Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend / Birthday Party

I seem to have lost my sense of humor this week due to man issues, so here are some random photos from the recent Memorial Day weekend holiday at Rainbow River-- during which we celebrated my little sister's 21st birthday with naughty presents, booze and cake... as well as my "adopted" sister's 29th birthday!

This is Auntie Laura's very cute chihuahua, Olivia, who had nervous breakdowns all weekend

my brother, the jungle gym

waiting for cake

Big Shorts

late afternoon at the river house

Olivia waiting patiently by the door for Auntie Laura

birthday girl and boyfriend

feeding fish

Auntie 1, Auntie 2, and Auntie 3

who are these people?

a scared baby thrush I found hiding in a bush

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Right Way To Get Back Into Shape

I have achieved a strangely zen-like state of being both skinny and non-toned at the same time, so I have made the decision to get back into shape, thereby transforming myself into a perfect physical specimen not usually seen outside Brazil.

Being a reasonable yet charming sort of person, I (of course) look suspiciously at any of these trendy diet and fitness plans splattered all over the trashy magazine section. The all-grapefruit & yoga plan? Not for me! Pilates and organic juices? Too troublesome! Eating sensibly and moderate exercise? WAY too extreme!

Today was Day One of the New me.

1. one-half grapefruit with grape centerpiece (vegetable/fruit serving for vitamin C)
2. one extra large chocolate chip muffin (for fiber and one vegetable/fruit serving since everyone knows that chocolate comes from a plant)
3. two pieces of bacon (for protein)
4. one hot tea with plenty of cream and sugar (for dairy and and additional vegetable/fruit serving since everyone knows that sugar is from a plant)

1. one bowl of berries (vegetable/fruit serving with more vitamin C!)
2. one large chunk of manchego cheese (protein, dairy)
3. one hardboiled egg (protein)
4. one fruit popsicle (vegetable/fruit serving)

Midafternoon Snack: one slice of cheese pizza (vegetable/fruit serving, dairy)

1. home-cooked steak stuffed with sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, spices (protein, vegetable/fruit serving)
2. one artichoke with hollandaise (vegetable/fruit serving)
3. salad with cucumber and mango and poppy seed dressing (vegetable/fruit serving)
3. one baguette (fiber)
4. one glass red wine (vegetable/fruit serving)

It's quite obvious that I am ahead of the game, so to speak, as I am practically overdosing on the fruit and vegetables!

Gym workout:
1. leafing through trashy magazines
2. chatting on cell phone
3. one half hour on elliptical thingy
4. ten minutes of arm machine things
5. a couple of situps

Not only are the physical benefits of this regimen absolutely amazing, but the psychological benefits are also enormous! I am already beginning to resemble Angelina Jolie as I type this post! I really can't stress enough the wonderful benefits of this sort of program. I shall soon be the envy of all who meet me....

Monday, May 23, 2005

Love Is In The Air...

(I had a really riveting post previously, but the text mysteriously disappeared.... and when I tried to add it back, it deleted the comments!). So don't blame me for the extraordinarily lame post below; blame a bug instead.

I do remember that I said something incredibly moving about Love being in the air these days, as thousand of tiny Love Bugs fly and enthusiastically copulate in my neighborhood-- and it's not even the main season for them yet. These romantic little bastards splatter all over car windshields and grills, get stuck in cyclists' teeth, and generally make a raging nuisance of themselves during mating season. Then I inserted some witty comments and allusions about their sexual proclivities, but damned if I remember. I would have received hundreds, if not thousands, of adoring comments regarding this sexual hazard on Florida's highways, but I am WAY too lazy to really do anything about it now.

Screw it-- I'm going to Italian class!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hot Saturday At The Ladies Room, Girl In A Coma, Art, Cheese, Booze

I was languishing in complete and utter despair after having missed the 100 Smacks art show at Covivant gallery Friday night; I could have bought a very nice painting I'd previously admired.

However, all was not lost as I managed to wander on over to the Ladies Room art show at the Vitale Gallery in St. Petersburg last night. It was hot hot hot hot hot, absolutely sweltering despite the tiny fans in the airplane hangar they call home. The show was for female artists only, but a few who don't actually own vaginas were also seen roaming the premises: Bask, Brandon Dunlap, and Brandt Peters. Although the art was a real mix of good and slightly awful, some of my favorite local female artists were showing: Cat Thompson, Lynn Whipple, Britzel Vasquez, and Kathie Olivas

The crowd was really almost too fashionably trendy for its own good, but I saw some very impressive ensembles-- from a two and half foot high goth hairdo (with wicked boots) to several girls who appeared to be doing a mild anime cos-play. As there was an accompanying artistic fashion show, there were also a number of people wandering around with tiny thongs, latex, fig leaves and very non-sensible shoes. Actually, everyone wears non-sensible shoes and clothing to these things-- it's some sort of local regulation.

It was so incredibly hot that some of us split early to go eat yummy tidbits at Cafe Alma with an interesting band called Girl In A Coma, who are very adorable in a Smiths-y sort of way; I wanted to adopt them all, take them home and bake them chocolate chip cookies. Nina (vocals/guitar), Jenn (Bass) and Phanie (Drums) were quite charming and we earnestly discussed how San Antonio is really much cooler than Tampa.

The food was delicious cheese and berryish fruits with rather a lot of wine. General discussion ranged from art, blogs, sex and samurai movies to art-y gossip and how everyone is moving to New York or L.A.

I toddled on home sometime before 1 am I think, and I've managed to be a total sloth all day. Yeah!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday: Museum Day

I took my Great Aunt the Golf Fiend out for a lovely day of museum-hopping on "Free Museum Day"; we decided on the Holocaust Museum and Sunken Gardens in order to get the proper complement of contemplation and kitsch.

At the Holocaust Museum, we meandered through hordes of screaming children to contemplate the horrible history of WWII. However, I almost started WWIII after being squished one too many times by the little darlings. But I did enjoy the current exhibit, which included some excellent satirical illustrations and interesting abstract work by artist William Pachner.

At Sunken Gardens, we meandered through hordes of screaming children to contemplate the beautifully kitschy botanical gardens, complete with butterflies, blue and yellow macaws and flamingos doing quite difficult yoga positions. In fact, I was quite disheartened at my lack of progress with yoga after watching them bend themselves into jaw-droppingly twisty pretzel shapes.

I am now contemplating whether or not to purchase a pair of very fine pink plastic lawn flamingos for the yard, as I want to fully embrace my inner Floridian tackiness. Perhaps an alligator head doorstop or seashell chandelier would also do the trick. Choices, choices...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Get Thee To A Nunnery!

Mood: Charmingly Pensive
Outlook: Unpredictable, but certainly Fashionable
Forecast: Possibly Alarming

Recent Activities: Drinking Irresponsibly until 3 a.m., Flirting Inappropriately, not practising my Italian, eating an entire pineapple upside-down cake, skipping art shows and using slightly vulgar language. I have also continued to look for a new place to live; however, I will no longer be having a housemate as that could lead to complications, or possibly Complications of a rather tricky sort.

The question for today is: should I get me to a nunnery? I have picked up some rather unbecoming habits, so perhaps I should exchange them for a different sort of habit altogether...

Are nuns allowed to eat chocolate bon bons while ogling scantily clad men and reading trashy novels? Would I be required to attend church and learn Latin words like scabies, siccus and sordesco? That seems like such a bother. Are nuns ever allowed to wear non-sensible shoes and underwear? And what about exotic cuisine and swearing? Things like that are important to know.

Nun Lifestyle:
1. No nookie
2. No alcohol
3. No late-night shows with odd people
4. No inappropriate behaviour
5. No fashionable clothing

Current Lifestyle:
1. No nookie
2. Slightly too much alcohol
3. Lots of late-night shows with odd people
4. Occasionally inappropriate behaviour
5. Gobs and gobs of fashionable clothing

As we can see from the brief analysis above, the celibacy requirement would be no problem. However, I may be unable to meet the remaining requirements, due to lack of willpower.

I shall have to Seriously Consider the question.

Updates later

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Feeling Terribly Lazy This Week...

I'm feeling terribly lazy, so I decided to post yet another example of very odd art. The statue above depicts a half-naked George Washington wearing a very flimsy toga -- Hello George! This was sculpted by Horatio Greenough in 1840 to celebrate the centenary of Washington's birth. I'm not quite sure why he's pointing here, nor why he's holding a sword. But I have to say that George is really quite buff... and check out those Birkenstocks he's wearing!

Monday, May 16, 2005

One Step Closer Towards Total World Domination

I have successfully attacked and infiltrated another blog.


Here's a great new game for people to play!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Super Buffet, or "Oops! Did We Really Eat That Much?"

I was a bit tired today after shaking my dainty little booty at last night's annual Tropical Heat Wave extravaganza, which is really the place to go if you want to listen to a variety of loud music, drink beer with aging hippies and make fun of pimply teenagers.

To recover from the anxiety of crowd squishing, I decided to join my friend Carlos The Puerto Rican With A Twist for a little light Sunday brunch at the Super Buffet.

As everyone knows, the buffet is an American institution-- the bigger the better, and with a national status somewhere up there with Cars, Mom and Apple Pie. If you have never eaten at a buffet, you are un-American, and quite possibly a French Communist as well.

The Super Buffet, or as I like to call it, the Food Pornography Buffet, was chock full of Chinese-Italian-Japanese-Mongolian cuisine and jello. They had everything from sushi, spinach lasagna and egg rolls to chilled crab claws, stir fry, chocolate pudding and General-Something-Or-Other Chicken with fried rice.

We ate and ate and ate and ate. In fact, we ate for America. But not quite as much as the other diners did, I'm afraid. Carlos and I would have eaten more, but we were afraid that the other diners would eat us if we loitered for too long. So we fearfully waddled out the door.

I didn't eat for the rest of the day. In fact, I'm never eating again.

My fortune cookie for today read: "Don't expect romantic attachments to be strictly logical or rational!", which is certainly food for thought. Of course, it could have just read: "Don't expect romantic attachments whatsoever!", which is certainly likely.

Good Night

Friday, May 13, 2005

Time For More Odd Art

This charming photograph depicts the famous German comedic actor, Karl Valentin, the star of film and stage. I'm quite sure that no one needs to be reminded of his big hits during the early twentieth century: "Der neue Schreibtisch","Die verhexten Notenständer", "Das Christbaumbrettl", "Der Firmling", "Mysterien eines Frisiersalons", "Der Sonderling", "Der Feuerwehrtrompeter", "Panoptikum", "Im Photoatelier", "Der verhexte Scheinwerfer", "Im Schallplattenladen", "Kirschen in Nachbars Garten", "Musik zu zweien", "Die Erbschaft", "Donner, Blitz und Sonnenschein", "In der Apotheke", "Simplicissimus" and "Karl Valentins Hochzeit".

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Activist Judges: America Under Attack!

It's worse than we thought: according to one of the greatest American thinkers today, the American judiciary has aligned itself firmly on the side of the atheists, feminists, lesbians, crack smokers and Devil-worshippers!

To the shock of all God-fearing Americans, Pat Robertson has stated that Democratic and secular judges are a greater threat to the United States than the deadly ebola virus, Adolf Hitler, invaders from Mars, the Civil War and Al Qaeda combined. In fact, the federal judiciary is outside your door right now, just waiting for the chance to violently attack.

The Pentagon has been placed on high alert, and the nation is being moved to Code Red (the Screaming Heebie-Jeebies) on the Homeland Security Terror Alert index. The armed forces and National Guard have been placed on standby as police around the nation battle this serious threat. Communities have been advised to stockpile emergency food and medical supplies, weapons and ammunition. There has also been a move to initiate "Duck and Cover" drills for children, in the event that the federal judiciary decides to begin bombing.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and Americans Against Homosexuals, has revealed the details of the dastardly judicial plot in his searing expose titled Courting Disaster. In it, he explains how secular judges and liberals are determined to destroy America, have sex in public, sacrifice babies, and worship Satan. In fact, our very way of life will be threatened as our enemies strive to prevent the Apocalypse.

But all is not lost.

Robertson recently affirmed that God has personally spoken to him-- quite recently in fact. "Pat," said God, "I will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly, and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith." Americans around the nation can now breathe a sigh of relief to know that divine intervention will save us from the judicial menace. No more will we have to live in fear.

God also went on to say that He will personally smite anyone who disagrees with Pat and will bring plagues of locusts, boils and frogs unto the French. Also, this week's winning Lottery numbers are 02-35-18-52-29-10.

However, when asked about last year's record-breaking Hurricane season and the continued existence of American Idol, God had no comment and terminated the interview.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday: I Brush Up On My Italian

As I posted previously, my once-scintillating Italian language skills had sadly diminished over the years, causing me to languish in complete and utter despair; it was really quite distressing, as I was no longer able to give attractive Italian men such useful compliments as "avete muscoli belli" (you have lovely muscles) and "La cena era squisita. Cosa c'e' per dessert?" (Dinner was delicious. What's for dessert?)

Not only that, but I don't really think I've been nerdy enough lately-- so I've enrolled in a five week Italian language course, which also involves wine, dinner and gelato.

The instructor, Roberto Alvarez, is quite pleasant. We have only had one class so far, but already I am re-learning how to charmingly introduce myself to good-looking men and request coffee. Roberto has also given us some very useful tips for navigating the language divide:

1. When dining out, make sure to order carne (meat), rather than cane (dog), or you may have an unpleasant experience.

2. It is perfectly fine to request burro (butter) when dining in Italy. However, please remember to refrain from ordering burro (ass) while in Spain.

3. Do not address Italians by the personal tu (you) unless you know them very, very well. Otherwise, you may have hordes of irate Italians chasing you down the street and throwing handfuls of pasta al dente at you.

Unfortunately, Roberto stated that he will not be teaching us how to swear. Luckily, I still remembered most of those important phrases, so I taught my partner how to say "Screw You!" (vaffanculo!) and "Shit!" (merda). He was quite grateful and rather thoughtfully brought me an extra glass of wine.

Added bonus: by the time we were finished, it was too late to go to the gym! Yay!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

The Kentucky Derby Hat Party on Saturday was chock full o' hats and bourbon. I had no idea that one could create so many appetizers and desserts from bourbon, and I'm never having bourbon again. I enjoyed the party, although I did NOT win the jackpot and I did NOT win the hat contest. An adorable baby with saucer-like blue eyes and flowers stuck on its head won instead, which was hardly surprising. The only thing that could beat a baby with flowers is possibly a baby with flowers AND a puppy.

I forgot to bring a camera, but people keep requesting hat photos for some reason, so here are a couple of fairly geeky pictures from previous occasions: 1 and 2

To-day the family took my mother out to Bon Appetit, because, quite frankly, we are all just lucky to be alive. We were rather trying children.

Thanks Mom! Sorry about all those gray hairs!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Friday: I Associate With Itinerant Misfits And Artists

This glamorous young Girl-Around-Tampa is definitely all around Tampa this weekend. It's completely exhausting! I may require a soothing massage.
Last night I trickled on over to the Itinerant Misfits show at the Matthews Gallery; it featured two very fun artists, Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas, who ensured that the show was adorably twisted. A couple of collaborative pieces with Brandon Dunlap were also included.

I barely had time to ogle the art, however, as I was quite busy giving air kisses and having standard art show conversations like this:

Person 1: "Ooh! You look SO adorable! That's the cutest outfit EVER!"
Person 2: "Oh no" (coy smile) "You are MUCH cuter than I am! Where did you get that skirt?"
Person 1: "La France.... I just can't compete with your adorableness! you are ALWAYS the cutest person here!"
Person 2: "No, you're cuter!"
Person 1: "No, you are!"
Person 2: "You're just saying that-- you're so cute I almost hate you!"
Person 1: "I hate you more!"

The standard format is to wander aimlessly around the room and repeat ad nauseum.

Ran into a bunch of friends, who all promised quite sincerely to each other that we would all get together very soon for bowling/brunch/movies/poker/dinner parties, etc. Saw my friend Britzel, who looked like a glamorously beautiful Muppet with a screaming red crew cut and a bright blue outfit with blue Earth shoes. Someone, who shall remain nameless, was trying too hard to be Frank Sinatra again, but wound up being Dean Martin instead, spilling red wine all over Maelyn's dress. However, this was not a total loss as she has the most adorable pout ever.

Later a bunch of us toddled on over to a yummy little restaurant on Davis Islands and had wine with brie and fruit. Unfortunately, I sat at the opposite end of the table from the amusingly perverted conversation.... all I could overhear were obscene innuendoes about jelly danishes or jelly fritters or something. Oh, why do I always get stuck talking about current events and pets and things like that?

Off to a Kentucky Derby Hat Party!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tuesday: I Cook Yet Another Lovely Dinner

I have just finished washing approximately seven thousand eight hundred and ninety two dishes left over from my wonderfully stylish little dinner last night. The entire process has completely exhausted me, so I am considering a lawsuit against the Union of Concerned Scientists.

During the 1950s, scientists specifically promised that by the year 2000 we would have our very own jetpacks, bubblecars, underwater cities, extraterrestrial burger joints, personal talking robots and kitchens that automatically did all your cooking and cleaning. Unfortunately, they have dropped the ball and reneged on their promises, greatly disappointing millions of people. This shameful situation continues to the present day, and so far I have yet to see any sort of vaguely useful kitchen. My kitchen just sits there expecting me to do all the work, and I am quite perturbed over this shocking state of affairs.

However, I am a capable sort of person, so I have somehow managed to adapt and survive.

Last night's menu featured a wonderfully aromatic teryaki salmon with wild rice, an attractive salad, french bread and several bottles of wine. Dessert was vanilla bean ice cream with fresh strawberries and raspberries. My two charmingly artistic friends, Kym and Joe, trotted on over and declared it to be a delicious meal. Conversation was amiable and fascinatingly naughty, especially after some of us grew slightly tipsy.

Then we all lived Happily Ever After.

The End

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bowling With The Frog Princess

As I refuse to do anything even remotely useful on Sundays, I decided to go bowling with the Frog Princess and Ivan the Terrible today.

I typically bowl quite horribly, but today I was slightly less horrible than usual.
My first game: 57
My second game: 110
My third game: 97
If you add them together, I get a top score of 264, which is really professional-level, if I do say so myself. However, the important thing is really that I bowled in a very stylish manner.

I've been trying to be specially careful about my psychological health these days, so I also made sure to order two extra-gooey slices of cheese pizza with a whopping big cola at the bowling alley. Then we went shopping for books and adorable shoes.

It's really important that I participate in uplifting activities like these, because it is really a terribly depressing shame that I'm not incredibly wealthy with hordes of Man Slaves at my beck and call. The fact that I'm not lolling around in a hammock every day, being fed peeled grapes, and later flying off to Barbados with gorgeous models could seriously damage my emotional well-being if I let it. In fact, there could be serious psychological consequences of dwelling too much on my lack of a gourmet chef, multi-million dollar art collection, an on-call masseuse, a castle in Scotland and my very own petting zoo. So I self-medicate with bowling, books and shoes.

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