Sunday, February 6, 2011

What Annoys Me

I'm sure that my grammar is sometime flawed (maybe more than sometimes), but I try. Also, if I had to be a master speller to save my life, I would currently be residing six feet underground. But. . . there's a but. . . I really get annoyed when I hear people put an and in the year. I hear it everywhere. Even in places where they should know better, or they should at least have someone who knows better to tell them not to do it. What I am talking about is when someone says the year 2009 as "two thousand and nine." There is no and!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Griswold Chronicles

I originally started this as one post and two pages in realized that I could write half a novel before the end. So, I have decided to make it a series (hopefully, if I keep it up and my family doesn’t kill me and dump my body in the lake). Every year my tradition is to watch National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation before Thanksgiving and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation before Christmas. I love these movies because they so perfectly represent my family. I’m having a hard time deciding which thing to tell you first. I have decided that the following will give you an idea of the state of things (and of things to come).

Warning: This is not G-rated. There will be words in here you probably don’t want your small child reading.

I have a cousin who is very fond of colorful language. She and her husband both are. Naturally, her children picked this up. One of the children, when she was almost two years old, could say, “idiot dumb ass” with better clarity than I can. It was her favorite phrase at the time. I should back up here and say that no one else in my family uses this language on a regular basis. Some never do. I do once in a while when I am mad or something’s not working right or to make a point, but it is definitely not an every day occurrence. The same goes for my small hometown. It is, for the most part, filled with God-fearing, tee-totaling citizens. Which makes this story even funnier (and more embarrassing, if you want to look at it that way).

My grandparents' house is a little ways off the road at the top of a hill. At the bottom of that hill and off to the side of the hill where my grandparents' house sits is an old log cabin that my grandfather moved to the property. He decided to make the inside modern so that people could stay there. Once while my cousin and her family were visiting, they were staying in this cabin. As my dad was driving home, he saw her three children standing near the bottom of the hill beside the cabin, lined up side-by-side. At the time, they were all under six years old. When he got closer he realized what they were doing. Every time a car passed in front of them on the road, each followed the car with one hand flipping the bird, while yelling LOOOSEEERS!

Friday, December 24, 2010

"The Stepford Wives" or "Jerry Springer"

As you can see from my archives, blogging is still new to me. I didn't really go into this with many expectations of what it would become. I am not limiting it to one thing, like house remodeling or photography, likes some blogs. I thought I would share some of the things I do and some of my thoughts. But that is my problem. I'm not sure how much I want to share. Well, I do know how much I want to share, but I'm not sure how much I should share. I feel very strongly about being honest. I am not going to present a carefully constructed version of my life and my thoughts, but this blog is not anonymous so I can't be as honest as some of the Jerry Springer guests. I would love to share stories from the people and happenings at work, good and bad. I would also love to tell you all about our big, sometimes crazy, families. However, I don't want to invade the privacy of my friends, family, and co-workers. Part of me wants to be super careful when I talk about others, but part of me thinks that if a person would be embarrassed for someone to talk about something he/she did, it shouldn't be done. I feel like public behavior is fair game. I would never be mean about someone or some situation, just honest. Sometimes the happenings in my life strike me as so funny or as something that really bothers me, and probably any reader who happened by this site would be entertained or would find some comfort that others experience the same work or family problems. I really want a happy medium, something along the lines of I Love Lucy. I'm just not sure I know where that is yet. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Ifs

Do you have any big what ifs in your life? I do. We all do, right? I wonder things like what if I hadn't changed my mind about what kind of grad school to do or what if it had worked out with that guy in college? I also wonder random things like what if I had been born in a different country? How would I feel about America if I was not from America? What if I could sing? Perform magic? Ok, I'm getting off topic. I have a very active imagination. I also believe something that some would probably not agree with. I don't believe that there is only one person in the world that every other person could be happy with. I'm sort of stuck in a theoretical circle. You see, I completely believe that Ben and I are meant to be together. On the other hand, I also believe that if I had never met Ben, I could still be as happy as I am with someone else. I don't know if I would be as happy as I am with Ben. I'm just saying I believe it is possible. I know, so unromantic for someone as hopelessly romantic as me. My point is that I think our lives start out with infinite paths ahead of us which are more or less equal in terms of our happiness. There are also paths which lead to unhappiness. Of the happy paths, our lives are a process of narrowing those paths. We decide who to be friends with, what schools to go to, who to marry, where to live, and so on. If we had chosen differently, we would still have what if thoughts. In the words of Tim McGraw, "Well you do what you do and you pay for your sins and there's no such thing as what might have been, that's a waste of time, drive you out of your mind." I don't regret the way my life is now. I love it. But I'm a curious person, I'll still wonder sometimes. Do you?

I love you Banana!

If you are one of my facebook friends, or you've left me a voicemail or email recently, you can tell that today I am catching up on a lot of things. One of those things is reading some of my favorite blogs. The wife of a guy I went to college with had a post recently on funny text messages because smart phones sometimes help too much. It reminded me of an email I got from Ben about a month ago. We have some nicknames for each other and sometimes sign our emails to each other with them, but this email was signed with something I hadn't seen before - Banana. One of my nicknames for Ben is Benoni. His ancestors are french and some were named Benjamin but used Benoni, sort of a version of Benjamin, as a nickname. Sometimes Ben signs his emails Benoni, but this time his phone changed it to Banana. He didn't realize it before he sent the email, so I received an email signed Banana. I love you Banana!

I'm Still Here

I did get a job. I received the offer in July, went on vacation in August, and started work the day after coming home from vacation. I haven't had a moment of free time since! As you can see, I still have the blog. My hope is that I will have more time to post in the future. I have pictures to post as soon as I can find the time to download them from my camera.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Napa Valley

We recently spent a few days in Napa Valley. I want to move there! The weather is wonderful, the food is great, the wine is outstanding, and the scenery beautiful.

I saw two Teslas in Yountville. This is Ben's dream car (only not in Orange).

Some of the things we did and my reviews:

The town of Yountville was our favorite town in Napa Valley.

Hope and Grace Tasting Room, Yountville
We loved their wine, the people were nice, and the tasing room had a good atmosphere.

Silenus Vintners Tasting Room
Beautiful setting. I loved that they represent several small wineries so you get to taste a wide variety.

LOVED the atmosphere. The wine was good. It has an awesome outdoor tasting area with a fire pit. We met the owners around the fire pit the night we were tasting. They were very nice. Ma(i)sonry is also an art gallery. This is a must see even if you don't taste the wine.

Girard Tasting Room
Good wine. This place and Hope and Grace had the nicest people, and one of the girls working there is an Auburn Alum!

Cakebread Winery
If you do the reserve tasting, the room you are in has a breathtaking view of the winery. Loved the wine.

I hate to say it but this was our least favorite tour/tasting. It is a good tour to see the process but it was way too commercial. It also didn't help that we had some really annoying people on the tour with us. However, we did meet a really nice Norwegian couple.

Cornerstone Cellars Tasting Room, Yountville
We like the tasting room, but these were our least favorite wines. This was taste specific for us. They had several wines from vineyards on Howell Mountain that we didn't like. When we were at Cakebread we had a wine from vineyards on Howell Mountain that we didn't like. We realized that it was the taste from Howell Mountain that we don't like.

We unknowingly visited when they were not doing tours so we didn't see the barrel/bottling area of the Chateau. The Chateau is beautiful. This is something we had on our list to do because of Bottle Shock. The movie is great! The wines were good and we had a great conversation with the people we met tasting.

Great sandwiches!

I loved this bakery! We ate lunch here a couple of days and I would go back while I was waiting on Ben to finish working. They have a great courtyard with a big shade tree. It was so peaceful for sitting and reading.

This was was Ben's favorite restaurant of the trip. The outside seating is great! One thing we really loved was the weather. We broke out the wrap and long sleeve shirt and the waiter brought a patio heater over by us. The food here is great and they have no corkage fee.

I really liked this restaurant. It is owned by Michael Chiarello. We met Michael Chiarello. Our dinner was great and we had one of his wines that we really liked. The calamari was to die for! The patio has great fireplaces.

We loved Mustards! They have a garden beside the restaurant. We walked through the garden before we ate, then ate some of the foods we saw growing. This was the best "California cuisine" we had.

Every time we asked a local about good restaurants, we were always told Bistro Jeanty. It lived up to its reputation!