Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Car Saga

So the new car desire came back in full force this weekend. The background goes something like this: I work in a city where people drive really nice cars. About two years ago, I started seeing these pretty blue BMW’s everywhere I went and really really started wanting one. At the time my car was only about 6 years old (it’s a 99). By early summer last year, I pretty much had made a plan to buy a BMW. I knew I didn’t really need it, but I justified it by thinking I would keep the car for at least the next ten years and I can afford it and I deserve it because I work hard! (the “I deserve it” thought should have stopped me in my tracks, but it didn’t). On top of that, my Dad up and bought a Mercedes, so he could no longer hold me to the “you better drive an American car if you want to be a part of this family” principle. So everything was falling into place. And did I mention that I really wanted a BMW??

So last summer Liz and I planned our road trip and I was secretly hoping that my car would conk out somewhere along the way (just not somewhere scary) and if God wanted to be especially gracious, maybe it would conk out within walking distance of a BMW dealership. Because then circumstances would have thrown the BMW into my lap and what could I have possibly done??

But that didn’t happen, and the car was such a trooper on the road trip that I couldn’t stand to part with it once we got home. So I decided to keep it until it hit 100,000 miles (which would be about 3 more years).

Many months went by and everything was great. Then I went to Alan’s house to drop off a cake. And I saw Dat’s new car. A Toyota Highlander. Oh the cuteness it exudes. A couple of weeks later I hopped into Chris Kim’s (a.k.a. Chris TomKim - the Asian Chris Tomlin) car. Also a Highlander. I was hooked. And what did I begin to see all around me?? Toyota Highlanders. It doesn’t help that I live within 2 inches of a Toyota dealership. So for the past several months visions of Highlander have been dancing through my head. And I made another plan. New England road trip. Not as intense as last summer but enough to give the car a couple thousand miles. And in the back of my head the thought that maybe it will die near a Toyota dealership.

Of course, I’d been praying about this all along, and deep down I could tell God was saying don’t buy a car yet. I didn’t take Crown for nuthin! And I talked to my sister who is ms. sensible about all things financial and she set me straight. Actually she said “getting a new car is dumb.” That was really all I needed to hear. Good – I was back to the 100,000 miles thought. But then, oh you will not believe the wonderful thing that happened…. My car failed inspection!! Just a couple of minor things, but this certainly put me one step closer to the prize.

That brings me to the weekend (if anyone is still reading). Liz and I went to Charlotte (BTW - go to the Billy Graham Library if you are ever there. It is AWESOME!) to visit one of my friends from high school and Liz's God parents. So we pull up in front of Alexa’s house and what is that I see sitting in her driveway?? A brand new dark blue Highlander. I freaked out. I walked into her house, and said “you have a Highlander!” then I said “hi” and all that other not so important stuff that you say to someone you haven't seen in two years!

Alexa let me drive her car all around Charlotte that night and I loved it!! I’m so getting a new car after the road trip. Then (oh there’s more, people) Liz calls from her God parent’s house to talk about plans for meeting up the next day and guess what?? They have a Highlander too! Have you ever read the word Highlander so many times in one post? I bet not :)

That's my story. I think Toyota should give me some kind of deal after all the shout outs I've just given them :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

My new favorite number is 54.

Guess what?? Today I had lunch at Bangkok 54! And guess what else?? Tonight I had dinner at Bangkok 54. I love that place. I already had plans to meet the girls there for dinner, and when Alan suggested it at work today for lunch I was like, heck yes I wanna eat there, Pedro. It was a glorious day! Along with the great food, the Steering Committee meeting has been canceled for this week which means no taking of the minutes for me! Yay! Many of the big wigs are out on vacation this week, and one of our project leaders seems to have gotten himself in a bit of trouble (and I have to say I'm not surprised. This guy has always freaked me out).

From the Washington Post:

Button-Down FDIC?

People who work at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- the folks who oversee the nation's financial institutions -- are often, and apparently most unfairly, stereotyped as boring pencil pushers.

They are, it turns out, a fun-loving crowd. And there's an internal investigation now into whether someone was having a bit too much fun at the division of information technology's annual golf outing May 22 at Penderbrook Golf Club in Fairfax County.

The FDIC is looking into reports that a senior official in the 274-employee division asked or offered to pay two women at the outing -- one of whom didn't work in that division -- to take off their blouses, which they did. The incident allegedly was seen by many of the people who attended, though it was unclear whether it occurred in the clubhouse or on one of the greens.
The FDIC's public affairs director, Andrew Gray, in response to our inquiry, issued an official statement.

"The individuals that participated in this off-site event used their own resources and took official leave to attend," Gray's statement said. "However, since the event was publicized internally by staff within the Division of Technology, the FDIC has taken strong action to thoroughly investigate and determine the facts behind the allegations. This investigation may be completed as early as this week, and full disciplinary action will be taken against individuals who are found to have behaved unprofessionally and inappropriately. We expect all FDIC employees to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism."

And, at a minimum, to keep their clothes on.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

About Savannah and Miss Paula

So most of you know while I was in Savannah I ate at Paula Deen's restaurant. Of course, I did not see the Lady or the Sons, but it was still a fun experience. I had pretty low expectations since 87% of the reviews I read said the food was awful, the staff was unfriendly and you may as well go to the Golden Corral buffet and get all you can eat for $7.99. Needless to say, I figured fried chicken, potatoes and butter beans can’t be all that bad, and I was willing to pay the $15 for the experience.

So the internet reviews were all bad, but the other thing that struck me was that every employee in the Savannah tourism industry really dislikes Paula Deen. We’re checking into our hotel the night before and the guy behind the desk says “What are y'all planning to do?” I say “Eat at Paula Deen’s!” and he freaked out in all his southern accentedness. “Oh my gracious, do not eat there! That is not southern cookin. She’s got a bunch o’ college kids from up north runnin that place.” And then at the visitor’s center the next morning – the nice middle aged woman behind the counter gives me an “oh dearie, I’m soo sorry for you” look when I tell her we’re going to Paula’s. Then on our trolley tour we drive by Paula’s and the driver points out the restaurant and tells us it’s no good and we should not go there.

So with all the support and encouragement of the people of Savannah behind us, Mom and I got in line outside of Miss Paula’s around 8:45 on Wed. morning. There were about 15 people in front of us in the line. Not nearly as many as I expected, but it was a weekday. The hostess started taking names promptly at 9:30 and we were told to come back at 1 for a 1:15 reservation. So we went off and took our trolley tour, stopped in a few shops, and then headed back to the restaurant. They seated us within 5 minutes of checking in and we were immediately given hoe cakes and cheesey biscuits. The mom wasn’t a fan of the hoe cake but I liked it.

So I thought the buffet was pretty good. The fried chicken was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and I really liked the meatloaf. The mashed potatoes tasted like mashed potatoes and all the green things had a nice bacon-y flavor which makes all vegetables better. All in all, I thought the food was pretty good. I think maybe these internet reviewer peeps out there are expecting something more gourmet? Watch the show people! The woman makes fried chicken. Anyway, I feel sad for Paula that she’s getting such bad press from Savannah’s own. I’m not sure if it is affecting business, but I was surprised that by about 1:30 the restaurant looked like this:
We were out of there a little before 2 and they hadn’t seated anyone else. Maybe they take a break before the dinner shift?? Anywho, I'm still a fan and I'd even go again if I get the chance.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For all you men out there who read this blog.

“I want to breed with you” is not a good pick up line. Just thought I’d point that out in case you were wondering.

The story goes a little something like this:

Mom and I decide to visit the pool at our hotel in Florida. As soon as we get in, Weird Scary Pool Man jumps in and wades over to us.

WSPM (to me): Are you in high school?

Me: No

WSPM: College?

Me: No

WSPM: Well how old are you??

Me: 28.

WSPM: No way!! I want to breed with your family. Get me some of that youth!


Trip through the summer.

The summer of trips is in full swing. It all started on Memorial Day weekend when I went with the girls to the Stonewall Resort in West VA. The resort (more like a lodge) was great, but the real fun took place on the road to WVA. Our first stop was in Harper’s Ferry where we opted for the 2 mile hike into town in our sandals and flip flops. The park ranger took one look at our outfits and suggested we take the shuttle, but we had none of that.

We walked around, had lunch, checked out some shops, got some rock candy, and a stamp on my passport and headed off to Antietam where I got another stamp. Yay! Post-Antietam is where the fun really began, and by fun I mean Wal-Mart. We went to Wal-Mart twice!!! And look what we got!
Kandi found 4 white sequined tube tops that cost only $1 each!! We couldn’t pass these up so we bought them without hesitation. Within minutes of arriving at the hotel, we were all sporting the tube tops and looking mighty sassy, I must say. And yes, there are pictures but I will not be posting them. All those sequins might burn your eyes. Then Rachel had the brilliant idea that the tube tops could double as mini skirts. We quickly did a switch-a-roo and came out (she in her Barbie and the Rockers t-shirt and me in my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups t-shirt) with the white sequined mini skirts. Again, no posting of the pictures, but man were they great!

I forgot to mention the glorious deliciousness we stumbled upon before we arrived at the hotel. It’s called the Dairy Crème Corner, but I like to refer to it as the Dream Crème Corner because if I could pick something to dream about, it might very well be funnel cakes. We got off the exit to stop at a Wendy’s or some such fast food joint and saw this:

Whoa! Stop the car, do a U-turn and let’s get us some funnel cakes!! But it gets so much better. They had a whole assortment of fried things. The fried Cauliflower was amazing!! We didn't even get any dairy products at the Dairy Crème Corner. Just loaded up on fried greasiness and went on our merry way.

We got even more adventurous the next day and went kayaking. And it was great. Definitely something I would do again and again. I dubbed us the kayak-tresses. I think Lyndsay put it best when she said this pictures resembles what Broadway might look like if they ever did a show in kayaks. Liza with a kayak, anyone??

Well, that about sums up the Memorial Weekend trip. Last week I went to Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine and Fort Myers. Another good trip which I will post more about later. This weekend Liz and I are headed down to Charlotte and then we're off on the big road trip 07: New England! 3 more states will be crossed off the list. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This is the day that the Lord has made.

I'm rethinking the Pilates for Jesus thing. I don't want to look back twenty years from now and see something like this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Help! I'm a Deacon's Wife!

This was one of the many great books my small group stumbled upon last night during an outing to the Christian bookstore. Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of the cover of this marvelous book but I will do my best to descibe it. Picture your typical Southern Baptist deacon's wife: shoulder length brown hair, bangs, red shirt with shoulder pads, (or you could picture any of the lovely ladies from the old school videos for the Beth Moore, A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place study) but then slap on some bright pink blush, fuscia lipstick, throw your hands up in the air and put a look of shock on your face and there you have it - the look of a woman who has found herself in a state of despair and confusion because she has no idea how to be a deacon's wife. I dread that I too may one day face this awful situation should I marry a man who God calls to be a deacon in the church. I can only pray that an updated version is published: Help! I'm a 21st Century Deacon's Wife!

On another Christian bookstore note, for those of you who have men in your lives, you may want to pick up one of these: