Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Weekend in Food

North Carolina was much better than Mississippi. For one thing, no one tried to steal our car. Also, the convention was not demonstrably different than we expected, although it wasn't great (not busy enough for the number of people there and the LONG FREAKING HOURS). Hanging out with Dawn of Plankiest was even more awesome than usual. We had some good chats, even more good rants, ate junk food for dinner, and she convinced me to cut her hair.

Everything else was closed, okay? We'd had a big lunch, alright? Doesn't the half-light make it a little classier? No?

We ate at a Sweet Potatoes (order the sweet potato fries - seriously), Mellow Mushroom (get the Great White pizza and their AMAZING hummus dip appetizer), as well as Cat's Corner Bistro, and Opie's Southbound Grille (order the creme brulee) which had a room-service agreement with our hotel. We stayed in the Brookstown Inn, a restored mill with plenty o'charm. Also, they had a milk and cookies hour for free. It was too delicious for words.

Not our hotel, but still lovely.

We wandered around the arts district which was adorable. At Urban Artware, I got this piece of original art for our house and it was pretty inexpensive, too. I was thrilled. The artist has a bunch of these prints which include what he calls "The Story People." Check his work out here. This is one I was tempted to buy because my mother always said this, but I didn't. Still at $30/print, it's a lovely splurge to buy a few.

During our twelve-hour shift on Friday, Dawn decided she wanted me to cut her hair. She and I went to Walgreen's, bought haircutting scissors and went to town in the hotel bathroom. We laid down a towel to catch most of the clippings, but as you can well imagine, it didn't work spectacularly well. After all, Dawn had a bob that was even longer than mine and I cut it back to this:

This doesn't do it justice. And if you don't like it when you see it then Dawn's supposed to say I did it while I was drunk anyhow.

Her hair has natural curl, but still. I DID GOOD, PEOPLE. It's nice to know I have a backup career in case I need it. I shudder to think the insults hurled at me by the housekeeping staff, backup career notwithstanding.

I got back Sunday. I showered and packed an overnight bag to go hang with Mr. T and S (and later JG). We hit Pizzeria Paradiso (DCFoodies review, they don't have a website) up for some amazing dinner. I had a random micro-brewed summer ale that I loved but whose name escapes me. They had a zillion beers available from all over the world. It was impressive. We also enjoyed our bottle of Il Bastardo Sangiovese. Perfect with gourmet pizza.

After dinner we got ice cream and wandered the Georgetown boardwalk. I got a chocolate-dipped waffle cone with coconut ice cream and MAN has a been a long time since I've enjoyed me some ice cream in the summer. I confess my inner child was miffed to find I noticed the heat and lost my appetite for the sweetness after a while (a thing I swore never to do when I was young), but there it is. I think the mortgage automatically trips that switch.

We slept like logs that night and got up in the morning for Greenberry's coffee (iced because HELLO, it was 90 DEGREES!) and some quality time with our books. Then I hit the pool deck for like four hours. I used the spray sunscreen like it was going out of STYLE, so I managed not to burn, but how weird was it that I enjoyed what amounts to hours of sunbathing? You might not know this, but I'm not very good beach bum material. My arms get tired of holding books over my head, I get overheated and then CRANKY, and I want to have moving and instructive conversations, undeterred by the presence of sand, soothing water, or, I don't know, comfortable napping positions. Still, the stars aligned and it was a really fun way to spend Memorial Day in that fashion.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Class "A" Freakout

Batten down the hatches - this is gonna be a big one.

K's been out-of-his-mind busy, leaving me to do housework and yardwork and pretty much anything that doesn't involve his work. I'm thrilled about this because lawns are so much fun to mow and right now every flying ant in Maryland is congregating around my INTERIOR STAIRWELL CEILING LAMP and I am SO SCARED THAT'S MY PROBLEM. STUPID FREAKING HOME OWNERSHIP. NYAH!

"Deep breaths," you're saying, "deep breaths." It's not really working, but let's go with it.

I had a much better weekend, I took some fun pictures, I CUT PLANKIEST'S HAIR ALL BY MYSELF, I hung out with friends and ate ice cream, I LAID OUT BY THE POOL (totally weird for me, this requires splainin'), I did a lot of thinking, and I now have ANTS DIVEBOMBING MY EYES AS I TYPE.


Oh, and I got my hair cut shorter.

Oh, Oh, and I won't be going out of town this weekend. HOLLA!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pro and COME ON!! - This Past Weekend

It's been a roller coaster of emotions recently. I was originally going to write a straight post, but it was too hard to portray accurately without some sort of numbering system. I decided to bring back the Pro and COME ON(TM) featurette. I'm changing it up to flow a little better, though:

1. The conference in Ole Miss was much smaller than anticipated. Like 5-10 times smaller. Because we were banking on more wallets in attendance, it was basically a waste of company money to send two people there. Oh, oh, and someone bashed in the lock to our rental 2006 Nissan Pathfinder while we slept in our hotel the first night. They didn't get in, but they sure pissed us off. The police officer who took the case report from me was a total Southern sweetheart, though, and he even uttered the words "how'd you get all the way down here?" upon reading my license. Pogo stick, of course! (-5 for the size, -5 for attempted larceny, +1 for adorable Southerners = -9)

2. After setting up our many books, I got a call from Jefe who had some problems at his convention, some of which were my fault, some of which arose because that particular convention was "interesting." #&%@^&$% That made me feel great and not-at-all powerless or five states away or anything! (+3 for setup all by myself, -4 for mistakes = -1)

3. As we languished in the booth for hour after frustrating hour, Bee and I took comfort in our awesome booth neighbors. The ladies next door were starting out just like our company not long ago. They were a lot of fun, really interesting, and as pissed off as we were with the convention turn out. Plus, they were sassy about it. I HEART THEM! Next door to them was a guy whose sister I knew at GCC (though not well), but he was really nice, too. We talked about Pittsburgh, college, and marriage since he got married six months ago to his college sweetheart - aw! (+5 for good company)

4. We also went to a Lonestar Steakhouse. When we tried ordering one appetizer, they said they were out so instead we got the "Texas Cheese Fries" pictured below because, as I realized then, fries aren't unhealthy enough.

Bee demonstrates the proper way to consume the fries, laden in cheese, sprinkled liberally with bacon and ripe for dipping in a zesty ranch sauce. (+2 for good food, -1 for futurearterial sclerosis = 1)

5. On the way back to our room, we stopped to thank the front desk attendant for the directions she gave us to get there. We made the mistake of striking up a genuine conversation. Our buzz quickly dissipated as the answer to our question of why downtown Jackson became so unsafe came back with a firm and unapologetic "It's those damn n*****s." This woman, who had seemed so sweet when we asked her help, proceeded to unleash her vitriol against the entire African-American population of the area. She used that slur repeatedly and each time it got harder and harder not to shake or scream or grimace or SOMETHING. I figured that somewhere there must be people who still clung to blatantly racist views, but I just could not believe what my ears heard and my stomach digested with increasing nausea. It made me even more upset that she had no trouble saying this to us because, after all, we're white too. I wanted to cry, but instead we dropped the conversation as soon as we could. Upstairs we talked long into the night, too wound up by her invective to sleep. (-4 for the destruction of my faith in humanity, -1 for loss of sleep, +2 for solving the world's problems in conversations with Bee = -3)

6. We found a moth on the ground near our hotel one night and wanted to help it fly but weren't sure whether touching its wings would leave it flightless for good or not. See:

It was lovely. And sad. (+1 for a pretty sight, -1 for bad hands-on science knowledge = 0)

7. I made it home without a problem. In the airport, some nice guy who works for Mission Foods gave me coupons for free tortillas. SCORE! That night one of the cats managed to flush a toilet, which action woke me up as I was falling asleep assuring that I thought a midnight thief had decided to take a leak in my bathroom. I, of course, was lying under the covers in PJ's and did not want to make my presence known to said thief so, though I finally drifted off to sleep, I was TERRIFIED and slept poorly. I hope my stupid cats got a laugh out of that. (+1 for free food, -2 for future hypertension.

The reckoning: (-8) + (-1) + (5) + (1) + (-3) + (0) + (-1) = -7

It's official - my weekend sucked! Tune in next week as I rate my next convention in North Carolina. Let's hope for an experience ranging in the positive numbers, shall we?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dallas in 4

So originally I was going to blog leisurely this evening in between bites of dinner and packing for tomorrow's jaunt to everyone's favorite state as children - M I SS I SS I PP I! Well, no more. Yesterday the appliance people dropped off the dishwasher and today my father-in-law calls. I mention the dishwasher since it's pretty much the only thing you notice about my kitchen right now, OH and I HAVE TO WASH DISHES BY HAND. I merely indicated its presence and asked when he might be in town and he said "how's tonight looking on your schedule?" So much for bonbons and anything "leisurely." Instead, I'll upload some pics from our Dallas adventures (with links because I'm a masochist) and deliver a FEW brief thoughts. Ready? GO!

1. Ate here. Fogo de Chão is pretty much heaven in the USA. Heaven on earth is, of course, anywhere in Argentina, but this comes close. Waiters come around to your table with skewers of meat (the house specialty is really the best - seriously, don't even bother with the filet because "Picanha" is where it is AT) and you eat from a delicious salad/antipesto bar and it's just amazing. Seriously, if you love red meat, you owe it to yourself to eat there. Now, caveat: it's not cheap. But is your birthday worth that? YES. Skip the present if you have to. You'll thank me.

2. Went here. Took snaps of the garden. It's truly amazing. Go and enjoy. Preferably when it's as nice as it was last Thursday. Truly awesome art and they give you free audio tour thingies, which helps because some of it is highly conceptual and all of it deserves some discussion. Nasher Sculpture Garden. Tour it, Live it, Love it. See:

The term "sculpture garden" is literal, as you can see.

Mmmm, fountains in the sun. Delightful.

Jefe's favorite sculpture, entitled "Walking To the Sky." I love the sun glinting off the metal. Dramatic. So, you know, perfect for me.

This was my favorite sculpture, if I had to choose one. I think it's a Matisse. It's a reclining figure, but it's so ambiguous that it reminds you of organic shapes and even the vertibrae it takes to recline. Plus, it's shiny.

3. Then we went next door to the Dallas Museum of Art. And it was lovely. Their website has some of their permanent collection pieces up with descriptions, and I liked this statue of a Bhuddist holy figure. It was really moving up close. We ended up seeing the African, Pacific Island, and Asian collections before we ran out of time. The building looked so small compared to the Smithsoneons I've been hitting lately that I thought "Man, no problem! We'll hit it all in like two hours." If by "all" you mean one half of one floor, then YES. Anyhow, here's one so good I couldn't help but snap a picture - without flash, because if I love it, so should many others for years to come.

These lizards were, I believe, a Pacific Island piece. They represented man/woman and eroticism in the culture of the artist, but what struck me about them was the way they seemed to emerge from the wood so seemlessly - without disturbing the grain yet definitely etched by a human hand. Beautiful texture.

4. We met these people. They happen to be distantly related to Jefe and their farm is a couple of hours South of the convention. They have a big, old-fashioned farming family. They make raw cheese and its DELICIOUS. As soon as their online cheese store is open, I am so buying it for special occasions. They told us about their excellent farming methods (they're members of Slow Food) and what goes into that life and it was - and I know it doesn't sound like it, but it was - delightful to talk with them. Plus we had a great meal with good wine at Pappadeaux. Best crabcakes ever peeps. And I live in MARYLAND where my freakin' driver's license HAS A CRAB ON IT.

FINITO. But it still took way too long. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

This one's not about Dallas either.

So, um, can't do it. Can't make myself type that much. Can't find my camara amidst the rubble of un/repacking and download and tweak and upload. Can't.

It might be because although Loki is curled up on my lap and purring like a jet engine, she still stole my yummy chicken off my plate at dinner. I had to throw out like half the chicken breast. Yeah, it sat in this delicious marinade for 24hrs before I grilled it to perfection and made well-nigh perfect saffron rice to go with it. Anymore, if Hubster isn't home, I usually just eat cheese and crackers and maybe a few olives if I want to treat myself. I FREAKIN' COOKED, AND I FED YOU DINNER ON TIME, AND THAT'S MY FOOD NOT YOUR FOOD!

I actually shouted that out loud. "My food not your food!" Also, I might have dumped a glass of water on her as she tried to make off with a hunk of chicken in her mouth.

Oh, but we're so not even because I think she just farted on my lap and jumped down to wander off, leaving me in a cesspool of cat fart. Let me tell you, NOT PLEASANT.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Pining for the Fjords

I'm tired this evening, and I'm involved in one of those books you can't shake. Dallas was great, and I have a few pictures and foody thoughts and observations to make but not tonight.

I really hate what convention season does for this site, or more directly what it is does to my enjoyment of it. I can't focus, and when I do, I pump out two, maybe three entries a week, all of them shoddy distillations of days and days worth of half-remembered experiences and lists of links to people and things more interesting than I. Too much of me stays bottled up, and I crave confessing into the bytes here. I've said before this site is part therapy, and it's become easier to see that when I have to go without. Of course this all could be an elaborate decoration on simple internet withdrawal. I don't get to surf while I'm gone, and I'm a card-carrying member of Generation Google.

I miss this, and I miss you, but it's temporary. I'll write a weekend wrap-up tomorrow, in between the day's paperwork and the night's season finales.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

blah blah SUMMARY blah blah

I hate when I have a good weekend. Sure, it's nice for my stress levels, my mood, and probably my health but it makes for lousy posting. It's usually not funny in any way because often the best comedy is pain + emotion, and it's hard to condense the good stuff. When you have a bad weekend you sum it up quickly and tell the horrible/funny story and everyone goes home happy instead of exhausted or bored from all the verbiage. Like now when I can see your eyelids narrowing. You suspect that this is gonna be a bad way to spend your precious afternoon break. CORRECT! GIVE THAT (WO)MAN A COOKIE!

Honestly, my weekend was fabulous. I was a bit late to dinner with Mair and JMC because of traffic . . . AND SEE THERE IT IS? WHO FREAKIN' CARES ABOUT BEING LATE? My eleventh-grade English teacher said I had verbal diarrhea - and if you knew her, you knew it took everything in her to be that vulgar so I REALLY deserve it.

ANYHOW. Dinner was delicious and the Ristorante Piccolo was the perfect place to celebrate M-lo's newly minted Masters of Sociology. YAY, MAIR! We had a scrumtrulescent wine with it, this one (scroll down to the second bottle, enjoy deciphering the Italian), a Chardonnay from an Italian vineyard called Pravis which will knock your Chardonnay-loving SOCKS OFF. No idea what it costs without the restaurant mark-up, but I'd put it firmly under the $20 mark. Probably closer to $10. RIGHT, OKAY, NO MORE ABOUT WINE.

The rest of the weekend with them was quiet and relaxing. We got up late and made cinnamon rolls, which has become tradition among us such that they made sure to ask if I had any on Friday night. It's not a real visit without cinnamon rolls, and frankly, I'm okay with that! They left for a wedding in the evening and I decided to paint the hardware for the kitchen cabinets that night. Boy was THAT an adventure. I managed to do it without drips and with decent overall coverage. I also chose to do it barefoot, so my feet were covered in primer and red paint. I was all ready for my bit part in a video of Annie Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass."

Sunday morning we went to church, which they enjoyed, and then shared a lunch. Soon it was time for them to go. As they left, I wondered what I'd do with myself. It was Sunday and Hubster was working. I've learned to deal with that, especially with the carrot before me ("it's just temporary, only a little while more . . ."), but yesterday I was over it. I wanted to spend time with him, period. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option, so I chose the next best thing - getting household projects done so that when he did have free time, I'd be free too.

So I painted all of the cabinet doors, back and front. And then I took my already tired self to the Junior High youth group Yoga event where I proceeded to have the best workout ever. It felt so good after months of putting it off or doing it irregularly, and our teacher was amazing. I limbered up my breathing after holding in my stomach WAY too much for months, I got a good explanation on the correct of alignment of the deceptively simple-looking Downward-Facing Dog pose, and she really stretched my lower back. Yesterday I did not feel so much "good" as "very sore" but it was worth it, especially for my desk-sitting back.

Today, I put up the cabinet doors with the freshly-painted hinges. I can't do the top shelves without some help to hold them up, so the picture will wait until I've hoodwinked some unsuspecting soul into helping me out. Until then, mis amigos, I bid you "ciao" and promise to write a trifle tomorrow before I leave for another convention. When I return you'll be treated to another overly long post. Believe me this hurts me as much as it hurts you.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Question to Thursday: Where's the fire?

The power must have gone out briefly yesterday afternoon because my kitchen clocks were all wrong that evening. As a result, I wrapped my Mother's Day packages for the moms in my life (start deducing, Mom and Mumsie!) and absentmindedly watched TV, not noticing how the day changed into night. I turned in after 1am, so I slept in till 8:30. Correction: I tried to. The cats started in with their morning ritual of torturing my dozing self a mite early today. At 7:15 they started with the persistent yowling, and the walking all over my prostrate self with no regard to how my nerves and soft tissue might feel about it, and the licking of the arm skin. Cat tongues being known for their sand-papery consistency, this has the effect of making me tuck my already too-warm self under the covers just so I can keep the first layer of epidermis full attached to my person.

I raised the white flag at 8:15 and fed the poor, starving, spoiled brats. I honestly cannot WAIT until K resumes those duties. His current schedule makes it easier for me to do it, but we're going back to the right way of doing things ASAP - he wakes up early and I get to sleep without cat paws ramming me in the AM.

Also, the fire is gone. Monday I was burning up with ideas and potential to get things done before Mair and JMC showed up on Friday and noticed that I lived in a disaster zone. Now? I didn't get too much done, but the task list seems to have ballooned while I worked. I know, I'm being really whiny. But every time I turn around, I've made the house messier, I haven't gotten enough done, and I'm tired of feeling like the mountain WON'T GET SMALLER. Anyone else with me, or have you retreated to your happy place instead? In California as we tucked in some fries with our delicious In-N-Out burgers, Bee said, quite casually, "I think this is my happy place." Mine, for the moment, is Ristorante Piccolo in Georgetown, staring across the table at my friends and sipping some wine. That'll do nicely, especially since that's exactly where I hope to be in a little over 24 hours.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sweet Fancy Moses!

I admit that is another title ripped straight out of a commercial. I don't even know what they're advertising - I think it's about something manly because there are two plastic men talking (sans facial expressions) and one details how his wife wants him to install a koi pond in his backyard and the other one reacts by saying "Sweet fancy Moses!" in the best old man deadpan ever. It cracks me up. I think it might be the response that my new favorite shirt would get from them, too. I got it on clearance at Old Knave (that "k" is pronounced in my friend E's version).

Oh, and speaking of E, she just had her second little papoose and I hope that doesn't spill the beans to any of our mutual friends, but AAAAH! I'm a pseudo-aunt again! Weeeee!

I also decided to take the day off today and I'm so geeked about it. My mother's Mental Health Day policy lives on. I decided I was too stressed to handle company this weekend and errands and yardwork and cats with lizards and everything without a break. I had already planned dinner with KL from church, and I had some DELICIOUS spaghetti with kalamata olives, capers, anchovies, roma tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. We had a good old chat in which we concluded that the world is messed and we are blessed. Familiar territory but important nonetheless. Plus, the middle school youth group has a yoga lesson (!) on Sunday night so I'm going to show up and show off AHEM, CHAPERONE. It's positively made for me.

Well, I'm off to change into more suitable clothes before cleaning and shopping and BLAH. So much for a day off! I guess adulthood comes with a more sketchy definition of that term.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lizard Al Fresco

This morning I'm sitting at my desk, minding my own business. I noticed Loki batting at something around my feet, so I thought my toes were tempting or something, and I wiggled them just in case. Perhaps, since it was a Bathrobe Morning (I know, I know I'm so lucky!), I thought the tie from my cushy, mid-calf-length terry variety was hanging down in a particularly tempting fashion. Finally, tiring of this, and suspecting I wasn't getting her full attention I looked down. Lo, did The Tiny sense her imminent spoiled party for she did snatch up in her jaws the very inspiration for her energetic swatting: one medium-sized lizard.

Exhibit A.

I believe it was a lizard and no salamander because it's exterior was more scaly than slimy, so I knew if I just got him out of her clutches, I could haul his bruised person to the back door, release him in the sun to warm himself after his foray in the coldest part of the house and he would be home free, if a little worse for wear. Of one thing I was certain: I had no idea what lizard blood looked like, but I didn't think it was covered under my carpet's stain guarantee.

Loki was not amused. My poor former-barn-kitten would have none of this "taking away her prey" business. Finally, I caught her off-guard when she'd dropped him for some more batting and torture. I'm ashamed to say that I snapped a picture.

Exhibit B.

Then I scooped him up in a serving bowl and took the first image before releasing him into the wild. Where no doubt the neighbors two outdoor cats made short work of him, but DUDE, I can only handle so much at one time, mmmkay? Two questions remain:

1)Will Loki ever stop sulking?
2) Exactly how did a sluggish but fresh lizard GET IN MY BASEMENT AND UNDER MY VERY FEET?

Hubster will be sorry he missed it while working all day. If any of you have the time and interest (or sufficient levels of boredom) feel free to identify the species for me. I doubt it, but I'll hand out bonus points if it's somehow poisonous and I/Loki dodged more than the carpet-stain bullet.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Too Tired To Title

I thought I'd stop being tired after I returned and got some sleep, but this weekend wore me out. Thursday's quick flight into Providence, RI was nice. Set up and such went well, and so did Friday's hours at convention. Afterward, we went to dinner at the Flying Rhino Cafe which, frankly, rocked our feeble worlds! If you should find yourself in Worcester, MA, check it out. They had a diverse menu of mostly Asian fusion dishes mixed with traditional Italian and European dishes. Bee had the "BOMBAY SAUTE -­ Crisp snow peas, sweet red peppers, pineapple, mango and peanuts in a spicy Garam-Masala sauce over Jasmine rice." I had the "PENNE Á la VODKA -­ Penne pasta in a tomato cream sauce with spinach, onions, Romano cheese, vodka and a touch of crushed red pepper." Best vodka sauce I've ever had, bar none! They had just the right amount of creme and not too much vodka to sour and the sauce and make it bitter. Truly amazing stuff, and pretty reasonable all told. The atmosphere was nice, if noisy, and the decor was lovely.

Saturday's hours went well, although we were both dragging by the end, mixing up terms and switching numerals in customer addresses. I did get a delightful mother and daughter who talked to me about the daughter's next move in her science studies. It turns out, she was very like me at her age - capable in science but unenthused by lab work and the endless details. I mentioned my move into philosophy and they lit up and asked all kinds of questions about colleges and different fields and such. I remembered that I was only a bit older than her when I talked to Jefe and began my journey into career exploration and figuring myself out. It was refreshing to be helpful like that. I hope she'll find what her strengths and gifts are - she seemed so full of promise.

After all that activity, we decided to take it easy that night. We called up a hotel closer to the airport and checked in there, where the attendant gave us two coupons each for free drinks at the bar. We sipped our drinks by the hot tub and retired for the night. Then at 1:40am, after having finally fallen asleep from too much talking not long before, THE FIRE ALARM WENT OFF. Some punk kid decided to make everyone's night by submitting to peer pressure and pulling one after having terrorized the fourth floor with the endless talking and running in the halls throughout the evening. The fire department had to arrive to reset it and we lost like a half an hour of sleep and probably gained some gray hairs from that rude awakening. I don't care if sound old here: "Damn kids!" Even worse, I had a HUGE blood-sugar attack earlier in the evening. I actually had lunch, but we must have waited too long for dinner because I found myself shaking, head-ache-riddled, so nauseous the mere thought of food sickened me, and just plain yucky. We ate at Bertucci's and despite getting a tomato and mozzarella salad, I managed to snarf a few mozzarella balls and a roll or two before I felt so full I thought I'd burst. I haven't had that kind of reaction in a long time and my survival skills were a mite rusty, but I started to feel better once the food kicked in. I just hope that doesn't start happening more often because conventions are no time to be picky about meals, or even meal times!

When we woke up the next morning, I seriously thought it would have been better to skip our flight. We slogged through, though, and hopped the plane to my home base together. I stayed with Bee until her connector to Indy left and then drove home. It was a beautiful day - sunny, 60s, positively uplifting. Despite myself, I felt better. I decided to call Mr. T on a whim, having agreed to hang out this week, I thought why not move it up if he's free?

I get an excited call back after he hears my message and our fun-filled evening was born. I met up with he and his friend S for his soccer game on the National Mall. Nothing like the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument as a backdrop for a little co-ed soccer footwork. They lost 1-0, which was sad, but we cheered up when we hit Georgetown for another Half-Price Bottle of Wine night at Clyde's. We laughed quite a bit, I drank a bit much for my small frame, and Mr. T drove us to his place for that night's West Wing episode. When we arrived, a blast from the pass stood waiting in the courtyard, one JG, who I hadn't seen in almost seven years. I think our reminiscing over the old days grated on S and T's nerves eventually (after all, they did have to rewind the Tivo four times to catch the dialogue), but it was really great to catch up, and I'm so glad we're back in touch. We've all planned an event for the middle of next week, and I can't wait to hang out, even if we don't have the fantastic weather of this occasion. Huzzah for friends, old and new!

Now, I'm paying for my sins of adrenaline abuse - I'm tired, despite sleeping in and working just half the day. I'm hoping I can take another half-day off sometime this week, but we'll see if I get everything done that I need to. I have this weekend off from conventions, and PRAISE THE MAKER FOR THAT ONE. Now it's time for laundry, dinner, and OOPS, 24 just started, so I'm out. I'll try to post pics tomorrow, that is if any turned out. Oh, and if I'm not to tired.