26 June 2012

Summer Bucket List

I laugh out loud every week at my two best friends podcast.  And by best friends, I mean people who have no clue who I am, but if they did know who I was, we would totally be best friends.  In real life.  But this is real life, and we don't know each other, so we aren't best friends.  But this is my blog, and I'll claim whatever best friends I want!

My not-really-best-friends are Joy & Tracy from Joy the Baker Podcast at Homefries.  As I type this, I'm listening to Episode #52, talking about summer bucket lists.  As usual homework was assigned.  I don't usually 'do' homework, but hey, it's a blog post.  I can totally handle this.  After all, I've been wanting to do a life bucket list post, so why not start small with a summer list.

Here it goes (will update as appropriate):
  1. finish upholstering chair
  2. make no-sew matching pillows
  3. create a federal resume
  4. end of summer yard sale - purge, purge, purge!
  5. seriously attack the Japanese Rosette Stone program
  6. finish 2009 photo book
  7. finish 2010 photo book
  8. start 2011 photo book
  9. read through all the 'real' books I currently own so I can move exclusively to my kindle
  10. start & continue monthly cooking club
  11. travel (tackled Southern California-twice, Lake Havasu Arizona, and the Grand Canyon)
  12. swim at least once a week
These are completely subject to change, and I'll keep you updated as I work on them.

Do you have a summer bucket list?  Leave a comment below to share!  

P.S. California family time photo...Cousin love!

20 June 2012

What the !?#@ Wednesday, Week 5

Welcome to week #5 of the What the !?#@ Wednesdays series.  For 6 Wednesdays I will be posting a summary of the things that made me think (or say)..."What the !?#@" during the past week. Have you missed any What the !?#@ Wednesdays?  See week 1week 2week 3, week 4. 

Why the !?#@ does bread and butter taste so good of the week.
I bought bread thinking we could eat it all week.  I'll tell you how it actually went

Shannon (I'm visiting my cousin again, more on this later) and I said we were going to eat healthy throughout the week.  It's Tuesday.  We've done well.  Except for that gigantic loaf of bread and stick of butter I ate.  Well, technically I didn't eat all of it...I gave her a few pieces...but um...yeah...it was literally a few pieces...

This was a big !?#@ing  hunk of bread.  Trust me.

So, I went out to run some errands and when I came back, Shannon was asleep and the sun was out and I had a sun dress on and the cats were asleep and I sat outside.  About 3.38 minutes later, I decided it was a perfect time for a vodka tonic.  2 glasses later and the sun beating down on me...bread and butter sounded soooooo delicious.

So I had a piece.

And another piece.

And then...the rest.

Moving on....

What the !?#@ is this of the week: Belly Cast

I'm sorry, I cannot post this picture because if I look at it one more time I will throw up.  A belly cast kit, really?  I've heard of boob casting (weird enough), but celebs sell their castings to raise money for breast cancer.  Fine. Cool.  Good cause and all.  Whatever.  But BELLY CASTING TO KEEP AS A MEMORY.  That gets a big "!?@# THAT!!!" from me.  Big time.

And I'm not even sorry if you are reading this right now and next to you is your very own belly cast of your little $#!^head kid.  It's gross, it's weird, and no one wants to see that $#!^.  Just don't do it.

!?#@.  Ugh.

What the !?#@ TSA Pat Down of the week:

Heading back to California, I went through an airport with my cat Sammy.
It's a good thing I left early.  She had never been on a plane before and I had never flown with an animal.  This was an experience.  

So, when you fly with an animal, the TSA makes you remove the animal from the carrier, send the carrier through the x-ray machine, and you are required to carry your animal through the metal detector.  After going through the metal detector, they require you to have your hands wiped with these little paper discs that are inserted into a computer where it scans the discs for explosive residue.

I carry Sammy through the metal detector, all is good.  They wipe my hands, scan them, and an alarm goes off.  I'm still holding the cat when they pull me aside.  All my belongings are still going down the conveyor belt getting jammed up with everyone else's stuff.  Then some other TSA dude grabs my stuff not knowing who it belongs to.  I'm too far away to grab his attention, so I try flagging someone else down.  Meanwhile people are all over my stuff trying to get at their shoes and bags and whatnot.  

So much for "don't leave your bags", huh TSA?

Anyway, someone finally brings my stuff to me, and asks me to follow them...


We head down a long hallway (I'm holding the cat) that seems abandoned (creepy), and I'm led into this area that has a floor to ceiling curtain.  

Um....What's going on?

They tell me that it's procedure to do a much more thorough pat down of people who's hand scan sets off an alarm.  

I'm still thinking....all this privacy, down a long hall, just for a pat down?  I get to leave my cloths on, right?

They thoroughly scan all of Sammy's crate and I get to put her back in it.  The TSA employees are very friendly and even apologetic (which I don't believe they should be since they are just doing their job, right?).  So they explain exactly how they are going to touch me and where (wow).  Then I stand, with my arms and legs apart (woah...don't worry, this isn't gonna get all '50 Shades' on you) while an older woman runs her hands thoroughly over EVERY part of my body.  Twice.  She has to go in 2 separate directions.  Then she feels each seam in my pants, and runs her fingers IN the top of my pants.  Okay...so she only went 'belt width' deep, but weird, right???

Pat down done.

Next was to scan my belongings.  Going over to a table and computer, they removed all the items out of my carryon.  It's a good thing I pack my cloths in ziplocs, otherwise it would have been pretty annoying to repack.  They wiped down my luggage (and scanned the wipe), then took my cell phone and kindle and scanned/wiped them individually.  I was then told I could put everything back and be on my way.  They thanked me for my patience and told me that sometimes, if you have lotion on your hands, that the initial hand wipe/scanner explosive detector will go off.  Really?  Wow.

It was an interesting experience, and to be honest, I think the TSA made a bigger deal of it than it was.  Sure, it's annoying, but it's a pat down, not a strip search.  I don't think it's necessary to lead someone down a hall and behind a curtain for a pat down.  I don't mind my stuff being searched.  It's procedure, and I'm the one choosing to fly commercially...I'm not gonna argue with them.  

Morals of the story:
  1. Get to the airport early.
  2. Wash your hands.

What was your What the !?@# of the week???

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14 June 2012

California & Arizona Adventures, Part 1

In just a few easy steps, you too can visit the Grand Canyon!  Ready?  And...Go!!!

This is part of a multi-post series of our trip to the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles area.  Leaving the furry one behind, with kind neighbors to check in on her, we hopped on a plane and headed west for nearly two weeks.  First stop, Grand Canyon National Park.  Check back soon to see what sorts of things we were able to do and see!

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13 June 2012

What the !?#@ Wednesdays, Week 4

Welcome to week #4 of the What the !?#@ Wednesdays series.  For 6 Wednesdays I will be posting a summary of the things that made me think (or say)..."What the !?#@" during the past week. Have you missed any What the !?#@ Wednesdays?  See week 1week 2, & week 3. 

What the !?#@ frustration of the week.
So the order I was so impatiently waiting for a few weeks ago finally came.  It came the day after we left for vacation.  It was my new cell phone.  So it very nicely sat on my kitchen table waiting for me to come home and activate it.  Or so I thought.  While we were in the Grand Canyon, I tried using my current 'old' phone  to call someone, when BAM...I can't make any phone calls.  I call Verizon and they said that my new phone was automatically activated.

Weird.  Did Sammy get bored and decide to play with my new phone?  Sorry cat, but I need the one that's on my person.  So we switched which phone was activated and carried on with our vacation.  Meanwhile, it still annoyed me that I was using my old crappy phone that worked only when it felt like it while my brand new phone was sitting at home waiting for me.

So we get home.  (Vacation details still TBA) After snuggling up to my lonely kitty, I tore open the boxes, put the battery in, and went about the procedures to activate the phone.  I had to call a certain number to continue.  BAM the offices are closed for the night.  Dammit new phone!!!

So I call in the morning, and BAM the activation number won't go through.  So I get on with tech support and they walk me through this whole process to manual enter in these codes and those codes and such and such. About 30 minutes pass and BAM.  Phone will not activate.  Tech support tells me their activation server thing-a-ma-jig is down and to try back in an hour.

An hour goes by, I call.  Nope.
Another hour goes by, I call.  Nope.
This continues on until about 6pm.  Still nothing.

I call Verizon back.  Different tech support guy tells me, "Who ever told you our activation services is down is full of crap, nothing has been wrong with it."

What the !?@#.

So this patient dude walks me through everything all over again, has me on the phone with a few other techies, we are trying all sorts of activation codes.  Nothing.  On the phone an hour.  Do you want to know why?  I live in a small area of the country that does not have a Verizon tower.  And did you know that you need a Verizon tower to activate a Verizon serviced phone?  Mr. Techie is apologizing about this whole ordeal because he can only get my phone half activated.  I have basic cell service and can receive text messages.  

What the !?@#.  The anticipation of getting my new phone totally messed everything up.  Why do I have to get so excited about things?  OOhhhhh Wooooooeeeeee Issss Meeeeeeee!!!!

So here's the low down.  I got my new phone.  It's still only half activated. I need to either go to a Verizon store or go within range of a Verizon tower.  I'm not driving 55 miles to the nearest Verizon store, so I'm just gonna wait until this weekend when I head up to Wichita.  

All this probably doesn't sound too bad to you, but it's just the fact I was looking forward to playing with my new phone, and it's just one thing after another and I STILL can't use it to it's capacity.  It's been nearly 3 weeks by now.  And I had to be on the phone over an hour and a half only to NOT resolve the problem.  Why the !?@# would they mail me a phone I couldn't activate from my home.  WTF bitches, What the !?@#.

I'll let you know if I'm ever able to activate my phone within the next year.

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06 June 2012

What the !?#@ Wednesdays, Week 3

Welcome to week #3 of the What the !?#@ Wednesdays series.  For the next 4 Wednesdays I will be posting a summary of the things that made me think (or say)..."What the !?#@" during the past week. Have you missed any What the !?#@ Wednesdays?  See week 1 & week 2. 

Okay, so this week might be a little, well...weak.  We are on vacation right now and I'm glad to say that this week didn't have very many "What the !?#@" moments.  That's how vacation should be, right?

Well, what I have to share today is more of a "Holy $#!^" moment rather than a What the !?#@ moment.  Don't worry, it's not really that confusing.

On Monday we headed out to Southern California and drove out to the Grand Canyon (first GC visit for both of us) and back to SoCal for some more vacationing.  Once we get home I'll share more details with you.

Now for the weekly feature.

Holy $#!^, it's huge of the week!!!
Sometimes I tend to syke myself up about things.  Take Niagra Falls for example. I know, everyone says I'm crazy.  But I guess I had this absurd image in my head.  When I got to the falls, I was like, "Oh man...that's all?"  I mean, I know they are huge, but for some reason I had another idea of what they should be.  

I do things like that a lot.

But the Grand Canyon.  It was really !?#@ing big.  Like enormous.  I didn't even want to take pictures because I knew they could never capture the, do I dare say GRANDNESS?  There is no way to describe how insane the Grand Canyon is.  It's endless.
Next up is...

Holy $#!^, I'm so !?#@ing out of shape of the week!!!
We were only at the Grand Canyon for a day and a half, and wanted to do a short day hike into the canyon.  Designated as a 'moderate hike' that would take 2-4 hours, it sounded good to us.  We knew we I was in no shape to hike anything too complicated.  Any hike into the canyon was gonna be a bitch to get back up...you're either going straight up or straight down.  

I knew what I was in for.  It was apparent after the first minute heading down that I'd be struggling up.  It was so worth it though, trust me.  Heading down was steep and slippery (dry dusty desert floor).  Heading up was steep and slippery.  On our way back up I struggled.  I must have apologized to Aaron about 50 times because I had to stop and catch my breath twice as many times.  I seriously have no idea how many times I uttered the words, "Holy $#!^ I'm so !?#@ing out of shape!"  It wasn't pretty.  Asides from just saying that, I think I was a good sport about it.  I was having fun.  I was a sweaty blob.  I was gasping for air.  And by the time we got half way up, I actually improved.  By the time we got to the top, I felt great.

Two days later my legs were still shaky and sore.  If my calves had an ass, the Grand Canyon would have totally kicked it.
Want to share your 'What the !?#@' moments?  Leave a comment below!!!

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