Friday, May 25, 2007

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jessi said “I got bit by a horse today.”

“Of course you did,” I replied as I sat down in the minivan next to her. Some of my best girlfriends just picked me up from the airport. I was the last one to fly in on Friday night for our annual get together. This year we descended upon Charleston, SC. The girls who arrived before I did went on a carriage ride through Charleston, at which Jessi was bitten by the horse that pulled their carriage.

We laughed almost constantly this weekend. We drank together, played in the waves in the ocean. I played a few songs on the guitar for them, we had an all around blast.

My liver has just barely recovered.

My abs ache a bit from laughing so hard.

Here are a few pics from the weekend.

Thank you to the girls for a fabulous time!

The girls at the Charleston Crab House:

Rachel armed with a crab leg:

The girls chillin' on the couch at the house:

I pity the fool who spray paints Mr. T on a wall:

Tree-lined street in Charleston:


Monday, May 21, 2007

CT River Canoe Trip Part 4

It was a sunny September morning, as we set off east toward the River. It took us about an hour to get to the river, and another hour or so to find the exact spot we wanted to put in. We decided to put in under a bridge in Wells River, VT.

The river calmly flowed by in that spot, and had ample room to spread out our things so we can pack. Todd managed to track down the Sheriff to ask him where to park that would be safe. Only in Vermont would you be told where the Sheriff lives and knock on his door to ask him where a safe place to leave a car would be. I parked the car and walked back to where Todd was organizing our stuff on the river bank. Griffen and Nemo were tied to a nearby tree, and being Houdini’s dogs, they managed to get free every other minute. All you could hear was “OK, let’s put the tent here… DAMMIT! NEMO! GET OVER HERE!”

In the afternoon we finally shoved off from shore. I was in the front with Nemo, and Todd was in the back with Griffen. Our mountain of gear was stowed in the middle of the canoe and elaborately tied down by my Eagle Scout of a husband.

I had this idyllic notion of canoeing with the dogs. They would rest their heads on the gunnels of the canoe, and gaze at the shore contentedly. I would paddle, unfettered. The sun would shine, we’d get hot and splash each other with our oars. Good times.

Canoeing with dogs is actually not at all like my ideal picture led me to believe. No matter what side the dogs are looking out of, they immediately want to be on the exact opposite side. They spent the better part of 2 hours pacing back and forth in the canoe “Hey, what’s over there? Now what’s on that side? And what about that side?” This went on and on.

We hit a shallow spot in the river, and had to get out and pull the canoe. This meant that Griffen could get out and swim like a true Labrador, and Nemo could run for shore and keep up with us like a true beagle.

We pulled the canoe for awhile, then the river got deep enough again. So, we got back in, dogs and all, and started the dog pacing game while Todd and I paddled.

The river was starting to flow a bit faster now. Todd directed me to draw stroke. As I leaned over to draw my paddle sideways through the water, Griffen decided that this meant we were getting out again. He leapt out of the canoe and hooked his back legs on the gunnel of the canoe.

Next thing I knew, I was underwater. The canoe was capsized.

To be continued.

Monday, May 14, 2007

CT River Canoe Trip Part 3

Morning at my in-laws house in Rutland found Todd poring over the yellow pages. We drove to the outdoor outfitting store in town and didn't find a canoe big enough for all our gear and 2 dogs. We did, however, find life jackets.

We went back to the house and back to the yellow pages. Todd called a store in Burlington, VT that had 17’ canoes. Burlington is a 2 hour drive from Rutland, so back into the Cherokee.

We picked out a red canoe, and tied it to the roof of the car. We stopped by the local West Marine and got some stick on letters, and pin stripe stuff. All the way back to Rutland we debated on what to name this canoe. As you know, our sailboat is named Sabine, and that took ages to come up with.

Todd and I are boat name snobs. We often ride our dinghy through anchorages and mooring fields and laugh at the dumb things that people name boats. I wonder how many people think they are being original when they name their boat things like “Wet Spot” or “Aquaholic.” I hate it when you can obviously tell that an accountant bought a boat, because they always call it something like “Liquid Asset” or “Cash Withdrawal.” Gah!

We decided that if we gave our sailboat a classic name like “Sabine” then we should give the canoe a cheesy name. I came up with “Gravy” because the canoe is the “Gravy Boat.” Gah! I’ve become one of them.

The windshield wipers swished the rain off of the windshield, as we wondered if it would rain for our canoe trip, that we planned on starting the next day. We got back to Rutland, packed up the Cherokee, and got to sleep early for our big adventure in the morning.

To be continued

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thirteen Things you need to know how to say if you are ever in Poland.
I've been to Poland three times, and found these phrases to be useful, if not necessary for getting around. Please feel free to try them out with the phonetic spellings I've written out for you. Make sure you roll your r's when you try these out.

1. Good day: jean dub reh

2. Good night: dub raw nuts

3. Where is your bathroom: jeh yest foy voo stamp poo?

4. Thank you: jan koo yeh

5. May I have a beer: muh zhem dust autch pee vah?

6. I would like to go to the airport: yah ksem each duh luht nee skuh

7. They stole my money: uh nee ooh krad ly moy peen yun zih

8. Do you come here often: chen stuh tih psih hujd jeesh?

9. Where can I buy pretty shoes: jeh yah musz nah coop each pyenk nyeh boot ih?

10. Do you speak English: chih tih moviesh pawn gehl skoo?

11. What?: tsuh?

12. You look hot: tih vih glun dahsh soo per

13. Where is Agnes’s house: jeh aug nyeh shka myeh shka? (Equivalent to the Donde esta casa de Pepe phrase that we all learn in high school Spanish.)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Let Me Tell You About My Sister

Friday night I was driving to my sister C’s house. She lives about 3 hours away from me. C’s son would be making his First Communion on Saturday, so I drove over on Friday night to help her get ready for the party.

C and I are 5 years apart, and we’ve pretty much constantly been in different stages of life. She was in high school when I was in junior high. She was in college when I was in high school. She got married when I was 17; she had kids when I was in college. She had more kids when I was finished with college.

Now she has 4 kids, and is rarely in the same place long enough to talk on the phone or write an email. She’s a mom of 4, and I don’t have kids. So, lately there really hasn’t been that much that we have in common. I can’t relate to PTA meetings, she can’t relate to going sailing, or camping on a weeknight, or the other stuff I do. But we do connect now and then, and it’s cool.

As I was driving to her house on Friday night I remembered a trip C and I took when I was 17 and she was 22. She was married, and I was a senior in high school. We decided to take a weekend and go to Newport, RI together. I went to her house after a field hockey game, to shower and then we’d go. When I got there, she had just finished making her husband a pot of chili for the weekend. See what I mean? I was playing field hockey that afternoon, and she was making chili for her husband. Back when she played field hockey I was probably being potty trained, or something like that.

We got in the car and headed east. She was driving, and I sat in the passenger seat with my hair still wet from the shower. She rubbed her eyes, and started howling in pain. Apparently the jalapenos she’d cut up for the chili left oil on her hands, and the oil stung her eyes.

“C, pull over,” I said. “Use my hair, it’s still wet.”

She pulled the car over and grabbed my head, and began mopping her tearing eyes with my wet hair to ease the pain in her eyes. She finished, and let me have my head with the rest of my body on the passenger side of the car. Then we proceeded to have fun in Newport all weekend. That was the weekend I so rebelliously got my ears double pierced, and lied about my age on the form at Barry’s House of Scrimshaw to do have it done.

C, thanks for a great weekend (if you’re sitting still long enough to ever read this) and thanks for taking me to Newport that time. And I’ll always let you mop your stinging eyes with my hair.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

CT River Canoe Trip 2005 Part 2

We packed up the Cherokee, and headed west. Our first stop on this trip was Soapstone Mountain in Ellington, CT. The first few days of this week were going to be spent camping on my family land in Ellington, and on Todd's family land in Lake Luzerne, NY. By the time we got to Ellington, it was too dark to set up a camp site. Neither of us had ever camped there, so we didn't have a spot in mind. We got back into the car, headed for town (Manchester, CT) had dinner at Red Robin, and took a hotel room by the Buckland Mall. (It was surprisingly easy to smuggle dogs into this particular hotel. I think it was a Courtyard Marriot.)

We got up, got some breakfast, bought toothbrushes at Wal-Mart (because of all the things we packed, we forgot toothbrushes) and headed up to Ellington to make camp. After making camp, we went to see my Dad and brothers near by, and putter around in town when we discovered that the Cherokee was leaking oil. We found a mechanic, and managed to get some new parts and get it repaired. By the time it got fixed we were ready to go back to our campsite, chill out and call it a day.

The next day we woke up and I showed him all over the land that I played on as a child. I had named every rock when I was a kid, and I told Todd the stories behind every rock, every tree, and every little thing on that land. Then we packed up to head once again. We stopped in to wish my Grandmother a happy birthday, and continued west to Lake Luzerne.

We arrived at dusk, and made camp. We headed into town for dinner, then went to settle in for the night. The next day Todd's family joined us, and we hung out with them all day. Then to Rutland, Vermont to contemplate the necessary object for our canoe trip.

The canoe.

To be continued.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thirteen Foods that I Hate.

1. Onions. Mom actually used to puree them into things so my brother and I wouldn’t notice.

2. Peppers. My aunt got me to eat them on a pizza when I was a little kid by telling me that they were green apple. Then I hoarked them up. Don’t lie to me. Let me make my choice based on what’s available. Not cool, Auntie.

3. Tomatoes. Mom used to make tomato and onion salad with dinner. I hated this stuff so much. Dad didn’t eat dinner with us that much, as he worked all the time. Mom used to feed us then pack up a dinner for him and drag us all out to the shop so he could eat too. So Dad didn’t really know what I ate. There was one night when he was home for dinner, and he plopped some tomato and onion salad on my plate and demanded I eat it. I told him I didn’t like it. But he just figured that I was a little kid who said she didn’t like things when she hadn’t tried them. So he shoveled a forkful into my mouth, and then he got to see it all again.

Tomato sauce is OK. Ketchup is also OK. Whole tomatoes, not OK. Big chunks of tomato in my sauce, not OK.

4. Eggplant. When Todd and I just started going out I was still a vegetarian. So he was making the only veggie thing he knew how to make, eggplant parmesan. He even had his Mom on the phone as he was cooking, so she could tell him how to make it. I choked the whole thing down “Honey, this is great! Thank you for making this.” Fast forward 5 years later. We just bought our house and we were having dinner with my brother and his family at the joint up the street. Todd asked “Beej, why don’t you get eggplant parm, you haven’t had that in ages.” I told him I didn’t really feel like eggplant parm. I caught my brother’s eye, because I know he doesn’t like it either, then Todd asked “Do you even like eggplant?” It finally came out that I hate it, but I was a good sport when he made it and I choked it all down. He was so sweet to make it for me.

5. Beef. I am a recovering vegetarian. I eat some seafood, poultry though. Beef grosses me out. Sometimes I’ll taste it when Todd has some that he says is good. But then I get grossed out at how long it takes me to chew it.

6. Pork. Though I think I ate some when I was drunk at my Dad’s wedding.

7. Pickled herring. Or anything pickled for that matter. My Dad used to eat pickled herring and it used to make the house stink. I think it’s because I don’t like vinegar. I think pickles are beyond gross. Blah!

8. Salmon. I wish I liked it, because it’s good for you. But I really just don’t.

9. Lobster. I wish I liked this too because I can catch them when I dive and have a free lobster dinner. No dice.

10. Sushi. Todd and I go to Sushi-Go in Newport quite often, again, I wish I liked it. We made friends with the manager and owner and they don’t care if I bring soup from Panera in there. I did try a bunch of different kinds one afternoon when it was slow in the sushi shop. I tried snapper, eel, and something else I can’t remember. I didn’t like any of them. Eel was almost palatable, but, no. I often get asked “Why not get a California roll? You like shrimp.” Ah, but I don’t like COLD shrimp, and I don’t like avocado either.

11. Swiss cheese. Yuck.

12. Cold shrimp. Hate shrimp cocktail. Hate it!

13. Salsa. Kind of. I’ll dip my chip in the salsa and shake off the chunks, so I can have salsa juice on my chip. If the salsa is too finely pureed, then I have too many little chunks on there, so that’s no good.

So, the moral of the story is I am nightmare to order pizza with.

What foods do you hate?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

My friend Jen from Pase Que Lo Pase-Come What May had nominated me for a Thinking Blogger award. I just wanted to say thank you to lovely Jen. Thank you for thinking of me, I am very flattered.

Please check out Jen's blog, she's got some great pictures on there.

I am trying to think of who I want to nominate, and one of the rules of the contest is that you're supposed to nominate someone who hasn't been nominated before. I can't think of anyone who hasn't been nominated yet. So I've added a few of my favorites on the left nav. I will keep adding them as I find them.

Thank you again, Jen.