Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So. Very. Jealous.

Robert saw the Snickers HUNGERECTOMY ad on a bus today. I am so jealous.

Mars, Inc. deserves a PERVY MONKEY *slap* for that one!

Meanwhile, I am working on a writing sample for a job application. The job is with NGO which deals with population issues. I went through all my old grad school papers and found two focusing on population. Now, I'm trying to decide which one to edit down to a 2-page or so writing sample, the one which attempts to reconcile Christian philosphy with population and ecological economics OR a critical analysis of over-population and the government's policy response in the People's Republic of China.

Then, again, I wonder why I should even bother. It's not like I'll get the job.

Maybe I'll scroll down, look at my pumpkin pictures, and opt for a career as a professional pumpkin carver.

*heh*

In the End, We're All Just a Bunch of Losers

Happy Halloween!
GayProf asked yesterday for some pumpkin pics. Here are the two pumpkins I carved:

Pumpkin 1:


The pumpkin had this weird looking discoloration which I carved around, which explains the odd looking right eye.

Pumpkin 2:


I was tired of carving, which explains the simple, large shapes.

In other news ... my exciting Meat-Free Monday meal was [drum roll, please] the leftover half of my lunchtime Chipotle Burrito. Yum.

Last night, I watched movies and knitted. I will do the same tonight. I am *this close* to finishing my brother's Christmas present. YAY!

The only problem with watching movies (especially movies I've already seen) and knitting is that my mind tends to wander. And as it rambles about, I come up with wonderful thoughts like the title of this entry [and by "we're," I mean "I'm"].

I thought about John last night. Even though he is a Cheating Cheater who Cheated Cheatfully, at least he was cuddly and warm [and didn't flinch when I touched him ... yeah, that's a real confidence booster when someone does that] and he liked to snuggle at night. That was nice. I miss that. I miss it a lot.

At least it's becoming flannel sheet season. Hurrah for Winter Activity Polar Bear Flannel Sheet Sets! Hurrah! Hurray!

I think I'm done rambling for now ... probably more later.

*smooch*

Monday, October 30, 2006

Entertain Me!!!

Super-slo-mo season at work is right around the corner and I need entertainment. AND LOTS OF IT!

So, here's your assignment -if you choose to accept it:

1. Take a look at your lists of blogs you read regularly.
2. Recommend one or two of those blogs for me to begin reading.

-or-

3. All of you could start updating more often. And, by more often, I mean, like every hour or two.

Otherwise, I'm going to be stuck entertaining myself ...
And you all know what happens when you start doing that at work ...

Things like this -

Choose a new hairstyle for StickSteven

VUBOQ Edits Craiglist DC Missed Connections

VUBOQ edits are in italics.

1. Safeway ... Crocs and Abercrombie shirt - m4m - 30

You were behind me in line in black crocs and an abercrombie shirt. I had on cords and a sweater. You are very handsome, but your choice of footwear indicates that you must be taken outside and shot.

2. Cute American Apparel employee - m4m - 24

you: cute, non-white dude (south american?) wearing a baby blue henley-type shirt; your hair is kinda long and has a cute little tail (capybara?).

me: white dude (european?) with a matted down fauxhawk -I ran out of product- wearing a white and burgundy track jacket and unable to use the shift key. i bought a few shirts and some undies at your store earlier today, around 4 maybe.

i asked you if you had any of those puffy vests. you said to try the dc store. then you said they're selling out all over the place, i have no idea why, and that you had to drive to richmond just to get yours. :-)

i find you adorable and really interesting... i would love to talk sometime... hit me up

Chock Full of Fun and Excitement

The Pumpkin Carving Party was a great success! About 15 people attended. Many pumpkins were carved. The party signature cocktail was delicious! The food was good. A terrific time was had by all. Or at least, me. And I'm the only one who really counts ;-) *heh*

My friend, and former co-worker, Kristen, brought punch made from cranberry juice, apple juice, and sparkling apple cider. To that, we added green apple vodka and a splash of Hot Damn cinnamon schnapps. OMG. Fucking fantastic it was.

The last party guest (Mike) left around 12:30. Jake arrived around 1. We went to bed soon after. Saturday morning, we blobbed around the house and carved the three leftover pumpkins. I do like pumpkin carving. That evening, we met Terry and Robert at Logan Tavern and then went for drinks at Halo.

Sunday morning, we headed into DC to watch the marathon. It was that morning when I realized that I had left all my marathon information and post-marathon party directions at work. I thought I could give Barbara (my friend who ran the marathon) my phone number as she ran by and she could call me with the party details.

However, I never saw Barbara. I don't know if a) I miscalculated her pace and we got there too late or b) she ran by and I never saw her or c) she became injured and dropped out before mile 12. I am hoping the answer was (a) or (b).

I was unable to get the directions from my office, because even though, as a supervisor, I am supposed to have 24/7 access to the office, my security card doesn't work. I missed the party. I emailed Barbara my apologies and offered to take her out for drinks/dinner one night soon.

After watching the runners for a bit, Jake and I headed to Dupont for brunch/lunch. Luna Cafew was crowded. Food Bar was closed. So we ended up at La Frontera. It was icky. Robert joined us towards the end of the meal and we walked to Cosi for coffee.

Jake went to the train station around 3 (?) and I headed home. I ended up watching movies and knitting for the rest of the night. It was nice.

Of course, I woke up at 5:30 thinking I had overslept. Stupid time change. Of course, the nice bit about that - once I realized what was going on - was that I could fall back asleep for another hour. YAY.

Tonight, I have no plans of interest, but I'm hoping to finish knitting my brother's Christmas present.

*Happy Monday smooches*

PS. I know I haven't done a Meat-Free Monday post in awhile ... and probably will not be inspired tonight either. But, I hope YOU enjoy a meat-free meal. Do your part for the environment! Go meat-free for lunch or dinner :-)

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Think My Stigmata is Getting Infected

Yesterday, after work, I metro'ed over to Target in super scary suburbialand, Wheaton. The Halloween decoration selection was a tad disappointing. It seemed like they were already packing it up and putting Xmas stuff out (geh).

In the end, I dropped about $60 buying supplies for the party (carving sets, plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, garbage bags for the pumpkin guts, etc. etc. etc.). I also bought Wallace and Gromit's Curse of the Were-Rabbit on DVD. It was on sale. $10. Which, if you think about it, is only 5 GBP. BARGAIN. At least, that's how I rationalized the purchase.

I got back from Target around 7:30 and spent the rest of the night cleaning and organizing. Today, I have to buy beer and party food. Fun times. I was talking to my friend, Lori, about how much I was spending on this party and she seemed taken aback [$75 so far on booze, $50 on party supplies, probably about $40-50 on food, and maybe $25 on beer]. I explained that I have two big, meaning 15 or more people, parties a year [my birthday and the pumpkin carving] and I budget for them accordingly. Besides, my friends are worth a little extra expense every now and then.

Anyway, so today, I must run to the Whole Foods to buy food. I'm being lazy and only doing snacky-type things this year: cheese/crackers, chips/salsa, hummus/pita, olives, candy ...

The rest of my weekend will be fairly eventful, too. Jake is coming down for the party and then spending the Saturday and Sunday here. I'm not sure what time he's leaving. I plan on doing lots of blobbing around the house on Saturday morning/afternoon. Jake can help or he can go do touristy things. Robert mentioned hanging out with Margot and her visiting friend [who may also be coming to the Pumpkin Carving Party] Saturday night. Maybe we'll go Halo or something.

Sunday is the DC Marine Corps Marathon. I learned that my friend, Barbara, is running it this year. Back in October 2000, when I ran the marathon*, she and her now ex-husband came out to cheer me on. They were the only two of my friends who did so. Thus, I will make sure that I will be somewhere on the marathon route to cheer for Babs. Later that night, some of her friends are having a chili party for her (and 2 other marathon runners) in Alexandria (or Arlington. I get those two places confused). I will probably show up there for a little while as well.

*whew* I'm exhausted just typing all that up. Hope everyone has a totally groovy weekend. Carve a pumpkin!

*smooches*

*I ran the marathon in 5:29:-- [can't remember the seconds], in case you wanted to know.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stigmata!

A miracle has occurred in the Land of VUBOQ!
Stigmata has appeared on my palm!
Praise the Saints!

One of these is an actual photo of the VUBOQ stigmata:

a)








2)










Miracle-working to begin at 5PM.
Let me know if there's anything I can ... um ... lay my hand on ;-)

*slap!* Pervy Monkeys!!!

On Walls. On the Fence.

Am I the only one who was perturbed by Vicente Fox's likening the US's planned 700 mile, unfunded, unfounded, and totally useless "border fence" to the Berlin Wall?
Mexican officials have criticized the fence. Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has spent much of his six years in office lobbying for a new guest worker program and a chance at citizenship for the millions of Mexicans working illegally in the U.S., calls the fence "shameful" and compares it to the Berlin Wall. [WaPo]

I vividly remember November 9, 1989, when the Wall came down and a divided city was reunited. Several months later (in April), I remember touching what remained of the Wall. It was cold and rough and pockmarked from the thousands of people who had taken their sledgehammers to it.

Maybe the reason for it's construction -to stem the tide of illegal immigrants (people fleeing communist East Berlin into the "free" West)- is similar. And, the more I think about, the more I see parallels.

However, I suppose the biggest difference is the symbolism - the Berlin Wall dividing competing ideologies with a divided city suffering for it. The pain was palpable when I touched the Wall. And, even though, it never directly affected me, the joy when it fell was contagious.

What will the Fence come to symbolize? Ineffective government? Pandering for votes in a close midterm election? Futility against the tide?

And, if it's ever built, what will we feel when it comes down?

VUBOQ Ponders Gayrriage

NJ Courts Rules for Gay Rights
Same-Sex Marriage Ban: Funds from National Groups Go to Both Sides
Ricky Martin: Madonna an Exemplary Mom

Ah. It's election season and VUBOQ must apply his vicious, unrepentant, bitter, old queeniness to one of his least favorite topics, gayrriage.

"Why is this one of your least favorite topics," you ask.

Because it only serves to remind VUBOQ that being vicious, unrepentant, bitter, and old does not lend itself readily to becoming the better part of a couple. (And, neither does that restraining order, Ricky.)

I think it all boils down to these three simple truths:

1. The Gays want equal treatment under the law.
2. Foaming-at-the-mouth evangelical Xtians want "traditional" marriage protected.
3. Most of the sheeple in the US can't think for themselves anyway and will vote/think/live the way the loudest person tells them.

So, I suggest we all start screaming at people. Nicely. With no bitch slapping ... although I'm sure some of them need it (and/or want it).

Gene Weingarten, a humor columnist for The Washington Post, wrote in one of his chats (and I'm paraphrasing here) that allowing The Gays to marry is the moral thing to do. It will eventually happen.

And, VUBOQ will be always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

When in Doubt, Go for the Pretty Label

I have returned from the likker store. I purchased 6 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of likker.

I hate buying wine, because I can never remember which ones I like and which ones I don't. In the end, I wandered around and picked ones with interesting labels or names which sounded vaguely familiar ...

Wine #1: Jabulani Merlot Cabernet (South Africa)
Wine #2: Wyndam Shiraz (Australia)
Wine #3: Yellow Tail Shiraz-Grenache (Australia)
Wine #4: 3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon (California. Where else?)
Wine #5: Black Opal Shiraz-Cabernet (Australia)
Wine #6: Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)

And, in case you didn't know, 6 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of likker are very heavy.

Look Out! He's Got a Knife!

So, I'm a little stressed right now. I've planned my 5th Annual BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party for this Friday. GAH! I've done nothing to prepare. I have s**tloads to do and I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to do it all. GAH!

Today, I'll be buying a portion of the booze. Once I get home, I have to go down into my scary storage locker to see if I can find where I put all my Halloween decorations. They could be there or they could be somewhere scarier - at the Cheating Cheater who Cheated Cheatfully's house. If that's the case, I'll be buying new decorations.

Then, I have to do a truckload of laundry. And clean clean clean clean clean clean clean.

Thursday, after work, I must metro out to Target to buy party supplies. And, if there's time, stop by Whole Foods on the way home and start thinking about food items.

I hope my friends don't think I'm a total loser, but I'm not actually "cooking" for the party. There will only be munchies - cheese und crackers, chips und dip, various other sundries ... It's not very me, but it will have to do.

Friday, I'll finish the shopping and prepare like a crazy person. Fun times. Fun times.

The rest of the picture:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Scar

Some of you may have noticed in my pictures that I have a small scar, sort of between my eyebrows. And, I'm sure you're too polite to ask how I got it ...

Believe you me, if I knew, I would tell you.

At my 35th birthday party, I had a bit too much to drink. I woke up the next morning, still a little drunk, on a friend's bathroom floor with a bleeding gash between my eyes.

Not pleasant. Have no idea what happened.

I stopped drinking for 6 months after that.

Here's a picture from the party:


I think it's kind of a cool picture. I don't know what was up with my camera. And, yes, I am wearing a baseball jersey from my favorite team, the Yakult Swallows.

*heh*

Pervy Monkey!

Pussy Squared

Simply because you haven't seen enought pictures of my pussy, here's Isabella in a Box:




I'm a little tired this morning. Last night, I finished knitting a Christmas present for someone. I also decathaired the sofa and vaccuumed the living room. My plans for this evening include cleaning the bathroom and finishing my brother's scarf.

Since yesterday was so boring, how about a few more pictures from my trip? Yes? OK. Here they are:

This is me on the Greenwich Line:

Kurt and I at the Fish n' Chips shack in Dunwich:

Anne-Marie and Kurt enjoy "amusements" on the Southwold pier:

Let's go to the map! In case you need to know where Hampstead Heath is on the train map:

And, that is all. Well, all for today. Unless I am inspired to type something else up later.

*many happy smooches of joy*

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ordeal

I decided not to take a picture of my cranky travel face this time ... but, be assured it probably looked like this, only with more jetlag and more crankiness.

I got up on Sunday morning at 6:25AM. Anne-Marie drove me to London Bridge station where I caught the 7:15 train to Gatwick Airport. I found the US Air counter and waited on line for HOURS!

Once I finally reached the desk, I learned that my 10:30AM flight had been delayed an hour. By the time I got through security, it had become 3 hours.

As the plane touched down in Charlotte, NC, my 3:45PM flight to DC National must've been taking off. GAH!

And, even more fun ... the queue at immigration was heinous! And even though the "all other passports" line was 3 time shorter than the one for 'MURCANS, the stupid security guy was only allowing 'MURCANS into about 4 or 5 immigration officers lines. The other 8 were for the FOREIGNERS. Very frustrating.

I get through customs with no problems, and, when I go to the US Air counter to get my new flight, I learn I've been placed on a 7:45PM flight to National. GAH!

I ask if there's anything earlier. No.
I ask if there's anything earlier from Dulles. Yes.

I run run run run run through security (again! *sheesh* I mean, really, why do have to go through security again? Don't you think that if I were going to blow up a plane with a bomb planted in my shoes, I would blow up a huge international flight, rather than a dinky commuter express? Don't you?) and run run run run run to my gate.

I get there just in time for the 5PM boarding.

We land at Dulles at 6:30. I find my baggage carousel and realize that if my baggage comes of quickly I will have just enough time to grab the 7:15 bus to the metro station.

As luck would have it, my bag did not come off the carousel until 7:40. So I had just enough time to grab the 7:45 bus to the metro station.

Two trains and another bus later, I'm home at 9:30ish. I unpacked, played a little with my pussy, and went to bed.

Ah. Bed. Bed is good.

All in all, though, a very good vacation!!!

In other exciting news ...

1. Last week was my 5 year anniversary with this company. [Shouldn't I get a plaque or something? Like a new job?]
2. We get free lunch today! [This is unrelated to #1.]
3. My 5th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party is on Friday. YAY!

*many happy smooches of joy*

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Rainbow's End

*sigh* My vacation is over. I've had a few beers and I need to somehow shove everything I've purchased into my bag, along with all my dirty clothes and some clean ones and some, like the ones I'm wearing now, which smell of Turkish kabobs.

Today, Anne-Marie and I went to Hampstead Heath in the north of London to see views of the city and, after the rain had passed, a stunning rainbow - a fitting end to my trip.



Then, we took the train to Denise and Ian's. We were going to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant, but it was packed. We opted for the Turkish place next door. It was yummy...


Ah... drunk and happy in the big city. That's how life should be.

I'm up early tomorrow to catch my 10:30AM flight to Charlotte, where I transfer to a flight to DC National. I should be home by early evening (if all goes well ... please cross your fingers that it does). Back to work on Monday. bleah.

*many happy smooches to you all*

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stuck on Pause

It's 10AM and I haven't decided what I want to do today. I'm thinking of walking down the street to take a look at the Thames Barrier. Then, going to World Food Cafe, the restaurant I couldn't find last week, for a late-ish lunch. After that? Who knows ... I suppose it depends on the weather. AM and Kurt invited me out to a party tonight, but I'm not sure if I want to go. I'm feeling kinda blah. I blame the lurking dark clouds. I want to snuggle up in bed and knit all night.

Meanwhile, here's a page transcribed from my handwritten journal.

18 October 2006. 10 PM ~

So. very. tired. Stupid Glasgow hills. *ha*

Lessee ... I got to the Glasgow Film Theatre [a very cool art deco theatre near the School of Art] around 6PM and purchased my ticket. The movie [Boy Culture] was all right ... I didn't buy into a lot of it, but - it was a pleasant diversion. I like the Noah's Arc guy when he's not flaming it up like he does on Noah's Arc. The main problem I have [with the movie] is the whole having a relationship with a hustler. I guess I'm too much of a prude to ever think I could have a relationship with someone who refused to be monogamous.

After the movie, I walked back and went to grab a bite to eat. I thought of going to a nearby Russian restaurant, but in the end my slightly upset tummy wasn't feeling that. I ended up having pizza, which was good but still didn't hit the spot.

I stopped by for a pint at the hotel bar. Spoke briefly with cute Daniel ~ it's funny but he reminds me of Thomas, my Junior year (Spring semester) roommate. I think it's the tight-lipped, longish smile ...

Now, back in the room ... thought about going out, but my legs are tired and I need to make sure I'm up for breakfast and train ...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Few Photos from the Detroit of Scotland

, which is not an insult. I love Detroit, actually. And Glasgow was amazing!


Me in front of the Kelvingrove.

Me in the Necropolis.



Glasgow School of Art
Updated to note: I have uploaded 3 other pictures from Glasgow to Flickr.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh, To Be Beside the Seaside

I'm back from a weekend in Suffolk. Lots of time was spent by the shore. Lots of good food was eaten. I'll write up something in detail later, but now I have to get ready for my trip to Glasgow. I'm taking an early-ish train in the morning and returning on Thursday afternoon.

Luckily for you, here are a few photos to tide you over:


Steven and Anne-Marie at Dunwich shore

The sun peaks through at the Warbarswick shore.

The view from Framlingham Castle

Inside Framlingham Castle

Friday, October 13, 2006

Disappointment...

The knitting group was a bust. I arrived at around 6:30, entered the shop with a cheery "HELLO," and was ignored by all present. SO, I looked around the shop for a bit and left. BAH. If I want to be ignored while I knit, I'll do it at home.

The rest of the day was brilliant though. Lots of fun times spent wandering about the Tate Britain.

Love me some Blake and Turner.
And paintings of macaques propped up on dried elephant dung.

A Room with a View

This is a view from AM's kitchen window into her lovely garden [Except it isn't, because blogger is being difficult. gah!]. Yesterday evening, I helped assemble the garden furniture. I rock! *heh*

The weather here has been stunningly beautiful recently. Yesterday, I went to Hyde Park to have a picnic. (see Flickr for two photos) I walked A LOT. I think even my blisters have blisters.

I returned home around 5, AM, Kurt, and I ordered Indian take-away. Normally I don't like Indian food, but it is infinitely tastier here in London than in DC. I don't know why that is. We had sag aloo (spinach and potatoes), chana masala (chickpeas), veg curry, something with aubergines (that would be eggplant to you 'Murcans), nan, pilau rice ... mmmm ...

AM drove me to the North Greenwich Tube station around 9. I tube'd over to Earl's Court where I met Sin. He took me to a gay pub there and we had a few drinks. He's a fun guy, with loads of interesting stories to tell. Hopefully, we'll get to meet up again while I'm here.

I rolled in around 1AM, reeking of smoke *cough* *hack* and I still feel a little congested this morning. Eh. But what can you do? People go to pubs to smoke. It made me yearn for Halo just a little bit though.

Today, I don't have much of an agenda. Around 6PM, I think I'm going to go to a men's knitting group that meets near Vauxhall. Before that? Probably a bit of wandering around.

Two little bits of info: I think I may have done something wrong with my Oyster card (electronic fare card for Tube and bus). Before meeting Sin, I added £10, bringing the total to £12.50 on my card. After 2 tube trips and a bus ride home, the total was still £12.50. I hope I didn't accidentally buy a day pass or something. That would be pissy.

Second, it looks like Bell-Ringer Mike won't be in Glasgow at all while I'm there. *sniff* I guess I will have to experience the town on my own. Apparently there is some arts festival going on there called GlasGay. I read about a play that sounded interesting and need to investigate tickets for it. I am thinking about making up a little scavenger hunt for Mike while I'm there. We'll have to see how creative I'm feeling once I get up that way.

And that's all my news on this side of the big pond. Hope you all are well.

*smooches from London*

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm Keeping a Handwritten Journal

What up with that, eh? I guess maybe I'll eventually figure out a way to transfer my thoughts from there to here.

So... today, I went to find this cute little cafe where I ate several years ago. Couldn't find it. There's a funny story about that, which I will relate later. Then, I wandered down to the National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square and then to this cute little gay cafe - First Out with a cute little boy behind the counter.

Later, I wandered to Covent Garden and across the Thames to Waterloo Station, stopping to take a few photos along the way (see Flickr).

Stepping on a crowded sweaty train at rush hour was like stepping into a sauna. *gasp* Stinky.

I got back to AM's house. We had tea. Kurt cooked Chinese, and soon I'm going to bed.

*smooches from London*

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Walked

and so i uploaded some photos from our trip to Whitstable by the sea ... we opted to go there, rather than Canterbury. I'm not sure why other than, I had visited Canterbury over a decade ago and had never seen the sea - at least, never seen the sea from the point of view of the Whitstable shore.

Off the coast are these gigantic wind farms. I remember reading about the controversy. It seems that somewhere off the US Northeast coast, someone wanted to build something similar. Does the cost outweigh the benefits? Is carbon-free energy worth the environmental damage? Swings and roundabouts - what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts. Environmentalists, it seems, are never happy.

But, that was on Sunday, and quoth Anne-Marie, "It's good to get out of London."
To which I responded, "But I haven't hardly been in London."

Today, after a bit of a lie in, I boarded the bus and took the Tube to Temple. Even after all my visits to London, I have never wandered about Middle Temple. I had never seen the Temple Church (it's the round church featured in The Da Vinci Code).

Round Temple Church


From there, I walked along the Thames. First the north bank. Then, I crossed over the Millenium Bridge to the southside. I briefly entered the Tate Modern - only to use the loo and buy a coffee mug. I had a sandwich (brie and chutney) and tea at the Globe Cafe.

I crossed back to the north bank and wandered around the outskirts of the Tower of London. No point in paying the entrance fee, although it did mean that I couldn't snag a beefeater to bring home to Robert. (Alas ... perhaps, I can still find a hairy man in a kilt for him).

Tower Bridge


I wandered around streets and through St. Katherine's Docks, eventually ending up near Anne-Marie's school. From there, we drove up towards Bethnal Green to meet our friend, Denise, and her SI, Ian. We drank beer in their cute little 1BR flat, then headed out for Vietnamese. We ate. We talked. We drank. We laughed. We left.

After Eating Vietnamese


The agenda tomorrow? I must call Sin and Nida's cousin to see when we can meet up. I think I might head up to the British Museum. I need to buy a journal, so I can write my thoughts there. Perhaps, I'll visit Greenwich. AM says there's a cute little shoe store there. *heh* shoes.

Who needs shoes when you have a bright orange mug from the Tate Modern?

*London smooches* and *caviar dreams*

Updated on Tuesday mid-morning while waiting for the rain to let up a bit.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In London Test

Greetings.
This is a test to see if I figured out how to post by email. I thought that might be easier than logging into my account since my access to the internet may be spotty while I'm here.

The flight over was miserable - over a 2 hour delay in DC. Running through PHL to catch my "on time" flight to London (which wasn't). And then surviving turbulence. URGH.

I took the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station. Then, bought an Oyster Card (like DC's SmarTrip), hopped on the Tube [in the wrong direction] and eventually made it to Anne-Marie's.

I have a huge bruise on my knee. At some point I must have banged my suitcase. Ow.

Everything is peaches and cream here. Have caught up a lot with friends. Went out for Turkish last night. Today, we are off to either Canterbury or Hastings for the day. I guess at some point on the road we'll have to make a decision.

*smooches*

Hm ... it doesn't seem to automatically publish. What's the point in that? I guess I won't be doing this as often as I thought I could. Alas.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Leavin' on a Jetplane

As some of you may know, I'M GOING TO LONDON! TODAY!!! WOOT! WOOT!

My bag is packed.
It weighs a ton.

I'm really not quite sure what I'm taking because ... well ... I started randomly taking things out when I couldn't get the suitcase shut last night. I do believe I remembered the basics: underwear, socks, shirts, pants. I'm also taking fun gifts: Jiffy Cornbread Mix, Candy Corns, Peanut Butter M&Ms! I am good to my hosts. Yes I am.

Oh, and my picture is in Metro Weekly this week. Halo Bar Shots (possibly under "Scene"), but I can't access the website because of the Evil Firewall of Doom. gah. I do have a copy of the magazine though. I'm famous. Worship me.

Meanwhile, despair not! I shall return. And I've provided you with a list of handy activities to occupy your minds whilst I'm away.

lots of *hugs* and *smooches*

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wonder Woman Watch

I bought this watch on one of my trips to Las Vegas with the Cheating Cheater who Cheated. Cheatfully. I totally *heart* it. I feel like Wonder Woman when I wear it, and -sometimes- I pretend I am using it to deflect bullets. Yes. I am that goofy.

The only problem with the watch is that in the summer, it is really hot and my arm gets all sweaty. Do you think Wonder Woman ever has that problem? I don't wear it much during the sweltering months of late May, June, July, August, and early September.

I whipped it out the other day to put it on and *gah!* the battery had died. The horror! The horror! Fortunately, Diablo remembered that there is a watch/clock shop down the street from my office.

I went there this morning and had a new battery put in - $7.35. Now, I will know what time it is when I'm in London (Did you know that I'm going to London? TOMORROW?).

On the way, I stopped at the Bank of America to buy some traveler's cheques. However, after waiting in line for AGES, the teller informed me that only the supervisor can process traveler's cheques and she won't be back for 30 minutes. I couldn't wait. Rather than wait in line again, I've decided to forego the TCs, use my credit and ATM cards, and take some cash.

It will have to do.

Hey Mister Angry Man!

This morning, on my walk to work, I witnessed an incident that made me smile all the way to the office.

I was waiting for the light to change at the intersection of Wayne Avenue and Sligo Creek Parkway.

Two cars were in the left turn lane. The first driver, in a nondescript minivan, was waiting patiently for traffic to subside enough so he (or she) could turn. This was unacceptable to the driver of the little black car behind him (or her).

*HONK*
*HONK*

The driver tooted his little horn. You could see him screaming inside his little head, "Claim the intersection, bitch! Claim it!"

*HONK*
*HONK*

The minivan didn't move.

The driver swerved out into the other lane and pulled in front of the minivan into the intersection. And, sat there, because lots of cars were still coming.

That's when the heckling started.

A cyclist in a bright yellow jersey began to yell at the little man in the little black car ... things like:

"Angry Driver Man!"
"Angry Driver!"
"It'll be ok if you take your medication, Angry Driver Man!"

I laughed so hard.
The angry little driver did not. Instead, he swerved in front of an on-coming car and drove away.

Happy Hour Tonight!

Because packing slightly intoximacated is always so much more interesting than packing sober, I'm going out to Halo with a few friends for Happy Hour tonight. YAY!

Which means, I will probably be in for a big surprise when I open my suitcase in London (Did I mention that I'm going to LONDON?). 12 unmatched socks? No pants? 5 sweaters? Hmmm ...

And, flying with a hangover? Divine.

One of my co-workers is out today. Joy. Rapture. Doesn't he know that I have lots of running around to do and need my full two-hour breaks? Doesn't he care? I guess not. I think we're going to have a little talking to when he returns: "It's all about teamwork! There's no 'I' in TEAM!"

I'm feeling slightly discombobulated.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Little Bad News Goes A Long Way

As some of you may know, I'm going on vacation. Friday. For TWO WEEKS! to LONDON! (and Glasgow)!

Unfortunately, there is some bad news. I'm not quite sure how to break it to you, but ... wait ...

Are you ready?

Maybe you should be sitting down.

OK. Are you ready now?

Take a couple of deep, calming breaths.

Ready, now? Good.

I probably will not be blogging while I'm away.

*GASP*

Yes. Yes. I know. It's a shock. Here. Have a martini.

Fortunately, VUBOQ is concerned about you.

Here is a [not all inclusive] list of ways not to miss VUBOQ too terribly much:

1. Re-read the VUBOQ archives. Experience VUBOQ LURVE from the beginning.
2. In fact, break it up. Read a month a day until VUBOQ gets back.
3. Repeat.
4. Make this photo your computer's wallpaper.
5. Write long poems about how much you love and miss VUBOQ.
6. Post those poems in VUBOQ's comments section.
7. Think about what you want to buy VUBOQ for Christmas [there are only 82 shopping days left].
8. Buy VUBOQ's fabulously expensive Christmas presents.
9. Porn! Watch lots of PORN. That always makes VUBOQ feel better.
10. Drink yourself into a forgetful stupor every night [Yes, VUBOQ knows some of you already do that, but, now, at least, you have a reason!].
11. Keep hope alive. Like MacArthur, VUBOQ shall return.

A Little More Room in My Suitcase Now

I've been published!!!!

from today's WaPo:

Dear Miss Manners:

We are taking a vacation to England this fall, and I have a tiara I wore with my prom dress. What places can I wear it out in England? I know they use them a lot there.

No, not a lot. Not nearly as often as Miss America wears hers, for example.

Elderly British duchesses have been known to get fed up waiting for an opportunity to wear theirs, despairing that when their saucy daughters-in-law inherit them, they will pluck out the gemstones to use for heaven knows what. Probably bellybutton decorations.

This is because tiaras are worn only for full-dress occasions, which nowadays pretty much means only grand state banquets or ceremonies, and the occasional full-scale royal wedding. Perhaps Miss Manners had better explain that full dress means something more than prom wear and the full-scale wedding means something more than a royal second wedding you may have seen on television. In any case, the days of private balls and grand opera nights where tiaras were worn seem to have faded away. Furthermore, tiaras are not supposed to be worn by unmarried ladies, with the exception of those who are being married within an hour of placing them carefully in their hair.

Miss Manners hopes she hasn't spoiled your vacation. You may find there a daring young lady or two who doesn't care about the rules governing tiaras as a sign of rank and wealth and plops something sparkly in her hair to go out dancing. It is just that you are no more or less likely to do so than in the United States.

Besides, tiaras are a nightmare to pack.

The Uncomfortable Awkwardness

Groceries from Whole Foods: $14.83
Ride-On Bus Home: $1.25
Uncomfortable Dinner with Pseudo-Ex: Priceless

I marinated grape tomatoes and cucumber in a homemade balsamic vinegrette, which used basil from the front yard and parmesan cheese. I tossed them with a bag o' salad.

I made a pasta sauce with diced tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, onion, garlic, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and Boca crumbles.

Mike arrived as I was mixing in the twistypastabits.

Dinner was served. There wasn't much conversation. He talked about a movie he saw the previous night. I rambled on about my trip. Our words skidded across the surface like water striders.

Meal finished, I showed him where all the cat supplies were located. We sat back down at the table.

"So, how are you feeling about things with us," He asked.
"I'm adjusting," I said.
"Do you want to throw daggers at me? Are you mad at me?"
"I told you the last time that I wasn't mad. There's no reason to be mad at someone for being honest."
"Well, people's feelings change over time."
"True. But I'm not mad. I think I'm more upset than mad."

We babbled on a bit more. I told him I thought it was a mistake for me to get involved with him so soon after John, that I'm not sure if I'm upset about John or him or both or what ... And I need to sort all of that out.

Mike said the biggest thing he is thinking about is why he isn't able to form lasting relationships with men who are "relationship material," why he dates and moves on after only a few months. I asked what he was doing to try to answer that question, and he said he was going to some seminar (Landmark?) to work on it.

The next question was forming on my tongue when he said, "There's the bus!" and ran out the door. I guess it will remain unasked for awhile ... except here: How do you know you want to form a lasting relationship?

How does anyone know?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Chaos Theory

There are times when my brain is swirling with so much activity that I have a difficult time picking out the right thoughts and focusing. I have so much left to do before my trip ... I have someone who didn't feel "magic" when we kissed coming over for dinner tonight ... I have to go to the store ... I have to go to the bank ... I have to figure out what to pack, what to wear, what to take, what to do, who to do ... I have conflicted feelings about all sorts of crap ...

In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, sometimes, I randomly select a memory and focus on it. It's funny how, even though the memory is usually unpleasant, or uncomfortable, or awkward, it helps. Somehow ...

My family moved to Rural Hall, NC, the summer before I started 7th grade. Most of the friends I made that summer attended a different school. I was shy and gangly and physically immature. I had a hard time making friends.

Seventh graders were required to take Life Sciences. My teacher was Mrs. Efird, a close-to-retirement-aged woman with big glasses and badly colored hair. The classroom was small and dark with walls painted a color one could only refer to as "Institution Green." The students sat at ancient black-topped lab tables, crammed in tight rows.

For one class, early in the term, Mrs. Efird passed out a list of occupations.

"I'm going to go around the class. Choose one occupation you'd like to have from the list."

The list was far from comprehensive. There wasn't a single job on it I wanted. I started to panic. Other students were telling her their choices. Maybe I could be a teacher, but that's not on the list.

She was only two students away from calling on me.
"Chris?"
"Chef"
"Frank?"
"Pilot"
"Steven?"
[pause]
"Um ... preschool teacher?"
The entire class burst into laughter.
I flushed a bright red.

I'm still not sure what the point of that lesson was, and my thoughts are still swirling.

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

alternate title: Meat-Free Monday: Vomit on Toast Edition

I snapped this photo this morning on my walk to work. Probably by the time I get back from London (Did you know I am going to London?!), all the leaves will have fallen from this tree. *sigh* It's one of my favorites. I think it's a maple of some sort.

Yesterday, I was fairly productive trip-wise. I put my mail on hold. I emailed a few people I would like to meet while I'm there. I booked a hotel in Glasgow. It's a very cute, well-located place, called the Brunswick. I also found a ... wait for it ... cute little YARN SHOP in Glasgow!!! Woo hoo!!! Gen-u-wine Scottish wool!!! FUN! GAH! YARN! WOOL! WOOT!

*taking deep breaths*

Lessee, today I have a few errands to run during work: grocery store, transit office, bank ... Mike is coming over for dinner tonight and to pick up my spare keys. Maybe Isabella won't be too lonely in his care.

And, last night, was Meat-Free Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed a meat-free meal. I am trying to use up food leftover in my fridge, so I made Scrambled Eggs on Toast (aka Vomit on Toast). I sauteed some mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Then, I threw in some leftover pasta sauce. Once that was nice and warm, I dumped in the eggs and added some grated cheddar cheese. I poured that over two slices of whole wheat toast. Looked gross. Tasted yummy.

See:
Meatfree13

*meat-free smooches* to all!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ahem.

OK, people. I have only received 3 comments [one on blogger, 2 on flickr] about how fantabulous my new hair color is.

What is wrong with you people?
Where are all the compliments?
Where?
Wait? Maybe you're just being polite?
Maybe you don't like my new hair color?
Is that even possible?

My feelings. So hurt. *sniff*

Here's the picture again:

Red 4 Autumn

On your mark.
Get set.
COMMENT!!!

[I'm insecure. I need your comment-love.]

Weekend o' Decadence and Debauchery

OMG. I spent so much money this weekend, and I remember waking up on Sunday morning, thinking "Whew. Next weekend, I'm going to seriously need to sleep in and relax."

Then, I realized, "Next weekend, I'll be in LONDON!" [because, as some of you may or may not know, I'm going to LONDON. For two weeks!]

So, lessee ... Friday evening, Jake came down from NYC. Terry met him in DC and they came out to Silver Spring. We ate dinner at a yummy little Thai restaurant in downtown. Then, we metroed into the District for drinks at Halo [Halo seems like a predominant theme in my weekend activities]. It was packed. Lots of fun. Lots of eye candy. Yay.

We left Halo around 11:30 or so (maybe a little earlier?), came home, and went to bed.

Saturday, we got up kind of early (like, 8:30?). I made breakfast. Jake left around 10 to meet Terry. I left about an hour later to get my hair cut and colored. Some of you may have already checked out my picture on Flickr, but here it is:

Red 4 Autumn
Red 4 Autumn

Because this photo was taken in direct sunlight, my hair looks a lot redder. I like it. Now, we'll see if redheads have more fun.

After the hair appointment, I went back home to change for going out. I met Robert, Tomoko, Terry and Jake at Alero in Dupont Circle for margaritas and liquid cheese. Yum. We only had 2 pitchers. Maybe we're getting old? Slowing down?

We decided to stop by Cobalt for a drink, but when we went in there were like 3 people there. Instead we wandered down to Halo (see what I mean?). It wasn't too crowded, but there were more than 3 people there. We sat on the sofas and chatted and drank. Tomoko's friend, Yasuko joined us later. I haven't seen her in well over a year so it was good to catch up. I'm not sure what time we left, but it was pretty early (maybe 10:30?).

I decided to go home. The rest of the group continued with bar-hopping.

Sunday -my day of finding lost things, Jake texted me about 10:30AM, and we decided to meet for lunch before he hopped the train back to NYC. As I was leaving my apartment, I found someone's co-op keys on the sidewalk. I left notes in each building with my name and phone number so the owner could call me. [So far, no one has]

Terry and Jake found me at Union Station around 1. We ate in the food court. As we were eating, I was also ogling these two very cute foreign travellers. I thought they might be German, because they were drinking beer (Becks) with their lunches. Not that other people don't drink beer with their lunches, but not many Americans do on a Sunday in a food court in a train station. They were also dressed in that "European or Gay?" style.

They finished lunch and stood up. As they were walking away, Terry said, "Oh. He left his jacket." We wondered if they were coming back, but it didn't seem like it. I saw them walking away, so I grabbed the jacket and went chasing after them. They turned a corner and disappeared. I thought maybe they went upstairs so I looked there, but didn't see them.

I started to return to Terry and Jake, thinking "Hm. At least I have a cute new jacket," but then suddenly they reappeared right in front of me. I tapped the cuter of the two on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, but I think you left your jacket."

He looked surprised, then he recognized his jacket. He smiled, and said "Thank you."

*giggle*
*tee hee*

OMG. cutest blue eyes EVER. cutest little accented English EVER.
*swoon*

I think he might have been Dutch. I returned his jacket. We went back to his hotel room and had sex for HOURS.

Haha. I wish. Instead, I went back to our table and finished my lunch.

I left Jake and Terry at the station and went shopping near Metro Center - Banana Republic, Filene's Basement, Macy's ... I met Robert and his friend at Macy's. We ended up going back to the Banana, where I bought a fun pair of pants to take to London (I'm going to LONDON!).

Robert's friend left to check out some more stores. Robert and I went to Homo Central (H&M), and eventually ended up at Austin Grill where we consumed many margaritas and much liquid cheese. YUM.

I went home. Knitted. Made a list of all the things I need to do before my trip. Went to bed.

Meanwhile, don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment by enjoying a meat-free meal today! *meat-free smooches*