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Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome To The Monkey House

Happy Chinese New Year! My friend from high school, Veeda, blogged about the day and linked to a place to find out your Chinese zodiac.


I am a monkey:


Personality

Occupying the 9th position on the Chinese Zodiac, the Monkey possesses such character traits as curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness. Forever playful, Monkeys are the masters of practical jokes. Even though their intentions are always good, this desire to be a prankster has a tendency to create ill will and hurt feelings.



Although they are inherently intellectual and creative, Monkeys at times have trouble exhibiting these qualities. When that happens, they appear to others to be confused. But nothing could be further from the truth as Monkeys thrive on being challenged. Monkeys prefer urban life to rural, and their favorite pastime is people-watching.
Health


Believing that being sick is a waste of a valuable day, Monkeys very rarely feel ill. Their constantly active lifestyles are likely what helps Monkeys remain in good health. When Monkeys do become ill, such feelings are generally the result of feeling nervous.
Career


When it comes to work, Monkeys can do just about anything. They adapt well to changing environments and they’re very intelligent. They work quickly, but they’ll frequently charge double for their services. Good career fields for Monkeys are accounting and banking. Other good careers for Monkeys include: scientist, engineer, stock market trader, air traffic controller, dealer, film director, jeweler and sales representative.
Relationships


When it comes to relationships, Monkeys aren’t quick to settle down. In fact, they generally are promiscuous; a tendency that probably has to do with the fact that Monkeys are easily bored. Monkeys will end this type of behavior once they pair up with the perfect partner. In fact, more often than not, they’ll commit to that person in every way for life.


Metal Monkey – Years 1920 and 1980

Metal Monkeys are determined and ambitious individuals and as a result, they’re often successful. Although they’re considered warm-hearted and very likeable, their preference in life is to be alone. Metal Monkeys are loyal to both their employers and their partners.


So, what are you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cold Winter

I'm freezing.

This is not a complaint.




I hope we get snow soon and that it stays cold until June and then we get a month or two of weather in the 70s and then it's cold again.


XO,
SVR

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In Your Honor

While a funeral is a private occasion, I still want to have a record of it for my memories since the day meant a lot to me, even in its sadness. I was struck by how many people came to show what my grandfather meant to them and the awe I felt in response to the different ways he was honored was enough to make me teary if I had not already been incredibly sad.

My aunt put together a photo collage that contained old photos of my grandfather from his travels over the years. As a member of the 101st Airborne, my granddad traveled all over the world and I saw pictures of him in front of a pyramid in Egypt, in a pub in Europe and several others that I had never seen before. It was also precious to see the family photos from when my mom was a young child.

Since patriotism is in the blood, it was a a powerful image to see the Screaming Eagle insignia and American flag draped appropriately. I actually did take some pictures of the flowers people sent. I took NO pictures of people, out of respect, but the gesture to send flowers was sweet and from some unexpected people. It was a trying night, but it is also comforting to be around family and loved ones.

The next day, I was very nervous for the car processional to the cemetery after the funeral service. I thought I was going to be the last car and I worried they'd lose me or I would do something wrong. Well, there turned out to be no need for worry because I was car number five of about 15. We also had four motorcycle cops who accompanied us from Leesburg to Falls Church, VA and pretty much shut down any road with traffic so we could pass. It was a sight to behold. Ali and I couldn't believe it and made sure to remind ourselves that we would indeed have to obey traffic laws on the way back.

When we got to the cemetery the policemen were standing at the entrance saluting. Ali and I wanted to slow down and say thank you somehow, but of course, that was not really possible. We smiled and nodded our heads so I hope they know what we were trying to convey! Need I remind you how bitter cold it was on Friday? And they were on motorcycles. Brrr!

My aunt told me later that as we drove in, she saw a young soldier holding a trumpet and knew she would be hearing Taps. I had not seen him, so I was taken by surprise when, after two other soldiers presented the flag to my uncle, I heard the song. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so honorable and sad at the same time.

Thanks for all of your kind comments on my last post. You are all very sweet.


XO,
Scarlet

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hero

So...my grandfather passed away. I'm not sure I can be as eloquent in talking about it as he deserves, but since this blog has turned into a place for me to remember things, I want to be sure to say a few things.

My grandfather was pretty much the coolest person in the world. He grew up in a tiny town in Virginia, fought in World War II as a paratrooper, and then came back and started his own business from nothing. My favorite memories of him involve my thinking he was the Godfather (a la the Mob) as he sat at the head of the table and always took the bill for out 10+ parties. He loved poker and even has a framed royal flush he got one time. He told me recently that until his last trip to Atlantic City, he had never left the place in the hole. I like to think I have his poker luck:) He was a night person- whenever I spent the night at my grandparents, my grandmother would have me yell upstairs, "granddad! Gram and I want breakfast!" and he would wake up, with no complaints, even though he preferred to sleep 'til noon, and would go fetch us something. He used to pay for the entire family (that's four of his children and all nine of his grandchildren) to go Ocean City, MD every year for a week. I remember him getting into the water once. He loved bluegrass and, even though I resisted as a kid, I now realize he had some pretty kickin' taste. He visited my grandmother every day he could since she had to start living at the nursing home.

The last time a family member passed away, I was maybe 13 and it was my great grandmother. My grandfather was at Thanksgiving so, to think that just a little over a month later he is not with us is pretty difficult to process.

My mom told me that my grandmother, who has been in a nursing home for a few years (where he was his last couple of weeks), convinced a nurse to take her down to visit him the night before he died. This makes my heart warm since my grandmother can't always express what she wants in a way for us to understand. I imagine her insisting she be taken down to see him. The nurse told my mom that she stroked his arm for awhile before being taken back up. I guess he passed early the next morning.

I am also glad my mom got to see him the day before.

Here is his obituary in The Washington Post.

XO Always,

Scarlet (grandchild # 4:)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Statues

And The Winners Are:


Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: YAY! KATE WINSLET! I love her. And wam bam thank you mam in regards to getting this show started! Her dress is gorgeous. She's a classy broad. Sidenote: I haven't seen this movie, but reallllly want to.

Best Original Song- Motion Picture: I want Beyonce to win! I guess Bruce Springsteen can win. Am glad it wasn't Miley Cyrus.

Best Supporting Actor For TV Stuff: COME ON NPH!!!!! I love How I Met Your Mother. Oh I am so disappointed. Neil Patrick Harris needs to win one year.

Best Supporting Actress In TV Stuff: Melissa George was on Alias so I'm okay with her. Otherwise, I don't care who wins. OK, it's Laura Dern. Boo for the political talk, but I guess I'll forgive it since her movie was about that:)

***Burn After Reading! YAY! I liked this one. I love the CIA guys when they're reviewing the case.

Best Actor In A TV Series: Dexter-YES COME ON! I know Lisa wants Jon Hamm to win. Oh man and Ali would want House. Tough category! Jonathyn Rhys Meyers, too!? Good Lord can we have a tie? WTF GABRIEL BYRNE?! I DON'T CARE ABOUT HIM!!!!!

Best Actress In TV Series Drama: Sally Field forgot to dress up? January Jones! Yay! ANNA PAQUIN! YES! Kyra Sedgwick=boring. Law And Order SVU= even more boring. YES ANNA PAQUIN!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY!

I love Ricky Gervais.

Jay Z!

***Happy Go Lucky- No idea about this one.

Why are the Jonas Brothers there? If they mention their chastity rings, I'm turning the TV off. I only wish Taylor Swift was there.

Best Animated Feature: Don't really care. Wall e won. *snore* Although now I feel bad because the guy accepting is so happy.

Johnny Depp? Oh hello, love.

Best Actress In Comedy, Musical, Something Else, Etc.: If Meryl Streep wins I'm going to be so angry. Whew! Close call. Seriously, you can't award someone for making a musical of ABBA songs. Terr...ible!

I wish they could just do a blanket thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. That would shorten the show considerably.

***The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button- Top 5 Brad Pitt film ever. Very high on my all-time list. <3

I'm excited they're making Grey Gardens, but also a little terrified.

Best Miniseries/Picture For TV: Oh come on, P Diddy! I wasn't even going to cover this one, but he's a baller. John Adams won. I feel like this should have been up for the award last year.

Best Supporting Actor: I love that Tropic Thunder has two nominees. I loved The Duchess, though. Awwww Heath Ledger. He better win. How awkward to accept if someone else wins. Yay! Oh man, I'm gonna tear up. And how appropriate to show a clip. Very nice.

***Frost/Nixon- To be honest, I didn't think this was supposed to be a good movie. After seeing a trailer, though, I do want to see it.

Colin Farrel and I would drink so much beer before sleeping together.

Best Foreign Language Film:
Like I've seen any of these. I hope the Israeli film wins. They need something good going on for them. YAY I so called it. Wow, I'm good. Waltz With Bashir. This guy's accent is sorta hott.

Best Actress In Miniseries/Etc: Laura Linney. I hadn't seen any of the nominated things. Also, my internet stalled so not much commentary on this one. NEXT!

***In Bruges- I want to see this.

Best Screenplay: This is the award I will win one day. COME ON CURIOUS CASE!!!!! Slumdog Millionaire won, though.

Best Actor In A TV Series, Beep Boop, Bop: CALIFORNICATION!!!!! Boooo Alec Baldwin. He's cool and all, but he's no David Duchovny on CA. And I don't want to hear youknowwho talk about 30 Rock. Sidenote: Tracey Morgan did stand up at my college and people could not handle his wang jokes. It was hilarious.

Renee Zellwegger is one of the oddest stars there is. I think she takes a cocktail of downers and Ritalin or something before these things.

***The Reader- I sooo want to see this!!!!

Best Actor In Miniseries, etc: I want Ralph Fiennes to win, please. Let's see...it's-Paul Giamatti. Big surprise.

Best TV Series Musical (?) or Comedy: Californication is such a great show. OH GOD WHY 30 ROCK? Now they're going to talk about it at work:(

***Mamma Mia- brb, I'm vomiting.

Best Soundtrack: I think it's cool Clint Eastwood composed the music for Changeling, but I think I want Slumdog Millionaire to win...and I called it!

Best Actress In TV, Etc.: PLEASE NO MORE NOMINATIONS FOR UGLY BETTY! Tina Fey-who didn't call that one? At least when she wins, her acceptance speech is funny.

Cecil B. award goes to Steven Speilberg. Dawson Leery would be so happy.

Why are all the Hollywood men so short? WHY? And is Emma Thompson drunk? Or just British?

Best Director Motion Picture: Duh, I want Benjamin Button. I read that Ron Howard will win because everyone loves Opie-hahha! Hank Azaria, I mean Danny Boyle won for Slumdog Millionaire.

***Revolutionary Road- Yes, please. I <3 them.

Best Actor In Comedy, Etc: Colin Farrel. Cheers! Haha great acceptance speech. Probably would have been boring without an accent.

***Vicky Cristina Barcelona- Haven't seen this.

BORAT!

Best Motion Picture Musica/Comedy: Again, why Mamma Mia? NOOOOO!!!!! Better not win...Goes to: Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Whew.

***Slumdog Millionaire- I want to see it.

I love Cameron Diaz's dress. She annoys me sometimes, but I think she always looks so great.

Best Actress: I want either Angelina Jolie or Kate Winslet. OMG KATE GOT TWO! That's so cute. If she doesn't get an Oscar, it will be a travesty.

Best TV Drama: I can't pick which one I want to win...Mad Men won! Lisa will be sooo happy. I'm so into True Blood right now, though. Mad Men is awesome, though. Woop!!

Best Actor: OH COME ON!!!!! FUCK!!!!!!!! This is ridiculous. Brad was robbed.

Best Motion Picture Drama: Slumdog Millionaire. At this point, I'd rather be asleep. Sure, I want to see it, but is Brad Pitt in it? NO. And really, I'm not rooting for Benjamin Button just because BP is in it, but because I really really liked it.

XO,
SVR

Celebrity Skin

I'm not "live-blogging" or anything, but I keep having comments to make about the Golden Globes:

+ My star crushes are being reignited: Leonardo Dicaprio, Stephen Moyer, Colin Farrel (for hot sex in an alternate reality where he has not been a man whore.), etc.

+ People annoying me: Miley Cyrus (pretty dress, though. Just don't talk. And why is Miley's mom trying to show so much leg? Wow.) Evan Rachel Wood (eat.), etc.

+ Brad Pitt better win.

+Meryl Streep better not win!

+ Okay, I <3 True Blood and Anna Paquin, but I just had to wikipedia her to see where she's from. She's Canadian...so is she just doing the accent to not confuse fans of the show??

+ OMG AMERICA FERRERA GO AWAY!!!!!! I hate Ugly Betty.

+ I love the fashion. I really like the choices this year.

+ 7:32pm when I spotted Brad Pitt. *Swoon*

+ Kate Winslet exudes classiness. <3

+ Anne Hathaway. Hmmm...I used to like you and then your lips and eyes took over your face. Please do something so I like you again.

+ Brad Pitt and AJ just ignored Ryan Seacrest. WOW.ZERS. Ryan said, "They were rushed in..." Yeah, right.

+ Megan Fox is gorgeous. Doesn't she die her hair dark, though? She's a little weird in the interviews, though. Yikes! Oh wait, I don't care how small her waist is.

+ They should just do picture-in-picture of Brad Pitt so we can watch him the whole time.

XO,
SVR

P.S. I'll be back.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Come Together

After checking into the hotel and unpacking, Ali and Bear came over to have a drink before the rehearsal dinner. Since I had pretty much had nothing to eat all day, I got feathered* and pretty quickly. Heading to the restaurant we had no idea what to expect, except that 36 people would be there. Seeing as how this could turn out to be completely uncomfortable and/or terrifying, we headed in carefully.

What greeted us what better than anyone could have imagined. The four of us walked into a side room reserved for our party that had several large round tables and then a row of booths. We headed to the last booth where we could have fun, but not be in the midst of the crazy family-ness. We love our family, but we also wanted to be able to let loose and have our own conversations.

The rehearsal dinner was held at Tarrants on Broad Street in Richmond. I had never been there, but would now highly recommend it. From our prearranged menu, we got to choose among Filet mignon, seafood combo, and a chicken dish. I got the seafood while the other three at my table chose the filet. Before our food came we ordered drinks. Every person was allotted one drink, but since we're VIP our "daddy"** told the waitress to take care of us. It was amazing- we looked over and our dad was pointing out our table and telling the waitress to get us whatever we wanted. Those were some gooood gin and tonics.***

Dinner was amazing and even though we had chosen a table on the outskirts, we still did our share of visiting other tables and hosting others to ours. Dessert consisted of coconut something (ha!), warm apple pie (?), and ice cream. Honestly, by this point in the evening I was stuffed and re-feathered so it's difficult to remember. It was all very good, though. Get the coconut one if you go to Tarrants.

Post dinner we changed and headed to our uncle's room. All through dinner he had told us, "SHOTS IN OUR ROOM!" and we are not a group to say no to shots. $100 tequila shots and a beer later and we left to go to Penny Lane Pub down the street. I used to go to Penny Lane when I lived in Richmond so it was interesting to go back. Ali and Bear stayed for just a beer, but B and I almost closed the place down and made friends. Delerium was had, pictures were taken, and I got into an argument about Christian music****. We got back to the hotel after 2am and after a few rounds of Texas Hold 'Em, we hit the hay to be prepared for the next day.


XO,
SVR



*Jobeth's mom says she's "getting feathered" when she starts to feel her alcohol. It's cute.
**"Daddy" was our silly nickname we gave him for the evening since he was paying and hooked us up.
***Soon to become a theme.
****I say it shouldn't be a genre. Gospel is a type of musical sound, but Christian shouldn't be a sound, it's just a subject matter.

Friday, January 02, 2009

When It Started

I'll have to recap the past few days in at least a few parts or it will never get done. My brother got married on New Years Eve in Richmond, VA and the festivities and time surrounding it were just perfect.

To start with: the hotel.

We stayed at the Linden Row Inn at 1st and Franklin, which is walking distance from my brother and his wife's* store. This historic inn might just be my new favorite hotel, even beating out The Jefferson, which has the Gone With The Wind stairs. Maybe it was the excitement in the air because of the wedding, but even just hanging out seemed special. Our door opened up into a courtyard-like area with wrought-iron tables and chairs where it felt like we were in another time. We joked our horse would be tied up out front for us. Our room was cozy, but comfortable and even though the fireplace was just for show, it added to the ambiance.



I love love love hotels. I love almost everything about them** and am always excited to stay in one. This one was stellar and I hope to stay there again sometime. Two nights was just not enough.


XO,
SVR


*Whoa!!!
**Have you ever noticed how hotel bathrooms always get steamy? I hate that!