Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

So I'm back in school over at the UMD. We had a snow day on the second day of classes - awesome! Those college kids are keeping me young, that's for sure. Yesterday I wrote a comment on somebody's blog where I said "She's all like....." Unbelievable. I don't think ever I've heard myself use that expression out loud - yet, that is. Maybe I have used it and don't realize it. And how ironic is it that this way of talking is creeping in as a result of increased contact with an educational institution? It's definitely not from watching TV because I don't have one. Anyway, I'm sort of amused by this recent development.

I love school so much! It's so much more fun than what I'm stuck doing when I'm not in school. And when the Foam Core Fantasy is finally finished, my entire life will be fantastic!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Water Tower, Final Installment

I'm kind of running out of material here, so I'm going to wrap up the water tower "series" with this photo of the one in Montgomery Hills. Sorry, Scenic Wheaton, no calendar for you!

I'm happy that this shot includes a prominent view of Armand's Chicago Pizzeria. This has been my favorite pizza place since I was about nineteen. And just how long has that been? Um, anyway, deep dish pizza is decadently delicious!

And here's a little sunrise shot. The sky is the only good thing happening at that time of day, if you ask me. I was not happy to be awake then. The sky made it much better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Skillz

I've added another skill to the rapidly growing list of recent things I've learned how to do but didn't want to. See that floor down there? I installed that today. By myself. I read the instructions. I did the measurements. I learned how to use a miter saw. It requires about the same level of intellect as putting up siding. Maybe less. It is also much easier and less interesting than sewing. But it takes a long time. I'm totally exhausted. I hope that purple doesn't keep me awake at night after we move back in.

There is a peace sign in my floor, just growing there in the wood. Can you see it? It's just to the right of the rabbit.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The FISH PEDICURE comes to Aspen Hill

Would you pay money to have a bunch of fish gnaw away at the dead skin on your feet? I heard there was a place in Alexandria that you could go to for this exciting beauty treatment. And now it's available in northwest Silver Spring, in the Aspen Hill shopping center right next to Panera.

click on the picture to see the fishies nibbling on the footsies

I have to admit I am somewhat intrigued by this method of exfoliation. I've imagined my feet in the water with all the little fish in there nibbling away. I like being nibbled upon and always have. When I was in second grade my class had a pet mouse or hamster, or maybe it was a guinea pig, in a cage. One day I stuck my finger in there and he came over and started ever so gently chewing on my finger. "Oooh, he must really like me!" I thought. It didn't hurt at all - I kind of enjoyed how it felt. I was really feeling the love. This went on for about five minutes when all of a sudden my finger started bleeding a little bit.

I got yelled at by my teacher and by my parents and I had to get a tetanus shot - they decided to take their chances with the rabies apparently, because they told me "If he has rabies you are going to die." And I had this vision of myself loping down the street foaming at the mouth like that dog in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and falling down dead next to the curb. Fortunately the cute little whatever-it-was rodent did not have rabies.

So I'm imagining this fish treatment, which I first heard about from a friend who really wanted to do it, and I was thinking that it might feel kind of good to be chewed on by a whole bunch of little critters instead of just one. I was kind of getting off on the idea. Do I have a "getting nibbled" fetish maybe? I've definitely had some good nibbling experiences. The whole mouse thing was absolutely worth it, in spite of everything.

All of a sudden, just as I was taking this picture, an old hippie-looking dude with long gray hair and an army jacket walked by and "the fish are great but the fumes are unbearable - it smells like a glue factory in there." Was he speaking from experience? Hmmm.....

Okay I definitely do not want to be chewed on by a bunch of fish who may have been chewing on that guy's toes earlier in the day. That's disgusting. That's how diseases are spread. Who would voluntarily engage in such an unsanitary activity - even if they changed the water, it's still gross. Do they rinse off the fish in between treatments? I only want super clean fish chewing on me.

How did they come up with this anyway? Why would the fish want to eat dead skin off of my feet? How do they know which skin is dead? If you keep your feet in there long enough will they chew all the way through to the live skin? Will they keep chewing after you start bleeding? Maybe that's their goal. Why are these fish so desparately hungry that they'll eat dead skin from feet? Do they starve them poor fishes? If they're not hungry do you still have to pay? I don't like the idea that they'd try to get the fishes hungry enough to eat dead human feet skin. That's not very nice at all.

Do you know anyone who has had this foot treatment? I think I've talked myself out of it, mostly because of the germ factor. To me this is one potentially delightful sensation that is definitely not worth experiencing.

On a less disgusting note, tonight's sunset was rather pleasant!
UPDATE: Commenter #13 wrote an absolutely fabulous post last fall about his fish pedicure. Follow this link - it is both insightful and entertaining. Also, it seems that some states are now beginning to ban the fish pedicure, including Texas, Washington state, and New Hampshire.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Color Therapy

Apparently neutral and "safe" colors depress me. My house is turning into a color riot. Considering the grueling ordeal that my life has been for the past few years, I need some cheering up and this color may very well do the trick. And when I grow up a few years from now I can always change it to something more mature, and elegant, as my mother would say.

How do you like my new couch? It's the most comfy piece of furniture we have over there at the moment. Yep, I'm losing it.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Water Tower, Part Two

Since I have nothing interesting to blog about except for this, I guess I'll just post another water tower picture. Do two entries make a series?

This trio of towers can be found near the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Route 28/198.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Water Tower

I took this photo a few days ago because this ugly old water tower was suddenly looking prettier than I've ever seen it. I guess the sunset helped quite a bit.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Kate over at The Big Piece of Cake tagged me a few weeks ago for the WORLD'S LONGEST MEME!!! I've never seen such a long one before. It's been like a final project or something, and I started it last year so the dates are all off now. I'm not doing it over, so here's what I've got:

10 years ago:
This is hard - so much has happened since then! In 1998 I was in my second year of officially being just a bass player and not a piano teacher. I played in a bunch of local big bands and orchestras and with a jazz septet up in Baltimore. I played a bunch of shows and other miscellaneous gigs. I did a show called "Swingtime Canteen" for six weeks in North Carolina, and forced my husband to become more organized in the way he ran his business. What did I do for fun? Most of my fun involved playing the bass!

8 years ago: In 2000, I was playing in a popular local swing quintet, I had my first steady restaurant gig with a jazz trio - 2 nights a week for four years, I played for a big band theme cruise on the QE2, followed by a fabulous vacation in France and the Netherlands, and I ended the year at Bluesville in Tunica MS playing with the Artie Shaw band for New Year's Eve. I continued to work on the side as Doug's "office manager."

6 years ago: In 2002 I got my thyroid taken out and, like magic, I was no longer depressed for no apparent reason. I had started working on my M.M. in jazz studies but that was interrupted by a touring opportunity in the fall which lasted for four years. At the end of the year I ended up being car number 3 in a four car pileup and my bass was completely demolished. The repairs took 8 months but when I got my bass back it was better than ever.

2 years ago: 2006 was easily the crappiest year of my life. Although the fire happened in 2005, it wasn't until 2006 that I finally began to realize what we were in for. We were still dealing with all kinds of fire-related issues, both emotional and financial in nature, and I was not at all happy that I would have to stop touring and doing cruise gigs in order to deal with everything. We tried to plan our house while we were on the road but it was impossible. We were on tour for the first half of the year and had loads of fun in Albuquerque and Hawaii and other places too, but there was also a huge shadow hanging over us. When we got back home we emptied out the charred remains of our house into four huge dumpsters, sawed through the connection between our old house and the addition and watched the 1870s part, which we had lived in for our entire married life, get torn down and carried away. And then basically nothing else happened for the rest of the year. Except I took jazz theory at UMD to keep my mind off of all of the things that weren't happening. I told you it was a crappy year!

Five yummy things:
1. Peppermint ice cream from Gifford's.
2. Mexican chocolate - the kind that has cinnamon in it.
3. Smoked trout - I've only ever had it on cruise ships but it is definitely very very yummy.
4. Sauted spinach - see, I like nutritious food too.
5. Grilled cheese sandwiches made by Doug

That's not all, of course! And since it didn't say favorite yummy things, I just listed the first five things that popped into my head.

Five songs I know by heart:
I know a lot of different kinds of songs, and it's harder to think of the songs than it is to remember the words. This is a completely random list.

1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
2. Deep Purple (When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls, etc...)
3. My Girl
4. Natural Woman
5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)

Five places I would like to escape to:
1. Italy
2. Spain
3. Greece
4. New Zealand
5. Hawaii

Five things I would never wear:
1. Hats - I hate wearing hats!
2. Shoes that are too tight
3. Christmas sweaters
4. Orange
5. Chunky jewelry

Five favorite TV shows:
I haven't had a TV since 2005 and I've only watched TV in hotels since then so this list is kind of random and old.

1. Law and Order - all versions of it.
2. ER - is it still on?
3. Weeds - I rented it and watched it on my computer. I thought Season One was better than Season Two.
4. Friends - I only ever saw reruns. It reconfirmed my secret desire to live in NYC.
5. Days of Our Lives - but I haven't seen it in years.

Five things I enjoy doing:
1. Playing music
2. Traveling
3. Going to movies
4. Going to jazz clubs
5. Imagining my house being finished so I can get on with my life

Five Favorite toys: (in no particular order)
1. My Laptop, although I liked my last one better
2. My "Thumper"
3. Blanche (my CRV)
4. My instruments - although I don't really regard them as toys
5. My new sewing machine, although I haven't had much time to use it yet.

I'm sure this list will be completely different in another few months. It will hopefully contain exciting things like dishwasher, garbage disposal, TV, etc.
Five people who I am tagging to fill this out:
I don't like to bug people, but I guess tagging is part of the whole meme process, so here are the lucky recipients:

1. Sing Like Sassy - to get back at her for tagging me for my first and hopefully next to last meme.
2. Bozoette - because the last time I tagged her she said she actually enjoyed doing memes.
3. Livit, Luvit - because she might enjoy doing this and I think people would enjoy reading it.
4. Looking2Live - because it's her fault I even got into blogging!
5. The Gilahi Blog - this is kind of a random choice because I mostly just lurk around his blog - he's probably going to wonder "what the hell?" if he ever even happens to stumble upon this.

Whew, done!!! Enough about me already!


Since 2009 is probably going to be the best year I've had in a long time, I thought it might be appropriate to make a couple of resolutions that will make the year be even better. I don't usually bother making resolutions but this year seems different somehow.

From now on, for as long as it lasts, I'm not going to turn on my computer each day until I've put in 45 minutes on the Lifecycle. So I'm replacing 45 minutes of sitting around wasting time with 45 minutes of exercise. Going online will be my reward for having exercised. It's a win-win situation.

I'm going to go back to the tall skim latte as my drink of choice. It's time for the peppermint mocha phase to end. So I'll be saving money and calories - another win-win situation.

The good things in store for me this year are moving back into my house, getting my master's, taking a trip to Norway and Denmark, getting back into exercising, and who knows what else.