29 July 2008


Last Friday night, I had the opportunity to adventure into San Francisco's Mission district, and have a couple of drinks at Medjool.

If you ever have the chance to drop in, definitely do. But, don't just hang out downstairs... venture up to the roof.

I know I should have looked at the menu, as a matter of fact, I was dying to. But, I was kinda hungry, and didn't want to order some amazing overpriced dish. Judging by other people's responses to the menu, and the girl that brought Popeye's, I am guessing it was a yummy looking menu but the prices weren't necessarily ideal. Honestly, I'd love to go back and have dinner on the roof.

We started the evening downstairs in the bar and restaurant. Very comfortable. Sofas, pillows, and overstuffed ottomans , combined with earthy tones created a relaxing place to sit and drink. The restaurant area didn't look quite as comfortable, but I did notice a lot of people drinking champagne. So, obviously, this is a place to go when you have things to celebrate... and money to spend.

After a beer downstairs, we headed up to the roof. And wow, what a view. Part of me was really annoyed that I didn't bring my camera, yet another part was glad I didn't... because really, I looked dorky enough texting Twitter the whole time.

The service was definitely better downstairs, but with as crowded as it was on the roof, and as large as our group was (and we were drinking, not eating), it didn't surprise me.

Go early, get upstairs, and get yourself a table. It is definitely worth it, even if you go just for a $6 beer, an appetizer, and the view. And, totally bring your camera (I know I will next time).

28 July 2008

Too Much Information

I finally did a "100 Things About Me" meme.

It took way too long.

In the process of doing it, I thought of other things I wouldn't mind "100" listing about. So I decided I would do a link so those lists wouldn't take up space here.

It will not be updated so very often, but as ideas and "things" come up... I'll make other lists. I'm actually working on a couple now. I'll comment as those things get posted (if they do).

This is not why I haven't posted in a week.
I haven't posted because I've had a bit of writer's block.

But, I've been given a little trick to help out with that (thank you CSB), and I had a great weekend, so I'll write something that actually qualifies as a post soon.

For now, if you are interested, I give you the first post on the 100 Things link: "100 Things About Me"

*also, this link is now in the sidebar... near the top*

19 July 2008

A Word About A Word

The word is "Breathe." And, it is one of my biggest pet peeves.

You take a deep BREATH before diving in a pool. "She lost her temper and apologized in the same BREATH." This is a Noun.

When you inhale and exhale, you BREATHE. "Dragons BREATHE fire." This is a Verb.

You do NOT say, "I took a deep breathe," nor do you say, "I felt like I couldn't breath." So, PLEASE don't write it that way. Unless, of course, you are trying to send me into an apoplectic fit.

Thank you.
you may now return you to your regularly scheduled interwebs browsing.

15 July 2008

Camp Lazy... The Morning After

After barely sleeping Friday night, I woke up Saturday morning feeling... well, perhaps it would be easier to say that I woke up NOT feeling hungover. Just tired. Seriously. Tired.

By mid-morning, we had dubbed Saturday "Camp Lazy." The weather was perfect, and as the four of us who were still struggling to wake up dozed and giggled in the swing in CamiKaos's back yard, Dr. Normal (Mr. Kaos, Cami's husband) appeared.

Doc: Is there any Cava [Champagne] left?
Cami: I don't think so.
Giddy: Yes, actually, I think there is a bottle left in the cooler.
Cami: Unopened?
Giddy: Unless you opened it after I went to bed.
*note: Giddy always knows where the last of the champagne is*
Doc: What about pineapple juice?
Giddy: There should be some in the cooler, and half a can in the fridge.
Doc: Would you guys like Pinosas?
*Giddy decides Dr. Normal is Brilliant, and even more awesome than he seemed the day before*

I literally watched Dr. Normal make the drinks, go get straws, and deliver them to us, with my jaw on the floor. Not that I don't know any guys who would do this, in fact I know several... though I didn't really think about that at the time. What I thought was that this man just opened his house to seven guests (the first arriving 24 hours before), fed us, purchased drinks, did all the work on the podcast, didn't seem to mind having a bunch of screaming, giggling girls take over his house and back yard, and STILL offered, made, AND served us drinks in the morning.

The last time I had a girl's night and a husband at the same time, my (now ex-) husband seemed to make it a sport to be as grumpy and rude (and generally unwelcoming) as possible to our guests. It was a game he played, to see how fast he could get "my" friends out of "his" house by making them feel unwanted and uncomfortable. Luckily, I had a few friends that understood this game, and played 'annoy the asshole' before they left.

But, I digress...

Once everyone had gone home, CamiKaos and I figured we should actually plan something to do (or not do) for the day. I believe the short list was something like: "go out and do something, stay in and do something, go out and do nothing, stay in and do nothing." We opted for Wii, Tiki drinks, and CamiKaos's Rumaki . Yes, water chestnuts, wrapped in bacon, soaked in soy sauce, and cooked. Who knew that could be such a tasty treat?

Later, Dr. Normal made a fabulous dinner. Seriously, Alaskan Sockeye Salmon grilled on an Alder plank, herbed up perfectly, with just a dash of saffron... it was wonderful. They shared some fabulous Oregon wines with me, and I just can't say how much I enjoyed sitting around the table after dinner chatting about food and wine, and of course, a little dessert Wii before bed.

Sunday was mostly get up and run to the airport, hugs all around and a promise to come back and visit in the near future.

Once I landed in Smoke-ramento (ick), I found a text message from CSB, with an offer to meet me back at my place. *schmoopy sigh* He even brought dinner with him... amazing left over bbq that he had prepared Saturday night. Not only was it great to see him, but the food was delicious, and totally saved me. I had been planning to have Guinness for dinner since it was really the only thing I had in the fridge that didn't require effort.

Over all, a fantastic weekend, and I couldn't have imagined a better way for it to end.

**Photo is actually Sunday morning breakfast... coffee and left over Rumaki -and of course my new laptop... because the interwebs is part of a balanced breakfast**

14 July 2008

Portland, Camp Naughty, & Strange Love

If divorce has taught me one thing (and it's actually taught me several things), it is that people are nice. Over those 12 - 15 years, I didn't spend a lot of time with other people, I didn't go many places, and I really didn't have the opportunity to allow people to do nice things for me. I took care of myself, and made sure I didn't "impose" on anyone, or get in any one's way. I rarely asked for so much as a glass of water (I can get it myself)... in fact, unless I needed something heavy lifted, I really didn't ask for help.

At this point in my life, not only am I working on "asking" for things, but also just allowing people to do nice, helpful things for me. I still have a long road ahead, but I think I'm making progress. Though, I do have this huge fear of people considering me "helpless" or "princess-y" in any way.

You may be asking, "Giddy, what the hell does this have to do with Portland?"

Let me tell you... I was so well taken care of this weekend, I didn't know what to do with myself. CamiKaos, MissBurrows, DrNormal, and MartinWehner are amazing.

I was greeted at the airport by CamiKaos, and MissBurrows, who were holding a GIANT Camp Naughty sign, and getting plenty of attention for it. Then after grabbing my luggage, I got to meet MartinWehner, who was our awesome chauffeur.

We picked up lunch at Burgerville (YUM!), then off to the Casa de Kaos to eat and prep for Camp Naughty.

CamiKaos and MissBurrows Naughty Camp was great. I was excited to meet the other campers, and rightly so! MediaChick, Verso, BadMom, and Joleine were so much fun.

Recording the Strange Love podcast was a hilarious and enjoyable experience. You should definitely go and listen when you get a chance (and if you are wondering, my interview is the last one). **Warning: Sexually Explicit Content**

I really had a great time, and can't wait to do it again!
Tomorrow, I'll write about Saturday... which we dubbed "Camp Lazy." And, my happy surprise on Sunday.

11 July 2008

Friday Shoe Porn

I found some interesting shoes today. They are some kind of eco-friendly, hippie, vegan shoes. But, they are soft, comfy, light, and flexible! Also, they have a "negative heel"... which means the heel is lower than the rest of the foot inside the shoe... somehow that's supposed to burn extra calories while you are walking (not to mention help your posture, and tone other muscles), but for me... it just felt kinda cool, and very comfortable. I can't wait to see what it's like to dance in them.

I'm going to wear them in Portland all weekend, I'll let you know how that works out. Suddenly I'm wondering if I should bring a "spare" pare of shoes, just in case.

I'll try to post some pictures of my own feet wearing them soon, but my camera is all packed away and ready for the trip to Portland. Maybe I'll get some of the other Naughty Campers to pose for Shoe Porn pics with me...

09 July 2008

The Death of a Widget

So, in making some changes to my blog today, I somehow lost my "blogs that aren't mine" widget.

I have been trying to add blogs back as I remember who they are, but for some reason don't have a lot saved in my favorites.

If yours is missing its probably because I haven't been able to remember the address, so please either comment or send me an email (giddy at rufflesandridges dot com) and remind me.

The Continuing Saga of Nero

You may remember the little tomato plant I purchased for The ShortBus. The tomato plant he named Nero (NOT Nemo like the fish, but Nero like the Emperor... I know...).

Nero lived in the house for a few weeks, moving from room to room, chasing the sunlight, living the sweet life of central air and consistent watering. I was afraid to put Nero outside because every other plant I've had here that has lived outside, I've killed.

But, Nero began to look a little sad. He longed for the freedom and fresh air that only the out-of-doors could provide. And, no matter what music I played for him, no matter how many horror stories I told him about "the outside world" (cue dramatic music), he continued to droop and wilt under the oppression that is a roof.

Right around the time I figured he was doomed, I had smothered him with my over-protectiveness and over-mothering, I figured I couldn't do much more damage if I killed him on the front porch. Plus, then he could live out his last few days the way he had always wanted to... free to enjoy the birds and the bees and the fresh air. So, I put him out in the sun, gave him a liberal sprinkling of water, and crossed my fingers.

It helped a little, but Nero still didn't seem fully healthy. So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided he needed a little bit of plant food... then I remembered! I was missing a key ingredient! My brown thumb only turned green once I found Eleanor's! I ran to the store, picked up a bottle, came home and mixed ShortBus's little Nero a cocktail!

Literally, the next day Nero was taller. Standing up straight and happy, and he had also developed a little flower. FOR REAL! I was so excited! Nero was going to live!

That was about a week and a half ago.

I check him every day, water him when he needs it (with Eleanor's every time... I swear if I ever meet that woman I'm going to kiss her full on the lips), I've trimmed dying leaves, and speak loving words of encouragement to him on really hot days.

This morning I stepped out on the porch, and decided to move him into the direct sunlight for a few hours (he'll go back into the shade when it gets really hot later), and thought about watering him... maybe giving some of his bottom leaves a trim, when I saw it.

A Tomato!! Nero is going to reward me for all my dedication and hard work! I can't wait to see the look on the ShortBus's face this afternoon when I show him the little tomato I promised him his plant would grow!

I also noticed something else. Nero has adopted a couple of his own little pets. Its like he moved out, got settled, and now has his own little family... a baby tomato, and two little companions frolicking around his pot.

I'm so proud.

08 July 2008

Set and Turn, Tug and Pull

I know some will hate me for this, some will think I have nothing to brag about, and some will be indifferent (wait... how is this different from any other post?), but it is my reality, and thus, my blog for today.

If you've been reading, you'll know that not only am I getting ready for a trip to Portland this weekend, but I've been dancing. How do these things go together you might ask? One word: Clothing.

I really wanted to have a couple of 'cute' things that fit to take with me to Portland, and as I was out shopping, I considered the dancing.... and how I am continually hiking up my pants while rehearsing.

Can I just say, for the first time since high school my dress size is in the single digits. It is so amazingly great to take an armload of clothing into the dressing room and have to put things back because they are too big. To grab a smaller size, and have it fit perfectly, and actually look good.... just wow. I honestly can't remember the last time I was in this place.

I am proud of myself.

And, now I have two pairs of pants I can wear to dance rehearsal that won't fall down while I'm setting and turning (to be tested tomorrow night at rehearsal).

07 July 2008

I am Officially Naughty

So, I briefly mentioned a trip to Camp Naughty in a previous post, and there were a couple of people who commented that I couldn't actually say "Camp Naughty" and then not tell what it is.

Basically, it is going to be me and 6 other female bloggers (I believe they are all in the Portland area), meeting up in Portland for an evening of ...um... well, I'm not entirely sure what it is we're doing, but I know there will be drinks and laughter involved, so I'm there.

Plus, it gives me a chance to see a friend I haven't seen since high school, and meet her family (SO excited to see CamiKaos again after all these years). Not only that, but it will be a new adventure for me, as I've never traveled out of state alone before.

I shouldn't have, but I picked up a new laptop for the occasion. I mean really, did you think I could travel out of state and NOT bring technology with me? So, yes, they'll be streaming it (see the Camp Naughty site for upcoming details)... and I'll likely Twitter in updates.

04 July 2008

The Chloe Monster

I was 19 years old, my roommate's girlfriend announces that her cat is pregnant, and asks me if I want a kitten. Ex-husband (at the time he was 'boyfriend') says no... is adamant about it... we are NOT getting a pet. I look at her and say, "if one of the kittens is black with blue eyes, I'll take it." I thought, no way that's going to happen. I mean, how common could it possibly be?

A couple of months later, she shows up on the doorstep with a kitten. Solid black, bright blue eyes, and I have a new pet.

Chloe was a ball of energy, and feisty... she had to be, living in that house with all those guys, constantly roughhousing... she filled the role of dog for quite a while. She was one of those cats that would come streaking into the room from nowhere, climb the drapes, then jump from the top and run out of the room again. More than once, I remember looking at whoever was sitting next to me, and saying, "did that just happen? crazy cat."

Every night (from her first night with me), she would curl up at my chest, and fall asleep purring loud enough to keep the neighborhood awake.

The one time she ran away, I was heartbroken. Two and a half weeks later I got a call at work, "I think I have your cat." She was two miles away, and had been living in someone's backyard, I was so relieved that she was alive that I sat down in a stranger's back yard and cried. From that day on, she was an outdoor cat. Still friendly and loving, she never left the yard or garage, but she wanted nothing to do with being in the house.

She lived 14 years.
Kinda makes me feel old to think that my first pet (after moving out of my parents house) died of "natural causes."
Makes me sad to find out a week later from my 3 1/2 year old.

02 July 2008

About the Food

My first memory of a KitchenAid is of sitting in my maternal grandmother's (that would be my Nana's) kitchen watching the mixer spin round and round, while she did other prep work. I remember fresh whipped cream, fresh home-made pasta, food with such flavor... tastes I couldn't even begin to appreciate in elementary school. My grandfather sauteing mushrooms to go over the tender, juicy steaks he was grilling, big steaming bowls of baked potatoes, dishes with pristine white sour cream, creamy yellow butter, and vivid green chives.

My Nana had a "gourmet shop" (at least that's what we always called it), a kitschy little store in Vacaville that sold all kinds of appliances and cookbooks for "gourmet cooking". But, what I remember most clearly is the coffee. Giant bins of coffee beans. Coffee beans that would show up at the store in huge burlap bags, smelling fresh and strong, a smell I love to this day because it reminds me of the shop.

The only other memory of the store I have is taking cooking classes, learning how to make pretzels. I remember sitting at a table with some other kids and their parents, and watching my Nana in the overhead mirror, being so proud that she was the one standing up there teaching everyone else how to cook. Being proud to be her granddaughter, being proud to be standing there with my mom, being proud to be part of three generations of women who have the cooking gene.

I have a cookbook, with a handwritten message inside, addressed to my grandmother, and signed by Julia Child. I know there is a picture somewhere of the two of them together.

How does this translate to today?

I may not be a gourmet chef, I can barely call myself a "foodie," but I know what I like. I know when something is better than merely "good." And, I love to cook and bake, moreover, I love to cook for other people. I wouldn't want to do it professionally, that's too much pressure... I'd much rather cook for my family and friends, people I tend to understand, and like to think I know how to please.

I kinda think that's what a hobby like cooking is all about. Once you add strangers to the mix, you add pressure and stress. I'd rather do it on my own terms, enjoy the action, enjoy the reaction, enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I absolutely love being in the kitchen, and I have my Nana and my Mom to thank for that.


01 July 2008

About the Dancing

NaBloPoMo is typically November, but, they've decided to try out a "post every day for a year" concept. I decided not to join in, though they are offering a "theme" for each month. So, if you notice a lot of "Food" posts this month it is because this month's theme is food. I might just attempt to post daily about food, but if I have something better to say, I'm definitely going to say it.

Oh, and I totally like food. Especially: Really Good Food. More on that soon.

*the above is my official July 1 mention of food*

So, I said I'd write something about dancing. And, really, I'd kinda like to do some more writing about my past, my childhood, and just some general insight on who I am today based on my past experiences. We'll see how that works out.

Memories of my childhood are spotty at best. I don't have those clear, beautiful memories of youth a lot of people seem to have. Yet, some experiences in my adult life will cause little flashbulb memories to go off in my head. Almost like Polaroid photographs, I have feelings, concepts, and little clips of memory.

Hearing CSB talk about deciding to dance with Bruno/Newcastle last year made me happy. Watching him dance, and seeing the smile on his face literally put butterflies in my stomach. Then I started to wonder... why is this making me so happy?

Yes, I love seeing my friends do things they love. I love seeing someone I care so much about doing something that makes him happy. I am a very empathetic person, and really enjoy that facet of my personality (even when it's difficult, and it often is). But, there seems to be more to this, I can feel it.

When I was in elementary school, I participated in plays, talent shows, and dance recitals, I was in chorus, and even played the recorder and then clarinet for a while. I, apparently, was not a natural at any of this. I remember "being" Susan B. Anthony for some kind of historic re-enactment/history project, and telling people all about "my life and times." I remember rehearsing to recite The Raven (Poe) for a talent show (fifth grade), auditioning to be a two-headed black widow spider (my own idea) for a nightmare sequence in a play (sixth grade - they offered "two headed unicorn, and I told them to suck it), and rehearsing Puck's monologue from Midsummer Night's Dream for an audition (seventh grade).

I remember being so excited about doing these things.
I remember wanting them so badly (I wanted to be Puck so bad I could taste it).
I remember wanting to be not just good but AMAZING.
I remember not living up to my own standards, and being so upset and stressed out that I made myself physically ill.

I remember a couple of dance classes.
I remember overhearing the teacher mention that maybe I should try out for "a sport" instead of dancing.
I remember not being good enough for myself.
I remember being embarrassed, and learning to make jokes to cover up for that self-consciousness.
I remember wanting the people who loved me to be proud, yet being too embarrassed to strive for goodness, so I gave up trying.

Flash forward a couple of years. High school. I knew a couple of people in each clique, and somehow find myself taking drama classes. I dive behind the scenes and the computer geek in me absolutely loves being involved in the lighting. Yet, during all the shows, I would sit and whisper every line... I knew the show inside and out, and didn't have faith enough in myself to get up on that stage and do what I wanted to do. So I ran the light board. And, I did a great job, always proud of myself for a job well done, yet, not exactly where I wanted to be.

And, if we're seriously going over 'dancing' related issues, I could mention that at my wedding, my ex-husband refused to dance. He was forced into the "first dance," but beyond that he was out drinking and smoking with the boys. He took me to my senior prom, and we danced once that night (because I begged). Not that we didn't have fun. Just that I can count on one hand every time he danced with me, and I had to force him into it. Even married, I was that girl sitting on the side, wanting to dance with someone special.... wishing someone special wanted to dance with me.

This is where I could, maybe even should, mention Newcastle Country Dancing. How for so many years I only danced when I was alone... that way it didn't matter what I was doing, and no one could judge me. But, if you've read some of my past notes, you know I've been enjoying it, and now you are seeing that it has meaning.

Flash forward to last weekend, a decent slow song comes on, and I say to CSB, "I'd like to dance at least once tonight." Next thing I know he is up and we are on the dance floor. Things are happening all around me, I mean, I know they are, but only when I think back on it later. In the moment he is the only one in the world (incidentally, I've realized this is why we 'aren't allowed' to country dance together, I can't focus on the things happening around me).

Near the end of the song, I hear him say, "are you ready?"
For the first time in my life I know what is coming, the dip.
And, I'm ready.