.

[OK. I was going to add a photo, but I'm having issues with Blogger. GAH!]

We Have a Winner!

Last week (or the week before, I can't remember ... the perils of getting older), I held a little haiku contest.

The response was overwhelming! Five hundred haiku were submitted! I feel so loved by the masses.

After much internal debate and consultation with world-reknowned haiku experts, I have chosen the winner of Shibata Jun's CD Single Gekkou Yoku.

And, the winner is (drumroll please) ...

Mush from Goblinbox with this stunning entry:

You like weird music
it's indecipherable
but you? are still cute.

Judge's comments: I liked it because it used a REALLY big word and, well, in the words of someone famous, "Flattery gets you everywhere."

Mush, send my your mailing address, and I'll get the CD right out to you (once I find it ... I think it's in my coat closet).

BUT, WAIT, there's more.

A very special consolation prize goes to (another drumroll please) ...

Ms. Martini, who wowed the judges with this entry:

Snows melt, spring arrives
Patience, striped scarf jealousy
Very low, my head hangs

Judge's comments: I liked the imagery ... and I hope your head won't be hanging too low anymore because your prize is:

A handknit scarf by VUBOQ! Ms. Martini, please email and we can discuss colors, style and material.

Yard Work. The Aftermath.

OMFG! Even my fingers are sore this morning. MY FINGERS! What the hell is up with that? Manual labor is so not my thing.

Rewinding through the weekend ...

Friday, I watched a DVD. Then, John came to pick me up. We didn't really do anything or go anywhere. Just blobbed around the house, which is nice sometimes.

Saturday was absolutely amazing. The weather was stunning - sunny, warm, yay for Spring! After an early romp in the sack, John got up and made breakfast. Then, we went to Home Depot (I felt so butch there amongst the fertilizer and power tools). John had to buy a new hose and a hand saw and some other stuff. After shopping, he drove me over to the salon for my hair appointment. He went home to work in the yard.

After my haircut, I met Tomoko and Robert at the Sackler Gallery of Art to see the Hokusai exhibit. It was absolutely amazing. People, if you live in DC, get yer heinies over to the Sackler. You have until May 14th. Hokusai painted/printed until he was 90! NINETY! And, his later works are even better than his early ones.

Because the weather was so nice (75!), we decided to walk to Dupont Circle, which at a leisurely pace, including a Starbucks stop, took about an hour or so. We went to the Alero just north of the Circle. Even though it doesn't have a patio, the margaritas are still good. Amazingly, we only had 1.5 pitchers. What's wrong with us?

After dinner (spinach enchiladas!), we walked across the street to the Leather Rack. Robert needed to buy some "necessities." And, Tomoko got an introduction to the mechanics of gay sex (Well, the reason we need to buy lube is ...).

Shopping completed, we headed over to Halo for happy hour drinks (2 for 1!). On the way, we stopped at Universal Queer. I bought a new pair of pimp sunglasses (pimpglasses?), and Robert and I both bought these funky little graphic vinyl wallets.

Bill joined us at Halo and a good time was had by all. I think we left the bar around 10. John decided he didn't want to come into the District, so I metro'ed out to his place. Hot tub! Woo hoo!

Sunday morning, one of us (me!) was very hungover. Hangovers and 8AM morning sex not fun. Everytime I was about to climax, I would get these horrible headaches, so I would stop. At least John had fun.

I poured myself down the stairs and took a nap on the sofa. Around 10, John woke me up to go back to Home Depot! Once again, we journeyed to the Land of the Butch. We spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon, running errands. Then, once we got back to John's place, we did yard work. BLEAH.

As I was doing MANUAL LABOR, I was constantly reminded why any home that I ever buy will never have a yard. City life. Rocks. Grass is not my friend.

So, that was my weekend. I hope yours was as lovely.

Plans for the week? John leaves tomorrow for Mechanicsburg, PA. He'll be gone until Friday. I will be DemonDog Puppy from Hell sitting. Anyone want to come over and HOT TUB?

I will have the use of John's truck during the week, so I'm going to make several runs out to the 'burbs: Target, Kohls, PetSmart ... Fun times.

*Happy Monday smooches*

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Yardwork sucks

ooh. a Sunday update. fun.

I spent the afternoon (after recovering from the SAM and afterwards hangover) moving John's backyard into his frontyard one contractor-size garbage bag at a time. gah. my back hurts. i hate manual labor. it's so ... manual. very not me. i have dirt under my fingernails. i'm sweaty. and sore. this is so not how i imagined this day.

i'm now going to have a beer. eat leftover chinese food. and then watch movies and fold laundry. fun times.

ok. expect a more fleshed out entry tomorrow, including the winner of my haiku contest!

*Sunday smooches*

Oh, and check out my friend's new blog: http://lagargantadeldiablo.blogspot.com! Hopefully, he'll update this one more frequently than his last one.

Friday, March 10, 2006

If I Ruled the Universe

If I ruled the Universe, I would make every day just like today, except for the wind and the fact that I'm at work.

That would definitely change. I wouldn't be at work. I'd be out in the grass, watching the clouds go by, drinking a tall fruity alcomaholic beverage, and being ravaged by my boyfriend - although that's not entirely necessary. It would be nice, but I could wait until I got home.

And, if I ruled the Universe, all of you wouldn't have to be at work either.

You're welcome.

*smooch*

The First Day Above 70 Degrees Can Only Mean One Thing

Saturday Afternoon Margarita Season Has Begun!!!!

The pure joy of SAM.

For those of you who are relatively new to the World of Enviroboi/VUBOQ, here's a quick History of SAM:

When I was in graduate school, my friend, Tomoko (of Avon Breast Cancer Walk fame), and I would meet on random sunny afternoons at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Alero in Cleveland Park. We would sit on the patio, enjoy the sun, drink pitchers of margaritas, and laugh at all the poor slobs who had to work.

Unfortunately, we graduated and had to get real jobs. The afternoon margarita tradition morphed into Saturday Afternoon Margaritas. We've been doing this every few months (esp. in the Spring and Summer) for over 5 years.

Sometimes, it's just the two of us. Sometimes, a few friends join us. And, sometimes, more than a few friends attend (I think the largest attended SAM was about 12 people). Once, SAM even changed cities for SAM:BE [Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Baltimore Edition].

Over time, we developed the N-rule: The number of pitchers consumed (N) can not be greater than the number of people present. N+1 nearly killed us one time. We are also working to perfect the Santa Margarita ratings scale in a quest for the perfect pitcher. Alero in Cleveland Park is consistantly 3 or 3.5 Santa Margaritas.

[SAM documented in photos on my old geocities site.]

Anyway, tomorrow, I am getting my hair cut (yay!). Afterwards, I'm meeting Tomoko and Robert at the Sackler Gallery of Art (my former weekend employer) to see the Hokusai Exhibit.

We've also discussed wandering down to the Hirshhorn Museum to see the Hiroshi Sugimoto Exhibit.

After an early afternoon filled with art, we will more than likely have a late afternoon filled with margaritas!

Aah. Saturday Afternoon Margaritas, how I've missed you!

Could It Possibly Be True?

It's supposed to get up to 70 degrees today and tomorrow. Has Spring finally arrived? Or is March simply being a tease and plans on kicking us in the balls a few days from now with freezing cold temperatures? March is a bitch. Or a lamb. Or a lion. Whatever.

I'm beginning to think that I'm becoming a regular at a few spots in my Downtown Silver Spring 'Hood.

Exhibit A: The owner of Adega Wine Shop and Cafe regularly makes recommendations and tells me what's coming up on new menus that he thinks I'll like.

Exhibit B: Yesterday afternoon at Starbucks, the cute behind the counter order taking boy was all "Hey!" and smiles when I walked in the door.

Exhibit C: This morning, the little girl at the Chik-fil-a had placed my order and rung it up before I even said anything (Egg and Cheese Biscuit and Large Coffee. $2.82).

In other news, dinner at Mi Rancho was cheese-a-licious. I had the cheese enchiladas smothered in cheese. And a margarita. Yum. Good food, hot date, and helping to raise money for a worthy cause. What could be better?

Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know!

My friend, Tomoko, is participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. If anyone would like to help her reach her fundraising goal, please visit her donation page. *smooches* to anyone who contributes!

And, one final thought (for now):

Memo to Drivers:

The it's-all-my-fault-raised-hand is admirable in college basketball players admitting responsibility for a foul; however, after you deliberately run a red light to turn left across a major thoroughfare and cause a very large bus to slam on its brakes to avoid turning your SUV into a pancake, the hand wave isn't such a good idea ... Unless it means that I can now send your license tag number into the police. Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!

For Dykewife

Good morning, Dykewife! Just in case you still can't get the montage-a-google to work.

I made these for you:

Dolly Parton

Planet Mars (I totally love that Warner Brother's character "The Martian" made it into the montage)

More thoughts and random musings and not-so-random musings after I get settled.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Just Made a Montage ...

... of Uranus *giggle*

so. juvenile.


Fun times. Can't remember whose blog I found the link, but here it is:

Montage-a-Google

I leave you with ... Ricky Martin *sigh*


Travelin' Thru

Help. I can't stop listening to Dolly Parton's "Travelin' Thru" (which I uploaded for you here), even though it is very God/Jesus/Christian-y [and I *did* give up Christianity for Lent]. I like the message, nonetheless.

March 10-April 29, several museums and theaters are hosting a Mikio Naruse film retrospective. I have no idea who he is, but Akira Kurosawa was one of his assistants at one point. I need to corral a group of friends into going. Anyone familiar with his work and have film recommendations, please let me know :-)

God, I love living in the city! (OK, near the city)!

OK, now that all that is out of the way ... last night, John got home around 10:15 from his trip to Pennsylvania. He went to bed pretty soon after - must've been a difficult trip. He had to get up early this morning for a doctor's appointment so we didn't have much time to talk.

Tonight, we are going to Mi Rancho, a cheesy little Mexican restaurant in Silver Spring, for Dining Out for Life. And, by "cheesy" I mean "all the vegetarian options are filled with cheese, cooked in cheese, and then smothered by cheese." YUM! Good thing a) I love cheese and b) am not vegan.

Cheese rocks.

Have I mentioned that John won't be going with me to Atlanta for my cousin's wedding next month? I'm a bridesmaid! Woo hoo! No, I won't be wearing a matching dress. *sheesh* Her brother and I will be wearing suits. I don't think the female bridesmaids are even wearing matching dresses. I think the wedding is going to be so awesome! Suzanne is making her own dress. Plus, she and her mom have made the peach puree (from Georgia peaches last summer) for Bellinis and will make mint syrup (from mint from her mom's garden) for mint juleps. So yummy. I love laid-back weddings, and I think this one will be.

Anyway, John has some sort of work training and wouldn't be able to fly down until late Friday or early Saturday. Then, he would have to leave on Sunday. It didn't seem worth it. So, I'll be going to the wedding stag. *sigh* Always a bridesmaid; never a bride. I'll probably fly down on Thursday night and leave on Monday morning. Plus, I'll get to hangout with Christal, who moved to Atlanta last month. YAY!

Here's a fortune I found on my desk when I was cleaning it off the other day:

You are a happy man.

I suppose that's true.

Not Quite Pretty in Pink

I have to say I was a little disappointed with the Project Runway finale.

First, Santino's collection didn't really say "Santino." All season long he made these wild, wacky, totally crazy dresses. Now, when it comes time to present his collection, they're ... almost normal. Where was the Santino-ness? Where?

As for Daniel, he collection was just there. Lots of sleek lines and slender forms, but nothing seemed to stand out or grab me. I did really like his "13th design." [Kudos for Nick for that one, methinks.]

Finally, with Chloe's collection, my initial reaction was "OMG, a 1980s prom has exploded all over the Runway!" Still, the colors and textures she chose were stunning and visually pleasing. The models looked comfortable, and one garment transitioned well to the next. Her collection was the only one that had a continuity of theme.

In the end, even though I really wanted supercutiepatootie Daniel to win, Chloe's collection was better. Yay Chloe! [and, at least, Daniel got a "call me" from Michael Kors ... the big question: Was that for a job ... or a date?]

In other news ...

Dining Out for Life is tonight. DC/Metro area people - Do your part and go out to eat tonight!

More later. *smooch*

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You Can Thank Me Later

Hell. Thank me now.

I just purchased Dolly Parton's latest album Those Were the Days, and got "Travelin' Thru" for free.

I've uploaded two songs:

Travelin' Thru

Crimson and Clover

Enjoy!

PS. I'm wearing really cute underwear today. Thought you'd like to know.

A Whole Lotta Nuthin'

Just a few little bits and bobs ...

1. Tonight is the Project Runway finale.

So excited. I think Santino is going to win even though I would rather see Daniel or Chloe emerge victorious. So, my head says Santino; my heart says Daniel.

2. John had to drive up to Mechanicsburg, PA for work today.

This is the "prep" visit. He'll be going up there next week for 4 days (Tues-Fri). I'll be dog-sitting. Fun. When he gets back, we'll do something fun for my birthday. He's mentioned taking me out of town "somewhere." Maybe Vegas for Ugly People (aka. Atlantic City)?

3. Tomorrow is Dining Out for Life.

If you live in DC, please consider participating. The money goes to Food and Friends, an excellent organization.

4. Tomorrow is also the final day of my contest.

Don't forget to submit your Haiku. You, too, can haiku!

Thoughts While Knitting

Last night, John went out to dinner with his ex (the one who got mugged on his way to John's house last Halloween weekend, if you remember). While I was waiting for him to come pick me up, I decided to knit.

I don't know if this is true for other knitters, but once I get in my groove, lost among the knits and purls, my mind starts to wander. Last night, it wandered back to junior high school.

I think for most people junior high was not a pleasant experience. For me, it's probably where I began to perfect the "v" in Vuboq as a defense mechanism. As these unhappy memories washed over me, I managed to find a fleck of gold, a glittering happy memory in the mud: my first, unrequited boycrush.

The bus ride to my school was long. I was one of the first students picked up and one of the last dropped off. Sometimes it felt like I spent more time on the bus than I did in school. I'm all for the desegregation of schools, but, good lord!, did the bus rides suck! The first few months were tolerable. I usually found a seat near the front, opened a book and read until we arrived.

Then, one day, the bus made a new stop. Two new students, brother and sister, boarded. They sat together and the bus went on its merry way. A few days later, the brother boarded the bus by himself, looked at me and said, "Can I sit here?"

"Sure."

We talked the entire ride. We talked about everything and nothing and, when I got off the bus, I was in *love*. I had one of those intensely satisfied feelings that you get after meeting someone with whom you clicked.

Darren was a year older and in 8th grade. We sat beside each other on the bus every day. We talked. I looked into his stunning blue eyes. He was a swimmer with a tan and sun-bleached hair from his summers in the pool. He would stop conversations in the halls with his friends to say hi to me as I walked by. We had sleepovers at our houses. We took long walks in the woods behind my house. He would talk about his crush on one of the popular girls. I could never talk about my crush.

When the year ended, he left to go to another school. I managed to survive 8th grade on my own. I had a few friends, not more than you could count on one hand ... but I've always felt it's better to have a few really good friends than a lot of people who could stab you in the back at any moment.

For ninth grade, our school system consolidated the schools. Previously, students went to separate schools for K-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12. Yes, it was majorly fucked up, because every two years some of your friends would go to a different school. With consolidation, schools became K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Darren and I would be attending the same school again. We met that summer at band practice and renewed our friendship. His junior year he was drum major of the marching band. The next year, in a desperate attempt to spend more time with him, I tried out for drum major. Amazingly, I was chosen. I'm not really sure how or why, except maybe because the band director loved to yell at me the most?

I convinced Darren not to skip his senior prom and to ask this cute little freshman who had a crush on him. We all went to the prom together and had an after prom breakfast at my house. He graduated and went to UNC-Chapel Hill to become a doctor.

Eventually, we lost contact. I heard he didn't get accepted to medical school. Then, I heard that he was getting married. A few months ago, I decided to google him. Apparently he's some sort of "new age" doctor now. Although I couldn't find any pictures, I imagine him being slightly overweight now. Mainly because most of my crushes seem to have gotten married and packed on the marriage pounds. He's probably got a gut and a few kids. But, I choose to remember him as I knew him in junior high and high school: tan, muscular, with a bright smile just for me.

I hope he's happy.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Am I Shallow

I just got back from a coffee break/wander around Borders [I have approximately $16 in gift card money to spend burning a hole in my pocket].

Is it wrong that I didn't buy an album by Tarkan, which was on sale, because ... well ... he doesn't look as cute on the cover as he did on Karma? Don't believe me? You be the Judge:

Tarkan:

Karma:


While internally debating the relative hotness of Tarkan, what appeared before my wondering eyes:

Dolly Parton's Those Were the Days on sale for $15.99 and including the CD single for her Oscar-nominated song Travellin' Thru. Very Excited! Of course, as I was heading to the register, I realized that I had left all my gift cards/certificates at home. GAH!

I'll have to buy it tomorrow.

Yay!

My Desk

Cubicles are boring. Mine is this icky shade of greenyblue fabric. I have worked in this cubicle for nearly 3 years. I have succeeded in covering nearly all of the icky greenyblueness with interesting things. Here is a quick inventory of (nonwork-related) items in my cubicle:

(Starting from my left and working around) -

  1. Postcards from New Orleans, Niagra Falls, Los Angeles, San Francisco (2), Costa Rica, New York City, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, Venice, Azores, Budapest, Florence, Paris, and Sardinia (2).
  2. Mardi Gras Beads and Mask
  3. Stuffed Totoro
  4. Stuffed Tibeten Yeti Christmas Tree Ornament
  5. Stuffed Chik-fil-a Cow
  6. Stuffed Devil
  7. Little Banner of some Chinese Saying (I don't remember what it says)
  8. Chinese fortune cookie fortune: It is during difficult times that true friends become apparent.
  9. Chinese fortune cookie fortune: Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life.
  10. Hones-Tea lid: A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
  11. Candy Canes (2, from different Christmases)
  12. Several Christmas cards
  13. Little Mexican Pyramid
  14. Red rubber duck with horns pencil topper
  15. Pink plastic easter egg
  16. yarn chicks (2)
  17. Portuguese lucky rooster
  18. remote control car (with dead batteries)
  19. Cicada exoskeleton
  20. Battery-operated coffee stirrer/frother (courtesy Token Asian)
  21. Photo of Santa Lucia (from the National Gallery of Art, taken by Robert)
  22. Corn car magnet/toy
  23. Statue of some Indian god/goddess (from John's trip to India)
  24. Reindeer poop jelly bean dispenser (also from Token Asian)
  25. 3 coffee mugs
  26. another toy car
  27. 5 free 1-liter coke tops
  28. Another Chinese banner (I can't remember what it says either)
  29. Grasshopper finger puppet

Now you can sleep at night.

Gay Sex Supernova

I'm so hip. I'm so trendy. I'm so urban.

Last night, John and I went to the wonderful E Street Cinema to watch a documentary about Gay! Sex! in! the! 70s! Who else but city dwellers do that sort of thing on a Monday night?

Gay Sex in the 70s was pretty much what I expected it to be - a thoughtful, fun, respectful look at gay men from 1969 (Stonewall) to 1981 (the onset of AIDS). I also expected it to be slightly depressing when the conversation inevitably turned to AIDS. However, rather than dwell on death and disease, the filmmaker chose to focus on how sexual liberation created a sense of community among gay men, which, in turn, provided a network of support and political activism for people with AIDS. I left with a feeling of hope tinged with sadness.

On the way home from the theater, John and I got into a discussion about what life would have been like without AIDS. "Imagine," John said, "what it would be like. Gay men would practically be fucking in the streets. Here. Now." I disagreed with John's theory of a sexually uninhibited society.

I think what would have happened is a Gay Sex Supernova: It would flare up brilliantly, but, eventually (and fairly quickly), the wild crazy sex would have burned itself out.

If you live in DC (or the surrounding area), go see this movie. I think it's only showing until Thursday [which, by the way, is Dining Out for Life, a fundraiser for Food and Friends and the last day of my haiku contest].

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend Update: I'm Getting Old Edition

Less than two weeks until I turn the big 3-6, and already my mind is deteriorating faster than a kleenex in a monsoon. The sad thing? I can't remember how many times we had sex. I think twice. Definitely Saturday night. I'm a little foggy about Friday. I think we did. But, I'm not sure. So sad.

I can barely even remember what we did on Friday. Did we go out to dinner? Was Friday night the night we ate at Adega? Or was that on Thursday? I think that was Thursday. OK. It was on Thursday.

Friday night, I ate at home. Then, John picked me up. He wanted to see ... I hope this doesn't lower your opinions of me ... Madea's Family Reunion. We planned to see the 9:30 show. Unfortunately (*cough* *cough*), when we got to the theater, the ticket line was HUGE. John hates to wait in lines. Instead, we went for a cup of coffee and then back to his place. Where we may or may not have done the nasty dance.

Saturday, we had breakfast (did we have morning sex? not sure). Then, we went to my house so he could help me do some stuff. We hung up the big spiral sconce (pictured in a previous entry) over my bed. We moved a small dresser into my basement storage area, and we tried to make my butcher block table less wobbly (with some degree of success).

Then, we caught the matinee of Madea's Family Reunion, which -I admit- was funny (in places). But, with all the talk of God this and God that and Love this and Love that, I don't think I need to go to church for awhile. Wait.

I don't go to church. And, I gave up Christianity for lent.

After the movie, we went shopping, had dinner, watched some Queer as Folk DVDs, and got ready to go out. We went to Dead Lounge in Wheaton. Country night. Yee haw. I had a beer and two cosmos. It was borrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-ing. I don't think we'll be heading back there ever again.

We got home around midnightish and went to bed. I definitely remember having sex. (Yay! Not completely senile yet!).

Sunday morning, after breakfast, I ran some errands: checked on Christal's house, fed and watered Isabella, cleaned her litterbox, and gassed up John's car. Then, we drove to DC. I need to buy an ice bucket and a punch bowl. I also need to start planning my birthday party. Home Rule on 14th St was too expensive (Isn't $40 for an ice bucket a little ridiculous, even if it does come with complimentary tongs?). Then, we drove over to Dupont Circle.

We got some coffee at Starbucks (not the super slow one that's practically on the Circle, but the one near Teaism). We walked over to Lambda Rising to buy more lube (luuuuuuuuuuuuube ... we *must* have had sex more than once to be nearly out of lube, right? right?). On the way out I jokingly asked John if he had bought the Family Size ... we laughed about that for several blocks. In Tabletop, I bought a espresso cup and saucer (50% off!) and a book: The Holiday Survival Handbook (or something like that ... it's that series ... you know it.).

John asked why I bought the espresso cup, since I never make espresso. Because I got an stovetop espresso maker for Christmas! Have you used it yet? Um ... no. But, I will. No you won't. Of course, now, I have to use it just to prove him wrong. Ha.

We wandered around for a bit more, then drove by the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner. I made bowtie pasta in a mushroom/alfredo sauce. John bought a slab of meat of some sort. It was red. Maybe a steak? We had salad, garlic bread, and a not very good riesling. Later, we had peach cobbler. Mmmm ... peach cobbler. And watched the Oscars.

Tonight, I think John is trying to get some sort of redemption for dragging me to see Madea. We're going to the E Street Cinema to see Gay Sex in the 70s - it's a documentary, not porno. Honest.

Oh, and don't forget to enter The Contest. I think I'll let it run until Thursday.
And another thing, Robert's back from Argentina. Yay!

On a Night of a Thousand Stars ...

Who did not wake up this morning singing "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp?"
Not I ... but, of course, I was singing the Oscar-remix'ed version "It's Hard Out Here for a Pup." Yeah, John loves to be around me in the morning (maybe that's why he hides out in the basement until I leave. hm ...)

Anyway, a few Oscar (the show, not the dog) thoughts and impressions:

John Stewart. Funny.
Nicole Kidman. Pretty.
George Clooney. So cute. George Clooney should win everything.
Some other people win some other stuff.
Boring speeches.
DOLLY! I love me some Dolly!
Some other people win some other stuff.
Boring speeches.
Why is this TAB energy drink only for women?
Did I just see her nipple? Or is that her overly tight dress digging in to her overly bodacious bust?
"Hard Out Here for a Pimp?" hm. I'm surprised.
Ang Lee? No surprise.
Crash? No surprise. Hollywood hates "the gays."
Ooh. Bedtime.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Drinks, Anyone?

Plans for tonight: Option A: Sit on my new sofa watching DVDs or Option B: Going out for drinks. Anyone up for a martini or seven?

Although, as one of my friends always says, "Martinis are like breasts: Two are enough. Three are too many."

More than likely, Option A will win out ... unless *you* can convince me otherwise.

So ... last night, John picked me up around 7:30 (only an hour later than he said). We went to Adega for dinner. I had a free sandwich (Buy 8, Get One Free card). Yay!


Then, we went to Kohls. I bought a giant wall sconce thing (pictured, except mine is black). It was on sale for $50 (marked down from $90). I thought it would look cool over my bed.

John bought a copper ice bucket for the deck. Woo hoo! Ice cold beer while hot tubbing. Can't wait for the sweetness of that!

We got home. I checked email. We had extremely hot movie-watching. My back is a little achy today.

No big weekend plans so far ... just doing house stuff on Saturday, I think.

Don't forget THE CONTEST!

*smooch*


J-Pop Friday: Final Edition

No one seems to be interested in downloading my weird taste in Japanese pop music, so this will be my last J-Pop Friday. *sniff*

The first song isn't actually pop. I think it's from a children's show, but I love it because it makes me laugh.

Dango San KyouDai [loosely translated as Three Gooey Doughy Rice Ball Thingies on a Stick Brothers]

I first heard this second song on a trip to Japan several years ago. I liked it so much I bought the CD single. Later, I asked a friend to send me Shibata Jun's first album, Tame Iki, which is AWESOME.

Gekkou Yoku [loosely translates as Um ... Moonlight Shower?]

Of course, now, I own two copies of this song, which means ...

Time for a Contest. Yay! A Contest!

If you'd like to win my copy of the CD Single, write a haiku (either about J-Pop, Vuboq, or why you want the CD Single) and leave it in the comments below.

Contest ends sometime next week.

8AM. Too Early for Attitude.

A message to the woman in front of me in line at Chik-fil-a this morning [Yes, sometimes I go to Chik-fil-a for breakfast - egg and cheese biscuit and large coffee $2.82; woman with attitude - priceless]:

I know that you were bothered by the fact that the overworked little fast food employee (who is as sweet as can be) charged you for a large lemonade rather than a medium. And, when you complained she had to get the manager to refund the difference. And it was taking an extra minute or two out of your day.

But, really, don't you think the head bobbin', hands-on-the-hips, finger-drummin', teeth-suckin' attitude was a bit much? Come on. It was $0.27. Let me repeat that. Twenty-seven. Cents.

All that drama and you can't even buy a stamp.

OK. Maybe you can carry on that act a hundred times and with your savings buy a new outfit at Marshalls, because what you were wearing? [I hate to break it to you, but] Not all that.

Thank you,
Vuboq.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Public Service Announcement

brought to you by a major sugar rush resulting from consuming an entire tube of Girl Scout Thin Mints:

Brokeback Mountain in 30 Seconds (and Re-Enacted by Bunnies)

You owe me for this one, people.

A Quiz Kind of Day

I can't remember whose blog I got this off of now, but it was a fun quiz.

I was hoping for Benevolent Dictator, but this will have to do (I guess):



My Personal Dna Report

Quickie

Here are a few items of note:

  1. Today's my dad's 68th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! (not that he reads this blog, but whatever)
  2. My Maryland State Tax Refund - $102. Woo hoo!
  3. I'm thinking of giving up Christianity for Lent

Now, read the next entry and tell me all about your sexual fantasies (when you were 22).