Monthly Archives: February 2008

What Are You Doing With the “Extra” Day?

Today is February 29th – Leap Year Day. I found out here that this February began and ends on a Friday, and that the next time this will happen is 2036. I’ll be 67 years old in 2036. I wonder if I’ll remember about the Friday to Friday thing.

Anyway, as a member of Blog 365, I’m not actually supposed to be blogging today. They decided that Leap Year Day would be the only day off from the all-year blogging thing. I get that – we have an extra day in the year so, technically, we have 366 days in this year and they didn’t call it Blog 366, now, did they?

I like to occasionally blaze my own trail, however, and I’m blogging today not because I feel the need to break Blog 365’s rules (they even sent out an email saying “no blogging about not blogging”), but because I’ve been blogging every day since NaBloPoMo 2006. I missed St. Patrick’s Day last year – I’ve no idea why, I just spaced it – but I’ve posted something every day (with that one exception) since November ’06. I’m on a roll, People, and I don’t want to stop.

The thing is, I’ve got nothing particularly pressing to talk about today. It’s a lovely afternoon, the last we’re likely to have for a few days as the weather people are predicting a foot of snow for my neighborhood between tonight and tomorrow afternoon:

Tonight

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 100%
Snow

Lo 20°F

Saturday

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 100%
Snow

Hi 35°F

Saturday
Night

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Chance
Snow
Lo 24°F

Mr. Chili went to work this morning but took the afternoon off. He is outside right now fussing with the snowblower and I’m encouraging the girls to get ready to head out to lunch (we’ve agreed to have McD’s for lunch (I know, I know) and to run a couple of errands while we’re out). Later, before the snow starts, we’re headed to Bowyer and Tonks’ neighborhood. We’ll do a little bowling and have a little dinner, then we’ll come back home and hunker down. I’ve rented Gone Baby Gone for Mr. Chili and I to watch sometime this weekend, and I’ve got to finish grading my compositions class’s (abysmal) research papers.

Exciting, huh?

Oh, and gear up, Everyone; I’m going to start posting my YNG homework this weekend; we’ve got a killer test coming up about the musculature of the hip and thigh, and I’m going to have to start working my way through it NOW so I have a prayer of passing the exam next month. I’m taking you all with me (insert evil laughter here…).

Speaking of which, I leave you with this. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before, but it really bears a repeat performance. I had the privilege of seeing these gentlemen perform live while we were in Las Vegas for Dudley and Squeaky’s wedding last year. Mr. Chili and I were griping about the price of Cirque tickets until we saw these two walk on stage; I’d have paid what we paid just to see them.

Happy Friday, Everyone!

12 Comments

Filed under Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, movies, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life, teaching, yoga - theory and practice

The Story of Two Trees

A few days ago, Mrs. T. of La Chucheria (sorry, Mrs. T; I don’t know how to get the accent mark…) posted this photo of a snow-covered dogwood tree in her yard (I had to boost the photo because I also couldn’t figure out how to link directly to this specific post.  I am a techno-loser…):

2007-winter149.jpg

With this photo, she promised that there would be grand and glorious changes happening, and happening soon – that winter would be dispelled and that spring would deck the boughs with beautiful pink blossoms (okay, so I embellished a bit. I’m an English teacher and a writer. Sue me).

Here, for the sake of comparison, is the cherry tree in the Chilis’ side yard as it looked yesterday, February 27th, 2008 (at least, I think it’s a variety of cherry tree, choke cherry, I think – it’s definitely not a crabapple, and I know for sure that the fruits are inedible to humans but irresistible to birds and deer):

2296848912_c31730b4db_m.jpg

Can you make out the tree against the backdrop of sumac?

My plan is to post periodic pictures (I LOVE alliteration) of this little tree to track its progress – and, by extension, my own – up and out of this far-too-long winter. It breaks out in frothy white blossoms in the spring, and it’s only when the tree is in full bloom that I feel we’ve really turned the corner into spring.

Until then, we wait….

13 Comments

Filed under Blogroll, Friends, frustrations, General Bitching, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life, weather

Guest Post!!

Dudley doesn’t have a blog of his own, so I offered to post his answers to The Manly Meme here if he wanted to play along.  He did, so I will.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my friend, Dudley:
1. Boxers? Briefs? Boxer briefs? Thongs? Commando?
Boxer briefs

2. What’s your fussiest personal care routine?
Shaving

3. Do you have a favorite tool? Power or manual?
All of them.  The chain saw can be lots of fun!

4. Can you change your own oil? Do you?
Can.  Won’t (too messy)

5. What’s the “manliest” thing you do on a regular basis?
I’m there for my family every day.

6. What’s something “manly” that you never learned how to do?
Start fight to “prove” that I’m man.  Maybe I actually learned NOT to do
that.

7. Do you ever cry? If so, what’s your trigger?
Sure.  I don’t usually weep openly, but I have shed more than my share of
tears.  The trigger can be anything.

8. Do you have a chivalrous streak? How does it manifest itself?
I like to think so, but don’t we all?  I think chivalry, in today’s world,
means respect for women.

9. Do you have a chauvinistic streak? How does it manifest itself?
I try not to.  I probably fail in ways that I don’t realize.

10. What’s your favorite movie?
I can only name one?  That’s not fair. (editor’s note: Mr. Chili remembers fondly the time that he and Dudley blew off some skiing  (or was it dinner?) because they got sucked into the sounds of the beginning of The Hunt for Red October.  Those little electronic noises of the opening exposition, to this day, cause them to cease all other activity in favor of taking in a favorite flick…)

11. What’s the dumbest, testosterone-inspired thing you’ve ever done?
Jumped over friends and was in turn jumped over by friends while riding
bicycles over ramps.  We were too young for motorcycles (thank God).  I
think the record was 5 kids.  Fortunately I never got landed on.

12. What quality do you think makes a good man good? Do you have that
quality?
Integrity.  I certainly like to think I have it.  (ed.’s note; I think you do)

13. Toilet seat up or down?
Matters not.  I look first.

14. If your wife/partner/significant other is away, do you cook for
yourself or eat out of cans and boxes (or rely on local drive-throughs and
delivery)?
I like to cook far too much to resort to that.  If I’m away, she’s the one
who has hard time fending for herself (she LOVES my cooking).

15. What societal expectation of being a man do you most resent?
Being the tough guy.

16. What’s the best part – societal-wise – about being a man?
Not sure.

17. Will you stop to ask for directions?
If starvation is on the line, well, of course.

18. What’s the one thing you wish your wife/partner/significant other
understood about how you think or behave?
That it’s “guy trait” to want to fix things.  If she’s venting and just
wants a sympathetic ear, I usually miss that, and try to help solve the
problem.  I try to remember that she usually just wants the sympathetic
ear, but it’s not always easy to remember to do that.  Unfortunately the
“fix it” mentality sometimes makes things worse.

19. What’s one thing about your wife/partner/significant other that you
just cannot understand, no matter how hard you try?
The need to chat on the cell phone the entire drive home.  Can’t it wait
until you get home and we can talk face to face?

20. What do you need to have in the shower?
Water.  Preferably hot.

21. Do you burp/fart/scratch in public? Do you do anything stereotypically
male?
Not in public.  Stereotypically male????  Hmmmm.  I will always pick an
action flick over a chick flick.  Does that count? (ed.’s note – yup, that counts!)

22. How big a part does porn play in your life? Your thoughts?
It can be fun if you’re in the right mood, but I can’t say it plays a
significant role.

23. What scares you?
Failing those that I love.

24. What’s your best feature (physical or otherwise)?
Loyalty (and I’m told I have nice eyes)  (editor’s note – he has LOVELY eyes and a glorious smile.  Go here if you don’t believe me)

25. What would you do for love?
What wouldn’t I do for someone I love?

4 Comments

Filed under Friends, Guest Post, meme

Ten Things Tuesday (edited)

Last Tuesday, I posted an entry about ten places where the Chili family likes to go to eat. Kizz pointed out that every single spot I mentioned last week is a chain restaurant, and she encouraged me to make a list this week of ten local places we’ve frequented.

At first, I didn’t think I could do that – we really do tend to end up in chains – but I did a little thinkin’ (it’s amazing what a little thinkin’ will get ya) and found out – well, what do you know! – I CAN come up with ten local places! As a matter of fact, I could probably come up with ten more places, but these are the spots we go to most often (oh, and just so we’re clear, we Chilis DO eat at home every once in a while….)

The thing is, though, I’m trying to hold on to the shred of the illusion of anonymity here, so I’ve changed the names of the places so that you can’t Google them and find out where I live. Trust me when I tell you, though, that I’ll do my best to give you an idea of what these little spots are really like.

1. T.J.’s. This is a little sub shop in University Town that Mr. Chili likes to hit for lunch. Formica and vinyl booths, a bar with tall stools in the center of the place, and an order-at-the-counter format make it a perfect lunch spot, but only if you get there early enough to beat everyone else who wants a steak bomb for lunch.

2. Bagel Mania. This place is almost like cheating – it used to be a chain of five shops ten or so years ago, but has since contracted back to one. They make probably 15 or 20 varieties of bagels right there in the back, and then offer them up in a whole whiteboard’s worth of permutations, along with soups, salads, and quiche of the day. Mr. Chili’s favorite is the turkey ruben on a whole wheat bagel (extra dressing), and mine is the lasagna bagel on onion with just a little bit of light garlic and herb cream cheese and a little too much salt sprinkled over the melted provolone. Yum!

3. The Laughing Pea Pod. This is another bit of a cheat – there are three of these shops scattered around the general area – but it’s still very, very local. It’s a sandwich shop that specializes in home-baked breads and real ingredients. They make their own soups (the recipes for which they will share neither with me nor with Bon Appetit) and I’m desperately in love with their turkey dinner sandwich on apple-cranberry bread with just a little extra cranberry sauce. Take out some of the black pepper and I’d be mainlining their cream of mushroom soup, too…

4. The Brick Oven. This is a pizza place in Small Coastal City that we’ve been fond of for years and years. It’s actually two restaurants; the more fancy, full menu place is at street level, but if you head down a narrow set of steps into the old stone basement, you’re treated with a brick oven in which gets made some of the yummiest pizzas to be had in all the land. I’m particularly fond of their garlic bread, which is twists of pizza dough practically dipped in butter and slathered in garlic. Mmmm.

(My biggest gripe about Small Coastal City restaurants is that parking is a bear…)

5. Up the street from the Brick Oven (assuming you can find a parking spot) is another two-or-three-of pizza shop that we’ll call The Crunchy Crust. Their specialty is also brick oven pizza, but they make the added claim of being all healthy and organic. While I don’t put as much import on organic as others do, I cannot and will not deny that they make some YUMMY pies. Their onion and garlic pizza is particularly scrumptious.

6. Lucy’s Bar and Grill. This is another University Town eatery, and it’s one that we hit when we’re not quite feeling up for the subs at T.J.’s. They’ve got a really nice sandwich menu, they make a mean chicken finger salad, and I had their onion soup last week and it was pretty darned respectable. They’ve got a whole page of dinner entrees, too, but we’ve never gone in for dinner, so I can’t speak to their quality. If we’re making assumptions based on their lunch performance, though, I’d be willing to give dinner a shot.

7. Penelope’s. This is another sub shop (it seems that most of our local joints are either sub or pizza places, doesn’t it?), but this one’s in the town where Boywer and Tonks live. DEAR GODDESS IN HEAVEN, but they make the best tuna I’ve EVER HAD. EV-ER. Once I figured out how good the tuna was, I’ve not bothered with anything else on the menu. It’s that good.

8. The Croissant. Xena turned me on to this place. It’s a teeny-tiny little bakery/sandwich shop in the upper square of my home town that makes yummy little bits of lunch and fantastically delicious pastries and cakes to be savored afterward. Really, you could just skip the sandwiches and go straight to the cannoli, but that’s just one woman’s opinion…

9. Frankie’s Falafel. I LOVE this place in the spring and summer. It’s literally ten by ten hole in the wall. They’ve crammed four tables inside and have three or four little plastic tables and chairs outside on the too-narrow sidewalk. They offer wraps and salads and gyros and some of the yummiest falafel I’ve ever had (not that I’m a connoisseur or anything, but you know what I mean). I like my wraps with mild sauce, lettuce, onion, pickles, hummus and just a little tahini. The little old Greek man who takes your order, makes your lunch and cashes you out is just delightful – always smiling and nodding – further adding to the experience.

10. University Pizza. Really, if I’m going to be honest, I’ve got to tell you that this place is a dive. It’s not particularly clean, it’s not particularly classy, and it’s not particularly good, but when I’m in the mood for greasy pizza and too-bubbly soda, my thoughts bend to University Pizza. It’s kind of nostalgia for me, really; they serve Greek style pizza, which is what made up most of the pizza of my youth (we usually got our pizzas from a place called Lena‘s, if that tells you anything. We’d also go to Bianchi‘s in Revere, which is NOT Greek pizza, but was equally as dreadful/wonderful). Also, when I was a student at Local U., I would occasionally pop in there for their “two slices and a soda” lunch specials. Mmmm.

*edited to include:  we went to University Pizza for lunch today.  Behold, a small extra cheese and a tuna sub.  Yum!photo2.jpg

Now I’m hungry again.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

10 Comments

Filed under ten things Tuesday

The Manly Meme *EDITED*

(Check the bottom of the post for links to men who’ve done this…)

For Bo, Wayfarer, Gerry, Falcon, Michael and all my other favorite blogging men. I made up a manly meme for you! Sorry if some of the questions are lame; I did the best I could (I’m a chick, after all, and don’t have a whole lot of insight into the male mind). I recognize that a lot of these questions can be answered in dirty ways – I’m leaving it up to you how you choose to respond…

1. Boxers? Briefs? Boxer briefs? Thongs? Commando?

2. What’s your fussiest personal care routine?

3. Do you have a favorite tool? Power or manual?

4. Can you change your own oil? Do you?

5. What’s the “manliest” thing you do on a regular basis?

6. What’s something “manly” that you never learned how to do?

7. Do you ever cry? If so, what’s your trigger?

8. Do you have a chivalrous streak? How does it manifest itself?

9. Do you have a chauvinistic streak? How does it manifest itself?

10. What’s your favorite movie?

11. What’s the dumbest, testosterone-inspired thing you’ve ever done?

12. What quality do you think makes a good man good? Do you have that quality?

13. Toilet seat up or down?

14. If your wife/partner/significant other is away, do you cook for yourself or eat out of cans and boxes (or rely on local drive-throughs and delivery)?

15. What societal expectation of being a man do you most resent?

16. What’s the best part – societal-wise – about being a man?

17. Will you stop to ask for directions?

18. What’s the one thing you wish your wife/partner/significant other understood about how you think or behave?

19. What’s one thing about your wife/partner/significant other that you just cannot understand, no matter how hard you try?

20. What do you need to have in the shower?

21. Do you burp/fart/scratch in public? Do you do anything stereotypically male?

22. How big a part does porn play in your life? Your thoughts?

23. What scares you?

24. What’s your best feature (physical or otherwise)?

25. What would you do for love?

Don’t answer these in my comments. If you choose to play, post your answers on your blog and leave me a comment here. I’ll edit this post with direct links to your answers. (Dudley, if you want to play, email me your answers and I’ll guest-post ya!)

Love ya, Guys!

The first to respond was RICH!!

Then we’ve got BO!!

We’re adding GERRY to the list!

Going Like Sixty did it, though he took issue with some of the questions.

Wayfarer finished his list in his thoughtful and thorough way.

Falcon checked in with his answers.

Add Geek‘s voice to the chorus!

Success Warrior Alan‘s got his answers up at his place.

22 Comments

Filed under Friends, Little Bits of Nothingness, meme, Questions

Girly Meme and Dark and Stormy

A reminder that tonight, Bo, SaintSeester and I will be getting together electronically to discuss this month’s Dark and Stormy Book Club selection, Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog).  We’re scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. eastern time; go here to listen in.

I boosted this meme from Tense Teacher. Thanks, Tense!
What color is your bra? I’m wearing a grey sports bra – it’s a YNG weekend..

Do you straighten your hair everyday? HELL, no! I love my wavy hair, and encourage it to stay wavy by keeping it trimmed to my shoulders and scrunching gel through it after my shower. I haven’t used a hair drier in about 20 years.

Do you worry about the size of your boobs? Not even a little.

What’s your favorite girly magazine?: Real Simple

Would you kill for chocolate? Nope. I can get it without violence most of the time.

Jeans or Skirts? can’t I have both? Jeans in the winter, skirts when it’s warmer.

Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that’s uncomfortable? Never.

Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy? I still do, sometimes, though “all day” is a bit of a stretch. Just because I’m married doesn’t mean I don’t care how I look for him anymore.

Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?: I cry at a lot of stuff – well, not CRY, exactly, but I well up quite a bit.

Would you leave the house without makeup on?: I can’t remember the last time I left the house with makeup on.

Do you consider making out “unladylike”? Not really. I tend to be a bit conservative in public, though..

On a scale of 1-10, how fun is shopping?: What am I shopping FOR? I’ll give it a 6 in general.

Are you spoiled? Yeah, probably. I have everything I need and then some.

Do you think lip gloss is the best?: It’s the only makeup I wear with any kind of regularity, so yeah, I guess so.

Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show? One word – TiVo!

Do you yell a lot? Nope.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I can go from alarm clock to out the door in under 20 minutes. Remember – no makeup, no hair drier, no fussy clothes or jewelry…

Do you wear sweatpants/pajama pants to school/work? NEVER.

Accessories make the outfit; true or false? Nothing can save sweatpants.

Is pink truly the best color in the entire universe? I believe it is true that I own NO pink clothing whatsoever. I’ve got auburn hair and autumn coloring; I’m a green and brown kind of girl, myself.

Lip gloss a must?: Not a must, but it’s nice. I love lip balm, though – that IS a must, especially this time of year.

Status? Ridiculously happily married

Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy? Not that I can recall.

Do you often wish there was something you could change about yourself? I’d like stronger nails and better eyesight and a healthier low back.

Gold or silver?: gold

The guy that you like/love/whatever, what does his name begin with? C

Do you dress up too much for holidays? Nope

Do you like wearing dresses? Not dresses – but I do like skirts

Do you write a lot of mushy love poems? No

What makeup could you not live without? I could live without all of it, really – isn’t that clear by now? – though I do like lip gloss, a little eyeliner and some mascara.

7 Comments

Filed under meme

As It Turns Out…

… my inner guru is named Dave!

Who’d a thought it?

Today was a mini-workshop on Kundalini yoga and because David was leading the workshop and because David loves to chant, it was a heavy on the singing.

I still haven’t figured out how to work my way around the whole chanting thing.  I understand that, for a lot of people, chanting is a calming, soothing way to clear out all the internal chatter and center one’s energy.  Really not so for me; at least, not yet.  I’m trying to keep an open mind about the whole thing.

Anyway, I’ve whined about chanting here often enough, so I’m not going to do it today.  What I wanted to tell you all was that I learned today that my inner guru is named Dave.

I was surprised to learn this.

David taught us this chant this morning:

Om guru, om guru, om gurudev
Jaya guru, jaya guru, jaya gurudev.

That last bit – gurudev – is pronounced, at least as we were taught it this morning, like “guru Dave.”

You know what?  I would never have guessed that my inner guru was named Dave.  I’d have thought her more of a Grace or a Celeste or, I don’t know – Chili?

2 Comments

Filed under funniness, strange but true, yoga - theory and practice