Tuesday, March 28, 2006

okay, okay, so i've been horribly remiss about posting lately. let's just say that i've been busy and leave it at that, shall we?

in truth, i've been up to all sorts of things--visiting with peops, working, figuring out my life, working, helping salimah pack, working, and thinking very important and interesting thoughts....you know the drill. my weeknights are filled with dinner making, TV watching (this is the best time of the year tv-wise for me), chit-chatting with friends, and oh yes, SLEEPING. i went through a period of weeks where i was lucky if i made it past 8:30 before zonking out on the couch. pathetic, i tell you.

so, at this point, i've got a few things brewing, but i'm hesitant to write about them here just yet. suffice it to say, though, that i'm trying to change and by the grace of God, i might just be able to do what it is that i want to do....we'll see.

before i jet to watch american idol, big thanks to all 2 of you in the blogosphere who still drop in to see if i've posted. when i make it big, you'll be at the top of the 'thank you' list;).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

inexplicably, i'm in kind of a lousy mood today. i worked from home and was relatively productive, got some baking done last night (2 kinds of scones - cinnamon-chocolate chip and cranberry-orange-white chocolate), and managed to tidy up for my uncle and cousin's arrival this evening, but even still, i feel bleh.

i'm hopeful that a weekend of some rest and downtime will cure what's ailing me. then again, it may go deeper than that....

Monday, March 13, 2006

i just had a truly crap dinner at applebee's. i met up with a former coworker and friend of mine and we tried to go to my favorite little mexican joint, but they are closed on mondays:(. so, since there was an applebee's a half mile away, we decided to go there.

okay, so first, i ordered a blue margarita, which was NASTY, so i sent it back. then, my entree was wrong, so i had to send that back. no one really apologized. didn't offer to give me something while i waited. nothing. when my meal did come out, it wasn't good. sure, the fries that came with it were hot, but that was pretty much the only decent thing about the experience. also, it was just hot in there....

moving on....

in other news, i wore my new brown shoes to work today and they are FABulously comfy. thanks be to God that i found them! my junky shoes were seriously doing a number on my back.

oh, and not that anyone else cares, but i'll be sporting my new foam-esque clogs tomorrow. go rack room! get your game on....

plus, i'm thankful that i'm still sportin' the good mood from this weekend. AND 24's on tonight. how bad can that be?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

full

what a great weekend i've just had!!

friday, i cut out of work early and met up with my parents in annapolis (they had come up for a weekend getaway). we had dinner together, just the three of us, which included some nice wine and lots of chatting. the food was just okay (we ate at the treaty of paris restaurant), but it was really more about the chance to see one another anyway....

i drove to and fro with the windows down, wind in my hair (oh, how i love it!), listening to ray lamontagne, a recent discovery of mine that salimah is now also loving. when i got home that night, i went to sleep relatively early for me (10:45, i think it was) and got up early on saturday morning to do some laundry and pay some bills in anticipation of needing to leave and gather salimah for annapolis part deux.

so, once i collected her, we headed back down there. the weather was even more beautiful yesterday than it had been on friday. we met up with my parents at hard bean coffee and books where the owner made me a 'killer' blood orange tea cooler with lime (my original choice had been less than stellar, and he promised me something much better for free). his creation was, indeed, much better than mine....

so after talking for awhile about the business salimah and i are trying (slowly) to get off the ground, we ambled over to buddy's crabs and ribs for lunch. then we did some window-shopping and after parting ways with my parents, salimah and i got some ice cream (at the annapolis ice cream company - so yums!) and then headed back out of town. on the way home, i managed to score some nice work-appropriate (but walking friendly) shoes at rack room and then we hit the n.y. pizza company in owings mills for some delightful pepperoni calzone (with ricotta in it - so heavenly) and an italian hot cut.

today, after getting some much-needed tidying and organizing done, i decided to take us out to dinner at bonefish grill. we had some truly delicious drinks (georgia peach martini for her and passion fruit martini for me) and a really wonderful meal of grilled pork chops with fontina cheese and a mushroom-wine sauce. after splitting a piece of key lime pie for dessert, we trundled off to the car, i dropped her home, and here i am back in the quiet of my place. tomorrow morning will come early, i'm sure, but for now, i feel satisfied, relaxed, and glad to have had such a full and really lovely weekend.

meanwhile, ray is singing me into the oblivion, and i'm sure that crawling into bed is right around the corner.

g'night, world.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

more hope

it's so utterly quiet in my apartment right now. all i hear is the gentle hum of my cpu and the clock tick-ticking away in the bathroom (it IS a bit cave-like in there, so the echo is great). my mind has been wandering all over the map this evening. i just got home about 40 minutes ago from salimah's; i had gone to take her home and decided to help her with a bit more packing before this week got underway.

last night, we went to church, then out for cheeseburgers, and then home to try and watch 'elizabethtown' without success -- we were both entirely too beat for a movie. so, this morning, we woke up around 7:30 and finished watching it. now, while i enjoyed the majority of the film, i absolutely LOVED the last 15 minutes or so. it inspired me. i won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the flick yet, but suffice it to say that i connected completely with this particular car trip the main male character took. and to accompany him on his voyage, the main female character had prepared a book for him. salimah later remarked to me that she felt it was something i would have done....so characteristically 'me.' and i realized - she's right.

but then, along with that came another realization. that's a 'me' that's been packed away for a long time. a 'me' i thought might have gone on permanent hiatus.

and then, later, when salimah asked me if i still think of myself as a singer (this was truly a non-sequitur), i honestly had to think for awhile. because, see, in the 5 years that i was involved with/dated a professional musician, he never seemed to be really that interested in me as a fellow musician. i mean, i know he knew i could sing, but that (along with my love of music) didn't seem to be something about me that was special to him. which, i guess, made it not that special to me anymore either....and so many other things about me that are worth exploring, he never even tried to dig deeper to find. for a long time, i didn't understand my own value, so this was okay with me. i figured anything he'd find he wouldn't like anyway. so i was all too compliant to have him know about me only what he saw and was told.

wow, no wonder this 'me' has been in hiding. no one has really welcomed her for a long time -- me included. well, lately she's been knocking at my heart...urging me to remember....relentlessly proclaiming what she wants and is and feels. if i listen, she'll help me unlock some doors. point me back to the sweetness i've known in a relationship with God that's been too stale for too long. teach me how i've grown and can make better choices now. connect me with the girl who liked the wind in her hair, who sang loud, who prayed hard, who loved and felt passionately. God, what a gift. i'm starting to recall the things i've forgotten, but in the remembering, there is more joy than there was the first time through. more tears. more uncertainty. more hope.

because maybe no man on this earth will come looking for me in that way. and sitting here alone tonight, i have to welcome that as a possibility. but one thing i know is this: if that never happens, my heart has been opened by the One who's known me all along - all my quirks and fears and deep-down wishes and the silly things i sing and say when no one's around. and i know now how much i mean to Him. i feel His pleasure when i do the things He created me to do. i treasure His presence in my room this very moment. like i said, there's more 'uncertainty' now in my life as a woman who's started things over from the beginning. it's scary to do this again. but man, it feels much better this time around to know that i'm okay. and that i'm going to be. see? more hope. more hope.

more hope.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

on-the-spot

yesterday ended a truly grueling week work-wise. i was so busy, it was hard to come up for air. BUT, i got my huge project done, and now i can relax a bit into some slightly less demanding tasks. important, but not as deadline-driven.

after work, i went to drop some empty boxes off at salimah's place in preparation for her upcoming move, and then we went to donna's at cross keys (where donna herself was hanging out and clearing tables last night) and had a lovely dinner: warm roasted beets, goat cheese, and orange slices over arugula with raspberry vinaigrette to start, and their warm roast beef sandwich with roasted onions, provolone cheese, and tomatoes on toasted ciabatta with horseradish mayo. so divine. our waiter had lovely blue eyes and was very johnny-on-the-spot with bringing refills and answering my somewhat annoying (i'm sure) questions with ease and aplomb. when it came time to order dessert, salimah had already been eyeing a chocolate mousse tart at the next table (basically, pure, melt-in-your mouth mousse on some type of barely-there crust), and as "johnny" (whose name was jeff, actually) ran down the list of other options, my ears perked up when i heard about a lemon concoction. when he finished speaking, i looked at him simply and said, 'you had me at the lemon tart.' we exchanged a brief moment of banter in which he seemed to understand, on a visceral level, how much the lemon (as an entity) means to me:). anyway, he trundled off to collect our sweets as we talked animatedly about our ridiculously long days, flirty vibes with younger boys (salimah!!), and inappropriate comments from sweet but kind of dirty older men. it was funny and charming, and the women at the tables next to us were kind of endearing in a way.

a few moments later, our waiter returned with one plate, containing only the chocolate mousse creation and informed me, regretfully, that there was no more lemon tart to be had that evening. i was disheartened, to be sure, but i asked for an extra fork and salimah and i proceeded to share her delight. i'm telling you, this mousse was like buttah. a couple of minutes into wolfing it down, however, johnny shows up with another plate and a bit of spring in his step and gleefully informs me that he has, in fact, searched and found me the last piece of lemon tart in the building. i think i may have gasped out loud.

so, it was on to sharing dessert #2, which was JUST as delightful, although completely different than the chocolate love. we left feeling fully satisfied, warmed up, and ready to slide our way into a good night's rest in preparation for today's packing endeavor.

what struck me most about that dinner experience was that my waiter treated me the way that a man should. he was patient and kind. he engaged me in what interested me, and he knew when something meant a lot, and he tried his best to make that happen. it made me realize more and more how the dearth of men in my life over the last several years (friends-only men, even) has really impacted me. it's left a longing there to be known by some interesting, kind male people who are also trying to find their own way in this world. people with whom you can grab a drink and talk about whatever, without there being strings. people with whom if something DID develop into more, it would be out of pure interest and not emotional baggage. besides, i have women friends in spades at this point in my life. what i lack is much in the way of male presence.

so, short of hanging out at that donna's and waiting for mr. on-the-spot to strike up a convo, i need to place myself in other scenarios where the possibility of friendship is imminent.

who knew that a lemon tart could open up the world like this?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

and another one down, and another one down....

after a long-as-heck day of working from home yesterday, i had a jam-packed work day (no time for lunch, people). man, i was so tired when i left there, i don't even remember my drive home....

and speaking of home, once i made it to my apartment, i set about the task of making a quick dinner - cut up some chicken breasts into fingers, breaded them and got them in a pan; made some cheesy rice; and roasted some green beans. while those cooked, i washed dishes from yesterday's baking extravaganza. then, after i'd eaten and gotten myself a bit more "energized," i baked the cookies i'd been holding off on until this evening. so, those are done and packaged up, and once i take them with me to work tomorrow, all my good-deed baking will be done. of course, that's not entirely true, because a friend of mine is having a birthday this weekend, so i'm baking her a cake (of which, i think, she's unaware). sometimes the fun never ends....

and speaking of neverending fun, i bought some grapefruit (i'm so obsessed!) italian soda at trader joe's the other night. yeah, suffice it to say that i drank almost the entire bottle this evening. okay, so 3/4 of it. it's so freaking good. looks like i'll be making a special trip back there this weekend to stock UP.

and speaking of the weekend (yay!), i'm helping salimah pack for her upcoming move. other than that, it'll be church and chillin....it's the first weekend in awhile that i don't have any freelance work to do. i'm gonna enjoy it while it lasts:).

and speaking of lasts, i got nothin' left to say. sleep tight, y'all....thank God tomorrow is friday!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

the smell of victory

i worked from home today and, thankfully, was able to get a lot of stuff accomplished. i've been sitting under a big deadline, and there always just seems to be something else to do....

anyway, around 4:30, i decided to take a break and do some baking. and no, this wasn't an inspired decision. see, in october, we held a silent auction to benefit the komen foundation and the prez of my company purchased two baked goods items to be claimed at a later date. well, this, my friends, is the later date. SO, i just made two lemon pound cakes (glazed with lemon/triple sec and sugar) and mixed up a batch of cookie dough (whole grain cookies with oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts). i feel pretty satisfied that i got so much done in just about an hour and a half. the cakes are cooling in the dining room, and now i'm back to work....

i must say, though, it is rather distracting to sit and smell the delightful aroma of lemon and liquor and buttery cake wafting through my apartment. must control myself. it's for a good cause after all:).
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