crap shoot

I realize that talking about the weather is not a fascinating topic. It's not even a titilating one. But, I must talk about this weather this time of year.

I dig winter. I love it. The cold, the soups, the winter squash, the hot drinks, the long pants and sweaters, the coats and scarves. I love the Christmas trees and all around happiness in the air. I love that snow is just about the January corner. But, baby it's not cold outside. I'm decorating my house for Christmas and I've just opened two windows. Something about all this reminds me of those dispicable year round Christmas stores which you can visit in July. July! That's stupid and hot. A lot, actually, like now.

My Christmas wish; cold weather and snow.



the bra factor

Oprah, that deity that all women, even when the publicly abhor her, bow down to, had a whole show devoted to the wonder of that mystical creation: the bra. I watched in wonder as woman upon woman was shown the light in the way of a brand new Uplifting brazier. Girl after girl looked better and better and I realized that I was, in fact, wearing the wrong bra. I needed a lift and last night I got one.

“Is one of you Julie?” I asked to the two saleswomen standing behind the Nordstrom lingerie counter. They looked at me quizzically, especially Julie. I pulled her card out of my person and said, “I thought it was you because my sister-in-law said you looked like Tyra Banks.” And she did, she was gorgeous. The older one then gave me a lecture about customers asking for salespeople and never using skin color. “That’s a good thing,” I was able to squeeze in, but she just kept talking. Eventually Julie, the Tyra look-a-like walked back to the dressing room with me. We stood in the dressing room discussing my bra and it’s inappropriateness. Apparently I had ruined my bras in the wash. I knew this, but hearing from a professional made me silently vow right then and there to treat my bras like porcelain.

Then Tyra’s twin instructed me to take off my shirt. “Uh, OK” I think I said. I was a little taken aback. I knew that the Nordstrom team was some kind of wonder in the way of making bras fit, but I just assumed it would all happen fully clothed. So she took my numbers and mentioned way too many letters and then disappeared to find my bras. I put my shirt back on and sat down to listen to the classical music wafting through the store. Julie returned with a handful of bras and placed them on a rack. “Great. Thanks” I said, but Tyra’s twin just stood there. I believe that crickets began chirping. She was obviously going to hang out with me during this whole thing rather than hand me the bras and let me decide. And not only did she help me, but she readied each bra by stretching it a bit and then holding each strap for me to walk into as if it was a coat. She then quickly went around back and secured the device as I adjusted things up front. I was a little uneasy with this whole situation knowing that Tyra’s look-a-like was seeing more my breasts than even I had in the last six months. But then each bra fit better and better and made me look better and better. I was my own Oprah show. By the third bra I was over the whole stranger-and-nakedness thing and was saying, “Fine, here are my breasts,” with my new found comfort with toplessness.

* Tyra’s twin did a marvelous and professional job and if you need a good bra, go to Nordstrom, but dude, I totally warned you.



and it burns, burns, burns

E. stand at the sink with two plastic cups in her hand. She runs the water, whether or not the cups are filling up. She sings, “I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher” E. is four and somehow in her best Johnny Cash voice she weaves the word “water” into her song though it’s not the way she learned it.

I wonder about the grown lives of children who are schooled on Ring of Fire rather than Row Row Your Boat. Will her life have more pain than the whimsical creatures who believe that “life is but a dream.” Will her life burn? Or will Johnny have paved the way and let walk be like a river boat cruise? Are his words the warnings and precautions which the rowers never know?

All my questions are silly now. She’s four and filling cups of water and the fire burning in her words are just words. She hasn’t attached meaning to them yet. That’s just me doing that.



thanks giving

Go. Eat. Be. Thankful.




My wireless has died. I’m not sure why, but its three lights that blink when it’s receiving and sending world wide information have dwindled to one unblinking light. I’ve rebooted it. I’ve taken away its juice for 24 hours. And still with the one unblinking light. I may be forced to buy an Airport Express which really, I wouldn’t mind doing. So, the whole “wireless has died” thing isn’t such a spilled milk situation. In other words, I’m not crying, although I am completely “plugged in” and not so much liking it.



dressing rooms

I just spent the day at Old Navy. When I say I just spent the DAY there that is exactly what I mean. I was in toe with my nieces and nephew and sister-in-law. We were in search of a girl’s skirt and sweater which the Old Navy stores in town, all 4 of them, would graciously put on hold, but would not ship, anywhere. We went to two different Old Navy’s that were in the suburbs and then way in the suburbs. We went in search of children’s clothes. I came out with two pairs of pants, a sweater, and two jackets.

My four-year-old niece accompanied me to the dressing rooms where I made her close her eyes while I changed. “I’ll just stare at the ceiling,” she’d say. Then I’d tell her she could look and she’d exclaim with delight, “Oh Annie, you’re soooooo beautiful!” Even when the pants were so long that I walked on the fabric and the pants were so tight that the pockets buckled, “They’re beautiful,” she’d say. And then I tried on a skirt that was entirely too small. So small that I didn’t even attempt to zip it, but the fabric was gorgeous and luxurious like fancy curtains, which I realize is a strange thing to wear as a skirt, but that’s what I thought of. “It’s so beautiful,” said my niece. “But G., it doesn’t fit. Look, I can’t even zip it up,” and I pointed to the spread zipper. “That doesn’t matter. It looks so pretty,” she exclaimed. I just smiled and loved her and wished the world were that simple.



luck be a lady

I just bought a lottery ticket and I won. My first phone call was to my cousin B. because a month ago while talking late one night snuggled in my down comforter in Virginia and her probably sitting on her back porch in North Carolina, I told her, "We need to get serious about playing the lottery. I mean, we need to get serious about it."

And we did. When I went to visit her two weeks ago we drove to South Carolina to pick up tickets. We were in line with about 20 other people on a Saturday night. Some were dressed for their Halloween parties. There was one guy with a pot on his head. It took me awhile to understand what exactly he was supposed to be. And then, when I did, I felt stupid.

My cousin's husband laughed at us while we piled in the jeep and searched for coins to use on the two scratch off cards we'd bought along with our Powerball tickets. "Whatever, you'll be laughing when we're millionaires." We didn't win anything with the scratch offs. I kept looking over my card again and again. I mean, I had paid a dollar for it. I was going to get all the entertainment I could out of it. Since it produced no wealth for me, at least there could be entertainmnet value. Unfortunately, the repeated stared did nothing to change the outcome. And the Powerball tickets weren't much different. In the middle of the night, after a raucous Halloween party and pre-pizza munchies, I checked the numbers and once again vowed that through staring, I would get my entertainment value. It didn't work.

Since then I'v contemplated stopping my the 7-11 on the way home and buying a ticket or two. "Just a scratch off," I tell myself because really, the megamillions odds are insane. I've avoided the urge until tonight when my gas tank was echoing from the lack of gas inside. So, I told myself that I'd just buy one scratch off, just to round off the $5 worth of gas I was splurging on. And then I filled up $8 and decided two tickets would make the perfect $10 amount. And then well, one of them became a Megamillions ticket because who can give up $310 million? I mean, WHO? And then I won. I mean. I won! I won a dollar. That's right a dollar. It was on my scratch off and the way I figure it, I just got myself another scratch off. Tomorrow, maybe I'll win two dollars. Here's hopin'.



she could give them a run

Last night at dinner my four year-old niece quickly began reciting grace. And this is what she said, "God made the stars and God made the trees. God made the moon and the food and God I love me." We cracked up. And she had no idea why. I wish so many times that I could go back and be as innocent as she. Sometimes I wish for her naivete, her newness, her chance to make it right.

Then tonight, my four year-old niece dictated this to me:

Fluff the
fish and make
the butter and
turn around the
flower. Drop the
flowers. Drop the
salad and fluff it
all up. Chop
the chicken.

I think we might have a budding language poet on our hands. I think John Ashbury should be scared to lose his mark.

As I left she stood with her younger sister in the doorway of their house and in between the "I love yous" and "Come back Annie" she gave me her poem and said, "You can read it when you feel lonely." Maybe she's not so innocent afterall and maybe she was put in my life for a reason. I love the living daylights out of her. She could give us all a run for our money.



3 year itch

"He's been itching it," I said to the school nurse when one of my student's had something mysterious on his skin. "I mean scratching it. He's been scratching it." She laughed. It's just so easy for the little ones to wear off on you.

But, I think I have my own itch, a 3 year one. This will be my third year in Richmond and I'm getting restless. And it's not about anything in particular, but about everything. I think I'm realizing a pattern in my life that after 3 years I begin to look around and see what else is out there. Yesterday I went to a football game at my dear ole UVA and on several occasions I said, "I miss C-ville." Because I do. I miss it so much. I miss the intense artsy/ hippiness of townies. I miss the preppy and prettiness of the students. I miss the academia. I miss the resturants. I miss the gorgeous mountains. I miss the semi-celebrities because last night at dinner we saw John Grisham walk out of the pizza joint with two boxes of pizzas in his arms. He didn't go to UVA. He just lives in town and mooches off the amazing surroundings of that town. I'm a little bit jealous of him. We'll see if this 3 year itch will put me back in the arms of my C-ville. For now I'm trying to love this town I'm is as much and Jefferson loved his Albemarle. Although, I think Jefferson had to right idea all along, that God has created few things as beautiful as Albemarle County, VA.



much too soon

I’m about to go to see In Her Shoes. I’ve been dying to see it ever since Jennifer. started blogging about the production of the movie. And yes, because I’ve emailed back and fourth (one time, but who’s counting) with the author of the book I feel that I can call her Jennifer. Why am I just now going to see this long awaited movie that is now only showing in a movie theatre 30 minutes from my house? Well, that would be because I’m lazy. And it’s a late showing at 10pm. For a Friday night, that might as well be 2am. Friday nights are I’m-exhausted-I’m-going-to-bed-at-7pm nights. So, to combat the eyelids overcoming our faces, Kristin and I decide we need Starbucks beforehand.

“Oh and they have their Holiday flavors out now,” says my sister-in-law when I tell her of the plan.

“No, no. There will be no celebration of Christmas until the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING! I am VERY particular about that!”

“OK, but that Gingerbread Latte sure was good this morning.”

“You’re crazy. I will not partake. In fact, this morning I made my own Pumpkin Spiced Latte and it was so good I decided that the freeness of it tasted much better than it’s $3.50 counterpart.”

You see, I may need caffeine to keep my lazy ass up all night to watch chick lit on film, but I WILL NOT drink an Eggnog Latter before it’s time. Harrumph!



you really didn't need to tell me

How evil are you?




This year for Halloween I did and didn’t do two things. First, I didn’t go to a Halloween party and then, I did. Right. Well, what happened was that I’ve been in a bit of a funk. That’s right, let’s just put it out there. It’s not like you couldn’t tell. I get quiet when the funk comes around and it’s been around for about a month now. I’m totally over it and yet, I’m not.

So, Halloween… a friend in D.C. had a party on the 21st, which I was thrilled to attend and then, I didn’t. I just couldn’t motivate. I just couldn’t get up the steam to propel me to drive 2 hours to hang out with 3 friends and 50 strangers. Weak, I totally know.

The next weekend, however, made up for it. I did more in the actual weekend of Halloween than I have in the whole month of October, thanks to the funk. What disguise did I grace the party as? Well, my cousin and I went as Paparazzi. That’s right, we put on our jeans, a shirt, a jacket, a baseball hat, and our cameras and we were done. It was the best and freest costume I’ve ever worn. “Un-creative,” you may cry, but you don’t know me and you don’t know my cousin and you have no idea how poor we are. In the grand scheme of our poorness, it was quite creative. Thank you very much.

In real life, my cousin is a photographer and one of the most amazing ones I’ve ever seen. I’ve tried to get her to start a blog and I even created one for her, but we can’t remember the address so it’s lost in bloggerland forever now. Plus, it had nothing on it. Still, I tried.

So, we were paparazzi and I would share the pictures with you of Angelina and Brad Pitt, Pedro and Deb, and the ghost who showed a group of girls his manhood, but I don’t post pictures of people here. Well, actually, here’s the ghost. He said and I quote, “The best thing about Halloween is that no one knows who you are?” “Have you seen my costume?” I wanted to ask, but it would have been lost on him. He was drunk and then he showed us his manhood. That will get you out of a month long funk like nothing I know.



geez i sound like i'm moping, but really i’m not

It’s November and it’s hot outside. Nights are still chilly in the 50s and with windows open, big down comforters are perfect, but the days are full of high 70s and today 80 is the high. It’s a strange juxtaposition; short sleeve shirts and changing colors of leaves on the trees. November is suppose to be cold or at least colder, a readying for December and the official start of winter and the hope of snow.

I’ve decided that if marriage does not in fact allude me, which let’s face it, it will, I will marry in the Fall, in November to be exact. I want my bridesmaids to wear brown and carry green bouquets. Man, I could though a party too. There would be candlelight and just because none of my friends have done this, I might just make it black-tie. Why not?

Whatever November will hold no weddings for me. November will always be a month where things are changing and readying for their winter hibernation. It will be the month where the fall harvest is taken and gardens begin to die. November will always be the ending of the things for me, and quite possibly never the beginning.



blue days

Blue has always been my favorite color. I don’t know if has something to do with the melancholy in me or the fact that I always wanted to impress the boys with my color choice. No pink for me, I’m not a girly girl. I like blue! Whatever, obviously no boys really care.

Yellow used to hold a close second so much so that in high school I painted my bedroom yellow. I later learned that the color yellow can induce anxiety. For my genealogy, that was not a good color choice.

In the past couple of years I’ve been more partial to white. The cleansing and calming aspect of that single color is not lost on me. In fact it is the one thing I remember most about the Holocaust Museum in D.C. Strange, you might think, but you would be wrong.
The museum, of course, is so heavily laden with solemn and difficult images. As you travel through the “life” of a concentration camp an overwhelming amount of emotions come over you. The thing that got me through that museum, that allowed me to absorb and handle it, was the color white.

As you leave each floor and stage of the museum you travel through starkly white hallways and stairwells. The feeling that these spaces gave me on the day I visited, lifted me up from the dark and distraught stories I was learning about that day. The color white and the lack of images helped cleanse my mind and prepare me for the next stage of the museum and even taking what I learned into the multi-colored world we live in.

Sometimes in life I wish for whiteness, for cleansing, for peace. And there is something to be said that a simple color can stand for purity and calm and bring a mind back into focus.




i don't know. i just don't have much to say lately. one day maybe i'll you know what's going on in my head. not now though. not now.

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