Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Sleep Til Baltimore (part two)

So, where was I? Ah, the three of us were weary, hungry and sweaty and really just wanted a decent meal and a beer. Not too much to ask. We really wanted to hit the road soonish, so rather than seek out a super-fabulous place to eat we decide to stay downtown and find a restaurant in Little Italy, since we're already practically there.

We drove around and almost immediate see a restaurant that looks promising. Italian! Seafood! I long for fried calamari. Or even some pizza. We find a place to park in a deck with a stupidly complicated system of plastic coins, gates and pay kiosks and start walking around.

We walk, we look at a menu, we walk, we look at another (almost identical) menu, we walk, menu, walk, menu, walk, menu. All the posted menus are eerily similar and overpriced, leading me to speculate that it's all one big restaurant with an adjoined basement kitchen and a complicated system of conveyor belts. Hmph.

During our walk we past by a shop with this lovely window display:

We walked over to look at another menu and, hooray, it has pizza! Go pizza with your affordable self! And calamari! Yay! We walk in and find ourselves in a long dank hallway that lead into a dark, medieval looking dining room that's completely empty.

"This looks like the kind of place you never get to leave, if you know what I mean."

"Creepy! Let's get out of here."

We leave and walk around the corner to find, hooray! The original restaurant that we'd seen from the car. We look at the menu and it's identical to the creepy kidnap place around the corner. We realize it's the same restaurant but we'd tried to go in the weird back way before. This door looks much more inviting and we can actually see people eating, so it must be okay, right?


We didn't leave because we were hungry. Really really hungry. We are seated and our waitress comes over to greet us. She has a spooked nervousness about her that is soon explained when she tells us that the restaurant just reopened after being closed for a year for renovations. Oh, and they don't have any seafood or pizza right now.

Of course they don't.

She takes our drink order and Tasha blows her mind by ordering a Yuengling lager. She'd never heard of it, couldn't pronounce it, had no idea if they carried it. We gently told her they probably did and to ask the bartender. Kelly ordered an ice tea which arrived looking like water with the slightest essence of tea:

I cannot even believe they had the nerve to serve it, honestly.

We ordered dinner! First, we asked for an Antipasto platter. When we order it the waitress, already nervous, flashed the whites of her eyes in panic. I am pretty sure she had no idea what "antipasto" was, but she wrote it down with a dubious look. Tasha and I ordered eggplant parmesan and Kelly ordered spaghetti and meatballs. DENIED. The Italian restaurant has no meatballs. The Italian Seafood restaurant has no meatballs, seafood or pizza. Jesus Christ.

Kelly orders chicken Alfredo with a question mark and the look of relief she gets back from the waitress is comical. YES. SCORE. We do actually get our Yuenglings and Kelly drinks her "tea" while we dutifully eat the really unpleasant bread. How do you ruin bread? They did.

The Antipasto arrives and we eat it. We eat a lot of it. Then...something caught my eye. I pick up a pepperoncini and investigate the strange black clump attached to it. It's a fly. A dead, pickled fly splayed out across the pepper like a tiny sacrificial offering.

At this point, it's starting to feel like a practical joke. I mean, really? REALLY? The waitress comes over and when we point out our new little friend I thought she was going to have a stroke right there. She got this wild-eyed look like she's thinking, how could this day suck more? OH, RIGHT. I QUUUUUUUUUUUUIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTT.

She must really have needed that job because damned if she didn't go get the owner, an older Italian fellow, who sort of apologized by saying something along the lines of, "Well, we don't see them flying around back there!"

He promised to take the dish off our tab which is all I cared about at that point. I was so hungry I was willing to take my chances but I wasn't paying for dead fly food. Will we waited for our entrees we started looking around. I'm not sure what they spent a year renovating, but it was WRONG. The section we were in looked like a bad 80's fern bar:

and the dining room next to ours was 100% medieval Steak & Ale, Italian style:

There was another, darker, dining room behind that (the one we walked into from the other entrance) but it wasn't being used:

I ventured back there to use the restroom which was it's own hot nightmare. It was a small room with a long point tower thing that ended in a tiny, tiny skylight- the only source of light. An oubliette, if you will. (Hey! Show of hands: Who know's what an oubliette is because of the movie Labyrinth? Me too.) It was scary.

Later, Tasha went back and checked out the other bathroom across the hall, which not only had a scary tower skylight, but also had a serious black mold problem. Of course she took a photo:

I mean, damn. In the meantime, we were transfixed by the appearance of the restaurant hostess, who was wearing a really fabulous outfit. Her skirt was a denim mini and airbrushed across the ass was this message: "Boy Scouting." Kelly took a picture:

OKAY. The owner seemed very, very friendly with her.

Other decor included gigantic wine glasses:

We ate our dinner (eh), and then had our conversation interrupted by the waitress who nervously squeaked, "We have gelato!?" NO THANKS. We paid, we SCRAMMED. We got chased by the waitress who was having a mental breakdown because Kelly took the wrong copy of the credit card slip. We paused outside for a quick ridiculous photo and then ran for our lives.

(Voted best by WHO?)

Kelly drove drove drove drove home and got into Richmond around 11pm. Longest day ever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Sleep Til Baltimore (part one)

Insomnia sucks balls. I normally sleep like a drugged kitten but lately I've been having a hard time falling asleep. Instead I just lie there with my heart racing and try to invent deep breathing techniques. I'm a denial-insomniac, which means I refuse to acknowledge that sleep is not just around the bend and instead of getting up and doing something else for a while I'll just continue to lie there with my eyes screwed shut and WAIT FOR THE SLEEP TRAIN. CHUGA-CHUGA.

That train never comes. Anyway, this was my Thursday and Friday nights: three hours of sleep. And Friday night was extra-special because I had to get up at 4am the next morning to ride up to Baltimore with Tasha and Kelly, two of my Mafia brethren.

Holy crap was that ever a trip. I mean, we have photos because you wouldn't even believe it if I just told you. This entry is going to be two parts because I need to spend a fair amount of time describing dinner in the Worst Restaurant Ever. EVER.

So the morning started out before the sun rose, as we left few minutes after 5am. Kelly drove and Tasha rode shotgun so I could sit in the back and drool on myself.

Eventually the sun came up and we needed a bathroom and breakfast, in that order. We saw a Chick-Fil-A sign and I started to sing a little song that goes like this:

Chick-en. Chicken biscuit!
Chick-en Bis-cuit for me.

CHICK-en. Chicken biscuit.
In my belly. For me.

I sang it quietly over and over again until I was rewarded:

YAY. As we drove out of the parking lot we spotted a Medieval Times restaurant and were all sad that we couldn't partake. I'm pretty sure they're not open at 8am, but still. Sadness.

We arrived at the show venue only slightly late - it was an old church, which was pretty decent except for the lack of air conditioning. Ugh. I was already feeling pretty not-okay, so this didn't help. At all. We set up the group booth and I think did a pretty sweet job:

I spent most of the day slumped in a chair trying to keep my head propped up. My main job was to write up sales tickets, which I hope I didn't screw up too badly. It was hot, I was tired. Actually, I wasn't so much tired as just beyond. I was so far past tired, I was practically in Narnia.

The first few hours went pretty quickly and then time stopped and the crowds thinned out. Kelly sat tiredly in the other chair and started laughing at nothing so she wouldn't cry. Those were our options at that point - laugh or cry. We were all pretty wrung out. Sales were good in that everyone sold something but bad personally in that I worked a 19 hour day and sold two pairs of earrings. Crap.

So, the show ended and we packed everything up, eager to find a nice place to eat dinner and have a beer. A nice place with air conditioning. How could that go wrong?

Check back tomorrow for Part Two!

The Craft Mafia girls experience the big city of Baltimore! They are served protein they didn't remember ordering! And consider making a call to the Maryland Office of F00d Protecti0n and Consumer Health Services! So not even kidding!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Real Tired.

Hellish weekend. Insomnia. Bad food. 19 hour day. Airbrushed clothing. So much badness. But have photographic evidence! Full report tomorrow, promise. Swear to god.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Horse Crazy.

Yeah, I'm a liar. I never did tell you about that craft show but here's a brief summary: hot as balls, sold two things, complete misery.

And hey, it's Friday! I got about three hours of sleep last night so I can barely hold my head up enough to care. I've been sleeping really well all week but last night I got into bed and just... couldn't. Even with Benedryl, sleep's best friend, it didn't happen. I think I finally drifted off around 3am. I feel awesome today, as you can probably imagine.

Just for fun, I'm getting up tomorrow at 4am (FUCK) to drive up to Baltimore with some of the Richmond Craft Mafia women. We are doing a group booth at Pile of Craft. (You should come say hi! Help prop me up!) It should be a fun show and is, thankfully, inside. Yay for that.

So, all that excitement aside, the most exciting thing that happened to me this week: Horseback riding! I took riding lessons pretty regularly from when I was eight up until high school. I finally gave it up to focus on perfecting my heavy black art school eyeliner application and smoke ring blowing skillz. But I always missed it, always missed just being around horses.

So, when a friend of mine started taking lessons this year I got that yearning again. I was envious, but nervous about actually taking that leap. What if I tried it again and it scared me? What if I'd forgotten everything I spent my childhood learning to do? But she convinced me to come with her, lent me boots and breeches, and off we went.

It was SO GREAT. I remembered everything! It all came back. We brushed our horses, saddled and bridled them and away we went. My horse buddy was a big bay named Ticket and he was a melancholy but sweet fellow. By the time I left he was tucking his nose into my elbow and lovingly blowing horse snot on me. TRUE LOVE 4EVA. I am gone. Just gone. Thankfully, my friend is kind enough to offer to let me go ride with her a few times a month, so next time I'll take my camera and document the joy. I haven't felt that kind of simple happiness in a long while.

Oh, man. There is no love in the world like that between a girl and a horse.

(Please don't take that out of context you filthy freaks.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Talk is currently $3.85 a gallon.

I had lunch with an old college friend today, someone I'd forgotten all about until we ran into each other at a local craft show. We both have vague memories of hanging out back in the day but really all we both remember is that we didn't hate each other. Hey, I've based friendships on a lot less! Anyway, he's funny as shit and that's all I really ask. Lunchtime topics of conversation included:

- Running out of things to blog about (FIXED.)

- Tasing small unruly children

- Downloading p0rn at work (We don't, because, why the hell would you do that? You can't even enjoy it because, duh, you're at WORK.)

- "accidentally" breaking objects you no longer like so you can get newer, shinier objects.

- Why drinking and cooking don't always mix.

- Crazy old ladies and how to torture them.

- How we've started buying music by bands we listened to at college because it's too exhausting to find new stuff. (Wait, that's just me. Here's something that will make you feel old: Loveshack by the B-52s? Is nearly 20 years old. OMG. I was making a copy of the new album for my sister and included some older stuff on it. I wasn't sure about adding Roam because it was "newer". Yeah. TWENTY YEARS AGO.)

Tomorrow I'll post about the craft show Kate and I did last Saturday when it was approximately 110 degrees. This photo is pretty much the only thing good about that day:

PS. Lest I give the wrong impression, I should add that I don't download porn at home either. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Art Stuffs.

Hey! It's Friday. Friday is awesome! Tonight my husband has an opening at Art6 gallery and this morning over breakfast we were trying out all kinds of obnoxious comments to get mentally prepared:

"This shit SUCKS."



"At least there's food!"

"Is this a high school exhibit?"

We were cracking each other up even though I kept saying, "I'm kidding! Just kidding! But really, you suck."

He doesn't suck, though! We're just using reverse psychology to confuse you into coming. I'm super proud of him. His paintings are excellent and you should come check them out. And buy one. PS. there will be Oreos.

While we're talking about the arts, here's what I did last Sunday:

364. Group Skull

Cool, huh? I'm in both photos but i'm not telling you where. Kudos to Noah for successfully completely such an insane project. He was interviewed on the people-skull site:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Walk to Work.

Every so often when my car needs meeeellions in repairs, I drop it off at a garage a few miles from work and walk in the rest of the way. The main road to the school has negative sidewalks (rich folks don't like foot traffic, yo) so I take an alternate route through the woods, sort of. Today I thought it would be fun to photograph my route, the results of which is more photos that I know what to do with. So, fair warning: pic heavy! And possibly dull! Click on the pictures to make them big!

This look is so Working Girl:

First I have to cross this stupidly busy street and try to not get run over:

Then I walk down a sad strip of sidewalk. I sometimes get weird looks because this ain't a walking area:

Then I run out of sidewalk and walk on the path as traffic wizzes by on my left:

On my right, I come to Bandy Field, a neighborhood park where bird frolic, dogs get walked, and rich children practice field hockey:

I walk past half of the field and then follow the path that cuts up to the right:

I walk past the back half of the field where dogs get walked:

I saw this insane car on the way. BE HAPPY (definitely get clicky on this one):

there's a little lane that runs alongside the field and I follow that:

It narrows down:

and down:

and eventually forks out. I take the left path which leads through the trees and down a hill (which is hard to walk but would be fun on my bike):

The hill bottoms out at the cul de sac end of a very nice neighborhood. I always feel weird walking this section, like a wealthy person is going to chase me out with a broom or something:

At the end of the street I come to another little wooded path. It's really hard to find in the middle of the summer because it gets so overgrown, but right now it's still pretty tame:

The path goes down a hill and over a tiny bridge:

and then straight up again:

At the top of the railroad stairs I find:

Now I have to trek across campus. I go around the entrance sign and cut in between the tennis courts and a running track:

That ends at a parking lot and then I cross a street and follow this path between buildings:

More paths:

A cool view of the building on my right, but I take these little steps down and around it:

That's my building down there:

I take a path to the right and then follow this brick path down the hill to work:

Holy crap, that took forever. The End.