The hubby and I are spending our third Christmas together. And last night, we were giggling in front of our tree and the fire and talking about memories of Christmas past.
Our family traditions are different. In his, the kids wake up and tear into their stockings while the parents suck down coffee and wake up slowly. It's festive and lovely and there is lots of laughter. We eat eggs benedict with Christmas Eve's leftover ham. And then the family gathers in front of the tree to open presents. Honestly, it's a bit more sedate than my memories, but then again - we all are over the age of 25 and I wonder if that has a little bit to do with it. I have never enjoyed Christmas as much as I do now. I'm guessing, again, that it has something to do with my age.
In my small bag of tricks I bring from my family, the kids wake up the parents, but the kids have to wait upstairs - with clean teeth and brushed hair and made beds, while the parents have their coffee. We wait for the sound of Christmas bells and my father to utter, "Ho Ho Ho!" to know that Santa has finally left the area and we race down the stairs to recover our stockings. I've also never met a family that treated the nativity like we did. Baby Jesus never arrived in his manger until Christmas morning. It was placed under the tree while we slept, so my brother and I always checked to make sure he was there. You know, finally.
Luckily for me, my first Christmas away from my family included the bells and the cookies and trappings that were important to me. My mother-in-law called me and asked what made Christmas for me and she included my traditions into her festivities.
When K. brought up the fact that Christmas will be much more fun once we have little ones - besides gagging - I thought of the beauty of combining our respective traditions and making new ones for just our family. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to celebrate. Am I the only one who not only leaves cookies for Santa but also a small slice of cheese for Santa Mouse?
I love Christmas. We're leaving today for the warmer south and will be down there a week. I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true - and that you are surrounded by the warmth and love of those you hold dear. Happy Christmas!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Published by cck at 10:21 AM
The hubby and I are spending our third Christmas together. And last night, we were giggling in front of our tree and the fire and talking about memories of Christmas past.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Published by cck at 4:41 PM
It's the week before Christmas and I have all the windows in my house open. Bright sunshine is streaming in and I want to put on shorts. Tomorrow is supposed to hit 80 degrees. It's my third Christmas in Florida and for the first time, it really feels like Christmas.
Our house is all decorated, and I've finished wrapping all the presents. My aunt will be here in two days and I cannot stand how excited I am for Christmas. K. and I are exchanging gifts (real gifts) for the first time. The last two years we wrote letters to each other, and while I hope that tradition continues, there will be something a little more materialistic under the tree this year. And no, K., it is not a nintendo wii. I am so ready to celebrate the holiday with my family.
ps. Voting on haircolor continues until Friday morning. I still haven't made up my mind.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Published by cck at 6:58 PM
Oh my. Y'all, cherries are on sale at Publix this week - go get you some. I got mine drunk and now I am a very happy girl. You can do it too! Really.
Simple, simple, simple. Now I canned mine - meaning that I processed the jars (wash them by hand or stick them in the dishwasher, then boil them for about ten minutes and keep in hot water till you are ready to fill them with the cherries). Visit www.freshpreserving.com for more information about easy canning.
Okay, so onto the drunken part. Wash the cherries thoroughly and submerge in water. Discard any cherries that float (supposedly, they might have worms in them). Using a pitter, pit all the cherries. Trust me, a pitter is a worthy investment. You'll start making pies after this. Really.
In a saucepan, bring some (recipe below) sugar, water and lemon juice to a rolling boil. I also added a few strips of orange peel with about 50% of the pith removed. Once the syrup is boiling, lower the heat to keep a simmer and add all the cherries. Gently stir it all up and let it simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and add the liquor (I used Gran Mariner - go crazy: brandy, cointreau or hazlenut liquor would be yummy).
After all that, ladle cherries into jar and top with the remaining liquid. If you're processing your cherries, I put them in a boil bath for ten minutes. Spoon over ice cream, into a pie crust or over chocolate cake. These are so good. SOOOOO GOOD!
I just started canning. My marmalade, while tasty, came out cloudy. My red pepper jelly is pretty fantastic, but I tried to do something with pears that we will not talk about. Ever. Loved this quote from angry chicken "Well, nothing like homemade gifts." Let me know if you get your cherries drunk!
4 lbs Cherries - washed, stems and pits removed
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
Thinly sliced rind from 1/2 an orange
1 1/4 c. liquor
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Published by cck at 2:51 PM
I love coloring my hair. When I was younger, I did it myself. As I've grown up, I've realized that (at least for me) heaven is not found in a box of L'Oreal. That has not stopped me from being adventurous.
I went red a few months ago (look to the left), but now I'm looking for a change. What do y'all think? Keep the red or go darker like Natalie from Love Actually (I set the dvr and I think I've watched it seven times now). Help!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Published by cck at 10:52 PM
I have a lot of thoughts about what's going on with the proposed bail out of America's biggest employer. I'm a fan of keeping auto workers working.
I'm shocked that car companies are being blamed for chasing profits. Sure, it's great to look back and shake our heads at the gasoline beasts - the Hummers, the giant trucks, the Explorers. Man, that was silly! But during the height of the crazy buying sprees, very few were thinking that we should create cars that would be better for the environment, easy going at the pump.
You know who was thinking of all that? Lemme tell you -- (you might have guessed) -- the BIG THREE. That's right folks... Ford had to come up with the Explorer in order to come up with the Hybrid Escape.
I know that there's a certain resonance with build it and they will buy. But, who's to blame for the Hummer craze? It's the buyer right? I mean, no one was forcing aging men to buy tanks to drive down Appalachee, Augusta or Forest Drive. Since when are Americans afraid of making a profit?
Bail out the Big Three. Do it now. Do it before our economy gets worse.
Published by cck at 12:17 PM
My husband and I traveled down south for Thanksgiving. It was fantastic -- absolutely lovely to spend four days with our family. First, let's talk food... I actually got to help in the kitchen, which was pretty cool. I learned how to make Nana's stuffing, which according to the spouse was a make-it-or-break-it deal. If I couldn't make sausage stuffing, I'm pretty sure we'd be in couples counseling.
I like Thanksgiving. It's a big deal in my book - a major holiday. This was the first one I spent with a family that was not my family. And in doing so, I realized that my family was much bigger than I imagined.
Friday entailed sleeping in and a long boat ride. Nothing like fresh air and sunshine to follow a huge meal. I wish I'd brought my camera. K. and I sat in the front of the boat, snuggled up against the cold wind. I had a long and meaningful conversation with my mother-in-law. The more time I spend with them, the more I feel the knots of family tension (my own baggage) unwind, unfurl, ease. The more time I spend with myself, I become who I am.
Ohmygoodness, and the pies! I made dutch apple (passed down from my great-great-grandmother), pumpkin and cherry. Yes, I'm domestic. Dude - my motto is if you're going to eat pie it should be really good pie.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Published by cck at 2:02 PM
One of the many things I miss being estranged from my immediate family is the holiday stuff. No, not opening presents or swilling eggnog, but the very things that help to dress up the holiday itself. The handmade Thanksgiving runner? The kissing Mr and Mrs Claus? The large coffee table book with no words? Yes. Those things.
I hate to admit I miss these things more than I miss my parents, but let's face it - the book Santa Mouse never caused the level of tension in my house that they did. I miss my ornaments, the ones that I always claimed - the ones half-broken with my name scrawled on the bottom. I miss the special dishes and tins, the way certain things were celebrated - unique to my family and my family alone.
I ran across a small used book - the The Little Lost Angel. I remember it so well. I can remember the feel of it under my fingertips. I decided it was my Christmas gift to myself. (Well worth the $4).
Monday, November 24, 2008
Published by cck at 10:40 PM
I crack myself up.
Meanwhile, I have a pound of figs in my fridge that need to be made into something. Anything. Well, something that travels well - perhaps something I can take to Thanksgiving or even freeze. The figs are gorgeous. Deeply purple.
But what does one do with them? Any ideas dear readers?
Published by cck at 10:57 AM
I blame the Dutch. Why did they come up with the dutch oven? What were they hoping to prove? What point were they hoping to make?
I doubt there was political motivation. No - one night, a particular gassy man decided to prank his poor bedmate and the threat was born. Honed over generations, it's the procedure that makes a fart that more damning.
Published by cck at 3:39 AM
A pastor in East Texas is challenging his congregation to commit to seven days of sex. You heard me (or, um, read me) correctly. Sex. Seven days. In a row. Link here.
At first, I was sort of scandalized. I mean, a preacher talking about sex in the pulpit? Are you kidding me? And then I remembered a marriage book I read earlier this year. It was authored by two ministers who claimed that it was a lot harder to hate someone while sexually satisfied. That it was a lot harder to ignore doing a chore, keeping a promise or being nice when you still had that ahem, rosy glow.
And you know what, they're right. In busy households around the country partners are pulled in three thousand directions. There are so many distractions - responsibilities piled on top of responsibilities. How do we make an effort to connect with our partners? I heard a joke recently, told by a young man with nine brothers and sisters. Apparently his parents didn't have a TV in their bedroom. Hmmm....
The Bible talks about sex - a lot about love between two people. I really believe lovemaking is an important component of a marriage. Will it solve major problems? Will sex save a sinking ship? Will making whoopee rescue your 401k? Um, no.
But the connection achieved by a loving, compassionate and satisfying sex life might help prevent some of those catastrophic problems. It's a lot more fun than couples counseling.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Published by cck at 12:59 PM
We're watching Paula Deen this morning. She starts slicing into a huge turkey.
Across the room, I hear a rumble... a growl from my husband. "UGH! THANKSGIVING!"
"I WANT TURKEY."
People. Life is never boring in our family.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Published by cck at 4:11 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Published by cck at 5:34 PM
I love bacon. I love bloody marys.
Check out The Farmhouse at Serenbe. I must go there soon.
Published by cck at 4:31 PM
There's something about pie and the men in my family. PIE! Pie. PIE! They get on a roll: apple! cherry! strawberry! blueberry! peach! Dear lord, it's as if the only way these men eat fruit is when encased in a crust.
For once, I'm not making something chocolate for a family celebration. Nope, we're talking three serious pies. Pumpkin (using Smitten's recipe), Cherry and Dutch Apple. I didn't quite realize it, but the Dutch Apple pie has been passed down from my great-great-grandmother.
I'm excited. I'm not a huge fan of pie -- I hate apple pie for instance (the Dutch Apple notwithstanding). But something about the pumpkin sounds good. I'm really ready for Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for this year.
I'll let you know how it goes. I'm charging the camera for the making of the apple pie. I'm going to take pictures. Really.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Published by cck at 6:44 PM
I don't usually like pancakes. Like, ever. I can remember the exact day that my normal American love of pancakes died... My dad was joking around and uttered, "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips." Ugh! Could he not have said that about - I dunno - french fries? Onion rings? Hot dogs? Nope. Pancakes were ruined forever.
And quite honestly, I'm sort of okay with that. It's not as if I've missed doughy breakfast. Until this Sunday. People, I made some pancakes. And ohmygaw, they were so good I am now a believer.
I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe as a base. But, I didn't have any buttermilk. Instead of using the whole vinegar in milk thing, I added a little sour cream and some fresh ground nutmeg. And I used some leftover cake flour. We're talking light and fluffy. Then, I sliced one apple thinly. Tossed the slices with some cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. I cooked them after making the pancakes and then served the apple stuff on top of the stack. I just now recovered. Wished I'd taken pictures. When will I learn?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Published by cck at 8:45 PM
Is there anything better on a Sunday than to eat barbecue (thank you Sal for the Carolina Gold!), take a walk on a chilly night and then curl up to a fire and the Wizard of Oz?
I think not.
Published by cck at 12:04 PM
Seriously. I hear it calling to me. It's gorgeous.
Now, just somewhere to wear it....
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Published by cck at 6:01 PM
while hopped up on Mucinex and cough syrup:
1. Read two (2) of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Easy read people.
2. Shopped online - Talbots Outlet, I heart you big time.
3. Read all the bios of the new chefs on Top Chef.
4. Decided to make all of the desserts for big-family Thanksgiving.
a. Made spreadsheet with possible items
b. Tried to align each family members taste with possible items.
c. Decided I needed to get better quickly.
5. Set up TIVO/DVR Thing to include not only Burn Notice and Dr. Who (K.'s additions), but also Lipstick Jungle and Army Wives.
6. Wished for the zillionth time I liked taking naps when sick.
7. Whined to myself, to the dog and to Chris on the phone, a lot.
Published by cck at 12:26 PM
I am blah sick. And I do not feel good. And I am glad the weather got my memo about behaving appropriately because now it's sort of gray outside instead of like yesterday when everything was bright and beautiful and mocking me because I could barely move from one room to another.
And did you know one of the best things when you think you have the flu, but are pretty sure it's too early to have the flu because your doctor hasn't even warned you to get the flu shot yet? Watching Steel Magnolias. And drinking green tea. And whining. Whining really pulls the whole thing together.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Published by cck at 11:17 PM
I'm on my knees.
I have never voted for a presidential candidate that became the president. Thank you, President-Elect Obama for changing that pattern. Thank you campaign staff, for working tirelessly to change opinions, fight bigotry and running a cracker-jack campaign. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I am so looking forward to tomorrow.
Published by cck at 9:52 PM
I am giddy. I know it's still early, but I'm trying to do the math and I can't figure out how McCain wins.
I have never voted for a winning president. THIS IS AWESOME.
Published by cck at 9:26 PM
Just a quick thought -- I'm currently tuning in to CNN, with occasional switches to NBC/ABC during commercials.
Have you seen the images coming from Chicago and the ones from Phoenix? It's as if the visions of the two campaigns were boiled down and regurgitated in some sort of Who's Victory Party Is It Anyway? episode.
One is open, energetic and swollen with proud supporters. The other is exclusive, small and quiet. Go figure.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Published by cck at 6:25 PM
Seriously people: Go vote.
While I hope you do not cast your vote for a future tended by John McCain, I do hope you exercise your fought-for right to share your opinion.
Let it be a safe day tomorrow for all potential voters. Let it be a day that celebrates the tenets of this great nation, and eschews discrimination and personal gain. I love election day - go get your electoral communion.
Now's the time to go buy a hat and hold the f. on to it. (h/t J. Matt)
Published by cck at 8:26 AM
Dear Red States:
If you manage to steal this election, too, we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.
In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.
To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Mississippi State.
You win on Disney World.
We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Kentucky.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.
Please be aware that Nuevo California will support women's health and the lives of American soldiers, and thus we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.
With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce crops, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. We have mountains, lakes and plains.
With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Additionally, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.
Love & Kisses,
The Blue States
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Published by cck at 3:59 PM
Earlier this week (read: a week ago), I started having trouble breathing. My chest felt tight. I rifled through webMD in order to self-diagnose. I was relatively sure that I wasn't experiencing heart failure. Nonetheless, I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to remind myself to breathe.
A year ago - right about now - I was throwing clothes, random clothes, into a bag. I packed seven T-shirts and no socks. The fact that temperatures in Greenville, SC tend to be a bit cooler than Tallahassee didn't seem to connect. I was crying and yelling and trying to make sure that we were ready to leave.
I got a call at work around 3:45 pm; it was time to come home... to say good-bye to Grami. My grandmother died a year ago Monday, the morning of November 3rd. This morning, NPR had something on about the Day of the Dead and a woman from NC called in because she would love to know how her late grandmother would have voted. Her grandmother was born in 1891. I would love to talk to Grami about how she was going to vote. We always talked about the elections. She would patiently listen to my opinions and share hers. I imagine that she would have voted for Obama. Not that she would have been jazzed about it - but I think she would have been pissed about Palin. Pissed at McCain.
My chest is tight. Once I finally figured out that the shortness of breath wasn't because of some weird pre-heart attack, but only mourning coming to visit again, it became easier to cry. The radio played a John Denver song about sunshine and I remember her voice clearly - before sickness and age changed it - singing You Are My Sunshine to me.
I miss you Grami. And I love you.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Published by cck at 9:59 AM
Since I have not made jello shots since college (which is quickly headed for that 10 year mark), what flavors of jello shots do you like?
I'm planning ahead for FSU - Clemson. Just roll with it.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Published by cck at 10:30 AM
Great T-shirt: Taste we can believe in.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Published by cck at 3:00 PM
Hi. If anyone would like two tickets to the Carolina v. Arkansas game I would love to send them to you.
Not particularly good tickets, but they're yours if you want them. Leave me a message.
ps. (I hate eBay).
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Published by cck at 11:02 AM
If I'm a little melancholy on the inside, but generally optimistic and happy, is that a bad thing?
(in reading Everyday Stranger)
Published by cck at 9:51 AM
I voted on Monday - the first day of early voting in Florida. It was beautiful. In the morning, more than 800 students and faculty from Florida A&M marched to Leon County Courthouse - with the marching band - to line up to vote. I get goosebumps just writing about it.
I voted in the afternoon, in a much shorter line - one that was only about 100 deep. I don't know what it is about voting that makes me grin from ear to ear. It's so incredibly exciting - I get to vote. You can't help but think of all the places where my lining up to vote would have caused much more of a stir.
Truth be told, I was a little nervous voting. I voted for a Republican for the first time in my life. It was a really hard decision too. My state house district has been held by an amazing woman, Loranne Ausley. Tough shoes to fill for any new candidate. The Democrat, however, left a bad taste in my mouth when she sued to have her opponent thrown off the ballot. The Republican is moderate. And that's probably the best thing I can say about him, aside from the fact that he's from South Carolina.
I nearly had a panic attack in the voting booth. But, like many voters of less crazed political affiliation (read: intense), I hoped I made the right decision. I felt educated (or mostly educated). I filled in my little bubble and then slipped it in the optical reader and hoped my vote would be counted. It is Florida after all...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Published by cck at 9:31 PM
What's the inside of the elbow called?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Published by cck at 4:25 PM
totally making this for the next tailgate.
Not Martha's Jello Fruit.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Published by cck at 10:44 AM
Air quotes and rolling eyes. John McCain reminded me of myself - circa 1998, Greenville High National Forensic Debate Tournament. I was in Congress. And man, I was obnoxious. I've gotten through made-up words and snickers, I cannot stand to watch Johnny Boy for the next four years. I watched *most* of the debates last night. I had to switch to the Project Runway finale, which even with its boring finalists was still infinitely more interesting than watching John McCain grab for the right words or suck his teeth. (Did y'all hear that? It was disgusting).
I did catch this part:
I gasped. My opinions on a woman's reproductive choices are well documented. And hell yes they're liberal. You are talking about MY BODY. It works both ways. I am so lucky (oh my goodness) that I have the choice (and the ability) to use drugs and doctors and Glenda the Good Witch in order to GET pregnant. But, considering my odds of developing life-threatening issues while pregnant... You think it's a choice a mother wants to make? She puts it on her list of to-do's next to painting the nursery and wondering if the name Emma is overused?
Since I unearthed all my potential difficulties earlier this year, I've been reading A Little Pregnant. She's funny, smart and realistic. And today she posted about this issue and it's so good. You should read it. You need to read it. How could women vote for this man?
Published by cck at 9:58 AM
I'm traveling up north next weekend (Stamford & Wappingers Falls) and I cannot wait! I've never been to Connecticut or NY during that time of the year and I'm ready see to miles and miles intensely colored leaves.
We've been doing a lot of family history searches lately and we might even spend part of Saturday going to Ellis Island. I am so excited! It's finally getting a little cooler here and the humidity is starting to drop. Hello Autumn! So, without further ado, my yearly tradition - October gave a party...
by: George Cooper
October gave a party,
The leaves by hundreds came.
The chestnut oaks, and maples
and leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
Miss Weather led the dancing
Professor Wind the band.
The chestnuts came in yellow
The oaks in crimson dressed
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
Then, in a rustic hollow,
at hide and seek they played
The party closed at sundown
and everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder
They flew along the ground
then the party ended
in jolly "hands around."
Monday, October 13, 2008
Published by cck at 8:35 PM
I'm all for really funny, weird and/or strange advertising. Me so Hyundai? Loved it. Hated it too, but I thought it was so bad it was good.
But this? THIS? Seriously?
Published by cck at 1:42 PM
I'm not proud of it, but last night while watching Evan Almighty and waiting for True Blood & Mad Men, I got something.
If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?Ha! I laughed so loud Chris was startled. Not that I haven't heard that a million times, but last night I heard it in a whole new way. I cannot believe some of the things I've been faced with in the last three years. And yet, each and every challenge: every joy and each disgrace brought me closer to God and closer to the point where I now stand. I am so incredibly blessed.
So, do you think if I pray to lose weight, God will help me with the motivation to get to the gym?
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Published by cck at 5:06 PM
The current climate in our household is, um, tense. With less than a month to the election, K. and I have taken to watching debates in separate places, let alone separate rooms. We watch YouTube clips with headphones in our ears, less we awaken the partisan beast in our respective better half.
It has been suggested to me - by more than one person - that I gently poison my spouse before election day. Just a stomach flu, they offered. Unfortunately, early voting in Florida prohibits this action. Not that I would ever take it that far. C'mon. But, it does make me happy that my vote neutralizes his. Ha! At least in this state, my vote has a chance of making a difference.
Since we need something to look forward to as a couple that does not include inauguration plans, we're having an oyster roast. I'm hoping it will become some sort of tradition, hence my naming the event the "first annual." I'm not real sure you can really do that. Not that tradition has ever stopped me, especially when oysters are involved.
Having never instigated an oyster roast, I called my grandfather to get the specifics. Apparently, we get to build a fire in our backyard! I am really excited. We're doing oysters and frogmore stew, coleslaw and cornbread. Hopefully my MIL will bring her famous Bourbon Brownies and we'll call it a day. We're even thinking of having a candidate death match - with nerf bats and face masks. It's still in development.
If you're in the Tallahassee area the Friday before the Clemson game - as in the Friday after election day, y'all come on over.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Published by cck at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Published by cck at 9:22 PM
I headed up to Oxford for the weekend. It was incredible. I still cannot believe I drove 1,000 miles. It was a small sacrifice to see the Gamecocks play!
Let's see - I was nervous before I left. Not only because I was going to see K-Cali for the first time since my wedding (gawd, was it really that long? a mistake that will not be repeated), but also because I was heading to Oxford for the first time since I left almost five years ago. It was like facing an ex-boyfriend when you've gained 20 pounds.
Driving in to town on Hwy 6 was so much easier than I thought it would be. Heck, driving was much easier than I thought it would be. It was a beautiful ride. I drove by my old apartment on Anderson Road and parked in front of the building. The motion light my dad installed was still there. It was the perfect moment.
Oooh la la was still open! My favorite little shop in Oxford. We ate dinner at Ajax. Seeing Katie was fantastic. I couldn't believe how much I missed her. I seriously had to fight the urge to cry (the only moment the whole weekend where tears almost broke through). However, I'm sure she would have teased me mercilessly. It would have been awkward for those around us.
Walking to The Grove the next morning - I could not stand it. The weather was perfect, the company genteel and the accents soothing. K. keeps teasing me because I came home with a southern accent. I can't help it -- when I hear southern voices, it reminds me so much of what I grew up with. Anyway - the best bloody marys, unbelievable spreads in every tent and the sound of the wind through trees. Not to mention a football game where I got to cheer, make friends with the people around me and see COCKY!!! (I was like a little kid). I saw a friend from high school, someone recognized from my section and I got sing the fight song. Could not have been better!
It felt like putting on my favorite jeans - visiting Oxford. I don't think I would have wanted to go back before. And I'm glad that Katie was there, whether she knew it or not, it was easier with her there. Not to mention just deep down good. Sorry this is so sappy, but everything about my weekend was just what I needed --- the calming drive, seeing old friends and having fun. Whew, I love my life.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Published by cck at 6:53 PM
I leave for Oxford tomorrow morning. And so, I've been thinking a lot about my very brief stay there. It all seems very romantic - the small town, The Square, The Grove, contracts, property and late night trips to the all-night Wal-Mart.
I've been wondering if it was such a mistake to give up on that life-long dream so easily. I have absolutely no doubt that it was right for me to leave, but why am I not going back?
For now, that desire to be humiliated in front of my peers will have to wait. I'm really excited about going tomorrow. I'm getting there a little early just to walk around. At least I can say I did it.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Published by cck at 10:29 PM
I was a child. I was sneaking MTV and reading Seventeen magazine. John McCain was in the House making bad decisions.
How can you claim to be a maverick when you've been in the process almost as long as I've been alive? I cannot name one single thing you've done except for take a whole lot of junkets (no wonder you haven't been around in the Senate!).
Foreign policy is your favorite subject - I get that. I wish more time had been spent on the current crisis. More time spent on explanations from McCain about his inability as Chairman of the Commerce Committee to even catch a whiff of where we are today. Claiming responsibility for the creation of the Blackberry is not enough.
Turn up your hearing aid, John. Get in the program.
Published by cck at 10:15 PM
We can't assume to solve the problem without talking first.
The fading administration has made diplomacy a dirty word. We learn in preschool to talk things out before hitting. The kids that hit first usually have to sit in time out.
I'm home alone tonight. Kramps is keeping safe 400 miles away.
Published by cck at 10:02 PM
So, yeah - McCain has been to a lot of countries. Sounds like he'd make a great Secretary of State (maybe if he'd won Miss Congeniality - shucks!).
However, I don't think GW traveled to all those places, nor did George H or Clinton or Reagan. And they've been able to muddle through. I'm sorry, but your travel does not make up for your vp's lack thereof.
It's not about being able to send the postcard John, it's about what you do with the information. And, I'm sorry - I just don't trust you.
Published by cck at 9:47 PM
Why is John McCain talking all soft? Is he telling me a war bedtime story?
If Iraqis are so excited and love us so much -- why don't they start paying us back?
Published by cck at 9:24 PM
Anyone think John got some sort of botox on that creepy right swollen gland?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Published by cck at 3:54 PM
First of all, I love Google Reader. Thank you jcristg for introducing me -- because let me tell you, my life is so much easier with this handy, dandy little gift from google. For instance, early this morning, I found out that Whoorl was lauding La Plates.
They are sooooo cute! Monogrammed melamine plates. Seriously. (The only thing that comes close are monogrammed flip flops with the palmetto middle from elizab.com) And y'all - the palm tree plate featured here is actually a real palmetto tree. I was just reading yesterday about turning a tailgate "green" by ending the disposable habit and bringing real stuff - not throwaway stuff. I'm not exactly sure I'd want to, as both saving dishes after a game and cleaning them out of the cooler the next day usually do not make the top of my to do list.
Whoorl is actually doing some sort of giveaway if you leave a comment cooing about the plates (which of course I did). Go - you'll like her.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Published by cck at 8:06 PM
McCain needs a weekend off apparently. Ugh, it just disgusts me -
1) Panders to us with his Dan-Quayle-in-a-dress veep choice.
2) Panders to us with his message of reform.
3) Offers his only example of regulation while CHAIR of the Commerce Committee a warning to Freddie & Fannie two years ago.
GIVE ME A BREAK.
In the meantime, I am just giddy at how this will play to undecided voters. Part of me is a little afraid that some will find this move an example of the maverick he claims to be. But, I really believe that voters everywhere will be scratching their heads.
-- What, you can't handle two things at once John McCain? Maybe we can get you a Jitterbug that does email. And a life coach to help you multi-task.
-- You haven't voted since April John McCain, but now you realize the crisis that has been building and boiling needs your attention?
-- I'm sorry, but aren't you the candidate that couldn't remember how many houses you own? So I guess now you're starting to worry about the mortgage crisis x 13, huh?
-- Buying more time for your veep to prepare, huh? So totally junior high.
Instead, my candidate of choice wants to move forward - show the American people what most pundits would claim to be his greatest weakness, a live debate. Barack Obama is giving his ideas to the American people, not taking a weekend off. Barack Obama knows how many folks are struggling - and we're not even talking about dire need of choosing between medication and groceries. He knows the current financial crisis is hitting Main Street and Monroe Street and Huger Street. He's not taking a weekend off to go work with the president that helped to get us into this mess.
This is going to get harder before it gets easier. To quote another great American President, "We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about honor, John, you'd better come at me with more than a lapel pin and a turban. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, John, and your fifteen minutes are up. You're obviously taking the weekend off."*
*So I obviously changed up the words.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Published by cck at 12:04 AM
I'm embarrassed to admit that I spent far too long planning the names of my future babies.
You should play too : Sarah Palin name generator.
Apparently, if I was born to Sarah Palin, not only would I know how to manage a foreign policy crisis with Russia, I would also be named Muzzle Mammoth Palin.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Published by cck at 3:09 PM
I'm appreciative of my friends for offering a text of "GAME!" so that I could echo "COCKS!" before a Carolina game. It's about as close as I've come to a game in two seasons and my fervor to yell COCKS overcomes the bittersweet feeling of being far from home. And by home, I mean a proper SEC match-up.
So, since I owe the most fabulous girl in the world an egg plate, a Carolina flag and a visit... I'm driving to Oxford next weekend! I was originally going to fly, but apparently "Tom" at Expedia didn't quite catch the whole booking part. I hate him. I wish I knew his real name, it was NOT Tom.
Anyhoo -- now I get to trek up there and bring stuff - including a cooler of tailgate goodies. So, now I not only get to pick out some things to make... But, I also have got to get on the ball about what I am going to wear! The pseudo-skirt from Lands End will not cut it. This is cute girl territory and my garnet and black needs to be appropriate, lovely and cute.
Ahhhh, I love it! I went to school in Oxford for a little while and I swear - those girls knew how to pull it out. (Once, at an afternoon game - I saw a girl in sequins. They do not play around). I often joke that the shopping on the square beats out Tally shopping any day of the week. I want to go to City Grocery and eat cheese grits at Ajax and buy a book at Square Books. Of course, time might be a little tight since I'm only there for a weekend -- but I am so stoked.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Published by cck at 4:38 PM
I just so love the below post (Maureen Dowd) -- I wanted to offer a little more for emphasis:
You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence.
Emphasis added, duh. I'm so sick of Republicans owning the things I hold dear: hard work, religion, self-sacrifice, honor and family. Yesterday at our tailgate I was asked why I bothered working - earning money only to give it away. The brilliant young men who sit in travel chairs, swigging their coors light or drinking from a solo cup have this idea that being a Democrat means that I'm some bleeding heart. I don't plan to die from a pulmonary edema and I'm not living with one either.
This election - like every election in my mind - is important for a slew of women's issues I hold dear. But, it's also crucial to right the whole Reagan experiment of trickle down bullshit. I need more than a trickle. And so do my neighbors - and the people on the south side of town - and the people in the northeast. And the good, hard working Americans that live in every state - east and west, north and south.
Good God. Give me a break. I watch Army Wives. And I want to get past a candidate who claims foreign policy experience because of her distance from Russia. (Still surprised Charlie Crist didn't try that one with Cuba). And I want to get past a man who can only define honor by something he did thirty years ago. I want quality health care so that I feel confident bringing children into this world. I want food that's safe. I want police, firefighters and other workers who ensure my well being to be compensated fairly. I want teachers to be valued as the pillars of a community. I want to travel without threat. I want the America I believe in. I want parents to be able to work one job to support their families. I want milk to be affordable. I believe the bigger question is, what about that do you not agree with?
Published by cck at 2:39 PM
It's no hidden secret that I am a HUGE fan of the West Wing. I love it. The theme song used to be my cell phone ring tone (no I'm not embarrassed). I cried when Leo died both in real life and on election night. Monday nights were sacred because I could watch three episodes back-to-back on Bravo. I imagined myself running away Josh Lyman. I have on more than one occasion wished I could be Claudia Jane pre-Chief of Staff.
So, on Friday - when I saw that there was an eight hour marathon on Bravo - I totally played hookie. I don't think K. knew how much I loved it, and upon finding out mocked me as a "political whore." What ev. I love government and by that I mean the sacrifice, the time, the diligence. Smart people making decisions that echo on Main Street. It is amazing. It's tough work. I am thankful.
And, I won't lie, I think and talk fast and appreciate one-hour dramas with good dialogue. Gilmore Girls no, West Wing yes.
So, this offering from Maureen Dowd is fantastic (link here). What would President Bartlett say to Senator Obama? She shuts it down. (Yes, I also love Rachel Zoe - deal).
BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.
BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.
OBAMA What would you do?
BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!...
BARTLET No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.
OBAMA Wait, what is it you always used to say? When you hit a bump on the show and your people were down and frustrated? You’d give them a pep talk and then you’d always end it with something. What was it ...?
BARTLET “Break’s over.”
Friday, September 12, 2008
Published by cck at 10:46 PM
I'm home tonight - not doing much but thinking about football, what I'm planning on wearing tomorrow and if I can put boiled peanuts in a plastic baggie when they're still hot.
Flipping through channels I see early reports about Hurricane Ike. Beyond the whole gas crisis that silly motorists have gotten themselves in, Ike looks bad. It looks really bad. I was thinking about hurricanes. Before 2004, the only big storms I remember were Hugo and the would-be hurricane Floyd. I don't really remember the impact that nature's worst wreaked. Andrew in Homestead, Florida? Sure, maybe. There was a year in college we had a hurricane/big storm in December. I sort of remember that.
But until 2004, when Hurricane Charley hit my grandmother's home in Punta Gorda, Florida - I didn't know what they could do. After seeing the damage and destruction, I get it. Now, living closer to the coast than I ever have, I have a mini-hurricane preparedness kit. Tunafish, a couple of jugs of water, extra batteries. I watch storm paths; I study wind forecasts. I get worried.
I wonder if politics is like that. I'm really invested in this election. I'm watching to see if it's going to hit my town. If the sketchy economy, energy crisis or foreign policy debacle isn't arriving squarely on my front door, it's hitting my family, friends and neighbors. And, truth be told - it not only arrived on my front door, it's sleeping in my guest room.
The issues facing my family might not be the exact same as my neighbor (considering he has a tricked out porsche, probably not). But we're all looking for a better America, we're all looking for someone who's going to prepare us for the storm and have a plan of action to rebuild. And I want my president to know what email is - to be able and willing to READ email, even if he can't type.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Published by cck at 8:46 PM
It's Thursday night in my lovely, pre-war home. It's September 11th in my lovely, pre-war home. And this morning, I made sure to watch the beginning of the memorial service. I saw the blue covered benches at the Pentagon. I paused, remembered where I was seven years ago. And then I went about my day.
Watching a recount on the History Channel tonight, I realized how uncomfortable I am watching the footage from that day. I remember that day - remember going to Dr. Edgar's history class, sitting in front of the Humanities building, curling on the chair in my apartment. I remember the weeks after. As a nation we searched for understanding, comprehension. And then I've lived the last seven years as a President tried his level best to understand the rules to a world that had changed on his watch.
The world has changed. I will be eighty years old and still feel uncomfortable watching and hearing the stories of that day. The families, the first responders, the city. I will be [insert emotion here*] when I watch the dust, the rubble, the posters of lost family members. *Numb, scared, grateful.
I do not want my children to ever see anything like this. Let that be our prayer and refrain.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Published by cck at 9:19 PM
Do y'all have any lemongrass cocktail recipes? I'm working on Tailgate for this weekend... I'm making barbecue (easy peasy!) and maybe something else. But I'm working on the cocktail too.
Here's the catch - the cocktail needs to have an alcoholic and non-alcoholic option. I was thinking of mixing pomagranate juice and something fizzy, voila a refreshing beverage. Add a little something stronger and it becomes a cocktail.
Any ideas? Oh, ps... I'm totally starting a tailgate blog: pigcandy and pearls. Let me know what you think.
Published by cck at 8:22 PM
K. asked me why I was a Democrat. And I realized the reasons I call myself a Democrat have nothing to do with Sarah Palin's inexperience or John McCain's undefinable honor. I feel like a kid who's had too much Halloween candy...
I want a better America and I believe the way to get it has to do with ending poverty. Yes, the poor will always be with us, but that doesn't mean I give up without trying. Have you seen the mission of the Matthew 25 Network? It's a group of folks who believe that there's something missing in today's rhetoric... Action.
I'm a Democrat because I believe that achievement should be experienced by many, not a select few. I think men should earn as much as women, and vice versa. I believe that my health choices should be my own. I believe that my taxes pay for essential services for me and my community.
If the media is talking about a meltdown, we need to show them the resilience and strength in every man and woman that make up the Democratic Party - that make up America. We don't cower because we made a mistake; we move forward. There's waaaaay too much on the line here people. Man up. Woman up. Democrat up.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Published by cck at 10:01 PM
From Judy Blume:
"I don't know about you, but I'm making my decisions based on the issues. There are no "do overs" here. We have to choose a leader whose judgment we respect. One who doesn't make important decisions based on gut feelings. That's why I want the calm, thoughtful, intelligent, knowledgeable candidate who will surround himself with the best and the brightest. That's why I'm supporting Barack Obama. What I don't need is some sarcastic hockey mom who describes herself as a pit bull, who flaunts her pregnant teenager and her new special needs infant, a heartbeat away from the presidency."Loved that. (Thanks Laurin!). What's that deal - NoMoBlo? whatever? Essentially, bloggers are asked to blog/post content everyday. I believe it's only for a certain month. Whatever. It's 59 days till the election. I'm going to do my own version. I bet bloggers (and those smart people who read them) have a higher voter turnout.
Let's do it!
Friday, September 05, 2008
Published by cck at 1:55 PM
Dear Mr. McCain:
Congratulations! I know you were having a tough time motivating your base. Ha! Just writing that seems silly considering the attention you've been getting with your VP choice. Good job! Now Republican women can feel empowered and your base has a gun-totin', all-but-fetish heels wearing, supermom. Yeah!
The only problem, John, is that she's not ready for the position. I didn't think it was the smartest thing to talk about how the veep would be a heartbeat away from the presidency, y'know - considering the whole skin cancer x 4 history. But you brought it up - fair game in my book.
You look horrified that we (and I by that I mean anyone other than those that support you) have dared to ask some questions about her background. Or her opinions. Now, as a woman I take that sort of personally... 1) Is Ms. Palin not allowed to have opinions? 2) Am I not allowed to ask questions?
Thanks for sending her to Charles Gibson - man, that is some hard hitting news. I can't wait. Now, is she going to sit down with all the rest? C'mon John... America just wants to know. We want to know about an education in Idaho, about the Bridge to Nowhere and why the city of Wasilla has a lot more furniture now.
You probably know I wasn't going to vote for you - Palin or no Palin. But John, you and your campaign have got to stop the whole indignation act. We're asking questions; we're not going to stop. It has nothing to do with the fact that your veep is a woman, a mom or an Alaskan. Except that it DOES. We want to know all of those things and how it makes her who she is. Duh! In the age of Facebook and Google - we know about everyone in our circle (and usually keep up with them - constantly).
Oh, and to everyone who tries to make this candidate all about moose stew and hockey... I could care less whether she makes her own oatmeal cookies or wears peep toe stacked heels (as much as I like to critique it). I want to know where she stands on the ERA, social security and Iran. I want to know what she means by energy independence. I don't want buzzwords - I want positions. And gosh, John, I want the mainstream media to write about that too. Duh, I'm a modern, American woman: I want it all.
Between you and me, I know that this was spectacle. Smart political showmanship. But give the American people a break. Let her go - let the barracuda loose. You're strong enough, right?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Published by cck at 9:53 PM
Okay, okay - I know I'm poking fun at Ms. Palin. It's just so easy.
If Andy Cohen from BravoTV can do it (link here)...
Why did McCain pass over Lynn Spears for Vice President?!?!?
She is the proud mother of an adorable teenage baby mama, an author, she knows as much about the job description of VP as most Moms in Alaska, and she has frosty tips!
I am rankled when someone like Lynn Spears clearly meets Senator McCain's qualifications and is summarily passed over. I just don't get it.
Actually I think both belong more in the Big Brother House than the White House. And I am sorry to blast about politics; I know that no one gives a crap what I think about actual news, but I am so bemused and confused about what's going on that I am more obsessed with this than anything else. And I'm pissed that Bush and Cheney are skipping the convention.
I'm jealous. I wish I could skip out on this joke of a rally. They're all white. Have you watched this? They're all white. Or pale - I guess I should say pale.
Published by cck at 11:12 AM
and not mention snakes. - C. Everett Koop
Point positive that abstinence-only education doesn't work: Bristol Palin.
Three good articles from this morning:
Salon.com: Obama's handling of the situation
Philly Daily News: Bristol ain't lucky
Baltimore Sun: She's not Hillary
*The legacy of Geraldine Ferraro was supposed to be that no one would ever go on a blind date with history again. - Maureen Dowd, 8/31/08
Friday, August 29, 2008
Published by cck at 12:11 PM
K. can't stand it. He's giggling victoriously - women vote for women, right? Not if we do this right. First of all, women don't just vote for women. If that were true, my aunt - who is a fierce feminist (and unfortunately a Republican) would have voted for Hillary instead of Fred.
Hillary made sense for Democratic women - and probably some independents. But not Republican women. R-women hate Hillary. I would even bet that R-women are a little weirded out by a woman on the ticket period. I'm not talking about Republicans in New Jersey -- I'm talking about Republicans in Georgia, Tennessee and Montana.
Democratic women - if we do it right - understand that a vote for John McCain is a vote AGAINST a future for their daughters. Democratic women understand that having a good Democrat in office is more important than anything. A Repub-Gov from a state 97% of Americans haven't visited, let alone could identify the name of a city -- it won't instill the respect, fear or admiration that Clinton's run did. There's nothing historical about it - a) because we've had a woman veep before and b) because it makes as much sense as Log Cabin Republicans.
The acceptance speech last night was amazing. It went beyond liquid band-aid to heal wounds. We're fired up. We're ready - and Barack and Joe will be traveling the nation to inspire voters. McCain doesn't have a chance - his veep choice is meaningless. Eight years of poor leadership and mismanagement is enough. More than enough.
1) From Katie Cali via Wikipedia: Palin's family "were avid outdoors enthusiasts; Sarah and her father would sometimes wake at 3 a.m. to hunt moose before school, and the family regularly ran 5 km and 10 km races." Who does that?
2) From Karen Thurman & the Florida Democratic Party: "She's no Hillary Clinton. She's Dan Quayle in a dress."
3) Also from Karen Thurman -- Palin endorsed Buchanan. Pat Buchanan. Crazy Pat Buchanan.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Published by cck at 12:46 PM
Gustav is a stoopid [sic] name for a hurricane. I want something with a little more force - not a name more reminiscent of a baker in Bavaria.
But do you see that pink line (in the spaghetti model from BoatUS)? Do you see that light pink line? I would never wish a hurricane on someone else intentionally - but I'd much rather have Gustav choose teal or even purple as its favorite shade.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Published by cck at 8:32 PM
If you had a chance to go sail around the non-hurricane afflicted parts of the Caribbean this weekend, wouldn't you go? Like, run to the airport?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Published by cck at 11:32 AM
from Scranton. It should be a song - a jingle. I got the text at 6 am - unfortunately, the lull of tropical storm rain kept me asleep for four more hours. When I woke, K. gently informed me the choice had been made. Biden was the man.
I moaned. And not in a good way. Biden? Biden? Biden when you had Kaine and Bayh jumping like first graders with the right answer? BIDEN? As K. snickered over my meltdown, I spouted every conservative pundit's talking point -- he's too old. Obama's weak. Joe's the new Cheney. So, Obama feels a little inadequate in international affairs, huh? Beltway outsider? My right knee! The man only held a real job for 4 years!
So, I sat back for a few minutes and set the cable reminder for the announcement and hoped that the power would hold (Damn Fay!). I heard when Barack introduced Biden as the next president - I cringed. And really, I hold by my statement that the scrappy kid from Scranton blurb will not make it on a tshirt. But I started thinking about this choice - this decision - this engagement.
And, despite my initial reaction (which might have been skewed since I so wanted Mark Warner to rejoin the land of the political living), I'm really excited about Senator Biden. He's an incredible leader - and he talks like he's booked passage on the Straight Talk Express. Forget the cone of silence.
I'm likening this ticket to a relationship. When looking for a mate - you shouldn't fall in love with someone because they'll look good in prom photos. A strong relationship is founded on two people who recognize their strengths and weaknesses. If it's a good match, hopefully, the strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. I have no problem - on occasion - being the public relations manager for my husband. And, he's done it for me. He's protected me, defended me and helped me make good decisions. Isn't that what a partnership is? Whether it's marriage or business? Or gasp - politics?
So, if Biden helps shore up support among blue collar workers -- good. If Biden gives some folks more confidence on the foreign policy front - good. If Obama can help Biden curb that loquacious speech habit - GOOD. It's a good match - it's what a Pres/Veep ticket should be -- COMPLETE.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Published by cck at 10:38 PM
So, as soon as I blog about my inability to be happy -- here I am talking about the last few trips. It's all relative. We were hoping to go to the family reunion in PA, but Gram hadn't shaken her cold, so we went to the beach instead. Dude. George likes to swim.
Last weekend we headed to Atlanta for one of K.'s retreats. It was another lovely weekend - even in the hottest city in America. Unlike New York - which I loved - it was like an overweight woman (small bone structure). The Aquarium was quite awesome. I want to go swimming with the whale sharks. I hate little kids who bang on the plexiglas. I had to curb the (very strong) desire to throw them in the tanks.
Published by cck at 10:18 PM
And other encouraging thoughts from my husband. (I should write a book).
The first (and second and third) time he mentioned that I might have a little problem accepting the status quo, I didn't take it very well. I considered the source - my sweet partner doesn't always have a firm grip on reality. Of course I like being happy - it's natural, normal.
That is, until I realized that it's normal and natural for everyone, just not me. In my land, I always had to be prepared, anticipating the next problem and crisis. My ability to be spontaneous wasn't just a skill that floated beyond my grasp - it was as foreign an idea as supporting Dubya. After years of conditioning myself to prepare for the worst possible situation, I realized that the only one creating and/or perpetuating the worst possible situation was me.
My husband, my mate who often - and at his own peril, holds a mirror up to my biggest problems was right. I don't know what to do if I'm not (badly) trying to take care of some problem - real or imagined. Dude, this was a big honking thing to realize. HUGE.
What do you do if you realize that your soul seems to reject being happy? As much as I consciously tried to make myself happy, it didn't seem to work. God helps those that helps themselves, right? I finally felt financially secure, I was losing weight, I was working out, my marriage was going really well, I could handle thinking about my past without the feeling of an elephant on my chest. And yet still, nothing seemed to work. Happiness was a fleeting feeling. It visited, but only for the occasional happy hour.
Thus, I sat down with my soul. I invited some big guns - somewhere along the way I got the idea that I was the right arm of God (I'm not). You know what happens when you really give a problem up to the elements? I mean really believe that the higher power in all its glory can actually do something about the tangible thing going on in your day to day life? It gets better.
And I don't even have to lower my expectations like the Danish.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Published by cck at 9:06 PM
I was raised watching Auntie Mame with Rosaline Russell. I've written about it once before, and tonight I was flipping through the channels and there it was. Perfect - just what I want to watch tonight.
It's precipitous that I grew up understanding the power of aunts. I look to mine for wisdom and humor; for understanding that can only come from women who knew me before I was born. The last few weeks in our household have been a little twisty.
Some important health concerns have sort of sidelined a few hopes and dreams. After a pity party (I will never forget the importance of a small red velvet cake) and some investigation, seems like we're back on track. I always knew I developed early, I just had no idea that meant I'd age prematurely too.
Anyway, I'm glad to know about Auntie Mame - you should too.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Published by cck at 5:43 PM
Last week I spent some time (and a large portion of my discretionary budget) at the local Border's. I purchased several fantastic books - Laurie Notaro might just be my new favorite writer. As I walked around, picking up a few books and putting some back, I noticed how many novels are about so-&-so's wife. The Astronaut's Wife. The Time Traveler's Wife. The Preacher's Wife. Once I realized this was a trend, I started looking for similar titles like The Doctor's Husband or The Cop's Partner. There aren't any. While "The Time Traveler's Wife" IS one of my favorite novels, I think I'd appreciate a few more equal-opportunity titles.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Published by cck at 10:37 PM
It's been a busy month already - I had my first trip to New York City. I'm almost embarrassed to write it. My first trips - to both Disney and to NYC in the same summer! I still can't believe it. We went to dinner at this nifty little place (Uva) and sat in the garden. We sat on the wall of Central Park and listened to Jon Bon Jovi.
Married life in year 2 is much better. It's like we had to figure stuff out first... This was our one weekend at home and we went to see Dark Knight. I did not want to go. There was an aversion that ran deep -- I've never seen any of the Batman movies. Go. Run. This was FANTASTIC. Deep and engaging and very very good. Next weekend we're traveling up north again, then Atlanta...
We went to church this morning. It was quite lovely. I'm not sure what's wrong with me - but I get all nervous about going to church. Once I'm there, I'm totally fine - it's the getting ready and walking in that freaks me out. My dear husband was quite perplexed. I had to explain to him that it will take a few months of regular attendance to help me shed the baptist guilt.
And that, that might be it. I'll try to not leave you so long. I have premenopause to tell you about!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Published by cck at 8:41 PM
Have y'all been seeing these?
I remember watching the Olympics for the first time. Eating a hot dog off of a small orange plastic plate. I remember the thrill of it all. And now, with all the China political stuff and the environment concerns -- it all falls to the side. I'm actually excited about the Olympics. Who knew?
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Published by cck at 8:37 AM
Meanwhile, a father and his young son sat behind us. The dad used every turn as a subtle lesson. Did you see that? What does that mean? Do you remember when...? I was so impressed. Here, in the middle of the Happiest Place on Earth, was this Dad engaging in active learning with his ten year old.
I can only hope to have that much patience someday.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Published by cck at 7:43 PM
Okay, so let's start out by discussing a particularly grueling work week. Chris and I have both been traveling more for work - and as much as I enjoy heading to Jacksonville, three days worth of Florida's First Coast had me longing to be anywhere but. I rented a car in JAX and headed to Orlando early on Friday afternoon. K. picked me up after I dropped off the rental and we headed to the BVP.
We stayed in a resort that I had worked with while at Zimmerman - lovely place. When we arrived at our room, there was champagne and some sort of dip that was just outrageous and I realized I was really in for a fantastic weekend. Damn, K. pulled out all the stops.
Instead of heading out on Friday night, we had room service and went to bed early. Of course, I - like an excited five year old - could not sleep. It took a cocktail and a benadryl before I settled down. We were up early, ate a protein-packed breakfast, and boarded the bus to take us to the park. The Buena Vista Palace is on property, but still about ten minutes from the park.
When we picked up our tickets at Will Call, I got a First-Timer button and K. became an honorary citizen of Walt Disney World. We took the ferry over and when I stepped off the boat, I was in awe. It was amazing.
I'm trying to figure out why I thought it was so amazing. Magic Kingdom is gentle in its beauty - I felt like a kid, like a newlywed. It was special - every detail just so. In an effort to be spontaneous, I eschewed my list of first and second tier rides and Chris and I just traveled around the park. Everything I wanted to do - he made it happen. I am so glad that I got to experience Disney with my husband. Instead of feeling slighted that I never made it as a kid, I think I'm lucky I got to do it with my husband.
We rode all the good rides - and didn't wait hardly at all. I loved the Jungle Cruise - one of K.'s favorites. I loved seeing Swiss Family Robinson tree house -- I remembered watching the movie with my brother and wishing I could be Roberta. Everything lived up to my expectations. My favorite ride, hands down, was Peter Pan. I cooed the whole ride. Space Mountain was fantastic -- I could not believe it! Hall of Presidents was really neat too -- as was the Carousel of Progress. It rained all afternoon and it didn't even phase us!
It was an amazing day. We stayed till about five and then headed back to the hotel for dry clothes and a shower. And, um, a short nap. (We're old). I had wanted to check out Epcot, but it closed early on Saturday. With K.'s assurance that we'll come back for the Food & Wine festival in the fall, I agreed to instead check out Pleasure Island. It was so cool!
We had a fantastic dinner in Downtown Disney - the Portobello Yacht Club was really quite good. Great staff. And then we headed to the Adventures Club (Kungaloosh!). It is an understatement to say that Chris fit right in. Hysterical waspy-ness. We did go to three dance clubs too... But let's face it, eccentricity is much more our style than a revolving dance floor. We ended up closing it down.
What a weekend. What an incredible weekend. Chris said it was just great to see my face light up the whole day. I watched parents corral cranky children; I have huge respect for the parents. I watched little kids just explode with happiness when they saw Mickey or Belle. I cannot wait to go again. I cannot wait to go with my children. I wish I had something original or unique to say... Last night I dreamt I was floating over the Peter Pan ride. I love the memories I made there. Chris, thank you for bringing me to Disney - finally!
Published by cck at 7:31 PM
I make a monthly trip to the Fresh Market. If I had my druthers, I would shop there weekly. Chris and I would eat beautiful meals - the diversity on our plate would be show-stopping. But, then I remember that I live around the corner from budget-friendly Publix. Needless to say, Publix usually wins.
So, a few weeks ago - I believe it was my May trip... I found this. Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar. It's chocolate. It's bacon. IT'S TOO MUCH.
Y'all, I love chocolate and I love bacon -- but the two together? Milk chocolate and applewood smoked bacon? No, no and no.
Why would you eat this? I considered that it might find purpose in a chili recipe? But really? I just don't like it.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Published by cck at 6:27 AM
Now that I have lived in Florida for almost two years, I've been lobbying to go to Disney. AND NOW? My persistence is paying off. I am heading to the Magical Kingdom this weekend. I have no idea how I'm going to get through the week.
When K. surprised me yesterday, I yelped like a little kid. I cannot wait!!!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Published by cck at 10:17 PM
Ha ha ha.
The hubby and I traveled to Tampa this weekend to witness two fantastic people wed. It was a lovely event - and so good to see friends. I met some of K.'s old friends that I had not met during the previous two football seasons and OMG I might try to run away with Silah.
I totally obsessed over this wedding. I have absolutely no idea why. EVERY DETAIL required a committee of approval. I had a ball. One of my favorite moments - "I can't help but get emotional at weddings. We met at a wedding. We got married at a wedding." I forgave his sentimentality due to the five gin & tonics that came before the statement.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Published by cck at 6:56 AM
1) Beth - thank you. You have renewed my personal faith in blogging. Virtual high five!
2) Smoothies can be good. Do not underestimate the power of a frozen banana.
3) Husbands will do the dishes. Remember The Promise.
4) And me? Well I counted and I've got five vacations this summer. It's like the summer I've always dreamed about. And one of those vacations - I'm going to see Journey. And I cannot wait.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Published by cck at 3:40 PM
We celebrate the weekend with a weekly Bagel Date. Started when both of our jobs pulled us in every direction but toward each other we met for a weekend Bagel Date. Yes, I can see that you would think this was sad - but really, you just don't understand the beauty of a salmon bagel and a giant diet coke on a Saturday morning.
We missed it on Saturday, so this morning I ran out to procure the bagels, coffee and a paper. I got in K.'s car -- mine need gas - and was immediately disgusted by the messiness of his car. It seemed very odd that he went through his glove compartment and threw things about, but then again K.'s an odd dude.
By the time I returned with hot coffee and bagels, the feeling that something was wrong kept growing. Where was his Tom-Tom? His iPod? When I got home I asked him if he was looking for something in his car last night. Yeah, he wasn't. We got robbed.
His car, my car and our neighbor's car. And considering the call from the officer I just received, apparently a few more down the road. Damn it to hell. Far more excitement than a normal Sunday. Hope you're happy with our iPods you loser. (I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog. Yes, I know. Thanks.)
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Published by cck at 10:27 AM
Delicious. Exactly what I wanted. I couldn't get enough.
Finally! Closure! The movie was visually appealing and gut-wrenching in all the right spots. I teared up twice and once I couldn't stop from sniffling. I loved seeing the girls. I just did. It was like visiting with old friends.
And part of that was remembering friends who weren't afraid to be themselves. Who weren't uptight or stodgy. Who could talk about sex and men and relationships and know that love didn't always mean sex and vice versa. It was remembering talking with a friend about how to give a perfect blowjob. About watching an episode and calling a friend RIGHT after to discuss how I needed to get laid. About knowing something I didn't know about before. The reason this movie means so much to me is because of how I remember my life within much of its contexts.
I will never own more manolos than I do pairs of flip flops. I consider a pair of Nine West an extravagance. C'mon, I drive a saturn. But, I do understand consoling a girlfriend, shoe shopping, laughing with people who know what you did last night. I do understand what it is to be a young woman - wanting it all: career, love, family. And I'll be damned if that's easy.
There were scenes that I loved - New Years Eve with Miranda. Damn, I missed Katie Cali so much. And then others... somewhere in the middle of it I remembered that my first love was getting married (he got married Friday night). Not that I counted our time together in number of episodes, but I remember the day that I finally felt like I could survive without him (forgive me, I was VERY young) and the episode I watched.
I loved it. Hated all the gladiator shoes. Even with the Korean woman sitting next to me translating it for her husband, I loved it. I loved that women in the theater clapped at the good scenes and swooned where appropriate.
Go see it. I'm going again.