Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Funny face

Fear can be such a debilitating feeling. It can affect what we do no matter its intensity. Even just a tiny bit of nervousness can keep us from venturing into the unknown. When Ravena and I settled on dinner this evening, she suggested we try out this new vegetarian restaurant in Chantilly. She called it "an adventure." I accepted the challenge, all the while wondering what I had gotten myself into. I've dabbled in vegetarianism a couple of different times during my life and have managed to even cook with tofu once. However, I had never really been to a strictly vegetarian restaurant. I'm what I consider tofu picky, and generally prefer my vegetarian fare of the Mexican variety.

I countered my skepticism by hitting up 7-11 for a pre-dinner hot dog. I had had a fairly healthy, non-meat lunch and wasn't taking any risks. After I met up with Ravena, we headed to Lotus, the newest (and maybe only) vegetarian restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia. Turns out Lotus focuses on Asian cuisine. Hmm. The warning lights were still flashing. There are so many bad or mediocre Asian restaurants to happen upon, what were the chances a vegetarian one would be any good?

How wrong can a girl be? Very! What followed was seriously the best Chinese food that I've ever had. I had the Sweet and Sour Palate, which amounts to sweet and sour chicken minus the chicken but with fried soy protein. I know it sounds scary, but it tasted fantastic. I'm not a foodie blogger in the least and suck at describing tastes, but the sauce was perfect. I also had a spring roll (thumbs up) and sampled Ravena's dumplings and General Tso's (just as tasty). I wish they delivered because this would definitely be my go-to place for Chinese.

Maybe next time I'll be a little less fearful of my next adventure.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alone in the dark

I went by myself to the movies today, watching Burn After Reading. While I love sharing a movie with others, going to the movies alone is one of my secret joys. The concession stands serves up a giant Diet Coke and the seats cushion my ass, reclining just right. I like the dark, cool atmosphere and being able to sit up front. When I'm by myself, I can escape more fully, shoving the reality of lift into those dusty crevices and living in the movie with the characters. Not that I'd want to live in the Coen brothers' world. I'd probably end up getting whacked or would have to inadvertently kill someone. Still, I enjoyed my cool, cushy isolation.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate it out

I watched the debates tonight, but honestly, I just don't have a politically-driven post in me. In fact, these days I have barely been able to muster a couple of paragraphs of drivel here. That said, I call the debates a draw. Both candidates scored points, and I doubt that anyone who already has their mind made up was swayed by the opposing Presidential candidate. Personally, I love the sparring part of the debates...the nonverbal cues and the way each candidate handles stress and getting pissed off.

Things I will remember about tonight involve laughing*. Bee costumes in Target and on airplanes and chasing girls in dresses. Terra's discussion of Conor's long strokes. Pre-gaming with The Cho Show. Baracklava and McCaingel Cake.

* And, no, we didn't end up turning the debate into a drinking game.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Light it up

A few weeks ago I was struck by the urge to rewatch Firestarter. For those of you unaware of this classic, click on over to Netflix and add it to your queue. Having watched it when it first came out (*cough* yeah, I'm that old), I had a bit of trepidation that I would be disappointed. Would Drew Barrymore be as impressive when not viewed through the eyes of fellow 9-year old who thought being able to start fires with your mind might be a fine skill to develop?

Turns out Firestarter is one of those movies that is just as good 23 years later. Was it slightly cheesy? Of course. That said, it was just the right amount of 80s kitsch combined with Drew Barrymore's flaring hair and ability to throw fireballs. Toss in Martin Sheen as a bellowing military official, and it's worth the 2 hours.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I want to make my own pickles

I want a garden. It's an odd thing for me to want given that I don't like dirt under my fingernails and usually do what I can to avoid bugs. Despite my hangups, the desire to grow my own grub and can things has slowly been growing. It began with my falling for the design of You Grow Girl and as a pragmatic addition to my apocalypse list. Now I find myself looking for stray plots of land around my apartment complex that I can hijack for a guerrilla garden (there aren't any) and thinking maybe I need a cute little house. Of course, maybe I need to find a cheaper area of the country to live in order to afford this dream. Ha.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rescue me

For the past few months I've been on the quest for a pet. Something furry that would run and play and also be cool hanging on its own. I developed a bit of an obsession with French Bulldogs and found a breeder down in Florida. I quickly came to the conclusion, however, that (1) Florida was too far to travel to get a puppy and (2) getting a puppy would be like adopting a small child. I work too much to ensure it gets outside to do its puppy business in a timely manner.

Suddenly I found myself in a Petsmart (I'd like to say tricked, but I did go willingly). After two kittens waiting for adoption melted in my arms, I was suddenly filling out an adoption application and purchasing litter boxes. The monsters came home with me and took over my apartment.

I've had a cat before (in a 6 bedroom house with two living rooms), so I felt with a little daily Benedryl I could manage my allergies. Two cats in a studio apartment brought different results. Wheezing...my lungs slowly betraying my body. At first, leaving my apartment in the mornings for work brought relief. Soon even escaping the vicinity of the monsters didn't help. It became bad enough that I made an appointment with my doctor*. He prescribed an emergency inhaler and rethinking the kittens. Four days later and I was getting no better. My asthma was progressively worsening. By Labor day walking from my 4th floor apartment to the first floor left me feeling like I ran a marathon. I wasn't getting enough oxygen, and I couldn't take it anymore.

Allie took me to the emergency room, where they gave me a breathing treatment and lots of steroids. As I was lying in the hospital bed with a breathing mask over my face, I came face to face with what my grandmother goes through every day. Someone slips that mask on her face twice a day so that she can breathe easier. Every day she fights for breath that I take for granted.

The monsters had to go back. I had bonded to them, but I just couldn't take it anymore. I spent 3 days away from home (sending others to feed them), and on the fourth day, Steven came and helped me return the monsters to their foster person. I guess I'm just not meant for furry, cuddly pets.

*I don't do doctors, so you know I feel bad when I go to them.