i should buy an umbrella. really.

about 2 months ago, maybe longer, the forecast was for rain and i, by some miracle, had actually remembered to bring my umbrella. i was actually a bit excited when a situation arose during the workday that required me to go outside to another building and it was raining, so rare is it that i actually have an umbrella with me when it rains. so i grabbed my cute black umbrella with the white polka dots and headed outside.

i get outside, open up the umbrella and am irritated to see that one arm of the thing just sort of dies. like, pops out of the top and then goes all crooked. i start to attempt repair, shoving the thing back in its hole, and another arm cracks. great. stupid umbrella. i stand under cover for a minute or two more, continuing my futile efforts to fix my little friend. ultimately, i realize the surgery is not going to be successful, so i chuck it in the trash and trot out into the rain. whatever, it's just a little water. and wouldn't ya know, it wasn't really raining, just a little sprinkle.

i made a mental note that day to pick up another umbrella the next time i was at target, which i'm sure was like, the next day or the day after. i go to target a lot. but here it is months later, and i still have not purchased a replacement umbrella. what the hell.

when i was in college, i learned that, really, i don't care for umbrellas. for one thing, when walking somewhere with friends in the rain (that happened a lot in college), it was either a pain in the butt if more than one person had an umbrella because they all bumped together, or it was a pain in the butt because either my friend had to hold the damned thing high enough for my tall self to fit under or i had to be the one to wield it effectively enough to keep both of us dry. i eventually decided that i disliked umbrellas more than i disliked being wet.

from then on, i see the weather forecast calling for rain, typically don't believe them or think that i'll probably not be caught in it anyway, and don't carry an umbrella. or, i see the forecast and realize that they aren't kidding and tell myself to grab the umbrella before i leave for work, then forget by the time i'm walking out the door. usually this turns out to be no big deal, but lately i've gotten too wet a couple times too many.

a couple of weeks ago i left work to torrential downpours. i was leaving a little early to go get a massage and it was imperative that i catch the 4:09pm bus, so when i got to the ground floor and looked out the window to a giant sheet of water, i scoured the ground floor for an empty trash bag and put it over my head. i went outside and realized that it was pretty stupid to have dry hair but the rest of me be soaking wet, so i ditched the plastic bag. i got to the corner where i needed to cross the street to catch the bus, and wouldn't you know the light turns green for the traffic to go. there i stood, completely exposed to the elements, no shelter or umbrella or raincoat anywhere to save me.

by the time i got across the street and under an awning, i was literally dripping. i dripped the entire 45 minute busride home, too. it. was. miserable. i just kept saying to myself, jesus, woman, DO NOT FORGET TO BUY AN UMBRELLA.

but i still haven't bought one. after that i was a little terrified of a repeat of that scene, so i started carrying around a yellow plastic poncho still in the package that bryan and i bought somewhere (don't remember when or why). and of course it never rains when i remember to bring THAT.

yesterday, i went to short pump town center to an appointment at the spa there. as i got close to the mall, i noticed some serious lightning happening right in the general location of the shopping center, and the emergency broadcast system came on the radio and told me there was a crazy storm in the vicinity. it wasn't raining at this point, so i wasn't too worried. i parked, and some big drops started falling a bit sporadically. i started towards the mall, and all of the sudden the sky opened up and the angels started pouring out their bathwater. i started to run towards the mall, slipping and sliding in my flip-flops, and finally made it to cover. soaking wet. dripping wet. like i had taken a shower with my clothes on and just stepped out and come to the mall.

i make it into the spa to find that the power is out! lovely. i ask for a towel after standing there dripping all over the floor for a few minutes (you'd think they may have asked if i needed one, the way i looked, but they did not), and ask if my service is going to happen. they decide they might be able to just use some candles, but after the phones and computers also went off about 5 minutes later, i decided to just go. which meant i was going to have to brave the rain. again.

this time, since i was already soaked, i took my time. took of my shoes and kicked in a few puddles and just headed home... i had intended to go to the grocery store and target on the way, but these errands are highly unpleasant when wearing wet denim shorts, wet shirt, and wet undergarments, so instead i just stopped at chipotle and went home.

"where are the bags?" bryan asked when i got there.

"don't ask, just eat," i said.

maybe today i'll finally make it out to get that umbrella... i do have the poncho in my bag in the meantime.


me and harry: our day together.

while i finished harry potter and the deathly hallows almost a week ago, i'm still transfixed to interviews with jk rowling, book reviews and listening to other peoples' opinions of the book. and a girl i work with, maia, was kind enough to give me a copy of the book on CD, so that's been the background of my work for the past couple of days.

after bryan got my number (#343 if you recall) last friday afternoon, i started adjusting the plan for the evening, hoping to get the book as quickly as possible.

it had already been decided that i would be going with a few friends to diagon alley, a party thrown by a small richmond book store that recreated the place where harry and friends buy all of their school supplies and such. i met up with krystyna and her husband joe, then bryan met us at diagon alley, then maia and andrew from work also met up with us. we wandered around for a bit, drank some "butterbeer" and people watched. we ran into my friend traci and her husband and friends, and tried on fun magical attire.

krystyna and joe

me and hagrid (he was kinda smelly, couldn't get too close)

while diagon alley was entertaining, it was really only about 30 min worth of entertainment and that had already been stretched into more than an hour what wtih all the meeting up with people and waiting for them to get there. we decided since it was about 10:30 and we had a good hour and a half until we could get our paws on our books that we'd go have a drink.
bryan, krystyna and joe

maia, andrew and me

i have to admit that while i enjoyed the company, i was antsy and mostly concerned with the minutes ticking off the clock. :) plus the bar we ended up in was SUPER loud and in my "old age" i despise shouting over loud music/other people shouting to have a conversation with my friends.

we finished our drinks and off we went to buy our books! maia was headed to the wal-mart on forest hill ave. and bryan and i were taking krystyna and joe back to their car near the barnes and noble i had a wristband for.

as we drove down the street to krystyna and joe's car, i noticed that the entire shopping center where the barnes and noble is was FULL of cars. and when i say entire shopping center, i am talking barnes and noble, several smaller stores, michael's, stein mart, several more smaller stores, old navy, cici's pizza and another restaurant. the whole parking lot was full!

so, my plan was that i would zip over to wal-mart and see if i could get the book quickly. if not, i'd go back to b&n since i was going to be waiting there a bit anyway.

bryan decided to come with me to wally world. we go in, and the place is like a ghost town! by this time it was around 12:05 or so, and i didn't see a single person leaving with their book. which was weird to me. we wandered around and still could not find any sign of harry! finally i asked someone, and she told me that they were selling it back at layaway. i guess they wanted to avoid a madhouse rush for the book???

so we get back to layaway, and, sure enough, there's a giant line. we walk towards the end of it and it just keeps on going and i say, "think this is more than 343 people?" and bryan says, "yes." so back to barnes and noble i went, even if i did have to wait an hour or two.

i get to barnes and noble and there are all kinds of happy-faced people leaving, book in hand. i get to the front of the store, push my way through the masses just in time to hear the man with the megaphone say, "numbers 250-300, come to the front of the store!"

sweet! they were really rolling through those numbers!! i had just enough time to go inside and use the bathroom before they called 300-350. i was up to the cash register, out of the store, and home with harry by 12:30am!

as you can imagine by the number of exclamation points in that last paragraph, i was very excited to have harry in hand. i sat with it for a few minutes, just looking at the cover, before i even opened it. reading this book meant the end of a great friendship, and while i couldn't wait to find out what happened, i was a bit inclined to put it off just a little bit, to make it last longer...

i read for about 20 minutes before falling asleep, but this was fine with me. i wanted to be fully alert to take it all in, so holding off reading too much until i woke up on saturday was a good plan.

saturday i woke up several times and forced myself to go back to sleep for a bit longer, knowing i was being a little ridiculous. i liken it to the point in your childhood where you know that santa isn't real, but you still wake up thrilled to open presents, and force yourself to stay in bed so that you aren't being such a little kid (this happened for me around, oh, 21 years old).

i made a pot of coffee and settled in for a day of reading. it was wonderful. the pages turned quickly and the book was action-packed and practically impossible to put down.

eventually bryan got up, and after chatting with him for a little while, he went outside. i heard the lawn mower come on and was S H O C K E D. i can't remember the last time he just cut the grass without moaning about it first! lemme tell ya, i was overwhelmed right then. a husband i've just told he can do whatever he wants all day as long as he leaves me alone who has decided to use that time to mow the lawn, and the final book in the greatest series ever all at once? i think i shivered a little bit before i got my focus back on harry. :)

what was odd is that the mower was only on briefly. i had no idea what that was all about, but by that point, as i said, i had refocused on harry and didn't care too much. i heard bryan banging around in the garage a bit, and then he came in and said, "come with me for a minute."

i went out back, and my dear, dear husband had put up the hammock we bought in mexico for me to read in! i had casually mentioned that it would be nice the day before, but i really did not expect him to put it up!

so i got a pillow and settled in--it was the perfect day for outdoor reading.

i spent the rest of the day reading, and finished around 7:30pm. i closed the book and again just looked at it with a smile and a sense of satisfaction. while it's sad to know that i won't experience harry's adventures that way again, i'm so happy to know him. :)


it's all over...

i'm finished with harry potter and the deathly hallows. 12 hours of reading counting the 30 min i got in last night before falling asleep minus a short trip to lowe's and several bathroom breaks, and now i never get to have the excitement of waiting for another harry potter book.

today was filled with tears, laughter, a few whoops of encouragement for my harry potter friends and ultimately a sense of closure. jk rowling, you are one amazing storyteller.


i'm #343.

my dear husband went to barnes & noble and got my wristband for me since i am at work and couldn't go. this wristband is my "golden ticket" to purchase my harry potter book when the clock strikes 12:01am. they started handing them out at 12p. he went by around 12:30 and there was a line all the way outside and around the front of the store. he went back about an hour later and got my wristband.

i'm #343.

i called to see if this did indeed mean that i would be #343 in line to purchase my book. it does.

so... i'm gonna go and see what happens. after i go to the big party in richmond, that is. there is a strong possibility i'll be jumping the b&n ship and headed to wal-mart instead. we'll see.

all i know is, i am so freaking excited.


not the perfect chef, the PAMPERED chef.

so the older i get, the more domestic i get. my mom likes to remind me that as a young teen, i cried when she tried to teach me how to make fried chicken (a skill i unfortunately never learned), and insisted that i would marry a rich man and would NEVER have to cook or clean!

ha. funny kids.

now, i love to cook. bryan reminded me last night that while i might think he buys nothing but stuff for the garage, i do the same for the kitchen. and he's right. i love kitchen stuff. i am totally into my real simple magazine and my better homes and gardens, too. i am becoming not just a career woman, but a housewife too! god forbid! ;-)

so it should come as no surprise when i tell you that this past weekend was spent almost in its entirety doing things that involve being domestic in some way.

saturday: a trip to the pottery in williamsburg with my friends tammy and hailey, wives of two guys bryan works with. we bought house stuff. we had lunch at a great little french bistro in colonial williamsburg, where we talked about being wives. :) oh, then we went to the christmas shop. and i swear to you, you know you are headed to june cleaver land when you shop for christmas ornaments in july. for real.

when we got home, i hadn't gotten everything i wanted, and needed a few things from the grocery store, so i went back out to stein mart and target, where i bought placemats, a rug and some curtains. and can i tell you that i now find greater pleasure from buying house stuff than clothes? how has this happened!

sunday: prepared for my 2pm pampered chef party by waking up and cleaning the house, then my college roomie arrived (she was our pampered chef consultant). we chatted while i finished up a few things, then we set to work in the kitchen getting things ready for the party. i made sausage squares, spinach dip and guacamole while she prepared our strawberry amaretto pastries.

the party started, and i was a total dork, gushing to my pampered chef newbie friends about all the things i love from them. (for those not in the know, pampered chef is a line of cookware/kitchen utensils, sold a lot like tupperware at parties.) seriously, if you open up pretty much any drawer or cabinet in my kitchen, you will find at least 2 pampered chef items.

we had a great time chatting about all these gadgets, and when it was all over i sat in my (basically) clean house reflecting on how much i dig being a woman. because this domestic stuff is fun! except for the house cleaning. still wouldn't mind having someone else do that part for me. :)


bookworm me.

i recently discovered that in spite of years of motion sickness while reading in the car, i can read on the bus! and in the car! i have no idea how this happened and will spare you the details of my discovery. the reason i bring it up is, this means i now have more than an hour a day on the bus that i can read, in addition to whatever time i find at home. this is thrilling to me.

for that reason, and because i have read a lot of good books lately, i started yet another blog, called leg's library. there's a link on the left side of this page. so, if you ever want a suggestion of a good book to read, check it out. it'll be my thoughts/reflections about the books that i read. i got this idea from someone i ride the bus with, actually. he told me that he was never much of a reader until he started riding the bus, and after he reads a book, he jots down a little paragraph describing it so he remembers what he's read. i thought that sounded pretty darned bright, considering i have a habit of reading something, jumping to the next book, and promptly forgetting about the one i've just put down. :)

just a note, in the next couple of weeks there may be more entries there than you think one girl can read in that time, and you'll probably be right. i'd like to put some already-read books up there now, too!


pottermania and motionsickness.

ast night leslie and i went to see the new harry potter movie at the IMAX theater. i was totally stoked and forced her to arrive an hour before it started to make sure we got good seats. while waiting that long is annoying, i think it was a good idea. we didn't get the best seats, but our seats were pretty good. and even then, i was ill, as was she.

the movie itself was excellent. when i left i was so excited for the book to come out next week that i almost felt like skipping (almost). i can not believe that in just over a week i'll know how harry's story ends... it's thrilling, yet also so sad. i love watching the characters come to life on the big screen, and that ron weasley is getting more handsome by the day (harry's not too bad either, but reminds me too much of my little brother. :)). some things were condensed/switched around a bit, but i know jk rowling is consulted and understand that you can't realistically cram every page of a 3-inch thick book into a 2ish hour movie, so it's all good.

the problem was, watching a regular movie on an IMAX screen is a little nauseating to girls like me who get motion sickness. at several points, newspapers spin and flash onto the screen to cover the action quickly, and by the second or third time i had to close my eyes or risk hurling right down onto the heads in front of me. not only that, but because the screen is so big, you sometimes have to look all around you to see the whole picture. or their heads were so big that it took a second to figure out what exactly you were looking at.

i thought maybe it was just me, but i got an email from leslie this morning that said she went home to a vicious migraine accompanied by vomiting. lovely. she was sweet, though--immediately after sending that email, she sent one that said, "i had fun, though..." :)

so i think leslie and i concur--all future big movie releases will be viewed on regular movie theater screens. we'll save the imax for when we WANT to feel like we're traveling through space.

in the meantime, i am dancing in my seat with anticipation of next friday at midnight.


shakin' it.

so, after last night's belly dancing class, this is what you're gonna see me dressing like from now on! and if you hear bells ringing, that ain't santa, it's me!

okay, not really. although there were a couple ladies dressed like this there, and quite a few more with their coin belt thingys on, jingling all over the place.

belly dancing was fun! i was surprised at the turnout--i'd say there were at least 25 women there, ranging from late teens on up. i enjoy taking a class like that, because that means that the chances there will be someone in the class worse at what we're learning than me are pretty good. :)

i was glad to have my friend krystyna there to conspire with and make faces at when something wasn't working out quite right (ie, standing on the balls of your feet and moving your hips up and down at the same time... say wha? i'm not that coordinated/balanced). we did a lot of hip shaking a lot of circle walking, and i am proud to say that i'm not sore at all today! so we all know now that while my fitness level sucks, i am at least fit enough for day 1 of a belly dancing class. who knows what will happen next week. :)

after the class i headed up 95 to bryan's softball game. he wasn't playing, but they were going to be there for another hour so i figure i'd be social. i enjoy chatting with the other fan--another players wife who's usually my sole partner in the stands--and last night another wife showed up too! so it was like a big party. :) honestly couldn't tell you if the team won or not, but i was just glad my dear husband had the sense enough not to pick up a bat or a glove quite yet. i'm guessing it's not far off, though...

in just a few short hours: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the IMAX! yes! can't wait.


go to PA for the weekend, take 2

alright, so after bryan's failed attempt to visit his family in pennsylvania the weekend before the 4th of july, we tried again this past weekend. this time, we were in a car, we were together, it was light outside and it was not raining. all of these things contributed to a nice, problem-free voyage up north. :)

our weekend in PA was very nice. saturday was the klinger family 4th of july picnic, which is always a good, relaxing time with tons of excellent food. (for all my southern peeps, you'd be happy to see that yankees have virtually the same things at their picnics we do... only they have weird (but yummy) turkey barbecue and pierogies. :) )

on sunday we had brunch with bryan's parents and his sister and her son stopped by, then we went to see one of bryan's high school buddies who's a school psychologist but is working at a local pool for the summer. ah, the life of a teacher... makes me daydream about summers off... must be nice! after visiting for a few minutes, we headed south and stopped off to watch bryan's cousin michael race his dirtbike.

now, i am usually pretty open to things that involve risk. i realize that risky things are usually a ton of fun if done properly. but we watched this one kid who was about 12 years old be basically run over by his bike as he somersaulted on it. he laid there for a few minutes, the EMTs came and looked at him, then he got up and got back on his bike and drove off! i wanted to cry watching that kid wreck, but he GOT BACK ON AND DROVE AWAY! i looked at bryan and said, "our children will not ride dirtbikes. i'd have a heartattack." remind me i said that if we ever have kids and i ever consider letting this happen.

we got back on the road and made it home late sunday night, and now back to the grind.

in other news, bryan is healing nicely. last night was the first night he went to bed unbandaged since the accident, so that's progress, right? his middle finger is still bothering him, but as you can imagine he's making the best out of that finger sticking up on its own... :) tonight he's going back to softball, but i'm hoping he doesn't play just yet... not like i can tell him not to, though...

tonight i begin a belly dancing class with my friend krystyna offered through the chesterfield county parks & rec department. this should be interesting. i have no idea what to expect, but i'll let you know how it goes. :)

and tomorrow... the new harry potter movie at the IMAX! woohoo! can't wait. this'll give me a little harry potter fix as i wait for book 7 to come out next week!


terrifying phone calls in the middle of the night

last thursday, bryan and i had a meeting with our financial planner and afterwards he was headed up to pennsylvania to visit his family for the weekend on his motorcycle. it needs a new clutch, so he was going to drop it off at home and we were going to go back up this coming weekend to finish repairs. i didn't go for the first weekend because i didn't want to use a vacation day when we were going back the following weekend anyway...

so bryan got on his way around 8:20pm and i headed home. i dozed off a little after 10, and around 10:45 or so woke up feeling funky about bryan's trip since it was dark and raining and he was alone. i had asked him to call me when he got home to PA, but i texted him and told him to either text or call me when he stopped for gas so i'd know he was okay. i fell back asleep.

at midnight, i am awoken to bryan's ring.

"i've got bad news honey. i wrecked the bike."

i didn't believe him at first. i said, "no you didn't." and he said "yes i did" a few times before it really hit me that he was not screwing around.

i can not tell you the combination and roller coaster of emotions i experienced in the next couple of minutes. he told me it wasn't bad and that he was fine but going to the hospital for lack of a better option and since the paramedics had suggested he get his fingers checked out. so i knew that it must be mild in the grand scheme of accidents if he was even ABLE to call me himself. so i tried to stay calm, but the fact remains that i love that man more than anything in my world and it COULD HAVE been way way way more serious, and at that moment i wanted to be next to him and hug him and know first hand that he was alright. but i was 3 hours away, it was dark and raining and i was tired and i had no idea if i'd be able to stay alert enough to make my trip up there to him safe. not to mention the fact that he kept telling me he was alright, so it didn't seem very smart to risk ME crashing on the way up there. i got off the phone after agreeing that i would wait a bit to hear from him once he got to the hospital, and i just started crying. it was midnight. i didn't know what to do. i wanted to go to him, but i wasn't so sure that was the best idea. i got up to get dressed, then got back in the bed, then got up to get dressed, then got back in the bed, until ultimately that's where i stayed.

i eventually learned that as he was driving down 695 outside of baltimore a little after 11pm in the rain, a car was coming up behind him in the middle lane. he didn't want to speed up, so he decided to get into the right lane. unfortunately he didn't notice that lane had been repaved, making about a 4 inch bump up into that lane. he equated it to riding your bicycle down the street and then just gently trying to get up on the sidewalk, rather than angling your wheel to make the jump. so the bike went down when the wheel brushed the curb, and off came bryan. he thinks he must have tried to stand up and put his hands down on the road, which really screwed up his fingers on his left hand especially. as luck would have it, the car he had been moving out of the way for was a cop who had just gotten off duty. he called in the on duty guys and they tended to the accident.

we kept in touch either via text message or phone calls when he could get a signal all night and as the night wore on i was at least satisfied that he was going to be alright and that waiting til morning was the best idea to decide on what i was going to do. when we last talked at 4am, he thought he was going to just go to the tow yard, pick up the motorcycle and drive it home. he even considered just continuing on to PA, but little did he know if he tried to tell me that the next morning i was going to have to put my foot down--i needed to see my love in flesh and blood and know he was still in one piece, only with a few chunks of flesh missing. (check those out here and here and here--i won't post the pictures because some are gross and i'll let you view at your own discretion. the first is just a brush burn on his arm though, safe for the squeamish.)

on friday when he got to where the bike had been towed, he realized that it was in much worse shape than he expected. so we decided i would rent a pickup truck and come up to bring him and the bike home. i was so happy to see him, but for some reason i had to whack him in the arm and yell at him a bit, which really surprised him. i don't know... i was just so upset at the idea that i could have lost him that i needed to get that out somehow. so i punched him in the arm for almost dying. (hey, i never claimed to be the most emotionally stable person in the world.)

we made it back fine, and i was so glad to have my husband in the bed with me that night. the motorcycle is gonna be out of commission for a while... but i think that's alright. you can bet i'm gonna be putting up one hell of a fight the next time he thinks he's riding in the dark/rain, though!

never having seen our motorcycle before, these pictures might not mean much to you. but it's pretty torn up. for one thing, there used to be a windshield...

Venture right

Fairing left

Venture back

all i can say is, in the way of terrifying phone calls in the middle of the night, i'm glad i got the one that i did and nothing worse, but i'd be extremely happy to never get one again.