Thursday, December 23, 2010

I don't feel like it's Christmas time at all. I keep telling myself that I have time to take care of the things I want to do before the holidays, but unless The Holidays extends to Fat Tuesday, it appears I am mistaken. Oh well. Maybe next year then.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Customer of the Day (this was a tough competition today) was a woman who was browsing wine. I approached her and asked
"Is there anything I can help you find?"
She answered, in a very irritable tone "I really just want to be left alone okay?"

Seriously. The holidays to things to people. I can't fucking wait until this is over. Please keep in mind, everybody, that as much as you hate shopping at this time of year, many of us are there because we have to be.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I have been suffering from swollen and aching knuckles on my fingers for the last three weeks or so. It started as soon as the weather got very cold, and I was assuming it was a kind of arthritis or some such. When I got to the dermatologist on Tuesday, she informed me that it was a skin condition.
"That's your skin trying to tell you your fingers are chilly. Do you have it on your toes as well?" Affirmative. "Frost bite is your skin telling you it's freezing. This is telling you it's chilly."
She went on about bad circulation, etc. Told me to get another pair of gloves to put under my gloves and to wear while I work, and then told me to be more mindful of my temperature. I spent yesterday at work realizing that my hands are basically always cold and that my job causes it. This means that I either need new hands or a new job. I know which one I'd rather have.
My hands are cold even as I type this. My index fingers look as if I've slammed them in a car door. It's bizarre to me what I am able to simply ignore. Weird. I guess this means it's off to the sporting goods store for glove liners today.

In other news, I helped my transvestite friend shop again the other day. It all happened rather by accident. We were meeting up for another reason completely, which turned into stopping off at the drug store, where I helped him figure out barrettes and makeup remover and then held them in my hands while we checked out (he paid, but it's a small town and you never know who you might run into).
We then stopped at a small boutique store. He is looking for a little black dress. The first store had nothing of the sort, and the second one, which is going out of business, had loads of things. And at 50 to 80% off, they were very nearly reasonably priced. He did not feel comfortable talking out loud there, and certainly not trying anything on, but we talked quite a bit and I got an idea what he was looking for. Next we headed over to TeeJay Max where the prices were much more reasonable. He had never been. I was looking for a bra and he came over and we discussed underpants. It never occurred to me that he might not know the difference between a bikini and a hi-cut. Also, "boy pants" were rather ironic, under the circumstances. I had no idea what to tell him about how they would fit- I mean, they will obviously fit him rather differently, right? So yeah. He took one of each, and we got a couple camisoles and some tights. When we got into sweaters and such, we would hold a sweater up to me to see how the size looked, and when it looked like it fir me we jumped up a size for him. After all this we again went to check out and again acted like it was all for me and he paid. There's something really entertaining about all of the subterfuge. Unnecessary, I think, but amusing nonetheless. And since it isn't my private life, I don't have to feel uncomfortable about it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh gods just saw a commercial for something called dragon, which allows you to speak to your computer and it will type for you. WANT! I would be such a better blogger if I could just run my mouth rather than having to type.
That is all. More later when I am in the mood to type (see?).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The rest of our trip to North Carolina was fairly uneventful. The weather was nice enough on Friday that the b.h. and I decided to drive to the beach and watch the sunset. We went through the town of Kittyhawk, but failed to see any of the Wright Brothers monuments and whatnot because we didn't really have the time or inclination. Friday evening we went to the grocery store to get ready for Saturday's Big Day of Cooking.
Saturday I left the b.h. in the kitchen and went out with his mom and sister. We poked around in some antique stores and I took a bunch of pictures. I also bought a colorful set of pint glasses from Italy.
Dinner was fabulous and gone in practically an instant. Everyone was surprised to find that not only was the quinoa stuffing edible, but it was actually delicious- and better than the traditional stuffing that his sister insisted that his mom make. For a bunch of open-minded people, they really are funny about food, and they can't imagine how a vegetarian functions in this world. After eight years with this family, I find it quite perplexing.
On Sunday we rode with the b.h.'s sister and her husband up to D.C. I slept through most of the drive. We had a snack when we got there, and then we all went straight to a nearby Imax theater to see the new Harry P0tter movie. It was perfectly enjoyable, but I am still not convinced that the giant screen was worth paying double the ticket price.
We had dinner reservations at one of Jose Andres' restaurants. I can't remember the name of it at the moment, but it had food from Lebanon, Turkey, and that general vicinity. It was all delicious. I ate every bit of everything, and only just managed to refrain from licking each tapas plate before it left the table. We went to bed quite early after that.
On Monday, we were left to our own devices while the others went to work. We got up fairly early and rode the Metr0 down to the national mall. We walked over to the Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, and the FDR and Jefferson Memorials before catching a train to meet the b.h.'s good friend J for lunch. It was around fifty degrees and sunny outside, so it was a perfect day for walking and sightseeing.
Lunch was delightful. I met J's girlfriend for the first time. The food was great and conversation flowed freely. I have only met J a couple of times, but he and the b.h. are best friends and I feel quite close to him. Also, I got to try a beer from West Virginia that I hadn't had before.
After lunch we got back on the train and went to the National Sculpture Garden (where sculptures ranged from pretty cool to "oh my gods I don't even want to know what they spent on that" and rounded out with what was obviously a representation of female genitalia (in bronze, I believe). After that we went to the National Archives, a dimly lit room filled with founding documents and security guards. Despite how that might sound, it was incredibly interesting. I love seeing some of those things crossed out and corrected.
We left the archives and got a cup of coffee before wandering over to the Capitol Building. My feet and knees were killing me by this point, but I wanted to see everything so I just sort of dealt with it. I was walking like a hundred-year-old, but I was walking.
You have to call in advance and make an appointment to tour the Capitol, so we just walked around outside and took pictures. We also walked past the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, bu by this time it was very late and nothing was open. We took the train back and packed our things, and left soon after for the airport, which was once again virtually empty. The flight back was bumpy but otherwise uneventful.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

We got to the house and unloaded our bags from the car. The b.h.'s mom (I really must come up with a shorter name for her) then took me around the house, showing off the secret cupboards, the creepy elevator, and all of the beautiful small details like keyhole covers and light fixtures and knobs.
The bathroom in the guest room was something I found particularly interesting. The b.h. said that he was sure there was a name for this type, so perhaps one of you can help me: Picture if you will a carton of a dozen eggs. The first two eggs represent the guest loo off of our room, the next four eggs represent the shower, and the other six represent the loo on the other side, which one would enter from the hallway. The shower has sliding doors on both sides and access from either, and if you left it open on both sides you could conceivably say, share the morning paper with the person on the toilet in the other room. Whenever I went to use ours, I would go out into the hallway and shut the room from that side. The one time I forgot to do this I was alarmed at just how much activity I could hear in the rest of the house while I was, uh, doing my business. (Luckily nobody came up the stairs until I was done.)
The tub was very, very deep, the tile was beautiful, and the water pressure and temperature were fantastic. The sink on our side was hilariously small, and I found myself cocking my head sideways in a very awkward way while brushing my teeth or washing my face so as to avoid soaking the whole floor, but it was very convenient to be have a bathroom of our own.

We had a short time to sit and relax before we were expected for dinner across the street, so I perused Momma B.H.'s books. I found one on the history of beer in America and a new Maisie Dobbs and settled into a chair to commence relaxation.

We walked across the street an hour after our original invitation time, because MBH had called over and they reported that the turkey was taking longer than they expected. Paul opened the door to greet us. He is a huge man - apparently he used to play professional football. He greeted us warmly and led us inside, where exactly one other person was seated on a leather couch that could have held every person I know in Vermont. Grace stood and introduced herself, and like Paul she towered over all of us (The b.h. is slightly shorter than me and his parents are even shorter). Martha was n the kitchen and called out to us, promising to come see us as soon as she had things under control.
We made our way around the couch, which took up most of the living room, and spread out along it. I felt like Lilly Tomlin on Sesame Street. Paul asked each of us for a drink order, offering a local white wine (which I knew full well was going to be incredibly sweet but didn't really care)and bringing us each a glass.
Now, a brief explanation of Martha and Paul. They are both retired teachers from Buffalo, New York. They moved to town to get away from the harsh Northern winters and went back to teaching on a government program (don't ask me which one because I can't remember). He is the football coach and she teaches Home Economics. He is black, and she is white, and this is important because in E. City, like many small Southern towns, it is still 1955 and this is not normal. Paul explained that the black folks in town think he had no business marrying a white woman, and that if he was going to do so he should at very least have the decency to live in the black part of town. Paul and Martha chose their house not because of their neighbors but because, as he put it, "It's the kind of house I have always wanted." So they are very happy that the b.h.'s parents, being open-minded, have moved in across the street.
We were treated to a bizarre and often hilarious account of all of the neighbors, including a woman we had seen earlier who apparently lets her dog shit on everyone else's lawn all the time and then called the police when Paul came over to her house to return one such package on the end of a shovel, claiming that there was "a Big Black Man coming at (her) with a shovel."
Grace shared some thoughts about local politics and then said that she was working with a coach "to help her feel more positive and be more positive about myself and where I want my life to go" (so yes- a life coach). Martha eventually came out to get a drink and explain that the turkey was almost ready. Everyone was very nice and talk flowed freely and easily, but I was reminded why I am glad to live in the Big City (population 8000).
Dinner was lovely, but MBH had failed to tell our hosts that I am a vegetarian, so they (mortified) put out a small log of goat cheese and extra bread at my place, apologizing profusely for the meat in every dish. I had expected as much, because I lived in the South for a long time (and I have also known MBH a long time), and assured them that I would be just fine with the potatoes and cranberry sauce and cheese. I ate a lot of cheese and bread and butter and hoped that I still had another granola bar in my bag back at the house.