Friday, May 30, 2008

The South will rise again.

So, last weekend I took a trip to Charlotte, NC for my Memorial Day getaway. It began with me getting to the airport like 4 hours early, because my office had a power outage and by the time they realized they wouldn't be able to fix it, it would have been kind of pointless for me to go back home. Anyway, I arrived in NC on Friday evening and had a good time eating ice cream and watching SYTYCD with the Whitleys.

The next morning I got Emaline up and gave her the big plush Rocket from Little Einsteins I had brought, which was received with great enthusiasm ("Ohhhh, this is a GOOD one!"). Obviously I am her favorite aunt. Then it was off to Bojangles for a delicious and healthy breakfast. Em was very excited about this as well (although actually, "excited" is pretty much her natural state, so you should probably just assume that's what she was in every situation unless I say otherwise) and kept shouting, "We're going to the Jangles!"

The next stop was at a farm for some strawberry picking. Alli, you might want to avert your eyes for this part (Alli hates strawberries and is therefore very foolish). When we first got there we chose a row that looked nice and started picking. BIG mistake, apparently. The old guy guarding the strawberry patch as if it were a military base came at us, shouting and waving his orange flag. We made our walk of shame to our assigned row and continued picking delicious and often gigantic strawberries. Allison (not to be confused with Alli the strawberry-hater) had mentioned that when they came the week before with Jeff and Kirsten, some people were eating strawberries as they picked, and Allison had kind of laughed at them. Since then, having actually tasted the glorious nuggets of deliciousness, she had changed her opinion. I lost count after the first 6 or 7 that I ate. Emaline was shoving strawberries in her mouth with reckless abandon. These were ridiculously good strawberries, people.

That afternoon, Em and I had a little picnic on the balcony and watched the birds that flew in and out of the trees behind their apartment. I could not tell you what sort of bird each one was. Emaline could. She would be all, "That's a chickadee!" and I would be like, why is this 2-year-old smarter than I am?

Later that evening we got a true Southern experience at Captain Steve's Seafood Restaurant (which is actually over the border in South Carolina). Let me tell you, when you go to a place where one whole page of the menu is taken up by the choice between "LARGE FRIED PLATTER" and "SMALL FRIED PLATTER", you know you are in a good place. I opted for a small fried platter of shrimp (which was still rather enormous) to compliment the hush puppies we'd already eaten, but also got a side salad to make myself feel better. Not that that was necessary, since the general trend of the clientele was towards obesity and large hair. Awesome.

The rest of the weekend was basically spent hanging out and eating delicious food (strawberries, waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, chocolate chip cookies, strawberries, roast beef and mashed potatoes, strawberries, etc.), which was exactly what I wanted. On Monday afternoon I got the tour of uptown Charlotte (adorable) and we stopped off for some ice cream and milkshakes.

I dare you not to want to squeeze this child. Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend! More pictures here.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This weekend I'm taking my first trip out of NYC since I moved in in January. I just arrived in Charlotte, NC and in the morning I will be seeing this little hoodlum:

For some reason her mother did not think my idea to wake her up tonight was that great. Despite that, I think it will be a fabulous weekend, full of strawberry-pickin', Bojangles-eatin', SYTYCD-watchin', buns-pinchin' good times.

And speaking of bebes, there has recently been a new addition to the clan - wee Gemma Yvette Hill was born May 15, and another redhead (or strawberry blonde, if you want to be technical) has been brought into the world. Her film debut, by my brother-in-law Joel (I promise this is way better than Beverly Hills Chihuahua):

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I smell Oscar.

So I saw Prince Caspian this weekend (and thought it was quite good, by the way) and before the movie was the following trailer, which... you just, you have to watch it (it starts off a little slow, but it is so worth it, I promise you):

IS THIS A JOKE? IT HAS TO BE A JOKE, RIGHT? No, it is real. Like, the whole time the trailer was running I felt like it was a trailer-within-a-show from a Simpsons episode or something. I laughed so hard in the theatre, my chair was shaking. I watched it again a second ago and I actually had tears in my eyes. I am laughing right now, just thinking about it. Seriously, if you can keep a straight face during the title card at 1:19, you are a true American hero.

I am totally going to see this movie.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I love my mom because it is a well-known fact that I have the cutest mom in the world. And this idea has been confirmed by many people beyond my own family, so that is how I know it's true.

I love my mom because once, after a boy broke up with me in college, she sent me a package with a cute new shirt and a note that said, "It's always good to go shopping after a breakup, so you can look even more fabulous. Just thought I'd help."

I love my mom because every situation always seems better after you talk to her about it. Even if she hasn't given you any particularly great advice (which she usually has), it just helps to have her listen.

I love my mom because she makes world-famously delicious dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies.

I love my mom because sometimes she dances like a pirate.

I love my mom because whenever she leaves a message on my phone, it always starts out, "Hi Laura, it's your mom..." like I wouldn't know who it was otherwise (or that I would be confused if she just said "it's Mom" - wait, whose mom is it?).

I love my mom because she is a Tetris and Sudoku wizard.

I love my mom because she doesn't get mad when we make fun of her voicemails or for things like forgetting what movies she has or hasn't seen, because deep down she knows we think she's Superwoman.

I love my mom because sometimes she laughs so hard that her voice gets really high and squeaky and she cries.

I love my mom because she is the kind of woman I want to be someday.

I love my mom because she's my mom.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I can die happy.

This is going to be long, and probably won't interest you if you don't love Flight of the Conchords. Also, I recommend imagining all of their quotes in a New Zealand accent in order to get the full effect.

So, the show opened with a voiceover from backstage between Todd "Crazy Doggs" Barry (from the season finale episode) and Jemaine. Todd was indignant that everyone was here to see the Conchords and he was just the opener, which Jemaine rationalized by explaining that they are taller, which is why everyone likes them more. Heh. Someone yelled out "Yeah BRET!" and Todd was like, "I think they're confused about which of you is talking." Anyway, Todd's standup act was pretty funny. Someone yelled out "Arf! Arf!" about a minute into his set, and he was like, "I'm surprised it took that long." Heh.

I was so excited when the boys came out, I can't even explain it to you. Megan said she felt like a little girl (we weren't sitting together, unfortunately) and I agree. There was a strictly enforced rule against picture-taking in the theatre, so I didn't really get any good shots since security was patrolling the aisles. Anyway, their banter between songs was hilarious, and they added little bits into certain songs to keep them fresh and awesome, which to me is the best part of any concert. I wrote down the set list on an old tithing receipt I had in my purse (it was awesome trying to decipher my scribblings later, since it was completely dark in the theatre...):

Inner City Pressure
Most Beautiful Girl
Think About It
New song (it was about their ex-girlfriends and what they would complain about)
A Kiss Is Not A Contract
Free Bird
Hiphopopotamus v. Rhymenocerous
Bret You've Got It Goin' On
If You're Into It
Not Crying
Business Time
New song (I think it's called "I Told You I Was Freaky")
Ladies of the World

Bus Driver Song

Random details:
- After "Inner City Pressure", people kept screaming for either Bret or Jemaine, and Jemaine pointed out that it was "like a debate at the United Nations." They also talked about how New York is better than the original York, because in the inner city of York it's still legal to shoot a Scotsman with a crossbow.
- An extra line to "Beautiful" - "like a nice piece of crockery... or a tasteful Persian rug."
- They talked about their set list, which was a crumpled piece of paper on the table between them, and which Bret said looked more like a flow chart than an actual list. He was like, "It should say, 'Did that song go well? Yis - proceed to this song.'"
- At one point, a bunch of girls started screaming about their love for Bret, and Jemaine looked sad, so Bret got all the men in the audience to shout "We love Jemaine!"
- "Free Bird" was a shouted request from the audience - Jemaine played and sang the first few lines and then gave up, saying he needed to learn it. Throughout the show, people yelled out "Free Bird!" a few more times, and each time he would play the same few bars and everyone would cheer. He was like, "It gets the same reaction every time!"
- "Hiphopopotamus" was another yelled request among many others, but was the only one that drew unanimous cheers throughout the crowd. Bret called the guy who shouted it a "dynamic leader." Also, there were a few extra bars of interlude before the second rap verse because Bret forgot the words, haha.
- "Bret You've Got It Goin' On" was sung by Jemaine while Bret curled up in his own guitar case on the ground because he was tired and felt down about his body issues.
- On the second new song, Bret played the keytar and came down into the audience, and got so into it that he accidentally hit the "demo" button and it started playing "Last Christmas" by Wham. He got back up on stage and complained that it had ruined his solo, and then they let it keep playing while they sat there and talked a little.
- Near the end of the show, people got a little more reckless with their picture-taking (not even turning off their flashes, etc.) and Bret and Jemaine started posing for some people in the closer rows. When a bunch of flashes went off, Bret was like, "There they are, get 'em!" and said he should get a yellow Security jacket.

After the show, we waited for about an hour by the stage door with some other fans for them to come out (thanks to Megan for waiting with me and not mocking me for being such a fangirl), and we were rewarded! They actually came out a different door, but we kind of swarmed them, heh. Bret seemed a little more shy than Jemaine, but they were both really nice as they signed autographs and took pictures with the 20-30 fans that had waited. I'm sure it must have been a little overwhelming. When I got my picture with Jemaine and asked him to flip the bird at my camera, he said, "What kind of bird?" I told him whichever kind he liked best. After we took the picture I was like, "Thank you so much, and sorry we are kind of crazy!" and he said, "That's okay, you can't help it." Hee. No, no I cannot.

Anyway, it was an amazingly fun night! I don't think anything will top that for a long time.

Flippin' the bird.

A full update to come, but I'm way too giddy and tired right now to be coherent. Suffice it to say, my expectations were met and exceeded. I think this pretty much sums it up:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Binary solo!

My excitement level is at an all-time high - I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I predict that this will be the greatest night of my life so far.

Mel, prepare to be put to shame.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Look, weather, we need to talk. I know you kind of forgot to do the whole "April showers" thing when you were supposed to - I get it, I'm a procrastinator too. I've been there. But this has got to stop. I do not appreciate it being so foggy that I can't see the top of the building down the street. I do not appreciate it being so misty that by the end of the day my hair has gone from being freshly straightened to making me look like a white Diana Ross. You missed your deadline. It's time for May flowers, not more of your crazy precipitation-related shenanigans. Pull yourself together, because this is starting to get out of hand.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Possibly the only thing that would make my dad feel more poncey when walking the dog.

So this morning over breakfast (a glass of orange juice, and some Raising Bran in a mug, because we are out of clean bowls and I coud not be bothered to wash one) I was watching part of a Colbert Report from last week, and in the teaser at the beginning, Stephen had this to say:

"Then: I give you tips on fitting in with the upper class. Although, if your Bichon Frise doesn't already have a monocle, you're beyond help."

So close, Louie. So close.


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