Monthly Archive: October 2003

Oct 29


Jeff & I have been invited to a Halloween party Friday night. The invitiations didn’t say anything about costumes, so I entered into a state of willing suspension of disbelief WRT needing a costume. As you can see, I take costumes very seriously and given the hecticness of my schedule this week (Ok, any week), I was loathe to undertake a costume creation.

Then Meghan asked me at lunch yesterday what I was wearing to the party. I said I wasn’t sure if it was a costume party or not, so Meghan wrote the hosts and asked them. Now I have written confirmation that it is.

So last night I went to Jo-Anne’s (before dinner with Tim & Kim) and Michael’s (after dinner with Tim & Kim) in search of last minute crafts bits. Then when I got home I sewed and hot glued for a few hours.

Today I have a few burned bits on my fingers (Gina + hot glue = almost certain mishap), 1.5 finished costumes (must finish mine tomorrow) and *very* bleary eyes (not nearly enough sleep).

Updates and pictures to come.

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Oct 27

Weekend update

I had a very productive/fun weekend! On the productive end: installed new molding (to match the cabinets [wood] instead of the walls [white] in the master bath [bought a cheap miter box in order to make angle cuts] — actually Jeff pretty much did this, but I did clean up ;-) ; repaired the bathroom ceiling (at one point I was up to my elbows in ceiling texture spray — that stuff is *messy*!); knit another baby hat.

On the fun side: Friday night Jeff and I went to see the Animation Show at the Carolina Theatre in Durham — nice mix of animations, though some were *really* weird. Then dinner at Verde, which was quite good. Their concept is “simple food” (actually their window sign says “Naked Food”… I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that everyone was fully dressed), so Jeff had roasted chicken and potatoes and I had a ceasar salad. We ordered two different cheeses to start (and they’ve got great bread!) — I need to remember to buy the Celebrity Dairy goat cheese more often — mmmmmm! We went over to Allan & Inez’s house on Saturday for cocktails and scary movies (REALLY scary — “The Ring” — eep!). Sunday afternoon we saw Under the Tuscan Sun (and snuck Wendy’s into the theater… we’re baaaaad!) and enjoyed it (major chick flick though… the IMDB reviewed nailed it on that one). I’ve never thought of myself as someone who’d fall in love with Italy (my people are of the fair-skinned, northern type, and it’s always been the emerald green places (like Ireland) that have “called” to me), but this movie made me want to see Italy. Jeff flew out to Chicago last night & will be there until Friday evening (ick).

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Oct 24

NC State Fair

As my friend Jacintha described it: “it’s the distillation of all that is North Carolina.” And she was right!


  • Checked out the monster pumpkins
  • Rode rides (well, I did at any rate… Brian & Meghan are of the non-ride-riding persuasion… see, that’s them waiting for me to ride)
  • Ate Deep Fried Twinkie (Meghan, not me — that’s what she’s brandishing in the photo above)
  • Saw the cake Brian decorated in the cake-decorating competition (very nice — suble white-on-white with a wee bit of blue. Nice fondant.)
  • Found the cotton-candy-flavored ice cream that I’d had two years ago, but had managed to miss last year. Also discovered that it’s available year-round at Cary Town Center. Danger.
  • Went through the entire vendor building. I bought sparkly eye shadow (almost inevitable) and Meghan got honey cotton candy. (I tried it, but it turns out I prefer my cotton candy “straight up”)
  • Played waaaaaaaay too many fair games
  • Won! four fair games.* (And that was just me — Brian won, like, a million, prizes — check out the loot bag!)
  • Ate hot dogs & butterfly fries
  • Bought a monster bag of cotton candy
  • **

* I won a realistic looking dog (which I gave to Brian who was going to give it to a friend of his to whom he gave a real puppy of the same breed [which, of course, I can’t remember now), a blue pony (for Meghan), a floppy blue puppy (for Jeff) and a “Stutch” for me. “Stutch” was obviously supposed to be “Stitch” from Lilo & Stitch, but we suspect that Disney may not have been involved in the production of “Stitch” so we started calling him “Stutch”.

Other favorite stuffed critters:
Cracker Monster
SpongePete Rhomboid-Pants
Hi Kitty
Large Bird
The Incredulous Hulk

** Surprise of the day: A Monster Bag of cotton candy is (a) only 1.5 servings (for once the people who make up those numbers think like I do!) and (b) each of those servings is only 115 calories. Guilt-Be-Gone!

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Oct 24

United Way Carnival

I was *conned* (/coerced?) by my boss into rounding up a group of backup singers for the Nortel Networks “Mystery Band” (in which my boss, David, and his boss, Steve were both playing). (Steve’s on drums, so you can’t see him in this photo, but that’s my buddy Brian Hill singing lead vocals.)

I think we handled our parts (which were comprised of “Jumping Jack Flash, it’s a gas” and some random “woo woo”s very well.

This is the whole band:

… and one more of the backup singers,

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Oct 23

Civic Duty

So last night I did something that’s embarrasingly uncommon for me: I participated in government.

Odd (and long) story:

I would love to buy some land near my current house so that I can build my next house (let’s face it, I’m gonna outgrow this one!). A few months back a plot of land right around the corner from mine went on the market. I was intrigued, so I called the listing agent. Sadly, the plot was 6.9 acres, which was far too rich for my blood.

Fast forward a few days. I am at my Dr.’s office (Sabrina Mentock) and I’m talking to Melinda, the office manager. She knows I added onto my house a few years back and asks me how I like it. “Oh, great… I love the addition. I love the neighborhood. In fact, I’d like to buy some land around here so I can build my next house here.”

“Oh, really? Dr. Mentock’s trying to buy some land right around here so she can build a new office!”

(You can guess which plot Dr. Mentock was trying to buy.)

So when I went in to see her, I asked Dr. Mentock about her plans. She told me she’d like to build a doctor’s office that’s actually a large house (maybe a Victorian?) with a wraparound porch, where folks from the community can hang out, even if they’re not patients of hers. The only problem is that the zoning of the lot would need to be changed in order to accomodate it (from low-density residential to commerical). Now, I *love* this idea — this is the sort of “mixed use” development that’s good for communities. It’s even good for the environment, as the amount of impermeable surface for her single house-office would be *less* than the amount that would be created if houses were built as the current zoning allows.

So last night I went before the planning council to speak on behalf of the idea. And it will be recommended by the planning council! :) Next step is the actual rezoning hearing, which I might try to attend as well.

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Oct 22

Elliot Smith has died

Elliot Smith, who I was lucky enough to see live a few years ago has died. This makes me very very sad, as I love his music.

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Oct 21

Alton Brown!

Jeff and I went to a cooking show in raleigh on Saturday and got to meet Alton Brown! For anyone who doesn’t know, Alton Brown hosts a show called “Good Eats” on the Food Network that’s sort of a frenetic combination of Mr. Wizard meets Julia Child with a large dash of Monty Python and other pop culture bits thrown in for good measure. He dissects recipes and foods so that you can really understand why things interact the way they do, rather than merely measuring 1/4 cup of this and 1/8 cup of that. I *heart* Alton.

In person he was quite a bit more sarcastic than he is on TV, which sort of surprised me. He’s truly funny though (and obviously is a fabulous cook). He did a batch of shrimp cooked in rock salt (food grade) that he’d preheated in the oven, finishing them off by dunking them in white wine to stop the cooking (and rinse off the salt). They looked nummy (unfortunately we didn’t get to taste!).

I had him sign my salt cellar (he’s really big into salt cellars) and all three of his books. Oh, and one of the measuring cups in the Alton Brown set that Jeff gave me for my birthday.

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Oct 16

Creature of habit

I managed to *forget* *my* *pocketbook* this morning. This, for most women (or at least for me), is like forgetting one’s arm.

How, you ask, could this happen (you’re probably trying to wipe the image of my arm laying on the livingroom floor from your head, aren’t you?) . Well, last night after yoga, Jeff and I made our typical fast food run (it cancels out, doesn’t it? ;-) and on the way into the house he grabbed my pocketbook, as I had my hands full of sodas (and a Jamocha milkshake [double bonus points if you now know which fast food we ate]). When we got inside he put the bag down, only he didn’t put it down where I normally put it down, he put it a whopping three feet to the left.

Yes, folks, my bag being three feet in the wrong direction is apparently enough to throw me. I did, however, remember to grab my lunch, so I suppose I’m coming out even for the day.

I realized that I’d forgotten it as I was walking into work, wondering why my load was so light. Upon figuring it out (and after the panic stopped), I started inventorying what was in the purse that I might need: PDA … no that’s ok, it’s all in Outlook; WALLET… no, brought my lunch and know my credit card number by heart (ah, the telltale mark of an online shopper); cell phone … no won’t need it ’till I’m out of work anyway, as the reception inside the building sucks.). Hm. I *can* survive a day without my purse!

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Oct 14

One last thing

Here’s the bag I made this weekend for Meghan using some really wonderfully terrible 70’s fabirc from my Granny’s stash…

…and here’s a closeup of the same bag showing the fabulous red taffeta lining and the baby-ric-rack-and-button closure.

I haven’t sewn in a Very Long Time, so there were quite a bit of …um.. relearnings (for example, I had forgetting the necessity of using fusible interfacings when you’re trying to make a pocket out of a knit thing which will be sewn onto a non-kint thing. I completely made up the pattern (nto so sure that was a good idea, but anyway) and improvised. I am happy with it, though!

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Oct 14

Another project complete!

My first baby hat!

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Oct 14

Charity Scarf Drive

This year I’m participating in the Get Crafty Scarf Drive, a very cool project where folks donate handmade scarves that then go to two programs serving women in need: TLC (women & mothers with mental illness) and Sanctuary For Families (a haven for abused women/mothers and their children).

my scarf Here’s my scarf (and the matching hat that I couldn’t resist making.

If you want to donate a scarf, just check in with the Get Crafty folks. Deadline is Dec. 10.

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Oct 14


Friday night Meghan and I went to see R.E.M. with front row center seats, courtesy of the R.E.M. fanclub (yah fanclub!). It was a stunning show — lots of old stuff that I really wanted to hear (Nightswimming, Radio Free Europe, So Central Rain), all the new things I love (most notably Bad Day, which is off the In Time album that comes out 10/28), and

*wait for it*

Bill Berry!!!

Background for those of you who don’t like R.E.M. like I do: Bill Berry was (for 17 years or so) the band’s drummer. When he left the band (amicably) he said he was done for good and that he wanted to go be on his farm. He has not played with the rest of the band (Buck, Mills & Stipe) since he retired in 1997, so this was a Great Big Fuzzy.

Furthermore, the nice security guy let me go back to my car for my camera (which was allowed at this show!!!), so I have some great pics of the whole thing:



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Oct 09

My favorite things I said today:

The whole triangle (IMHO) rocks… so much to do, yet not overwhelming. (I’d much rather be a biggish fish in a medium-sized pond than a wee guppy in the ocean, if you know what I mean. Especially if the pond’s got good Thai restaurants and sushi. But then that might make me a cannibalistic fish, which would be gross….)

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Oct 07

Vegas Update

Yes, I bought a tiara. I’ve wanted one for eons. And where better to get (and wear for the rest of the day) one than the Vegas strip? (I have *always* wanted a tiara. It seems a crime that I’ve not had one before now.)

The shows were (in order): interesting, but not mind-numbingly wonderful (Zumanity); wonderful in a typically Cirque style (Mystere); and FABULOUS (‘O’). I was just stunned by O… the magic of the water that sometimes wasn’t water, the incredibly moodiness of the whole thing, the almost-impossible acrobatics. Wowsers. I’d go back to Vegas to see that alone.

We did not see any mauling. This is a Very Good Thing, as if we had, I’d probably be rwacked with guilt, wondering what I did to cause that (was my jewelry too sparkly? Did I make an angry face by accident?). Yes, that’s rediculously Gina-centric, but I guarantee you I’d feel guilty nonetheless.

We did see the Smog Hut. (“Hello? Yes, I’d like some smog, please? ooh. Do you have any that’s stinkier than that?”)

I felt compelled to crush the Grand Canyon. (We took a helicopter ride from Vegas down into the canyon, where we had a lovely picnic lunch. Way cool., particularly as I was a Canyon Virgin.)

Unsurprsingly, I was mesmerized by the many many pretty lights. Buzzy, my traveling companion, was not:

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Oct 07

Brushes with Greatness

(Via Mimi Smartypants via Wulad)

    My Brushes with Greatness:

  • the obvious Mike Mills one
  • I met Oscar from The Bionic Man when I was 8 or 9 (I don’t even remember where… I just remember going)
  • I met Cletus from the Dukes of Hazzard (at a car show. My little brother was big into car shows). At the time I had a broken ankle (skateboarding incident), and he signed my cast. I regret that I no longer have said cast.
  • I met David Hasselhoff. And K.I.T.T. (but I’m not sure he was the real K.I.T.T. I am pretty sure it was the real David Hasselhoff.) This was another auto show thing. There was, at one point, even a picture of an incredibly geeky 14-year-old me with said Hasselhoff. No, I don’t know where the picture is now. I think I gave it to an ex-BF who appreciated the pop-culture humor that Hasselhoff embodies.
  • I just saw Andre Agassi in Vegas last week (he was sitting 30 ft. away waiting for a media op WRT his charity concert)
  • I’ve met Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) … yes I was wearing my R2D2 costume at the time
  • Peter Buck (also of R.E.M.) signed a Guitar Pick for me
  • Penn & Teller. I have an MP3 of one of them (probably the one that does talk, eh?) talking to me
  • .

    More music folks that I’ve spoken with:

  • Iris DeMent
  • Tift Merritt
  • Lloyd Cole
  • Livingston Taylor

Oh golly, I know there are tons more than this, if for no other reason than I’m a completely brazen hussy when it comes to talking to people.

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