Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spicy Red Mullet Soup

Sawadee Kaa, bitches!

We've arrived, and it is amazing. So far in Chiang Mai we were awoken by jungle sounds (I know you are out there, Phantom Monkey); drank Chang beers; ridden in a tuk tuk; fallen prey to the ultimate tourist trap shopping racket (we were accosted by our tuk tuk driver, Pet, and taken to a "jade" factory); acquired some beautiful blue silk plus one gorgeous pashmina; drank more Chang beers; discovered Spicy Red Mullet Soup, and visited a 14th century temple.

(And yes, HomeValley and J are respectful travelers, so we took our flops off at the door of said temple, only to come out to HV's flops gone missing. A bit unpleasantness wearing a fellow tourist's Reefs, but hooray, was blessedly able to locate own Reefs at door of second temple. Crisis averted.)

The 17-hour flight was delightful, save The Farter and The Screamer, whose nicknames, I assure you, were apt. Somewhere over Estonia I decided that Thai Airways dominates all others, as I gorged myself on Red Curry whilst watching Scrubs and America's Next Top Model. Brilliant.

Must retreat to our gorgeous hotel to swim and sample more Chang beers. Tomorrow it's elephant trekking and bamboo rafting!

Lah Gorn.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Get Back To Work, Faithless Heathens

This week has been delightful, as I haven't had to travel one day! Of course, after this week, I travel every single day (before and after and during vacation), but let's not think about that now.

Anyway, I am working from my home office, but not quite, because the phone line has actually been installed in the dining room. So, I am working from the dining room, until I can hijack J's car and drag my lazy, home-working ass to Best Buy to get some sort of wireless phone device. I believe we used to call this type of phone "cordless." Technology. Simply stunning.

Man, I digress today! I actually have been more productive in the home office than I ever was in Chelsea, but perhaps that's because I had Chipotle and the 5th Avenue shops to distract me.

Fuck, I miss Chipotle.

Severe, severe ADD today. But here is what my days have looked like:

  • J, grudgingly rising from bed at just before 6, and asking what time I'd like the alarm set for? 7 AM, I reply sleepily.
  • Snooze.
  • Snooze.
  • Snooze.
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  • I'm up, damnit! 8 AM. Fuck - conference call! And I've got Melissa Morning Voice!
  • I sound like a man.
  • I have not brushed my teeth.
  • Nor have I put my contacts in.
  • Nor have I showered.
  • It is fun to dissect corporate politics in your fuzzy blue bathrobe from the Gap.
  • Trust me.
  • Dawson's Creek on DVR and some lunch anyone?
  • Mmmm... Pacey.
  • What is Joshua Jackson up to these days anyway?
  • Let's take a look at IMDB...
  • And some blogs, for good measure.
  • By the beard of Zeus!
  • Why are all of our favorite 80s sitcom stars so rigidly conservative and Christian? (Kirk Cameron, I'm talking to you.)

Oh man, I can't even concentrate long enough to continue this ill-conceived list. I must bid you adieu and get back to work. And shower at some point.

Have a blissful weekend, y'all. I'll be running around like a madwoman attempting to prepare for Thailand, as well as drinking heavily at Grace's on Saturday night. Here's to v. adult dinner parties and Miller Lite! Cheers.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

True Romance

J and I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day, but yesterday when he arrived home from work, I suggested we head down to the Brew Pub for blackberry sangria ale and sushi. J wholeheartedly agreed.

To my utter dismay, there was no sangria ale, so we drank raspberry beers instead. And I forced J to make a toast for the millionth time, as I am so NOTORIOUSLY horrendous at toasting. At the end of J's eloquent speech, I held up my glass and said, "To you, babe." And then J laughed and laughed, because I am a huge, cheesy nerd.

I also discovered a super-fun game to play with your significant other! I made it up after scarfing down my salmon and avocado roll. I call it "Hey, can you remember every minute detail of our first date?"

Man, this went over huge.

HV: So, what is the first thing we did when we got to Queens?

J: (Raises eyebrows, grins lasciviously.)

HV: No dude, we most certainly did not do that. At least not first thing. Come on! You know this!

J: (Puts hands to head. Looks absolutely pained.)

HV: You picked me up at my apartment and said, "Show me around Queens." Remember? And where did I take you?

J: Uuuuuummmmmmm...

HV: For Christ's sake, J! Less than two years ago.

J: Um, the racetrack?

HV: J, there is no racetrack in Queens.

J: I mean, the track, at the park.

HV: (Sighs tiredly.)

J: Oh - the Beer Garden!

HV: Yes, and then what did we do once we got back from there?

J: (Raises eyebrows, grins.)

HV: Jesus, J, not that.

And so forth.

After a few raspberry beers, we were both feeling quite tipsy and I decided that on our 17-hour flight to Bangkok, we'd make up a guestlist for our wedding, as well as the LIST OF SONGS THAT MUST BE PLAYED, which is of course of the utmost importance.

This sparked a fierce debate on SONGS THAT MUST BE PLAYED, in which I had to say numerous times, "J, no one wants to dance to The Arcade Fire!"

We agreed upon "The Humpty Dance," but the rest is fuzzy. I know he vetoed "Groove is in the Heart." The audacity of my future husband! Really.

After forcing our lovely waitress Morgan to hijack all of the chocolate candy hearts in the building and then stuff them into my bag, we headed out into the wintry mix.

By 8:12 PM, we were both sound asleep on our respective couches, as the Simpsons played softly on the DVR.

It was positively lovely.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Technology Good

J and I (and most of the folk here in Philadelphia) are Comcast's bitches. For serious. They are at one moment an evil, malignant cable empire (Sorry, we didn't have any service scheduled for this morning, Ms. HomeValley); the next, a benevolent God of digital recordings.

Internet, we have DVR.

And it is very, very good.

First, let me tell you that our local Comcast office is in a "questionable" part of town. When J and I went to pick up my cable Internet mechanism thingie recently, I told J to wait in the car; I'd just pop in and grab the goods.

"Yeah, right," he rolls his eyes while parking. "You are not going in there alone."

"Oh God! I will be fine," I say, exasperated. "Sometimes, J! I swear."

Five minutes later, our yuppie asses stand rigid in the goddamned line, at the center of a brawl that at once escalates into screaming, pushing, and shouting outside.

"This doesn't exactly bode well for my argument," I concede through clenched teeth.

J wonders how he will shroud me from imminent gunfire. (He didn't wonder that aloud, guys. He told me that later.)

When J remembered that Lost's timeslot was changed from 9 PM to 10 PM, and thus WE MUST HAVE DVR THIS INSTANT, he apparently had no problem with me going into the depths alone.

I'm just saying.

I survived, and the DVR, she is glorious.

Smart television watching! We are no longer the networks' pawns! We fast-forward through commercials (except Geico ads, of course, because those fucking caveman...)!

This morning, I DVRed Dawson's Creek on TBS.

Please don't judge me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Going to the Chapel

Last night we had J's parents (my future in-laws!) and J's sis (my future sister-in-law!) over for dinner (take-out Chinese!). All was lovely, and decidedly run-of-the mill, considering we were sort of celebrating the engagement, but not really. We chatted amiably about the Geico cavemen commercials (which you should know just kill me because they are so fucking delightful), as well as the sudden and (not at all) shocking demise of Anna Nicole.

Inevitably, however, the conversation turned to WEDDING talk.

This is most certainly a topic you should not discuss in mixed company, until you and your betrothed have actually discussed it yourselves.

(Which we have, a tiny bit. We've agreed to enjoy our vacation in Southeast Asia and talk about it afterwards. The end.)

Perhaps I am too free with my own words, but if you bring up vague, preliminary thoughts on weddings, you are guaranteed to get OPINIONS.

I am nothing if not open-minded. I welcome feedback, in blogs and in life. But dang - I am beginning to realize that a lot of various people will have a lot of various points about our WEDDING. I have learned that for now, I will nod along and try to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy about their OPINIONS. Sure, I will say with a smile. That's something to consider.

And then there is my future H, who's shoulders I could see stiffen as suggestions were made.

Only a week into the deal, J and I may already have a wedding "rider", if you will. You know those ridiculous lists that celebs like Jennifer Lopez have when touring? Room temperature is not to exceed 75 degrees fahrenheit; only Evian water will be welcome in suite; toilet paper should be comprised of soft, crumpled twenty dollar bills, bitches.

Sort of like that; only consisting of blacked out dates, prohibited venues and locations, and other cautionary details.

It's enough to make you break into a melodramatic, Carrie Bradshaw-esque rash, y'all.

I was beginning to understand why weddings suddenly take on lives of their own; why the happy couple often gets thrust aside and overshadowed by THE WEDDING, and all the details that go along with it.

When, like a bridge over troubled water, my future sister-in-law said, "You do what you want to do."

Which is only one of the many reasons I am so excited she is part of this deal.

Here's hoping we get to make it what we want, and that everyone has a smashing good time in the process.

And also, fuck you, I will not succumb to your evil, bridezilla inducing powers.

It's a slippery slope.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The One With All The Groundhogs

Remember when I sent out those damn holiday cards late last year, and I detailed all of the colored responses I received? No? Well, review here.

Please note that these cards are sent to my rather large database automatically. That's why before I knew what was happening, I had sent out a Groundhog's Day card to thousands. Mortified, I immediately shut down all of my "automatic mailers." Because fucking groundhogs dancing around on an e-card? Does not exactly scream professional to me.

Incredulously, the masses seemed to appreciate my Groundhog Day greetings! Well, five or so responded, "Um, same to you."

Except Crazy McParanoid, unfortunate wife of a card-recipient, who emailed me this:

I'm not sure as to why you would be sending my husband e-cards. Some how this was sent to me.I let the Christmas card go thinking not much of it , but now I would like to be told if there's anything I should be aware of. I realize he is my husband and hold no acountablility on your part. (just want some answers women to women)

Awesome, right?

Hypervigilant, suspicious wife: 1
Institution of marriage: 0

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

M. Gellman, 1969, Physics

I wanted to write a long, eloquent post this morning, but I am utterly brain dead.

So, I will say a mere, "Internet, I have an announcement to make!"

Clears throat.

J and I got engaged over the weekend!

And it was awesome, and totally unexpected (For me. J knew.)

It happened on Saturday, in Manhattan, which was perfect.

I had a feeling about two minutes before he asked, and I became so nervous that I started babbling about the monument in the center of Theodore Roosevelt Park: "J, um, what's up? Did you know that in 1969, M. Gellman won the Nobel Prize in Physics?" Which was almost immediately followed by, "Will you marry me?"

Pretty romantic, no?

I kid. It was the most romantic proposal in the history of proposals, in my opinion.

We were on our way to the American Museum of Natural History, but we were too excited to enter after all the "let's spend the rest of our lives together" insanity. So we went to the bar, as you do. And we sipped half-price drinks and talked about the future. We also made a pact not to be one of those couples that only ever talk about their wedding every time you see them socially.

So next time we run into each other, Internet, and I fail to notice that your eyes are glazing over as I prattle on about "registries" and such, please know that I had the best of intentions.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Birthday Girl

27. Meh.

It's not cool turning 27. It's old. It's adult.

So, meh.

But you know what is cool? Turning 12! And what better way to celebrate my 27th birthday, than to recount my 12th birthday? Friends, in honor of this inane occasion, I present HomeValley Through the Ages, via excerpts from the actual diary of HV:

Sunday, February 2, 1992

I got this diary for my twelfth birthday from Aunt Gina and Uncle Tim. I hope to write in it everyday. Yesterday I went shopping with Grandmom (she came from Colorado) and Susan and her mom and Mike went. I wanted to get Feli's (2007 HV says: Fila sneakers) after I got some clothes and Susan said no. But it was Grandmom's decision because it was her money! Sometimes Susan gets on my nerves! And then she said, there's lots of nice less expensive shoes! I was on the verge of tears! I mean, Grandmom was taking me out for Christmas and my birthday and Susan was butting in! And today, for my birthday party, Dad said, "I heard you weren't too nice yesterday!" Now that I'm a pre-teen if they think that's bad, wait till I'm a teen!

(2007 HV says: Wow.)

(And also, I was completed obsessed with being a "hormonal teenager" at this age and acting out, because I thought that's what bonafide teens did. I think I read too many Sweet Valley High books or something.)

(Also, I go on to list all of the items I received for my birthday. Of note: a Michael Jackson CD and a Beverly Hills 90210 Giant Pin.)

(I heart Brandon Walsh!!)

Close enough to my 13th birthday:

Tuesday, January 19, 1993

Last weekend I went away to Trenton for a dance competition and convention. It was so great! We got 2nd place!

Today we went to the dentist and Mike has 2 cavities and I have none! DUM DA DUM DUM... Braces! Mike and I both need them. Everyone at dance who has them says they are really painful for awhile and then they start to loosen up. I think I'm gonna die! Railroad tracks across my teeth! Ahh! But I can't wait to have perfectly straight teeth!

(2007 HV says: Should have worn your retainer, dumbass.)

Oh my God. I almost don't want to share this next part; but, well, here we go:

Another dilemma, but this guy in school, Danny Bonner. Well, I liked him for about a week so far and guess who else likes him? Allie! And guess who never said anything? Stupid old me! His party is coming up and I think he likes me, but if he asks me to dance should I say yes? You know what, I think I will say yes, and if Alison gets mad I'll say I did it as friends. But I won't ask him to dance. Hopefully there'll be someone else to chase there.

(2007 HV says: Tramp! And also, I believe Danny Bonner danced with Koos at his 13th birthday party, and well, in 2004, he married her.)

(I go on to say that my step-dad went into rehab. Those weren't easy times.)

Aww. My 14th birthday was a little sad, y'all:

Tuesday, February 1, 1994

My b-day. I'm 14 yrs. old. I'm going out to dinner on Saturday with dad and then going to Dan Bonner's party at the Ramada hotel. I hope I fit in.

On Sunday I have my birthday party at Grandpop's. Today we voted nominees for king and queen of hearts. I didn't get one vote. I was crushed. My brother got nominated for 7th grade. Isn't life unfair sometimes?

(2007 HV says: Geez. Depressed much? But seriously, y'all, it was hard being 14. )

(Well, can we all agree this exercise kinda backfired? Because, um, that was kinda melancholy.)

(Don't worry; I'm fine now. I am sure I fit in at the Ramada and all.)

(I'm totally happy at 27. Life is very, very good. So maybe I just taught myself a little lesson here? It wasn't all roses through the years, was it?)

Happy Birthday to me.