Monday, December 21, 2009

The Sweet Taste of Revenge

I woke up this morning beyond sore, but I eventually gathered myself together enough to and start digging my car out. Seeing all the snow my rude neighbor had piled up kind of enraged me all over again... so when I was shoveling the snow between my car and her 2nd car, instead of moving it up onto my lawn, I may have thrown it around her car. Whoops.

As my reward, a neighbor FINALLY came and helped me. I've spent two days shoveling stuff, and lots of neighbors have been out during this time. I'm a girl... and I'm by myself, and not one of them has volunteered to help me. Today, while I was working on moving the extra heavy and icy stuff from behind my car, a neighbor came home and had to make a little extra room in his parking spot before he was able to pull in. When he was done, he came over and helped me shovel the last bit of snow. What a super awesomely wonderfully nice guy :-D Big YAY!! for a nice neighbor guy! :)

Even though I spent a ton of time digging, I still don't think I'm going to be able to get my car out... there was stuff under the car and some slush I couldn't get up... so I'm envisioning a huge sheet of ice under and around my car tomorrow :( Guess we'll see what happens...

...Just Like The Ones I Used To Know

Ok... so the snow here was out of control! It started probably around 8 or 9 friday night, and didn't stop snowing until around midnight sunday morning - OH EM GEE! When it was all said and done, there was about 22 inches of it sitting on my deck. WOW. It never snows like this in the DC area... what the hell?!

Obviously I was trapped here all day Saturday while it snowed (and snowed, and snowed), which sucked because my baby nephew had rolled into town Friday night. Yesterday during a break from attempting to tunnel my way out of my house, my step dad called and said he would be here in 15 minutes to take me to my nephew - woohoo!!! He picked me up in his wonderful 4 wheel drive truck, and I got to spend a few hours with the little guy before having to come back here to keep shoveling.

Upon my return, I noticed that one of my neighbors had done an incredibly shitty thing. The sidewalks that run along the street/parking lot are community owned, but we're responsible for shoveling the part that runs in front of our lawn. No big deal (well... that's a lie, because I have a lot more sidewalk than most people because I have an end unit). While I was playing with my nephew, my neighbor had been working on digging her car out. One of the hardest things about shoveling 22 inches of snow is trying to figure out where the hell to put all of it. My wonderful neighbor decided to put all of her parking spot snow right on top of the sidewalk that I was responsible for clearing. Ummm.... ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! There is no way in hell I'm shoveling the 22 inches I was responsible for in addition to the 1.5 ft she piled on top of it. NO FUCKING WAY. Lusty Lulu and a certain someone told me I should just throw it all back into her parking spot. As wonderfully vindictive as that sounds, it would require me to move all that snow. NOT HAPPENING. If anyone wants to take up an issue with this uncleared part of the sidewalk, they can take it up with her, because I'm not fucking touching it.

I am most certainly paying the price of all the shoveling I did do yesterday. I woke up this morning, and every inch of my upper body is beyond sore, and it hurts to do anything more than blink. I still have to clean off my car and dig it out... not sure how I'm going to accomplish that today. Anyone want to come help? I can make you some fabulous baked goods in exchange for some hard, manual labor. Please?

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

So there have been several Christmas-related happenings lately!

Last Sunday I woke up with the desperate need to bake... so I was able to convince Lusty Lulu to come over and make goodies with me. After about 2038234 years, he finally showed up, and we decided to make cinnamon rolls, brownies with cream cheese frosting swirled in them, triple chocolate cookies, and sugar cookies. Yes... we were planning on making allllllllllll that. We made our grocery list, and we headed out to the store.

After a lot of crowded shopping, we finally made it back home and got started. Up first - sugar cookie dough, since it needed to get cold so we could cut shapes out of it. We decided to make two batches of it, and I threw it in the freezer, and we moved on to the cinnamon roll dough. Lusty Lulu apparently has no idea how to measure flour, because we ended up with a wet sticky mess rather than a delicious dough. After much kneading (and sticking) on my part, and the addition of a LOT of flour, we finally had something that resembled actual dough, and we put that near the oven so it could rise a little.

Now on to the brownies. We made them from scratch (because that's how I roll). Before putting them in to bake, we made cream cheese frosting, dyed it green, and swirled it into the brownie batter. You can't really see it, but omg it tastes SO FREAKING GOOD. We had some left over frosting, so we put that on top... delicious!! After that, we made the triple chocolate cookies, which of course are awesome. These things are like a heart attack on a plate, though. The recipe calls for SIX EGGS, and almost THREE CUPS of sugar. OMG, right? Plus 16 oz of two different kinds of chocolate, PLUS a bag of chocolate chips. WOW. In case you were wondering - that baking math adds up to awesome goodness.

Then back to the cinnamon rolls - rolled out the dough, put in the yummy filling, and baked them up. My favorite part about them is they only take 10 minutes in the oven. They are seriously SO easy to make it kills me. I totally don't understand why anyone would make them out of a can. While they were baking we whipped up another batch of cream cheese frosting, and put it on as soon as the rolls came out of the oven. Divine!

We then attempted to move on to the sugar cookies. Unknown to Lusty Lulu, I'd put the dough in the freezer. Instead of having wonderfully cold, workable dough, we had a massive frozen ball. Whoops :( VERY disappointing, as I'd bought a big thing of cookie cutters, and we had plans to make butter cream frosting and were going to crazy decorate these things. So I wrapped the dough all up, moved it to the fridge, and I'm waiting to find a hott 5 minutes to make all these cookies.

The baking got the week off to a very Christmasy start! Later in the week, I went shopping with a certain someone for gifts for my nephews, and we watched Bad Santa, which he had never seen (!! can you believe that??!). At the end of the week, I knocked out shopping for my mom, step dad, and that certain someone. Woo! After a few days of driving around with all of it in my car, I finally got the loot into the house, and I spent last night wrapping (and wrapping, and wrapping).

Today, both that certain someone and I had the day off, so we had plans to do something together - and I was hoping the day would end in a trip to DC to see the tree across the street from the White House. I brought his presents over and put them under his tree, and we headed out to run some errands and bum around, which was super fun. After grabbing lunch, we headed over to the Air and Space museum by Dulles, which I had never been to. He's a bit of a plane nerd, so he was all excited to take me. We walked around, and I was amazed by how big some of the planes were ..... and how suuuper tiny some of the other ones were. We ended the trip up in the observation tower and watched a handful of planes land. The view up there is really pretty (if you look out past the airport). On a clear day, which today was not, you can see Sugar Loaf mt, and the blue ridges mountains. You could kind of see Sugar Loaf today, but it sort of blended in with the grey sky. I very unsuccessfully took a few self-pictures of the two of us, which he was crazy amused by, and then we headed out. On the way back to his place, he said that once it got dark and traffic died down, we would head into the city to see the tree. YAY! SOOOO excited!!!!

We got back to his place and checked on the weather, since a huge storm was supposed to roll in over night. Bad news - weather had slightly changed, and the snow was supposed to start earlier. My fun Christmas evening got hijacked by some freaking snow, and we ended up running around getting him all prepared for it. When we were done with that, I hightailed it out of dodge in a panic because it was already snowing in my neck of the woods. I got home juuust in time, too. (Side note, snow is one of the many things that really flairs up my anxiety. It's super pretty, but I HATE driving in it.)

Once I got home safe and sound, I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the pretty of the snow... Started taking some pictures, which I'll share at some point, and I'm kind of excited to see what it looks like tomorrow. That certain someone called to make sure I'd gotten home safely, and told me he would try to take me to see the tree sometime in the next few days when he gets off work one night. YAY! my trip might be saved :-D It's not Christmas without a trip to see the national tree, after all :)

On tap - seeing my nephew, who rolled into town tonight (YAY!). Also, gotta make those sugar cookies... maybe tomorrow, since I'll be snowed in all day. That trip to see the tree is also coming up, and I'm hoping to convince my mom and step-dad to put up a tree this year, since my nephew will be around for the next few days, and it's his first Christmas. Fun times ahead!! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I love Christmas and I'm starting to get really excited that it's just around the corner!

Since I met him, a certain someone has maintained that he hates Christmas (who hates Christmas?!) and specifically said to me "there will not be one Christmas decoration in my apartment this year." Enter last Sunday. We were hanging out watching tv and he said "well... even if I wanted a tree... I don't have anywhere to put it." When I pointed out that he had a great place to put a tree, he stammered around for a few minutes and almost sounded resigned to getting one. The next day, both of us ended up staying home from work because we weren't feeling well. By the afternoon, both of us were feeling a little better, and I managed to convince him to go out and get a tree and some decorations. So I trekked up to Tysons and we went out to both Wally World and Target together and he got a tree and a handful of ornaments. We went back to his place and he set it up in front of his sliding glass door and pretty much made me decorate all of it because "men don't decorate." Whatevs - I love decorating trees, so I had a fantastic time. When we were done, he took a few pictures of the tree he swore he wasn't going to get, and then decided he needed to watch a Christmas movie, so we settled in with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Fantastic :)

Decorating his tree really made me want to put mine up. On Tuesday, Lusty Lulu was over and I managed to convince him to help me haul my extremely heavy tree up from the basement and help me get the huge thing set up in its base. NOT an easy task... but it was about a billion times easier with Lusty Lulu's help. Last year, I had to do it all by myself... not awesome. It was a much more enjoyable process this year. Lusty Lulu, being a man, also refused to decorate, but he stuck around and watched tv to keep me company while I put up ornaments.

I always love putting up my ornaments. I have a huge box full of ones that I've had since I was really little. My mom also used to get me an ornament for my birthday every year, so my tree kind of looks like Hallmark threw up all over it. I love going through all the boxes, because a lot of them bring up a lot of memories. Like the red apple ornament. It's just this little apple that someone hand wrote "1990" and "Bernice" on. My mom apparently found it somewhere and it's hung proudly on our tree ever since. I have no idea who Bernice is, but she can rest easy knowing her apple ornament has been loved since she lost it.

On Friday, I finally made it out to get my new ornaments for this year. My mom may have stopped getting me a new one, but I pick something up every year. I usually go to Hallmark, but since it was so late I figured the selection there would be pretty slim, so I went to Target instead. I knew they had some good stuff after shopping earlier in the week with that certain someone, so I was pretty confident I would come away with some good stuff. I ended up getting a lot more than I was planning on. I found a great E initial ornament that I just couldn't pass up. And i picked up a Redskins football - can you believe that this is my first Redskins ornament?! How can that be?! I of course grabbed another UVA ornament, too - can't have too many of those! (I'd like to point out that Target had LOTS of different UVA options, and not one tek ornament was in sight. YAAAAY! Target!!! Officially my new favorite store!) My official new ornament this year was actually a pair because I couldn't see getting one without the other. I found a Grinch ornament with a big heart, and one of his cute dog. So I got both (because really, how do you choose??) and they're now hanging together. YAY for my finished tree :) I'll post pictures once I pull them all off my camera.

I was talking to that certain someone while I was shopping at Target and putting up my new ornaments. He invited me over to watch Rudolph, and I was SUPER excited because that's one of the best Christmas movies ever. The man who hates Christmas then decided that he was going to take me out to Bull Run Park for the Festival of Lights. It's basically this huge display of different Christmas lights that you drive through. YAY! for Christmas lights!!

So I rushed up to Tysons and we headed out to Bull Run Park. We were driving through enjoying the lights (and questioning some of the themes...) when we started to hear gun shots. Lots of gun shots. Not exactly what you expect to hear when you're looking at lights and listening to Christmas music courtesy of 97.1's non-stop holiday playlist. We both started to get a little concerned, as the gun shots seemed to be getting louder and it was pretty constant. Then we rolled past the Bull Run Park gun range. AWESOME. Maybe they should warn people when they buy their tickets that they'll be driving past a gun range and to not be alarmed at the constant gun fire they'll hear while enjoying the lights. But maybe that just makes too much sense....

After enjoying the rest of the Festival of Lights, he took me through the super rich areas around his apartment because at this time last year they were all super decked out for Christmas. Sadly, the rich people have been a little lazy this season, and NONE of them had decorated yet :( Hopefully they'll get off their asses soon, and we can go back and check it all out. I LOVE looking at Christmas lights, and I'm dying to see what the richy riches do to decorate those huge houses they live in.

We ended up back at his apartment and watched Rudolph, which was awesome because it's been a few years since I last saw that movie. Good times!!! :)

The Christmas season has gotten off to a great start :) Now I just need to bake some cookies, try to convince my mom to put up a tree for the first time in a few years, and make it downtown to see the tree by the white house. I didn't get to do that last year and it made me really sad... felt like Christmas wasn't quite complete or something. Hopefully I can go out and see all those huge houses all decorated, too. I'm also trying to convince that certain someone to take me to see the Nutcracker, but I know I've got a snowball's chance in hell of that working out for me... but hey, a girl can try, right? :-P

Saturday, December 5, 2009

23rd Birthday (2009 Version) - Part 3

So I'm a little late posting this... sorry....

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving was the last part of my awesome 23rd birthday. A certain someone had asked me a few times what I wanted for my birthday, so I eventually sent him an email that said all I really wanted to do was go somewhere. He called me a little after getting the email and we decided to take a day trip up to Luray to see the Caverns and whatever else the little town had to offer. Through some fanagaling on my part, I also convinced him it would be a super good idea to go wine tasting while we were out there.

He had that Tuesday off from work, I took a vacation day and we headed out. The day didn't start off too well... originally, the weather was supposed to be fantastic (60s and sunny), but the icky rain that rolled through on Monday didn't move as fast as the weather goons thought it would, so it ended up being overcast and only in the 50s. Boo. Talking on Monday, he had told me that if I got to his place one minute later than 10 am, he was going to leave without me. Clearly, this is a problem since I'm frequently 15 minutes late for anything other than a movie. Tuesday was no different, and I got out the door later than I wanted to... but still in plenty of time. Or so I thought. The HOV lanes on 95 were totally jacked up (and the regular lanes were just fine. F me.), so that part of the trip took way longer than it should have. And apparently everyone and their brother was late for work that day, so 495 was super traffic-y. He called me at some point during this horrible journey and pretty much made fun of me and constantly threatened to leave since I was running late. Not very nice of him.

Around 10:30, I finally rolled up to his place, and we were able to leave. We trekked out to Luray and had a great time going through the Caverns. We both had cameras, and we both hate having our picture taken, so it was a bit of a fight over that all day. In going through all the photos, we both ended up with a handful of pictures of each other taking a picture. Wonderful. I also ended up with a bunch of him driving with his hand up blocking his face. I totally don't get why he's so uncooperative with this. Boo to him.

Anyhoo.... after the Caverns, we went through the awesome car museum, then headed into the big hedge maze. When you go through that, they give you little "mission cards" where you have go to find these little stands and get stamps. We decided to play along, and spent forever trying to find all four stands and then get out of the freaking thing. I was beginning to think we were going to be stuck in there forever, but we eventually made our way out. Go us.

After that, we checked out what dining options good ole Luray had to offer. We ended up at the Southern Station Diner, which was this hott little place in a double wide. Haha... gotta love Lu-ray! He was wearing his Redskins hat (as usual), and our first interaction with the waitress/hostess was.... special. She walked up to us .... no hello or ANYTHING... just looked right at him and said "how 'bout them cowboys." RUDE! He looked a little... horrified, but realized he couldn't say much after just losing to Dallas. She then looked at me and asked if I was a Dallas fan. I immediately threw up in my mouth. After all this unpleasantness, however, we ended up having a great lunch in the double-wide. Food was pretty good, and the cowgirls fan turned out to be pretty nice.

We then headed out for a winery he had found in a town between Luray and home. I think the best part of the whole day was how all I had to do was show up. He'd figured out the logistics of the whole day, found a winery, etc. I'm used to having to plan and figure out every last detail, only then to have someone complain about what we're doing. Just going along for the ride is fantastic :)

He programmed the address of the winery into his gps, and we had this wonderful message pop up. Hahaha... you know you're in the country when...... luckily, we were able to say that we wanted to stay on paved roads, so everything turned out ok. And despite the overcast weather, the views out there were still really pretty, so I was very excited to get to the winery. We originally wanted to enjoy part of skyline drive, but we ended up being a little pressed for time, so we had to skip that on this trip. Next time we head out that way I think we're going to check it out... hopefully the weather will be better.

We got close to the winery and started heading up this big mountain. From what I could see on the way up, the views were awesome and I couldn't wait to get there. Sadly, about half way up the freaking mountain, we found ourselves smack in the middle of SUPER crazy thick fog. It was so thick we actually missed the entrance to the winery and had to turn around to try and find it. We literally could barely see about 10 feet in front of us, so we decided to skip the winery and come back another day when we could actually see things and enjoy it. Boo for not doing it that day, but YAY for an upcoming trip :)

He wanted to take a big detour on the way home and go through Middleburg, so we spent a while on some awesome back rounds driving through huge farms with big rolling plots of land with mountains in the background. I could totally pick up and move out there tomorrow. SO pretty and peaceful and quiet. He laughed at me when I said that, because apparently wherever we were was a super expensive area, and I'll never be able to afford to rent a room in a barn out there, let alone buy a place. Oh well... a girl can dream, right?

It was a super fantastic day and a great end to the 2009 version of my 23rd birthday. My new camera turned out to be an awesome purchase, and I got lots of awesome photos, too. You can check them all out here.