Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What does the dogwood, cardinal and "Sic Semper Tyrannis" all have in common?

Virginia, of course!

Today was my second day in the state named after Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. It was a great day, a bit chilly, but whatcha gonna do about that, you know. I leave for ye ole hometown in the morning and even though I've had a fab time, I'm really looking forward to giving Davs a big hug and smooch! 

Here's some pictures of my adventures out and about in this historic piece of land filled with history and land. Historic green land. With mountains and beaches. 

Oh, did I mention that since I wasn't here very long, I didn't get to get out much and sight-see? But that's okay...I've been given some good tips on where to visit next time I come. This is me hard at work.

This is me driving to work in my sweet ride.

This is my awesome bed. I totally got lost in it a few times.

This is me testing out my awesome bed. Or me testing out my aerodynamicness.
So, my hotel has the BEST. COOKIES. EVER. Maybe not the best, but purty darn close. Top three, at least. But they only serve them at night, so you have to be quick. When David was with me last time, he'd grab some and then I'd come back later and grab some and he'd give them all to me. That way, I wasn't the little piggie staying in room 203. But this time, it was just me, so I had to be crafty. If nobody was at the front desk, I'd grab 2-3. I'd come back later and if someone was there, I'd grab 1-2. I pretty much just stored up like a squirrel. I ate 4 the first night and I've only gotten three for tonight, but I can tell already it's going to be a 5-cookie night, so I'll have to go back. 

Sweet David stowed some Cadbury Eggs into my backpack for me to find. What a darling. Thank you, puddin!

I got this drink at the airport. You'd think with all the organic junk they yammered on about on the front, it'd be a healthy drink. No. It's not. It has pretty much no nutritional value at all. In fact, I think it depleted my body of any organicness I had. Odwalla. Dumbwalla. 

Some buddies I work with (Stephanie, Justin and BJ) and I went out to dinner tonight to a place called Red Star Tavern.

It was in this super cute shopping center/park surrounded by cherry trees. Cherry blossom trees? Trees with cherry blossoms? Whatever they are. 

Let me tell you...it was incredible. The food was great, the service was great. But the best part was...we sat down and the waitress told us that on Tuesdays, they have a special deal. You can get any appetizer and any entree for $13...or any appetizer and any steak for $16. We didn't believe her, so we had to double-check...twice. Yep, it was real. So...yeah, we ordered a lot of food. A. lot. of. food. And it was wonderful. We got $134 worth of food for $58 (before taxes and tip). I ordered lettuce wraps and a Lemon Chicken Capavallalalalala, I don't remember the name. 


But, I still had room for cookies!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Flight to Crazy, Now Boarding

Well, I'm up in ole Virginia on a "business trip." My largest client resides up here. They decided it'd be cool if I came up here to meet the people I work with and email on a daily basis. They're fine folks and it's a joy to get to work with them. 

This was the first time I've traveled this far by myself. I'm a big girl now, so I figured it had to happen eventually. I'm an independent person, but I never realized that I am, in fact, a very dependent person. So, thanks, Mom...Dad...David, for putting up with me and getting me to places I needed to go. I'm pretty spoiled and it was no fun getting my travel-traditional Starbucks chocolate muffin all by myself. David usually gets it for me. Pout. 

I am proud of myself. When we travel, I take care of all of the arrangements and pack all of our information and have us trotting to the correct gate HOURS in advance. I LOVE TO PLAN. And I knew I'd be fine with that. But I dunno...it was weird...it was like a rite of passage for me...I'm all grown up...barely. 

My first flight took me from ye old hometown to North Carolina. I always request a window seat, because I figure if we're gonna crash, I wanna see it coming...because boooorriiiinnnggg if you're in an aisle seat wondering what we're crashing into. So, I'm in 4A and thinks-because-he's-twice-my-size-should-get-half-of-my-seat is in 4C beside me. Yeah, the seats were labeled weird. It was A-C and then F-G...just a row of four. I'm like, "you guys realize you're missing some letters, right?" Anyways. So, 4C. He read the newspaper the entire time. I ALMOST asked him if I could have the funny papers, but he seemed pretty moody, so I left it alone. But, he opened up the paper DIRECTLY into my air space...right in front of me. I'm like, "oh, honey, this space is paid for...move." He scooted a little bit over when I pulled out my phone to watch Made of Honor and made a big show of having to re-situate myself to see the screen. Whatevs. And then, Coughy McCougherson was RIGHT behind me, to the right. The. whole. flight. I would have hated to be his seat buddy. And it was always the same cough...dry hacks and a gurgle. Hack hack hack hack wheeeeeeeze gurgle. Same every time. I'm thinking, "yeah, Coughy, stop smoking, cuz not only will your lungs rot, but you're bothering people with your rhythmic hack attacks." So rude. 

My next flight was from NC to Virginia. Window seat again...10A this time. 10B was a young guy. Quiet. If they don't talk, I don't talk. I pulled out my phone again (once we were at a safe cruising altitude at which time I was able to operate any and all portable electronic devices, thank you) and started up my movie and through my earphones, I hear this little fairy voice. I stopped the movie and thought...what is that? Nothing. I started the movie again...but I again heard the little faint mumurings of a pixie. What the mess IS that? Then something caught my attention in front of me. There was a eyeball staring straight at me through the gap between the seats of 9A and 9B. GASP! Oh, wait...it's just a little girl. Whew. Then, I see this tiny rottweiler stuffed dog loping across the arm rest of the tiny blonde human. So, little Fairy Voice and Rottweiler carried on a conversation the entire flight...I can only imagine what they talked about. She looked about 4 years old...but her mom apparently thought she was 29 and in the process of writing her doctoral dissertation. 

Mom: "Taylor, you have been remarkable this evening. I am very appreciative of the flexibility and patience you've shown to your father and I for the duration of our trip today." 

Taylor: "Uh huh." 

Mom: "The parenthetical explanations of our journey is at least in presumabality is of sound eyes of this establishment, who, though they are not infallible and are simply trying to make their way in the universe, which, someone, who is also, hopefully, of sound mind and body, despite the obvious disorder, which, if closely examined (but not so closely that you might pick up the disease) is far from perfect, but is nonetheless satisfactory. Try to get some rest, sweetie." 

Taylor: "Okay." 

I wanted to tell the mom, "You realize your kid is 4, right?" 

And then, Talky McLouderson was two rows behind me and as soon as we landed, he insisted on calling 73 people just so he could let everyone onboard know that we had, in fact, landed. It was remarkable how important he was. 

This was, also, the first time I've ever been scared during a landing or take-off. My mom read somewhere that the most dangerous parts of flying are the eight minutes of a take-off and the eight minutes of a landing. Those are both my favorite parts. It's fast, it's furious, if you happen to crash while doing either, it'll be over quickly. As opposed to the engines going out when you're 30,000 feet in the air and having to coast aaalllllll the way down knowing, and you're like...well, should I read a magazine, or watch a movie...I mean, what, we've got time. But, for the last landing, it was extremely windy when we were descending. The pilot (who was a 12 year old) told us it'd be a little rough. I love how they under-exaggerate. I've flown in a Cessna before and that landing was INSANE! It looked JUST LIKE my fighter jet when I was playing Top Gun on the Nintendo back in the 80's. But I was a real human this time and in a non-pixelated real live airplane, so it wasn't as fun. We tilted back and forth...I could see the horizon tilt warning flashing in the cockpit...screaming "LEFT LEFT...RIGHT...RIGHT...SLOW DOWN." We ended up landing just fine, obviously, and...softly, in the distance, I heard the theme song from Top Gun...but it was the midi version from the game. 

I got my rental car...to my surprise, I was upgraded to an SUV from a economy car for no extra charge...thank you, Avis. I got to my hotel room...a nicey nice king bed room...thank you, fabulous client. Unloaded everything, took my shower and was out by 1:30 a.m. Yeah, I'm a little sleepy today. I'll post pictures tomorrow of my adventures in this state o' lovers.

Friday, March 27, 2009


So, yesterday afternoon I went for my usual walk/jog (I don't jog the whole way...because 1. I'm lazy and 2. I can't) and I was just heading out and one of the neighbors' teenage sons was out riding his skateboard. I'm guessing he's about 17...so, his brain hasn't completely developed his sense of reasoning yet. And I know he sees me coming. But, he's steady riding around the road and hopping some curbs and doing the flip thing with the board. 

As I'm approaching people, I always try to figure out whether they're a wave-to person or not. Some people are just grouchy and don't wave back, so why waste it. But others will come out and pick you up and swing you around if you wave at them, so I like waving at them...except I don't like to be picked up and swung around, so keep back. 

I figured he probably wasn't a wave-to guy, so I had decided not to wave at him, but as I got closer, I could see he was probably thinking the same thing. So, I went ahead and waved. He gave a little nod and said "Sup." Then, he decides to do his biggest skateboard trick of all...with one foot on, he pushes off and pushes pushes pushes and then two feet on and a little hop...up up up oooover the curb drain and then slip scuffle...arms waving about like a rag doll...ground. He totally ate it. Right on the sidewalk above the curb. The skateboard went flying behind him...shot out from under his foot like a torpedo. He just kind of stayed there on the concrete for a second. 

I was at the point in the street where, from his perspective, I may or may not have seen it and I had my earphones in, so I may or may not have heard it. So, I debated for a moment in my head...do I turn to ask if he's okay? Do I let him think I didn't see anything to save him embarrassment? He seemed so proud of his skateboard stunts that I chose to let him think I missed the whole thing. He got up, dusted himself off, and grabbed his skateboard and kind of sulked away. You might think, "Geez, Ruth...ever heard of the Good Samaritan?" Well, you don't like it when people see you look a fool when you trip or fall, so I didn't want to embarrass him. Besides, he was fine. He's a teenager...they're durable.

But then I'm thinking, why do something ridiculous at which you don't know if you'll succeed or not right when someone is coming towards you? Why didn't he wait until after I passed? I will admit I smiled a little when I passed by, but I played it off as sun in my eyes. Crazy people. 

Not unlike another neighbor who, every time I walk by, is staring at the brick on the side of his house. I don't know what he's looking at, but it's something very interesting because he's always staring at it. And he's always wearing a business suit or slacks and penny loafers, so he apparently feels the need to dress up when he watches the brick. It's a special occasion. He's a wave-to guy. But after he waves back, his attention goes back to the wall. 

Or the lady that is ALWAYS in her yard gardening. She's always potting something or pulling weeds. She's all decked out in her hat, gloves, knee pads on her knees, knee pad on the ground, trowel, everything. But, the weird thing is...her flower beds never change. I always see her potting stuff, but her flower beds always looks the same. I'm thinking, "where does the stuff she plants go?" It's like she's gardening in another dimension and she just pots the plants in this one. She's a wave-to gal. 

Or the kids down the road that are always outside playing and riding their bikes or throwing a frisbee. And as I pass by, one of the little girls always comes and hugs me. I have no idea who she is, but she comes and hugs me. Scared me the first time. I feel these little arms snake around my waist and I'm like, "WHA--well, hello there, child."  "Hello. What are you doing?"  "Well, I'm going for a walk, what are you doing?" "Noooothing..." as she grins widely and spins back and forth like she really needs to go. And then I'm thinking, does she hug everybody, cuz maybe her parents need to have a talk with her...we've all heard the "don't take candy from a stranger" talk, but there needs to be a "don't hug a stranger" talk. Not everybody is a nice as me. I always pat her on the head and say "I'll see you later!" and she trots off with a giggle and wave. I think she thinks I'm someone else. It's very strange. But sweet. Free hug on my walk. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So, you know I love Lost...well, it's not so much that I LOVE it as that I've invested 5 years of my life into it and I just want to know what's going on. That's all. I just want to have ONE question answered. What do the numbers mean? What is the black smoke monster? Why do the Others never age? Why does Richard wear eyeliner? What is the point of the whole thing? 

I've also grown quite attached to the characters...Kate and Jack I could live without. All they do is whine. I like Sawyer and Juliet. I liked Charlie, but they killed him off. Claire...Locke...Jin...but my favorite person is Hurley. Four years ago, I dressed up as Hurley for Halloween...all you need is some ugly boots, long shorts, $2 worth of stuffing, a paint pen, and some scruff. I can't grow scruff, so I drew some on, along with eyebrows, with eyeliner. I forgot I had done that. Blue was looking through my pictures for some stuff for her blog and came across these. 

I literally caught a glimpse of them and thought, "eeeww, who's that dude?" Then I realized, "Oh gracious, that's ME!" Good times. You may not think it, but it took awhile to get my hair to do that.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Harsh for a Tuesday, but No Less True

Your kid is chubby because you bought him an electric scooter. 

No, riding an electric scooter down the street is not exercise, kid. 

I do not share chocolate. I'm sorry, I said that wrong, let me try again...I DO NOT SHARE CHOCOLATE. Call me greedy, call me selfish...I really do not care. It's mine. I'll share anything else with you, but ask me for my chocolate...you will rue the day. IF IF IF I share chocolate with you, it's because I love you enough to die for you. And sure, I may smile and say "Aw, I was just kidding in my blog when I said that. Here, have some," but just remember that I'm inwardly screaming NOOOOOOOOOO!! 

Wii Fit is awesome, mean, and Canadian. "Too busy to check in with me yesterday, eh, Ruthie?" "I'm so sorry, Balance Board. I was incredibly sick yesterday." "That's no excuse, Ruthie! You check in with me every day, eh?" "Yes, Balance Board." "Good. Now, I'll be under the maple tree when you're done with your workout, lardo." 

I hate, nay, I LOATHE the new Facebook. U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi, bring it back, back the old Facebook back, back. 

If you inSIST on projecting your voice miles away, chattering aimlessly on your fancy pants Bluetooth earpiece whilst in a crowded or quiet area, I WILL glare daggers at you and I will utter things about you under my breath, yet loud enough for you to hear. 

On a Wednesday night...these are my priorities...family, friends, Lost. If you call me during Lost, you move down in my priority list. Way down. 

If you are pregnant and I'm in proximity, I will more than likely touch your belly without asking...even if I don't know you. Cuz those things are CRAZY. I mean, it's so round and I gotta touch it. Sorry. You were warned. 

If you have a dog and it looks like a stuffed animal or barks ridiculously, I will make fun of it. Point, laugh, whisper, all of the above. So, stop walking it around and just keep it inside. 

If you must jog on the same route I speed walk on, go at another time or stay ahead of me because if I suddenly hear running footsteps behind me, I will spin around and karate chop you into unconsciousness. Don't run behind me. 

If you don't use your blinkers, I will assume you are an idiot. 

Shane...Eric, I think it might rain tomorrow on the fields. I would break it gently to Brooks. 

When I can count all of the vertebrae in your back even from looking at you 30 feet away,  I don't think, "Hmm...she looks like a model."  I think, "Someone give that girl a sandwich." Eat up, honey, cuz...gross.

I ordered my Vibram FiveFingers Sprint shoes today...you. are. so. jealous. I know you want some. 

It's the truth people, it all needed to be said.

Surprise Party for 75 Year Old Man...

Well, this weekend I went home with my sister and John (sans David Pookiekins) to share in the delight that comes from surprising my grandfather on my mom's side with a birthday party. He turned 75 this past Friday and has never had a birthday party in his whole life, so my mom and uncles thought they'd throw him one. Why never a birthday party? Well, he grew up pretty poor and they didn't really have much, so they didn't observe birthdays often. Or many holidays for that matter. For Christmas, he and his brothers would get a peppermint stick and an orange and be THRILLED beyond words...kind of makes you regret whining about getting the blue Power Wheels 4-wheeler instead of the yellow one. 

Papaw was born on the first day of Spring. As my mother so cleverly pointed out, it's the first day of Spring every year...how weird it works out like that, huh, Mom. And every year, on that first day of Spring, Papaw reminds us that the day he was born, there was 6 feet of snow on the ground and later that afternoon, he was out playing in it. It's odd, but every year, the snow gets deeper and deeper when he tells that story. Anyways. 

Why would we have a surprise party for a 75 year old man? Well, Papaw is solid rock. You can't really scare him. He is the original jump-out-of-a-dark-corner-and-scare-someone prankster. He's immune to it. HOWEVER...when he arrived at the party...he was under the impression that me, Mamaw, my mom, and my sister were going outlet shopping and he was meeting my Uncle Greg and Aunt Becky for lunch for his birthday. He came into the restaurant and U. Greg and A. Becky walked him slowly into the room and we, in a normal inside-voice, said, "Hey Papaw! Happy Birthday!" and sang to him. It was then that he almost fainted, he told us later. I'm thinking, NOW you choose to get all fluttery? It was funny. And he was fine. Friends and family celebrated with us and Papaw told us some great stories, as usual. 

I stole these pictures from Sara. Thanks, sistah!

Here is the cake...all of Papaw's "buddies" (Obama, Biden, the Clintons, Teddy, Nancy, etc.) were able to join us for the partay, too. He promptly gave us his "shooosh...oooh nahh ahh...who put this on there?! I ain't eatin' this cake (chuckle chuckle)!" But it was some delicious cake, so we still had to eat it. 

Papaw being surprised whilst saying "You girls are liars...y'all fooled me!" 


Mamaw "helping" him lick the candles.

A Rhode Island Red Rooster! Papaw talks about those roosters at least twice a day. Something about he wanted one running around the house because they're pretty?? I'm not quite sure.

Hmmm...what could this be? 

It's an autographed (photoshopped) picture of Papaw and Obama! Well, I'll be. He was tickled pink (ha, not really). It says "Happy Birthday, to my old pal, Bill!" My cousin's girlfriend, Lesley made that for him knowing Papaw would "love" it. In the above picture, he's looking at me because he thinks I did it. Nope, you take it out on Lesley! 


So, we had a great time and Papaw was definitely surprised!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Well, since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd share a little bit of my family's history with you. Back in 1863, my great-great grandfather, Paddy O'Malley, was a farmer in Ireland. He had emerald green eyes (that's where the majority of mom's side of the family, including me, get it from) and curly, fire-red hair that couldn't be tamed for anything. That, and the fact they didn't have Paul Mitchell's Frizz Tamer back then. His skin was as pale as the moon, but he always had a glow in his cheeks. He was pretty poor, but had high hopes for his family...a wife and daughter (my great-grandmother). He gathered up everything they had: £7 in his pocket, a sack of potatoes and a handful of clovers to carry a bit of Ireland with him, and they sailed towards a brighter future in America. When he arrived, they moved straight to Chicago and his wife, Siobhan, worked as a seamstress, while he worked as a farmer in the lands owned by rich, Chicago businessmen. Since clovers weren't native to America back then, Paddy began growing the ones he brought from Ireland in his garden and they eventually spread so fast, he started passing the roots around because neighborhood children loved the whimsical leaves. Clovers are an invasive species and they soon covered the entire Midwest. So, you can thank my family for the weeds in your yard. Paddy had a unique way of farming that made everything grow faster and sweeter. He developed his technique and soon opened up his own company specializing in freshly grown products, called O'Malley's Mercantile. When my great-grandmother got married, Paddy passed the company down to her husband, Leamon...he proceeded to expand the company across the nation and renamed it. Leamon passed the company down to his kids (including my grandmother, Daphne) and they now own and operate what you know as Whole Foods.

David and I went on vacation in the British Isles (Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the Netherlands) almost two years ago and I thought I'd share some of the pictures from when we stopped by Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Here's some of the architecture in Belfast, Northern Ireland, including the leaning clock tower of Belfast.

Here's some of the architecture of Dulin, Ireland, including St. Patrick's Cathedral. In both Ireland and Northern Ireland, Irish Gaelic is their first language...so, everything is written in Gaelic first and then English. It's a very pretty language...spelled and spoken. To think that the majority of the buildings there are older than my own country is pretty incredible. And it's also good to know that you're never too far from The King.

Here's some of the rolling hillside outside of Dublin. You can see why it's called the Emerald Isle. Even in the winter, it's green. We saw tons of ruins and old castles, etc. It was like seeing cows in America. Ruins and graveyards are everywhere. Except ruins and graveyards don't poop and moo.

This is a golf course at a place called Woodenbridge. Apparently, Tiger Woods "frequents" the course...I'm like, I'd frequent it, too, if I played golf. Nearby is a hotel we ate lunch at and they served us some pretty sweety food including some not so sweet paté. Ick.

While we were in Northern Ireland, we toured the coast and visited the Giant's Causeway. It's got some huge story behind it about a giant named Finn McCool and he was arguing with a giant in Scotland, etc. You can google it. It was pretty incredible. It's made up of all of these rocks that have hexagonal (I think) edges...and all of it occurring naturally. Scientists can't figure out why the rocks did that and why it only happened there. But it was a splendid sight. It definitely dwarfs you...I thought, please don't squash me, Finn McCool. Another great thing about N. Ireland and Ireland is that they don't have rails (except on roads and stuff)...you can walk where you want and stand on the edge of stuff and they figure if you die, your fault, because their lawyers are a lot more relaxed than our lawyers. But, don't worry, Mom, we stayed a safe distance from the edges...mostly.
Driving back to Belfast from the Giant's Causeway, we stopped by Dunluce Castle...one of the most impenetrable castles on the island, I think...I can't remember what the guy said. But, of course there's some history to it. Right on the edge of the water on a cliff. It was really neat.

In Ireland, we visited St. Kevin's Abbey in Glendalough. Most of the stuff there was built in 550 AD or before and it was like walking into another time. It was like nothing had changed for over 1,000 years. It was so peaceful and quiet. We saw the tower, which can be seen from miles away. Monks from all over the island would gather there yearly to fellowship and chat and swap phone numbers and they'd look for the tower to find the way because the abbey is hidden. Which...if it's hidden, why did they build the tower so high. I didn't quite understand that but I could barely understand our guide anyway, so I just left it alone. Glendalough means "valley of two lakes" and it's pretty tough to see until you're right up on it. It's kind of tucked away, but still...pretty tall tower...kinda obvious...not too smart there, Kevin. Anyways. We saw the ruins of the cathedral and St. Kieran's and Kevin's churches...as well as a whooooole lotta tombstones. I could have stayed there forever.

So, I highly recommend Ireland. Happy St. Patrick's Day! And as Grandfather Paddy would say, "Eire! Bi ciuin! Ta tinneas cinn orm. Thalla a chluiche le do deideagan!"