Sunday, June 14, 2009

Several Mornings Later..

... and I still feel the same. Turning 26 was easier than turning 25. Although, the thought of being another year closer to 30 makes waves of ice cold panic race through me. But I'll cross the inevitable chasm of turning 30 when I get there. -shudder-

Birthday's in the middle of the week have always been difficult to plan celebrations. Add to this the fact that I was working almost every day, and Dev was working two and three jobs almost every day so by the time we had any free time, we were more than a little tired. And, I'm still sick as well which sorta cramped our plans. Mom and Dad came in and took me out to supper, which was lovely. We ate at Montana's and despite it being a little rowdy and every second table having a birthday...

The lucky celebrant was crowned with moose antlers and a song was sung, turning every eye in the restaurant to this individual. I discreetly asked our server to skip the hat and song. I wasn't nearly drunk enough to allow an entire restaurant to join in the embarrassing song that announced my birthday. There would have been a song, cake and candles later that night but I wasn't feeling all that hot and by the time Dev, Jen, and Big P and I were all in one place I was asleep in Dev's bed with the book he gave me about Vito Rizzuto face up in my lap. The cake was delicious, made from vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and smothered with icing and Jen wrote 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISSUS' in tri-colored frosting on it!

Jen took one cupcake from one corner while I was asleep, and after I took the next one when I woke up, I decided I had better take a picture while it still resembled a cake and not a mass of mangled icing and sprinkles. I cannot even begin to tell you how good it was. Although, I'm sure my waistline has expanded an extra inch or two over the course of eating ridiculous amounts of junk food for four whole days.

I also received a few books for my birthday! Dev gave me one called The Sixth Family - it's about the fall of the Five Families in the United States and how it allowed for the international growth of a Sicilian Mafia family that was based out of Montreal, Quebec. I haven't gotten far enough in it to tell you whether or not I like it, but it's the third book about the Mafia that I've gotten my hands on so far. Not perhaps the most genteel subject for a 'lady' to be reading but it's beyond fascinating. My nephews also gave me another Neil Gaiman book called Stardust. Again, I haven't gotten far enough into it to give you any of the particulars but so far I've been introduced to a town named Wall, and a 6 foot opening in a vast granite wall (where the town takes its name from) that it guarded day and night to prevent people from coming and going back and forth to a mysterious and very large meadow. I follow Neil on Twitter so I am quite confident that in the very near future I will be giving him a rave review tweet about it. It's also bee made into a movie (the novel, not my epically awesome tweet to Neil) but from what I've heard, the movie isn't as good as the book; following in the footsteps of most book-to-movie innovations.

For now, that's all I'm going to say about my birthday. It hasn't been truly and drunkenly celebrated as yet. So, don't fret, for there will be other posts, and more pictures! In the meantime, I do believe that I need to get to cooking myself a proper meal. Chips and cupcakes don't really suffice. Although, I've no idea what to eat. I'll have to run to the grocery store tomorrow and pick up a few things. I do have to say though that some Chinese food would be wonderful. I'm already running through different menu options already. I wish I knew how to cook Chinese .. it'd be so much cheaper than take out...

When I was little, Daddy used to make Chinese food for us. I remember once he cooked us tofu with these delicious little orange crispy little noodles. The house would smell wonderful for the rest of the day. Even thinking about it now makes me salivate.

Right - off the bottom cupboard in the kitchen where Mom keeps the take out menus!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Girls Day Out

Today was fantastic. I've discovered over the last few years how much I adore my mother. In some ways, she's like my best friend, and spending the day together like we did today was just one of the ways that I realize of just how awesome and important to me she is.

My mom can shop like nobody's business, and today was no exception. We left early this morning fueled by coffee and French Vanilla cappuccino. The first stop was at an arts and crafts shop where Mom picked out a new sweater pattern and some wool so that she has something new to knit. A friend of my brother is getting married, and his fiance is pregnant, so now Mom has something so adorably cute to knit for them. She knits like a fiend. Growng up, Mom always knit myself and my 2 older brothers a new sweater for Christmas, if we wanted them. I went through a phase where I had to have everything two sizes too big, and I'm sure that I could have fit another body underneath my sweater with me. It's probably still too big for me.

Then, after that we hit up Winner's. I found the cutest little outfit for Leah - and at 15 bucks it was a steal. I decided she simply had to have it. It's this beautiful little sun dress, that has flowers and gold colored embroidery all over it. And it has matching bloomers! I will have to take a picture of her in it, and show you all.

Then, it was time for lunch, so it was off to Swiss Chalet! We were there for about an hour or so, chatting over soup, salad, bread sticks and chicken. We met a friend of ours there as well. We sat around like a group of little hens talking about everything from the kids, to camping trips when we were all younger, to teeth! There were plenty of hugs and kisses to go around afterwards. And then it was off to the mall to get some serious shopping. I actually bought a shirt for myself! Something I rarely tend to do. But, it's purple and cute and I love it! Next, we went to Bootlegger where Mom picked up an early birthday gift for me - a totally kick.ass raspberry colored BENCH jacket. Yeah, you heard me. I have a BENCH jacket? Are you jealous? You should be. I also had a coupon for Bootlegger that gave me 20% off any item in the store - which makes my jacket that much better! I almost never got the coupon though! It took three tries, with three different printers to get the stupid thing printed off but an early morning phone call to Dee and it was a done deal. Dee -so-saved my ass this morning, so I told her that she could borrow my jacket sometime.

Next, we hit up Eddie Bauer - where I work! Mom to got to meet my 3 managers, which was nice. I picked out another shirt for Dad for Father's Day - which happens June 21st just inc ase some of you have forgotten - and got Mom 2 new shirts! All using my kick ass Employee Discount! I tried on a few things as well, but unfortunately I just wasn't feeling it when I tried it on. The shirt is beautiful, and has embroidery done around the neck, hem and cuffs in this amazing shade of blue that has a camisole dyed to match. The colors are beautiful but I don't think it suited me quite as nice as I wanted. I also tried on another shirt and a pair of capri's but they didn't fit right either. But, I do have 2 polo shirts from work already, plus a new dress - which I will also have to show you. I love the dress. And not only because it's amazing . but because it's a size 10 and I love that I can still fit into a size 10!! It makes the tragedy of not fitting into my other dresses a little more bearable.

Next, it was off to RW&CO where Mom found herself this stunning new shirt. It's salmon colored, with a very attractive square neck that is trimmed with a little bit of white, and a light pony brown color. She looks amazing in it. There were also a million and one jackets she saw that she liked, and a pair of dress pants. Her birthday and anniversary are coming up in August so she left me with lots of great little ideas for things to get for her.

A short trip to the bookstore and the coffee shop and McDonald's and we were driving home! The weather was miserable, but we had such fun I don't think we noticed it very much! And now, I think I might go climb into a nice hot bath. Too bad I'm out of bubble bath though. But I think I have some Johnson's baby wash which will suffice. I really must remember to buy some more bubble bath at The Body Shop the next I'm at the mall - which will likely be tomorrow.

Right, so a bath and my book are my big plans for the rest of the night. I've started reading another Diana Gabaldon book called A Breath Of Snow And Ashes. She has another one coming out too and I'm very excited about it. Not to mention the slew of books that Neil Gaiman has coming out! And Jacqueline Carey is due to have another one out, and Laurell K. Hamilton has her 17th ( I think) Anita Blake novel coming out soon! Can you imagine ... writing 17 books? I find it difficult enough sometimes to write 17 blog posts let alone entire books. That woman is a machine! I foresee a long, sun shiny summer filled with lots of good books!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Convocation 2009

Well internet, I have finally done it. I have graduated. I realize that this one is a little late in coming but I've been sick since convocation. Turns out that it's a toss up between bronchitis or sinusitis - either way both options suck. I have been given some medication though, which has both its pros and cons. The pro, obviously, is that I'm getting better. The con (KHAAAN!!!!!!!!) of all this is that it leaves the taste of rubber bands and sweaty gym socks in my mouth. The taste I can definitely do without - getting better makes it almost worth it. But on to convocation.
The day started with hair appointments for Mom and I. They were threatened to be ruined, given the fact that it was snowing that day. Yeah, you heard me. Snow. On May 26th, it was snowing. Wet, and cold nasty little flakes that melted instantly but gave no sign of giving up and going away. Mom and I both had our hair curled, and while it came out nice, neither one of us got the look we wanted. I wanted big loose curls done with those ginormous rollers, and Mom wanted hers done the way it had been done before the last time she had been at this particular salon. Instead, Mom came out with a look that was a mild throwback to the classics 80s high hair - which she was able to fix rather quickly by just coming her hair a little to each side. My hair, while not what I wanted like I said, still looked nice with curls everywhere. Our hair survived the day of wet and windy snow, thankfully.

Then, we came home and got dressed. Mom looked lovely as usual in a beautiful chocolate brown blazer, and deep brown dress pants. The blazer was stunning, with ivory border around the lapels of the jacket, which looked amazing with the cream colored blouse she wore. I had intended to wear a dress I bought in Florida.

Unfortunately, since the dress was bought two or three years ago I have made somewhat of a pig out of myself, and the dress unfortunately doesn't fit anymore. This revelation was the cause of a near state of panic and hysteria - well, okay ... so I'm exaggerating a little. But I did have myself prepared to go out shopping for a new dress two days before convocation. However, this was avoided as it struck me that I still have the dress that I wore to my neice's Christening last year - which thankfully still fit.

This isn't a very good picture, but the point is that it fit. Thank God for dresses made from polyester.

Then, we drove to St. John's and went to the Arts and Culture Center where the ceremony was held and set about the business of getting our tickets, picking out a frame for my degree and picking up my cap and gown. We were allowed to keep out hats, but the way I looked at it, it was just one more thing to have around the house that would be a glorified dust collector. I have enough of those thank you very much.The ceremony wasn't as awful as I was predicting. I had myself prepared for a long, onerous ceremony full of old fuddy-duddies droning on and on endlessly about things that didn't really hold the interest of roughly two hundred young twenty-something year olds who have shelled out 30- 40 thousand dollars for piece of paper. But, it didn't go like that at all. Before the ceremony started the Marshall (he even had the pointy star shaped badge that looked liked he belonged to the Texas Rangers than briefing us graduands over the protocol of the convocation ceremony) who was amusing as he gave a brief walk-thru of what we could expect during the ceremony. He was a pleasant man, and kept us giggling and chuckling as he made his short 10 minute spoiler. He was actually a high light of the ceremony. The other highlight being the honorary degree of Laws being given to Dr. Inkpen. Her speech was amusing, and the woman who introduced her was a lovely little British woman who could give any male orator a run for their money.

Anyway, once the graduands were called on to be conferred their degree, I felt my heart start to pound, my palms got sweaty, and I kept telling myself "Don't trip. Don't fart, and for the love of God don't fall off the stool." I never did any of these things, thankfully and I never lost my cap either, unlike a few people during the ceremony.

During the conferring of the degrees, they asked for the audience to hold their applause until all the graduands had been given their degree, but they did understand and realize that some members of the audience might not be able to contain themselves out of sheer joy and pride of seeing their special graduand receiving their degree. Some graduands received various hoots and hollars as their name was called, and as they got closer and closer to my name I began to wonder if Mom and Dad were going to give various exaltations. I was half expecting to hear Mom let out an ear shattering whistle and for her and Dad to break out into a dance of joy in the aisle seeing me walk across the stage. They were able to contain themselves though, but only barely I think.

After the ceremony, everyone was scrambling for pictures. And while we didn't take as many as I had thought, we still came away with some really nice ones. One of my favorites is the one of Mom, Dad, and I.This one was actually the subject of a mildly disgruntled parent, standing opposite us. There was actually a line up to get pictures taken at this spot, but since we were among the first ones there, there wasn't a line up and we were due to get our pictures taken after the rather tall, and very proud man who liked he was from Africa somewhere. Anyway, the photo's we took here were quick and few so that said disgruntled parent from loosing her shit.

Anyway, we took several more before we went out for supper at a lovely restaurant called Merlot's Press and Bean. It was divine and I gorged myself silly on food. There was a huge bowl of steamed mussels as an appetizer, followed by a main course of pan-fried salmon served with long grain and wild rice and some vegetables. I asked for some tartar sauce to have with my salmon and the chef made some up, specially for me. It was hands down the best tartar sauce I have ever had. Then, for dessert I had a fresh fruit crepe, which was again utterly divine. We also had the most fabulous server, who took a group picture of us all.

All in all, it was a pretty good day. Dev and Daddy both bought me the most beautiful roses. Half are sitting in a vase on a mantle in the living room and the other half is in another vase sitting on my dresser. The kids also gave me a beautiful gift: a matching watch, necklace, earrings, and bracelet. Mom and Dad also gave me a new white purse and Class of 2009 picture frame; Ern and Kel gave me a gift certificate for the liquor store and a beautiful frame. Jen and Pathy gave me another gift certificate for Second Cup, a lovely little cafe in the mall where I work and an awesome card that plays Bad To The Bone and has turned out to be an endless avenue of entertainment for Leah. She opens it all the time and sits there, half bounding half dancing too it in that adorable way babies do. There was also a wide assortment of cards from other people and Mom and Dad also said they would either buy me tickets to Cirque du Soleli , or a flight to Toronto. It's an agonizing decision to make because I want to do both. I'm having a most terrible time in figuring out what to do.

Anyhoo, I should go along my merry way. I'm nearly finished my book. I've spent most of the day reading it, cuddled up on the couch under my favorite blue blanket.