Thursday, June 27, 2002


I may have mentioned how frigidly cold it is in my office. If I haven't... it is cold! Don't get me wrong, I like having air-conditioning in the summer. But I don't like 3 air vents blowing frigid air on me all day long. The thing never cuts off. It's like there's on and off and no thermostat attached.

Anyway, to avoid this I decided to walk down to the grocery store and pick up some lunch and warm up outside. In the 90 degree weather. So as I was walking down the street, for some reason I was really reminded of Vermont. Maybe it was the walking to get lunch, or the sticky hot air, or something else completely intangible that only my miswired brain could pick out.

Vermont's a cool place. At least the parts I saw of it were. Which included Middlebury, Burlington, and the Ben and Jerry's factory. It's beautiful there in the summer. Everything's green and there's plenty of ice cream. It also smells like cows. The whole state smells of cows. I spent 7 weeks there and I still never got used to the smell of cows. It also got hot in the summer. Everyone I talked to before I went there for the summer said "Oh it'll be so beautiful and cool!"

Um... no. It got sticky hot same as any place else. What I did notice though is how fast the weather changed in August. It had already started to get that fall-ish cool feeling in the air before August 15th rolled around. And it had been like Florida just two weeks before.

So I'm rambling. I apparently had a nostalgic binge need for Vermont.

After I picked up lunch, which turned out not to be the salad I had gone after but Hot & Sour Soup with some Shrimp Toast from the Chinese place I passed on my way to the store....I turned around and headed back to my office.

First step in the doorway... AH!!! The blessing of air conditioning. Is anyone else hot?

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Other people's stuff

Not much new with me so I'll point you at some other person's site I like to read.

A site called In Passing, was featured in a Playboy article. No I didn't read it! Kind of funny what you hear everyday,

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

They're everywhere! They're everywhere!

Ok what's with the babies? We now know about 8 couples that are having or have just had a baby this year. I like babies a lot but MAN! What did they put in the water this year???

For you folks reading that fall into the category of friends of ours that are expecting.... CONGRATULATIONS! We're really happy for you!

But did you all have to do it at once?

Guess who's back? Shady's back. Tell a friend.

Funny song. Funny video.

Anyway I'm back again after a very exciting week last week. I think everything's calmed down again. New license, new glasses, new cards, and what I don't have already is on it's way in the mail.

We went to Great Falls on Saturday and had a lovely time with our friend Ann. I got to play with my camera which I haven't done for a long time, and we got to wear our dog Arrow completely out. Always nice when you have a VERY hyper lab and you get back home and he sleeps the rest of the day.

I also got to go shopping on Sunday which is always fun but I have the problem of remembering that I'm no longer a size 4 like I was in highschool. I also have a hard time realizing that the stores I used to shop in don't really suit my style anymore. I kind of expected them to grow up with me instead of sticking with their demographic. Ah well.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

So apparently shit does happen

My purse was stolen yesterday. Aside from the nightmarish feeling of it all, it's been a huge pain in the ass. I must've spent 5 hours on the phone yesterday. Calling the police, calling building management, calling the bank, calling credit lines, calling social security....

Tomorrow I get to go to the DMV to get a new license, then to the Social Security Administration to get a new card, then to ....

I would've rather given the jackass a wad of money than having to deal with all this.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Hang on to your money folks!

For those of you that wasted money on "Glitter", "Crossroads", or "Planet of the Apes"'s another winner to look out for. Britney Spears in an upcoming, inspirational new movie, in which she encourages a former NASCAR racer to get back into the game. Sounds like a remake of "National Velvet" to me, but with cars instead of horses.

Well as Andy said "At least she'll be hitting her target audience." And at least she's not as annoying as the Olson twins. Yet.

Exquisite dead guy. Rotating in his display case. Exquisite dead guy. Hanging from the sky.

Monday, June 17, 2002

I've been a little remiss

Sorry folks (all 11 of you reading). I've been slipping out of my blogging habit of late, so time to re-new!

Fun story for today? Disney's new movie "Lilo and Stitch." Now, I'm a fairly big Disney fan. I try to see their new movies every year. But they seem to have problems when they go "ethnic." Pocohontas for example SUCKED. And this new one doesn't look promising. An alien landing in Hawaii and learning how to surf, hula and say "Cowabunga." Doesn't seem stereotypical to me at about you?

Of course then I read on Yahoo the disturbing news that Spam is so popular in Hawaii that McDonald's is actually market testing a Spam breakfast combo. Among other local favorites...Spam sushi. Maybe Disney isn't as far off as I think.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

The good old O's!

They won! It was a great game.

We got there just as the national anthem was being sung (badly) and as these Army Paratroopers were sailing down into the stadium (VERY cool). We got our very orange freezer mugs and found our seats. We were in club level seats on the first base side (yeah, I didn't skimp on these) and could see everything beautifully.

The one drawback (and believe me there was only one)? It was disgustingly hot yesterday. It got up to 95 and with the humidity we had a heat index on 105. We all got a little sticky. But who could complain when our boys were playing so well? Well except for the fifth inning when they played horribly. But we'll ignore that fact becaues it made for a thrilling extra inning play.

Baseball's a terrific game and so much more fun when you're actually there watching it with other people. Plus there's the food. Of course you need to bring about $1000 extra bucks just for food because water is $4 a bottle and it only goes up from there. But you can't go to a game without having your beer and your hotdog. Or your nachos, or whatever your preference is. I'm a hotdog girl myself.

Plus when you're at the stadium you get to watch the people. In case you hadn't guessed, this is one of my favorite pastimes. There was the little boy in front of me who was probably about 5. He thought it was completely necessary when drinking from a sports bottle to lean all the way backwards. His head hit my knees everytime he was thirsty. Then there were the 30-somethings that came in and sat behind us and were trying desparately hard to be teenagers again. And the woman two rows up who should have been cut off way earlier than she had been, because she stood up and literally fell on her ass. Hard. She stood up laughing and just barely managed to get herself into her seat before slumping over onto her comrades.

It was an incredibly fun night. The game was a very thrilling game, the seats were good, and we hard a sound effects guy that wouldn't quit. Literally. I think there was maybe 2 minutes of silent baseball the whole game. Plus whenever I go to a baseball game I think of the movie Bull Durham. It's just a good funny baseball movie. There was one point in the evening when the Padres were up on the mound talking to the pitcher that was particularly reminiscent of a scene from the movie.

Now the fun part. The extra inning. Are we going to be here all night? Please please please just let one of them hit something. Get a guy on base. Then there was that beautiful hit where the whole stadium held it's breath. Will they catch it? Will it go foul? It's outta here!!!

As we were leaving we started following the mob out towards the stairs, but decided it would be easier and a whole lot cooler to stay inside and walk around to the 3rd base side where we'd parked. We had walked about 20 feet past two stadium workers before turning around and deciding to come back the other way. One of them stopped Andy and demanded to see his ticket saying he was allowed on the club level. The game was over at this point. What were we going to see? Were other people not allowed to shop at the nice shops on club level? Andy started trying to explaining that we had walked in front of him about 10 seconds earlier and had not come in off the street. I dug out our tickets and flashed them in front of the guy and he backed off. I guess that was just his job. And he's very good at his job. It doesn't matter what time it is, or if the game is over. His job is checking tickets. It's his job! The poor guy was about 80 years old, so if it makes him happy to have a task to do and do it no matter what, then God bless 'im.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Sniff Sniff

Going to see the Oriole's tonight. It will be my first game ever without Cal Ripkien. But I get a free freezer mug!

BTW, for those wondering, the Pear Cider was good, not as good as the original but way better than the Granny Smith version.

Monday, June 10, 2002

I may not have much but I've got my standards

This isn't my story, it was just told to me by an in-law at a family barbecue, but it was such a funny story I thought I'd pass it on.

Sean was out on a date and went to a restaurant where there was valet parking. Because parking in the area was such a pain he decided to go for it. After dinner, he and his date came out and while they were waiting for the car, a bum came up to them. Now, funnily enough, the guy was wearing a "BUM Equipment" shirt, so not only was he really a bum, he was labeled as well. The guy was talking their ears off, and was obviously completely wasted. So to get rid of him, Sean gave the guy a buck. Right after he gave the bum the money, the valet showed up with his Porsche. The bum looks at the car turns to Sean and says "Wow! You drive a Porsche? I mean, it's not really a nice Porsche...but it's still a Porsche!"

Thursday, June 06, 2002

The World's Worst Caesar Salad from the World's best grocery store

I ran out at lunch to McGruder's to pick up some fruit. I don't think I've mentioned this place before so let me fill in on how cool it is.

This grocery store is the closest thing I've seen to a European Supermarket anywhere in the US. The have a row of fruit and vegetable stands outside. You walk in directly to the bakery, and they sell all kinds of odd little things that I can't find anywhere else. They also sell alcohol in the store. This isn't a rarity in general, but in MD there just aren't many grocery stores that sell alcohol too.

Aside from the oddities there, the fruit is unbelievable. I wish I knew the farm where they bought it from. It smells like real fruit, and it's small like real fruit. And for those of you who think I sound slightly batty...tell me you've never bought a gourgeous peach or package of strawberries that looked so BIG, ripe and luscious...only to get home and bite into it and discover it pretty much tastes like cardboard.

Also to help contribute to it's European feel, the shelves are monstrously tall, the aisles are narrow, and the whole inside of the store is just, well, dark. None of this is a bad thing mind you. It actually somehow gives the place a homey feel.

On with the story. So I went for fruit and wound up instead buying a 6 pack of Woodchuck's new Pear Cider. Don't know how it tastes yet, I'll fill you in on that part tomorrow. And I also decided I felt like a salad. As I walked past the deli I saw they had little packages made up with different types of salad. Hmmm what do I feel like? Chef? No, Caesar! On the label it said "Magruder's Gourmet Caesar Chicken Salad." When I got back to work and opened it up I found out two things.

There was no chicken.

There was no dressing.

The only thing this salad had, was lettuce, and a whole hell of a lot of croutons and parmesan cheese. So I started digging around thinking maybe there's chicken at the bottom. Maybe there's one of those little dressing packets in here somewhere. No such luck. The croutons were also the garlic-iest croutons I have ever put in my mouth. It almost made up for the lack of dressing.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

More of them!

A second one of my hanging baskets has been invaded by finches. Nest already built, two little eggs already laid. I guess it's nice to know they're comfortable around us.

Anybody want a pet bird?

Monday, June 03, 2002

Kids these days

I was just reading an article about obesity in young children. We all know Americans are fat. I'm one of them! But the point of this article was that children ages 1-5 years who have a television in their rooms are more likely to be obese regardless of genetic background.

Excuse me!? Since when do pre-schoolers need televisions in their rooms? Age 1 to 5? What's a one year old need a TV for? Catching up on his soaps? "Man I can't wait to see what happens today. I missed yesterday because of naptime."

Heaven help us.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

A Grand Day Out

We just had a lovely day out. We took the Metro downtown to see "Attack of the Clones."

I haven't been on the Metro for a couple of years. You'd think living as close as we do to D.C. we'd take the metro more often. But honestly we just don't go downtown that often and when we do we usually drive. I guess it's just a habit you get into. Driving everywhere.

Taking the Metro is always a neat experience. It always reminds me of Europe. In fact when we were passing through Silver Spring, I'm convinced that if the buildings had names in words I didn't understand we would have been in another country. The Metro is good, but I think I really prefer other countries versions (I know ours came later). The Underground was neat but very busy, at least the stops that we were at. The Paris Metro was neat, but we didn't ride very much since we were only there for a day. Germany's was nice as I recall but we were only on it from the hotel to Hofbrauhaus and back and I don't remember too much of the return trip. My favorite of all time though I think was Austria's. Not only was it nice but the annoucer was clear and easy to understand. That may have been because it was pre-recorded, and it was clear enough if you understood German. But the best part about the annoucer was the way he read the name of the stops. Two of the best being Kardinal Nagelplatz (said in a rather nasal robotic sort of way) and Stubentor (said the way you would say the name of a superhero).

Own the way downtown we had a serious discussion about the passing graffiti. The main topic...Cool Disco Dan. Cool Disco Dan's name was painted about every 30 feet from Glenmont until Union Station. It's been that way since Andy and I were kids. None of the originals are left, having been painted over through the years and a pseudo Disco Dan had come back and tried to fill the gaps.

Once we got off the train we walked to the Uptown and bought our tickets for the afternoon show. Now, I have to explain the Uptown. It's an old theatre. The kind they don't make anymore. With the screen being two storeys tall and velvet seats. Part of the ambiance of theatre unfortunately causes a little discomfort, not being built like today's modern stadium seating there's a little less leg room, and there's a lot fewer toilets in the bathroom.

But the benefits far outweigh the little negatives. I did mention how big the screen is, right? And this is one of the few theatres left where there's actually audience participation. No, I don't mean participation like "Rocky Horror Picture Show" participation. I mean the kind where everyone laughs, or yells woohoo when the hot chick comes on screen, or boos and hisses at the bad guys. We went to see all three of the original movies at the Uptown just for that reason. Just so we could join hundreds of others laughing at Luke whining that he wanted to go into town to get power convertors, booing our heads off at Darth Vader and Boba Fett. And the coolest part, everyone claps when the movie's over. The last time I remember an audience clapping at the end of a movie was when I went to see Bambi. I think I was 7 or 8.

We had about an hour to kill before we needed to stand in line, so we walked the 3 or 4 blocks away to the zoo to check out the new pandas. I haven't been to the zoo in a couple of years either and there's some things I miss from being a kid, aside from the luxury of someone pushing me in a stroller I mean. There used to be footprints. Big cartoony versions of the different animal feet that you could follow to their exhibits. And being able to walk right up to the panda exhibit.

We followed the signs for the pandas and then entered a Disneyworld-esque series of gates and back and forths: But Dad we can't go over there! There's a velvet rope! The velvet rope. (Yes, a Simpsons reference for those of you wondering. Think Lisa at the Egyptian exhibit.) Eventually we worked our way around to see Mei-Xiang, the new female panda. Tian-Tian was nowhere to be seen. Still it was a thrill to see one, up close and in person.

After that we started heading back to the theatre, noting on the way the insane number of sticky, wailing, hot, hungry little children. I'm all for taking your kids to the zoo, and once we get to that point, we definitely will take our kids (years away folks!). But as a future reference to myself. I will NOT take them on a day that is humid and 88 degrees.

Now for the part you've been waiting for...the movie. Overall it was good. Definitely in that "I AM A MIDDLE MOVIE" genre. I fully agree with Christopher's opinion and The Boondock's interpretation certainly does strike close to home... Still I'm waiting for the third and final installment, to see what other cool effects Lucas comes up with us for us to watch, if not for the storyline. Personally it was a little embarrasing to see that Lucas apparently never matured in his love relationships past middle school, or in his writing abilities for that matter. Maybe the man should spend more time with woman and less time on these movies?

Overall a great day out and about in D.C. You should try it sometime.