Thursday, December 27, 2007

So here I sit...

...on the verge of 2008. Blogging. Ish. I packed. I only have 7 more things on my to do list that I might do...onlky one of them that I have to do before this year ends. The rest can wait. Like making a resolutions list to resolve to not "wait" on forever to get things done. Yeah.

So life is great. But let me tell you this...if ONLY Comcast had some competition in my hood.

Today, I took one step closer to officially becoming Mrs. We combined our phone plan back on my birthday but I just got around today to cancelling it. I was with Sprint for almost a decade. So they were shocked beyond all shocked that I would out of the blue want to cancel. I mean Ms. Henderson...you've put up with our jacked rates, crazy new fees on text messaging and refusal to give you a new phone because you were an old customer for gosh...almost a DECADE now. Why don't we give you a new lower plan and a new phone and clall it good? Yeah...no. I've tried for EVER to get a new phone from you folks for nothing but my loyalty. Even offered to pay out of pocket as a gesture of further loyalty so long as you'd reimburse me. Nope. Only new suckers...I mean customers...get that pleasure. So...he flipped out that I said "yeah no, I'm gonna be a Mrs. and he likes his service (bold faced LIE--all cell service state side SUCKS) so we're family planning up over there. With my new phone. And his new phone too." Are you sure? We can give you more minutes or something. Yeah, cause all the minutes I've NEVER used on my plan because I have an old OLD phone that doesn't work or take a charge anymore will work well with all those extra minutes.

And then there was the car insurance.

Progressive is pretty upfront about the fact that they stick it to you. And they try to make you feel informed with other insurance quotes from other similiarly pricey folks who will also stick it to you. When I called to cancel with them, they were all "but why?" well...I'm getting married and it is significantly CHEAPER for me to get coverage through his policy. Well...you weren't a 3 year customer when we quoted you back in October so now you are and we can really drop it down. I told him he couldn't get it low enough. He said "well how much were you quoted?" A number you can't possibly match. Because if you COULD and you charged me for three years at the RIDICULOUS rate you charged me and all of a sudden a phone call to cancel results in anything near what I WILL be paying now, I'm just going to be even more mad and you'll have gone through all that work for nothing. Finally got off telling him I'm paying closer to $0 than $100 per month (I suck at math by the way) and that I preferred not to tell him with who. Did end up telling him I got the same amount of coverage and I was fine. That burned him up. So I said sorry and have a great day. He was pissed.

Now to call the cable company and move on from them. Unfortunately, there is no one "else" to go through so they'll just say "have a nice boring no tv life...enjoy that HD DVD player" when I tell them I'm going elsewhere. Maybe I should read more...

Happy new year early!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And I quote...

" Well. It depends on how stupid you are."

Did I mention I love him and I can't stop laughing about that one line?

You see. He is a "let's do it now and get it over with" kind of guy. I'm a "I need to get to that eventually" kind of girl. Which means that when I ask him to impart some of his super genius on me, yet I'm in the middle of planning out a "reception" meal, when he asks "Do you want me to show you now?" and I respond "Well...how long will it take?" these are the kinds of responses I get.

And I love him for it. Cause you don't know this, but it was said in the same loving way that he tells me things like how ducks mate for life and how "Pirates" are cool and how I look up and he's doing something he shouldn't be and he has this look on his face of "Uhhhmmm...nothing dear!" that I know means trouble. Maybe tonight. After my heart is broken at the slightly within budget place.

I think we have a photographer. I think we have a church. I know we have at least one reception option on lock. Really...it's coming up so soon!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So plan C

On the photographers. One of your faves (and our's too) Cory is no longer available for our date.

That's right...our date (smile).

We FINALLY set a date for 2008. Want to know it? I know...such a tease.

In any event, Cory isn't available, but he suggested we look at Joe & Jill. To that, I think a new poll is in order.

We're meeting with the Pope's (Gerald and Arika) tonight I think. I've got a call into J&J and I'm waiting on the last photographer to get back to me as well.

As for the reception, with the date we finally got, WTC wasn't available so...alas. I think I also mentioned that Palace Ballroom has a minimum equivalent to our entire budget for a July wedding so we're not going with them either. Off of our original list there, that leaves Canlis (probably also not available by about now, but maybe) and we've revisited Kaspars. Views are not great, but it all of a sudden looks more workable. Funny how that works out eh?

Anyhow...photographers. I'll add a new poll to the right. You can check out Joe and Jill and click on their site. Lots of great eye candy going on there.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Every Scrapbooker's Dream...

...part of wedding planning that is. Photographer selection. This poll won't be so set in stone because of that whole pesky date thing, but if a girl is dreaming...we might well have fun right?

So the photography choices so far are thus:

Cory Paris (click on weddings--he has flickr stuff you can find via google too)
Gerald Pope (click on the website link to go to the gorgeous photos)
Glen Johnson (bit cumbersome, image shows are in upper left corner tab)

We've met with Cory and he's the coolest dude--totally excited about wedding photography, passionate about it and it shows.

Robert found Gerald and I have to say I'm totally in love. Budget aside of course.

And in a qucik search because I wanted to post three options (smile) came across Glen. Really attracted to the details and read one wedding story which is pretty much what we're doing...non traditional stuff so know he'd be comfy in the setting.

Course, once we add the church into the mix and everything, we'll likely have to have another photographer poll (smile), but till then...pick away!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I do thee wed

So the choices are starting to get a bit out of hand. At least I FINALLY got through to the coordinator at our church (she was out from surgery and doing much better now) and have a bit more sense of control over what is going on there. But in typical retentive fashion, I need options.

That said, We can do our church if it isn't on the 26th. Otherwise, here are potential other options. Of course, you know this means poll time.

Our first choice place, but last choice date (June in Seattle, can you say rainy??) would be our home church which is Trinity Episcopal:

You can see great photos of the exterior here and here with great overall shots by Dale here.

Another choice we're thinking about is Fauntleroy (really great shot here and a really great sketch of the exterior here. Note the photographer...that's another poll to come).

And another choice is Bastyr (great overall shot here).

We go to see Bastyr this Sunday before church. We go to Trinity and I've been by Fauntleroy and think a West Seattle wedding would be totally cool. We shall see.

I think this calls for a poll. Take a peak, pick your pickings. So far you've helped me pick colors and I've narrowed reception options. Might need to research a couple more reception spots with holds falling off as we try to get the ceremony place re-settled (thought it was a done deal at Trinity only to see...), but so far, I'm kinda calm about it all.

Take the poll. And I'll even throw up another before this one ends so you can confirm, I mean (smile) help me pick a top choice for photographer.

Yeehaw to 30!

So you'll get TWO (maybe, dare I say it...THREE) posts today.

Of all birthdays, I think today will be my fave. Cause there is a three in it. The big 30. I can't believe I've made it this far. Not like I grew up with nightly gun fire hissing through my window or anything like that, but there have been some moments. And since what I really want to blog about is wedding planning stuff and post a couple more polls there, instead, I'll do a list of some of the greatest moments of the past 30. In no particular order (but numbered so I don't fall out and give you like 12 or 13)...

10. Graduating from Cornell
9. Reading that one profile on Match.com
8. Saying yes at the Golden Gate bridge
7. Falling for those two polar opposite guys in the 7th grade.
6. The trip to Coca-Cola World in 1996
5. Flea market Sundays with my grandmother, the menudo paycheck was all I needed.
4. The Can't let Go C/O 1997 "You Rock my World" PHS alumni/grad dinner (I think I can!)
3. Jersey bagels and tea w/milk at the home of the kindest guy I know during a school break
2. Christmas circa late 80's stretching my brother into his limp, probably ruined him for life.
1. Meeting my nephew Quantae for the very first time

Here's to 30 or so more of amazingly good times!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

And really...

...just when I was going to give up hope (and, admittedly faith) we had a chat session, some emails went out and some pretty quick responses came back. Now to just figure out what really can and can't be done. I'm giving it until the end of the week and then I'm moving on.

In the meantime, last night, when we were in Target wonderland watching his eyes light up at all the choices for Christmas light timers and dimmer switches, we stood in line to hear one of the clerks practically scream out "Oh my God it is snowing!"

And by golly it was. Pretty hard at that. It was a beautiful sight. The grocery bill at safeway, not so beautiful, but I love produce. Love it. And love cooking for him too. So we had (I know I know...the food entry) Bison meatloaf, mashed potatoes (extra creamy because we managed NOT to get milk but had a ton of cream--light and heavy--on hand) and steamed asparagus. With hollandaise sauce.

Curled up so that I could watch 7 years in Tibet. Of course I fell asleep. But I did watch Meet Joe Black today. One of his fave movies. That was good.

I've needed some good lately. Bit of a heavy heart for some family folks who I wish that I could do so much more for. How I wish.

Fastforward to Sunday night. I learned how to tie a Windsor knot, saw him dressed up totally spiffyfied for church today, got some really cute little ATC cards done for some really cute (and special) gals, made green chicken (and green onion) enchiladas with the fixins, happy that the Seahawks beat the Eagles (hiss Philly--go cowboys!). Kind of heartbroken that Washington lost the way they did. Football has been kinda blah for me lately. In a "good" way if that is possible. Didn't get to go out to see the Thursday night game cause of some other stuff we were dealing with but with all the uhhhggg, there came some amazing stuff out of that too so no complaints anymore. Thanksgiving's Cowboys game was sad...hard to watch them whip up on a team that ain't that good and we don't have a long held hatred of.

Anyhow...thanks Traci for the Packers card (smile). And you know what? I didn't even think to ask you but you know how I missed the Thursday night game for some amazing (stupid) stunt? I should have asked you if you had a working VCR you could spare (smile).

Bed time. Ish.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And the winners...

...all three of ya from the bloggiversary post. No...not twice Traci...slow your roll lol. I got a bunch of email posts too but I think it only fair to separate out the winners since I didn't make it totally clear how to respond via email or here. So Email winners, you should have an email from me if you're the quiz winner (ahem...Beckster--going back to high school old school days lol) or if you're the random winner (Mr. Close but not quite rhymes with Cigar superstar #2 in my life...sorry...someone else claimed the official title first), ya'll have emails so just be sure to respond.

But here on the blog...Christina you win the quiz part, Traci you won the random pull and Tara I'd love to send ya something just because. Blog winners, shoot me an email at henderso@seattleu.edu with your mailing addys (you too Traci just in case) and between Traci and Christina let me know your preferences between the Target card or the scrap stash. Remember, if you both want Target, you'll split it; if you both want scrap, first one to claim it gets the book in it. But I've got more than plenty scrap stuff to share.

Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A few decisions...

...in list format because well you know why (smile).

10. Brooklyn - get a life lol. Girl you know what I'm talking 'bout. lol
9. Ms. Jourdan. I got the spinach, I got the pine nuts, I got the penne. Where are YOU at?
8. Customer service is still very alive and very well at Canlis.
7. I didn't want to, but I had to DQ Palace. That they don't know their own minimums, that they can't send you a general price list, that they want to charge you HOW MUCH per person and not throw in some complimentary service? Does, hell go with no? I thought so.
6. Two days on, five days off. I might manage.
5. On really being grown. Don't know about the sexy part, but definitely growed up.
4. Dummies are great! I've finished the most major one (of the invite).
3. Photographers are better. Especially when they shoot with the same goods you do.
2. Holy Trinity. Get back to me already. I know I know, but it eases my slowly developing ulcer.
1. WTC on hold. Officially. Making progress, making progress.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Its our Bloggiversary

***UPDATE*** Yes of course you can still answer the quiz. Just because someone has a response for every question doesn't mean they have the CORRECT response for every question. Hence why it is so long (smile). The first person to get them ALL right is one winner. Then I'll do a random pull of all the responses for the other winner. So do play along! ***UPDATE OVER***

Well...yesterday was. And I like to celebrate for long bouts of time so...

So let's have fun and go down memory lane shall we? Prizes are involved of course. And you'll even get a choice! Since most of the folks I know in my life are all about the scrappiness or about Target love, the choices are as follows:

If you are one of two winners (one for the fastest most correctest person on the quiz, the other from a random pull of commentors for the week), you can have either a big old box of scrap goodies (new stuff...I need to purge in a big way to pack up the scrap room already--even throw in an autographed copy of the "infamous HOF Volume 9" for you) OR you can have a $50 gift certificate to Target (hey...a dollar per question...that seems fair...or for just being really lucky).



The fine print:
If you both choose the Target gc, it will be split ($25 each) and I only have one copy of the HOF book left so first to claim that one once I declare the winners (I'll post winners at the same time) will get that.




So let the fun begin!
50. What was the name of the Seattle-based race I was the sore 3rd place loser in?
49. The highlight of any Portland trip is a journey over to what bookstore?
48. By what mode of transportation did my mom and my nephew return to El Paso after their summer visit to Seattle?
47. Where did Robert and I get our first Christmas tree from?
46. Where did I go on my "trip of a lifetime"?
45. What are the names of my other two public blogs?
44. What high school milestone did I reach and help plan out in 2006?
43. When I'm too lazy/busy/tired to blog, but HAVE to write, what do I do?
42. According to the other recruiters in Mississippi, how many MPH should you go on the Trace?
41. When is my birthday?
40. My boyfriend knows how to make me click. What camera did he get me for my 29th bday?
39. Who is Double Stuffed Oreo (no…not me!)
38. What kind of bed do I have (hint: think Hotels...)
37. On the camping trip with Robert and the ex-roommate we forgot an ax and something else. To haze the roommate, we stopped at McDonald’s and each picked up some what?
36. What is my favorite lunch meat?
35. Crisis management solidified my belief that money is to be spent not _____? [fill in the blank]
34. Running red lights is bad. On what date did I get krashed into?
33. You’ve never seen a sunset until you’ve seen an ______ _______ (two words) sunset.
32. What is the exact name of the wedding color combo that won out on my first ever blog poll? 31. Excluding Tibet, name three of the top 10 places I want to visit before I die
30. Which one of my family members is "far less likely to read my blog"?
29. What does a “vegetarian” such as myself eat at Daniel’s Broiler? (one of the four items noted in that post is fine)
28. What beach did I get proposed to on?
27. When I am on the road travelling for work, what collection of Robert's do I add to?
26. Why was I looking to move out of my apartment in 2005?
25. Am I an essential worker at my job?
24. I asked "Does Hell go with No?" when my car dealer quoted me $350 to fix what on my car?
23. What is the name of the restaurant (two words) that I call over to almost every day to order the exact same thing for lunch from David?
22. I once had a Christmas tree up until April fools day. List one of the dates in 2007 that I blogged about my neighbor’s tree that was still up.
21. After a dinner in Portland at Harrisons, what is the name of the place we listened to live jazz and wrote crayon incrypted love messages to each other playing hangman at?
20. What did we almost do all because we didn’t go to a puppy show?
19. In what airport (airport, not the city) could I not find a "mail slot" in?
18. The theme of my Tibet trip was: “OH my goodness!! There’s a ____ _____ and _____ _____!!” (two words for each).
17. On April 11, 2007, I went off the grid to do what?
16. If Janet Jackson had to do American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance or America’s Top Model…which one of the three did she tell Tyra she would do?
15. What is my favorite drink?
14. I told R if he loved “it” so much, he should just marry “it.” What is “it”?
13. At Bumbershoot who was the performer who had been my fave concert of the year up until that post?
12. How many other public blogs do I have?
11. During the August 24 crisis of hope, I was absolutely, most of all too ________.
10. What is Robert’s first choice for a reception venue for our wedding?
9. My first husband thought it was necessary to ______ and to get ______ to create art.
8. On what date did I get engaged? (be careful on this one…)
7. In the battle of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, do I prefer Starbucks croissants or Dunkin Donuts croissant sandwiches?
6. What do I love abou the three hour time difference on the east coast while I'm there?
5. What are the two cities we are deciding between for New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2007?
4. My blog byline is “Just some color in some ________”
3. What shoes do I wear with my orange wooly jumper to the fancy ball?
2. What is my Chinese zodiac year?
1. Name one of my two fave authors (listed by name, not inferred from a book) or two of my favorite movies

You have until next Sunday to play. Even if you just answer one of the questions, you'll be entered for the random drawing. I'd suggest you copy and paste the questions into like a word document, get all your answers that you're going to attempt together and then post in one posting so that:
a. other's won't poach your answers
b. I can see that you did more than one or two questions.

Regardless, be sure to leave in your post your full first name and last initial and to come back and check next Sunday evening to see if you won just in case I can't track you down via blogger.

Good luck! Have fun. Learn something new!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Seriously...

...they finally turned off the water. Out my back window, there's the UFO (aka water tower). There's this long long LONG stretch of hose they have rung up out there that had water pouring from it for the past half of forever. I looked out today and finally it is off. Hmmm.

But I digress.

Sad to say it but it is looking like one of my fave options is going to be a no go. I mean, I don't understand why it is so hard to do the simple things (ie, a price list so that I can even figure out if you are in my budget) so I'm quickly warming to some other ideas.

Today, I go on a scavenger hunt for the oh so ellusive bit of something for my invites. Yesterday, we got two breaths away from locking in a date. Talk about exciting!

No more recruiting for me for the year, lots of time to be home and get stuff done. In Mike's the other day I found the CUTEST centerpiece dealio. I'm so going to rock that...you just wait after Christmas sales...I know where all the Mike's are. But speaking of post holiday sales--I just scored a bunch of stuff (for all of $12) on the after fall sale. Brown and blue...brown and blue. Just have to wait for the after spring sales for the blue part.

Back to cleaning. This room is a hot mess.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You know...

...it is probably not a good idea to think about taking your iPod anywhere NEAR your reception if you can't even figure out how to turn up the !(#*#) volume on the thing. Or it takes you half an hour to figure out how to hook it up to your speakers at home.

I'm just saying.

So...we went and looked at places to do the reception. You know...to narrow it down from fourhundredtwentyseven choices to like two? Well. I think we pretty much accomplished that.

While this would be a great place to get married on the water (literally!)



It really is not an option because of the stairs.







Alas...accessibility not as huge an issue for them since they are technically a vessel, not a building. Sigh

While I kind of liked the intimacy and set up of this place:






The location and the view were pretty attrocious for being so close to the water:




Maybe if we have to find an off site cater. But even then, they didn't have any more space for Thanksgiving seatings so I don't even know if the food would be worth it.
This one was his favorite:



and I'm warming to it because they actually do have a blue option as well




That and the fact that the connections and the price are just so right. Just about enough space to have a dance floor if necessary (I'm thinking not). Bar would be pricey but hey...and he loves it because it is totally Seattle. View, location, etc. Very convenient for folks coming in to stay at the Marriott right next door.
So far my fave has been:







Which of course could have been because they were already setting up in my colors. But really, I loved the location (westin for guests...or King's Inn or even the Ramada for those on a bit more of a budget). AND it is right by the monorail (not the train) AND it is right up the way from the Space Needle AND there are so many urban photography options for wedding photos and...okay. Clearly you know my fave. But it would be, I'm starting to think, about TWICE the cost of his fave space. Sigh.
One last option is Canlis:




But that is some serious budget sacrificing. Which means I need to go and look at the guest list again...small wedding, small wedding...small wedding.

Lots of great interior set up shots with no appointments cause I am attached at the hip to that guy who is all about "Just tell them you're thinking of doing a wedding here and they'll let you in while they're setting up." And of course they did.

Good looking out.








Saturday, November 10, 2007

Well then...

...that was easy. Painful, but easy. Dropped two places off definitely--one he wasn't feeling, the other not accessible (though a really REALLY cool wedding on the water option...sigh).

There are 2-3 that could be backups...didn't go into one and didn't really feel it on first glance anyhow, another was still under renovation and the last he's convinced I won't like, but location wise, I think it has potential.

But then there were two. One is the one he told me about. Like it. It's small. It is very Seattle. The other is one I found. LOVE it. So much potential. Intimate, but with enough space to invite everyone I know and really hope they show up.

So...the list will determine the space. Fun times there...pictures to come soon. Then we get to do it all over again with the Phoenix potential locations. Yeah. Not.

Three Whole Days

I've no idea what I'll do with myself. I know what some of ya'll WANT me to do with myself and I'm getting there, I'm getting there. Really I am. But more pressing matters are at hand. Like...giving myself a sense of accomplishment by narrowing down some reception sites. But first...last night.

So he and I both got off at a decent time. We were potentially going to go back to the scene of the crime--where we first met--for dinner but I was really REALLY feeling for some mac and cheese. So of course that meant Kingfish Cafe.

You know a restaurant is the shiznit (smile), when it won't take reservations and there is a line of folks waiting at the door to get in. Never mind that they have a whole second room that I have close to never seen anyone dining in. I told him that we should have our rehearsal dinner there and that would get his friend's talking about "Oh he done done it now." and he was all "Dear, you think they don't already say that?" Touche.

So.

Today.

Hope to dearness that a package is still at the post office. Deposit a check that was a bit of a surprise but who am I to question good money? And then lots of driving.

In no particular order:

Stone Manor
Lake Washington Rowing
Lake Union Crew
World Trade Center Seattle
Palace Ballroom
Artic Club
Kaspars
Fauntleroy

One of my faves (well, actually, as is becoming usual, both of my faves) are not up on that list. One has open houses that we just need to find the time to make (and it is turning out to be a bit farther out than I thought) and the other I just have to seriously get serious about and then have my heart broken over. But it would be a perfect little non-traditional spot. Very worth it. Very "us" but in the same breath "not us."

We shall see.

Photos to come so that you can help with interactive wedding planning #2. In the meantime, be sure to cast your vote to the left for interactive wedding planning #1.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Color Me What?

Oh that oh so fun time has come. Time to choose wedding colors. No. Still don't have a date. Or a theme. Or a place really yet. But I feel like I might have a bit of a sense of accomplishment (and be able to narrow down the bagillion choices out there) if I had some direction. Without further ado...some swatches. Played around on colorlovers and here are a few combos I was feeling:


Deep chocolate brown & sky blue



Brightly bold red & caramel brown


Pure black & carribean blue



Wheat & Sailor Blue



Deep blue sky blue & grass green



Pure Black and Scarlet Red:


For the moment. And my favoritest color isn't anywhere in sight. Nor is my fave color combo. We shall see. What's your pick so far? Take the poll to the left and be counted!

It really isn't an ode to UPS

Yeppers. Still here. Still there (smile). Need proof?



So it really isn't an ode to UPS so much as I just really love the color.

Brown and orange as wedding colors?

For a non-fall wedding?

No?

Oh but why not?

Brown is NOT the color of death or dying.

Nor is black for that matter.

Sigh.

Happy birthday big time NYC woman Rachel! What are you...21?

Oh to be young again...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Really?

Is it really an update if you don't really write much more than enough to call it an update so that you can check off blogging from your to do list? I think not. So I'll give you a list (since it is all about lists today):

In no particular order:

10. I LOVE to scrapbook
9. I love when my bills are paid and I still got money in the bank
8. I love being home. More specifically, in my Westin bed.
7. Window Live Beta. I LoVe it. But I'm not using it this moment.
6. Wedding planning is swell. Uh huh.
5. Philly or NYC. For NYE. Guess that one turned out to be a no-brainer after all.
4. I still have LOTS of clothes to fold.
3. But I finally dropped my suits off at the drycleaners
2. Just a tiny bit more real work to do tonight.
1. I get to be part of the "voice" of america. Better hope I'm shopping right.

Friday, November 02, 2007

And How it went down (real life)

I know...so long ago I said I'd tell ya how it went down. And to that, here we go!

So...I was out in upstate NY and he had planned to come out to the Bay Area last weekend so that we could see each other sometime between August 31 and November 5. Of course, I get to the Syracuse airport on Friday morning at o' dark 30 and they tell me my flight is delayed and bordering on canceled. I'm weeping cause that means less time with Robert, but I finally get on a plane and get to SFO in time to still fulfill his Friday night plans.

He's there to meet me and in hindsight, totally freaking out. I mean he's in touch with his emotions and all, but he's more the logical, have fun, don't get all mushy type. He was all loving up on me, huggin' me, staring at me in the car...to the point that I actually say "WHY are you looking at me??" and he's like "Dude, cause I miss you."

San Francisco lunch alternativeSo we try to go to lunch at his fave place downtown, they're closed won't open again until dinner, I suggest we come back, he says not an option. Okay Mr. Flexible is being really rigid...clueless, I think nothing of it. We stop into this other Chinese food joint and my shiny forehead makes an appearance.

We finally find some food and then we do the whole "this is where I lived/worked tour" and finally we get all set and head over to Baker Beach to take sunset shots of the Golden Gate Bridge before going out to take some photos of the city on Friday night before most of the lights go out in the office buildings for the weekend.

At the Bridge

We're snapping away, working our way towards the bridge--him doing his thing, me doing mine. Finally, he puts down his camera, comes over, hugs me and is all "I so totally love you and you have to promise not to laugh". which of course, every time he says that, I get a huge grin on my face cause I know that means he made me something. I promise, he sits me down and it goes like this:


Him: You know, travel season has been hard on us this year and I just really wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate you so...please don't be mad but I went into your scrap room.

Me: You must TOTALLY love me if you dared to venture into that place.

Him: I know huh? Anyhow, I made you this scrapbook. [totally all shy about giving it to me]

Me: [totally and utterly SHOCKED, tear probably glistening in my eye] WOW! [opens up the book] WOW! You are just too adorable and I can't believe you made me a whole scrapbook!

Him: I know it is nothing like your scrap skills, but I hope you like it. Why don't you read it out loud to me.

Me: [still psyched that he friggin got out the actual scrap supplies and made me a scrapbook] Okay...starts reading...

Him: [probably a bit agitated that the sun is totally going down and I'm taking like 4 hours to reminisce over every picture in the book...]

Me: Get to the last page. It reads "Will you marry me" [think to self, I must love this boy to not even care that he just used up my last Thickers to make this page...oh this must be a hypothetical question...I mean, we've kinda talked about this before...oblivious to the fact that the guy is actually in FRONT OF ME, with this gorgeous ring in front of him] Finally look up, see him. See the ring. He says I threw the book at that point. I contend that I gently placed it down beside me so that I wouldn't get tears and snot all over it cause I freaked out when I realized this was "for real."

Him: "Will you Marry me?"

Me: "Are you serious?!"

Him: "Uh yeah, I'm serious"

Me: Crying like a big old baby (I'm totally NOT the emotional type, no idea WHAT came over me)

Him: [wondering if those are tears of joy, tears of despair...what is going ON here?!]


Me: [finally] Yes, of course I will. Babbled something else that I don't recall at all.

No, we got no pics of this (he got a pic of me before, I got a pic of him the day after telling his mom...but no during although there were a bagillion photographers on the beach).

Picture 075Yes I still have the scrapbook. Nope, I promised not to share it for less than 20 million dollars. Or something like that.

That's how it went down. I still smile ear to ear just THINKING about that Friday night in October at sunset. See...I told you I loved October Afternoons (wink)!

He's a keeper. Totally. I'm so lucky to be in love with such an amazing person. And to be loved in return. Man even almost a month later I still can't believe we're actually going to be married. Really!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I say Mail Slot...you say Mailbox

So I'm in Dulles (DC) and I'm notice a couple of really interesting things.  First, there are these like little busses that you board just like a plane that shoot you off to the main terminal.  I had not the pleasure of riding one (bare with me) because my United flight leaves out of D terminal.  Way on the other end of the terminal I'm in since I arrived in like C negative 12 and I'm leaving out of like D one bazzillion and forty-two.  And I had to walk it all.  In 12 minutes.  Until I realized that my ticket noted boarding time (which is always just a "suggestion") and not really departure time.

So in my half sleep daze at 4 am my time, I stopped at Starbucks.  Nothing wrong with Starbucks.  Check that, nothing wrong with Starbucks drinks--especially strawberries and creme fraps.  But their croissants are HORRIBLE.  All caps horrible.  Of course I passed my breakfast usual (Dunkin Donuts) on the way to my gate and I contemplated buying another croissant sandwich (I think the sandwich makes all the difference.  Or at least the heating because Starbucks heated croissants are at least edible), but the line was long so I passed.  Passed right into a little Americana shop.  Full of pretty much I hate Bush stuff.  And Hillary, she can do it stuff.  It was interesting.  I mean, I'm in DC so I had to pick up a post card and get it mailed from here.  So I expected to get a DC postcard.  But actually mailing it...hence the mail slot.

I walked up and down this terminal and did not see a mail slot--you know, those "slotted holes in the wall" that you slip your mail into in the airport (or in hotels or on college campuses) so that it goes to a convenient slot for the mail man.  Not a "box"  (I think of those as the stand alone blue things...or I think I saw one at the UW that was decked out all Star Wars style...but I digress).

So I instead went to one of those lounges.  Particularly the British Airways one.  For the high class passengers (not social status but purchased social status).  I asked if they knew where a mail slot was.  Blank stares.  Repeat.  More blank stares.  The dude looks up and says "I think she means a mail box."  No.  I don't, but that would work as well.

He says:

Well, no, there are none here ever since 9/11. Interesting he mentions that because I thought of 9/11 this morning.  Not because I was boarding a cross country non-stop flight to DC out of SEA (we'd be out of fuel for them to do anything to anyone they thought mattered and really, I think terrorist acts in the states are kinda like Chicken Pox...once you've had one flavor, you have to get something far worse like mono for your immune system to fall for something again). But just for whatever reason.  So it was kinda odd he said that.  The nice lady took my bait though and said as I expected her too:

Oh, it is just a post card?  I'll take it for you and mail it from the main terminal. 

Customer service is not dead.

But riddle me this.  Why is it that the duty free shops in Dulles, by Govt Act 456.2b.dkeuudj.889.f6kd cannot allow anyone but outgoing passengers in whereby the duty free shops in Seattle welcome all?  Who is not enforcing the law?  Who is too lazy to enforce the exceptions that always exist?

Time to board the plane to LaGuardia.  This part should be fun.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

(SMILE!!)


Oh. My. God!!!


Napa is gorgeous.
So is the Golden Gate Bridge.
(SMILE!!!)
I still can't believe it...
Mrs. Robert Merikle Jr. to be.
REALLY!!
breath in. breath out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

If you Love it so much, why don't you just marry it??

Finally FINALLY got to see the boyfriend again. And yes KA, there were several arrests that went down this weekend...I mean I live in the hood and all (smile).

So let us catch up. I'm so so SOOO sad that Gretch and Ali were not SOYs. I mean, out of 10 folks, to "know" two of them and genuinely be able to say that either of them would have been amazing choices...I loved them both. Here's to so much greater things to come from both of them! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just remember, my scrap blog is on the fritz.

No scrap wise, R got his 40D and sold off the 20D. It was so bittersweet cause that camera went lots of great places with us. Heck, it went to Everest with us! But with a new camera comes new play time so after I got home from work on Saturday (more on that shortly), we went to the zoo. The Seattle zoo sucks. Well...at 3:30 pm on a Saturday it does. Everything is hiding out ready to be done with the crowds already. Of course, Robert's judgement was based on the San Diego Zoo (which I may visit this year when I hit SD) so it was kinda unfair. BUT the day and night exhibit was cool. I've never seen sloths before...those things are much bigger than I thought. And very VERY slow and deliberate (smile).

Backtracking, on Friday night, we went out for sushi. This time, I didn't eat myself into a sushi coma...because I wanted green tea ice cream. Which prompted my better half to proclaim his undying love for rainbow sherbert. I told him if he loved it so much, he should just marry it. he settled for a waffle cone full of it instead.

Sunday, we (well, me) sat around all day. I went shopping for groceries (maybe a bit overkill) and then sat back to watch the Vaqueros trounce on the Osos. Because of the specialness of this month, it took me until the 4th quarter to realize that the score board graphic before each commercial was bilingual. Yeah...observant and all. I LOVE the cowboys right now. Not cause they are winning, but because they are PLAYING LIKE COWBOYS. Essentially...they are cocky, they are sure, and yeah, I missed the first quarter of the game when Romo was actin' a fool (shopping for groceries and all).

I saw that the Cowboys were supposed to lose. I saw that Washington got trounced by Philly (I hate Philly to by the by). So I was reserved to let us drop this game if necessary when I watched most of the first half only to see that it was 3 to 3. When the Boys scored first in the 2nd half, I figured we had it on lock. Then we let them march right back on us. Oy. So when we finally got it together and TO and Romo were grinning actin' like happy little kids on the sideline, I was all over that feel good "yeah...we're actually GOOD" vibe they were lettin' off.

You know it is sad when you wish your team WOULDN'T score or wouldn't have a good record just so that they might get a bit of fight back into their bellies. Don't quit on me now Boys!

Yeehaw!!

You Know You're in a College Town When (Bloomington, IN)

So...after a drive that proved much longer than it should have, I ended up in Bloomington. From the Indy airport to my hotel took 49 minutes. Doing way faster than I should have been because this stupid group of what I thought were other recruiters kept pacing me...doing like 85. In a 60. Anyhow.

I showed up way later than expected here and so didn't go out to dinner with the crew because well, I had a ton of things to do in prep for the email onslaught I was missing. So I hit up McCrappy for the consistent crappiness that is McDonalds (contrary to popular belief, if forced to, I could live off that stuff). Pulled out the LSAT book and scored my old score on a timed practice test. Reviewed what I got wrong and made this oath to myself:

If by the end of October, I am scoring 165 consistently, I'll register for the December LSAT. If I score what I think I'm capable of scoring given practice tests, common sense and a commitment to actually STUDY this time around for the LSAT (well...prepare...since you don't "study" for the LSAT), then I will apply. And that won't happen until half of forever. But, since I need to get back to doing my job at work (chiefly, administering the LSAT), I need to get it taken in December and move on already. So that was my Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, I finally (FINALLY) came to realize that uhhmmm...yeah...Bloomington is EST...not CST. Which means I had a brief moment of panic when I thought that might throw a wrench into my plan to get to the Indy airport in an hour for my flight. Phew...they're both in the same time zone...imagine that.

Anyhow, at IU, met a lot of great kids, saw a Jena 6 protest. Loved that campus. Straight down to the dogs, the trickling stream by the union and getting lost (of course) trying to get off campus and back onto the main road.

Thanks to the great pacing of a limo driver, I made it to Indy in 45 minutes--stopped for gas just outside of the airport (note to self, there IS a gas station on the corner of the rental drop off facility at the airport) and remember how in Chi-town they were telling me I'd be charged extra for taking the car later? I got charged LESS than I contracted with them for having the car for less time. I was heated. And emotional. Cause I missed Renegade in Chicago and hanging with Traci more and meeting more people because of the STUPID (as in ignorant, lazy, "not my problem") customer dis-service rep at Alamo. Nice guys. Really nice.

Anyhow, got into the airport, flight was (of course) delayed and managed to find myself in Chicago at the same Chili's that I talked to my mom from when I went to CHA in Chicago back in Feb. This time, we laughed it up about our people (It must have been my brother in law that turned it back on) and your people (Don't taze me bro!) and in it all, my adorable nephew now has a puppy.

All in all, Bloomington treated me well. Rush hour is when everyone is trying to get onto or off of campus. The hotel signs were tagged with some pretty...ahem...crazy stuff for my poor virginal eyes, and the best places to eat in town as recommended by the staff all had all you can drink specials going on. Or so I was told.

And no, I don't know what kind of dog my nephew has. Evidently, not knowing that is like not knowing the sex of your best friend's new baby. According to the doglover in my house anyhow.

Seriously? 4 hours?! (Urbana/Champaign, IL)

When I print out my trip directions, I highlight how long it will take me to go from point a to point b. Somehow, through all that highlighting and the very obvious message on my notes on how to get to Reminisce in Iowa City that I had to leave by 7 because I had a 4 hour (!!) drive to Urbana, Illinois, I managed to not quite GRASP what 4 hours meant. Let me tell you what 4 hours means.

4 hours means that I'm willing to risk getting tickets for speeding and parking in wrong places. Luckily, late at night, while there are folks out to pull you over, you can usually get away with about 10 over. Or so.

When I finally got to Urbana, of COURSE my key didn't work (I'm starting to think Gold Hilton Honors really means, you don't get into your room on the first try). But at least they had a computer I could get on and check email. All 212 of them. That was from being off my computer for all of like 28 hours. Really now. Only downfall, managed to short out my scrap blogger blog so...that made me feel really good. Not.

On campus, there is this GORGEOUS statue just outside of the union. I finally got a picture of part of it. Didn't get a ticket for parking in the two hour lot. Knew exactly where the mail drop was in the union because I'd been there before. Even knew where to buy a post card. There was a mini protest on campus...of what, I don't know. I got the heck out of dodge as soon as the fair was over.

In getting out of dodge, I came to realize that yet again, Hampton Inns don't care if you have a package waiting. Never mind the fact that they had TONS of them (literally) waiting behind the counter for rightful owners. Go figure. Urbana to Bloomington (Indiana, not Illinois...or Mississippi for that matter) is a "quick" 2.5 hour drive that I've done before so I wasn't too worried about this one. Figured I'd have dinner with the group when I got there.

Now. I, of course, had to stop for a nap about 45 minutes into the drive. Instead of a nap, I opted for a sugar rush--Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen. Yummy! Consider this. The last time (the night before) I stopped for a PBP, I about busted a blood vessel in my brain because:

1. I stopped at the biggest truckstop in Illinois which always freaks me out.
2. I pulled in all ready to go and COULD NOT for the life of me find my wallet. With both credit cards. And my debit card. And all my cash. And how the HELL was I going to check into my hotel. And even moreso, how the HELL could I be so irresponsible.

Clearly, I found it (and got the PBP to boot) but life stopped short for a moment there. Helped me to remember to travel smart...you know...split up the funds so that regardless, either in my laptop case, my purse or in my ample bossom...I will ALWAYS have a way to get back home. Guess I could have used that bossom at Dairy Queen to get me a PBP that would have calmed my nerves, but alas...I wasn't thinkin' straight.

I digress (not digest Family Guy...not digest).

So...the day after that PBP drama, I find myself in a bit more drama. See...I'm driving through one stop light (flashing, of course) small town America down beautifully tree lined streets laced with stop signs strung with signs telling me where to buy worms when I spot it. No...not the gorgeous HUGE Victorian style home that I'm sure would sell for like 95K in those there parts. no. Instead, it was the DQ. Just regular style...but clearly with a PBP just calling my name.

So I turn off the street that is taking me back to the interstate and clearly, I need to make a right turn to get into the DQ. Never mind that this isn't EXACTLY where I make that right turn and I end up hopping over a curb. Also never mind that that curb was there to prevent me from turning into the WRONG WAY, one way opposite direction drive thru of the bank. Never mind that the teller was looking at me like I had lost my mind which is kinda similar to that "What is a black person doing out here" look, but because of the wrong way driving, I took it to be the former. Never mind. I got to the DQ drive thru. I got my PBP. Almost drove off without my 37 cents in change which, evidently, by the dudes willingness to run after me, is clearly a big deal in those parts. I love (and this is with all sincerity...honestly!) small town America. I want to live there.

13 or was that 16? (Iowa City, Iowa)

So by now, you should know that I can't drive more than 45 minutes without having to pull over and take a nap. Or something. Getting to Iowa was no exception. I'm driving along, through lots and lots and lots of corn, when I come across some pretty exciting stuff.

Namely, Belmont, population 871 is kinda eerie. Not in a small town "you're a stranger" kinda way so much as in a I'm sitting here in a park in ride all alone and I need to get to gettin. Saw a beautiful sunset and lots of gorgeous farmland then bam...I hit the Mississippi.

Now. I'm no Miss South Carolina but color me clueless. I was all "wow--the Mississippi runs this far north??" when I crossed it just outside of Dubuque. It is the littlest thing that will fascinate me on a trip. So Dubuque is the farthest north I've crossed it...Memphis the farthest south. Neat.

Iowa City was Iowa City. For this trip, I was looking forward to meeting Angie and stopping by Reminisce and then going to dinner.

So. At the fair, of course I had to buy a post card and get it sent off on campus. But this is plotted BEFORE I know I'm the last rep to leave because all of a sudden everyone wants to go to Seattle University. Kinda neat actually. But when I finally hit the road, I with my no sense of direction and no GPS cannot find this very obvious store on this very obvious strip to save my life. 40 minutes later, patient Angie is STILL waiting for me and I make it to Reminisce.

Which is yet another of those "You have to go to" stores. They had lots of items within brands that I love. I love Heidi Grace stuff and they didn't just have the red and white of anything, they pretty much buy wide and deep. I loved that I could find all of a line there. And they had some GORGEOUS minis ala bind it all spread throughout the store. Lots of really great samples and a great newsletter too.

I spent way too much time here, but picked up the last tidbits for my mini book that I started collecting for way back in Chicago at Windy City. Snapped some pictures with Angie and Cindy (Cindy is the manager) and then we headed across the street for dinner.

Mondo's Tomato Pie (which, evidently, they have a few restaurants in town) has the hands down absolute BEST tortilla soup I have EVER had. I so need them to ship that to me. And that is coming from a Tx-Mx girl out of El Paso who has never said no to trying some tortilla soup. Oh goodness it was good.

Managed somehow (mostly because Angie and Cindy are punctual folks) to get out of there at a respectable hour. Two of the nicest people you will EVER meet in this world. Good luck Angie with your first class!

Pulled up to the gas station next door to gas up. Now. When you see a red circlish thing with white writing...would you not think that that symbolizes "stop"? yeah...not so in Iowa at that gas station. I was scraping the bugs off the windshield when I realized the gas had not started pumping. I can read. But I also take shortcuts (no no on the LSAT). That shortcut had me thinking the red stop sign wouldn't be necessary to START the flow of gas. Got that figured out, printed out a receipt and ended up taking half the paper roll from the receipt printer with me. Right.

When I finally DID hit the road again, guess what I came across? That would be West Branch. You know...Hoover? I stopped (late of course) at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and took a gander at his birthplace. That was really neat. Then I drove some more. And at dark, I managed to find myself in Illinois finally. At a really dark rest stop. But I had to get the picture (and the map) so I stopped. I've never been so scared in my life. No one, nothing was there. Exactly. Finally arrived in Urbana and I'll be DAMNED if at check in, I still couldn't get into my room all over again. At least on this drive, I didn't see like 13 or so pieces of significant roadkill on the way to my hotel.

So where in NM are you from? (Madison, WI)

So Madison. I love college/government towns. This year, because I didn't stay right by the university, I got to see a bit more of Madison. I personally, could so see myself living here. Robert, not so much. He'd suffocate from the size.

So...I finally got to switch back to my Hilton family hotels. It sucked. In hindsight, I can say that. I stayed at the Madison West Towne Mall Area. Which, like I said...different. There was a chinese buffet (wait for it) in the parking lot and a scrap store across the street. Score right? Yeah. No.

So I checked in and God forbid anyone know how to work the key coder. I'm exhausted (not quite a 3 hour drive, but it has been a long day) and I just want to get in my room, check email, go to sleep, adjust to the time change. I go upstairs, key doesn't work. I'm pissed, but remembering Robert's advice that you get more done playing white than playing black. Okay, he doesn't say that exactly...I paraphrase. So I'm nice. I gently tell the nice sweet thang at the desk who managed to get me in EVEN THOUGH my reservation were actually for OCTOBER (yeah...hence why I should always do my own travel arrangements) that my key doesn't work.

"Oh sweety" she says though I've probably got 10 years AT LEAST on her, "Let me get that fixed right up for you."

She swipes it, does her magic, I go upstairs with the lady across the hall from me who ironically enough was also visiting with friends in Chi town who told her the 94 not the 90 was the way to go. I slip my key in the slot. No dice. She's trying to slip her key in her slot. No dice. I start to wonder if this whole upgrade to the top floor was a bad idea. We both head back down the elevator. I'm a bit pissed at this point.

"Really?" asks the sweet little thang who just cannot believe that I would take the time to come all the way back downstairs and play games with her about the key not working. "I guess I'll just have to go up with you" she says with my keys in tow. The sweat beads start to pop out when the second lady says she is having the same issue.

We get upstairs and of COURSE she can open the door in one fell swoop. Whatever. I get in, open the laptop, do my thing. Get up to take a shower. Come back, start typing and the thing shorts out. Just goes blank. Huh. I turn it back on, it starts, shuts down. Black screen of death. I start it again (cause clearly, I KNOW it wants to be on already) and this time I get asked if I want to start in regular Windows mode. Of course I do. It starts, shuts off. Then it won't start at all. I'm remarkably calm given that the business plan I worked on for like 3 weeks is on that damn thing. And all of my fave pics. And I have a project due for a contest.

For once, my mind clicked over to "well, I guess I'll just do x" mode. The plan became to find stuff to do a "real layout", find a walgreens to upload the photos on my camera to disk so that I can use the hotel computer to upload said layout and find some LSAT books and use my time wiseley to study. I go to sleep.

Next morning, I damn near break my neck getting out of the shower again cause the stupid shower curtain is too short and I might well have taken a bath on the puddle next to the shower. But it gets better. I go to the front desk. Check out, am ready to leave when I remember that I should have a package waiting for me. I ask, they claim they don't have it. I assure them they do. They claim they don't. I whip out my cell to make a call for a tracking number and like magic, the package appears. I'm pretty close to livid at this point. I ask where the computer for guests to use is..."Oh...we don't have a business center." Yeah...fine, but there's a computer here for guests to use...says so here on my reservation slip. Yeah, we don't have a business center. I explain the little power surge sitatuation that fried my laptop the night before in the room that I couldn't get into for 30 minutes. She says "oh really" and that's that. I'm done with this place.

Go back to campus, do the fair, get to see Brian. We catch up on such important things as Notre Dame vs Michigan's win percentage records (he's good for random tidbits like that) and then go back to our alphabetically separate but geographically kindred corners of the world to convince the great people of the midwest that the pacific northwest is where it is at. At least most people KNOW where Seattle is (smile).

Finish on campus and after the "3.5" hour drive of last night, convince myself that I have more than enough time to:

1. GET A POSTCARD
2. Buy an lsat prep book
3. stop by the scrap store
4. have dinner

And really, that all worked out just fine. Except that I also needed to find the post office because in the morning, when I stopped by Wal Greens to get my postcard, the woman took half of forever to tell me they didn't have any stamps although they were advertising for them all over the store. Go. Figure.

Get a couple of prep books from Borders, really nice folks tell me that the post office is right across the street, then I head over to the scrap store which shall remain nameless.

Decent selection (it has been close to forever since I've used an LSS as my main source of supplies) but what was more important was the attitude of the workers. I walked in. In a suit. As a black girl (imagine that). In Madison. I didn't look local I'm pretty sure. When I walked in, right past the front desk, right past about 3 employees, no one said hello. No one walked up to me 15 minutes later when I was still walking through the store holding just about everything in my hands because I didn't get a basket (helps me to keep the spending in check) to ask if I needed help or even to promote the use of a basket that probably would have gotten them much bigger sales. I was invisible.

On the positive, I LOVED their wall of alterable wood products and their crop space looked HUGE and very well stocked.

Just when I finished shopping, I walked up to the counter, laid it all down and came the usual "Do you want to be on our mailing list?" I noted that I wasn't local. Didn't say no or yes, just that I wasn't local. So she says "Oh" and then just rings up my purchase. I pay her with cash and as she is handing me back my change, she starts up a conversation with the decidedly local shopper behind me. Not so much as a thanks for coming in, or safe travels...she didn't even ask where I was from or try to sell me on why being on the mailing list would be a good thing for the next time (yep...I do this trip every year) I was in town. Nothing.

I walked out of there feeling like I was unimportant and especially because I wasn't local and wouldn't be back (so they thought) I wasn't worth any of their time. I really believe that the only way Local Scrapbook Stores are to survive is by us shopping in them. I won't be back to that one. I hear there is a great Archivers in Madison...

Anyhow...back to real life. I went across the street to the Chinese Buffet which implored me to vote them one of the top 100 buffets in America. Yeah. No. The food was...deplorable. But then again, who eats "Sushi" in Madison really? Not to be a Seattle snob, but you don't go from the coast to middle America to get sushi. Lesson learned. The rest of the food wasn't "bad" so much as all very similar. The Seafood Delight was kinda scary and the Kung Pao was just...yeah. So no, they will not get a vote for the top 100, BUT I know a place in Olympia and a place in Seattle that will. Thanks for the heads up!

But in closing, Madison was not at all all bad. On the way out of the Buffet, this guy pushing a white Benz rolls his window down and shouts out:

"Where in NM are you from."

blank stare.

"Uhhmmm...your plates??"

"Ohhh...this is a rental. But where in NM are YOU from?"

Turns out, he owns a business in Albuquerque on a street corner I know very well. No...not like that. From my recruiting days at New Mexico State. I told him I wasn't from there, but I used to live in Las Cruces and I lived right across the border in that better state. He got a chuckle out of that. I got to leave Madison feeling like all was not lost.

3 hours to Iowa. This should be fun.

Alamo is the bane of my existence (Chicago 2)

So...my laptop didn't so much like the midwest and decided to crash out on me. So I had lots and LOTS of stuff I wanted to say, but couldn't. Never mind the fact that blogger is playing games and I can't unprivate my other blog (one more try then I'm done with it) so there will be some spill over. And because I hate reading long posts with no pictures, I'll break it down for you.

Chicago, Day 2

So today turned into a hot ass mess. Not a hot mess. Cause that would be funny. But a hot ass mess which is just downright triflin'.

So Traci was Ms. Punctual and arrived just in time for our day. For some reason, the Marriott gift shop was closed this morning so I couldn't get a post card. The trip was off to a bad start already...you couldn't pay me to stay in another Marriott just FYI.

I hop in the mini van and Traci proceeds to tell me about her rummage sale. Now I need to check her spots so you can get the real run down on the situation cause I will not do it justice. But in a nutshell:

Imagine, if you will, a yard sale. You're with a group of your boys (and you're a boy too...just pretend for a moment...) and you walk over to that old vcr over there. You pick it up, turn it over, start prodding it. Traci looks up, sees a glimpse of something, watches as you put it down and pretty much run away. Traci thinks nothing of it. Later (how later is not really relevant) she walks over, picks it up and is fiddling with it when she pulls not one, not two, but SEVERAL maxi pads out of the tape slot. Rewinding her memory, she recalls the dude (that was you...pretending...remember?) having something white in his hand and then turning white himself before taking off like he was being chased. Oh the stuff you find at Rummage sales.

Anyhow, as she is trying to tell me this story, I am trying to give her directions to Windy City Scrapbooking. We did make it there. Even parked on "the street". That will be important momentarily.

So it is like 11ish when we hit this store. We talked, we stalked, we shopped and then there was the annual garage sale so we had to shop that too. We got pictures, I gave her my receipt for their really GENIUS auction concept, we walked out and went back to the car. I got on the directions. We were to circle the block and find the next street. Never mind that the street we were parked on was "the next street" and that we spent like 20 minutes driving around trying to get to it. I warned her I was not observant. She cautioned me that she sees everything. To the point that we get to Lou's for pizza and have to struggle up on some street parking. We find a spot right at the corner, with a hydrant and proceed to try to fit the mini in that spot. In the meantime, not one, but TWO cars round the corner and take the TWO empty spots in clear sight of what we were trying to accomplish. We had a dang good laugh at that. In a moment of "clarity" I decide to call Alamo rental cars to let them know I might be running a bit late (it is like 2:30 at this point--Windy City was the best time suck I've ever been in.).

Drama.

Dude is clicking away on the computer telling me if I don't get there between 3 and 4, they're charging me another $400. I ask why I'm being charged more to NOT have the car. I don't think he got that I wouldn't be keeping the car longer. Or that it just made no damn sense what he was telling me. I was hormonal, I panicked. no. I didn't get black on the man (I was in mixed company...come on now). Instead, I demanded that poor starving Traci get me to Ohare.

So we get to O hare at just about 4 and not only do I manage to find the one car with half a tank of gas that they didn't credit me for, but I almost lost Traci in the lot. I tell ya.

All ended well though. She called up Lou's over by her way and got us in with the BEST pizza I have ever had (remember that cheese distinction--I think that was it) and the Calamari was good too! And even better than all that was the conversation. I told Traci (and meant and still mean this totally) that her kids are totally TOTALLY lucky to have her as a mom. And I'm lucky to know her.

So...no Renegade fair...I'm tempted to look up the Brooklyn event but if I couldn't make the Chicago gig, I've no qualms about giving up on NYC. But Traci did get me to Madison via the 94 instead of the 90. To that, I asked her how long it would take and she told me about 3.5 hours maybe. Given my 90 directions said about 3 hours, I was not sweating that so much as wondering how I would stay awake for 3 hours of driving.

I got to Milwaukee about an hour into the drive and with my no sense of direction/no sense of time self, I kinda freaked out and knew that somewhere I had to have missed a turn. Even with stopping for gas, it took me 1 hour, 50 minutes to get to Madison. I have a bit of a lead foot. I'm praying to GOD I don't have a stupid toll ticket though--who carries that much change on them really??

Chicago...peace out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Waiting on my girlfriend to come visit me (Chicago)

That was about the saddest thing I heard this weekend.

I'm in Chicago. My boyfriend is in Seattle. I called him last night after he got off from work (which, when he told me on Friday that he had to work on Saturday, that was, at the time, the saddest thing I had heard all weekend) and asked what he was doing. He said (quotes):

"Waiting for the girlfriend to come visit me."

It is that time of year. The time of year where I spend more time away from home sleeping in hotel beds, eating dinner with other guys and girls and talking through a tinny very far sounding device to get my daily fix of him.

And for the record...he also said that everytime he gets out of our Westin Heavenly bed at home, that it feels like he's getting out of a hotel bed. Slowly but surely, I'm transforming our life into a posh hotel environment. I think he's catching on. And yes...the Heavenly Bed even with our older sheets and really needs to be replaced Duvet Cover is a bagillion times more comfy than my Marriott bed. Even on the Magnificent Mile.

So...Chicago. Today blooms bright and lovely. I get to see Traci in about 20 minutes, do some real pizza (hint number one, Giordanos stuffed pizza--perhaps the stuffed CHEESE pizza is all that. My stuffed vegi supreme sucked. And by the looks of all the folks leaving their extra pizza on the table instead of taking it with them...I'm just being observant is all. Verdict: Sucked), hit Windy City Scrapbooking and then off to spend some of the cash burning in my pocket at the Renegade fair. Just got a message from a high school fair that I will be back here (Chicago) in January. Note to self, I will NOT stay at the Marriott Mag Mile. My room...freezing, tv with a static line going through it, finally called them to fix it when it got stuck on tv internet for some reason and the last straw...the bathroom sink leaks. As in from the pipes underneath the counter. Uhhhg.

Gotta go buy a postcard so I can send it on out to the most missed BF in the world.

Until Madison...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sexy. Back

Cause what goes around comes around and it is t-minus 2 minutes to midnight as I start typing this then it will be Justin Timberlake Day. General Admission. Don't care who's opening. Do care about intermission but mostly care about getting my groove on. And nope...I'm not too old to do that.

And it will cap off three weeks straight of concert going. 7 bands/acts. Love it. Don't really know why I stopped doing this.

Life is good. Got some great pics from my aunt in Texas of my brother and his wife that I need to download to my laptop. Need to create a desktop with lots of my fave photos. Also should get my scanner working.

But for now, I think I'm going to go and have some frozen gogurt and hit the sack. I've got some dancing to do tomorrow. Oh yeah...after the bike ride around the lake. Another great weekend ahead. Oh but before I go.

Last night, we went to the Center for Wooden Boats. A fundraiser with the Classic and Antique Boats Society. Just amazingly PASSIONATE people about a really neat craft. We got out on the water in the Hokey Pokey which is an amazingly GORGEOUS boat (complete with FULL bar...ahem). The ride was so smooth. Big old motor (the owner had done all the restoration of the woodwork and the engine/mechanical all himself) that he gunned us across the lake in inside the speed zone and it was just gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I said that already but this is a not much of a boat girl talking about a gorgeous boat.

The line of the night. well aside from Stephen asking R if he brought any pretty ladies with him tonight (lol) was sitting at a table and being asked..."So Bernadette, are you into boats?" to which I respond "I'm into a guy who is into boats." to which the guy with a thick accent that I managed to miss his name says "So then the answer is yes, you're into boats."

Yes. Yes I am.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Shoot...what a Weekend!

Ahhh...still yet one more day. I LOVE three day weekends.

So briefly.

Sean Paul is so far my fave concert this year. I love his music, love de dancehall style an all. I was booty shaking it the whole time and it felt GOOD! Reminded me of dance team days and dance club days in college. Got one of his old school songs but mostly his newer stuff including a new single coming out.

Loved that he even did two of his appearance songs--you know...the ones where you ain't the main, but you guest verse. He did the Beyonce song which I LOVED (that video was HOT!! and of course you know I love that girl) and it was great.

Course I'm all about crowd watching now. Very different group of folks from Incubus and Modest Mouse. Lots of teeny boppers that were all wanting to be up front for Fergie which, in the end I said "You know...I really don't need to see her perform." Besides the make out sessions of two couples right next to us and the usual contact high of a concert where the number one song is "We Be Burning" (about...well...look it up...)...I'd say it was the best show I've been to yet.

Which is interesting cause my better half is all about "A good concert involves music--like live music." And I'm all about "A good concert involves maybe some live instrumentalists, but also a dj, some dancers and a great stage show." I think we hit it right about on balance with Sean Paul. Course, if you're not into that kind of music, it won't matter much either way.

So Shoot...we've done the Shoot and have one more day--John Legend today at 3ish and then the Wu at 9:30. Maybe some sushi in between. Maybe I'll remember to take my camera. Totally stoked that in a long weekend, I was able to hang with my fave person, drop two pounds, get a bit of scrapping done and get my laptop cleaned up. Still should tackle the desktop but alas...training next week at work so I get out on time and life should be good. Then the road tour. More on that to come!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life...beyond scrapbooking

Never mind the fact that I actually got what follows off of a fellow scrapbookers blog (hi Chris!...okay I'm messing cause she don't know me - or the fact that I stalk her blog - from Adam. Or Eve for that matter). I digress. But I must stay off her blog because at work, when the music comes on full blast, people look at me like "Why are you not working" and that makes me feel all sad and bad and shameful and stuff.

Because I feel kinda bad that I've been totally neglecting the life blog, I really needed to post a few times here today. So first, a simple "life check" list. To get me thinking of what is important and all.

Yourself: surprisingly in a good mood. Blue skies, nice comments, got to scrap until midnight
Your partner: ironically enough, ALSO slaving away at the bank. Doing his thang.
Your hair: I bought it AND WHAT?!
Your mother: lovely, stressed, just trying to get by
Your father: what's a "father"?
Your favorite item: rockstar gaffers tape. mmmmmm.....
Your dream last night: I woke up vividly remembering it. But then I couldn't remember the date when I had to fill in my parking pass this morning and because I was stressing with all my might to summon that memory, my brain overloaded and alas...I have no idea what I dreamed about last night except to say it was a good dream and I'm pretty sure he was in it (smile).
Your favorite drink: water with lemon...lots of lemon
Your dream car: I used to LOVE Jags...then I saw this hot Mercedes...and I started dating this crazy guy and...so she said.
Your dream home: oh where to start. Lots of space--hardwood floors of course, but some really great plush carpeting as well. Great master bedroom suite with a big enough closet for his stuff. Great first floor extra rooms - office for him, scrapish room for me, open floor plan, lots of nooks and cranies and arch details, great colors, great DETAILS (brushed nickel, CAT4 wiring), big gorgeous pool out back (not just a hole in the ground...but a real great pool), and most of all, not cookie cutter. Which is hard since my better half is all about planned development, but at the very least, my inside won't be your inside and the vacation home (yeah, and she went there) will totally not be cookie cutter.
The room you are in now: the little plastic baggie in the fish bowl while you acclimate the goldfish. I'm in a glass front office with folks staring at me. That glass front office is within another glass front office with people staring at all of us. Note to ya'll: When the lights outside are turned off and the door is locked--even though you can see us siting in the little plastic baggies inside the big fish bowl, PLEASE don't knock on the glass. That scares us.
Your fear: failure of course. Not living up to your expectations. Or my expectations of what your expectations should be.
Where you want to be in 10 yrs: loving up on some kids, married to a great guy, successfully acquiring another storefront or two, or selling off mine. Been there done that, cyclical nature and all.
Who you hung out with last night: the cable lady who try as she might could NOT get the #*$*) HD Tivo to work with the crappy Comcast CableCard (TM). Why? Because they really REALLY want to send a tech out to your house to do it. Yeah, but then you have to be home. I'll be damned already. So now...we can watch tv, we just can't record. So what is the point in a tivo again? Anyhow. We have internet. I was sweating those 23 minutes without. And now instead of hundred bucks a month, we pay half that. Why is it the cable company lets you play these games? Do they not know I date a guy who will jump right in??
You're not: a poser. Really that quiet. Or that obnoxious. Or that good really--I just pretend I am.
Wish list item: today...times about 200.
Last thing you did: check bloglines, added a new blog
What are you wearing: brown slacks and an orange and gold striped shirt
Favorite weather: today--blue skies, about 70ish perfect Seattle weather. no humidity, no sweat beads poppin' up on the forehead, no need for a jacket, but sunglasses are nice.
Favorite book: Anything by David Sedaris. I need to re-read him.
Last thing you ate: Reeses peanut butter cup of course.
Your life: all things considered, pretty darn good. And then some
Your mood:amazingly upbeat today. Scrapping can do a body good.
Your best friend: him of course. Shhh...he probably doesn't really know that.
What are you thinking about right now: (smile)...see above...wonder what he's doing right now.
Your car: Hyundai Sonata
What are you are doing at this moment: duh (smile). Blogging about to go to work
Relationship status: not married but oh so far from single.
What's on TV: probably the Tyra Banks show.
Last time you laughed: hmmm...like a chuckle or a hardy har har? Cause I chuckled a couple of minutes ago at a student who panicked because he was not registered for the fall. He had neglected to check his school email account to receive the 80 notices to do so before we figured on dropping him from the class. In his panic email, he says "if you need to be in touch with me, do so immediately at my blah@hotmail.com addy. I promise I won't miss another blah University email account message again." The irony. Lost on you huh? But that was my last chuckle. Night before last I laughed really hard at Wife Swap. I know it is not polite to laugh at people but the Dog Lady told the Earth Lady "Wake up Biotch" in regards to letting her 15 year old son "sleep outside the house" (he lives in the guest house...get real). I laughed not at this situation because the woman had lost her mind (clearly...watch the episode, it was one of the best) but because when we see stuff like that on tv, we always harken back to the good old days of Super Nanny. Specifically the episode (sad one really) of the mom who's hubby had died and she was raising like 4 or 5 kids on her own. This sweet, adorable little like 3ish year old was a terror. To the point that he says "Mommy...I have something in my pocket for you" and he pulls out a middle finger. Classic. I had to give it to him for the cleverness (is that a word???) BUT that is our high water marker of hillarious laughter. Well, for me. I'm cold. I know this.

Time to work...or at least go and get lunch.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And she travels...

SO let us see.

Chicago and the midwest in September.
Upstate gorgeous NY end of September/start of October.
San Fran for a short trip.
San Diego for a shorter trip.

And that is my travel schedule this fall. I call it "travel light" as it is no where NEAR the craziness I did last year. Which is odd given my boss's maternity leave and desire to stay closer to home. Which, by the by, if I had a daughter HALF as adorable as Natalie, I would so totally stay home all the time too.

Yeah and I said it. Time to check out what specifically I should DO in those places. San Fran is covered (thanks to my better half) but for a hot second we were going to do Disneyland on the San Diego trip. The NERVE of them there folks closing down Alice in Wonderland AND Its a Small World at the same time. Like it would ever be a trip to Disney without a float through Its a Small World...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am so swamped

Well not really.  But I like to pretend I'm just too busy.  Yeah right.  So I should take some photos, get packed, get to work, go to dinner...all the usual stuff.  But I leave for Chicago in t-minus not enough hours.  I know...get offline and get it all done.  Right.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tomorrow

I just realized is Friday the 13th. Which is good cause it takes one of those once in a blue moon occurences (evidently) for me to hook up with one of my fave people in the world. World, meet Liisa. And yeah, she spells it like that. Which is why she is totally one of my fave people.

Pizza (on a diet...that will go over swell after what I had today) and a drive in rush hour traffic. She is so totally worth it. And then some.

Cause she does stuff like this:

Person X is not so much. Person X overheard Liisa talking to someone else I really DO like about me. Person X is all "Ohh...you're talking about B? She is cool people and she is one of my fave people in the world." My Liisa senses the disconnect. My Liisa doesn't let it slide. And I think my Liisa would be pissed at me laying claim to her all like this, but my Liisa (not YOUR Lisa) knows me like that. Anyhow...I digress.

I was saying.

My Liisa called her out. straight up. In one of those smart people ways. See...I'm straight hood. So I would have said something like "Girl...you don't know her." Liisa is slick. She's a bit (okay, a LOT) hood too, but she says:

"Ohhhh...so which was your fave picture from her blog??"

[silence]

"You know...pic your fave, win some pics??"

[more silence]

"...from her trip with Robert..."

[some silence, but then...] "Who's Robert?"

"Yeah."

To the person she was originally talking to I imagine something like "The look" whereby they both knew this person didn't know/like/care about me for Adam. How do you love someone like that and not know she went on a trip? Or the name of the man she's been with for 2 years? Really now. Course, I didn't know till yesterday that Liisa had moved to Alaska for a hot month but I'm a hot mess and I roll like that. And she loves me still. And I will always love her. For that alone.

Monday, June 25, 2007

In regular life

Ahhh...Sunday. Yes, I know it is Monday. But Sunday. See, Saturday, I spent most of the day holed up in my scrap hole trying to dig out from under the mess so I could see a table again. Almost. Sunday, I woke up to do much of the same. But my better half was bored. Wanted to know how I would entertain him. Alas, everytime we began to think of a bike ride, the weather went to...well...it went to Typical Seattle. To the point that 5 folks up north were struck by lightening. Talk about an electrical evening.

So instead, I finished up the scrap cleaning and then we made lunch. Burgers (veggie for me, thanks) and tater tots. I love tater tots. That and Kraft Mac and Cheese. I could be a happy girl with just those for a while. And maybe some peanut butter toast. And watermelon. Oh...and frozen gogurt pops. I think that's it. Water. With some lemon on it. Oh and for lunch...pho and mushroom garden rolls. I digress.

So we ate lunch and made a list and checked it twice. Then it was off to free lunch Sunday at Costco (love all the samples!) but we went to shop. We were both way off on the guesstimate at the end, but so it goes. Then, we left there and went to "the regular grocery store" to get the stuff we don't need annual supplies of--you know...hair gel, deodorant, veggies...although we did buy grapes at Costco.

After that, we went home. And though we tried not to, it was nap time. For some of us at least. I did manage to get a digi layout almost done. Was playing with some filters and totally diggin' a new non-scrap site and got some really great stuff done. Then I put it away. And we had dinner. Again, the better half whipped up a wicked great combination. Me, not being a fish gal, LOVED the salmon. I love our GF grill...totally. I like the regular one too, but the GF just keeps everything so moist. I could so become a fish girl. Anyhow, after that, it was time to get the clothes put up (trust, this is an accomplishment in and of itself) and then I hopped into bed and tried to read. Fell asleep. Slept very well. Woke up early enough (today) to get to work at a respectable hour. And my hair is not a wreck today and I managed to decently coordinate an outfit. I think I will return to hanging my clothes up by outfit as opposed to individually (ie, a shirt and slacks together instead of separately)...makes the mornings much easier.

And here we are...Monday morning. Almost 11...almost halfway through the day...and of course blue skies since it isn't the weekend after all.

Here's to a great week!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Seriously, Tibet.

Okay. I'm a bad blogger. I know this. It might have something to do with perfectionism and not doing it until it is complete and done but forgetaboutallthat.

Go. No RUN. To this place here:

Tibet Meanderings.

Meander the site for all the verbage. Seriously. Relive the trip with me.

For those who are visual learners, go here instead:

Tibet Photos.

The photos are mostly from our SLR shots (shared camera...fun...when the P&S batteries die and you can't figure out that you need to leave the key in the slot for the electricity to work to charge it) and a few P&S pics too.

This is fun stuff. Why are you still here??