Saturday, March 28, 2009


The two inevitable things: death and taxes, right?

I am so *not* a fan of paying taxes -- and having to file in multiple states. In 2006, I had to file in Indiana, Maryland and Delaware. In 2007, just Maryland and Delaware. And in 2008, Maryland and Delaware, as a part-year resident in both states. This requires math, which I generally avoid, and a level of attention to detail that I prefer to save for, oh, I don't know ... just about anything else.

Don't get me wrong -- I'd happily pay an extra $1000 in taxes every year if it meant that more children could go to bed fed every night, or have the health care they need, or that people with disabilities could get the services they need ... 

But the actual filing of taxes is a pain.

And I usually really like filling out forms and taking standardized tests. 'Cause I'm a geek.

I guess the good news is that I'm done till next year. :) 

Walking is temporarily derailed, as I get over the hacking cough that I managed to pick up on my trip to the Midwest. Fundraising, however, is not. I'll be calling the Hooters manager tomorrow afternoon to set up a meeting to talk about our fundraiser, and I'll also be printing out my envelopes to mail my ask letters tomorrow. Watch your mailboxes ... or save me the stamp, and click one of the widgets at right to donate online.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Home again (again)

My trip to the Midwest was ... eventful. In one week's time, I managed to:

- have birthday cake with one of my favorite Elizabeths (there are two) and her brother

- spend about 15 hours (and that's a cautious estimate) in the car ... yes, I could've *driven* to Indiana in that amount of time

- get a speeding ticket. Great.

- get everything to the church on time

- meet my new gay boyfriend

- participate as the "Lady of the Rings" (I *love* that) in my other favorite Elizabeth's wedding

- put together 8.5 hours of bonafide awesome wedding reception music, including everyone's all-time favorite "Ice, Ice Baby" ... yo, VIP, let's kick it.

- get hit on by a fabulous married chick

- get hit on by Elizabeth #2's fabulous father

- spend the entire wedding reception questioning my powers of invisibility (they work!)

- play euchre twice, once displaying the aforementioned powers of invisibility

- get hit on some more by the terrific married chick (and her husband)

- bluff my way into winning at poker with only a pair of 7s

- have a really wonderful dinner with my ex, only to have the evening descend into the most-ridiculous-lesbian-drama-ever in a matter of five minutes

- be the cause of a complete relationship meltdown, without having done *anything*

- eat at Skyline twice, Toot's (oh my God -- pickle chips!), Laughing Planet (try the Southwest Green Chile burrito -- add chicken) and the new-and-wonderful Farm.

- visit with my mom, grandma and a bunch of good friends, with one noticeable absence (Nicole? I missed you!)

- see Boulder-the-wonder-dog and steal a fork (don't ask)

- get home in one utterly, completely exhausted piece

Real life starts again tomorrow. Going to go get coffee, pick up the boys from being boarded, and spend the day on the couch with them. 

Oh, and I'm meeting my 3-Day team again tonight ... I promise more walk-related posts in the very near future. I'm up to 27 miles/week ... but I've got a long way, and just about six months to go. Click on the tabs on the right to donate ...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Drumroll please ...

Here it is ... the cake. It's amazing. It's spectacular. And I'm so very pleased that I had the party, and also the chutzpah to get myself the fancy cake. Yay me.

It was also really, really tasty -- the bottom tier was almond cake with chocolate mousse filling, and the top tier was vanilla cake with a strawberry cream filling.

Eileen's cakes are amazing. If you need a cake for a special occasion -- or just for fun -- give her a shout at the Cake Art Studio. Tell her I sent you!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Sarah's birthday tomorrow ...

And Happy St. Patrick's Day, too.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I've nicked another recipe from Deb at SmittenKitchen, and am in the process of making the most fabulous homage to Ireland that has ever come in cake form.

The name is mildly (or very, depending on your level of tolerance for dark humor) offensive, but the cakes are anything but -- they're dense, moist, rich and absolutely delicious, and probably more than a little intoxicating ... just because of the chocolate alone.

Seriously? Guinness-infused chocolate cupcakes, filled with Jameson-laced ganache, topped with Bailey's frosting. As my beloved Ina Garten would say, "How bad could that be?"

Sarah -- one's on the way, I promise! 

Friday, March 13, 2009


Not just any Oreos. The best Oreos you've ever had. What? You've only had store-bought, Nabisco Oreos? 

Stop right there, my friend, you are *seriously* missing out.

Check out these homemade oreos, and see what the whole point of making things at home is: they just taste better. And, by the way -- Deb's site: is seriously the best food blogging out there. Stop by. And tell her I sent you. (A close second is Marc Matsumoto's -- also pretty spectacular.)

While these don't make up for being sad about my mom (she's not ill -- she lost her job), they do make for pretty awesome party favors for tomorrow night. Yes indeedy. 

Don't worry. Pictures of the cake will be forthcoming. In the meantime, check out Eileen's site for a little more food porn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Two things that are weird.

- I never remember to use my food processor, but this evening I used it three times -- to make maple-vanilla truffle filling, chocolate-black-raspberry truffle filling, and to make sauerkraut balls. (The recipe I have, from back when my dad was going to write a cookbook, is slightly better than the linked one, and they're called "Barb's Balls." Tasteless name. Fabulous dish. Tell me if you want it ...)

- In the course of this crisis that my mom is experiencing, I'm feeling oddly reconnected to my ex/best friend, who I've missed very much for the last three years. Silver lining? Perhaps. Or just a temporary "helping with the chaos" kind of situation? Don't know. Ask me after the wedding -- we'll see how it goes. 

One thing that is not weird.

- I'm super excited for my friends Beth & Denise, who are getting married on March 21. They'll have been together for 11 years, that day. Amazing and wonderful, isn't it? 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bad day.

I'm sad for my mom. She got some really bad news today at work -- basically, that she won't be working there anymore after Thursday, give or take -- and she's sad about it, because she's given so much of herself to the organization.

So -- if you're reading this, and you know my mom: send some love her way. 

3-Day update: still walking, and working on fundraising. If you're interested in donating, click on the 'donate now' bar on the right side of the page -- your support is very much appreciated. I'm currently at 22 miles/week, and there are about 30 weeks left until the walk. Lots of miles (and dollars) to go. 

In unrelated news, I'm in search of a lovely purple cocktail -- preferably one served in a martini or a rocks glass. Feel free to send suggestions. The Blackberry-Gin Smash sounded fabulous, but was a big disappointment. The Limoncello Sparkler, on the other hand, was a smashing success.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy ...

Happy birthday to me!

Today has been a wonderful, fabulous, amazing day -- my best birthday in years. 

Thank you to everyone who made that happen. 

Monday, March 2, 2009


The snow that fell last night and this morning wasn't entirely unexpected -- that is, the local weather station had been predicting this late-winter monster storm for more than a week. I was up at the crack of dawn (and late into last night) talking with staff and administrators from school, worrying about staff driving safely, and about coverage for the programs. 

However, when Hadley and I went for a winter adventure (that's how I sold myself on the prospect of wading through ankle-deep powder amidst still blizzard-like conditions -- it was an *adventure!*) this morning, we saw the remains of a car accident blocking the entrance/exit to our neighborhood. The cars were banged up, but the passengers were fine -- and the realization that I wouldn't be able to get out of the neighborhood was a silver lining to the dumping of snow.

I never skip out on work -- and I had fully intended to brave the elements to get to there -- but today was pure serendipity. I hadn't realized how much I needed another day to recharge; last week's trip to Florida was very good, but very tiring, and I guess two days just weren't enough to be back to 100%. Tomorrow, though, I'll be back in the saddle.

Training was a little derailed by my trip, though I did get in two walks on Saturday and Sunday -- four and five miles, respectively. Tomorrow will be a chance to get back to weekday walking, and I'll make the trek to the Y after work.

Thursday is my birthday (!), and I'm having dinner at Firebirds with some girls from work, and Saturday afternoon, I'm heading to Baltimore to have dinner with Dad and James (who, by the way, just got into grad school!).