bacon pancakes & airbrush dreams

Last day of vacation.  So sad to see it go.  This has been the most relaxing week of my entire life – hands down. 

As a farewell to Lake Junaluska and our week of lazy freedom, Trey and I went to Joey’s Pancake House (http://www.joeyspancake.com/) for breakfast.  And if you’re a smart cookie, you already know what I ordered. 

No, but Eggs Benedict is an excellent guess. 

Read the blog title and guess again.

BINGO!  Bacon Pancakes.  My arteries were screaming no, my my tastebuds were saying “Ooooooooooooh, yeah.” And yes, they were as glorious as I thought they would be, if not more so.  Imagine it: three golden flap-jacks with two inch strips of bacon baked right in and a scoop of butter the size of a small orange all topped with Joey’s fresh maple syrup.  De-lish.  The next time you’re in Maggie Valley, you must go.  But get there early – by 8:30am, the place usually has an hour long wait.  And they’re only open for breakfast.

On our way back to the house Trey & I were laughing to ourselves about how touristy Maggie Valley really is.  It’s like Myrtle Beach, only without the water.  Everything else you’d see on the strip on any given day in August can be found in Maggie Valley too.  Herds of Harley Davidson bikers?  Check! Teenagers wearing far too little clothing?  Check! Stores with innertubes and beach towels out front (Eagles, anyone?)? Check!  And of course, airbrush booths.  We shan’t forget those.

It still baffles me – leaves me dumfounded – boggles my mind – how (HOW? I beg you!), in this day in age, in a progressive society, how can there still be a market for anything airbrushed???

run away with me

On Monday, after running too many errands and waiting for cable guy to come fix our broken internet (gotta love all those thunder storms we’ve been having) and all but hog-tying Roger to get him in the car, Trey and I (and Roger) finally hit the road for a much needed vacation.  Poor Roger got to come along because we couldn’t separate him from Frank and Rufus for the week due to our unfinished bathroom floor.  Let me tell you, if there’s one thing cats love, it’s a good road trip…

“Meow.”
Where are you taking me?

“Meeeeeeow!”
Not the vet, anything but the vet!

“MEEEEOOOOOOWWW!!!”
THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!

“MEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!””
HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM! THE WORLD IS OBVIOUSLY COMING TO AN END!!

By the time we got to mom & dad’s mountain house, Roger had calmed down a little…but he wasn’t happy about his new surroundings.  At first he stayed curled up behind the toilet with his ears pressed back and his hair standing on end, but then he discovered the couch and spent the next two days under it. 

While he was in hiding, Trey and I commenced relaxing like lazy bums: sleeping late, lounging around in our pajamas, watching cable (real CABLE TELEVISION!), and creating this website.  It’s strange how being removed from your house allows you to relax so much more completely than you ever could at home.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so rested. 

We spent Tuesday doing mostly nothing – and it was indeed as glorious as it sounds.  Wednesday we decided to get out a little by visiting the local driving range to remind ourselves how much we both truly suck at golf and by lounging by the pool.  As we laid there, roasting in the sun (I can’t remember the last time I had a sunburn, and strangely, I’ve missed it), Trey pseudo-napping and me reading Eat Pray Love (I sincerely hope my enjoyment of the book doesn’t ruin the movie for me), we were interrupted suddenly: from amid the laughter of the children splashing around in the shallow end, came a blood-curdling scream:  “DIE EVIL DEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Kids say the darndest things.

That night, Trey and I got gussied up for  a night on the town.  We planned on dining at a little pizza joint we’d enjoyed before, but since the town of Waynesville shuts down at 9pm, they were locking the doors as we were walking up.  In the spirit of going with the flow, we walked across the street to Ceviche’s.  With a name like that, I had no idea what kind of cuisine they featured – and I’m kind of a picky eater.  But they were open, and the waitress was friendly.

When I say it’s the best meal I’ve had in forever, I mean it (excluding, of course, birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory).  Meatloaf, smothered in homemade mashed potatoes, corn, three cheeses and made from scratch gravy.  Heaven.  And to top it all off, one of the sweetest, richest carrot cakes I’ve ever tasted, and yes, they did drizzel caramel over it.  Divine. Even the reheated leftovers were amazing.

Roger seems to be finally comfortable with his new surroundings…just in time for us to scoop him up and take him back home tomorrow.  I’m sure he’ll never understand why we kidnapped him for these few days, but secretly, I think he liked it. 

Oh, how I wish we could stay here forever, in our private little mountain cottage without a care in the world, doing my favorite thing ever…being complete and total lazy bums :)

when I grow up

Ask your average 3rd grader and they’ll have a ready made response…ask your average college student and they’ll stare at you blankly as tears well up in their eyes and they fight back the urge to kick you in the shin.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An astronaut, a cowboy, ballerina, teacher, doctor, lawyer, investment banker, missionary, preacher, photographer, actor, lounge singer, scuba diver, international spy…

As my 29th birthday was fast approaching, I realized something: I still don’t know the answer to that question.  But, thankfully, I’ve grown out of the desire to cry and kick people when they ask me.  Somewhere along the way, we make a timeline for ourselves.  I thought that by 25 I’d be married, thinking of children and well on my way to my desired career path.  Now I’m 29 (holy cow…I’m TWENTY NINE!) and only one of those things has been checked off the grand To-Do list of my life.  And strangely, that’s an okay place to be.

So, maybe I can’t tell you what I want to be when I grow up, but I CAN tell you this:  I do not want to be a stock supervisor, store manager, courier, receptionist or office manager.  And since I’m no longer any of those things, I find myself both terrified and excited at the prospect of finding a new job…even better, a career.  The things I’ve loved doing in each of my past jobs were the things that were extra, not the things in my job description.  At the Gap, I loved dressing the mannequins; at Hallmark, I loved arranging displays; at the law firm, it was decorating for Christmas.  It’s the creative aspects that I got to include in each of my past jobs that I really enjoyed.  Whether it’s arranging words on a page, designing fliers and invitations, ripping out the bathroom floor only to build a new one, or arranging displays of knick-knacks, I’m happiest when my creative side can play.   

When I grow up, I want to create :)

project powder room: intermission

Somehow, in the midst of Project Powder Room, I got lost…distracted…saw-something-shiny-and-couldn’t-focus. And that something shiny came with the delivery of my very first piece of REAL art :) I fell in love with My Painting at the Valdes exhibit at Hub-Bub during the run of Gutenberg: The Musical. And then, when the day finally came for the gallery opening, I got there only to find that My Painting had been SOLD! Lucky for me, it was sold to Todd Stephens, my former neighbor/all-around fabulous human being, who (after much begging on my behalf) sold it to me. Now, when you buy a painting at a gallery opening you don’t get to take it home with you…you have to wait until the exhibit closes before you can get your art. And HERE is where Intermission begins…

Smack dab in the middle of Project Powder room came the close of the Valdes exhibit…meaning I had a bright new colorful painting that looked horribly out of place on the mantle of our earth-toned living room. So, while Trey was distract…er…busy filling a hole in the bathroom wall, I started rearranging things…a few knick-knacks from the guest room, a picture here and there…and before I knew it, we’d bought new curtains and a decorative hour glass and I’d totally reworked the living room. And of course, like with Project Powder Room, I have no “Before” picture to show for it.

project powder poom: part 1

“You have a great starter home!”

The first time I heard this, it sounded like a back-handed compliment. Starter home? As if we needed training wheels to have our own house. Ladies and gentlement, I am here to tell you that yes, you DO need training wheels. Home ownership is great…it’s fantastic…you get to do things like paint and remodel without the permission of a landlord! But you also don’t get to call the landlord when something breaks, or when the lawn needs some attention, or when there’s a leak. No, you are solely responsible for taking care of those things on your own.

Ever since Trey and I got married, and I moved into his house (now, our house), there have been certain home-improvement projects that I’ve been dying to get my hands on…probably more than any other, was the overall make-better bathroom project. For those of you who have never been to our house, the hall bathroom (my bathroom – Treyuses the tiny bathroom off the master bedroom…I have too much crap to be confined to that space) is fine. Just fine. Not super welcoming or cozy, as I like for bathrooms to be. You know what I mean…don’t you love it when you’re a guest in someone’s home and the bathroom is all neat and clean and has matching hand towels and candles lit? It makes you feel like you’re not invading anyone’s privacy, like it’s the “guest bathroom.” My bathroom’s not like that. Mostly because the sink is cluttered with moisturizer and makeup brushes and random hair products.

Let me paint you a picture: the walls of the bathroom are cream colored, there’s panelling around the room (about 4.5 feet high) with a chair rail at the top – the panelling is yellow. There’s a white vanity with a medicine cabinet above that’s so rusty that it can’t be used, a cabinet that reaches from floor to ceiling, and a window that looks into the laundry room.  And for almost 3 years now, it’s been begging for some DIY attention.

Well…not any more.

hail to the chief

The top 10 actors I would most likely vote for should they run for President (please note that in this particular scenario my decision has nothing whatsoever to do with how well they might be able to run the country and everything to do with how awesome they are otherwise):

10. Kevin Kline – Have you seen Dave? Go rent it. Really. Because how can you NOT want Kevin Kline as president after hearing his rendition of Hail to the Chief? “Hail to the Chief, he’s the one we all say hail to.”

9. Bill Pullman – If you don’t trust Bill Pullman to save your country (and the world) from alien invasion after seeing Independence Day, well then you just don’t have any faith. Not only is he totally dashing (a fantastic presidential characteristic), he’s level headed and cool as a cucumber.

8. Diane Keaton – She’s confident, strong, no-nonsense but not without a sense of humor. Oh, and also, when I vote for her I’m not voting for her character in The First Wives Club, I’m voting for her in The Family Stone. Just so that’s clear.

7. Colin Firth – Why not have a Brit? Since I’m making the rules here, I say I’ll take a State of the Union Address with a British accent ANY DAY.

6. Annette Benning – While I know she wasn’t the president in An American President, her character made me think she could have been. Which is why Annette has my vote. She fights for the little guy.

5. Don Cheadle – I just love him…don’t you?

4. Sigourney Weaver – Sigourney Weaver could rule the country and the world and she’d kick some ass and take some names along the way – all while looking totally stunning. Like Bill Pullman, she could also totally save us from Alien (get it? Alien???) domination.

3. Michael Douglas – If Annette Benning’s performance in An American President as the president’s girlfriend earns her a place on this list, then certainly Michael Douglas earned his spot by playing the president. He also rocked my socks off in The Game. Which is why he’d have my vote.

2. Tom Hanks – I mean, the name speaks for itself. If Ronald Reagan can be president when all he did on the silver screen was play a cowboy, then Tom Hanks can certainly take over – he’s brilliant. And also selfless…he did offer to jump into a volcano to save a small island. “He can GET the job, but can he DO the job.” Heck yes he can! – “I’m not arguing that with you!”

1. Morgan Freeman – Okay, I’d have a hard time not voting for Morgan Freeman for president if he really ran. Seriously. Even if you only take his performance as the voice over guy for Visa, I’d still vote for him. But when you add in The Shawshank Redemption and Batman Begins (that is purely a reference to his particular character, not the movie as a whole)? How could anyone in their right mind NOT vote for this man?

I hope you found that entertaining and took it as a glimpse into how my twisted mind works…but not as any sort of insight into how I actually vote. Just so that’s clear.

squeaky clean

Yesterday I had my semi-annual dentist visit. I love my dentist office. I always have the same hygienist, Robin, who insists on telling me I have beautiful teeth. “If more people took care of their teeth like you do, I’d be out of a job.” She’s precious. And she always asks me about theatre. What shows are going on, what role I’m playing, would it be appropriate for so-n-so’s grand kids to see? However, while I love her chit-chat, I must say it’s a bit difficult for me to return the conversation when her hands are in my mouth! I mean, yes, that’s her job – to get in there and clean my teeth and make sure all my pearly whites are super healthy…but don’t ask me questions when you know I can’t talk! Also, have you ever noticed that when the hygienist is flossing your teeth, she (yes, she – have YOU ever met a male dental hygienist?) rests her hands on your face and pushes off on your chin/nose/cheeks for leverage. That’s just weird. And then your face is all powdery from the latex gloves. Eew.

While I understand that going to the dentist is no one’s favorite thing to do, I hate it for a different reason. I don’t mind the poking and prodding, the pushing off my chin to floss my teeth, the long waits, or the suction tube thingy that they stick in your face…I hate not knowing where to look. If you look straight up, the light is in your face and your eyes start watering. If you look to the left, it’s like you’re being rude and looking away. But if you look to your right, there are boobs in your face! And you certainly can’t make eye contact with the person who has their hands and several utensils stuffed in your pie hole…that’d just be awkward. Can you close your eyes? Seriously…what’s the etiquette there?

lifeguard

This morning I overslept…like I do every morning. I stumbled to the kitchen to feed Frank & Rufus, then dragged a protesting Roger to the bathroom to feed him (he’s allergic to normal cat food so we have to feed him separately). Roger was finishing up his expensive breakfast of prescription cat food as I hopped in the shower…leaving him meowing in protest on the other side of the green and brown wall of the shower curtain. I had barely finished verse one of Beyond the Sea (who loves Bobby Darin? that’d be me) when Roger leaped onto the ledge of the tub, between the curtain and the clear shower liner. He stared at me, confused, wanting to save me from drowning. He paced the length of the bathtub, meowing words of comfort and aid: MEOOOOOOW (“It’s okay, I’ll get you out of there”), MEEEEEEOWW (“Hang in there, I’ll save you!”). Eventually he gave up, realizing he was no match for the clear plastic force field that had me pinned under water. My hero collapsed in defeat – his front legs straddling the sides of the tub, his chin resting on the surface with his eyes looking up at me apologetically and his long black tail swishing back and forth down the inside of the tub, barely poking through beneath the shower liner to leave a trail of fuzzy black cat hair on the bottom of my tub.

I love my handsome man :)

rest

I assume that last night I dreamt it was Friday and was discussing my Saturday plans with someone.
I assume this because I remember thinking upon waking that it couldn’t be Friday. And I said so to Trey as I rolled over in my still half asleep state: “How is it possible that it’s ONLY Thursday?” I groaned. “Baby…it’s Wednesday.” I groaned again and rolled over praying that the clock would allow me 15 more minutes of sleep…it didn’t. In fact, it was 8:38 and I have to be at work at 9:00. At that point I may or may not have uttered a few explitives and ran as fast as my sleeping legs could carry me to the shower.

Why is it that I can sleep for over 9 hours at night and not feel the slightest bit rested? What does that say about my general health and well-being? I get moderate exercise (thanks to weeding) and I don’t allow myself caffiene in the evening or late afternoon. Also – I’m NOT EVEN 30 YET! So why can’t I rest? The obvious answer would be that my brain is still going 90 miles an hour and therefore I can’t fall asleep – but it’s not, and I can. It’s just that when I wake up it feels like I haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep. I feel disoriented – liked I’ve been ripped from a Sunday afternoon nap too soon. I ache. I have joint pain. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Maybe I should take vitamins.

growth

Last Wednesday I was talking with friends regarding my reservations about auditioning for a show. I love the show and would love to do it any other time – but (strangely) I’ve recently found a love of yard work! Meg Foster (is awesome) looked at me and said “I’m glad you’re enjoying your garden, but did you ever think there’d come a time when you’d say you’d rather do yard work than be in a play?”
The answer is no – if you’d told me even 2 months ago that I would refuse to audition for a summer play so that I could do yard work in in the heat and mosquitos I would have put money against you. I think what it amounts to is that Trey and I have had this huge list of things to do to the house (mostly yard related) since he bought it almost 2 years ago and now (for some inexplicable reason) I have the drive to do it! So rather than auditioning for a show I adore I decided not to take the chance and to claim my free summer! And it was strangely liberating.

Yesterday I went shopping and got a trowel and potting soil and some hanging baskets and seeds and weedex fabric to prevent weeds from growing up around my shrubbery. Now all I need is a bunch of mulch and some rocks and to get the lawn mower out of the shop and my yard will be well on its way to fabulousness!