Tuesday, January 30, 2007

All Things Considered

Right now I'm listening to Eminem's Lose Yourself, and I feel inspired. I love to listen to this song when I run or work out, but it's also perfect for blogging. Who knew?

Opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.

I'm also inspired by the suggestions you made on my last post. However, you may be sorry that you participated in the writing prompt exercise.

I can't remember any of my dreams lately. But here's what I wish I could have a nice, long dream about: Colin Firth cooking me a gourmet dinner, complete with copious amounts of lovely, lovely wine. The dinner is eaten on a small table in the middle of a vineyard, covered in white linen and candlelight. We might roll around on the grapes afterward, but you're not invited to that part.

Barstool Story:
It's not really much of a story. We went out for dinner with my friend and her new man (who she thinks might be The One), and afterward M and I went for some wine at the Majestic. There were some loud, obnoxious people behind us who were talking about golf. They kind of sounded like this:


You get the idea.

If there are two things I couldn't hate more, it's loud, obnoxious people and golf. Anyhow, at some point I turn to my right and see Bogey's left arm swinging toward me as he gesticulates wildly, nearly backhanding me across the face. I startled and might have fallen, FALLEN TO MY DEATH, golf fucker, if my back hadn't been up against a nice, solid wall. I almost stabbed his arm with my fork, but I didn't want to contaminate my hush puppies and rémoulade.

Alex and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Scary Kitchen:
Alex is no longer afraid of the kitchen, though we take extreme care not to make any sudden dishwasher-related moves in his presence. He's back to his old tricks, sitting and staring up at the treat jar with a mournful expression that I'm certain he practices while we're at work.

Funny Story From the Past:
When I was around 5 or 6, my mother showed me a Sears catalog page full of fluffy little girl dresses and asked me which one I wanted for Easter Sunday. Inexplicably, I thought the dresses would come exactly as pictured, exactly the same size as they were on the page, and clearly I was much too tall for a four-inch dress. This dilemma was very distressing, but for some reason I couldn't explain it to my mother. So I chose the dress featured in a half-page photo, even though I didn't like it, simply because it seemed to be the biggest.

People, it was dotted navy blue, not a yummy, pastel color like the others, and it came with a vest that had a fake rose on it. It was hideous.

I am still in therapy from the shame of it all.

Goals/Plans for 2007:
I made one New Year's resolution, and only one. It was to make an appointment with an allergy specialist. I am no longer willing to suffer for nine months of the year.

Have I made the appointment yet?


You may all scream FUCKING GOLF! and backhand me now; I deserve it.

Laundry Update:
I did one load of darks, one load of lights, and one load of whites that also had three tan towels thrown in. Can I still call it "whites"? M folded most of it. I use Vanilla & Lavender Tide because it makes me feel like I'm enjoying aromatherapy in a swanky day spa every single day.

Except not really.

Story From My Future:
Tomorrow morning I will get up, go to work, and then come home. I will watch the Top Chef finale, but I won't really be into it because sexy, sexy Sam is gone.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I need a prompt. You know, a writing prompt, like we used to get from our teachers.

I've trashed several posts over the last few days because I've already shown you the creepy pig eye and I'm not sure how to top that. My dog has been doing this really weird thing that we call "The Commando", where he crawls on his belly with his skinny legs dragging behind him. So I thought I could post a video of that (because it's nearly as disturbing as the pig eye), but Alex is such a camera whore that he immediately rushes in for his close-up whenever he spots the Fuji.

I could tell you about the salad that I'm having for lunch today, or how a stranger almost knocked me off my barstool on Saturday night, or how I did three loads of laundry yesterday.

Anyone have any better ideas? Anyone?


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Irish eye?

So I was looking at one of our Ireland guidebooks (it's definite- we're going in September) when I noticed something disturbing on the cover.

Do you see it?

How about now?

Okay, look at this grainy close-up:

Um, what the hell is up with that pig's eye? Too much Guinness?


Friday, January 19, 2007

The best compliment ever

My social worker husband was having a hard day at work. Yes, one of those days. A day that seems like it can’t get any worse, even though you’re wearing your special tie that looks like B.B. King’s Les Paul guitar, Lucille.

M went to a second grade classroom to observe a little boy he’s been working with. The teacher was going over a lesson when he entered, so he quietly settled into chair near the door. Leroy's eyes widened with excitement when he spotted M.

“Mr. D!” he whispered loudly from across the room. “Come sit by me!”

M smiled and shook his head. He pointed to the teacher. Pay attention!

Leroy rolled his eyes and sighed. Man!

Suddenly, his face brightened. He dove into his desk for some art paper and a marker, the tip of his tongue peeking out from the corner of his mouth as he worked.

Then Leroy grinned and held up his sign for M to see:

It turned out to be a pretty good day.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in a library?"

My big hair appointment was on Monday. I felt a little silly being nervous about a haircut, but there it was.

This was my first trip to a real salon. It reminded me of the first time I went to a fancy restaurant, where I was desperate to use the right fork, pronounce the dishes correctly, and most of all, to avoid launching escargot across the dining room like Julia Roberts did in Pretty Woman. The closest I’ve ever come to that is when my dad taught us how to catapult the little Smuckers jam packets into the air using our spoons, and that doesn’t count because it was deliberate. Also, we were in a diner.

(The people at the next table were not amused when a grape jelly packet dropped in for a visit. That was the end of the catapulting.)

I arrived ten minutes early at the day spa, which has a hair salon on one side and a spa on the other. The receptionist greeted me warmly. Was this my first visit? I nodded. She handed me a gift bag, then ushered me to “the lounge”. Could she get me anything to drink?


With a lemon slice?

But of course.

I sat down in a comfy chair and took it in. The fireplace, the tray of snacks on the table, the happy, smiling women who were sitting with their heads covered in caps and foil. I took a sip of water. I looked in my gift bag and squealed with delight when I saw that it included a wee bottle of OPI nail polish.

I love miniatures. I don’t know why.

The entire experience was so nice and relaxing. I nearly fell asleep when the shampoo person did my scalp massage, so grateful for the strong fingers that made my headache drift away. I would have paid the entire bill for that one treat.

The consultation with the stylist was awkward on my part, like I knew it would be. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not very imaginative when it comes to my hair, so I blather and flap my hands around my head and finally, feebly, say, “Know what I mean?”

And somehow, she knew what I meant! Oh yes! And she had ideas, and explained them all, and I liked them!

In a moment of complete, reckless abandon, I agreed to have lowlights put in my hair. The stylist explained that this would help give my hair “dimension”. I’ve since been standing very close to any light I see and tossing my tresses, waiting for someone to say, “My, what lovely dimension your hair has!”

Instead I hear: “Why do you keep putting your head under my desk lamp?”

So, it’s subtle. But very dimense.

The salon’s owner called my house the next day, welcoming me again and making herself available should I have any feedback about my experience. She encouraged me to come back soon.

I looked longingly at the list of spa services they’d given me. And the prices.

It kind of sucks to be financially responsible.

But hey—look at what I got completely for free:

It’s my boyfriend’s new book! I signed up for a free copy on this site ages ago, and I’d completely forgotten about it. It came in yesterday’s mail.

Did you notice the title? It gives me a little tingle.

(the tingle does not feel quite as good as a massage, but it’s free)

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Good things


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Would you like to see a pooping polar bear? And a recipe, perhaps?

Today I was going to do something that took a lot of courage, but unforeseen events prevented it from happening. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad. Either way, I wasted a lot of nervous energy.

Around 3:00 this morning I was jolted awake by the soft sound of Alex's stomach heaving, which means that puking is imminent. Before I'm fully awake, I'm somehow able to hear the sound, recognize it, and fly into the safety of the tiled (translation: easy to clean) bathroom with the dog in my arms.

Dog pukes on tile floor, Liz cleans up puke. Consoles dog, washes hands, tries to convince dog that although his stomach is empty and he's now hungry, IT IS NOT IN FACT TIME TO GET UP.

Have I mentioned how easy to clean the tile floor is? So much better than trying to clean the comforter in the middle of the night.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Alex from Christmas morning. I discovered them on the camera tonight and decided to liberate them. He really is sweet, so I guess I'll keep him, despite the puke.

Peeking into his stocking, which M had
stuffed full of squeak toys and Dingos.
(we love this dog, just a wee bit)

For a dog that loves to rip cardboard and other paper
products to shreds, Christmas morning is sheer heaven.

I totally didn't make this mess.

Oh yes, and my mother gave me a polar bear
that poops brown jelly beans.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like edible turds.

Now that you're totally prepped for a discussion about food, I wanted to share a delicious recipe with you. Consider this a belated holiday gift.

Portobello Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella
(Vegetarian Times, October 2006)

1 12-inch prepared pizza crust (make your own or buy one)
1 T. plus 2 t. olive oil
3 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 T.)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 cup prepared marinara sauce
1/3 cup diced red onion
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, drained and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups arugula

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; set crust in pan.

2) Heat 1 T. olive oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, or until browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and season with with salt and pepper. Cook 30 seconds, stirring often. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat.

3) Brust crust with remaining olive oil. Spread sauce on crust. Scatter mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle with red onion. Arrange mozarella slices over vegetables, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

4) Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Scatter arugula on top. Cut into slices and serve.

Ohhh, so heavenly. It combines some of my favorite things... arugula, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, fresh mozarella. We ate it with a delicious Napa Valley cabernet. The recipe is supposed to serve 8, but M and I practically polished this off in one sitting, just the two of us. Ye have been warned.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In which I compare my hair stylist to polyester sheets and cheap wine

I just found a gym sock clinging to the inside of my wide pant leg. A quick sniff confirmed that it is not clean. But at least it's mine.

Being too exhausted to make a healthy lunch this morning, I grabbed a can of 98% Fat Free Clam Chowder from the cabinet. A look at the label proves that what I'm eating has almost zero nutritional value, and it looks like watery, lumpy paste to boot. So in a totally logical move I went to the vending machine and bought a bag of Doritos, and I don't even like Doritos that much. Maybe it was the fiery red glow of the bag that caught my eye, a nice punch of color for my otherwise white lunch.

Now my fingernails are orange. I suspect my lips are, too. This is the worst lunch ever.

In other news: I'm breaking up with my hair stylist, but I'm not telling her because I'm a big chicken.

This woman also cuts my husband's hair. And my mother-in-law's. She did my hair for my wedding. She's practically a member of the family, see? It's complicated. I feel disloyal for even thinking about leaving.

CeCe is a nice woman, but I feel like there might be something else for me out there. It's like the time in my life when I was drinking cheap wine, sleeping on polyester sheets, and driving a car with no air conditioning. Those things were fine when I didn't know what the upgrades were like, but now? It would be hard to go back.

What if CeCe is polyester sheets? Or Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill?

I know that must sound unbearably snobby, but all I really want is an educated opinion on what hair style will look nice on me. A really nice, expert cut that doesn't require too much fussing. And maybe some magic product that will keep it from flying all to staticky hell in the winter.

I want Nick Arrojo. Preferrably at my house, so I don't have to fight any traffic. Is that too much to ask?

In any case, CeCe hasn't been able to give me those things, so I found a new place I wanted to try about six months ago. I wrote the number down on a Post-it note and hid it under the phone.

The first time I worked up the courage to call, they were all booked up. "Oh!" I exclaimed. "That'stoobadGoodbye!"

I hung up with relief and went back to CeCe with a feeling of grim resignation.

Yesterday I tried the new salon again.

"I would be happy to make an appointment for you," said the cheery receptionist.

"Well, my schedule is pretty difficult. I work every day and my weekends are busy..."

"We have night hours!"

"And actually, I work at night sometimes, too..."

"We have day hours!"

"And I don't live or work very close to you, so I don't want to come during rush hour..."

"How's 3:00?"

Despite my best efforts, I now have a "consultation" with Michelle in two weeks. I was directed to their website, where they have some advice on how to have a great consultation.

1) Select a consultation time that works with your schedule.
Uh, seems kind of obvious. But anyway- done.

2) Be open about your hair care needs.
I need to look hot.

3) Be honest about how much time you are willing to spend on your hair style maintenance.
I need to look hot in five minutes or less.

4) Express your concerns.
The polar ice caps are melting. Shit.

5) Not that kind of concern, idiot.
Oh, sorry. Well, I guess I'm concerned that it will always take more than five minutes for me to look hot in the morning, so my hair maintenance aspirations may be a tad unrealistic. Then there are days when even an HOUR of primping still leaves me feeling dark-circled and washed out. And yet we believe that this should not happen! That we should be able to roll out of bed and look like supermodels!

And where do those unrealistic expectations come from? Just look at the fashion magazines! Giselle Bundchen seems to look naturally hot 24/7 with virtually no maintenance or work whatsoever, although I know that can't be the case. She has an entire team of people to make her look good. I have a rusty curling iron and a dysfunctional microwave. Not that the microwave has anything to do with beauty-- I'm just sayin'.

6) We're charging you by the minute, so you may want to wrap up.
Right. Just make me look hot. Thanks.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Christmas in Washington

Brought to you by Liz's camera phone!

Apologies for the unannounced absence, and thank you all for all the holiday wishes via blogs, email, and real, live mail. M and I had a good Christmas, despite being away from family for the first time. M even got me to midnight mass, where I scandalized the congregation by chewing gum during the service.

(I didn't know.)

I wish you all health, happiness, and laughter in 2007.

Okay, locals... it's time to play Guess the Restaurant:

I'll give you a little clue with the menu. Also, you
might recognize the olive oil with a pomegranate squiggle.


Er... okay, this one might be too hard.

Does this help? ;)


If you recognize the wall tile, you know where we were.
Hint: best pizza in DC, hands down.
(feel free to disagree, but you'll never convince me otherwise)

Bonus Question!

In which DC facility's bathroom stall did I see this sign?
It says, "Hippo Legend: Why the hippo spreads its poop."
(Hint: it was not a restaurant, thank God.)

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