Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas the Italian Way

Happy Holidays to everyone! I'm not sure where I've been cause apparently this song came out in the 60s, but I've never heard it. You know, the famous Christmas carol, Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey. Check out the interesting video.

My holidays have been good so far. The office gave us Wednesday and Friday off both this week and next, so that has been great. Christmas Eve was spent at my mom's having our famous Italian seven fishes dinner. Christmas Day was at my sister's with tons of food and presents. All in all, a pretty good time, and J's mom joined us for the festivities.
Yesterday we took a freezing day trip to Mt. Vernon and it was pretty cool despite the weather. We ate at the Mt. Vernon Inn--delicious hot apple cider and red pepper soup! The highlight of the day had to be Aladdin, the Christmas Camel, who was very friendly and came over to everyone to nibble on their hands. Tomorrow J's dad comes for the day, so we'll have to see what adventures await. Likely we'll head to Old Town for the day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Honesty is the Best Policy

My mother and I have a distinctly different way of dealing with difficulties in life. I often confront them head on, while she glosses over them with sugar coating to pretend like everything is fine. Case in point, my 93 year old grandfather, who I visited this weekend, was complaining about a swollen leg that he's had for 2 weeks. I immediately thought he might have something seriously wrong like a blood clot, and told him so. My mother had the same thought but decided not to say anything for fear of being too negative.

He is now in the hospital being treated for--wait for it--a blood clot in his leg. Part of the reason they finally discovered the problem was because I said something. Apparently it was a life-threatening condition, so if I hadn't said anything (like my mom) he could be dead by now. So which way of dealing with negative things is better? I prefer the truth.

PS - the truth about my job is I am hating it this week. This stupid f-ing a-hole that I don't get along with is making my life absolutely miserable. People say you should be thankful you have a job, but sometimes I disagree . . .

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend Flies By

I can't believe it's Sunday already. Been a whirlwind holiday weekend, all in all. I cooked on Thanksgiving and had dinner for 8 in my small condo, which was . . . interesting. Don't know if I would do it again, at least not without drugging the hyper dog first. Did some Christmas shopping this weekend--decided to brave the malls and knocked out some major gifts, which was nice. I don't think I've ever started shopping this early before.

Today since it's raining I'm contemplating making turkey soup with the turkey carcass and leftover turkey. I might even start my Christmas cards since tomorrow is actually December 1. How did that happen? I just can't believe it's back to work tomorrow. I'm not ready!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Life is Crap--the new Life is Good

This is the most hilarious thing I've found in a while. I do like all the "Life is Good" logo materials that you find particularly in beach stores, but the reality is, this slogan doesn't quite work for pessimists like me. Check out the *better* slogan at MusicToday's Web site "Life is Crap." I love it!


I bought a great Thanksgiving recipe book recently and really wanted to try making the Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake that appeared on the cover. I've never made a cheesecake before and was blissfully ignorant of how challenging and fraught with peril they are when I decided to make it for my work holiday party. Thankfully, it turned out pretty well (see left), though it did crack on top. But its many toppings covered it up completely.

I have since read more on how to make a successful cheesecake and how to avoid it cracking, so hopefully next time will turn out even better. But overall I was very pleased, and it tasted great! Or so my office mates and Jeffro said.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pumpkin Martini

Jeffro and I met one of my old friends at Ella's Pizza in DC today for lunch, and they had a pumpkin martini on the menu, so I just had to try it. I have to say this was my first martini lunch ever and boy was it delicious. I figured they make pumpkin latte, so why not pumpkin martini? It was very smooth and almost like having a dessert--the glass was rimmed with cinnamon.

I looked up the recipe for pumpkin martinis, and here's a recipe for it, although I have to say mine did not have the whipped cream, which was fine with me as it probably wouldn't go too well with pizza!

1/2 oz Sylk Cream Liqueur
2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz pumpkin liqueur or pumpkin spice syrup
1 tsp whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the Sylk Liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Add the pumpkin liqueur or syrup. Shake again. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a teaspoon of whipped cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where Does Time Go?

This weekend absolutely flew by with many errands and a family birthday party--November's got 3 birthday in it! So that was my weekend. This next week and a half I need to majorly clean the house and get ready for Thanksgiving. It's my first time ever hosting Thanksgiving (for 8 people!) and cooking a whole turkey. It should be interesting!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Martina McBride

Martina McBride has just released her new single, Ride. Check it out on YouTube--how high tech am I to have this on my blog? Thanks to Jeffro.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Give Blood

Today there was a blood drive at work with the American Red Cross bloodmobile. Talk about a tiny place with too many people. Since I haven't given a while (since college!), two people in my office tried unsuccessfully, and I have great veins and a rare-ish blood type, I decided this was the year. It was fairly easy and painless, plus I got cookies, a cute Halloween t-shirt, and a good excuse to skip work for 2 hours. So I recommend donating if the bloodmobile comes to you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Relaxing Weekend for Once

For once we didn't have a bunch of things stacked up to do this weekend, one of those rare times when we could do anything we felt like without time restrictions. We kept busy, but in our own timetable. What a luxury. Friday night we went out for pho at Pho Tay Ho in Arlington for some great Vietnamese noodle soup. Saturday we slept in late then went to 2Amys restaurant in DC for some authentic Neopolitan Pizza certified by the D.O.C (Denominazione di Origine Controllata).

Last night we went to see Rachel Getting Married. It could have been a lot more emotionally impactful if they'd cut out about 30 minutes of useless scenes--things like people making wedding toasts, dancing at the wedding, etc. It's bad enough having to listen to these long, drawn-out speeches when going to an actual wedding, and certainly something you don't want to see on screen in endlessly long scenes. Some things really didn't make sense about the movie--like why Rachel's wedding was an Indian one--but if the crazy long scenes were deleted, it was a pretty good movie. Especially if you have a dysfunctional family and siblings.

(On a side note, earlier this week we finally watched The Namesake on video, and I was pleasantly surprised. For once, I think the movie was actually better than the book.)

Today was just grocery shopping and not doing much at all. Very nice indeed. I wish the weekend didn't have to end. It was a pretty crazy week--I had to attend a conference downtown unexpectedly for two days--so it was nice to have some R&R this weekend.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Food Network Magazine

What could be better than a magazine put out by one of my favorite cable And just in time for the holidays too. Now, granted, I barely have time to read the magazines I already subscribe to, but what the heck. If I like my first issue, I might be getting this as a gift for friends this year. Now, if only HGTV had a magazine!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wow, Fall is Finally Here

It's a beautiful day out today, but oh so chilly! I think fall has decided it's finally here to stay. So it's time for the annual summer/winter switch of clothes, which I have just completed. I really hate the thought of doing it, but once I get going it really doesn't take all that long. And now all my warmer-weather stuff is accessible, cause I'm going to need it.

Tonight Jeffro and I are having our farewell dinner with NOAAgirl, and tomorrow I'm having dinner with some neighborhood girls. Should be a fun time.

Last night we went to St. Elmo's to hear my friend Libby Wiebel play. A nice night for a coffee shop outing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Guess I Should Post

I've been very negligent about posting lately . . . just don't feel like getting back on the computer these days after work. But all is well here, just enjoying the "Indian Summer" of the past 2 weeks. Last weekend I spent a good deal of time outside at a community yard sale, and this weekend I'm thinking about transplanting some bushes in the yard and staining the deck. Looking forward to having Monday off.

Things at work are crazy as usual, but at least amid all the chaos they have taken pity on us poor workers and given us a token bonus in lieu of a raise. So at least that is something.

This weekend we are going to dinner with friends, then there is yet another family birthday party for one of my nieces. So busy as usual.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Week from Hell

This has been just a terrible week at work and I'm quite frankly sick of it. What do you get when you add up the fact that you're not getting a raise or bonus, your employer has cut their 401K match contribution in half, one person has been laid off, and the person you're supposed to work closely with from another department apparently can't stand you? You get looking for another job, that's what. So that's what I am doing. I'm in no rush, but no harm, especially in this economy, to see what's out there. January will make it 2 years at my current job, and that's plenty long enough. So wish me luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday

To Me! I'm taking the day off work today, headed soon to Serenity Day Spa for a massage (just found $10 off coupon online!), then to dinner at an undisclosed restaurant with Jeffro.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Red Fox

There's a fox living in my neighborhood that's been running around in the early morning. He's pretty big, probably 30-40 pounds. It's pretty cool, and very unusual to see a fox in this neck of the woods. I'm just afraid that living right off a busy intersection is going to be trouble for him. People in the neighborhood are a little freaked out about the whole thing, cause he runs around in the morning like he owns the place.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Farmers Markets

This weekend has been just great--the right mix of productive and relaxing. Plus, Jeffro and I finally got motivated to go to go to Eastern Market to check out their mix of flea market and farmers market. Then we headed to a local Arlington market at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. We've been grilling out every night, and today we go to a BBQ at NOAAgirl's.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Busy Weekend . . . Short Week Coming

It's been yet another very busy weekend. Saturday I had to shop for my four-year-old nephew's birthday party on Sunday. I wound up going out Saturday night to the sports bar at National Harbor. A very pricey endeavor, after a $14 boat ride and highly overpriced drinks and food. But I guess I can at least say I've been over there.

I'm taking Friday off to hopefully enjoy some much needed R&R and a four day weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Serenity Now!

On Tuesday I treated myself to a wonderful, 80-minute massage at Serenity Day Spa. Boy, was my back all knotted up after my conference last week. Even the therapist thought it was terrible. If you're feeling really tense, I highly recommend going to see Katie. You can even get a $10 off coupon here. I wish I'd known that on Tuesday! But boy, was it worth it!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Well, I am finally back from my conference and recovering for the next couple of days. It was about as bad as I expected, but at least the conference went well. Some people even said it was our best ever.

This is really interesting. If you want to connect with people with similar doggie interests, make a profile for your dog at I haven't had a chance to really check it out, but maybe I'll make a page for my dogs!

Courtesy of Jeffro.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Off to a Conference

Well, I'll be gone all week for a conference. I wish I could say I was at all looking forward to it. But with 5:30 am start days and gosh knows how late ending times, I am not happy. My only wish is that Pepper makes it through the week ok. Talk to everyone next weekend.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturday Pet Event

Unfortunately I have plans already this Saturday, or I would be heading down to Shirlington for Signature Theater's Open House. From 3 - 7 pm they are playing host to "Dog Days of Summer" in conjunction with AFH Rescue Foundation, which a friend of mine is very active in. There will be free pet portraits, a pet fashion show at 4:30, best trick contest, pet bakery and groomer, and more. So if you're looking for something fun to do, or looking to adopt a dog and have the money go to a good cause, check it out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Animal Update

Just a quick post to say my beloved dog is still hanging in there, plus I got news yesterday that I might not have to go to my conference for the whole time, which is a huge relief. Cause if she's still around, I don't want to be gone for an entire week. She actually had a great week--her appetite was good, no vomiting, taking walks around the block, etc. (It's sad when this constitutes a great week.)

In other animal news, Jeffro and I rescued a baby Cardinal a couple of weeks ago. It had fallen down the window well as it was learning to fly and got trapped. I went down into the well and got it out, much to the distress of the parent Cardinals who were chirping frantically. I called Animal Control to ask what to do, but they said this is the course of nature and there is not much to be done. So we couldn't really do much else to help, and eventually just got on with things and hoped for the best for this bird.

Yesterday, there was a baby cardinal in the backyard, clinging for dear life to a flower on my hydrangea plant. It managed to fly up to the fence, where its hovering parent met and fed it. It was such a sweet moment, and Jeffro pointed out it was probably the same bird from a few weeks ago. So, hopefully the bird will have a happy ending as he gets bigger and better at flying.

Unprofessionalism at Its Finest

Well, I had an interesting conclusion to my work week yesterday. We had been using a consultant for this past year to do some work for us. We treated him as part of the staff: he had an office, phone extension, email address, etc. And he had been given our member database, our leads, and some of our insider stories about "bad" members. We decided to let him go this week for many reasons, but it was supposedly an amicable parting, and he was ready to be let go. So mutual decision.

In any case, no one was told the terms of letting go: is he finishing out his contract year, or just completely out of the picture? Then I got an email from him about something work-related, so I figured he was finishing out the rest of his contract year. I later sent him a message asking him to contact one of our "problem members," which I called "problem member" in the email, which he promptly forwarded to said member with my phone number.

Talk about unprofessional, spiteful, mean, and fully setting ablaze the bridge with our organization. I was completely horrified, and the member of course called me two minutes later, indignant. Talk about embarrassing. (I guess that's why they say don't put anything in an email you wouldn't want getting back to the person, but you don't suspect that sort of thing with "trusted" coworkers.)

My boss is completely livid (as was I) and going to talk to the CEO to express her displeasure at the consultant's idiocy. The industry I work in is small and quite incestuous, so why would he want to piss us off it he wants to continue working in the industry? Our CEO knows everyone and is very well-liked. Why burn bridges when there was no malice to the letting go? Unbelievable. Needless to say, it was a two-glass-of-wine night last night.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We Got Some Blueberries

Today Jeffro and I made our now annual trek to Butler's Orchard with NOAAgirl. Now, we are set for blueberries for quite some time! I have two parties to go to this week that require bringing food, so I think I know how I'll be using some of these babies up! I just love, love, love blueberries and it's oh-so-sad that they're not a year-round fruit. Oh, I know you can import them in the winter, but they're never as good or as cheap.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mystery Pooper

First of all, I never posted about my recent vet appointment where my vet told me my old dog has only a few weeks to live. I couldn't post about it cause I was too shocked and upset initially, but I'm doing better about it now. I mean, I knew she didn't have long, but I didn't know it was that short. She'll be 15 in August, and I was hoping to get to that birthday, but now I'm not sure. What also sucks is I have a conference in early August, what do I do if she's still around? Gamble that she'll be ok the week I'm gone? It all sucks, all the worry and anxiety and anticipation. Plus, I have had her since 6 months and I can't imagine not seeing her sweet face every day. THAT is just killing me.

Anyway, let's get to the Mystery Pooper. For the past 2-3 days I have found poop in the living room when I get up in the morning. Matter of fact, this morning I picked it up only to find another poop like 2 minutes later. I usually take a few minutes to get dressed and ready to get them out the door in the morning, but it looks like I better speed that up. I have no idea who is pooping--someone told me old dogs do that and don't even realize it. But the younger dog has had problems with his stomach and is on this weird medicine, so is that making him do it? I have no idea. So I can't yell at anyone cause I don't know where it's coming from. Although Jeffro did admit this morning that it was him . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Your Personality in Pictures

This is actually pretty accurate, do not cheat (there is no wrong answer) just pick what you really like....

When you click on the link, a series of about 15 pictures will come up.Click on a photo in that category that appeals to you. Just continue to keep picking. At the end it will give you a profile of yourself.... It's called a visual DNA.... Http://

Thursday, June 12, 2008

XXXRay Vision Scanners in Airports!

I saw this crazy story today about how some airports--including our wonderful National--are installing scanners that see through your clothing to make sure you aren't carrying any contraband. Supposedly the device blocks out your face and doesn't keep a record of it, which of course would make the process of TSA SEEING THE REST OF YOU NAKED so much less humiliating and embarrassing. Unbelievable! Talk about Big Brother watching you.

I don't think so! There's no way I would agree to this! At least you have a choice to be patted down or submit to the scanner (what great options), but if it comes to the point where there is no choice, I will not fly from an airport that does this!

You Be the Judge

Can you judge someone by looking at them? Take this fun little quiz. I'm proud to say I got 9 out of 10!


Click here:


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lost My Daytimer!

Yes, I still resort to a paper calendar to keep me straight. I am just not a gadget person, and I guess you could say I'm a luddite since I'm always the last to purchase anything new. I'm obviously way behind the times since I haven't even figured out how to work my iPod and I got for Christmas. I just can't imagine where it's gotten to, and why no one has found it and called me to give it back. It had all my numbers, appointment, etc. in there so I am feeling rather lost about what I should be doing. It just sucks. I'm going to give it a few more days, then suck it up and go buy a new one and start all over again. Sigh.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Trailer Park Wedding and Emergency Vet

What an exciting weekend it's been! Yesterday Jeffro and I went to a friend's wedding where they renewed their vows. It was a nice little ceremony out in B.F., VA. A reception followed at the trailer park where they hang out on weekends. It was actually a fun time despite the heat and rain showers that started. A nice, simple affair with close friends and family. Right next to the trailer park pool. Priceless.

Yesterday morning, I had to go off to the emergency vet for my youngest dog, who was throwing up pink, presumably blood. X-rays yielded no immediate answers--he had swallowed a chicken bone earlier this week. So the guess is the bone irritated things as it went through the system. Today he seems to be doing fine, but we'll have to see what happens.

Today I'm off to see an open house in the neighborhood and then to my sister's to celebrate two of my nieces' birthdays. So when will I have time to do the desperately needed vacuuming and laundry?

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Got my biopsy results yesterday--negative. Whew. Say no more. Mind you, I likely should still have my thyroid removed, but at least now there's no urgency. I was going to do it in June, but with my impending conference at work, I might just wait until the fall when things calm down a little. We'll see. So thanks for all the good wishes out there!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wachovia: #1 in Customer Dissatisfaction

Warning: big, huge, unbelievable rant ahead.

I have been a Wachovia customer for the past 10 years. I have multiple accounts, debit cards, online banking, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now granted, I’m not a millionaire, so I’m sure they’re not clawing to keep my business, but this is ridiculous.

My debit card—WHICH HAS A VISA SYMBOL ON IT SO IT CAN BE USED LIKE A CREDIT CARD!—expires 6/08. That is in approximately one week. Yesterday I received my new debit card—with a completely different account number!

Last time I checked, when your credit card expires they just issue you a new one with the same number and new date. Not Wachovia.

Now, since they are trying to “simplify my life” with online banking, etc. I have used said debit card to sign up for automatic drafts from my account. Many automatic drafts from my account. Which means I have to call many vendors to tell them I have a F*CKING NEW CARD NUMBER WHEN IT’S REALLY NOT A NEW CARD.

I am COMPLETELY, ABSOLUTELY LIVID about this and spent ½ hour on the phone today (before yoga, ironically) yelling to Dipshit Customer Service Rep (DCSR) #1 and her Dipshit Supervisor. Below is the gist of the conversation, with actual quotes from both sides. I am totally not making this up. You can ask
Jeffro, who just sat and ate dinner and hoped I wouldn't chew him a new one next.

Me: Excuse me, why are you changing my debit/credit card number and making my life completely inconvenient and miserable because I have to call all these vendors to change my account number?

DCSR: Whenever we issue a new debit card we issue a new card number.

Me: Um, this isn’t a new card, it’s just an updated one.

DCSR: Well, we do this with all debit cards in case there are any problems with the card.

Me: Um, there are no problems with the card otherwise I WOULD BE CALLING YOU ABOUT A PROBLEM WITH MY CARD! I would like to have my old number back.

DCSR: I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.

Me: Don’t you realize you’re causing an awful lot of problems for an awful lot of people this way? Aren’t you supposed to be making my life easier instead of harder?

DCSR: I’m sorry, this is our policy.

Me: What about customer service? Isn’t Wachovia supposed to be #1 in customer service? How exactly are you helping me and making my life and banking easier? You are making it incredibly inconvenient to do banking with you.

DCSR: Well, I apologize for the inconvenience.

Me: Again, how is that helping me? Do you want to spend the day tomorrow making the calls for me?

DSCR: {giggles} No.

Me: You are completely useless.

DCSR: I’m sorry that you feel that way.

Me: I’m sorry that you suck. {Click}

Can you believe this crap? I have to spend the rest of the week trying to figure out who I have to call and how to call them, then I have to spend a day making calls from work, where I’m supposed to be working.

I threatened to change banks, but in actuality that would make matters even worse and more inconvenient—since the card expires like tomorrow I have to do all the changing now anyway so I don’t bounce payments, then do it all over again if I were to get a new account.

I’m headed to Wachovia tomorrow. Just pray that I don’t get escorted out by security.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Rick Springfield CD!

Make sure you mark the date 7/29 down so you can be one of the first to buy Rick Springfield's upcoming CD, Venus in Overdrive. Me, I plan to pre-order from Amazon and I would strongly advise you to do the same. Check out his merchandise store here.

Nashville Update

Nashville turned out to be a pretty good time, lots of excellent free food and the craziest closing reception I've been to at any conference. They closed off BB King's, Wildhorse Saloon, and part of the riverfront downtown for the party. Crazy! We also went to Tootsies and went to an open mic at the Bluebird Cafe. For more details, photos, and music videos from the Grand Ole Opry, check out Jeffro's blog.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Nashville Notes

I'm headed to Nashville Opryland for most of the week for a business trip. However, since I really don't want to go and my office is making me against my will, I won't be doing much actual work while I'm there. Jeffro is going with me, and it's his birthday so we'll be playing a lot of tourist as he's never been to N'ville before.

I'm really looking forward to staying at this great hotel on the company dime.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Well, tomorrow is my long-awaited biopsy on my thyroid. I've been very anxious about it all week, to the point where even my yoga class couldn't calm me down much on Monday. It's been a very busy couple of weeks, as I've been to another doctor that a friend recommended to help me figure out why I feel so darned crappy all the time. But I might actually find the answer out tomorrow, who knows.

In any case, wish me luck. If I find out anything exciting, I will make a post. But I don't think I will until the end of the month.

And in a complete nonsequitor, wish that Syesha gets voted off Idol!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jeter Gig at Bistro Europa

Jeff's band, Jeter, has got a show this Saturday, May 10th, at Bistro Europa in Old Town Alexandria. They'll be rocking from 10-12, and then Willy Nilly will be going on from midnight until closing. There's no cover, so come on out, and bring your mothers along to rock with Jeter!

MP3: Down & Distance (live) - Jeter

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New FDA-Approved Weight Loss Pill?

Here's the caveat, this new pill is for overweight dogs. I am not making this up. I saw the ad for SLENTROL in a magazine. The ad talks about how hard extra pounds are on a dog, which is true, but then goes on to say "if you've tried diet dog food, reduced feedings, more exercise and nothing seems to work, you now have another option: FDA-approved SLENTROL." FDA approved? Doesn't the FDA have anything better to do, like approving safer drugs for humans, than approving dog weight loss pills? Now I'm all for pills that can help dogs, but have we become a country where we think everything, including fat dogs, can be fixed with a pill? Apparently so. So, according to the ad, you should "speak to your veterinarian and ask if SLENTROL is right for your dog." No joke, it says that.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Martina Duet

With Alan Jackson, "Never Loved Before." Kind of an odd but cute little ditty. Download it here. Check out the CSI-inspired video here.

Summer Must Read

I came home tonight from a late night (work reception, at least there was free wine and beer) to find the coolest surprise gift from (I'm assuming) Jeffro: a copy of Chelsea Handler's brand new book Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. How hilarious! I didn't even realize it was out yet! Considering I loved her My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands, I'm dying to get started reading!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Martina McBride Live CD/DVD

For your purchasing pleasure, Martina McBride today released her first live CD/DVD. Guess what I'll be ordering as soon as I get paid?

Brought to you by the same folks who created there's now a dog version!


Thanks to MJ for the tip.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Please Come to Boston

I just spent 4 days in Boston on business, after not having been in over 10 years. What a great city! I had forgotten how awesome it is. If only it were so friggin cold in the winter. However, we had beautiful 70+ weather, and I had the chance to hang out with a very flamboyant gay guy who's lived and worked there for like 30 years, who showed us a great time at . . .

Union Park, right near his office. I also loved the Public Park.

Aquitaine restaurant, enjoying steak au poivre.

Banq bar/restaurant, with its hip/chic architectural details (see photo).
Pops with awesome Mums iced tea and Italian sausage sandwiches.
Picco with amazing pizza and ice cream, supposedly hense the name (P=pizza, IC=ice cream, CO=co).
Stephanie's on Newbury with its great people watching and mac 'n cheese.
We also managed to go into the Copley Fairmont and visit Catie Copley and get a book signed and visit with Catie.
I also bought a pair of Switch Flops at Copley Flair, a great store right near Newbury.
What a great city, what a fun time! I would love to go back when I have more time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Solomon's Island Weekend

This weekeend I went to Solomon's Island, MD, for our annual trek to celebrate a friend's birthday. The pattern is the same every year, but the players change each time. We had a group of about 20 people this time. Late lunch at Stoney's followed by drinks at the infamous Tiki Bar. Yum! It was a beautiful day for the trip, lots of sun but not too hot. Just far enough to feel like you're getting away from DC, but close enough to wrap it all up in a day. A very fun time.

Today I spent the day cleaning in preparation for my mom visiting. We had a nice dinner at Carlyle. I leave Tuesday for Boston for the better part of the week, so happy week, everyone!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

True Arrival of Spring

I know spring has truly arrived, cause my allergies have finally kicked in full force. Seriously, though, I love finally not having to wear a jacket outside so I guess I will try my best not to complain.

I've been exceedingly busy, as usual. Somehow I got sucked into running a local neighborhood pet event in May. On top of that, I've been having to deal with my taxes, which are a nightmare because of the freelance work I did this year. Did you know that freelancers are considered small businesses, and all are taxed an extra 15+ percent? How is small business expected to thrive in this economy? I actually sought the advice of a really evil accountant, who made a mathematical error on my first round of taxes so huge even an idiot like me caught it. We finally got it straightened out, but the bottom line is I am still paying thousands of dollars to the IRS and VA government. Gotta love it.

Next week will be as insanely busy as this past week, with something going on just about every night. Then the following week I leave for a work trip to Boston. In preparation--cause I won't have any other time to do it--I spent today getting my hair cut and my first pedicure of the season.

Tonight we're going to see local favorite band Catfish Honeymoon at Jay's Saloon in Arlington. Tomorrow's fairly free, but I need to clean up my garden so I can recycle the debris in this week's special recycling pickup.

PS - I just have to make a comment about American Idol this week. I was shocked and horrified that Michael Johns got kicked off and David Cook was safe. I usually love David, but this week's performance was absolutely the pits and he should have at least been in the bottom three. And it's not fair that Syesha and Kristy have been in the bottom three at least three times now and was safe and Michael, who has never been in the bottom, was kicked off. Totally a bummer.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Total Teenybopper Weekend

I truly felt like I was back in high school again after attending the Rick Springfield and The Hooters concerts. I got to meet RS after the show, much to my complete excitement. The concert was amazing, as was the Hooters' show the next night at the Birchmere. I really liked their new album, and they signed it after the show, so I got to meet all of them too (and got a kiss on the cheek from the drummer!). The only thing that was a bummer is the bass player who was with them back in the 80s had left the band, and he had been my favorite. But otherwise, a stellar evening, despite having apparently not saved the photos correctly, so I have nothing to show you. Check out Jeffro's photos and video clip here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

80s Weekend Planned

This weekend I'm headed to NJ to see Rick Springfield at the State Theater where Jeffro's dad works. I think he's going to be able to get us backstage to meet Rick, and I am trying not to get my hopes up.

Then Saturday we come back home to go to the Hooters at the Birchmere. They have a new album out and I'm curious to see what they will sound like after all these years. I saw them about a million years ago.

Anyway, here's a little music from them, courtesy of Jeffro. Enjoy!
MP3: Love SomebodyRick Springfield
MP3: All You ZombiesThe Hooters

Friday, March 21, 2008

So I stole this idea from Jeffro to see what celebrity I look like. What a weird list! Every time I do something like this I wind up resembling Indian or Asian celebrities even though I'm Italian. Weird! This is even weirder, with my number one look-alike being Catherine Deneuve! If only I looked like Catherine, my life would certainly have been much better! I don't even know who half these people are, and I don't have time to research for you. So if you're curious, you can Google them yourself.

Latest Health Crisis

And boy, this one's a doozy. It seems that ever time I go to the doctor I have a new problem. I have an ongoing thyroid condition (nodules) and now the latest test results show that I need to get a biopsy to determine what is going on. It is very likely that no matter what the biopsy shows, I will have to have my thyroid removed in the near future. Even if it's benign, the chances are that these bad changes that are occurring will continue to occur, leading to something worse. I'm on thyroid medicine anyway, so my thyroid isn't really "working" anymore, so the best option is likely just to take the damn thing out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ups and Downs (Mostly Up)

Well, it seems that my dog's new kidney meds are helping. Her appetite seems better, and she's now mostly agreeing to take walks, albeit sometimes short ones. So I'm pretty happy about that. The holistic vet is putting her on another kidney support in the next couple of days, so we'll see what that does. Plus she's going for accupuncture again next week. This has been a much better week.

I'm working from home today, which is nice. Have a big project to finish and it's too difficult to get done in the office.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Been Gone So Long

Sorry that I haven't written in a while, I have really been in a funk. My 14-year old dog is rapidly deteriorating in health, and I've been sort of focused/obsessed with that and haven't felt at all like writing. I don't feel I have anything good to say right now, so I guess I'm on a little hiatus until I feel a little better about things. It's been a really rough couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

New Mattress Tomorrow!

Well, yesterday we finally went out to buy a much-needed new mattress. Our old mattress is actually hurting my back, so it's definitely time for a new one. I'm so excited! I think we wound up with a Sealy Posturepedic. It's being delivered tomorrow, so I will get to leave work at some point, which is also very exciting . . .

Friday, February 29, 2008

Your Update

I just realized I haven't blogged all week. Guess I'm feeling a little uninspired. But here's a few tidbits to catch you up:

1. Opie seems to have recovered well from his surgery and is fully back to his old antics.
2. Pepper is still ambling along, doing maybe a little better this week due to an increase in meds.
3. Jeffro has just purchased a new car (see above).
4. I've been suffering with terrible allergies for no apparent reason--this is not my bad time of year and despite daily meds and twice-monthly allergy shots nothing's helping. Guess I might have to go back to more frequent shots. I'm also officially on a diet, well during the week that is.

So there, now you know everything going on over here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm having a not fun week (NFW). Opie is recovering quite well from his recent health crisis, but today he refused to allow the dog walker to put his cone back on, so I had to come home early from work and may have to stay home tomorrow to supervise him.

My older dog is not doing very well. Her stomach is very sensitive (she threw up today) and she doesn't seem to want to walk much any more. It's just a rollercoaster with her. One week she's better, the next week she's worse. Sigh.

Oh, and Jeffro's car is totaled and he has to get a new one. . . And today my toilet started acting up, so I have left a message with my fix-it guy. I need a vacation . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend of Woes

This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about my life, but my poor dog Opie has developed an abcess in his anal gland and had to go to the emergency vet last night and stay overnight for some minor surgery to lance it. I picked him up this morning and he is one sorry dog. He keeps crying even though I took the Elizabethan collar off him, and he's following me around everywhere. His butt is a complete mess, as they left the site open and it's totally disgusting. I don't know how he's going to poop, it looks really painful! I have to go back and pick up some chewable pills, as he won't take what they originally gave us. I also have to apply a warm compress to his butt, which is going to be mighty interesting. The things we do for our pets. And poor me, this procedure and drugs cost me over $500. Sigh.

Then Jeffro hit a parked car here on the street on his way back from the grocery store. He said his brakes failed . . . the hood of his car is pretty much needing to be replaced, plus he said his radiator is leaking. The other car didn't have much damage and of course the owner can't be found right now. He's on the phone with insurance right now. (He was not was injured.) This has been one expensive weekend for both of us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Work Rant of the Day

It's been a while since I've had a really good rant on my blog, so here goes. Enjoy.

People in this world need to learn to have one friggin ounce of patience. As I was on the phone today, my other line rang and since I was on the phone I didn’t pick up. So they dialed “O” to go to the operator and got someone else in the office, who then also tried to call me and I didn’t pick up. Then my coworker who got the call emailed me and copied the guy who had called. In the meantime, the guy tried to call me again, didn’t get a message, and pressed “O” again and someone else appeared at my door to try to get me to answer the phone.

After I emailed the guy the answer, he called me again about 10 minutes later asking me something I'd written in the email, which he claims he never got. Geez!

This was a VERY non-urgent matter, and I can’t believe people can’t either:
1. Leave a message and get a return call in a few minutes
2. Wait for the return email with the information they are requesting.
3. Stop friggin calling every five minutes if you don't get an answer.

It just blows my mind and pisses me off that everyone has to have everything RIGHT THIS MINUTE! I am busy, leave me alone! I will get back to you in a timely fashion when I am able! What is wrong with people and what is wrong with our society that people can no longer wait for anything?

Valentine Surprise: Morou

Jeffro surprised me last night with dinner reservations at Farrah Olivia, which is one of my favorite local restaurants. I’ve chronicled the appearances of Owner and Executive Chef Morou, who has appeared on Iron Chef America and was a contestant on Next Iron Chef America, many times on my blog. It’s no secret I’m a big fan. Well, last night at the table next to us there was a family, and the little girl and mother kept looking to the kitchen door like they expected Morou to walk out. Which he did. Somehow he had connections to that family and went over to say hi. Then he stopped by another table. I was getting discouraged that I wouldn’t be able to meet him, so as he was walking back to the kitchen I shamelessly went over and introduced myself, telling him I was a big fan, loved his restaurant, and thought he should have been the next Iron Chef. He was very nice and down to earth, and insisted on meeting Jeffro, who was still back at the table. So in addition to eating and my favorite place and getting some cool gifts from Jeffro, I got to meet my favorite chef!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Urgent Care

Well, today I had a weird episode of something undefinable that felt like I was having a heart attack or something. I decided to go to Urgent Care and spent 3+ hours sitting there waiting for an appointment. I really liked my doc, though, she was very thorough and I should have test results in a few days. I honestly think it was a case of too much coffee causing grave heartburn, sadly enough. So tomorrow, no coffee for me!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


It has been an exhausting week, and more exhausting weekend. I had my Italian class yesterday then had to go work at my freelance job for the rest of the day. I've been running low on steam all week, so this just about did me in and I was sleeping in front of a movie by 9:30. How sad is that?

This morning I slept in a bit, then had to go to a meeting (luckily over brunch) for some volunteer editing that I do, and then grocery shopping with the rest of world. It was so crowded. Tonight I made some turkey burgers, did laundry, and am contemplating doing some work I need to do for work, although my boss said I could stay home tomorrow morning and do it. However, if I do it tonight, I can just sleep in tomorrow morning instead!

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm Crushed

I just read over on dcist that Don is leaving the Don & Mike Show on WJFK. Now granted, I think they definitely peaked like 15 years ago and I rarely listen to them anymore, but it's always been comforting knowing they're still there when I want a little cynicism and listener bashing. It's definitely the end of an era. Apparently Mike will carry on without Don, but it's just never the same when that kind of thing happens . . . but I do wish both of them good luck. I'm so sad!

VA Banning Smoking?

I was bored at work today and didn't feel like being there, so I cleaned out my 130+ unread e-mail messages. I have a terrible habit of giving my email out to everyone and getting on just about every list out there, so I get all kinds of things I don't have time to read. There was an old newsletter sitting in my inbox with this article about how local law makers--including Arlington County and Alexandria--are trying to get legislation passed to ban smoking from public restaurants. Of course this failed in similar state-wide attempts, but I'm hopefully that maybe such a local effort will get passed. That would be great!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Congrats to Hall of Famers

Now, I'm not usually one to make a football-related post, but I felt compelled to congratulate Art Monk and Darrell Green for being elected to the Hall of Fame! And I think I'm actually going to watch the Superbowl (or at least parts of it) tomorrow!

Also want to give a shout out to Catfish Honeymoon, who is playing tonight at Jay's Saloon. We're going to try to go for a bit. If you're not doing anything as you read this tonight, head over there right now!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jeter Gig on Friday!

Jeffro's band Jeter is playing at Bistro Europa in Old Town Alexandria this Friday, February 1st to kick off this Groundhog Day/Super Bowl weekend. They'll be rocking from 10-12, and PARTYNOW will be jamming from midnight until closing. As usual, there's no cover, so come on out, and bring your friends!


Need I say more? I'm so psyched the new season starts tonight, though from what I hear unless the writers strike ends soon, we'll be left hanging during the season at a pivotol moment. Enjoy tonight!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Heartache" Leave

This company in Japan gives their employees time off to get over a breakup. What a great idea! You're just going to call in "sick" and spend the day crying anyway. The amount of time given is based on age, the younger you are the less time you get because supposedly your relationships aren't as serious, but I actually think you should get more time the younger you are cause you have less experience with these things and it seems to suck much more.

BTW, today was NFD2 and tomorrow will make it three. I'm actually considering calling in sick Friday, depending on what happens in our meeting tomorrow that I'm not looking forward to. I think I'm officially over this job.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Unfortunately, I had yet another NFD at work--not fun day. I have got to win the lottery or something soon, cause I don't know how much more I can take. I would love to open my own business so the only person I have to be mad at for making stupid suggestions/decisions is me, but the problem is I don't know what to do. Apparently, the guys who started Three Dog Bakery were in the same boat years ago--they knew they wanted to open a business but didn't know what. At least they finally figured it out. When will that happen to me? Well, they are looking to start more bakeries, and this area would definitely support it, but I don't know if I want to help live someone else's dream or wait until my inspiration hits. At least knowing it happened to someone else gives me hope that maybe my life won't be a complete waste of time.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Good News

I know this is going to seem minor and ridiculous to some people, but today my 14-year old dog jumped up on the couch for the first time in like 6 months. She's just gotten too old for that kind of stuff, so I don't know what possessed her. She's been eyeing it for a couple of days now like she wanted to jump up, so I guess she finally worked up to it. She's had a hard time recently getting into the car, so this is a big step for her!

In other weekend news, my sisters are coming over tomorrow for their once-a-year visit. I generally go over to see them, not the opposite way. Long story. So tonight I need to straighten up and make some soup for lunch. I also am going to make some brownies after I clean the stove. I had a big disaster this week where I spilled a bunch of stuff in the stove, so it needs a good once over before using it again.

Today was really busy, had my Italian class then ran a bunch of errands. It's been errand weekend. Yesterday I ran a bunch too, and bought a whole bunch of stuff to get my closet downstairs organized. Now to find the time to do it . . .

There was a recycling event in my neighborhood today, and I took my old PC over and had them destroy the hard drive so I didn't have to deal with it. I also took an old car stereo. It felt good to get rid of stuff that was just sitting around here. Guess I'm in a spring cleaning kind of mood.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Calling All Cat Lovers

I saw this the other day on Yahoo and thought it was just the cutest thing. A cat goes missing from home, only to turn up in a suitcase that someone took home by accident. Very cute.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Three-Day Weekend

It's been a pretty good and productive weekend so far and I'm very psyched to have tomorrow off. I've been taking care of my neighbor's dogs in addition to my own this weekend, so I've had double the amount of daily walks in this freezing cold temperature. Needless to say, I'm very happy she's returning tomorrow.

Besides that, I have:
  • Attended a neighbor's Robert Burns party and eaten some haggis. Check out the details on Jeffro's blog.
  • Done some housework, including vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, in preparation for a friend coming over.
  • Cooked some fabulous lentil soup--perfect for a cold winter night.
  • Gone out to eat with said friend at Hank's Oyster Bar in Old Town. Pretty decent oysters and heavenly mac and cheese.
  • Afterwards, went shopping at my favorite little antique store and bought a cute little sterling silver and pearl ring for only $25! I've been looking for one recently, and who could beat that price?
Tomorrow the only obligation I have is a vet appointment (early in the morning, why did I do that to myself?), then hopefully just relaxing inside, although I have some work I really need to do. But it remains to be seen whether I'll be motivated to do it or not.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Idol's Phil Stacey

Remember him (the bald military guy) from last season? I wasn't a big fan until he sang a Keith Urban song towards the end of his tenure there . . . I guess others agreed that country was the way to go, cause Phil was signed with Lyric Records and has emerged as an aspiring country music artist. Check out his myspace page here. His song actually isn't too bad but as one caller pointed out this morning, there's really nothing that original about his vocals or style.

What Doesn't Oprah Have?

Oprah made an announcement the other day that she and Discovery Communications were joining forces to launch, what else, an Oprah channel! It's called OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network that will "entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives." Look for it in 2009 on what's currently the Discovery Health Channel. Is there anything she doesn't have or hasn't done? She amazes me . . .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Taylor Hicks: The Memoir?

I saw this book in Best Buy the other day and couldn't believe that Taylor Hicks had actually written a memoir. Um . . . I really liked him on Idol, but admit that I would never buy his CD and have found his "results" after Idol to be a bit underwhelming. Who even knew that he published this book back in July? And what kind of career has he had to be writing a memoir already? Very odd.

Before She's Released

I heard this song on the radio the other day, and I have to admit it's pretty funny. It's in response to Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats. Click here to Jeffro's page on WMZQ and scroll down till you see Fitz: Before She's Released. The voice isn't that great, but it's pretty funny, even using ideas from the original song.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Apparently nothing's been terribly interesting enough for me to post. I've been pretty busy with watching too much CSI, work stuff, and starting a new yoga class for the year, but nothing compelling enough to turn into a post.

However, for lack of better material, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are expecting their first kid together. Get the scoop here. I'm not terribly surprised, although it's hard to think of her being nice enough to have kids. But she is getting up there in age, so if she wanted them with Keith, it was wise to get to it.

I am looking forward to this weekend, when NOAAgirl is having a little get-together. Haven't seen her and DH in too long. I also start my Italian lessons on Saturday and have my drum lesson on Sunday. Sounds like I'm overextended? You betcha. I also have to take one of the dogs to the vet for a routine check.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, it's hard to believe another year has passed by. Don't we all remember the dread of 2000 and the possibility of Armaggedon and computer meltdown? That seems like just yesterday.

I hope that 2008 will be a much better year for everyone. At least Jeffro and I started the new year right with a party at the Old Dominion Boat Club. This great band, Route 66, played and we had a fun dancing till after midnight.

It's been an exhausting few days--just yesterday we got back to town after having gone to NY for a brief stint to attend my remaining grandmother's 90th birthday party. She doesn't look like she's doing well, so at least I made it up there to see her and help her celebrate.