Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's oh, so quiet

It's oh, so still.

The last of our guests,
my oldest brother, left this morning. I finally took a good, long nap and then woke up to silence. Strange after having guests in our home every week this month.

{Here it is . . . the merry month of December}

The week after getting back from Thanksgiving in Florida, we had a friend of ours visit with us. It is always a good time with Dave! He is a natural at storytelling and will leaving you laughing every time.

We introduced Dave to an oldie, but a goodie game, Greed. It is a fun, addictive dice game. Easy to learn too.

We also finally went to check out Thai Heaven. Great to have a good Thai place that is close by and doesn't involve looking for parking for 10 minutes. Their Nam Sod is crazy good and is a little scalding - more so than what they call spicy on their menu.

I am still in mourning for Phuket's closing on Buford Hwy . . . although I see that a new Thai place is there now. Is it the same owners?


Next up, Mr. BITH's dad and wife drove up to drop off something for his sister and her boyfriend and then we all met up at Ted's Montana Grill to sup. Mr. BITH's dad and wife came back to our place to stay. We had a lovely brunch with them at Thumb's Up and then they drove back to Florida.

Wonderful to see them!


A few days later, my brother flew in from San Antonio to spend the week with us. Many-splendored things occurred.

Gingerbread house making
(bonus points for using a Halloween kit)

A visit to the aquarium:

The new World of Coke:

Weird Coke creatures from 4D
ad movie.

This is a screen shot of a Flip movie my brother took of me while I was tasting a flavor (apparently putrid) at the end of the Coke museum. I went years ago to the old museum and don't recall being this put off by one of the flavors. Maybe a new one or my taste buds are changing?

I am in utter disbelief that I am sharing this photo because it is ghastly, but I couldn't stop laughing at the faces I made!

I believe I was shedding tears by the end of the film.
And if I recall correctly, suppressing a gag reflex.

Dialog in the Dark:

Yes, this was actually said by our blind guide.

A word of caution: Do not get grouped with a mass of HR women who are on a holiday team building exercise and think that this experience is supposed to be similar to going to a haunted house . . . 'nuff said.

Watched a slew of crazy movies and streamed a ton of Roku (our obsession with the Roku is a whole other post I have been neglecting to do):

  • Pictionary (hog or Porky Pig)
  • Winning some trivia at the local bar (did you know that Japan uses more condoms than China, Brazil or the U.S.? We didn't)
  • Sweetwater Creek on a warm, rainy day
During our week together, we discovered a new, magically delicious restaurant on Buford Hwy after finding out that the Pho house we wanted to go to was closed that day.

Amazingly, the AJC reviewed it over a week later in an article titled, "2008: These 10 spots made year memorable."

We can highly recommend the shaken beef, La Lot beef - and Mr. B, what kind of fish did you have that was so yummy? Perfect jasmine tea too. Will definitely go back again!


With the revolving door ever turning, my parents arrived from Florida with enough food in tow to feed a village. No stopping Christmas now!

On Christmas Eve, my oldest brother stepped off a plane and arrived to find mouth-watering, melt in your mouth rack of lamb glazed with citrus and vinegar. I am not usually a lamb lover (with the exception of cassoulet and gyros), but . . .

0. m. g.

We attempted to do the Southern thang with some Honeybaked Ham, rosemary corn bread, celery cream and bacon on green beans and scalloped potatoes for Christmas, but I do believe the lamb was the pinnacle.

There were so many beautiful moments that we shared as a family -- far too many to list, but I will give it a try (hey, it's my blog).

We are thankful for it all!

  • White Oak walk
  • Kennesaw Mountain
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Thai food (yes, again)
  • Home cooked meals and general silliness
  • Hot dogs and cheesecake sent from Chicago (yep, Chi-town style)
  • Homemade cookies and fudge and date balls and lemon bars that my mom made and additional that my godmother sent (did we achieve that 3,500 a day calorie goal? You betcha!)
  • The Bodies exhibit (for some of us, the second time seeing it)! Amazing! Go see it if you haven't. Although I will say that I liked the exhibit space in Tampa better
  • Povitica from N & J (yes, I even saved some for the rest of the family)
  • Hummous povitica (dad)
  • Seeing the Thrashers get, err, thrashed
  • Free flowers from Trader Joe's
  • The little boy sleeping in church
  • Pool sharkin' at the Tavern
  • Dynasty unfolding at Blind Willies
  • . . .

Thanks to my family for making our first Christmas in our new home so special.

Each of you made our time together absolutely perfect.

♥ ♥ ♥

Love to all of you and missing you like crazy here in the Hollow,
The BITH's

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

for my silly brother with his birfday cake . . .

. . . for the GG Queen who has been my dear friend since a wee bit before the first grade and will use any means possible to get me into the Ale House!

Rock on Cap'n Jack (yumm)

and for all those people who give to others . . .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ambrosia alert

I have been a baking fool. As a token of appreciation, these two trays of goodies went to the brave fire fighters and police of our fair city yesterday. They were so happy to have sugar delivered to them in the form of pumpkin bars and brownies that I was whisked up the elevator in the company of the chief of police and deputy chief to their super secret . . . break room. Yess! The inner sanctum!

Our first Thanksgiving in our first house.
Oh, no! Look closely. Mr. BITH noticed something was missing about halfway through our meal. How could I have forgotten?!

Near Thanksgiving tragedy. Ambrosia left all by its lonesome
in the fridge? Here it is just in the nick of time.

Mmm. Punkin pie. Even better on a
Don Drumm trivet. Makes everything prettier.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Even in uncertain times, there is a LOT to be thankful for.

I'll be heading down that tryptophan highway now . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it vewy scawy?

Vampire frenzy is sweeping the box office with the release of Twilight. And yeah, I admit it. I've read the books to see what all the hubbub is about.

Was I slightly reminded of some books I read in middle school and high school? Yes.

Does the series realistically portray (and therefore transport you back into) the cliquishness, innocence, buzz of "firsts" dramas many of us experienced or at least were aware of in high school? Kind of.

Still, the series fumbled in its language and didn't grab me to the point that I was hooked. Reminds me of my relationship with {uh oh. here I go} Harry Potter.

This post doesn't mean I won't eventually go see Twilight or rent it. It's probably a fun watch. It does mean that I 'm not running to go see it.

However, this post is for a different, less flashy type of vampire tale:
Let the Right One In

Saw it last night at the Tara. It wasn't what I was expecting which is why it took a few hours for me to realize how bruising the movie actually was. I didn't find it vewy scawy as the trailers seemed to indicate. It was beautiful, sad, eerie, quiet and a little gory.

The film not only captures the loneliness and precarious relationships of the characters, but also the Scandinavian melancholy that sets in with the winter. The cinematography is lovely and chilling and unfurls all of those small details. I think that the subtitles take away from the movie since the tension in the character's faces often affect you more than the words they've chosen to translate.

I read a few reviews this morning while thinking more about it and Carina Chocano hit the nail on the head in the LA Times Review with this single sentence:
The double-edged title — which refers to a bloodsucking technicality that says vampires must be invited into a victim's home before they can attack — raises the question of who we allow into our lives when our options are limited.
Now let's see if I like the book ;)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A message for SLF (AKA #4)

{and to answer that age-old question -- yes, you really are cute}

It would appear you have passed the quarter lifer stage to the nebulous mid-thirty something set. We, have crossed paths many a time o'er many a year on many a notepad. I thought it was time we cross the digital divide with a birthday e-missive and enter a new era of camaraderie no longer dependent on errant maids with their careless open doors and hastily scribbled notes found on bedside tables or under downy pillows.

No, now we can get on with the business of getting to know each other in an orderly fashion ushering in the dawn of light meets dark. True understanding of the world at large revealed through rumination of our combined stumbling upon this rough marble of ours.

Happy Birthday,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy birthday, Dad!

He truly is the bestest.

I hope today was full of fun and that there was pie involved.


Your sweet baboo

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Delicious autumn!

Mr. BITH recently went to the Oakland Cemetery. We used to go visit quite a bit when we lived closer and haven't been since the tornado tore through it. He got some beautiful fall images.

Through our neighborhood association newsletter we found a very close walking trail with some of the biggest white oaks we've ever seen!

Look closely. That's me and the dog standing in front of the tree.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sign of the times

This picture deserved its own post.

Spotted on the way back from KC. Source of hysterical laughter.

Finally caught it on camera driving to the store opening.

Sign was changed that evening. Did they see us taking the picture?

Did they realize that it was the source of mass guffawing?

Are we blasphemers . . . or are they, lol?

Congratulations, Elysium!


[i-lizh-ee-uhm, i-lee-zhee-, i-liz-, i-lee-zee-, i-lizh-uhm] –noun
1. Also called Elysian Fields. Classical Mythology. the abode of the blessed after death.
2. any similarly conceived abode or state of the dead.
3. any place or state of perfect happiness; paradise.
4. an area in the northern hemisphere of Mars, appearing as a light region when viewed telescopically from the earth.

1590–1600; Ēlýsion (pedíon) the Elysian (plain)
We'll go with number 3, thank you!

Congratulations Nancy, Pat and Andrea on a great retail store opening! I can't believe how much was accomplished in such a short time. I wish you much success, laughter and many repeat customers!

Storefront window displays

Flowers from M.E. We missed you, M.E.!

Inside the store

One of Jerry's photographs and some handcrafted copper

The jewelry is so good that even guys can't stay away! :-)~

Next fall. Our backyard.

You glorious thing, you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This is Halloween

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream

In this town of Halloween

Nice score at a thrift store, mom!

Mr. BITH as the grim reaper. This was sent to me via mobile phone.

Ms. Lili still loves Mr. B (not to be confused with Mr. BITH) despite his [un]funny face.

In our last place there were no trick-or-treaters. Even though I wasn't at the house to see 'Penny the Pirate' and all of the others - they definitely showed up for goodies. Mr. BITH and Mr. B doled out the candy and apparently scared a few kiddies without even trying. Once they saw the talking headstone they didn't even want to come around the corner to where the spider dropped. Mr. BITH and Mr. B ran out of candy (even the reserve stuff), closed up shop and headed to the bar. I *think* they had fun too.

These were the toughest, thickest pumpkins we ever attempted to carve. Got them from the State Farmers Market in Forest Park. Next year? Better, sharper tools. Maybe we'll actually finish them in 2009, lol.

Meanwhile, up in KC . . .

I guess our evening was scary enough. Here's how it went.

Us: Okay, we'll follow you to the restaurant. Where is it in general?
Them: Uh, you go on the interstate and then go next to a bridge. Don't go under it, go around it then turn right. It's somewhere in that neighborhood.
Us: Which interstate? Which bridge - and which right?
Them: Err, I don't remember exactly what street. Just follow.

:inside our car:

Me: There they are. You okay to follow? I need to check messages.
The driver: Yeah, go ahead
Me: Dials voicemail. Blah, blah, blah. Text, text, text. Checking e-mail, etc.
::Looks up:: Is that them? Wow, Bruce is going pretty fast.
The driver: Hmm. Yeah, he is usually better at letting people follow him.

>>>Phone rings>>>

Them: Where are you?
Me: On the interstate following you.
Them: We aren't on the interstate.

You can bet that based on the directions given previously that it wasn't easy to find them or the restaurant, but we eventually managed to find it . . . somewhere near a bridge, off the interstate after we took a right-hand turn. Yeah.

I walked into Garozzo's (locals told me later that this place is tied to the mafia. Who knows? Makes the story better) where the
maître d' showed us to the table without me having to say a thing. Apparently, Bruce had told him that they were waiting for a red headed hussy. Hmmph. I was actually a hillbilly vampire . . . Whatever. The spiedini was so fabulous.

Be afraid. Seriously. Those fangs caused major drool.

The original hillbilly vampires.


Am I the only one noticing? They are everywhere and now taking over pools. What is with the balls in the bowls???