Archive for January, 2008

Hats off (Or on) to the Polar Bear Plungers!!!!!!!
January 28, 2008

I, as many of you, watched the Polar Bear Plunge this weekend…feeling the dread, the pain, the excitement, the sheer craziness of the spectacle of the whole thing, in such COLD weather. Now it had been 35 or 40 degrees outside, don’t get me wrong, it’s still cold and the water is frigid, but it would have been much more pleasant.
My colleagues who participated have had this thing on the brain for some time now. I don’t blame them. When you have something coming up that is really, just awful, even for a great cause….it’s in your mind all the time.
So my hat is off to each and every one of them…you are brave, noble and crazy.
Now there have been a few remarks in the newsroom like,”Oh Donna next year it’s your turn.” ….”You’d be great Donna”.
Ummmm, no, Donna would not be great. Donna is, when it comes to water, a true Southern girl. Water is cold to me if it’s 65 degrees. Now when it gets to 75, 80 ok, now I’ll take a dip. I just can’t stand cold water. Did an Outward Bound trip a few years back in April…the water of the Chesapeake was about 45 as I remember, not as cold as yesterday…and we did a plunge. I made a promise to myself right then, that I would not ever
do that again. And as you know, promises should be kept.
Oh, and by the way, I did hear from my daughter, in no uncertain terms about Baby Girl’s scorched tail. One of her sorority sisters reads my blog, and called her, saying that Baby Girl needs a new and safer home. NO! Baby is fine, and all candles have been moved to safer positions.

Baby Girl, you’re on fire!!
January 25, 2008

0125080730.jpgIt all started last night with these little tea light candles. For those of you who don’t know, I am a confirmed candleholic…I just love them and will light at least a couple of tea lights every night, and more…oh, much more, on the weekend. The problem, these have been sitting on the coffee table in the family room. That means, it’s low enough for Baby Girl to be able to jump on, which she does regularly.
But last night, right in front of me(thank God), BG was right in front of the candles, waving her fluffy tail around…she is a long hair mix. And poof, in a flash, her tail was on fire IN TWO PLACES!!!For a millisecond, your eyes do not believe what they are seeing, as it is something you have never seen before…a cat on fire. I think I exclaimed something like, “Oh my God!” and put it out with my hands.
0125080731.jpgNo harm done to either of us, but the make that horrible…smell of singed hair filled the room, and it must be said, the end of her tail has lost it’s fluff. She seemed to totally unaware of what had happened, except that her owner had suddenly had an unexplained fit.
0125080731a.jpgBut here is a picture taken of her this morning….no worse the wear and chasing her tail as usual, but let me tell you I’ve learned a valuable lesson….no more candles where Baby Girl can get to them.
And I am now waiting for the anguished cry from my daughter, who was loathe to leave BG when she left for college a week ago……”Mom, you caught Baby’s tail on Fire?”. She doesn’t mind assigning blame in times of trouble. Well, we’ll see how long it takes her to read the blog….’cause otherwise, I’m not telling.

A Jungle Fantasy last night…..whew!
January 23, 2008

0123081647.jpgWent to see Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy at the Hippodrome this week….I gotta tell you, it’s really good. Hard to describe….if you’ve ever seen a Cirque DuSoleil production…that gives you an idea, though the two aren’t related. But suffice it to say it is a show of incredibly talented, artistic, athletic contortionist and acrobats perform feats that you will not be tempted to try to home.
And one of their performers I could not keep my eyes off when he was on stage…and I’m not alone. Someone else who shall remain unnamed who saw the show said he had the same mesmerizing effect on her. This guy(who at the time I called “hot-body violinist”) is not only an amazing musician playing the electric violin…something I’d never seen before…but Jared Burnett, whose myspace I’m providing here….is amazing looking. Seriously, this guy must spend hours in the gym every day….never seen anything like it. And of course the Cirque folks know this, and light him like an Adonis… to, it must be said, good effect. If you go, I’d love to hear what you thought of him. Gorgeous!
Ate dinner at Mem Sahib in the corner of Lexington Market, a half block from the Hipp. We were the only patrons in there…couldn’t believe it! The food was sooooo good, but I think they may need a sign that more clearly points out that they are there and they are open.
Took leftovers home and just found them today..two days the back seat. It’s been cold, but it hasn’t been that cold during the day, so I sadly threw them out. So wasteful!

Brunch and a Movie…..
January 21, 2008

0120081247.jpgOK, it’s Monday…most of you are at home enjoying the MLK holiday and rightly so….me, I’m at work, but that’s fine because my daughter is home safely from her minimester trip to London, and I had a great weekend, enjoying her company.
Went to brunch at one of my favorites, though I had not been there in a while.
The Ambassador, right off University Blvd., is such a wonderful, romantic restaurant. Not for nothing is it usually one of the favorites for dinner in all the lists and such, but most people don’t know they serve Sunday brunch.
Don’t go expecting eggs or French toast or bacon…if you do you will be sadly disappointed….BUT if you love Indian cuisine like I do, you’ll be in heaven. A long table with hot dishes of Tikka Masala chicken, Lamb curry, vegetable cuddy, fabulous spinach, salads…all for you.
0120081301a.jpgOver on a side table, the makings for mimosas (and this time, a new addition)….A big bottle of Grey Goose on ice alongside the champagne, with bloody mary mix in a glass pitcher….you mix your own, as strong or virgin as you like, and you may have as many as you dare, all included in the price.
You can sit in their old world dining room which you see above, or you can also sit out on a glass enclosed patio area, which overlooks a beautiful garden. And the price is about 18 bucks a person for adults. A bargain!

0121081201.jpgThen, we saw 27 DRESSES starring the gorgeous Katherine Heigl. Funny, cute, romantic….we all gave it a solid B. Totally enjoyable. And who hasn’t had some bridesmaid dresses that you thought just for a moment, “If I cut that off maybe I could wear it again.” Yeah, sure.

Creeping through the snow…
January 18, 2008

0117081434.jpgPretty isn’t it? But yesterday turned out to be a bigger snow event than I was expecting. I had no snow boots with me, was wearing high heels, and was generally unprepared. The only positive thing I did was fill up my car. The always kind Tom Tasselmayer asked me, “Why were you surprised? We did forecast possibly several inches of snow.”
Ummmmmmm….I know, but it’s surprising how little attention you can pay to forecasts when you hear then constantly all day. As my Mother might say…”Not the sense God gave a goat.” She is blunt that way.
Anyway, I lah-tee-dahed off to a hair appointment yesterday at 1:00…not really thinking anything about it and had no trouble getting there. A quick trim, finished at 2:00, OK now the snow has really been coming down. But I tiptoe through the slush…in heels…to my car, and begin the drive up Charles Street. Again, slow but not terrible. Passing the JFX, it looks suspiciously like a parking lot, so I continue up Charles….so clever…I’ll just cut over on University BLVD, and across the 41st St. bridge.
Sounded good anyway. Took me 45 minutes to get to the turn off University to 41st St., and now there is no action at all. AT ALL. Hello, all my fellow drivers in agony. What the heck is going on up there??
I had plenty of time to take pictures with my cell phone of people waiting, possibly a very long time for the bus. God bless you all. And a happier sight…a little boy strolling along eating the world’s biggest snowball. 0117081503.jpg
BUT THIS REALLY GOT TO ME….. After spending a half hour moving about an inch every 15 minutes or so….the lady in the red SUV pulls past us all in the left hand turn lane.0117081513.jpg I thought, “Lady you BETTER be turning left into the Rotunda, or there will be war!!” And just as I thought, she simply used the clear lane to get as far forward as she could, AND THEN PUT ON HER RIGHT BLINKER!! Oh please, by all that is holy, do not let her in…do not let her in…oh great, someone let her in. And bad behavior is rewarded once again. I know, I know, you’re thinking, just let them in, be a good sport, do your good deed for the day. blah, blah, blah. And on any other day, I’d probably agree with you. But not yesterday my friend, not yesterday.

Baby girl is a media freak!
January 17, 2008

Baby Girl, our new kitten, is not only growing like topsy, she is also spending way too much time at home watching tv…0117080804.jpgand clearly she was very interested in the forecast this morning. The idea of snow possibly headed our way got her all excited.
My daughter, who has been in London, lucky girl, for a “minimester” course in theatre, which meant she saw lots of shows in the West End, and wrote lots of papers(which she did not expect and thought was pretty churlish of her teacher to ask for), feels she has missed 3 weeks of Baby’s kittenhood. 0107080958.jpgShe has grown tons, made friends with Muffy, who still considers the sink a spa getaway, and has grown quite feisty.
But don’t think Baby is just a tv junkie…not at all…she is also a big fan of the newspaper…big fan.0117080828.jpg

Dinner and a movie….
January 15, 2008

1221071822.jpgOK, I have some suggestions for you…..I hadn’t been back to Dogwood in Hampden, since they reopened after a renovation…which is very pretty by the way. But I was there for dinner this weekend, and had one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long, long time. Now, I like this place on many levels. One, they use organic food as much as possible, and buy from local farmers and vendors…so responsible. The service is great. And the food is just soooooo good, which is what people really want to know about. Duck breast on white beans was to die for…..seriously. And I had a salad of frisee’, duck confit, and brussel sprouts that may sound odd, but was just unbelievably good.
They still have plans to open their wine bar, but right now, you need to take your own wine…no problem…The Wine Source in Hampden is just a half block away, with a great selection.
0111082004.jpgWe enjoyed an Australian red from Cat Amongst the Pigeons winery….an Alley Cat(love the name)Shiraz Grenache that was lovelyAnd for those of you who might not know, Paul Cudone, the long time wine guru at Eddie’s of Roland park, is now at The Wine Source.
And the restrooms at Dogwood are pretty(this is important to me, ok?)…

Saw THERE WILL BE BLOOD, with Daniel Day-Lewis. Hmmmmmm, how do I say this. He is a great actor, and he’s great in this role, and the movie is quite interesting and beautifully shot, but would I recommend it? With reservations. It is a dark, dark film. Really dark, and there is no redemption at the end. If you can deal with that, you might like it

Cuffed Assassins replies…..
January 11, 2008

0109080925.jpgOK, it’s not just me. And I thought it might just be something odd about the way I walk or something….OR maybe these guys walk funny too. Whatever.

Donna, your blog brought back some old (I mean old) memories. Back in the ’70s, I fell down the back stairs (between the 2nd and 3rd floors) when my heel got caught in my pants cuff. Thankfully I was a lot younger and there was a lot less of me that fell, so I wasn’t badly hurt, but since then I have NEVER EVER bought a pair of cuffed pants. NEVER, EVER!

What a great entrance! LOL … I don’t wear cuffs anymore (legs too short, hips too wide) but when I did, I had the same problem … try stitching down the cuff (of course below the top of the cuff) to keep the cuff somewhat closed and not “flowy” … same look, less danger … good luck!


Hmmm, if only I were that handy with needle and thread.

Single Streamed Right Back to me….
January 10, 2008

This past Tuesday was my recycling day, AND the first day of “single stream” recycling. In the past… cans, bottles and plastics were put out every other Monday, and paper every other Tuesday. Now, it’s only every other Tuesday, and it all gets carted to the curb. And may I just say that because Christmas being on my recycling Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, and because I had ordered tons of gifts through the internet shipped to me, and because of all the other gifts sent our way, I had literally mountains of recycling. MOUNTAINS I tell you. The bins below were all full, and countless cardboard boxes to boot.
0110080732.jpgSo when January 8th came, it was almost like another Christmas morning….oh, the excitement of being able to get rid of all those boxes and newspapers and gift boxes and wine bottles( yeah, I know), and just all that stuff, was a fabulous experience.
And I wasn’t alone….my street looked like everyone had cleaned out their basements and left it all on the curb. It must have been a daunting task for the crews. Seriously, can you imagine coming down the street and seeing ALL THAT STUFF that you have to pick up? It must have been a long, long day for the workers…and I thank them, for all of us.
But here’s something curious. I put out a Styrofoam cooler in which a gift from my nephew Quint was shipped… of Omaha Steaks shipped in it(and delicious may I add, my first experience with them). It’s on top of all my bins in the picture above.0110080733.jpg As you can clearly see on the bottom, there is a 6 inside the recycling emblem. And Baltimore’s website clearly states they are taking plastics 1 through 7. What gives? Crew doesn’t know about this? Just didn’t want to take the cooler? I don’t know, but I’m putting it back out next recycling day, with a little sign attache(which can also be recycled, of course), that says THIS IS RECYCLABLE!!!!

Cuffed Assassins
January 9, 2008

OK, am I just unusually clumsy? Or am I wearing the wrong shoes? Or I just not meant for cuffed pants? They are trying to kill me, I swear.
0109080925.jpgI am referring to cuffed pants worn with heels…..I bought a couple of pairs of cuffed pants over the past season or two…one wide leg, the other more narrow…and BOTH of the them, when I wear them with heels(which they require), I will, if I am not very, very careful, catch a heel in the cuff as I’m walking along or ever worse, going down steps.
What happens when you catch a heel in a cuff? Let me tell you….a BIG stumble, almost in slow motion, and unless you have good balance like me…a fall. I was walking into the assistant news directors office a couple of days ago with a fresh cup of hot tea, and almost fell on my face, and DID spill of good bit of the tea on his floor. It was quite an extrance, I can tell you.
“Are you OK?” he asks, looking at me oddly, as if there may be something wrong with me to just stumble into his office. I told him about the cuff assassins, and as proof this time, and for the first time, the heel actually ripped the cuff as you see above.
Honestly I do not know what to do about this problem, except to be more careful when I wear these pants. It’s really rather frightening, like you’re wearing a health hazard. What else would you call it? And is anyone else having this issue? Danger, danger!!