Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Outtakes from this year's Christmas photo!

Tell all your single friends, silly hats + puppies = holiday fun

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where I'm Going

Hauppauge, New York.

In 4 days.

Not. Soon. Enough.

Tell all your single friends, the last 4 days are the hardest!!!!!

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Where I've Been

visited 42 states (84%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

I will admit that Vermont, and Hawaii were just pass through on the way to somewhere else. Can't recall if Iowa was a pass through, but if it was, I must have blinked. I have spent at least a few hours in the rest of them. And TOTALLY missed my chance to do Idaho like a native -- right, Val?

visited 7 countries (3.11%)
Create your own visited map of The World

That is a DISMAL percentage. I'm definitely going to add at least one more country in 2010!

Tell all your single friends, where have YOU been?

XO, JamieSmitten

Saturday, December 05, 2009

More Real Text Messages From My Phone

We r good on towels. Good on clowns too.

What lunch?

gerard butler is so hot on the ugly truth

Do the boys normally not poop in the rain?

happy halloween from west hollywood

That kicked ass

How does it smell lol

Tell all your single friends, clowns are bad, missed it, hot!, no they don't, lucky you!, I concur!, and it smelled like roses, baby.

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, December 04, 2009

I SWEAR I Graduated from University

Some of you are going to doubt that after you read this confession.

So I'm busily working away by scrolling through blog posts to find a Christmas picture of Boom. This actually DOES constitute work because the picture has been requested by the holiday party planning committee. So there, step back with your accusations of slackness.

I find the picture and save it to my desktop. I then open an email and attach the jpeg. And for the first time EVER I realize that the little icon that shows up when you attach a jpeg is actually a little sunset/sailboat picture. Like so:

[Ignore the magnifying glass and star -- it was the only example I could find.]

If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said it was a bucket with a red band and a crack in it. An off-center crack. Had you pressed me further as to why that made a reasonable icon for a picture file, I would have shrugged and said, "dunno." Because now that I've realized what the picture really is, I can't for the life of me figure out why I assumed it was a cracked bucket for all these years. In my defense, those icons are really darn small.

Tell all your single friends, Smitten DOES wear corrective lenses!!

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, November 27, 2009

Much Thanks

So much to be thankful for this year. A short list in off-the-top-of-my-head order:

  1. Jason. So worth the wait. (Although this additional 5 weeks absence is a bit much!)
  2. Healthy Family. I got to see quite a few of them this year and although it does clarify why I'm odd, I wouldn't trade them in for anything. I also expanded my family through Jason and yes, it does clarify why he is odd.
  3. Boom and Pullo. The canine odd couple have provided more love and laughs than annoyance -- although Pullo is determined to make it a close call.
  4. Loyal Friends. There are so many of you that brighten my life. I hope I do as much for you as you have done for me.
  5. New Experiences. New York City, motorcycle dirt drag races, Long Island, the middle pond, bully breed dog show, Gatorama, the James river, kayaking, camping, Coney Island, E-Z Pass.
  6. Good Music. Social Distortion, Morrissey, The English Beat, Delta Spirit, Cracker. While I didn't make my goal of one excellent concert a month, I found new bands and got to see old favorites.
  7. Good Books. My bookshelves are literally overflowing with books read and to be read. The new Kathy Reichs and John Irving are top on my list after I finish my birthday books.
  8. Employment. I complain a lot but I'm happy for the paycheck.
  9. Contentment. I didn't have it for years and I can't tell you what a relief it is to have it back.
  10. Silliness. Awkwardfamilyphotos, overheardinnewyork, all those little bits of comic relief sprinkled throughout the day.

Tell all your single friends, take stock and say thanks.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Despite my persistent birthday curse (No sex on 11/15 for Smitten! Ever!), I had a very nice day.

Day 3 without Jason started out with an early (ahem) birthday text from JodiO that intimated that I resembled a monkey and possibly smelled like one too. I love old friends -- and she hasn't even SEEN my crappy new hairstyle/color! The boys and I slept in and then had breakfast while we waited for clean clothes from the dryer. I'm not sure if Apple Jacks and cafe con leche are the traditional breakfast for the 43rd birthday, but what the heck, I've never done this before.

Then my Jason called and promised he would never be away from me for my birthday again. Ever. If anyone can break the birthday curse, it is my Jason.

A looonnnng walk in the sun to the post office was made ever more eventful by mountains of dog poo (canine presents, every one!) and lots of phone calls from dear friends and family. I kept the ringer on high because I have some excellent ring tones assigned to all of you. I always get attention when O Canada begins to emanate from my pocket. I highly recommend it.

Several more texts and phone calls later, I had managed to run some errands and have a birthday Krispy Kreme. Classic birthday lunch. Then DFF arrived for a walk with the boys and a nice long chat. After stretching everyone's legs, Anne and I headed to Lowe's for my most awesome birthday present. No more grilling in the dark when my Jason gets home thanks to this:

Then it was off to Tarrant's for a way too tasty/way too filling/sooooo yummy dinner. Pan fried Sea Bass (again, I invoked birthday immunity from calories) with shrimp in tomato vodka lobster cream sauce. Oh yes, I did. Followed up by New York (is there any other kind?) cheesecake with blueberries. Oh my, the food coma was swift. DFF has spoiled me again.

And then, when I was already feeling thankful for the small things today, the phone rang and my Jason called to tell me he loved me and missed me. Fork in me, done.

Tell all your single friends, life is good and great is just around the corner (COME HOME SOON!),

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, November 11, 2009



Tell all your single friends, worth the wait and the birthday.

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Looking On The Bright Side

Well, I'm going to try to anyway.


I voted! So for at least a few more hours, I can think that my candidate wins!

Being forced to wait until November to get the 2nd set of tires installed meant that I saved $70 for buying Michelins!

It finally stopped raining!!

I have a brand new floor and painted walls in my storage closet!! My Man is the best.

So we absolutely, positively won't think about.....

the fact that the mouse in the bathtub on Saturday morning probably has an entire posse looking for him


the fact that my hair, despite REPEATED washings, is still Elvira black AND little pieces are definitely sticking up in the back


the sad outcome of last night's baseball game (see above, re My Man is the best)


the continued ill effects of last night's "fancy mac and cheese" (I blame the scallops)

Because we are all about POSITIVITY.

Tell all your single friends, we'll see if this power of positive thinking really works.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, November 01, 2009

You Know What I Hate?

Does this ever happen to you?

You are sitting there minding your own business and someone you know (and this is where you find out they really aren't good friend material) says, "what's wrong with you?" "Usually you are cracking me up and making me die laughing. I don't like having to be the entertaining one."

You know what, people? I am NOT the paid entertainment. Yes, I am usually upbeat and making jokes but it is not my job. And you telling me that I'm not being entertaining enough for you? That just makes me want to get up and leave and not come back.

Except while you were complaining that I wasn't entertaining you as much as usual, you also fucked up my hair color and cut. So now I have to go back. When YOU get back from vacation which you reminded me of so that I could tip you generously (your words).

Yep. I'm going to be a freaking barrel of laughs when I sit in your chair.

Tell ALL your friends, don't expect me to entertain you unless you are throwing $20 bills at me.

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things I Adore, Things I Abhor

Apparently, some people think I'm slacking on my blogging. In particular, they lament the loss of my "Was it a good week?" rating system. So, for the fans....

5 Things I Adore:
  • 66 degree weather in late October. Perfect fall colors and no worries that I don't actually have a winter wardrobe. Yet.
  • Tzatziki. I'm mainlining a vat of it with some Costco falafel balls. Saucy balls, try it!
  • Brand new windshield wiper blades. Oh the clear vision! I feel faint!
  • This week's Sons of Anarchy ending to Delta Spirit's "People, Turn Around." Love, love, love them (Samcro AND Delta Spirit).
  • My kick-ass seasonal planter!

5 Things I Abhor:
  • Cancer. You've made my list before, Bastard, and I'm over you. So step away from my two friends immediately.
  • Tires. Motherf-ing tires. I followed all the steps on right down to engine size and body style, ordered 4 new tires and promptly got a flat tire. THEN, if that wasn't enough, when I went to get the tires installed 3 days later -- THEY WERE THE WRONG SIZE. So now I drive around for 5 more days on a mini tire (because they took the flat off the rim and I can't even get it patched ARGH). And the new ones cost $200 more. I hate tires.
  • Dogs who think they are too delicate to go out and pee in the rain. Pullo -- you aren't delicate and you are officially ON NOTICE.
  • Waking up any time before 10 a.m. Really, world, who decided that 8:30 a.m. meetings on Friday were allowed? You are lucky I'm there, don't expect pleasant!
  • Mice. Motherf-ing mice. They are back, apparently attracted by the misdirected dog food pellets that someone didn't get into the dog bowl. Mice are NOT in every home and they WILL be terminated. With electricity. As soon as I get my fancy mouse trap back.

Tell all your single friends, keeping it real, despite it all, because that's how we do.

XO, JamieSmitten

No, I Don't Think It Is Ash Wednesday

(or How I Got the Forehead Contusion)

The plan was to leave for New York at 10 a.m. "If you want to see Coney Island, we need to beat the traffic."

"O.K. Then I need to get up at 6:30 to get stuff done."

"That is way too early. You can get up at 7:30 and it will be fine."

I got up at 7:30 and we departed the house at 10:20. With one stop to make at the post office. I hopped out of the car and left the car running because someone was cold and needed the heat on while he listened to the radio and read his book. Someone turned off the car, but left the heat and radio on -- and unbeknownst to someone -- the lights were also on.

"Who the hell drives with the lights on during the day?"

"I do."

"Well that's stupid."

"So's your face." [This is a standard rejoinder in the household indicating a lack of agreement and a request to move on to the next potential topic for disagreement.]

So after standing in a line to mail a package (hope you like it!) I came outside and happily tried to start my car to head off on vacation. Car doesn't start.

More leaving the lights on is stupid, more well if you don't know how to pop a clutch without me explaining it then I can't explain it, and finally the bright idea to get a jump start. The startled woman next to us agrees to move her minivan around and provide the juice.

I hop out of the car to pop the hood. Done, I return to the driver seat and await cable connection. Then I remember that the last time someone ran down my battery, he had a hard time locating the battery as it was under an relatively unmarked cover. So I hop back out of the car -- and yes, I was fully impatient, annoyed, and foul-tempered -- and leaned over to pull the cover off and conked my forehead HARD on the raised hood.

I staggered back to the car mumbling, "fuck it. Someone can find it himself." He did and we were on our way -- finally, at 10:48.

So I drive for a 1/2 hour. Then I turn around and go back to the house to get someone's ID. I ask for aspirin from the kitchen because I have a headache. Not enough coffee, I assume, vowing to get a large cup at the first stop.

First stop is 3 hours later. Aspirin has not touched the headache which has become a dull throb. Amazingly, I still think it is caffeine withdrawal. We enter the rest stop, I use the facilities, and inspect my eye makeup while I wash my hands. We get in line, buy burgers (Roy Rogers still has Double R Bar burgers! Who knew? They aren't as good as I remember, but then, life is like that.) We get up and I go to Starbucks to get my coffee. Line is too long, so I make the ultimate sacrifice and order a coffee from the urn at Cinnabon. While I wait for my coffee to be poured (a 3 minute span of time, oddly), I turn to someone and say, "Do I have something on my forehead. It kind of hurts here." I point to just right of center on my forehead.

My eyes get bigger. Someone's eyes get bigger. And I feel a knot the size of a walnut on my forehead.

"How the hell didn't you see this in the past 3 hours?"

"I wasn't looking right at you."

"I'm pretty sure a bump this big has a profile."

"Holy shit it is getting bigger. Stop making me laugh."

By the time we get to the car we are laughing hysterically -- someone from the speed at which the knot is growing and me from the leaking brain fluid from the skull I now realized is cracked -- the walnut is bigger. I'm advised to put ice on it.

"How would you like me to do that and drive?"

"I'm not sure, baby. Want me to drive?"

"No. I already have a headache. Give me one of the ice cubes from your drink."

I then proceed to give myself an ice cream headache on TOP of the cracked cranium headache for the next 20 minutes. I become adept at ice cube balancing and refuse the offer of a ski cap to hold the cube in place.

"Bad enough I'm going to meet your friends with a third eye, let's not add hat hair."

Someone (after another bout of hysterical laughing), "it hardly shows, baby. You are beautiful."

We did not beat rush hour. My knot did show, but didn't start to turn purple until we got home, 3 days later.

And no, co-workers, I don't think it is Ash Wednesday and that isn't a smudge on my forehead. It's a souvenir.

Tell all your single friends, the best pizza EVER had eggplant parmesan slices on it and was at Danny's in Central Islip, NY.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coney Island! Best Pizza Ever! Forehead Contusion!

More on that later! Enjoy the pix for now:

Shut down for the season, eh? Well I'll be back!

Notice he didn't mention October.

Yes, I ate a Nathan's hot dog and it was GOOD! Tasted great on top of that bistec a la parilla. And Jamaican meat patty. And Roy Rogers Double R Bar Burger. [Note: All consumed AFTER forehead contusion received. Hmmmmmm]

Need more clothes. COLD!

Anyone have a clue as to what Mozzarepa could be? Me neither -- until I googled it.

Sadly, the live human targets were gone for the season.

Tell all your single friends, New York is the most fun (if you can afford the tolls to get there),

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Real Text Messages From My Phone


Haha me 2

Yes we r some lucky kids

I didn't actually watch it, just marvelled at its existence

U r sitting next to small skull!

Quick! Somebody count the clowns!

Do I put water AND ice or just ice in purple thing?

Cant. Stop. Itching.

Tell All Your Single Friends, context is everything.

XO, JamieSmitten

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Has It Really Been Almost a Month?

Since I blogged? Such a slacker. But it isn't like I've been sitting around. In fact, I have hardly been home for a weekend between the last post and now.

First came the trip to Smith Mountain Lake. Huge. No signs indicating which way to the specific dock where your family and dogs are waiting with the beer. So my advice is to just keep tucking that pontoon boat into each cove and hope for the best.... Watch out for the clowns.

Then, it was off to Ontario for a family wedding. Thankfully, the passport arrived and the flight was not canceled/delayed/overly turbulent. Of course, I DID get pulled for "special screening" at security. I knew having all of my liquids in the correct size bottles in a quart size bag ready for display was not enough juju to ward off the universe's need to have me groped impersonally by a stranger in the name of national security. This time, I was given the option of the grope or the full body scan. I think I shocked the guard when I opted for the scan. The scan was implemented at the Richmond airport right after my last hellish flight in November and caused a bit of an uproar. Namely because the scan shows it all. Right under your clothes. Just like those glasses they used to advertise in the back of comic books -- only it really works. The lucky man who got to see beneath my travel ensemble to the real me was hidden away in a room, but I'm sure he enjoyed it. The wedding was lovely if a bit emotional (for me, anyway). I did NOT ride with the piper, nor did I show mum how to focus my camera apparently. The weather was unseasonably cool, but I still went swimming in the lake because I'm no quitter. I finished my book 10 minutes before I landed back in Richmond, so good timing all around.

For the Labor Day weekend, we finally used the tent we bought early in the summer and went camping on the James river down in southeast Virginia. The tent turned out to be the bargain of the century. We thought it looked like a lot of tent for the money, but had no idea that our voices would echo inside. Sadly, I never even took a picture of it set up. But it would have been hard without a panoramic camera anyway. Eating, drinking, laughing, fishing, frying, kayaking -- with Boom!, swimming, marshmallow roasting, staring into the bonfire. We were even treated to a bonus fireworks display across the river. Lovely, perfect weekend. Especially the Nathan's hotdog grilled on the fire with approximately 1/3 of a bottle of relish. YUM. Makes me wish summer was just starting, instead of ending. I guess I should focus on getting as much kayak time in as I can before it gets cold. Because I'm that sporty.

Tell all your single friends, time flies when you don't stay home.*

XO, JamieSmitten

*It freaking CRAWLS when you are waiting for the love of your life to come home. BOO!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mockery @ Work = $$

Yep. For the sum of $40 in Target gift cards, my picture was circulated throughout the entire department. It is an "honor."

Tell all your single friends, it might be time to go blonde again.

XO, JamieSmitten

p.s. Thank goodness the queen of photoshop is my friend, right??

Monday, August 03, 2009

I Heart NYC -- Take 2!

We spent less than 24 hours in NYC thanks to traffic and having too much fun in Connecticut!

However we managed to pack a LOT in:

  1. A hotel room ON THE PENTHOUSE LEVEL. Yep. I had a balcony in NYC.
    Sure, it was small, but I had a close-up view of the Empire State building.

  2. Two cab rides. Sadly, not the Cash Cab as I had hoped. The cabs have touchscreens that let you map your journey. And commercials. They did swerve around as expected, so that was nice.

  3. A jaunt in the rain through Chinatown. Super crowded streets and near-miss eye gouging by umbrellas. AND -- I was propositioned by one of those "come into my back room and buy a purse" people. Ha. Like I'd go shopping when I could be sightseeing.

  4. Dim Sum with approximately 372 people. Amazing food and total chaos as new patrons are directed in to their table by flight attendants with head phones. I decided to go with the spirit of the experience and not look too closely at the fillings. I'm fairly certain I managed to avoid chicken, but I definitely consumed all other meats. YUM.

  5. A diner meal at midnight. My bagel was not anything special, but the chocolate malted was aces. There was a cashier who looked to be at least 92 and the waiter kept touching us. Completely surreal.

Tell all your single friends, every NYC trip makes you love it more!!

XO, Jamiesmitten

Monday, July 20, 2009

River Fun

Note Boom's complete lack of concern that Pullo may be stuck in the big hole he dug.

Evening on the rocks

Pullo torments Aunt Bonnie

Extreme Love Close-Up!

Tell all your single friends, your ass will feel 100% better if you sit on a towel. Just ask Jason.

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, July 06, 2009

Rule #345: Avoid Myopic Waxers

I think I've mentioned the fact that I wax my legs. Have done for years and years. Doesn't even hurt any more and I can't conceive of returning to the constant razor scrape. To each his own.

So I decided to celebrate the coming of summer and get a little wild. (O.K. This isn't too wild. I'm not naming names but readers in Chesterfield County and in Portland have done it. I'm just saying.) But yep, I decided to celebrate my return to a rampant sex life with a Brazilian. Not the removal of every hair, but a nice little wax job. (I hate that airport term. I get visions of fiery crashes.)

So I did my research and found a place with Brazilian Wax EXPERTS. (I'm not going to name names, but if you are planning to go Brazilian in the metro Richmond area, please check with me first.) I couldn't get an appointment before NYC, so I settled for an appointment before the Florida trip. Since they call themselves skin experts, I didn't even feel guilty for saying I had to leave work early for an appointment with my dermatologist.

I arrived, filled out the paperwork, clarified that I wanted an upper leg and a Brazilian, and was escorted back to a room. By a woman wearing the thickest glasses possible outside of a Jerry Lewis movie. (I worked for optometrists for 4 years. I know what lenses for extreme myopia and astigmatism look like. These were they.)

I'm handed a pair of paper underwear which is really a piece of paper with a large elastic around the top. Blind Betty leaves the room and I undress and carefully position the 2" by 6" paper over my special place.

She comes back in and we discuss our plan of attack. She seems to know what she is talking about, but during the hour I was at her mercy, she revealed that waxing was just a fill in job while she finished her masters. In something or other. She said where do you want me to stop and I pointed. Then she applied the wax a good inch below the mark. Let's just say, what was left looked like the survivor of a rampant forest fire: a few sparse patches here and there.

Don't even get me started on the upper leg wax. Blind Betty's method here was to get very close to my leg and angle it back and forth to see if she could catch sight of a hair in the light, then wax that one small area. Finally, I just started pointing out entire sections she had missed.

Eventually I took pity on her and said I was satisfied with the job. She left the room while I dressed and I managed to slather on/rip off three more sections myself before she knocked on the door and asked if I was almost done.

You do NOT want to know what I paid. Needless to say, I declined the "package" deal for discounts on future waxings.

After conversing with some of my friends, I am sure that a professional Brazilian wax might be nice. I wholeheartedly suggest avoiding the the Short Pump patch wax. On the plus side, hair grows back so I no longer look like a forest fire victim.

Tell all your single friends, Brazilians aren't just for women*

XO, JamieSmitten


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Been There, Got the T-Shirt

Oh my, the things I've seen:

  • Poison Oak that lasts a month
  • Dirt clods in my pocket after the motorcycle dirt drag races at Slades Park
  • Stars -- when I wrenched my back during boot camp
  • Stars again -- when the physical therapist dug his thumb into my wrenched back
  • Remnants of a Philly cheese steak on my own plate
  • Mountains of puppy poo -- sometimes even on the puppy pee pad
  • Teeny, tiny LOUD frogs in stagnant pools in the rocks in the James River
  • LOTS of dog tug of war

Tell all your single friends, dirt is for racing, asphalt just for getting there.

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, June 15, 2009

He Missed Me Too!

He even brought me flowers.

Tell all your single friends, a bouquet is a lovely surprise.

XO, JamieSmitten

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I am 29 hours into my second 48 hour separation from Jason in 4 days.

I admit it. I've become spoiled by constant companionship and love.

I'm not quite missing his impressively stinky farts, but I expect that will happen around hour 44.


Tell all your single friends, our reunion is going to raise the roof.

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Real Text Messages on My Phone

"Get over here in the heat & Join us!"

"How did u know i just ate chef boyardee"

"Did u check my pants"

"Meat still frozen"

"Thank goodness! Was the thing sideways?"

"Doubtful. I'm a respectable partnered woman now. Snort."


Tell all your single friends, the accent is on the SIP not the PANY.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

So, I've Been, Like, Busy and Stuff

A week in Florida with the family AND Jason. (He still loves me after 8 days of constant companionship and rain)

A new clutch. (Don't ask me about walking home at 7 a.m. with a hangover when the clutch that was *definitely going to last until the parts came in* crapped out)

A raft of stern emails. (Seriously. My friends are either overly concerned with my well-being or overly opinionated. Jury is still out)

A restorative email about the wonderfulness of love. (The Rev RULES)

A return to Boot Camp. (Argh. Push-ups are mostly mastered but who the HELL can do 10 pull ups?)

A loss of boobs. (I didn't notice this one, but OTHERS did)

A pair of homemade socks. (Thank you, Barbie, I LOVE them!)

A first movie at the Byrd with Jason. (I LOVE YOU MAN!)

A dinner with the Amanda gang. (She would have snorted with laughter, several times)

A new puppy for Jason. (Pix to come -- once the little bastard stands still long enough for me to take a pic)

A long conversation with a dear friend. (One of these days, I'm coming to San Antonio!!)

Tell all your single friends, living life leaves little time for blogging Chez Smitten.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Am in Love!

With NYC!!!!!
And Jason

Tell all your single friends, drive it like you stole it.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Meditations

  • Too many margaritas affect my balance negatively
  • I look pretty hot with a purple eye
  • My knee, although bruised in all new ways, is freaking tough
  • Letting your friends pick their ringtones is a great idea
  • Picking your own ringtones while intoxicated is a bad idea
  • Shots are expensive
  • Missing bras are often found under seat cushions at the least opportune time

Tell all your single friends, older, certainly no wiser.

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, April 10, 2009

How Conveeeeeeeeenient!

I just realized that I can hold my ice cold screwdriver against my sore knee and then I don't have to go get an ice pack!

Yes, the knee is jacked up again. Combo of KYA Boot Camp and kneeling, if you get my drift.

The screwdriver is tasty and I highly recommend the Richmond-produced Cirrus Vodka.

There -- two tips! And one salacious tidbit.

Tell all your single friends, whatever it takes.......

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, April 06, 2009

Life Is Not Fair

Some king cab truck that is literally TWICE the length of my economical Mazda has been parked at the median ALL NIGHT.

No uniformed cop and inspector gadget asshat policeman are standing there handing out tickets. Or towing.

I'm being targeted, I tell you.

The universe is exacting payment for finally providing a steady flow of sex.

Tell all your single friends, $40 is a bargain for what I've been getting.

XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, April 03, 2009

I'm a Hot Dumb Ass!

I have lived in the city of Richmond for fourteen years and I have never had a parking ticket. I've had a parking ticket in DC, but never in Richmond. Until last night.

I came home from work and took Boom for a walk as usual. I had several errands to run, so I went back out. Dog treats, leg wax strips, eye drops, banana bread ingredients, and a pedicure. So when I got home at 7:45 in flip-flops with tons of bags and couldn't find a parking spot on the street in the immediate 2 blocks, I pulled up to the median to unload.

Note -- everybody in the neighborhood has done this once or twice to unload a car. We live in a small shopping district with a theater and restaurants, so evening parking can be difficult. In fact, during last weekend's French Film Festival, there were TWO cars parked where I parked for the entire day. No tickets.

I had every intention of moving my car onto the street as soon as a spot opened. But then I made some dinner (stir fried rice, and arugula/spinach mix with sprouts and lemon gorgonzola dressing, thanks for asking) and started watching ER. I mean this is the end of 15 years of ER, it is understandable that I was distracted from watching the road.

Then Neighbor John calls around 11 and says, "Is that your car parked at the median?" To which I replied, "Oh crap! I totally forgot to move it!" His response was, "Well you might want to get out there because there are 2 cop cars by it." So I go running outside in my pedicure flipflops (O.P.I. Blue My Mind, thanks for noticing), saying apologetically, "OHMYGOSH I TOTALLY fell asleep on the couch! I'm so sorry, I had a ton of bags to carry in, I'll move it right now."

Response of the uniformed officer? "I've got something for you," and hands me a ticket. They both walk away and the plainclothed officer (a dead ringer for Inspector Gadget in his tightly belted trencoat) offers over his shoulder, "You're lucky that I can still cancel the tow."

So I got in my car and turned the radio up to cover the expletives I was bestowing upon these two inflexible asshats and moved my car.

I get to pay a $40 ticket for being a forgetful dumb ass.

Today, I was walking through the grocery store getting the baking ingredients I forgot the previous night and as I rounded the corner, passed a man with a small kid in the cart. He literally did a double take. It was text book. He could give lessons in double take. So I looked at him a second longer than I would ordinarily have to see if he looked familiar. He didn't.

He started to look familiar because I passed him three more times while collecting the 7 items I was purchasing (13 if you count the apples individually, thanks for clarifying). When I was paying, he walked slowly by with his groceries, eyeing me the whole time. He wasn't overly creepy looking, but the eye contact was getting to be a bit much. After paying, I headed for the other exit just to be on the safe side.

Nope, he was lingering, so as I finally made it to my car, he rolls by slowly with the window down and hisses, "Niiiiiiccccccceeeeee."

So there you have it. I'm not reliably bright, but I am noticeably hot. At least to supermarket stalkers.

Tell all your single friends, parking tickets suck. Even for hot people.

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Small Contribution

My tissue-typing kit arrived today. I rubbed four swabs on four sections of my inner cheeks (swallow first!) and stuck them in a foam holder. One bio hazard label later and my results are ready for the post office.

In about six weeks, my marrow particulars will be added to the National Marrow Donor Program® Registry.

Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to save somebody as special as Amanda.

Tell all your single friends, find out more at

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Requiescat In Pace

My friend Amanda left this realm last night. She battled AML like the true zombie fighter she was and I am completely at a loss.

What I do know is that Amanda was a very special person to many, many people and that she will be laughing with me whenever I read a scathingly witty blog or hear somebody using nail clippers at work.

This life is a short ride. Find the sweetness and surround yourself with the people who matter.

Amanda mattered.

There is a wonderful tribute at Pajiba to Amanda.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boy, Are YOU Behind!

Despite my lack of posting which might have made you think nothing was going on, something has been going on. Something has definitely been going on.

Here are some things you have missed in no particular order which may or may not get more detail in future posts:

  • New couch is in the living room! Long live the 35 year old predecessor -- which has already been cannibalized in the alley.
  • I wii-ed for the first time! I'm aces at trivia and fairly sucky at obstacle courses while riding a yak.
  • I SAW MORRISSEY. You'll hear more about that. And the fact that he -- JUST LIKE ME -- has to keep pulling up his jeans because he's a no ass having hottie.
  • Boom's knee is a little better. Trying to hop on the new couch isn't helping.
  • I've been sucked back into several reality shows and yes, I hate myself.
  • I learned that KYA Boot Camp wall squats are the BEST preparation a girl can have for balancing in nasty portajohns.
  • I learned the previous lesson because I never learn that Church Hill Irish Festival Guinness and Harp drinking requires pacing and a large bladder.
  • I've had sex 3 days in a row. You'll definitely hear more about that.

On that note, I'm going upstairs to extend this unprecedented string of damn fine cardio.

Tell all your single friends, Sex is just as fabulous as Smitten remembered!

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, March 02, 2009

From Britain With Love

[Shuffleathon is a delightful cd exchange administered handily by SwissToni. You send a cd, you get a cd -- all very random and sometimes anonymous. Kind of like music safe sex. These people know music, so it is a darn shame that they might end up with a cd from me.]

I received my Shuffleathon 2008 cd in the mail at least well over a month ago. I swore I wouldn't spoil the surprise by reading the track listing, but I did. First glance was a big hooray -- some familiar, some that probably should be familiar, and some totally new (to me) songs.

The only thing I didn't know was who made it -- as the post-it only stated it was from the "Shuffleathon Pixie." I pictured tights and was a little bit scared. There was a lovely polaroid picture in the case and I'm properly set for my British musical extravaganza to begin.

Since I have a 25 minute drive to work, I do most of my uninterrupted cd listening in the car. I've been listening to this cd for several weeks now and I really enjoy it. Even the songs that didn't initially interest me have become familiar and listenable. Details? Read on.

1. Intro - a few audio snippets to set the mood. She adored London...Yes, London...Mary Fucking Poppins, London! The male voice sounds a bit like Denis Leary?

2. My Year in Lists by Los Campesinos I cherish with fondness the day before I met you. It seemed like the name of a band I read about in Entertainment Weekly and thought, "that might be worth checking out," and then never did. It is a chipper and cheeky song and I quite enjoy singing along. Lots of high hat and tinkly instruments -- but don't let that scare you off. Good start.

3. Nightlife by Kenickie No I don't want to see you, friend, but thanks for asking. Another upbeat tune, happily for me. Grrl power, in a dance-ish sort of way. It was quite surprised when I looked them up and found out this song is from 1997. Sounds current to me. Thumbs up.

4. A British Bank by David Tomlinson and Julie Andrews Children should be molded, shaped and taught, that life's a looming battle to be faced and fought. Yes -- THAT Julie Andrews. An interlude from Mary Poppins. In keeping with the London theme and fine by me as it reminds me of seeing the movie with my goddaughter. O.K., I do sometimes fast forward past this track, but I leave it on just as often. Points for wit.

5. For Tomorrow by Blur She's a twentieth century girl, hanging on for dear life. The only Blur album I have ever owned was Parklife and listening to this track, I can't for the life of me justify not having bought another. Excellent song. Going directly to record store two blocks away to rummage through used cds and fill this now glaring gap in my collection. Ta!

6. School Song by Black Box Recorder Destroy your record collection, it's for your own protection. This is why Shuffleathon is so great -- I would probably have never stumbled across Black Box Recorder if left to my own devices. I didn't expect to like it, but I really do. And I definitely heard a variation on, "and what on earth is that you're wearing? this is an educational establishment, not a nightclub," when I was in high school. Definite singalong song.

7. Come Home Billy Bird by The Divine Comedy A bunch of Belgian businessmen and a strange drinking game, oh god why? I enjoyed the story of a trip from hell (given my recent Utah experience), but even after repeated play, I can't get past the annoying chorus of female whispersinging. I don't hate it, I just don't need it.

8. Sheila by Jamie T She didn't like thugs, but at the same time understood, fellas will be fellas 'til the end of time. English men like to send me this song. SwissToni included it on his consolation Shuffleathon 2007 cd and I liked it immediately. Happy to have it again. You can rarely go wrong with a Jamie in the mix.

9. Long Hot Summer (Pts. 1 & 2) by Helen Love You know the long hot summer won't pass me by. There is no way I wouldn't love a song that name drops The Undertones, The Ramones, and The Buzzcocks in the first thirty seconds. I literally can't wait to drive around in the summer heat with this song cranked loudly. This summer is going to be FANTASTIC!

10. Modern Art by Art Brut Modern Art makes me want to rock out! Well I never thought to put it that way, but sure, o.k.! I had to grab the cd case when this came on because I thought, "How did I miss The Pursuit of Happiness when I scanned the list of songs?" While this song does remind me of "I'm An Adult Now," it stands up just fine on its own. Art Brut is one of those bands I keep meaning to get around to checking out, but now I'm afraid the rest of the songs won't be good and modern arty like this one.

11. Bluebells by Patrick Wolf I fell off the wagon, into your arms. I really like the urgency of this song, but those damn whistling bombs which keep dropping in the background make me wish I knew someone who could strip that track off. I just sing more loudly and try not to have the Gap Band "You Dropped the Bomb on Me" flashbacks. I have no idea who Patrick Wolf is, but his voice is lovely.

12. Tacky Love Song by Credit to the Nation This is the way that the story goes, when you find love, the harmony grows. Another song from 10 years ago -- starting to wonder if the cd author did some reading on my blog and decided I was old and I needed some old songs. Doesn't do much for me, but a month into rotation, I do sing along with bits of it. No harm there.

13. It's Getting Boring by the Sea by Blood Red Shoes Oh no, no no no no, can't escape anything in this town. Now this is more like it! Love the speed of this song -- sounds a bit like Shirley Manson singing -- and the blisters, blisters, blisters refrain makes me think of another song I like a lot--Bandages by Hot Hot Heat. I would definitely see this band in concert - and Myspace informs me that they are touring, but not here, damn it.

14. London by The Pet Shop Boys what do you expect from us, we come from abroad. Can't mistake Neil Tennant. I'm exceedingly grateful that sticking to the London/GB theme did not mean the inclusion of West End Girls. That's one Pet Shop Boys song that I need never hear again. Haven't listened to these guys since university, so nice to be reminded that there was more than the afore-mentioned crap song.

[Starting to feel guilty because my cd recipient only got 12 songs. And there wasn't much of a theme. And she was great about it anyway.]

15. Paris by Friendly Fires one day we're going to live in Paris, I promise, I'm on it. Bring it on! Love the sentiment and the earnestness of the chorus which gives way to the chilled out synth verses. This is as techno as I wish to get and it totally works for me.

16. I Can't Speak French by Girls Aloud I can't speak french, so I'll let the funky music do the talking. Oh dear. Is this the Pussycat Dolls? Nope, Girls Aloud -- a manufactured girl band from the UK. Yes, I now sing along with the chorus (even though I can speak french) because it contains that pop music anesthetic that after repeated listenings, makes you just obey and sing along. Argh. Let's move on.

17. American English by Idlewild then you contract the American dream, you never look up once. I'm a bit disappointed, honestly, as I thought Idlewild was one of those bands that I would like, having read the occasional review. It could be suffering from being stuck between the songs by the fake bands bands with singers instead of musicians. Not remotely memorable, but not painful either. I am probably too lazy to go find out if the rest of their work is more to my taste, but maybe I'm not.

18. Greatest Day by Take That Before we run out of time. Oh dear. The name sounded familiar and a quick Google reminded me why. This is from whence Robbie Williams came. Although this is apparently the post-Robbie brand new single. Not for me. I love boys in bands, just not boy bands. Next!

19. It's Grim Up North by The JAMs Sheffield, Manchester, Castleford...are all in the North. Back to some more acid house (?) type stuff. Not my genre, but quite a geography lesson with the recitation of towns that are, no coincidence, all in the North. Decent music for driving and usually makes me wonder how many of those towns I could visit on a trip. Although with the grimness and all, maybe this isn't supposed to be a travelogue?

20. Life in a Northern Town by Dream Academy and everyone else came down to listen. Totally dating myself here, but this song was played by many of my univeristy friends in their dorm rooms. I never borrowed the cassette (ooh! Smitten IS old!), but I always liked the song. I had totally forgotten about the screaming after the Beatles reference. Nice memory and turns out to be a good segue into the final song.

21. One Day Like This by Elbow cause holy cow, I love your eyes, and only now I see the light. Now I was really hoping to like this song when I saw Elbow on the tracklist as SwissToni has sung their praises in numerous posts. It starts off with some pretty, swelling orchestration and I think it is going to be too somber. But it turns out to be an anthem of hope or at least that is my take. Good. I've enjoyed Elbow. I'll seek out more.

So there you go. I feel well done by and send my thanks (and apologies for slackness in reviewing) to ... Delrico Bandito! (When I imported the album into my laptop, the true identity of the Shuffleathon Pixie was revealed.) I've checked out his blog and he has loads of music stuff, so clearly, he is a bit of a professional when it comes to cd making. Hooray for me!

Tell all your single friends, try it -- you'll 95% like it!

XO, JamieSmitten

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Real Text Messages on My Phone


How did the big ziti smackdown go?

Requirements gathering. I had a hard time wondering why anyone would care.

I do love it! Just didn't recall talking about it.

I knew she'd go there, smoking & all

She's the bad karma express

I'm not sure I would call that MY eureka moment

Tragically bad. Did yr feet get some action?


Having raisin toast for breakfast and thinking of you!

Snow is as deep as a gnome's chin! Ha!

She's so weird. so very weird. and quite the bus-thrower-under.

Wanna bail 2morrow?

and nothing helps? drugs heat chocolate?

Read'n about buttery nipples while I eat lunch, whatCHOO doing?

it wasn't my ass, it was my thighs!

Tell all your single friends, who are you calling a twitter?

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Things You Hear

On the phone tonight, the Rev said:

It must be the hoar frost that keeps me young

That just sounds funny.

Tell all your single friends, it only sounds like it should be spelled w-h-o-r-e.

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I've Got Spirit, Yes I Do!


Totally worth the drive to Charlottesville last night. And that hand that touched Dave Wakeling? It has now been held in a two hand clasp by Matt Vasquez, lead hottie for Delta Spirit.

Concert-o-rama 2009 is a freaking success -- and only 2 months in! Best idea I've had in years.

It was a quick drive there with plenty of time to reflect on how nice it was to be on the road -- even if for only 70 miles -- and how glad I was to not be trying to make conversation with couch guy. I had a cup of coffee just in case my body started to rebel, having obediently done 150 lunges at Boot Camp at 5:30 that morning. [Yes, Jeifer, I was counting.]

Mapquest actually provided decent directions to the downtown mall and I took the lazy route and parked in a lot. I really should have parked on the street and spent that $8 on beer, but single woman safety first, right? Short walk across the street and $10 at the door and I'm just in time to order a beer and get a good spot for the opening act.

The Gravity Lounge has a great beer selection, so I started with a Maudite. It just appeals to the french major in me. Plus it has enough % to get the party started. It is an odd little venue -- a bookstore with a stage and beer. Decent enough acoustics although the low ceiling made me really hope there would be no pyrotechnics in the show. I identified all exits just in case.

Dawes was the first band. 4 guys and some excellent songwriting from California. A little more mellow than I usually listen to, but the live show sold me. Nice guitar work and some propulsive drumming, especially on When My Time Comes. I bought the cd and I'm not sorry. These boys make commercial radio crap like The Fray sound overproduced and amateurish. Up with Dawes!!

The second band was Other Lives. They were decent, but didn't hook me. So I used my time wisely by visiting the facilities, checking out the C-ville hipsters, and buying a Magic Hat #9. My beer cap said "It's Good to be Queen." Felt like career advice to me. Duly noted.

The place started to get more crowded and everyone who had been sitting on the floor got up and prepared to feel the spirit. A short equipment change later and we were ready to go.

Delta Spirit took the stage to some polite applause and proceeded to get things moving. Now I'd love to tell you that I remember every song and in which order they made me shake my ass, but gosh, I don't. I liked them all though. They definitely played my favorites from the radio and Letterman Show: People C'Mon, Trashcan, and Streetwalker.

My love is coming I can barely hardly wait

My heart is thumping I can feel it more with every beat

My love is coming I can barely hardly wait around

Mmmmm -- yessssssss. The place is so small that every drum thump or trashcan lid crash (more pleasant than you would think) hit me in the chest with a pleasing vibration. It was definitely a hipster crowd, so those of us dancing to the hypnotic beat were in the minority, but everyone seemed to get it -- the infectious joy of musicians playing together perfectly.

If you're feeling what I'm feeling c'mon

All you soul searching people c'mon

It should have been a sell out and it should have been in a bigger place. Fortunately, this will happen. We just need to spread the word.

The drive home was fairly uneventful, except for the empty gas tank light coming on 20 miles from home. So I stopped at Sheetz (brightly lit for single woman safety --check!) where I learned 2 new things. 1> You can't buy lottery tickets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 2> Pumping gas is quite delightful when the muzak playing over the tinny speakers is Rod Stewart singing "If Ya Want My Body."

Tell all your single friends, support independent music and buy Ode To Sunshine by Delta Spirit. You will not be sorry

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Step 1

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

I've already consumed TWO and Easter is still two months away. Cadbury should sponsor a 12 step recovery program. I can't be the only one who needs help.

Tell all your single friends, only 5 mg of cholesterol in each creamy oeuf!

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Nine Days Sober......Not!

Where to begin? With Gilligan and Stripey? With bacon wrapped around dates? With a strange (albeit cute) man on my couch?

We'll start where all good stories start. With the buttery nipples.

Actually, I probably need to give a little background. When I first moved to Richmond, I lived with a bunch of people. It was kind of like having the entire cast of Friends living in one apartment. But break-ups happen, people buy houses, and suddenly the (not even yet contemplating a career as a) Rev and I were on our own -- with a $1000 rent payment. So we advertised and interviewed for potential roommates. I was leaning towards the young, impressionable boys from VCU -- hopefully with a steady stream of equally impressionable friends.

But then we interviewed M. M stood out during her interview because she brought a peppy friend and tried to stab me with a knife. O.K. it was some sort of sleight of hand trick, but the knife did point at and then touch my stomach. Anywho, with this type of entrance, how could we resist? So M moved in with her owl and all was well on Stuart Ave. Peppy girl became DFF, so there you have the players.

Friday night, M came to town and DFF left the West End and we essentially recreated a night from our first year of acquaintance. Some of the trappings are different -- we buy more expensive beer now, we snack on hummus instead of chips, we wear clothes that don't need to be drycleaned to get the smoky bar smell out. But the essentials? That remains the same. We do the girly stuff like use hairspray and assure each other that we are in fact, quite hot -- no "still" about it. We listen to music, we catch up, and we drink buttery nipples.

Well lubricated, we walked over to the bar -- the same bar we always used to go to -- to see a group we always used to see. It was kind of dead at first but it picked up. Helped in no small part by my commitment to dancing, even when nobody else does. Besides, standing up allowed me to meet Gilligan -- an odd man in a Gilligan hat who touched my back every time he passed me. It was kind of creepy, but he looked a little off, so I let it go.

More beer, more dancing. I was thrilled to not be the one who spotted a long-forgotten FWB -- DFF had that honor. His girlfriend was Stripey. It was funny if you were there. Then we found the possibly only normal and good-looking male in the bar and convinced him to dance with us. This being Richmond, he was a friend of a friend of DFF. Richmond is 2 degrees of separation, in case you didn't know.

Lights came up, nobody was ready to stop, so we hot-stepped it over to another bar who firmly refused to serve us. I will attribute this to the late hour as we were clearly a fine looking bunch. Not to be deterred we lurched homeward with the promise of more buttery nipples on our lips. And they were good, although in the morning it appears I had a heavy hand with the schnapps as there is still some Bailey's left. Irksome. There may have been some Morgan and coke. There was definitely some beer.

And just when I was thinking this strange man might warrant a closer look, I slipped. I mixed my party favors. And as M did point out the next morning, "you can't do that, Smitten."

So a short time later, I was on the back porch trying desperately not to coat my Docs with the 3 cherry tomatoes, 5 tostitos, and 4 brownie bites. Thank goodness I don't eat meat, because the bacon-wrapped dates from our first party stop of the night would not have helped anyone in the immediate vicinity of my regurgitation. Thankfully, M lived with me long enough to know that once they dry heaves were done, I could be safely sent to bed. With this on the floor next to me:

When we woke up the next morning, the strange man was gone from the couch, his bedding neatly folded. Well, the bedding and the shower curtain that M had thoughtfully provided as a blanket. Deluxe accommodations, I tell you.

"I totally thought you were going to hook up with him." Sigh. The sad refrain of my life.

I gathered up the empties and carried them out to the recycling bin, where I found a dead bird. I told DFF and she said, "Maybe he ate your puke and it killed him."

Maybe it did.

Everyone was recovered by 2-ish. And I bet we do it again before the year is out. But this time, I'm not mixing my party favors and I'm getting some.

Tell all your single friends, old friends and buttery nipples, don't knock it until you've tried it.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We Are in a Recession, People!

So there was truly no excuse for me to pay $2.81 for a grapefruit.

Yes. A grapefruit. One. It was organic and weighed in at an impressive 1.13 lbs. but still, it seems a bit excessive, doesn't it?

I know better than to buy fruit at Ellwood Thompson. I love the store, but it really is targeted at the wealthy people who live on the other side of the Boulevard.

But it was Sunday morning and I was in desperate need of organic milk for my oatmeal and Cafe Bustelo and I just couldn't face the pre-Super Bowl hordes at Kroger. Plus I wanted to look at the sea buckthorn oil lotion.

There was a nice sample plate of oranges and they were good. And that damn grapefruit was just sitting there firm and redolent of sunny days in a faraway place where surely my knees wouldn't be aching from dancing. Sigh.

I also spent $15.99 on sea buckthorn lotion that appears to stain my face orange. But that's another story.

Tell all your single friends, I ate every darn juicy segment, and the seeds.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just Hold My Hand While I Come

Dave Wakeling shook my hand -- shut up -- no I won't -- I'm not even kidding, he really did.

2 Tone came to Richmond and Richmond represented. Oh sure, we were old and gray and some of us will be limping for days because no matter how strenuous the KYA Boot Camp walking lunge is, it does NOT compare to two+ hours of skanking. My Doc Martens kept my feet happy, but the knees are another story.

God Bless the English Beat!

I missed the opening act, because, well, I'm like that. Local musicians, decent enough was the word from one of the many co-workers I ran into at the show.

I arrived just in time to see Bad Manners take the stage. [Time for an observation: Ska bands that have been around for 30 years have generally replaced many if not all of the musicians, leaving the lone original frontman to embody everything that band was. This is clearly because ska is hard on the old bones, as lamented above.] In any case Buster Bloodvessel was in fine shape to lead his young band through their paces. Excellent horn section, tight rhythm, and a good set of about 12 songs. [Observation #2: I can't remember set lists to save my life. Possibly because I'm dancing madly and sweatily and possibly because Dave Wakeling shook my hand and all that went before means nothing. If you like concert reviews with actual reference to songs, go to Forgotten Disc Friday and let March to the Sea lead you onward. He's so good at the concert and record review, he gets free tickets.]

Anyway, Bad Manners ripped through a decent set including My Girl Lollipop, Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew, and Skaville UK. Hell -- I remembered way more songs than I thought I would. Crowd jumped and hollered back when directed, which is pretty damn unusual for a Richmond crowd. Usually they are too hip to acknowledge the opening acts and stand with their back to the stage talking loudly whilst gripping their PBR tall boys. But tonight, everyone seemed to be there to actually enjoy the show. I found a small piece of space and proceeded to sweat off my make-up within 3 songs. GOD I LOVE LIVE MUSIC.

I also had a momentary panic when I looked down and realized my genuine, purchased in 1982 at Commander Salamander, English Beat 2 Tone Girl pin was missing from my jacket. Fortunately, the concert gods parted the bodies and I managed to snatch it back from the sticky floor. The pin went safely in my pocket for the English Beat. Well, I say safely, but I did sustain one stab to the tender upper thigh area as the pin came undone. Price of rock and roll, I say.

So Bad Manners finished and the window of opportunity appeared. A straight shot up to the front stage left. I went. [Observation #3: If you concert with me and it is a band I really want to see, you are on your own for liquids and bathroom. I sweat out all fluids and will drink what you bring me, but damn if I'm giving up my spot for a beer. Just so you know.] So I moved up to the second row.

Second row is actually a bit tricky at Toad's Place. The people who walked right to the front as soon as the door opened are against a metal railing. Behind the metal railing is a 4 foot wide raised wooden step. Second row means you have the constant possibility of your energetic dancing dropping you off the raised wooden level and onto the foot of the people behind you. Sorry, pork pie hat guy! I only got you once. I settled in and waited. About 45 minutes, maybe more.

At 11 p.m. the English Beat took the stage. Dave is a wee little fellow with a lovely smile. The current toaster is Antony First Class. He kept the crowd moving and chanting and I do not doubt that we did lose weight as he swore we would. The sax player was hot, hot, hot and if you see me, I'll show you proof on my phone. [Observation #4: I was not the only one who thought he was hot. A random drunk next to me pulled off her bra and flung it at his feet.]

So off they went, starting with Whine and Grine and moving to Stand Down Margaret. Perfect. They played soooo many songs -- they were on for well over an hour and a half. Mirror in the Bathroom, Hands Off She's Mine, Can't Get Used to Losing You, Tears of a Clown, I Confess, Twist & Crawl, Two Swords, and my favorite, Save It For Later. Although picking a favorite seems ridiculous because there wasn't a bad song in the bunch. I've just always been partial to "Just hold my hand while I a decision on it." We also got some Tenderness which again whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

When it was all over, Dave came off the stage and shook hands with everyone in the front row. I had made it to front row when some people left before the encore. [Observation #5: I will NEVER be the person to leave before the encore. I'm not missing one minute of any encore.]

So there you have it. January concert -- The English Beat w/Bad Manners -- was a massive success. Let's see if February can compare.

Tell all your single friends, I don't know when to stop or when to start!

XO, JamieSmitten