Friday, October 28, 2005

T G I Freakin' Weekend!

This weekend's schedule is fairly empty, so you might say I'm looking forward to nothing. If you were so inclined, I think you could say that. You, however, can look forward to these links:

Hijab Chic - How retailers are marketing to fashion-conscious Muslim women. By Asra Q. Nomani - An interesting conundrum, indeed. How do you reach out to conservative-dressing women? I don't have the kind of restrictions they do in my own code of modesty, but I know some of their pain. Shopping can't be very easy with our licentious American fashions. Heck, I have a hard time finding something that fits and isn't the approximate size of a paint chip when it comes to skirts. On second thought, I probably have no idea how hard it is for them. Maybe they should chat with homeschoolers - they know all the long-skirt boutiques.

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Responsible Spam. - Spam gets the CPA/Parent/Adult(and not in that way) treatment. I LOVE IT!

Other than that, folks, I'm out! Enjoy your rest/study/sports/clubbing/leisure activities!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Listing Thursday

1. Today Persephone, for the third time in her life, crawled up on my lap unbidden AND STAYED THERE. Oh, rapture!

2. We found a way to see both families for the holidays. Well, one holiday each but that's the best we can hope for till we strike it rich from my blog, which should happen in approximately 8,000,000 years. At least we can decry this fact properly over our egg nogs and cranberry relish.

3. On a scale from 1 to Awesome, Panera House Lattés are SUPER GREAT. I'm so glad that random chick at a rest-stop Panera on the OH Turnpike suggested it to me so long ago. Rock on, Random Chick, wield that spiced-honey syrup!

4. I have recently discovered that a bunch of acquaintances from GCC who have blogs themselves have decided linked to my blog. This warms my heart, but not enough to get off my butt and return the favor by finally putting links up on my blog. To quote Toy Story, "Great! Now I have guilt!"

5. Hubster - I know you love me, but must your patience for my foibles know no bounds? You're making me look bad over here! Still, thanks. Life is much sweeter with you around.

6. Okay, Scalp, here's the deal. I've spent enough time talking to you about dry scalp and dandruff and other concerns in my life that I feel more comfortable talking to you than, say, my endrocine system. I don't know who's to blame, but this shedding of my hair must stop. I used to be able to catch one or two stray hairs when I ran my fingers through it. Now that number is like five or more. I don't know if this is the result of boredom and a desire to see what I would look like bald, but Scalp and Co., this must stop. I can tell you the result of a Bald Erica experiment - permanent blindness for any and all who catch the rays of light which will be mercilessly reflected by my white pate. I don't want to be a latter-day Medusa. ENOUGH WITH THE MOLTING.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

She rambles when she writes.

The sun is shining today and the sky is bright blue. FINALLY. Our ground-level apartment is dark, so I often have to turn on lamps so I can feel like it is, indeed, daytime, and I should, indeed, be working. Today, that's not a problem. You know another time when it won't be a problem? In our new house! I was just thinking about how light it was in there. It helps that everything is plain and white right now and there's no drapes or blinds or furniture in there (did I mention it's vacant?). Still, there's tons of recessed lighting in the basement where we are most likely to plop my office stuff down, so I'm psyched. Sing the praises of sufficient lighting! Woo.

What else is good today? Hmmm, I'm looking forward to our weekly coffeehouse date and some reading. I think I'm also going to make tacos and I LOVE me some tacos. My Dad and Mom passed along this awesome seasoning combo for fajitas which works just as well for tacos (because I don't really know Mexican cuisine well, I can make these sweeping statements - ignorance and bliss and all that).

Riquí­simo Fajita Seasoning:
1 Tbsp white pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ Cup dried cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano

If you don't have any of these ingredients, you can skip them for the most part, although the garlic powder, chili powder (hot or mild), and paprika are probably the most important elements. The cumin adds a lot and so does the oregano. Mix and store what you don't use in an air-tight container for future fajita excesses.

K and I have been busy continuing the house stuff. We agreed to their the home repairs/allowance, so we are GO for settlement just as soon as we finish our mortgage stuff. There was some doubt because they were trying to stick us with a big bill what with a couple appliances needing help, some electrical elements having to be replaced, a ton of grading and drainage stuff needing to be done by next Spring, etc. They rented the house out, so they don't really know what all is up with it because they've probably set foot in it like 5 times total. I'm glad we at least got a good enough inspector that he could give us not only what needs to be fixed but what it will cost, too, so we at least know what we're dealing with. Several people told us to make sure to get a good inspection and I'm really glad we listened. We just finally got to the point where we realized the house was still a good deal and losing everything over a measly housing allowance was probably a dumb move. Here goes, guys, WE'RE GONNA TRY TO BE HANDY. (beat) We're doomed.

On the upside, it's time for a little tea. Nothing says "Autumn" like too much caffeine in one day - I'm just glad I can do it for the fun of it now instead of having to use my buzz for midterm cramming. Ah, the post-collegiate life of luxury.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Selling Out to The Women

TWICE now, I've been tagged for this survey that reeks of pyramid schemes and chain letters. Enough pitching, Laura and Maestra Pescadora, I'LL SIGN.

Rules of the game: Post 5 WEIRD and RANDOM facts about yourself, then at the end of the list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this. Also leave a comment on their blog to let them know.

1. My father's family has known this wealthy Argentine investor and his wife for many years. When I was six or seven, they took my family on a trip to Bariloche and gave me two eye-opening firsts: my first experience with using an emergency brake to park on an impossibly steep incline and my first Barbie doll.

2. I was obsessed with all things Victorian for FAR. TOO. LONG. I am ashamed of myself for ever thinking that "Cordelia" and "Cornelia" were acceptable names and that doilies should be used liberally in home decorating. Please forgive my naivete; I was twelve.

3. My first (non-babysitting) job was working for a local gourmet grocery store in the meat department. I worked there for two summers and could eyeball quantities of ground beef and chicken breast to within a tenth of a pound. I came home reeking of meat and usually had to shower to get the smell out. Wow, that was disgusting.

4. I had mycoplasmic pneumonia when I was ten years old (and a couple more times after that) and the doctor prescribed Erythromycin for ten days or something. I took it without fail for seven and woke up on the eight day with what I can only describe as HiveFace. My parents made me go to church before it fully healed. I was mortified.

5. I saw Kevin Bacon in the Syracuse airport last June. He and his brother were in town for the Taste of Syracuse festival which my coworker and I had hit up the night before, although we missed his act and had not even heard he was there. I was standing at my gate, waiting for my flight home after a homeschool conference, when I noticed a man wearing sunglasses and a black leather jacket (with his trademark hair, I later realized) because he kept looking over at me. Annoyed, I continued talking to this delightful, tiny Indian woman (a brilliant Chemistry professor) who was intrigued by the concept of "homeschooling" and offered her help with research questions if I ever needed it. Only when KB walked by to board his plane did I hear his voice and recognize him. The second time I was too busy talking to a scientist to notice a famous person, boss and I went to Spamalot on Broadway and we saw Marc Cherry during intermission. Apparently this is a habit of mine.

I hereby confer the guilt of a "tag" to: Mair, Plankiest, SBP, guacemily, and JMaraJade. Because you people are random and wonderful, and I want some funny!

The Internet has a case of the Mondays.

Since I work from home, the Internet powers my phone, my email, my connectedness to the world and thus my ability to get things done. I was making travel plans and coordinating speaking engagements like a madwoman but my phone was NOT cooperating today, often crackling and totally obliterating what the person at the other end of the line was saying. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. GRRR. Then during lunch, I was trying to read my TWoP recaps, but I kept getting these obnoxious messages: "Alert: The document contains no data." YEAH RIGHT, INTERNET - I'm just indulging in the guilty pleasure of snarky Desperate Housewives recaps. Enough with the judging!

Beyond digital dramas, it's been a quiet and productive day at E.A.P HQ. I got a lot of work done, I did yoga on my lunch break, and I'm still in a good mood from the weekend. K and I made a point to do more than our usual share of relaxing because, as you've read in mind-numbing detail, last week was a rough one. Saturday night we got out of dodge and went to dinner with our friend Mr. T at the James Joyce Pub in Baltimore. K found the place online and it was one of the most uniformly satisfying dining experiences we've had in a while. Nothing outrageous, just solid food and service. We had pints of ale, Beef & Guinness stew, fish and chips (good fries, how I miss thee), and chicken pot pie. We wanted to celebrate the house, so it was great to eat for a reasonable price and have such a good time. It was raining too hard to walk around much, but the Inner Harbor is mere blocks away, so we'll be back when we can walk off our full bellies.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Reality TV, Rainbow Dresses, Rejection, Indoor Grilling, and One Much-Needed Weekend

Some links for your weekend leisure surfing:

This Slate article takes a thoughtful look at the VH1 show Breaking Bonaduce. It's an interesting question - where's the line between exploitive reality TV and pioneering documentary? What if this were about a book or a series of magazine articles? Would we have the same question? I guess it's a matter of context to a large degree, but it's a worthwhile question to ask.

This outfit critique ROCKS. The girls at Go Fug Yourself are usually awesome, but this is above and beyond the noble call of snark. Fantastic!

Dan Kennedy is almost an obsession with me anymore, but seriously EVERY TIME HE WRITES SOMETHING I LAUGH, and "My Rejected Cooking Show Ideas" is a case in point. One misstep, though: "Three-Hour Meals for Just Under $400.00" is actually the subtext of many cookbooks and cooking shows already.

Speaking of cooking, after this article in the Baltimore Sun, I'm hoping to add indoor grilling to my culinary repertoire. Lots of helpful tips, now if only I'd get off my butt and get a grill pan . . .

On a personal note, I'm still having a pretty rough time of it over here. After next week many of the major decision-making events should be behind us, so that will help with the panic, if not totally elevate me from this funk. Thanks for your prayers and thoughtful notes. Support is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I'll be thinking a lot about your encouragements while I relax and regroup this weekend. Big hug to you all!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

yes, and mostly no

So after my sad/angry post yesterday you're all asking the $64 question: is she going to be cheerful today? The title is your answer. If you're not a glutton for boring punishments, you can feel free to keep reading. Last time I wrote about this, I had several people tell me they'd been there and they appreciated my honesty about it. This is for me, and for them, if it helps. The rest of you "sane folk" can keep moving, there's nothing to see here.

Hubster got home a little early to help with the mortgage stuff and to have more time for decision making, which was nice. The evening started out okay, and we accomplished some of the tasks for which I summoned the spirit of the Üœber Angry Wench. After we had almost everything set, something in me snapped, and I had a particularly malignant panic attack. I can now see that I'd had a couple before now, but they were usually tied to depression so they didn't seem like discreet entities and the feelings of anxiety that accompanied them were mild in comparison. This one was, indeed, a Thing Unto Itself. I once had a friend tell me that she dealt with them regularly and I have SO MUCH RESPECT for her and any of you out there who do battle with them. You give me hope.

K made an insightful comment: it was like the whole of these past two years caught up with me - all the stress of dealing with numerous big decisions and innumerable tiny ones turned me into this weeping, hyperventilating, terrified heap on the floor. I don't know why this had to turn into the year of mental health problems for me, but meticulously taking stock of recent events sheds some light:

1) Graduating college and leaving academia and structured studies behind (all I've known for four years and in a larger sense, 16 years)
2) Getting married, changing part of my identity to "wife," dropping my maiden name (hola, Identity Crisis, please take this excuse to slay me), learning to include another person in most of my life.
3) Finding an apartment when we moved to one state and living there in limbo because of K's job prospects for a mere six months.
4) Finding our current apartment in another state while K's job became something he enjoyed, but we still had no idea where to buy food or go to church.
5) Learning to make our marriage work while overcoming our specific set of relationship/personal problems and sorting true problems out from mere differences of opinion unlikely to change or need to, really.
6)Learning to do part of my job (again) since I hadn't worked in that capacity except briefly three years before.
7)Changing major job responsibilities three times.
8)Acquiring a pet and needing to care for her.
9)Finding and acquiring a new home to purchase. Sorting through sales pitches, information guides, contracts, and advice to make informed and wise decisions. (Approximately 800 this week)

The panic swept over me in an instant, so it's not as though I had these thought out and THEN I freaked. I guess it was the weight of trying to survive them all and still be "good" - to be a good wife, as well as a good person, as well as a good employee, as well as a good homebuyer as well as . . . . There was always some other way in which I could disappoint myself and my loved ones and I couldn't face it nor remove it from my mind's eye.

I kept asking K why no one would let me shut down. Why couldn't anyone realize I was over-extended? Why didn't anyone know I was broken? I guess many people believed the facade of competency I erected. More importantly, I think I was the most insistent on preventing a shut down. I couldn't think about not responding to a business call or NOT doing work all day, or whatever. I wanted to quit doing, utterly and totally for a period of time, anything that resembled the endless parade of tasks I now faced - but I couldn't let myself. That's where the panic of being paralyzed emotionally and mentally enters in. I started hyperventilating eventually, and MAN, is that an odd feeling. My face began to prickle and I found my otherwise anxious brain coolly observing that my face and head were appearing to open to the outside air, that I was literally becoming "unhinged." It was strangely calming to have this odd connection with my body. I knew that if my body could overrule my panic and shut down, I could too. So I did. And then I wanted chocolate.

Now "the craving of the chocolate" is a typical motif applied to women especially in the genres of advertising and television sitcom, but when I usually crave chocolate, I'm just noshing. Not particularly earth-shattering stuff here. But last night, though I could barely taste the semi-sweet chocolate chips when I began munching (because of the tears and the sinus congestion), I eventually was able to savor them, and they tasted like relief. I let myself stop thinking about health and nutrition and longterm affects of ONE thing in my recent life ONE time, and it felt like a revelation. When I think about my coping mechanisms and talk about them with loved ones, "control freak" doesn't usually come up. But I was acting like a textbook control freak - trying to balance my new roles, identities, and responsibilitiess without any mistakes of over-indulgence, or insensitivity, or delays on projects, or problems with my husband. I drank two glasses of milk and ate a handful of chocolate and listened to my husband tell me I would overcome this, all of it. And I finally let myself believe him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

El Día Del Estrés

Stress ball, that's what I am. I have a ton of obnoxious tasks that are being made harder by circumstances and sometimes by incompetent or unhelpful people. I have all this house stuff hanging over my head like a freakin' guillotine, and I'm tired. I did yoga this morning and even showered before work (I usually break for this stuff at lunch) and none of this is helping. The worst thing is this stress is making me Über Sensitive Woman not Über Angry Wench. I would really like to crack open my skull to all offending parties and just let 'em have it: "This is what you're doing, this is how stupid you are for doing it, and this is why you should SHUT IT and do what I'm saying in pain-staking detail for your stupid brain." Ah, but that's not nice. Besides, I couldn't live with myself moments after I said that. No, I will turn into Über Sensitive Woman sooner or later, so maybe it keeps me from being a real Harpy, but sometimes it would be nice not to have to be thinking of the other person so I could get something DONE and not feel like I'm somehow to blame for someone else's incompetence. It feels like everyone gets a memo about me as soon as we meet, "This woman's cares about you as a person - trample her and she won't fight back!" I'll admit it, sometimes it would be nice to be an unfeeling bitch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Harry Potter" and "Left Behind" - come and get it disappointed Googlers!

Nothing much going on here. I have an appointment to get the house inspected today, so I'm low on blogging time. Instead, enjoy these. The first one made me laugh uproariously because nothing is funnier than conservative Christians trying to write "hip" dialogue for the condemned non-Christian. It's pretty obvious they have no idea how to emphathize with these characters spouting: "That is off the chain!!!" Anyway, the second one is a comparison of Harry Potter and Left Behind. Interesting points, even if the treatment is a bit shallow. Enjoy!

The Greatest Halloween Treat Ever

No Wizard Left Behind - Harry Potter and Left Behind are more alike than you might think.

"No diggity! It's some sort of library about magic!" I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pooper Goes to the Park

So a while ago when our dear feline took to crapping on the carpets, we gave her a nickname: Pooper. Highly original work, we know. Anyhow, we suited her up and headed out to the park behind our house on Sunday and you shall behold a couple of selections from the way too many pictures I took.

The Tiny Huntress in the natural habitat of her cousin, the tiger. She appears in the tiger's natural choice for hunting: the pink harness. Too chic, darling, too chic.

Yeah, she rocks. Her last experience was less than fulfilling for us because she basically didn't venture out at all. She laid down and look around like she could hardly believe her senses. This time, she tried to catch falling leaves, watched a dog and owner play fetch (from a safe distance, of course), and generally wandered the grass with aplomb. We were enthralled. We are total dorks.

I shudder to think how many animals have marked that goal post. Am I glad her hygienic principles prevent her actually touching it!

So beyond taking the Pooper outside, we did not much of anything. Watched some TV, cleaned the apartment, made more Splenda cookies, ate too many Splenda cookies, and did absolutely NO looking for houses. None. WOOHOOO we're through! Except I've spent all my breaks today talking to home inspectors and mortgage bankers. Man, this adulthood business keeps gettin' better and better, huh?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Almost done . . .

The sellers made their final offer and we accepted, all hail the power of capitalism! We sign the final contract tonight and close in December, people, WE ARE GONNA BE HOMEOWNERS.

I was nebulous about the possibilities we saw when I posted earlier this week because I didn't want to tip the ole hand. Or jinx anything. But everything is looking up, and we just might be done with all this brouhaha! We were surprised that anything turned up that early - yay for having weekends free again! Thank the Maker!

Yesterday I was in a worry coma, thinking about how we just signed away more money than we make in many years of work and how many things could go wrong. I'm starting to think like my husband - YE GODS, SAVE ME FROM SUCH A FATE. Still, after much encouragement from my parents, his parents, and a couple of good friends, I realized people are this stupid all the time and they turn out FINE, so who am I to think I'll be specially favored with disaster?

The property is a townhouse not far from our current place (yay, easy moves!) and it's about double the size of our already decently-sized apartment. It's got a mostly-finished basement, two master bedrooms with baths upstairs. The bedrooms are the entire width of the unit, which isn't palatial, but it's big enough for a bed, dressers, and even a cozy reading nook. HUZZAH for the coveted bedroom reading nook! It's the most recent build we saw in our price range, and the neighborhood is a walk to a library and a grocery store, with a fabulous mall with antiques and food (though not antique food, thank goodness) five minutes away. This. will. rock.

And I'm already planning the paint colors. K made the mistake of saying we should watch the occasional HGTV show to get ideas. What was he thinking? As B from work said, "HE WASN'T." Give me the occasional show and I'll take the whole season. The nesting instinct will rise again! woooooooo!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

When in doubt, link!

Ah, the clicky post. If I have nothing interesting to say, why shouldn't my betters have a shot at reaching my audience. All 3 of them! (sigh) I'm so thoughty.

Read this. Once again, the Shoe blogger amuses greatly. His thoughts on mother-daughter matching holiday sweaters "This, it is clearly child abuse." Ha!

Also, read this. McSweeney's gets the spirit of the Microsoft Office Assistant (the Paperclip) perfectly. "Don't be mad, I have eyebrows!" - classic.

Here's an encouraging article. I'm not sure what the longterm effects will be, but it is good to see innovation in place of the pat (and often too comfortable) answers the middle class brings to poverty and racial issues. "The program aims at tearing down the worst projects and re-creating mixed-income neighborhoods, the first step in combating poverty." Ah, but will the stuffy middle-classers submit to living with those less fortunate than themselves?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Neurons On Strike! Film at 11.

I'm tired today. Even sitting in my desk chair is tiring - I keep adjusting positions, trying not to slouch or get a crick in my neck. I'm also a bit restless. My brain wants to move into full nesting mode, thinking about new homes, new decor, paint, furniture, even where to put the litter box. It's absurd, but hard to slow or stop. (Is it possible to kill brain cells by thinking too much? Okay, how about too hard? Too fixedly on one subject? . . . ) Over the last couple of days, I've gotten to talk to the parents, the in-laws, and my dear friend EN. It was wonderful to catch up (and rare with E - shout out!), but you have to explain the house-hunting stuff over and over again, and that's not exactly doing wonders for my campaign to MOVE ON, BEFORE YOUR NEURONS DEMAND UNION RIGHTS.

So, in lieu of a tome, I leave you with an interesting article on a subject I've been thinking about lately. What do you think?

Condi, Hillary, and … Angelina? - When celebrities act like politicians, and politicians act like celebrities. By Jacob Weisberg

P.S. If anyone tells me what they think about homes, so help me, I'll scream, people. Those of you who know me, nod gravely at the newcomers. Yes, fear the lung capacity. FEAR IT.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Food, Films, and Funks

Friday: We relaxed and I made this awesome dinner. I sauteed the pork and peppers, rather than using the hard-to-clean-WILL-IT-NEVER-BE-RIGHT broiler pan. I gotta say, I was skeptical about couscous at first, but every time I've made it recently, it's fast, easy, and delicious. For the cheater's among us, "Far East Brand, Original Plain Couscous." Know it, live it, love it.

Saturday: We got some stuff done around the house. We finally got to see Serenity. Yes, we're Firefly fans, although we never saw it when it was actually on TV. The movie was great fun - a fabulous way to round out the series that was cut short (and awkward) by the cancellation. Well worth the matinee money. That night we finally watched a rental we'd gotten from Blockbuster called A Very Long Engagement. Same lead actress and director as the famed Amelie. Since it's set in WWI, it deals with some pretty weighty issues. Once again, though, I enjoyed the director's take on things. It was also visually beautiful. One shot of the wind whipping through a field just took my breath away. Also, Jodie Foster appears in the film and speaks fluent French. Who knew?

Sunday: We looked at 8 homes in about four hours. It was crazy. Our realtor is pretty easy to be around and she's very helpful, but after about the 3-hour mark my brain and my patience was toast. A couple of them were passable, so we'll see what happens.

Monday: I'm just hanging in there, hoping to tie up some loose ends with work stuff. That'll have to do since baseball has taken over FOX and Arrested Development won't be on. JERKS. Excuse me, I have a Monday to endure without respite.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Erica And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dream

I had a dream that totally qualifies for all those adjectives. I dreamt that a mob boss thought K and I were going to rat him out and he hired a hit on us. The hitman came to our house and started rummaging around for impromptu silencers and just NOT KILLING US ALREADY so I had all this time to face my mortality. The guy wasn't even all that mean which made it WORSE because he was all business and yet because he DIDN'T GET DOWN TO BUSINESS, I was tortured with the realization that I was gonna die with my husband in minutes or hours, and I couldn't do a single thing to stop it or alleviate the suffering of those I would leave behind, including my cat and some adorable little girl we were taking care of for no apparent reason.

I cannot tell dream from reality in the slightest when I'm dreaming. My mother has a friend who has close to complete control over her dreams and can even make changes midstream. I just hang on for the ride and hope everything that happens is simply weird and not TERRIFYING. I was not lucky last night and just as I seriously thought I was going to lose it in the dream, I woke up and heard K returning from his morning workout. I never wake up until he's close to leaving so I scared him mightily by running up to him, hugging him and telling him all about THE HORROR, THE HORROR. To his credit, he did not laugh me out of the room even though it all must have sounded utterly ridiculous with the details all jumbled in my head and the emotion still very much upon me. He calmed me down, did my hubby.

I will say that the petty problems I've had today have seemed EVER SO LIGHT after that. Note to my subconscious, though: let's not do that often, eh?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Listing Thursday

1. Finished Ender's Game. I enjoyed it - good content, easy read. A couple of synoposes I heard a long time ago really DID give away the good parts but because of the way the book developed, I thought they were wrong the whole time. And, that, friends, is a really confusing way to say that I didn't have the ending ruined for me, I liked the book, and, if you're a sci-fi fan, you should read it. According to my husband's facial expression upon learning that I had not read this book earlier, I am speaking to perhaps one other person in the history of the world. So, uh, I guess that guy should read it.

2. Out of the Science Fiction Future and into the 19th Century Past: I started reading Vanity Fair. WAY TO SWITCH GEARS, ERICA. So far I'm intrigued, although the last time I read something this gravely "classic" I got stuck in Jane Austen's Emma, which wasn't even 680-pages long like this bad boy. Let's see if I agree with my mum-in-law who LOVED VF.

3. In non-book-related news, dear Dad-in-Law gave us the use of the company car (Jaguar XJ8-L) while he was away and needed to fly out of BWI. K was in HOG HEAVEN since Monday night but abruptly crashed to Earth when the car was returned last night. We drove out to Annapolis on Tuesday for coffee and reading AGAIN because, oh yeah, he didn't care if we burned gas since we were sparing him the airport parking expense. Sweeeet. I love nice cars, but they always seem so unattainable and they really aren't a priority (i.e., car or travel? TRAVEL!), but K is of another breed. His dad's long-term involvement with the car industry doesn't help. I'm glad Hubster got to have his fun, however, and I will be the first to admit that pushing the pedal on a highway merge and having the car GOOOOO is addictive.

4. An small ensemble of church choir members are undertaking this gorgeous Renaissance piece entitled "O Quam Gloriosum" by Tomás de La Victoria. I heard a recording of it today and I'm obsessed! According to Her Fabulousness the Queen of Music Majors (RC) the violin is the closest mimicker of the human voice, but there's something about the poetry of the words (liturgy of the church in this case) combined with the music and then the interpretation of the two by the choir and director - it's indescribably beautiful. I think the first time I was bowled over by a piece was when the GCC Chapel Choir (including my Alto-singing self at the time) sang the Duruflé Requiem. Good choral music is still the surest way to make me awestruck of the greatness of God and the beauty of the universe. ¡Viva el coro!

5. Lunch hour is over, and while it's back to the gulag for me, YOU should have a great day! And if not, then there's always music and books!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Weekend Highlight Reel

We did a bunch of things this weekend and had a fantastic time doing them all. Perhaps the most fun was had with our patented Step by Step Guide to Ignoring Your Cat's Dignity for Your Amusement:

Step 1: Acquire a fairly docile cat. Feed him well and give him much love for months on end. Move to step 2.

Step 2: Acquire a travel coffee cup from a chic café nearby. Pet the cat until you have lulled it into trusting you. Begin attempts to perch the cup on his head. Move to step 3.

Step 3: Achieve cup balance through trial and error over a laugh-filled, five-minute period. Enjoy the funny "Angry Face" your cat now wears. Laugh for a further five-minutes. Repeat as necessary.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Finally, but possibly temporarily.

The not-at-all-anticipated-by-anyone-else new template is up. I'm trying it out. I'm still figuring out whether I like it. Please do let me know if anything doesn't work. If I don't change my desktop every week or so, then I'm just not happy, so the changing of the blog template every quarter or so? It's a show of restraint, people!

Anyhow, I took up all my blogging breaks with fixing/tweaking the template, so I'll write tomorrow, peeps. Ciao!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"Virginia is for Friends" sounds lame.

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday. I was so busy thinking about my new template that I spent all my blogging time working on that. It's not up yet (NO!) but it will be once I can figure out a couple of the problems it seems to be having with Blogger. Let's just say they're not playing nice, so someone's getting a trip to the proverbial woodshed. If by "woodshed" I mean "Wordpad," and I'll be thinking of the parental addage when it hurts me a lot more than it will hurt the template.

Anyhow, Hubster and I are on a jaunt to visit friends in Charlottesville, VA. M-lo and J.M. started the day with a full breakfast of bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, and coffee. We're setting off now for a little wandering of the pedestrian shopping quarter, conversation, and WAY MORE FOOD. BEST WEEKEND EVER!