Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sham-Wow, wine, beef, and Shakespeare.

I've been having insomnia lately again, but it's the good kind where I have lots of ideas to think about, and not the bad kind where I get all anxious and full of dread thinking about every possible bad thing that could happen to me and the people I love. Hate that kind of insomnia.

So far this week is going much better than last week...but then, any week without a trip to the dentist has to be better than one with a trip to the dentist, right?

Sunday I went to the home and garden show at the VA Beach convention center with my friend Beverly, and we had a fantastic time. She and I both have an extremely irreverent and often inappropriate sense of humor, and we tend to exacerbate that in each other. We bring out each other's inner 12-year-old, I guess is what I'm saying.

I'd never been to a home and garden show before, and although much of it was what I'd expected (vinyl siding, hot tubs, replacement gutters and windows) there were a few surprise booths. The Sham-Wow guy was there...well, not the guy from the infomercial, but his brother or cousin maybe. It was hilarious watching the crowd watching his patter, as he mopped up water and soda and everybody oohed and aahed, and after a three-minute routine, he sold about $200 worth of Sham-Wows as we--I mean, they--all rushed the stage.

Okay, I'll admit it--I rushed the stage, too. I've always wanted to sop up liquids with a super-absorbent bright orange towel, and now I can. The Vita-Mix people and the super-sharp knife people were there, too, but I managed to resist their blandishments.

There was a huge booth advertising certified Angus beef...because when you think "home," don't you think of a big old slab of beef? They had all these tables with spices and spoons and little baggies where you could mix up a special rub with dried rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and coffee. Yes, because when you think "beef," don't you think of Starbucks?

I mixed one up and it's been sitting on my counter and making my house smell like coffee all day. Coffee that ain't quite right, like maybe it's been sitting in the pot for a couple of days and you spilled a little soup in it by accident. Queasy.

My favorite booth by far was the wine-tasting booth, where I got a little wineglass and got to go around and sample wines from three different Virginia wineries. Now, I'm not much of a wine-drinker. I've never really gotten the big deal or understood when people talked about wines being oaky or having hints of pear and chocolate or whatever.

But when I stood and sipped seven or eight wines in a row, taking my time and thinking about what I was tasting, I began to get a glimmer of what people were talking about and why some people like wine tasting. It's very sensual, you're really concentrating on what's moving around in your mouth. Then when I moved to another winery's table and tasted four or five of their wines, I started to see how tastes could vary from winemaker to winemaker.

I also got slightly lit, which is probably the main reason people like wine-tasting. Anyway, it really was eye-opening for me. Eye-opening experiences are always fun. And I bought a really nice wine called Virginia Breeze Red from Davis Valley Winery in western VA.

Monday morning I stopped off at an estate sale on my way home from the grocery store--it had run all weekend and Monday was the dregs, at half-off. I found a few little treasures there that I'll share tomorrow.

Work on the bathroom has been in idle mode, but I am definitely going to get the vanity doors painted this week, and Todd's definitely going to get the second coat put on along the wall tops. Then the sink top will definitely come off, because I'm tired of driving around with the new one squeaking in its styrofoam padding in the back of the car. Then we will definitely put in a new medicine cabinet, and then we'll definitely install a new shower curtain rod.

Then by that time it will be mid-March and we'll be able to put in the new floor, because it's going to take two weeks for it to come in, and Todd's dad can't get here to help Todd install it till then. So the brown floor will be around a little longer, but that's fine--it gives us time to get everything else done.

Oh, one last thing--we have been watching this Canadian show called "Slings and Arrows" on DVD from Netflix. It's about a small-town theater company that's known for its Shakespeare festivals. Long ago Todd and I had a very good friend who was an actor, and who later was the managing director of a small community theater, and let's just say this show rings true. The writing is excellent, and the show's creators (one of whom is Mark McKinney from The Kids in the Hall--he's also in the show) really, really understand actors and theater and the drama and self-absorption of that world and how it can all come together to make art.

The show's a little uneven in the first couple episodes, and some of the actors are better than others, but it's funny, funny. And the first season revolves around a production of "Hamlet" and how different directors interpret it. It's very clever. Not PG-rated, though. Unsuitable for kids or in-laws, Viv, in case you're reading this!

All right, I'm pooped and cold, time to hit the hay.


Mimi said...

Wow, what a fun weekend. I shall have Dh add that series to the Netflix queue, sounds fabulous.

I agree about wine tasting.

Viv said...

OK, I hear ya. No "Slings and Arrows" for me! Glad that the timing for the March "Extreme Bathroom Make-Over" trip works out for you. What does the new vinyl look like? Looking forward to more pix of the BA this weekend. Keep up the good work!

Martha said...

You are SO. FUNNY!!

I DEFINITELY need to check out your bathroom project....

I want a sham-wow. How do you like yours?