Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Slumber Parties - Not Just for Kids

This past Saturday night, I did something I have not done for a very long time. I went to a slumber party.

My dear friend Michelle is getting married in June. She decided that for her bachelorette party, she wanted to have a slumber party at her house. We all went over at about 7 pm to get the party started. After an early round of margaritas followed by mojitos, we had a dinner of salad and pizza. We talked about everything from what we would wear to Michelle's wedding to bikini waxing. It was great to just hang out with the women and talk about all the things we never say in front of guys.

After our meal, we played Cranium. Michelle and her partner, Laura, dominated the game. It was good for her to win as she was the woman of the hour. Those of us who decided to stay over then changed into our pajamas (brand new jammies for Michelle and me) and did face masks while watching the classic romantic chick flick - Casablanca. We soon all fell asleep on Michelle's floor in our sleeping bags. In the morning we got up and went to a nice brunch downtown.

Michelle had a great idea for her party, and I am really glad I was able to be there. We may be getting a little bit too old to sleep on the floor, but the margaritas did help with that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Indian Cooking

Bill and I have recently found out that we really enjoy Indian food. So, I thought it would be fun for us to take a class together in Indian Cooking that I saw at a local community center. We finished our final class this week.

The class was not exactly how I expected it to be. I imagined a beautiful kitchen setting where there were many stove tops for cooking. I thought we would partner up and make a meal for each class. Well, it wasn't quite that. There was a kitchen, but it was very small for the 10 people in the class plus the teacher. We were each assigned a dish, but you only made that one dish in the class. At the end, we would all eat the dishes that were prepared. There were only 4 burners, and you had to find your ingredients and cooking ware in the cabinets.

We did make some interesting things. We made a vegetarian lentil soup the first week, followed by peas pullov (green peas with spices in balsami rice) the second week. For our final week, we made the dessert - carrot halwa. Each dish was interesting to make, but the list of ingredients was long. There are many spices needed for each dish - things you would not normally find in an average American kitchen. I don't know that we will make many of the dishes, but it sure was good eating for these past three Tuesdays.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

Yesterday was Earth Day. Ever since we have had this water shortage in our area, Bill and I have been trying to conserve more. We watch the news most every night and see stories from around the world about the shortages in food, the price of fuel, and the harm that is being done to the environment. There is no one to fix these things but ourselves. It is important that we all be a green as possible.

We have:
1. Changed our bedroom lights to energy efficient light bulbs
2. Bought a rain barrel
3. Gotten canvas bags for grocery shopping
4. Recycled everything we can
5. Both use mugs at work instead of using paper cups

We have been trying to do more and more. We have talked about getting a compost bin as well.

Do you have any ideas for being green? Please share whatever you have done - I would love to do more to support our environment.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What a Weekend!!

We had a packed two days this past weekend.

Bill and I went to the APS of Durham's annual gala event on Saturday night. The event was held at The Washington Duke Inn in one of their lovely ballrooms. There were tons of silent auction items (Bill bid on a pack of gift certificates for a local go kart racing place and won! I will have to practice my driving) and even a few live auction items. We saw a friend there and I ran into one of my old neighbors from the townhouse. It was so good to see her and to catch up on neighborhood events. We drank, ate a nice dinner, and did good for the animals. Who could ask for more?

On Sunday,we went to visit Bill's dad who is in rehab (he is recovering from a bout of pneumonia and fluids on his lungs - he is not a drug or alcohol addict). We visited with him for about two hours, then saw Bill's mom as well when she came to visit. We had to head home pretty quickly because we had tickets too see Spamalot.

Spamalot is a musical loosely based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It had all the best parts of the movie (the Black Knight, the migrating coconuts, the Knights who say "Ni", the killer rabbit, "fetche la vache") mixed with great songs and new characters. I really enjoyed myself and laughed quite a bit. I would highly recommend it.

We also managed to watch a movie (The Wedding Singer which I had not seen), drink a few beers at The Sauce before the show, and go to the grocery store. Bill rode 41 miles on his bike (yes, 41 MILES!) while I went shopping (got 2 great skirts, new jammies, earrings, and a top) and had my haircut. I also managed to work on the newsletter a little bit, and catch up with my dad and dear friends Devi.

WOW - I can't believe we got all that done in TWO DAYS!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cheap Ass Canes

Since the Canes did not make the playoffs, I was able to ask for a refund for the ticket I had already purchased. I made the request, and was surprised to receive a check in the mail (I had made a payment on my credit card and thought they would refund it). The check was for $10.00 less than the amount I paid. I reviewed the authorization form that I sent for permission to charge my card, and did not see anything about a refund fee. So, I contacted my ticket manager.

Karen is a lovely person. She kindly explained that the $10.00 was a handling fee for the tickets that were sent to me. I told her how much I appreciated her getting the refund for me so quickly, but I was objecting to the withholding of $10.00.

My feeling is that I did receive the tickets. However, those tickets are completely useless now. I was thinking of putting them on the wall as decorative streamers - that is all they are good for at this point. I told Karen that I held up my end of the deal. I went to all of the games and cheered as loudly as I could. I don't feel that it is right that I be penalized for the team's inability to make the playoffs. It doesn't seem like an appropriate way to treat season ticket holders.

I am awaiting a response. I have a feeling I will be getting my $10.00 left.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Monday Blues

I have a bad case of the Monday Blues. Or at least it is the blues and they just so happen to be on a Monday.

I just feel listless and sad. I don't feel like doing anything, and everything seems too hard to accomplish. I just want to go home and crawl under the covers.

I really don't know why I am feeling this way today. Maybe it has something to do with yesterday. Yesterday was supposedly a lovely day here. I never really got outside. I was in front of the computer most of the day working on the final JL newsletter for this year. It took about 4 hours, then it would not print to a PDF file. When that happened, I decided that I needed a break. I went to the post office, library, and the grocery store. When I got home, I figured out the problem, and got it to print properly.

Both Bill and I sacrificed our days yesterday. We were doing things that needed to be done for other people, not things we wanted to do. We did get to have fun Saturday (we went on a brewery tour of the Carolina Brewery and tried some free beer), but Sunday was a work day. Maybe working all day yesterday, then coming to work today has just worn me out. This too shall pass, and hopefully, I will not be blue tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No Playoffs for Me

Well, it's old news by now, but it has taken several days for me to be able to write about it. My beloved Canes did not make the playoffs. They had to win their last game of the season - beat the Florida Panthers at the RBC Center. They had beaten the Panthers 14 straight times at home, but it was not to be last Friday night. The Canes finished the season, where they lead their division for all but 14 days, in 9th place. On the day it mattered, they were no longer in the lead.

Needless to say I am disappointed. I have my playoff tickets here at my desk. I am trying to decide if I should throw them out or use them as some sort of streaming decoration. That's all they are good for now. On the bright side, I do get my money back and my schedule is free for the next 2 months. I am trying to be positive.

I will be back in the stands next season. Let's hope it goes a little bit better that this disappointing end.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My First 10K

I ran my very first 10K this past weekend at The Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. What a great race pick for my very first!! Charleston is a wonderful city to begin with, but add the excitement of a race, and it is fantastic.

I was nervous for the race. I wasn't sure how my body would handle the distance or how I would feel. I guess my nerves got to my immune system. By Friday night, I had a full blown head cold. When we got up at 5:15 am (that is not a typo!), I wasn't sure if I would be able to walk 10 feet, let alone run 6.4 miles. I figured that we went all the way to SC just for this race, so I had better get up. We walked the few blocks from our hotel to the shuttle site, and I felt better just being outside. We had to get in line no later than 6:00 am to take the bus to Mount Pleasant where the race would begin. We arrived with plenty of time before the 8:00 am start. I had never seen or experienced anything like this race.

Bill and I started together, but I ran while Bill walked (he is still nursing a hip injury). There were so many people at the race, it took about 9 minutes to get from where we stood to the starting line after the gun went off. We went about 2 miles before hitting the bridge, then ran about 2 miles along the bridge 160 feet over the water. After the bridge, we headed into downtown Charleston where we made a loop to the finish while enjoying the cheers of the spectators. I have never been in a race where it was wall-to-wall people the whole time I was running. Little did I know at the time that I was moving with 29,245 other people.

I stopped 3 times for walk breaks, but felt pretty good considering the head cold and the lack of sleep. I finished just over my goal time at 1:22:18. I was the 8,991 female to finish the race (and I got my name in the local paper!) and the 18,963 finisher overall. Bill was walking really fast as he finished in 1:28:54. I am shocked to say that I actually liked that distance, and look forward to running more 10K races. I hope I am not sick for the next one!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One win, One to go

Heather and I were very happy to watch the Canes beat the Lightning last night with a final score of 6-2. It was a great game for Caniacs. Chad LaRose returned last week from a broken leg, and he scored a hat trick in this game. It was a great thing to see. Now the Canes need to finish off Florida tomorrow night, and it's all good.

The funny thing about last night - while the women were at the hockey game, our husbands were out enjoying a sports-free evening of their own. They went to several bars and seemed to really enjoy themselves. Heather and I spoke about getting season tickets together next year. It would be great to have someone to share the games with, and I think the guys would like it, too.

EVERYBODY CHEER FOR THE CANES FRIDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

They control their own destiny

It's up to them now. The Canes MUST win the next (last) two home games to make the playoffs. They have lead the Southeast Division for all but 14 days since the beginning of the season (October).

I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to jinx it. I am going to the game tonight. I may be sick.