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Tag Archives: Virginia

Virginia: No Lovers, But Much Love

I am officially home from my long weekend of adventure. I took Wednesday off so I could loaf. So far, I have not loafed; I’ve been doing a billion things like laundry and grocery shopping and library-visiting. (There was some sort of toddler story-hour happening when I was there and the cuteness quotient in the lobby was OFF THE DAMN CHARTS, yo. I can’t even tell you.)

Let’s see. When we left off, Heather had arrived, and we were awaiting the arrival of the lovely Laura. Heather and I decided to go pick up Laura while sj made dinner, and we were going to stop at the grocery store on the way home.

So we went to pick up Laura. On our way, we drove past an exit for “Powhite Parkway,” which made me laugh SO HARD. “There’s probably a lot of trash along Powhite Parkway,” Heather mused wisely.

Then we were at Laura’s house! And Laura lives in the most beautiful old apartment. The ceilings are the highest you’ve ever seen, and there are fireplaces and it’s decorated in this amazing kitschy way that is so amazing. And there was Laura, who is still adorable, whether she lives in New York OR Virginia! (Perhaps more adorable in Virginia, because she’s so happy that you can just see the glow in her eyes.)

Then it was time for grocery shopping! We totally had a list. We were IMPRESSIVE.

We also got up to shenanigans in the grocery store. Because, why not?

THE LOVELY LAURA!

I promised Heather I was only taking a photo of what we were shopping for. I lied. Sincerely, though, she is ADORABLE. How could I not take a photo of her?

Listen, the sign said screams started here. It’s like we HAD to do this photo, yo. WE DID NOT HAVE A CHOICE. (Side note: I think the people who worked at the Kroger may or may not have hated us. For good reason.)

Then back to sj’s we went, bearing Laura and groceries! (And coffee, because we stopped at Starbucks.)

We talked and ate and watched The Amazing Race (which is a LOT of fun when you can talk about it with real people in real time – usually sj and I text each other through it, but face-to-face is AWESOME) and then got kids to bed (and Heather to bed, because she had to leave the next day!) and sj and Laura and I watched The Walking Dead. This might have been the most fun I’ve ever had watching The Walking Dead, because listen, Laura is HYSTERICAL. She would come out with these things all matter-of-factly like “That little bitch is sick. What’s up with them sweat-feet?” and I’d laugh so hard I’d have trouble breathing. You have to imagine it in Laura’s southern accent, though. It’s better that way. More realistic.

Here's the sick little bitch now. SWEAT FEET.

Here’s the sick little bitch now. SWEAT FEET.

The next day, Laura and Heather left in the early afternoon after we sat around and talked as much as we could squeeze into the morning. It was sad to see them go. We had the best time, the four of us. Sincerely. Among other things (like the sheer fact that they’re three amazing women) it’s really nice to meet people who get you. Who get the internet references and the blogging stuff and who, when you mention someone by their Twitter handle, know what you’re talking about, and who, if you talk about the GoodReads controversy, don’t say, “What’s that? A website? Who cares?” It’s also amazing (and rare) to be around people you feel completely comfortable with. Because usually I’m awkward panda.

Some seriously gorgeous lady-action happening here, yo.

Some seriously gorgeous lady-action happening here, yo.

Then it was a napping-day. We were all very quiet and sleepy and many naps were taken. sj totally came to check on me at one point and I was all sacked out on the loveseat drooling and snoring. (SHUT IT. I am the least sexy sleeper in the history of the world. I own that shit. How can you even change something like that? I mean, it’s not like you can train yourself to be a sexy sleeper like in the soap operas. I work hard, I play hard, and I sleep hard. And UGLY. BAM, yo.)

At one point I watched some episodes of a show called Ni Hao, Kai-Lan with sj’s little girl. This is what I learned about this show: there is a monkey on this show who is such an asshole. I don’t know how anyone would be friends with this monkey. (You have to suspend your disbelief when watching this – all the animals talk, and are this girl Kai-Lan’s friends.) This monkey, Ho Ho, is constantly yelling at people, and kicking tigers, and refusing to play games unless HE can pick them, and will never try new foods. And he learns important lessons, whatever, like new things can be good, sometimes. But mostly what I learned is, if I was Kai-Lan, I would tell Ho Ho to take a hike-hike, because he is the WORST. I told sj’s daughter he was the worst and she was all, “NO.” (He totally is, though.)

This is Ho Ho, but usually he's more pouty and stompy than this. He's the worst.

This is Ho Ho, but usually he’s more pouty and stompy than this. He’s the worst.

But at the end of the night it was time for MORE ADVENTURE! sj’s husband COOKED for us. He is an amazing chef (like, the opposite of me, who just had a Lean Cuisine for lunch) and went all out. We totally had fajitas. But not JUST fajitas. He made fajitas AND salsa AND guacamole – all from SCRATCH – and I just want to say that it was, most likely, one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. EVER. And I don’t even like beef (much) OR peppers. But somehow, it was THE BEST THING EVER. (Also, somehow I’ve gone almost 40 years without ever having fajitas. And I love Mexican food. I don’t know, either. I’m weird about food. You all know that.) We were watching a movie while we ate them and I seriously didn’t even TALK while I was eating. I was in a good food FUGUE STATE. I utterly cannot imagine that I will ever eat fajitas that are that delicious again. (THANK YOU, JEFF!) PS, I totally meant to take a photo of the fajitas but I was too busy eating them ALL UP with my FACE. Didn’t even take a break for photography. SO SO GOOD.

Oh, and as a side-note, sj ALSO made delicious food for us, like split-pea soup (which is one of my favorite things EVER) and the best homemade pizza and macaroni and cheese (HOMEMADE mac and cheese, YUM) and Rice Krispie Treats which we totally went to TOWN on while they were still warm and gooey and DELICIOUS. I really need to start cooking more, don’t I? Lean Cuisines don’t count as cooking, do they? Huh.

Then the next day was going-home day. Long train ride ahead of me. Many hours trainbound. Also, how is it possible that, even though I’d given away a lot of things OUT of my luggage, and only had a few new things IN my luggage, it was virtually impossible to close my bags? I’m the worst packer. Sincerely.

Many goodbyes. Many hugs. Quick photos with some of the kiddos:

sj’s husband and the two aforementioned kiddos brought me to the train station and we watched the train come in and there were some tears from the kiddos which was so sweet and heartbreaking. More hugs and kisses on tops of little heads and off I went to the train.

I alternately slept and read and watched a movie on the way home. (What did we do before laptops and Kindles? They might be the best things ever.) I watched Les Miserables, finally. I liked it, but I think I like the stage show more. There were some changes made I wasn’t down with. (Doesn’t mean I didn’t get a little teary-eyed now and then, though.) I mostly had my seat to myself until a VERY OFFICIOUS ASSHAT sat with me from Maryland to New York City and took up more than his seat with all of this gear and his cell phone calls and his important gesticulations and that was annoying. Otherwise, all was well.

And when I got home, there was a VERY UPSET DUMBCAT who was all, “MOM MOM MOM I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD MOM MOM MOM” and has not left my side since I got here. Very vocal, my boy. He even meowed at me while he was eating cat treats. MEOW MOM MEOW! DON’T EVER LEAVE AGAIN MEOW! Poor guy. So lonely.

So there was my weekend of adventure, and bloggity meetups, and laughing and talking and television-watching and napping. It was a very grand adventure, and now it’s back to work and theater reviewing and such. But things are going to be a little quieter now – not so much going on at the moment – so I can relax a little, do some writing and reading and relaxing. Aaahh.

Thank you, sj, for hosting a weekend of adventure, and Heather and Laura, for making the trip, and I love your faces. Big hugs to you all for being amazing women and just as wonderful face-to-face as you are on the interwebs. All the love.

(For more posts on weekend goodness, visit sj here and here, and Heather here!)

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Meeting real people in real life: an adventure in Virginia

Much like Heather yesterday, I have stolen away like a thief in the night to quick like a bunny post something so you know that a., I have arrived safely in the land of Virginia (but, although Heather promises I was supposed to be assigned a lover per the state motto at the border, I was NOT assigned a lover, so what is up with THAT, Virginia? Seriously? WHERE IS MY LOVER. I am not enjoying your state as I should be in this loverless fashion) and that b., we are having a grand adventure, as promised.

The train on the way here was overheated and very crowded (props to the lady who realized if she put the tray-table down in the seat next to her it looked like someone was sitting there so no one bothered her, CRAFTY) but didn’t seem to take that long, surprisingly, and I’m not dreading the trip home so much. (I really do like the train better than driving, overheating issues notwithstanding. Seriously, Amtrak, make your trains cooler than you think people would like; people can always put layers ON, but people cannot strip down on public transportation. Well, they shouldn’t, anyway.)

sj‘s husband picked me up at the train station with a most excellent sign. I told him I wanted him to meet me with a sign. He threatened to have the sign say…well, see below. My dad was all, “HE WOULDN’T DARE! HA HA!”

He dared.

I laughed SO HARD when I saw this. The people around me coming out of the station were all “THIS IS A CRAZY PERSON” and edged away from me. I didn’t even care. It was an excellent start to my vacation.

(Just in case you’re wondering, I got in the car, bitch. Also, I took this photo of him, and texted sj all, “DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?” and she was like, “NO!” Hee!)

Then I arrived at sj’s house! And GIGANTIC HUGS WERE HAD! And her kids seem to love me, because I am a whiz with children and animals! So far I have learned I’m awesome, and have long hair, and am very good at naming stuffed animals (what, “Sir Poppington the Third” is an excellent stuffed animal name) but also that I am “too loud and kind of boring” so really, you take the good with the bad. The child that said that was VERY APOLOGETIC afterward and I wasn’t even upset because I am, actually, very loud, and somewhat tedious. So I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head and told him I was not angry because how could anyone be angry at him? And all was well. I’m very good at this childrening thing. (I did make the youngest one cry yesterday for a VERY LONG TIME and I felt terrible and I kept saying “I BROKE HER” because I totally think I did but today she told me she loved me again so I think we’re cool, yo. Also, I changed a diaper yesterday, with tag-team assistance from other children. Are you so proud of me? I seriously felt like I’d won an Academy Award. I haven’t changed a diaper since high school. WHEN I WAS BABYSITTING. I was not a teen mom. Stop thinking that right now. I did put it on backwards but luckily the diapering recipient was very compliant and was like, “eh, I’ll lift my legs up again, this weird lady’s WEIRD, but she means well, yo.”)

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Then the next day, we thought Heather would arrive around 7-ish, so we were kicking back and doing a little reading and BAM, Heather ARRIVED, and YAY!!!

Now we were THREE! (Plus sj’s family, of course. I am not discounting them.)

Much chatting and laughter and such was had until very late and then we all slept and had many zzzzs.


ALL OF US IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME! If you felt a disturbance in the force around 5-ish last night eastern standard time, it’s because all the awesome was in the same collective place. The rest of the world must have felt unbalanced.

Later today, Laura will arrive, and we will have MORE of a hootenanny. Well, we’ll watch The Amazing Race and chat and eat dinner, but that’s a total hootenanny, right? RIGHT.

Oh, you totally want me to talk smack about the ladies, right? Now that I’ve met them in person?

OK, here’s the lowdown. Pull up a chair.

sj…man. That sj. Get close so I can whisper, because that’s what good gossipers do. Ready?

sj is the same as she has been for the past year and a half-ish that we’ve been talking online.

I KNOW! SHOCK! AWE!

She is awesome and funny and intelligent and snarky and wise and honest.

Oh, now the dirt on Heather.

You’re going to want to tell ALL your friends this one.

Ready?

HEATHER IS ALSO THE SAME AS THE PERSON I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW ONLINE.

It’s true!

Heather is kind and giving and patient and wacky and intelligent and warm.

Here’s the thing, guys. Heather mentioned this in her post last night, and I can’t do anything but concur most wholeheartedly.

The people you meet online aren’t always the people they are when you meet their faces.

It’s easy to slip into an online persona when you’re someone who lives online, like a lot of us do. Some people even make that their goal; their blog ISN’T them, it’s a persona they’re putting forth. Nothing against that; it works for them. I’m completely down with that.

However, it’s the people who are the same people online as they are in real life that interest me. The ones that are brave, maybe confident, enough to be themselves both in words and in life; those are the people I’m drawn to. Because when you meet them, you’re not trying to reconcile that person with the persona you’ve gotten to know. You’ve already done the work. You’ve met them through email or their blog or Twitter; they’re that same person. You’re really just in the same airspace, hearing the words come out of their mouths with their tone and inflection, seeing the emotions cross their faces. It’s really kind of awesome, seeing that, being with them for that.

The people I’ve met in person have been the same as they are online; I don’t know if I’m interested in meeting people who aren’t. I like reality and I like honesty and I like people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, warts and all, and who accept that they might be a little broken, and put it out there for all to see, and potentially judge, with a jutted jaw and maybe a little fear in their eyes.

That’s where friendship is. It’s in the “take me as I am, please; here’s me, here’s all of me, and if you can’t take that, I’m sorry, I can’t be someone else for you.”

I don’t have to be someone else for Heather and sj; they don’t have to be someone else for me. This is just as it should be. I love them for that.

Time to go be social. Enough hiding with a laptop. Love your faces. Hope you’re having the best holiday weekend. More soon upon the arrival of the luminous Laura. *smooch*


The start of a very grand adventure

This is not a real post! Do not expect real postitude. DON’T, I SAID!

It is currently 8:15pm. Which is PAST MY BEDTIME. Because I need to get up tomorrow at FOUR A.M. Yes! You totally read that correctly. My train leaves just before 7am.

What train? Well! My train to New York City, of course!

But that’s not the exciting part. (Well, it’s SOMEWHAT exciting. I mean, it’s New York City. That’s ALWAYS exciting. But I don’t get to leave the train station, so not SO exciting.)

The EXCITING part is that, after about two hours, I get on ANOTHER train. And THAT train brings me to…

SJ!!!!

Yes, by the time you read this, I’ll be on that second train, on my way to the lovely state of Virginia. Which is apparently for lovers. (Do you think I am required to find a lover while I’m there? I’m only there for a few days. That’s kind of a time crunch. I suppose I could pick up some random at a gas station but I think that might be ill-advised. Because of the VD.)

WORRISOME.

WORRISOME.

We will have all the fun and adventure and talk and talk and laugh and eat foods and play with the kids and watch all the television and sometimes read and write because we totally know we need time to do that, too. That’s why this will be awesome. And then in just one day, Heather arrives! Oh, and then there is MORE hootenannying.

I will do my level best to a., take all the photos and b., let you know what’s going on in the state where I seem to be required to get a lover. (I suppose I will let you know how the quest for this southern lover is going. I’m going to guess it’s going to go poorly.)

Wish me all the train-luck (which means WINDOW-SEATS, which is all I ask for on the train. Oh, and also not a crazy seatmate, if I have to have a seatmate at all. Because a very long train trip with a crazy seatmate eating, say, red-hot Fritos, is not the best thing ever.)

*gag*

*gag*

Oh, and just so you know, Dad thinks I’m going to be mugged and then murdered in New York City, and Mom said “don’t talk to strangers!” and I said, “Huh. I’m actually going on this trip to MEET strangers” and she was all “Oh, no. Oh, no no. I don’t know about you. I just don’t know.” Then Dad and I were joking that we should tell her that I joined the zero mile high club in the train bathroom to see what her reaction would be and then I was like “No, but Dad, it’s so gross in there, like, it’s AWASH in urine” and he was like, “Oh, well, don’t do that, then.” I like that his only prerequisite to not boffing in the train bathroom was that I might get pee on me.

I have got to get to bed. Time for an adventure, folks. Here we go!


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