Sunday, December 31, 2006

Canton Dockside Revisited

This time around, Jodi, Odell (spelling?) and Meredith met Angie and I at Canton Dockside for dinner as they passed through town. They were on their way to DC to see a friend of theirs in a show, so we were able to make quick arrangements for dinner.

I'd like to say that Odell and Meredith have TOTALLY won me over. I see why Jodi adores them and I am so happy that she's got such kick ass friends/BFs in NYC. I promise to visit soon, friends... I just need to be careful with my very limited vacation time right now. Love you all.

(Left to right: Odell, Jodi, Meredith, Me and Angie)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Worth the Wait

I have been looking for a media cabinet for two years... and in that time I have seen many that might have been "the one," but they never were. This cabinet that I bought in Ohio is perfect. This one was worth the wait. Yes, yes, it was.

Hightopps Happy Hour

I organized my first happy hour at the new job yesterday... and I thought we had a decent turnout. I'll estimate fifteen people showed up. It was originally scheduled around Wes and Drew playing at Hightopps, but that was cancelled, so we went there anyway.

I stayed later than I meant to, but my cold is getting the better of me, so when I finally went home I took a nice bath and curled up in pjs and a robe on the couch.

Here are some pics of my HH participants! (I promised them they'd make it on the blog this time.)

I totally won $1 for this picture. That rabbit fur charm is quite masculine, yes?

The Rog Mahal and Leslie

Charissa and Dale

Brian and Charissa

OKAY - GROUP VOTE NEEDED. Girls, would you use a charm like the one Dale has on his phone? Would you use any cell phone charm? If so, what would it be?

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Day in History

Many of us will likely blog about Saddam Hussein's execution, so I don't want to take the time now to react in a long, drawn out post, but this is certainly a sad day for us all. Not that Saddam wasn't a bastard or that he didn't deserve it... in fact, he may be one of few men in history who deserves punishment the most... but I find it difficult to celebrate.

I'm not feeling overly religious or overly political in my current views about this, only that I will always find it difficult to rejoice in the death of another. American culture allows us to almost be at ease with a dramatic showdown of gunfire that saves the innocent from imminent danger, but that isn't what happened here.

This whole war business has been so drawn out, so much so that I am admittedly emotionally absent at times when discussing it. I'm not proud that I am able to block out current events so that I can enjoy my daily life, but on a day like today it's just not possible. We are experiencing history. We have participated in the execution of a world leader. Saddam was a horrific ruler, and I admit that I hope he burns in whatever hell you or I believe in, but it's still not a happy day. I find it strange that anyone could possibly see today's events this way.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Two Day Headache Cocktail

Four Ibuprofen
Two Excedrin
Two Tylenol
One Excedrin and Two Ibuprofen

Thanks, Boss!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Netflix and Napping

I just watched Water, a glorious movie about the lives of Hindu widows. The cinematography alone was beautiful, but the story - the awakening, if you will, of a people - was moving. It was both sweet and tragic at different moments... and the end was powerful.

Netflix recommended this movie to me because I rated the following movies 5 stars. If you have similar tastes, I would recommend adding this movie to your queue today.
- Born Into Brothels
- Whale Rider
- Frida
- Hotel Rwanda
- Pride and Prejudice (2-Disc Series)
- The Red Violin
- Amelie
- Elizabeth

In my opinion, the only weakness of the movie was its dialogue. But because it's originally in Hindi, and I was reading subtitles, I am choosing not to hold that against the movie. I'm rating it 5 stars as well... I loved it.

Love & Memories

So I'm home... I rolled in last night and spent all of today being tired. I am so glad to be home in PJs watching Netflix. Before I lose myself to an intriguing independent film, I wanted to post a few photos from my lunch with Angela, JB and Scott. It was so good getting together and catching up. I would have loved to sit around, grab a beer and chat more, but the road was calling and our little party had to break up. Even Scott's tempting invitation to drive to Niagara Falls was abandoned. Home called...

Helllooooo, Charissa!

JB playing with my scarf. "What am I, a toy to you??"

JB taking a bite out of crime!

Angela, JB and Me

Angela, Scott, and Me (Lucky boys!)

What fun we had. Hopefully I can see you all in Florida this spring!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas: The Day After

So I slept in the den last night, which is a wooded room with huge picture windows and a sliding door to the deck. It's chilly in here, so I had an electric stove going all night and Antonio and I slept on an air mattress under fifty some blankets.

Overall I slept fine, although when I was on my laptop at midnight, it occurred to me that I couldn't see the outside, and someone could've been standing at the glass watching me and I wouldn't have known. Creepy. I am just letting my imagination run wild though, because this is Akron, Ohio, not Baltimore. Not that scary things couldn't happen here (Jeffrey Dahlmer lived about 15 minutes away from here)... but it's far more likely to happen in B-more than in Akron.

I'm in the den rather than the spare room because my grandparents and my Aunt Mary slept over: Grandparents in the parents room, and Aunt Mary in the spare room. This was the first time that they haven't stayed at a hotel because my parents' house is big enough now to accommodate family staying over on holidays. It's been nice, because after Christmas at my sister's yesterday, we came back here and chatted, drank wine, and watched TV. It was good private time with the grandparents that I don't always get.

Here's me and my Aunt Mary watching a video on my laptop. I have always adored this woman; she has always been the glamorous Aunt. Yesterday my mom said that we looked alike, and that was a huge compliment to me. She's so fancy.

Today I have breakfast with the family and then lunch with Angela, JB and Scott. I owe Jacqui and Jessie each a call as well, and maybe I'll stop in and see my grandpa if he's feeling better. This is really too ambitious for someone who wants to be on the road by 3 pm at the latest.

As promised, a few photos from yesterday, although if you are family, email me for a link to the full album on Ofoto, er... I mean Kodak Gallery.

Antonio resting while we scramble to get ready for the day.

Jude and my grandma Costa.

Zavier and Jude playing together.

Calista has the longest tongue on the planet. Jill, she might just have you beat.

My dad and Zavier.

Me and Aunt Mary.

Jude playing with cars at my feet in the kitchen.

Aunt Mary, Dad and Zavier watching a sponge take shape in water.

Calista dancing to her favorite new singer, Zach, a local artist.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas! Yay!

Good day today! Mom (mostly) and I cooked all morning, then we went over my sister's house at 2 PM. We had tons of family there, and so much food that I had guaranteed leftovers this year! That thrills me... it really does.

I haven't gone through my photos from today yet, so here are two pics from Saturday and Sunday for your enjoyment.

This is me in a cool circle spinny chair at the furniture store. I might've bought this, but I'd have to take everything else out of my living room to fit it in.

Antonio and I at the pet store that he came from. There weren't any weiner dogs there Saturday so we didn't bring anyone home... but it's nice to go back and visit when we can. Antonio likes it there, but always wants to come home with me when we leave. He's very happy to have me as a momma. (He told me so.)

Christmas Eve Family Fun

I spent a lot of yesterday doing fun stuff. My parents and I went furniture shopping and I bought the PERFECT media cabinet. I have been looking for something for two years, and once I frost the glass on this cabinet, it will be EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I am so excited. We also went to lunch and did some last minute grocery shopping - all before my sister's family came over.

Here are some photos of our immediate family opening gifts. We do it on Christmas Eve now because Christmas Day is too much of a production anymore...
A squirrel on a covert mission to steal the birdseed.

Jude in a rocket ship "going to mars."

Is this Zavier? Or is it Harry Potter casting spells?

Calista in her new hat (with no front teeth)!

This is Jude lying down because he's tired. Check out the Curious George slippers!

Antonio loves sausages. Yummy!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Trip Home and Day One

I slept in until 10 AM today... of course that doesn't include coming home at 12:30, letting out the dog at 5 AM and again at 7 AM. I feel rested for now. I love that feeling.

Well, even after waiting until Saturday morning to make the drive, it was still quite foggy on parts of 70E towards western Maryland. You can see in these photos that visibility was poor, but there were also sections where the fog started about ten feet off of the ground, so visibility was great, but the fog hung thickly over our heads for miles.

Although not comparable to many places in the west, I do appreciate the beauty of the Appalachians.

I took a few quick (not artistic) shots of some of the foothills.

I missed a few pretty shots because I was talking on the phone, but oh well.

After arriving at my parents' house, Antonio and I were given a tour of the new house (photos later). It's really nice. It's a 1950s ranch and even has the original tile in the bathrooms. It's so cool. (J$ would love it, I think!) After the tour, we headed to Max McQs in Merriman Valley for dinner, and then I cleaned up and went over Marie and BJs.

Here is a picture of gorgeous Lily and me. Marie and I went for beers and nachos (yay!) and tons of catching up before we went back to her house and did a little crafting. Oh how I miss crafting. I need to consider turning my living room into craft central for a few weeks this spring because I am in serious craft withdraw. More details on that to come at a later date.

(Me, Marie and BJ - These are two of my very best friends.)

That rounded out Saturday. Lunch with Ang, JB and Scott has been postponed to Tuesday before I drive back, so today is 100% family time (unless Jessie calls me back!). I hope everyone is having a great Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you may celebrate)!!

Safe in Akron, Ohio

I arrived back in Akron, Ohio safely... and up until about an hour ago, I haven't stopped running since. I have a slew of photos to upload, a few stories to tell, and one night of sleep to do before all of that.

Sweet dreams. Happy Christmas Eve-Eve!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Country Road Take Me Home...

.... tomorrow. I've been so tired this week, and as I get older I'm a wuss about driving tired, in the rain and in the dark. It used to be so easy. Now, I'd rather delay my travels a few hours, drive in the morning, and arrive safe and sound.

Boy, do I sound old or what?

Rocket Me Nowhere

Anyone watch Conan? If you do, you know the story behind, a web site owned by the Conan O'Brien show. Apparently he made the site up as a joke on the show, and due to some FCC regulations, the show then had to buy the URL. Whatever. Anyway, the site is getting an unreal number of hits, and this band, called Rocket Me Nowhere (great name!) wrote and performed a song for the web site.

What's strange.... is that it's GOOD! Very funny, good lyrics and upbeat. There are plenty of entertainers out there with songs that don't match this level of funny. It's almost Weird Al Yankovich-esque.

Watch it by clicking HERE. Let me know what you think!

Five Things You Don't Know About Me

Well JJT had it right: I'm a sucker for memes. I guess I should feel more ashamed at my blatant childishness, but I just don't.


1. I was a semi-finalist to get on Season Two of Big Brother on CBS. Yep, I was about 24 years old and I auditioned for the show. My roommate Jessie and I rented a video camera and taped my submission video. The theme of the video was that I was small, so I wouldn't take up any room in the Big Brother house. We taped me crawling into boxes, stuffed in a freezer, and climbing out of a filing cabinet, amongst other things. It was pretty funny. I actually got a call back and went to Philadelphia for an interview, but alas... it wasn't meant to be. (I saw the Liberty Bell for the first time that day, though.)

2. I once won Myst by playing it for two days straight. This was obviously when I was in between jobs... I had just moved to Baltimore from Ohio and I was interviewing, so I had a lot of free time on my hands. I LOVE Myst because it's a logical game, and not only did I win the thing in 48 hours, but I took notes on how each puzzle was solved so that the next player would have a cheat sheet.

3. I've kissed a girl. Well, that's misleading because she kissed me. Once when I was about six, a neighbor girl french kissed me. (I don't think my mom knew this story until now.) I guess I kissed her back, but I'm sure I didn't know what I was doing. What can I say? She had older brothers... she must have learned it by watching them.

4. I won an Elaine look alike contest in college. You know, Elaine from Seinfeld. I used to have curly hair and that barrette 'poof' thing that Elaine used to sport on her head. Every once in awhile I am still told that I have some of her mannerisms, even all these years later. Anyway, after the contest, the guys who won Jerry and George and I would meet up occasionally for drinks, and to this day, we still never call each other by our real names. I walk into a bar and hear "E-laaaaaaaiiine!" And I quickly respond, "Jeeerrrryyy. Geooooorrrgge!" Good times.

5. I've had my body airbrushed to look like a cheetah. My sister took an airbrushing class six or seven years ago, and I think I earned $50 or so being the guinea pig/model for the class. I wore underwear and a tube bra and the students practiced airbrushing techniques on me - head to toe. It made for some cool photos and a neat experience!

Now I tag Jess, Angie, Julie, and Summer!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Can anyone tell me why all of East Baltimore smells like manure? I can't go outside... my gag reflex kicks in as soon as I take my first breath.

What the hell happened??

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My First Email From My Neice (She's 7!)

Viva La Friendship!

Okay, okay... myspace is good for a few good things, one of which is reconnecting with people you haven't seen in a long while. I have certainly had my share of those... but a postcard from Paris? That's just sweet.

The postcard seen here is from a college friend, Scott, once known for his love of Willie Nelson and Union Jack flags.

Today, he is a park ranger and world traveller, and from the photos that I've seen, he is sporting one fierce lumberjack beard. He's always been a hottie though! (Right, girls?)

Snail mail just rocks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weird Day, But Reasons To Be Thankful

I was so tired this morning after staying out at Russ and Jess' company party. It was a lot of fun, good friends, delicious steak, and good music. I'll post more about this when I get a few pictures from friends. I didn't take many.

Anyway, I was sleepy this morning and felt moderately cranky. The day started turning at lunch, when our entire team went to our holiday lunch at a Japanese steakhouse. The first two signs of good things to come came during the gift exchange. First, I bought the PERFECT gift for my person. He liked it so much, and I felt so darn thankful that I found it. Second, I got this gift (see right) from my person. How is it that these people know me so well already?

Next, one of our vendors brought in free PIE. It's your run-of-the-mill apple pie, but it was the third thankful thing to happen to me today, and it made me smile. (Did I ever mention that J$ likes pie?)

By the time I got home, I had a message from an awesome friend of mine, Lezlie, who I haven't talked to in a few months. This was my fourth thankful moment of the day. This girl is a kindred spirit to me, and I just ADORE her. She used to live in Baltimore while she was interning at Johns Hopkins, but she moved to San Francisco and then northern California once she got her doctorate in psychology. Technically, she's my only doctor friend - that's so cool.

Anyway, this girl and I have been through the ringer together. When we first met, me and my ex and she and her ex were inseparable. We were like four peas in a pod. Obviously the bfs didn't work out... but Lezlie and I leaned on each other quite a bit when everything was going to hell. It's no fun to love someone who insists on self-destruction, and Lezlie and I share those unfortunate and wasted memories.

Through all that, we are fast friends and I am blessed to have her in my life. She's in transit as I type from AZ to CA, but we have a lengthy conversation scheduled later this evening. (I dug up these photos from my visit to San Francisco in 2005.)

Once I changed into lounging clothes, I slipped on my new slippers. After I blogged about my long lost slippers last month, they quickly started deteriorating until I had to toss them. I bought these simple replacements last weekend, and I love them. It might seem insignificant, but I am very thankful for my new slippers.

Lastly (and sixth), how lucky am I to have a girlfriend with an ex-husband that cooks too much food for her family? WAY LUCKY. CJ had far too much yummy soup and sent some home with me yesterday after our facials. It's delicious.

I love ex-husbands. Especially when they're not mine.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Little Pampering

Oooh-la-la. CJ and I got facials today. It had been at least a year or more since my last one, and it was CJ's first facial ever. As I predicted... SHE LOVED IT. When she walked out her skin was just glowing. I think she was shocked how good her skin could look without makeup.

With mine, the facial girl all but eliminated my dark undereyes. I always thought that genetics played a significant role in why my undereyes are dark, but as it turns out, I have a Vitamin K deficiency. Who knew?

So of course I bought $100 worth of cleanser, equalizer and lotion... and I need to up my Vitamin K intake.

I am just thrilled... and tonight we head to Jess and Russ company holiday party (we're honorary employees) in Reisterstown. Wes and Drew are playing, and except for the fact that I have to work at 8 AM, this has been a splendid day.

Oh yeah, and GO BROWNS!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Shopping


Angie and I did a marathon 5 hour shopping trip today, and I'm done. There's just one gift left to be delivered, but it's on order so I still consider myself finished. I am super relieved right now. I even bought wrapping paper so I'm all set.

I think we are going out tonight (surprise, surprise, surprise)... either to see Crushing Day, Wes and Drew, or both. We bought the boys presents today in the form of 100% cotton t-shirts. Wes' has a drawing of a squirrel and says, "I'd like to hide my nuts in your mouth" due to his unusual fascination with said body part(s). Drew's says, "I'm just not that into you (when I'm sober)" because it's FUNNY. (Sorry for the crudeness, mom.)


Wes McDonough's 'Slide From Grace'

I love this song, but that's probably because I know what it's about. Some acts of betrayal are simply unforgivable.

Thanks, Wes for playing it. It's a beautiful song, and it meant a lot to me.


Oh, Marie, Marie.... how I love you. :)

A - Available or single: Both, I guess. Depends on the day.
B - Best friend: Ooohhhh.... I can't pick just one. M, C, J, S, & J. :)
C - Cake or pie: Pie (J$ likes pie).
D - Drink of choice: Milk or Dr Pepper.
E - Essential item you use everyday: My watch.
F - Favorite color: Red.
G - Gummy bears or worms: Bears.
H - Hometown: Stow, Ohio.
I - Indulgence: Facials.
J - January or February: January. It's my unlucky month so I'll tempt fate here.
K - Kids & names: No human ones.
L - Life is incomplete without? Singing.
M - Marriage date: Uh, am I supposed to guess? I'd better not.
N - Number of siblings: 1
O - Oranges or apples: Apples.
P - Phobias or fears: Abandonment.
Q - Fave quote: "It is true that nothing will happen in this world unless someone takes seriously the need to be a leader." - Tom Madden (not the football guy)
R - Reasons to smile: Movies, nachos and companionship.
S - Season: Autumn.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: Angie, Jess, Cherylann and Danielle.
U - Unknown fact about me: I like to color on occasion. I have a 64 crayon carrying case and coloring books in my closet. I haven't done it in almost two years though.
V- Vegetable you don't like: Asparagus.
W - Worst habit: Biting my nails.
X - Xrays: Gallbladder, uterus (fun!) and brain.
Y - Your fave food: NAAACCHHOOOS!
Z- Zodiac sign: Cancer.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Curiosities From The Motherland

My mom and I were wondering... if you had to give up one forever, which would it be: TV, radio, or the Internet?

[Aaaannnddddd.... GO!]

Lager's Again

Angie and I met up at Lager's again Thursday.... she finally got "Sliding From Grace" on video - also known as the "F You" song. I will post that when I have it. Seriously a great song.

It was SUPER foggy, though. We (read: ME) were a bit tipsy, so we thought it would be clever to take a video of our walk to the car. Hee hee. We're dumb, but so dang fun! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remember My Pet Peeve?

Remember this? Well, unfortunately the folks at the new Company are culprits as well. Why aren't people capable of pressing "cancel" when they've finished using the microwave? It's not hard. It's not a lot to ask at all. So why must they walk away and leave those seconds hanging like that? I just don't know.

Please, please, please be pro-button and press cancel.

Claddaghs Last Night

Angie, CJ, Keith and I went to Claddaghs last night. Once again it was a mellow show, which I am really learning to enjoy. I think the boys were tired because they played a private party before, but that made it fun for some of us old school folks because I heard songs that I hadn't heard in years. They sang "The Dance," by Garth Brooks, "Rocket Man," by Elton John (one of my favs), and "My Selfish Breakup," which is a Wes original but he rarely sings it on guitar.

I'll update this post with the videos once they are uploaded, but it takes forever, and patience is not a virtue that I possess.

In the meantime, I present you with PHONEHENGE.

UPDATED! Here are the videos from Claddagh. Wes and Drew singing 'The Dance...'

....and 'Write Me A Song."

'The Dark Crystal'

Who remembers 'The Dark Crystal'? My g-friend, Angie, and I have spent the last week quoting lines from this movie. (By the way the gelflings are Jen and KIRA, Ang. Grrrrrr....)

I have decided that my next cat will be named Fizzgig, after Kira's fuzzy pet (see photo above). Then the cat after Fizzgig I can name Aughra, after the crazy scientist lady. Who knew this movie would be such a great place to find droolie cat names?