Wednesday, February 27, 2013

big news

Something big has happened, everyone.
It's the moment we've all been waiting for.
It's the creme dela creme.
It's the bees knees. The cream of the crop.
It's the thing that little birdie was talking about, it's the cat's pajamas, the cat's meow, the cat is out of the bag. 
It's the best thing since sliced bread, the belle of the ball, the bottom line, the bullfrog's beard. 

Without further ado....


Cheers, screams, yells of panicked excitement, barbecue eyes, happy dances, shrieks of glory.

You know how long we've been waiting for this moment?
Six months and two dreadful days.

My last Dickey's post. 

But dread no more, folks, because my face is going to be a healthy, saucy brown and my teeth will be filled with okra seeds.
Officially re-opening TOMORROW.
Which means I will be eating there TONIGHT in my dreams and TOMORROW in reality.

We can only hope my bladder can readjust to the copious amounts of sweet tea served in the majestic Big Yellow Cups of yore.

But dear heaven, every stomach cramp will be worth it to only be blessed by the fiery tang of barbecue and the happy graces of free pickles and ice cream.

Bring it on, Dickey's, because we've missed you.
Dear Barbecue Richard, we have missed you dearly.

In love,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the long weekend

I have completely forgotten how to be by myself.

I'm actually pretty impressed that I managed it. Dusty was gone all weekend for a Mediation Tournament (for those of you who don't know what that is, go ahead and Google it because I'm certain I'd only confuse you more).
Because I'm an introvert at heart, I was actually kind of excited for the chance to reconnect with my fascinating self.
But come to find out, BAM. I am really boring to be around.

I have melded into Dusty's wife. We have become one. I am no longer on my own, and I get really lonely when he's away. It was a weird realization. I couldn't fall asleep, I had to keep a light on, everything was quiet, I had to turn on a fan and put on was sad. Even with no one else around to witness it, I knew in my heart that it was sad.
Friday night was a blur, and I was in the throws of depression already from watching Downton Abbey so we'll just skip that.
Saturday, I was proud of myself. I got up. I got dressed. I was cute. I went downtown, fancy downtown, and I sat in my favorite coffee shop and read in my favorite nook all day long.

As you can see, they transformed this old store front, complete with its platformed window displays, into little reading nooks. Complete with comfy chairs, side tables and lamps. It's picture perfect.
The coffee shop/bookstore continues back into a quaint ensemble of wooden floors, hanging lights, Tolkien-inspired art and freshly roasted coffee.
They have the most delicious breakfast and lunch menu...they feature local produce and meat, and they use dairy products from a local farm. Their milk and cream and goat cheese is divine. 
This is the second time I've spent an entire Saturday there, and I hope it's not the last. I dream about it when I'm not there, and never want to leave once I am there.

My only complaint?
People sneaking in on my window display.
Excuse me, does this look like a double-display of fashionable mannequins at a local Belk? I don't think so!
This is a one person nook, despite the two chairs, no arguments, please.
My feet aren't just propped here for comfort...they're the signal that says, "Do not Enter".
Punishable by glare.

Maybe it's just me, but I would never climb those stairs and crawl over a stranger's happy, reading self to get to the other chair in that cozy little haven. It's too personal. It's too perfect. Too intimate to interrupt.
But, I had two different people awkwardly come and go while I was enjoying my stay.
One of the girls took her shoes off.
Please explain this behavior to me.

That afternoon, once I finished my last sip of iced lavender latte, I decided it was time to head home.
I ran a few errands, and then arrived at my empty apartment.
It was quiet again. Too quiet.
So I watched an entire season of America's Next Top Model. Yeah, that happened.
I'm not proud of it, and yet, I can't really bring myself to regret it.

The evening's progression.

I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. 
They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, 
outside of the girl you love, of course.
-Mark Twain

I stumbled into bed with Enya playing in my ear, and Sunday morning dawned bright and lovely.

I spent the day with Disney, playing Tangled, Mulan and Gnomeo and Juliet while cleaning the house. 
I thoroughly cleaned every inch of the place, and felt extremely accomplished by the end!

I also fixed a yummy casserole dinner and ran out to buy Dusty some new clothes in celebration of his qualification for nationals! 
He's going to be heading to Chicago in April to compete. So exciting!

What a weekend. 
I'm glad to have my husband back, and there are only 10 days until we fly away to LONDON!
I can hardly believe it. London and Paris, here we come!
Considering my issues with packing...I should probably start now.

In love,

Monday, February 18, 2013

how can teeth be wise?

A few months before Dusty and I got married, I had to have my wisdom teeth out.
It was a rather horrific experience, but happily, I don't remember most of it.
I flew home to Arizona for an early Friday morning procedure, and flew back to California on Sunday.
In between, mom cared for me constantly, and I was in pretty bad shape. I slept most of the time and was in a daze of pain and grossness. I'm really glad I was home and didn't have to worry about things!

Sadly, ten days ago, it was Dusty's turn.
He had his wisdom teeth for years, but they were finally giving him enough trouble that our local dentist said, it's time. Let's just get these suckers out.

February 8th was the day - 11am procedure.
I dropped him off, grabbed Starbucks, and came back to wait. They wanted me there the entire time, in case anything went wrong or they needed me for some unforeseen reason.
Plus I have a feeling they really didn't want a drugged up, half-conscious swollen man waiting for his ride.
I sat reading, and it was quite pleasant.

I was surprised to find that it was only 45 minutes later when the nurse came out and called my name.

I gotta say, the next few hours were not fun for me. Walking into that operating room, seeing Dusty completely unconscious and already was disconcerting.
Then, as if the nurse knew this was already nightmarish, she points to the back counter and says, "Do you know if he would want these?" as she points to four grisly teeth on a bloody napkin.
"Gawd, no!" I said, appalled. She then goes on to explain that sometimes, people ask for them after she's already disposed of them, and she wanted to make sure...
It was then that Dusty decided to wake up.
From behind me, I hear, "Graawwwrrrrrrgggg."
I suddenly felt like I knew what Frankenstein felt like, when he first met his newly living Monster.
He's aliiiiiive!
I bent over to his side, "Ohh, hi, honey! I'm sorry...did you want to keep your teeth?"
He nodded enthusiastically.
The nurse smiled, like she knew he would want to keep them all along, and flipped them all into an appropriate little medical baggy.
I took them from her and showed them to Dusty. "See? Look at that! Gross!"

His eyes took a while to focus, and then his eyebrows drew together in an angry scowl.
He jabbed at the bag with his finger, "Garrumpphh dratarrrr! Arrrgggurtarga, braaannn terrrrka!"
I just smiled and tried not to laugh, because neither of us would never know what he was trying to yell.

I was extremely impressed with how well he could walk. Occasionally he would try and walk forward without the nurse and I, and nearly fall, before holding his arms back out for us to help, with a "Ha ha, ha ha".
He even tried holding the door open for us.
Isn't it funny how things like that are embedded in a gentleman, even in an obliterated state?
I got him in the car semi-successfully...he stumbled and fell to the side a little, but didn't hit his face, which was the main goal.
I took a video of him in the car, and then he was out for the rest of the ride.
He would occasionally jerk awake when the car bumped or swerved a little, with a big gasp.
By the time we got home, I had to wake him up again.
"Okay, stay in here, okay? I'm coming around to get you...don't move...ok? Don't move."
I opened his side of the door and reached in to grab his arms, but he wouldn't come out.
He kept reaching behind him, trying to grab anything he could reach.
"You...yoooo...want, rrrr, bucksss? You..."
I was almost hysterical. "No! Honey, thank you, that's okay, you're so sweet...I'll get that later, now c'mon!"
He lumbered along with me, happy go lucky.
Once we were inside and I turned around to lock the door, he wriggled out of my grasp and stumbled headlong over the coffee table and onto the couch.
He couldn't smile, but that weird laugh came out again. "Ha ha, ha ha" and he didn't seem hurt.
Not that anything could phase him at this point.

Before he conked out, he struggled to speak again -- I think he was trying to say, "Is it okay that I sleep?" but it sounded like something King Kong would say while trying to steal a pretty blonde from a New York skyscraper.

It was pretty happy there, for a while.

I read and cuddled up with Eva while switching Dusty's frozen peas from one cheek to the other every half an hour or so.
Around 3pm, I tried to wake him up so we could switch out his gauze.
I was worried about keeping them in there too long; the doctor said we could switch them around 1pm, so I had already waited longer than that.
He didn't want to wake up, and once we got the used-up gauze out of his mouth...he just passed out.
I'm not even kidding, my mind was working in overload. I realized with sudden horror that I had no idea how to handle anything remotely close to this. I was absolutely useless in a crisis situation.
Every single drop of blood drained from his face, his head fell forward, and he started shaking and breathing really hard. I honestly thought he might die, and there was nothing in the world that I could do.
Not only am I useless, I'm a drama queen.
I grabbed my phone and called the dentist, while trying to get him to wake up. He was too heavy to move, and I was afraid to push his head back or move it around.

It was not a happy moment.
I made him a smoothie and tried to get some nutrients in him, to prevent him from passing out again. He needed fluids and some sustenance.
He definitely improved as the day went on, but I realized in that moment that I really, really love my husband. And I'm just not okay with seeing him in danger.
Also, I think I need some sort of medical training because I'm a complete nincompoop.

He stayed swollen but got better and better, and now he's just as studly as ever.
So glad that little spell is behind us!

In love,

Friday, February 15, 2013

the twilight zone

I absolutely love to eat out.
I'm the person that always leaves a good tip, loves to smile at the waiter or waitress, oohs and aahs at every tasty thing, and looks forward eagerly to the next stage of the meal, particularly the finishing cup of coffee with cream and sugar.
I don't have bad times at restaurants. I just don't. I always enjoy it. I know what to expect, I know how the system's all pretty standard and I know what I like to eat, so I'm hardly ever disappointed.
Since moving to Virginia, we've had a great time experimenting with new places. We haven't loved and raved about every single one, but for the most part, we really enjoy the restaurants we've been to.
I think I've only written one bad review on this blog.

Well, buckle up, sailor, because you're about to enter...

It all started on one eerie Thursday night. It happened to be Valentine's Day, which would have explained the fancy way we were dressed, and all the pink and red being worn.
The amazing dress was bought weeks in advance, the anticipation for being worn growing with each passing day. The suit and tie was worn from morning to date -- one of the perks of being in law school and dressing up every day, there's no need for an outfit change for a fancy date night.

The drive: 19.9 miles, approximately 30 minutes.


Reservations had been made in anticipation for this night, and nothing could go wrong.
Reviews were raving, main street was hopping, bedford was charming and the restaurant was darling.
All the proper ingredients for an evening of romance.

Flowers adorned our corner table, and the other chairs throughout the restaurant were decorated with smiling people paired off in sweet couples or laughing in large groups.

7:15 - We sat on the same side of the table, the booth side.
Maybe that's where we went wrong.
Maybe, in the Big Book of Restaurant Voodoo, a curse befalls those who cuddle.
We'll never really know.

The restaurant was chatty and loud and clinking, so we sat side by side, perusing the menu and whispering sweet nothings. Like, "Cake". And "Creme Brulee".

7:22 - A woman arrives. She looks innocent enough. She informs us that she is not our waitress, but would love to take our drink order.
Water for me, cola for him.
7:30 - Our true waitress presents herself, helping us decide what to eat and how to decide between which steak and which seafood dish. She's quiet. Her eyes whisper evil. We order.
Appetizers: wedge salad for me, crab mac & cheese for him/us.
Entrees: salmon for me, steak for him.

A Valentine's Day card, for him:
And then the prince and the princess rode off into the sunset,
stopped at Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe on the way to the castle...
...and spent the evening in their leisure cloaks,
snuggling on the royal sofa and watching movies on the imperial flat screen.
Ours is my favorite fairy tale.
7:40 - The table to our left becomes occupied, with a sweet and rich-looking couple. They're visited by a neighboring couple, and the wife is wearing a fur coat. They mention their daughter lives in San Francisco and is working for Google. They're fancy. The table to our right seats a group of four, they receive their entrees.
A neighboring waitress notices our drinks are gone, offers to get us refills and more bread.
Bread? What bread? our stomachs cry.
Refills and smiles arrive for the tables to our right and left.

8:00 - The salad and mac & cheese arrive. Delightful. We scarf them down with reckless abandon.
Tables around us empty; the table to our left receives their appetizers.
We ask a next-door waitress for refills.

8:10 - Our waitress returns, just as we've forgotten her face. We introduce ourselves.
We ask her for more bread. She nods, avoiding eye contact.
Our food will be out shortly.

8:20 - We get more bread. The sweet nothings are becoming less pleasant. Like "Vegan cake", and "Sugarless pudding".
The table to our left receives their entrees.

8:30 - The table to our right is enjoying their desserts and wine.

8:45 - We make awkward eye contact multiple times with our waitress, who hasn't come across the invisible line in the middle of the restaurant for half an hour.
We start to realize she's cast some spell on us - we are invisible and unable to communicate with anyone around us.
This is confirmed as the man next to us drunkenly yells, "where'd that weird young couple go!"
Or maybe that was just my imagination.
The table to our left receives their desserts and fresh coffee with cream and sugar.

8:50 - Dusty's eyes start to bulge and his wisdom-teethless cheeks look angry. I try to calm him down but all I can say is, "Bullion cubes", which aren't even sweet at all.

9:00 - A strange, gangly bus boy comes to our table. "Just to make sure - you guys have not received your food, correct?"
Dusty's imagination is running violently amuck and can be seen clearly through his eyeballs and I have to quickly answer, "No!" before he says anything.
The table to our left is now empty.

9:10 - Dusty fights his way across the cursed restaurant barrier, pushing back a troll and smiting a flock of fairies before he reaches the dungeon keeper, victorious.
He lets her know we would like to leave. We do not want our food, we just want to go home.
NEVER! she shouts, Dusty does a counter-spell, she softens, and says, yes. Yes. We will box up your food.
No, we don't want it. Dusty shakes his head. We just want to go home.
It's a busy night, the kitchen is backed up...
Righteous indignation flashes, No. No, it's not. We've seen successful eating, drinking, and happily leaving all evening. Particularly with that blasted table to our left. Do not lie to me.
She breaks down.
Take it all, all for free. 

9:30 - We pull out of the parking lot, cold and feeling weird. The Twilight Zone. 

I still have no explanations for any of the night's events. I'd like to think we were somehow invisible, that there must have been some kind of was one of the strangest experiences of my life.
We were just flat-out ignored all night long. We were exhausted and totally bummed out.
Luckily, the owner handled it well...she admitted that she had no good excuse, and that sometimes things just didn't go right. She gave us our food boxed up, and comped the entire meal. She even threw in a $25 gift card.

On the way home, we sang together, ran through McDonald's for cookies and shakes, and cuddled up at home.
Overall, I can't complain too much. It may have been a kind of wasted evening but I still have an amazing husband who makes even bad adventures a heck-of-a-lot better. :)

And I got to wear the anticipated dress.

We're planning on getting dressed up again, same outfits, and going out to a local restaurant for another fun dinner this weekend.
And meanwhile, I got to feel super fancy at work today with my salmon and potatoes for lunch!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
How was your night??

In love,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

the super bowl!

It's kind of crazy to think that this is our second Super Bowl here in Lynchburg, Virginia.

I clearly remember last year's Super Bowl. It seemed like a new milestone for our friendships, one of the first big parties we had all together. I remember feeling nervous and excited to go, holding Dusty's hand and saying, "I'm so glad we have friends here!!"

Super Bowl Sunday, 2012.
It was one of the first of many get-togethers with these folks.
This picture is hanging up in our upstairs hallway, along with pictures from our St. Patrick's Day party, and our trip to Washington D.C.

This year, we had our Super Bowl party over at Greg and Allison's place!
Once again, I had no idea who was playing. But I asked Dusty what colors to wear, and settled for wearing purple pants and a top with a kitten singing into a microphone for good measure.
Go Ravens! My enthusiasm obviously helped them into victory.

It was a great night. We ate way too much (pizza bites, mini burgers, chips and salsa, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts which were holy-moley delicious, hot wings...) and had both awwww and ewwww reactions to the various Super Bowl commercials.
For most of the night I'd wander into the kitchen for more snacks during game time, and resume my seat in the living room for the commercials. Classic.

It was a really great night! Lots of laughter and intrigue, what with the stadium black-out (is Beyonce involved with the Illuminati?) and the surprisingly exciting game.
We laughed at the plethora of memes that seemed to pop up within seconds of the black-out. We all complained of full stomachs. But we ate more anyway.

We cried a little at the Budweiser commercial with the faithful Clydesdale. We vomited a little when we saw the hairy lip of a red-cheeked nerd slobbering all over the face of a desperate-for-money blonde chick.
But most of all, we enjoyed each other's company.

You can't really beat candid shots.
And this one is begging to be captioned.

 Our friends!

Once we started doing Beyonce impressions, the camera needed to stop.
While I cannot and will not show some more intensely Beyonce-ish pictures, they definitely had us laughing ourselves to death.

Another great night in Lynchburg. :)

Valentine's Day is swiftly approaching, and even Spring Break is sneaking its way over here!
I wonder what the rest of the this semester will hold? :)

In love,