Saturday, April 01, 2006

Busy With Life

I can't believe its been EIGHT...count them...EIGHT months since I last logged on and posted something. No excuses, except I was busy with life. Here's a quick recap of the past few months:
  • Weather got really nice in Cleveland. Need I say more? We only have the sun peaking out for 6 out of the 12 months
  • The Cleveland Indians were hot ergo lots of game to watch at the Jake. They didn't have enough steam to get to the playoffs but there's the perpetual "It's gonna be next year"...and lo and behold IT IS next year already
  • My brother got married. His wife's parents love him. They're poster children for arranged marriages! Kidding.
  • A big milestone birthday for me!
  • REALLY busy at work...CRAZY busy...the whip was being cracked and I have the scars to prove it. I guess that's not a good excuse if I was cracking the whip on myself. You probably don't want the details, so we'll skip that
  • VACATION. Awesome trip to Utah. Yes, I'm weird. It takes a very conservative, Mormon state to get me going. We hiked and bebopped around Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. I'll post some pictures to share
  • Christmas! Yes, Christmas. My husband was especially thoughtful and got me a Canon 20D...the wannabe photographer got a new toy!
  • Got promoted. Guess all the self flagellation paid off!
  • Work, work and more work...I need a vacation!

That's the quick skinny. Hope your last eight months were good ones.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Old World Festival

Its that time of the year again, fair season! We just went to the annual Old World Festival of Cleveland. Does it not bring to mind images of knights, jousts and damsels in distress, sort of Renaissance Fair-ish in name. Well, forget about all of that. Where we live, it translates to a street fair. It may not be much but it was fun. Here are the highlights:

Fried Food ~ Love, love, love it! Started off with a deep fried bloomin' onion with southwest dressing (ok, so it was really ranch with a tad of ketchup to make it pinkish, its a street fair not Tavern on the Green!). We took care of the vegetable group of the food pyramid so we're set. Off then we went to partake of some protein! Corn dogs! Nice golden brown color, crispy outer shell and a bit of a chewy inner layer then finally the hotdog which was a tad pale but overall a 7 out of a 10. Then, my absolute favorite, funnel cake! A little bit of heaven found in fried dough.

Fashion Faux Pas ~ Oh where do I begin! Its like shooting fish in a barrel. Its too easy. But why pass it up. So, Cleveland isn't exactly the fashion capital of the world, nor of Ohio for that matter, as if I needed to tell you that. But I think there is a valuable trait we've either misplaced or never developed at all, I'd call it self-awareness. My goodness, women have everything and I-MEAN-EVERYTHING hanging out! Outfits are either plunging down to one's navel or creeping up again to one's navel. Hey, sexy is good as long as its tasteful, but if its all out there for the world to see, I beg you, please leave something to the imagination. Maybe it'll make me feel a bit better if I got damages for pain and suffering. Some of the images just sears into your eyeballs! It was like a real live version of TLC's What Not To Wear (one of the best shows on TV along with Rescue Me - if you like watching Denis Leary play a chain-smoking-alcoholic-Irish-firefighter which is a stretch, I know) but without the makeover or reveal at the end. It was painful but inifinitely entertaining.

Whatever Floats Your Boat ~ We live in a fairly diverse neighborhood. Lots of Eastern European retirees (Slovaks, Polish, Hungarian, etc.) and young black families. A real estate agent would call our area "eclectic" or "up and coming", which if you read between the lines does not translate to Greenwich, CT. It was fascinating to explore the fair grounds. At one end was a fairly large, open air stage that featured Polka Bands, I'm not even sure if "Band" is the right term. It seemed like all of our seniors came out to party. There was even a dance floor where a couple of Babickas (Slovak for grandmother), were tearing it up, complete with pompoms. For the younger crowd, there was a lot of posing and vogueing (albeit trying to be subtle about it), which is related to highlight #2 Fashion Faux Pas.

The Local Politicos ~ Another source of entertainment, whether its fair season or not, are the local politicians. If you don't know who your local representatives are by sight, just be on the lookout for a flock of uniformed officers, trying to act nonchalant, surrounding a guy with either a beard, moustache, huge pinky ring or any combination of the three. On the right is a photo of State Rep. Kenny Yuko, who was the bearded guy surrounded by police at the Old World Festival, at a photo op with another moustached politico but from out of state. Mr. Yuko did not stray far from his entourage or from the mobile unit (photo on left) which had a mounted camera, to ensure that ordinary rifraf such as myself, would stay the required distance, as it is not an election year.

An afternoon at the Old World Festival is one well spent. I know I haven't even touched upon the interesting carnies or the rides put together MacGyver-style with duct tape and paperclips, but there is only so much fair stuff one can take in a single blog, so we'll take up where we left off...next year.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Just Us

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Lost Treasures

Right after college, when everyone was still close (in miles and emotional bonds), we started predicting each other's future. Admittedly, we were fueled by tequila but the predictions instead of becoming more grandiose turned more pragmatic. Prophesies were captured on a paper napkin. A memento I've kept and has moved with me from one continent to another, state to state, rentals to home. Preserved between the pages of a photo album, turning yellow and brittle with each passing year.
When I'm not rushing between the insanity of work and the busyness of home, I feel this twinge. Sometimes slight, at other times considerable, mostly a dull ache for friends far away and a few long lost. The career imposed nomadic lifestyle does not help. For the past 5 years, I've searched (ok, maybe not too hard as I was hoping I'd stumble upon them) for good friends, not acquitances, colleagues or even a gaggle. No one has replaced Can't-Think, R-Good, Pure, Denim, Lee-Two, Siyam, Cold-Na or Trial. I know no one can take their place, but its hard not to search for some things that are really good and see whether lightning can hit the same place twice.
For friends in distant places, you're in my thoughts...

Couldn't Have Said It Better

....amen!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Happiness In A Bowl

Estate sales satisfy my occassional materialistic/knick knack craving at a very affordable price, and (i'm loath to admit) my morbid curiosity about the lives of other people. Perhaps not highly unusual given our (yes, i said our, i'm a semisecret junkie too) preoccupation with reality shows (or is it more "reality-where-everyone-is-very-attractive-and-have-no-concept-of-consequences show").

Its truly fascinating to venture into a total stranger's house, weave your own story from the clues bared for all to see, take your pick of their earthly possessions and have carte blanche to check out their closets. More often than not, when i do stumble onto an estate sale as we go about our weekend errands, i find the most satisfying part to be silently tracing the homeowner's story..."they must have enjoyed cooking as all the pots and pans are well worn" or "their heating bills must have been outrageous as the windows facing the lake are as flimsy as cardboard". No earth shattering revelations or mad hunt for bargains.

I've made very few purchases considering that estate and garage (higher ratio of junk) sales descend like canadian soldiers (the bugs off of lake erie vs. actual military personnel from neighbors up north) once the snow melts. We've bought some old books, gardening tools, wood carrier for the fireplace, flatware...nothing especially significant except for the last thing i bought. A bowl (pictured above). yup a bowl...or i think its a bowl. It could have been a candy dish but lost its lid at one point. Its amber color made it stand out amongst all the other mismatched plateware and ceramic figurines on a rickety table. It has these evenly spaced bumps on the outside that made the light come through (in my eyes) in an unusual way. And one of the best parts is that it only cost me fifty-cents. Who needs Pier One, Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel when happiness (or at least delight though fleeting) can be found in a bowl.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Shaker

As if life wasn't busy enough, here I am starting something that I'm certain I won't have time for. But perhaps in the final analysis may be good for my mental health...

Random thoughts, occassional musings and more often silliness permitted conditional release.

Why salt ~ asin? "the world would be bland without it" -- while others fairly idealistic -- "value and purity " -- (or so i'm deluding myself to think) or just plain vain -- "I've had salt and pepper hair since I was 12!". Whichever the case, it'll be interesting to uncover.