Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Suburban Splendor

Well, I had no big "plans" for my Labor Day weekend, so I lazed around this morning doing some laundry (oh that reminds me--gotta put that load in the dryer). I then motivated myself to seek out a lamp shade. You may recall the find from Salvation Army that I got, oh, nearly a year ago. It's been sitting on my dresser, unused. Part of the issue was finding a specialty shop to buy the shade in. I ended up driving out to Virginia to Lamp Factory Outlet. They were very helpful and had a wide selection of shades. After trying a trillion shades ranging from $15 to $60 in price, I settled on a barrel shade in white paper for $18. I liked the black silk with gold lining ones (those were the $$$ ones), but the shapes were all wrong. I felt this retro lamp needed a retro shape. All told, the lamp, shade, new harp, and new finial cost $25. I think I like the result. Not sure if I'll be keeping it where it is. Time will tell. What do you think? I think I may embellish the shade.


Here it is lit:


P1010072


And unlit:



P1010074


I noticed a shop called "Treasure Trove" a few doors down from the lamp store. Sounded like my kind of place. It was a hospital charity shop, and so of course I went in. I bought 2 bizarre things, a little hand embroidered picture, which I didn't buy so much for the picture as for the signatures and dates on the back. The artist died not even a year after I was born. It just broke my heart knowing it was there! Then, I stumbled across a 3-pack of floral hankies...loved the colors and figured I could use them for embellishing a pillow or something. Neither was a particular bargain considering this was supposedly a "thrift" shop, but not expensive either. If I don't use them, I can always post on Etsy!


Here's the sweet little embroidery:


P1010070


And, why I bought it:


P1010069  


And the floral lovelies:


P1010071


As is typical when I go to the suburbs on an errand, I feel the need to do more and make it "worth it." So, I stopped at a gas station to check my tire pressure. After filling 3 to the proper pressure, a guy comes up to my tire, and without saying anything, puts a gauge on it then OPENS my door to see what the proper pressure is and says "It's 30, what it should be at." Uh, who asked you, dickwad, and who said you could touch my car at all? I curtly responded "Um, I keep them all at 35" showing him my gauge. He said "oh, uh, I didn't see you had a gauge" and ran away. I must have looked helpless, you know, having breasts and a vagina and all.  Must mean I don't know how to put air in my tires.  Puleez. My brain isn't filled with air. It's one thing if you want to be nice and accost a female and ask if she wants help, but don't just go touching her car without asking!


This was in Springfield, which I call land of the lost, because I usually end up getting lost. No joke, I get turned around every time. I ended up doing the same thing I've done once before, and ended up driving onto 395 toward Washington. Instead of fighting it, I just went with it. I had some stuff to return and was going to go to Springfield Mall, but stopped at Landmark instead.


Do you ever feel overly positive about the economy? Question whether the mall is a dying retail form? May I recommend a trip to Landmark? Seriously, I wish I had a camera; it was pitful. I'd say it was 50% occupied, and what WAS occupied was filled with local retailers with names like "Streetz Clothes" and stuff like that. That isn't an actual business, but you get my drift. The national credit tenants were far and few between and I'm guessing that they were either stuck in a lease they signed awhile ago or paying nothing. It wasn't always like this. When I lived in Alexandria 7 years ago, it was a decent mall. Not high end like Tysons or Pentagon City, but decent. And, I thought it was going higher end when Lord & Taylor moved in. Guess not.


PBBW1-3749383dt I did load up on enough hand soap for two years at Bath & Body Works' 5 for $15 special. I like their aromatherapy line best. Orange Ginger--yum. And, I loaded up on basic undies at Sears, which I found out were on sale from their normal cheap price as I was checking out, which is the best way to find out. Funny, I HATED getting clothes and underwear at Sears when I was little; now, I wish I could still buy the plastic-wrapped packs of cotton undies. I'm not one of those "oh, I love lacy undies" kind of girls!


Fortunately, my favorite fine dining restaurant was still there: I had a nice Chick Fil A sandwich before hitting the road.  I continued my tour of the forlorn by driving up Duke Street looking for a car wash. I found Rita's instead and got a small gelati. I did find a car wash--on the other end of Duke Street--but one of those lame gas station car washes, which didn't really do a whole lot for the tree gunk on it. Oh well.


So there you have it, the first fun-filled day of my long weekend. I hope the next two are as scintillating so that I may share them with you, dear readers!

Saturday Suburban Splendor

Well, I had no big "plans" for my Labor Day weekend, so I lazed around this morning doing some laundry (oh that reminds me--gotta put that load in the dryer). I then motivated myself to seek out a lamp shade. You may recall the find from Salvation Army that I got, oh, nearly a year ago. It's been sitting on my dresser, unused. Part of the issue was finding a specialty shop to buy the shade in. I ended up driving out to Virginia to Lamp Factory Outlet. They were very helpful and had a wide selection of shades. After trying a trillion shades ranging from $15 to $60 in price, I settled on a barrel shade in white paper for $18. I liked the black silk with gold lining ones (those were the $$$ ones), but the shapes were all wrong. I felt this retro lamp needed a retro shape. All told, the lamp, shade, new harp, and new finial cost $25. I think I like the result. Not sure if I'll be keeping it where it is. Time will tell. What do you think? I think I may embellish the shade.


Here it is lit:


P1010072


And unlit:



P1010074


I noticed a shop called "Treasure Trove" a few doors down from the lamp store. Sounded like my kind of place. It was a hospital charity shop, and so of course I went in. I bought 2 bizarre things, a little hand embroidered picture, which I didn't buy so much for the picture as for the signatures and dates on the back. The artist died not even a year after I was born. It just broke my heart knowing it was there! Then, I stumbled across a 3-pack of floral hankies...loved the colors and figured I could use them for embellishing a pillow or something. Neither was a particular bargain considering this was supposedly a "thrift" shop, but not expensive either. If I don't use them, I can always post on Etsy!


Here's the sweet little embroidery:


P1010070


And, why I bought it:


P1010069  


And the floral lovelies:


P1010071


As is typical when I go to the suburbs on an errand, I feel the need to do more and make it "worth it." So, I stopped at a gas station to check my tire pressure. After filling 3 to the proper pressure, a guy comes up to my tire, and without saying anything, puts a gauge on it then OPENS my door to see what the proper pressure is and says "It's 30, what it should be at." Uh, who asked you, dickwad, and who said you could touch my car at all? I curtly responded "Um, I keep them all at 35" showing him my gauge. He said "oh, uh, I didn't see you had a gauge" and ran away. I must have looked helpless, you know, having breasts and a vagina and all.  Must mean I don't know how to put air in my tires.  Puleez. My brain isn't filled with air. It's one thing if you want to be nice and accost a female and ask if she wants help, but don't just go touching her car without asking!


This was in Springfield, which I call land of the lost, because I usually end up getting lost. No joke, I get turned around every time. I ended up doing the same thing I've done once before, and ended up driving onto 395 toward Washington. Instead of fighting it, I just went with it. I had some stuff to return and was going to go to Springfield Mall, but stopped at Landmark instead.


Do you ever feel overly positive about the economy? Question whether the mall is a dying retail form? May I recommend a trip to Landmark? Seriously, I wish I had a camera; it was pitful. I'd say it was 50% occupied, and what WAS occupied was filled with local retailers with names like "Streetz Clothes" and stuff like that. That isn't an actual business, but you get my drift. The national credit tenants were far and few between and I'm guessing that they were either stuck in a lease they signed awhile ago or paying nothing. It wasn't always like this. When I lived in Alexandria 7 years ago, it was a decent mall. Not high end like Tysons or Pentagon City, but decent. And, I thought it was going higher end when Lord & Taylor moved in. Guess not.


PBBW1-3749383dt I did load up on enough hand soap for two years at Bath & Body Works' 5 for $15 special. I like their aromatherapy line best. Orange Ginger--yum. And, I loaded up on basic undies at Sears, which I found out were on sale from their normal cheap price as I was checking out, which is the best way to find out. Funny, I HATED getting clothes and underwear at Sears when I was little; now, I wish I could still buy the plastic-wrapped packs of cotton undies. I'm not one of those "oh, I love lacy undies" kind of girls!


Fortunately, my favorite fine dining restaurant was still there: I had a nice Chick Fil A sandwich before hitting the road.  I continued my tour of the forlorn by driving up Duke Street looking for a car wash. I found Rita's instead and got a small gelati. I did find a car wash--on the other end of Duke Street--but one of those lame gas station car washes, which didn't really do a whole lot for the tree gunk on it. Oh well.


So there you have it, the first fun-filled day of my long weekend. I hope the next two are as scintillating so that I may share them with you, dear readers!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two Kinds of Crabby

I've been a bit crabby this week. First, I left early on Friday because the office was ridiculously loud and irritating me more than normal. I was also going to the beach. The only way I was crabby on the weekend was when I was eating crabcakes.


It was SO nice to be at Susie & Kirk's house with Erin, totally calm and relaxed. Between sleeping in every day until 11, lazing on the beach in the afternoon, and gorging on Kirk's dinners/junk food, it was heaven.  I'll spare you the bathing suit pics.


P1010053


We had PERFECT weather. If I had to choose one weather, it would be this.


P1010058


Like my pedicure?


P1010055


Travel Scrabble on the beach! 


P1010067


That's Beau, the bulldog, by the way.


Well, my bad mood miraculously reappeared when I went to work on Tuesday. I had a run-in with admins, felt like I wasn't accomplishing enough, and generally have felt off balance. I gained 6 lbs in a week, haven't gone to the gym (which is reeaaaalllly helping with the weight thing), and have been eating poorly. I did go to the dentist today. Good news--my gums are healthier! My neighbor's been loud, and I've had dreams of maybe getting into the real estate buying game, but saw a Washington Post article about how banks are expecting the full 20% downpayment (not likely). Between all that, and my deflated hope on the dating scene (not giving up, just not feeling peppy about it), and I'm GLAD the weekend's coming.  I decided not to drive to my parents' for the weekend; the thought of traffic was making me dread it. I do have some exciting things on my agenda though: laundry, cleaning, buying eyeglasses, doing a little research on home buying (reviewing notes from a class) and maybe hitting an open house or 2, and getting myself sorted out. OH, and probably having some fun too!


 

Two Kinds of Crabby

I've been a bit crabby this week. First, I left early on Friday because the office was ridiculously loud and irritating me more than normal. I was also going to the beach. The only way I was crabby on the weekend was when I was eating crabcakes.


It was SO nice to be at Susie & Kirk's house with Erin, totally calm and relaxed. Between sleeping in every day until 11, lazing on the beach in the afternoon, and gorging on Kirk's dinners/junk food, it was heaven.  I'll spare you the bathing suit pics.


P1010053


We had PERFECT weather. If I had to choose one weather, it would be this.


P1010058


Like my pedicure?


P1010055


Travel Scrabble on the beach! 


P1010067


That's Beau, the bulldog, by the way.


Well, my bad mood miraculously reappeared when I went to work on Tuesday. I had a run-in with admins, felt like I wasn't accomplishing enough, and generally have felt off balance. I gained 6 lbs in a week, haven't gone to the gym (which is reeaaaalllly helping with the weight thing), and have been eating poorly. I did go to the dentist today. Good news--my gums are healthier! My neighbor's been loud, and I've had dreams of maybe getting into the real estate buying game, but saw a Washington Post article about how banks are expecting the full 20% downpayment (not likely). Between all that, and my deflated hope on the dating scene (not giving up, just not feeling peppy about it), and I'm GLAD the weekend's coming.  I decided not to drive to my parents' for the weekend; the thought of traffic was making me dread it. I do have some exciting things on my agenda though: laundry, cleaning, buying eyeglasses, doing a little research on home buying (reviewing notes from a class) and maybe hitting an open house or 2, and getting myself sorted out. OH, and probably having some fun too!


 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chocolate Pretzel 100 Calorie Pack

I admit that when they first came out, I was chiding the whole 100-calorie Packs as ridiculous marketing gimicks. And, it is, but for good reason: we suck when it comes to portion control and will do anything to try to rein in our collective hunger monsters.


As it turns out, I still suck with portion control even when I have set portions, and the 100-calorie packs don't contain what we'd call health food. However, last night, at Harris Teeter, they had the Nabisco ones on sale, and I was feeling at a loss with what to buy for lunch for myself. It was 11 pm, and I wasn't at all hungry, which creates just the opposite of the "don't go to the store hungry" problem: absolutely nothing appealed to me.


I saw the normal suspects: Chips Ahoy faux cookies (those never are as good as the real thing and leave you wanting more), Oreo "crisps" (ditto), and then I saw Mister Salty Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Ding ding ding ding. We have a winner!


044000017323There are few treats I like better, truly, than a chocolate covered pretzel. It's got everything--he salty, the sweet, the crunchy, the good melty mouth feel. It's the whole reason I find Chubby Hubby ice cream so attractive. (The only thing a regular chocolate pretzel is missing is the peanut butter. If they could do a 100-calorie pack with a chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzel that contained more than 1 or 2 of the little devils, I'd love them forever and only buy Nabisco products!).


If you have portion control problems and like chocolate pretzels as much as I do, I'd highly recommend checking these out. They aren't  exactly coated with Godiva, but they'll do!


Photo of my new treat from the Wegman's Website where they're available for $2.50 w/ your club card in NoVa.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dating: Marathon, not Sprint

1marathonG_468x482Since I have many sympathetic readers out there interested in my dating shenanigans, I thought I'd give a little update.


Despite many valiant online attempts, I haven't been on a real date yet from those.


Most recently, this Tuesday, I gave it a go with a 4-minute dating event. I expected the worst: awkward moments, horrid antisocial miscreants, and general bad scene, but it was actually fun. There were only a few guys I had no interest in meeting with again!


Unfortunately,...it seems they didn't feel the same about me, as I haven't gotten the expected list of names. So, the marathon continues, and frankly, I feel a bit like this marathoner on the left.


Following on Wende's sage advice, I have continued with other activities too. I signed up for an Improv class and a mixer by the same group that does the speed dating. I've also signed up to volunteer for the humane society...that's mainly so I can get some doggie love! :) Dogs always love me--can't say the same for humans!


Photo from the Mail online.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poetry Palisades--week---uh?--Eatery!! (And Week 5: Kiddie Ride)

I've been way lax on blogging. Apologies. But, poor Poetry Palisades has no place to eat and no place for the kiddies to frolic. So, here goes:


So hungry you could eat your way through the world and back again? Feel an emptiness that no normal food can replenish? Go to Alliteration Alley, Poetry Palisades' food court. There, you'll find  Keats' Eats (casual eatery--okay, that rhymes), Dickinson's Dogs (Corn Dogs), Poetry Pizza, Iambic Ice Cream, and Sonnet Sweets.


Suppose you have children with you as you embark on your poetic journey. And, you may, considering that one of the target markets was essentially soccer moms. Take them to "Haikuland: for the short but sweet snippets of your life." There, there are several safe and fun rides for the kiddies. For example:



  • Brave Paper Moon Travelers: your stock rocket ride...listen, we do WORDS not fancy rides, okay?
  • Crystal Lake Slow Float: Boats, on a lake.
  • Tree Swing High And Proud: Swings, repurposed from a defunct amusement park


So, uh, there you have it...Disney isn't going to be hiring me anytime soon! 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Poetry Palisades--Week 3, (er, still on 3) Visitor Experience

[I've decided that if I continue waiting until I can fill this out more completely, the whole game will be over!!!]


Visitor experience: Continuing on the "feel like a writer" experience, this feature will take that a step further and replicate particular moods and themes from famous poetry. This will be in a climate-controlled dome, where the dark and dreary days and blue skies can be adequately reproduced. Visitors, or "metaphoric wanderers" as they will be known here, will wander through a selection of experiences.


First, wanderers alight upon a vessel into a raging sea. They are tossed through a seemingly endless torrent of adventure, including wild storms, facing a cyclops which picks up the ship (achieved through hydraulics), going through a treacharous rocky pass, facing a crazy whirlpool, and other dangerous adventures. Select ships will crash, at which point their journey ends and they must begin the experience from the beginning.


At Penelope Port, the wanders continue in their creative journey to a great medieval Scandanavian hall, where they have the sensation of being chased by a grisly monster Grendel. The wanderers have the impression that they are fighting the beast. An actor rushes in and tears the arm from the beast, only to be confronted by his annoying mother. When he manages to kill that hag, he must continue and battle an animatronic dragon.


At this point, two roads diverge into a wood. The one most traveled leads wanderers down a safe path of verse found in canonical texts (white men). The road less traveled features poetry of the disenfranchised (women, the colonized, minorities).


Another area of the experience leads wanderers across a heath, with "mists and mellow fruitfulness," where wanderers "like a gleaner thou dost keep/Steady thy laden head across a brook;/Or by a cyder-press, with patient look/Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours." This can take quite a while.


In "The other island: the Irish Experience," wanderers brood on the challenges they face whilst cutting sod under a heavy clouded sky.


Or, stop by 45 Mercy Street where you can confess anything that is on your mind about your past--but only if in poetic voice.


Other experiences under development...