28 February 2008

Take three.

So a few weeks ago, Brad and I made a trip to Ikea. We got some under-the-cupboard "towel bar/rack" thingys... So we can now hang our dish towel without Heidi getting it. I also got a spice rack thing that hangs from the same space under the cupboard on the wall. It makes me very happy. On the same trip, we picked up a cheap and simple craft desk. So behold, my friends, Craft Space: Part Three!

Now that my new and improved space was ready for use... I spent a few hours this weekend and caught up on a few layouts I've had in the works. Now if it weren't so darn cold down there, I'd get even more done! :)

Grandpa Somerville


Beth Is Born

20 February 2008

I want to go owwwwoouuuuuut tonight.

Considering Rent started in 1996, I got hooked pretty late in the game. Last spring I was browsing the new nonfiction books at the library and Anthony Rapp popped out at me. I had a little giggle -- that's the dude from Adventures in Babysitting! So I grabbed it and took it home, not really knowing it was mostly about his experience as the original Mark in Rent. Because the movie was my only real option, I rented it, fell in love with the music, and bought the soundtrack. I've been driving Brad nuts with it ever since. So when I happened to see that the show was coming to Saginaw (SAGINAW?!), there was no way I wasn't going to see it.

Which leads us to last night, when Tracy, Birgit, and I hit the road and headed north. We made a pit stop in Birch Run for some giganto sandwiches at Tony's (grilled cheeses and reubens oh my!), then we were on our way to the lovely Dow Event Center. We had main floor seats, row W, center, and the theater was on the small side, so once the show started, you could see mouths moving.

I knew I'd love it, but I also thought it might take me a while to get used to the new voices because I only know the movie soundtrack, and I know it so well. But as soon as it started, I was so wrapped up right away that I immediately loved everyone. Well, except Joanne -- that casting was way off (although she sounded great). I also missed the hunky manliness of Jesse L. Martin as Collins, but the new Collins is someone I remember seeing on American Idol, so that bit of amusing made up for it. I even gained a new appreciation for Maureen, who I can't stand in the movie (come on, Taye Diggs... you can do better than that, can't you?) -- the tour Maureen was super cute and funny and the role just made so much more sense this go round.

I was really really sad that Anthony Rapp wasn't going to be Mark -- I mean, of course he wasn't, but I love him so! When we opened the playbill and saw, gasp!, a brunette cast as Mark, I was totally annoyed. But from the first words he spoke, I was hooked. He was fantastic. I want to pinch his cheeks. I'm more neutral about Roger -- I don't have the special feelings for Adam Pascal personally, just am used to him. So I was open to the new guy, especially since he was named South Africa's Hunkiest Hunk.

Oh, and Mimi kicked ass! I love love love Rosario Dawson in the movie.... but after seeing a stage Mimi? Wow. When she's singing "Goodbye Love..."??? Heartbreaking.

And Angel. Always cute. :)


I do love the movie, but I knew the play would be different. It ended up way more different than I thought it would be. The intense parts are more intense, the funny parts are more heartwarming, and just the tiny things really caught my eye (Mark's little quirks during "La Vie Boheme" were just too cute). The connections between characters were clearer, the plot moved more logically, and there was no silly engagement party for Maureen and Joanne.

I did make a little wtf face during the scene that has Angel dying... all the main characters were underneath this clear sheet flipping around and there were like 10 different choruses going on at the same time... Angel popped up from the top and sang a little... then he was dead. Very odd.

Long story short... I heart Rent. A lot. And I'm so glad I got to see it before it ends it's 12-year run. Kinda like the Spice Girls -- a once-in-a-lifetime experience, right? :) But I'm so sad the show has come and gone. Without youuuuuuuu.......

18 February 2008

Spicy plums.

Yesterday I had a meeting at the humane society -- an introduction to my next volunteer endeavor! For the past year, the HS has been manning a free behavioral helpline, where people call in with problems and are put in touch with one of the volunteer counselers (mostly all animal trainers). Well, they haven't been able to gage the effectiveness of this program, so they put a small group of us together to make follow up calls every month. Let's say your dog is humping everything: you call the helpline, they give you advice, a month later I call to see if you were happy with the advice you received, do you need a follow-up call, yadda yadda. I'm looking forward to getting started on my calls!!

I needed some gouda, so on my way home, I stopped at the brand new Plum Market on Maple in the old Fox Village space. When I got home and Brad asked me how it was, I seriously did a little dance. I love it! It's smaller -- like a Trader Joe's -- and a little sleeker, more modern inside. They have at least a little of all the things I love about Whole Foods: a sushi counter, a hot and cold salad bar (dude! they have onion rings!), a mini deli, an olive bar, lots of cheese, a ton of organic food -- I even found quite a few local items, and a few brand-name items you can't normally get at WF (sorry... I just really like tostitos!). Plus, many of the organic items are a bit cheaper than I'm used to, AND it's just five minutes down the street. AND they carry Zingerman's items -- breads, cookies, bagels -- in the store, and a Zing coffee shop is attached. Wonder if they have wireless? Hmmm...

Mini Spice Recap*

Saturday night was the Spice Girls show with Lisa -- and let me tell you, it was the most fun. I don't care, it was fun, and everyone in that place was having a blast. No one's saying they're the best singers in the world, but they put on one hell of a show. And if they came back, I might actually pay the full price for a ticket! This will not happen (Geri says no to another reunion!), though... which makes me even happier I got to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. :)

Some videos... because I know you're curious, SG naysayers!!

Never give up on the good times, living it up is a state of mind!

*Props again to Quicken for the free tickets -- and Lisa for taking me with her!! XOXO!

15 February 2008

Sick puppy.

I can't believe that this time last week I was, well, in bed -- but outside the hotel in which my bed was, it was in the '80s. And a few hours from this time last week, I was on a lounge chair, on the beach, the warm breeze blowing my hair into my lipgloss. It all seems like a dream now, a sunny warm dream, a million miles away from the winter yuck. But I can definitely say this -- there is a big difference between false Florida winter and an authentic Michigan spring day. And I sure can't wait for that first hint of spring.

So Friday we picked up our rental car (boy oh boy, Brad has never looked sexier than behind the wheel of that Kia Spectra!) and headed down to South Beach, where we were staying at the Hotel St. Augustine. It was a tiny little boutique hotel, two blocks from the beach and three or four blocks from the main strip on Ocean Avenue. The first thing we saw when we walked into the hotel was a big ole chocolate lab named Bailey, who hangs out in the lobby -- what a cutie! Our room was cute, simple (and a plain brown bedspread; I've come to fear the old-school flowery bedspread... a sure sign of germs germs germs). And it had the most... amazing... shower. Three shower heads -- and a BUILT-IN STEAM SYSTEM. I would kill to have a steam shower. Seriously. Anyway, it didn't always feel super lovely on my sunburn, but you can bet your ass I used it anyway. And it came in handy for Snotty McGee, who still felt like crap at this point.

Friday night we walked down Ocean Avenue and grabbed a quick dinner before heading in for the night. Brad celebrated with a $13 milkshake.

Saturday was our first full day in South Beach, so we of course hit the beach first thing ("first thing" meaning around 11:30 when we finally woke up). We stopped along the way to pick up some $12 beach towels that came in not very handy, so by 2 pm we were wet (I swam in the Florida ocean for the first time!) and covered in sand. Being covered in sand makes me cranky! So we left the beach around 2 and grabbed a quick lunch at the Pelican, a little sidewalk cafe outside, well, the Pelican. I made up for Brad's I'm-Sick-Water and got a banana colada. Mmmm. We went back to the hotel, showered the sand off, and headed back out to walk the beach. Turns out the beach is much nicer the farther away you get from South Beach. Funny how things work out: We went to South Beach in 2001 and stayed farther north and spent the whole time wishing we were down by the action in South Beach. Ha!

Brad Channels His Inner Caruso

Saturday night we decided we wanted sushi, and what better sushi resturaunt to visit than the one none for having "the best tuna roll in the world"? So off we went to Bond St. Lounge at the Townhouse Hotel. It was a small little hotel lounge with couches and comfy wingback chairs, dark and moody, and exactly what we were looking for. Now, I'm not a crabcake person (I far prefer a good salmon cake), but at the mention of goat cheese crabcake, I was all over that. My friends, if you ever see this on a menu -- order it. And the spicy tuna roll? To die for. Seriously. I've never had tuna just melt in my mouth... until then. Seriously, melted. Amazing.

After dinner we walked along the beach back to South Beach, until we got rained into Starbucks for a coffee and tea (Brad's poor throat!).

Sunday we started our day with a stone crab lunch at Joe's, which happened to be just down the street from our hotel (this is important, given the sad state of my not-ready-for-flip-flop blistered feet!). Lots of yumminess and mess ensued, followed by my first-ever piece of key lime pie (world-famous, according to Giada!). Mmm.



Then it was beach time! We decided to do it up right and rented some double-wide beach chairs and an umbrella for sicky pants. While I was still slightly skeeved out by the "clean" towel/sheet put on my "public" chair... it was definitely worth it. Have I mentioned yet that the weather was PERFECT while we were there? Record highs, sunny... beautiful. Sunday the wind picked up (and not just a mild breeze, either), but luckily we were off the ground so we didn't get too sandblasted. We could have sat there all day. Basically, we did. Around 4:30 is when the clouds and rain rolls in, so we headed back to the hotel around then to regroup for our big Miami Beach Bday Dinner at 8.

We decided on Tantra for Brad's (Basically) Birthday Dinner. It was uber hip and everything that implies... and being 8 pm on a Sunday, we basically had the place to ourselves (the waitress suggested we come back the following night, when it turns into a nightclub after dinner hours). While not the best meal I've ever had, it was the perfect celebration place, and the food was super tasty. Especially the Tantric Kiss. Of which I had three.

When it came time to order, Brad's dinner was a no-brainer. The filet, of course. I was stuck between the organic chicken and the lamb -- Brad suggested I go with the meal I wouldn't normally order, so lamb it was. Followed by chocolate cake, of course (with a candle for the bday boy!).

After dinner, it was time to go back the room and await the inevitable... Brad officially turning 30!

If Being 29 Is Cool, Consider Me Miles Davis

30 Sucks

Monday morning (Brad's birthday!!) we hopped back into the Kia and headed north back to Brad's parents house. Pool time!! Ahh. I spent the afternoon enjoying some last moments in the sun while Brad finally got to get in a golf game (hoooooray!). We joined forces later in the evening and headed to Shrimper's for dinner. Hello? Fried clams? Sign me up!

This Is What I Call a Backyard!

Then it was back to Bob and Lynn's for party time. Dancing, dominoes, and cake, oh my!

Seriously, does it get better than this? Sun, good food, the best hubby in the world, and some pretty cool in-laws.

But man, did I miss my pooch.

14 February 2008

Spice up your life.

Yeah, that's right. I'm going to see the Spice Girls. I've been waiting nearly 10 years for this day to come.... I heart the Spice Girls. Weeeeeeeeeeeee! Thanks to Lisa for taking me, and props to Quicken for the free tx! David Hall is my hero.

More vacation blog coming sooooooon!


08 February 2008

Here, lizard lizard.

Florida in winter is like a fairy tale. We were walking out of the airport, and even though I saw the sun and knew better, I already felt the impending chill that comes with going outside in the winter. But when we walked outside.... nothing happened. No snow smacked me in the face, no breeze chilled me to the bone... Nothing happened but sun and warm. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this can exist in the same time and place as the snowy mess we left behind just a day ago. AND I feel like a million bucks. It's amazing the cheering effect just a little sun can have on you. I've got everything I need with me: laptop, phone, camera, husband. I told my in-laws I'm officially moving into the pink room. Hope everyone will come down and visit me soon! :)

The only sad news I have to report is that the birthday boy is sick. :( He felt something coming on all week and it's just gotten worse every day. We went and had dinner at Conchy Joe's last night, and that's when it seemed to hit him the worst. He was near dead by the time we came home and went to bed. This morning, he's a disaster. Dr. Bob diagnosed strep. Happy 30th bday, Brad. :( He had to cancel today's golf outting (he's been SO excited about this for months!) even. We're planning to head down to South Beach as planned later today, so hopefully he feels better as the day progresses and well enough tomorrow to enjoy the beach and the record-high temperatures. Fingers crossed he can play golf when we come back here on his actual birthday.

Enjoying a tasty beverage at dinner.

As for me, I'm happy as a clam. I got to swim in the pool yesterday, even got a sunburn, and spend the evening in flip flops and a tank top. Finishing up some work now, then it's back to the pool... Ahhh. This is the way to live.

Working Indoors is Overrated

05 February 2008

30 is the new 30.

So there just isn't enough time in a day. I'm learning this more and more every year as I get older. I remember my mom bemoaning this fact as I grew up and thinking, she's nuts! It's like 20 days until I can see Sara again tomorrow in English class! But I get it. Seriously. I had big plans for this weekend -- new stuff from Ikea = lots of stuff to put away and organize. I even got a new desk. Hello?! Craft space. Haven't touched it. Took a ton of pics last week. Haven't even downloaded them. I worked through the super bowl and until 7 pm every night, and I still can't catch up with work. So long story short, this is my post until post-Florida. But I want to be sure to give my honey a big shout out because this time next week, he will be 30, PLUS one day! So, my dearest dearest Bradford... I love you bunches and oodles, and still think you're cute as hell, even if you are TURNING 30. xoxoxoxo from the top of the world, baby.