Sunday, October 28, 2007

Memes upon memes

two memes to do:

A. I got tagged by Owen for 8 random things about myself.
1. I just got reminded about how, in 6th grade, my friends and I used to have all of these businesses where we would sell crap to the other kids in our class. Like, we would doodle on pieces of notebook paper, fold them up and sell 'fans'? Or we raised guppies and sold them? (The other part of that is that we would take the dead guppies into school and this one group of boys in our class... and if you went to middle school with me, and I know some of you did, ask me and I'll tell you who...would EAT THE DEAD GUPPIES. I remember they put them on their lunchroom pizza or in their chocolate milk or whatever. Ew.
2. My first car was a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix and it totally had an 8track player, but my parents replaced it with a cassette player for me because they love me.
3. I watched the Bachelor for more seasons than most people did. And yet, I haven't watched it for a couple of seasons. WHO IS WATCHING THIS?!?!
4. I am obsessed with celebrity gossip. But I don't get the time anymore to keep up on it! Crap!!
5. When I found out Studs was going to be a boy I was a little bit bummed because I had these visions of buying little pink dresses and having a cute pink nursery. And yet, now that he's Owen and not Studs? I cannot imagine having anything other than him :)
6. I stopped eating meat when I was in 6th or 7th grade.
7. I wanted to be a plastic surgeon for a looooong time. Until I realized that calculus was going to prevent my going to med school. And now I realize that this was all for the best, all around.
8. My dad is in the final stages of making me a dollhouse which I am so excited about, and YES I AM 32 YEARS OLD. Shut up.

OKAY WAIT. After I had already finished this my mom (who is here visiting) reminded me of another good, random story for this meme. Okay. In 8th grade I was in the Kiwanis Youth Symphony in Racine. We went to Florida to play a concert at Disneyworld and we were there for a couple of days. So imagine, you've got a bunch of middle and high school kids staying together in hotels. I think there were 4 people in a room. And.... I am not what you would call 'neat'. In fact, I am what you would call 'a total slob' (if left to my own devices). My other roomates, in typical teenage girl fashion, were also a bit on the slobby side. And anyway, one day our room was in such bad shape that the MAID LEFT US A NOTE that we needed to clean up our room. How bad is THAT??

B. Tiffany tagged everyone in the universe:
Jobs I've had
1. Music store clerk
2. 'Wrap Desk Coordinator' (aka lead register girl) at Express. Pre-cool headphones days.
3. College Pro home painter
4. medical records filer

Places I've lived
1. Alliance, OH.
2. Arlington Heights, IL
3. Racine, WI
4. Windham, NH

Foods I love
1. Indian food
2. Pizza
3. cheese curds
4. kringle

Websites I visit
1. Triangle Mommies
2. Go Fug Yourself
3. E! Online
4. Television Without Pity

Places I'd rather be
1. Sleeping
2. Shopping
3. Out at a nice dinner with friends (and husband, obviously)
4. Playing with my buggle!

Movies that I love
1. Amadeus
2. Zoolander
3. Rushmore
4. Star Wars

TV Shows I watch
1. Ugly Betty
2. Lost
3. The Amazing Race
4. Project Runway (although I have to buy this on iTunes, thanks so much Time Warner Cable for not getting Bravo in Durham!!)

People I tag:
Melissa (like you're going to get the time to do this, Ha!!)

And you all can choose which of these memes you want to do. I am not a tyrant.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A smiley leaf

I saw this leaf while I was walking this morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Morning at our house

This video made me laugh so hard I was crying.

Multiply this x 4 (even Beamish gets in on the action) and you will have the morning at our house. This morning while we were laying in bed, Brian said "The cats really get annoying in the morning!"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One day in daycare and the tough clothes tumble

You're going to have to trust me here, but Owen, despite all appearances, is not a homeless baby. He does have a Mommy and Daddy who love him, feed him, bathe him and clean his clothes. You would never know this if you saw him for the first time when we were on our way home from daycare.
When he was in the younger infants room, they would take the babies outside almost every day, but I think they would be playing on a blanket or in an exersaucer or something. He would come home looking almost exactly the same as he did when I dropped him off. Okay, maybe he'd have a clump of dried rice cereal in his hair, but nothing major.
Almost instantly upon being switched into the older infant room, Owen started coming home looking like a homeless baby. This is the anatomy of a homeless baby's outfit (I should also mention that when I picked him up this day, he had dirt all over his face because he had been trying to eat it).

This is a cute outfit we got as a gift. It was cute in the morning, anyhow. Here is what it looked like when I picked Owen up:

Exhibit 1. Some strange food stain. They do use bibs at daycare, but bibs are not foolproof.

Exhibit 2. Some other strange food stain plus a spot of barf. The barf actually happened on my watch. On the way home we needed to make a stop. When I was paying, I sat Owen up on the counter (I was holding him, obviously. I don't need no parenting classes!). He proceeded to barf all over himself, my arm, and the counter at the store.

Exhibit 3. The mysterious black knees and ankles. I really do not know what causes this, to be perfectly honest. I think it is the surface they have outside in their play area. It is like rubber gravel, if that makes any sense. I assume thats what these stains are from.

This mysterious black stain is the biggie. I can never get this out. Here's another pair of pants, part of a cute outfit:

These pants have been through the wash no less than FIVE TIMES. They have been treated with Shout, with OxyClean, with detergent, with a combination of these three, etc. This is the best I have been able to do.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Taking dorkyness to an even higher level

Well, so upon reflection, thats probably not true.

I think I hit my peak of loserdom when I joined the band at my work. I'm a scientist, and I work with a bunch of scientists. So being in the band at a science place is like, the height of dork. But in the band at work I have been playing saxophone. Of the three instruments that I own and thus could play now without having to go out and rent (flute, alto sax and oboe), the flute and sax are the easiest to pick up again after a 10 year hiatus (and actually, I played in the CWRU jazz band for my first year of grad school, so it was slightly more recently that my sax had gotten some action).

Oboe is a very challenging instrument to sound good on at the beginning. All new oboe players sound like dying ducks. I was thinking that all oboe players, despite the fact that they used to be very good, would sound like dying ducks after not touching their oboes since their last concert of college 10 years ago. So, even though it was really my primary instrument, I was terrified to try it again. I think even more so because it was my best one: what a shock to go from sounding pretty good to sounding like a dying duck! Better to just keep the good memories of how it used to be.

But then someone in my work band joined the Durham Community Concert Band. He totally talked me into joining. And, of course, what community band is looking for a saxophone player or a flute player? None of them. Both of those are a dime a dozen. So it was settled: I was going to play oboe.

Holy crap.

I never learned how to make reeds to any level that I could actually use them and sound good (long story why not, but suffice it to say that I am a freak among oboe players to not know how to make my own reeds). In college I used to use the other oboe players reeds when she didn't like them anymore. She always said she was amazed that I could sound so good playing on such crap :)

So anyhow, I had to buy some reeds first. I did this over the internet. Woo!

Then I had to make friends with my oboe again. I busted it out about a week before my first practice with the band. Not good. Although, to be fair, not as bad as I thought it would be.

First rehearsal. It is 2 hours long. My embochure is so shot that I cannot keep my mouth on the reed for more than 15 minutes. This is going to be a nightmare.

Second rehearsal. Much better! I can keep my mouth on the reed for much longer. An hour!

Now it has been 6 or 7 practices, so I am feeling much better about things. Our first concert is coming up on the 27th AND I have a solo. Small, but still. OMG. And I'm happy to say that I sound okay. I mean, nowhere near where I used to be, but I don't sound like a beginner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'd make a pretty crap Southerner.

Last week I went to Carolina Beach for my work retreat. I drove out there with two of my friends from work. G is a relatively recent transplant from Canada, D is from Iowa, but his wife is from South Carolina. G asked about boiled peanuts, because you see signs on the highway for them a lot. I've never had boiled peanuts, and neither had he. D, being married to a Southerner, has had them and tried to describe them to us. And they did not sound good. We had to stop to get gas and there was a guy selling peanuts and stuff out of a little trailer at the gas station, so D bought us some boiled peanuts to try. I bought some regular peanuts in case they were nasty and we needed to get the taste out of our mouths.

If you've never been so "fortunate" to come across boiled peanuts, here is a picture I took of them:

They look slimy, and thats because they are. Wet and cold. Actually, D said that when he had had them previously they were served hot. These had crystals of some sort on them, either ice (ew) or salt (I love salt but... ew).
They look kind of normal on the inside, but instead of being dry and crunchy looking, they look like a wet dog.

I wish I had taken a picture of me eating a boiled peanut. D's analysis that they tasted a bit like beans was right on. It was like eating cold, slimy, al dente kidney beans out of cold slimy little cases. I don't think G or I will be picking up any more boiled peanuts.

Also, they were totally not what I expected. I don't know, I expected them to be green for some reason, don't ask me why. And I also didn't expect them to be in their shells. I think I was picturing another thing that, I don't know, but I think might also be Southern because I have never seen it before: wet walnuts. I've never had them, but they are a topping or mix-in you can choose at our local frozen custard place. Yet another reason why NC frozen custard is a little bit off. I guess I thought those were boiled. The guy in the trailer was selling those too - wet peanuts or something - in little containers and I thought thats what the boiled peanuts were going to be. You can imagine my shock when D whipped out the plastic bag full of slimy, cold, wet peanut shells.

At my retreat we were subjected to another strange Southern thing, sweet tea. Actually, thats not revolting like the boiled peanuts were, but I'm still not a huge fan. It tastes good but is a lot sweeter than I like my iced tea to be.

This past weekend we went to the local Farmers' Market with D and his wife K. I saw some purple hull peas, which I see every week when I go to the Farmers' Market but I never know what to do with. But I asked her what to do with them, and she said she usually serves them with rice. I decided to cook them with onion, garlic, carrot, celery and tomatoes and some herbs and served them with rice, a la K-dog. They weren't bad, actually, especially when I covered the whole thing in hot sauce.

Another friend from work (an Indian friend) gave me some ideas of what to do with them to make indian peas. They're essentially black-eyed peas, which I've had in indian before. So I might try that next. They were a good compromise between Brian and I because he likes peas (he's English, what do you expect?) and I hate them. These actually had a slight pea taste, but not enough that they made me want to hurl.