The week

When you tell stories do you start at the beginning and work forward or at the end and work backward? I started to write from today backward but that seems illogical, so instead I’ll go back to Saturday: the engagement. I still don’t have pictures (I guess I’m going to have to email Kyle and ask for them) but here goes anyhow. I generally never make plans on weekends that Christen and I have off together. However, this time my sister called earlier in the week and asked if I wanted to go shopping with her and Mom and I agreed. Then, Thursday I decided I wanted to get my hair cut and made an appointment for Saturday morning. Christen said, “Are you doing everything on Saturday?” but I didn’t think anything of it. I told him we’d have Saturday evening and all of Sunday together. So I got up early on Saturday and got my haircut (it looks way cute, I’ll have to post pictures of that too) and then went shopping with my mom and sister as planned. I bought 4 books and a straw hat – isn’t that the way? So I get home and Christen said that his mom wanted us to go to dinner with them, and I said that was fine, and he said that Kyle wanted pictures of me for the web site … this is a long story, but it did seem plausible, so I got dressed up and we went out for pictures and ended up at the park where we had our first date. We had also been back a few times, so it still made sense that we were there. I sorta had the feeling that was something was going on, but I wasn’t sure – girls just know these things. But Kyle and Shea snuck up behind us and Kyle handed Christen the ring and Shea had the videocamera. It was all very sweet and amazing –Shea’s video was hilarious! So then they tried to trick me and say that we were going back to our house for a drink before going out to dinner and I knew at that point that everyone was going to be at the house, but I played along for that and when we got home everyone was there – all of his family and my mom and sister. It was such a wonderful night! I drank a lot of red wine and ate cheese and hung out with the family. Sunday: we drove all day doing nothing, and went to a craft show in Dunedin that was alright but horridly sweltering. I freaked out a little bit because I was trying to come up with a date and Christen kept playing his computer game, but finally he came out with me and we decided where we wanted to go for a honeymoon and set a date for the wedding. Monday I told everybody at work, and then went home and freaked out about money, because we don’t have any and either does my family. Which, of course, I knew – but who thinks about these things when they’re getting engaged? My mom helps, though, being the rational one who can help me decide about caterers and alcohol and venues … Mom is very good at being rational when others aren’t (namely, when I’m not) just as I’m the rational one when she freaks out. It’s a good balance. Monday and Tuesday night I went to bed early – I think the excitement of all this is getting to me – I get really tired really early. Wednesday Shell came over and we tried a new sushi place (the atmosphere was awesome, the sushi was only so-so) and looked at a couple chapels and talked a lot about weddings. This is my problem: I don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t like making decisions. I get selfconscious and worry about pleasing everyone else. I have a feeling that I am not going to get through this whole wedding thing. My friends are going to have to prop me up here.

So things I have decided: the date, the honeymoon, the colors, the dress (sorta), the bridesmaid dresses. Things I have yet to decide: everything else!

Anyhow, this morning I got to work and the power was off for an hour, so now I have lots to do and less time to do it. Woohoo for work!


The ring :)

Thanks to those who wished us Good Luck! I'm going to need it (all you who know me know how much I hate making decisions; do you know how many decisions I'm going to have to make?)



So I was going to hold off and tell everyone on Monday, but y'all know I'm terrible at that.

So. ...

I'm engaged! Christen asked me to marry him tonight, and of course I said yes! Pictures of the ring to follow as soon as I'm sober enough to find the camera, and pictures of the engagement to follow as soon as Kyle's sober enough to email them to me!

I love you all!

Yay!!!! I'm engaged!


Huzzah for new books, coming soon!

So I was killing time at work before I got out, and I was perusing the internet (fancy that, eh?), mostly looking for luau-related recipes and items ... and I ended up on Amazon searching my favorite authors to see if any new books have come out ... and look was I found!

I'm so excited! Yay, September! (that's when they both come out)



Current mood: scared

So I was almost asleep awhile ago after finishing off Broken for You when Lola started barking. Not a big "there's an apossum afoot" bark but a "there's something amiss" low woof ... followed by a few whisper woofs. She kept pacing and whisper-woofing, so I got up and laid on the spare bed with her to calm her down. I looked outside; nothing seemed off. I wasn't convinced, though, and neither was Lola because she wasn't calming down. So I laid on the bed for a few minutes and I'm drifting off again when she gives a start back at the window and starts her low barking again. I looked out the window just in time to see a guy running across the street in bulky gray sweats and jump in a gray SUV -- maybe a late-'90s Jeep or Pathfinder and tool off around the corner. I waited a few minutes and went outside, mostly to make sure Christen's truck was okay, and the lady from next door was outside too. Her husband had followed the guys, and they had assault rifles. He got a cop to go look into it, but the guys were gone.

So now I'm completely freaked out. Anyone for reading me a nice calm bedtime story? No Hans Christian Anderson, please. I need no nightmares.


Oww, my ear!

So last night was a blast -- Shell, Rich, Shea and Kyle all came over and we drank a lot and played Trivial Pursuit and watched Family Business and Big Love ... I drank the better part of 3 bottles of wine (Yellowtail Shiraz Reserve, which I think is worth the extra couple dollars from regular Yellowtail, Kelly's Revenge Chardonney and Goiya South African Shiraz). I woke up this morning and I don't have a hangover, but my ear hurts really bad. I took a shower and went to dry my ears with a q-tip and it hurts to even touch it! I have no idea what happened to my ear last night, but the sucker hurts more than my ear has ever hurt before -- except maybe from the passing ear infection when I was young.

Anyhow, I was going to hang out with Matt but I never heard from him, so I'm going for lunch and antiquing with Shea ... or maybe down to the Ellenton outlet. If my ear doesn't completely put me off. ... I swear, it hurts so bad, there's no way I can even listen to my iPod this weekend, and you know how much I'm addicted to that thing -- I even have dreams about stealing them from dead girls!

Accordion Alive

June is International Accordion Awareness Month!

Spread the word!

(I posted this on my MS blog but never got around to posting it here ... and you know how much I love accordions; I couldn't just let the month pass without saying something!)


Knitting loopholes, and Nostalgia Central

Thank Jesus this week is over.

I don't know exactly what the issue was, but I could not get it together this week. I've late to work everyday. Work was crazy busy with crazy accidents and crazy lawyers to talk to. Wednesday night I went out for sushi with Shelley (this time edemame, a dragon roll, a fresh salmon bagel roll, a spider roll and a rainbow roll, all to share), I got a new pair of shoes at DSW and we worked on the thank you notes some more (we've finished writing them and now we just have to address them). Yesterday I bought some yarn and knitting needles and attempted to begin learning how to knit. The casting row was really easy, but I kept messing up when I went to knit my first line. They kept falling off the needles, no matter how tight or loose the stitches were. Anyone know how to knit that can give me a few pointers?

Tonight Shell, Richard and Shea are coming over for drinks and dessert, which I'm psyched about. I washed the sheets on the spare bed in case anyone gets too tired to drive (that's usually me) and I'm making brownie ala mode :) Kyle can't come because he has to go see Jade at some club called Hot Wax? I don't know; it sounds sketchy ... hehe.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get together with Matt. I never realize how much I miss that boy until I hear from him. Somehow we have the type of friendship where whenever we hang out it's just like no time has passed. I knew this, but it still came as a surprise to me when we were hanging out at the reunion, because I had such a blast with him. I'll miss him being in Miami for 6 years, and then who knows where he'll end up. I'll have to spend as much time as I can with him while he's back for the summer.

There's also Charlie and Katie; I'm looking forward to seeing them when they move back down here. I keep meaning to email them, but I don't know what to say -- hey, had a great time at the reunion with you guys, hope you didn't get too sick! :) Hey, maybe I'll email them today! hehe. And Justin, dear Justin, who needs to come hang out with me when he comes down on leave. And Kristin, who I was going to start biking with on the weekends but I haven't actually gotten around to calling ... Hey Kristin, you want to go for a bike ride or something this weekend?

Well, it looks that I'm getting all nostalgic, so I'm promptly changing the subject.
I finished Church of Dead Girls which was very good, but not very scary until the very end when it turned out just like every other "scary book". So I have to say that the majority of the book was fantastic, and it let me down a little at the end -- but not enough that I wouldn't recommend it to someone. After all, most people aren't as picky as me. It has a very conversational tone, from the voice of a man from the town, but he's a very sympathetic and reliable narrator, although there are a couple times where he's imparting information that he shouldn't know, and that bothers me. I'm onto Broken for You, which I had high hopes for when I bought it last weekend but after reading a couple pages I think that Christen's mom will like it better than I. It just might not be my type of book. I'll give it a shot though -- the one time I sat down with it I wasn't feeling so good and read at the table while eating cereal for dinner. You never know.

Father's Day is Sunday. I need to pick up a card. Dad and I usually go for lunch at Sonny's or something and then perhaps we'll go to the driving range (maybe I can pursuade him to get me some right-handed clubs ... after all, it is Father's Day? :) )

All in all, it promises to be a productive and amusing weekend ... I hope it doesn't let me down! All else fails, I'll just curl up with a book and waste the weekend away. Toodles!


Friendship (a reprint from a MS Bulletin)

Are you tired of all those namby, pamby, girly, sissy "friendship" poems that never come close to reality?

Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks of true friendship:

1. When you are sad - I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you that way.

2. When you are blue - I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile - I will know you've had sex.

4. When you are scared - I will tease the crap out of you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried - I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be to stop your whining.

6. When you are confused - I will use little words.

7. When you are sick - Stay the hell away from me until you are well again, I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall - I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

Remember: A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body!!!


Books galore!

This is why I love my boyfriend: On our day off together he suggests we peruse the used bookstores in the area, even though he doesn't read. I love him.

And etc: I went looking for a cheap copy of The Devil Wore (Wears?) Prada, because I'm curious even though it's not really my type of book. It must be said that a movie sure makes the used copies of a book disappear off the shelves, though. I couldn't find it anywhere, and all the copies in all the libraries in the county are checked out. Game over, I lose.

I did, however, pick up three books that look promising: Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach, Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, and The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns (yes, Autumn, when you come down we can switch Dobyns books). I've already started WR, and it is charming and sincere and makes me yearn for Paris. Forget that I've never been there, I've read so many books about writers in Paris it makes me long for the cafes and streets and bridges.

I found that there's a Tampa Writer's Group that meets twice monthly and I'm thinking of joining. It means I'd have to start writing again, and that I'd have to allow people other than friends read, but I'm really pondering it. I need to get back into the game.

Last night was a lovely night for friends. I spent the early part of the evening enjoying sushi and wine in SoHo with Suz, April and Stacy -- a wonderful time of catching up with good friends. After I navigated backward through the narrow lot of Mercedes and Lexus (an '85 Cabrio decided to park itself directly behind me so I couldn't pull out properly), I picked up Shell and we headed out to Odessa for more wine and dessert at Casa de Shaw ... lots of laughter and girltalk to be had. Christen was the proper gentleman who drove Shell and I home once I started to fall asleep from the indecent amount of imbibing in which I partook. Ahh, good times.

Tonight I shall attempt that earlier recipe for shrimp and crab au gratin -- I'll let you know how it goes!

Hot Summer Night

BOY: On a hot summer night would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red
GIRL: Will he offer me his mouth?
B: Yes.
G: Will he offer me his teeth?
B: Yes.
G: Will he offer me his jaws?
B: Yes.
G: Will he offer me his hunger?
B: Yes.
G: Again, will he offer me his hunger?
G: And will he starve without me?
G: And does he love me?
B: Yes.
G: Yes.
B: On a hot summer night would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
G: Yes.
B: I bet you to say that to all the boys.


Hungry and lusting for knowledge

So I've been looking for a recipe for Shrimp & Crab au Gratin that's worth a damn, and I think this may be the one:

Crab and Shrimp au Gratin

1/2 pound crab meat
2 pounds shrimp, steamed, shelled, and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup medium sharp cheese, grated

Melt butter over low flame. Add flour to form a paste. Slowly
stir in milk to make white sauce. Combine remaining
ingredients, except cheese, shrimp, and crab meat, and add to
white sauce. Fold in shrimp and crab meat. Pour into a
casserole dish, top with cheeseand bake at 350 degrees
for 25 minutes.
It looks the most promising. Keep your fingers crossed and I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news, I'm in the middle of 100 Years of Solitude, and all I can say is, I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Love him love him love him. Too old to marry and bear his children though. Well ... yes, too old. Ick.


Shoes shoes shoes

So I love shoes -- love them. I was cleaning up my closet and reorganizing and decided to take pictures of my shoes. Not pictured: 1 pair Steve Madden white shoes (pictured here though), 4 pairs of tennis shoes (3 Addidas, 1 Reebox), 1 pair spa slippers and about half a dozen flipflops.

Just because you wanted to know my obsessions. Next up: my library.