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January 30, 2004

My CD Collection (4)

CDs for Friday, January 30, 2004 – Carole King, the Connells, Travis, Love and Rockets, Freedy Johnston

Alrighty, let's get back on track with this CD listening party I started a few weeks ago.

Carole King, TapestryI feel the earth. Move. Undermyfeet. I don't remember what prompted me to buy this CD, because it's not as if I'm a huge Carole King fan, and I'm sure I've never listened to it all the way through. So this will be enlightening. "So Far Away" is a beautiful song. I think I like her songs because the emotions she conveys in her lyrics are so universal and easy to relate to.

Ah, yes, it's too late, baby, now it's too late. Though we really did try to make it. I absolutely love the final sentiment of "It's Too Late" - There'll be good times again for me and you, but we just can't stay together, don't you feel it too? Still, I'm glad for what we had, and how I once loved you.

That sums up how I feel about Ryan.

Oh! I like this song ("Home Again") a lot too:

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again
It's so far and out of sight
I really need someone to talk to
And nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight
Snow is cold, rain is wet
Chills my soul right to the marrow
I won't be happy 'til I see you alone again
Until I'm home again and feelin' right

The Connells, RingThe Connells are one of my favorite bands. I got turned on to them when I was in college and have seen them perform almost 30 times over the years. They got dropped by their record label a few years ago, though, and I haven't kept up with them since. But one of the highlights of moving to Raleigh (where the band is from) for me was driving around one day and accidentally hitting Boylan Avenue, the namesake of the band's first release, Boylan Heights (named after the community where they grew up).

One thing I love about the band is that on every CD there's at least one song that guitarist George Huntley wrote and sings. I have a wee li'l crush on George (on the left). Okay, maybe not so wee (I bought his solo CD)(he has wonderfully sexy sideburns).

HOLY CATS! George Huntley is now a realtor in Raleigh! Dammit, if I still lived there I would totally buy something from the guy, just to get to meet him again. I met him in a record store in Durham right before I moved back to FL to get treatment for Hodgkin's, and he was, seriously, one of the nicest people I have ever met.

I really love the first three songs on this CD ("Slackjawed," "Carry My Picture," and "'74-'75"). The Connells are one of those bands that really never "surprised" me on any of their releases, but it's something I like about them. They're solid, if a little predictable. Doug MacMillan has a great voice, and their songs are always very tuneful and catchy and pleasant and perfect for singing along to. Listening to the Connells always puts me in a good mood.

"Hey You" and "New Boy" are also excellent.

Travis, 12 Memories – I didn't like this CD all that much the first few times I listened to it. One day I put it in the CD player at my work computer and then got so busy with work that I ended up listening to it for 10 straight hours. After that, I really liked it. The best tracks are "The Beautiful Occupation," "Re-Offender," "Peace the Fuck Out," (handbags at dawn) and "Mid-Life Krysis." Looking at this page in my CD case reminds me that I've misplaced the band's The Man Who and it will really upset me if I don't eventually find it.

Love and Rockets, Seventh Dream of a Teenage Heaven – This is one of the first CDs I ever bought, and I remember being peeved at the fact that they used the "Canada version" of "If There's a Heaven Above" - which has a drum track through the background - rather than the original version, which is more ethereal and dirge-like. Not to mention SO MUCH BETTER. Anyway, that aside, I was severely into Love and Rockets when I was in high school. I saw them in concert twice (once at the Tampa Theater for the Express tour, with the Bolshoi opening, and once at Jannus Landing for the Earth, Sun, Moon tour, with Gene Loves Jezebel opening). Both times I was hypnotized by guitarist/singer Daniel Ash's "package." Ahem.

The goth-girl teenage me had a HUGE HUGE HUUUUUUUGE lust for Daniel Ash, but let me tell you, the man has not aged well. Yeesh. I'm not going in search of any photographic proof, you'll just have to trust me. He and Adam Ant (nee Stuart Goddard) could be the poster children for Just Say No.

Anyway, LNR is basically Bauhaus minus Peter Murphy, with Daniel Ash and David J sharing vocals (sometimes within a single song). This was their first release, and there are several solid tracks - the aforementioned "Heaven Above," "The Dog-End of a Day Gone By," and "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" stand out. The band's cover of "Ball of Confusion," a highly popular song in dance clubs, is included on this CD but it is not on the album.

Freedy Johnston, Blue Days Black Nights – Well, I love Freedy Johnston's This Perfect World, and although I've had this CD - two releases past TPW - I can't say I remember ever having listened to it. Ha! I'm sure I listened to it once or twice, but obviously, it never connected with me. We'll see if it does today.

Ugh. This is depressing. His earlier two CDs are so much better.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:04 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2004

Wind Beneath My Wings

I'm quite impressed by Dr. David Kay, the former Iraq Survey Group head inspector who stepped down recently. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe is right in the face of overwhelming opposition, but the man keeps talking plainly about what he sees as unmitigated failures in the U.S. intelligence-gathering process as it relates to Iraq. I admire that. Sometimes a person - or a nation - has to admit they were wrong before they can get back on the path to being right.

Incidentally, President Bush's gross mishandling of l'affaire Iraq is but one of many, many reasons I think he's been a horrible "leader" for this country. Absolutely horrible. The fact that he's done a handful of positive things doesn't make amends for all of the many negative things that he is responsible for making come to pass.

If my child or spouse had been sent to Iraq to give their life for their country's interests based on some bright shining lie, I would be enraged. And I don't feel safer after 9/11 at all. More foreign interests dislike us now than before that day, and the ones that already had it in for the United States are even more vociferous in their abject hatred. Most of the good will that the global community felt for the U.S. after 9/11 dissipated when Bush sent us headlong into Iraq without reasonable justification.

Oh, and as for where I stand on the whole "supporting the troops" thing, my stepdad is a Vietnam Veteran, I took two dissertation-level classes as an undergrad at FSU on the Vietnam War (because it interests me), and my grandfather was a World War II B-17 pilot who later became a training instructor and died in a plane crash at MacDill AFB right before the Korean War. I have been wearing his Army Air Force ID bracelet since I was 18 and can count on one hand the times I've ever taken it off (you can see it in this photo, taken during crew training before he was sent overseas for his tour of duty in WW2. My grandfather is in the front row, second from the left, and the bracelet is on his right wrist.).

Although Iraq is certainly the issue that has the biggest international impact for the United States, I'm actually more angered by what President Bush's policies have done nationally. Since he's taken office, millions of people have lost their jobs, more people are below the poverty level, more people do not have health coverage, and more people are being marginalized by his continued insistence on kowtowing to the financial elite.

It deeply embarrasses me that the man wants to go so far as to amend the Constitution of the United States in order to make his own soi-disant moral and religious beliefs a mandate. Homosexual couples don't jeopardize the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Heterosexuals do.

There's this little thing called "separation of Church and State" that this country needs to go back to embracing. And whatever happened to the unalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?

(Incidentally, Thomas Jefferson cribbed a lot of his ideas from my favorite philosopher, John Locke.)

Posted by Highwaygirl on 12:28 PM | Comments (7)

January 28, 2004

Flashbulb Memories

Eighteen years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing six astronauts and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Overg and I were talking about how we both know exactly where we were when we found out that the Challenger had exploded – I had first (early) lunch that day and had just arrived at my English class when the teacher came into the room in tears, having watched the whole event on the television in the teacher's lounge.

This prompted a whole discussion about flashbulb memories, and what ours were for significant events in history. In addition to the Challenger disaster, I can distinctly recall where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the following things:

Elvis found dead – I was in my parents' bedroom with my mom, and we were making the bed with the nightly national news playing on a small television on the dresser. We were putting on the last thing - an off-white crocheted bedspread - when the newscaster announced that Elvis was dead.

Persian Gulf War begins – I was in college at Florida State and was corresponding with several servicemen who were stationed in the Gulf (I can remember the names of two - DeWayne Johnson, a Marine, and Patrick Mahoney, an Army captain). Every morning during that time I would wake up and immediately turn on CNN to check and see what was going on. One time I turned it on and there were reports of bombing in Baghdad, and CNN's Bernard Shaw was hiding under a desk.

Oklahoma City bombing – I was at my desk in Chesapeake, Virginia, at my job working for the Virginian-Pilot. Someone in the main newsroom in Norfolk sent out a message - the kind that would appear at the top of your Atex terminal if you were logged on - telling us there had been a catastrophic bombing in Oklahoma. From then on, we all tracked the news updates by constantly checking the Associate Press newswire. This was one of the only times when I haven't been near a television ("Teacher, mother ... secret lover") when a major event unfolded.

September 11, 2001 – I was unemployed and still living up in Raleigh, NC. My mom called and left me a message (I was still asleep) in a hoarse voice telling me to turn on the television. The call woke me up enough that I went out to check my answering machine immediately, so I turned on CNN right away. At first I just saw frantic shots of people running and covered with dust and crying, so I called my mom to ask what had happened.

"The World Trade Center collapsed."
"What do you mean it collapsed? It can't collapse."
"A plane flew right into it and later it collapsed."
"It collapsed? You mean it's just ... gone?"
"They think it was a terrorist. A plane flew into the other building, too, and now it's on fire."
"It's ... gone?"

And then I started sobbing. Damn, I'm getting teary-eyed just remembering this. I don't know what I was feeling that made me start sobbing - certainly I was stunned and shellshocked, but why that led me to cry I don't really know. I think maybe I was just so horrified by the implications of what had happened that the only thing to do was sob.

My mom and I stayed on the phone talking for a little bit, because I still just could not wrap my brain around the idea that one of the World Trade Center towers had collapsed. Even when I saw footage of the rubble I still couldn't comprehend it.

Then the second tower fell, live. Neither of us could really handle that, so we said our goodbyes and hung up the phone so we could deal with our anguish and disbelief on our own.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 03:54 PM | Comments (4)

All the News That's Fit to Print

And some that, really, is not. Lots of good stuff in the New York Times today. Like the story about how President Bush will no longer repeat his adamant assertation that biological/chemical weapons will eventually be found in Iraq. I very much agree with the final point in that story:

Moreover, international law has been far more forgiving of "pre-emptive war" against a country about to begin a strike of its own than it is of "preventive war" against a country that may, some day, pose a challenge to another state. That is seen more as an act of raw power than of self-defense.

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely." I just looked up the origin of that phrase (thank you, Google!). In 1887 Lord Acton, a renowned British historian, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, wrote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Speaking of great men/bad men – when should I be getting on the John Kerry Express Train to Eventual Disappointment? Or maybe ... just maybe ... someone like Kerry has a chance of defeating Bush in an election?

In slightly less important news - your kitchen is filthy! And how much do I want to spray a bunch of stuff with Glo Germ, just because? Pay special attention to the last sentence in this excerpt:

Chuck Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona who has studied bacteria in home kitchens, said that he found that people who had the cleanest-looking kitchens were often the dirtiest. Because "clean" people wipe up so much, they often end up spreading bacteria all over the place. The cleanest kitchens, he said, were in the homes of bachelors, who never wiped up and just put their dirty dishes in the sink.

Also, apparently, God is God. Good to know. And columnist Nicholas Kristof has wrapped up his four-part series on his experience liberating two Cambodian girls from the sex-slave trade.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

What Do You Want to Be...

... when you grow up? I know what I want to be - a Patient Navigator.

For a very long time I've wanted to go into cancer patient education. I'd be the person who helps you find information about your disease, how it's treated, what options you have, how to deal with the health care system, etc. But the more I researched that kind of job, the more I realized that most of the people working in patient education are either registered nurses or have an MSW (Master in Social Work) degree. Neither of which I have any interest in being, or getting.

So then I was thinking about being a patient advocate - someone who would assist cancer patients in understanding what is happening to them and being a second set of ears during their doctor's appointments and therapy sessions. But again, there didn't seem to be a clear path to getting started in that sort of career.

And then I read an article in Self magazine that talked about a cancer hospital in Harlem that was funded in part by Ralph Lauren's charity. The interesting thing about this hospital was that they have this Patient Navigator program, and as soon as I read about it I just knew – THAT is what I need to do with my life.

Now I just need to figure out how to get into that. There is currently legislation pending that would provide federal grant money to communities and hospitals in order to start local Patient Navigator programs. If that goes through, there should be several opportunities for this opening up.

I think my next point of action will be to get in touch with my oncologist and see what he thinks about this kind of program. He's fairly influential at Morton Plant Hospital/Powell Cancer Pavillion, where I was treated, so getting him on board would be an immense help.

But enough about me. If you could do anything with your life, what would you do?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:59 PM | Comments (3)

Well, DUH

No kidding, really? Really didn't see this one coming at all.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:20 AM | Comments (10)

January 22, 2004


Here is my first winning game of Minesweeper:


Yes, it is true - up until yesterday, I had never played this game. And with Overg's instruction, I am now playing on the Intermediate level. I am some kind of prodigy!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:23 PM | Comments (4)

January 21, 2004

Worst. President. Ever.

At least in my lifetime. I'm going to front-load this entry with some odds & ends and then get to President Bush's State of the Union address to wrap things up.

My love for Dan Savage and his column occasionally knows no bounds. Here's an excerpt from today's piece:

Q: Just out of curiosity, are you married yourself? Because if you're not, where do you get off telling married people how married sex should/could be? – Amy K.

A: Maybe you missed the reference to my boyfriend and the Finnish men's swim team in last week's column, Amy K., but I'm a huge homo. Which means, of course, that I can't be married – at least not now, at least not in the U.S. Allowing me to marry my boyfriend would imperil lasting, stable heterosexual marriages, like the one Britney Spears enjoyed for 55 hours earlier this month.

Amen, brother Dan!

Here is a brief news item about the bomb scare that put us on lockdown for several hours yesterday morning. There were about 10 police cars, two news helicopters and sheriff's helicopter circling the area for about an hour, resulting in one of my coworkers asking why "Black Hawk Down" was being filmed behind our building.

And then there's the people who just really suck. Although kudos to the bystanders who tried to get the crazy lady to stop. I think I would have tackled her, myself. I also think that animal cruelty charges should be felonies, not misdemeanors.

So now, let's talk Bush. All you really need to know is that the man talked about steroids in baseball in his STATE OF THE UNION address. The hell?

Anyway, I purposely did not watch the speech as it was broadcast, because I felt like it would piss me off more to hear all the half-truths being told than just to read them the next morning in news stories and transcripts and spot-on editorials (I watched America's Next Top Model on UPN instead). And I was right! Because after Top Model was over I flipped over to NBC to catch the end of the speech, just in time to hear Bush blather on about he will support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage ... and then I was infected with RAGE!

I'm reading the transcript I linked above, and it's quite entertaining. It fills me with glee - GLEE, I say! - that Democrats gave APPLAUSE when Bush spoke of the Patriot Act's expiration. And this quote just jumped out at me: "For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible. And no one can now doubt the word of America." By "no one" you mean "everyone," right Mr. President? Seeing as how your main reasons for invading Iraq - the existence of weapons of mass destruction and a verifiable link to Al-Qaeda - have been shown to be fallacies.

And more: "And because you acted to stimulate our economy with tax relief, this economy is strong and growing stronger." Only someone completely out of touch with reality would call the U.S. economy "strong."

I enjoy this dichotomy: "These numbers confirm that the American people are using their money far better than government would have..." Good, I appreciate you being honest about how the government has no idea how to use the money I pay in taxes. But wait! That statement is followed shortly thereafter with: "And we should limit the burden of government on this economy by acting as good stewards of taxpayers' dollars." But you just told me that you're NOT good stewards of my taxpayer dollars!

"Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage." Especially the 55-hour ones.

This quote elicited my biggest freak-out moment from the end of the speech: "By executive order, I have opened billions of dollars in grant money to competition that includes faith-based charities. Tonight I ask you to codify this into law so people of faith can know that the law will never discriminate against them again."

Okay, first - faith-based organizations (FBOs) are LEGALLY ALLOWED to discriminate in hiring based on any number of factors (race, religion, gender) that a public business would be barred from using to deny employment. Second, they can also discriminate against any group of people when it comes to who they choose to provide services for. An FBO gets a contract to provide job training in your county to unemployed workers? They're not legally required to provide it to all eligible workers, unlike most federal service providers; they can limit their service to all heterosexual, married men if they want to.

So the bottom line is that FBOs who want to provide federal services aren't the people that need protection against discrimination - it's the people who need those services that need to be protected.

At the end, Bush related a letter he received from a 10-year-old asking if there was anything she could do to "save our country." Bush seemed heartened by this, but I've got to disagree - if the 10-year-olds think your nation is screwed and needs saving, things must be pretty bad.

But anyway, Bush said there were a few things she could do: "Study hard in school. Listen to your mom and dad." Wouldn't it be a gas if little Ashley had two moms? Or was born out of wedlock? I'm sure, though, that Bush had his people make sure that the kid actually had a mom and a dad who are married heterosexuals.

From the Overg am Smrt files:

HWG: I'm not even gay and that whole "amendment to ban gay marriage" pisses me off
HWG: that's not what the Constitution should be used for
HWG: ever
HWG: to do so is, to me, anti-American
Overgme: oh, I find that laughingly asinine
Overgme: there is just no way to justify it on anything other than a "moral" basis
Overgme: i.e., it's right because it's right
Overgme: 1. there is no institution to "protect"
Overgme: exhibit 1: Britney Spears
Overgme: 2. even if there was an institution to protect, there is nothing about it that is threatened by gays participating in it
Overgme: exhibit 2: Danny and his boyfriend
Overgme: there are two types of people who would want to ban gay marriages
Overgme: 1. assholes who were taught that homosexuality is wrong, and are too fucking stupid to actually think about it . . . in other words, dogmatic nitwits
Overgme: 2. people who think that gay sex is "icky"
Overgme: the first group is the one I'd like to wipe off the face of the earth
Overgme: the second is just stupid, and shouldn't be allowed to vote
HWG: I think that the idea that Bush is having sex is completely icky, but you don't see me pushing for a Constitutional amendment to ban it
Overgme: right
Overgme: that's why the second group is so dumb
Overgme: the thought of a lot of people having sex is icky
Overgme: what's that got to do with marriage?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:48 AM | Comments (3)

January 20, 2004

Mo' Money, Mo' Product

So Teem and I are doing this thing where we list all of our lipsticks/lipglosses and then look like deranged and obsessive beauty product whores. *cough* Not that we really are.

Although, um, I did buy two new glosses on the way home (the lovely Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses in Coffee Twist and Cherries in the Glow).

Anyway, here's mine! (and since Teem only counted her Stila double-ended glosses once, my BB Mini Tints are only counting as 1/2.)

Lipglosses (17)
Chanel Glossimer in Unity
Chanel Glossimer in Giggle
Laura Mercier Ambre Rose Glace
Lancome Juicy Tube in Sun Bronze
L'Oreal Colourjuice in Exotic Orchid
Stila Lip Polish in Lacquer
MAC Lipglass Stain in Restrained Rust
Bobbi Brown Tea Tint
Bobbi Brown Tea Rose Tint
Bobbi Brown Mini Shimmer Tints in Dusk and Twilight
Revlon Super Lustrous in Raisin Glaze
BB Mini Tints in Cherry and Clear
Bliss Cherry Good
Bobbi Brown Cream Lipgloss in Brown
Lancome Mini Juicy Tube in Cerise
Origins Liquid Lip in Cognac
MAC Lust Lipglass

Lipsticks (10)
Bobbi Brown Cream Lipstick in Brown
Maybelline Wet Shine in Cola Slushie
MAC Sophisto Lustre
MAC Hug Me Lustre
MAC Honeyflower Lustre
MAC Touch Lustre
Clinique Pink Bamboo
Bobbi Brown Naked Pink Lipshine
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Honey Red
Bobbi Brown Mini Lipsticks in Toasted Pink and Raisin


Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:53 PM | Comments (4)

State of the Union

Lots of interesting articles in the New York Times today leading up to tonight's State of the Union address. I am cringing in anticipation. I am afeared that the only thing that could make this speech by Bush more painful for me would be for Antonin Scalia to be sitting right beside him, knitting a sweater.

I'm very intrigued by the article on extending health care benefits to the uninsured by cutting back on the benefits that are currently covered under existing plans. The article mentions repeated attempts at in-vitro fertilization as a benefit that could be cut, and I have to say, I agree with that (just based on the fact that it's not a matter of life or death for a woman to be able to have a biological child).

Next up, we have a terrific op-ed piece by Paul Krugman, Going For Broke," which previews Bush's likely focus in tonight's SOTU address. The second paragraph nearly made my head shoot up off my neck and spin around a few dozen times:

Mr. Bush may not understand this; indeed, he still seems to think that he's another Lincoln or F.D.R. "No president has done more for human rights than I have," he told Ken Auletta.

I am, literally, nauseated by even the slightest comparison of Bush to Lincoln. And that quote from Bush is just comical. Bush wouldn't know human rights if they walked up and bit him on the ass (but not in a homosexual way, mind you. Never that).

There's also a new computer virus replicating it's way around the globe. I've already received this one twice. I'm sure you all know this, but it bears repeating - never click on an email attachment that is an EXE file.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:09 AM | Comments (5)

January 19, 2004

Size Matters

Okay, here's my Petty Annoyance of the Day (PAOTD):

Recipes that give you the number of servings, and the nutritional information for each serving, but not the serving SIZE. I need to know the SIZE, people! I shouldn't have to measure out the entire quantity of the recipe and then divide it by the number of servings. That's way too much work.

I bought four cookbooks this week and only two of them bother to list serving size. And it? Annoys me (pettily).

In other news, I'm surprised at how much I like the new Diet Coke with Lime. I can only drink a li'l bit of it before it makes me feel sick, though.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 01:49 PM | Comments (4)

January 17, 2004

The Misadventures of Otis and Sucky

So yeah, I bought a new fish! Right now I'm calling him Sucky. He's an oticinclus catfish and I bought him so he can eat the algae I've been getting in my tank. Thus his name. Here's what the little widget looks like:


He's only about 1.5 inches long, and he's a quick little sucker. It's going to be a challenge to catch him and put him in Otis' tank, once the two-week quarantine period is over.

Here's the same photo of Sucky in extreme close up. I'll bet Blurry will feel like those eyes are commanding him to commit unspeakable acts.

I also bought Otis a new home - a six-gallon Eclipse tank - because his old five-gallon tank had a crack in the base. So Otis is swimming around his new, bigger digs and he seems to be quite happy. He's even happier because I figured out a way to block the water flow that comes off the filter. Normally it's much too disruptive to the water for Otis, and it creates too heavy a current for him to swim through. So he would avoid the entire side of the tank where the outflow is (or if he ventured that way, he'd get tossed and swirled around in the current).

Soooooo, I took a shrimp net that I had - it's a very finely-woven, soft net - and used black electrical tape to afix the opening of the net over the outflow. So the water comes out into the net, which slows it down enough that it creates almost no current (and doesn't cause the water to backflow because it's being blocked).

This is a perfect resolution because the net is so soft that it won't hurt Otis if he swims up against it. I'm really quite pleased. Here are some photos:

Click the thumbnail to view a larger image

Otis' new homeThe net from aboveThe net from below

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

These Boots Were Made For Stalkin'

I went shopping with my mommy today. It's been a very fun day.

Woke up this mornin' 'round 9 a.m., did a little stuff, and then my mom called to say she was done with her hair appointment and did I still want her to stop by? Well yes, I did. So she came over with her sassy new haircut and bestowed upon me a gift of pink grapefruits from her backyard tree.

In true Good Mommy fashion, she even peeled/sectioned the grapefruits for me. Because everyone knows that food tastes better when your mommy makes it for you.

(Holy cats, what was that noise? *runs to patio*)

Wow, great blue herons certainly can make a lot of racket when they want to. I'm pretty sure the one I took a photo of the other day is back down by the edge of the pond again. But tonight he's making squawking noises at his potential prey. Caygeon and Dawsey both bolted out there, and I held Caygeon in my arms so she could see the heron. Then my upstairs neighbors slammed their front door and Caygeon started growling. Good girl! My cat dislikes my upstairs neighbors as much as I do!

Anyway, back to my story. My mom was just going to hang out for a bit and then take off, but I expressed interest in going with her on her errands so I jumped in the shower while she was finishing off the grapefruit. When I came out she was sitting on the couch petting CayCay, who had come out of hiding. Then I initiated my mother into the Cult of the (Skinny) Cow.

We left my apartment, swung by the post office, then headed out to lunch. I had requested Perkins, since I was craving pancakes. And yet, when we got there, I decided on the Country Club Melt instead. My mom and I got the same sammich, with the same substitution (Swiss cheese rather than fake-American). Like mother, like daughter. Or was it the other way around?

So we noshed, then we went to PetsMart so I could pick up more birdseed. The retired greyhound rescue group was there, so we petted the pretty doggies for a little bit. Greyhounds are much bigger than I thought they were. And their coats are like suede. Anyway, I bought bird seed, my mom bought a squeaky toy for her dog, Maggie, and a rope toy for the parrot (Pepé).

Then it was off to Catherine's, where my mom picked up a nice skirt/shirt combo. She also saw someone she used to work with, thus extending her streak of seeing someone she knows while out shopping to 33,555,983. I swear, it always happens, no matter what store we're in - she'll run into someone she knows.

As we walked out of the store I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't find a decent shoe store that carried wide widths, so my mom pointed out the Peltz Shoe store next door. I thought Peltz was only orthopedic shoes, so I was quite dubious as we walked down to the door.

But once we walked in? A sea of shoes. I didn't know where to start. Almost immediately I found a pair of calf-length black leather boots which, not coincidentally, I've been shopping around for. Tried them on (size 10WW, I have wide troll feet), and they were good in the width, but a little loose in the heel. I actually wear a 9WW if I can get a shoe in the double-width. So the clerk ripped open a new pair of try-on socks, and with the sock on the boots fit perfectly.

So yay! I found me boots! And they weren't too expensive ($60). Here they are:


(Forgive Caygeon and her "checking out Dawsey's butt" moment.)

Next stop was Sam's Club, because my mom needed mo' flounder. I ended up buying four Weight Watchers cookbooks. Maybe it was overkill, but the recipes looked good and I liked how they had Points totals already calculated.

So that was my day. I came home, stripped down to my bra and panties and put on my sassy new boots, then strutted around my apartment. Sometimes you just gotta, you know?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2004

My CD Collection (3)

CDs for Friday, January 16 – U2, Gordon Lightfoot

U2, The Best of 1980-1990 – What to say about this CD? I love singles collections and greatest hits releases from my favorite bands, and this is no exception. The only songs I'm indifferent to are "When Love Comes To Town" and "Angel of Harlem." Other than those, this CD is flawless. I love the song "Bad."

Gordon Lightfoot, Gord's Gold – I don't care what kind of geek it makes me, I love Gordon Lightfoot! I even saw him perform one year on my birthday, at Ruth Eckerd Hall. And let me tell you, he was FABULOUS. Of course, the gems on this collection are "Sundown," "If You Could Read My Mind," and "Carefree Highway," but I'm also quite fond of "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," "Summer Side of Life," and "Cotton Jenny."

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:06 PM | Comments (4)

January 14, 2004

Of Feathers and Fascists

This morning I went out back to throw some seed down for the pigeons, and I spotted this great blue heron stalking bugs/fish/whatever in the pond behind my apartment:


And now, bonus Overg content!

HWG: I hate the President, Todd
HWG: He's reached Scalia-like proportions
HWG: I just think he's a complete moron
Overgme: yeah, I'm not sure who I hate more
Overgme: Scalia is infinitely smarter, as far as I can tell
Overgme: which makes him more dangerous, in his way
HWG: Bush is doing more damage short term
Overgme: agreed
HWG: Scalia has long term consequences
Overgme: the Supreme Court is very discrete
Overgme: Bush is like a lunch tray in a china shop
HWG: hahahahaha
Overgme: honestly, the action of his that I approve of off the top of my head was the pardoning of the turkeys for Thanksgiving
Overgme: I think I've disagreed with every other position or action he's taken
HWG: I've never felt like campaigning for anyone
HWG: but to get Bush out of the office, it might be worthwhile
Overgme: sadly, the fact that Bush still has an approval rating in the positive numbers is proof positive to me that most Americans are complete morons
Overgme: I am not holding out any hope in the next election
HWG: I hate Bush and everything he stands for
Overgme: me too!
Overgme: hey
Overgme: that's actually pretty much true
Overgme: I do hate him
Overgme: and everything he stands for
Overgme: wow
HWG: wow
HWG: for the first time ever, you can use that phrase honestly
HWG: I just don't know how I ended up in a family of Republicans
Overgme: my dad often expresses conservative opinions
Overgme: which I promptly rephrase in more accurate, fascist, terms

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:11 PM | Comments (10)

The Newlywed Game

Okay, now I am mad. Today in the NY Times:

Bush Plans $1.5 Billion Drive for Promotion of Marriage

Here's the lead paragraph:

Administration officials say they are planning an extensive election-year initiative to promote marriage, especially among low-income couples, and they are weighing whether President Bush should promote the plan next week in his State of the Union address.

aalskdalsdkjalksjdlaskd WHATTHEHELL?!!? aoasdjasldijalksj

Only a moron thinks that what low-income people need is a $1.5 billion – yes, BILLION – initiative that encourages them to shack up legally with someone. What they need is for some of that money to be thrown their way in the form of increased wages and better access to affordable health care. I just ... I just can't believe that basic, fundamental programs are being cut in favor of increased funding for something as completely stupid and asinine and UNNECESSARY as this.

Oh, and a space station. *rolls eyes*

Here's more:

In the last few years, some liberals have also expressed interest in marriage-education programs. They say a growing body of statistical evidence suggests that children fare best, financially and emotionally, in married two-parent families.

You know what? That's probably true. It sounds reasonable, at any rate. However, I think that children fare best when they're not living in poverty without access to the most basic of social services. Health insurance for kids? Most states are slashing the budgets of the SCHIPs (State Children's Health Insurance Programs) to the point where children living in families BELOW the poverty level – yet, astonishingly, still not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (as if that would help much) – are not eligible for heath coverage.

What kind of sense does a marriage initiative make in light of those facts? We ALREADY, as a country, don't give a damn about our children. Oh, but "we" (as in, the head of the federal government, and his cronies), do care about refusing to allow gays to marry. And make no mistake – that is the driving force behind this dumb initiative.

You know what? I can't get behind the knee-jerk reactionaries who spout off things like "George Bush sucks" and make stupid jokes about shrubs and the pronunciation of "nuclear." Those things are way too easy, especially when they are SO MANY legitimate, context-specific reasons to think that Bush the Younger is a first-class mental midget (and a bigot, to boot) who is running the United States headlong into a trashy, intolerant oblivion.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 03:10 PM | Comments (5)

Am Smrt

So I was minding my own business, having gone to Dictionary.com to look up the correct spelling of, as it turns out, BURGUNDY (no "a"). I got a popup adverstisement for an IQ test, and since I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, I took it. On my 15 minute break, of course. My results:

Congratulations, Julie!

Your IQ score is 146

This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others.

Your Intellectual Type is Visionary Philosopher. This means you are highly intelligent and have a powerful mix of skills and insight that can be applied in a variety of different ways. Like Plato, your exceptional math and verbal skills make you very adept at explaining things to others — and at anticipating and predicting patterns.

So, uh, according to this explanation of IQ test scores, I am some kind of genius.


Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:11 AM | Comments (6)

January 13, 2004

Stupid Cute

8:10 AM
I apply J. Lo Glow perfume (I had a sample vial) and realize that is smells like ASS (ironic, eh?), and industrial-strength soap.

8:25 AM
Realizing that the smell of this crap is altering my DNA, I run downstairs to scrub my chest and neck with a wire brush.

8:33 AM
I return to my desk and apply Origins' Gloomaway perfume. Ah, blessed Gloomaway. You're always right, never wrong.

8:48 AM
HWG: Have you ever heard anything by Sugar?
raptorgirl: I've heard of Sugar, but haven't used it.
raptorgirl: their scrubs look awesome.
HWG: No no, the BAND
HWG: heh, I'm stealing this for an entry
raptorgirl: haha. SHUT UP!
raptorgirl: SURELY you understand the confusion, what with our CONSTANT TALK OF PRODUCT!

9:30 AM
Teem explains eBay selling and why I need to do it ("you will be rolling in dough"). Well, okay then! I have now resolved to put up at least two things for auction - my MAC 7 Eyes/Neutral palette (that was limited edition and is now sold out all over the place) and my Bobbi Brown Spun Gold lipgloss (also LE and unable to be purchased currently). I also might sell samples of my MAC Coco Beach pigment, which apparently go for $6 per 1/4 teaspoon. I could make at least eight samples with the amount I have left. *rolls in dough*

10:11 AM
I have my mid-morning snack - an apple - and peel off the Red Delicious 4016 sticker and put it on my jacket lapel. I remind myself to remember to take off the sticker before I go out to lunch.

11:12 AM
I walk around the upstairs of the office singing the chorus to Desmond Dekker's "Licking Stick" over and over. I come back to an IM from Roo that says "happy birthday to your husband!" After a few clicks on Google I confirm - it's Orlando Bloom's birthday! Well HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Orly! Please stay scorchingly hot, or I will drop you for the next flavor du jour so fast it will make your fake-Elven head spin.

12:22 PM
I heat up a thing of Campbell's Soup at Hand, Chicken with Mini Noodles flavor (1.5 points) as a snack, since I'm taking a late lunch. I look at the Nutrition Facts as I'm drinking it and see that this one serving has 41% of the RDA for sodium. I am appalled (but keep drinking).

12:45 PM
raptorgirl: WHY does my clipart program keep jamming?
HWG: because it's Jamaican?

3:05 PM
I am done eating my Teem Supreme from Subway. While at lunch I bought MAC Trax eyeshadow with the last of my Dillards gift card, and tried on the Chanel Jaipur Glossimer (which I didn't like)(too white-pink). While I was at the MAC counter, two girls got busted for shoplifting. I know this because the store security guard went sprinting past me and about a minute later was prodding two teenagers back into the store. Excitement!

Then I went to Payless and bought a pair of stupid cute shoes.

4:25 PM
HWG: god, Soul Asylum used to be SO good
Overgme: *runaway cabooses*
HWG: oh, even before that
HWG: the two releases prior
HWG: just awesome stuff
Overgme: but that's the only song I know
Overgme: *hums*
Overgme: I was too busy listening to Phil Collins before that
Overgme: :-P
HWG: I'll have to put an mp3 or two up on me site
Overgme: of Phil?
Overgme: yay!
Overgme: taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake
Overgme: taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake me home
Overgme: *hugs you in joy*
HWG: you am unsane
Overgme: and you are living in the land of confusion
Overgme: burn!
HWG: this is the gayest I've ever seen you
Overgme: it is not!
Overgme: er
Overgme: um

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:58 PM | Comments (2)

My CD Collection (2)

CDs for Tuesday, January 13 – Sugar, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Desmond Dekker, Soul Asylum, Fountains of Wayne

Sugar, Copper Blue – This is one of my most favorite CDs ever. Normally I skip the first song, "The Act We Act," but since I've got a no-skipping rule going, I am now listening to it. And you know what? It's really good! I don't know why I've been skipping it all these many years. This entire CD is amazing; it's the kind of CD that I can listen to over and over and not get sick of it at all. Every song is good, but my favorites are ... heh, I listed them and then realized I only left one song ("Fortune Teller") out. Just buy this already.

Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dulcinea – Just so you know, I've got eight Toad CDs in this binder. This selection is courtesy of Teem (16/4). I don't listen to this particular Toad CD all that much, but it's still good. Probably more skipable songs than most Toad CDs, though. It is noteworthy for the inclusion of "Fall Down," which the band played live for many years before recording it for an album. I never knew what it was called, but I LOVED it. So when I first bought this CD and listened to it, when the first notes of "Fall Down" started a practically drove off the road in excitement. I also like the triumverate of "Something's Always Wrong," "Stupid," and "Crowing" (tracks 3-5).

Desmond Dekker, Dekker – I can't remember why I bought this CD. Probably because I read that "Israelites" is a great song, and it is. Desmond Dekker is ... REGGAE MUSIC. Or ska, if you prefer. I also like the song "Licking Stick." Because I'm 12.

Soul Asylum, ...And the Horse They Rode In On – There was a time in my early 20s when I listened to Soul Asylum constantly. Of course, this was before singer Dave Pirner totally sold out by dating renowned starfucker Winona Ryder (breaking up with his longtime girlfriend to do so). Not coincidentally, it was right around then that Soul Asylum started to suck.

But there was a time - a glorious, beautiful time - when Soul Asylum did anything but suck. This release was the second of a three-album arc (bookended by Hang Time and Grave Dancers Union) that found the band in peak form. The music, the lyrics ... everything fits together perfectly. The disc starts a little slow, but the brilliance kicks in on tracks 3-5, "Veil of Tears" (I was recently considering taking the pain with the pleasure), "Nice Guys Don't Get Paid" (No one knows what's going on, but you've got to show up for yourself at the end of the day), and "Something Out of Nothing" (My desperate disposition keeps me itchin', keeps me wishin' for some shelter from within).

Feel free to skip track 6 but listen to track 7, "Brand New Shine," even though it sounds kinda hillbilly, because it has some great lines (One child plays with what another throws away). The next tracks are good, not great, but the disc wraps up with something fan-freaking-tastic - "All the King's Friends":

The papers read that the king is dead
The people said what we need instead
Is to be on our own
But people, they do the strangest things
You never know what they might do
When they are left alone
There's men without gods
And gods without men
And a spirit of which none of them can transcend
But something peculiar is happening
We should just be happy with just what we've got
And the problems should be too few to mention
But they're not

But I'm not going to recommend this one because I think that, if you're only going to have one Soul Asylum CD, it should be Grave Dancers Union.

Fountains of Wayne, Utopia Parkway – This will be good, because I haven't listened to this CD all the way through in forever. FOW isn't for everyone. Their lyrics can be a little goofy and cheesy. But here's the tradeoff that makes it all worthwhile - their songs are catchy as HELL. When I bought their debut, self-titled CD, I made a cassette tape of my favorite songs to play in the car. I had one song on the tape, like, 10 times. Because I liked it that much.

But this is their second CD, and it is apparently a love letter to their home state, New Jersey. Which I couldn't care less about, but hey! The songs are still good, and the standout tracks are "Red Dragon Tattoo," "Denise," "Troubled Times," and "Amity Gardens."

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2004

My CD Collection (1)

I've put most of my 200+ CDs into a binder, and now I'm determined to listen to them all. So I'm going to bring the binder to work with me several times a week and listen to at least 10 of these CDs from start to finish (no skipping). The selection is random (i.e. I close my eyes, open to a page, and pick a CD). In six months I will have listened to all of them. Go me!

I will provide links to CDs that I can recommend buying.

CDs for Monday, January 12 – Vertical Horizon, Lemonheads, Tragically Hip, Japan, Beatles, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pixies, Shawn Colvin

Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want – Very good first half that trails off into average and forgettable. The title track was the big single, but other highlights include "We Are," Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)," and "You Say." In fact I think I've heard "Best I Ever Had" on some random television show.

Lemonheads, It's a Shame About Ray – Well, I hate the first song, but after that this CD is pretty close to perfect. Perfect if you like harmonic alternapop, that is, and fortunately I do. I'm looking at the CD booklet and didn't realize that Juliana Hatfield is credited as a full member of the band on this CD. I thought she was just Evan Dando's groupie. And Evan thanks "surrealist cruel sea beasts" in the liner notes. Damn stoner (and the song "My Drug Buddy" is sucktastic). But anyway, standout songs (and it's hard to narrow down that list) are the title track, "Confetti," "The Turnpike Down," "Alison's Starting to Happen," and "Ceiling Fan In My Spoon."

Oh, quick Evan Dando-related digression - the Lemonheads released another CD after this one (can't remember the name) and it was after Dando had taken some big drug-fueled sabbatical to Australia. So he comes back, records this new CD, and puts out a song called "Into Your Arms" as the single. Now, this happens to be a good song - it's very upbeat and catchy. However, both Evan and some other guy are given writing credit, and I swear to you this is just about the entire song:

I know a place
Where I can go
When I'm alone
Into your arms
Into your arms
I can go

Yep, that's it. And he needed help with it. Evan, honey - just say no!

Tragically Hip, Music @Work – How appropriate, no? I'm 1:10 into the first song, the title track, and my reaction is "I'd forgotten how FANATASTIC the Hip can be." Seriously. I know that Gord Downie's voice just doesn't do it for some people - he's not the most mellifluous singer out there - but I just think it is perfect in combination with the music. And the lyrics ... damn, don't get me started with quoting the best lines. Some of my favorite songs are the title track, "Tiger the Lion," "Lake Fever," and "Putting Down."

This is another CD that I think starts very strongly but then trails off midway through. And since there are better releases in the Hip's catalogue, I'm not going to recommend this one.

Japan, Oil On Canvas – Holy cats, this CD is old. 1983. I very much liked Japan when I was a freshman and sophomore in high school. It helped that the lead singer, David Sylvian, was the kind of effeminate hot man that I totally used to go for (i.e. cute, but nonthreatening). It also helped that Japan used a lot of piano, string intruments, and oboes in their songs.

Heh, I'm listening to this and I feel 14 years old all over again. The CD opens with the title track, which is just a piano instrumental. The second track is called "Sons of Pioneers," and it starts with two minutes of rhythmic drumming and synthesizers. Oh wait, I just remembered - this is a live CD. That's why there are people making noise in the background. I actually have a Japan video collection on VHS tape at home. I should watch it and experience anew the hormonal charge elicited by David Sylvian (and his brother, Steve Jansen) in the band's heyday.

Beatles, CD1 of 1962-1966 – This was an interactive selection. I asked Rappy to pick a number between 1-40, then between 1-4, and she picked 37/3. I think I like the "old school" Beatles better than the "drug fueled" Beatles. The red double album not the blue double album (although that one has its moments). The great thing about early Beatles songs is that if you don't like them, that's okay - they'll be over in two minutes anyway.

Toad the Wet Sprocket, Coil – This is so ironic. I let Roo pick this one (17/3) and she happened to pick a page that is filled with a band we both love, AND my tied-for-favorite CD of theirs. This is just a terrific CD, and every time I listen to it I curse the day that Glen Phillips broke up the band. And you're not better as a solo artist, Glen! *shakes fist*

Some of the best songs on this CD are "Whatever I Fear," "Come Down," "Dam Would Break," "Desire," "Throw It All Away," and "Crazy Life."

Pixies, Bossanova – I haven't listened to this CD all the way through in ... well, ever, maybe. This should be interesting. Overg chose this one (42/1). This CD starts with a surf-rock instrumental track "Cecilia Ann" before seguing into what is the finest screamed-lyrics-that-I-cannot-understand song ever - "Rock Music."

Hahaha, I just looked up the lyrics online:

Your Mouth's A Mile Away (repeat about 8 times)
I'm already gone...
Hey you know me
encatuse --(someone told me it's spanish for "And I know you?")
Your Mouth's A Mile Away

Yeah, I had no idea. ANYWAY, this CD is probably much better known for songs like "Velouria," "Allison," "Is She Weird?" "Dig for Fire," and "Hang Wire" (which rocks my face off).

Shawn Colvin, A Few Small Repairs – This CD has one of the songs I put on my Soundtrack of Myself CD that I did for a recent Looking Good CD swap ("If I Were Brave"). The single from this CD was called "Sunny Came Home" and if I'm not mistaken it was nominated for a Grammy of some sort (as was this CD). "Get Out Of This House" is also very good.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:28 PM | Comments (4)

The Luckiest Boy In All the Land

No, not Dr. Will - Overg!!


*runs around cats, screaming and flailing and throwing lunch trays in the air*

Welcome to your thirties, my dear. You will enjoy them.

What words of wisdom do you have for Overg on his birthday, hmm?

Oh, and I can mention this in an Overg-centric entry because he's all about the cats anyway - pretty soon I'm going to be having a Cute Cat Contest. Well, not really a contest; more like a gallery. So, if you have any photos of your cute cats, please email them to me at highwaygirl98@yahoo.com. Just make sure they aren't HUGE photos that will max out my inbox.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:49 AM | Comments (4)

Sydney, Don't Be a Hee-ro

Pretty excellent Alias last night, eh?

At first I thought it was going to be one of those dastardly clip shows - although I admit that Alias even does those well - but later I realized that J.J. was just making very good use of past footage to give this episode context. Well done, my man.

And Sark is frucking HOT, and I scoff at all of you who once said otherwise. *looks at Rappy*

The only plot point I rolled my eyes at was the whole "stealing Sydney's ova" thing. First, unless someone went at her ovary with a steak knife, the scar wouldn't be that big (and someone using a steak knife probably wouldn't have the tools necessary to extract the eggs anyway)(oh, sorry, I was being too literal. I should know better with this show.).

And then this idea that the Covenant wanted to breed Sydney's eggs with Rambaldi's DNA. I'm not really up on the whole fertilization without sperm thing, but that's asking me to suspend my disbelief just a leetle too far.

Except I guess they never have specified the, uh, source of the Rambaldi DNA and what, uh, medium it is suspended in.


In other news, it is Monday. Bluh. Well wait, this Monday is pretty okay (see above entry), PLUS I get to watch another episode of Cell Dogs tonight, PLUS America's Top Model starts tomorrow. Whee!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:40 AM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2004

Who Let the Dogs Out?

So I'm watching this show on Animal Planet called "Cell Dogs." I've never seen it before and it just started at 5 p.m. The show is about prisons that have programs where inmates train service dogs.

Eleven minutes in and I'm ready to cry. The show went to commercial with the teaser that Lisa is going to have to give up her dog, Molly. I don't know why, but Lisa is crying about it, and I'm ready to cry, too.

*bleeding heart*

5:30 p.m. - Well Jerri just got paroled, and I'm crying. She was the leader of the program, and she trained the star dog, Bud. He was the first dog in the program and will "graduate" soon (it takes 18 months to train the dogs). Jerri started crying as she was saying goodbye to Bud - he was the last goodbye - and it's so happy-but-sad.

Oh, and Lisa had to give up Molly because Molly failed her training. But it turned out okay because one of the prison guards adopted Molly.

5:45 p.m. - Dee Dee, who was Jerri's best friend, took over as trainer for Bud (a beautiful Golden Retriever). The program picked Christina as the new leader, since she's serving a 38-year sentence and won't be getting paroled any time soon. Heh.

AWWWWWWWWW. Bud is going to be partnered with a 14-year-old with Down Syndrome.

You know what strikes me about this program? These women look so normal. And many of them are incarcerated for voluntary manslaughter. I don't know what preconceived notions I had about what female convicts looked like, but whatever they were, they've been blown away. These women look like they could be my coworkers, or friends.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2004

Bumble & Bumble

EEEEEEEEEEEE! Look what TVJunkie sent me!!


It's a Bumble (aka The Abominable Snowman) finger puppet! I am going to wear it all night long. *wiggles Bumble-covered finger*

Thanks, TVJ! And thank you for the Estee Lauder stuff as well. It will definitely go to good use.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:09 PM | Comments (3)

BRR! It's Cold in Here!

My god, it is 48 degrees outside! But it feels like 42! And to think, the weather forecast was for a high of 59. Right now I am seriously regretting not buying that Old Navy Car Coat that was on sale last month.

Caygeon started running around the apartment like a monkey on crack this morning around 6 a.m., and continued to do so until I got out of bed at 9:30. And because of this, I am sleepy and wish to nap.

But I had to run out and do errands this morning, so I couldn't sleep late. I returned some jeans to Wal-Mart - and let me just say that I'm irked by the fact that the jeans I have are now too loose in the waist and I have to wear them with a belt in order to make them look good ... but the next size down is still too small - and then swung by CVS to check out the new L'Oreal True Match foundation that Teem keeps raving about.

I ended up picking up a bottle in shade N3. We'll see how it does. Fortunately CVS offers a 100% refund on cosmetics even if used. I also grabbed a Maybelline Wet Shine lipstick in Cola Slushie, which I've been wanting for awhile and was 75% off for some reason.

Then I went to Target and bought more hipster underwear. I am obsessed with underwear this week for some reason.

THEN, I went to PetsMart fully intending on buying a new six-gallon aquarium and an oticinclus catfish to use as an algae eater. But the aquarium I wanted, which was being sold on their website for $56, was $80 in the store. Um, no. Plus they didn't have any otos in stock.

So I bailed and went to Pet Supermarket, which is actually where I bought Otis. Right before I turned into the parking lot I witnessed an accident - someone coming out of the parking lot t-boned a car in the turn off lane. For some reason, the car that was hit didn't stop. They slowed down, and then straightened themselves out and continued driving. The SUV followed the car it hit, and both cars turned right at the next street.

So I went looking for them, since I had witnessed the accident. But I couldn't find them. I wonder if they even stopped to exchange information?

Anyway, Pet Supermarket had the aquarium for $66, so I bought it. But they also did not have any otos, so I guess I'll have to wait until next weekend to set up the new tank. Dammit.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 04:23 PM | Comments (3)

January 07, 2004

Melting My Cold Black Heart

I am such a sucker for cats. Aren't these photos cute?

Cat and Pony
A pony rubs his nose on a cat in the Budakeszi game park near Budapest after snow started to fall in the morning hours in some parts of Hungary. (AP Photo / MTI, Mate Nandorfi)

Biscuit, a snow leopard born at the Bronx Zoo in June 2003, rests his head on top of his mother Shikari at New York's Bronx Zoo. (AP Photo/Wildlife Conservation Society, J. Larsen Maher)

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:21 PM | Comments (3)

I *heart* Danny

This column is a good example of why I love Dan Savage so much.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 12:11 PM | Comments (2)

January 06, 2004

A Day In the Life

10:03:44 AM
Highwaygirl: I risked a visit to LG!
Highwaygirl: just for you
raptorgirl: *gasp* and nobody snuck up behind you with ether and took you away to be investigated in a torture chamber with little pins of fire?
Highwaygirl: well not yet anyway
Highwaygirl: but the day is still young

10:53:49 AM
Teem: all these simpletons on MUA hate True Match
Teem: they're all whack
Teem: and they love TruBlend! Which is vile!
Teem: I flurve bologna
Highwaygirl: ohhhhhhhhhhhh
Highwaygirl: so now I have to decide
Highwaygirl: should I trust Teem?
Teem: no! no decision!
Highwaygirl: or should I trust MUA?
Teem: trublend is of the devil! Satan!
Highwaygirl: Satan's foundation!
Teem: exactly!
Highwaygirl: Satan's Thigh's foundation
Teem: satan uses trublend on his thighs!
Highwaygirl: HAHAHAHA
Highwaygirl: it's SINFUL
Teem: *speaks in tongues*
Highwaygirl: hahahahahaha
Highwaygirl: fhsfdliaoifqjwoefijqweopfij TRUBLEND! lkjfiahdfahdfoiahsdf
Teem: algkjas;haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaskdalfjdksaaaaaaaa THIGHS! salkfha;teiaygaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

11:28:45 AM
Highwaygirl: hands...
Highwaygirl: touching hands...
Highwaygirl: reaching out...
Highwaygirl: touching meeeeeeeeee...
Highwaygirl: touching YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

2:55:48 PM
raptorgirl: why is kazaa taking so long to find catherine wheel songs?
Highwaygirl: Because Kazaa is a minion of Satan
raptorgirl: it really is, isn't it?

2:56:23 PM
Highwaygirl: Vegas is one of those places that I just have no interest in going
Highwaygirl: I'm not sure why
Tsylyst: because of the hookers?
Highwaygirl: Yeah, I don't want to get back into that
Tsylyst: well, stalking around town with that hair says otherwise
Highwaygirl: [shocked face]
Highwaygirl: are you saying I have HOOKER HAIR???
Tsylyst: not in a bad way...I promise
Tsylyst: you have classy hooker hair
Tsylyst: escort hair, if you will

3:14:11 PM
Highwaygirl: afgakjngoaihnrgoqirhg-042 0 ut!!!!!!
Teem: ACK!
Highwaygirl: help!
Highwaygirl: my shoe!
Teem: satan is making you speak in tongues!
Highwaygirl:: caught in me pants!
Highwaygirl: *trips*
Highwaygirl: you just stood there in my moment of peril
Highwaygirl: thanks
Teem: oh! so sorry!
Teem: I was busy pointing and laughing!
Highwaygirl: [shocked face]
Teem: at Satan, dammit!
Teem: not at you!

3:15:42 PM
Overgme: hey
Overgme: describe your hair color to me
Overgme: in women's language
Overgme: male language doesn't have the proper colors

3:50:35 PM
Highwaygirl: it's almost 4!
Highwaygirl:: *flails*
Overgme: *jumps around*
Overgme: I want Cheetos
Highwaygirl: *scuffles feet along carpet*
Overgme: I want Cheetos now!!!
Overgme: [shocked face]
Highwaygirl: *zap!*
Overgme: *runs*
Highwaygirl: I GOT YOU!
Overgme: and stealer!
Highwaygirl: [cheesy grin]
Overgme: oh yeah?
Highwaygirl: *runs*
Overgme: *scuffles feet on floor*
Overgme: *chases*
Highwaygirl: *runs faster*
Overgme: *and*
Overgme: *and*
Overgme: *and*
Highwaygirl: *runs faster than you will ever run*
Overgme: *teleports*
Overgme: *tacklehug*
Highwaygirl: shit!
Overgme: *zap*
Highwaygirl: *screams*
Overgme: what?
Highwaygirl: I didn't see the teleport coming
Overgme: hahahahhaha
Highwaygirl: I should have planned for that
Overgme: hahahhahahhah
Overgme: hahahahhahah
Overgme: you are fun
Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:02 PM | Comments (2)

A Story In 20 Parts

I'm going to start this story, and you all can continue it through comments. You don't have to follow my style; in fact, this will be more fun if you don't. Just take a thread from the story and run with it.

Skipping Towards Oblivion

Some things you don't ask for. Some things, you just get.

It was like that for Miranda. She never wanted for anything, because she got everything she wanted. And some things she didn't want, too, like the yelping puppy at her feet.

Because this was no ordinary puppy. This puppy was a harbinger of doom. It was...


Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:55 AM | Comments (10)

Eau de Toilet (Seat)

Hey, where can I buy a toilet seat? Because I just broke mine (I put my foot on it to examine my knee, lost my balance a little and pushed it off to the side, snapping the little holder thing off on one side). He'p!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:15 AM | Comments (3)

The Bark Is Back

Aaaaaaaaand we have a new entry to the field of Hamster Time bloggers - Barkley! Barkley is especially noteworthy because she is one of the few BB2 recappers still around whose name was included on the official TWOP BB2 recappers t-shirt ("That's mah bannah!"). Along with ... me!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:44 AM | Comments (1)

January 05, 2004

Guten Tag

Would you like to read my prosetic words in a different language? Of course you would!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

January 04, 2004

Flames On the Side of My Face

Yes, I finally saw Clue. Madeline Kahn was a goddess.

I have to go back to work tomorrow. My thoughts about that? Not fit for your virgin ears.

I finally got a good photo of the framed Noah Grey print up on my wall.

Today's purchase was a pair of the jeans I love - Levi Strauss signature collection at Wal-Mart - in the dark rinse. I just wish they didn't gap so much around the waist, because I really have to wear a belt to keep them from sliding down on my hips too much.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:09 PM | Comments (4)

January 03, 2004

Now Leave Me Alone!

Are you happy now? Well ARE YOU???

That's me, scowling and puffy.

(Incidentally, my hair looks fan-freaking-tastic in that photo.)

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:29 PM | Comments (8)


Heh, I haven't talked about the holidays at all.

So ... they were good! Christmas Eve at my grandmother's house with the extended family, Christmas morning at my mom's house, and Christmas afternoon at my brother's house. I got lots of nice things, including money, several gift cards to the mall, and a HEPA air purifier/filter (from my dad, to help with my weekend allergies)(awww). Overg sent me the DVD for the movie Clue (which I think I'm going to watch after I finish with you), Roo sent me the typewriter key initial necklace I have been salivating over (I tried to take a photo of it, but it's not cooperating), and Teem sent me a whole package of stuff that she picked up in Germany, including candy, a tealight holder, and my new monitor guardian, Spike.

And then Rappy totally blew my mind with her gift(s). She gave me some candles and a magnet from Israel, tealight holders from IKEA, a magnet from London, and this:


Noah Grey is a guy who takes beautiful photos, many in black and white. I stumbled upon his photo blog a few years ago and have always loved his work. I showed his site to Rappy earlier this year and she became a fan as well.

So imagine my surprise when I unwrap this beautiful, framed Noah Grey print of a highway road. It is absolutely perfect. I just hung it in my living room, but it's opposite the windows so I'll have to wait until night time to take a better photo of it.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 04:20 PM | Comments (17)

The Adventures of Rappygirl (III)

What's that saying? "All good things must come to an end"?

Day Three - Friday, January 2, 2004

I woke up at close to 11 a.m., and Rappy was already up. Showers were taken. Plans were made. We decided to pack her bags in the car when we left and just do whatever until it was time to head to the airport for her 6:55 p.m. flight to Atlanta (and Roo!).

We left my place at noon, and my stupid cats didn't come out to say goodbye. But they miss Rappy, just like I do. There's a Rappy-shaped hole in our lives! *sniff*

We ate lunch at Panera. Good, but not good for you. We both ordered a panini sandwich - I had the Frontega Chicken, while Rappy chose the Turkey Artichoke. We popped into the Starbucks next door so Rappy could get some coffee, then headed south to do more shopping.

First stop, Barnes & Nobel, so I could pick up some calendars at 50% off. I bought a Get Fuzzy page-a-day calendar for my desk at work, and a World Wildlife Fund Big Cats planner.

Then we hit Marshalls, to look for discounted Williams Sonoma cookbooks. Rappy didn't find any of those that she liked, but she did find a GORGEOUS pair of black strappy heels with embroidery on the straps. So, so pretty. That girl can find the most beautiful things in a sea of average things.

Next it was up to Countryside Mall, because I had both mall and Dillards gift cards burning holes in my wallet. At Dillards we looked at purses (didn't buy), the Gloomaway shimmering body powder at the Origins counter (couldn't rationalize), and I turned in my MAC empties for the Touch lipstick I had tried on at Saks.

Dillards didn't carry Hanae Mori - we were on a quest for mo' samples - so we walked over to Burdines to check there. Nothing. But Rappy did find a lovely bracelet (she has a thing for them) and earrings that were on clearance and about 80% off. She got both for a little over $10. Amazing!

Then we browsed in Yankee Candle (I bought a plain glass pillar holder) and Trade Secret (so I could get the OPI God Save the Queen's Nails polish that Rappy was wearing). I sniffed the Back To Basics Tangerine Twist shampoo and really liked it, but I didn't want to spend money on a bottle of the stuff when I wasn't sure if it was good or not. Imagine my surprise when I walked up to the counter to buy the nail polish and saw that there were miniature bottles of it that were being given out free.

At that point we were a bit shopped out. It was 3:45, so we decided to make a stop at Sonic and then just head over to the Tampa a bit early, just in case traffic was bad. That way we'd at least be over on the right side of the Bay and could find something else to do over there.

And then, there was Sonic. We stopped for drinks. I wussed out and got a Diet Coke with cherry syrup, but Rappy ordered a Strawberry Limeade and took photos of signs. We drove back over to Tampa without encountering much traffic, but decided to just go to the airport rather than do more sightseeing.

We passed security, parked the car, then headed to check in at the Delta counter. Rappy had an e-ticket, so she could go through the automated kiosk check-in, which was FREAKING COOL. I am so totally doing that the next time I fly Delta.

Then we spent some time walking around looking for a shop that sold hair elastics (Rappy couldn't find hers but wanted to put her hair back in a ponytail), and once that was accomplished Rappy decided to head out to her gate early in case there was more security to deal with.

But I couldn't go there without a boarding pass, so this is where our visit ended. *sniff*

In case it's not clear, I had a fabulous time. Rappy is just as great in person as I've always thought she was online. I only wish that it would have worked out for her to visit longer than 2.5 days, because it wasn't nearly long enough. We didn't really have time to do any tourist-y things, and it would have been fun to spend a day cooking all sorts of interesting foods.

Next time!

On the way back from the airport, I stopped at my regular Target to look for the bracelet/watch that Rappy had found the day before, that I COULD NOT stop coveting. And I did find it, so now Rappy and I are wrist twins.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

The Adventures of Rappygirl (II)

And the fun continues!

Day Two - Thursday, January 1, 2004

I woke up fairly early, about 8:30 a.m. Raps was still sleeping, so I took a shower. By the time I was finished she had woken up. We discussed our plans for the day - SHOPPING - and then started getting ready.

Before we left, we assembled the glorious chowder and set it in the crock pot to cook for hours and hours and hours.

And they're off! Neither one of us was even remotely hungry, so we decided to put off another intake of food until we got to the mall.

First stop, Super Target. I knew Rappy would have an amusing reaction upon entering the store, but I forgot my camera and couldn't record it for posterity. Let's just say that she was intrigued by the 30+ checkout registers all in a row. We picked up lots of li'l things in Super Target - we both bought Swell tissue paper (although hers was a silvery pattern), and I also bought a magnetized notepad, blank Swell thank you cards (which matched the tissue paper), and the Cutest Umbrella Ever.

Rappy bought an adorable initial purse, and the prettiest, most lovely bracelet/watch I've ever seen (for $12.99!), and some other stuff I'm sure she'll post about eventually.

Next stop, Westshore Plaza. We wanted to visit Saks and Old Navy. We went into Saks first, and browsed the makeup counters. We stopped at Kiehl's first, and Rappy got the 411 on various toners. The clerk gave her several samples of things that would be good for her skin. I asked for a sample of the eye cream, but she was out. But since the clerk believed that I "can't go away without a sample", she gave me a li'l thing of the Soothing Gel Masque.

We breezed by the perfume counter so I could smell the Escada Island Kiss perfume, and Rappy could finagle more samples of Hanae Mori. I was able to sniff the Escada, but there were no samples to be had. Rappy tried some Hanae Mori scrub or cream or something, which apparently smelled gross.

We lingered at Nars and Chanel and Bobbi Brown, but could find nothing we wanted to purchase. Shocking! We spent more time at the MAC counter - I was looking to compare two Lustre Lipsticks (Midimauve and Touch) and choose one for the Back to MAC program, but I forgot my empties at home. I tried on both shades, though, and decided I would get the Touch when I finally remembered to bring my empty containers back to a counter.

I also tried on the new MAC tinted lip conditioners, and I liked the darkest shade but I HATE HATE HATE lip products in pots (for the most part) so I passed. Plus, the MAs seemed totally apathetic as to our presence. If you don't pay attention to me, I'm not spending money with you. So shove it!

We went into the mall in order to go to Old Navy, but then we got sidetracked by Bath & Body Works. We both loaded up on some of the great sale items. I settled on a bunch o' stuff - Skin Renewal body wash, lotion and butter in Cucumber Melon, travel candles in Eucalyptus Spearmint (my favorite) and Orange Ginger, and sample packs of the shampoo/conditioner in formulas for color-treated, fine, and normal hair.

Then we went to Old Navy, but we were both underwhelmed by the selection. Rappy did try on the pink trench coat that Teem and I were frothing at the mouth over after seeing it online, but decided it was too pink. It looked kind of stiff and boxy, too. Which is unfortunate, because it looked stupid cute on the website.

On the way out of the mall, we stopped at Lindt Chocolates, because Rappy said they were amazingly awesome and I needed to try them. I bought two of the Milk Chocolate Lindor truffles and one Hazelnut. I haven't tried the Hazelnut yet, but the Milk Chocolate is, indeed, amazingly awesome.

We bid Westshore Plaza adieu, then headed for International Plaza. This is the upscale mall, with Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus.

We entered through Nordstrom, walked past the shoe section and made fun of Steve Madden. By this time we were both hungry, so we ducked into California Pizza Kitchen, since I had never eaten there and wanted to and what the hell we had both blown any semblance of a diet the day before. So ... mo' food!

I had the Original Barbecue Chicken pizza, while Rappy ordered the Wild Mushroom. Mine was sooooooo good. Rappy and I traded slices so we could try the other's pizza, and I really didn't mind the mushrooms (Mheh, let Rappy introduce you to 'shrooms!). Normally I just don't like the texture of them, but the pizza tasted pretty good. I still wouldn't order it for myself, but I certainly wouldn't send it to hell.

Our waiter was a younger guy (early 20s) named Matt, and Rappy was checking him out as well. I will admit that he had a nice butt. We both agreed that he'll be losing his hair at an early age. But, he was cute, and he was serving us, so all was well with the world.

After eating we went to The Body Shop, where I bought a refill of my beloved Satsuma body lotion and a Cranberry lip balm.

Then, we browsed various stores. Rappy bought a pretty plaid skirt in XXI. We saw Penis Pasta in Nicholson House. We ended up back in Nordstrom so Rappy could get smokey eye makeup done at one of the counters.

But first, we each scored samples of Hanae Mori and Escada Island Kiss. Yay!

We saw that there was a Smashbox counter, which was new. There was a really gorgeous eyeshadow trio that was catching our eye - the Eyelights in Smashing Flash - so she decided to have her makeup done there. Unfortunately there were out of stock of the e/s trio.

I wandered around while Rappy was getting her makeup done and decided to buy a cute li'l Philosophy gift set that was only $20 and included a bunch of different samples.

I came back from wandering and saw that someone had assaulted Rappy while I was away. My reaction, since the MA was still standing there: "DRAMA!"

I didn't want to say OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY FRIEND? because that would be rude. So I started the "If you don't like it we can just go to another counter and have them start over on you" line. Repeatedly. We stopped at the Lancome counter so Rappy could blot off some of the eyeliner, and eventually Rappy was persuaded to go for a second round of makeover.

And it was SO. MUCH. BETTER. I forget what shadow color was used, but it was a duo (2Sexy? Something like that.) and it was really pretty and I coveted it but I somehow held off. Rappy did buy it, though.

So with Rappy having gone from punched to perfect, we departed Nordstrom in a mad race to reach Indian Rocks Beach by sunset. We made it with about 5 minutes to spare. It wasn't the best of sunsets, but it was pretty nonetheless. Here is proof (these open in your current browser window):

Festive palm treesBeach entrance signSign on beachSunset - first photo
Going...... going ...... gone!still gone

And then, we went back to my apartment. We finished up the chowder, and then scarfed it down. We chased it with a Skinny Cow. Then we hung out, watching some Alias and some I Love the 70s and some Newlyweds and some World Idol thrown in there for good measure (incidentally, I thought the Norwegian guy totally deserved to win and was glad he did).

We finished up watching the Alias Season One finale with the cast commentary on (very funny). By this time it was almost 2 a.m. Rappy decided to repack her luggage, so while she did that I rolled around on the floor with the cats. We went to bed about 3 a.m., totally spent.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:07 AM | Comments (1)

The Adventures of Rappygirl (I)

So! I shall now chronicle Rappy's visit!

Day One - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Rappy's plane landed at Tampa International Airport at 10:20 a.m. The airport wasn't allowing non-passengers out to the airsides, so I was waiting in the terminal where the monorails come in (on the third floor). And even though I've seen numerous photos of Rappy, I somehow missed spotting her when she disembarked the train.

10:35 a.m. – I'm still waiting. I'm thinking that maybe there were a lot of people on the plane, and Rappy was sitting at the back, so it's just taking her a little bit longer to make her way over to the terminal.

10:45 a.m. – I decide that Something Is Wrong, so I run downstairs to the first floor to check the baggage claim area. The sign for Belt 17 lists Rappy's flight, but there's no luggage there. I take this to mean that no luggage has come in yet from the plane, and run back upstairs.

11:00 a.m. – Still no Rappy. I see someone that I think might be her, because she's holding a big coat in her arms. The person gets closer and I realize that it's not a coat, it's a baby wrapped up in blankets. I brilliantly deduce that this cannot possibly be Rappy.

11:10 a.m. – I check the Arrivals monitors again. Rappy's flight is no longer listed. I cry. I run downstairs to the baggage claim and now Belt 17 is listing some other flight number. I break down in heaving, wracking sobs, right there by the Sikorsky elevators. I run up to the second floor, to the Continental counter, to ask if there was any way to check and see if Rappy was actually on the flight (I thought she might have gotten bumped). The person said she couldn't tell me that specifically, only if the person had a reservation. Well I already knew that, so I ran back upstairs to the Customer Service desk on the third floor to ask how to page someone. I was directed to the White Courtesy Phone on the wall.

It took several tries to get the operator to correctly pronounce Rappy's real name. A few minutes later, I hear the page for Rappy come over the PA system. I run back down to the baggage claim and wait by the elevators (which is where the operator was going to tell Rappy to meet her party).

So THEN - damn, this is long, and I haven't even met Rappy yet - I stick my head outside, where people are waiting for their rides. I don't see her. I shout her real name and then duck inside quickly, so as not to be stared at like I'm a complete gaywad who doesn't recognize their own friend.

Nothing. I pace. I cry. I curse the very existence of God. Still no Rappy. I have her paged again. Nothing. I punch the wall next to me. I go back outside and yell her name again, then run away. I go back upstairs to make one more round of the terminal area, don't see her, then go back down to the baggage claim.

And there she is! FINALLY! We run to greet each other and it's all slow-motion and sunshine and smiles and gauzy loveliness. We give each other the brief version of Where the Hell Have You BEEN?, and then go to my car.

We talk and traverse the Courtney Campbell Parkway (a bridge) back to my apartment. I warn Rappy that I drive "hard", which is fine by her since she drives the same way.

We get back to my apartment, decompress a little bit, then plan our attack for the day - we have to leave at 3 to make our dinner reservation, but we need to get some groceries and alcohol for our New Year's Eve festivities. We run out to Albertsons to procure some Woody's Hard Blueberry. Then I decide that I hate Albertsons for food selection, so we leave and drive to Publix. There we buy lots of wonderful things, like leeks and carrots and Canadian bacon - you see, we're making the infamous Potato and Canadian Bacon Chowder - and Diet Sunkist and all-natural barbecue corn chips and the BEST SHIZNIT EVER, Skinny Cow Coffee Ice Cream Sammiches.

Rappy, being a former grocery store bagger, packs up the groceries. And I must say, she did a great job.

We haul ass back to the apartment, watch an episode of Alias, then start prettifying ourselves for our trip to Bern's Steak House. We left at 3:10, and then ran into some hellacious traffic on the bridge. So we ended up arriving 5-10 minutes late. But who cares! We were strapping on the feed bag and no one was going to stop us!

We pull in to the valet area, and a teenage boy rushes out to greet us. Rappy makes goo-goo eyes at him (this will be a pattern and continuing theme for her entire visit). I hand him my keys, and Rappy and I traipse into the restaurant like the badasses we are.

And then, we see it - red. velvet. walls.

All the girls who work at Bern's as hostesses are wearing homecoming dresses. It's a party! We are directed to our table and meet our waiter, Kurt. We ask for wine recommendations - red for me, white for Rappy - and he offers suggestions. I settle on Beaujolais Villages 2001, Joseph Drouhin France (okaaaaaay), and Rappy selects a 1995 Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Auslese from Germany (alriiiiiiiiiiiiiight).

Kurt gives us time to peruse the menu (which is a freakin' book) and then comes back to edumacate us as to what the hell is happening. Because the choices are overwhelming and confusing.

Skipping to what we decided to order, it went down like this:

Rappy: Fois Gras Ravioli (appetizer), Vichysoisse soup (Osetra caviar, white truffle oil, shaved fried potato), salad with Macadamia Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette, baked potato, and filet mignon as the entreé.

HWG: Balsamic-Glazed Heirloom Tomatoes with Gorgonzola Cheese ("Vine ripened organic heirloom tomatoes glazed with 20-year old balsamic vinegar and hydroponically grown opal basil"), French onion soup (with "garlic and spelt toasts"), salad with Creamy White Balsamic Italian dressing, baked potato, and filet mignon with Bernaise sauce as the entreé.

Everything was excellent except for the salad (average) and the veggies that came with the dinner (zucchini and yellow squashes, and shaved carrots). I especially loved the Heirloom Tomato appetizer, and of course the filet mignon was delicious.

The atmosphere was great as well, except for the family at the table next to us who brought a BABY to dinner. And the baby, it cried. I refrained from stabbing it or hitting it with a lunch tray, though.

So we gorged ourselves, then went upstairs to use the facilities. The bathrooms are stocked with special monogrammed napkins for drying your hands.

Then we headed up to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. Aww, yeaaaaaah. Here comes the chocolate. Rappy ordered a Hazelnut Café Con Leche and the Chocolate Pistachio Pyramid ("Pistachio dacquoise with dark chocolate mousse, pistachio creme brulee center, vanilla bean creme anglaise and pistachio oil."). I ordered the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate ("Layers of our chocolate cheese pie, chocolate cheesecake with a white chocolate center, and milk chocolate mousse on a dense chocolate crust.").

We ate. Then we died and went to heaven. Then we came back to life feeling very full (and for me on the ride home, very sick - too much rich food at one setting after three months on Weight Watchers was not smrt). But it was GOOD! So it was all worth it.

Final damage for me was about $100.

We left Bern's, whipped through the Westshore Mall parking lot to see if Saks was open (no) and then drove home. Upon arriving at my apartment we both immediately changed into our jammies. Then we watched a little Alias until about 11:40 p.m., at which time we hopped online to see who was chatting.

And then we chatted to the masses. We called Teem and Nancybeth, who were getting drubnk and breaking beds (!) at Teem's house. Then we called Overg, who tried to take credit, again, for all of my jokes. Next we called Roo, who was partying down with 40 preschoolers at her Choi school. Lucky girl! She was having things blown in her face, so we left her alone. But she called back a little later and we wished each other a Happy New Year.

Rappy and I stayed up for a little bit longer, then decided that we'd had enough of this day and promptly kicked it to the curb (i.e. we went to bed).

OH! For the record, Caygeon came out to greet Rappy before we left for Bern's, and Dawsey (!) came out after we got home from dinner. Rappy is a magnet for even the most skittish of cats.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:38 AM | Comments (0)