Sunday, February 24, 2008

paris hilton; swallows (or: sometimes i'm too clever for my own good)

should i be embarrassed that i've given in to a sudden, uncontrollable urge to listen to paris hilton sing? when i worked at the top 40 station, we actually played her song "stars are blind" for about a week and a half, and as i was scrolling through our music files, looking for something more melodic than "the kim komando show" to listen to, well, so maybe the gods are crazy.

which reminds me- i finally introduced my six year old sidekick and her ten year old brother to that cinematic masterpiece a few weeks ago, while their parents were out of town for the day. they liked it well enough, particularly the scenes with the brakeless vehicle, the hill, and the gates that had to be opened and closed manually.....not to mention the time the aforementioned vehicle wound up in a tree, which has always been my favorite part of the film.

however, the appeal of a hoopty cannot possibly compare to that of a killer bunny rabbit.

yes, dear reader, i have further corrupted their impressionable young minds, but i'd like to state for the record that it was with parental approval.

back when we watched the gods must be crazy, i'd actually brought over two movies for the kids to choose between. unfortunately, it was a couple of weeks before i successfully managed to located the ever-important first disc (that would be the one containing the actual film) of my two disc collector's edition of monty python and the holy grail.

following mama's recent visit, i became inspired by her example (she attacked my bathroom, which was no small feat, as i had several unintentional biological experiments going on in my shower. kyan douglas would not have been happy with me at all.) and started decluttering the apartment. during my mid-week decluttering session (i was killing time while waiting for the total eclipse), i found the long-lost first disc. elated, i reunited it with its case, and tucked it into my backpack for a thursday night screening with the kids.

i was twelve the first time i laid eyes on the film- in mr. thomassen's seventh grade social studies class. i don't think we watched it in its entirety, but i clearly recall three questions from our midterm exam (sadly, i no longer have my copy):

~what is your name?

~what is your quest?

~what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

who needs to ponder the meaning of life when such pressing questions are left unanswered?

so, anyway, the kids have officially been introduced to killer bunnies, holy hand grenades, and knights who say "ni" (or is it "nee"? perhaps i should watch it with subtitles, just once). i had to explain a few things during the initial viewing, but the film left such and impression on my sidekick that she came to me friday night, asking if i still had it. since i was coming over to hang out with her anyway last night, i asked if she wanted me to bring it along, which she i did.
for last night's encore presentation, we were joined by sidekick's seven year old (i think) friend, as well as sidekick's dad, who returned from a social engagement around the time king arthur was searching for a shrubbery. sidekick was almost as amusing as the movie itself- explaining to her playmate some of the major points of the movie, and occasionally predicting what would happen next. (i kept telling her to hush, but finally wound up resorting to tickling her hard enough that she was unable to form words....though not so hard that the couch wound up wet, as you know who would have wound up cleaning up the aftermath.) thankfully, the entire castle anthrax scene was way over her head, though she was amused by the "oh, shit" at the end of the sequence.

i can hardly wait to see how long it'll be before she leads a discussion with her first grade classmates regarding killer bunnies, witches, and the proper number to count to before lobbing a holy hand grenade. will the positivity of my influence be called into question? must i be punished? will spankings be involved?

you know, i heard somewhere that paris was into that sort of thing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

photos a go go

in what may be a record for me, i'm posting pictures from the bahamas a mere week and a half after getting home. (i know, i know- i thought the shock would do me in, too.) so, without further ado, a few highlights from my digital photo album:

at atlantis, even the fish are friendly.

bodhi and hot dog in front (well, technically, way behind) the atlantis hotel

are you tilting your head right now? you have my six year old sidekick to thank for this. i knew she had an unusual way of looking at the world.....

i can't remember the informative tidbit about exactly when this cloister was built, but i know french monks are responsible. william randolph hurst bought the cloister and brought it to the u.s., where it sat in a warehouse until one of the developers of paradise island bought it in 1962. it now sits across from versailles gardens.

"why the stern look?", you ask? i'm guessing it's because i probably just finished chewing out the ten year old for bickering with his sister.

while looking for an official link regarding the cloisters, i found something stating that the grounds aren't open to tourists but that one could view the cloister from the road. uh, oops. can i blame this one on the kids?

remember those skits lily tomlin used to do on sesame street where she was a little girl in a huge rocking chair? this reminds me of that. this also reminds me why it is unwise to wear a wet bikini top under a dry t shirt.

check out the rainbow in the background. this is only the third or fourth time i've been able to capture one on pixels.

queen's staircase, which was handcarved by slaves in the late 1700s. this place was breathtaking.

i have a really great picture of myself with my sidekick and her brother in front of the waterfall by queen's staircase, but since i haven't gotten permission from their parents to post it, i'm afraid this is all you're getting:

i fought the law, and the law won. locked up at fort fincastle, which is just up the hill from the queen's staircase.

i still don't know what the heck "sky juice" is. (i missed the sign going in, otherwise i would've surely asked for it.) i do, however, know the pleasures of eating conch salad....though i tried to do so in moderation, because otherwise i fear being harpooned the next time i don a bikini.

Monday, February 11, 2008

i was thinking of the immortal words of socrates, who said, "i drank what?"

i should have known better.

i mean, one of those unspoken rules of community dining areas is to leave stuff that doesn't belong to you untouched, partially because you don't know which one of your coworkers it may belong to. i mean, you could get lucky and run across a plate of cookies made by a meticulously clean coworker who happens to be a fabulous cook. on the other hand, those same cookies could have been brought in by the dear soul who not only let the fruit of their loins help with preparation, but also looked the other way as the little dears held a contest to see who could lick the most cookies.

it's well known that i have a fondness for tea. ever since that night toward the end of my senior year of high school when i threw four tea bags in a large mug and added about half a cup of sugar in an effort to fortify myself for my all night "complete every step necessary in the senior paper writing process in one evening because i've procrastinated all semester" session, and certainly despite the god-awful caffeine hangover i had the next day, i have had a certain fondness for the hot brew, preferably with enough sugar to inspire one to bounce off the walls for an hour or two.

in fact, that's one of the few areas of southern cuisine i can identify with. sweet tea is a fine and beautiful thing, though i'm certain my teeth would not be if i didn't brush them religiously after imbibing the stuff.

i like my tea lukewarm. not hot enough to boil my tastebuds, but not too chilly, either- unless, of course, it's 90 degrees in the middle of april, in which case, i like a little tea with my iced sugar water. so, you can imagine my distress this evening when i discovered that i was out of tea just as i sat down to eat my chimichanga and 3lb. salad. (yes, you read that right. i guess i went a little crazy when SO took me to the whole foods market in charleston when i ran away after work yesterday.)

at any rate, i needed to wash down my chimi and monster salad with something, and neither lukewarm water nor scaldingly hot tea seemed like a good idea. sure, the soda machine was an option, but if i'm going to fork over a buck for a can of soda, i'd like to be at least kissed or presented with a small bouquet first.

so, i did something very, very bad. something i never do, generally out of (well-founded, given some of my coworkers) fear for my safety.

yep- i opened the fridge, spotted a jug of tea that appeared to be up for grabs (left over from the last birthday celebration, perhaps? after all, it is that time of the month.*), and poured myself a nice, short, syrofoam cup which, admittedly, does not have the same ring as "tall glass", but it's a little more realistic.

assuming that it was sweet tea, since this is the south, after all, i took a swig.

make that half a swig- i don't think it counts if you don't swallow.**

half a cup of sugar later (keep in mind this was a 12 oz styrofoam cup), it still wasn't drinkable.

half a cup of sugar after that, i gave up, poured it out, and crossed it off my mental checklist (which is not to be confused with my "to do before i turn 30" list) as yet another lesson learned the hard way.

kind of like the one about running down freshly waxed wooden stairs in super fuzzy socks.....but that's a lesson for another time.

*no, no, not that time of the month, you weirdo.
**stop it. this is a pg-ish blog

Sunday, February 10, 2008

it started out kinda promising......

i'm feeling a wee bit lazy today, but i promised you a post, didn't i? i can't claim this will be one of my finest, but hopefully it won't leave you saying, "well- there's five minutes of my life i'll never get back."*

i'd love to show you pictures from last week's trip to the bahamas, but my laptop's with SO in charleston, my camera is here with me, and getting the two together for an up/downloading session is unlikely until next week. perhaps, by then i'll finally get the waterslide-induced wedgie (we spent a lot of time at the atlantis resort) fully dug out.

i'm pleased to report that the trip enabled me to cross another item off my list- i've officially been to three foreign countries since my last birthday. unfortunately, i'm still unable to cross off "learn to swim underwater without holding nose" and "find a giant, unoccupied conch shell on the beach", but maybe i can take care of the latter next month, when i cross off "travel all alone to someplace new", "hawaii", and "visit 3 world heritage sites"**.

i hung out with my six year old sidekick and her ten year old brother during the week leading up to the trip to the bahamas. (did i mention this already? i can't remember....) SO came up from charleston a couple of weekends ago, and we took the kids to king's mountain national military park with the hopes of not only getting our national parks passports stamped, but doing a little bit of hiking, as well.

we didn't have time for hiking beyond the battlefield loop, but during the informative video (during which SO fell asleep, though thankfully his snoring didn't disturb any of the other visitors), we learned several important lessons, many courtesy of patrick ferguson, who is buried on the site:

important lesson number one: do not eat green corn.
important lesson number two: if you're going to have more than one girlfriend, it is wise to pick two ladies with the same name. (as one historian in the video pointed out, this way no matter whose ear he was whispering sweet nothings into, he always used the right name.)
important lesson number three: don't tick off one of the aforementioned girlfriends. (one of the ladies, virginia sal, was killed early in the battle while tending to the wounded. the other virginia, whose last name i have been unable to chase down, despite searching for about twenty minutes now, mounted a horse, rode over to the patriots' side, told them about ferguson's bright red checkered shirt, and then rode off into the sunset.)
important lesson number four: red checkered shirts do not make good camouflage. (there's a reason targets are red and white, though i can't help but wonder whether that color combination was proven effective before or after the battle.***

i have visual aids for that trip, too, but until my laptop and my camera can be reunited.........

*brings to mind an old fling i had, come to think of it.......
**i've already got giant's causeway and my latest trip to the grand canyon under my belt, and i think hawaii volcanoes nat'l park would be a good way to round out my list.....or would it make a triangle, since it's a three-item list? hmm.......
***interesting sidenote: according to the article i just linked to, it seems davy crockett's dad fought in the battle of king's mountain. i didn't see it on any of the informative plaques scattered around the park, but to be fair, i only skimmed them.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

i promise i'll only mention this once....

lots i should write about- the trip to the bahamas, the upcoming trip to hawaii, a discussion of possible cures for prostate cancer- however, i'm having a multitasking sort of morning, so i'm afraid this'll have to be short, sweet, and incredibly far from entertaining:

i bit the bullet, gave into avon's email barrage (my inbox runneth over) and set up an avon webpage. i'm not thrilled that they won't let me use "duff" on the site, but i'm working on trying to find a way around that. i have some other tinkering to do to it, but you can still check it out here.