Sunday, February 13

Happy love day

Two Valentine's Day-themed posts is a little much, but love is a good thing.  (And also it's 10pm, the Grammys are almost over, and I need to procrastinate just a little longer.)

I had a great weekend.  On Friday my mom and I chatted about life and love over lunch; she told me about her and my dad's first Valentine's Day as a married couple and we laughed.  On Saturday my dad and I drove up to visit my grandparents.  Grandmama made her amazing spaghetti - it's better than the real Italian stuff, I swear.  And Pop-Pop got out WWII- and Vietnam-era guns (I held a bazooka!) and we enjoyed peppermint tea and chocolate chip cookies.

This is a photo series of couples who've been married fifty years or longer.  It's been popping up in the blogosphere this week and it's beautiful.  It made me stop and think about how so many members of my family - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - model healthy, long-lasting, meaningful relationships.  In short, I'm really thankful for that.

I just opened my Valentine's gift from my parents (oops, I was supposed to wait) and it includes a Books-A-Million gift card.  I'm really thankful my family likes books, too.  

We've decided that tomorrow night's Valentine's Day dinner will consist of homemade lasagna and cupcakes (maybe a can of green beans, maybe not), chocolate, and, if Kibwe doesn't mind, "Gone With The Wind."  Classic.

I will also mention the boy we like to call Dave who is sound asleep in London as I type.  Public declarations of affection make me uncomfortable.  But if I may use understatements, I like this boy a whole lot and can't wait until he gets here in 17 days.

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


Friday, February 11

Valentine's Day & pie shops

I'm slowly going through the photos on my cell phone and saving the better ones.  Here's a pretty Antigua shot.  (I WANT WARM WEATHER!)

Last week I saw the movie "Norma Rae" for the first time and loved it.  It was filmed right down the road from Auburn in Opelika.  Sometime soon I want to take a mini road trip and visit some of the old textile factories and neighborhoods.  

Shelley was talking to our friend about the movie and about Southern towns that've lost lots of people and charm since factories shut down, and our friend told her about Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama.

Pie Lab is a creative restaurant, an artsy community development experiment started by recent college grads.  The graduates were part of a social change/design group called Project M.  I love one of the girl's comment about the brainstorming phase:  "We realized we couldn't solve global warming.  And we couldn't fix the plummeting economy.  Before pie came to us, we were kind of paralyzed."  (Quoted in NY Times article "Pie + Design = Change."  Another good piece from  "The Pies That Bind."

I want to take a mini road trip to the Pie Lab, too.  It sounds like a fun and tasty (and meaningful) place.  I like the idea of pie bringing people together.  

This weekend I have lots of reading to do - I'm trying to finish all my schoolwork by Sunday so I can cook and consume an epic Valentine's Day feast, guilt-free.  

Speaking of Valentine's Day, excuse me while I spend a brief moment on my soapbox:  nothing irks me more than moaning about "Single Awareness Day" being S.A.D and depressing.  I've celebrated twenty-one Valentine's Days in my short little life - all of them without a significant other - and I love the holiday!  Cards, rom coms, an excuse to eat chocolate, an excuse to go out for a nice meal (it probably helped that my parents gave Melissa and I gifts every year, too)... 

One time a boy gave me jewelry on February 14.  

It was pretty traumatic.  

We were in the fourth grade, I didn't know him well, my ears weren't pierced, my mom made me invite him to my birthday party at the skating rink (ah, the 90s) and I couldn't forget about the incident because family members asked me about this boy for weeks.  (Weeks!)

Flashback to 2007: the first group Valentine's Day dinner I organized.

To conclude, I hope everyone has a lovely, trauma-free Valentine's Day.  Rent a movie and cook yourself a steak or something.

Wednesday, February 2

Notes from work

A Facebook friend's status that I liked:  

The best things in life are free.
But money would be nice too.

It's totally pretentious of me on multiple levels, but I can't help it.  Tonight I'm getting really irritated every time this happens...

Customer: I'd like a latte please.  

Me (shamelessly profiling customer to determine likely socioeconomic status and knowledge of coffee, then):  Do you want your latte really really sweet?

Customer (giving me an almost horrified look at the idea of a latte that wasn't really really sweet, then): Yeah.  Sweet.  

So I add four pumps of vanilla syrup to their latte.  Then the customer takes a small sip, makes an "eww this takes like super strong coffee!" face, and proceeds to stir in three to (record) twelve sugar packets.  I blame gas stations and their liberal use of espresso terminology.  Sigh.

My favorite bridge in the whole wide world. 

If you've ever been confused by the concepts of Great Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles, England, Northern Ireland, etc., then the YouTube video The United Kingdom Explained is for you!   It's a fun to watch.

Getting unexpected phone calls is the best.  On Monday, I got unexpected calls from boyfriend Dave, grandfather Grandaddy, and DC-resident and friend Erika.  All conversations were lovely.  (Erika might meet Dave and I in New Orleans next month.  Fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, February 1


Yea, we're armed. Everyone in the street with knives and swords. It's fun.

If you're following Egypt's situation with any interest, you might like to read "Notes on Trying to Call Egypt" published on Matador's Traveler's Notebook.  The author shares her thoughts and experiences as she's stuck in DC, worrying and trying to call her friends in Egypt.  She finally gets in touch with Abdalla; their exchange is both entertaining and very serious.