The Val Invasion

This past weekend, I had a visit from a blogger friend, Valerie.  We have been trying to get together for many many months, both of us holding on to presents for the other from holidays long past (me=xmas, her=my birthday), and all previous attempts at meeting had been rescheduled or cancelled.  But this time . . . it was going to happen!  So, she made plans to drive all the way down here to the B-more area to see me this weekend.  And . . . she actually came!!!  With a last minute addition of a couple of friends to keep her company on the journey, Val showed up in my neck of the woods early Saturday afternoon, and we were able to spend the entire day together.  Shenanigans ensued.  And what follows is the tale of the wacky and wild exploits of a day with Val and Misty . . . (This will be a two-parter folks.  Yeah, there was just that much good stuff!).

In preparation for Val’s arrival, I had made plans.  Oh boy, had I made plans.  I took what I knew of her preferences and predilections, combined that with what was fun and interesting to do around my hood, and figured out a few places to go.  The first would be . . . a mannequin shop.  If anyone has ever read Val’s blog, they would know that she is obsessed with mannequins.  So much so that she owns a child sized mannequin, a dog mannequin, and various appendages, which may or may not be signed by Anthony Michael Hall.  So, in possession of  this knowledge, and in an attempt to make this a super fun weekend for her, I scoured the area to find a place where we could go see some mannequins.  And after much internet research and calling of shops that were either closed on Saturdays or where I couldn’t understand anything the person said, I finally tracked down the perfect place!

And then this happened . . .

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Naughty Val!!

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Creepy blue and green headless child mannequins.

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Who’s got 2 thumbs and loves mannequins . . . this girl!!

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Val had to buy something . . . a perfect match!!

Probably the most fun was when we were purchasing the hand, and the guy ringing up Val was like, “so, um why do you want the hand?”  And she basically just made up an entire back story about how she has a company called Val’s Mannequins in New Jersey, and while she doesn’t sell the mannequins, she has a ton that people just come to view, and that she puts scary masks on, etc.  Actually, now that I think about it, most of that was not fabricated.  Just the business name, I believe.  Also, when asked by what was most likely the owner of the shop (upon meeting a fellow mannequin aficionado), what they could have more of in the shop, Val thought for a millisecond and then replied, “heads.”  Yeah, it was that kind of afternoon.

And that was only our first stop!  After getting some fortification by way of food in our bellies, we headed off to our second planned event . . . a brewery tour!!!  Guys . . . that entire experience was so epic and insane that it needs its very own blog post.  Stay tuned for that later in the week . . . (yeah, I know . . . I’m an asshole.  Sue me!).

Just a taste . . .

Just a taste . . .

Moving on to the evening’s entertainment . . .  while Val and I were traipsing about with mannequins and beer, her friends were at a museum downtown.  But in the evening, we all met up at a local brew pub to have dinner and a few drinks.  I am going to tell you right now, those two friends of hers were almost as rad as Val, and that is saying something, because Val is the raddest of all rads, so . . . yeah.  They were fantastic.  An engaged couple, they were super fun and we all laughed and carried on for hours through dinner, drinks and an exchange of presents.  That’s right, Val and I would finally be exchanging our presents!  Even though I brought hers along with me earlier in the afternoon, hoping to give it to her then, she had left mine at the hotel, and refused to open hers until later.  Refused!  To open a present!  Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with that girl.  But at the bar, she had brought mine along, so we were able to finally give each other our gifts (Merry Christmas, Val!!).  She seemed to appreciate the Perry the Platypus clock and bag full of little bottles of booze (sensing a theme to the day, yet?), but that all paled in comparison to what she gave me.  Paled I say!!  Her present to me was the most insane, appropriate, confusing and hysterical present I have ever received.  It.  Was.  Beautiful.

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Say hi to Lulu!!

That’s right . . . it’s a Mother Barking mannequin Yorkie dog!!  Did I tell you she was the raddest?  Exhibit A, people.  Ex-hib-it Freaking A!

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Of course she had to lick it. It’s like being Christened . . . but with more tongue.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned that her friends were rad?  Yeah, so the male part of this two person betrothed couple probably weighed about a buck fifty soaking wet.  This did not stop him from ordering the largest and most insane burger on the menu (seriously, the waitress looked at him when he ordered, and started laughing . . . we had no idea why until they brought it out). 

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It was a monster!!  You can pretty much name a meat or burger topping and that shit was in there.  And I kid you not, this wee little man (sorry Rainer, love you!!) consumed almost the entire thing.  It was a feat to behold, truly.  I feel like I was present for a sort of Kobayashi championship eating event or some shit. 

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Rainer, taking that mother DOWN.

For dessert, we all helped ourselves to some cupcakes I had bought earlier in the week.  Alcohol infused cupcakes, no less.  (Guys, I swear, I am not an alcoholic . . . all evidence to the contrary aside).  The only problem with these cupcakes is that I had also brought them along for Val and I to share earlier in the day (as there were only 2), but that never happened.  Consequently, they were left in my car during the brew tour.  That took two hours.  While it was 95* outside (and about 120* inside the car).  As you can imagine, they got a bit . . . melty.

Heat stroke cupcakes.

Heat stroke cupcakes.

But if you think that stopped us from basically licking the inside of that box to get all the cupcake deliciousness out . . . yeah, you apparently haven’t been paying attention to this story.  We were all over that like a momma wolf cleaning her cub.  And we were not ashamed about it at all!

Since I figure everyone is probably waiting to see a picture of Val and me together, I guess this is the appropriate time to share the portrait of the two of us:

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I know.  We are super hot broads.  We get that a lot!

Unfortunately, after much laughter and enjoyment of each other’s company, the night finally had to come to an end and I had to say goodbye to my new bestest friends.  It was very sad.  There was much hugging.  MUCH hugging.  And if any of you have been following me for a while, you know about my aversion to hugging, so you know how serious it was!  Also, I was driving home, so if you think it was because I was drunk, nope.  I was completely sober.  After enjoying a couple of drinks, I then drank water the rest of the night.  (Told you I’m not an alkie!!).

And while I probably will not see my friends again for some time (although seriously guys, get your asses back down here!!), I will always be left with this final vision of the night . . . Valerie licking a British phone booth.  I mean, it really can’t get much classier than that, can it?

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Thus ends part one of our tale.  Stay tuned for Friday’s post, which will involve more drinking, inane jackassery, and possibly a restraining order.  Good times!!

Happy Blogivbirthersary Day!!

Last weekend, I had the great pleasure and honor to meet up with a few lovely lady bloggers for a delicious and festive brunch.

On Saturday, I made my way over to my neighboring state of Delaware on a rainy and dreary morning.  Rachel, of Rachel’s Table, had graciously invited both me and the wonderful and effervescent Jules, of Go Jules Go, to her home for some drinks and delightful vittles.  Also in attendance was Julie, another friend of Rachel’s, who is an artist and gummy bear aficionado.  And it just so happened to be cause for celebration for us all, as that day was Rachel’s one year blogiversary, Jules’ two year blogiversary was upcoming on Tuesday, and my birthday was on Wednesday of this week.  So obviously, we would be having some drinks to toast all of these significant life events!

I was on booze duty, of course, so I provided the champagne that we planned to drink with our brunch.  Rachel was prepared with some special champagne glasses for each of us to use as our very own.  Personalized, of course.


This was Jules’ glass . . . professing her love for all thinks cute and chipmunky.


And this was mine . . . complete with chipmunk wine charm borrowed from Jules (she was very specific that she was only lending us her charms).


And because Rachel had never seen me before, she wasn’t exactly sure how to depict my face on the glass.  Hence the question mark over top of my head.  Above that it says, “Why am I not drinking right now . . . and where is my face?”  Excellent questions, both.

Once drinks were firmly in hand, it was time to get our grub on.  Rachel whipped up an absolutely delicious breakfast feast, made from only the freshest and localest of ingredients.

Ham & White Cheddar Frittata and Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata

Ham & White Cheddar Frittata and Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata


Local Amish Bacon

And then of course there were these fabulous chocolate croissants from Trader Joe’s.


So F-ing Amazing

One other special guest was also in attendance at this brunch . . . the infamous and adorable, Uncle Jesse!  Jules’ faithful companion came with her to Rachel’s house and entertained us with his head tilting ways.


How cute is that face?

And although, classically, canines are referred to as man’s best friend, this canine companion was a mommy’s dog if I had ever seen one.


Once brunch was over and we had all stuffed ourselves with all the delectable, hearty goodness on Rachel’s Table, it was time for some fun.  So we all played with mustaches.

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Then we took a tour of Rachel’s Alice in Wonderland home.


I kept waiting for a plate of cookies to appear with the words “Eat Me” printed on them . . . but I feel that would have been a much different kind of party.

Sadly, the day had to come to an end as all of us had to return to our regular lives and leave our bloggy friends behind.  But the day was full of good food, flowing champagne, and lovely and engaging conversation.   I was happy to have driven the almost 2 hours each way to get to spend time with these lovely ladies.


Rachel & Jules

Thank you, girls, for letting me crash your wonderful soirée!!  I had such a great time.  Can’t wait to make this happen again sometime soon.  How do you feel about an outing in Baltimore?  😉

(Check out Rachel’s take on our bloggy brunch . . . with Frittata recipes!!  Yum.)


And in case you missed it . . . yes, I did indeed say that my birthday is this Wednesday.  I will be thirty-mumble-something-mumble.  And while I am way too humble to ever ask for anyone to shower me with cash and prizes . . . I’m just going to say that unfortunately, this year I have to work on my birthday, and not only that, but I am also scheduled to go to court and deal with all the crazies that inhabit that asylum.  So . . . I’m just saying.  There’s got to be something that could perk me up after all of that insanity.  I’m pretty sure you know what you have to do . . .