Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 335: All dogs go to the train station

Despite proving several months ago that Peanut (and Dimples) simply are not adventurous dogs, we still took Peanut with us to drop me off at the train station today. Which meant I spent an hour petting her, trying to keep her nails out of my sweater, and attempting to convince her she is simply not a lap dog. (I only succeeded at the petting her part, like she'd have it any other way.) Of course as soon I get out to check my bag, she jumps in my seat, where she proceeds to sit nicely the rest of the wait and apparently almost all of the way home for Mom. I think she was just acting out since I was leaving, she is nearly human after all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 334: Yuck

We had dinner tonite at a hibachi restaurant in Goldsboro, that despite once receiving rave reviews from Mom and Joey, was seriously off its game tonite. But I got warm doughnuts, a good fortune, and a chance to see baby octopi in real life. Yeah, I really could have done without that last bit, as they weren't exactly alive and in a tank, if you get what I mean.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 333: "The only things you learn are the things you tame." (The Little Prince)

I wrote about my love of The Little Prince here once before. And I do love it. Every time I read it or watch the movie I learn something new and remember how it made me feel the last time. I cry at the same parts or new parts, sit in wonder for far too long when I finish. And tonite I saw it performed onstage in Chapel Hill.

This is the second year they've staged it and I'm so happy we were able to go this year. It was very imaginative and captured the spirit of the book very well. The actors fit the roles perfectly and I still can't get over how they staged some of the scenes. Naturally, it made me cry and think too much, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Dinner at Top of the Hill:
After the play, part one:

After the play, part two:
Hanging around the Old Well:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 332: Happy Native American Massacre and Relocation Day!

I'll save my anti-Thanksgiving rant for next year. Even though I'm thankful every day, I do have a lot to be thankful for this year, and as I'm safe and warm at home HOME right now, I have even more. Today I had T'giving day dinner at my sister's, which is my first time celebrating the day anywhere but home. I can't believe I've gone this long without having dinner somewhere other than where my home is, but it's true. (Unless you count holidays in Florida with massive amounts of extended family when I was a baby. But I don't as I have no memory of them, only pictures. And obviously T'giving in London doesn't count as my turkey day dinner was nachos at a pub.) Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to all!

Me and the nieces (In high-contrast black and white, because the camera was just not being kind to me.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 331: Seriously, almost home.

The little kid in Mr. Mom.* Linus in Peanuts. This woman on an episode of Oprah who said every night she kissed her husband goodnite, then her blanket. Am I scaring you yet? In case it's not obvious, these three, and I, all have one thing in common: we all have security blankets. Mine, like me, is almost 25 years old, and has been with me through every phase of my life.**

Today I had my luggage at work, ready to make a break for HOME in the afternoon. Before doing so, however, I decided to make putting my blanket on my lap at work for 15 minutes, my new thing. Needless to say, it was the best 15 minutes at work ever.

And soon I will be HOME, which I need, more than even my blanket.

*I'm a drama queen, but I'm not being one when I say I seriously can't watch the scene where they burn the blanket. It distresses me. And it's why I'm still wary of Michael Keaton.
**Ok, so not that first trip to Europe, but you know Europeans, they could've taken it and made it their next big thing. Ernie's not ready for that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 330: Almost home!

I could pretty much live on King Street in Alexandria. I already work there, thus spend a good portion of my day there, surrounded by great restaurants, quaint coffee shops, and stores and stores galore. If it was all enclosed, so I wouldn't have to be exposed to the elements, and if we could eliminate the cars with vendettas against pedestrians, it would be perfection.

A few months ago one of the empty storefronts put up a sign announcing the arrival of a new store called Potomac Bead Company. I waited in anticipation for months, until it opened in mid-October. But for various reasons, including lack of funding, time, and energy, I did not venture into this bead haven, three blocks from my work, until today.

Two floors of beads, beads, and more beads. Some cheap, some not remotely cheap, all awesome. I have tons of packing and cleaning to do before HOME tomorrow, but maybe I can squeeze in making a bracelet, or three.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 329: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Given that I have a job in which I have written on such fascinating topics as dowel bar retrofitting, the best pavement for thin HMA overlays, and how to preserve the trusses on a bridge, I have a lot of new every day. And today I watched multiple videos on snowplow operating and plowing procedures. Who needs snow boots? When the first snow hits, I'm commandeering a plow and setting off down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 328: The Not So Great Pumpkin

In our house, Daddy was the carver of the pumpkin at Halloween. I remember him cleaning out all the yuck, and then us telling him what we wanted it to look like, him drawing it on, and watching as he cut each piece perfectly. When the kits with patterns and tools came out, Joey and I started doing them ourselves, though Daddy still helped with the hard parts and cleaned out all the yuck, of course. But I haven't carved one in years, and when I saw this pattern in the Daily Tar Heel, I wanted to do my own, for the first time, right away:
But October was crazy and I never got around to it. Even though Halloween is over, it's still fall, so last week I bought a small, "cooking" pumpkin from Eastern Market, and today I cleaned out the yuck, saved the seeds to roast, and carved my own pumpkin.

I didn't end up going with the Tyler pattern as it wouldn't fit, but I still managed to bring a little Tar Heel pride to it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 327: So fancy

I did have a paragraph of rants on why I hate this city sometimes and other things that have made me mad today, but instead, given the less than happy nature of the blog this week, I am forcing myself to think of five things that didn't piss me off this week.

  1. A productive day at work yesterday. I get a lot done most days, but I really got in the zone yesterday and got ahead on some stuff.
  2. The fact that this time next week I will be home in Carolina, where I bet I will have no trouble finding the basketball and football games on tv.
  3. French toast sticks. I've been on a breakfast food as dinner kick this month, and these keep making a re-appearance.
  4. Sleeping in without feeling guilty because it's so cold outside I know I don't want to be out there anyway.
  5. Today's new thing, trying calligraphy with a little kit.
I'm still old-fashioned in that I'd rather write letters to my niece than email, or send physical cards to my friends instead of an online one. (Though I do love those too.) And though my penmanship is a bit too loopy for most, I still like the physical act of writing, too. So I tried calligraphy for the first time tonite, and it wasn't too bad.
I spent more time practicing the strokes than writing actual words, though you can see I did get a nice jab in at the end. And what better way to class up a slightly derogatory remark, than with calligraphy?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 326: Smells like...

The good news is, today was the first day in a week I haven't needed nose spray to breathe. The bad news is, I am now congested again and will need it to sleep. So close...

But at least I am less congested than before, and can breathe and smell, which enabled me to do today's new thing, brought to you by People's Sexiest Man Alive issue, which I received in the mail today. (I have a free six week trial.) If you didn't get this issue, you're probably thinking, "what in the hell does smell have to do with a magazine?" And if you did get this issue, you may still be thinking "what the hell?" as you too have experienced the scratch and sniff portion, in which I got to "smell" Chace Crawford, Michael Phelps, Taye Diggs, and Christopher Meloni. So, that's the new things, smelling four people I've never smelled before, thanks to a magazine.

In my opinion Chace and Michael smelled the worst, Christopher was alright, and Taye Diggs smelled like heaven. (I will save his for you, Karey, you gotta smell him.) And yes, this is as creepy and disturbing as it sounds. And apprently the people at People have never smelled freshly cut grass, which is what Chace supposedly smells like, because his was not good. And not grass. And Michael's cologne was just a bit too strong for me, I'd almost prefer chlorine, which is probably what he smells like anyway.

It's been a long, lame, sick week, and I'm crashing, at this absurdly early hour on a Friday night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 325: Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, Sudden Symptoms?

I read an article on CNN regarding how the CDC is using Google searches to map flu outbreaks. They record where peoole are when they search, and see where there are clusters or patterns. Absurd, I know. While I don't think I'm anywhere near the flu, I decided to Google flu symptoms anyway. Not only did I learn about the flu, but I also got to mess with the CDC,too. In another life I'd love to be a (relatively lawful) infidel that's constantly bucking the system and sticking it to the government. But for now I'll have to settle for warping some CDC stats.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 324: Brr!

Apparently DC/Nova has jumped directly from fall into dead of winter. Seriously, these are like January temperatures and wind. Not cool, especially as I am still trying to shake this cold. But after work I braved my cold and the cold and met my book club at a newish restaurant, Founding Farmers. (Which is a new thing, but not today's official new thing.)

Aside from the seriously awesome name, it's also a cool place because it is a co-op of more than 60,000 independent farmers that supply all the food. I got french fries, a grilled cheese sandwich, and tomato soup. I love love tomatoes, but have never tried tomato soup. I think I was always scared off by the color in the past, but it was so cold out it sounded good. And all I could picture was the Campbell's soup commercial where the kid is playing in the snow and comes in a snowman, but then eats some tomato soup and melts back into a child. (Writing that out makes it sound like a horror film, but it's cute.)

The soup was good, the restaurant had great food choices and a good ambience, and the hostesses were really nice. (Important when you don't have a reservation and are meeting people you haven't met yet.) And I quite liked the tomato soup as well. Different, but I'd try it again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 323: Is there anything better than this? (No.)

It's here, it's here! Carolina basketball, baby! This is also the most wonderful time of the year. Or at least the beginning of it. With one win under our belts from Saturday, which I missed due to the aforementioned football game, it's time for Kentucky tonite. Damn I hate them. While waiting for the start, watching the students "jump around" and the boys be introduced, I grabbed my own less than regulation sized Carolina basketball, and did my own tip-off when they did theirs. Only in my version I got it, not Kentucky, and I probably pissed off my downstairs housemate, and not Roy Williams, when I dribbled.

Oh Carolina, how I love thee.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 322: Tar Heel dead

I hate hate hate calling in sick, and I know I've been sicker than today, but I did it anyway and stayed home from work, which is new because I've never missed work from this job before. It's lame and I'm sorry and I'll be better when I don't want to cut off my nose and bury myself in my bed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 321: Who needs to grow up?

I am definitely paying for yesterday's jaunt in the rain, today, with a head that feels like it's in a vice and a blocked nose. But needing to eat, and remembering a "recipe" I saw last week for making a pancake in the microwave, I made a pancake cake in a bowl in the microwave.

It tasted about as appealing as it sounds. I used a Hungry Jack complete mix, which only requires water, so maybe that was the problem. Or my not being able to breathe and thus not able to taste anything, could have been the issue. Or maybe just the whole making a pancake like a cake in the microwave for 2 minutes was the problem.

Whatever, I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 320: $%&@ Terps!!!! Go Heels!!!!

Oh, I love my Heels. Really and truly, even when they lose. Especially the football team as I have gotten quite used to them losing over the years. So this whole winning, national ranking, actually tackling thing they are doing this year is quite exciting. So exciting that I bought tickets and travelled to Maryland, venturing on to enemy Terp territory, to stand in the rain for close to four hours, to watch my Heels play, for the first time not in CH.

Our awesome seats:
I had lovely company, and I loved seeing my first UNC football game in three years. But the combination of being sick and the cold and rain and horrible Terp fans and a newly broken camera and, oh yeah, losing, made it less than ideal. But would I do it again? Absolutely.

And, I can say with absolute certainty, that Terps are some of the nastiest lifeforms on the planet. I know Heels fans aren't perfect, but I'm not sure I've ever been around such a lack of sportsmanship and grace. And of course the snobby Tar Heel that I am can only say, well, it's because they go to Maryland.

(Thanks to the roommate, Brandie, for the picture, as my camera is still refusing to turn on.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 319: Ugh.

I'm getting sick and I'm not happy about it. At all. I sure hope this is new even though it's lame, I bought, and ate, two bags of peanut M&Ms, and yucky adult Halls cough drops, to help my throat. The ill-advised cough drop purchase were Kiwi-Apple, Mentho-Lyptus flavored. There's a reason I prefer my tasty yet ineffective Luden's cherry cough drops: because they don't taste like a kiwi and an apple got in a fight and fell in a pit of mentholatum and eucalyptus. (Two things, by the way, that should not be used in items intended for human consumption.)

The peanut M&Ms didn't help either, but they made me temporarily forget I can't breathe out of my nose.
How I feel, with the exception of the bubbles coming out of my head.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 318: The most wonderful time of the year

I take my Christmas music very seriously. And while I don't agree with the Christmas sales and decorations starting before Thanksgiving, I do start listening to my Christmas playlist on November 1. No exceptions, no guilt.

While listening at work yesterday and having The Christmas Song - one of my least favorites - come up for the tenth time, I decided tonite to take a tally of all my songs. Yes, my name is Bonnie, and I am an obsessive compulsive, anal retentive. Like you didn't already know.

The results:
The Christmas Song – 8
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – 7
I’ll be Home for Christmas – 7

O Holy Night – 7

Winter Wonderland - 6

The First Noel – 4

Joy to the World – 4

White Christmas – 4

All I Want for Christmas is You – 3

Little Drummer Boy – 3

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – 3

Silent Night – 3

Right now my favorite, O Holy Night, is in second, even after purchasing three more on iTunes. I will right that wrong soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 317: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." (Clemenza, The Godfather)

The subject pretty much says it all. That is my absolute favorite line from The Godfather, and perhaps, every movie ever. And today, despite my general misgivings of filled pastries, I ate my first cannoli. People at my work are awesome and are always leaving food and candy to share in the kitchen.* (Note to self: bring food to share.) And of course, I don't want to insult them, and will try a bite, or five. Today's gift was cannoli and some breadstickey things. Both were very good, but especially the cannoli. I shall definitely be leaving guns and taking cannoli more often.

*It occurs to me that if anyone wanted to take out my company, they could just poison our food and leave it in the kitchen. (Note to self: wait for others to try the shared food before eating.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 316: Hair today, gone tomorrow (Oh yes, I went there.)

I've been growing my hair out for about a year now, which means I haven't had it properly cut in about a year. This might not be the case when others grow their hair out, but it is for me. I haven't seen the point to have someone charge me $50 just to trim a few split ends. But when I found out about a student hairdresser charging $10 at a salon in Dupont, I made an appointment. Two hours later, maybe a quarter of an inch shorter, and much, much lighter, I got my hair cut by a student hairdresser.

She was very attentive and did a good job. She did insist on cutting some of the weight off my normally super-thick hair, which now makes me feel bald, but other than that, it's fine. And though the salon was advertised as being interested in urban hairstyles, always striving for trendy and hip, I did not leave with a mohawk or stripes. Thank you, for that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 315: Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Ok, so it didn't rain today, but it was Monday, and a crappy one at that, so it might as well have been raining, except that I really like the rain, so never mind...

I did get a 30% off Christmas CDs coupon from Borders in my email, which cheered me up, and led me to buy three CDs at Borders. I never buy CDs, and definitely never three at a time, and never at Borders, so the newness abounds.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 314: Just, no.

I feel I have spent a good portion of my life consuming Icees, one of my most favorite things. I used to always get the cherry flavored ones, even though it turned my mouth a frightening shade of red. But I discontinued this when I had braces, as it would get stuck, for far longer, all around the braces in an even more frightening and unattractive way.

Jump to today, when I pulled out my file to put away some bills and found some Harry Potter blood pops. Interested to see if they can surpass the nasty red effect of a cherry Icee, I tried a Harry Potter blood lollipop. The result? Ewww....!
Seriously, this is gross. From the first lick it turned everything it touched red. My tongue, my teeth, my lips, and even outside of my lips too. I'm already creeped out by sticky-handed children with their Kool-aid mustaches, if I saw one after it had one of these, I would run screaming in the opposite direction.

I did take pictures, but they are just too gross and unattractive for human consumption. Just picture how teeth look after a red lollipop or popsicle, and multiply by ten. Or, you can have one of the four lollipops I have left, and try it yourself.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 313: Sweet, sweet day

On a beautiful fall day, I headed a few blocks to visit Eastern Market, where I had a strawberry and Nutella crepe, my first crepe in the States. I used to get them in London, and hadn't realized how much I missed them until today. Maintaining the tradition started over there, I got in line with the intention of making it my lunch by getting ham and cheese, but ended up with a sweet one instead. (But I still made it my lunch.)

I also visited perhaps the craziest used book store ever, with books literally stacked floor to ceiling. I would love to take all my books and decorate a room in my house like that one day.

Picture of the cubby hole in the tree where I ate my crepe. At first it reminded me of Boo Radley's hiding place for Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. But then I realized a woodland creature could emerge and attack at any second, and finished up crepe rather quickly.

Pictures from my phone of the trees as I walked. The leaves were far brighter and more vivid in person.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 312: Fancy schmancy

Taking a break from frozen pizza and homemade girly drinks, the roommate and I had a "fancy" dinner at Zaytinya, a Mediterranean restaurant downtown.

I have been wanting to eat here since I walked by it on one of my visits, before I even moved here. I've also tried to go here twice with my book club, but it never worked out. But after waiting an hour, in the cold, with an apparently broken pager, and then freezing inside too, I finally did. And it was definitely worth it.

I think the Spanish and the Greeks are really onto something with their Tapas and Mezze fare. You are encouraged to order, and eat, multiple dishes, and no one judges you for it. Thus we had chicken, falafel, grape leaves with cheese, poufy pita bread, and the best hummus ever. I also had Lebanese wine, which was not nearly as velvety as the waiter claimed it was, and far more expensive than he let on as well, but still not bad.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 311: CNN: The most trusted name in news...and t-shirts

I first noticed the initially absurd CNN headline shirts when Anderson Cooper asked Donna Brazile to be his boo. (AKA, one of the best moments in news, ever.) And though I really wanted a shirt that had a white boy using hip-hip slang on a prominent Democratic stategist, I resisted. Because despite my unabashed love for CNN, I thought I may be crossing some invisible nerd line by getting one.

But let's face it. First, lines are meant to be crossed. Second, I am a nerd. And third, there's nothing nerdy about a shirt proclaiming topical issues and stories! So on those notes, I bought a shirt to mark the historic week we just had, from CNN.

I think it will go lovely with my CNN hat and bumper sticker.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 310: Just for today, be happy

The order of the day was to smile and be happy. And that I did. And what's happier than maybe another Obama Poma, and hopscotch in your living room? I made a mini-hopscotch grid with duct tape and did a few hops in my living room.
Unfortunately, I made them a bit too close, even for my freakishly small feet, and it was a bit tough. And in lieu of a rock, I had to use my gnome, Pedwick. Yeah, I just realized exactly how sad this post is, in the pathetic sense, so I'll just end it now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 309: It's here, it's here!

One day every four years you are not allowed to complain about getting up early, waiting in line for hours, and pricking your finger on a #2 pencil. Today was that day and I did all of these things as I voted in person, at a real voting booth, for the first time. I also voted outside of my beloved blue NC for the first time, too.

Waiting in line, three blocks from the entrance. There was a playground to the left. Brandie refused to hold my place so I could take a turn on the slide.

Getting closer...

Waiting in line, smiling at the kids selling the baked goods, and coffe, for the third grad. (They can't afford an "e.")
Brandie, debating who to vote for in our "shadow government" and being proud of our three electoral votes.
Almost there!

So I went, I froze, I voted. All was well. And then I worked and later went home and spent several hours shaking and stressing in front of my television, until I had a few Obama Pomas and calmed down a bit. (My choice of drink is not an endorsement of either candidate. But I do wholeheartedly endorse the pomegranate juice.)
And now I am happy, proud, excited, and hopeful, none of which has anything to do with my drink. Yes we did.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 308: French for a day

It never ceases to amaze me both the amount of stuff I have, and the amount of stuff I have that I forget about. This is not something I'm proud of, in fact, I'm quite ashamed of it, but that's not the point. The point is when moving around stuff I came across these nifty peel on nail polish strips thing from Avon. I don't know if they are available anymore, and Mom gave me the french manicure ones ages ago, but I just now, for no reason, decided to give myself an instant manicure.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 307: I think something important happens this week...

This already interminable election era, I mean season, may have been slightly more bearable were it not for Facebook status messages. This nauseating little doohickey lets me know what my friends are doing, eating, reading, or thinking at any point in the day. Score! Which means I am also privy to their innermost musings on this election, none of which I need to know, even when I agree with them.

To be fair, I do use the status feature for some unknown reason, to update on the most mundane facts of my life that I am sure no one gives a damn about. I have, however, been especially carefully this year to not put my political beliefs out there for general consumption. Or at least, I’m really really trying. But I needed a new thing, and no matter what, I think it is important for people to vote, so I donated my Facebook status message to remind people to vote. Because, you know, I’m sure with all the TV ads, campaign signs, and never-ending coverage, they are likely to forget.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day 306: Hit me with your best shot

In yet another example of the nothing but class lifestyle I attempt to lead, I bought and used a shot glass ice cube tray.

I do love a good craft, and what's better than a craft that combines creating something and liquor? The answer: nothing. After waiting what seemed like forever for the thing to freeze - clearly one of its negatives - I took a nice shot of green apple vodka*, while the roommate had some Malibu, naturally.

The only problem, of course, was that the finished product is insanely cold, meaning you have to drink fast. Also, when attempting to put water in mine to chase the shot, it created a hole, thus effectively creating the worst shot glass ever.

*If you are wondering if liquor can get any girlier, the answer is yes. I also have vanilla and pomegranite vodka. Not that it matters, it all tastes like how I'd imagine lighter fluid to taste.