Monday, April 26, 2010

Passed on from Dubheach on LJ

So the idea is, comment here and I will give you a color. Then, in your blog, list ten things you love that are that color. Dubheach gave me red, "For your passion when performing."

1. red hair (especially on small children)
2. the red geraniums, impatiens and million bells I bought for this year's garden
3. steak cooked the way I prefer it
4. Mom's hat, which my sisters decided looks (and fits) best on me
5. tomato-based pasta sauces
6. my favorite soup, with its tomato-based stock
7. the cashmere shawl the Chief bought me while he was deployed
8. cardinals and pileated woodpeckers
9. most of our Persian carpets
10. jonathan apples

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cuisses de grenouilles

The Chief & I went out to a nice little restaurant last night to celebrate our anniversary. He had decided he wanted French - we'd never been to a French restaurant - so we went to one a colleague of mine had found on line which had gotten very good reviews. They certainly treated us well - when we booked on line, we mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary, so they gave us a "VIP table" set into one of those little bays found in late-19th-century townhouses (the restaurant is in 3 former houses joined together) and brought us 2 glasses of complimentary champagne. Full-size glasses, not just little token sips.

They actually had frog's legs (cuisses de grenouilles) on the menu so I decided to try them for my appetizer. There were 6 on the plate, fried, with diced eggplant and potato in the garnish. They were actually pretty good! No, they didn't taste like chicken; more like a meaty fish - think tuna or swordfish rather than trout or flounder.

Lovely evening, good food - nice romantic dinner. We noticed that there was a German restaurant on the ground floor of the same house(s). Their menu boasted spargel (white asparagus), which we both love, and the Chief's eagle eye noticed the size of the beer glasses and steins, so we want to try that place sometime soon. It'll have to be very soon; spargel season only lasts until early or mid-May.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We almost forgot!

When I called the Chief from work this morning, he wished me a rather rueful "Happy Anniversary", confessing that he remembered only because a friend had sent us an anniversary e-card. I told him it was OK; the only reason I remembered is because I had it on the calendars in my purse and my work Outlook. We're now waitlisted for a nice French restaurant outside of town for dinner Saturday night.

We did this last year, too. I was on my way to the airport for a business trip when the radio announcer gave the date & time and I realized it was our anniversary. While I was stopped at the next light, the Chief called to wish me "Happy Anniversary".

I blame it on 9/11. The Chief was still in the Reserves then and got activated. We ended up spending our first anniversary 2 continents apart. We celebrated about a month later, using our tax refund for a "meet in the middle" vacation in Paris. This year, he's right here; full of construction dust, but right here where I can give him a kiss or a cuddle if I want to. The rest of it - cards, presents, nice dinner out - is just fluff.

Oh, and one more thing...

As if I didn't have enough annoying, inconvenient things in my day today, our professional-electrician neighbor stopped by just as I was starting to fix dinner to help the Chief with the electrical circuitry in the back bathroom. After about half an hour of testing circuit breakers and seeing how many of the wires in the bathroom actually worked, the Chief told me to go ahead and eat.

Sigh. Better be a good rehearsal tonight...

Stress? What stress?

[primal scream] This afternoon I learned from an e-mail that I suspect was meant for someone else that an app I've been fighting with since last June has a known problem! I didn't think it was operator error; now I've had that suspicion confirmed. But oh, how aggravating to learn I've been banging my head against a brick wall for 10 months, wasting untold taxpayer-funded hours, because of this. [scream]

Last night I went to a music rehearsal - another waste of time for me, as they never touched any of my music. So I have to go tonight because they didn't manage last night's rehearsal time well. Which is bad enough, but I have only cut out the apron I need to make; haven't even marked the pattern pieces yet. I sure coulda used the time last night to sew, instead of sitting around waiting for a turn that never came. Bleah.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Latest audition results

I got a call the other night from the Music Hall producer: they didn't cast me because "we got too many women" auditioning. Which is much nicer than telling me they didn't need a bellydancer and weren't interested in what flabby singing voice I had to show them.

However, they'll be happy to have me as a barmaid (the ticket price includes beer/wine and snacks). It seems the barmaids also encourage the audience to sing along at appropriate places, though as I've never even attended a music hall, I don't know where that audience participation might come in. But singing? Sure, I'll be happy to!

The producer also promised to pass my name along to the costumer as someone willing to help. We'll see how much time and work that ends up being.

Cats & fish

Two Lumps is a cute strip. Usually funny, but the April 16 offering is punny:

Red flowers for Mom

I finally got to the nursery yesterday to get impatiens for the front flower bed. I also bought two 6-packs of ground cover for the driveway, some geraniums and million bells for the flower boxes on the deck railing, 3 phlox plants to fill some holes, and one itty bitty tomato plant that I hope to persuade to grow in a pot on the deck. (And hope the squirrels don't do all the harvesting!)

This year I bought impatiens in red (for Mom, who has had red impatiens for years), a dark coral, and a couple of pinks (with one little purple one that snuck into the nursery pack).

For the 3 flower boxes, I bought one geranium and one million bells for each - a purple million bells with a 2-toned pink geranium, a red million bells with a white geranium, and a peachy-orange million bells with a red geranium. Like the red impatiens, the red geranium is a flower I'll always associate with Mom - Dad gave her red geraniums for Mother's Day for years, until the trees in the yard got big enough to make it too shady for geraniums. That's when her red flower of choice became impatiens.

I wonder how my flowerbox choices will look with the purple-and-yellow violas that not only came back from last year but seem to have propagated just a bit. Maybe I'll try to divide them so I have at least one in each flowerbox.

Theatrical weekend

Having a theater weekend:
- Friday: attended a local production of The Producers (and see several theater friends in the audience).
- Yesterday: helped paint the Birdie set. Outdoors, with pollen blowing everywhere, so I didn't last very long, but I did get a first coat in Kim's bedroom window and a lot of molding for the Macafee house.
- Today: tickets for a production of The Mikado with a couple of people from my recent Grand Duke in the cast.

With luck, I may even manage to cut out my Mrs. Macafee apron. That was supposed to happen yesterday, but what with set painting, gardening, then spending the evening with the Chief at a friend's new house, sewing never happened.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

That's not how it's supposed to work.

Had an audition this afternoon for a musical review, warmed up in the car on the way over. I was nervous about the singing only because it's tree season, my worst for allergies. My voice was actually cooperating as I started to warm up, but by the time I got there, my throat was starting to feel tired and the voice was feeling clogged. Warming up isn't supposed to make my voice worse! Sure enough, when I went to sing, my voice just didn't want to cooperate. The directors didn't cringe or run screaming from the room, but I'm sure they've had a lot of practice at smiling politely while thinking "Get the hook!" No, I don't really think I was that bad, but I certainly wasn't singing anywhere near my best.

On the plus side, they did seem quite impressed with the "party trick" I also brought along, since the audition notice said they were looking for specialty acts. I dug out my old dance "sword" and balanced it on my head for them, doing a few belly dance moves and even turning w/ it on my head. When I added that I could also dance with other props (finger cymbals, cane, veil), the director scribbled it all down.

I don't expect to get anything but chorus based on how I sang today, but if they can work it in, I wouldn't be surprised if they ask for a sword dance.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Going for the respiratory dysfunction trifecta

1) Tuesday the cold moved from my head into my chest and the cough had me barking like a seal. You know, the kind that scratches all the way down. After-hours clinic doc said it wasn't bronchitis or an infection (a relief), gave me a breathing treatment, put me on prednisone.

2) The tree pollen musta spiked yesterday, because the cough, which had been getting better, started getting worse. Presumably tree pollen-induced asthma on top of the cold; oh goody. Oh, I started Mucinex DM for the cough too (I love the 12-hr pill instead of every-4-hours cough syrup - so much easier!)

3) This morning I was coughing much more often, despite the prednisone, my peak flow readings were down 100 points from healthy, so it was back to the doctor. She told me that I now do have bronchitis, so she added an antibiotic to my Rx load. My ears are still blocked from this cold, so she also put me on afrin so I can fly tomorrow without bursting an eardrum. She also sent me home with my very own nebulizer, an acquisition I'd successfully managed to avoid for lo, these many years.

So there you have it - cold-induced cough, asthma, and bronchitis for the hat trick. With oral inhalers, the nasal meds and all these pills, it's a wonder I don't rattle!

Spring's always been my toughest allergy season, but this year takes the cake. And it's only gonna get worse, as the pollen counts have yet to hit 4 figures.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Successful culinary experiment

I wanted to dress up some frozen tilapia, so I brushed the thawed fillets with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkled w/ cumin & tarragon, and baked for about 10 minutes (less would have been better). I picked the spices by opening bottles and sniffing to see what might go well together - the Chief & I both like this combination. Definitely a keeper! (Wish I could share it with Mom.)