Monday, February 25, 2008


My friend Schue and I have a tradition where we designate a day as a DOF. What, you ask, is a DOF? It's a Day of Fun!! It isn't just normal hang-out time, as we usually try to do something special that we've been wanting to do for a while, or go to an event. In this case, we planned to take some of our Fantasy Football winnings and treat ourselves to a very fancy lunch at Nineteen. Nineteen is a restaurant in Philly that is on the top floor of the old Bellevue hotel, now owned by Park Hyatt. I had been there for a business dinner, and knew right away that I wanted to come back -- it would be the perfect spot for a DOF event someday.

So this past Saturday, Schue and I got dressed up and went to Nineteen for our fancy 2nd place victory lunch. The sites were great, both inside and out. From our great view of the city, the incredible architecture, fancy decor, and our handsome young waiter -- everything was absolutely perfect. So was the food, and we ordered a lot of it:

  • "Taste of Three" -- a selection of 3 different sashimis. Each selection was perfectly dressed and plated.
  • Beef Carpaccio topped with Truffles -- looked a little scary, as raw beef usually does, but melted in the mouth and the truffles were nothing less than divine.
  • Grilled Spanish Octopus -- it was served on top of thinly sliced potatoes and leeks. They were so small they looked like tiddlywinks.
  • Crab Cake slider -- Being from Maryland, I almost never order a crabcake anywhere. None of them ever taste as good as one made "the right way." This was no Maryland crab cake, but it was delicious nonetheless.
  • Oyster Po Boy slider -- It's hard for me to ever turn down an oyster, no matter how it's cooked. This one did not diappoint!
  • Cheeseburger slider -- A mini-sandwich with bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms and carmelized onions.
  • I forgot to mention our champagne cocktails.
  • And the grande finale ..... creme brulee topped with fresh berries. I'm not much of a dessert eater, but the occasion called for it ... and besides, who can say no to a few bites of a delicious creme brulee!!??!

After lunch, we window shopped on Walnut street, then found our way to Sephora -- the mecca of make-up. Two hours later, we emerged with eyeliners, lip plumpers, eye shadows, blush, and some kind of skin restoration kit. We even spent extra time refreshing our eye make-up at the Urban Decay counter in preparation for the next leg of our DOF. We truly are a couple of glamour-loving, make-up buying fools!!!

In desparate need of a bathroom, we stopped at Alma de Cuba, a very funky restaurant in the city. We took care of businees, purchased an obligatory drink, and were then on our way. We hopped into a cab and went to a new restaurant that opened up in my neighborhood. Still full from lunch, we opted to sit at the bar and have a glass (or two) of wine. Then we went back to my house, put on our comfy clothes and took a stroll around the neighborhood to a few corner establishments.

We packed alot into our DOF! It was a great day, and I can't wait til the next one. In fact, I think there's one coming up for the Philadelphia Flower show which will be in town next week. Usually we don't have them too close together, but in the case the flower show is not to be missed.

Schue, thanks for being a great friend and a perfect date for a DOF!!! I had a great time!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Basement

Some people have scary basements. Like at my parent's house, I was always terrified of the basement. When I had to go down there I'd make a ton of noise ... I'm not sure if I thought I was scaring away the creepies or just hoping that somebody would notice if the noise stopped, and they'd know to come save me. So now that I have my own house, I'm happy to say that I am the proud owner of, not a scary basement ... but a funny basement. Yes, I think my basement is funny. In fact, my basement is notorious for having weird stuff in it. It's like there's some magnetic force that calls crazy items to flock to my basement ... and they must like it there because they never leave! Yesterday I wandered downstairs to put something away, and stopped for a second to take in the sights. Here is some of what I saw:

  • A statue of a deer -- I think someone who use to live in my house left it here. Thanks!
  • A fiberoptic Christmas tree
  • A can of fruit cocktail
  • My pimp. -- Let me explain. I went to a theme party where everybody had to bring a decorated glass. I got a humongous glass and made it into a pimp. He has an afro and a big hat that say "Pimp Juice."
  • A 3-foot tall sequined roman trojan mummer hat ... and costume. I also have another mummer costume with a 3-foot tall sequined hat. These always come out at parties, along with my extensive collection of wigs.
  • Blanta. -- Blanta is a 4-foot plastic African American Santa Claus who lights up. I won him at a Christmas Party.
  • Herbie Ermie and Miss Ellie. Herbie Ermie is a crazy looking puppet and Miss Ellie is a big stuffed pink elephant. I never liked stuffed animals, but I can't bring myself to get rid of these two gems that I've had since birth.
  • A pinata that I bought for a Mexican-themed dinner party that I hosted. I use to have a blow-up cactus too, but I took it as a hostess gift to a party I went to. A couple of my friends (John and John), Schue and I have a tradition of bringing something weird from our house when we visit each other. Schue and I went to visit the Johns last year, and brought them a blow-up cactus and some fake snow.
  • Purple glitter go-go boots. These were part of my "Beauty School Dropout" halloween costume. I wish I had kept the big foiled roller hat that took me hours to make. It was stunning, I must say!
  • A karaoke machine.
  • Framed prints of Elivs and MLK. (Check out previous post for the history on how that ended up in my possession.)
  • A jigsaw. No, not a puzzle ... a real, electronic cutting machine. Uh, like I'm ever gonna saw anything! (Although I do have a massive toolbox that I totally dig!)
  • One million (roughly) glue sticks. I can't sew, but if there were an Olympic event for hot gluing things, I would be a gold medal winner ... hands down!
So that's the short list. I wonder if anyone else has a funny basement like me? I hope so, because life's too short to have an entire floor of your house being scary.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Starm Party!

Finally! A snowy day here in Philly. I had already taken the day off anyway, so I'm home enjoying a nice day indoors. It looks like things are shaping up for a starm party later on at the local watering hole.

Now you may be wondering why I keep calling this a stArm party, instead of a storm party. (Maybe you're not wondering at all, but guess what .... I'm gonna tell you why anyway.)

When I was a kid, there was a family in our neighborhood that moved to Maryland from Chicago. The mom of the house, Mrs. E, had a strange accent and pronounced words funny. I'd never heard anything like this before. (As you may have noticed, I'm slighty obsessed with words.) For example, instead of saying "fork" she'd say "fark." I knew this because I was friends with her son and daughter, and we frequently hung out at each other's houses. Whenever she'd offer me a "fark" it would make me giggle.

Years later, I still think about Mrs. E and her funny pronunciations. At some point in time I told Schue about it, and we ended up adapting many of her pronunciations because.. well, they're kinda funny. "OR" words become "AR", and vice versa. Yes, it's silly but I enjoy silly. (BTW, I can also amuse myself by making fake fart noises. It's a great cure for boredom ... even when you're by yourself. Try it sometime, I bet you'll laugh out loud. Go ahead, make a gross fake one ... I bet you'll crack up.) I digress. Anyway, that's how the word "starm" came about.

If you ever hear someone say "Hey, there'a porking lot!" ... or you receive an invitation, "Wanna play dorts?" ... or you hear someone tell a waiter "Unfartunately, I dropped my fark on the flar" ... you might just be listening to Mrs. E, or Schue, or me.

Alrighty, gotta go mop my flars so I can join the starm party later. Plus, tomorrow is a DOF!! YAY!! More on that to come ....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bobsledding, Snaggletooth, and The Party Snake

Despite not sleeping well all week, I feel amazingly energized and ready to rock n roll today. Lots of random thoughts and observations running through my head:

I keep findings little pieces of Christmas around my house. Just when I think I've gotten it all cleaned up, I notice something else. I can't believe I just noticed that I forgot to take my decoration off the chandelier. And speaking of Christmas, my neighbor just threw their Christmas tree away the day after Valentine's Day .... it had been lit every night up until then. Veird, huh?

Today is the anniversary of the release of Whitney Houston's first album. I'll be belting out "Saving All my Love for Youuuuuu" on the way to work this morning, in her honor.

I'm not sure which of these is my earliest memory, but both of them were when I was 2 years old: one was sitting on my great grandfather's lap at his house on Maryland's Eastern shore. He was 101, and that's the only memory I have of him. I also remember our family bringing my sister home from the hospital when she was born. I sat between my grandfather and my mother in the backseat, and my sister was partially on my lap resting on a red courdoroy pillow.

The car mentioned above was a late 60s model Chevy Impala, light brown, and very very longgggg. It looked like a dachsund on wheels ... or a party snake turd.

I once broke my middle finger pretending I was a Jamaican bobsledder. A friend of mine and I slid down some basement steps crouched down on our imaginary bobsled. I was in the back, and when the "bobsled" suddenly crashed into the wall at the bottom of the stairs, my finger became a casualty. It was immediately splinted with a popsicle stick that was about 3 inches longer than my finger and some bandaids. I think somebody fixed me another drink after that.

Speaking of bandaids, years ago some friends and I traveled to Egypt to visit my parents while they were living there. In the middle of our Nile cruise, my sister's front tooth broke in half. Very traumatic in any setting, but much worse when floating in the middle of a place with very little if any dental care. We called our "Julie McCoy" (an Egyptian woman named "Moni) to tell her what happened and ask for help. She immediately came to our cabin, bearing a giant bag of cotton balls and a bunch of bandaids. All of us kinda looked at her, curious about how she was going to use those for a broken tooth. Talk about lost in translation?! She thought we said my sister's toe fell off!!! ....and she was going to reattach her toe with bandaids and cotton balls!!!! Luckily, that night on the boat was "Dress Up as an Egyptian Bellydancer with a Veil" night, so my sister had a big veil across her face, and no one had a clue that a snaggletooth was hiding underneath.

On that note, I'm off to the races!!! If you've got a funny story, don't keep it to yourself .... share the wealth!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Year of Valentines

Historically, Valentine’s Day has been my least favorite holiday of them all. Not because I don’t believe in love and romance, but because I never seemed to have someone to share it with. That day was always a reminder that everybody around me had someone, and I didn’t. A day to smack me in the face with “no one loves you.” Was it too much to want one person to think I was loveable? It seemed so. Us “have nots” on Valentine’s Day walk around saying what a dumb holiday it is, but secretly wish we were relishing in the romance and spirit of the day. I mean, hey, what’s so bad about a day that’s all about love?

Now that Davey Dogs and I are together, Valentine’s Day isn’t quite so miserable. As a holiday it still ranks nowhere near Christmas but it’s not something I dread like a trip to the dentist either. Davey Dogs was clearly not too interested in Valentine’s Day, but I have to admit that I was – I didn't want an overpriced bouquet of roses or a box of chocolate that I may as well tape to my rear end ... just a sincere expression of love, whatever that may be. I remember all those years of feeling alone and unloved, and it has made me appreciate our relationship all the more. We stayed home for Valentine’s Day and then did our celebrating over the weekend with a quiet trip to the Jersey Shore. It wasn’t particularly event-filled, but it was good together time. We drove down to North Wildwood on Friday with no plans other than to relax.

The shore is an odd place. For 4 months out of the year, you cannot cram enough people onto the beach, boardwalk, motels, highway ….it’s the word “congestion” personified. Don’t get me wrong – I love it and will always jump at the chance for a weekend at the shore during the summer. But during the winter it’s completely different. We were 2 of about 50 people there this weekend. No cars, no people, lots of signs saying “closed for the season”, and eerily quiet. The fog rolled in at night and it seriously looked like a scene from a horror movie. Some of the fog was weather related ..... some may have been a result of dinner and drinks on Friday night. Definitely not a horror movie ... I'd say more of a romantic comedy.

Anyway, we went out to eat a few times, shopped at the Wicker store (the only place open), walked on the beach, got our Passport pictures taken, and even hit a luau Saturday night. It was a great weekend, and probably the best Valentine’s Day celebration I’ve ever had. There were no roses or boxes of candy, but we did a lot of laughing and loving … the stuff I always wanted on Valentine’s Day but never got. Davey Dogs still doesn’t care too much about Valentine’s Day because he thinks you should show people you love them every day. I agree with him, and am looking forward to a year full of valentine’s days with my honey.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Singalong with Disco

Do you know how hard it is for me to refrain from singing when I'm listening to music?? It's nearly impossible. Like nailing jello to a wall.

I thought about this alot yesterday as I was sitting in the airport (waiting for 9 hours), then on the airplane (for another 3 hours), listening to all my favorite singalong songs on my iPod. I don't know if there are any other serious singalongers out there, but if you are one then you know that not all songs sing the same. Sometimes I hum or whistle along, sometimes I kinda mumble and make up words, then others I belt out like I'm on American Idol ... and I just hit a high note ... and everybody gives me a standing ovation .... incessant clapping ... I bring them to tears (tears of joy people, not tears of pain)!!

Anyway, it was torture listening to my favorite singalongs in silence yesterday.

So today, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite "sing it like you mean it" songs. And I'm not just listing titles and artists --- that would take the fun out of it. Let your imagination wander and I hope you'll conjur up an aural image of my melodious serenade. Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along. In fact, you may want to grab a microphone if you have one nearby ... or tell anyone in earshot to grab some earplugs.

Let the concert begin:

  • Don't you know my tears will burn the peeee-llow. Set this place on fire cuz I'm tired of-a your lies. All I needed was a simple hello-u-oooo. But the traffic was so noisy that I could not hear you callll-u--alll-u-ling. And you-u-u-u ... you leave me so confu-u u used. Now I'm alll cried outuoutttttt, H-OVER youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

  • Psycho killa, ques que ce .. fa fa fa FA fa fa fa fa fa FA and I .. run run run run run run run awayyyyyy. ahhh, ahh, ahh aye, EYE YI YAY EYE EYE YI YI!!

  • Where have all my frainds gone? They've all disappee-erd. Turn around baby one day, you're all that was they-er. ....And you-ou why don't you, stay behi-e-ind? So blue-ooo, why don't you stop -- and look at what's goin down? boo booopeedoo doo (that's the piano part I have to sing along with too.)

  • (Must be sung like Julie Andrews in as much of an English accent as you can muster) High on a hill was a lonely goat heard. Lay ee yodelayee yodelay hee-hoo!!!! One little guhrl in a pale pint coat-herd ... (in a high pitched, imitation female goat voice) Lady, yodelady odel - ooooooh!
  • And Iiiii .eeeee Iiiiii eeee I... will always love you --oooohooo I ... will always love you ... ooooh, my dahling you --- yooo hooooooo oooo.
  • Mem'riessss ... lightthecornersofmy minddddddd. Misty waterr colored mem'ries ... of the way w'were. Scattered pic chers.
  • Our memories of yest-a-day will last a liiiiife time. So take the best, forget the rest and someday - you'll - finddddd. These are the best--- OF TIMESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
  • Round here we stay up very very VERY VERY LATE. (SHOUTING now!) I ... I can't see nuthin' ... nuthin' ..... rounddddd heeeeeeeere. (That one was for you Carolina . Sue and Christine, could you hear us singing??)
  • (OK, haul out your best fake southern accent for this one) Once two stranger climbed on Rocky Top, lookin' for a mooonshine still. Srtangers ain't come down from Rocky Top,reckon they never wheel. Rockytopppp, you'll owees be home sweet ho-ome to me. Gooood oleee Rocly Top. Rocky Top Tenn-a-see.
  • (For this one, you must squeak as much as possible ... trying to sound good will ruin your good time ... trust me) You don't have to be byoo-tee-ful ... to turn me oon. You don't have to watch Dynasteeee, to have an attitude .. no-oh oh You on't have to be-e rich, to be my girl. You don't have to look cool, to rule my world. I just want some X tra time and your (make 5 big kissy smoochy sounds here) KEEEE-ISSS!!!

OK, your turn to serenade me. HAPPY VALENTIME'S DAY EVERYBODY!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The "Groan-a" Lisa

I have been way out of touch with blog world for what seems like foreverahhhhh. OK, it's been a week. Anyway, I'm in Kentucky for business again and no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to find enjoyment in my travels this week. Here's the lowdown on Lisa-land:
  • The hotel has had no wireless service since Sunday. I'm pissed that I even know that .... that means I've been here since Sunday, which means half of my weekend was gobbled up by work travel. Dammit.
  • Louisville had a snow storm last night, averaging about 3 inches of snow. The whole city was shut down last night and all day today. I'm seriously surprised ... this isn't Florida. In fact, it's practically on the same latitude as Pennsylvania and other snow states. The worst part is that nobody here knows about snow parties.
  • I'm 300 pages into my book, and I can't figure out why I keep reading. So far, everything I've read could've been written in about 2 pages. At this point, there are no book stores open, no bars open in walking distance, and nothing good on any of the 6 TV channels at this hotel. They practically have billboards announcing they have "HBO." BFD!! What the hell does HBO have anymore since "Sex and The City", "Six Feet Under" and "The Sopranos" are done? Nothing, I say! Absoluely nothing. Oh, I'm sorry ..... we could all be watching "The Last Mimzy" right now. What the fruck is a Mimzy???
  • By the way, the book I'm reading is "Atonement." I'm not sure I understand how they got a whole movie out of this story ... maybe a You Tube "short", but a movie???? I'm thinking (and hoping) the next 300 pages will reveal McEwan's storytelling genius. If literary genius is being able to say "She saw her older sister flirting with the pool boy" in over 150 pages, then move over Shakespeare -- we've found a replacement.
  • A few minutes ago, I could hear a woman ouside my door in the hallway on her cell phone. I decided to take a minute out of my busy schedule (of sitting around by myself, for the third night in a row, doing important stuff like staring at my feet and horse pictures), to spy on her through the peephole. She was crying -- no, sobbing -- because her flight was cancelled and she's stuck here for another night. I truly felt bad for her as she begged for the person on the other end of the line to help her. She was praying for a miracle to be delivered by the Gods of flying standby. (By the way, I'm quite proud that I refrained from opening the door and suggesting the airport may be a better place for her to catch a standby. The last I heard there are no flights leaving from the 4th floor of our hotel.)
  • Anyhow, if that happens to me tomorrow, I can give you my solemn promise that I'll throw my head back and scream like a 2-year old.
  • Oh, and I'm hormonal ... can you tell?!?!?!!
Alrighty, I've bitched enough. But hey misery loves company ..... care to join me in a rant? What's making you feel belligerent (touche' Carolina!) these days???? Get it outta your system before Valentine's Day comes around when we're all supposed to hug, kiss and sing a few rounds of kumbaya.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Derby Days and Talladega Nights

I'm baaaaack!! It's been quite a few days since I've visited blog world to make my daily rounds, and obviously haven't posted anything in a while. Unfortunately, I fear my creative juices have been drained dry by the confines of a conference room where I spent the better part of the last 2-days. It hardly lived up to the hype I invented in my dream ... (remember, I camped in my office parking lot for a week in my parents' 1971 station wagon surrounded by a fortress of suitcases?) The dream was better than the retreat, but all in all it's been a pretty darn good week.

Here's what's been going on in the last omost-a-week since I've posted:

I got rid of my cleaning lady, so I've been cleaning quite a bit. Let me say, I found enough pine needles and branches under my coffee table to make a whole new Christmas tree. I also found dust bunnies under my dining room table so large I though I'd have to call the SPCA to get rid of them! This just reaffirms my decision to cut the cord.

No luck on any of my Superbowl block pools. Knowing that I'm a very unlucky gambler, I wasn't expecting anything so I wasn't disappointed. On a positive note, Schue and I wan second place in our Fantasy Football league, and we just got our little winfall. YAY!!! (As a side note, I have probably won less than 3 things in my entire life. In fact, the only other win that comes to mind is the fire extinguisher I won at the Great Frederick Fair when I was 8 years old. whoopdeefriggindoo!)

Davey Dogs and I booked a trip to Punta Cana in March. Yahooey! I can't wait to spend a whole week doing nothing but relaxing ... no decisions to make other than what color umbrella I want in my drink!

For the first time in my life, I actually watched an entire candidate debate. I've never been terribly interested in politics, but when I look at my W-2 and see how much money I pay in taxes, I get pissed off and think "dammit, I want to have a say in how they spend my money." Plus, I work in the healthcare industry (and am a consumer as well, with aging parents) so I feel pretty heavily vested in what decisions are made about the future of our country's healthcare system. One thing I'll say without getting too political -- it really stuns me that healthcare and the economy are approached as 2 different topics in the campaigns. Medicaid and Medicare spending account for as much as 50% of state and over 1/3 of federal budgets. I'm not sure how the topics can ever be divorced -- are these people sniffing glue, or do they just think everyone else is? Anyhoo, I still have some investigation to do because I really don't know much about John McCain ... so we'll see. I'm still amongst the undecided.

My friend DeDe in Kentucky called me a few days ago, ecstatic about a trip she's planning to her version of Mecca. She and my friend Pam are huge NASCAR fans and travel all over the place for these races. They love NASCAR and Dale Junior like I love throwing parties and my old Carmen Miranda costume. This year they are finally going to live a dream ... they're driving an RV from Louisville to Talladega (Alabama) for the Holy Mother of all NASCAR races ....... and they invited me to go with them!!!! I jumped so high at the invitation, I may have put a dent in my kitchen ceiling!! Mind you, I've never watched more than 5 minutes of anything NASCAR, but I do know that this means I have a lot of shopping to do. Am certain I'll need a jumpsuit with patches on it. Something like this ...

After we get back from Talladega, I'll spend a few days working in Louisville until the weekend comes. The .... I'll shed my jumpsuit in favor of a beautiful sundress. Yes, I'll be headed to the Kentucky Derby! Finally ... after 7 years of working with our Kentucky office ... I'm going to go to the Derby!!! I can't wait to sip mint juleps while wearing my gigantic Chanel(lish) sunglasses in what will be the most beautiful hat I'll ever wear. Ahhh .. I can't wait!!! I'm envisioning a very wide brim adorned with only the finest of geegaw on top. Oh, and did I say mint juleps too?

And my goodness, I almost forgot a fourth vacation booked this week .... Schue, Los, Davey Dogs, myself and a few others will be venturing back to the Outer Banks again this summer. We'll be returning to a groovy little house we rented a few years ago. Let's just hope it isn't 115 degrees everyday this time!!

And tonight I got my haircut. My friend Linda's daughter, Lori, does an awesome job! I can't wait to sport my new do in front of the world starting tomorrow. It's tres fabu!!! Thanks Lori!!

And, I think that's it. It's been quite a whirlwind of activity between cleaning, booking vacations, jumping up and down with excitement, being at a work retreat, and getting fancy hair. I hope this week has been as kind to everyone else too!

In fact, I delcare this "Spread your good news week." So c'mon folks ... spread it, I say!!!