I will run down my action-packed (please note sarcasm) holiday weekend in a bit, but first things first. Product recommendations!
First of all, I'm diggin' this:
No, it doesn't quite make my lashes look like Drew Barrymore's in the commercial, of course, but it ain't bad! I can get by with just a couple of coats, and my lashes are acceptably thick and lush (for me--I have very fine blonde eyelashes, damn it). And it's not clumpy. The brush is really large--maybe that's the key. Best thing I've tried in a while. And I am a girl who loves (and needs) mascara.
I also love falafel. A while back, the mom and pop of my favorite mom-and-pop Lebanese restaurant retired. (I know--how could they do that to me?!) They sold the restaurant, time-tested recipes included, and the new owner swore he wouldn't change a thing. But he did! I won't go so far as to say it was horrible, but it sure the heck wasn't what it was before. The rice was seasoned differently, the falafel was a bit soggy, and the tabouli wasn't super-fresh. What's a fried chickpea ball-loving girl to do? I'd tried some of those packaged mixes before, and was never very happy with the results. But, for some reason, I was compelled to pick up a box of this:
It's made in Israel--surely the Israelis wouldn't steer me wrong in such an important thing, right? And you know what? It's not Mimi's, but it's not half bad. I knew it was a good thing when I slit open the package and that unmistakable aroma wafted up. It smells like falafel! I fried up a batch, threw together some acceptable yogurt sauce with cucumbers, green onions and (fresh from my garden) mint. Not bad, not bad at all. (Of course, Mimi would never serve yogurt sauce with falafel, but I didn't have any tahini on hand, so I made do.) I will definitely try it again soon.
Okay, so how was my long weekend? Well, it was fine.
Thursday night I went to see a production of the Leonard Bernstein musical "Candide." I'd never seen it before. Truthfully, I was not blown away, but it was okay, and the tickets were free.
Friday morning I went to the grocery story the minute I woke up, hoping to beat the crowds and the heat. (Mission accomplished.) My plan for the day was not to leave the house again, and do as little in the way of actual work as possible. I spent the whole day on the couch reading, having recently been tipped off by Lara that a certain online bookseller was having a massive clearance sale. (She wasn't kidding. Lots and lots of books under $3.99. And free express shipping.) (And sorry about not patronizing my local independent bookseller, but the only one left around here doesn't have a particularly large selection, and they darn sure aren't selling them under $3.99. And times are hard. I'll stop digressing now.) I took a couple of breaks to watch TV and make enchiladas, but I still managed to read 1.5 books.
Now, here's where it becomes clear that the universe really, really enjoys fucking with me. I'm reading my first book of the day...it's not life-changing literature, but it's very enjoyable, I can tell everything's going to be wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end, and I'm going to feel good about it, and that's EXACTLY WHAT I WANT. Since my own life is so very NOT like that. So I'm reading along, absorbed in my nice little piece of escapism, trying to forget ALL about my own life, and a character is introduced. His name is "New Guy." (Okay, not really...he has the same first name as New Guy, but you got that, right?) Oh, great. I read on. "Fictional New Guy" is revealed to have a deep and abiding love for vintage "Dohn Jeere" tractors. Oh, GREAT. So does REAL New Guy. It is further revealed that FNG grew up on a farm, and left it to become a pilot. Oh, just stick that knife in further! SO DID REAL NEW GUY! At that point, I just started laughing. So much for escapism. Heh.
Oh, and then I started into book #2 of the day, and instantly was confronted with another character named "New Guy." (Okay, it's a pretty common name, but really.) Fortunately, this FNG was a shell-shocked Vietnam veteran and he didn't stick around the book very long. Whew.
Friday night I tried to keep poor Pudge calm while the neighbors shot off very loud fireworks on all sides. He didn't get too visibly upset, but flat-out refused to go outside. I think he went about 18 hours without peeing. Sigh. Poor Pudgie.
Saturday morning, I did my usual chores and swung by my favorite restaurant for take-out crack noodles (of course), did some more reading, then Saturday evening I went to see the same theatre company do "Pirates of Penzance." Better than "Candide," I thought. They updated it to "modern day," which I didn't feel enhanced it at all, but, fortunately, didn't detract as I feared it might. And hey, the tickets were free. We'll be going to see "Into the Woods" later this week, and I have high hopes, as I love, love, love me some Sondheim. Gilbert and Sullivan I like, Sondheim I love. And hey, (sing it with me if you know the words) the tickets will be free. Hee.
Sunday was church, napping and lawn-mowing, and the weekend was done.
Okay, should I even tell you about this? It feels kind of weird.
Oh, why not. You see, New Guy (real life version) has been very, very busy, and basically incommunicado the past few days, and it's not making me feel particularly good. So I thought, what the heck. Let's see what/who else is out there and, if nothing else, I will be reminded why having a boyfriend named Pudge who walks on all fours isn't the worst fate that could befall a girl.
So I updated my online profile and posted it on a different site than last year. I've gotten several "ice breakers" that I've basically ignored, and a couple of actual messages, one of which I've responded to. The guy's a university professor--at the university I went to, in my hometown about an hour from here. "I don't know if you're familiar with Hometown," he says. Hee! I had to reply. We've exchanged a couple of emails. At the very least, he's intelligent and articulate. (A PhD and a CPA.) I have absolutely no expectations. That seems the way to play it for now.
So, there you have it. You're all caught up.