what time is it?

Sooo... last night it was time to "fall back." I've forgotten to change my clocks in the past and shown up both an hour late and an hour early to various things.

It was very important I remember to reset my clocks last night, though, as I had to get up for Sunday School this morning.

Oh, I remembered. Rest assured, this is not one of those "I showed up and nobody was there!!" stories. I reset my clocks.

However, I did have a bit of a time situation this morning. A situation due, no doubt, to my wireless provider. Oh yes, my friends, my telefonino did not automatically change times. Of course since my phone is supposed to receive its time from the Official Location of the Time, located way out there in TimeLand, I was sure I had mistakenly changed my clocks. I was SURE I was going to be an hour late for Sunday School, especially since it looked too bright out.

I had no idea what to do. It was either 6:45 OR 7:45 in the morning (I wasn't sure) and I was pre-coffee. I couldn't possibly think to turn on the Weather Channel. So I called my mother (who has the same wireless provider). Her clocks said 6:45, but phone also said 7:45. WE must have been wrong, the Official Location of Time surely couldn't be. It was only after our brief conversation and many unsuccessful calls to Time and Weather (we had the number wrong) that it occurred to me to turn on the TV. Oh, right... it was only 6:45. Ahem. At this point I was far too awake to go back to sleep.

My phone still said 7:45, and it was wrong for a couple more hours. So were my parents' phones and my roommate's phone and my roommate's parents' phones. When I saw my mother at church this morning, she said "Erika! It's supposed to be brighter! It's just darker at night."

Oh. Right. Stupid wireless provider. BUT I STILL GET THE FREE MINUTES. And no, I'm not switching.



crazy lady, the prez, 7-11

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was already late. Even with the pledge drive trying to push me out of bed, my down comforter and purring cat were just too appealing.

And my roommate was awake already. My roommate is rarely awake when I'm getting ready for work.

Do you have traffic court?
No, I have homework.

I make my coffee, feed my cat and get ready to go.

Then there was a knock on the door. I saw it was the crazy lady from next door. I know now I shouldn't have answered it.

Are you about to leave?
In a minute, yes.
I was wondering if you had time to take me up to 7-11. Just up the street.

She points towards one of our two 7-11s within walking distance.

Uh, sure.

I finish gathering my things and go out to the car. I pick her up next door.

Now, let me take a moment to tell you about our "crazy neighbors." These are the people whose empty cans of Beast and cigarette butts always end up in our yard. This lady gets in to hit-and-run accidents (I know this because of my roommate's profession) on a regular basis. For the longest time we were sure the husband was dead, because we hadn't seen him in months. They've been nothing but friendly to us, but I know they has difficulties.

When I saw her yesterday she had crusted up blood on her lips and teeth and I wondered if she would ask me to take her to the hospital. I've seen fire trucks and ambulances outside their house at least twice since I've lived here. Nope, 7-11 please.

I was already late, and I could hear my mother's voice in my head.

She had many questions and bits of advice for me:

Don't marry an alcoholic.
My coffee
[cause that's all she got at sevs] is all I have that I enjoy anymore.
I used to be a pretty woman.
Are you finding any good men out there?
What do you do for a living?

I struggled for conversation even in the short drive to and from 7-11. I talked about the President's visit to downtown Norfolk, I talked about the weather. I made sympathetic noises. I felt a bit of hypocrisy as I told her to have a nice day, too when she got out of the car back at her house. Hadn't she just told me many reasons she probably would not have a nice day? No, not because she's in a different financial situation than I am, not because I pray my grandma doesn't become as lonely as she seems, but because she's not happy with her husband right now, she thinks the prime of her life is over, and she seemed so full of regret as she sat next to me.

My roommate and I do the best we can by our neighbors; we've both cut their grass and wheeled their trash can to and from the curb. You know, the way you'd want your loved ones to be treated-- that's how we were brought up. But I do wonder why it occurred to her to ask me for a ride, and I wonder if she would've asked HotCop if I hadn't answered the door.

Maybe she just needed a little company.

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time to move on.

I'm tired of the bridge.
I'm tired of the tunnel.
I'm tired of the commute.

It's time to move on.

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this how i feel about his arrest, too.

Smile away, Senator.

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not a lot to say.

I love words, though I don't have anything specific to say right now.

Had a lovely dinner with Bb and Joe this evening... Good to catch up (all sober and stuff) and hear stories about Joe's decorating skills, times in Vegas, and boys, boys, boys!!

This is the time of year I tend to hibernate. Summer's ending, winter hasn't begun. Last fall Kate and I would stay in and just hang. Then autumn turned in to winter and you could find me most Saturdays at Scotty Quixx or Guadalajara.

When a friend informs you of her impending out-of-state move in a text message, does that count as telling you? Bb said tonight a text is how you communicate without actually communicate; you can say you're sorry without the humility, you can say inappropriate things without the repercussions, you can point to it in your defense. "But... didn't you get my text?"

If you cared, you would call. If you cared, you would answer the phone when I call. If you cared, you would be in touch other than times when you feel depressed.

No, I don't think I will be showing up at the County Grill on Halloween.

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opposite PETA...

...is what I started calling this organization in my head when I heard the teaser for their story on Marketplace.

Check out the whole story. I don't care this guy is Republican. I care he's a fake. YES I KNOW DEMOCRATS CAN BE FAKE, TOO. POLITICAL AFFILIATION IS NOT THE POINT.

For the lazy link-clickers (yes, self, you are one of them)-- a Congressman from California has been accused of taking trips paid for illegally by a private "environmental" nonprofit. Essentially, he is reaping the political benefits of supporting an organization which:

...tax documents show its financial backers include the Japan Whaling Association, the International Fur Traders Association, and a company that was shut down after its president was convicted of smuggling and of violating endangered species protections. The chemical company Monsanto is another major IFCNR funder.


Now, the people at that organization in Norfolk are not exactly the... ahem... sanest of folks... or most understanding... or even really effective. And, yes, they've had their PR nightmares recently... but holy smokes! At least they don't secretly support, say, Jennifer Lopez's clothing line!

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how much wine did i drink?

...I really have no idea. It's impossible to measure at one of those tastings.

Breadhouse wanted to know the details... Joe's got the pictures, but I will tell the story...

We arrived pretty close to when the 'fest opened... about 11:30, and found a nice shady spot to set up our chairs (which belong to my parents) and picnic basket (also my mom's) full of snacks (provided by us).

We hit the wine... It was a little intimidating at first, cause as much as I like wine, I know very little about it. The only stuff I know came from my semester in Italy and the movie Sideways. So the first couple booths I just winged it. I knew nothing about Virginia wine.

Joe and I had a great time the first couple of hours, tasting wine and snacking on our picnic- which contained no less than three kinds of cheese. We decided we had the cool picnic because we were the only ones who had this kind of cheese.

This was the mostly sober part of the day.

  • Virginia climate is great for Cabernet Franc grapes.
  • We tasted a LOT of Cabernet Sauvignon, but the best was at Afton Mountain Vineyards [Side note to sisters-- ahem, I mean people... who may want to get married possibly at Virginia wineries... these people were SO nice].
  • I tasted one or two Chardonnays, remembered I don't really like it until we got to Rockbridge Vineyard, and when the guy said "Chardonnay" and I made a face. "You may be surprised," he said. I was, and I bought two bottles. That's where Joe's favorite Tuscarora Red was.
  • We bought (and subsequently drank) a bottle of something I can't remember... from a place which had good wines, but a mean lady...
  • I strictly avoided the fruit wines.

...and then we ran into Baybreeze and Co... and thus ended the less drunk part of the day.

Part of the Co was actually one of my roommate's work colleagues. He and I had a chat, catching up on mutual acquaintances, including Mr. HotCop (P-har).

Many more glasses and bottles were emptied. Much wine-drunk (which is different than regular drunk) conversation occurred, the height of modern philosophy, and Work Colleague and I discussed politics. I showed off my Art Historical knowledge by informing everyone the Greek god of wine is Bacchus. (Thanks to Michelangelo for providing the art.).
  • I drank alot of wine which belonged to others at this point.
  • Watergate salad is so good.
  • I can't remember alot of what I said, but what I do remember is hi-larious.
  • Apparently "Not all liberals hate the military," according to wine-drunk me.
  • Also, "I've been a girl for 24 years... no wait... how old am I?"
  • "I don't want to send you a fax!"
  • I still strictly avoided the fruit wines.

    See my previous post for the results of this debacle.



Today, I was going to steam-clean my carpets and living room furniture.

Instead I baked a banana bread.

What year is this?



n oclever title

here is what i looked like at the wine festival:


like i belonged, right?

here is what i look like now, several hours after the wine festival. WARNING WARNING WARNING: THOSE OF YOU WITH WEAK CONSITUTIONS DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK. I REPEAT: DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK. THOSE OF YOU WHO EVER WANT TO EAT AGAIN DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK. I even linked to the small one but it is still scary. WARNING.


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yes, we needed the rain.

But MAN does this weather make feel tired.

and so it is
just like you said it would be
life goes easy on me
most of the time

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the yard sale.

Thanks to all who donated... my yard sale was a success! We raised over $250 for the hurricane victims. Special thanks to HotCop and Mr. HotCop (P-Har), Breadhouse and BookWorm, Aw-zee, and The Man Who Brings Me The Traditional Garage Sale Donuts. Big ups for all your help!

I had forgotten about the yard sale culture! P-Har, having been traumatized in childhood, only agreed to help with "heavy lifting. I'm not going to put shit on tables." As my mom said "That's why you're not dating him." That, and his blatant Republicanesque sensibilities, but another time...

At first, I was quite confident no one would show up. Especially when HotCop and Joe were LAUGHING AT THE MERCHANDISE and stressing the hell out of me. I woke up before my 6:00 alarm on Saturday, having woken up quite consistently every hour. And I'm a good sleeper, too. You can see how much effort I put into my appearance. And how tired I looked. It was early. Not to mention the fact I spent all day Friday going through stuff and convincing myself no one would show up, and I was pricing stuff too high, and I wouldn't make any money.

Sometimes I'm a pessimist.

It was kind of fun, though. We had a beautiful weekend (note the blue Virginia sky). It was great to use my yard for something. I didn't quite reach my goal of $300, but neither did we sell all of the furniture.

    Some highlights:
  • Breadhouse and BookWorm checking out the sale, the Beatrice and the area.
  • The little girls from down the street, who showed up with Dad's box of change. They went through all the silver coins quickly, and started paying pennies.
    -How much is this?
    -Oh, it's very expensive. It's $3.
    -I have three dollars. One...two...three...

    I let her count all the way to 100 before I told her to fill each of my hands up with pennies and we could call it even. Hey, it was for charity.
  • The 93 year old woman, who bought a fake flower arrangement, and wanted to sit with me until her son-in-law came to get her. She was going to walk to my house, but she just was too tired.
  • Bambi (not a nickname) and Flo (not a nickname) from the 'plex across the street practically buying out the shoe department. My feet are size 7.... as they fit perfectly into my size 9 shoes.
  • Making a difference in a different kind of way.

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worn out.

Is it wrong I missed shopping so much I've already started Christmas shopping? Merry Christmas, Erika, is what it's been the past few days. Just the three pairs of shoes.

And books, just the three books (for me).

And cookware, just the three pieces of Le Crueset cookware.

Plus some Christmas presents.

Fun shopping trip with My Lovely Tiffany and Joe today. He was patient. Lunch with Nora. I miss Nora- law school is for the birds.

The truth is, sometimes I don't think I'm meant to have an office job-- I'm really too much of a homebody. I like to travel, but I like the thought of thinking about my travels at home, on the couch even more.

But I feel productive, at least. There's work to be done. I am a solvent member of society again.

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during my unemployment...

When I first got laid off, I made a vow to read lots of books and watch lots of movies.

    Books I've Read (* denotes "crap"):
  • Armstrong, Lance with Sally Jenkins; It's Not About the Bike
  • Keyes, Marian; Last Chance Saloon*
  • Rowling, J.K.; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Rowling, J.K.; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Smith, Alexander McCall; The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • Smith, Alexader McCall; Tears of the Giraffe (More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)

    Netflix I've Watched (* denotes "encore presentations"):
  • American Splendor
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  • Closer*
  • Felicity, Junior Year (Discs 1-5)*
  • Guess Who?
  • The Last Kiss (L'Ultimo Baccio)
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • A Love Song for Bobby Long
  • The L Word (Discs 1-5)
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • Sneakers
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
  • Unfaithful*
  • The Upside of Anger
  • You Can Count On Me

    Other Movies:
  • Bewitched
  • March of the Penguins
  • Mad Hot Ballroom
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Plus innumerable hours of The Food Network. The list is surprisinglu short, I think.

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I made the most fabulous dinner tonight, consisting of a lovely bowl of pasta (I told you, I'm carb-loading) topped with my mother's homemade eggplant sauce.

Then it -all- fell on the floor.
Every last mini-penne and chunk of eggplant.
Not the kitchen floor, but the carpet.

And when you live with two cats, you don't just pick it up and eat it.