Thursday, May 10, 2007

Virginia is for...Creatures

Yes, I know it's been a while. More than three weeks, to be precise. But in my defense, I just finished cranking out somewhere around 40,000 words (and not just any words, specific words, strung together in sentences) for our big summer project at work. For some reason, the idea of coming home and cranking out a few more was not inspiring. But I digress.
Yesterday, when I arrived home from work (TGIF, my friends, TGIF) extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of two whole days off, I bounded upstairs to my bedroom to put on my comfortable (read "crappy") clothes. While in the bedroom I noticed a few stacks of books had been knocked over. The fact of the matter is, we have too many books, though I prefer to think that we simply have too few bookshelves, and as a result, many of my books are stacked up against the wall, near a bookcase in our bedroom. I thought "I live with pigs!" which is not fair in this particular case, but whatever. I began to re-stack and straighten up the books when I noticed the cover of one hardback pretty much shredded. I touched the cover, inspecting the damage, when out popped this:

And sure, it looks all cute and stuff here, peeking out of the leaf litter or what have you. But that's really the point, isn't it? THIS ONE'S NOT PEEKING OUT FROM MY BOOKS! It's a skink, btw. I'll admit, I may have involuntarily made a very small, very restrained noise at the site of the thing semi-slithering away from me. As I recall, my first impression was that it looked like a very, very small alligator. At that point, Michael Jackson (my cat, not the king of pop) pounced on it then let it slither away so he could chase it. I panicked. I'll admit it. I ran out the door, slamming it behind me, and locking Michael in with the creature. I'm not proud of it, but that's what happened. I had tried to get him to come with me, but he ignored me, so I had to throw him under the bus.
Once I collected myself, I went back upstairs, swinging a catfood packet madly, trying to lure the cat with the come hither sound of food about to be served. He ignored me completely. So I screwed up my courage, ran into the room, and grabbed Michael Jackson by the scruff, all while shouting "NO MICHAEL JACKSON! NO! NO!" as he flailed. I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought. I then proceeded to close the bedroom, and stuff a towel in the crack under the door, fully prepared to write that room off forever, if necessary. Then Darren came home, and found the lizard king, after a brief search. Contained in Gladware, he really was quite cute, and I felt very badly about the damage the cats had done. Darren said he thought the little guy would make it, but he pretty much always says that so I won't cry.
And you might think the whole Virginia is for creatures bit is an exaggeration, based on one minor episode, but this is to not even mention the Great Tick Horror of a month or so ago, during which I found TWO of them on me, another on the stairs, one in the bathtub, and one on Darren. The first night I slept with my pajamas tucked into knee-high socks. If you can count being curled up in the fetal position, twitching, with my eyeballs nearly bulging out of my head as sleep. They don't have ticks in Vermont the way they do down here. Or lizards, for that matter. Current score: Vermont: 3; Virginia: 0.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Sissies

This morning I read on CNN that a fight broke out at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's opening night concert with Ben Folds. On the one hand, this fills me with pride, because as a native Massachusettsian, I admire the fact that it's a state where being a badass and enjoying the symphony are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, I started to wonder what a fight between symphony aficionados looks like. Did they slap at each other until one of them tripped over his own feet? Swat away with their programs until one's monocle fell off and the other dropped his Blackberry? According to the article, the concert continued through one scream, with conductor Keith Lockhart merely casting a sidelong glance up at the balcony. The second scream stopped the performance entirely. Sadly, I think it's safe to assume that the screams did not issue from any lady bystanders, but rather, the gladiators themselves. Recently, according to my brother's blog, there was a throwdown after a cycling race here in Virginia. Cyclists, a notoriously sissy lot (what with the leg-shaving, and lycra-wearing, and petite frames and all) are probably no better mano a mano than symphony fans, but I'm going to have to reluctantly put my money on the cyclist in a death match between the two, since he or she would have a little fitness on their side, presumably, and a lower median age I imagine. As for the performance, since I really, really love Ben Folds, I think I would have been some pissed off at the interruption. But maybe amused, too. It's hard to say. Anyway, you can read the article here:

Monday, May 7, 2007


Last night we had what I thought was a really delicious dinner. I didn't take a picture of it, since it's not my general practice to photograph my dinner before I eat it (but I do admire it in others) so you're just going to have to use your imagination. I'd seen a reference to dosadillas on a neat vegan blog ( and found the recipe for it online (I love the internet.) It's from "Quick Fix Vegetarian" by Robin Robertson, which I am so ordering.
Anyway, if you've ever had a samosa at an Indian restaurant, and you really should if you haven't, the filling was similar--mashed potato, baby peas, scallions, and curry powder. This is spooned into a whole wheat tortilla, folded over, and heated just as you would any other quesadilla--in this case in a frying pan, with a little bit of olive oil. The name combines "dosa" which is a kind of thin Indian crepe type-thingy, and the aforementioned quesadilla. They rocked and were so easy to make, which in my opinion makes them about 10 times more delicious. I found the recipe here: But I'm thinking it's definitely worth investing in the book. In the meantime, having oft-discussed the moral superiority of vegans lately, last night the household members briefly discussed giving it another try (all of us have done so at one time or another.) We thought maybe we'd start with a week and see how it goes. More updates as events warrant.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

On Donkey Basketball and Morons

Donkey basketball is stupid. And for morons. And I can't believe it's necessary to point that out. Of course it's stupid, for the love of Christ. And smoking will kill you. And It's not good to jump from a moving automobile either, in case you were wondering. It seems equally obvious to me that dragging around a bunch of poor, defenseless animals to hot, smelly, loud gymnasiums, to be ridden by inexperienced individuals as a bunch of mental midgets yuk it up, is not the best way for your booster club to fund its activities. Yet here we are, in the year 2007, and donkey basketball is still considered a fun activity.
In addition to being just plain stoopid, It clearly sucks for the animals. According to one expert: "The deprivation, constant travel, unfamiliar surroundings, loud noise, and rough handling are extremely stressful for the donkeys. They often develop unpredictable temperaments and have been known to lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders." Of course, injuries to the players or bystanders, in most cases I can live with. The animals are another question.
Additionally, as one animal rights advocate points out--"The games may desensitize young people to animal suffering and teach them that we have the right to abuse animals for our own entertainment."
And who doesn't think that's great?
Here's a cool article on donkeys:
I totally can't wait to get one.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Virginia is for...Weirdos

Since moving to sunny and magical Northern Virginia eight months ago, I have:
1. Put 18,000 miles on my car, and a new engine in it;

2. Applied for 25 different jobs;

3. Been rejected by 20 different employers;

4. Been informed (not unkindly) that accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior will prevent me from burning in the hellfires of eternal damnation;

5. Entered into the employ of a seriously deranged attorney;

6. Left the employ of said attorney with exactly 0 hours notice;

7. Crashed my car;

8. Joined a new company, with a CEO whose hijinx will surely provide fodder for multiple chapters of my memoir;

9. Observed a woman reading a cookbook whilst driving on the beltway; and

10. Wished a rabbit back to life after it took a flying leap into my spinning car tire.

This concludes the "update" portion of our blog.