Additional notes.

* City Cafe in downtown Indy is a great place for breakfast. Blueberry cornmeal pancakes with lemon syrup and a side of bacon (DUH) for me; smoked salmon eggs benedict over grits florentine (instead of an english muffin) with a grainy mustard sauce for J.

* The Indianapolis Propylaeum is stunningly gorgeous.

* I have traffic circle envy. Our hotel is adjacent to a traffic circle that is lined in brick and adorned with a 3-story high statute.

* I am pleased to have reached a point in my life where we can stay at a nice hotel for a day or two. It makes all the difference. This place has done right by use twice now.

notes

* it takes 12-14 hours to travel between Durham and Indianapolis. Don’t let Google Maps lie to you about this.

* The GPS was more help in Louisville than in Indy.

* Lynn’s Paradise Cafe is an excellent place to stop for dinner.

* Bob Evans is a terrible place to stop for lunch, or probably for any meal.

* It’s better not to know that the thunderstorm you’re driving through is spawning tornadoes until after the fact.

more champagne. less caffiene. taking the poo out of spacepoo.

i’m in Va this weekend. for as long as we’ve been together, J and i have kept lists of restaurants we want to visit together, one in his area and one in mine.

this weekend J decided we should try what is perhaps the fanciest of all the places on the list (or maybe both lists): The Inn at Colonial Williamsburg. they have brunch there, one of our favorite meals.

oh my. here’s how it worked: it was a fixed price menu. you select an entree, and then help yourself to the extensive tasting table which included an omelette station (of no interest to me, but of great interest to J). the tasting table had many hors d’oeuvres, salad, and small desserts. they brought a basket of little bread things to your table (strudel, coffee cake, muffins, and of course real southern biscuits) and– surprise– all the champagne you can drink. a man who i assume was the sommelier (from the possessive way he spoke of the wine cellar) just kept stopping by and topping off our champagne flutes.

for me it was more like dinner than breakfast or lunch, because i didn’t want an egg-based entree. for J it was like breakfast with a side of lunch, i think.

-:|:-

and in our continuing wide world of food, we had breakfast at CW yesterday too– at The Lodge, which is, as the woman at the pancake station said, the “red-headed stepchild” to The Inn. i told her that no place that offered large piles of bacon and sausage next to a large pile of hash browns could really be considered in such a way. they had a quite good buffet, and we only wished we’d gotten there earlier.

we also tried a chain restaurant for dinner last night. i think i had never been to one, and J had not been to one in many years. i hesitate give them free advertising, but the initials are R.T. discerning the name can be an exercise for the reader. i was quite pleasantly surprised. they seem to have re-made themselves from being a burger joint to being something a little nicer. i had strawberry lemonade made from fresh strawberries and lemons that they mix at the bar. very tasty. the food was good, but the strawberry lemonade was the highlight.

-:|:-

a week ago i eliminated caffeine from my diet. the result has been surprising. as i hoped, i am more relaxed, less stressed and have been sleeping quite well. i am surprised to find myself less hungry and far, far less prone to having blood sugar crashes. in general i just feel much better. i did finally have some coffee today after brunch because the champagne gave me a splitting headache, but i plan to continue to lay off the caffeine for a while to come as it seems to suit me.

-:|:-

i have to hand it to the folks at the carolina auto spa in cary. i gave the spacepod over to them to try and get rid of the rotten leaf and mildew smell that has permeated his interior since fall of ’06. they impregnated the porous surfaces with hospital disinfectant, shampooed and extracted, ran an ozone machine in the car for an hour with the engine on and the a/c on full blast, then overnight with the engine and a/c off. finally, they put down another layer of chemicals on the seats and carpets and detailed the interior.

the odor, as far as i can tell, is gone. there’s just no trace of it. i am not fond of the disinfectant smell but J says he likes it. i have been letting the car air all weekend, though.

they said that if it creeps back they can re-treat it for up to 30 days for no extra charge. i can also get free car washes during that time.

it cost more than our brunch this morning (even including tip), but after living with the stank for a year and a half, i think it’s worth it.

things i didn’t know about plaster…

…until i went on the cleveland-holloway home tour:

* it’s a better insulator than drywall, so houses with plaster stay cooler in summer (if properly ventilated) and warmer in winter

* it has better acoustical properties than drywall.

i had to miss the preservation durham tour this year, so i was quite pleased to be able to take a tour. C-H was really inspiring. i don’t know if j and i will ever be in a position to renovate a house that has to be taken down to the studs (or close), and then there’s the fact that i’m kind of lazy and unfocused, but there’s still a part of me that would so love to do that.

smells like spacepoo

spacepod is finally out of mothballs after an hour long transfusion of SHEER RAW POWER from the blue bug, and a jump start.

i took him out to the auto spa today and they removed the crust of pollen and tree goop that had accumulated.

a lot of people have told me how pretty they think the blue color of the blue bug is, but to me, spacepod is the most gorgeous car i’ve ever seen. after he was all clean i had to admire him in the parking lot.

he’s still pretty stinky on the inside, although the vacuuming seemed to help that a lot. i’m planning to take him back to the auto spa some time soon to have the interior shampooed, which might help knock the smell back a little more.

the dangers of google

okay, so i googled moses’ symptoms last night and jumped to the conclusion that his liver was failing. my vet gently told me this morning that we aren’t seeing enough evidence to support that conclusion, or even test for it.

oops.

i mean, it _could_ be the beginning of something bad, but probably not.

aw, come ON

i was getting into the groove of my ten days straight without travel, family obligations, excessive stress, etc. then tonight after work i spotted some litterbox weirdness that has me completely freaked out that moses’ liver is failing.

here’s hoping it turns out to be a big fat nothing. he’s going in tomorrow morning for a glucose check anyway so i’ll find out the score quick enough.

let it be nothing. let us have our week and a half of peace before we hit the road again.

television, the fast view.

ANTM: At this point, i have to root for Whitney to win. It doesn’t hurt that she’s the only one of the three remaining who I don’t find to be incredibly annoying.

NUMB3RS: This show is just getting weaker and weaker. It’s sad; it used to be so good.

WNTW: It’s so obvious that the network decided the show needed to “have a heart” and be less catty. It’s a little strained.

Bones: Still love it. During Buffy and Angel I just didn’t get David Boreanz as being a hottie and a good actor. Now I get it. He is a good actor, as it turns out, and the show remains strong.

Reaper: Surprisingly, I love this show. It completely does not suck.

family weekends

two weekends in a row doing family stuff. last weekend was J’s mom and her husband in Va, visiting J. I went up on Thursday and stayed until Sunday; we went down to Norfolk on Saturday to visit the Apple store and walk around the waterfront, then had a fabulous fondue dinner. Sunday we stayed at the house and helped J’s mom learn more about using her new Macbook and gave the fur and feather-bearing folks some attention.

this weekend was daniel’s graduation and my aunt, uncle, and stuart were in town for the event. J came down early on friday so we could go to dinner with everyone friday night at angus barn (yum). saturday was graduation and we went to the Umstead for drinks afterward– mom, wayne and my aunt and uncle were staying there (we get a special rate because we work for the owner).

saturday night j and i split off from the group and went to pizza palace and out to see Iron Man.

today everyone came over to my house (ugh, it’s still in total disarray from bringing stuff over from mom’s) and then we went to piedmont for brunch. i wanted to show off how great durham can be. i think everyone loved the food and we had a pretty good time.

in general my family is fairly low stress and easy to be with, but wow– two weekends in a row of family stuff is a lot.

over the next two weeks i need to rock out on my house, get spacepod up and running again and ready to go to indy, and finally get out to my yard which has been neglected all season.

and maybe some other stuff that i’m not telling you about… yet.

trifecta!

*cat bodily functions below; skip if you don’t want your day to begin similar to how mine began.*

this morning i was awakened by the sound of moses throwing up in the kitchen. i knew it was the kitchen by the big, echoey sound he was making. _great._

i walk into the kitchen and there’s a trail of cat poop spread across the floor.

i reach for him– he’s in a corner over by his food– and step in a vast puddle of pee that i didn’t notice.

apparently he lost his mind during the night– i always set up the back bedroom with a bed, food and water. the reason he was throwing up was because he was hungry; that’s why i always leave him food during the night.

i go to grab the food from the back bedroom and everything is untouched. water bowl still full, food not pushed around, bed not peed on or slept in. wtf?

i give him the food and he starts throwing it down on the pee covered floor to eat it. a lot of cats do this, they take dry food out of their bowl, throw it on the floor and then eat it.

so i pick him up to move him and realize his flank is soaking wet, which means he laid down in the pee puddle on the tile floor, perhaps waiting for food to magically arrive.

allow me to assure you, _this is a delightful way to start the morning._

tonight we’ll begin re-training on Where Moses Spends The Night. apparently “we” need a refresher. by “we” i mean MY CAT.