Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Because I need aide in enabling my reading habit

I like to consider myself an avid reader. Sure, I read a lot of fluff books and chick-lit. Yes, I love Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries and her Harper Connolly Series. I don't read enough "classic" literature, but that's okay!

For my birthday... Gzilla was awesome and got me a nook

I decided to go with the nook rather than the kindle for a few reasons. One, if something happens, if there's a problem, if I'm confused... i can take it into a store and say "fix it." Every day, I can go into any B&N store and read any book I want for an hour. There's expandable memory for the nook (granted, downloading 1500 books is going to take a while, but still). I like the interface of the nook better.

I do highly recommend getting a cover for the nook or the kindle. It makes it feel more like a book. I got this one because it says "I am Oz, the great and terrible" on the front and "curiouser and curiouser" on the back. What can I say, I'm a sucker for The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.

Now I just have one small problem. Before, when I was finished a book... I had to make a trip to the book store. Now when I'm finished a book? I push the "shop" button and download a new one, and I have it in 60 seconds! Great, right? I think Gzilla created a monster...

Quick update on my face: the spot that they scraped (which is dangerously close to my eye, by the way) ITCHES LIKE THE DICKENS! But I think it's looking better. I should know what's going on in about 2 weeks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

...I look like Quasimodo.

I had this little pimple-like growth on the skin just under my eye. I thought it was a pimple, so I (very carefully) put pimple stuff on it. Nothing. Then I put some neosporin on it. Nothing. I had estheticians look at it... they had no idea. So then I called a dermatologist.

My dermatologist is not bad to look at (which is nice) but it took me almost a month to see him. By the time my first appointment came around (2 weeks ago) the hard, tender bump had shrunk considerably and was no longer tender (but still hard). He gave me this gel stuff to put on it... a steroid cream for eczema and flakiness... but if this was something inflammatory and not a growth, it would have gotten rid of it. I put it on twice a day (and developed a little stutter, but he says it wasn't caused by that. I disagree) and there was no change.

Today, Hot Doctor in the Phillies scrubs gave me two choices. He could freeze it and hope that it goes away and keep an eye on it forever. Or he can biopsy it. If he freezes it, and it doesn't go away, then he has to biopsy it anyway. I picked biopsy because I hate not knowing things. So now I look like Quasimodo.

My eye is all swollen. I can see out of it okay, but it feels very strange to blink. It's almost like I have a black eye without the broken blood vessels under the skin. Now he thinks it's one of two things: either an infected hair follicle or the C word. I hate the C word. I don't like thinking about it, and whenever the C word comes up around me (twice my gen prac thought I had breast cancer. Both times that I had to have a mammogram and an ultra sound, the technician laughed at my doctor's silliness.) it's the only thing I can think about. What happens if it is the C word. It's totally going to screw up my wedding pictures (I know. It's dumb to think that way, but would YOU want to be bald in your wedding photos? No. You wouldn't).

Right now I'm just focusing on the fact that I look like I lost a bar fight and go on with my day not thinking about the C word. But just in case, can you send good thoughts that it's NOT the C word anyway?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Accidents

Anyone who has known me for a while can tell you that I'm arguably the pickiest eater ever. I used to never try new foods... I'd eat the same 4 or 5 things for dinner every night (especially in college when I was responsible for my own cooking). Absolutely no seafood. And then I told my mother that I loved calamari and I think she just about peed her pants.

I'm still wary of trying new things, but I'll try it. I tried the Ethiopian food, didn't I!?? Last night, my mom and sister and I went out for my birthday (it's next week) and we were trying to decide between two restaurants: Rock Bottom Brewery and Bahama Breeze. Ultimately we decided on Bahama Breeze because it looked more fun. Except there was a 45 minute wait. It was already 6:45. I was hungry. I wasn't waiting 45 minutes so that I can wait another 20 minutes for my meal. Rock Bottom Brewery won by default.

AND THANK GOD. Because seriously? This might be my new favorite restaurant. There's a local chain around here called Iron Hill Brewery. They make pretty good beer and pretty shitty food. Rock Bottom Brewery is Iron Hill with good food and better beer. I tried their seasonal wheat, and it was really nice. Didn't order it because it would have been a lot, but it was nice.

One night out in Chicago, Gzilla went to this place out there (I knew it sounded familiar when I was looking at the restaurants yesterday...) and called me immediately to tell me how great it was. When I told him that I was going there for dinner, I swear it was like I just told him that I won the Powerball. Wait... There's one at home? WHERE?

So what about you, any happy accidents lately?

Monday, July 19, 2010

That's okay, I don't need to actually see my food. Or hear.

Gzilla is away on vacation without me. Which is, I suppose, fair since I went to Ireland without him. And I'd take Ireland over a baseball vacation (but not by much). Gzilla watched the Phils beat the Cubs on Saturday (the one time they beat them...) and today he's seeing the Phillies take on the St. Louis Cardinals. And crap! I just realized I forgot to tape the game AGAIN. (just in case he's on the tv. You know. Because of his Phillies jersey.)

Because he's away (and because I got a surprise day off on Sunday!), I got to do some galavanting around town that I normally would do. There's this really nice restaurant up in one of the local snooty towns that does a pajama brunch. If you come in your pajamas, they'll give you half price on your brunch. It's a good time, actually. I've only been able to go three times (including yesterday) since I work every Sunday. I was really excited because they have this AMAZING coconut banana french toast with walnuts. And really good coffee. And mimosas. And apparently good bloody marys if you like that sort of thing (I don't).

After driving around the freakishly small parking lot (there are MAYBE 30 spaces. maybe.) for a good 20 minutes, we decide to park across the street. Sit down fairly quickly for this place. Normally it's a 30 minute wait for brunch. Put our order in with our spritely waitress. Five minutes after receiving our coffee, orange juice, water, and bloody mary (obviously not mine..) the power goes out. There was no pop, no noise, no indication as to why the power went out... just blackness. I mean it was daytime so there was sun coming through the windows, but it was still pretty dark.

Then the fire alarm started going off. For a good 15 minutes. Every five minutes... IT GOT LOUDER.

Apparently this has been happening all summer. Once it happened during dinner service (aka no sunlight. Blackness. Pitch black. It's like eating at one of those restaurants where it's all about the senses, except you're mad). The fire company shows up. Fire alarm goes off. Our poor waitress came over and told us that she had no idea if we were getting our food or not. Then she comes back 5 minutse later (while the fire alarm is still blaring) that they ARE making our breakfast because it was being cooked BEFORE the power went off.

I know. Why didn't we leave. The food is REALLY good. And I had been looking forward to some coconut banana french toast with walnuts for THREE DAYS. I was getting my damn french toast. I didn't care if I was sitting there all day. Luckily I only had to wait until just after the fire alarm went off.

One good thing happened on Sunday though. I went to this cute little clothing boutique in one of the snooty towns, expecting to see freakishly high price tags. I picked out this really cute black jersey dress with lace cap sleeves for $34 (I know, right!?). When they rang it up... $9. Win.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Man I feel gullible right now.

I'm that person that sales people drool over. I'm that person that you say "Oh this product does x, y, z... I've had great feedback, etc" and it's in my bag. Normally, I get good results from it, too, and I'm happy.

I just got back from the mall. I went to GNC because they have a new line of vitamins out called wellbeing, and they're getting good reviews. A bunch of people had recommended their new hair-skin-nails vitamin called bebeautiful, and so I decided to get it. I decided to pick up another multi because the one I have is almost gone. Plus it's really hard to swallow.

One thing I will say about the new vitamin, it's easy to take. That's a big thing for me. It's coated so it's easy to swallow, and it also tastes good. Kind of like coated Advil.

But here's why I feel gullible: GNC guy talked me OUT of buying the store's brand of hair health vitamin and into buying this other one called Shen Min. He said he used to work for VitaminWorld, and he sold a crapton of this stuff there. Said it was the best on the market. I went online after I got back, and on GNC's website, it's the worst-reviewed hair-health vitamin. On other sites that are non-affliated with a store, it gets good reviews. I almost feel like this guy talked me into buying this one because it's twice as much as the GNC brand.

What do you think? Is gullible written on the ceiling? Or did this guy give this vitamin to me because it's actually awesome?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bridal Espionage

Now every wedding I attend, I feel like I'm doing research. So when my cousin asked me if I would be her date to a wedding that her husband couldn't attend last minute because of his new job, I jumped at the chance!

I really wish I had taken pictures. I really really do. Because this wedding was an EXPERIENCE. It was outside of Washington DC, and about a 2 hr drive or so from my cousin's house. And the drive would have been magnificent had it not been for her amazing, adorable, wonderful little boy who is in the worst mood of the century. He's teething, so if you look at him wrong: TEMPER TANTRUM!!! Oddly enough, he was only a little monster in the car. In the church he was great and he slept through most of the reception.

The ceremony was beautiful. Quiet little church at a preparatory school. The bridesmaids all wore purple, but all different dresses. And not the same pruple, either. I think the bride said "just buy a purple dress... I dont care what color or what it looks like." And that had been my attitude earlier, but now I'm happy that I decided to have everyone in whatever pattern of the 5 they choose, but the same color.

We get to the reception, and the escort cards were on lollipops! The big multcolored flat ones? Very cute idea. Don't know if I'll steal it, but very cute idea. And the bride and groom had a guest book made that had pictures on it. All of her aunts, uncles, and cousins had their own page with pictures from THEIR weddings. That's really cute for a small family, but I have 28 aunts and uncles... and 4 cousins who are married. That's 32 pages of guest book for JUST my family. No thank you!

When we get to our table... there was a menu sitting at our seat. And the menu was not in English. The groom is Ethiopian. So we had Ethiopian traditional food for dinner. Basically we had this special flat bread called injera that kind of looked like a sponge. You roll out the injera on your plate, and fill your plate with various foods. There were 2 kinds of chicken, 2 kinds of beef, and lamb... plus 2 vegetable dishes. And this crushed wheat with butter. All traditional Ethiopian foods. The beef and lamb kind of looked like hamburger helper. And the way you eat the food is you tear off little pieces of the injera and pick up bites of the other dishes, and you eat with your hands. It was really tasty...except that it tasted like everything had been marinating in jalapenos and habeneros and any other kind of OMG MOUTH ON FIRE spices. My throat felt like it was on fire. Even the wheat with butter (which I thought was going to be totally safe) was HOLY CRAP FIRE. And my vodka made it burn more... and the water didn't help. So I was totally screwed. Luckily, there was also lasagna! So I had mostly lasagna.

When it was time to start dancing, there was this tribal-sounding music, and these two people in costume came in and did a dance for the couple. Actually they did about 10 dances, and each dance had its own costume. Some of the grooms family knew some of the dances, so they were all joining in. It was very cool! I don't think I'm going to steal it for my wedding, but it was very cool!

Friday, July 9, 2010

In which things don't go as planned...

Daddy Dearest and I met with the venue that I want for the reception this week. It's at a hotel that he used to work at YEARS ago (before my brother, who is now 22, was born), and there are still a few people who work there now that worked with my dad back then. Luckily for me, my dad is a bit of a charmer. We got A DEAL on the venue. It doesn't hurt that my dad knows catering and food prices better than anyone I know, so when he makes a counter offer, he knows its fair. They have to check the number with the big boss (who worked with my dad...) and she gets back from vacation on Tuesday. If we get what we want, then I'll be able to invite everyone from list #2 (the 180 list) and still have $87.

Originally, we wanted to get married on Sunday because a lot of reception venues will charge less for Fridays and Sundays. But the hotel gave us the price we wanted for that Saturday... so I called the church Monday morning. The church that we want (Gzilla's grandfather's church) was being a bit of a jerk about us getting married on Sunday. Now, I know that Sunday is the "day of rest" for Catholics. But we wouldn't have even considered a church wedding on a Sunday had a PASTOR of another parish not SUGGESTED IT! Because his church does Sunday weddings all the time! In fact, every parish in the diocese does Sunday weddings. Gzilla's aunt was married on a Sunday 42 years ago. But apparently not at this church.

I didn't tell the nun that we booked the hotel. I didn't! I know how to play the Catholics. I know the Catholic answers. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten to college. I have an aunt who is not only a nun but was a Mother Superior! And they asked her to be Mother General (that's head-honcho nun)! So I know how to play the Catholic Game. Apparently this crazy nun doesn't like to play this game. She's waiting for masses to be said in Latin again.

I call and she's on the defensive when I ask to speak with her. I say that I know that she and the church was hesitant about a wedding on a Sunday because... and she cuts me off and yells BECAUSE IT'S INAPPROPRIATE! Okay, easy there sister. Then she goes on to tell me that we really need to speak with the priest because it's ultimately his decision if we're "allowed" to get married in the church (even though she told FMIL that everything needs to go through her...). She also told FMIL that they need at least a year to book the date, but she told me that the schedule for 2011 wasn't finished yet. Um. It's July. If you need things at least a year in advance, what happens when people want to get married in February? Or anytime before right now?

My initial reaction was: The Catholics don't want me... screw 'em! We let it sit for a few days, and decided to try another church, which is really a shame because Gzilal really wanted this church. So if this crazy nun calls back next week, I'm going to tell her that she made me feel very unwelcome, and I'm not comfortable getting married somewhere that I'm not welcome. So I've decided to take my ceremony and my church membership elsewhere. I just hope that Gzilla's grandmother doesn't hate me now because I was mean to the nun, which I wasn't... but I'm sure this bitch will spin it differently.

I hate having to jump through hoops.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Best Voicemail Ever.

I just received a voice mail that was ALMOST the best voicemail ever. It's one of those voicemails where you listen to it... and you think "can this person REALLY speak like this to real people?" I haven't called him back yet, so I don't know if he really speaks like this to real people. And I'm hoping it reads as funny as it sounded.

Hello. My name is XX. I am an elderly person. I need a job. I need the number for ABC Company. I do not have a computer. I need a phone number. Goodbye.

It always amazes me that people think that because I work for a local radio station that I know every business and that I have all the time in the world to look up phone numbers for other businesses for you. That's what information is for. I'm not information. I write commercials. Now, I did happen to know what business he was talking about. And in the hour and a half it took me to get out of the meeting I was in, this gentleman called back FOUR TIMES. He kept harassing our receptionist!!! I swear to Pete, people make me crazy.

But that's not the best voicemail ever. The best voicemail ever was received by the box office at my college theatre back when I was a freshman or a sophomore.

Hello. This is XX. I need to speak with a real person. I keep calling and no one is there. I need to get my tickets. If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, and no one is there to hear it, how do I know if I get my tickets? Can I talk to a real person? I need to speak with a real person now. Hello?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ah, the good ol' days

I think the reason I love the 4th of July (besides the fact that I loved hot dogs that are so cooked and burnt that they're shriveled and black.. and I love the smell of barbeque) is because when I was younger, we would throw one hell of a July 4th Party. My best friend lived caddy-corner behind me, and our other friend lived caddy-corner on the other side. The neighbors behind us were the good crazy neighbors, not the bad crazy neighbors who were so crazy that all their dogs tried to commit suicide, and we were close with both of our next door neighbors. So the collective of the six families would host the neighborhood block party.

Except we'd only invite the neighbors that we liked. We had some unsavory neighbors. There was the drunk woman who totalled my neighbors parked car, the crazy woman whose daughter was a juvenile delinquent, all her other juvenile delinquent friends (and I did hang out with those people for a while...), and the woman whom I was convinced was a witch.

One particular year, I think I was about 9 or 10. My best friend's parents were still married (whether they were speaking was another story) and her dad decided that he was taking over the fireworks show, except that he was so drunk he couldn't stand up... so he was lighting the fireworks between his legs. He's really lucky he didn't blow off any of his bits. Later in the evening, around midnight or so? After I went upstairs to bed, but I definitely wasn't asleep, and I definitely watched this whole thing unfold out of my parent's bedroom window... my dad, the ringleader of the drunken idiocy in this particular case, came up with the BRILLIANT idea to have a race. He and his knucklehead followers all got out their lawn tractors and plotted out the course across the backyards. But our one neighbor didn't have a tractor... he only had a gas push mower. So about 5 wasted dudes on lawnmowers are racing across the backyards of a suburban relatively quiet neighborhood with one dude sprinting behind them. It was priceless. Then the cops came.

Luckily no one was arrested, but it's antics like that that make me love July 4th. However, this was also the year that I accidentally ate a sparkler. I had a granola bar in one hand, and an unlit sparkler in the other. I bit down on the wrong thing.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I love the 4th of July. I think fireworks are absolutely beautiful...and I never really get to see them otherwise, unless I go to a baseball game fireworks night. And even then, we always leave during the fireworks show because we can sneak out and get right back on the highway to go home. It's wonderful. So I always turn around and watch the fireworks as I'm driving away.

Today, Gzilla and I are going to a barbeque with our poker buddies. We can never make the Memorial Day or the Labor Day picnic because they always have them on Sundays... and I'm working every Sunday! Luckily, they're doing the Independence Day BBQ Extraordinaire on Saturday. My July 4th (well, July 3rd really) plans involve good wine, hot dogs, other barbeque awesomeness, and most likely poker.

I don't know what I'd do without these poker friends of mine. They're insane... loving... and completely unpredictable. And they're the main reason why my guest list a year from now (holy crap, officially 365 days until The Big Party) is at just about 200. We have about 18 people (other than Gzilla and myself) in our poker group...and only a few couples. They take up about 30 people on my list. And not one of them is getting cut. I refuse. I'm sure we'd have fun regardless, but something would be missing.

Any weekend plans or July 4th traditions?