Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ok, I Wanna Be Aggravated...

...that Judy is dumping the bunnies on me in June, but frankly, I'm so excited, I just can't wait. Oh sure, I'm putting up the tough "well, if no one else is going to take care of them, I GUESS I will HAVE TO do it" *sigh, splutter, sigh*... But truth be told, I plan to spend that time buried up to my eyeballs in bunny rabbits...

We still haven't found one single home for them. Not that I mind terribly, mind you, but they do need to move on soon...

I know I'll be a basket case when I finally give them away!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunset Beach

This weekend, Lara and Brian invited us to spend with them at Sunset Beach, NC, not too far from Myrtle Beach, SC where we had honeymooned.

Sunset Beach is far less congested and a lot more soothing, but we were still able to get to Myrtle Beach to have a little fun.

I love the beach... I bought a D. Morgan print while were there that says, "I feel your wet shifting sand~ Taste your sweet salty air~ And I am renewed again~ With the joy of Living..."

That sums up how I always feel after a trip to the beach... I took the pictures included herein during those moments my soul was most especially serene...

And to spend it this time with friends was special. Thanks again, Brian and Lara... We thoroughly loved it...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Oughta Work on the Help Desk

It's after midnight last night when I finally got home last night... I wanted to play with my grandbuns...

The house is dark, except for the porch lights, which the General thoughtfully put on...

I walk up to the door and I hear the computer... Yes, it's 12:15, the General has to be up by 4 and he's on the computer.

Ok, not my problem. I get inside, and flip on the switch for the hallway.

A lightbulb blows and we are plunged back into total darkness.

Ok, no problem. The General comes downstairs, absolutely sobbing.

"Honey, what's wrong?!"

"This has been the worst night!"

"Why? What happened?"



"Art cancelled for tomorrow and I had to get Little Anne to come get me and I have a training class and the computer diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied" SOB SOB SOB

"Ok, ok, what's wrong with the computer?"

"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave a viiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssssss"

"Ok, is it still useable?"

"Yes, but I don't know anyone here to help me and pop ups keep going off and I can't get them to stop and I don't know anyone here and AdAware shut down and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiix iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit and it's been going on aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllll niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight." SOB SOB SOB

(Mind you this is all taking place in the dark)

"Ok, hold on a second, I'm just going to put on a light and I'll come take a look"

I flick the kitchen switch... Nothing. Hmmmm... That's strange.

Flick on the dining room light. Nothing, no light. Hmmmm... That's strange.

Microwave, oven, stove, fridge all operational... Flick on the outside lights. Nothing. Ok, must have tripped a breaker.

Go downstairs, fumble around while the fluorescents light up... Find "Overhead kitchen lights" breaker, and flip it. Go back upstairs.

Nothing, no light. The lights are dead.

"Ok, honey, we have a minor electrical issue here. There's no light inside or on the main floor."

"Well that's a real kick in the ass, when it rains it pours."

Sometimes there's nothing to do but sit down and laugh or cry when you get to that point... So I forced the General to go to bed, and said I would look into everything in the morning.

I went to work (gotta love those rural county days--I LOVE Orange County!!!) and when I got home, I called our neighbor Jack, my one true hero, to ask if he could recommend an electrician. He said he would be right over.

Well, the breaker marked "Furnace" turned out to be the breaker for the overhead lights, which came on like a charm. Apparently what happened was that when the bulb blew out in the light in the hallway, a wire broke and crossed another wire inside the bulb and caused a short.

Ok, so on to the great machine. I finally, after battling with it for quite some time, discovered that we'd been infected by W32.myzor.fk.fy and did a search on that. I followed the directions for the first suggested fix I came to, and with one call to my husband to find out how to launch "safe mode", I had the machine fixed myself... Granted, it took quite a while, but that was only because the scanning took a good chunk of time.

I highly, highly recommend http://remove-spy.blogspot.com if you run into a spyware, malware/trojan/virus/adware/backdoor situation you can't figure out. If I can make it work from their directions, ANY ONE can. Their directions allowed me to clear out what Symantec, Microsoft, and AdAware all missed.

I called the General with the good news, and he immediately decided I should be a help desk engineer! That might be pretty cool :)

Had to share...

This is Rocky, one month old yesterday... I can't get enough of them when they flop on their backs, stick their teeth out, and go to sleep!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lit Chicks Book Report

This month, we had an amazing Lit Chicks meeting. We read a compilation of non-fiction short stories called The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away. It was the first book of short stories I've read in quite a while, and I found that I really liked it. If one of the stories was not to my liking, I could skip over it and just go to the next one.

I have to confess, I sat down and made a list of my own "friends who got away" after reading the book. I came up with 10 or 15, only 5 or 6 of whom I genuinely wanted to hear from again. Kerriann was one of them. Vicki, Margaret, Anna, Christina, Stefanie, if you're out there, drop me a line! (Yes, sorry, no men made the cut--our fizzling out was just too complicated, confusing, and/or painful for me to want to talk to ex-male friends again.)

Each of the stories was unique, from the obligatory "I slept with my best friend's boyfriend" to "I was the only black girl in my school till the second one moved in and invaded my turf and then moved out"... There were also stories from when the women were children to when they were adults, and one was very tongue-in-cheek (when you become my best friend, don't worry about cancelling till the morning of, I can always find something to do with myself when you bail on me, etc. etc.)

The book led to fantastic discussion about our friends who got away, and even a few tears. We discussed how applicable it was, how screwed up some of these authors must be (!), each of the stories, and each of the friendships. One of the best sets of stories, in my opinion, was that they published one from each of two friends whose friendship fizzled.

If you're interested in non-fiction or short stories and want to ease your ladies' book club into it, this is a definite contender. I wouldn't recommend it for clubs that are just starting out where people don't feel comfortable sharing their personal lives. But if you all know each other, it can be a sort of catharsis to talk about those relationships in the course of the book discussion.

Now that I'm Recovered...

...there's no excuse not to complete my half-completed projects around here. Company in 2 weeks and not being home next weekend really put the onus on this weekend to get things done. And of course, my girls are all coming so we can go to tea and have pedicures this afternoon. Will I ever get this painting done? Probably not... hehe But I'm hopeful I can at least complete the living room.

I have finally found a configuration for the TV room that is pleasing enough. It will also make a good office space for me as soon as I get a desk for the new "games only" computer Michael is building for me, and all my books are down there. I think I will spend a very long time in the basement.

Our weather here has been wild. Thursday night, a tornado touched down 4 miles west of our house and the system headed in a straight line east over the river, past our house, out to the coast and on to Maryland. Fortunately it picked up and nothing at our house was disturbed, but I was freaking out about that antenna that we have crashing down onto our neighbors' new boat.

Yesterday was beautiful and sunny, then last night we had thunderstorms again and today it's beautiful. Go figure. Our dehumidifier is getting a workout--it's so damp in the house, and then so beautiful, you never know what's going to happen. Hopefully we have nice weather at the beach next weekend and beautiful weather for sightseeing when Mike and Lesley are here (particularly since we have lawn seats at Wolf Trap!)...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Babies, 2 Weeks Plus

I can't get over how big they're getting. Yes, the little silver Suisse LOVES being flopped onto his back and going to sleep...

They are just the sweetest little things, and their personalities just won't quit.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I *heart* the 80's :-) haha

Your 80s Heartthrob Is
Michael J. Fox

I love these little quiz things... They're so much fun to take...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An Evening With Stephen Schwartz

Last night, for Judy’s birthday, I took her to the Kennedy Center to meet Stephen Schwartz, who wrote my favorite (and I think Judy’s favorite) musical of all time, Pippin. (He also wrote Godspell and Wicked the Musical)

It was a fairly unremarkable evening (for all of you, not for us) until the second act.

During the first half of the evening, this guy interviewed Stephen for 90 minutes about his career, and spent particular time on Pippin (although not enough for our liking), which was very exciting. Stephen even went to the piano and sang “Corner of the Sky”. I don’t think Judy or I breathed for the entire song. Heaven, we were in heaven…

In any event, after the interview was over, and we had appropriately given a standing ovation, the audience was invited to stay for the DC ASCAP Singer-Songwriters Yadda Yadda Showcase. So I asked Judy if we were staying, and she practically freaked out and stomped her foot. “I don’t care if you are, but I’m staying!” OK, I’m sort of staying at your house, so I guess I’ll be staying as well.

So I took advantage of the roof deck view at the center, and then we went back into the atrium for the remainder of the show.

Unfortunately for us, but I guess fortunately for those that love it, this shin dig was sponsored by the Nashville branch of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Producers or some such) and it was all country music… Faith Hill is as country as I get, and that’s a good deal more country than Judy gets.

It would appear, based on his facial expressions that Stephen Schwartz wasn’t much a fan of amateur hour either. He certainly was encouraging enough to each act as they left the stage, but his expression ranged from pained to tired to bored and it was hilarious to watch him during this festival of the area’s *ahem* best talent. One chick who had no business being on stage sang a song called Yellow Roses, with the stunning lyrics “I don’t want no yellow roses, crimson petals will lead me to your lips.” Maybe the song should have been called crimson roses… I dunno. I took notes of all the hokey lyrics.

The real zinger came during this one guy’s song. He’s apparently something of a big cheese in DC music circles, Elliot someone or another, and strolled on stage with a bright white afro and huge mustache, dressed all in white. Judy passed me the following note in the middle of this guy’s slow, quiet love song about his woman leavin’ him and doin’ him wrong: “Mark Twain called. He wants his look back.”

Ok, well, I just totally lost it… I give myself and Judy credit, we kept it all inside and didn’t laugh out loud, but I was chewing on my shirt and shaking all over. I almost fell on the floor. The song lasted another interminable 2 minutes, and when it was over, I figured with the applause, I could just let it all out… Wrong I was… But Stephen seemed to appreciate my laughter ;-)

Anyway, when it was finally over, Stephen held court on the far side of the stage. We got in line. We were immediately swarmed with the singer-songwriters we had been mocking. And Judy immediately felt faint. “I’mgoingtomeetStephenSchwartz, ohmygodwhatamIgoingtosay?” Then she started shaking, and her knees started banging together, and she started freaking out about the fact that her pen might smudge on the ticket stub she was going to ask him to sign. Next thing I know, she’s hurling her backpack around with reckless abandon, smacking it into people and hitting innocent passersby in her quest to find a ballpoint pen that won’t smudge. Her hands are shaking, dirty tissues are flying like a snow storm, and no, she did not have another pen.

So we got talking to a photographer (Big Bruno from http://www.bigbruno.com/) and Judy says, “Hey, can I see your pen?” and Bruno says, “What?” and Judy GRABS THE PEN OUT OF THE GUY’S LAPEL!!! She draws a squiggle on the ticket stub, discovers it still smudges, and says, “Oh well, thanks anyway” and shoves it back into his breast pocket.

Next thing I know, it’s our turn to meet Stephen. Before I even had a chance to do anything, my sister swoops in for the kill. She marches straight forward, hurls her bag onto the stage, thrusts her ticket and pen into Stephen’s hand, and says, “MynameisJudyandit’ssuchanhonortomeetyouandIjustwanttotellyouthatyoutooktwogirlsfromthemiddleofnowhere—ourhometownhas100peopleinit—andturnedusintomusicaltheaterbuffswithPippinandthisismysisterSusan.” And she waves in my direction like Vanna White.

Understandably at this point, Stephen’s a little deer in the headlights, but to his credit, he has signed Judy’s ticket stub “To Judy, Stephen Schwartz” and then I handed him our old, old, old VHS tape of Pippin (with the tasteful $2.99 sticker on it) and he said, “Wow!!! My god!” and then signed the back of it. He shook our hands and Big Bruno took our picture with him and then they pretty much kicked us out of the theater.

Judy marches out with her ticket stub in front of her, almost sobbing that Stephen Schwartz shook her hand and I told her, “why not put the ticket stub inside the book so nothing happens to it on the train?” at which point her eyes glowed red, her neck swiveled 360 degrees and she said “NO! I AM GOING TO HOLD IT AND LOOK AT IT!”

And she held it from Kennedy Center, onto the shuttle bus, into the Metro, over to the car, down to the ATM, over to Wendy’s, into the garage, and into her house, where she pried a picture frame apart, encased it in the frame, and then was so excited, she couldn’t get the frame back together (Joe to the rescue!).

This may have been the best birthday present I ever got her.

The Babies are a Week Old!!

I couldn't possibly love them more... They are absolutely precious... :-)