Monday, August 31, 2009

Now I Know How Elastigirl Feels

These days, I feel like I am living my life as a superhero. By day, I have a high-enough-level-corporate job (It says "Director of..." on my business card so I must be kind of important) for a conservative firm in a conservative industry in a conservative part of the world. By night, I am a social networking and blogging queen with a mouth like a sailor and an occasional tendency to Tweet under the influence.

Right now, these are 2 very separate worlds. In fact, they are 2 entirely separate universes. Work peeps do not know about the Cyber Me. They don't know about my blog. They don't know about my Twitter. I won't even be friends with them on Facebook because yeah - I totally pimp my blog through Facebook and the truth of the matter is, the thing I fear most in this world (aside from raw chicken, being buried alive and losing my parents) is work peeps finding out about the blog. Once it becomes a book, then we can let them in on the secret.

Here's my main concern: for every respectable dinner party I chronicle, there's also a slightly debaucherous theme party not too mention suggesting that a cocktail father my children. Oh. And the language. Let's not forget about my salty speech patterns. I am pretty sure that "Directors of" who work in conservative industries in conservative geographies don't sound like a cross between Betty Ford and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.

And so, I live in this semi-state of quasi panic about what would happen if these 2 universes were to collide. For a while it was full on throes of panic but then my dear friend The Banker, who is someone I know professionally but who is also one of the very few to have crossed the boundary into my Cyber World, basically talked me off the ledge and told me that blogging/being on Facebook/Tweeting is not illegal and that I what I write about is basically harmless and that there's absolutely no connection between the "Professional Me" and the "Cyber Me" and that I shouldn't worry. Since she is so sage and so wise and such a good influence, I listened. Basically. Although my personal levels of neuroticism probably qualify me for a starring role in Woody Allen's next film so yeah...I still worry. Just not as much.

Anyways, the reason I am sharing this with you dear readers: I am going on a 3-day work retreat this week up in the mountains. Me and the work peeps will be bonding, interacting, hiking, running, biking, hanging out on the lake, and enjoying the cool mountain air for 3 whole days. At some point, I think there is a half day "meeting" but this is pretty much about the socializing and the hanging out. It's not about working. Which brings up the question: if I am at a 3 day retreat in the mountains that's all about hanging with my co-workers, why the fuck would I bring a laptop??? Seriously. Especially if I have my Crackberry.

From the work peep perspective, I am pretty sure the presence of a laptop would make absolutely no sense. Unless it would make me look like a total workaholic bad ass. Hmmm...something to consider...But really - I can't emphasize enough how much this trip is about relaxing and having fun and not about working.

However, the Cyber Me needs her fix: there's this blog, the 30+ blogs I follow and dutifully try to comment on (OMG sometimes the weight of unread posts on Google reader just CRUSHES me), Twitter, Facebook, goes on. And while I can manage some of these things from my Crackberry (Note to the good folks at Twitterberry: it would be oh so useful if you could actually FOLLOW a tweep from Twitterberry - dontcha think?), until I bite the bullet and buy an iPhone (so on my To Do List), I still need a laptop. So I wrestled with this for a few days. I really did. To bring a laptop or not to bring a laptop. And then I mentally kicked myself because OMG: can I not go on a laptop diet for a few days? Can I not disengage the Cyber Me for approximately 72 hours?

And then I had a genius solution. I would bring my personal laptop which has my iTunes on it because I am sure with all of the mountain jogging I plan on doing, I will need to recharge my iPod at least once. Right? And while I am charging my iPod if I happen to dive into my own personal cyber universe...Of course, as clever as I thought I was being, I still kind of felt like a douchey asshole because once again, OMG: can I not go on a laptop diet for a few days? Can I not disengage the Cyber Me for approximately 72 hours?

Now all of this turned out to be a non-issue because my co-worker who is organizing the trip emailed me the other day asking me if I was bringing a laptop because we need one to run a presentation during the one working part of the trip. I guess it's naturally assumed that, for whatever reason, I would be the type of girl to bring my laptop to a mountain retreat. And I'm ok with that. So even if I hadn't come up with my whole genius iTunes cover, I would have effectively been given a legitimate reason to bring my laptop along.

So yeah. I'll be up in the mountains, communing with nature, bonding with the work peeps, relaxing, updating my Facebook status, blogging (actually - I don't have to blog tomorrow because I have a SUPER FANTASTICALLY KICK ASS GUEST POSTER! WHOO!), and probably Tweeting about it because that's how I roll, yo.

If that ain't a cross between country and a more than slight cyber addiction, I'll kiss your...

PS I wrote this entire post in bed. Gotta love Wi-Fi. Sigh.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Week In Tweets: August 23 - August 29

Ouch. That's all.
9:21 AM Aug 23rd from TwitterBerry

Just managed to get Tori Amos and Tori Spelling mixed up. Clear indicator of my mental faculties today.
11:54 AM Aug 23rd from TwitterBerry

You know the difference between shopping at Banana Republic and Banana Republic Outlet? Hangers. They keep the hangers at the Outlet.
3:08 PM Aug 23rd from TwitterBerry

I just bought a very happy purple coat from J. Crew. It's really super happy.
3:35 PM Aug 23rd from TwitterBerry

Apparently, today is Shove-Your-Face-Sunday and I am kicking ass!
8:52 PM Aug 23rd from web

Note to self: when ripped from slumber by scary ass thunderstorm, would help if you didn't think of Poltergeist.
2:24 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

Just witnessed the biggest jackass in a pickup try to cut off another driver trying to merge over due to construction. I hate pricky drivers
9:52 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

Seriously - I want to get out of my car, beat on his window and ask him: WTF dude?
9:53 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

Sorry - traffic is making me stabby.
9:54 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

Pricky driver's spawn are ugly. And they look like heathens. Like the type of kids to drop a frozen turkey off an overpass. Or cans of SPAM.
9:56 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

Also - I'd like to know what genius decided that 10am on a Monday was a good time to shut down 1 entire lane of 74E?
10:01 AM Aug 24th from TwitterBerry

RT: @ModernMatriarch: Chop. Stir. Mix. is back with a Cilantro Pesto recipe from @rougeneck! Pls. RT
10:26 PM Aug 24th from web

[Yes. I have taken on ADDITIONAL blogging responsibilities and will occasionally be appearing with my good friend AndreaAnna over at Chop. Stir. Mix. I know this is absolutely insane seeing as I am so busy these days I am relying on guest posters to keep my blog alive (Hello Harmzie - um, where's MY graph??) but I was honored when AndreaAnna asked and I do love food and cooking so...yeah...Chop. Stir. Mix.]

Holy crap I shed a lot. I mean - like an insane amount alot.
7:57 AM Aug 25th from web

So I am curious: what exactly constitutes a *routine* stay in rehab????
2:32 PM Aug 25th from TwitterBerry

My cat weighs 3lbs. I believe that 2lbs. of his fluffy, white fur are currently all over my black pants.
6:05 PM Aug 25th from TwitterBerry

Thank you hotel that actually still leaves chocolate on the pillow.....
9:53 PM Aug 25th from web

So yeah - hotel peeps - would it have killed you to leave TWO pieces of chocolate on the pillow? Or at least one piece on each pillow?
10:06 PM Aug 25th from TwitterBerry

Blogger just at half my fucking post. I HATE YOU BLOGGER.
11:19 PM Aug 25th from web

Seriously - does anyone else out there ABHOR Blogger as much as I do RIGHT NOW?
11:25 PM Aug 25th from web

And before you tell me to "save as I go" - I totally did. Blogger ate my fucking post anyways.
11:26 PM Aug 25th from web

Oh SBUX Strawberry Banana Smmothie. How I've missed you so.
7:28 AM Aug 26th from TwitterBerry

Colleague told me in a meeting to "stand in the corner and look pretty." Dude, I know you were joking but...NOT FUCKING FUNNY.
9:56 AM Aug 26th from TwitterBerry

To the idiot in the 18-wheeler who just cut me off pulling into the Exxon station: Thanks asshole.
2:59 PM Aug 26th from TwitterBerry

It's official: I can not hear Please Don't Stop the Music without serious ass-shaking ensuing.... *shake* *shake* *shake*
9:11 PM Aug 26th from web

It's 9:37pm. It's too fucking late in the day for work-related shit to make me want to SLAM MY HEAD INTO THE DESK.
9:38 PM Aug 26th from web

And yet...there is a part of me that is thinking about a self-induced concussion. SIIIGGGGGHHHHHHH.
9:38 PM Aug 26th from web

It's a toss-up between alternate nostril breathing or another glass of wine.
9:40 PM Aug 26th from web

Not to sound repetitive but: STUPIDITY MAKES ME STABBY. Seriously peeps - get your shit together...puh-leeze......
9:41 PM Aug 26th from web

is putting a little more mascara on......
10:19 PM Aug 26th from web

Wickedly feisty today tweeps. Wickedly.....
9:35 AM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Citibank - you are really trying my patience. REALLY.
9:45 AM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Running late. Again.
5:57 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

@Lilsaej: "Not many women cornhole." Me: (no reply - too easy)
8:43 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Seriously @lilsaej and I are rocking our new Banana Republic dresses and leaving this little town in the dust.....
8:45 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Might be following a cross dresser or Buffalo Bill........
10:01 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Cornhole + @lilsaej =genius
10:58 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

Sorry. @lilsaej is awesome. Ignore any misleading tweets.
11:00 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

@lilsaej is a bad ass. Seriously.
11:39 PM Aug 27th from TwitterBerry

47 unread posts on Google Reader. I guess I know what I am doing tonight.
9:56 AM Aug 28th from web

I keep telling Baby Face his brand of snark needs to be on Twitter. He's dragging his heels. Read his musings & then tell me what you think.
11:12 AM Aug 28th from web

Really Citibank? You want to go THERE? I don't think so.
11:44 AM Aug 28th from TwitterBerry

Ok. At Subway. The consistency of the tuna looks unnatural. And oddly, the person before and after me both ordered it.
12:02 PM Aug 28th from TwitterBerry

wondering just how many unread copies of the Charlotte Business Journal I can stack in a pile? Remind me again why I subscribe?
2:05 PM Aug 28th from web

Also - why the fuck are my eyebrows turning blonde? Seriously....
2:06 PM Aug 28th from web

[FYI - this is really happening and it's really FREAKING ME THE FUCK OUT.]

Has successfully closed down 2 establishments in town tonight. Should I go for a 3rd?
11:34 PM Aug 28th from TwitterBerry

Breakfast of champs: leftover arroz con pollo and Coke Zero.
9:35 AM Aug 29th from web

Dude: a toupee? In this day and age? Are you kidding me?
11:53 AM Aug 29th from web

And to add insult to injury, it's a BAD toupee. I mean, with modern technology, you think you could do a wee bit better. #justsayin
11:54 AM Aug 29th from web

All right 8.5 miles. I am about to show you who's in charge.
12:37 PM Aug 29th from TwitterBerry

Excerpt from email from Citibank asking me to participate in a survey: "It helps us understand what you like about banking with us..."
6:23 PM Aug 29th from web

6:23 PM Aug 29th from web

"...and what you think could be improved." EVERYTHING.
6:24 PM Aug 29th from web

PS Not taking the time to do THAT survey. I mean - at least if you're going to make my life miserable, do it with a sexy Aussie accent.
6:25 PM Aug 29th from web

William Powell as Nick Charles. Sigh. #timemachinefreebie
8:42 PM Aug 29th from TwitterBerry

thinks Nora had the right idea: fur, satin, diamonds and rye.
9:16 PM Aug 29th from TwitterBerry

And if that ain't they-don't-make-them-like-they-used-to-fabulous-and-glamorous, I'll totally kiss your...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random Musings On Bristol

Today's guest post comes from my dear friend, Baby Face Finster. Getting him to contribute this post was a huge accomplishment (however my powers of persuasion are legendary and so he couldn't exactly say no)- now if only I could get his snarky ass on Twitter...

Zsa Zsa,

Random musings on your Bristol experience…

It’s painfully obvious that - despite your parents’ best efforts - you have regressed beyond the point of rehabilitation. They have truly lost you. Welcome to “the island of misfit chromosomes” – step to the left to receive your general issue flannel shirt.

You have led a blessed and charmed life to date – You’ve attended finishing school, labored through harpsichord lessons, summered in the Hamptons, were exposed to the cultural experiences and refinements that one can only be subjected to by growing up in the second greatest city on earth, and you’ve obtained a quality, advanced education from the University of New Jersey at Durham. I can only imagine your parents’ lament as they wring their hands, wearing the prints from their fingers in a Capone-esque fashion. Where, oh where, could they have ever gone wrong?

What started as a pleasant diversion - a social research study intended to introduce a stranger to a strange land and foreign culture - has had such a profound and detrimental impact that you have now embraced the lifestyle and espouse the generalizations that many of us struggle to disprove. Congratulations! You have become Colonel Walter E. Kurtz from “Apocalypse Now”. If it gets out that you were drinking domestic beer – out of an aluminum can, no less – you’ll be publicly castigated and permanently excommunicated from high society. No number of “Julie and Julia” posts will suffice in getting you back into the good graces of the upper crust. I strongly recommend that you seek counseling with immediate effect. If you choose to ignore this advice, just head on back to the trailer and start frying something, Tammy.

Ironically, there is a parallel between our dearest Zsa Zsa and the great American sporting series that is NASCAR - that being a migration from the origins that made them so beloved. I have witnessed with great sadness the extreme commercialization of this great sport over the past 30 years – a sport that, at its very core, unabashedly embraces commercialism. The intent was honorable – expand the breadth and marketability of the sport while breaking free of the associated stereotypes. What once was a series filled with characters like Runt Pittman, D.W., Harry Hyde, Benny Parsons, Chocolate Myers, Tiny Lund, Tim Richmond (an Ohio native, by the way, Lilsaej), Dave Marcis, Jimmy “Smut” Means, JD McDuffie and countless others has been usurped by a group of Stepford wife-like underwear models. Every time one of ‘em gets interviewed I wait in anticipation and hope that their faceplate will pop off and they’ll start shooting sparks ala Yul Brenner in “Westworld”. God, I miss Jimmy Spencer. Unfortunately Jimmy couldn’t sell jeans as proficiently as some of the younger guys, so he was unceremoniously dumped. It should be noted that he didn’t go quietly into the night, though…One of his final acts as a driver, which is commonly considered by many to be the high water mark of the old guard vs. new guard conflict, was when Jimmy used Kurt Busch’s face to keep his fist from going through Kurt’s head. Kurt obviously learned his lesson. He had his ears pinned back closer to his head and he’s now currently playing the role of the smiling, affable pitchman for Miller Light who vigilantly reminds us all to drink responsibly.

It used to be that the guys in the cars were the guys that literally welded the spectator seats at the track (re: Ernie Irvin). Now they’re being programmed in elementary school to spray Pepsi all over any bystanders as soon as they dismount the go-cart. Apparently, paying ones dues is now passé. I fully acknowledge that there are a few bright spots - I hold out hope for Tony Stewart even though I feel that he should actually start eating some of the Subway products he promotes – Tony’s starting to bulk up a little and slightly resembles infamous 70’s professional wrestler Adrian Adonis. It truly is a cry for help when one fails in comparison while standing next to “Jared”.

As far as the Bristol race went, it was much less eventful than previous Sharpie 500’s – at times it bordered on tedious. Unlike Zsa Zsa and Lilsaej, I’m neutral on Kyle Busch – good driver, has a face like a bastard cat, which is refreshing considering the crop of Nivea models he competes against – but at least he’s out there mixing it up and making things happen. There are too many nice guys on the track nowadays and we all know that nice guys suck. If you don’t believe me go to Myrtle Beach and ask any group of 20-24 year old young ladies – you know, those nubile little kittens that are willing to siphon your money/alcohol for hours only to mysteriously disappear after going to the bathroom en masse mere microseconds before the house lights come on…I digress. It’s good to have a guy around with an axe to grind – It keeps you interested.

In closing I would recommend that you abstain from criticizing the fine Appalachian-American engineering expertise that went into your neighbors grill construction. Knowing race fans as I do, I can say without reservation that this group of pudgy, middle aged men (based on the photo posted) almost certainly would have invited you two younger ladies over to share a meal. Despite any ulterior motives on their part (and trust me, they had them since they’re middle aged primates) it should be noted that chivalry is not dead - not, at least, in Bristol, Tennessee. I’ll await confirmation from you that this, like all of my assertions, is absolutely correct.

Peace, love, understanding, and the Cat Square Suprette…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bristol Bound Baby: Part III

2:00pm Lilsaej and I pay $20 to park in somebody's yard. Literally - their *yard* people. While there are only a few cars so far, what's amazing is that they have an intense, enginerd style chart outlining a detailed parking schema that will come in handy as they fill up closer to the race.

2:01pm Lilsaej and I crack the first beer and begin to tailgate. Witness some of the spread:

2:18pm One of my favorite moments from the afternoon - Rougie and Lilsaej:

2:47pm While you may think that Lilsaej was merely trying to capture me in a moment of chronic txting/Facebook status updating/Tweeting/Blackberry IM'ing - this was a totally posed shot so she could capture the redneck monstrosity behind me. Seriously - check it out y'all:

Her caption for this photo on Facebook: Check out the "you know you're a redneck" engineered grill in the background. Oh yeah. Wooden board on barrel with room on either side of charcoal grill for food preparation and utensils. And if I were a more technically savvy blogger, I'd know how to put a giant red circle around the grill with arrows and shit to make it really obvious.

4:00pm After 2 hours of tailgating, Lilsaej and I decide to venture out. The goal is 3-fold: 1) calculate how long it will take us to walk to BMS; 2) activate the awesometastic Sprint Fanview on loan from my buddy at Childress; 3) buy a t-shirt or 2 or at least some sort of souvenir from the race.

4:09pm We meet this dude en route to the track:

He's been at the track for four days. He's all too willing to strike up a conversation *and* pose for a picture. We love him instantaneously. He wins the "Best T-Shirt at Bristol" contest hands down. Runner-up: "If you're going to ride my ass at least pull my hair."

4:13pm We arrive at "The Flea Market." This is the group of unofficial vendors who set up outside the track selling unofficial t-shirts, knick-knacks, souvenirs and bongs other race-related paraphernalia at a *fraction* of the cost of the stuff you can buy from the official vendors. I notice a severe dearth of "smalls" in t-shirt world and hope that my luck is better where the *real* vendors are.

4:22pm Why hello Jack Daniels! It's so lovely to see you too. (And PS - what are the odds that the pretty blonde bartender working the JD tent lives 7 minutes away from me? Seven minutes y'all!)

4:44pm We make it across to the BMS side of the street - although not to the actual track. We find the Sprint trailer and get the Fanview activated. The man who activates it assures us it's not as complicated as it seems but gives us an extra set of instructions just in case. Sigh.

4:53pm We find the Jimmie Johnson trailer but sadly there is NOT ONE SINGLE FUCKING SMALL T-SHIRT ANYWHERE. What gives?? I am told there's a #48 trailer on the other side of BMS - maybe they have smalls. Sigh. Again.

4:55pm The line at Tony Stewart's trailer is out of control. I don't care if they do have smalls - I am not 1) waiting on line or 2) buying a fucking Tony Stewart t-shirt - I don't care how cute they are.

4:59pm We stumble upon one of several official BMS trailers hawking Bristol 2009 tees and goods. Discover the MOST PERFECT T-SHIRT EVER but am discouraged to see it is sold out. So, me being cute and perky and charming and me, I politely ask the nice man behind the trailer counter what size is the sample tacked to the wall. "Small," he says gruffly. It's like fate. I ask him if he'll sell it to me. "After the race," he says gruffly. "Exsqueeze me?" "After the race. I can't sell the sample until after the race is over." Me: Dumb, blank, WTF-dude stare. Also me (in my head): Dude - the shirt is full of fucking holes from where you've tacked it to the trailer wall. Him: "If you are the first person to come back after the race is officially over, then I can sell it to you. Bruton Smith's policy." So yeah - WTF Bruton Smith???? You can't fucking let a sample t-shirt go before the race ends even though it is already sold out? I don't give a flying fig that maybe you can buy it at one of 800 other Bristol t-shirt selling establishments on the grounds - you can't let this one little sample go? So yeah. I tried to maintain some level of perky charm and beg/plead/smile/eyelash bat my way into this t-shirt, but the man behind the trailer counter was gruff and mean and following this most ridiculous of t-shirt selling policies ever and would not capitulate and so yeah...IT'S ALL BRUTON SMITH'S FAULT THAT I DON'T FUCKING HAVE A T-SHIRT FROM BRISTOL.

5:03pm I storm off from the Bristol trailer in a mad and apoplectic huff.

5:07pm Lilsaej and I begin the trudge back to the car for some more pre-race tailgating. Randomly manage to catch a shuttle which brings us back to our EXACT field on Old Carden Hollow Road. The shuttle is run by church peeps and they are selling sodas and waters and snacks for $1 a piece and I wonder what they think of all the drunk lunatics running around Bristol.

6:02pm Our other 2 friends for the evening, Joker and Ace, arrive. Good thing I talked to Chad (owner of the field where we are parked) to secure them a spot because that yard was FULL. Also? Good thing that Chad was a total enginerd with a massively planned out parking schema and could figure out how to accomodate Ace, Joker and their vehicle.

6:50pm We begin the walk back to BMS. It turns out to be a little bit more than 15 minutes because this time we are laden like pack mules with race bags and coolers not to mention that we have to actually get to our gate which is kind of at 11 o'clock on the circle that is the track and we are kind of hitting the track at 6'oclock.

7:21pm We are in our seats. They are fucking incredible:

7:34pm Bristol is nothing if not patriotic:

7:38pm FLY BY BABY!


The race. The race. The race.

The race was a crazy, hazy blur of deafening volume, exhiliarting speed, beer, the smell of burnt rubber, rain, Tweets, crashes, beer, corn dogs, chips, cautions, intense action, a little more beer and an almost win by the #48. Seriously - if that last pit stop hadn't been such a disaster, I wouldn't have had to gag as Kyle Busch pulled into the Winner's Circle. And as it stands, we all know Jimmie had the fastest car on the track that night. Winners aside, it was an incredible night that certainly set the bar high for future NASCAR outings. Of course, I am looking at my calendar to see if I can make it to another race in 2009 and Lilsaej and I are already planning our Divas Do Dega trip in April 2010.

Getting back to Bristol...After the race, we slowly made our way back to the car. By the time we got back to our field, most everyone had already rolled out. The owners of the field didn't seem to mind, and so instead of scurrying off, we cracked a beer, turned on some tunes, and chilled out under the stars and let the crazy, churning, turning, swirling, whirling, spinning madness known as Bristol fade into the night.

And if that ain't fantastically country, I'll kiss your...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bristol Bound Baby: Part II*

* So here's what I really wanted to call this post: I Went to Bristol and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt - Oh Wait - I Didn't Even Fucking Get A Fucking T-Shirt Because Bruton Smith Has Bullshit Fucking Stupid Rules About Selling T-Shirts.

But I didn't title the post that because it seemed a wee bit long. And also, a little bit hostile. But I still mean it. And more on my issues with Bruton Smith later.

So Lilsaej picked me up at 9:15am on Saturday morning. We got into her Land Cruiser laden with snacks and beer and race bags and suitcases and raincoats and beer and diet soda and chicken salad and water and scanners and beer and headed off for Bristol. I thought I would be clever and photo-chronicle our journey. Here are some early road-trip pictures:

Lilsaej's Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet. This crap is literally purple and is supposed to taste like berries. Berries that have undergone radiation maybe.

A picture of Wendy in front of Wendy's. Look - see how she smiled and waved?

There was a giant cow in the parking lot. We thought this was awesome even though that ambulance is totally blocking the shot.

I know - exciting shit - right?

Anyways, the drive to Bristol was not too bad...unless you count the 2 20-mile treacherous stretches through the mountains with lots of switchbacks, sharp turns, steep banks and signs that looked like this:

It wasn't easy, but Lilsaej was up to the task and we rolled into Bristol without any problems. And without any traffic! Seriously y'all - it was like we were the only ones in town for the race. I mean, we saw a few cars following signs for Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) but in general, traffic was light. Although it was weird because we went from NC to TN to VA back to TN. Apparently Bristol straddles the TN/VA border which I thought was weird and I swear one day I will look at a map to understand how it all works but for now I accept it as fact and am moving on. Anyways, we got to our hotel at around 1, checked in, topped off the coolers with more ice and then headed to BMS ourselves.

So here's the thing - sometimes it's good to have OCD be utterly neurotic. While I was in planning mode on Friday night, I went to the BMS website where they have TONS of information including parking tips, traffic tips and in general what NOT TO DO during a race weekend. Y'all? It was overwhelming because apparently you can't make any left turns at places and it could take 4 hours to leave BMS and you might be detoured 3 hours out of your way and I sort of panicked. So I emailed David N. Metzger, Traffic Engineer, City of Bristol Tennessee (his contact info was on the BMS website) and basically told him where the hotel was, where our seats were and asked how the hell we should get to the Speedway and where to park. This was at around 7pm on "THE" Friday night BEFORE "THE" race and a few minutes before the Nationwide race. Surprise, surprise, I got an automatic reply saying that he was out of the office but to address any race related traffic questions to a ktripplet. So I emailed ktripplet and HOLY CRAP Y'ALL - less than 10 minutes later there was a reply in my in-box from Kevin Tripplet, VP of Public Affairs for BMS typed from his Blackberry giving me TURN BY TURN BACK WAY IN directions from the hotel to BMS including where to park (one of the numerous fields on Old Carden Road)and what road NOT to cross over in order to be able to back track to the hotel the exact same way after the race was over. SCORE!!! Who knew I was this charming simply over email?

So yeah. Lilsaej and I made it from the hotel to Old Carden Road in about 10 minutes. Seriously - we had factored in about 90 minutes to cover the 7.1 miles to the track. Instead - it took us 10 minutes and I don't think we saw but 3 cars. Maybe. And sure enough, just as ktripplet promised, as we drove along Old Carden heading towards BMS - folks were standing on the side of the road waving us into their fields/pastures/yards to park for the race. The first bunch we hit were $5. Then $10. We thought about pulling in but we weren't sure how far we were from the track and we decided to inch closer. As long as we didn't go past Exide Road we would be ok. And sure enough, just past the $10 fields/pastures/yards, we turned a corner and there loomed BMS in front of us in all of its majestic glory. Also, $20 parking. But who cared because OMG y'all - WE MADE IT TO FUCKING BRISTOL WITHOUT ANY TRAFFIC. AND NOW WE WERE PARKED IN SOMEBODY'S YARD (literally - their yard) FOR $20. AND THEY HAD A PORT-O-POTTY WHICH WAS CRITICAL SINCE WE HAD A LOT OF BEER AND PLANNED TO DRINK IT. AND OH YEAH WE'RE GIRLS AND WE USE TOILET PAPER.

Ok...clearly my trip to Bristol has to be a 3-parter because Holy Crap y'all - it's late, I am tired, and there's still so much more to address. Like why Bruton Smith has bullshit t-shirt selling policies I don't have a t-shirt and telling you about this dude:

Oh. And the race. Some of you might actually want to know about the race.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Week In Tweets: August 16 - 22

You'd think Blogger spell check would recognize the word "bloggers." WTF?
11:48 AM Aug 16th from web

It's after 4pm and I am just now getting around to brushing my teeth. Sigh.
4:14 PM Aug 16th from web

It's official. There's an iPhone in my future. Screw the soul-sucking thieves @ Verizon.
1:57 PM Aug 17th from TwitterBerry

So far 3 people have not been able to hear me on my brand new, state of the art $129 Jawbone. WTF???
2:22 PM Aug 17th from TwitterBerry

In other news - BRISTOL BABY!!!!!!!!!
2:24 PM Aug 17th from TwitterBerry

It's official. I want to be @felinefrenzy when I grow up. OMG - she is AMAZING!!!
6:00 PM Aug 17th from TwitterBerry

Pervy peeps on FB are killing me. I don't care if we have 8 mutual friends or not...*sigh*
9:18 PM Aug 17th from web

Holy crap. DAYS FLIPPING INN in Bristol is charging $800+ a night. Holy fucking hell!!!!
9:42 PM Aug 17th from TwitterBerry

headache. headache. headache. sigh.
10:46 PM Aug 17th from web

The *toxic* factor in my life is currently way too high. Must do something about this ASAP.
8:29 AM Aug 18th from TwitterBerry

Holy Crap - I broke the 2000 Tweet mark and didn't even realize it! Thanks @thebloggess - love for you was magic 2000! #bloggessarmy
1:32 PM Aug 18th from web

Finally found a shoe repair place in NC that will replace taps on my heels while I wait. Only took 3.5 years......
9:10 AM Aug 19th from TwitterBerry

Of course, I am in the SKETCHIEST place ever. But rescuing my most perfect navy Kate Spade Mary Janes is totally worth it. Right?
9:11 AM Aug 19th from TwitterBerry

Shoe guy is from NYC. Explains so much........I am in heaven!!!
9:20 AM Aug 19th from TwitterBerry

Shoes fixed while I waited. $6.50/pr plus tax. Can't beat it. Thank God for NYC transplants.
9:25 AM Aug 19th from TwitterBerry

Off for an old school night of trivia, beer, wings and things that hoot. Owls peeps. Ok - owls.
6:31 PM Aug 19th from web

So guess what? Hooty wings are awesome. Beer is cold. Friends are fab. But trivia questions are sucky. #justsayin
8:19 PM Aug 19th from TwitterBerry

It's mornings like this I wish I had a trainer because somehow the idea of kicking my own ass today is just not working for me.
7:25 AM Aug 20th from web

So yeah? Self-inflicted ass-kicking? So. Not. Fun.
7:39 AM Aug 20th from web

Bristol tix in hand. OMG - these seats are AWESOME!
11:07 AM Aug 20th from web

Also, now I know my Fedex guy by name.
11:08 AM Aug 20th from web

And also, that he goes to 'Dega every year. And that he pulls for Tony Stewart or Junior. #ilovesmalltownlife
11:08 AM Aug 20th from web

Just waiting for Chad, the UPS guy, with my other package. All sorts of important deliveries today....
11:08 AM Aug 20th from web

Someone in Kenya found my blog by Googling "18 sexy quotes and dirty sayings". What does this say about them?
12:22 PM Aug 20th from web

And given that my blog came up as a hit for that search, what does this say about me?
12:23 PM Aug 20th from web

BoA customer service rep Joe has sexy Aussie accent...wish I had more that needed servicing...sigh
1:03 PM Aug 20th from web

His voice was so dreamy, I am actually staying on the phone to participate in one of those customer satsifaction surveys... #satisfied
1:04 PM Aug 20th from web

Sorry... #extremelysatisfied
1:05 PM Aug 20th from web

Pet Peeve #876: People driving shitty cars who slow down to 3mph to take a speed bump. Lady - it's not like you drive a Porsche.
3:57 PM Aug 20th from TwitterBerry

I have to write vitriolic, hate filled letter to the soul sucking scum at one of the Big Banks. It's 10pm and I haven't started.
9:57 PM Aug 20th from web

I don't think I can do vitriolic and hate filled at this late hour. Especially without wine.
9:57 PM Aug 20th from web

Sigh. Venom spewing on hold til the morning. Calling it a night Tweeps. Something about 6.5miles in the morning...
10:00 PM Aug 20th from web

"Dear Assholes at Big Bank trying to screw me over..." Ah....early morning is MUCH better for venom spewing and ire.
5:49 AM Aug 21st from web

I just realized I use a lot of exclamation points in my work emails. I wonder if this makes me a less effective communicator...
11:36 AM Aug 21st from web

...or if it means my never ending joy and zeal for life is constantly present. Even in work emails.
11:36 AM Aug 21st from web

New obsession: sugar free pineapple Popsicles. OMG - so flipping good!!!
2:29 PM Aug 21st from web

Don't have a cooler so toting my beer around tonight in an orange leather Kate Spade purse. #rougeneck
8:23 PM Aug 21st from TwitterBerry

Sending @alicat28 off in style!!!!!
10:34 PM Aug 21st from TwitterBerry

A letter in Tweets: Dear weather peeps: It would be lovely if you didn't fuck up my first NASCAR race ever with all of this rain...
8:05 AM Aug 22nd from web

...You have until 6pm to get this shit sorted out. Please. Sincerely, Rougie PS Flash floods? Are you fucking kidding me???
8:06 AM Aug 22nd from web

So - there ain't no one cuter than me and @lilsaej roadtripping to Bristol! #toocuteforwords
10:20 AM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

41 miles to Bristol! Currently raining. Just hope it's not raining 41 miles from here.....
11:26 AM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Holy Crap y'all! I'm in Tennessee and didn't even know it!
11:33 AM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

@lilsaej is mastering these windy, mountain roads through Shady Valley, Unincorporated. Good thing I don't get car sick.....
12:15 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Seriously y'all? Mountain roads are as steep as the banking @ Bristol. I think @lilsaej could be a contender at tonight's race!
12:19 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

@lilsaej: "We need to make friends over there." Me: "Why?" @lilsaej: "They have Cornhole." Me: "Oh."
3:15 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Best t-shirt so far:" I smoked meth with Jeremy." Awesome. And dude let me take his picture!
4:25 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Next best t-shirt: "If you're going to ride my ass, at least pull my hair."
4:33 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

OMG - living the Bristol Dream. Fantasticredible......
7:42 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Gentlemen.........START YOUR ENGINES!!!!!
7:44 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

400 laps to go but I'll say it now: #48 RULES!!!
8:18 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Go #48!!! Whoot!
8:30 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

@lilsaej just busted out the beef jerky..... #gettinred
9:15 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Go #48!!!!
9:41 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

Jimmie is in the lead.......WHOO!!!!
9:50 PM Aug 22nd from TwitterBerry

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feed Me Fridays: Julie and Julia

There has been deafening buzz for Julie and Julia around these parts for some time. I think I may have started it with this post. Then there was the long email thread on Facebook about a GNO to see the movie and all the build up waiting to see when and where it would be released and OMG how did we coordinate 8 busy schedules so that no one was left out?

And then there was the idea for the dinner party. Yes once again, the incomparable Miss Mary showed us why she is simply so incomparable. It started with the email thread: Me, Mary and KB (usual partners in crime) plus The Actress - someone Miss Mary had been wanting me to meet for a while as we both had NY stories to share. Mary proposed 2 different menus - both 100% authentic Julia - and we all voted. And then once the menu had been agreed upon, we were each assigned 1 - 2 courses to contribute. Mary asked me to make the gougeres (aka cheese puffs) and the salad, to be served European-style after the entree as a palette cleanser.

Next came the books: copies of Julie and Julia for us to read - ideally before the soiree although I did not have time.

Then came the mailed invitation, because as I like to hashtag when I Tweet about Miss Mary: #nofliesonher.

Then finally, last Saturday night, was the dinner party. To say it was exquisite is an understatement. To say it was delicious doesn't do it justice. To say it was divine...well, now we're getting close.

So Miss Mary hired a professional photographer to take our portrait while we sipped Gosset Brut and nibbled on Petits Choux au Fromage. Here we are all toasting the legendary Julia Child. When Miss Mary sent this to me Sunday morning, I couldn't stop looking at it because it just made me so happy. Stunning. Simply stunning.
[This photo copyrighted by Ron McCann,]

Look at this gorgeous table. LOOK! Do you see how neatly pressed and polished everything is? Do you see the flowers? DO YOU? OMG - INSANE. AMAZING. WONDERFUL. So So So Pretty.

Pre-printed menu cards. At a dinner party. File in Twitter under #nofliesonher. Seriously - my use of the word incomparable will be frequent in this post.
[This photo copyrighted by Ron McCann,]

The actual menu. You might gain 20 pounds just reading it. I gained 25 eating it. And you know what? Worth every pound!

Petits Choux aux Fromage fresh from the oven. Perfect with a glass of Gosset Brut!

The Actress's ridiculously delicious Coquilles St. Jacques. Also known as scallops and mushrooms bound together with an insane amount of cheesy, creamy yumminiess.
[This photo copyrighted by Ron McCann,]

Filet de Boeuf Braise Prince Albert. Sounds fancy. Is fancy. Is also INSANELY DELISH!

Filet de Boeuf Braise Prince Albert in action.

Simple Sauteed Pommes de Terre. Who's a carbophobe? Um - NOT ME.

It's ok for veggies to be crispy-crunchy. The Italians call it al dente. Thank you Mary for NOT killing the asparagus. I thought they were perfect.

Voila - dinner is served!

A salad without cheese, croutons and ranch dressing? Served in NC? WHAT? Post-dinner palette cleanser with some butter lettuce, baby arugula, shallot, pear and a light non-vinegary vinaigrette.

KB's PHENOMENAL Reine de Saba. Yes - you are jealous. And with good right too.

A little goes a long way - although that didn't stop me from totalling picking at crumbs (and basically eating an entire second piece) while doing the dishes.

Well - I had to show off my sparkly, silver skirt - didn't I? I mean - it's not exactly like I get to bust this bad boy out often.

So yeah - you can see just how amazing, wonderful and fantasticredible the evening was. And sorry kids - today's Feed Me Friday is all about the food porn. If you want recipes, buy the book!

Et si ce n'est pas une tranche de ciel gastronome, j'embrasserai le votre…

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Cat is More High Maintenance Than I Am, Overpriced Onion Crap, and Thank God for OCD

A totally random Thursday post that doesn't quite rival the awesomeness of Dirty Poetry, Sexy Quotes and 80s Videos With Muppets but comes pretty damn close.


Every night, I bring a bottle of water to bed. And every night, at some point, I wake up and drink some water. And every night, my 3-pound fluff ball cat Sebastian (who FYI is totally psychotic and scary even though he is so wee and so pretty) gets ALL UP IN MY GRILL as soon as I drink the water. Seriously. It doesn't matter that he's got a water dish in the kitchen. Or that he likes to roll around in the sink and lick water off the faucet. It seems as if whenever mama is in bed drinking bottled water, Sebastian would like some too. I used to pour water into the cap and hold it out for him to drink but that's kind of a pain in the ass...especially at 2am at 3am at 4am when I am half asleep. So now I keep a little glass dish by the bed and as soon as he shoves his whiskers RIGHT IN MY FACE, I half blindly pour some water into the dish and he jumps off the bed and laps it up greedily. You'd think I was pouring him Gun Bun or something. Nice to know that my cat is more high maintenance than I am...Sigh.


My wound from my brief but intense affair with concrete is healing nicely although it's been 8 weeks and 2 days and there is still tiny, wee bit of open wound (it might help if I stopped picking the scab). Other than that, the remaining evidence on my knee looks kind of like that birthmark on Gorbachev's head: sort of like a beet-colored Rorschach test. Anyways, I figured it was time to get some scar cream because as proud as I am of my mad-phat-sidewalk-loving-skillz, um yeah...I wear skirts and dresses nearly year round and giant purple splotches on my knee are simply not attractive. Holy Hell y'all - scar cream is like, $18 a tube. And you know what the Hell is in it? WATER! Water. That's the first flipping ingredient. You know what the second ingredient is? ONION EXTRACT!!! I shit you not. $18 for water and onion extract. Somehow that just seems so...WRONG. On so many levels. I mean why not just buy a bag of onions for $2.49 and just smoosh them on my knee whenever I shower? Seriously Mederma peeps - WTF?


Half-Marathon training continues to go well. Last Saturday I knocked out 8.5 miles in 1:14:18 which translates to an 8.7 minute mile. Also, I RAN 8.5 MILES!!! Also - I have like, almost 4 more months before the actual race which means...yeah TRAINING CONTINUES TO GO WELL. That said...Holy Hell y'all. After 8.5 miles my body ACHED. It THROBBED. IT was SORE BEYOND BELIEF. I stretched twice a day for several days after. I iced my poor knee. I molested my legs with The Stick. And it occurred to me that if my body felt like "this" after 8.5 miles, it was going to HURT LIKE HELL after 13.1. So I called the Spa at the Sanctuary to book a post-Half-Marathon massage. Nearly four months in advance I placed the call. And guess what y'all? THEY ARE BOOKED. I mean, I could get a post-Half-Marathon massage at like 6:45pm that day...but that screws up dinner, and so I will have to wait until Sunday morning. Which is fine but OMG...imagine if I wasn't an anal retentive freak with serious OCD?

And if that ain't totally random, I'll kiss your...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bristol Bound Baby: Part I

It started back in January or February. We were at a Superbowl party to be exact and Lilsaej and I got to talking and as it turned out, we were both 2 very attractive and stylish girls who had a thing for NASCAR. Well...I had a thing for NASCAR. Lilsaej, born and raised in NC, is a NASCAR PhD. Seriously. The extent of my NASCAR love meant I diligently entered each race into my calendar and did my best to watch and that I could probably name 5 drivers and their numbers. Lilsaej has been going to races for years and knows everything there is to know about each and every track, team and driver. She's like some kind of NASCAR savant.

Anyways, she mentioned how she always goes to Martinsville every year and I mentioned something about thinking about making it to an actual race this year (possibly Darlington) and she said that the 2 tracks she dreamt of going to were Bristol and Talladega and suddenly I was pulling up the NASCAR schedule on my computer and we looked at dates and of 2 'Dega races and 2 Bristol races, the August Bristol race was THE ONLY ONE that worked with our busy lives and we agreed right then and there that we were going. Ok - so yeah y'all - this was back in January (or February - crap - I can't remember when the Superbowl was and I am too damn lazy to look it up). I know - right?

So yeah. This Bristol race has been in my calendar FOR A VERY LONG TIME. And here's the thing about Bristol - it's impossible to get tickets. It's like, they are all owned by season ticket holders and you have to know someone to get one because they don't sell them to the general public. UNTIL THIS YEAR! Score one for the economy being in the toilet and NASCAR attendance being down because OMG...yeah...regular peons like me and Lilsaej could actually buy Bristol tix.

Only - we didn't. I mean, I found them online, but the deal was you had to buy a combo pack of tix for both the Friday night Nationwide Series Race and the Saturday night Sprint Cup and frankly, who gives a damn about the Nationwide Race? NOT ME. That didn't stop me from believing that I would actually find myself in Tennessee for the Sharpie 500.

And over the months, Lilsaej and I would exchange emails on the subject or discuss it over our favorite lunch (nests with 1 scoop, no fruit, no croutons, ranch on the side, unsweet tea and 20 packets of Splenda please) and we both were sort of in denial about the whole thing because we both kept assuming that somehow, we'd find a way to Bristol. I can't tell you how many party invitations I turned down because I would tell people: Sorry. Can't. I'll be in Tennessee. Really. Even last week...with race day less than 2 weeks out and no lead on tix, I told people I would be in Tennessee.

And then Sunday night, as I was reviewing my calendar, it hit me. We weren't going to Bristol. Clearly. It was not meant to be. And so sadly I sent Lilsaej this message:

"I am still sort of in denial about this weekend. I keep thinking that somehow we are going to Bristol. And yet - it doesn't feel that likely....what are you thinking darlin?"

And she replied that she pretty much agreed and then I replied some more and then we both agreed...Bristol in 2010. Sigh.

This was Sunday night into Monday morning.

And then...Monday...right after lunch...I saw an email in my inbox simply titled: Bristol Tix. My heart stopped. My blood pounded in my ears. My head spun. My pulse raced. My wonderful and amazing friend, who I will simply call Miss Wonderful Amazing, had been given some tix to Bristol for Saturday night and had I been able to procure tix yet or was I interested? Less than 4 hours after Lilsaej and I accepted our fate, here we were being given a second chance.

There was a flurry of emails, IMs, and phone calls and long story short: WE ARE BRISTOL BOUND BABY! WOOO HOOO!!!!

This is exciting for me because it is my first race. It is also exciting because OMG it is BRISTOL - the shortest short track with extremely steep banking and in general home to some very exciting (and often yellow-flag laden) racing. It's also a wee bit terrifying because everyone keeps telling me how rough and red Bristol is. I don't know if being rouge is going to cut it...

I am already being schooled on a number of things including the need for headsets and scanners so I don't go deaf and can actually following what's going on (thanks to my buddy at Childress for loaning me his not to mention a poncho because apparently it ALWAYS rains at Bristol). Lilsaej also said something about clear race bags and tacky seat cushions and an old Junior cooler for tailgating.

Also, no small miracle but we were actually able to book a hotel room although not at the PRICE-GOUGING DAYS INN. $800/night? At a Days Flipping Inn? I don't think so Days Inn peeps.

So the only remaining challenge is: WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO WEAR??? Lilsaej said something about a sparkly Jack Daniels tee or maybe a Bud Light tee. All I know is, whatever I wear is definitely going to be as RED as possible!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS I once again have to thank my friend Miss Wonderful Amazing for being so amazing and so wonderful and so thoughtful and so generous and for turning our Bristol dreams into reality! MWAH sugar!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

#10 - 611

I was tagged for a picture post by my fellow NASCAR-watching, #48-rooting, Nathan Fillion-craving, Graeter's-loving, We-Might-Be-Twins-Separated-At-Birth-Except-for-the-Whole-I-Don't-Like-Coconut-Thing Blogging Babe Shelly. I mean - the woman understands Italian food:

When my hubby and I first started dating, he asked if there was a good Italian restaurant in my n'hood. He was new in town, new to me, and told me later he was suddenly fearful I'd answer "Fazoli's". That became our running joke, that when one of us suggest Fazolis for dinner, that meant a break up talk was coming, b/c anyone who thinks that Fazolis is real Italian food isn't worth dating.
So yeah - Shelly is totally awesome and if you aren't reading her blog we can't be friends. Not even on Twitter.

And seriously y'all, I confess...I still get all tickled when I get tagged by fellow bloggers because reminds me that my wee little blog is growing up! So thanks for the blog love Shelly! See you at the next Jimmie Johnson Fan Club Get Together!

As for the post - some simple rules:

-Open your first photo folder.
-Scroll down to the 10th photo.
-Post that photo and story on your blog.
-Tag five others (or more) friends to do the same.

We were brought together by geography mainly. Seven of us lived on North Campus. That and fake IDs I suppose because whoever I didn't meet at one of those infamous Trent Cafe Sunday brunches, I met at The Hideaway. Or an off-campus Delt party. I still remember sitting at Waffle House with Collins and Meg after that very first Thursday night Delt party. I think Collins was picking at a dry waffle while I inhaled some combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, hashbrowns and toast. At the time, we were simply a group of freshmen girls, running in the same circles, possibly in a wee bit over our heads. Little did I know that these women would change my life.

It took almost 3 full years for our little group to coalesce. Oh - we all hung out and went to the same parties and had dinners together and whatnot, but believe it or not, Dr. Diva did not officially become one of US until second semester Junior Year. Blame me. I take full responsibility. I was judgy. I think it was something about the knee length denim skirt, the big white socks, the Cole Hahn loafers and the turquoise jewelry that turned me off. My inner-NYC-bitch just could not wrap my expensively coiffed head around Dr. Diva's earlier incarnation as Little Miss Texas. And had Miss Britt not decided to take an extra semester in Rome Junior Year, and had Dr. Diva not moved in with Jima, well - then she and I wouldn't be friends. And anyone who reads my blog, knows just how special Dr. Diva is to me and how much I love her. I mean - the girl joined Twitter to keep me company (and occasionally keep me sane). Now that's love!

Senior year we all moved in together. This was no small accomplishment for 2 reasons:

1) I lived with Collins and Meg second semester junior year. It was all fine and dandy until one day I went totally bitchcakes on them (I think I had just quit smoking - I am not sure - but it seems like a really good excuse and I am totally standing by it) and sent an infamous email entitled: I Am Not The God-Damned Maid. It had something to do with my OCD being a neat freak and their being well...not so neat. If I recall, at one point during the day I locked them out of the house. As I said - totally bitchcakes. Meg - who wins the snark award in our group - sent a wonderfully tart reply that included some reference to the dust bunnies under the bed getting me. Sadly - we have no record of either email - at least not that I am aware of. But I have lots of other emails saved. Thirteen years worth to be exact. So yeah - despite my temporary moment of crazy, Meg and Collins and I remained friends. And roommates.

2) The other minor issue was that 7 of the 8 of us were all in the same sorority. Guess who wasn't? Yep. Me. And guess who had some issues with that? Yep. Me again. (See line in this post where I reference being in a wee bit over my head as a freshman...sigh...)

Despite all of that, August 1996 saw the 8 of us moving into a house together. The house was located at 611 Watts Street. Since that day, we are simply known as 611.

The stories I could tell you about 611 would fill up 1000 blog posts and to choose among them is impossible. But it's not really about the stories. It's about friendships that endure through time.

Two years ago, someone told me that I would not be friends with these women for much longer. This person told me that life would get the better of us and between marriage and kids and jobs and distance we would eventually fall out of touch. I wanted to smack this person silly when they said this because OMG we had already been friends for over a decade and OH YEAH - Many of us were already married, had kids, had careers, had lives, had responsibilities, and lived on entirely separate continents. It hadn't stopped us so far and I didn't see any reason why it would stop us going forward. And you know what? It hasn't.

So yes - our days of Flaky Friday emails (remember those girls?) are long over. We don't speak daily. We don't even email daily. It might be months between conversations but when we connect, it's as if nothing has changed. That's the power of friendships that endure. That's the power of sisterhood. That's why these women will be in my life. ALWAYS.

I am very fortunate that I love my family. I totally lucked out in the parents and sibling department. That said, this quote from Richard Bach truly express how I feel about 611:

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
So yeah. These women? They are my family as much as anyone who shares my DNA. And despite their own lives to deal with - their own children, families, jobs, headaches, woes, issues, and general personal dramas - when I need them, they are there. Always. Without question. Without fail. Without judgement. And I, in turn, am there for them.

They cheer me on. They lend me their shoulders. They make me laugh. They let me cry. They hold my hand. They hug me tight. They give. They share. They love.

These women? These women are amazing:

This photo was snapped on May 2nd, 2009. It was the first time the 8 of us had all been together in nearly 3 years and it was an exceptionally special weekend. I think the smiles say it all.

So to Jima, Colly, Dr. Diva, Collins, Miss Britt, Meg and Annie - I love y'all so very, very much and I would be lost without you.

Ok - now that I've gone all sentimental and sappy on your asses (and believe me when I say - I could have blathered on for another 20 paragraphs about how awesome these women are and how much I love them and BTW see the "posts that get away from me" label because clearly, this one has. Sigh.) I need to tag 5 other bloggers to play this game:

* The deliciously dry-humored (dry like a martini dry not like dry skin dry), power-graphing Harmzie

* The sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, always awesometastic, and totally HOT Nen

* The totally rockin', 50 mm f/1.8 lens wielding, cookie-baking, wine-drinking, might-be-my-other-twin-separated-at-birth Modern Matriarch

* Karen: Bestower of tiaras, never ending witty comments and 36 PT hugs via email. We just have to get her over her fear of Twitter.

* My blogging consigliere, Beth Fish

And if that ain't what friends are for, I'll totally kiss your...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I Love The Internetwebosphere: Part Trois

Sigh. I can't believe that I am actually up to a 3rd installment in this most wonderful series of why the internetwebosphere rocks my world. Hard to believe. Anyways - today we are going to play the "What If" game. I am sure you have played this 1000 times before but in case you haven't, it goes like this: You basically examine a choice you have made in your life and then you look at the outcome and wonder about what would have had happened had you made a totally different choice. For example:

What if...I hadn't gotten in line at the grocery store behind the only woman in today's universe who still writes checks AND who needs 2 cartons of obscure cigarettes which are located on the OTHER SIDE OF THE STORE?

There's no right or wrong answer per se. It's all strictly hypothetical because totally DID get in line behind the only woman in today's universe who still writes checks AND she totally did buy 2 cartons of obscure cigarettes and the shitty fact of the matter is yes - they were located on the OTHER SIDE OF THE STORE. So suck it up princess. Suck it up. That's 8 minutes of your life you're never going to get back.

Ok - I realize I sound cranky. I am not. Trust me. And today's version of What If is way happier than my example. So...on to it....

What if...Dr. Diva had not gotten her vascular fellowship in NYC?

And what if...I hadn't gone to see her in March beginning a 3-month period of visits to say goodbye?

And what if...we hadn't gone to the Carborro Farmer's Market to stock up on Celebrity Dairy Goat Cheese and other yummy goodness?

And what if...we had decided to go out to dinner at Bin 54 or Lantern instead of taking The Celebrity Dairy Goat Cheese and all the other yummy goodies to her parents' house in the wood to cook a scrumptious feast?

And what if...she had grabbed the Elevation 1448 instead of the Gundlach Bundschu 2005 Rhinefarm Pinot Noir?

And what if...OMG I didn't develop a major obsession serious love of Gun Bun after the first glass?

And what if...Duke hadn't beaten Texas that night?

And what if...I hadn't blogged about the whole thing?

And what if...Susan Sueiro, the awesome and gorgeous and insanely brilliant Director of Marketing and PR for Gun Bun did not have Google Alerts?

And what if...Susan wasn't also a Blue Devil?

And what if...Susan hadn't commented on my blog?

And what if...Susan and I didn't start up an email exchange?

And what if...Susan didn't actually read and enjoy If That Ain't Country?

And what if...I hadn't been working on a benefit for the LCHA that required wine?

And what if...Susan hadn't put me in touch with Tommy Howard, the National Sales Director for Gun Bun?

And what if...Tommy had not agreed to generously donate wine for our event?

And what if...Tommy hadn't come to NC shortly thereafter?

And what if...I didn't have the good fortune to make it to a Gun Bun wine tasting while he was in town?

And what if...I hadn't sampled not only the pinot noir (again) but 6 other insanely delicious and fabulous Gun Bun wines?

And what if...I hadn't become a fan of Gun Bun on Facebook?

And what if...Susan and I didn't become friends on Facebook?

And what if...Susan and I didn't actually become friends?

And what if...Susan didn't start contributing to Blogschu, thereby giving me an additional forum to extend our internetwebosphere love affair?

And what if...I didn't take every occasion possible to shamelessly pimp and promote this vineyard which I am mildly obsessed with I clearly love?

And what if...Susan weren't an Awesome Rockstar Princess sending me Gun Bun love via UPS?


Well...then I wouldn't have a fucking blog post today. That's what.

And if that ain't a perfect example of why the Internetwebosphere is so totally awesome, I'll kiss your...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Week In Tweets: August 9 - August 15

Searching for golden arches. Am desperate for $1 Diet Crack the size of my head.
9:44 AM Aug 9th from TwitterBerry

Shopping at Sams is a double edged sword. On the 1 hand, it feels like the greatest deal in the world.
10:19 AM Aug 9th from TwitterBerry

On the other, do I really need 45oz of French onion dip?
10:19 AM Aug 9th from TwitterBerry

Also - whoever invents a cup holder for a shopping cart will totally be a millionaire.
10:20 AM Aug 9th from TwitterBerry

Am utterly perplexed by the lack of frozen hors d'oeuvres at Sams. Seriously messing up Tuesday's menu.....
10:30 AM Aug 9th from TwitterBerry

Is this what Hell feels like? Cuz if so - I'm gonna start practicing being a *good girl.*
3:37 PM Aug 10th from TwitterBerry

Breaking my own rules. NOT racing out of CLT to avoid rush hour. Instead - racing to Trader Joes. Cuz yeah - Trader Joes rocks.
4:43 PM Aug 10th from TwitterBerry

Which means I won't *twitch* if I get caught in rush hour traffic cuz I'll be loaded up on lots of good/cheap wine and goat cheese.
4:44 PM Aug 10th from TwitterBerry

Who am I kidding. I will totally *twitch* about it.
4:44 PM Aug 10th from TwitterBerry

The asshole factor in my life today is utterly overwhelming. Its like I won the grand prize in the asshole lottery. Whoot!
5:41 PM Aug 10th from TwitterBerry

Speed drills. Yeah.
7:29 AM Aug 11th from web

Football practice this morning. Suddenly speed drills don't seem so horrifying. *winks*
7:55 AM Aug 11th from TwitterBerry

Speed drills in August heat = VOMIT + no use of my legs
8:41 AM Aug 11th from TwitterBerry

Just got serenaded by my 3.5yr old nephew. "Sticky Sticky Bubble Gum" and "Move Your Body" were my faves.
10:00 AM Aug 11th from web

Though times like this, I really wish I had Skype.
10:00 AM Aug 11th from web

Totallly just licked the bowl. OMG - raw vanilla cupcake batter is totally YUMMY!!!!
12:05 PM Aug 11th from TwitterBerry

It's 90 flipping degrees. Humid as all Hell. And yet - I have dry skin patches on my face. WTF????
5:26 PM Aug 11th from web

Upside of rain: HOLY CRAP it's HOT and we need some relief....
5:57 PM Aug 11th from web

Downside of rain: If this fucks up my party...I will be PISSED.
5:57 PM Aug 11th from web

Is bedecked in pink feathers and white
8:53 PM Aug 11th from TwitterBerry

My cat is psychotic. He's hissing at ME. Biting ME. Something wrong with this picture......
9:11 PM Aug 11th from TwitterBerry

So yeah. Who's happy she took the day AFTER off too? That'd be me.
8:15 AM Aug 12th from web

ps Is it wrong to have cupcakes for breakfast? Because I'm totally gonna....
8:16 AM Aug 12th from web

My cat has decided that the fireplace is his new litterbox. This is a problem.
11:10 AM Aug 12th from web

Joys of the drive thru: I don't have to get out of my jammies......
11:55 AM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Snoop Doggy Dog on the radio AND I didn't have to put on a bra? AWESOME!!!!
12:06 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Not even remotely bothered by the 8 cars in front of me at McDonalds drive-thru. No really I'm not. You should've seen the line @ Bojangles!
12:08 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Holy crap - there's a mushroom swiss burger at McDonalds? This lunch run keeps getting better and better.
12:10 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Apparently McDonald's version of Swiss cheese is orange. It's also American. WTF?
12:24 PM Aug 12th from web

I just discovered 2 very interesting things: I have a mysterious jar of moonshine on my counter. And I don't have ketchup.
12:27 PM Aug 12th from web

My Cling Wrap is not clinging. I find this to be distressing. And frustrating since it's not effective if it won't cling.
2:24 PM Aug 12th from web

Also - I am sort of pissed about the whole thing because normally I buy Saran Wrap. But my rinky dink little town doesn't carry Saran Wrap.
2:26 PM Aug 12th from web

Always fun to sort through recycling from last night's party. In the rain. In front of someone blaring hymns from their car.
2:51 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Crap. Blogger is broken. Makes writing a blog post *difficult*
3:50 PM Aug 12th from web

Just ran 5 miles in a steam bath. Am sweaty. EVERYWHERE.
5:08 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Also - ran it in 41 minutes flat. AWESOME.
5:09 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

Not awesome? Sweat dripping into my left ear mid-mile 2 and shorting out my left earphone. Stereo sound is so much better.
5:10 PM Aug 12th from TwitterBerry

OMG - Donna Martin is about to lose her virginity! #ilove90210rerunsonsoapnet
5:57 PM Aug 12th from web

There's a plate of 14 mini cupcakes sitting on my kitchen counter just daring me to eat them. So far I'm not biting.
8:24 PM Aug 12th from web

There's also a random jar of moonshine on my kitchen counter. It's less tempting.
8:24 PM Aug 12th from web

Laying in bed curled up w/ the cat. Don't want to get up. Don't want to do weights. Hate I am in *training* Right now would prefer 2 b lazy.
7:12 AM Aug 13th from TwitterBerry

60 squats + 120 lunges = rougie won't be walking well in a few hours. HOLY HELL Tweeps!!! #amintraining #amatotalbadass
8:10 AM Aug 13th from web

I did not know it was possible to kick my own ass but apaprently I just did. OMG.
8:14 AM Aug 13th from web

is apoplectic rght now. Apo-freaking-plectic. GGRRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
9:58 AM Aug 13th from web

My ENTIRE body aches. I need a 2-day massage starting NOW.
4:53 PM Aug 13th from web

Holy crap - telemarketers are torturing me. ON MY CELL PHONE. Leave me alone you soul-sucking leeches.
6:16 PM Aug 13th from web

And my day just ended as crappily as it began. Thank God I am going to bed.
9:29 PM Aug 14th from web

So yeah. 8.5 miles don't scare me at all. Kicked their asses in 1:14:18. Whoot!
8:54 AM Aug 15th from TwitterBerry

Well that was a delightfully unexepcted (and much needed) nap!
12:51 PM Aug 15th from web

Somedays I just have to remind myself: "YOU CAN DO THIS BABY GIRL. YES YOU CAN." So yeah - today is one of those days...
1:39 PM Aug 15th from web

Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel and I see it at tonight's Julie and Julia party with @linkone1 and @felinefrenzy
1:40 PM Aug 15th from web

So far today I have been to Harris Teeter, Wal-Mart and Bi-Lo. Back to Harris Teeter. Sigh. #totallyinefficient
3:01 PM Aug 15th from web

Apparently it's the week for random friends of friends to reach out to me on Facebook. Seriously peeps? I don't do strangers on FB.
3:31 PM Aug 15th from web

That's why I am on Twitter.
3:31 PM Aug 15th from web

Of course, I just friended @thebloggess on FB. #irony
3:56 PM Aug 15th from web

But we follow each on Twitter so it's kind of different. Right?
3:57 PM Aug 15th from web

@Thebloggess accepted my friend request on FB. Now I don't have to kill William Shatner. #unblockthebloggess
5:58 PM Aug 15th from web

Julie and Julia dinner party is INCROYABLE! @felinefrenzy is simply superb!!!!
9:31 PM Aug 15th from TwitterBerry

And if that't not insane gourmet, French deliciousness, I will totally kiss your...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Feed Me Fridays: Mini Cupcakes

The first time I made these mini cupcakes was for the Art Stroll back in January. And I am totally reposting the photos because OMG - you want to talk about food porn!!!

And I know I said I wasn't going to talk about my Birthday any more...but...I lied. Clearly. But I swear - this is really the last reference for a while. REALLY.

So I threw myself a little fete this week to celebrate turning 34 and all the fabulousness that I have in my life. And I decided that instead of being all Martha-Stewart psycho i.e. trying to make 800 hors d'ouevres from scratch plus an 18-layer cake, I was going to keep it simple. I guess one gets wiser as one gets older. So I limited the snacks to finger foods including pre-purchased chicken salad from my favorite cafe in town sandwiched in mini pitas and spread on sliced baguette, chips with salsa and pre-made guac from Trader Joe's, frozen mini pizzas (also Trader Joe's), crackers and pre-sliced cheese, and more chips. Very Easy.

But I do love to bake and I thought mini cupcakes would be easy and fun and pretty and you know what? I was totally right. Check them out:

I can't take credit for the recipe. It comes from Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison and their book Party Confidential and I found it on Epicurious. But I am sharing it with you because these are super duper easy to make and super duper yums to eat.

3/4 cup self-rising flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop red food coloring
3–4 cups confectioners' sugar


For cupcakes:

Line 2 mini muffin tins (24 muffins per tin) with mini muffin papers. In a small bowl, combine flours. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add half flour mixture and beat well, then add milk and vanilla and beat again. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until completely incorporated. Fill muffin papers about 3/4 full. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool.

For Frosting:

Place butter, milk, vanilla, food coloring, and 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add remaining sugar until light and fluffy.

Ice tops of cupcakes with pink frosting. Serve on a beautiful tray or tiered cake plate.

So a couple of things to note. One - on Epicurious it says the yield is 12 cupcakes. 12 cupcakes my ass. When I made these for the Art Stroll I needed about 4 dozen so I quadrupled the recipe and wound up with something like TWELVE DOZEN cupcakes. It was never ending (it was also a good thing b/c OMG - they all totally got eaten up!). So one version of the recipe as it appears above yields 36 - 40 mini cupcakes. MINI.

Two, I don't think pink frosting is necessary. As you can see from my photos I've done pink, green, blue, lilac, yellow, and peach. Have fun. Go crazy. Frost them any color you want! Also, I don't use food coloring - I prefer the Wilton cake decorating pastes. Much better color.

And three - the whole "serve on a beautiful tray or tiered cake plate" sounds kind of pretentious. I didn't write it. Trust me. Serve 'em any way you can. They are still scrumdidilyumptious!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

From Carbophobe to Carboload

I figure that since October 2003 I have lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 - 50 pounds. The reason I am not 100% sure exactly how much is because when I was at my peak weight, I did not have a scale. I simply wasn't interested in knowing how fat I was. So I am not entirely sure how much I weighed. But I have a rough sense of what it was and so yeah, 40 - 50 pounds in nearly 6 years.

The first 30 - 35 pounds came off over the course of 18 months thanks to Dr. Atkins. Which means that on the off chance that you and I should go out to dinner some time, and the waiter should approach the table with a big basket of bread and offer it to us, chances are I will decline. Unless 1) I am utterly ravenous or 2) the bread is really, really, really good. You see, I am a recovering carbophobe.

For so long, I learned to live without potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, sugar and starch that it became a way of life. And even after the weight loss was achieved and maintained for quite some time, I still tended to avoid carbs on a regular basis. Except wine. I never really gave up wine.

But all that's changed since I started training for a half-marathon. It's hard to run 7.5 miles on a salad or some chicken and sauteed veggies. Your body requires fuel. Carbohydrates are fuel so I've basically gone from carbophobe to carboload.

It means that my new Friday night ritual is a big plate of pasta (these days mixed with fresh veggies poached from Iris's garden), a glass of wine, and early to bed so I can be rested and relaxed for Saturday morning's endurance runs.

It means that when I find myself at Starbucks in the middle of the day and I know I have a run that night, I'll opt for the new Strawberry Banana Vivanno Smoothie instead of a non-fat, sugar-free vanilla, iced decaf latte (I know - most high maintenance drink ever).

It means that the last 2 times I went out for Asian food, I actually ate the rice. Brown - of course. But I skipped the pancakes on the Moo Shu.

It means that next time I am at a conference and I am faced with the starchy, sugary, fatty breakfast spread from Hell, I will grab a plain bagel and not wince in terror. Seriously. Because apparently, bagels - even plain white ones - have 10 grams of protein and in general have a good carb-to-protein ratio. Trust me. Google it. I did not believe this either and Iron Man and I had a huge fight about it because I had been taught that white bread was the enemy and that bagels in general were 800 empty calories. Not so. Imagine - a low country redneck schooling a NYC Jew on bagels!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Because Birthdays are Like Hanukah

According to my friend Jan, birthdays are like Hanukah and should be celebrated for 8 days. I'll drink to that!

Anyways, this pretty much sums up the big day (and night):


Now I promise - no more birthday posts for another year. And once I clean up from last night, I am going to sit down and write a real blogpost. I swear.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...