Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy and Horrible

There are few things aside from drinking, impromptu expensive shopping sprees and one night stands that can make you feel really good and really bad at the same time. Today unfortunately I'm not going to write about something so light hearted. I'm going to touch on a sensitive topic and be serious, but I'll get back to your regularly expected cheerful posting next time. Promise. Plus, I'll even drop a funny unrelated confession at the end of this so you'll know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Getting down to business. On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with the Grandmother of mine that I've always been closest. She just had some serious surgery and this was my first opportunity to check in, spend some quality time and generally speaking catch up. We had a perfect afternoon drinking iced tea and telling stories. She's doing so much better and I'm so relieved.  I had a good hour drive back to Annapolis, but I was in such a good mood and it was just starting to get dark that I thought there was no reason why I don't pay a surprise visit to my other Grandmother. She is in assisted living about 5 minutes away and I knew it would brighten her day. It was pretty rainy and dreary out when I got in my car and I almost decided to skip it but something told me not to shrug my visit off.

I cruised through the Mc Donald's drive-thru for a chocolate shake because she's always loved her sweet treats. So pleased with myself I was as I skipped through the rain into her building. I entered the common area to see melancholy ladies in wheel chairs and on couches with vacant stairs on their faces, and old timey music softly playing on the sound system. I gulped and remembered why I don't come often. I scanned the sea of white hair and spotted the Grandmother that belonged to me. Weaving through the  crowd, ladies questioningly eyed me. "Hi Grandma," I said as cheerfully as possible!  She slowly raised her head and her bored expression absolutely lit up. I presented her with her shake and she was absolutely overwhelmed. As quickly as her face cheered, it melted into dismay. Emotional over my visit she put her hand to her heart and guilt seared through mine. So many times I pass by without going in thinking she won't remember anyway. Or it's too depressing. On one occasion dropping her off, I was pulled aside by a 90-something who asked me to help her "escape by nightfall." This night I took my Grandmother's arthritis curled hand and wished my own were warmer to help sooth her curved fingers.

Confusion set in that I wont elaborate on, but to distract her I asked her if she would like me to paint her finger nails. Her face quickly brightened again and I wheeled her to the kitchen area. We passed a lady weeping about her father on a bench, and another talking to herself or possibly her reflection in a window. I asked Grandma if she remembered when I used to paint her nails all the time. One summer about 9 years ago shortly after my Grandfather died, she spent a lot of time at our house and I often painted her nails to pass the time. I just hate myself for not spending more hours talking and having her tell me stories while she could like I do with my other Grandmother. Instead, I was too involved counting the hours until my Mom would get home so I could dart off to my asshole boyfriend of the time. But this night, she sat sipping her shake while I slowly painted her nails with precision as the others watched in envy.  One lady swooped (slowly) in and helped herself to the shake while watching the manicure. It was OK because my Grandmother had had her fill anyway, and the lady grunted and slurped and said, "Hmm. Yeah, good," so I saw no harm in it if it would make her happy too. (I did verify with the nurses there were no dietary restrictions being violated.) Another lady randomly took off her shirt exposing...well, you know. I was told sundown was a tough time of day and that residents often get confused and depressed.

Grandma said I looked pretty and I told her I'd recently been to a wedding in Maine. She said she had been to Maine and was I going to get married? I told her yes maybe but he would have to ask me first, and she found this to be very amusing and hid her head in her arm and laughed. I laughed too and all too soon I was finished and had run out of words to say.

My point is that it was so bittersweet. I curse myself for not paying more visits. My Mom told me on Monday how surprised and happy my Grandmother told her she was that I had stopped in. As uncomfortable as it is to go, and as easy as it is to just pass by, it's beyond selfish to do so. My Grandmother ran a household raising four children, and 7 grandchildren and my thanks is to brush her off because it's awkward?

If you're still reading, I beg you to visit your Grandparents while you still can, no matter how depressing it may be. At the end of the day, we go on to our beaches and bars and festivals and friends and they've done all that. They're staying where we've put them and are left with the help to entertain them. I in no way mean to preach or tell others they are bad for not visiting or be self-riotous in any way,  I just realized I thankfully have a chance to do better. I can't make up for what I haven't done, but I realized how much a little gesture makes a big impact.

As suspected, my tear stained face no longer has humor left to write, but I consciously wrote my confession ahead of time, so go ahead and have a laugh (hopefully) at my expense!

Confession Time!!!!

Is it just me, or is that Miley Cyrus, “Party in the USA” song, like really catchy? I made it a point last Christmas after she butchered Mariah Carrey’s “All I Want for Christmas” to go out of my way to dislike her, but then I got into Twitter, and then Miley filmed a movie in Savannah, Georgia, and I accidentally may have popped over to take a quick look at her tweets once or twice, (or maybe the whole time she was there) and then I decided, perhaps she’s not so bad after all, but I’m not going to go buying any cd’s or watching Hannah Montana or anything, but instead I’ll just not express extreme displeasure every time I hear her name anymore, and then this song kept playing on the radio, and I didn’t know who it was, but I knew that once I had felt nervous, but then that Jay Z song came on and I put my hands up and the butterflies flew away, and that was before I knew it was her, so when I found out finally, it was too late to turn back and stop liking it. Are you nodding your head like yeah?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Haiku Monday

The official breakdown of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Shopaholic night.
Two Grandmothers. Both alright.
Sunday, mellow love.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Bar Harbor Wrap-Up

So we last left off at getting ready for the wedding. I really had no idea what to expect, but it ended up being exactly what I want in a wedding played out before my very eyes! We arrived to Acadia park and walked to a cliff overlooking the water and a fast approaching sunset. The ceremony was five minutes long, and attended by 17 people before we were off to a fancy dinner, with plenty of wine and musical duo with string style instruments!

(This works. They may not want their photo's up, so you get the idea!)

The next day Nat and I left the bikes at the Cleftstone Manor, but drove back to Cadillac Mountain for some beautiful hiking. The afternoon consisted of a sailboat ride with Patrick and Erin and the rest of the wedding guests. Nat had previously set his sights on a sweet leather jacket which he meant to pick up before the sailboat trip, but we ran out of time. He complained bitterly the whole time about his cold neck and everybody blamed me, which I don't really think was fair.

This just makes me realize how small we really are.

I bet you had no idea I was like so totally extreme, right?

This was our last night and after packing up Patrick's house, we walked back downtown with everyone to get ice cream. Except, I'm not really into ice cream so I just posed with this lobster and then we went and ate one more!

That lobster was trying to get fresh with me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How could I forget about Haiku Monday?!?!

That whole driving for 14 hours thing I suppose. Here goes.

Mainely Maine

Mountains, bikes and boats.
Every hour with my love.
Let's never go back.

I plan to post a few vacation pics and finish the tail of our adventures tonight after a little hot yoga and final house re-organization after the big trip.

Leave me your Haikus!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Night Notes in Bar Harbor

After consuming about eight thousand calories yesterday morning, Nat and I grabbed our bikes and hopped on a bus to Acadia National Park. It was a little brisk for my taste but the park was beautiful, there were wide trails and we even hiked up some wicked rocks for a killer view at one point. Not scary at all.

Later that day, after high tea with the rest of the guests we went to Cafe This Way for dinner. I'll be posting pictures later but beg you to understand how they probably wont do the place justice. It was like eating in a library slash art gallery slash garage. And that's a good thing. We had a bottle of Riesling with scallops and lobster penne. To die for.

We then met up with Patrick, Erin and her brothers, who can I just say were hilarious? So hilarious, that Night Notes took place!

Finback 09-18-09

"Wear socks. If your feet are warm, you're good!"
"The shit is wicked wrong."
"Cosmic shooting. It's wicked."
"She makes a wicked breakfast."
"I'm wicked stupid."
"This alcohol is so good."

Clearly, the joke of the night was the fact that all the locals up here say that everything is "wicked."  Other observations about the people up here are that there are a lot of year-round hippies, plenty of tourists and absolutely NO cultural diversity unless you count the Russians who come to work the summers. It's really odd. Most of the people who live here were just wearing sweatshirts at the bar last night, but one girl had on a black peacoat, shorts and flip flops. Don't even get me started. Just don't. This girl later pointed our group out to her male friend that his "posse" was over there, and wasn't he going to say hi? He did eventually come to say hello to Patrick. I didn't really appreciate her tone however and can't imagine why she didn't like us while we obnoxiously said "wicked" a lot and stopped using our "r's." She may have also felt Erin and I boring judgmental looks her way in reference to her outfit. Go figure. "This baaa is wicked stoooopid." Riiight.

Almost time to get ready for Patrick and Erin's wedding!!!!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whales and Puffins? Not exactly...

Oh my goodness, it's 8:30 am and that woman is making something delicious smelling for breakfast again! You sign up on the sign in sheet the day before around here, but I don't recall what it is we'll be having. Some sort of quiche and apple-oat pancakes I think. This big, warm bed that holds my love is also holding me, but we need to get up for some nourishment before our big day of biking! I'm a little nervous about the temperature. It's so hard to believe just a couple of weeks ago it was 100 degrees way back in Maryland, and yesterday we were bundled up in winter garb.

Speaking of yesterday, that was the big Whale boat ride day. Rest assured, we said "I'm on a boat!!!!" obnoxiously the whole time Andy Samberg style. We were told once on the boat, puffins were gone for the season and so were most of the whales. I was bummed that I wasn't going to be able to say, "PUFFINNNN!" and lot, and if you don't know where that reference comes from, oh but I think you do, I'm not going to incriminate myself to bad reality tv. And by bad I mean so good. (Totally, TOTALLY unrelated, I'm so glad Hank Baskett has a place to play for a while. Stupid Michael Vick. GRRRR!) What was I saying? Oh yeah, so there were no puffins, but in search of whales we went. It wasn't a huge success, but in the end a little Minke whale was spotted. It wasn't pleased at the myriad of paparazzi cameras aimed at him and would only pop up for a few seconds at a time. Let's just say I wish I'd taken a picture of the people taking pictures. Some serious camera's were out there. We also saw several dolphins, a cute seal and a shark!!! He came really close to the boat. After all the excitement, it was too cold to stay outside and I popped in for my first hot choc of the season. Seems all the commotion wore out everyone else too because I counted 15 people sleeping inside. At one point, one of them was even Nat! At the end of the cruise, we were told since they guarantee whale sightings, we would get free vouchers to come back.

After that, it was LOBSTER TIME! We picked the restaurant based on the wine list because Nat wanted a Chablis. I was adorned in a plastic bib that said, "Let's get to cracking!" Nat was too cool for his. I thought I looked good with my bib, Bar Harbor, sweatshirt and camera. Not to touristy at all....riiiight.  But seriously, my first lobster experience went well. I loved it!

I'm off to make myself presentable for breakfast!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A quick update

Yeah. It's cold here. Like cold cold. One of the best parts about staying at a B&B is the breakfast. I'm currently in bed smelling blueberry pancakes. We're on the first floor and the warm scent of syrup is wafting under the door. I keep kicking Nat but he's not having it just yet. The lady who owns this place is a fantastic cook and recommended a lovely place for dinner last night. Each outfitted in our brand new winter coats, we headed out after an extended high tea with treats and mingling with the rest of the crowd here for more seafood. Lobster bisque, clam chowder, ect.

I've gotta get this fellow up but here's a quick list of highlights.

1. The fact that we're in the off season, shops are getting ready to close and everything is 50% off.
2. Chatting with a shop owner after determining the locals aren't so friendly and he says, "Bar Harbor, the dogs are nice, and the people are rude."
3. The sixty plus lady at tea yesterday who said, "Well you always have to have alcohol!" Where was my night note?
4. Realizing that at tea, nobody was drinking the tea and coffee available. They were drinking their own wine and or spirits.  Average age 60 and awesome! I loved it.
5. Must get up for homemade mouthwatering smelling breakfast for nourishment for our Whale Cruise today!
6. What I'm not going to mention is Nat's possible run-in  with the law that may or may not have happened after Monday night's seemingly impromptu bachelor party night with Patrick. What I will say, is that if this occurrence did happen, which I'm not saying it did, he probably got off *Scott free, aside from getting called out about it by that sweet couple who shared wine with us yesterday. Again, this is all speculation.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bar Harbor Begins

Nat and I both admitted to having nerves before starting our 12 hour drive to Maine last night around 9:30 pm. We hit the road with "The Count of Monte Cristo" on the ipod, and sped into the night. By 4am we were rolling along a winding strip in Rhode Island and saw a bright orange shooting start streak across the sky. We cruised past Boston with a pink backdrop as the sun rose around 6am and I briefly regretted our decision not to stay a few days. By 9am we were well into Maine and anticipating an early arrival.  I can't be sure what went wrong from there, but exhausted and fueled only by non-organic sausage egg and cheese biscuits, things went very awry. We *Mainely meandered those last hours pointing out the cleverly punned names of establishments and counting the lobster pounds.

Upon arrival we unloaded the bags in a daze, marveled our fantastic room briefly and I climbed under a plethora of cool sheets, blankets and mounds of pillows. Bed never felt so good. Nat was considering going for a bike ride but I convincingly suggested he pop into bed for a half an hour for a nap with me first. Once in bed he smiled, sighed, snuggled up and snored. I didn't mind one bit. No nap in the history of (three hour) naps has ever been so good.

Awaking refreshed, we popped downtown stunned at how clear the water was and our luck that it was 72 degrees! There are jewelry shops with amber and wire work. Tourmaline stones and art in every store. Hemp products and signs asking the hippies to enter from the side doors. Bikers with backpacks and locals with dogs. Ice cream, coffee shops and lobster joints on every corner. We picked out our whale trip, checked out wine stores and spied Patrick drive by right as we were deciding where to head for dinner. After meeting up at his house, the three of us opted for bar seats at a restaurant whose cool garden twinkled with christmas lights and grabbed a beer and dinner. Two words. Seafood Risotto. YUM!

Walking back to the car Patrick pointed out the Criterion, a classic movie theatre from the 30's where we'll be seeing an opera on Thursday! I'm settled back at the B&B, (trying to not be spooked!) and actually enjoying the crisp feel in the air. The boys are out being boys and catching up and I plan to get to work on my homework reading if I can just stay awake.

More later and apologies for any typos! Did I mention I'm happily exhausted?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Camera Karma

Did I mention Nat and I are going on a road trip? In preparation of our Bar Harbor adventure, I purchased a new camera. Unfortunately, I didn't get it until last Thursday and didn't have an opportunity to go on a quest of picturesque worthy objects until my Sunday morning walk, when to my dismay, nothing was photograph worthy. I walked past flower gardens that are normally bright and vibrant, but were dull and faded this morning. I passed by sail boats that are normally lined in perfect harmony, but this time they looked all a clutter. I couldn't risk taking a bad first shot and condemning myself to a relationship with my Canon of bad photographs. It would be rude to her and me! I would not let my camera karma be tainted!
So no pictures to show for my efforts yet, however this is what I look like with my new toy.

Haiku Monday

Vacation Anticipation

Shopping and Packing.
When in doubt, bring it along.
Visions of lobster.

Now leave me yours!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chilly and Pierre... Part II

I am trying to pack for vacation, but these two won't act right. They think packing is a game. I was really about to stop procrastinating and get down to business. Because I have to try on everything, they think they have to too. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Night Notes on Sunday

With a three day weekend, one birthday, one engagement, and one set of newly straightened teeth upon us; Mel, Kristen and I decided Sunday night was the night for our celebrations. We started at my house over a bottle of wine, Mel's Birthday fun and Kristen's new ring while ooohing and aaaahing at my invisiline free teeth before we walked out the door, wandered the downtown streets for a bit and eventually settled on old faithful. Harry Browne's.

The following was found on the Night Notes the next day:

Kristen: It was those magical bar pretzels.
Anonymous: This is not going to be good for the one night stand I'm about to engage in.
Anonymous: You googled "Weed in the aerogarden?!?!"
Kristen: You know why? Because we're drunks.
9-6-09 --The death of HB's
Mel- Consider it tattood.
All- Shots to lots of sex.
Kristen- You're using it as an excuse because you feel bad!
"We operate as a single unit."
Jeff Vito: Do you want another shot?
Kristen: We had several.
Julie: I hate it when Nats right. Eat these pretzels and it doesn't count.
Anonymous: I'm full of pretzel and vodka.
Kristen: I'm not sure, but I'm offended.
Danny: Harry Browne's. Happy Browne's. What do you want now?
I also found a part two which not only noted the new bartender "Edly" as saying something humorous, but Mel saying "Cheers mother-f%#$ers."

It goes without saying Mel, Kristen and I were hating life yesterday, but Sunday was a fantastic night! Love you girls!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Haiku Monday

Well, I can't technically do the weekend haiku wrap-up since it's Labor Day and we're still weekending it up, but I want to stick with Monday. Leave me your haiku too!

Still shots with Cheryl.
Sipping champagne, walks and talks.
Plant shopping sisters.

  My beautiful sister!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nothing like a friendly competition...

Last Saturday before my morning walk, I cooked up a nice poached egg. I think I may have mentioned a few months ago how I was trying to perfect this cooking method. My friend Ben is also a huge fan of the poached egg which stems from our love of the Ramshead Tavern Bloody Mary Sunday brunch. I recently found out from his wife, my Bol'er Mel, that he now owned an egg poacher and was poaching away. This particular morning, I sent this picture via text to the Martin cellulars.

The response I received a half an hour later was:
Maybe one day you'll make it to the big league!
The nerve!!!!!! How dare he upstage me double egg style? However, I strongly feel he's cheating by using the the poacher. I mean, I slave away stirring at just the right speed to make sure everything works out correctly. Plus, check out my melty cheese and fresh cracked pepper. I can't determine who the winner is at this time.
But as I was saying, I was getting ready to go for a walk. The following things occurred to me on said walk. 
1. I want to bring back groucho pants.
2. I need an elaborate plan to make friends with those 40 somethings a few streets over who are drinking beer and chilled summer wine, all condensation like, on their porches while its 90 degrees outside at 2:30 in the afternoon. 
3. My current goals are a house, a writing career and a German Shepherd puppy who picks me from his hiding spot underneath a parked car. 
I also came across this flower and fellow.
When I was a just a girl growing up in Waldorf, Maryland, my best friend and I would catch those moths and smear their wings across that type of flower so it would sparkle...I didn't harass the little guy this time and I know he was thankful of his fate.