Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Recap

My trip to California has already come and gone. The last week or so has just flown by. The new heater was done being installed at 9pm the night before we left. Phew! Then we were off in the early morning darkness for the airport the next day. The flight seemed long and uncomfortable for some reason, but we arrived without any problems and met my family for lunch. They followed my instructions and had a table waiting for us in the restaurant. =) I only asked them to do this because they tend to lolly gag and I knew we would be hungry when we got there. Each day consisted of going back and forth between my family's house and my in-laws' house and having one meal with each. We ate so much that I haven't really been hungry since we got back. I eat just because it seems like I should now, rather than when I'm hungry. The weather was much warmer the 60's and sunny, so I spent part of each day sitting in my dad's front yard in a camping chair just enjoying the sun and watching my nieces play. It was 13 degrees when we left Virginia so 65 felt like the beach. We were only there for a short time, but I was ready to come home to my own bed. The flight back was uneventful. We got to the airport way too early since weren't sure if the attempted attack on a plane on Christmas day was going to slow things down. We did not have any lines so we were at the gate about 2.5 hours early. The flight back seemed short and was much more comfortable. I could have gone another 2 hours without a problem. Not sure why some flights feel more uncomfortable than others. The worst part was when we got back to the car in the airport garage...and had a flat tire. Not entirely unexpected since I knew it was leaking and was filling it up at the gas station once a week. I meant to take care of it, but with the snow storm and the broken heater, I didn't get to it and it was completely flat. My husband was upset with me for not taking care of it, but knew I had a lot going on lately. He wanted to use this as an opportunity for me to learn how to do it in case I ever needed to if I were by myself (although I would just call AAA). He had problem though because the jack would not get the car high enough. After trying a few things, he finally gave up and let me go get the airport assistance guy, who knew that Toyota changed things a few years back and the jack had to go in a specific place under the front of the car to get the SUV to go up high enough. All this took about 1.5 hours instead of 15 minutes due to the jack problems, but we made it home at about 10pm. The house was still intact, the cats were alive, the basement was not flooded and the heater was working. I was happy for all that.

Here are my favorite gifts this amethyst ring and a Kindle! Thank you to Dad and my in laws!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just When I Thought I Had Things Under Control

I really did my best this year to keep holiday stress away. I had done all my shopping and everything is already wrapped and shipped. I thought I had done well and left me my 3 days at work this week to focus on work and make sure I get a lot done so I won't need to work much (from home) the week between Christmas and New Year's. I was feeling in control and not stressed. Well...then we got 2 feet of snow which this area is not equipped for..then our heater broke. It's been below freezing for days and not expected to get warmer for a while. "Warmer" being a relative term. I think the high today was 37 and it was in the teens last night. BRRRRRRR!!!!!!! I used to have a contract with a HVAC company that included emergency service, but that ran out a month ago and I wanted to get signed up with a new place. Nobody would come look at it yesterday without having one of these contracts so we had a very cold night. Our house has lots of windows so it doesn't hold heat well. I got up early today to call the HVAC places again to get on their schedule for today. Henry arrived at about 11:30am and was able to "jump start" the heater, but he had no idea how long it would last. Our choice was spend $800 on repairs or buy a new furnace. I wanted this done before we leave for CA so I wouldn't have to worry about it breaking again while we are gone. Of course it will take days to get the part, but they can do a new furnace on Wednesday. We need a new furnace anyway so I just bought it. We usually try to buy appliances in the off season and before they break but today we were in a bad position. It will give me piece of mind that it won't break again when it's cold. Me and the kitties were just miserable. Let's hope it stays working until the new furnace gets here.


I have added a new feature to my blog called "reactions". At the end of each post you can mark if you thought the post was "funny", "interesting" or "cool". I really enjoy feedback so let me know which posts you like. And for people who don't like to leave comments...this is completely anonymous so all you have to do is click a box.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

In The Purple

I live in the purple part of this map. We are expected to get 10 to 20 inches of snow. Funny how the ranges change as they get higher. Usually we are told 1 to 3 or 3 to 5. Now it's 10 to 20...those two numbers make pretty big differences. It's now crazy outside as people are trying to get their holiday shopping done and stock up on supplies (???) for the weekend snow storm. I don't understand why so many people need to go out and buy a snow shovel? What happened to the shovels they used last year?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Awkward Christmas

Here is the Kardashian family's Christmas card. Why is Ryan Seacrest in their picture???

So You Think You Can Dance

The season finale of So You Think You Can Dance was amazing tonite! About half way through the season Kathryn became my favorite. She had a great night so I hope she wins. I believe Jakob is by far the best dancer, but he has Juilliard to go back to and I'm sure a career in a dance company. All the others will likely live the life of a struggling dancer so my vote is for Kathryn! The routine Kathryn and Jakob did together tonite stole the show. Good luck!

Sleepy Sleepy Update

I'm still sleepy. The CPAP was awful..beyond awful. I couldn't fall asleep at all with it on. I tried two different kinds of masks (see pictures) and ended up even more sleep deprived than usual because I would try for about 2 hours to use it and then just give up and take it off. Then I started dreading going to bed and would read until 1am, then fight with the CPAP for 1.5 to 2 hours, then get barely any of my usual less than restful sleep. I was even sleeping in a different room for a while so I wouldn't disturb my husband. CPAP stands for "continuous positive airway pressure" and is basically air being blown up my nose that then goes down my throat to force the airway to stay open. The masks smell weird, leak air all over my face and I never figured out what to do with the long tube. My cats were scared of the thing. So, I gave up on it and now I'm going to try a dental appliance that pulls the jaw forward to keep the airway open. I just received it today so I'll try tonite. I'm used to sleeping with a night guard so I don't think it will bother me to use this, although it is an upper AND lower...and they hook together. How am I supposed to babble in my sleep now??? It needs to be adjusted over time until it gets to the sweet spot of what will work for me. Since I have problems with the muscles in my jaw, I need to take this slowly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa's Workshop is Closed

I finished all the gift wrapping today and brought it to UPS to get to get shipped to California. All the paper and bows and boxes are put away...much to the cats' dismay. I feel good having all this done. There are a couple loose ends, like a gift card I need to get and mail and one of my dad's gifts has an unknown arrival date, but I will just put that in my luggage with a gift bag. I got everything shipped to be able to send it "ground" which was my goal since last year I was utterly shocked at how expensive it was to ship "air".

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Watch

How can I not comment on Tiger Woods??? I don't find all his cheating unbelievable, but what does puzzle me is how it was kept secret for so long! These days with the internet, gossip blogs, paparazzi, text messaging, email and camera phones, how did this not come out sooner??? I feel badly for his wife and I'm really hoping she leaves him to show that men with power and money cannot buy whatever they want. I'm tired of hearing about rich powerful men cheating and their wives staying. Clearly there is something wrong with Tiger's marriage. At least he hasn't paraded her in front of the media a la Kobe Bryant when his wife sat next to him at a press conference regarding him being accused of rape. My prediction is that Tiger is going to announce he has some kind of, prescription pain pills, or alcohol and then go to "rehab" to try to save his image. My bet is on sex addiction. The other thing about infidelity that I don't understand is why the wife gets mad at the other women? These other women, although not the classiest of ladies, owe nothing to Mrs. Woods. It is her husband she should take it out on...and clearly she did just that on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Ditto

Glitterbug Ballerina

Anyone looking for a holiday present for the little girl in their life should check out Glitterbug Ballerina who makes custom tutus, t-shirts, leotards and accessories. I got entire outfits for my nieces last year and they loved them! Friends of mine own and operate Glitterbug and I can tell you that the tulle is extremely soft and high quality. Adult sizes are available too. They are located in the Northern Virginia area, but can also ship all over the US.

Here are a couple examples and there are many others to choose from as well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gut Check

Have you ever thought you really wanted some kind of big change...then when it becomes a real possibility, you're not sure??? I'm going thru something like that now. I've had a range of emotions over the last two days from excited to nervous to just plain unsure about what I want. One thing I've learned in life is to trust my gut, so that's what I'm going to do once I know if it is really a possibility or not.

Maybe Next Year

I've decided not to write a holiday letter this year. Given the year I have had, I didn't want to write about it and also didn't want to lie and pretend it was a fabulous year. I did get out my cards though and I think they are really nice so I'm happy about that. Maybe next year will be better and I'll have happier news to write about. I have been feeling relatively good the last couple days so I'm hopeful.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Real Recession of Orange County

The Real Housewives of Orange County are back for another season. The recession has hit Orange County and the housewives have not been immune. My last trip to out there was this past June and I could definitely feel it there...mostly from the large vacant stores and empty car dealerships.

Tamara's house is currently on the market as a short sale. She fired a nanny and maid and now is seen cleaning her own house (the horror!). She made statement about how they should have saved money. Uh, yeah...and tell your husband to go back to work and give up his tequila business.

Jeana received notices of default on all four of her properties, but was able to modify the loans to avoid foreclosure. I wonder if she went into default to qualify for a program though or if she was really in trouble? She even asked Vicki for a loan...and Vicki said no.

Gretchen had a garage sale with Slade (ugh...Slade), who gossip blogs say owes close to $80K in back child support for his son...who has a brain tumor! Slade lost his house to a foreclosure last year. Rumor has it that Jeff left Gretchen about $1.5M...don't know if it's true or not. She is only 31 years old though and $1.5M isn't going to last her forever.

Lynne cannot even afford her house rental which her family was evicted from, but she is shown getting a face lift for herself and a nose job for her daughter. Nice priorities!

They do get paid a decent amount of money for doing the show...rumored to be around $30K per episode, but clearly they either need more income or need to downsize their lifestyles. Vicki excluded for now since she works hard and is still able to finance her lifestyle.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unhappy Anniversary

One year ago today my life changed. I was in a seemingly minor car accident...and have been in pain ever since. It's been a year of frustration and many many medical appointments. I have written about this a little bit, but I mostly hide my pain. I try to suck it up when I'm around other people and only my husband really sees me suffer. I had been doing quite a bit better but took an unexpected turn for the worse last week...but nobody around me will really know it. I know there are things in life a lot worse than this so I try to keep positive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Smoking

Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants in Virginia! There are a few exceptions, such as it is allowed in outdoor areas or if there is a separate room entirely enclosed with a separate ventilation system, but I doubt many restaurants will go to the expense to allow this. What about bars you ask??? Virginia does not have any stand alone bars! This is all quite shocking to me given Virginia's history in the tobacco industry. I was in college when California enacted the same ban so to move here and have smokers in restaurants was quite disgusting to me. Only a few that I go to actually allow smoking at all, but it really does drift throughout the restaurant. I'm all for people doing whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt other people...but smoking in public DOES hurt other people, so just do it by yourself or only around other smokers. Thank you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Thanksgiving Letter

I know I am a control freak when it comes to cooking...which I why I usually don't ask people to bring anything. Below is a letter I saw on another blog (courtesy of Kara at about a woman asking people to bring things for Thanksgiving dinner. This is hilarious...unless of course you are named in the letter.

From: Marney

As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Prosciutto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Live Like You Were Dying

I heard the song Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw yesterday and it always gets to me. At this time of year when we are supposed to be giving thanks I think it's a good time to think about how we can make ourselves better and make sure we don't have any regrets. Something can happen to someone we love at any time. Most of you reading this are around my age, and although we still think of ourselves as somewhat young, we aren't that young...anything can happen.

Here are some of the lyrics. Take them to heart...I'm sure there is a verse or two that hits home with everybody.

He said: "I was in my early forties,
"With a lot of life before me,
"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
"I spent most of the next days,
"Looking at the x-rays,
"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."

I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying.
"An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying.
"An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?

The Magic Machine

My husband and I are taking this week off work for a much needed break and to do some fun things. Sunday morning we went drove down to Charlottesville, did some wine tasting, ate some good food and stayed the night at a hotel down there. We were going to do more today before driving home but since it's raining we decided to just drive back home. Later this week we are going to spend the night in DC for Thanksgiving. We all know how I adore my cats and don't want them to have their perfect little worlds messed with...but I didn't want to deal with getting the cat sitter to come just for overnight trips. For each of these little trips, we are away from the house for only a little over 24 hours. I can't leave a big bowl of food for the cats though because they will eat it all immediately and then have nothing to eat the rest of the time so I bought two automatic feeders to take care of this problem. I tried using it for their breakfast yesterday before we left, but it didn't work right (it only dispensed a tiny amount of food). I worked on it for about a half hour and got it working right and got both in sync to dispense at the same time. What still worried me though was that only Manny went to it to get the food when the little bit of food came out. Minky didn't even go near it so while we were gone I was worried Manny was eating both and Minky none. Well, when we got home today it was clear that they had both eaten and were just fine. I'm used to coming home and them being all friendly because they want to be fed. Now they don't really see my purpose anymore. Instead they now hover and rub all over the feeders that we have named "the magic machine". Can't wait to see this in action at 5:00.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Barbie's Dreams Downsized

When I was a kid I loved Barbie and always wanted her Dream House. Today I was in Target and saw the Barbie Dream Townhouse. Poor Barbie, her dreams have been affected by the recession as well and now she just gets a townhouse.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lay Off Season: Part Deux

My company announced today that they need to lower headcount by 2,500 people....out of 6,900 so that's more than a third. They are offering a voluntary package which is a good idea in my opinion because it gives people some level of control in making the decision themselves and it gets rid of the people who really don't want to be there. If enough people take it, then there won't be an involuntary lay off, but I doubt enough will so there will still be a sad day in the future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


People magazine has announced Johnny Depp as the "sexiest man alive". Don't get me wrong, I like Johnny Depp and I had a huuuuuuge crush on him back in the 21 Jump Street Days, but come on, they just keep recycling the same men year after year and I think they need some fresher guys.

My vote is Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. He has a real name, but to me he will always be Tim Riggins.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Step Away from the French Fries

This past month I've been eating like I just got home from being on Survivor. Starting with Vegas, then my dad's visit and then all the stress at work, but I'm done. I gave myself until last Friday (when a big deliverable was due at work) to let myself go, but now I need to stop. This time last year I joined Jenny Craig and lost 17 pounds. I've gained back 12. I wish I could use something other than food to cope with my emotions. I accept what I've done and need to get back in control. It's going to be hard though the next couple weeks as we have lots of food events planned for the T-Day week.

Focus People

I finally started getting caught up on The Biggest Loser. I am about 5 or 6 episodes behind. Yesterday I was watching an episode where they have to eat out the entire week and make healthy choices and their pop quiz focuses on this too. I couldn't believe how hung up these people were getting on which fruits have higher amounts of sugar than others! Seriously people...nobody ever became overweight by eating too many mangoes or grapes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Violated...But Not Really

Over the summer I endured ten weeks of painful dry needling treatments in my neck and head to try to resolve my health issues from the accident. The owner of the place I went to is the expert is this treatment. He teaches the method and is a leading researcher who authors many papers. I didn't see him, but the other physical therapist in the office. I drove an hour to another state for this. It helped me some, but the improvements plateaued so I stopped going given the distance and the pain involved.

A month or two ago I got a letter from a state board investigator telling me my PT was being investigated and asked me to contact him if I felt there was anything inappropriate that occurred. This perplexed me and I couldn't imagine what he did wrong. He wasn't my favorite person in the world since I felt he was insensitive to the amount of pain the treatment caused, but never anything inappropriate. I put the letter aside and soon after threw it away.

A few days ago this crossed my mind so I wanted to find out what happened. I checked the PT web site and the guy I saw nowhere to be found on the web site. Then I did a google search on him and found that the state suspended his license just a few days ago. I read the entire report and can't even describe how I feel about what he did. INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH PATIENTS!!! He had an affair with one patient at her home, which the patient said happened while she was a patient, then later changed her story and said it was before she was a patient...ok, this doesn't bother me if it's consensual. Not a good idea for the PT since it was his patient...oh yeah...and he's married...and his wife is PREGNANT! So that's not the worst of it. Two other women accused him of kissing, hugging, touching, refusing to leave the room while they were dressing and a couple other things I don't want to write. The women were completely shocked by this and reported him to the head guy and he reported this to the state board. The PT admitted to some, but not all of the accusations. This guy has completely ruined his life. I hope his wife leaves him and he never works in the field again. I don't know why this bothers me so much since nothing happened to me, but it really angers me that he took advantage of these women. Who knows if there were more that didn't come forward. People don't end up at his office unless they are in horrible chronic pain. Being in chronic pain and having this treatment done is an extremely vulnerable place to be. Then to have the person who you are supposed to trust will help you take advantage of you sexually...I just can't stomach it. This somehow makes me feel violated even though nothing happened to me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Letters

I am already in the Christmas spirit! I really missed out on Christmas last year due to the car accident. My husband put the tree up, but we never decorated it, and it was painful and difficult for me to even wrap presents. This year I want to enjoy the holidays as much as I can to make up for last year.

I have already picked out some holiday cards that I am going to get personalized and then I'm going to write a letter to include with it. I love holiday letters and find it fascinating what people write about. The letters that come from my mom's side of the family are often pretty dreadful because they usually detail someone getting very sick or dying. We don't keep in touch with them but I do look forward to these letters so I know what is going on. Then there are people who use the letters to brag. One person in particular I know that is always unhappy about something tends to write letters just detailing achievements of her family. I love reading all the letters though regardless of what tone people take. I want my letter to be something people really enjoy so I'm trying to include many elements into it to make it fun and interesting. Right now I'm thinking of including a couple pictures, my favorite holiday dessert and cocktail recipes as well as Christmas songs I think everyone should have on their iPod. The letter part will be weird to friends that I see often though since they don't need an update so I'm not sure if I will send them the letter with the card or just the card. I'm also struggling with what tone to take. I had a rough year with all the car accident pain and then finding the lump, but I don't want to have one of those gloomy letters. It's the holidays and time to be happy so I'll just leave those things out.

Please give me any ideas you have to make my letter enjoyable to the readers. What do you like to read in holiday letters or what has worked for you in letters you have written???

Sunday, November 8, 2009

U2 Tickets...Times Two

Somehow I'm now in the ticket business. Last week the presale U2 tickets went on sale. I was in the third presale group (out of 4) so I knew I wouldn't get the best tickets, but I was hoping for something similar to the last show. I was worried because I was buying tickets for the show in Anaheim at Angel Stadium, which is a baseball stadium, and is much smaller than most of their prior shows on this tour. Their last show in the LA area sold out 96,000 tickets right away and Anaheim only holds about 45 or 50 thousand. Anyway...I got tickets, but knew they were worse...not too much, but the main thing that bothered me was that the seats were under an overhang. I've been to a concert before at Angel Stadium sitting under the over hang and the acoustics were awful and it felt like we weren't really a part of the show. The last show we were in the stadium seats (not on the floor since it was general admission) and in the 20th row. The tickets I just got were around the 30th row...not really sure though because I don't know how many rows are in the section in front of us. Anyway...I had lunch with my husband that same day and told him I got the tickets. He asked where they were and said where we sat at the last show was as far back as he'd want to be...oh uh. I told him we were further back...but still our seats would be better than probably 90% of the stadium. He said it wasn't worth flying across the country to go to the concert for seats that are worse than what we had before. I said fine...if he didn't want to go, I could find somebody in California who would go with me. I really wanted him to go with me though so as soon as I got back to work I checked stub hub for tickets and found seats in the third row. Now I have two sets of tickets! These tickets are pretty expensive so I really hope I can sell the extra tickets. I think I will be able to though given that the show will likely sell out once it goes on sale to the public. I told my husband today about the new tickets and he was pleased...and said if I can't sell the other seats that he would buy them off me and give them to his parents. Now I am just waiting for the stub hub tickets to arrive...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Big Gulp Gate

I have to pack all my liquids in tiny bottles and shove them in a zip lock bag that seems to always break because it's stuffed so full, but Miss Britney Spears gets to carry all the liquids she wants on board...and on to an international flight no less.

See the video of her big gulp...and if you look closely there is another bottle of something in a spray bottle that is much larger than 3 ounces.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Hybrid Cold Flu

What a week. I've been completely slammed at work and woke up sick on Saturday morning. I'm not sure what it was, seemed like a cold on Saturday, then Sunday I just felt awful and slept all day and then worked in the evening. Monday I stayed home, but worked from home. I still felt bad but it helped to be at home in my pajamas. I took some heat for not being in the office, but I didn't want to infect other people and I believe in taking it easy to get better faster. Tuesday I thought I was feeling better, but after about an hour at work I felt awful again. Today I feel better though...still a little low energy, but ok. Work is still killing me. My neck and back are a mess from the stress so I actually look forward to my thrice weekly chiropractor visits to get things loosened up. Work is still going to be crazy for a while, but at least I'm not sick anymore.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maybe Next Year

My dream of a Dodgers/Angels world series is going to have to wait once again until another year. I was hoping to be spending this weekend in LA to go to one of the games, but they were both knocked out. It's been a good couple of years though for the southern California baseball teams. Let's hope they can do it next year.

Wordless Wednesday: No Doubt

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Will Follow

U2 just announced another leg of their tour for next summer! I didn't think they would come back to this area if there was another leg, so I have been prepared to travel for it. They are only doing 10 more dates in the US and they are not coming here. The closest places would be New Jersey or Philadelphia which are both hours away by car or train. They are going to Anaheim, CA though which is near where my dad an my in-laws live and luckily it's also on a weekend which makes it easier...soooo....I nicely asked my husband if we could fly out there to see the show. He reluctantly said "sure"...which means "YES!" to me. It's not until next June though but it gives me something to look forward to. My devotion continues and I Will Follow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's All About the TV

The family room project is just about done. We just need to paint the window trim and install the baseboard. The point of this project was to get a plasma TV on the wall and try to make the room more inviting. When people would come to our house they never wanted to be in this room. We've been able to rearrange the furniture and now people gravitate to it so I'm happy. I miss having the mantle, but I can't have everything. We had to remove the mantle to be able to mount the TV lower. Otherwise it will be too uncomfortable to look up so high to see the TV. We still need new furniture, but that's going to have a to wait a little while.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Leave Suri Alone

I think Suri is adorable. Gossip pages are saying she is acting too grown up here with the high heels and Starbucks, but she's just wanting to be like her mom like every little girl does. I can tell you the Starbucks by my house swarms with little kids getting hot chocolate all the time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are Shoulder Pads Back In Style???

Kim seems to think they are...or at least on one side.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts Can't Lose

Season 4 of Friday Night Lights starts next week! I'm excited but worried that they may have problems with the story since season 3 wrapped things up pretty well and many of the actors aren't coming back. For those who haven't seen it, it is one of the best TV shows ever. It's not about football, but about life with football as the back drop that binds this small Texas town. It starts on DirecTV on October 28th, but won't be on NBC until the winter or summer. This commercial gives me goose bumps.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All Because of You

I was a huge U2 fan as a teenager and into my 20's. My room was covered with posters and anything else I could find related to U2 (and the Dodgers) while I lived at home. The first concert I ever went to was U2 at the LA Coliseum with my brother, who was in college at UCLA at the time, and his friends. I'm pretty sure his girlfriend gave up her ticket and told him to take me. She was like the sister I never had and knew how much I loved U2 and worshipped my brother. I felt so cool because here I was a freshman in high school who just had her best friend since kindergarten dump her (she was the queen bee type so everyone went with her) and I got to miss school to go to a concert AND stay the night in the dorms at UCLA. After my one night stay at UCLA I was ready to be done with high school and couldn't wait to get to college and live in the dorms. I was a huge U2 fan before going to the concert, but seeing them live, even from the nose bleed seats, made me fall even more in love with them. I realize now how much this must have sucked for my brother, but he never let on at the time. I have always thought of U2 as the best band ever, especially live. It's an incredible show and it's amazing how Bono can command a stadium full of people. My devotion to them continued into my late 20's and I would go to their concerts as much as I could (I think 6 total). I even took my brother to a show to try to repay him for the one he took me to all those years ago. They came to DC about three months after we moved to Virginia and I didn't go to the show. I couldn't get face value tickets and the idea of going into DC in the middle of the week intimidated me back then so it was the first tour I missed. When their latest tour was announced I vowed there was no way I was going to miss it! I'm not a huge fan of their recent album, but I joined the fan club to make sure I could get access to tickets. Fifty dollars got me the opportunity to buy tickets before they went on sale to the general public and I ended up with pretty good seats. I knew the trip to the stadium was going to be a nightmare, but it ended up worse than we thought. The stadium is about 20 miles from here, but we took the beltway (a circle freeway that we had to go half way around) which made it 40 miles so that we wouldn't have to drive thru DC. C went with me because he has never seen U2 live before. C is a music lover and quite harsh on bands that he doesn't think are good musicians. We were so excited on our way to concert, playing CD's in the car and getting all amped...that ran out after about 2 hours though. Three hours! Yes, 3 hours to get to the stadium, then another hour to get to a parking spot and to our seats. So from the time we left home to when we were in our seats was 4 hours!!! We kept telling ourselves "never again" will we come to this stadium, no matter who is playing....but the show made us change our minds. U2 is still the best live band I've ever seen. C even agreed it was the best live show he's ever seen. They played a mix of old and new and Bono still has an amazing stage presence. The concert didn't have as much energy as some in the past, probably given the age of both the band AND the fans, but it was still a great show. The music sounded even better live than on the CD. Since this concert I have become devoted once again am constantly listening to them at home and in the car. They have turned me on to music again, not just theirs, but music in general which I had given up on for a while. Their music has brought me much joy throughout my life and I hope this wasn't their farewell tour. It was also nice to see them humble and very end Bono told the crowd, "thank you for giving us a wonderful life".

Wordless Wednesday: The oldest looking 23 year old

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

City of Blinding Lights

Oh, you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

These lyrics by U2 are referring to New York, but remind me of Las Vegas because everyone in Vegas tends to be happy and beautiful. In day to day life many of us slouch, frown and putter through our days. In Vegas, people stand up straight, try to look their best and are generally happy (ok...and drunk). Happy smiling people are beautiful! I am an example of this. On a usual work day I really don't care about my appearance. I wear the same clothes a lot and don't bother with wearing contacts (they do dry out my eyes though when looking at a computer screen all day). I am usually just trying to get through my day with the least amount of stress possible. But in Vegas I take the time to try to look good for some reason...not really sure why, but I want to look my best and have fun. I walk with more confidence and am more outgoing. In my regular life I seem to fade into the background and get ignored a lot. Some days I feel almost invisible. This all changes once I hit the ground in the desert and Vegas becomes my happy place.

The trip on Friday morning was uneventful and I was in my hotel room at the MGM Grand at about noon. The plane ride out was actually nice because I felt like it was for the first time in a while a time to myself where nobody could ask or expect anything of me. There was nothing for me to do but just sit and listen to my iPod. J was still driving from California and would arrive in a couple hours. This was the perfect time for me to get some gambling in since she doesn't gamble as much as I do. I love blackjack and craps, but she is more of a video poker girl so we rarely gamble together. Craps on the strip has become too expensive for me in the big hotels and I'm over hanging out in the little places (and please, don't even mention going downtown...not my thing) so I stick with blackjack. I love it because I get to sit down, have waitresses bring me my drinks and my seat is saved while I use the restroom. I usually do pretty well either breaking even or winning some money. My chip stack may go up and down, but I love to play for hours and hours and if I lose some I am ok with it because it's fun and the cost of entertainment. I headed straight for my lucky row at MGM and sat down. I bought in for $200 and lost about $100 in an hour....not fun at all. No ups and down...just down and the people were quiet and no fun so I decided to take a break and wandered around the casino and looked at the lions. I love how the big cats act just like house cats, but way bigger. The two lions were all curled up together sleeping just like my cats do. J called and she had arrived! Let the fun begin...we hadn't seen each other in about a year and a half and had a lot to catch up on. J and I have been friends for 18 years and it's the type of friendship that time apart won't hurt. It doesn't matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, we can always pick up like we just saw each other. She even goes along with my silliness like wearing the matching shirts I got us that say Winner Winner Chicken Dinner on them. Then it was time to meet a fellow blogger and her friend for a drink in the bar which was fun. My tummy was ready for food though since my feedings had been on east coast time so J and I went to find some food. We ended up Wolfgang Puck, which was good, and then we headed for the piano bar at NYNY! I love piano bars and have never been able to get anyone to go with me to one in Vegas, but J, a karaoke lover, was all into it. We arrived just before it started and got seated up front. It was free to stand (on one side of the pianos) or a cover charge to sit at a table (on the other side of the pianos) so we chose to sit. I'm way too old to stand all night in uncomfortable shoes. It was only 8pm but this place was already packed with people ready to sing. The weird thing was that one of the piano players looked just like an ex boyfriend of mine from college. J even agreed and thought it was weird that he kept looking at us, but once he started singing we knew it wasn't him. My ex's name was Chad so we referred to the piano player as Chad for the rest of the night. This place was so much fun! People of all ages singing, dancing, drinking and having a great time...a way better time than any club in Vegas in my opinion. After a few hours I decided to request a song (U2's With or Without You). I filled out the form and brought it and the required money up to Chad and then returned to my seat. After a few minutes I really needed to use the restroom which was out in the casino. J told me to go because they had lots of songs to get to before mine, so I go. (I'm sure you can see where this is going...) On my way back from the restroom, I HEAR MY SONG!!!! Not only are they playing my song, but the entire place is going crazy singing along, louder than any song of the night so far. I started running and got back to hear the end of it, but that really burst my bubble. As soon as I sat down I looked and Chad and gave him a look like WTF???? He knew I requested that song and that I wasn't there...he just shrugged his shoulders at me like saying "too bad". I never really got back into it after that and we soon left. I think we spent about 4 hours there total. Props to the guy in the pink shirt and the woman doing the MC Hammer are both awesome! Oh and for the rock songs they brought out a guitar which was great...the place went crazy for Smells Like Teen Spirit and Back in Black. After the piano bar it was back to MGM for J to go to bed and for me to gamble some more. My bad luck continued, but I was at a table of nice people so at least that part was fun. I gave up after about 2 hours since I lost another $200. I got to bed at the reasonable hour of about 2:30am, but I did pretty well given I got up at 5:30am east cost time so I was up for 24 hours. I tried to know when to say when with the drinking, but given how I felt the next day, I think I had just one too many. The next morning J's mom came to visit (she lives about 1.5 hours away) so they went to have breakfast while I slept a little more. Since J wasn't hungry for lunch we just stopped at the food court to get me something to bring to the pool. Bad decision on McDonald's because it made my stomach hurt. I was a little hung over, but that wasn't bad compared to how the grease made my tummy feel. We just layed by the pool and relaxed. I wasn't in the mood for more alcohol yet. After the pool we headed up to the room to get ready to see Cher at Caesar's Palace. We had dinner at Trevi in the forum shops and the waiter was great at keeping things moving so we would make the show in time. I'm not a huge Cher fan, but the show was pretty good. I did nod off a little, but that happens when I'm bored. I liked the songs that I knew, but I wasn't familiar with the older stuff. The momentum of the show was a little odd because Cher changed here outfit and hair in between EVERY song! This made room for filler like videos of her and Sonny and dancers. The dancers were good, but I could do without the Sonny and Cher videos. After the show we were a little lost about what to do. I was really ready for a cocktail but all the bars at Caesar's were packed and, as noted previously, I like to sit. Plus, J has back problems so she likes to sit too, but not for too long. We wandered Caesar's then headed back to NYNY to try to find some fun. Lots of somber tones around the casinos, even at NYNY. We decided to just hang at their center bar for a while and get liquored up a bit to get things going. I tried to get J to go back to the piano bar, but she didn't want to so we went back to MGM to gamble. People were quite somber in this casino too so I was determined to find a fun table...or make it fun. It ended up being a blast! One of the those perfect gambling nights where everyone at the table was bonding, winning, cheering, and having a great time. We were that loud fun table everyone else gets jealous of. I stayed there until 4am and won back my $300 so I ended even gambling for the trip, but I felt like a winner since I went out on a high note. It was probably the most fun I've ever had at a blackjack table and there was very little alcohol involved because it wasn't needed to have fun. Brandon, Jim, Jim, Andy, and mystery man in the guys are the best blackjack buddies ever! Andy was our good luck charm. He stumbled up to the table with just $20 and turned it into hundreds using what we named "the Andy method". No matter what he did, he won. The only downside was the rude dealer Rafael who wouldn't talk much and when he did it was like he was spitting fire at us and he became very aggressive. He almost broke up our "band" but we hung in there for the most part and only lost one Jim because that's who Rafael focused his aggression on after Jim asked him if he had a Facebook page (ok, when Rafael didn't respond, Jim said he should be called Rafael Buzzkill and that set him off...). The rest of us left when the table just started to turn so we all left with winnings. Then it was off to bed and the next day I got up, packed, bought C a souvenir (as I always do if I travel without him) and J drove me to the airport. It was nice not being hung over (or worse...still drunk) for the trip home. We had a great tail wind and landed 45 minutes early. The highlights of this trip were definitely the piano bar and the last night with the "band" playing blackjack. J and I always have a great time together. I can't wait to go back...

Neon heart day glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They're advertising in the skies
For people like us

And I miss you when you're not around
I'm getting ready to leave the ground

Oh, you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleepy Sleepy

I think I have been tired my entire life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person and like to sleep in. No matter how much I sleep, I never feel refreshed. I'm usually pretty low energy which makes some people think of me as lazy, which I find insulting. Back when I was younger and it was popular to have those yellow signs in car windows (baby on board, etc), my mom wanted to get one that said, "have daughter, will sleep". I have talked to doctors before about this and have been blown off being told there is nothing wrong with me or my problems are emotional. Well, I finally got someone to take me seriously and I had a sleep study done a couple weeks ago. I have been wanting this for years now. Little did I know how awful the test would be. I had to go to a sleep center over night and be hooked up to all sorts of electrodes and other contraptions. The picture here is not me, but gives you the idea of what it's like. Years of wanting this...then I couldn't sleep! I was so uncomfortable and I could hear noises from the hall and the next room. When the technician came in for me at 5:15am, I asked him if I slept at all and he said, "you slept enough." I do not look like the typical person who has sleep apnea since it's usually an older overweight man (no offense anyone...). The sleep technician even questioned why I was there. But the results are in, and I do in fact have sleep apnea. I stop breathing and wake up on average 15 time per hour and during REM sleep 30 times per hour. This means I'm waking up the most during the most important time of the sleep cycle. I'm going to have to get a CPAP to see if that will help. There is also the option of a dental device, which I'll explore as well. I have to wait a month for my next appointment though to get started with getting a CPAP set up. Stay tuned...and look out world...I'm about to wake up!!!!

The Visit

All went well with my dad's visit from California. The weather here couldn't have been worse though! It was raining and about 40 degrees the entire time he was here. This is really not normal for Virginia this time of the year. Good thing there were lots of good sporting events on TV as that kept us occupied for a while. It was nice having the giant plasma on the wall for everyone to watch. The highlight of the trip was once again the wine tour. We hired a driver and went to 4 wineries about an hour from here where it's really scenic. The biggest surprise though was that one of them had 3 inches of snow!!! Not good for the grapes at all...but we kind of laughed about it because that particular winery was very rude to us and we left before even tasting. They kept making us wait for no good reason and not serving after about 15 minutes, we just left. The next place we went to couldn't have been nicer so we made the right decision. Our house was an absolute mess up until the day dad arrived since we had been working on the family room. I was up late every night since I got back from Vegas working on it and even forgot to eat some meals...something I never do! My dad left this morning and now I'm more relaxed with my normal life back. Oh...and of course it was a bright sunny day today...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Please Don't Go

I haven't given up again...I have so much to say, but no time to write it! Vegas was awesome, work is crazy, my dad is coming to visit on Friday and the house is still in the middle of a home improvement project gone nuts. I've been up late working on the house since getting back from Vegas and am exhausted. Dad is here until Monday and then I will have lots to post. My goal after all this is to get back to working on the dog treats. I just need a chunk of time to focus on it.