Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cousins

I watch all kinds of real estate, home renovation/improvement, and decorating/design shows on TV.  I love them all!

I especially enjoyed "Kitchen Cousins" and "Cousin on Call", featuring real-life cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri.  They manage to be energetic without looking crazy.  And speaking of looking, these handsome guys are certainly easy on the eyes!
John on the left; Anthony on the right
From watching the show you can tell they are both in nice shape.  A couple times I'd Googled their names with the word 'shirtless' afterward to no avail.  So you can imagine how excited I was to see a video on facebook with glimpses of both guys shirtless!  Apparently they are doing some summer barbequing videos where they grill food and make new cocktails.  

This one shows both guys, with Anthony shirtless. This one shows both guys, with John shirtlessTo see all the guys' grilling and cocktail mixing videos and the recipes they make, check out this site.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mild weather

This week has been uncharacteriscally mild here in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Typically at this time of year (mid-August) the daytime temperatures would be in the upper-80s to mid-90s and the humidity level would be very high, producing a 'sauna' effect.  We also refer to this time as the 'dog days of summer'.

But every day this week the temperatures have been in the upper-70s to low-80s and the humidity has been almost non-existent.  Spouse and Marvin and I have had dinner out on the screened porch several times and even slept with the bedroom windows partially opened.  

Not that I'm complaining - its been fantastic - but it does make you a little leery.  Does this mean we're going to be blasted by a heat wave at the end of the month??  Or does this mean we're going to have another colder-than-usual winter??

I'm going to try and not over-think it, but instead, just enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fart Car

I've written many times on this blog about alternative energies like electricity, wind, and solar.  I'm a big proponent of 100% electric cars like the Nissan Leaf which use no fossil fuels and emit no pollution.

But I just became aware of a new car that is powered by a 'natural' gas that is renewable.  Check this out:
I can't wait to order my new Flatula Backfire!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Sweet dreams are made of this

So here's my recent dream:

I'm showing a house to a client (I'm a realtor) and I notice this really fabulous a cappella vocal jazz playing.  I wonder over to this old-school console stereo/record player and see an album is playing.  The music is really good, I'm totally getting into it, and absolutely forget about my client.  Then I see on the other side of the console a folder with sheet music sticking out of it.  As I look at the sheet music I see that its for the same songs that are playing.  This totally excites me!

Next I hear someone enter the room and turn around to find a chunky, ethnic-looking man probably in his mid-60s.  (Note that this is not the client to whom I'm supposed to be showing the house.)  The man walks over to me and says "I'm ready to do your manicure now" and smiles at me.  I think for a second that this is weird, since I've never had a manicure before, and that this man who looks like a character from "The Sapranos" is the manicurist, and that I'm about to get a manicure in a house that I'm supposed to be showing to a client.  Not withstanding all this, I pause for a moment and reply to the man "OK".

The man points to a small stool in front of the old-school console stereo so I sit on it while he walks behind the console and gestures for me to put my hand up on the console.  I do that, and he begins touching and examining my hands.

"Your name is Mark" he begins.  

"That's right!" I reply, more than a little surprised, since neither of us had exchanged names and I certainly don't remember having made an appointment with him.  He looks at my other hand and feels the length of my index finger. 

"You have a long-term boyfriend, like 25 years, who is in the construction industry..." he continues.

"Um, no..." I reply.  I'm a little disappointed at this 'miss'.  Then I wonder silently "Is this a manicure or a psychic reading?"  The man looks up from my hands and smiles at me again.  My heart is racing because I anticipate that he is somehow reading my energy through my hands, or something similar.  I can hardly wait for what he'll say next.

And then I woke up. I tried to go back to sleep to continue the dream but it didn't work. 

I don't believe dreams 'mean' anything.  My dreams are often a mixture of real life people and events jumbled up with TV show characters and plots.  I really hoped I'd get to continue this one though.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Drip

I accidentally filled my water glass a little too much, so on the way from the water cooler to my desk a spilled a couple drops of water onto my canvas shoe.  No biggie; its just water.  It will dry.

Just a few minutes later I went to the restroom.  On my way out of the restroom my colleague is coming in.  He does the customary 'look at the floor' deal that guys often do in such situations.  I imagine he looks at my shoe, and then I realize it probably appears that I dribbled on my shoe in the bathroom instead of at the water cooler.

Good grief.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Plea

Its no secret that I am much more attracted to men with body hair than men who are 'smooth'.  Nothing against smooth guys - they are gorgeous too, in their own way, and I have featured some in my 'Just because' posts from time to time.  But my preference is a man with body hair; let's be clear.

The other day I saw this (NSFW) rather funny article on facebook about the horrors of manscaping, and more specifically, pube shaving.  While I'm not against a little trimming 'down there', the brunt of the article is a plea to men NOT to shave their pubes, which I whole-heartedly agree with.  Once again, trimming is okay, but completely shaving is gross! 

HOT!
 
NOT!




Probably the funniest line in the article is "I heard a rumor that every time you shave your pubes an angel dies of dysentery or something because it’s cold and your crotch is a barren wasteland of nothing."  LOL!!


Check out the article and some pretty hot photos HERE, as well as the prequel to this article about chest shaving HERE.

You're welcome.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Penny for your number

Recently phone books were delivered in my neighborhood, which brought several thoughts to mind:
  1. Does anyone use phone books anymore?  With nearly everyone possessing a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer, it is literally easier and faster to look up a phone number using 1 of those devices than to pull out an archaic phone book.  It would be better to have a couple phone books at the library for those who don't have a smart phone or computer.
  2. Does anyone have a landline anymore?  Most of the people I know have gotten rid of their landline phones since they are more easily reached on their cell/mobile phone.  Although many of us work in offices that have landlines, I just look up a needed phone number on the internet.  And since cell/mobile numbers are not printed in phone books, it makes the phone book seem even more obsolete.
  3. Isn't it a huge waste of money, paper, and labor to blanketly deliver phone books unsolicited?  I can understand printing a small amount of phone books for libraries and people who actually want them, but why not simply make these available for use or pick-up at a library or phone company office?  Indiscriminately delivering multiple phone books to every house costs money to print and money to deliver the books, which in my case, went directly into the recycling bin.
To ad insult to injury, we received 4 telephone books.  You see, our house is on a corner and we have a driveway next to our front door and a driveway next to our side door.  The geniuses hired to deliver the phone books didn't realize it is just 1 house, so they dropped off 2 books at both of our driveways.

It is my belief that the phone book is just about as obsolete as the penny; for some reason they're still in circulation although neither are necessary.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Travel stories: Part 2 - Vancouver

Fri evening we arrived in Vancouver and met our 'host' in front of the building where we'd be staying.  The Newlyweds found this 2-bedroom condo with a rooftop garden on AirBnB and we arranged to meet the owner/host there to get the keys and orientation.  Since AirBnB hosts upload their photos to their property listings, and our host's photo was a bit ambiguous, we were a little taken aback at the man we met in front of the building, who looked to be about 20 years older than his photo.  But he was very nice and friendly.  As he was showing us around (cable TV remote, laundry, etc) he ended the orientation by saying "and if you need anything, just call me.  Oh, and I just ask that if you use the dishes, please don't leave me with a sink full of dirty dishes.  I think that's fair."  Of course we all agreed it was, but it became a catch-phrase for us for the remainder of the trip.  I said to Spouse "When you come back from the bedroom, would you bring me my hoodie?  I think that's fair."

The condo was just off Davie St in the Davie Village community, which is the gay epicenter of Vancouver, kind of like Boystown in Chicago or the Castro in San Francisco.  
All the crosswalks in Davey Village are painted the rainbow colors.
After settling in we walked down Davie St to The Capital where we saw a sign that read "Entire menu $4.95".  Being the bargain-hunters that we are, the 4 of us decided to give it a try.  Our waitress Emily was super-nice and the food was really good and affordable.  We would return there for drinks and dessert the following night.  We were delighted to see that most restaurants on Davie St had an outdoor dining area or they had large garage-style doors that let the outside in.  The weather was very pleasant, in the 70s with no humidity.  After exploring the 'hood a bit more, we returned to the condo and chatted on the rooftop terrace until bedtime.
Nighttime in the Village

Sat we had coffee in the condo, then had breakfast on the patio at Score which had been recommended to us by Emily at The Capital.  Then we walked over to the little ferries that take you to Granville Island Public Market, which was very similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle, only with more art and hand-made stuff.  
Downtown Vancouver seen from the Granville Island ferry
It was beautiful and we enjoyed a nice walk around the island.  We also stumbled onto a juggler's show where 1 of The Newlyweds was asked to assist.  The juggler was also a comedian and solicited several genuine laughs from the crowd during his show.  
Jamie assists the juggler
We brought back some wine, cheese, salami, crackers, and Ranier cherries and enjoyed them as an afternoon snack on the rooftop terrace.  That night we had dinner at Falafel King on Davie St (they have multiple locations) and ate on their patio.  Spouse & I both had chicken shawarma and it was incredibly delicious!  Afterward we checked out a couple of bars on Davie St including PumpJack, which had been the source of many innuendos between the 4 of us since we 1st saw it.
Selfie

Sun we had brunch at Fountainhead Pub and ate on their glass-enclosed patio.  That afternoon The Newlyweds opted to stay in and nap/read while Spouse & I walked to Stanley Park.  We took a shuttle which stopped at many beautiful spots where we could see the surrounding water, Lion's Gate bridge, redwood trees, and gardens.  There were lots of hikers and cyclists enjoying the large, beautiful park too.  
Spouse in front of huge hydrangas in Stanley Park
When we got onto the shuttle and I tried to give the driver money to purchase tickets, the Lebanese-looking woman said "Sit, sit!  I will find you later and get money!"  However, after exiting the shuttle and walking down the street I realized she never came to us, so we both got to ride the $10 shuttle for free.  That made us feel better about paying $20 for a cab ride back to the condo.

That evening the 4 of us went to Edgewater Casino so Spouse and The Newlyweds could gamble for a little while.  Gambling doesn't interest me at all and I'd much rather spend money on other things, but since it was Spouse's birthday and he wanted to go, I willingly agreed.  He actually won $31 playing a nickle slot machine!  Afterward we toured the charming historic Gastown district and saw the ancient steam-powered clock.
Look closely to see the steam escaping the top of the clock
Afterward we went to dinner at Cactus Club Cafe which sits right on the English Bay.  The views were beautiful and the food was amazing.  
English Bay
That night we played Heads Up and Cards Against Humanity until we could procrastinate no longer.  We had to pack before going to bed.

Mon morning our AirBnB host met us at 7:30am to pick up the keys and we hit the road.  Since the border crossings can sometimes had long back-ups, we waited until we had crossed the border to stop for breakfast, then continued onto Seattle.  The Newlyweds dropped us at the airport in plenty.  However, when it came time to board the plane, it hadn't arrived yet.  It finally arrived just a few minutes before we were due to take off, but had to unload its passengers and baggage, change crew, and be cleaned (sort of).  We left about 50 minutes later than scheduled, and only made up about 20 minutes during the flight.  Spouse's brother picked us up, took us to our car, and we got home to DE at 1:30am.  We'd been traveling by car, then plane, then car again, for 15 hours.  Marvin was very happy to see us, and we him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Travel stories: Part 1 - Seattle

Last Thurs Spouse & I left DE at 8:30am and arrived at Spouse's mom's house at 11am.  Spouse's sister and brother were also there, and the 5 of us had an early lunch together before his brother drove us to the airport. 

The previous few days at work had been rather quiet so I wasn't expecting much if anything to happen while I was gone, but on the drive to the airport I learned that 1 of my clients had 'slept on it' and decided not to wait to make an offer on the 'perfect' home I'd shown them.  So I made a call to my office and got a teammate to assist my client with writing their offer.  Once at the airport the lines were short so the security scan didn't take very long and we got to our gate with lots of extra time, so I checked my email.  I saw an MLS alert that a home came onto the market in a specific community where another of my clients was very interested.  It is a small, prestigeous, beachfront location where even a small, dated shack is over $1M.  So of course I forwarded the listing to my client and suggested he not wait for me to return to see the home.  I instructed him to call another of my teammates to arrange for a showing.  Of course this flurry of real estate activity made me feel a little nervous about leaving, but Spouse suggested we travel more often if this is what happens when we try to leave town.

The flight to Seattle was uneventful, and Spouse & I were a little proud of ourselves for successfully navigating an airport we'd never been to before and eventually finding our way to the transit station which seemed like it was a mile away.  We bought our tickets for the transit train but thought it strange that there was no one asking to see the tickets before we boarded.  Once we sat down 3 Asian teens, probably Korean, sat across from us.  The young woman immediately began talking to her 2 male friends, 1 who seemed not to really be paying attention and the other who appeared to hang on her every word.  The pitch of her voice was high and irritating, and I thought to myself "I hope they're getting off at 1 of the closer stops".  Unfortunately they didn't, and the young woman continued talking non-stop for what felt like hours.  I looked at my phone and it had been 20 minutes.  How can anyone talk non-stop for that long?  Nobody has that much to say!  After another 15 minutes I was ready to pierce my eardrums with ice picks or strangle the young woman when our stop finally arrived and we exited the train.  We also exited the transit station without anyone asking for our tickets.  We probably could have ridden for free!

From a phone conversation with a hotel employee and from consulting my iPhone maps app, it appeared the transit stop was about 8 blocks from our hotel, which should be quite doable, we thought.  Unless its uphill the entire way.  Spouse & I drug our rolling suitcases up hills that would rival those in San Francisco.  By the time we checked in and got to our room our clothes were completely drenched in sweat and we wanted nothing more than to take a shower.  Refreshed from our showers we went up to the rooftop garden to look at the city.  
Spouse and the City
At the recommendation of the nice young man at the front desk, we walked around the block to a wonderful little mom-and-pop Thai restaurant called Thai Star and enjoyed an absolutely delicious chicken pad thai dinner.  Afterward we walked around just a bit, returned to the rooftop garden, and then watched a little TV before falling asleep.
Great city view

Fri morning we had breakfast in the hotel's cafe, packed our bags, and left them in the hotel's storage room before heading out on foot.  We walked to Pike Place Market where we saw lots of gorgeous fresh cut flowers, fruit, produce, fish, seafood, jewelry, arts, and hand-crafted items.  
Impossibly orange flowers
Then we sat for a bit in a small waterfront park adjacent to the market where we saw these 2 fellows.  
You can use this handy website to see the specific preference of the fellow with the pink hanky in his left pocket.  We enjoyed the views and the people in the park.
Spouse in the park

Next we wandered in and out of a some little stores near the Market and then ducked into a food court to use the bathroom and refill our water bottle.  While waiting for Spouse I looked at my map and saw that from there we could take a monorail to the Space Needle, our next destination, rather than walking there.  Once again we purchased tickets that no one would ask to see and exited the monorail at the Space Needle complex.  Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle complex also houses a Chihuly glass exhibit, an outdoor concert venue, several gardens, and many food and souvenir vendors.
An enormous glass sculpture

We got a call from The Newlyweds, letting us know they had arrived at the Space Needle so we hopped in their car and picked up our luggage from the hotel before heading north and out of the city.  

Since none of us had eaten lunch yet, we stopped at a seafood that Michael thought he remembered called Ivar's.  He realized his mistake immediately when he looked at the Captain D's-type menu.  But before we turned to walk out, we overheard an employee behind the counter say "OK, let me regurgitate your order back to you..."  We could barely contain our laughter as ran out the door!  I mean, if there is ANY 1 word you should absolutely avoid using in a restaurant, its regurgitate.  We opted for a brew pub lunch instead, then headed north to the border.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Preparations

Today was mine & Spouse's last day of work this week.  We're leaving tomorrow for a 'long weekend' trip to Vancouver, BC for Spouse's 50th birthday.  You may recall back in Dec when Spouse & I went for a 'long weekend' trip to Paris for my 50th birthday.

This evening we planned what clothes we wanted to take, folded and packed them in our carry-on bags, and gathered our TSA-approved toiletries.  We'll wait til tomorrow to pack those since we will use some of the items in the morning.

Tomorrow morning we'll drive to Spouse's mom's house outside of DC and visit with her for a bit.  Then Spouse's brother will drive us to the airport where we'll fly to Seattle, WA.  We'll stay overnight and spend about 1/2 of Fri sightseeing in Seattle.  The Newlyweds will join us in Seattle and the 4 of us will drive to Vancouver, BC sometime Fri evening.  It should be a great trip!  

We return to DE very late Mon night.  More details next week.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Whirlwind weekend

OMG, what a weekend!

Kerry & Hugh and Ana, Javier, Alison, Gabe, and Antonio arrived Fri night at 11:45.  We snacked and talked and finally went to bed at 1am.

Sat morning I went to work and our 7 friends had breakfast and headed to the beach.  In the late afternoon, Lois & Christy, Harriet & Bob, Emily, Brandon, and Dan arrived.  (Yes, that makes 14 visitors!)  Once the beachgoers returned and showered, we discussed dinner.  There is no place in the area that could seat all 16 of us at 7pm, so we decided to order pizzas, subs, and salads.  They were delivered amazingly quickly, and since the weather was gorgeous, we all ate together on the screened porch.

I left ahead of the others since I needed to be at the Blue Moon early, but the rest of the group followed a little later to see me perform as Elton John in the LEGENDS show.
Singing the 1st number:  Your Song

With back-up dancers during Crocodile Rock
The show went really great and my friends had a great time.  When we returned to the house, we had drinks and talked on the screened porch until nearly 1am.

Sun morning we had bagels and coffee and visited on the screened porch until the crew had to pack up their things.  They all left by 10:30am.  It was a whirlwind visit!

Spouse & I packed a lunch and headed to the beach.  The weather was hot, but it was beautiful at the beach.  We sat with our friends Tim, Kevin, and David and talked and relaxed well into the afternoon.  After returning home and showering, we had dinner at Saketumi and then watched "True Blood" and "The Leftovers".

Friday, July 11, 2014

Anticipation

This evening Spouse & I had dinner with Steven & Thad and Joe P, and then headed to a local watering hole to celebrate our friend Bryan's birthday.  He turned 50!  There were lots of people there that we knew and it was fun to see so many friends all in 1 place.

Now we're waiting for our weekend guests to arrive.  Our dear friends Kerry & Hugh are coming with an uncertain number of other mutual friends for the weekend.  Their plan is to go to the beach tomorrow (while I'm working) and then see me perform as Elton John in the LEGENDS show.

I'm sure I will have some stories to report on Monday!