I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002

-- HOME --

-- RSS 1.0 --


Soskins Media
C.C. Books

Powered by Movable Type
« April 2004 | Main | June 2004 »

w May 27, 2004

East Coast Trip: Part II

Staying in Louisville was actually a lot of fun; we were at the Galt House Inn, which is *the* hotel in Louisville, apparently. It was certainly *the* hotel for the Derby...the place was a madhouse. Still, it was right downtown and we had a suite (read: Bean sleeps in another room...huzzah!), so can't complain too much. Piddled around on Friday, although we did hit this great little hamburger shack whose name I can't remember, but they do a mean frizzled pickle. That, for those of you who don't know, is a battered, deep-fried pickle. Only in the South, I tells ya. Saturday morning the three of us drove around for hours looking for breakfast of a biscuits and grits nature...you'd think this wouldn't be hard to find in Kentucky, but it was nearly impossible. We finally fetched up at a funky little coffeeshop that, judging by the lines outside, was the only deal in town. Still, it was well worth the wait...even got some biscuits.

To the Derby at 3 pm, trying to maximize Bean happy-time...wore my schmancy dress and shoes, but most importantly, hat, Bean was well dressed, Gene was looking dapper and Southern -- although next time he really does need a seersucker suit and his Panama hat. We had been given tickets for a box literally at the finish line...you couldn't have asked for better seats. However, you could have asked for better weather. Yes, we were at the pretty-nearly rained out Derby, sad to say. It was a lot of wiping off chairs, settling into a mint julep, glancing at the sky, packing up, herding inside, wandering around knee deep in drunk people and trash, heading back out, wiping off chairs...well, you get the picture. Still, any place that has peripatetic mint julep vendors is still doing pretty well in my books. We didn't place any bets, but it was still greatly exciting to watch Smarty Jones win, particularly since everyone else around us seemed to be much more vested, and thus much more excitable. I'm thinking we just crashed out that night..Bean was in the throes of her cold, and I think we just gave up after getting her some Tylenol and ordered room service.

Left the next morning for Virginia, but we did make a brunch pit stop at Claudia Sanders' restaurant in Corbin (just outside of Louisville). Oh...my. As our friend Marcus is fond of saying, we got our eat on. I can't even remember what we ate, but it was good, it was a lot, and it was excessively Southern in nature. Maybe not the best meal to then sit in a car for six hours, but I'm glad we stopped anyway. It rained pretty much the entire way to Charlottesville, and Bean cried pretty much the entire way to Charlottesville, so we're going to just sort of gloss over that part and go make a quick cocktail in our commemorative Derby cups to try and forget that I even mentioned that leg of the journey.

by Heather Hoffman at 3:24 PM


East Coast Trip: Part I

So as not to agitate my fan base (you know who you are), without further ado, the long-awaited shakedown of our East Coast Odyssey.

April 29th: Bean and I load up into my ever-helpful neighbor's car, leaving the dogs to the tender mercies of the dogsitter (wonderful person, plus the mail didn't back up in the box), and we comfortably made it to the airport with about an hour and a half to spare. Tried to curb check, but apparently there was an "issue" with our tickets. ??? A kind porter helped me schlep everything inside and we tried the self-checkin kiosk. No dice. To make a long story short, because our tickets included a trip to and from Toronto (albeit on a totally different airline), I was travelling "internationally"...and my name on my passport didn't match the name on my ticket. Note bene: my passport is still in my maiden name, and I just always show my driver's license at the same time. Have never had a problem. But trying to get to Cleveland on Continental? Whooee.
At any rate, I finally talked the agent into letting me on the plane, agreeing to accept that I might have a "big problem" in New York, yes yes yes...and we ditched the bags and the stroller and made our way to security (I had strapped Bean's carseat onto a collapsible luggage cart...worked like a dream). Reasonably painless, and we hiked allllll the way down to the end of the terminal...but had lots of time! Even with my argument at the counter.

This was the first effort at entertaining a toddler without annoying the hell out of other passengers, and we did just fine. Thank goodness for Cheerios and goldfish crackers and my keys.
The plane was PACKED...we were about halfway back, but I got her strapped in pretty quickly and easily, and had the good fortune to sit next to an understanding man who was actually willing to talk to me instead of just glowering at the horrible mother and her toddler that dared disrupt his flight. She did fine until about 1.5 hours out of Cleveland...she needed to sleep so badly, and absolutely refused to just crash in her carseat. Scream scream scream howl howl howl...Mommy is desperately singing, reading books, dangling toys, etc. And I had to go to the bathroom in the worst way. I finally gave up after about 35 minutes and thought, you know what? I can either torture other passengers for a few minutes, or I can wet the seat. It's a good thing planes are as ambiently loud as they are.

Well, she settled down a bit as we were landing, I was fighting back tears, dreading every other flight we had to endure -- spoilers ahead, but this was fortunately the worst flight. My sister and her boyfriend managed to meet us at the airport for about fifteen minutes during our layover, and that was really nice. The flight to Lexington was my first one on a regional jet, and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was. I saw the looks of terror on the faces of my fellow passengers when we got on, as they were all clearly single, urban, successful beautiful people headed to the Kentucky Derby, and were NOT pleased to have to listen to a 2 year old for an hour. Well, Bean charmed them all by blowing raspberries for AN HOUR. I was sort of impressed with her sustainability, to tell you the truth. But it was very, very, very nice to hand her over to Gene and get to eat a Stuckey's pecan roll on our drive to Louisville.
Stay tuned for the second installment...this was quite a trip.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:20 AM

w May 26, 2004


Not that I ever do get seasick, actually, but as of late, I've been dealing with boats a lot, in a wide variety of circumstances. The funny thing is, I'm not really sick of them...quite the opposite, in fact.

To begin with, Bean and I and the dogs had to take up residence on our boat, Carolina Pacific, for a few days back in April due to some power outage issues back at the ranch. It was comfy, warm, I had hot water and power and wireless access, I could easily walk the dogs at the marina, and I even had regular entertainment watching the planes land at San Francisco airport. I'm not saying that I would necessarily want to live aboard permanently, but I did tell Gene, much to his delight, that I would never again say anything negative about the boat, because it had really saved our bacon.

Well, then we took the boat up to the city for KFOG's KaBoom! last Saturday night...good time was had by all, I think. At least the detritus the next morning seemed to indicate that. The one thing I am going to do in future, though, is make sure we have both ginger and "seasick bracelets" aboard. We had two of the bracelets, but about six people who needed them. Note to self. Anyway, it was a fun time, and Bean even stayed up for the fireworks this year...didn't freak her out at all, which sort of surprised me. I thought the noise level would be a bit overwhelming, but then, this is the child who adores Manhattan. So.

Finally, and this is my favorite...I am utterly attached to that Russell Crowe movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World. And the irony is, it has nothing to do with Russell Crowe and only a little to do with other hunky sailors, ha ha. There's just something so magical about the true sailing ships...though god only knows I have NO idea what it technically is. A frigate? A man-of-war? Something like that, but I just watch the pretty sails unfurl and cannons boom and all that and feel most nautical, in a very dry and non-cramped way. Sure, it helps that it's "historical"...I don't know that I'd watch the America's Cup with as much intensity, but who knows? After umpteen viewings, Gene might even be able to talk me onto a modern sailboat. I'd much prefer an 18th century frigate, though. Or man-of-war.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:09 AM