Friday, June 30, 2006


is it really june 30th? (happy birthday, grant!) i feel like summer is slipping right through my fingers. not that it's been bad or anything--we have just been so busy that time is hurtling past at a VERY alarming rate. thank the lord i am embarking on a 4-day weekend! i will be spring summer cleaning tomorrow and finally getting around to repotting plants and soing some minimal gardening. i also must fill a wire things order this weekend, which i am pretty psyched about. and then, the only other thing on my agenda is knitting. i really thought all the travel and vacationing i have been doing would afford more knitting time than it has--i feel sort of behind. as of this week, however, i am done knitting baby blankets for the time being. (thank god!) and yesterday, i picked up my garter stitch baby cardigan again at last--i admit i was putting that off. i knitted the entire front left side of it on the wrong needles and had to pull it all out again, which totally sucked. after that, i was so demoralized that i didn't touch it for a whole month. but now, i am cooking with gas on it again. i have already cranked half of it out again, and hopefully will finish it up tonight. after that i just have to add arm bands, a button blacket, weave in ends, sew it up (actually simple for this one), and put the buttons on. assuming the buttons i have fit the buttonholes i haven't made yet. i think i can get this done by the end of this 4-day weekend, but we'll see... my plan after that is to make a matching hat for it and then quit with the baby stuff for a while. i want to make something for ME. something lacey... or something... the options, as you know, are endless. anyway--i am just babbling today, so i am going to shut up before i bore you all to tears to the point that you stop reading and commenting on my musings. i am off to eat and knit for a few minutes. later.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

y chromosomes

ah, men. what is it about that y chromosome that makes them all utterly incapable of social planning and completely filled with disdain for their health? i swear, information about social plans go in one ear and straight out the penis. and the bruises and scrapes and total disregard for personal injury?? that, i do not even have any explanation for. allow me to cite some examples:
  • the wednesday before we flew to paris (on friday), the hippie asked me, "are we doing anything this weekend?"
  • one of my bosses came to my office after we got home from the beach. "how was the beach?" he asked. and i told him it was awesome. and he says, "i sure could use a week at the beach." and i go--aren't you going to the beach in like two weeks? and he says, "no, i'm going for the week of the 4th though." do i need to point out that this was two weeks away? so--i said as much to him, and i asked which beach he was going to. he goes, "oh, i have no idea." he told me to ask his wife. qed.
  • last week the hippie tried to kill our friend harry in their kung fu class. by which i mean, he swept harry's leg out from under him--that part was supposed to happen. but he caught harry off guard and ended up cracking his head on the concrete floor. harry got up and finished class, but by the end of the hour, it was clear to the hippie that something was amiss, so they split class and headed to the ER. there, harry proceeded to ask the same questions over and over for hours. the conversation went like this:
    harry: what happened? did i hit my head?
    hippie: yep.
    harry: did you do it?
    hippie: yep. (the givi each other high knuckles)
    harry: did i finish class?
    hippie: yeah, you finished.
    harry: wow! i'm tough as nails! (pause) does jennifer know?
    hippie: yeah, i called her.
    (pause ~3 minutes, then repeat)
    the hippie did call jennifer, and then me from the hospital. however, he was laughing at harry so hard on the phone that jennifer actually thought he might be kidding. i guess it IS pretty funny, really. but still--scary, too.
  • how many women have you ever seen on that jackass show?
  • a while ago, i went to see my friend jeff, who is a heavy fighter in the SCA. he had a bruise on his arm where he had gotten hit a week before with a wooden broadsword. his entire upper arm was black, and on the underside of it, you could see the line showing exactly where he had been stuck by what amounts to a big-ass stick. by his friend. while wearing full chain mail. in the summer. this is called FUN. yeah.
  • my brother is an avid motorcyclist who builds his own bikes and machines a lot of his own parts. he also kayaks and goes white water rafting down the colorado river every summer. he's a truck driver. he wants to learn to scuba dive. i am cool with all that stuff--i think it's awesome that he's so active. medical insurance? i don't think he's ever heard of it.
men! can you relate to this, dear reader, or am i the only one who experiences this stuff? i think it goes hand in hand with that whole--they can't get through the 5-item list they have for the grocery store without calling the woman three times--thing. or maybe it's just chromosomal. one of the mysteries i suspect science will never solve...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


at last, something about europe. the pictures from paris are up, and once you look at them, you will see why this has taken me so long! i have the pictures organized into a set, which you can find here, but right now, the set is all paris--i will be adding to it as i get time over the next few days. so yeah. paris. this ain't gonna be short, people.

we flew from here to paris, where we met the hippie's sister, raina. it was about 10 degrees colder than it was supposed to be, and it rained every single day. in fact, all of europe was fucking COLD--i wore one of the two black sweaters i took with me every day, and i used my fabulous little titanium travel umbrella every day, too. and still--it was just fabulous. paris is our kind of town. i think the hippie and i could live there very happily if the opportunity ever arose. we loved the sidewalk culture, the art, the masses of people, the food, and just the style of the place. it actually reminded me of new york more than i ever thought it would--i gotta get on taking the hippie up there for a weekend or something. but i digress...

so we got to paris on saturday, hit our hotel to check in, grabbed a pain au chocolate (i ate one of those every day, and man, i could use one RIGHT NOW) and a tea, and went for a walk. we did some shopping, and although i bought nothing at all, the hippie shocked us all by purchasing a green (!!!) dolce & gabana sweater. it's AWESOME, but it's still hard for me to believe he bought something for himself that was not grey or black. we had dinner that first night at le grand colbert, which was divine and also probably the most touristy thing i made us do. i had roasted chicken with spinach and potatoes dauphine, a FABULOUS wine, split a creme caramel with the hippie, and finished things off with tea and a poire eau de vie, my favorite! this restaurant is featured in the movie something's gotta give, and i have wanted to go there ever since i saw it. cheesy, i know... i got online a while ago to see if it was a real place, and it was not only real, but all the online reviews of it were GREAT! the food and service were fantastic, and the place felt parisian in that old hollywood vision of paris sort of way. i am not at all sorry we went, and would recommend it to anyone, especially for that first night out when you are tired and sort of jet lagged and just want the long slow dinner that makes you feel full and pampered. perfect.

after dinner, we grabbed a cab and headed over the see the eiffel tower at night, which was just stunning. i could not stop taking pictures, and i love every one of them. we never made it to the top because of all the rain, but i am so glad i at least got to see it--far more magnificent in person than pictures can tell. such a feat of engineering for its time! i was amazed at how massive and overwhelming it was, even today. we hit yet another cafe late that first night--i am still shocked at how long i went without sleeping--is it any surprise that we slept till like noon the second day?! i guess we didn't push through our jet lag quite as well as we thought...

since we snoozed away half the second day, there's not as much to tell. we grabbed a sandwich (a fabulous roasted chicken with vegetables on a buttered baguette, and of course i also had tea and a pain au chocolat), and walked up to the metro station at the arc de triomphe so we could go to the musee d'orsay, the impressionist museum, which totally ROCKS. their collection is solid, and i could definitely have spent more time there. after that we took it easy, walking around some and then hitting a little english pub near our hotel. i left raina and the hippie there, and went back to the hotel to take a fabulous and relaxing bath in the fabulous and relaxing bathtub. i knitted a little, wrote some post cards, and then went on a search for the restaurant our concierge had recommended, spicy. i found it, and after i read the menu, went in and made us a reservation, in french. (yes, i am pretty damned proud of that--mostly i was too chicken shit to speak french in paris.) i went and dragged the hippie and raina away from the trivia game they were embroiled in at the pub and made them come to dinner. they served us champagne with peach liqueur in it as an aperatif, and then i had a rabbit confit, followed by a lamb shank in a red wine and rosemary sauce with roasted vegetables, some amazing wine (lots of that in france), and then--the piece de resistance: a chocolate fondant cake with creme anglaise and violet ice cream. yes--violet. this was literally the best dessert i have ever had in my life. the cake was unbelievably rich, but the fresh flavors of the violet ice cream and the creme anglaise offset the richness so well that it was NO PROBLEM to eat the whole enormous thing. god, my mouth is watering... raina and the hippie were so jealous that they made us go back to spicy again the next day!

the third day, our last in paris, we managed to get up early enough to do quite a lot. i think we walked the length and breadth of the city that day. we went to the louvre, which i think is a requirement at least once in your life. i have to say though--it's key to pick and choose at huge museums like that. there is NO WAY you can see everything in one day and get anything out of it, so we carefully chose what we wanted to see and hit the highlights. i walked through whole rooms almost with blinders on. the highlights for me were the french crown jewels, the nike of samothrace, the raft of the medusa (which got that pogues song stuck in my head for the rest of the day), and the tiny vermeer paintings i went on a mission to find. after the louvre, we grabbed some lunch (i had croque monsieur, i.e., a grilled ham and cheese sandwich) and set out walking toward notre dame. we got caught in a cold and very windy rainstorm while we were walking. but then, the storm just blew away as we were crossing the bridge over the seinne--it was all blue skies for the rest of the day. notre dame was absolutely beautiful, and more than a little creepy. the stonework there is just amazing, and i loved how dark and spooky it was inside with all the stained glass and the candles people were lighting in prayer. it was nice to come back out into the sun after some time in there, though!

we spent the afternoon on a fruitless quest for a yarn shop, which led us on a beautiful walk through the latin quarter and into a fabulous shopping district where raina and i both spent too much money on beautifying and good smelling products. and of course, we ended up back in another cafe, where we had the best cheese in the universe--this lovely st. marcellin from some tiny region outside paris that i will never remember or be able to find again. i think all three of us just wanted to stay there in that cafe for about a week. tired of being on our feet, we took the metro back to the hotel, freshened up and chilled for a bit, and then headed back to spicy for our second dinner there. the host at spicy was this wonderful man, guendouzi, who was friendly and helpful and fabulous on all fronts. we talked to him for ages both nights we were there. he turned out to have been living in the US on september 11th, and italian-arabic parisian man enrolled in flight school in houston, tx. needless to say, the school closed, so he didn't wasn't able to finish and is not yet the commercial pilot he was trying to become. but he IS an amazing host, and i am so glad we met him--he was an asset to our stay in paris. again, i can't say enough about how wonderful spicy is! if you go to paris, you have to go there. the end.

so many things we did in our little 3-day parisian experience, and so many things we never had a chance to do. the hippie and i both really want to go back there for a longer trip. we need to eat more, walk more, drink more wine and eau de vie, see more art, go to more cathedrals, shop more, and see the the regions of paris we totally skipped (the mont martre comes to mind...) i think it speaks well of a place if being there just leaves you wanting more.

Friday, June 23, 2006

dixie storms

five minutes ago, it was bright and sunny and hot as the dickens outside, and now it's dark as hell and raining sideways. it's thundering incessantly, and the sky looks ferocious. and i gotta say, man, i love me some of these Southern storms we get down here. i really missed them when i lived in new york--reminded me of that lone justice song. when i was a kid, it was all my mama could do to keep my ass in the house when one of these storms would open up--i wanted to be outside in the middle of the awesome display of power that was the torrential rain and the thunder and the lightning. i lived for that ozone smell when lightning struck a tree in the woods. maybe i have a secret and well-buried death wish or something. just last week, we all went out on the beach to watch alberto come through, and the waves were just terrific! the sand was blowing (exfoliating the crap out of my legs!), the surf was booming, and the rain just kept coming down. a storm at the beach is a special thing. what we didn't know was that as we were standing on the beach squinting into the wind, there were a bunch of water spouts about 10 miles away. those you can keep. although i WOULD like to see one. from a long way off. once. and maybe a tornado. but i digress... what i am seriously hoping for right now is that we don't get one of these monster storms tomorrow when we go see big bad voodoo daddy outside! keep your fingers crossed for us!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


don't get excited--the europe pics are still a work in progress. however, i thought you guys had probably waited long enough that i would at LEAST offer up a little teaser of things to come. it's time consuming to process something like a gig of photographs when you have a pesky surgery and a whole other vacation to deal with. i'll get to it--i will. in the meantime, please just know that europe was amazing. i had the greatest dessert of my life on that trip. we ate and drank our way through every city and ended up on an island that i think may just be the most beautiful place i have ever been. you know you have been on a good trip when every place only left you wanting more... heh--much like this post, i imagine. well--i hope so anyway!

and now, sadly, we are home from the beach. every year, i wonder why it is that i have not yet found a way to just go live at the beach. i swear, my blood pressure drops by at least 10 points as soon as i can smell the salty air. and can we just talk about what ocean water does for my hair? i don't know it it's the minerals or what, but man, my shit looks better there than anywhere else in the world. (we will NOT discuss what my hair looked like in amsterdam. or how i looked after all those martinis. but i digress...) as always, it was divine to spend a week cooking and chilling and seeing friends i hope never to lose. i miss them all. working this week is proving to be something of a trial by fire.

in other news, my house is an utter wreck with which i have no time to deal. we have plans EVERY night this week and are busy as hell. i am already dreaming of the weekend in which i will try to do way more than is humanly possible to get my world back in order. let me just say right now how much i am looking forward to that 4-day weekend we have coming up over the 4th. oh, and also, let me say how grateful i am to have just had my first normal period in almost 3 years!!! not to get into all the messy details about my medical stuff, but man--going from 17-20 days of bleeding a month to 5 is a blessing from on high. let's hear it for a doctor who listened to me when i said something was wrong and who took the time to FIX THE PROBLEM!!! yay, surgery!!!

and last, but DEFINITELY not least--let's hear it for the carolina hurricanes!!! we watched the stanley cup finals monday night in our favorite sports bar, and it was just FANTASTIC to see our boys play such a great game and walk away with that cup! i stand in awe of cam ward doing so unbelievably well in his first season, of mike commodore for being the glue that held that whole team together, and all of them for their great athleticism and sportsmanship. what a great team we have here!!! and what an asset to raleigh! love me some hockey--can't wait till next season!

Friday, June 09, 2006

third day's the charm

i guess blogger got my letter--shit seems to be working again. 'bout time, if you ask me. so. this is a post that should have aired on wendesday, but has been delayed over and over and over again due to factors beyond my control. no, i haven't got anything to show you from europe yet. yes, it's still coming. i am actually going to drag everything to the beach with me and do it there.

did i say beach??? YES I DID! the beach trip this year has kind of snuck up on me, i must say. there's been no time for a countdown or ANYTHING. we have just been too busy, and the planning of the europe trip sort of trumped the beach until we got home. then being sick and having surgery trumped the beach. but now, the beach is upon me!!! jeff and carrie and ella are already in town. the sam, she will be here today. brent, too. meredith tomorrow morning. and then, by tomorrow afternoon, i will be sitting on this here porch with a drink in my hand and a smile on my face. did i happen to mention that this year's beach house has both a hot tub and a golf cart? i can't wait to get down there and just chill. i can't wait to see everyone. and to kick things off right--tonight, the hippie, the sam and i are going to see nine inch nails--we should all be totally deaf by morning! and as a bonus to that, i found out just this morning that bauhaus is opening for them. i swear, i thought peter murphy was dead. i mean, he's always LOOKED dead... anyway--bauhaus is one of the beloved bands of my youth, so getting to see them is an unexpected bonus! i may have to double the amount of eyeliner i was planning to wear... wonder where the hell my combat boots are... hmmmm...

and speaking of concerts...we're going to see big bad voodoo daddy the weekend after the beach! whoo hoo!!! i absolutely adore them! and last night, as i had dinner with my friend amy, she told me she and kelly were going, too, which is a TOTAL bonus. it's an outdoor concert with the NC symphony, and it promises to be absolutely fabulous. there will be snooty tailgating with my little teak picnic table, real dishes, and lots of wine and cheese. hopefully it will be like last year's pink martini concert experience, redux.

this part's utterly random. i have this thing about rainbows--my mother and i always looked for them together throught my childhood and youth. the only time my mother calls me when someone is not dead is when she sees one. and they still make me wantto call her, too. i saw this gigantic triple one on the way home from work on tuesday--it was simply glorious, so i pulled over on the side of the road to take its picture. of course, i utterly failed to capture just how bright and beautiful it was, but i still love the picture because it fills me with hope and good thoughts. i thought maybe y'all could use some of those, too.

just think people--next time y'all hear from me, it'll be from the beach. :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

notice: blogger is being a little bitch

dear blogger,

i have been trying to post for two days. i have a couple of pictures. some updates. i WANT to post them. but up until 5 minutes ago, i could not even get you to post TEXT. or even COMMENTS! wtf is up, blogger??? fix your shit. i mean it.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

what is it with me?

i haven't finished cleaning up the pictures for europe, so i feel like i am not allowed to post anything at all or something. it's weird--like i have set this unattainable expectation for myself. so yeah. i defy that self-imposed restriction, and i have come to you to say--well--not much really. i came home from europe to a giant backlog of work and a terrible head cold. last week was busy and not much fun, filled with sinus pain and stress. friday i had a minor surgical procedure, and it went well. i was pretty scared about it to tell you the truth--that's the first time i have ever been put under for anything. but yeah--it went perfectly well, and i am nearly recovered. further, it appears that the massige dose of antibiotics they gave me got rid of my cold, which is a GIANT relief. i spent friday and saturday not doing much other than watching all of band of brothers (which was GREAT, by the way). i did manage to go see the new x-men movie, and i can't say it was really worth the abdominal pain i got from sitting upright that long. i did very little of use all weekend--i didn't even feel like knitting. i drank a lot of tea and read a lot and watched a lot of tv. this week--things are just insane trying to get ready to go to the beach next week and get all my work done, and get the house in order, and do the laundry, and get some wedding invitations printed for a friend, and all that. i am kind of stressed out. the result, dear reader, is that you are deprived the details of our travel to europe. i will get to it, eventually, but man--i can't handle any more stress right this second, so i am not killing myself to get it on here. it's coming, and in the meantime, you get some random rambling from me, as usual. :)

by the way, my knitters tea swap pal got my pakage and loved it, so yay for that! that was so much fun that i may actually consider doing some other swap-ish things online. we'll see...

oh, and go canes! i am wildly impressed that those guys managed to pull out a win last night after such a dismal start to the game. i do love me some hockey, even if i don't have the time to be a hardcore fan. it's good to see the local team doing so well. our friends kelly and amy have tickets to wednesday's game, those bastards! i'd skip dance class for that!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

once again, my tea swap pal trumps all else

my knitters tea swap pal is allegra, who went utterly overboard and sent me one of everything you can get in boulder, colorado that's related to either tea or knitting. i got this lovely big box, and it contained so much stuff, i was just overwhelmed! i feel like i won some kind of lottery or something. i got not one, but three kinds of yarn, 4 kinds of tea, 4 different treats, and a boatload of tea accoutrements as well! WOW!!! click on the picture for more details--i added some notes with explanations of what everything is. thank you SO MUCH, allegra! you ROCK!

in other news, i mailed out my own package to my other pal today--i hope she loves it! and yes, i am still working on the pictures frome europe. i am hoping to get them up this weekend--i have a little surgery tomorrow morning, which i suspect is going to leave me good for little besides sitting with a computer on my lap all weekend. it's coming, so y'all be patient!