Thursday, August 31, 2006

zombie in the rain

the hippie and i are off to see rob zombie and godsmack in ernesto's pouring rain in charlotte tonight. i have gotten over mourning over the fact that the weather is not appropriate to wear my new rocker girl sandals and a short black skirt, and have instead opted for the ever practical jeans and black t-shirt with shoes i don't mind getting wet in. i have to say--concerts in the rain tend to get a bit out of hand, so i think this might actually be fun. as the hippie's YM status has said all day, "tickets, $90... 150 miles worth of gas, $50... going to see Master Zombie in a hurricane? priceless."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

every monday should start like this

monarch and chrysalis

monarch, about to fly
few things can lift your spirits like a good butterfly moment, and this one was even better than most. when the hippie's family came down from pennsylvania last week, they brought a little package with them. denise and tristan have been watching monarch butterflies emerging from their chrysalii, and it's been a really awesome experience for them. when they were getting ready to leave, their butterfly cage still had one unhatched chrysalis inside--not knowing what else to do, they brought it along for the ride. it was touch and go for this chrysalis--it fell from the top of the cage during its trip down, so we were not sure it would be ok or if the delicate insect inside was damaged. hoping for the best, the hippie gently taped it to the window sill in our little sunroom, and we all waited to see what would happen. lo and behold, early monday morning, we had a butterfly! i got to carry her outside on my finger (no pictures of that since i was carrying the butterfly and the camera at the same time) and put her on our azelea bush in the sun. she spread her wings out to dry, then flapped them a few times like she was testing the air and making sure everything worked ok. and then she flew away in a sudden burst of activity. the whole thing was just beautiful, and definitely not a bad way to start the week! i spent all of monday morning smiling about it, and the pictures are still making me happy--huge thanks to denise and tristan for sharing their butterfly!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ready to move to the beach!

cape lookout, shells
i wrote a big long post about our weekend and how fabulous it was, and then i lost said post through a keyboard spasm that resulted in my accidentally closing the window. then i wrote it again, and flickr refused to cooperate with me, so i lost it again. and folks, i just ain't got the energy today to write it all one more time--i'm goin' for quick and dirty. suffice it to say that beautiful weather + beaufort + the cedars inn + a porch cat + sailing + the beach + a lighthouse + a rocking chair with a great view + exquisite tapas + shopping = happy people. other highlights include dan seeing the ocean for the first time in his life, tristan's 10th birthday, and the hippie acquiring yet another protegé, 14-year-old thomas, who is all fired up about 3D graphic design. (i tell you, the hippie's going to be able to start his own game development company within 5 years if he keeps this up.) it was a GREAT weekend, and i was actually sorry to get home sunday night. i could definitely live at the beach!

here's the whole set of beaufort pictures if you're interested.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the weekend is afoot! but first...

i am off to the beach tonight (in seconds!) the hippie's family has arrived, and we are heading to beaufort to stay in our fave B&B, go on a long sail tomorrow, look for shells, eat fabulous food and drink fabulous wine, and chill. but before we go, i just wanted to share with you guys how awesome and laid back our evening was last night--we seem to be on a roll! the fam arrived, and we met up with our friends jenn and gabriella to go to the mellow mushroom and then out for ice cream--the hippie carried G the whole way, as you see. this, by the way, does NOTHING for my biological clock but speed its ass up!!! as does this! but i digress... the kids planted themselves in front of the PS2 at home, the boys went to the porch for drinking and cigar smoking, which left jenn and denise and i alone at the kitchen table for some much needed girl talk over a pot of coconut tea and some of the fabulous lavender vanilla tea biscuits allegra sent to me for the knitter's tea swap i did a couple of months ago. such a nice night! and can i just say--the weather for this weekend is supposed to be FABULOUS: mostly sunny, high of 85°, 0% chance of precipitation. sailboat, here we come!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


is there anything better in this world than a friend who will come hang out with you while you clean your house and just BE there? someone who will sip a beverage and flip through magazines and talk to you, making the whole cleaning thing rather pleasant? last night, this role was wonderfully fulfilled by our friend amy, who came home with us after dance class. i set her up with an apple martini, and she just hung out--she even dried the dishes!!! i admit, i had a little 'tini myself, which certainly made the time go by faster--it was 1am nefore we knew it! my birthday turned out to be pretty nice, especially given how much we needed to accomplish. the hippie took me to porter's for dinner, where i had my favorite calimari, a couple of glasses of fabulous red wine, a filet woth potatoes gratin and french green beans, and some wonderful peach pie with a little pink candle in it. dance class was a hoot as always, and thanks to amy and the martinis, cleaning wasn't so bad, either. plus, the folks in dance class refused to believe my age, which was an bit of an unexpected bonus. a girl could definitely do worse! :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

words, 50¢ each

today i frightened a sales guy by using the word efficacious. i think he may have thought i was not speaking english to him. this has happened before--long ago, i scared another one with the word recalcitrant. fear me.

i have to say, i feel pretty good about this.

happy birthday to me!

beach stuff

beach umbrella

today is my birthday! the hippie and i have developed a bit of a birthday tradition, which is that we run away for a fun weekend somewhere on the weekend between his birthday and mine. normally we try to do this on our own, but this time, we had an invitation from ralph and mary to come hang out with them at their beach condo in ocean city maryland--way too good to pass up. expecially since we ALWAYS have a great time with them!!! plus they drunk-called us from a concert to beg, and really, how can you say no to that!? we spent the whole weekend chilling on the beach, drinking, going out, and laughing so much my face is still hurting. or maybe that's my peeling sunburn--it's hard to say. anyway--as a bonus, another friend, chris, was there with his family, so we got to spend some time with them as well. the hippie gave chris's boys some long talks about music and computer programming and managed to fire them both up--quite a feat where teenaged boys are concerned. and the younger kids ran wild all over, so they had a good time, too! we drank too much, played hard, talked a lot, and in general, had an absolutely stellar weekend. getting up at ass-o'clock on monday SUCKED, but man--so worth it! two more weekends of travel, and then we're home for a while--thank GOD!
note: here's the set of beach pictures if you are interested.

rocker girl sandals
in other news, check out my fabulous new rocker girl sandals! the hippie got these for me, and i am in LOVE with them! once again, john fluevog comes through for me! i thought wearing birthday shoes on my actual birthday was a nice touch. i will definitely be sporting these at a handful of upcoming concerts to be sure, although i may need to invest in something short, cute, and fabulous to go with them. and you know, maybe a tiny bit naughty for the hippie's entertainment... might just have to go shopping!

next up, a visit from the psuedo-in-laws--they're coming tomorrow. wish me luck whipping the house into some semblance of order before they get here!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

mary loves me

just look how much she loves me! good thing i love her, too! we spent a fabulous weekend in ocean city, maryland with our friends ralph and mary and their son, trever. so relaxing to just hang out with friends and spend a lot of time in the sun. even if we did have to get up at 4am monday to make our flight back home--yesterday was a LOOOOONG day! anyway, i will post more about our trip tomorrow when i finish cleaning up all the pictures. however, this picture made me laugh out loud, so i could not wait that long to share it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

the funk of amsterdam doesn't wash out

dude, let's talk about these jeans i am wearing. i LOVE these jeans--they're dark blue, low rise, fitted through the leg, and flared out a little at the bottom. they have just enough lycra in them to make them lay smoothly on my rather substantial ass. they are in a word, the perfect jeans. so perfect that i am still wearing them in spite of this weird, very slight funk they have acquired. ever since that night in amsterdam when i drank way too many martinis (damned bartender!), smoked a whole bunch of clove cigarettes, got rained upon, and spent most of the night napping on the cool tile bathroom floor, these jeans have developed a very faint, but persistent aroma that is, in a word, unpleasant. (must i pay for those martinis forever??!) they have been washed and washed and washed, and they have spent some major quality time in the dryer with some lavender dryer sheets, and still--the funk is with us. what do i do? how do i save them??? help, people!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

fire in the sky

a couple of weeks ago in boston, the hippie and i were up late watching stars fall--the perseids were ramping up. the peak for this meteor shower this year was actually last weekend, but you should still be able to see some action in the sky until around the end of next week. lucky for us, we will be at the beach this weekend--this affords some lovely dark sky and should make for good viewing. and since we'll be with ralph and mary--i KNOW we'll be up late enough to see a little bit of fire. (just in case you don't know what the hell i am talking about--the perseids is a meteor shower caused by the earth passing through the dusty remnants left behind by comet swift-tuttle. it's called the perseids because the metors appear to originate from the constellation perseus. meteor showers are best viewed a few hours after midnight.)

in other astronomical news, voyager 1 is apparently still chugging along. i am not sure whether i am more impressed that it's 9.3 billion miles (!!!) away or that something NASA built is still running after 30 years. both facts are simply amazing. this stuff REALLY makes me miss teaching!

showers with flowers and cake

we have been to so many weddings this year, and we still have two more to go! kind of funny for two people who are perfectly happy living in sin and NOT being married. :) anyway--the next wedding is eric and kylie's--the only one we are actually IN this year. i have the dress and the shoes, and the hippie's tux has been picked out and reserved. we're ready, and i am hoping THEY are--only two weeks to go...


cake 2
this weekend, i had a little shower for kylie. you know, i threw another shower earlier this year for my friend sonya, and i am ashamed to admit that i still have not posted the pictures from that shower--just deplorable. the only picture i have online from that one is her cake. shame on me. anyway--i have done a little better this time, but that's probably because i just have so few pictures--hard to coordinate everything and still take a lot of pictures. i am into the brunch shower--sonya's was a brunch at our friend kerstin's house, for which kerstin and i cooked everything but the cake ourselves, but since i was going this one alone, i decided to have it at porter's tavern, a restaurant that both kylie and i love. i bought little pansy vases and took them to the flower lady at the farmer's market so she could make little bouquets in them for me, which i thought made for a lovely table. and i got a cake from edible art* for kylie that was a tiny replica of the wedding cake she originally wanted. i have to say--having a shower at a restaurant is a great option if you are a working girl throwing it all by yourself! it was easy and fun and went off without a hitch. (we won't talk about the day before the shower when my car died and had to be towed in the middle of errand-running...) AND i didn't have to clean my house for it or worry about space or food/cat allergies. yay for a successful day! and no--you won't see any pictures of kylie in the tiny set of pictures i have on flickr--she hates having her picture taken even more than i do!

* a word on edible art--their cakes are scrumptious and beautiful, but if you want a specific color, take them an actual color sample--twice now i have gotten cakes that were WILDLY off from the order. sonya's was supposed to be blush pink, and it was definitely hot pink, like a 12-year-old girl's birthday cake. and when i went to pick up kylie's pale blue cake with white filagree--it was BRIGHT teal! i made them redo that one, and they were really nice about fixing it, but man--what a pain!!! that was 40 minutes in the middle of my errand-packed day that i ended up sitting in their cafe just waiting, and i didn't even have my knitting with me!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

what the hell is fennel pollen, anyway?

some thoughts: have you ever noticed that food has at least as many trends as clothes do? what's with that? i have long been an avid restaurant-goer and reader of bon appetit, and over the years, these food trends have become more and more apparent. it was southwestern cooking, then cajun-spiced meats, then tiramisu, then rosemary, then ginger, then pan-asian cuisine and truffle oil. i've seen an awful lot of morel mushrooms lately--the hippie's after me to start cooking them at home, but at $34 a pound (in season!), they kind of scare me. and recently, there are an awful lot of menu items around featuring fennel pollen, whatever THAT is. and doesn't it seem like girly martinis, and alcohol in general has become much more pervasive since sex and the city made the cosmopolitan so popular? i predict that the french practice of serving an ice cold eau de vie as a digestif will soon make it's way into american restaurant culture as well. at least i hope so!!!

it's funny--i recently re-read connie willis's amusing novel about fad research, bellwether (very good little book if you haven't read it, by the way), in which there is a lengthy discussion on bread pudding, and you know--that one was a real trend, too, if somewhat short lived. i have been wondering lately what's the driving force behind this stuff. i think that in the last 15 years, so many MORE foods have become available, and we have had such an influx of Asian and Hispanic people--some experimentation in these arenas was inevitable. it almost seems like today, people go for food-as-shock-value. of course, maybe the guy who ate the first artichoke was doing the same thing! i used to have a boss who always ordered the weirdest thing on the menu, no matter what it was--weird spices or stange and bitter greens, organ meats (sweetbreads--ewww!!!), exotic animals or tongue of anything--the more outlandish, the better! we used to take bets on what he would order--i always won. i am also reminded of my old friend chris, whose goal as a waiter was always to get wealthy people to order expensive peasant food. we are funny creatures when it comes to the kitchen. we have come a long way from charring meat on sticks to come right back to charring meat on sticks.* it makes for a more creative cooking experience, so i am definitely not complaining. but it sure does make you think...

* for meat on sticks, check out the popular restaurant chain fogo de chão or go visit lulu in san francisco--where incidentally a customer my boss and i were taking out once said to me, "you look like the kind of girl who likes a big slab of meat!" but i digress...

happy birthday, hippie!

yesterday was the hippie's birthday--he's a whopping 32 years old now. still a babe. heh. i hate it when birthdays fall on crappy days of the week--like monday. you sort of have no choice but to have a low key birthday in those cases. i took him to dinner to the grape, which is this new wine bar/restaurant that opened up within walking distance of us. (took this picture of him smirking at me while we were walking through the 'hood.) it's pretty nice--they have an enormous wine list, and we had some spectacular lamb chops and a couple of great wines. however, the hippie was pretty disappointed in the lack of ports and sherries for an after dinner libation. we opted for drinks and dessert at home on the couch with some grey's anatomy--very enjoyable. and then--i am ashamed to admit that i twarted all romantic notions by falling asleep! what a wimp!!! guess i need to make it up to him. heh. anyway--we'll have a much rowdier evening when we use the concert tickets i got him for his birthday--i promise! and in case i haven't mentioned it before, my hippie is awesome!

hippie--i sure do love you! happy fourth birthday together!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

stupid world

you know, i am not much of a news person. i think this is mainly because most of the time the news either pisses me off or scares the crap out of me. sensationalism. war. terrorism. blah. i dropped the sam off at the airport today at 5am, and she missed her 6:20 flight because she got caught in the first wave of the new airport security. you know--the kind where they hand search every piece of carry-on luggage and throw away all the toiletries and worse et--the coffee! the sam threw away her toothpaste, her shampoo, her cuticle cream... all because some fundamentalists from another culture decided that mass murder sounded like a good idea. it's such bullshit. it makes me so angry, i can't even speak. it terrifies me. and most of all, at the bottom of everything, i just don't understand it. i get the anger, the politics, the religion, the rage against injustice. but i absolutely cannot, CANNOT identify with people who can look at human life and not see its value. that is so far removed from my world, my upbringing, and my experience that i just can't wrap my head around it. i have a friend who is overseas right now, and i am afraid for her. i am pissed off for the sam, who has been personally affected by terrorism before--she always seems to fly the day of an incident--bad luck i guess. and i know that what i feel about this is the tiniest taste of what some people have to live with every single day. i am spoiled, thank god. i just wish everyone was, and that there didn't need to be sites like this one, which i can't stop reading. i am a spoiled american, and i hate what these people are going through, even though i don't fully understand it. ang god i don't want it brought home to my doorstep! tonight, this is on my mind, and my prayers are with us all.

don't worry--i am not going to suddenly become all political and shit. hopefully tomorrow i will be back in my pleasant head-buried-in-the-sandknitting world.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

back in black

hey. i'm not really IN black today, but that sounded way better than just "back". boston was awesome in spite of a somewhat rocky start involving a nasty overnight sickness, which i suspect was related to a combination of PMS and a bad chicken sandwich. let's just say that wednesday night was an all around suck-fest. the rest was great though!

SIGGRAPH was really interesting--i spent the bulk of my time in the art gallery and the emerging technologies sections and going to all the art-related talks i could fit in. these are my people--people who are synthesizing art and physics and textile design and electronics into one lovely mess. the biggest stand-out to me was jeff lieberman from MIT media labs. he was showing a piece of art called slink, which involved a vibrating spring, 2000 strobed bright blue LEDs, a diffusion screen and a big-ass steel plate, hand-rusted in jeff's own bathtub. i was lucky enough to hear him speak in one of the art talks i attended, and then i ran into him in the gallery and got to talk to him in person as well--that was just icing on the cake. this is the first time i have ever gone to a conference just for fun, and i have to say--totally worthwhile. i would definitely go to SIGGRAPH again.

on thursday after the conference ended, the hippie and i went out for a fabulous date night in boston's north end. we had an amazing dinner at a tiny hole in the wall where the service was mean but the food was fantastic, then grabbed some canolis from mike's and ate them down on the water. went for a walk, spent a little time in a cigar bar, and then bar hopped our way down to the irish pub across the street from our fabulous little hotel. this pub was actually full of irish people--not something you see much of here in the South. friday we hit the aquarium with my friend aimee and her kids, which was awesome, and then she dropped us off with the sam--we spent the weekend out in the burbs with her. we went to walden pond (which was beautiful and would have been more fabulous had it not been filled with assholes) and to see clerks 2, ate a couple of nice dinners, hung out on the patio with her roommate and his friends, who were all just wonderful people. went into boston for brunch and shoe shopping on sunday and headed home. any weekend from which i walk away with new shoes is a good weekend.

last night, the sam flew down here--she and the hippie are at ozzfest today, no doubt banging their heads and drinking their body weights in cheap beer out in the hot hot sun. i dropped them off this morning like a good mom, and i will go get them later, too. can't have my peeps driving around all filled with cheap beer, now can i? let's hear it for what a fabulous girlfriend/friend i am! :)

ps--didn't finish the toddler sweater in time, but also didn't manage to see the toddler, so all is well. i just have half of one sleeve to go!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

i'm out of here

as you see, i am not finished with adam's sweater as i had hoped i would be by today. i will be knitting like a fiend on the plane as i fly to boston here in just a minute. hopefully i will be able to finish this up by friday when i will get to see my girlfriends up in boston! i am flying up today to go here and meet the hippie who's already there, probably sitting in class as we speak. lucky for me, it's supposed to be even hotter in boston today than it is here in raleigh, and that's saying something, my friends. the high in boston today is supposed to be around 100 nasty-ass humid degrees! YUCK. (perfect weather for knitting up a wool sweater, wouldn't you say?) but i plan to have a good time inspite of this madness. i will shop and eat and surround myself with art and friends, and i get to have a romantic evening out with the hippie to boot! y'all have a good weekend, too--i will be back on monday.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


bought a new camera. whoo hoo!!! although i am now ramen-noodle poor until my next paycheck and have spent the bulk of my august yarn-buying budget, i am still really happy about my new canon power shot SD630 digital ELPH! it's an upgrade to our last camera--the one i stole from the hippie--the SD400. and i must say that, even though i have now always had the best experiences with wolf camera, this time it was awesome. the guy helping me was unbelievably knowledgeable even though he was this very young college guy--the dude knew his shit. and he wasn't pushy or anything. and the camera came with 18 free photography classes, which may prove to be interesting and maybe even helpful. so yay! i heart new toys!!!