Monday, April 28, 2008

I Will Be

Forty-Six on Thursday.

The years have slipped by so quickly. I've invented and reinvented myself at least two or three times in this life.

And here I am, doing it again. Reinventing, rebuilding.

I'm tired.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dollar Store

Isn't it the coolest place ever?

Today's haul? A copy of the Mike Wallace book Between You and Me, and Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill. Plus a tube of lavendar-infused lotion and a two-pack of rain ponchos for me and the boyfriend in preparation for attending a Braves game in ATL next week.

And all of that for less than five bucks! America's a great place. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

48% GeekGuess what shot the score up? That I knew the Ferengi had terrifically sensitive hearing. See, watching Star Trek is not a waste of time. You learn things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Something's Gotten Into Me

I've never been one much for yardwork. When I was a kid, my mom would send me out to water her impatiens. I hated that chore, I hated those flowers. Never thought they were attractive.

Another reason is that back in the day, I seemed to be allergic to...everything. If I touched any kind of flowering/blooming/green thing in the yard, I'd break out.

My dear late husband loved to work in the yard. He'd spend hours cutting vines and dragging branches to the street.

The first year after he died, frankly, my emotional, physical and give a damn reserves were just too spent to care how the yard looked. I was fortunate that my neighbors were kind enough to keep things mowed and generally neat looking.

But some things I did care about, read: send hubbie out to tend to, such as trimming back the azaleas, were just left undone.

I noticed recently these same azaleas were looking quite overgrown, and in the case of one bush, well, dead. I think it might have taken a lightning hit, or a curse. Who knows.

So I spent some time today trimming and dragging the trimmings to the street for the truck to pick up tomorrow morning. And I really got the best sense of accomplishment upon stepping back and seeing the azaleas looking decent for the first time in two years.

I also see that I need to get a rake and some gloves tomorrow to tend to the pin oak leaves that have gathered behind the bushes at the front of the house.

I'm looking forward to the raking, just taking on some good physical activity with a defined starting and ending point. That when you finish, you can look back and see the results of your labors.

Plus it would be a bit much to expect my neighbor, who is kind enough to zip across the street on his riding mower to take care of my postage stamp of a yard to also do the trimming and raking and weeding.

Wouldn't it?

DC Pics

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Little Blue Today

On the Internet support board I frequent, there's a topic named 'Beyond Active Grieving'. I feel like I'm there, as if I've been there for awhile.

But days like today suck me right back. It's one of those endless Saturdays, I'm tired from so much running up and down the road and coming home to just the kittie.

What I can say is, as blah as today is and has been, it's nowhere near as bad as things were those first months.

So there's that.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Made it back here around six-ish yesterday. The suitcase is all but unpacked & there's a pretty good pile of laundry waiting for me this weekend.

It was a great trip. My colleagues and I traipsed up to the Hill on Tuesday and made the rounds of our congressional members to discuss No Child Left Behind. The highlight of the day? Congressman Charlie Rangel* of New York, giving us directions to my rep's office-Congressman Jim Clyburn, who is the House Majority Whip. Said Congressman Rangel, quote, "Clyburn? He's kind of a big shot around here." This from a 19-term representative and Purple Heart recipient. Made my day.

I'll post some pictures and a few thoughts this weekend.

*I know, other folks get excited about meeting celebrities-me, I'm a total policy wonk geek who gets all fangirly over members of Congress. Go figure.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It's cold here. But sunny, and everywhere you look are patches of tulips, some blooming, some about too. Tulips are cool.

I can see the infamous Watergate from my hotel window. It needs a good pressure washing.

Had dinner last night at Georgia Brown's. It was pretty good. I thought our waiter was a bit slow. And the $22. oo round trip cab ride kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. Considering it was all of a mile and a half away from here.

Off to my meeting today. My colleague and I are going to have to figure out a travel strategy, especially for tomorrow, as the Pope arrives here then. That might have been something I should have payed closer attention to prior to this trip.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Day

started off warm and sunny, and right windy. The dark clouds have rolled in, in advance of what I hope is the last burp of winter for the season.

I'm cleaning and packing along and along, on the road again tomorrow to D.C. for a conference. My hotel is about 6/10ths of a mile from The Mall and a little over a mile from Georgia Brown's. I didn't pick the hotel that deliberately-I picked it mainly because that's where I could get a room. It's proximity to said GB's as well as Chef Eric Ripert's place at the Ritz-Carlton is mere serendipity.

And we get to go up on the Hill Tuesday, where we've been promised a tour of the Majority Whip's office. I'm in policy wonk geek heaven here at the thought of it.

I'm leaving Poopie in charge. Clean up after the party and take the beer cans to the recycler.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My neighbor has been up over the weekend. She's a widow now, like me. And yet not like me. She and her dear husband Tom had many, many years together. So many more than Donnie and I had.

Yet I know she feels the same way I felt in those first few months. Because whether you were together two years, or ten years or thirty years, there isn't anyone who would say, 'We had enough time, we had enough days and nights together.'

She's been here with a friend, packing up a few things at the house. She had an appraiser over Monday, to look at the furniture and antiques she and her husband spent hours selecting to furnish their vacation home they'd worked so hard to own.

There will be an estate sale Memorial day weekend, and she won't be up here for that. The fact of the matter is, this is most likely her last visit here.

I know we'll keep in touch, a letter or card here, a phone call there. But it surely won't be the same.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chloe Marshall

Have you heard of her? She's the size 16 Beauty Queen Contestant from Great Britain.

Inside Edition*, that bastion of Pulitzer-quality journalism, ran a story on her today. Following are some narrative and quotes from the story that were available on the Inside Edition website. As best I can tell, none of the commenters have ever met the girl, and yet feel free to presume to be experts on a number of things, including her eating habits, her character, and in one instance, even make predictions with a certitude that puts Sylvia Browne to shame concerning the girl's future size:

Airdate: 4/8/2008

She's a far cry from your average bikini-clad beauty queen. Chloe Marshall tips the scale at 176 pounds. Even so, her knockout smile and fuller figure helped her win first place in a beauty pageant.

But now she's triggered a savage debate about her presence in the world of beauty contests, a world almost exclusively ruled by the slim and shapely.

One pageant expert says, "Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat, and she got that way by overeating."

Chloe, who is studying to be a beautician, is 17-years-old, and stands 5'10" tall, with a 38DD bust.

"I'm very happy about the way I am, and my weight, and my body size," says Chloe. She insists she eats healthy meals and exercises. She was heavy even as an adolescent, and now describes herself as "an ambassador for curves."

But Chloe's claim that she is a role model for larger women has triggered an astonishingly personal attack by a former Miss England judge. The woman, a dietician, wrote in a newspaper: "Chloe is a terrible role model. If Chloe is so overweight at barely 17, one shudders to imagine just how fat she will be a few years down the line."

A reader commented, "It makes me mad when people like Chloe are allowed to glamorize obesity."

Like my granny always said, there's just not much you can do with stupid.

*I watch Inside Edition. I like Deborah Norville. Sue me.

Affect Effect

Yeah, yeah. It should have been the 'Masters Effect'. I debated which was correct. Went with Affect. I was wrong.

And it is my sincere hope that the rotten, greedy soulless bastard has an affliction of 'Conscience' as opposed to 'conscious'.

Although as I told the person who emailed me about my boo-boos, I know the rotten, greedy soulless bastard's wife and the fellow probably elects to be both un-conscious as well as un-conscience. If only for the peace and quiet that the state of unconsciousness brings him.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Masters Affect

You know The Masters, that little ole golf tournament they play about sixty miles west of me. Folks come in from all over for both the practice rounds at the beginning of the week, and for the actual tournament Thursday through Sunday.

Then they all pack up and head to Hilton Head for the Heritage.

The campers and other vehicles started clogging traffic up here late Thursday afternoon--my little town happens to be on one of the more heavily traveled off-the-Interstate routes. We'll see the reverse Monday week when they head back east to HHI.

Columbia gets a pretty good affect from The Masters as well, since it's straight up one hour on I-20 from Columbia to Augusta and many folks stay there and drive over to Augusta each day.

Here's the real kicker: Gas here went from $3.15 a gallon on Wednesday morning to $3.25.

I guess I can only hope that the rotten, soulless, greedy bastard who owns all the stations here in town who also lives here and sends his kids to school here will have an attack of conscious and lower the prices to their pre-Masters level of highway robbery once all the too-rists have made their way back and forth.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Braves Win!!


Baseball season is here! All is once again right with the world.

And someone who has discovered the path to my heart is taking me to a Braves game for my birthday in May.

I shall wear my Jeff Francouer* shirt and be a total fan geek.

*Such a crush I have on this boy.