Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Partial List of Things the Rest of the World Seems to Love and Yet Toward Which I Remain Rather Lukewarm*

  • Coffee
  • Mad Men
  • Lock-and-Locks
  • Sushi
  • Any of the young stars/starlets on currently on the Disney Channel, except Selena Gomez, who I find rather adorable
  • Jane Eyre
  • Roller coasters
  • Most of the apps on Facebook
  • American Idol
  • Engagement photos where the bride and groom dress in similar outfits
  • Beer
  • In Style magazine
  • Coach bags
  • Anything related to the Twilight series (books and movies)
  • Wings (chicken, buffalo, hot, etc)
  • Will Ferrell, except in Elf

*Idea once again borrowed from another, better blogger than I--Holly at NBB.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Further adventures in independent living

Last weekend I went home to Tennessee for the wedding of one of my high school friends. In addition to the main event, I also had a highly successful shopping trip with Mom (two stores, two dresses, two pairs of shoes, all on sale—and none of it from Ann Taylor Loft!). But that is not relevant to this story. This story is about what happened later.

I drove back on Sunday afternoon, making record time and immediately finding princess parking. By 9 pm, I was just settling onto my couch for an hour with the dreamy Alex O’Loughlin when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something scurry from under the radiator into the darkened kitchen.


I sat there frozen for what seemed like hours—it was probably about 30 seconds—considering my options. I settled on two: a) panic, or b) handle the situation.

As I sat there, I heard a quiet rustling from the kitchen.

I went with option c) panic, and make someone else handle it—Marlon, the super. I called him to see if he had any mouse traps. He didn’t. I was going to have to face this alone.

So! Time to obtain some traps. But first, I steeled myself, flipped on the kitchen light, and peeked around the corner. I gingerly picked up the trashbag and nearly had a heart attack when the furry inteloper went skittering from under the bag to behind the fridge.

I took the bag, fled, closed the door, and then made use of the stack of old magazines and catalogs that I’ve been accumulating for the last two years.

Yes, my Crisis Handling Skillz are remarkable, and no, I don’t have any idea where I obtained not one but two copies of Marie Claire. I don’t read Marie Claire. I don’t recall EVER reading Marie Claire.

I also closed the bedroom door and used the bathmat to seal off the crack at the bottom. Heaven forbid this renegade rodent make his way from the kitchen through the apartment to the bedroom while I was out.

Anyway, I went to CVS and stood in front of the pest control section for about five minutes. With each product, I pictured the scenario where I would be forced to dispose of the creature. None of them pleased me, as unfortunately, none were the kind I wanted--the kind where you don't have to actually SEE the mouse, which is the only mouse trap I could even consider touching post-catch.

I bought two of the least horrifying traps and reluctantly headed home.

During the three minute walk from CVS to my door, I had an internal debate about whether, as a Strong, Independent Woman, I was capable of handling this alone. By the time I got home—which was only about 20 minutes from the initial Mouse Sighting—I had come to terms with the fact that there was no way in hell I was going back in that kitchen without reinforcements. The question was, which of my friends (who live within a five-minute walk) could I call on a Sunday night who might actually come to my aid? I considered the options:

1) J, who once rescued me from a mouse—albeit a dead one—when we were housemates, would tell me to man up and deal with it. And then he would hang up.
2) Ed is more of a wuss than I am about mice, having FREAKED OUT when I saw one in the kitchen at our old house.
3) Val, who had a mouse in her apartment back when she lived alone. She named him (Maximus) and FED HIM CHEESE. Once she figured out how he was getting in, she sealed up the hole, but it was obvious that as a Friend of Mice, she was not a suitable ally in the war that I was preparing to wage. Also, pride prevented me from calling her. Not sure why.

That left Eric. Whom I had not spoken to in approximately a month. But the situation was dire, and I was willing to risk the fact that he might feel rather…used. I texted him: “First of all, hi. Second of all, MAYDAY. Can you come over immediately?”

Mouse: 1
Independent woman: 0

Following some negotiations, and also, I am not ashamed to admit, some begging, Eric arrived. He took one look at my barricades, rolled his eyes, entered the kitchen, and did a cursory search. No mouse in the cabinets, no mouse behind the fridge, no mouse—apparently—still in the kitchen. FOR NOW. We set the traps, I secured all the food in the cabinets, and Eric left.

Not long after going to bed, I heard a mild racket coming from the kitchen. It sounded like my visitor had perhaps gotten caught. Rather than investigate, I put in earplugs. I slept with the lights on in the living room, figuring that Ratatouille would be disinclined to venture from the kitchen though a brightly lit room to my bedroom.

The next morning, I chose not to investigate the situation in the kitchen, but instead left Marlon a note asking him to check the traps. He did. No mouse.

So here we are, a week later, and still no mouse. I choose to believe that it got partially caught, freed itself, and is too freaked out to come back.

The magazine barricade, however, is still in place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Best Friends’ Weddings

In the last month, I have successfully married off four of my best friends.
What a relief. That’s four dowries I don’t need to worry about anymore.
September was a whirlwind. Ed and Val’s wedding on the 12th was a circus—in a good way, naturally. J and I drove up on Saturday, after a false start to go retrieve his best man toast.

[on his toast]
J: I start off talking about the public option and wrap it up by talking about Jesus.
Me: Sounds like a barn burner.

And from there, the weekend was chockablock (to use an apropos British-ism): the rehearsal and dinner on Friday, a late night at The Old Corner, lunch with the bride and all the gals on wedding day, the ceremony (duh), a fabulous reception (and NOT such a late night—we were tiiiiired), and wrapping up with a post-wedding brunch on Sunday morning. A large group of us—AU alums, London mates, and current DC friends—came to fete the happy couple, and it was awesome. The best weddings are the ones that reunite friends and family from far and wide, and this one was exactly that.

London mates

Frankly, the weekend could only have been improved if I had managed to avoid spilling food on my dress ten minutes into the reception—AGAIN.

On Sunday afternoon, it was back to D.C. to unpack, repack, and spend a few days in the office. Ash and I spent our evenings with the phone glued to our ears as we feverishly assembled a gorgeous scrapbook for our beloved Jules….

If I never see another glue stick, it will be too soon.
Ash logged hours on FedEx’s website tracking another special package ….

Possibly the coolest gift of all time. If we do say so.

…and I painstakingly be-dazzled a t-shirt for the bride. (I freely admit that I stole this idea from Valerie’s sister, who gave her a similar one.)

Thursday I was off to Ohio, stopping to fetch Ash at the Cleveland airport on the way in. And then it was time for Round 2. Friday featured a "Julebilation Celebration" (TM Ashley) with the bridesmaids (tea and mani/pedis)…

The bride and 3 of her 4 maids

…the rehearsal…

…and dinner. And Saturday began bright and early with preparations…

Jules getting beautiful. Or, rather, beautiful-er.

...followed by photos, the ceremony, more photos, and the reception. Sunday morning, we took breakfast over to the B’s house for a few more hours of quality time before we hit the road.
Family photo
Having known both the bride and groom for so many years, it was like a family wedding for me. (Jules’ dad? Washed my car. It was sitting in the driveway while we were out, and when we got back, it and their red Taurus were shiny and clean.) I know the parents, siblings, grandparents, many of the aunts, uncles, and cousins, and even some of the high school friends. College friends assembled from Missouri to Chicago to DC and more. It was surreal and wonderful. There were many (happy) tears, much laughter, and a whole lot of dancing.

This is what happens when you put "Cotton-Eyed Joe" on in M's presence.
And now it’s all over. Three weddings down, one to go!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something shiny. Metaphorically, anyway.

So I know I've been MIA and that I owe my faithful readers a substantial post--or five--on the various happenings of the last month. I promise I will get to that, probably this weekend. But for now, may I distract you with this adorable video? It has been making the rounds at my office, and nobody can stop watching it. Make sure your sound is on.