Monday, July 30, 2007


I don't come from a family of gung-ho shoppers, but I somehow ended up a shopper. I like the acting of getting new things and this usually means buying them. I don't like malls and I'm not one for all day shopping trips, but a trip around a store that interests me (Whole Foods, Barnes & Nobles, Macys, even Lowes) makes me a pretty happy girl. Not that I spend without restraints; I am usually very budget conscious and like to look for a bargain, but things do add up. Every couple of months, I decide my credit cards could use a cooling off period and I declare the month a no-shopping time. In the past, it has sometimes been hard to stay away from frivolous spending for an entire 30 or 31 days (I have a nasty of habit of sometimes buying new clothes rather than ironing a piece of clothing I already own). However, I feel these month-long experiments keep me grounded and keep me from going broke. During these months, I cut out new clothing and shoe purchases and try to cut back on other silly spending such as trips to Starbucks or happy hour. I would never go as far as this woman did, who spent one year without buying anything (I haven't read the book, so I'm not really sure how this worked). But still, my little spending hiatuses are good not only for the checkbook, but also for the soul.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wedding Planning Update...take 2

So I haven't given you all a wedding planning update lately (yeah, I still don't check because that list is way out of control). Eek - we're 120 days out and there is so much to do. I'm back in wedding planning mode because my wedding gown came in and I tried it on last night. This isn't the sample, it was made for me to wear when I get married. And I adore it. It is such a pretty gown. Better yet it accentuates my waist and chest while downplaying the bubble butt. I can't wait to wear it on November 24. I also had the boutique owner make me a veil - it's a long cascade style. Very simple, no beading, but quite striking. I will positively float down that 90 ft aisle.

In other news, um, well, we're behind in the whole planning thing. But we're working on it. Still need to:

  • decide on and order cake (mmm cake)

  • talk to florist, order flowers

  • go to menu tasting, pick menu

  • order invitations

  • decide who the heck to invite to this thing

  • orchestrate the flow of the wedding day

  • pick honeymoon destination

  • get marriage license (this is the most important)

  • pick church music

  • have final meeting with the priest

  • pick and order tux for groom and rest of men in the wedding

  • pick out and buy wedding rings (woo hoo, more bling!)

  • bask in happily ever after

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Let Down

I think I've been going through Harry withdrawal for the past couple of days. I handed my copy of the book over to my Mom on Sunday night. Being the woman who originally got me into the series (she read the Sorcerer's Stone to her 4th grade class), I'm rather disappointed that she is only on page 300-something.

Meantime, I'm trying to come to grips that I won't be visiting Hogwarts again. I know I have the two movies to look forward to, but I've always been a bigger fan of the books. On top of my withdrawal symptoms (I just saw a lone sock down in the basement and I looked around for a house elf), I'm thinking more about the ending of the book and now I'm just a tad confused. In the emotion and heat of the moment reading it, I completely bought the rightful owner of the wand thing, but now, I'm wondering if Rowling didn't throw us one big convenient convoluted loophole with which to end things. Huh. Maybe I'll just go back to enjoying it and not think too much into it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The End of Book Seven

No, spoilers here, don't worry. I have, however, finished the last Harry Potter book. Chris and I returned from an afternoon at the Jazz & Rib Fest to find the book had (finally) arrived on our doorstep. I did some serious bookworming and had it finished by early evening today. Chris caught me crying at least once. In spite of the tears, I really enjoyed this final foray into the land of Hogwarts (and was happy that the school made a final starring showing; at the end of book 6 it was doubtful we would get much more of the school of wizardry). I liked the ending, although I could have done without the epilogue. To me, the story was told and completed at the end of the final chapter and the epilogue was just sentimental drivel which would have been better left to the reader's own thoughts. But that's just me.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


This is the current status of my Harry Potter book...and has been for the last three days. Gah. Get here all ready! My brother has his copy and says it is really good, it would be much like him to reveal a spoiler, so I can't read anymore of his text messages.

To completely get in the Harry mood, we went to go see the Order of the Phoenix last night. It was really quite good, especially for the one book in the series I wasn't quite as fond of as the rest. This morning, I read the last couple of chapters of the Half Blood Prince. So sad. Now, I'm ready to delve into the new book...whenever is shows up. Yes, I might have a problem.

Friday, July 20, 2007

One Impression I Forgot to Mention

There is just something damn sexy about a man in tight jeans swaggering off stage with a guitar slung over his shoulder. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I'm something of a closet country fan, or rather I was in college. I think the mid-90s were modern country's heyday (I learned that at the Country Music Hall of Fame), so I completely fit the demographic. Last night I had the opportunity to experience a pinnacle of country music: the Tim McGraw / Faith Hill Soul2Soul concert. This isn't something I would have paid to go see, but I am really glad I went. It was the longest concert I have ever been to, starting with the opening act at about 8:20 and the final encore not over until 12:05 a.m. It was late for a school night!

My random thoughts and impressions of the concerts:

  1. Knew I was in trouble when I had tears in my eyes for Faith's first song - Wild One. Not only did she have a photo montage of her early days and pictures of her with her daughters, but I think the daddy / daughter lyrics hit me. Gets me every time.

  2. The set was fantastic. It was theater in the round, type and the walkways were programmable with different designs. By times the set was completely disco, then rock, then metal, then soul and just a little country. Overall the show had a 70s feel to it, the covers they did were from that era and Faith's hair and outfits were completely Charlie's Angels.

  3. I get the impression these two only do as much pop-country as they need to keep their base happy. Tim completely took me by surprise with a cover of Steve Miller's The Joker. He did an okay job of it, too.

  4. Very smart marketers, this duo, they know half of their success is being together. A royal family of country, so to speak. They definitely play up the lovey dovey aspect of their relationship. I hope it isn't just for show because they do seem to fit together well. They each had their own set, but they sang quite a few songs together which was special to see. It did seem to be emotional for them.

  5. My friend Mandy was convinced Tim was a little over the edge of tipsy. I think, probably yes. He got really into controlling the crowd (motioning when to cheer and when to stop cheering). This was the low point of the night and took way too long. The crowd probably would have gotten more into another old hit song of his. I think he's trying to ditch some of his good image. He made it a point to a play a Hank Williams Jr. song so I suspect he's wanting to vie for the title of bad boy of country music.

  6. One of my favorite parts of the show happened when Tim sang his song, Lay Me Down. I wasn't familiar with this song, but it's about a soldier dying and being laid to rest. After the completion of the song, Tim stood in the middle of the stage with a lone spotlight for a good 45 seconds...with his hand over his head in the peace sign. It wasn't an overt political message, but it was there and I was glad to see it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Service for 12

Do any of you know anything about old china? I'm not going to call it antique, because I'm not sure it is. Here's the deal: my Grandmother is on a kick to give her things away now so she can see people receive them, rather than having her items divvied up once she's gone. Since I'm getting married this year, she has decided the china should go to me. This works for me just fine, because I didn't want to register for china. People have accused me of being shortsighted, but I just don't think I'll use formal china very often. Now I have a set of china which is not only serviceable, but is pretty cute and has sentimental value.

However, I wanted to find out more about this set of china (which is currently residing in our attic.) It has a stamp on the back of each piece which tells me it is Eggshell Georgian china. A quick web search tells me this was quite popular in the '30s - '50s which fits because my Grandmother bought her set in 1940. The company is now most famous for making Fiesta Ware. However, on all the collecting sites, I can't find the particular pattern which I have. Any ideas of where else to look?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dinner Tonight

Having to do something tonight (still waiting for book 7 to come, yet not quite desperate enough to try to read the book through deciphering the 795 pictures some crackpot took of an advanced copy and posted on the web), I decided to make dinner.

It was tasty enough to share, so here goes, I shall call it Market and Pantry Soup. (I originally saw a recipe similar to this in Cooking Light).
1/2 box whole wheat corkscrew pasta cooked slightly less than al dente
1 medium sized zucchini, chopped in large chunks
kohlrabi, if you have it, chopped
1 can no salt added tomatoes
3 slices bacon
1 small onion chopped
1/2 jar of yellow or red roasted peppers, drained and chopped
1 box organic, low sodium chicken broth
Bunch of fresh parsley

Saute the bacon and onion, inhale. Add peppers. Get all the yummy bits off the bottom on the pan by adding a small amount of broth (deglase). Add kohlrabi. Let it chill it out for a few minutes. Add zucchini. Add can of tomatoes. Spice how you want; I used red pepper flakes, sea salt, a little Italian seasoning and black pepper. Add remaining broth. Add mostly cooked pasta. Let incorporate as long as you have time for (I went for a 20 minute walk). Add parsley, stir and bowl up. Sprinkle with freshly grated good cheese (the saltier the better, here, I think).

* Do you get why I call it Market & Pantry Soup? All the ingredients I had on hand either from the farmer's market or always stocked in the pantry. Okay, so I had to buy the bacon, but I bought only four slices from Weiland's (local gourmet grocery). If you try it, let me know what you think.

A Pause

You might have had to have been a journalism major for this story to make you smile, but smile I did. I find it interesting the author of the article is remarking on the decreasing usage of the comma, because one professor of mine lamented that the rest of the class was using too many commas, while I, alas, was using too few. True, I was always much more fond of the mysterious and striking semi-colon rather than the plain-Jane, workhorse comma. I find, now, I actually use commas a bit more freely than I did in college. Writing for one's self (and you, too, dear reader) is much different than writing in strict AP style. Much more enjoyable also.

And if you think this whole posting is terribly geeky, don't even get me started on how excited I am for this weekend's book release. If you don't know what that is, please crawl out from the under the computer immediately.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bad Cat Mom

This morning I woke up to Prada crying in the hallway. Sometimes she seems to get spooked if she's left alone, I call to her and she comes and the situation is taken care of. This morning, instead of coming into bed for cuddle time, she stayed on the floor plaintively meowing. I finally decided to shake off the last remnants of sleep and actually look at the cat to see what was wrong. I was alarmed to see her wrapped up in something - oh my gosh my cat was being strangled to death and was trying to tell me about it and I was ignoring her in favor of sleep! Then I looked more closely and realized that, no, she wasn't being strangled, but instead had dragged her toy from the hallway into the bedroom. The toy is about two feet of brightly colored felt attached to a plastic handle. Clearly it was playtime and she was not going to take me sleeping as an excuse not to play. Admiring her pluckiness in dragging a toy twice as long as her down the hallway and into the bedroom, I picked it up to start playing. I then realized, it was 6:30 a.m. and a Monday to boot and I could have another 40 minutes of sleep. Sorry, kitty, you're going to have to learn self-directed play.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend Odds and Ends

This has been a relatively quiet weekend due to me yesterday not wanting to do much. I had a nasty run-in with some MSG at some point on Friday night (I'm thinking it must have been in the batter for the fried calamari at Brio), which kept me throwing up for a better part of the wee hours on Saturday and then completely out of it for the remainder of the day. Oh, I miss the days before MSG wreaked havoc on my system.

I, did, however manage to make it to the Farmer's Market yesterday morning. Riding our bikes there and stopping at Starbucks has become quite the Saturday morning routine. Arriving later than we should have, most of the good produce was gone, but we did pick up some great baby squash. Baby zucchini is so much better and more tender than fully grown zucchini and they also had a golden variety which was lovely. In an effort to branch out, I also picked up some kohlrabi. The farmer suggested trying it raw and described it as a cross between an onion and a apple. I found it tastes more like mellow broccoli and I liked it just barely cooked (I threw in a few pieces with the baby veg saute I was cooking).

Pretty much our weekend right there, tonight we're heading to my parent's for some serious wedding planning talk - only 132 days away!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Problem with Registering

I can add registering for wedding gifts to the list of the things that sounds really fun, but don't so much turn out that way in real life. Skipping school, dating two guys at one time, painting cabinets and planting a vegetable garden are also on the list.
Problems with registering:
  • You don't get to take any of the things home right away
  • All 300ish people you know who are invited to the wedding get to see your personal taste in towels and sheets (yes, we like organic things - get over it)
  • It takes a really long time to walk around a large department store and find the correct items to scan
  • Your hand is much smaller than your fiancee's and it is difficult to agree on flatware you both like the feel of
  • At Macy's at Easton in Columbus, you get a free Starbucks coffee drink when you register. This sounds like a good idea at 7 p.m. on a Friday after working day, but not so much when you really just want to sleeping four hours later

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stuff I Didn't Know I Needed

I've been told there are not enough "nice things" are my wedding registry. I'm rather confused by this because when I first started my gift registry, I was afraid I was asking for too many nice of things. I feel like I am the lucky one to be getting married to a great guy, and as much as I would like the $350 Le Creuset round dutch oven, I don't expect anyone to buy it for me just because I am beginning a new chapter in my life. Is this wrong of me?

I also think, "nice things" is code for "what the hell are you thinking registering for all green cookware" and "why don't you register for something flowered". Not so much me, but in trying to appease all my new aunts, I have spent the last 30 minutes randomly adding items to my Macy's registry. If they won't be happy until they buy us ridiculously expensive crystal, then I have picked out some beauties (who knew Kate Spade is now designing home goods as well as purses). I also wasn't aware that Robert Mondavi is now "designing" wine glasses as well as crafting the wine to pour into them. Speaking of, I could use a glass now. I hope those glasses hurry up and get here.

Gone South

We headed down to Nashville this past weekend for my friend's 30th birthday. From the previous post, you might remember that I am something of a history geek. For this reason, one of the highlights of the weekend was visiting the Hermitage (President Andrew Jackson's home - plantation really). I don't think I would have much liked Andrew Jackson. The museum kind of glossed over some of the more interesting parts of him - the duel, the whiskey and the slavery. I got the distinct impression that the restorers of the property didn't want you to think too much about him as a person or about how the 140 slaves he had were treated. There was even a sign that said something to the effect of "The slaves here at the Hermitage were comforted by the fact they lived in close quarters and were able to keep some of their heritage because the slave compound was far enough from the main house." Maybe so, but they were still owned by someone at the main house. I guess things are different in the South. In fact, people kept telling me things such as "In the South we don't do that" and "That's pretty common in the South" as if it were a different country. I don't think I have ever used the expression, "Things are different up here with us Yankees" or ever really felt the need to.

All in all though, we had a great weekend visiting friends and helping to celebrate a milestone's just things are different down there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

So You Say You Want a Revolution...

This morning I was explaining to Prada why we were home from work on a weekday. I reached back into my mind for the exact reasons we were home today. I used to be something of a history whiz in high school. I scored a 5 on the AP history test (much to the surprise of even my teacher) which meant I tested out of taking any history in college. This actually made me sad and in hindsight, I should have taken some classes because now the facts and reasonings I once all knew so clearly are simply lurking in my head somewhere.

So this morning Prada, got a lesson that was a little convoluted. It's a good thing she didn't have a clue of what I was talking about because it went from some quotes from the Declaration, to a discussion of French involvement. I worked Betsy Ross in there. And mentioned some of the key players - Jefferson (who really thought Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2 since that was the day the secret vote was taken to formally secede from Great Britain), Adams, Washington and Hancock. I finished up by telling her that several of these characters, in their final days hung on until the Fourth of July to finally call it quits. Both Prada and Chris were quite impressed by this bit of information.

So that is what we are all celebrating today with parades, fireworks, and barbecues: some guys who decided that in the course of human events it was time to go out on their own because all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights. They were radicals of their time and it's interesting to see how far we have come from the ideals they fought so hard for. I'm not sure that in today's political climate most people would agree with our founding fathers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Independence Day

My office closed at noon today. Why is it that hours you suddenly don't have to be anywhere are more fun and precious than hours that are scheduled to be off? I love bonus days as I like to think of them. Days when you fully expect to be busy for a full eight hours, but are surprised with an e-mail saying the office is going to be closed at 12 p.m.

To fully take advantage of my windfall of time, I made a filling and healthy lunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and chick peas. I headed to the pool to read and bask in the sun (plus do a few laps). And to really top off the afternoon, I went and got a much needed pedicure (my feet have been in sorry sorry shape). My little pedi place has recently gotten new massage chairs so I am currently in a state of sun and massage induced bliss. I feel like my back muscles are on their own little vacation.

Talk about a Independence Day.