Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall treasures

After being away from a good Virginia fall for two years, I've finally come to realize how much I've taken for granted most of my life. We're experiencing spectacular colors this year, and John and I have been loving it! It's been a while since I've written a good, descriptive update on life, but life has been busy--a good busy for once--and I'll have to stop to gather my thoughts a bit before I can write something more meaningful. For now, enjoy these beautiful fall scenes:

Up next: Nikki and John's most rally-ing-est adventures!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thinking some thoughts

Some thoughts that have been swirling around my head, needing to be released:

1. What happened to Dunkin' Donut's doughnuts with the rainbow sprinkles on top? There used to be a heavy, even layer of sprinkles on the chocolate frosting, but lately, they've only been covering half of the doughnut...and sparsely, at that!

2. High School Musical 3: The announcer says, "This is the biggest year of their lives." Seriously? So, it's all downhill from senior year, huh? I sure hope not.

3. Bamboo sheets: Though the overall carbon footprint of bamboo materials is a little questionable, I cannot recommend these sheets enough. I actually stayed in bed for an extra half hour, rubbing my arms, legs, and feet all over the sheets just because it felt that good.

4. I start sewing classes in a week and a half! I'm SO excited, and am already gathering my supplies. I'm going to get my mom's Singer scissors sharpened next week. We'll be making a tote bag, and pajama pants--possibly my favorite thing to wear, besides coats.

5. I need a job!!! Someone please hire me!!

6. I haven't been in Virginia during the fall since I graduated from Longwood. This weather REALLY makes me miss being in Farmville from dinner at Macado's, La Parota, or Pino's to late night cavorting at Wal-Mart.

7. I <3 Obama's 'fro in his "That's the country I believe in" commercial.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kids say the darndest things

I may have romanticized open window weather in my last post, but there are some downsides to having your windows open 24/7. One of those is a result of the fact that kids like to get up at ungodly hours of the morning. My backyard neighbors have both a playset AND a trampoline, making them a hotspot among neighborhood children. Some conversation snippets I've been waking up to in the past few days:

Kid: William hates you!

Kid A: Well f*** you!
Kids B, C, and D: SSSHHHH!! SSSHHH!!!

Kid 1: Give me my ball back!
Kid 2: I don't HAVE your ball!
Kid 1: I'm gonna tell my mom that you had my ball and didn't give it back.
Kid 2: I don't HAVE your ball! I don't know where the f*** it is!
Kid 1: Alright, fine, bye!
Kid 2: Wait! Don't go!

Ah, so very tough.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life's little pleasures

We're having another mid-70's day with low humidity. After living in Virginia for 23 years, I know not to be fooled; balmy weather is probably just around the corner , waiting to rear its head and tease us until mid-October or so.

I'll take what I can get though--today, all the windows in the house are wide open, allowing a playful breeze to enter and fill the air with an unmistakable freshness. As I fold my laundry by the screen door, I hear children playing gleefully, and chickadees chirping and squabbling over the last crumbs of bread mom left outside. Even my parrots seem to sense the change; they are unusually quiet, cocking their little heads to the side, taking in the simple pleasures of a crisp, early fall day.

The fact that I have missed this time of year for two years now probably plays into my heightened enjoyment, but I'll take that as a blessing. It's two weeks until the end of September--time is fleeting, and sooner than I expect, I'll be lamenting over the short days, the wet coldness, and the bareness of the trees.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Some more randomness for your reading pleasure...

Comment and I'll give you a letter; then you have to list ten things you LOVE that begin with that letter. Afterward, post this in your journal and give out some letters of your own.

RS gave me the letter "F"

Factory tours
Fried foods
Fruity tea
French jazz and art music of the 20th century
Fille du Regiment, La

Monday, September 8, 2008

Because I've been too busy to write a real post...

...I'll entertain you with a mindless survey/questionnaire thing.

Name one fact about the last person who texted you?
Last text: LSU saying school is open on Monday
Last person who texted: Aaron, he was the best man at our wedding!

Honestly, what's on your mind right now?
How I want a piece of balogna.

What do you currently hear right now?
X-Files on TV

Can you sleep in jeans?
No, I don't wear them longer than I have to!

Where were you on July 4th, 2008?
At the in-laws' in Warrenton, and then at home to watch fireworks.

Who was the last person you were in a car with?

Do you care what others think about you?
Just my family and John

Good day?
Great day!

What do you look forward to in the next 3 months?
Getting unpacked and settled, finding a job, living in VA again.

Do you plan on moving out in the next year?
Already did that....and then I moved back in...with my husband! HA!!!

What are your plans for the weekend?
Next weekend, probably going to Ikea to get a new dresser. This weekend's just passed though, and we went apple picking, and fake Thanksgiving, and went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

Do you like winter?
I love all seasons. It's so hard for me to pick a favorite. I really hope it snows this winter!

Do you enjoy late night phone conversations?
With my sister, always. :) With everyone else, I'm not that great of a phone person.

What are you doing tomorrow?
Cleaning, unpacking.

How late did you stay up last night?
Too late, as usual.

Do you like your school?
Yes and no.

Ever met a real life prostitute?
Not that I know of at least.

What will you be doing at 8AM tomorrow?
Most likely sleeping. :)

Have you ever made a mistake?
I'm certainly no Mary Poppins.

What would your last meal be before getting executed?
Either Nai Taw beef noodle soup with their pickled peppers, or something with cheese in/on it.

Do you have any phobias?
caterpillars, starfish

Do you miss anyone?
I went to school in two states, away from home...I'm always missing someone!

What's your hair look like today?

Have you been outside today?
Yes, it was beautiful!

In the past week have you smiled?
I certainly hope so. Sometimes I laugh in my sleep. That's always funny to explain when I wake the two of us up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Olympic Seasons

I wonder if it's weird for southern hemisphere dwellers to have the Summer Olympics in the winter, and the Winter Olympics in the summer?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I got up earlier this morning to go to the bathroom, and was greeted by the familiar sound of the garbage truck. Looking up at the sleepy pink-blue sky, I was reminded of 8-count Crayola magic markers and those yellow wooden pencils that needed to be manually sharpened. I saw myself walking to the bus stop with my mother, doggedly reciting my multiplication table: "four times three is twelve. Four times four is sixteen." (And, as dogged as I was, I soon was able to do my math homework with ease--a first and only for me. Mother knows best.)

Today is the first day of school at both LSU and Longwood, and I am not among the crowds of rushed college students running to my first class, dragging on my left shoulder an overstuffed messenger bag. Instead, I sit here in my pajamas writing this blog entry. Yet, despite all the nostalgia of the morning, despite the reverie, something feels strangely calm and right about this situation.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I really like fitted and flat sheets for twin beds because it's really easy to tell which side is the long side, and which side is the short side.

Friday, August 1, 2008

"...they called me McPain"

One of the funniest celebrity sketches I've seen on Late Night with Conan O'Brien:

The key to my heart

Not only does Jorge Cham understand my struggles as a grad student, but he somehow sees into my innermost secrets...or at least into my juvenile love for potty humor. Little known fact about me: the word "feces," spoken or in print, will always make me giggle--in fact, I'm chuckling to myself as I re-read this blog entry. One time, while I was working with Dr. G, I came across Italian word "fece" (as in, singular form? hee!) and almost lost it right then and there like the four-year-old I can often be. It's become a pretty big joke between John and myself. For some reason, I find the word hilarious looking on the page and random sounding when uttered. Plus, there's the whole meaning behind it. I don't know what I'll do when I reach my middle-aged years and find the word mentioned with greater frequency at the doctor's office. And so I present to you the latest PhD comic:

(click for full size)

Happy August, everyone!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bright Eyes

I love him a lot.

Even when he's doing this:

I have the two best nephews ever. Biased aunt? Perhaps. :) (photos courtesy of my sister, aka His Mom)

Monday, July 28, 2008

FanGirl strikes again!

Fun little Access Hollywood interview between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny:

Everyone go out and see the movie! It didn't do so great opening weekend, and fangirls like me need it to make more money so the powers that be will produce another film for our viewing pleasure. ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

12-tone fun

AK posted this on her Facebook page, and I thought I'd share it with you all here too:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two days!!!

In two days, I will be transformed into a 15-year-old fangirl. Why? The X-Files movie is coming out on Friday!!! Now, I'm not going to go so far as to say that I am the ultimate fangirl, but I was pretty pathetic back in The X-Files' heyday. I've seen every episode up until Season 9 at least twice (I was pretty depressed when David Duchovny left, and then Gillian Anderson became sparse as well). A few random things. I:
  • Know almost all of the episode names, and can usually tell you what the name is within 5 minutes of viewing an episode
  • Have a whole manila folder full of X-Files magazine and newspaper clippings that I keep thinking I've thrown away by now, but in fact keeps resurfacing at the most inconvenient and embarrassing moments (like when I'm going through old memorabilia with my then new boyfriend John)
  • Am a little depressed that the first movie came out when I was 15, meaning that most 15-year-olds today were only 5 at the time
  • Can tell what season a given episode is in just by looking at Mulder's hair style
I really wanted to be one of those crazy people who waited in line until midnight to watch the movie, but John has to work. True, I could go by myself, but like I said--I'm not the ultimate fangirl, so I can wait a few extra hours. ;)

Here's the trailer for any of you who might be interested:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wedding Belle

Congratulations to SW and PK! Wishing you two many, many years of love, laughs, and happiness. It only gets better from here. <3

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happiness is....

John and I went to Wegman's today where we found a 3-lb. bag of "child size" gala apples. I love the child sized apples because they are just the perfect amount of apple for me during lunchtime. We then went to the bulk candy aisle (because Wegman's has the best bulk candy aisle there ever was) where I spotted a bin of giant Now and Laters. Here's a little known fact about me: I am obsessed over the banana flavored Now and Laters, even though I dislike actual bananas. What a joy-filled time it was for me to be able to pick out a bunch of banana Now and Laters and purchase only those (with a couple of apple flavored ones thrown in for good measure, of course) for my eating pleasure.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PVSD: Post Vacation Stress Disorder

Even though I had a most fantastic day today, I still can't help but wish I were back in Colorado, reading a book by the Arkansas river with my hummingbird and chipmunk friends.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Last week, John and I enjoyed a second family vacation with the Gilberts to Colorado (there has to be some benefit to being married and having to share every Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthday with two families...two vacations! Wahoo!). We had a GREAT time, and I definitely recommend everyone visit this state at least once.

Day 1
We left Dulles International Airport at 8:35 and arrived in Dallas Fort Worth a couple hours later for our 20 minute layover. at 12:15 mountain time, we were in Denver, Colorado! Our first stop was to the Budget Rent-A-Car where John's parents were set up with a Cadillac! The Cadillac became the butt of many of our (John's) jokes through the week.

After we got our bags loaded, we headed out in search of lunch. AAA did a wonderful job recommending the Wynkoop Brewing Company--I think I could eat there every day! I had a dish of mouth-watering sausages atop a bed of perfect mashed potatoes, and John had some of the most yummy fried chicken in chicken gravy I had ever tasted. Once we had finished our meal, we took the hour and a half drive to Colorado Springs and rested for the remainder of the day.

Day 2
We began our day with a hike through the Garden of the Gods park a mile or two from our hotel. My father always told me that Colorado was named so because of the big red rocks, and I never believed him--it was more along the lines of an "Ok dad, whatever!" type thing. Well, not only was I facing larger-than-life red rocks to prove his theory to me, but this sign sure made me feel like a fool:

I can't even describe how beautiful and unreal the big red boulders and rock formations were. Half the time I felt like I was on a Hollywood movie set, surrounded by concrete set props and fake mountain backdrops. We hiked a total of 3-3.5 miles through a few trails, and this city girl got to see things she had never seen before, like young mule deer bucks munching away on grass, or a real life cactus growing in the wild!

Lunch time quickly approached, and John's sister and dad found a neat little Buffalo BBQ Festival in Manitou Springs (20 or so minutes from Colorado Springs). We dined on buffalo brisket, burgers, and brats, which honestly tasted just like beef, spiced a little differently. After lunch, we strolled around the downtown area of Manitou Springs (which is very adorable) until our reservation time for the train ride on the Cog Railway at Pike's Peak came around. The views on the way up to Pike's Peak were INCREDIBLE.

At 14,110 feet in altitude, we passed a layer of clouds on the way up to the top.

Unfortunately, weather was not on our side, so we remained in the layer of clouds while at the summit.

Things cleared for a brief two minutes, and I was able to get this sliver of a view:

Day 3
So, a note to people with asthma and other pulmonary problems: going to Colorado during their allergy season and pushing yourself to walk around at the summit of Pike's Peak are probably not a good idea:

I woke up with severe chest pain and shortness of breath, and promptly went to the ER as I had been having the same symptoms since the night before. My doctor today was not very apt at treating me, and though I was not admitted, I stayed in the hospital for about 4 1/2 hours getting x-rays, nebulizer treatments, and bloodwork done. Once we got out of the hospital (I still wasn't feeling much better), we went to a pleasant dinner at John's mom's cousin's mountain home. Even though we had been eating interesting food for the past few days, a home-cooked meal is always welcome!

Day 4
I wasn't feeling too much better still, so I went to the ER again, this time to a more competent doctor. He felt that I was having lung irritation from the allergens in the air which would have been manageable by themselves, but the addition of going to Pike's Peak pushed me over the edge. My chest pain was explained as severe bronchial spasms, and I was given a treatment plan and sent on my way. The doctor even cleared me for our white water rafting trip on Thursday!

Finally starting to feel better, we drove a couple hours to Canon City for a relaxing train ride through the Royal Gorge. This ride also offered beautiful views (I don't know what in Colorado doesn't though) and we even got to enjoy a top-notch lunch on the ride.

After the ride, we headed toward our river house in Buena Vista, but not before taking an accidental 30-mile detour to the Continental divide:

We finally reached our rental home later that evening, and were all pleased to see that the house was indeed on the Arkansas river, and contained even more of that Rocky Mountain scenery.

For dinner, we went to this weird Mexican place called Casa del Sol. The food was ok, but they served the strangest meatball soup which consisted of beef broth and two tiny meatballs. As with the Cadillac, the meatball soup became the butt of many more of our jokes for the week.

Day 5
Because of my two ER jaunts and because John's mom wasn't feeling too hot herself, we decided to take it easy and relax today. John's father and sister went hiking for half the day, while I worked on my thesis a little bit and read one of the books I brought on the trip. Today, I made it my project to capture a decent of this ruby-throated little guy:

Of course, he remained elusive and I never got a great picture, but it was great to be in his company nonetheless! I was able to get a couple photos of other hummingbird friends and a little chipmunk too:

We stayed in for dinner today. John's dad made a great steak dinner, while his sister and I chopped and roasted some veggies. Mmm.

Day 6
Whitewater rafting day! We'd all been looking forward to this since the beginning of the week. Unfortunately, we have no photos to show for it because the professional shots were selling from $30-$50!! Outrageous! John's sister bought a waterproof camera, but we haven't developed the film yet. Hopefully, decent photos are forthcoming.

The trip was absolutely amazing though! John's dad and sister fell overboard (they were sitting up front) but made it through and got back on the raft like champs. The views, as always, were fantastic, and my only complaint was that the day was too short. John and I took a short walk in the surrounding area of our rental home when we got back, and we found the biggest dandelion-like puff thing we had ever seen!

And, in case you were wondering, these were the views we got to see from our house, every day for three days:

Day 7
Time to head back to Denver for our flight back the next day. We stayed at a Hyatt Place, which was really comfy and cozy. For lunch, we went to this great sushi place called Bara Sushi and all had the generous bento box. I had some of the best salmon sashimi I have ever had! Definitely drop on in if you're ever in the Denver area. We kicked back until dinner, and again ate fabulously at Rock Bottom Brewery. John's sister got a whole beer sampler (all brewed at the restaurant, much like Sweetwater Tavern) and I scarfed down an awesome meatloaf with a gravy made with the on-site brewed ale. Not too much sightseeing, but good eating today!

Day 8
Our flight was delayed, but we had a rather uneventful trip back home (aside from the babbling child sitting behind me). Though we had a great stay in Colorado, I think all of us were pretty happy to be back in Virginia again.