12.28.2006

spring cleaning

i'm either super early or super late as far as spring cleaning goes. I remember reading in a magazine that this woman cleaned her house top to bottom in the week between Christmas and New Years. Made room for the Christmas gifts that she'd received, got rid of the things that she didn't use, scoured the house so that when the new year arrived she could relax.

I'm SO on it.

I have this overwhelming urge to toss junk. To go through closets and purge. To bleach. Everything.

I'm sure that part of the urge springs from the fact that Hubby and I have been sick, either one or both, since the beginning of December. I want to de-pollute the place.

I am the germ-slayer. And I will PREVAIL!!!

So, hubby is camped in front of the tube after an early moring Dr.'s appointment and a new prescription for antibiotics. He has new movies to watch, the afghan on his lap, and a box of tissues by his side. And I have two rolls of paper towels, a bleach pen and a box of garbage bags. Rock and Roll!

12.18.2006

sick

not sick as in cool, but sick as in snotty. ugh.

i blame hubby - he brought it home from arizona. i thought my flu shot was totally going to protect me, and was pretty smug and impatient with him during his week-and-a-half of galloping crud.

pride goes before a fall. dammit.

so it's 70 degrees in December, but instead of being at work, or outside enjoying the unseasonably lovely weather, i'm chasing cold medicine with vitamin drinks and praying that i can lose this before Christmas.

luckily, i have most of the shopping done. am going to check email, hit the shower, pick up a last gift or two, and hit the couch for naptime with Static Kitty. [the microfleece blankets are not kind...]

well, maybe i'll start with the nap....

12.01.2006

the state of things

1. it was a bee-YOU-ti-ful, windy day. 74 degrees and sunny on December first. [And yes, we're south of the Mason-Dixon line, but only just.] I felt like I was in Florida.

(on a side note, and the holiday season notwithstanding, the thought of being in Florida was totally OK. I spent a Christmas/New Years in Florida years ago [Pensacola and Marco Island respectively]. While for many, boy-its-time-to-grow-up-and-make-some-choices, reasons it was a difficult time, the weather and terrain were lovely, as were the people that opened their homes to me. And I would totally move there, if I could move here.)

2. worked for 2 hours. went to a 3 hour luncheon with a lovely older lady - boy, do i hope i hold up half as well as she has! - and had put in maybe another 45 minutes of work before the power went out. Another half hour and i was on the road, headed for home. Totally sweet! Happy Friday!

3. Wine is good.

4. Holiday sweaters are bad.

5. XM took the opera excerpt off of their commercial. I'm bitter.

6. Hubby is golfing for a few days. Which means that the clicker is MINE! Currently watching an opera dvd. (see #3) If he was here, he'd scream bloody murder.

7. The women in my life [and you know who you are!] taught me that when the husband is away, the wife will shop. Looking so forward to the weekend! I figure that a thorough house cleaning will TOTALLY warrant a trip to the mall. Maybe I'll even buy a christmas present or two...

8. I have to work this weekend, but "work" will consist of wrangling choirs for a Carol Sing. When I think of what my employment could entail, I am so grateful that I get to play on a regular basis!

9. I need a pedicure.

10. See #3.

It's bedtime. Scouring the house tomorrow, then taking in a piano recital. [Russian rep - yummy!] G'night, John Boy.

11.21.2006

'tis almost the season

I'm at work, listening to a children's choir rehearse the Shepherd's Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors. And while I'd rather be sitting at home in my jammies, listening to it on my iPod, it's a pretty close second. It's one of those things that puts me in the holiday mood...I think that first time I heard/performed it was in Pittsburgh, for a holiday concert at my undergrad. Even now, when I'm in a singy mood and someone does something nice for me, I'll quote the King's "Thank you, thank you...thank you kindly."

Add it to the "Reasons to be Thankful" list.

Starting the holiday season, which culminates yearly in "The Running of the Polacks." We pack up the car, drive to Pennsylvania and spend several days bouncing back andforth between parents, inlaws, great-aunts and uncles, grandparents. Eating our weight in traditional foods that are entirely crafted of flour, lard and potatoes. (Even the 12-fruit compote) Sleeping on seldom-used guest beds. Playing with the niece & nephew that we don't see nearly often enough. And then we drive back to DC, the car just as heavily-laden with gifts (albeit unwrapped) as it was when we left. I have to say, I'm looking forward to it. My inlaws are great people - very little holiday stress there, aside from the What-are-we-going-to-get-them-for-Christmas? kind. And my side of the family provides, as we call it, the color. Buttons will be pushed, oh yes.

I'm just hoping that, this year, they're not my buttons. Please, Santa? Please?

11.15.2006

cover up!

i left town for a week and all of the trees shed their leaves...i'm living in Nudeville.

(Let's hope the phenomenon doesn't spread to the neighbors...ew.)

11.10.2006

the city that never sleeps.

nah. the city sleeps plenty. It's the ME that never sleeps. Was up at the butt-crack of dawn, before the sun and the pigeons and the Swedes in the next room. And faded like newspaper in the sun at about 2:30...but there was some good singing to wake me up, as well as a visit from an alum and an unfortunate case of VPL on an otherwise nifty red dress. That's entertainment!

to dinner, to the bookstore perhaps, and then to Lethe...hopefully!

learning curve

Sitting in on 6 hours of auditions daily. It's amazing. Most of the people we hear are good - very good. But there is this small group that either totally knocks our socks off - in a good way - or makes us think. Heard some really great singing yesterday, and have high hopes for today!

But, because man cannot live on opera alone, I met a good friend for some supper and catching-up chat. He's a doll - sang for our wedding, so I will always have a soft spot for him - and somehow seems a little sad...Hopefully a trip home to the Land of Marys over Thanksgiving will have him feeling better.

Walking to a new building...must walk, as I am eating 2 times my weight in REALLY GOOD FOOD. I don't think that a bad restaurant would last very long in New York, as there are so many really good ones. The space is supposed to be very nice - I'm looking forward to it.

[I sound a little like Pollyanna. But the only way I would have more fun would be if hubby was here. Truly.]

More later.

11.04.2006

Nicotine is a DRUG! WHO KNEW?!?

Things are good! Saw Papa in Annapolis this week - he was in town for a conference, and it's an easy (well, relatively easy for the DC area) drive out. We talked, walked around town, and smoked cigars at the dock.

Did I mention that I totally don't smoke? That my college buddies (and you know who you are) used to mock me mercilessly for looking so amazingly awkward when I tried. But it was a girlie vanilla cigar, and it tasted great walking around City Dock. We ate a wonderful meal at Treaty of Paris, where the waiter generously gave me my weight in brioche popovers to take home.(Run there now. They are worth their weight in GOLD.) A fab evening!

And then, the next morning came. And I felt like I had been doing shots and dancing on the bar, like I had partied like it was 1999, like I needed to sleep it off. I swear that someone had knitted individual, rancid socks for each tooth in my head. FROM A CIGAR.

No one ever told me that you could get a nicotine hangover. Well, even if they did, I probably wouldn't have believed them. But it's official - I'm old.

In other, non-substance-abusing news, I heard a great concert last night by two guys who are not only world-class players, but also super nice, sit around and bs with over a beer nice. This one grew up in this area, and this one was born in da 'Burgh, so you know they're stand-up. If they're ever playing a duo recital in your town, you should go. And bring french fries or cookies - it'll make them happy.

And finally, I am packing for a business trip. The first one I've ever taken that doesn't include 100+ horny high school kids. I'm excited, although with all the gear we're taking I'm feeling a little more like a pack mule than a business anything. Thinking of ditching the laptop in favor of leather boots...

more to come from the road - stay tuned!

10.31.2006

halloweenie

I'm home for Halloween!

Usually I'm not...rehearsal, lessons, school functions. Most years, the challenge is to leave the porch light off in the morning, knowing that by the time I stumble home it'll be pitch black and will take several minutes and a stubbed toe or two before I actually get into the house. But this year the stars aligned, and at 5:00pm I was headed home to pour sugar into the neighborhood urchins.

And then the real horror: DC traffic.

By the time I actually got home - 6:25pm, for the record - It had been dark for an hour, and most of the little tinies had already been by. Bummer! I have seen so far this evening:
1. a teenager in a big green top hat. Too old to trick or treat, but since he came in costume he scored.
2. three precocious little girls, one in the BEST long orange witch wig I've ever seen.
3. two little (4?5?) boys, a fire man and a construction worker, who ran the bell and walked right in. I handed them beers and steered them toward the couch and the clicker.

I'll take a half-dozen...

But I've got a bowl the size of my backside [BIG bowl] full of my-kinds-of-candy...

...the nightmare begins...

10.16.2006

world peace

Miami was lurvley...warm, sunny, beautiful sunrises AND sunsets.

And nice people. Very nice people.

Many of whom carried adult beverages with little paper umbrellas to our beach chairs. Super very nice people.

I think DC would be a lot better off if we all were required to carry adult beverages with little paper umbrellas around. Drink them whenever! Board meeting? Check. Getting the mail? Check. Morning commute? Hell yeah - I mean, check.

And you could refill them at will during the day. Of course.

Mr. Nobel? I'll be waiting at home for my prize....

9.25.2006

laundry list

lots of things going on...none earth-shattering, but all good.

best friend from high school had her baby...he's gorgeous! Just wait 'til he finds out he's got one of the best families in the entire world...lucky baby.

saw one of my favorite groups play live on Thursday night. Went out to dinner before with the uncles here - the pepita-encrusted flounder was fabulous! a great night - danced the whole way home.

went home to da 'burgh this past weekend...dad gave me bulbs to plant, so that my dirt garden would be less shameful and ugly than it is now. (anything would be less ugly than it is now!) i planted these and these this evening. i have to say that playing in the dirt on a lovely fall evening is way more enjoyable than i thought it would be. and i'm actually a little interested in seeing how (if!) they bloom in the spring.

saw an american premiere opera in dress rehearsal last monday. moments of real beauty and agony... mostly intentional on both counts.

in-laws coming to visit this weekend. (i have to say that i totally lucked out in the in-law department. they're great.) but that means that we have this week to do all of the little repairs around the house, catch up on laundry and yard work, and go grocery shopping.

Lots to do. All good stuff. More about the trip to Pittsburgh and life in general in a few days.

9.15.2006

TurboBoosters GO!

TurboCat went racing around the house...

...tearing up the stairs...

...turning the corner into the bathroom...

...leaping gracefully from the floor to the toilet to the sink....

except that the toilet seat was up.

End result?

A terribly disgruntled, sloppy-wet cat.

And a girl with a serious case of the giggles.

9.14.2006

Dateline: September 14

The L.L. Bean Christmas catalog arrived in the mail today.

sigh...

9.07.2006

way too busy...

can't post...steeler game is on.

i love the peyton manning-in-the-guido-rug-and-stache commercial. cracks me up.

wait...do you smell that? SMELLS LIKE A WHUPPIN!

go steelers!

9.06.2006

Son, be a dennntiiiiist!

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I had the great good fortune of having

THE BEST DENTIST IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

Cute? Check. In a very wholesome, big-white-teeth kind of way.

Novocaine? Check. Lots. Used it with abandon...I'd be drooling for hours, but felt no pain.

Virtual Reality Glasses. Check. Honest-to-goodness movie watching while the drills were going...chuckling at the antics of Steve Martin and Michael Caine while having cavities filled. The bestest, most awesome kind of dentistry ever.

But we moved out of Pittsburgh years ago.

And my teeth have been suffering.

So I went to a new dentist. And he is a lovely, lovely guy.

Cute? Check. In a very wholesome, big-white-teeth kind of way. And he's a giant - honestly eight feet tall.

Novocaine? Check. Lots. Used it with abandon... drooling for hours, but no pain. Yay!

Virtual reality goggles? No. But I'm working on him.

But I've seen him three times in as many weeks. It's like I broke the seal, and now I must run to the dentist as often as possible.

Who knows? Maybe if my mouth ever stops aching, I'll bake a batch of brownies to say thanks.

Double-chocolate brownies.

Double chocolate caramel toffee brownies.

...and then I'll hit 'em with the virtual reality goggles when they're all sugared up. It's a evil plan, but betcha it works....

8.23.2006

torn...

...between what i want and what i think my hubby wants.

i want to be supportive - i'm so happy in my job that i want him to be as happy with his.

but i don't know if i can deal with the things that the job he wants would entail, and the sacrifices that we'd have to make.

i thought that we could finally get back to getting to know each other...the last few years have been pretty rough...i want our marriage to take priority. i don't know if we even know how to put each other first. or what the other wants.

i don't think that i can do three months or more without him around.

sigh...

8.22.2006

Back, back, back to schoooooooool...

That was me channelling Michelle Pfeiffer. Grease 2, baby.

Saw Grease 2 first, which totally ruined the first for me. How could Olivia Newton-John compare with Michelle Pfeiffer? Don't get me wrong, I loved ONJ in Xanadu [Mom even bought me the satin roller-skating jacket, which i wore until it frayed off my body], but the Brit in Grease 2 was WAY cooler than John Travolta. And the soundtrack ROCKED.

Oh yeah.

All this to say that I will not be going back to school this fall. And it's a little weird. Usually in the fall I'm ramping up, planning lessons, ordering music, kissing free time goodbye. But, being 2 days out from closing a crazily busy summer, I'm winding down...going in to work a little later, feeling a little less stress. Awesome. In some ways I miss the kids already - their willingness to work, (in full force in September, much harder to come by come April...) their silliness. But I'm excited to have this opportunity to try something different, knowing that I can go back to teaching should this not work out.

But I'd be pretty heartbroken should this job not work out. It's pretty cool.

So this week is just for tying up loose ends from the season, working on the fall projects, and thinking about the auditions in November. Plus several concerts (if I didn't feel so damn old, I'd go to all of them shows this week...Lyle Lovett, Steve Miller, Bruce Hornsby...already missed Chris Isaak because I was too tired to drive to work.) this week, and a day off at the end. Aaaahhh. Time to start really cleaning the house. You know it's bad when I'm looking forward to bleaching the hell out of something. My fingernails are shot, but my house is sparkly.


And the best part is that it's starting to feel a little bit like fall... time to turn off the ac and throw the windows open. My faorite time of year.

8.20.2006

on the prowl...

we're on the quest for new digs!

i love house hunting.
when else are you allowed into a stranger's home to see how they live?

with folks you know, you're usually visiting to see people. when house hunting, you're looking at their stuff and their lifestyle and crown moulding and basements, and can actually say out loud "wow, and they did that on purpose?" without worrying about getting cut from the christmas card list. it's a combination of being totally nosy, and loving to daydream about how different life would be in new surroundings.

(no matter that it'd probably be just about the same with nicer appliances... )

we moved several times when i was a kid. not because we were a military family, but because my mom could only go steady with a house. When they popped the question, (i love you, sue. -kneeling- will you....by me a new refrigerator? shore up the roof?) she always broke up with them. fickle, fickle woman.

and, while i totally HATE moving, there is something totally fabulous about liberating yourself from years of amassed crap. Move it or toss it? if you have to ask, TOSS IT. Aaaaaahhhhh. love that.

so now we're looking. and surprisingly it's harder than we thought it would be because we are now old enough to have some big demands of the housing market:
1. close to our jobs.
2. room to accomodate family and a little blogger w/in the next few years.
3. can only cost fifty-two cents. maybe fifty-three.

a few weeks ago we looked at a lovely bungalow...lovely until we got the the 2nd floor and Hubby couldn't stand up straight. (for once, being a shrimp came in handy!) looked today way, way out of town....i don't mind living in the country, but i'd like it to be nice, like a little retreat. So many of the houses we saw are right on top of each other, and they all look the same...

and because both Hubby and i come from modest backgrounds, we just can't in good conscience spend money we don't have. still paying off school, trying to be fiscally responsible adults. t'ain't easy. bleah.

looking isn't as much fun when you can't find what you're looking for.

or, more accurately, you can't afford what you're looking for.

anyone want to

8.19.2006

amnesia

I know that, at one time, I had a life... I must've had a life, with friends, and clean clothes and large quantities of bad tv and good ice cream... a life that did not revolve around rehearsals and plane tickets and trucking companies and hissy fits. I will remember. I WILL REMEMBER!!!

Wow, what a summer! {I shouldn't use past tense...it's not quite over yet...} Hugely gratifying, fun, exhausting some days. It's a real joy to work with people that I respect and like, and it's made the long hours and the drama {OH, the drama.} totally doable. It's been exciting, and fulfilling in a way that teaching never was.

I will miss the energy, the art, the fun when all of these wonderful folks scatter next week. They're a great bunch.

That being said, I am quite excited that things are winding down. Usually at this time of year I'm ramping up...mourning the end of summer vacation, preparing for classes, trying to get out of town one more time before life gets too crazy. But this fall things may actually be a little easier. A little more breathing room. Some time to get re-acquainted with Hubby. Aaaaa...boy am I looking forward to it!

7.13.2006

stop the world!

oh, things are just soooo busy. Good, busy. And certainly keep-me-out-of-trouble busy. But busy nonetheless.


Symphony concerts last weekend and next. Opening night of the opera tomorrow...can't wait. It's soooo silly, and the music is so gorgeous...nice and light, like good champagne. And it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is really the best part. I really think that I do have one of the coolest jobs ever. And one of the things I like the most is that it's unpredictable...mindless data entry to sewing costume pieces to shooting the breeze with the famous musician/celeb du jour, I can never be sure what the day will bring.

Toss oodles of excellent music into the mix, and you have a job to look forward to. At least, I do. Can't really whine about that!

6.22.2006

33

so i hit the big 33... and it feels good so far!

When my mom turned 33 my dad bought her a case of Rolling Rock beer...made in Pennsylvania, with the mysterious 33 on the label...

cute.

but i'm still pretty psyched to have the nano instead. Thanks honey!

We went to the Hirschorn museum...modern art. There are some pieces that I thought were just beautiful. And some that made me go "Huh?" And others that made me go "Eww." And some that made we wonder why I have 3 stark-white canvasses in my house that have no paint on them. Inspiration!

But I wonder why I like my music modern [relatively speaking] and my art on the old side? Why it's easier to see beauty in oils than plastic.

Any guesses?

6.20.2006

surfacing

whew!

work has been totally crazy, but good and exciting. getting back into working 10-12-14-16 hour days has been hard, but let'd just say that i'm getting used to it.

and i am totally allowed to slack on my day off. no cleaning, no laundry... yay.

because hubby has GRADUATED!

and he does a mean load of laundry.

tomorrow is a day off and a birthday.

sweet.

6.02.2006

la dee daaaaaahhhh

i have had sushi for dinner two nights in a row.

[no, i am not visiting japan, silly]

one time it was delivered to my little house.

it has been lovely both times.



and my cat thinks i am a goddess because i share.

tonight, i am a fancy-schmancy, sushi-eating beeyatch.

5.30.2006

i love the hulk

A great place to go when you need to find your qi

namaste

one man's vice is another man's virtue

I was talking to my dad about exercise today. I'm trying to find a way to work out while working a crazy schedule.

He said that he does cardio every day.

He sits on the patio and smokes a cigar.
Gets his heart a-racin'.

I'm having an extra glass of wine with dinner.


Think of it as my "cool-down."

5.28.2006

Holy pollen, Batman!

I'm whupped. And I just woke up.

It's the pollen. We've finally closed the house up and turned on the a/c in the hopes that our eyelids won't be glued shut with all the yellow stuff.

Or maybe I should just head back to bed...it is the weekend, after all.

But kitty had me awake at the crack of dawn. Ain't no snooze button on a hungry kitty. I know - I looked.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

5.27.2006

ketchup

It's been a long time, blog. and I have lots to write about, but time just keeps getting away from me. This will be the K-version of event, named in honor of a good friend who I can talk to for 10 minutes and by the end of the conversation I am totally caught up on the important events and funny stories of the last few weeks of her life.

Oh yes, my friends, the efficiency is STAGGERING.

Here's the long and short of it:
  1. Hubby is back from his loooooong final trip. Graduation is in a few short weeks. And all of a sudden he's starting to act like the guy I married! It is truly awesome. I am so proud of him for all of his hard work, for kicking ass equally in school and at his job. And I'm so happy that he proved to himself that he could do it. And I'm also totally psyched that he won't be under such amazing pressure. He's superman, man of steel!
  2. My job is terribly cool. I get to participate in a small way in making beautiful art, but still have the stability of a real job. And I get to meet celebrities and artsy folks...'tis very cool.
  3. I've been trying to run [HAHAHAHAHA! "run" implies speed, but the actuality, galumphing, is not nearly as glamorous.] a few times a week. I dream about running, and in my dreams I am fast and graceful, like a Greek god. The reality is terribly disappointing, and half the time I start to heave and stop. But now I have a "Running Angel!" I was heaving my pudgy self down the C&O trail, and passed a tall, thin woman, stretching before her run with her weimaraner. She started talking to me, I started to jog with her because I felt that there was no possible way she could continue to jog as slowly as I was walking. She had run the Boston Marathon [! OMG!] and gave me a few pointers. And I think that the most important, truest thing she said was,"You'll feel so much better." Well, Angel, you were right on Thursday, and right again today. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow...
  4. Saw MI:3 yesterday {Date night with hubby! See #1} and I still hate Tom Cruise.
  5. Went to Loren Maazel's farm last week to see an opera that M, a good friend, was singing in. Totally surreal to be in a tiny, jewel box of a performing space on the estate of one of the world's greatest conductors.
  6. Volunteered at a formal event last week. It's always fun to break out the fancy dress! Less fun if said fancy dress is a wee bit snugger than one might hope. Even less fun if the temperature drops way lower than you were expecting.
Consider yourself ketched up.

5.13.2006

12 hours difference

Hubby is in China, which is 12 hours ahead of us here on the east coast. He said he and his buddies had a beer on the Great Wall.

I think that sounds like on of the very coolest things to do.

My hubby is so cool.

Spent the better part of an hour trying to get online. And then the gods smiled and whoosh! I was on!
I think that I could more easily cast a spell or brew a potion than make my computer work. Praise the Lord for smart computer people who realize that there are morons like me out there, and can just MAKE-THE-COMPUTER-WORK.

Rock on, computer gods.

5.09.2006

Devoted Wife - THE MOVIE

Hubby left for China this morning.

And left his insurance card sitting on the coffee table.

Scene: Wife sits on the couch, listening to the rhythmic click of Hubby's luggage wheels rolling down the sidewalk towards the cab. He's heading to the airport for an exotic trip to China.

Wife spies an official-looking document on the coffee table. Insurance cards!

<>

Wife grabs form and sprints in her jammies and fuzzy slippers through the neighborhood toward the cab that is JUST PULLING AWAY. Realizing that she's way too slow to catch the cab, she takes a shortcut through the neighbor's yard, and reaches the road just as the cab passes. And no one sees the crazy lady, in the middle of the road, waving the very-important-piece-of-paper.

<>
She rounds her shoulders and walks back into the house.

She contemplates spiking her morning coffee.

Instead, she gets ready for work.


(I didn't say it was a blockbuster, people.)

5.06.2006

Hoopa!

spent Saturday night sitting with a glass of red wine and crackers and cheese, watching CSI and catching up on reading blogs. a lovely, if totally lame, evening in.

awesome.

spent most of the day running around, stocking up on tank tops at Old Navy, helping hubby pack for a long business trip. We went to a Greek festival at a local orthodox church. We weren't there for long - we were hoping to say hello to Hubby's co-worker Mike, but he was called away for a family emergency.

i love these big community parties. one of my favorite childhood memories was going to Aunt Grace's house in Morris Run, PA. There was a festival there once - i'm guessing it was Polish - that we went to when i was maybe 6. it smelled like deep-fried heaven, there was a polka band, and i just ran and ran and ran. There were tents and picnic tables and games. It was the ultimate good time in my tiny existence.

The Greek festival had the same things, except the kids entertainment had a big inflatable moon bounce, which definitely was not an available attraction when I was a child. Great music, Gyros from Mount Olympus, kids running all over the place... a great time.

And they had WAY better jewelry. Baubles from heaven. I wanted them AAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!

5.03.2006

So, the plumber showed up at 1:00, missing the "7:00am-12:00noon" time slot.

And a morning spent waiting and waiting led to all kinds of KICK ASS!

Fixed my tote bag. Painted the dryer screen to match the house. Stripped the tub and regrouted the surround. Planted two ferns. Went for a 90 minute walk. Patched the window screens. Made dinner for Hubby.

Oh, yes. I am WOMAN. I KICK ASS.

I'm going to run one more errand... and then I'm going to get chocolate and have a glass of vino. ahhhh.

[and shower. being a super woman is stinky work.]

waiting for the plumber

Oh yes, there is a little bubble in the kitchen ceiling. Right under the bathroom.
And, being that we are responsible homeowners, we have called the plumber to take a look and see what the dealio is. The alternative is having the bathtub end up in the kitchen while Hubby is in China next week. That'd be AWESOME.

Mr. Plumber is supposed to call when he's a half-hour away. My house is messy. And yet, here I am, playing hooky from work, sitting in my pjs with my second cup of coffee, 2 completed crossword puzzles and a similarly executed sudoku, totally ambivalent about picking up or getting into the shower before his arrival.

Hubby hates to have someone in the house with me when he's not around. He's freaking me out a little - "call me when he calls. No, call me when he gets here. Tell him I'm on my way home..." like I should expect Mr. Plumber to start chasing me around my tiny house with a hacksaw. Or even better, that he'll see me surrounded by newpapers and cat hair with my spectacular combination case of bed head and body odor and will say to himself "I don't care if she is married and smelly and messy - i must have her."

But it's a beautiful morning to be playing hooky from work. And he's supposed to be here by noon - PLENTY of time to be doing any number of things.

Like sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee. Aaaahhh.

4.29.2006

schedules

Hubby and I were asleep by 10:30. On a Friday night. And while I remember the days when we wouldn't even go out until then, there is no possible way for us to live that way. It doesn't not jive with our lifestyle [or lack thereof] or our schedules.

So we're lame. And we were awake and around by 7:30am. And we have no children. An ambitious, punk of a cat, yes. But he can be tossed off the bed with little to no guilt.

Speaking of scheduling, this summer will be another testament to the "We never see each other, so we get along FABULOUSLY" adage. I have only a slight idea of how intense this summer's work schedule will be...and it's starting, for all intents and purposes, in 2 weeks. I've heard that my boss has on more than one occassion slept in her office. And she lives only a few miles from the office.

I live across the river in another state.

I should probably put a nice outfit in my gym bag for just-in-case.

While I'm really looking forward to the excitement and the craziness [I know - you say that now, newbie.] it's going to be strange. Hubby finishes grad school in a month and a half. So as I'm gearing up for mass craziness, he'll be relaxing for the first time in 2 years. When I finished grad school and he entered his program, I have to admit that I was pretty bummed. He was stressed all the time, had no time to hang...and it's been like that for the past 2 years. I give him a HUGE amount of credit - he's been keeping us afloat financially at a stressful job that he only marginally likes while putting himself through school. So he definitely deserves the break. But I'm a little sad that I won't be able to hang out with him as much as I'd like.

I was trying to schedule a weekend out of town before things get nuts. It's not going to work. He's got too much going on a work, and a big trip for school [to China - how cool is that?] in the next month. I'm going to take a weekend off for graduation, but I think the next time that I'll get 2 consecutive days off will be in August. Seems like a long time away.

So I hope that he has time to work on his golf game. [Yeah, I know, my schedule is probably just breaking his little heart...all that time alone...might just as well work on his game...] And that come July, when I'm sleeping at the office, that's he's not too upset.

Today we have plans to meet some of his cousins at the Mall [the National Mall, not the shopping mall] for a walk and a picnic. Then this evening one of his classmates is having a house party. I hate meeting his classmates - I get so self concious.

Wish me luck, internet.

4.24.2006

jeremy irons...

is dying on my tv.

and i still think that he is hot. with the pallor and the suitcases under his eyes.

I'm watching Elizabeth I, and the rhythm seems very strange. Every other scene is a big speech, full of cheering commonfolk. I want to see her sitting in the royal bed with a box of royal bonbons and gossipping with her lady-in-waiting.

Time to turn the channel. Sorry, Helen, you're awesome, but "how do i look" with the trashy grandmother is on. See ya.

4.23.2006

visiting

So my friend K came to visit this weekend. It really is nice to be able to hang out with someone who knew all your stupid stories, knew about all the bad boyfriends and booty calls, and still hops on a plane to spend a weekend hearing you retell all the same damn stories about the same damn bad boyfriends over pizza and red wine. And if you happen to drink two bottles of prosecco in one evening of aforementioned weekend, well then that's just bonus.

4.19.2006

25 hour days

By the time I rolled out of work, ran some errands and grabbed a bite to eat it was dark out. No walk for me tonight. Damn.

It's 70 degrees and sunny. a bee-you-tee-ful spring day

Totally unfair.

i just need one more hour, darn it.

4.18.2006

Spring cleaning

I've found that the best way, nay the only way, to get me to clean my house well is to extend an invitation to friends to come over. This weekend, since my dear hubby is away at school, two girlfriends from da 'burgh are joining some local buddies for a Bitch and Wine party at the house! Girls only - no boys allowed!

I have bought wine. WAY more than we'll drink.

[I think...]

I have cleaned the baseboards and washed the walls.
I have vacuumed enough cat hair to make another cat.

I'm DONE CLEANING!
Even if it's not totally clean, I've reached the point of "Good effort. Let's drink."
I have yet to do the shopping. Hors d'oeuvres, dessert, and risotto [it's supposed to be rainy and chilly... I think risotto is the way to go.] My favorite part is buying oodles of flowers for the house.

Pretty flowers distract from the dust.

Ciao!

4.16.2006

Packed in like peeps

Happy Easter!

I was in church, although it had less to do with a compulsion to worship and more to do with the fact that I was playing the piano for a service and had already been paid for it. It was in the chapel, which is an 80-seat building that was the first Catholic church in the district . [dating from the 1800s I think...]

And it was going to be fun - my best friend from High School that I always talk about was cantoring. So it was just like what we used to do for fun, except it was church music instead of show tunes and "The Green Dog." And her brother-in-law was playing the trumpet - a family affair!

Remember I said 80-seat building.

So we're there early - and the room is packed. There's no time for me to practice anything on the organ, as there are already 40 people in the sanctuary by the time we're done talking through the service. So I'm playing piano instead, and sitting with my back to all the action. Awesome.

And the people keep coming. Well-dressed families and kids in their Easter finery squishing in to every corner of the tiny space.
Packing in like sardines, like the priest is going to give out "Get-out-of-Hell-FREE" gift cards.

Which means that I can't see though the wall of heads between me and the action on the altar.

And there are way more that 100 people in this little room.

And no matter how cute that bag is, lady, I'd appreciate it if you didn't swing it at my head as I'm trying to create another prelude on the spot. I've already played the four chords I know in 3 keys for 20 minutes, and frankly haven't had enought coffee to be brilliant in a hot room at 9 am. With your daughter bouncing against the small of my back. She's adorable, yes, but she's just killing me.

But even with all of that, me jumping the priest once or twice {let's get this show on the road, Man-Of-God! If the Lord didn't like speed, he would've given me a lude before I showed up this morning!} and the total omission of the baptismal rite {hey - I even knew how to play THAT one!} , I think it went well. I stayed out of the way enough that people could worship as they wanted to, had fun playing with D. and K. [now that's probably not a sentence I'd usually associate with church!], and even got a compliment on one of my cheezy little preludes. Ta da!

I've always gone to church, and have always felt pretty secure in that spiritual way, but I don't often go unless I have something musical to do. And I was raised Catholic, but have spent significant times in other demoninations and faiths. And i like most of them...I fall somewhere on the continuum between devout and don't-care, with the people who believe in being good to others, but don't subscribe to the my-way-or-the-highway rigidity. And i really like it if the people sing - that's the big issue for me. I'll come back if the music is well done and the congregation sings.

But now we are entering the post-penalty phase of Easter. The time when, because I have given up eating things with faces for the last 40 days, I can contemplate the purchase and ingestion of meat. I have no doubt that it will make me a little queasy, but I care not. I have been dreaming of bacon double cheeseburgers.

And yea, I say unto thee, this is the day of the risen Lord, the egg-carrying Bunny, and the bacon-double cheeseburger.
Amen, Alleluia!

4.10.2006

I almost forgot!

In honor (?!) of the Easter Bunny, check out this site:

www.angryalien.com

My favorites are Jaws and The Shining. Awesome, Mrs. Torrence.

possibilities

Well, it's almost Easter.

Finalmente!

I sang at a church in Pittsburgh for several years that advocated doing 3 things for Lent: giving up something, trying something new, and reflecting or praying daily. I think it's a much better approach than just giving something up. So I gave up meat [am still doing seafood, otherwise I'd eat only bread and cheese. Which actually doesn't sound so bad....], have been trying to get my butt
off the couch several days a week, and have been doing the reflection thing while doing the get-the-butt-off-the-couch thing. I think better when I'm moving.

My father invariably gives up watermelon seeds every year. Yep, he almost never cheats.

Being brought up Catholic, when you gave something up you gave it up for the duration and then earned that BIG pig-out session on Easter Sunday. But my Episcopal colleagues at my old school said that you get to eat what you "gave up" every Sunday, because each Sunday is a feast day.

And that, to me, is totally cheating.

I'm not a fanatic - I think that there is room everyone's views and beliefs - lots of doors and windows in God's house, right? But it makes me feel good to have set a goal and kept it thus far. If I can do this, maybe there are other things that I can do.

A brochure came for training sessions for half-marathons and marathons... I kept it. I might not do it, but it feels good to think that I can.

Was it Goethe that said that restrictions set us free? Whoever it was, thanks.

4.09.2006

getting past the booze flu

Palm Sunday morning. No church for me, folks. No, I was sleeping off a touch of the booze flu. I'm now so lame that I can't mix anything, not even white wine and 2 sips of a margarita.

But did I stay in bed all day? NO!

[did i really REALLY want to? oh yeah.]

But it was beautiful outside...sixty degrees and sunny. A perfect spring day. So I threw on sneakers and went to walk in the park. And Hallelujah! The section of the trail's that's been closed for almost two years was OPEN! We had access to it for about 8 months after we moved in, and then have been gazing longingly through the orange fencing, wondering if we'd ever be able to walk on it again.

Oh, it was lovely. Hangover banished, blood moving, feeling good. Lovely.

So lovely that, after running some errands and such, I put my sneakers BACK on and went back. It was just awesome. One reason that I'm ok with our teeny little house is its proximity to the river and the park.

AND hubby somehow knew that I was feeling unsettled [that's another post] and snuck a lovey card into my Sunday paper. His sixth sense is working just fine.

A good Sunday.

4.08.2006

Sacred Saturday Morning

It's my favorite kind of Saturday morning. The kind when the sky is dark grey, it's drizzly and dreary outside and I can stay in bed, drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, listening to music and dozing with impunity. Maybe do some laundry so that I can sit on the couch surrounded by toasty clean clothes...or not.

(realistically, not.)

My favorite part is daydreaming about new houses. As a kid we'd move every three or four years. In college the yearly schlep to a new dorm room, apartment or house was something I looked forward to as a way to shake up my life, purge all of the crap I'd collected over the past year, meet new people. To reinvent myself in a new place.

Moving to DC was a real trip. The differences in housing prices between DC and Pittsburgh? HA! We seriously contemplated getting the biggest refrigerator box we could find, parking it by the Potomac and calling it home. But a week before our wedding (!), we were lucky enough to find and buy a house in the DC area in 2003. It's a little townhouse near a national park, so there are great trails to hike. One of the things I like best is being able to walk by the river early in the morning.

But it's small. One bathroom. No porch or gas stove, two things that I really REALLY want. We could add both of those things, I know, but I'm not sure if the money would be reflected as profit should we sell it. And it just doesn't seem like a house that I want to raise a family in.

So my Saturday will be spent browsing ads, reading real estate stories. Drooling over homes with wrap-around porches and big kitchens. Weighing the benefits of condo living versus lawn maintenance. Wondering if you really can sleep on a "sleeping porch." Aaaahhh...

On the dogsitting front, Petey and Lucky have decided to pointedly ignore each other. Kitty wants to hang out, dog is not amused. I think we'll all sleep well tonight!

4.07.2006

Camp Dan

My good friend from high school, her awesome hubby and their super-cool dog moved to town about 2 years ago. It's been great - it's always nice to have someone around that knows you and likes you anyway AND will ditch work for a pedicure with minimal arm-twisting.

And one of the innumerable perks is dogsitting. We have no dog at this point, the training and the grad school and the work schedules conspiring against the fair treatment of a creature without opposable thumbs and a need to poop outside. So, like Club Med, we serve as an occassional resort for a particular four-legged friend. Petey comes to Camp Dan, pees all over the great state of Maryland, chases the deer and drools on all the neighborhood kids. BIG fun, I tell you!

So hubby and I are babysitting Petey, a newfoundland mix. Every other time that Petey has come to Camp Dan, he's been (pardon the pun) Top Dog. BUT kitty has since claimed the house, all property and the denizens that dwell therein. And Petey is pissed. Lucky wants to be downstairs with his humans, but everytime he sneaks down the dog barks and chases him halfway up the stairs.

But dear Petey is an older gentleman, and is wearying of walking the beat. And everytime he gets comfy, Lucky sneaks downstairs, gets a tad too close, and startles the bejeezus out of the dog. Toss in thunderstorms [what animal DOESN'T love a good booming storm?!] It is melodrama a la Charlie Chaplin.

(Our amusement is probably directly related to how lame we are and how much we need to get out of the house. I'm totally okay with that.)

Hope you all are having a relaxing night.

3.23.2006

slug

I am a slug.

Aforementioned new job means that i can get up later. And means that i have more energy in the evening.

And, to my credit, i did come home and do some cleaning.

But i did not work out.

And i ate WAY more of the trail mix that i brought to work than I should've. WAY more.

so i'm feeling gross. and it's too late to work out.

which would be okay if i didn't aspire to be buff-er and svelt-er by the time summer rolls around. but i do. and it's a-comin.



i gave up meat for Lent, and maybe the binge is a result of not getting enough protein?
or maybe i should've given up all of those magazines that show a beautiful land where cellulite doesn't exist, and if wrinkles arise they can be airbrushed out...

or maybe, just maybe, i need to back away from the trail mix and go walking tomorrow morning.

3.21.2006

Stop! Jammie time!

Another evening zoned in front of the tube. I know that new routines take some getting used to, but I'm whupped!

A little bit of popcorn, a sudoku before bed, and clean sheets....aaaahhhh.

It's finally official. [Finally - HAH!] I am both old and lame.

and lovin' it.

3.20.2006

first day on the job

I like my job! Wheee!

I walked in, and my new boss had a vase with tulips for me on my desk. The work is good and interesting. My office window (Office! MY office! I've never had one all to myself!) overlooks the woods [a rarity in a metropolitan area!] and it was blissfully quiet. Aaahhh. As much as I love the kids I taught, I didn't have to hush ONE SINGLE PERSON ALL DAY. Nirvana.

[this from the woman who shushed so much she stopped realizing she was shushing.]

In less happy news, hubby is finishing up grad school and is stressed to the max with work and school obligations. Only 3 months to go (HALLELUJAH!), but I think that the end stretch is the hardest. I wish that I could do more to help than make dinner and rub his feet. (gross, but cultivates awesome good will!) When I daydream about winning the lottery, my favorite part of the daydream [even better than the "Only a million dollars? Heck, I'll take TWO!] is walking in to Hubby's office and telling him that he can quit because he has become, officially, a kept man. THAT, my friends, would be awesome.

3.19.2006

beginnings

Happy birthday, blog!

Eat all the cake you want!

It seems like a good time to start writing as I'll start a new job tomorrow.

It's my first office job in 10 years, and it occurs to me that I have no idea what to wear. I was contemplating buying something new, but couldn't bring myself to enter a mall on a Sunday afternoon. [And I need to get my roots done....hmmm. I really am more excited about this job than my appearance tomorrow might suggest!]

I had the great good fortune at my last job to work with an old friend. Often our conversations revolved around ways in which we could leave a job in a hugely flamboyant manner...not something that we could be arrested for, but something that would certainly burn us into the institutional fabric for many years. The best idea centered around scuba gear, pickup basketball and nudity. Oh yeah.

So wish me luck, Internet, on the eve of The Next Big Thing. I promise I'll leave the snorkel at home.

At least for the first week.