I will be in Access training all day today and tomorrow but I wanted to leave you a few posts to have fun with:
-- Loads of colorful fun!! Be sure to explore everything!
-- Old-fashioned Bush
(both links via lifestudent.com)
And I saved the best for last: Beautiful, fun little game! Be sure to click on everything and anything you can - you will start to solve puzzles and will eventually solve the whole puzzle! It won't take you to long if you are patient and super-observant. Good luck and have fun! See you kiddos later...
Sorry for not posting yesterday. Work has been busy and honestly I didn't have anything interesting to say. I *still* don't have anything interesting to say but I wanted to drop in and say hello.
So.... hello! OK. Back to work.
Wow! I was unusually active this weekend! I actually went bike-riding in the heat and humidity both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I know, pretty amazing, huh? I rode about 10 miles each day! Today I am exhausted though. Here are the details:
Friday: Gave up the “Friday Gaggle” to help friends assemble their wedding invites. They are getting married the last weekend in September and they made their invitations by hand. The invites turned out beautiful (the few we were able to complete) and I am proud that I was able to help them out. Looking forward to the bachelorette party and wedding!
Saturday: Got up and headed over to Memorial Park for our 2nd weekend bike outing. Like last week, we met up with essentially the same group and rode for an hour and a half. I felt so much better this time though and was able to complete over 8 miles with half the pain and twice the energy than the week before. I still have not been able to figure why the big difference in energy but I was very happy for it and it let me keep a higher average speed than before!
Had lunch once again at the Greek diner and then I was able to convince half the group to ride with me around Downtown so I could take some pictures for the 26 Things Project due this week. Unfortunately, a light drizzle foiled my plans so we headed to Kaveh Kanes for a coffee and then headed home.
Saturday night: After cleaning up and resting our bodies, we headed to Robert and Oskar's place for a sausage dinner and a rented movie.
Sunday: Woke up around noon and called Robert. He had agreed to go Downtown with me while I once again attempted another photo shoot. It was extremely hot and muggy with absolutely no breeze whenever we stopped but we worked ourselves out! Once again, we rode at least 8 miles but this time we went along the bayou’s trail that actually had some slight inclines. Neither one of us had been on the trail before and we had fun riding it – we came across quaint bridges, neat, funky artwork and even a cute bunny rabbit! I barely made it back into Downtown, but I did and it felt good! A yummy Jamba Juice afterwards quenched our thirst.
By the time I got home around 5 PM, I was sweaty and icky. Since I was already dirty, I went ahead and with my 2nd (or 3rd) wind, I distributed four bags of new soil around my garden in the back yard (I bought the bags over a month or two ago), fertilized the flower bed and watered it all in.
Sunday night: A nice long shower, the couch, the dogs, and my TiVo. Happiness. :D
The good news: This weekend, Texan Lance Armstrong clinched his 5th consecutive Tour de France win, tying the record with the Spanish cyclist Miguel Indurain.
The sad news: Legendary Entertainer Bob Hope Dead at 100. Rest in Peace Mr. Hope and thanks for all the laughs.
Yay! It's Friday! Work has been busy and there really hasn't been anything interesting to write about. I am looking forward to the weekend - but *not* the morning bike ride tomorrow. Ugh. I need to check the weather forecast and see what we should expect... if it doesn't rain and I can find someone to go Downtown with me afterwards maybe I could get in a photo shoot as well. With the bike it is much easier to get around Downtown and I can shoot more pictures.
What are your weekend plans?
I came across this article in the local newspaper. Nothing really that interesting except it mentions the guy who did my tattoo back in 1996, Tiger John. I guess he is still around...
(and my tattoo is very small (1" x 1 1/2") and rather boring but I like it - it is one of my own doodles and was something I did as a graduation gift to myself after finishing college)
Update on story.
I know, it’s already Wednesday and I haven’t given you a weekend update like I normally do. I guess because it was pretty low key. The most exciting event was Kathy’s husband Tom’s 30th Birthday BBQ! It was a lot of fun and the food was delish, especially considering this was the first time Tom had used his new BBQ grill! Thanks Kathy & Tom for opening your home to us and including us in the festivities.
The rest of the weekend was spent watching movies at home and running non-important errands. Kenny tidied up the garage and I treated the front lawn for pests. I also cleaned the baby fish tank and completed a partial water change on the 30 gallon tank. All the fish really appreciated it, especially the baby fish.
Oh, I almost forgot – we also did a short bike ride Saturday morning. After taking Heidi to a routine vet visit, we caught up with 3 friends and rode for an hour or so out at the paved circular bike trail in Memorial Park. I was ridiculously winded because I am so out of shape but after much struggle and a couple of breaks, I finished a little over 7 miles. A refreshing Greek Salad at Bibas afterwards was a perfect ending.
By the way, I have started to go back to aerobics once again. After losing my job I stopped going because it was no longer a convenient location to me (14 miles from home). The new job is thankfully only 2 miles away so I finally got the motivation to return – 6 months later. I am at my heaviest and feeling miserable about it – my clothes fit tight and I don’t feel as vivacious as I used to so I am back to my twice a week schedule.
I haven’t lost any weight yet since I am very slowly easing back in – my energy and strength are below what they were a year ago when I returned to aerobics so I am really, really struggling. It’s like I took a step forward only to fall back three. Still, I have to do something about it so I’m back in class. The weekend bike riding is supplemental and in regards to that, my goal is to ride in at least the 8 mile Moonlight Ramble in mid-October, maybe even the 20 mile. I did this ride 3 years ago and it was a lot of fun. We finished the 20 mile at 4 AM in the cold October night (I think it dropped to mid 40’s F).
Second stage is my diet. I am eating healthier snacks at work – low-fat yogurt, no-fat cream cheese, fresh fruits – but lunch and dinner are still not always healthy. I am making healthier selections but still have lots of work to do.
OK. That was enough of an update… hasta luego!
Last night I got into a bidding war with another eBayer... it was down to the last 30 seconds but I won! This smiley face bank dated 1971 is the prize. I know I paid too much for it (over $30) but as Kenny said, it had sentimental value.
Story behind this is that I already have this exact same bank. Why do I need another one you may ask? Because the bank I have is actually my sister's. I just happened to have kept it when we moved out. I have grown very attached to it since we have had it ever since I can remember - as I child growing up it always sat in my sister's room and technically, the bank is older than me (I was born in '73)!
Still, if I have it, why get another one? Because my sister *finally* wants hers back. Her two little girls are starting to keep coins and the smiley face bank would be perfect. It's always been hers so I have to hand it over.
With this in mind, I went on eBay, hoping to find a good replacement. I was quickly disappointed as I came across other vintage banks that were smaller, uglier, more cheaply made. Then I saw it!! An auction for the exact same bank!! Pink heart on its chest and all! Same production year too! It called my name and its smile drew me in. I was hooked. It had to be mine.
And that is the story on how I paid way too much for a tacky plastic toy bank. The end.
Moral of the story: Sentimentality makes anyone a sucker. But it also puts a smile on your face. :)
Time for today's This-or-That Tuesday:
1) DVD or VHS? DVD
2) Best Literary/Movie Villian: Voldemort (Harry Potter) or Sauron (LoTR)? Sauron
3) Meat: rare or well-done? medium
4) High Speed Internet-Cable or DSL? cable modem
5) Women: 1-piece bathing suit or Bikini? tankini
6) To be fair--Men: Boxers or briefs? combo of boxer-briefs
7) Beer or Liquor/Wine? liquor/wine - cocktails
8) Coke or Mountain Dew? Coke
9) In honor of my 10/18/03 nuptials: Morning or Afternoon/Night Wedding? night
10) Carpet or Hardwood Floors hardwoods
11) American cars or foreign? foreign
12) Cutest TV Twin: Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen? can't tell difference
13) Coffee: Caffeinated or Decaf? caffeinated
14) Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: Computers: Do they make life better or worse? Why? Better. If you use them prudently and aren't afraid of them, they can really keep you organized, let you keep in touch with friends and help you discover new things!
Fellow Texan Lance continues to amaze:
Lance Armstrong increased his lead in the Tour de France despite almost crashing out on stage 15.
Vive la Lance!
I'll update tonight from home... so come back later before you head to bed!
I meant to write about this yesterday but didn't for whatever reason. Cuba's very own "Queen of Salsa", Celia Cruz, died Wednesday. She was a Cuban legend and a salsa icon from my Mother's generation who endeared herself to America with her huge smile and her invigorating music. You will be missed Celia but your legend will live on through the history of salsa music.
Here is NPR's tribute to Celia Cruz.
Compay Segundo, another Cuban music legend known in recent years for the documentary Buena Vista Social Club, also died last week. The Latin American music community suffered another great loss.
Almost a month later and 2 weeks after his birthday has come and gone, Kenny's main birthday gift from me arrived in the mail from Germany. Details to why it was late aren't important - I am just glad it got here in good condition. My intent was for him to hang it in his office at work so tonight we will go and pick out a frame and mat.
And for those of you who think you vaguely recognize the image, it is from my husband's favorite movie, Amelie. It is one of the paintings that hangs above her bed. And no, it wasn't that easy to find the poster - thus it's long journey from Germany.
I still have a few months but I am ordering this cute dachshund shoulder throw in a couple of weeks with my next paycheck!! It will be great for my trips to Boston and London... the weather will be a little chillier and it will be the perfect size to throw in my daypack and always keep with me as I site-see.
Something else I bought for the trips - this nifty document holder. I couldn't resist - the sale was too good. I got it in blue, my favorite color.
And of course, I need guidebooks. My favorite series is Fodor's Citypacks! I swear by them... they offer a listing of the city's top 25 attractions as well as a list of walks and free things to do, wonderful, concise advice, great summaries and all come with a full foldout map of the city! Add to that a durable plastic cover, a super thin profile and a great price and I am a loyal fan. I've used the books for New York City, San Francisco and Barcelona. I've already bought the one for London at a local bookstore and need to order the one for Boston from Amazon.com.
As you can see, I get giddy when I plan trips. I love to travel sooooooo much! And my giddiness will only get worse as the time approaches to leave. An international trip warrants extra giddy points too, by the way. To my loyal readers, I apologize in advance... :D
Nothing much going on this week, hence the boring posts. Hopefully the days will get sunnier and so will my writing. :D
Nothing to see here.
By the way, the storm was anticlimactic here in Houston. By the afternoon the rain had stopped and the streets were drying up. This is not to say that other parts of Texas 50 miles were not affected. Just not the central metropolitan part of Houston.
Looks like it won't be that bad, despite Houston being on the "dirty side" of the storm (where more of the rainfall is). It barely made hurricane status earlier this morning and is not expected to strengthen... landfall should be further south and will occur late tonight.
So, looks like we are going to get a lot of water but nothing as bad as two years ago during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.
-- Hurricane Claudette Steams Toward Texas Coast
-- Hurricane Claudette expected to go coastal this afternoon
P.S. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, hurricanes are a seasonal occurrence so they really aren't that big of deal... although the radar is impressive, isn't it? And compared to previous storms, this is a small one.
TIme for today's This-or-That Tuesday:
1. Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck? Bugs Bunny
2. Tom or Jerry? Tom
3. Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck? Mickey
4. Rocky & Bullwinkle or Boris & Natasha? no opinion
5. Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote? Wile E.
6. Sylvester or Tweety? Tweety
7. Popeye or Bluto? neither
8. South Park or The Simpsons? Both
9. Jetsons or Flintstones? Jetsons
10. And finally, the eternal question asked by all good Scooby-Doo fans: Velma or Daphne? I guess Daphne, although I am not a Scooby-Doo fan.
Another Monday - but I'm feeling good despite getting only 4 hours sleep. I have a really bad habit of not being sleepy when Sunday's bedtime rolls around since I've slept in all weekend and feel rested. After tidying stuff up, watching a movie and waiting for the laundry to finish, I didn't get to bed till 2:30 AM. Not good when your alarm goes of a bit after 6:30 AM. Anyway, on to the summary!
Friday night: Had a wonderful movie experience at The Alamo Drafthouse! It was our first time there so we didn't know what to expect. It's set up so you can have dinner and beer whiling watching one of the current movies. What made it a positive experience is that the service is so good that your are not really distracted while watching the movie. Plus, the audience is a little more mature so there were NO cell phones ringing or babies crying! The movie itself, Pirates of the Caribbean, was also better than expected.
Saturday: Woke up late then ran around and got some errands done. This included fulfilling my husband's dream of a owning a La-Z Boy recliner. Don't worry - we ordered a really nice, contemporary one in soft leather (color "merlot") which doesn't even look like a recliner and seamlessly fits in with our IKEA living room furniture. Since it's Kenny's chair though, I have been informed that I must relinquish control whenever he wants to sit in it, which will be all the time! It's OK, I'll get it when he is playing computer games in his office or when he is out at pool league every Wednesday night... but neither one of us wants to wait the 8-12 weeks it will take to be made (with our luck, it will be ready while we are on vacation)!!
Saturday night: Went to our friends' housewarming party. They bought a home together and will be getting married at the end of September. It was nice to see them and their home was lovely!
Sunday: Woke up late again and then ran some more errands. Since we had bought the nifty new chair we decided to replace the area rug in the living room as well to better match the colors. We bought this rug which will fit in nicely with the dark green couch, new burgandy recliner and dark yellow walls.
Now I need to replace the couch throw pillows (the ones I have now look dingy despite being washed) and I need to look into getting the couch professionally cleaned. We even looked at some extremely affordable entertainment centers and bookshelves at IKEA (they have some new designs) but need to measure our TV and wall first. I guess we are sort of redecorating without really changing the style and feel of the room. Just updating things... it's really fun when your husband gets into it too.
I feel like I didn't get half the stuff I wanted done since we were out running around and got late starts both days but that's OK. I'll survive. And I did get some basic stuff done that I *had* to do. So how was your weekend? More productive than mine I hope!
We booked our flights to London last night! Woo-hoo!! We are going non-stop on Continental and will be there for 6 nights in September! I already e-mailed my friends to make arrangements to stay with them for part of that time, then I need to book a hotel for the last half of the trip since the happy couple will be rather busy with wedding stuff. Looking forward to hitting some museums that I missed my last time there.
Update: It looks like I have found a great house-sitter so I don't have to worry about kenneling the two dogs nor about feeding the fish! One less worry...
One of my favorite quotes is by the French author Jules Renard:
I recently found another by him that I enjoy...
Here are some more by him. There are some good ones in there! And here are a couple more... These would be some good signature quotes!
I had never even heard of him until I saw that 1st quote on the back of a Cure tape I had. Yes, a cassette tape - it was back in middle school in the mid 80's - doesn't that date me?
As I finalize my upcoming vacation plans I started to think about all the places I want to visit in my lifetime. Here is my list, subject to change at any time, of course:
Within the USA -
• Seattle, Washington
• Las Vegas
• Vermont during the fall on one of the foliage road tours
• Skiing either in Colorado or New Mexico (I've never skied)
• Santa Fe, New Mexico
• The Southern East coast (i.e Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia)
• Alaskan cruise (this is planned for our 10-year wedding anniversary)
• Puerto Rico
• More of Northern California including a hot-air balloon ride over one of the wine regions.
• Basque region in Spain during the cider house tours
• Somewhere in Asia, don’t know where yet and depends on political climate
• Australia/New Zealand
• Canada - Quebec, Montreal, Lake Louise, Nova Scotia
• Ireland & Scotland
• Denmark - Legoland and Eskesen (the floaty pen factory)
• Eastern Europe including Warsaw, Prague, Budapest
• Southern Italy (already saw Northern Italy)
• Guatemala - so I can take Kenny since I've already been
• Costa Rica
• Buenos Aires, Argentina
I have been to many places already - more than the average individual - and already realize how fortunate I have been but the world is huge and I have the travel bug so I still have many places to see. Funny thing is that the more I travel, the more new places to visit I discover! Fortunately for me I have a husband who also loves to travel and circumstances that will hopefully allow us to pursue some of these goals. It will take me a lifetime but I look forward to seeing these new places, experiencing new adventures and creating more memories. Oh, and don't get me started on the places I want to visit again!
How about you? Where do you want to?
B I R T H D A Y
K E N N Y !!
I love you.
Time for today's This-or-That:
1. Strawberries or blueberries? I like both equally.
2. 'Legally Blonde 2' or 'Terminator 3'? LB2 if I had to choose.
3. Hamburgers or hot dogs? Hamburgers.
4. Boating or hiking? Boarting.
5. Suntan lotion or sunblock? Sunblock.
6. 'Big Brother' or 'The Amazing Race'? Neither.
7. Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett? Jimmy Buffett.
8. Grow your own produce or buy from supermarket/greengrocer/farm stand? Grocery store.
9. Drive with car windows/top down, or with air-conditioning on? In the spring & fall I like to open the windows and sunroof ocassionally but in this Houston summer heat the windows are up with the A/C cranked!
10. Go away for vacation, or stay at home? Go away!
Here is the photo album for yesterday's birthday BBQ.
Well, the 3-day weekend is over and it's back to the grind although it's a slow morning since several people are out on vacation including my boss (who is in Cancun with his wife on a well-deserved vacation).
The weekend was pretty low key and it involved some time with friends, some movie watching and some shopping. Here are a few more details:
Thursday night: Dinner at the Backstreet Cafe with Robert and his girlfriend, Flavia (who is visiting from Brazil).
Friday: Slept in a few hours and then got up to get some shopping done. Bought some more plants at Buchanan's since everything was 20% off while Kenny bought some new collared shirts for work since they have implemented a minimal dress code (they had none before).
Friday night: We had no firework-watching plans and many of our friends were out of town so we decided to grab a late night showing of Finding Nemo. Turns out we were able to sit and watch some fireworks anyway from the parking lot of the movie theater before catching the movie. The movie itself was excellent and the visuals were stunning. Pixar never disappoints.
Saturday: Slept in again, did some more shopping. And once again, we had no plans for the evening so we rented some movies and watched Double Whammy with Denis Leary. Pretty funny for a movie we had never even heard of!
Sunday: Let Kenny sleep in while I went grocery shopping for my part of the Birthday BBQ Sherry and I were throwing for our birthday boys - EJ's birthday was Saturday, the 5th while Kenny's is tomorrow, the 8th. Had a great afternoon with good friends and good food and afterwards joined Hanna & Michael at the movie theaters to watch Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Also better than expected if you go into it knowing it will be a bit campy. Plus, it's always refreshing to see some girls kick ass.
With all that R&R, I actually had trouble sleeping last night and of course, I am now sleepy once again despite catching up on sleep these past few days. Argh... Still, I had a good weekend and I hope you guys did too!
This week I started to put together my plans for the upcoming months:
* Thanks to Kathy who bought the tickets on our behalf so we could all sit together, Kenny and I will be attending the Blue Man Group show with them in August.
* Also in August I will be traveling to Miami with my sister to visit my ailing grandmother. I booked my flight and the car rental this week. Since my sister and I will be staying with a family friend, I won't need a hotel so everything is set for this trip.
* In anticipation of a sell-out crowd, I went ahead and bought tickets to the Eddie Izzard show in Boston in October. This lead me to go ahead and book our flights AND our hotel as well since I found a good rate on Continental. We are now set for this trip. Our good friends CJ & Susan then confirmed they would be joining us so they made their plans as well. Yay! Pub-hopping will be even more fun with them...
What do I have left? I still have to book the flights and hotel for our trip to London in September - but the flights are still too expen$ive. I'm a little stressed out by this but I'm sure we'll work things out... I'm going to wait a couple more weeks to see if rates drop and book at that point. Wish me luck!
I heard an article on NPR on my way to work today where they interviewed Bernie Barker, officially the "Oldest Male Stripper". For the record, he sounded like a really nice guy. Be sure to check out the photos!
...being a doggie sandwich in bed. It makes me feel so loved! :D
Definition of a "doggie sandwich": Waking up to find myself in the middle of my two dogs, Ginger & Heidi. Heidi is usually up near the pillow leaning against my right shoulder, on top of the covers while Ginger is under the covers on my left-side, leaning against my lower leg.
They made it even BIGGER! Just drive a friggin bus people!
The new Cadillac Escalade ESV is even bigger/longer than the original Escalade!
Sorry - I can't stand these huge monsters. Unless you have a family of four or more, these things are too big for the road and a waste of fuel. I can't even imagine how these things will fit into the average parking spaces if the Escalade already has problems.
And by the way, before I get attacked for being anti-SUV, please be aware that I am *not*. I am against these huuuuuuuuuuuuuge monster-SUVs that seem to be so popular these days. Small to medium SUVs are very reasonable and serve their purpose by increasing carrying capacity without hogging the road. Anything larger and you better have a couple of kids strapped in there as well as the whole soccer team... It doesn't help when I see these larger vehicles being driven recklessly. They are so big they never notice when they hit anything... grrr.
What my birth date (December 13) has to say about me:
a bit self-willed
does not allow contradiction or arguments
children and animals
a bit of a butterfly
good sense of humor
likes idleness and laziness
of practical talent and intelligence.
I think mine describes me much better than Kathy's does, especially that part that says "a bit of a butterfly" and "likes idleness and laziness" (heh, heh)!
Find out your tree type based on your birth date.
Happy July 1st! I guess this means we are half-way through 2003? *Wow!*
Well, for me this means vacations are being planned (more on that later), an attempt at eating better and exercising has begun yet again (I hope to go to aerobics tonight for the first time in over six months) and the initial inquiries into refinancing our home have been started.
It also means my husband will be 32 next week and I will be 30 in about 6 months. Yikes. Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?
Do any of you have any grand plans for the 2nd half of the year? Share them with me...
I am currently at home while the A/C man performs a regular maintenance check on our unit. In the meanwhile, here is today's This-or-That:
1. Lemonade or Ice Cold Beer? Lemonade.
2. Swimming pool or beach? Beach.
3. Long weekends here & there, or a 2-week vacation? A little bit of both if possible.
4. Destination: Acapulco or Hawaii? Hawaii.
5. Destination: Mountains or Beach? Mountains.
6. Hotel/motel/B&B or camping? Hotel/motel/B&B.
7. Carefully planned vacation, or play it by ear? A little bit of both.
8. Sneakers or sandals? Sandals.
9. Air-conditioning or fans? A/C.
10. Concerts in the park or baseball games? Concerts in the park.