Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is pretty cool

A friend of mine who lives in the northeast spotted this street sign in Rye, NY and took a pic for me. For those of you who don't know, my maiden name is Brown, so this is way fun! I want to live there!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I knew this would happen, I just didn't think it would be so soon. This morning, Maddie chewed a hole in Steve Burgess's armpit and now he is hemmorhaging fluff everywhere. We immediately had to confiscate him, feverishly gather and replace as much fluff as possible, and isolate him securely in a drawer. Now it's up to me to find a sewing kit over my lunch break, and perform trauma surgery, stat. Check back for details. Obviously, the deeper question for all of us to ponder here is, why do we destroy the ones we love? No Maddie, it doesn't hurt so good. Not for Steve.

In other news, The Drowsy Chaperone was a great musical! It was really fun and entertaining. Snaps to my old roomie Ashley for going with me. We had a great time! We sat in the front row, and let me tell you, it is a whole different experience that close up. We could see the droplets of sweat on the actors and the spit that issued forth during various numbers. We could also see everything going on backstage, on the left and right. While all of this may have distracted others, it only added to the experience for me. Yay musical theater!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frost/Nixon Movie Review

Yesterday, Gavin and I caught the matinee of Frost/Nixon. Essentially, it's a movie about a series of interviews between a British talk-show host and Richard Nixon shortly after Nixon's resignation and fall from grace.

This was one of those movies that is so interesting that it makes you want to go home and research the subject matter a little more. The movie opens shortly after Gerald Ford gave Nixon a full pardon with regard to his role in the Watergate fiasco. This move, while some debate was necessary to help the nation move forward, was highly controversial, and left many Americans feeling completely unsatisfied and angry that Nixon, by virtue of his stature as President, would never face justice like a regular citizen would.

The purpose of the interviews was to elicit honest answers from Nixon about his role in the Watergate cover-up, and ultimately, to get an apology. How Frost manages to pull this off is the most compelling aspect of the movie. The acting is phenomenal. I expected the movie to demonize Nixon, but it really didn't. Surprisingly, it portrayed him rather sympathetically as a human being wracked with regret.

If you lived through the Watergate scandal, you will probably enjoy this stroll down memory lane. If you just like history, politics, or tales of real life scandal and conspiracy, like me, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dog days of January.

This is Maddie's new toy that Santa brought. His name is Steve Burgess and she is obsessed with him. She carries Steve around in her mouth constantly and won't let us touch him except to throw him across the room for her to run after him and rescue him over and over. I've already had to steal Steve and wash him in the washing machine twice. He squeaks when she chews on him, which isn't annoying, I promise.

And this is my glorious reunion with Taco in Gainesville yesterday! He was so happy to see me. This is him asking me for nachos.

Monday, January 19, 2009

First work trip of 2009

Honestly folks, 2009 is looking like it's going to be an especially travelly one. I just inherited a bunch of central FL cases, so I'll be heading south quite frequently, which could be fun, if I can squeeze in some visitation time with my peeps who live down here. The problem with work trips is that they usually involve some work, and these aren't just the fun, marketing, take-the-clients-out-to-lunch/dinner/spas-and-be-my-sparkly-charming-self kind of work trips. Blast (fist in air).

Anyhoooo.... tonight and tomorrow I'm in Tampa. So this was fun - see if you can picture it. I'm at the airport, waiting to board my flight. Texting, texting, trying to recall if I have pissed off any geese recently, asking my friends if they recall me pissing off any geese, when I hear an announcement that my flight is boarding "all passengers."

Me: (getting up, gathering my stuff, toddling over to the gate with my backpack and boarding pass)
Gate agent (I don't know her name but she looked like a Ralph so we'll call her Ralph): Elizabeth Burgess?
Me: Yes, that's me.
Ralph: You've got your own private plane down to Tampa.
Me: Beg your pardon?
Ralph: Yep, you're the only one on the flight. We'll go ahead and board you as soon as everyone's off. I'll escort you out to the plane myself.
Me: That is hilarious, Ralph.
Ralph: This is rare and probably won't ever happen to you again.
Me: Duly noted.

So, no kidding, I walk with Ralph out to the plane, which was one of those really small turboprop things like the one I blogged about when I went to West Palm Beach last year. The pilots are waving and smiling at me from the cockpit because let's face it, it's comical that the pilots outnumber the passengers. I mean, it's funny as long as it's not the culmination of an elaborate kidnapping plot. Here are some pros and cons of having a plane all to yourself.

Pro: You get to speak to and establish a rapport with the pilots.
Con: The pilot and copilot appear to be 12 and 13 years old, respectively.

Pro: No other passengers to worry about, so you take off early and get off the plane super fast.
Con: No other passengers for me to look at when we hit turbulence, gauge their reaction, and decide whether or not it's appropriate for me to freak out.

Pro: The cabin temperature was adjusted for my comfort and my comfort only.
Con: I always think I'm cold and then get hot, but it's hard to justify conveying that to pre-teens while they're flying a tiny plane in unnervingly cloudy conditions with potentially murderous waterfowl around.

All in all, it was fun, although I'm not sure how it happened. I'll try not to get used to it.

That's all I got for now... hopefully going to get a reunion with Taco tomorrow - keep your fingers crossed that it works out for me!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A moment captured....

The instant I discovered the cheeks on my camera.....

Monday, January 12, 2009


So this weekend was another bonanza of world-record smashing fun. Gavin and I went down to St. Pete for a wedding… we rode down there with our pals Fish and Erin and had a BLAST. We danced all night. Here are some pics:

Here’s a funny thing that happened towards the end of the night. After the reception, we all boarded a bus and headed out to the bars. I glanced down at my camera and started scrolling through the photos I had taken when, what do I see? A hiney, that’s what. A hairy, unmistakably male butt. Someone had absconded with my camera and taken a picture of his caboose. I found it simultaneously hilarious and revolting. And I guess you could say I was determined to crack the case.

Of course all the guys were denying they were the culprit, and some were reliably exonerated by their wives, after taking a good look at the evidence. I was at the point of making everyone drop trou and do a hiney line-up (so to speak) when the guilty party confessed. I guess he needed to assuage his conscience?

I thought about posting the pics…. But then I thought I’d be entering territory on this blog that I haven’t entered yet, which is not to say I never will, but I figured, after posting what is basically nudity, it might be hard to go back.

So, the bottom line is, I will leave it to your imagination.

Great time!

Friday, January 9, 2009

National Chomps.

So last night was fun! We had our friends Alan and Lori over and we all watched the College Football National Championship game. Gavin’s beloved Florida Gators made it to the show, and Alan and Lori are Gator alums, so it was a big Gator love-fest at my place last night, complete with me wearing my new authentic straight-outta-Gainesville Gators wifebeater that Mary gave me. (She says it’s a “ribbed tank”... riiiiiight - j/k Mary - you know I loves it... I actually wore it to bed after the game, it was so comfy - soft and cottony).

So anyway, I was jealous and bitter, cursing Auburn’s suckitude once again. BUT, Auburn is an SEC team after all, and SEC wins over other conferences garner more respect for the conference as a whole, which benefits Auburn, so I feel like that justifies the wifebeater love. I made pizza rolls and baked cookies for us to chomp on. The beverage of choice was beer.

Another thing: can I just say that shopping really is a pleasure at Publix? Lori and I went there at halftime to re-beer and get cookie dough and had the nicest conversation with our checkout-lady, Dorothy. Last time I was there I had a similar experience with Anthony, the young man who checked me out that day. This is way fun for me, since I love talking to strangers. I’ll still do most of my shopping at Wally-mart because it’s so cheap, but Publix, I love you.

Tomorrow we head down to Tampa for our pals’ wedding - stay tuned for pics of the party!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Confession Time

So I felt better after my last post, wherein I confessed to being scared of homeless people who talk to themselves. That got me thinking that perhaps it might be good for me to bare my soul about a few other facts about myself that I’m not necessarily super duper proud of, but that are true as the day is long and denying them is futile. Here’s what I got:

1) We all know I love Barbra, soft rock, show tunes, and classical music. But I also love me some gangsta rap songs... I mean really really love them, and some with truly indefensible lyrics. I can’t help it - they get me pumped up and they are absolutely essential when I work out. I don’t necessarily approve of the sentiments of the rappers, of course, but I have to listen to something upbeat and energetic when I’m exercising, right? I mean throw me a bone (Thugs n’ Harmony) here.

2) I secretly judge people for certain types of improper grammar.

The most egregious grammar offenses:

a) You’re v. your
b) It’s v. its
c) Using apostrophes to denote plurality (example: I have two dog’s, as opposed to one), and apostrophe abuse in general.

Now, I’m not saying I never make mistakes, because I do, and sometimes I take considerable artistic license with grammar on this blog (I like dashes, parentheses, and ellipses), because I feel that phrasing a sentence a certain way better expresses my point and my personal voice.

I’m also not necessarily offended by other types of technically incorrect grammatical phrasing, like dangling participles and ending sentences with prepositions, I mean, who doesn’t do that? I'm sure I make mistakes all the time and I'm not even aware that it's happening. In short, I'm not a grammar snob, BUT the repeated violation of a, b, and c get to me. If you have a problem with a, b, or c: get help.

3) I am pretty much incapable of wasting anything. Gavin thinks I somehow traveled back in time and lived through the Great Depression and then came back to the present and married him because I am so parsimonious with our money and if we buy something we better use it all the time. If it’s food, we better eat all of it.

With regard to household items and clothes, I tend to pathologically break the utility of things I buy down into units of one dollar. For example, if I’m going to spend $50 on that sweater, I need to know that I’m going to wear the sweater 50 times. If I’m going to spend $1,000 on a TV, then we are going to need to keep it long enough to watch at least 1000 hours of programming. I think it is a good system because it really makes you think before you purchase. This is why I go to the library: because under my system, it’s difficult to justify paying $25 for a book I will read one time. If I do have to buy a book (this only occurs under very limited circumstances, like when we need a travel book or my book club selection is not available at the ‘brary) I buy used from Yes, I’m deranged and possibly dangerous.

Honestly, I’m trying to relax a little bit about this, but it’s just me; I can’t help it. I can honestly say though, that it has helped me save a lot of money over the years. If anyone wants to psychoanalyze me, go for it.

4) There are at least ten (10) people from college who have friended me on facebook that I don't remember at all. I have no idea who they are but I am pretty sure we knew each other at some point because we have lots of mutual friends and it makes sense that we would have been pals once upon a time. I was pretty social in college so I'm sure at that point in my life I looooved these people and hung out with them at parties and stuff. This is my fault, not theirs. So I fake it. Sometimes it comes back to me after a few days, weeks, or months. Sometimes it doesn't.

5) Last night I ate ice cream directly from the carton.

Ahhhh confession is good for the soul.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Full Read Ahead

Well, I am hitting the ground running with my resolutions. Yesterday I went to the 'brary and got my first didactic (this word means learny - another resolution is to expand my vocabulary) book of the year.

It's called "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State" and it is very interesting. I read about half of it last night. Go me! It is essentially about how the people of some middle eastern countries want to go back to an ancient government system founded in Islamic law (the Shar'ia) as opposed to maintaining a more modern secular government system with some semblance of division between church and state (or in this case, mosque and state), and how this shift would affect the rest of the world. Very interesting. It also doesn't hurt that it was written by this Harvard Professor.... Rawr.

Ok, confession time. Sometimes I am scared of homeless people. This is unfortunate, because I love the downtown library, and apparently that is where homeless people love to hang out. I have to pass by them and not give them money almost every time I enter. It's sad because they are often intoxicated or have obvious psychiatric problems. Yesterday I almost tripped over an empty broken bottle of chardonnay on my way up the stairs and it was obvious to me how it got there. Sorry if this makes me appear insensitive - I'm not proud of it - that's why it's a confession. I'm sure they're harmless, but the fact is they scare me... especially the ones that talk to themselves. If anyone has suggestions in this regard, I'll be happy to take them.

What else, what else. Oh yes - the Florida Gators are playing for the National Championship Thursday night. I'll be cheering on my husband's team, you know, to support my Chinchilla. I recently received an authentic Gators wifebeater from Gainesville (I'm not kidding) as a gift (thanks Mary!) which, yes, I will be wearing for the game. No jorts though - that's where I draw the line. At jorts.

Thanks everyone for the book suggestions - keep them coming!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Ok, here they are, folks. I hope you can all help me achieve the following resolutions this year. I expect you to make it a priority.

1) Read one edifying non-fiction book per month. I enjoy fiction books, but I realize that I need to read more non-fiction, learny-type books so I can continue to grow my intellect. That is something good non-fiction books will do for you. Not to knock the Twilight series, but I'm pretty sure reading fiction specifically written for the 14-year-old girl demographic won't broaden my horizons or teach me anything new, except maybe how vampire boys are sooo cute, like I didn't already know that.

I realize all too well that many of you think I deserve a beating for these Twilight comments (my tires will probably be slashed five minutes after I post this), but I read half of the first installment for my book club, and actually felt my IQ drop several points. (Yes, I am an ass, but I'm only trying to get a leg up on resolution #2, see below.)

I generally enjoy the educational non-fiction books I read, (The Nine, And the Band Played On, A Civil Action, The Millionaire Next Door, Good to Great, etc.) so this shouldn't be too difficult. I will even be so kind as to share what I learn, right here on the blog. You're so lucky to know me.

2) More sarcasm. Increased quality and quantity. Because there can never be enough.

3) Spend more weekends at home. The traveling has gotten a little out of control. I will be traveling even more for work this year, and I tend to get burned out if I am traveling all over the place numerous weekends in a row or 3 out of 4 weekends a month. Enough. I need some free weekends to regroup, clean my house, do laundry, go on dates with Gavin. I say this like it will actually happen. I'm always on the move and that probably won't change in '09.

4) Keep up the gym activities. A few years ago I read an article in a fitness magazine that advised doing 200 minutes of cardio per week. So, I made a resolution to do this. I had more time back then, so I started out doing 40 minutes 5 days per week. As time has gone on and I've taken on more responsibilities at work, I now do 50 minutes 4 days per week, to cut down on the number of trips to the gym.

I like how it's going; it's not easy, but manageable, and no one has had to dress me in tents or move me with a crane since I started, so my resolution is to keep it up and not fall behind.

5) I resolve not to sweat the small stuff. I need to let things roll off my back more this year. F it. That's my new motto.

And that's it folks. I think that's enough. Let's hear your book suggestions!

Movie Review: Milk

I've been wanting to see this movie for a while. Actually, this is probably one of those movies you'd call a film, since it was only playing at the off-beat theater that generally only shows films. You can see movies down at the mall, but you have to go to this particular theater to see a film.

A few years back I read a fascinating non-fiction book called "And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts, an investigative journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle in the '80s. The book explains how the AIDS virus first infiltrated the United States, and clearly illuminates the socio-cultural factors that caused it to spread so fast through the gay community and permeate the heterosexual community as well.

The title of the book is an apt reference to the historical fact that, as the Titanic sank, the band continued to play and play, as though nothing was wrong. The title is a brilliant choice because the book reveals how the gay community, and the medical community, lived in denial about the disease (each community for its own interesting reasons) even when all the signs were there, until it was too late to contain it. It really is a fascinating book, and I recommend it highly, particularly if you like to learn.

The book is largely based in San Francisco, and contains numerous references to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the U.S., so when I heard this movie was coming out I decided I definitely wanted to see it for two main reasons: 1) It provides more of a backdrop to the book, as it takes place in the late 70s, while the book takes place in the 80s, and 2) Because it has to do with the evolution of civil rights in America, which, as a legal professional, I am always interested in learning about.

I was not disappointed. 5 stars. It was an excellent movie, inspirational and entertaining. Sean Penn is really an exceptionally talented actor, and I'm not one to hand out that kind of praise lightly. I don't see that many movies, because I don't really like most of the drivel that oozes out of Hollywood these days and feel like my time is better spent reading, but this movie was well worth the time and money. Shout-out to my friend Jana for going with me.

Other movies I want to see right now: Benjamin Button, Valkyrie, Doubt, and Marley & Me. Note that this is unusual because I currently want to see 4 movies and normally that number is 0.

I hope to see BB this weekend, so I'll post my thoughts, even though most of you have probably seen it by now.

Also want to thank my sisters Nikki and Maria and my cousin Amy for all the haikus they composed in the comments section of my last post. You guys are so talented, really... smartasses... (one can clearly see how it runs in the family).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008: A year in haiku.

I have been contemplating 2008 and came up with a few haikus to recap the year. Please feel free to add your own haikus in the comments section if you feel so moved.


All my nemeses
This year were victorious
Each may kiss my ass.

To Sarah Palin
You were a fine woman-crush
I’m glad you stopped by.

Taco love knows no
Limitation or reason
Cute, small, tiny paws.

Maddie, Sugarbear
Lights of my life, so furry
Love treats, hate sweaters.

Economy sucks.
But I'm ok; People love
To sue our clients.

Dear Auburn Tigers:
Don’t ruin my life again
Next season. Love, Bets.

Got in my car and
You got to be kitten me
Guilt. Tears. Rabies shots.

I feel a little zen now. I'm still thinking about New Year's resolutions.... will post soon...