Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby seat? Cushioned wine holder?

Eh, potayto, potahto.  Or hakuna matata.  Or something.

This probably isn't what a baby seat* is for, right?

I dunno, I'm not a mom.  You tell me....

*By the way, can I just say how much it is freaking me the f**k out to have a BABY SEAT IN MY CAR?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh hai!

So, ummm, the blog?  It has been neglected.  Sorry?  Or whatever?  

Eh, forget it.  I'm not really sorry.  I have excellent reasons for not updating in the past week.  Let me show you them...

Let's see.  My last post was last Wednesday, yes?  Well, last Thursday I had lunch and went to the mall with my perfect little nephew and his mom (that would be my sister-in-law) and then I went straight from there to Catherine's house to see her brand new puppy.  And I stayed there until something like 5:30.  Because, you know, cutefuzzypreciousfluffyscrumptiouspuppyness!

Then on Friday, I spent the morning and early afternoon doing very professional writer-y type things like, um writing and other important stuff.  Then in the later afternoon, I went back to Catherine's house to hang out and whaddaya know, it got to be about 9:30 in the evening before we knew it and we had blown through twelvity bags of chips, two gallons of salsa, a bottle of red and some tortellinis.  (That, friends, is what happens when the husbands are out of town [hers] or rot their brains playing Golden Tee after work [mine].)

Saturday and Sunday were generally filled with weekend-y type things, as they generally are.

Monday is where it gets interesting.  You see, I am now a nanny.  Marinate on that for a minute.

Picked yourself up off the floor yet?
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Okay, how about now?
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Now??
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Seriously.  Pull yourself together.

Ok, so.   Some good friends of ours were in a bit of a tough spot with their nanny.  Long story short, they needed a new one.  So for the next five months (until their three year old starts school) I am super nanny.  Oh yeah, and I'm still working on that whole crazy "writing thing" so you could say I'm BUSY AS HELL.  Y'all?  I'm TIRED.  

On the upside, she's an adorable, well-behaved, well-mannered super-sweet little girl.  On the downside, I'm so not used to this constant activity.  

Hopefully, my body will adjust to this new lifestyle and I'll catch up to myself soon.  In the meantime, I'll be licking my wounds during her naptime.  


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The birthday whore's parting shot (for this year anyway)

As you guys know by now, my birthday started out pretty fabulously with Krispy Kreme and Louis Vuitton. It only got better when Beth and Rino arrived and we had an awesome lunch at The Flying Biscuit. Can I just say that I highly recommend the Southern Benedict? It's a biscuit (instead of an English muffin) topped with a chicken sausage patty (instead of ham), fried egg (instead of poached) and gravy (instead of hollandaise). You guys are aware that calories do not count on your birthday, right?

After lunch Beth and I took off to see Confessions of a Shopaholic while the boys worked (Rino) and worked out (Jason). Then we relaxed at the house for a while before heading out for my big birthday evening.

We had dinner at Solas, where Rino filled my memory card with shots like this:

Jason, Me and martini numero uno...

Notice anything funny about my yummy White Orchid Martini? Perhaps the lack of an ORCHID? Which they thought they could substitute with a STRAWBERRY and no one would notice? I ain't no fool. I am well aware that strawberries are far less costly than orchids. So naturally I questioned the waiter about my garnish. His response was kind of pathetic. "Yeah, the bar on this level is out of the orchids. I could go upstairs and get one from the bar up there if you want?" Umm, really waiter? I just ordered a drink that costs the same as three value meals from Wendy's. How about you truck your ass upstairs and GET ME MY DAMN ORCHID?

But did I actually say that? Of course not. Because, believe it or not, in some situations, I have absolutely no backbone. But Beth and Jason stepped up to the plate on my behalf. Beth was all "But it's her birthday!" and Jason was all "I'll go get her an orchid. Just tell me where." So of course the waiter realizes he can't really be sending dinner guests to get their own drink garnishes and comes back with a couple of orchids.

Which were edible! So of course we ate 'em. (P.S. Orchids taste like grass. Or what I would imagine grass tastes like, since I have never actually eaten grass.)

I'm going to send Rino to a support group for addiction to self portraits with other people's cameras.

Dinner at Solas was fantastic but the upstairs club was beyond lame. (I'd be willing to give the rooftop bar another chance once it's warm weather but that bit in the middle with its Night at the Roxbury music and glass dance floor [make sure to wear your knickers ladies!] was pitiful.)

So we made our way to the bar at Sushi Blues for more delicious cocktails and some quiet live jazz.

Now, when I say "more delicious cocktails", I really mean "Thebestcocktaileverofmywholelife! OMG! Nomnomnom!!!" I ordered a Sinatra martini and it truly tasted like a slice of key lime pie in a glass.

We spent Valentine's Day the best way we knew how - drinking and eating. First stop was Chick-Fil-A, where they were giving out flowers to all the lovely ladies (which we happily took) and also free brownie sundaes (which we sadly did not).

After lunch, we headed to Big Boss Brewery for a tour and tasting.

Less tour, more tasting... Hell's Belles!

My favorite Big Boss beer to drink is Hell's Belle Belgian Blond, but my favorite label is the Bad Penny. Love her 'fro with all the flowers!

The generous tastings begin to take their toll.

Then we headed to their pub upstairs and had such a good time that we only left because the line for the loos was about 25 deep. And those tastings were definitely catching up with us.


Then it was off to Krispy Kreme to soak up some of the beer with sugary fried dough.

Rino really thought they were going to start up the big donut conveyor but no luck.

I love the "donut in motion" in this picture.

We decided to go for a downtown Raleigh tour to walk off some of the beer and donuts.

Starting at City Market...


And moving on to Fayetteville Street...




Sunday morning we got up and put a hurtin' on some FatBoys - Jason's extra-special breafast creation. Even Beth and Rino (proud creators and purveyors of the McChief breakfast sandwich) admitted that it's pretty awesome. We all decided that there is room for the FatBoy and McChief to co-exist in harmony since they each represent their own geographic flavor - McChief bringing the northern flavor with the bagel and FatBoy rocking the southern style biscuit.

We only had a couple more hours before Beth and Rino's flight so we headed across the street for a walk around Lake Lynn. By God I was determined to catch the durkeys on film this time...

But we first ran into this guy who was positively desperate for some bread. He kept making these sad little honking noises (it sounded like the air being let out of a balloon or something) and stretching his neck way up to try and get our attention.

And the damn seagulls were apparently in from Wilmington for the weekend. They were everywhere!

All I was thinking was "Please don't let the seagulls poop on me. Please don't let the seagulls poop on me. Please don't let the seagulls poop on me. Please don't let the seagulls poop on me."

And last but not least.................... A DURKEY!!!!! The body of a duck and the face of a turkey. Told you so.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Who's the Birthday Fairy?

I have received an item from my wish list (addressed to Heather Fashionista) with no note and no return address.  Tis a mystery indeed....

Birthday Fairy, please make yourself known!  You deserve props and the Southern Belle in me cannot rest until a handwritten thank you note is on its way to you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

(Thanks for this, Raquel!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birthday wish list report

Well, so far it's looking pretty good.

Wish number 10 actually came true last weekend when we stumbled across a tv stand that looked like it just might fit in our tight space. But, with no measuring device, it was a gamble. But lo and behold if it didn't turn out just perfect. This makes me so very very deliriously happy.

And wish number 12 is coming true at about 11:00 am (barring any delays) when Beth and Rino touch down at RDU airport.

Wish number 1 has gotten a shout out as well...

(For those keeping score for the past three years, that's Tiffany, Louis and Louis. I think I like my 30's...) But I'll leave a little mystery for now. I'll be back after the weekend to give the full shakedown.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jason's life, in a nutshell

The other night, Jason and I were getting ready to go out for a quick bite to eat at our local Mexican food joint. Jason was changing clothes and asked me to grab one of his tees and his grey hoodie for him. (Now, the tee in question is a very cool graphic tee from Banana Republic and the hoodie is a J. Crew vintage fleece so he's not exactly slumming it here.)

Then he looks at me and says "Wait a minute. You're way more dressed up than me. I should put on a sweater or something."

I said "Whatever. I'm not dressed up. I'm wearing a tee. Granted, it's got sequins on the placket. But it's a tee."

He gives me one of his "Are you really my wife?" looks.

Then I said "Give me a break. I'm not dressed up. I'm wearing a hoodie. Granted, it's cashmere. But it's a hoodie."

He gives me another "Seriously. Are you really my wife?" looks.

Then I said "Oh come on. How dressed up can I really be? I'm wearing flats. Granted, they're leopard print and patent leather. But they're flats."


Oh to be Jason. Poor poor Jason.

BUT, lest any of you start truly feeling sorry for him, here's a snippet from last evening.

The scene: cleaning up the kitchen after dinner

Me: I guess I could take off the two feet of faux pearls hanging around my neck now. I mean, it's not like I'm still out and about.

Jason: I dunno. I kind of like it. Really classes this place up.

So, you know... He kind of encourages me, right? Also, that might be my new slogan. "Heather. Really classing places up."


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heather Takes On: Music

I have decided that I am swiftly turning into a cantankerous old hag in my advancing age.  I have opinions on just about everything.  And I will spout them to just about anyone who will listen.  For evidence, see my post entitled "Rant" from a mere few days ago.  So I'm thinking I just might start a new Nutshell feature called "Heather Takes On".  Here's my first official installment.

Kanye West, I want to hate you.  I really do.  You seem like a pretentious, self-serving, egomaniac and when I read clips of things you have written on your blog or soundbites from your interviews, I typically end up wanting to strangle you.  I also think you are one hypocritical mofo, what with all your railing against the "blood diamond" industry while wearing your own weight in bling.  But damned if you don't consistently churn out exceptionally good and innovative tunes.  (And now, double-damned if you haven't been one of the best voices of reason out there regarding the Rhianna/Chris Brown fiasco.  While some are writing this off as a simple human "mistake" on Chris' part, you nailed it:  "I don't care how famous she is or if she just worked at McDonald's, that should never happen."  Right on.)

Lady GaGa, just so you know... Christina Aguilera did the whole "scantily clad skinny blonde dance music and racy videos" thing before you and better than you.  But, you know... Carry on.  If you must.

Pussycat Dolls, just STFU.  Please.  Seriously.  Please.

Taylor Swift, I get it. You're precious and fresh-faced and sugar and spice and everything nice (and everything I'm undoubtedly not) and that's great.  Really, it is.  And I truly hope you stay that way and don't start turning into a hell-on-wheels Miley Cyrus type.  (You just know that one is on the fast track to Trouble Town.)  But I'm kind of tired of hearing you harp about how one of those Jonas kids dumped you in a 27 second phone call but that you're "Totally over it.  Honest!  I'm so over it!".  I'm also kind of tired of all your songs sounding like every diary entry I wrote between the ages of 12 and 16.  Ugh.

Akon, do us all a favor and just take yourself to jail.  You're a thug and you sound like a chipmunk.  Go away.

But on the other side of the coin, let me just say that The Killers latest album, Day and Age, is absolutely fantastic and really shows how the group is evolving their sound.  Nobody, but nobody, does the instrumental build up better than The Killers.  By the time they're ready to explode into the chorus, you can hardly stand it anymore.  And that's good music.  Also, it doesn't hurt that one Mr. Brandon Flowers is basically sex on a stick.  (Trust, I never thought I'd say that about a dude who indulges in guyliner [see: Pete Wentz = douchebag], but he pulls it off with aplomb.)

On the same side of this coin... Better Than Ezra, please please please put out a new album.  And please please please come perform in NC.  It's been too long.  I miss you guys.  

And finally, a word on Adele.  Adele, you are everything that's good and right and pure in music.  A breath of fresh air in a smoky bar.  A ray of sunlight on a January day in London.  A sip of cool water after a run.  Keep it coming.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liam The Awake

Guess what I got to do this morning. I got to hang out with wee Liam. Mom had a doctor appointment so Aunt Heather accepted the call of duty. Liam has recently decided that sleep is totally for wussies. His mantra is "Awake, awake, whatever it takes. Awake, awake, whatever it takes." And apprently, one of the weapons in his arsenal is that he can pee at a rate of about 10 diapers per hour. His other mantra is "If I'm a-peein', I can't be a-sleepin'."

"Hmmm, nap you say? No, thank you. Sleep is for the weak. I strong. Remember, I called 'Liam The Brave'. Now change my diaper again, big person."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Spring fling

For all the whinging I've been doing lately about missing London, I must admit that North Carolina knocked it out of the park this weekend. It was absolutely bee-yoo-ti-ful outside with temps in the low 70's. And the trend continues for the rest of this week so there's plenty of reason to drag myself out for daily jogs around the 'hood. (Which I imagine will go some way in helping me shed the 15 or so lbs. I've packed on in the past five months.)

When you look at London's forecast for this week, it's all rain and highs in the low 40's. So, umm, sorry London but I'm not missing you so much this week. (Though this does bring to mind the weekend prior to my birthday last year, when there was a freak early showing of spring. Perhaps my birthday is a magical time? Yes, that sounds about right.)

Anyway, Sunday we had planned to do yard work so Saturday was our fun day. We went and had ourselves a redneck hotdog picnic in the parking lot of Lowe's... Though how redneck can it really be when you're eating in the back of a Lexus?

And then we went for a sunset jog around Lake Lynn. Who knew such beauty existed right across the street from our neighborhood?

I only had my iPhone with me so I wasn't able to adequately capture the freak of nature that lives at Lake Lynn - the durkey. Half duck, half turkey. It's a sight to behold, let me assure you. Next time, I'll take my proper camera and make sure to get a good photo of one of those beasts.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Life in the slow lane

Gearing up for another wild and crazy weekend over here.  If my spidey-sense is on target, it will look a little something like this:

Coffee and trolling for new music is Jason's activity of choice.

Snuggling up is George's.  (He LOVES wool and decided these socks made an excellent kitteh-sized scarf.)

Some of us enjoy reading the newspaper.

Some of us enjoy sitting on it.

And some of us enjoy wrapping up unsuspecting kittehs like leeetle furrrrry burrrrrritos.

Bring it on.

Ew

So, for some reason I decided to test that my links in the post below were working properly and I saw that the Ewan McGregor one went to some skeevy "hot dudes" website.  So, um, sorry about that, ladies.

Please be assured that the problem has been corrected and I encourage you all to revisit the post and check it out for ourself.  I promise you will be treated to a very yummy photo of Ewan this time.  Awwww, yeah.  You're welcome.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The birthday whore strikes early

Let's crank up the old birthday machine early this year, shall we?  You may be surprised to know that I've already spent some time thinking about some of the things I want this year.  No?  You're not surprised?  Frankly, if you were surprised, I'd say you know very little about me.

Well, to help out my dear friends and loved ones, here are a few things on my wish list:

3.   Ewan McGregor, Josh Jackson and/or Jason Mraz to sing Happy Birthday to me
4.   Shag on DVD ( I know.  I, too, am shocked to the core that I don't own it already.)
10. A TV stand that will fit between my fireplace and wall (I can't link to one because I don't THINK THEY EVEN EXIST.  GOD.)
11.  Balenciaga bag in black with gold hardware
12.  A visit from a very good friend
13.  For Marc Jacobs to move their headquarters to Raleigh and give me a job
14.  For the Fug Girls to re-locate to Raleigh and be my new BFF's

Y'all see what you can do, alright?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rant

In an attempt to delay digging through multiple drawers to find the cord thingies that attach my iPhone and camera to my computer and make the pretty pictures magically float through the wires and land in iPhoto, I'm going to write about some things that are really up my craw lately.  

If you're not in the mood for some good old-fashioned bitching, I suggest you move right along.

1)  Jessica Simpson is NOT fat.  She just makes unfortunate denim decisions.  Ok, gossip rags?  Now shut up and quit giving young women eating disorders.

2)  Is ESPN seriously airing competitions wherein douche bag guys get together and have Madden NFL video game tournaments??  And trash talk each other??  (If I may borrow from Seth and Amy...) "Really, ESPN??  Really?  Really."  

3)  Hey!  You people from cold-weather climates?  You want to know why four inches of snow disables southern cities (and London)?  Because it occurs so rarely that it would be a ridiculous waste of money and resources for us (and London) to prepare for it like you do.  And guess what.  When it snows here, we get to stay home and drink hot cocoa.  When it snows there, you have to man up and go to work.  So who's the big winner?

4)  Since when is every single show on VH1 about some washed-up has-been finding "love"?  Just once, I would love to turn it on and not see a bunch of bleach blond alcoholic skanks in hot pants.  

Whew.  Ok.  I feel a bit better now.  But anybody else got anything to add?  I'm happily accepting suggestions for more stuff to get mad about.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Well, if Sir Walter Wally says so...

Raleigh's new official groundhog, Sir Walter Wally, says it's six more weeks of winter for us.  Well, it's 60 degrees and sunny here today, with snow flurries predicted overnight and the potential for slightly more winter weather tomorrow night.  Then it's back to the mid 60's.  Sounds like six more weeks of schizophrenia to me.

P.S.  Yes, you read that right.  I said Sir Walter Wally.  I'm sure Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I would be so proud.