Tuesday, July 29, 2008

shake, rattle, and roll

No, I'm fine. Thanks for asking. While I am in LA today, my plane was still above the shaking ground. How freaky would it be to try to land a plane amidst an earthquake?

Had I kept my original travel plans I would have been here. At the site. Freaking out. Working the rest of the day under the desk. No aftershocks that have been registered (by me anyway). Perhaps I wouldn't have even noticed... "Hmm, was that my stomach growling?" I must say, it would be an interesting thing to experience as long as you knew it wouldn't end poorly.

10 on tuesday (33)

When I was in college, one of my friends and I were talking about what it was too hot to do. We came up with things like "it's too hot to be pregnant" or "it's too hot to fall down." When you live in Texas it is often too hot to do many things. Here's what you do instead.

10 things to do when it's too hot to go outside
  1. Play the Wii. I've gotten pretty good at Guitar Hero.

  2. Clean the house. Thrilling, I know.

  3. Work on house projects. Lately it's been painting the stairs. If I ever make the last few decisions and actually finish without killing myself, there will be pictures to come.

  4. Sit in front of the computer. Internet. E-mail. Photography.

  5. Wish my house were better insulated. Hand-in-hand with this is wonder how bad my electric bill is going to be.

  6. Drink more. Generally the non-alcoholic kind.

  7. Go shopping. This does, however, require a person to go from the house to the car. Outside. With no air conditioning.

  8. See a movie. You know, this doesn't happen nearly enough.

  9. Sleep in, when possible. I think the heat just really drains you (do I sound like an old person by saying that?).

  10. Go outside anyway. You just wear less clothes. And jewelry. And only open-toed shoes so that you have a really fly flip flop tan by June. If we avoided the heat here, we'd never see daylight for, well, nearly the entire year. There is always the option of becoming nocturnal...

Friday, July 25, 2008

ok, ok, i get it

So there's this woman at my company who I'm sure is very nice. Awhile back she started sending us these quotes every Friday. You'd think I'd love her for that, right? I love quotes. But she sends them as a PowerPoint slide and my computer is so slow that sometimes I just delete without reading because, seriously, if I have to wait on one more thing--especially something that's not work-related--I'll go insane. And then there's the joy of getting my inbox down by one more message, to a so-close-to-being-almost-in-the-vicinity-of-manageable number of e-mails. Regardless, here's the quote for today that I opened as I pondered what I have to get done today and what I'll have to "come back into the office" to get done over the weekend.

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” –Lin Yutang

Now if only I could get this Lin person to pay my bills and write my reports and file...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

10 on tuesday (32)

10 Least Favorite Celebrities

Ugh. There are so many... I was just thinking over the weekend that there are very few "classic" Hollywood-types these days.
  1. Paris Hilton--Why won't she go away? And now there have been rumors of her reproducing. Just what we need.
  2. Keanu Reeves--I think he's a terrible actor. Terrible.
  3. Jessica Simpson--I don't care if she's ditsy and uneducated or just pretending to be--both are bad in my book.
  4. Lindsey Lohan--The newest possible lesbian turn she's taking seems like an improvement over the drugs/alcohol/drunk driving fun she's normally up to...
  5. Britney Spears--Not a fan but still am glad no one follows me around with cameras claiming I'm pregnant because I have a little belly bulge occasionally.
  6. Miley Cyrus--I know kids love her. I don't.
  7. The entire cast of High School Musical--See #6.
  8. Tom Cruise--I never would have thought the tide would turn on him--especially if you would have asked me right after Cocktail came out and young cjh's BFF and I were in love with him. Oh, how the crazy is hidden sometimes.
  9. Angelina Jolie--So tired of her. Can't forget her former self and that she stole someone else's husband.
  10. All reality TV "stars" who have stayed past their 15 minutes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

pnc park and the pirates

On July 7th, we drove in to Pittsburgh to see the Astros play the Pirates. It was my first away game. Since I'd experienced the joy of Yankee and Red Sox fans on our home turf (Bubba, I can hear you saying that we don't have turf anymore; we have grass), I was determined to not be an obnoxious fan. And I wasn't. A good time was had by all...except maybe our boys. They lost.

We got there early and stayed the entire game. Our seats were great--8 rows up along the 1st base line. The Pirates fans behind us were very nice. The folks to our left were actually Phillies fans. And the people in front of us were on a 5-stadium bus tour. Seemed fun.

Granted, it was the Astros vs. the Bucs on a Monday night but attendance didn't even hit 14,000.

The first half took forever; it seemed like the battle of the poor pitchers. But it also seemed like we had a shot. In the end, the second half went as quickly as any hopes we had of winning. It ended 7-10.

Some interesting tidbits:
  • The lemonade guy had a very fun yell. And he brought cups of lemonade to sell the way the beer guys normally haul around beer.

  • Speaking of beer guys, one of them was a card. We needed to tip him for his comedy act.

  • Another beer vendor, the Iron City guy, was very nice. When he carded us (yea!) and realized we were from Texas, he welcomed us and told us to just ask if we had any questions.

  • The fans around us were nice--only a few heckles. Not too bad at all.

  • They have pierogy races. They start off on the screen like our Hummers with bobbleheads do. Then they run out on the field. Actual people dressed as pierogies. Who knew?

  • The vendors also bring hot dogs right to you. In warm, little ovens.

  • Their ballpark reminds me of ours. Nice view of downtown. Relatively new. Open air.

  • Beer was only $7.

  • They had really good cheddar and caramel popcorn. I didn't have a dog this time.

  • A teenage kid played the National Anthem on his electric guitar.

  • They shoot off fireworks when the Bucs hit a home run.

  • Unlike our park, they only show the batting order of the offensive team on the big screen. I enjoy seeing both.

  • One foul ball came awfully close to us. No cigar. But I tell you what, if one came any closer I'd freak out--out of excitement and the pressure. If I ever catch one, it will be against all laws of nature.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 on tuesday (31)

I haven't done a 10 on Tuesday in quite awhile. Ok, since the end of April. Lately, some of the topics haven't really hit home with me and other times I've just looked up and it was already Wednesday. Oops.

10 Memorable Vacation Moments
  1. Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

  2. Being only a few feet away from elk in the wild in rural Pennsylvania.

  3. Drinking wine on the porch with The Boyfriend (as described here) in Brenham.

  4. Horseback riding in Mexico with my snarky, biting and sometimes galloping horse.

  5. Dancing till the early morning on our Mexican cruise.

  6. Seeing "O" (my first Cirque show) in Vegas with The Boyfriend.

  7. Whale watching for the first time off of Boston.

  8. Crossing the state line for the first time (to Louisiana) when I was 17. (I know. I was old. We were poor. And who needs to leave Texas?)

  9. The early morning Seattle markets.

  10. Minding our own business in the hotel pool when those Jamaicans started talking to us in Grand Cayman. Also, hanging with sting rays there. And giant turtles. And iguanas.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The clouds were amazing. I don't know what compelled me to look out the window. Maybe the lack of reading material. Maybe the chatty tween the row in front of me who kept me from napping. Maybe the warning that it was about to get bumpy. Whatever it was, I'm glad I did. Interspersed amongst the inviting fluffy white clouds that could have been taken right out of a 5-year-old's drawing were flat, wispy cirrus clouds. Their horizontal lines dissected the giant puffs in such a way that you could easily imagine them being the surface of a vast ocean where you could simultaneously see the tops and bottoms of icebergs.

I didn't have my camera.


When the clouds thinned, the boy behind me asked his mother if that was the Mississippi. The river is always huge, impressive. Because of the relentless rain, it had jumped its banks. The land isn't heavily populated but there are a few homes that still have water knocking on their doors. Others are islands, driveways leading to disappearing roadways. Large fields of crops are submerged. What was once a patchwork of greens has become a geometric pattern of glassy mirrors. When we finally get over dry land, you can see how the water ripped the crops from the ground. Muddy, brown fields irregularly edged in yellow and then green along the side furthest from the river. I am struck by the devastation. By what this means to the people in those flood-ravaged homes. What it means to the farmers. For the consumers. And how plane-fuls of passengers are touring this disaster area the same way government leaders do. Amazing and unbelievable and humbling and sobering.

And I didn't have my camera.

Friday, July 11, 2008

10 things--pennsylvania

  1. There was beauty in all the nature that surrounded us. Everywhere. Rural PA is really quite lovely.
  2. The Boyfriend and I got to spend some quality alone time at two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright--Falling Water and Kentuck Knob. Both are amazing today and even more so when you remember how long ago they were conceived and constructed. And, yes, we got to tour their interiors as well.
  3. Even though the weather wasn't the picture of summer (i.e. warm and sunny) at all times, the rain and fog in the mountains took my breath away.
  4. Other than the GPS and very rare phone calls, we didn't use any technology during the trip. No voicemail or e-mail or internet or television. (We did use the stove and A/C and indoor plumbing, etc.) It was refreshing.
  5. I saw real life Amish. In the wild.
  6. We also saw real live elk. I never knew "elk" could be turned into a verb--as in "we went elking." This means driving around looking for them. They are relatively easy to find. Amazing, breathtaking, yada yada. We also saw groundhogs and chipmunks and fireflies.
  7. It was nice to see so many people and places that are important to the SIL and her family.
  8. We got to go out on the boat a few times. Enough one day to get a little sun. And we saw the fireworks from the lake. I like seeing them while on the water. We should do that more often at home.
  9. I marked off #4 on my ballpark list. A post on that still to come...
  10. We made it out to an extended family member's tiny house at "camp." There we enjoyed lovely hospitality as well as grilled sandwiches and hot dogs and SMORES! Food on a stick is awesome.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

pennsylvania picture post

I got back today and am so not in the mood to go back to work. Ugh. Pictures today, perhaps words tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

happy 4th of july

I know; I'm slightly early. See, I have a feeling that tomorrow I'll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off because Thursday morning I'll be leaving town on a little vacation. I'll be celebrating Independence Day here.

Y'all have fun and be safe! See ya next week.

(And because I've been feeling a little lonely over here, I'm going to shamelessly beg for a comment from you lovely readers. Is anyone still out there?)

(Photo courtesy of City Data. Hopefully there will be more photos when I return.)