Friday, April 27, 2007

Here's an option

Lately, I've been walking and jogging around the neighborhood and looking at real estate. For fun, I decide to pick up a paper in front of a small row house just to see..... I don't know why I do this to myself, because I already know the answer....

Well, it's a 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 baths, 1400 square feet... good size kitchen.

Then.... I look at the price $779,000.

YEP! That's what I'm dealing with here. I'm a teacher, can't afford a place to live where I teach. At this point I would be willing to buy a windowless basement to not pay rent anymore. It's just too bad I can't.

Other options.. Well, of course there are other options. I could inherit a million dollars from some long lost relative, I could become famous, I could marry a dying billionaire (and then live where ever I want to), and of course I could just move. So I guess I better enjoy where I am for the moment..... before the rent gets raised...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Some good things..

Click on : There There.

It's like a story of maps.... It's funny and gives you facts for the next time you play Jeopardy.. yeah, I know you don't play jeopardy.. But at least you can get a kick out of it. Just click on the arrows to follow along


The weather. The last few days have been amazing, I've been out and about every chance I can get. I just got back from a jog. Found a great trail (urban trail). It's just so nice. I love it. I think this is really why I love Alexandria. You can just enjoy everything by just walking around.


This CHEAP chardonnay I'm drinking right now. It's called: Blackwing. It's no big deal, but easy to drink, nice and smooth. And very inexpensive. I think I got it for $6 ish... It might retail for a bit more, but it's nice... The Shiraz is also very pleasant!


It's mid-week, and you know what that means.. Lost! Last week I missed about 1/2 of it because of the wine job, but I'm back on track this week. Only about 4 more episodes to go, and the reason why it's good to count down, is because it means that it's closer to the end of the school year.


Kansas City, I'm on my way... 3rd time this year. It's getting ridiculous that this is the most exotic place I've been all year long. That's ok.... next on my list??? MANILLA!! (I just need to save for that one.)


I actually heard "The Shins" on the radio for the first time ever. We all-of-a-sudden got this new radio station in the area. They some how acquired the "old HFS" music and now this station that once was a classic rock station is now improved!!!!! They also acquired a DJ from "old HFS"... Weasel... Even though he's kind of annoying in his sound, I respect the man for the music he sometimes plays, although it is still not good-old-HFS.... those days are long long long gone.... (which is not a good thing, it's actually kind of sad)

OK-- And number seven, my dinner is done... so, gotta eat.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Let's talk weather.

It's beautiful! Finally we have some sunshine and some nice warm weather to deal with instead of 10 days of clouds, rain and wind. Saturday I had to work, so I wasn't able to totally get out and enjoy it that day. However, I did enjoy some expensive wine...

We sampled some really nice wines at the store. Some affordable for a nice occasion, or unless you have money to burn.... But the rest...too much for me.

There was a wine called "Problem Child". I wanted to buy a case of it! (just for the name, it wasn't my favorite that day) Then there was the "Amon Ra"-- Egyptian name, Australian made. That was a great wine, only $85 a bottle. Then there was the sauterne. A very sweet, desert wine, 1/2 a bottle just $80! WOW! That was unbelievable actually, but really you couldn't drink more than a small glass.

Saturdays are always more interesting because I get to work with people, and I get to drink on the job . Today, not so much. It was boring, and I feel like I'm reaching out desperately to help people. PLEASE TALK TO ME! I CAN HELP. Don't worry, that's not what I do, it's just how I feel. I got a paycheck, but I keep forgetting to pick it up! So I'm not sure if this will benefit me so much. It may just be helping me to keep drinking wine. Which isn't so much a bad thing.

Sunday was a good day. I explored some of Alexandria I've never seen before. It was sunny, even got a little burned, but I didn't mind. There were tons of people outside, enjoying the weather. Then I came back and painted. YES, I know, the skies have parted! I may get a chance to show a couple of pieces in the fall, so I thought I'd start it up again. We'll see how it goes. It'd be great if I could make a complete body of work and show it.

SO now I owe you two lessons in wine:

One- residual sugars (RS)-- it's the left over sugars in wine. Every wine has them, but the less the percentage, the less sweet. It's rare to find even a dry wine without even a gram of sugar in a litre of wine. The sauterne I tasted had probably 100-150 grams! SWEET!

Two- cool fact. Our store is only allowed one case a year of the sauterne I tasted. There was a lady that came by and took it like a shot. She found out how much it cost, and said," oh, no, isn't there something like that for less?" So one of the wine people I work with took her over to the section and showed her the $12 bottles and said," You'd probably like this too." She didn't buy anything, and came back for another shot.

Ok, that's enough for tonight. My feet actually hurt.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Iced Teas say the darndest things.

"If you're going through hell, keep going"
- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life as we know it

As you may have guessed, I do take a lot of things personally. It's probably my up-bringing. I can't help it and there is nothing to do but accept it. I feel that some of the time it can be a positive thing. I am a dedicated and loyal person. If I let something into my life, I try to do it with the best of intentions, and I really strive to make it important in my life. I don't believe in doing things part way, I feel that it's important to do it the whole way. However, there are negative aspects to this. Meaning, I don't know how to balance, sometimes I'm irrational, and don't include myself in things that seem half way.

This holds a lot of issues for me physically. One of the main things is lack of sleep, and I can guarantee that I won't be getting much tonight. I can't seem to turn off things that run through my brain. Today those things happen to be: V-tech, hip hop, art, censorship, education, women, men, family, government, environment, students.... the list goes on. At some point I have had some serious thoughts about all these things today. For one reason or another. Here are the main thoughts. BE PREPARED.

My roll as a teacher has never been so frustrating. I feel like I have a certain group as a captive audience (literally) and I feel like there is nothing I can do. How can I tell them or get them to believe that they can change? How can I get them to believe that there are good things about each one of them? How can I make sure that they never come back? How can I get them to see that even though they've been thrown away they still count? How can I get the students that really buy into what they see on tv that it's just a figment of their imagination? How can I get popular culture to change? How can I get OUR future to let people count as people not a type of person? How can they learn to value their second chance to change? How can I make sure that they know that life is what they make it?

I'm so frustrated seeing students come back into my classroom after a couple of months like it's a normal thing. I DON'T want them there. And I tell them that (in a nice way).

So what does this have to do with anything... Well, Virginia Tech. This student, whoever he was, probably we will never know who he really was, because no one else does. It seems as if some people were in a place to help the student, but couldn't do anything about it until something actually "serious" had been threatened or done. Having said that, do we know anyone these days? With all the blogs, and web pages, do we know our neighbors? Do we want to know our neighbors?

Someone came to my door about a month a go. He knocked on my door, I opened it. He said," You know, you really should look through the key hole to see who it is. For safety". I thought about it, and you know what, it is a safety issue. But also, in the same thought, why would I think that some one's intention would be to harm me? Maybe I'm naive. I don't know. But he's probably right. I should look to see who's at the door. He only was delivering mail he got by mistake and was trying to return it. Wasn't that neighborly?

HIP HOP--- I like hip hop. I have for probably as long as I've listened to music. REAL hip hop. Solid hip hop that's almost like spoken word. Music that says something, music that speaks to people. Not just a particular kind of person, but people in general. Not to say that all Hip hop is good. What we hear on the radio doesn't seem like hip hop to me. But I guess it kind of falls into the same category.. unfortunately. However what gives anyone the right to say the kinds of things being said, and sold! SOLD! SOLD! With my students believing in it like some kind of religion. The fact that my students slip the word"bitch" into conversation is direct relation to that.... but then I hear very sincerely," Miss Fitzpatrick, I wasn't talking to you." I know they weren't, but why are they choosing that word? And I do talk about that with them. I talk about word choice, I talk about the way they talk the way they show themselves, says something about themselves. But maybe I'm the wrong speaker. Why would this white 31-year-old woman care about us?

But I don't look at it like that. And my actions should show them that regularly. Unfortunately stereotypes crop up everywhere, but I feel it's my job to break them down. Yes they do exist because people see certain behaviors from a certain group of people... and there you go, they assume..... ASSUME!!

I could go on and on. But I feel like this day and age is the worst for stereotypes, and injustices based on the individual. Too much is focused on the individual. What about the whole? Part of the reason why I feel it continues on that way is because we really don't know each other, we don't know our neighbors, we consider ourselves victims in society. What about real victims, what about the people who are throw-a-ways, and cast out by society? People who are told to leave where they are born and raised. THE FREAKIN' WAR? FREAKIN' POLITICS? FREAKIN' ECONOMY? FREAKIN' WASTE'?

We all need to be responsible. Stop passing the blame, stop. and think.



I just am so frustrated with life today. There's too much going on in my head and I know I won't be sleeping much tonight.

What is going on with the world? And I mean everything!
My heart goes out to the families and community of Virginia Tech. As you may have guessed a lot of people from this area send their kids to that university. I know at least 10 people who attended the school.

What a shame and a shock.

Monday, April 16, 2007

1 oh 5

This is the 105th post.... aren't you tired of me yet? Well, you probably are, but you're all just too nice to tell me to my face... good. Let's keep it that way. I like to believe I'm liked by many.

- Strange day today, a security risk today at school. Instead, time was wasted being berated by one of the old Principal's friend/co-worker/mentor at this program-school. Whatever.. stay in your own lane, as they say. What gives anyone the right to discuss what we do?

- Might get to transfer-- see, there's always a bright side to some things.

- It's Freezing. What happened to spring? No more wind, no more rain, bring the sun and the fun.

- Cotes du Rhone--- if it's good enough for the French, it's good enough for me. There were some French people that came in and purchased a really well priced Cotes Du Rhone... Seriously, trust the French in wine, they know what they're doing..... If you like red wine, you'd probably like it. It's meant to eat a meal with, the wine is lighter than a Bordeaux. I can't handle Bordeaux sometimes, a bit too bold. However, if you're a meat eater-- have a steak and a Bordeaux.

- I hate the lady on the Commit Lozenge commercial. Just stop smoking. YOU ARE WEAK!

- I've got soul------but I'm not a soldier... just wondering if you're paying attention.

- Did I mention it's cold.

- Hurrah! I have a half day tomorrow! I don't have to report until 11:40 am! Nice, and then I have lunch! I teach two periods tomorrow! Although, they're not my favorites...

- Started a new painting, might actually get to show it next fall! I'm going to try to make many paintings, possibly enough for a body of work. We'll see. I need and want to be an artist all over again. I need to stop making excuses. I love to paint, it's a part of me. Maybe that's why I feel so out of sorts....

Ok- well time for the lesson I learned about wine today (believe it or not it wasn't the one above):

Some wines are meant for you to drink now and others are for to hold on to. Like most whites, and some reds. Usually the more expensive, well, you can kind of guess what you're supposed to do, hold on to them. Sometimes if a particular vintage had a good year, you can hold on to it no matter what. However, since no one I know has a wine cellar that's temperature controlled, or a ton of money to just go out and buy cases and cases of wine-- DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE, and just enjoy it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Songs I heard on the way home

Well, my Ipod doesn't freakin' work when I use the radio thing, because there are so many radio stations, but I did manage to listen to a few CD's:

REM- miss them, haven't listen to them in a while, makes me think of college....
Stevie Wonder -- fun songs, good times, sometimes sad
Rosemary Clooney --- yes related to George Clooney, I love that stuff. And also did you know that .. Mambo Italiano sounds much like the beginning "Love her madly" by the Doors...hummm
Mix CD- included Madonna, Ben Folds, and Magnetic Fields.. what? That makes no sense? Well, you should have heard the rest of the CD... completely random, but I love random
Edith Piaf- I know, overly dramatic french chick, but Je T'aime, what can I say, no one does it like her... the heartache, the pain... I love it.
David Bowie- Yes, he popped up on the radio when I hit the Wilson Bridge..on the radio... "Let's Dance". That was one of my favorite videos back in the day. It was like these red shoes fell from the sky and tore this town apart. At least that's what I remember. I liked that one. Kind of reminds me of the movie "The gods must be crazy"-- ever seen that? It came out when I lived in South Africa, and it was about South Africa and the influence of modern convenience on life in the back country.

ahhhhhhhhhh, ok, I am really signing off now. I have to.


I'm drinking a TAD tonight.

wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter wuter..

I should have signed out before I started..............and it's so early.. I'm so ashamed... but not really.

Yep, don't want to live there

Just back from Jersey. While I like my family members who are from there, I just don't see the point of me ever living there. So many gray areas in my life, but that is not one of them. It may be the Garden State, and I'm a vegetarian..but I think I can get good veggies at my own grocery store.

It was a sad day. I didn't think I would get so sad, but I did. I realized that I want to be a lot like she was. She was an amazing woman, my grandma. My aunt and Dad said such amazing words. Funny stories, good anecdotes. My grandma (for some reason we called her Poppop) was an amazing person. She could cook without measuring, she was on Jeopardy, knowledgeable on almost every topic known to man (but never graduated high school). She always had the greatest sayings. One liners... I remembered them all today. It was fun remembering family stories about her.. She taught us to use the proper names for bones, and proper medical names for things. It makes me wish we all had more time with her when she was healthy. The best part of the day was that her Cousin (82 years old) brought pictures of her and him, and my dad!! It was so cool seeing the old pictures. I wanted copies of them. She was a comedian. She lived life to the fullest. And I need to remember to do the same.

We all do.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Done with taxes

I hate tax time, especially this year. It was a bit complicated. I lived in Egypt, kind of lived in a variety a places around the area.... ARGH! It was hard finding forms. In Virginia they don't put the VA tax forms in the library or Post Offices anymore. You have to print them on line-- and I don't have a printer, so I had to print them at my best friend's house. I know a lot of people just do them online, but I couldn't this year, because last year I didn't file that way. So anyway, I figured it all out, got what I needed. It's fine.

I go to mail them today and I have no envelopes... NONE! What the heck? I usually have a box lying around somewhere. ARGH! So I go and make a run to get some. Found some. Started filling out the addresses. So I'm about to go drop them in a mailbox, when ok--- I have no stamps! I knew I had stamps.... Somewhere... So I go all the way home, find the stamps, put them on, and go outside my building and drop them off....

It's done. For 12 more months, only to begin again... Hopefully next year I'll just be able to do them online and everything will be fine... hopefully.

Ok. Well I must get on the road to NJ.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

End of the week is almost here..

And it can't come fast enough.....

It's been rough this week. So much going on, and for the most part I'm keeping busy. However, sleep is not happening anymore. And I can't function properly... not to mention the continuous circles under my eyes... ugh..

I had my wine job today, so you know what that means................... Da da da da da da da... WORD OF THE DAY!

Valpolicella- (I actually know this one) Italian wine made from what else, Valpolicella grapes. If you lke Chianti give this a try.

Anoher tip-- if you like a "fruity" wine that's red, choose a young wine like an expensive burgandy, or a grenache, or a French pinot noir.

Well, Friday I'm headed up to New Jersey, yeah that's right, the Garden State, and where they drink wuter, not water. My grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago, and the funeral is on Saturday. I guess that's why this week is so hard. It will be good to see the family, it's just a shame that it has to be this way.

Anyway I better finish watching LOST and go to bed.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wine word of the day

Ok, so I'm learning a lot. Today I looked at so many bottles of wine, I thought my eyes were going to explode. So I figure, each time I go to work I'll let you know one thing I learned. Therefore, it will stick in my head, and... being that I am a teacher... you'll learn something too.


"Cuvee"-- Any guesses?

It means a a special blend or batch of wine that is to be of the finest from that winemaker. It also could be from the first press of the fruit.

It's interesting because I don't see it on a lot of bottles, but they aren't the most expensive wines either. So I guess the next bottle I'll have to buy is one with "cuvee" on it so I know if it really is the finest from that particular winemaker...

Hummmmmmmmm, I love my job.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Did you know?

Something I didn't know . There is a "March Madness" for beers and lagers. Some guy came into the store today looking for the winner for the beer ""March Madness". Yeah, I didn't know, but now I do, and so do you! Can't remember what the name of the winner is, but it won.

Ahh, tired from working today. I tried 4 different wines. One, not to my taste. A lot of people liked, particularly men. I could taste what they were getting at.. sense of leather. Not what I like in a wine. But I did like a couple of the other wines and even bought a bottle of the shiraz. We'll see how it goes with what I like to eat.

Tomorrow is Easter. Not really something I have celebrated in recent years. Last year at this time I was in Siwa, desert camping. What a difference a year makes. The year before that? I think I was at the beach! This year I'm selling wine. Well, that's ok. Next year, who knows what will be going on.

I just want the weather to get better again. I can't believe we had snow today. It's the middle of APRIL!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blogging "The Spy Who Loved Me" (the Egypt part)

Yeah, so James Bond goes to Cairo! I don't really watch a lot of James Bond movies. But I just happened to flip on this one, and there he was-- in Cairo! Ahh-- sweet Cairo. They were walking around the City of the Dead, and showed pictures of the Citadel. Then the light show at the pyramids. The one thing that really struck my funny was the light show. It's a really cheesy thing. And what makes it even better is that it hasn't changed since this movie was filmed. 30 years ago!! The same narrator and music was being played then as it is now.


I forget if this one also takes place in Karnak. I think it does. I loved Karnak. Or maybe Luxor... Hummm.. not sure. Either way, both off those places were amazing.

It's Luxor. I'm watching it right now. It's like they went there overnight! In a van! Amazing, from Giza to Luxor in just a few hours! If only.

Now they've just boarded a felucca to Cairo! Amazing! That should only take about oh-- 10 days.

Opps, he didn't 'make it to Cairo. She blew stuff in his face and he's still in upper Egypt... Oh and how convenient... there's a british office in a tomb! Cool! A sheesha gun!! Fantastic.

Oh, now they're on a train. Doesn't look like an Egyptian train. I've been on a lot of those. They must already be in Europe again. Ok, looks like my blogging here is done for now.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cherry Blossom Time

So it's Cherry Blossom time in our nation's capitol. It was a beautiful day. My friend Ruth and I took the metro downtown and hopped off at the Smithsonian. We wondered through the crowds towards the Washington Monument, down around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson memorial. I couldn't have asked for a more prettier day!

So today was the official day that the cherry blossoms are supposed to be in full bloom. Personally I think they might be a few days off. We saw tons of blossoms. for sure, but they have already started to lose their gentle pink color and have already started to turn pale. Never-the-less, still soft and puffy. Like the clouds today.

Below the Jefferson Memorial along the Tidal basin. Lots of people on this side of the basin, If you ever come here, start over by the memorial. It's a lot quieter and less crowded.

There are just tons and tons of blossoms, everywhere you look. The wind was blowing quite a lot, so some of the petals would fall off.

Yep. It's me.

Slowly but surely working our way to the memorial. Beautiful views every step of the way.

We made it around to the Jefferson, and we came across these smaller cherry trees. People were tying wishes on them. A tradition in Japanese culture.

This wish says it all.

The blossoms had a nice fragrance. Although very subtle. It's really nice to play tourist every once in a while in this city because there's no pressure. I can see what I want and go back as many times as I want. I'm glad I got to see the cherry blossoms. It had been a while. Probably since elemetary school. I think later on this week I may pay a visit to one of the museums on the mall.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

YEAH! More concerts!

Bloc Party! I think I might be slightly more excited to see the Maccabbes though.. Not sure.

Possibibly seeing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in KC in a few weeks too!

Music is good.

Drinking on the job

What a great way to start a new job! I started on a wine tasting day! HA! So I was encouraged, no required, to taste. It was fun. I tasted a lot, didn't know what I was really tasting at times, but I'm training my palette, right?

I tasted 30 wines! All different kind of reds and white. Some of them were really great. I have to say that I am really hoping that I can learn something. People came up to me and asked questions, some of which I had no clue. I still am trying to figure out what's on our shelves. I kind of know what can be paired with what, but sometimes I don't know. I worked a long time, and after that I was really tired. I work again today, but only from 1 - 5. This is my first retail job ever! Who needs a gym? I was up, walking around, arranging shelves, throwing stuff out, , arranging shelves, pricing stuff. On my feet for 6 full hours!

Ok- well, I need to get some stuff done this morning. Then it's off to work.