Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Music is My Hot, Hot Sex

Do you ever hear a song on the radio and instantly love it? Not just steering wheel tap enjoyment, but turn the volume up to 25 and seat dance using the full expanse of space between steering wheel and lumbar support?

Well I do. Kind of often. And then I have to race to my destination and Google the snippet of lyric I remember and/or go to the radio station website's now playing list to get the band name, then go to their Myspace page to see if I really did love it, and if any other songs are equally compelling. Depending upon that decision, I either buy the song or album and thus, another song joins my favorite list.

Today I heard "People C'mon" by Delta Spirit and LOVED IT.

Youtube has this live performance which doesn't even need to be turned up to 25 to achieve rocking.


Delta Spirit is playing the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville on February 23. Are you with me???

Tell all your single friends, Delta Spirit is also playing Portland, Texas, and Boston (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Boom and I send our best wishes for happiness, health, peace, and super-sized treats for all your days.

Happy Holidays!

Tell all your single friends, MC and HNY!

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm That Kind of Girl

The kind who would rather read than vacuum. Thankfully, I'm also not one of those people who have to finish chores before they sit down with a cuppa and good book. I'm one of those people who has a folder in her gmail called Books2Read that is full of emails I send myself with books I want to read that I read about somewhere.

When my borderline high cholesterol finally takes me out, it will be with book in hand and dog hair all around.

I'm just saying.

Tell all your single friends, you've GOT to read this*!

XO, JamieSmitten

*The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson (start with Case Histories and call me for the next 2), Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (laugh out loud funny).....oh don't get me started!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kanab Day 2: Happy Birthday to Me!

What could possibly get me to set an alarm and get up at 7 a.m. on my birthday?



So my birthday morning dawned bright and warm. Pretty darn warm. Kanab is high desert climate, so nights are cold, but days are sunny and bright. Really bright. This is what the sky looked like every day:

After modeling my fabulous angora scarf lovingly created by Wombat and then scarfing (Ha!) down coffee and doughnut from the lobby, we drove straight to the Dog Town Clinic for puppy socialization class. We were early (still planning for traffic!) and got to see a charming dog earn a lot of treats for being so darn sweet when asking for them:

The soft touch with the treat pouch was our puppy socialization leader Don. He led about ten of us volunteers back to the puppy area after explaining the puppy socialization program. Often, adopted puppies are returned just for being puppies -- curious, unpredictable, and wild. The primary goal of puppy socialization class is to accustom the puppies to being touched, handled, and surrounded by humans. Desensitization to people and their surroundings (umbrellas, loud noises, sudden movements) makes for a well-adjusted pet. Since Best Friends instituted the program, only one puppy has been returned by an adopter.

Suddenly, puppies are being handed out the door and I get to carry one up to the play area. There were four puppies -- survivors of parvo -- named Potter, Berks, Bedford, and Erie. We worked on name recognition, leash walking, and touching. The puppies were clearly precocious veterans of the class at 18 weeks and enjoyed all the attention. I was too busy hugging, but Wombat came through with some great pictures. There just can't be enough puppy love for me:

Don't tell Boom, but there was kissing.

After puppies, we were sent to another set of dog octagons for more walking and socializing. The different puppies were just as lovely as those from the first day. Including Chance who had one up and one down ear, making for a spectacular shadow:

Thoroughly blissed out on puppies and dogs by noon break, we headed over for our second round of $4 vegetarian buffet delight. I believe this was yummy vegetarian pot pie day. We had some time to kill before we visited the horrifying scary bunny sanctuary, so we drove back over to the welcome center to shop at the Best Friends store. Despite a marked lack of magnets and pins (hint to marketing dept!), we managed to drop some coin. These bumper stickers make GREAT gifts:

Then it was back to the bunny haven for the 1 p.m. tour. Except we had our time wrong and the tour wasn't until 2. As fate would have it, Wombat looked sad enough that the caretaker took pity on her and gave us a private tour of the area. Way many rabbits and some freaky looking hamsters too. Or maybe guinea pigs. Honestly, I didn't look too closely. My goal was to get out alive. They actually put us in a big enclosure with loose rabbits. I KNOW! So not right. Despite the sign saying "Warning! Rosemary will bite!" and the caretaker admitting that the rabbits go totally homicidal if you have more than 2 in a pen, Wombat was happy as a clam. She took some excellent pictures of the little death-dealers furry critters:

Having survived THAT ordeal, we left Best Friends and headed out for some sightseeing. The Kane County tourist guide had mentioned a few must see attractions and we found the first one on the road between Best Friends and Kanab. Moqui Cave is one of those roadside attractions that you always want to stop at as a kid, but your parents keep driving. A cave built into a mountain right off the highway? Count me in! The current proprietor is the grandson of the man who bought the cave in the 1950s and turned it first into a bar and then a dancehall. The place was quite successful for many years, but after the bar fights became a regular occurrence, the cave was converted into a tourist attraction.

So how do you get people to pay $4 to see a hole in the wall? GLOW IN THE DARK ROCKS! Yep, that's the clincher. The front part of the cave is a mini museum where the bar used to be. The back part of the cave was cool and sloped downward a bit. As we got further in, the eerie glow of black lights bathed us in an unholy light. Us and a bazillion rocks. I'm scanning a postcard image because it was just too darn odd. Apparently, some rocks light up when you hit them with black light. Kids, I'm pretty sure you can try that at home. Let me know how it works out for you.

On to the gift shop where we bought lots of postcards to commemorate the weirdness of the attraction and found the perfect souvenirs in a sale bowl at the checkout. Now I'm not sure how many of you are aware that Utah is the Beehive state. Wombat wasn't aware, which I discovered as I commented on how much I liked the state highway signs with the beehives.

Wombat said, "Oh, I thought that was a ski cap." Which, without knowing the Beehive state tie-in, was a pretty good guess. So she bought me a beehive charm and I bought her a cow bell charm. Because she likes cows and because I had just received the last beehive charm. Thanks, Wombat!

Having seen all that Moqui Cave had to offer, we headed north again to take a look at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. A bumpy trip along a road through nowhere and one left turn later, the canyon opened up and we saw several ATV caravans heading towards some pink-ish hills. We found a place to park the car and hiked straight up a sandy dune to see more sandy dunes.

I'm not sure I would call them coral pink, seemed more like brownish tan to me. But darn pretty, all those ripples.

Perfect for some artistic photography. Beware the three-legged tourist!:

The plants were very nice too.

I don't know what kind they are, so don't ask. I DO know that if you want to see the Tiger Beetle, a species found ONLY at Pink Coral Sand Dunes state park, you have to look for their tracks at a specific time of the year:

And don't bother naming your band The Interdunal Swales either. Wombat and I have dibs on that most excellent name.

Despite a fetching ranger with no wedding ring, we decided to return to civilization and prepare for our fancy dinner. A few cows slowed our momentum and got the paparazzi treatment. They didn't seem too concerned.

After a shower and a fresh set of non-doggified clothes, we drove the 1/4 mile from motel to our dining destination, the Rocking V Cafe. If you happen to pass through Kanab when the Rocking V is open, I highly recommend it. Excellent food, charming host, and an art gallery upstairs. We encountered some other Best Friends volunteers (clearly, we all have good taste) and immediately set to determining which drink would suit us best.

Speaking of drinking, we had no problems getting drinks in the restaurants we visited and we did see the liquor store. However, there were no bars. There was a "lounge" in the little town of Fredonia just south of Kanab, but it didn't look promising.

Margaritas! Was that even up for discussion? Although I did move on to beer for my next trick. Have to try those local brews when you can. Dinner was lovely. I had the spicy polenta cakes and Wombat went with the deep dish veggie enchilada. Filling and flavorful. But always room for whiskey bread pudding, eh? Yum.

Having managed to outlast the other patrons (this town goes to bed early, even on a Saturday night), we took a tour of the art gallery upstairs and I managed to impulse shop my way into a lovely picture -- a digitally enhanced photo called "Time Stands Still" -- by Chris Brock. It seemed an appropriate purchase on my birthday and I would have resisted had it not been revealed that the picture was taken in Ireland. (For those of you not in my immediate vicinity, Ireland is my 2009 trip!). So, with all credit and copyright to Chris Brock, the soon to be appearing on my living room wall:

We headed back to the motel and stayed up late talking and figuring out how the world should be and then went to bed. Wombat will say that I fell asleep while she was talking. This is not true. I was resting my eyes while contemplating her deep, deep conversation.

It is like somebody designed my perfect day. [Well, my perfect day without sex.]

Tell all your single friends, spend YOUR birthday in a special place!

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How I Came to Cop a Feel (during a work event)

[Of course, now that I've typed the post title, I realize this is NOT my first unplanned work touch. I completely forgot about the incident at the Salvation Army volunteer event when I reached for a bike and encountered my co-worker's crotch. Good times.]

So today was the Q4 team-building event. Yes, I realize that my workplace seems like Disneyland to those of you who work for more traditionally structured companies. Do you begrudge me one 1/2 day of fun per quarter when I spend an hour a month in therapy trying to keep my sanity intact despite being surrounded by ruthless self-promoters? I didn't think so.

Today was lunch at Maggiano's and bowling. I dislike chain restaurants and the amount of food consumed and wasted at Maggiano's is staggering. The tiramisu is pretty good though.

So, we finish our suburban munchfest and head to the bowling alley and grab lanes by pre-assigned team. Having won the Best Team Name contest (yes, EVERYTHING is a contest at my company) with the plucked-from-Google "I Can't Believe It's Not Gutter," our team quickly set to proving our name appropriate. But hey, it's just for fun right?

After the first game of "traditional" bowling -- for which I won the prize for worst score -- HooBoy! -- we moved to the second game where each frame required a different bowling style: granny, eyes closed, seated, backwards, skipping, etc. And that's where the fun began.

One of the frames was "bowl between someone's legs." Yep, didn't think that was coming, did you? We selected our tallest team member and he graciously assumed a wide legged stance at the top of the lane. [I'll digress here to mention that this co-worker is hot. Tall, muscular thighs that would make you think he played hockey, dark, handsome. Tasty. Married.]

I start my approach, trying not to focus on the firm and high buttocks in front of me. I go low and aim straight down the line, releasing the ball softly. Then I follow through. With my hand. Right into his thigh. A gentle graze, fortunately.

His only comment? "Well I didn't expect that." Me neither. Please, sir, may I have another? Sadly, he did not return the favor when he bowled between my legs.

Tell all your single friends, bowling is not sexy.

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Always Read My Reviews

Did I mention that I got involved in Shuffleathon 2008 madness? For those of you who don't remember last year's debacle, a charming Brit blogger named SwissToni (the monkey is in the tree!) randomly matches up strangers to exchange cds in round robin fashion and review them. I give to Lisa Rullsenberg, I receive from ?????

I was determined to not work myself into a dither this year as I did last time. A stroll through Lisa's blog told me that I'd best stay away from UK bands as she has those pretty well covered. Clearly a woman of taste (her Blogger profile pic is Willow!), I started from a Buffy place and added happy songs until I found a dozen.

Here's the track listing for those dying of suspense:

1. 100 Yard Dash by Raphael Saddiq (Bet you've never heard it!)
2. The Good Life by Cracker (Cracker goes on every Smitten CD)
3. Sorry by Nerf Herder (Buffy connection!)
4. Banditos by The Refreshments (Jean-Luc Picard reference? O.K.!)
5. Everything's Cool by Lit (Seemed to go well with preceding)
6. Fighter Girl by Mason Jennings (Something new after all that old)
7. 27th Ave Shuffle by Foxboro Hot Tubs (I LIKE Green Day)
8. Story of My Life by Social Distortion (I love that wee little nasal singer Mike Ness!)
9. Living Well Is the Best Revenge by R.E.M. (True dat)
10. Do Ya by Matthew Sweet (Sweet, literally)
11. The Stoop by Little Jackie (New and fun)
12. A Change Is Gonna Come by Seal (YES WE DID, Virginia!)

But you don't want to hear me talk about it, read Lisa's review. A success, if I do so anoint myself.

Now I just have to wait for my disc of aural pleasure to arrive!

Tell all your single friends, share your music!

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Birthday DFF!

Determined Friend Forever is having a birthday today! She will likely celebrate with pale ale and some Hannah Montana rockin' tunes.

And some Oh Jamie! bars, but shhhhh! That's a surprise!

Tell all your single friends, blow 'em if you've got 'em! (Birthday candles, silly!)

XO, JamieSmitten

Would I Miss the Big City Sights?

If I did move to Kanab, I probably would not get to witness the sight that Boom and I were treated to during our morning walk. Bit of a morning limp thanks to Boot Camp and 27 degree weather stiffening up my knee, but we were still moving at a good clip as the winter sun was out and the nip in the air was making Boom feel frisky.

Across the street, there was a neighborhood ne'er-do-well standing on the sidewalk staring off into the distance. Not unusual, always lots of people standing around contemplating around here. When suddenly his slight swaying stopped and I saw it. The sunlight on the stream of urine made a sparkle-y arc falling on the frosted grass.

He didn't even pee that long, so I'm pretty sure he could have staggered back home. Guess he was enjoying the sunshine as well.

Tell all your single friends, you say "transitional neighborhood" like it's a bad investment.

XO, JamieSmitten