[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: December 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Huge Debate

Which one?!?!


Both seem essential. It's freezing, and I have no tunes. Oh and of course both cost the exact same.

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Recent Quotables

If you can name each series and if you use their 'casual' names...

"I am NOT a Trekkie! I mean, I haven't even seen any of the original Star Trek series, although I saw all of the movies of course, I've seen only 80% of TNG [Star Trek: The Next Generation, for all of us definite non-trekkies], I didn't like Deep Space Nine, and I haven't watched any of Enterprise. Voyager is the only series I have seen in its entirety. I'm not a Trekkie!"

Inventing new appliances?

"I need some more eggnog. Who stole my cup? Did someone put it in the dish-damn-washer?!"

Regarding mothers who drone on and on and on:

"Does she have a Pause button? Oh right. No. Just Play and Fast Forward."

Courtesy of: Greg, my mom, and my cousin John

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Boyfriends

Isn't George adorable?!?!

Greg is a bit more kissable though ;)

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Few Lessons

Family time is always learning-experience time. In visits past, I have learned lots about my mom's fridge, my sister's maelstrom bedroom and its bizarre item-devouring abilities (speaking of which I lost Greg's presents in there for 3 days and my mom finally found them this morning), tractors, etc. The one overriding theme of all these visits is that Mom is the butt of all jokes. - Mom Remaly, Mom Court, Mom Rohrbach (that's my mom), mom mom mom is the one to get teased.


This time, I learned that big sister is also allowed to be the butt of almost all jokes, even when my mom is in the room.

When did this come about?! What happened?! I am not even THIRTY yet!!! When did I get booted to the mom group?!?!

Incident I

Right now, my brother and sister and cousin and mom and mom's friend are all still laughing at my "watch this"'s. I have developed this habit of saying "watch this" to Greg and subsequently, I don't know, taking out the trash or something. Or turning off the TV. Or doing something inherently unworthy of watching. So Christmas morning, one of my presents was a really cool Craft undershirt, and I was so excited that a "watch THIS!" slipped out and I started to put the shirt on over top of my t-shirt. I had a little trouble because I had forgotten to unzip the zipper, so I finally poke my head out and see 6 pairs of eyes all staring at me silently. "Why's everyone looking at me?!" I said. Apparently they were following instructions, don't ask me where the obedience suddenly came from.

Incident II

And then yesterday, we were at a party and I finally met my good friend Oona's boyfriend, Ali. First of all, it took me an hour to realize he was the famous Ali because when we were introduced I was like "Nice to meet you Ollie!" Thank god I stopped myself from being like "so Oona, are you and Ali still together? Gimme the scoop!" because some light in my brain finally went off. I swear, TV is making me so stupid.

Anyhow Ali works for Pixar Studios. So later in the evening my brother and I were talking to him about his job.

Me: Pixar! That's so cool! Yay "Shrek the Third"!
Ali: That's Dreamworks actually.
Me: Oh. Right. What about "Bee Movie"?
Ali: Nope. That's Dreamworks too.

I then went to get dessert and let my brother take over my botched conversation attempt. Ali's very cool though and I don't think he hates me.

Incident III

Now, we all know that I am a driver of questionable skills. See one, two, etc. Hmf.

Well anyhow, despite this, I got have gotten stuck with the driving most of the time here. My brother "can't drive" my mom's low-rent vehicles. Greg "doesn't know the way" or something, plus the couple times I did let him drive he went a catrillion miles an hour and I shrieked. And my sister... well, let's just say she has her weak points too. We are related after all.

So yesterday after 2 hours of me driving us through rainy traffic, and we got there safe and sound, I get accused of driving like a scared rabbit!! The nerve! Something to do with my lane-changing skills... Also I have a ridiculously difficult time backing up so I guess scared rabbits do that when they are driving too.

And to top it all off, after getting teased for this for like 10 minutes, they made ME the designated driver!

p.s. I am having tons of fun. You know me, I love attention ;)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve!

Last night might have been my favourite Christmas Eve in years! We had 20-25 people, including a couple of ridiculously cute kids who sadly are of no relation to me, although the little boy is named Nathaniel just like my brother. And for you horse-racing fans out there, his dad is trainer Scott A. Lake. Paula was here and gave us the scoop on the Hollywood writer's strike and the extent to which reality shows are really scripted. And lots of people were somehow enthralled with my tri-geek talk... Speaking of which, enough yammering, on to the photos:

Little cuteness Nathaniel

Little Nathaniel, me, and Mikey.

Me with the famous People Paula!

Little brother and big sister. Sis offering advice and instruction, or something.

Little Nathaniel's big sister Cora playing with my little brother Big Nathaniel, p.s. wouldn't you just DIE for those CURLS!!!

Scare with Little Nathaniel.

Little Nathaniel double-fisting the nuts. Cuteness lets you get away with murder...

Big Nathaniel "being nice" to Mikey.

loooooong night for Mikey!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

...you do triATHalons??

I just beat Greg at wrestling, like I always do, thusly I get to sit and blog while he helps his mom set the table for brunch! Remaly family Christmas is going great so far, as is my little Charlottesville-visitation-and-reminiscing trip. Highlights of the trip thus far include:

- Riding Tango, which was so much fun! Greg came to the barn with me so that I could teach him how to groom and tack up a horse and, more importantly, so that he could document the event. Here I am in borrowed boots, borrowed tack, borrowed chaps, and a borrowed helmet (the dirty vest, the salmon pants, and the big smile are all mine though!), on an awesome borrowed horse. My inner leg muscles are still screaming in the aftermath but it was worth it. ALTHOUGH I must say, these new monster-mushroom helmets that everyone has to wear are kind of ridiculous. Way too big and ugly. If they wanted more protection why not go for face masks or something.

- I went to a party the other night, where the #2-ish ranked student in the current 2nd year UVA med. school class said to me "so, you're a triathlete... what does that mean, you do triATHalons or something?" I laughed, nicely I hope. Then she and her husband were telling me about their friend who's grand aspiration of the year is to qualify for Kona. I responded with a 5+ minute rant on the evils of the Ironman corp. and the bullshitness of their world championships for age groupers to a room full of glazed-eyed non-athletes. Despite this minor faux pas, I swear you can dress me up and take me places!

- Greg is a very good, and very entertaining, ping pong player. So is his dad!

- Yesterday Greg's dad got a puzzle for Christmas, one of those 9-square things with different pictures and you arrange the squares into one big square. To everyone's great amusement, I struggled away at it for a couple/few hours, developing, testing, and refining my theory and strategy... at 12:03 a.m. I DID it! Proof (note the Bicycling magazine on the floor, where it belongs - just for you Tracie!):

- As a follow-up to previous bloggings: a. as an EIGHT year old, Greg swam faster than I do right now. When I was eight, life was about ponies (photo at right was taken during my 8-year-old year), and the only swimming I did was during games of Marco Polo. And b. Greg's dad did help me with my stroke. It was great. I am heading home armed with some really specific drills and goals. I got better and faster even within the 45 minute instruction session. MAJOR PHEW. I am on my way to swimming at 9- or even 10-year old Greg Remaly speeds.

- This one is perhaps my favourite. I learned from Greg's mom that out of her 3 children, he was "always the sweet one." How cute! Little Greg was the sweet one!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Sign of Things to Come?!

Today we went to The Barracks, the farm where I used to ride here in Charlottesville. There weren't a whole lot of horses that were also there during my era 5 years ago, but my favourite pony, Splash, was still very large and in charge. He's named Splash because there is a splash of white on his belly. He's fantastic.

Tomorrow I get to ride! I haven't ridden since 2002. I am so excited, I miss it so much.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunset at Midway

This sunset occurred at 4:15 p.m.!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm a fan of this Football too

We watched this great show on BBC America last night (yes still watching TV... ugh) but anyway Top Gear is really cool for a car show. Ewan McGregor was on, and I learned that he was Obi-Wan Konobi in the recently filmed Star Wars movies, and I further learned a. how to spell Obi-Wan and b. that he is the only character who is in all five six Star Wars movies. Anyway they had Ewan drive a car around a track for the show, and he was a bit nervous and he stalled on film. Then later they had the car soccer. I now want a Toyota Aygo.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Limping Along

I write this from relatively tropical Reno - we did indeed see the beginnings of a big snowstorm at lake-level this morning so Greg and I hightailed it out of there. Flight is tomorrow morning, so I have tons of time to blog between now and then. No single huge story to report, just a few little ones:

1. My back is actually getting better. Advil, ice, rest, and a little vicodin to get me through the worst bits... So this means I am on track to start swimming again on Wednesday, which coincidentally is the day we arrive in Charlottesville. We will swim at the UVA pool. Greg's dad is a coach there. A swim coach. He's going to watch our strokes to make sure Greg is still as awesome as he was when he was 9 (at which time I am pretty sure he was faster than I am now), and also to make sure Greg has been teaching me the proper technique. I am incredibly nervous about this. Additionally this will be my first time meeting Greg's parents... GAH in a BIKINI no less!!!

2. I am in the process of "ipod music recovery", I downloaded this free program to extract all 4,200 songs on my iPod which I lost in laptop-form when my hard drive died. The problem is that my stupid iPod is literally running out of batteries in 20 minutes even when "fully charged" so I'll be shocked if this project actually reaches completion. We're at 60 songs per charge at the moment.

3. I wasn't sure whether I would blog about this, yesterday I was freaking out Huntress style (love you lisa!), but today things have calmed down and the incident is sort of amusing. We had to bathe Charlie again yesterday. Greg got the bath ready. I brought kitty out. When we put him in he started totally flipping out, unlike anything I've ever seen him do. We're holding him in there, Greg's sponging him with the mix, but kitty is still panicking. I stick my hand in the bath mix and it is SCALDING. Like majorly scalding. So then I started flipping out worse than kitty, I ran in and got the Brita pitcher out of the fridge and poured in cold water, and we finished the bath, with me being like "are you KIDDING me? would YOU take a bath in that?! were you trying to make KITTY SOUP?!?!?!?!" Greg said he just wasn't thinking, or something. Sheesh. But kitty is more than fine, and so's Greg, and so am I basically, but really I was so traumatized and racked with guilt over the 45 seconds kitty had to spend writhing around in a stewpot practically. Next time, guess who is in charge...

OK kids you are in luck, time to abandon blogger for the trusty old iPod. I hope I am not jinxing myself with the smack-talk.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vacation Time

Tuesday marks the official beginning of our Christmas Vacation - we are flying east for 12 days! But there is some fast-moving winter-snowdumper on its way here so we will probably drive down to Reno tomorrow morning and stay with a friend for the night. I am soo excited about the trip for some reason, I guess I am ready for a good dose of family interactions, trivial pursuit, and eggnog!!!

I swiftered all the floors so the cat sitter won't think we are slobs, I bathed the kitty one last time, I cleaned the fish tank, I did laundry, and now I am sitting on the couch trying to summon the motivation to actually pack. For one thing I am tired, for another my back hurts, for a third it's getting dark out and darkness means it's "i'll just do it tomorrow" time, and finally, biggest obstacle of all, the newest Real Housewives of Orange County is about to be on TV!! ADDITIONAL bonus regarding RHOC is that maybe I will finally get the America's Next Top Model "na na na na na na i wanna be on TOP!" song out of my head.

I am beginning to remember why I cancelled my cable TV 4 years ago and, until now, didn't look back. Once winter is over so is cable, this is getting ridiculous.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Tag Game

Lucky me, and definitely lucky you, readers: I have been tagged by Alisha and then Sharon to share Five Fascinating Facts about Me. And, tagging me is about the nicest thing a friend could do. I love yammering away about myself. So:

1. One of my favourite current pastimes is to say things like "hey greg, which one makes out with princess leia again, luke skywalker or harrison ford? is there a sex scene?!" or "is hayden christiansen darth vader? and by the way what's up with his hairdo?". Tomorrow I am going to ask what's the difference between a wookie and a klingon.

2. When I was 22 I fancied myself a Goth. I bleached my hair white, then eventually died it green, then shaved it bald for a while, then went back to a white buzz cut or something. Additionally I began attending the local goth night, dancing to Kate Bush and VNV Nation, and I developed a ginormous crush on a pale mohawked boy who played bass and was pierced to oblivion and weighed a good 20 lbs less than I. But, I bought all my black stuff at the Gap, still rode horses with the rich kids, and obsessed over the Real World, so I am not too sure about my authentic Gothness.

3. During this time I also fancied myself a Vegan. This lasted for approximately 9 months, or so I thought. As it turns out the "non dairy" frozen yogurt I ate was totally dairy and full of all kinds of chemicals. When I found this out I gave up and started eating steak again.

4. I never had acne problems. But after one too many Jessica Simpson Proactiv commercials the other day, I headed to the bathroom armed with Biore and some fingernails, set on at least digging out some blackheads. So now I do have a couple red spots on my cheek - just in time for the holidays.

5. Dave Matthews is one of my best friends.

THE NEW ITS: Achilles, Gilby, Tracie, and my sister who has no blog BUT I want to extract some college-freshman-BOY stories out of her so I am tagging her anyway. I will let you all know if I get any good dirt.

**Ok so he's not really my best friend, but I did serve him coffee on several occasions and one time I was sweeping the coffeeshop and he was like "what are you doin'" and I was like "getting ready to sweep you off your feet" and he was like "you wouldn't need a broom to do that" and I turned bright red. This was pre-marriage for him, of course.

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My back seems to think it got stabbed with a huge Indiana-Jones type knife, and therefore I am spending the day as an in-valid. Greg dressed me this morning, did my hair (major laughs were had by all), and has been driving me around. In exchange, I bought him a Venti Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte With Whip (yes Nenad you have permission to make fun, the drink was my suggestion though), and played "who's hotter?" with him. He refused to comment on Brett Favre vs. Tom Brady or Matt Damon vs. Patrick Dempsey. My isn't-it-OBVIOUS?!?! picks:

Sigh-worthy stars aside, I am incredibly grumpy about this back nonsense. For one thing, it kills, and for another, I can't really do anything. I shouldn't even be typing but there's nothing on TV and I haven't gotten the next Book Club book yet. I already went to the Dr. this morning, who said to take like a month off of exercising, then to the chiro, who snap-snapped and said I was fine and could do whatever I wanted. But since it hurt so much I took Advil, I won't do my run today (I have a strong fear of injuries caused by pain-masking so I never take Advil before a run), and since even with the Advil it still hurts, swimming is out too. I have a massage appointment in an hour and hopefully 'Luba' can work some JD-esque magic. Her name gives me high hopes - she sounds like a badass.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last Night was Book Club!

Well, despite
1. Not finishing the book
2. Talking a lot, including an unsolicited 15+ minute ramble about the cat and how he likes this cute bed I got him last week and how he layed down in his [clean] litterbox when he was soaking wet the other day and how he's so cute and shit I have become a CAT LADY!
3. Being part of the 75% of attendees who brought cookies and sweets, 85% of which remained untouched because we all apparently wanted real food
4. Bringing a recipe for a different cookie than the variety I actually brought, and in fact someone else actually made the cookies for which I brought a recipe
However, 4. b. I tasted hers and my recipe is way better, for one thing I use butter instead of margarine

despite all these things, I had fun and I actually am pretty sure I made some friends!! A couple of whom want to ride bikes together and maybe check out bike racing, one of whom moved here from Europe 13 years ago and said she cried every day for six months out of loneliness (I can relate), and all of whom I liked. Phew.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Lost Month

GUESS WHAT IS BACK?!?! Beloved 'puter. Not only did they replace the hard drive, but they also cleaned it and fixed a dent or two!

Anyhow here's a pictoral account of all the exciting Incline happenings of the past month. (Note there are no people in the photos because, sigh, I still have no friends.)

The sun rose:
The cat got some baths...
...and survived:

It Snowed:
And the sun set:

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

I'd take the pony

My latest favourite commercial.

I had Verizon for a while and broke my phone when I hurled it against a wall in frustration after my 20 trillionth dropped call. Plus I guess I am partial to ponies...

Relatedly: I have a few ponies tattooed on my back, and today at the gym I was working out in a tank top, and not one but two elderly gymgoers told me they were pretty! That was most definitely a first. I gave them both big smiles.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Not Quite Out Of The Tunnel

So the beloved laptop is not home yet, and we got over a foot of snow (my first snow in like 6 years, I was all excited but I have been told that I'll be sick of it really soon), so my access to free community computers is even more diminished than it was before.

Ah well.

Latest opinions on T.V.:

- does anyone else think that there might be fewer psychopathic gun-firing youth murderers if the news would STOP AGGRANDIZING every single massacre? Where do they think these kids get their ideas in the first place?

- today is the big Hatton/Mayweather boxing fight in Vegas. Thankfully, it's $54.95 + taxes and fees on pay-per-view, so I don't have to watch two guys try to pummel each other for real. It's bad enough in the movies... Nevertheless I have watched the "24/7" buildup shows, and I am rooting for Hatton.

Latest opinions on Modern Literature:

- I started reading "The Gift" for Book Club this week, and I just can't stomach it. Stuff like "she was still so overcome by the emotion" and "'Wow, you're really muscular'" and "blah blah blah Almighty God", etc. Anyway I can't deal.

Provided there is enough egg-nog on hand to allow me to open my mouth amongst a bunch of strangers, my contribution to the discussion will be "there's a typo on page 98" and "this is as bad as 'Bridges of Madison County'."

I am still looking forward to it though. Everyone has to bring a snack!!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas is coming Early!


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Forget

I am experiencing shockwaves of guilt for ignoring this blog so much lately. Honestly if I could help it I would, but since I was such a dumbass and sent my laptop off to Apple three weeks ago, there is nothing I can do about it short of shelling out lots of money I don't have in order to not need to be patient any more.

Boy isn't that the American way sometimes.

Anyhow other than that things are good. Getting ready for Christmas, which right now at this very moment involves sending links to my mom for all the things on my list and my siblings' lists.

Charlie gets his second sulfur-lyme bath tomorrow. I feel like we only just stopped stinking from the last go-round, but he is looking way better so I don't mind. And I am curious to see whether he purrs the whole time again like he did last time! By the way thank you Bill B. for the body-sock suggestion. He pretty much tore the paper cone to shreds so it's on to Plan B for tomorrow.

Oh and training is hum-drumming along. I am mildly worried that I didn't take enough time off - 1 week off from swimming, 2 from running, and 3 weeks off the bike, so actually there was only 1 week where I didn't do anything - but I am taking it pretty easy, 1 hard swim workout a week and everything else including biking and running is easy, so I think I'll be o.k. I need to get my body fat tested to be sure I am starting out the winter with a little cushion, literally, but every time I go by the body-fat-tester's office at the gym (that's not her title actually) her door is closed so I am putting it off.

O.K. now I need to go buy everything on my giving list in my 10 remaining minutes on the library computer so I'd better go...

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

E. None of the Above...

A month ago, back when I was unemployed and freaking out about it, I registered for the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST), which is a requirement for obtaining a California teaching license and substitute-teaching license. Test day was today, test locale was the Sacramento suburb of Rosemont (approx. 100 miles away), and even though I am now working I figured that I might as well get my $41 worth and have a little backup plan in the unlikely event that my whole life changes.

Actually what really influenced the decision to go ahead and take it was A. there is a nice outdoor pool near the test site, in Folsom and B. lucky for me, Greg seems to think it's really fun to do decidedly un-fun things with me, for example sitting in transition for 50 minutes in order to run a half-marathon with me, and for example getting up at 5:20 a.m. on a Saturday to drive me through snow flurries in the dark down to one of the less-exciting state capitals around.

I had been warned that the test would be easy but it felt downright ridiculous, particularly the math section. Some samples:

"Chris went to the fabric store and bought 24 1/6 yards of red fabric and 16 2/3 of black fabric. How much fabric did he buy in total?"

I dunno. 5?

"Ronnie did her homework for 3 hours and blah blah blah"

I have never heard of a girl named Ronnie. And of course they had to send a boy to the fabric store.

"Jason, Manuel, and Harold did a swimming race. Jason finished in 53.137 seconds, Manuel finished in 51.865 seconds, and Harold finished between Manuel and Jason. Which of the following are possible times for Harold? A. 46.234 B. 50.189 C. 52.397 D. 60.539 or E. 1 hour."


By the time I got to the two essay questions ("describe a challenge facing today's adolescents and how adults and society can help fix it" and "what do you think is the most admirable trait a person can have"), I was so underwhelmed by California's expectations of its teachers' basic skills (not to say the TEACHERS are underwhelming, because they aren't, just the test!) that I am sure whatever I wrote was complete hogwash.

After that we went for a lovely outdoor SEA LEVEL (!!) swim and then drove home via route 50 and South Lake Tahoe. I have never been that way, it was gorgeous!

Oh and kitty is doing well. He still loves us despite all the bathing, I kind of think he must be nuts but I am not complaining!

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