Friday, February 27, 2009

I wanna go to Madrid too!!!

If you don't already enjoy the lovely and funny Crazy Aunt Purl you should hop right on over there. I wanna be her when I grow up!! I wanna be smart enough with my money that I can hop on over to Madrid for a long weekend!

Red Molly Tonight!!

Sheldon and I are going to see Red Molly tonight. Can't wait! Hoping they play this for us again!!!!!

Oh and this one too!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fountains of Wayne

Sheldon and I went to see Fountains of Wayne at the Birchmere last week. I really didn't know what to expect as the only song I had ever heard of theirs was Stacy's Mom. Sheldon had actually bought 2 tickets for himself and his son Jack, I went over to the venue when I got off work because it is open seating and an early slot allows a much better chance at a good seat. I was only planning on getting their line number and then waiting for them to show up but listening to the people in line around me I decided to try for a ticket myself. The concert was sold out, but the Birchmere releases any seats that the band doesn't use at 5pm on the day of the show. As it turned out the woman behind me in line had an extra ticket when one of her friends didn't show, so I got a seat no problem. The show was really good. Sheldon had already bought the new album so he loaned it to me the next day. I have listened to it a LOT already. The video above is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

49.5.5 books

The BBC recently stated that most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books listed below. I find this a little hard to believe, especially after I marked all the ones I had read. I mean, I know I like to read, but I thought everyone read the classics. I had to laugh when I got to the Russian authors. My dad had a large collection of those in the bookcases at home and I would resort to them when I was finished with my library books. I think I made it through all of them on his shelf before I left home.

Here's the list:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (x)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (x)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (x)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (x)
6 The Bible (parts)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (x2)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (x, I read this in 1977 and it scared the crap out of me! I thought it could all still happen, hey I was 12!)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (x)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (x)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (not sure)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (x)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (prolly half of these)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (x 2, first time at age 8)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (x)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (x)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (x2, first time at age 10)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (x) (and everything else he wrote)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens (x) (and everything else he wrote)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (x)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (not this one, but others by him)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (x)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (x) (and a bunch of others by him)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (x)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (x)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (x)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (x)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (half of these)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (x)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (x)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (x2)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (x)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (x)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (x)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (x)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (x, thought this was the best book I had ever read at the time)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (x) (and a ton of others by her)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (x)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (I have this on my pile to read right now)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (x)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (x)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (x)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (tried to read this and just couldn't do it)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (x)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (x)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt (x)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (x)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (may have, can't remember for sure)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (x)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (tried and couldn't)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (x)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (x)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (may have, not sure)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (read others by him and love him)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (oh lord, tried and couldn't)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (x)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (x read it and acted in the play twice with a professional company)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (x)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry (x)
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (x2)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (tried and couldn't, does that make me a bad person?)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (x)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (x)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (x)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (x, took me three months. might be the longest I ever spent on one book)

You realize that now the rest of them have to go on my list of books to read...right?

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Rose in Every Color!

I love roses.  I love growing roses.  I love receiving roses.  I love buying roses.  My favorite roses to buy or receive are yellow ones, I love growing every color.  My great-grandmother died when I was about to turn 14, in fact she was buried on my 14th birthday.  Her favorite flower was yellow roses and her casket was covered with them.  I decided at that moment on a beautiful sunny April morning that yellow roses would always be my favorite as well.  I have a china cookie jar that once belonged to her.  It is very old and the glaze is cracked and darkened with age.  It has yellow roses on it and I love it.

I mention all this because it is Valentines Season and I love roses and hearts and all things involved in this holiday.  I sent Sheldon a bouquet today that was yellow roses and orange lilies (his favorite).  I can't wait to see it!  He called me just now when I was driving home from work and we got to talking about the meanings of the different colors of roses.  He asked what blue meant and I had no idea.  So I went online (thank God for google) and looked it up.  I was so fascinated that I decided to share my new knowledge with you, my dear readers.  :)

red - love, romance
white - purity, innocence
pink - happiness, grace
dark pink - gratitude, thank you
yellow - joy, friendship
yellow with a red tip - falling in love (I love this!)
orange - fascination, desire
peach - sincerity, sympathy
lavender - love at first sight, enchantment
black - death, farewell
blue - impossible, mystery
roses sent every month - beauty ever new

The Hunt

The hunt is on! Sheldon and I have been house-hunting. I love looking at houses. I used to work for a new home builder and I loved visiting the models and poring over the floorplans, all of which was part of my job. One of the communities where that builder built houses is a very exclusive shi shi neighborhood (Michael Jordan plays golf there when he is in town), that is beyond gorgeous. I never in a million years ever thought I would live there. And then, the housing bubble. OMG. We found an absolutely perfect house last night. It meets all of our requirements and then some.

I am trying NOT to get excited because this is a business deal and not an emotional one, but that is hard. Sheldon is all business about it, don't get me wrong, he loves the house as much as I do, but he is able to look at things rationally. This is a very good thing. It is so nice to have a partner who zigs when I zag. I will keep you posted!

Come live with me and be my love.

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Christopher Marlowe

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Dad thinks he's so punny!

My dad prides himself on his punniness. He has been a punster since Hector was a Pup, and if you don't know who Hector is you have obviously not met my dad either. The all time great pun story though happened long ago and far away. I was 12 or 13 years old and for some reason was home alone with my dad. I'm pretty sure I was sick from school that day, but whatever was wrong with me didn't involve my appetite because I was starving at lunchtime. This was before the days of microwave ovens (yes, I am old, I told you it was long ago!) so kitchens were not so kid friendly and a child, even a teenage child didn't just skip into the kitchen to make lunch for themselves. I was begging my dad to feed me and all I was getting in return was stupid jokes.

Hungry Child: (imploring) Dad will you please make me a hotdog?
Punny Dad: *employing imaginary magic wand* Poof! You're a hotdog!
Hungry Child: Daaaaad! *sighs*

Hungry Child: (tries again) Dad, will you FIX me a hotdog?
Punny Dad: (without even looking up from the book on his lap) I didn't know they were broken!
Hungry Child: Dadddddy! *rolls eyes*

Hungry Child: (really getting desparate but also thinking she has this wordsmith licked) Daddy, will you please PREPARE me a hotdog?

My dad put his cigarette in the ashtray, set his beer on the side table, snapped his book shut, jumped up and ran to the kitchen. I thought FINALLY, I'm gonna get some lunch! Until I heard this...

Punny Dad: *opens the refrigerator door and shouts* LOOK OUT HOTDOGS, HERE SHE COMES!!!!!


I'm here to tell you folks that if this is what global warming means, I'm all for it! It is February 11th and it is 70 degrees right here in Washington, DC! I just went for a walk on my lunch break. No Coat! The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, it is absolutely wonderful weather. So much better than the 17 degree temps we had only a week or so ago! I wish it could stay like this til June! Really. Please?

Spring Awakening

I am betting that you have never heard of this show before unless you heard about it from me. I am a lifelong theatre lover. My dad was an actor when I was a child and I was exposed to the theatre from toddlerhood. I have even done a turn or two on stage myself. All that being said, I didn't see my first Broadway show until I was in my 30's. I have only seen one Broadway show twice and it was Spring Awakening. To say I love this show would be a complete understatement. I was completely mesmerized the first time I saw it and bought the soundtrack on my way out of the building. I made my date play the cd all the way home to Virginia. That was two years ago. I still listen to it often. The music was done by Duncan Shiek and it is so fabulous. The play was not originally written as a musical, it was in fact, a very dark controversial play that was banned for more than 80 years! It was written in Germany in 1891 and that is where the story is set. The twist that this show has brilliantly done is bring the story to the present through the use of rock and roll. The fact that the themes are still present in our modern day high schools is almost scary. The story involves teenage sexuality, pregnancy, abortion, suicide, drug use, homosexuality...all the same things our society still struggles with.

The cast on Broadway was magnificent, especially for such a young ensemble. I know the same cast won't be on the road show, but I hope they can do as good a job. This video from youtube will give you a better taste of it...

The second time I saw the show I knew all the songs by heart but was still moved to tears and laughter, maybe moreso because I knew what was gonna happen this time. The show has closed on Broadway now which I think is a shame, but luckily it is now on tour. I have every intention of forcing Miles to go. He is horrified as he wants to pretend like I don't know a thing about sex or about being a teenager. I really want him to see it though, I think it will show him a lot about how he is no different from the teens of every generation.

I hope you go see it too! It is so so so wonderful!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I love to travel.  I can't afford to at the moment, but I want to go to Europe before Miles is grown and gone.  The following is a list of the countries I'd like to visit, in order of importance and why.

  1. Iceland - cause I've wanted to go there since my Aunt and Uncle sent me a postcard of their trip to the Blue Lagoon when I was a teenager.
  2. Italy - because every book or article I have ever read gushes about the light and the food and those are two things you just have to experience for yourself.
  3. England - because I am an Anglophile from way back.  Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Rowling, McCartney-Lennon et. al.  Not to mention the hundreds of movies about King Arthur and other royalty and all those palaces!  Plus when I went there as a teenager I was only there for 24 hours and that is not NEAR enough time to explore a city block, much less an entire country!
  4. Ireland - the green and the accent, need I say more?
  5. Portugal - because it looks so beautiful and unique on Amazing Race
  6. The Netherlands - tulips, windmills, fascinating.
Where would YOU like to go?  Comment with your list...I'd love to know!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Weekend

Sheldon and I had a fabulous weekend. It started out in a weird way, I had probably the worst panic attack I have ever had on my way home Friday night. I was on the Metro (DC subway, for those of you not from these parts) when I felt it coming on. My chest started tightening up, I got flushed and felt very hot and I was sure I was gonna throw up. I managed to make it to my station and get out of the train without passing out or otherwise embarrassing myself. Between the gates and my car though I began losing it. I think I was away from any other people before I really started sobbing, but I didn't turn around to find out. I got in my car and REALLY lost it. It was weird, because there wasn't any real reason for it, but it kept escalating anyhow. I managed to dig the Xanax out of the bottom of my purse and find my water bottle. I tried to call Sheldon but he was still in school and had his phone silenced. I tried to call Wren but was crying so hard she couldn't understand me. In the end I just had to let it out until the meds started taking effect. I drove home and packed up my stuff to go to Sheldon's. I drove over there and asked to take a bath in his big tub, I went upstairs and set myself up in a wonderful bubble bath and read my book. I was in there for at least an hour and when I got out I just climbed right into bed, didn't even go back downstairs. I was still feeling pretty shaky. He came up and read with me for a little while and then after I fell asleep he went back downstairs to watch tv and play on the computer.

Saturday Sheldon and his son Jack went Snowboarding again. Sheldon is the faculty sponsor of his high school's snowboard/skiing club so he goes 4 times a year with a busload of students. He invited me to join him, but since he didn't need the chaperone I stayed home. I putzed around his house for awhile and then went home and putzed around my own house for a while. He and Jack were due back around 7pm so I headed back over there and started dinner around then. I made him chicken piccata and mashed potatoes and a caesar salad. So yummy! We even had wine and candlelight. We talked and looked at houses on the internet until close to midnight. He is shopping in earnest for a new house, he'd like to buy this spring before the market takes off again. We are discussing me buying it with him. It has been a very up and down year for our relationship, so this might seem a little soon, but we both really feel like we have turned a corner and are in a much better place than we have been in the past.

Sunday we got up and got dressed up and went into Georgetown for a lovely brunch at the News Cafe on M Street. I had found this place online and the menu sounded wonderful so we decided to try it out. It was truly delicious. I had the eggs benedict and he had the crepe sampler. He had a mimosa with his and I had my first bellini in years. As yummy as it was though, the portions were pretty small and we were both still hungry. I'd recommend the restaurant, it had a cool funky interior and a terrific wait-staff, but don't go if you are starved! After brunch we walked around Georgetown, popping in and out of various shops and art galleries. The weather was was sunny and in the 50's and felt like a summer day after all the freezing temps and ice we have had lately! On the way home we discussed our finances and house plans some more. We also bought chili ingredients and went home to eat and watch the Big Game. :)