Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation Good, Bad and Ugly

HELLO!!! (waving hand frantically, in hopes that someone is out there)

I'm back! Did you miss me? Did you notice I was gone?

It seems like it's been forever since I've clicked on "new post" around here, but I guess that's what vacation will do to you. Given the state of the Lewis family computer (half-broke) and both Lewis family cameras (also half-broke), I wasn't able to do my usual trip play-by-play for the blogosphere, but rest assured, we did indeed go on vacation.

Last Sunday we scooted out of town and headed for Asheville, North Carolina. I had never been there before, and I can give it an only slightly qualified thumbs up. The thumbs up is due to lots and lots of fabulous restaurants, really cool shopping (if I were an "alternative smoker" I would have found lots of shops for my "alternative smoking" needs, if you get my drift, wink, wink), and a serious micro-brew beer scene. The slight qualification comes from the fact that I was TOTALLY a crime victim while in this town.

Yep, my wallet was "lifted," as they say. I was a might peeved (read: fucking pissed off), and even more so as the charges started to roll in on my checking account. I am quite the considerate crime victim, as my wallet was full of the following: my checkbook, a check written from Todd to me, my debit card, two credit cards, my driver's license, and my social security card. Not to mention my Qdoba card, which entitles me to a free chips and salsa on my next visit.

We got stuff mostly taken care of, meaning the bank and both credit cards have refunded all the money that was spent. Oddly enough, a detective called me before we got home on Saturday, and said that the wallet itself had been recovered, so it's being mailed back to me and I'm hoping my ID is in there. Even odder -- today, in the mail, I received my checkbook, stamped "found loose in mail." Weird, huh?

So, anyway, we left Asheville for less crime-ridden pastures of Bryson City, where Todd did a lot of fishing, and I did a lot of loafing around the little town.

And for those of you wondering what crazy thing Todd got me to try this time, I have three words for you: white water rafting. Yeah. All I can say is, I did it, and the fact that I cried for the first two miles doesn't discount that fact in the slightest. I did it, and I don't ever have to do it again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And You Thought Finding a PENNY Was Good Luck

Once again, I am starting a week with the resolution to be nicer to people. Mostly to random people . . . OK, to criminals. Criminals are people, too, right? So I should be nice and kind to them, right? Well, that's what I tell myself all the time.

This dude comes up to me yesterday with a charge of Possession of Marijuana -- not the most exciting crime in the world, and really, for how easy we are on that crime, we should all be out smoking a big ol' doobie on our lunch hour, because we can all totally afford a $25 fine and court costs, and hey, marijuana might just make us all nicer to other people, thus obviating the need for be-nicer-to-people resolutions.

So I offer dude his fine and costs, and he says to me, "I don't think I'm guilty."

Fine. In the interest of being nicer, I will not point out how your not THINKING you are guilty wastes my time, when you in fact ARE guilty. I will instead say, "Okay, today is your arraignment and we will enter a plea of not guilty for you and set your case for a pretrial conference."

Dude: "Well, see, I found it."

Me: "Found it?"

Dude: "Yeah, I was just walking down the street, and I found it. Somebody else's pot, just laying there, so I picked it up and then right after that I got arrested. I just found it."

Now, this, as we all know, is a lie. Seriously, raise your hand if you believe this dude.

That's what I thought. But, instead of pointing this out, I nodded sympathetically, sighed dramatically, and said to Dude, "I know. Happens to me ALL THE TIME."

Ten minutes later, Dude comes back up to me and says, "You know that fine? I think I'll just take that. It'll be easier. Even though I JUST FOUND IT."

I didn't even hit him. I just said, "You know . . . that's actually NEVER happened to me."

Dude: "Yeah, I know."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

101 Things: the First 100 Days

I had considered blogging about each of my 101 Things as I mark them off the list, but in the interest of not being totally dull, I decided to just do a big update every 100 days . . . so, here's update #1:

"Things" I completed in the past 100 days:
Finish writing my list of 101 things. Yeah, this one's pretty self-explanatory.

Take a sewing class. This was a big success. I took a simple four-week introductory sewing class, but it really helped to get me over the hump of feeling like I didn't know what I was doing, to sitting down at the machine and sewing anyway. It's a hobby that I really want to keep up with and hopefully someday, be good at. I've discovered that unlike knitting, sewing is an activity that can keep me engrossed for hours at a time, and sometimes a whole day.

Go to the planetarium. I used this as the first activity that Todd went along with Little and I, and it was big fun. We saw the very educational show about the planets (in which they STILL talk about Pluto, thank goodness -- poor, poor downgraded Pluto), then the not-educational-at-all-but-more-fun laser show. I liked it tremendously and hope to go back for some more shows.

Go to Shakespeare in the Park. This year our local Shakespeare company did a version of Julius Ceasar in which they dressed as samauri dudes, but didn't change the original dialogue at all. Quite honestly, if this hadn't been on my list, I would have skipped it, because that sounded just dumb to me. It turned out to be quite the opposite, in fact was one of the best productions I have seen our company do.

Learn to use liquid eyeliner. What a bust. I discovered that purple eyeliner looks fabulous on me, but also discovered that liquid eyeliner is LIQUID and therefore must DRY before you can do crazy things like, oh, I don't know . . . BLINK! I have happily gone back to my Cover Girl self-sharpening pencil.

Wear black fingernail polish. I loved it a lot, but then I started violin lessons, and have to keep my fingernails too short now for the black polish.

Go to a Red's game. We had a good time at this one (two-hour rain delay notwithstanding), but it mostly gave me a better appreciation for our little local team and stadium. At the Riverbats, it's a LOT cheaper; parking is easier; beer is better.

Give someone a homemade present of food. After Penny got a wild hair and broke into the neighbor's yard two days in a row, I think the homemade banana jam helped to smooth things over. It's fun when people are surprised that you can make something yourself.

Give something to someone who needs it. We needed to get rid of some furniture in the garage, and Little's cousin, Littler, needed a new dresser. It was a win-win.

Some of the Things for the next 100 days are already in the works. I've started violin lessons, made a bit of progress in the "It" dress, and have completed the registration forms for my State Fair entries. I also have taken two of the three yoga classes, have done the first half of the mint julep liqeur process, and lost the first two of the first ten pounds. (I also gained them back, but I'm calling that a minor setback.)

I know it's been a long time since my last post, and posting may still be a bit sparse for the next few weeks. Our laptop is on the fritz, and the old dinosaur computer is so slow that posting isn't as much fun as it could be.