Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Countdown to Ireland

So Max is in Dublin, fighting jet lag and apartment hunting. Oh, and working. Poor kid arrived Monday morning and went straight into the office. If I ever start a business, he's the first guy I'll hire. He gets the job done! He doesn't sit around all day blogging and reading Paris Hilton gossip and, er, um...never mind.

The first few days after Max goes away, I always feel like super woman. "Now that I have all of my free time to myself, I'm going to learn how to cook and organize my iTunes and walk the dogs 10 miles a day and do all of the laundry that was ever created and have dinner with every friend that I haven't seen in weeks and finish watching Lawrence of Arabia and..."

Yeah. Good luck with that.

It's nice having a person around on whom I can blame my lack of stuff-getting-done-ness. What did I do the first 2 days after he left? Watch a bazillion episodes of Walking with Prehistoric Beasts with my Mom. And eat brie. In my defense, I have managed to walk 9 miles with the dogs since Sunday morning--the weather's been ridiculously nice--but I'm sure I ate 9 miles worth of brie last night alone. There's nothing like butter masquerading as cheese.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Check me, like, totally out:


But this will only apply on Monday, May 22, 2006. After that, I'm just me again.

Speaking of me, I had a terrific time in Tahoe. Max's game is black jack. He knows about when to hit and when to stay, when to split aces and when to double against a ten (never, apparently). He's a good tipper and friendly guy, and truly seems to enjoy himself at the tables.

Then there's me. I like to play skee ball.

Our hotel had an arcade in it so I was happy as a clam. They had 2 mediocre pinball machines (Lord of the Rings--feh--and Batman, the one with half-naked Kim Basinger on it. Shudder.) and I played my first Dance Dance Revolution ever (did you know that a video game can "boo" and "hiss" at you?). But the skee ball was unreal. Something truly amazing took place in that dark room full of epilepsy waiting to happen.

See, I never play the end lane, it seems to squished for the wide range of skee ball motion necessary to dominate the game. I usually pick the lane second from the right. It's just my thing. But for some reason on Saturday, after about 3 games, I moved to the furthest left lane and after about 10 seconds, I realized what was happening. Every time the game started a new play, the points meter would instantly register 450, regardless of the actual points being scored, and the ticket dispenser would spit out 20 tickets. Now, my average game that day was closer to 240 (I never said I was good at skee ball, just that I like it) which is worth 7 tickets. After about 6 consecutive 450 ill-gotten point games, it dawned on me that my game card (tokens are so 2005) had about 2000 points on it, and one game of skee ball was worth 21 points. I could stay here at this wonderfully busted lane and play...a hell of a lot of games of skee ball. And "win" 20 tickets per game. I played for a while, but I kept getting really nervous. How could they not know that the machine was malfunctioning? Would they be suspicious when a 30 year old chick wearing Bermuda shorts and flip flops stepped up to the prize counter with a bazillion tickets? Could I get arrested for this? Which prizes would I choose in exchange for my morally questionable tickets?

I kept freaking myself out with these questions, and every so often I would leave the busted skee ball lane, feed my pile tickets into the automatic ticket redemption machine (counting your own tickets is so 2005) and go play mediocre pinball. But the lure of the Broken Skee Ball Machine kept calling me, and I returned to the Lane of Temptation again and again. It wasn't my fault the machine was malfunctioning. It was a victimless crime. Right? Right.

By the end of the afternoon, I had acquired 2,180 tickets. I had played 109 games of skee ball. I had hurled 981 heavy little plastic spheres at the funnel-shaped targets. I walked up to prize counter and handed my ticket count receipts to the 17 year old counter boy with the droopy expression.

Me: "Let's see..."
Him: "..."
Me: "Hmmmm."
Him: "..."
Me: "I'll take one yellow Care Bear."
Him: "OK."
Me: "And one purple Care Bear."
Him: "OK."
Me: "And one blue Care Bear."
Him: "..."
Me: "And the Monkey Care Bear, er, the Care Monkey."
Him: "..."
Me: "What is that one? A dog?"
Him: "Yeah."
Me: "I'll take that one. Oh, it's a lion. It's not a dog. It's a Care Lion."
Him: "Yeah, it's a lion."
Me: "And that pink one. The Care Elephant."
Him: "OK."
Me: "How many tickets is that?"
Him: "1,800."
Me: "I'll take the balance in Pop Rocks."
Him: "..."

And I left the arcade with 6 Care Bears and 8 packets of Pop Rocks.

And my arm is KILLING me.

Best. Tahoe. Trip. Ever.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Oh boy oh boy oh boy

I'm really excited to go to Tahoe today. I could really REALLY use a little getaway, especially one that has 2 outlet malls on the way. This will be nice. Like a bite-sized road trip. I still really want to take that cross country road trip that I've been talking about since 1995. The one that goes through (in no particular order) Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, the South in general, the Great Lakes, Atlantic City, the Mississippi River, Deadwood South Dakota, Cedar Point Ohio, Pennsylvania, Yellowstone, Thousand Islands, Dollywood, and Graceland. Holy crap, that's going to be an awesome vacation. It will be the kind of vacation where we rent an RV, I think. It will be the kind of vacation where I spend weeks beforehand at AAA pouring over maps with handful of hi-liters and attraction brochures. How grand!

Not to take away from the excitement that a weekend in Tahoe so rightly deserves. The drive is going to be great, and the I've got a hankerin' for some black jack and a horseback ride. I know it's supposed to rain a bit this weekend, but right now it's still sort of muggy and warmish--good traveling weather.

I'll let John Darnielle tell you how I'm feeling today. He does it so damn well.

Noche Del Guajolote, The Mountain Goats

Eye eye, captain

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Breakfast of Champions

Whoever it was that decided that there is any real difference between cupcakes and muffins doesn't hang out at Starbucks. Not that I'm complaining. I would never allow myself to have a cupcake for breakfast--well, not on a weekday anyways--yet this peach-honey concoction filled with super sweet blackberry jam is entirely appropriate for a Thursday at 9 am. It has to be. The little sign behind it said "Whole Grain Goodness." Damn it, it would unhealthy not to eat the sucker.

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting to find out where we'll go for our little teeny tiny not-quite-vacation-get-away. We decided to go to South Lake Tahoe because it has everything: smokey black jack tables and gin and tonics, long banquet tables filled with fried foods and shrimp cocktail, bathrooms with televisions in them (I never noticed this television-bathroom phenomenon in Las Vegas or Reno, only in Tahoe. Hmmm.), plus a big beautiful lake and pine trees--everyone's a winner.

Everyone, that is, except you know who. Nobody cried, but there were many utterances of the F word in my parents' living room last night as the Sharks' season came to a close. The tears only came after all was said and done and our favorite bald color commentator announced that he will not be returning next year. Then everyone cried.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Somebody stop me

Do I really want to go to Disneyland over Memorial Day Weekend? Is it just the dumbest and most un-fun idea ever?

The driving forces behind the idea generation:
    1) It's Max's birthday
    2) It's our last chance for a vacation before The Move
    3) That crazy lady from Clamhead is giving up her glamorous Disney lifestyle in order to move to pee-smelling SOMA (She's making the right decision, of course. Even pee-smelling SF is better than LA, no matter how it smells.) and ever since I read about it I've dreamed of living near Disneyland, which I kind of do
    4) It's the happiest place on earth!
No place is the happiest place on earth during Memorial Day Weekend. There has to be a better solution.

Originally, I wanted to take Max to cowboy school for his birthday, and there's a one-day class in Elko, Nevada that looks pretty promising. Reno is halfway between here and Elko, so we could make it a fakey-Western road trip and play the Bad Livers and Willie Nelson the whole way there. Of course, that necessitates the eating of many ribs, and I'm still fighting this multiple root canal battle a bit.

But look how happy we were last time we went to Disneyland for Max's birthday:

But then again, Cowboy School...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oh how I love a good vacation

And boy do I love the Sea Ranch. Not much to do there but nap. And knit. And nap. And nap!

Ozzy is quite possibly the best napping partner known to man. He even holds hands.

It's been almost a month since we went to the Sea Ranch, and seeing these pictures makes me want to go back, desperately. Of course, being outside in this weather--even if it's just walking to the lunch store and back--makes me want to spend a few days on a tropical island, too. In a hammock. And passing the Disneyland billboard on the way home from work everyday (well, until we left the city anyhow) has made me want to go back to Disneyland. Desperately. DESPERATELY. Seeing the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 2 last night didn't help, either. And here's some glorious free association you: Pirates of the Caribbean = Monte Cristo. We can thank Laura for that one. Apparently, the Blue Bayou restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride has the best Monte Cristos anywhere. Unfortunately, even if I do make it to Disneyland before we leave for Ireland, the Blue Bayou--and Pirates of the Caribbean--are closed for remodeling. I guess I know what I'll be cooking for dinner this weekend!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

To Jimi or not to Jimi

Referring to my previous post on Jimi Hendrix, I still haven't tried that song again. And I'm pretty sure that the longer I wait, the less of a chance there is that I'll actually like it. We'll see. I do plan to try it out. Maybe I'll add it to the list of things that I want to do this weekend while my parents are visiting my Grandma in Chicago.

For those of you who don't know, Max and I (and Ozzy and Nanna and Milhouse and Miru) have been living with my parents for the last 11 days. It's temporary, just until we move to Ireland. When plans had to be made, like giving notice to landlords and such, we were planning on moving in May. Things have gotten slightly, erm, sticky since then, and we may not be moving right away, so my lovely parents have graciously offered to host all 6 of us until we leave or whatever it is we do.

Anyway, when I was in high school and my parents would go away for the weekend, my to do list looked something like this:
    1. Have friends over for stupid movies and junk food. Lots of pizzas. Make a huge mess.
    2. Wake up. Cook breakfast. Make a huge mess.
    3. Hang out and drink beer. Make a huge mess.
    4. Repeat.
    5. Spend 3 hours frantically trying to clean up a 45-hour mess.
How incredibly precious. Not that I miss high school, because I don't, but my to do list for this weekend looks more like this:
    1. Come home form work Friday night. Watch Sharks game. Wish once again that the dogs could walk their own damn selves. Order pizza.
    2. Sleep all weekend.
    3. When not sleeping, do laundry, run errands, feed animals.
Although, it would be fun to have a party or a game night or something, just for the heck of it. "Hey, my parents are out of town! Let's get a case of beer and play Balderdash! But don't use any dishes."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Happy Birthday LDB

I remember when we first met and I thought 2 things:

    1) Gosh, she's beautiful

    2) Damn that cat is old
I miss Hickers because he got even older and eventually went to live in kitty heaven. I miss LDB because she continues to be gorgeous but lives so far away in Portland. Whenever she tries to leave, the people of Portland revolt and stop her from going. You see, they have no sun up in Portland so they need all the pretty people they can get. When one tries to leave, everyone gets all bent out of shape.

Enjoy your birthday! I'll have some Cold Stone for you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

This is the last Quick Post

Because I think I finally got it to do what I want it to do.

Quick POst

Quick Post

Thursday, May 04, 2006

School is Cool

Rhonda and I are heading to the city in a bit to attend this month's NCBPMA meeting. They're going to be presenting a check to the winner of the 2006 Carol C. Butterfield Scholarship Grant--me! I'm going to use the grant money to attend the Stanford Professional Publishing Course in July which is really truly amazing. It looks like it's going to be a very intense, very jam-packed program full of tons of interesting speakers and attendees. I'm postponing my departure to Ireland until after the course; this is not something that should be effected by jetlag in any way.

The only thing that could make this better is if they hand me a giant cardboard check at lunch. Giant cardboard checks are much for fun than little paper checks. If they did hand me a giant cardboard check, would I have to write a giant cardboard thank-you note?

Monday, May 01, 2006

You could say that the secret ingredient is salt

Who put the "extra" in "extra super fantastic"? Me! Because jeez, this guy just did not seem super enough to me.

So what constitutes extra super fantastic? This (thanks, Scotty!). And this. And this!